Syllabus of The Freedom Course

1. Entrepreneurship – the Big Picture
We’ll distinguish what it takes to create an authentic enterprise that delivers real value to meet the real desires and needs of a real marketplace.

2. Twelve characteristics of an Ideal Business
including:

  • minimal labour requirements,
  • low overheads,
  • not tied to a location,
  • income not limited by your personal output.

3. The universal Anatomy of an Enterprise
By understanding the roles that need to be filled in every business you can spend your attention where it produces the best results.
Even if you are a sole operator,  it’s important to distinguish what role you are performing at any given moment – are you acting as a worker or manager? Are you being the Operations Department, the Finance Manager, the Marketing Director or the CEO?

4. The “Instrument Panel” of your Operation
You wouldn’t drive a car without ever looking at the speedometer, the fuel level, or the temperature gauge.  Similarly your financial statements are the access to knowing how your business is functioning.  We’ll take the mystery out of getting useful insights from your four key documents – as well as how to have them to hand painlessly.

5. The three alternative Business Models
You can either: a) sell physical products, b) sell services, or c) sell information. Every enterprise comes down to one or other of these.  We’ll look at the pro’s and con’s of each and see which best suits you.  I can be flexible in what I deliver on the course and how it is dealt with, to meet the concerns and challenges that you and your co-participants are facing.

6. Implementation Strategies – and which one to start with
Is it best to produce your own products or sell someone else’s? Will you do your own stockholding and logistics, or have that done elsewhere? Who is going to handle the Customer Support?
We’ll take a good look at the Affiliate Marketing model. The great advantage of that is that it takes several responsibilities right out of the equation – you don’t have to worry about buying stock, storing it, taking payment or processing refunds, shipping it, or providing customer support.  So it’s a great way to get started.
When you have an understanding of the process, you can develop to the point of having your own products and then have other people as your affiliates.

7. Your “Unique Service Advantage” or USA
More usually called the USP or Unique Selling Proposition, but this is a more empowering way of thinking of it. What is Unique about your and your business? Why should cusomers choose you as opposed to anyone else in the marketplace. – As a benefit to them, in their world.  Once you get clear about this, it informs every aspect of how you present yourself.

8. Scientific Marketing
Otherwise known as Direct Response Marketing, this is the perennial methodology for expanding your business. Key elements are:

  • targeting a tightly defined audience,
  • effective copywriting (see below),
  • tracking the response,
  • strong call to action, and
  • stepwise improvement by continuous testing.

9. Four interesting and illuminating Curves
You may have thought “maths” was boring and difficult, but this section will give some real (and useful) insights. By understanding these perennial relationhships between inputs and results, you can choose where to apply yourself to best effect. You will also be able to see how to avoid some common fallacies and pitfalls.

10. The 80/20 Principle, and how it can transform your life
Identifying the 20% of your activities that bring you 80% of your profits will take away the struggle! Focus on the products, the customers, and the actions that will bring the best return.

11. The essential Metrics, and how to gather them
What you can measure, you can see.  What you can see, you can move. When you can measure your visitors, you can check the effectiveness of steps you take to increase them.  When you know the proportion of visitors who buy, you can experiment to improve that.  When you know the average value of each visitor, you know how much you can pay to get them.  We’ll show how to set up Google Analytics to gather data on your site, and how to make the most of the reports it gives you.

12. Basic Website creation
Whether you create your website yourself or delegate that to someone else (and that’s probably the best option for most of you), it really helps to have a grasp of what is involved.  And you’ll definitely want to have the ability to make minor changes to your pages.  This is no harder than editing a letter and copying a file from one disk to another.  We’ll demystify the process.

13. Testing and Tracking
This is the key to marketing success.  Although there are well-tried principles, the fact is that no-one really knows what approach or what wording will resonate with your audience.  Success comes from an iterative process of trial-and-error.  You’ll learn how to set up the tests, how to get the results and how to know when you’ve got a winner.

14. Traffic generation techniques
OK – your site is there, but it won’t do any good if nobody knows about it and nobody comes to look at it. Addressing this is the first half of the equation.  That’s the focus of the next three topics.

15. Search Engine Optimisation
You’ll learn:

  • The critical thing you need to know before you even start – what keywords and phrases to target, and how to find them
  • The five essential features you must build into every page on your site
  • The activities that will build on this base to increase your rankings in the Search Engines

16. Pay-per-Click advertising
We’ll cover the basics of getting your campaign up and running. But much more important, you’ll learn how to progressively increase its effectiveness and slash its costs.  You’ll also find out how to use this technique as a lightning-fast market research tool.  You can also use it to find out which phrases to concentrate on for your SEO campaigns to bring the most profit for your efforts there.

17. Other on-line and off-line advertising
The above two will get you started, but there are a wealth of other tactics that we will develop as the course progresses.

18. Core Copywriting skills
Now you have the visitors to your site – the next part of the equation is increasing the proportion of them that buy from you (or at least taking your next-best action, which we’ll examine in a moment).  Starting with the “AIDA” formula – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – you’ll build up a checklist of copywriting elements to maximise the response from your prospects.

19. Setting up an email autoresponder
Only a tiny minority of the visitors will actually make a purchase the first time they come to your site. Unless you keep in touch with them, they are unlikely to remember you when the time does come for them to buy. By automatically sending them useful information by email on a regular basis, you’ll build the relationship to the point that you are their obvious choice.  You’ll learn both the practical details of using this simple but powerful software, and the strategies to get the best results.

20. Taking payments on-line
Paypal, processing agency, or merchant account – we’ll review the pro’s and con’s of each and give details of how to get accounts set up in each case.

21. Article marketing
Leverage ezine publishers to raise your profile, establish your authority, bring in traffic directly, and improve your search engine positions.

22. Using Social Networks
The right strategies to benefit from sites like Facebook, Linkedin, and Ecademy

23. Internet Video
You will learn the basic how-to’s of shooting your video, editing it and getting it live on the net. More importantly, you will learn how to use video to get more visitors and more sales.

24. Promoting yourself with PR
Use online Press Releases to get featured in the media, reach a huge online audience, and move up the Search Engines.

25. Setting up a Shopping Cart
Find out how to set up a hosted solution such as 1shoppingcart.com or systems you can install on your own server such as X-Cart, and the relative merits of each approach.

26. Using Surveys to increase profitability
When you tap into the minds of your customers, you can tailor your message to their concerns. See how you can use simple free software to create surveys in moments, add them to your site, and report on the results.

27. Content Management Systems to create large sites effortlessly
You will learn how to add and modify content on your site without needing to be a Geek.

28. Word-of-mouth promotion
Sometimes called “viral marketing” (an unfortunate term but there it is).  Your traffic can grow like wildfire if you can get each prospect to send along a few of their contacts.  You’ll learn a whole bunch of ethical and fun ways to do this.

29. Cross-selling and Up-selling
Increase the average value of each sale by using these two techniques.  Can you think of a related product – a case, batteries, accessories – that would be genuinely useful to the buyers? If you offer these when they have just committed to the purchase, some of them will add them on.  And can you think of a couple of enhanced, higher price options? If so, many customers will take one or the other of them.

30. “Back-end” sales and Lifetime Value
Most businesses expend all their effort on acquiring new customer, and little or none on putting offers to existing customers.  Yet it’s far easier to sell to a previous (satisfied, of course!) customer than to a new one.

31. Mining your customer lists with RFM
But if you are sending offers to your list, not all customers are equal.  The ones to concentrate on are found by applying Recency, Frequency, Monetary criteria.  I’ll show you a simple way to sort your customer list to identify the most promising prospects.

32. Outsourcing your routine tasks
So many people who run their own businesses think that they have to do everything themselves (and I’ve been as guilty of that as anyone).  But the trouble is that every minute that you are doing some low-value task is a minute that you are not doing the high-value tasks that expand your business and build your wealth.  I’ll show you how to use internet services such as elance and rentacoder to find contractors that you can delegate all those routine tasks to – often at astonishingly low costs.

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