“Building an online business and brand online with nothing to start with, that’s a whole different breed”.
I get a lot of questions asking me how I started my business.
So I start going into how I saw a need for event promotions and staffing that was actually organized and I took it. But you see, that’s not the answer anyone is looking for… They want to know how I started my ONLINE business. Which makes sense because now, 95% of my income comes from my virtual business.
“What did you do?”
“How did you meet that girl in Australia?”
“How did you find your first coach?”
“How did you start building a tribe?”
“How do you actually make money?”
Well. Those are loaded questions. But I’ll do my best to give you an overview of how it all transpired.
When I first decided to start out online I had like 400 friends on Facebook, all connections through life, family, and business. Most of which were local, but some of which I connected with over the years from my very few travels and/or that time I immersed myself into the world of support groups for girlfriends of deployed Marines. I didn’t even have Instagram and I don’t think Snapchat was even a thing yet…
So what did I do to start getting the word out that I could help people with their business? I started talking about it all the time. I posted about it. I went to lunches, to local meetings, to events, and I talked about it. I started an online magazine that featured local businesses and told their story. It was the perfect excuse to get a foot into their business and build a relationship with them (plus I love writing so it was an all around win).
This was also the point where Facebook groups were the #1 way to get your voice out there and make connections with other women around the world that were paving their own paths too.
I posted in several groups, several times a day. I shared my story. I asked questions. I gave advice where I could. I encouraged others. I chimed in with any experience or insight I had. That in itself was a full-time job. It was rewarding but it was also hard <Insert Comparison Syndrome Here>. It was discouraging sometimes but that is where the mindset work really came into play. I had to rewire the way my brain worked BIG time back then. I had to remind myself every day that I was ME and that was my super power.
It worked. I was making connections. I had friendships with people I’d never met. I felt very fulfilled and it was all really exciting.
But I wasn’t making any money.
I was paying $1,000 a month for my coach on a credit card that was going to be maxed soon, but I was building my brand with everything I had and I was determined to make it work.
The money I was making in those days was from freelancing for local body shops and helping them with their business operations and online marketing, it wasn’t being made online… Although that WAS the goal.
Even though this is NOT what you want to hear, I’m going to say it anyway;
It’s not a quick thing. Not when you’re building it intentionally and based solely off truth.
I posted about my experiences and I would get crickets, but my inbox was filled with people asking questions and wanting to know more.
I would post about a sale or product and I would get crickets…everywhere. Sales shit is not my thing. And it took me a long time to realize that shit isn’t in alignment with who I am and it does NOT deliver the people I want to work with.
So how did I start making money online?
It all started with a Facebook ad that I ran to online business owners explaining how helpful having a Project Manager could be to the growth and overall function of their business. I didn’t try to sell them, I just explained what I’m good at. I explained basically exactly what I had been doing for brick and mortar businesses for years in a long form Facebook post with a photo of me and a button that said “learn more”.
And it worked.
I got clients. I learned about their businesses. I created systems. I researched every single online system available, every way to communicate with a virtual team, and I jumped in.
(Please note that this was approximately 10 months, thousands of hours, and over $10k of investments in before I started making any money online at all.)
Holy shit did I research. EVERYTHING. How to build a website. How to build a blog. How to create a FB ad. What was an algorithm? Who as my ideal client? What was an ideal client anyway? Thank Jesus for Google, YouTube, and coffee.
Before long, I was a full-time Project (business) Manager for several businesses and was finally making enough money to pay my bills. All while still sharing my story EVERY DAY online. All while still story telling about who I was, what I believed in, what I’ve done in my life, what makes me who I am, etc. You name the topic, and I have a blogpost about it.
I was constantly hustling to juggle all the plates that my clients had in the air, AND my own personal brand and team, I was still building myself. I was writing every day. I was doing my mindset work for 1 hour every morning. I was meditating. I was traveling to meet up with people I met online and had great relationships with before I ever saw them in real life. I was building ME. Working on ME. Sharing ME. I can tell you right now that I would not be where I am right now without that. Without the internal work. Without the sharing every day.
My first coach turned me onto journaling straight away. And then it was a massive topic in all of the groups I was so active in at the time so it became my go-to tool. One I still use every single day. No matter what. I write. Every day. It is a non-negotiable. And it’s been one of the MAIN tools that has built this life. The mindset, the body, the business, the calm, the clarity. It all stems back to my daily journaling and mindset practice.
So how did I start coaching full-time versus managing other people’s businesses?
Well, as I evolved I started noticing that my calls with my clients started shifting to mainly being coaching. We weren’t just talking about the team and the projects anymore. We were talking about struggles, growth, mindset, things that they were trying to overcome, lifestyle, relationships, etc. The conversations were no long strategy sessions…they were coaching sessions. Full Lifestyle, Brand, Business coaching sessions.
AND I FUCKING LOVED IT.
My clients did too. So I started to transition into only coaching and that has been my sole focus ever since.
Disclaimer; I will take on the OCCASIONAL project or business management client IF they are the perfect fit. But the ticket for that is high and there aren’t many people who fit both what I expect from a management client AND can pay the retainer. So it’s not a big part of my business anymore. Which has been an intentional CHOICE.
Because if it’s not in alignment and fully serving me, then I don’t do it. End of story.
Back to the conversation of Coaching…. Working with people on building their life into what they never thought was possible is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It’s truly a powerful and humbling thing to realize someone’s potential and help them see how they can make it happen…then go along with them on the journey of creating it.
So to circle back around and bring all of this together…can you see the theme here?
Well, there are a few of things I want you to take away from this;
Never stop working on yourself. Building who YOU are is the KEY to building the life you want.
Share everything. Be committed to sharing your experiences. If you want to build a tribe and an online brand, do step 1 until you’re clear on what foundational things you want to stand on (what makes you who you are) and share them.
Disclaimer; please don’t skip step one and just start spouting bullshit online. We don’t need anymore loud people talking about things that are destructive or unclear.
Be intentional with what you share and how you share it but KEEP IT REAL. Because imposters are always revealed and if you’re at all resonating with this post I can tell you that you’re not in this for the short game. Long game comes from intentionally, consistently sharing your own truth and being radically committed to walking your talk in every single thing you do.
So overall; Trust the process. Don’t stop when it gets hard (because it will always get hard no matter what “stage” you’re at). And Learn Patience.
Please feel free to ask me ANY questions you may have about any of this. I truly am here to help and shine light where I can.