Hello SOTGC community,
Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Amy Porterfield who is a social media guru that has made her name in the online world by helping websites build leads from Facebook as well as grow their email lists. I’ve subscribed to Amy’s helpful tips and gotten MANY useful ideas as I learn this online marketing business and grow SOTGC and MarneyReid.com. I want to extend a HUGE thank you to Amy for taking time to dialogue with us and share her insights and tips with the SOTGC community.
Marney: You started off working for Harley Davidson. What were the two biggest lessons you learned from marketing products and events for that demographic?
Amy: Working with Harley was such a fantastic experience because Harley customers are complete fanatics. They are 100% devoted to the lifestyle of Harley-Davidson and that is a marketers dream come true. After all, some of them actually tattoo the brand’s logo on their bodies – you can’t get much more loyal than that! Two lessons I learned in this environment: 1) In marketing messages, lifestyle matters.The more you know about your ideal audience and what’s most important to them, the better you can design your message around their life. The more you know, the more powerful your message. 2) I also learned that real-life experiences go along way to build brand loyalty. We would often do special rides and events that attracted our ideal audience. These in-person experiences fostered strong relationships that we could ever create online. Nothing takes the place of “real-life.” That’s why today I make sure I attend the events where I know my audience is spending time.
Marney: From Harley Davidson you went to work traveling the world with and doing marketing and content creation for Tony Robbins, quite a change in demographic and messaging. What were two of the most impactful things you learned about yourself and online marketing during that transition?
Amy: It was a transition, no doubt! When I left Harley to work with Tony Robbins my entire world changed. I was on the road all the time, traveling the world with Tony and our team, and this was a completely different experience than I was ever use to. Working with Tony was extremely intense and stressful because Tony is on a mission to create transformation in people’s lives and every single minute he is focused on this one goal. Personally, I learned that I could push myself farther than I had ever imaged. I am grateful for this experience.
As for online marketing, everything I learned in the beginning came from my experience with online product launches while at the Robbins organization. It was AMAZING to see how a product launch came together and be there in the trenches every step of the way. I learned about copywriting, email marketing, sales pages, product creation and product promotion. And I got to learn from the best. One of the best of the best internet marketers, Frank Kern, consulted with Tony and our team at that time. He was extremely generous is teaching us what worked and how to do it. It was a priceless education to say the least!
Marney: You mention that Tony Robbins taught his team a term called “Burn the boats.” Meaning: “When you want to make something big happen, you have to commit—burn the boats and storm the island. Burn any vessel that could take you backwards or make you change your mind.” When building your business what were the two biggest hurdles you overcame during or after you “burned the boats?”
Amy: Oh, I love this question! The first hurdle I faced was that fact that many people asked me to come work for their organization once I left Robbins. To be honest, this stroked my ego and was VERY tempting because in my first year, I struggled to secure clients and make a steady income. I had to really keep my eye on the prize of building a business on my terms so that I would not give in and take another full-time job.
The second hurdle was figuring out how to do what I set out to do while still making money that first year out. Although I hate to admit it, I did not save up a bunch of money before I left Robbins so I could have some “ramping up time” before I needed to make money in my new business. I needed to make money right away. So before leaving my corporate job, I had lined up a few consulting clients to help me pay the bills while I worked on my first online course.
Here’s where things went wrong: instead of spending time creating and selling my online courses, all I was doing was hustling to support my one-on-one consulting clients. And worse yet, this meant I went from having one big boss (literally!) to a bunch of mini-bosses. Imagine eight little mini Tony Robbins’ bossing me around. It was maddening.
I eventually was able to let go of my one-on-one clients and only focus on my online programs, but it took longer than I had hoped!
Marney: One of my favorite quotes about becoming an entrepreneur is by Reid Hoffman who said: “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you launched too late.” What advice can you give someone who WANTS to try something new but feels they need to perfect it first or is embarrassed to “put it out there?”
Amy: Seth Godin talks a lot about SHIPPING. Getting things out the door. You have to take that plunge and get your programs and products out there if you want your business to soar. That does not mean they should not be stellar, but they won’t be perfect. Much of my success has come from taking action no matter what. I still have friends “thinking about” creating a product – the problem is that they have been thinking about this for years. You will never make an impact and a profit from “thinking” 😉 You need to make it your mission to TAKE ACTION every single day.
Marney: What are three of your biggest tips for people who are starting their online business and are looking to grow their social media presence and thereby expand their business?
- From today on, make list building your #1 focus. The energy of your business is directly tied to your email list.
- Choose one social media platform (one that you know your audience uses regularly) and get really dialed in there. Grow your fan base and engagement. Fromt here, move on to the next social media platform you want to master. If you try to master them all at once, you will struggle to get real traction.
- Know your audience inside and out. What are their fears, struggles and challenges? What gives them ultimate happiness? WHere do they spend their time? What Facebook Pages do they frequent often? What are they talking about? The more you know them, the more you will connect with them and ultimate make a profit with your programs and services.
Marney: What are two lessons you wish you would have learned sooner in your entrepreneurial venture?
Amy: I just wrote an entire article about this for my blog so I am going to pull from there!
In those early years, I thought I knew more about online marketing than I actually did. Looking back, I know I would have had even bigger success faster if I mastered three areas: Content creation, copywriting and the art of selling. Let me break it down for you:
1) Content Creation: Knowing how to create stellar content is a MUST if you want to build your business online. There’s just no way around it. But if you are anything like me, this may not necessarily come natural for you. It’s taken me some time to really understand how to create content that will build my authority and keep my audience coming back for more.
When I finally figured this out, my list grew more rapidly and doors started to open up for me in terms of speaking gigs, interviews and invitations to participate in some great opportunities. Master your content and you too will see the doors of opportunity start to swing open for you.
2) Copywriting: This is one area I am constantly working on. I have gotten better over the years because I invested in training to hone in on these skills.
Have you ever noticed how there are certain people online that you LOVE to hear from? You open all of their emails, read their blog religiously and and listen to all of their videos and podcasts? Part of the reason you are drawn to these special people is because they are great copywriters. They have taken the time to understand you – your needs, wants, struggles and challenges – and they communicate with you in a way that is personal and real.
That’s what good copywriters do and when you learn this art, you will see your audience engagement and loyalty DRAMATICALLY increase. Your audience just won’t be able to get enough of you.
3) Selling: I use to hate to sell. When I would do webinars that first year out, my stomach would hurt when I got to the point in the presentation when I would promote my program. But with some help from my mentors, I soon realized that if I believed in my programs and knew I had created a solution my audience needed, I was offering an opportunity to make their businesses better.
Marney: What words of encouragement would you give someone on the fence between taking the leap and starting the business they’ve dreamed of having, and remaining where they are?
Amy: If you look back just one year from now and you are still doing exactly what you are doing today, will you be extraordinarily happy and overjoyed? If the answer is “no” then NOW is the time to take control of your situation. Your life and business can be AMAZING, but it’s up to you to get the courage to make a change. I know it’s scary, but looking back, leaving my corporate job to build a business by my own design was by far the BEST decision I have ever made. The rewards come daily and I feel extremely lucky to live the life I have today. I am not extra special by any means – if I can do it, I have no doubt you can to.