There’s no such thing as a million-dollar idea, only million-dollar implementations. I found this saying to be especially true in 2020. Last year, I reached a new milestone in my business by taking it to 7-figures in that year alone. But it didn’t happen by chance or accident. In fact, there are very specific things I did that allowed me to take my business to new heights. In today’s episode of Her Life, By Design, I’m taking you behind-the-scenes by sharing the 7 things I did to have my first 7-figure year in 2020.
7 Things I Did to Have My First 7-Figure year
Online entrepreneurs begin each year by setting new goals. And the one goal we all share in common, despite our varying areas of expertise, is to increase our revenue. As we all know, a goal without a plan of action is just a dream. Without a strategy, I wouldn’t have been able to (more than) double my revenue in 2020. So without further ado, let’s dive into the 7 things I did that allowed me to have my first 7-figure year.
1. Aligned with my Purpose
I cannot stress the importance of being in alignment with your purpose and mission. To help me illustrate my point, let’s take a look back at my entrepreneurial journey. I first started my business as a travel blogger in 2016 out of my passion for traveling and inspiring others to travel. I launched my first course about Instagram in 2017, sharing everything I know about building a business as an influencer on the platform. At that time, I was still identifying as a travel blogger. But soon, I discovered that I am more excited about helping women build their businesses while achieving both time and financial freedom through social media.
As a result, I took the plunge and fully aligned myself with my purpose of being an online educator. However, the shift wasn’t easy. In the process, I found myself struggling with the fear of growth, fearing that I’d lose followers as I shifted from travel-focused content to content that aligns with my purpose. But the desire and passion I had for helping female entrepreneurs overpowered any of those fears.
If you’re feeling misaligned with your purpose as an entrepreneur, I encourage you to disconnect from others and reconnect with yourself. Take a week off social media, journal, and make a list of things that you’re excited about and the things that are no longer serving you. Being truly aligned with your purpose is the first step to exponential and uninterrupted growth.
2. Give More Free Value
You’ve heard many entrepreneurs say: you need to show up and provide value. But a common question I get from my students and clients is “how much value should I be giving away for free?”
A few years ago, I had the idea that I should only share 30% of my knowledge for free. This came out of a place of scarcity. I thought, “if I gave all this value away for free, what else do I have left to sell?”
It was only when I got out of this mindset that I more than doubled my revenue in a single year. The thing I realized was that people bought courses and coaching programs not just for the materials and strategies, but for the guided transformation, community, process, framework, accountability, and so much more than what free value can possibly offer.
In order for someone to invest in your course or coaching program, you need to give them enough free value to make their investment worth their while.
This episode will help you overcome your fears of “giving away too much.” I’ll also explain why Instagram and TikTok might not be the best platforms to deliver your most valuable content. We’ll uncover why having an a platform like a podcast or YouTube channel will help you increase your audience’s trust in you.
3. Build My Team and Back-End Systems
I remember looking up to mentors and established entrepreneurs when my business was smaller. I was always fascinated by how they built their teams, and what each team member was responsible for. Since I’ve always wished someone would offer me a peek into their team, I wanted to provide you all with a glimpse into mine and how it’s structured:
- CEO (that’s me) – overall visionary and creative into where this business is going.
- COO/integrator – handles all operations, project, and team management.
- CFO – in charge of finances
- Content director
- Podcast manager
- Customer service representative
- Pinterest manager
- Facebook and Instagram ads team
- SEO specialist
- Funnel strategist
- Payment recover specialist
- Tech support team
Before you get overwhelmed, remember that it didn’t start out this way. I covered my entire journey as well as my first hire in this episode. But today, my team of 14 has clear roles and departments they’re responsible for. This allows me to step into the role of CEO fully, without having to worry about all the moving parts of my business.
I get it — hiring is scary. But it’s an essential part of growing your business. If you’re intimidated by the hiring process, I walk you through the steps I take before onboarding a new team member in this episode. I’ll also discuss why having a solid back-end system will ensure that things run smoothly, setting you and your team up for success.
4. The Power of “No”
If it’s not a “hell yes,” it’s a “no.” This is a great tip for anyone no matter where you are in your business! If you’re committing yourself to projects, speaking engagements, partnerships, gigs, or anything that you’re not truly aligned with, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only are you spending your precious time on something you don’t want to do, but you’re also hurting the business you’re partnering with. Allocate this time to something that you’re truly excited about. Before saying “hell yes” to a project, ask yourself:
- Are you truly excited about this project?
- Is this project fulfilling?
- Is it profitable and are you getting paid fairly for your time?
If it doesn’t meet 2 out of the 3 criteria, it’s a no.
5. Understanding My Numbers
If you don’t know where you are numbers-wise, you cannot make empowered, informed decisions that’ll help you grow. For example, if we don’t track our insights and analytics on Instagram or on the podcast, we won’t know which topics are performing well. This means we’ll be shooting in the dark or throwing spaghetti on walls just to see what sticks.
In order to grow, we need a solid plan of action… and guessing what your audience wants is not a strategy. Similarly, if you have an opt-in page for your webinar, but aren’t keeping track of your metrics and conversions, you won’t be able to improve and therefore increase sales.
So if you want to grow your business and increase your revenue, you need to start looking at your numbers, metrics, and data. Do this on Google Sheets, AirTable, or a simple spreadsheet and start tracking all your numbers from your Instagram content to your sales.
6. Tightened Up My Funnels and Increased Lead Generation
Before we dive into the process of tightening up my funnels and increasing lead generation, let me explain briefly what an evergreen funnel is. Have you ever seen one of my ads asking you to join a free webinar? You sign up for the webinar and attend, walking away with a lot of valuable information. Then at the end of the webinar, I invite you to join one of my online courses. That’s a mini evergreen funnel. Since that funnel is automated, it gives people the opportunity to join the webinar and course at any time.
In order for me to tighten my funnels and increase lead generation, I needed to look at the data and numbers associated with those specific things. By looking at my numbers, I was able to optimize my funnels with changes and tweaks. Therefore, I was able to increase the number of people who entered my evergreen funnels.
7. Diversify My Income
It goes without saying — relying on one stream of income is dangerous and risky. In an ideal world, we’d have at least 5 to 7 different streams of income. However, starting to branch off into 3 to 4 is just fine. I first diversified my income stream with the launch of my two online courses. Instead of relying on brand partnerships and collaborations alone, I now had online courses to bring in passive income.
In 2020, I diversified my income again with the launch of my mastermind program. In full transparency, I did this for 3 main reasons:
- I wanted to serve those in my audience who were at a higher level by helping them scale, grow, and go from solopreneur to entrepreneur.
- Again, you can’t rely on one stream of income. So opening up my mastermind allowed me to create another income stream.
- Because I’m not running ads for my mastermind program, there isn’t a lot of overhead that went into building out a funnel, which increased the overall profit margins of my business in 2020.
Before you think about diversifying your income stream, it’s important to reflect on your skills and expertise. How can you leverage them? What transformation can you provide your audience? And how can you always come from a place of integrity and value?
Here’s to Building, Scaling, and Growing!
One of the best ways to scale your income as an online entrepreneur is through digital products, online courses, and coaching programs. And despite what you might have been told, you don’t need thousands of followers to make this profitable for you. This is why I’m so passionate about my mastermind program, the Influence to Empire mastermind. So if your goals for 2021 include growing your audience online, building a better, more efficient business and, scaling your income to places that you didn’t know were possible, get your name on the waitlist!
But no matter, these 7 things are exactly what I did to grow my business exponentially in an otherwise tumultuous year. Start implementing these tips immediately, be patient, and watch your business flourish.
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Influence to Empire Waitlist: https://christinagalbato.com/ite-waitlist