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8 Secrets From Underground 8

By:     Topics: Blog,Young Entrepreneurs

Last March, I attended Yanik Silver’s famous Underground Online Seminar. The relationships and lessons I took home changed my life and business forever. Below are some of the top notes from my notebook.

Now, the actual content from this seminar has to stay Underground… but I’ll open up my personal notebook so you can take a peak at some of my biggest insights from the conference. Even so, this is like less than 3% of the actual incredible content that I learned there. Read to the end to see how you can get the same opportunity I did as a young entrepreneur to attend this year’s Underground live this coming March.

1. There is a three step formula for creating success online, inspired by AJ Robert’s presentation:

  1. Get The lead
  2. Convert The Lead
  3. Deliver Awesomeness

This might seem obvious, but it’s actually quite insightful when you think about the fact that most young entrepreneurs miss one of these three key steps when building an online business. They might have an awesome product to deliver, lots of leads, but are missing the conversion element. Or they might be great at getting leads, pretty good with conversions, but don’t deliver the best product or service, making it harder to get repeat business. You need all three elements nailed down to build a thriving and sustainable business online.

Lately, I’ve been really good at getting leads and converting sales, largely because my previous work was so awesome and I built a reputation. Then more recently, my business started to suffer a bit because I wasn’t delivering as much awesomeness as I used to. Now that I’ve kicked #3 back into gear, the whole process is working a lot more smoothly! So this applies whether you have a services company or are selling information or technology online.

RougeAgentAJ

2. The Five Keys To Burnout (Avoid These!) inspired by Craig Ballantyne’s Presentation

  1. Take on too many projects
  2. No separation between work and non-work – leads to the biggest stress
  3. You do too many $10/hour tasks
  4. You are addicted to technology
  5. Too much of what we all want – freedom – I am my own boss

CBThis presentation had such an impact on my lifestyle and my business. Let me explain each one a bit more in my own words…

You take on too many projects: you know why you do this. You’re an entrepreneur. You get excited about ‘starting’ great things. The irony is, the more things you start, the less ‘great’ you can make each one until you learn how to focus and scale. Focus on making your key project(s) successful before moving onto the next great thing.

No separation between work and non-work leads to the biggest stress: Again, this is like an entrepreneurial disease; we can’t seem to ‘turn off’ enough to get rejuvenated and build the non-business parts of our lives, like health, family, and relationships. You have to set aside some time each day, and longer periods throughout the year, to totally disengage from your work. When you come back, you’ll be energized and refreshed with totally new energy.

You do too many $10/hour tasks: eliminate and delegated. My biggest solution to this has been to outsource. I wrote another post on outsourcing on IncomeDiary.com a few months after hearing Craig give this presentation on how I applied outsourcing in my business and how you can too.

You are addicted to technology: set several hours each day totally disconnected from your phone and your computer. You’ll hone clearer thinking and make better strategic decisions about your business, you’ll write better, and you’ll even find more peace in your life.

Too Much Freedom: I struggled with this a lot when I first heard this. Freedom actually comes largely from structure, rules, and systems. A lot of young entrepreneurs struggle with this, especially when they first start to make a full time income from home, because they can do what they want when they want. The irony is, if you don’t build structure, you’ll always have more stress and uncertainty, and less real freedom.

3. Screw The Unconditional Guarantee! Inspired by Marie Forleo’s presentation.

dmitriy-kozlov-marie-forleoDon’t give customers an unconditional guarantee – make the refund terms conditional instead. Your customers actually get MORE value and you get LESS refunds. In order to qualify for a refund, students must submit completed homework. As a result, more of your customers will actually apply what they learn in your course or coaching programs, they’ll get more value from your service, or actually try and use the physical product. If they get results (which they should, assuming you are selling something great), you’ll get even more customers from the word of mouth that results from it.

Try it next time you craft your offer: give your students practical steps to apply before they can even ask for a refund.

I’ve done this with some of my clients’ info marketing and event project and have seen some great results. This is especially important when you have live events, or even webinar series, that are time senstive and have a lot of real hard costs.

4. Get REAL leads from Facebook Fan Pages inspired by Brian Moran’s presentation

bmoYour fan page is so much more than a fan page. If done right, it’s an incredible source of fresh leads from targeted advertising. Create a tab on your fan page and make it a squeeze page – right within Facebook! Then drive paid traffic to it (cheaper than driving Facebook PPC traffic to an external lead capture page). You get two forms of leads: a fan/like, and an email. Even if they don’t optin to the email box, you will often still get a fan.

Your followers grow, more people see your message, your credibility grows, and you’re still focused on the most important lead generation component: capturing your prospect’s email address!

5. IDE = Innovation, Design, Experience … inspired by Ewa’s and Vishen’s (from MindValley) presentations.

Screen Shot 2013-01-20 at 10.15.34 PMThis was probably my biggest takeaway that I leveraged for myself and my clients. The old school Internet marketing designs are on the way out, especially for higher end professional markets. Instead of big, bold, red headlines to grab your prospect’s attention – start studying what really innovative and successful companies do to attract customers. The Google’s and Apple’s of the world.

Think high end imagery. Clean design. Interactive experience and gamification. Not only will you see higher conversions, but you’ll also be more proud of your site and brand, and excited to present it to as many people as possible who might share your message.

This concept alone has transformed my business and is now the focus of my company: building a MindValley-like services agency that delivers incredible professional design that converts!

6. Your affiliates don’t care how great your product is… inspired by Glen Ledwell’s presentation (of MindMovies).

GlenYour product must be great to even play the game. Your affiliates really care about what’s in it for them!

A lot of relatively amateur marketers tout the features of their product to affiliates. You’ll notice the more advanced launches focus on what’s in it for the affiliate. They make it quickly obvious that the product great and will provide a ton of value to their list, so that your affiliates know their lists will be appreciate for the promotion. But after that, the focus has to be on what’s in it for the affiliate: affiliate tools, EPC’s, prizes, and more. Once you’ve got your affiliates sold on promoting what you have, make sure you take good care of them!

Pay early commissions when you can, follow up with your bigger affiliates personally (call, don’t just email), have a leader board setup to track affiliate success and create some friendly competition, and make it fun and profitable for them.

7. “Doing traditional things will get you traditional results” inspired by Noah Kagan’s presentation.

dmitriy-kozlov-noah-kaganNoah taught these steps for building a really successful marketing funnel (for multiple, often unrelated products)…

  1. Do a lot of shit
  2. Figure out what works
  3. Scale the shit that works!

What works for someone else’s market might not work for yours. Try different advertising strategies, colors, copy, etc… test it and see what works, and what doesn’t. Then scale what works. Apply more of it, and keep innovating and tweaking as you go.

8. Network, network, network! Inspired by my results.

dmitriy-kozlov-yanik-silver1Okay, this wasn’t a lesson from the content – but it was a very real lesson I picked up from the experience. Underground 8 totally changed my life – but it wasn’t just because the content was incredible (which it was). It was because I put myself out there and took risks, I asked questions to the speakers on stage, I bought drinks for people I wanted to talk to and get to know, and I let my passion shine through. I put aside all fear of embarrassment or failure. I even break danced a few times (I don’t really know how to break dance) – okay… Michael Dunlop bribed me… for entertainment. The point is, the networking at Underground, even more than the content, propelled me in the past year to totally new heights. I came as a scholarship recipient to Yanik Silver’s Underground 8, and months later I started working with Yanik on a few different levels, and now we both envision a future of creating 10,000 startups by 2015 through various young entrepreneur programs and initiatives.

None of this would have happened if a) I didn’t go to Underground, b) I didn’t pay close attention to the content and the people and c) if I didn’t put everything on the table and put myself and my passions out there.

Your Opportunity:

If you’re a young entrepreneur aged 13 – 23, you have an opportunity to get a scholarship to Underground 9 this year ($3,495 value + priceless bonuses, like masterminding with Yanik and the Mavericks). But you have to apply by January 24th, so go ahead and do it now.

I hope to see you there!

Apply for the scholarship here

If you’ve been to an Underground Online Seminar, please share your experience below. If you’re coming this year or are thinking about it, or if you got some value from my notes above, please discuss below. Feel free to ask questions, I’ll answer!

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