December 2020 Archives

Julie Chenell

2020

Every year I write a recap style blog post and I have to admit, I’ve been procrastinating on this one. Maybe it’s because we’re on day 6 of fever with my middle daughter and I’m distracted. Maybe it’s because I have no idea how to wrap up such a crazy year. Maybe it’s because this year has brought so many gifts and so much stress – all in one – I’m at a loss for how to write about it.

Most of you follow me for business reasons, and while that’s still been my primary content all year, you might have noticed that this year I also branched out into some topics that I never thought I would:

  • Politics + the election
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Coronavirus
  • Plant based living
  • Gardening + birds

Because of this, I’ve lost thousands of followers, and yet my business has continued to grow. There’s a lesson in there somewhere. Stay true to yourself and continue to deliver value and your business will be fine, no matter how dorky or unpopular your opinions are.

I wanted to share some insights into my personal business, and how it’s doing – since one of the key credibility markers in the online space is, “Is this person blowing smoke up my butt or are they legit?”

Without giving you too much backstory, here’s how things have gone in my business since 2014.

  1. 2014 I did $25,000
  2. 2015 I did $75,000
  3. 2016 I did $325,000
  4. 2017 I did $1.3M
  5. 2018 I did $2M
  6. 2019 I did $2M

What do those numbers mean? I joined ClickFunnels in late 2017 and so all of 2018 and half of 2019 were me juggling both my business and ClickFunnels. AKA – burnout city.

So now we arrive at 2020. This is the first FULL year post ClickFunnels. In my personal business, I’ve stopped a LOT of things that were bringing me revenue.

  • I stopped promoting CF as an affiliate
  • I stopped selling CYLL
  • I stopped selling TDG

The only current offer that exists in my personal business now is Digital Insiders. However, Funnel Gorgeous has continued to grow and grow, and that’s been where I’ve put any and all new content.

One of the things I encourage people to do when reflecting on their numbers is to see two or three layers below the first interpretation of your P&L and margin. Our business finances often tell a story of growth, change, failure, and success. It’s worth looking at, and most importantly – all wins, big or small – are worth celebrating!

So here are the numbers as of December 30th.

Total Revenue In My Business for 2020: $2,242,278.93

Net Profit In My Business for 2020? $1,431,744.97

So here’s the big point I’m trying to make….

My growth hasn’t been exponential. In fact, as I focus exclusively on ONE product – being an amazing coach and host of the Digital Insiders. And in Funnel Gorgeous, we’re growing quickly but there’s a lot more man power needed over there.

Despite all that, 2020 will be my most PROFITABLE year to date.

What I know (for a fact) is that for many businesses, it takes more than $3-$4M dollars in annual revenue businesses simply to net $1.4M and that’s all considered normal. So I’m super proud of the stories my numbers tell and I refuse to buy into the gimmick of exponential growth and hustle.

And true to form, I’ve always been more about quality than quantity.

My point is you don’t need to be a A-level influencer with millions of followers to live an incredible rich life with an amazing business.

And for all the flashy numbers you see out there, I’d be curious to see how many people are willing to share how that money works for them in their personal life, because even netting 7-figures is awesome but what happens once it gets into the hands of the owner?

When I first started making serious money, my goal was to get a house. I was able to do that in 2017. I bought EVERY PENNY Alex + I had saved and put down an $80,000 deposit on a $350,000 house. At the time, it felt like a stretch. I hadn’t even made my first million yet. But we did it.

At the end of 2017, Alex + I decided to do some cash value life insurance. Again, it felt like a HUGE endeavor. We had to essentially put in a hefty deposit and then be willing to put away $100,000 a year for the next ten years. But we knew that many successful + wealthy people hold these types of “vault” policies, so we took a deep breath and did it.

Now sitting here in 2020, I’m glad we made the investment, and continue to save each year since we don’t have your average employee pension/matching type programs in a 401k.

As time has gone on, we’ve continued to find experts to help us manage our money. We now have invested in several real estate deals (through my client and friend Aryeh Sheinbein), and our next big goal is to have $4,000,000 tucked away in money making investments for retirement, to get our kids through school, help them get married, and to keep building family wealth.

As of today, we’re halfway there with $2,000,000 in (post tax) savings and assets that we’re putting to work.

I will never be the most aggressive ambitious entrepreneur you follow. But I also think there’s value in peeking behind the curtain of someone who runs their business and life to keep TWO things in balance….

  • Delivering high quality content to those who need it + knowing the money will easily follow
  • Living a life that allows me to be in the present and enjoy my family and my hobbies without losing my soul

To me, that’s what these numbers show. At this point, I could stop working and we’re making enough passively to live on with just the savings we’ve built. Not the high life, but enough. The interest is compounding. And that financial freedom is the best feeling in the world.

So what else happened this year?

In 2020, here are a few of the things we launched (over on the Funnel Gorgeous side)

  • Marketer’s Heart Event
  • Launch Gorgeous (we did FOUR rounds!)
  • FG Society
  • Ads The Click Summit
  • One Funnel Gorgeous Retreat
  • Our new software FG Funnels!

In Digital Insiders, we grew! 2020 started off with about 40-50 members, and now we’re at 98!

We hosted two week-long Zoom masterminds, went on a 10 day cross country trip to Moab Utah for camping, and had many big celebrations (six figure launches, six figure launches, and yes, reaching that epic $1M mark).

I counted up how many Voxers and hotseats and audits I did this year. It’s a lot.

  • 90,000 + minutes of Voxer
  • 7,000+ minutes of Hotseats
  • 17,000 + minutes of Audits
  • 3,000 + minutes of group calls

It wouldn’t be a 2020 recap if I didn’t mention that Coronavirus hit everyone hard. What happened in March was truly a black swan event that sent businesses and families reeling.

During the first wave of the pandemic, I set up a $50,000 scholarship fund to float any Insider who was hit hard by the pandemic. We’ve used it all up but I’m very proud to say that everyone who wanted to stay in DI was able to! Another blessing afforded to me by my conservative tendencies to save and keep cash flow going.

Another thing that happened was for the first time ever, I used my email list to talk about something other than business. I sent out TWO emails that cost me many followers:

Both of these moments were pivotal for me. I knew that one of the main reasons I built a business was to take control of my destiny. But what destiny would it be if I couldn’t be myself? There was backlash of course, but it didn’t matter. The issues were too important to me to hide behind.

Throughout the spring and summer months, with travel ground to a halt, I took up two new hobbies: Gardening + birdwatching. Yes, I realize this makes me next level dork but there is something so calming about watching plants grow and birds flit about outside my window.

You know what’s funny? I now know all the types of birds in our yard. I know who belongs to who. We’ve named some. All these little details that I never stopped to pay attention to that were always happening.

It’s a business lesson too. There are SO MANY details you’re missing. Relationships you haven’t found yet. Ideas to be unlocked. There is always more going on than meet the eye but the only way to see it is to slow down enough to notice.

A few other fun tidbits about 2020….

  1. I was EXTREMELY inconsistent on my podcast, but managed to push out 23 podcasts.
  2. I wrote 40 blog posts.
  3. Got to speak during Pete Vargas’s Rise Up Challenge.
  4. Spoke on the main stage at Traffic + Conversion.
  5. Wrote around 90 emails.
  6. Produced at least 10 new presentations (outside of course content in FG) for the following:
    1. The Art of Delegation
    2. Is Certification In Your Future?
    3. My Top Takeaways From Running Digital Insiders For Three Years
    4. Google Productivity!
    5. Creating Irresistibility
    6. Building Courses People Finish
    7. Increasing Profit Margin Through The Way People Think
    8. Evaluating Launches That Flop
    9. Systems To Fix The Common Derailments of Business
    10. Working In The Midst of Trauma
    11. Strategic Planning
    12. Calculating Lifetime Value
    13. The Anatomy of A High Converting Sales Page

When it comes to charitable giving, I’ve been able to give to several organizations that I love to support!

  • Black Girls Code – STEM Education
  • International Justice Mission – Abolishing Slavery
  • Village Impact – Schools in Kenya
  • Sightsavers – Helping Children See
  • St. Jude’s Hospital – Pediatric Cancer
  • Farmer’s Footprint – Farming Without Pesticides
  • Lifewater International – Clean Water
  • Make a Wish – Experiences for Terminally Ill Children
  • Paws With A Cause – Custom Trained Assistance Dogs
  • Black Womxn Thriving – Research Fund

I’ve also been able to give raises to all my team members, as well as year end bonuses and most importantly – job security for 2021.

So what’s coming in 2021?

Right now there are a TON of cool things happening in Funnel Gorgeous in 2021. We wrote about them here in a State of the Union address. It’s definitely worth a read because there’s a lot to unpack.

For Digital Insiders, I’m looking forward to the return of in person events! We have an epic fall mastermind planned at the Grand Floridian in Disney World, and we’re hopefully going to do another week long get together in mid May in Connecticut.

I anticipate Digital Insiders will continue to be at max capacity with a rolling enrollment and waitlist, and just like years prior, we’ll be doing all sorts of group calls, sharing, collabs, and more.

We have plans to do the following:

  1. Run roundtables on various funnels, what’s working and what’s not
  2. Run group strategy sessions on copy, design, traffic, social, publishing, etc.
  3. Travel and hang out together
  4. Blow up group Voxer channels filled all kinds of topics
  5. Collab on places like podcasts, summits, Clubhouse, etc.

Very proud of all that 2020 has done in my life and business, even though a lot of things did not go as planned.

I hope this post inspires you to look at your numbers and celebrate all the wins, big and small!

Julie’s Guide To Hosting A Room On Clubhouse

I’ve been on Clubhouse since November 27th, but didn’t fully start using the app in that addictive-not-sleeping-talking-about-it-on-Facebook sort of way until last week. But as I do with anything I dive headfirst into, I’ve amassed a ridiculous level of information in a short period of time, so for those who are just getting on or trying to figure out how to navigate the app, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about hosting rooms.

But first, a few notes….

How To Get On The Platform

Right now it is an invite only iOS exclusive experience, so getting an invite is a bit tricky. Whenever someone joins, they are given ONE invite. Keep in mind who you give that invite to. If they get on the platform and start contributing valuable info, your profile will get brownie points and the app might bestow on you some more invites. In addition, hosting rooms on the app and using the app often trigger more invites.

There are a lot of theories to how to get on the app, but for now – here’s the best way. Go to Clubhouse, download the app, and reserve your username. Then find someone who’s already on the app and exchange text numbers. It’s important you have each other as contacts (and maybe even text back and forth a bit). The idea is when the user opens up the app, it *might* trigger a notification that says,

“So-and-so is on the waitlist and one of your contacts. Would you like to invite them in (don’t worry it won’t count against your invites).”

Try this! Keep in mind, this advice probably won’t age well if you’re reading this post a few weeks or months in, since they are planning to open the doors publicly soon.

How To Use Clubhouse

There are a ton of guides and resources out there already on how to use the app, so I’m not going to focus on that for this post. You can do a simple Google search, or better yet – attend one of the “new clubhouse user” rooms and learn the ropes while on the app. That’s how I did it, and it’s very effective. Some of these rooms run 24 hours a day so there’s a ton of info there.

The most important thing you want to do is to create your bio. It’s keyword sensitive and there’s plenty of room to write all the awesomeness you want, so make sure to take a little time on your bio. Write it in your NOTES app, format it, and then copy and paste it into the app. Get yourself a nice photo that isn’t too far away or close up since this will be the primary way people recognize you in a room.

Lastly, because there is no direct messaging, you’ll want to hook up your Twitter or IG account in your bio so if people want to connect with you, they can click that link and send you a DM (right now that’s the only link on the bio). Some people are adding text numbers or email contact info as well.

Now let’s get to the meat of this article which is, how to host an awesome room on Clubhouse!

What Are Rooms and What Are They Good For?

This is the core feature of the app: Rooms. In its simplest form, a room is a place where people can come in and talk. Think of Zoom, but no video, no chat, no texting, no reactions, no recording, no computer. It sounds pretty stripped down right? It is, and that’s one of the most beautiful parts about it. You can have private rooms (closed to the public where you “ping” people into the room), or public rooms.

Inside a room there is the host (top left corner), then the speakers (these are people that the host pulls onto the stage at the top of the screen), and then the listeners. The host is a moderator and can assign other speakers to be moderators, and moderators can mute and unmute people, as well as move people from the audience to the stage and back.

Now, just because it’s called a room and all rooms essentially function the same way, does NOT mean there aren’t a million nuances to how rooms run, because there are.

Types of Rooms

How the room functions is 100% up to the host of the room. Here are just a few types of rooms you may want to host, and again, even though there is no official “room type” it’s incredibly important that YOU KNOW what you want out of the room so you can manage the audience that trickles in.

Presentation Rooms: These rooms should have only one or two people on stage with everyone else in the audience. Make sure the title of the room and the host makes it clear that they (or the speaker they bring in) is here to share and speak. Think of it similar to a sermon at church or a speaker on stage. If you plan to take questions at the end, keep the hand raising feature turned off until the presenter is nearly done. Then you can start letting people on stage to ask their question.

Casual Convo Rooms: These rooms are exactly as they sound, just simple casual conversation around a topic. It really doesn’t work well in a big room so if you’re planning to have everyone on stage with the ability to speak and interject, you may want to do a closed room to keep the size small.

Mastermind Rooms: These rooms are usually led by a small group of people, and are on a specific topic. The idea is to have a few experts, but also to bring audience members on stage to ask questions and give feedback and ideas. In my opinion, these are some of the most engaging rooms on Clubhouse, but also super difficult to moderate well. We’ll discuss that in a bit!

Q&A or Town Hall Rooms: These rooms usually start with a bit of information/teaching or announcements, and then are followed by an orderly Q&A style queue where people come on stage, ask a question, and then return to the audience. When you first join Clubhouse, join one of the beginner rooms and you’ll see it’s running much like this.

Specialty Rooms: These rooms are any room that doesn’t follow any of the above formats. For example there are reading rooms, music rooms (where people perform or just listen to music), affirmation rooms, dating and matchmaking rooms, etc. As you fall down the Clubhouse rabbit hole you’ll see how creative people get with their rooms!

The takeaway here is this: I literally made up these categories because it encapsulates the patterns I’m seeing on Clubhouse and it’s important to set the intention of what you’re trying to do before you host the room. If you plan to do a presentation and pull 15 people on stage, they will feel annoyed that they have the ability to speak but can’t because you’re talking for 45 minutes straight.

Room Moderation Best Practices

Once you’ve got the idea or topic for the room, plus the way you plan to facilitate it, the next thing to know is that moderation is key. My suggestion is to find a cohost that has more experience so you can practice with someone who can help before you single handedly run your own room.

Eliminate Backstory: Tell your audience (and remind yourself) that there is no need for backstory when they start speaking. People have no idea how long they talk when they give backstory, so explain that at the beginning, and EVERY time you notice a bunch of people show up in the room. The bio works as a backstory. No need to give it in the room. Make this rule SUPER clear from the get go.

Restate Your Question: Whenever you bring people onto the stage to give an opinion, restate the prompt for each person so it helps keep the conversation on track. For example, the other day I hosted a room about Clubhouse and every person that came up I said, “Hi ________, what’s been your favorite room on Clubhouse and why?” This way, any new people coming into the room will quickly be able to catch up, and your speakers will stay on topic.

Ask Your Question: If you are hosting a room where the audience is asking the questions, then do this: “Hi ___________, what question do you have about (insert your topic)?”

Avoid Inside Jokes: If you are hosting a room with a few friends, remember that inside jokes only feel good to the people on the inside. To everyone else, it sets a ton of “I’m an outsider”. Resist talking to your co-hosts and not engaging the audience. No one wants to just sit and watch other people have fun.

Reset the Room: This simply means that every so often, restate the purpose and guidelines of the room. This way as people come into the room, they can get caught up on the vibe and energy and get more out of the room.

Keep a Queue: So this depends on whether you are doing a casual convo room, a mastermind room, or a Q&A style room. When you want to facilitate a discussion where a bunch of people can interject throughout the convo, you want to have no more than 9 or so people on the stage with the ability to talk. I’ve seen rooms with more but it’s tricky. Keep in mind that the people who remain on the stage often get more follows, and there’s also a spot in the room where it shows everyone the speakers are following so it’s definitely a visibility play. If you aren’t planning that type of conversation, then it’s important to keep a queue.

What this means is that you pull people on stage in batches. Get a few people up, and let each person speak in order. Then as soon as they are done, put them back into the audience. You can turn on and off the hand raising feature so people know when they can raise their hand to join you on stage, vs. when it’s time to be a listening audience member.

Manage Time: This one is so hard, but you can set the intention for the length of time you plan to speak, the length of time you plan to converse, or the length of time you plan to do Q&A. You also want to encourage people to keep their comments to a certain time limit. I’ve seen rooms where one person goes on and on and it’s just a literal snoozefest.

Encourage People To Speak: Unless you’re doing a presentation style room, remember that the only tool you have is your voice. Keep high energy and be welcoming. Encourage people to speak up and raise their hand. Anyone who is less than seven days on the platform will have a party hat on their image so you can see who the newbies are.

Don’t Be a Pitch Idiot: What I’ve found is that people reach out on IG if they like what I have to say. I don’t have to pitch my offer while I’m talking. I can put it in my bio and carry the conversation on IG or Twitter DM.

Instant Rooms vs. Events

There are two ways to start rooms. The first way is to literally hit “Start Room” and open up! You have the choice to create an open room, a social room, or a closed room. This is very organic. The only one that people don’t quite get is the “social” room. Open means PUBLIC. Social means that only your followers can see it. Closed means it’s private to only who you ping.

The second way to start a room is with an event. This will be a set in time event that your followers will see and then can add to their calendar. It also generates a link for the event that people can put on social. When it’s time to start the event, you’ll go to the event and then open up the room. After you host three or so events within three weeks, you can apply for a club. A club is a topic that you host your rooms under that people can follow.

Let me know, what questions do you have about Clubhouse?

Julie Chenell

My Yearly PSA To Business Owners Making $100k A Year… Don’t Miss This!

I will never forget the year I went from making $50k to $325k in business.

It sounds exciting right? But I ended up spending three nights with zero sleep, trying to wrangle my books at the end of the year because I hadn’t been keeping careful track. Most young business owners don’t want to spend their hard earned money on something as boring and unsexy as bookkeeping, even though it’s probably the single most important thing you can do in your business!

It was after that disaster in my life that I finally hired a bookkeeper, and she is still with me today.

After several frantic voxers from clients feeling the pressure of reconciling their books at the end of the year, I decided to reach out to Emily and ask her if she could help people who are making less than $100k a year, get their books in order even if they’ve not done ANY bookkeeping this year at all.

She said yes. She’s offering it as a free bonus (along with a few calculators and other goodies) to anyone who is enrolled in her Automatic Bookkeeping Course* before December 22nd. She will be holding a live workshop to do a year’s worth of books in one simple sitting, and that’s FREE to any of her students.

Consider this my Christmas PSA to all my newbie business owners who don’t want to spend the holidays wrestling with janky spreadsheets! If you’re making more than $100k a year and want to just hire her, go to EmilyVolz.com.

 

>> ENROLL IN AUTOMATIC BOOKKEEPING!

 

 

* Definitely an affiliate link but seeing as I’ve paid her now thousands and thousands of dollars to help me, you can bet your bottom dollar I would promote her even without one!

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