Every successful entrepreneur I know or have worked with has followed the same formula for success.
This formula will work for you, as long as you follow the process in the right order and with the right intention.
In this article, I will teach you how to get wealthy.
It’s a simple process, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Buckle up.
Let’s get started.
Step 1 – Learn a Skill and Become a Freelancer
Every entrepreneur must first master a skill.
The biggest mistake young entrepreneurs make is to jump right into the later steps of the process without first developing a skillset that has value in the marketplace.
Mastering a skill requires practice and patience. It requires that you put in the hours. This skill will be the backbone of your entire business going forward.
I started my entrepreneurial career as a freelance writer. That was how it all started for me. All of my friends or colleagues who are successful (and people I look up to) started as freelancers in one capacity or another.
The Definition of a Freelancer
Most of the time, we think of a freelancer as a person working in the marketing indsutry. This could mean you’re a writer, or a web developer, or a graphic designer.
While that’s true, it’s important to know that freelancers exist in every industry. A freelancer is simply someone who is trading time for service. This includes…
- personal trainers
- freelance accountants
- finance consultants
- landscapers and gardeners
- contractors and construction workers
You don’t have to be working on the internet for this process to apply to you. This process applies to people in every line of work.
However, as you will see in step 2, the internet will provide you the tools to take your income to the next level.
Step 2 – Build a Distribution Network
Attention is the most valuable currency in the world.
The first step in any transaction is getting someone’s attention. Someone must be paying attention to you before they can make a transaction with you.
This is why building a distribution network is so important, because if you own the attention, you own the business.
What is a Distribution Network?
Distribution simply means owning an audience. Owning an audience is a key step on how to get wealthy.
Do you have people who are paying attention to you? And if so, what is the medium? A distribution network could include …
- an email list
- a popular Instagram feed
- a YouTube channel
- a Twitter account
Email is the Best Distribution Network to Own
Before we go further into building distribution, I want you to understand that not all distribution is the same.
If you have to pick one growth channel to focus on, you should always pick email.
Because you own your email list and no one can ever take it from you. In addition, your email list is a direct relationship between you and the people who follow you. You don’t have to depend on a third party network like a social media platform to reach your audience.
You can speak to your audience directly.
This is critically important to understand because I have seen many cases of people building distribution on a social network and then without warning, the network changes how their algorithm allows you to interact with your followers.
You can’t trust social media platforms. They own your audience and they can take it from you at any time.
If you own an email list that will never happen. In addition, email is the most intimate relationship you can have, because people protect their inboxes and if they subscribe to your email list it means they want to hear from you.
The Trick to Building Your Distribution Network
The mistake you will probably make is that you will only start building your email list after you have decided to take the next step away from freelancing.
But this is completely wrong.
What you want to do is build your email list while you are freelancing.
Yes, it’s a lot of work, but it will be worth it. Be patient and consistent. At first, your growth will be slow and that’s okay. As long as you stick with it, this process will work every time.
Here are some tips …
- put your current clients in your email list and send them a simple weekly newsletter. (ask them to forward it to their friends)
- build a website for your business and create content that brings people back to your email list. (just like I am doing here)
- create social media content that documents the projects you are working on for your freelance clients
There is no shortage of ideas and effective strategies. The point is (and I can’t emphasize this enough) that the moment to start building your email list is while you are freelancing.
You will need an email list to transition away from freelancing and without distribution, you will be stuck in freelance purgatory forever.
Step 3 – Build Products and Systems to Generate Scale
In this step, you will see how all the work you have done so far has set you up perfectly for the real wealth creation stage.
At this point, you have gained competence in a skill and built an email list. The next step is to get out of your own way, so that you can begin working ON the business, as opposed to working IN the business.
You have many options on what you can build, but the key point is to create something that can be sold over and over again, at scale.
A digital product can be sold an infinite amount of times. You don’t need to create a new product every time you sell one. But this concept doesn’t only apply to products, it also applies to service businesses.
If you build the right systems and processes, you can productize and systematize a service business, so that your “product” (in this case, it really means your process) can be automated and sold many times over without having to replicate the process over and over again.
A Perfect Example is Dietitian Dianna
Dianna spent years freelancing as a dietitian. Since then, she has built a phenomenal online business in an industry that is critically important. She’s making money while helping people and doing what she loves!
But to say again, the beginning of her journey required her to put in the hours and master her skill.
In the early years as a dietitian, I was underpaid and overworked.
But she put her hours in and eventually was able to productize her services through a course and through personal coaching. While a freelancer, she started building her website and started creating content to build her email list.
Now that she has distribution, she is able to sell a high dollar workshop that helps other women build better relationships with food. She sells courses for $1500 and is even developing a workshop to help other dietitians learn how to scale their brands online.
At this point, Diana’s primary focus is to simply grow her distribution and get more people subscribed into her email list.
Once you have mastered your revenue stream, you can focus all of your attention on growth. All of your focus can be spent getting as many people as possible into your sales funnel and growing your distribution network.
Once you’ve gotten this step down, you can then focus on growing at massive scale through automation.
Step 4 – Monetize Through Automation
One of the great things about the internet is that it has given power and leverage to the individual.
You can build machines and automations that perform the work of what used to take tens or even hundreds of people.
At this point in your process, you have developed a skill, you have used your reputation in that field to create a distribution network and you have leveraged your audience to sell products or services at scale.
Now, you need to automate the sales and marketing process so that the revenue generates itself.
There are many ways to do this, and as long as you understand the concept, you can create your own method. But for the sake of this article, I will show you two examples that I use personally.
Selling The Bootstrapper
As is the case in all of my companies, I build my email list by writing long form content to generate traffic to my website, and then using that traffic to earn email signups.
Once people sign up for the email list, the product sells itself through automation.
Here’s is a screenshot of what my automation looks like. Every one of these emails drives traffic to the sales page.
My sales funnel closes at about 5%. So that means for every 100 email signups, I get 5 sales.
The only thing I need to focus on is growing my audience and my distribution, because as soon as someone signs up for my email list, the sales process happens automatically.
Selling Stodzy Internet Marketing
Understand that this method can be used to sell services in the same way it can be used to sell a product.
For isntance, almost all of my sales appointments for Stodzy come through email automation. However, the only difference is that instead of selling a product, in which my customer needs to pay with a credit card, I am “selling” an appointment.
The goal for my email automation is to book appointments.
Here is a screenshot of my sales funnel.
In every email, the link sends the user to a page with an embedded Calendly form. Click here to see how my prospects can book appointments.
In addition, I have built a qualifying form that ensures people who book appointments are serious prospects who have a real interest in hiring us and can afford it.
This has completely automated my sales process and has even increased my closing percentage, because I’m not spending as much time talking to people who aren’t the right fit for our business.
I would estimate that 60% of the appointments I have booked over the last 5 years have resulted in a signed contract.
We went over a lot of information in this article. There is a lot for you to learn, but I want to make sure you grasp the concepts.
Here is the formula …
- Start a freelance business that allows you to build a skill and generate cashflow.
- Build a distribution network.
- Create digital products and / or systematize your services.
- Scale your sales through automation.
This is the way.
In Closing …
I want to leave you with encouragement and and belief in this process.
Trust the process!
It’s easy to get discouraged because social media loves to show you examples people sharing their success stories and over inflating their growth.
Don’t fall for the trap. Navigate through this process with patience and faith. It will work for you, as long as you do it in the right order and with the right intention.
Be patient. Do great work with great people and the rest will work itself out.
That’s a promise from me to you.