I made some major changes to my blog and biz during the last six months of 2015 that led to a dramatic increase in revenue and I want to share them with you.
Here we go!
1. I SWITCHED FROM CONSULTING TO COURSES
2015 was a crazy year for me. The first six months I built a profitable consulting business from scratch and the last six months I stopped offering consultations and transitioned to selling my own online courses.
I did this for two reasons:
1) I was tired of working 1:1 with people all day long. I booked myself solid within the first two months using Instagram and my Facebook group and felt tethered to Skype and my phone. I coached people all day and sometimes all night if they had a day job that limited their availability.
2) I wanted more money. There were only so many hours a day for me to consult. I could have raised my prices considerably, but I was so drained from meeting with people that I didn’t really want to. Simply put, there was no amount of money that you could offer me to make me continue consulting.
+ Are you still excited about all the products and services you offer?
+ Are there any you could eliminate?
+ If you eliminate them, how would you replace that lost revenue?
+ Remember, this is your business. You can do what you want.
2. GIVE ME MONEY OR YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
Over the last six months, my entire income was generated from my online courses. I used my Facebook group to generate excitement for each launch.
1) My Facebook group directs people to my website so they can purchase my courses, opt-in to my email list or read my blog.
2) Each of my blog posts give value PLUS either promotes a free content upgrade (aka an irresistible freebie) or one of my courses.
3) I don’t want anyone leaving my website without giving me their email and/or giving me money.
Since I shifted my business model to online courses, my blogging strategy has completely changed. I used to blog for the hell of it. I was giving value and establishing myself as an influencer, but I wasn’t seeing a sales bump each time I posted. Now I can count on it.
I’m not just strategic about my blogging, even my opt-ins are designed to sell. For example, I created a post and an opt-in last summer about Periscope. Why? That was not strategic AT ALL. Do I sell a course about Periscope? No. So, why the heck would I make an opt-in for it?
There is no point to have opt-ins that don’t lead to something. I mean, it’s a nice thing to do for your readers, but it will not lead to more money for you. That was a major lightbulb moment for me.
+ What action do you want your website visitors to take?
+ Is it easy for visitors to do this?
+ What changes can you make to your website to make it even easier?
3. I LEARNED FROM THE PROS
I used to be SO SCARED of investing money in my business. Since then, I’ve learned to trust myself more. If I enjoy someone’s blog, newsletter, webinars, and Facebook group, I’m probably going to love their course.
The bottom line is I trust my intuition. So far, this hasn’t let me down.
Here are some guiding questions to help you determine whether or not you should invest in a business course:
+ Is it from a reputable source?
+ Is it something that you don’t have time/interest in figuring out for yourself?
+ Is it teaching you something that has potential to generate extra income?
+ How involved is the course? Do you have time to do it?
+ What do other people say about it?
I think some people feel like they have to figure out EVERYTHING for themselves. If someone is a wiz at webinars, why wouldn’t I pay her to teach me? What an epic waste of time it would be for me to try to figure that out for myself.
+ Make a list of skills you need in order to run your business. You list may include how to create a social media strategy, what to include in an email newsletter, how to create a line sheet, how to schedule client’s more efficiently, how to improve your product photography, etc.
+ Next to each item, note whether you have time/interest to figure it out alone OR whether you want an expert to tell you exactly what to do.
4. I OUTSOURCED ALL THE THINGS
I can tell you right now that there is NO WAY I could have grown quickly without outsourcing projects. In August, I hired a social media manager to execute my social media strategy. In October, I hired a Virtual Assistant to help me with customer service and a photographer to take care of all my Instagram photography.
Being able to offload tasks to my tiny team has been a huge relief, but now I need to think about what systems I have in place to support them. How can I help my team work more efficiently? How can I open lines of communication so they feel empowered to make suggestions? What are there secret skills I don’t know about yet?
Systems used to be a big word that made me hyperventilate. Now it is all I want to talk about. How can I run my business in a way that allows me to focus on what I do best and enjoy the most?
+ Make a list of all the repetitive tasks in your business. This might include answering customer emails, scheduling social media, writing your newsletter, packaging and shipping physical products, etc.
+ If you don’t have a budget to outsource yet, try batching. Batching may include checking/answering your email once a day instead of throughout the day, scheduling a month’s worth of social media content at once, etc.