With what he has learnt at Digital Lighthouse seminars over the past five months Andy Gooday has been able to grow his new career training company MyBrandAcademy 10 times faster than he had expected.
During that time, he’s used what he’s learnt to write and print a book Get Well Connected that is about to be published on Amazon, a Special Report (Why Criminals Love Your CV) that 500 visitors to his website have downloaded, and a press release that has been used by 10 online and offline publications, including financial press, specialist job search websites and in both regional and national newspapers.
He’s also set up joint venture deals with three affiliates (who have a combined mailing list of 100,000 people), and created an effective landing page to promote his Special Report and capture leads. Each week, he writes an ezine and mails it to his opt-in list.
He and another Platinum member Diane Lowther of Brilliant Minds are about to launch their audio collaboration How to Blow Your Own Trumpet And Not Look Big-Headed for candidates at job interviews.
“We’re going to offer it on our websites as a free downloadable mp3. It’s a list generating product.”
At the time of writing, he was also busy setting up his own ‘Platinum Programme’, interviewing expert speakers to speak at the 10 monthly events he plans to host as part of that programme as well as meeting with potential affiliates and planning a pocket-sized career boosting book.
“I have made a lot of progress a lot more quickly than I thought I was going to,” he says with a great degree of understatement. “It’s been really brilliant and probably one of the most useful things I’ve done in terms of training and development. It came at exactly the right time when the economy is down and you need different ways of doing things in order to be successful and Digital Lighthouse provides that.
“It would have probably taken me six months of reading to learn what I got from the first weekend itself and that’s assuming I would have read the right thing… and then of course the benefit from the Platinum Programme is that you get an injection of information and practical advice every month.”
Before booking a one -to-one consultation with Digital Lighthouse’s Founder Jonathan Jay six months ago, Andy already had a successful recruitment business, RoundPeg Search.com, which specialises in recruiting candidates for sports, outdoor and fashion retailers. “That was up and running and it was very successful.
“I identified there was also an enormous opportunity to train people to look for jobs and to grow their career and concentrate on soft skills and so on.”
Keen to fill what he knew was an obvious gap in the market, he set up his career training company MyBrandAcademy.
“What I didn’t know before Digital Lighthouse was how to find those people and what mechanisms there were to attract them.
“I had a one-to-one with Jonathan and as a result of that, he gave me an idea about an entirely different sector to promote the MyBrandAcademy concept to and also gave me several ideas of different avenues for revenue.”
When Andy saw that Digital Lighthouse was about to hold a conference on how to attract people to training seminars and workshops, he immediately signed up.
“I wanted to know how to minimise my marketing costs and still make the event successful and profitable.”
What he learnt at day one of the two-day marketing conference so inspired him that he spent the evening closeted in his hotel room, working out a new strategy for his new business.
“On the Saturday night, I had so many ideas that I just had to write them down. I sat in my hotel room for a couple of hours and drew them all out. I worked out what I needed to do.
“I rebuilt my product structure because after that one day I had a much better idea of how the framework should work and how to attract people into it at the beginning.
“Within two or three days of being back in my office, I had a squeeze page up on the website attracting people to sign up for a free report Why Criminals Love Your CV that I had developed.
“I did it really quickly – I knew I needed to work with an expert on computer fraud and by coincidence I happened to find the very person through my RoundPeg Search and Selection recruitment business. I contacted him, went and interviewed him, wrote all the information I needed, sent it back to him, he went through it and reviewed it and we turned it into a 20 page report. I then posted it on the web as a downloadable expert guide.”
Inspired by what he’d achieved, Andy then enrolled on Digital Lighthouse’s Platinum Programme. “I understood the core principles that were taught during the first weekend seminar – I knew what I needed to go and do but I wanted more in-depth information.”
He discovered the secrets of internet marketing from Digital Lighthouse web marketing expert Ed Rivis at one of the Platinum events.
“Ed came in and did a session with us… he taught about how to make a squeeze page, the important elements of a squeeze page and what you should avoid. That’s been quite critical in making my website work.
“He told us to avoid any web pages that had multiple purposes, showed us how to drive people to fill your form in, talked about the fonts and layouts that work best, about using testimonials on squeeze pages, and about making it really simple and readable.”
At another Platinum event he learnt how to write a press release from Digital Lighthouse PR expert Paul Green.
“I sent my press release out to about 50 journalists on national newspapers and a couple of other news-based websites and as a result of that I got 10 articles printed in the financial press, specialist job websites and both regional and national newspapers. I’ve had loads of sign-ups on the website as a result – it’s difficult to attribute exactly where they’ve come from – but the feedback has been really positive.”
One reader, Keith Warlow, wrote, “Andy, I found your Why Criminals Love Your CV astounding. Something told me to be careful about so much information on my CV going on the web and boy, have you proven to me I should be concerned.”
As a result of the press coverage, Andy has also been invited to write a blog for the UK Recruitment Awards website.
While many business owners took August as a holiday, Andy followed Jonathan Jay’s advice and wrote a book, called Get Well Connected knowing that it would help to position him as an expert in his market and to generate leads. It is all about how to use online social networking to grow your career. Andy interviewed social media experts in the UK, Belgium and the USA.
“I spent four weeks writing it. I began by writing the structure of it and overall aim and devised 13 chapters and got all the material and worked through it one by one. It will be in Amazon in two weeks. The book is being printed as I speak.
“It was easy to write the book itself and it took an equal amount of time to organise the cover, layout and editing. It cost me less than £3,000 including the printing. The name of the printer came to me from one of my fellow Platinum members.
“It’s going to be on sale initially and I hope to use it to achieve expert status in this sector. I’m going to use it as a giveaway on a squeeze page in the New Year so it will become a list generating tool then.”
He also learnt how to identify affiliates to work with online. “I’ve realised that one of the key factors is to find people who already have an audience of people I’m interested in and then to build a relationship with them and to obtain an agreement from them that I can market to their list of people.
“I’ve found three affiliates who between them have over 100,000 on their list. I have set up an agreement that gives them an affiliate payment for people that come onto my list and subsequently spend money with me. They agreed to put my links on their websites – one of them is going to have my web forms on his website and they have also sent emails to the people on their list.”
Those affiliate programmes have helped Andy to grow his list from 100 to 1,000 people in six weeks.
“My affiliates are all people I knew of in the industry and I went and made contact with them and discussed the idea and then struck a deal with them. I think at first they were uncertain about what it really meant for them. It was only when I explained the mechanics of it and the ease of it that they became interested in doing it.”
To make it very easy for his affiliates, Andy provides them with everything they will need to promote him including email copy, images, headlines and even the HTML code for the web forms.
“I spend quite a lot of time now looking for potential new affiliates and finding ways that I can bring benefits to their business too in order to entice them to work with me.”
While the focus of the past five months has been on list-building, Andy intends to switch to revenue-building mode from the New Year.
“My view is that once I actually switch to revenue mode it will actually add about £300,000 in sales in the next year. I also hope to have between 15,000 or 20,000 on my list by the end of next year.”