Hello and welcome to Four Profitable Online Offer Ideas. Thank you so much for joining me. Today you’re going to see what people in mid-career are doing to develop profitable online offers. And I’ve got some great examples for you. And we’re also going to talk about a process that I teach that makes developing and delivering online offers so much easier. And it also removes a lot of the risk that is associated with developing online offers. Ok let’s start indepth details in profitable online business ideas
This is also an opportunity for you to ask me any questions that you may have. My client success coach Stacey Cornelius is available in chat if you are here live. So ask any questions you want in chat, and I will make sure to answer them all at the end of this presentation. I also have a little super easy-to-answer poll at the top of the chat box. It’s basically a yes/no question. And I would love to know your answer to that question.
Let us know where you are in the online offer development process. Do you have one? Do you not have one? Is it in progress? I would love to hear about that. My name is Pamela Wilson and my approach to creating online offers is a little bit different. And we’re going to get into that in just a moment. So let’s get started. I have some nice slides to show you and let me know if you have any questions in chat as usual. I founded my online business in 2010.
That makes me an online business veteran, but I founded my offline business in 1992 and that makes me old and experienced. Okay, we’ll go with experienced. I had an offline marketing and design business that I started in 1992. It was a service-based business, which we’ll be talking about as one of the offer types in this presentation.
The other thing to know about me is that I am an online educator. I’m the author of two books you may have heard of: it’s the Master Content series, and they’re on the slide that you have in front of you right now. I’m also a keynote speaker and the former executive vice president for educational content at Copyblogger.
I coach people in mid-career to build profitable online businesses
The most important thing to know though is that I coach people in mid-career to build profitable online businesses. And this is where my approach is a little bit different than maybe what you may have seen out there. I don’t believe that there are any magic recipes that exist to create online offers.
I just don’t buy that, and you’re not going to hear me telling you I have a magic recipe that you can follow and you’re gonna find success in 30 days or less. I don’t operate like that. The thing is I know, and you probably know too, it takes time to come up with a really great online offer and to test that offer and to truly optimize it so it works.
The only magic recipe is the one you write yourself – after testing
I believe actually that the only magic recipe is the one that you write yourself after testing your offer. Then you can come up with an online offer recipe that works for you. Here’s the thing: There’s something else that’s super important, you know, so not only do I not sell you any magic recipes or tell you that my recipes will work in no time flat.
The other thing to know is that I truly believe that since you are in mid-career, you should not be selling inexpensive offers. I am not going to be telling you yes, create a $17 offer and, you know, get people to buy your next, most expensive offer and your next most expensive offer. I don’t believe in that. You have experience, you have expertise and because of what you’ve studied, but even more importantly, because of what you’ve lived, you should be paid a premium for that expertise.
You should be paid a premium for your expertise
That is something that I believe. And it’s something that I teach. The one line that I use all the time and my Offer Accelerator program, where I coach people who are in mid-career creating online offers is I always say,
How about adding a zero to that price?
“How about adding a zero to that price?” We’ll be talking about price and people will share the price that they want to charge for their offer. And I’ll recommend that they add a zero onto the end, because I truly believe that you should earn a premium for the offer that you create. So everybody in agreement, I have no magic recipe and I’m going to encourage you to charge a premium for your offer.
Four Online Offer Ideas From easy to complex
what are you going to offer? And this is where we get into these four online offer ideas that I have for you today. And I have them sort of organized from easy to complex. So we’re going to start out with an offer idea that is pretty easy to put together, and then we’re goign to move onto an offer idea that is a little more complex, and it’ll just get more and more complex as we go down the list. So let’s start with the first one, which is coaching.
This is an offer style that is relatively easy to deliver, and that’s why I call it the speedy way to plan and deliver an online offer. And the reason it’s speedy is that there is really not a lot of tech involved in creating a coaching offer. You need to have an email address. You need to have a way to accept payment and you need to have some kind of meeting software. It could be Zoom or some kind of way that you can meet with a person that you’re coaching.
And there are two types of coaching, two main categories, and they are group coaching and one-on-one coaching. And you can do either or both, but the beautiful thing about coaching either way, whether it’s one-on-one or group coaching, is that you have an opportunity to work really closely with your customer, and you have an opportunity to really get to know them.
So you’re going to get to know their challenges, their questions, and you will have the privilege of seeing them transform in front of your eyes, which is amazing. It is a privilege that every coach experiences. So there are a lot of things that are great about coaching. Let’s go on to the next offer type though, because maybe you don’t feel like experimenting with coaching. First actually, though, I should show you the example that I have for you today.
Superpowered Mom coaching program
There’s someone in my program, BarbieJo Hatch, who has a coaching offer. And it’s, it’s kind of cool, actually. So I brought this as an example, so you can see it. BarbieJo has a background in home organizing, and she came up with a coaching offer that combines home organizing and some life coaching elements. And she calls it Superpowered Mom Coaching. And it is for busy moms who are trying to balance their homes and their lives. And they’re trying to feel organized both on the inside and on the outside.
So they’re trying to organize their outside space and they’re also trying to organize their schedule and their lives so that they feel organized as well. So it’s a really interesting offer, an interesting way to think about coaching. And it’s a great way to put her expertise in front of the people who need it. All right, let’s move to our next offer idea, which is services. And again, one level of complexity up the ladder. Services are a great way for you to, use your online presence, to sell access to your expertise.
Now, services is a pretty broad category. So let’s look at that. It refers to anything that you or your team do to personally develop a solution to a problem. This is usually a time-for-money situation where the service you deliver is somewhat dependent on how much time you have, how much energy you have, and how much you can sell to your client. However, services — online services — can be a great way to create revenue and you can earn really great revenue from delivering services online, as long as you’re charging enough for those services. That’s the key. I have some examples here.
I have a list in front of me of online services. This is a short list, just a few examples. And if you have other examples, I would love to see them in chat. You can deliver copywriting online, book editing, graphic design, customized nutritional menu planning, for example, content writing, web design services, social media services, coding, or app creation, really anything that can be delivered, online. So after running a service-based business for more than two decades, I can tell you, there are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind if you want to make your service delivery really efficient. And it all has do with systematizing the way you deliver your services.
So you want to have a system for selling your service. You want to have a system for bringing on new clients and that’s sometimes called onboarding. You want to have a system for delivering that service or selling additional services, which is sometimes offering an upsell, so adding an additional service on. You also want to have a process or a system for gathering testimonials, because testimonials will help you to sell your service again, in the future. When you have a system in place for doing as many of these repetitive tasks as possible, it really maximizes the billable hours that you can sell. And it minimizes the time that you spend doing admin-type tasks.
Services Use your online presence to sell access to your expertise
So here’s an example from my Offer Accelerator program. Nancy Fields is selling a website design service and the way she positions it is, she is selling a website design service that creates a true business asset and the true business asset in her, you know, the way she’s selling this basically, is that your website is something that can create consistent revenue for your business when it’s done right.
So she goes way beyond just selling website design, and she’s selling creation of a business asset that generates consistent revenue. So this is just a way to position her service offer that helps her to charge much more for what she’s doing. It’s a really smart way to offer a service.
Courses Create an educational experience that delivers transformation
Let’s look at our next example. And this one is way more complex. We just took a huge leap up in complexity to courses. Courses are a way — online courses are a way that you can create an educational experience that delivers transformation. And like I said, we’re doing this in order of complexity. Courses are dramatically more complex than everything that has been before. And it’s mostly because there’s just a lot more tech involved in delivering a course. You have to have a way to take payment.
And oftentimes it’s recurring payments because a lot of people will prefer to pay for a course over time and taking a single payment and taking a recurring recurring payment are two different things and recurring payments can be a little bit more complex and you also have to have a way to protect your course content. I use teachable for this. So my courses live on the Teachable platform, which automatically protects them and only allows people who have paid for those courses to see them. But you can start really simple by just password protecting pages on your website. For example, it doesn’t have to be super complex.
What I love about courses is you also really, to have a great course, want to have some way that you can engage with the people who are in your course. So this could be a private Facebook group that you set up, it could be a forum or some kind of private community, or maybe it’s just like a weekly meeting that you have with people in the course. It’s a place where they can ask questions. And this is super important because it allows you to know if there’s any element of your course that’s not clear, that’s confusing to people. You can get that feedback from the people who are taking your course.
They work great, but there is one huge challenge that I see when I coach people who are creating online courses. And especially if you’re doing it when you’re in mid-career and this is the challenge. Okay, so we’re in mid-career. We have a lot of expertise. We have a lot of experience, and we’re sure that we know what people need learn in order to master our topic. But what happens is because we have so much expertise because we have so much experience, it kind of blinds us to what it was like to be a beginner in our topic. And as a result, sometimes we will create a course that doesn’t actually help beginners, because we just don’t remember what beginners need to know.
And that’s why creating a course using something like my Smart Start approach, which we’re going to talk about in the next section. It’s just a much better way to create course content because you’re doing it in a way where you’re getting feedback from people and you are responding to the feedback and creating a stronger piece of educational content.
So we’ll talk about that in just a moment, so you can see how it works, but let’s look at an example of a course by someone who’s in my Offer Accelerator program, this is Abby Roaquin, and she has a course that teaches women in midlife how to reduce stress eating, and lose weight with less struggle. And we’re going to talk more about her course idea coming up, because it’s a really interesting spin and she hit on this idea by going through this Smart Start approach that I’m going to show you in the next section.
EXAMPLE Course for struggle
But we have one more course — we have one more online offer idea I want to make sure we go over. So let’s look at that first. And this one is by far the most complex. And I’m going to tell you why: It is the concept of a membership program. And a membership program is a way that you can create comprehensive, ongoing training and offer live support.
Now, ongoing is the key word here, because membership sites really are about creating ongoing content and that makes them really complex to deliver, because you have to figure out what you want to teach people. You have to map out all that content. And then you’re really committed to creating content, oftentimes on a weekly or monthly basis to keep your membership program fed with new content, you’re really giving yourself a job.
So that’s why it is absolutely crucial if you are considering setting up any kind of membership program that you go through and approach like my Smart Start approach, which just helps you to figure out what people truly need before you dive in and create a bunch of content.
So we’re going to go over that in the next section, but I do want to show you one example of somebody who is doing membership programs the right way. And it’s partly because he did go through the Smart Start approach before he started.
EXAMPLE High-performance leadership training membership site
Greg Gray is in the Offer Accelerator. He is a longtime business coach who coaches high-achieving businesses, and he was delivering leadership training through in-person workshops. He was traveling all over to work with business leaders in person. He converted this training into an online membership program and he now trains business leaders in leadership training inside his Gray.
University program, which is really smart, and a great way to, well, avoid travel, which these days is kind of important. So you might be sitting there thinking, you know, these examples look really great, but how is it that people went from these ideas to these finished offers? How, how did that happen? Well, they used an approach that I teach and I want to introduce it to you now.
Create a better offer by patiently testing The Smart Start Approach
So you know how it works, I call it my Smart Start approach. And it’s a way for you to create a better offer by patiently testing. And I teach this approach, and I teach the patience element of it. And that really does matter. And it makes a difference because your offer ends up being so much stronger and more compelling. When you use this approach to develop it, plus you can actually charge more because your offer is going to give people better results.
So it truly helps people and works much better when you develop it with this Smart Start approach. So how does it work? Well, there are three stages and the stages are, first of all, you need to minimize your BIG idea. We’re going to go into this one in detail, because this is the one that everybody gets stuck on. And then you want to run what I call a proof promotion. You’re just testing it to see how the market receives your offer, see how it does in the marketplace. And then based on the results, you’re going to analyze them and make some decisions.
But I want to dive deep into this first section, because this is the part that everybody stumbles on. And it is this idea that you need to modify your big idea in order to create a testable version of your offer. I want you to think a little bit less about the big dreams that you have for your offer, and I am not knocking it. I think it’s awesome to have big dreams for your offer. You have to have those dreams — those dreams are going to motivate you and give you the momentum that you need to really push forward.
However, you do need to figure out a way to kind of minimize your offer. And, and the reason is that you, I want you to focus on the transformation that you’re going to give to people and dream about that rather than dreaming about how big and elaborate your offer is going to be. So let’s talk about this a little bit more. Once you’re clear on the transformation that you’re going to deliver to people. The step that you’re going to take is to pare down the process for delivering that transformation until it is really easy for you to put together and test.
And the way I teach this, and this might help you if you’re struggling with understanding this concept is I call it my 3D approach and it has three steps, three Ds, believe it or not. The first one is to define the challenge. Now, what I want you to do is to define the actual challenge that people are struggling with. So let’s think about Abby and her course that helps people to lose weight. She may have started out thinking, I’m going to create a course about weight loss, but you know, what people were really struggling with wasn’t necessarily losing weight, they were struggling with was stress eating and emotional eating.
So Abby created a course that targeted that because she knew that if she could help them with stress eating and emotional eating, that was going to achieve the transformation that she wanted to achieve, and her customers wanted to achieve, which was weight loss in midlife. So she identified the true transformation and she just focused on the one thing that was going to help them to achieve that transformation.
She defined the actual challenge. Now this takes some thinking and you may need to brainstorm a bit to come up with this, but oftentimes it’s not the result that people want. It’s the challenge that they’re having to achieve that result. See if you can think about it that way and see if that helps.
Decrease the size of the solution
The next step is to decrease the size of your solution. So this is where I want you to think about what part of the larger challenge can you focus on and really target. So ask yourself, like, if I solved this one thing, what would my customers be able to conquer in regards to their challenge? Like what would it help them to do in regards to their challenge? You know, in Greg’s case, for example, Greg, who has the membership site for business leaders, he realized that what people were really struggling with was they needed to have a private place where they could get leadership training completely separate from their business.
They needed a community of other business leaders where they could talk about their challenges and it would be private. So in Greg’s first iteration of his membership program, he mostly focused on offering people a community where they could get that kind of private help. There was some training, but it was mostly the community aspect that he focused on. And that was super smart.
Focus on Doing, not “learning”
The last D of the 3D approach is I want you to focus on doing, not on learning. And what I see oftentimes when people put together an online offer is they’ll focus on what they want to teach, what they want people to learn, how to do, or to the concepts they want people to learn. And I want you to focus on the doing part. So ask yourself, what will people be able to do once they go through the transformation that my offer allows them to experience, what will they be able to do that they couldn’t do before?
If you can focus on that, that will really help you to narrow down and, and get at the thing that is really going to make a difference to the people you want to serve. So I want to do a quick review to make sure that you can capture everything. We’ve gone through this pretty quickly and we covered four online offer ideas, and we kind of went from easier to more complex. And the first one was coaching, which is the speedy way to plan and deliver an online offer. Then we talked about services where you use your online presence to sell access to your expertise.
We talked about courses, which is how you can create an educational experience that delivers transformation. And we talked about membership programs where you create comprehensive, ongoing training and you offer live support. We also covered my Smart Start approach to building an online offer. And I really want to encourage you to approach your online offer creation with this approach.
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The advantage of using this approach and especially in that first step, using my 3D approach to really minimize the offer that you’re going to test is that you will come up with an offer that you can test and get out there a lot faster and start getting feedback on. And remember, the 3Ds are to define the challenge, decrease the size, and focus on doing, not learning.