4 Big Milestones To Reach $1 Million In Sales With Your Business Online

Many of you might be wondering what the road map to success looks like when planning for the future of your online business to reach the one million dollars in sales mark.

Though, what are the main 4 steps that you should be focusing on as your business develops to make sure to reach your goal?

To really have an online business that is sustainable, consistently growing, and partly automated, you have to put in the work—and part of that is knowing WHAT milestones to expect.

There are four big steps, especially in terms of what you are offering in your business, and these steps are what I’m sharing with you today.

1.  Focus on one core product.

As an entrepreneur starting out, you need to first establish two things: what are you selling? And who are you selling it to?

Ideally, you want to have a core product in the price range of $100-$300. This will generate good revenue when you start selling.

However, if you have an e-commerce shop, it works a little different number-wise. Regardless, you want to focus hard on making that one product work, selling it, almost on autopilot, until the market wants it and wants to buy it from you.

2. Implement backend offer.

If you are focusing on that core product, and really pushing it out to your niche audience, you should hit your $1 million milestone in a matter of months to a year.

Once you reach $1 million in revenue, then you can focus on your backend offer, usually something a little higher priced. This will allow you to really double down on business and get those conversion rates to a place where you can feel good about them.

3. Reach more audiences.

If you answered those two questions at the beginning, then you should have a good idea of who your niche audience is. And if you have been focusing on your core product and backend offer, you have enough freedom in your business to find different audience segments.

Get creative.

Who else can you help with your core product?

How can you pivot your message (or your core product) to meet new audiences?

4. Scale, scale, scale.

By this point, your core product is well-received with testimonial proof, helping people, and generating revenue.

You have your backend offer in place, and you’re finding ways to continuously bring people in with different tripwire products.

FREE Video Training Alert: If you're struggling with any of this and especially your funnel because it just isn't converting the way you want it to, check out my free video training on the '10 Simple Ways To Fix Your Funnel That Doesn't Convert': {https://funnelproacademy.com/funnelmagic}.

Now, it’s time to scale up as much possible. This is when you invest money into paid advertising so that more people find your business. And this is where you should really blow up!

Hopefully, if you’ve followed these milestones, and put the work and building blocks in place, you’ll find success in your business online.

P.s. You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/12/03/can-realistically-make-100k-online-12-months/

How to get your online business GDPR ready?

Or, in other words, making GDPR sexy again

Last week, my entrepreneur friend Jodi Hoffman and I hopped on a Facebook Live Interview and talked about EVERYTHING GDPR.

When I first heard about this term a few months ago, I was so confused.

GDPR or, General Data Protection Regulation?

I was also confused what this would mean for my business.

As a result, we decided to shed some light on this inside my Facebook Groups Community, Social Media Funnel Hacks, as well because I knew that I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way.

Here is the interview and all the things that we talked about.

Enjoy!

Cornelia: Jodi, thanks for being here!

Can share your story with us and why you’re so passionate about this?

Jodi: Of course!

I’m Jodi Daniels.

I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, and I spent a nineteen-year corporate career across four big multi-national companies.

Most recently, I was senior vice president at Bank of America as their digital privacy expert. I left last summer to go out on my own and join the online entrepreneur world where I started my own privacy consulting business.

Since then, I have been knee-deep in GDPR. I feel like I eat, breathe, sleep all things GDPR. I’m getting companies from one person to huge multinational companies ready for GDPR.

Why am I passionate? Because I see so much opportunity, and there’s so much confusion that I really help bring everything I’m doing in my everyday world to the mass online audience.

Cornelia: How about we start with the basics?

GDPR might be completely new to someone. How would you explain it in one to three words?

Jodi: GDPR is all about protecting the EU residents’ personal data.

In a conference a couple weeks ago, I heard from the original drafter of the GDPR, and she said that GDPR is all about giving back the rights to and EU resident over their digital data.

Cornelia: I’m curious. What conference was that?

Jodi: The Global Privacy Summit.

3,500 privacy professionals from around the world congregate in Washington D.C. every year to talk about the latest that is happening in privacy, and as you can imagine, it was GDPR, GDPR, and more GDPR.

Cornelia: So many Europeans are very freaked out about it because it does have an effect on your business—if you’re not becoming GDPR compliant.

Jodi: It really does.

I think it’s important to talk about who this affects.

We define it as protecting an EU resident’s personal data, but what if I’m in the US?

Why should I be focused on GDPR?

And that’s because any company around the world that’s processing that data or targeting that person has to comply.

If I have a website and I use my Facebook pixel set to global, and I lure you to set up for my freebie, I just embarked on GDPR world.

Cornelia: Can you tell us more when it comes to online businesses and what the next best step someone has to do right now to prepare for GDPR?

Jodi: Great question.

The first things that you need to know is what kind of data you have and how you are using it. You can’t write a privacy policy if you don’t know those basics.

And to do that, you have to know the definition of personal data because under GDPR, it’s a little different.

It’s not what a lot of people think: name, email, address, financial information.

It’s also online identifiers.

It’s the Facebook pixel, Google analytics pixel, or any other pixel in cookies that you have on your site like IP address.

All of that is included in the definition of personal data.

Based on that, figure out what you are collecting and who you are using it with, such as an email service provider, an agency, vendors, etc.

Once you have that inventory, then you have to work on communicating what it is you’re doing to the person you have coming to your sites and services.

And that’s where the privacy notice comes in.

A privacy notice is a legal document.

It’s the document that is your communication to the user of what you’re collecting, how you’re using the data, who you’re sharing it with, how you’re protecting it, and how long you’re keeping it for.

GDPR has a number of very specific requirements you’re supposed to have in it.

And other companies have requirements too, such as Facebook and Google.

So, you have to get your privacy notice in order, and you can’t do that until you know what it is you have.

Cornelia: We’ve talked about segmenting your list so you can have a list for your European citizens and have a list for the rest of the world.

Is this something that is recommended right now?

Jodi: The other important part of GDPR is how you use the data.

You can’t just collect it and use it however you want.

You have to have what they call a legal basis to use it. One of the very common ones online is consent to be emailed.

The way we’ve been collecting consent is going to change under GDPR.

The email service providers are getting ready to help everyone to be able to do this from a technological standpoint.  But we have to do our jobs as the users to know how to use these tools.

Everyone is getting geared up to update the tools.

And what that means is— if I have a user from the US, I fall under the US laws, which means I can consent to anything, and I have to be able to let you opt out.

Under GDPR, I also have to let you opt out but you have to opt in.

And the opt in has to meet a bunch specific rules, and one of the very first rules is— it has to be specific, and I can’t have a prechecked box.

So, I can’t just give you my freebie and poof you’re automatically on my list.

As for the segmenting lists, the email service providers are starting to help you figure that out, depending on where your subscribers are from.

And it really depends on your business.

If you think you can separate your global customers like that, you can, but it’s just a lot to think about.

It’s a matter of how sophisticated your business is and how easy or not easy you want to make it.

I think it will be interesting to see how this will influence other areas.

If people get used to the GDPR way, will everyone get used to it and sort of come up stream with it, even if you don’t have to?

Cornelia: The opt-in checkbox is necessary?

Jodi: It’s absolutely necessary!

That’s what the emails service providers are working on.

You have to have that opt-in box.

The email service providers are giving you the tools, but you have to make sure you have the right language in place.

You have to have your privacy notice there, making sure it’s updated properly.

The other thing I think is important to know is that consent is not forever.

If five years from now, I have not opened anything from you, I should not be on your list.

Cornelia: About that consent, we get so many emails anymore that we forget what we signed up for and it usually goes straight into the spam folder.

So, I see this is as a good thing, like tidying out your closet.

Jodi: I agree! I think a lot of people talk about having a really big list, but other people are more into quality lists that are small but convert well and have high engagement.

It’s not always about quantity.

Cornelia: I couldn’t agree more.

Do you have templates with the correct verbiage?

Jodi: Yeah, I have some checklists that you can get from my GDPR Secret Weapon Compliance Kit right here.

I also have a Facebook group, called GDPR 101, where we talk a lot about this.

Cornelia: Can you give us some background on why this whole GDPR thing came about?

Jodi: It’s really interesting.

There’s actually a pre-existing privacy directive in place called the Data Protection Directive from 1995.

But times have changed a little bit as the digital era came around.

They realized that after 20 plus years it was time to update how personal data is being used.

I think a significant amount came from the digital world with advertising, tracking, and everything around email (stalking or not stalking, depending on who you ask).

As I mentioned, the original drafter is all about GDPR giving people back their rights to their digital data.

There are 28 different states in the EU, and they all had their different versions of the Data Protection Directive. And now there is one GDPR.

Each state can enforce it a little different.

And that was one big part, to try and level the playing field.

Fundamentally, if you take away all of the crazy rules and check-boxes, it’s about protecting the rights and freedom of an EU resident.

And this really goes back to WWI and WWII.

Some of those sensitive information areas of data, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. could have some really negative impacts if people were profiled according to that information.

So, they’re trying to protect that privacy as a fundamental right.

When someone signs up for a freebie, it doesn’t always mean they want thirty more emails from your business.

And from a business prospective, it’s different than if you look at it from that person’s perspective; it helps to see what GDPR is all about.

Cornelia: It is really important to put yourself into the shoes of your customers.

There’s a human being behind every email you send, so just a little bit of sensitivity is really important.

Jodi: Exactly.

There’s a person behind that cookie, and that’s why they added that line about personal identifiers.

If you really use all of the technology and tools available, you can tell who “cookie 123” is, and that’s where GDPR is going.

Cornelia: Are there any loopholes?

Jodi: I’m sure there are some loopholes that are going to get figured out.

A lot of this is going to be in how you interpret it.

So, I mentioned you have to have a lawful basis.

The one part where I think you might find some is in “legitimate interest.”

It’s about how a business has to market to get business.

So, a company will say, “I can do all sorts of things to get business,” while the GDPR is saying, “no, that’s not quite what we had in mind.”

That’s where a lot of the gray areas are.

Cornelia: When someone opts in for our freebie, we automatically send them our newsletters, right?

Jodi: You have to add the verbiage so that they understand this.

You have, “Sign up for my freebie,” on your website, and you need that opt-in checkbox there.

It can’t be the way it used to be.

Just like in Facebook groups.

You can’t be asking for people’s email addresses to join groups because you need proof of that consent.

Consent is very complicated.

There are multiple pieces and it’s more than just this one simple form.

One of the pieces is that you can’t condition.

So, the freebie has value and you shouldn’t have to get the marketing to get the freebie.

Cornelia: What about existing subscribers?

Jodi: It applies retroactively. 

If you have met GDPR requirements with your existing list, then you’re okay. Keep emailing.

If you haven’t, then people are doing some re-permission campaigns.

But be careful with that.

Do not email people who have opted-out.

Big companies have gotten in trouble with that. GDPR is in effect now but will be enforced on May 25.

Cornelia: What would be some of the verbiage for that?

Jodi: You can say, “Hey, you’ve been a member, and we’re working on our compliance in GDPR, and we still want you to be part of our community. If you do want to be part of our community, click here.”

You have to get that consent.

They need to take some type of action.

But you have to be careful not to put conditions on that consent or you’re back in the same circle.

It’s a great relationship builder.

Yes, people are likely not to click and your list will get smaller, but the people who do click will be loyal followers who have found values in what you’re doing.

Cornelia: Thank you for sharing that.

It’s a great point.

You have to be careful with compliance partners.

Jodi: If you collect with an email service provider, you’re responsible as a business that who you are working is GDPR compliant.

If the vendor doesn’t figure it out, then you can’t use them.

Cornelia: When you have to confirm an opt-in, you have to click a link, and a lot of people don’t like to do that.

Jodi: The part of getting consent is on you as a business.

And people like the double opt-in because it confirms that it’s from the right person.

GDPR does not require the double opt-in, though Germany does.

It’s an industry best practice and it serves a great purpose because the burden of proof is on you.

Cornelia: Do you have a list of providers who have that double opt-in?

Jodi: All of the main ones that I can think of do: MailChimp, Convertkit, etc.

There’s one other part of GDPR that we haven’t touched on, and it’s called individual rights.

You’ve heard me say that GDPR is about the individual’s right to control their digital footprint, and a part of that is the right to be forgotten and the right to port data.

If I ask you to delete my data, that means to actually delete, not just unsubscribe or opt-out. Delete.

The idea for porting is more for e-commerce or a community where you have machine imported data.

That idea is that your data is yours and you should be able to have it, like a medical record or a Netflix movie record.

The opt-outs become a gray area for people who ask if they can market to people who have opted out on another platform, such as Facebook ad targeting.

Some people will say that opting out of an email doesn’t mean they have opted out on Facebook, while others will say that opting out is opting out, period.

I would say not to do that, that people who opt out don’t want to hear from you and that you should move on.

Cornelia: Have there been any talks about how strong the enforcement is going to be?

Jodi: I think you’ll find May 28, some well-known brands will be in the news again and made an example.

It’s a real law, and people need to take it seriously.

Cornelia: This was very helpful and easy to understand, so thank you!

Jodi: Don’t forget you can get a GDPR checklist from my GDPR Secret Weapon Compliancy Kit.

Also, be sure to check out the GDPR workshop if you’re in for some more in-depth knowledge. It helps businesses become compliant with GDPR without all of the confusing legal jargon. It’s very step-by-step. Limited spots available for that one and you can sign up here: https://corneliapauline–redcloveradvisors.thrivecart.com/gdpr-secret-weapon-workshop/

P.s. You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/02/09/17-hats-review-powerful-business-app-small-businesses-like/

The main reason why your online business isn’t making any profit and what to do about it.

How to get more traffic?

How to improve the design of my landing page?

How to optimize my lead generation attempts for better conversions?

How to fill-in-the-blank?

I bet you $100 that if you have all of those things in mind and are wondering about all of those things than you have not cracked the code to your online business yet.

Why?

Because 99% of the time when a business does not make any sales (and with it, revenue), it is due to unfocused messaging in combination with not targeting the right people for your offer.

So, what needs to happen in order to change this?

(1) Focus on getting clear on your messaging.

(2) Speak to the right audience.

You would be surprised at how many online entrepreneurs and business owners are getting this wrong.

Not only that, they also ridiculously undervalue that messaging and audience-matching aspect that needs to happen for an online business to become profitable.

Instead, they buy into every tool or analyzation app they can find, get a funnel building software, hire a Facebook Ads person, a designer, a social media manager, etc. and expect them to create pure magic.

Don’t get me wrong…

All of these people and professionals are super important and if you are not a specialist in any one of them, you want to look into partnering up and hiring a professional like that.

My main point though is that as the CEO, the business owner of your business, the entrepreneur of your product, it is your main responsibility to listen to your target market and figure out HOW to sell WHAT it is that you are selling.

Because, you see, if you do not have an answer to the previous paragraph on the HOW, the WHAT and the WHO, than you won’t have a successful, thriving business.

You would be surprised though how many business owners and entrepreneurs want to rub off this responsibility on a service provider of theirs when it’s really not.

Service providers are there to provide their expert knowledge and further help you scale up your company in different ways and through different implementations of their skill sets.

I’m arguing though that it is not their responsibility to “fix the core of your business”.

And if the core isn’t working, the rest isn’t working either. Not 100%.

Because when at its core your messaging is off and unclear or, the quality of your product/service is crap or, the fact that you are not selling to the right audience… when all of this is happening, this means that no one could ever fix your business for you.

So, I want to encourage you not to ever shy away from these very basic responsibilities and instead take ownership of your business and brand (in the digital space, especially).

If you are actively in business, you are the person that should understand your audience completely inside and out (as if you could almost read their minds).

Let’s get to the important questions though in regards to what you could do if you’re unclear about all of this.

Well, there are 5 things that might help you:

(1) Are you promoting and talking about your product/service with the BIG DOMINO effect in mind?

What is the BIG DOMINO effect you might ask?

Think of a domino as an objections to your product/service and overall message.

In essence, it’s for you to figure out now which domino of all the dominos is the one that you need to make sure off that if you kick it, ALL of the subsequent other dominos will start falling down too?

If you can do that, you’ve found one of the secrets for online business success.

(2) Focus on the vacation, not the plane ride.

Most business owners and entrepreneurs love to talk about all of the features that they’re able to get from a particular product or service.

Your target audience does not care about that.

They care about the vacation!

In other words, they care about the end result and how it will immediately make their life better.

The plane ride is boring.

Telling them about the awesome vacation is cool.

(3) Positioning.

The way you position yourself and your brand is everything.

Sometimes, a slight shift in how you position yourself, can have a HUGE impact on how your product/service offering is coming across to your target audience.

As a basic positioning statement, this might help:

For [your target audience] who are [fulfilling specific characteristics][your company name] provides the [specific category of buyers] with [competitive advantage] because of [unique value proposition and social proof].

(4) What OST are you known for to your market?

OST means ‘One Simple Thing’.

What OST of the entire breadth of products or services you offer are you most likely known for?

Remember, it has to be simple and memorable.

If you have too many things in mind that you could be known for, you need to dig deeper and figure out the OST.

(5) Context, context, context.

I can’t repeat this enough but if your messaging isn’t sent to the right audience, it’ll feel like spam to whoever gets it.

Think carefully about your target audience’s environment, location, activity and time of day when you deliver your message about your product and service.

Also, depending on the type of platform that you’re sharing your message on (Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, a Podcast, Blog, etc.), your target customer/client comes to this platform for a different reason and with a different intention.

Just think of how you use those different platforms yourself and the amount of time you spend on them as well as what type of content you usually consume when getting on the platform… that should give you a very good idea of why your customer/client is on there too.

Depending on that, you have to adjust your messaging to FIT the CONTEXT.

You can read more about this particular point in this other blog post of mine as well:

What are the essentials of a social media strategy?

Finally, if you’re really stuck…

Now, you’ve started to overthink things.

No good.

You need to get away from your laptop and desk for a while, sometimes even a couple of weeks.

You need to give yourself space for new ideas to form or old ideas to confirm themselves.

When you really struggle to pin-point exactly what your message is (the WHAT) and how you’re best delivering it to your ideal audience (the HOW), than the best thing is to step away and let yourself be inspired.

 

Hope you found this helpful.

P.s. If you feel like you truly need more mentorship and coaching when it comes to this topic, you can hire me as a coach on an hourly basis HERE. I also offer monthly packages. Feel free to CONTACT me for more information.

How I Went From Boring Corporate Job To Blissful Boss In Less Than 1 Year

Or, how I quit my corporate job in 2015 at the age of 27 with $7,000 in my bank account, NO clue how to start an online business or make money online and had only 3 months to figure it out until I’d run out of savings.

And figure it out, I did. Read on…

To tell you my whole story, I’d probably have to go back a few years.

It started in college when I studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea. I took a few technology entrepreneurship and international management classes. Inspired by one of my professors, I started a blog.

My goal was to interview entrepreneurs. It quickly turned into a lifestyle blog. I was never able to really figure out how to monetize my efforts though.

So, it was more of a hobby. Regardless, it was back then, when my softly blossoming entrepreneur buds started to originate from.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself in a corporate job as an operations manager at an international corporation.

Okay, it wasn’t my awesome peeps that I worked alongside with that made my corporate job miserable.

Cornelia and fellow AON employees, 2015

Instead, it was the sheer monotony of it.

The fact that I did not use anything at all that I studied and was passionate in (diplomacy and sociology) or, my other creative talents.

You see, I grew up playing the violin professionally all throughout high school.

Cornelia Pauline, 2010

Not only that, I graduated from a special Arts high school before moving to the U.S. to study.

I always thought that there was more to life.

I did not want to get stuck in a corporate job, pretty much having the same routine day in, day out.

I did not want someone else to be in control over my own time.

To me, being the boss of your own time means freedom.

Life is life, though. Plans don’t always work out.

There comes a time when it’s not just about those plans. It’s about your future and it’s about what purpose you decide your life will have (and has).

In other words, how do you want to spend your time?

For me, I knew I wanted to build a legacy.

I wanted to inspire people and wanted to help them break through form the constraints they impose upon themselves and live a life on their terms.

In other words and the only way you can do that is by figuring out what SKILLS and SKILL-SETS you already have (or that you’d love to develop), what innate talents/strengths and figure out how to package them in a way that they become valuable to the overall economy.

Understanding that and figuring that out for yourself will result in – you’ve guessed it, income.

Which, in turn, means you will never have to send out that resume again – hoping someone else will choose you and turn your life around.

No!

Make the choice today to turn your life around.

It all comes down to that, a choice. And that is what I did.

I decided.

So, I started scouting out freelancer websites upon a friend’s recommendation.

My favorite site that I used to experiment with the kind of value I could add to the economy and other businesses was Fiverr.

From when I first used it, it has changed and developed quite a lot.

However, throughout the next six months, I was able to replace the monthly income of my corporate job completely with the kind of money I earned from doing gigs on Fiverr.

First success, right?!

Side note: Yes, I do have a course on Fiverr and even wrote a book on the hacks I used to get those kinds of results. You can find out more about that here: https://fiverrwithfocus.com/welcomefwf

Now, once you get to a certain point, you quickly realize that you need to leave the mothership. It truly felt like that.

Though, I had hit a wall.

I realized that if I really wanted to start growing a successful business (and not only be a freelancer, which is totally fine if this is what you want. it all depends on what you want), I needed to start to figure out how to position myself outside of Fiverr.

So, that’s what I did next.

Once you start branding yourself and positioning yourself correctly, it is pretty straight-forward how to get new business.

And after a ton of trial and error throughout the next few months, I developed a system for this as well.

Hence, I wanted to share it with other aspiring or beginning business owners and entrepreneurs that still struggled with that stage ;). Born was CONNECT, Facebook Networking For Entrepreneurs.

Throughout the beginning and even nowadays, I get about 90% of my clients from being active on Facebook, without spending any money on paid advertising.

The next success!

Don’t get me wrong.

There was a LOT of trial and error involved. There still is. That never stops.

I had people tell me that I was, for example, crazy for ever offering services on Fiverr.

Though the thing is that if you have never before made real money online before to where you can imagine it completely replacing your regular ‘job income’, it’s hard to find the inner attitude and mentality to get and close new clients.

All in all, you have to figure out what works for you.

Though,most beginning business owners and entrepreneurs are either (or both):

(1) Sabotaging themselves because they do not think they have what it takes to live the laptop lifestyle so to speak.

I was the same.

Not only that, I did not know what to sell. Fiverr helped me figure this out without, for example, hiring an online business coach that would have charged me (rightly so) a few thousand dollars a month.

At that point, I was not ready to make that kind of investment.

Maybe I would have achieved my diverse small successes much faster if I had invested in a coach or program though.

What can I say? I can be a bit stubborn at times and want to figure things out on my own.

Nowadays, I’ve realized to not hold on and let go of my stubbornness much sooner. Thanks goodness ;).

(2) Overthinking things. 

You can figure everything out.

Just take it one new information at a time.

Relax.

No one has it all figured out at any given step in their journey.

That’s part of the mystery of life ;).

(3) Too slow when it comes to pivoting.

Yes, there is a difference between following every hottest new shiny object AND pivoting if something is truly not working.

I believe that every single person out there (and if you’re reading this you are certainly one of them), can create the life for themselves and their families that they always dreamed of.

You just got to take a chance on yourself.

Try something.

If it does not feel right after you gave it your best shot, pivot and try something else.

Eventually, you’ll get there.

And some things which might be not right for you anymore tomorrow, are important and true and right in this very moment for you.

It is all an experience you have to go through to grow.

Don’t be afraid of trying.

Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there.

After all, what do you have to loose?

You can always go get another job.

If you have a job right now, you can skip going out with friends for Happy Hour and dedicate some hours during the week to start taking action towards your dreams.

Life can change A LOT in one year.

Heck, you CAN change your entire life in just 12 months!

Think about that.

When I first started, I still worked from a cubicle in an office doing the same thing every day.

12 months later, I developed into a business owner, traveled around the world with my husband and two dogs while loving the work I do for my students and awesome clients and intentionally, building my online empire.

 

Surprise yourself.

You’ve got this!

Oh and don’t forget to spread the love and share this article on your social media if you’ve liked it <3.

Let’s do this!

~ Cornelia Pauline

P.s. For daily hands-on online business and digital marketing tips, be sure to join my free Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/socialmediafunnelhacks/

P.s.s. You might also enjoy this related article of mine: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/12/03/can-realistically-make-100k-online-12-months/

Countdown to 2018!

Oh, what a year it has been!

2017, I have to say I’ve been quite in love with you <3.

However, you’ve also been a year during which I’ve learned a few of the most important life lessons yet.

Let me share a couple of the most important mistakes as well as take-aways that this adventurous year has brought with itself:

💡 You don’t always know what you want unless you try it.

I could have also titled this one as, “life consists of different seasons.”

When you get older, there are different things that are important to you than when you, for example, start college.

As a result, I thought that what I truly desperately wanted at the beginning of 2017 was to travel the world.

Don’t get me wrong.

I STILL want to travel.

I IS one of my biggest passions in life.

However, I realized that after coming back from a 3-month Europe and South Korea trip, what I wanted EVEN more than traveling the world was…

To build a legacy of my own.

I always felt that I was meant for more than dying a slow, potentially very uninspiring, corporate death.

That was one of the reasons I got into entrepreneurship.

I almost felt called upon to do so.

I’m an entrepreneur, an artist and creator to my very core.

It was important for me to travel to find out that this is not what I would want to be doing my entire life… so, in essence, to be a digital nomad.

How come?

Because I truly believe especially after the experiences of this year, that you need to set roots in order to let that legacy blossom and bloom.

You need to focus.

You need, most importantly, time.

As much time as can get in a day.

You need to look to multiply said time.

So that you truly can grow to your full potential and positively, touch as many people as you can throughout your lifetime.

When you decide to travel the world instead,

You continuously are looking for flight connections, hotels or AirBnBs to stay at, you want to reserve time for sight-seeing, you are dealing with jet leg and more.

What I decided I want to do is to find a better balance with more of a focus on building a legacy while reserving time to travel ;).

And this brings me to my next point…

💡 Instant gratification will only take you so far.

Oh, we truly live in a world where instant gratification is available to us where we look!

One thing that I am struggling with is to resist that call for instant gratification…

If it is focusing on the long-term vision for my life and sacrificing small joys in order to reach my goals,

If it means stop traveling for the moment in order to take my business to the next level and build that legacy,

If it means not spending all my revenue on like clothes or concert tickets, etc. but instead invest it right back into my business to further grow it…

I’ve learned way more in this year than any other to focus on opportunity costs.

I hope you are able to do the same.

Life is made up of small moments.

Each and every decision you make at any small moment (for example, am I going to pick a vegetable bowl over fried chicken and fries for lunch) is going to decide your future.

You are this powerful.

Act accordingly.

💡 Don’t spend more than you earn.

And yes, this has also somewhat to do with instant gratification.

After talking to quite a few entrepreneurs and business owners this past year (as well as people actually in general), I’ve become aware of the fact of how little people are skilled at managing their money.

Heck, me included.

I would say that both of my parents had a completely opposite view on money – an unhealthly one – and so, I have never learned or adopted smart skills around money.

Guess what?

It does not matter if you make $500/month, $2,000/month, $20,000/month, heck – even $250,000/month in profit.

If you are not putting focus on budgeting and managing your money, you are going to end up spending more than you earn.

And it is very easy to spend a lot of money fast ;).

You probably have a few ideas on your own.

So, the main mistake I have made is that I could have saved up and invested a lot more money from all of the money I have made in 2017 than I have in my accounts at the moment.

Yes, it hurts.

And yes, it’s slightly embarrassing to reveal this.

However, I want to shed some light on it because I think there needs to be a LOT more talk on this topic.

I have met a few entrepreneurs these past few months who’s business makes multiple 7-figure revenues.

However, they themselves, are still struggling to get by each month because of all of their expenses.

Anyway, I’m definitely thinking of writing a separate blog post on this topic and talk a bit more about about my own experiences so if you would be interested in that, just drop a comment down below and let me know.

💡 Stop caring so much about what other people do or think.

I am a nice person.

I like people and generally, I’m a very likeable person myself.

However, when you start reaching a certain level in your business – you inevitable are drawing to you some unpleasant characters or you are even going to piss some people off.

It’s truly inevitable and I am still a bit taken aback by how true this is.

It’s like so many things in life.

You keep hearing about some things but you don’t really want to believe it until you have been experiencing it yourself.

Oh, well!

I think this is one of my biggest lessons for 2017 and one I am still going to be taking into 2018.

To stop giving so much about what some people think.

And to stop also focusing on what other people in my industry are doing.

After all, you should be first and foremost concentrating on improving yourself as well as your business.

So if there is one major take-away I can give you it is that consuming content from like influencers, experts, ‘celebrities’, etc. in your industry – ONLY goes so far.

At one point or another you have to shut off all of the noise and just start CREATING.

Put yourself out there, the real you with all of its angles and curves.

💡 Celebrate those sleepless nights.

Growing up, I slept like a marmot.

Cute little suckers, aren’t they :)?

The older I get though, the more I seem to suffer from insomnia.

I lot of other entrepreneurs and business owners do too.

I usually got all panicky when I experienced those.

It seems so… unlike me.

Though this year, I have been trying to embrace them whenever they came.

This year, whenever I experienced a sleepless night,

I wouldn’t just lay awake.

Instead, I got up and out of bed and got to work.

To me, I’ve started seeing that there is a reason to why I could not sleep.

There most often is.

And guess what competes insomnia the most in my opinion?

Taking consistent action.

It quiets the demons.

The further I get in my business, the more strategic I have to be about how my use my time as well as the actions I take.

What moves the needle the most?

What action will have the most impact?

These are questions constantly playing in my head.

And they probably always will.

💡 Stories sell.

Finally, if there is one thing that I’ve come to learn throughout 2017 it is that stories truly sell.

Not only that, if you are open and honest about the way you are telling the stories of your business and life online,

Structure them accordingly,

And publish them on the correct social media platforms,

They can have the power to propel your business to unforeseen spheres.

Since experiencing this myself,

And since working with a few new awesome clients on increasing their visibility,

Upping their sales and revenue game as well as brand awareness through the kind of stories they publish on social media,

I have been playing around with the idea,

On creating a new digital program around just that (and more!).

If this would be something you are interested din and would love to me develop in 2018,

Let me know in the comments down below.

Phew!

So now, that we’ve got this out of the way…

I wanted to share a bit more abut my 2017 highlights as well:

<3 Trip To South Korea.

I’ve missed Seoul SO much since studying abroad in South Korea about 4 years ago.

I’ve been dreaming to go back, to revisit Yonsei University (my old school), go to all of my favorite places, see my lovely friends again that live there as well as attend the wedding of one of my fellow exchange students ;).

It was a blast and it brought up many memories.Things that I wanted to achieve, things that I have achieved but haven’t thought of doing while I was there.

Friends that I have stayed in touch with and others, not so much because our lives have developed so differently.

Feelings I’ve had and how different my impressions of Seoul were only 4 short years after.

Accepting and adopting to change.

Reflecting.

What a beautiful trip and I will be back soon.

<3 Celebrate my 10-year wedding anniversary together with my husband.

I got married when I was just 19 years old.

Not many people know this of me.

It is actually not something I like to advertise.

For years I have received the oddest questions to the fact that my husband and I got married so young.

We are not religious or anything like that.

We did not get pregnant by surprise as teenagers.

We just fell in love.

And it was a powerful deep love.

A love that freaked me out from the first moment it caught a hold of me.

I still remember it to this very day.

Take me back to this moment all those years ago,

Heck! A decade!

And I still would end up making the same choice :).

Note: You can read more about our story here: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/11/25/38/

<3 Going on a trip through Europe with some dear friends of mine.

When you are an adult and especially one that runs a business, you do not have that much time available.

Most entrepreneurs and business owners know that.

So, reserving some time for social activities and simply, to hang out with friends becomes vital.

Friendship, just like anything else in life, requires work.

It does not just happen or is maintained on its own.

You have to put a focus on it.

Stay in touch.

Talk.

Offer advice.

Land a helping hand.

Connect.

Let us all connect with the people we love in 2018 a bit more.

Deal?

<3 Believe in the kindness of strangers.

If you’ve followed me on my Facebook Page or Instagram, you know that I have lost my laptop on a train in Poland.

It was an overnight train at that and well, I just forgot it after not sleeping the night before.

Note to self: Never take an overnight train again lol!

Moving on.

So, after receiving some help from my dear Polish friend Aga and lots and lots of patience,

I had my arms around my laptop again in no time :).

Yes, it hadn’t been sold or taken apart as I had feared,

But I received my fairly new MacBook back from the train staff, exactly how I had left it.

Miracles do exist!

<3 Spend some quality time in Austria. 

Oh, how I love my home country!

It’s filled with rolling hills, endless fields, flowy rivers, still lakes as well as romantic European cities and cute traditional villages.

Since I built up a digital service-based business as well as this blog, I have been able to fully be in control over my own time.

I am able to work from wherever I please and that, to me, is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.

Even though, I am not going to be traveling as much this next year (because as you’ve read I am focused on building my legacy hehe), I still love to know I have the freedom to go back any time I please <3.

And do you know what makes my time in Austria always sweeter? Visiting my cute little niece.

<3 Starting this blog.

I love to write…

And this is finally something that I have decided I am going to be doing a whole lot more of in 2018.

Telling stories.

AND, teaching my clients and students how to do the same to effectively create a life and long-term, sustainable business that they love.

Watch out for an innovative new program on social media and content marketing coming to you in 2018.

Note: Be sure to subscribe to this blog to be the first one to receive future updates <3.

<3 Hitting a new revenue goal in my business.

Finally, my team and I were able to break the $20,000/month mark in revenue.

My goal in 2017 was definitely to surpass the 5-figure income/month mark and I feel pretty dang good that we were able to get this far.

Now on to passing that 7-figure revenue mark in 2018.

Note: In case you’d want to read more on what a $20,000/month revenue for your business looks like accounting-wise and were some of the money goes, check out my blog post on it here: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/12/24/true-behind-scenes-look-making-20000-revenue-month/

 

What have been some of you major revelations and take-aways as well as experiences in 2017??? Comment down below and I am already looking forward to reading more about them ;).

Happy New Year! Frohes Neues Jahr!

~ Cornelia

1000 Times Goodbye – The sacrifices of an expat

I’m just about to hug my dad for the second time after he dropped my husband and myself off at the airport together with our two little dogs.

The final farewell is fast approaching.

That bittersweet time when we hug each other for the last time and have to say goodbye to each other…until the next time we are going to see each other again – if everything goes well.

1000 times I have said bittersweet goodbyes already to my family and friends throughout the past 9 years while living abroad.

That’s 10000 or so tears we have shared together.

And, furthermore, 1000000 or so social media messages and/or emails we have exchanged with each other.

Everyone talks about how awesome it is to live abroad. What an adventure it is supposed to be!

It is true.

I would not want my life to be any other way and am even planning on living in even further countries and places around the world as I dearly love to explore new cultures and meet new people.

Though, rarely, it is talked about the ‘dark side’ of being an expat, the bittersweet farewells you have to go through on a regular basis.

Each farewell breaking your heart just a little bit, one goodbye at a time whenever you visit your family and friends in your home country.

Furthermore, you start becoming different when living in a new country as you adapt to it and most likely, start changing some of your habits and characteristics.

Though I urge you to see this as an advantage as you can bring new perspectives to occurrences – like political, economical, personal, or otherwise – in your home country.

There are more and more expats due to globalization and a more diverse work force nowadays than ever before.

Social media and the internet has luckily made it easier and easier to stay in touch with your loved ones and to stay connected through various medias on an even daily basis.

Though, one thing that I am always reminded of when I visit my family back in Europe is that no social media, no technological communication advancement can ever substitute the kiss of a mother or, the hug of a father or the laughs that you share with your siblings.

This is something that will unfortunately never change and just needs to be accepted when choosing the life of an expat.

If you are like me, already an expat, you are most likely aware of all of this.

To you, I just want to say – be grateful!

Gratitude and love are so important and are the only things that will help sustain your heart throughout all of these 1000s of goodbyes.

Cherish the friends and connections you start making in your new country and stay connected with your friends in your native one.

All of these global relationships form you into who you are and who you will become – an expat: a blend of cultures, mindsets and colors, a product of globalization, a pizza with all sorts of ingredients on it, simply truly unique.

The truth about what it really takes to succeed online.

People talk more and more about how easy it is to use Clickfunnels or any other funnel building software for that matter.

This might be true.

Everyone can honestly learn to use the software in a matter of a few days or a couple of months.

Anyone can throw together a landing page and try and sell a product online.

There’s no secret sauce to it, no special technology skill that only a very few among us possess.

In fact, I’m telling you – as a clickfunnels software user myself – everyone of you can learn it.

Now, where’s the catch you might think?

to live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. (2)

Why are there so many people already using Clickfunnels, Leadpages, Kajabi and Infusionsoft and haven’t gotten to the point yet where they make a few thousands dollars each day every day through their respective funnels?

The simple answer.

Conversions.

The more complex answer.

A lack of traffic.

Both combined?

A lack of traffic and knowledge on how to craft a compelling offer;

Tell that offer’s story through ads and other marketing channels in order to drive traffic to your funnel,

AND having either the social influence,

OR the knowledge on how to exactly optimize that funnel of yours,

Your funnel will contribute exactly ZERO to your income generating online power machine.

 

That’s the truth even though it might be hard to swallow for some of you.

Now, what do you need in order to make not only a Clickfunnels‘ funnels but also any other sales funnel successful?

I’m going to spill the beans for you now.

The secret sauce of all internet businesses.

Are you ready?

You need an audience.

A tribe.

People who actually know who you are, like and – most importantly – TRUST you.

How do you gain someone’s trust online?

After all, they can not hear, see or feel you?

You’ll have to do it by sharing your opinions, what you stand for, your hard-earned knowledge and any other value you can think of.

And then, guess what?

You’ll have to do it over and over and over again.

The kind of people who build funnels inside Clickfunnels and are automatically successfully, generating hundreds if not thousands every single day from their funnel, are people who either had a ridiculously high amount of advertising/marketing budget to use for this OR,

That already put in the months and years of work in building up their tribe.

This audience – your tribe – can be found anywhere. Whatever platform feels more natural to you. Instagram, Twitter, through a Facebook group or an actual email list.

So, in conclusion, don’t focus just on the funnel.

Don’t think that if you get this super cool brand new – truly awesome at that – software Clickfunnels and throw together a funnel, you’re going to make millions.

Know, that everything good in life takes time. 

Creating, strategizing and building a super successful high-converting sales funnel of any kind in any niche or industry, takes time – depending on how low or high up you are in the digital marketing popularity scale.

For any business you need customers to make it an actual business.

Customers that are willing to buy whatever you have to offer.

A sales funnel at that, or a landing page, are no different.

The steps you need to build a funnel that converts?

As a digital marketer and online business owner, I continue to get asked the following question.

So, I thought it would be time to put together a little article on the subject matter at hand.

Without further ado, here’s a quick summary of the steps:

  1. You need the right funnel strategy.
  2. You need to invest time into learning how to actually use a funnel building software.
  3. You need to direct sufficient traffic to your funnel.
  4. You need a bullet-proof follow up strategy as to not leave sales on the table.

In regards to (1), how to come up with a good strategy?

a) Where are you at in your business right now and WHY do you want to create a funnel?

b) What is your CORE PRODUCT that you would like to offer?

c) Now, look at your market/industry and analyze your competitors. A great resource for me always proves to be Google as well as Similarweb.com – Digital World Market Intelligence Platform

d) Create a Customer Avatar and then, be sure to find out exactly if that Customer Avatar is your correct ‘ideal client’ by ASKING your Ideal Client (in like forums, Facebook groups or wherever else they hang out at) the right questions.

These questions depend on your CORE PRODUCT but can look something like this:

  • What’s your biggest problem when it comes to {fill in your industry}?
  • How would it feel like exactly if this problem would be gone?
  • Why do you do what you do? Why are you in business? Why are you trying to achieve XYZ?
  • How does your business look like within the next 3 months/6 months/1 year/3 years?
  • What are your biggest goals?
  • Etc.

e) Next, be sure to understand and pin-point the EXACT PAIN POINT your ideal client or customer is having and create a seductive BAIT for them in the form of a free offering.

d) Map out your funnel, decide on a funnel type that best fits your offer and get clear on your business’s overall value ladder.

In regards to (2):

There are many tools available. My team and I love and specialize in Clickfunnels.

Just in case you don’t know what Clickfunnels is yet, check out a free video about this cool funnel building software here: www.clickfunnels.com

In regards to (3):

a) Do you have an existing email list?

If your email list is under 1,000 and you don’t write your list regularly, focus on building up that list of yours! That should be one of your major focuses.

b) What’s your social media following like? Poor or rather strong?

→ If it is poor and you do not want to be active on social media (even though I can’t quite understand why), you gotta focus on PAID ADVERTISING.

→ If it is great (we are talking here of tens of thousands of ACTIVE followers), then you can wait on PAID ADVERTISING like FB ads and focus on ‘testing’ your funnel first with organic traffic.

Once optimized, you can then move on to scaling your converting funnel with PAID ADVERTISING.

In regards to (4):

a) This goes back to Point (1) when I mentioned the so-called ‘VALUE LADDER’.

If you’re clear on your value ladder and you’re investing all your time building up your email list, increasing your social media following and/or spending money on paid advertising, then you want to be sure to utilize income from the time you invested in these actions for years to come.

Right?

How do you do this?

You have to have future products in mind you want to sell to buyers who already bought from you.

Not only that, you want to have a ‘follow-up’ sequence in place.

b) You can also add people who didn’t buy from you or who did buy from you to a Facebook group and further nurture that blossoming tribe of yours.

Why would you want to do that?

To get people to further like and trust you.

If you earn people’s trust online and you provide great value through ALL your products and service offerings, you will have buyers, and even more important – fans for a lifetime.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is just a summary of the steps.

If you need help with any of this or would love to further dive deeper into a particular subject matter or learn all of it and become a PRO, I’d recommend checking out the Funnel PRO Academy.

Here is the site: www.funnelproacademy.com

Hope this article was helpful!

If you want to learn more about a particular section of this process, be sure to leave a comment in the comment section down below to let me know ;).