Self Help

Entrepreneurial You Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive - Dorie Clark

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Matheus Puppe

· 37 min read

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Here are the key points I took away from the prologue:

  • Dorie Clark started her own marketing consulting business in 2006 and initially took on any client for any project just to bring in revenue. This led to frustration as she got busier but didn’t have freedom or flexibility.

  • She wanted to upgrade her clients to larger companies and develop a more location-independent business model. To do this, she knew she had to reinvent herself and change her positioning.

  • Her first two books focused on helping people transition into new careers (Reinventing You) and building a reputation as an expert (Stand Out).

  • She realized that becoming an expert doesn’t necessarily lead to making money. Entrepreneurial You focuses on how to create a sustainable business that is fulfilling personally, intellectually, and financially.

  • The book shares strategies and best practices for monetization that Clark learned from interviewing over 50 successful entrepreneurs. She aims to help more talented people build lasting, successful careers for themselves.

Here are the key points from the book excerpt:

  • The author realized the power of online marketing and diversifying income streams after a friend earned $33-34K in one month through blogging, podcasting, and affiliate marketing.

  • Developing entrepreneurial side pursuits, even if you have a full-time job, can provide extra income and open up new professional opportunities. Two examples given are Lenny Achan, a nurse who built an app and got promoted at his hospital, and Bozi Dar, a marketing executive who created an online course.

  • We need “portfolio careers” where we diversify our revenue streams, just as we diversify investment portfolios. Relying on a single employer is risky.

  • The author learned this lesson when she was laid off from her newspaper reporter job right before 9/11. She had to scramble to find new work.

  • The book will provide a blueprint for monetizing expertise through various online and offline means like consulting, coaching, speaking, blogging, podcasting, online courses, etc. Even if you don’t want to be an online entrepreneur, these techniques are worth learning.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • The day the author needed to start looking for a job was September 11, 2001, when the terrorist attacks changed America forever. Planes stopped flying, the stock market stopped trading, and no one wanted to hire reporters.

  • This experience showed the author the precarious nature of relying on one job or revenue stream, as it can disappear instantly. For months, she struggled to find another journalism job as the industry declined.

  • She eventually pieced together freelance work and jobs on political campaigns, realizing no job is truly secure. This led her to build multiple revenue streams as an entrepreneur.

  • Technology and globalization have caused monumental workforce changes that will continue, so everyone needs to start thinking entrepreneurially. Even if you like your job, consider side streams of income as insurance.

  • With technology, you can now scale your skills and expertise to gain income and freedom. Successful entrepreneurs have leveraged the internet to fulfill their visions while also earning significant money.

  • The key is monetizing ideas creatively, not just making money from something but because of something. The author gives the example of John Lee Dumas, who launched a daily podcast that became very lucrative through multiple income streams.

Here are a few key points on how to create valuable online content and build trust with your target audience:

  • Write articles, blog posts, or record podcasts that display your expertise. Post them on your own website/blog or contribute to reputable outlets in your industry. Getting published on well-known sites provides credibility.

  • Persistently pitch article ideas to editors. It may take some rejections before you break in, but regularly contributing content will strengthen your connection to those outlets.

  • Share tactical, how-to advice that solves people’s problems. Avoid overly self-promotional pieces. Build trust by providing value.

  • Optimize your pieces for search engines by using relevant keywords in titles/headers. This allows people searching for those topics to find your content.

  • Promote your articles through your email list and social media. Ask colleagues and clients to share as well. Aim to become known as a thought leader.

  • Repurpose content into multiple formats like blog posts, podcasts, slide decks, and videos. Get more mileage from your expertise.

  • Include calls-to-action at the end of pieces to drive traffic to your website, suggest signing up for your newsletter, or download a related resource. Provide next steps.

The key is to consistently create and distribute valuable, practical content that helps you gain visibility and trust with your target audience. This will position you as an expert worth doing business with.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • Writing articles for reputable publications like Forbes can dramatically increase your name recognition and credibility. Start by identifying publications your target audience reads and determine if they accept outside contributions. Pitch article ideas tailored to their focus.

  • Writing a book, especially if traditionally published, cements your reputation as an expert. Use your blog posts and other content to identify topics your audience responds to. Outline potential chapters to see if you have enough material for a full book.

  • Networking with established industry players brings “social proof” when they vouch for you or allow you to contribute to their platforms. This transfers their credibility to you. Identify who your ideal affiliates are and seek opportunities like guest posts and podcast interviews.

  • Build an email list to directly reach your audience. Use giveaways, contests, and free content to incentivize sign-ups. Email subscribers regularly with advice and insights. Move them into your sales funnel.

  • Speaking at events, especially if you can charge for it, further validates you as an expert. Use speaking engagements to promote your book, other content, and services.

  • In all you do, focus on serving your audience with valuable information. This builds trust and loyalty over time.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • Online publicity sources and word-of-mouth leads are more responsive and loyal than leads generated through paid advertising. This makes sense because they come with built-in trust through recommendations.

  • Derek Halpern leveraged social proof and provided value to build his brand in marketing/psychology. He offered free consulting to prominent bloggers, getting exposure to their audiences. The videos of his advice were popular.

  • You can’t rely solely on social media to maintain audience connection due to algorithm changes. Email is more reliable. Prioritize building an email list over social media.

  • To build your list, offer something valuable like a free workbook or assessment. This convinces people to opt-in to your emails. Dorie Clark used this strategy to double her email subscribers.

  • The key is to provide value first, build trust and social proof, and then make the ask for people to join your email list. This results in a responsive, loyal audience you can reach directly.

Here are some tips for assessing your areas of expertise when starting an entrepreneurial venture:

  • Make a list of all your skills, knowledge, experiences, and interests. Don’t filter or judge at this stage, just brainstorm and write it all down.

  • Look for overlap between your professional background and personal passions. The intersection is often a great place to start.

  • Pay attention to what people ask you for advice or insights about, either in your current role or in general. That reveals areas where you have expertise worth sharing.

  • Think about past projects you enjoyed or did well at. What did you like about them? What skills did they utilize?

  • Consider challenges you’ve overcome in your life or career. Your journey can provide valuable lessons and inspiration for others.

  • Reflect on times when you had to learn or research a topic from scratch. Subjects that came easily may indicate natural strengths.

  • Ask trusted friends and mentors what they think your areas of expertise or talent are. An outside perspective is helpful.

  • Review your social media feeds, emails, docs - what do you comment on and share advice about frequently? That provides clues.

  • Ultimately focus on an area you are deeply interested in, not just surface-level skilled at. Your enthusiasm will come through and inspire others.

  • Try testing out different topics by writing blog posts, recording videos, etc and see which feel like a fit and get engagement.

  • Don’t worry about having some grand unique expertise - even familiar topics with your unique spin can find an eager audience.

The key is to reflect deeply on your background and interests, pay attention to feedback and engagement, and don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the sweet spot that aligns with your innate strengths and passions.

Here are the key points on monetizing your expertise:

  • Understand the value you offer. Gain confidence in the value you bring by continuously upgrading your skills and reputation. Also, compare notes with others in your field so you don’t undervalue yourself.

  • Focus on the right metrics. Don’t get hung up on low conversion rates when starting out. Focus on customer lifetime value instead.

  • Overcome resistance. Accept that some people will complain about your prices. Stay confident and don’t lower them. Also, don’t offer too many discounts, as that can devalue your product.

  • Get the timing right. Consider offering free content or a “lite” product at first to build trust and an audience. But don’t wait too long before monetizing or people may resist paying.

  • Find the courage. Believe in the value you offer. Be patient through early struggles. Stay focused on your ideal clients, not critics. Monetizing allows you to make a bigger impact.

  • Charging what you are worth is a common challenge for new entrepreneurs, but overcoming it is vital. Consider hiring a coach, finding a mentor, or joining a mastermind group to help determine appropriate pricing.

  • Focus on metrics that directly impact revenue rather than vanity metrics like social media followers. Activities like building your website and growing your Twitter audience are indirect ways to generate income.

  • Expect some resistance when you start charging for previously free material. But don’t let a small minority of vocal critics deter you if most people are still supportive.

  • Find the right balance between building your audience’s trust and asking them to pay. Don’t jump into paid offerings too soon, but also don’t wait too long once you have an engaged following.

  • Start small by charging something, even just a nominal fee, to get comfortable pitching your services. Then steadily raise your rates over time as you gain experience and credibility.

  • Monetizing is possible even with a modest following if you survey them to identify their needs and present targeted, relevant offers. But don’t neglect continuing to provide some free material.

  • Develop your initial client base by tapping your existing network. Reach out directly to friends, former colleagues, and contacts to let them know you are consulting and ask if they need your services or know anyone who does.

  • If you don’t have an existing network to tap, ask friends and contacts for introductions to people who could potentially hire you. Get specific on the types of people you want to meet. Use LinkedIn to identify contacts.

  • If you don’t have any connections, offer to speak or provide services for free to build your network. Contact relevant organizations and offer to give talks, but request that your target clientele (like parents) be present. Explicitly ask for referrals and speaking opportunities.

  • To grow exponentially, get referrals from happy clients. Ask for testimonials. Join relevant professional associations and attend their events.

  • Make a substantive contribution to clients; solve their real problems. Don’t just go through the motions.

  • Expand your practice by hiring subcontractors or forming partnerships rather than turning away business. Systematize your approach so you can scale.

  • Offer a premium service like masterminds or intensive retreats. These generate more revenue.

  • Eventually you can license your intellectual property, like your methods, tools, or programs, to generate passive income.

  • Todd Herman did 68 free speeches in 90 days to market his youth coaching business. This led to opportunities coaching adults and NHL players, gaining prestige and connections.

  • His free youth sports talks also led to government consulting gigs, launching that side of his business.

  • The author also gave free talks early on, gaining exposure and credibility. Free talks can lead to paid consulting engagements.

  • Consultants must contribute unique insights and opinions to justify fees. Alisa Cohn learned to be more direct with her perspective rather than playing it safe.

  • Consultants can expand their practice by networking within client companies and getting referrals. Michael Port leveraged his book’s success into a group coaching program.

  • After experimenting, Port changed his mentoring program - eliminating expensive live events and lowering the price, while expanding reach.

Here are a few key points summarizing the advice in the passage:

  • Start with a premium offering rather than low-cost options to establish credibility and attract high-end clients. Selena Soo launched a $5,000 coaching program and was able to build a six-figure business.

  • Build relationships with influencers in your field by providing them high-value assistance, such as publicity opportunities or website audits. Their testimonials and endorsements can lend credibility.

  • Once you have a substantial client base and proven methodology, consider licensing your intellectual property so others can deliver your programs and content. This scales your impact and revenue.

  • Systematize your consulting process into a repeatable methodology or framework. This increases efficiency and positions you as an expert brand rather than just an individual consultant.

  • Ask satisfied clients for referrals to find new business. Consider opportunities in other departments or locations of existing clients.

  • Aim to build recurring revenue through retainer relationships and premium offerings rather than one-off projects. This provides more stability.

The key is starting with a premium service, systematizing your approach, and then scaling through licensing, referrals, and retention of high-end clients.

Here are a few tips for building a speaking practice:

  • Develop a compelling signature talk. Come up with a topic and presentation style that highlights your expertise and appeal as a speaker. Refine it through practice.

  • Start small. Look for opportunities to speak for free or low cost at local organizations to gain experience and test material. Toastmasters can help build skills.

  • Create promotional materials - one sheet, video clip, press kit - to pitch yourself to event planners. Emphasize your unique perspective and what you offer audiences.

  • Build relationships with meeting planners by attending conferences in your field. Network to find speaking opportunities.

  • Offer to give talks at professional associations, nonprofit events, conventions and corporate trainings. Having video of past talks helps showcase your abilities.

  • Promote your speaking availablity through your website, email list and social media. Make it easy for event hosts to learn about you and book you.

  • Consider paid speaking engaments through speakers bureaus once you have experience and references under your belt. They can connect you to larger events.

  • View speaking as marketing for your broader business. Use it to establish your expertise, promote offerings and attract clients.

  • Continually hone your content and presentation style. The best speakers constantly evolve their material and their skills.

The key is progressively gaining exposure and experience to build your reputation on the speaking circuit over time. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • When starting out as a speaker, don’t focus on finding a speakers’ bureau to represent you. Bureaus are only interested in established speakers who can bring in engagements on their own.

  • Instead, use “inbound marketing” techniques to attract potential clients, such as getting existing contacts to recommend you as a speaker, and creating content like blog posts that position you as an expert.

  • Speaking for free in the early days can help you gain experience, exposure, and momentum. Look for other benefits besides payment when evaluating free speaking opportunities.

  • Consider asking for travel expenses to be covered even if you’re not charging a speaker fee. And see if you can get other value like taping the talk for your own promotional purposes.

  • Occasionally it may be worth speaking for free or discounted rates in order to gain contacts, friends, or access to events you couldn’t otherwise attend. But be selective.

The author notes that even when speaking for free, finding gigs takes time and effort to build your brand and get referrals. Eventually your name recognition grows and you start getting paid speaking invitations.

In the early days, think about what benefits you could get from free speaking engagements, like connecting with influencers or getting testimonials.

When transitioning to getting paid, having a published book or other credibility boosters helps justify your fee. The author shares how asking for a speaker fee for an inconvenient gig resulted in being offered $5,000, when previously events claimed no budget.

General speaker fee ranges are provided, from $500-$2,500 for newbies up to $20,000-$35,000 for well-known experts and authors. But even at high rates, speaking likely won’t make you rich - most speakers make under $10,000 per talk.

Key tips are to always ask event organizers what their speaker budget is, and have a sense of your target rate based on experience. Outbound marketing like contacting associations directly rarely works initially, but can be done persistently and locally at first. Having a website and speaker video helps provide credibility when pitching yourself.

  • Jason Van Orden recalls when podcasting first emerged in 2004, it was not well known - even Google didn’t recognize the term. Early podcasting required technical skills.

  • Now podcasting has become much more accessible. As of 2015, there were over 200,000 podcasts on iTunes. More growth is expected as cars become connected and podcast listening rises.

  • Podcasting helps build an audience and leads. Jason launched a podcast in 2008 and it led to paid speaking gigs and a six-figure business coaching practice.

  • Create valuable content consistently. Jason releases episodes 3 times a week. It’s key to stick to a schedule so people know when to expect new episodes.

  • Promote the podcast everywhere. Mention it on your other platforms, in your email signature, and on business cards. Get reviews and ratings to increase visibility.

  • Monetize through sponsors, affiliate links, products, and services. Sponsors pay for endorsements or dedicated episodes. Affiliate links give you a cut of sales. Offer your own products/services.

  • Use podcasting to position yourself as an expert. Jason went from unknown to internationally recognized expert through his podcast and books.

  • Podcasting is an attractive medium for building a brand and monetizing, but there is increasing competition as more big businesses get involved.

  • To succeed, podcasters need to focus on frequency and longevity - releasing episodes consistently over a long period of time to build up a loyal audience.

  • Most podcasts don’t earn advertising revenue until they consistently get 10,000+ downloads per episode. Top podcasts can earn $20-$100 per 1,000 downloads (CPM).

  • Podcasting can generate business leads. Even podcasts with small audiences can convert guests into clients at a high rate.

  • Strategies for monetizing podcasts include advertising, affiliate marketing, membership sites, and using the platform to generate consulting/freelancing clients.

  • It takes commitment and persistence to build a successful podcast, but the medium provides great opportunities for those willing to put in the work.

Here are the key points for how to build an audience and monetize through blogging:

  • Focus on small wins - Each new outlet you write for or appearance you get is a step up the ladder. Celebrate the little victories along the way.

  • Seek corporate sponsorship - As your readership grows, companies will want to sponsor content or experiences. Be open to these opportunities.

  • Start your own blog - Choose a niche and begin posting regularly to establish yourself as an expert.

  • Leverage your blog - Use your content to get freelance writing gigs, speak at events, land media appearances, etc.

  • Consider video blogging - Vlogging can help further expand your audience and open up sponsorship opportunities.

  • Monetize your vlog - You can make money through YouTube ad revenue, affiliate links, sponsored content, etc.

  • Be patient - It takes time to build an audience and monetize through blogging/vlogging. Stay consistent and keep taking steps forward.

The key is using blogging and vlogging to raise your profile, demonstrate expertise, make connections, and progressively open up monetization opportunities. Stay focused on progress, not perfection.

  • Sly O’Connell attends corporate events related to her expertise in order to network and propose her own event ideas to the company sponsors. She looks for “low hanging fruit” where she can add value.

  • She leverages existing relationships with PR people at the companies to pitch ideas. As an example, she proposed a millennial twist on a “Women in Money Tea” event.

  • Pricing involvement in corporate events is challenging. O’Connell asks others who have done it before to get a sense of appropriate payment. She has negotiated fees up significantly from initial offers.

  • Alexandra Levit has earned up to $25k annually from individual corporate sponsorships. She builds relationships slowly by taking small gigs initially to prove herself.

  • Bjork and Lindsay Ostrom started a blog, Pinch of Yum, in 2010. It took 2 years to reach 1,000 daily visitors through persistent posting. After 6 years they had 3 million monthly visitors.

  • They monetized the audience through display ads, sponsored posts, affiliate income, an ebook, and workshops. Posting income reports helped build authority.

Here are some tips for bringing your followers together in person through masterminds, conferences, and workshops:


  • A mastermind typically involves a small group (5-15 people) who meet regularly to collaborate, brainstorm ideas, and support each other’s goals. Masterminds can be a great source of revenue if you charge a monthly or annual membership fee.

  • Define the purpose and focus of your mastermind clearly so you attract the right members. Consider requiring an application to join.

  • Structure meetings with timed segments for updates, brainstorming, and accountability. Assign pre-work like reading materials.

  • Host mastermind meetings virtually or in person. Virtual meetings expand your reach but lose some interpersonal dynamics.


  • Conferences allow you to reach a larger audience, often 100+ attendees. You can earn revenue through ticket sales, sponsorships, and exhibiting.

  • Identify a theme and specific learning outcomes for your conference. Recruit relevant speakers and session leaders.

  • Promote early and often through your email list, social media, and affiliations with industry groups. Offer early bird pricing.


  • In-person workshops for up to 25 participants let you go in-depth on a topic. Charge per seat or offer a multi-workshop bundle.

  • An interactive format with discussions, activities, and hands-on practice is ideal for workshops. Have a clear outline but be flexible.

  • Leverage workshop content for future products like online courses. Record workshops to repurpose content.

The key is to match the format to your goals, resources, and audience size. Start small, deliver exceptional value, and expand from there. Personal connections often lead to future business opportunities.

Here is a summary of chapter 10:

The chapter discusses different ways to bring your followers together through in-person events and make money in the process. Some key ideas:

  • Mastermind groups - Small groups of professionals who meet regularly to share ideas and advice. They can be a successful business model if you charge participants. You need expertise and an existing audience to attract people.

  • Conferences - Organizing a conference for your followers can generate significant income, especially if you get speakers to participate for free in exchange for exposure. Build an audience first through free content, then leverage it.

  • Jayson Gaignard started Mastermind Talks by getting famous authors like Tim Ferriss to speak for free to boost book sales. He built on that to create a thriving paid conference business.

  • You can start small with a one-day “Mastermind Day” pilot event to gauge interest before committing to something bigger. Charge participants to attend.

  • Ask followers to put down a refundable deposit to assess real interest before fully committing to a mastermind group or conference.

  • Events allow you to monetize your audience while providing value back to them through shared learning and networking.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  • Jeremy Gaignard paid $84,000 to get Tim Ferriss to give two keynote talks for him. He raised the money from friends with no contract.

  • Gaignard realized he could use Ferriss’s celebrity to attract other big name speakers and create an exclusive event. The event allowed speakers to network with each other.

  • He initially charged $3,300 per ticket and got 4,200 applications for 150 spots. He personally vetted each attendee.

  • Each year he changes the location and has raised the price, up to $7,500. He only allows 1/3 of past attendees to return to keep it fresh.

  • The exclusivity and intimacy of the small event is the main draw. He turns away a lot of people and refunds tickets to curate the attendee list.

  • By enabling networking for others, Gaignard has put himself at the center of an elite business network.

  • Matt Levenson (“Port”) hosts live events to bring together his dedicated fan base, creating a feeling of community and allowing him to directly pitch new offerings.

  • His “Heroic Public Speaking” events draw attendees who pay $5,000-$7,000 to spend several days learning from Port. This event sold out immediately when announced.

  • Port believes it’s important to continually roll out new offerings to keep the community engaged. He retires stale offerings and launches new ones, like his $10,000 author retreat.

  • Bringing followers together in person can create powerful returns, but it has challenges too. There is more overhead than many realize in terms of logistics, staffing, etc.

  • Occasional live events can complement a business, but running them regularly (like weekly) is extremely demanding. They don’t scale well either.

  • Before planning live events, be realistic about the work involved and whether you’re prepared to take it on. Look for ways to ease the burden, like combining an event with an existing mastermind group.

Here are a few key lessons from Jared Kleinert’s experience creating an online course:

  • Understand what your customers want - Kleinert didn’t interview any potential customers before creating the course, so he didn’t have a good sense of their needs and interests. It’s crucial to do market research upfront.

  • Test your assumptions - Kleinert made assumptions about the course topic and customer demand that turned out to be wrong. Always test assumptions before investing significant time and money.

  • Listen to your audience - By not getting input from his target audience, Kleinert launched a course that didn’t resonate. Continuously engage with your audience to understand their pain points.

  • Craft a compelling narrative - A strong story arc or narrative helps market and sell your course. Kleinert’s course lacked a unifying theme or narrative.

  • Survey your audience - Asking targeted questions of your email list or social media followers provides invaluable insight into course ideas. Kleinert could have surveyed his network.

  • Launch a pilot first - Rather than a full launch, consider a smaller pilot to test course content and pricing. The pilot results guide future revisions.

  • Price carefully - Kleinert priced his course at $997, but without customer research, this was an arbitrary number. Price based on value to students and market norms.

  • Master your first launch - Kleinert’s zero sales indicate the launch was not optimized. Work meticulously on prep, timing, partnerships and promotion for launch success.

  • Danny Iny’s first online course, “Marketing That Works,” was a flop and only sold one copy despite months of work. This taught him the importance of validating demand before investing heavily in creating a course.

  • For his next course, “Write Like Freddy,” Iny first asked his email list if they would be interested in a course on guest blogging. The positive response showed there was demand.

  • He then did a pilot launch, selling 50 spots at a discounted price in exchange for feedback to improve the course. This further validated demand while minimizing risk.

  • In contrast, Scott Oldford created his first course only after a client’s son directly asked him to teach everything he knew about online marketing. The direct customer request ensured there would be interest.

  • Oldford tested demand by emailing his list to gauge interest before creating the full course. He sold 24 spots within hours, proving strong demand.

  • The key takeaways are to listen to your audience, only create a course where there is demonstrated demand, validate interest before investing heavily, and craft a compelling narrative to market the course successfully.

  • Jeff Walker had success selling a newsletter and teaching others his techniques, developing the Product Launch Formula (PLF).

  • PLF involves releasing a series of videos over time to build trust and provide value before making a sales pitch.

  • The first video grabs attention, the second provides more details, the third explains the offer, and the fourth makes the sales pitch.

  • This extended process over 2 weeks builds trust for big purchases like courses. Walker also uses scarcity by having a set timeframe for purchases.

  • Walker’s formula has been widely adopted by marketers, though some find it hard to differentiate. He believes storytelling taps into human nature.

  • Before launching a course, the author surveyed his audience to identify their biggest challenges and interests. This provided insight into what topics would be most compelling.

  • The author tread carefully given past product launch failures. His first attempt at an online course flopped, underscoring the need to survey the audience first.

  • The author tried filming and selling instructional videos through a company that took an 80/20 split of sales proceeds. She earned a few thousand dollars but spent over 100 hours, so it wasn’t very profitable.

  • The next year she created a shorter online course with a media company, earning about $1,000 for 1 day’s work - better return on investment.

  • She realized creating her own courses and keeping the profits could be more lucrative, like entrepreneur Selena Soo who earned $150,000 from her first course.

  • The author surveyed her audience to identify demand and interest in a potential course topic. She got valuable insights from long, thoughtful survey responses.

  • She followed up with 50 interested respondents by email, asking for feedback on a 1-page course description. 15 responded, 5 said they would pay $500 for it.

  • The author launched a pilot course for $500 to 40 people, in exchange for their feedback. It sold out in under an hour, earning $23,500.

  • Key lessons: Survey audience to validate course topic, follow up for more info, offer pilot to small group and iterate based on feedback, price pilot based on % of full course and extra value of personal attention.

Here are a few key points on creating digital products and online communities:

  • Lower-priced products like ebooks and virtual summits can be a good way to monetize a growing audience. Even if each sale brings in little revenue, the volume can add up.

  • Consider an “ascension ladder” of offerings, ranging from free content to paid communities to high-end coaching. This allows you to monetize users at different commitment levels.

  • Build a community around your work, like an online forum or Facebook group. This creates an ongoing relationship with your audience.

  • Communities build loyalty and allow you to get feedback on what your audience finds valuable. You can then create paid offerings tailored to their needs.

  • When creating a digital product, focus on solving a specific problem or need for your audience. Provide as much value as possible.

  • Use launches, scarcity and social proof to drive interest in your paid digital products. Bundle products for more attractive pricing.

  • Don’t neglect the importance of high-end, personalized offerings as you expand. These will likely remain an important revenue stream.

In summary, digital products and online communities are a way to monetize your audience at scale, but they work best alongside limited, high-value services for your most committed fans. Use communities to understand your audience’s needs and tailor products accordingly.

  • Create additional low-cost products to sell to your existing customers. Someone who buys an expensive course or program from you may be interested in cheaper offerings too.

  • Ebooks are a popular low-dollar product that are easy to create. Price them around $10-15 to align with Amazon norms or higher through your own website. Build an audience first through blogging to drive sales.

  • Organize a virtual summit - a series of video interviews with experts that people can access for free for a limited time. Then sell full access to all the videos for $100-$300. It’s a way to build relationships, grow your email list as speakers promote it, and make money from ticket sales.

  • Start by interviewing top experts to give the summit credibility. Then get up-and-coming people with smaller but passionate audiences who will eagerly promote it. Aim for 80+ interviews.

  • After a successful summit, consider coaching others on how to run one as a new income stream. A virtual summit can also lead to a six-figure product launch.

  • The key is to focus on continuing to serve your existing customers in new ways after their initial purchase. Find additional needs you can meet through lower-priced offerings.

  • Michael Stelzner grew his business by creating virtual summits, starting with the 2010 Social Media Success Summit which generated hundreds of thousands of dollars. He eventually expanded to doing 3 summits per year, generating $1.7 million in revenue the first year.

  • However, doing too many summits can cause audience fatigue, so Stelzner cut back to 1 summit per year.

  • Online subscriptions can provide recurring revenue. Andrew Warner’s Mixergy site operates on a freemium model - new interviews are free for 1 week, then become available only to paid members ($25/month or $199/year). The free exposure induces prominent figures to do interviews, and the deadline incentivizes people to download the content.

  • Membership sites with communities can be “sticky” and retain members. Jason Van Orden and Bjork Ostrom found people joined their sites for the information but stayed for the community.

  • Crowdfunding can provide a boost for a project or activity. Tips include building your own audience first, starting promotion early, and bringing in the first 30% of funding from your own supporters.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  • 40-60% of crowdfunding typically comes from your own network and tribe. If your project is interesting, they will share it more broadly.

  • Think niche when promoting your campaign. Focus on targeted blogs, sites, Facebook groups related to your product rather than trying to get mainstream media attention.

  • Examine different crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Publishizer, Patreon to see which best fits your project type and rules.

  • Consider the logistics of providing rewards to supporters.

  • To build a paid online community, start with at least 50 members, often recruited from a course or product launch.

  • Provide infrastructure like community managers to facilitate discussions as the community grows.

  • New member onboarding is crucial to get people engaged in the community.

  • An active community provides constant feedback for new product ideas.

Here are a few tips for leveraging affiliate marketing relationships:

  • Choose affiliate programs carefully. Only promote products or services you genuinely believe in and that are a good fit for your audience. This will build trust.

  • Disclose your affiliate relationship clearly. Let your audience know when you’ll receive compensation for referrals so they understand your incentive.

  • Provide value beyond the affiliate link. Give an honest, detailed review of the product or share how it’s helped you personally. Offer bonus content or discounts to make the deal more appealing.

  • Promote relevant offers at natural times. If you’re mentioning helpful tools or resources in a blog post or email already, add your affiliate links. But don’t force it.

  • Give affiliates exclusive access to your audience. Send dedicated emails or create content specifically promoting their offers as a “gift” to your best affiliates.

  • Track your links to see what converts. Find out which affiliate offers resonate most with your audience so you can refine your approach.

  • Build relationships with affiliates. Get to know them, use their products, and ask for feedback. Offer to share their offers with your audience.

  • Seek a wide variety of affiliates. Don’t rely on just one or two. A diverse set of partnerships will help you earn more and weather changes.

The key is providing genuine value to your audience while leveraging partnerships. With trust and selectivity, affiliate marketing can be rewarding for you and your community.

Here are a few key points summarizing the passage:

  • Affiliate relationships and joint ventures (JVs) are powerful ways to extend your reach by partnering with others who have similar audiences.

  • JVs involve promoting each other’s products/services to your respective email lists and social media followers. The partner gets a commission on any resulting sales, so there’s no upfront cost.

  • Dov Gordon created a private group called JVMM to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs interested in forming JVs. It’s been critical to growing his business.

  • Matt McWilliams manages large-scale JV launches for authors/entrepreneurs, bringing in hundreds of thousands in revenue.

  • To find JV partners, get referrals, research those in your niche, become an affiliate yourself first, or slowly build relationships over time.

  • Once you find partners, provide resources they need to promote you, especially “swipe copy” - sample emails to send their audience explaining the benefits of your offering.

  • Managing a successful JV launch requires ongoing communication and support for your partners. But done right, it can dramatically increase your reach and revenue.

  • Encourage your JV partners to promote your launch by providing them with email swipe copy, suggested social media posts, etc. Make it easy for them to participate.

  • Use “leaderboards” to create friendly competition among partners about who can generate the most sign-ups or sales. Offer prizes for top performers.

  • Have a mandatory prep call with each partner to secure their commitment and map out specifics of when and how they will promote you. This accountability helps motivate them to follow through.

  • Start by partnering with people you know well or who come recommended. Protect your reputation by avoiding shady marketers.

  • Even with vetted partners, some followers may complain if a presenter is too sales-y. Be prepared to give refunds if needed to preserve your reputation.

  • JV partnerships can expand your reach, but choose partners carefully and maintain your integrity. Don’t sacrifice trust with your audience for short-term financial gain.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • Entrepreneurs often start businesses seeking freedom and independence, not just money. But growing a successful business can make it hard to shift priorities away from revenue.

  • To preserve happiness, sometimes you have to say no to lucrative opportunities that don’t align with your passions. Keeping expenses low makes this easier.

  • The author took a pay cut to focus on platform-building instead of client work. This enabled a location-independent speaking career.

  • Consider what business functions you dislike and could outsource. Cut unnecessary expenses to enable more flexibility.

  • Growth brings pros (scale, impact) and cons (more staff to support). Decide what business size suits your goals.

  • Other keys to an ideal life: hiring help like a virtual assistant, finding work you love, traveling, exercising choice in how you spend time, and reflecting on your deeper motivations.

The key is to think strategically about what kind of business and lifestyle will make you happiest, whether that involves growing a big company or staying small. Reflect on your priorities and take steps like outsourcing tasks to create your ideal life.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • The author experienced stress running a small nonprofit organization because she felt solely responsible for keeping it financially afloat to pay employees.

  • When she started her consulting business, she felt less stress because she was only responsible for herself, even though entrepreneurship can seem risky. She vowed never to take on full-time employees again.

  • After 7 years, she realized she needed help but was hesitant to outsource. She eventually hired a virtual assistant which allowed her to offload some tasks.

  • It’s important to think about desired staffing arrangements early on, before it becomes an emergency. Know when to offload certain tasks.

  • Consider if you want an explosive growth model that requires hiring employees, or a “lifestyle business” where you outsource only what’s needed to support your ideal life.

  • The author suggests tracking your time for 2 weeks to see where you spend it. Identify core tasks only you can do vs. those that can be outsourced. Use this to develop a job description for a virtual assistant.

In summary, the author suggests thinking strategically about when and how to outsource tasks to virtual assistants to avoid becoming overwhelmed, while also considering if you want a highly scalable business or a lifestyle business. Tracking your time helps identify outsourcing opportunities.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • Lifestyle businesses prioritize providing the owner with a good quality of life over maximizing growth and profits. The focus is on work-life balance.

  • Travel and location independence are common goals for lifestyle entrepreneurs. Tools like virtual assistants and remote work capabilities allow entrepreneurs to run businesses from anywhere.

  • Lifestyle businesses allow entrepreneurs flexibility to spend more time with family. Pat Flynn and Natalie Sisson structured their businesses around priorities like family time.

  • It’s important to get clear on your personal priorities and ideal lifestyle before structuring your business. Know what matters most to you - time with family, travel, etc. - and build your business to facilitate that.

  • As your business grows, you may need to hire help and delegate tasks to free up time for your priorities. Focus on the activities only you can do.

In summary, lifestyle businesses emphasize freedom, flexibility and quality of life over maximizing profits. Determining your priorities and finding ways to build your business around them is key.

Here are a few key takeaways from the passage:

  • Change is constant in the world of work, so we need to be adaptable and ready to apply our skills in new ways. The industries that were disrupted in the past (like newspapers) show us that no field is immune.

  • The greatest job security comes from constantly learning, building up social proof of your expertise, and having multiple revenue streams. This makes you “disruption-proof” since you aren’t reliant on any one job or company.

  • It’s important to let go of preconceived notions of what your career “should” look like and instead focus on what’s possible now. Be willing to pivot as needed.

  • Look for ways to monetize activities you already enjoy, like writing, coaching, or creating online courses. Find options that allow you to leverage your existing skills and knowledge.

  • Focus and execution are key - choose only a couple major goals at a time and devote your time to mastering them before adding new projects. Effective time management enables you to make progress.

  • Keep in mind your “why” or purpose behind your work. Figure out what lifestyle and impact you want to have, and shape your career accordingly.

  • The internet and technology have opened up new opportunities for monetizing expertise and creating flexible careers. Whereas options used to be limited, now anyone can become an entrepreneur by sharing their knowledge online.

  • You can create diversified income streams through blogging, podcasting, online courses, speaking, and more. This gives you the freedom to determine your ideal lifestyle and work-life balance.

  • After years of intensive travel speaking at events, the author realized she wanted more flexibility and time at home. Creating online revenue streams allowed her to do that.

  • Your work and home life blend together when you’re an entrepreneur. Sharing your ideas helps others while giving your work meaning. But you have to think creatively about monetizing those ideas to make it sustainable.

  • The world needs your knowledge and expertise - you just have to find creative ways to get paid for it. That’s the path to lasting influence, impact, and freedom to live life on your own terms.

  • Blogging can be a powerful way to build your brand and connect with an audience. Tips include creating valuable content, gaining email subscribers, and building social proof.

  • You can monetize a blog through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, advertising, and selling digital products like ebooks. Building an email list is crucial.

  • Vlogging (video blogging) is another format to consider. It allows you to connect visually and personally with your audience.

  • Writing and self-publishing a book has many benefits including establishing your expertise and attracting joint venture partners. Market carefully.

  • Coaching and consulting leverages your expertise. Focus on premium pricing, expanding referrals, and systematizing your practice.

  • Organizing small workshops and conferences allows you to monetize your network and ideas. Handle logistics carefully.

  • Joint ventures involve collaborating with others to access their audiences and expand your reach. Choose partners wisely and promote extensively.

  • Creating online courses allows you to generate passive income. Identify a niche audience, test your assumptions, and structure the course thoughtfully.

  • Licensing your intellectual property to others is a way to scale your business. Be careful in managing the risks involved.

  • Mastermind groups provide peer support and advice. Run them smoothly by planning carefully and facilitating effectively.

The key is to experiment with different monetization models, focus on delivering value, and always build relationships in the process. Diversify your income streams for the best results.

Here is a summary of the key points from Entrepreneurial You:

  • The internet has created new opportunities for entrepreneurship and building diverse income streams through a portfolio career. By becoming a recognized expert in your field, you can monetize your knowledge and experience in multiple ways.

  • Start by establishing yourself as a trusted source by creating free content online, like blog posts, videos, and podcast episodes that provide value to your audience. This raises your visibility and credibility.

  • Once you have an audience, you can monetize your expertise through avenues like coaching and consulting, paid speaking gigs, online courses, digital products, communities, and more. Diversify your income streams.

  • Build your personal brand and expand your reach by leveraging platforms like blogs, podcasts, YouTube, and social media. Deliver consistent value focused on helping others.

  • Create an online course to scale your impact and introduce passive income. Make sure to survey your audience, offer a pilot program, and focus on a compelling narrative.

  • Partner with others through affiliate marketing, joint ventures, licensing your IP, and more. Collaborate for mutual benefit.

  • Aim to build a business and life that allows you location independence and freedom of choice in how you spend your time. Manage your priorities and time wisely.

The key is becoming a recognized expert and consistently providing value to others. Build an audience and then monetize through diverse streams. Master promotion plus execution.

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About Matheus Puppe