The opening 7-part Mini-Series is entitled: Online Strategies to Change the World.
01 - What Makes a Platform?
02 - Examples of Great Platforms
03 - Creating Great Content
04 - Systems for Audience Growth
05 - Welcome Email Subscribers
06 - Basic Income Strategies
07 - Advanced Income Strategies
Welcome to Winning the Culture War with Cody Libolt.
This podcast is designed to help you become extraordinarily skilled in communication, especially if you are a Christian and a Culture Warrior. I want you to be a loud advocate of truth in whatever sphere you are able to have an impact.
I’m Cody Libolt. I work with Christian culture warriors who are active in writing, video blogging, and podcasting. I help them accelerate their results both in terms of impact and income.
We’re continuing today to look at the 5 ways to create income with your email list. This is where the work you’ve been doing begins to pay off.
So let’s dive right in and look at these 5 options. These are what I want you to think about as the first things you should consider for making income through your platform.
Offer to work with people 1-on-1 as a freelancer or coach.
Offer access to exclusive, paid content via Patreon or Substack.
Offer a paid subscription to a membership site.
Offer a high value digital course.
Offer a book.
We’re picking up where we left off last time:
Income Option #3: Offer a paid subscription to a membership site.
A “paid subscription” model (also know as a “membership site” or “membership program” model) is a bit like the “exclusive content” model used by many people on Patreon, but now the exclusive content takes center stage. Members are no longer donating to get some extra material: They are customers who are here primarily for your paid content.
A membership program is like a digital course except that members pay a relatively smaller amount, and the amount is paid monthly. A new member gains access to a pool of digital training that grows little by little each week or month as the owner adds new content pieces. Members get access to all prior published material as long as their subscription does not lapse.
Compared with a digital course, a membership program should be oriented toward the kind of thing that could be learned as a process over the long term, while a course is suitable for teaching a new set of skills over a short period of time.
A membership program will have a lower price compared to a digital course. The user will pay perhaps $20/mo or $40/mo. But the user pays monthly, so there needs to be a reason for people to want to stick around for 12 months or 18 months.
Membership programs have some advantages over discrete, self-contained digital courses, and some drawbacks. Both are good options, depending on what kind of content you want to deliver. For someone getting started with an online platform, the main benefit of running a membership program is that it allows you to explore a creating variety of different types of content and topics over time as you grow your customer base. You do not have to create everything up front and hope it is going to be a hit. And you do not have to design a single, large launch. Rather, you can offer rolling enrollment.
You will need to create a small amount of new content each week or month in order for people to find it worthwhile to maintain their subscription. Income from a membership program tends to grow more slowly as compared to income from a stand alone course, and the income tends to be more predictable over time.
Compared with a digital course, membership programs make it relatively easier to grow a community because all of your members get access to newly released material at the same time and they are able to interact with that content and with each other through comments or Q&A sessions if you choose.
A membership program makes it possible to schedule your content in themes each month and to adjust the material as you go, week to week, as you listen to the feedback and questions from your members.
A membership program is suitable if you goal is to teach people about a topic that requires developing a lot of different skills and putting them into practice over time. If you want the flexibility to test out different focus areas for your training, and if you like the idea of providing an ongoing training experience with new material each week or month, you might consider offering a membership program.
Online services for delivering a membership program include Kajabi and Thinkific. To learn about these services, you can search “best membership site platforms.”
This episode is brought to you in part by the Quick Win Workshop, where you will find Essential Training + A Personalized Roadmap To Grow Your Audience.
Your message matters.
The Quick Win Workshop is designed to:
Bring you the knowledge to grow your online platform
Eliminate common mistakes to help you create a strong foundation in the right order that will take you to true success for getting your message out.
We’re so excited about what you’re going to get in this workshop.
A personalized, tailor-made roadmap designed to grow your audience.
Self-paced, essential training.
Ongoing access to myself and other subject-area experts.
Membership in a private community of high-achieving practitioners.
The Quick Win Workshop is created to bring you the change you’re looking for.
If you already have a big idea, huge passion, and strong commitment, but you’re in need of a clear plan created for you with someone who has been there before, this is for you.
You will find each of the specific strategies and tools you need. But you'll get something more: In our complimentary 1-on-1 call, I will personally walk you through the simple steps that almost everyone misses early on and that form the essential foundation for your growth.
To join the Quick Win Workshop, click here.
Income Option #4. Offer a high-value digital course.
Compared with a membership program, a high-value digital course is designed to create one well-defined transformation for your customer, taking them exactly from point A to point B or teaching them one main set of skills or abilities. A digital course is suitable for a topic that can be learned within 30 days.
To be profitable, digital courses need to be priced at a premium. You may see digital courses priced at $97, $197, $397, $597, $997, or even $1997. The promised transformation needs to be more specific and singular than that offered by a membership program. When you market a course, you need to emphasize one specific transformation, so you will need to choose your promise carefully, making sure it is something you know is in high demand.
Courses are well-suited for large launch campaigns with a defined time-window in which people can buy. The launch window gives potential customers a sense of urgency to make a decision. After that window, you close enrollment and then you are able to focus a block of time to help your customers achieve success with the material.
Courses can be offered with an optional up-sell of 1-on-1 coaching. If someone buys a premium priced course, then they are a great candidate for doing a discovery phone call and perhaps signing up as an elite-priced coaching client.
There are many course delivery platforms to chose from. Teachable.com or Kajabi are two I would recommend. If you design a digital course, make sure to do some reading about how to plan and to create one. This is a deep topic.
Income Option #5. Offer a book.
I list the book option last, not because you would need to do the other options before publishing a book, but because you will be more likely to get your book to a wide audience if you have already gained experience with one or two of the other options.
When you publish a book, if you want to make sales, you will need to go to the effort of launching it. You only get one launch for a given book. A course can be relaunched year after year, usually with updates or improvements in the presentation. A book is something that has a single date on it: First Edition, Date.
When you release your book, it needs to already be a relatively final iteration. Having some experience delivering your ideas in other formats will prepare you for creating such a book. You will have already tried out different ways to communicate the same overall ideas, and you will be able to retool some of the existing the material that seemed most successful.
Your book launch will go better if you already have experience selling other content. And it will probably be a better product. Moreover, your book will have a ready made audience: You have already grown an audience and an income through some of the other options, so you will be in a position to market your book to that audience. Given the low price books sell for, you need a relatively large audience to make it worth the work it takes to create a book.
Often, the books that succeed the most are those that reflect some material that has already been created and delivered as a keynote speech or a digital course. The material is condensed into a book and presented in a more compact way. It’s a good sign if the material in the book has already been tested through an online workshop or a live course or something similar. The material has been perfected, and the final form is what you see in the book.
Do not let these considerations discourage you from releasing a book if you have already written one or are planning to. But when you release your book, be aware that its sales numbers will in most cases correlate with the size of the rest of your platform.
Now that you’ve seen how to grow your email list and how to create income from that email list, you’re getting close to completing this training. You have a solid grasp of what a platform is and how to create a funnel that will grow your audience and make income, all while getting your message out.
With what you’ve learned in this training, you’re ready to start building. Don’t feel like you have to try to do it all at once. The purpose of this series was to give you the lay of the land to understand what is possible and how it can fit together. If you’re wanting to get started, I recommend following the more basic level options, or adapting as needed to fit your specific case.
Are you ready to jump in and build your platform?
If so, I want to tell you about two paths you could take as you’re building it.
1) You could use the material I’ve already given you and work through applying it on your own.
2) If you would like some more structured guidance on how to apply these general principles and build out your project, I would recommend getting on the phone with me.
I offer complementary consultations to help platform builders like you line out a custom strategy based on your goals, and I can even work with you one-on-one to help you build your platform if you’re looking for help.
When you’re working on a new skill, it is a great benefit to get input from someone who has already got the results you’re wanting.
Schedule a complimentary consultation with me. I will help you get your project moving forward.
Here’s the process to do that. It’s three steps:
Schedule a 20-minute phone call with me.
I’ll get to know what you’re wanting to accomplish.
I’ll give you a custom strategy that you can implement.
The people I’ve worked with have seen massive results. Some have doubled or tripled their audience sizes and also doubled or tripled their income from their projects. Some have built an audience from scratch and reached the point of being able to impact the national conversation.
I work with people who are fighters and who are absolutely passionate about taking back ground from the radical left. If that’s you, and you’re ready to get off of the sidelines and start having an impact, then I want to hand you a bullhorn.
I want your audience to grow. That’s why I’m in this: to see results.
If Christians continue sitting on the sidelines, we will fail to have the preserving effect we can on our churches and on our society. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you will speak up, people will listen.
Schedule a complimentary phone call with me today.
Alright that is a wrap for this episode and this mini-series. There’s much more to come. And if you’re looking for personal input on your project, at any time, the place to get that input is at CodyLibolt.Media.