Derek Halpern: 25 Lessons to be learnt

2246665Derek Halpern is the Founder of SocialTriggers. He has a proven track record for building blogs from scratch to Everest-like subscriber numbers . An example? He got 26,778 subscribers in 13 months. He is also the co-founder of the online course Software ZippyCourses. He impacted 5,000,000 people, reached clients in 69 countries and built a profitable business by doing things he loves. In September Derek Halpern also released Social Triggers TV, a web video show in which he reveals valuable tips for all those entrepreneurs who are trying to grow their business.

Derek Halpern: 25 Lessons to be learnt

Here I would like to summarise the 25 most important lessons we can learn from Derek Halpern.

# 1- If you write a blog focus 20 % on the creation of your content and 80 % on the promotion of it by using various online channels. In the past I did it the other way round. For me personally, that was a big lesson!
# 2 – Create a brand – a position in the marketplace – that people can remember. You need to be very specific and shape what people think about you. Summarize in few words what you want to be known for. Make it unique and memorable. Spread this message by being interviewed, post guest blogs on other websites and try to get featured in other media.
# 3 – Answer the following questions in order to come up with your specific phrase:
a) What do your ideal subscribers want?
b) What’s their main problem and do you think you can solve it?
c) What’s your method for solving that problem?
d) What do you love to talk about more than anything else?

# 4 – If you want to reach the right audience you need to talk their language, otherwise you will be perceived as an outsider.

# 5 – Stop looking at blogs that write about the same thing as you do. Focus instead on the people you want to read your blog/site.

# 6 – Derek Halpern also believes that you should look for people who can benefit from your content, even if they are in a completely different sector. Reach out specifically to those people. Even if a blog has only 1000 readers, it would still mean you get exposed to 1000 new people!

# 7 – You can collect data from your subscribers by asking them what they are struggling with. Invite them to fill out a short survey. You will come across interesting groups of people. Encourage people to reply to your emails and share stories about themselves.

# 8 – Make use of the “drafting technique”. Ask yourself the following questions:
a) What would you like to promote?
b) Where can I find the people who are interested in it?
c) How can I persuade those people to cover up?
Look at your competitor who has been featured in a magazine/blog etc. Get in touch with that media/journalist and build a relationship. Later on this might land you in the press too. Or why not reaching out to the competitor of that media and get covered by them instead. Don’t make it obvious that you want to get promoted, instead try to come across as helpful. Make their job a bit easier by providing them interesting content and don’t bombard them with the promotion of your products/services. Attract visitors who agree and disagree with your statement, e.g. “Design is King” – “Content is King”. This will allow you to reach out to both groups of people. This was definitely one of the best tips I personally learnt from Derek Halpern, which I will try to apply also for my own CareerHeads blog.

# 9 – Derek Halpern also believes in ‘Education is meaningless without action’. It reminds me of a similar statement ‘Knowledge is power’. Well, actually it’s APPLIED KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

# 10 – The number of subscribers you have for your blog is directly related to your ability to drive highly-targeted traffic to your blog, your ability to convert that traffic into fiercely loyal subscribers, your ability to get your readers to promote and refer you to friends.

# 11 – If you want to earn passive income, create an online course. Not sure what to teach? Find a problem that people are struggling with, of which you know a bit something about. Then help people to solve it. For example, losing weight, stopping to smoke, changing career etc.

# 12 – People want information spoon-fed to them and are prepared to pay money to learn something in a course. Don’t assume that because a lot of information is available on the internet for free, people would not be interested in courses. Let’s not forget that it also takes time to research on a particular topic or to learn something new. A great online course might therefore be the best solution to learn something quickly and effectively.

# 13 – Help people to go from pain to solution. Start with a mini-course first and test the waters. Once you receive some more feedback you can start thinking of taking it to a new level.

# 14 – You don’t need to have a product/service in order to make money online. You don’t even need to be an expert. First build an audience (it doesn’t have to be a big one) and then sell them stuff! Building an audience can lead to many other things, such as speaking engagements, networking opportunities, book deals etc.

# 15 – Derek Halpern is convinced that blogging is not dead! It’s actually a great way to build an audience! If you want to be a thought leader, a blog would be a great way of getting started.

# 16– Don’t make this your strategy: relying on other external sources only. You should not put all your eggs into one basket, e.g. Facebook, where you have no control. Thus, build your own audience that YOU own! Only you can control your blog, nobody else can take it away from you.

# 17 – Start before you are ready. Do your research but don’t let that stop you from getting already started.

# 18 – You don’t need to be an expert or an authority to start building an audience. You can also be a curious novice who writes about something that you are in the process of learning. But make sure you know who you want to have as your audience. Ask yourself: Who is my target group?

# 19 – Instead of offering discounts, offer MORE value for a HIGHER price. Encourage people to spend more on educational resources that will help them to get more successful.

# 20 – Don’t rely on one revenue stream only, but multiple streams. The more diverse products you offer, the more choices you have and if one approach doesn’t work anymore, you have still other options.

# 21 – You don’t need lots of connections, even though it can help initially, but a blog helps you to make the connections. It will give you the opportunity to get in touch and meet amazing people.

# 22 – In the world of SEO, the older your domain is, the more likely it is that search engines will rank it in a good position.

# 23 – When it comes to content creation focus on quality not quantity!

# 24 – Get into the habit of reading. If you think you never have time to read try this: Make it a routine to read every day at least 10 minutes before getting up in the morning and 10 minutes before going to sleep. Those 20 minutes a day can teach you a lot in a year!

# 25 – Don’t allow anyone to hold you back. No matter what your mum tells you, what your friend says. If you believe in yourself and your idea, you need to be persistent. Last but not least, remember that your idea doesn’t have to be completely unique in order for you to succeed.


If you want to find out more about Derek Halpern, check out his website at:

You can also follow him on Twitter @derekhalpern.


By the way, today (yes on Christmas Day!) Derek Halpern turns 31 !!!

Happy Birthday Derek!!!





What was your biggest takeaway today? Which lesson are you most excited to use in your own career? I would appreciate it if you could leave a comment and lvote how useful the article was for you. If you know anyone who could benefit from this article, make sure you share it. You’ll be helping them out and me too! Thanks!


Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh

Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” ( She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.

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