How to Make $17,000 in Your Business With Less Than 400 Followers

 I have the honor of  introducing you guys to Ella Rucker, a serial blogger and co-producer of #MentorMonday with Paul C. Brunson. Ella and I met two years ago at Blogging While Brown and have found a way to keep up with each other. I personally think she is brilliant and one to watch.  And the bonus is that she is down-to-earth, which will definitely take her far.

She will be joining The Frugal Feminista team twice a month to share some of her wisdom and advice about building a viable and lucrative online side hustle and entrepreneurship. This is her first post and it is full of nuggets. Seriously. Full of nuggets.

Juicily yours,

Forget New Followers(1)

I go to a lot of events.  I’m the producer of a biweekly event.  I know entrepreneurs, I know millionaireS (yes, with an “s”), I know people who have crawled their way out of the muck and mire that is welfare (raises hand and shares link).  There is one thing I know for sure.

We as bloggers are not going to get anywhere chasing new followers!

We as bloggers are not going to get anywhere chasing new followers!

FORGET GETTING NEW FOLLOWERS IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SELL TO THE ONES YOU’VE GOT!

At an event I attended, Ryan Leslie told the story of a man with less followers (under 400) than I have who turned one event into a $17,000 event.  How?  He hustled harder.  He hustled harder than me.

In a nutshell he set his price and then figured out the number of followers he needed to get to buy from him to make a profit.  He hit them all up personally because there were only 400 of them and BAM!  Did I mention $17,000!

Recently I had a class, “3 Secrets To A Better Blog.”  I know people want the class; have had people request it.  I sent out a few emails here and there, but went to twitter ads to find people to buy the class.  I was even successful at getting 6500 impressions with 77 clicks (1.XX% engagement) on my campaign.  Told my friends and mentors that I was proud of getting the conversion because I was, but did I ever reach out to the 50 people I have on my Best Blog Content page?

Nope.  I sent out blurbs, but with Facebook’s algorithms my posts didn’t reach too far.  But it was only 50 people!  Why didn’t I send each of them an inbox message?  Why didn’t I create a campaign targeted to them?  Some are my friends and wouldn’t need the class, but the others…they are generally interested in my offering and I missed a chance to sell to them because I was lured by technology!

How did the man with the $17,000 event get that kind of loot with less followers?  He contacted each of his people DIRECTLY and asked for their business.  At $50 a pop and converting about 375 of them, #BOOM!

So what does that mean for you and your blog?  Forget getting new followers!

I see so many bloggers trying so hard to get more numbers, but what are you doing with those people?  When you get a new follower what do you do with them?  Send them your newsletter?  But do you send them a sample of your product?  Conduct a survey on what they are looking to get out of the experience?  Find out if they were looking for some sort of information that might not be readily available on your site now, but if someone started paying you you would gladly create a la Chris Guillebeau?

Understandably you want followers so that you can get sponsors and you need sponsors so you can get money, but WAIT!  The sponsors want your followers so they can sell to them, right?  Why aren’t YOU selling to them?  There’s got to be an event, a manual, a tutorial or something that, if you gave it six weeks of intensive marketing – direct marketing – to your core audience, you would yield some results ($$$).

In some ways I see where the disconnect may be.  We don’t have marketing experience so we fall into the trap of letting social media be our guide.  “Buy Facebook ads!” people tell us.  “AdSense bought me my third house!” other bloggers proclaim.  And that might be fine if you have click after click on your site.  However, we all know that we are dealing with intimate numbers.  Our budgets are small and so are our numbers.  We want to make a living at this, but someone is telling us that we aren’t enough without some magic amount of people coming to our site everyday when THE PEOPLE WHO COME TO OUR SITES EVERYDAY ARE TELLING US THAT WE ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH!

They are cheering us on and here we are like that cheating man (oops, did I go there?) who we see meme’d up e’ryday.  We are taking our eyes off the prize trying to find better, when better is sitting right there on our site waiting for us to court them…just a little bit.

Try this:

1. Do some research

Go out there and ask your followers what products they want from you, find out how much they are willing to pay, and then over deliver the goods like a monkey’s uncle.

2. Give them choices

Ask them if they would want tees, mugs, classes, a one-on-one with you.  What do they want you to supply and then get on that demand.  Try free manufacturing sites like Teespring.com or CafePress.com.

3. Make contact

If you contact 100 people via a personalized email in the next two weeks and you only get 20 sales, that is a 20 per cent conversion rate, yes?  If you can convert 20 per cent of all your clientele over emails, twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. how many customers is that?  Make what you offer of value and price it at that value.  Now that’s how many clients times what amount of money?  Exactly.  And it probably took you more time than getting people to follow you in a raffle, but that made you no money anyway so how much value did that new follower give you?

This by no means is my theory.  I’ve heard this from so many wealthy people it isn’t even funny!  And maybe tonight with Ryan Leslie’s breakdown of what 375 people did when someone pushed back their failing launch by six weeks to do the work of reaching out to their following was finally the light bulb I’d been asking the Universe to brighten.

But I do know this… a lot of people who are new to business are counting on the Internet to help them learn how to become entrepreneurs.  Don’t let a place that makes its money selling ads tell you how you should be selling ads.  You feel me?  Figure out what works to keep the money in your pocket, but more importantly have a strategy for all the people who are giving you the time of day everyday.

You will be surprised what a real follower will do for you when you actively take the lead.

So what say you? Do you have any new ideas on how you can sell directly to your audience?

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