My 17 Month Authority Site Case Study Continued : What I Learned While on Vacation
Many of us start our businesses with lots of skeptics. Heck, we might be skeptical of what we're doing. Hahaha. It seems it would be pretty obvious other people would be skeptics, but I've seen many times differing views on a business startup that causes conflict: between friends, spouses, parents and children, or others.
In my case, when I started my marketing services business, my family wasn't verbally in disagreement, but they also weren't certain about the market for what I was offering. Then, to make matters more complicated, my son got sick almost one year into my services business, and I decided to stop all client work and start my business all over again with affiliate marketing as the primary source of income.
They had never heard of that, and I'm sure they wondered if I was losing my mind, but luckily, they never said that. Instead, they asked me, "Tiffany, are you sure you shouldn't get a job?", or "Are you sure this is going to work out like you think?", and despite my inner skeptic, I tried my best to wear pure confidence. Everyone questioned what I was doing: my husband, my son, my parents...everyone. Despite that, I tried to look strong and respond with, "This will work" and "I'll make sure this works".
Fast Forward 17+ Months
Now, nearly 18 months has passed in my journey and I've been getting messages "Congratulations! You've recieved a new WA commission" nearly every day EVEN while I spent a day at an amusement park! I made 21 new sales, 13 recurring sales, 10 domain sales, 165 referrals, and 134 referrals credits, so I was getting notifications about more money pretty consistently.
Now, all those who had questions about whether what I was doing would work see my proof of concept, and they're encouraging me to continue. My son, my husband, my parents, my sister, and others are impressed.
Stick it out if people around you don't believe in your business now. Don't take it personal. Prove your business idea works, start racking up sales and happy customers, and they'll come around.
If you haven't seen my most recent case study, you can tell, I'm still not able to forecast next month's income. The growth seems nearly crazy. This month, I doubled many of my records: in referrals, in sales, in referral credits, and I was on vacation where my productivity wasn't it's norm! I still managed to publish 9 articles, 9 videos, and engage quite a bit, but my productivity wasn't close to what I know I'm capable of.
As a sidenote, I'll be publishing this month's stats and income by the 10th, so you'll be able to see more details if you're interested in that. In the meantime, you can take a look at the previous case studies and training I've published here.
It felt really good because this month solidified my decision from 17+ months ago to focus on building an asset that made it possible for me to earn an income without a direct time-money exchange.
My Family Finally "Gets it"
Real estate and online business (or intellectual property as a whole) has many similar passive components. For each of them, there's a time where you work and a time where the work pays off passively.
My parents have always been in real estate. They've been investors since I was born. My dad bought his first house at 18 years old, and by the time I was born (when he was 25) he had turned the first property into a stream of rental income.
Now, they have several rental properties, several properties they've flipped, and they've always coached me to go into that business. I love real estate, but I don't want it to be my primary job. Instead, I'd prefer to be in a strategic position in real estate rather than day-to-day operations. I'd like to hire out many of the positions there, and focus my attention on the business that best uses my talents. I much prefer running a media company as my primary job.
I know I could probably work more on succession now with my parents and focus my energy on the real estate business, but I love affiliate marketing, and my parents have never understood it until this trip.
How I Explained Affiliate Marketing to My Parents
One morning, my mom and I were talking about the real estate business (which is fairly normal for us). My mom started doing her happy dance. Hahaha.
She was excited because one of their customers had followed her recommendation to go to one of their vendors who gives them a commission. In my mom's case, she manages several rental properties (mostly her own) and she refers tenants to hardware stores (for little DIY projects or repairs they want to do), insurance companies (for rental insurance), and when fellow property managers ask for recommendations, she refers them to vendors she uses. She never realized she was doing affiliate marketing!
When she was telling me the situation, I said to her, "Mom, that's affiliate marketing! That's what I'm doing too, but I'm just focusing a larger percentage of my income on referring others to good products and services."
At that moment, it "clicked" for her. She understood what I'd been telling her all along.
Affiliate Marketing and Many Merchants
In my mom's case, she works with many vendors, but most of the merchants track their referrals mentally or using very old school techniques. My mom will tell her referral "make sure to let them know I've sent you and they'll give you my volume discount", and the tracking is entirely trust-based.
They don't know about tracking software, tracking links, hyperlinking, link cloaking, or leveraging the internet to streamline the entire process. They also don't know the process is formally called "affiliate marketing" or how much their businesses could blow up if they knew!
Once my mom and dad "got it", then they could see the power of what I'm doing! They also started mapping out how they could take more initiative to earn a higher income from referrals. There is so much potential for affiliate marketing because:
- Many merchants don't know a more streamlined and easier to manage process exists
- Many people don't realize they can get paid from referring people to products and services they love
- and, the internet is making commerce so much easier
The Priority of My Business is Clear
Added to my mom and dad understanding my business model, I was able to solidify it works and how I do it. They have major work ethic, but they could see my seriousness about my business because my work hours were similar to theirs.
They would wake up early to follow up on tenant requests, pay invoices, coordinate repairs, and so on. While they were handling the tasks of their businesses, I was shooting my videos, doing my blog posts, doing research, or outlining the courses I'll be publishing soon.
They grew confidence in my business by seeing my dedication, perseverence, and results. I have two kids: one 12 years old, one 2 years old, and I was babysitting my niece who is 7. Added to that, my parents have a huge social circle, so there's always lots of people visiting, and many people wanted to catch up with me since I've lived away from my hometown for the last 13 years.
My days were full, but because of my commitment to my business, I would muster the energy to wake up before 6 AM every day to work, to break away a few times per day to respond to referrals and PMs, and to stay up at night to tie all loose ends. My discipline grew my confidence and it made everyone around realize how serious I am about my business.
People who thought my business was a hobby or a "side thing" that I'm experimenting with realize now that my business is a very serious thing because I treat it more serious and more priority than if I was working for someone else.
Moving Forward with More Confidence than Ever
In addition to my growing confidence personally and in my family, my WA family was so instrumental. I saw the messages from you all asking me if I was okay since I've been away more than normal, and those that showed appreciation for my blogs and training.
I saw the results of people who have taken my training and reported higher commissions, higher conversion rates, more traffic, and other exciting results. Thanks so much for sharing your results with me and using your results to encourage others!
Every succes story I hear from my training inspires me to make more training, make better training, and to stay on the path. It's like confirmation that I'm blossoming where I'm planted, so thanks so much!
This trip awakened so much confidence, reassurance, motivation, and overall, it changed the trajectory of my future. I'm sure I'll be referencing the impact of this trip for years to come.
Thanks WA family for all of your support and trust me, I have my best blog posts and training coming.
I walked away from this trip realizing I could do better with communicating to people who have been following my life journey for years. I could do better with rekindling relationships with those who need my help. Also, I could do better with maintaining my health while pursuing my business goals. I don't need to neglect exercise simply because I want to create lots of content.
As a result, I decided to implement some new challenges and reconfigure my schedule to make these things happen. In the month of August, I'll be working towards these goals:
- Reinvest my sales into PPC
- Set up a PPC campaign
- Continue learning about PPC advertising on Google and Bing
- Exercise daily to start my morning (and send my extra weight gain into the past--Hahaha)
- Record more lifestyle content on mobile
- Post lifestyle content and blog content onto Instagram and Facebook
- Create 8-12 Pinterest pins and share them
- 8-12 blog posts
- 8-12 Youtube videos
- Spend 1hr/day optimizing old content
- Spend 1/2 day Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on course creation
Let's see how I do. I like shooting high and giving it my all. I need to increase my # of prospects more (especially if I want to make it to Vegas), so I'm focused on increasing my traffic.
How are you challenging yourself in August 2019?
What new tasks are you taking on? What new habits are you implementing? What new thing are you trying to learn? What old thing are you getting better at?