business coach

How to grow your email list with FREE and paid tools

If you're in business, you need to own your audience somewhere. It's not on facebook or instagram. But you knew that, right? Sooooo, where can you own your audience?

You know it already, don't you? I know you-you're such an intuitive person. 

Yep, you were right-it's your email list! 

So, if you're working to grow your email list, one of the best tools to do that is by creating lead-generation pieces. 

What does "Lead Gen" mean?

Lead Gen (lead generation) is the idea of creating free content that you offer in exchange for someone's email address. You create something that generates new leads (potential clients) into your business.

When you implement a lead gen strategy, you're working to build your email list, fill your pipeline of interested people, and ultimately, have clients waiting to work with you. 

It sounds pretty good, right? 

What are lead gen pieces?

By now, you know that creating a strategy to generate leads on demand is alllllll kinds of ideal. So what can you create that people may want? here are a few ideas:

  • Cheat sheets

  • guides

  • e-books

  • checklists

  • video tutorials

Comment below-Which one will you make first??

My favorite FREE and paid tools to create lead gen pieces

Maybe you've got an idea in mind and...if you're like me, you might feel like you need to go on a frantic hunt for a graphic designer.

Nope ;) Don’t overthink it, friend!

If you're just starting your lead gen strategy, you don't need a graphic designer. Here are my favorite FREE tools to create lead-gen pieces on my own. (add in your designer when you're ready)

FREE leadgen tool #1: Google docs, sheets, and slides

Here’s the big thing I run into with clients allllll the time: We think we need perfection when what we really need is action. Sometimes just putting something out there in the easiest way possible helps you get into a great pattern of momentum in your business. If this sounds like you, this tool is for you-this one is like…stupid simple!

Write everything in Google docs, add some formatting and a bit of branding, export it as a pdf and boom. You're good to go! If simple is what you’re craving, this couldn’t get simpler! Hey, don’t overlook the obvious! You can always improve it later, but if the content is great, then

FREE leadgen tool #2: Canva

Canva is a GREAT tool to create your graphic elements. Whether it's a youtube thumbnail or you want to add some pretty design to your workbook, checklist, quote cards, and wayyyyyy more. Seriously, the options here are endless. I have used canva a ton and found that, especially for free content, it gets me across the finish line for free!

I may have a new addiction in Canva-they’ve recently added infographics and now I’m kinda obsessed with them!

Leadgen tool #3: Leadpages (this one’s not free, but boy will you get a fast return!)

Once you've created your piece to offer, you'll want to find a way to exchange your content for email addresses. I personally use and LAAAAHHHV lead pages. I've hosted webinars with it, created opt-in forms, created sales pages, and created branded video pages. It's seriously been such a fun way to create value in exchange for email addresses. 

Want to see leadpages in action?

If you don't want to go with lead pages, you can create something similar with your website, such as Squarespace, it will just be a manual build out whereas Lead pages has intuitive, tested templates that you can drag and drop your copy into. 

Are you convinced? Comment below: which of these tools do you already love? Want to try?

 

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3 Ways to Prepare Your Business For the New Year Now! | Business coaching for creatives, Madison, WI

I know, I know. It’s November. Isn’t it kinda early to start planning for next year? I used to wait until January to have my annual business retreat and make all my big plans for the year.

But now I don’t do that anymore. Now I kick into gear in the fall and I’m so glad I do!

Why you should start your annual business plan now:

You get your brainstorming wheels turning

Once you begin brainstorming for next year, you’re bound to keep thinking of ideas to test out. It’s just how your mind is made to work. You’ll start noticing something a competitor is doing that you really like. You’ll see an ad on TV or hear somethign on the radio that inspires you.
If you’ve started the process in the fall, you’ll have plenty of time to sprinkle in your fun ideas in the coming months.

January is an ideal time to SELL not PLAN to sell

If you’re hoping to begin planning in January, you’re missing out on trying new ideas during one of the heaviest booking months of the year. Having a plan already in place for January means you’re building natural buzz and momentum around your business and your new offers.

So, how do I prep for my new year? Here are 3 simple ways to prepare your business for the new year NOW:

3 ways to prepare your business for the new year now

Grab yourself a dry-erase friendly 12-month wall calendar and a white board, and get creative! Here’s what goes on my calendar first:


Plan your booked work

The first…and most obvious thing I get on a calendar right away is any work I’ve already got booked. I want to see what I’ve already got going on for next year so I can plan around that and factor in any lead time for client work.

Plan your marketing

Next I plan my marketing. This has been a fun addition to my yearly planning and I can’t get over how much it has made me feel like the Wizard of Oz in my own business. I used to be scared of marketing. I used to think that selling was “sleezy.”

But making a yearly marketing plan has helped me let go of those MAJOR limiting beliefs and instead, have tons of fun trying new things in my business.

Why? Because I know I was put here for a reason. I know there are people I am here to help, love, and serve. So, learning how to get my business in front of those people is so so important. And it is for you too, beautiful friend.

I’m hosting a LIVE online workshop to help YOU master your marketing plan for next year. Reserve your seat for this live online workshop now and get direct time with me to brainstorm, map out your marketing plan, and learn how to create an offer that will sell.

Plan your goals

One of my FAVORITE things to do is to plan my goals for next year. This part is probably great for your whiteboard. For now, schedule time to make your goals-whatever you really want from next year, write that out. I’ll share more on my goal-setting approach in a future post, but here’s the big thing I want you to think through:


How do you want to feel a year from now? What does success really look like to you?

Get in touch with that and then make your goals that will get you from where you are now to that feeling a year from now. Think through what you’d like to accomplish in your business, your personal life, your health, and your spiritual life.

And ask yourself-do I want this or do I think I’m supposed to do this? Often we get a little tangled up thinking that there’s a formula we’re “supposed” to follow in life and business. This is the perfect time to do a check in and see if you’re doing what YOU want to do, or if you’re doing what SOMEONE ELSE does thinking you’ll get their results.

(OH, heads up, you won’t.)

So as you prepare for your coming year, let’s jumpstart your year together! Join my Master Your Marketing workshop today!


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The 4 most popular forms of business education | The Successful Creative, Madison, WI business coach

When you're ready to grow your business, it can be confusing to know how to pick the right resources for your growth. You take online courses, but were hoping for group coaching, you join masterminds, but really needed private coaching. When you're investing into your business education, choosing something that's not a great fit can feel like a big waste of time and money. But how do you pick the best thing?

If you're in business for yourself, you'll probably always be on the lookout for your next source of education. What's the next step? Here's a breakdown of the most popular self-education options right now and how to know what's for you.

DIY online courses: $

An online course targets a specific problem you’re experiencing: pinterest or instagram growth, how to book more clients, building your email list, etc. The course is usually completed in a limited amount of time and gets a specific type of result, like getting 100 new followers or subscribers in 6 weeks time.

So, if you want to learn how to monetize your blog, use facebook ads, or grow your instagram account, look to an online course.

Is an online course right for me?

If you're an independent learner, hoping to learn on your own time (hellooooooo naptime hustle!), you're fairly new in business, or you're brand new to a common marketing strategy, like growing your email list, an online course is great for you! There's usually no personal guidance from the course creator, so if you get stuck, you need to figure out how to make it work on your own. 

Group coaching: $$

A group course is the next step for someone looking to learn and uplevel their business. Like an online course, group coaching usually has a specific focus, but with group coaching, there’s live coaching calls with your group leader. Often a group coaching program has modules for you to work through and the added bonus of Q&A time with your coach. It's the solution to "what if I get stuck on my course?" It's like study buddies keeping you focused and growing while you take action on your business.

Is group coaching right for me?

This is a great option for someone who wants some support and guidance as they implement. After all, isn’t it kinda awesome to check in with someone and say “am I doing this right?” If you're in group coaching, you're okay with being able to ask one question during your Q&A time and then pay attention to all the other questions coming in.

Madison, WI business coaching

Private Coaching: $$$-$$$$

Private coaching is a completely custom approach to business growth. In this case, you’re paying a higher amount for your coach to work with you one to one to get YOUR business results. This includes a LOT of interaction between you and your coach-regular calls, support between calls, strategy, connections, and implementation. You determine together the areas you need growth in, create an action plan, and meet on a regular basis to create and implement your strategies. 

How do you choose your coach?

One of the easiest ways to find a coach is to ask your friends who they’ve worked with. Look for a person who gets her clients results and who you enjoy being around. Is the person you’re considering a good listener? Does she understand your vision and mission? Does she connect with how you feel when you hit a roadblock? Does she have experience growing businesses that are based on a big vision like yours? These are important indicators that the coach you’re considering can and will lead you to the results you want in your business.

Is private coaching right for me?

This is a great fit for you if you have a big goal, like replacing your full time job, breaking 6-figures, or launching another business. This means you're probably looking to implement a bunch of strategies at once. If you got an online course for everything you needed to do to hit your big goals, you'd probably spend loads on courses and still be stuck. 

See my private coaching results here

Masterminds: $$$$

You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. And a mastermind leverages that to get you big results in your business over a long period of time. While masterminds are known for their hefty price tag, when you find the right one, they're worth every penny and then some.

What makes a Mastermind so powerful?

When you join a mastermind, you’re harnessing the power of collective thinking for your life and business. This collective thinking unlocks new strategies, impact, and reach than you could have gotten by doing it all alone.

Not only do you have a group of entrepreneurs thinking with you for your big goals and problems, but you get to take note of solutions to other people's business problems. Often, these are problems you don't personally have, but you can take away the solutions and strategies for your business-solutions you would never have gotten if you'd just been focusing on your business. 

The Science behind a mastermind

Scientifically, our minds are made of energy. Remember learning about splitting atoms in science class? What was inside the atoms?? Nothing but energy, right?? That's us. We're made of energy. And our minds vibrate at certain frequencies, kinda like radio stations. Whatever station you tune into determines the kind of music you get back.

When your mind vibrates at a high frequency, you attract in things on that frequency, like love, abundance, creativity, money, results, confidence, etc, It's kinda like tuning into a radio station and finding that you get to listen to all the songs you really love. 

So how do you increase your mind's frequency?

How do you increase your mind's frequency? By surrounding yourself with creative, supportive people, of course! I often joke that my paid friends are my best friends. They're in the trenches with me, knowing my struggles, but supporting my vision, cheering me on, and helping me untangle problems and find amazing solutions.

Masterminds in the real world

President FDR created one of the first masterminds nearly a century ago. 

Maybe you've heard of it? It's a little thing called the Cabinet! He understood that he could be a better president when surrounded by people dedicated to helping him create solutions, and chose a specific group of people to meet regularly to help him tackle our country's biggest needs.

And what kind of solutions did he create with his mastermind?

Only this little thing called The New Deal to help eradicate nationwide poverty from the Great Depression. If FDR can solve world poverty through a mastermind, what can you do?

What’s in a mastermind?

Hallmarks of a good mastermind usually include

regular group calls

look for group calls with hotseat spots for you to have the group help you on your newest plans. That's where you're harnessing some major power.

In person retreats

There's nothing quite like the connection, support, and growth of an in-person retreat. Look for a retreat in an area that feels like an escape for you. An awesome retreat will include trainings, mastermind sessions, personal growth opportunities (cooking or yoga classes, anyone?), and some fun adventures in the area. 

Special add-ons

course content, private coaching sessions, and sometimes even live events are a part of masterminds. 

The Inspired Business Mastermind

While most masterminds are specifically geared toward high-performing or growing entrepreneurs, I’ve created a mastermind specifically for the early-stage entrepreneur!

This mastermind experience combines the masterminding calls with online course modules in mindset and business strategy to creating a growth experience that helps you build a strategic business WHILE letting go of fear, guilt, and limits to step into your confident, abundant business.

While Mastermind costs are usually pretty high, The Inspired Business mastermind is a bit more accessible for someone who isn’t making a steady income from their businesses yet.

I'm accepting enrollment for my mastermind, The Inspired Business Mastermind now. Are you interested in learning more?

Conclusion

If you're looking to grow your business, here are the most popular resource for you:

$-DIY Course

lowest cost, self-directed online course with no personal direction from a coach, usually targeting a specific skill and often a 1-2 month study commitment. great for beginner-level business owners. 

$$-Group Coaching

affordable, but more than an online course. Includes an online course, plus guidance from your course creator, 6-8 week commitment on average (though some are more!) medium touch point, great for beginner to intermediate entrepreneurs.

$$-The Inspired Business Mastermind

Perfect for someone who needs to build their support system, learn foundational business strategy while learning how to create a confident, abundant mindset. Hybrid program containing online course modules plus mastermind calls.

$$$-$$$$-Private Coaching

A more substantial investment. A custom plan for your business growth, with regular one-on-one calls with your coach, often 3-6 month commitment, but can be ongoing. Perfect for someone ready to take on more complex growth and implement a variety of strategies at once. Great for all levels who want to grow quickly and overcome roadblocks with direct guidance, best for intermediate to advanced entrepreneurs. 

$$$$-Masterminds

High ticket investment; perfect for someone planning big growth in their business (doubling revenue, increasing from your first into multiple 6-figures, hiring a team, creating passive income, etc.) and ready for a longer term support system, often a 6-12 month commitment; Perfect for intermediate to advanced entrepreneurs who can contribute strategies and ideas to other group members.

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Sarah Porter Photography | Business Coaching Testimonial

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Before working with Stephanie, I was a hot mess. I was always worried that I was missing out on business.

I was grasping at straws to get any business I could and was always questioning myself and my value.

Stephanie helped me realize I had a lot of blocks around my success and my value.

I can honestly say that my time with Stephanie completely shifted my life and business as a whole.

The way she approaches helping you find your footing and take ownership of your business has paid off in my life in dividends.

My family can attest to the fact that I'm a much happier person because my mindset work in coaching.

Because of Stephanie, I launched a second business, and raised my wedding photography pricing by $2300/sale, but...

Even if there wasn't a tangible result, my investment in coaching would still have been worth it because it changed my life.