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EPISODE 0100: RECESSION SERIES: 10 ONLINE BUSINESS LESSONS FROM 100 EPISODES

Today’s episode is extra special, because it is the 100th episode! On today’s episode, I’m gonna kick off a new series called the Recession Series. This series features episodes that specially tackle what we can do as online business owners during a recession.

On this first Recession Series episode, I wanna talk about the 10 online business lessons from 100 episodes and how these 10 business lessons are going to help you ride out this recession and come out even stronger.

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"The first lesson is to stay in your lane. Now more than ever, we are hearing different opinions on how to run a business or how not to run a business during this crisis. Some people are discounting theirs offers. Some people are giving it away for free. Some people are running their business as per normal. And when you're looking at what everyone else is doing, it's easy to start questioning your unique approach, to how you should run your business and how you should sell your offers."

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Hey guys, welcome back to this week’s episode of Hack Your Online Business podcast. Today’s episode is extra special, because it is the 100th episode!

100 episodes ago, the world was so different, the economy was so different. And because it’s the 100th episode, I wanted to make this episode a little extra special.

On today’s episode, I’m gonna kick off a new series called the Recession Series. This series features episodes that specially tackle what we can do as online business owners during a recession. I’ll be asking guests about their business advice for overcoming this recession, and my solo episodes will be focused on this theme as well.

And so on this first Recession Series episode, I wanna talk about the 10 online business lessons from 100 episodes and how these 10 business lessons are going to help you ride out this recession and come out even stronger.

I know a lot of you are really nervous about your livelihood right now, if you are still going to be able to afford to pay your team members, if you’re going to be able to get new clients, and there’s a lot of uncertainty right now, and I totally understand.

So pay attention to today’s episode and take these 10 online business lessons and action on them right away. If you didn’t listen to my last episode on selling during this crisis, I highly encourage you to go check out episode number 99 - I share my thoughts on how you should be selling right now and why you need to be agile and execute fast.

But before we go on, if you haven’t already left a review for the podcast on Apple’s iTunes, I would really appreciate it if you could let me know your thoughts about today’s episode by leaving the show a review. It would mean so much to me. Now if you leave a review, take a screenshot, tag me on Instagram @thisischrystan and I’ll be sure to give you a shout out on the next episode.

Let’s jump right in. The first lesson is by Dr. Tracy Timberlake, an award winning digital business coach who has been featured in the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Miami Herald, and many more places. I had her on episode number 66 to talk about how to grow an online business in a crowded niche.

This episode is super relevant right now especially with more people looking to start an online business or move their offline business online.

And the first lesson is to stay in your lane. Now what does “stay in your lane” mean for an online business? Now more than ever, we are hearing different opinions about how to run a business or how not to run a business during this crisis. Some people are discounting their offers, some are giving it away for free, some are running their business as per normal… and when you’re looking at what everyone else is doing, it’s easy to start questioning your approach, your unique approach to how you run your business and sell your offers.

Which is why staying in your lane means having tunnel vision and not looking at what your competitors or other business owners are doing. You do you, someone else will do what feels right for them.

Dr. Tracy said that she does not look at what other business coaches are doing, she’s not checking out people’s Instagram or subscribed to their emails. In fact, she doesn’t know many other business coaches. Now because of that, Dr. Tracy has been able to build a business that’s uniquely hers and attract a very loyal community.

And that’s what I’ve noticed with many other successful online entrepreneurs as well. They have loyal audiences who are attracted to them because their message and who they are is different from others. They’re not just regurgitating what other people are saying.

And so in this moment of time when it’s so important to get noticed online and be found by your target audience, one of the key things you can do is to have your blinders on, focus on you and your message and your offer, stay in your lane and have tunnel vision. Don’t get distracted by what your competitors are doing or saying, you just do you and show up as you.

The second lesson is from Stacy Tuschl, a 7 figure online entrepreneur who grew her business in the last recession. She is a 3rd generation entrepreneur who started her first business at the age of 18 in her parents' backyard and turned that company into a 7 figure business she still runs today.

I had Stacy on episode 95 to talk about creating multiple income streams, which is something that can help your business during this recession. So during our interview, Stacy mentioned that the average millionaire has 7 streams of income. Now not all millionaires and successful entrepreneurs have 7 streams of income, but it does give you an idea of how we should at least consider diversifying our income streams.

So with Stacy, she started off as a brick and mortar entrepreneur. She has 2 dance studios that she still runs today, but she started looking into other streams of income, both offline and online. For her online business, she runs an online program for brick and mortar entrepreneurs. Besides that, she also has rental properties and other sources of income.

There are many ways that you can look at diversifying your income. What I’ve been doing is having my Messenger bot marketing agency, sometimes we even do other types of social media management for our clients, I’m creating a new mastermind for Hack Your Online Business for online entrepreneurs, I’m looking at creating some courses as well.

So in this time of a recession, it is important to expand what we have and try to have at least more than one income source. Because just in case that income source dries up, you don’t want to be in a position where you’re not getting any money coming in for a long time.

The third lesson is from Rachel Pedersen, a very successful online entrepreneur, social media marketer and the founder of Social Media United. I had Rachel on episode 4 where we talked about how she grew her online business focusing on one strategy, which is scaling the unscalable.

You might have heard of this saying to do the unscalable in your business. What that means is to do the things that are so personalized, it might take up a lot of your time, but it will leave a special lasting touch on your customers because no one else is doing it.

So here’s an example. Every time you get a customer or a new purchase, you record a quick video for this person, thanking this person for purchasing or signing up and address them in the video. Very few businesses are doing this, and yes it takes up time to say thank you personally to each customer, but just imagine the surprise they’ll feel when they do.

That’s what I do when I sign on new clients. I record a quick video thanking them for their trust that they’ve put in me, and I recap what’s coming up for the next steps.

Another thing you can do is to send a handwritten note or letter saying thank you for purchasing this offer or for taking part in something that you were doing. I’ve been sending handwritten notes to many of my business connections because I want them to know that this relationship matters a lot to me. Is it tiring writing 100s of notes and then mailing them out? Absolutely. But it helps to burn a deep memory of me in their minds.

A good example of a company doing the unscalable is AirBnB when they first started out. Brian Chesky, the founder of Airbnb. And when they started Airbnb, they did the unscalable. They didn't create something that was created for the masses. They made it the absolute best that they possibly could, and they went personally and stated every single one of the houses, they went and photographed the houses, the founders of the company.

And so during this moment where people are cutting down on spending, we have to think of ways of doing the unscalable and building relationships with people. Rachel said this, “There are 9 out of 10 chances that your competition is too lazy, busy or unmotivated to build relationships with people. If you implement the hidden funnel and build really strong relationships, no one is ever going to take or touch your business."

So ask yourself, what can I do right now that is unscalable, probably will take up a lot of your time, but it’s going to create such an amazing customer experience with your brand, that it might encourage repeat buying or sharing of your brand and the experience? So think about that.

Now the fourth lesson is by Rebecca Tracey whom I had on episode 37. Rebecca Tracey is the founder of The Uncaged Life, where she has helped over 500 coaches and wellness businesses get clear on their brand message, create packages that sell, and help them learn what it actually takes to get and keep clients.

We talked about how Rebecca grew her online coaching business to 6 figures and the mindset that you’ll need to get to that level. And here’s lesson number 4: look at what was really working and what isn’t in your business and double down on the things that are working.

During a recession, you want to be really focused and do the things that result in revenue. That might sound like a duh kind of advice, but you’ll be so surprised how often when I chat with an online entrepreneur, and they tell me that they are chasing after a new idea when they already have a hundred ideas that they’ve been chasing. Or when something is working, they start getting itchy fingers and wanna try something new.

So in Rebecca’s case, she was always someone who was very willing to test out new programs and she was launching a new thing every month, which served her well until a point where it became too much. And then she had to look at what was really working and what wasn't and double down on the things that were working. So after trying different things out, no surprise, a small group program that she had created 4, 5 years ago is still the same program that she runs today.

So take this advice and ask yourself, what has been working really well in your business? Is there a program or an offer that people tend to buy more of or ask about, that’s the thing that’s working really well in your business and you should double down your effort for it.

Now the fifth advice is by Elaine Lou Cartas from episode number 47. She is an assertive business and career coach, speaker, and #1 Amazon best selling author of the book “You Are Meant for More”. Elaine specializes in helping women of color entrepreneurs land their dream career and business opportunities through authentic relationships both online and offline.

And the lesson from Elaine is to put a top 100 list of people that are possible leads, current clients, and also people that you’ve collaborated with, and see if you can just have a genuine connection with any of them. Go to the person and ask them something about them.

This personal way of connecting with people has helped Elaine to grow her online business, because she’s not just showing up and telling everyone to buy her offers. She’s putting in her time and effort to create a connection with her audience and making them feel special.

Again this is so reflective of Rachel Pedersen’s advice - do the unscalable and have a genuine connection with your audience. Make them feel special, make them feel that you’re not just in for the sale, that you truly care about them.

And right now, more than ever, people want to feel like they are being thought of, cared about, and not just a way to help you fill your pockets.

So think about your current clients, possible leads, people you know, and ask yourself, how can you start creating a more genuine connection with them?

Now the sixth lesson is by Jennifer Dawn, who has created 2 multi-million dollar businesses and is a successful business coach, founder of Best Planner Ever, published author, and an accomplished speaker.

I had Jennifer on episode 85, and we talked about how she plans her business strategy. It's going to take some work to do your planning and your strategy, but if you could do that pre-thinking ahead of time, then when you go to execute, it's way easy and things just fall out so much easier and faster.

Part one is the vision. Get really clear, where do you really want to end up in a year, three years, five years? What does it look like? What does your business look like? What role are you playing?

Start to really get clear on where you want to go first. And then from there we kind of reverse engineer it. So what would this year, if we were to end this year, what would that look like? Then break that into quarters and then for each quarter try to have a monthly focus goal. So based on that focus for the month, we'll break that down into projects. And then from the projects we do a little strategy work.

Doing this business strategy planning will help you to navigate most of the uncertainties in your business right now. You should ask yourself, what's going to stop me? Ask that question ahead of time. What's going to stop you from succeeding? Because if you can figure out your success blockers ahead of time, then when you go to do it, you're going to be like, Oh, I figured that out already.

Ask yourself other strategy questions like, Are there skills I need? If your cash flow is not affected by the recession, ask yourself, are there people you need to hire? What do I really need to do to accomplish this? And then from there, you break it down into daily tasks and your daily tasks.

Another thing that Jennifer does when strategizing is she uses a simple system - ABCDE. A is a high priority, like it's gotta be done and B is something you might procrastinate but be as important. C is when you're able, D is delegate, E is eliminate. So if you use a simple ABCDE system when you're looking at, okay, this is my big goal, this is my quarterly goal, this is my monthly focus, these are my projects.
So what am I going to do today to move that forward? And the A task, we'd like to break those down into maybe like 10 minute tasks. So you could literally sit down every day and do one or two things to move your business forward.
Then you can get on with all the important stuff that you're going to do anyway. But it's really about pushing every single day, getting out of your comfort zone, opening doors, like really pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing and pushing that envelope a little bit and not procrastinating.
So in this recession, we wanna make sure that we know what to prioritize in our business, we don’t get too busy to sell because it will kill your sales. So you have to get rid of some of that busy work and re-prioritize each day.

The seventh lesson is by my coach Gemma Went, whom I had on episode 94. Gemma is a business coach and a multi 6 figure online business mentor and growth strategist.

And her lesson is to spend time building your audience. When she started her online coaching business, she realized she needed to start building that audience. And for her, it was really about understanding where her audience was and being an expert there. So going over and networking and engaging with people and just building an awareness of her while she then started to build the list.

So she started putting a really good opt in lead magnet together, getting people on the list and then nurturing a really good relationship with them. The two things that became really important to grow her audience and to grow a connection and then attract them and convert them was her email list and also her Facebook group.

And so everything that she was doing with her marketing was sending them to her email list and to her Facebook group, where she then could really nurture those people. So wherever she was, she was sending them there. So if she was on LinkedIn, she would send them to an opt in or she would send them to her group. And the same was for everywhere else.

And the key thing to note here is it wasn’t an instant growth, she slowly built her audience up. It wasn't a fast growth. Her list was tiny for ages, but because she was really focused on creating that relationship and the connection with them, her conversions were high even though she started with a small audience.

So in this recession, ask yourself, how are you building your audience? Are you even building your audience or have you been radio silent for a long, long time? It’s time to get in front of your target audience, be of value, offer an amazing lead magnet, and start cultivating that relationship with them. So that even if they don’t buy from you right now in this recession, once the recession is over, better believe that they’ll remember you.

The eighth lesson is by Reina Pomeroy from episode 53. Reina Pomeroy is the Founder of Reina and Co and the Creator of the Dreamy Client Magnet Program. She helps creative entrepreneurs get laser focused so they can book more dreamy clients with ease, get paid to do what they love, and have the freedom and flexibility to enjoy it all.

And the advice she gave was to ask yourself this question: “Why you? Why now? Why this?”

So think about all of the competition in your industry and ask yourself, why you, why now, why this?
To be able to answer that question is to be able to say exactly why somebody who is your target demographic needs to be paying attention to you at all. Not necessarily buying from you but paying attention to you. And so the value proposition is to make it different than anything else that's out there.
And some of those things might be the features like what's included, but most likely it's not. It's most likely going to be about the benefits and the experience that they will have with you. So the benefits or the transformation and the experience of getting to that transformation. So what is it that makes your offer uniquely stand out? Why does somebody need this versus something else?
So in Reina’s case, it is the process through which she delivers all of her content and her biggest value proposition is that her community is amazing. So when a client comes into her community thinking, Oh, it's just another Facebook group, whatever. I'm in way too many, I don't really need it.
And then they come in and they're like, Oh my God, I can't even believe all the amazing ideas and support that I just got. The content is super well thought out. The workbooks are beautifully laid out, but really who cares about that, right? People care about the transformation and the experience. A lot of what makes her experience different is that the people inside of her community know her and she knows them.
So ask yourself right now, “Why you? Why now? Why this?” This will help you to craft a messaging and an experience that will help you to uniquely stand out online right now.

The ninth lesson is by Marc Mawhinney from episode 70. Marc Mawhinney is a lifelong entrepreneur and the founder of Natural Born Coaches, where he helps coaches get more clients without paid advertising. He is also the host of the Natural Born Coaches podcast.

His advice is people need to know, like and trust you before they buy from you. When you're in business, the ultimate goal is to have people, K, L, T, you - know, like, and trust you. And the big three for Marc are podcasting, so that's his show and then also going out on shows like mine, the other way is Facebook, especially a Facebook group, and another big one for me is email marketing with the daily emails.

So in his perfect world, people would be listening to his podcast, they would be in his Facebook group, they'd be connected with him everywhere on social, and they would be on his email list.
And that’s an advice that I regularly talk about as well. You have to build your know, like and trust factor because people cannot find you, know you exist, know your offer is good and worth paying for, and trust that you know your stuff, if you’re not spending time building your know, like and trust.

So how I’ve been building my know, like and trust and will continue to build it during the recession is through this podcast, through my YouTube channel, through my Instagram, through LinkedIn, and I just keep showing up, week in week out.

And so how are you building that awareness so that your target audience can find you? How are you building that like factor so that they like what you talk about and what you stand for? How are you building that trust factor so that they are excited to buy your offers?

Now to wrap this episode up, lesson number 10 is by me. The biggest lesson I can give you to hack your online business during this recession is to work on maintaining a positive mindset and continue to visualize what your online business will look like.

You can have all of the business strategies and advice in the world, but if you do not believe in yourself and this business, if you’re running on fear and scarcity right now, if you cannot see a brighter future for your business, then none of the 9 lessons would even matter.

And so everyday that we are in this recession, I want you to spend a couple of minutes clearing your mind of all that fear and anxiousness and instead to focus on your dream business and dream clients and how the future you would be. Do that every day and think of it as fuel for your online business.

Guys I know a lot of you might be feeling scared or nervous, and I want to tell you that it’s ok to feel scared or nervous, we are all humans. But take today’s 10 lessons and see how you can apply them for your online business.

Now don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so that you don’t miss my weekly episodes and the upcoming Recession Series episodes.

Don’t forget I am going to be running a 100% free training on how to move an offline business online from March 23rd to March 27th. If you want to sign up for this training, go to hackyouronlinebusiness.com/offlinetoonline and save your spot. It’s a weeklong livestream training that’s 100% free, starts at 1pm EST. So again, that’s hackyouronlinebusiness.com/offlinetoonline.

Lastly, go connect with me on Instagram. I’ll love to get to know you and your online business. You can find me on Instagram at @thisichrystan, send me a DM and tell me you listened to this episode.

Anyway thank you so much for listening to this episode. Please leave us a review if you have not already, it means the world to me. Alright guys, talk to you soon.

Thanks For Listening, My Friend!

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