How to start an online personal development business
HOW TO START AN ONLINE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BUSINESS www.kevindohertyonline.com
Building a personal development business is the perfect fit for anyone who wants to create their livelihood while helping others. In this blog post, I want to give you an overview of how to use the internet to build a thriving personal development business in the shortest amount of time possible. I truly believe that internet marketing is one of the most important skill sets you can develop if you want to create worldwide exposure, passive income, and lifestyle freedom while helping others. Let’s talk about how to do this in the most concise way possible.
Your Personal Development Business ~ The Step-by-Step Plan
1. Create a WordPress blog ~ WordPress is the best platform you can use in this day and age to promote your personal development business . When it comes to marketing and content creation, the benefits of WordPress far outweigh static HTML websites. You want a central hub on the internet that you drive most of your traffic to, and a WordPress blog is your best option for this purpose. Now, I don’t recommend that you design the blog yourself. One of the most important factors for your success is the degree to which your blog conveys the professionalism and quality that your business offers. Many small business owners cut corners by self-designing their blog or investing in cheap templatized services. If you’re at all serious about attracting new customers through the internet, you have to invest in a highly professional, clean, and effective blog. ( we do this for our clients; click here to send us some info about your project).
2. Create a free offer ~ Before you even think about bringing people to your personal development blog, you want to make sure that you have an enticing free offer that is positioned in the upper third of the home page. This will be set up as an opt in form where you collect names and emails in exchange for some valuable free information. This step is essential, as one of your primary goals should be to build a large, highly responsive email list. This is the life blood of your online personal development business. You’re going to need a system like Aweber to collect names and emails and set up autoresponder messages. This is one of the email systems I use (along with most of the top online marketers) and it works great.
3. Create an email marketing funnel ~ This is one of the most common mistakes I see made by so many aspiring entrepreneurs who want to take their personal development business online. You need to set up at least a 2 month autoresponder sequence that every lead in your system. Your follow up emails will educate and build trust with your leads. Yes, you can point your leads to different offers and products, but 95% of your email content should be just providing great value for people. Especially in a ‘softer’ market like personal development, people what being sold to… but the LOVE when you genuinely educate and provide value. You can read this blog post on marketing psychology to learn more about the art of selling without selling.
4. Generate traffic ~ Your online success mostly boils down to your skill in generating traffic to your blog. This is honestly the aspect of online marketing that stops most people dead in their tracks. You may have a compelling offer, great services and products, and a powerful email marketing funnel set up, but if you don’t know how to drive a ton of traffic, then it’s all for naught. Because this is such an important topic, we’ll discuss it in more length below.
5. Host live events ~ One of the best ways to convert leads into buyers in the personal development niche is to host live events for your email list and social media networks. In this context, I’m talking more about virtual live events rather than seminars. The best way to do this is by offering regular webinars or teleclasses. Webinars are probably one of the best conversion tools we have, yet very few online entrepreneurs leverage their true power. I use a service called Go To Webinar for all of my webinars and they are fantastic. It’s easy to set up and use and once you get the hang of it, you’ll love how easy it is to market through online webinars. Teleclasses work great as well, but in my experience webinars convert even better. I think it’s because the powerpoint presentation and visual component of the webinar enhance the professionalism and overall quality of your marketing. Teleclasses are easier and cheaper (Go to Webinar is about $100 per month) to use, so if you’re totally new to this, you can definitely start by offering free teleclasses. I use NoCostConference and they work great for this purpose.
6. Create programs that generate residual income ~ By fart the best way to monetize your personal development business is to create products and services that generate recurring revenue. You can do this through offering long-term coaching packages that require monthly payment, building out more high-end offerings that most people will need to get on a payment plan for, or by creating a monthly membership program that costs somewhere between $17-97 per month for members to access. One of the main factors for your long-term sustainability and stability in your personal development business is your monetization model. If you are only able to make money based on the ‘fee-for-service’ model where you’re trading time for money, you’ll soon hit a wall of limitation (and likely frustration). Sure, do some one-on-one work, but charge a premium price for it. You should be able to create more group programs and products at lower prices that many of your leads will find appealing. This will leverage your time better and you’ll be able to help more people who can afford your offerings.
How To Market Your Online Personal Development Business As I mentioned, the main factor by far in your success is how well you market your personal development business. Many service-based entrepreneurs assume that because they are passionate about their work and very talented at what they do, the clients will come flocking in without much effort. Sometimes this does happen, but honestly it’s rare for any kind of small business owner to not have to put some serious focus on marketing. The central focus of your marketing revolves around traffic generation. Basically, you want to drive as much qualified traffic as possible to your blog. How do you do this?
<ul><li>PPC advertising ~ this remains the fastest way to drive traffic, but you have to pay for it. Remember, there is no such thing as free marketing. It will either require your money or your time and energy. You can use Google and Facebook to set up ads for your target market. This can be a very lucrative and effective way to build your email list and sell more stuff, but you have to know what you’re doing. Learning PPC takes some time; it’s a skill set that many take too casually. Most people will throw up an ad campaign just to see what happens, get a few clicks, realize they have lost money, then proclaim that PPC does not work. If you’re going to go for this traffic generation strategy, be sure to invest in your education. I highly recommend that you start with Perry Marshall’s Definitive Guide to Google Adwords . This is a concise, easy-to-follow manual on profiting from Google Adwords. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Social Media Marketing ~ this is one of the most effective ways to gain free exposure for your personal development business. You want to be sure to set up a professional fan page on Facebook, get custom-designed Twitter and Youtube profiles, and build large networks on all 3 of these sites. Social media marketing is a huge topic that you’ll want to master over time. This link will take you to an online course that I created to help service-based entrepreneurs build 6 figures businesses using these 3 sites. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Article Marketing and Link Building ~ this is one of my favorite free strategies to get a lot more online exposure. Rather than diving into this here, I will refer you to this blog post on the best article marketing strategies that I use every day. </li></ul>
<ul><li>On Page Search Engine Optimization ~ this is a very important aspect of your blog set up, as you want to make sure you are very clear on the group of keywords that will generate the most traffic to your blog, then set up your blog posts to get positioned high in Google so you will capture the lion’s share of the traffic for your niche. I use an awesome WordPress plugin called SEO Pressor to do the on page SEO and I highly recommend that you invest in this plugin if you’re pretty new to SEO. It will give you a check list of all the on page factors in each blog post so you know that by the time you publish the post, it will be optimized as well as possible. You can click on the image below to learn more about the SEO Pressor plugin. </li></ul>
The Success of Your Personal Development Business Will Come Down To… Your ability to create a unique and compelling value proposition for your market (your USP), the strength of your marketing funnel, and your skill in generating traffic to your blog. While this may sound like a lot to consider, if you have a knack for entrepreneurship, you’ll pick it up very quickly and you’ll probably have a blast learning these skills. Remember that how you attract business is inseparable from the services and products you offer. If you keep these points in mind, your online personal development business is bound for long-term success.