September 2013 numbers at a glance
September’s Gross Income: $51,301.86
September’s Total Expenses: $5,919.07
Total Net Profit for September: $45,382.79
Running Total Net Profit 2013: $45,382.79
EOFire’s September 2013 Income Report
Let’s break this month down
Transparency is something that is sorely lacking in the online space these days. Pat Flynn has led the way with 100% transparency via his monthly income report, and his readers love him for it.
Pat is a good friend and someone John and I highly respect, so if Pat is going to do it for online passive income… EntrepreneurOnFire is going to do it for Podcasting!
September was an exciting month for Entrepreneurs On Fire. We turned 1 year old, were featured in TIME Magazine AND in Inc.’s online Magazine, and also on the iTunes Homepage!
We also had our share of failures and setbacks and decided it was time to share these struggles and more with you each month via a detailed income report.
Our goal in publishing this monthly income report is that you will be able to model our successes and avoid our failures as you navigate along your Entrepreneurial journey.
If you are a podcaster, this report will help show you what is working in the podcasting industry right now, and you can start implementing these strategies in your own business.
If podcasting is not your sole focus, this report will still be incredibly beneficial to you because building your audience needs to be your primary focus. Podcasting is a great vehicle for this, but it is only one of many vehicles that will take you there. So we’ll also dive deep into the other things we’re working on outside of the Podcast so you can see what’s working and what’s not.
We have been very fortunate to find ways to monetize our Podcast very early on in our journey; however, if not for the size of our audience, this income report would look very different. As an Entrepreneur, you need to make it a priority to find the vehicle that will allow you to build your audience. Once you have that audience, there are MANY ways to monetize.
If podcasting is your vehicle, then we’re excited for you, as you are in for an amazing ride, and we here at EntrepreneurOnFire have some incredible things in store for you… :)
**We’ll receive a commission on the affiliate links below. If you click on my affiliate link and sign up for the products and services I trust and recommend, then I will earn a commission.
So let’s take a look at some of the things we’ve had going on this month:
Front Line Projects For September 2013
Prepping for Podcasters’ Paradise
Podcasters’ Paradise is a community that John started to envision while working on EntrepreneurOnFire’s very first digital product, originally named 6-Figure Podcasting.
The more time John spent on 6-Figure Podcasting – projected to be a set of video tutorials on how to monetize a podcast by following the steps John took to get EntrepreneurOnFire to 6-figures – the more he realized that his audience needed more than just this one set of videos.
After our extremely successful launch of Fire Nation Elite (EntrepreneurOnFire’s 100-person membership mastermind), John and I both saw firsthand the importance and the power of a community. We realized that the power behind a community like Fire Nation Elite is truly priceless.
6-Figure Podcasting was banished from existence, and a much more powerful vision was born: Podcasters’ Paradise. While the community we’re building over at Podcasters’ Paradise is very different from Fire Nation Elite, we couldn’t help but be drawn to another community-based project.
Podcasters’ Paradise is a community where Podcasters can “Create ~ Grow ~ Monetize” their podcast. As Podcasters’ Paradise began to take shape, our excitement grew. After just a few days, it became obvious that this was going to be a revolutionary project, involving a fundamental shift in the way Entrepreneurs provide TRUE value to their community.
Instead of just a set a video tutorials, John and I are creating something much, much more.
Podcasters’ Paradise will consist of 3 components:
- Component #1: An ever-evolving library of video tutorials
Reasoning: EVERYTHING is changing at neck-breaking speed. A video tutorial on Facebook Advertising released today will potentially be irrelevant in one weeks time. Podcasters’ Paradise will NEVER be irrelevant and will always stay cutting-edge, as the tutorials will always be evolving, keeping Paradiser’s forever ahead of the curve. :)
- Component #2: A Community Forum. This is where podcasters can engage with one another, exchange honest reviews on iTunes and Stitcher, find guests for their shows, find shows to be guests on, and swap the latest tips, tools, and tactics.
Reasoning: Interacting with those in your community is a POWERFUL way to combine forces and knowledge and to propel yourself to the top. Cliff Ravenscraft’s Podcast Mastermind forum is what I point to as my jump-off point for EntrepreneurOnFire, and this community forum will provide just that to all Paradisers within.
- Component #3: Monthly Webinars with today’s top Podcasters.
Reasoning: If you want to be the best, you need to listen, learn from, and interact with the best. Jim Rohn’s famous quote “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” is SO true, and Podcasters’ Paradise allows you to listen, learn from, and interact with the top Podcasters in the World each month… making sure the 5 people you spend the most time with make up an impressive list.
Our Action Steps Post-Vision:
With the vision of Podcasters’ Paradise set, we got down and dirty. Over the two weeks that followed we knocked out the following tasks, knowing that each of these boxes needed to be checked before we could start to advertise the community to our listeners:
First, we talked basics:
- Determined a launch date (it’s important to set dates so that you don’t just continue to push stuff into the future.) We landed on October 31st.
- Set up our Model: Subscription vs. Lifetime Membership
- We decided on a Lifetime Membership as the value of Podcasters’ Paradise will always be increasing, so those who get in early will be rewarded by locking in the lowest rate available, and the Lifetime Membership fee will continue to increase.
- Established the cost to become a Lifetime Member: $397 at launch, increasing as the value within continues to increase.
- Decided to run an “early-bird special” for $197 to gauge interest (is this something people will pay money for?)
- Increased membership to $297 during pre-launch to allow the Founding Members of Podcasters’ Paradise to be rewarded for their early action. Reward: well, the low cost of the membership of course, plus a custom Podcasters’ Paradise mug.
Then, we started taking action to build the foundation for the community:
- Created sales pages utilizing LeadPages and Optimize Press for our interest list and affiliate program.
- Started setting up daily Tweets and other forms of communication via Social Media to continue to spread the word about Podcasters’ Paradise.
- Created a marketing campaign in Infusionsoft that would take those who signed up to learn more about Podcasters’ Paradise through a funnel, eventually linking them to our sales page.
- Launched our early-bird special: for 72 hours those who had signed up to learn more were emailed a link that would get them a Lifetime Membership for $197. By the end of the weekend, we had made over $10,000 in sales. (Proof of concept for a product?… check.)
- Scheduled a “Sneak Peek” Webinar for 10/17 – invite was made a part of our email marketing campaign for those who signed up for our interest list. (Subscribe to Podcasters’ Paradise at the link above to register for the webinar!)
- Started locking down each of the different pieces of content we wanted to have ready once we launch.
- Set up a membership site where all of the videos, resources and Forum will live in CustomerHub (via Infusionsoft).
- Built Forum in Simple:Press and used the Maven Forum plugin via WordPress to integrate with CustomerHub. We then placed the Forum within our CustomerHub membership site via an iFrame.
We couldn’t be more excited about Podcasters’ Paradise. In October, we’ll look forward to the Sneak Peek Webinar on 10/17 and our launch on 10/31!
Fire Nation Elite Caps at 100 Members
On July 1, 2013 we launched our Elite Mastermind Community, Fire Nation Elite. The response was overwhelming: after just 1 week we had more than 100 applications. Today, we have over 500 with more coming in daily.
The major takeaway here is “listen to your audience.” Fire Nation was telling us they needed a community where they could engage with other like-minded Entrepreneurs. Emails were pouring in daily from listeners with statements like, “I feel alone”, “No one understands me”, “I need feedback and accountability from other like minded Entrepreneurs…”
Enter… Fire Nation Elite: A community of like-minded Entrepreneurs committed to each other’s success.
With a private Facebook group, a fully functioning membership site, monthly Webinars with past guests (Chris Ducker and Chris Brogan to name two), and an annual meet-up out here in sunny San Diego, Fire Nation Elite has proven to be an incredible experience not just for the members within, but for me and John as well.
Seeing the daily interactions going on in the Facebook group, 30-day challenges and book clubs being formed on the membership site, the HUGE takeaways from the private Webinars, and the excitement building for our in-person meet-up this coming March…
We now see more than ever the incredible need for people who are building audiences (you!) to also be turning the wheels in the direction of establishing a mastermind that you can lead.
You’ll have a blast, we promise!
Fire Nation Elite was growing so fast and the interest was mounting so quickly that we decided to cap Fire Nation Elite to keep it as powerful of a mastermind as it was then, always. 100 was the number, as we felt it was a large enough to impact the members’ businesses in a major way, but at the same time small enough where intimate friendships and business relationships could be formed.
Since then, the doors have closed to Fire Nation Elite, but the success stories from within have only been mounting… read and watch testimonials from our members themselves.
*Update: Fire Nation Elite closed Dec 31, 2015.
We’ve had several other things happen of note during the month of September that we were excited to celebrate with Fire Nation:
- We wrote about The Pat Flynn Effect, which is a detailed report of the powerful impact John’s interview on SPI had on numerous metrics for EntrepreneurOnFire. If you missed it, you can check it out right here.
- In the month of September, we saw over 450,000 unique downloads, a 9.5% increase over August and 100% increase from June:
- We were feature in TIME Magazine!
- Inc. Magazine featured EntrepreneurOnFire in their online publication – and we were ranked #1 in Top 10 Business Podcasts!
- John spoke at Agents Of Change in Portland, Maine about the importance of building an audience, and we got to hang out with some of our fellow Tribe members from Fire Nation Elite (what an amazing night!)
- We had our 2nd guest post on the Social Media Examiner blog published.
September 2013 Breakdown
Alright already! Here’s the meat of the meat and potatoes: the income EntrepreneurOnFire generated, along with our business expenses, for the month of September. Again, we show this in an effort to be 100% transparent.
Fire Nation Elite Mastermind: $13,500
Podcast Launch (eBook on Amazon): $555.86
Podcasters’ Paradise: $11,238
1-on-1 Mentoring: $5,300
*Affiliate links below – if you click on my affiliate link and sign up for the products and services I trust and recommend, then I will earn a commission.
- Audible (free audio book and 30-day trial): $2,271
- BlueHost: $900 (disclaimer: we will receive a commission if you use our affiliate link)
- Amazon: $213
- AOC Conference: $133
- Lead Pages Affiliate: $111
Total Gross Income in September: $51,301.86
- Website Fees (includes partial payment for our website redesign): $642
- Virtual Assistant Fees (includes outsourced projects): $1106
- Facebook Advertising: $120.00
- LibSyn: $100
- Travel: $1,421
- Adobe EchoSign: $19.95
- ScheduleOnce*: $42.19
- Mentor*: $2,000
- Quickbooks Online*: $25
- Infusionsoft CRM*: $209
- Cell Phone*: $171
- eVoice*: $9.95
- Skype*: $2.99
- Adobe Creative Cloud*: $49.99
*Indicates a recurring, subscription-based payment
Total Expenses in September: $5,919.07
Total Net Profit for September 2013: $45,382.79
Things we learned in September
In person meet-ups are SO powerful.
We experienced two meet-ups with FireNationElite members – one right here in San Diego, and one in Portland, Maine following the Agents of Change Conference.
Both times we were able to build upon the online relationships we’ve been growing for months now, and it felt great.
If you’re unsure of something, do it anyway.
I was really scared about running the Early Bird Special for Podcasters’ Paradise. We had been advertising the community for only a short period of time, and this was the moment where we’d find out whether or not people found enough value in what we were presenting to actually pay for it.
After we launched the 72-hour sale, we found that people definitely were willing to pay for the community we envisioned, which was a great feeling.
But looking back on it – if people wouldn’t have paid for it – at least we would have known then. In this case, I’m obviously really glad that didn’t happen, but I love the advice: “Create a MVP (Minimally Viable Product), put it out there, see if there is traction, THEN execute!” Well, there is major traction for Podcasters’ Paradise… now it’s time to EXECUTE!
Turning 1-year-old is fun!
We had such an amazing time celebrating our 1-year birthday with Fire Nation – even though it was just via the Internet. :) While we did bust out some cupcakes and candles ourselves, we were only able to post pictures of the celebration for Fire Nation to see.
But the response we received on Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus, Instagram and Twitter was truly amazing. We love you Fire Nation for helping us reach this milestone!
Sometimes you have to say no.
Saying no is one of the hardest things to do in business. There are so many opportunities to help others, to create more value and to experience new things, but you can’t do it all.
This month John started saying no to interview requests for the first time since he started Entrepreneurs On Fire. While we believe there is a ton of good that comes from being featured on other podcasts for both sides, time adds up.
Prior to this month, John was scheduling anywhere from 5-7 interviews every single Thursday, which prevented him from working on anything for Entrepreneurs On Fire in great detail for that entire day.
He has since started saying no to try and free up more time to focus on creating more value for our audience.
This isn’t to say that if you’re just starting out you should be telling people no. It’s important to go through that period of saying yes to almost everything you’re offered. Otherwise, how will you know whether or not it’s a good thing for your business?
In the beginning (for at least the first year until you can gain some traction), try out different things:
- Do interviews on other podcasts;
- Write guest posts on different blogs;
- Speak as a guest on Webinars, and
- Get speaking engagements at conferences or at small, local meet-ups.
Take the time to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Two thousand, 6 hundred, and some odd words later, we’ve come to the close of our first ever Monthly Income Report.
We hope you found some insights and advice here that will help you on your journey – regardless of whether you’re a podcaster, an online business owner, a brick and mortar business owner, an aspiring entrepreneur, or an already established entrepreneur.
Again, we’re here to tell you about our failures and setbacks, our successes, the things we’re working on, what we’re learning along the way, and about the money we’re bringing in as a result of all our hard work. We hope you had as much fun reading it as we did writing it!
Until next month,
~ Kate & John