A few weeks later, he has gained over 1,000 email subscribers from his Ultimate Guide, as well as his first 5 weight loss 1on1 coaching clients that helped him earn his first $1775 with his online business.
When Marting shared his story with me, I knew I wanted to share it with my readers as well. I asked him to write all about how he did it, and he shares it in the post below.
Martin, take it away!
Table of Contents
- 1 HE PROMISED, HE DELIVERED!
- 2 HOW PRIMOZ HELPED ME GET MY FIRST 5 PAYING CUSTOMERS AND MADE MY BUSINESS A REAL THING!
- 3 HOW I STRUGGLED WITH MY “BUSINESS WITHOUT CUSTOMERS” BEFORE I WROTE MY ULTIMATE GUIDE
- 4 WHY I DECIDED TO WRITE AN ULTIMATE GUIDE AGAIN EVEN IF I’VE FAILED WITH IT BEFORE
- 5 HOW I CREATED MY PROMOTIONAL STRATEGY (AND HOW YOU CAN TOO)
- 6 HOW I CREATED MY FIRST PROMOTIONAL STRATEGY
- 6.1 STEP 1: Create a new text document
- 6.2 STEP 2: Brainstorm promotional ideas
- 6.3 STEP 3: Choose 3-4 ideas that could bring you the best results and focus solely on them
- 6.4 STEP 4: Prepare for every one of these options
- 6.4.1 HOW TO MENTION BLOGGERS IN YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE (AND LET THEM KNOW ABOUT IT)
- 6.4.2 WHO COULD SHARE IT? WHICH BLOGGERS SHOULD YOU MENTION? HOW MANY OF THEM?
- 6.4.3 WHERE COULD I MENTION THEM? WHAT’S THE BEST WAY?
- 6.4.4 THE 3 GREAT WAYS HOW TO AUTHENTICALLY MENTION BLOGGERS IN YOUR GUIDE
- 6.4.5 HOW COULD I REACH OUT TO BLOGGERS SO THEY WOULD BE WILLING TO SHARE MY GUIDE?
- 6.5 STEP 5: Write down everything you need to do BEFORE and AFTER publishing your guide
- 7 BEFORE:
- 8 AFTER:
- 9 HOW I GOT MY FIRST 5 COACHING CLIENTS AFTER PUBLISHING MY ULTIMATE GUIDE
- 10 THE RESULTS I’VE GOT SINCE PUBLISHING MY ULTIMATE GUIDE
- 11 MY LAST WORDS:
HE PROMISED, HE DELIVERED!
HOW PRIMOZ HELPED ME GET MY FIRST 5 PAYING CUSTOMERS AND MADE MY BUSINESS A REAL THING!
Do you ever get this feeling like you are trying everything to take your business off the ground (or grow it) but nothing seems to get you the results that others have?
If so, this post has the power to change that.
How do I know?
Because of just a few months ago, I was in the same place. I had a blog with some email subscribers but without any customers. (I was even ashamed to call my blog a business without customers).
But after writing my Ultimate guide, everything changed.
If you’re curious, I’m going to show you the whole story about:
- How I struggled with my “business without customers” before I wrote my Ultimate Guide
- Why I decided to write an Ultimate Guide again even if I’ve failed with it before
- What was the key to my success with writing my Ultimate Guide
- My promotional strategy and the step-by-step process how I created it (and how you could too)
- The exact emails and messages I sent to bloggers who then shared my Ultimate guide
- How people could sign up for my coaching program (how my business started to generate revenue)
- The results I’ve got since I’ve written my Ultimate Guide
HOW I STRUGGLED WITH MY “BUSINESS WITHOUT CUSTOMERS” BEFORE I WROTE MY ULTIMATE GUIDE
I’ve started my business two years ago after I found an online blogger that talked about it. Back then I was reading all of their emails a doing everything they said.
It wasn’t bad but something was missing. I’ve built a product, launched it and got no customers. Then I rebuilt it from scratch and confidently launched it again. This time results really shocked me – I’ve got no customers again! I remembered how frustrated I felt. I knew I was making a huge mistake – somewhere – but I didn’t know where.
To try and fix it, I joined an online course about building an online business.
The course was great, it helped me rebuilt everything and after 6 months of everyday full-time work, I’ve had 236 email subscribers. But even if it helped me fix some huge mistakes in my business and set up basic systems, I still didn’t have that one little thing we all crave when we’re trying to build our businesses from scratch – the first paying customer!
And with 236 subscribers and two big failures in the past – just thinking about spending weeks on creating a new product made me feel anxious.
At that time it was too much for me. I’ve spent last 24 months working on my business without earning anything.
I didn’t know what to do next. I did some guest posting but it felt like it’s going nowhere. Sometimes it brought me, 14 subscribers, sometimes 0.
And then I learned about Primoz’s system for writing Ultimate Guides.
WHY I DECIDED TO WRITE AN ULTIMATE GUIDE AGAIN EVEN IF I’VE FAILED WITH IT BEFORE
I heard about Primoz for the first time when I was watching case studies in an online course I joined. His story was similar to mine so I started to watch his journey closer and I joined his email list.
After I’ve read about his approach to writing Ultimate Guides, I thought this could be a turning point for my business, but I still had some concerns.
- Because I wrote an Ultimate Guide with 7,000 words in the past and it got me less than 50 subscribers. What if I‘ll spend weeks and weeks writing another Ultimate Guide with the same results? Why would it be different this time?
- And because I already bought an online course about building an online business (which is one of the best ones out there), which wasn’t enough to get the first paying customer for me. How could Primoz’s help make a difference?
But I trusted him. He didn’t go to Ivy League school. He didn’t have friends from Silicon Valley. He didn’t come from New York, San Francisco or Chicago but from a Slovenia – a little less-known European country (just like me). And he still somehow made it.
If someone knew what it takes to go from the place where I was to the place where I wanted to be – it’s must be him!
That was very relatable for me, so I decided to highly respect every piece of advice from him and do whatever he told me to do.
I started with learning about his process of creating Ultimate Guides and I decided to get every step (from picking the right topic to creating monetization strategy) right and to trust his process.
What I loved about him was his dedication to my success. He really CARED! We spent two weeks just to get the topic right. I felt like he wouldn‘t let me work on the topic which my audience wouldn’t love.
Back then I thought: “OMG, why you don’t like my topic? I think it’s good enough!” (But it wasn’t.)
I started out with “The Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss that Lasts”, but he helped me change my topic to “Ultimate Guide to Losing Your First 10lbs”.
Now I’m so happy that I’ve gone the extra mile and listened to him.
The next great advice he gave to me was about the promotional strategy – which was (after picking the right topic) the key part of my success with my Ultimate Guide.
HOW I CREATED MY PROMOTIONAL STRATEGY (AND HOW YOU CAN TOO)
When I first saw that the next step for creating my guide was a promotional strategy, I didn’t believe it could work for me.
I thought promotion is easy for people like Primoz, who know people like Selena Soo, Ramit Sethi or Navid Moazzez.
But I didn’t know anybody like that. I didn’t have a relationship with gatekeepers. I didn’t regularly chat with influencers.
The promotional strategy sounded reasonable, but back then I couldn’t imagine that some of the big names in my industry would be willing to share my Ultimate Guide.
On the other hand, I didn’t want to stop there – so I threw away all of my fears of wasting time on something that may not work for me – and I told to myself:
“Okay, maybe it won’t go well. Maybe – even if I’ll do everything right – it won’t work for me. But the only way to find out is to try it out and see what happens.“
(That reframe from “what if…“ to childish curiosity worked like magic.)
And so I started working on it…
HOW I CREATED MY FIRST PROMOTIONAL STRATEGY
STEP 1: Create a new text document
The first thing I did was that I created a text document and at the top I wrote:
“Here I need to create my promotional strategy.“
Then I thought about it:
“What’s the point of the promotional strategy?“
“To get my Ultimate Guide in front of as many people who are in my target audience as possible.“
So I wrote the question:
“How could I get my UG in front of the biggest target audience? Be creative.“
This question helped me remind myself what I’m trying to achieve everytime I opened the document.
Action step: Prepare a text document
STEP 2: Brainstorm promotional ideas
The Second thing I did was to brainstorm random ideas for how I could get my Ultimate Guide in front of the right people and reach as many of them as possible.
My ideas were:
- Write to some bloggers and ask for advice on sharing the guide and hope that their offer sharing it
- Start to add value to some bloggers now and then after publishing – ask them for share it
- Find sites that have an “interview section” and have done some interviews with other bloggers. Then offer them an interview with me
- Ask close friends and target audience to read it and write a deep thoughtful comment
- find ways to mention bloggers in my Ultimate Guide and then tell them about it
- Add value on forums and then mention my Ultimate Guide
I liked some ideas were better (mentioning bloggers in my guide) and some I rather cut out (I didn’t think that asking friends to read the 25k-words guide was an effective way to promote it).
But the point here is to see that there are so many options for how you could promote your guide. So be creative here and constantly ask yourself:
“How could I get my UG in front of the right people and reach as many of them as possible?“
Action step: Spend at least 20 minutes on brainstorming the promotional ideas (I recommend you to do this exercise twice and not on the same day.)
STEP 3: Choose 3-4 ideas that could bring you the best results and focus solely on them
I’ve got the greatest results from these promotional strategies:
- Mentioning bloggers in your Ultimate Guide and then letting them know about it
- Talking about your Ultimate Guide in the places where your target audience hanging out – forums or Facebook groups
- Asking readers who read your guide to share it and send a link to their friends
Action step: Choose 3-4 options which could be the main parts of your promotional strategy
STEP 4: Prepare for every one of these options
Now that we have some idea of what our promotional strategy could look like, we need to prepare for every one of these ways.
Below, I’ll share all the steps that I used to successfully ask bloggers to share my guide with their readers.
HOW TO MENTION BLOGGERS IN YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE (AND LET THEM KNOW ABOUT IT)
The questions I had about this process were:
- Which bloggers should I mention? How many of them?
- Where could I mention them? What’s the best way?
- How could I reach out to them so they would be willing to share it?
I’ll answer all of these questions, but first – let’s took a new way of mentioning them in your guide:
If you‘ll try their product or implement their advice, and then you’ll honestly write about how it helped you and how you admire their work, you‘re adding a lot of value tot hem in terms of esteem, respect and appreciation. So if you do it in the right way, they would love to read about themselves and share it.
Now let’s talk about the questions above:
WHO COULD SHARE IT? WHICH BLOGGERS SHOULD YOU MENTION? HOW MANY OF THEM?
To find out who would be the best fit for my Ultimate Guide (and who wouldn’t), I spent a week searching for bloggers, how big their audiences are, and what they talked about.
I created an Excel Document:
(For better understanding I translated some of the text to English, and deleted some notes so you could see what’s there)
When I was searching for bloggers I always looked at my outline (what I would be writing about), but at the same time I was thinking about creative ways for how I could add other bloggers that have a great audience in my Ultimate Guide.
Then I created another spreadsheet like this one for forums and groups.
After I had enough bloggers and had notes about them, I started making decisions about who I want to include and who not.
My recommendation for you:
Don’t try to include as many as possible, because your Ultimate Guide would look like these lifestyle magazines where you had 5 pages of text and 95 pages of ads.
I had 55 bloggers and 12 recipe sites in my spreadsheet, but I included only 7 of them. You could mention more butfocus more on your readers than a number of bloggers here.
Do it, so your reader will think:
“Wow, Thank you a lot for including this tool, solution, site.“
“I’m curious how much they pay you for all these ads.“
Action step: Find the bloggers in your industry that could be a great fit for your Ultimate Guide. Then create a spreadsheet and fill it with notes about them.
WHERE COULD I MENTION THEM? WHAT’S THE BEST WAY?
It’s easy to say:
“Just mention bloggers in your guide and let them know.“
But how could we mention them so it would add real value to them in an authentic way?
To find out, I looked at the Ultimate Guides written by Primoz and the ones he recommended (from Peter Nguyen, Selena Soo, Rusty Gray).
I noticed that it’s all about getting advice or trying a product from someone else (it could be a physical product, a tool, a book, an article, an advice, a course), implementing it or using it – and then honestly writing about your experience.
But I noticed something else:
He gave everyone an individual attention. He didn’t just mention them, he went the extra mile and told his readers what exactly has helped him.
Here’s what I take from that:
The blogger you mention has to feel special when he reads it.
THE 3 GREAT WAYS HOW TO AUTHENTICALLY MENTION BLOGGERS IN YOUR GUIDE
There are 3 great places to mention other bloggers in your Ultimate Guide:
#1 – Including the bloggers in the “common barriers and solutions” part of your Ultimate Guide
Regardless of the topic you cover, I’m sure you could add “the most common problems / barriers“ part – and then position bloggers and their work as a solution for these common barriers.
For example, my topic was “what to do before you start with weight loss“, so in my case, it went like this:
- If you are ashamed to go to the gym (that’s the barrier) – here’s the site which offers home-workout videos (solution)
- If you are (or want to become) a vegetarian (it’s barrier because it could stop them from taking action) – here’s a great source of advice on how to be fit without meat (solution)
- If you don’t know how to replace salty snacks (barrier) – I tried this recipe for you from this site and it was amazing (solution)
These specific barriers are a great way in which you could feature bloggers in almost every niche. You could mention websites which focus on specific problems and barriers your audience has.
This is how I featured one of the bloggers in my Ultimate Guide:
Look how much attention I give to them, so they’ll feel special (and that’s just one blogger).
I subscribed to their home-workout videos and tried their product to experience it – so I could then write about it’s pros and cons. I really thought about all the benefits that this solution could bring and then described them to my readers. Some of these sections in my Ultimate Guide were 1-3 pages long.
That’s exactly what it means to take an extra mile and stand out.
Action step: Choose the bloggers you could add to “the most common barriers and solutions“ part of you Ultimate Guide
#2 – Including the bloggers in the “useful tools” part of your Ultimate Guide
In Tim Ferriss’s book “The Four Hour Work Week”, Tim has done a great job with including “the tools” part at the end of every chapter. These tools made the guide more valuable to the readers because they didn’t need to find them by themselves.
You can do the same thing with your Ultimate Guide.
In my case (weight loss topic) I added:
- Links to my favorite recipe sites
- Links to my favorite recipe books
- A link to a printable shopping list (infographic)
- A link to printable summary of healthy and unhealthy food
(Remember: I didn’t just include their links. I’ve written an analysis, summary or review for every one ofthem.)
Here’s a screenshot of that part in my Ultimate Guide:
Again, notice how much effort I spent on each of the bloggers to really make them feel special. In the example above, I bought their book, carefully picked out the best recipe, bought the ingredients, took a photo of them, then prepared them and made 20 photos of the meal so I could pick the nicest one.
And this was just about two recipes from one blogger. Then I also wrote a short review of what I loved about a whole cookbook and why it’s different than thousands of others.
Action step: Choose the bloggers you could add to “the useful tools” part of you Ultimate Guide and think about how you can go the extra mile for them.
#3 – Including the bloggers whose advice you follow and writing about the results you had
I’m sure you have a few bloggers in your industry that you admire. And I’m sure you’ve implemented some of their advice and got great results from it.
If not, do it now! Read something interesting from them, take action, and then mention the blogger as a great source of practical, useful advice with proof (a screenshot, a photo) of how it helped you. It could take time, but it’s worth it.
Action step: Choose the bloggers you WANT to mention and find out which of their specific techniques or articles could you implement. Then think about where in your Ultimate Guide you could mention them (look at your outline) and – of course – publish the results you’ll get.
As you could see, all of these 3 options are not only the great ways to authentically mention the bloggers but are the awesome opportunities to add value to them.
This type of recommendation based on your own positive experience:
- Cannot be purchased
- Is not easy to get
- And is so powerful, that if you do it right, the bloggers will love you, or – like in my case – send you a personal “thank you letter” (along with their newest book).
Action step: Personally use every product you want to mention. During the process take screenshots or photos of your experience.
HOW COULD I REACH OUT TO BLOGGERS SO THEY WOULD BE WILLING TO SHARE MY GUIDE?
If you know which bloggers you could mention and where in your guide you could include them, only one question remains:
“How could you reach out to them so they would be willing to share your guide?”
When I write to the bloggers I don’t know, I always start with something about their work and what specifically I liked about it (or how it helped me).
Here’s an example of email I wrote to bloggers. (This type of email got me 6/7 responses and all were positive. It’s 85% rate, so not bad.)
Subject: (Something along the lines of “NAME, I’ve included you in my guide – is that okay?” – I always recommend you to change some words in every script you use.)
A few weeks ago, I bought your cookbook [NAME OF THE COOKBOOK], tried some recipes and they were amazing.
For example, your recipe for [SPECIFIC RECIPE YOU’VE TRIED] looks hard to prepare but it was actually fun and all members of my family loved it and asked for more!
I seriously appreciate all the hard work you do to create such a useful source of recipes.
And this was one of the reasons why I included you in my Ultimate Guide about weight loss, which I’ve just published.
What’s the guide about?
After tens of interviews with women struggling with weight loss, I found out that one of their main barriers is [SOMETHING RELATED TO THEIR SOLUTION].
And as I wanted to help them overcome this barrier, I included [THEIR PRODUCT/SITE/TOOL] as a solution to that problem. You can find it on the link below
[LINK TO THE PART THEY’RE INCLUDED IN]
I‘m writing to you because this guide will be shared by many other Slovak sites (and many people will see it). So let me know if it’s ok to include you in the guide, and if you’d like me to add, remove, or change something.
I would be happy to do it :).
Here’s a link to guide, where you can check it out:
[LINK TO YOUR GUIDE]
Action step: Prepare the emails you’ll send to the bloggers that you mention in the guide.
At this point, your promotional strategy will be ready.
Now you need an action plan with steps for launching your Ultimate Guide to get the results that you want.
STEP 5: Write down everything you need to do BEFORE and AFTER publishing your guide
When my promotional strategy was ready, I divided the implementation into two phases:
- What I need to do BEFORE publishing
- What I need to do AFTER publishing
In my case it looked like this:
- Ask bloggers for advice on promoting my guide (you‘ll never know what new opportunities it could bring to you)
- (Write my Ultimate Guide)
- Pick a date for publishing the guide
- Two weeks before publishing date, start adding value in forums and groups (set the reminders and reserve time)
- One week before publishing write a thoughtful comment under the posts of some of the bloggers from the Ultimate Guide
- Publish it according to the planned date
- Write to the first five bloggers about the guide(and wait three days for feedback)
- Write to other bloggers about the guide
- Share your guide on forums and in Facebook groups
- Write “Thank you” emails to the people who shared it
- If some of the bloggers don’t reply even after 1-2 weeks, send them a follow-up message on Facebook (I highly recommend this. Many of the bloggers I emailed just didn’t notice my email before I messaged them on Facebook.)
P.S.: Ask directly for sharing the guide only if you have already built a relationship with someone.
HOW I GOT MY FIRST 5 COACHING CLIENTS AFTER PUBLISHING MY ULTIMATE GUIDE
After I published my Ultimate Guide, I was able to get my first 5 weight loss coaching clients. Below I’ll share how I did it.
Writing a guide is one thing.
Getting it in front of the big audience is the second thing.
But in the end, it’s all about paying customers.
In my case – my first coaching students.
After I published my guide, I asked myself::
“How would people sign up for my coaching after they read the guide?”
In the beginning, I asked Primoz and he replied with:
He said he “hopes this helps”.
And you know what? It did! Because now I have 5 paying customers in my coaching program. So thank you again!
Here is the process that helped me get those coaching clients:
1) In my guide, I mention – just by the way – that I do coaching (I’ve written about that in many parts of the Ultimate Guide)
2) In the first email that they get after they opt-in to my email list, I say that I know they aren’t opting in because they’re bored, but because they want to change their lives and need help. Then I ask them to reply and answer two questions:
“What’s your main problem with weight loss?”
“What do you hate the most about the whole process of losing weight?”
3) After that, I start a conversation with them, and after a few messages I mention that I offer an individual help if they need it.
4) I have a prepared message, which I’ll send to them if they ask for more details.
That’s all. It’s very simple.
THE RESULTS I’VE GOT SINCE PUBLISHING MY ULTIMATE GUIDE
Now let’s talk about results that Primoz helped me achieve.
Here are the initial results I’ve got after publishing and promoting my guide:
- traffic (from 9 visitors to 2,600 visitors in just one day)
- subscribers (from 426 to 1,001 subscribers in 3 days) (Actually it was +501 subscribers in 33 hours).
- clients (from 0 to 1). Yes, after two years of full-time work on building my business I’ve finally got my first paying customer!
- Contribution to “The Fitness Journal 2018″ – which is very popular in our country and was the best-seller last year.
- One of the major influencers in my nicheoffered me to share my articles in his Facebook group, offered to publish some parts of my Ultimate Guide on their site, offered me write a guest post for themat any time and sent me three copies of their newest book with a personal “thank you” letter.
- One of the biggest fitness sites and one big media site (which my mom reads, lol) interviewed me about my guide.
And here are the results after a few weeks of publishing my guide:
My subscribers went to 1402 and continue to grow (I still have moments when I don’t believe it).
And I now have 5 paying students which gave me 1500€ in revenue.
With all the new opportunities I expect even greater results coming soon.
I think that writing an Ultimate Guide is like setting the pieces of a domino. And promoting it the way Primoz taught me is like knocking the first piece of the domino down. The best is yet to come!
Maybe you’re thinking that after writing and publishing an Ultimate Guide you’ll get some results and then you’ll have to start all over again. You’re right. But the second time is not the same.
Do you know why am I so confident about the future?
Because besides the subscribers and paying clients, I’ve got some indirect results from the guide too, which we usually don’t talk much about. For me, some of them are more precious than the actual numbers.
Here’s what I learned from writing my Ultimate Guide:
- I took my writing process to another level, and now it’s much easier for me to write great content
- I learned a ton of new things about the topic I’m writing about, which makes me more of an expert
- I’m more clear about my business idea, which gives me a lot of confidence
- I’m not worried about my future results in my business, because so many things could happen when I write more Ultimate Guides (new traffic, new subscribers, an opportunity to position myself as an authority, improving relationships with influencers, having a go-to resource on the topic…) ca
- Even though the process of creating an Ultimate Guide is harder than just the regular blog post, it’s actually much more fun and makes a lot more sense to create because I know it’ll be remarkable and remembered for a long time.
MY LAST WORDS:
I’ve spent two years (on a day-to-day basis) buried into “the online business world” stuff. It’s all helped me in some way or another and I kind of like the process. But building an online business without having paying customers could be a really frustrating experience.
You know… The friends and family that are constantly asking you “how’s blog?” / “Do you still do this online thing?” / “how much you earn from it?” / “You’re doing it for so long without earning anything, why not just focus on your real job?”.
After a while, you start to question yourself. You‘re losing your drive and every other day is just a reminder you haven’t done it yet. You’re under pressure and stress, not just from others, but from yourself too. And all of this makes it even harder to concentrate and make progress.
I’m so happy that I finally broke this cycle with my first paying customers. And I hope you’ll be able to do the same.
For those who have some email subscribers but haven’t got their first paying customers (or have just a few), I highly recommend Primoz’s help.
For me, the first paying student was like the first deep calm breath after months of stress and struggle. It showed me that is possible and that I could do it.
And – believe or not – you could too!
You can read Martin’s Ultimate Guide here (it’s in Slovak language).
If you’re interested in using Ultimate Guides to grow your email list and get your first paying customers, you can now join Ultimate Guide System – a one year program where I’ll teach you, step by step, how to create incredible Ultimate Guides and finally get your online business off the ground in 2018.
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