Ep 326: First Steps to Launching Your Expert Business with Chris Ducker

RV (00:02):
Well, some people might say you should never, you should never promote competitors or people who do something similar to what you would do. And to that, I would say, let me introduce you to my good friend Chris Ducker, who does something in the vein, the similar vein to what we do at Brand Builders Group O, honestly, and he’s one of the best in the world at it, and I’ve known him for years. And I have always been someone who just rejects scarcity and believes in abundance. And if people can learn from me or him or both of us, all the better. Chris is one of the entrepreneurs, one of the pioneers of this space, of sort of online experts in helping them become more well known. He’s written couple different books that were sort of flagship to the space, so Virtual Freedom.
RV (00:49):
And then more recently, Rise of the Preneur. He’s got a program called The Preneur Incubator, which takes people who are just starting out as sort of experts in trying to like find their way as a year long program to help them make six figures. And he’s running a, an event coming up, a free experience where you can check this out. It’s called The Elevated Entre, the Elevated Entrepreneur Experience. And it’s coming up and he messaged me about it and I was like, Yeah, man, we wanna tell people about it. So we want you to sign up to check out the free experience. You can do [email protected] slash elevated. But obviously you’re gonna get a chance to meet him and learn about him here. I’ve had him on the show before. I really admire him. He’s a real entrepreneur. He’s built businesses in the Philippines, in the US and the uk. He operates out of the UK right now and has just truly built virtual businesses. Has a great reputation. We’ve got lots of of very similar friends that we, or friends that we share with one another. And anyways, he’s just a stud. So, Chris, welcome to the show, man.
CD (01:55):
Yep. This is so good. You called me a stud right at the end of the introduction. stud.
RV (02:01):
CD (02:01):
I’m down with this. This is good. Can we end the chat now on that very eye?
RV (02:06):
I stud real,
CD (02:07):
Very real
RV (02:08):
Note. That’s, We’ll cut that for Instagram. Chris Ducker’s a stud. Yeah, we’ll just, and we’ll just push it, but it’s
CD (02:16):
Good to be back on the show, dude. Thanks again for having me back. Appreciate
RV (02:19):
It. Yeah. I, I, and I, I, I, you know, I think the easiest way to describe to people what you do is that in, in some ways it’s similar to us. I mean, in many ways, you, you help them build launch, build scale expert businesses. You help them figure out what they should be known for. And I love talking about it, and your stuff is super affordable. It’s super good. It’s totally legit and trustworthy, and I think people should know about it. So, you know you, before the show, we were just kind of talking a little bit about like, what’s the starting point for somebody and how figuring out what you want to be known for is like a big thing. And there’s, I think with, you know, obviously the pandemic, I don’t think we’ve had you on since Covid, right? So the world is
CD (03:08):
Maybe right at the beginning. I think I might maybe
RV (03:10):
Right at the beginning. But like you know, how, where does somebody start? Like what’s the, what’s the first step here of going, okay, maybe they just got let go from their job. Mm-Hmm. , maybe they, they finally bailed. Maybe Covid happened and they didn’t want to go back into the office. And so now they’re going like, Hey, could I actually run my own thing from home? What’s the first step?
CD (03:34):
Well, the first step is a little selfish actually. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The first step to figuring out how or what kind of expert business you’re gonna build is honestly to figure out what, what it is you wanna be known for. And I think a lot of people try to go too broad, too kind of wide, the beginning of it all. And they don’t understand the entire kind of process of nicheing down or nicheing down to our brothers and sisters from the other side of the pond there, you know, and genuinely like nicheing down as far as you possibly can go so that your language becomes uber simple to understand and just kind of like really kicks people straight away when they, when they discover you to think, Oh my God, this person, where’s this person being all my life? I need more of this.
CD (04:21):
That’s what we want. We want to ultimately become somebody’s favorite. That’s what we wanna do. And we will never become somebody’s favorite by being too broad, by being, by casting that net too wide. So, as an example, if I can share an example, like if you think health coach, there are a gazillion health coaches out there, it’s very vanilla nowadays to say that you’re a health coach, right? But if you say, I’m a health coach that works with men, now we’re starting to get somewhere. Now we’re starting to niche down a little bit. But if you’re a health coach that works with men in their forties and beyond, now we’ve niched down one step further, but let’s try one more step to really nail in here. You’re a health coach that works with men who are 40 plus who are recovering from major surgery. Boom, there’s your niche, right?
CD (05:13):
There’s your niche right there. Now, it doesn’t mean that you’re gonna have a thousand prospects visiting your website every single week, but what it does mean is that whenever anybody does visit your website, you and the language that you’re using in the marketing, the copy that you’re using, the imagery, everything, it’ll all sing to them. And they’re very quickly turn around and say, Yes, Rory’s my guy. I wanna learn how to be able to get back in the shape, how to get my strength back, how to start eating healthier again, and really give myself a new lease of life following my surgery. I’m gonna give this guy a call. Mm-Hmm. . So that’s the important, it’s really understanding what it is you wanna be known for right out the gate.
RV (05:51):
Well, okay, so I I love that. Concur with that. The when you said, when you said you may not have thousands of people coming to your website, but the people who come, you’re gonna be speaking right to them and they’re gonna say, Where have you been all my life? We use the term native tongue so that we say like, you’re speaking in their native tongue. Like there you go. They, they, they get you and they get that you, that you get, they get that, you get them. And it’s like, okay, what I have found, Chris, that holds people back is the emotional. In order to do that, which is wonderful and brilliant, you have to sort of separate and let go of this. Like, I’m gonna have 5 million followers and I’m gonna have 60 million people on YouTube, and I’m gonna be the person who’s on billboards.
RV (06:46):
And like, there’s like a, when you talk about nicheing down, it’s like you are at the same time, it feels like there’s almost like you have to do this emotional release of the desire to be known by everybody. Yeah. And instead say, I’m going to deliberately and intentionally choose to be known deeper by the few than a little bit by everybody. How do you overcome that hurdle? Like, what would you say to somebody go, and like, cuz I think that’s what people struggle with. They go, But I wanna help everybody. Right? And you gotta almost wave byebye to that. Or do you think, how do you think about that? Well,
CD (07:24):
You do. You gotta wave. Bye bye. You know, without a doubt. Like I say, like you gotta market like a magnet, right? That’s my thing. Like, you market like a magnet. So at the same time that you’re attracting the right people into your ecosystem at the exact same time, just like a magnet, you’re repelling away the wrong people, right? Like, we don’t want the people that don’t, you know, they don’t kind of jive with our vibe, right? Like if, if they don’t understand where we coming
RV (07:49):
From, Yeah, you can’t be here if you can’t jive with my vibe.
CD (07:52):
If you, if you’re not jiving with my vibe, baby, I don’t, I just don’t want you around. Simple as that. So like, I’m, I’m just a big believer that, you know, you put more of you into what it is that you’re doing, you will attract more likewise people into your world. So for example I practice boni. I like to drink fine single malt whiskey and American bourbon. I like to build Lego with my children. All these things make up part of me and my personality. So I’ll talk about those things when I’m coaching people, as you know, I’ll use examples of, you know, when you get a, a raw piece of material that will eventually become a beautiful bon eye one day, the branches are all leggy, and the scr in this foliage missing, and you know, all this, the roots might, might not be very strong.
CD (08:43):
And all these, you’re building up this tree from scratch, fundamentally by pruning back, by wiring, by feeding, by watering, by repoting, using different types of soils for different types of trees and all these types of things. All that, what I’ve just said, just there, that’s building a business too. We use different types of soil in different types of industry. In other words, we say and do things differently in one industry than would do in another one, and so on and so on and so on. The branches, the foliage, that’s staff, customer suppliers, product services, experiences, whatever it is, right? So when I talk about those things, people who get it get me, and therefore, you know, they, they, they just naturally gravitate towards me. So I think you have to kiss goodbye to a certain amount of the population. You could, You sh you can’t please all the people all the time.
CD (09:33):
And quite frankly, if you try and do it, it’s just exhausting. Plain and simple. It’s burnout is inevitable as far as I’m concerned in that scenario. And so I’m all about, like you say, I would rather have a hundred people on my email list that open every single email, buy everything that I put out, read every book that I write and talk about me when they’re at the dinner parties, the conferences, the coffee meetings, right? Rather than 10,000 people on the email list that do didly squat. Yeah. So I think by nicheing down, narrowing down that message, and also the big thing is the language that you use becomes that much more attractive to that person because you’re speaking directly to them based on wants, needs, pain points, et cetera, et cetera.
RV (10:23):
Yeah. Uhhuh when you talk about nicheing down, like, so in your example, you used you know, health coach for men over 40 who recovered from surgery. The, who is a big part of that example, men, the, the, it’s, it’s, you’re nicheing down by who you’re serving. So it’s sort of like the, what that you’re doing is health coaching, but in your example where you were nicheing down was by the who you’re doing it for. Correct. So it was like, it wasn’t what you were doing, it was who you were doing it for. Is, is that most of where nicheing comes from? Does nicheing come from, not so much nicheing what you do, but who you do it for? Or are there other types of nicheing or like is that sort of like the primary vehicle or like the most practical thing that people can do if they’re going, okay, how, how do I niche down, Right? Like, I’m an accountant, I’ve spent my whole life being accountant and so you go, okay, who are you going to be an accountant for? I mean, that’s clearly one way. Is that, is that the best way? Is that the only way? Is that kind of the most practical way or what do you think? I
CD (11:40):
Don’t, I don’t know whether it’s the only way or whatever, but I mean, like, I think it’s probably the most practical when you think about building a business. It’s hard enough as it is to build a business, right? Mm-Hmm. like, what is it, 87% of all small businesses crash and burn in the first five years or something like that. You know, it, it’s tough to build a business. I think it’s even tougher if you are casting that net too wide. I think if you are, you know, it, it’s for me personally, I just feel like if you are going into something with a very clear picture as to who you’re gonna help, you can almost paint that picture. Not only for yourself but also for them as well. The what or the how of how you help them. Obviously that can totally be Ned down as well. So perfect example is the differences between the two of us we’re very clearly in a very similar scenario in terms of the, the types of people that we help, right? True. We help people that are building a personal brand based around their expertise and the experience, the influence that they have in their industries. And ultimately the people that they want to serve. That’s a very, very strong
RV (12:52):
Similar who,
CD (12:53):
Very similar,
RV (12:54):
Very similar who, but the way that we do it is very different.
CD (12:57):
Couldn’t be any different. It couldn’t be any different. You go one on one all the way, I don’t wanna work with people one on one, It doesn’t fire me up. I wanna work
RV (13:06):
With people. That’s a great, that’s a great distinction cuz that is exactly, That’s exactly it. Yeah.
CD (13:13):
Yeah. I see. And like I said, right out the gate, you can be a little selfish. Like, it’s okay, this is your business, right? Just because I don’t help or work with people one on one doesn’t mean that I couldn’t do it, but I don’t want to do it. That’s the, you know, that’s the, the definition of why I don’t do it. It’s because I don’t want to do it. I want to pe I wanna work with groups, I don’t wanna work one on one. And so just because we can do all these different things doesn’t mean that we should do them all. I’m often, when I say that I, I instantly get a flashback to when I was learning how to drive my driving instructor. Her name was Vanessa and here in the UK around built up areas. The speeding limit is 30 miles per hour. And I just kept going right up to that 30 number look 29, 30, 29, 30, 31, 29, 30 29 30. And she pulled me over after about my third of my fourth lesson. She said to me, Chris, I wanna just clarify something real quick. It’s a speed limit. It’s not a speed target. Just because you can hit it doesn’t mean that you should be hitting it all the time. And that’s never left me that lesson. That’s
RV (14:30):
CD (14:31):
It’s just like the way that we monetize our personal brands. Let’s count ’em off books, coaching, high level consulting advisories on boards online courses, speaking. There’s so many different ways that we could end up ultimately monetizing our expertise. But just because we can do all those things doesn’t mean mean that we actually should do
RV (14:52):
Them. Well, for some it’s a speed limit. For some it’s a speed target. For others it’s a speed suggestion or a speed minimum. A speed, a speed, minimum speed suggestion. I have to tell you buddy. So, so we just got back from Australia and I rented a car and I totally forgot that they drive on the other side of the road from, we drive on in the US and I drove, I drove an eight passenger van for 10 days on the other side of the road. We had some like one time must
CD (15:24):
Have been in the middle of nowhere,
RV (15:25):
. It was like, it was, it was, it was, it was pretty crazy. So we just, we had the kids with us so we couldn’t like just take Ubers and stuff all the time cuz we got toddlers. So we need the car seats and all that. But yeah. Anyways, yeah, that’s a good, that’s, that’s good. Like people just go, Oh, they automatically assume that’s what you have to do. Cuz that’s just what you see like as available. So some people do events and masterminds and, and, and, and I do. I I I do think that and any other ways for nitching down? So we talked about the, the who, you know, the who you do it for, the, the, the, you know, the how you do it. Any, any other things that you would say there in terms of nitching down? I
CD (16:09):
Mean, you know, the, you know, the, the what and the why’s and everything. I mean that, I think that can probably all be pretty much, you know, integrated into those two
RV (16:17):
CD (16:17):
Well focus. Yeah, I mean, you know, it really comes down to this, the type of person that I want to work with. That’s the who, you know, the why is because I feel called, because I’ve been in that position before. I want to help them out. Now I know what to do. You know, the, the, how well I’m gonna do it via these types of programs or this type of thing. You know, the when, well, I’m gonna do it, you know, the second and third quarter of each year, I’m gonna take the rest of the time off. You know, again, your business, you get to call the shots, you can be a little bit selfish but obviously at first you gotta pull back on the thro and tick some boxes and make sure that you’re doing things in the right way for the right reasons. And for me, that all centers around the person that you’re working with.
RV (16:57):
Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. I mean, from an advertising perspective or a marketing perspective, being clear on who you’re serving, this is one of the reasons. Yeah. Well, actually, let me ask this as a question. Why do you think it works this way? Why is it that nicheing down is a faster way to make more money than servicing everyone? Because it’s sort of not sort of, it’s directly counterintuitive. You would think, oh, the fastest way to make a lot of money is to just to make something that is available to everyone. But I think what you’re saying is the opposite. And I, I, that’s been my experience is that it’s actually you make a lot more money by serving fewer people. But why, why? Like what are the, what are the reasons? Why does
CD (17:49):
It work? Yeah, I
RV (17:50):
Why does it work, Right? Why does it work? Because I think if people really understand why, I, I really, I really think people are hung up on this emotional release of going, Okay, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna have millions of millions of followers. I’m gonna find a small group and I’m gonna serve them really, really well. And if we can get them to kind of latch onto why it works and that it really is the way, I think more people will let go of that more quickly and, and kind of follow the path.
CD (18:18):
Yeah. Well I think, I mean, you know, again, I think it comes back to the language that you use. I think people, consumers are, clients are prospects. They wanna be made a fuss of, they wanna feel special. Who doesn’t wanna feel special? Who doesn’t wanna feel as if somebody’s talking directly to them, rather than just a whole bunch of folks, right? And I just, I I, I think that’s one of the reason why it works so well from a marketing standpoint. When you’re talking to somebody, an avatar specifically, and that avatar has a specific set of problems that you have a specific set of skills to help them with, you know, Liam Nielsen taken style, right?
RV (19:01):
CD (19:01):
It, when, when, when you are doing that, you are going to be more successful than you were if you were, again, here’s, here’s me using the same term, casting the net too wide. And that’s the reason why it works so well. Because people wanna feel special. They want to be made of fuss of
RV (19:20):
Mm-Hmm. . yeah. So a lot of it is just language is, is, is, is just like, it is, It’s like you’re talking to them in a way that they understand. It makes them feel known, it makes them feel heard. So they’re, so, they’re really just drawn to them. Perfect
CD (19:36):
Example, I, I’ve got an accountant friend of mine who could be an accountant for any company on the planet. However he specializes, specializes in working with angel investors and corporations that invest in startup companies. Here in the uk there’s a whole bunch of government schemes in that regards. I’m sure it’s probably the same in the United States as well, but he works specifically with people who invests in and advise startup companies, right? He could work with anybody as an accountant, but that’s what he does. That’s his niche and he’s very, very, very successful. So I think it’s about picking one thing and just, and just, you know, running for the wheels
RV (20:18):
On, but in like, in that example, you go, Okay, everyone has an accountant, but if I’m that type of person, an angel investor, I need a specialized accountant, which means I can have two, I can have my general one, but now I can have my other one. So I don’t have to be the only accountant they ever hire because they’re hiring me for this specific thing. Like if I am a surgeon on this specific thing, you might have multiple surgeons in your life, but you’re gonna be like, I, I, I I need this one. Yeah. Alright. Well I love that. I think that’s really important. So I, I wanna shift the rest of our time to how do you get the first customer, because this is the other big roadblock I think people struggle with. You know, first of all, it’s like they gotta sort of let go of the, I’m gonna be all things to all people with all in all places on all platforms all the time.
RV (21:05):
You know, when it’s like you’re a solo entrepreneur or you have a few people, it’s like you can’t do all of these things all the time really well. The other big roadblock I think people really get hung up on is the first customers. Like the first sales are like, if you are doing this as a side hustle, you know, and you don’t like your job and you wanna do your own thing and you’re going, but I’m scared to make enough income to, you know, create a exit ramp, so to speak from my job. What, like, is it, is it social media? Is it going live? Is it sending emails? Is it blogging? Is it speaking? Is it, you know, knocking on doors? Is it like printing out flyers? Like what the heck? Like how do you get your first customers?
CD (21:51):
Well, it’s all of those things, but you can’t do them all, you know, So it, it’s, it’s choosing your weapon. The when I say that phrase, as you know, I’m basketball head. So as a hoop guy, I think back to the eighties commercials with Converse, where you had magic and you had Larry, both MVPs both won their championships, both had exactly the same pair of sneakers from Converse. Magics was white and purple and gold and Larry’s was black and white identical shoes. The two of them back to back muskets at dawn, holding the shoes, like guns with the phrase choose your weapon,
RV (22:39):
CD (22:39):
Both fit your foot exactly the same, but you’re either a Larry fan or you’re a magic fan, so you’re gonna buy the shoe that relates to that, to that person, right? Same sort of type of situation. Finding your first kind of customers is about, well, okay, I can, I can record a podcast and start publishing that every week, or I can do a YouTube channel, or I can be on Instagram all day long, or I can dance on TikTok. You know, I can do all these different things. But again, just cuz you can doesn’t mean you should. Not only that, but also if you go all in on one particular platform with one particular offer, you’re way more likely to get a sale happening sooner rather than later than you would do if you had a whole bunch of different offers and you were focusing on a whole bunch of different platforms.
CD (23:23):
So my advice really for anybody that wants to get kind of going with things, the lowest hanging in monetization fruit, when it comes to monetizing your expertise is your time. It’s you, it’s working with people one on one. Fundamentally, it doesn’t need to be done forever, but it is, it, it’s the easiest sale to make because you’ve got all this experience in your memory bank. Somebody else wants to download it into their memory bank. They’re happy to invest X amount of dollars per hour to sit with you and learn from you because you’ve been there, done that and you’ve been wearing the t-shirt for years. The only issue with that particular monetization strategy is it’s not super scalable, right? There’s only so many hours in the day, which means you can only work with so many people. Now, you could end up ultimately working with a smaller amount of number double triple called Dr all your fee and end up making more money that way.
CD (24:14):
But even then, your time is gonna get maxed out sooner or later. And so that’s when you have other monetization vehicles, like digital courses, group coaching, and that’s all the type of thing coming into play, Masterminds, things like that where you can ultimately make more with less effort, but straight outta the gate, it comes down to really just charging for your time. You know? And, and you know, I did this exercise maybe three years ago with one particular client of mine who was just getting started. It was in the branding and, and design world graphic design, that sort of type of stuff. And he had a good following on his on his blog, but it was kind of not really doing anything. And he was feeling a little bit down heartened about it because he’s got all these people on his email list.
CD (25:01):
I think at the time he had maybe a 1500 or so people on his list and he just wasn’t making any money. You know, you try, he was trying to throw a whole bunch of stuff out to see what people would bite at. And I just said to him, Look, Phil, the next time you send out an email, put a little PS note. I call this the power Ps put a little Ps at the end of your email that says, I never do this, but next month I’m opening up five spots on my calendar for five 60 minute consultation sessions. If you’ve been reading my emails for a while or visiting my blog for a while, you’ll know what I’m good at and what I’m not good at. If you think I can help you and you’re willing to pay, I think it was like 500 bucks for the hour, then click this link first five people to sign up. We’ll get the time. 24 hours, all, all five slots gone, two and a half grand off one email sent to a list that’s been emailed over and over and over again. Never bought anything because he wasn’t selling anything of value. So ultimately it really comes down to just choosing that weapon and choosing that vehicle, that platform. For him, it was email for you, it might be podcasting or for something else, and just sticking to that for a little while until you get some hits.
RV (26:08):
Yep, yep, yep. I love that. I mean, that’s, that’s great. So basically it’s just like any tool, any of those marketing methods will work as long as you mm-hmm. , but not, but doing all of them won’t work. It’s like pick the one, choose your weapon. That is really, really great advice. So I mentioned earlier, if everyone goes to brand builders group.com/elevated, Chris is doing a free three day experience. It’s called the Elevated Entrepreneur Experience. What do they, what’s gonna happen here, Chris? Like what, what exactly is going on? Tell us about this elevated entrepreneur experience. And again, URL brand builders group.com/elevated.
CD (26:48):
Yeah, cool. So this is, I’ve never done this before, actually. It’s the first time I’ve done it. What I’ve done is I’ve taken all of the best stuff that I’ve taught my paying clients over the 18 months from basically now going backwards, and I’ve put it into a three day cycle. So we’re gonna meet up three days in a row for about 60 to 90 minutes each day, Okay? On day number one, we’re doing what we call our diagnosis snapshot. And we’re kind of looking at auditing our business, what’s working, what’s not, what have we got, what have we not got, what’s missing? And even if you’re just starting out, this is a great way to be able to kind of really start to ascertain exactly what you wanna do and what you don’t wanna do. So we’re gonna be doing that as well as a whole bunch of marketing staff and platform building and stuff like that on day one, Day number two, we’re gonna switch gears a little bit and start talking about actually conversions.
CD (27:42):
So I’m a big believer that conversations lead to conversions. Like I genuinely believe that. And so one of the things that we do as a company every single day is we try and start as many new con conversations every day as possible because, you know, leads generated today end up being a client signed up this week or next week. That’s the way I look at it. And so what I’m gonna do on day two is I’m gonna teach a proprietary system that we use ourself, that I teach to all of my paying clients, that basically allows you to create a nice, steady, consistent stream of warm leads coming into your business every single day, every week, every month of the year, without even spending a single dollar an advert in a way that is simple to easy really easy to execute and understand.
CD (28:32):
And that will get genuine results for you. So we’re gonna do that on day two. And in day three, I’m gonna be walking everybody through what I call my six figure up and roadmap, which will show everybody step by step exactly what they need to do, and most importantly, when they need to do it in their journey, in order to get up to six figures and beyond as quickly as possible. Some people to go through this training will get up in over six figures or prorated, thereabouts within three months. Some people take a year, some people 18 months, but follow the system, follow the roadmap, you know, the hint is in the word, it’s a map. Follow it and you’ll get to your explanation.
RV (29:10):
Mm-Hmm. and Amen to doing things at the, in the right sequence. It’s one of the most heartbreaking things that I see is so many people spending money on the wrong things early in their business. They watch some Facebook ad and they invest in this thing that it’s like, that is step number 96, and you are on step one. And so I think that’s one of the reasons why we trust people with you and sending people to you also, because I know you teach them, you know, like we do. There’s a process to this. There’s a, there’s
CD (29:44):
Sequence, you know, it’s some things you should do, some things you should not do. And the things that you don’t need to do, don’t even look at doing them. Don’t even think about doing them. You just stay in your lane. Remember the movie American Wear Wolf in London? Do you ever
RV (29:59):
See that photo? I never saw itm. I remember it being around, but
CD (30:03):
It’s such a good movie. There’s a part at the beginning of the film where the two backpackers, the American backpackers are in Scotland or somewhere in the uk and they’re in an old pub one night, an old countryside pub. And this old scabby, crunchy looking old dude walks up to them and says, Stay on the path. Don’t drive off into the mos, stay on the path kind of thing. And what do you think happens? They go off the path, they go into the mos and one of them gets turned into a wol. So just follow the map and you won’t get turned into a Wol symbol. I don’t d you got, I dunno where I was going with that analogy, but I think you
RV (30:43):
Follow the map. It did. Follow the map. Stay on, stay on the course. Stay, stay on the on, on the, on the plan. So again, you can help head over to brand builders group.com/elevated if you wanna check this out. I recommend Chris. I trust Chris. You know, he’s a real entrepreneur. He’s built real businesses online and offline, which is very rare these days. So you can check that, check that out. Three free days with him getting a chance to, to sample some of this work. And buddy, I just I miss you. It’s good to see you. Thank you for making some time. I hope everything goes well and make sure you look us up when you, when you come back over to the, to the us the US of America.
CD (31:23):
Without a doubt. Without a doubt, man. I, I can’t, can’t wait to come hang out with you guys again and it’ll be nice to see AJ again. It’s too, it’s been too long that we’ve been hung out in person. I think the last time we saw each other was beginning of 2020 just before everybody went. Covid crazy, right? That that was the last time I saw you in San Diego.
RV (31:43):
Crazy. Yeah, it’s, it’s goes by fast that way. Well, we wish you the best brother. Thank you for being here.
CD (31:50):
Thank you. Appreciate it.

Ep 120: How To Build and Manage A Membership Site with Chris Ducker

Hey Brand Builder Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for tuning in to listen to this interview. We are so excited to bring you this information and wanted to let you know that, Hey, there’s no sales pitch coming from anything that we do with this is all our value add to you and the community. However, if you are somebody who is looking for specific strategies on how to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and we offer a free call to everyone that’s interested in getting to know us and is willing to give us a chance to get to know them and share a little bit about what we do. So if you’re interested in taking us up on a free strategy call, you can do that at brand builders, group.com/summit call brand builders, group.com/summit. Call. Hope to talk to you soon on with the show. Chris Ducker is easily one of my favorite Brits and probably like

I’m literally the only British person. You know, I think that is not true. That is not true. I would say that

Not true. I know quite a, quite a bit of British people, quite

A few Brits,

But man, he is amazing. I met him through Jay Baer, which just, we have close personal friends. Y’all know how much I love Jay Baer. And one of the reasons I love Chris because he’s a real entrepreneur in addition to being a, a phenomenal personal brand. So he’s written two books that are awesome, Virtual Freedom and Rise of the Youpreneur, but he owns and operates real companies. In fact, he has 350 full-time employees, mround the world. He’s got businesses in different countries. Umne of which is called virtual staff finder. For those of you looking for virtual assistance, we’ll, you know, we’ll talk more about that later. Um,t he’s also a blogger, you know, he’s a podcaster he’s, he’s got a great following. He’s built a huge personal brand himself. Uh,’s a speaker. He hosts an annual summit, u,,lled the Youpreneur summit, which, u,ually I think is in Cambridge or in England and is in London.

Okay. So he doesn’t event every year. And you know, we have a lot of overlap in terms of friends and audience and philosophy. And anyways, I just loved this guy and I, I, you need to know about him and what he does in his businesses and specifically his online business, which is the smallest part of how he makes his income because he’s got real companies doing real stuff. But he has a really big Academy called Youpreneur. It’s a membership Academy and I wanted to talk about how we built that and what does it take to really month in and month out manage a membership site because there’s good things and there’s bad things. And so anyways, Chris Ducker, my favorite Brit, glad you’re here. I’m glad

I just want you to keep talking about me. This is great. I could listen to you for hours.

Well, AJ always tells me she’s like, your introductions are too long. And I, and I, you know, I listened to everything. most everything AJ tells me, but I think it’s important cause I want you to know how much I love you. And I want, I want you listening to know every person that I bring on is here for a specific reason of someone that I learned from. And, you know, there’s you do so many of those things, but youpreneur.com, which is really the Academy, the membership site. I feel like Chris people, I feel like so many people get excited about a membership site. They start it, they run it for 15 months and then they’re like, this sucks and I’m out and you’ve done it. So how long have you done it?

We we have just hit our fifth year at the Youpreneur Academy. Which is fantastic. I mean, throughout the course of that time, gosh, I don’t know exactly how many people have swung through those doors. If I had to put a number on it, I’d say probably around about 3003 and a half thousand people have joined that period of time. We float anywhere between, you know, based on pre, you know, promotions and kind of mini launches to our lists and things like that, or float anywhere between kind of like six 50 to nine 50 members at any one time. So it’s a good sticking rate as well. I think the majority of people stick around for about a year and a half or so. Uyou know, but, but here’s the, here’s the big thing. I think the one reason why memberships, mome and go so quickly is because man it’s work that people that people think that it’s like passive income or something equally as sexy. And it’s definitely not passive. It’s probably about the most, you know, other than say, like coaching one-on-one or as well, we do, we do.

One-On-One like, it’s

That you guys, you guys would not be good poster Childs for the idea of passive income, but that’s your model you see, and that’s what everybody loves about you. And so look, here’s the deal. If you want that recurring reliable income on a regular monthly basis, you need to show the heck up every single month as well. And we do that. We do that through, you know everything from, you know, video training that goes live every month, right? The way through to a massive archive of stuff. We, the funny thing is actually we don’t produce that much new content on a monthly basis anymore. We’ve been gone well, we’ve been going five

Years, five years. You

Can talk about building relationships and, you know, providing solutions to people’s problems and packaging, your experience, which is what we do and what we’ve done, but what we, what we have been doing really successfully over the last year and a half or so is going in and revamping stuff and re kind of touching stuff up to bring it kind of more up-to-date and things like that. But there’s still a lot of stuff. I mean, without a doubt, the most fun that I have with the Academy is our monthly chit chats, which is where I get to sit down 99% of the time in person. Cause as you well know, I travel a lot and we actually usually, you know, when we’re at a conference or something, I’ll hire a suite and we’ll bring a crew in for an entire day and we’ll film like six videos in one day and then that’s our content for six months. You see? Uand you know, we actually, even though I haven’t recorded anything since March this year, which is the last time you and I saw each other in San Diego,uwe we’ve still got content good until like February next year. So, you know, we’ve

Six hours. So you batch are, are, are those like six hour long videos or are there

They run for about 30 to 40 minutes on average? I mean, how long are you going to actually honestly sit and watch two people talk to each other with like, you know, two different camera angles, you know, like people’s span of attention, pretty poor nowadays as it is. Right. But we, you know, we, we, we do great con you know, we’ve had some incredible people that we’ve sat down with over the years and that

Strikingly mediocre people like Jay Baer and Elsner Pat yeah, Pat Flynn, I know that given a large, large number of very average, average people, [inaudible] one time just wore the pants. I,uyou know, I think what it is is that that’s me,

I’m more of a talker than a typer. So, you know, I like to podcast, I like to do video work. I like to speak on stage and I like to coach and train people. And so everything else that revolves around the Academy and then also the incubator, which is kind of our higher level membership, which is more kind of one to group coaching. So if you imagine,

Are you comfortable sharing the prices with just like, so we were totally, yeah. Kind of give us a sense of like how many people and how difficult it is.

The, the Academy is 39 us a month. That’s it that simple, right.

I know I’m American, but we do have people who listen, but I appreciate that the, the th the, the U S translation, but I’m, we travel a lot. We are quite international,

Actually. It’s funny, you mentioned that on genuinely, because, you know, we, we have a massively like big worldwide audience as well. We’re very blessed like that. And so the question actually did come about, you know, what are we going to do? How are we going to charge? Are we gonna do it in GBP? Are we gonna do it in Euro? Are we going do it in the U S you know, USB? Those are really the only three currencies we talked about when we launched you know, online and Euro was kind of ditched pretty much straight away because people in Europe are used to paying, you know, in USD for stuff online. The, the, you know, the British pounds things was a conversation that went on probably for too long, purely, just because of the fact that I’m British. And since two years ago, we’ve now been based here, back in England. Whereas obviously, as you well know, we’re over in the Philippines for 18 years. Right.

So just, just for everyone to catch that, like you built these businesses living and operating and doing business in the Philippines, you moved for 18 years from England to the Philippines. I mean, that’s a, I don’t know. I mean, you’re definitely my favorite Filipino. Like, I don’t know. I don’t think I know very many and that’s, that’s amazing. Yeah. And I’m pretty sure you S you were charging us dollars when you were in the Philippines. I’m selling a very international membership site.

Totally. And I mean, you know, our businesses, you know, the, the larger of the businesses is fundamentally a B2B call center facility. So we, you know, we bill in USD and we pay all our bills and Philippine pesto, and it’s very, very profitable. And so with the Academy, it, the USD, it was just, you know, the other conversation, a lot of people have this who maybe are not, US-based, they’ll have this issue of if I’m going to write in English, obviously if I’m in Germany and I’m talking to a German audience, I’m writing in German. But if I’m international outside of the United States and I’m writing content in English, do I go with a U S spelling or do I go with British spelling? And that was an open discussion that we actually add to have. But, you know, we went, we do everything in American English. We do everything in USD billing mainly because of the fact that internationally pound for pound, the U S way of writing and charging for products and services online specifically is more universally accepted. So for your, all of your podcasts listeners slash viewers that are listening to this, there you go. I’ve just solved the problem.

Well, that is, and it makes me not feel quite as such a self-centered American. Even though that, that you, you know, so that’s interesting that that’s actually really helpful to have your perspective of that’s a conscious decision that you’ve made is just kind of the most transferable or universal. You know,

The thing is, you know, ever since my know, ever since I kind of got in, you know, left school and I didn’t go to university or college as you guys would call it. And so I went straight into the workforce strain and sales and marketing for a publishing company. I only ever had two jobs in my life prior to setting up my own firm. And,uit, it’s always, I’ve always dealt with people on an international setting. So pretty much from week one, I was talking to people all over Europe, for example, based in the UK, mhat when I went over to the Philippines, you know, set up the firm, et cetera, et cetera, I, you know, instantly knew that America was our big melting pot of prospect of customers. So, you know, it’s just one of those things. I’ve always done business on an international setting. Uh,u know, everything from time zones to international dialing codes, they’re all up here, baby. I don’t need to look any of them up so,

Well, yeah, I mean, you got tired, you got dialing codes, you have currency, you have taxes, there’s you have the writing. Like, [inaudible] like, like you’re saying the American English those are a lot of things. So, so $39 a month also gives you a very, you know globally affordable you’re factoring in certain countries that it’s like 99 a month. Like our lo our lowest price point is 99 a month, but you’re, you’re able to probably capture a much, a large percentage of the, of the world that maybe the 99 a month. Isn’t

The thing is, look, this, this is the way I look at it. Right. whether you’re just getting started online and you want to learn, you know, you want to learn how to build an audience properly and to, you know, become, I always say, you know, that you’ve got to try and become somebody’s favorite, right? So whether you’re looking to become somebody’s favorite podcaster or blogger or YouTube, or live streamer or whatever it might be when you get started, it’s good to have something other than just non-stop Googling that you can go to, that you can converse with other people that are in a similar situation and kind of learn from and brainstorm and you know, that kind of stuff. Right. But then the flip side of that kind of beginner coin is that there are people inside of the Academy who have been in business for 10 plus years, who are already running very profitable businesses, but I’ve never considered personal branding, or as I call it building the business of you ever before, it’s something they’ve never done.

And so, yeah, I’m, I’m profitable. I make money. But I’ve got no idea how to you know, build, build my website out properly to position myself as an expert. I’ve got no idea how to utilize my uniqueness as a person and my personality and my experiences to be able to bring in additional business et cetera, et cetera. Right. So this is, you know, the Academy really kind of just like it ticks all those boxes at a low price so that anybody can really afford it. Some might say, well, why don’t you just give it away for free? The reason being is because I didn’t give anything away for free. It’s really that simple. My time is a premium. And if it requires my time, even just a couple hours a month, if you want it, you’re gonna have to pay for it.

It’s really that simple. And so that’s why, you know, that, that’s one of the reasons why we got around to,ulaunching two years ago, the incubator, which is like, kind of like the next tier, mhich ends up, you know, it’s like 2,500 bucks for the year and us dollars. Yeah. And, and, and, you know, that is, you know, more time with me each month as a group one to many, no, one-on-one coaching one to many. Um, you know, it’s a smaller group of people, uh s up being around about a hundred people or so at any one time, some people come, some people go, um,a uh,i great because you know, those who do stick around for that entire year plus, uh,t see incredible, incredible growth. Uh, ioesn’t take much.

And, and, and even though you, you said you’ve been kind of hovering steadily between 600 to 900 members, you know, 40 bucks a month. That’s still, you know, whatever 20, 25, maybe $30,000 a month. And you’ve got, you got expenses, you’ve got some staff and stuff, but that’s, that’s a, a nice, healthy stream of consistent revenue that helps like pay the bills. And then the incubator becomes a little more profitable and a little more time. And then, you know, most of your time, your personal time, you’re actually putting into these other, other businesses. And so how do you, how do you fill it? How do you fill the membership? Okay. So I, I really love that it’s work, like hearing in that truth is important. How do you go about filling it? Like, do you do the big push twice a year? Like open cart, closed cart? Is it always open? Do people come and go, do you have affiliates? Do you run ads? Is it social? Is it Google, YouTube? Like, how do you actually sell the thing? Right. Like, how do you, how do you get people to pay money for this?

So we don’t do any affiliates. We don’t do any Google ads. We do a little bit of Facebook advertising, I guess we probably drop a couple of grand a month, us on Facebook ads for it. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s a low price point. So you’re going to look at like cost per acquisition, feature, new customers,

Right? Someone’s got to stay a long time,

Incubator incubator a little bit more. That’s a little easier to kind of warrant pushing more ad spend behind because it’s that 2,500 price point, right. Or if I have to drop a hundred bucks, 150 bucks to acquire a customer all day long, I’ll do that all day long. Right. But with the Academy a little bit different, I’ll tell you what we do. We produce [email protected], both from a blogging perspective. So written content along with graphical content. So infographics, Instagram stories we’ve got something that we do on my Instagram account called carousel wisdom, where people have to flick through and it sits on the grid. People love those. We do the podcast on a weekly basis, and there’s just one very simple formula that we follow to every single piece of content that we create. And this is what we teach our clients as well when we’re coaching them.

And it’s just as simple as this, always answer a question, that’s it. If you can create a piece of content that always answers a question, or for want of a better term, provides a solution to somebody’s pain point, regardless of what that might be. If you can do that with every piece of content that you create, it’ll have a long form effect on prospective customers, not only finding you, but then having those actually convert into paying customers for you. And, and by the way, that’s not a $39 like product strategy. That’s just a strategy for selling online. Consistently periods show up every single week, over and over and over again, with whatever piece of content that you feel most comfortable producing, but just make sure that you’re always answering a question or solving a problem. If you do that, people will find you

You’re constantly building trust. You’re, you’re blogging, you’re podcasting you you’re, you’re putting out that content. And then how do you what’s the conversion mechanism? Is it just, you literally send them an email and say, click and go to this. Like, here’s what it is. Click go to this, there’s a sales page. This is what’s included. It’s 39 bucks a month and sign up. Sure.

Ah, I mean, it’s, that’s pretty much it, you’ve just, that’s it’s I don’t like to complicate things out. And so you know, it, it, it really just comes down to obviously, I mean, we’ve, we’ve rewritten and rewritten them rewritten our landing pages, not sales pages. We tested things out. We know what you know, what terminology to use on our ads, but, but we never actually ever, will we ever spend money on cold audiences? All of the ads that we run are run to warm audiences, meaning they’ve either visited our website. They’re either on our email list or engaging with us or at the office.

So they’re all pixeled. They’re either pixeled audiences, or they’re an email list, custom audience that you have.

But for us, I mean, without a doubt, email is King. I mean, that’s yeah, you visit youpreneur.com. You’ll have multiple opportunities to get onto our email list. We have a great opt-in that we provide called the personal Brown roadmap. And it’s just a simple 10 step kind of checklist, 10 things to kind of pay attention to when you’re building a personal brand. Uwe get an average of around about a hundred organic opt-ins every single day and just every day, every day. Yeah. Every day, if we run ads that will double, triple that. Right? So this, this is because the website has been around long enough with, you know, four or five, 600 pieces of content on it that Google is indexing us for all of our search terms, right?

This is why the blogging is so important. Cause it’s like social media over time gets less valuable, but blogging content over time gets more valuable. The website.

Exactly, exactly. And I always say like, social media is great. You should absolutely utilize those platforms. Use that. Absolutely. Make sure that you’re focusing in on maybe one or two of them that you really like yourself, but his, the brutal reality of it, you don’t own those platforms. Google owns YouTube, Mark Zuckerberg and his friends own Facebook. You own Chris ducker.com or Rory vaden.com. You can control those. So you always have to utilize those other platforms to get people back to your hub. And then your number one goal as someone building a business online is to get them on your email list. And we went through five or six different opt-in magnets before we settled on the personal brand roadmap, which has been updated two or three times over the last three, four years. So it’s fully up to date links work, you know, resources are good, all that good stuff in it. But the fact of the matter is that once people are in that funnel, we can not only serve up more content that will obviously help and help them, but we can then obviously, you know, let them know as, and when we might be running promotions, you know, white, this is a good fit for them, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I stay away from launches. It’s not my style. It’s too stressful. Um, I do like running promotions two, three times a year where,

We’ll, we’ll very rarely

Discount anything we do, but we’ll add on certain bonuses to it. I stand behind our pricing because I feel like what we do is truly worth it, but I don’t mind giving somebody a free access to, you know, five videos for a month to learn how to XYZ, whatever it might be.

Well, I love it. You can see this, as we’ve mentioned, several times, you preneur.com. So this is, you know, several of our audiences, the perfect audience for this. So you guys go, go watch what he’s doing, check out what he’s doing, get on his email list. And I mean, Hey,

Everything, copy, swipe them and take them for yourself and get them

30, 39 bucks a month. I mean, it’s, it’s like 39 bucks a month. I mean, that’s like what you, you, you, you spend that on like sliced deli at the, at the grocery. So is there anywhere else you would drive people to Chris, Chris Ducker? Where do you want people to go?

I wouldn’t be much of a personal brand entrepreneur myself, if I didn’t have Chris docker.com. So that’s what it’s all about. Really. Chris ducker.com at Chris Docker, Instagram, there are two spots

And we’re going to talk more about virtual staff finder because we have a bunch of people who need help running our system, that we teach them, that we call the content diamond for managing social. And I need to talk to you about virtual staff finder because we need to see if we can hook up a deal for our audience on that. So

Would love to do that. Everybody should have a virtual assistant if they’re building, you know, a personal brand and


Helped just over 10,000 people in the 10 years we’ve been in business, actually find that. So yeah, we, we know a thing or two about it. Let’s do that

When you come back and talk about that. But anyways, Chris ducker.com check him out. He’s awesome. Cool guy. We love him. Appreciate your pre-state your transparency buddy. And showing us just like how straightforward and simple

It’s work, baby it’s work. I’ll do the work. You gotta do

The work, the unsexy work. That’s what you gotta do. You gotta do the unsexy work. I like it. Wish you the best. My friend.

Thank you, brother.