Think about your relationship with marketing.
Does it play hard to get?
Is it a frustrating mess that leaves you confused and upset?
Or maybe you're scared to fully commit because you're not sure where it's going to go.
Marketing can be so frustrating and confusing to navigate. Even if you have a pretty good feel for marketing, it could be time to take it to the next level.
What if you could fall in love with marketing?
Success in marketing your business isn't always about the numbers. And few people know that as well as our newest Kajabi Hero, Shailia Stephens. She started her online coaching business in a foreign country with a tiny market and all the “wrong” numbers.
Shallia gave so much great advice in the interview. So if you haven't already, you definitely want to give it a listen. For this post I'm going to cover some important points from the interview to help you fall in love with marketing.
But first, let’s take a closer look at her story.
How an American Entrepreneur Ended Up in the German Market
Shailia was born in America, but for the past 22 years she’s lived in Germany with her husband who was born there. When she started her business 7 years ago, she could’ve targeted the American market. But she loved Germany, and that’s the market she wanted to reach.
And trust me, it wasn’t a move based on strategy or calculation.
The German market is so small in her niche that everyone knows everyone. It’s a little, tight-knit community that most entrepreneurs would overlook.
But self-employment for a non-native is tough to break into. To give you just a glimpse of how tough the German market can be, here’s a quote from a guide on self-employment for a non-native entrepreneur:
“This criteria would usually be related to the type of business, your qualifications and whether or not you may be doing something that could be done by a German national or some other qualified resident. The local Foreigners Office would most likely ask for certain documentation and then may well check with the local Chamber of Commerce or other organizations to see whether or not your business is specialized enough and economically viable. If your business is deemed acceptable you could be issued a residence permit. However, there may be limitations as to what you can do and where you can do it. In other words, your permit may restrict you to a certain type of self-employment in a certain geographical area. This decision is up to the local authorities.” (source)
And that’s just a little part of it, Germany has, even more, restrictions on how you can operate an online business.
If that’s not enough of a hurdle, they are 4-5 years behind the U.S. as far as marketing trends are concerned. So anything that works really well for an online business in America takes about 5 years to establish itself in the marketplace over there.
From a marketing standpoint, that looks like the worst business move possible. But despite all of this, Shailia knew this was the market that needed her expertise the most.
She didn’t let the hurdles scare her away from the German market. Instead, she saw the struggles coaches were having in Germany as proof that her knowledge was needed.
So she got into online marketing. Seven years later, she stumbled across an online coach. It inspired her. With no clue what she was going to do or who exactly she was going to help, Shailia started her own coaching business.
But there was a problem with that…
The traditional German 6-7 week boot camp model at that time was extremely difficult to sustain.
This high-intensity learning experience had a foundation made of toothpicks and needles, but she still made it work. With only 100 people on her list, she made $10,000 with her boot camp, but the process couldn’t really scale up from there.
Dead end right?
Shailia had two options at that point: get really good at list building or move to a 1:1 coaching model.
She decided to skip the list building and work with her audience one-on-one. And for the past 5 years, that’s how she has sustained and grown her online business.
Then it was time for Shalia to scale her online business to the next level with online courses. She tried to piece everything together on WordPress. With all the plug-ins and bits and pieces that all had to work together, she was extremely frustrated with how hard it was to create her digital products.
But even when she was first introduced to Kajabi she wasn't completely sold, and moved forward with Wordpress. Over time she saw how Kajabi had grown and evolved into a beautiful way to sell your products online.
She's been with Kajabi ever since. Despite all the challenges she's faced Shailia has created and sustained a very profitable business.
So what can you learn from her story?
Numbers Aren't Everything When it Comes to Marketing Your Own Business
When Shailia first started out, she could've started a business that catered to people in the U.S. She could've chased the numbers and went with the “smarter” business decision.
But she didn't want to reach out to Americans. She saw a real need for her expertise in the German market.
She had a passion for helping these German and European coaches who needed her guidance. Even though she had to stitch her business together little-by-little; she made it work because her message and her passion were that important.
And even though it seemed like everything was working against her... guess what?
She's got the T-shirt. She is a Kajabi Hero!
And most importantly, she's a hero to all the coaches she helps, plus all the people they help too.
I don't know about you, but that gets me fired up!
Shailia has made a massive impact in a virtually impossible market.
Do you believe the same thing is possible for you?
Because I do. I've seen people do so many amazing things. If you have something inside of you that you want to share with the world you can make that happen.
Figure Out What Works For You and Run With It
Here's the deal.
If you don't feel like doing a certain type of marketing for your business… you don't have to.
There are a lot of strategies, formulas, and proven methods out there. So many marketing gurus claim their way is the only way to succeed, but there are countless ways to create content and market your business.
You are the only person who knows what will work best for you and your business.
I'm not telling you to go in there blind or reject any advice from experienced entrepreneurs. But what works for one person may not work for another.
From a marketing standpoint, Shailia made all the wrong decisions in her business. But you know what?
She makes a living doing something she loves because she found a way that works for her and ran with it. She didn't worry about perfection or doing what everyone else was doing.
She felt a passion for helping a certain group of people. And despite her tactics not lining up with a lot of popular marketing advice today, it worked!
If you hate doing webinars, you don't have to do webinars.
If you hate Facebook live, you don't have to do live videos.
If you hate writing blog posts, you don't have to write blog posts.
Find what works and feels good for you and your audience. The rest? You can skip it or outsource it to someone else with a knack for it. It takes time and experimentation, but you will get results if you are true to yourself and your followers.
That’s exactly what Shailia did. She knew that creating content wasn’t her strongest trait and she didn’t love doing it. But instead of giving up, she worked around it to create a method that fit her. She found a way to love creating content for her course.
She did this through a series of webinars to hold herself accountable and create her content with her audience.
She set these webinars up in sprints. She would go all in with the webinars for a month, take a break, set up another round of sprints, take a break...
She cycled through this process until she had enough content for a course.
She had to tweak the videos and do some editing, but thanks to the webinar sprints the content was there to work on and shuffle however she needed.
You may be sitting there thinking:
Wait a second... if these people already went to her webinars for free why in the world would they pay to have the same exact content put into a course for them?
The thing is, you don't have to come up with revolutionary, completely brand new ideas for your courses. You may think that offering what you already have for free isn't going to make you any money, but that couldn't be any farther from the truth.
Think of it this way.
Shalia helped her audience so well; they made a deep connection with her. She wasn’t just delivering a ton of value at no cost to them. She was building relationships.
So when she put all of these webinars into a course, they didn't look at it and think: this is the same thing she taught me months ago. Why would I buy it?
These people were her biggest fans. When her course went live, they were eager to get their hands on the organized and curated version of the content they loved so much.
Deliver awesome value and connect with people in a genuine way with free content, and you’ll build a loyal fan base. When you organize and curate that free content into a premium version, it’s like releasing a special collector’s edition addition for your fans.
And this works for more than just webinars.
Any type of free content you put out there can be curated into a premium digital product.
How Can You Fall in Love With Marketing to Build a Profitable Business?
When you find a way to market your business that fills you with joy, even if it isn't the popular thing to do right now, you will connect with the right people on a deep level.
Isn’t that the whole foundation of good marketing?
Yes, marketing is about the sales. But underneath that, you need connections with the right people. Without some form of connection... the sales won't happen. The better the connection, the more powerful your sales.
A lot of times, something inside tells us it can’t be that simple. It's hard to believe that following your passion and doing something you love can become a highly profitable business.
Yes, building a business takes time and effort. I'm not trying to give you a false illusion of your dream business falling in your lap and making you rich without any contribution from yourself.
But if you fall in love with marketing...
The possibilities and potential of doing what you love for a living are endless. But it's hard to fall in love with marketing when you are forcing yourself to do things you hate doing.
It may take time to find your own winning marketing strategy, but once you do. Hold on! Because you are in for a ride.
Fall in Love With Marketing With the Help of Kajabi
One of the biggest obstacles that get in the way of loving marketing are hard-to-use platforms and the tech frustrations that go along with building an online business.
Technology is a beautiful thing but for some of us; it's a royal pain.
But what if technology headaches suddenly stopped being an issue for you?
What if all the obstacles and frustrations of dealing with the back-end work of creating a professional website, marketing, and creating digital products weren't even in the equation?
How could it possibly get any easier than that!
Shailia loved marketing her business so much that her biggest obstacle was actually creating the content. The rest of it was nearly effortless.
Kajabi made building her website, marketing her business, and creating her own digital products so easy that she loved setting up the framework for her digital products more than creating the actual content for the products.
Does that sound like something that could help you fall in love with marketing?
If you want to experience how easy Kajabi can make marketing and building a business, I want to invite you to put us to the test.
Give Kajabi a try, completely free, for 14 days. With our free trial, you can see exactly how easy marketing your business can be.
And who knows... maybe you will be the next Kajabi Hero.
And if you want to check out Shailia’s awesome German website, see it here.
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