One of the key principles in succeeding online with content marketing is to have the right mindset. It’s all about recognizing our thoughts as either positive or negative for our forward progress.
One of the most important things is to avoid scarcity thinking.
It’s very easy for us to believe that we don’t really have anything to say, that we can’t be seen as an expert.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The fact of the matter is “expert” status is only based on knowing something someone else wants to know. Simple as that.
If you know how to do a thing that someone else doesn’t yet know how to do and they need to do that thing in order to accomplish a goal or solve a problem, then to them you are an expert.
It’s very important to adopt this mindset.
This isn’t about becoming self-important - The mindset shouldn’t be that you’re the most wonderful thing since sliced bread, but rather that you have something of value to share and that sharing that will help people, it will bless them, it will encourage them, it will help them get farther in life.
When you do that, it’s the right thing for you to be paid for the information that you create, curate, or report on. This is a true win-win!
The other vital mindset when you begin this type of content marketing or online business is to realize that you can make huge changes in tiny steps.
Let me give you an example:
Many of the people that I speak to have been trying to make money online for years. Most of them have been trying to make money online for two, three, or four years. Very often you run into people who have been trying to build a business, make money online, or achieve some other worthwhile goal, for over a year.
I ask people that I consult with this question, “What if during that period of time you had written one article per week?”
Many of the top names online write an article per day, but that’s too high a threshold for this discussion. What if you had written only one article per week?
If you have been trying to make money online for one year, you would have 52 articles already. That is a powerful platform from which you can build a real business.
- You can build your mailing list.
- You can sell products.
- You can develop a relationship with people.
It’s important to understand that huge changes can be made in tiny steps. Every book that I’ve written has been written one word, one paragraph, one sentence at a time.
Think about this: if you want a 75 page book and you say to yourself, “I’ll write a page a day,” in only a couple of months you have an entire book.
If you take this idea of making huge changes in tiny steps it will help you not get overwhelmed with the big picture of building an online business.
Instead you can tackle the project one step at a time:
- Establishing your blog
- Installing WordPress
- Posting to your blog three times a week
If you take the big changes that need to be made in tiny steps, it will smooth your way and make your goals much faster and easier to accomplish!
Focus On Quality
The name of the game when it comes to sharing information online for money is quality.
The quality of the information has to be high.
I want to make a very important distinction here that ties into what we discussed in the mindset section. Your information doesn’t have to be the be-all-end-all of information.
In other words, you don’t have the be the leading expert of the world in what you’re promoting or publishing about. What you need to do is have knowledge that other people don’t have.
By helping a person take the next step — even if there are 50 other people who could have helped that person take the next step — you’re creating the opportunity to develop a very loyal customer from that one simple interaction.
The way to do this and the way to put time on your side is to focus on quality first and then quantity.
Let me give you an example:
Let’s say that you’re building a blog and your aim is to get that blog up and running as quickly as possible. While I’m all in favor of taking action now — and I do agree with many people who have said “a good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed tomorrow” — what you want to do is make sure your quality always remains high.
That’s why it’s important to carefully choose the categories of information you will include on your blog from the very beginning. Building your blog is about establishing your platform, and taking the time to think these decisions through allows you to lay a firm foundation will pay off huge down the road.
When defining your categories, limit them from three to five in the beginning.
If you take some quality time to establish limited but appropriate categories on your blog, you’ll always have the right place to put your content. It may sound silly now, but that will be incredibly helpful down the line.
Once you have that quality category structure in place, then you can add quantity to it. That’s just one example.
Another example of a quality before quantity approach is in building your list.
You want to guarantee that the people on your list receive information that will help them. That’s your first priority.
To do that, make sure you have several messages that are already programmed into your auto responder. This way when people join your mailing list on day one they get a message instantly, then another on day two or three, or whatever schedule you set.
By establishing just a few pre-programmed messages at the beginning, that means from the moment they join your list you’re able to start building a relationship with your new subscriber automatically.
What you don’t want to do is put an opt-in form on your blog as quickly as you can, only to find yourself constantly stuck trying to come up with something new to send your list day after day.
If you focus on building a quality follow up series first, then you can add any quantity of subscribers later and all of them will be well served.
This is a very important factor when it comes to building your platform.
You want to focus on *quality first* and then add the quantity to it later.
That basic idea applies to nearly every aspect of doing business online:
- Article writing
- Curating content
- Choosing keywords for your blog
- Building your list
- Creating products
It’s a universal key principle: focus on quality first and then once your project is of the highest quality possible, it will be able to sustain the quantity of activity that you want.
If you put five strong, truly helpful messages in your auto responder then you know that each new opt-in will be contacted, helped, and hopefully turned into a long-term customer automatically.
Work that you did ONCE guarantees that an unlimited number of people can subscribe and all of them will be well served by receiving those messages over a period of time.
Build A Scalable Structure
When you are establishing a platform for your business it’s very important to build a scalable structure.
What I mean by scalable is that you can add more and more content to the structure — to the platform you’re building — and that platform will just grow bigger and better.
When you start piling more and more content on a foundation that is hasty and weak, that content will get lost into a jumbled, ineffective mess.
But by putting thought into a strong, scalable platform, people will be able to find your information easily and they will be well served.
The importance of a scalable structure is why WordPress will play such a vital role in your progress, as well as the importance of choosing a theme for WordPress that uses an easy to navigate format, such as magazine style.
Let’s say for the sake of discussion that you have 100 articles that are in five categories, so there have 20 articles each. Because you limited your blog to five well thought out categories, visitors won’t feel overwhelmed with the scope of the content and will be able to find the information they want easily.
When they find those 20 really good articles that are well suited to their needs, it means the visitor will stay longer, return more often, and are more likely to share your content with their friends.
But if you simply present 100 articles with no category structure, then your visitors will feel overwhelmed because now they have to look through every article in order to find something they’re interested in.
If we extend that example out to a blog with 1,000 articles, just imagine how overwhelmed a person would feel if they came to your blog and they found 1,000 different articles with no category framework.
But if they found 100 articles each neatly organized into 10 different categories they wouldn’t feel nearly as overwhelmed.
Each piece of your structure should be examined and made scaleable as you move forward. Pieces like:
- Your WordPress blog
- Your theme
- Your categories
- Your keywords and phrases
The structure of your platform — each of the pieces individually — needs to be scaleable so that when the day comes that you DO have 1,000 articles on your blog, the structure you put in place originally can keep things manageable for you and useful for your visitors.
Between curation and writing and collaboration – three methods that I’ll be teaching you inside this course – you can easily get up in those high numbers very quickly.
Another factor is that it’s important to always measure and improve what you’re doing. This is why I’m suggesting that you install Google Analytics in the very beginning of building your platform (and we’ll get into this in a future lesson).
I’ll show you how to work with analytics, it’s actually quite easy to do, but measuring your traffic and knowing where your traffic comes from, from day one, is a very important thing.
If your blog has been online for a year already, or five years, or five weeks, don’t worry.
Today could be day one for you.
What you want to do is install some analytics software onto your blog, it’s very easy to do, it’s free if you use Google Analytics, and that helps you measure and improve your blog.
Your goal here is engagement. You want to engage with your audience.
This means that your reader will:
- Engage with the content
- Read multiple articles
- Leave comments
- Share your content socially through Twitter or Facebook
You can’t improve these things unless you measure them, so it’s a very important key to know that you must measure in order to improve.
That’s both important and very easy to do, and I will show you exactly how to do it a little later in the course.
Crafting And Polishing Your Message
The next key principle is to carefully craft and polish your message while building your platform.
As you’re setting out, it’s important to spend some time thinking about what your message really is. It’s very easy to do — we’re about to walk through the step by step — but will help clarify your path moving forward time and time again.
Trust me, this is a powerful step.
Just imagine a person that needs help and you can help them. Whether that help means going out and finding information they need or sharing information that you already have, there is some way that you know you can help them.
By answering the questions “What does this person need?” and “How can I help them?” you’ll begin to close in on defining your message.
Let’s break down the process.
For many of you, you’ll know right now what your message is. You are evangelical about a particular topic, and that topic could be absolutely anything, but you have a message that you want to convey to the world right now.
That’s great, but I know there are also other people who join this course who don’t know exactly what their message is yet. In other words, maybe you don’t have that missionary zeal for spreading one particular message. That’s perfectly fine!
When you’re trying to define your message it’s very important to think about your audience and to know who they are. This is a vital step in crafting your message and we’ll dig into that on the next page.
For now what I want you to do is focus in on the idea of crafting and polishing a message.
The best way I know to do this is to think about an elevator speech.
An elevator speech is the easiest thing in the world to understand — it simply means that if you have the perfect prospective customer in an elevator with you but your time with them is limited to traveling just two floors, what would you say to convince them to do business with you?
That’s a very short window of time, so you have to be quite concise.
In my case, for example, I help people clear up confusion and make money online by using proven principles that have stood the test of time in internet marketing.
That would be a type of elevator speech.
If you can think about crafting a very clear, short, easy to understand message, and polishing it, that will be incredibly helpful as you’re building your platform.
This is one of our key principles because you’re going to want that theme — your message — to repeat itself over and over again, because repetition really is the mother of learning.
Once you’ve crafted and polished that message so that you can shape it into an elevator speech and write it on a 3X5 card, that means every time you write an article, or you share content, or you curate content, you can ask yourself, “Is this article, is this thing that I’m sharing, consistent with my core message?”
Building your core message, crafting and polishing your core message, is very important to establishing your platform.
You don’t have to know it right now, you just need to start thinking about what it might be. The more you recognize that you need a message, the easier it will be to craft one when you try.
Serving Your Audience
The key to long term success online is simple — truly serving your audience.
There are two parts of that equation, but before I dig into them I want to share this with you very quickly.
It is possible to make short term money online by running advertising, promoting affiliate products, and things like that, but what I’m talking about now is building a long term business that stands the test of time, a business you can sell, a business you can pass on to your kids, a business that has real book value so when your CPA looks at you at the end of the year they say, “Your business is worth more money today than it was last year. Well done.”
To do that, you’re going to want to serve your audience.
Again, that has two aspects to it.
- You need to know your audience.
- You need to know what your audience needs.
The first half — knowing your audience — really goes back to crafting your core message. You really need to know what you want to say and to whom you want to say it.
Imagine, if you will, that you know what your core message is (if you already have a core message then you’re halfway there!). Now think to yourself, “Who is the person who needs to hear this message the most? Who is the person who will benefit most from this message?”
That’s your audience.
A lot of the focus in this platform building exercise is to write articles, curate content, and share information about topics that will help your audience take the next step in their progression.
You have to know who your audience is in order to serve them.
The other half of the equation is that in order to serve them, once you know who they are, it’s important to know what their needs are.
One thing you’re going to want to do is take out a piece of paper and make a list of the different steps that a person in your audience might go through.
In other words, everybody goes through the process of being a “newbie” at something.
We all learned how to drive, learned how to swim, learned how to tie a shoe, learned how to build a website. It’s universal to have that new phase.
After a person has developed some core competence they need to add to that some specific skills to take the next step.
Once they become comfortable with those special skills, they will want to really polish whatever it is they’re doing and become more proficient.
Then they want to elevate themselves up to that *expert status*.
These are four steps that pretty much everybody goes through in every field of endeavor, whether that’s learning how to write articles, learning how to build websites, or learning how to drive a car.
You go from being new at it — you don’t even know what you don’t know — to being okay it and competent enough to get by, to being pretty good at what you’re doing and mastering some of the finer points, to being a real expert where you can now turn around and teach that subject.
If you just take this short framework and apply it to the idea of serving your audience, you’ll see that they have different needs at different points in their progression.
Keeping that in mind means that you’ll be able to tailor the information you provide to the exact audience you want to help.
Share Your Passion
One of the key principles behind the Success Timeline is that you’re going to be sharing your passion.
That means sharing your knowledge with the people who come to your website, who come to your platform.
It’s very important for you to recognize that it’s okay to share things that you feel passionate about.
We all have things that we’re interested in, no matter what they may be. Believe me when I tell you that there are large groups of people out there who are interested in the same thing, whether you’ve connected with them yet or not.
One reason Facebook is so popular is that it helps people make connections and share their knowledge and passion.
One of the key principles is to begin with the understanding that you’re going to share.
- You’re going to share your passion.
- You’re going to share your knowledge.
- You’re going to share your research.
- You’re going to share your time, your interest, and your attention with your audience.
That’s really how you build a business.
The thing to keep in mind as you begin your journey on the Success Timeline is that you will be sharing all along the way.
When you give you will receive.
It’s just a principle of life that works over and over again. It’s in the Bible and it’s proven to be true so many times throughout so many different people’s experiences.
I heard a major marketer, a $10,000,000 a year online marketer, talk recently about the fact that “giving is the new marketing.”
I thought that was a great turn of a phrase, because when you give of yourself — openly share your passion, your knowledge, and your time with the people in your audience — they’re going to take you to places that you want to go, because they will reciprocate.
That can mean you’re giving knowledge you’ve accumulated to achieve expert status or knowledge you’ve accumulated by taking on the role of a reporter. These are two different methods that both encourage reciprocity.
Take Oprah Winfrey for example. If you think about it, primarily what she does is reporting on important events or people. She’ll interview experts in any given field, but she’s not necessarily an expert herself. That has made her a very wealthy woman and it can do something similar for you.
Am I saying you’ll be the next Oprah? No. But what I am saying is that we don’t know how far you can go. I can tell you from experience that it’s much farther than you probably think it is right now.
That’s the power of the law of reciprocity.
When you share information that helps people take the next step in their journey, they’re going to want to reciprocate.
Just like if you opened the door for someone and then 10 feet later there is another door, that person is naturally going to want to reach out and open that door to reciprocate the kindness that you showed them. Simple.
Sharing your passion, sharing your knowledge, sharing your research is a very important thing to do for two reasons.
Number one, it’s the way you build a business online.
Number two, giving quality information freely means people will more readily buy from you when the time comes.
By helping people take the next step with some free information you’ve already built credibility. They know you, they like you, they trust you.
When the time comes for you to say, “If you like this information I’ve been sharing, you’re really going to like this other thing,” they’ll buy what you promote in record numbers.
That is how you build a business online.
Build A Business
Success Timeline exists for one reason: To help you take very specific steps at the right moment in time to build an online business.
That’s why you’re here, that’s why I created the course.
One of the key principles behind Success Timeline, and the reason I had the idea to build this course, is that a lot of people are confused about how to build a business.
They put the cart before the horse, as it were.
They’ll put an opt-in form on their blog, but have no messages in their auto responder yet. They end up with is a list that never hears from them and feels no connection.
I hear all the time from people who say, “I have a dead list of 800 people.” Believe me when I tell you that you can do well with 800 people on a mailing list if you develop a relationship with them.
Building a real business is the name of the game and there are a couple of important reasons for that.
One is to make money. Of course, no one can guarantee or predict how much money you will or won’t make, because that is completely dependent upon your effort. What we can say with certainty is that if you do the right things, you will build a platform.
Building that platform is the key to building a business and making money.
Beyond just making money, you really can leave a legacy.
You can leave a legacy of service to others, of excellence in the information you share, of success.
At the end of your timeline you will have beaten the system, you will have succeeded online.
Most people don’t do that.
You’ll leave a legacy of financial freedom by saying to those who come behind you, whether that’s a person who buys your business or whether it’s your children, “Here’s how it’s done. Here’s how you can create financial freedom.”
You’ll leave a legacy of wisdom, because you took the time now to learn what you needed to do in a step by step, incremental, logical fashion, and it worked for you.
You’ll leave a legacy of accomplishment, because you’ll have done the hard work.
I don’t want to kid anybody — this is hard work. I work hard every day in my business. I love my business, but it is hard work.
You’ll leave a legacy of balance, because the beautiful thing about the internet and having a business online is that you can work anytime you want, anywhere you want, and any way you want, so it creates balance not because you can expand the work to fit all the time available, but rather because you can draw hard edges around your work.
You can say:
“I’m only going to work three hours today, but I’m free to do that work while I’m home with my family.”
“I’m going to go to the office to work for four hours today.”
“While we’re watching a TV show tonight I’m going to send out two emails.”
It really can create balance for you and you can leave a legacy of those things.
Key Principles Summary
I just want to recap very quickly the key principles we’ve talked about so far.
It’s very important to have the right mindset.
It’s very important to avoid scarcity thinking. I know that this is a hindrance because I did it myself.
When I started out about 12 or 13 years ago I thought to myself, “What do I have to say? Who is ever going to do business with me? I’m not Dan Kennedy, I’m no big name.”
Then I discovered that if you do the right things day by day and if you’re helping people, they don’t really care who you are, they care that you’re helping them.
I learned from hard experience how to avoid scarcity thinking by realizing people don’t care if I have a reputation or if I’ve written 10 books, or any of these type things, they care that they get help.
When we put the focus on them and take the focus off of ourselves, it helps us have the right mindset, which is that there is plenty of business out there, there is plenty of traffic out there, there is plenty of success out there, we just need to take the right steps.
Secondly, it’s very important to understand mindset wise that you can make huge changes in tiny steps.
- Everyone who loses 100 pounds in their life does it one pound at a time.
- Everyone who writes a book does it one page at a time.
- Everyone who builds a business does it one day at a time.
- Everyone who builds a marriage does it one day at a time.
As I’m writing this, my wife and I just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and it’s the best thing in life to have been married that long.
When we look back and talk about it, we did it one step at a time. There were incredibly difficult times, all of our parents have gone now to be with the Lord, those were very difficult things, but we took them one day at a time.
You can make huge changes in tiny steps, whether that’s losing weight, building an online business, or building a strong marriage.
Every day is a new day.
Zig Ziglar often said, “Last night ended at midnight and today is a brand new day.” It’s so important to realize that and have that mindset when you’re building your platform.
You want to commit to quality.
Everything you do needs to be the best quality you can make it.
There is a balance here; you don’t want to wait until things are perfect, because perfection is a myth. What you want to do is decide that when you want to put something into the marketplace, you will make it the best quality possible.
When you build that platform, build the best quality structure you can.
That leads us to the next point, which is…
Build a scalable structure.
You want a blog that will hold 1,000 articles as easily it will handle two articles.
You want a blog that is easy to navigate, easy to find things for your readers, easy for you to post to, whether that’s a video, or an audio, or an article, or something they can download.
You want to measure all the way through so that you can constantly improve.
As you build your platform you need to…
Craft and polish your message.
That’s one of our key principles, to have a clearly defined message. You want that elevator speech.
I like to suggest that you write it on a 3x5 card and keep it in your pocket so that you can always refer to it as you get article ideas, as you’re interviewed by people or you interview other people.
As these things happen for you — and they will over time — you want to always be able to bring people back to that consistent message.
If you think about the top five most successful people that you know, I believe you’ll see that all of them have a very consistent message.
That’s true online and offline as well.
Carefully crafting your messages also means you will be more able to…
Serve your audience.
Part of serving your audience is knowing your audience.
You want to begin creating a picture in your mind of who you’re trying to reach.
- Is it a man or a woman?
- Are they of a particular age?
- Do they live in a particular location?
- Do they have a particular income level?
- Do they have certain needs?
What are those needs?
You want to think about what stages of progression they go through.
Everyone goes through a newbie stage, then we get a little bit of competence, then we sharpen our skills, and then we get up into an expert status.
What stage is your audience in?
What needs do they have because they’re in that stage?
Once you know these things, you can begin…
Sharing your passion.
Sharing your passion and sharing your knowledge go hand in hand. You want to share knowledge openly and passionately, you want to help people take the next step in their journey.
It’s about them, it’s about their journey.
Then when you do these things, you will automatically be building a business.
You’ll be building a strong business.
You’ll be making money and you’ll be leaving a legacy – a legacy of service, of excellence, of wisdom, and of accomplishment.
Those are beautiful things indeed.
I hope this overview of the key principles behind the course helps you.
I created this course because I believe these key principles are timeless.
I believe they’re the same principles that Dale Carnegie used, the same principles that Zig Ziglar used, that Tony Robbins uses, that all successful people use.
Focusing on quality, having a clear concise message, sharing openly with passion, and in so doing building a strong business.
That’s the core of Success Timeline, that’s the journey we’re going to go on.
Whether you’re at point three in the timeline, or point one in the very beginning stage, or you’re way down the road, these key principles apply equally to us all.
They apply to me and they apply to you. I hope you’ve enjoyed them.
Thank you for being a member.