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Social media coach Stephanie Parisi has built a successful membership providing small business operators help with social media. Not long in the online business space, she shares her journey and the role of James’s membership in her success.
Stephanie talks about her decision to build a membership site, and her search for a mentor.
She discusses the importance of personal branding to her business.
And she provides tips from the perspective of her experience, for people in the early phases of online business.
Table of contents
1. How Stephanie got her online start
2. Some life-changing material
3. Deciding to go with a membership
4. Is it a personal brand?
5. The essential role of team
6. Leveraging the YT video medium
7. An unexpected knack for marketing
8. From YouTube video to Facebook group
9. Offering different levels of value
10. The advice Stephanie has for newbies
11. Dealing mentally with success
How Stephanie got her online start
Stephanie launched her online membership business in October 2019, without knowing much about the ins and outs of the process. She managed to adapt and learn along the way, and found it an advantage that everything was virtual, especially when the pandemic struck in 2020.
In her first month of operation, Stephanie earned $400, a modest beginning that she was nevertheless excited about, given she was still new at it all. Her income steadily grew over time, and at the time of recording, she makes a monthly recurring income of $20,000.
Stephanie actively sought out a mentor experienced with managing memberships efficiently. She wanted a business model that wasn’t all-consuming, leaving her time for other pursuits, and she was particularly interested in learning how to hire and train team members.
Her search led her to James, whose digital presence she carefully vetted.
James commends Stephanie on her due diligence before investing in his program. It’s important, he says, to seek out models who have achieved the results one desires.
Some life-changing material
Stephanie’s online business venture proved to be life-changing for her and her family. Both she and her husband could stay at home, with him retiring from the military around the same time that her business truly took off.
By November 2021, Stephanie had achieved her long-term goal of financial leeway, allowing them to relocate across the country, purchase a home outright, and live debt-free. The control she has over her work, and her ability to shape her daily tasks and reorient in case of mistakes, have been sources of fulfillment.
Stephanie’s commitment to continual learning has greatly contributed to her success. She’s listened to several of James’s trainings multiple times, focusing on becoming proficient at certain aspects instead of trying to learn everything.
The mindset training she received was particularly impactful, pushing her to overcome her limiting beliefs and transition from a five-figure to a six-figure yearly income.
She initially invested in a $10 course of James’s about hiring processes, which she found highly valuable, and led her to join his membership program.
Stephanie credits her achievement to taking massive responsibility, a trait that James commends as being rare.
Stephanie’s love for long-distance trail running and backpacking, and the mental resilience she’s built from these activities, translate into her business ethic. She constantly challenges herself to grow, envisioning how a person making 50k a month would conduct their business and personal life.
Deciding to go with a membership
James is curious: how did Stephanie decide to adopt a membership model in the first place?
Stephanie shares she initially sold a Facebook course for $10 about a year before her membership launch. However, she decided to put a full-fledged membership on hold when she found she was pregnant with her second child. Nine months later, she returned to her networking efforts, and launched her membership five months afterwards.
Stephanie’s primary motivation for the model was the prospect of forming an online community. Among the many reasons why people join memberships, one, she knew, was the community aspect. She’s forged some of her strongest entrepreneurial relationships in such memberships, leading to deep personal friendships.
As a mother, the idea of conducting Zoom trainings with other women while managing her young children at home appealed to Stephanie, not to mention the financial benefit it provided.
As a father of his own young child, James can relate. And he can speak to the deep friendships that can emerge from community memberships, having such connections in his long-established community.
Is it a personal brand?
James is interested in Stephanie’s use of her personal domain.
Stephanie operates various income streams and has built enough trust with her audiences that her personal brand has real value. She stresses the significance of authenticity and credibility when associating her name with any project.
Stephanie finds encouragement in knowing people trust her enough to join her membership whenever they feel ready or when their business circumstances are right.
James appreciates that perspective and knows the level of accountability that comes with using a personal domain, a responsibility Stephanie seems to handle effortlessly. He reflects on his own decision to switch to a personal brand, labeling it one of his better choices in recent years, and wishing he’d done it sooner.
The essential role of team
James’s small team is essential to his company, and he knows Stephanie has her own team of three. Who does what in her business?
The distribution of tasks, says Stephanie, revolves around the video-centricity of her business. One team member handles virtually all YouTube-related tasks, except for Stephanie’s presence onscreen.
A second team member assists with higher-level decision-making within the membership, performing tasks that require more sophisticated thinking skills.
The third team member handles bookkeeping and other essential but less exciting tasks, like tracking numbers and business progress. Stephanie emphasizes the importance of this role in making informed decisions for the business.
Says James, Stephanie might have a larger than typical team for her business size. Her arrangement, however, allows for a balanced workload that can effectively scale without having to work exhaustive hours.
Leveraging the YT video medium
How do Stephanie’s YouTube videos generate business, asks James, asking in part for himself?
Stephanie’s niche involves teaching people about Facebook and social media marketing, aiming to attract rather than actively pursue customers. Her YouTube content often focuses on strategy rather than specific platforms, such as creating appealing messages and effective hooks.
Stephanie has established an efficient funnel system that keeps a continuous flow of traffic across platforms. She uses her YouTube videos to direct viewers to a free private Facebook group, which then feeds into her email system.
The process creates a revolving door, with each platform pushing traffic back to the others. This system generates a significant influx of new members to her group weekly, helping her warm up potential clients and showcase her authenticity.
Stephanie’s primary goal is to solve the problems of her audience, providing immediate, tangible solutions that lead to quick wins. She also stresses the importance of authenticity in her approach, which resonates strongly with her audience.
James says Stephanie’s innovative methods have influenced his own practices.
An unexpected knack for marketing
Does Stephanie come up with this stuff herself? She actually does, somewhat surprising with her background in physical therapy.
Stephanie discovered a passion for marketing when she started selling things online and realized she enjoyed this aspect. She draws a parallel between physical therapy and marketing, seeing as both involve meeting someone, diagnosing their problem through questions, and selling them a solution or plan.
She feels that marketing, though, is easier than physical therapy, as she is selling strategies for gaining more leads or making more money, as opposed to addressing the pain and difficulty associated with PT.
Stephanie attributes her marketing success to just the way her brain works – she can easily envision how she would sell something. She also highlights the importance of experimentation, particularly on social media platforms.
Stephanie recounts her early adoption of Facebook stories in 2018 and how this gave her an advantage. Continuous practice, she adds, leads to improvement.
James agrees and admits he learns from people like Stephanie to keep up with the ever-evolving digital landscape.
From YouTube video to Facebook group
How does Stephanie get people from a YouTube video to her Facebook group?
Stephanie almost always refers to the group in her video. In a button tutorial, for instance, she might invite viewers to hop in her free Facebook group, Create Stories That Sell.
Once viewers join the group, she uses entry questions to assess their qualification for membership. Stephanie also shares that she doesn’t always respond to every question in the group, but she does use questions as fodder for YouTube video topics.
Stephanie is selective about the information she provides in the Facebook group. While she does give away some valuable tips, she intentionally withholds the streamlined versions of her strategies, which provide faster results.
This encourages individuals to take the next step of purchasing her full offerings. She also gives her paying members exclusive access to her, reinforcing the value of the paid membership.
Offering different levels of value
James, in his membership model, provides an additional level of value by offering tailored responses to his members. And by going through his older trainings and distilling them down into one-page playbooks, he delivers a higher level of value than what could be accessed just by one-sided consumption.
While some people can learn on their own, others find immense value in customized guidance and the community that comes with a membership.
James understands Stephanie similarly offers solutions on a couple of different levels.
Stephanie has two membership tiers in her program. The first is a consume-and-apply level without coaching, and the second provides direct coaching.
While Stephanie’s seen faster growth with the coaching level, there are also people who grow at the non-coaching level. She highlights that feedback and direct interaction with her are the key benefits of the coaching level, allowing members to get specific, immediate insights to improve their strategies and see faster results.
James agrees with trimming the membership tiers to focus more on the higher value levels. He’s found that the majority of the rewards come from the middle or higher tiers of his memberships.
Moreover, James enjoys the challenge of working with a more dedicated group of individuals and believes that focusing on these members allows for better progress and growth. Both he and Stephanie agree that paying for attention and getting the right help can accelerate one’s learning and growth.
The advice Stephanie has for newbies
What advice would Stephanie have for someone at the early phases of online business, practical and mindset-wise?
Stephanie would recommend seeking help early on. Even with a modest income, she knew that hiring a team member would free up her time, allowing her to drive her business further.
For mothers balancing entrepreneurship with other responsibilities, she suggests finding support to lighten the workload, which can enable clearer thinking and vision for the growth of the business.
In terms of mindset, Stephanie advises her members to envision their ideal future selves, such as a 15K per month version, and to consider how that version would show up and make decisions in their current life.
This is not limited to financial gain but extends to personal habits, self-care, and everyday choices. And Stephanie acknowledges that moving towards this version of oneself might involve making uncomfortable decisions and pushing beyond one’s comfort zone.
Lastly, Stephanie speaks of the importance of ‘being’ rather than ‘getting’. James likens it to building a fire: one must first prepare and light it before expecting warmth.
James and Stephanie agree that a strong mental attitude is crucial for entrepreneurial success. James commends Stephanie’s commitment, discipline, and the lifestyle she’s building, which bring about new challenges and possibilities.
Dealing mentally with success
There have been mental challenges, Stephanie admits, in dealing with success and balancing various roles in business and personal life. While the business is doing well, she has to juggle the responsibilities of caring for her young child and adjusting to a cross-country move, which disrupted her routines and social support.
To overcome these challenges, Stephanie emphasizes resilience and mental agility. She highlights the importance of being able to shift focus instantly – for instance, moving from a tantrum-throwing toddler to filming a YouTube video. She believes the key lies in increasing one’s capacity to deal with stress across different areas of life, such as education, relationships, and daily habits.
James underlines that the ability to manage disruptions, inherent in entrepreneurial life, is critical. It is the response to such events that define a person.
He appreciates Stephanie’s contributions and her commitment to helping other people navigate their lives better.
If you’d like help with your social media marketing, check out Stephanie’s program at stephanieparisi.com.
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