Changing up your game plan? If you are trying to build your financial advising business and/or are moving to the fee-based model to capture recurring revenue, then it’s safe to say, “Yes.” I believe that when you’re looking to change things up, sometimes it is best to look outside your industry for inspiration and excellence.
If you have done any research about recurring revenue models and Internet-based businesses, then you have probably heard of Ryan Lee. For those of you who have not done the research, Ryan is known for developing membership-based programs. Ryan first received acclaim selling membership-based classes and information about nutrition and athletic training. His experience marketing on the Internet turned him into an expert, and now he is well known and respected for his insights about mastering recurring revenue on the web.
Straight Shooter; On-Target Advice
Ryan is a straight shooter and blunt; it’s what makes him so popular. He tells it to you the way it is. Here’s a great example of what I mean:
“Sometimes the best move you can make is simply letting a customer go. You don’t have to be mean or a jerk. Let ‘em down easily – but you have to let them go. Your business and sanity depend on it.” – Ryan Lee, No Soup for You! , May 7, 2013
I enjoy reading Ryan’s blog, because it is direct and to the point. Every entry has a checklist and at least one item you can grasp and utilize.
Reeling in the Revenue
Ryan has multiple websites and revenue streams, which are great examples for us all to follow—diversify! I encourage you to understand what he does and diversify your revenue streams just like you would diversify a client’s portfolio. Here are a few links to the Ryan’s different revenue sites: www.ryanlee.com, http://www.hirejill.com/, and his newest membership site http://www.founderfly.com/.
As I mentioned, Ryan is most widely known for his recurring membership-based products. However, he also does live seminars, nano-memberships, classes and ebooks. Ryan really thinks about what his clients and readers can take action on and then provides simple and straightforward suggestions for them to do so. Let me give you an example of his checklist for creating what a product site should contain:
- Strong Headline: If you are stuck, you can’t go wrong with a “How To…”
- Video: In most cases, a video will help your sales. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Even just YOU being YOU may help your conversions (in other words, don’t try to be like me or Frank Kern–just be yourself!). Here’s a great example of how simple your video can be (although this is a long video, it’s fairly basic):
- Benefit Bullets: Pick out the 5-7 best benefits of your program and list them in bullet format.
- Social Proof: Testimonials, case studies and even screen shots of positive Facebook comments or tweets can help your page.
- Guarantee: Offer a money-back guarantee to take away the risk of doing business with you.
- No-Brainer: Make your offer so good that they’d be insane to say ‘no.’
- Add to Cart: Make it EASY for them to order. Don’t give 15 options … just give one, really good offer and make the sale (you can always offer more as up-sells).
- Act Now: Give them a reason to buy NOW.
While this checklist is intended for a product website, you can apply it to any new product or service you may want to add to your repertoire.
Simple Steps to Big Success
If there is a downside to Ryan’s advice, it is he provides you with WAY TOO MUCH useful information. Several times a week, whether it is through his paid products or services, or just on his free blog, he is providing useful advice. Check out one of his most recent blog posts here: http://ryanlee.com/win-in-business/
To fully utilize Ryan’s insight and tips, there is a simple remedy: Just take it one step at a time. In fact, Ryan does this himself. He has an annual ritual, which he refers to as “Eliminate,” to make his work and his purpose clearer. Each year, Ryan reviews his own process and marketing message, and he asks himself three questions:
- What can I eliminate to make product or business better?
- What can I subtract from my marketing message to make it better?
- How can I make product delivery easier?
If you apply this practice to your own business, you will be able to pinpoint areas for improvement and ways in which to generate recurring revenue. You will also be able to identify the tips and insights from Ryan that will help you the most.
Looking beyond the financial advisor community, you can find a wealth of information and advice to apply to your own business. Any time you see a product or service business, ask yourself, “What do I like about this? What makes it right?” And then apply your learnings to your own business. You will be amazed and surprised at how differentiating yourself in this way can propel your business for growth.
Review Ryan’s insights and learn from others outside of the financial advising and financial planning worlds.