Today’s episode is going to be a great one! My guest today is Brian Dixon from hopewriters.com. Brian and his partners have built an incredible membership site where they help female writers their blogs and books out there into the world. Over the last couple of years they have built a 4,000 member membership site paying around $50/month, can you imagine that?
We are going to cover the value of business partnerships, actually having a business partner, business relationships, what happens when you burn a bridge, what happens when you let somebody down. How do you make that right? And, we’re also talking about how you can use lifetime membership to increase your bottom line and make big money fast!
Brian was the founder of a charter school network, he has a doctorate in education, a classroom teach for 7 years, and a school administrator for 7 years and making a $120,000/year. He was in charge of around 45 teachers and administrators, almost 600 students. After 4 years as an entrepreneur he started getting a little bored and he wanted to do his own thing. So what did he do? Jumped ship! He left his job to be a full-time entrepreneur!
Brian knows first hand that feeling of trying something and relaxing it hasn’t gone well, struggling, looking at bills you can’t pay. He left a 6-figure job to go be an author, marketer and speaker - following his dreams!
Moments of, “oh no, here comes the ride,” happens a lot as entrepreneurs! You never know if what you’re doing at the moment is going to succeed.
My whole life I’ve seen politics, we’ve watched wars, economic downturns. I’ve never heard a politician look into the camera and be so forthright the way Kentucky’s Governor Andy Beshear did when announcing COVID-19 shutdowns at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when saying, “you may want to ask your kids to leave the room, what I’m about to say will make a lot of people unemployed.” I looked over at my wife and said, “things are going to get really bad.” I texted my Pastor about having to shut down church and he said, “are you going to be okay?” I sent him back a text saying, “I’m not going quietly into the night. I promise you that!”
Things are going to suck sometimes but you just have to decide to control what you can control!
Burn the boats. Go all in. Not because you don’t want to go back but because you don’t have to go back!
Always seek to raise the floor of your business, not the ceiling. The ceiling will raise on its’ own. Opportunities will come on their own.
For Brian, discovering his niche was about taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. Eventually he discovered he helps faith-based women bloggers launch their first product online. Typically that was helping those women launch a course or their first caching program. He would help them build everything from strategy to their website. For two or three years that’s what he focused on for his clients.
One of his clients has a best selling book and a course that Brian helped her build. She had started a membership site with her family called Hopeology. Over time their membership started dwindling and they were about to give up. But, before they did they sat down with Brian.
The first thing he did was have them ask the clients that hadn’t put yet why they haven’t quit, what they were hoping to get. Brian did this because often times people are hoping to get something from you, learn something from you. They want to be in the room with you!
So, Brian helped them set up a simple survey of why they joined and what they were hoping to get. When 80% said they were hoping to learn how to be a writer, that became their answer to success: they needed to be the solution and help people become writers. Hope Writers was born! That was their niche - your audience wants to be you!
As a partner of Hope Writers, Brian now has 4,000 female writers looking to him for guidance! This is something that can put pressure on you for sure. The ripple from 4,000 bloggers and writers, their impact weighs on his shoulders - that’s a lot to take in.
You have to stop internalizing the outcome for everybody and start looking at the opportunity. Brian focuses on what the next achievement is. The once crazy goal of $1million/year he and the rest of his team had only a couple years is now something they have surpassed!
Memberships are the fastest track for financial freedom, the fastest way to create stable income for your family.
Brian has a book called “Start With Your People.” Focus on the people that you already have and the needs that they have and where they’re stuck. When you figure out how to get them un-stuck that’s the perfect recipe for your membership site!
What is something that you know know hw to do that someone else doesn’t?
First things first as Brian says, you have to embrace the suck. Partnerships are not easy. When you’re 50/50 partners with someone and you disagree, what happens? The first piece of advice Brian gives about getting a partner is not getting one but get two - that way there’s three people. Brian says his wife is the only one-to-one partner in his life.
The good thing about a partnership is you can decide where you’re incompetent and having someone else be able to do something! Finding your third person is about finding your weaknesses.
Constantly think about what you need to do next or your S.W.O.T. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Brian is a bit of a futurist when it comes to his businesses, he can see things coming down the line. He realizes what is a weakness that is turning into a threat and how to shut that down!
Find awesome people that can help you!
You’re going to make mistakes, it happens. Ask for feedback. Ask why people left your membership. You have to learn from your mistakes so you don’t make them again. Shorten the gap between your mess-up and the clean-up.
Sometimes people won’t forgive you but the majority of people will. We’re all human and they understand that when you’re humble - then it’s okay.
Hope Writers has a lifetime offer. Right now, Hope Writers is $47/month and $479/year. What I convinced Brian of was finding the lifetime customer value (LCV). Some members are not going to be a Hope Writers member for life. But they might be a member for six months (this is where the ARPU or average revenue per customer comes in).
I told Brian to figure out and push a deal for a lifetime offer at the price of three years. As soon as Brian sent this offer out through an email he instantly started getting people taking the offer - they now have just under 100 members with that lifetime offer!