2 Ideas to Monetize Your Brand, and 1 Way to Make Money with it – TODAY!

by Chris C. Ducker · 51 comments

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 6.18.38 PMI’ve talked a lot about building a personal brand here on the blog. It’s a subject I’m super passionate about and something that I know works all too well, when it comes to your overall business growth as an entrepreneur doing business in todays marketplace.

However, building that brand, launching it and marketing it to the world to gain the attention you want / need to take everything you’re doing to the next level is just the start. As an influencer, you have to be seen to sell (something I discussed in depth in Episode 42 of my podcast) – doing so drives authority.

You can’t and shouldn’t be seen as giving ‘everything’ away for ‘free’.

Don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said for providing massive value for your audience on a regular basis (for ‘free’) – answering their questions, delivering solutions to help take care of their problems. But, if you want to build a brand that turns into a business, eventually… you’ll have to sell something!

The good news is, for us savvy modern-day entrepreneurs, help is at hand when it comes to all the work needed to be done to make that happen – in the form of virtual staff.

A lot of you will know that my new book, Virtual Freedom comes out in April and I am on a major mission to try and get it into the hands of as many entrepreneurs as possible, hoping to change the mindset of an entire generation of business owners that think that in order to be successful, you have to work yourself into the ground – the same can be said for coaches, consultants, speakers, solopreneurs, bloggers, podcasters and anyone else focusing on building their brands online.

So, today I’d like to share a couple of product ideas that I highlighted in Virtual Freedom, directly from the book (literally!) and the process breakdown needed to make them ‘happen’, so that you can start to get smarter when it comes to your business growth, and the money that you end up making, via your brand.

And I’m going to wrap up the post with one simple, fast and easy-to-implement way that you could literally make money from TODAY via your online platform!

Let’s do this!

Monetization Strategy #1 – The Self Published / Kindle Book

Anyone has a book inside them. I talked about my feelings on this subject recently, and the response was amazing!

And here’s the really cool thing about outsourcing – you don’t have to be the one that actually sits and types up every single word of the book. You can have a content writer help you draft different outlines and guidelines, as well as a General Virtual Assistant help with transcribing podcast or video material that you’ve already produced that has the possibility of being repurposed. There are plenty of amazingly good writers available for hire online – either on a per-task, or a per-project basis (rarely will you find the really good writers happy to commit to full-time employment).

Virtual staff can also help collate articles you’ve written, top notch material from your competitors that you want to re-work and feature and any other related content you want to include in the book.

The less of the grunt work you do, the better.

Here’s a snap shot directly out of the pages of Virtual Freedom that shows you how easy it is, and who does what for you from your team.

vf-ebook

As you can see, it’s not rocket science and can easily be put into play with a little effort and guidance.

Of course, if you have a moral issue with having someone else ‘write’ the book for you, that’s fine – no problems. Utilize the team around you for everything else, such as the research, editing, design, etc., and focus in on creating the best content you can instead.

Monetization Strategy #2  - The Video / Audio Course

If you’ve been online for any period of time, it’s no doubt a given that you’ve either thought about, or even already launched a paid online course in some way, shape or form. They are a great way to monetize your brand.

You pick a subject (perhaps after surveying your audience), put together an outline, and then start to produce the content. It can be a large course with several components and modules, or a very short, easy to digest course such as my 7-Day New Business Bootcamp – note: this is NOT a paid course, I give it away as my opt-in offer :-)

Either way, you’re encapsulating your experience and know-how into a digestible form for your audience to pay to gain access to. Below you’ll see another shot from inside the book – although this focuses on simply ‘creating a video’, you can see how easy it would be to put everything together, if you had a team of VAs helping you along the way.

vf-video

Just like with the first monetization option, creating a course is the natural conclusion to helping your audience with ‘paid for’ content that solves a problem and enables you to answer a number of related questins on any given niche, or subject.

Try it. Seriously.

Sit down and put together a course outline. It’s my betting that if you’ve not done it before, you’ll find out that just like a book, you’ve got a course inside of you, too!

Here’s that ‘ONE WAY’ to Make-Money-TODAY option:

Monetization Strategy #3 – The Coaching Service

People are happy to pay for products and services. It’s been happening for decades.

However, the one trend that I’ve seen develop over the last couple of years is people paying for access. More and more customers are happy to either full-on invest in services that involved access to the head honcho, or for direct time with them.

When I launched my VA recruiting company, Virtual Staff Finder, we included a 30-minute consultation with me, personally, in the sign-up fee to help them clients ready to start working with virtual staff. It was a great model, but we soon discussed that the scalability of the service wasn’t there because I was, personally, involved in the process – so we removed it.

When we did that we had a lot of people say that they appreciated the one-on-one time with me, and that they would even be willing to pay a premium for coaching. Hence I launched my consultation services, which I still run today, but with very limited time dedicated to it each month.

coaching session

Above you’ll see an image of me at a coaching session for a local company here in the Philippines. Proof that you don’t need to just focus on this part of monetizing your brand – just online. Keep an open mind.

If you think about it logically, it’s an obvious sell-on of your brand. People come to you, because they like what you have to offer, the solutions to their problems that you provide, answers to their questions, etc., charging a fair fee for one-on-one coaching is one version of the natural conclusion to that relationship process.

My Challenge – Should you Choose to Accept it!

Here’s a simple 3-step process I want you to follow – today. Seriously. TODAY! :-)

1. Create a Coaching Services page on your blog / website – make sure there’s a clear message behind what you’re offering as a coach / consultant, and be sure to include key takeaways for your customers, too. Price up your time, and add a ‘Buy Now’ button, obviously!

2. Tell your online network that you’re now offering coaching - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+… everywhere. If you want to gain customers fast for this thing, tell your audience about it. Say that you’re only taking on a few clients to start with, to create scarcity.

NOTE: If you do this properly, with a focused effort behind it (and unless your blog readers consist of just your spouse and your Mom!), I’m betting that you will get an order in the first few hours. I did. And I see no reason why you won’t either. Even if something doesn’t come in instantly, don’t let it discourage you.

3. Collect testimonials - once you’ve got your first one or two orders, and you’ve done the coaching itself, collect testimonials from your customers and embed them (either video, audio, or just written with a photo of the customer) on your coaching services page, to encourage additional customers.

Not Starting, is Stopping You from Growing!

As I said at the top of this post, you have to be seen to sell. 

Not monetizing your brand will not help you, in the long run. Remember, you audience decides what products and services you create, to turn into a genuine business. Blogging, podcasting, video blogging, it’s all fun – really, it is. But to make this a long-term, worthy business you need to make money from it.

Question: Do you have products or services (directly related to your brand – not affiliate stuff) for sale on your site already? If so, tell me about them in the comments below.

Either way, I’d love to see your coaching pages, so please link to them, too! 

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan Koch February 19, 2014 at 18:43

Yay, first to comment :-)

I agree 100% with your strategies, although I struggled with implementing those. I offered coaching myself and I found it hard to get coaching clients, because in the beginning I targeted the wrong people.

Now I’m creating my first online course with video lessons, audio and downloads and I’m really excited to share my experiences about self empowerment and uncovering natural talents that can be turned into a business on the side.

The important thing is, that you get started and escape your comfort zone. We’re in it for the long run, so we can improve on the way.

I think especially beginning entrepreneurs need to become aware of how much they actually know and what questions they can answer for their audience. If this awareness increases, the foundation for a profitable business is present :-)

Great post buddy!

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Jan Koch February 19, 2014 at 20:24

Oh, btw. here’s a link to my coaching page: http://jkoch.me/work-with-me
and this is the sales page for my self empowerment course: http://restartacademy.co

Best!

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Chris C. Ducker February 19, 2014 at 21:49

Nice. Looking good, bud. Keep pushing it!!!

C

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Chris C. Ducker February 19, 2014 at 21:50

Excellent stuff, Jan. Glad to ee you so pumped up and already starting to make waves. It seems you know your niche know, which is half the battle – good for you! Your landing pages are clear, concise and look great.

Keep hustlin’.

C

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Philip Cross February 22, 2014 at 07:23

Very inspirational response Jan!

I’m going to keep an eye on you…

Something tells me that you’re not going to stop until you get exactly what you’re seeking!

Thanks for the motivating words.

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Chris C. Ducker February 22, 2014 at 10:31

Boom!

Now, THAT’S the kind of comment I love seeing between two readers on my blog. Thank you for being awesome, Philip and for encouraging a fellow entrepreneur!

Jan – keep rockin’.

C

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Sarit Lotem February 19, 2014 at 21:23

Great information. I was thinking about creating both a kindle book and video course for my biz as a website designer. Can’t wait for you book to come out.

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Chris C. Ducker February 19, 2014 at 21:48

Thanks, Sarit. Glad you enjoyed the post and that you’re excited for the book to hit the shelves… Trust me, you’re not the only one…. there’s at least ME thats excited, too! :-)

Appreciate your comment.

C

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Fern February 20, 2014 at 05:44

Great stuff as always Chris. I say try them all! I’ve experimented with each one and think they can all have a great impact on your wallet as well as to build your authority and your brand.

Thanks for the great tips Chris.

You. The. Man.

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Chris C. Ducker February 20, 2014 at 11:52

Hi Fern

I’m glad that you’re mind is open to giving them all a whirl. That’s the name of the game, obviously. And the fact that you said that they ‘build your authority’ means that you’re ‘getting this’ as a concepts. Being seen to sell, etc.

Thanks for the great comment.

C

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Nick Loper February 20, 2014 at 06:32

Yeah buddy! I’m on board with all 3 of these this year … and maybe even this month if I can swing it :)

One word of caution — and this’ll probably get me boo’d out of dodge on such a pro-outsourcing site — but I would be really hesitant to outsource the creation of any book content you intend to put out under your own name. I was really surprised to see that just a few paragraphs after the part about building and creating your PERSONAL brand.

Research -YES
Outlining – YES
Editing – YES

But the actual creation of the content? I think it will be difficult to find a ghostwriter who can mimic your voice and present your material in a way that does your brand a positive service. Readers want to hear from YOU — not some ghostwriter. Especially if it’s a premium product.

That’s my $0.02.

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Chris C. Ducker February 20, 2014 at 11:44

Hi Nick

I think maybe you misunderstood me… I’m not talking about full-on ghost writing. It’s about being smart and repurposing what you’ve already created, content wise. Of course, ultimately, your own ‘stamp’ of approval needs to go on the content of anything that’s got your name on it.

And I agree on the ghostwriter side of things, I’ve tried. And failed. Several times.

And, hey… nobody can Boo you – you’re a great guy! :-)

C

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Nick Loper February 20, 2014 at 11:49

Ahh in that case, re-purpose away!

Along those lines I should share a surprising find from my analytics today: So far this year I’ve received more referral traffic from SlideShare than from Facebook or Twitter. Definitely need to add more slide decks over there — it’s the perfect platform for re-purposing content … basically any list post is prime material!

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Chris C. Ducker February 20, 2014 at 12:13

Amen to that! I hear ya loud and clear, my man.

C

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Carlos February 20, 2014 at 19:12

Hi Chris, this is great stuff, or as our friend Ryan Hanley calls it “nuggets”.
We have been doing all three, blogging for our insurance business, but we struggle with attracting subscribers.

I just recently hired two VA’s to handle my smaller and time consuming daily tasks, I have to say that they two VA’s are doing a wonderful job, but it;s tough to tell if they are expanding work to time allowed, but at the hourly rate, it does not really matter.

I’ve been dabbling in videos, but not been very seriously, I have on my calendar to start sending out a video per week in March.

Lastly, I’ve been doing live presentations to the real estate and banking business, but I am struggling some with keeping it all fresh and exciting

Thanks again!

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Chris C. Ducker February 20, 2014 at 20:29

Hi Carlos

I seems like you’re already off to the races, which is great. Perhaps slowing down a little, and focusing on ONE activity for the next 90-days will help bring a little more stickiness to it.

I’d suggest you focus on creating great content and then getting it consumed and shared by as many people as possible. Just be sure to have a good opt-in offer, and you should start to see some conversions.

Hope that helps.

C

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Robb Gorringe February 20, 2014 at 19:48

Yo! Chris…

I don’t have a link to share with you… YET. But your article(s) (as always) creates a bit of a drool-effect from the ‘entrepreneurial gland’ that gets ones like me— Chomping at the bit.

So… like all true hungry ‘Virtual Tribesman’, I just now sank my teeth into pre-ordering your new book.

Robb

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Chris C. Ducker February 20, 2014 at 20:32

Haha. :-)

Love it. Thank you for the support.

Now, I’ve just checked your site quickly, and I’ll say remove your ‘free’ link in the navbar – or, at the very least, rename it. It cheapens you, and thats not fair on either you, or your visitors.

I absolutely LOVE your branding, man. It’s crisp, clean and fun. Stick with that – and get a coaching page up on that site!!!

Good luck.

C

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Robb Gorringe February 20, 2014 at 21:03

Appreciate the positive feedback, CD. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of that before. You’re so totally right. I got rid of it.

As for my site, I’m using Genesis, but am researching Thesis 2, because I want more options. But, yeah for now I’m going for the simple, clean, Red-White-Black look.

Thanks Again,

RG

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Chris C. Ducker February 21, 2014 at 12:12

Yes!!!

Good for you. Well done and continue to take that kind of action.

Love your style, Robb. Thanks for being part of the tribe, bud.

C

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Chris February 20, 2014 at 22:36

Thank you very much sir! This got me inspired to create my coaching page! It’s so validating when I know that I’m not the only perfectionist in the house.

Hopefully it’s you replying to us and not your personal assistant! :)

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Chris C. Ducker February 21, 2014 at 12:11

Haha. It’s me – I reply to each and every comment on my blog. Always have and always will. I love it.

Good luck with the coaching and let us all know how it goes over here, okay!

Keep working hard, Chris, it’ll pay off…

C

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Peter Simoons February 20, 2014 at 22:49

Great article again Chris, thanks for your inspiration. It made me realize that I need to shout out more about the services and it made me refine the coaching offer. Here it is: http://www.simoons.com/coaching/

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Chris C. Ducker February 21, 2014 at 12:10

Awesome. Taking action – LOVE IT!

Thanks for the focus you bring to being you, Peter.

Keep hustlin’.

C

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CJ Ortiz February 21, 2014 at 02:56

Good job, Chris. Yes, I do have coaching services and info products for sale. The info product are single-subject teaching series consisting of 5 messages per series. There are 12 series total, which can be purchased together for a discount, or each series can be purchased individually.

I’m putting together my book now as well as preparing a daily inspiration book based upon my own quotes. None of this would be possible without “being seen,” as you said. Thanks again.

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Chris C. Ducker February 21, 2014 at 12:09

Hey CJ – it’s been a while since you commented, man. Hope all is good.

Love what you’re doing, and more importantly HOW you’re doing it. Keep rockin’, buddy and good luck with the book!

C

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Nica Mandigma February 21, 2014 at 11:52

Hi Chris! Hope you’ll share how you prepare for a coaching session in a future post. That said, will your book be immediately available here in the Philippines?

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Chris C. Ducker February 21, 2014 at 12:06

Hi Nica

If the bookstores believe it’ll sell here, then they will stock it, I guess. It’s tough – the bookstores here are basically terrible, and I know you know what I mean! :-)

There’s always Amazon…?!

C

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Dave February 21, 2014 at 17:00

Just getting my brand up, needs a few more weeks, thanks for the tips Chris as always!

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Chris C. Ducker February 21, 2014 at 17:52

Rock n roll, Dave.

I’d LOVE to see it when it goes live, okay – get me a link via Twitter when you’re ready! :-)

All the best,

C

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Tom Hallett February 22, 2014 at 23:15

Hi Chris. Do you have any books or resources that you could recommend that give some frameworks or processes that you can use when you do this type of coaching?

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Chris C. Ducker February 24, 2014 at 11:49

Hmmm… Books, I’m not sure. Resources, these posts might help:

Hope they help. I might very well do something along a ‘Guide To’ on this subject in the future. Thanks for the idea.

C

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Dave Lambert February 23, 2014 at 10:00

I am a complete newbie,, newbie in web sales and newbie in the chocolate business. I’ve taken your bootcamp twice. I have a website selling safe dark delicious allergen free chocolates as a reseller. I launched July 2012. I have about 5-6 suppliers, some who fulfill for me and new ones coming on board who will not so I have to stock. Underfunded. Sales total $58.
I have a blog that is not uptodate because I have been away for 2 months without content. It’s The Chocolate Postman Delivers on Wordpress. I am on the social nets. I have been trying to get my name out in other ways.
Taking a lesson from you Chris I want to do an e-book of recipes using allergen free chocolate plus some of my blog posts extolling the virtues of healthy chocolate. First I must gather enuf recipes, then I will call on one or more of your VA’s to put the book together with a catchy meaningful title and an About Us page plus links to my website.
Have you any addtl. suggestions for me? You are my guru!

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Chris C. Ducker February 24, 2014 at 11:46

Hi Dave

I think you’re on the right path. Putting together a freebie opt-in magnet is paramount to every online biz, as you’ll need to utilize that list you build to grow your business. I would suggest that you focus on content, above and beyond everything else. Really, REALLY good content.

Recipes are a start. Maybe you can also share the stories of other people that live healthy lifestyle, and still ‘indulge’ a little sometimes. The up’s and down’s of dieting and how a little ‘treat’ every now and then is a good thing, etc. There are plenty of angles, I’m sure.

Wishing you all the best in building things up -stay tuned as I have a few bits and pieces coming soon that I think might help you along the way.

C

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Chris T February 24, 2014 at 11:14

I’m new to the online marketing space and found this blog from Micheal Hyatt’s blog. I find much of it very useful and interesting but I’d like some clarify on the phrase about using VA’s and “…top notch material from your competitors that you want to re-work and feature …” Are you suggesting not only outsourcing much of the writing of your book (other than an outline) but also re-working your competition’s material? This seems to me at odds with the idea of a “personal brand” unless I’m understanding this wrong. I’d love to hear some more discussion on this as I’m embarking on the personal branding mission myself and would like to think that the vision that makes it vital is original and hand-crafted. Am I hopelessly out of touch?

Best
Chris

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Chris C. Ducker February 24, 2014 at 11:43

Hi Chris

It’s very, VERY hard to be completely ‘original’ in todays market, and less face it, the chances are that there is a competitor out there somewhere that has probably already answered questions that you will be answering for your own tribe. You’re not misunderstanding, I did say to look at these competitors and take the best of what they have done and re-work it – but, not forgetting to add your own spin to things.

Not copy it.

There is nothing wrong in getting ideas and inspiration from other peoples work. We all do it from time to time. It’s the pieces of information YOU add that make the difference. The stories YOU tell, the experiences that YOU share – thats what builds the brand of YOU :-)

See where I’m coming from…? I’m glad that you’re finding my material helpful.

I wish you all the best on your branding journey – stay tuned next week for a special announcement that will no doubt help you along the way!

C

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Steve O Conner February 24, 2014 at 22:01

Chris T you raise a good point. While I know there is nothing new under the sun, it does seem striving for originality is crucial. If we are just re-working existing content, adding a spin and then putting our name on it, maybe it’s better to find the “blue water” – the space that’s new. I seriously doubt the ferris’s, godins and Mitch Joel’s of the world are reworking – they are pushing for the new. Not sure how they pull it off but they sure do!

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Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2014 at 16:43

You’re right, Steve they sure do.

But I’m sure, at some point even the likes of these brilliant entrepreneurial minds took ideas from others and elaborated on them.

Either way, pushing for the new is always gonna be what it comes down to.

Thanks for the comment.

C

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Lionel February 25, 2014 at 12:37

These are all great ideas that I’m looking forward to working on. If you don’t take control of your brand someone else, maybe a competitor, will. It’s brand and reputation on the line so take charge!

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Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2014 at 16:39

Couldn’t agree more, Lionel. Thanks for the affirmation, bud.

Stay tuned.

C

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Sky Nealon March 5, 2014 at 02:33

Hi Chris,

I’ve just started blogging recently and whilst on my travels, I stumbled across your blog and was certainly most impressed by the various ideas your presented. I don’t think I am in a position to offer coaching/ product yet or employ VA’s, but have bookmarked this post for future reference. What advice would you give to newbies who are just starting out? Should we focus on branding first?

Regards
Sky

PS: I look forward to purchasing a copy of your book when it becomes available in the UK

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MarkChenevert March 5, 2014 at 15:01

Chris — interesting article, thanks for the insights. I have a question that relates to your personal branding thoughts and also more specifically to the use of VA’s to aid (or write) a book. Did you you mostly write your book or did you use the system as highlighted in the post and just do the “basic outline” and have the VA’s or content writer create the first draft. I’m curious if this a system you follow yourself or if this is just a general possible approach. I would think it would be very difficult to write a book of any real substance about your area of expertise if you’re having someone else do the first draft. Can you elaborate on that more and also specifically how it relates to your book coming out? Thanks! Mark

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Chris C. Ducker March 5, 2014 at 17:09

Hi Mark

I wrote all of the ‘how to’ content in my book, and used an transcriber and separate editor to put together all of the case study and spotlight sections – which are around 25% of the final book itself.

Don’t look too far into this approach. And especially attached to a book. It can be used in a number of ways.

The really important part, as I said, is to put your own stamp on it. Something that SCREAMS you, and what you’re about. That and being super productive, obviously.

C

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Marcus March 6, 2014 at 10:53

“The less of the grunt work you do, the better.”

That really resonated with me.

For some reason I actually enjoy doing manual work (maybe it relaxes me?), but I’ve realized that it costs big time, because it’s time you could be spending doing more productive tasks.

I’m slowly learning, though!

Thanks for a great article, Chris. Very insightful.

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Chris C. Ducker March 10, 2014 at 11:28

Glad you enjoyed it, Marcus.

Appreciate you dropping by.

C

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Naveen | Soldering Guide March 21, 2014 at 16:53

Great post Chris,

Kindle book is something I am looking forward to experiment with in near future. It looks really exciting area.

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Chris C. Ducker March 24, 2014 at 11:09

Awesome. Go for it, Naveen!

C

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Dan Pedersen May 9, 2014 at 08:01

Thanks for the advice Chris. I have a couple of books advertised on my site.

I also created a ‘Services’ page several months ago offering consultation in a few specific areas of service. There hasn’t been much response so far, but the website is not very popular yet either. I’ve also given a lot thought to creating an online course, but I wonder if it’s worth my time at this point.

I think these are all great ideas, but I have to say I haven’t had much luck with it.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s just too many people doing the same thing. More and more people are jumping on the bandwagon, so many blogs, books, podcasts, courses etc., being offered by everyone and their dog. Very rarely do any of them hook me.

I guess that’s part of the challenge.

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Chris C. Ducker May 9, 2014 at 14:08

Hi Dan

It certainly is. Have you tried perhaps ‘dry-testing’ (infomercial term) a course first? Building a proper sales page, with solid copy and a rundown of benefits, inclusions, etc., and then pre-selling it? If you sell enough, you create it. If you don’t, you scrap the idea and refund? It’s how I put together http://www.mybrandingbootcamp.com – which launches properly next week.

I set myself a target of 50 sales to make it ‘worthwhile’ and got just over double that amount. So… I created the course :-)

Think about it.

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Emily June 6, 2014 at 23:31

My family has owned a small, national company for 17 years, and recently, I’ve come on board to help brand and keep their outgoing communications relevant in today’s digital marketplace. I linked my team to this post, to illustrate that it’s possible to create a product out of expertise (17 years of growth is a pretty good testimonial in and of itself!). It really helped some of the more old-fashioned and tech members of our team understand that there is value in selling a brand, and that the brand itself is a product. Kind of an untraditional way to use this advice, so I thought I’d share it with you. Although we’ve been selling virtual PBX phone systems for 17 years, we’ve also been on the phone every single day helping our customers strategize how to do business better: coaching. This is primary source of pride among our staff members, that they are able to help other small businesses — and it’s amazing that now in the age transparency and social media, we finally get to celebrate this online! We’re having a lot of fun learning our way around blogging — we had our team reach out to other entrepreneurs to compile a piece sharing small business advice (http://www.messagingservice.com/resources/invaluable-advice-for-small-business-owners/), and it really helped bring “our tribe” together. I think we might try to repurpose this advice as a video or slide share now. Anyways, I just wanted to share how even for small companies, having a personal brand is still relevant — we’re working on it, and it’s amazing to see each and everyone person on our small team adopting and owning their own interpretation of the brand. Thanks as always for the helpful advice.

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nonpareil99 August 4, 2014 at 20:33

twitter.com/Nonpareil99
we are so thankful for your perspective – must give credit to Pat Flynn for sharing your contact. your style of teaching resonates. aloha

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