Freedom Machine: How To Grow A Business Online

August 7

Do you want to turn your passion into a profitable business while gaining precious time for you and your family – without huge investments and complex business plans? 

In this guide I want to give you a step-by-step blueprint on how I built my online business "How to Become A Rockstar Photographer" which enabled me to be a stay at-home dad and work on the projets I love the most. 

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Download my Freedom Machine Tool Box

Download my exact Tool box that I used to build my automated online busienss "How To Become A Rockstar Photographer".

Introduction 

How rewarding would it be to build your business from home and generate an income that allows you to be financially independent to support your family?

No more rushing to your work in the morning, no more frustration fighting with your boss and no more feeling that you work too less even you´re already near a burnout. 

I was one of these guys who did a job for a living and not because I loved it. I was struggling years with myself until i found a way how to live my passion and be a stay-at-home dad by starting my own online business. 

“Oh, no! Not another of this BS online marketer who promises the quick buck.” You might say. And I hear you. These days we get drowned in ads by so called gurus and experts who have the magic pill for us. Have you ever watched Youtube videos with your kids and then all of a sudden the cartoon series is interrupted by an ad of a guy in front of his cars (which might be rent for the video shoot) talking about how easy it is to make millions of $ by investing in their products?”. 

Why should you believe me?

I am not a guru or expert. I am a regular guy, like you,  who found out stuff by actually starting from scratch and making every mistake until finding a way that works. My motivation to start an online business rooted in my deep desire to be at home and care for my kids while working on my passion projects.

You can learn more about my transformational story from a molecular Biologist to a Rockstar Photographer to a Dadpreneur here.

These are the nuts-and-bolts numbers of "How to Become A Rockstar Photographer"

How To Become A Rockstar Photographer

How to Become A Rockstar Photographer is the worldwide leading online platform to become a concert photographer. 

3000+ Course Students 

from 100+ countries and counting

475 000 #htbarp photo on IG

building the coolest gallery on Instagram 

100 000+ Podcast listeners

with 100+ 5* reviews on iTunes worldwide

$150 000+ revenue from course sales

using my Freedom Machine model  

With The Freedom Machine Concept I want to give you a proven step-by-step blueprint behind my business - I want to show you what strategies work independent in which industry you are. that you can use to build your own online business.

For me it’s important to be transparent. I am not preaching anything I have’t experienced by myself. I can’t guarantee that my approach is working for you, but chances are if you follow my blueprint that you’ll get a head start with your business.

What Business should I start with

There are hundreds of different businesses you can start with, but most of them I would never consider doing. Taking into account that most businesses fail, it's crucial to know from the beginning which options to choose and with which models you have the best chances to be successful. Let's have a look at some typical businesses.  

Offline Business

There is a TV show called "The Emigrants. "A camera team follows families who want to start a new career in a foreign country. So, people quit their jobs, sell their houses, and sell everything they have for the illusion to make big money. They take their kids with them (even though they can't speak the foreign language) and arrive with big hopes. As you can imagine, most of the time, reality hit them hard. Some people open a bar in a location where no people show up, or others want to open a bakery and sell bread to local people even if they don't eat them there. After some months of struggle, their families break up, the business is ruined, and they lost everything they had. This may sound like a fake TV script (I don't know if all the stories a real), but you'll get the idea. Starting a new business without thinking first is a disaster plan.

These are high risk projects, and you'll have no time for your family. 

Selling Physical Products

When I was brainstorming about building my own business, I thought of selling a physical product first. I immediately came up with the following questions. 

  • Which product should I sell? 
  • How should I finance the production costs? 
  • Where should I store the product?
  • How should I ship it? 
  • Who takes care if there are any refunds? 
  • Who deals with all the customer questions on the phone?

I simply hadn't the money to spend $10 000s of dollars to cover the production costs without knowing if you ever sell one piece of the product. 

There are some ways to make the whole process more accessible such as shipping your product by Amazon (FBA: Fulfillment by Amazon).

Nonetheless, you need to make a significant investment first, which is often impossible for people who are just starting their business.

Retailer

The other choice is to sell a physical product is as a retailer. For example, you can sell a product such as weight loss supplements or T-Shirts. The advantage is that you don't have to produce this product since it's already on the market. You buy the product from the company and sell it for a higher price.

Disadvantage:

  • it's not your product, so if the company decides to stop the production, you'll lose your income 
  • you might not have a significant margin on the sold product. I have experience with companies that sell you their product for $15 as a retail price. If you sell the product for $20 (otherwise it would be too expensive for people to buy), you win $5. 

Unless you're selling thousands of your products, this model might not be a good fit for you either. 

Selling Online Products

Online products are the new game-changers in the small business owner world, and they are mostly information products such as ebooks, online video courses, or software products. What it means is the following: 

Let's talk about the advantages first:

  • Low investment (computer, software, internet)
  • Low risk (of financial loss)
  • No storage space (you don't sell a physical product)
  • No shipping/tax costs for worldwide delivery 
  • Don't need an office (work from home, cafe, beach)
  • You're your boss (dad, trainer, coach)
  • All earnings are yours (more profit) 

I first came in contact with the idea of a "passive income "when I read "The 4 Hour Workweek" from Tim Ferriss. How cool would this be to free yourself from the working time equals money formula: The more you work, the more money you'll earn. Since time is the limiting factor in your life, you're stuck to work for 8-12 hours a day. If you work for companies they might even present you with an all-in contract, which means it doesn't matter if you work 1 hour or 10 hours overtime, you get the same loan. 

The idea of a passive income is to free yourself and your work from this form of working relationship. What would be if you could sell your product online 24 hours 7 days a week without sitting in front of the computer? What if you open your email account and see the payments rolling in? I sold my products when I was playing with my kids or when I was on holiday. I don't tell you this to brag, but I want to show you why building an online business might be worth considering.

My online business allows me to work in my home office, take care of our baby, and finally do what I really love. 

Considering all the advantages, I think that building an online business is the way to go if you want to free your time from your work.

This almost sounds too good to be true, and I also had my doubts when I was starting. If this is such a great way to earn money with why is not everybody going to start an online business?

A lot of people are scared of starting and learning new things. It took me almost two years of trial and error to find a proven strategy that works. The internet has completely changed the game for anyone who wants to have their own business. It's now easier, faster, and cheaper to start and run a business than before.

Teaching Your Passion

What is the secret of all the people who build successful online businesses? They TEACH what they are passionate!

Think about the people who are well known in any industry. It doesn't matter if it's fitness, cooking or photography. Why do you know who they are? 

Are they the most talented? Sometimes, but often not. 

Almost always, it is because they teach. I know when it comes to the niche of concert photography, the people I had heard of were the ones whose books, tutorials, and blog posts I had read. They weren't necessarily the most talented or produced the best photos, but they shared and taught everything they knew. That's how they became well known. 

What I have learned for myself is that you can create the best cutting edge work in your industry, but until you start sharing it, your reach and influence will be limited. Others won't recognize a photographer who doesn't share his photos. A writer who hides her/his scripts from the public won't be read. 

I started "How to become A Rockstar Photographer "as a personal blog where I wrote about my experiences as a concert photographer. I posted photos, and I shared what I have learned in the music business. Slowly people began to read my blog and got interested in it. 

Those who teach might make a respectable income as well. 

Most people think that teaching is for school. After high school or college, the belief is that you are done learning, and now you can work. 

But the truth is that to be successful, you need to keep learning every day, whether you are a photographer learning new poses or a businessman getting an MBA. 

I have learned how to setup a homepage, how to write an ebook, how to record and edit videos, how to give webinars, how to build an email list and how to sell my products online and many more. 

Where did I learn all these skills? Make a guess, Exactly from people who share their knowledge as well. I bought ebooks and workshops I attended webinars and read blog posts. And I learned all at home. 

Teaching is not a talent and everyone can learn it if you leave your comfort zone. With the article's help, you should have a jump start for all others who are struggling to build their business. 

The Big Idea 

I first heard of this approach from Derek Halpern (Socialtriggers,com, read my success story here). 

Derek Halpern

  1. Build your Audience first,
  2. then sell your products to them

The Audience First (organic)

This “audience first” strategy is key, and even though it´s logical, almost nobody is thinking of it. First, you need dedicated and passionate followers before you sell your products online. People will trust you, and they´ll be happy to buy your offerings. You can have the best product, but if you don´t have a community, you´ll get into big troubles.

Matthias cares deeply about his community. He combines heart and help in a meaningful way. That is one of the reasons his community is so tightly knit.

- FLorian KAndle, Start up coach, getfunding.how

Building a community will also change your life for the better. It´s the most rewarding thing if you can help people and get great feedback from them. I get emails every day where people thank me because they start to live their passion as music photographers. When I traveled to Buenos Aires to do a music photography exhibition, people came to me and told me that they´re following me for years and thanked me wholeheartedly. Building an audience of superfans is to become financially independent and develop friendships and help each other. 

The Nr.1 mistakes when building an online business

The Product first (paid)

Once people decided to start their online business, their main goal is to make money fast. They offer their online product (ebooks, video courses, or software) on their homepage and wait, wait, wait,….and nothing happens.

Why? Because nobody knows about you or your product. If people don´t know and trust you, they won´t buy it. It´s simple as that. 

Imagine, would you buy a video course for $1000 from someone you have never heard of before? 

However, this “Product first” strategy where you build your online product first, and then you´re searching for your clients is the common way to do it.  However, this approach has some serious drawbacks.

You see that there are quite a few challenges right from the start. However, there is a solution to all of them: paid advertisement.

Why social media Ads suck big time

With paid ads (most likely Facebook ads), you`ll reach millions of targeted people who might be interested in your products. It sounds awesome in the beginning, but you’ll have to experiment and test to find what works.

And here lies the main problem for me as a small business owner. Unless you have $1000s to spend on ads, this approach won´t work. Usually, the big marketing stars spend $100,000 - 1 million per month(!) for FB ads. It´s all about driving enough traffic to your site and hopefully getting out more benefits than your ads spend.

Another drawback is that you´re dependent on the platforms such as Facebook or Google. Facebook is known for changing its algorithms quite often, and I have heard stories where your acquired lead jumped from $1 to $10 overnight. Ouch.

Even though I have seen some of my friends succeed with this approach, I wouldn´t recommend paying for ads when you´re starting your business.

Freedom Machine: How to Grow Your Business Online 

The Concept

I came up with the Freedom Machine concept after I have figured out how to grow my business online. 

A friend of mine asked me to explain how I set up my online business. He said, for him it's a "Black Box" - and he want's to know more about it. 

So, I came up with my concept which includes 6 stages

  1. Target Audience 
  2. Budild Your Autority / Creat Awesome Content 
  3. Homepage
  4. Email List 
  5. The Product Offer
  6. Change Customer's Lives And Generate Passive Income 
Freedom Machine How to Grow Your Business Online Infographic

In the next sections I want to dig deeper into the specific stages. 

Target Audience

Find Your Dream Topic

coming soon

Tools

coming soon

Build Your Authority / Share Your Content 

There is no question about it anymore; sharing your content for free will significantly impact building your authority. It might feel a bit strange. "Why should I give my work for free when I want to make money and build a business with it?' you might ask. I had the same doubts, but let me tell you two stories that this strategy works in your favor instead of against you.

Seth Godin "Unleashing the Ideavirus"

The online entrepreneur and author Seth Godin wrote ‚Unleashing the Ideavirus ', a book whose premise is that an engaging idea can travel through the Internet like a fast-moving virus. To prove his point, he encouraged readers to download it for free and tell a friend about it. Besides, he also offered a hardcover edition for $40. ‚Unleashing the Ideavirus 'was not a 10pages pdf, but a solid 250 pages book. There was the free kindle version with the same content as the hardcover book for free and a hardcover version for a premium price. What do you think happened?


400 000 readers downloaded the ebook in the first 30 days, making it one of the most read ebooks ever. Eventually, the book was downloaded more than 1 million times because friends told friends about the book. It was possible because Seth Godin is one of the prominent online marketers with a huge following. However, surprising is that the $40 Hardcover version reached number five on Amazon's bestseller list. So, even though people could get the book for free, enough people bought it to enter Amazons' bestselling list. It's interesting, isn't it?


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Here is another example that illustrates the power of this new way of sharing. In 2001, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) decided to make the entire curriculum, including content for the 1800 courses available on the Internet. That's a $104 000 value! Why would one of the world's top learning institutions give away its intellectual property?


Because they decided that the best way to advance an MIT-style education would be to widen access to its knowledge. A million visitors per month now watch the free courses. Volunteers have translated the course material in 15 languages, and finally, more people are attracted to studying at the Institute. It was the main aim of the project. 

Both examples, whether in publishing or the educational industry, show a phenomenon that is not logical to us. In a world where money is the only value for people, giving something away for free seems counterintuitive. However, it is precisely this strategy that will gain more than you lose.

I first read about this phenomenon in the book „Give & Take“ from the author Adam Grant and this knowledge will help you build your business in rocket speed. 

Let's talk about the different strategies that you can use to build your online business.

Guest Blogging

Once I started to build my career as a concert photographer, I began to share my experiences and learnings in form as guest blog posts.

What is a Guest Blog post?

A guest blog post is an article (often unique content) that you’ll write for a magazine/blog. The great thing about this approach is that ideally, the medium already has your target audience at hand, and you’ll build authority fast.

One of the first guest blog posts I wrote was for one of the most significant photography online blogs, “Digital Photography School.” 

Digital_Photography_School_Matthias_Hombauer

  Guestblog Post for Digital Photography School

They had hundreds of articles about general photography, but since concert photography is such a niche, they hadn’t published anything on this specific topic. 

I wrote an article about the “6 Tips For Budding Live Concert Photographers,” which resulted in a promotion to 1.6 million email subscribers, and the article got shared 62 700 times! 

This was the first prominent publication for me, and it showed me what is possible even I wasn’t a professional photographer nor a professional writer. 

If you can provide helpful content for a specific community, you can also publish in the big publications.

How to publish your first guest blog post 

  1. Find an online medium that publishes content about your topic.  
  2. Write a great article that provides a lot of value for their audience. 
  3. Get in touch with an editor of the medium and offer her to send your work.
  4. If they like your article, they’ll publish it for free
  5. You’ll get rewarded with an authority boost

Everyone want’s to publish in the most influential online magazines/blogs, but this might be out of reach for you if you’re just getting started. You’ll eventually get there later, but first, concentrate on smaller publications that will be happy to work with you.

Remember, the aim is to get your name out there and build your authority.

Blogging

Blogging is similar to guest blog posts, but you’ll post your articles on your homepage, so you have full control. Writing your blog posts is the easiest way to generate content for your project.

I decided to write articles for my project HTBARP since it was easier for me to write instead of recording videos on Youtube. You should find a format that suits you best and where you can stick into the long term.

List Blog Post

A list blog post is an article where you list 5-10 of the most essential points of a topic. I wrote the article “Concert Photography Settings For Beginners”, where I talked about the specific camera settings that I used to get awesome concert photos. 

HTBARP_Beginner_Camera_Settings_Matthias_Hombauer

 List Blog Post on my homepage How To Become A Rockstar Photographer

List posts are very popular because they are fast to read.
Think about 5-10 specific points that you can write about for your topic.

Review Article

A review article is an article where you write about tools. I wrote an article about the “Best Earplugs for Concert Photographers” and tested 15 different earplug companies. 

I got in touch with each of them, and they sent me their products. After testing all of them, I wrote a review article talking about the benefits and drawbacks that I experienced from the different brands. 

I ranked the products into different categories and came up with my ranking. 

HTBARP_Earplugs_Review_Matthias_Hombauer

 Review article on my homepage How To Become A Rockstar Photographer

This was a highly popular blog article, and besides, I got a deal with one of the companies that offered me an excellent affiliate option (I earn 30% each sale made via my homepage).

Tools/Resources Page

A Tools or Ressource page is a page where you post all of your recommended products. This content is highly valuable, and people love to know more about the tools that you’re using. 

You can also set up an affiliate link to each tool, so you’ll earn money (e.g., via Amazon) when someone clicks your link and buys the product.

HTBARP_Tools_Matthias_Hombauer

Tools Page How To Become A Rockstar Photographer

Webinars 

One favorite way to provide content to my audience is by using Webinars. And the best thing: it´s a fact that Webinars work. A webinar or online seminar is unique because it provides a sense of community and gives attendees the feeling of „we´re all in this together. “ This is a much different experience than landing on a homepage or getting a sales email. I did 2 hours webinars with almost 100 people from all around the world. You can´t simply talk to all of these people in a workshop at your home place, but you reach them using the internet. 

Webinar Strategy: The best way a webinar works is to give a free webinar where you talk about one specific aspect of your niche. 

  • The first 10-15min you introduce yourself and tell your story. 
  • The next 25-30min you provide great content and 
  • in the end, you’ll do Q&A session
  • (if you already have a product to sell, you want to let people know about it)

If you´re starting and don’t know what to talk about or don´t have a product to sell, simply do a Q&A Webinar. I did one together with two concert photography colleagues. We took questions from the attendees and discussed them to help people. It was a huge success, and people stayed there until we finished after 2 hours. This is a great way to build your authority, as well. 

HTBARP_Webinar_Matthias_Hombauer

Q&A Webinar for How to Become A Rockstar Photographer

Webinar platforms: Since people know that webinars are working, there are various webinar platforms out there. I tried almost all of them, and I am using WebinarNinja (link with a free 14 days trial) as my go-to tool. 

Webinar software is not cheap, and you should think about it before if you need it. If you already have a product to sell, webinars will be the go-to strategy. This will convert way better than a sales page or a sales letter even you give the same information.

Podcast 

Podcasting changed everything for me. I started my HTBARP Podcast because I wanted to learn from the best concert photographers in the world. After doing my research on setting up a Podcast, I started my first episode with Kat Benzova, the tour photographer of Guns' n'Roses. It was nerve-wracking. I have never done an interview before, and I haven't a plan on how to execute such as job. Nevertheless, everything works out, and this even became one of the most listened episodes after 2,5 years. 

I set my goal to do 100 interviews every week, and I am thankful for interviewing the world's elite in this field and mentors such as Scott Kelby and Chase Jarvis.

I love the podcast audio format because people can listen to it passively while doing a workout, commute to work, or go for a walk with your baby push-car.

HTBARP_Podcast_Matthias_Hombauer

The How To Become A Rockstar Photographer Podcast

My Podcast reached 110 000+ downloads with 100+ 5* reviews on iTunes. 

How To setup a Podcast (interview style)

  1. Get a good USB microphone 
  2. Interview your guests via Skype, Zoom or Zencastr
  3. Record the interview and host it on a Podcast hosted such as Libsyn or Buzzsprout
  4. Publish a show notes page for each interview and share it with your guest

You can find an example of a show notes page here.

Become An Author

Another way to provide great content and the ultimate authority builder is by writing a book. 

“Just the fact that you are writing a book gets you halfway there. Seriously. Name your book, set up a landing page, and start calling yourself the author of “xxxx.” People will take you a lot more seriously even before your book is published.” - Nathan Barry 

But what if I am not an author at all? You might ask. No worries, I wasn’t one either.

I experimented with two different approaches:

Self-publishing on my homepage

I was selling my first ebook called „ The Guide To Rockstar Concert Photography. “ This was a 150 pages ebook about all the knowledge I gathered in that last year as a music photographer.

I built a landing page and offered my ebook. I started to gain sales of my $37 ebook, and people loved it. After a while, I raised the price to $79. I made more than $10 000 in a year with selling my ebook. 

This option only works if you already have followers who are eager to buy your book.

Self-publishing on Amazon

I am not talking about writing a 600 pages bestseller book in bookstores. I am talking about a little ebook 70-100 pages, which you will publish on Amazon Kindle Publishing (link). I wrote it, edited it, and Amazon will take care of the rest. 

My little ebook eventually got a number 1 ebook on the Amazon “Digital Photography” section, which boosted my Authority even more. 

HTBARP_Amazon_Book_Matthias_Hombauer

Self-published How To Become A Rockstar Photographer Book on Amazon

You might not make a lot of money, but this approach is to build your Authority first. 

If you’re starting or don’t have a large following, Amazon might be a good choice to get your name out. 

 But I’m not an expert, how can I write a book?

No worries, even if you are learning a new skill or topic, chances are someone will always know less about it than you do.

Shortcut to become an authority/expert in a field:

1. Search Amazon for the top 3 sold books for a specified topic

2. Read them

3. Write together the key points of all three books, provide your personal twist to it, and become an expert in it. 

Homepage 

How To Set Up Your Homepage

My first homepage for How To Become A Rockstar Photographer was a challenge. I had no idea how to build my online presents, so I had the glorious idea of hiring both a graphic designer and a developer. Both were locally separated (Vienna and Seattle), and it took time to get everything together. Once the homepage was finished, I decided to change a photo or add some additional text. So, I needed to ask my graphic designer for the correction, and afterward, my developer coded it into the site.
This approach not only took time but was also an expensive learning for me.
So, I decided to manage my homepage by myself. I tested a dozen systems, tools, and themes and finally found a cost-effective and easy to use strategy, which I want to share with you.

Here are the 3 key elements you'll need when starting a homepage

Webpage Hosting Service

WPX_Logo_Horizontal

All my websites are running on the servers of WPX Hosting, which is the fastest WordPress hosting available (Google loves blazing fast pages). They have hands down the best 24/7 customer service I have ever seen, which is crucial if you have any questions or run into challenges on your webpage. They also offer a free one-click WordPress installation, making it very easy to get started with your homepage. Highly recommended!

Themes, Templates, and Plugins

If you're searching for an all-in-one solution for WordPress, look no further and get Thrive Themes. Thrive Themes includes the best and easiest to use drag and drop Pagebuilder, dozens of pre-done Homepage templates, a lead generation plugin, and much more. I have built all my homepages with Thrive Themes without ever written a line of code, and their support is top-notch.

Content Management System

Wordpress_Logo

WordPress is, by far, the most popular open source Content Management System (CMS), used by millions of websites. I run all of my projects on WordPress, and it's free to install, deploy, and upgrade. If you get WPX Hosting for hosting your homepage, you'll get a free one-click installation, which is very easy to set up.

My must-have free WordPress Plugins

  • iThemes Security. On average, 30,000 new websites are hacked each day. WordPress sites can be an easy target for attacks because of plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords, and obsolete software. Most WordPress admins don’t know they’re vulnerable, but iThemes Security works to lock down WordPress, fix common holes, stop automated attacks, and strengthen user credentials.
  • SEO Press. SEOPress is a powerful WordPress SEO plugin to optimize your SEO, boost your traffic, improve social sharing, build custom HTML and XML Sitemaps, create optimized breadcrumbs, add schemas / Google Structured data types, manage redirections 301 and so much more.
  • W3 Total Cache. W3 Total Cache (W3TC) improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance and reducing load times by leveraging features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.
  • Really Simple SSL. Really Simple SSL automatically detects your settings and configures your website to run over https. To keep it lightweight, the options are kept to a minimum. The entire site will move to SSL.
  • UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin. UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over two million currently-active installs. Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click!
  • Antispam BeeSay Goodbye to comment spam on your WordPress blog or website. Antispam Bee blocks spam comments and trackbacks effectively, without captchas and without sending personal information to third party services. It is free of charge, ad-free, and 100% GDPR compliant.

After learning the skills to build my homepage by myself things looked much better.

HTBARP_Homepage_Matthias_Hombauer

Front Page of the How To Become A Rockstar Photographer Homepage

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

coming soon

Email Marketing  

When I started my online business, I always heard the single most crucial tool to have is an email list. Let me explain why this is so important for your success. An email list is a list including emails of your followers. Email is still seen as the most private form of communication. You write an email to your business partners, but you also use it with your friends. Email is the most straight forward way. You can also use Facebook Messenger marketing or send a text or WhatsApp message to your followers, but still, an email will win in the long run.

Let me explain the basics in email list building.

Email Marketing 101

The main aim for you is to collect emails from people coming to your homepage. 

But think of yourself. How often do you sign up for a newsletter? I guess, not that often. Just signing up to get other emails stacking in your inbox is not what you want. Therefore some clever online marketers come up with the idea of using an "option bribe. "An optin-bribe is something for free that you give away for getting an email address. 
Imagine you find this blog about vegetarian food you're interested in. You scroll around on the page, and all of a sudden, you get an offer that you can download a free ebook "The five vegetarian recipes I would die for (made in less then 5 minutes) ". Wouldn't it be tempting to leave your email address to get this ebook? You get a link to download it, and they got your email address. It's easy as that, and it won't feel sleazy at all. People will happily sign up. You see the difference in forcing someone to sign up to your email list and giving them something for free in advance without being pushy. 

The optin-bribe should always be a free resource such as an ebook or a PDF. It can be one page or give away a report with 100 pages as long as it is a good fit for your audience. I suggest to keep it as simple as possible and don't spend too much time on it. Since you don't know in the beginning what works and what not, it's better to test different ones. I give away my "5 Must-Have Camera Settings For Concert Photographers, " which teach people how to get better photos when standing in front of a stage. 

Different opt-in forms:


- Pop up: Most of the people are annoyed by pop-ups. These are the windows that appear when trying to enter a new URL in your browser window or sometimes they pop up after a certain time spending on the homepage. These pop-up windows might be annoying at first sight, but they are your secret weapon to build up your email list quickly. Pop-ups convert around 2-3%, which is quite an impressive number.
I tried all of the big ones, including Optinmonster, Ninja Popups, Popup Domination, and Sumo Me List Builder. Every program has its strengths and flaws, and I ended up losing a lot of time by experimenting and figuring out how they worked for my purposes. After months of research and trial and error, I found the one I am happy with. Therefore I suggest using Thrive leads, which works perfectly. It's easy to use and comes with tons of layouts. (Photo of Thrive leads). 

Lead Magnets (content-related sign-ups): it has been shown that these options convert better than the rest you place on your homepage. A content-related sign-up form is placed at the end of your blog posts. Imagine you're reading an article on a blog that you're interested in. By the end of the article is a button that offers even more information on this topic. To get access to it, you have to leave your email address. You sing up, and you'll get the free information download like it was tailor-made for you. You can give away checklists, a summary of the blog post, or additional tools as PDF.

Best places to put your opt-in forms:
- Use a pop up on the homepage and individual blog pages
- Use option forms in the sidebar
- In the footer
- On your Tools/Resources Page
- on the about page


Email marketing: You set up some options on your homage, and people are signing up. What's next? 
You aim to keep your audience engaged. If you send one newsletter per year, your list won't be very vital. Some people won't even remember you when they get an email 12 months later. So, you have to keep sending useful information to your audience. You can do it manually, which gets complicated because people will sign in 24/7 and don't know who got your last email and who is new to your list. 

Here comes the Follow-up sequence into play. The follow-up sequence or Autoresponder is an option that lets you send individual emails for a certain amount of time. For example. Peter signs up for your newsletter, and he gets a welcome email. Your email marketing program recognizes a new subscriber to your list and adds him to the Follow-up sequence. Peter now gets reconfigured emails every 2nd day for the next two weeks. This is automation in perfection. When Susan signs up one day later, she also gets all the emails every 2nd day. This ensures that you engage with your audience on an automated level. 


Follow up Sequence:

Email Marketing Platforms: To collect your emails, you'll need special email list building programs. Basically these programs store the email address and let you send emails to your followers. This is vital for newsletters. You'll get all the analytics, and you'll see who opened the email. All listed programs have a 30days free trial version. 

Active Campaign: When it comes to building your email list, you'll want to rely on a system that is: easy to use, ensures to sending emails to your subscribers' inbox (not the spam folder), integrate with your other tools (such as ThriveThemes, Thrivecart) and is relatively cheap. Over the years, I migrated from Mailchimp to Aweber, and finally to ActiveCampaign. Personally, for me, AC is the best email marketing tool, and I highly recommend it for building your email list.

Themes, Templates, and Plugins

When it comes to building your email list, you'll want to rely on a system that is: easy to use, ensures to sending emails to your subscribers' inbox (not the spam folder), integrate with your other tools (such as ThriveThemes, Thrivecart) and is relatively cheap. Over the years, I migrated from Mailchimp to Aweber, and finally to ActiveCampaign. Personally, for me, AC is the best email marketing tool, and I highly recommend it for building your email list.

Create Your Community 

A great business will also have a community of passionate fans. It´s so rewarding when you can help people on a daily basis. I get emails every day where people from all around the world thank me for giving them inspiration and for sharing my knowledge. Some of my followers had great success in the industry I am in and with some a great friendship grew and I will teach you how to build such a community.

Social Media 

coming soon

The Product Offer

Build Your Online Course 

coming soon

Sell Your Product 

coming soon

Change Customers Live / Generate Passive income

coming soon


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