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Should You Use the New Kajabi for Your Membership Site? Well…

Should You Use the New Kajabi for Your Membership Site? Well…

The New Kajabi. Here are my first impressions of the platform and my thoughts on using the New Kajabi for your membership site.

A year ago, I wrote an article on Member Mouse, as I was in the middle of trying to find a membership platform to host my membership site. At the time, I was testing Paid Memberships Pro and Member Mouse, with plans to move on to WishList Member. Instead I gave myself a much-needed respite after my long-time friend and oft-times business partner, Ron died unexpectedly of a stroke in mid-November.

For me, taking a break from web technology for a year was like taking a break from walking for a year. I came back having to re-learn everything all over again… including WordPress.

During my year off, I chose to work as a bookkeeper for an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization. I thought it would be mindless, mechanical work. And it would have been if the company that hired me had done any bookkeeping at all over the previous three years. The job turned out to be quite challenging, a bit stressful, and somewhat frustrating.

After my stint with the nonprofit corporation was done, I went back to doing what I do best – helping busy entrepreneurs create content, build information products, and market themselves online. Which pretty much catches you up to date.

My current client is a successful real estate investor who hired me to help him create several products simultaneously, one of which is a paid membership community for novice real estate entrepreneurs. Because he already has the New Kajabi, we’re using the New Kajabi for his membership site.

What is Kajabi?

Kajabi is a content delivery platform. It allows you to create and deliver both paid and free content. I’ve used Kajabi before when it was Kajabi Next and found it… technical. And even using it all last weekend, Kajabi didn’t strike me as a platform for the busy mom who just wants to share strategies with other busy moms in a membership community. At first glance, Kajabi seems like a comprehensive tool for professional online marketers who spend their prime hours building membership sites, not the busy mom whose aim is to share strategies with other busy moms in a members-only community.

Kajabi is Actually Very Straightforward

I know. I know. Easy isn’t everything, Sorilbran. True. And the New Kajabi turned out to be very straightforward once I stopped looking for it to be super-easy. Straightforward? Yes. Intuitive? For me, no. I had to watch hours of tutorials and read about a dozen articles online to get a clear picture of Kajabi’s functionality and capabilities.

The New Kajabi has fantastic functionality. You build an entire website, fully equipped with a blog and static pages right on the Kajabi platform. What does that mean? It means you can have the New Kajabi for your membership site and not even need a separate website for your brand. I’ll get more into that later.

What About Designing a Website Using Kajabi?

Well, that’s the one drawback for me was the design limits. Coming from a WordPress background where functionality can seem limitless with the strategic use of plugins, Kajabi’s design capabilities feel quite limiting to me. There are a handful of website templates from which to choose and I had a hard time distinguishing one template from the next. Wonderfully, the website dashboard is set up a lot like the WordPress dashboard, so it was easy to navigate. But I didn’t happen to come across a website design I like, so we opted to build a separate .com website outside of Kajabi and use New Kajabi solely to host the premium content / membership site.

Kajabi review - website templates

I would have to learn more HTML code to get the blog posts to look like I want them to look. Not my favorite thing.

Organizing Content on Kajabi

I think this is the area that was least obvious to me. As a blogger, I’m used to using tags, categories and posts. In the Kajabi ecosystem, categories and posts are used to organize paid content. Here is the hierarchy:

The Sales functionality for your membership sit will contain an Offer that you name and to which you assign Products. Each product is made up of one or more multi-media Posts and downloads. Each Post is assigned a Category; within each category you have the option to release enable the content to be published immediately or to be included as part of a content drip, delivered X number of days from the date the member first got access to the product.

The New Kajabi for your Membership site

So for instance, for my client’s membership site, we’re building out 52 weeks of drip content that’s divided by topics that we’ve called Units. Each unit is made up of a series of training modules and each module is made available seven days after the previous module becomes available. In Kajabi-ese…

  • The Offer is the Real Estate Entrepreneurs Program (REEP) monthly membership
  • There will be a total of 10 products bundled as part of this membership.
  • Each product contains between 4 and 10 training modules + downloads like sample contracts, worksheets, and instructions + supplemental video content to further explain or show examples of each topic covered by the training modules
  • Each training module is put on a drip schedule using categories. So Module 1 is available immediately once a REEP member signs up. Module 2 becomes available 7 days later. Module 3 becomes available 14 days after sign-up. Module 4 becomes available 21 days after sign-up. Etc.

Huh?

I will admit: I didn’t immediately grasp the way in which Kajabi structured this part of the membership system, despite having used at least two other membership platforms before. And I didn’t love the video tutorials. For whatever reason, that one guy who explains all the features makes me sort of zone out.

 


This guy sort of makes my eyes glaze over.
I can remember running down the process in my mind several times, trying to connect the dots as I drove to pick the kids up from school. By the end of the week, I pretty much had the process down, which is why I say the functionality is fantastic once you stop looking for the easy win.

Kajabi’s List Management Capabilities

Kajabi also provides its members with the ability to send emails and manage their lists from within Kajabi, or to integrate their own list management software using Zapier. Were I just starting out, I would use Kajabi’s list management functions just to keep things simple. But of course, my client already has a list of nearly 7,000 members in InfusionSoft, so we’re in the process of integrating InfusionSoft to track and tag user engagement.

The New Kajabi does have a pre-determined set of emails that go out to your new members confirming their membership and letting them know when the next training module is available. You have the option to revise those emails or use your own once you integrate your own email auto-responder.

In part two of this review on using the New Kajabi for your membership site, I’ll talk about creating landing pages, setting up your Kajabi store, and pricing. Have a productive week.

Why Intellectual Property Should Be Part of Your Business Model

Why Intellectual Property Should Be Part of Your Business Model

What are your thoughts, ideas and homegrown processes worth to your business? It very well may be that you can give your firm a distinct competitive advantage by monetizing your ideas and building an intellectual property portfolio.

**This post was originally published on Iconic Woman.**

It is no secret that small businesses drive the economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 99.7% of all employer firms and employ over half of the U.S. workforce. We’re talking 40% of our scientists, engineers, and tech talent. But there is an underlying reason for small businesses being able to employ technical and creative talent – intellectual property (IP).

What is Intellectual Property?

Let’s start with the basics here. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has this to say:

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

We’re talking about ideas. Thoughts. And more than just fueling your daily actions, your ideas – some of them, at least – have market value.

 

Why IP is important for Woman-Owned and Minority-Owned Businesses

IP can boost the value of your company. Intellectual property presents a huge opportunity for minority business owners who may be cash-strapped but idea-rich. Women entrepreneurs actually seek outside funding far less than their male counterparts. Adding intellectual property to your portfolio can not only help you build multiple streams of income but a collection of copyrights, trademarks and patents boost the value of your company.

IP can give you a fast and firm market advantage. Intellectual property can also help your firm gain the advantage over your competitors by bringing new innovations to market. What business owner wouldn’t want to be responsible for an invention that helps her dominate her market and have a patent in place to ensure her competitors cannot duplicate her processes?

Inventions and patents aside, the Internet is built on intellectual property. If you want to remain competitive in tomorrow’s market, minority-owned businesses should start adopting the practice of creating content – videos, books, articles, social posts, podcasts, courses, and other intellectual property – today. In our web-driven, search-engine-fueled economy, a business will have a hard time surviving without it in the coming years.

IP can help you differentiate yourself from your competitors. Intellectual property also strengthens your ability to differentiate yourself in the market. As a consumer, whom would you rather patronize: A professional who works a 9 to 5 and does the occasional lecture at a nearby college campus, or the expert who has invested so much time and effort into mastering their profession that they have produced half dozen books and training courses to present and sell at the occasional lecture?

If you miss the live event, you already know you can buy the recording on her website in a matter of days or weeks. IP makes the difference by allowing you to meet your targets right where they are.

The U.S. Economy Thrives on Intellectual Property

Small businesses may be paying everybody, but intellectual property is creating the jobs. A report released by The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and The Economic and Statistics Administration offers insight on just how valuable intellectual property is:

“The entire U.S. economy relies on some form of IP, because virtually every industry either produces or uses it.” – Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus

The United States is not exclusive in its mission to perpetuate innovation by offering creators protections for their ideas. These protections – delivered in the form of copyrights, patents and trademarks – encourage creators to market and monetize their ideas. The more great ideas we are able to turn into profitable businesses, the more economic stability the country can enjoy.

Look, I grabbed this report published by the World Intellectual Property Organization called Intellectual Property for Business. It contains very valuable information, insight and strategies for how small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) can get ahead by using intellectual property.

If you’ve thought at all about formalizing a process or creating and selling multimedia content, I urge you to download Intellectual Property for Business by clicking here.

Are You Creating EBooks or Info Products?

Are You Creating EBooks or Info Products?

With Internet marketers and online gurus selling ebooks as “information products”, it can be a challenge pinpointing exactly where the line is between regular eBook and an “information product.” Just what is the difference?

Lead with Value

Master copywriter, Bob Bly, extols the virtues of creating information products that deliver the kind value that far exceeds the retail price of the product. That sentiment is in line with Gary Vaynerchuk’s resolve that you start every relationship by focusing on giving value long before you think about selling anything.

Unlike regular books and eBooks, people buy information products for more in-depth information.That means there should be a difference between the content you put in an eBook and the value of the content you put in an information product.

 

S

Information Products Create Turnkey Solutions

Look at the picture above from Suzanne Evans’ Be the Change program. Whether digital or physical, this is what your customers are expecting from an information product. The person who buys an information product is looking for something very close to a turnkey solution.

So, an eCourse on copywriting cannot be developed in the same way one would develop the content for a 40-page eBook on copywriting. No. A course has far more depth.

According to Bly, information products should provide detailed instructions on how to do instead of just pointing readers in the direction of what to do. It is this depth that justifies a price tag of $49 or $297 or $5,997 for an information product.

It is true that for some people, even a turnkey solution is too much work. You may pour your heart out to provide turnkey but they will complain because they wanted magic. You and I both know building any business at all takes time. It takes energy. It takes focus and resilience. And it takes money. So don’t worry too much about those people. They probably aren’t going to do what it takes to succeed anyway.

Still, if you are developing an information product, you should seek to be the only solution your customer ever needs. Use your information product to detail every thought, strategy, action and result your customer can expect. Anything short of that is probably an eBook that you should sell online for $19.99 or less.

Filling in the Blanks to Create an Info Product

What if you don’t know enough to lay out every thought, strategy, action, and result? Well, you probably need to learn more before creating an information product.

Start learning not just your job, but your industry, your market, your competitors, and the names of the thought leaders in your space. Find out who is good at what, and leverage their knowledge to your advantage. An encyclopedia doesn’t reveal new findings. It only aggregates what has already been published. In the same way, creating a quality information product requires you to be the resource. Be your customer’s encyclopedia. Teach them what to do and why, but make the crux of your effort explaining to the reader how to do it.

Finally, have a tool whereby customers who buy your info product can receive continuing support on their efforts. That may be in the form of a membership to your VIP circle, access to a special online forum, or even just an address for them to email you questions and have you respond.

Whatever your choice, focus on becoming your customer’s primary resource for news and insights in your industry.

 

The One Tactic to Help You Grow Your Business with a Blog

The One Tactic to Help You Grow Your Business with a Blog

Do you need a blog for your business? Yep. Why? Because blogging works. But there’s one catch here that most people don’t seem to grab hold of when they first start blogging. I didn’t get it at first either.

If you’re going to launch a blog that you’ll be running yourself, you should definitely, without a doubt, FOR SURE…

Specialize.

Blogging is one of the most effective, affordable, and profitable marketing tools a small, new, or bootstrapping business can use to make money. But blogging and creating content for the web is time-consuming. And if that isn’t your primary business, you can end up putting in a lot of work then questioning whether your efforts are really worth it.

There are about a billion digital properties currently online, each fighting for the attention of two billion Internet users. That means you have to find a way to rise above the noise.

A great strategy to implement if you’re going to start blogging to promote your business is to focus your attention on specific topic. Try to appeal to just a segment of your target audience and provide them with information about the things they want to know about.

In his book, The Longer Long Tail, Chris Anderson  talks extensively about focusing on selling greater quantities of product to a smaller segment of your target audience.

Uh-huh. How does that translate into blog content?

I’ll tell you.

First, let’s get the obvious hiccup out of the way: The narrower your topic, the better your chances of getting found for your specific area of expertise. But it’s also true that the narrower your topic, the smaller your audience.

That’s not a bad thing though.

Let’s say you run a nursery with lots of greenery, flowers and gardening tools. You may be tempted to blog about all things green in an effort to attract the widest audience. There are several challenges you face by going this route.

First, you’re not going to be able to turn out enough content to meet everyone’s need unless you hire a team of writers. And contrary to popular belief, great writers ain’t cheap.

The second challenge you will face is that going wide puts you in a position where you’re competing online with everybody from HGTV to The Huffington Post, both of whom occasionally publish content about plants.

If you “niche-down” your blog (that is, narrow your focus), you may decide to zero in on creating content that helps novices develop a green thumb, for instance. You will be targeting a smaller audience, but you will have a better chance of getting and keeping their attention. You could blog about topics like:

  • Which plants are the safest indoor plants for pet owners
  • How to quickly grow tropical plants
  • When to re-pot your spider plant
  • How to recognize poison ivy from a mile away
  • Fifteen edible plants to plant in your yard
  • Six edible plants that you can grow in your apartment

By only targeting new gardeners, and plant lovers who have special circumstances like living in apartments or raising small children, you can draw droves of potential customers who may have a hard time finding what they are looking for on larger sites that publish masses of content on every aspect of your industry, but not enough content on the topics that specifically appeal to them.

Just think about it: If you’re a novice at something, you do want information, but what you’re really looking for is guidance. You want a step-by-step plan to accomplish what you want to accomplish.

When you are trying to grow your business with a blog or use blogging to position yourself as an expert, your best strategy is to be very specific about who you’re talking to, and use the momentum you create to build a loyal and growing following of a very particular type of customer.

By the way, search engines love good blogs on specific topics. She whom the Great Search Engines loveth, gets the first of the traffic.

 

So, What Is a Blog Anyway?

So, What Is a Blog Anyway?

If you think every body is already blogging and you’re tardy to the party, take heart. It’s better to do it now than do it never. Let’s talk about blog basics, then you decide how it can benefit your brand.

What is a Blog?

Weblogs, more commonly referred to as blogs, are websites that are frequently updated with content. Blogs are usually authored by small groups of individuals and published to the Internet as commentary, information or diaries.

Over the past 15 years, blogs have gone from being mostly the chronicles of a person’s daily life (that’s where the term “web log” comes from) to being actual news outlets.

CNN.com screen shot

Yes, CNN is a news outlet, but CNN.com is a giant blog

As more and more people took to blogging, and more and more people took to reading blogs, the validity of blog content grew. These days, many major news companies grab their headlines and story angles from the blogs. Bloggers with large, loyal followings are consider influential members of the media.

Blogging is used as a way to publish breaking news, spread ideas, and express opinions. Social media enables blog content to be shared (and re-shared) with thousands of people in a matter of seconds.

Blog Are the New Press

One benefit of blogging is that it allows folks who are not tech-savvy to create and publish articles, pictures,videos, and other media for the world to see. In stark contrast to what blogging looked like at the turn of the century, blogs today often look more like CNN, Ebony.com, and Vogue.com.

A stat published by Journalism.org reported 50% of Americans under the age of 30 get their news online, and 49% of Americans 30 to 49 get their news online.
Stat of the percentage of Americans who get their news online

What that stat means is that if you are not in a position to broadcast to the masses by television appearances, you can likely reach your target audience online.

There are blogs in just about every niche imaginable, and many of these blogs are considered “authority sites.” Authority sites are websites that rank high in search engines, have a high trust factor, and are typically viewed as credible resources on a given topic.

Many of today’s self-made gurus have earned the designation, in part, by consistently creating and sharing quality blog content.

wheel of website blogs

There credible blogs in every niche imaginable.

Blogs vs. Site Pages

Now, there is a difference between your blog posts and the pages on your site. The pages on your site include your About page, products and services pages, legal notices, and contact page). They are static content, meaning they don’t change often. You may update them once or twice a year, more if you get new products in or add to your menu of services.

Blogs posts, on the other hand, are dynamic content. You will be adding blog posts to your site far more frequently than you add pages. When you land on a site like BlackEnterperise.com or Inc.com where there are tons of headlines on the home page, you can bet the entire site is essentially blog content.

If you are looking for a way to grow your brand, establish credibility and get found online, blogging is a fail-proof method for doing just that. Post as much as you can as often as you can consistently. And watch your brand grow.

Of course, if DIY content is not your thing and you want help developing your content strategy, creating your content calendar, and actually creating multi-media content, I’m just a phone call away.

 

The Surprisingly Simple Method I Use to Get Clients Found Online

The Surprisingly Simple Method I Use to Get Clients Found Online

One of the challenges many micro businesses face is finding the most effective ways to market so they get found online. If you’re not an Internet marketer it can be difficult to find the time to make DIY online marketing efforts worth your while.

For all it’s simplicity, Internet marketing ain’t all that easy. It’s time-consuming enough just to learn the jargon – content, backlinks, SEO, keywords, long tails, CTR, PPC, PPM, on and on… Let alone the fact that tomorrow (if the Google gods see fit)  the entire landscape of online marketing could change.

I’m going to let you in on one of the easiest strategies you can use to get found online. And you won’t have you to attend several days of YouTube University for it to work.

It is this: Add a Product and Services section on your site, not just a single page where you list your products and services.

Why You Need to Create a Page for Each Product or Service You Offer

The Services / Products section of your site is made up of a series of pages. Those pages should quickly answer a single question for your customers: How can you help me?

As awesome as your products may be, your customers don’t care about your products. Your customers care about their own problems. If you position your products and services as solutions to their problems, you can close the distance between your customer’s first visit to your website and an actual sale.

Search engines rank individual pages, not entire websites. So, make sure each product or service you offer has its own page that search engines can rank.

Think about the last time you searched for something online. You probably asked Google (or your search engine of choice) a specific question: “What time does Fung Lim’s close tonight?”

Maybe you didn’t ask an actual question; maybe you searched just by saying keywords: “Chinese restaurants near me” or “Chines restaurants 48220”

If this is the way you search, you’re not an anomaly. That’s how most people search now – few words, no filler,  very specific.

Search Engines Rank Individual Pages, Not Entire Websites

With that in mind, if your customer conducted a search using just the name of your city and the service they were looking for, would your website come up in Google search results? Would your customer be able to find you online?

Check out the screen shot below. As I was writing this article, I conducted a search for the term “avocado nutrition benefits.”

 

screen shot of avocado search results

In the screen shot above, you can see “avocado nutrition benefits” in the search bar, and the featured result comes from AuthorityNutrition.com.

Authority Nutrition is not a website about avocados, Authority Nutrition”provides daily articles about nutrition, weight loss and health,” according to its About page.

But Authority Nutrition has at least one page on its website about the health benefits of eating avocados. Authority Nutrition isn’t the only health website that does.

Screen shot 2 of avocado search information

 In the screen shot above, you can see results from WebMD, Medical News Today, Well-Being Secrets, and Organic Facts. Each of the websites showing up in the search results for “avocado nutrition benefits” contain at least one page on their site that is about the nutrition benefits of avocados. None of the sites are websites specifically about avocados.

That’s what you want to happen when people search Google for answers to problems you can solve.

You want specific pages on your site to be so well-written and so succinct that search engines know what your page is about and can recommend it to people when they are searching for the service you provide.

Your Products and Services Are Your Keywords

Think of each product or service you offer as a keyword – that is, an actual search term – that your customers are using to find you and your competitors online.

Make sure search engines can find you, not only by your industry (as in “plumbers in Decatur, GA”), but also by the specific products and services your company provides (as in “how to fix a busted pipe”).

You exponentially increase your chances of getting found online by creating one page for each product you sell offer.

Describe your product – the features and benefits, how it works, how it helps. Include any testimonials you’ve received or case studies you’ve conducted in support of the products.

Your product pages are basically sales pages. And they are key digital real estate on your website. Include images of the product and a description of what you have to offer. Also list specs, prices and what the user can expect to receive by using your product or service.

Use Geo-Locational Keywords to Get Found Online

If you target  customers who live or work in a specific area, they will probably search for products and services in that region. For instance, someone who is looking for lawn services will search for local landscapers.

“Landscapers in Atlanta” or “Denver snow removal”

If you offer a product or service that is specific to one geographic location, add location to the products and services you offer. A Denver-based landscaping company may have the following pages on its website:

  • Denver Topiary
  • Snow removal in Denver
  • Lawn services in Denver
  • Denver Hardscape design company

Help your customers find you. Once they find you, use your smarts and good web design to help make the buying process easy.