Business Strategy

Ep. 103 13 List Building Ideas

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I’m going to give you 13 of my favorite free list building ideas. And I know I’ve talked about this before, but if you are stuck on this idea of an irresistible freebie and you want to build your list, you should pay attention to this podcast episode.

So first things first, when you create a free offer, you really want to create it with this irresistible curiosity. You want people to be like, “Ah, I want to know what’s in that.” So I actually recommend you write the headline and the tagline of the lead magnet before you actually create it. Make sure that it’s really curious and that it’s going to do well on a landing page, and then go build the thing that you talked about. So it’s a little bit reverse engineering, but it’ll help make that lead magnet convert higher.

Alright, so let’s dive into 13 different ideas. First, one of my favorites is called a swipe file. A swipe file is basically something you’re already using in your business, it could be an email template, it could be a script, it could be something that you, some sort of standard operating procedure, something that’s already in use, that already has social proof and credibility that you are going to give away. So if I said to you guys, “I’m going to give away my swipe file of all the emails that I use in my Digital Insiders Application funnel.” That would be considered a swipe file.

The 2nd option for a free lead magnet is a checklist. These are just quick downloadable guides that help people get something done. It has a lot of details and parts. If you are a beginner and haven’t, you know, don’t have a ton of expertise, you can do checklists of like roundup style. So it’s like, “50 of the top YouTube channels for X, Y, Z.” And you can just round up the content and make that a checklist as well. So you don’t have to create all the original content, you just do the curation of it, and put it in a checklist.

The 3rd lead magnet idea is of course outline. If you have a big course, did you know that your outline in and of itself, is a handy teaching tool. For example, we have a free course called Move to Gorgeous, and it’s basically step by step how to migrate from one automation tool to the next and the strategy. And we could give the outline of an entire migration series and that person would download it and be able to understand the high level steps of everything they have to do. So of course outline, a book outline, anything that’s outline-ish would work well as an irresistible freebie.

The next one, the 4th one is a Facebook group. You can create a free community. I love this one, because you technically don’t even need a lead magnet funnel, you can just set up a group and then ask for the email address when they join, and if Facebook likes your group and sees that there’s a lot of activity, it will show it as a recommended group, and Facebook will do the advertising for you. At one point I was generating about 500 leads a week from a free Facebook group that I didn’t even go in. It was craziness.

Number 5 and one we’ve seen a lot is a quiz or assessment. I recommend that you do this only if it really makes sense for what you’re going to sell on the backend. If you need to filter people and segment people a quiz is great. Otherwise, they are kind of a lot of work, and sometimes they’re not the most high quality leads. But quizzes and assessments can work. They can get cheap leads. So if you’re looking for huge amounts of leads quickly, quizzes tend to do that.

Alright, the next one, number 6 is a free course. Create a free course. It can be in a members area, where you can have the course and then like an image or a lock button that shows what they could unlock. It’s a great way to get people into your membership area and then wanting to buy whatever is there. You can also take a module from your course and make that free.

Number 7 is an ebook. That sounds overwhelming, it sounds like a lot of work, but if you are really wanting a good longterm evergreen freebie, I would encourage you to sit down over a weekend, talk about a topic that you love and have a writer take all of that audio and turn it into an ebook. In fact, the highest performing lead magnet I have ever created was an ebook with a 78% opt in rate, and it generated over a hundred thousand leads. I ghost wrote a book called Marketing Secrets and that one did amazing.

Number 8, a webinar or a video training. Now these leads tend to be more expensive, but they also tend to be a little bit more committed because you’re asking them to sit down and spend some time with you. A lot of these types of lead magnets, webinars, video trainings, you can actually sell on the end of them because by then they’ve really gone from cold traffic to warm traffic.

Number 9 is a work flow. This is a little bit similar to the swipe file, but many of you have advanced work flows in systems like Asana or ClickUp or Trello. Things that you do day in and day out that you could give away. A lot of these tools have a sharable link, so you can create a landing page, and then when they opt in, you can deliver that link via email and give away a system, an SOP, or an automation.

Number 10 is a challenge. Challenges are very, very good for selling something on the backend. Free challenges get highly committed people, sometimes the leads can be expensive, but they’re working with you over 5 or 7 days and then you can sell something on the backend. Challenges are great for buildup to a launch of a product.

Number 11, this one might be unusual, but if you’re an agency or a service provider, a pricing sheet or a pricing guide, or a detailed description of services can be a lead magnet. I remember being on a site once where I was looking for a designer and I could download their pricing guide, but I had to give them the email address. So using a pricing guide is a great free lead magnet and something that you really don’t even have to recreate if you already have it in your business.

Number 12 is a free trial. If you are doing any sort of membership, or SAAS company, a free trial gets that email, gets that lead, and then allows you to market to them later. This is one of the easiest ways to build an email list very, very quickly.

And number 13, which is seen oftentimes in the ecommerce space, but can be used in the digital space, is a coupon or a voucher. Get 20% off, put your email address in here.

So as you can see, these 13 ideas, some are more involved, some are less. But you should be able to get at least 3 or 4 ideas from this list. Go implement them and start building your list. Talk to you soon.

Julie Chenell

The Tightrope

You might not realize it, but in online business — you’re walking on a tightrope.

Once you see it… the next revelation comes quickly, “Oh wait. I’ve been on this tiny piece of string this whole time.”

The tightrope I speak of, is your reputation + credibility as it relates to the money you make. And as I’ve pondered this tightrope, I’ve been able to look back and see that yes… it’s been the way this whole time.

$0-$100,000 – The balance of credibility

When you’re first growing a business, this range of income is all about building credibility. For many people in this phase of rope walking, the feeling of “What if no one hires me because I’m not as experienced as ________” plays over in your mind again and again.

Imposter syndrome rears its ugly head.

You’re trying to get testimonials and credentials that prove you’re worthy to be in and on the online business landscape.

Once you hit six figures in revenue, a new challenge emerges.

$100,000 – $1,000,000 – The balance of profitability

Here at this stage, you’re able to revel in your credibility as a six figure business owner, but God help you if they discover your profit margin is only 10%. All that credibility might vanish in an instant. The balance here is growing, leveraging your expertise, and holding onto your profit margin for dear life so you don’t become one of those 2 comma club winners who made a million but only kept a $1.00.

I’ve seen marketers get beaten to a pulp in this arena. Keyboard warriors taking to the streets to remind folks that many of these new 7 figure businesses have nearly zero profit.

If your profit margin is actually healthy, you might forget you’re on a tightrope. This is because you have the credentials of expertise through your financial arrival, and you have the profit margin to show it.

As you cross the million dollar mark, you might feel like you’ve made it. But that feeling only lasts a moment.

$1,000,000 – $2,000,000 – The balance of scalability

Arriving at $1M in sales means to some extent, you’ve made it. But scaling isn’t easy. It involves this messy thing called people. More people on your team. More customers. More opinions and potential to be disliked.

And yet, for most at this stage, they can manage it okay. It’s a big job to double a 7 figure business, and constantly juggling people, products, customers, and profit margin is tough, but in some ways – this is the sweet spot. 

As you start to leave the $2m spot, the awareness of the tightrope… returns.

$2,000,000 – $3,000,000 – The balance of likability

You may not realize it as its happening, but when you start to leave the $2m mark, you go from little tiny solopreneuring startup to a company. And companies aren’t typically well regarded in this society. There’s a lot of f*ck it to the man.

So you have a choice as a business owner. To leave the land of likability. To grow means to become more like a company… a sure sign that you’re about to go from down to Earth and likable, to corporate and cold. Mean. Detached.

The sheer volume of people you manage both internally and externally means that other people are representing you, speaking on your behalf, and you start to lose some control of your reputation. That loss of control means that people will misunderstand you.

The tightrope for the business owner this whole time…

You must make enough money to be credible. You must have healthy profit margins to show you can manage your funds, but not too healthy because then that means you’re a greedy owner who doesn’t treat their team well. If your profit margins are too low, you start to lose credibility. If you make enough money to show you’re an expert, don’t go too far in one direction or you’ll start to look too much like a corporation and get heat for that.

I’ve seen this happen to a lot of people (myself included). And in fact, I was at a mastermind with Ryan Deiss and he said that many entrepreneurs – when they hit $3M, they sabotage everything.

  • They burn out and shut things down.
  • They close down their groups and programs.
  • They archive their Facebook groups.
  • They fire their staff.

They start over, trying to recreate the more “stable likable” feeling that the rise to $1M gave them. Many online businesses build, burn out, repeat this cycle over and over again.

Think about how many experts you followed who maybe hit $3-$4m a year and then stopped everything. Vanished and returned later with a new idea or a whole new model. There are a lot. I can think of at least 5 without much trouble.

Fewer stay the course because either they don’t realize what’s happening, or they made such a big jump so fast they ended up in another category without realizing how fast they were going to end up there.

The next jump… from $3M to $10M is the journey I’m on right now. I’ve heard it’s dark. I’ll let you know.

But it’s different for me, since it’s two companies  cumulating that amount. Not one. One company – Digital Insiders – is in the sweet spot. One company Funnel Gorgeous, has left the station and is heading fast in the dark.

And together, they put me in this position where I’ve felt the balance of likability, scalability, profitability all at once.

I share this because whatever category you’re in right now, the truth is we’re all on this balancing act together. The feelings are the same –

  • Am I enough? Yes, you are.
  • Will I be accepted? No, probably not.
  • Will I be liked? No, not always.
  • Will this work? Maybe yes, maybe not. But you can always try again.
  • Will I be able to sustain it? Maybe yes, maybe not. But you can always try again.
  • What if I lose it? Then it wasn’t meant to be + you can build it again.
  • What if it doesn’t go as I planned? It won’t. But now that you know it won’t go according to plan, you can plan for that.





Ep. 101 What To Do If Your Offer Isn’t Performing

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Today I want to talk about what to do when an offer is underperforming. This happens all the time, we have offers that do well, and then they don’t. All of the sudden things crash. Or you may have an offer that you put out there and no matter what, just seems like it’s been a slog.

So what does it mean when we say an offer is underperforming? What we mean is that it’s not meeting your benchmark for units sold per month. And what that sentence reveals is that you have to make sure that you are in fact setting a benchmark. A lot of people don’t. They set expectations based on feelings, they set expectations based on what they see other people doing, without actually understanding what’s going on behind the scenes.

So if you’ve never set a benchmark before, that would the first thing I would recommend. And setting a benchmark can be done in multiple ways, but it’s important to know that until you have one, you can’t really claim that something is underperforming. All you can claim is that you’re having feelings about your offer, but we don’t really know what those feelings mean. You’ve attached meaning to them, but we don’t actually know.

So create a benchmark first, and there’s a couple of way that you can do this. Number one, you can do it based on how much revenue you need for that month, especially if you’re a coach or an agency and you really just have one core offer. You just decide, this is how much I need to make, so this is how many offers I need to sell. And if you have any questions about that, I don’t know if you know this, but there is a course called Future Fund that I co-created with my good friend and client, Aryeh Sheinbein, and he and I dive into understanding your core numbers for wealth building. And one of the things that we help people within their business is really kind of backing into that number. So that stops you right there, I would definitely say go get Future Fund.

Okay, a second way that you create a benchmark is based on the support infrastructure for the offer. You know, if you’re a web designer and you can only handle 10 clients a month, you can’t really set a benchmark past that. So you use sort of the infrastructure of what you business can handle and set a benchmark that way.

A third way to do it based on funnel stats, especially previous ones. So if you don’t have previous ones, you can use standardized benchmarks, in fact our course Funnel RX gives you those standardized benchmarks. But if you know, “Hey normally I convert at whatever, 2% and I seem to be able to drive 500 people a month through my organic marketing efforts”, now that’s your benchmark, and that’s what you’re measuring up against. Set a benchmark even if it’s not perfect, and there’s also room for setting a few benchmarks, right. A minimum benchmark and an ideal benchmark, and a stretch benchmark. Now you have something with which to measure, okay, now I can tell if things are underperforming.

So if you set a benchmark for 30 units sold, and you only have 12, you would take 12 and divide it by 30 and you are only at 40% of your goal. Here’s my advice on underperformance. If you are significantly 50% or less, then I would categorize that as an underperforming offer. If you are hanging around 50-70%, you may want to ask yourself, “Is this really an underperforming offer, or was my benchmark off, or was my marketing plan completely not matching my benchmark?” You know, people who say, “I have a thousand dollars to spend on ads, but I want to sell 40 units.” Well, it sounds like you didn’t create a benchmark that’s accurate for your marketing plan, or you didn’t create a marketing plan that’s accurate for your benchmark.

If you’re consistently 70-90%, you might want to continue tracking to see if, you know, you’re just seeing the bumps in your marketing, or was it a bad month, did something change? And if you are within 90% of your benchmark, I would consider you technically nearing benchmark. And I would not consider that an underperforming offer.

So once you’ve done all that, and you are consistently under 50%, now you can say, “Alright, this offer is not performing well. What do I do?” And this works very similar to a tributary where a log is blocking the water. You have to stop at the top, because if you fix the top the water flows all the way down. And if you’re busy trying to remove a log from the bottom of the river when there’s a log blocked at the top, it’s useless. So don’t start at the bottom of your river, start at the top. Remove that block first, and if that changes everything then you don’t have to go downstream.

So there are four possible logs in the way of your stream. The first and the one that’s highest up is traffic, then audience, then funnel, then offer. So if you are not generating enough traffic and visitors to even get the amount of people on the page that you need, that’s what we would consider the log up at the top of the river. You first have to remove that log and get enough traffic before you can really make a full conclusion as to whether or not the offer is underperforming.
But assuming there’s not log up there at the top of the river, and the water is flowing down, the next log you want to look at is audience. Are you actually targeting the right people? Are your audiences correct? Are you on the right forums? Are you in the right Facebook groups? Because if they’re not the right fit, or you’re targeting an audience who’s not really ready for the offer that you have, that might be why the traffic is not converting, because of the audience, not because of the offer.

Assuming of course, you’ve got the right audience and the right traffic, the next log downstream is the funnel. And that’s looking at the funnel to see what objections, what friction is happening on the page. Is it the sales page? Is it the order form? Is it the copy? Is it the design? Is it the load time? What is happening on the page? Is it the marketing argument? Etc, etc.

And assuming that that funnel has converted before, so if you have good traffic, you have the right audience, and you know that in the past it’s converted at 3%, then the next thing to ask yourself is, ‘If this is not the problem, maybe I should go back and check my traffic source and my audience again.” Because you know it’s converted before. Otherwise you’re just going to go downstream and you’re going to finally go to the offer. And you’re going to say, “Hmm, is the problem solved urgent enough? Is the price right? Is it compelling enough to get the sale? Is the offer truly the problem?”

So you can make the judgment that the offer is the problem, if you enough traffic, the right audience, and you have a decently designed and copy written funnel, and it still doesn’t perform, then you would say, “Okay, this is truly an underperforming offer.”

I hope you guys enjoyed that, thanks so much. Leave a review, share the podcast, and I will talk to you soon. Bye.

Ep. 100 Behind the Scenes of The Disney Mastermind

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Today I want to debrief with you on the latest Digital Insiders Mastermind. This was probably the most ambitious thing I have ever attempted in my business, and it was a basically week long Disneyworld meets Digital Insiders Mastermind Extravaganza. So I’m gonna kind of go into the event and give you sort of behind the scenes.

So we decided to do something different for the 2021 masterminds because we had all been virtual for Covid. So back in 2020 I had the idea, you know we all been sort of sitting on the sidelines here, doing everything virtual, let’s go someplace amazing. Let’s go to Disneyworld.

So I contacted the event team, and I just have to give a major shout out to Disneyworld Event Team, they did a fantastic job, but also my team. Really, Jessica Foster was the machine behind all of this helping put all these logistics together. So we went ahead, picked the dates, got the room block, and basically I said to people, “You have got to book this now, come hell or high water.” Because you know, when you’re planning an event, it’s always a little tricky with the room block because they make you pay for whatever you don’t use on your room block, so that can be kind of financially scary. But the Digital Insiders were super, they were down. And we booked up the room block in just a couple of weeks.

So we stayed at the Grand Floridian, which is the flagship resort in Disneyworld. Amazing location, amazing views, just absolutely fantastic. We got a really good deal, normally it’s like $700 a night at that resort, but we ended up getting about $329 a night for a room and people wanted to share. So we booked that out pretty fast. Then what I did is I put together a Disneyworld Committee through the Digital Insiders just to get some feedback and some ideas on how to do it, because you’re combining play with work, it was completely different than any other mastermind.

So we met once a month for a couple of months. We talked about food, we talked about ideas, we talked about the blend of play versus work. So that was sort of a recurring theme as I was planning this event. How much play is enough? And how much work is enough? And with entrepreneurs who are very, very work focused, I was a little nervous that this would be a hard transition. And it turns out that it was a little bit, but it was also really, really good.

So a couple of things, number one, the way we ran the schedule is we did two full masterminding days from 9 to 4 on Monday and Thursday. And on both of those days we had hosted dinners. So basically the way the schedule worked is we Mastermind from 9 to 12, we had a 2 hour lunch break, and everybody went to various restaurants around Disneyworld. And that was quite a logistical feat that I had a Digital Insider help me with to get reservations, since Disney is kind of complicated. And then we had a nice long break from 4 to 7, and this was great because it allowed people to either go to the pool, or talk, or network, and then we had hosted dinners on Monday and Thursday night.

So those were the big mastermind days. Tuesday and Friday were half day mastermind days. So on Tuesday it was a 2 to 6, and on Friday it was 11 to 3. So on those days we had other things going on. So Tuesday morning we had people going into Magic Kingdom. And on Friday night we had people going into Epcot. So those days were really, really long. I thought they were going to be fine, but they were actually more tiring than the Monday/Thursday because of the switch from play to work, play to work.And then Wednesday, smack dab in the middle, was just a day of play.

So a couple of cool things that we did at the mastermind that I will never forget as long as I live. The first thing is that I rented out Animal Kingdom, after dark, after closing. So we got on coach buses, we got to animal kingdom, and all 80 of us walking into the park while everyone was walking out, was just something I will never forget as long as I live.

We went over into the Africa area, and we went to Harambe market where there was a West African band playing, a huge buffet, Raffiki showed up and we basically spent an hour and half or two hours just having a meal together. And then we picked up and walked over to the land of Pandora, which is all lit up at night. It’s bio-luminescent waterfalls, sounds. We went over there and we had 90 minutes access to the most popular ride on Disney property, which is Flight of Passage, although, I would say it’s probably the second most popular ride now that Star Wars is around. And we got 90 minutes to ride it, just us. And it was so unbelievably cool.

And then we had a dessert party with all kinds of desserts. I honestly can’t quite remember. So that night was just absolutely unforgettable. The next morning, Tuesday morning, about 40 of us got up to go do Magic Kingdom. So we were up late, and we were up early, and by Tuesday night we were just absolutely exhausted.
But it was interesting to see what happened, because some of the people who were a little bit less excited about the play part of the mastermind, noticed that once they were kind of pulled out of their regular environment, they were waiting in lines, they were eating meals, they were dancing, they were swimming, they were doing all these things, and ideas started to kind of bubble up to the surface. And that that need for play is so built into our DNA, and it’s the thing that really drives creativity.

So on Wednesday we all did a VIP tour. So I had got 6 VIP tour guides and each team, they were based on teams and they were named after different pirate ships, got to choose what they wanted to do for 7 hours. So some teams did one or two parks, other teams hit all four parks in 7 hours, it was nuts. But of course, with the VIP tour guides, you can get to the front of the lines, they drive you through the back entrances, they get your coffee for you, your ponchos, whatever you need. So it’s just such a luxury experience. And I cannot tell you, I will treasure for the rest of my life, all the pictures that came flooding in during that VIP day.

So Thursday we went back to work, but there was like a new energy in the room because we had had all this play time, and Thursday night we had a party at the Grand Floridian. We watched the fireworks, we danced, we stayed up until 2 in the morning in the hot tub, and it was just an absolutely amazing, amazing day.

Friday was, Friday was a little hard. It was hard because it was sad because people were leaving. It was hard because we were exhausted. We did mastermind again, we had some great presentations, and then we went into Epcot and we did the food and wine festival and the fireworks. It was a full day. And we were all exhausted. But the takeaway from it was that play is as important as work, especially if you need creative energy for your business. It also is very obvious that people need connection, they need face to face human connection. And I saw that play out, and you know we know that the pandemic has caused a lot of hardship and social isolation. But watching the sort of sadness and crash after, just reminds me how much we need to belong in a community.

So if you’re thinking about putting on an event like this, number one I would make sure you have someone like my team. Jess and also Emily and Helen and Nuno, they were all really, really critical to pulling this off. I had Helen who was overseeing the virtual, because there were virtual about 20 people who couldn’t come, so we wanted to stream them in. Nuno who was sort of working the room and making sure everybody felt good and could belong. And Emily was sort of the liaison between the virtual and the in-person, she was also my gate keeper. And then Jess who was managing almost every logistic from you know, oh my gosh, the time and what to do if it rained. And we had a little bit of a snafu with our park tickets not being hoppers, and we had to upgrade them all, just little things like that.

It is definitely an expensive event, both for your clients and for you. This was triple the cost of what I normally spend on a mastermind event, and 100% worth it. I had a few people ask, “What’s the ROI on an event like this?” I didn’t sell anything, so I didn’t “make back the money”. However, I had spoken to Emily, who is my CFO about this when some of the quotes were coming in for these ridiculous experiences, like renting Animal Kingdom, or renting a ride, or VIP tours, all that kind of stuff. You know, I wanted it to make business sense, but at some point it didn’t. You know, when I’m normally spending, you $40 to $50,000 on an event where I’m not selling anything, it’s a fulfillment event, what is the reason for spending 3, 4 times more than that for an event?

So I knew in my head that experiences matter, not just for the sense of community, but for retention, but also because I knew that giving people an experience would help re-invigorate their business, and does that have an ROI? Yes, 100%. Does it have an ROI on my PNL? It will, you know what, because I don’t necessarily at this point in my business, worry so, so, so much about my PNL. My PNL is pretty steady and yes it will take a dip, but I know that the memories, that the relationships, the connections, the creativity, it is going to last far beyond the 2021 budget.

So again, I would say to you as a business owner, if you are planning an event, or thinking of attending an event, and you’re struggling to find the ROI in it, you’re not quite sure how it’s all going to work, take my story to heart and know that, it was funny, Emily got off Flight of Passage on Monday night, and you know she’s always the one watching my books, and she came over to me and said, ‘You know, half way through the ride I thought to myself, there’s really no better way to spend money than what we’re doing right here.” And it’s really true, like from a personal values standpoint, I don’t think I can think of a time in my life where I was happier than watching so many people I love have the time of their life. And you really can’t put a number on that.

So I would encourage you to think about experiences in your business, yes there are a lot of logistics and they cost a lot of money, but they are 1000% worth all the headache and time that they take to plan. And shout out to Disneyworld. If you have never done anything at Disneyworld, their customer service team is just unparalleled. It’s a business lesson in and of itself. Watching the way they run their company, the way they run events, the standard at which they hold themselves to, it’s something that Cathy and I at Funnel Gorgeous, and myself at Digital Insiders aspire to.

So I am still not recovered. There was a pretty bad dopamine crash after this. Of course I’m already thinking about when’s the next time we can do something like this again. And the takeaways just keep coming. It’s funny, I met with the Digital Insiders yesterday and we did takeaways at the event, but it takes some time to really let things percolate. And the stuff that’s starting to bubble up is really, really good.

So go find a way to play today, get some experiences, get outside of your comfort zone, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Ep. 99 How To Decide On A Business Partner

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Hey everyone, this is Julie and today I want to talk about business partnerships. I have a lot of people that ask about my relationship with Cathy Olsen who is the co-CEO and partner with me in Funnel Gorgeous. So I thought I would do an episode today about some of the things I’ve learned and some of the advice that I would give.

A little bit of background on our story. We started working together in 2017, she had hired me. I was the coach and she was the client and we had developed a friendship and worked really well together, so in early 2018 she and I came up with this idea to launch a course called Funnel Gorgeous, and it was blending my funnel and marketing knowledge with her design. So we did that first. We did not have intentions of building a company together, we just thought this would be cool. So we went in 50/50.

A lot of people ask how that, how we arranged that. We put it in writing and we both agreed to $15,000 of either cash or sweat equity. So that meant for me using my email list, using my copy skills. For Cathy that was designs. So we actually, you know, we didn’t put in a lot of cash, we both pooled our skills. But if you were going to do this with somebody and you guys didn’t have the skills, you’d have to put equal amounts of money in and then equal amounts out.

So we did that and launched it, and we had made $55,000 in that first launch, so it was really successful, and we continued to add to that course with templates. So that went all the way into 2019. It was really clear at that point that we were building something that was bigger than just a course, so we formalized our relationship on paper, but not officially with a lawyer yet. But we were working together, we had this one course and these templates. And then it wasn’t until June 2019 that we launched a second course, and this one was called Webinar Gorgeous. And that one did $175,000 in sales. And this is when it was really obvious that we had something. Something was really working.

So over the next six months, we hired a lawyer and got an operating agreement, and January 1st I believe, of 2020 is when we officially went into that operating agreement as 50/50 partners. We hired a lawyer, we put all of that official stuff in place. And you know, it’s really important when you’re doing this that you consider the costs, like the unseen costs of your partnership.

So for example, if you’re using your FG funnels account for the business, that’s $97 a month, and you’re paying for that, but you know this new venture is using it as well, you have to account for all of that, so sometimes the easier thing is to just get all brand new accounts, brand new business accounts, brand new cards, just to keep it really clean and really simple.

So that’s sort of the origin story of how Cathy and I work together, but I think what people really want to know is how do you know? How do you know if someone is a good partner for you? And I really don’t have a lot of magic to offer here, but I have a couple of things that I know to be true, because Cathy is not my first partnership. I had a partnership with someone back in 2016 for Create Your Laptop Life, and I briefly tried a partnership outside of Funnel Gorgeous in my other business, Digital Insiders, that did not go well.

So what have I learned? Number one, you have to know that you cannot do the business without the other person. A lot of partnerships start because people like each other, and they like working together, and they like the camaraderie. But the truth is that if the partnership ends, one person could probably carry the business better than another person. So it’s not until you really know that the business doesn’t survive if the partnership doesn’t, that you have something really, really good.

So you see this in partnerships that last a long time, and for us, Cathy is so much the foundation of the Funnel Gorgeous brand that without her the brand wouldn’t, and you know, maybe that means that we wouldn’t have a good sellable business, but what it does mean is we have a partnership that’s really solid. And the business, the brand does not work without her, just like the brand does not work without me. We need each other. There’s no one person that can carry this brand.

So when you look at someone when you’re evaluating if that makes a good partner, you have to ask yourself, “Could I do this business without them?” because if the answer is yes, that’s going to be a bug in your ear for a long time.

So that’s the first thing, know that you can’t do the business without the other person. Number two, you need to have a mutual respect for their zone of genius. If there’s any doubt in your head about that person’s zone of genius, or you can’t respect and also kind of give in and not have the final say, you’re going to constantly be butting heads.

So when it comes to design, Cathy is always going to be the winner. What she says goes. In fact, in most cases I’m not even going to question her zone of genius or try to step on it, because there’s no way that I could ever produce something that’s more high quality than what she already does. So I have such a great respect, not only for her design, but for her branding mind, her sales mind, and her marketing mind and how that design pays out in the marketing process. So when she speaks up about that, it’s time for me to take a seat and let her speak.

So she will do the same for me when it comes to copywriting, and curriculum, and content, and things like that. So that’s the second thing. You need to have mutual respect for the zone of genius.

The third thing, and I don’t know if this is actually good business advice, so take it with a grain of salt. But I believe that the partnership has to be more important than the business. And what I mean by that, is that your commitment to being a good partner for the other person, has to be more important than the bottom line of the business. And the reason why I say that is because if that holds true and you work on the partnership, then the business will be fine. It’s similar to the way people talk about marriage, and they say that your marriage is more important than the relationship with your kids. And it’s not that you love your spouse more than your kids, it’s that people understand that if your marriage is number one priority, and you focus on that, that ultimately that will trickle down and help the children.

So the idea is that if your partnership, your relationship with your partner and the lines of communication, and the fact that you guys are in this together, has to be more important than the business, and the business will be okay, because the partnership will be strong.

So those are sort of my three tips as you’re evaluating a partner and deciding this is something you want to do. Number one, you have to know that you cannot do the business without them. Number two, you have to have a mutual respect for their zone of genius. And number three, the partnership has to be more important than the business, because the partnership is what makes the business run.

So hopefully that helps. If you like this, please share it, leave a review, and I’ll talk to you soon.