James Schramko from SuperFastBusiness.com (link) talks to us about growing your business online and becoming an authority and leader in your yoga niche.
Podcast with Online Marketing Expert James Schramko
In the podcast:
01:10 – Reason created course Earn the Race Course
01:20 – How to get long-term asset on the Internet
03:20 – Create a database; asset called the house list to email subscribers
03:49 – Building up audience and ability to communicate with people
04:33 – Recommend the “news” approach to keep an audience engaged and returning
04:54 – Continually update website
05:21 – Need to be IT savvy?
06:51 – What an actual “Dream Team” is
08:25 – Outsourcing
09:46 – Importance to set yourself up as an authority and bring down into a niche area and get known
12:15 – Evolving and using resources to market
13:05 – Build your own; register your name and business
13:42 – How to make information appealing to people
15:06 – Beginning steps for building their own platform and setting up news broadcasts in niche
16:45 – Have ability to let people select what information they want rather than blasting email to all
19:05 – Community building
19:54 – What building a platform is about
22:30 – Where do people go to get the checklist
22:40 – Link to free training
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Mark: Hi everyone this is Mark from Yoga Coach. Today we’re speaking to online marketing expert James Schramko and he’s talking to us about growing your business online and becoming an authority in your niche. So welcome James. Can you tell us a little bit about your signature course, owning the race course and why it’s important to know about this stuff?
James: Absolutely Mark, thanks for having me on the show by the way. The most important thing is that with the proliferation of Facebook and YouTube, it’s really tempting for people wanting to build their profile to put all their stuff on these platforms and it might have a good presence there but the problem is caught up in the platform and by platform I mean Facebook or YouTube both changed the rules and when that happens, sometimes it’s not favorable for you. So my main point, the reason I created a course called “Own the Racecourse” is that you should be in control of your primary asset. So for that reason, I suggest that anyone looking to have a long term asset on the internet should build their own website first and foremost using great program called WordPress which is actually free and put their best content there and then use the other people’s platforms like Facebook or YouTube to let people know that their content is there so they can actually take advantage of these big popular platforms but bring people back to their own site which they are in control of and they can own for a long time.
Mark: Okay because in the yoga world it’s been interesting to watch that you know 10 years ago the teachers that did the best and successful were in the big studios and basically they were live in the studios and being primary teachers there they had a lot of people driving to them. It seems to have changed now. A lot of the younger crew setting up all these Facebook accounts, social media accounts, and then they go to lots of different studios and then use the studio for their own purposes to build their own brand. But kind of what you’re saying is that there’s a risk within that.
James: Well building on Facebook or YouTube alone is like working for one studio and then the studio might close their doors. So the younger yoga students sound like they are pretty savvy and they realize that it’s better to have multiple ports where they can make people aware of what they are up to. So imagine this. They have their own website, they put fantastic tutorials and information for people who are interested in yoga, they put an email subscription there that people can hear about and then when they update their blog or their journal then they go and post that on Facebook or they share a video on YouTube but at all times, they put in their best content on their website and just letting people know that it’s updated. So people jump across from Facebook to this person’s site, they join their email list and now you have a real database. You’ve got an asset there called the house list and if they move from one studio to another, the simply just email everyone in their email subscriber service and say “Hey, I’ve now moved from Studio-A to Studio-B” and instantly their entire customer base can be alerted.
Mark: Well so essentially it’s about building up, more of a lifetime audience. Is that correct?
James: Exactly right. It’s building up your audience and your ability to communicate with people. If you can communicate with people then it doesn’t matter if things change because you can just let them know that things have changed.
Mark: And as I understand it because you have your own platform you essentially work like a news broadcast keeping people updated with the latest changes or trends or the latest information coming out.
James: You know I notice that people watch the news every night and as much as people don’t love commercial television and advertising, they will switch on the news at the same time every night and watch the news. So people are trained that the news is going to have something interesting, or different, or exciting or updated so we are tuned for news and that’s why I recommend the news approach for the way that keep an audience engaged and to have them coming back over and over again and I find that 2/3 of the people coming to my website are coming back. They’re basically saying what’s new? What’s changed? And I update it regularly. So one of the keys here is frequency, you want to continue or you update your website and one of the biggest no-no’s is to have a website built and they just leave it there and it just seats there and it gets tired and loved and no one is coming to it and you’ll never make that work for you.
Mark: Right. And when you’re doing this “Own the Racecourse” and you’re building this powerful site or powerful thing where like everything that comes back to it do you need to be particularly IT savvy?
James: You don’t and it’s actually an advantage if you are not because it means that you can be free to focus on the stuff you are good at and I would expect for a lot of people in your community that would be yoga teachers and they should be focusing on that and building their yoga business into something powerful where you know, that have a good brand reputation, they have customers on TAP, they’re never struggling to meet ends. So if they are focusing on that, then they definitely don’t want to learn how to be a web master or to do all the technical stuff. So I would say that you can easily get service to provide you things you need, even our own business, builds websites and does updates to the websites for publishers, like all they have to do is record something on a video or an audio and just put it into online Dropbox and then our team actually takes over and does the rest and that means that professionals could focus on doing what they do best whatever that happens to be and in your case I’m sure it’s yoga.
Mark: Right. So tell us a little bit more about like in brackets what you’re talking about professionals or the team. You certainly drummed into me about building a dream team and kind of offsetting the things that I’m not good at and putting that out to a team and putting that out through all the social media, putting it into the platforms it needs to be in and my main job is building content but can you say a little bit more to the audience about what an actual dream team is?
James: Yes so in a dream team that’s basically just literally having a team who are strong in the things that you don’t want to do or shouldn’t do or can’t do. So in my dream team, after I’ve recorded a video or a piece of audio content like this podcast, I put it into Dropbox and then my project manager picks it up out of there and she’ll have it edited so the cut out uhms and uhs, they will add a bumper which is an intro-altro so it might be a little theme song for the podcast that might be a video bumper if it’s a video that has like a little swoosh of the brand and a sound effect. They’ll then actually load it up to video players or to audio players that will stream it from the website and that automatically feeds to Apple iTunes so you could get into people’s iPhones and Smartphones and they’ll also transcribe everything that I say into text which turns into a blog post and they’ll even illustrate. So if I talk about something say today, I was talking about a lock and a key, they’ll actually draw a lock and a key to highlight the point of the discussion and then once it’s published, they can actually share it which we call syndicate to other sites, it’s just basically clicking on a few links to let other sites know that the content is being added to my site and then people come in and they have like tens of thousands of people every single months coming to have a look at it.
Mark: Okay so you’re talking about outsourcing correct?
James: Well outsourcing is sort of a vaguely used word. There’s task sourcing which is just having little things done like you could send an audio to a service like www.Rev.com and they will actually transcribe it for you for about a dollar per minute. That’s task sourcing. Outsourcing is sending things away to get done, that’s sort of a fairly accurate description but I prefer to call it a team. It really is, it’s my business. There’s a full time employee and I basically treat them as if they are in the same building as made, like the old traditional way of having a job, except that they are on a different country on a different time zone and they work from home. So that’s pretty cool. We’ve got the flexibility of having a the good things about a job like ware whatever you want, work different hours, hang out at home, all you need is internet connection and the desire to do good work and some skill and really we’re just like a normal company so I call them my team and I would say that it’s someone in my business’s role to do this particular functions as a normal business would have.
Mark: Okay so how important is it to set yourself up as an authority and kind of bring that down into a niche area and get known for your kind of speciality?
James: What it does is it leads to opportunities. If you’re famous, like I say the president of the United States or Oprah, then of course you are going to get a lot of opportunities. You’d be invited to events, awards, ceremonies, countries and you’ll have the royal red carpet laid out, so that’s like the upper end of the scale. The lower end of the scale like if you’re just reasonably famous in your market then you’ll still get invitations to present, to provide content, to endorse things, to – when you sell something and people recognize you they’ll just buy it so conversations increase. You can charge more if you have more fame. So if you are like a world champion surfer and you wanted to endorse a teacher T-shirt brand they’ll pay you. So it really does attract benefits. It’s actually something that you can take into your own hands. You can decide to be below the radar, invisible and unknown and you can walk around the street and never be recognized but also, it’s much harder to convince someone that they should do your class, so they should follow your brand of yoga because no one knows who you are. You have no credibility. But if you start getting recognized or endorsed or you publish a book or a podcast or you’ve got a famous website where everyone goes “Oh, that’s that person” you get asked to be on other people’s shows, you can lift your profile, you might get interviewed on the news. You might be able to publish your own DVDs then basically whenever you put new stuff up, people go “Oh, I know that face so I recognize that name. I’ll buy that.”
Mark: Yes I think in my example, you know I was teaching for – I’ve been practicing 40 years and 30 years of teaching, 20 years of teacher training, I taught a thousand teachers but essentially best keep secret I was lied tobecause I relied on word of mouth but as the industries changed and evolved I can’t do that anymore and certainly you’ve helped me in a big way in creating a platform and getting out there and some. I think there’s a real lesson in not kind of sitting there and thinking that what you do now you can just keep on doing it and you’ll be successful. There’s a part about, you know evolving and using the resources that we have and as you said we’ve got free advertising in Facebook, YouTube, to market ourselves, outsourcing which can make things a lot cheaper. I think it’s taking advantage of it at this time just to really – it’s just right at your grasp and such an exciting time really.
James: Absolutely. I think it’s the time. It’s actually – I was speaking to a famous comedian yesterday and I asked him is it easy to be new comedian now or back a few years ago? He said “Oh now” with the advent of, the ability to put things on YouTube and Facebook, you can get famous instantly if you want to create a content and if you just take that small step of putting it on your own site and making sure you build your own. Like step number one, go and register your own name dot com. If you possibly can if it’s not Charlie Brown or whatever, if it’s not taken go and get it.
Mark: This is your personal name right?
James: Your personal name, like lock that one up, the dot com and then second thing is register your business and get that secured and then build on that. It’s the time to do this.
Mark: Yes well while we’re here check out www.MarkBreadner.com. Now you know the – we’re kind of bombarded by information at the moment and how do we make our information appealing to people? Like they just want to kind of delete it straightaway when it comes into the inbox and so what size information, what chucks of information should we make it so that people will want to listen to it and watch it and will pay attention?
James: The most important thing is to be relevant, rather than size or format, it’s just going to be relevant and that’s why news is relevant because it’s changing. Frequently asked questions are a good starting point and solving the biggest problems that you audience have, they never go and run out of a hunger for solving problems. So let’s say you were dealing with yoga for pregnant women and you were publishing videos on the seven things you must do if you are pregnant and looking to practice yoga or seven reasons why yoga can reduce child birth pains by 50% or whatever. Like you get compelling subject lines, you get topics that are highly interested to your target audience, they will click on that email, they will read the email, every single world of it and they’ll do what you tell them to do if you remember to have what’s called a cold action, tell them what you want them to do.
Mark: Yes. So what do you think is the beginning steps for someone that’s thinking about building their own platform and setting themselves up for news broadcasts for relative information and you know solving – coming up with solutions to peoples problems and whatever niche they’re in?
James: Well actually put an entire checklist on the free training that I provide on the www.RaceCourse.com and I would say study the course it takes less than one hour to watch, it’s free, go through the checklist and just start doing it. So the steps would be get your own domain name and build a website, we’ll have someone build it for you and then start thinking of the biggest topics that you could cover, like what are the questions people always ask and make something that you could actually give away yourself and to build an email list and then you just continually update your website with new information and remember to share at each time you do that on the major social websites.
Mark: Okay and then as you do that, I mean different people will be interested in different information you put out there and one of the important things that I learned from building – owning the race course is that to segment information so that you’re able to put people into specific groups where they’re paying attention to certain aspects of – in our case certain people interested in meditation, some in the spiritual, some in the body focus stuff so that when you speak to them while you put products out then you can speak directly to people that are interested?
James: That’s exactly right, so have the ability to let people select which sort of information I would like to get rather than blasting an email to everyone, just in the things that are most relevant to the people who are really interested in it. Like if you are sending pregnant woman in yoga stuff to men, they may not be that interested in it or if you are sending old persons yoga to young people they may not be that interested in it. But if you are sending yoga for athletes to professional surfers, they’re going to be right into it. So try and segment the amount into groups, types of customers and communicate with them about the stuff they are interested in.
Mark: Yes and again there are people that like understand that and specialize in that that can help you in those sorts of areas. I know sometimes when I used to hear that information I’d go oh I can’t do that. That’s too hard but I think it’s really important to reinforce that there are people that are good at that and they’re certainly willing to help build your business and create a team to do that.
James: Yeah absolutely.
Mark: You know another aspect that’s really good for me in communicating information to – specifically I focus on working with yoga teachers but it’s building community and I think so many people because of the busyness of their live and all the things that we have to do in a day that we kind of miss out on that relationship and just building a community of likeminded souls, likeminded people, is really comforting in a way but also you get to deepen your understanding in so many different aspects that you wouldn’t have had a chance to otherwise.
Mark: Yes so if you – like if you build a lot of big community around you know what you’ve been doing, I know you run live events and I know that you’re on social dinners and get-togethers and all of those different people get together and they share information. They get to know people and they help to build their businesses and they get to kind of join projects together and for me that’s a really kind of exciting aspect about it.
James: I think community building is great and you’ve got the chance to do that when you are building a central website that becomes a good resource for your industry and people will send you there. I mean I’m into a new sport at the moment and everyone is recommending that I go to this particular website where I’ll be able to see updates every day on this topic. So this person has created a hub or a resource that’s really cutting through everyone else and basically you want to be that person in the market.
Mark: Yes, I guess in the end and certainly in my case and I think what I get the message is that it’s all about lifestyle and in this way building a platform it’s about working smarter, working less and then building a lifestyle around that, doing more of the things that you love doing and certainly at the beginning it’s a lot of hard work. You know it’s a lot of hard work to build a platform and create it but in the end that’s the whole thing, you know to create this sort of automated system that’s a really solid platform that you can communicate to people, build a platform, work less, work smarter and do more of the things that we love doing.
James: Absolutely. It’s all available.
Mark: Yes I mean certainly for me you’re a man after my own heart. You kind of – as you’re teaching me I’m seeing your hours go down and your surfing hours go up and that’s certainly a role model to me. Work less and surf more.
James: If that’s what you want, you want to balance the – especially in your market no one wants to be that yoga teacher doing 10 classes a day, it’s exhausting. You want to be able to have this business that you build around you that can support what you want to do and actually even fund it. Imagine if you can do it in other countries and you can go on to us and it’s all paid for by having a business where people can easily find you, they like what you do, you’ve got a reputation, you can charge reasonable fair prices instead of having to undercut because you are the person. You want to be that person.
Mark: Yes exactly. I think one of the big things I try to get across to my students is that if you start to specialize a niche and build a platform you can start to run with your community and your audience you can start to run retreats and workshops, you can do them in exotic locations, you know you can run a one week retreat in Bali, 20 people make 10 grand profit and that’s equivalent of doing 150 classes back at home. So you know there’s lots of draw cards for going in this direction.
Mark: Well I think that about covers it. Is there anything that you particularly want to leave a message with as far as how do they go and find your checklist? You mentioned you own the race course and there’s a checklist there, where do people go to, to be able to get that?
James: Yeah, www.SuperFastBusiness.com.
Mark: Okay and one there there’s a link to a free training, just enter that in and have a look at the course and get the checklist and go for it. All right James well thanks for that today. It was really informative and I certainly, for my audience, it certainly made a massive difference to the way that I’m out there in the yoga world and stay tuned. Watch this channel. Thanks James, have a good day.
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