Sell to repeat customers. It is a lot cheaper to sell to repeat customers than to acquire new ones. It cost time and money to educate a cold audience about your business. Your people already know, love, and trust you. So make sure you show up personally to create and nurture those relationships.
As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful Service Based Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Aprille Reed.
Aprille is an author, CEO & Webinar Funnel Asset Specialist of AprilleReed.com. Aprille is known for her commitment and dedication to her clients and wants to continue to serve those who are ready to increase leads and accelerate conversion.
Aprille understands the struggles of balancing running a service-based business with the many commitments of caring for a growing family because she is living that life too! The difference is she utilizes her signature Webinar Funnel ‘ASSET Map’ to design and automate marketing assets that do all the heaving lifting on the backend of her business. This process has allowed her to spend more time with her family and focus on growing her business.
Her passion for learning and her desire to stay abreast of industry trends and tools allows her to provide high-quality and practical training via her signature system. Clients can trust they are receiving the most up-to-date industry practices to implement in their growing business so they can see long-term success and make an impact on the world through their service-based business.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I was fortunate to have a remote supervisor role with an out-of-state company. As part of my role, I would travel 847 miles from, Midwest to the east coast to facilitate quarterly “corporate” meetings. That is up until my maternity leave in December 2015. Once my maternity leave was over and I was cleared for travel, I returned to facilitate the next meeting.
Coincidently, this meeting (scheduled 12 months prior) was during January 2016’s crippling and historic blizzard that left 3 feet of snow. Yikes! I was waiting for my employer to tell me that I didn’t have to come, or at least I could Zoom into the conference (something that was not the norm like it is now, thanks Covid), but it never came up. Even though my flight was canceled three times due to hazardous weather, they were expecting me there. The 4th flight would stick. Feeling like I had no choice because it was my job, I flew out of Chicago headed to the coast, leaving my 7-week old baby behind.
After returning home, I couldn’t see myself continuing that position. I vowed to grow a successful online service based business and create a life more on my terms. A life where I dictated when and where I spent my time. For the most part. (Babies actually dictate where you spend most of your time.) Soon after, a chance weekend (or maybe it was Facebook ads), I happened upon Luisa Zhou’s Employee to Entrepreneur Group Coaching program, and I decided to start a photo organizing business. During this journey, I found out I wasn’t alone but that other moms were facing similar situations. So I did a pivot and decided to teach other service-based entrepreneurs who were moms desiring to leave their 9 to 5 to make money teaching what they know via webinars.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led you to think of the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
I was quite familiar with webinars to sell a course, but I didn’t know how to use webinars to get coaching clients. When I first started as a coach, I got my coaching clients using Facebook groups. You know where you give value in groups, comment and like, reach out to multiple people in their private messenger uninvited, have many conversations, build rapport, and finally invite them to a discovery call. You would then invite them to your coaching offer if it were a good fit. This didn’t feel authentic to me. Like not at all.
I’m an Introvert, so I don’t strike up too many conversations in real life, so why would I do it on Facebook? And as an Introvert, it can take a lot of energy for me to show up sometimes. (After one coaching call, I’m taking a nap.)
But if you want a successful service-based business, you have to do things that are uncomfortable, right? That’s when I hired a coach to help me get out of my way and do more outreach. And it worked. In one hour, she coached me and encouraged me to reach out to 20 people and ask to book a call.
I had three emotions when I finished reaching out to 20 people: I felt happy that I did it and felt uncomfortable and mentally exhausted.
As I sat on the floor in the middle of my living room, I started talking to myself. “Geez! Will I have to pay a coach every time I need to reach out to people? Does it have to be this taxing striking up conversations with strangers? This CAN’T be the only way on earth to get coaching clients.” And I just started sobbing right there because it was at that moment I knew that my current business model was going to be HARD. I may never succeed because my current business model was not authentic to me. However, I didn’t know any other way.
So the next day, I saw an invite to yet another webinar. It was bashing the current business model that I was currently doing but hated. Interesting?! So I signed up.
The webinar followed a format I was used to, but the host didn’t pitch a course at the end of it. She invited her attendees to her calendar to book a free call. Wait WHAT?! And then I had a light bulb moment.
Aha! Instead of pitching one-on-one, I can pitch my discovery call using the One-to-Many model via a webinar. That was it!!! That’s what I needed to do. That’s the secret sauce. So I created a webinar using this webinar-to-application model, and the first one flopped, but the second one, I would get my first high-ticket coaching client. Woohoo! At that point, I decided to learn everything I could about webinars. I listened to podcasts, invested in courses, implemented what I’ve learned, and taught what I’ve learned so I could help other introverts or busy moms who don’t have time to be on Facebook all day long avoid the chasing-client-cha-cha. And as my family grew, I needed a better way to leverage my time, and webinars were doing that.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Very early in my business and very new to Facebook, I realized how that platform made the world much smaller. I didn’t do MySpace or anything like that (Wait, did I just age myself?) Facebook was my very first experience with social media. So if I was chatting with you via Facebook, I immediately assumed you were from or at least living in the United States.
One of my coaching clients was actually from Jamaica. Her coaching session was over the phone. When I received my cell phone bill, it was 100 dollars more than what I was expecting. There was an extra from Jamaica. What? I don’t remember talking to anyone from Jamaica. Oh yeah, now I remembered. Interesting. I finally realized why any coaching sessions I signed up for always asked for Skype ID.
So I learned how amazing Facebook is at connecting us with people from all over the world as if they are just down the block. I have met so many beautiful people via Facebook. I have more respect and appreciation for the internet that bridges the gap between all of us. We are all just one people.
Thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main focus of our interview. Extensive research suggests that “purpose-driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company, what was your vision, your purpose?
My purpose is to help service-based female entrepreneurs or business owners create options and opportunities for themselves and never feel stuck in their current situation. I know how that feels, and it sucks. I want to empower women to stand in their light and make an impact in this world.
What do you do to articulate or demonstrate your company’s values to your employees and to your customers?
I love working with purpose-driven service-oriented businesses. Whether they are my customers and clients or a part of the team that helps my business grow, I love these people, and it makes it so much easier to work with them. We all have a vision and purpose of making the world a better place to help as many people as possible. It’s easier to get behind a cause like that. When I hire, I share my vision, purpose, and goals for the business, so we are all on the same mission.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
Yes, I do. Never give up. As long as I’m better than I was yesterday, I’m winning. There are going to be good days, and there are going to be bad days. There are going to be days when I didn’t check everything off the to-do list, launches that didn’t meet the mark, maybe a deadline missed, things are going to happen. Just keep pushing and keep going. As long as I continue to do better to be better than yesterday, I am still okay.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
I’m seeing a trend between two types of aspiring entrepreneurs: those who save their money before they finally leave their job to become full-time in their business and those who just quit cold turkey and just know they’ll figure it out and become successful. I was the latter.
I was in business for six months. I was having success, and my job was taking up 40 hours a week. I just knew if I had more time, I could grow my business faster. Duh. So I decided to leave my job.
Well, what I didn’t realize was that my mindset wasn’t as big as my ego. And even though I had the tools to be successful, I was too afraid to take massive action. I was playing way too small. And now, without income from my job, the more limiting beliefs kept creeping in. I went back to work. If you’re going to jump like that, you better make sure you have the mindset to do what you need to do. Oh, and on a side note, if this is your experience too and you had to return to work, there’s nothing wrong with that.
I considered giving up quite a few times. No sooner than that thought crossed my mind, I always felt this nagging nerve telling me to press on and that I’m meant for more than this. Just because I made a mistake and jumped too quickly didn’t mean I wasn’t talented. Now that I had consistent income again, I now knew I had limiting beliefs. Something I didn’t recognize I had before. So I created a resume of praises. My resume consisted of client testimonials or positive comments from people on social media, letting me know how much they appreciated me and how my coaching, teaching, or training helped them. And it reminds me that If I give up, I’m giving up on them.
So, how are things going today? How did your values lead to your eventual success?
Things are going in the right direction. The business continues to grow, and I have introduced more ways to leverage it, especially for a mom of four. I’ve added two more members to my team and in the process of looking for a 3rd.
I am so excited to be relaunching my starter course Webinar Jumpstart Toolkit that serves as a baseline of the concept of webinars and equips you with the knowledge you need to begin to see sales in your service-based business.
I have so many course ideas coming down the line that will help entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs start and continue to build a successful service-based business by learning some of the strategies I’m about to sin this article.
Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a founder or CEO should know in order to create a very successful service based business? Please share a story or an example for each.
One of the fastest ways to earn an income is by starting an online service-based business. I started my online coaching business in 2016 and, within four weeks, had my first 1,000 dollars one-on-one client and then my next.
However, I wasn’t able to sustain this business model because my business didn’t follow the five things I’ve learned over the years. Currently, my business allows me to leverage my time, earn money while I’m sleeping, and spend more time with family.
If you’re considering starting a service based business or already have one and want it to be successful, here are five things you need to know to be a successful service based entrepreneur. You can also watch my five things here: https://youtu.be/4DYp6K5eEnw
1. Lead with passion. Building a business is hard work. There are going to ups and downs. There will be times when you don’t feel like making calls, writing that social media post, or pitching that podcast. It helps when your business path is doing what you love and have passion for. Having this passion will push you forward when you need it most.
2. Address an urgent pain. Make sure your business solves an urgent pain for your customers or clients. Solving an urgent pain is the difference between “That sounds interesting, Hm” clients versus “You’re a godsend I need you Now” clients. Remember: People pay to get out of Hell; they don’t pay to get into Heaven.
3. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Find businesses already doing what you want to do and model them. When the competition is great, this is the red ocean of a viable business idea. However, be unique by addressing needs those businesses aren’t meeting for their current customers. Providing for these unmet needs is how you establish a blue ocean for your service-based business.
4. Make your business scalable. We don’t want to work 60–80 hours/week in our business. A TRUE entrepreneur has learned how to earn more by working less. In other words, make cash while you’re on vacation or sleeping. Create processes and systems to make your business run like a well-oiled machine.
5. Sell to repeat customers. It is a lot cheaper to sell to repeat customers than to acquire new ones. It cost time and money to educate a cold audience about your business. Your people already know, love, and trust you. So make sure you show up personally to create and nurture those relationships.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Without a doubt, it would have to be my husband Clay, who doesn’t have a single entrepreneurial cell in his body, but he supports and believes in me. He has been there through the ups and downs and the fears and frustrations. He encourages me when I’m at my lowest and celebrates with me when I’m at my highest.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My business is part of a movement to inspire people to stop dreaming and start doing. God gave everyone a gift, and each of us can live in our version of abundance. So it makes no sense that only 1% of the population finds real success while the other 99% don’t even try.
I want to do whatever I can to increase that percentage because everyone has something they can contribute to the world, which means that’s a lot of ideas not being manifested into existence. That’s a real shame. If my business can help people turn that idea into something awesomesauce, I want to help do that because just as someone out there needs me, someone needs them. That’s the movement I’m creating with go-getters.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!