Ever thought of monetizing your passion and living the dream? But not sure where to start?
Or you’re just exhausted and bored of your day to day job but think you just can’t cut it on your own?
Sometimes you need the helping hand of someone who’s already spent some time in the trenches. And that’s precisely why Chris Ducker’s personal brand – Youpreneur – achieved such rapid success in building a crazy community of entrepreneurs.
Today, you don’t need much but a membership website builder, authority in your niche, and a good marketing strategy to start your personal brand.
Ducker is one of the pioneers of this trade. Let’s find out how it all started and how Youpreneur achieved such success. Plus, you can copy all the takeaways to build your own community and better monetize your passion, whatever it may be.
The Makings of Youpreneur
In a way, Ducker was a “Youpreneur” from the very beginning. He spent his early career days as an independent business consultant before starting his venture.
His first brick-and-mortar business, “Live2Sell” kicked off nicely, providing sales, lead generation, appointment setting, and other services to small and medium businesses.
Outsourcing and delegating minor business tasks propelled him to think about a similar venture, but this time in cyberspace.
Born in the UK, Chris eventually moved to the Philippines, where he started his Virtual Staff Finder. A recruitment company that helped thousands of experienced Filipinos connect and form business relationships with entrepreneurs worldwide.
But the business life started to take its toll.
The Lightbulb Moment
Some ten years ago, Ducker found out that 15-hours of sitting every day can leave irreparable consequences.
The mental burn out was already too much to handle.
However, a couple of years of continuous work left a mark on his physical health as well. He damaged one of his spinal discs and had to undergo surgery as soon as possible.
This was Ducker’s lightbulb moment.
He delegated huge parts of his two successful businesses to capable managers and shifted his focus to his third venture - Himself.
(An example of delegating your entire business to managers and CEOs)
Do you consider yourself a potential “business”? Maybe you should!
Separating the Businessman From the Business
Some ten years ago, Ducker recorded a YouTube video called Living and Working in the Philippines. Here he shared his own business success but also talked about the culture and life in the country.
WATCH - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hafasJg0VZ8
The video went viral and planted a seed of thought in Ducker’s mind. He started vlogging frequently about his business hustle, but also about his personal life and future plans.
During this process, Ducker became more and more important as a person and an entrepreneur, while his actual business became redundant.
People were tuning in to hear Ducker talk about business, giving them tips on starting their own venture and growing it to success.
Therefore, Chris already started to make his name in the entrepreneurial landscape years before Youpreneur.
His modern outlook on business and emphasis on yourself instead of taking the corporate route earned him hundreds and, later, thousands of followers.
Turning to Personalization
Two key events indicated that it’s time to switch to personal branding and consulting completely.
First, his keynote presentation in Las Vegas in 2012 – the Business of YOU. This is where Chris laid the first building blocks of his “Youpreneur” mindset.
Second, the successful publishing of his book – Virtual Freedom. After two years of promotion, the book was an immediate bestseller in the USA.
So, after years of learning the trade of entrepreneurship, Ducker realized that he could do what he loves and feel valued at the same time.
This marked the end of his corporate pursuit and shifted his mind into constructing his persona.
He built his membership website and officially launched Youpreneur in 2015.
Youpreneur started as Ducker’s haven, where he’d educate entrepreneurs to free themselves from their stressful lifestyle and start building a personal brand.
Relying on his own experience, he started publishing content and courses and launched a podcast with the idea of exploring “Youpreneurship” – people who went on to build successful personal brands.
Over time, the brand grew massively. In five years, Ducker published another book, started a big yearly conference event, and celebrated his 7 million podcast downloads. During this time, he had thousands of people attending his Youpreneur academy.
Watch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZO0uQgJiRA
His most recent project is an ambitious “Incubator” model, a premium boot camp that allows attendees to meet with Ducker and his lecturers one-on-one. Thus, providing new opportunity channels and first-hand consultation, among other stuff.
So, let’s dive into their success and how to do it yourself.
All Revenue Streams of Youpreneur
When your name is your most valuable brand, you’ll always try to find creative ways to put yourself in the market.
However, if you try to be too diverse with your revenue channels, you may earn less instead of more. A seasoned businessman like Ducker understood that right off the bat.
He doesn’t do any affiliate marketing, doesn’t paywall his content, nor places ads in his podcast.
Instead, he relies on a few significant pillars that form Youpreneur and all his wealth.
Before we start, can you guess them?
Youpreneur Academy is Ducker’s primary source of income.
Like other membership websites, you’re paying a monthly membership ($39) fee for value.
This value consists of courses, videos, training, roadmaps, and access to various Youpreneur events.
The entire program is a scholarship that turns you from a 9-to-5 corporate grinder to a “youpreneur” – a businessman that scales his personal brand to success.
A big part of the Academy’s success stems from a meticulous approach to community building.
Ducker sends a clear message to his future members - “Join the Academy. Become a go-to expert in your industry and build a future-proof business”.
Notice how well Ducker connects and brands all the people in his membership! After taking the course, they all become successful “youpreneurs.” He lists the most successful yourpeneurs proudly on his website:
It’s similar to other huge communities whose members feel like part of something bigger. For example, “Sumolings” of Appsummo, or Parker Walebeck’s “Full-Time Filmmakers.”
On top of that, each member becomes a part of a private Youpreneur Facebook group where you can share your success, ask questions, and actively communicate with lecturers and Chris himself.
According to Chris, Youpreneur had over 3500 different attendees in various stages since it’s conception. Currently, there are over 1500 active members of the Academy and rising.
These groups can be extremely profitable for various reasons. For one, if you moderate it well, the members will likely recommend others to join the fun and change their life.
Also, you can likely upsell to people who are already deeply involved in your business.
For instance, Ducker promoted his high-ticket Incubator in this group first, knowing that “youpreneurs” are the warmest to the idea.
When you’re good at what you do, people will always come to listen to you – be it a guest speaker or a host.
Chris Ducker takes advantage of both. He is a famous keynote speaker for various growth, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship events.
Watch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kt8kG60raU
On the other hand, the massive popularity of Youpreneur allows him to host an annual event of his own – The Youpreneur Summit.
Every year, Ducker invites prominent figures from the business world to speak about the most recent trends.
Sometimes the speakers are his students that made a name in the industry, which gives the event an additional “oomph” and further promotes his course’s effectiveness.
NOTE - this is a huge selling point for his membership and events when attendees can see the members' success stories.
The tickets aren’t cheap, and the capacity is limited. Yet, each year the Summit grows bigger!
Watch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpvQRvYa8ks
The majority of industry experts will publish a book to cement their place as an authority in their niche. But if you’re not a leading figure your book is likely to go under the radar.
That’s why Ducker first built up a personal brand to the point he had a cult-like following. Then, he started publishing.
So far, he published two books – Virtual Freedom, where he speaks about his success with outsourcing his business while living in the Philippines. The other book – Rise of the Youpreneur, covers his journey of building a personal brand.
He has sold over 125,000 copies of his books to this date in both digital and paperback format. And do you know why? Because people already knew that they are buying value.
Aspiring entrepreneurs knew that they’d absorb knowledge straight from the horse’s mouth—more about his book promotion strategies below.
Since recently, Ducker launched another educational model that goes beyond the regular Academy.
The Youpreneur Incubator is for those who want to (quite literary) “get closer” to Chris Ducker and his team of experts. Incubator consists of virtual masterminds, monthly expert coaching sessions, and Q&As with Ducker himself.
You also get an Academy membership and become part of both the Academy Facebook group and special Incubator group where you can discuss business with Ducker & co. every day. Put simply; this automatically transforms you into the elite.
And as you’ve probably guessed, this is where you’ll need to invest most of your cash. However, a chance to network with industry experts automatically puts you ahead of the curve.
Chris Ducker’s Scaling & Promotion Strategies
It’s a long journey to build a 7+ figures personal brand. And most of it consists of hard work and smart marketing (particularly at the beginning).
Here are some marketing strategies that propelled Ducker’s path to success – and he’s still using them now.
Constant & Free Content
Free content is the pillar of any brand. But it’s not enough just to share anything and at any time.
In the digital space crowded with tons of digital content, yours needs to stand out more than ever.
And how do you do it? You have to be omnipresent and frequent.
Plenty of membership websites put their valuable content behind a paywall, meaning you have to invest if you want to learn. Ducker does this with his books and courses, for example.
However, he still gives out a lot of value for free. He updates his blog regularly with free, long-form articles. Some are guest posts from leading figures in the industry!
He also frequently posts short, on-point YouTube videos on his channel with useful tips for personal branding, business management, and more.
Watch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7uIwJ_fBUA&t=18s
The final and probably the most popular piece of free content is Youpreneur’s podcast. With over 400 episodes, Ducker managed to create a consistent and popular business talk show format with over 7 million downloads!
All this free and constant stream of value maintains Ducker's presence in the digital landscape.
It also acts as a lead magnet that eventually turns into a sales funnel, converting his prospects to one of his paid content products (what are digital products).
Or in Chris' words:
"if you create a piece of content that always answers a question or provides a solution, it will have a long-form effect. People won't only find you, but they'll convert into subscribers".
Engagement and Social Proof
You can have all the knowledge in the world, but people will always approach you with a bit of uncertainty. That’s why social proof is a pillar of every successful marketing campaign.
People won’t trust you too much at first. After all, you’re trying to sell yourself. However, if they see that others are vouching for your course, product, or something else, they are much more likely to commit.
But how do you achieve this social proof?
Ducker does it subtly and effectively. He encourages engagement in a way it doesn’t look forced and later uses it as his stamp of validation.
For instance, on every podcast episode page, you can find an excerpt quote that is an essence of the episode’s topic. There’s a little “Tweet” button that allows listeners to share this to their social network, along with the link to the podcast.
He also looks to engage with his followers on Twitter a lot. Asking them business-related questions, then picking the best of the bunch, and posting them to Instagram. A pretty great strategy to have users engage with your content and pick up social proof at the same time!
You can see Chris engaging in discussion all the time on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. He also encourages others to post their impressions from his events, summits, academy, and even his book review.
All this engraves personality and trust in your personal brand.
Facebook remains the king of social media advertising despite the emergence of new social media platforms. Ducker knows this, so he uses Facebook ads to get his program out there.
However, as he says, he doesn’t invest in the top of funnel advertising. He optimizes all his ads for remarketing, trying to convert those who already engaged with his content before (been on the website, liked his posts, visited his profile, etc.)
He uses three ads. One that promotes the free download of his Personal Brand Roadmap. A guide that helps you start your personal branding adventure. Each user needs to enter their email before receiving the guide, so this particular campaign is set up to generate email leads.
The other two are promoting his Incubator, so they're targeting an audience warmed up to the causes of Youpreneur. The key here is that the ad speaks to the people familiar with the brand, and this ad should take them to the final stage of the sales funnel—the big sale or in Gary Vaynerchuk's words, the right hook.
On-Site Lead Magnet
As you land on Youpreneur’s website, you’ll immediately see an option for a “next step assessment.”
If you decide to go for it, it will lead you through a series of questions to decide in which phase of Youpreneurship are you’re in.
After you finish the assessment and find out more about your stage, you’ll get invited to fill out your email details, so you receive Ducker’s Personal Branding Roadmap.
But more importantly, Youpreneur can now use the email to lead you through their sales funnel. And according to Ducker, that’s their main promotion strategy.
Chris Ducker is convinced that “email is king.” According to the man himself, Youpreneur has over 75 thousand subscribers and gets 100 organic daily opt-ins on average. “When we do ads, it’s double or triple that,” he says.
No wonder that he invests so much time in setting up his email drip to success.
“You don’t control YouTube – Google does. You don’t own Facebook. You only own your personal online property – including your email list. That’s your only asset”, he claims.
Ducker uses his email list to promote his free content, add value, and convince his subscribers that Youpreneur membership will change their lives. And he succeeds in his mission.
How to Replicate Youpreneur’s Success
Following Ducker’s footsteps can be a bit tricky. After all, he based the entire Youpreneur program trying to teach you exactly that! Therefore, expecting to replicate his success quickly can backfire.
Even if you build a subscription website tomorrow, you can’t expect results if you haven’t laid the groundwork beforehand.
So if you’d like to follow Chris Ducker’s brand-building career specifically, you may want to subscribe to one of his courses or boot camps. On the flip side, here is some advice that could get you started.
1. Build Around Your True Passion
Never build your personal brand around what you don’t like to do or you think will burn you out over time.
If you like gardening, that’s precisely what you should build around.
The best membership sites are based around unbelievable value in a narrow niche – various types of fitness, agriculture, yoga, book, copywriting, cooking, podcasts, or anything you could imagine.
Your passion is a subject that you can talk about openly, with authority and passion, and with the main goal to help others.
This will attract others to you, and the profit and (more importantly) personal fulfillment will follow. It’s what kicks off your career, so choose wisely.
2. Create a Membership Website
Since your persona is essentially your digital good, the best you can do is find a selling platform for digital products.
Like Amazon, Shopify, and WooCommerce, some websites let you place your digital content behind a paywall.
This allows you to easily charge for exclusive content, paid articles, courses, and even access to the entire website. It’s your choice.
Few membership site platforms stand out – Kajabi, Thinkific, and recently a great alternative – Hyax. These membership sites provide all you need to start monetizing your knowledge and your personal brand.
How to build a membership website?
Easy, head over to a paid membership website builder like Hyax. Create your account, choose a domain, and follow instructions until you set everything up.
Over there, you can sort your digital content, choose what you’ll provide for free and what you’ll lock behind the paywall as well.
Moreover, you can design your entire landing page, choose payment gateways, and easily create upsells. So instead of plugging your regular WordPress, for example, with countless tools, you get it all-in-one.
Pretty good start to a Youpreneur career, right?
3. Impose Your Authority with Content
Okay, you know a lot about something, but there’s no point lecturing an empty room. That’s why you need to attract eyes to your knowledge and your brand. How?
With content, of course.
Be it videos, podcasts, blog posts, articles, or anything else that comes to mind. You need to provide others the answer to their pain points and problems. Just like when you’re selling a regular, physical product.
Chris Ducker knew there were plenty of entrepreneurs stuck in particular places of their businesses (sometimes at the very beginning).
He offered solutions with high-quality content and lectures. He shared his experience in building multiple 7-figure businesses while also hosting podcasts and blog posts with guests that would do the same.
His content was free, compelling, truthful, and touched the pain points. His marketing was diverse and effective.
Nowadays, he sits at the top of his niche.
“Our website has been around long enough with 600+ pieces of content. So Google’s been indexing us for all of our search terms”. He says.
4. Cultivate Your Audience
“You got to show up every single week and work,” says Ducker when asked about his membership website.
Your members are paying for your content because of what you provide. They want to stay in touch with you and hear you as often as possible.
That’s why building a successful membership program is just half of the journey. The other half is maintaining it, improving it, and making it bigger:
A Gateway to Youpreneurship
Youpreneur kicked off instantly thanks to Ducker’s smart promotion and a history of success. However, the idea behind Youpreneur is what should motivate anyone to start their own personal brand.
We’re entering a new era of entrepreneurship. You, your knowledge, and your content are becoming your most sellable asset. And you need a platform to sell it.
So start making that top-notch content and start growing your community.
Afterward, head over to Hyax or a similar website builder with a membership feature and start building a legacy.
Check out some of the other success stories from entrepreneurs building and scaling online businesses.