What are you trying to chase down right now in your business? This is a question my guest on this week’s episode asks himself constantly. And he’s here to share some wisdom that will help you chase your it down faster and better.
In this 50-minute episode, Chris Ducker and I discuss:
And so much more, including our patented six rapid-fire questions at the end.
Listen to The Digital Entrepreneur below ...
Jerod Morris: Hey, Jerod Morris here. If you know anything about Rainmaker Digital and Copyblogger, you may know that we produce incredible live events. Well, some would say that we produce incredible live events as an excuse to throw great parties, but that’s another story. We’ve got another one coming up this October in Denver. It’s called Digital Commerce Summit, and it is entirely focused on giving you the smartest ways to create and sell digital products and services. You can find out more and get a killer early bird price on your tickets at Rainmaker.FM/Summit.
We’ll be talking about Digital Commerce Summit in more detail as it gets closer. For now, I’d like to let a few attendees from our past events speak for us.
Attendee 1: For me, it’s just hearing from the experts. This is my first industry event. It’s awesome to learn new stuff and also get confirmation that we’re not doing it completely wrong where I work.
Attendee 2: The best part of the conference for me is being able to mingle with people and realize that you have connections with everyone here. It feels like LinkedIn live. I also love the parties after each day, being able to talk to speakers, talk to other people who are here for the first time, people who have been here before.
Attendee 3: I think the best part of the conference for me is understanding how I can service my customers a little more easily. Seeing all the different facets and components of various enterprises then helps me pick the best tools.
Jerod Morris: Hey, we agree — one of the biggest reasons we host a conference every year is so that we can learn how to service our customers, people like you, more easily. Here are just a few more words from folks who have come to our past live events.
Attendee 4: It’s really fun. I think it’s a great mix of beginner information and advanced information. I’m really learning a lot and having a lot of fun.
Attendee 5: The conference is great, especially being a single-track conference where you don’t get distracted by, “Which session should I go to?” and, “Am I missing something?”
Attendee 6: The training and everything, the speakers have been awesome, but I think the coolest aspect for me has been connecting with both people who are putting it on and then the other attendees.
Jerod Morris: That’s it for now. There’s a lot more to come on Digital Commerce Summit. I really hope to see you there in October. Again, to get all the details and the very best deal on tickets, head over to Rainmaker.FM/Summit.
Welcome back to The Digital Entrepreneur. I am your host Jerod Morris, the VP of marketing for Rainmaker Digital, and this is episode No. 24. On this week’s episode, I am joined by a friend, a mentor, and a guy whose work ethic is second to none, even though he only works six hours a week these days and takes Fridays off.
He burst onto the scene by teaching other entrepreneurs how to leverage the power of virtual assistants to build a more efficient and effective business, and he hasn’t stopped helping entrepreneurs since — both as a constant creator of useful content and as a leader by example.
Today, he runs the highly successful entrepreneurial community Youpreneur, and he hosts the Youpreneur podcast on Rainmaker.FM as well. He is a coach, author, expert, speaker, blogger, podcaster, and he is here to share some important wisdom with you that he has learned along the way throughout his entrepreneurial journey. He is Chris Ducker.
Chris will be joining me on stage this October, actually, at Digital Commerce Summit in Denver, Colorado. As I have told you in the last few episodes, as you surely know by now, the conference will be held on October 13th and 14th, and all of us at Rainmaker Digital really hope that you will join us at what we are planning on being and really hope is a one-of-a-kind event.
Jerod Morris: Here’s what we hope will make this event one of a kind.
First, it’s not like a lot of the other cattle-call conferences that you may have been to, where every 90 minutes you have to make a difficult decision about what presentation you want to go to. At Digital Commerce Summit, you are treated to a single track of speakers, curated personally by Brian Clark, that follow a step-by-step progression to take you from point A to point B with your digital product and services.
We really want to help you take the next step, that’s the goal. There’s a bias for action at this conference. We don’t want you leaving Denver in the same place with your business that you showed up. The event is about action, and you’re going to be buzzing with ideas and an itch to execute by the time it’s over and you’re traveling home. That is our goal.
Second, in terms of what will make this event unique and one of a kind, is what other conference is held at a famous theater, and treats you to a special music performance by the band Cake? Well, you’re going to get both at Digital Commerce Summit, and this combination of fun and education is what makes it a great place to network and why it is the premiere live educational and networking event for entrepreneurs who create and sell digital products and services.
But here’s the deal. The early bird price goes away next week. This episode is coming out on Thursday, July 21st. That’s when this episode is coming out. The early bird price goes away next week on Thursday, July 28th. You really don’t want to hesitate to get your ticket because you’re only going to end up spending more.
Here’s something even better. Since I am going to be speaking and since Chris is going to be a speaker at the event, I can actually give you the special speaker link, which allows you to get an even better deal than the one that is being offered publicly. This deal with the special speaker link that I’m about to give you also expires with the early bird price on July 28th.
Here’s the link. Make sure that you remember it or write it down. It’s Rainmaker.FM/Summit-Speakers, and that link, of course, will be in the show notes as well. Go there, make sure that you book your ticket before the early bird price goes away. With that link, you get a price that’s even better than the early bird price, so make sure that you go there Rainmaker.FM/Summit-Speakers.
All righty. Well, let’s get to this weeks discussion. Here we go. Enjoy some wit, wisdom, and lots of energy — and lots of great stories, too, as you would expect — from the one and only Chris Ducker.
Mr. Ducker, welcome to The Digital Entrepreneur. You and I last saw each other in February, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again in October in Denver.
Chris Ducker: Yes, yes, it’s going to be good. Thanks for having me back on the show, man.
Jerod Morris: Oh for sure, for sure. It’s a pleasure having you here, excited to talk with you about all this stuff today. This will be good.
Chris Ducker: Yeah.
Jerod Morris: So speaking of Denver, your talk at Digital Commerce Summit is titled The Six Steps to Building a Successful Membership Business, which you have clearly done with Youpreneur. Don’t give away any of your big secrets here, but what’s maybe one important step to building a successful membership business that people often overlook, in your experience?
Chris Ducker: I think ultimately it really comes down to should you even do it in the first place. I think that’s the main reason why the majority of membership sites fail — the people that are starting them shouldn’t actually be starting them. For example, you shouldn’t launch a membership site if you want to make money quickly. You shouldn’t launch it if you want it to be a passive business. You shouldn’t launch a membership site if you’re not thinking long term, if you’re not committed to the community, and so on, and so on, and so on.
I think that’s the big issue right there. A lot of people don’t think enough about it. They think, “Oh it’s a new shiny object. Let’s jump on the bandwagon, and see how much money we can make.” I think that connected to the lack of validating of your idea in the first place is probably the biggest reason why memberships fail.
Before we launched Youpreneur, one of the big things that I did in terms of validation — and we’re talking about this time last year actually — I was hardcore on Periscope as you might remember.
Jerod Morris: Yes.
Chris Ducker: Obviously, Periscope has changed a little bit, and Facebook Live has come into the game very much so. So Periscope is not as popular as it was. I still feel like they’re going to be doing a good job in being part of the leading focus in live streaming, but it’s not the big kahuna it was this time last year.
What I was doing this time last year was pretty much Monday through to Friday, I was on Periscope for about 15 to 20 minutes every day, conversing with my audience on there, and I was validating everything for Youpreneur before we went into hardcore launch mode, which was beginning in September.
We were a couple of months ahead of time. We were validating everything from just the concept, with whether or not we’re going to make it more community-focused or whether we’re going to make it more deliverable of content-focused. We were validating everything from the headlines that we were going to use on the landing page, the subtitles, the benefit points — you name it. There are things that I was saying on Periscope, which I thought were going to be brilliant on a landing page, that just fell horribly flat. We removed them from our landing page script completely.
But there were certain things that really stood out, and the one big one was, whenever I said anything that remotely resembled the sentence of, “The entrepreneurial community where nobody gets left behind,” everybody went crazy on the comments and on the hearts. That right there is the tagline right at the top of the landing page.
We were validating the idea for Youpreneur.com a long time before we were actually launching it, and we were doing it with a live audience. You were getting that live feedback. I think, yes, a horribly long answer to a very simple question — make sure you’re validating your idea. But before you even go there, make sure that a membership site is even for you to begin with because it might not be. That’s fine, but you’ve got to be honest with yourself and then maybe move in a slightly different direction.
Jerod Morris: No, that’s a great answer. I’m really glad that you mentioned what you did about validating. I think that is overlooked, and I think it’s amazing a lot of times what you find out that surprises you. It’s like you said. Stuff that you thought was going to be a home run and it falls flat, and something that you maybe didn’t think was going to be that great and everybody is responding to it.
It’s one thing to validate it and get the feedback, and it’s another thing to kind of be able to put your ego aside and, if it’s not the idea that you loved in the first place but something else, to be humble enough to say, “Hey, this is what the audience wants. Let me give it to them.”
Chris Ducker: Yeah, absolutely. That’s why I always say it’s so important for you to listen to your audience. Your audience will ultimately guide how your business builds and grows, but if you’re ignoring them, particularly on an important decision, such as a new product or service offering, then you’re destined for doom.
Jerod Morris: Yeah, you are for sure. Chris, I’ve always believed that the number one benefit of digital entrepreneurship is freedom. I have a feeling that you agree with this, especially considering the books that you’ve written, how you got your start. The freedom to choose your projects, the freedom to chart your course, and ultimately, the freedom to change your life and your family’s life for the better.
I’m really interested to know what benefit of digital entrepreneurship do you appreciate the most?
Chris Ducker: Well, I think it’s being able to ultimately touch as many people as I can and trying to help as many people as I can. As I’ve grown my career as an entrepreneur in the last 12, 13 years or so remember I’m a brick-and-mortar guy. I still own brick and mortar. I have over 450 people working for me right now in a facility probably 20 minutes drive from my home, but I’m only there once or twice a month. I’m a very old-school, brick-and-mortar-type entrepreneur that happened to get involved in the digital space in late 2009, early 2010 when I started blogging, podcasting, and all the rest of it.
When I started, I didn’t really know why I was doing what I was doing. It was a bit of a strange journey for me. But I knew that I was enjoying it, and I knew that I was enjoying being able to get in touch with people, work with people, help people, inspire people, and all the rest of it. For me, I think the biggest benefit is being able to build an audience, a community, and ultimately, a client base from literally every corner of the globe.
I truly am blessed to have a community from all around the world. Yes, 50 percent of it’s in America, but when you look at the map, that’s an obvious reason why. But when I hear from people that are based all over Europe, all over Asia, Australia, the UK, Canada, and all these other places — even Africa and places like that — not everybody is going to end up spending money with me. I get it. But if I can still help and inspire them, then I’m a happy camper.
I think that’s probably the biggest benefit for me is being able to genuinely garner that kind of worldwide audience. I love it. It just inspires me greatly.
Jerod Morris: Why do you think you’ve been able to do that? A lot of people have had that goal, to build that kind of audience, and you’ve been so successful doing it and building a global audience. Clearly, your gratitude and your appreciation for the audience comes through in everything you do. What do you think it’s been about you that has allowed you to build an audience so successfully?
Chris Ducker: Well, I think a couple things. Number one, I’m me all the time. You know me. We’re buddies. We’ve hung out. What you’re hearing on the podcast right now is me in real life as well — maybe minus a few F bombs here and there. No, honestly what you see is what you get with me.
I’m of the mindset where and the term I like to use is ‘I market like a magnet’ — I like to attract the best, and repel the rest. If I can attract the right people towards me, my vibe, and what I’m all about, then I know that I’m going to be ultimately creating the right kind of tribe for myself. I think that’s the first thing, genuinely just being me all the time. What you see is what you get.
The second thing is that I’ve never focused on one particular market. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but I think a lot of people let themselves down a little bit in terms of their growth potential, where they focus entirely, say, on a US market or a UK market. I’m of the old adage where money is good all around the...