Want to know how to grow your online business?
Today, I share my 6 BEST steps to a profitable online business.
These are strategies I used to successfully grow my own online business to 6-figures in 4 months (while I was working a demanding corporate job). By using them, I was able to:
- Land my first paying client at $5,000 for a 5-month coaching package.
- Grow a side business that made $100,000+ in the first four months.
- Quit my job and scale my business to $1 million in the first year.
- Continue growing my now-multiple 7-figure business that lets me have all the freedom and flexibility I want.
First, let’s take a look at why you should ignore most business advice out there.
Why you should ignore most advice on how to grow a successful online business
The common advice I see on how to grow a business goes something like this.
First, you need to find a product to sell or learn a new skill from the ground up. You’re supposed to create various offers: Courses, services, ebooks…
Then, you should build a beautiful website, create a ton of different social media accounts, and throw a lot of money on Facebook ads. These will (magically) start to work in less than 30 days.
And finally, all you need to do to grow a 6-figure online business is to learn how to run webinars, write emails, and create complicated sales funnels (because somehow, you’ve all of a sudden mastered selling).
…Does this sound crazy or what?
Let me tell you: Learning all of this will take you years. And cost a fortune.
I know this because I’ve been there.
When I first started my business, I eagerly threw money away to build the perfect website.
I even created a 41-page PDF. How many of those who downloaded it became paying clients? …Zero.
So, whenever someone asks me, “Luisa, how do I start scaling my business? I want to get to the really sophisticated funnels, spend more money on my Facebook advertising, and…”, my answer is, “OK, how much money are you making right now in your business?”
99 times out of 100, the answer is, “I’m not even making $5,000/month consistently.”
The truth is: If you’re not making consistent $5k-10k months, you’re not yet ready to scale your business.
And you need JUST a few things to get to this monthly revenue.
The truth is:
If you know these things, you’re well ahead of most other business owners.
According to a Gallup survey, 39% of business owners work over 60 hours a week. (The average is 52 hours.)
But that doesn’t show in their income. According to Payscale, small business owners makes a bit over 64,000/year.
Fortunately, there is a better way.
I grew my own business from $0 to $100,000+ in 4 months. I did NOT do it with any of the ‘fancy’ or sophisticated marketing tactics that business gurus love to throw at you.
In fact, I only used a couple of strategies:
- A skill I already had, Facebook ads management.
- A few hours a day in online forums.
- Calls with people who were interested in my services.
That’s it. These are the only steps I took to get to $10k+/month and quit my day job. And I only had ONE offer.
This three-step strategy to getting clients is a completely different approach from the traditional ‘build an online business advice.’ The truth is: People don’t care if you have a fancy website. They care if they can trust you and you can help them.
That’s why you don’t need more than a few, strategic things (and we’ll look at each of them in detail here below). Which is great news because if you’re in a busy 9-5 right now, how much time do you really have to use on building a business, right?
You’d probably rather be super strategic about working SMART and then spending the rest of your time on other things instead of busting your butt 24/7.
With these steps, you’re actually going to start your business and grow it successfully over the next few months, instead of trying to learn a bunch of new skills for the next several years.
How to start earning $5-10k/month in your business (quickly and easily)
Why you SHOULD grow your online business
1. Step 1: Create something people LOVE to pay for
2. Step 2: Understand what your audience really cares about
3. Step 3: The Taster Technique (THIS gets you clients fast)
4. Step 4: Find your audience where they are hanging out
5. Step 5: Get a constant stream of clients (+ templates)
6. Step 6: Continue to grow your online business… and quit your 9-5
Before we get into the actual steps, you need to be aware of something even more fundamental.
You see, most “experts” out there will tell you that the best businesses to start are ecommerce businesses or online course businesses.
If your goal is to build a successful business as fast as possible so that you can quit your job, you shouldn’t take this advice.
The problem with an ecommerce or online course business as your first business?
- They take incredibly long to build and lots of resources (time AND money). You MIGHT be able to quit your job a couple of years from now.
- One product or online course doesn’t bring in that much money. Especially physical products come with a lot of extra costs: inventory, shipping, and returns.
- It takes time to figure out how to sell them because people won’t have access to you when making the decision to buy (they’ll likely be buying on your website).
(Note: I actually think online courses are a GREAT business model down the line. They’re just not the best way to get started.)
Instead, the best business model when you’re first growing your business is a one-on-one business model, like coaching, consulting or done-for-you (freelance) services. They come with plenty of perks:
- You can price your coaching packages at $1,500 (and this is what you start out with), so even with one sale a month, you have a $1,000+/month business. (Not too bad, right?) This means that you can grow your business faster and replace your 9-5 in months, rather than years.
- They’re easier to sell (you’re personally selling your services, so there’s that personal connection).
- You get to know your audience inside-out, which means that it becomes so much easier to sell online courses in the future.
- You can literally get started right now. No products needed, no sales funnel… JUST the steps I outline here below.
Why you SHOULD grow your online business
Before you dive deep into implementing these steps, take a moment to think about WHY you want to grow your online business. Because if you don’t know why it’ll be hard to keep working on your business every day.
One of the key motivations for me was that I wanted to spend time with my family. When my parents and my sister suddenly had different illnesses over the course of a year, I realized just how important it was for me to be able to have more flexibility in my life.
Today, I have built that for myself.
It was incredibly meaningful to me that for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary this year, my family was able to go to Japan for two and a half weeks and just travel, especially because growing up, my father supported the four of us on his salary and we didn’t have the means to go on vacations.
I didn’t have to stare at the price tag. Instead, I was able to treat my parents to different luxurious experiences. And during this time, I worked around one hour a day.
But while you’ll see business gurus posing in front of private jets and talking about their expensive shopping, I’ll be the first to say that I didn’t do this overnight.
This is the result of 5+ years of building systems.
That’s what it takes to build a sustainable, multiple 7-figure business.
During my travels, I would get notifications of payments coming in. But this wasn’t random. I had planned for it.
Instead of hoping someone would buy, I made sure to have two affiliate promotions go out during this time. I also set up a series of emails for products I had already created AND I had a salesperson handling sales calls for my coaching program.
So if this is the type of freedom you want, then YES, it’s possible. But you will need to implement the steps here below to get to a place where you can finally leave our day job.
Step 1: Create something people LOVE to pay for
“Experts” who started their own businesses a decade ago usually advise you to pick a business idea and start selling it.
While this might have worked 15 years ago (when there was literally no competition online), you have to be much more strategic these days.
And the MOST important part of it is your offer, aka. the thing people buy from you.
If you’re not making sales, you know you have a problem with your offer. It’s not interesting enough.
The way people go about this most of the time is that they try to describe the specific features people get when they buy:
The number of coaching hours, emails, and extra material like PDFs or reports.
But that won’t get you far because the reality is that people aren’t paying you because they get to spend 1 hour a week talking to you. (Sorry, but that only works if you’re Oprah or Beyoncé.)
What they’re interested in are the results they get.
What’s the ultimate end result people get when they buy your program?
More money in the bank? A flatter stomach? A promotion at work?
If you figure this out, you’re miles and miles ahead of your competition. So how do you find that exact thing that people crave?
It comes down to knowing your audience on a deep level. Instead of guessing (don’t do it!), do some quick market research and ask a few people directly what they would consider paying for.
Get someone in your audience on the phone (super important: NOT a random friend, but someone who would actually be a potential client for your offer). Ask them:
“Hey, I’m not trying to sell you anything. But if someone like me was to help you get results, would you be willing to pay for it?”
If they go, “I don’t know…. Maybe if there was (insert random features) included, I’d pay $100,” you know you need to refine your offer.
But if they say, “YES, this is what I need!”, you know your offer is good.
(Note: If you’re wondering how to find people to interview, read on. The following steps are about getting clients, but you could just as easily use the scripts here below to get someone in your target audience to agree to speak with you and answer a few market research questions.)
Step 2: Understand what your audience really cares about
Once you’ve defined your offer, your next task is to find your audience.
You see, you want to focus on the RIGHT people who are willing to pay for your services (not the ones who see your services as “nice to have” but not really worth the money).
And you need to speak to your audience in the right way. For example, a lot of my health coaching clients first say things like, “I don’t want to help my clients lose weight. I want to help them feel good about their bodies and get confident.”
While this is a nice thought, it’s not you who decides what your clients want. It’s your clients who do that.
And if their ultimate desire is to lose weight, you won’t sell many health coaching packages by talking about how you help them feel good about themselves.
If your offer isn’t selling, then you need to consider:
How can I really speak to what my audience wants? Do I need to reshape my offer or find another audience?
Instead of saying, “I’m going to help you do some workouts and eat better,” you would say something like “Stop yo-yo dieting and lose your tummy” (remember: you should base this on the market research you do).
But how do you know if the way you speak about your offer is resonating with your potential clients?
Instead of a lukewarm response (or worse: crickets), your audience will be happy to hear from you. This social media post got a bunch of comments and likes just because of that reason… It speaks to my audience.
Most importantly, though, your audience will be excited to work with you.
Step 3: The Taster Technique (THIS gets you clients fast)
The next step is to create a quick and free win.
You see, when you’re first starting out, you have no audience or brand recognition.
Somehow, you need to get potential clients to trust you, even though you don’t have that much proof that your services work.
That’s where the Taster Technique comes in.
You know how a good appetizer or tasting wine at a restaurant makes you feel… Ready for more. That’s exactly what the Taster Technique does for your clients.
Let me explain:
With a free, 15-30-minute coaching offer that helps people get a quick win, you build trust and make people think “Wow, this is so valuable… So I can just imagine how valuable the entire coaching experience is.”
The idea of this offer is not to solve the entire problem (which you realistically can’t do in such a short session), but to show that the end result is possible and that YOU are the person to help your potential client get there.
Your quick win can be…
- A dietary tip for weight loss.
- A piece of career advice your potential clients can implement right away at work.
- A strategy single men or women can use in their online dating profiles to attract their dream partner.
At the end of the call, you offer to help them with your coaching package. If you’re nervous about coming off as salesy when selling your offer, don’t worry. You can simply start the call by saying:
“I’m going to help you get (insert: your quick win) over the next 20 minutes. At the end of the session, if you like what we talked about and you want my help to get the big result you want to achieve, we can talk more about how I can help you get there. Does that sound good?”
That way, it’s clear from the start that you will make an offer when you’ve shared your free advice.
But how do you get this offer in front of your audience?
That’s what we’ll look at in the next steps.
Step 4: Find your audience where they are hanging out
The fourth step is KEY if you want to get your offer to sell like hotcakes.
You need to find your audience where they are and sell to them there.
This is how I made over six figures in 4 months:
I spent time in online forums and Facebook groups where my audience was already mingling (in my case, that was entrepreneur groups).
Think about it this way:
If you’re going fishing, you wouldn’t go to a pond with no fish. Nope, you’d likely go to where you KNOW there is fish (and if you didn’t know this already, you’d test a few places to figure it out).
It’s the same with finding your clients.
You want to go to where they already are.
What NOT to do
Maybe you KNOW you need to do this. But what a ton of my clients do is they go to where their competition, not clients, are hanging out.
For example, a site designer might go to a Facebook group or online forum with other site designers. Then, they’ll talk about things like how to design or how to get site design clients.
This will get them close to 0 new clients. What they should do is go to a place where people who want to hire them are hanging out.
Where is YOUR audience hanging out?
And how do you find out where your audience is hanging out?
That’s something no one else can answer but you. Remember how we talked about market research?
During your interviews with your potential clients, you can ask:
“Where do you spend time online?”
Try to get them to answer you as specifically as possible. For example, “this and that Facebook group.”
And if you want to search manually, you can use Facebook’s search function by typing in what you’re helping your clients with:
Most online forums have similar features:
“Can’t I just outsource this?”
Often, I’ll have students ask: “So Luisa, can’t I just skip to using Facebook ads or having someone do this for me?”
My answer, always? “No.” That’s because this is the core of your business. You need to understand the fundamentals. If you don’t, you don’t really have a business.
Think about it this way: If the person you hire to do all this for you quits, what do you then? You have no clue how your business works if you don’t take these steps yourself.
Step 5: Get a constant stream of clients (+ templates)
Now you know where your audience is hanging out. How do you turn this strategy into a constant stream of clients?
That’s the final step in growing your business.
Go to the Facebook groups and online forums that you found in the previous step.
There, you give value by answering people’s questions and sharing your own helpful tips. The easiest way to get clients is to TALK to potential clients and build those relationships.
You can also reach out to your network, as well as ask for referrals. Then, rinse and repeat until you have the number of clients you want in your business.
Not sure how? Use the templates here below. I used them myself to grow my business to $10,000 in 3 months. (But instead of copy-pasting these templates, personalize them. Otherwise, they just won’t sound like you.)
Template to use in Facebook groups and online forums
This is the template I used to grow my business on Facebook by using Facebook groups and internet forums to get clients on the phone and share my Taster Technique coaching call.
To find out what my clients were asking about, I searched in Facebook groups and internet forums for terms that my potential Facebook ads coaching clients might be asking, like “ads” or “campaign.”
When I found someone who needed help, I would message them a version of this template:
[Share how you found them. This can be as simple as, “I saw your question about running Facebook ads in a Facebook group.”]
[1-3 sentences describing your experience as it relates to your business & why you’re qualified. For example: “I manage Facebook ads for big companies like BMW and Coastal Contacts in my job.”]
I would love to help you — for free.
Here are a few things that might be helpful right away:
– [Describe 2-3 tips]
If you’d like my help implementing these and more, let me know. I’m happy to set up a call to discuss.
If they wanted to take me up on my offer, I would set up a free Taster Technique coaching call with them.
Template to use to reach out to your network
You can use this template to reach out to your network. (For example, if you’re offering career coaching and someone has asked you for career advice, you can use this template.)
This is the template I used to get clients in my network:
After speaking with you and others who were interested in potentially getting my help with [describe the result you’d help with], I’ve started offering consulting/coaching to do just that.
Based on our past conversations, I’d love to offer you 30 minutes of free private coaching—no strings attached. The call is primarily about helping you, although if you find it helpful, I may spend a few minutes at the end sharing how I can support you further.
If you’d like my support to help you [result] with that free 30-minute session, let me know and we’ll schedule a time for our call.
If they felt they had gotten a lot out of the free session, you can ask if they’d be interested in hearing about what we could accomplish long-term by working together.
Template to ask for referrals
And finally, you might have people in your network who know someone who could be interested in working with you.
This is what I did to reach out to my network for referrals when I was first starting out:
As you know, I [describe experience/accomplishment/expertise that led to your business creation].
After having so many people ask me about it, I decided to start a consulting business to help others with [result].
As I look to grow my business, I’m reaching out to friends to help get my name out there. It’s my goal to help as many [describe your ideal client] as I can to [result].
Are there one or two people you know that could use my help? If so, can you please send me their contact information?
I’d love to offer them 30 minutes of free private coaching—no strings attached. The call is primarily about helping them, and if they find it helpful, I’ll spend a few minutes at the end of it sharing a little about how I might be able to continue supporting them.
Thank you in advance for your time and referrals. I so appreciate it!
And of course, if there’s anything you’re working on [be specific if possible] that I can give you a hand with, let me know how I can support you!
The important thing to notice here is that I didn’t ask them to give me referrals so I could pitch them. Instead, I made it easy for them to refer someone to me because I was offering free coaching first.
Step 6: Continue to grow your online business… And quit your 9-5
That’s it. That’s THE fastest and easiest step-by-step guide for how to grow a successful online business to $5,000-10,000 in monthly earnings.
The key is to do a few things and do them really well. Those of my students who get results the fastest use this advice to a T.
That’s how my students get the result they get:
Continue taking these steps to grow your online business fast until you’re at the income level you want to be at. That’s when you can quit your job (yes, it’s not that far away in the distant future!).
Then, you can take what you’ve learned and start scaling your business. You know, start using all those sophisticated and fancy ads and sales funnels. Plus, because you’ve already worked with so many clients as a coach or consultant, you are MUCH better positioned to scale successfully and create a 6-figure or bigger business.
Let me know in the comments below:
What’s your BIGGEST insight after reading this?