HEY, KITTY CAT—and welcome to Middle Finger Fridays!
I’m featuring a new creator every Friday who’s out there smokin' it—and highlighting what I think they’re doing really, really right—as well as one or two things they can do even better to make that money. 💵
Today, we’re hollering at a a REALLY fun pair of bloggers who call themself, delightfully, “The Senior Nomads”—but (!) how would they turn their catchy blog into a real revenue-generating business?
The name of this game:
Design your own intellectual property (plus a heavy helping of self-confidence!).
This one’s for you if you have a blog or an idea for one, but you're struggling to figure out how to actually make money (or, make a whole lot more). Also for you if you're doing a ton of 1:1 client work but haven't been sure how to grow past that.
Today, however, we're doing a special written edition because I really wanted you to see these ideas on paper. Let's get into it!
Meet: The Senior Nomads
Who: Debbie & Michael Campbell
Blog: The Senior Nomads
What They Do: Instead of retiring the traditional way, they've been living full-time in Airbnbs around the world! 🌍 So far, they're nine years, 85 countries, and 290 Airbnbs in. 😍 (My kind of people!)
IG Followers: 16.1K
What They're Doing Really, Really Right 🎉:
- The first thing I love is the EXCELLENT brand positioning—it’s immediately clear who this is for and what it’s about: Senior Nomads!
I teach a lot about the importance of picking a subcategory to own—and this is a great example of that. It’s much harder to compete with a blog about being a nomad in general—what’s the hook?—but by picking a subcategory, in this case “senior nomads,” the hook is immediate.
This is a useful—and critical—lesson for all of us.
If you’re a photographer, so what?
If you’re a life coach, so what?
If you’re a copywriter, so what?
What you’re looking for is a newsworthy hook—that’s my litmus test. Would a reporter want to write about your work?
With “Senior Nomads,” the answer is yes: there’s a distinct angle. A journalist would see this and think, “STORY MATERIAL.”
Maybe you’re a photographer on a mission to make burn victims feel beautiful in their skin. Maybe you’re a writer on a mission to help couples write more memorable vows. Maybe you’re a consultant on a mission to help more people start businesses in Scotland.
Whatever it is: it needs to feel bigger than you, in order to resonate on a world stage.
The key word: on a mission to __________. Can you fill in the blank in a way that would be compelling to a journalist?
- The second thing they're doing really, really right: they have a book!
Here it is for reference.
This is a wonderful way to package your knowledge into intellectual property you can sell.
There's a low barrier to entry.
A book gives you insta-authority.
It also serves as an entry-level product that creates trust and likability to pave the path to a loyal fan who will trust and like you enough to invest in your business in other ways.
AND, they self-published it right on Amazon’s own Create Space—fantastic!
That said, I will make the caveat that a book is probably one of the last products you should create for your business, and that’s because it’s deceptively a lot harder to sell a $25 book than it is a $300 course—or sometimes even a $3,000 service. Three reasons:
—There’s no urgency built into books. People can buy it anytime, which means they’re never in a rush to do so. Two years after publishing THE MIDDLE FINGER PROJECT, I still have readers telling me they just now got around to buying my book. This always comes as a surprise, but NOT as a surprise, because that’s what happens when a product is just available any ol' time: you lose any sense of urgency to engage with the work now.
—Despite a $25 price point being more economical, the smaller price tag conveys less value: you could have a $5,000 program packaged into a book, but because it’s in the form of a book, customers value the information less. Even if you’re trying to do them a favor by packaging it this way, it lacks the perception of high value—and that’s actually a problem for your customer, because they don’t take action in the same way that they will if they make a more serious financial investment.
—And, finally, people view books as a product of leisure. “When I have time, I’ll get around to reading that.” Even if it’s could be the most important book of a person’s life, the book format must overcome the objection of time. That goes back to why urgency is important: people need to carve out time to make it a priority. That’s how they get results, and that’s how your business grows, too. So sometimes, it can be in everyone's best interest to facilitate the right environment.
THAT SAID, however, I still do recommend including a book into your final line of intellectual property, and that’s because it an excellent marketing tool that reaches people far and wide on places like Amazon, and since those people are proactively searching for that topic, they’re very targeted leads. So in this way, a book can be used as a killer marketing tactic rather than a main revenue strategy.
I also recommend including a book into your line of IP because of the instant authority it offers. Your profile is automatically raised in the minds of customers, because books have that nice halo effect. And that will help you sell the most important sale of all: the email opt-in.
And thirdly, I recommend including a book into your line of IP because when customers DO read it, it’s one of the best ways to make them fall in love with you! You’re there having a conversation with them on the page, in your voice, and if they connect with you and your message, this now serves as one of the best sales tools in your arsenal. The book does the selling for you. So that way, the next time you put out an offer to your email list, you already have the likability and trust factors working for you. Now it’s just a matter of offering.
And now, what they could do to turn their blog into a business—and really smoke it?
- Improve the book title & tagline
I'd go with something like: The Senior Nomad’s Guide to the World: How to Sell It All & Travel in Style During Your Golden Years. The difference is that the original title, “Your Keys, Our Home: The Senior Nomads Incredible Airbnb Journey” is focused on their journey, whereas the revised title is focused on a benefit to me, the reader. And that's useful when you're building a business around your knowledge, rather than just writing for pleasure.
- Focus on getting subscribers on the email list
Your email list is your lifeline for everything. Right now, The Senior Nomads only have a very small one little button at bottom, hardly noticeable. I'd make this the main focus—and the main action you want visitors to take. Your website shouldn't be a giant buffet of choice: it should be a clear directive.
- Introduce a strategic line of packaged IP designed to help others take the same leap.
There’s a ton of potential here. Because they’re nomads, they need to take their lifestyle into account and build a business that supports the lifestyle. They could do consulting calls, but traditional consulting is limiting in several ways: (a) You’re limited to helping one person at a time; (b) You’ve got to have a lot of availability to accommodate all different clients at different hours; (c) It’s an inefficient way of having a bigger impact: you’ve got to repeat yourself many times over again; (d) Your income will inevitably be restricted by the simple reality of time limitations; (e) It can be energetically draining if this is the main way your business earns revenue. (Though it can be really rewarding, especially if you get great clients!)
That said, it's a smart, modern business strategy to (also) package your intellectual property into a series of assets that works for you. The four I'd recommend are:
- The Book – focused on inspiration
- The Program – focused on a specific outcome
- The Membership – focused on improving the skills necessary to achieving the outcome even faster / better / easier, i.e. you learned you need to write a newsletter every week, but you suck at writing. So, the membership helps you develop your skills around newsletter writing, among other things such as photography, social media, speaking on video, etc.
- The Mentorship – focused on helping industry peers do what you do
So, for example, if Senior Nomads wanted to turn their blog into a profitable knowledge business, they might roll out an asset portfolio that looks like:
- The Book: The Senior Nomad’s Guide to the World: How to Sell It All & Travel in Style During Your Golden Years
- The Program: The Senior Nomad School
- The Membership: Paid Newsletter + Skills Trainings + Community for Senior Nomads
- The Mentorship: Want to build a business the way we have?
And if you’re an interior designer:
- The Book: Interior Design for Tiny Homes: An Inspiration Book of Tips & Ideas to Try
- The Program: Tiny Home Design School
- The Membership: Paid Newsletter + Skills Trainings + Community for Tiny Home Living
- The Mentorship: Become a Tiny Home Designer
And if you’re a pet photographer:
- The Book: How to Get Started With Pet Photography
- The Program: The Pet Photography School
- The Membership: Paid Newsletter + Skills Trainings + Community for Amateur Pet Photographers
- The Mentorship: Become a Pet Photographer
All of these, when working in tandem, are going to light up your business in a way you could have never imagined. The key is in learning how to build intellectual property assets that leverage your knowledge in new and modern ways.
It’s also about assuming a new level of authority for yourself. A lot of imposter syndrome can creep up here, because who are you to write a book / design a program / run a membership / mentor others? It requires a new level of self-confidence than 1:1 client work or consulting does. When you’re performing 1:1 client work, you’re applying your ideas. However, when you’re creating intellectual property, you’re selling your ideas. You’re standing up and saying: this is what I know to be true, and it’s worth your investment.
But, you know why it’s so effective?
Because that’s leadership.
And that’s also why there’s so much opportunity for YOU, right now: the world is full of people who are willing to apply an idea. However, there are far fewer who are willing to test their own.
Be brave. Be curious. Be willing to experiment. And believe in your fucking self.
For that, my friend, is the most important ingredient to success of all. ✨
See you next week!