5 KEYS To Find Best Business Ideas for 2021

5 KEYS To Find Best Business Ideas for 2021

Chris-Michael-Harris-Business-Coach

5 keys to finding the best business ideas FOR 2021

Chris Michael Harris, Entrepreneur

11/23/2020

In this episode, I talk about finding the best business ideas for 2021. Now I’m not talking about hot business trends or quick money schemes. I’m talking about ideas that will generate a sustainable revenue stream which you can scale to a 6 to 7-figure business.

Now, let’s get into it.

1. Find A Problem You Can Relate To

Go through your day and just take note of the problems that you experienced.

Start with scratching your own itch.

What are the problems that you have? What are the big inconveniences that you experience?

Oftentimes, not only is it going to be something that you find traction with but you’re also gonna have a deep passion for it because you’ve experienced that problem.

You really understand the problem to such a degree that maybe other people won’t have that same experience, right?

Stop trying to think of glamorous, world-changing ideas and start thinking about problems in your daily life. Your ideas don’t have to be mind-blowing, they just have to solve a problem.

2. Be specific with your ideas

Focus on a specific problem or niche instead of trying to solve all of the problems in the world.

Like I said, begin my examining your own itch, your own problems and think of ways on how you can solve that.

3. Evaluate the level of utility of your offered solution

Now I know I’m going to sound super contradicting in this next one but the next step of idea validation is to ask yourself whether your solution “solves a $10,000 problem”.

Let me rephrase.

If you were to scale it out, does it solve a $10,000 problem? So there are some things that no matter how many people you reach, there’s just not a lot of utility there.

Our moving company, for example, offers mid-to-high utility.

So people need to move. They have to move and in some cases, they can’t do it themselves. So there’s always going to be a market for that. There’s always gonna be people who are willing to pay for that.

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4. Balance utility with frequency

So social media is a great example, of high frequency.

The average person checks their phone 120 times a day.  Most people are spending 45 minutes, at least on social media every single day.

So the ideal business model is something that is high on utility and is able to attract a large number of people.

Uber, for example, offers both high frequency and high utility. It offers people who live in cities the convenience of booking a car or taxi and removes the stress of parking, etc.

5. Talk to potential customers

Sit  down and have at least 10 conversations in-depth conversations with people that are potential customers for your product or service.

Give them a little bit of a clue as to what you’re going to ask about. Don’t reveal too much to say “I need feedback, I’m working on this new thing”.

Ask them specific questions like, what’s your biggest thing? What’s your single biggest challenge?

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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Podcast

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Podcast

starting a podcast

5 things YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE STARTING A PODCAST

Chris Michael Harris, Entrepreneur

11/11/2020

So you’re thinking of starting a podcast?

Or you may already have one and are looking for ways to monetize your platform.

To tell you the truth, my online business wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for podcasting.

BUT…

You’ll be shocked to know that it isn’t the cash-making machine that you expect it to be.

In this episode, I share with you 5 things I wish I knew before starting a podcast and how I actually used podcasting to grow my business.

1. Use Podcast To Grow Your Business Not As A Business.

 

The number one thing that I’ve learned throughout my journey is to use a podcast to grow your business not to start a podcast as a business. That is a huge fundamental difference.

I see a lot of people starting a podcast, and think that they’re just going to upload and start getting downloads and getting paid for it.

Truth is.. sponsorship payments only range from $15 to $25 per 1,000 downloads. PER EPISODE.

That’s not going to be enough to pay the bills.

But if you were to use the podcast to promote a business that already exists and use it to sell your products, you might get more money than relying on podcasting sponsorships.

 

 

2. Podcasting is terrible for discoverability but amazing for nurturing an audience. 

I think podcasting is the best networking tool I’ve ever discovered. If you want to meet somebody in your specific space, you can literally reach out and say, “Hey, come on my show, I’d love to interview and learn more about you”.

That’s such an easy ask.

Typically what I do is I find people that I’m not necessarily selling to, but ones that I do want to build a relationship with.

With podcasting, I’m able to build a network of folks that could potentially help me with something down the road, whether that’s investors, people that can be a guest expert on one of my programs, people that could show up in my book club community, or simply connections that I can leverage.

You never truly know when an opportunity is going to arise that require some connections.

Your net worth is only as good as your network, right?

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3. Podcasting is HARD WORK.

I wish I had known the amount of time, effort and energy that goes into podcasting.

It’s easy to listen and be entertained by someone’s show but there’s so many things that happens on the backend before a show is actually published.

Going back and forth my email thread with Daymond John took 250 emails.

That’s a lot of time, I can assure you.

You have to be prepared for the fact that sometimes you’re going to have to make some life changes and be a little bit flexible to accommodate some of your guests needs if you’re planning on a guest platform. 

 

4. Equipment is key. 

One of the things that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE about podcasting is the fact that you can conduct a show even when you’re on the road. 

BUT this can easily go downhill if you don’t invest in the right equipment.  

The reason I said that is because when I started out, I just used a cheap microphone. 

Well, the fact of the matter is, it sounded terrible. 

The acoustics were terrible. 

The echo was ridiculous. I ended up having to sit in the closet on the floor just to drown out some of the echo in the room.

If you’re just starting out and you’re looking for a good microphone, I suggest you check out this episode I did on the best budget microphone for podcasting.

5. Podcasting is not a search platform.

Something else I wish I had known is that really you need to take advantage of search platforms.

So podcasting is not a search platform.

What does that mean? That means that when somebody gets onto an app for a podcast player, they’re not searching for specific topics.

It’s really hard to get people to find you, it’s really hard to get them to subscribe unless they already know you or you’re highly recommended by someone.

These are things that I wish I had known beforehand, because what we ended up having to do as a result was use other means to drive the podcast.

So I had to launch a blog, we started using social media to drive people to the podcast. And then CTR is really low from the podcast, so you’re not driving people to your email list. 

I drive more email subscribers from YouTube than what I ever have for my podcast despite the hundreds and thousands of downloads on that show.

So something that that you really have to take note of is that podcasting is great, you can build relationships, but it’s horrible as a discovery tool, and it’s horrible for CTR.

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Calendly Tutorial

Calendly Tutorial

Calendly tutorial

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

11/06/2020

In today’s episode, I’m going to show you how to use Calendly and some of the advanced features. 

Primarily speaking, I have coaching clients, and I also host a podcast. So I have guests every single week and using Calendly has been a game changer for a variety of reasons of which we’re going to talk about today.

One of the things that I dig about is that you can seamlessly integrate it with many different tools. You can embed it on your website where you have a Calendly link or an actual calendar where people can schedule right there.

If you’re a service provider, Calendly is a great option for you. Let’s go ahead and jump into it. I’m going to show you the cool features of Calendly. 

The first thing you’ll notice, when you log in to your Calendly account is you’ll see that you have event types. When you have a free account, you can only create a one event type. Once you exceed one or two, you’re going to pay for a basic plan of around $5 to $15 a month.

You can set the event to group or a one-on-one basis. You can have more than one respondent who’ll attend the event,. whereas some of these are the one-on-one basis. 

Calendly Dashboard

Viewing Scheduled Events

You can view all of your scheduled events by clicking the Scheduled Events tab on top of the page. Also, you can filter the events that you want to be shown on your dashboard. You can filter it by event types. But obviously, your primarily focused is your Upcoming.

Scheduled Events

Workflow

Workflows is new. You can use survey for events like coaching calls or for things where you’re seeking out potential client feedback, This is a great thing to do as a follow up. 

Workflow Feature

Editing Events

Go to the Events Type tab and select the events you want to edit. Let’s edit the Entrepreneur Host Podcast – (inbound), for example. Just click on the gear button on top of the event, and it’ll show you all of its components.

Now, something that is cool s there’s an integration with Zoom. So when the guests book this event or if you have a meeting or something, it’ll synchronize and allow you to create a Zoom meeting automatically. 

So what they’ll receive at the end is they’ll get a calendar invite like a Gmail, Calendar invite, and it’ll include the zoom link in there.

You can also include notes, and you can create a custom event link where you can send this wherever you’d like it to. And you can just pick random colors. I don’t think any of these designate anything other than just knowing that they’re different.

Calendly with Zoom Integration

Changing Event Duration

So next what you’ll find out is, you can change the duration, so you can add custom, or you can just put 15 to 60 minutes. The Date Range will tell you how far out in advance you are booked.

Updating Scheduled Availability

Click the event from your calendar and select I’m unavailable, or you can apply to whatever day day and time. And you can make it recurring. So that makes it really easy. 

 

Left: Features under When can people schedule this event | Right: Editing of Availability

You can also go to your advanced settings. And you can show availability in 15-minute increments, or you can do event max. So if you only want to have one interview per day, you can set it to one.

You can set your event buffer before and after the event. So, just specify the duration you want as a buffer between your events. The last thing too is you can change last-minute schedules. 

So you can also copy availability from other events that you’ve created. You can hide an event if it’s an internal thing you’d want everybody to know about it. You can make it a secret event, which is a cool feature too. 

 

Advanced Settings of Availability

Invitee Questions

This is a big one for me because I need to know who the guest is coming on my show. A paid feature is where your guest can enter their phone number. And the reason being is because it sends text confirmations. 

Notifications

So we’ll have text reminders here, where my show rate for my show is extraordinarily high. It’s very rare that we have a no show. I think it is primarily because we send both email confirmations, email reminders, and text reminders. 

You can personalize each one of these, you can put additional notes, and things that I nature. And you can add custom things where it’ll show event time and date. And it’ll do that automatically for you, you’re just going to add in your own text around this. It’s packaged up nicely and looks super professional. 

 

Notification and Cancellation Policy

Feedback

One of the things that I’ve done (podcast-related), I mention to my guests that they’re going to get an email from me after the guesting. And the email that they will receive is going to ask them for a review. The link will be included. 

You could change the time that it sends. And you can use a no-reply email address if it’s something that’s a little bit generic which I think is another cool feature. 

Text Reminders

This is pretty simple, you can just set the designation as far as when you want to text them, but it will text them automatically. And again, it is an additional cost. It’s around $5 a month.

Confirmation Page 

I just used their generic confirmation page. You could use a landing page if you had something you want them to be doing before your actual meeting to prepare for it.

If it’s something that you want them to schedule thereafter, you can schedule another event, so you have that option as well. 

Notification and Cancellation Policy

So hope you guys like this episode. Don’t forget about checking out StartupU if you’re interested in entrepreneurship or you have an idea that you want to pursue to start a business venture startup. 

I will see you guys in the next one.

CMH

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How to Start a Podcast?

How to Start a Podcast?

How to Start a Podcast?

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

11/01/2020

In today’s episode, I’m going to tell you how to start your podcast the right way.

For some context, I’ve been podcasting for about five years. The first four I spent just doing audio and then just last year, I included a video. So let’s go ahead and talk about some basic things you need to know.

#1 Deciding if it’s an audio or a video show

There are a lot more complexities with doing a video podcast. However, there are a lot of benefits with a video podcast. A lot of people resonate more with our show when they can see my face when they can see the faces of my guests. 

YouTube is a great platform for search, meaning people are looking for a specific topic but nothing builds superfans, quite like a podcast. Just know there are some setbacks to the lack of discoverability. 

Whatever your strategy is going to be involved with your podcast, I’d recommend you’re at least on one search platform, whether it’s a blog, on YouTube or Pinterest. Continue following your work with your podcast, joining your email list, and turn potential listeners into customers. 

 

#2 Types of equipment to use

 

Let’s talk about the audio part first—Rode NT, Shure SM58, and Audio Technica. You can’t go wrong with any three of those brands at any price point. They’re very good devices that may come down for you to USB versus XLR. 

The cable that’s coming from the microphone is an XLR cable and you can’t plug directly into my computer with that, but I can plug directly in if it was a USB microphone. The cord that transmits your signal, XLR, is higher quality. USB is a little bit more practical and convenient. 

If you have something like the SM58, it’s a traditional-looking microphone, you can just pack it away in a bag, and you can record from wherever.

The Shure products and XLRs, have a recording device, whether that’s one of the portable ones like a Zoom H4N or an H6N or a Rode Caster Pro. So an added step having to go from here into that before you go to a computer, your processing device. 

#3 Doing a video podcast

You can use a DSLR camera and you can go direct it with an HDMI cord into your processing device. When I’m doing a remote interview, I can use it as a webcam on zoom—any of the ones that allow for video. Zen Castors and Squadcast are others that allow you to record high-quality audio remote. 

I recommend you to start with Squadcast. And as far as audio is concerned, it is probably top of the line. All you need is your microphone. If you’re going to do a video, you just put a camera in front of you.

Don’t worry about the HDMI aspect. And for all intents and purposes, you’d probably be great. I am using Canon cameras, you can get for $500-$600. 

When I started doing video, I just used my phone, and I just put it on a tripod, put that right in front of me, and I was good to go. You can also use something like a Webcam Brio by Logitech

Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

#4 Where to host your show

Figure out whether you’re doing interviews or solo shows, and whether you’re going to do an audio or a video combination podcast.

I recommend you to use Libsyn. It distributes to more podcast players in any of the hosts that are out there that exist. It’s a little bit more costly, but there are some free options out there. But from my experience has been positive.

So, sign up for a Libsyn account. Start uploading your first five right out of the gates. So that if someone discovers your show, they can binge and they can decide if they want to subscribe, or if they want to pass on your specific show. 

There are a few like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Pandora that you’re going to have to submit externally. You’re just going to search how to submit your podcast, provide a link, information, and your classic RSS feed to be able to find that inside of Libsyn, if not Libsyn support can help you find that. 

Your thumbnail already is included with your Libsyn account. So you’ll be able to see it’ll give you recommendations for what your thumbnail will look like. And that’ll automatically push to all of the podcast players. 

There different tiers of pricing. So you get a certain amount of storage on Libsyn per month, choose however much the frequency of your show is going to be involved and pick whatever is going to work for you.

Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

#5 Create Amazing Thumbnails

I recommend Canva for creating your thumbnail.  There is a free and pro version. So, find a couple of podcasts that you like, Canva have some templates in there that you can select from. Choose the thumbnail’s actual dimensions that you need.

When creating thumbnails, use specific colors, use high-resolution images, use text, and be legible. And if you don’t feel comfortable doing that. You can go to someplace like Fiverr and pay somebody to design one for you. 

That’s the next part of my advice. So I would even go to Fiverr while you’re there and get somebody that does voiceover talent. You can hire somebody for $15 to $30. And what they’ll do is create a nice little intro or an outro for your show. 

You can select a little sound byte from Fiverr and Epidemic Sound. You’re going to pay for the rights to use that music up to a certain point. Make sure that it’s commercial-grade.

#6 Use social media to your advantage

Use social media to drive people to your show. To build your listenership, you can break down parts of your episode. You create one episode that’s 45 minutes long.

You can break down a lot of clips into micro-content that you can repurpose on social media. So that way, if you talk about certain specific things, people know what you’re talking about.

You can tease that content and get people over to the platform to specifically listen to your content. 

Also, I would recommend getting as many subscribers, whether it’s from family and friends. And do that reviews, subscribers, and downloads early. The first eight weeks of a podcast are very important. It’s how you get into new and noteworthy. Create as much buzz as you can early on to build as many viewers as you can. 

So overall, I wish you guys nothing but the best. Keep grinding and keep plugging away with it. If you have any questions, make sure to drop those in the comments below. 

I look forward to seeing you guys in the next episode.

 

-CMH

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The Principles You MUST Have in Business

The Principles You MUST Have in Business

The Fundamentals You MUST Get Right 

to Succeed

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

6/26/2020

Everything from live streaming to broadcast to the curriculum is going to come out of there. We may have a population of seasoned executive people, but we still do various types of content that we can put out to the market for startups and information.

And most successful people want to give back and want to help others who are trying to find out how to break into their own business or how to be successful.

This is going to be a hub of what Daymond John calls entrepreneurship one-on-one.

We’re at a time now where everything is changing, and great executives are really innovative and it’s the art of business that they activate that is attracting because we get to see so many people doing business in a whole new way.

The business side was just normal. We’re always going to think about how to monetize and how to make it something worthy of our time.

We were at a time when so many people said, “I don’t know if I can mold to being a social media company, or I dunno if I can move to create my clothes directly to my customer. I got it depending on retailers.”

Photo by XPS on Unsplash

The fundamentals of business are always going to be there. And any shark is going to know that you have to wake up before everybody and go to sleep after everybody. There are only three ways to deal with a customer: acquire a new one, upsell a current one, or make one buy more frequently. 

There are only two ways to operate a business: increase sales and to decrease costs. The fundamentals are always going to be there, but we also need to understand this new stuff.

There’s a lot of ways that people can be involved. First of all, as a member, you would need to go on there and have to be interviewed because you will be assessed if you can be somebody who can benefit from the space and who can add value to space. 

We’re talking about how the world is getting smaller and how we all need to be technically proficient as people who, whether we’re solopreneurs or whether we have 10,000 people working underneath us, we’d be the being the purpose.

Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

First of all, it’s the ability of coworking, and the way we’re going today is there are a lot of things that can help you be a little more proficient in business and mitigate the downside.

If you can get into a position where you don’t hold too much inventory, that’s really good. If you can get into a membership program where you talk directly to your customer, and you talk to them every month, you provide them value. Go to a focus group and social media is exactly a huge focus group. 

Before, we never did analytics on combat, we did analytics around numbers. How much was shipping? What’s our margin? Daymond learned all these things through shark tanks and young entrepreneurs.

So, when bringing people in, they have to be people who can be very beneficial to the members, and they have to know all these types of things that you’ll be talking about right now.

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The Different Types of Sales Funnels

The Different Types of Sales Funnels

The Different Types of Sales Funnels

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

10/15/2020

In this episode, we’re going to talk about what to do with cold, warm, and hot traffic. I was just rereading the book Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson which talks about the seven phases of a funnel. 

So, one important thing to remember is speaking directly to the level of sophistication of your customer. Ensure that you have processes and a different strategy for each segment of your market, whether it’s cold, warm, or hot traffic.

Cold Traffic

Start at a lower price point and what usually what works is between $7-$19 that turns people into buyers. This will give you the opportunity to take them through your funnel and upsell them. Also, make sure that whatever you’re offering, you’re not likely to be able to go straight to a $15,000 package. 

Focus on your pre-frame for every step of the way throughout your funnel and start with a lower offer. You want to start with a lead magnet that ties into that specific offer. It could be free resource like a PDF checklist. You could also do something like a quiz or a three or four-part video series, a webinar. Anything that is inviting them to that is going to allow you to educate them.

Require an email, which you’ll be able to qualify and provide some kind of offer. Maybe it’s $7 or $9, whether that’s immediately from the point of contact. It could be from your Facebook Ad or you have them sign up for the webinar or four-part video series. Then you immediately offer something while they’re waiting for that. The benefit of either one of those two is that you’re going to self liquidate your ad spend in the best-case scenario.

If your audience is unaware of their problem that they have. Are they unaware completely they even have a problem, or do you wanna focus on problem aware which is a little bit higher level sophistication, are they aware of a problem? But they’re not aware of any potential solution that’s out there for it. Are they solution aware? Meaning, do they know that there are solutions out there, but why should they choose yours? You need to indoctrinate and introduce them to what it is that you specifically offer. 

Warm Traffic

You can do what’s called pixeling that person—retargetting audience on platforms like Facebook Ads. The ad doesn’t actually have to be a pitch video, it could just be a video of you educating. 

Prove your mechanism or what is it you offer that fixes their immediate problem. These people are our warm audience, meaning they’re probably problem aware, they know there’s an issue in their market and that’s how they sought you out to begin with.

Hot traffic

Take them probably just straight back to your sales page or use a deadline funnel where they know that a specific offer is available within a limited time. And this will put them into action and move forward and hit your sales cart.

If they’re a hot audience or a warm audience, there’s really not any need to further educate them or bring this big, long pitch that you really just need to represent the offer. Maybe give them some education and then move them along throughout your sales process. 

So if somebody hits or liked it but don’t subscribe, don’t send out for the webinar or they don’t go through the quiz or don’t do the four-part video series. So they don’t take your lead magnet. Retarget the people once they’ve engaged with your specific page or with your specific post.

The beautiful thing about online marketing, if you do it right with these retargeting and pixeling people and having these various forms within your funnel, and cross-selling  and down selling and upselling is you get to match it, you get to have a compounding effect on that.

But if you miss, all you do is toss it right back up, and you get a chance to catch it again. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to get all of these pieces in place first. Really build-out. I think a lot of people would just start creating ads all over the place for all these other things they’re trying to test. And I think they end up just doing a lot of stuff and spending a lot of money and not really accomplishing much of anything. 

So start with what you’ve already created. That’s going to be the easiest customer for you to land. And when you’ve really mastered and optimized your conversion numbers on those specific efforts, then what we’re going to do is then focus on cold.

And if you can start scaling out the cold, when you really have dialed in that offer, and you can really start calculating or are capitalizing rather on what you’re doing, then we’re going to start experimenting with cold audiences, starting to take advantage of other people’s built-in audiences.

And targeting those people, specific interest, specific people in your industry, maybe other offers the people that are competitors, that you can start targeting their audiences. 

Recommendation

Make sure that for each one of those cold, warm or hot, that you do have individual strategies that you’re going to deploy over time and keep testing and tweaking as you go.  

All right, guys, if you liked this little lesson, this little nugget that I gave, you make sure to consider my 14-day trial to startup books. Startup books is my book club community. And it’s specifically for entrepreneurs. It’s like your personal coach or your personal trainer for reading.

We have reading plans. We have all kinds of insights and further knowledge for every book that we read inside that community. And you’re going to have me there every step of the way with you giving you one on one coaching inside of our private coaching group. 

So take advantage of that. 

I’ll see you in the next episode!

 

-CMH

 

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