[Case Study] How I Built a $108,800 per year Membership Site

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Let me walk you step-by-step through my Business Model

 

Several years ago, before I was making a full-time income online, I started reverse engineering the ultra successful online marketers business models.

I thought that if I could figure out exactly step-by-step how they were integrating all the different pieces of the puzzle (driving traffic, email marketing, social media, ect.) into a successful business model I could duplicate their success and achieve the goal I had been trying so hard to  achieve for years…a full time income online.

What I found changed my life and the way I did business online forever.  In this blog post I am going to explain and show you exactly what I found.

One Business Model to Rule Them All

As I went through all of these ultra successful peoples business models I started to see patterns emerge.  I realized that all of the big name, successful internet marketers were all basically following the same model.

Once I boiled it down to a core funnel that all of them were using I started to implement it into my own business and my conversion rates (and profits) started skyrocketing!

Now a days this is the only business model I follow online.  For ever new product I release I set it up like this.  For every affiliate product I promote, this is how I set it up.

Follow this business model and I promise you will never go back to the way you used to be doing things.

The Business Model

TFBA-Business-Plan-Full

This is my full business model, don’t worry if you don’t understand it at first we are going to go step-by-step through it and I will explain everything.

There are two reasons this model works so well:

  1. It is able to take a cold lead who has never even heard of your brand/business and turn them into a engaged, sharing and ravingly loyal customer. (and it does all of this on auto pilot)
  2. It turns non-buyers into buyers and then buyers into serial purchasers of your products.  Again, doing all of this on complete autopilot.

Once you have it all setup you send traffic to the “top of your funnel” (the Lead Magnet) and the machine (the business model) goes into action automatically, spitting out money at the bottom.  It really is a magical thing.

So lets go through this funnel one step at a time…

NEW PRODUCT-2

Incoming Traffic and Your Lead Magnet 

TFBA-Business-Plan-1

This is the “top” of your funnel, where all of the traffic gets sent too.

Traffic

After trying pretty much every traffic generation strategy out there over the years, I have landed on 5 different strategies that work consistently in every single niche that I enter.

I will be dedicating an entire blog post in the future to each of these traffic methods, and when they go live I will put links here for them.  In the mean time below is a brief description of each.

1)   Facebook Ads – I use a combination of retargeting (talked about more below) and regular ads on Facebook.  While not the    cheapest place to get traffic, Facebook’s targeting features make it superior to other ad networks out there.  I am able to directly target my competitors audience and send them directly to my Lead Magnet squeeze pages.  Can’t get much better than that!

fb ads example

2)   Blog – 99% of bloggers have no idea what they are doing with their blogs.  The true purpose of a blog should be two things.  To introduce yourself and your brand to your target audience as well as provide value and knowledge.  To act as a traffic driver to your funnel.  The average blog sees about 2-5% of their readers opt-in to their email list.  That means out of ever 100 people who come to their blog only 2-5 of them join their email list, and more than likely will ever come back.  5 out of 100!  You should be driving as many readers as you possibly can into your funnel, that way at the very least they will turn into repeat visitors and readers when you mail out about new posts.

3)   Forum Traffic – By posting relevant and helpful posts in different forums in your niche you can drive very highly targeted traffic to your squeeze pages.  I average about 75 visitors a day to my squeeze pages by posting just on the Warrior Forum (warriorforum.com) and adding a link to my signature.

forum sig

4)   Twitter Ads – These types of ads work best when leading too whats called ‘Native Advertising’.  This is when an ad leads to a page with content (not a squeeze or sales page), such as a blog post, that provides valuable content and then upsets a product at the end.

twitter ad example

5)   Email Drops – Think of email drops as solo ads for any niche.  By approaching influencers in your niche that have large email lists you can pay them to send out an email promoting one of your squeeze pages to their subscriber.  This is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to grow your list out there!

Lead Magnet/Bait

Your Lead Magnet/Bait is a small give away (usually a case study, report or check list) that you offer in exchange for an email address.  Most of you will be familiar with this, it is a basic squeeze page.

Here are some examples:

sqz_page_example1 copy

sqz_page_example2 copy

sqz_page_example3 copy

For most of you this is nothing new, been in online marketing for any amount of time you have run into squeeze pages like these before.

Where the magic of this business model comes into play is what happens after the opt-in.

Retargeting 

LM - Retargeting

I add a retargeting pixel to every single Squeeze Page I have.

Not exactly sure what retargeting is?  Have you ever gone to amazon.com and looked at product but didn’t buy it, then, later on you will start to see ads on every site you go too for that specific product on amazon?

That is retargeting.  It allows you to display ads to people who have visited your site anywhere online.  You can even target people who visited your squeeze page but didn’t opt-in.

Facebook has its own retargeting program that I use.  I use it to run FB ads targeting people who came to my squeeze page but don’t opt-in.  (I’ll be creating a post specifically about how I do this, stay tuned for that!)

This allows me to continually advertise and market to every single person who has come to my squeeze pages.  I average around 50% opt-in, but that means for ever 100 people who come to my squeeze page 50 of them leave and I will never see them again!

With retargeting I can now continually run ads on Facebook to those people who I would normally not be able too ever talk to again and send them to a different squeeze page with a different offer and get them to opt-in there.

The Indoctrination Series 

LM Indoctrination SeriesAs soon as someone opts-in to my squeeze page two thing happen.

  1. I send them an email that gives them a link to either download or read/watch my Lead Magnet.
  1. I automatically add them to my Indoctrination Series.

An indoctrination series is an auto responder campaign specifically designed to introduce your new subscriber to your brand.  What you stand for, how often you plan on sending them emails, some of your best content, as well as white listing instructions, these are all things I have in my indoctrination series.

What this does is gets them familiar with your brand and sets you apart from the hundreds of other emails they get on a weekly basis from other marketers.

This has led to my my follow up series emails getting as high as 52% open and 48% Click Through Rates!

indocrtination follow up

Engagement Series

LM - Engagment Series

Immediately after opt-ing in I send subscribers to my trip wire offer.  Some of you might know this as a One-Time-Offer (OTO).  More on what exactly a Tip Wire offer is below!

If they don’t immediately purchase the Trip Wire, then they are added to whats called an Engagement Series.  This is a series of emails specifically designed to provide value and get them to purchase the Trip Wire.

Generally this is a 3-7 day email series.

The Trip Wire

tripwire

A Trip Wire, sometimes referred to as a One-Time-Offer (OTO), is a very low cost offer generally $7-$10 thats sole purpose is to turn subscribers into buyers.  I like to take a piece (generally called a module in info products) and summarize it or turn it into an action checklist and use that as my Trip Wire.  This makes it a great pre-sell straight into the Core Offer (more on that later!)

Did you know that as soon as someone purchases something from you, doesn’t matter if it’s as little as $1, they become 20x more likely to buy from you again?  20 times!!!

The simple act of exchanging money changes the entire relationship, you are now someone that they see as an expert and will listen to your advise.  They are more inclined to open your emails and take action on things you recommend.

Think about it, I bet you are much more likely to open and actually read emails from people and companies you have actually purchased something from vs other emails from other random marketers that you barely remember opt-ing into their lists.  I know I do…

Thats the purpose and magic of the Trip Wire, it will turn someone who has never bought from you before into someone who is 20x more likely to buy from you again!  (And at a higher price point).

As soon as a new subscriber opts-in to my Lead Magnet they are immediately sent to my Trip Wire Sales page.  I have seen the best conversion rates by using a video that introduces my brand, who I am and then leads them into the pitch for the Trip Wire.

Here are some examples of Trip Wire offers:
tripwire_example3

tripwire_example2

I also add a retargeting pixel to all of my trip wire offers.  This allows me too run ads to people who opted-in but did not purchase my trip wire.  Using this I can run FB ads offering them a discount on the trip wire, or just a reminder saying “Hey your forgot to grab your copy of this awesome whatever!”.

I have seen an conversions as high as 10% by running these retargeting ads to my trip wire offers!  Thats 10% of lost sales regained by running simple ads on autopilot!

Core Offer 

Core Offer

The next step in the funnel is the Core Offer.  This is the main product that you are promoting and will generally be promoted on a full sales page.

After someone has purchased your Trip Wire they are immediately taken to the Core Offer sales page.  I like to keep Core Offers between $30-$250.  Remember they have just come from a very low priced offer, normally about $7 so you can’t immediately send them too a $1,000 offer, they aren’t ready for it.  The trust hasn’t been built and established yet, that comes later with the Profit Maximizer!

If they do not immediately purchase your Core Offer two things happen:

  1. Again I have a retargeting pixel installed and will automatically run FB ads targeting these people either offering them a discounted trial, a reminder telling them to join now, or something along those lines.
  1. They are added to my ascension series.

Ascension Series

ascension series

Like an engagement series, your ascension series is an email followup series with the goal of moving your purchasers to the next product in your funnel.

In this case when someone purchases your Trip Wire and does not immediately buy your Core Offer they are added to your ascension email series.  Over the course of 5-10 emails you provide value, testimonials and up-sells leading your subscribers into purchasing your Core Offer (the next product in the funnel).

Once they have purchased your Core Offer they are added to the next ascension series promoting the next product in your funnel (your profit maximizer) and so on.  This can create an endless loop of customers turning into serial purchasers of your products at higher and higher price points.

NEW PRODUCT-2

Profit Maximizer

profit maximizer

Your Profit Maximizer is the last step in the funnel.  At this point your customer has opted-in to your Lead Magnet, they have purchased your Trip Wire, your Core Offer and now the next step is to offer them your Profit Maximizer.

This is generally the most expensive product in your funnel (though it can sometimes be cheaper than your Core Offer).  I personally like to create 1-on-1 Coaching Programs as my Profit Maximizers, they compliment my core offers perfectly and are often the most requested feature from my online courses.

You are not limited to just one Profit Maximizer.  Technically you could have an infinite amount of them, continually going up higher and higher in price, however in most of my funnels I only have one or two.

Like with the Core Offer, if someone does not immediately purchase your Profit Maximizer they are added to an ascension series that continues to provide value and promote your Profit Maximizer.

Wrapping it Up

Wrap

Thats the business model, in all of its glory, that I reverse engineered from the most successful people online.

It is the business model that I use every time I create a new product, setup a new business or enter a new niche.

Go through it a couple more times, print out the PDF and hang next to your wall and USE IT!  I guarantee you if you model your business after this model you conversion rates will skyrocket, your engagement will sky rocket and most importantly, your profit will skyrocket!

If you would like to see exactly step-by-step how to build and implement this business model check out The Freedom business Academy!

In my next post I am going to be covering what I like to call “Business Math”.  This is the fun type of math that, using this business model, will show you exactly how you can spend way more than your competition on advertising and still make a TON of profit.  This is the secret that allows you too enter a niche and absolutely destroy the competition while they sit around wondering how in the world you are doing it.  You won’t want to miss it!

Stay tuned and see you next week 🙂

Email:
Steve
 

I'm Steve, an entrepreneur, traveler and writer. I created this blog to help free you from the 9 to 5 rat race and to teach you how to build an online business that will give you the freedom most people only dream of.

  • Dale

    Absolutely epic.

    At what point do you give up on someone who isn’t buying? Or do you just continue to send them educational emails?

    • Hey Dale,

      Haha, yeah for people who are smart enough to understand the model and apply it to their own businesses this post could change their entire life 🙂

      It really depends on the price point, the higher the price the longer I have follow up sequences running for it. But in general around 7-10 days of follow up/upsell emails. Once they run through the entire follow up sequence and they still haven’t bought I have them auto moved over (using Aweber Pro) too my general broadcast list. Thats the general email list I email every day with both content and new offers.

      Does that make since?

      • Dale

        Perfect sense, thanks Steve.

        Tweeted this out 🙂

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  • Simo

    Great Share Steve.
    I see that you are a big fan of Ryan Diess!!!

    • Steve

      While I am a fan of Ryan Deiss this business model was around WAY before him. He just dressed it up and gave everything new names.

      This model has been around for a very long time, its time tested, proven and it works!

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