I was recently a guest expert on a panel interview as part of a marketing summit.

As I was listening to the other speakers and hearing their stories, it became clear that everyone involved had some kind of ‘claim to fame‘ result. They had experienced a breakthrough success in their past that led to all kinds of benefits, including an invite to be on the panel of experts.

In many cases, all that’s necessary is one desirable result, and that becomes the foundation for an online teaching business.

What kind of breakthrough depends entirely on what industry you are in. For example, if you are in the health niche and you lost a lot of weight using a combination of diet and exercise, just showing your before-and-after photos can be your breakthrough proof.

If you’ve made a lot of money trading penny stocks or published a bestselling book, or you’ve won an award or visited every country on the planet, or you’ve advised the president, cured your chronic back pain, created a successful YouTube channel, invented a new kind of blender, or had a successful exit from a software company — any of these things can be enough of a claim to fame for you to launch a teaching or coaching business.

When you have achieved something other people value, it can open the doors to incredible opportunities. For example, your success can help you meet other successful people. Meetings or connections that used to be difficult to secure, suddenly become much more readily available.

Your success also gives you a story to tell, which can help you convince new clients to work with you, or buy your digital products like ebooks, courses and membership sites.

My first ever product launch relied heavily on my own story as a blogger, to convince people to buy my blogging course. I had no other stories to share as I had never taught anyone blogging before, so I tapped my own ‘claim to fame’ — the fact that I was making $10,000 a month from my blog — and shared the story behind the success.

Your breakthrough result demonstrates you are a teacher who has actually lived what you are teaching. This can lead you to become an authority in your space and can be the foundation for further success, leading to even bigger breakthrough results.

Breakthrough Examples

Over the last decade, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing many successful entrepreneurs for my podcast.

Despite all the differences between each person and the kind of business they run, they all have one thing in common – a breakthrough result or experience.

Here are some examples with links to their podcast interview:

Breakthrough Result Case Studies – Michelle Dale, Perry Romanowski, Joanna Penn

  • Michelle Dale – A mother of three who started earning six figures as a virtual assistant after losing all her money to an Egyptian property deal gone bad. Her initial claim to fame that launched her teaching business was traveling Europe and earning an income entirely online as a virtual assistant.
  • Perry Romanowski – A cosmetic chemist turned blogger who appeared as a guest on the Dr. Oz show to explain the chemistry behind beauty products. Perry had credibility as a qualified chemist, but he stood out from the crowd by focusing on how to create popular products like shampoo.
  • Joanna Penn – A creative writer who left her well-paying job and today earns $100,000+ a year income from her writing business. Joanna’s first breakthrough was publishing a successful book, but what really made her stand out was succeeding with multiple books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres, a rare outcome for an author.

A Breakthrough Ten Years In The Making

A breakthrough result doesn’t just happen by chance. It’s the outcome of doing a lot of little things that eventually lead to your big achievement.

My own story is a good example of how a breakthrough can hit suddenly, yet it was years in the making — a collection of experiences adding up together to create the necessary conditions for your breakthrough result.

I spent seven years running a card game website and then an editing company. I drew on all those experiences to create stories for an entrepreneurship blog. Without the experiences, there would be no stories to share.

However, it wasn’t until I released a breakout resource, a free report that was part of that first launch I mentioned earlier (the very first version of the Blog Profits Blueprint back in 2007), that suddenly a whole lot of people discovered me and associated me with the world of successful blogging.

I’ve been riding that breakthrough wave ever since.

My breakout achievement in many ways is just one thing – a 55-page report I called The Blog Profits Blueprint. It took 10 years to gather the skills, have the experiences and write the blog that led to the creation of the report, but it is the report that most people remember me for.

Nothing else I have done since then has had as much of an impact.

Without A Breakthrough You’re Just Like Everyone Else

Obviously, I’m not the only person who teaches how to make money blogging, but because I had a breakthrough result, I get to enjoy the benefits of being one of a select few people who have recognition and authority. It’s because of this that my products like Blog Mastermind have continued to sell for a decade.

This story repeats in every industry.

Only a small handful of people enjoy sustained success because they had some kind of breakthrough result that put them on to a list of just a handful of people who people are aware of and trust.

If you’re not on that list you’re just like hundreds or even thousands of people all teaching the same thing, without any compelling reason to choose you.

Of course, that list doesn’t really exist. But the concept is true.

You need something that makes you stand out from the crowd, that gives you credibility and makes people perk up and listen when they hear the start of your story.

This is called a competitive advantage, and when it comes to selling your information products, the best competitive advantage is what you have achieved and what your clients have achieved.

So many people who are new to building an online business start with this basic three-step formula (incidentally this is also what many internet marketing experts teach you to do):

  1. Build a list (take your pick of traffic sources – paid advertising, blogging, social media, joint ventures)
  2. Run a campaign to sell a course or coaching (usually involving a webinar or video series or both)
  3. Deliver your training and then repeat the process

This formula works and has worked again and again, but only when the person using it has some kind of claim to fame story to share.

Without the breakthrough result, there’s no compelling reason to buy from you.

So I ask you, do you have a breakthrough result that can put you on the map?

If not, are you working towards one that will be your door-opening story and a key part of your platform for success online?


P.S. Even with a breakthrough result and story, there are many small steps you have to get right to build an online business.

When you do this right, you can use your success to share stories that attract the right kind of people, and convert them into paying customers, all using just the internet.

I teach a live workshop called the Platform Launch Plan, where I show you each of the steps you need to work through to launch an online business selling information products like ebooks, courses and membership sites.

Book your seat for my free workshop using the link below: