Episode2-Steph Taylor

Episode 2: Why you shouldn’t quit if things don’t go to plan with Steph Taylor

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Hayley:

You are listening to The Hayley Osborne Show with me, Hayley, your host. I’m the founder of Social Soul. I help business owners and entrepreneurs build and market their brand strategically online with SOUL. Every single week I’ll be talking about how you can be the best, most fearless entrepreneur in your business. You’ll be learning how to take the stress out of your social media and marketing so you can focus on the business aspects you love. Between myself from Adelaide, South Australia and my wildly inspiring guests from across the world, I’m so excited to discuss all things social media and marketing with you. I believe in you. So let’s get started.

Hayley:

A big warm welcome to the podcast, Steph Taylor. Steph is a digital product launch strategy expert and your online launch marketing bestie. Through her signature framework, Steph helps brands launch and relaunch their offerings to reach more people, grow their audience and become the go-to geniuses in their industry. Steph is the host of the very popular podcast, Socialette, which has over 500,000 downloads and counting. Hello, Steph and I am so excited for you to join me today.

Steph Taylor:

Thank you so much for having me Hayley and thank you for that lovely intro. It’s still blows my mind whenever anyone calls me an expert. I’m like, “What? Me? Who?”

Hayley:

I know. I want to call you Steph Taylor, because that’s your name. I can’t call you Steph.

Steph Taylor:

It’s funny, because one of my business besties, or actually, she’s one of my besties now, Clare Wood. So she’ll call me, she’d be like, “Hi, Steph Taylor.” And I’m like, “Hi, Claire Wood,” because that’s just what we call each other now.

Hayley:

So Clare is actually my business coach. So she has helped me along my journey and it’s absolutely been fantastic. Sorry, basically in your words, I’ve given you an intro. But I would love you to do an intro about yourself, who you are and what you do.

Steph Taylor:

Sure. So I help brands to launch and relaunch digital products and podcasts because I truly believe that is what helps them to help more people, make a bigger impact, and ultimately make more money and have that freedom that they started their businesses for. Because I also was once upon a time in that service-based business, where it was very much time for money, I wanted to travel. I actually found myself living overseas for six months in Europe. And most of my clients were here in Australia, which meant I was getting up at 3:00 AM. I was working in the mornings, going out for a day of traveling and then coming back doing more work. It was just really, really stressful. I wanted to have this freedom where I could choose which days I wanted to work. I could choose what I worked on. I wasn’t waking to an inbox full of client emergencies and client messages on a Sunday night because a social media post was missing a full stop. That actually happened. True story.

Hayley:

Oh, my goodness. Right.

Steph Taylor:

Yes. So I launched my first course back in 2017. It was a course all about Facebook ads, because I’d realize there was a bit of a gap in the market where there were all of these small business owners who wanted to market their business. They didn’t have the budget to pay somebody else to do it for them, but they had the time and the motivation to learn how to do it themselves. So I thought, well let me just create a course, teaching these people how to do it themselves. If nothing else, it’ll just get them out of my inbox, because I had all of these people wanting to work with me who couldn’t afford to work with me and I had nowhere to send them. So I launched that course and that actually ended up funding like two and a half months of travel through Europe.

Steph Taylor:

So I mean, that accidentally became a success. And from there I thought, Well, maybe there’s a little bit more to this whole teaching people what I know thing. And that’s when I launched my podcast, I started creating a whole bunch of other courses around online marketing. I ended up with a whole library of courses. But the problem was, I was the generalist marketer chick. Nobody knew what I did. I did everything and I did nothing. I did everything, but I wasn’t an expert in anything. It wasn’t until I sat down with a business coach at the end of 2018, I believe it was. Yeah. Wow. That feels like a long time ago.

Steph Taylor:

It wasn’t till I sat down with her and I said, “Well, I want to launch a course about this. I want to watch a course about that. I want to watch a course about that, but what’s my thing. I don’t have a niche. I need to figure out what my niche is.” And she said to me, “Steph, it sounds like launching is your nature. If you’re so excited about launching, and that is something that terrifies so many people, maybe that’s your thing.” So that was the thing that set the wheels in motion. I’ve now been niched down into launch marketing for about a year and a half, and it was the best decision I made. So that’s the long winded version of the story.

Hayley:

Sorry. That’s amazing. And I love that you say niching because I have struggled to do that myself. And it really is when you start to realize what it is, it’s like that breakthrough and it’s also becomes really easy. But there is a moment of where it’s a huge stress because it’s the unknown, it’s risky. And a lot of people fail to overcome that hurdle. So very impressive. Sorry.

Steph Taylor:

It wasn’t an easy decision. I sat on it. So from talking to that business coach to actually niching down, it was almost a year, because I was so scared to push go. Because I knew it was going to mean, I have to retire all of these courses that I’ve created about Facebook ads, the course about Instagram, the course about email marketing, because they weren’t aligned with what I wanted. I was so scared to do that. So it did take me a long time to make that decision.

Hayley:

Unreal. So I just want to say that I’ve been following along and I said before we started pressing live that actually fan girling you and your journey over the last few years that I’ve been in business. And can I just say your story is super, super impressive, which I’m super certain that my listeners will think so as well. I really love how you openly talk about your wins, the journey to get there, the hits as well as the mistakes along the way. So I’d really love you to start by talking a little bit about digital products, because I know that that’s your baby and why they’re important for business owners going into this year 2021.

Steph Taylor:

Well, I mean, ideally you would have had a digital product going into 2020. Look, we don’t live in an ideal world. So basically a digital product is any way that you can sell the knowledge that’s in your brain at scale, is a really simplified definition of it. Most of us are used to the traditional time for money service-based business. We’re used to you pay your copywriter by the hour for a package, or you pay somebody to do your social media for package or an hourly rate. So that’s the time for money thing. A lot of the time you’ve got that knowledge and you can actually teach somebody to do what you do for themselves rather than you doing it for them. Then that allows you to sell it at scale. So to sell it to one person or to sell it to a hundred people or to sell it to a thousand people requires very little extra work on your part.

Steph Taylor:

Other than customer service, there shouldn’t really be a huge uptick in work that you have to do to sell a thousand versus selling one. That’s where digital products become so appealing because there’s so much freedom involved in that business model. Ultimately you end up shifting from doing that client work or you get to pick and choose which clients you want to work with. You can work with dream clients, or as I’ve done, I’ve stopped working with clients altogether. I stopped about halfway through last year, and you get to spend that time working on your business. You get to think, well, what products do I want to create now? What ideas do I want to execute? And it becomes a really fun way to run your business. And you get to choose, that freedom gives you the choice to decide, how do I want my business to look rather than having answer to the clients who almost become like a boss? Does that make sense?

Hayley:

Oh, absolutely. And to that, what would you say to, so some of, I know my listeners would be like, “But Steph, I don’t have the big following. I don’t have a big email list. It’s small.” What would your answer be to that?

Steph Taylor:

I launched my Facebook ads course with, I think I had about a hundred people on my email list to start with and maybe 500 Instagram followers. Through that launch, I’m pretty sure at the end of the launch, I wish I’d kept track of the numbers better. I mean, this was rookie era Steph, this is back in 2017. I’m pretty sure by the end of the launch, I had at least 500 people on my email list and I’d at least doubled by Instagram following.

Hayley:

Amazing.

Steph Taylor:

So there’s a big misconception that you need to have the audience before you launch. I’m a big believer that launching is how you grow your audience. And I’m also a big believer that you don’t just launch each product once you. Launch the product over and over and over again. And each time you launch it, you slowly grow your audience a little bit. So let’s say for example, you have a cost that’s $500. The first time you launch it, you get four people in, that’s $2,000. Most people would look at that and be like, “I only sold four courses. What a waste, nobody wants my course.” And they would never ever launch it again. They might just leave it on their website and maybe one person will stumble across it in the future and buy it.

Steph Taylor:

That’s what most people do and that’s the wrong way to go about it. What I would recommend doing then is saying, “So I made $2,000. Maybe from that $2,000 I can put 500 of that into Facebook ads to start to grow my audience. So that the next time I launch it I get five people in.” And then the next time maybe six people, right? This is the thing. So I have a product called the A to Z podcast launch plan. It’s a $197 product that has brought in over a million dollars into my business in the last 12 months. The first time I launched that it was maybe a two and a half thousand dollar launch. And most people would be like, “Ah, that only brought in two and a half thousand dollars.”

Steph Taylor:

The first four or five launches brought in under $3,000. And it was just through the process of relaunching it, getting it perfect, and then automating it that I managed to scale it to that point. But if you were joining my story at the halfway point, you’d be like, “Wow, she has $197 product and she had a million dollar launch. Oh my goodness.” But that’s only half of the story, right? I didn’t start at that million dollar launch. I started with a $2,000 launch.

Hayley:

I love that story. I love that you openly share about it. The two key insights is launching helps you grow your audience and also helps you scale. So I feel like I tell people all the time, my clients, you become comfortable when you put yourself out there, you don’t put yourself out there and then become comfortable. So it’s chicken and egg.

Steph Taylor:

It’s funny as well because everyone’s like, “I need more followers. I need a bigger audience.” And then as soon as they start to like tip toe out into the spotlight where they have a potential audience, it’s like, “Oh no, but I don’t want to be in the spotlight now.” So you have to start to get comfortable with the things that feel uncomfortable, because the only way that they start to feel more comfortable is by doing them. I wasn’t born comfortable with launching. I’m an introvert. It doesn’t come naturally to me.

Hayley:

That’s super. I love those insights. A lot of my audience would be small businesses that still probably do have day jobs that really want to move into the full-time gig of being an entrepreneur in a small business, but are very scared to do so. And your story from humble beginnings to now, relaunching and launching and trying and testing and perfecting to get where you’ve got to is really inspiring and access the best motivation I think for business owners.

Steph Taylor:

I reckon as well, like in hindsight’s great to look back on things. But if I was still in a corporate job, rather than working with clients, I would start with the digital product, because you can scale a digital product to the point where it takes over your full-time income a lot quicker than you can with client work. At least quicker than you can with client work and the full-time job, because I mean, you only have a limited amount of time outside of your full-time job that you can trade for that client work money, whereas a digital product, if you can scale that you can bring in the equivalent of your full-time income without having to work all of those extra hours.

Hayley:

It’s amazing. I think the year of 2020 has really bought in… people being comfortable using platforms that they wouldn’t necessarily use. So I feel like 2021 we’ll see a bit more of an influx or people just leaning in to do and create these things within their business. So it’s very exciting. Obviously I want to talk about 2020 for you because it was a massive year for your business. We touched on it before, and I love that you openly talk about moving from six figures to seven figures. What’s the one thing you’d pass on to business owners about this shift for you? One more things?

Steph Taylor:

So probably the biggest one is that success is as hard as failure, or success is as hard as struggle. So you mentioned before, I took my from six figures to seven figures. My business to six figures, but I still was regularly finding myself without cash in the bank. I think back to this time last year, I was about to head over to the US for a conference and I was like, “I actually have no money to spend while I’m over there.” It’s funny because I was like, “Oh, I have this product. Let me just do a quick launch.”

Steph Taylor:

Brought in some cash, and that paid for my trip. That was January. February, I think was a $10,000 month. March was a $67,000 month. And then April was three hundred and forty something thousand dollars. So that is how quickly my business grew. Nothing in the four years before that could have equipped me for that really quick growth. It brought up a whole lot of new mindset, things that I’d never even thought I would have to deal with.

Hayley:

It’s funny, new level different devil.

Steph Taylor:

That’s exactly it. That’s exactly it, because I was so used to this mindset that I was in, where it was just struggle, struggle, struggle. Cash in cash out. That was the mindset I was in. And suddenly it was like, “Oh, I’m making money. There’s money in the bank. What if I do something wrong and it goes away?” That was the fear. So I spent probably most of March, April, May, June, little bit of July, just paralyzed. I was in freeze, right? I was in this freeze mode where I was too scared to do anything in case I broke it.

Hayley:

Despite that saying, new level different devil. I’ve experienced that in parts of my business as well, especially in 2020. Getting a business coach on board to help me with those mindset shifts to move forward and stop doing what has always been done, because there are easier and better ways to do things. So I feel like success, whatever you call that, whether it’s a seven figure or a six figure business, or whether it is just moving out on your own to work for yourself rather than in a corporate day job, which I also did, it’s all in your mind. So there’s a lot of mindset work, a lot of manifesting. The universe works in crazy ways, and if your mind is not ready for that massive uplift, then it defeats the purpose. It’s not as shiny.

Steph Taylor:

Yeah. And I think so much of the time we look at those people who are like one step ahead of us, or we look at that next goal and we’re like, “Oh, if only I was there, it would just be so much easier. Everything will be fine. It’ll be fun, I’ll be happy.” And then you get there and like you said, “New level new devil,” right? And then it’s like, “Oh, but there’s that person that’s just that one step ahead.” So when I was broke, basically, I was like, “Oh, if I just had some money coming in more consistently.” Then when I had the money coming in consistently, it was like, “Oh, if I could just make a little bit more.” Now for me, I’m like, “Oh, if I can just start to streamline my team and my processes,” and we actually forget to enjoy the journey. When do we ever get to that destination? I don’t think we’re ever going to be happy with where we are. So we might as well start enjoying it right now.

Hayley:

I completely agree with you. There’s a couple of things I really want to ask you as well. So if there was one thing that you wish you did sooner in your business, what would it be?

Steph Taylor:

Bringing in a team and starting to systemize and really streamline and make sure everything has processes, because that is something that I started doing after my business exploded. It’s a lot harder to do all of that when you’re running a million dollar business than it is when you’re running a hundred thousand dollar business. So I wish I’d started doing all of that from day one. It’s actually something I’ve been telling a lot of my students, particularly the ones who are looking at creating things like online courses and memberships. I’m saying, “Guys, yes, it might be cheaper to create your course on this platform, but the problem is it’s going to work when you have 10 students, but it’s not going to work when you have a hundred students or a thousand students.”

Steph Taylor:

You don’t know when your business is suddenly going to go… when it’s suddenly going to take off. You don’t want to have to find yourself scrambling to move platforms. When my business grew so quickly, I’d been doing all the customer support myself. Suddenly overnight, I couldn’t deal with the inbox anymore. I had to put processes in place to get my VA to deal with the customer support. If I had just done that from day one, it would have been so much easier than delegating it with all the transactions and all the emails coming through.

Hayley:

And I guess as well, by doing that earlier on, it gives you room and wide space to be creative, to get those things to market quicker. If they’re not working, you have the room in your day to be able to pivot and figure out why. But when you’ve got to have a big inbox to deal with, or even a small one, it makes it more difficult. Whatever those admin task look like.

Steph Taylor:

Exactly. And I think if you start setting up those processes from the beginning, you’re doing things the best way to do them rather than creating processes based on how you’ve been doing them. Which is what I’m finding that I’m having to do now. This is how everything’s always been done. So now we have to create these processes, documenting how things have always been done. Even though they’re not necessarily the best way. They’re just what Steph thought was the best way to do them.

Hayley:

No. I fully understand. So on your website, there’s a quote and it says, ideas have the power to change the world, but only if they don’t remain ideas. This is super powerful, and I don’t know, that really resonated with me. What would be your recommendations for people starting from scratch to transform their ideas into practice?

Steph Taylor:

Just start. It sounds so simple, but really, honestly, I think there’s only so much planning and brainstorming we can do before it becomes procrastination. Before it becomes just a way that we’re keeping ourselves safe. Yes. Okay, great. Have a rough plan of what you got to do, but you’re never going to ever be able to a hundred percent plan for every single scenario that could happen. It’s never going to go to plan. Sorry, sorry. If you’re starting a business thinking that everything you got to do is going to go perfectly according to your business plan and according to your forecast and everything, that’s just not going to happen. You’re not going to find out what’s going to go wrong until you start to take that action. Things are going to go wrong, but you know what, like you’re a lot more resourceful than you realize.

Steph Taylor:

You’re going to figure out those things. You’re going to learn from the things that went wrong and you’re going to keep moving forward and it’s going to be better. But you don’t find these things out until you start. I have so many friends who come to me and they’re like, “Steph, I have this amazing idea for a business. What do you think?” And I’m like, “This is a great idea. Just start, get out there. Start investigating other people who want to pay money for this. Is there a market for it? Do you have competitors?” Once you’ve done that initial research and initial planning start taking that action. Just start tiptoeing out, doing little things that make it a reality and bit by bit it’ll happen.

Hayley:

I find you very, very motivating, honestly. Sorry. Just one last question before we wrap things up, what’s the number one piece of advice? And if it’s not starting, what is it that you give to business owners to springboard their 2021?

Steph Taylor:

I would say… That’s a really good question. Maybe get comfortable with the idea of failing. So allow yourself to take risks and rather than do or attitude of this has to succeed at all costs, just be like, “Hmm. Okay. I wonder what’s going to happen if I quickly throw together an email that I’m going to send to my list selling a product that I haven’t created yet, are people going to buy it? If they buy it, cool. Let me create that product.” You’ve got very little on the line by doing that, but we sometimes just put so much pressure on ourselves and it’s like, “Oh, I sent this email to my list and nobody wanted it. So I’m a failure.”

Steph Taylor:

Whereas, it’s not so much about your failure or a success. It’s just, “Let me see what happens if I do this.” Let me tell you, there are plenty of products that I’ve tried to sell to my email list before creating and they haven’t wanted them. And it saved me a lot of time that I would have spent making them. Thank goodness, I didn’t make them. It’s just about experimenting, making it safe to fail for yourself, and getting curious.

Hayley:

And I guess to add to that as well, you don’t know what you don’t know. So what you start out with may not be your biggest success pace. It may be something different which is sort of bought on by your customers, and that’s the light bulb moment. So getting started is the best advice.

Steph Taylor:

100%. My podcast launch plan, The Million Dollar Product, I initially launched that to my email list as a group program. I tried to pre-sell it. I said, “Hey guys, I’m thinking of putting together a group of 10 people. It’s an eight week program. By the end of the eight weeks, you’ll have launched your podcast.” I had two people sign up and I was like, “Okay, that’s not enough people to go ahead with it.” I then reached out to everyone and I was like, “Okay, not enough people have been interested, just wondering why?” If you’re thinking about launching your podcast, why were you not interested in my group program? And the feedback that I got was that everyone wanted to do it in a DIY format.

Steph Taylor:

They didn’t want to learn in a group program format. So that was where the idea for the podcast launch plan came from and lo and behold, a million dollars later, that was the best thing that could have happened. I could’ve just been like, “Oh, this is a failure. Nobody wants my product,” and given up, or I could have got curious to found out why they didn’t want it and fix that. Which is what I did.

Hayley:

Amazing. Steph, it has been such a pleasure for you to be on this podcast. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed talking to you. I would love you to tell the listeners where they can connect with you online and where they can learn more about you.

Steph Taylor:

Sure. So you can find me, I live on the internet at www.stephtaylor.co I’m on Instagram @stephtaylor.co. My podcast is called Socialette. You can find it in all of the podcast apps, or you can find it at www.stephtaylor.co/podcast

Hayley:

Amazing. Thank you so much.

Steph Taylor:

Thank you for having me. This has been awesome.

Hayley:

In the meantime, don’t miss out on bringing soul game to your marketing and social media strategy in 2021. Download my free e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Building a Six-figure Business through Instagram at www.socialsoul.com.au/ultimateguide. I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to this episode. If you have, hit subscribe so you don’t miss any new episodes released every Tuesday. While you’re there leave me a review, I would absolutely love to read it. Also, don’t forget to tag me [@socialsoulmedia 00:27:00] over on Instagram and share this podcast with your audience. If you want more, don’t forget to head over to socialsoul.com.au/podcast for today’s show notes, links, and all the juicy goodness. I’ll see you next week for another episode of The Hayley Osborne Show.

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