In the first part of this series, we looked at how to build a brand that attracts and retains high-quality employees. Now let’s look at how you can use your brand to grow your business.
Karina Julia during one of her company’s retreats.
I recommend that you read Part 1 of How to Build a Boss Brand before moving on to Part 2.
I didn’t witness my parents or anybody close to us start a company or continuously improve an existing one while I was growing up. Many of us were instructed to go to graduate school, acquire an MBA, get some experience, and build a company from the ground up.
Even if you have an MBA or a business degree, with the rise of social media, influencer marketing, and digital marketing, the tools and technology accessible to small companies has exploded in recent years. After you’ve set the groundwork and launched your company, you’ll need to use these tools to continue to grow and flourish. The good news is that mastering them does not require professional training or seminars.
If you’re starting or developing a company, you’re probably thinking about:
- Creating new strategies, structures, and systems to free up time via automation, delegation, and integration to elevate your company.
- Maximize your time, flexibility, and visibility to improve your outcomes. Exploring methods to optimize possibilities, business models, sales, and profitability is part of moving to the next level.
In this post, I’ll share what I’ve learnt through starting and growing my own company, FIT Life Creation, as well as assisting others in doing so through:
- Executing social media tactics that have resulted in a seven to twenty-fivefold return on investment. Because social media ROI is notoriously difficult to calculate, I based my calculations on conversions that were directly related to people taking a concrete action, such as signing up for a freebie, purchasing an experience (challenge, program, retreat, academy), or joining our team as a press partner or ambassador.
- With challenges (think 14-day challenge), retreats, and academies, we’re integrating influencers into our all-in-one health, wealth, and business platform. This has provided us with invaluable information and additional income streams in our target areas.
- With all of our expertise, we implemented all-in-one digital marketing, which resulted in the FIT Life Creation team saving over 30 hours per week and increasing the company 25x in year one (2014). We utilized a technique I refer to as “social steroids.” This entails shooting a short video (less than 10 minutes) and then repurposing it for YouTube, our blog, and podcast, as well as distributing it on social media (five to seven times).
Brendon Burchard and Chalene Johnson taught me part of this approach, but I extended it to include influencers as ambassadors and affiliates. They promote our freebies and premium offers with their audiences, allowing us to reach a far larger audience (some of our influencers have over 200K Instagram followers alone!).
To put things into perspective, FIT Life Creation is a one-stop lifestyle brand that focuses on health, wealth, and business. We provide online and in-person experiences and services to assist individuals in developing ambassadorship and fundraising initiatives. It’s all in the name of assisting individuals in creating a life and business that they like.
This is a multi-faceted, integrated business concept. We assist businesses that want to advertise or integrate our lifestyle platform in integrating and leveraging social media influencers, press, and collaborations. We provide a variety of profit sharing opportunities, including incentives and an affiliate program! This also implies that we act as a fundraising platform, assisting individuals in becoming healthier, earning money, building brands, and collecting funds for their causes all at the same time. Consider Amazon or Airbnb in terms of change.
How to improve your current business
I often see individuals (including myself) and companies getting trapped in what they don’t know or unwilling to change.
To go somewhere you’ve never been, you must be and do things you’ve never done before.
It will require foresight, creativity, and integration. It’s both simple and difficult. Take stock of your current situation before you begin.
Make certain you understand how to evaluate your findings.
What is the state of your sales, profits, and cash flow? Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t know straight away. Many companies, from single practitioners to multi-million and billion-dollar corporations, do not. However, if you want to go to the next level, you must first understand where you are.
Having a simple corporate dashboard may be beneficial. I use LivePlan for this, and it’s simple to connect it to QuickBooks or Xero so you don’t have to enter data again. You may, of course, conduct all of your financial monitoring using Excel spreadsheets, but it will take considerably longer.
Examine your existing sources of income.
How many do you have in your possession? Is your whole income stream derived from a single source? How do you keep risk to a minimum? What if one of your sources of income gets overtaken by rivals or phased out by technology if you have fewer than three? Even if you just have one major product or service, the objective is to make sure that if you lose one of your biggest customers, your company won’t be ruined since you have other clients or income sources in place.
How to create several revenue sources
To begin, here are some ideas of goods and services you may develop as extra revenue streams, based on my experience:
- Guides (a comprehensive booklet on a topic relevant to your product or service)
- Month-long exercise, writing, and learning challenges
- Courses/academies/programs (two week-long daily email courses)
- Services and products (supplements, meal bags, recipes)
- occurrences (retreats)
The revenue from various income streams ranges from $35 for an introduction offer to $15,000 for a full year’s worth of work. The best part is that most of these can be made to be 80 percent automated, which means that once you’ve built the framework (create the ebook, design the emails, and set them up to go out automatically when someone signs up for a course), you can focus on executing each time you land a new client with minimal effort.
The majority of individuals did not grow up around entrepreneurs or had previous marketing expertise. As a consequence, many newcomers (including myself!) are unaware of the amount of exposure and visibility required to be successful, particularly with a lifestyle brand.
What can you do to make it happen?
1. Create a personal blog
To share your expertise, create your own blog on your website. Write how-to articles and provide “gated” downloadable freebies that require visitors to provide their email address (but no payment). It’s a fantastic method to increase your target market’s trust and visibility.
- Learn some SEO (search engine optimization) fundamentals so that people can discover you when they do Google searches for keywords related to your industry.
- Make a blogging schedule for yourself. Writing good material takes time and effort, so don’t go overboard, but don’t leave your blog unattended for months at a time. Blogging is only effective if you do it on a regular basis.
2. Featured guest posts
Approach complementing products and brands that you use on a daily basis! This article is an example of me pitching a couple ideas to Bplans and LivePlan, and voila, here we are!
Figure out who to submit your email to or where to discover their guest author rules before you contact out. Just say hello. After that, tell them what you like about them and provide some guest post suggestions as well as a link to your profile or website. Keep it short and to the point, and make sure you’re pitching ideas that are similar to what they currently publish.
Make contact on a regular basis. Finding guest authoring opportunities should be a continuous process, whether you do it yourself or hire a Virtual Assistant to do it for you (think Fiverr, Brickworks, and a slew of other options). I’ve reached out to over ten podcasts, five speaking engagements, five guest blogging opportunities, and more in the last few weeks!
Ninja Outreach is a fantastic tool for this. They’re a fantastic site for finding businesses, podcasts, and influencers, as well as running automated campaigns. It can help you save a lot of time!
(Editor’s note: Use caution while using these services.) If you’re selling to well-known blogs, keep in mind that editors get thousands of emails that are extremely identical and obviously automated every year. Your email will be disregarded if you don’t personalize it or if you don’t have a compelling subject or point of view.)
3. Make use of several platforms.
Let’s speak about complimentary publicity, which isn’t limited to guest articles and features. This entails talking about or listing your goods, services, or courses on free networks. These sites will not only help you get visibility, but will also help you expand your reach. Kajabi (which is what we use), Teachable, and Udemy are just a few examples!
Use of social media
Many companies and brands are cash-strapped (unless they have secured financing or are already profitable). As a result, I suggest that you start with social networking. Hello, it’s free! Do you use Instagram to share your stories? Will you be broadcasting live to share your knowledge? This is now available on all platforms. People like interacting and bonding to one another. Make going live at least once a week a goal!
Use those free and open chances to promote a strategy session, a freebie, a guide, or a course so you can begin interacting with your audience outside of social media. It’s simple—but it may require you to go outside of your comfort zone.
Platforms for courses
Course platforms, or supplementary platforms, are another option worth exploring. You might start by providing a free course made up entirely of slides and noting that you also have a full-price version available on your website. Quicktime is great for putting up simple courses since it’s free! Another option is to use a screencast.
Then, edit and reuse the material before putting it up on supplementary sites like Udemy; these platforms may help you get started. They provide a free listing as well as marketing services. We’re now putting a course there through its paces.
The important thing to remember is that there are a plethora of platforms with which you may wish to affiliate. Classpass is another example for fitness entrepreneurs, since you can advertise your fitness courses for free and make money each student! Keep in mind that the app is heavily populated by fitness entrepreneurs and is designed for new businesses. In 2005, we were listed there and got fantastic results!
4. Seek out influencer partnerships.
There are methods to arrange experiences in return for content (for example, you offer a retreat and an influencer contributes press—invaluable!). it’s Take a look at the page on our site dedicated to and about influencers as an example.
The issue we faced (as do many of you) was a lack of money. To mention a few, I looked at influencer networks such as Tap Influence, Hype Markets, and Tribe. Most of them, I discovered, either offered goods or money in exchange for posts—basically, they were sponsored advertisements. We utilize Rep8, Ninja Outreach, and Collabor8 on a daily basis, and I’m always looking for new ways to use them.
Many platforms demanded minimum advertising expenditures of $10,000 or more and provided little visibility into how influencers were curated from a commercial perspective. As a result, I reasoned that we should develop a mutually beneficial partnership and collaborate. On both sides, this leads to long-term development. The emphasis was on providing an experience (for example, a 14-day challenge, an event, a retreat, an academy, and a guide), and they provided the publicity.
Transformation, personal growth, masterminds, and retreats are often paid for (unless they are travel influencers). Why not target our higher-profile customers, such as those that want all-in-one change, provide them the experience they desire, and use their press platforms to do so?
Over 300 influencers contacted us in January to discuss possible partnerships!
We want to utilize the digital partnerships to test and extend the creator and content to live events, press tours, and speaking engagements in order to further grow the content creator as an affiliate and ambassador.
We’ve done direct digital internet partnerships for online courses with influencers who have more than 150,000 followers and are increasing, as well as pursuing those who have more than a million (with no cash outlay other than bonuses and incentives for actual conversions and results). We’ve also hosted retreats with influencers, which provided us with important feedback from our target market.
At a retreat in Cuba, Katrina Julia, Jen Morilla of @thesocialgirltraveler, and Carly of @light.travels @weekendvoyagers are seen.
I’ve also discovered that apps like Rep and Collabor8 are great for identifying influencers, and we use them to promote our collaborations—you can find me there as Katrina Julia!
Keep in mind that these bloggers and influencers have developed a genuine voice and following, and their audience knows, likes, and trusts them. It’s a game-changer, and it’s nothing like sponsored advertising. It is a kind of marketing that is relational, impactful, and immersive. It’s effective.
The main takeaway I want you to take away from this is to think outside the box in any aspect of your company. What exactly is the issue? Work on the issue. Seek assistance.
5. Pay-per-view and free-to-air radio and television
There are methods to obtain free radio and television ads. ProBusiness Channel is a new discovery for me. Alexa, which ranks internet channels in Atlanta based on content, exposure, reach, and other criteria, has given it a five-star rating.
I addressed them with a short statement about value, what I can provide, and my background information. The next thing I know, I was posing with Lee Haney, an eight-time Olympian in BodyBuilding—what an incredible opportunity! Examine local and national radio programs, contact your network, and inquire. You never know what will happen!
If you’re considering conducting sponsored advertising in this space, inquire about the network’s or station’s outcomes. Inquire about audience size, views, Alexa ratings, and conversions. Then determine if you think it is worthwhile to invest.
Paid (online) advertising is number six.
I only suggest conducting publicity that can be tracked—sorry, print advertising. This includes Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
I put this last because we frequently limit our creativity when we throw money at something. That is why I recommend putting your heart and hustle out there right now. Many entrepreneurs and company owners I see pour money at press or other forms of advertising without monitoring outcomes to determine what works. I believe in taking risks and trying new things. I, on the other hand, do not believe in just throwing money at a problem.
If you decide to use sponsored advertising, keep in mind that there will be a learning curve. You’re gaining knowledge. You’re adjusting things. You’re collaborating.
So, if and when you decide to start running advertisements, I recommend researching platforms to find the ideal location to start. If you want more information, check out our Smart Social Guide or conduct a Google or Pinterest search. Start modest and sensible; do what makes sense for your budget (for example, less than $100 a week is good to begin with). Increase the budget after you’ve gained traction and your outcomes have improved.
For more flexibility, simplify and automate.
I can’t emphasize this enough: simplicity. Constantly ask yourself, “How can I simplify this?” as you develop and think beyond the box. What can I do to save time? “How can I automate?” says the narrator.
Many businesses and companies, in my experience, get mired in bureaucracy and complexity. Keep an eye on this! Marketing is a good example. I see a lot of individuals putting together numerous components and systems that continually break down, don’t work, or cost entrepreneurs an arm and a leg. Don’t stretch yourself so thin that you lose control of your outcomes.
“Can I automate this?” is a question I ask myself all the time. We’ve done it using Hootsuite, IFTTT, and Crowdfire for social media. For blog articles and email blasts, we’ve incorporated automated video transcription. Rev. is a fantastic tool for this.
Kajabi has been a huge game changer (it accounts for over 80% of our revenue generation) and a breath of fresh air. They’re an all-in-one platform that includes website creation, blog creation, email automation, course creation, and more! They provide a 14-day and a 28-day challenge with free step-by-step instructions. This was something I did in May, and it really changed my life! It easily saves me more than 30 hours of labor each week. Take a look at our freebies, which include a 14-day challenge and tutorials created on their platform.
Use relationship-prioritizing tools: The idea is to remember that you are constantly establishing and building connections with others. We’ve been able to expand our challenges, guides, courses, academies, and influencer platform by automating some of those procedures.
Delegation: As I develop and implement new revenue sources, my first idea is usually to automate and delegate. Using mostly freelancers or contractors, here is how I’ve organized some of the jobs in our company:
- Graphics Virtual Assistant I (Fiverr)
- Social manager (Virtual Assistant II) (Fiverr or Upwork)
- Video to Blogs using Virtual Assistant III (Rev)
- Course development using Virtual Assistant IV (Fiverr)
- Influencer outreach, contract, and sign-up (Virtual Assistant V)
This is just to demonstrate how each of the tasks I’ve listed may be automated and delegated. The goal is to set the team up for success by showing them how to use recording tools like QuickTime or Screencast to capture your screen and voice quickly and simply.
Don’t assume this is something I learnt suddenly. I’ve been fortunate enough to build up many training departments and methods across different sectors. If you do this, consider what you’d need to know as a first-timer and write it down before you start recording. Get input, particularly from individuals who aren’t acquainted with what you’re doing, and make adjustments on a regular basis.
It’s also critical to think about automation and delegating while establishing revenue streams. You didn’t become a business owner to work 24 hours a day. Yet, since we don’t know any better, we often create complexity in order to achieve our goals. I’ll be the first to admit that I am and will always be a student.
Continue to learn. Prior to working in corporate America, I followed the conventional path of attending college, earning an MBA, becoming a Certified Public Accountant, and earning additional credentials. With time, work, and energy, I was able to advance to the position of Corporate Executive. None of this, however, equipped me to be an entrepreneur. Yes, before 2011, I had side hustles—but having a side hustle is not the same as owning and managing your own company. It reveals many blind spots.
I am also a strong believer in the concept of either winning or learning. It’s all about attitude and perception.
I immersed myself in my own curriculum (which I then always share with our tribe) after becoming a full-time entrepreneur, which has included Dani Johnson, Dave Ramsey, Brendon Burchard, Chalene Johnson, and numerous books by Og Mandino, Grant Cardone, Phil Knight, and others.
As a person, leader, or company owner, how are you building your own curriculum, raising yourself, or revealing your own blind spots?
We are all human beings, perfect in our flaws. Fresh levels need new learning and development.
As an entrepreneur, your aim is to follow your passion and purpose while also serving others on a path to profit. It has always been and will continue to be a journey. It’s all about winning and learning. It’s recognizing that freedom is your ultimate aim. I’ll bring it up again and encourage others to do it on a regular basis. This is the source of my pleasure and contentment.
Remember: what do you love, what have you conquered, what are your skills, talents, and abilities, and how do you want to make a difference as you create your own boss brand? What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind? What goal do you aim to achieve with your company?
Make it about far more than money, and believe that it will come much more easily than you ever imagined.