How to Kill Information Overload (And Make Your Next Project a Roaring Success)

“How do you want to price this thing? Recurring payment? One time fee?

“Not worried about that, how are we going to market it and drive traffic to the site?”

“Hold up, maybe we should create the product first?  Should we go the minimum viable route or bet the farm and go full featured?”

“Hell I don’t know. There’s a lot of ways we can take this.”

This conversation never took place.  But I’ve been a part of dozens if not hundreds that are very similar.

The Beginning of a Rebellion

I’ll be totally straight with you.  If all you care about is earning a side income or enough to fund your travels, becoming a lifestyle entrepreneur is pretty easy.

There are really easy businesses you can start that will get you $1k/month and allow you to travel wherever you like.

Not to mention the fact that the location independent route is starting to slowly become a more accepted path.  Full communities like Location Rebel and the Dynamite Circle are completely devoted to entrepreneurs who want to be able to work from anywhere.

As these communities and circles become more established, it’s becoming easier and easier to find internships, or low paying part time remote work that will allow you to get your feet wet.

That’s what happened to me. I started off in Thailand getting a measly $800/month, but it was more than enough to allow me to scrape by while I studied, practiced and built my business.

When you’re at that level, the path is also very clear.

If you buy into my method of doing things, it’s a three step process:

  • Learn Skills
  • Become a freelancer for those skills
  • Start your own projects

Each of those gets progressively more difficult, but like I said, with these entrepreneurial circles growing, it’s becoming easier to find work in the process.

Inside our community Location Rebel, MK just landed a well paying social media consulting job. Bill and Matt both have scored regular web development contracts.  Not to mention all of the SEO freelancers we’ve created.

If you have the balls to pursue it, making $1-2k is pretty attainable, and again if you work at it, you should be able to get there pretty easily.

When it Really Gets Good, Ahem, Hard

I’m willing to bet you don’t want to live on $1-2k a month for the rest of your life – there’s a good chance you couldn’t do it now if you wanted to.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), it’s when you’ve developed the skills, have the base income, and are beginning to work on your own that things start to get more complicated.

Why is that?

Simple, because when it’s your business, you can do whatever you want.

And that’s the problem.

It’s easy to lay out the path to get started, however when you start building your own products, affiliate marketing, or creating e-commerce stores – things get scary.

Why?  Due to the sheer volume of information and tactics that are out there.

These days it seems as though anyone with a blog or a crappy ebook is also a “marketing expert”.

That means complete overload when it comes to advice on strategy:

  • One person will say you have to have one price tier, others swear by three, and some say more than that
  • What about email marketing? Should you have an auto-responder? How frequently should you send them?
  • How should you spend your marketing time? Guest posts? PPC? Old school SEO?

For a new entrepreneur the amount of information is staggering.

So staggering in fact that I’m willing to bet you’ve spent a ton of time thinking about it, pulled out bits and pieces of everything and fail to have a truly cohesive strategy – which in the end is costing you sales.

How to Solve Information Overload

Information is good. The more you have the better.  Read books, study strategies, and educate yourself on what it means to be a sales person on the internet – because let’s face it, that’s what we all are in the end.

However, success for your next venture is pre-determined.  Once you start working on it, you’re either bound to be an inevitable success or catostrophic failure.

How can you tell?

It all comes down to your planning.

Time and time again I see people begin a project and they do a terrible job of diffusing all of the information they’ve learned down to a plan that’s specific and will work for them.

They slowly plug away on the project until they launch, and then what happens? No one buys.

The implementation comes down to a bunch of random tactics they’ve learned from all over the place, with no cohesive strategy backing it up.

I’ve spent the last 2 months planning the future of my business. I’ve been very reluctant to do too much more than that, because I don’t want to fall into this trap.

A good marketer is deliberate.  Every email, every resource, every communication, price, offering etc. It all has a purpose.

It’s up to you to create the plan from the very beginning, and then execute on it.

There will always be new ideas and tactics to distract you. It’s actually terrifying how easy it is to become distracted, but the one who wins is the one who takes a deliberate strategy and puts it into practice.

I’ve never been the best at this.  But it’s been very clear when I’ve done this and when I haven’t.

Illustrations from My Business

Location Rebel

With the initial Location Rebel launch I had a very clear strategy.  Here’s the basics:

  • Create a killer free resource. Release it and collect emails
  • Release a new video every two weeks about a different concept addressed in the program
  • Build interest and urgency
  • Release beta to 20 people to get feedback.
  • Cultivate community and make any changes or updates
  • Re-release on broad scale and then grow the community

There were certainly some other intricacies in there, but the result was $7,000 in less than an hour during beta.  And thousands more 2 months later during the relaunch.

This funnel still converts remarkably well.

Hacking the High Life

For some reason, I wasn’t as smart with the launch of Hacking the High Life.  It’s a fantastic product, but it didn’t do as well because I didn’t plan a specific and detailed strategy from the beginning. It looked like this:

  • Collect emails from landing page (no free giveaway). Also collected in csv and lost half when importing into aweber – long story.
  • Email list two nights before launch (no sequence, first email). I got over 100 responses from that email.
  • Launch product
  • No more follow up with the list of people interested

I made around $2,000 on launch day and while much of that was recurring income, it wasn’t nearly the epic launch I’d hoped for.

Getting 100 emails obviously shows me people are interested in this.  Now imagine if I’d done that a month prior.  Gave them some high quality content for free based off what they wanted, offered a better buying incentive, and then launched.  While also following up with more high quality content to the people who didn’t buy.

That cohesive plan and strategy could have made a night and day difference, right?

Why I Didn’t Execute

I’ve learned a lot about marketing in the last year.

When I started the launch funnel for Location Rebel, I really didn’t know what I was doing.  I took a basic strategy (all I really knew at that point), built around providing really useful content, and then I executed on it.

Simple plan + incredible value = big win

With Hacking the High Life, I actually knew a lot more about marketing, however I didn’t apply it in the right way.  I didn’t figure out exactly what they end user needed (or wanted), I used a hodgepodge of strategies (personal email, webinar, sales video) but didn’t pay any attention to the overarching strategy and why those things would, or would not work together.

The Point of All This

So what am I getting at here?

The point of this entire post is to help you understand a couple things:

  • It only gets more difficult as you see more success in your business
  • Planning and executing a well thought out strategy is WAY more important than the latest and greatest or a cornucopia of techniques that you threw against a wall.

Once you have an idea for something – don’t start building it. Outline it, test it, create the blueprint for the entire sales process.

Then follow it to a T.

I promise you’ll thank me later.

Photo Credit: Verbeldingskr8

Blake Sterling November 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

Great post Sean. I have recently experienced a similar scenario that saw me spreading myself too thin between projects.

It is all well and good to have great ideas and even to a large degree have plans of how you will put those ideas in place, yet if you do not have the physical time to put everything in place it all falls apart very quickly.

As such i have decided to stick to what i know and focus on two projects and see those through to the end before i move onto something else. This decision has freed up so much ‘head space’ that i am now able to more decisively and efficiently complete the projects at hand simply because i have the time to do so.

Great work man, keep it up!!

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Sean November 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

Nice man! I totally think thats the route to go, especially early on when you aren’t sure exactly what direction to take your business, and you’re making major lifestyle changes in the process.

Keep us posted on how the new projects go!

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Financial Samurai November 12, 2012 at 11:31 am

Wrote about the importance of FOCUSING on our core competency on Yakezie.com today. I agree… too much, too scattered, not helpful.

When we talk about $2,000 a month, we do realize that’s $24,000 a year right? Should we encourage people to shoot bigger? Hard to save for retirement, raise a family, etc with that type of income.

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Sean November 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Sam,

One thing that I think is important to mention is that we’re in very different places and speaking to different people. For many, to make a major lifestyle change there’s a certain level of risk involved. That could mean no income for a period of time.

You have to have benchmarks, milestones, and goals – $2k being an example of that.

I quit my job with zero income. Then I was at around $800/month for a long while after that. Now everything is much higher than that, but it never would have been were it not for smaller goals and a bit of risk along the way.

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Travel & Gamble November 14, 2012 at 2:09 am

Sam, in my opinion you shouldn’t think about retirement, when you start business :) You have to live with idea, that it is a big risk sacrificing safe job and starting own thing: you may lose your savings, your friends, your time and end up with debt… so who cares about retirement :)

Many guys out there start their business with negative or pathetic positive cashflow, so that 2000$ per month isn’t that bad. It can be first milestone to reach. Actually it should be enough to cover your living costs and if you are 20 something and live in SE Asia, it is even great…

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Shayna November 13, 2012 at 3:38 am

I totally agree with you on the importance of a cohesive strategy. I’d just add the caveat that all the strategizing in the world won’t help if the business model is fundamentally flawed (i.e. no one will pay for the product, or there is no market for it). I see a lot of people comparing the fine points of membership site gateways and tweaking their autoresponder series when they haven’t yet proved that their idea or product is economically viable, you know?

Also, the thing about the myriad strategies and tactics is that you can always adapt and modify later to see what works better! People get so many different results or lack thereof with the various tactics that the only way to really know if it’ll work for your own business is to try it and see.

For example, currently I sell courses as single products… but once I’ve got 5-6 of them done, I’m going to sell them as single products OR a monthly membership for access to all. I currently have a single autoresponder, but I’m about to experiment with a 7-day e-mail mini-course instead.

I loved the comparison of Location Rebel and Hacking the High Life – mind if I ask you one question? How did you “build interest and urgency” without being annoying? I struggle with this and I know I don’t do nearly enough buildup before my launches.

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Benjamin November 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Such a reminder to stick to a basic formula.

I loved – Simple Plan + Incredible Value = Big Win.

Nuff said. :)

Using this for my own product coming up… and was feeling lost and I should study all the latest marketing goods… instead of just keeping it simple.

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