As many of you know, our sweet second daughter Quinn was born in November of 2021! I had worked and prepped for MONTHS, literally creating a giant Google Doc to organize everything from the moment I got a positive pregnancy test, in order to be able to take off a full 3+ months for maternity leave. This episode isn’t just about me resting though, it’s about how we, as a team, took two full weeks off during the holidays and still brought in income. Yeah, it’s easy to rest when you’ve got people picking up your slack but let’s talk about company culture and giving your whole team a break without fear that you’ll lose momentum or sales.
Quick note: I feel like the entrepreneurial space, especially for women, is more polarizing than it has ever been. From people promoting hustle culture to the anti-hustlers out there, the manifesters and everyone in between, I want to share where I live, we like to call it: where the woo meets the work. And here’s the thing, hustle IS required a lot of times to start a business or to launch something into the world, I recognize that, but here’s where I think we get it wrong: our hustle becomes the norm, it becomes the go-to, the state of living, and so if that’s you, I want to invite in a little more rest and hopefully this episode helps you brainstorm ways to make money while you step away.
Evergreen basically means recording or creating something once, but having it serve and sell ongoing. In my business, when referencing things that are evergreen, I’m talking about our course funnels and how we get people into my programs.
Having an evergreen strategy set up is a huge way to ensure that you can have money coming in while you rest. Essentially it allows anyone who’s interested in the topic or the materials to dip their toe in my teaching style and learn how they can get results while also being invited to take the next step in the form of a paid program.
If you have online courses, downloadable guides, digital products, or anything that can be created thoughtfully once but isn’t time sensitive in context, then you might want to consider an evergreen approach! One caveat or just personal recommendation here is that I highly highly encourage you that before you put anything into automation, that you live launch it first. There’s something magical about live launching: the energy is different, it gives you a deadline to get things done, and you collect super meaningful data and feedback that will help you make anything automated even more powerful, so if an evergreen offer is something you’re curious about, consider live launching it and then popping it into automation after you optimize it.
After that, taking your offer evergreen will let people invest and sign up at any point in time, which can be a huge boost for passive income especially during times away from the business!
Evergreen or automated offers are POWERFUL, but they require fuel. If you think about it, you can have a ton of evergreen offers but in order for them to yield results, you have to get them in front of people. For me? Well, we love and leverage Facebook ads.
Yes, it’s an investment, but if you follow my advice on evergreen offers, you won’t feel like it’s a risky one because you’ve already proven to yourself that your offer converts and gets results in the live portion. Facebook ads are one of the quickest ways to get your offer in front of new people in a way. I look at Facebook ads like throwing gasoline on the fire, the fire is your offer and the ads are the gas! And here’s something to remember, you don’t just want to run ads to a paid offer, in fact, I’d caution against that. You want to run ads to some sort of free piece of value whether it’s a freebie or a webinar that requires no financial investment on the viewers part and then you want to over deliver! Not only will your ad costs be way lower, you’ll be using them to grow your email list.
Email content scheduled
So what did my list do while I was off? Well, it did what it always does, it served my subscribers. Continuing our content schedule over holidays and breaks – and honestly, all of the time – is a really important value as a brand, because we want show up consistently and stay committed to serving our audience… and while an email might drop into your inbox on a given day, it doesn’t always mean I’m sitting there and typing up an email on Christmas Eve to send out to my list… secret’s out! I prep and schedule MUCH of our content ahead of time, holidays or not, so that we can create from a place of ease, with a heart of service and not out of any last-minute stress.
Before the holiday break, I outlined, prepped and scheduled a total of four emails to send while we were off dreaming of gingerbread houses and peppermint lattes:
- One email was to simply wish my email list happy holidays and say thank you
- One to encourage them to do a simple end-of-year audit with me
- One to share how we were spending our holidays as a team and to share a new podcast episode
- And one to kick off the new year and make the very first announcement about my book!
I have a FREE 5 day mini course that literally walks you step by step through starting your list, creating a form, sending an email – complete with tutorials and a short daily walk through! Join at listbuildchallenge.com.
Podcast episodes scheduled
Looking back in my prep for 3 months off, the biggest piece of preparing for my maternity leave was definitely batch recording dozens upon dozens of interviews and solo shows so that I could truly step away from that aspect of the brand while getting to know our newest, tiniest family member. I mean, think about it, we create 8 episodes a month and I wanted 3 weeks off and a little buffer so we’re talking around 30 episodes created in advance! That required a lot of work and time at the mic but it also freed us up for months without having to record.
The funny thing about this was, Kylie, my producer, joined my team when we were preparing for maternity leave with Coco, so we had done this together before and knew that it would be a sprint but that rest was on the other side. We were able to do the 3+ months of batching and while it’s definitely intense, it’s so worth it.
When looking at that two week window of time off for the team, we released 4 episodes over the course of the holiday break and as they published we had prepared and scheduled social posts that helped us promote the new shows, so it really was pretty dang hands off!
Pinterest pins leading to content and pages
If you are NOT on Pinterest, what are you doing? Pinterest is not just another social media platform, it’s a search engine and there are humans on there searching for what you create. The most beautiful part of Pinterest – other than the endless kitchen and home inspo – is that your content lives on there forever and ever, and even old pins – we’re talking months old – can drive fresh visitors to your site and resources. When people search for topics, results don’t show up chronologically, but by relevance to the search, so the shelf life of your work on Pinterest is months vs posts that live and die within a few hours on Instagram.
Here’s the best part, we spend around an hour a week total on our Pinterest strategy and we get millions of impressions and tens of thousands of site visitors each month… If we’re talking an ROI for your time and energy, Pinterest will give you the biggest bang for your buck. The best part is? It can be scheduled. We pin practically every piece of content that we create as a brand multiple times so that it’s alluring to pinners wanting to learn about any of the topics we share about. I can’t recommend building a Pinterest strategy more, if you want to increase traffic especially while you’re resting or away from the business. If you don’t know where to begin or how Pinterest works, go to teachmetopin.com.
Pop-ups connecting a reader to what’s next
Yes, website pop ups…no they aren’t spammy, at least if you do them right. Pop-ups are one of our low-key secret weapons that aren’t as secret anymore because I keep talking about them on here. Pop-ups can be HIGHLY strategic, highly targeted, highly specific – and high converting – if used the right way, and so the best way we’ve found to use pop-ups is to put them on our blog content and then strategically point readers to related useful resources. Basically they just act as a guide for the next step we want someone to take.
We continued publishing blog content throughout the holiday break using scheduled Facebook and social media posts, and so we just made sure that each blog post was tied to more resources both in the footer of the post and with the pop-up which allowed us to keep readers on our site longer and connecting them to the next thing they’d find interesting or helpful.
Let’s look at the numbers from the holidays last year. We made about $45K on course sales between December 23rd to January 6th when my team was off for holiday break and I was still on maternity leave. Between our shop sales through Shopify which were $1,750 and our affiliate partners which earned us around $40,000 during that two week period, and with podcast sponsorships we brought in over $25,000 during that time. There were a few other things that were bringing income in but as you can see, the brand made over $100,000 in a two week window, while we were unplugged – me, watching Frozen with Coco and baby Quinn – my team, with their loved ones over the holidays.
I always get leery of sharing results or digits like this, because these aren’t overnight results, this is proof of all of the strategies that I shared in this episode being at play consistently when I’m not resting. I don’t share these numbers for anyone to compare or feel like that’s what they should be achieving over a two-week holiday period by any means, but I do want to paint the possibility for YOU to imagine what’s possible for you, your business, and your rest.
The Big Picture
One big thing we’re all about at my company is working ahead and knocking things off the list in order to be able to fully and completely rest without worrying about something that didn’t get done or that there’s anything urgent pulling you out of your life. So much of this work is long-game type of projects like taking your offers evergreen or building up your SEO strategy or even planning out content ahead of time, but it’s the kind of work that will continue to support you and keep the wheels running even if you want or need to hit pause.
And it’s not something you should feel like you need to tackle all before your next vacation or holiday or even within the next year. Like I said at the top of the show, so many of these pieces have been years in the works – heck, even growing my team to what it is has taken over 8 years.
So there you have it, how my business made money while we stepped away and I hope this goes without saying but the point of this episode wasn’t to give you a quick and easy to-do list, but more so to hand over my own blueprint of what I know needs to happen in order to keep my business running even when we’re not. Today the seeds have been planted and now I can’t wait to see how you tend to them so that soon you can reap the harvest and bask in this magnificence all while you rest. Plant today in order to reap the benefits later, so that you – and your team – can experience balance and margin while your business continues to thrive.