April 2021 Archives

Ep. 93 15 Benefits of Running an Event

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Hey everyone, this is Julie, I hope you are doing awesome. Today I kind of want to talk a little bit about behind the scenes of The Marketers Heart event. How many of you guys went to the Marketers Heart Event? Curious. And you know, its funny, the whole idea of events, and what is the value of the event. So today I just want to go through some unexpected benefits from running an event. Even if it’s virtual.



Events can feel like a lot of time and money and energy and they sometimes aren’t profitable. In fact, we were laughing because this was a virtual event, so you would think it would be profitable, but then we’re like, “I don’t think we made any money on this.” So here’s just a few things to note.

Number one, we decided from the get-go to hire a professional production company to do the virtual event, so it didn’t feel like just a regular Zoom meeting. So we had a team of 4, we had 3 camera people, we had a studio. We also made all the speakers come and speak live from their remote locations. It was actually technically quite complicated. So that was our biggest expense, hiring that team to come in and make that event. But it really did feel like an event. We had 500 people registered for the event and we had more than 50% of people attend the entire 3 days. So we think that a lot of that had to do with the fact that we had this sort of dynamic studio and multiple camera angles, and things that kept it interesting so it didn’t feel like you were just in another zoom meeting.

So what were some benefits that we saw from The Marketers Heart event? Now these, the first two I’m going to mention probably you would already think. Events build brand identity and loyalty. More than anything else, if you are trying to grow a community, you are trying to help people feel like they are a part of your brand, not just consuming it, events will create brand loyalty and identity. Whether it’s through friendships, whether it’s through swag, whether it’s through just a more intimate connection with the people that are front facing on the company, there is nothing that works better than events. And virtual events when done well can have the same impact. Obviously, in person events does it even more, but virtual events, we still saw a ton of brand loyalty and identity come out of our virtual marketers heart event.

Okay, another unexpected benefit, obviously people know, you can sell higher ticket offers, or you can sell things that might be a little bit more expensive to sell, but you have all this momentum, you have all these people there, they’re listening. So we sold for the first time, actually that’s not true, we sold Launch Gorgeous last year at the New York event, but it was a very sort of quick sell, towards the end. We didn’t really do much to promote it, whereas this time we did a full webinar. And we sold the Launch Gorgeous On Demand off of the back of the event, we did it as the last presentation of the two days. It worked very well. We were able to answer questions, and then we went right into an open cart launch the week after. Logistically it was very taxing on our team, but we had our biggest launch ever off of this event.

Another thing that is a great benefit is to test material. So if you have future material or material that you may want to put in a book, or put on a podcast, or in a course, you can test this material on a live audience. And we did that with some of our presentations. We tested it out just to get that initial, instantaneous feedback for how it’s resonating. So if you have any plans to put out some new content, put it in an event first.
Another benefit is that you can give attendees upcoming sneak peeks. This is part of that brand identity and brand loyalty, is that when they feel like they get to see behind the scenes of what’s going on, they get more sort of inside look, you can build that loyalty and identity, but you can also help your community understand, “Here’s your mission, here’s your vision, here’s where you are going.” It’s almost kind of like the way stockholders in a company will get like sort of a state of the union address. You can do that at an event in a different way than just sending out an email. Okay?

Another thing, networking relationships with speakers. So if there’s anybody in your sphere that you want to get to know, inviting them to speak onstage is a great way to start developing that relationship. So if you have some people in a Dream 100 and you can afford to get them on your stage, it’s an excellent way to build that rapport.

Obviously, it goes without saying that another benefit is you get replays that can be reused for bonuses, courses, workshops, summits, things like that. So that is another benefit assuming that you of course pay for an audio/visual team production company.

Another thing is that it will sell more of your existing stuff. We had some of our highest days ever in our business on those three days of the event because people were buying things that we weren’t even talking about. But there was a sense of “Oh, I’m here. It’s Funnel Gorgeous.” And you know, maybe people were mentioning things in the comments. So it will sell more of your existing offers even if you’re not actively talking about them from the stage.

Another thing that it can do is build incredible social proof and buzz on your social media profile. So whether people are in your group talking about the event or whether they’re tagging you on Instagram, it’s going to generate buzz and give you lots of material to screenshot and use for later. So for later offers, later launches, later events.

Another benefit is that you’re going to actually bond with your team more. I think we, as a team, really, I mean it was a stressful event, but we had some great bonding time, we were able to fly in one of our employees as an emcee, Cathy came to my house in Connecticut. So there’s just a chance to bond with your team in a different way when you’re putting on an event because you’re all working towards this one particular goal.
Another thing that it can do, is it can help you get awesome b-roll for social. So b-roll and photos. We had a photographer come and take pictures with us, and we had of course, the event fully photographed and video recorded. So this provides a lot of material as you’re moving forward, and Instagram and Tiktok, so you might as well, if you are on those platforms, the event provides a way for you to do all of these things and get some of that sort of by-product as well.

Another unexpected benefit that didn’t even dawn on me until I did it, was it allowed me to connect with A/V people. And I know that seems kind of random, but for any kind of like small workshop or event, or even if you want to have a local production company in your area, that you can develop a relationship with so that you have someone who is local that you don’t have to fly in, that was also a benefit as well.

And lastly, it allows you sell tickets to a future event. You can actually sell another event off of your existing one. So if you do a virtual event, or you do an event and it’s not as expensive and you want to sell tickets to a more expensive event later, an event is a great place to do it. A lot of people who have a great experience want to repeat that experience.

So those are some benefits. I hope that’s helpful for you guys if you are on the fence about doing an event. Start with a virtual event, because it’s a little simpler, and then move to an in person. But we had an incredible time at the Marketers Heart, and we really wanted to connect with our community and our customers, and we got all these extra side benefits as a result. Appreciate you all, talk to you soon. Bye.

Ep. 92 What is Your “Enough” Number?

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Hey everyone, this is Julie. I’m the worst podcaster ever. I’m so inconsistent. But here I am and I got a great question today from a Digital Insider and I thought, you know what, I’m just going to pop on my headset and record this as a podcast.



So the question was, what is your enough number? And this particular person said that they think that they’ve always struggled with building this 8 figure business but then trying to align that with freedom and fulfillment and family goals, it just seems like such a risk to grow with a huge company and employees to the 8 figures, doesn’t even make sense.

So I thought, okay, let me answer this question because it’s an amazing question, and I realized as in enneagram 6, I actually am not the typical personality type of an entrepreneur. So I will regularly see people on Instagram saying, “Oh, I want to go from 3 to 6.” Or “I want to go from 1 to 2.” Or whatever their revenue goals are, and of course at Funnel Gorgeous we set revenue goals, but we set them not because we’re trying to gun for some particular number, it’s more that we want to know that the company is growing. So my enough number personally doesn’t really have to do with my business revenue, it has to do with the number that will help me retire, or stop working should I choose, or if I need to or Iwant to.

So I actually work with Ari, you’ve probably heard me talk about him. He helps us with some financial investing and things, and he talks a lot about this number because most people don’t know what do you actually have in the bank or in investments in order to retire and live comfortably in the lifestyle that you’re at now, for the remainder of your years. And that number is really hard to come up with. I think for me, I would say that that number is about 5 million dollars, as is you know, divested into investments and some cash. But that would be probably the number that I’m looking at. So once I know that I have $5 million invested in various places and accessible to me, I would say, that’s the point at which I could stop working if I wanted to, but I don’t want to.

So in the meantime, I just continue to grow a business that throws off capital that I can use to invest, knowing that I’m thinking, okay, it’s probably going to take me, how many more years is it going to take me to grow that? So here I was answering this question and the reality is that what kind of business would you rather have, a $2 million business that throws off nearly a million in profit, or would you rather have a business that’s making $10 million and throwing off a million in profit? And the bandwidth of a $2 million business is very different than the bandwidth of a $10 million business.

Now if you are motivated by impact, or volume or status, or you want to have a huge reach or you want to grow a big team, you might answer that question and say, “I would like a $10 million business throwing off a million in profit, because probably at $10 million I have a majority of people doing the work, I don’t have to be doing all the things or wearing all the hats, so I’m comfortable with that.” And that’s cool. Or you might say, “I don’t want 50 employees. I want a $2 million business. I want a small team of 5 or 10 people, and I want to be hands on in the business.” So these are the decisions that you’re making. So now if it throws off a million in profit and you have to put whatever, 30 or 40% into taxes, that’s earning, let’s just say for easy math, about $500,000 a year. So if you’re trying to get to $5 million in cash you’ve got to live off that money and then save it. So it’s going to take you 10 years or so to build a business, to build enough cash reserve and investments to retire. And the average person retires at about 65. So you know that’s kind of how the math works. Very macro, not very detail oriented.

So I have this unique vantage point of working with a lot of clients, so I can see on the back ends of a lot of businesses, and understand sort of the lifestyle implications of those businesses. So here’s some things to think about. I’m not going to give you any answers of what is your enough number, but here’s some ideas.

The first thing is that Digital Insiders is my current personal business. And that is a capped business, it will not scale beyond about $2 million a year. I do not want it to scale beyond that. I could grow it and change it and morph it, but I like it. And it has been a steady million dollar a year business, and as I cap out at 100 paying members, it has grown, but that’s going to be about a $2 million dollar a year business, it’s going to have good profit margins, and it’s going to be an amazing way to spend my years working. Now the thing about that business, it’s a full time, 40 hours a week position. Because it’s a small company, I don’t have a big team doing everything, I’m doing a lot of the coaching. So just very, it is taking a lot of my time. So if I wanted to have a business where I didn’t have to talk to a lot of people, where I didn’t have to spend 30 hours a week coaching through Voxer and Audits and Hotseats, then I would need to choose something else.

Now Funnel Gorgeous is a completely different animal. That has a coaching aspect to it, but it’s not a one on one coaching aspect. And then it has course sales, it’s a more scalable business, and we’ve also been rolling into software. That has a much larger team, Funnel Gorgeous in on track to do $4 million this year with about a 40% profit margin. There’s also a second CEO so the capital it throws off has to get divided differently. Plus we have a lot more people on payroll. And the thing with Funnel Gorgeous is that there’s a lot more scaling team, logistic systems management, and less of the heavy duty, intensive coaching.

Now the reality is that for the past couple of years, Digital Insiders and Funnel Gorgeous have kind of thrown off, at least in 2020, I would say they threw off about the same amount of capital. Um, yeah. Sort of. About that. So I can kind of feel from a lifestyle position what it feels like to have a Digital Insiders type high touch coaching business versus at Funnel Gorgeous where I’m more managerial, and I do have a little bit of coaching. But still, what am I going for? Am I trying to hit some magic number with Funnel Gorgeous? No. We are trying to grow. We’re actually trying not to grow too fast. It scares me to death to grow too fast. So that is not something I’m interested in.

So when you’re looking at your enough number, it is really tempting to just gun for some big number without the context. And it is incredibly dangerous, because when you get to that number you’re probably going to be pretty disillusioned as to what it means, because you attached a meaning to it that wasn’t really true or accurate. So when you’re sitting down and sort of building out your value ladder or if you’re a company and figuring out where you want to go, you want to start with that end number in mind of when do you want to retire? What age do you want to be when you retire? How much money do you want to have invested or in the bank in order to retire? And then back into it from there.

And then as you’re building that business, thinking about the different containers that business can go in, you know, do you want to have a huge impact? Do you want to have big volume? Do you want to manage a big team? Do you want to have a smaller business? Do you want to have more intimate and deeper connections?
So those are the things that I would encourage you to think about, as you’re trying to plan out your enough number.

Anyway, thanks guys for listening. Sorry to be so MIA, but life. We moved, we got a puppy, and there’s been a lot going on in the land of Funnel Gorgeous, but I’m glad to be back.

Julie Chenell

On Being Kind While Growing A Thick Skin

I had a realization the other day, that somewhere in the past three to four years, I’ve learned an important lesson I want to share with you all. It has to do with being kind while growing a thicker skin. 

Let’s face it: Business is literally an activity whereby the business owner willingly subjects him or herself to increasingly difficult and complex problems in exchange for money.

That’s what you sign up for when you decide to go into business. There is no destination, just progress forward or backward, and with each new level… comes harder and harder problems.

And as you grow, there’s something new that happens to you as the business owner: You are in contact with more and more people. Customers, colleagues, and a growing team.

The exponential growth of relationship dynamics for a business owner is staggering if you watch it play out. If you’re an introvert, an empath, or just a sensitive person in general, this can be the most exhausting part.

I remember the first time a customer made me want to burn my business to the ground. He was a suspicious sort, and paid me $1000 to redo his website. He didn’t like the changes and proceeded to block me, demand a refund, and insist I was trying to hack him.

I cried for a solid day.

Little did I know (and thank God no one told me) that would be the easiest “hater” client I had.

Over the years, I’ve had more unhappy customers and hater trolls on my posts, messages, and in my inbox than I could recall. Some are funny, some are crazy, some really take me a day or two to get over.

And each time I have the same reaction: Is business worth all this? Is it really?

And then I remember this lesson I’m about to teach you….

NEVER make a decision in the heat of the emotional moment because I GUARANTEE that in 7 – 14- 30 days you will be in a team meeting and laughing about how ridiculous it all was…or at least acknowledging that it was a fuck up that you can retell on a blog post someday.

Promise.

I don’t openly talk about the issues I face on a weekly basis with unhappy customers because I choose to focus on the 99% of the people who are happy and content. I know that it’s human nature to focus on the negative, so I train myself to see the positive.

The thing is, I realize now that this may have unintentionally perpetuated the idea that everyone loves me and therefore what’s wrong with you that you have sour grape customers.

So let me tell you about the time…

  • I spent a year with a client who used all my services, didn’t have a good year in business, and then turned around and blamed me for all of it, resulting in me giving back 50% of her money (losing thousands and thousands of dollars)
  • I have one particular customer who insists I’ve stolen all her IP, and harasses me regularly with threats for stealing her ideas
  • On a weekly basis, I’m wrangling angry or disappointed customers at FG Funnels who didn’t like their support experience, or felt the app was too hard.
  • Randomly I’ll find influencers block me and then when I reach out to ask why, I get no satisfiable answer.
  • Well meaning advice flies in my direction on the daily. I’m not doing enough of this, or enough of that, etc.
  • Partnerships gone bad that turn into untrue passive aggressive rumors.
  • Facebook commenters that accuse me of drama, of being too fragile, biting the hand that feeds me, etc.
  • Customers threatening to call BBB on me for a mistake they made.
  • People misunderstanding the words I use or the intentions of my heart.

On and on it goes.

So no…it’s not just you. You are not weird for having a hater, or a pissy client. You are not weird because you feel like burning it all to the ground when things go sour.

But what you can do in that moment, no matter how rotten you feel – is tell yourself that Julie said in 7-14-30 days I will be laughing about this. Okay maybe not laughing, but you won’t want to burn your business to the ground.

When the urge to run + hide hits you, that’s the moment to stand. 

Because something important is happening. You’re developing a thicker skin while remaining kind. It’s literally happening in the moment for you, not to you.

To run + hide is to defend yourself. The thing that will turn thick skin into cynicism. Resist.

For every encounter you have that you STAY in, keeping your kind + sensitive heart while not crumbling under the weight of not being good enough…another notch in your thick skin belt is being formed.

And one day – you’ll hit another customer being upset, and you’ll notice that you don’t want to burn your business down.

You don’t want to run and hide. You take a deep breath, channel your inner strength, face it head on with your kind thick skin.

 

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