Welcome brand builders, digital media agencies, local directory leaders, marketplace makers, niche marketers and authority site entrepreneurs.
NEW in Feb: How to do an email outreach campaign for your directory, marketplace or authority site.
Step 1. Please connect with me (and our agency) on Facebook, so you can see what we're working on now - in live, real time.
(i'm currently building a marketplace, community and digital media brand in the "mindfulness", self publishing and personal growth space. This will allow you to see the way I, and my partners on this project, are monetizing a real platform - and building a real community, in 2020.
Step 2. Read through the resource page below. There are FREE downloads at the bottom of the page (as of December 2019) that were part of multi-thousand dollar consultations and campaigns. You can use them as you wish.
I'm going to update and add content to this as time permits, with tons of PDF's, videos, audios and more will eventually be included on this page.
UPDATE January 2020:
The the easiest way to build a multi vendor marketplace in 2020?
Meet Elliot. (and it's free)
If you're struggling to build a directory, you are NOT alone. The vast majority of people who arrive on this page are jumping from theme to theme, plugin to plugin, framework to framework, and making NO real progress in the metrics that matter. (which is the MARKETING, the content creation, the community creation, the email outreach, the online ads and offers, the AFFILIATE marketing and the brand building strategies that actually WORK...and are a ton of fun to boot)
I've tried, used or consulted with people using WP for just about every type of directory or marketplace or authority site under the sun....and Elliot, while not yet perfect for our needs, allows to you quicky and easily set up a multi-vendor marketplace AND directory (by dint of the product listings and profile every vendor gets) and you can literally pay your vendors without plugins - via Stripe - with almost automagical ease.
I've done a bunch of videos on my experience so far playing around with Elliot in the first month of 2020 - and we're going to be rolling out a live multi-vendor platform for MindfulMarketplace in March. Feel free to email me ([email protected]) if you'd like some tips on building this out yourself.
On this page, (updated for December 2019) I'm going to share what I believe are the absolute best collection of videos, PDF's, and information on how to build a succesful business using the directory/community/marketplace model.
The VAST majority of directories/marketplaces and authority site communities make NO money.
Even worse....they waste the time, energy, attention and income of the folks who set out to online platforms - simply because there is almost NO good information out there on how to launch, grow and scale these sorts of sites.
As a matter of fact....some of the WORST monetization strategies I've seen, have come from the folks who actually MAKE the themes/plugins that power many of these platforms.
Why? Because they are coders and developers, and NOT marketers. To do this work well, you need to think like a MARKETER, a content creator and an entrepreneur, and NOT a "designer" or web developer.
Sure, it's great to have a beautiful looking theme, configured with the right plugins, but it ain't gonna make you an ounce of income if your marketing, your content, and your community isn't excited, empowered and inspired to participate on your platform.
Okay, here is the first bit of media I'm adding to this page. (note - I just started this particular blog on December 12th, 2019 as i'm pulling much of my free content off the web as we launch a new platform (i'm a big believer in the "burn the boats" approach to launching something new) but I do have tons of additional resources around the web - including more directory and brand building content, as part of our mindfulmarketplace community, here.
Here is a video I recorded most recently, on the most popular theme in my own community. (the Mylisting theme on Themeforest) I have recorded many videos on how to optimize MYLISTING for building a profitable platform, but in this recent video, I try to offer a warning about why you may want to try other options. I HIGHLY recommend you read the comments on this video if you want to know why I now recommend folks BEGIN with the end in mind, (having a mininum of 4 BIG back end offers to promote to your audience BEFORE you build your site)
Here is a short video on using MYLISTING theme to launch a digital media brand (using what I call "fully managed listings"as a premium offer) as well as a marketplace for making affiliate sales. You can promote your OWN products, promote members products, promote ENTERPRISE level products (like hosting, email autoresponders, etc) and allow your members to cross promote each others products, amongst many other innovative ways for monetizing your site in the affiliate/partnership and marketplace ethos. (something I call "refer madness"
due to the incredible array of affiliate BUCKETS you can build that will turn your STATIC site into an immersive, ecommerce ecosystem that is unique, innovative and incredibly appealing to your members and users alike)
This is, to my mind, the absolute easiest way to monetize this sort of site, as it's FAR more appealing to potential members to promote their PRODUCTS on your platform (you can earn an affiliate commission on every sale) than it is to get a "listing" on your site that may or may not ultimately be valuable to them over time.
Here is a super simple strategy for creating sites with FINITE FOCUS in mind (directories where there is a true ceiling to the number of sites you can add or list - by dint of the real world "cap" on the number of businesses that are operating in that niche/area/locality. This is a great strategy for OWNING a local niche market (let's say....."sushi bars" in ABC town) and then selling both the sites,and/or services to buyers in the niche. The goal here, is to earn 10K per site, and simply SCALE this strategy ad infitium until your income goals are met.
A 21 Point Launch Strategy for High End Premium Client
Key Results and Objectives Client Document
How to start using Facebook to effectively promote your business.
This strategy is true for directories, marketplace sites, local listing portals, or any other niche style community or blog you can build.
As a matter of fact, the folks who seem to have gotten the most benefit from this video are my "solopreneur" subscribers - people who are blogging from home,and trying to sell products and services on the web....and need a boost in building buzz for their brand.
How to use curated content to build your community.
In this video I show you a live example of how to use curated content to quickly and easily create the "appearance" of authority by giving your new site LOTS of hyper relevant articles, updates and resource rich information that makes your community look more "mature" than it may actually be.
(this is also a great way to quickly build the blog part of your plaform BEFORE the directory piece is really ready, and you'd be surprised at how effective this can be to persuade your partners, potential members or "featured listings" that your site is much more "complete" than it really is. (by sending them to the articles/updates and blog portion of your platform first)
Meet ELLIOT! (Elliot Ecommerce Review)
Are you building a directory or affiliate marketplace with multiple vendors, partners and sellers?
Here is a short series of videos I recorded in January of 2020 on the Elliot E-commerce platform which is ideal for launching a marketplace, or a multi vendor Etsy or Amazon style store.
Your vendors can get instant payouts via Stripe - can sell an unlimited amount of products, you can set commissions on a vendor by vendor basis....and soon....you'll be able to incorporate an affiliate or influencer program on the Elliot platform as well. (Elliot is 100% free -takes a percentage of sales made across their platform -and compares very favorably to other SAAS solutions like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Squarespace and other similar platforms)
Want to work with me on builidng your platform, growing your audience or increasing your income?
Through the end of December, I'll be charging $100 per phone consultation (for directory/marketplace owners only) as I'll be removing all previous content and courses from the web on this subject.
(I will however, be keeping this particular "private" page up for the forseeable future, so you may come back and refer to this as often as you wish, as I add more content to it between now and the end of the year)
Simply stated - I will make you more money if you apply and execute my suggestions. Email [email protected] - put "ian" in the subject line - or like us and connect with me on our community Facebook page, here. (we can arrange a private phone call via inbox)