Going into this year it's occurred to us that we need to get back to some basics of asset building.
And in this case, we don't mean real estate.
There are some assets in our lives that have been extremely valuable and surprisingly they have taken relatively little of our time.
We figure if you're going to be busy doing stuff anyway this year, you may as well spend your time building assets instead of doing work that has no long term value.
With that, let's share some of our favourites:
This isn't difficult and you can start for free.
Many years ago someone told us if there's anything we should be doing we should find a way to start building a list of email addresses.
That lead to several rather clunky website experiences but ultimately ended up with us starting an email list for real estate investors.
It was first called Renegade Real Estate and today it's called the [Your Life. Your Terms.] email.
We send it out every Thursday, it's got something north of 26,000 people on it.
It may sound difficult to do, but it's brutally easy.
There are two ways to set this up:
1. You create a single page website that offers people something of value in exchange for their email address. It may be a PDF, a cheat sheet, an MP3 Interview, anything really. In exchange for that piece of information they give you their email address.
Now, this is where most people thing the game ends. But really this is just the beginning.
You then follow-up with these people regularly with valuable pieces of information. The information doesn't even have to be yours (although give credit where credit is due).
It can be a link to a great article that you found online, a report that you attach to your email for them, or perhaps a worksheet, a tip or even some commentary on the latest headlines.
You follow-up repeatedly with good stuff and from that you begin to build your own community.
The magic in this is when you do have something of value to offer for sale, because you've built up trust and good will with your community they're more receptive to what you're selling.
A lot of people do exactly this type of stuff using Facebook instead of email, or Twitter instead of email but it's much better to use email because that's still the holy grail of personal contact.
You're likely finding gems of good information right now ... this is just putting some organization in how you share it.
2. The second way to go about this involves no website or no fancy software at all. You simply gather up your contacts, whether that's 3 or 300, and begin sharing regular great pieces of information with them.
You can use BCC in your email to do this so they don't all see each other.
And the key here is that you follow-up regularly with good stuff.
Again, you don't have to write an award winning editorial or create an Academy worth video to share ... you just need to share something of value you've found.
In today's world we are all overloaded with information.
If you can become the person that acts as a filter for your community and sorts through the information and shares only the good stuff people will begin to value your opinion.
And again, you'll build a community of people who are much more receptive to you when it comes to selling something because you've been great work for them with your follow-up.
Most people don't do this.
Instead when they have something to sell they just blast it out to everyone with their first email:
Buy my vitamins
Buy my massage services
Use me to buy your next home
Subscribe to my fee based website
There are many books on this subject that go into great detail but it's really not more complicated that this.
Decide that you're going to start collecting email addresses and begin sharing value with those people.
You'll end up with a hugely valuable asset.
And how can we be so sure?
Because our email list has been worth millions of dollars in revenues to us after seven years.
It start with 6-8 people on it. Ourselves, our wives, our Mom, our Dad doesn't have email and few others.
The first time we sent out an email it took us six hours of work to figure out how to do it from the software we were using and it went to all of two people that weren't family.
Today that email is delivered to people right across the country, the U.S. and to various people in countries around the world.
There's probably someone half way around the world reading this right now because of that email.
If you're not into the whole "send a regular email" thing then here's something else for you.
Can you write down information on a topic you like?
Are you a great cook?
Do you know a lot about kids education?
Can you do magical things with wood working?
Do you have plumbing tips?
Do you have your own personal story that you can share on how you nailed that job interview?
Whatever information you have in your head is valuable to someone else who doesn't have it yet.
If you're able to write it down, or share it in videos or audios you'll be able to build an asset that attracts people to you.
And at some point you can begin selling stuff to them.
Now, there are dangers for you to be aware of.
If you go about setting up your own website or blog one of two things will happen:
1. Either you'll overspend on it and it'll take way too long to build.
2. You'll do it with all the cheapest tools available and get horrible results.
We've seen some of our own real estate clients spend over $20,000 building websites that don't work at all.
When they launch them no one visits.
It's pure silence.
And we've seen others set up WordPress websites that don't work properly so no one finds them.
So here's what we can share and what's worked best for us...
There's one tool that we've used to attract business that's worked better than any other in the world.
And we should know, we've spent a lot of money and wasted it on a lot of stuff.
The tool is called Site Build It! or SBI! for short. You can click here to check it all out and yes this is an affiliate link!
We've used it for years.
This tool walks you through how to build a website that actually gets visitors.
It's something like $300/year and includes everything from your domain, to your hosting, to the Search Engine Optimization stuff.
All of it.
We don't work for Site Build It but sometimes we rave about it so much I think we should.
You don't have to use it of course, but it's worth checking out.
This is a biggie.
Back when I was working in the Canadian corporate world I recall chatting with coworkers who had brilliant business ideas.
We'd share them with each other and believe that they were the key to us getting out of the rat race.
Now we know better.
Ideas are truly a dime a dozen.
But if you take one tiny little step beyond the big idea and map out a system for it it can be worth millions to you.
And it's not hard.
By finding answers to these questions you can do it quite quickly:
What message can I communicate to my potential customers that will get them to take notice?
Where can I put this message so they see it?
After they raise their hands and indicate that they are interested in my message how will I follow-up with them?
And after I follow-up with them what will the process they go through to become a customer?
How much will this cost to do?
Will my product or service generate more revenue when sold than the cost to implement the above?
Those questions are gold.
By answering those questions you will create a system that may be the most valuable asset you've ever created in your life.
And why is that the case?
Because 99% of the world does not do it.
And that's the exciting part!
This world is filled with untapped opportunities and it's fun when you begin to realize it.
No one is building a community by sharing good information.
It may look like a lot of people are but there are hardly any.
No one has your unique voice and perspective.
No one is taking the time to build a website properly, well maybe some are, but it's a tiny percentage!
And next to no one is taking the time to build a system for their business idea. They just think of a good idea and then print business cards for it and then wonder why it doesn't work.
The world is truly your oyster.
If over the next few months you spend just one hour a week on these activities you will build real assets of real value to you.
We did it and we still do it and so can you!
Now go get 'em!
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!