Follow Your Heart and Get Filthy Rich: 4 Simple Steps
“But what if you fail?” Asked the partner.
“Then I learn what not to do and try again” replied the man.
“What about our family?” She shot back
“What about them? You should know by now that they are the most important thing to me. I would never wantonly jeopardize their health and safety.”
“Then I will follow you to the end of the world and back, but damn you if you fail.” She said with conviction.
The man looked into her eyes and replied with all the conviction he could muster “My love, as we proceed on this path, I am burning all bridges behind us. If we fail, we die.”
A friend of mine, a serial entrepreneur I met in South Africa on my ceaseless wanderings of the earth, related this story to me. It was the conversation he had with his wife before he started his foray into the business world. ( I dramatized it but I’m sure you still get the gist of it).
He now sits at the helm of a company that has VERY HEALTHY annual revenue
He followed his heart.
“Give it a try”
Whispered the heart.
Follow your heart to the end of the world and back. Your heart will make you cry, it will make you suffer, and it will make you regret. At the same time, it will allow you to experience things that you have never imagined were possible. Following my heart, I have taken trips through the Sahara Desert and tramped through tropical jungles in pursuit of a dollar.
My heart has never led me astray, but, then again, I never allowed it to. It has allowed me to experience a world unseen by my jaded peers. I salute my heart and I will go wherever it leads me because it and I are one.
BEFORE YOU FOLLOW YOUR HEART
Following your heart is cool and all and I may have convinced you to follow yours, but I am a firm advocate of looking before you leap. I may be contradicting myself with the next statement, but following your heart, synonymous with following your passion, is the worst advice anyone can ever give you. Let me explain.
Imagine my passions led me to want to collect stamps. All kinds of stamps; mint condition stamps, stamps that have the first queen of England on them, stamps that were a rare shade of purple, or whatever.
It may be something that gets me really pumped, but the truth is that NOBODY ELSE CARES. If nobody else cares then there is no way for me to monetize it and eventually use it to live a lifestyle that many other people only dream about. in other words, it’s just a hobby. There is nothing wrong with collecting stamps but that is not what I have in mind when following my heart.
Another problem with the advice “follow your passion” is that we all have multiple passions. As humans, we are constantly changing, adapting, and maturing. It’s perfectly normal for a ten-year-old to want to be a policeman after watching a movie about a particularly brave officer. After a few weeks, his fascination would have worn off and he’ll be off on a new adventure.
It’s not unusual for us, as adults, to try multiple get rich schemes and many times, we never settle on one that we really like. Do you know the reason for this?
We have different passions at different stages of our lives. Keep reading to learn how you can turn this seeming weakness into your greatest asset.
The Correct Way to Chase Passions
The answer to following your heart doesn’t lie in going for broke at the very outset. The passion you’ve chosen may not be the one that’s going to change your life. Quitting your job and spending all your money to chase it would be a very bad idea, especially if it doesn’t pan out.
Instead of doing that, you need to systematically test out the different things you have a strong interest in (as an aside, you could probably turn almost any of your passions into a very decent lifestyle).
On to the nitty gritty
Firstly, Your passion and skills need to intersect.
Let’s use the stamp collection as an example. I love collecting stamps, right, in order to collect those rare stamps, I need to be able to hunt them down. Over the years I have been doing this, I have developed an uncanny ability to locate missing objects and contact hard to reach people.
Think about how this could turn into a highly profitable skill. How much would someone pay you to get them in contact with a certain investor or to find a rare item?
The beautiful thing is that if you have a genuine interest then you can easily learn enough about it to make some money. Over time, you will become an expert, and then a master. But I’m getting ahead of myself, we need to test it first. In order to make it from following your heart, you need to be able to think outside the box. But there’s still more to it.
After Finding your passions, you need to test them
An idea is only a small piece of the puzzle. There is so much more that goes into following your heart. Instead of spending countless hours and huge chunks of your hard earned money learning and perfecting something no one but you wants, wouldn’t it be better to find out if people actually care about what you’re doing?
I’m a HUGE fan of having proof of concept before I dive into anything. Since I do most of my work online, I can easily test out new ideas within a week or two of conceptualization.
Here’s the exact step by step process I use when I want to determine the viability of a new scheme that has popped into my head.
Research the market/niche
Alright, this is a given but it seems many people take it for granted that everyone will like their idea as much as they do. Some great places to start your Research are Facebook and Google. Facebook has millions of pages that are aimed at thousands upon thousands of niches. Some of the Facebook pages that I have found are truly unique. Here is one about collecting stamps when I was researching for this post.
They actually have over 1000 members. Here is another website I found on Google that rents dwarves to people for entertainment dwarfacts.com . Can you guess how much they charge per hour? $149 dollars, go figure.
Remember, not everyone will care about what you’re offering, but you can charge a premium to those who do.
After doing preliminary research with Facebook and Google, You’ll have to follow the breadcrumbs. That means, using these avenues to visit relevant blogs, forums, professional associations, magazines, Ezines, or whatever.
You should be taking furious notes, what you’re looking for is who they are marketing their services to, how they are marketing their services , how much they are marketing their services for, how they communicate with their audience, and the type of communication that seems to get the most engagement. After spending a little time on this, take as long as you need to, you should have a pretty good idea about your market segment. in truth, this preparation is one of the most important things you’ll do. It’s time for the next step.
Create a Compelling Headline
This may seem completely irrelevant, but, many people overlook this stage and wonder why their idea fizzles. I do ALOT of copywriting for my various endeavors and I am a staunch believer in A/B testing. A great headline can pull as much as 17x more engagement than a so-so headline. It has also been stated that 5x as many people read a headline than read the body of an advertisement.
In order to write a great headline, you need to take all of the market research you just did and sift out the major benefits and features of your passion. This should be under the “how they market to their audience” subheading.
Write every single benefit and feature on a separate 3×5 index card. You can type it but I prefer to write them down, it seems to work better for me that way. After you’ve done that, take a look at some great headlines to get your creative juices flowing. I keep a personal swipe file with advertisements from the greats like Gary Halbert and David Olgivy, but you can look here for some inspiration.
A headline shouldn’t be more than 17 words and should have powerful adjectives or action verbs like slash, dominate, unleash, etc etc. Have you gotten your headline? Good, now write another one that is just as good.
After you do that, write 2 advertisements for your product or service. If you cannot write compelling copy on your own, Go to Elance or Upwork and get a freelancer to do it for you. It shouldn’t cost you more than fifty dollars and takes a few days. Make sure you take into consideration the way your competitors are targeting and engaging with their audience. you already have 55% of your work complete with a good headline, all you need to do now is create some compelling copy. Now, here comes the best part.
But Daniel, I’m not an expert, but Daniel, I haven’t gotten my product ready, but Daniel, I have a million other excuses.
Dear reader, do you want to know how to make your passion a reality or are you going to make excuses for the rest of your life?
-Signed Daniel C Ndukwu
This is the most fun. Since the internet is the greatest invention know to man and I have a great hosting provider, I am always creating mini websites to test out my many schemes. These websites are BASIC. The usually have a front page (landing page), a data collection page, and a thank you page. Let me explain the testing process.
Since, we don’t have a viable product and we are not actually ready sell our services, we won’t be collecting any credit card information (that would actually be illegal). What we are going to do is micro test.
Within the next five days and for less than $300 you are going to know whether following your heart is going to allow you to live a life unfettered by regular “issues” or if you need to put your pipe dream back in the closet where it belongs.
The First Step
The first thing you need to do is register a domain (you can use namecheap.com) $11, get some cheap hosting $5/month, and set up your basic WordPress website with 4 landing page variations, a data collection page, a thank you page, and install the plugin split page tester(there is a free and a paid version, at this stage, I suggest you get the free version and use Google analytics for your testing).
One of the landing pages will have your awesome headline on it and one of the advertisements you created or had created by a freelancer. Use the plugin to create another page with the same headline with your second pice of advertisement copy. We’ll call these ones variation 1-a and variation 1-b. The plugin will serve visitors the two different versions of the pages automatically and you can just determine best performing ones. At the bottom of the page, you will put a Call to Action (CTA) that tells the visitor what to do next. Whether that is to buy the product or request more information about your services.
Repeat the same process with the other headline to get variation 2-a and variation 2-b. You should now have 4 variations of your landing pages.
The next page, the data collection page, is also a basic page. All you are going to do is ask them for their name and email address, restate the price for a product plus shipping details and tell them checkout is on the next page or tell them you will send them more information about your services.
The last page, the page they go to after giving their name and email address, is a page that will tell them the product is currently unavailable, but you will email them once you have more in stock. For a service, you just tell them that due the custom nature of your service and the high level of attention and resources you dedicate to each client, you are currently able to take on any new ones. You will email them once a spot is available.
This set up will allow you to test multiple variables. You will be able to test the copy on the front page and you will be able to test the pricing structure. You can also use the split tester plugin to try multiple variations on price but I prefer not to at this stage (what I usually do is price it as low as I can while still turning a profit, after I determine that the product is viable, I will test out different price points).
The best software to use to test all of these variables is the free Google analytics tool. It has some pretty advanced features that you won’t need at this point. The features you will need to use are the goal conversion % and the visitor track flow. Don’t worry, Google has some very comprehensive guides that will help you set these things up once you register for a free account.
For a product, anyone that makes it to the last page is considered a successful sale. For a service, you need to calculate the closing rate for qualified leads. A good rule of thumb you can use is anywhere between 10-25%. so if 100 people make it to your last page, you can assume you will close anywhere between 10-25 of them and should base your calculations off of that.
The traffic source you will be using for your test is Facebook advertising. They have some of the lowest CPC I have encountered. For more information on how to do this and set up your first campaign, visit this page.
You will set up two different campaigns pointing at variation 1a and variation 2a respectively; remember, the split test plugin will serve different variations automatically. The campaigns each have a lifetime budget of about $120 each over the next five days or a daily budget of $24. For your targeting, you need to refer to your notes you took during the market research phase. This will allow you to tweak the demographics and other variables correctly.
A word of advice for your ads, don’t try and mislead people into clicking them because it will hurt you rather than help you. Instead of that, try and tell the viewers exactly what to expect and also try and use the same colors and headlines in your ad as you do on your landing pages.
The only thing you need to do now is watch and wait for the five days to run out.
After the testing period is over, assess the results. You want to look into the percentage of people that would have bought your product or the percentage of people that would have signed up for your service.
Using Google analytics, you can determine how well each of your pages performed. Eg maybe variation 1-b made the greatest number of people click the CTA at the bottom of the copy and version 2-a had the least amount of people.
You can also look at the percentage of people that would have bought your product using the Google goal conversion feature.
for example, lets say after running your Facebook campaign, you had a total of one thousand people visit your site. 500 immediately abandoned your landing page. The other 500 went to your data capture page and only 20 entered their information and were redirected to your final page.
If you chose a product you create priced at fifty dollars a pop, that means 2% of them would now be considered buyers and you would be $1,000 richer. Is that good? I don’t know, it depends on your profit margins and your overhead costs.
If you chose a service that has a lifetime customer value of $1000 then of that 2% that gets to the final page, only 25% will become a customer or 5 people and you will be $5,000 richer. Is that good? Again, I don’t know. It depends on your cost of delivering the service and other variables.
Using the strategies I outlined here, you can test all of the passions that creep into your head as quickly or as slowly as you want until you hit on one that is a “sure banker.” Once you have this and are able to scale it up then you can easily make a great income on autopilot or deliver the highest quality services imaginable from following your heart.
As you can see, following your heart and actually making money from it is more of a science than an exercise in wishful thinking. People that actually make money from their passions follow a system that lets them weed out the good ones from the bad ones before they are neck deep in regret. Follow your heart, but when following it, always remember that it doesn’t always have to be an emotion filled journey. Once you can understand that, your passions will take you further than you ever dreamed was possible.