Julie Stoian is a Digital Marketer and founder of the business + lifestyle brand Create Your Laptop Life where startup entrepreneurs learn profitable online marketing strategies.
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ClickFunnels – Julie’s small business resource
The 7 Day Startup – Julie’s Top Business Book
Create Your Laptop Life – Julie’s website
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3 Value Bombs
1) Be generous in giving away free content that is valuable to your audience.
2) There’s always going to be one person who doesn’t like you or your work.
3) Marketing is king.
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(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[01:06] – Julie started out as a web designer
[01:17] – Her life exploded in 2014 when she got a divorce
[01:27] – She became a digital marketer because she had to earn money for her children
[01:48] – Her area of expertise is in sales funnels and Facebook ads
[02:18] – Share something we don’t know about your area of expertise that as Entrepreneurs, we probably should: A value ladder is about bringing your customers into your business and offering them a low-cost option and then higher, more expensive options. Attract customers by making your best offer FREE
[04:11] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: During her transition as a marketer, Julie hesitated to charge what she was supposed to. She was so scared that she just charged “a safe amount”. Unfortunately, the first person she charged a huge amount to ended up hating her work, so she decided to give a refund even though she knew it wasn’t her fault
[06:22] – The most hurtful thing was that she gave back the money that was supposed to go to her family to buy groceries
[07:04] – “No one customer or client can ruin your business”
[07:41] – Get a great support system in place
[08:45] – Do the right thing
[09:28] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Julie’s ah-ha moment happened when she was doing lead generation for a client. She realized that she could actually get paid to educate clients
[12:04] – Educate your market
[12:44] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I’m collaborating with Russell Brunson and I get to get inside of his brain and write all the crazy things he thinks up”
[14:19] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “My own head”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “If you want to grow a multi-million dollar business, it is not about skills and it’s not about strategy – it’s about relationships”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Waking up at 5am and getting all of that really hard brain-power work done that takes a lot of creative energy – getting it done before I even get out of bed is a huge win”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – ClickFunnels
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The 7 Day Startup – “it inspired me to take action”
Julie: Yes, I am so excited we’re doing this right at the end of the year.
Julie: I’m ready for 2018. It’s awesome!
Interviewer: Bring it on!
Julie: Bring it on!
Interviewer: Julie is a digital marketer and founder of the business and lifestyle brand, Create Your Laptop Life where startup entrepreneurs learn profitable online marketing strategies. Julie, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro and give us just a little glimpse of your personal life.
Julie: Yeah, sure. So, I started out in the digital world as a web designer and I did little side gigs. I had some kids; I was a stay-at-home mom. My life really kind of exploded in 2014 and I ended up divorced and, all of a sudden, I had to figure out how to make REALLY good money, not just side hustle money and this is what really catapulted my entrepreneurial journey. I became a digital marketer because I realized that was where the money was and I went on a journey to figure out how to go from side hustle to millionaire. That’s kind of how I got where I am now.
Interviewer: Well, you learned a lot on that journey, Julie. So, kind of break down what you consider right now today your area of expertise.
Julie: Yes, so my area of expertise primarily revolves around sales funnels and Facebook ads. I do it a lot for course creators and I also teach service providers. So, people who are virtual assistants, social media managers. People like this come to me for training on how to be better at digital marketing in the sales funnel and Facebook ads arena.
Interviewer: So, I’m a funnels guy.
Interviewer: What’s something that I probably don’t know about funnels that I probably should?
Julie: Yeah, so I know you love Russell Brunson. I love Russell Brunson and so for those of you that don’t know he is the KING of sales funnels and he has this concept called a value ladder. It’s about bringing your customers into your business and giving them low-cost offers and higher and more expensive offers and a lot of times with clients they get stuck because they want to save their BEST thing for their most expensive thing. So, I’ll play this game with them and it works really well. I’ll say, “Give me your BEST. What’s your best course idea? What’s the thing that you think is the juiciest and the sexiest?” They’ll tell me and I’ll be like, “Awesome! Let’s make that free.” It completely blows their mind and they’re like, “No, no, I’m going to lose all my money.” I’m like, “No, actually, you’re not.”
So, I kind of reverse engineer when I’m building a sales funnel because people intuitively like to kind of hold onto what’s their most valuable when that’s really what we should be leading in with.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, why should anybody trust you? Like, I’m asking you that question. Why should anybody trust me? Why should anybody trust ANYBODY? We need to prove ourselves. How do we prove ourselves? By giving away amazingness, by giving away value, by giving away something that just is going to blow people away. They’re going to say, wow, if so and so is willing to give this to me for FREE, what is their pay stuff like? What is that next step? Why would I not want to associate myself with somebody that’s doing so much awesome stuff?
Now, Julie, that’s a great, great piece of feedback and, Fire Nation, I really hope you take that in. But I do want to shift this now to the darker times; not the darker personal times which you got into a little bit in the intro but the darker entrepreneurial times because you don’t just flip open a laptop and start making millions of dollars. You’ve had some tough business moments, so take us to your worst entrepreneurial moment, Julie. Tell us that story.
Julie: When I started transitioning into marketer I had to – it was really scary because I was used to charging low amounts and I felt like that was safe and what happened was I knew that I had to charge double and triple but I was so scared. The very first person that I charged outrageous amounts compared to what I had been used to HATED my work. You know, if you’re a service provider that means like if you do any sort of client-based work it can be REALLY personal, you know. It feels like an artform. You’re working so hard. The client maybe doesn’t like it and so I remember I had to give – I basically made the decision to give the money back because even though I KNEW that it wasn’t really my fault I was more concerned with not burning bridges and keeping my reputation than I was about making the money. I gave ALL the money back. It was the most – it was so scary.
Interviewer: Julie, let me stop you here for a second.
Interviewer: Now, we don’t need to use names or even super specifics but what was it that you created for this person? Like, what was that thing that you spent time on and why did it hurt so much that they hated it?
Julie: Well, because it was two months of my life designing a website that they –
Interviewer: So, it was designing a website? This website was for funnels. You were going to click through optimization rates. Like, what was it that you were creating for them?
Julie: It was for their entire business. Like, they were – I can’t remember what he did. He was an online course creator and he wanted a new website and he wanted funnels and we had spent all this time together. I had created it but, you know, he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted but I did the best that I could. At the end of the day he was a little weird. I’m not going to lie. He didn’t like it and so I gave the money back and I remember sitting on my bed feeling like I don’t know if I can do this. I need to go back to my cheaper prices, a side hustle. Maybe I should get a job. Like, it really caused – because this was like food for my kids. This wasn’t just like extra money to go buy a purse, you know.
I was giving back money that I was using to buy groceries and so it caused a major crisis for me and I’m so glad that I didn’t quit and let that one bad experience taint my grit and my hustle to keep going.
Interviewer: So, for Fire Nation, Julie, that’s listening right now and they’re saying, man, either A, that has happened to me or I feel like that might happen to me in my current situation anytime soon or, you know, somebody that maybe is listening and they’re not even starting going down that road of raising their prices or upping their game because they’re scared of this exact same thing happening to them.
Interviewer: What can you share with us? Give us ONE piece of feedback, one piece of guidance that really helped YOU.
Julie: I think the one thing is no ONE customer or client really has the power to ruin your business. It feels like it in the moment, especially if there’s a lot of drama, you know. We get – whether it’s refund requests or clients that don’t like your work or whatever it is when you’re starting business, someone is not going to like you. Someone someday is going to make a lot of noise about it and you’re going to feel so scared. I have had haters and bad clients and I think anyone in the internet marketing world, the more visible you get the more likely that is to happen. They do not have the power you think they have in moment, so keep going.
Get a great support system in place so that you can lose your cool with people where it’s safe so when you come back on the internet you have your crap together and you’re not going to make really poor decisions in that moment because it’s stressful.
Interviewer: I was just at a Keynote with Hal Elrod and I just loved how he shared this one tactic that he uses. He is like, listen, crappy stuff is going to happen and don’t pretend that it doesn’t. So, use the five-minute rule and take five minutes and just call somebody up or just go into the bathroom and look into the mirror. If you’re somebody that likes to swear, swear. If you’re somebody that likes to yell, yell. Whatever it is, give yourself five minutes and then come back and say, okay, that was my five minutes. Now whatever happens is in the past. My five minutes are also in the past. There is literally nothing that can benefit me from dwelling in that. How can I move forward? Then you just move forward from there because, Fire Nation, this is always going to happen.
That’s why I love when Julie shared that she gave the money back because, you know, Julie needs to feel good about herself in this business. You need to feel good, Fire Nation, about yourself in this business. You need to do the right thing. If you are creating work to the best of your capabilities at that point, which by the way, might be a lot lower than you’re going to be able to do in a year but that’s okay. You’re not a year older right now or a year wiser or a year more experienced. Do the best work you can right now. Be proud of it and if it’s not for everybody, guess what? It’s not for everybody and move on to that next opportunity and keep growing one step at a time.
So, Julie, that was obviously an aha moment that you had. It was that realization of this person is not going to keep me down. What is another great idea that you’ve had? What’s an aha moment story that you can tell us, Fire Nation, today?
Julie: I feel like I’ve had a lot of aha moments in this journey. I feel like I have them all the time. One of the things that because I’ve been in the web design business and now I’m in the digital marketing business in sale funnels, Facebook ads, so I work a lot with clients. I had an aha moment as I was doing what we call lead generation – looking for new clients. Anyone in this service industry are always just scraping around looking for clients and I had this aha moment that I could actually get paid to educate them that they need me. Let me explain what I mean by that. I was doing this thing where I was looking for clients that were actively, like, hey, I need to hire so and so. Those are limited numbers of people, but every single business owner needs marketing.
They need to know how to market themselves on the internet. So, instead of just looking for businesses that were actively searching for a sales funnel designer or web designer, or whatever, I started seeing EVERYONE as a potential customer and it was MY job to educate them about why they needed me. I actually ended up getting paid to do that. So, I would create these paid sessions where I would educate them and then I would turn around and send them a big proposal and they would accept. So, this is probably one of my best ideas because it has really helped a lot of other service providers who have worked with me. They realize, oh, my gosh, I don’t have to give away the farm in my brain. Like, my brain is actually worth something and I can charge for that.
So, that was a big switch for me, a huge aha moment, and it completely changed how much I could charge, scope creep, all those things that happen to people who are running agencies (marketing and advertising agencies) because I was getting paid to do all that legwork upfront. And then the proposal was really clear, really dynamic, and they usually would accept because they’ve hung out with me for a few hours and they’ve already invested some money. They were just a much higher-level client.
Interviewer: I could get paid to educate potential clients they need me. I mean, think about that mindset shift, Fire Nation, instead of sitting around like everybody else is just waiting for somebody to raise their hand and be like, ooh, ooh, I need something and then everybody rushing to that one person. Why not educate the masses and then let the ones that really can understand what you’re educating them about knowing that they need help, then they can say, okay, well, I know that I need this now because I’ve been educated about it and what better person to help me get there than the person who educated me who I already know I like and trust. Sometimes, Fire Nation, the market needs a little education. Be that person in your niche, which is why I say it over and over again. You have to be niche. You have to really niche down further and further until you can dominate that area, until you can be one of the best in that area of expertise so that when it comes time for people to pick you after you’ve educated them, you’re the obvious person because that’s what you do.
So, Julie, what today fires you up more than anything else? You get up in the morning, you’re living this laptop lifestyle and you’re doing some cool things but what’s the No. 1 thing you’re most excited about?
Julie: For me, personally, what I’m most excited about today, I have been following lots of AMAZING people in the internet marketing space and Russell Brunson is one of those people. He is my mentor of mentors and he has actually – we’re now collaborating together and I get to get inside of Russell’s brain and write all the crazy things that he thinks up. I’m working on this amazing project right now with him, which is super fun and so if anybody had told me two or three years ago when I started on my entrepreneurial journey that I would be running a brand, that I would be working from my laptop, that I would be collaborating with the person that I admire most, I would never in a million years have believed it.
So, I am super excited about what’s coming down the pike in my business this year and also with Russell Brunson and Clickfunnels because I’m working with them. They’ve got SO many cool things that are coming and if you are into marketing or sales funnels, you need to be on that boat and on that train and watching what they’re doing. It’s super fun.
Interviewer: You’ve got to, Fire Nation. Every six months I do a joint webinar with Russell because he just continues to be cutting edge and coming out with new things and awesome things and exciting things because that’s the world that we live in. Things are always going to be changing. New opportunities are always going to be arising. You need to be with a company and a platform and a team that’s doing just that.
Fire Nation, Julie has some value bombs she’ll be dropping in the Lightning Round when we get back from thanking our sponsors. Julie, are you ready to rock the Lightning Rounds?
Julie: Oh, yeah, bring it on, bring it on. I’m ready!
Interviewer: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Julie: My own head – completely my own mindset.
Interviewer: What’s the best advice you’ve EVER received?
Julie: The best advice I’ve ever received is that if you want to grow a multimillion dollar business it is not about skills. It is not about strategy. It is about relationships. People do business with people and your net worth is really determined by your network. It is the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
Interviewer: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Julie: Waking up at 5:00 a.m. and getting all of that really hard brainpower work that takes a lot of creative energy, getting it done – before I get out of bed I grab my laptop. I sit down, I do a couple hours of work, and then I get up and start my day.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, my alarm is set on repeat for 5:02 a.m. I don’t really know why 5:02. It just seems like 4:59 seems too early and 5:00 is just too close to the 4 so I needed a couple minute buffer but when I see 5:02 I’m like, oh, my god, it’s already past 5:00. I’ve got to get up. So, Julie, recommend one internet resource and share why?
Julie: Yeah, I’m going to recommend that you head on over to Clickfunnels and you get a two-week trial and you absorb every piece of free content that Russell gives out because sales funnels are the complete gamechanger in every business I’ve worked with and in my own.
Interviewer: Yeah, Fire Nation, if you want to see that great joy webinar Russell and I did, eofire.com/click. Recommend one book, Julie, and share why.
Julie: I really liked the book, The 7 Day Startup. Now, I can’t remember. I think it was Dan Morris or Dan Norris –
Interviewer: Norris, yeah.
Julie: Norris, yeah, Norris. I really enjoyed it because it inspired me to take action even when I felt like I wasn’t ready. And this idea that you could launch a business in seven days and get it going and kind of learn as you go really changed how I built my business. So, I recommend that for new folks who are just getting started.
Interviewer: Well, Fire Nation, there’s some great audio books out there, so you can get the audio version of books like this. In fact, you can get your first audiobook for free if you’re not currently an audible member. Just head to eofirebook.com. Julie, let’s end today on fire with you giving us a parting piece of guidance, sharing the best way that we can connect with you and then we’ll say goodbye.
Julie: So, the best piece of advice I can give to anybody who is getting into entrepreneurship is to remember that the marketing of the business needs to be in charge of your business. I had a digital marketer who came to me once and she said, hey, this bakery really wants me to come in and do their marketing and I could. I could just come in and do their marketing but I know things about marketing now that I really need to adjust. I said, “Don’t be fooled. A mediocre marketer will come in and just do ads for the business. A good marketer will come in and completely restructure the business to make it work with today’s marketing.”
So, don’t be afraid to let marketing and marketing strategies really determine your offers, your pricing, how you work, what customers you serve because until you’ve hit that critical mass of revenue, marketing really needs to be king in your business. So, that’s my parting piece of advice and I also have a free class. If you want to know how to bootstrap your first membership or course launch and you feel like you don’t have a lot of capital to start, you can go to createyourlaptoplife.com/fire and there’s a free class there. I did a case study with a guy, what he did in 90 days with zero visibility, no list, no nothing and how he showed up and delivered a course to his customers.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you’ve been hanging out with J.S. and J.L.D. today. So, keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. Just type Julie in the search bar. Her Show Notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. These are the best Show Notes in the biz. Timestamps, links, galore and, again, Julie, make sure I get this right – createyourlaptoplife.com/fire for that incredible free course. Did I get that right, Julie?
Julie: Yeah, it’s a free class, but yeah.
Interviewer: Oh, free class and, Julie, I want to say thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Julie: Thank you so much.
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