How to Make $21,000 in Six Weeks
Who wouldn’t want to make $20k in 6 weeks? How about in your first 6 weeks of business? Without a website to speak of?
That’s exactly what Nikki Elledge Brown did, and when I heard about her story, I just had to get the dish.
I first came across Nikki because we’re both in the same online program (Marie’s B-school). I first-hand witnessed her gain an almost unstoppable snowball effect of traction for her completely new biz.
So, of course, I wanted her to spill the beans. Below is a Q&A with the lovely Nikki Elledge Brown who graciously allowed me (and you!) a peek inside her seemingly quick success and how you might be able to replicate it.
Without further ado:
“The Communication Stylist” by day, proud military wife and toddler mom by night, Nikki Elledge Brown is a fun-loving communication expert who helps bright entrepreneurs attract their dream clients, one brilliant message at a time.
In her first six weeks of business, she brought in over $21k, 740 subscribers, and 95 one-on-one clients – without even having a website! Her immediate success proves her theory that smart, authentic communication is all you really need to attract the right people and build a fun, profitable business.
Liz: What is it that you do? Who do you serve?
My specialty (experience and formal education – B.A. and M.S.) is in Communication Studies.
My clients are bright entrepreneurs who see the value in smart, authentic communication. I help them attract their dream clients by creating an genuinely engaging presence – both online and in person. No fakey pants – no false air of what they think they “should” sound like, but the best versions of who they really are.
So many folks have AMAZING talents and skills to bring to the table, but when it comes time to communicate their value, they flop. They’re missing out on great business because they’re not creating the right impression of who they really are – whether on the screen, in print, or in person.
It’s my job to fix that!
Liz: What sort of growth have you seen for your business? Give us the deets!
It’s been kinda crazy. I accidentally launched my biz back in April. (I say “accidentally” because the overwhelming response took me by complete surprise.)
I’ve been “in business” for almost four months, and as I write this, I’ve connected with over 840 email subscribers and 110 clients.
Those numbers are far beyond what I ever imagined, but what really boggles my mind is that the vast majority of this growth happened in a span of three and a half WEEKS. Truly. In my second month of business (late April, early May), I had a super-basic FREE MailChimp opt-in box, a few well-crafted Facebook posts, an unfinished logo screenshot, and four bootleg (yet thoughtful) newsletters.
I put out a special offer in Marie Forleo’s B-School group, and this happened (without an opt-in freebie OR an actual website):
- My subscriber list grew from 41 to 718 people.
- My client list grew from 2 to 92. Not kidding.
- My business income went from under $600 to over $20,000.
In 3.5 weeks. Redonkulous.
Liz: What do you think has been the ‘secret’ to your success?
I’ve been trying to figure that out, because my clients are dying to replicate it!
Here’s what I chalk it up to:
A targeted audience: You’ve gotta speak to people who want what you’ve got. The B-School community is filled with my dream clients – smart solopreneurs who know they need help communicating their true value in a way that feels authentic.
Great timing: And you’ve gotta be a bit strategic about it. I shared this special offer in “marketing week” – so this issue was at the forefront of their minds.
Proof: We’re social creatures. We need proof. Even though I didn’t have a website, I’d shared a few testimonials from my free sessions to provide social proof. Also, my actual writing was proof that I can walk the walk. I was “selling them” on the value of smart, authentic communication WITH smart, authentic communication. The (social) proof was in the pudding.
Authenticity: Smart entrepreneurs see the value in keeping it real. Throughout the whole thing, I was totally myself. I was as surprised by the crazy reaction as everyone else was, and I let them know it. I didn’t wanna pretend like this was EXPECTED. At some point I literally said, “Is this a joke?!”. I was reacting with genuine gratitude. It was ridiculously humbling. I think people were drawn to that.
Buzz: There’s nothin’ like jumpin’ on a bandwagon. Once people kept commenting, liking, and signing up, more people kept commenting, liking, and signing up! Before we knew it, there were hundreds of likes, comments, and new subscribers over a span of DAYS. One person literally said, “I don’t know what I’m signing up for, but I want in!” HA!
Again, I didn’t create this on purpose, so it’s hard to nail it down. But it’s just fun to be a part of something that feels big. I think this felt big to all of us.
Liz: Did you really start from ‘zero’? What experience/connections do you think gave you the ability to achieve such awesome growth so soon in your new business?
Yep. In March 2013 – I didn’t have a list, and I had 0 clients.
When it comes to experience, however, I’m no new kid on the block. I’ve got bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communication Studies – the social science of communication. I spent nearly 2,000 hours teaching communication at the college level before deciding to switch my focus from serving bright students to serving bright entrepreneurs.
I’ve spent my entire life helping family and friends proof, edit, revise, reword everything – from resumes and cover letters to emails and awkward personal conversations. Communication is my #1 StrengthsFinder strength. It’s part of the fiber of my being!
Liz: How do you recommend others try to replicate the growth you’ve seen?
See tips above
Liz: How can people connect with you to watch you in action?
I’ve got a lot of exciting things planned for the fall, including live Q&A calls, a new spin on my one-on-one sessions, and the big kahuna – my first online writing course designed specifically for entrepreneurs (as opposed to college students!). I’ll spill the juicy details at my digital home sweet home, http://nikkielledgebrown.com.
Click here to snag a FREE copy of The Conversational Copy Cheat Sheet – the must-have checklist for writing deliciously personalized copy that sounds like YOU.
What about you?
Thanks again to Nikki for taking the time to share her story with me and with you. If you want to watch Nikki work her magic on the social media webs, you can catch her on Facebook here.
But tell me – what are your tips for gaining traction with a new biz? Or start a spark on an existing one? What’s been your best strategy for growth? What do you think of Nikki’s story? Let me know in the comments!