Monthly Archives: Jul 2014

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How to Create VIP Programs

Are you offering your customers the ability to upgrade to a VIP level?

On Monday night – I experienced the right way to run a VIP program.

My wife and I attended a Met’s game with our good friends. The tickets were, literally, the best seats in the entire stadium.

Third row. Right behind home plate. We were maybe 20 feet from home plate. And if you watched the game on TV, you saw us on every pitch. You can see our view of the action in the picture below.

My wife and I taking in a Met's game.. VIP-style.

My wife and I taking in a Met’s game.. VIP-style.

It was considered the premium “Gold” package.

But it wasn’t just the “tickets”. Here’s what the Met’s organization gave us with the tickets to make it a true VIP experience…

1. Free parking in a private lot. We pulled right into the lot and parked about 10 steps from the ballpark entrance. If you’ve ever been to a professional sports stadium (especially in the NYC area) you know just how valuable (and time-saving) this perk is.

2. Free, unlimited food/snacks in private party room. That’s right, there was a special room with everything from free popcorn and hot dogs to salad and soft drinks. No lines and just for the VIP’S only.

3. Private, spotless bathrooms. Enough said.

4. No-Wait entry into the park. We went through a private corridor, walked past the player lounges, escorted by hosts. And taken right to our seats.

5. High-End food vendors. Forget the ballpark burgers, we could have Shake Shack burgers brought right to our seats!

The cost for this VIP treatment?

About 10X the cost of a regular ticket.

Is this for everybody? No. But I will tell you this.. the VIP area was absolutely full. There were plenty of people who paid a premium for the VIP experience.

There will ALWAYS be a percentage of your customers who want a VIP experience. And they’ll pay premium prices for it.

 

BRINGING VIP ONLINE

You might be thinking, “That’s great Ryan.. I’m so happy for you. But how does this relate to my online business?”.

First, start to make a list of everything you offer. What are you including in your core training product? What bonuses are you giving to all your customers?

Then, write down all the “extras” you could add for VIP’s. These should be higher-end extras. I’m not talking about throwing together a sloppy 3-page PDF report and calling it the VIP experience.

Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Access to the “guru” (private email, private Facebook group, phone calls, etc.)
  • Physical versions of digital products
  • Limited-edition releases (autographed by product creator)
  • Bonus live online events and workshops
  • Bonus in-person events
  • Dedicated support (coaches, customer service reps, etc.)
  • Extra premium content (pdf reports, audios, videos, etc.)
  • Transcriptions of audio/video content
  • Follow-up, personalized phone calls.
  • Access to archived products
  • Private membership area

Another important feature is to add PASSWORD-PROTECTION to the VIP extras. You want people to FEEL the extraordinary treatment and know instantly it’s just for them.

These VIP packages and experiences can bring in anywhere from twice to ten-times the price of your regular products.

Oh yeah, the Met’s won the game 7-1. And being a lifelong Met’s fan.. yeah, I’d say it was a pretty good night indeed.

P.S. Here’s everything you’ll ever need to create your very own lifestyle business.  Including how to create premium products that bring in $1K PER DAY.

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4 Essential People You Need For Your Virtual Team

You can absolutely build a business by yourself. But, that business will have a ceiling. If you want to build true wealth and freedom, you have to assemble a rock-solid team.

I’m not talking about renting 15,000 square feet of Class-A office space. You can do it simply with a few key outsourced team members while working from home (or Starbucks, of course!). I recommend you hire for projects.

For example, if you are going to create a new digital publication, hire writers, designers, etc. just for the first issue. Then, see how it goes and build from here.

Here are the four team members to consider hiring on a project-by-project basis until you generate enough revenue to consider hiring full-time.

  • Virtual Assistant: This is the jack-of-all trades who will support you. It could be everything from customer support and email to simple site updates and even managing your calendar
  • Graphic Designer: Don’t skimp here. Get a good designer to make your products and imaging really pop!
  • The “Techie”: The skills will vary depending on what you need. Could be a lower-priced webmaster for simple WordPress updates to a premium-priced programmers to build a custom software program
  • Copywriter: A good copyrighter can make you millions. The biggest mistake wannabe digital entrepreneurs trying to save money by writing copy themselves.

NOT THE SAME PERSON

A BIG mistake is trying to find one person that can do it all.

If someone is a really good programmers, there’s a very good chance they are NOT a good graphic designer. These are two completely different skill sets. When you try and save money by finding one person to do it all – you hurt your revenue potential.

Find people who have, as Liam Neeson so astutely said, “a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career”.

You can never go wrong listening to Liam Neeson. Never.

 

==> P.S. If you’d like to see exactly how to build your own virtual business, click here.

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Your Customer Experience

How do your customers feel when they do business with you? Is it just an “ok” experience – or would they go out of their way to rave about you?

Last week, my family and I spent the week in Nantucket, Massachusetts. It’s a small island which has become a getaway for the super wealthy. It’s the kind of place where a nice house on the water will set you back a cool $30 million and change.

There are only a couple of hotels on the Island (most are tiny bed and breakfast’s… not the best place for a family of 6!) – so we stayed at The Nantucket. A small resort that’s just a 3 minute leisurely stroll into town.

Now, I’ve stayed at hundreds of hotels over the years. Lots of very nice, luxury resorts – but this one blew me away with their customer service. Here were a few highlights…

  • Free welcome buckets and shovels for all my kids upon check-in (perfect for a day at the beach). It probably cost them $1.. but the impact on my kids was worth thousands.
  • Hundreds of DVDs you can borrow from their lobby to watch in your room. No need to check them out – it’s all on the honor system. Simply return it when you are done.
  • Throughout the week we were there, they have 3 Rolls Royce’s out front. And guests could drive them around.. for FREE!
  • During breakfast and dinner time – our kids could play in the “Kid’s Club” (which was supervised) so my wife and I could have alone time. Oh yeah, it was all FREE!
  • I asked about where to rent a stroller – and the front-desk associate immediately found one in the back room and let us use it all week for no charge.
  • Special activities at night – like s’mores by the fire (yep, that was FREE too)

As a direct comparison – we stayed at a very nice ski resort this past winter. They had DVDs we could borrow – but you had to signup with your ID and room key. If you didn’t return it, you would be charged. There was no trust.

And they also had a campfire at night – except you had to go to their hotel shop and BUY the s’mores “kit”. It was only $6 or so.. but how much does it really cost the hotel to throw in some graham crackers, marshmallows and a chocolate bar?

Sure, I paid a small fortune to stay at The Nantucket for the week. But I also felt like I wasn’t nickled and dimed around every corner. And while those small things (DVDs, s’mores, buckets and supervised play) didn’t cost the hotel much – the impact was massive.

I can’t help but tell everybody about our experience there.

From the minute we walked into the lobby to the moment we checked out – they went out of the way to make my family feel welcomed. Always friendly. Always smiling. You just felt like there were there to take great care of us.

And THAT is the exact feeling you need to give your customers who pay for your products and services.

It made me take a step back and re-evaluate the experience I provide to all my customers. And I realize I can make the customer experience  better. MUCH better.

Here are some things to ask yourself:

Are you constantly up-selling and trying to squeeze more money out of your customers? Do you ever throw in free unannounced bonuses without a hidden agenda? Are you setting “tripwires” or placing welcome mats? Do you truly over-deliver? Do you provide an experience so amazing – your customers can’t help but tell everyone they know about you?

It doesn’t matter if they bought a $5 “intro” product or a $5K coaching program – treat everyone who does business with you the same way my family was treated at The Nantucket. And when you do that.. you simply can’t lose.

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What's Your Number?

I recently wrote an article about the basics of investing (you can read it here).

So today, let’s take a step back and start with a simple question.

What’s Your Number?

Meaning, if you had X dollars in the bank, you could stop working.

Think about it for a minute. Most of us have zero clue about our actual number.

Some will say one million dollars. Another person might say five hundred thousand. While a third person will aim for ten million dollars.

 

HOW TO FIGURE OUT YOUR NUMBER

You must know how much money you need to maintain your lifestyle before you can come up with a number.

Let’s say in ten years your kids will be out of the house. And as you run through all your bills, you figure you’ll need $10,000 per month of passive income to maintain a nice life for you in retirement.

Working backwards, if you had $1 million in the bank earning you, on average, 5% interest, that would give you $50,000 per year in passive income.

Not bad, but that’s still less than half of what you need to maintain your lifestyle.

To get to the $10,000 per month number just on your interest, you’d need approximately $2.5 million in the bank.

Again, that’s $2.5 million in the bank.

If you need more or less than $10,000 per month – you can adjust your numbers from there.

Remember, this is if you are getting a somewhat conservative 5% return on your money. You would adjust from there. I prefer to be realistic and aim for 5% as opposed to thinking you’ll get a 10-20% return.

BACK TO CONTINUITY

On a side note, this is a reason why continuity income (aka recurring revenue) is so powerful.

If you create a simple membership site (even using Facebook as a platform), and it brings in just $5,000 per month of semi-passive revenue, that’s the equivalent of around $1,250,000.00 in the bank!

Everyone wants a million dollars – but what they don’t realize is the cash flow is the same if you had a $5K per month continuity income stream.

One program I recently started brings in an additional $20,000.00 per month. That would be the same of as having $5 million in the bank,

When I first started over a decade ago, I didn’t truly realize the power of recurring revenue. But now, as I am 41 with four children, I see the profound impact it can have on your life and your freedom.

As I’ve been dealing with a minor health issue the past few months, I’ve come to realize just how important dependable recurring revenue and being smart with your money truly is.

Here’s my suggestion:  start building your multiple recurring revenue streams today (and don’t forget to save!).

 
P.S. I’m doing my first LIVE online workshop in over two months. And I’ll show you how to build multiple streams of dependable recurring revenue. ==> Register here.

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What to NEVER Do If You Want to Be Wealthy

I’m no “finance guru” (yes, I know that’s a terrible way to start off a post about financial advice!).

I’ve made smart moves and some very dumb moves.

But as you start building multiple streams of digital revenue – you have to think smart about your new income.

My first rule of investing is DON’T LOSE MONEY. Actually, it’s my only rule.

I learned this the hard way. When I was living in Florida, a friend was a broker and he recommended I put money into an investment that was a “little risky” (as he put it), but I could double my money in a matter of weeks.

So I write him a check for $60,000.00. And a few weeks later that $60K became $450. Oh yeah, that hurt. Since that day, I promised to never repeat that mistake and only put my hard-earned money in safer investments.

This was re-enforced a few weeks ago at a cocktail party. I was talking to a guy in his mid-60’s who owns about $2 BILLION in real estate (no, that’s not a misprint!). When I asked him the secret to making hundreds of millions of dollars and he said, “never risk your investment”.

So what should you do?

Be smart and take at least some of the money and AUTOMATICALLY put it into some safe investments. Depending on your age and financial goals – it could be a mix of tax-free bonds, funds and long-term stocks. I’d recommend at least some of it go towards the safer bonds.

 
AN EXAMPLE

Let’s say you are following my FB Continuity program and create another $10,000.00 PER MONTH of semi-passive income.

Rather than blowing it all on a brand new ferrari or “toy” (which a shocking amount of people do), you can put a percentage of that away for savings.

First, you put aside money for the tax man. You can setup a separate account and you put $3K in there for later taxes due (On a side note, I made some massive mistakes when it came to tax planning, especially when my income skyrocketed and I wasn’t prepared for the monster tax bill. The tax fees are mind-blowing!).

Now, you have $7K left.

You decide to think long-term and set aside 50% of that for savings and the remaining 50% for cash, living, bills, vacations, etc.

Now you have $3.5K left for automatic investing. Perhaps $2.5K is withdrawn from your account into safer bonds and tax-free funds. It won’t get you the “double your money” ROI which lots of hypey stock investment newsletters promise – but that’s ok. You are being SMART and following rule #1… “don’t lose your money!”.

You will let compound interest do it’s work. And over the course of years, the money will grow. It takes a little bit of patience.

With the remaining $1k, you can put it into safer stocks with a better long-term view.

Sure, there are other ways to invest your money. New businesses. Real estate. Even collectibles. Just know what you are investing in. Don’t buy a house to “flip” it if you have no clue how to do it. If you are going to buy real estate, start in YOUR area (because, at least, you know your local area).

When you have the money automatically taken from your account and put into the funds/bonds, it’s one less thing you have to think about And it can help protect you for the future.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a financial planner – so do your homework before you invest. If you enjoyed this post, please like it and I will consider going a bit deeper into this area of smart and simple investing in future posts.

IMPORTANT: To be a good investor, you need money to invest! So, click here to start building more online income streams. 

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No-Touch Continuity

During the past couple of months, I’ve been dealing with an auto-immune issue. This has led to pain in the joints in both my hands and feet. But the worst part is the extreme fatigue that comes in spurts.

Because of this, for the first time in 20+ years, I haven’t been able to get as much work done as I’m used to. It was a big wake-up call and a kick in the ass. Believe me, I know it’s nothing compared to what other people have had to deal with. And after spending the first 6 years of my career working in a children’s hospital, I know just how lucky I am. It could have been worse, MUCH worse.

But because of the pain and fatigue, I have only been working an hour or so a day – and it’s made me even more aware of the VITAL IMPORTANCE of continuity income (a.k.a. recurring revenue).

But not just recurring revenue, I’m talking about recurring revenue that is on 100% auto-pilot.

A colleague of mine and super-smart marketer, Jason Fladlien, coined a term called “No-Touch Continuity” recently and I love it.

It’s basically setting up continuity programs that truly are, to borrow the phrase from legendary entrepreneur Ron Popeil, “set it and forget it”.

In other words, you set it up once and never have to touch it again. Ever.

I have a handful of these programs running – including a niched software program which still generates close to 6-figures in yearly income and I have not touched it in over 10 years. Literally.

THE KEY TO NO-TOUCH CONTINUITY

There are dozens of no-touch continuity programs you can setup, but the #1 key to success is having a program which removes YOU from the equation.

So often when we think of continuity programs, we tend to think in terms of doing it ourselves. Membership sites, coaching programs, etc.

And those programs are great. A significant source of my income still comes from programs where I put some blood, sweat and even tears into it.

But – the programs which have allowed me to work just an hour a day for the past few weeks while still generating dependable monthly income are the ones in which I don’t have to lift a finger.

What can you do?

Look at YOUR market. Figure out the biggest challenges they are having. And formulate a plan where you provide a valuable program (with recurring revenue) that runs on autopilot. It could be software. It could be an outsourced done-for-you program. It could be white labeled programs. It could even be a recurring commission for an existing software.

When you incorporate more no-touch continuity programs into your business and start to think like a business OWNER – you will create more leverage, have more free time and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

It’s that what it’s all about anyway?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a reflexology session to get to.

IMPORTANT: During Continuity Summit 4, Jason did an entire training program all about how he created over $200K PER MONTH in “No-Touch Continuity”. ==>You can access the full “No-Touch Continuity” training (as well as ALL of my continuity training programs) right here. <== 

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