If you’re an entrepreneur or struggle with the titles you give yourself or the way you describe what it is you do, you’ve likely been met with the question, “But how does that actually make you money?” I get it all the time if I talk about my blog or even this show, it’s natural for people to be curious, especially when it comes to a more non-traditional job or career route.
I wanted to pull back the curtain even more on the five things that influence my bottom line the MOST. Those tools, strategies, and offers that drive our profits most strongly into the business, and how to utilize and optimize them for yourself in case you’re in the market for some new or different approaches to how you share, show up and sell your stuff.
I’ll share strategies that move the needle the MOST in my business, and that I truthfully believe can help impact your business’s bottom line, whether you’re a brick-and-mortar or online biz or whether you offer products, services or digital offers. Now let’s get into the needle-moving good stuff!
An Email List
Stick with me here, okay? I know I’m obsessed with this topic, but the reason I talk about it SO often is because it is wildly important and the #1 way I drive profits in my business. If you’re familiar with my brand then you know my obsession with helping other business owners start and serve their email list.
If the idea of serving an email list is daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Whether you send out a once-a-month round up of what you’ve been up to, or you build a sequence that is automated to serve your subscribers once a week, having an email list that you consistently serve can change everything for you.
I currently send two emails to my list per week, and 85%-plus of those emails are strictly to show up, serve, engage, storytell, and connect with my insiders. This is important to note here, because while my email list is one of the TOP ways that I grow my revenue, I only spend a small percentage of time actually *selling* to my email list, and truthfully the “selling” is more in the form of invitations so it never feels slimy or spammy.
The name of the game with growing your email list AND communicating with it is service. Create new opt-ins or reasons for them to join that provides them something of value that they are willing to exchange their email address for.
Email marketing does not have to be daunting and it definitely doesn’t have to take up a ton of time. Show up consistently, serve well, and when it comes time to sell, remember that you’re speaking to your insiders, your number one fans, the people who you’ve been showing up to. You’ve built a list you can launch to and they will likely be the first people to sign up, cheer you on, or encourage you!
What happens is, most people don’t even think about paid ads until they have something to launch or a more time-sensitive offer that they want to get traction on and that’s when they start paying for ads which isn’t actually the route I recommend.
What we’ve found to work super well is to run 95% of our ads to free offers, using ads to grow our email list and to start off our relationship getting new subscribers results for free long before we ever go to sell anything. I know, this might sound counterintuitive — why PAY for ads to promote something that’s free?
We use ads as a part of our long game — it’s not a quick hit but a way to truly build a relationship and thus a community through serving first (noticing a theme around here?) When we kick off a relationship with someone by giving them value for free, it’s actually setting up our audience for a longer journey than just promoting a paid service or product and only getting a handful of people who convert from the ad.
If you are getting into ads. My biggest piece of advice for running ads is to first use them to promote a free offer, this will keep your costs low while you figure out who the right audience is for them. Once you get something that works, don’t be afraid to keep refreshing them, keep playing with new designs and copy to keep things fresh!
We’ve really focused on our pop up strategy and honed in on what works best for our website traffic. We use pop ups to connect people to content that is in alignment with the post they clicked on to land on our page, so most of the time the pop ups are focused on free offers or content additions, leading off with serving but we also create new pop-ups for any launches we might be running and we use a platform called Opt in Monster, which allows us to get extremely specific in targeting so that certain pop-ups only appear in certain places at designated times, putting the user experience first!
Your pop-ups can either collect email addresses as an opt-in or just lead to a landing page to guide someone to more information on an offer or a topic. We like to plan popups to appear with corresponding content on the website so that they feel relevant to the user with THEM in mind.
There are sooo many ways to get resourceful and creative with them, and they actually work a lot of the time because they capture attention right away and when they look and feel on brand, they’re less of the “nuisance” you might think they’d be and more of a way to serve your audience further with what they might want or need.
One thing to note is that while you CAN do pop ups like a “set it and forget it” type thing, it’s important to back them up with strategy. We pay close attention to which designs and copy convert best, and we’re regularly swapping in new graphics, copy, and formatting to play and test different strategies. It’s fun to experiment to see what’s working and not get too comfortable using just one strategy.
One thing we recently did was ensure our pop ups were all mobile optimized since a lot of our traffic comes right from mobile. We created specific mobile popups for all of our campaigns and that made a huge difference for our conversion rates!
When you act as an affiliate for a brand, that brand essentially gives you a personal discount code or link for their products to share with your audience that allows them to purchase the brand’s goods at a lower cost based on your recommendation.
When someone uses your link or coupon code, you as the affiliate may collect a commission. Some brands pay money, some give you credit to use toward your next purchase. There are a lot of different ways affiliates or referrals can structure their programs.
In order to promote affiliate partnerships, we don’t just share a code with my audience once in an Instagram story, hope for the best, and mark it off the list. This is another approach that I look at with a long-term mindset… We create informational blog content, host joint webinars with our affiliate partners, highlight our faves on social, on my website, and on the podcast, build landing pages to feature our favorite products, and partner with the companies to get the best offers for our audience.
Figure out organic ways to integrate the brand or the product into your content and stay consistent in sharing your own personal experience with them! From Instagram highlights to emails to your list to pop ups or landing pages to help connect your community with the product you love, have fun with it and use it as an additional income and a way to test your marketing strategies! Our affiliate revenue has increased significantly over past years and it’s another long-game approach to business that we continue to focus on because it moves the needle massively for me and my team and it gives us a chance to support businesses and founders and companies and products that we love!
I started teaching online courses five or six years ago and since then, it’s been the greatest way I move the needle, but also the greatest way we impact those in our ecosystem. I’m not going to lie, our courses are amazing and the way I’ve been able to streamline and refine them over the years — something we’re constantly doing — makes me so proud.
When it comes to creating a digital course you need to ask yourself two questions:
- What problem is my target audience facing that I can simplify or solve?
- And what areas do I have experience or expertise that can save other people time, frustration, or money?
A lot of times we overthink what we would do if we had a course or we underqualify ourselves as being someone who can create a program that can help someone else. We’re often too close to our own competencies to recognize that we are experts in something or that we know something that could help someone else.
I see my courses as the best way to walk people through my processes, and we are constantly updating them based on new trends, best practices, and fresh data. I look at a lot of what I teach for free on the blog and the podcast as the “what” and “why” while the courses are the more meticulous and detailed “how” for those who are ready to implement the step-by-step process and strategy.
The Big Picture
These five tools and strategies impact my bottom line the most, but in such different degrees and ways. If you’ve noticed, my business is quite multifaceted with multiple revenue streams which gives us the ability to pivot, shift focus, and not rely too heavily on one means to pay the team or keep the lights on.
This is super important, so if you’re in the early stages and recognizing that you’ve got one offer, one service, or one business model but you’re not 100% set on doing that same thing for the next five years, it might be time to diversify your income and explore other ways to drive profits into your business.
I hope you walk away from this episode with an idea (or a few) for how to incorporate these fresh strategies for sharing what you do, taking care of your audience, and ultimately making more sales that in turn serve even more people with your incredible offers. Keep showing up and sharing the things that matter!