Welcome to the all new Marketing Creativity with me, Lisa Jacobs!
Having this site redesigned and redeveloped was the biggest investment I’ve made in my career to date. I hired a world-class brand and web designer, Ann of Grit & Wit. She leads a team of highly talented professionals, and together they delivered the website of my dreams.
The new Marketing Creativity is yours to peruse at your convenience, and I’m going to use this post to show you what’s changed over the years that enabled me to make this type of investment in the first place. After all, the new look cost just shy of $15,000 (to include professional photography and home office remodel, in addition to design and development).
That’s more than I spend on most cars I buy.
But, the price didn’t scare me off. Last year I shattered the six-figure ceiling by doing what the next level version of me would do. I realized that if I wanted to earn upwards of 100K, I needed a 100K plan combined with a 100K mindset. I needed to make 100K decisions. It required a 100K work ethic. And most of all, I needed to believe my business was worth every single dollar before I earned it!
The result: I earned a quarter of a million dollars, same year.
And by the way, I created that success with a website that looked like this …
I’ve gone from a steady $28K annual salary to a steady 6-figure salary, and there’s one thing I’ve learned for sure along the way: What your business pulls in says a lot about you. It speaks to how committed you are, the risks you’re willing to take, the time and money you’re willing to invest, and the success you believe you deserve.
In 2016, I bought the training I needed, upgraded to the software I wanted, and I hired help. My business wasn’t earning six-figures at the time, but I stopped looking at investments as losses and started trusting their return.
My clients paid me based on the quality of my work (thankfully), and I’m so proud of how far I got with that website (it cost me about $750 to have it designed and developed back in 2014).
Now, I have a new next level: The million-dollar ceiling. As with my former next level, if I want to earn upwards of 1 mil in a year’s time, I need a 1 mil action plan combined with a 1 mil mindset. I need to make 1 mil decisions. It requires a 1 mil work ethic. And most of all, I need to believe my business is worth every single dollar before I earn it!
If you’re ready to change your current trajectory and launch toward your own next level success, you too must ask yourself what the next level version of you would DO. Then, you must take those actions now.
So, as I share with you the newly redesigned and redeveloped Marketing Creativity, I also want to share 7 changes I made to outgrow my limitations, barriers, and obstacles at each stage. Additionally, I’ll tell you how I plan to take things to the next next level (and shatter the million-dollar glass ceiling)!
#1 Trust the business to provide
In order to achieve the next level in my business, I know I need to trust my business to provide and barrel roll through my goals. There can be no pumping of the breaks, doubting my abilities, or second-guessing the direction I’m headed.
I stopped him-hawing on trivial decisions in both personal life and work, such as, Should I buy that book? Should I upgrade my phone? Should I invest in more business training?
Don’t *hope* you’ll hit your target, barrel roll through it. There’s no room for uncertainty, and there’s no time for hesitation.
The 30K me: Worked on a shoe-string budget and collected profits without trusting, or even thinking about, long-term gain. I didn’t rely on the income at all, and only used the funds for extra spending money.
The 250K me: Set monthly income goals, and took responsibility for personal expenses. I bought myself my first brand new car and hired an assistant before I hit the six-figure mark. These commitments stretched my financial comfort zone, but it also forced me to become a true professional.
The 1Mil me: Unabashedly invests in myself (in both personal and professional aspects). I make risky decisions that 98% of online business owners avoid, such as hiring full-time support, signing contracts with world-class professionals, and publicly sharing income reports.
#2 Build confidence
Outward appearances matter, just not as much as we think they do in the beginning.
When I set out to increase my income, I thought I needed a better website to make it happen. (I didn’t.) My web design had always been make do: a WordPress template and a graphic designer I found online. The cheap contracts cost way more than they were worth in frustration, broken things I never knew how to fix, and overall jankiness.
I cleaned up what I could and saved up for what I wanted. Along the way, I presented myself as if I already had the professional appearance I craved.
The new design is a daily reminder that I said “yes! I believe” to my career, talents, and abilities. It displays all of my hard work so beautifully and showcases my expertise so efficiently.
The 30K me: Worried myself into a rut. I didn’t feel recognized enough to make my work known, and I deeply resented people with over-the-top false confidence.
The 250K me: Studied those jokers with false confidence! You know who I mean: they’re louder, less informed, overrated, and less qualified, but they act as though they’re the leader of the free world … oh my gosh, they are! Anyway, I realized that presenting myself with confidence was an area of weakness, and I was so resentful because it’s sometimes a strength in the lesser qualified.
The 1Mil me: Knows my worth as a service provider and yours as a client. I deeply value us both, and I confidently help tens of thousands of online business owners on a daily basis.
#3 Hire pros
This goes hand in hand with building confidence, and comes up again in the next section. Your network online and the people you surround yourself with in real life matter way more than you realize.
The 30K me: Built a jerry-rigged system, used bulky membership plug-ins, and signed up for an “affordable” email management.
The 250K me: Developed a stream-lined, automated system, bought a powerful membership software, hired a full-time assistant and on-call support staff, signed up for customer relationship management, and bought the least janky webinar software money can buy (none have been excellent). I also hired tax professionals, but continued to DIY photography and bookkeeping.
The 1Mil me: Has custom-built everything. I hired the best designer, developer, lawyer, and bookkeeper. I retained the best assistant. I’ll soon have self-hosted opt-ins and sales sequences, and I’m fearlessly chasing more upgrades.
#4 Value your time
When I say “value your time,” I mean, DEEPLY VALUE YOUR TIME in all caps; I’m begging from the bottom of my heart.
Don’t let people call you during your work hours and drone on and on because they’re bored at their job. Don’t let text messages interrupt your day just because they know you’re home. Don’t let people guilt-trip or depend on you for their happiness. And please, for the love of the living, excuse yourself from toxic relationships right this minute.
I found it utterly impossible to build my self-esteem while core relationships in my life seemed determined to tear it down. I started to pay close attention to my conversations about success in business. If I felt the need to “soften the blow” of my good news because the person I told would be threatened by it, I recognized that person as an emotional vampire.
The 30K me: Answered the phone on-call for friends and family (during their bus rides, breaks at work, daily commutes, lunch hours, etc.). They knew I was laying the bricks of my business, but I was “too polite” to tell them I could not be disturbed. I was involved with toxic relationships in which I didn’t feel safe enough to share even the smallest of wins. The success I did share was either ignored or excused as fluke circumstance. During this period, one relative sarcastically said in jest, “Oh yeah, you’re going to make a million dollars.” True story.
One of my favorite quotes on the topic is from Will Smith,
If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.
The 250K me: Let everyone know I was not to be disturbed during work hours. Period. I changed my home phone and refused to give out the new number—that was my “office” line. My response to the kickback I received: “I don’t call you at work, so don’t call me there, either.” My boundaries were met with resistance and confusion. I stopped “softening the blow” when discussing my success. I no longer sought validation and approval outside of myself. Toxic relationships were suffocated and/or banned.
The 1Mil me: Loves investing in relationships that are genuine and authentic. I enjoy meeting new people. New people serve as a reminder that I have, in my home, the very best people on the planet (my husband and children). My focus is them, and the rest is just a bonus. I’m thankful that the people we let into our circle add value and friendship to the clean, healthy energy we create.
#5 Don’t give your power away
As I was finding success in business, a reality series about entrepreneur, Jillian Michaels aired on TV. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and in many of her dealings, Jillian threatens the room with a metaphorical bazooka.
What I’ve learned since then is that, when it comes to business, there is always a bazooka in the room. The bazooka represents the power, so if you want to succeed, you better make sure it’s in your corner. And if anybody’s going to wield it during a transaction, it has to be you.
One thing I’ve really paid attention to in this last year is: When my power escapes me, how did I lose it and whom did I give it to? At first, I was scared that owning my power meant losing my softness, that I would somehow be harder. I was literally shaking the first time I picked up the bazooka in a meeting, but I came away with the control and the respect I deserved in the situation.
The 30K me: Sought constant validation and approval outside of myself, waited for some ambiguous “big break” to come along and prove my worth, looked to gatekeepers (traditional book publishers, Etsy editors, WordPress spotlights, etc.) in hopes of being featured or recognized.
The 250K me: Said, “screw that!” to all of the above. I made a name for myself by myself, single-handedly claimed best-seller status on Amazon, took my talents to CreativeLive (I’ve taught four courses there so far), unabashedly self-promoted, and sold my high-quality, high-value membership and courses like a boss. #joinmeorgetoutofmyway
The 1Mil me: Looks for opportunities to strengthen my power, and I welcome every new challenge that tests my boundaries. This year, I’ll show up more in every way: on camera, in person, for my dreams, in my career. I relentlessly pursue excellence.
#6 Honor your talent
I liken my business to a doctor’s practice. Imagine an experienced physician—studied, trained, and skilled—answering her own phones, recording new patient information, monitoring each person’s blood pressure and temperature, taking her own notes and records, and doing the billing at the end of each appointment.
Would you respect her expertise more or less for it?
How about if you had her email address and felt entitled to ask questions, send comments, and make requests on demand? Just because you’re in online business does not mean you need to have an open-email policy. Professionals need to set boundaries and reserve their time and energy for paying clients.
The 30K me: Did everything, all at once with zero boundaries. My family could never tell if I was working (or just browsing the internet) because I was on the computer always.
The 250K me: Created a working schedule and policies for myself and my business.
The 1Mil me: Works with a dedicated team of professionals to ensure I’m always in my zone of genius (content, marketing, and planning).
#7 Marketing is the name of the game
Nothing online matters unless people stick to it, and this is something I discuss regularly with online stat-lovers! They say,
- Yes! My views are up!
- Oh no, my views are down!
- I’m not getting any views! What’s going on?!!
If you asked my stat-loving readers, views are the new currency … only, they’re worth nothing. Views without sales mean the storefront’s not doing its job, which is to sell a product. Views without subscribers mean the website’s not doing its job, which is to connect with like-minded customers.
That said, let’s talk about what really matters: how to make your visitors stick and convert. There are a few things you’ll want to always be working on if you’re looking to build an online business. They are …
- An email list (it’s king),
- Photography (it’s queen),
- Copywriting (it fills the royal court)
The definitions of “marketing” are terrible. I love the act of marketing, and I hate every single way it’s defined. Except for this sentence, which I found on Wikipedia after a lot of dull and monotonous words …
Marketing is used to create the customer, to keep the customer, and to satisfy the customer.
Marketing is everything that involves the customer. Its definition should be, “the act or instance of doing business.” If a thriving business is what you want to have, then marketing is what you need to do. Simply put, if your business isn’t exceeding your expectations, then marketing is the missing link.
The 30K me: Checked stats, cared about views, and was deeply aware of vanity metrics (number of followers, social media engagement, etc.).
The 250K me: Recorded financial gains daily, used social media to increase my reach (rather than be used by it), and paid attention to the numbers that mattered (email subscribers and sales conversions).
The 1Mil me: Aggressively shares my work with the world to improve lives and create a ripple effect of better.
The New Marketing Creativity
This post was about the all-new website, but as you can see, it’s more about the all-new me. And boy, am I proud of her. I look for more ways to say “yes, I believe!” to myself every day.
The second half of the year is upon us, and I want to know: How fearless will you be? What will you do to next level? How good can you stand it? What scary leap will you boldly attack?
Here on the new Marketing Creativity, I’m going to speak to the next level YOU. I want to appeal to her, strengthen her, and help you bring her to life. I want you to shatter your comfort zone. I want you to be unabashedly proud of yourself. Then, I want you to shamelessly brag about your accomplishments to anyone within ear shot so that all the people who root for you will rise up and roar in your honor. And just maybe their roar feels so good, they’ll learn how to root for themselves.
You too can create a ripple effect of better. Let’s get to work!
I love this. Especially #1. I needed that today. I need to trust myself to provide. I’m focused on brand awareness right now and need to take your example of upping your Instagram posts. I’ve been consistently posting once a day and am going to up it to 3 posts per day. I’ve been nervous that I’d run out of content. I’m choosing to trust myself to continue coming up with new post ideas so I can stop holding back.
Thank you for this post! The new website looks incredible!
Thanks for adding, Jennifer. #1 is huge, and I loved realizing that by refusing to rely on my income I was inadvertently not taking myself seriously. Good luck on Instagram!
Great article and I love the new website design!
Thank you so much, Lindsey! Much appreciated xx
This post came at just the right time for me! I’ve been feeling trapped for months now and so I’m in the process of working on my mindset in order to break through my business barriers! Thank you for sharing this!
So good! Thanks, Emily and best of luck xx
My gosh you just rock ! It seems so easy when you speak about it ! I know it’s not, but your words help a lot.
Thank you, Camille! Glad you liked it xx
Thank you so much for being open and honest! You are an inspiration to dry and tired souls! Looking forward to hearing about the new you that can bring us all to being new!
Not dry and tired! 😉 Thank you, Valerie!
I absolutely love your new website and your new mindset! That’s something that I need to take detailed notes on. You’re an inspiration to all entrepreneurs!
Thank you, Ashlee!!
Such an excellent post. I love the three breakdowns in each category!
Thank you, Erin, it was fun to reflect on!
Lisa, I have always found you, to be honest, practical and willing to share your learning. This post is no exception, except I can feel your passion in your writing. I really like the three things an on-line business reqires and your statement about what Marketing is.
Thank you, Wendy. That’s very kind and much appreciated xx
Loved reading this! So inspiring and makes me feel like I ca conquer the world 🙂 Thanks.
Thank you, Vicky! I’m so glad you liked it.
Thank you! I am in the trenches of starting my business and #4 was talking to me. I am cut off from the world (so to speak) so I can dedicated my time to building my business. I just signed up for your newsletter and find them very informative.
#4 is a hard one! Thank you, Danielle. Best of luck on your build xx
Such a great article ….I may have a second read! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and for being such an inspiration …love your new website!
Thank you, Lana <3 Much appreciated!
Love, Loved, loved this, it really resonated with me. Thank you Lisa for your honesty, it’s so refreshing.
Thank you, Chiara. I appreciate you xx