How to Monetize Your Brand as a Coach (without putting all your eggs in one basket)

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Not long ago I was coaching business owners and doing a few remaining freelance projects for a full-time income. While I was coaching, I unintentionally (at first) then intentionally diversified my income and added teaching products into the mix. I was part coach, part infopreneur, part freelancer--which really helped me find the place I could be most effective. But as I was learning and going and making many mistakes, I did definitely see and experience the benefits of monetizing my coaching brand in multiple ways.

If you are looking to get into coaching, or if you want to expand your coaching business through workshops, courses, books, and other passive income, this post is for you. >> Also, this 5-day email course on developing an email list that actually converts to sales 👀might be for you too, but let's get into the main course of the day: how to monetize your brand as a coach without putting all your eggs in one basket.

Let's look at this in terms of services that you can monetize as well as digital and physical products you can monetize.

16 Ways to Monetize Your Coaching Brand

a.k.a. 9 Services and 7 Products that are Super Epic for Coaches and Bloggers

1. Custom 1-on-1 Coaching Calls w/ Friendly Recaps

When you are first getting started in coaching, this will likely be one of the services that is simplest to offer. Now, don't get me wrong. I think you need to plan what it entails along with what you will and won't do, and I do still think it needs a signed client agreement. But, it's a great place to begin because you can figure out what people really want and need, what really troubles people, and where you truly fit as a coach and teacher.

With your custom 1-on-1 calls (Zoom sessions, telephone calls, or even in-person meetings), you'll typically:

  • send your client a questionnaire and/or meet with them to discover their specific needs and where you fit in

  • decide on a timeframe that y'all will work together or set up a rate per meeting or per month

  • send out an agenda before each call (if you have some general talking points for the meeting--and hopefully you do) - bonus points if your agenda is attractive and visually on-brand

  • send out client notes sheets or a link to a shared doc where you client can take notes digitally (optional, but cool) and helps both of you keep track of what you discussed

  • conduct your session (usually 30 - 90 minutes depending on the type of call--this should be clear and communicated ahead of time)

  • (with permission) record your session

  • recap your session via email (and/or send the recording/replay to your client with instructions on how long they have to download the replay to their own computer)

2. 1-on-1 Coaching Program w/ Calls, Check-ins, and Homework

Once you've done custom 1-on-1 coaching for a while, or once you have an understanding of the general steps your audience needs to go through to reach the goals you help them with, you can develop your custom coaching into a program. A coaching program is a framework in which you have the same general steps + processes that you're taking multiple people through individually.

You still check in with your clients, have calls, and provide customized recaps and help to them, but it's all based off of one system.

In a coaching program, you'll usually:

  • give your potential client an overview doc/email that outlines the program, timeline, and steps, to help them decide whether or not it's a good fit

  • have a call/questionnaire that helps you determine if the client is a good fit. You can even do this before you meet by including an integrated form (via Calendly or Acuity Scheduling) when they book their Discovery Call or first session with you.

  • send a welcome kit (optional, but wonderful) with your client's first homework assignment and an invitation to schedule their first call after the homework is completed

  • conduct your first call

  • send the next pre-developed homework assignment (w/ a recap of your call)

  • repeat this process for as long as your program lasts

Note: To fully protect yourself and your client, your signed agreement with them should outline your refund policy, and the point at which the client is forfeiting the rest of their package (ex: you haven't heard from them in 45 days and you've emailed them at their provided email address at least three times).

I once had a web project that lasted over a year because my client would never get back to me but I didn't have a helpful "forfeiture clause" in my agreement--and P.S. I had spent every dime they'd paid me, so I wasn't to keen on refunding them. Side note: The project ended up being super attractive and the client loved their site.

3. Custom 1-on-1 Email Coaching w/ Guaranteed Responses

Imagine this: either one of the options above (1 or 2), but instead of doing calls, you do emails. You can tailor the process to each client (and just agree on a certain timeframe or a certain number of email "meetings"), or you can take your email coaching clients through a specific program (with homework and pre-set steps) and provide customized responses and email support. Bam. Magic. Great for introverts. Email coaching can also help you create the written content for future programs and courses.

4. Group Coaching Program w/ Calls and Homework

Remember that one time, long ago, when we were talking about 1-on-1 coaching programs (#2 above)? Okay, now imagine that, but with more than one person. The client homework would go out to a group of people to complete individually or with accountability partners, and you would also:

  • conduct group calls or video conferencing via Zoom

  • provide recordings to clients who missed (optional, but super kind)

  • choose to focus on one or two people per call (hot seat style) after the main portion of the call has been presented, or choose to address everyone's needs in each call

  • provide a community or means for people to connect outside of your group calls (optional, but epic) such as Slack or Facebook

  • provide recaps, updates, and more homework via email or in the group coaching platform/community

5. Masterminds

Imagine everything we said above, but instead imagine that each week/month has a specific focus (growth, strategy, etc.) or that you are more of a facilitator and cheerleader than you are a direct coach.

You can provide a mastermind group that allows people to benefit mainly from others' ideas and knowledge, but also from the regular accountability, and your presence. Masterminds are hugely popular for good reason. The peer support helps people grow and allows you not to have to provide all of the interaction.

6. In-Person Trainings or Workshops

Think of all the things you coach online 1-on-1 or in groups/masterminds---can it be applied or shared in real life as well?

You can create small workshops, pop-up events, and live trainings to help people with the goals you coach on.

7. Speaking Engagements

This ones pretty self-explanatory, eh? You can definitely decide to speak on the topics you coach on at different events, organizations, and conferences. It's a great way to start to be seen as more of a teacher or "thought leader" (as they say, but if you ever catch me calling myself a thought leader in my bio. . .), and it's a great way to meet new people---some of them might even become your coaching clients

8. Office Hours

Office Hours have quickly become one of our favorite methods of providing coaching, group interaction, and an entry-level price point for new people to work with us.

Perhaps people aren't ready to commit to a coaching program, or perhaps someone really needs some targeted help with this one particular thing that you happen to be epic at, or maybe one of your audience members really wants the opportunity to "pick your brain." Well, that's where office hours come in. You can offer your time and expertise at a rate that's comfortable to you, per hour or per day.

Office hours allow you to help people, make income, address audience pain points directly and swiftly, and keep your ear to the ground about people's current needs and frustrations---which helps you know what packages and products you should offer. The questions asked in Office Hours are a great way to gauge what your audience is interested in for future trainings and offers.

9. Custom Audits or Reports

Often times, your potential clients will be in such a state of overwhelm/confusion, or in such a new place that they feel lost as to how to begin to get out of where they are to move to where they want to be. Also, you may have clients who just feel a slight bit off or frustrated with the current state of things and in need of some direction.

Doing a custom life audit, brand audit, situation report, or other type of organized document/delivery that outlines current areas that need improvement as well as current areas that are doing well, can be a rewarding, simple, and fun type of coaching.

Custom audits and reports are also often a way for you to provide services to people who can't afford your 1-on-1 rates yet.

10. Communities

An online (or real life) community can be an add-on to any of your other products or services, but a community can also easily be its own standalone product. Providing partners, support, a venue, structure, and built-in friends for people who are all at a similar place in life/business is a seriously valuable thing that many people would be happy to pay for.

What is something you've had to struggle through on your own? Learn on your own? Do without support? Would you have enjoyed a community of people in the same position? Would you have paid for it?

Think of a community structure and virtual/physical meeting place you can provide for people. Is it something you'd be willing to add to your offerings? You can consider a Facebook group, Slack workspace, or an ongoing Zoom call as your community platform.

11. Online Workshops w/ Live Q+As

Hosting an online workshop (either with or without cohosts) with Live Q&A allows your audience to interact with you and get real time feedback on their questions. Like in Office Hours 👆🏽, you can also record these workshops for future use and use the questions asked in the sessions to develop further trainings and offers.

12. Pre-Recorded Workshops, Bootcamps, or Conferences

Packaging previously-recorded workshops or bootcamps together as paid products is genius and will help to fill out your standing course library, if you plan to build one.

13. Online Courses

Seriously. Online courses are some of our favorite things in the world. Learning that can happen from your couch, or your cubicle on your lunch break, or during your commute, etc. #Epic and #Accessible

And think about it. You'll be able to package your knowledge, coaching skills, and experience together in a packaged way that allows you to help more people at once, creating more impact.

You can also structure many of your courses in formats that will be almost entirely passive (little to no maintenance) income once you create them.

14. Email Coaching Program (w/out Custom Support)

So, instead of framing your materials as a course and delivering it on some epic, 3rd-party system such as Teachable, you could also frame them as email coaching (sans the custom replies).

"A new coaching session in your inbox each Monday for 8 weeks!" sounds pretty epic. And, it's scalable, because those same sessions can be sent out to 10 people at a time or 10,000 people. #SuperEpic.

Pssssssssst. If you want a free training on creating an email list that actually gets you paid, you can sign up for it right here. 👀

15. eBooks

A digital file that can be automatically delivered to your customers as soon as they purchase it? Yes, my friend, that's about as close to passive income as it gets in this coaching world---and it's a smart way to make additional income while helping your ideal audience who needs items at different price points than your coaching programs and courses.

16. Printed Books and Workbooks

Yessssss. You can use printed books or workbooks with your clients as you take them through your coaching program, you can sell them separately on your site, or you can sell them through Amazon.com and get them fulfilled for you, so that you don't have to ship off each order or accept + process returns. That's brilliant, my friend.

So, if I'm not being too nosy, may I inquire how you currently monetize your coaching business? And how you plan to monetize in the future? I hope this post helped, and I'd love to hear what you've got poppin' in the comments below.

How to Get Serious About Social Media

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Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, a friend told me it was time to get serious about my social media strategy. She even went so far as to start my Pinterest account for me. I'll be honest, I didn't see the value at the time, but I have seen the light. Pinterest and social media (in general, along with some good SEO juice) are the greatest sources of traffic to my sites (I run more than one business and social media matters for both of them). In other words, serious social media pays the bills.

I'm glad I had a friend tell me that I needed to start using social media with a serious mindset, so now I want to share with you the top 17 ways I recommend to start authentically using social media for your blog or business.

1. Pick your platforms wisely.

Not only do you not need to be on every single platform to be effective, it can actually be an unwise use of your time (especially as a solopreneur) to try to be on each one. It's really about where your ideal audience is and where you can be most effective for your brand. This is where you’ll need to do some research on where your ideal client is hanging out online and narrowing the scope of where you’ll show up.

And make sure that part of your narrowing process is clearly planning what you'll use each platform for. Write it down. Make it real. Have a plan.

2. #EditorialCalendar it when stuff is important.

^^ That's being used as a verb by the way. This simply means, when you have upcoming product launches, brand launches, important posts, challenges/giveaways you want to promote, etc., it's time to make an editorial calendar of your social media content.

Did she just say that? That sounds like a lot of work.

It is. I don't lie on this blog. Now my other blog is another story. All lies. But here I tell you the truth. It's a lot of work, but it is so rewarding. Go ahead and click on the link (image) below and create a copy of the Google Sheets doc that pops up. This is the level I suggest you go to for any super important posts/products. Plan it out for 10 days or 30 days, whatever the situation calls for. It takes a while up front to do your editorial calendaring (see that verb use?), but you’ll be so glad you did when your brand is telling a cohesive story across your channels.

3. Research people before you respond.

How do all the cool, Snapchat-using kids say it? "I'm so over" people tweeting or commenting on social media before they've taken two seconds to check someone out. I've had people ask me the strangest things, way outside of what I do/know, and I really feel like the 10 seconds it takes to read my Twitter bio or click on the link to my site would have saved them the trouble. Also, you leave such a solid impression when you respond to people based on their needs + interests.

4. Unfollow junk accounts.

Options include Crowdfire app, not for the somewhat middle school activity of unfollowing people just because they unfollow you, but because it allows you to identify people who haven't used their accounts in like seven years. You can unfollow accounts on Twitter and Instagram very simply to keep the people you're following to actual people who actually use these platforms. With other platforms, you may just have to do an audit of who you follow, and unfollow any accounts that aren't really active or that don't add value to your feed. Exceptions would be customers you want to interact with--they totally add value.

5. Follow wisely, my friend.

You're being serious about social media now, and when you’re using social media for your business you kinda have to be purposeful about who you follow. Some platforms have lists or ways to segment the people/brands you follow so you can try to get to your most important content first, but others don't. So if you don't want to crowd your feed with stuff that doesn't help you help others, then you have to be selective. Follow:

  • potential clients/readers

  • leaders in your industry

  • people who inspire you to make your business even more awesome

  • people who just inspire you or have engaging content

  • people you might want to collaborate with

  • people who go out of their way to promote/help you

  • people you like who put out quality content

  • @MindyKaling (just do the right thing here, she's hilarious)

6. Don’t retweet, repost, or repin anything you haven’t checked out first.

Again, you’re serious about social media now. It represents your brand. You can't share something with broken links, super low quality, or something that (gasp) redirects to a totally inappropriate or sketchy page. The Internets will unfollow you if you send them to a place with digital viruses and lousy marketing schemes.

7. Don’t be afraid of the “advanced features” in each platform.

  • Group boards on Pinterest will get your pins and profile in front of more people.

  • Twitter lists will help you organize the people you like and want to see tweets from, and lists will also help you make others feel special when you add them.

  • Facebook Groups and Slack Communities allow you to create deeper connections with like-minded people and potential customers.

  • Twitter chats are epic ways to converse with others and gain new followers.

  • Etc.

No seriously, go create a list in Twitter if you've never done so before. It can be public (when you want everyone to see it and be able to follow it) or it can be private (like when you want to store all your connections who live in a country half way around the world so you can tweet them at specific times or go see what they're up to when you're randomly up at 3 a.m.).

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8. Thank everyone, one person at a time (if possible).

OMG. Thank you @name1, @name2, @name3, @name4, @name5 . . . @name17."

^^ Can usually be re-worded as:

I just didn't feel like thanking you individually."

Except for in the instances when you are in fact Justin Timberlake or when you intentionally want people to be in the same comment.

Your brand may already be at the point where it's just not logical to thank each person for their comment or specific action . . . totally understandable, but perhaps you can try to "favorite" or "like" their comments.

9. Embed the heck out of your social media feeds.

If you're making a point (in a blog post or on a web page) that relates to a specific Pinterest board of yours, plop it in using the Pinterest Widget Builder.

Follow byRegina (blogging + business)'s board Social Media for Champs on Pinterest.

If you're making a point that involves a tweet you once published, embed it. I embedded the tweet below in one of my posts, and it still gets RTs and favorites . . . not because people are going back several months on my Twitter profile, but because it's front and center in a post people still read.

The one word others throw around too much that belittles how hard I know you work: LUCK. If they only knew how many work hours "luck" took.

— Regina Anaejionu (@byReginaTV) August 30, 2014

10. #StyleGuide the photos, hashtags, and wording you'll use in your updates.

When you're making a style guide for your blog or website, add in the specifics of how you'll treat social media. Consistency helps you stand out so, so, so much.

P.S. @Erika_Madden, do you mind if I use you as an example now?
P.P.S. I think we should all go follow Erika now so she won't be mad at me for using her as an example without permission.
P.P.P.S. Just kidding. She probably won't get mad, but let's all go follow her anyways. She's amazing. And she likes LOTR and sushi. Clearly an outstanding human being.

11. Create templates, yo.

Whether it's quotes or sayings (like the examples in Erika's IG account above), or the custom images you'll make each time you share your blog posts or new products on Twitter, make templates for any social media graphics you'll be creating. This will save you time and help you look super organized and consistent.

12. Batch everything.

Like that time you mixed up vegan cookie dough for just one emergency cookie . . . umm, no. Multiple cookies are always necessary so I'm assuming you typically mix enough dough to last you a day or so, right? Well, create your social media images (quotes, questions, challenges, regular pictures of you behind the scenes, etc.) in batches (perhaps 1 - 4 weeks of content at a time). That way you'll never be without something to share, and you'll be that much more likely to stick to the promotion schedule (editorial calendar) you made in #2 above.

13. Buffer (or Hootsuite) all the stuff.

I use Buffer (+ Hootsuite is another similar tool) to load multiple tweets, Facebook posts, etc. at once. So, all that stuff you just batch created . . . now you can schedule it ahead of time and not worry about it.

14. Write a better bio.

Communicate value and your personality in your bio. 👀Try really hard not to just list nouns or adjectives that describe you and your attributes. Try to communicate what makes you you in longer phrases or full sentences. So instead of opting for:

Cat lover. Chocolate lover. Wife. Mom. Friend. Copywriter. Editor."

Please don't get mad at me for that ^^--it just really doesn't stand out as much as:

I help you write words that people remember. I also like cats, and chocolate, or chocolate cats . . . I'm not picky here."

15. Get a better avatar/headshot/profile image.

Hire a photographer, or get handy with natural light and a good editing app. (Hint: VSCO Cam or Snapseed)

16. Similarize (word check: does that exist?) your bios + headshots across all platforms.

#AwkwardTruthMoment: People just don’t know you like that. If you have curly hair and a blue dress on your Pinterest profile and straight hair with a red shirt on Twitter, we might not get that you are the same person. Also, if you talk about your love for cats on Instagram and you only talk about your love for editing works of fiction on Twitter, we might not get that you are the same person.

Your average Internet user looks at 1,307 different faces online each day (most of them poorly lit selfies). I'm totally kidding y'all. I made that stat up. But, seriously . . . we just don't know you like that. Use similar headshots (you know, like either the exact same shot, or you in the exact same setting/outfit) and bios across your platforms.

17. Update your cover photos.

Make them compelling. Make them pop. Make them fitting of the season or of your newest product launch or epic freebie. Whatever you do, don't waste your cover photo space . . . people actually look at them.

Here’s the awesome Ade Aprilia who uses her Facebook cover page .

18. Verify, connect, list, and link.

Verify your site/accounts in Pinterest. Connect your accounts (such as Instagram and Twitter so that you can automatically tweet something you Instagram every so often). List and link your other accounts on each platform (where applicable--so, YouTube should have links to all your other accounts, etc.).

19. Join chats.

Find Twitter chats (or discussions in other social media communities) that focus on topics you love, that can help you learn, or that include a lot of your ideal audience. You will have great conversations, you will gain new followers, you will meet new collaborators, you will likely even find new customers.

My favorite new chat? you ask. #CreateLounge, hosted by the amazing @Kayla_Hollatz.

20. Join communities.

People with like minds, similar challenges/issues/desires, and similar interests often congregate online in Facebook Groups, Slack Communities, group Pinterest Boards, Twitter chats, various website forums, and other online clubs or organizations. When you're taking social media seriously, you're not tweeting on an island . . . okay, bad example, because you can literally tweet from an island and connect with the whole world. But, you know what I mean. You're not tweeting in a bubble . . . okay, you can probably do that too . . .

What I'm trying to say here is: Community is important. When you're using social media for a brand or business, community is everything. Serious social media is not one-sided. It's interactive. It's meaningful. And it's like that one phrase people always use, "You're not tweeting in a vacuum my friend."

That analogy works, right? I'll get it one of these days.

21. Get serious about hashtag research and social media search features.

But Regina, you're telling me to go out and find my ideal clients/readers, and to find like-minded people to connect with on social media, and to do a bunch of other stuff that requires me to actually find these mythical people. How do I do that?

Ahhhhhh, the power of search. Figure out key phrases people might use when looking for content like yours or products like yours, and then search for those phrases. A simple Twitter search of the phrase "need to start a blog" returned tons of results (people saying everything from "I need to start a blog before my site goes live" to "I need to start a blog to help with all these emotions"), so if you were in the business of helping people start blogs, you'd totally have new friends.

P.S. Don't creep people out or annoy the heck out of them when you tweet them by telling them about all your services, instead, congratulate them, converse with them, point them to free resources . . . don't be weird.

While you're in research mode, don't forget to search hashtags on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Find out the most popular hashtags among your clients and communities (just do a Google search for "popular hashtags for ____"), and then search for them and use them. Connect with people who use them. You get the point. We're serious about social media now; we can't be lazy.

22. Add value, but also be yourself.

It's part of establishing a "you" brand. You always want to add value, else, why would people follow you? But, you always want to be yourself. In being yourself and sharing things with personality or sharing things other than articles/research, you're giving yourself some wiggle room. If you have a powerful presence as a brand and as a person in one, we'll follow you when you pivot into a new brand or space. Pinky swear.

23. Mix it up.

There are many types of things you can share on social media. Below are my top 25 suggestions for types of content. Click the image below or download your copy here.

24. Create a hashtag.

If you're using social media for your business, you'll perhaps want to look into creating hashtags for your brand, for your products, for your communities, and for your challenges/contests. People are so used to using #hashtags nowadays, that if you create and clearly communicate + use your hashtags, you'll likely find that they slowly catch on. So, when you ship out products, casually let people know each product's specific hashtag. You may find that it reminds people to share your products on Instagram. Or, you may find customers saying stuff about your products (on Twitter for example) who you didn't even know bought your stuff.

You may mess around and create a movement with one of your hashtags. Just don't go crazy; be mindful of the platform you're in. And on Twitter, you probably can't fit more than 3 with your tweet.

25. Create a community, show, or event . . . or host something specific on each platform.

Give people additional incentive to follow you on each platform that you're taking seriously for your blog or business. Hold monthly Q+As on Facebook, a weekly Instagram Live, an occasional Twitter chat, a show on YouTube or FB, or even a scavenger hunt on Instagram or a pin party on Pinterest. Include prizes or free resources the first few times (or permanently). People will love the events and the communities that form around them.

26. Share other people’s stuff and tag them when you do so.

You’ll create some of the most grateful, awesome fans when you share other people’s stuff (on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, wherever). If you’re able to tag the person, they are that much more likely to follow you, to re-share your content, or to love you bunches. Using social media for your brand means stepping out and connecting. You may share to crickets at first, but people will take notice and be appreciative in time.

27. JUST SAY NO to (most) drugs and automated responses.

Just kidding, kids. Say no to all drugs.

Also, if it doesn't look like a human sat down and gave the tweet/post some serious thought in the moment, don't post it, message it, or do it. What I mean is: No auto direct messages on Twitter when someone follows you, no auto tweets through a third-party app thanking the five people who retweeted you that week, and no post that simply shares the name of a product and a link ("Gold leaf scarf http://awkwardurl234567here.com").

None of these things look like an actual human sat down and gave the post some thought. Using social media effectively for your brand means standing out. Automated, impersonal, uninteresting posts do not qualify and in fact, they damage your brand as a whole.

28. Ask for help.

People love to help you and give you feedback. Whether you're asking what color you should release a new product in, asking if anyone knows someone who does _____, or asking people for advice on a certain topic, people will commit to memory those that they help and those that are appreciative of said help. When you're first building your accounts up, you might mention or tag someone directly (and without being creepy) to ask for their expertise on something . . . or you might just throw your question out into Internet land with an applicable hashtag and hope someone sees it. Either way, give it a try.

29. Switch up your post based on the platform.

That one time you saw someone post the exact same wording across all eight platforms they use. That was so interesting, right? (Insert an unamused emoji face here and while you’re at it, do use emojis to spice things up a bit in Internetland.)

Different platforms call for different hashtags, lengths of posts, wording, vibes, and images. Take advantage of the specific communities you've connected with on each platform. Delight them in different ways, and always, always optimize your images and words for the platform you're on.

30. Get handy with the editing tools.

Make your quotes and images look spiffy with free tools like Canva, VSCO Cam, and Pixlr.

31. Put your URL on it.

  • Stuff gets lost on the Internet. Have you ever found an image and wish you knew the original source? Can you imagine a potential reader coming across a great article on Pinterest but getting frustrated when the pin doesn't lead back to the original source? Ditto Google Image search. That wouldn't happen if your URL was on the image.

  • Images get stolen and misused on the Internet. A super sweet blogger emailed me a while back to let me know that some of my images (along with several other bloggers' images) were being used by a shady guy on his Pinterest board to get traffic back to his site. So, whereas it looked like you were clicking on a picture that would take you to my piece on How I Started Making a Full-time Blogging Income, you were actually being taken to his site. The only way my new blogger friend was able to alert me to his image theft, was because my URL was on my pin.

  • Including your URL or logo, or both, is a great way to reenforce your brand identity.

So, what do you think? Maybe make the information above into an R&B slow jam? Agreed.

32. READ. Because readers are leaders.

Find a book about social media in general (The Art of Social Media // Grow Your Blog Traffic with Social Media) or a book about the specific platform you want to study in the moment. As power users, let's make power moves and really explore all the features and uses of the platforms we choose to be on.

33. Stop, go back, and use the person's name.

When replying, when contacting, when asking something, when breathing, when freaking sneezing, use the person's name. People like to hear/read their own names. People like when you take time to address them personally.

Now . . . I'll give you the instances where people make their names too ridiculously hard to find. Like when their Instagram and Twitter handle are brand names, and their website bios don't have their names, and all their posts are signed "M." >> they just don't want you to have the information you need. Abort mission. But other than that, use the person's name.

How else do you get serious about social media? What do you spend most of your social media time doing? Planning, posting, finding people, thinking of what to say, designing images? Holla at me in the comments about it.

14 Things You Can Do This Weekend to Streamline and Scale Your Business

Just in case at any point this year you’re sitting around wondering if there's a unique weekend adventure you can embark on to help scale your business, I recommend bookmarking and saving this article. There's lots to come back to. And if you experience a slow point with your business, you can use one of these activities to make sure you're still growing and building.

Create a Feel-Good Facebook Ads Funnel for Your Course, Workshop, or eBook

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Long before I could even begin to define a Facebook ads funnel, from the moment my first $3 sale showed up in my eCommerce dashboard for an eBook I'd written out of pure necessity (to help potential clients plan their brand fully before I started working on their website), I was amazed at the magic/science of someone who doesn't know you one day, purchasing from you and passionately sharing your stuff all over the web the next day.

I made up my mind to get a Ph.D. where I could research the factors that go into the purchasing decisions of consumers buying from infopreneurs, influencers, and "authorities" online. Still working on that whole Ph.D. thing, but until that time, I have some 80% nerdy, 20% hip, but 100% mind-blowing examples and trainings for you if you want to start selling your programs, services, or digital products online . . . on autopilot . . . while remaining very human and in touch with the people you are serving.

We're gonna get into actual funnel examples, and so much more . . . you're ready, right? And more on these mysterious sheets in a second.

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First, it's time to briefly review what a funnel is and why I go through an intense period every 2 years or so where I desperately try to think of a different name for "funnels" because of the way people abuse, misuse, overuse, etc. the term.

What is a funnel, really?

A funnel is simply one or more of your ideal audience members being drawn in by an amazing resource or gift you offer, then being taken through a series of content pieces or interactions that you’ve created, in which each step is meant to:

(1) educate and motivate your audience to act on something helpful to them, and
(2) accomplish a specific brand goal for you.

The-Parts-of-an-Effective-Funnel.gif

My belief is that even though your funnel may have one general goal, the most feel-good, customer-centric, and sensitive funnels are ones that are highly valuable even if someone doesn't purchase anything and/or ones that have a few stop-off points for people just in case your end goal is not what they need.

Which is why I'm always trying to rename the dreaded f-word — "funnel" . . . people in the online marketing space seem to love to abuse the word . . . by offering little value, lots of pressure, and only high price point resources. Funnels don't have to be ridiculous. They can be some of the most amazing experiences for your audience . . . something that you get thank you emails and fire 🔥emoji tweets about.

Back to the point of this article . . .

Let's get to an example funnel, eh?

We can take the example of my totally real friend (I didn't make him up or anything) named Theo to illustrate extremely helpful funnels. In this content series, Theo is not only selling his $35 guide to being a digital nomad in Playa del Carmen, but he is also dishing out essential, valuable information for people who might only need a few additional details or for people who can't yet afford his book.

Example-Funnel-from-Theo.png

That funnel looks super sexy and helpful, right?

But you may have noticed a very key thing is missing. "Traffic" as the marketers say. Humans as I like to call them. How are human-actual-people going to become aware of Theo's amazing free video on "A day in the life of a digital nomad in Playa del Carmen" to begin with? In order for a funnel to work, you need a flow of new people being introduced to your brand or offer.

Getting people to the start of your funnel . . .

There are countless ways someone can become aware of Theo's video (or his free checklist, or his workshop, or his email training series, or whatever he chooses to share):

  • Theo might share a link to his video in a Facebook Group for digital nomads that he's a part of

  • Theo might share his link on Instagram

  • Someone might tweet out about Theo's video/resource

  • People could find his video from a pin on Pinterest or a Facebook Live video

  • . . . and so on

BUT. How can Theo create a consistent stream of the right kind of people landing on his resources? People who are interested in travel, digital nomading, living abroad, doing freelance work on the Internet, etc.?

One seriously epic way is to invest a little time learning how to target, and scale with, Facebook ads.

And I have some seriously cool examples for you in this article. But first, know this: I used to be so epically scared of Facebook ads. I was 100% sure (in my state of ignorance) that they were going to waste my time and money.

Then I started paying attention to various friends of mine online. Like Aby Moore, second from the right in the image below---she drove hundreds of dollars in sales on a workbook from $130 in Facebook ad spend. Or like the amazing Kimra Luna, on the left below---her love affair with Facebook ads started when she spent $400 and got 1000 people signed up for her first business webinar. 

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I watched how my friend (and former client) Courtney Sanders absolutely blew up online---the good way. She didn't start testing out thousands of dollars. She started testing out a $100 ad spend and getting back $196 in sales of a 7-day challenge---as she explains in the slide towards the left above.

And of course, I've been watching two people I admire a ton, Verick Wayne (my friend since undergrad)---as he got more and more passionate about Instagram and Facebook and paved the way for me to use them more effectively, and Andrew Hubbard---a genius Facebook ads strategist who works with course sellers, event hosts, and more.

And after all these examples and lessons, I decided to give Facebook ads a serious try. The results have been kinda magical, and today I want to be a ShareBear and share as much as possible with you. Cuz you know, sharing is caring.

Facebook ads funnels aren't scary, and they can be totally human and warm.

We're going to get into four super clutch examples based on four pretty common product/business models that you might be pursuing or considering. 

You may be selling:

  1. Courses and eBooks

  2. 1-on-1 services like consulting and freelancing

  3. Masterminds or group coaching programs

  4. Tickets to live and virtual events

We're going to take some examples from a book I created on funnels, example avatars---one for each of the product models above---and trace out a full, epic, profitable funnel that starts with a targeted Facebook ad. Today we're starting with Facebook ads funnels specifically for course creators or book sellers.

How to Create a Facebook Ads Funnel to Sell Your Course or eBook on Autopilot

Let's revisit this Theo character from one of my books. Remember . . . he is selling a digital guide (eBook and an accompanying video or two) on living and working internationally in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

 Theo is getting a Facebook ads funnel

Theo is getting a Facebook ads funnel

Step 1: Create a Compelling Offer to Start off Your Facebook Ads Funnel

 The start of a Facebook ads funnel

The start of a Facebook ads funnel

Theo might start with a simple Facebook ad that he targets at anyone who has similar habits (on Facebook) to his website visitors---he can do this by installing a piece of code on his site (a Facebook pixel) and then creating a "lookalike" audience in his Facebook ads account.

In addition to the fact that the people he targets "look like" people who already visit his website, he might also make a condition of his ad that it's only shown to people who also like a popular digital nomad Facebook page, are between the ages of 23 - 38, and use Gmail as their primary email provider.

His Facebook ad can be a simple 90-second video (maybe where he's simply holding his phone on a selfie stick and walking around key spots in his city during the day---with good light---sharing 2 or 3 key tips about being a digital nomad).

His video ad can direct people to a landing page on his website where they can sign up (with their name and email address) for two more videos in his series---one that explains the ways you can make money as a digital nomad and one that explains the basics of living internationally.

Pro tip: Theo can use the "thank you" page after people sign up for his free videos to lightly (or fully and directly) mention the $35 guide he sells. This can help sales trickle in immediately and pay for his Facebook ads. But, since he's still giving free value, it won't turn off most (reasonable) people to get a special offer of an affordable digital guide.

Personal story side note: I've used this "redirect to special offer" method before to drive over $10,000 in sales of an online course immediately after people signed up for a free workshop series.

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Step 2: Follow Up with a Reminder and Some Helpful Info/Resources

Since Theo recently collected people's email addresses, he can send a follow-up email, 3 days after they initially signed up for his list, re-linking to the videos (in case his subscribers missed them), and giving some new, relevant information to his audience.

 Funnel Email Example for Selling an eBook or Course on Autopilot

Funnel Email Example for Selling an eBook or Course on Autopilot

^^ In this email, Theo is combatting a common objection/fear he hears about moving abroad through a well-researched government report on the low crime rates in the city he lives in. He's also giving people a chance to check out a free podcast series he created with some amazing fellow digital nomads, or to join his free Facebook group and/or buy his $35 guide.

Personal story side note: Theo's funnel is very similar to how I've sold a graphic design course in the past. Facebook ad >> to workshop >> to helpful email chain with more videos/info >> to purchase. The course was priced at $175, and even though only a small percentage of people purchased it, it was enough to pay for the ads and make a nice profit. Having a smart email list-building strategy is sooooo important that we created a full 5-day email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you . . . And it's free. 

Step 3: Re-Target People on Facebook AND Send Another Educational/Motivational Email

Here's where some next level cool stuff comes in. You may or may not know that most entrepreneurs and businesses online are getting open rates on their emails between 17% and 25%. No, I'm serious. Check out this report (updated in 2017) by MailChimp.

That means that for every 100 people you send your emails to, 80 of them don't open it. That's serious.

But, it's not the end of the world. There are almost 2 billion people on Facebook, so it's a good bet that a lot (if not all) of your ideal audience members are on Facebook.

So, instead of relying solely on email to deliver your funnel (let's say it goes out to 1000 people one month . . . you want more than 170 or 200 people getting it, right?) . . . why not add a Facebook ad into your funnel?

You're increasing the chances that the right person will see your content at the right time. So, let's look at what Theo does and see if it can give you some ideas.

We know that Theo already had people landing on a "thank you" page on his site after they signed up for his video series that they learned about through his Facebook ad (and/or some other means---he can always share his series using free methods as well).

Let's call that thank you page TheoTravels.com/video. Someone would have only landed there if they'd signed up for his series.

Theo can go inside his Facebook ads account and now create an audience (basically, a group of people to show ads to) that will only include people who've seen that specific page on his site . . . so the audience consists only of people who signed up for his offer.

And here's where he goes NEXT LEVEL.

 Here's how to set up a hack to create a Facebook Ads Funnel

Here's how to set up a hack to create a Facebook Ads Funnel

Theo can create that audience out of people who've been on that page at least 3 days ago, but no longer than 10 days ago. Or whatever numbers he chooses. Why would he do this?

If he knows he's about to spend money to show an ad to people in his funnel, why not make sure they signed up for his resource at least 3 days ago (meaning they've had time to watch the videos and "warm up" to Theo) but not longer than 10 days ago (so he can keep the audience relevant and fresh---someone may not remember him from 33 days ago or may not be as concerned about the topic anymore).

He (and you and I) can essentially then spend money on just the people who have already shown a high level of interest in what we're talking about. And because of the way Facebook "Audiences" work, people will automatically be added and removed from the group of people we're showing ads to based on the conditions we set up.

So on Day 11 after signing up for Theo's resource and landing on his "video" page, that person will no longer be shown the ad for the second piece of the funnel (let's say piece #2 is a case study). If they haven't taken advantage of it by then, why spend money trying to make them? Also, Theo can add a condition that this audience he's showing an ad to on days 3 - 10 doesn't include anyone who has already visited the case study's landing page.

#Brilliant.

So to summarize, 2 - 5 days after someone initially signs up for a resource from you, you can start targeting them with an ad that takes them to the next content piece in your funnel. Simultaneously, you can schedule another email that also takes them to the next piece in your funnel. Adding in the *hopefully* high-converting ad to your email plan will increase the number of people who actually see your next funnel piece.

 The second ad in your Facebook ads funnel

The second ad in your Facebook ads funnel

 Funnel Email Example for Selling an eBook or Course

Funnel Email Example for Selling an eBook or Course

Step 4: Continue to Use a Combination of the Custom Audience "Hack" in Step 3, and Funnel Emails Spaced a Few Days Apart, to Deliver a Few More Resources

Remember, Theo still has a blog post on how to get great Internet speeds in Playa, his own case study of how he lives and works for under $1500/month, and a lesson on getting the proper visas and permits to stay legally in Mexico.

 Example Funnel from Theo

Example Funnel from Theo

He can choose to create an ad for some, none, or all of his remaining funnel content pieces (videos, articles, podcast episodes, and more)---pieces that always link or invite people to purchase his guide or a different resource/course he sells. And, he can definitely, for free, create an email to go out every few days for the rest of his funnel content.

If he's using email software like ConvertKit (the one I use), then as soon as someone buys his guide, he can make sure they stop receiving funnel emails to promote the guide---all of this is done "automagically" with no extra work from Theo after he initially sets up the action/reaction in ConvertKit.

And that my human friend, is how someone can use Facebook ads to sell a course or eBook on "autopilot." Cool, right? Want more examples like this? And pssssst, if you liked this dive on funnels (I know this lesson was pretty detailed), you might just love our email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you. . .  Just saying. I know this lesson was pretty detailed, but I break down the process of smart email list-building in bite sized pieces here.

I'll see you super soon for Part 2 of this series. Excited? Leave a comment below with a funnel idea you have for your own content (no matter how rough an idea). I want to hear about it.

Regina out.

23 Types of Audio, Video, and Other Media You Can Add to Your Course (or Blog) to Make It Even More Epic

23 Types of Audio, Video, and Other Media You Can Add to Your Course (or Blog) to Make It Even More Epic

Not that text lessons and articles aren't super valuable, but in the interest of making your online courses (or blog in general) more accessible, delightful, and useful for different learning styles, it is a good idea to explore the many types of media you can create---easily---and most often without any investment at all other than your time. Check out the 23 types of media below that you can add to your online course, website, blog, landing pages, and more to create a more valuable and user-friendly experience for your students and audience.