The whole point of a membership site is to attract and deliver value to subscribers. You can't do that without traffic.
Our membership series continues as James and 10XPRO's John Lint discuss how to drive traffic to your website. Some ways are less obvious than others. All have been used at one time or another by our co-hosts. Tune in and pick the strategy that sounds good to you.
01:28 – The thing most people talk about. Traffic is a minor obsession for website owners. But how important is it?
02:43 – The tradeoff for traffic. There are two main resources you’ll need to get your traffic.
04:24 – Where launches have their place. John likes them. James, not so much. How useful are they for traffic creation?
08:22 – What to do when nobody knows you. Here’s how to handle people coming in cold.
10:37 – One of the fastest traffic strategies. Brad Pitt does this. It could work for you.
13:43 – A strategy James doesn’t advocate. It worked for him years ago, but here’s what he didn’t like.
16:26 – Solving the technically difficult part. Then along came 10XPRO…
18:57 – Is this strategy good for humans? How ethical is this promotion strategy?
20:57 – Let’s talk about podcasting. It could be your show; it could be someone else’s. Either way, it can increase website traffic.
23:08 – The topic of paid advertising techniques. Here’s how to get good ROI on paid self promotion.
28:12 – Traffic from search engine optimization. It’s slow, but good for the long term.
29:03 – Short videos and joint ventures. Cam work and collabs can be very good for traffic.
31:22 – Getting traffic through free content. Free offerings pay off when people know you, like you and trust you.
James and his regular guest John Lint are slowly but surely making their way through their membership series. If this is the first time you’ve tuned in, you’ll want to check out the earlier episodes, where they talk about setting up your membership, pricing it, what to actually deliver for your members, and so forth. But today’s episode will be about bringing people to your membership site – in one word, traffic.
The thing most people talk about
In the online space, a lot of people have traffic on the brain. And while it can be overdone, traffic is important. Traffic, says James, is like oxygen, something you want to do on an ongoing basis.
Today, he and John will be discussing different types of traffic you can get, together with pros and cons. And they’ll be talking from the viewpoint of a membership owner. So if you’re just building your membership, or would like to increase website traffic to an existing product, this should give you some ideas.
The tradeoff for traffic
Getting traffic comes down to two main resources, says John – time, and money. You’ll need to trade one of the two to get your traffic. And something he wants people to remember is, this is not a do-once-and-forget thing. It’s ongoing, something you’ll do on a regular basis.
Over time, you can do different things, see what works, what doesn’t, and what you like and should do more of. And hopefully, you end up with a plan you can carry out over and over.
Where launches have their place
A lot of people starting out, says James, have little in the way of either time or money, and have no existing audience. If this is your situation, you might consider a launch. While James is not a fan of the launch-based business model, he believes there is a place for it, such as when you want to bring a lot of attention to something.
“Launch equals effort.”
A launch typically equals effort. James prefers what he calls a release, where you simply let people know something’s available. Granted, it doesn’t get as many prospects or as much exposure as a launch. And James already has an audience. So if you’re just starting and want to put in the effort, a launch may be the way to go.
John’s take on the launch strategy
John likes launches. To him, they’re just another marketing campaign. And there are different types of launches, he says. A launch can be what’s called a private launch, for instance, meaning you have your own email list, and you tell them about your launch.
A launch can be a simple campaign, he says, made up of usually three videos, where you’re giving value, you’re teaching people how to solve specific problems, and you’re giving tips.
At the same time, you’re doing some of the things that you would be doing on a sales page. You’re getting them to know you and your story. You talk about case studies, show people that got results. You destroy objections.
After the three videos, you have a sales page that recaps the offer. And you invite the people who’ve enjoyed your content to get more results in your membership site.
The same thing applies when you do a webinar. You teach, provide value, destroy objections, and then present your offer.
What to do when nobody knows you
If you’re starting out as a nobody, people stumbling onto your sales page will naturally have a lot of questions. Who is this person? Can I trust him? Who are these people who are getting results? That’s why the number one thing that we all need to do, starting out, is to build an audience.
There are multiple ways of doing this. You can set up a Facebook group, a YouTube channel, TikTok, if you like to do that; Instagram. You can podcast. You can be a guest on someone else’s show. You can do all of that and build an audience by bringing people to your website and building your email list.
Once you have your email list, you can have your pick of campaigns. And John recommends you do multiple campaigns, always providing value first. 10XPRO offers you a host of various campaigns that you can set up in a click. You can do a launch if you want to. You can do a webinar. You can do a one-time presentation. You can have just a sales page and do a quick release. It’s up to you.
One of the fastest traffic strategies
One of the quickest ways to bring in traffic, says John, is to do like the movie stars. When a new movie comes out, they take to the talk shows and build interest through self-promotion there.
You see that strategy all the time on YouTube and podcasts. John is doing it now. He’s guesting on James’s show, where he can hopefully provide value, help people, entertain a bit, get people to know him and 10XPRO, and bring them to his website.
Some gurus claim to make money using secret strategies. There is no secret strategy. They do the same thing. If you don’t have your own channels, jump on someone else’s channel. Get interviewed on YouTube. Do a webinar with someone. Share cool things that will help your hosts’s audience.
“There’s no secret strategy.”
This is a great way for people to get to know you, like you, trust you, and, hopefully, join your list. And once you have your list, you can sell to it, as discussed in James and John’s previous episode.
A strategy that rubbed James the wrong way
Pre-10XPRO, says James, he didn’t have the option to just click a button. He had to spend $2000 on a course to learn the Product Launch Formula. The course was great, however, and so was the teacher. James implemented what he learned in his then job at the car dealership, and it worked fantastically well.
In some online markets however, it’s now a bit saturated. What James didn’t like was when everyone would form a club (a syndicate, they called it) and agree to promote one person’s product. If there were 10 people, they’d all take turns having their product promoted by everyone else in the club.
James felt it wasn’t in the best interest of the end user, who would have their inbox crammed with promotions every week or so, for a $2000 offer.
James himself does maybe two affiliate promotions a year via email, because he doesn’t want to overwhelm his typical audience member, who may be a bit confused, a little bit time or finance-poor, and just want to know what to do. That’s what these podcasts are for, and you can pick the episodes you want for free.
One of the reasons James was against the Product Launch Formula type strategy was because some people confused it with a business. But it’s just a promotion. And John calls it a campaign, which James thinks is the perfect word.
Solving the technically difficult part
The Product Launch Formula, says James, was expensive to learn about and technologically difficult. A tech-savvy person like John might not find it so. But then, that’s why John created 10XPRO. Now a launch is a one-button campaign installation. All you need to do is fill in words.
Before, John and his team would set up the complicated tech stuff for clients. They built 10XPRO first for themselves, and now offer it to customers. Campaigns that are so automated, so segmented, that they cost $10,000, $20,000, $50,000 to set up, can now be done at the click of a button. No longer do you need a tech person to manage things at a minimum expense of $2,000 or $3,000 a month.
10XPRO is the insider tool that makes most membership campaigns easy to set up and to run.
Is this strategy good for humans?
Besides the tech considerations, says James, there’s the personal ethics and strategy around a promotion. Do you want to get into a promotion ring where you’re just burning out customers?
Some people who advocate launches say, If your product or service is so amazing, you owe it to the customer to tell them about it. James has to draw the line, however, at sending 12 emails on launch day. That’s just obnoxious. How you use a tool is going to come down to your own personal values and choice, and one of James’s core filters is, Is it good for humans?
Launches definitely have a place, though. And if James were to do a brand new program or product, he now knows he has the tools available to promote it. The energy and expense would be significantly less, and he’d be careful about the partners he’d choose.
One thing he’s considering is a summit or virtual conference, an online SuperFastBusiness Live. Again, it can be set up with a click. His other speakers could promote it, and he could pay them a commission to access their customer base. It could be automated, and there could be coupons and back end offers for other products and services.
Let’s talk about podcasting
Dean Jackson says podcasting is a great conversion tool. It’s a good place to send someone when you’ve already got their email address. And you can also access an audience by being a guest on other people’s podcasts.
John has said, get on someone else’s podcast first, and then see if you want to make your own. If you do want to make your own, James suggests you listen to the episode he did with Charley Valher, Should You Even Start a Podcast? Because a podcast isn’t a walk in the park, not unless you’ve done it for some time and have traction. To start one, you’ve really got to get it right. There’s too much competition.
“Leverage other people’s podcasts.”
So get on someone else’s show first. Leverage other people’s podcasts.
There’s various ways you can get on other shows. James suggests looking up podcasts and seeing if there’s someone you know who can introduce you. An introduction is much better than a cold, templated, outreach letter.
Other than that, you can follow a podcaster on social media and leave them a personal video as a direct message. It’s stunningly simple, and it’s personalized.
The topic of paid advertising techniques
Paid traffic is working well now for James. If you’ve already got any kind of other traffic, paid advertising is like fuel to the fire.
His best campaigns right now are cold campaigns, giving away his book. You need something valuable to give away to get an email address. And you can run paid campaigns on a great number of platforms – Facebook, Pinterest, Google, YouTube, Twitter, even LinkedIn.
Some platforms are better than others, depending on where your customers are and how good you are at running the traffic. You can get someone good at it to help you.
You run the traffic to something that can collect an email address, ideally, and once you have the address you can think about selling, as discussed in episode 857.
Capturing the email is supremely important, says John, especially if you’re running paid ads. Because let’s say you spend $100 and get 100 visitors. If you send them to a sales page cold, you’ll be extremely lucky to convert five percent. That’s abysmal ROI.
Now if you send that traffic instead to an opt-in for something valuable, you might get 20 to, say, 70 percent conversion. With 70 people in your database, you can follow up. Suppose you follow up and promote a product, and five people buy. That’s one product. You promote another product, perhaps your membership site. Five more sales.
You can ask different ways and promote different things. And basically, you end up with way more buyers at the end. And those numbers are extremely important, especially when you start doing paid advertising, because obviously, you will need to know what your conversion rate is, and what’s the cost. That’s going to impact how much you can spend on your ads.
So ads are great, but you really need to know what you’re doing. Be ready, says John. Have your system in place, have your funnels in place, have your follow-up in place for those people who are clicking on your ads.
And, says James, it really comes down to, what’s the cost of acquisition? Can you get it back, and how long is that going to take? And the longer you can wait or the more value you make from each customer, the better strength you have as an advertiser.
Traffic from search engine optimization
Another way to get traffic is SEO. But it’s a slow way, generally. It’s good for business like SuperFastBusiness, because over time, James knows what people are interested in. He knows what’s relevant, he can see his analytics, he knows where they’re already ranking and he can just tune that.
He also gets help from SEOLeverage‘s Gert Mellak. He tells James what content they should create. And it’s worth paying attention to your title tag, as a minimum. What are you calling the page? Hint: Hello, or Welcome to my website, is not a great title tag.
If you do have a three or four-word phrase that people are seeking, that if they find your site, your product would be relevant to, then that’s worth ranking for.
You can also publish on other people’s sites, linking back to your site. And you can do that with social media as well, putting things out on the social sites, linking back to yours.
Short videos and joint ventures
Making short videos is an easy way to get traffic. Just turn your camera on and run through a framework, a story arc, or a quick tip. James will make a short tip, give it to his team, and they edit it and put it up on social media with some captions. It links back to his content, and over time, people get to know him. So that’s a great way to have ongoing membership traffic.
Joint ventures is something our co-hosts haven’t touched on. With joint ventures, you identify who has your perfect customer, and you get them to promote for you. James and John have a joint venture. James has customers who need 10XPRO.io in their life, and John has the 10XPRO.io. It’s a hand-in-glove fit.
And there are different ways of doing joint ventures, says John. For instance, you can do a promotion with someone, and pay them in exchange for a sale. Basically, they become an affiliate.
You could do, for example, webinars. You could go to different people who have audiences and create an awesome presentation, something relevant to them. This can attract affiliates who will get a commission for each sale. They tell their audience about the value-based webinar, you present, and at the end, you can simply invite people to your membership.
Getting traffic through free content
You can, of course, attract traffic by creating valuable free content. This might be a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel.
You can do this solo, or in partnership with someone. Collabs on YouTube are a big thing now. So you might do a swap – you offer value on their channel, and they appear on your channel talking about something relevant to your audience.
This way, people discover you and over time, get to know you, like you and trust you. Hopefully they join your list, and eventually find enough value in what you do to join your membership site.
Another, less obvious, source of traffic, says James, is your support desk. If you have a contact link on your site, a lot of people may get in touch with your support. Your support team can look after them and suggest solutions, and some of these visitors may end up joining your membership.
Quick episode summary
Brief recap: Decide – launch or release? Formulate your campaign, get it ready (if you have 10XPRO, this takes just a click.) Consider what emails you want to send as part of your backend strategy. Have your system in place so that you can go out, appear on guest podcasts, make short videos, run paid traffic, tune up your keywords, and develop relationships with your joint ventures. That’s really the session on traffic.
In the next Membership Series episode, James and John will be covering how to deliver results for your members.
If you’re interested in an all-in-one membership solution, check out 10XPRO.io. This includes an Academy membership where John delivers training on launches, sales copy, and traffic.