Up until the end of 2009, Chris Ducker was pretty much your standard CEO and entrepreneur; he was working 16 hour days, 7 days a week. He believed that he could carry on that way forever. He believed that he was invincible. Then, in late 2009, he hit the wall, slammed smack bang into it at about 180km an hour. He burnt out and had to be hospitalised. But, out of all the stress and pain, something good arose from the ashes. He made the decision to stop working ‘in’ his business, and start working ‘on’ his business. He re-organised, and re-prioritised his life so that he could spend more time with his family. It wasn’t an easy road. It took more than 12 months to accomplish. But he did accomplish the seemingly impossible task. And, at day two of Problogger, he explained exactly how he did it…
According to Ducker, the most important thing in business, no matter what niche you are in, is building a personal brand. You have to make sure that you are original. Everyone has doubts. Everyone wonders at some point, ‘Surely everyone else has already answered all the questions I’m going to be answering, provided all the solutions that I’m going to provide’. The trick is to put your spin on it, to include your voice in it.
The thing is, when you build the business of you, nobody can copy it, it’s 100% original.
What have you got to offer the world that nobody else can?
One of the biggest things that bloggers have to offer the world that nobody else can is original content. Content that is one-of-a-kind. Content that hasn’t been duplicated from another source. According to Ducker, there are three main types of content:
- Educational: this content shows or helps or educates your audience, it teaches them how to use a new tool or resource or understand a complex topic.
- Inspirational: this type of content gets your audience thinking about what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, what the outcome of their actions might be.
- Entertaining: this type of content makes people laugh, or smile, provides an escape from the everyday.
Building a brand is easy, when you create great content consistently. You must be consistent.
Image courtesy of www.chrisducker.com
Who is your ideal customer?
So, once you’ve got your original content nailed, you need to figure out who your ideal customer is. And Ducker emphasises the word customer. After all, this is all about the business of you, not the buddy of you. Bloggers need to determine who it is that they are creating the content for.
Once you know this, you can start creating a community. You can start building solid, long-lasting P to P (Person to Person) relationships. You can start cultivating personal relationships with your customers. People are naturally more inclined to do business with people that they know, that they have a personal relationship with. They are willing to spend a bit more, go a bit further, and spend more often with businesses that they know, and can rely upon.
There are two main ways to cultivate strong P to P relationships:
- With great customer service: take Michael Hyatt, who has been described as the leader of leaders. He launches a productivity course just before Christmas. Even on Christmas day, at 2.34am he is replying to customer queries on Facebook, helping to sort out their issues.
- By giving a little of yourself: take Pat Flynn, who is a master on Twitter. He personally replies to Tweets from followers, without trying to sell. And he injects himself into his public personality, including information about his family, about his children. He makes himself human, just a person that his customers can easily connect with.
If you play your cards right, your raving fans will turn into customers, eventually. You just have to take those P to P relationships to the next level. Then, your audience will determine what the business of you actually becomes.
Lastly, you must monetise your brand. Monetizing your brand builds authority. You must be seen to sell. Always ask for the order. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Sell something, anything – an experience, a course, anything. According to Ducker, if you’re giving everything away for free, then that’s what you’ll be known as: the freebie guy.
How will you make money?
So, in a nutshell, Ducker recommends that the best way to make money is to build the business of YOU. And, to do this, you need to take the following steps:
- Identify your niche
- Know who it is that you’re helping (determine exactly who your ideal customer is)
- Create great content (inspirational, educational, or entertaining, because not only do you want people to consume, but to share your content)
- Build solid P to P relationships
- Monetize your brand
98% of people will quit right before they start monetizing. Don’t be one of those people.
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