Stepping From 6 To 7 Figures with Ellen YinApr 19, 2021
Today, we're going to chat with a friend of mine. I love her willingness to learn + help other people succeed.
A self-described accidental entrepreneur, she landed her first client a month into the job search and decided she'd never submit another resume again. Ellen profitably bootstrapped her business growth, scaling that initial $300 client project into 7 figures in revenue; a milestone only 2% of female founders ever achieve, and one that feels especially momentous as a first-generation Asian American.
To date, Ellen has served over 7,000 entrepreneurs and brands through her online courses + marketing agency services. Her online membership teaches solopreneurs who offer clients services how to make their first $10K month - without a large audience or posting every day.
Click here to check out my episode on Ellen's Cubicle To CEO Podcast!
PIVOTING INTO COURSES
Now, courses are Ellen's main stream of income.
Michelle: This is where a lot of people are heading. Getting out of done-for-you services to have a course or membership.
WHAT IS YOUR INCOME GENERATING STRATEGY?
Ellen: I call myself a marketing minimalist. I always joke that if Marie Kondo was a marketer, it would be me! Taking out what's keeping us busy.
I only have 2 evergreen funnels.
One is for our online membership, which is Cubicle To CEO. It's an annual 12 month coaching container. We help service-based entrepreneurs make their first 10k month without posting everyday.
So it's a webinar funnel. Watch the training + decide if the membership if for them.
My other product is a product suite. It's 3 front end offers that are all priced under $100. They're all evergreen + traffic is driven by ads.
I currently am not taking on any new clients so our focus is here.
The last three months, I added a live paid challenge.
I wanted to give people the ability to get their first paying students in this 3 days challenge.
I promoted it organically via email + social media + 350 people signed up!
The energy was so amazing, I'm definitely going to do it again.
HOW DID YOU GET THAT AUDIENCE TO CONVERT?
My challenge was $45. But having it be paid really made people show up!
I think the success was partly because it was such a limited time container.
People had to show up + take action while it was available.
I partnered with a friend + sent that traffic to them to get affiliate income.
Michelle: I love that these are relatively simple strategies!
WHAT IS YOUR TRAFFIC GENERATING STRATEGY?
Ellen: I've always been very active on Instagram. I do believe you can work with any platform, but it's key to laser into one or two only.
So Instagram is my primary traffic generator as well as my podcast.
I also do podcast + summit guesting.
My focus is being on a content producer instead of consumer.
For paid traffic, I use Facebook + Instagram ads. But I didn't start that until year 3 of my business.
Ads aren't necessary. They just amplify what's already working.
On the back end, I've built a large, engaged email list that is now our #1 conversion channel.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR EMAIL LIST TO KEEP THEM ENGAGED?
Ellen: I notify them of my weekly podcast episode.
I try not to put rules around my email marketing. I only email my list when I feel inspired to email them.
Sometimes it's more, sometimes it's less, but I try to stick to once per week.
Michelle: What you're doing that's really smart is that your visibility vehicle is in place, so it's easier to get the sale from your list.
LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR PRESS JOURNEY!
Ellen: I actually had my first media hit before my business started in college. I booked a series of features due to my debt-free journey.
I wanted to graduate debt free, which I accomplished.
But then there was a huge gap for years because it wasn't my priority.
So early last year, I decided to invest in media.
I hired a publicist in the summer of 2020, which has led to some awesome opportunities. I was on the Today Show and been in national publications, been featured in a book.
Press has long-lasting impact.
When I joined Michelle's Visibility Lounge, I finally got my press page + brand video done because it really helped me get that project completed I've wanted to do for so long!
HOW DID YOU EXECUTE YOUR BRAND VIDEO?
Ellen: I found the script-writing to be the easy part.
The hardest part was the B-Roll. Trying to gather all the clips was the most time-consuming.
I had the material, it was just bringing in all of the pieces to pull it together for the brand video.
It's such a great way to introduce yourself to the media or your ideal client while drawing them in with your story.
WHAT KEEPS YOU MOST PRODUCTIVE? WHAT DO YOU ALLOW?
Ellen: It's helpful to get really clear on what your priority is in this season.
Instead of focusing on long-term goals, it's more helpful to think, like you teach, in 90 day sprints.
So for me, going into Quarter 2, I'm focusing on growing my membership.
If content isn't related to that, I don't listen to it. I can table it for later, but it doesn't directly relate to my goal.
It's important to filter information to see if it supports your priority for this season.
And is the advice you're listening to appropriate for your current level of business?
If it's not, it may not be helpful.
Michelle: Yes! Can that person/advice help you get to the next immediate win?
We can quickly invest with the wrong person + leave feeling unfulfilled + frustrated.
For me, Clubhouse can definitely be a huge time-suck, but being able to focus on it as a visibility vehicle can generate a ton of connections + publicity.
WHAT'S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOU?
Ellen: The biggest long-term play we're diving into this year is pivoting my company into more of a digital media company.
To do that, brand partnerships are a huge piece of that.
I've secured a few partnerships that I'm really excited about, but it's a totally different playing field!
It's a new way of looking at revenue models + learning.
I want this platform to elevate female leaders + educators. Building a platform for people to have accessibility to mentorship + resources.
Michelle: I can't wait to see this manifest for you!
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?
Michelle: Thank you so much for your transparency + openness, Ellen!
If you're ready for the next step of your career, join a community of 100+ entrepreneurs who are taking action with their visibility + seeing huge results! Join here.