I met Beth Anne almost a year ago here in San Diego, and her online business, Brilliant Business Moms, has sky-rocketed since then.
Whenever I talk to her about BBM or see her online marketing efforts, I think a big reason for her success is that she knows the community she serves and how she helps them. She offers support, tools, and tips for stay-at-home moms who want to grow their side-project businesses.
We could all earn from her clarity around who she serves and what she offers as we try to get the most out of our marketing efforts.
So, I wanted to give Beth Anne a chance to talk about her strategies in her own words. Below is our Q&A.
And check out her answers to a "lightning round" of 6 work-life balance questions I tossed her way in the video below.
(Skip to 1:15 to get her Number 1 tip for anyone juggling work and family time.)
More from Beth Anne on the birth of her business and what she's learned:
1. How did you decide to start your business? Did you have a moment of inspiration or did it evolve?
My business has completely evolved! It's definitely been a "one thing led to another" type of scenario! Initially, I started out with an Etsy shop selling butterfly terrarium kits. My sister and I opened that shop together in November of 2012.
We made some side income from our shop, but we wanted to grow it more. We thought a mommy blog focused on outdoor activities would be the perfect way to get more traffic and sales for our shop!
Well... it turns out growing a mommy blog is much harder than we anticipated! After several months of crazy hard work in early 2015, we realized we needed to find a way to pick the brains of other Mompreneurs and figure out how they were growing their online businesses. Since we couldn't find a resource that really did that in detail, we decided to create our own--the Brilliant Business Moms podcast.
Through serving the community at BBM, we discovered we could help our audience solve the problems of time management as Mamapreneurs--so our book and planner were born. Then, I created other digital products such as the Get-Found Guide to Etsy, and more recently, courses on Pinterest and Facebook.
I think, though, that very quickly after starting the podcast, I realized that we had something special. For the first time, Sarah and I were building a true community online, and we were so committed to serving the women that came into our path. From that point forward, the business became much more clear - because we knew who our audience was - and it was just a matter of helping them and serving them well.
2. One time you told me you tell yourself, "I'm just trying to teach that lady that was me, one year ago." If you could go back a year and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Focus! Seriously, it's that simple. I wish I would have dug into Pinterest wholeheartedly sooner, and I wish I would have created a course sooner. Instead, I pursued all sorts of little ideas at once. Some worked out,and some didn't. But hindsight is 20/20.
Also, I think it's much easier to spot lack of focus in others versus yourself. I look at the businesses of other Mamapreneurs all the time and do a facepalm because they're pursuing 3 completely separate things at once.
Don't do it. Give your initial idea a fair chance by diving in wholeheartedly. Until you've spent at least 150 hours doing nothing but marketing your business, you can't say you gave it a fair shot.
Remember this: "It's not the idea that's bad, it's your lack of focus that's bad." Give your idea room to flourish. Water it with loads of outreach and marketing, and if it still doesn't work, it may just need some tweaks. Don't give up so easily. Dig deeper instead of digging a new hole.
3. What would you cite as the big pivot point for your business? A moment that happened inside, or a big win that really made you feel like you were on your way?
I think the big pivot for me happened quite recently! It was really with the launch of my first course which happened at the beginning of March. I was amazed at how many of my loyal audience members showed up for the webinar, and how many of them said yes to the course! It made me realize how important it is to build relationships and serve your audience well. If you show them how much you have to offer, they won't mind voting with their wallet. Seriously, I feel so grateful for them!
And part two of that pivot is this: I'm focusing on one signature product right now. Instead of going back to the drawing board and creating something brand new, I will continue to market my new course for the next 6 months. There are so many women out there I can help, and I'm now much more confident in my ability to find them and market to them online.
4. What is the accomplishment that you're most proud of up to this point?
I've finally learned my lesson when it comes to focusing, and I can tell you that it has made a world of difference for my stress level, my income level, and my ability to balance my work life with my family.
It sounds strange to list "people" as an accomplishment, but I'm really most proud of the Brilliant Business Moms community! They're amazing! People tell us all the time that our private Facebook group is full of the nicest people around, and that makes me so happy. I have no idea how I got lucky enough to know all of the kindest, most helpful ladies online, but somehow I did!
Seriously, I'm so proud of them!