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August 4, 2020

082 | Early Lessons In Biz [some useful then, some useful now]

Today’s episode is one that you need to take with a grain of salt. These lessons are very personal to me, but may apply to you, so don’t think that just because I found one of these distracting and un-useful, that it must be distracting and un-useful for you.

Always stay true to you, your biz, and your gut, as much as you can.

My five early lessons in biz (some useful, some distracting at the time but useful down the road) were:

  • How to decide where to hire
  • The power of funnels
  • What SEO is
  • Create repeatable, multi-use content
  • The need for email list building

Let’s start off with:

How to decide where to hire

I learned this during a course I took a year and a half into business but did not yet need. The course was Elegant Excellence by Hilary Rushford. I got it when I bought B School by Marie Forleo. But I was not ready for the Elegant Excellence course.

This was for someone who had been sprinting in their biz, likely scaled and needed to become far more efficient. They needed space to breath, and stop working in their business, rather on it. That state is a very common one to find yourself in when building your biz. But I was just in the beginning stages. I didn’t even know what a launch was. Let alone have the desire to work less in my biz. If we’re being honest, I may have had a business license, but I didn’t yet have a real business.

In Elegant Excellence, Hilary and her team covered how to choose what position to delegate or hire first. That can be HUGE. It’s been huge for me in hiring my assistant. She now manages all of BBA for me, among a million other things, so that I can put my time elsewhere. Hiring tends to do that. It keeps you, as the CEO in your zone of genius. If you don’t know what that is, read The Big Leap. It’s the book I read when we took off for world travels in May 2018. Seemed fitting.

Back to hiring though. I know entrepreneurs who hire FAST, very early in their biz. They are delegation queens. And that’s awesome. It was never and still is not my desire to manage people. I love my assistant because she is assertive, and I don’t have to babysit her. That’s what I need. And these are important things to know about yourself as an entrepreneur. My friend Joelle manages 5-6 coaches underneath her. That’s her system. And it’s how she scaled. She’s amazing, and to be honest she has done it more successfully than I’ve seen.

I scaled via automation and low overhead costs. To each his own.

But this is about HOW TO DECIDE WHO, AND WHAT AREA TO HIRE FOR.

This was informative that was not helpful then, but helpful three and half years down the road.

You basically make a quadrant, four boxes within a big square.

  • In the top left is your Joy + Genius (what you love doing, plus you’re good at it.
  • Top right is what you like doing but it’s not your zone of genius, someone can do this better than you. For me – this is 100% web design. I LOVE designing my website. Always have. It’s a creative outlet for me. People literally have full time jobs as web designers. Yet here I am, building mine from scratch, from day one, to now, five years in. It’s just something I like doing. So I do it. 
  • Bottom left is Genius but you don’t love it. You can do this, and do it well, but you would rather not.
  • Bottom right is neither your genius or your source of joy. Meaning you’re not good at it, and you hate doing it. Think taxes. Maybe not. I actually enjoy dealing with numbers. But for me, this is formatting and scheduling blog posts, or navigating Pinterest in order to drive traffic to my blog and freebie downloads.

Before making your quadrants, you’d list out everything you do in your biz right now. All tasks on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Then drag them into your quadrants where they fit.

Again, for me, creation would be in my genius + joy (I create the things – the programming, blog content, podcast content, canva workbooks), but the implementation of those things would be in my bottom left or right (hate formatting and delivery of said creations.  Someone else can do it, and likely do it better than me.

Ideally you hire for tasks in the bottom right (tasks you hate doing + aren’t good at). The goal is to keep you playing your desired roll in your biz.

Didn’t need it then, wildly helpful in my decision making process now. For instance in 2020 alone I have hired a branding specialist as you know – when I could and have jimmy rigged a brand for years. And recently signed with a funnel specialist to build out something for 2021. Again, something I know I could figure out. But is so so so worth it to just pay a specialist to take the reins. I’d resent the project if I tried to figure it all out while also attempting to format the pieces within the funnel. In hiring her, I can remain as the creator of content, and she can…you guessed it, implement said content into the funnel.

That brings us to something I tried to do WAAAAYYYY TO EARLY IN BIZ.

The power of funnels

Funnels may as well have been force fed to me when I was first starting out. If you aren’t familiar with how a funnel works here’s a short run down.

Basically you have a freebie that gets leads in the door – this is what most people run Facebook ads to, then you have an upsell to your mid or high tiered offer. So, you’re funneling people into your signature offer.

Great concept, IF YOU HAVE A SYSTEM AND PROGRAM THAT ALREADY WORKS BEFORE BUILDING OUT YOUR FUNNEL.

This is precisely why I choose to teach fitsPRO’s to focus on creating their offer pyramid from the top down. Create your profitable signature offer. Then build out your offer pyramid or funnel from there.

I wasted A LOT of time early on trying to build my business from free offers, and it was terrible. I paid for Facebook ads because that’s all I saw. As you can imagine, it was highly ineffective. That’s because I was literally doing all of this backwards.

Moral of the story – funnels can be effective. They’re one way to do biz. But they won’t work if you don’t already have a system that works.

Moving on.

What SEO is

I remember calling a friend in the industry – around the same time that I thought funnels were my savior. She was a very successful blogger, and I wanted to know everything about SEO (search engine optimization). I thought I needed super high ranking SEO. She told me what I am about to tell you.

Pick a site that does well with SEO, don’t worry about it when you’re starting out or if people are finding you from Google or other large search engines. It matters, sure. But def not where you likely need to be focusing your efforts when you’re just starting out.

Focus on the community you have now, or where you plan to build an audience. You don’t want shitty SEO either, so that’s why I say to choose a web platform that performs well with SEO. Mine have always done well with Squarespace, and Showit – which partners with WordPress for my blog.

Don’t worry about SEO – just make sure it’s not a complete hot pile of trash.

I first heard the next one on a podcast where Jules Solomon was the guest. I don’t remember the host, but I remember we were in Spain, and I was at our hotel in Barcelona, listening to this episode by the pool in 2017. Vividly remember my big takeaway, and my next lesson for you.

Create repeatable, multi-use content

I have implemented this since then, the best I can. I could be way better at it, which my assistant brought to my attention the other day.

While you’ll always be creating new content, I think that practicing re-purposing old content is a very valuable tool as an entrepreneur. It saves you time, and gives you the ability to become an expert. How?

Well, when you re-purpose content, you have the ability to come at it with new experience, from a different light and refine your messaging. That’s huge.

Creating multi-use content is great as well. So taking an Instagram post and expanding on that same topic for a blog post, YouTube video or podcast. Or working the other way, taking a larger piece of content you already created, and breaking it down into smaller IG posts.

I also do this with sales emails. Any time I launch something new, I draft up emails for the launch, and then save them as templates, so for the next launch, all I do is schedule those same emails with any updated info.

It’s a simple practice that can apply to many areas of biz, and saves you time.

Last up…

The need for email list building

This is so important in my opinion. Some people don’t build lists. I get it. It can seem like you don’t need them. BUT, I always go back to – what if IG disappears. That still stresses me out to think about. I’d be fine. I am resilient and resourceful. I’d just find y’all on whatever new platform replaces it. Social media is not disappearing, it would simply change.

Building an email list can also look a lot of different ways. You don’t have to have a main mailing list. You could have solely waitlists for your offers. But having a main list allows you to reach your most dedicated and invested humans in one place – outside of social media.

I tried to do this so many different ways throughout the years. Yes, this is typically a freebie of some kind. So when you guys download my 3 Day Mobility and Core or Ideal Client Avatar creator, you have to enter your name and email. That gets you on a list of humans whom I can now email about fitness, or business content or offers in the future.

You can have a weekly or monthly newsletter as well. Whatever you choose, I do suggest building an email list, and cultivating trust and relationship with that list. Something as simple as sharing your weekly thoughts, or Friday favorites can be a great a way to start. Several people are now doing weekly Q&A’s. Your only limit here is your creativity.

What do your people want? What would get them to enter their name and email? And how can you deliver on that?

Email marketing is not dead. And you need an email list in order to optimize your email marketing. Simple as that.

That’s it! Those were my earliest lessons in biz – some useful then, some useful now but a distraction back in the day.

Review of the week comes from Laura Hop and says,

“Things I love about this podcast:
-they are short & to the point. We’re all busy people, so I appreciate that Annie gets to the point and simplifies it. Short and sweet – just right for my ADHD brain!
-Annie is personable – she talks to you like you’re having a convo. No overwhelming jargon – she keeps it relatable.
-FILLED with knowledge nuggets. For fitness professionals, fitness enthusiasts & fitness beginners. This girl knows her stuff!
-Her insights are applicable – not only does she give you knowledgable nuggets, but tells you how to apply them.”

Remember you need to check the show notes (here) to see if you were review-er of the week, and then keep an eye out to see if you were listener of the month as well. That will be in the show notes and Annie’s Weekly Wrap. You can subscribe to Annie’s Weekly Wrap here!

Biz Lessons with Annie Miller

If you find value here, on The FitsPRO Podcast, then pretty please head over to itunes, subscribe, rate and review the show. It means the world to me when you spread my message to more humans.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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