How To Make Your First Dollar
This is part EIGHT of TWELVE lessons in the Finding Hidden Profit course on Skillshare. You will also find links to each of the 12 lessons in the video notes.
Please note: If you are NOT currently a Skillshare member, here is my link [I am an affiliate partner] for a free 30-day trial (more than enough to take the full FHP course and any of the other 15,000+ courses available) on Skillshare.com
Step Back — Big Picture View
We are over halfway through the Finding Hidden Profit course, so now is a good time to take a step back and reaffirm what we are trying to accomplish.
I know for myself, the process can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. But when you break it down into each of the 3 essential pillars, and then you focus on the critical steps for each pillar, you can keep the workload (and the overload) to a minimum.
There is an art and a science to producing great newsletters, building audiences, and then monetizing those eyeballs. And there are people who are experts in each of these respective areas. Your goal is to develop your skills “just enough” to be dangerous — just enough to put money in your bank account. Then you can decide where to dig deeper…
So what are we trying to do here?
- Build a following of like-minded people (first we have to find them) and then create readers who are eager to hear from you on a regular basis.
- Drop value bombs. That means that you constantly think about your audience, and what you can share with them that will make their lives better. Entertain them. Inform them. Treat them like family friends.
- Then — when you come across something that is both valuable to your audience AND can earn money for you, you share it with your list. Our goal is to get people to raise their hands (that means click on a link in the newsletter) to say they want more information about a specific problem or need.
- Then we take these smaller segments of people (small lists) who asked for more information, and we give them what they asked for, without spamming the rest of the list who didn’t want more information.
See the Mistakes Most Others Make Here?
I apologize if I am being too direct with this, but think about your own experience with emails that you receive and notice all the mistakes that other marketers are making:
- They don’t give value first, they come in and ask you to buy something like an overly eager teenage boy who thinks he is going to steal a kiss on the first date. Just relax… and build a relationship first.
- They send the same promotions and offers to everyone on their list, which turns most people off. Little by little, people unsubscribe so it is a constant battle to build a list because they chase away the subscribers as fast as they sign up.
- And lastly — when they do share something that people might want to buy, they immediately go right to the product or service that is being offered. They jump immediately to the solution. I am going to show you an alternative approach below, that isn’t “salesy” like that.
How To Make Your First Dollar
But first, I bet some of you are wondering IF you could actually make money from the web. You know other people are doing this. But could YOU do it?
The answer is YES, but you have to be willing to learn the process. I am going to show you two things that I think will really help you in starting to build your confidence around what is possible.
The FIRST, is a link to Bryan Harris’s case studies page. There are tons of case studies on the web, but I like this one because he has done his homework (100 case studies) and I know a bunch of these people, so I can tell you this is the real deal.
The reason I think this is worth your time in reviewing, is because I want you to notice that some people are making thousands of dollars, even with lists of only several hundred people. Tiny lists. Big Money.
You don’t even have to create your own course or product the way some of these folks have done. When you do affiliate marketing, you can get paid a commission just for recommending to your list, and earning a portion of the sale each time one of your people signs up.
Key takeaway: If you are curious how much your list might be worth when you connect these dots, you can use Bryan’s revenue calculator, or you can read the epic blog post that I wrote (including a breakdown of where Bryan’s numbers are coming from).
The SECOND resource I want to point you towards is a course by Noah Kagan about how to make your first $1000 online. This is NOT an affiliate code (I don’t receive any commissions) and I actually have NOT taken this course myself. But I have been following Noah for a number of years now and he always brings value.
The reason I share this is, many times when people fail to make money, they get discouraged and quit. Noah’s information is not that different from what a lot of other people teach, but he has built accountability into the program. So he walks you through the process, step by step. You make the commitment, and you get the results.
Again, you do not NEED to go and create a product or course or service to sell. It is a great way to make money from the web, but you can just as easily piggyback on the work of others and just point your audience to the best resources.
My biggest goal here, is for you to see there is an unlimited number of ways this can all come together for you. The email newsletter is the plumbing that gets your message to the people you care about. It is that caring that is really at the heart of this business opportunity. So go make life better for your readers, and in turn life will get better for you too!
The Right Way To Introduce The Good Stuff
So remember up above I mentioned that most emails make the mistake of trying to go for the sale too quickly?
It is not just a matter of time. In fact, when you alter your communication with your readers the way I am going to show you — those sales can pile up really quickly, even if someone just subscribed to your list.
The trick is to focus all your conversation, the content you share in the newsletter, the headlines — all of it needs to focus on the problem, need, or desire being felt by your readers. Never promote the product itself.
Instead — help your reader “discover” the solution. As you talk about the problem or need instead of the product for sale, your readers engage.
We all have finely tuned BS detectors these days. So when someone is trying to sell something, we pick up on it and back peddle because someone is trying to sell us stuff 24/7.
People hate to be sold. But we love to buy…
So your newsletter (and the associated autoresponders) are all about giving people good information. That is what your readers will come to expect from you. So you don’t need to get salesy with them. Let others do that. Just keep feeding them stuff that you think will help them.
Notice what I did above in this post. I share links to Bryan Harris and Noah Kagan. I am not trying to sell their stuff. I shared them because they are both resources that I have benefited from. That’s the difference.
If you do have an affiliate link — tell people. Not only do affiliate marketers need to disclose (FTC requirements) but most readers will be happy to see you get rewarded, if you are truly helping them and not just in it to turn a quick buck.
Your homework for Lesson Eight is start making a list of ways people make money on the web. One or more of them will speak to you and feel like the right fit. Look at the Noah Kagan course, or Bryan Harris’s case studies to see ways other people are doing it. Then look at ClickBank to see the thousands of different affiliate offers that could earn you money with each click.
One last resource: I know this was a fast overview of the process of affiliate marketing. And I throughout the term “autoresponder” which might be new to some folks. Here is a link of a good resource from MailChimp about how they work (and make less work for you).
MailChimp is only one example of an email service provider. We will share more options in Lesson Eleven. But there are other great courses on how to use MailChimp on Skillshare, and it is a great starting place if you are building your email list for the first time.
This was part EIGHT of TWELVE lessons in the Finding Hidden Profit course on Skillshare. You will also find links to each of the 12 lessons in the video notes.
Please note: If you are not currently a Skillshare member, here is my link [I am an affiliate partner] for a free 30-day trial (more than enough to take the full Finding Hidden Profit course and any of the other 15,000+ courses available) on Skillshare.com
And if you would like to see an example of my own, personal-branded newsletter called [Tobin Today] you can subscribe here (sent each Thursday morning):