Hello there. How you doing? Jo here, and welcome to the Your Lifestyle Business podcast. I am so excited to be recording this episode, because it’s been a while. My last podcast was back in November, 2019. As I record this first inaugural episode of the relaunched Your Lifestyle Business podcast, we are at the beginning of May, 2020.
The world is currently going crazy, and we are on lockdown here in Phuket. In fact, they have just started to relax some of the lockdown literally today, as we speak, because there’s not so many cases over here. However, the schools are still closed. Oh my goodness, when are they going to reopen? But anyway, I’m not going to moan or complain, because I am definitely one of the lucky ones.
Phuket is a lovely place to be locked down, and I for one, right now as I record this, I’m looking out over the lagoon where we live. We live around from a marina, around the corner from a marina. Actually we live in the marina, but I can’t see the boats now, that’s around the corner. But I am looking out to the lagoon, and the sun is shining, and the palm trees are swaying in the wind, and so I am certainly not going to complain. I’m definitely one of the lucky ones.
But anyway, moving on, let’s talk about today, I’m sure you don’t want to be sitting here with me yabbering on about the coronavirus for the next 20 minutes, because it’s all over the news. It’s all over social media, and it’s pretty much everything that we’re looking at now. So let’s move away from that, and talk about something super, super positive, which are the five key steps to building a six or seven figure online business.
Now I say six or seven figures, because my brand is Your Lifestyle Business. That basically means that I teach people, and demonstrate, how to build a business that funds your lifestyle. So this is not a VC funded startup. This is not get out there and create a minimum viable product, and go and get millions of dollars in funding, and all that kind of stuff. This is how you build a business that funds your lifestyle. And your lifestyle may not require you to put the time, effort, and resources into building a seven figure business. You may just need something that gives you an extra $2,000 a month, or $5,000 a month, or $10,000 a month.
Now anybody who tells you that it takes the same amount of time to build a seven figure business, as it does a smaller business, it’s simply not true. The simple fact is, is that if you’ve only got a couple of hours a day to spend on building a business, or a side hustle, to fund your lifestyle, then the chances are you’re probably going to quite quickly be able to get to two grand a month income, five grand a month income. But it’s going to take a lot more time and effort to start generating a hundred grand a month income, for example, all right.
So it really depends on what your goals are, and what you want to achieve. That’s why I say a six or a seven figure online business, it’s entirely up to you, my friend. Both of those are totally doable.
Now there are multiple ways to build a business online. I tend to focus on three key ways on my Your Lifestyle Business blog, and this podcast, and that is;
1. Building an eCommerce business. So this is selling physical products. Whether you do that on Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, Etsy, whatever, it is selling physical, tangible products online. Okay, so that’s eCommerce.
2. The second one I talk about is information marketing. You can call it a million different things, digital marketing, internet marketing, making money online, whatever you want to call it, it’s information marketing. Which is basically you creating a brand, and generating enough traffic to then sell your courses, video courses, books, PDFs, eBooks, coaching, whatever it is that you want to sell. Information essentially that you are going to package up and sell, that information marketing.
3. And then the third one I talk about is serviced based businesses. So you might be a web developer, and develop websites for people. You might be a graphic designer, you might be a social media manager, you might be a virtual assistant, whatever, you’re offering a service. Okay, so somebody else has a need, and you have a service that can take care of that need.
So those are the three key areas I tend to talk about when building a lifestyle business. But it doesn’t matter which model you choose, there are still these five key steps that you need to take, in order to build those businesses.
So straight into it. Number one, know your business ideal. Now I kind of add ideal on the end there, because for years now I’ve been banging on about, know your business, know your business, know your business. This is super important. Remember that the internet is simply a tool for you to advertise your business, blah, blah, blah. This comes from those old days when I started back out over 10 years ago, from that old make money online, in inverted commas. Everybody thought they could just come online and make money online, but online is a tool for you to be able to grow your business. So you have to know what your business is. You can’t just come online and say “Right I’m going to make money online.”
You actually have to know what is your business? What are you selling? What are you offering? Do you sell water bottles? Do you sell jewelry? Do you teach people how to use Facebook advertising? Do you teach people how to use social media? Do you actually offer Facebook advertising as a service? All that kind of stuff. What actually is your business? This is super important.
However, what’s even more important, is that you know your business ideal. Now business ideal is about knowing what your higher purpose is for running your business. Now don’t, before you switch off and go, “Jo it’s too woo woo for me.” Hear me out. This is super important. I want you to think Red Bull. I want you to go to Instagram and look up Red Bull. They are such a great example of this. If you actually look at Red Bull’s Instagram account, you are going to count some 20, 25 posts, before you see an advert for Red Bull, the drink.
What you’re actually going to see is a whole load of extreme sports videos. People doing crazy things on mountain bikes. People jumping off the side of cliffs and mountains. People skiing down these crazy ravines. Just crazy extreme sports stuff, because Red Bull has a higher purpose, a brand ideal that’s bigger than Red Bull drink., it gives you wings. It gives you wings is actually a great tagline for their brand ideal, which is to uplift. Which is to promote energy. Yeah, and their whole business, even down to their recruiting strategy, is based on this.
They recruit super cool DJs, and extreme sports people, and athletes, and all the rest of it, to be part of their team. Because their brand ideal is inbuilt into their entire brand strategy, okay. So they have this higher purpose.
Other brands, great examples are Dove and Nike. If you go on to Nike’s Instagram, you’re going to see inspirational people of all different shapes and sizes, strapping on a pair of Nike shoes, throwing on a tee shirt, and going out and doing some exercise. They have a higher purpose, which is to encourage everybody to play, and get out and just do it. Take action, right?
And Dove has the same. It has a higher purpose. They could just post things about shower gel, but they don’t. They post things about body image. And it doesn’t matter what color, what creed, what culture, what religion, what your background, whatever. It doesn’t matter who you are, what body shape you are, and where you’re from. It is about empowering each and every individual woman to feel amazing about herself.
So these brands have all got higher purposes. Now let me bring this back to an online business world, and tell you how this has helped me through the years. When I first started back in 2010, I didn’t know truly what my business was going to be, but I had an ideal. My ideal was I always wanted to help and educate people who wanted to run businesses, and I really wanted to do it so that people had more freedom. They had more choice.
I remember, I don’t remember exactly, but I roughly remember my tagline from way back when, in 2011, 2012, which was to give you more opportunities in life, because you have more choice. More choice to live the life you want to live. More choice to spend the time with your loved ones. More choice to go out and explore the world.
I remember that being a big thing for me, but in the early days I hadn’t yet built a lifestyle business myself, and so I felt that I wasn’t qualified to go out and teach people how to do this. So in the very early days, I niched right down, and I started teaching people how to use Facebook fan pages. And then as that grew, I then taught people how to use Facebook as a whole, then social media. I then taught people how to use Facebook ads. I then taught people how to use social media. I then started showing them how to do video courses.
So as I basically tried different elements of running a lifestyle business, I was teaching other people how to do those things, until I reached a point where I could create something called Your Lifestyle Business, and teach people how to build a lifestyle business, which is absolutely my business ideal. My higher purpose is to help people create a life of ultimate freedom, so they have the choice.
They have the total choice of where they want to live, who they want to spend time with, what hours they want to work, do they want to explore the world? etc, etc. But it took me years to actually work out what my business was, but I always had my business ideal.
So if you are not entirely sure of exactly what your business is yet, and I know there’s a lot of people who actually hold themselves back from going out and starting an online business, because that’s all they think about. “What’s my business? What’s my niche? Who’s my target market? Blah, blah, blah. What am I going to do?” And then they hold themselves back, and they don’t start, because they don’t know how to hone that down. Try and think of what your business ideal might be, and then the steps you can take in order to move towards your business ideal.
And your business ideal, by the way, will determine your market. It will determine your message. It will determine your branding. It will determine your culture. It will determine everything you do, as you grow your business, with just by sticking to that higher purpose, and that business ideal.
So number one is figuring out that business ideal. What’s the higher purpose? Why do you even want to start, and move into the realm of the business that you want to move into? Okay?
All right, once you figured that out, number two then is what’s your main thing? I remember reading a quote years ago. I don’t know who said it. I should probably look it up, but it was “Make the main thing the main thing.” I’m actually typing into my computer right now, to find out who said that. Make the main thing, but I can’t type and talk at the same time.
It was a Stephen Covey quote. There you go. “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” That was the Stephen Covey quote. So what is your main thing? So in other words, particularly with online business, where’s your home going to be? Where are you sticking a stake in the ground? Are you going to be a podcaster? Is that going to be your main thing that you’re going to deliver all of your content, and all of your messages about your brand ideal via a podcast?
Are you going to be a blogger? Is that going to be your main thing? Are you going to be delivering everything through blog posts, and blog content? Are you going to be a video marketer? Is YouTube going to be your thing? Or are you going to do Vlogs on your blog? Are you going to be an Instagram influencer? Is that where you’re really going to hang your hat?
So there are so many different ways that you’re going to be able to sort of hang your hat online, but you don’t want to go out there and start doing them all. That would be absolutely crazy, because then you’re just going to try and be all things to all people, and everywhere all at once, and it’s not going to work. If you actually look at most of the successful brands online, they are focused on one main thing.
Now I actually did this exercise myself a few weeks ago, because I’m a terror. I’m an absolute horror for saying, “I want to be on YouTube. I want to be good at blogging. I want to do a podcast. I want to build my Instagram account.” I mean I want to be everywhere all the time. And until we’ve built a team, and we have people that can distribute and push our content out across all of the platforms, it’s extremely difficult trying to be everywhere, all at the same time.
So I went through some of the people that I follow, the people that I really enjoy their content, and I had a look to see what are they doing. And sure enough they are everywhere. Of course they’re everywhere, because they’re at that point where they’ve got big teams. But each and every single one of them, has a main home.
Let me tell you who they are. So for instance, Marie Forleo, she is everywhere. She’s on Instagram, she’s on Facebook, she’s speaking, she’s got a book out, she’s got all that kind of stuff. Her main thing is her blog and her videos. So she Vlogs, she has been Vlogging for years, and she posts those videos, so she’s grown a YouTube channel. And she also posts those videos on her blog. Her blog is her main thing with her videos.
Amy Porterfield, she is a podcaster. She is everywhere, but first and foremost she is a podcaster. And her podcasts also go on her blog.
Dana Malstaff, from Boss Moms. She is a Facebook group lady. She has a huge Facebook group of 50 odd thousand Boss Moms now, in her group. She is also a podcaster, and has been doing podcasting for a long time. But where she’s really sticking her stake in the ground, is Facebook groups.
Sunny Lenarduzzi, she is a YouTuber. Once again, she’s on Instagram, she’s on Facebook, she’s got podcasts, but her big thing is YouTube. That is where she is.
Mari Smith is a Facebook live lady. That’s where she is sticking her stake in the ground, with Facebook lives.
Maybe you don’t want to be a public figure, and you’re going to launch an eCommerce site, so you are going to be a Facebook ads person, and that’s what you’re going to do. That’s going to be your thing. You’re going to spend all day, every day on Facebook ads. The simple fact is, is what is your main thing?
Don’t try to cover all avenues, all at once, because it will trip you up, and you will never move anywhere fast. This is really about coming back to that main thing, and making sure that you are focused on that one main thing. Okay, so thank you, Stephen Covey.
All right, step number three is to build your assets. So in other words, what are you going to sell? What is it that you’re actually going to sell? Now, a lot of the time in this world that we live in, this is made very, very complicated. People think you need super, duper fancy funnels. You must have a list builder. You must then have a funnel on the back end of your list builder. You must then have a sales funnel. All this kind of stuff. I say, “Yeah, okay, that’s all great. Fantastic. Let’s set that all up at a later stage. Right now, let’s just actually have some stuff that we can sell.”
So as an example, recently I did a Facebook live with a good friend of mine, Daniel Worthington, who’s just launched his brand new travel brand, not the best time in the world to launch a travel brand, but he’s launching it. And as the world returns to some semblance of normality, I’m sure he’ll get his travel brand off the ground. It’s called @WanderingWorthy if you want to find him on Instagram. And we were talking about how he’s going to monetize his brand, and I gave him 12 different ways to monetize his brand, and we did a Facebook live on that.
And within a couple of days he had already gone and set some of them up on his site. So for instance, one of the ways he can monetize his brand, as a travel and photography brand, is by selling presets. So presets are the filters that you put over photos, how to change how a photo looks. And he’s very good at editing his photos. He loves photography. So he created a set of presets, and he’s put those on his site. And people can just go and click a link, and they can buy his presets. No fancy funnel. It’s right there.
He’s also added coaching on his site. So we talked about coaching. Can he offer coaching to other people, travel bloggers, et cetera, who would love to know how they actually build their business? Dan has a very successful Amazon business, and so he can teach other bloggers how they can get their business off the ground, and they contact him for coaching. Once again, no fancy funnels, it’s on his website. Just click the link, and you can book him for a coaching session.
He’s also started adding some resources and affiliate links to Agoda.com and Booking.com and all the other people that he uses while he travels the world. Him and his family are actually locked down here in Phuket as well. They’re not in the same house as me. They’re about half an hour down the road, so we can’t actually see each other, because all the sub districts are closed. But he’s traveling the world, as are his folks.
Him and his mum built a very successful Amazon business, so he can obviously affiliate through all these different sites that he uses in his travels. So there are a multitude of things that you can sell, without needing to create huge complicated funnels. And I will put the link to the Facebook live that we did, so that you can see all the different ways that you can monetize an information marketing brand, which is essentially what he’s building.
If you’re building a physical product brand, then obviously your assets are your products, what you are actually going to sell. And if you are doing a physical products brand, I urge you to only start with one or two products. Don’t do what I did when I first set up my Shopify store. I actually ended up with 187 different items. Not a good idea.
When we launched our Amazon business a few years ago, we actually did our first seven figures, on the back of one product. So just focus in, and there’s a lot of focus on this podcast, isn’t there? Just focus in on one or two key products, and get that off the ground.
If you’re going to do a service based business, then focus on one service that you can offer, to get off the ground. And then you can begin to build that up. So build your assets. What is it that you’re actually going to sell? What is it that you’re actually going to offer?
Then, number four, and this is the biggie, this is kind of where people stumble, and a lot of people just stop. They get here. They know their business ideal. Cool. They know what they’re going to do. They’re going to be a blogger, or a podcaster. Awesome. They know what they want to sell. They want to do a course on productivity, or whatever it is they want to do.
So now what do they need to do? You need to grow your audience, and this is the challenging part. This is the part where the rubber meets the road, because this is the part that takes the time.
What I’m doing right now with this podcast, this is growing my audience. This is creating content, which I hope will be super valuable, and will help to grow my audience. Hopefully you will listen to this podcast. You’ll turn to a friend and say, “Hey, you should check out Jo’s podcast. It’s quite cool. It tells you all the stuff you need to do to build your lifestyle business.” Growing my audience.
So how do you grow your audience? Well, I would say there are three main things you need to be doing all of the time, to grow your audience.
Number one, it is to get content out into the webosphere. You need to be in it to win it. People need to see you. It’s a competitive world out there now. So you can’t just throw up a couple of ads, or a couple of posts on Facebook, like I used to be able to do back in the day, and it’s going to go out and get a massive organic reach. You have to be out there. You have to be seen. You have to be visible. You or your brand. It doesn’t have to be you, it can be your brand. But you have to be creating content.
Number two, you need to be adding value. I was looking at a brand today on Instagram, actually a brand that contacted me and said, “Hey, could you give me a few tips on my Instagram account?” And they have just got their brand all over their pictures. They’ve got like a little logo all over their pictures. Their pictures are all very salesy if you like, “Come and check us out. We do this, this, this and this,” and it’s just not adding any value. All it’s doing is telling people about who they are.
You need to be adding immense value. This is called results in advance. Frank Kern used to teach this, back in the day, when I first started, results in advance. This is about going out there and helping people to really achieve things before you ever get to the sale. That’s not saying you can’t have a course on your website, with a buy now button, or you can’t have a set of presets, or whatever. You can have those sitting there ready and waiting for people when they get there.
But you need to be pumping out content that is uber valuable, and that really helps your listeners, your viewers, your consumers, to have transformational experiences in their lives. So by doing something, by taking action on something you have helped them to do, then they are getting transformational results, and now they want to become a customer of yours. So it really is about getting out there, and adding an immense amount of value.
And then the third way to grow your audience is inclusivity. We are not an island, okay? So do not be afraid to go out and share other people’s stuff, other people’s content, other people’s information, other people’s courses, other people’s brands. Because by being super inclusive, what you’re actually doing is you’re putting your customer first. You’re saying, “You know what? Your needs are before me just trying to sell something to you. And this person over here did a really good job on this, that I think can really help you. And so I’m going to share that with you.”
Now the more inclusive you are, the more you open your mind, and your arms to other people, and you meet the needs of your customer. You meet the needs of your audience. You put that first, then the faster you will grow. I absolutely guarantee it. So grow your audience. You need to be in it to win it, my friend.
And then number five, you need to consolidate and grow. So you need to make your business super strong, super solid. And you do that by thinking about who, who do you need to grow your business? So you may be an amazing podcaster, and you may have built your podcast up and it’s going really, really well, but now you need somebody to really help you distribute that podcast far and wide. You need to really get out there and grow your audience, and build your message, even more so than you’ve done already, okay.
So who do you need to help? What needs to be systemized? How do you make things more automated? Giving you more time to do what you’re super, super good at? Either growing your brand, developing more products, building a team, whatever it is that your strengths are, who do you need to come in to help you? What systems need to be implemented, in order to automate things, and give you more time?
And where can you diversify? Keith Cunningham, who is the inspiration behind Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad, Keith being the rich dad. He always said, well, actually I was at a event where he actually said this from the podium, on the stage, and I’ll never forget it. He said, “You get rich by focusing on one thing, one thing. You stay rich by diversifying.”
So once you’ve built your audience, once you’ve started to make those sales, once you’ve really started to grow your business, now it’s about diversifying, so that you can grow even more. So that you can keep that income coming in. So that you can grow your brand even further. So that you can spread your message far and wide, all right.
So those are the five key steps to building your six or seven figure lifestyle business.
Number one, start with knowing your business ideal.
Number two, make the main thing the main thing. Don’t try and be everything to everybody, and everywhere at all times. You will trip yourself up. So what’s going to be your main thing? What are you going to hang your hat on? Where are you sticking your stake in the ground?
Number three, build your assets. Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be. Keep it super, super simple and just have things, have stuff for sale so that as your business grows, so that as your audience grows, it’s there. And they can go and grab it as and when they want it. Yes, you can build complicated funnels a little bit down the line, but let’s start with it, and just start building those assets up.
Number four, grow your audience. Like I said, this is where the rubber meets the road. It’s where most people stop, because it gets too hard. This could take three months to three years, and more so, because unless you’ve got something incredibly unique to say, you are just going to have to grind it out, and grind it out, and grind it out, and build that audience over time. So be prepared for the long haul, but have fun while you’re doing it, that’s what I say.
I’m having fun while I’m doing it. I’m loving it. I love doing podcasts, and interviews, and speaking to awesome people, and all that kind of stuff. So grow your audience and have fun while you’re doing it.
And then number five will be to solidify your business as you’re growing. Consolidate. Think about who you need. Think about how you can diversify. Think about how you can systemize, and the world, my friend, is your oyster.
So that’s it from me today. They are your five key steps to building your six or seven figure online business. Next week we are going to be talking about planning for profit. This is such a great place to really start. How much do you actually need to run a lifestyle business? Do you know? You might be thinking “I need 20 grand a month.” But do you? Because actually when we first moved to Thailand many years ago, we were absolutely free as a bird, on about two and a half grand a month. I mean seriously we had the most financial freedom I’ve ever had in my life, prior to moving abroad.
So you may not need as much as you think you do. So next week’s podcast is all about planning for profit.
In the meantime, thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate it. I’m so happy to be back. Live life on purpose. And of course as always, make it happen. See you again next week.