In the last blog post, I detailed how Anala and I made a “six month success sprint.” We were able to start from scratch and create an entire curriculum, e-book, and coaching program while balancing the many responsibilities we had in our life.
In that time, we were trying to think long term in building a brand. We were on every available social media outlet daily. We spent hours making the most beautiful graphics we could to entice people to follow us.
After the six month grind, we were exhausted. It seemed like our time was wasted. Don’t get me wrong… We were incredibly proud of our work. We poured our hearts and souls into the program. However, if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
That’s how we felt. We had the world’s best program in our eyes, but nobody knew about it. Sales were minimal and mostly from supportive friends and family. Our efforts felt like they would not pay off in any way. There was no big break in sight.
I still remember the moment that I felt lowest. When we launched our ebook, I made a concerted effort to grow our social media following. I realized that we were a digital company that would benefit and likely gain more sales from more followers.
I dove in… Every single day I would participate in multiple twitter chats. I would comment on every instagram post I could find and try to add value to any large Facebook page that drew in educators. I spent hours of every day, dedicated to that mission.
A month or so after our ebook went live, I did a huge social media push with my new following. Now that I had thousands of followers, I felt like we were set to boom. For an entire week, I pushed the book in every creative way I could think of. Videos, testimonials, graphics, even free sample chapters…
One week, thousands of followers… Zero purchases.
I couldn’t understand how I flopped that hard. So much time was spent in my head running ridiculous business math. “If I have 2,000 followers and 10% buy my book, I’ll have 200 sales… If only 1% buy, I should at least sell 20. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do this?“
My answer came soon and brought a ton of clarity to my business life…
I started to slow down on social media, but the habit of posting and engaging stuck. With less concern, I began to enjoy the interactions. I was chatting with people and providing value in any way I could through my expertise. I wasn’t trying to sell anymore… I was simply engaging.
Then it happened. On a random Facebook group, I had spoke to several educators about mindset. I shared some expertise and tips directly from our ebook. I did not think anything of it, until I was approached via DM by an educator…
“You really helped me conceptualize mindset in the classroom,” she said. “Where can I learn more?” I sent her to our ebook and she quickly purchased.
Little did I know, she was a decision maker in a large school in Georgia. By helping her without pushing and being “salesy,” I had earned her trust.
Seemingly out of the blue, I received a contact from her school’s principal. She had a request. She wanted to buy copies of the ebook and a book study guide for her entire staff!
Up until that point, I had sold a few ebooks here and there. I was barely breaking three digits in sales.
This deal suddenly escalated me to a four digit number and exposure to an entire school! I quickly had validation for my product and an understanding that it does belong in schools. I felt like that grind had finally paid off in a tangible way.
The lesson that stuck to me was the fact that it wasn’t from a large following or a fancy graphic or a catchy video. I made the sale, simply because I helped one person and didn’t worry about what it meant in terms of sales.
Since then, that is how I’ve pursued business. Yes, I still put out graphics and videos and ask people to purchase my products. But with zero exceptions, my best results have always come from the simple act of helping somebody.
Want to grow your business? Start there. Be a helper and a person of quality. You will gain more customers, and more importantly, more satisfaction from the customers you have. Authenticity always wins.