10 Online Business Best Practices

online business podcast

In today’s episode, I am going to share 10 best practices to implement in your online business.  I am going to teach them to you by sharing examples from a real life #moderndayexpert, Phil Blackman.

Phil offers an online mentoring program called the PrepWell Academy that helps high school students prepare for the college admissions process and beyond.  By the time we are done, you will have 10 actionable best practices you can implement in your online business, just like Phil has done.


Hello, everybody! Hello to all of my fellow #moderndayexperts. I sure hope you're having a great morning, afternoon or evening, wherever you are.

I really appreciate you joining me in this podcast, The Modern Day Expert™. I love to teach strategies and tactics to help you create an online business so that you can modernize your expertise and then monetize it online, just like I've been doing for the last 20 years. When we do this, it allows us to help people create a better life or build a better business. And the best thing of all is that while we're busy helping other people do that, we're actually doing it for ourselves.

At the same time, we are creating a better life for ourselves and we're building a better business. We're building a business that gives us the opportunity to earn an unlimited income, create the ultimate lifestyle and serve people all over the world.

It really doesn't get any better than that, in my opinion.

In today's episode, I'm going to share 10 best practices that I would love for you to implement in your online business, if you haven't done so already. And I'm really excited because I'm going to teach them to you by using examples of somebody that I consider to be a real life #moderndayexpert. And that, my friends, is Phil Blackman. Phil offers an online mentoring program called the PrepWell Academy that helps high school students prepare for the college admissions process.

By the end of this podcast, you will have actionable best practices that you can implement in your online business, just like Phil has done.

All right, so let's get started.

Let me share best practice #1 with you. And this is kind of the foundation of your online business, and that is that you have a proven track record of results. I believe that in order for a #moderndayexpert to create online programs that help people solve a problem or achieve a goal. Real life experts should have a proven track record of getting similar results either for themselves, or they've helped other people get results.

Phil is a #moderndayexpert, because he has done just that. Phil has a proven track record of getting accepted into a competitive college programs, as well as selective and very elite organizations. In other words, he has authority and credibility in his subject matter. He has modernized his expertise and he's created an online mentoring program called the PrepWell Academy which helps students accomplish results that he has already personally accomplished in his life.

So here are some of Phil's accomplishments that are related to what he teaches online.

  • He was recruited as a Division One athlete to play basketball for Yale.
  • After graduating from Yale, he went on to receive his MBA from Harvard Business School.
  • If that wasn't enough, he went on to join the Navy and became a Navy SEAL, the best the Navy has to offer.

So let me ask you this. Would you agree that Phil has a proven track record of getting results for himself so that he can now teach others how to do the same thing? My guess is that, yes, you would agree with that.

OK, I have a little side note here. Phil is clearly very accomplished in so many ways, right? Yale, Harvard, Navy SEAL, Division 1 athlete.....

So having said that, I certainly don't want you to get the impression that you need to have those kinds of credentials to be an expert and share what you know online. I know I certainly don't have those kinds of credentials, and I am doing just fine in my online business.

For example, you can sell your expertise teaching something that you have learned all by yourself over the years, or something that just comes natural to you, or perhaps something that you've just learned over the years through your career or in business.

The key is that you have an expertise that will help people solve a problem or achieve a goal.

So I have some questions for you that I hope will give you the confidence that you, too, can be a #moderndayexpert, just like Phil.

Are you an expert that can help people live a better life or build a better business by solving a problem or accomplishing a goal?

Do you have a proven track record of success either for yourself, or for others?

All right, take some time to think about those questions.

Let's move on now to best practice #2.

You are so passionate about your niche and what you do that you are constantly learning more about the subject matter. Experts like you and I are so passionate about our expertise that we spend years developing our expertise. For example, we might read books, listen to podcasts, read blogs, purchase thousands of dollars worth of online and offline programs, attend conferences, read trade journals, etc. 

And we continue to gain our expertise as we roll up our sleeves and actually do the work. That's exactly what Phil has done. Phil shares on his website that he has spent years researching, decoding, teaching and developing curriculum to help students prepare for college. He even returned to college himself to get credentials in College Admissions Counseling.

So let me ask you, are you passionate about what you do and are you constantly trying to learn as much as you can? And are you still rolling up your sleeves and doing the work?

If so, then you, my friend, are on your way to becoming a #moderndayexpert. 

Best Practice #3:
You take the time to really identify and understand your ideal client avatar, your potential customer. As a #moderndayexpert, you absolutely must clearly identify who your ideal client avatar, or as I like to refer to them, your perfect person.

You have to identify who they are in order to create profitable online programs that they will buy.

You have to articulate their hopes and dreams as well as their concerns and fears. And then you need to communicate clearly how you can help them.

Phil knows exactly who his ideal client avatar is. In fact, I'm actually one of them. When I first visited his website, it felt like he was speaking directly to me because I have a daughter that was interested in attending a college by getting an athletic scholarship. But I digress...

So when I say Phil knows exactly who is ideal client avatar it is because he says this on his website. "He serves high potential 9th and 10th graders who aspire to attend competitive college programs and are willing to prepare themselves ahead of time."

He clearly articulates his students hopes and dreams. For example, there's verbiage on his website, such as "pursue athletic scholarship opportunities, attend military service academies, attend very selective colleges as well as the most selective colleges."

And then he articulates their concerns and fears "worried about beginning the college admissions process too late in the game, and, worried about missing important deadlines?"
Those are concerns and fears that his ideal client avatar has.

His website also goes on to include how he can help his ideal client avatar. For  example, it says, "preparing high potential students for the competitive college admissions process when it matters most."

Now, I'd love for you to take a look at your own website and be completely honest with yourself.

Does your website speak clearly to your ideal client avatar? Do you speak to your ideal client avatars, hopes and dreams as well as their concerns and fears? And does your website clearly communicate how you can help them?

Phil knows his ideal client, avatar, so well that he knows that his students may have different goals in terms of what colleges they want to go to.

Have you ever heard the phrase the riches are in the niches?  Well, Phil must have heard that phrase because he has done just that. He has defined four sub-niches within the niche of the 9th and 10th graders based on the type of college that students want to attend.

First, he helps students that want to attend very selective top two hundred colleges and universities.

Second, he helps students that want to attend Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, etc.

Third, he helps students that are athletes and want to use sports as leverage in the college admissions process.

And fourth, he helps students who aspire to attend military service academies like West Point Naval Academy or earn ROTC scholarships.

So my question to you, my friends, if you have defined your niche and your ideal client avatar, is there any way you can niche it down any further?

Are there any sub niches that you can think of that you can define like Phil has done?

Now, you may or may not be in a position to define sub- niches, and that's OK. As you build your online business, you may figure out how to niche down later and the opposite can occur as well. You may be super niched right now and then later expand or broaden your niche later.

All right, so moving on now to best practice #4:
Speak directly to your ideal client avatar on your website. After all, you've identified them and you know them very well. So you should be able to do that.

No matter how great your online programs are that you create, you're not going to be able to sell them if you don't build an audience that knows, likes and trusts you.

Your website is a really integral part of your online business. When your ideal client avatar visits your website, you want to immediately either attract or repel them by making it very clear who you serve and what you help people accomplish.

Once you've attracted your ideal client avatar, the job of your website is to connect with them and then convey how you are uniquely the right person that can fit their unique needs.

When you visit Phil's website on the very top half of his website, it says,
"Welcome to Prep Well Academy, Where High Potential Students Prepare Early for College Admissions." That is crystal clear, isn't it?

I'm going to read it again. "Welcome to PrepWell Academy, Where High Potential Students Prepare Early for College Admissions."

So the minute that Phil's ideal client avatar visits his website, they can tell that he is speaking directly to them. And if this doesn't resonate with somebody, if they're not a high potential student or they're not interested in preparing early for college admissions or they're not even interested in going to college, guess what? That statement is going to repel them.

So here's a question for you, take a look at your website and make a note if it speaks directly to your ideal client avatar. Are you attracting the people that you can help and repelling the people that you can't help?

All right, so best practice #5 builds the know, like and trust factor with your ideal client avatar. As a #moderndayexpert, we have to build an audience of our perfect people that know, like and trust us so that they will eventually purchase our online programs.

So how do we build that audience and how do we get them to know, like and trust us?

You can start building your audience right on your website if you begin with the end in mind. The end, meaning the purchase of your online programs. In order for people to purchase your online programs, they have to first know, like and trust you. And in order for that to happen, you need to stay top of mind by providing ongoing value and content that, you know will help them. For example, sharing things like your podcasts, your blog post, your videos, any content that you feel will help them.

In order to do that, you have to get them on your email list so that you can email them your valuable content on a regular basis. The best way to get them on your email list is to provide something of value on your website that they really want and are willing to exchange their email address. Once they do that, now they're on your email list.

So having walked you through that, when someone first lands on your website, make sure that you have something of value to offer them in exchange for their email address, ok? 

On Phil's website, he offers a one page worksheet and a tutorial video to help parents determine how competitive their child will be in the college admissions process in exchange for their email address.

So his one page worksheet and tutorial video is his lead magnet. Once people sign up for that, it's delivered automatically to them using his email autoresponder, and then he can send emails on a regular basis that are full of valuable content to build that know, like and trust factor and then eventually offer his online program to them.

The lead magnet is the beginning of the student and the parents journey with Phil. The logic with the lead magnet is that if someone is interested in Phil's worksheet and video that determines how competitive the student will be in the college admissions process, well, then they're very likely to be interested in his paid PrepWell Academy online mentoring program. That makes sense.

So here's my next question for you.

Do you have a lead magnet or something of value that you can offer on your website that's so valuable that your ideal client avatar will give you their email address in exchange for it?

And if so, does this lead magnet segue logically into the online program or programs that you either offer right now or hope to offer in the future?

Your email list is your most valuable asset in your online business, and you want to begin growing that as soon as possible. Even if you've not created your online programs yet, you should still get a lead magnet on your website and start building your email list.

Now, I want to talk to you about Phil's online mentoring program that he offers. And while doing so, I'm going to share additional best practices that you can implement.

There are different ways that we can modernize our expertise and deliver our promised transformation. In other words, there are different containers in which we can package our expertise.

We can create an online course, a signature program, a membership site, an online mentoring program like Phil has done, a group coaching program, a one on one coaching program. We can offer paid workshops, VIP days, etc. And don't you worry, I'm going to be covering all of the different containers that you can use to package your expertise here on the Modern Day Expert™ Podcast.

The container that Phil chose to deliver the content to provide his transformation to high school students is an online mentoring program.

And now I'm going to share with you some best practices regarding that.

Best Practice #6: 
Be very clear on who exactly your online program is for. Phil doesn't just help any students. He requires that students be in the 9th 10th grade in order to join his online mentoring program because, as he says, "that is where the magic happens and he can get them results. If students are already in 11th or 12th grade, they are too late to the game."

Also, Phil is very clear on who his program is for in the PrepWell Academy. He drills down even deeper than just 9th or 10th graders. He has four options for students that have very different college goals.

He has the Pathway Plan, which is the foundational plan geared for students that want to attend very selective colleges and universities like the top 200:  Colgate, Villanova, Holy Cross, etc. And then he has the Ivy Plan, which is specifically for students who aspire to attend the most selective colleges. The top 20, the Ivy Leagues, Stanford, Northwestern, UCLA, Amherst, Duke, Vanderbilt, etc. And then he also offers an Athlete Plan, for student athletes planning to use sports as leverage in the college admissions process for athletic scholarship opportunities in Division I, II, and II schools. 

And this is exactly why I said when I visited his website I knew I was his ideal client avatar because my daughter was aspiring to play Division I LaCrosse. And I'm happy to report that she was able to meet that goal and will be playing Division I LaCrosse this fall.  We are so excited and proud of her.  All right. Enough about me. I just couldn't help but share that because we're so excited.

The fourth student that Phil serves are students who aspire to attend military service academies such as West Point Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, etc. or earn ROTC scholarships.

All right, so the best practice # 7 that I want to share with you is to always lead when you're talking about your online program, always lead with the benefit or the outcome of what your online program offers.

The benefits of Phil's online mentoring program are that it helps high school students prepare for the college admissions process so they can attend more selective colleges, play athletics or attend military service academies.

So that's the benefit or the outcome. You want to lead with that.

Best practice #8 is that once you have described or led with the benefits of your online program, then and only then should you clearly articulate the features or how you are going to deliver the benefits of your online product or program.

Phil knows his students really well, so he knows exactly what he needs to deliver in order for his students to get success. So here are some of the features that he includes in the PrepWell Academy Online Mentoring Program.

Starting in the ninth grade, he provides a series of weekly three to five minute videos that teach students everything they need to know about the college admissions process. So that's a feature of his program, three to five minute videos every week.

He knows that his students don't check or respond to emails, so he sends weekly text reminders to remind the student of the lessons they need to do.

Another feature is that because he knows students like to consume content via Apps because they're always on their phones. So he provides an App for the PrepWell Academy that allows the students to access the video library with just one tap on their phone.

So these are features of his online program: three to five minute videos, weekly text reminders and an App. These are features that will help people get the benefit of his program.

Best practice #9: is to develop a one liner about your online course so that you can quickly explain it in just one sentence.

You don't want to get too clever or cutesy when you're explaining your online program, as people just may not understand. It's really best to just get right to the point.

You also don't want to be too vague because then your ideal client avatar may not realize that your product or program is perfect for them.

I want to share with you a simple formula that you can use for your own program by sharing with you an example from Phil.

This is what he says on his website:  "The PrepWell Academy teaches high potential ninth and tenth graders how to be accepted into competitive college programs."

Let me read that again. "The Prep Academy teaches high potential ninth and tenth graders how to be accepted in a competitive college programs."

I want you to take that sentence and replace the name of the program that you offer with who your ideal client avatar is and what the end result is, what it is that you teach them.

So, for example, for me, my Experts Business Club teaches seasoned professionals how to modernize and monetize their expertise online. I used one statement to describe what my program, the Experts Business Club, does.

All right, moving on now to the last best practice, #10 which is to provide your client with a high touch opportunity to have direct access to you. Sometimes when you have a specific topic, many people will be OK consuming it as a self study or via videos and texts and reminders, like I mentioned to you that this program does. But in many cases, people are willing to pay more and they want direct access to you.

So in addition to Phil offering his online mentoring program, he also offers a one on one program for those parents and students that want to accomplish the same goals. They want direct access to him and they're willing to pay more.

So I have a final question for you.

If you're considering creating a self study online program, is it possible that you could also offer a more expensive option that provides people with the same result or transformation, but at a higher price point to get access to you?

It's something really to consider, especially if maybe you've already created an online program. Is this a new option that you could offer?

Thank you so much for sticking with me so far. I really hope these online best practices have helped you and given you some inspiration.

I've introduced you to #moderndayexpert, Phil Black with PrepWell Academy, and I've shared examples that I feel will really help you.

Here are the 10 best practices that we just covered:

  1. Make sure you have a proven track record of results and you're constantly rolling up your sleeves and doing the work to get better at your expertise. 
  2. Continue to learn as much as you can about your niche or your industry or your expertise because you just can't help yourself. You're super passionate about it.
  3. Take time to identify and understand your ideal client avatar
  4. Speak directly to your ideal client on your website.
  5. Build the know, like and trust factor with your ideal client avatar by creating a lead magnet and getting them on your email list and delivering valuable content to them on a regular basis.
  6. Be very clear with exactly who your online programs are for. Who do you want to attract and who do you want to repel?
  7. Always lead with the benefit, outcome or promise that your program offers.
  8. Clearly articulate the features of your program. In other words, what is the delivery mechanism that you're using to deliver the benefit or the outcome that you've promised people?
  9. Develop a one line sentence that has the name of your program, who it helps and what it helps them do.
  10. Consider the possibility of providing your ideal client with a high touch opportunity where they get direct access to you and you can charge a higher price point.

Those are the 10 online business best practices that I wanted to share with you.

Now, on a final note, I was thrilled to learn that Phil has built his online business using Kajabi, which is an online business platform. I was thrilled to learn that because I use Kajabi as well. I love Kajabi and I recommend it to all of my private clients and all of the members in my training and coaching program, the Experts Business Club. The reason I love it is because Kajabi was designed specifically for those of us that don't have any experience with all of the online tech things that we have to figure out. Kajabi really understands that we're experts in our niche and NOT experts in online technology, so they really make it easy for us to build our online business.

I use Kajabi to run the majority of my online business. Kajabi hosts my website, my blog, my email list and all of the online programs that I offer. If you'd like to see Kajabi in action, you can just go to my website at CatherineDove.com. Or you can go to my training and coaching program, which is the Experts Business Club.

I really love that I can just log into one place and run the majority of my online business and I'm a Kajabi Partner, which means I can give you access to a free trial. If you want to check it out, I will go ahead and put a link to the free trial in the show notes so that you can learn more about Kajabi if you're interested.

>>> Click here for your free Kajabi trial*.

All right, everybody, that is all for this podcast episode,

I sincerely hope that you can implement some of these best practices for your online business that I have shared today, just like Phil Blackman has done.

All right, bye for now.  


*This is my affiliate link.