I’ve known from the day I first hit “Publish” on a blog that I had a lot to learn, so I spend a lot of time looking up as a blogger. Besides sometimes being a pain in the neck, I end up asking questions such as: what separates the folks like of Brian Clark, Sonia Simone, Darren Rowse, and Chris Brogan from the rest of the mere mortals that aspire to achieve what they have?
What I’ve realized is that these supposed, “A-List Bloggers”, aren’t bloggers at all, they are really A-List business people. Sure, they run blogs. They write and produce incredible content constantly. That’s what we get to see on a day to day basis because we don’t get to peek behind the curtain of their operations.
If we had the opportunity to see what their operations really looked like, here’s what we would see:
- Smart, long-term strategies for products, content and community building.
- Coordinated efforts across all areas of the business and content creation, marketing, product development, networking and the rest.
- And chances are, you’d see a team of passionate people working together to turn their visions into reality through a business.
That’s a hell of a lot more going on than what I normally think of when I picture a blog in my mind. When we think of the A-Listers, we don’t often think of everything else that they are doing. Blogging is a single facet and an important one, no doubt ñ of the entire operation.
Get Paid to Do What You Love To Do
Before you sigh at the cliché of the thought of, “Get paid to do what you love” hear me out.
If you are serving an audience through your blog or social media, I’d put money on the fact that you do it day in and day out because you love it. The fact that you get to help people – to solve challenges by sharing your experience and know-how in the niche that you can’t stop thinking about – probably excites the hell out of you.
Why else would you consistently produce content about a topic that you weren’t passionate about?
Let yourself Dream for a moment.
What if you could get paid to do that? Screw the “American Dream” ñ this is The Dream: supporting the life you want by doing the work you love, and maybe, from wherever you want to do it.
If you can find that in a job, you need to thank whatever lucky stars are in your life, because those opportunities are one in a million. The rest of us have to consciously create that dream for ourselves.
Making the Leap from Blog to Business
Every blogger that I have had the opportunity to connect with has an entrepreneurial drive. In some, it is less pronounced, and in others, it is bright and sizzling – but it is always there.
And we can use that drive to create whatever we dream our lives to be.
The entrepreneurial spirit is what inspires us to create something incredible, and then share it with an audience. The difference between a blog and a business is that a business leverages (yes, that does translate as “sells”) the best of those creations to enable you to serve your audience even more.
Bridging that gap is 100% mental. You have to realize that to sustain the work that you are passionate about doing and to bring more of that into your life, you need to build a business around your passion that serves others.a
Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, you can begin the process of launching products and offering services to build a business around. It doesn’t have to be business as usual though.
The Customer Love Factor
Three months ago, I stumbled upon a movement in it’s infancy: Customer Love. Inspired by a post by Naomi Dunford on IttyBiz, a few enthusiastic bloggers created a Challenge: spend 28 days loving and serving their customers, and then launch a product so that they can keep doing the work that they are inspired by.
The concept clicked with people.
Bloggers united and devoted themselves to delivering as much value to their potential customers as humanly possible in 28 days. Where business had previously been foreign and inhuman, the concept of focusing on loving your audience and your customers inspired people to take action that they had been holding off on for months (or years).
What could be better than doing what you love, surrounded by an astounding group of peers, serving people you cared about and at the end of it, getting paid to deliver value that people desired, so that you could keep doing it?
Customer Love was the spark that lit the fire and intensified the entrepreneurial drive within. It gave people the permission to really do what they loved doing and start to think about doing business in a way that was authentic and personally meaningful.
On Day 29 of the first challenge, the stage was set and only a few people launched.
Yet still passionate about serving their audiences, many of the participants came back for a second challenge ñ more interaction, more customer love, more personal growth and transformation.
Challenge #2, Day 29 rolled around, and again a surprisingly small number of the participants launched.
Hurdles & Missing Pieces
When I was invited to help co-lead the third Customer Love Challenge, I knew that there was so much potential in the concept of customer love.† Imagine ñ an ecosystem of artists and entrepreneurs that operate their businesses based on the principle of loving and serving their customers to the best of their abilities.
Call me a Utopian, but it’s hard not to make that leap when you see so many people excited about the movement.
And there’s another part to all of this: it works. There have been participants that did launch, and were able to make their mortgage payment. Other participants have completely shifted their online presence around the principle of customer love. One community at a time, it is changing lives.
My burning question became: how can I help more people take the steps to evolve from a blog into a thriving customer-love oriented entrepreneur?
What kept people from launching a product, even though they were so dedicated to loving their customers? It came down to a few extremely common factors:
- Fear of failure No one wants launch a product that flops or to fail publicly.
- Lack of know-how Many people don’t know where to start when creating a product.
- Fear of selling There are many prejudices and misconceptions regarding what online marketing and selling looks like.
The more I thought about it, the more I knew there was a way to genuinely help people.
The Customer Love Machine
I pitched an idea to LaVonne Ellis, my co-leader for the next Customer Love Challenge:
What if we can create a course for people that will teach them exactly how to create a product that their customers will love and that will allow them to take the first steps toward building an online business?
The idea stuck, and we began working in earnest. This week, to coincide with the beginning of the next Customer Love Challenge on February 1st, LaVonne and I are launching The Customer Love Machine, a 29 day course that teaches everything you need to know to create and launch a product that your customers will love. It’s got:
- 29 Daily Emails filled with Product Creation guidance and tasks
- An exclusive membership forum where you can collaborate, get feedback, and network with other participants.
- Weekly Webinars where you get to ask questions, receive guidance and discuss the lessons of that week’s module.
- Weekly action worksheets that help you map out exactly what you need to do to move forward with your product creation and launch process
- Over 10 interviews with successful entrepreneurs that are living the lives they want, doing the work they love and loving their customers.
- And for a few more people (there are only 15 slots in the premium offering of the course, and they’re already selling pretty quick) one-on-one coaching with LaVonne and I to really kickstart the process.
And it comes with a pretty insane guarantee: it pays for itself. If you do the work, launch a product and the product doesn’t pay for the course, then we work with you one-on-one to improve your product, help you re-launch it, and if it still doesn’t pay for the course, then you get your money back. No risk, all reward.
LaVonne and I are passionate about this new business paradigm of building a business around loving your customers. We know that if you can build a business around doing what you love, you’re more than a few steps closer to living the life you want.
That process begins by having a product to launch, and we want to help you take that first step successfully.
Are you ready to take that first step? Then join the Customer Love Machine, and let us teach you the best way to do it.
What do you think?
What business would you build around loving your customers? If you haven’t already, what’s the hurdle that is keeping you from making the mental jump from blogger to entrepreneur?
* Disclaimer: Some of the links on this posts are affiliate links.
This is a guest post by Jonathan Wondrusch – Jonathan is the Head of Awesome at ByBloggers.net, author of Epic E-Book Creation and the brain and soul behind the ByBloggers Bootstrapper program. You can also find him hanging out on Twitter or Facebook.