Are you making this mistake with your side hustle?
Coaches, Consultants, Experts, Service Providers…listen up. This post will help you make sense out of the online business model. Whatever your passion is, whatever you’re good at, I’m living proof that you can monetize it online, but there’s a catch…you’ve got to follow the formula.
You’ve heard it before…
Take what you know.
Sell it for $2k or more.
Use a Facebook ad, a video, and an email sequence.
That’s the formula.
It’s really simple.
But, actually, it’s not that simple.
Easier said than done…
Because you might be thinking,
“What exactly is my offer?”
“Would anyone actually pay $2k, $5k, or even $10k for it?”
“That’s what I charge.”
“Well, I think that’s what I should charge.”
“But, nobody’s ever heard of me.”
“I don’t have an email list.”
“I have case studies but they’re not written up yet.”
“I don’t have a video for my business.”
“And syncing the software?”
“Exactly what software should I use?”
“What’s the difference between a Sales Page and my regular website?”
“What if I don’t even have a website yet?”
“Plus, what about ads?”
“I’m not sure if I can write the perfect email sequence.”
“And I’d rather not do phone calls, either.”
“Maybe I’ll buy a course.”
“Or try to find a freelancer to help me.”
I’ve got a better idea.
Read this first.
There are some important lessons to learn if you want to create a profitable online business.
How do I know this?
I worked in corporate marketing for a Fortune 500 for 10 years. I traveled around the U.S. to train regional marketing teams. After that, I worked for a digital agency for a few more years. When the sales guy at my agency invoiced a client $10,000 for a report that I wrote myself, I finally decided it was time to stop giving away my expertise for peanuts.
But…with that…I had to start over. I started at the same place where everyone starts when they're starting a new business…at the very beginning. So this is a culmination of advice that I both gave to clients of our agency, as well as garnered myself from starting over.
Lesson 1: What is Your Offer?
The very first step to monetization online is to get crystal clear about what exactly your offer is. Who do you serve? What is the problem that you solve? And most of all, why does it matter? In order to be successful with monetization online, you have to focus on the transformation you can provide for people. It doesn’t matter whether it’s crafting hair bows for gymnasts or writing paleo recipes, your focus has to be clear.
A lot of times people want to start a blog but they aren’t quite sure what they want to blog about because they have several different passions. While Lifestyle Bloggers can definitely monetize and become successful, the real key to monetization is to start with a narrow focus.
Are you making this mistake with your side hustle?
When you cover too many different topics, such as motherhood, kids, fashion, and email marketing, people will be confused about what it is that you are an expert in.
I often see women start off blogging about motherhood, and then all of a sudden they are an “expert” in SEO and they are selling a course on “how to start a blog”.
Listen, I don’t care what anyone else tells you…that isn’t a sustainable way for you to make a full-time income as a blogger. It will never happen. I’ve seen people fail, and fail again. You’ll be wasting your time with affiliate links to other blogger’s products that have nothing to do with your blog.
If you worked in marketing for the last 15 years then start a marketing blog, but if you didn’t, then stay in your lane.
Get out of comparisonville, don’t regurgitate other people’s blog posts, and get back in your lane.
Stick with what you know well.
If you're going to create a video or blog about a topic, make sure you have experience in that topic. Nobody wants to learn about how to grow a YouTube channel by someone who has 3 videos on their channel with 10 subscribers and 20 views.
I once clicked on a Pin on Pinterest which led to a blog article about advice on starting a YouTube channel. As I read through the article, I was becoming skeptical because the advice was counter-intuitive to what is being taught inside the mentorship program I belong to. (In case you didn't know, I'm a mentor inside of the private groups for YouTube Influencer Sunny Lenarduzzi's YouTube for Bosses and Authority Accelerator Programs).
We teach people how to be successful on YouTube.
But do some due diligence.
Check out my YouTube channel. It's not huge, but it's acceptable. If you like what you see, don't forget to subscribe while you're there.
So the moral of the story is….stick with what you know.
Don't try to be someone you're not.
Because that isn't going to give you a full time income.
Want to learn how to be successful with YouTube so that you can grow your biz like the real GirlBoss that you are? Start here:
Lesson 2: Your Purpose
Creating content is all about focusing on your purpose. Sometimes, bloggers can’t articulate their message, and this ultimately makes it harder to monetize.
Try thinking about this statement:
I help [specific person] to [specific problem you solve] so [specific result they want].
I help driven women entrepreneurs go from feeling stagnant in their business to standing out as leaders so they can fast-track more high-ticket clients and share their unique message with the world.
You definitely want your message to be high level, but also speak to a specific pain point that will get your audiences attention.
Make your purpose clear, specific and results-driven. Ultimately, you want to move people to take the next step in their journey.
Now, if you don’t already know this, your bottom line is highly dependent upon your ability to “do social media” correctly. What does that look like you’re saying to yourself, what exactly does it mean to “do it correctly?”
I think it’s easy to get so focused on building your product that you forget to build your audience. Before you can monetize, you need to have people to sell to. In other words, if you don’t have an email list or a very big social media following, you’ve got to work on that.
Monetization is twofold: it’s about creating your own digital product that will help move your audience closer to their goal, and also suggesting helpful products and services (affiliate links) that will also move your audience closer to their goal.
You can’t monetize your passion if you don’t have someone to sell to. Think about it this way, just because you put your product out there on your website doesn’t mean people are just going to start flocking to it. The social media fairies don’t work that way.
Plus, and this is important, here’s the reality: you’re probably not going to make a huge affiliate income on the day you publish your first affiliate link. People are not going to open up their wallet and buy something they’ve never heard of just because you recommended it in a blog post.
Is it possible to make an affiliate income the moment you hit “publish?” Of course people may read your post, get really into the product you’ve recommended, and buy it. But in my experience it hasn’t been an effective strategy and I wouldn’t rely on it.
And here’s the other thing you should know about affiliate income: it’s inconsistent. I wish affiliate links were a stable way to make an income, but the reality is that there is nothing truly stable about making money by promoting other people’s products. It’s not uncommon for a company to close down their affiliate program, change the terms, or go out of business altogether.
Lesson 3: Your Audience
Herein lies the final key to being successful with monetization. I’ll say it again because it’s so important: You can’t monetize your passion if you don’t have someone to sell to.
So even if you don’t have a product yet, you want to start building your audience from day one.
Regardless of what your background is, believe me, for the last 14 years I’ve been working with people from college educated to physicians to craftsman to students, and when it comes to online marketing and digital advertising, everyone is in the same boat. Your leadership, drive and ambition isn’t about your educational background, it is about your motivation to accelerate your business forward and that is what will make you successful.
Now there are ways to accelerate the process of building your audience. You can use paid ads to get in front of your exact target audience, but there’s a strategy that you need to follow to make it all come together.
Savvy shoppers are now what the Harvard Business review is calling “mobile supershoppers” they know just what they want and they know how to find it.
The question becomes, do you know how to market to them? The success of your online business in the 21st century depends on whether you know how to do it right.
Lets talk about value. Measuring and delivering what your consumer really wants, that is value.
When a customer evaluates a product or a service, they weigh it’s perceived value against it’s asking price, but zeroing in on what they REALLY value can be difficult, because psychologically it’s complicated.
How does that all play in to getting people to buy your product or service online? Well, to make your product valuable, it needs to contain 4 elements:
and provide social impact.
When optimally combined, these 4 elements will increase your customer loyalty and your revenue growth.
But if you’re clueless about the digital business model, tech integrations or how to connect online marketing back to revenue for your business, and nothing else has worked…
And you’re sick and tired of trying to do ALL.THE.THINGS.
Maybe it’s time to outsource the entire scope of the project to an expert with an unparalleled commitment to serving your needs.
Here’s an alternative option for a very limited time…I currently host a Free, private Facebook group where you can ask questions, get solid advice, support, and collaborate with other social media influencers, bloggers, and online entrepreneurs. In early 2020, I will be changing this group from free to paid, so if you would like to get in now, for free, click here to join! Once I officially launch my Masterclass Series, I will only be inviting those who have paid for the course. Why? Because it takes time to answer questions of course and I can’t keep working for free! 🙂 Join now!!
On another note, here’s my best advice for Small Business Owners: Start with a digital audit. I can do a mini-audit of your website and social channels, and then plan a time to talk it over with you, one-on-one in a 1-hour or 2-hour session. I also offer a full-scale digital audit which provides you with a written, step-by-step Action Plan tailored to your business model to help you get you where you’re going. You can implement the plan yourself, hire us to do it for you, or seek out freelance services yourself using Upwork, Fiverr, or Bark.
When you have a written plan, you’ll know exactly what you need to do, and perhaps most importantly, how to communicate it properly in the right ‘industry lingo’ so that you, someone on your team, or a hired freelancer can get it done quickly and efficiently.
Here's how you can Leverage the Power of Pinterest…
When the thought of using Pinterest for business first crossed my mind, I didn’t really believe it would be possible.
But as I scrolled through my feed, I started reading blogs where people were talking about how they made over $10,000 per month (and more) blogging. I remember thinking “that can’t possibly be true!”
Women eventually get to a point in their life where they want (and sometimes desperately need) a more flexible work life.
Whether it’s the need for flexible hours to be more present with your growing family, or the desire to travel and not be tied down by a 9 to 5, we all dream of a balance between career and life.
This blog post is about my personal journey to grow my business using Pinterest
I don't typically like sharing about my own personal journey, but I was encouraged to share the full story because some people I trust believe that YOU can be inspired to create your own empire by reading it! I hope it inspires you!
So lets start at the beginning. I started my first blog while I was pregnant…in 2006. I was absolutely over the corporate stress, and I knew that I was going to need some flexibility.
At first I didn't think the blog would actually be a business, it was just for fun.
I was still looking for a remote job.
The more I searched, the more frustrated and impatient I got. There are a lot of scams out there.
For the love of all things, don't EVER sign up to do surveys!
I don't know why people are still even talking about that junk!
Anyway, I browsed through websites like FlexJobs, Virtual Vocations, Indeed, and even LinkedIn, I just didn’t believe it was going to be possible for me to get a good job and still have the flexibility to work from home.
So I had this blog, but I didn't yet recognize that it could be monetized, and I surely didn't yet recognize that I could gain massive amounts of website visitors and make money by using Pinterest.
Months went by and I didn’t make a dime.
In the meantime, I was doing freelance work and running Facebook ads for others…and literally teaching others how to grow their online business.
But I didn't have the kind of money they did.
Money to spend on paid ads that is.
But I was determined. I knew that Pinterest was different from Facebook.
I finally stopped doing the work for others and started making things work for my own business
Once I decided to focus on my own business, I ended up pulling in a few thousand dollars a month.
It was certainly enough to supplement my husband’s income, so thankfully I didn’t need a full-time 9 to 5, but it still wasn’t generating the tens of thousands that I was hearing about.
I bought a few courses to make sure I wasn't missing anything, but they didn't offer me anything other than completely vague advice.
I knew better.
On two occasions I even emailed a “course creator” after I purchased her course to ask some questions, and would you believe that 2 different people didn't even bother to get back to me?!
I mean seriously.
Now I was even more determined.
After a few more months I decided to really buckle down and get focused. I documented my strategy, interviewed successful business owners, even took a high-ticket, entrepreneural mastermind, and read more books than I ever thought existed about the topic…I finally zero’d in on what actually worked.
In a matter of days, I jumped from making around $200 per day to making over $2,000 per day! The first day, I stared at my real-time analytics and thought it couldn’t be real. Then the next day, and the next. After about 6 months, I knew I had stumbled upon the real methodology. Needless to say, it has completely changed our life.
I just knew I needed to share this experience so that other women could feel this kind of impact too.
It started with my neighbor, then some friends, and finally, women around the world, who all need the flexibility to work on their own terms…just like I did.
I’m giving away the same game-changing insights that I paid well over $7,000 for!
Because I define success as the dreams that you can help other’s achieve, not what’s in my wallet.
I've had students tell me that what I teach in this course is worth far more than I'm charging for it. That's a huge compliment which I definitely appreciate very much, but I just can't raise the price.
I want it to be affordable, yet uncomfortable. What does that mean?
Well if you pay $50 for a course, then you're not really invested in it. You might not take it seriously. But if you spend a few hundred….well then I know you're invested in yourself and in learning as much as you can. I know this from my own experience!
Over many years of the 9 to 5 lifestyle, I experienced way too much “corporate greed” and I wear my heart on my sleeve.
And, I was disgusted at the women who didn't answer my email. I mean…who are these people?
I'll never be that person who doesn't care about the people I inspire.
The bottom line is that I do care.
I care about helping you achieve your goals.
Yes, I need to make a living too, but I don’t believe in ripping you off so that I can live in luxury while you struggle.
That’s why the mini-course is only $40.
I’ve got your back.
Here are a few details, so you can get a glimpse of how the process works:
Part 1. The Story
Telling a story is much more likely to encourage someone to take action because you make a meaningful connection. You can do this through a blog post by writing, or you can do it through video. This is also the foundation of how you can make money using YouTube. If you don’t have a blog yet, don’t worry, the Pinterest Mini-Course starts out by walking you through how to set up your blog or website, step-by-step.
If you want to make money through Pinterest, I highly suggest starting a blog and writing about the products you sell, or the affiliate products you advertise. Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels. You don't have to be a stellar writer, you just have to connect the dots for your readers.
Part 2. Affiliate Marketing
This can be super confusing if you’ve never heard of affiliate marketing. Most of the “super affiliates” use sleazy tactics and do not share the secrets that you really need to know. This was my biggest pet-peeve when I first started blogging. I absolutely hate “bro marketing” where you get roped into giving up your email address in exchange for a crappy webinar where someone tells you to put away your phone and all distractions and then shows you photos of their expensive car, before launching into a bad power point presentation and an offer to purchase their $900 course at the end. It pisses me off actually, because they never gave you anything of value and expect you to open up your wallet.
Online marketing doesn’t work that way.
At least not successful online marketing.
The best way to use affiliate marketing with Pinterest is to write a blog post about a product and then pin the blog post.
This method generates a lot more clicks and thus, affiliate income, than you would have if you only linked the pin directly to the product itself. Certainly try both, but if you really want to increase passive income using Pinterest, I highly recommend using your blog.
If you have no idea how to get started with a blog, this completely free download (below) will walk you through the process step-by-step.
It was one of the first “free” digital products that I ever created. In fact, I originally put it together for a few friends, because each of them wanted to learn how to get a beautiful blog set up as quickly as possible, but I just didn’t have the capacity to sit down with each of them and walk them through it step by step.
Instead, it led to the creation of this comprehensive guide, where I share everything I learned from spending nearly 14 years in corporate and agency marketing. You can be assured that you’re getting solid information…not just what I learned while creating my own blog. I’ve created websites for literally hundreds of clients.
Enter your email address and you can get started instantly, for free!
If you don’t already have a blog (or if you do but you need some professional advice) here is a glimpse of what’s included in the guide:
1. How to choose your name and topic
2. How to start with the tech (i.e.: WordPress)
3. How to plan your content
4. How to monetize
5. How to increase traffic and ultimately profit
Part 3: Pin Design
Pin design may sound basic, like something you've already heard before. But it's super important. Pinterest is the place to see pretty, feminine pins, but often times people will use a cursive font that is hard to read, or put too much text on their pin design.
If you want to make money on Pinterest you have to use the types of pins that have been proven to generate hundreds of thousands of clicks. In the industry, this is called “click through rate.”
In the mini-course, I go over exactly what a good pin is vs a bad pin.
I teach what I've learned both by marketing my own Pins on Pinterest, as well as what I learned about color and typography after spending 14 years in corporate marketing.
Literally, I know of people who made only $100 with their pin design, and then after a few adjustments, the next day made $1,800. And it was all due to changing what her pin looked like.
Part 4: Pinterest Specific SEO
Don’t let those three letters “SEO” scare you. This is just a fancy way to describe how to choose the right words to write your Pinterest Boards and Pin Descriptions. This is a critical piece of the puzzle.
When I first started using Pinterest, I labeled my boards like this:
But the reality is, having boards like that will not bring in the big bucks. It’s important to have that right kind of board titles and descriptions to generate the right kind of traffic to your blog.
In the mini-course, I provide a series of videos that literally walk you through the process of how exactly to choose the right SEO words to use for your Pinterest board names and descriptions so that you can generate more profit and more traffic.
Listen I’m not a self-proclaimed guru who has some special talent that you don’t have.
I am just a regular person who didn’t give up, even when my husband thought it sounded crazy when I told him I was going to create a business using Pinterest.
You can do this too!
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll give the mini-course a try! It’s jam packed with everything you need, including links to video tutorials and downloadable worksheets.
Limited Time: Private Coaching Group
So here's the deal, last year I started a free Facebook group, but at the time, I hadn’t yet created my “mini-course” and I wasn’t even sure what I was going to use the group for. I just knew that I wanted to connect with other bloggers, business owners, and online entrepreneurs in a safe and “spam free” environment.
My plan for the future of the groups is this: right now, it is free and open to join, but once I complete the full online course, I’ll only be inviting course members to the group because I already know I won’t be able to keep up with two groups. Between my clients and the sheer number of emails I answer in a day, I know I will have to make a choice. It’s a great time to jump in now (while it's still free!) if you’re interested.
Inside the group, you’ll find a safe place to ask questions, get encouragement, share your dreams and your business with other women, potentially get clients, participate in the share threads and connect and collaborate with other bloggers, social media influencers, and online entrepreneurs.