by Jenna Kutcher
Mothers need their own clock. A clock with more than 24-hours. Can I get an AMEN?
Today’s guest knows the mom-time-warp all too well, so she created a product to serve that need. Alexa Brown is a 28-year old mommy of two (with one on the way!) and fitness enthusiast… But as a young mom, she knows how hard it can be to squeeze in a workout each day, let alone get motivated to make it happen.
With time, she learned the tried and true system of building your best body in the most effective and efficient way. To spread her innovative workout hacks and plans, she started selling ebooks. And that’s when the real business magic happened.
Alexa’s following and online shop are both wildly successful — and she let me pick her brain on how to successfully make, sell, and market online products. It’s easy to blend in online, but Alexa has MASTERED the craft, and today she is going to teach you Online Products 101.
Alexa Jean Brown is a wife, mom of two (soon to be three) and business owner alongside her husband Troy. The pair dove head first into the online business world when Alexa was laid off from her job at a tech startup and her husband had just gotten out of the military. They had been building a platform for themselves on Instagram sharing at-home workout ideas, and focused more energy on that outlet when Alexa lost her job, never knowing it would one day replace her income entirely.
A growing supplement company offered Alexa and her husband $75 to share a few posts on their feed. By the end of the trial run, the company offered them a year long contract paying enough money to cover all of their monthly expenses at the time. That was the sign they needed to go full force into the social media and online business world.
Creating Your First Digital Product
Alexa had first-hand experience being a new mom working full time. The last thing she wanted to do was place her child with another childcare provider so she could get a workout in at the end of the day. She had experience in fitness, so she knew the best idea for her business would be to focus on fitness for mothers.
The first ebook was the result of a lot of research — how to design an ebook, which platforms could support the ebook, and how could they actually make money off the ebook? When she finally took the leap and used iBooks to design the first one, she had no idea if it would actually sell. That first sale was the first of many, but it took a few months for her husband to be fully on board with the idea of building a business online. After the second ebook the business really took off. Alexa joked that her family thought they were doing something illegal to make money!
The Biz Structure of Digital Products
Low overhead. Low risk. Make money while you sleep. Sounds like a dream, right? It’s a dream come true and it’s the structure that Alexa and her husband have used to grow their business. They’ve condensed creating an ebook and selling it into a few steps.
First, she and her husband design the plans and/or write the recipes. Then, they hand off the ebook content to their design team (Alexa used to do this herself) with notes for the overall look and design. Next, it’s uploaded to their host of choice, Sendowl, and anytime someone purchases the ebook it is automatically emailed to them. They continue the cycle by advertising their ebooks, promoting the products on social media, and getting the word out as sales continue to roll in… That’s the phase when they’re making money while they sleep.
From eBook to App
Alexa Jean Fitness will soon release their own app and will phase out their ebook workout guides. Alexa decided to move to the app platform to build community among her customers. When you’re working out at home it can be challenging to build the same support system (and have the same accountability) as working out in a group class or fitness center. Alexa and Troy identified that they could better serve their customers, and therefore grow their business, by fostering community on an app. Creating an app is an entirely different endeavor with an enormous amount of work behind it, but it presents a new opportunity for residual income. It’s always easier to maintain a customer than to acquire a new one, so an app provides that opportunity to keep your customer coming back for more.
Hate feeling salesy? I can relate. Alexa has an incredible ability to sell by truly serving her customers so her pitch never feels salesy. The biggest thing Alexa focuses on is building a culture around her products. At first, she was so caught up in only showing the “pretty side” of things, but it didn’t take long to realize her audience responded better to the real side of things. Now, Alexa and her husband are more transparent on social media. This transparency builds trust with her audience and fosters a culture of realness and support, which makes gaining their sale so much more natural. Sharing the “why” behind her product brings her audience in and they want to buy what she’s selling because they identify with her “why”.
Hiring a Team
When first starting out with their business, Alexa and Troy did all of the things required to get their products out to the world from concept to sale. They’ve expanded quickly in the last few years, and now with the app coming, they’ve built a team of employees to continue to grow their business. A key hire for Alexa was a customer service and experience manager to handle their email inbox and respond to customers’ technical support issues. They’ve also hired a content creator to produce their videos. These hires take care of the things that Alexa and Troy can’t reasonably do on their own with the growth they’ve experienced. Investing in team members can be a difficult decision, but even for digital products based businesses it can be an important investment to keep you growing even further.
More from This Episode
Do you feel uncomfortable in the social media spotlight? Are you challenged on social media as a mom? Alexa talks through it all. Plus, this girl has so much knowledge from years in the digital products biz, and she dishes on how to know what your audience wants to buy, her product that sells like CRAZY (it’s the one she almost didn’t release), what’s it like to work with her husband, and so much more. All you have to do is press play on the player above for the full episode!