This is a follow up story for Writing Income Accelerator. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 1 year ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hey StartStory readers, this is Peyton of WritingIncomeAccelerator.com! I help intermediate and advanced freelance writers earn top dollar for their writing.
I do this by offering coaching services and my flagship course, “6-Figure Freelance Writer”. Since I’ve launched my business a couple of years ago, I’ve tripled my MRR for the course.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
I have three revenue streams in my business and they have been keeping me very busy. The first stream of income is through course sales. I show writers how to write content that gets client-centric results.
The second stream is working with private clients to write high-end, SEO-friendly articles that rank. I’ve worked with some pretty remarkable people (like NY Times authors and consultants for the Biden administration). I practice what I preach in the course and get results!
My third stream of income is from my Personal Branding Accelerator coaching program. This is for experts needing to get known and get more traffic online. I have material for a course, so I might launch that at the end of summer.
To increase overall sales, I’ve promoted the course more on Facebook, but most of my traffic is organic. I started a YouTube channel a while back and I have a small but loyal following. I try to put out longer tutorials weekly or semi-monthly.
This has also helped me build my email list. I’ve been hell-bent on improving the quality and quantity of my email list by putting out exclusive content. These lead magnets are sometimes a sampler of my course. This seems to be working!
Another thing is that I’ve slowly raised my course price from $297 to $597. I’m thinking of raising it to $997 if I have the time to create a private Facebook group. But as is, it’s low-maintenance and I get a steady stream of income from it.
It’s odd how the growth is steady and continuous because I really don’t use a lot of marketing platforms. Currently, I don’t have a Linkedin page but I’m sure countless students and clients are there. I don’t use Twitter and my Instagram only has six images so far! YouTube and my organic content are how I market. With article clients, I get a lot of referrals. With coaching clients, they see my YouTube videos and apply to become a client.
And as you can imagine, I write content that ranks to page #1 in Google, so I get a decent amount of traffic from that as well. It’s always nice when a client says that they follow your work and wanted to connect. It’s rewarding and lucrative. Anyone not doing paid and organic traffic online is nuts. There are lots of great writers out there that can send you massive traffic, and as you know with paid traffic when you stop paying the clicks stop. That’s not the case with organic traffic.
Recently I launched a podcast. I have about ten episodes and it’s doing okay. I try to put some of the video content on it, but I’m finding for what I do it’s very visual. I only have a small podcast audience so far. It’s called The Word Mogul because that’s my nickname for my community and how I address them.
I get a good spike in course traffic anytime I do interviews with influencers, of course. Also, I was asked to promote a friend’s beginner’s writing course. This was great because after they’re done with her, they’re ready for my course.
These joint ventures are excellent ways to get more traction and brand awareness, but you have to have something substantial and interesting to promote. I don’t think it would work as well if my business was new or if I didn’t get the results I got.
What I thought would be really competitive actually wasn’t. I think if you can find non-compete people in your industry or people in similar industries, partnering up can be great. You get to inherit a few of their big communities. You can make it a big win by creating something for their email list. I’m grateful for these new writer friends I’ve networked with.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
The big lesson I learned last year is how I think about digital funnels. I did a typical webinar funnel with the eight emails and value stack stuff. Everyone does the whole CF method. However, I think my type of prospects have seen enough of it and it’s kind of slick. I even felt a little filthy after doing what everyone else does.
You don’t have to launch like everyone else. You don’t have to buy the same software. And you don’t have to be where all your competitors are. What I’d do is take in the proven, conventional wisdom and run a bunch of tests. Get creative!
I’ve experimented with launching things less flamboyantly. No crazy email sequences and false time constraints. It’s kind of like how I’d market to a friend. I can say that I’m leaving a ton of money on the table by not doing what everyone else does! However, that heavy sales pressure and email overload is not my style.
This is the age of transparency and consumer intelligence. My marketing has to reflect that.
Now when I launch, it’s seeded in previous emails and content better. When the day comes, it’s still a big deal and a big launch. But it feels more natural now. I give people a head’s up about the promo and what to expect. Maybe this goes against everything 6-figure course launches dictate, but I sleep better at night. I never want to be known as that extreme internet marketing guy. I’m a writer and creative strategist. That’s what I want people to see so I have to walk the walk.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
I’ve got a new short course coming out soon around SEO just for articles. The misunderstanding is that SEO is really difficult for writers. What we need to know is only a sliver of the entire field of SEO which could take a decade to master.
We’re not trying to improve site domain authority or address all the complicated technical things. What I teach is on-page SEO and a bit of SEM. That will be fun to teach and promote.
In the future, I want to offer another course just around how to get more writing clients since that’s a huge roadblock for some. And now that I’m getting bigger clients, I’ll be offering year-long contracts for pillar content and other services. It’s all really exciting!
My dream is to take some of these great students that I have and hire them if they just want to write and not go the agency route. They can write for me and I know they have the skill set. For the agency owners, I’d love to create a lead generation service.
I’m starting to see this a lot now. Education companies that teach service-related skills are offering a way for students to get their first clients. That’s a tall order, but I’m in talks to hire a few people to make this happen. Some people couldn’t get a client if their lives depended on it. Why not help them get over this hurdle?
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I have been reading a lot of non-business books lately because of COVID-19 and our ever-changing political landscape. One is Cynical Theories, which is brilliant. The other is Slanted. I’m in the brand journalism world, so I want to learn about the way news is ethically written and distributed. These books address that.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
For any new entrepreneurs, just don’t be a copy of a copy. You don’t have to launch like everyone else. You don’t have to buy the same software. And you don’t have to be where all your competitors are. What I’d do is take in the proven, conventional wisdom and run a bunch of tests. Get creative!
Also, prove your value. If you have a services company, prove you can get awesome results. Then, offer to train a beta cohort to fill in all the gaps. After success there, only then offer private coaching and courses en masse. Those beta students will serve as perfect testimonials. One thing that really builds trust is when real people do some of the braggings for you. I got a massive influencer in my space to vouch for me and it was a game-changer.
Another thing is to not jump on a business model and make it look like everyone else’s. What I’ve learned is that if a lucrative industry is new, you can produce a similar company and make a ton of money. However, when markets get saturated, it’s really important to have your own style and brand.
I saw this happen in the Social Media Marketing Agency (SMMA) niche. Now all I see are copies of copies. Anyone entering the niche now has to really stick out. Why not do that from the start?
Not to sound too biased, but I recommend new entrepreneurs use this site: StarterStory. Look at different stories and cases in your niche if you don’t want to reinvent the wheel. You can get inspired by similar companies and customize it for yourself. A lot of my friends and clients are here.
And because of their story of entrepreneurship here, they’ve gotten lots of traffic and sales. “StarterStory.com” has a Domain Authority at nearly 70: That’s SEO gold! And, it’s what they call a Do-Follow backlink that improves your website. So I recommend getting inspired here by others and then aspire to get featured here! Everybody wins.
There is a definite pattern to success and this site has a nice collection of those patterns.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Copywriters are worth their weight in gold. I’m finalizing my copywriter selection right now.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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