online brand strategy

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.

The 6 Most Profitable Blogger Career Paths (and How to Get Started in One)

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Oh man. Listen. I 100% believe what I’m about to say and it IS big. I’m not even necessarily being the overly dramatic version of myself that I normally am. Here it is.

There are six distinct blogger career paths, which if you understand and work on, can absolutely change your world.

I’ve been down each one of these paths in the past, and it is time to share them . . . and to change the careers that we consider, pursue, and build for ourselves.

P.S. Everything below and more is available as an audio file. And here is the flowchart I reference and show.

 How do you make money as a blogger? What careers are there in blogging? Here's a resource to help.

How do you make money as a blogger? What careers are there in blogging? Here's a resource to help.

For years, and years, and years, society has been quick to teach us the traditional career paths of lawyers, and teachers, and plumbers, and even professional basketball players. We know which schools we need to go to, which judge to get an internship with, how to get certified during night school, which recruiters and game stats we should shoot for, etc.

We know that once we become a lawyer, we can look forward to either practicing law at a major firm and trying to make partner, or starting our own firm, or teaching law, or working as a public defender, or working for a major corporation as an attorney, or doing pro bono, or advising a non-profit, or getting into politics and perhaps running for president of our country one day.

Great.

But, what about career paths for bloggers? For content creators? For infopreneurs? For some of these positions and interests that are popping up, making money, and sticking around?

Just as becoming a lawyer doesn’t guarantee you money or clients, but it does provide many paths to monetize (explained above) and many specialties to focus on (family law, corporate issues, intellectual property, taxes, tort law, etc.) and is thus considered a legitimate career . . .

Becoming a blogger doesn’t guarantee income or fame by any stretch of the imaginations, but it does provide many paths (explained below and in the audio file) and practically endless specialties to focus on (food, business, travel, crafts, fitness, accounting, fashion, etc.) that make money and should thus be considered a legitimate career.

I hope they start teaching it in schools everywhere soon. But until then, may I please present my shiny new Blogger Career Paths flowchart with some explanations and notes (if you’re taking them) that I hope will blow your mind? Okay. Let’s get started.

 The 6 Blogging Career Paths

The 6 Blogging Career Paths

The first thing to understand is what is happening in any career path, anywhere, at any time, on any day. You are learning something new in one of two ways. You are either:

  1. Acquiring a skill. or

  2. Acquiring information.

Right? And, depending on which one you are doing, there are quite a few ways that your career path can develop and morph. Plus, keep in mind that you can continually add new skills or information to the mix to tweak your path as new interests and desires come up.

So, let’s break down what the 6 most profitable career paths for bloggers are, and then, you can optionally decide to listen to the audio file above where I break down these Blogger Career Paths into the two actions of acquiring a skill or acquiring information as a starting point.

The 6 Most Profitable Career Paths for Bloggers

Becoming a DFY (done for you) freelancer.

“I like to do X, so I’m going to do it for you, in a customized way.”

Ex: A copywriter for your sales and landing pages. A document designer for your book. An interior designer for your daughter's room.

2. Becoming a coach or consultant in a Dwy (done with you) way.

“I like to show you how to do X successfully.”

Ex: A divorce + transition coach. A yoga coach. A brand or content coach. Like my girl over at JenCarrington.com.

3. Becoming a speaker.

“I want to talk about X to help make it better and advance the way we think about X.”

Ex: A speaker who raises awareness of the dangers of childhood obesity. A speaker who talks with corporations about how to motivate their team members.

4. Becoming a spokesperson.

“I like to do X and talk about X, so I partner with brands that allow me to do so.”

Ex: A food blogger who is an affiliate for products and gets food brands to pay them for special recipes. A fashion blogger who gets money, clothes, and accessories because they make brands look good. A travel blogger who becomes a brand ambassador for a boutique hotel chain (yes, I actually know someone who did this and their niche is not even travel). Me, when WD sponsored me to talk about their personal cloud device.

5. Making products so people can diy their solutions.

“I want to create a way for people to do X better.”

Ex: A blogger who creates an editorial planner (haha, shameless---that's my editorial planner for sale on Amazon.com. No but seriously, the Epic Blog Planner is actually pretty great). Or a fitness blogger who creates an app to help you track your fitness goals. Or a yoga-loving blogger who creates more versatile or sustainable yoga gear or bags. Or the blogger behind the food blog Inspiralized.com who made a popular kitchen tool and cookbook.

6. Becoming a publisher for profit.

“I want to teach a lot of people how to do X in a clear way.”

Ex: A course creator who teaches yoga for rehabilitating a weak back. Or my friend Heather who teaches how to style a bookcase. A blogger-author who sells books on financial planning and independence. A blogger who has published multiple books and now teaches SERVE Academy, an email-list building and sales cycle program. You get the point---there are a lot of ways to publish for profit.

Oooo, when you learn by acquiring a new skill, what are the blogging career paths available to you? And what about when you learn by acquiring info?

I'm so glad you asked this question, ninja friend. I get to that in the podcast episode--I just have a few more tips for you here in this post.

But, let’s take a #secretbreak real quick. Which is, get this, a break in which I tell you a secret.

I'm desperately passionate about helping you find the blogging career that makes sense for you, your learning passions, and the people you like to talk to and help or entertain. I'm passionate about it because I have tested and seen many monetization methods in each career path (as in: there's more than just one way to make money as a "spokesperson"), and at some point in the last few years, I've done each of these careers for full-time income. 

No seriously, it was just about learning and growing.

And testing. And you know what?

It IS possible to pursue blogging as a career . . . it just needs to be approached wisely.

So, you will notice, especially as you listen to the episode and take a gander at the flowchart, one common theme that helps you monetize scalably is to figure out a process with what you do, and then figure out how to make it better (through products, or tools, or coaching/guidance), how to explain it better (through organized information), or how to present it better. These ALL deal with publishing information.

  • Visual information.

  • Written information.

  • Information as tutorials or videos.

  • Audio files.

  • There are a lot of options.

And I want to help you navigate them. I’m not gonna just leave you like “Yay. Blogging careers are real. Go find one.”

Here’s the deal. Carving a career for yourself out of this new industry requires (1) something you are passionately interested in---and p.s. you can test things out and binge-do the Internet to start finding out what that is if you don’t already know, and (2) being consistent about creating value out of what you’re passionately interested in. How to create content that wins will be a focus of the next few episodes of the #StayScrappy podcast and of the posts on this blog . . . but . . .

At the very least . . . you can start by taking our free 5-day email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you. 

Then, if you’re feeling good about your setup and wanting to move forward, please feel free to check out ALL the free content here on the blog to see if that gives you what you need, or, if you're ready to super duper pursue this, you can come join us in SERVE Academy.

Regina out.

The 7 Types of Online Workshops You Can Host

Oh, hey there. Regina here. Talking about one of the most exciting (to me) forms of content ever. Ever, ever. Like, my friends, and other epic people that I belong to online communities with, all know that this is the type of content that currently makes my world go 'round. I mean, basically.

Online workshops.

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 Tors Grantham quote - Thanks, Tors. You rock.

Tors Grantham quote - Thanks, Tors. You rock.

The lovely Tors even said this:

And here's the deal. There are a few super valid reasons to start with workshops if you want to get into info products, or build your email list, or create content that you can re-package as an opt-in or bonus, or show yourself as a coach or expert on a topic you're passionate about. Tons of epic reasons.

Like, 8, to be specific.

Hosting workshops . . .

1. Helps people start to see you as a teacher and an expert in your niche. A compelling workshop topic, attractive graphics to support your event, a simple signup process, and a helpful agenda + worksheet to go along with it and you will seem professional, experienced, and amazing.

This impression goes a long way whether you’re providing services, trying to line up speaking opportunities, or creating information products, membership programs, or coaching/mastermind groups.

2. Encourages you to create actionable worksheets, tips, and content so that you can see if you even have enough material, information, etc. to create a full course/program out of your topic, or if it might be better as a book, or if it should be a one-on-one service, or be left alone as a workshop, or abandoned completely, or done as a collaboration, or made into a group program, etc.

3. Gives you tons of bundling and packaging options. You can use your workshop as a free opt-in event conducted live, a free opt-in conducted live and then packaged as an evergreen opt-in or product bonus, a free opt-in conducted live and then sold afterward, or a paid product . . . among other options.

4. Allows you to test out EVERYTHING. It would be horrible to waste time (or money) developing something as intense as a course or book that turns out to not actually work for you or your audience. Developing worksheets, slides, and a script or bullet points of info for your workshop will help you figure out if the content works for you, of course, but actually presenting the information to your audience will allow you to get a real understanding of how it works for them. Was it too long? Too short? Too hard? Too confusing? Just right? Etc.

5. Helps you create a larger product or series as you go. Instead of planning one major resource (think course, online school, etc.) and leaving it looming over you, you’re able to plan it and create small sections/modules of it as workshops. #Brilliant

6. Gives you an additional price point to serve your audience with, as well as a different level of intensity/urgency of information---many times, a workshop will be more actionable and comprehensive than a blog post, eBook, or other type of resource.

Serving your audience at varying levels of need (amount of information, price, learning style, etc.) is a way to show you care and to impress your ideal people.

7. Allows you to have a more personal, more in-depth Q+A session with your audience (than sending a survey via email or some such method). It’s more valuable for them and more valuable for you. They get their questions answered live and you get way more feedback or input that you can apply to a paid product or service. If you listen to the questions and chat happening during a workshop, you may literally get ideas for the exact words to use and the exact way to frame your paid products to build a better item and get better sales results.

8. Gets you used to creating videos. Whether you decide to screencast, share presentation slides, or turn the camera on yourself to present, you will get used to creating videos, editing, getting good sound, being more and more comfortable on screen/audio, hosting videos, and more. Speaking of videos and more, check out our article on 23 Types of Audio, Video, and Other Media You Can Add to Your Course (or Blog) to Make It Even More Epic

If you decide to create full courses, or make videos a significant part of your content strategy, then completing workshop after workshop will only make you more awesome at creating videos and courses in general.

 

The 7 Types of Online Workshops

Now. Let's borrow some material from our epic 5-day email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you. Let's talk about the seven types of workshops you can use to help drive awareness and sales of your product, build an audience, or slow-build a larger course or product.

 The 7 Types of Online Workshops You Can Host

The 7 Types of Online Workshops You Can Host

1. Bootcamps

A multi-day, multi-session bootcamp is a great way to both build a community around a specific topic or goal and teach something that requires more time than a single workshop might allow. Bootcamps are also a clever way to promote a product that is on the expensive side for your audience. Why? Because having multiple events, a community, and extra chances to see how helpful you are gives people additional time to make an investment decision and more reasons to feel good about that decision.

In the following example from an older course, I wasn't promoting any specific paid product with this course but I certainly could have used it in that way.

2. Online Workshops

These are so much more than your typical webinar. Think of classes that last 2+ hours and come with worksheets, videos, or some type of additional resources. As an example, I'll throw out The Infopreneur Workshop--a 2.5-hour training and 15-page workbook.

You can use online workshops to increase signups to your email list, to make a profit, or to promote a paid product/service. I generally structure most of my workshops as "information only," but if you spend hours training people for free, and several hours preparing for that training and creating epic materials, it's certainly acceptable that you'd want to pitch a product during that time.

To handle selling in online workshops, I'd recommend:

  • letting people know ahead of time that you'll be telling them about a specific product during the workshop--but that you won't take up too much time on it

  • starting off the workshop strong, without selling

  • gradually bringing in materials and giving your audience access to things that are exclusive to your product

  • explaining your product and any special deal on it toward the end of your workshop

  • opening up a Q+A at the very end where people can ask questions about the workshop material or your course

3. Q+As or Office Hours

You can host live Q+A sessions (or even IG Lives or Periscopes) covering topics that are a part of your expertise to help people, show a more personal side, or lightly hint and direct people towards one of your services or products.

You can answer questions that were previously submitted and/or answer questions asked during the broadcast. You can prepare worksheets or note sheets ahead of time or leave the event entirely open to whatever direction it may go in.

Hint: If you are using Q+As to help promote a product, they are super effective when a product is about to launch or when the price of the product is going up soon. This can cause the right kind of excitement and urgency with your audience.

Example: You have a product called Get Growing (How to Grow Your Own Produce, Even With a Small Backyard), and you have an office hours session called The Grow Your Own Produce Q+A in which you let people know that the price of Get Growing is going up in 7 days, but you also answer tons of questions on growing your own produce.

4. Live Trainings

When you want to show software, tips + tricks, or a specific method/process, a targeted live training may be your best bet. These will likely be shorter than your 2+ hour workshops, and they can be some of your most popular events.

I've done live trainings on things such as:

  • designing your email funnels

  • creating a Visual Toolkit for your brand

  • making an email style guide (hosted with Kory Woodard)

  • creating a book layout in Apple Pages

  • and more

What types of things can you show your audience how to do, or how to do better, in 30 to 90 minutes?

Here are two things to keep in mind about your live trainings:

  • Often your live trainings can be smaller portions of a larger course or series. You can do them to help you build your content over time.

  • Even if you have a small audience, or absolutely no live audience, making your trainings happen anyways means you'll have epic stuff to fill your YouTube channel with or use for opt-ins to your email list. One of my most watched videos (the tutorial shown above), has gotten 99% of its views after the original air date. You can create content that does wonders for your brand even if no one shows up to the original thing. Actually, there's less pressure that way.

5. Workshop Series

Think of a workshop series as a collection of online workshops or live trainings all focused around the same topic (getting started in home gardening, growing your email list, etc.) or as a specific category/event that happens on a schedule, but topics vary.

This is how Jamie of Spruce Road does her Lunch & Learn series. The topics vary, the co-hosts vary, but they generally all have something to do with design---which is likely what Jamie wants to be known for and is definitely what she is an expert in.

Would a recurring series help you build your list, get consistent with creating content, help you meet cool collaborators, and be a quality way you could regularly promote your paid materials?

Which style of workshop seems to fit your personality best so far? Which one do you think would be best for your audience?

6. Webinars

Short, informative live workshops (typically set up to promote specific products) are called webinars. Often webinar hosts present the audience with a limited-time offer on a course, service, book, or bundle of items.

Webinars can be educational and fun, and often include presentation slides and a Q+A portion. Webinars may or may not come with worksheets and additional resources, but for the most part they are set up to be effective sales venues for a product, so I feel they are often planned with the business owner's goals in minds more so than audience goals.

If you choose to opt for a webinar (which is not a bad thing if it's the solution that makes the most sense for you), try to think about what your audience is gaining from the experience and build in things they can appreciate.

7. Live Mobile Broadcasts (such as Instagram Live, Facebook live, or Periscope)

If you're looking for a more informal broadcast than the ones above, why not break into video using Instagram or another live video app? You can use these for:

  • Q+As

  • Short tutorials

  • Daily/weekly tips

  • Sharing new products and giving demos

  • Creating something live

  • Testing out new content/product ideas

  • Getting feedback

  • Sharing inspiration or meaningful thoughts

  • and more

You could also structure any of the workshop types above as a Periscope broadcast. Instead of screensharing and showing slides, you could "double tap" your phone and use the back camera to show your computer screen.

It would certainly be less formal than a workshop hosted on Google+ Hangouts On Air, Livestream, or another similar tool, but maybe less formal is what you want to go for.

You could use Instagram Lives to:

  • get practice presenting

  • get real-time feedback and interaction

  • help people start to see you as a teacher/coach

  • create videos you could repackage or use elsewhere

So, which type of workshop do you want to start with?

And pssssst, if you liked this mini-lesson, you might just love our email course on building your email list with people who will actually buy from you. Just saying.

How to Create a Mini-Course in 12 Hours

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If you have a moment, I want to help you create a course (an epic “mini-course” to be more specific) that you can give away or sell to your audience, and I want to help you for free. Like seriously, I have a 20-page workbook and 5 training videos waiting for you, but I must start with the brief story of a time, long ago, when I created an entire mini-course in 12 hours.

The story begins in the distant past known as . . . two days ago.

11 a.m. - I woke up // Don’t judge me, I got a late start.

11:15 a.m. - I remembered how I really want to create a quick, free Blog School this weekend to help people plan + create their blogs.

11:17 a.m. - I thought it would be fun to invite other friends across the globe to create their own short courses with me.

11:18 a.m. - I thought, “Maybe I can make it a bit of a challenge and post updates throughout the day.”

11:19 a.m. - Made up my mind and then posted a graphic announcing my plans on Instagram.

 Mini Course Challenge Announcement

Mini Course Challenge Announcement

I started posting YouTube updates as I was creating my initial product (a blog school), which I still plan to finish soon, but then my path morphed a bit. I realized (somewhere in Hour 3 I think) that the mini course I was actually creating was a course on how to create mini courses. Yeah. Very meta of me. It took me a minute to realize it. But see, #whathadhappenedwas:

I was working and posting videos and updates on one thing, but I constantly wanted to develop worksheets, resources, tips, and more for everyone else who was following along and creating their own mini courses.

Shocker, right? If you know me at all, then you know that I live to create and do adult homework. So the day I had so carefully planned out (translation: had not planned out at all really) morphed into the creation of a short course that I want you to be able to take for free.

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And here's the thing, you don't have to jump through any flaming hoops (unless you're really keen to) . . . you get complete access right here. Would I be mad if you tweeted the short tweet below? Not at all.

And, would I complain if you put up with me as I share a few more shots of the workbook? Nope. It was a lot of fun to create.

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So, what's in this "Create a Course in 12 hours" workbook?

The workbook has 20 pages that cover the various sections of the mini-course. Between the five training videos available for free on Youtube and the worksheets, you'll find materials to help you as you:

  • Decide on your topic

  • Identify your people (audience)

  • Create an outline for your course

  • Select the format for each part of the course you are creating

  • Decide on the delivery methods for your course content

  • Think up course promotion ideas

  • Edit your course

  • Format your course documents/videos (+ my secret tip for creating materials quickly)

  • And more (such as a Launch Checklist and lots of videos of me in my Jimi Hendrix shirt)

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Want to take this course for free by watching it on Youtube or right here at the bottom of this post? Don’t forget to grab your workbook right here.

 But let’s be totally up front and honest. Creating a mini course won’t do any good if you don’t have an email list of people interested in your content. . . Want our free email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you? Grab it here