- Posted by Jeff Vacek
- On June 10, 2016
- 0 Comments
- Business Development Tips, Internet Entrepreneurship Tips, Jeff Vacek, Offline Marketing Tips, Online Business Development
In my experience, being a guru can make it hard to stay aware of potential opportunities in your business.
A day in the life of an established guru is typically made up of BEING a guru and managing the minutiae that goes with it.
Writing content, doing interviews, doing coaching or consulting calls, speaking, recording a podcast, etc. are all things that are part of a typical day at the office for an established guru.
And that’s great… You’re a guru… So go BE one!
Regardless of your trade (guru or no guru), a great businessman or woman is astutely aware of opportunities in their own business and should strive to take advantage of them. And I know you want to be a great businessman or woman IN your guru business.
As far as being aware, in this case, I’m talking about where the profit centers, profit channels, profit indicators and profit maximizers are that you may not be capitalizing on.
You just might not be ‘hearing’ them right now.
So, to help you out, here are my 17 Profit Centers, Profit Channels, Profit Indicators and Profit Maximizers for Guru Businesses in no particular order.
I’m splitting this into 2 posts as 17 is a lot to take in all at once. (Just a reminder, you’re in Part 1 now. Part 2 of this post is here)
FYI… Over time I will do an entire blog post on each of these (if I haven’t already), but this ‘streamlined’ list should get you started and get you aware of opportunities you’ll definitely want to capitalize on and start capitalizing on 1 or 2 of them ASAP.
1. Go Offline – Inside Sales
The internet is still ‘The New Frontier’ when it comes to doing business. And for gurus its pretty much the status quo that you spend the majority of your marketing efforts online. Starting off and sustaining an online marketing strategy is arguably the most leveraged way of building your brand, building an audience and establishing a customer base.
That being said, there is huge opportunity with inside sales!
What if you had a team of qualified sales professionals that picked up the phone and called your customers and up sold and cross sold them on other products and services that you offer?
Better yet, what if your customers called you?
An inbound phone call from a customer who is interested in your products and services is a VERY qualified candidate to be up sold or cross sold.
The internet can create a huge audience, subscriber list and customer base for you. And that same internet generated customer base can also be used as vehicle for a huge, sustainable inside sales strategy that can sky rocket your profits!
- Go Offline – Direct Mail
Getting direct mail to convert is kind of a science but I didn’t want to leave it off the table.
And I purposely listed this one after inside sales because I really feel the best way to make direct mail to work is by utilizing and call center/inside sales team.
Part of this is because in my experience, the demographic of customers that will typically respond to direct mail is age 45+ and they have also shown to be more prone to pick up a phone and call a number on a post card versus running to a computer to go to a website (that is changing as more people in the older demographics are hitting social media, but at the time of this writing the internet is still a secondary sales channel for the older demographic).
Second, I would recommend using direct mail just like any other ad… Just to get someone to take action that moves them TOWARD making a purchase.
This usually works best with oversized post cards in my opinion.
Announcements about a new product, service, event, coupons for a discount, coupons for a trial, a redemption of something, etc. are all great premises for a direct mail post card that can lead a customer or prospect to call or go to your website.
And look at your SNAIL mail box for ideas.
Look at what local and big chain stores are doing with direct mail. Especially the ones that you get on a regular basis. Obviously you don’t really know, but my philosophy is that if a store is consistently sending me direct mail, it must be working for them and they must be converting via that channel.
How can you use a Macy’s direct mail piece in your guru business? Simple, just model the premise, the layout and the call to action but make it relevant to your brand, products, service, customer demographic, etc.
And again, worst case with direct mail is just like call centers/inside sales. It’s a great touch point with your customers to help build the relationship between you and them that somewhere down the road will garner an ROI.
- Go Offline – Infomercials
Okay, I’ll be honest… I’ve never done an infomercial. But I have friends and peers that have and they work. They can be quite expensive and might be out of reach for you, but an infomercial could absolutely explode your business into the stratosphere.
Think about what they did for someone like Tony Robbins.
- Go Offline – Radio
Radio is also something I have not done a lot of but have friends and associates who have done really well with it.
And again, this is not a list of all the things I have done specifically to capitalize on opportunities in business. It’s literally a list of everything I could think of at the time of this writing to make sure you are aware of and paying attention to.
So, nonetheless I’m including radio as well.
And again, could completely explode your business.
Think Dave Ramsey, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc.
I did do some radio a few years back and had some decent results. It was just too cost prohibitive at the time for the ROI we were getting.
The other thing we did smart was work with a really good agency. In fact, we used an agency whose founder was the mastermind behind the radio launch Priceline.com, which arguably helped it grow to a billion-dollar company faster than any company ever has.
So, moral of the story on radio is don’t do it by yourself if you want to be effective at it.
- Paid Media/Ads
Talk about a can of works and something that could be multiple tens of posts on its own… Paid ads is pretty broad… I know.
The main reason I’m bringing it up here is that A LOT of guru business start by solely doing joint ventures and an affiliate program.
And what happens is you get into a cycle of just doing joint venture after joint venture, affiliate launch after affiliate launch and you really kind of reach a ceiling.
I hate to tell you, but the same consumers are seeing your same products and services over and over. The subscriber in a list owner’s database have become way more savvy and almost immune to the over and over again pounding via email of affiliate and join venture offers.
And I speak about this from experience.
As I said, most guru business start through joint ventures and an affiliate program. But a lot of guru businesses also die by them. Mine almost did!
Luckily, I had good advisors and mentors that directed me to paid media, paid ads and social media on the front-end and how to build out a big back-end (much like I’m doing for you in this post).
Had it not been for them and I just kept chugging away at the JV/affiliate grind I would’ve gone belly up and bankrupt. I did have to scale down my business for awhile though.
Don’t make the same mistake I almost did and wait too long to start doing paid media/ads.
So, let’s come full circle… If you’re an established guru making a living and you’re managing your finances well (sounds like another blog post ;-), you should be able to start reinvesting in your business and create a paid media/ads budget.
Now, the challenge you may have is knowing where to start with paid media/ads.
I mean there’s:
– Every social platform that has an ad program (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
– Google and all the other text and content ad networks (like Advertising.com, YouTube, etc.)
– Paid Email Buys (where you pay a big email house to send an email to their lists to your landing pages, product offers, etc.)
– Native Ad Networks like Outbrain and Taboola
And then there’s the whole science behind each one of the platforms including the best ways to target consumers and retargeting/remarketing.
(Man, that just seems hard typing that little bit :-0)
Well, I’m here to tell you one of the secrets of my success.
Just choose one and master it!
Sure you could do all of them (which is going to be hard not doing if you’re left brained analytical or suffer from bright, shiny object syndrome).
I highly, HIGHLY recommend choosing one and mastering it. Often times what works on one platform from a messaging, copywriting, positioning and offering standpoint, will work on other platforms with some minor tweaks.
Honestly, I would recommend Facebook to start off with and I would also recommend getting someone to help you.
Facebook has a fairly low barrier of entry, has the most targeting options known to mankind as far as getting in front of your EXACT customer avatar and with $10 a day budget you can do some real damage – at least at the time of this writing.
Then, once you get Facebook dialed-in, just model those successful campaigns in the other ad platforms with some tweaks and you can REALLY scale quick!
Plain and simple… Event more than DOUBLED my business a few years ago.
So, obviously I’m going to be a MAJOR proponent for you doing events.
Now, let me be clear what I mean by an ‘event’.
For me, an event is anything you do live that has at least 5-10 people attending.
I do little mastermind events called ‘Roundtables’ where people pay thousands to literally sit at a round table with me and 3-4 of his/her peers and mastermind on each other’s businesses and create actionable plans to take home and execute on.
A ‘Roundtable’ like that can be an event.
Or if you have a HUGE following, maybe you’d like to do a big, convention style event.
Better be prepared to work though, and you need a team of people to handle all of the logistics before, during and after the event.
Events like that can REALLY put you on the map though and do wonders as a profit center for you.
I know they did for me in the multiple millions range.
- High-Ticket Programs
High-ticket products, programs and services are probably the most common profit maximizer that exists in the established guru industry.
Coaching and ‘done-for-you’ programs are the most common.
This is another profit maximizer that I can definitely speak first hand on.
I started implementing coaching and ‘done-for-you’ programs in 2011 and they have been a mainstay in my back-end profit strategy ever since.
It will take some work, but has a low barrier of entry.
If you already have a product or program all you need to do for the most part is add a coaching or ‘done-for-you’ component to it and you’re good.
You’ll need people to sell it (see Inside Sales above) and you’ll need people to fulfill on it. Finding qualified sales people and coaches are not too hard, will often be fine with being compensated based on performance and are typically very moldable, teachable, coachable and trainable themselves.
But, this is the one area where I recommend being careful and using very good contracts and agreements.
High-end coaching and services can get you in big trouble if you don’t take care of your customers and fulfill on what you promised in the outline of the program. Your customers are paying thousands for these programs and services and they want to get what they paid for.
Regardless of your market, your customer and what you sell, if you’re inside sales team creates false claims, false hopes, etc. in your customer’s minds you’re well on your way to going out of business and being shut down by the feds.
I’m not saying that to scare you. High-ticket products, programs and services can be HUGE money makers and they can increase your profits VERY quickly.
But they can also get you in trouble very quick. So, here are a few tips.
First, make sure whatever your client/customer is going to get is CLEARLY outlined in an agreement that both you and your client/customer sign.
Second, if you are coaching your clients/customers record EVERY coaching call. If they do not want to be recorded, refund their money and send them packing. Its not worth it. And at the end of EVERY call ask your client/customer if they are happy with the program thus far and if they thought is was worth their investment. If they are NOT happy then make them happy, whatever the costs. If they are happy (or once they are happy), you will now have them recorded acknowledging that. If anything ever happens, you have proof they were/are happy with the program.
Third, go above and beyond. If you’re selling online funnels where you build an online sale funnels for your clients/customers, do a little extra in their funnel. If a blog is part of the funnel, SEO their blog for them. Something. If you’re doing a lot of one-on-one coaching, throw in group sessions with other people in the program. Also, call them every once in awhile in between scheduled coaching calls and check in on them.
Little things like that will go a LONG way towards the integrity and success of your high-ticket products, programs and services and you’ll keep a WHOLE lot more of the profits you maximized!
First off, in case you didn’t know SaaS is an acronym for ‘Software As A Service’.
QuickBooks online is a SaaS. Your online banking is technically a SaaS. And so on…
A mobile version of your SaaS can be made into a App.
Bottom line is that if you can come up with a way to enhance your expertise, create a tool around your expertise, etc. then I would recommend building that into a SaaS and/or app.
There is SO much you can gain from a SaaS/App as a profit center, channel, indicator and maximizer.
Let’s look at how this is from something I’m doing.
At the time of this writing, I myself am partnering with a buddy of mine and launching a SaaS in the real estate investing niche/market. It won’t have an app at first but the SaaS is being built on a VERY mobile friendly platform. So, just as good as an app pretty much.
It is a needed and purposeful SaaS that is going to help real estate investors in a particular type if investment niche, make more informed and quick investing decisions. They have been asking for it and we are going to deliver.
How are we using this as a profit maximizer?
We’re going to charge $97/month for it as a special launch price. And we’re going to start off offering it to a huge existing customer base.
There’s our initial profit maximizer… Take an existing customer base and offer them a SaaS that helps them tremendously. And its subscription based so we make the sale one time and the profit maximization occurs repeatedly, month after month.
How are we using this as a profit center/channel?
Very simply we will advertise other relevant offerings of ours to the subscription base for this SaaS.
Which leads me to how will we use it as a profit indicator?
Well, our subscription base for this SaaS will most likely indicate to us other real estate programs or services they are interested in. And we will be poised and ready to make offers based on those indicators from them.
And that’s probably just scratching the surface of what we’ll do.
By the way, another way a SaaS or an App can be a huge profit center/maximizer for you… You can sell it!
Yep, SaaS’s and Apps are HUGELY sought after by other business buying, investing and flipping firms because in most cases (like my example above) they have an established, recurring cash flow stream and customer base that has growth potential.
So, I highly recommend you look for ways to take your products, programs and service and turn them into a SaaS and/or an App.
And given the way everything is going mobile, I recommend doing this NOW while the App market isn’t overcrowded.
- Physical Products
Much like a SaaS or an App, coming up with a physical product for your customer base can be huge for your established guru business both short-term and long-term.
This works really well for anyone who has an established guru business in the health and fitness arena.
I’ve witnessed first hand associates of mine going from doing low to mid five-figures a month in their established guru business to doing millions a month because they started offering supplements or exercise equipment to their health and fitness customer base.
Now, if you’re not in the health and fitness niche, so what?
Maybe you’re simply a success coach… Great, slap some of your favorite success quotes on some coffee mugs and boom, you’re now selling a physical product. Heck, maybe you only do this at Christmas. A lot of people like to buy coffee mugs for their mom, dad, boss, grandpa, grandma, etc. You can do ‘flash sales’ of coffee mugs with success quotes on them from Black Friday through Christmas Eve and probably put a lot of money in your pocket.
And when they buy a mug from you… Put you brand on it too and throw in a few pens with your branding on them. That customers will give you free advertising for as long as they have that mug and pen!
T-shirts are another good one if you’re not in a niche that has a really clear physical product component. And another great way to get free advertising from your customers as well.
Plus, selling a physical product can also make your business more attractive to investors and buyers much like having a SaaS and/or App.
Alright, there’s the first 9… Check back later for the next installment with the other 8.
Thanks for reading!