October 2018 Archives

What $5-$10k Months Look Like in Business

What $5-$10k Months Look Like in Business

When you first get into business, one of the first benchmarks is typically to make $5k a month.

But when you account for taxes and operating expenses, the goal of making $5k a month usually increases to $10k a month.

In this episode, I give a breakdown of how you can allocate your income when you make $5k- $10k a month.

Follow me as I pull out my paper and calculator to crunch numbers related to…

– Business Expenses

– Taxes

– Business Savings

– Take-Home Amount

See what a $5-$10k month in business actually looks like as I pull back the curtain on numbers reality.

If you are trying to get to your first $5k or $10k month and have questions, please put them in the comments below. I love to hear from you.

 

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Video Transcript

So a little bit ago I did an episode about what does it look like when you make $100,000 a month and like how that money shakes out.

I got so much feedback from you guys and you were like, “that was awesome, but what about when it’s like a lot less than that?”

And so I thought I would do a little bit of a deep dive into when you’re making those first $5k, $10k like how does that money get spent, what do you expect? Hopefully, that relates to you guys because it wasn’t really that long ago.

In fact, I’m sitting here in my office and it was just a year ago that I got into this house. It wasn’t that long ago with the memories are still pretty fresh for me.

I feel like the first benchmark for an online business owner is can they make $5,000 in revenue a month? I don’t know what part of the country or the world that you’re living in. I know for me, $5,000 a month was not enough.

Not Enough in Connecticut, not enough for four kids because even if I could make my profit really, really high, and my expenses really low, 30 percent of that was immediately going out to taxes and I needed a minimum of $6,000 a month.

So I would say that the real benchmark that you’re looking for if you’re not looking to make like mad money and you just want to have a full-time living, I think that the 10k a month mark is the mark you want to shoot for.

So I got my little trusty pad notebook out here because I wanted to kind of show you what I think.

And this will work primarily for an online business, especially for a service provider business. Other types of businesses have more overhead.

So I’m just going to give you kind of what we do.

So let’s just talk for a second and let’s just say that you want to reach $10,000 a month.

Believe it or not, in the service business. That’s actually not that hard to do. I mean, just a couple of clients, a couple of websites, a couple sales pages, a couple funnels, and you’ve got your 10k.

So what actually happens to that 10k once that revenue comes in? So this is what I would do first. The very first thing is you’re going to look at your expenses, right? And what does it cost to actually run your business at 10k.

For most of you, especially in the service industry, it shouldn’t cost you more than five to $500-$600 a month. That would be my guest. So we’ll just do $500 a month.

And of course, this is assuming you don’t have a team. And I think it’s pretty reasonable that a service provider can make 10k without a team. Once you get beyond 10k, it’s pretty hard to do without a team.

That puts you at $9500.

Then we have to think about taxes. Unfortunately, depending on the state you live in, I’m gonna say about 30 percent taxes. And that’s about what? $2850.

Okay. And so if we take that and you’re at about $6,650, that is essentially your take home, right? That’s what you’ve got and most people can live on about $6,000 a month.

And if you want to kind of break it out between rent and mortgage and health insurance, if you have to get your own health insurance and then living expenses.

Most of us can handle this amount. If you want business savings, and I’ve talked about business savings, how important it is to have that rainy day fund in case your clients dry up, you may actually want to take anywhere from 30% to 50% of this money and put it in a business savings account.

And some of you might be like, well if you do that, then you don’t have as much. And that’s true. So if you want to have a nice cushy business savings account, you may want to shoot for 15k to 20k months. That might be your next goal.

But remember the more you go above 10k, probably you’re going to have to hire contractors.

So there is this like weird situation and just so you know this not to get freaked out when you start to go from solo to team, temporarily you have to build out a team which means your revenue goes down.

So it makes sense to really try to get to 20k and try to get to 30k and 40k because then it’s you’re better able to sustain that team.

But in general, guys, keep your expenses as low as possible. Account for taxes and put it in a tax savings account.

And then whatever is leftover, take 30% to 50% of that, put it in a business savings account and then live off the rest.

Just so you know, the very first when I first got started and I was making $4000 or $5,000 a month, I didn’t have one bit of business savings.

It wasn’t until I really crossed the 10k mark that I started to be able to think about that. So don’t feel bad if you don’t have business savings right away. Just make sure that you account for your taxes before you go spend that money.

You guys know that I like to pull the curtain back. I don’t like to pretend and fluff out the numbers, so I’m sure you have questions about this.

If you are trying to get to your first 5k or 10k month, put your comments below. I love to hear, what you guys think, what questions you have. It helps for further episodes.

And I also liked to respond directly. So put your comments below and for more episodes like this, including the original, what it’s like to have 100k months, you can go to Juliestoian.com.

Q&A Time with Julie Stoian

Q&A Time with Julie Stoian

Each week in my Create Your Laptop Life® membership, I answer any and all business and marketing questions directly from my members in a live Q&A coaching session.

In today’s episode, I tackle four business questions directly from my community.

I’ll cover…

– Why Businesses Fail
– My Biggest Mistake in Business
– What to Do When You Feel Unqualified
– What to Do When a Client Says They Don’t Have Money

Have more questions about running or starting your own business?

Check out https://cyllnetwork.com for information on my private membership community, Create Your Laptop Life®, and get all your questions answered directly by me each week, along with so much more.

 

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Video Transcript

I think there’s a lot of reasons that businesses fail, but if I had to narrow it down to the top, I think it’s that they don’t understand what their customers want.

People get obsessed with building products and offer and services and you’re like, oh, this will be cool, this would be cool, but they forget that they really need to be attaching themselves to an audience, not so much a product or an offer. And I think the businesses that get it right, they attach themselves to the people and the customers that they serve and they are committed to serving them even if it’s not with a product that they have now.

Those businesses seem to outlast all the trends and all the fads.

I think my biggest mistake was… So in August of 2016, I was already to join the Inner Circle mastermind, Russell Brunson’s mastermind for $25,000 and I chickened out.

What proceeded after that was I had several months of building this particular product. At the time it was a subscription. It was a membership community.

And it was $97 a month and I thought it was broken and I thought it was broken because I didn’t have a mentor.

I didn’t have the right information and because I was just living in my own little world and I see this happen again and again.

I actually closed the membership thinking that it was a failure because I had a hundred people joining a month and I had maybe 10 to 20 people quitting after each month and I thought that was bad.

Little did I know that it’s actually quite normal that out of a hundred people joining maybe 10 will stick around and so I had it completely backward because they didn’t have an outside perspective.

I closed that program and it ended up costing me… I don’t even know how much money because I had to re-jig it and yes, I recovered and made a new program and it was awesome, but I just think about what would have happened if I had just gotten some outside advice and counsel and been like, is this normal? Is this okay? I probably would have done things very, very differently.

When people say, I’m not qualified or I don’t feel ready, I just say, get over yourself. Get over yourself because you will never be ready.

In fact, the only thing that makes you ready is doing it. Everybody wants to be so prepared. It’s Baloney. It’s, it’s bullshit.

It’s so hard when people say that they’re unqualified because yeah, some people are legitimately unqualified to do something. Right, and you’ve got a whole industry of coaches and stuff where like, oh, you know, I’ll run a coaching business and they’ve never actually run a business before.

So I get that. I get that, but most people who have that true imposter syndrome are just waiting for some external validation that’s never going to happen.

Because it only happens in the actual act of doing what you’re afraid of doing.

It’s like you’re never prepared to be a parent. So what’s the preparation? What do you do? You have a baby and then you learn how to be a parent.

And I just think it all boils down to people who are obsessed with perfection or obsessed with image, they just can’t handle the idea of falling and making mistakes and it all boils down to a fear of failure.

And you’ll never get over it until you fail and do it anyway. So don’t wait to feel good about it. It just, it won’t happen. Just do it anyway.

If a client tells you they don’t have money, I would say maybe 10 percent of the time they don’t actually have the money, but 90 percent of the time you’ve just done a poor job of communicating your value.

And I always use this example, right?

I always use the example of if somebody said to me, hey, I have a Mercedes, it’s 50 grand. I wouldn’t buy it just because I don’t see the value in spending that much money in a car.

But if somebody said, hey, I got a summer home in Martha’s Vineyard on South Beach and it’s actually, it’s worth like $10 million, but I’ll give it to you for $50,000.

I’d go sell my first born kid, right? I would do anything to get $50,000 to pay for that house because the perceived value is so high.

And so if a customer says, I can’t afford you, you have not created enough desire, enough belief and enough value for them to actually fork over the money, because if you did, they’d fork over the money. It’s very, very few people who actually can’t afford it.

The Sweet Spot

Episode 24: The Sweet Spot

Do you know what your business’s sweet spot is? In this episode, I help you discover what your particular sweet spot is!

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Full Transcript:

Hey guys, this is Julie. Today I want to talk to you about the Sweet Spot. I came back from the Digital Insiders Mastermind. For those of you who don’t know, it is a mastermind of high-level entrepreneurs who want more support, networking, and collaboration. They want to build their funnels. They want to get to a million dollars in revenue. I had this moment where I was talking to one particular Insider. She started the program. She was making about $10,000 a month when she started and over the course of her year in the Insiders, had shot up to 50k and this is when this discussion of the Sweet Spot came up



So, here has been my experience and it’s not just my experience. I see it in other entrepreneurs, as well. We see big numbers. We say, “I can’t wait till my business makes a million dollars or $10,000,000” or whatever. Even $500,000.

When we’re at that really low level of making, let’s say $5,000 or less a month, we see those big numbers and we long for them. We see the tip of the iceberg, right? We see the top line revenue. We don’t see underneath what’s really going on. All the logistics, the infrastructure, the systems going on. And so for this particular Insider, she was having this moment where she’s like, “okay, I reached a 50k a month. I hit this number that I never thought I’d hit, but it doesn’t feel the way I expected it to feel.” And that’s because when you hit certain numbers, you now are faced with the logistics issues that go with that kind of top line revenue. Logistics in terms of how many people it takes to run your business and logistics in terms of how many customers and people you’re affecting on a daily basis.

And I was thinking about this, about how, when you’re little in terms of influence and you go online, you do a Facebook Live and you say something stupid or whatever. A few people notice, but it’s no big deal. But then once you hit this certain level, it’s like all of a sudden the vibrations and the ripple effect is so much greater.

So we don’t think about that when we’re looking at the revenue. We just think about, oh, wouldn’t it be cool to make $50,000 a month? So she had this kind of crisis and I said, “you know, you haven’t identified your sweet spot yet.”

And so here’s what the sweet spot is in business. It’s basically defined as the maximum amount of revenue you can earn in your business while still maintaining your ideal of what your personal lifestyle and business looks like.

So again, it’s the maximum amount of revenue that you can reasonably earn, while maintaining what you see as your ideal lifestyle. I know this because this happened to me. I had a business partner a couple years ago and the business grew really fast and the Sweet Spot for my partner Madelaine at the time, it had far outgrown her Sweet Spot and she didn’t want to work full-time. She actually only wanted to work 10 to 20 hours a week. She definitely wanted the digital nomad lifestyle. She wanted to travel and the business was becoming a company. A true company with employees and the revenue was growing. She outgrew the Sweet Spot that she wanted to stay in. And so if you feel like, “I want the freedom lifestyle, I want to work from home. I don’t want to deal with more than one or two at most team members. I want to have my laptop, I want to travel. I don’t want to work more than 20 hours a week.”

Your Sweet Spot is probably going to max out at about $20,000 a month. Now, It depends. Some people can do more. It depends on how high-end your services are. But I would say reasonably speaking, for the majority of people, 20k to 25k is a Sweet Spot where you don’t need a ton of team members. If you have a high prices and you do services or consulting, things like that, you can hit the 20k mark without working like a dog. That works out to be about $250,000 a year, which is more than the majority of Americans make. So it is a Sweet Spot. In the entrepreneur world, it may seem small. In the regular people world it may seem like, are you kidding me? That’s crazy.

It’s also a great top line revenue to be able to say, “Okay, after taxes and expenses, I still have around $10,000 a month or so.” Which for most people in most of America you can handle. However, once you level-up, there’s this grimy middle and I would say I’ve identified that basically $30,000 a month to about $60k to $80k a month.

I’m going to coin this phrase, “The Middle School Business Years” because I feel like you’re not big enough yet really with the top line revenue to be able to handle massive scaling of hiring people and systems and spending that money on marketing. But you’re not really small enough to be chilling on your laptop with one assistant. And so this particular Insider was in this position where she was like, ah, this is so uncomfortable.

And I’m like, you’re right, because you’re not in a Sweet Spot. And so you’re in like the upside down for my Stranger Things fans. You’re right in that grimy middle. So the question for her was do you want to go back down to about 25k where you don’t really have to worry about obscene amounts of customers and you have more time and freedom and you can be on your laptop? Or do you want to double down and do you want to sprint as fast as you can to 100k where you hit that next like stride? And so that was the question she had and it was funny because we were talking about it together and then everyone else in the room started to think, yeah, where’s my Sweet Spot? Because for some people their Sweet Spot is, I want a company that outlasts me.

I want a building in Manhattan. I want to build this legacy, right? And so their Sweet Spot, they’re going for it because they’re willing to build the infrastructure, the systems, the people that they need to really build that company. There are other people in the room whose Sweet Spot was, you know what, I just want to make a good living and I want to be able to pick up my laptop and go to Bermuda whenever I want. And so their Sweet Spot is probably around 20k.

I find very few people have Sweet Spot of 30 to 60k because it’s just awkward. Then there’s also business models that handle certain Sweet Spots, like agencies. It’s very hard to create a $10,000,000 agency. You can create a million dollar agency but 10 million that might be hard, right? Just because of the amount of people involved in the profitability and scaling and all that.

Even my business right now as it stands in its current form, probably caps out at about $3 million. That is probably the Sweet Spot. I’m going to be doing around 2 million this year and so 3 million after that. It would definitely be like alright, if we’re gonna go past that, we really need to change a lot of what we’re doing. And so every business model also tends to have a cap.

So I would encourage you to think about your Sweet Spot. Think about what kind of lifestyle you want, think about what kind of business you want and what your business is doing for you. And then you can kind of identify where your sweet spot is. And for some of you who are like, you know what, I just want to make 20k to 25k a month. Then you can orchestrate your business to accommodate that. And if you’re ready to go big and you want to go to a million and you’re stuck in that grimy middle, now’s the time to double down. Find a mentor, find a coach and push forward.

For those of you who have only known me for a little while, the Digital Insiders is a place where I’m really helping people to identify their Sweet Spot and help build and grow their business. Whether it’s a $250,000 a year business or a million a year dollar business or more. If you are interested in applying for the Digital Insiders and you’re currently in business, you can always go to Juliestoian.com

If you want to apply, there are requirements. There is a waiting list. It usually takes about a month to get approved, put on a call and onboarding, but I’m looking for a very specific type of entrepreneur. If you are an agency or you are a course creator or coach or consultant, does the two businesses I’m interested in serving.

Alright guys, go find your sweet spot today. Have a great day. I appreciate you. Talk to you soon. If you’re ready to create, grow, and scale your online business, you can go to createyourlaptoplife.com/podcast and get a free plan on how you can get started today.

Funnel Math That Makes You Feel Better About Your Marketing

Episode 23: Funnel Math That Makes You Feel Better About Your Marketing

In this episode, I go into “funnel math” – and explain why understanding funnel math is the difference between winning and quitting.

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Full Transcript:

Hey everyone, hope you’re doing awesome. Today, I want to take you through a little bit of a math problem. Nobody run away screaming from the room. I know math isn’t always our favorite subject, but I just came back from my Digital Insiders Mastermind and one of the biggest aha moments that everybody had, happened after I showed them this particular math. So if you are listening to this podcast and you’re at the gym or you’re driving, I would listen to it a second time with a pad and a paper and a pen because I want to show you how math can make you feel awesome.



So, Brie, she is in my mastermind and she built a funnel sales funnel. A webinar funnel that leads to her program that she’s selling called Cashflow Day. It’s about a $300 program and she’s been struggling with feeling like is it working, is it not working? And it’s funny because I keep telling her it’s working, but for some reason, she didn’t believe me.

Sometimes when you’re first running ads, your ad costs are higher. You’re not very good at ads yet. So then it can feel like you’re not making any money because you’re spending all that money in the ads. But I wanted to kind of calibrate expectations.

So I did this entire exercise at the mastermind and showed everybody how to adjust their expectations and how to know if a funnel is actually working. So if you are sitting down with a pad and paper, I want you to draw three boxes in a row, okay? So basically we’re going to draw out a funnel together.

Now, the first page in the funnel is going to be the squeeze page. That’s going to be the page where you give away something for free. So in that first box, just write “FREE” and then the box right next to it, put one box to the right. That’s going to be the offer. That’s the thing that you sell after they opt-in right? You give them something for free and then you’re like, ah, awesome. Okay, here is a $27 course. So in that second box, write $27. Now a lot of people who work with me, or if you know Russell and you’re in the funnel world, you know that when you get somebody to say yes to something like a workshop or a course for $27, you’re leaving money on the table.

If you don’t add what’s called an order bump. And that’s a little thing at the bottom where if you check off, it adds something extra to their order. So at the bottom of your little box, the word order bump, and then put a price of $37 because maybe you have something else you can sell them. That’s a simple order bump. Then the third box, the next box over to the right is going to be your OTO. This is your one-time offer. This is an upsell. So they’ve said yes to your $27 workshop. Maybe they clicked the box to get the order bump, maybe they didn’t. And now they’re being shown a page that says, wait, your credit card is being processed. But before you go, I have a one-time offer. Click YES or NO to buy. So let’s pretend that you have an OTO that’s a course that’s $77.

So now on your paper, you should have a squeeze page that says FREE, a box in the middle that says $27 with a little order bump at the bottom of the box that says $37. And then you should have the third box, which is the OTO, and that should say $77.

Now, here’s where we do the math. You want to figure out if your funnel is going to be profitable, you need to understand what is “normal.” And I put normal in quotes because for every industry it’s a little bit different. And eventually ,you’re going to have benchmarks for yourself. You’re going to know what your normal is and then you can compare yourself against yourself. But when you’re just getting started, you might not have any stats. So I’m going to give them to you. So in the first box, I’m going to tell you that it’s pretty normal to have somewhere between a 20% to 30% optin rate.

So just write 20% to 30% in that first little box. Okay? That’s normal. On the middle box, the offer box where you’re selling that $27 course or workshop, I want you to write 1% to 5% because that’s normal. It is normal for 1% to 5% of people who see this page to buy it. Not 10 percent, not 20, not 30, not 50, right? We think, Oh, if one hundred people see this offer, we’re going to get 10 sales. No, you’re probably not.

So, I’m trying to calibrate your expectations with this math problem. Now, if you go to the bottom of that box, for the order bump, believe it or not, has a higher conversion rate than the actual product. And why? Psychologically when you get somebody to say yes, it’s easier to get them to say yes again.

So they’ve already put their credit card information for the $27 workshop. Now all they have to do to say yes to that order bump, that $37 order bump is just check a little box and now they’ve said yes. So it’s actually a lot easier to get money from an order bump. So put 40 percent. Now that’s a little high. I would say, if you’re just starting out or you don’t have a good order bump, probably it’s closer to 20 to 30 percent. So if you want to be conservative you can be conservative. So put 20 to 40 percent right there next to the order bump, okay? And then the last box, your OTO box where you have a $77 offer, you can say safely say 3% to 10% of people will buy the OTO, again, still higher than the initial offer.

That initial $27 offer in that middle box is the hardest thing. And once you get them to say yes, you get more and more people.

So all your percentages. So now you should have your three boxes that make up your sales funnel. You should have the different prices and you should have the percentage points. So now this is where the math comes in.

Let’s say you get 5,000 people to see your squeeze page, to see your free offer. Okay? 5,000 people. If we’re going with a 30 percent opt in rate, okay? Because it’s between 20 and 30, let’s just be optimistic. Thirty percent of people opt in. How many people are actually going to get to that second box? 1,500, right? So 1,500 people are actually going to see your offer for that $27 product. Now we said one to five percent will buy.

So if we say three and a half to four. Again, let’s be optimistic here. That would be about 50 sales. 50 sales of your $27 offer works out to be $1,350 ish. Okay.

So you’ve just made $1,350 because 50 people bought your offer. And why did 50 people buy? Because you had a four percent buy rate on the 1500 who saw it and why did you only have 1500?

Because at a 5,000 people that landed on the squeeze page, you had a 30 percent opt in rate. So we’ve made about $1,350. But now we have to remember there’s the order bump and there’s the OTO. So if you look at the order bump and you assume that 40 percent of people who bought. So 40 percent of those 50 people bought that $37 offer that actually adds an additional $700 in sales. I think it’s like $740.

And lastly, of those 50 people who bought, let’s say seven percent of those people actually take the OTO, that’s another $300 in sales. So all together, if you take $1350 right? Which was how many people bought the original plus the additional $700 from the order bump plus the additional $300 from the OTO you’ve actually now made $2,350.

Now the last question is, that means the funnel is working, right? Those that you’re basing it on percentages. Now, the reason why people don’t think the funnel is working is because when they run ads, how much is it going to cost them to get that sale?

Well, we started with what number? We started with 5,000 clicks, right? 5,000 views. So this is where Facebook Ad math works super easy. So we know that if you can get your funnel to convert like that, we need to get 5,000 people onto the squeeze page and you’ve made $2,300.

Okay? So if Facebook is charging us .50 cents a click over to that squeeze page, we’re going to have to spend $2,500 to get 5,000 clicks. But we only made $2100. So what’s happening there? People are like, God, the funnel doesn’t work and they get mad. But does the funnel work? Yes, the funnel works. The funnel totally works.

Why? Because we looked at the percentages and we know that those percentages are correct. So the funnel does work. You just aren’t making money because why? Because the cost per click for advertising is too high. So you have one of two choices. You can either try to get the cost per click down on the ad or you can try to raise the conversion rate somewhere on your funnel. But based on the math that we just did, this is a very, very high converting funnel based on the benchmarks, right?

Because we were optimistic today. So you need to try to figure out how to get your cost per click down. Okay. So maybe it’s with content, maybe with social strategy, maybe with better ad targeting. But let’s say you can get it down to thirty cents a click, right? So thirty cents, it’s twenty cents less. That doesn’t seem like that much. But guess what happens now it’s only costing you $1,500 to get those 5,000 views on that page.

And based on our math we’ve made $2150. So if you take $2150 and you subtract the 1500 at cost, you’ve now made $850 in profit. And if I said to you every day you’re going to give me $1,500 and I’m going to give you $2,350 back, would you do it? And the answer should be hell yes. Right? So some buddies like, well I’m not a millionaire in 15 minutes because my sales funnel only made $850 this week and we feel depressed about that.

But it’s because our expectations are completely off about what a funnel actually does in this math problem that we did. If you can get thirty cents a click to get 5,000 clicks to your landing page and then you have all those conversion rates that I just showed you, you are profiting $850 for every $1,500 you put in.

It’s not quite getting doubling your money but almost. And that’s as good as it gets. So if you built one funnel that’s amazing and if you were getting fifty cents a click, you were not positive, you are net negative and you probably felt like a failure.

So my encouragement to you today, and for those of you who are not sales funnel geeks, this may have felt like Greek to you.

But what I want to say to you, number one is this: manage your expectations. It is the best thing you can do for yourself and your clients. Manage your expectations, do the math and figure out if your funnel is really working or not. Because oftentimes your funnel is working. It’s the ad costs that aren’t. And if your funnel isn’t working, then you fix that and then try again. Thanks so much. Appreciate you guys. Talk soon.

If you’re ready to create, grow, and scale your online business, you can go to createyourlaptoplife.com/podcast and get a free plan on how you can get started today.

How To Build a Seven-Figure Business With a Tiny List

How to Build a 7-Figure Business with a Tiny List

The reason I have a 7-figure business with a teeny tiny list boils down to just one thing.

I know it’s not the sexiest part of business, but I wouldn’t be near where I am today without it.

Do you know what it is?

Good customer service.

By offering an amazing customer experience, I not only satisfy the dissatisfied, but create raving lifelong fans.

It’s also how I’m able to have a 7-figure business with a very small list relative to many other businesses of the same size.

In this episode, I dive into what it takes to create a good customer experience that have people coming back time and time again.

 

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Video Transcript:

Hey, hey everyone, hope you’re doing awesome. Today I want to talk to you about a really unsexy topic. In fact, I’m afraid that if I say what the topic is, you’re just going to bounce off this video and not watch it.

But it’s so important and it’s the reason why I have a seven-figure business with a teeny-tiny list.

I’m going to give you a minute to guess what it is.

Alright, so did you guess what it is? How am I making seven figures with a teeny-tiny list?

I tell people this who have list sizes way huger than mine. They’re just like, “what are you doing?”

It’s called good customer service or I like to say good customer experience.

I know it’s not very sexy, right?

Marketing is sexy.

Sales are sexy.

Making lots of money is sexy, but you know what else is sexy?

When you have a small but dedicated following that buys everything you put out.

So customer service, it is huge. It is what accounts for great testimonials, great results, low refund rates, zero chargebacks.

And if you’re in the info product space, if you’re a coach or consultant, this needs to be your second top priority, after marketing.

I want to tell you a little story. So, back in the summer, we were working on automating my business, and one of the things that I knew I needed as transactions grow, as customers grow, it’s just normal that the refund rate and people are going to ask questions or they’re going to fail on their payment plans.

And so I thought, you know what? I’m going to hire experts in customer service and I’m going to bring them into my business and they’re going to help me.

Well, what a big fat disappointment. They did not have it in the bag. All they were, were glorified payment collectors and they really didn’t understand and I thought maybe I already know.

And so what I did is I took my team and we dug deep into all of the past customer experiences that we had had and we looked at the bad ones.

We looked at the ones where people weren’t happy and we thought, how can we restructure this? How can we create better expectations, better refund policies, and better customer experience?

And I discovered that one of the things that people always forget to do is to remember that when you have a customer that’s unhappy, you have to validate how they feel.

Even if they’re completely wrong, even if they’re completely crazy. Even if they didn’t read instructions or they thought you were going to do some magic and then obviously you didn’t perform.

Validate. Say things like, I totally understand why you feel that way. I completely see how you feel that way. I’m sorry. That sounds so frustrating.

Learn how to validate every single one of your customers because they’re the reason that you’re in business.

Once you validate them, then we saw that if you can offer a solution that shows that you’re taking a good faith step towards them.

Maybe it’s a compromise. Maybe it’s an extension of a membership or a free gift of some kind. Show, some good faith.

That will diffuse 95 percent of any customer service issues you have. So, deliver a good product and learn how to validate an do good faith if you want to get your customers back in the saddle.

I had people who came to me asking for refunds and then after doing this process ended up turning around and buying everything else I sell because they became such raving fans.

It costs money to acquire a customer. It is a lot less expensive to keep that customer than it is to acquire new ones and you can really sell to anyone once, but to sell to someone again and again and again, requires an amazing customer experience.

So I’ll leave you with this. In the olden days, you had, you know people who go out and hunt the food, right? And then they’d have the people who prepare the food.

If you’re naturally as an entrepreneur, you like to hunt, you love the sale. You love marketing, you love all that.

Make sure you’ve hired people in your business who are good at nurturing your community, your customers, your clients, once they come in.

If you’re the opposite, if you’re the kind who loves to nurture, you have great customer experience, but you can’t seem to grow your business, chances are you might need someone who’s out there doing more hunting.

We need both. Both are incredibly, incredibly important.

I know the best conversation happens after the camera stops rolling. So if you have questions about customer experience and customer support and how to lower refunds and to get your customers to buy again and again, leave a comment below and for more videos like this, you can go to Juliestoian.com. I’ll see you next time.

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