How to Use Webinars to Sell $1000+ Memberships with John Lee Dumas

Our Hero: John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire

For more interviews with host John Shea visit Voices Of Marketing.


John Lee Dumas calls himself a small-town boy from Maine. After spending eight years in the army, he floated from mediocre job to mediocre job and he wasn’t passionate about any of it.

One day he was stuck in traffic, listening to podcasts and he just ran out of stuff to listen to. That’s when the idea hit him. He wanted a podcast that came out seven days a week and knew one didn’t exist. So he thought, why couldn’t he create that podcast?

And that was the day Entrepreneur on Fire was born.

He immediately quit his job to focus on building a seven-day-a-week business podcast. He launched in September 2012 and has produced nearly 500 podcasts to date.

But in the beginning, John struggled with fear and failure. When he started, he had no broadcasting experience. He had never interviewed anyone before, he didn’t know anything about the technical side of podcasting and he had zero online presence.

“I didn’t even have a Twitter account,” he said.

He felt like an impostor, constantly battling the voice in his head telling him he was a nobody, that he had no experience and no one would want to listen to him.

To help him get over his fear, he hired business coach and creator of the Eventual Millionaire podcast, Jaime Tardy, to be his mentor. Jaime helped guide John through the minefield of fear, failure, heartache and a basic lack of confidence.

Before he knew it, he was networking with people. Then he scheduled and recorded his first interview. He was learning the skills he needed and every step forward brought up new fears and failures.

But he confronted each new fear head on. And with every fear he overcame, he developed more confidence. It was an intense three months leading up to the launch of Entrepreneur On Fire. Three months packed with a lot of fear, failure, little successes and building his confidence.

By the time he launched Entrepreneur On Fire, he had 40 interviews in the bank and he was ready to go. He had learned a lot about podcasting and built relationships with the entrepreneurs he had already interviewed.

He calls it his summer of fire. “Focused, nose to the grindstone. Learning everything I could. Communicating, engaging with everybody I could. Building that foundation, that platform, so when I launched, I was ready to go.”

John created daily habits and worked with focus from 5am to 9am. His goal to put in more work for that short four hour period than most people put into their full day. Then use the rest of his day as a bonus. This compounded for John.

Soon, he had systems in place to allow him to record eight podcasts on a Monday, do one webinar per week, publish guest posts, and appear on guest podcasts. Occasionally John even did another set of eight podcasts recordings later in the week to build up a reserve for a potential holiday.

A year later, John had a very successful podcasting business and had created a bunch of products. He was working on another product, a video series outlining the steps John took to become a six-figure podcaster. But he realized his audience needed more than just a series of videos.

That’s when he came up with idea for Podcasters Paradise, a membership community to help podcasters “create, grow and monetize” their podcasts.

The podcast market was booming and he thought he was onto something. But he had to test the market first.


How to Use Webinars to Sell $1000+ Memberships with John Lee Dumas

Sell before you’re ready and reward your loyal fans

“You just can’t think something is a great idea yourself, you really have to test the market.” -John Lee Dumas

John thought he was onto something with the idea of creating a membership site to help podcasters create, grow and monetize their own podcast. But he also understood that just because he thought it was a good idea didn’t mean anyone actually wanted what he had to sell.

So, John took a cue from the Lean Startup model by Eric Ries and decided to test the market.

Before he even developed anything, he reached out to his loyal podcast listeners and email subscribers to help him find out if Podcasters Paradise was something he should pursue.

He showed them a mock-up of the “create, grow and monetize” components of the community and offered an early bird special rate of $197 to anyone who purchased memberships pre-launch.

In one weekend, 35 people bought a membership to Podcasters Paradise, a site that was in development and wouldn’t even launch for more than a month.

“That showed us that 35 people are willing to pay for something that doesn’t exist and won’t exist for over a month,” John said. “There was definitely value there.”

John and his team got to work right away, building the forum, creating content and lining up webinar guests. He also raised the price immediately — from $197 to $297. When he launched Podcasters Paradise on October 31, 2013, the price was set at $397 and John says the sales just started pouring in.

The price for membership to Podcasters Paradise has since gone up to $997 and the community has grown to more than 400 members.

He’s used different promotional incentives to drive membership sales. But the most successful method has been the free podcast workshop — or webinar — for anyone curious about the ins and outs of podcasting.

So how does John use free content to attract paid community members? Keep reading.

Why Webinars?

Giving away free content has become an important part of the online business model. If you visit the Podcasters Paradise landing page, you’ll see a video from John and the invitation to reserve your spot for his next free webinar.

You can certainly buy a membership right away but John prefers for people to attend the webinar first. In fact, rather than trying to sell the Podcasters Paradise membership directly, John promotes the webinars.

John credits his mentors Lewis Howes and Ryan Lee for opening his eyes to the power of live webinars to:

  • Give away free value
  • Truly engage people in a real conversation
  • Answer questions on the spot
  • Have lots of fun
  • And ultimately get them to make the decision to buy right away

You see, at the $1000+ price point, Podcasters Paradise is not cheap. Driving people to the webinars first gives John a chance to show people what they are investing in. It’s a way for him to provide value before asking people to open up their wallets.

During the live webinars, John offers participants tips and tools for successful podcasting. They also get an inside look at the community and the opportunity to buy a membership at a significant discount. Also, everyone who buys a membership during the webinar has the opportunity to win a free lifetime membership.

Kimberlee Morrison is a writer for Blueprint Entrepreneur, an Apple Newsstand magazine for smart entrepreneurs that want actionable content to start and grow their business. For more great content like this, you can download the app here and follow Kimberlee at @KymleeIsAwesome.

Want more great actionable content to grow your business just like this? Download Blueprint Entrepreneur for iOSAndroid or Computer.

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Get the steps to launch your own successful Kickstarter campaign from the guy who raised $104,430!

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How To Guest Blog For BIG Results with Ramsay Taplin

Our Hero – Ramsay Taplin of Blog Tyrant

In this interview I reached out to Ramsay Taplin of

Ramsay initially started out online in High School at the age of 17. He created his first fitness blog and even sold a fitness ebook to a guy in Holland for $65. After that first sale online and the realization that he could actually make money online. Ramsay became more serious and started another fitness blog in University that sold 8 months later for $20,000.

With another win, he thought more about the possibility of building 4-5 of these blogs a year with the hope of being able to sell the blogs for a profit. To do this he would blog with the idea to use an unknown persona that would allow him to write content, get guests to write and also be able to sell the site to another person.

This idea followed onto Blog Tyrant which originally was supposed to be a blogging marketplace where you could buy and sell articles, links, blogs and just be a complete package for bloggers online. To begin with though, Ramsay wanted to populate the site with content first to get a good ranking in google.

Through the great article ‘How I Sold a Blog for $20,000 in 8 Months’ though, those plans quickly changed. As this blog post was featured on the front page of popular sites Digg and Delicous. Those features brought a huge amount of traffic in the first week and changed those initial plans quite quickly as he fell in love with the readers and soon to be Blog Tyrant community.

Even though Ramsay was posting anonymously as the Blog Tyrant. He landed a feature in a book of famous internet marketers and also got plenty of guests posts during that time, notably on Copyblogger, ProBlogger and Smart Passive Income. He was able to gradually build an email subscriber list of over 10,000 in just under 2 years!

Eventually an opportunity arose to post on ViperChill through an email from Glen Allsop. Glen didn’t want anonymous posts from the Blog Tyrant though. So the idea to do a big reveal similar to female Copyblogger contributor James Chartrand came up. The reveal post, ‘Unmasking the Biggest Tyrant in Blogging’ was a major hit that received over 400 comments and led to the next phase of Blog Tyrant.

Now that you can see the huge success that Ramsay has had, I hope you will be able to trust his advice and see the opportunities available to you with blogging on your own site and as a guest.

You can check out the interview here or jump to the next page for the write up:

For more interviews like this visit Voices Of Marketing.

How To Guest Blog The Right Way With Ramsay Taplin

Why Guest Post?

In this interview I focused on how to guest post with Ramsay and how he was able to build a large following of over 10,000 email subscribers, build connections with top authorities online and grow Blog Tyrant into a profitable business.

All those successes are great right. But what about you…

Why should you guest blog and why is it important?

  • Build consistent long term traffic to your website
  • Generate more leads for your product or services
  • Connect with authorities in your niche
  • Generate more sales for your products or affiliate offers
  • To rank your content on Google for specific keywords or phrases

Blogging Isn’t All Easy

First off. Let’s make it clear that Ramsay has worked damn hard. So before we jump into the core of the content it’s good to know our mentor here is not bulletproof and still learning himself. Ramsay explained that blogging is a constant struggle of never ending hurdles. Especially when first starting out.

For Ramsay, once he realized that he was going to dedicate himself to earning money from online. That’s when he started to focus. The guest post rejections, website crashes and emotional trauma of entrepreneurship are just bonuses that Ramsay is learning to deal with.

In the beginning he woke up at 5:30am to clean a gym for 4 hours. This allowed him to pay rent and put food on the table. But more significantly, it allowed him the opportunity to come home and work on blogging for the rest of the day. His long term goal of working from home was the major driver.

So make sure you know what you want for your long term goals and understand what you need to do to find your balance that will let you focus on what’s important to achieve your goals.

Start With The End Result In Mind

When initially starting out with your guest blog posts Ramsay suggests you to start with the end result in mind, take time to understand what it is you want to accomplish when you decide to write a guest blog post.

What outcome do you want?

  • Do you want long term ranking on Google for a particular set of keywords?
  • Do you want to drive traffic to a particular page on your blog that is selling an affiliate product or your products/services?
  • Do you want to promote your mailing list and capture more subscribers?

Example – Grow Mailing List

For Ramsay, he does exactly that. He starts with his site Blog Tyrant in mind and works backwards from there.

For growing Ramsay’s email list, he gives this example, an ebook on ‘How to Increase Email Subscribers by 120% Overnight.’ So for this we look at his offer and see he wants to look for traffic that is interested in growing their mailing list. So he would look for sites that have a large relevant traffic base of people with the interest in the niche narrow topic of growing a mailing list and write something like this.

More Examples

The ultimate epic posts get traffic long after they have been written. Ramsay gives the example of Steve Kamb’s ‘The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet’ from 2010 that still generates traffic for Nerd Fitness. While this might not be an obvious place to guest post. If Ramsay were to guest post here and put up a related paleo topic, there is the opportunity for his article to be available at the end of the post as a related post. If there is enough traffic, this is an opportunity to generate traffic to his guest post and then back to his offer.

If you are familiar with ProBlogger you will see the ‘Related Posts’ at the end of each article. Definitely a reason why Ramsay’s advice to go after lots of relevant traffic stays true.

Another simple example from our conversation is to do with promoting our made up ‘Ultimate Guide to USB Microphones’ on our site which has affiliate links for readers to click if they are interested in purchasing a USB microphone. For this example it is quite similar and really just looks for sites that rank well in google that will generate relevant traffic. Guest posts on these sites that send traffic to our ‘Ultimate Guide to USB Microphones’ being the goal.

John Shea is a writer for Blueprint Entrepreneur, an Apple Newsstand magazine for smart entrepreneurs that want actionable content to start and grow their business. For more great content like this, you can download the app here and follow John at @aehs01.

Want more great actionable content to grow your business just like this? Download Blueprint Entrepreneur for iOSAndroid or Computer.