I’m not sure if I’ve told you this before, but a lot of my big wins, the things that I’m the most proud of, have been successful because I’ve had the help and support of other people.
It hasn’t been me at home by myself behind my computer that’s made my business a success.
If I didn’t work so hard behind my computer, I wouldn’t be where I am today…but, I wouldn’t be here nearly as quickly without the relationships that I’ve built.
Did you know that I spoke at the Etsy Success Symposium in my first year of business because I built an email and social media relationship with the person who organized it?
I met Marie Forleo in person at her event, RHH Live, and she then asked me to share my story for a case study on her Live Your Dream site. She also invited me to be an affiliate for B-School last year when it was by invite only.
Thousands of viewers watched my CreativeLive course because so many of you tweeted, shared it on Facebook, shouted it out on Instagram. And, I organized a blog tour with some of my favorite people who I met online to help me spread the word.
I met my business partner (and one of my best friends) in person for the first time at a conference. She’s one of the reasons that I said yes to teaching at CreativeLive. She believed in me and told me that I could do it.
My content producer at CreativeLive, Bryan, introduced me to Bonnie from Going Home to Roost (who has an amazing course on CL) and I just wrapped an interview with her to use for my upcoming course, Create Digital Products that Sell While You Sleep. We’re now officially friends. Who wouldn’t become fast friends with a girl who named her dog Toaster? I mean, really.
I reaaaaaaally like the ladies who were in my live audience for my last CreativeLive course. We got to eat lunch together and take tequila shots at the after party and got to know each other. I’m rooting for every single one of them and I truly want them to reach their blogging goals. Each of these women holds a special place in my heart and I hope we continue to connect. Many of them have been instrumental in helping me spread the word about my upcoming CL courses via Twitter and Facebook. THANK YOU!
Not only have other people been instrumental in my success, but relationships influence practically every business decision I make.
Mayi and I hired our web designer, Emily, for Connecting the Gaps because she was my friend first. We became friends because she asked me to chat on Skype on a day that I wasn’t busy, and we connected. We stayed in touch via social media and email and when it was time to choose a web designer, it was a no brainer.
When I gave my input on who would be awesome in the front row for my CreativeLive course, I knew Sage Grayson and Jennifer Kennedy needed to be there, because I knew that they would add so much to the course from reading their comments on my posts week after week after week.
When I’m launching a new product and I want a handful of people to test it out first, I turn to Blacksburg Belle readers who have bought from me before, who comment regularly, and who connect with me on social media.
When someone emails me to help them promote their next big thing, I’m one-hundred and fifty million times more likely to say yes if I know them—whether that be through that person leaving thoughtful comments on my blog posts every week or connecting with them regularly on social media or having met them in person or on Skype.
No matter what, connections and relationships matter.
If you’re looking for a way to get ahead, to increase your sales at a much faster rate and to make more of difference with your business, you should focus some of your time on establishing and nurturing relationships. Start today and you’ll see big rewards within months.
If you’re an introvert, I know this might seem like the worst thing ever. But, it’s not.
I can say this because, I’m an introvert. I understand the discomfort of saying hi to a stranger. Big crowds tend to terrify me and it’s really hard for me to walk up to someone I don’t know and introduce myself. I have to pump myself up to do it and sometimes I still chicken out. When I go to a conference, I have to spend a week afterwards decompressing.
But, it’s worth it. I promise you that it’s worth it.
If you spend a small amount of time each day, like 15 minutes, strengthening your connections, you’ll reap huge rewards.
Tweet someone who inspires you, send a handwritten card to a blogger who you adore, shoot an email to someone you’d like to get to know better, or leave a thoughtful comment on blog post.
I also suggest that you also do one big thing every quarter/season (or every month if you’re brave enough) to build relationships.
Those small things really do add up, but the big things like attending a conference or course in person, asking someone who you’ve never chatted with to talk on Skype, or meeting someone for coffee, can help you form connections that do things for your business that you could never even imagine.
I never imagined that meeting Mayi in person would inspire us to build a business together.
I couldn’t have known that meeting Tara Gentile at a conference would help me connect with someone that would give me the chance to literally change my business years later.
I didn’t know that chatting with Emily on Skype would lead to her building a website for me two years down the road.
It infuses a bit of magic into the relationship to take things offline and meet in person. It takes your relationship to a new level. And, you never know what might happen.
With that said, the application to be in the live studio audience for my upcoming CreativeLive courses on how to create digital products that sell and how to make your creative business uniquely irresistible is open and I would love to meet you in person.
It’s completely free to attend which is amazing. You get to hang out with me and other creatives who have similar goals and values for three days in San Francisco while learning how to improve your business. By being on camera, you also get huge amounts of exposure for your business.
It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience and this is your invitation.
“One thing that I was not expecting from attending April’s workshop, yet came as a wonderful surprise, was an increase in the number of sign-ups on my email list. I was floored (and completely grateful) by all the new readers to my blog. I’m still receiving emails from people all over the world who say they saw me on CreativeLive. In fact, I recently ran into a woman at a networking event who saw me during the broadcast (we’ll be grabbing a cup of coffee together real soon). The connections and networking has extended far beyond those three days.” –Jennifer, Create Amazing Online Courses
“Attending your CreativeLive course led to ‘meeting’ and forming relationships with the group of women who started the New Bloggers Group. And the THAT let to CTG, so basically it changed my whole life. I feel like I am part of a safe and very supportive community.” –Richelle, The Red Scorpio
Even if you don’t live in the San Francisco area, it’s beyond worth it to travel.
“It’s definitely worth it to travel to attend the CreativeLive workshop in person. You deserve to take a break from the mundane responsibilities of everyday life and treat yourself to a workshop that will change your business forever.” –Sage, Sage Grayson
“I do not live in SF but it has totally been worth it to me to travel from San Diego to be in the studio. And San Francisco is an awesome town.” –Richelle, The Red Scorpio
Want a chance at being in the studio to learn how to create digital products that sell while you sleep and how to make your creative business more uniquely irresistible? Simply click right here to fill out the application.
And, before you give me excuses on why you can’t afford it or why you can’t make it, let me share a little story with you.
Within a couple months of starting Blacksburg Belle, Marie Forleo opened up a contest to win a ticket to her upcoming conference. The ticket cost about $1500 and I had just started a new business. I was up to my elbows in student loans and scraping by to pay my bills every month.
I entered anyway, because I knew this was a huge opportunity. I won one of the ten tickets she gave away, but I still had to pay for travel and the hotel.
I told my husband how important this was to me—how it could make a huge impact on my business—and he got on board.
I sold a bunch of my books on Amazon to get enough money to pay for gas and food. I picked up extra freelance writing gigs to pay for the hotel and I saved every penny possible.
We found a hotel in New Jersey that was only fifteen minutes away from the conference in NYC by public transportation and it was less than half of what we would’ve paid if we stayed in a hotel in the city.
We drove because it was a lot cheaper than flying and we only stayed in the hotel Friday and Saturday even though the conference didn’t end until Sunday at 7pm and we lived in Blacksburg, Virginia—an eight-hour drive.
My husband picked me up after the conference ended on Sunday and he drove us home. We didn’t pull into the driveway until 4am and we were exhausted.
I was also exhilarated. I took the things I learned at the conference and applied it to my business and a few months later, I sold out the very first group coaching program that I offered.
I made connections at that conference that were invaluable to me. It was worth all the work and sacrifice that it took me to get there to attend for those three days.
Did I forget to mention that the conference landed right on my husband’s birthday and it was also a few days before our first anniversary?
My husband sacrificed for me, knowing that we wouldn’t be able to do anything else special to celebrate his birthday or our anniversary cause we were using all of our extra money for me to attend this conference. I’m eternally grateful to him for this.
The reason I’m telling you this is because that conference jump-started my business. It gave me the know-how and confidence and energy to make things happen and I could’ve just said, “I can’t afford it” and not attended.
Whether it’s my course or a conference you’d really like to attend or a person you’d really like to meet, don’t let the money excuse hold you back if it’s something that you know will change your life. Instead, do your best to figure it out. You can’t always make it happen, but if you don’t try, it definitely won’t happen.
If you’re up for it, click here to fill out the application form to join me live in the studio for my upcoming CreativeLive courses.
And, if you’re not already convinced that you should apply to be in the live audience, here are some other quotes from the ladies who attended my last CreativeLive course in person:
“Being in the front row is completely different than watching a workshop from home. You’re right in the middle of the action, and it feels like April’s talking just to you. When I’m at home, I get distracted by my business work, laundry, or my puppy, but being in the live audience gave me permission to forget about everything else and absorb the material without distractions. The best part was getting a big hug from April herself!
The deciding factor was being able to meet April in person. It’s one thing to follow someone online for a while (I’ve been stalking April for years!), but nothing compared to getting immediate feedback from April on my specific business challenges. And the workshop was free! Where else can you get elite-level business coaching in person for no charge?” –Sage, Sage Grayson
“The biggest difference between watching a course online, and being in the front row is my attention. Watching a course online, I am at home reminded of 293 other things that I need to do, then I begin trying to multitask. Then, inevitably, I don’t really learn too much. Being in the front row allowed me to devote my time and attention to one subject, ultimately learning it more thoroughly and better. Another big plus is all the yummy food CreativeLive provides and the wonderful people!” –Kimberly, K. Sienk Photography
“I loved being able to not only interact with April, but also the other women in the audience. Months later, I’m still internet buddies with them. It was absolutely a fabulous experience.
Also, being in the audience gives you the chance to ask questions that are specific to you and your experiences. I mean seriously, three entire days where you can ask all of the questions you want! Yup, it’s totally worth it.” –Jennifer, Create Amazing Online Courses
If you honestly can’t be in the live audience for my upcoming CreativeLive courses, I’ve got other ways that you can form valuable connections:
- Watch it live and interact in the chat. Take advantage of the chat option. I’ve heard so many stories from viewers who watched my last course that have made invaluable connections with other viewers via the chat.
- Closer to the course dates, I’m going to create a private Facebook group. The connections that people have made in the Facebook group that got put together for my last course is amazing. I would’ve never imagined that so many people would find new friends, help each other, give each other feedback, find accountability partners and more through that Facebook group.
- Use the hashtag #bellelive to let others know you’re watching, answer questions, ask me questions that I’ll answer after the course and connect with others using that hashtag. Start conversations! You never know what might happen.
RSVP for Create Digital Products that Sell While You Sleep right here and RSVP for Make Your Creative Business Uniquely Irresistible right here to be reminded of the courses as they approach, to get the workbooks for free, and to get access to the private Facebook group when it’s up and ready.
I’ll talk more about this stuff as the courses approach, so don’t worry, you don’t have to remember it all. And, there won’t be a quiz. Ha!
In the meantime, do one thing today to connect with another creative. Maybe even start or end your days with this exercise. If you do, by the time the course starts, you’ll see why it’s so important.
Leave a comment below letting us know the one thing you did to strengthen or start a relationship with another entrepreneur today. (And, by leaving a comment, you’re definitely strengthening your relationship with me because I so appreciate and look forward to them.)