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Ask the Readers: If you Had to Get 80k More Subscribers in the Next 6-12 Months…

questions-cardI’ve got an interesting Ask the Readers Question for you this month.

A couple of months ago, we discussed – at length! – how to increase traction on webinars – and I know that for us at Mirasee, it was hugely valuable and illuminating.

We came to the conclusion that webinars are wonderful – but they aren’t everything.

Let’s back up a little bit…

Here’s where we are right now at Mirasee: the process we teach so far has 3 “rungs” on the ladder of growth:

  1. Participating in Communities; this is blog commenting, forum posting etc., and it’s the best way to get some exposure and go from 0 subscribers to 100, or maybe 200.
  2. Contributing to Communities; mostly in the form of guest posting and other content contributions, and this is the best way to go from 100-200 subscribers to 1,000-2,000.
  3. Co-Leading Communities; through co-promotions, joint ventures, webinars etc., and this is the best way to go from 1,000-2,000 to 10,000-20,000.

This ladder works really well because it builds the relationships that you need to support you at the next level, and we teach our students that (after the first level, which shouldn’t take more than a few months of concerted effort), their guideline in terms of when to switch strategies should be aim for 10-25% subscriber growth month over month; if they’re aiming for more than that, they’re probably asking for someone to take a chance on them that they haven’t earned, and if they’re aiming for less than that, they’ve probably reached a point of diminishing returns on the strategy.

There are exceptions of course, but on the whole, all of this is pretty accurate and effective.  🙂

Now – here’s where we are: what should happen after Co-Leading Communities?

Right now Mirasee is hovering around a little over 20,000 subscribers, and we are seeing diminishing returns on partner webinars – although they are still very valuable and profitable – they aren’t likely to give us the growth that will lead from 20,000 to 100,000 or 200,000.

So what’s next on the ladder?

Is it SEO? Leveraging all the content that we’ve created along the way?

Is it PR?  Leveraging all the thought capital that we’ve created?

Is it something else entirely?

One very important thing about the ladder is the idea that each rung is built on the traction that you gained in the previous one, and paves the way for the next – so a good next strategy wouldn’t be just any strategy – it will be one that flows logically and organically to a certain extent from where we are now.

So – you know we’ve got some very good minds over here – but the more brains on a problem, the better the answer will be! What do YOU think a good next step for us at Mirasee would be?

I’m so looking forward to what you have to say! Let us know in the comments!

About Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty is an alumnus of Mirasee and is passionate about online education, small business and making a difference in the world. You can find out what she's up to and how side-hustles will take over the world at PayingforLife.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MeganTwoCents.

27 comments

  1. I’d have to do the best I can with the time I’ve got available. I can’t leave my work until the end of November 14. It would be a nice problem to have though.

  2. Firepole is a content producer with an audience. Now it is time to level-up – become a platform. Don’t use forums, build one. Or aggregate content. Or invite others to become regular contributors and bring their audience. Redesign the site to become like a magazine. Co-create products and sell them in your online store, alongside your own products and affiliate products you trust.

    Time to step up and be more than a blog – time to become Facebook. Get everyone else to provide the content, you just create the space for it.

  3. Given what you’ve said, I think a natural progression is to become a leader of your own community.

    There are essentially two ways to go about this: 1) tie in to existing communities on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter or 2) focus on building your own community.

    The second option offers the most advantage over the long term as you have complete control over this asset. Also, you can leverage your existing content and audience to build out this community. Lastly, your blog is a great way to grow your mailing list.

    By default, once you’ve hit the wall on third rung of the “ladder of growth” you are already leading your own community. Now the challenge is to determine what kind of community will best suit your purpose.

    Are you going to have a community where people actively contribute content and discuss issues? Automotivedigitalmarketing.com does this while at the same time promoting their blog DealerMarketing.com

    Or do you style your community along the lines of Wikipedia? In this case your blog becomes a source of reference and needs to be organized with this end in mind. That means going through all of your existing posts to categorize, interlink and create subject matter (category pages) which provide a good overview of the posts that relate to the category. It’s similar to your “Start Here” page but far more in depth.

    There are a huge number of SEO benefits to be gained by organizing your blog in this manner. Your audience will also appreciate this, because at some point (and I think you’re already there) the amount of content becomes overwhelming. A lot of good stuff gets buried when

    But let’s not forget the first option; existing social media platforms. To a certain extent, it’s necessary to maintain some kind of community presence on the major platforms. Google has stated that the social component is gaining prominence in their search algorithm. Recycling traffic between your social media communities and your blog helps in this regard. Just keep in mind that the path to email signup is not as direct on social media as it is on your blog.

  4. I saw the post a couple days ago, but wanted to spend a little bit of time thinking about it.

    I don’t think Facebook is going to get you what you want. I have several Facebook pages in different niches. One page has over 120,000 fans. I do get signups for the associated mailing list, but not in the numbers you are asking for. Also I think Facebook is more of a place for people to fool around, post goofy pictures not the business environment you want to drive to your site.

    I think your best bet would be media buys both online and in print for business and small business related publications. Media buys don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I am thinking about ads with a giveaway/opt-in in Entrepreneur, Small Business, etc. Check out the listing here -> http://www.allyoucanread.com/small-business-magazines/

    I think by going in this direction you are going to hit the audience you want for a reasonable investment.

  5. This is such an interesting post: very valuable for me, thank you.

    I’m not an expert in list building, I’m an expert at intuition so I would tell you to go beyond your thinking brain (it’s just limited for most of us), definitely don’t focus on the problem (look into the fresh new direction of creative solutions) and especially tap into something bigger (allow your genius to come forth from the creative Mind).

    I keep saying creative because frankly we’ve been bombarded with webinars, tele-summits, tele-jams (really?), JVs and more of the same. There’s nothing really NEW and FRESH and EXCITING going on right now and this is the web: infinite possibilities no?!

    Dazzle Me! Excite me! Show me something new!

  6. More BIBs! That’s unique! That’s what led me to the FM. And you can add some ‘viral’ component to it. You can obligate participants to share, to create a buzz.
    Anything else you do is ‘nothing special’, it’s what everybody else is doing.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with Kathy. I listen to Pat Flynn’s podcast (Smart Passive Income) and I think it’s a really powerful way to stay in touch with your audience. I don’t think you’ll get 80k more subscribers with a podcast but it might help.
      The reasons I listen are:
      1) I learn best by listening and doing (so maybe you could consider how your audience learns best and target specific learning styles)
      2) I can learn stuff hands-free and accomplish other things at the same time (like driving to work for example)
      3) Listening requires less physical effort than reading or watching. Your eyes get tired but your ears don’t.

  7. I’m sure you’ve considered this, but I like Derek Halpern’s advice on this. He says to find a few people in your audience that seem really similar to each other but different from the rest of the group, and target them with your content. His example was massage therapists—he started one of his posts with an anecdote that was specific to them and sent a few requests to share to forum and email list moderators. He was able to grab tons of subscribers using this tactic over and over again.

  8. What I have found is that most businesses really have a relatively small reach when we think about it. 30,000 subscribers seems like a lot but over all in the grand scheme it is pretty small.

    So the issue I believe more is “Where are your readers?”

    Let us begin by asking some simple questions to get an overall arial view like…

    What topics seem to be most read on your blog?

    What topics are being shared the most?

    What do your readers want help with or what content they want more of?

    How did they found out about you?

    and finally…

    What kind of writing style will cause them to favor you over all the other bloggers out there.

    For us I had never heard of you nor am I a big blog reader as we have to stay focused. But one day someone I am working with sent me an email about your Biz Ignition BootCamp. So I found out by some one telling me instead of me looking…

    Now with all that, you have some amunition to use in a unique way.

    Here is what we did.

    We found that a special kind of video that was inspiring, that could speak of what we did and after it was over invight them to sign up for more really worked well.

    We paid our partner 8k to send it to his targeted list of 400,000 subscribers. The video went viral because any one would like it and they would share it. http://WhosDependingOnYourDream.com

    Here is a better idea of why we used this strategy to find new readers…

    What we found is that grandma would like it and send to her son, a CEO of a fine china company. Or wife saw it and shared with all her wives friends and they shared with their husbands who had businesses.

    Everyone needs hope and inspiration but when the emotion of the movie is peaked what is the offer? Only those interested invthe offer would want it. The rest say no but share the video any way. That video still is being viewed today. An ad or ppc banner is never shared so has no viral component unless it is done so funny and well nut again those are videos.

    The net result was 400,000 eblast, 35,000 views in 72 hours in 29 countries and thousands of new subscribers.

    So the key take away is to figure out a way to make your content in such a way that makes me want to share it. How can you go viral.

    Maybe to tell your readers to tweet the article if they like it, also add content that helps with other areas of life.

  9. All I can say is to keep on giving, and give some more and keep serving with Love as your bottom line. What a lovely situation to be in or as my daughters tongue in cheek would say #1stWorldProblems:) Which makes me think about what charities do you support? Spiritual laws say the more you give away (and you already give loads) the more you receive. May you be blessed with growth, love and abundance. Happy Giving

  10. Hi Danny, my website is in process but will be available in a month or so. But for the comments, my answer is that recently Peter Sardeen posted something that look very valuable for me, he said that he came to a point of enlightment or something like that, where he realized that he and people like him (that means Firepole too!) were focusing to much on coaching and healers and people that sell courses, etc but after a magician wrote him that all this courses were very valuable but useless to him, then he said he would open to other people and how to help them. I think the same, and I believe that if you want to grow, you need to focus on diifferent kind of people who are interested and following you (like me), but that they don’t decide nothing yet because they feel afraid that this won’t be suitable for the type of business and person. What about a webinar for people like me, an artist or for that magician or somebody else, but that doesn’t fall into your typical client? sounds great, isn’t it? By the way, I hope you liked my “Polo the little chicken book”.
    The best for you at Firepole, I hope that you grow to 1,000,000 and more, but please, please, never lose your personal touch.

  11. It Is Something Else Entirely! Think about this: the Internet is why we are all here. If this was like 1955 when there was no Internet, you would not even be asking this question. But the answer you are looking for might be found by going “backward.”
    Marketing, in the way we know it as a practice today is so different than “marketing” was in the “olden times.” What made it work back then? What from back then can be threaded through to today to make it work?

    Perhaps we need to RENAME the action of what the word MARKETING means today. Look at the relationships that are affected by exchange:

    BASIC SCENARIO:
    THEIR Business or Service (A) = Something I Need (A)
    +
    MY Need (B) = Money I’LL Pay To Meet It(B)
    ________A + B = C____________________where C = Two Happy People

    MARKETING SCENARIO
    A = Need/Fulfillment (“I have what you need!”)
    B = Cost/Decision (“You have what I need–at what cost? Agreement. Purchase.”
    C = Even Playing Field

    FIELDS
    Old Paradigm = Shop storefront, local feel, local, limited reach
    New Paradigm = Computer screen, global feel, distant reach

    Old Paradigm = Physical
    New Paradigm = Mental

    EXCHANGE
    Old Paradigm = Handshake, storefront signage, coupon, community particpation …all PARTICLES…

    New Paradigm = …all WAVES…
    What’s The Equivalent Of A Handshake On The Internet?
    Website Signage Is Different Than Storefront Signage–HOW?
    Paper Coupon vs. Electronic Discount: IS MEANING THE SAME?
    Physical Community vs. Virtual Community–where is the “TOUCH” in the ELECTRONIC MEDIUM and is it possible to feel it?

    Okay, friends. We all know that there aren’t really any answers. Yet. Thank you.

  12. Hey!

    This is some nice and sweet stuff. I like the part about contributing to communities and grow from just 3 digits to multiple folds. Tempted to try your tactic and I really appreciate the time for you to write this.

    Personally, I feel you need to ‘give’ to others before they return the ‘favor’. So, yes! 101% agree with the contributing part.

    Keep it up and shared on Triberr too!

    Reginald

  13. I think you are going to be looking at two things – controversial content and PR.

    Looking at your popular posts, I don’t see anything which will get the Internet going nuts. It’s very targeted, which isn’t a bad thing. Yet you want your current audience to increase. If you want to double or triple your subscriber base, then you are going to need to put in some heavier work to get new eyeballs.

    Many of the bigger folks like Ramit Sethi or Tim Ferriss seem to get featured on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. Does Danny have something interesting to say to warrant big time media attention?

    I think FM could benefit from some aggressive PR tactics, rooted in a major content piece.

    1. Hubert, Your are 100% correct. I would add old print media as well: their online content get as much traffic, if not more, than many of the place where we want to guest post.

      1. Print media does require patience, since the the lead time can be a couple of months. There are two ways into these outlets: being interviewed and writing an article. A third, bigger opportunity, if you can do it, is writing a regular column.

  14. Use Facebook ads to target college students, business and marketing majors. Ask them to join the Firepole community. They’re attempting to learn what you are actually doing. Ask them to review / comment / analyze some of your posts (pick a specific topic) and post either to your Facebook community or your website. Is what are they learning in college applicable to the real world?

    Use a similar strategy for LinkedIn. Target marketers in a specific field. Pick one: Manufacturing. Publishing. Education. Whatever. Start a LinkedIn group, discover what you have in common, what you can learn from each other and what you as a marketer must provide to their target market. Find out what they’re missing, then provide it.

  15. Ok, thinking out of the box is always a good idea, but there is a chance of going off-topic too : so if my comment is, sorry for that
    Here’s my idea : get better lead to client conversion rates
    At firepole marketing we’re dealing with SMALL business owners
    If conversion is 80% and I got a 1000 leads mailing list, that makes 800 clients !
    Who asks for anything more ?
    Turning leads into clients is the best way for your business , Id’say

  16. I would survey my readers and find out what specific challenge they want me to solve for them and then write an ebook (or more likely a series of short ebooks) specific to those challenges.

    I would use the most popular of those and Incentivibe to incentivize subscriptions. Then participate in large related Twitter chats – especially #blogchat – to reach the maximum new audience.

    To keep growing my Twitter following I have my offshore assistant following 1000 new related Twitter users per day. I sent him a list of links to the followers of the bloggers most like me: people like @Kikolani @AskKim @Ileane @BasicBlogTips @SmallBizTrends – you get the idea. I’m following who they follow because those are a targeted group. (Look @GrowMap on Twittercounter, switch to the 3 month view and you’ll see the difference that makes. Or check out the post on my blog about Twittercounter.

    Then get interviewed or contribute guest posts to as many related blogs as you can find. Use PostJoint, GuestCrew, BlogDash, and InkyBee to expand on where you can place content. Then promote those posts using JustRetweet and ViralContentBuzz. Get enough of your supporters to share them on voting sites like BizSugar, BlogEngage, etc. to send them to the first page.

    These things combined would create huge growth for anyone no matter what their reach is today.

    1. Oh – one caution. Only an older, established Twitter accounts should aggressively follow. A newer account would get suspended. You have to be really cautious when following from a brand new account.

  17. OKAY I think both – BUT ONLY by stepping outside the box of usual IMers/Bloggers tactics and doing something so left field, and over the hill, across the stream, and landing on the other side of the rainbow – that it goes viral. To really highlight Firepole’s uniqueness of thought. Remember the book Danny put together – Engagement – in the same vein as that, but much greater, a bigger impact.

    There is too much- same old, same old – out there in this IM space, and frankly after nearly 2 years it’s becoming mind numbingly boring.

    I purposely seek out people to follow that I believe to be advanced thinkers, super intelligent, have a unique perspective on the community they are trying to build – and show and encourage mutual respect within that community.

    Hence creating a blog roll/loop of multiple communities of other brilliant people like Danny, that have integrity in spades, AND whose individual communities are as a whole really interested in the person they are following, I suspect that they may really be interested in the next person or two on the co joined blog roll/loop, too. Certainly enough to make it worth their while to soend $20 per month, to get all the training they could possibly need from a group of trainers in the same vein/style of respected entrepreneur they have already chosen to follow.

    Now forgetting about traditional JV affiliate relationships, these blog roll community leaders, could quite possibly benefit each other, and their communities immensely by combining all offerings under a single membership fee.
    The Individual Blog owners all support each others work and schools of thought – integrity at an all time max, because they all share in the dividends – just the same as they all share their entrepreneurial journey transparently with all the subscribers in the now massive multi subscriber group. Therefore the owners of these blogs would need to have a min experience level and min subscriber level to be fair and only really special people brought into the fold in the future.
    Say you had 6 Blog communities in this initially- all with 20,000 – 30,000 subscribers – 3 of each size – that’s 150,000 subscribers for that small “CELL” of blogs. Say the subscription fee of perhaps $20 a month meant that group of 6 entrepreneurs brings in $3 Mill per month, that’s 500,000.00 per blog owner. For that I would imagine some pretty good webinars/training for the subscribers – AND 6 heads and staff of those 6 together would make an overall incredibly strong team and community, and I suspect that whole model would go bonkers virally. Loyalty would come back in a massive emotional landslide, and it’s win, win, win, win, win, win x 2 for all bloggers and their communities.

    No one is doing anything like this out there, and if they targeted the newbie- intermediate subscribers they would be doing the industry a huge service.
    Anyway just my take, and depending on the bloggers, and level of training- you could have two membership price points – one for beginners $20 and for intermediate marketers $30 per month. Yes would take some organisation but I think it’s really doable.

    Plus from the bloggers standpoint there is no reason why they still cant individiually sell their training, books on other 3rd party sites – it’s just the subscribers get it at an all in one price.

    Those subscriber – birds of a feather – will be so happy to get great training, ongoing for a great monthly fee – they will shout it from their social media nests/perches and the multi list will double in no time.

    Woops waffling again – over and out . . climbed off the soap box.. mmm more like fell off . .
    Jade

  18. Facebook advertising with a “big data” mindset….not just throwing up a few ads, but testing dozens of ad approaches. The variables would include headline, copy, offer, link … and targeting variables would include demongraphics, zip codes, etc. I’d upload my email list to Facebook. I’d make copious use of retargeting. And I would test, test, test, everything out of those hundreds of combinations to find the 3-5 ones that performed best, then roll out like crazy with the winners.

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