Here at the OptimizePress HQ we get to see a lot of sites built by our customers and some of those really stand out!
These OptimizePress users get their hands dirty from day one and teach themselves everything they can about using OptimizePress.
I don’t want to waste your time with a long drawn out introduction so please excuse the short few paragraphs while I announce our newest blog series of Customer Success Stories! This is where we’ll be interviewing some of our top OptimizePress users and other big name marketers, business coaches and anyone else who can understand the English guy asking the questions!
Welcome to Episode #1 of our Customer Success Story!
Kirk Du Plessis – Option Alpha
In this video, Kirk shares his experience of growing his business, his knowledge of how he uses OptimizePress and some other gems to help you grow your mailing list and drive traffic to your site.
Owner: Kirk Du Plessis
Kirk has been running his own blog since 2007 and has grown his membership to over 12200 members in 42 countries and written over 800 blog posts! Since we recorded this video in the second week of September, his membership count has grown by 700+ new members and still growing!
Kirk is what I call a doer! He gets on with business, focusses on getting better at everything so he can continue to live the lifestyle where he chooses when to work.
Most days he’s up at 5am to answer emails, check on the day’s trades, plan new content with OptionAlpha’s head of staff, his 2-year-old daughter. If he’s not being interviewed or has no webinars to run, then he and his wife can decide what they do for the rest of the day with their daughter. This is a lifestyle that we can all set as a goal.
Moving To OptimizePress
Before he found OptimizePress, Kirk was using the blogger (Blogspot) platform back in 2007 where he had about 5 consistent readers who followed his daily trades.
He used his blog to share his trading knowledge and post any new trades he had made that day. After a short time, his readers started asking if they could pay a small fee to know what trades he would make in advance.
So that’s where it all started.
His followers paid him, they made money on their trades, they told their friends and so on. Through word of mouth his Blogspot blog started to grow which opened up the doors to expand into more membership driven content, online trading courses and, of course using OptimizePress as the backbone behind his online business.
After blogger he moved onto WordPress for more functionality, here’s a shot of how OptionAlpha looked back then:
Then he quickly found OptimizePress, here’s one of his early designs:
That design will look familiar to many of you reading this post.
Here’s how it looks at the time of writing using the latest version of OptimizePress. An amazing transformation and one of the best designed sites I’ve seen in a long time.
Kirk is pretty much a part of the OptimizePress family.
He’s been an OptimizePress user from day one and would officially be titled a Squadron Leader if he worked in our remote office.
He’ll be the first to tell you that his business only started to take off in the last year or so. He’s been producing content for his members, listening to what they are asking and helping them grow their own trading portfolio.
He’s solely focussed on what his members want! When he first started blogging, he posted graphs and charts and soon learned people didn’t want those.
“Put yourself in the mind of your user” – Kirk
He’s a great example of someone who has put in endless hours of work to grow his business, hire staff, put systems in place to a point now where he only works 4 or 5 hours a day.
Obviously some days he will work more and other days less, but the point to remember here is Kirk can pick and choose how he spends each day.
He has learned to do most of the OptimizePress work himself if any issues arise he knows how to quickly fix them without waiting for a web developer to be available. This is why we encourage you to all learn the basics of OptimizePress even if you do plan to outsource work.
There will always be a time when you want to tweak or make a quick fix for customer issues and knowing how to do the basic web work saves you time and keeps customers happy.
The time he invested learning to use OptimizePress means he now doesn’t have to outsource any web work to developers or web designers.
As for the site design, he has used some templates from KM Lee and adapted those to match his own style.
Here’s how the current dashboard looks. The neat layout allows for easy viewing of the courses with links to your account pages and support:
Here’s how the course layout looks. A simple layout with a nice blend of colours and large icons. The headline and subtext highlight each video.
This is a module layout, notice the Progress element, the Next Lesson button to help improve the user experience. Also, spot the subtle upgrade button perfectly positioned on each page.
Here are some of the tools that Kirk uses to run his business and membership site:
- MemberMouse.com for membership management, recurring billing, reporting and more. A great plugin and one of the best for running a membership site.
- Click to Tweet from CoSchedule for social sharing. Download the plugin and create blocks of text or questions that are easy to share (See an example further down under the traffic section of this post).
- Disqus for comments on his module pages and blog posts. This plugin works well with OptimizePress and can easily increase engagement on your blog.
- Upwork.com for employing staff and developers if needed. You can get all kind of projects done here from graphics, virtual assistants and more.
- WPEngine.com for hosting. This is a premium host with plans starting at $15 a month. Well worth it if you want speed and a reliable hosting.
Favourite OptimizePress Features
Kirk’s favourite feature is the ability to show dynamic content on any page using custom code.
We’ll attempt to explain this in a non-technical way.
OptimizePress allows him to break up the content on the same pages and members will only see the content they have access to based on their membership level.
How is this done?
Firstly, you need to know that each Row and Element in the LiveEditor has an option to wrap code around it.
When you edit a row you will see:
Code before row
Code after row
When hovering over the element, click the cog icon to see:
Code before element
Code after element
These options are where you wrap your membership code.
This could also be done using OptimizeMember code or other membership plugins that allow you to use short code to show and hide content.
The advantage of this setup allows you to have one membership dashboard showing multiple types of content for each membership level. As a member, you will only see what you have access to.
We will publish a more in-depth article explaining how you can set up this type of membership page using OptimizePress and OptimizeMember.
Kirk is using the free membership as a lead generation tool at OptionAlpha. This is an entry point to becoming a member or premium member. By offering the membership, Kirk can begin teaching beginners about trading and building a relationship with those new members and earning trust.
This is where it all starts. You could say it’s the start of his sales funnel.
Free members can stay for free and gain huge amounts of education or they can upgrade and fast track their trading knowledge with one of Kirk’s premium level options.
You might think a free membership is giving too much away, but like Kirk said on the call, once he started offering free membership the number of his members exploded, as well as his paid membership!
Here’s a look at the “opt in” form Kirk uses on his site. This is that entry point:
Another great tip he shared was to survey your members from the start and keep surveying those members throughout their membership. Whatever you think your members want, they probably don’t want it. If you don’t ask you will never know.
He doesn’t pay for traffic. All the traffic he generates is from social sites, podcasting and search traffic. His trading guides are free to download via email, but he has other guides that are pay with a tweet on social media. This means to access the guide you need to tweet about it.
When someone tweets about it, their followers see the tweet, click the link and end up back on a landing page.
He also uses ClickToTweet mentioned earlier, so people can share quotes from his posts. Here’s a highlighted piece of text from a blog post ready for sharing:
He’s working to mix up all of his content that he publishes from Podcast, Blogpost, videos and making it easily shareable on social sites that will bring more traffic back to his site.
Although he is offering the free membership as a lead generation tool, he also offers a free download with every blog post. This free gift would be a relevant offer based around the content in the post.
It could be a PDF, video or another lead magnet that goes into more detail about the blog post content.
Landing Page Layout
We asked Kirk for his best converting landing page layout and this is it. A simple layout with a benefit-driven headline, bullet points and clear instructions telling the user what to do.
You can see this landing page layout for his ebook The Ultimate Strategy Guide.
Here’s a screen grab of the page we discussed on the call.
What's your favourite app on your smartphone and why?
Favourite app on the smartphone: Coachme for building daily activities and habits into his life. Kirk has implemented a morning routine that starts at 5am and allows him to have his own time focusing on health and business.
What's your favourite application on your computer?
His trading platform thinkorswim.com. This is where he manages all his trades.
What's your favourite piece of equipment on your desk?
Not a piece of equipment as such, but a domino. It's to remind himself of one question "what's the one most important thing you can do now?" this is from the book he recommends below.
What's your favourite book?
The One Thing by Gary Keller.
We want to say a big thanks to Kirk for his time and highly recommend you check out and learn how he markets his own business over at OptionAlpha.com
Look out for our next success story coming soon!