A few weeks ago I shared a few of my biggest business flops…
(As well as the moral of the story for anyone reading them!)
So hopefully hearing my BTS facepalm moments will help you when planning new ideas in your own business!
But it hasn’t all been bad!
Sometimes things really do go as planned, or even better than planned. And then sometimes what turns out being great decisions were just straight-up happy accidents.
So to balance the not-so-fun lessons learned in that first post, I wanted to share some of the good things that have gone, so that you can hopefully take them and adapt those lessons to your own business as well!
Oh, you hadn’t heard?
Yup. My whole foray into the online business world started with a travel blog.
I had been bitten by the travel bug, and decided the best way to share about my adventures was to start a blog…
Then proceeded to give that blog a bajillion “facelifts” because I enjoyed messing around in Squarespace that much.
Fast forward to when I moved Germany to be with my *then* boyfriend (you can listen to that story here).
I remember sitting at our little breakfast table one day on the weekend, talking about how I was going to make money.
I didn’t speak the language, and knew zero people (besides him) so yeah…job prospects were not a thing. ♀️
Yes, I had my little travel blog side hustle, but the thing about travel blogging is that you need a pretty massive audience before people will want to collab and offer you affiliate income.
I needed to find a way to start making money like yesterday, and travel blogging wasn’t it.
We decided selling 1:1 services would be a much quicker way to pay my rent.
So I said goodbye to the travel blog, and decided to start designing websites for other people instead.
Now someone reading this who knows my business and where it’s at now might think it was a no brainer and a total non-issue to have to part with this tiny little side hustle hobby blog that was taking up a big chunk of time and bringing in exactly zero dollars each month…
But it was my baby.
I poured so much blood, sweat and tears into that blog for such a long time that it was a pretty tough call to let it go.
But in the end, I had to go with the business model that fit my circumstances at that time, and then adapt and grow it from there.
Ok, so I just finished telling you how I had to give up on the travel blog idea because it wasn’t going to make me money for quite some time.
So why, then would I go and start another blog???
So I could:
Start attracting ideal clients in hoards (instead of having to hand-search for them myself one-by-one every time I needed to make more money)
Build the trust needed for my potential clients to see me as the expert, and to set me apart from all the other strangers on the internet asking for their money
Market my web designer services in a super non-slimy way
And, what started as a way to find clients and sell my service is now the backbone of my entire business, and how I’m able to sell my products at scale!
So if you’ve ever been on the fence about content creation (A.K.A consistently offering useful information to your audience for free through blogs posts, videos, podcasts, etc.) just know that it’s probably the best decision I personally ever made!
So outsourcing and hiring in itself was life changing.
But the best decision I’ve made when it comes to building my team was to hire with a focus on those who want to stick around for the long haul.
It takes a crazy amount of time and effort to train up a team member to where they are able to work independently in your business and really own their tasks without you needing to assist or oversee (or worse, micromanage ).
So if every 6-12 months you are going back to square one in your hiring process, you are probably making more work than if you had just buckled down and down the thing yourself!
So when I hire, I want to be thinking:
Now, I obviously support people wanting to start their own businesses (literally the sole reason this blog exists)…
But when choosing team members, I look for those that want to enjoy the freedom that comes from working a dreamy remote career, without having to be in the spotlight themselves, or build an empire of their own.
It’s pretty much unheard of these days to run an online business and not be on Instagram.
Oh, I have an account…
But I made the super freeing decision very early on in my business that Instagram wasn’t going to be an important part of my marketing strategy.
I legit took an entire year off (you can read about that here) and have yet to return to it with any real gumption.
And yet my business continued to explode!
I got to work building up the go-to free resource for my target audience to find real answers (my blog)
I made sure to build it on a platform I actually own (my website) so that I can benefit from the traffic in a lasting way
I offered next-level insider secrets in exchange for their email deets (my freebie opt-in gifts and free trainings)
I used email marketing to shout out about my services and online courses, and to keep my audience engaged with my business while they made their buying decision
If you are down to do Instagram, and do it consistently, then it can definitely be an incredibly useful tool for marketing!
But when it came down to it, sharing my life all over the Gram was just not something I enjoyed.
Feeling like I had to be constantly posting was honestly making me dread sitting down to work on my business.
So instead, I went against the norm and let go of this task so I could be freed up to focus on other areas of my business that tend to see a higher return on the time invested!
So moral of the story when it comes to marketing your business…
Pick one thing. Do it well. Stop worrying about what everyone else is up to.
When I first launched my Square Secrets™️ & Square Secrets Business™️ courses, each course had it’s own sales page, and if you wanted to save by buying both courses together as a bundle, you had to click a button to visit a whole new sales page.
Then randomly during one launch, my team and I decided to try adding an option to buy the bundle right there on the same page.
Nothing else changed…
Not my sales page copy (the words I used to talk about the courses).
Not the layout/design.
Not even the price.
All we did was get rid of one extra step/click on the customer’s buying journey…
And we saw a crazyyyy increase in bundle conversions (the number of people who bought the bundle of both courses, instead of just buying one course).
So lesson learned!
If you offer some sort of upsell, like an add-on service or a product bundle, make it super easy for your customer to hit “add to cart” on those extra items and watch as your revenue multiplies overnight!
For the past few years, I’ve been opening enrollment to each of my two online courses 2x a year.
Meaning once a quarter, my team and I would need to drop everything we were doing and devote 100% of our time and attention to planning and executing a live launch.
It felt like a constant scramble to get it all done AND still be able to keep up with the other projects in the business, on top of staying consistent with the content we were creating.
But this year we are doing something different!
We have made the decision to open enrollment just 1x a year.
This has allowed to:
spend more time thoughtfully planning launches in advance
try out new marketing strategies we’d been eyeing but hadn’t had time for in the past
think up new course ideas and new ways to better serve our ideal audience
spend more time searching for and hiring the right team members, so we aren’t ending back at square one and having to train a new person before each launch
Obviously we will have to wait until the end of the year to see if this is the right call revenue-wise, but so far it has done wonders for our productivity levels and we’ve been able to make crazy amounts of progress on other projects that had previously been on hold!