Simon Hodgkinson, Jeremy Gislason and Terry Telford recorded a tell-all TeleClass that showed attendees how to create million dollar membership websites.
The Secrets Behind Building A Multi Million Dollar Empire With Membership Websites
Simon Hodgkinson, Jeremy Gislason and Terry Telford recently recorded a tell-all TeleClass that showed attendees how to create a multi-million dollar empire with membership websites. The following excerpts were taken directly from the TeleClass.
You’re about to:
- Learn the secret to successful brainstorming and planning
- Discover how to roll out a successful prelaunch
- Witness the inner workings of a successful launch
Brainstorming And Planning
Just to correct you, Terry, it was $1.7 million in 7 days.
When it comes to the brainstorming and planning, the first thing is, we have a good knowledge of the market place. Jeremy and I spoke to people who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars marketing and promoting to markets they weren’t familiar with. People that are incredibly successful in their own businesses and their own market went somewhere they didn’t know, they hired knowledge and it just did not work.
I think that’s one thing that’s been a real advantage for us, we have a good knowledge of the marketplace, because in reality we are our own customer. If you are you’re own customer, it gets you fifty percent of the way you need to be to brainstorm, because you know you want and by default, what the market wants.
I sell products online, Jeremy sells products online, we know what the problems are and we now what the issues are that affect our work. The people in our market place are affected by the same issues we are. I know if something’s not working for me, or if there’s something that I need for my business, there’s a very good chance there’s going to be big demand for it.
What we do is not rocket science. We sell information of physical products online or use the internet to promote offline products. That’s all there is to it. If something is not working for me, I know its not working for thousands of people out there. That’s a great start. Know the market place.
But intuition can be risky. The key thing is, listen to your customers. We ran a big survey a little while ago. 3,500 people took part in the survey and gave us valuable information about the market. They were doing the same thing as we were. They were selling products online. So we asked how we could help them. What didn’t they have in their businesses? What did they need? What did they want to learn? How much money they make? How much money they want to make? What caused them the biggest problems? All those sorts of questions.
The first part of the survey was multiple choice, the second part was open ended questions like tell us what you want, if you could have anything, what would it be. And literally we sat down for nearly a month and read through all of the answers and picked up ideas. At that point, I don’t think anyone had done a survey that got such a great response. That was gold for us. We listened to the customers, listened to the market place, and listened to what people were complaining about.
The easiest formula for creating a product is, find problems that a lot of people are complaining about and provide the solutions to the problem. That’s a great way to start a brainstorming session.
Going back to working with a partner, Jeremy and I bounce ideas off each other all the time. If I get a great idea, I tell Jeremy and he either says, wow that’s a great idea or you know Simon that’s crap. And I go away sulking and the day after I realize he was right.
What Jeremy does though is, he says if you do this, this and this it might work. So we said we knock ideas between each other backwards and forwards. And ultimately it’s a great way of brainstorming, rather than sitting there with your pencil and a notepad and just thinking of ideas on your own.
It’s also important to bounce ideas off people in your marketplace, people that know what you’re talking about. Sometimes I say things to my wife and I just get a blank look. You’ve got to talk to people in your market place. Talk to your customers and if you have a business partner bounce ideas around with them.
That’s how we came up with the software that made up the main part of MME3. We gave our customers the software we were using to run our membership sites.
I know a lot of marketers who wouldn’t have dreamed of giving away their prize technology or the secret software, but it’s the best thing we could offer. And it brought in $1.7 million.
So the big pay off was by sharing and giving a great value. The problem we had initially was the software was custom built for the application we use it for. But we realized not everybody would want to do what we did. People need more flexibility and more control. I bought software and membership style management systems in the past and it was not flexible enough. So we had to reconfigure the software so people could use it for different things.
While we were redesigning things, Jeremy and I were like two kids opening the front door of the sweet shop, because we had a very good program behind us so that was a bonus. We sat down and we brainstormed how we could make it fantastic.
Now six months down the road, it’s a whole lot better than it was in June. In six months time, it will be better still and six months on, it will be better still and that’s because we listen to what people want. We have a forum for members and we recently polled members to find out what plug-ins they wanted for future releases. We have a suggestion box built right into the software. If you would like to submit an idea it comes to a control panel on our site and we get to read through all those and see what things people want. Then Jeremy and I discuss things with the programming team and that’s how it works. It’s a joint effort. I think that’s the big thing, two big things I would say is listen and brainstorm with business partners and groups of marketers that you have put together. Ask your customers what they want. If you ask people what they want, they will tell you willingly and you learn from that.
If you have a really good pre-launch, you can basically just put up an order button and people will buy it and you don’t need good sales copy. But during the planning stages, plan how you can somehow provide value to everybody out there in your target market. Some kind of value or content to get attention. You can give away free reports, free books, movies, audios, all kinds of stuff. But it has to be good stuff. You can’t just give away a free report that’s 5 pages long and is a sales page for your product, that’s no good. You’ve got to give actual content.
That was one thing we did during the planning. We thought, how can we give away free content, we made a free report that we released, we made preview movies. Simon made some really cool videos about what you could do with the software. I think that was the big factor in a lot of people’s decisions, because they saw these videos and it had the wow factor. And the goal of that was to show people what it could do.
The goal of the mastermind series audios releasing them as a tips series was not so much to get the image of buying an audio series, but more the mindset. We didn’t want people who were not entrepreneurs to buy MME 3. We wanted serious people who were going to buy it and use it for their businesses. Use the product for their businesses and actually be serious about it.
We wanted to help people with their mindset. All the customers got the entire 10 volume set. Each audio was 1-2 hours long. And it’s just solid content. There’s no selling at all in those audios, it’s solid content for people to listen to. And on top of that, we even had videos made to show people, step by step how to resell them. We basically put together different parts of the package, because you can give somebody the so called keys to the “Ferrari” but if they don’t have their license they’re going to crash. So we gave people the software to build the business and the mindset to make things work. That was the goal of the mastermind series.
We also gave them some other products like jv zone, member to member offer zone, and other services. Everything had a purpose. A lot of people didn’t see it all come together like we did, but everything did actually have a purpose.
So when you’re planning, make sure everything has a purpose, make sure there’s a reason why you’re doing things. Make sure you understand your market and try to provide as much free content as you can during your pre-launch to get attention. Basically, make products that you can sell for 10 dollars, 50 dollars, 100 dollars or more and give them away. People are going to be thinking wow this is cool, this guy is giving me this for free. Wow I can’t wait to see what he’s selling. I think that’s really important.
Also, while you’re planning, you have to be in constant communication with people like your affiliates and your jv partners. You could hire an affiliate manager if you want, but when working with jv partners, I like to do that personally. It’s important to build that relationship.
I sit down and write personal emails and email them individually. I don’t want to have somebody else mail or email jv partners, I think its kind of cold. So keep in contact with your warm contacts, with all your partners involved.
I did that for several months during the MME 3 pre-launch. All of our top producers on the launch were people we have good working relationships with. And we’re in constant contact with them. We talk on Skype, MSN, email back and forth, things like that. So it’s really important to plan your launch strategy. Is it going to be just you, or are you going to have partners help you launch it? If you have a list of a million people, I guess you can launch your product alone. Even if you have ten thousand people on your list, you can just launch your product yourself, if you want to, as long as your list is responsive.
But if you involve partners, you can do much more and cover more ground. There’s so many more areas you can reach. Start getting word of mouth, people talking about you, and that’s another key. You’ve got to manage all that and make sure you’re very open with your partners. Show them your products, give them full access, tell them what you’re doing, tell them exactly what’s going on. Don’t blow smoke or hype things up. Be very straight with your partners, because they understand business. They’re not just part of the herd. Work with them one on one.
You also have to decide on the software your going to use to run your business. Who’s going to write your copy? Where are you going to market? There’s a lot of things you have to decide, depending on your product. Basically like Simon said, it’s good if you have someone to talk to about it in the planning stages, because if you’re by yourself, its really hard. You can do it, but its a lot easier if you’re talking with other people. So I suggest trying to find somebody to work with on it or if you do it by yourself, try asking other people for their opinion as you’re going along. And when you’re finished, ask their opinion again.
There are a lot of things involved in the planning stages. You’ve got to plan the building of your product, the development, the marketing, the pre-launch, everything. You’ve got to plan.
Every product is different, so I’m just telling you what we did for ours. But you can apply this same strategy in any market. Plan how to build it, plan how to launch it, plan on giving away free content during the pre-launch, that kind of thing. Hopefully anybody can have a successful launch doing that.
Super Successful Launch
It was absolutely crazy. Seriously, I think the week we launched MME 2, we were probably working 18 hours a day just replying to emails. We literally got to the end of MME 2, we’d done the best part $700,000 and we were like that was great, see you tomorrow. That’s not how you want to be, but we were literally exhausted. The build up of the things is tiring enough, but then to just get hit with email after email after email after email and you have to reply, because it could be sales vs. losing sales by not replying. You can have people that can’t find something in the site and they need help or whatever.
So have a support desk with support tickets to respond to people. Make sure that the login on the site is working. Anything that goes wrong in those early stages during the launch can be a disaster and cost you major, major stress.
Planning is boring, we know its boring. Everybody hates planning, but its very, very important. I think in the first hour of MME3, when that went live, we generated somewhere in excess of $100,000 in sales. Now can you imagine what would have happened if that site crashed? I don’t like the idea of loosing $100,000.
Not only that, if your jv partners and your affiliates are promoting your launch at 9 o’clock in the morning and at 10:30 something breaks, there’s nothing worse.
Something else you have to keep in mind when you’re doing a launch is you’ve got to create a reason to get people to order now. A million and one things can happen in the sales process and if you don’t get the sale, you’ve blown all the time and effort and in some cases the money you’ve invested in the pre-launch process. One of the ways to get sales is to add bonuses for the first number of people who order. One of the MME3 bonuses was this call.
Now here’s the thing, you could use another tactic like increasing the price after the first 100 orders or the first people who order the product get hundreds of bonuses. The orders in that first hour or the first few days can be huge because everyone is scrambling to get in on the lowest price or claim the bonuses, but once the bonuses have gone or once the price goes up, the orders drop massively.
I spoke to people that run firesales where the price starts at $97 and then goes to $197 in day 5. In day 5 they might as well go home because there’s nothing coming in.
We wanted to create an incentive for MME 3 to get people to order now. We used bonuses to do that. We had a whole series of bonuses that were on the site, but we didn’t want to have a lack of bonuses affect sales for the rest of the seven days. If we decided the first 100 people were going to get this, the next 100 people are going to get that, by day 2 the bonuses would have been long gone. There wouldn’t be a thing left on the page.
Because we didn’t want the bonuses disappearing off the page to affect sales, we actually built the Stampede Manager plug-in, and basically what happened was all the bonuses stayed on the page. I think we have 10-12 bonuses on the page. If people were one of the first 100, they got to pick 4 bonuses, the next 100 got to pick 3 bonuses and it kept decreasing. So even somebody coming in 23 hours and 59 minutes of day 7 still had the chance to get the top bonus.
Jeremy and I have discussed this and our educated guess is we increased sales somewhere between 10 and 15% because people were always able to access the bonuses. 10 or 15% is nearly $200,000. So make sure you use the stampede manager in your launch, because it will make a lot of difference in your sales.
But again, make sure you get everything working prior to your launch. It’s really critical. Jeremy and I promoted for someone in the past and 3 minutes into the launch we blasted out an email to 150,000 people and the site went down. So the next time that person asked us to promote their offer, my mind wandered back to the day that I had to spend 24 hours replying to my own subscribers apologizing for sending them to a page that didn’t work. So make sure that everything works. It’s really critical.
— End Report —
If you found this short report helpful, you can download the entire package, Million Dollar Memberships – The Secrets Behind Building A Multi Million Dollar Empire With Membership Websites here
The full package includes:
- Master Resale Rights – You keep 100% of the profit from every copy you sell
- Downloadable Audio – Download and listen at your convenience in your car or on your MP3 player
- Transcript in PDF format – Print it out for easy reading and note taking
- Sales page – Simply upload it and let it sell the package for you
- Thank you page for your customers to download the package – Hassle free. Customize a couple links and upload the page to your server
- Legal Disclaimer and Terms of Service pages – Gives your customers a feeling of security and peace of mind
- Graphics package for the HTML sales page – Professionally designed graphics helps convert more visitors into customers
- Marketing kit to promote the package – Saves you time and headaches trying to come up with your own promotional material
Order your copy of Million Dollar Memberships now.