AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome to The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and today we’re talking about creating multiple streams of revenue.
One of the things I love most about being an entrepreneur is how we are able to use our passions and creativity to build a business that has many layers to it.
I think it’s safe to say that there’s never a dull moment when you are building a business online. Can I get an “amen” for that? That is the truth, never a dull moment.
One of the reasons for that is that you can find so many different ways to make money online under one umbrella, under one business. And that’s exactly what we are talking about today.
I have a good mix of students in my programs. Many of them are in a phase where they are just starting out building a business online. In fact, some of them are still in a 9-to-5 job and what they are creating right now is just a side hustle with the intention of making it a full-time gig.
A lot of my students aren’t making a lot of money just yet. That’s why they’ve enrolled in my program about creating an online course or building a list or doing a webinar. They want to start generating revenue online.
I also have a lot of students who have been doing amazing things in their online business but they want to add a webinar or add a course. They are making really good money and are looking to up level.
Regardless of where you may fall, creating multiple revenue streams in your business should be your goal.
It’s never a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket. There might be a few entrepreneurs that do this very well but not many. And, I think it is very dangerous to rely on just one thing.
My guest today, Jennifer Allwood, after being laid off from a software development company in 2000 discovered firsthand how using her creativity and passion could create not one but six different revenue streams in her business. Pretty cool, right?
She is so fun to talk to and this woman is a go getter. She is a mover and shaker doing amazing things. I love everything that she has shared in this interview. I can’t wait for you to listen.
Before we get there, this episode is brought to you by Gravy. If you have a subscription model business or offer payment plans like I do for my online courses you’ve got to listen up.
One of my biggest frustrations was lost money due to failed payment plans. In fact, it used to keep me up at night. I would worry about all of the people that were on a payment plan because if they didn’t finish the payment plan I was screwed.
That’s when I decided I needed to do something about it because I hated the worry. I started to work with Gravy. I promise you I never worry about payment plans anymore.
Gravy sets up a system inside of your business where they contact your customers within hours of their failed payments and they capture updated billing information and save the customer.
One of my other fears was whether I was really going to let an outside company come into my business and communicate with my students, especially because the topic of failed payments is a sensitive one.
However, I took the leap and I’m so glad I did. Gravy is like an extension of Team Porterfield. When they reach out to people and talk to people they act as though they are part of my business. They do it with compassion.
It has been so seamless. On average our failed payment recovery rate increased from 33% when we were trying to do it internally to over 80% collecting on failed payments. That’s a whole lot of saved payments.
If your revenue is currently at $250,000 or more and you know you’re losing money due to failed payment plans each month I want to encourage you to check out Gravy. The cool thing is Gravy is waiving the setup fee for all of my listeners if you go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/Gravy.
I’m not going to make you wait any longer. As I mentioned, today’s guest, Jennifer Allwood, is kicking butt when it comes to creating revenue streams in her business. I can’t wait until you hear about every single one of them. Let’s do this!
AMY: Jennifer, welcome to the show. I’m so glad you could join me today. Can I just say that I love how you declare that you have tons of love for your family and for glitter and paint on your about page?
The amazing thing about your story is that you’ve actually been able to take that love for glitter and paint and make a really good living. It’s so cool.
So, for those who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you earn money in your business with glitter and paint.
JENNIFER: First of all, thank you so much for having me. I am so honored to be here.
AMY: Thanks for being here.
JENNIFER: I feel like I am talking to an old friend already so thank you.
AMY: I love it.
JENNIFER: I think we edited my bio down just a little bit because I think the Facebook page used to say, “My love of family, glitter, paint, and raw chocolate chip cookie dough.”
AMY: Amen sister.
JENNIFER: I felt it was off brand so we had to take that off. But I would love to tell you just a little bit about my business. I’m actually in Kansas City. I used to have a degree…I still have a degree in IT.
I had a software development degree so I used to work a desk job. Amy, I honestly hated it. I just felt it was the responsible thing to do to go to school, get a degree, go sit at a desk, and that was kind of what everyone did.
I literally had no plans or thoughts or aspirations to be an entrepreneur but I stumbled upon some people that did decorative painting in Kansas City. I don’t know if you know what that is where you are, Amy, but it’s the people that texture walls and make columns look like they are marble.
They would do murals and things like that and this was a good 20 years ago. I kind of started messing around with that because I thought it was interesting. I actually purchased my first home when I was 21 so I was poor but a homeowner.
I was constantly trying to DIY my own house and found out that I really loved it. I loved being able to take a room that was real boring and make it gorgeous.
I got laid off from my IT job 17 years ago and thought it was the perfect opportunity that if I was ever going to try something different, “let me try it right now.”
I talked to my husband. I said, “Babe, I know I just graduated at age 30 in the top of my class with that computer degree but I think I want to start a painting company.”
AMY: Oh my gosh! What did he say when you said that?
JENNIFER: Thank goodness for really supportive spouses because he was like, “You know what, go for it girl!” At the time we didn’t have children. We were young and gutsy.
I decided to try to make a go of this painting company and right off the bat we got in with several really big designers and we got our name out there. We were on that television show for ABC, Extreme Home Makeover, with Ty Pennington.
We did that three times and it really catapulted my business. It was great for many, many years. Until it wasn’t.
It was a blast but I got to this point where I was capped out on how much money I could make. So, four or five years ago I can remember distinctively the job I was at. I had eight women painting in this house at one time.
I was thinking to myself that I was just working so hard. I know a lot of entrepreneurs can relate to this. I was busting my tail and giving it all I had. I was putting in long days and when I looked at my bank account it just didn’t seem like the two were jiving.
Do you know what I mean? I’m working so hard. Where’s the cash? So in my head I thought, I guess if I want to make more money I could either work harder, but there’s literally no hours left in the day or I could maybe get a whole other team and we could work in two houses.
All of that just sounded absolutely horrible. The only other thing I could think of was to teach people online how to paint their own houses. It was kind of just a thought. I wondered what would even happen.
I had noticed four or five years ago I was really loving Facebook and was actually kind of good at it. You know how every once in a while you figure out that you kind of love something and you’re good at it?
People were really responding to my Facebook page so I started kind of dangling a carrot and asking, “If I were to teach you guys how to do some painting in your own house, how to paint your kitchen cabinets or your furniture, would any of you be interested?”
Overwhelmingly it was, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.” I sat down and made seven or ten videos that were 10-15 minutes long showing people how to paint different things.
I decided to put those up for sale four or five years ago and it took a little over a year to make six figures off of painting videos. I thought it was wild. Who is paying me? They could find this same stuff on YouTube for free.
What I found, Amy, is that people will pay for shortcuts. They will pay for information directly from somebody they know, like, and trust, and they would rather do that than go search for things.
That kind of started me on this whole online journey. We sold the painting videos for a couple of years and then I started a couple of membership sites both for painters and for people who were wanting to grow their social media.
All of the sudden I found out, gosh, I love to teach. I love to teach people what I know about building an online community, what I know about building a huge fan base, what I know about selling stuff online, and that has really catapulted into something that I had no idea was even going to be on the horizon.
Right now I train over 2,000 entrepreneurs a month. Most of them are female. We have over half a million followers across all of my social medias and I’m in the process of writing a book proposal. Things are crazy pants over here. I love it. I love it!
AMY: Lady, you’re kicking butt.
JENNIFER: Thank you. I’m having a blast and what’s so funny, Amy, is I never could have seen this 17 years ago. I couldn’t even have seen it five years ago.
Sometimes I think it’s such a good thing that we can’t see what’s down the line. I believe you are a fellow introvert. Am I right?
AMY: Yes, I am.
JENNIFER: So if someone had told me 5, 10, or 15 years ago that I would be doing Facebook Live and on stage speaking right in front of Chip and Joanna Gaines (by the way)…
AMY: Oh my gosh!
JENNIFER: If you had told me those sorts of things I would have tucked tail and run. That just brings my heart rate up just to even talk about it. I love that we only get the next step and the next step and the next step.
I just kept doing the next thing that was in front of me and the next thing that’s in front of me and here we are and I’m absolutely loving it.
AMY: Oh my gosh, this is such a great story. I love that you said that even just five years ago you would have never imagined where you are today. I think some of my listeners need to hear that.
It’s okay if you can’t even imagine. You still keep putting one foot in front of the other and you go for what you want.
JENNIFER: Absolutely. I would even go as far as to say that even a year ago. Amy, we just retired my husband from corporate America last month.
AMY: Oh my goodness.
JENNIFER: Even a year ago I don’t know that I could have seen that but I know that it’s not if you work harder but I believe it’s if you work smarter and do the right things in your business that things can really snowball quickly when you get the right things in the right order.
That’s really happened for us in the last year to 18 months. We were able to bring him home last month so now he’s here at home with me every day and we’re raising our three kiddos and working on our business.
You and I were just talking about our love of our puppies so we’re raising a Golden Doodle by day and things are good.
To every entrepreneur, things can definitely happen very, very rapidly. I have been working at it for a while so it’s not like it just happened overnight. But all of the sudden things have kind of done a compound interest type of thing and it’s super fun. We’re just so honored to be here.
AMY: You are obviously doing so many things right because you figured out how to make money through multiple revenue streams and that’s what you’re here today to share with us.
You work mostly with creatives. First, what is it about that group of people that makes it hard for them to make money online?
JENNIFER: Creative people…I’m talking to artists and makers and DIYers and painters and repurposers. They are some of my favorite people on the face of the earth. But a lot of times, Amy, they will get stuck only making money when they are physically doing the creating or making or are actively working.
They are trading time for money. I try to teach them there is totally a different way. They can teach other people how to make what they make. They can teach other people how to paint like they do.
Sometimes I think creative people are a little uncomfortable with putting on that hat of being an expert. I try to convince them we all have imposter syndrome. Nobody is exempt from that but there are people that will pay them for their shortcuts, their expertise, etc.
I think that’s one issue with creatives. I also think a lot of creative people are honestly uncomfortable making money.
I think sometimes they like to downplay their gifts to compare what they do for a living to other people. Well, I’m not a doctor. I’m not saving lives. I’m not an astronaut putting people on the moon.
I’m just a creative. I’m a maker. I try real hard to convince them that if God had wanted them to do that he fully would have made them an astronaut or a doctor or whatever.
Think of what a boring place the world would be without people that can make things beautiful, without designers, painters, decorators, and people that write music, poetry, and books.
The world would be such a boring place. I think there has to be a shift in the mindset of a creative person. They have to kind of get over that hump of being uncomfortable making money and they have really, really own their gifts.
AMY: It’s so true. I’m sure some of them get stuck in trading time for dollars. That comes up a lot and that’s something that many of my students who have serviced based businesses or coaching or consulting get stuck with.
Many of them are in the process of shifting to a one-to-one business to one-to-many with online courses or live workshops. That is something that will allow them more freedom and they can scale their business.
You teach your students and coaching clients a new way to make money as well. So talk to me about that.
JENNIFER: I read the statistic once that the average millionaire has seven revenue streams. I’m like, “Whoa,” when I heard that.
JENNIFER: Yeah, if you Google that there is a ton of articles on it. It’s pretty fascinating. The other day I was counting on my fingers. I’m at six. Boom!
AMY: You’re so close girl.
JENNIFER: I teach creatives that there are so many other ways to make money besides the thing they are making. You can do something like an info product that would include anything that has the letter “e” in front of it. It could be an eBook or eCourse or a webinar.
Webinar doesn’t start with the letter “e” but it has one in there. That’s a great way and it’s kind of how I started. I started on eVideos selling them online. Instead of sending them an actual physical video in the mail they just got it in their inbox.
Then I started doing one-off webinars and that was super fun. That’s a great way for people to make money. Besides info products, they could make affiliate income.
If you want to use my example of coming out of the painting industry, any time I talk about paint products I am always using affiliate links. I think so often we build a social media following.
It doesn’t have to be a million followers. It can be a thousand die-hard fans. I would much rather have a thousand die-hard fans on my Facebook page than ten thousand with crickets any day of the week.
When you’re recommending things to your thousand fans or ten thousand fans or a million you still have to remember you are giving the other company a lot of advertisement.
Your opinion actually has value and companies will pay you to talk about their products so affiliate income is a big one that I teach creatives how to do.
I also talk a lot about sponsored content. Several years ago before Facebook Live was a thing. I feel like I’m talking about the dinosaur ages. Isn’t it hard to remember pre-Facebook live.
AMY: It’s so hard.
JENNIFER: We should call that PFL, pre-Facebook Live. Before Facebook Live I would go into our local Hobby Lobby stores because I’m just a junkie when it comes to Hobby Lobby. I would walk through their stores and record videos of my favorite things, cool craft supplies, and fun things I saw in the Hobby Lobby store.
I would go home and upload it to my Facebook page and I did that for several years. Unbeknownst to me Hobby Lobby was watching those videos.
JENNIFER: I had no idea. They reached out to me a couple of years ago and said, “Jennifer, we love what you’re doing. We’d like to send you some stuff and we’d love for you to talk about it on a Facebook Live.”
I said, “Absolutely.” Then it was still recorded video. Now that has transpired into literally going down to the Hobby Lobby corporate headquarters not once but twice. They have flown me in.
AMY: Oh my goodness.
JENNIFER: I’ve done videos for Hobby Lobby corporate store in their office, which is so great. I get paid to do blogging for companies like them. I blog for companies like Pier 1 and these are all sponsored blog posts.
Sponsored content is a really big deal and the industry has really shifted. It used to be that blog posts were what were being sponsored the most. Now I have companies reaching out to me and they just want one Instagram picture.
They just literally want one mention on an Instagram story or one Facebook photo and they will pay you to do those. Sponsored content is a great way for creative people to be making money.
AMY: That’s so cool.
JENNIFER: I know, isn’t it cool? Who would have thought?
AMY: I didn’t know.
JENNIFER: There is literally no better time in the world to be a business owner than right now today. It’s so much fun the way everything has changed online.
I also coach all of the people in my coaching groups on starting membership sites. You and I are both friends with Stu McLaren, the membership site king. I actually started my first membership site 2 ½ years ago because I was so tired of the huge income swing I was seeing in my business.
A membership site is a monthly group where you have people in who pay you every single month and you deliver them content. I have one just for painters and I have another one just for entrepreneurs who are wanting to learn how to build their business.
That’s a great way. I also coach on ad revenue. Anybody that has a website can be putting ads on that website. I generally make somewhere between $20-$30,000 a year in ad revenue and that’s literally a set-it-up-one-time and it’s all done.
There are a ton of ways. You can be a brand ambassador for different products. You can get paid to speak. You can do one-on-one consulting. A lot of creatives will hear that and think, “Oh gosh, I could never do one-on-one consulting.”
Sure you can. Most entrepreneurs have messages waiting right now in their email, “Hey, I would love to talk to you about how you do XYZ. Could I pick your brain for a moment on XYZ?”
That’s a consulting opportunity right there because you can say, “Absolutely, you can pick my brain. Here’s a link to my calendar. Here’s my rates. I would love to get you on the calendar for next week.”
There are tons of ideas. I think it’s a matter of trying to figure out which one fits you and your business, which one feels like a real natural fit, and which one your actual clients would respond to most.
AMY: Oh my gosh, that’s so, so good. I know this is going to be a little bit redundant but I want my listeners to hear those six revenue streams that you are doing with a little bit of detail so that they really get it. Will you just run through that list really briefly for me?
JENNIFER: Absolutely. I would love to. I do an info product, which is an eCourse. It’s a six-week course that I launch twice a year. It’s my signature course called Creator’s Roadmap. That is one way.
Way #2 is that I make affiliate income by recommending products I already use and that I really, really love. I also do sponsored content for big brands talking about their home décor items. I use those on my blog.
I have two membership sites. I earn ad revenue and I get paid to do one-on-one coaching and consulting. Those are the six I’ve got right now and I love every single one of them for different reasons, Amy.
AMY: That’s so fantastic. Okay, good. I’m glad you ran through those for me. Thank you.
Is there an order that you suggest your students and clients add their revenue streams in? Basically, do you suggest they start with an eCourse and then include affiliate links and so on and so forth?
Also, how long after you introduce one new revenue stream into your business before you add another? Those are two questions for you.
JENNIFER: Absolutely. I like people to kind of start with something that’s a low commitment level. If you start with something like a membership site you are basically agreeing to show up every week, every month of every year until you decide to quit.
I like people to start out a little bit more simple. An eBook is a great place to start. A webinar, which I know you love, is a great place to just kind of try to test the waters and determine if you even like this style of teaching.
I also think the one-on-one consulting is a great place to get started because the word “consulting” sounds scary but it’s actually not. It’s basically just letting someone pick your brain in exchange for a fee.
I like people to kind of start those and test the waters a little bit to determine if you like teaching in general. Do you like showing up just once and being done? Do you feel like you could show up on a more regular basis?
Is this something you really want to commit to. If so I always like people to have a membership site. I just think membership sites are the one thing that can really help entrepreneurs sleep better at night. They know how much income they can expect to generate on a month-to-month basis without the big spikes in months when they may be launching a course and big dips on months when they don’t have anything going on.
I always suggest you do a membership site if you like any of the other forms of teaching. I always suggest if you have a website that you do ad revenue as soon as you possibly can.
Most of the ad revenue companies want you to have about 50,000 page views a month on your website in order to be able to put ads on them. That’s kind of a good goal for everyone.
By the time you hit 100,000 page views a month you can really start getting with some better paying ad revenue companies. I think you should start that as soon as you’ve got that sort of traffic. Does that make sense?
AMY: It does. That’s fantastic. I love that really actionable detail.
JENNIFER: Awesome. In terms of the other things like the affiliate links and that sort of things, the sponsored content, I think starting those as soon as you can and as soon as you put out feelers and get some response from brands I would absolutely start doing those things early.
It’s like anything else, Amy, the first time you did a webinar it was probably a little different than one of your webinars are looking today.
AMY: Not so great.
JENNIFER: The first time you start working with brands it’s probably going to be much different by the time you’re 10 or 20 sponsored posts in. Start when you can when you are smaller. That way you have time to keep refining your skills and getting better as your audience is growing.
The types of brands that want to work with you will also be seeing your growth. They will see that you have had a history of working with other organizations and they will be much more likely to want to work with you as a brand as well. So start as soon as you can on both the affiliate links and the sponsored content.
AMY: Fantastic. I know you mentioned that you have two membership sites and they are doing very well. I want to know more about those. Can you give us some details about what they look like, what you’re charging and what you’re doing inside of those membership sites? I think people are very curious in terms of what that looks like.
JENNIFER: I have two membership sites that are both for very, very different things. I started both of them because I was having huge shifts in my income from month to month and it really made me not sleep well at night.
I can remember one month several years ago where I made $28,000 and then a few months later I made $1,200 online. I thought, “Oh my goodness. What am I doing wrong?”
It was crazy pants and I had to level that stinker out. So I started my first membership site almost three years ago. It’s called the Inner Circle. It’s for other business owners who are looking to grow their social media and platform; therefore, grow their checkbook online.
We started out with 100 members and then rose to 300. Over the years we have grown that to almost 1,800 members at $47 a month.
AMY: Oh my goodness, 1,800 members? That is insane. That’s fantastic.
JENNIFER: It’s so much fun. I absolutely love it. In that group every month I’m teaching them and coaching them. I’m talking to them about the Facebook algorithm changes and the new things I’m seeing on Instagram, why they need an email list.
I’m also bringing in guests that talk about things that I may not be super smart on. For instance, this month I have someone coming in and talking to them about Google and I have somebody else coming in and talking about SEO.
I’m always bringing in other people that I think would be of value to the people within my group. I know at this point, after 2 ½ years, I know enough to know that I just don’t know everything.
It’s so much juicer and so much richer for my clients when I can bring in people that are strong in areas where I am, perhaps, weak. That’s my coaching membership site which I love.
I have an entirely different site called The Paint Finish of the Month. These are for my fellow painters, my fellow creatives. I had a membership site years ago called Paint Finish of the Month and I had it at 100 or so members.
I was giving them new paint finishes twice a month and I found that I was getting kind of tired of it. I was struggling every month to sit down and come up with new techniques.
I was watching my career really transfer out of the painting industry and into the online space. It really felt heavy. Every month I had to sit down and try to figure out a paint finish to try to teach people. It just felt heavy so I was kind of letting that group slip away.
I just didn’t have the capacity for it and I didn’t have the bandwidth for it. I just didn’t have the patience for it anymore either. I was sitting in a conference one day and I heard someone say something that I wrote down.
It was like every bell just went off in my head. You don’t have to be Beyoncé. You can just be Beyoncé’s manager. I’m pretty sure it was Stu McLaren that said that. I thought, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!”
When I looked at my business I thought holy smokes! I know the best people in the painting industry. I could list off 20 people who are more talented than I am at painting right now off the top of my head.
I thought, what if instead of me trying to come up with the paint finishes every month I just brought them into my group and did what I could to market the heck out of them so it would be a win-win for both of us and let them teach my group?
I touched base with a couple of really talented painters and they were all in, “Oh my gosh, Jennifer, we would love to do that.”
I decided to relaunch the membership group. Right now we have 500 people at $27 a month who are in the membership site and literally all I do is reach out to the really talented painters and they come into my group and teach twice a month and it’s such a joy.
I get to show them off and the people in my group get to learn from different people other than myself. I just feel like what I’m providing is a playground for other creative people to kind of play in. I love it. It’s so much fun.
AMY: That is fantastic. I love that you realized it didn’t have to be you.
JENNIFER: It doesn’t have to be me and it can be such a fun low-pressure thing. I literally reach out to the instructors and say, “Hey, I have this group and, by the way, I have 320,000 Facebook fans. I would love to talk about you on Facebook. I have a list size of 50,000 and I’ll make sure I put you in my email list.”
To an entrepreneur who is super talented and maybe doesn’t have a huge audience that can be really valuable to have someone that has a larger platform reach out to them.
I try to make it such a win for them and they always bend over backwards for me. I have found there is a little bit of a side blessing that I didn’t even think about. Can I share with you what that is?
AMY: Please. I’d love to hear.
JENNIFER: I’ve had so many talented people that have been instructors in this group because we’ve been doing it this way for almost a year. Amy, this is the first time that a lot of them have ever done a recorded video. They had no idea how to do it.
They were scared to death, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know how to record myself. I have no idea how to do this.”
Now I’ve seen that it’s launching them to where they are selling a paint video for sale on their website or it’s the gateway drug to help get them to see they actually have a really valuable talent that people will pay for online.
Several of them are now starting membership sites and they are doing webinars where they are teaching people how to paint at night. I just want to cheer every time I see it because this is so amazing to see creative people stepping outside of their comfort level and being exposed to the online area and falling in love with it just like I did.
AMY: It’s so good. I love that you’re so excited for them and that could change their lives.
JENNIFER: Well yeah! I know how it changed my life and if I just get to be the smallest little stepping stone in somebody else’s story I consider that an honor and I’m happy to do that.
AMY: That’s so fantastic. I have a question for you and I’m really curious to know your opinion on it. Do you think you had to reach a certain level of notoriety before you could sell a membership site where you weren’t actually the one teaching?
Is that group success partially because people know, like, and trust you because you are a big deal and they want to be in your group? Do you think that’s necessary before you can actually switch and have somebody else teach inside your group?
JENNIFER: I think the honest answer is that it definitely helps that I have a large platform. That makes it very attractive when I reach out to coaches. But I do know some other groups that have a smaller platform and a smaller audience. They offer to pay some of their coaches.
If you do have a smaller platform that would definitely be one way of perhaps getting some people to come in and coach for you. The other thing I see that works really well is when people who have smaller audiences kind of join arms and do this thing together.
I’ll come in your group and teach your group. That way I get exposed to your group. If you come in mine I’d love for you to do that and I’ll talk about you in my group so they are cross promoting one another to each other’s audiences. That’s super powerful.
I love the saying (I don’t think James Wedmore is the one that coined it but I always give him credit), “If you want to go fast go alone and if you want to go far go together.”
When you can do that and kind of cross promote each other, if you have a smaller audience, and just help one another go in the same direction there is so much value there. I don’t think you have to have a huge platform. I do think it helps but I still think you can do it with a much smaller audience.
AMY: Great, I love that you feel that way. I want to back up just a quick second and you have this other membership site with 1,800 members in it. Because this podcast really gets down to the nuts and bolts and what it looks like I’m curious.
You might have said this and I missed it but how often are you showing up in that group? How often are you doing Facebook Lives for them or giving them new content? I’m always curious about how somebody’s doing their membership site.
JENNIFER: We give them new content every single week.
AMY: Every week?
JENNIFER: Every week. This month I will be in the group tomorrow with a guest. This guest helps other entrepreneurs who want to turn their side hustle into their day job. They are stuck in a 9-to-5 and they want to figure out how to exit out.
Next week I’m looking at their Facebook pages and I’m doing audits on their Facebook pages and giving them really guided instructions on what I think they could do to get more engagement on their page or why their reach is really tanking.
There is something like that every single week. I am there every week. I do have two VAs that help me monitor questions and those sorts of things. They definitely take care of all of the background things: The people coming into the group, the people going out, the delinquent payments, the people that are having trouble with their logon or those sorts of things.
I don’t handle any of that, Amy. I literally just come in and do the teaching.
AMY: Got it. That’s fantastic. I love how you run things. This is so interesting. I want to talk about your team. Speaking of those VAs, tell me what your team looked like when you added your first employee to where you are today.
JENNIFER: Four years ago I sat down and thought I could really feel the momentum. As a business owner you feel it. You know when things are getting a little busy and you are going to need some help.
What are you going to do? I sat down and I thought about the things that were causing me the most anxiety in my business and what were the things that I would most be excited about handing off to someone else.
Without a shadow of a doubt it was my email. Amy, I would open my email and I just wanted to run in the other direction.
AMY: Oh yes.
JENNIFER: I thought if I could give somebody me email I could do every other thing in my business. I just wanted to get rid of the email so I hired my first assistant. She is someone local in Kansas City.
For people that know me, her name is Vicki. She is an angel here on earth. I will arm wrestle anyone who ever tries to take her from me because she’s literally been with me over four years.
She’s such an integral part of this business so she’s full time with me. I have two VAs that are nearly full time. We have a really talented tech guy. We have a really talented membership site guy who does all of the techie stuff because that is not my jam.
We just added my husband full time last month so that’s what my team looks like at the moment. You know, I love my team. We just had a huge launch of Creator’s Roadmap and added 550 new members to that course.
I could not have done that without my team at all and we could not do what we’re doing in this business without them, that’s for sure.
AMY: Don’t you love it when you have a good team that you’ve put together and they are all just gelling and things are coming together?
AMY: Yes, it’s a very good feeling.
JENNIFER: I think that you can gauge the health of your team by whether you send each other gifs or not. Is it gifs or jiffs, Amy? Can we get this decided forever?
AMY: I thought you said “gifts” like the really good gifts. I thought, “That’s a good one.” I say gif but I could be wrong.
JENNIFER: Someone told me it is gif but that the gentleman that actually invented it pronounces it jiff like the peanut butter. I never really know. I don’t even know that anybody knows. But you can tell if you’ve got a healthy team if you guys are on the gif level.
If you are on the gif level, literally, if that’s how you are communicating then you know you are solid. We’re solid!
AMY: I love that you said that because my team has an Instagram communication in DMs and that’s all we do so that makes me very happy.
JENNIFER: There you go. When you get to that level you know you’re solid.
AMY: That’s so good. I love it. Okay, last but not least I would love to hear how you organize and set up systems for all you’ve got going on. I’m guessing you’re living in Dropbox and Google Drive but maybe I’m totally wrong.
JENNIFER: You’re absolutely correct. We’ve been in Dropbox for a while and several people on my team are really trying to get me over to the Google Drive side. I’ve been a little bit hesitant but they all apparently love Google Drive so now we have a lot of things there as well.
I can tell you two things we love the most to keep us organized.
AMY: Tell me.
JENNIFER: One of them is Monday.com. Do have a chance to use Monday.com?
AMY: I don’t know about that. What is that?
JENNIFER: Literally, it will pop up today on my calendar and say, “Jennifer, these are your tasks today.” I have my own podcast so I know I have to have my podcast recorded and sent to my podcast guy and then I know that one of the VAs makes the clip art for that and somebody else puts the little music together so that it goes on Instagram real pretty.
We just all have our own little things in Monday.com. It keeps everything very central. I like that because let’s say one of my team members were for some reason to leave the team. I would cry alligator tears of crying, I’m telling you.
But, if they were to leave the team then somebody else could kind of come in and at least see what they did, the days of the week they did it on. They would know they had to wait until Jennifer gets the podcast done before they can do the next thing and so on and so forth. We love Monday.com for that reason.
The other tool we cannot live without is Voxer.
AMY: Oh, you guys use Voxer a lot. Tell me how you use that among your team.
JENNIFER: I have several team chats. One is for each of my VAs. I have chats set up with them and then I have one for all three of my assistants, my main assistant and my two VAs. I have another one whenever we have something going on with tech or the website’s down, “911 emergency!”
That hits everybody on the team, Amy. Anybody who I have a Voxer name for is getting the message from me.
AMY: That’s funny.
JENNIFER: It’s just a walkie-talkie and it’s so amazing. I even prefer to communicate that way with my Facebook ads people. I think the reason is that I hate email and I just talk so much faster than I type.
If I’m going to type out a message in email it takes a minute. If I’m going to type somebody a text it’s going to have errors in it, for sure. But I can hop over to Voxer and talk my message real quick and they can respond back in real time.
Plus, I love Voxer for introverts. Amy, you’ve got to get on Voxer with me.
AMY: I need to check this out.
JENNIFER: We’ll just chat back and forth. Think of all of the things we can talk about: Our dog, being introverts, being on the sofa at night and talking to no one. I love Voxer. Our team could not do what we do without Voxer. It’s so much fun.
AMY: This is so interesting. I don’t know Monday.com and I’ve never used Voxer like that but you guys are killing it because it’s working for your team. I think one of my biggest takeaways in just this little last section is to do what works for you but just be consistent with it.
I love that you’re using something totally different than we are but you guys are crushing it and we’re crushing it. How cool is that?
JENNIFER: When you said “Instagram DM” I’m like, “She is a genius. What is she doing?” It’s like, stay in your lane Allwood. Isn’t it funny how different people do different things. It is fascinating. I agree with you, when you find out what other people are doing.
I think that is such a key to success, Amy, just figuring out what works for you, what works for your business, and just staying there regardless of what everybody else is doing. It’s just really focusing in on what feels right for you and what works really well for you and staying right there in that lane.
AMY: That’s so very true. Thank you so much for being here. I can’t let you go without asking where people can learn more about you.
JENNIFER: Awesome. If they are interested in hearing about my business and all of the coaching and things I do they can go to JenniferAllwood.com. I still blog on a regular basis about our new home and all of our home remodel projects over at TheMagicBrushInc.com.
AMY: Fantastic. Jennifer, thank you so much. This has been a true treat. I’m so glad we got to connect here.
JENNIFER: Thank you Amy. I’m so, so happy to be here. Thank you.
AMY: Thank you. Bye for now.
There you have it. I hope you loved this episode with Jennifer as much as I have. I loved how strategic she was from the very beginning. Here’s the thing, she didn’t even know she was being strategic in the beginning. She was following her passion, she was hustling, and she was doing what she needed to do to make things work.
Look how it came together for her! Remember what she said in the very beginning. She didn’t know that she would be creating $100,000+ every single month in two different membership sites plus all of the other streams of revenue she has going on.
She never looked ahead in that way, she just kept her head down and kept doing what she did best. I hope that inspires you.
It’s perfect that Gravy is sponsoring this episode since we are talking about membership sites and the fact that when you have a membership site you’re going to have payment plans.
Remember what I said in the very beginning. Gravy acts as an extension of my own business. They save me a lot of money in failed payments and they do it with compassion.
I often tease that Gravy is collections with compassion. If you are making $250,000 or more in your business and you know you are losing money with failed payment plans you’ve got to check out Gravy at https://www.amyporterfield.com/gravy.
Okay guys, I cannot wait to talk to you again next week, same time, same place. See you then!