The Course Creators
Ep. 7 | Online Business in Changing Times, an Interview with Paddy McGill
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Online Business in Changing Times, an Interview with Paddy McGill
Today, we are going to be talking all about online business in changing times.
Paddy McGill will give us some tips about what you can do, whether you are already online and you want to grow in this space, or if you don’t yet have an online business. If you don’t have products or services of your own to sell, there are still ways that you can make the most of this online opportunity.
- Paddy on Linkedin
- Entrepreneur to EDUpreneur Course Creators Facebook group
- How to Create Profitable Online Courses – for free at the time of recording
- Sarah’s affiliate program
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How to find your new online business idea
Certainly in the sudden arrival of this awful Coronavirus, we are now seeing people having no choice but to move into the online business space. They’ve had to close their offices, they’ve had to close their jobs, their businesses, everything is gone. The world as we know it I think will never be the same again.
One of the things that I was always teaching when I was at Thinkific is: you’ve got to find the center point between your passion, your skills and your market demand. This is going to be something that sits in that bull’s eye. The mistake that a lot of people make, is that they will tend to think about something that either they’re just good at, or they’ve got expertise in and then they’ll just try and record some videos and then post up online and then think on that course. My biggest advice for people is: make sure that you figure out if the expertise you have, is something that people were coming up to you and asking for help with time and time and time again? This is usually a good indication that you also know what you’re doing. And also that there’s potentially a demand for what you’re teaching.
The passion thing is so important. What happens if you pick topics that are just trending in a bid to make a bit of extra cash, is that eventually you’re gonna hate that topic so much. Because for something to be successful, creating it is step one. Step two: it’s not going to sell itself. You actually then have to go out to market with that and you have to live and breathe that topic, for quite some time. The people who have not been prepared to then go out there for at least 18 months and write blogs about it, and do live streams about it, and go and be interviewed on other people’s podcasts about it, to speak on stages about it, to just genuinely live and breathe that topic are the ones who made no money at all. Because it takes a long time for you to get your stuff out there and you have to be willing to keep talking about that thing over and over again, answering the same questions over and over again about that.
Find out what your audience wants to learn
If you found your thing, then the first thing I would do is go out into the online world. I would also go to offline meeting groups and meetups, but obviously we can’t really do that right now. So get yourself into online communities and start listening, and start helping people that are there in the topic or the area of expertise or the subject matter that you’re looking to teach in. The worst thing you can do is try and guess what someone wants. So if you figured out those three things now we’ve got to go find out like what is it that people want the most.
Start asking your market what they need help with, give them advice and start building a profile for yourself online.
By answering those questions in that community, you then begin to establish that credibility, that authority, that recognition from those people, that you are someone who knows your topic.
There is a search box inside every Facebook group. Type in your topic in the search bar and it will filter every single post in that Facebook group. You can then go through and read what questions people have been asking in that Facebook group. What I love to do is open up a big Google sheet and just write all those questions down in a big sheet and I just collect them up over time. They’ve become the topics from my blog articles, I do videos for YouTube or live streams on them, I check them in my online courses. This is how easy it is.
How to commercialize and monetize
If there’s a number one question everyone’s asking, then zero in on that. Then start with an outcome first. The mistake that new course creators make, is that they will tend to start at the beginning and then work their way up to the outcome that they want to teach. Whereas the ideal way to do it right now is to actually start at the end. At the of this I’ll know how to… What was the thing just before that that I had to do to go live? And then keep working step by step backwards. You keep working back to where you get to where you are like today or where that person is, and then that’s the foundation of your online course. Each one of those key milestones is going to make up a big part of your course.
Making money online without a product
You don’t necessarily have to create a product, there are other ways to make money online. Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way of making money. One of the biggest advantages of this, is that you don’t have to worry about the product, you don’t necessary have to worry about the customer that much. You can sell someone else’s product, and get a commission for doing that.
If you’re currently an entrepreneur and you’ve got an email list, you can easily do this. It doesn’t necessarily have to be tens of thousands of people, as long as people are engaged, and they trust in what you say. It’s about referring products that you like and that you’re passionate about.
A key thing that that you need to have really is an email list. You can still send people from an ad to someone else’s check out and make money. But by you capturing their email at the very least, at the minimum you have that customer in your control. Then you can then market to them going forward.
We have seen particularly over the last few months, lots of conferences have been shut down. It’s devastating because conferences, expo’s, big knowledge based events are a huge industry, and now we’re all locked at home. So one thing that is on the rise right now is the online summit. I love online summits. For those of you who’ve never heard of one, it’s basically when you have a gathering of experts who come together to provide speeches, workshops online. Same as if you’d go to a massive conference where you have the keynote speakers coming up on stages, and then breakout rooms with workshops. It is basically that but online. Now with lots of tools out there today, anyone can do this, anyone can put it together. It is hard work, I warn you. Which is why you need somebody like Paddy.
One of the things that I found is that a lot of people tend to think about, who are the speakers that I want? I always tend to say think about the outcomes, what are the key outcomes that you want someone to get from this particular summit? If you think of like three or four or five pillar areas, then you start like listing all these people down.
When you have speakers, you’ve got different types. You’ve got your anchor speakers, your A-listers. They’re the types of speakers that are going to bring people to your event, but they’re not necessarily going to do a lot of promotion. Once you have a few anchor speakers, then that’s also what drives other people to sign up. And then you’ve got your sort of the next level of speakers. These are the ones that have access to an audience, these are people that are happy to promote and be part of it. They’ve got an interest in getting more exposure and they’ve also got expertise as well. They make up of the lion’s share of the expertise and the knowledge that’s being delivered in the summit.
The idea with most summits is that you make a little bit too much content for everyone to consume within the one day or the 48 hours. Realistically most people have probably got 4 or 5 hours a day to sit and watch videos. So you create enough content that goes past that, so the only way I’m going to be able to learn all of that, is by buying any works that’s passed.
That’s some of the strategies that you can use. Another strategy is to use sponsors in your summit. Sponsors on top are a great way to make additional money or a get additional exposure.
Joint ventures or partnerships are also a fantastic way to grow your list. Now not everyone starts off with connections. We all start off with zero people on our list, we start off with zero people liking our Facebook pages, we start off with zero everything. JVs and partnerships is a fantastic way to very ethically and mutually beneficially steal somebody else’s hard earned audience. You have people out there who would love to connect to work with you if you’re going to help them promote their thing and promote their product or service.
The mistake a lot of people make is that they will email a potential partner or client and say, “Hey Sarah, “I hear you work with online course creators “and I would love to do a live stream with your audience.” If you’re doing a cold outreach, you need to be able to go in providing value first. Be sincere in your outreach, and then build a relationship. Give it time and do what you say you’re going to do.
You’ve got to find partners that are in your like the sort of similar level of reach and the influence. If you got five potential connections that have all got 5,000 people in your mailing list, then that’s potentially a lot better than going up to someone who’s got 50,000 just one person that you don’t know, don’t have so much a relationship with.
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