C'mon, this is downright irresistible, right!
C'mon, this is downright irresistible, right!

How to Create a MB that Attracts Fans and Converts them into Lifelong Fans

Who ever heard of Rockstar without a fan base?  In order to sell that single you just worked your ass off to create, you need fans. About 1,000 true fans will do nicely.

Notice I didn’t say millions? Not necessary. Minimalist Businesses (MBs) thrive very nicely on about a thousand or so true fans. You don’t need to reach hundreds of thousands of people, but you most likely will anyway. That’s cool, just not a requirement. Kind of takes the pressure off, huh? ☺

Just know that 1,000 will do. This is where we talk about this vital concept.

What makes them want to come back?

Rockstar MBs are unique in that they aren’t a cookie cutter franchise. Each one has a unique personality and traits that aren’t found anywhere else. 

Rockstar MBs are like religions: they have a leader, a following, and a meeting place.

Let’s begin with some guiding principles…

The 6 Principles of Rockstar Blogging

  1. Be Insanely Useful.  Readers won’t to gather and comment on your blog post if you aren’t giving them something useful. Corbett Barr over at fizzle.co has a slightly different way of saying this (click on that link), but the concept is the same. When you are insanely useful, you’ll get ‘em interested in a hurry.
  2. Be Consistent. There is no hard and fast rule for blogging frequency. Your frequency will depend on your topics, what your readers will bear, and your own preferences. If you post weekly, fine. Just do it each and every week.  Your fans want to hear from you. So give them something useful in each post.
  3. Be Informative. Teach your fans why they should do what you ask. Teach them in every post. Consider your blog a classroom where your students gather to learn. Give them value.
  4. Be Inspirational. Give your fans something to look forward to. Tell them about your success, but in a way that inspires them to apply your principles and mimic your behavior. Tell them how to do it and guide them gently through the processes involved. Keep lighting the path.
  5. Be Entertaining. This is perhaps the most important aspect of blogging. Let’s face it; you’ve got competition out there. What can you do to give your readers a reason to keep coming back to your blog? Be entertaining! Make reading your blog an enjoyable experience. Inject your real personality into each one.
  6. Be Yourself. Speaking of personality, you’ve got one, right?  Let it shine through, baby! Rockstars aren’t pretending to be someone else; they are who they are. Period. Be who you were meant to be, no matter who that is, and your fans will honor that. They can spot a fake. Be authentic. Be real, baby!

OK, those are our guiding principles for blogging like a Rockstar.  But we need to talk more about why Rockstar Businesses are unique and why they stand alone on stage in the spotlight.

It comes down to three factors:

  1. The Giving Factor
  2. The YOU Factor
  3. The Sequence Factor

The Giving Factor 

In Ash Ambirge’s eBook, You Don’t Need a Job, You Need GUTS: Combining Self + Passion + Business through Digital Entrepreneurship, she makes a compelling case for why you need to give. 

  • Give = Getting them to come to you.
  • Getting them to come to you = Fan club.
  • Fan club = People who love who you are & what you have to say.
  • People who love who you are & what you have to say = People who will likely purchase who you are & what you have to say.
  • People who will likely purchase who you are & what you have to say = Soul-shakingly sexy digital entrepreneurialism that revolves around YOU.
  • Soul-shakingly sexy digital entrepreneurialism that revolves around YOU = Riveting, feel good love & work that makes you money from anywhere in the world.
  • Riveting, feel goodness & work that makes you money from anywhere in the world = Freedom to live where ever & however you wish.
  • Freedom to live wherever & however you wish = Quality of life

Giving is a Powerful Strategy

Most businesses aren’t in the giving business. They’re in the taking business…as in taking your money. They aren’t interested in giving away anything. And as a result, they fail to capitalize on the power that’s inherent in giving.

Rockstar Businesses give like crazy. They give their best content, their authenticity and their passion. But there’s something that Rockstars don’t give away: The System.

The Bikini Principle: Giving the Idea, Selling the System 

Think about a bikini. Think about whomever you chose wearing that bikini. OK, HELLO! WAKE UP…over here, big guy!

I’m reasonably sure that most of the ladies reading this didn’t lose momentary consciousness, so let’s proceed.

A bikini, perhaps one of the most ingenious items of clothing ever conceived, does one thing…it hides what’s most desirable. It gives everything else away, but it very discreetly hides what most of the eyes ogling the wearer of the bikini most want to see.

Now imagine a reverse-bikini: Everything is covered except the parts we’ve previously, and in a very G-rated manner, not mentioned. Strangely, this doesn’t excite most who were excited by the first bikini example.

The reason is this…

It’s the anticipation of the complete picture that gets people excited.

So how do I segue from the precipice of pornography to a business principle that also gets you hot a bothered? I have no friggin’ idea… but let’s try.

In a Rockstar MB, you give nearly everything away. You give the ideas away for free.  If you think about it, there are no new ideas in existence. If people want to find something out, Google has made knowledge-finding way too easy.

So giving away the idea is easy and your readers appreciate it. No one wants to pay for everything. But what you do not ever give away is the system.

Here's an Example 

I can write for years about the ideas behind creating and running a Rockstar Business. 

I can write about the mistakes common made by Rockstars; I can write about the factors they share with religions, or the top ten ways to make money with a Rockstar Business…. but experiencing the Big Picture, the free parts and the more important hidden parts requires a purchase of this book.

You can give away all your ideas, but always charge for the system. 

  • Give away the first chapter of your eBook as well as the table of contents…but sell the complete book.
  • Give away the free webinar, but charge for the private consultation.
  • Give away the principles of success, but charge for holding their hand while showing them the way.
  • Give away the posts on your blog, but charge for the private content that’s really valuable.

Yes, the bikini is alive and well in the Rockstar Business. In fact, I wear one every other Friday…but I digress.  TOTALLY 100% KIDDING. 

(It’s Thursdays) ☺

The YOU Factor

The YOU factor is what sets your Rockstar Business apart from the competition. In fact, Rockstar Businesses don’t have any competition.  If you structure your business correctly, you’ll never have to worry about competition ever again.

What is the YOU Factor?

It’s the highly personal and authentic personality that every Rockstar brings to the stage.

You’ve got to bring YOU to your fans. They’re in the YOU business. They may be buying your eBook, but they’re buying YOU every day on your blog.

Here's the Rockstar MB System
Here's the Rockstar MB System

The Sequencing Factor 

This is the coolest part of a Rockstar MB. It makes your fans squirm with delight! And it keeps them coming back month after month.

And it makes you a lot of dinero! Nuthin’ wrong wit dat, dog! Yeah, I know…the Hip Hop thing again…sorry…but you get the point, right?

What’s the Sequence?

It’s the order of increasingly advanced material, products, services, and experiences you provide for your fans.

It begins with a free giveaway piece (eBook, tip sheet, audio or video download) and quite literally never ends. OK, at some point it does end because you’re not going to live forever, but again, I think you know what I mean.

Look at the graphic to the right.  

See the yellow sticky notes on the left with $$ in them? These represent increasingly advanced products. They could be eBooks, a series of videos or workshops, or increasingly comprehensive services.

The red arrows next to the yellow sticky notes show that there is a sequence for the fan to follow.  In order to gain access to higher levels of product or service, she has to purchase them in order.

This is not a new concept. In fact, we’re conditioned to do this. 

Did you read all seven Harry Potter novels? If you did, or saw the movies, did you see them in order? Mostly likely you did because the authors/producers released them in a specific order.

Here’s the problem with just having a smattering of products without a prescribed sequence: Your fans will become disillusioned and never return.

You want your fans to hang around, right?

Without a sequence, fans don’t know what to choose. 

You need to make the choice for them. And you need to plan your product sequence before releasing the first one in the paid sequence.

Notice something else: The  price increases with each progression in the sequence.

  • The first product or service is you lowest priced item
  • The next item is more advanced and carries a higher price
  • The sequence increases with price and required knowledge.

Why Have a Sequence?

You need a sequence because your fans want you to lead them. Left to their own choices and motivations, they will not lead themselves. Your sequence is like a silent leader. It directs them down a specific path toward a specific outcome.

Your sequence (as demonstrated below) isn’t everything you offer, but the products and services that are required to get from point A to point B. It’s like being on a diet and occasionally eating something that’s still good for you but isn’t on the list. No harm, no foul. These appear as Extra Products in the sequence below.

Here’s a made up sequence built around the book, Online Rockstar:

  • Giveaway – A Free Chapter of ONLINE ROCKSTAR
  • 1st in Sequence -  ONLINE ROCKSTAR eBook ($40 / $50)
  • 2nd in Sequence – ONLINE ROCKSTAR  Protégé Letter ($180/yr)
  • Extra Product – eCourse on Guest Blogging (3 payments of $150)
  • 3rd in Sequence – ONLINE ROCKSTAR B-School – ($) 497  
  • Extra Product – eCourse on eBook Launch Strategy (3 payments of $250)
  • 4th in Sequence – ONLINE ROCKSTAR Inner Circle ($997)

Can you see how this sequence could reassure a potential customer that they will receive increasingly advanced training from a reliable and trusted resource?

You can also see that this structure will provide you with a Rockin’ Good Income?

That’s why a Rockstar MBs needs a prescribed sequence. It provides value for the customer and admirable compensation for the Rockstar. ☺

The Right Way to Think About Your MB Blog

Your blog is the stage from which you will perform for your fans and sell your eBook.It is not your business.

You have the power, reach, and the ability to reach throngs of screaming, adoring fans via your blog.

Your blog is not only a billboard for your book, but a place where, as I mentioned above, fans will gather and a community will be formed. In order for a community of like-minded fans to gather, you have to give them something worth their time.

Building a community takes time. But it can be accelerated substantially if you follow some simple, straightforward principles.

The right way to think about your blog is that it’s your concert stage. It is on this stage that you will perform for your fans.  They will see your concerts and flock to your concert stage. But the stage is not what they seek. It’s the experience of seeing you in concert and the way it makes them feel when they listen to you. That’s what they’re after.

Your Email List & Why You Must Have One

You’ve no doubt heard how email marketing can really boost your income. In fact, the most common regret among A-List bloggers (Darren Rowse, Yaro Starak, etc.) is they wish they had begun their email list sooner than they did.

A lot of bloggers think that by using Google Feedburner for distributing their RSS feed to subscribers is sufficient, but it isn’t. You have no control over RSS subscribers. Every time you post to your blog they will be notified.

But what if you want to tell them about something a special event and you don’t want that announcement to be a blog post? What then? Using RSS alone, you have no way of getting the word out to them.

convertkit-horizontal
convertkit-horizontal

Email List Providers I Recommend

I have used three email subscription providers.  I currently use ConvertKit (affiliate link). I’ve also used AWeber and ConstantContact. Mailchimp.

Here’s a rundown on each:

  • ConvertKit offers some really great tools for bloggers. In fact, it’s built and run by bloggers for bloggers. It’s a bit pricey for beginners at $49.99/month, but it offers some awesome tools.
  • Mailchimp is a great alternative and it also includes a blog broadcast and drip feed ability. They also have an affiliate program that pays you for referrals but the best part is the FREE option. Mailchimp is FREE until your email list reaches 2,000 subscribers! A nice option to know about if money is an issue. 
  • AWeber – This used to be the gold standard and it currently costs about $19/ month or less if you prepay for a whole year. It includes unlimited autoresponders and email lists.  There is an affiliate program that pays you when you refer a new customer to them. Place the link on your site and you’ve got another revenue stream. They have customizable sign up forms; blog broadcast capabilities, as well as drip feed ability (more on drip feeding in a moment). 
  • ConstantContact is another provider. I used them when I first started out in Internet Marketing, but it’s been a while.  However, I know many bloggers use this service with great success. They have a limited autoresponder that isn’t tied to their email lists and this is a negative in my opinion.  They have a 60-day free trial period and afterwards the cost is based on number of subscribers. They do have an affiliate program that is run by a third-party, another negative in my opinion.

How the Whole Email List Thing Works

Email marketing is permission based in that your readers give you permission to contact them. That means they want to hear from you. It doesn’t mean you should abuse that privilege. 

I use drip-feeding to send formatted announcements of my blog posts as well as information I only want subscribers to know about.  Here’s an example what a formatted email using Mailchimp looks like:

The nice thing about sending these out is that I can place reminders in the sidebar about products, recent blog posts, and anything else I want subscribers to know.

Formatting your email template isn’t necessary, but it tends to brand your communications with your blog identity.

Drip-Feeding Your Email Subscribers

Like I said before, readers want to hear from you…just not every day.  I use the term drip-feeding to refer to the periodic emails you will send to your subscribers to remind them you’re around and what’s happening on the blog.

If you’re just starting out, consider just sending a brief email note via your Email list provide one a week. I like to do this when right after publishing a post of the blog so I can announce it to my readers.

This periodic drip-feed is not overpowering and it communicates level of commitment to readers; it tells them you’re for real, you have their best interest in mind, and that you’re in business. (Important)

You should also remember this:

You can’t please everyone.

What one person considers ‘too many emails,’ another will find to be ‘just right.’ People will unsubscribe and you can’t take it personally.  

People change and so do their priorities. They lose interest and they fall away.   Then sometimes, people will subscribe just to get your free giveaway piece and then immediately unsubscribe. This really annoys the hell out of me.

But hey, low-class readers are everywhere. You just have to learn the take the bad with the good.

Regardless, you need to email your subscribers as a minimum on the following occasions:

  1. When you have a new blog post
  2. When you have a cool resource to share
  3. When you have a special announcement

Using Separate Email Lists

There are times when you will want to have separate email lists. One main list for subscribers is essential. A separate list should be used for an affiliate program; another for an eCourse; and still another for another product or service.

That’s because not everyone wants to hear about everything you have to offer. Using separate lists allows you to follow up with each population accordingly. 

Both Mailchimp and AWeber have a powerful ‘segmentation’ engines that can keep Jane Doe from receiving emails she’s not interested in.