How many times were you told to work hard so you can be successful?
We all work hard for our business. Who doesn’t? But working hard is just half of the story, the other half is working smart.
In this week’s episode, we have Amanda Abella of Make Money Your Honey podcast and Persuade to Profit Training. She is a millennial personal finance and business expert who lives to work smart rather than hard.
Amanda’s website: https://www.amandaabella.com/
Katie Brinkley 0:02
Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley, and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs, realtors and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to Rocky Mountain marketing. I am so excited to share today’s guest with you because she’s been featured in a lot of publications. You’ve probably seen her in Forbes, The Huffington Post. She’s also been in Business Insider, Univision. I mean, the list goes on. But you know, today’s guests, I’m going to have them introduce themselves to you. Today’s guest is Amanda a Beya. Welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have you with us today.
Amanda Abella 0:52
Thank you for having me. Yeah. So currently, what I do is I’m the CEO and founder of make money, your honey, it’s a marketing and sales training company for women, creatives and consultants, and coaches who are looking to scale their businesses. So essentially, what we do is, we hope teach you how to triple your revenue while working half the time. And we can accomplish it in 90 days by teaching our framework which covers system influence and sales. And the way that I ended up here was I actually started, you know, in the news, right now everybody’s talking about the great resignation. And you have 10s of 1000s of people quitting their jobs or not going back to their jobs, and you know, working online and entrepreneurship is through the roof. Well, my first taste of the great resignation was in 2010. So I’ve been in it for a minute. Yeah. And basically what happened was, I started a business as a freelance writer back in 2010, because I couldn’t find a job. After the Great Recession, I did end up finding employment at some point, but I kept the freelance writing on the side, because I was scared to just rely on one thing. And then that freelance writing business turned into an eight year career as a financial writer, I built a whole brand, as a financial expert, had my work featured in a ton of places. You know, I had clients like Wells Fargo, discover credit, karma was like writing their blogs, basically. And then I also did a financial education campaigns for companies like TransUnion. So I did that for about eight years. And around year six, I started running into a problem. And that problem was I couldn’t scale my freelance business. So I basically felt like I had to start over and do a plan B. And then the other thing, and this was around 2016, I started having these thoughts was, I was like, wow, because I was in the financial space, we’re always talking about when’s the next crisis. And I was like, Man, my current business would not survive if there was another crisis. And we’re like way overdue for one. So I got to come up with a plan B, I got to do something different. Because my current business model, it just wouldn’t survive. And I can’t make any more money because there are more hours in a day. So I started to get really frustrated. Even though I was successful. I was really frustrated. And what ended up happening was for years, people had been asking me, Well, how did you build the business? How did you build this brand, I worked with some big names in the financial space, and I coached them one on one on the side of my freelance business. And I basically decided to put it together into a program. It’s called persuade to profit. The first time we brought it out was four years ago. And that was my first foray into teaching, marketing and sales and really starting to scale my business. And when I brought that out into the marketplace, I made $10,000 in cash in two weeks, which is a lot more money a lot faster than I was making as a freelance writer
Katie Brinkley 3:43
for you. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, like, it’s $10,000 in two weeks isn’t seen. And I think that, you know, that’s where you found something that people wanted. But yeah, go ahead. I’d love to finish your story, because this is getting juicy.
Amanda Abella 3:58
Yeah. And there’s a lot of other stuff that’s happened. I have an Amazon best selling book, like I’ve done a whole bunch of stuff. I’ve tried, like everything under the sun. But what really started hitting it, what really started becoming very successful for us, which is exactly what I teach my clients right now is when I focused on simplifying and scalable high ticket offers. That was a that was the ticket and sales, right? Not just marketing, right? Everybody teaches marketing, but sales and sales skills. So when I started focusing on that for myself, I mean, my business doubled in revenue and profits within 18 months, I had to hire my first employee because I was drowning. So I had another problem, you know, quit all my freelance clients one day when, you know, I was in an argument with an editor, and I knew it was her fault because I’d been doing this a long time and I’m like, No, you’re definitely wrong. And then at the same time, I had someone in my DMs who wanted to pay me 10 grand for consulting and I’m like, What am I doing with life? And that day, I quit all my freelance clients. Well,
Katie Brinkley 5:00
uh, you know, I think that too, that’s a big shift. And it’s scary. Like you said, quitting all of your current clients, especially if they’ve been with you for a while. I mean, you’ve been doing this since 2010. And to end those contracts, that’s, I think that’s the sign that you know that what you have is legit, is when you can fire that your clients because you’re able to pick and choose the work that you’re doing and who you work with.
Amanda Abella 5:27
Yeah. And to be honest, I probably could have done it six months sooner. I just wasn’t tracking the numbers, right, but persuade to profit and me just focusing on selling that. I mean, it blew what I was making freelance writing out of the water, you know, then I started going into, Oh, dang it. Now I got to scale this thing, because now I have it just blew up really fast. Yeah, right. And we, it’s been a process of team building and scaling and processes and systems for about two and a half years. And now we’re on the other side of that, which feels really, really good. But essentially, that was my big lesson. And I tell clients all the time, like, Listen, guys, I tried everything, literally everything. I’ve been a freelance writer, I’ve been a speaker. I’ve done influencer work. I’ve done affiliate marketing, I have sold lower price point products. And the one thing that got me results, the fastest was scalable, high ticket offers and focusing on knowing how to sell that.
Katie Brinkley 6:26
Okay, so I want to stop you right there. And because people are like, Okay, Amanda, you got me excited about this. But what the heck is a high ticket offer? Just explain exactly what a high ticket offer is?
Amanda Abella 6:38
Yeah. So it’s subjective. But essentially, it’s something you can charge 1000s of dollars for. So for example, the current iteration of persuade to profit, it’s a 90 day program. You know, we have nine group coaching calls, we have a sales bootcamp, and we review all your assignments, that’s obviously a 10 figure offer, or not a 10. Figure, sorry. That’s another offer I’ll work on later. It’s a five figure offer, right? Because the value is there, right? Or we have clients that they sell video trainings, we have a client, now she’s a career coach. She was doing resume writing, she was doing interview coaching, she was doing all the things, we helped her put it together into a video training in the beta group, the beta version of that training, she was selling for $3,600. Just videos, just videos, and she made $17,000 in a week. That’s all. Yeah, so that’s what I mean, by a scalable high ticket offer. I think a lot of times when people think high ticket, they think it either has to be like one on one coaching, or done for you services, which, yeah, but if you’re going to be doing that make it like $25,000. So how do we set you up to make the one on one stuff or the done for you service? The most expensive thing on the menu?
Katie Brinkley 7:47
Yeah. And I think that that is one of the things too, where I know, for me, when I first got started, I didn’t you know, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs are like this, especially in the freelancing world. You don’t know what to charge, you know, it’s very hard to find your worth and to find your rates. So I love that you’re helping your clients figure out how to one do those high ticket offers, but to scale so that they’re not just stuck to and done for you services at prices that, you know, typically you’d find only overseas. And so that’s where it’s really hard to try and find your worth. How do you help your clients figure out what their worth is?
Amanda Abella 8:26
So we actually have a litmus test a lot of people talk about, it’s all in the value. And of course, we teach on that stuff. But I feel like everybody talks about that. So what I want to do is I just want to share the litmus test, I just tested with numbers. Right. So question number one, how do you want to live your life? And I think every person needs to ask themselves this when I was a personal finance expert and a writer, we had to ask that question all the time. How do you want to live your life and then you create your budget or your financial plan around that? Right? It’s the same thing in business? How do you want to live your life? Right? And then design a business that allows you to do that? I think what happens for most people is they don’t ask themselves that question first. I sure didn’t. I don’t know if you did when you were just getting started. I did not. And then you just end up in what I call a dumpster fire business, because it was not designed to support you. So I think that’s that’s the first question. That’s the first question every single person needs to ask themselves, because then you’re going to know what kind of a model you need to build. Yes,
Katie Brinkley 9:25
that is so true. And I think that when you know what, what you want to make, that will completely determine as to how scalable it is.
Amanda Abella 9:34
And that was one of the problems. Yeah. Second question. Go ahead.
Katie Brinkley 9:37
I’ll just say yeah, that was one of the problems that I had is that I didn’t have the right pricing in place so that I could never actually really afford to hire anybody. So that was one of my biggest hurdles is to be like, Okay, well now how do I figure out to determine what I’m worth? I did it all backwards. And so I love it that to
Amanda Abella 9:54
me, too. I did it all backwards to I think most of us did.
Katie Brinkley 9:59
Oh, Those listening to the podcast will not because they’ve heard that.
Amanda Abella 10:04
Yes, we will, we will help you avoid 10s of 1000s, maybe hundreds of 1000s of dollars of mistakes. Right?
Katie Brinkley 10:10
Exactly. That’s the goal.
Amanda Abella 10:13
That’s the goal, right? And then the second thing, how much money do you want to make? So if you want to live this life, how much does it cost? And how much money do you need to make great, we’ve got those two things figured out. Right? It should give you a pretty good idea of what your business model needs to be. And for most people, that means it’s something that needs to be scaled, right? Or can be scaled can be replicated, right. And what I mean by that is, it can be replicated by your customers and your clients. And it can also be replicated by teams, so you don’t have to deliver it yourself. Right? For most people, if they get really honest about the amount of money that they want to make, that’s usually a model that they have to start going after. So that’s the second thing. And then the third test is a litmus test, right? So you know, I come from sales, I’ve been doing sales stuff since the age of 20. I was doing sales before I knew I was doing sales. And we’re always talking about close rates. So I’m like, let’s just take average close rates across industries, right, if an average close rate is between 20 and 30%. And again, this is across industries, my close rates higher than that your close rates, probably higher than that, you know, we have clients getting 80 90% close rates after we train them, right, but let’s just take the average for the sake of pricing. So if average close rates are between 20 and 30%. Here’s your litmus test. So let’s say you want to make $10,000 a month because everybody wants to do the $10,000 a month, and you’re only charging $500 For like, I’ve seen women charge $500 to help people plan whole launch strategies. So grossly under charging, but it happens, it happens all the time. So let’s say you’re charging $500 for whatever your thing is, that means you would need to close 20 new clients a month at $500 to get your $10,000. Right. Okay, cool. So we got that. Now, if your close rate is between 20 and 30, that means you probably need to talk to you know, damn near 100 people in a 30 day period as an actually have a conversation with them. And then to get those 100 people, let’s say you have a 5% booking rate, which again, is kind of normal and standard. Okay, well, then you need to be exposed to 1000s of people in a month. So, test your pricing against that, do you have the time to do that? Do you even want to do that? For most people, they don’t have the time, they don’t want to, or they just don’t have the exposure to 1000s of people in order to be able to make that happen. So if all those three are no, okay, well, your price needs to go up.
Katie Brinkley 12:34
Yeah, mic drop right there. And I think that that is one of the biggest things too, is, you know, you’re doing all that math. And I’m like, Man, she’s spouting off these numbers, way faster than I can.
Amanda Abella 12:45
I’ve said this a lot. That’s why I’ve had to do this explanation a lot. We literally teach that to our clients. So that’s why I can say it’s so fast. Trust me, it took me a while to get it down like that.
Katie Brinkley 12:57
It’s true. And you’re saying all this, like, man, it’s, it is so true. How is that a scale? You know, that’s not scalable business, if you have to try and talk to 1000 people a month, especially if you’re doing a done for you service? I mean, how on earth? Are you going to spend any time doing the work when you’re constantly on the phone trying to sell?
Amanda Abella 13:17
Exactly or the opposite is true? We’ve had clients who’ve booked themselves solid with one on one work, and then they don’t have time to keep bringing in more money. Yep.
Katie Brinkley 13:26
And no, I mean, but that that was the the problem I was in as I had too many clients, and I didn’t have any time for sales calls. And so I was like, Well, how do I hire? Do I hire a salesperson? I feel like, that’d be kind of you know, put doing things backward. So what do you recommend, like when a business is scaling? What do you say the first, the first thing is that they should do?
Amanda Abella 13:48
So I would say there’s okay, there’s really only three ways to scale, right? It’s intellectual property, its systems and technology. And it’s hiring people. So let’s take the two most basic ways people scale intellectual property versus an agency. Intellectual property is basically you take what you’ve been doing with people one on one and you create a system out of it, you create a framework out of it, you create a process out of it, right. And with our clients, we help them create the actual programs and process plus we’ll help them create frameworks and assessments and all that kind of stuff. But it’s your intellectual property, right? So it could be a series of videos, and you sell the videos at a high ticket price, depending on what it is you’re teaching them, right? Or maybe it’s group coaching, something that leverages your time. So That’s option number one for scaling. Option number two for scaling is building an agency right? So when I was a freelance writer, which you’re basically a marketer, it’s okay, well, do I want to build an agency do I want to have subcontractors under me? And then I had to ask myself my quite a question. I’m like, does that fit with the way I want to live my life? Well, the answer was no. I did not want to manage that amount of people. So for me, the answer became okay, you’re going to scale the route of intellectual property. And what I have found is most people, that’s usually what they end up leaning toward. Because they just don’t want to manage a bunch of people and run an agency and all that. But it totally depends on the person.
Katie Brinkley 15:15
It’s true. I mean, that’s where with my business, I was at the point of getting ready to scale. And I was like, Okay, this is where I’m going to start hiring people and bringing in, you know, Junior social media managers, and maybe I’ll bring in an assistant, and then I will then COVID happen. And I was like, well, okie dokie. And I was found that I was still making the same amount of sales calls, but the sales calls had changed. They went from people saying, Yeah, Katie, do my social media to Katie, Teach me your ways, teach me all the social media stuff that you’ve learned over 16 years? Tell me all your secrets. And I was like, Oh, okay. So I, over the past year, I scaled my business selling just that my intellectual property, as you called it. And it was, it’s been great. And now that the world has opened up again, I found that I’m getting both options coming in to me and my business. And I do have a team. Now I have an assistant, I have a junior copywriter, I have a designer. So it’s I’m at a point now where I now have a high ticket item for to work with me directly. And then a lower ticket item to do the done for you social media services. But that’s on a reoccurring basis. And I think that it’s worked out really well, that pandemic allowed me that opportunity to really kind of see that as an option, even the intellectual property option, because it never even would have occurred to me to train people what I’ve learned,
Amanda Abella 16:43
yeah, and the beautiful thing about it is, you know, you can hire and train people to train your clients, and you don’t even have to do it yourself. Yeah, yeah. And that’s how you build freedom.
Katie Brinkley 16:53
And so yeah, let’s talk about freedom. Because I think that that is that is every entrepreneurs dream. I mean, that’s why they decided to leave the corporate world is because they don’t want to just be in the neverending rat race, or, you know, the hamster wheel. So talk to us a little bit about how you help a lot of your clients achieve that freedom, that entrepreneurial freedom, which can seem kind of hard, especially when you’re trying to grow your own empire.
Amanda Abella 17:19
Yeah, well, first of all, I think this comes in stages. And I think that’s really important. It comes in different seasons. So you know, season number one is like hustling your ass off basically, right? To just get that first client or get the thing in the door. And for a lot of people, they start off with one or one, one on one or done for you. And that’s fine, right? Because it’s kind of like the easiest thing, you just hang your shingle tomorrow, and you can close somebody. So it reported requires the least amount of prep work. So I understand why people do that just to get the money in the door. Then there’s the second season and the second season is like, oh, wait a second. Okay, so now I’m like, super booked with one on one work. And this isn’t working out for me anymore. And I got to figure something else out. So that’s when you move into that scaling phase, right? And usually, it’s a shift in business model. It’s a shift in how you’re actually doing things from there, then it’s like, okay, great. So I’ve got more cash flow coming in. Because I made the shift into something more scalable. Now I need to hire people. Now I need to train people to deliver on my behalf, or I need to train a number to to run this business without me. So for example, I’m at a stage in my business. Now my team is holding me to this. Where I don’t work Fridays, right? During the pandemic. I mean, I was working all the time. It’s how I kept myself distracted from everything that was going on. And I was like, the world’s going to open up again, at some point, and I just want to make sure all our systems are done. By the time that happens, and but now it’s like, okay, they’re working. Right. And my job now is okay, you’re only working four days a week. And let me tell you, that is hard, right? I think. So then the next phase is like actually allowing yourself to have more freedom, which I’ve had a lot of people on my podcast like Fabien Fredrickson, David Nagel, like people making multi millions of dollars, and they’re like, yeah, when you start allowing yourself that freedom after having to work so hard, it feels really weird. So I think that’s another phase two is actually allowing yourself to have it and trusting that things are going to be okay. So there’s, there’s like stages to this. And it’s not like a one night one day to the next thing, right? It it doesn’t happen overnight. There’s different phases. Now, what I will say is that it doesn’t have to take your listeners as long as it took us. We made all the mistakes for you. Yeah. Right. I
Katie Brinkley 19:41
mean, I will say that that’s why people sign up to work with with you because they learn to do as I say not as I did, because you made those mistakes for your clients and you can kind of just skip to the front of the line when people work with you.
Amanda Abella 19:57
Yeah, now what we can do is help you triple revenue within 90 days. And that’s by teaching you how to package up what you have into something scalable. That’s probably the the easiest part of all of this, honestly, because then you start making all the money and then you’re like, Oh, crap, I need team Oh, crap systems. Oh, crap process didn’t and now it’s like next level problems.
Katie Brinkley 20:17
Okay, so you said systems and processes, just them and my business coach, she talks about it all the time. You know, can you just, I know that I’m asking you to kind of do a dictionary dump on on us today. But just talk to us a little bit about what systems and processes mean?
Amanda Abella 20:34
I’ll give you my definition, how I’ve come to learn. So for me, it’s like, okay, what are the things in this business that are repeatable? So for example, what’s our sales process? Right? And we actually help our clients figure out that part for themselves, because oftentimes, they can’t tell me, what is your sales process? How does someone turn from like a social media follower or someone who visited your website? What is the process that they actually move through to become a buyer? And is that documented? Or is that automated? Or is that built out? Another one could be customer service? Right? Okay, what is the customer service process? If someone has an issue with a payment? What’s the process for that? I mean, we could get really, really granular with this and very detailed, but it’s those things in your business that you have to do over and over and over again. And either they can be automated or put into a process so somebody else can duplicate it.
Katie Brinkley 21:30
Yes. And that is perfect. Because I think that, once you have it’s can seem tedious to put all of those systems and processes in Oh, it’s extremely
Amanda Abella 21:39
tedious. I feel like I was burned out for like three months after building them out for two and a half years. Yeah, it’s extremely tedious. I’m not gonna lie.
Katie Brinkley 21:48
But once it’s done, it’s done. And yeah, you’ve just given the keys, it took me three months to do it. But now you’ve just given Oh,
Amanda Abella 21:56
no, it took me two and a half years to do and stop being salty about it like,
Katie Brinkley 22:03
well, but that but now you have somebody on your team that can take those processes and just implement them so that you can go Yeah, parts of your business, doing things that you’re passionate
Amanda Abella 22:12
about? Totally, one of the reasons we’re on so many podcasts, or I’m working on developing my own podcast is because now I have the time to do it. Right. Whereas before, it was like, do whatever marketing you can get done. Just get it out there. Right, while you’re building all this stuff out. Now, it’s like more intentional than it was for a couple years.
Katie Brinkley 22:32
For real, and I think you know, that that was one thing to where I like, as I said earlier, you know, before we hit record, but you know, I have a podcast editor. And that was one of the things where once I got a podcast editor, it made a world of difference, because I had no idea how much time I was actually spending, booking the guests and then doing the interview and doing research on the guest and then editing the podcast and then schedule. I mean, like, once I got some help. That’s when I was like, Oh, this podcast is fun again. And I think that that’s how it goes for a lot of our businesses. That’s how it goes for us as we are continuing to grow and to scale that that delegation and getting those systems and processes into place. Those are the things you need to do in order to really help your business grow and become a full time real job, not just something taking the place of your previous nine to five. And actually, it’s turned into a seven to seven or 24 hour gig because you know, the joys of entrepreneurship, but these are the things that you need to have in place if you want to scale.
Amanda Abella 23:34
Absolutely, you know, and now we have passive income coming into the business, we have every single process documented and organized. You know, I’m interviewing salespeople on Friday, great, everything’s in our employee onboarding, everything’s documented. We have scripts, everything that I could have possibly thought of in terms of what can be put into a system or a process that someone else can do. That’s what my number two and I have been building for two and a half years. And when you’re ready to hire people, it actually makes it easier. So for example, we just recently hired an associate coach in the last few months, who’s now delivering our main program to our clients. And part of the reason it transition was so easy, besides the fact that I made a good hire, which is a whole other skill set in and of itself a whole other thing, right, but because everything was so systematized and put into processes, you know, she was able to kind of pick up from where I left off and improve upon our Manual for Teachers, right or improve the program itself or improve. She basically trained herself because I had everything already documented for her.
Katie Brinkley 24:42
Yeah. And that’s where it makes it so much easier to train people now and have that remote team with different applications. And just loom is one of my favorite but just you okay, this is how you do this. And then there’s that video forever walking somebody through how to do it and you just literally did it yourself. So To kill two birds with one stone right there. So having those remote teams and having again the right systems the right processes in place, make growing so much more achievable at this day and age.
Amanda Abella 25:11
Yeah, I will say the weirdest part is when you’re used to hustling. I don’t know if this happened to you. I’d be curious to know. I’ve been told it’s pretty normal by like Mike McCalla wits and Fabian Frederickson. But what happened to me is I was so used to hustling and grinding for 11 years. Right that now that I don’t have to do that anymore. It’s like really weird.
Katie Brinkley 25:31
Well, I mean, this has been an awesome conversation, the time really flew by it did. I mean, I’ve looked at the time and I’m like, holy cow with that. That’s a wrap. If people want to connect with you further, if they want to learn more about you and what you do, what is the best way for people to get in touch with you?
Amanda Abella 25:47
Yeah, so there’s a couple of things you can do. You can join our free Facebook group. We have a couple of live trainings in there every week sales, marketing, putting products together and then all you have to do is text the word join 28333210314 And it’ll show you how to do it. If you want to check out my podcast go to make money your honey calm and you could get the podcast player we’ve had people like Gay Hendricks Mike McCalla wits, Fabian Fredrickson, Arielle Ford, on the podcast, sharing their wisdom about money. And then if you want to learn more about persuade to profit, just go to persuade to profit.com.
Katie Brinkley 26:22
Awesome. Well, thank you again, so much for coming on the show. It’s been a pleasure having you. Thanks so much for having me. One of the things that I loved about this episode with Amanda was the fact that we were able to really dive in to the different things that need to take place if you want to grow and scale your business. And I love how Amanda said, you know, learn from my mistakes. And same with me, that was some of the things that I struggled with when I was first starting my business and putting these systems these processes into place. And making sure that you have the right product around what you’re trying to sell is what’s going to help you take your business to that next step. Whether it’s delegating different parts of your business like social media out to different people or just delegating and getting the assistance into place or if you want to sell your intellectual property, you still need to have those systems and processes in place to help you grow and scale your business. So huge. Thank you again to Amanda for joining me on this week’s episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at www.nextstepsocialcommunications.com. Connect with me on LinkedIn or check me out on Instagram. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.