When I started at Infusionsoft (now KEAP) back in 2005, the thing that surprised me the most was discovering how many different ways people were making money. And not just a little bit of money. A lot of money.
I had to shake my head when I learned that two “astrologers” (these were college kids) were making $25,000 a month sending out daily horoscopes. Then there was the woman who had written a book - a single, fictional, self-published novel - and she turned her fans into a community that somehow (still trying to figure out how) produced over $200,000 a year for her.
In my early Infusionsoft days, my team and I worked with hundreds of business owners. Everyone’s story was unique. And everyone was facing different challenges. But one thing seemed to ring true...those businesses that had an idea, found the right market, and did even basic marketing were seeing some pretty incredible results.
Fifteen years ago, what I saw business owners accomplishing blew my mind.
Because I was young. And my concept of money was still limited - you go to work, you collect a paycheck. But I did learn, as you undoubtedly have, that money is a fluid concept. With the right business model and plan, you’re not restricted to “number of hours worked” = “amount of money made”.
Fast forward to today, and my mind is still being blown. But for an entirely different reason. You see, as the co-founder of CustomerHub, I still see awesome ideas on a daily basis. Our customers have put together incredible courses and memberships for their communities.
For many, it’s their core business. For others it’s another revenue stream. But it’s always inspiring to see what our customers are doing and how profitably they’re doing it. Even during this pandemic.
So what “blows my mind” today?
It’s the number of people who are on the verge of opportunity...and they just sit there. They have a fantastic idea for a course or resources that could easily convert into a membership program. But they fail to move forward.
Now, I do understand there are challenges. I get it. Running a small business is not easy. And creating a new knowledge business or second revenue stream can be overwhelming to even think about. Nevertheless, we’re seeing an incredible shift toward digital consumption. And now is the time to make this happen.
Given the backstory I just shared, I want to dig into the reasons you haven’t, yet, embraced that course or membership you’ve been thinking about. (And then I plan to convince you that you can do this...soon!)
Let’s get started!
Obstacle #1: I Don’t Have Time
Time is our greatest commodity, isn’t it? Without a doubt, small business owners are (as a group) the hardest working people I’ve ever known. What’s more, we never shut off. Even if we’re not physically working on our business, we’re thinking about the business. Or worrying about our business. So much so, that it often interferes with the rest of our life.
And the idea of one more thing might be enough to break us. Right?
Now let me point out the irony. A course or membership is your key to more time and more freedom. Why? Because with either, you can sell your offering to thousands of people. You do the work once and you reach a multitude.
If you’re a service-based business, you are trading time for money. No matter how hard you work, you will never get ahead. No matter how many people you hire, you will never get ahead. Time for money. That’s the reality for most business owners.
Which is why you need a course or membership...to give you the revenue you need to achieve the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
Obstacle #2: I’m Not Sure My Idea Is Good Enough to Launch
Of all the things holding you back, this argument is the most valid. Because...despite all the ways I’ve seen people make money, there are some business ideas that will fail. And, if time is one of the factors holding you back, then you can’t afford to put a bunch of effort into ventures that fall short.
But this is exactly why we love technology. And social media. And all the tools that are finally supporting small business owners.
Test your idea. If you’ve been in your industry for a few years, then your gut instinct is likely spot on - there is a profit to be made in the course or membership site you want to create. But with very little time and very little (if any) money, you can reach your target market and get their feedback.
Set up a poll on Facebook
Attend networking meetings and get personal feedback
Reach out to mentors and others in your industry who have done similar things
Ask your existing community what they think
And then, once you’ve gotten confirmation that your idea is a solid one...sell it. Create one piece. Just one download. Or a webinar. Or an ebook. And see if someone is willing to spend money to know what you know.
I go into this in further detail in our guide: Nearly Instant Profits
Obstacle #3: I Don’t Have Enough Content to Start
If you’ve ever signed up for a membership, then you likely saw dozens of downloads. Maybe some videos. Certainly some tutorials. And it was all professional. And there was a lot of it.
Looking around at what others have done is definitely going to overwhelm you.
But you have to remember something. Everyone who has ever created a course or membership site started somewhere. They, like you, only needed one piece of content to start making money.
Too often we fool ourselves into believing it’s got to look and feel and sound like other content creators’ sites or it will be dismissed.
The truth is, as long as your offering helps your customers solve their problem, that’s all you need. You’ve got all the time in the world to build out more content later.
One thing we’ve noticed is that launching (even one piece of content) is all it takes. Once business owners see the potential in their content, they commit more fully to it. Because few things can beat the advantages of a course or membership site.
Ready to launch “something”?
Obstacle #4: I Don’t Know Where to Start
Sure you do.
Because a knowledge business is the easiest business (or second stream of revenue) to create.
You start, as mentioned above, with a single piece of content. Something of value that your target market is willing to pay for.
Next...you’ve got to have the right technology for delivering your content. Preferably a solution that is easy to use. (Hint. Hint.)
Then promote your offering.
It really is that simple.
Want to check out the easiest membership site technology for KEAP and Infusionsoft users?
CustomerHub was created for a reason. It was created to help business owners break free from the hamster wheel. Our goal is to help you make more money, multiply your impact, and scale your business profitably.
Because you deserve it. You deserve the lifestyle you set out to achieve.
And that lifestyle is possible. I learned that 15 years ago. And I’ve been working ever since then to help more entrepreneurs achieve it.
You’re ready for something new or you would have never found us. It’s time to push past the obstacles holding you back and jump on the knowledge business train.
We’re here to help you when you make that jump. To sign up for a free 30 day trial of CustomerHub, click here.