Steve Harradine on How to Monetize Your Online Audience
Steve Harradine was in corporate sales when he realized there was more to life. He now teaches people how to monetize their online brand. Here is his unique story in our exclusive interview.
Wow Steve! Thanks so much for doing this interview! You have a powerful online brand that I would love to learn more about. So, let’s get started!
Where were you born and raised, what was childhood like, and what did you want to be when you ‘grew up?’
I am an Eastender at heart, that is to say that I was born and raised in London’s East end. Born in Forest Gate, I lived in Canning Town, then Stratford, which is where I met my wife Sam.
We got together when we were both very young (I was 15). Without wanting to sound like an old guy, childhood was actually kind of great in that era and in that place.
The 80’s were such a great time because new technologies were breaking through and it was exciting, but we still had a real childhood. We would rarely be indoors. Always out with friends but never really getting into too much trouble even though the East end can be kind of rough.
I always had aspirations to do something around the entertainment industry. I was always the kid that could remember all the words to songs or recite movie scenes from memory. Still not sure I have actually ‘grown up’.
What did your parents do for a living and was there any Entrepreneurship in the family?
When I was real young my Mum did some bookwork for a chandelier company but mostly she was a stay at home Mum.
Dad was always in sales in one form or another. We weren’t a wealthy family but we always had enough. My Dad was pretty good at what he did.
I am racking my brains to think of any entrepreneurial traits in the family and I guess I would have to say the only one with any entrepreneurial leanings was my Dad.
Dad tried setting up a few things on the side over the years (Amway and the like) but they never panned out. Actually writing this, I guess my Dad did try to build other business’ a few times but just never seemed to get any traction. I remember he did get straight up scammed by one guy who set up this whole scheme that turned out to be a complete fallacy.
You eventually entered the corporate world. What was your area of expertise, what type of industry, and what was missing in your life at that time?
When I first got started I was an external sales guy for a large Computer Distribution company, So I would go out and have meetings with customers and try to get them to spend more with our company and less with our competitors.
My first appointment for the company was in Northern Ireland during some of the worst rioting in years. I was already nervous about holding the meeting, I didn’t think I needed to be nervous about getting there in one piece!
I knew absolutely nothing about computers at that time and my meeting was with a guy who held a doctorate in computer sciences. From there I went on to run the UK and Nordic territories for Western Digital (Hard Drives) for a while.
Then I went back to the distribution company again to work in the retail division, which meant I got to sell all the cool new toys to companies like Amazon, PC World and just about any other large retailer in the UK. While there were some cool perks to the corporate life there were a lot of things that were missing for me.
I hated that someone else was in control. I could put months of work into a project and have it terminated because the CEO just wasn’t in the mood to sign off on the deal.
I think the final nail for me was when my MD wouldn’t allow me a day off to attend my sister’s wedding. He just wouldn’t budge. I had to really put it on the line to get that day off. Things like that make you realize you are just a small cog in a large machine. I wanted more freedom than that.
When did you discover internet/network marketing, and what was your first two years like?
I guess I came across the initial concept around 9-10 years ago. I started much like most people, placing stuff for sale on eBay and getting sales that way.
The only problem was finding reliable suppliers and the right products. I really loved the concept though. From there I started messing with putting websites together and learning affiliate marketing.
This was back in the day when wrestling with programs like Dreamweaver was the only way to get it done. I knew that I wanted to ‘crack the code’ to selling online but really all I did was spin my wheels for years trying to figure this stuff out by myself.
I would grab courses along the way but I think they would just make me feel like I had to take care of step 20 when I hadn’t got step 3 working properly yet!
It is so hard trying to figure it all out by yourself because there is so much contradictory information out there. I kept learning but really the only thing that was making me any sales was Ebay for the longest time.
The concept of Network Marketing I still consider a new thing for me. It wasn’t something that I initially gravitated toward. It was a big learning curve to decipher the differences between the two types of marketing, affiliate and Networking. The language you need to use is even different so it is vital to know exactly who you are marketing to.
What are the three best tips you have for new network marketers?
Wow, only three, haha. OK here is what we would tell a coaching client looking to get started.
Tip 1: Know who you are talking to. In my opinion this is one of the most overlooked elements. Your customers buy based on emotional triggers and justify their buying decision with logic. You need to know what is making your customers lose sleep; what problems they need to solve in order to feel good again. Once you understand your target market it becomes much easier to provide them with what they want.
There will be an external problem that your customer is telling themselves, such as ‘I want to build my network marketing team’ but the internal problem is the one that motivates them to buy.
This may be ‘I need to quit my job to spend more time with my kids or if you are in health and wellness your customer may say they want to drop 20 pounds in six weeks.
Internally they are thinking ‘I don’t want to be embarrassed in front of my friends or spouse on the beach this summer. Find the internal emotional problem and being the solution gets easier (and more profitable.)
Tip 2: Get really, really clear on your message. When someone finds your website or Social Media profile, they should be able to discern exactly what you do and how you can help to solve their problem in under 10-15 seconds.
Know what your ideal customer wants and show them in as clear a way as possible that you can show them how to get it. The more you muddle that message, the more likely your customer is to move on to someone else.
Once you have your clear message, get clear on what platform you are going to use to promote yourself. Focus on ONE main social media platform. We can help you decide which one is best for you based on a few criteria but get it wrong and you will struggle. Technically that is two network marketing tips!
Tip 3: Find the right vehicle to get you there. I don’t say this judgmentally but I see so many folks online being seduced by systems that promise big paydays and systems that do all the work for you.
Please understand, if you are building a business online, you’re doing exactly that. Building a business. It will take an investment of time or money.
Usually a bit of both. if you’re looking at a system that says ‘just promote our links’ be prepared for the fact that you are either going to have to learn attraction marketing or you are going to have to buy traffic.
Even then you’re going to have to learn the skills to do that effectively. There is no such thing as a done for you system, I am afraid you need to invest in yourself and learn the techniques that will make you an effective marketer. Oh yes, and you must actually take some action and do the work.
You found a system called MLSP, can you explain what that is and who is it for?
MLSP was our breakthrough. Like I said earlier, I spent a lot of years just spinning my wheels trying to figure everything out by myself.
In basic, unemotional terms MLSP is a tools and training system that provides you with all the tools and up to date training you need to run an online business, all under one roof. It is kind of like a Swiss army knife for marketers.
You know in the movies when a bunch of Marines are told to scale a 12 foot wall and they all stand on each other shoulders and lift each other over the top until they just reach down and hoist that last guy over?
That is what MLSP is to us. It is a support network of talented marketers that will drag the best out of you and make you go further than you ever thought you could. We have connected with friends and marketers from all over the world with MLSP.
Not to mention getting multiple trainings every week and having access to all sorts of goodies to help us sharpen our marketing chops. Hh yeah and we get a very nice commission payment from them every two weeks too!
MLSP is for anyone who is looking to learn how to do marketing the right way and actually learn the skills that they can use for the rest of their life, as well as leverage an online community.
For me it is the right vehicle to build an income and get access to some of the greatest marketing minds on the planet.
I love your blog! How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is your daily traffic like?
Why thank you. It is definitely a work in progress for me. I haven’t given it as much love as I really should have. I guess that is part and parcel of being a marketer eh?
It is definitely something that is going to be getting a lot more attention from me moving forwards. The blog is pretty new and currently is only getting a few hundred visitors per month.
There are 62 published posts on there right now but they haven’t been a prominent part of our strategy up till now. The blog is around 2 years old now.
We do have another business blog that we get around 15k visitors each month and it has been paying us every month for the last few years. I am definitely on board with blogging as a concept as it really is a great model of ‘do the work once and keep getting paid.’
You are a blogger guy, what have been some good SEO you have done to your blog to get more traffic and optimize it?
I always use the Yoast SEO plugin to take care of the SEO essentials. It is a great tool and it is also the first thing I install on any new site.
Most SEO consists of doing just a few basic things well. Most people are tempted to find a keyword with a bunch of page views and try to compete for that keyword phrase.
The thing is those high ranking keywords are hard to topple because they often have a ton of backlinks, and even harder to compete with, site age and trust with Google.
I find it more valuable to aim for several keywords in one article that are seeing lower search volume. This does two things:
It helps you to write for the reader without trying to make the keyword fit in places where it really doesn’t seem natural.
By using several keywords in the same article you can achieve just as many page views without focusing on just one hard to rank for keyword or term.
Google is smart enough now to recognize which other term and phrases should be associated with a given topic. It is known as Latent Symantec Indexing (LSI) and it is important to make good use of it in your writing.
For example, if you were writing a promo piece for a plumber, Google would also expect to see terms such as ‘gas installer’ or ‘bathroom fitter’ included in the article.
The Google algorithm is smart enough now to understand the content of an article based on the associated terms in the piece as well as the keywords. The more on-topic your entire article is to your subject, the more Google love you will get.
Should every internet marketer blog and why?
Absolutely they should. Your blog needs to be your home online. Everything that you post online should point back to your blog somewhere.
It is one of the most awesome ways to leverage your efforts online. Once you have written a blog post it is out there online working for you 24/7.
If a member of your team asks you a question, write a blog post about it explaining how to get around the problem.
This is also where you should be placing affiliate links to products that will help your audience.
How should someone monetize their audience?
Unfortunately so many marketers seem to try to monetize their audience on Social Media by just pasting links.
Social Media should only be used to build your audience and then engage them by sending them to your content. Monetizing your audience by sending regular messages via email with valuable content including links to products that you trust and can help out your audience is the best way to actually get people to click and buy.
Just make sure that your messages are either entertaining, educational or invitational. Also don’t just pitch, pitch, pitch with the hard sell every time. The value to pitch ratio should follow the 80/20 rule.
What’s the best way to generate leads for you these days, and can you share a technique?
Right now we are heavily engaged in Twitter to generate leads.
It is a great platform to leverage your time because there are a couple of apps that you can use to automate a large percentage of the process.
It is also not dependent on having a large marketing budget.
It is a great way to generate leads but it is important that you have something of value to send prospects to. Some kind of lead capture page that has a high value offer on it. The free campaigns inside of MLSP are perfect for this.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
I recently finished Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss and thought it was excellent.
Chris is an ex FBI hostage negotiator who takes you through some real life scenarios and how certain negotiation techniques paid off.
It is great example of storytelling to teach and keeps you hooked right till the end.
What are your goals for 2023?
To rank up to Honey Badger status within MLSP. I think one of those jerseys will really bring out my eyes.
Also going to build up our consulting business and help as many people make progress online as possible.
What is your favorite quote and why?
When going through hell – keep going.
Let’s be honest, it is not always going to be easy. Sometimes it will feel like hell. It is only by keeping going and not giving up that we get the results we want
Thank you so much for this interview Steve!