Copy Writing, Email Marketing

3 Things to Consider Before You Write Your Welcome Sequence

Have you ever had an email subscriber hop on your list … just to grab the freebie and peace out once you send a weekly newsletter?

Yup, it happens to us all.

Which stinks, because you’re just burning the midnight oil to build your list for your upcoming pitch or offer, and it just stays static at a plateau.

What if I told you there was a little hack to getting those folks to stick around AND fall more in love with you and what you have to teach in the process?

Have you ever had an email subscriber hop on your list … just to grab the freebie and peace out once you send a weekly newsletter?  Yup, it happens to us all.  Which stinks, because you’re just burning the midnight oil to build your list for your upcoming pitch or offer, and it just stays static at a plateau.  What if I told you there was a little hack to getting those folks to stick around AND fall more in love with you and what you have to teach in the process?  |  Think Creative Collective

Meet the “welcome sequence” (or onboarding drip, autoresponder sequence, indoctrination sequence (kinda not my favorite name for it!), etc. … kinda all different sides to the same coin). You’ve probably met one — or even have one — but there’s a way to copy write your way to a more conversion-focused sequence with a few tips!

I’ve LOVED writing welcome sequences for a few of my former launch copy clients, and wanted to spill the beans over here at TCC on what you need to think through before writing your own!

Why do I love welcome drip campaigns?

Well, because the journey to being an email subscriber doesn’t actually end when your reader hits “subscribe” on your freebie.

Far from it.

In fact, you’ve got some work to do, sister. But thanks to the magic of autoresponder sequences (more on that in a minute), you can, in essence, spend an afternoon on the copy, then let it do it’s thing for the rest of your sales funnel.

“[Most marketers are] overlooking [that] a funnel that has a huge impact on 1) retaining your converted visitors and 2) actually increasing conversion rates.” - Talia Wolfe, fellow copywriter

You’ve probably heard the adage that it’s 5x MORE pricy to gain a new customer than it is to retain your old ones, so today, I want to show you how you can cultivate the soil of your email list to ready these thirsty new readers for sales, sales, and a few more sales.

As you ramp up to write your first welcome sequence, here are 3 things to think through!

1. Space out your welcome sequence like a boss.

One of my favorite copywriters references the Fibonacci sequence when she plots a welcome sequence, but in case you were more the type to snooze in Algebra II, I got your back. Here’s a little artistic rendering so you can see how it works. This is a 13 day, 7-part drip welcome campaign.

But I’m not the only that’s got your back: so does ConvertKit! There are a LOT of great email marketing platforms out there, from Aweber to Infusionsoft, MailChimp to Emma, but you can get the basics of a well-spaced sequence in ConvertKit by clicking Sequences > Create Sequence. Here’s what you’ll see when you start:

To get a bit more technical, here’s how I tee up my welcome sequence to send: My freebies send upon sign-up thanks to ConvertKit’s Forms feature. Then, I also have an automation set up in ConvertKit: when someone signs up for one of my signature freebies, they’re put into my Welcome Sequence, meaning on Day 1, they get (1) the freebie and (2) welcome email #1.

So, one email they get on Day 1 is delivered via a form, and the other email they get on Day 1 is delivered via the sequence.

I know that’s geeky if you’re not a ConvertKit girl, but it’s definitely one of the features that convinced me of the value of the platform. Emylee and Abagail are fanatical about ConvertKit, too, so you’ve probably heard how great it is from them as well!

Takeaway? Plot your sequence — each email should have one job, so set them up to send out and point to your best stuff over a week or so.

2. Write your welcome sequence like it’s not about you.

Rule of Copywriting #1: Write to one person, always and forever. Rule #2: It’s not about you.

Here’s the thing. I don’t actually believe that welcome sequences are a way to show someone around ALL the facets of your business quite as much as I believe that they’re a way to show your reader that you’re working hard to get to know HER, and what she needs.

“But Ashlyn! All the welcome sequences I’ve ever been on are basically a tour de blog for that person!?”

True … but the ones that are written with conversion copy aren’t as much about that website as they’re about y-o-u, the reader/subscriber.

Instead of mapping out a sequence email that showcases a different facet of your business, use the copy in your onboarding sequence to speak to the 5 stages of awareness that fabled copywriter Eugene Schwartz found:

Stage 1: Unaware

Stage 2: Pain Aware

Stage 3: Solution Aware

Stage 4: Product Aware

Stage 5: Most Aware

For example, let’s apply those 5 stages in terms of TCC’s Trello for Business (which I mention in like, every other Facebook live and podcast interview I’ve ever had, it’s fine and it’s also THAT awesome). Here’s what you’d have:

Stage 1: “I like my business filing system okay, I guess!”

Stage 2: “Um, I’m starting to get super scattered with my biz files.”

Stage 3: “I keep hearing about Trello, but I don’t know how to use it.”

Stage 4: “Wait. Emylee and Abagail have a Trello FOR BUSINESS product? Hm. Interesting!”

Stage 5: “They totally do, and I need it — actually, I need it yesterday — take me to the checkout line!”

Women in all 5 of those awareness categories are hopping on your email list, and by using your welcome sequence, you can theoretically walk them all closer to product aware/most aware by the end of the sequence.

Winner winner chicken dinner!

3. Start using segmentation early (& often) in your welcome sequence.

The last part to think through goes back to the whole “it’s not about you” thing: use your welcome sequence as a way to study your reader (and tailor future emails to her interests) by using tagging well.

Here are a few ideas of segmentation you could figure out through a welcome sequence:

  • Add a self-segmentation email as #2 in the series, and ask your reader to tell you what she needs. You’ve seen this if you’ve ever signed up for Pat Flynn’s email list — he asks this in Day 1’s email.
  • Include different levels of links — the reader who clicks “What You Need to Know Before You Quit Your Job” deserves a different tag to the reader who clicks “17 Ways We Build Culture as a Remote Team of 6”.
  • If one of your offerings in an email is a webinar, tag her for it … Seems like she’s into webinar trainings, and you can use that later!
  • Give a different freebie link when you hop on a podcast interview or JV webinar … then, tag that subscriber with where she came in from.

The point of tags and segments is to eventually map towards products and services you’d like to sell down the road, so you might as well start tailoring their experience right outta the gate.

Again, don’t make your welcome sequence a tour de YOU, as much as an investigative journey in figuring out who your new reader is and convincing her that if she’s up for sticking around, you’re going to be serving her all day, ery day.


So there you have it: 3 things to think through before you sit down to write out your welcome sequence!

Now, what are my best tips for actually WRITING the sequence? As a copywriter, I lean on a few tools to get the job done: I throw some essential oils in the diffuser, carve out some time, grab a frosty bev (hello, iced coffee or La Croix — and wine if it’s a late night!), and set a timer on the FocusKeeper app: I go for 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off — race me to see if you can write whatever task you’re working on before me in 6 or less Pomodoro sprints).

(p.s. I’m also a big fan of the Brain.fm app for focus music — it’s a bit better/less distracting than Spotify!)

Go get ‘em tiger: be your own copywriter and map out a conversion-copy focused welcome sequence to greet your new readers, and watch your list grow to be more faithful to ya and all your educational goodness!



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Entrepreneur, Organization & Productivity

3 Ways Healthy Living can Help You Crush It in Your Business

There are obvious benefits to leading a healthy lifestyle — you’ll be healthy, look toned & strong, and maybe even hit your happy weight. But those are future you problems. All present you really cares about right now is building a sustainable business.

You could use those benefits, but not as much as you could use the benefits of making a full time living as a boss babe.

There are obvious benefits to leading a healthy lifestyle — you’ll be healthy, look toned & strong, and maybe even hit your happy weight. But those are future you problems. All present you really cares about right now is building a sustainable business.   You could use those benefits, but not as much as you could use the benefits of making a full time living as a boss babe.  |  Think Creative Collective

But the hallmarks of healthy living — eating healthy, working out consistently, even getting enough sleep — can make a huge difference to your productivity in high-pressure situations like a product launch or just the day-to-day grind of being the boss.

Here are three concrete ways that healthy living can help you crush it in your business now, and once you hit your dream business goals...

1. You’ll create mental space

If you have the desire to change your eating and exercise habits right now, but you’re not taking action to do it, that’s precious mental space being taken up by something that’s not productive.

It doesn’t mean that you walk around thinking about living healthier every single moment, but if, on any level, you want to:

  • eat healthier

  • work out more

  • get to your happy weight

  • or just have more energy to do more in your business

...any little gap of time that isn’t taken up by the business of living your life and building your business will be taken up by the thoughts of things that you’d like to do but aren’t doing.

So any time that you’re not thinking of marketing strategies to get your business more visible or sales strategies to get your products in the hands of the people who need them, you’re going to be worried about the things you’re not doing to lead a healthier lifestyle. You’ll worry about what it’s costing you healthwise and what it’ll take for you to get that part of your life to where it needs to be.

But if you’re able to start with the small actions that collectively help you lead a healthier overall lifestyle, and you’re able to almost automate those, you’ll create mental space there.

This means that when you’re not actively thinking about creative marketing and sales strategies to help you crush it in your business, the wheels keep turning in the background to help you do even more instead of worrying about the fact that you just had a fast food hamburger yet again even though you promised yourself that those were off limits.

2. You’ll get the satisfaction of stacking small wins

Stacking quantifiable wins is an easy way to keep yourself motivated on your way to any goal. In your business, this could mean getting that “new order” notification email (cha-ching!) or seeing your subscriber count rise with each day of executing your visibility plan. These types of wins keep you going and pushing even harder.

The same goes with your healthy lifestyle. So every single healthy choice you make is a win. For example, when you:

  • drag yourself out bed, get dressed, and get a morning workout in instead of hitting the snooze button, you’ve won.
  • choose the grilled chicken sandwich on a whole grain bun instead of the greasy burger on the fast food menu, you’ve stacked another win.

These are daily wins that continuously show you how capable you are. And it doesn’t matter where you stack your wins. When you keep taking action and moving forward in any dimension of your life, you’re building valuable confidence that’ll help you move your business and your life forward.

The way I see it — action builds confidence, and that confidence creates a desire for even more action.

So when you’re taking small, but consistent action towards living healthier, that’ll inspire you in other areas of your life. It’s your way of telling yourself, “If I can build the discipline to do this, what more can I do?”

And as you know from building a business, there are countless things that need to get done or even just get figured out, like:

  • honing in on your niche,
  • finding the right people to collaborate with,
  • or even finding the right service providers that’ll help fill in your skill gaps so you can spend most of your time in your zone of genius.

Figuring these things out and more will help you build the business of your dreams.

And knowing you can win will help keep you going as you hit every single growth milestone in your business.

3. You’ll manage your perception and always be ready to run the world

When I talk about managing your perception, I’m not talking about looking skinny or fitting a certain mold. Instead, I’m talking about how you come across to others and even yourself. It's about knowing internally and projecting that air of discipline and self-regard that comes with taking care of yourself.

When you’re doing the things that you feel you should be doing to move your life forward and when you’re living in integrity with yourself, that’ll shine through more than anything you say to other people.

There’s something about living healthy, about:

  • showing up and working out,
  • choosing foods that you love and that are good for your body,
  • and living in a way that’s true to what you want and who you want to be in your world,

...that makes you feel more confident and that shines through in your work and it translates to your business life.

For example, you’ll stand taller and more confident and stay true to the vision that you have for your business and its mission when you talk to potential collaborators.

And when you’re talking about how you see that collaboration helping both your businesses move forward, your passion will shine through. That makes a huge difference when you’re selling someone on why you should work together.

Putting yourself on your priority list by exercising consistently and eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated.

In fact, once you start doing the simple things like eating more veggies or stepping out for a 30 minute walk, just checking them off your to do list and feeling the burst of energy that could come with that could leave you hungry for more.

So as you read this, I want to challenge you to start with the simplest thing you can do right now to make you feel like you’re doing something healthy for yourself. Make it concrete, too.

Using the sample actions I shared earlier:

  • eating more veggies can mean adding a cupped handful of steamed veggies to your main meals.
  • walking for 30 minutes a day can start with a neighborhood walk in the evening while you listen to your favorite tunes.

Pick one thing, make it easy enough for you to do consistently, and level up when you’re ready. And before you know it, you’ll have more of the physical and mental energy that you need to get your business to where you want it to be.



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Branding, Marketing

5 Steps to Build an Authentic Brand You Love

Building a brand that’s authentic and that you love could be the difference between having a successful business and one that’s not. Why? Because having a brand that’s authentic means being more in tune with who you are and where your passions lie as well as the needs of your audience. When I started my business as a branding strategist and designer 10 years ago, I wasn’t authentic at all. I did what I thought I needed to do. I offered a limitless amount of services, I talked about everything that I did, and I left “me” out of the equation. As I progressed in my career, I came to realize that I was making a huge mistake that was basically limiting my success.

Building a brand that’s authentic and that you love could be the difference between having a successful business and one that’s not. Why? Because having a brand that’s authentic means being more in tune with who you are and where your passions lie as well as the needs of your audience. When I started my business as a branding strategist and designer 10 years ago, I wasn’t authentic at all. I did what I thought I needed to do. I offered a limitless amount of services, I talked about everything that I did, and I left “me” out of the equation. As I progressed in my career, I came to realize that I was making a huge mistake that was basically limiting my success.  |  Think Creative Collective

So, I made a shift in the way I communicated with my audience and with myself, understanding my passions and being unapologetic about doing what I love. Here are the five steps you should follow in order to build an authentic brand that you love.

1. Define Your Purpose + Passions

A lot of times, we become entrepreneurs to “make money”, not necessarily out of passion, but out of need. I began my career with an idea that I wanted to be independent and have total control of my time. I created a business out of what I knew how to do, which was graphic design. I had studied it, had experience in it and liked it quite a bit. So, it simply made sense. At first, it was automatic and all about making money. However, as the years progressed, I discovered that I truly had a passion for branding. Helping people transform their businesses, and ultimately their lives, through branding and design fuels me.

I would say that understanding your passion from the start and building a business around this will ultimately create a business you love. You want to ask yourself:

What do I love?

What fuels me?

What would I do for free?

These questions might seem obvious, but they are so important moving forward. In my case, the answers to these questions meant eliminating 80% of the services I was offering. I feel that it’s better to be known as the expert and go-to person who does ONE thing incredibly well and with passion, than known for doing a lot of things, but nothing special. What are you confident that you can do best for others? Do that.

2. Understand Your Audience

One of the biggest lessons that I have learned in business is that unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), nobody really cares about you. People mostly care about themselves and the problems that they have and how you can solve them. You see, in life, everything comes down to problems and solutions. Your audience has a problem. That problem might be the simplest thing in the world, like feeling bored on a Friday night, or the most complex thing, like being overweight. Your job is to discover what that problem is and offer a solution that will benefit them.

Building an authentic brand that you love means getting to know and understand your audience and genuinely care about creating those solutions for them. The better you understand your audience, the better you will get at solving their problems. You have to do everything in your power to find out what their pain points are. How do you do that? By asking questions. Contact every client that you’ve worked with and ask them where they were before they hired you. Research through Facebook Groups, or simply ask Google. All of these things will get you closer to understanding your audience better than they do.

3. Create an Experience of Transformation

Once you are clear on your audience and their needs, you want to make sure that you build an experience of transformation. Building a brand that’s authentic means really making an effort to move people from their problems to their solutions, and you want to make sure you communicate it clearly. For a long time, my marketing and website communicated that I was a graphic designer who created logos, brands, and websites. I would go on to talk about how much experience I had and who I had worked with and that I had an MBA and this and that, me. me. me. me. Eventually, I realized that focusing so much about what I did, took the attention away from what was important: my audience. So I reframed the way I communicated by stating: I help entrepreneurs create unique brands that attract. Can you see the distinction? Now it’s not about me, but what I do for others. There’s clarity about the type of transformation entrepreneurs will go through when they hire me. Where before it was about someone designing a logo for you, now it’s about building a unique brand.

What you want to do is fill the gap between the problems and the solutions of your audience, and make sure that your communication is geared in that direction. It all comes down to how you frame and package what you do; in other words, it’s all about positioning. How are you communicating who you are and what you do?

4. Be Unique

Another thing I used to struggle with when I started my business, was the idea that there were other designers out there that were probably cheaper and better than I was. I would wonder why anybody would hire me, when they could get a better product for less elsewhere. Here’s the thing — yes, people do hire you in part for your skills. But, the truth is that people hire you mostly for you. There are millions of businesses out there that are doing exactly the same thing you are, but the one thing that makes yours different, is you. Your experiences, your education, your skills, your personality, your values, your “you”. In my case, there might be millions of designers out there, but only I have lived all over the world, am married to a famous Latin pop singer, graduated top 10 from one of the top MBA schools in Latin America, have done dozens of online courses, have had my clients, built a successful business and have my personal unique fresh style. Only I can say that I have done those things. Building an authentic brand means bringing YOU to the table. Showing up, with your qualities and imperfections and being genuine and real.

The truth is that in the end, we all want to connect. That means that we don’t want to feel like we’re alone in our journey, that we’re the only ones going through whatever it is that we’re going through. We connect when we hear people that understand us. We connect when we feel seen; not invisible. It all comes down to bringing your story to your brand.

5. Create a Brand That’s Authentic

In the end, if you are creating a business that’s aligned with your passions, offering solutions that are capable of making experiences of transformation for your audience while building your business around what makes you unique, you need to make sure you’re reflecting that in your brand. Branding is fundamental to making that happen, because branding is all about building perceptions from the inside out. You begin by determining your Unique Selling Proposition and positioning and you end with making sure your brand looks the part. You need to make sure your logo, website, and images in general, build you the necessary credibility while looking authentic and unique at the same time. Having an image that brings everything I mentioned to the table is fundamental to really creating something extraordinary that’s capable of standing out.

We’re very visual beings and are quick to judge when something doesn’t look valuable. It might be the most incredible and delicious food in the world, but if the restaurant looks ugly and sketchy on the outside, we won’t go in. It’s the same with our brands. If the image doesn’t reflect the value you offer and if it doesn’t make you stand out, people will take 3 seconds to form a decision and leave. Branding the right way will actually be capable of making you stand out as different — GOOD different — from everyone else. At the same time, it will build you recognition and ultimately create more credibility and trust. All of these are the perfect ingredients to building an authentic brand that you love.

 

Applying all of these things to my business has been a game changer. I believe that the more I connect with being authentic, genuine, and unique, the more I love my business, the more I wake up happily and excited every Monday morning because I am building a business I’m passionate about, while transforming people’s lives every single day. Now, I ask you, what makes your brand authentic? Make sure to share in the comments below.



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Blog, Ideal Client

Finding Your Blog's Ideal Audience and Why We're So Over Customer Profiles

Marketing can do pretty amazing stuff for your business. But the one part of it that's not that cool is customer profiles. And that's especially true if you're starting a brand new blog from scratch.

What's a customer profile anyways?

Customer profiles are semi-fictional representations of the people you want to reach. These profiles, also known as buyer personas, include details such as:

  • Who you want to reach
  • What they do for a living
  • How old they are
  • Problems that they face daily that might impact their decision to buy things.
Marketing can do pretty amazing stuff for your business. But the one part of it that's not that cool is customer profiles. And that's especially true if you're starting a brand new blog from scratch.  What's a customer profile anyways? Customer profiles are semi-fictional representations of the people you want to reach.  |  Think Creative Collective

Why they're not the greatest strategy:

Buyer personas only scratch the surface of what kinds of people you're trying to reach. And people are a lot more complicated than a one-dimensional character type. So there are always surprises. This is especially the case for new blogs, because when you’re creating your first blog, your audience is likely one big question mark.

I have a confession to make:

When I started my first blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I was a gal that liked to write and hoped to do something about it. But the low numbers I had when I first started blogging didn't discourage me.

And here's why...

I was goal-oriented from day one. If you're a bit overwhelmed by the idea of keeping yourself goal-oriented even with a low readership, I feel your pain..

Here are some strategies for keeping yourself goal-oriented when starting your blog:

1) Soul search

Getting your blog's focus right starts with you. If you're starting a blog because some guru told you it's a good idea, then don't do it! If you want to make a real connection with a real person, then that's a good starting point. Don't invest money or time into your blog until you do some serious soul searching.

Stop thinking of your audience as some sort of mythical character type.

Instead, treat them like real people. And treat them like treasured guests in your lovely little corner of the Internet. Then they'll want to subscribe, share, etc., and you won’t have to do much about it!

What can you feature on your blog to make your audience feel at home, and actually want to keep on coming back?

Once you work on being a good host or hostess for your reader, you’ll be well on your way to creating a blog that you can actually be proud of.

2) Push yourself to get super specific.

Vague statements such as, "I want to make money on my online course" aren't enough. Take it one step further by being all like:

"I want to make money on my online course by reaching X type of person and writing content about X, Y, and Z."

And then, take that one step further. Ask yourself how you can make things relevant to your goals, as well as your reader's goals. Sound daunting? Think of it this way…

How can you improve the lives of the people you want to reach?

If you do that, then you'll bring your bounce rates down a notch or two.

3) Just listen!

Once you’ve figured out your blog's goal, it's time to focus on listening. I could rant for hours about why I hate customer profiles, because they overlook something pretty crucial:

The power of listening.

And listening is your greatest weapon, because it helps you build a meaningful, reciprocal relationship with the people that you're actually dealing with.

And if you have no idea what your audience wants, just ask.

In fact, over on the TCC Facebook group, I saw someone excel at that:

She wasn't sure what confused the heck out of her audience about writing web copy, so she just went ahead and asked TCC's audience of female entrepreneurs.

Some of the group members are new to the whole online business thing, so they want to learn more about how they can get loyal customers.

And that's exactly why it's such a smart decision to start listening! If you're not sure what you're interested in, this is an approach that can work.

Let’s use this as a case study. You could do your research in any of the following ways:

  • Go to meet-up groups in your area where your ideal audience hangs out. Ask people what's confusing the heck out of them, about whatever you want to write about.
  • Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups where your ideal audience hangs out. Don't be shy about asking them questions about what freaks them out about what you want to write about.
  • Survey the followers you already have (and no, a small following is not an excuse to not try this out). Interfaces such as Typeform, Surveymonkey, and Google Forms are recommended.
  • Try forums such as Quora, and find out what questions people have about your blog's area of expertise.

Want to get something valuable out of all your hard work? I recommend putting more than one of these strategies in place.

4) Read similar blogs, with similar audiences

I'm not saying that you should steal ideas or anything.

Ugh, don't do that!

Instead, read blogs with similar audiences. This will help you get to know what does and doesn't work. Following blogs that write about similar stuff will help you get to know what your readers might respond well to.

For instance, let's pretend that you're a web designer and you want to reach other web designers. In that case, you might want to follow web design blogs so that you can always be up to date on what's new in your industry. There's a lot that you can learn from reading other people's content, because it will inform your process over the long-term. Make sure that you read diverse blogs that cover the same subject, to get a lot of different perspectives.

5) What happens after someone reads your posts?

Want to be goal-oriented and get a valuable return on investment? If that's the case, you also have to know what you want readers to do after they read your post. Because the consequences of not telling them what to do kind of suck!

They might:

  • Lose interest
  • Have an "oh look, a squirrel" moment and forget what they're reading
  • Start watching the latest viral video, and never come back again
  • Hit the back button and read someone else's blog instead.

And that's not the result that you want. Especially if you want to make people interested in what you have to offer. And you don't want that either!

So how can you tell your readers exactly what to do next?

Let's go ahead and use the online course example again. And let's pretend that...

Your course focuses on DIY printing your own comic strip, and you want to reach stay-at-home moms.

6) What do you want your readers to do after they read your post?

You'll likely want to get them to either learn more or buy now. So that should also inform your content too. A great way to do this is to focus on "how-to" posts, and anything else that gives readers a peek behind the scenes.

This will help you...

Stick out, and personalize your message, no matter how saturated your niche happens to be. Above all else, what you should be doing is getting to know your customers on a personal level, from day one onwards. Because creating an avatar of someone that doesn't exist will force you to create posts that are based on the fact that...

All (insert age, relationship status, occupation, etc here) people struggle with a specific thing.

And if you do that, you'll alienate your readers and no one will read your blog. If you incorporate these steps into your blog planning process, then you'll be well on your way to creating content that readers will love.



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Business, Profitability

March 2017: Income Report $11,110

March already feels like decades ago, but so many important things happened that set us up for success in April that it would be a shame to just skip over the nitty gritty details. Inside this income report you will find out exactly what we have been investing in and spending time learning about behind the scenes, as well as our brand new tool to help automate some of the processes.

March already feels like decades ago, but so many important things happened that set us up for success in April that it would be a shame to just skip over the nitty gritty details. Inside this income report you will find out exactly what we have been investing in and spending time learning about behind the scenes, as well as our brand new tool to help automate some of the processes.  |  Think Creative Collective

Why do we do income reports?

In an effort to be as transparent as possible in our own business, we have chosen to make 2017 the year in which we showcase the good, the bad and the ugly. That means we talk about money on months when we bring home the bacon and on months when we’d rather not discuss finances. We hope you learn a LOT from these reports. Replicate and tweak our strategies to use in your own business. Get inspired, learn from our mistakes and grow your own online business.

Please note: Links marked below with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. By clicking and purchasing we may earn a commission on this sale. This comes at no cost to you and only is for products and companies we truly believe in!

March Income

Affiliate Income: $439
Course Sales: $10671

TOTAL INCOME: $11,110

March Expenses

Stripe/Paypal Fees: $375
Groupies T-Shirts*: $81
Squarespace: $244
Libsyn: $20
MotionMail: $10
ConvertKit*: $149
Courses / Online Education: $1379
Independent Contractors: $2084
Facebook Ads: $41
Postage: $4
Office Supplies: $23

TOTAL EXPENSES: $4,410

NET PROFIT: $6,700

Payroll to Abagail & Emylee: $5,283

Holy Moly Education

Our friend Jessica Eley said this recently and I just can’t seem to get it out of my head.

“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting the results you’ve always gotten.”

Obvious, but still a hit right to the gut.

When Emylee and I started our business we spent a ton of time learning and implementing new strategies, then we would turn around and teach those strategies to all of you. Well, at some point or another we got so bogged down with the day to day that we forgot to keep learning and to keep investing in ourselves and our personal growth.

So we finally put our foot down and rolled out a chunk of change on two programs — Pursuit HQ from Melyssa Griffin and FB Everything from Courtney Foster Donahue.

With all the changes that were happening over at Instagram and Pinterest we knew some of our strategies would have to shift.

Facebook, Finally

As much as we spent a whole lotta time fostering the growth of our Facebook group, we had completely ignored our page — like, it was a desert island. To continue to grow at the pace we were used to, we were going to have to start to pay for advertising — I know, I am just as shocked that I said it as you are.

So we spent the whole month learning how to do Facebook ads and implemented a totally new system to get content out to our Facebook page without a ton of hassle.

Enter SmarterQueue.

The biggest shift in using this program over the other schedulers out there is that you can create categories for your content and then automatically recycle your posts to increase engagement. Ditch the spreadsheets and manual scheduling. With categories, queues, and a visual calendar, SmarterQueue posts what you want, when you want.

Want to test drive it yourself? You can try it for 30 days FREE!

Passive Income, Baby

Luckily, even though our heads were in the books — or should I say screens — the business still worked. It is such a relief to know that after a year and a half with all the systems we have in place that products still sell on their own whether there is an active promotion or not.

Think about ways you can passively sell your products via your blog content, social media or even through solid referrals and testimonials.

We’re very thankful for how far we’ve come.

Bigger Things to Come

After a long conversation with our bookkeeper, Parker from Evolved Finance, we knew that in order to make our revenue goals for the year some things would have to change. Specifically, what we offer.

He reminded us that it takes just as much effort to market a $29 product as it does a $1000 product and he is so right.

So with that in mind we aren’t making our favorite program, Trello for Business, normally $29, a $1000 product — not to worry! However, we are working on some massive things to come throughout the rest of the year. Things you haven’t seen from us before. So prepare yourself, because this baby is just taking off.



We like to party on Instagram!