It’s the most important moment in your relationship. “Will you subscribe to my email list?” Yes, yes, a million times yes! Congratulations! You did it! Engaged. No no, we meant EMAIL engaged. Actually, I meant email engagement. There are no rings in this case, but be prepared to offer a lifetime of value. You mastered
By Dilip Deshpande
Yahoo Small Business, Product Manager
We’ve updated our Localworks
product that allows businesses to build and control their local online
digital presence. Localworks is not just a paid business listing service
– it also comes with pack of features to help you gain a competitive
edge in the current market.
three different plans, users can choose the package that fits their
business needs. Updating listings information in the Yahoo Local website
directory has never been this easy. With Localworks Starter packages
that include Yahoo Local and six other essential directory listing
sites, your business information will be updated in real-time. As
a business owner, you will have full control of your business
information, and you will be able to upload enhanced listing content
such as a photo gallery, videos, calendar of special events, and
promotions. You will also get access to our “Digital Assistant”, a text
bot that will assist you in updating your hours of operation, adding
photos, and many other items using your mobile phone. The starter
package also offers robust analytics to track your business performance,
all at a very affordable cost.
With nearly 60% of searches
happening on mobile devices, millions of users are looking for business
addresses and phone numbers, hours of operation, driving directions,
menus, photo galleries, and reviews before they make a visit to the
physical location of a business. As a business, if your listing
information does not include this enhanced content, or if you are not
monitoring your business reputation, you might be losing customers.
businesses that want to control their business information across most
of the local directories on the Internet and closely monitor user
reviews, understand user sentiment and how they compete in local search,
Localworks by Yahoo Small Business is a comprehensive solution.
With our higher end packages, in a single dashboard, businesses can
- Publish business listings in 60+ directories (Including maps, GPS, social media sites)
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- Compare with 5 other competitors (local or national)
- Generate reviews through our website widgets
- Understand customer reviews with Sentiment Analysis
- Receive In-depth analytics
Yahoo Small Business also offers a free business listing scan tool,
where businesses can easily find out how their information is listed
across 60+ directories and clearly identify errors in location data
across local listing networks before signing up for a premium Localworks service.
About Yahoo Small Business
the past 20 years, Yahoo Small Business has helped millions of
businesses get online and grow their presence on the Internet. Whether
you hope to start a side business or are currently running a
multi-million dollar venture, you can trust Yahoo’s proven online
business experience, powerful yet easy-to-use solutions, and broad
community support to help your business succeed online. Learn more at: https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com
Every interaction with a customer — an email, call, visit to the website, ad, and more — has an impact on their overall experience with your brand. So when you send a message, you’re hoping to influence the each piece of the customer journey. But if they don’t open your message in the first place,
Are you ready to take your side hustle to the next level? Email marketing is a powerful and affordable way to expand your customer base, keep customers coming back and grow your side hustle into a full-fledged business. Liberate yourself from the 9-to-5 doldrums and take one step closer to achieving your dreams with these tips for growing your side hustle with email marketing.
1. Create an attractive subscribe incentive
There’s a lot of spam out there, and the last thing anyone wants is to endure another inbox full of stuff they don’t want. That’s why the best way to encourage subscribers is to give them something they do want by creating an attractive opt-in incentive.
- How-to eBooks and whitepapers
- Instant discount coupons or coupon codes
- Cheat sheets
- Case studies
- Online course access
Think about what drives your audience. What will they find so useful and valuable that they can’t resist subscribing to your email list? Create that, and they’ll be more than happy to opt in.
Of course, you’ll need to make sure your incentive is gated so it can’t be accessed by non-subscribers. An easy way to do that is with email automation that automatically sends the attachment or download link to every new subscriber.
2. Create a value statement
We’ve already covered the opt-in incentive, but you also need to deliver a value statement that creates desire. What benefits will your subscribers receive beyond your initial incentive?
For example, you might promise:
- Useful, free tips delivered to their inboxes daily
- Early access to special VIP discounts and sales
- Unique resources no one else gets
- Engagement with a community of like-minded, passionate people who help one another
It’s also a good idea (and legally sound) to mention that you do not spam and they can unsubscribe at any time — a strategy that lessens the risk of subscribing.
Consider giving your email list a name that implies the benefits of subscribing. For example, “Christie’s Creative Cooking Tips” is more attractive than “Christie’s Email List.”
3. Promote your list like crazy
Once you’ve laid the foundation for your email marketing — that is to say, the reasons people should subscribe and stay subscribed — you should promote it everywhere. After all, no one will subscribe if they don’t know about it!
You can promote your email newsletter via:
- Your website (sign-up forms are perfect and easy to implement)
- Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Your YouTube channel
- Mobile marketing
- Print marketing (business cards, brochures, etc.)
- Word of mouth
Be sure to mention the initial incentive they’ll receive, plus the ongoing benefits of subscribing to motivate the best subscribe rate. Want more ideas? Check out these 40 easy ways to build your email list.
4. Deliver valuable content
You’ve identified the reasons why people should subscribe; now, you need to follow through by delivering on your promises. When you develop valuable content, you can truly engage your audience, foster long-term customer loyalty and influence sales that help grow your side hustle into a full-time business.
Again, think about your customers. What problems do they have? How can you make their lives easier and better? Now, how can you leverage email marketing to do that?
Email content ideas include:
- How-to tips and advice
- Solving problems and answering common questions
- Introducing new and useful resources
- Delivering news your customers are interested in
- Product comparisons
- Customer spotlights and case studies
As you create your content, strive to make it personal. Find a way to relate to your customers and create a sense of solidarity. Tell your story, speak to your audience and be a part of their shared community. Once you’ve developed compelling content that resonates with your customers, you can then promote offers and products that fuel profits:
- Exclusive discount offers
- Product showcases and catalogs
- Buy-one-get-one deals
- Early bird pricing
Email marketing isn’t just about marketing. Your emails shouldn’t be purely promotional. First, establish value. Then, you can leverage the trust you’ve built into happy customers who are thrilled to make their next purchase.
5. Motivate opens with strong subject lines
People receive 80 to 120 emails per day, so it’s easy to gloss over even the most valuable content if it doesn’t stand out in a sea of spam. That’s why you need compelling subject lines so your emails stand out and get opened.
Strong subject line ideas include:
- Pop culture references
- Descriptive headlines
- Benefit statements
It’s a good idea to A/B test your email subject lines, which means trying two different subject lines on a limited number of subscribers to see which performs best, then using the winning subject line for the rest of your list.
6. Send regularly
It’s no secret that repetition is crucial to marketing success. That’s why you need to email your list regularly to remain relevant and to increase the chances of getting in front of customers when they’re ready to buy.
Some marketers email daily; others, twice each week. Some only email weekly. Of course, you want to avoid being viewed as spam, so a good rule of thumb is to email as often as you have something valuable to share.
That doesn’t mean waiting months between emails. Create an email marketing calendar and stick to it. If you’re struggling to come up with compelling content on a regular basis, check out these 50 unique ideas for your next email.
7. Track your results
The more you know about how your emails perform, the easier it will be to create future emails that yield predictably positive results. At minimum, you should track open rates and clicks for every email you send. It’s also a good idea to cross-reference those email KPIs with website visits, incentive downloads, new leads and, of course, sales.
You can take advantage of advanced email reports to gain even deeper insights into your subscribers’ behavior, including:
- Which devices, email clients and browsers your subscribers use
- Geographic data – where your subscribers live
- Heat maps – where clicks occur in your emails
- Comparisons such as subject line word count vs. open rate and click rates by date and time
These are powerful insights that will help you replicate your best emails time and again.
Armed with these tips, you can create a large list of subscribers who are eager to read your next email and click through to take advantage of your next offer. Get the most out of your email marketing by crafting emails that are attractive, deliverable and comply with CAN-SPAM rules — and your side hustle will be booming in no time.
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© 2019, Brian Morris. All rights reserved.
Email is a remarkably powerful platform that enables one-on-one communication with the subscribers. It is undergoing constant transformation and the modus operandi that worked a year ago might not be effective today. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) strive to keep out unsolicited emails and spam and have set up alerts on which marketing emails should be delivered to the subscribers. On the other hand, marketers have to be doubly sure that their emails do not land in the spam folder. Hence, marketers have to maintain a clean email list to ensure there is no deliverability issue. If you want your email campaigns to be effective and bring you greater ROI, you must verify your email addresses and establish a good email hygiene.
First of all, let’s understand what email verification is.
It is the process by which you make sure the emails on your list are connected to a user’s inbox. This implies that your messages have a valid destination to reach.
Why is Email Verification and List Hygiene so Crucial?
Having a poor-quality email list can hamper your email reputation. Unless the subscribers receive your email in their inbox, your email strategy will be futile. A bad reputation can deter your engagement with subscribers and affect the conversion rate as well.
As the size of your email list grows, it considerably increases the cost of email marketing. Removal of inactive or invalid email addresses and maintaining email list hygiene can help you cut down on the marketing expenses. Obviously, it makes no sense to pay for emails that are not getting delivered.
What do you mean by a clean email list?
A clean email list refers to a list that has only valid email addresses and subscribers who have engaged with one of your emails within the last six months.
How can a dirty list affect your reputation?
ISPs keep a close eye on email senders who use spam traps to reach the subscribers. These spam traps are, in fact, email addresses owned by ISPs and the blacklist providers in order to check that the email marketers are abiding by the best practices.
Numerous spam traps exist on the Internet like Pristine, Typo Domain Traps, and Recycled to name a few.
- Pristine spam traps include email addresses that did not opt for receiving any email communications. Most likely, the sender acquired the email addresses from a third party or other questionable methods.
- Typo domain traps are email accounts that match the conventional domain names with a minor difference. Gmail becomes gnail, Hotmail becomes hotnail or hotmale. Although this seems quite amusing at first look, it can be a huge setback for your email reputation.
- Recycled spam traps consist of email addresses that were used by an individual in the past, but not used any more. If you are unable to access your email address from your teen life, it is quite likely that it has become a spam trap.
It is important to note that ISPs are continuously monitoring whether the email deserves to land in the subscriber’s inbox. Sending emails that do not get opened indicates that people are not interested in receiving them, as a result of which your emails might get land in the spam folder. Consequently, your email bounce rate will increase and your delivery rate will fall drastically.
Do you know ISPs, spam monitors, and email security services have set thresholds for undelivered messages, unsubscribes, and spam complaints?
In case you cross this number by sending emails to stale lists, your account might get suspended. You could be basking in the glory of sending emails to hundreds of subscribers, but if the email addresses are invalid, it will not only burn a hole in your pocket but also will not lead anywhere. This, ultimately, hinders your email marketing performance as a whole.
How to Maintain a Clean Email List?
- The most obvious tactic to maintaining a healthy email list is implementing email validation during the sign up. Sometimes, subscribers make a mistake in providing their email address. You can prompt them regarding the error in the sign up form.
- With the implementation of anti-spam laws like GDPR, it has become all the more important that you have explicit permission to send marketing emails. We strongly recommend you ask the users whether they want to receive marketing communications. Additionally, you can send a verification email and ask the subscribers to confirm their email address by clicking on the email link.
- If you have users who have not opened an email in the past six months, send a re-engagement email series as a part of the ‘email marketing ritual’. However, if they still do not respond or engage with you, bid a goodbye by removing the email address from your list. This process is known as sunsetting the disengaged users. While this can be quite difficult for marketers, it is in their best interest.
- Use different tools like BriteVerify, DataValidation, eHygienics, FreshAddress, Impressionwise, LeadSpend, StrikeIron, etc. that will mitigate the risk of getting blocked by the ISPs or ESPs. It is worth using these list hygiene services to ensure a good email deliverability rate.
The biggest temptation for any email marketing professional is a H U G E email list. However, please understand that quality matters more than quantity. Keep your email list free from invalid addresses and validate the subscribers at regular intervals – That’s the key to a healthy email list and a successful email marketing strategy.
Digital marketing is one of the best ways to connect with potential partners, employees and clients. We have the ability to manage your strategies in a seamless, easy to understand way. To learn more, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We spent one-third of our lives at work. Some of us spend more time in an office chair than a bed.
So today’s topic? Chairs.
They are one of the most overlooked, undervalued elements of a workplace.
Take our startup company for an example. Our first office chairs were a Black Friday deal from Office Max (retail: $119). These chairs were purchased out of necessity (we needed seats for 4 employees), timeliness (Black Friday), and budget (#startuplife).
Our second chairs were the highest rated, most economically priced chairs on Amazon (retail: $85). These task chairs were selected out of necessity (we needed seats for 17 employees), because they were aesthetically pleasing to match our office vibe (all white), and budget (#startuplife).
While these chairs met our aesthetic expectations, they fell well short of fulfilling basic human ergonomic needs.
Which leads us to our recent decision to purchase Herman Miller Aeron chairs (Retail: $1,495) for all of our employees (currently a team of 9).
The reasoning is pretty simple and straightforward. We invest thousands of dollars in top-of-the-line computer equipment. Why not invest thousands of dollars in a piece of furniture that has severe implications on personal health and wellness?
To be clear: there’s a lot of subsequent questions I’ve had to ask myself since this purchase.
1. Purchasing these chairs is our largest one-time expense we’ve had in our business. By no means is buying a $1,500 chair an easy decision. Was it the right one?
2. I’ve conducted hundreds of job interviews. I’ve never been asked what kind of chair we sit in. Will any candidate ever ask that question? (I believe candidates should!)
3. What’s next?
It’s the last question of “what’s next” that induces some feelings of buyer’s remorse. Wellness doesn’t stop with chairs. Sitting on clouds isn’t the end solution. The remorse stems from how much more work we have to do to make our workplace an acceptable setting for health.
Standing desks. Walking meetings. Minimizing sedentary nature. The list goes on beyond chairs.
Chairs are an important workplace element. That’s why we invested in them. But the real reason we made the investment was to commit to creating a healthy workplace.
That’s worth the investment in itself.
Other notes, and FAQs about the journey.
We selected the Herman Miller Aeron chair for a few reasons, without any research into other chairs on the market. Those reasons included:
1. The Aeron chair holds it’s value very well. Check out OfferUp. If we ever decided to go in a different direction, we could recoup a chunk of our investment by reselling them.
2. The Aeron chair is universally known. I’ve never sat in one (none of our employees have…they arrive tomorrow), but yet, the Herman Miller and the Aeron brands are so strong that the majority of us know about the existence of both. It’s America’s best selling chair for a reason.
3. The Aeron is featured in the Museum of Modern Art permanent collection recognize it’s design. That says something. Most office chairs are not on display for their contribution to society.
Office chairs say a lot about a company culture.
More so than I realized. Here’s what I found when I asked several friends and colleagues about the chair they sit in at work…
1. One family member said the chair he sits in at work has a ripped hole in it. Ironically, his company is one of the cheapest, stingiest companies I know of (based on what I’ve heard from my family member). That ripped chair is very symbolic.
2. Some people I spoke to fell in the category of “we went to Office Max, sat in chairs, found a deal, and purchased a few. I have no idea what kind of chair they are.” I find that these company cultures are conscious of budget and value comfort – but don’t obsessively prioritize ergonomics. That’s fine, and that’s the majority of companies out there.
3. Everyone knows someone with a nice chair. When I would ask people what chair they would sit in, they would inevitably bring up someone with nice chairs. “Oh, the architects have sweet chairs.” I find that most of the time, the companies have sweet chairs also have sweet company cultures. At least in the examples presented to me.
A few resources that helped rationalize the investment.
1. The book, “The Office: a facility based on change” – written in 1968 by Robert Propst. The book discusses issues in the workplace in detail. The key realization: the workplace has a short history. It’s up to us to write the next chapter in what the workplace looks like.
2. The article, “Killer Chairs: How Desk Jobs Ruin Your Health” published by the Scientific Journal in 2014. This article helps you realize that there is so much more to workplace wellness than chairs.
3. Goodmans. They’re who we purchased our chairs from. They’re a wealth of knowledge, and have an excellent staff.
The Herman Miller Aeron chairs arrive tomorrow. We still have not sat in one. We shall see how this plays out.
You optimize your website…
You A/B test your subject lines…
You spend hours perfecting your sentences….
But you realize that your subscribers are just not clicking through on your emails. Your click-through rate is in a sad, sorry state.
And if subscribers aren’t clicking through on your links, it means that your sales are likely suffering as well.
So how big of an email intervention do your click-through rates actually need?
Well, it depends on your numbers.
Your click-through rate is the percentage of people who clicked on a link in your email from the total number of people that opened it. It reveals how people are responding to the content of your email and if they find your content relevant enough to click-through for more.
Mailchimp’s 2017 benchmarks on email open rates by industry show click-through rates ranging from 1.25% in the restaurant industry to 5.13% in the hobbies sector. HubSpot’s benchmark studies place the median click-through rate at between 6-7% depending on the number of email campaigns sent and size of the company.
Look at the industry averages and compare your numbers with them. If you’re panicking or shaking your head in dismay, you’re not alone.
In a 2015 survey of 300 marketers, Ascend2 found that low email click-through rates were the single biggest challenge email marketers faced.
Every part of your email has a role to play. Your subject line sells the open. But what you do within your email and how you present your link, is what sells the click.
That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this post. By the end of this post, you’ll know 12 winning strategies to boost your email click-through rates.
#1 Have one primary call to action
Check this out and then do this and then do that
Ever received an email with several calls to actions?
Don’t have too many calls to action unless your email style is that of a curated newsletter. Because when you do, your most important one gets buried and your subscribers never take action on what you want them to.
Always define the primary purpose of an email before writing a single word.
Once you’ve done this, it’s easier to craft your email such that every single element is designed to lead your subscriber into taking that desired action.
Dropbox does this very well. Every single email they send is based on ONE primary call to action.
#2 Segment your list
Do you send your emails to everyone on your list?
Then it’s about time you stop.
Not every email or offer will be relevant to everyone on your email list. The purpose of segmentation is to avoid list exhaustion where you send too many emails or send emails that are irrelevant to your subscribers.
By segmenting your list, you’re able to tailor your content for different groups of subscribers. You can use what members of a segment have in common to deliver more relevant emails to that segment. You’ll not only enjoy higher click-through rates but sales as well. Research has shown that Marketers experienced a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns.
There are several ways to segment your email list but here are 3 simple ideas on how you can do so.
- Behavior-based on actions taken in emails – You create a segment of subscribers who have clicked on links in emails or a set of links related to a specific topic or clicked to sign up for specific events in an email.
- Entry Point – You create a segment based on what they opted into
- Self-selection – You create a segment based on what your subscribers have indicated as their topics of interest
#3 Clean your list
An email list decays by about 23% every year.
These include people who have stopped opening your emails or includes email inboxes that people have abandoned.
It’s in your best interest to delete these subscribers because:
- The higher the number of inactive subscribers you have, the lower your engagement rates will be. For instance, if 1500 recipients open your emails and you email 10,000 people, your open rate is 15%. If 4000 of those people are inactive and you decide to not email them, your open rate jumps to 25%. The sale goes for your click-through rate. You get a better picture of your stats and what content resonates more with your audience.
- The lower your opens and clicks, the lower your sender score or sender reputation. Each of the email delivery providers gives you a sender score. The lower it is, the higher the chances of your emails being placed in the promotion or junk folder. This even hurts the placement of your email in the inbox of subscribers who may be opening your emails.
How do you clean your list?
Step 1: Identify cold subscribers
Most email service providers help you maintain a cold subscriber list. If yours doesn’t, create a segment of people who haven’t clicked or opened your emails over a 3-6-month period.
Step 2: Run a re-engagement campaign
Tag these subscribers as ‘Cold subscribers’. Remove this segment from any of your ongoing email campaigns. You will immediately see an increase in your open and click-through rates.
Then, craft a series of 2-3 emails letting this segment of subscribers know that they haven’t opened or engaged with your emails and ask if they would still like to be on your list.
Give them the option to stay on your list and to indicate their interest by clicking on a link. Anyone who doesn’t act on that email gets deleted off your list.
It’s not uncommon to have several thousand cold subscribers. Sidekick removed a whopping 38k subscribers who were not engaging with their content.
#4 Include a link more than once
Let’s be honest.
We all skim our emails. That’s one of the reasons you should include more than one link in your emails. Preferably in the top–middle–end–P.S. That’s how many you can include.
An unused P.S, in particular, is wasted email real estate. That’s one of the first places that skimmers look. Look at this email from Courtney Johnston of the Rule Breaker’s Club. She weaves in her link several times in the length of her email.
#5 Prime the click
What’s behind the click?
What transformational piece of information are they going to get?
What offer are they going to uncover?
Is there a compelling reason for them to want to click?
What exactly is the benefit?
Once you know this, it’s easier to improve your call to action phrases – the words you use just before the click- that lead your subscriber to click through.
Here are some ways to do this.
Ask a benefit-driven question
- If these are the questions on your mind, I help you answer them in the latest post: How to grow your tiny list with 29 simple but powerful tactics. (Click here to read my answer)
- How do you make your freelance design term work harder for you without paying extra dollars? Click here to find out
- This process increases opens by 3x. See how it works here
- This template cuts my writing time in half. Get it for free here
Make them nod and say yes via a rhetorical question
Want to grow your list on steroids? Download this template for free
This is your last chance to get [name of offer]. I may never offer this again. Want to get rid of your traffic problems? Sign-up Now
#6 Use Video
According to research by Forrester, when marketers included a video in an email, the click-through rate increased by 200% – 300%.
Not all email clients support the ability to play video right in the inbox though. It’s likely yours doesn’t.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t give the illusion of a video in your subscriber’s inbox.
Having a play button on top of a static image is one of the best ways to link to video sales letters or video content hosted on sites like Vimeo and YouTube. See how Digital Marketer does so here.
#7 Use Button CTAs
Buttons always prompt readers to click. They stand out as well.
See how MarketingProfs uses a brightly colored button to prompt subscribers to click.
#8 Have an animated GIF
Using an animated GIF on your call-to-action button is another way to draw attention to it and compel subscribers to click. StoryBrand does this really well right at the top of their email.
#9 Use images to boost your click-through rate
Using images strategically can boost your email’s call to action. See how Amy Porterfield does this.
But remember that your plain text email has to make sense even if you remove your image because several email clients block images. One way around this is to use the alt-text – a short description that displays when a subscriber is unable to access an image. Most email marketing services let you easily fill this field for your images.
#10 Use trigger words in your call to action
Utilizing certain keywords in your call to action can trigger higher click rates. For instance, Copyblogger states that these are the 5 most persuasive words:
Keep a list of trigger words in your swipe file and collate them over time by analyzing your email campaign data. Use them in your call to action to enjoy a boost in click-through rates.
#11 Create Urgency
Subscribers need to clearly know when your offer or sale period ends. Create a sense of urgency so that they are prompted to buy now rather than later by using words such as ‘Hurry! Offer Ends Soon’ or ‘Last Chance’. You can also use a countdown timer in your emails to emphasize urgency. Here’s an example from CreativeLive.
#12 Make sure your emails are mobile optimized
In June 2018, mobile opens accounted for 46% of all email opens. 75% of all Gmail users access their email on mobile devices.
Give your readers a pleasant mobile reading experience. To ensure that your emails render the same way across different email clients and devices, keep your emails simple.
Remove distractions from your email template. Resist the urge to add complicated designs.
Plan your email’s layout well so that the reader is naturally drawn toward your call to action.
How do click-through rates affect your business
Don’t end up paying lip-service to vanity metrics without knowing how they directly affect your business.
Is it ok if subscribers throw heaps of engagement at you but never buy from you at all?
Is it ok if they click-through and never buy? It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security but always see the bigger picture and the impact it brings to your business. Remember these 12 tips to boost your click-through rates!
I started young. At the ripe age of 15 and a half, I started my first online business.
Can you guess what it was?
It was a job board. I created it because I couldn’t find a high paying job at that young of an age. Heck, I struggled to find even a low paying job!
As you probably can guess, it failed and, eventually, I went on to do other stuff.
From creating an ad agency to a few software companies… the list goes on and on.
But if I had to start all over again, what do you think I would do?
Well, before I get into that, let’s first talk about what I learned a bit too late…
What I learned too late in my career
I’m really good at one thing and one thing only.
It’s driving traffic to a site.
It doesn’t matter what industry a site is in, I can drive traffic to it and make it popular. And best of all, I can do it without ads.
But because I can do one thing well, it doesn’t mean I can create a successful business. I still need amazing people around me.
For example, when I started working with Mike Kamo, my business started to take off.
He’s the CEO of my ad agency, and typically the CEO of whatever I want to do. And if he doesn’t have the time, he finds someone who does.
See, Mike doesn’t have a college degree and he’s not your typical CEO. But he is really good at building teams and hiring the right people. And best of all, he can do so on a budget.
That is his best skill!
And working with him I realized that no matter how smart you are, you’ll never build a big company unless you have a talented team.
Sure, you can get to millions on your own, but it’s hard to get to 9 figures or even 8 figures a year in revenue without an amazing team.
People help you scale and grow fast. With more brain power, assuming you are picking good people, you’ll solve your problems faster and see revenue roll in.
So what would I do if you started over again?
Well, the lesson above is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn. And I learned it too late in my career.
It’s obvious, but when you start out as an entrepreneur at too young of an age, you make mistakes (sometimes huge ones) that you more likely wouldn’t have made if you had started your entrepreneurial journey a bit later.
So, what would I do?
Well, I would spend the first 9 years of my entrepreneurial journey in the workforce.
The first 3 years I would spend my time at a startup. And ideally, one that doesn’t have too much venture funding and isn’t taking off like a rocket ship.
The reason I wouldn’t pick a fast-growing startup is that the hardest part is making a company work and then growing it. By working at a company that has amazing traction because of timing or luck, or something that they couldn’t control… it teaches you to be creative, scrappy, and how to fight to win.
You’ll learn a lot from the startup life.
After my first 3 years in a startup, I would then spend the next 2 years working at a mid-size startup that has raised at least 10 million dollars and is growing up and to the right like a hockey stick.
This will help you understand what a fast-growing company looks like. And let me be the first to tell you, it’s not sexy… it’s very messy.
So many things go wrong and keep breaking because you are growing so fast. You’ll end up finding things like your economics may not be great, or you may be working with mediocre people because you just need to hire for the sake of filling in empty positions.
And after those 2 years are done, I would spend 2 years working at a mid-sized company. One that generates at least a hundred million a year in revenue, but less than a billion.
The struggles that mid-size companies face are different than startups and large corporations. But by being in the mix at one of these companies for a few years you’ll learn everything from dealing with politics, to how to make a slow-moving company grow, to even thinking about the big picture. Such as how bigger companies look for huge markets because they know that it is easier to own 5% of a multi-billion-dollar industry than it is to own 50% of a multi-million-dollar industry.
Last, but not least, I would spend my last 2 years at a large corporation. When I mean large, I’m talking about a company that is worth over 10 billion dollars and potentially even publicly traded.
What would you do after your 9 years as an employee?
The whole purpose of working for others is to get the right mentors and to learn how the real world works.
Entrepreneurship isn’t as glamorous as most people think. Success isn’t easily achieved and it doesn’t look like what you might think considering what so many “successful” influencers might sell you on social media.
By working with others, you’ll learn what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t work.
No matter how smart you are, you will make mistakes. Just look at people like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, no one is perfect. Even the billionaires make mistakes.
But once you’ve worked for a handful of companies that are all different sizes, you’ll have a good understanding of what it takes to succeed.
You’ll have a much better understanding of common mistakes people make, such as how to avoid hiring bad people, and if you do hire them, how you need to fire them fast.
In essence, you will have learned what you should do for 9 years straight, which means if you skip all of that, it will be harder for you to be in a position to succeed for lack of experience in the real world. Sure, there is always the possibility of success without all of the experience, but it is much more difficult to become a reality.
Entrepreneurship looks great and is amazing. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But before you go off and become an entrepreneur, learn from companies of all sizes.
It’s not an easy road and the last thing you want to do is fail on someone else’s dime because your reputation is all you have.
By putting in 9 hard years into other people’s companies, you’ll increase your odds of succeeding.
And when you are ready to go out on your own, hopefully, you would have met a few amazing co-founders along your journey because it takes too much time and capital to do it all by yourself.
So what would you do if you were starting all over again?
So, you’ve made the decision to create an online course or maybe you are thinking about it but not sure how much money you can make with it.. Or maybe you’ve started – or even finished – creating your course already. But, now the question remains: How much are you going to charge? What’s the