Business Models: Your Strategic Roadmap To Success


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Business models have become the new groundwork for competition, replacing product benefits and features as the playing field from which companies emerge as dominant. But what exactly are they? Quite simple, really: they're methods through which your business creates, captures, and delivers value -- and defining, reinventing, and evolving these models are the core of your strategy work. It takes a bit of research and planning, sure, but with well-defined goals and motivation, business models are easy to communicate and grow.

Check out our online courses for more tips on how we've used business models to generate attractive profits and establish growth platforms:


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Business Models: Your Strategic Roadmap To Success

  1. 1. BUSINESS MODELS Position yourself for success. David: Hi guys, welcome to the Melbourne SEO Services Workshop, and I’m really excited today to share with you what I’ve been working on. I’ve been in internet marketing now for the past ten or eleven years and I’ve been using internet marketing to build up my own network of sites and for my own business. Now it’s evolved into what’s turned into Melbourne SEO. I’m not going to hold anything back. I’m going to make sure I share all my good material today. I thought I might kick things off by telling you a little bit of a story. Just recently I headed over to the States. I had a workshop that I was going to. So very much like you guys going to a workshop, I’m constantly learning. I flew over to the States, went to Florida to see a guy called Richard Bandler. For those of you who don’t know, he co-created something called NLP, which is neuro linguistic programming. There are a whole lot of components to it, lots to do with language patterns, patterns in your mind, a lot of hypnosis things as well. I found it really fascinating. It was an event that I was very much looking forward to. About ten years ago when I first got introduced to his work, I set myself a goal. I said, yes, at some point I’m going to go over and attend one of his seminars. So I flew over to Florida. It was a three or four day event. I was really excited for the day and really curious to find out what he was going to talk about. I just knew he was a master at his craft. I was really surprised at how much material he crammed into those four days. There was so much there that I thought at the time, how is all of this going to sink in? I know all of it will sink in. What I did was, I thought, I’m just going to it all float in and drift down into my mind and then when it needs to pop up, it will. Now I’m three months later and I’m still finding that I’m getting these insights. Little things will pop up and I’ll say, oh, I know how to handle that situation, or, oh, I know what I should do here. So the reason I tell you that is, I know we’re going to cover a lot of material today. I think what you’ll find is, as long as you get the broad concepts, we’ll organize to get you the DVDs afterwards, but afterwards, then you can go back and re-work through it. It is all going to sink in. 1
  2. 2. I think one of the things I learned most about this seminar that I went to, or one of the key insights that Richard provided, was the way that people view the world. Everybody views the world in a different way. Very early on in his career he looked at the difference between good spellers and bad spellers. This is a good example of the different ways people process the world. A good speller, he found, what they would do was very different from a bad speller. A bad speller would sit there and try and sound out the word. They’d sit there and say c-a-t. That works all well and good for easy words but once it gets a little bit more difficult, that’s where bad spellers get into trouble. When they compared that to very good spellers, they had a completely different strategy, the way that they’d approach it. What they actually did was visualize the word. They’d see it. He asked these kids because kids don’t have any filter, and he said, explain to me the experience you’re having when you’re thinking about spelling words. Basically all the kids who were really good spellers visualized the words in front of their eyes. All that they were doing was reading out the letters. They could spell the words just as easily forwards as they could backwards. All that they were doing was reading the letters. Everybody’s given the same information that they process. But that is two different ways on how it’s processed and it’s the difference between being good at something and being bad at something. Richard took this a step further after he had this insight. He actually started doing some training for the US military when they discovered how good he was at what he did. He analyzed what successful shooters, people who were really good at shooting, if they have a handgun, some people are really accurate and some people weren’t. It wasn’t the gun, they were all given the same gun and they all had the same training up until that point. He asked about the experience of what the good shooters were doing. The good shooters said they imagined a little laser site shooting out the top of their gun even though there wasn’t a laser site, they imagined it in their mind’s eye. Then they’d line up the point at which they wanted to shoot, and they’d shoot and they were really accurate. He taught this strategy to people who weren’t very good shooters. Almost instantaneously, by just imagining there was the laser pointer, improved their accuracy tenfold. 2
  3. 3. The reason I tell you these stories, never tell a story without making a point, the point I’m trying to make here is that I’ve been doing SEO for a very long time. I’m going to teach you the strategies I use both for my online marketing and SEO. It’s going to be a bit of a combination there. I’ll give you the strategies that I use, that I’ve tested over many years and then you can take them and run with them and hopefully you can have similar success. What I know I’ll jump straight into the presentation. One of the first things we need to look at is just to make sure you select the right business model. I’ll talk you through business model. I touched on this before but I’ll teach you everything I know today. I’m not going to be holding anything back. As you can see, it is for my staff and we actually take these DVDs and we send them to our virtual assistants offshore. That way they can watch it and they then get the same training. Basically you ask me anything and I’ll tell you exactly how I do it. I’ll try and explain as best as I can. My goal for the day is obviously I want to give you that massive brain dump, let it all sink in. Over time when the situation arises when you need to call on that information, it will all pop up because it is all going in there. As you work through this as well, I find a lot of people when they go through internet marketing seminars, sometimes what they’ll do it is all about consume, consume. It’s never about application. So throughout this seminar, the question you need to be asking yourself is, how can I take what David’s talking about now and apply it to my own business? That’s the way you’ll get the most out of it. My other goal is, I want to make sure that you guys look back on today, after you guys are really successful internet marketers and you’re kicking goals and you’re banking the big bucks, all those sorts of good things, I want you to look back on today and realize, hey, that was a really key point, one of those leverage points that provided that turning point. That’s my goal. 3
  4. 4. Plan of attack So the first thing, talking about the plan of attack, you need to define your objectives and make sure why it is that you’re building. We’re not building websites just for the sake of building websites. So many people out there will build different WordPress sites, build web 2.0 sites and they don’t have that objective clearly defined before they start. A lot of those techniques, I just mentioned a few there, building pages, a lot of those work as sites to funnel traffic back to your website. If you have that objective as to why you’re doing it, when we talk about business models in a moment, you’ll say right, I’m looking to generate leads, I’m looking to get views, I’m looking to get opt ins. Whatever it is, make sure that objective is clear so that way when you start building, you’re meeting that objective. Also the importance of running a business, you are running a business, you’re building a business and I think you should be adding long term value. When I first got started, I was very much looking for these quick fix, get rich quick and I’ll talk about some of the different strategies and methods I have implemented over the years. Some were successful, some weren’t, but when push comes to shove, it is all about adding value. You get rewarded for the value you bring to the marketplace and that is a Jim Rohn quote for those of you who know. That’s very true. You want to make sure that you’re really adding value and you’re building for the long term. House of cards I’m not so much about building websites that are churn and burn. Websites you put them up and then you do some sneaky black hat things to try and get them to rank and then Google finds it out and then ends up banning them. I used to do a lot of that sort of thing, but now I’ve discovered you’re much better off building a good solid system that makes sure you’re adhering to a lot of Google’s guidelines. I built a little bit of a house of cards early on in my career and this comes back to the idea of making sure you build a good business model or you build on sound principles. 4
  5. 5. One of the early things I did was, I had my AdSense adventure as I call it. That’s when I first registered a whole lot of domain names and put up websites using public domain works taken from Yanik Silver’s Public Domain Goldmine, these CDs he brought out. Public domain works for those who don’t know, are works that, after a certain number of years, get released, they are copyright free and you can take them and reuse that work. We registered over five hundred domain names, put all of these up. I was trying to be really careful. I made sure I had them on different hosting accounts, I made sure I spread out the IP addresses for the different hosts so it didn’t look like it was all interlinked together. Silly me, not thinking you link sites together just by having AdSense on them because they’re all using the same AdSense account. So I went down this path making sure I had different names registered, tried to segregate different markets. I did AdSense and I also did Yahoo’s Publisher Network as well. I started to build up a significant income. Google has this thing with their AdSense program, their terms of service, they don’t like you to have multiple accounts, but with a little bit of creative thinking using your mother’s maiden name and a few other things like that, you can open multiple accounts. So we had a few multiple accounts and segregated all these five hundred sites into a different network. Then we went about the process of driving as much traffic as we could. We did some on page optimization to make sure those keywords were the highest paying ones being displayed on the website and then we were getting paid out. I built that ‘business’ up, and I call it ‘business’. We had three accounts and each one got up to about $3000 a month in recurring revenue. Then Google came knocking and the first thing they said was, on one of your accounts we’ve detected invalid clicks. I had an assistant in the Philippines who was also logging into my accounts who thought he was helping me out by clicking one of the ads. Google didn’t like it and he’d been doing it quite a lot. So they banned that account. There’s not too much you can do. Sadly AdSense, Google is the judge, jury and executioner when it comes to that business, there’s not really much leeway there. That was like the calm before the storm. The second AdSense account I get an email from Google saying, hey we’ve found one of your sites is offending, it’s not adhering to our terms of service, could you please rectify it? I emailed them back, ok fine, I’ve got a very large network, I want to make sure I stay on the right side of you guys. Can you please tell me what is wrong with it and I’ll fix it straight away? No, sorry, we can’t do that, just read the terms of service and you’ll have to fix it up. 5
  6. 6. Day two, we’ve found another site that is offending. Please, I just emailed you yesterday, can you help me out? I don’t want to lose this account, it’s a significant part of my business and I want to make sure that this doesn’t happen. No, sorry, make sure you go and read the terms of service and you need to fix it really quickly otherwise we will be banning your account. Day number three, sorry we’ve found another one of your sites offending and then they canned the whole account. I think I learned very quickly after that, is you don’t want to build a business that relies on someone else. Google effectively could very quickly pull the rug from out beneath me and I was up the creek without a paddle. The next thing we did was we converted them over to selling public domain works, they were all public domain works anyway. We started selling the books for $17. I built up a good business that way. The only thing is it was so diverse, I don’t know if that is a really diverse model and I don’t know how much value I was adding to people’s lives. These books were out of print, written in the sixties and I’m dressing them up, putting a nice e book cover on them to make sure they look pretty so that someone is going to buy them on ClickBank or through PayPal. Meagan can probably tell you, we had a few sites that were written back in the sixties that were probably politically incorrect as well. We decided that’s probably not a direction that we want to head down. The reason I tell you these is hopefully to get the point across that you need to be adding value and making sure that your end user is getting something out of it and you’re building a business based around you, not that is reliant on someone else. Finally we had Mr. Hemorrhoids. This wasn’t so much my situation, but rather a client’s. A client contacted me when we launched Melbourne SEO Services and said, look, I want your help. Can you do some work on the website? I took a look at it. Basically it was an affiliate site. He was selling a hemorrhoid book and he was selling it as an affiliate. I think the book sold for $60 and he was getting a $30 affiliate commission. I said, let’s do some basic maths here. Even at our entry level price for our Melbourne SEO Services package, we’re talking about $3000 as the entry price. If he’s making $30 per sale, he needed to sell 100 copies. 6
  7. 7. Of those 100 copies, let’s just say traffic that he sent to the website selling the book was really well written and he was converting at 5%. Five percent is pretty high for a website. Let’s just conservatively say even if it converted at 5%, he’d need to send 2000 unique visitors to that website before he’d get enough copies sold to make it worthwhile. The site that he’d shown me was a WordPress blog that had different articles on it and he was trying to drive links to it. It had lots of pages and then he wanted to funnel that traffic over. He hadn’t really done a very good way of driving the traffic over either. He didn’t have that objective in mind, so it wasn’t very clear to someone visiting the site what their action should be. Let’s say if he could get 10% of all the traffic that arrived at his site, he’d need 20,000 people if they converted at 10% to head over there and then 5% to buy, and then he’d sell 100 copies. We needed to drive 20,000 people to his website just to break even. The reason I tell you this is, I suppose I come from a little bit of a financial background as well for those of you who don’t know and you need to know that your numbers stack up as well. You want to make sure that you do your maths and we’ll talk about building a funnel and all of that and making sure that you’ve got the appropriate `back end to make sure it is worthwhile. For him, he wasn’t even doing name capture, so it just wasn’t a worthwhile endeavour. Skinning a cat I’m going to talk about a few of the ways that I’ve been successful online. There are plenty of different ways to be successful online. There really are. There are plenty of ways you can skin a cat. You just need to pick one. Make sure that you add value and then you can master that. 7
  8. 8. Information products I’ll just talk you through three of the models that I have successfully done. The first one that I’ll talk about is information products. The good things about information products are they are high profit, there’s a lot of profit margin in them. When I launched my Triple Your Trading Profits DVDs, they sell for $297 and it costs us $50 if that to film it. Some of our other products are higher priced, we’ve got a lot more margins built in. There are two ways you can go about it. You can either find an expert or become an expert. I worked with Stuart McPhee who actually generated a lot of the content. I also created some content in the stock market area as well. If you guys don’t have a business model, I know a lot of you already have businesses so I will scoot through some of this. It’s only applicable more so if you don’t know what your business model is yet. Once you find an expert or decide that you’re going to create the content, the next thing that you want to do is build a little bit of a funnel. This comes to the idea I was talking about, making sure when you do build a business, you make sure that you think through how you’re going to monetize it and you’re not just selling a $30 e book. The way I worked it is, I had a front end lead generator which is my Ultimate Trading Systems which is a book I sold at a very low dollar value. It was about $7, I still sell it for $7. It introduces people to all of my other products. It’s excellent quality material that you can take and run with, just what I give them in the e book. I also say, hey, if you want a little bit more, then go ahead and purchase all of these other products. That’s where I introduce them to all my other products. 8
  9. 9. We’ve got different things like the Metastock Programming Study Guide. This is usually a cheap front end, then you have your mid tier, so we’ve got the Trading Secrets Revealed, STOT and any number of things where they are priced anywhere from $97 up to the $500 mark. These are mainly home study courses. They don’t really require much of my time other than we just organized for them to be fulfilled out. We use Speaker Fulfillment Services so we don’t have to send anything out anyway. That’s the first stage. The next stage is they all trickle down into our online Trading Mastermind which is a little bit more of the back end, so it is recurring revenue. We’ve actually just recently made some changes there. The idea then is you want to have a recurring revenue stream or something like that where that is going to continue to build your business over time. Further down the funnel, this is where you have high end products. You might have personal coaching where you give some time away or seminars, workshops, that type of thing. Ecommerce This comes back to the idea of making sure you build a very good business model. Some of these sites we’ll be looking at today as well. Another method that has been very successful for me has been the e commerce. Those of you who don’t know as well, I have another business, it is a rock ’n roll clothing store, still spruiking the wares. So if you need triple stud belt you can approach me during the break, I’ve got some in the car. We’ve got a store and we do a little bit of online business as well. The good thing about online business when you’re doing for e commerce is, it’s a lot higher turnover. The good thing about e commerce is you can build lots of product pages and all of them will be very highly targeted for the product name. So from an SEO point of view, it’s very easy to pick up these long tail phrases that will convert really highly because you’re going for these buying phrases. We drive over 1000 unique visitors a day to Planet 13 online. I think there are over 2000 products, so there are more than 2000 pages on there, there are different category pages and so on. 9
  10. 10. That business is 100% free traffic, we don’t have any paid traffic or anything like that and it outdoes one of the old stores that we used to have. That is online and we have one person who works part time and the overheads, when you compare it to a retail store and you’re spending $7000 a month just to rent out a place in Greensborough Plaza, it’s worlds apart. So we’re really shifting towards that. There is a lot of opportunity for on page and internal linking as well because of the size of the website and we can talk a little bit more about that. Selling services Then we’ve got selling services. For selling services, just be mindful, I’ve never been a big advocate of this because you’re selling your time for dollars. If you’re going to do that, just make sure you’re selling at a really high price. If you’re going to be selling your time for $20, that’s time you’re never going to get back. We all know it is the most important asset we’ve got, so you want to be careful there. That said though, it is a very easy opportunity, there are a lot of people who just don’t do things well. I think the vast majority of people don’t execute very well. You want to make sure that you can add value and you want to make it better. You have a look at what other people are doing and then you just make it that little bit better. I know doing some coaching with Ben and some of the other team as well where we mapped out a little bit of a strategy for his business and we talked about creating the menu and creating what is our offering going to be and trying to separate and make ourselves different from the competition out there. It is actually quite easy to do. For selling services I suggest what you do is give away a free report and collect optins and add videos. If you do those things, it will put you head and shoulders above everybody else. The free report which we can talk about in a little bit more detail, you can see on Melbourne SEO Services. The dentist, who is a client of ours, the example is there. We don’t actually do it there, or not yet because we have only just started working with him. The idea is, you want to build up that data base so that you can continue to market them. 10
  11. 11. Also the use of video which Ben has had a big part in, making sure our videos look really good and you’ll see on Melbourne SEO Services, we’re not marketing to internet marketers there, but it is a really crisp, clean website and we’ve had numerous people, clients who’ve contacted us who say the reason I went to work with you guys is because after I had a look at it, I felt like I knew you and I connected with you. The never fail system If you’re still not sure after those, those are the three that I’ve proven. I’ve told you the ones that didn’t work, I’ve told you the ones that I’ve tried that have worked. I’ll give you the never fail system. The never fail system is that you need to just pick a niche. Start building a list, ask the list what they want and then go and grab an affiliate product. There are different ways you can market other people’s affiliate products. Make sure that it sells, that they’re going to buy whatever avenue you’re going to go down. Once you’ve proven that, then you create your own product and you do it that little bit better. That is the perfect system. Frank Kern talked about this recently, for those of you who saw, he had a video out, that is the never fail system. Create the machine I’ll just talk about this briefly to do with creating a machine as well. Is there money in the back end? I did an interview recently with a guy called Jim Fleck. He’s one of those old school direct response people. He’s been around back with Dan Kennedy, Jeff Paul and all of those guys. He’s been around for a million years. 11
  12. 12. We were having a discussion the other day and he said that most people say the money is in the back end. I alluded to the idea that you need to make sure that your numbers are right. But the insight that he gave me was that you need to be focusing on your front end. You create an automated back end system so you generate your products and create that funnel and then you shift your attention across. You find out what the value of your client is and by doing that, you figure out how much did we sell over a certain period of time and how many clients did we have. That way you can figure out the value of that client. Then you can say, right, if that is how much they’re worth, how much money am I happy to spend to acquire that client? Then you should just shift all of your focus onto lead generation. Make sure that back end is there,, so for you guys who’ve got the marriage ceremonies and the paint protection, you guys who already have the business, you know what your back end is. Now you just need to focus on that front end lead generation and we’ll go through all those things and come up with creative ways to do that. Dave's hot tips Some hot tips from me: competition is good. A lot of people get scared off by competition. Don’t try and find a niche that nobody is in. If nobody’s in it, there is no money to be made. I don’t think you’re going to stumble across something that someone hasn’t seen before. I went after a very competitive niche, the stock market, and I’ve done very well out of it. Go for competition, that is where the money is. High ticket is just as easy to sell as low ticket, sometimes easier. Going for that $17 e book idea that I was talking about before, there really is not much difference between us selling an $8,000 SEO package and a $17 e book. In fact, typically, it can be a lot easier because the clients you’re going to be dealing with are higher quality clients and they’re not going to quibble over $17 or $30 or whatever it is. So if you can sell higher ticket things, do it. If you are looking for a niche, don’t go into internet marketing. I did just try it for a little bit with the SEO method. Internet marketing crowd, I’m not such a fan of. I know you can build a business there, a lot of people do. It is very competitive, refund rates are high, especially if you’re selling things on ClickBank. Meagan and I know, we get amazing feedback on our SEO method. 12
  13. 13. Everybody watches it, they say, that’s gold, I’ve never seen it presented in a way like that, yet our refunds are at about 50% on ClickBank. People can just sit there and ask for a refund and not have to think about it and they didn’t even have to come to us to ask for a refund. So internet marketing crowd is probably not the best business to go into. That’s why we moved over to SEO which is more to do with local businesses. Focus, focus, focus It is important to make sure you focus. I started off with fifty million things going on at once. At any one time, like any serial entrepreneur, you feel like you have ten things on the go. The key where you’ll get the biggest breakthroughs is, if you can push everything aside and say, here is the one business I’m focusing on and then build that one business. We’ve gone through a big process over the last twelve months of trying to cull all these little side projects so we can make one channeled focus into something. You’ll have the biggest breakthroughs when you do that. The example that I like to use is AAABBBCCC, AAABBBCCC. Let’s say each one of those series of As, Bs and Cs is a project. Each project will take one month to get to completion. For us to finish project A it will take us one month. If you’re going to start three projects in month one, and you get a little bit done of each one, you’re not going to see any results until three months down the track. This is just on the three month scale. We know we’re already a quarter of the way into this year and you’re probably wondering, what just happened to the first part of the year? I had all these exciting plans to get things done and we’re already a quarter in. Time moves really quickly. This three months, blow that out to six months, twelve months. If you’re starting multiple projects, you won’t get them through to completion. The best thing you can do is start project 1, go through to completion, and get paid for it. At the end of each of the projects you will get paid. It will help fund the next stage. Focus is key and I’ve been guilty of that one. 13
  14. 14. Just pick one The final thing is I talked about some information products, they are definitely a good way to go. E commerce I’ve made work, selling services. Like I said, there are plenty of ways to skin a cat. You choose one that is going to work for you. Just pick one. 80/20 rule The 80:20 rule, just to sum up for this section here. Quit looking for the Holy Grail. Build something of value which I talked a little bit about. Know your business model’s numbers. You need to make sure you map it out. There are a couple of worksheets at the end of the slides through each of these sections. You need to be asking, how am I going to apply this to what it is that I’m doing? You should start to model what is your funnel. Draw a picture of it at the back of your workbook when you get a chance, saying, here are the products and services I’m selling. Here are the back end services I’m selling. See here if I can build in some sort of continuity or high end. If you have a high end, some people just like to spend more with you because they like to get closer to what it is that you’re doing. Give them that option. If you don’t give them that option, they’re not going to buy your $10,000 package or whatever it may be. Work on your best ideas as well. I had this thing where I’d put off my best ideas thinking I’ll get to those, I’ll just get this base right. The best thing you can do is just start working on your best ideas now. That needs to be your focus. That AA should be whatever your biggest thing is that you think, yes, I’m going to make the biggest thing and I’m going to start on that. Focus is the key to success. 14