Until this year – I’ve kept my business and growth under wraps.
Why? Well, it’s because I didn’t feel like it was “enough” to share with anyone – and was a bit shameful about the lack of growth too.
And if you think it’s easy working with a successful business while growing your own “not just yet” exploding business – well, you’re wrong.
Everytime I look LKR's numbers – I think about my own. I can’t help it.
And I bet you watch people too – wondering how they got where they are.
How does business growth REALLY happen?
You’ve probably seen all the reports of people building their list to 5 or 6k in 3 months and wonder – I’m cool, too, why can’t I grow my list like that?
What you don’t see is the networking, relationships, work, content creation, thought, strategy and sweat that is generally happening behind the face of that shiny entrepreneur.
This year has shown me the value of all those things – not in excess but in being able to find the most effective way to grow my business without killing myself – and holding down a more than full time job.
Being effective everyday is what has taken for me to see the steady growth spurt I’m finally experiencing.
So – today – I want to share with you the elements that have caused my subscriber list to grow faster than it has in the 3 years I’ve written on this blog and allowed me to start making an actual income from my knowledge about business, launching, and project management.
I've used a combination of slower burning, marathon-like activities and faster, easier to see results fast strategies to create a business I can handle RIGHT NOW.
The Slow Burn
The strategies that build on each other, that stick around, the have long term, lasting results are ones that over time create a compound interest effect in business. Here are the ones that I've used most often and most successfully:
1. Guest Posts + Contributed Posts
I started guest posting in 2010 – first on LiveWell360.com, pilates industry sites, and other health sites. This is when my voice and focus weren’t exactly right yet. Though I am passionate about health and fitness topics, I was trying to speak to a large, diluted audience.
In 2011 – my outreach got tighter – and I had posts on SimpleMom.net, The Mogul Mom, and other sites that were getting me closer to my peeps. They also got me clear sales for an ebook that I published in Fall 2011.
In 2012 – I amped up everything – had a clear focus for my guest posting – started writing as a regular contributor on The Mogul Mom and then had guest posts on big sites like TinyBuddha, PickTheBrain, LauraRoeder.com.
Over the years – the subscribers and traffic from these efforts have been spikes for sure, but only after I focused my site and guest posted on topics related to my site, only then did I get more of a rush of subscribers for each post.
2. Ongoing education and relationship building
I take lots of courses and some of them I become friends and get to know the inner workings of the people who created the product or program. That’s just the way I am. I like to connect past the training. This is one of those organic things that happens as a result of me investing in my ongoing education.
3. Social Media
This year – I’ve made it a point to balance out sharing links and promoting my work with getting to know people who retweet, share, link, like my work. It’s proven to be a really great way to get leads and meet some amazing people. Some have become clients – some have become friends… some BOTH.
The Fast Burn
These are activities, systems or strategies I put into place and saw immediate returns in the form of money, subscribers, and engagement.
1. Released Fearless Launching
Launching a program brings attention to you and your business even if it’s your first time. I released the first round of this program using a very quiet approach – no spiffy launch videos – just 4 blog posts with useful content about launching and then a webinar. Not only did I hit my mark for 1st time numbers in the program, but I got a lot of new sign ups who are interested in Fearless Launching 2.0.
2. Launched a group coaching program to customers of Fearless Launching
As Fearless Launching was coming to a close, I knew I wanted to continue working with a smaller subset of the larger group in the program. I sent out 2 emails detailing a simple coaching program — part group calls, part individual check-ins. I limited it to only 6 people since I’d never done this type of program before… and it was sold out overnight – along with 2 additional people I let in after!
3. Created The Launch Toolkit
I knew for awhile that my site was missing an optin. So, with a little inspiration from ThinkTraffic.net and LiveYourLegend.net, I decided to put together my own toolkit of resources about launching. Since putting the resource up – I’ve had a steady stream of signups every single day – ranging from 5 – 30 in any single day. Prior to this… I had signups usually only around a webinar or after a guest post. Now – it’s consistent.
4. Hosted Webinars
Offering 2 free classes – one on launching and one on building virtual teams was the best thing I’ve ever done – and will continue to use… It gives you those necessary spikes in traffic and subscribers that you dream of if you’ve got little to no action in your aweber account.
In addition to being a great way to reach people and share my knowledge, it was fun! I love teaching what I know…and it was interesting to see the response to the two different presentations – one promoting a product launch, the other content only.
The Dirty Deets
Since I’m not in the business of comparison or bragging, but I do want to share some idea of my growth, here are the main growth points I look at most often.
This is not an exhaustive list of stats to help you track your business but the ones most people understand and look at when monitoring successes.
How much has my business actually grown?
- Traffic – up 36% this month and growing every month!
- Subscriber Growth – spikes and peaks but an average of 8% per month (12% this month so far – and the month isn’t even ½ over!)
- Sales – well, 100% growth since I released my first program in February/March. Sold out the group coaching program – though I did limit it to a very small group.
- Sales conversion – There weren’t a ton of eyes on the first program – which made my conversion much higher than normal – 10%! This makes me really happy – since the connection with you is what’s one of my highest indicators of success. 44% of these 10% opted to continue working with me in my group coaching program. Cool, eh?
Rules of business growth no matter what methods you use:
➡Give your absolute best content no matter if you are launching a product or teaching a live class with no sales pitch or writing a blog post.
➡Understand that your business grows at the rate you can handle it. Believe it or not, no matter how hard you push – if you don’t have room for that explosive growth – you won’t get it.
➡Use a combination of slow burn and faster burn activities to see maximum and consistent growth.
And the woo woo rule – Give more without expecting anything in return and let go of the outcome (just a wee bit).
Now, take a look at your own business and list all the activities you’ve been doing to put your business on the success track. Are you focused on the slower burning activities or do you spend your time on the faster burn ones?
Share your findings in the comments below – I’d love to know what’s working for you!
Linnette Dooley says
Great post Anne! Good insider info – thanks for sharing.
Great post Anne! I love how you lay it all out for everyone!
Thanks Sarah. You know I don’t mince words…and I think there’s a lot to be said for growing organically and at the right pace… It doesn’t ever really happen overnight for anyone. xoAnne
Linnette glad you enjoyed it. I know we all want that magical subscriber number – or the specific number of sales – and love hearing stories of people flying to the moon and back with their business… But I’m starting to dig hearing about the slower, steadier growth that happens at the right pace. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation!
Really enjoyed your post, Anne! Thank you for reminding us that behind a shiny picture there is always hard work to make it look that shiny.
Stories about overnight success always catch our eye, so, often times, we are tricked into to thinking that every successful person was just lucky.
It’s been a steady climb for me in my business with lots of reminders that wherever I am in my business works. AND being okay with that is the hardest part.
Cathy Presland says
So happy to see you putting such great stuff out there Anne – this is the foundation and you will be taking off big time this year!!
An honour to know you
Katya Barry says
Great post, Anne! Hard work always pays off. Well done!
Thank you for great post again, Anne. It’s honest and refreshing to read.
Awww Cathy! Thanks for stopping by and your comment. After I published this – I realized I didn’t mention a few other things! So funny how that happens!
Very true Natasha. Even writing this was a reminder – doing the work to figure out the stats, realizing myself of all the growth – that’s sooo important. I feel fortunate that you were part of it all too!
Sai – thanks for stopping by and the support!
Racheal Cook says
This is awesome – I’m gonna do a similar post! And I love the idea of having a followup program that is coaching + implementation focused. I’ve gotta do that for one of my courses. xo
Kristen Iuppenlatz Grech says
Thanks Anne, for your clear and honest post. I am just at the beginning of this journey and it is great for me to see how you’ve progressed. I intend to start slow and it’s nice to get support for moving at your own pace.
Love it! Great post!!
Racheal – we definitely should talk! I’d love to share more and let you know some other side effects that I totally forgot to mention here! :)Anne
Thank you Eileen! I miss our chats – so let’s plan one soon!
I’m so excited for to get to work with you soon Kristen! The journey is exciting, but lots of work. Glad I’ll get to watch yours unfold.
Lauren Forest says
Hi Anne! This is a great post!
To answer your question, I’ve used a combination of “slow burn” and “fast burn” techniques.
Over the past few months I’ve had 2 great guest post opportunities and I’ve also launched my own training course. (Which I couldn’t have done without you!!!)
The thing I love most about both techniques is how they instantly give you something to talk about – with both colleagues and potential clients alike. Just the process of getting “stuff” out there is such a great opportunity to start meeting and relating to new people.
Thanks for all that you do Anne!
Loved your post. A lot of times people in internet marketing make it sound like it’s much easier and faster than it actually is…for most people. I have had other businesses in my life and there is always so much work that goes on in laying a foundation for a business that no one ever sees. So many details…it can be overwhelming…but if I’m not pushing myself beyond reason but doing things as I can and feeling confident that if I allow myself to enjoy the process the things I need manage to find their way to me.
I loved the slow burn and fast burn concept. Made me think of the movie Apollo 13 and the judicious use of the power supply. 🙂
Joyce M Washington says
can’t tell you how much I love this post.
As I’m going through and thinking beyond IF I use certain social media platforms and techniques but WHY I may or may not use them… this is certainly helpful as I play around with the puzzle pieces.
NP Joyce…and it’s all your puzzle – so you get to choose what works for you and discard the things that don’t!
I’m glad to be able to share the behind the scenes – and I’ll continue to do so. Sometimes it’s those stories of success that make feel people feel bad about your progress or lack of. Movement, change in numbers does show what you are doing right, wrong, what you should do more of…and where you need a completely new strategy! I TOTALLY agree with things managing to find their way to you…
I am thrilled to watch you put yourself out there more and more! I feel like you’ve had so many firsts in the last few months. Just wanted to say I think it’s awesome and such a pleasure for me to see your journey unfold.
LeeAnne Hebert says
Anne!! I am in awe of you and all you AWE someness!! xo
LeeAnne Hebert says
Anne – This is SO great!! and so true… even though I want my program to take off right now – I really don’t have the bandwidth, but getting there…. 1. first some AMAZING woman re-wrote my sales page which I am fine tuning ;-).
2.This weekend I purchased a great all-in-one desk top which will help me get the look and feel I want for my pre-recorded webinars
3. I have am planning to do a weekly “Fire side chat” on various subject – I guess this is like my free classes
4. I have done a few guest posts, but def have to focus here.
5. Ugh – social media… Pat is helping me re-design my fan page and with Hootsuite – I am also working on a plan of attack in twitter thanks to Twitter Brilliance….
6. I did launch just to do it, but will do it again when all my duck are in a row.
I’m getting really excited because I can feel this is going to be good. Thanks so much for all your support Anne – I feel so blessed to have met you! xo
LeeAnne – thanks for sharing your plans for the next 6 months! Just keep pushing for pro. I love the fireside chats – so I say YES to those big time!!! So glad putting my fingers on a certain sales page was useful for you! You do what you can and keep putting one foot in front of another.
Prerna@The Mom Writes says
Great post, Anne as always and thanks for sharing the deets as well.. I’ve been using more of the slow burn ways and now that we’re halfway through the year, I really need to ramp up and bring in some of the fast burning ways as well.. Thanks for the inspiration:-)
I’ve definitely been doing the slow and steady approach too! After feeling the effects of the faster burn + growth, I know that’s what I need to do more of!
NP – love to know which ones you do and how they work out!
Anne, thanks for inspiration! I want to start my business soon and your “case study” is so valuable! I wonder how group coaching program works? How long was yours? Is (for example) a 3 months group coaching program good idea at the beginnig instead launching first e-course? I will be grateful for your thoughs.