Have you ever wondered if you could really make money on the Internet? I’ve got a solution for you. I’m going to share how to build a business by solving your community’s problems.
Are you confused about how to get started, or maybe not sure where your expertise lies?
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Can You Really Build a Business by Solving your Community’s Problems?
If either of those things is true for you, you’re going to want to listen to today’s episode because it’s all about building communities and finding ways to make money from them.
My guest, Kelly McCausey, has been at this “making money on the internet” thing for quite a while.
She began as a broke single mom, looking for a way to provide for her family. Today, she runs a site called Love People + Make Money.
Kelly has learned how to build communities and serve her people by finding out what their problems are, and either creating products to solve them, or using affiliate links to provide solutions.
Pivoting in Business
As Kelly’s business grew, she began to learn more and more skills in her niche until she was seen by others as an expert. So, when she decided to pivot in her business, she knew exactly which way to go.
Instead of doing things for people, which is what she had built her business on, she began a business teaching people how to do those things for themselves.
She went from creating websites and design for clients to selling information services and coaching.
Kelly figured out how to leverage her skills to encompass everything she was doing for others and turn that into a business of its own.
The Importance of Building a Community
Creating content is easy for many people when they begin an online business. Writing a blog post might be easy-peasy for you.
The question is, do you know how to promote it?
Do you know how to market your skills or content online?
How do you take the podcast you’re pouring your heart and soul into and get it in front of people who could benefit from it?
Kelly didn’t know how important community was when she started her podcast. She was simply curious and wanted to ask questions of smart people.
And while she knew that others would enjoy listening to the show, she had no idea how much they would enjoy interacting with each other.
Back in 2001 when Kelly was doing her podcast, there was no Facebook, or any other social media platform, where audiences could interact with each other. People used forums to have discussions.
An organic audience grew around her podcast and she and a partner began running a paid mastermind. The podcast and their content marketing led people to the mastermind membership.
Fast forward a few months and the women in the member community were planning projects together.
As the community grew around Kelly’s offerings, she was ultimately able to leave her day job to focus full-time on her business.
Growing Community Through Content
“Content will attract a community and content will grow a community.”
Building a community around your content takes a strategy; it’s not a case of build it and they will come. Nothing is ever that simple.
Facebook has made it so easy to create a community that people think, “Oh, I’ll start a Facebook group. I’ll build a community there.”
But if your idea of community is sharing a ton of links and articles with the people there but not fostering conversation, you aren’t building a community.
Communities share experiences. To build an authentic community, create a space that’s about the members, not about you.
Co-creating with your community members is the real way to build a community that people want to be a part of. Move toward your members and away from total self-promotion.
Kelly’s focus is on building a community she loves, getting to know their needs, and then positioning herself to solve problems for them.
She positions herself to know what female marketers need in the realm of content marketing and she teaches them those things.
But at some point, Kelly was faced with not being able to solve a problem for someone in her community. What do you do when, not if, that happens?
Simple. Find someone who can solve it for them and use affiliate programs to continue to build your own business while still solving your audience’s problems.
Use Affiliates to Market to Your Community
Kelly was late to start with affiliate marketing. She’s authentic when she says she didn’t start using it until a full year after she should have. She just figured there wasn’t much money in it.
The problem was that she missed the big picture that, like most things, affiliate marketing starts slowly but it builds momentum.
Affiliate marketing isn’t a get rich quick scheme, so start now if you want to see results later.
*Just a note: MiloTree has a very generous affiliate program so if you love our MiloTree pop-up and you send new customers our way, we want to show our great appreciation to you and pay you $20 per conversion.
The fantastic thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s a 3-way win:
- As the affiliate, you win by making money.
- The business you are linking to wins because you send them sales.
- And the person who clicks on your affiliate links and makes a purchase wins because they get a great product.
As an affiliate marketer, you aren’t trying to squeeze every drop of money you can from your audience. You are simply putting forward products that are relevant to your niche, products that will help your audience, and products that you use and believe in.
If you currently have content on your site that could contain affiliate links but you don’t have them there, go back right now and add them in.
You are doing your audience a disservice by not telling them about products that could change their lives.
Why We Undervalue Ourselves
As women, we want to serve others; we want to care for them. But what that often means is that we undervalue our talents, time, and products.
You need to be willing to charge what you are worth, and not feel guilty about it. The more money you make through affiliates, the more you can serve your people with free content.
Sometimes moms have a skewed perception of what their time and work are worth. Making money through affiliate marketing can feel awkward or unfair. Like, why should you be making this “easy money”?
Here’s the deal: if you are not charging what you are worth, people will believe that you don’t know what you are talking about. So, pick a number that makes you uncomfortable and then double it.
Monetary Stages of Business
There are stages in your business when you will know that you should raise your prices, but it’s okay to start small.
If you love to shop at a certain store, it’s fine to tag that store in your IG story just because you really do love the store and you want to get in front of them. When you’re just getting started in business, you aren’t going to be doing $10K campaigns for Target.
But as you continue growing your business, you also continue to grow personally and as an entrepreneur. Offer low prices in the beginning in order to build your portfolio of testimonials and partnerships.
As your partnerships grow, raise your prices. If you do a campaign for $50 and it’s successful, offer a second campaign for $100.
At some point, you will hit what Kelly calls “your sweet price,” when your customer does not want to pay more, and you’re happy with the number. Then you don’t have to keep charging more.
I loved Kelly’s story and the experiences she shared with us in this episode. Be sure to listen in to the episode in its entirety to glean all the nuggets she shared that we couldn’t include in this post.
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- 4:25 Pivoting in Business
- 8:24 Building Community
- 10:45 Growing Community Through Content
- 18:45 Community Strategies
- 24:40 Affiliate Marketing
- 32:30 Undervaluing Ourselves
- 43:35 Monetary Stages of Business
TOP 4 TAKEAWAYS
- Leverage your skillset (what you already know a lot about) to create a business you love.
- To build an authentic community, create a space that’s about the members, not about you.
- Affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme so start now and let it build over time.
- Charge what you are worth.