Tips on Growing a Two-Sided Market Business or App | Marketing & Client Acquisition

Tips on Growing a Two-Sided Market Business or App | Marketing & Client Acquisition

Tips on Growing a Two-Sided Market Business or App

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

7/2/19

The hardest part about building a two-sided market business is having multiple different sets of target audiences and then nailing your marketing…

I help people master their 60-second (oe Elevator) pitch every single week…

And without question, the people it’s hardest to pick it up are those with a two-sided market business.

Half the time they pitch as though they are appealing to one side and our mentors would prefer they pitch the other side.

The next week they do indeed pitch the other side and the new set of mentors wonder why they’re omitting the side they pitched the week before.

It becomes almost predictable how people are going to respond.

And backing up to a macro level to accomodate BOTH sides only makes the pitch seem vague and not specific enough.

And that’s just talking about Elevator Pitches…so imagine building a business in this manner.

Now, not all cases are this severe.

If you look at concepts like Airbnb, Uber or really any Gig/Shared Economy platform, there’s usually commonality or a central value prop that is uniform across the board.

Or at least it’s very easy to articulate that in very short order.

For example: Think about Uber…

People need to make side or supplemental income + people need rides to places.

At which point you can then jump into countering your objections.

In the case of Uber (and Airbnb) it’s alleviating safety concerns.

I’ll readily admit I DID NOT think Uber would work purely on the premise that it’s glorified hitchhiking with a smart phone.

And thus, the feedback loop creates a more secure environment so much so that parents will send their kids off to school or soccer practice in an Uber…

Quite literally contradicting any piece of advice my parents gave to me about cars and strangers.

So, let’s address what YOU can do to get both sides of your market to see the uniformity and opportunity in your own two-sided business or app.

Uber was glorified hitchhiking with a smart phone before the feedback loop alleviated safety concerns.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Personally, I think the most important thing you can do is WORK IN THE INDUSTRY…

Scratch your own itch, as one of my favorite books, “Rework”, states.

Because this gives you a fundamental understanding of WHAT is the CORE problem in the industry.

Ideas are great and I’m all for folks just spawning new ideas.

But literally everyone I know that has or is building a successful company of any type, including two-sided market businesses…

Started with the roll-up-your-sleeves work.

Like my guest on the podcast today, Ben Hodge, his business started as a means to just collect and hold money for venues and corresponding musicians.

He knew that was a huge issue because, guess what?

He worked in the industry and saw it was a BIG problem not having a third-party, reliable source to hold the funds.

And it started with him just literally hanging on to the cash like you’d see in an illegal street race in a Fast and Furious flick.

That has now evolved into him providing that same service but now ALSO connecting venues with musicians as well.

However, without the basic knowledge and understanding of the real issue, no way he arrives at his current business model.

And even if he somehow did, no way he understands their world enough to communicate the real value.

So, the first step is to immerse yourself in the world you want to serve.

Even if it means “starting from scratch.”

Every overnight success started with an everyday hustler…

You are no exception to that rule…nor am I.

In fact, I do the exact same thing in every new industry I enter.

“How do I literally insert myself in that world?” is the first thing I ask myself.

For many of you, this might be easy.

Because you might have a job currently in the industry you want to innovate.

View that as an investment, not a waste of time.

Because you’re literally being PAID to basically intern for your own startup!

For real!

Next, you’re going to want to think about how you can scale the basic iteration of what you’re doing…

Again, this isn’t entirely (if at all) different than the advice I would give to any other business.

But, fortunately for you, the same holds true for two-sided market businesses.

Right?

So, figure out how you can scale your efforts from what Ben was doing as just the middle man collecting money in one town to doing it at a larger capacity.

And the reason I want you to do this first BEFORE you start investing heavily in some app is because you need more of a sample size.

You’re going to have different customer avatar sets and they may value things differently than what you think.

For example: Let’s say Ben has been working with one, mid-sized venue.

And for them, it’s a GREAT value add that he can collect and transmit payments for them.

But, for whatever reason, for a smaller or larger venue either the transaction is too small to require an intermediary OR too large to trust a dude walking around with their cash…

In this case, Ben has built a model solely based on ONE customer avatar profile…

Mid-sized venues.

Maybe that’s enough, based on your market…

But often times it isn’t.

Further, maybe he finds MOST venues only prefer a specific kind of music.

Maybe their ideal customer (or client) avatar is middle-aged, Empty Nesters.

And the musicians he has agreed to work with play heavy metal.

You see what I mean here?

There’s so much more at stake here than just showing it works once.

And I see many people sink LOADS of money into Dev before they’ve TRULY sampled their entire addressable market.

I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, just don’t skimp on the market research and take affordable steps.

“Your current job may actually be like you getting paid as an intern for your own startup…”

Okay, so now you’ve served your entire market…

Fat people, skinny people, rich people, poor people, large venues, small venues…etc, etc, etc.

At this point you are likely going to KNOW the commonalities.

In other words, what’s the CORE essence of your value prop?

I can’t tell you what it is without context, you’ll just know it when you see it.

And it’s going to show up in your marketing.

Let me give you an example.

We are reading “The Power of Habit: By Charles Duhigg” in my Book Club Community.

And one of the stories I was fascinated by was the story of how Febreeze got it’s start.

Did you know Proctor & Gamble almost scrapped that entire project?

And here’s why…

The leads for that initiative THOUGHT people would buy Febreeze because they knew they had stinkiness going on in their homes.

They BETA tested certain markets and did follow ups with particular individuals.

What they thought was dead wrong.

Because they THOUGHT people would use it because they were embarrassed about the stink.

But that wasn’t it at all…

At least not for EVERYONE.

But they built this entire notion around ONE test subject that worked in a park and was exposed to skunks…

Like, a lot of skunks.

She struggled with her dating life as a result and literally cried when she discovered Febreeze and told her story to the P&G folks.

They took that ONE sample and built a marketing strategy around it.

And it flopped…

To the point where, again, P&G almost killed the entire project.

Out a desperation (and to keep their jobs), the leads for the team went back out to survey.

And what they found was the MAJORITY of people liked the reward they got after cleaning and finishing off with Febreeze.

Febreeze was like the “job-well-done” cherry on top of their hard work.

And that then exploded the product to what it is today as well as all of the similar products that have followed.

See why it matters to be thorough?

Freaking Febreeze almost failed due to poor marketing and limited sample size.

Don’t make that mistake…

Know your people at scale and your marketing will be calculated, not vague.

People bought Febreeze because it signified a job-well-done…and not because of stink awareness. Not knowing that almost killed the project.

Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash

Now, this next one is REALLY slick and I’ve seen it done beautifully.

In fact, I’m a part of a startup that is utilizing this very same tactic.

And that’s to literally leverage one side of your market against the other.

And I don’t mean in a combative sense.

Rather, to influence the other side that your business or app is the place to be.

Here’s the example I saw that might give you an idea of what I’m talking about here.

Electric Scooters are all the rave here in Austin, TX.

I just saw an article where we’re getting 500 more from some new company.

It’s literally bananas, they are everywhere.

But 18 months ago from the time I’m writing this they barely existed.

Being an early adopter, I hopped on one, filled out the info and was shocked when I got to the clear opposite side of downtown for just 3 bucks!

WOW!

And I thought Uber was economically friendly!

But here’s where the magic happened.

Upon completing my rental, I was prompted with a message that said, “Hey! Did you enjoy your ride?”

Once I selected 5-Stars, it said something like, “Great! We need your help to bring more scooters to Austin!”

It told me it would only take 3 seconds and to start by clicking the button below.

Now, the key here is that it did INDEED only take three seconds.

When I clicked the button it opened up my email app on my phone with a drafted up email.

The email said something to the effect of “Dear Representative, I want more scooters in Austin because….”

It went on in very diplomatic fashion as to why scooters were a good thing in my city.

What’s more is the Mayor of Austin was already pre-filled as the receiver of the email AND they CC’d his office staff.

Why does that matter?

It works on MULTIPLE levels…

For one, the Mayor is now receiving bulk messages directly FROM the user.

And his office staff is seeing that he’s getting them.

So it not only showed him this is important but they kind of put his pants to the fire by pinging his staff too.

Now OTHER people know he’s getting this messages at large.

And instead of the COMPANY, in this case Bird Scooters, begging bureaucrats to give them a chance, they leveraged what was probably an agreed upon BETA/Pilot test into a full fledged fleet in the city.

Pretty amazing, right?

Talk about the power of technology and reversing control in the situation.

And here’s the thing…

You can EASILY use a similar tactic.

In this case, the city wasn’t paying for the scooters but Bird absolutely needed them on board.

You may have a situation where both sides are paying customers.

So, imagine this…

If there’s no Uber Drivers do you think anyone is going to Uber?

If there’s no Uber Riders do you think anyone is going to drive for Uber?

You have to constantly use one side of your market to grow the other…

And vice versa.

Hopefully, in your case, you maybe have a little bit of time before transactions occur, unlike Uber.

With a platform like that, people expect to be able to immediately USE it…

Which creates an entirely different set of problems and probably significant marketing efforts plus a massive budget.

And in the early days you may remember Uber folks posting up everywhere (like gas stations) trying to get people to sign up and drive.

It’s a whirlwind, let me tell you.

But focusing on signing up ONE side of your two-sided market may enable you to leverage others into signing up too.

You’ll have to use your discretion as to which side makes more sense to approach first.

And hopefully they can operate knowing it’s something you’re working on with a TBD release date.

 

The last thing we want to talk about today focusing hyper-local to start.

Which may sound contradictory to what I told you before about working with all sorts of folks to find commonalities.

But in this sense, what you want to create is a small ecosystem as a BETA run.

College towns are wonderful for accomplishing this.

Because students are often early adopters…

And if you think about it, a college campus is really like a mini-town.

My first business was launched from a college town and it really allowed us to keep our costs low plus run controlled testing with a motivated audience.

Now, students are totally broke so keep that in mind.

But if it’s something they care about enough it’s funny how fast mommy and daddy’s credit card will make an appearance.

 

Making your concept work in a smaller ecosystem gives you a case study.

It also means it’s more likely for you to knock down doors to get started.

I just interviewed the Founder of Axon, Rick Smith.

They are the largest provider in the country (possibly the world) of advanced Law Enforcement Equipment like Body Cams and Tasers.

He told me they started out of a garage and focused first on giving free demos to police stations in small towns.

Like I said, it’s much easier to get a foot in the door but it also gives you a controlled, not chaotic, BETA opportunity that you can use to take to larger ecosystems once you’ve grown.

All businesses start small, or at least they should.

Facebook started for just Harvard Students, then Ivy League Schools, then all colleges and eventually half the population on earth.

Your concept should be no different.

Take affordable steps and manage your growth while also starting with your low-hanging fruit.

TODAY’S SPONSOR
TODAY’S GUEST

BEN HODGE, FOUNDER OF EEVET

TODAY’S RESOURCE

EEVET

How to Rewire Your Brain for Business and Personal Growth | How Rapid Transformation Therapy Works

How to Rewire Your Brain for Business and Personal Growth | How Rapid Transformation Therapy Works

How To Rewire Your Brain for Business Growth

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

5/30/19

Behaving differently and making positive changes first requires a fundamental shift in the way your brain itself functions…

One of the notions that truly drives me crazy is this idea that mental health has this symbiotic relationship with ‘weakness’…

As a man, this rings even more true.

When I tell people I practice NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) or partake in any form of “therapy,” it’s usually followed with a “everything okay, bro?” comment.

That’s like someone telling me they’re going to go to the gym and me asking the same questions…”you okay bro?”

We perceive physical improvement and augmenting our physique as such a desireable pursuit and yet our poor little brain is just left to be as it is.

And for an entrepreneur, it IS your #1 asset.

We’re constantly pursuing hacks and tricks to grow our businesses.

Seriously, go plug in “how to get more followers” on Google Trends and date it back from 2004 to Present…

There was a MASSIVE spike in 2013 and it’s still 25 times higher than it was when social media really burst onto the scenes.

Now, I’m not disputing the importance of building an audience, in fact, I talk about it often.

But if you want a TRUE hack…

If you’re seeking a REAL advantage over your perceived competition…

Fasten your seatbelt because I’m about to BLOW your mind (so that you can then rewire it).

Imagine how much of a difference we could make if the search focus was on things that truly moved the needle?

Screengrab taken from Google Trends, 2004-Present.

I met Michele Molitor back in the Fall of 2018 during my inaugural Female Entrepreneur Series.

Prior to our meeting, I had already invested much time and effort into EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).

EFT is another form of NLP (lot of acronyms, I know)…

In short, it involved what’s called acupressure.

You tap (literally) on various pressure points, usually on your face, while conversing with a trained specialist to re-address some undesireable experiences that may have led to some unfortunate set of beliefs.

These beliefs can often times dictate the way we think and feel, but at such a deep, subconscious level that we don’t even know they’re there.

What’s more is there are varying levels of trauma…

What I’ve been taught to call Big T and Little T trauma.

So while you may not have been in an active war and seen people shredded by a landmine, things like bad breakups, dysfunctional homes during childhood or even something as seemingly insignificant as being rejected for the school dance…

All of these can leave your brain with belief patterns that are intended to protect you.

That was important for us to briefly cover, now let’s get back to my introduction to Michele.

She was pitched as a guest for my show and I was told she was utilizing a methodology called RTT (another acronym, I know), which stands for Rapid Transformation Therapy (now you see why they use the acronyms).

Upon further research and my previous discussion with Michele on the pod (you can listen to that here), I was fascinated that this form of therapy involved borrowing elements from hypnotherapy…

And here’s why that intrigued me at such a deep level.

Conventional therapy helped me rationalize things that had happened in my life.

Like all people, I’ve had my fair share of life experiences that left unwanted thought patterns…

Most I was COMPLETELY unware of until I used NLP, by the way.

But conventional therapy left me longing for more.

I felt as though I had come to some semblance of peace with these circumstances but it still felt like I was carrying that baggage around…SOME baggage.

And, to a degree, it seemed like it stripped parts of me away.

“like all people, I’ve had my fair share of life experiences that left unwanted thought patterns…

Whether it was my playful nature…

The way I dealt with stress…

The way I thought and behaved in social situations.

And even the way I thought about and approached work.

EFT, on the other hand, cracked the egg, for lack of a better term.

My first EFT session I cried like a baby…

True story.

There was all this STUFF I didn’t even realize was there.

And I felt MASSIVE relief just being able to identify it.

It’s like when you know you’re sick but you’ve been putting it off.

Even if the diagnosis isn’t positive, it’s still a relief to KNOW what’s truly going on.

And these things truly go from mole hills to mountains when they manifest and linger in the mind.

Literally, same concept.

And the longer you go, the more these belief patterns shape who you are…

Or at least who you THINK you are.

But even with EFT, as impactful as that was, left me feeling like there was still some muck to clear out.

It was an improvement…

And for short periods I felt FREE of the shackles of those belief patterns.

But within about 48-72 hours, the dust settled and it felt like a FULL shift hadn’t been made.

EFT is a WONDERFUL place to start as an intro to NLP.

Photograph from Bulletproof Blog

Now, enter Michele and our previous conversation about RTT.

I’m sure when I said the word “Hypnotherapy” I might have lost some of you.

Totally normal…

It almost lost me too.

But what’s important to note is the science behind it.

And what’s even cooler is we can now track these things.

I use a neurofeedback device, called a MUSE.

It effectively teaches you how to enter into a Theta or even Alpha Brain Wave state (don’t worry, I’ll explain what that means).

We usually operate in Beta or even Gamma Brain Wave states when we’re awake and productive.

These are on the high end of the spectrum…

It represents an active mind, one that’s busy with critical thinking, problem solving, task planning, etc.

But the sweet spot, at least for creativity purposes and entering into what most know as a “FLOW” state, is in the lower frequencies.

In fact, children usually spend far more time in Theta than their adult counterparts and it’s why they have such amazing imaginations and creativity.

Drop one step lower and you enter into Alpha, which is synonomous with a deep meditative state.

When dropped into Alpha, what we’ve found that’s truly profound is how suggestible we now are.

And I’m not talking doing the chicken dance on the stage of a cruise ship under “hypnosis”…

I’m talking about just being open to new ideas and tapping into a deeper part of your subconsious.

The volume of the rational brain is turned WAY down so that you can speak, literally, to the emotional brain.

And that’s why I’ve found it to be SO much more effective than conventional therapy.

A part of your brain, the Amygdala, which Michele has appropriately taught me to call “Amy,” is responsible for keeping things in order.

She’s there to protect you from the world…

And she does this job well!

So when previous experiences TEACH you that “X” causes pain, anything that may then resemble “X” again will trigger Amy to take control.

Don’t get mad at her, she’s just doing her job.

We just need to retrain her to have a new job, as Michele would tell me.

But what I found much more effective about RTT over EFT was the time spent to get you in an Alpha state.

EFT felt like we were knocking on the door but not FULLY there.

My rational brain was still in control and I could sense this internal struggle of my emotional brain wanting to come out but Amy having a tight grip on things.

RTT, as it were, and utilizing aspects of hypnotherapy, forced me into Alpha where real change could happen.

Here’s how it works, as I’m sure you’re now trying to envision all of this craziness in your head.

A trained specialist like Michele will have you do some eye exercises…

ie. looking up as high as you can and holding it.

This triggers the same sensation your brain has when you are asleep and thus, forces the brain into an Alpha state.

Michele would then tell me to close my eyes and relax.

From there, she’s modulating her voice in a way that further brings about a deep Alpha state.

And eventually, she snaps her fingers a few times and you are “under.”

But let me qualify that…

Under does not mean she could perform surgery on you without you knowing.

I was still aware of what was going on.

It just felt like I had let go and things were on autopilot.

Michele then says something to the effect of your eyes are sealed shut, locked tight…

And being the diehard rebel that I am I tried to open my eyes a few times.

I can tell you, despite my efforts, I did not succeed.

She then does another exercise to ensure you are truly in a hypnotic state.

In this particular instance, she had me imagine my left arm was attached to a bag of bricks.

My arm started to feel a tremendous weight and slowly dropped to me side.

Conversely, she said to imagine my right arm being attached to a bunch of helium balloons.

And sure enough, that arm slowly felt light as a feather and raised above my head.

At this point, I’m telling myself (in my head, of course) HOLY SHIT!

This is the real deal!

The fun part began when we started going back to experiences that have shaped my beliefs.

I don’t have the time, nor do you, for me to go into ALL of the details but I can tell you this.

It was like I was THERE, in those moments, all over again.

I saw what I saw as though I had teleported back in time.

I felt the same feelings I felt.

I could even sense the same smells, objects and people around me…

It’s just truly amazing what the brain can store and even more amazing how much we can tap right back into that with the proper environment, techniques and guidance.

We shifted something so profound in that session that I’ve never been the same since…

No bull shit.

The way I’ve approached my life, my business, my relationships, from just ONE session, was life changing.

And when it shifted, I FELT it.

What’s even more bizarre us Michele could SEE exactly when it happened as well.

It was like a Big Bang in my head.

I felt a whirlwind of emotions.

I cried, I smiled, I felt excitement and joy…

Kind of all wrapped up in one bowl.

And the work we did together over the subsequent three months was just as impactful.

Is this the end of the road for me and I’ve now checked it off my bucket list?

Certainly not…

It’s a lifetime pursuit…

Just like going to the gym.

You don’t “get abs” and then assume you’ll have them for the rest of your life…

Although it’d be nice, right?

But here’s the thing I’ll leave you with today.

Because I’m a total nerd.

I wear several biometric devices.

Some are for recording sleep (or the quality thereof) and others take measurements througout my day.

One of the most notable measurements is called HRV (Heart Rate Variability).

I’ll let you do the deep dive research on it if you want but, in short, it’s an extremely accurate way of measure stress on the body.

All types of stress, not just the type many of us think about as entrepreneurs.

And here’s why that matters.

If you’re carrying around toxic, subconscious beliefs, the body experiences that as STRESS.

Meaning, you’re using your stress bandwidth on shit that doesn’t matter or move the needle forward.

So, check this out.

My HRV score improved dramatically over the three months in working with Michele.

In fact, my baseline HRV went from a ~58 to the mid-70’s!

My lower HRV scores, on “bad” health days, are now what was previously my HIGH scores in just three months.

Pretty astounding to see.

Simulataneously, my sleep score also improved by about 20 percentage points…

Plus, we had lab work done before and after, called an Adrenal Stress Profile.

Well, we saw my DHEAS (long explanation but it’s a measure of your hormones) DOUBLE in that short period of time!

DOUBLE!!!

I had been chronically low in those areas for nearly three years.

And in just three months that sort of a shift is indisputable.

I now have had my most productive work days I’ve ever had.

My happiness and fulfullment levels are at all time highs…

And I have the peace of mind and clear head space to work on what truly matters.

Talk about a business hack, right?

TODAY’S SPONSOR
TODAY’S GUEST

MICHELE MOLITOR, FOUNDER OF NECTAR CONSULTING

TODAY’S RESOURCE

BREAKTHROUGH HEALING

Why Blogging is Still the Best Way to Organically Grow Your Business | Owning Your Traffic

Why Blogging is Still the Best Way to Organically Grow Your Business | Owning Your Traffic

Why Blogging is

still the best way to organically grow your business

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

5/10/19

Avoiding shiny object syndrome is one of the hardest things to do in today’s business world but blogging, as unsexy as it sounds, is STILL your best chance to stand out and drive real traffic to grow your list and business.

But I get it…

I LOVE thinking there might be some NEW hack or “Ninja Strategy” that just unlocks the growth.

Let me be clear, those are largely just as real as Big Foot or the Virgin Mary burnt toast people claim to see.

And that’s not me being a hater.

I have the Analytics to back it up.

Typically, less than 1% of my site traffic comes from Instagram.

But Instagram is where EVERYBODY has to be to build a brand now, right?

It helps…but no.

And even the people that “make it” in that space or reach influencer status aren’t pulling nearly as much revenue as they could.

I recently heard of a Fitness Expert that has a following of 250,000 on Instagram.

She’s making about $10,000/month.

For most, that would go a long way.

But damn, for 250,000 followers?

I’ve made 7 Figures multiple times over with a fraction of that audience.

And that’s not a humble brag, I’m just trying to disrupt the programming you’ve been force fed.

I’m not here to boo boo on Social.

I actually think it’s really powerful to build and NURTURE an audience (notice the key word there: Nurture)

There’s also some really cool stuff we’re doing with Facebook Ads by training our Pixel to optimize in ways that were previously not thought possible…

More on that in an upcoming installment (Pssst…so make sure to subscribe to my list for updates on that. You can do that by grabbing my free resource below)

We’ve 5X’d our revenues in the last 8 months at the time I’m writing using this Facebook Ad Strategy.

So to say it’s highly effective would obviously be an understatement.

But even that was as the after result of ONE thing and one thing only.

We were optimized for SEARCH (aka your best friend).

 

OWN your own traffic with search instead of borrowing it…

Photograph by PromoMix LTD. from Pexels

Because when you OWN your own traffic, you call the shots.

They reason our ads were so qualified was because every person that hit our site was qualifying our avatar.

When we plug in a lookalike audience to customers & traffic it’s literally like cheating.

It goes out and finds people to sell for you…

Like a roaming sales person that travels the globe and appears on people’s screens like a sales magician.

And a highly optimized ad can convert sales at less than $10/conversion.

Pretty dope, right?

You can also retarget folks that hit your site to warm them up if they didn’t become a customer.

That’s like having the Walmart Rep come to your house because you walked out of the store without making a purchase.

LITERALLY.

So that’s how and when it gets fun.

It’s also what happens when you’re driving tens of thousands of people to your site every month.

And the most tried and true way to do that is what you’re reading here right now.

MY BLOGGGGG (such a gross word, right?).

Totally unsexy, seemingly SO 2005 and what mom’s do to talk about their skin care stuff, right?

Wrong…

How many “articles” do you read in a day?

Either via Google Search, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

My guess is quite a lot, as it is for me.

That article, even if it was published by a major news outlet is a…guess what?

BLOG.

It is, by the definition of what a blog actually is.

But, in my opinion, the word blog has this “blah” reputation because of what we perceive a blog to be.

So, in the rest of this article (notice I didn’t say blog), I’m going to teach you how to use your blog to start driving measurable results in your business and what those results should look like.

 

“YOUR BLOG IS LIKE A ROAMING SALES PERSON THAT APPEARS ON PEOPLE’S SCREENS ALL OVER THE WORLD”

First, I recommend you have a basic idea of what your audience wants to learn about.

Most people just write to sell, I want you to write to TEACH…

Big difference.

So, what does your audience need to learn that you are uniquely qualified to teach?

For example: I just told you about our Facebook Ad Strategy (HIGH level) and why it ties into our blog.

I know you are here right now because you’re trying to figure out how to grow your business.

And if that’s not you, my site just qualified that without wasting either of our time…plus you learned a little something.

But when you lead with value (key word) and educate people on something, you are building a relationship.

If you do a really good job, as I hope I’m doing right now, you’re going to want to hear more of what I have to say.

So, you may subscribe to my list when you get to the end of this PLUS you’ll also likely listen to today’s podcast episode with my friend, Jessica Camerata.

She’s built an incredible business around a blog in the fashion industry and it’s furthering the value you’re reading here.

Let’s say you listen to my show a little bit and, next thing you know, you’re a SUPERFAN of my work.

You go follow me on Social, you subscribe to my show and it’s likely you’re going to see SOMETHING that interests you enough to join my email list (assuming you don’t already do it today).

This whole online charade is like dating.

So notice the steps people usually go through.

People discover you, they like the first date (your post), so you want to give them a chance to go on a second date.

If you show NO value to them and you’re just trying to sell your stuff…

It’s like showing up and just listening to someone talk about how great they are the entire time.

Probably not interested in a follow up date, right?

But if you provide enough intrigue to them and provide an ask (a Freebie resource or email opt-in) for the second date, you’re more likely to get it.

The second “date” is like them following your content, listening to your podcast, reading your emails, etc.

And people may “date” you for a while before they’re ready to get committed.

Eventually, a good bulk of these people will want to buy your product or services!

Hooray, you’re now married (metaphorically speaking).

Interacting with customers online is like dating, you can’t jump right into the saddle.

Photograph by Pixabay from Pexels

But do you see how this relationship evolves over time?

And do you see how you OWNED the progression of that process?

Because here’s the problem when we skip this step.

It’s like being on Tinder.

There’s 5 million options to choose from.

Your goal is to get off that platform and on their cell phone so you don’t get lost in translation.

And that’s what’s happening when you focus all your efforts on Social.

You’re working SO hard to get yourself noticed.

Sure, they can follow you but you still have to keep re-competing for their attention.

And if that platform changes, guess what?

***Heard of MySpace, anyone?

You’ve got to go find that person again somewhere else (unlikely).

Getting people to your posts (blog) is like going to a networking event where highly qualified people can just come up to you on the spot.

They are hyper-qualified because they were SEARCHING for exactly what you offer and at the exact right time.

You know how hard it is to nail both of those simultaneously on Social and to do it organically?

Really damn difficult.

So they’re not highly qualified leads.

The other big problem with Social is you can use hashtags but there’s very little you can do to really stand out to people that are looking for you.

And truth be told, that’s probably not what people are there for to begin with.

You need to psychoanalyze these things.

When people are searching for something on Google, they’re not there to see what their friend Sally Sue is up to or post a picture of their hamburger…

They are searching to FIND something they want.

So it’s just an entirely different mindset.

I think you get my point…

Just trying to be clear why this works at a deeper level before we transition and talk a little bit about how to do this.

Now, here’s where the magic happens and (again) why taking advantage of Search is a MUST, MUST, MUST.

I use a lot of tools & plugins to enhance my blog.

There are relevant images so it’s highly engaging.

There’s a podcast player so you can listen to nearly a full hour of more free content.

I have share buttons so you can post this or send it to a friend.

There are multiple opt-ins so you can choose to further engage with me.

And that’s just the gadgets you can see on your end.

On the backend, I’m using tools like Yoast, an SEO Optimizer.

This thing literally tells you what to do and how to do it so more people can find your post.

I also have HotJar installed.

HotJar records EVERY activity on my site…

It’s pretty wild.

It’s completely anonymous but I can see how every single person interacts on my website.

And yes, even this page RIGHT NOW. (MWAHAHAHA)

HotJar will also give me Heat Maps to show where most people are drawn to.

This gives me the ability to see what people are interested in.

It’s like having a clothing store and noticing what rack people keep going to.

You wouldn’t want to bury that rack in the back.

You’d want to move it front and center, right?

And all of these are just a fraction of what I do and what you can do on your posts.

So, not only do you OWN the traffic on the front end…

But you can optimize it to do even better PLUS make it highly engaging while they’re there AND track how they interact!

It almost sounds like cheating, right?

But you don’t have the ability to do any of these things on OTHER PEOPLE’S PLATFORMS.

It’s the difference between renting and buying a home.

You can hang up your pictures but you better not go blasting down a wall or adding anything new.

You are completely subjected to their rules.

And the bad part about this in the online space is the rules change a lot.

Like, a lot a lot.

I’ve seen businesses completely die because they were relying on one lead source they didn’t own.

So, when you have highly relative content on YOUR OWN platform and you can optimize it to capture emails…

It’s a huge step in the right direction.

And let me be clear, you NEED to be capturing emails.

It’s the number one regret I hear from people is they didn’t take that seriously enough or do it early enough.

Because now you REALLY own that traffic and it’s saved away in your private vault.

The next time you run a promotion or have something new to offer, you’ve now got a growing list of potential customers right at the click of your mouse.

But on someone else’s platforms, you have to RE-WORK for those people all over again.

In other words, you’re making life harder than it has be…substantially.

And that’s really what all of this comes down to.

Your life as an Entrepreneur is really tough.

Most people have true and meaningful value they can deliver.

But, as I always say, it’s sometimes like having the best Lemonade Stand in a closet.

I’m sure it’s amazing…but nobody knows you exist.

We see these crazy engagement numbers on Social and it fires the dopamine in our brains.

That engagement on Social is great, please keep doing it!

But just know that’s more of a nurture tactic than it is discoverability.

And time over time, regardless of industry, I see people growing their businesses with high-ranking, searchable content.

If it were me, I’d start doing at least one a week.

Pro Tip: It’s probably going to suck and look terrible the first 50 tries.

That’s okay!

If you’re being relateable and providing value, you’d be surprised what can happen.

Plus, we can always retarget that traffic down the road with paid advertising to get them re-engaged.

Make sure you’re optimized (meaning, give them something in exchange for their email), use the right tools to rank and see what people are doing on the site.

Use a tool like Google Trends to see what people are actually searching for in the world.

Install Google Analytics so you can watch your traffic take off.

And stay at it!

This is definitely a longer term strategy.

There’s no denying that.

But here’s the thing…

And I’ll leave you with this today.

I’ve had the priviledge of interviewing some of the best, most notable entrepreneurs on the planet.

And you know what they tell me, time over time?

How many people throw money and opportunities at them just because they’ve built an audience.

Because putting your brand in front of hundreds of thousands of people on a monthly basis is invaluable.

Having those people as loyal readers of your emails is invaluable.

And here’s the best part of it all…

These posts (blogs), don’t dwindle away into nothingness after 30 seconds (aka the lifespan of a tweet in the feed).

In fact, if done properly, they perform better over time as more and more people visit the page and Search Engines recognize it as reliable content!

That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

So, what are you waiting for?

If you haven’t started your blog yet it’s time to get moving on your Wordress Site.

And if you’ve been caught up chasing shiny objects, it’s time to look at your Analytics and see what’s really moving the needle.

Coming up, we’re going to talk about the other two HIGHLY effective tools for Search…

YouTube & Pinterest.

 

 

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What Will the World Look Like for Future Entrepreneurs? | A Peak Into The Mind of a Silicon Valley Thought Leader

What Will the World Look Like for Future Entrepreneurs? | A Peak Into The Mind of a Silicon Valley Thought Leader

what will the world look like for future entrepreurs?

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

4/25/19

Maybe the future isn’t about the next great toys we can build. Maybe it’s about enhancing the human interface to achieve more, do more, and be more in the world.

I love exploring the future.

And I love to think about what’s in store for the generations to come.

As a child, I was one of those kids that watched the Jetson’s and imagined a world that we lived in that would be just like that.

Right?

Dropping your kids off in your flying car…

Having a robot around the house that does work for you like taking out the dog and the trash.

A city in the sky…

Bound by no limitations.

Where innovation and technology were at the epicenter of our being.

And I’m not saying that’s NOT our world now.

In fact, for many, it has already arrived.

For men like Adeo Ressi, longtime Silicon Valley Founder (of multiple ventures) and Founder/CEO of Founder Institute, an Idea Stage Accelerator Program, that world is very much already at his front door.

But what fascinated me most about this intriguing conversation was not the business chatter, of which could have gone on for hours, but rather the deep dialogue about mankind.

As many of you know by now with my own story, my entrepreneurial dreams came to a crashing halt with my health crisis.

What if the future of the startup world first starts with us…?

Photograph by rawpixel.com from Pexels

I had built a multi-million startup with no funding, no fancy incubator or accelerator programs, no mentors, nada…

And within months of my diagnosis, it was all gone.

Poof!

It was work that even Thanos from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) would have been proud of.

Steve Jobs died at the age of just 56.

Can you imagine what two or three more decades of Steve Jobs would have meant for the world.

One could argue he was just getting started.

And there’s a very real part of me that sees the same happening to Elon Musk, literally as we speak.

News of heavy drinking and sleep pills don’t quiet that speculation.

We are living in an old model.

We are operating in the past while trying to build tomorrow.

Because in order to DO more, we must first BE more.

But what the hell does that even mean?

I’m sure you’re all expecting a work smarter, not harder, manifesto…

But I assure you that’s not my battle cry.

Because there’s a world in which we get an OS upgrade to remove the bugs.

One where we’re not trying to save AI on a floppy disk.

But how?

“Because in order to do more, we must first be more”

When was the last time you were just fully in tune and aware of who you are & what you wanted in the world?

No uncertainty, no questioning, no fear, no stress…

You just had a calming peace, drowned out all the noise and could just BE in that moment?

Because that kind of stillness brings clarity.

And, as my amazing wife always says, clarity unfolds, it doesn’t strike.

Meaning, most of us are running around trying to will our way to clarity.

Instead of being calculated to allow clarity to manifest itself.

And this is critical.

Because too many young people are just throwing themselves at every thing or opportunity that comes their way.

That’s what I did.

I felt I had to leap at everything that was going to move my company forward.

Red eye here…

No problem.

Issue to fix there?

I’ll hop on the phone or in my car to be there.

“No” is a four letter word to a young entrepreneur…

And it should be your default response.

To further accentuate that problem, we’ve become so Digitally Dependant that it’s almost impossible to see anyone NOT on their phones.

Recent research has shown the average adult now looks at their phone every 6.5 minutes!

That is bloody madness.

What’s even more terrifying is the studies they’ve done on how that sort of behavior is literally rewiring our brains so that we lack the ability to connect with the real world around us.

When it’s what’s around us that holds nearly all the answers to our next great achievements.

 

Our Digital Advancements are kiling what it means to be human

Photograph by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Warren Buffett has a net worth of $89.6 Billion.

Do you know how he spends his mornings?

Thinking & reading.

And not the frantic News Feed reading.

The in-depth, what is my next move, thinking.

Because too many of us are swinging the axe when we should be spending most of our time sharpening the blade.

That’s not working smarter, that’s called being calculated.

But social media has told us we have to be everywhere and do everything!

Look at all the Influencers, they are everywhere!

And what about every successful founder that has said there’s no such thing as work/life balance?

Were they wrong?

I would argue no…and yes.

Building a startup takes a shit ton of time and effort.

But MOST of it is wasted time and effort.

I work with students & clients every single day.

And the #1 breakthrough I make with them is to KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING.

Because we are killing ourselves with noise.

Many of them are either playing keep up or they’re 10 steps ahead of where they need to be thinking.

What is the ONE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do today to move closer to your goals?

And if you haven’t established that, you’re truly making life as an entrepreneur harder than it should be.

We are wasting far more time than we are spending it fruitfully.

I’m doing LESS while simultaneously doing MORE than I ever have.

I know that was a really confusing statement.

But here’s the deal…

The average American spends 17,600 hours in their car every single year.

That’s 293 hours annually or just under six hours per week.

So, in order to NOT commit that kind of time atrocity, I WILL NOT meet outside of my Wednesday afternoon window.

And that’s assuming I’ll even meet to begin with.

I say this all the time but my brain is sore from being picked and I don’t like coffee.

So, getting a sit down with me is like penetrating a steel vault.

And that’s not because I think I’m special.

It’s because I’m trying to BE special.

And in order to achieve that, I need my efforts focused on where that can happen.

Not in a coffee shop giving free advice or giving myself the false illusion I’m doing something productive by merely talking about it with someone else.

Because we often trick our very complex brains into mis-identifying actual achievement with talking about achievement.

So indeed we are our own worst enemy in that case.

Further, my phone is on Do Not Disturb throughout my work day.

If you don’t have a scheduled call with me you shouldn’t be calling me anyways.

Plus, it takes the brain 15 minutes just to refocus after a distraction and even then you can only reclaim ~80% of your previous efficacy.

That’s a proposition that puts me behind schedule.

And guess what, despite belief to the contrary, I’ve yet to miss a SINGLE important thing by doing this. 

My family is on my Favorites in my phone so their calls will still come through in the event of a fire…

And any truly important business matter is not coming in via random call anyways.

Next, and this is going to be REALLY tough for many of you.

I use technology to combat my technology.

All of my screens are set to not display blue light after certain hours.

And MOST of my apps are inaccesible before and after hours.

Meaning, I don’t have to FORCE myself to stop.

I can exert my willpower and energy elsewhere.

Arianna Huffington talks about this at large in her book, Thrive.

She says something to the affect of imagine a world where we paid as close attention to our own energy as we do the level of power on our silly smart phones.

Because we just expect ourselves to go, go, go, go, go all the freaking time.

Meanwhile, we have charging stations scattered throughout our lives to replenish our phones and devices.

But why does this all matter, you ask?

Is this just a blog about staying off your phone and being more selective about your time?

It’s not, by the way.

And it’s so much bigger than that.

Because I believe in order to transcend our current time and place as creatures.

We have to create room for it.

You don’t just uplevel your business by chance.

So how are you going to uplevel yourself by running into the ground and just hoping that caffeine hit keeps you going?

That’s a flawed model.

In any business we would call it unsustainable or not scalable.

And yet we somehow we’re the exception?

I don’t understand that logic.

And it took a fall flat-on-my-ass scenario for me to realize it and create the framework I have now.

Recently, I finished an intensive, three month long, program called RTT (Rapid Transformational Therapy).

It’s a form of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) designed to rewire your brain and eliminate negative thought patterns.

We all have them, it’s just a matter of degree of severity which makes it difficult sometimes to identify.

I am truly a different person than I was 90 days ago…

By every measurable standard.

Because I created the room for enhancement in my life.

And that investment is going to have the biggest ROI of my life…

Just watch…

I’ve had close associates reach out and say “dude, you are on fire lately.”

Yea, I am…

Because I’m working on me.

And eliminating all that NOISE in my life gave me the space to do it.

Simultaneously, I have ZERO nonsense in my diet.

I challenge you to come watch me eat (only on a Wednesday, though).

There’s no silly business going on in my kitchen.

Why?

Because I believe the next big frontier is optimizing the human experience.

What if I pop out of bed and am ready to rock & roll every morning versus dragging myself painfully to my desk?

Or what if I blast right through my 2-4 lull in the afternoon where my blood sugar dips and my energy feels depleted?

That’s two more hours of productivity every single day.

Add that to the time I’m saving not doing shit that just doesn’t matter and you’d have to get up at 3:00 AM to outdo me on a daily basis.

All of this stuff is a non-negotiable.

My 15 minutes of mediation is a non-negotiable.

I’m at my best when my monkey mind beckons to my will.

And this beautiful, highly ADD, brain in my head is capable of finding a solution to any problem thrown my way…

Just not when I’m deathly tired, overworked, sitting in hours of traffic, over-caffeinated, spiritually depleted, & poorly nourished.

The revolution is coming.

For me, it’s already here.

Healthy entrepreneurs solving REAL problems in the world.

Because we have people still living in the streets.

Children dying because there’s no clean water to drink.

We’re polluting our own skies & water supplies.

We’ve yet to see the depths of our ocean.

And we’re still burying our trash in dirt like a dog trying to hide a silly bone.

But, Chris!

We make these cool tools and apps!

You’re right…

That’s what we do.

But maybe with some clarity in our lives.

Maybe with some perspective.

Maybe watching Mother Nature be a total beast at what she does.

We can take note of how to harness this science that’s all around us to create a sustainable world for the generations to come.

And it’s never been more pivotal or important than it is right now.

I’m a firm believer that people solve problems…

Not the person you elect to sit in a fancy house in Washington.

But entrepreneurs like you and me.

Someone with an idea to revolutionize the way we do things.

And it starts with healing ourselves so that we can dream again.

Getting our mind right.

Not putting junk in our bodies and expecting to run a mental marathon.

Getting spiritually connected on a level that provides the clarity we need to see our purpose in this crazy world.

And protecting the only asset that matters in any of this…you.

So, what does the world look like for future entrepreneurs?

Well, I think that’s entirely up to the decisions we make today.

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Supporting Women Entrepreneurs Through Community | You Don’t Have to “Fit Into a Man’s World”

Supporting Women Entrepreneurs Through Community | You Don’t Have to “Fit Into a Man’s World”

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Amy Nelson, Founder & CEO of The Riveter, drops by to chat about women entrepreneurs and how we can create an environment that further supports them in business. 

Today’s Sponsor: The Business Lounge

Resources:

Check for a Riveter Location Near You!

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Supporting Women Entrepreneurs Through Community | You Don’t Have to Fit Into a “Man’s World”

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