Today we are so happy to be interviewing another #kajabihero. Jonathan Milligan is with us today and his brand is called Blogging Your Passion. His goal is to help people build an online audience centered around blogging.
In 2009 Jonathan started a career coaching business and by 2011 he was able to leave his day job and concentrate full time on his blogging venture. At the same time he also had the idea to start a second brand, which focused on teaching people how to blog and monetize what they are passionate about.
The best thing about Kajabi is that it enables people to do exactly that. I love hearing about people who can take what they love and share it online with others.
How It Began
Jonathan’s background is in teaching and coaching at the high school level, which he did for three years. However, he wanted something more entrepreneurial so he joined an executive search firm doing recruiting, which lasted for about seven years. Still wanting to start ‘his own thing,’ he started a blog sharing all of his advice, experience, and knowledge that he accumulated through the years, and that blog started to grow and continued growing until he was able to quit his day job.
He started out trading his time for money by resume writing, coaching, and the like, but he brings up a really important point. If you find yourself in that place, maybe just starting out, it’s important to have a future plan to create an online course or a monthly membership site in order to free up your time while still making income.
Jonathan’s first course was called Job Search Mastermind, and even though he had outlined the entire 16 week course, he only recorded and published the first three weeks. Like so many of us, Jonathan was fearful that his course wouldn’t sell and he didn’t have absolute confidence that could pull it off. If there is one roadblock that I’ve seen most people get hung up on, it’s self doubt and lack of confidence in themselves.
He sold to 15 people the first weekend he released his course, which provided the motivation and encouragement he needed to finish out the rest of the 16 weeks.
Way back at the beginning in 2010, Jonathan was using the Wish List plugin for Wordpress to offer his online courses. He experimented with other plugins and platforms, but it just felt like he was duct taping his whole system together and always troubleshooting problems. Once he found Kajabi, he loved the vision and jumped in right away.
Products and Procedures
I asked Jonathan to explain the difference between his membership sites and his courses. On the membership program, people agree to pay a monthly fee in exchange for interacting with Jonathan three times a month. His first appearance is a live class to help them with whatever they’re working on currently in their lives (job search, resume help, career choice etc.). The second way he reaches out is by sending a PDF with a checklist and some helpful tools for them to use, and then at the end of the month he offers an open Q & A phone call.
In the past, trying to get these videos and tools into the hands of his clients was very difficult and included a lot of laborious steps. Now with Kajabi, it’s all very simple and it works seamlessly together so that Jonathan is able to get his clients the products they need very easily.
Jonathan uses Zoom webinar to make the Q & A call to his clients and then uploads the video straight into Kajabi making it very simple to access for anyone wanting to watch the replay. The percentage of people who rewatch his content is very high, so it’s very valuable to make that available to people.
Jonathan has 36 courses and sites that he offers through Kajabi, and his membership model is one of the simplest and effective I’ve seen. Jonathan has created a one video ‘mini-course’ at a relatively low price point that is appealing to a lot of people. He uses that course to then upsell his larger, more in depth course to the people who are interested.
When deciding how to offer video courses, Jonathan was limited by his budget so he found a free program that let you record 5 minute videos. What he thought was a setback was actually something that people liked. They gravitated towards his short, digestible videos that covered a few main point in 5 minutes or less.
I asked Jonathan to walk us through some of the techniques he teaches his students through Blogging Your Passion. He walked me through the three key steps that he shares with his clients:
Understanding your audience. Jonathan says this is important to get down right away because it will guide all the decisions you make. Who is it that you most want to serve? He teaches his clients to use the GPS model, which stands for Goals, Passions, and Struggles. Everyone has these things! Ask yourself, what are your audience’s goals, passions, and struggles? Ask questions about the people you are wanting to reach.
Attract your audience. What are the steps you are going to take to help your audience find your products or website? Where is your audience hanging out?
Email your audience. These are steps to focus on your email list. Jonathan encourages his clients to aim for gathering 1,000 email addresses, because once you do you can survey your audience to find out what their problems and needs are. This gives you direction as to what courses you should offer to meet the needs of your audience.
Jonathan went on to share with me some of the ways he is capturing emails. He uses landing pages in Kajabi, Facebook ads, webinar registration pages, he offers mini classes using Pipelines, social media, and content upgrades.
For example, Jonathan will post a blog full of relevant and valuable content, and then at the bottom of the page he will offer more free content in exchange for the person’s email address. The takeaway from this strategy is this: if you offer high value content that is relevant to people’s needs, then they are much more likely to trust you with their email address. The emails they receive in their inbox then drives them to his Kajabi landing page where he may offer a video or online course.
I asked Jonathan where his passion comes from and what drives him to pursue this line of work. Jonathan believes that every person has a gift that the world needs, but that many don’t have an outlet to share their gifts or they simply don’t know where to start. Jonathan has seen that as soon as someone starts to utilize the opportunities that are available to them, they come to life. When someone uses their own unique gifts to serve an audience or group of people, it fills them with satisfaction and joy.
On his website, Jonathan has stated a goal of helping 1,000 people quit their day jobs and become full time bloggers in the next 5 years. He will soon add a counter on the website to keep track of how many people Blogging Your Passion has helped to achieve their goals.
Jonathan walked us through a couple of the processes that a customer might go through when coming into contact with his webpage or an ad. For example, Jonathan wrote a ‘How to Write a Kindle Book in 30 Days,’ plan, and on every blog post that talks about writing or books, he offers that content upgrade on those blog posts. Once someone opts in to receive that 30 day plan, Jonathan will send them a few more emails all centered on teaching on different topics.
A part of his brand is ‘Out Teach the Competition,’ because if people feel like they’re being helped by you and making progress with you, in just makes sense that they will continue on in their journey with you and even tell other people about you. Instead of trying to pull people into what you are doing, it’s better to guide them along.
Many people do not realize that when they tap into their passion and begin to share it with others, a new energy starts to show up in their lives. Don’t get caught in the lie that life is supposed to be stressful and exhausting all the time. There is another way to live.
Now is the time for you to have the courage to put yourself out there, connecting with other people who need your skill set.
Jonathan shared some ways to help people find their passion. He likes to say, “Passion doesn’t have to equal pressure.” Ask yourself what are the things you naturally gravitate towards? If you walk into a Barnes and Noble, what draws you in? These are clues to help you find your passion. Give yourself permission to take a good look at yourself and to not be afraid to identify what you like and what lights your fire. Maybe life is supposed to be filled with doing what you love everyday.
Bringing In Help
A course should not just provide information for people, but it should also provide a transformation. Anything that is helping people more forwards and make progress is a great thing.
Jonathan has 7 part time people that work with him virtually. He reached a place where he realized that he couldn’t do it all, and he actually paid his 13 year old son to go through Kajabi University and he is able to help with the business during the summer. He also has a Community Manager who helps with the membership site, a Customer Service representative, a Social Media manager, and a graphic designer who makes all of the great-looking graphics on his site (seriously, check them out!).
I asked Jonathan how he found these people who work with him. Three of his employees came from his own audience and some he found on Upwork. He started with a 90-day internship for a few of them, in which he could involve and teach them about his business. He then encouraged them to sign up with Upwork where they can get paid hourly or per job, which keeps things very simple for Jonathan. The benefits to this are twofold; his employees get paid every Monday and Jonathan has a clear picture of how much he is spending on his outsourcing budget.
So what is next for Jonathan and his brand? He is looking to do more live events and workshops, add some affiliates, and then bring up some more people to take on more of the teaching load and to help them gain experience.
Jonathan shared some advice for someone who is stuck or maybe having a hard time getting started. He said to just start! Record and offer your first course and start selling and marketing to people. The simplest solution is usually the best solution. Once you get momentum, it’s easy to move forward.
Perfect does not exist. Perfection is getting your courses online. That is success.
If you want to check out Jonathan and what he offers make sure to visit him at bloggingyourpassion.com. His website is fantastic and he offers so many great tips on how to get started.
I hope you are encouraged and inspired by Jonathan and his journey. You can have your own story that inspires and serves other people. It is a very powerful thing to affect change in the life of another person. Don’t let your insecurities and fears stop you from taking the first step forward.
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