How to Build Your Online Agency: Start, Scale + Grow Your Digital Media Brand with a Simple Math “Hack” That Changes Everything

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This is for those of you who are building authority sites – business directories, local communities and online assets using the PLATFORM10X marketing model. I don’t want this to sound cheesy, or hype-y – or “get rich at home-y” – but in my view, this is the single most important strategic step we ALL need to make, to ensure our attention is tethered to the easiest, most expeditious and enjoyable elements of our brand and business….and this simple perspective shift, for me…..is always the most illuminating and inspiring. (also note – this email went out to a few thousand people yesterday – and by far, it has gotten the most responses out of anything I’ve sent in the last few months – some of which, have gotten a great response! So I’m sharing this here (on my blog) as I hope those of you who aren’t in my list – or aren’t in my private coaching client community (now called PLATFORM10X, hence the references 🙂 – apply this simple distinction to your own approach and ethos – as it will transform your business life) You can read the whole email (and video) below.

1. Watch the Video walkthrough with PDF download

2.  This is the exercise I’m doing on the phone with my Platform 10X clients.  It’s not magic.  It’s math.  And as an introduction…….it leads to more early “A-ha” moments, strategy shifts and EXCITING entrepreneurial epiphanies than just about anything else I do.

Here is the video.
  If you’re in Platform 10X – you get a customized, personalized version of this for your specific use case and project.   (note – all my videos will be coming off Youtube in Sept – so if interested, watch this sometime sooner, rather than later 🙂

The math is super simple to understand, and I cover this extemporaneously in the video, with live examples.


If your goal is to earn 100K a year from your first directory, (which  is a pretty common goal in the group) 
and you are using the “featured listing” model (which most of you know I don’t love) – and if a featured listing is $99 a year, you need, mas o menos, to persuade 1000 people to “upgrade” to the $99 a year plan.

That is roughly 3 people per day, every single day, including weekends, all year.  

It turns out, that’s actually a lot of conversations, a lot of people and once you break 100  or 200 paying clients on your way to 1000……. a LOT of stress as well.

You need to allocate about 1 hour per day, on average, for each “upgraded” listing, as it happens, in real time.    (many folks you’ll never need to spend a minute with….and others, will take the whole 3 hours)

1 hour, per paying client, per day.

(you’ll also need to allocate lots of time to NON paying free listings, which as a general rule, are about 80% of your audience, but let’s assume for the sake of this example, that you have NONE of those and it’s all premium (paid) members)

What you soon realize is, to stay sane, you’ve got to hire help.  (especially for those of you who have a day job, or who aren’t doing this work full time)

Then you realize, 100K, which sounded like a great goal, really isn’t a ton of money – and in real life…… and one that doesn’t afford you much room to hire help, in a world class way.

So because I’m making this quick, let’s flip the script.

Let’s say your goal is the SAME 100K a year, but instead of the scenario above, you look for 40 clients to pay you $2500 a year.

What can you offer, on a LOCAL directory, that is worth $2500 a year to your clients?

It turns out, quite a lot.

That’s roughly, $200 a month.   And now, rather than having to find 3 people every 24 hours that are willing to pay you $99 per day, you now need about ONE local business (1.3 to be exact) to find $200 a month in value from being featured across your platform.

Now you are constrained ONLY by your creativity, your entrepreneurial intuition and imagination and the REAL benefits you can bring as a digital media brand.

For those of you who truly want to be world class – exceptional – and gifted entrepreneurs – this is where step up and stand out from the shallow sea of sameness that most of your competition will swim.

Can you BUNDLE everything that was in your original $99 a year featured listing, and then add, stack, create and procure more and more value for a SMALL segment of your audience, so that they get more benefit and more brand buzz and more BUSINESS by virtue of their association with you?

What if you offered everyone who signs up – a free PREMIUM “competitive intelligence” report on the local landscape, or on a specific local competitor – in THEIR industry, worth $199.  (and you could use a premium tool that generates that report in 20 minutes……and only a fraction of a fraction of local web dev pro’s even know about, let alone use?)

What you’ll quickly learn, is that in just about EVERY city, regardless of size, there are already hundreds (if not thousands) of local businesses paying FAR more than $200 per month for shoddy, poorly done, opaque and antiquated online marketing services that you could INSTANTLY improve – and ethically position YOURSELF as the ultimate ethical authority (through both your skill – and your authority site!) as the go to “guru” and entrepreneur in the local space.

In our 2nd Platform 10X call – we make a list of 5 or 7 specific SIGN up benefits that have real, empirical value – are easy to apply – and your clients will love.

But wait……what if we have the SAME goal, but want only 20 clients?

Now you need to find ONE person, every 40 days or so, who is willing to pay you $410 a month, rather than $200.

But now you own an authority site.  You own a local asset which is getting traffic, driving referrals and cultivating credibility and trust in your community.

How many of those local businesses need a new website?  OR would love to be interviewed on a high profile platform?  Or monthly social media marketing services?  Or launch a branded newsletter?  Or simply need a monthly entrepreneurial coach to keep them accountable?   Or who desperately need to learn social media marketing, and would love to join a small masterminding community of other local entrepreneurs that YOU faciliate through your community?  How many may want to launch a course, host events, build a store, write a book, or get an inspired socially conscious message out to the masses?

How many would INSTANTLY benefit from having their own affiliate program that allows them to turn their everyday clients and customers into EAGER evangelists for their local brand, business and bank account.

You think there may be 1 person, every 40 days who would say yes to all of the above?  Of course there is.  And finding that person (or 10 of those people! 🙂 is EASIER than finding 3 people to pay you $99…..for a vague promise of nothing, every single day for the rest of the year.

The truth is, you can use this model to go from ABSOLUTE ZERO to any income goal you choose.  Just do the MATH.  Less really is more.  This model offers all of us an unending opportunity to explore our own entrepreneurial imagination – and this is where you, as the person behind the platform – come alive and excel.

How many times can you scale this strategy in sister cities, or other neighborhoods – or close communities?  Many of my clients are excited not to launch ONE of these directories, but to “clone” this approach, and build something magical for themselves that truly changes lives – both for themselves, their families, and of course, for their communities overall.

I can’t think of a more exciting way, to wake up everyday.

🙂

Ian

PS – if you want to work with me on building your digital media brand, I truly believe I am the best at what I do – and what I do best is help you make more money, increase your impact, and have a whole lot more fun in the process.

Sign up here.


Brought to you by PLATFORM 10X

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