We’re often asked what the game changers have been for our online business.
It’s a difficult question to answer because I believe success comes from a series of daily habits and consistent steps that lead you to the realization of your goals.
I once believed in home runs and overnight success and it led me down a path that cost me nearly half a million dollars in assets and $30,000 in credit card debt (you can read about that here).
That’s staying in the past now because we’ve learned the truth about success – it’s a long-term thing.
But, there are a few strategic decisions and strategies that helped create the spikes that push us up to a new level. We’re always working towards those game changer moments, but we don’t base our daily actions on hitting these home runs.
1. Treating it like a business from the start
When we started our blog, we were in business.
This was not a hobby to dabble in, we intended for this to become our life’s work. When you have this mentality from the beginning, you open the doorway to business success.
Treating our travel blog like a business meant setting ourselves up as a business. We operate from a trust, we keep accurate business records, we plan and act towards a long-term vision, we consider the people we serve, and we have an accountant.
We’re not afraid to invest in education, tools and services. A business person invests in their future even when they don’t have the money. They start small and invest what they can afford. They then take their profits and reinvest it towards growth.
2. Marie Forleo’s B – School
B-School definitely helped me to up my game and create a business in tune with my spirit and one that can make a difference. B-School gave me so much clarity and helped transform me from a struggling amateur to a business savvy pro. (I’m still growing that side of me!)
Total game changer.
3. Focusing on email subscribers
We speak to a wide variety of people, from solo travel to family travel, digital nomads, expat travellers and everything in between. It’s hard to get the right messaging to the right people.
I’ve spent the past year working hard behind the scenes to tweak our email strategy so I’m speaking to the people who want that particular information. It’s been a challenge, but it’s starting to pay off.
Ontraport is the system that has helped me deliver this. It’s a very sophisticated system and I’ve only just scratched the surface on what it can do.
Our email subscribers are our most valuable because they want to connect with us on a deeper level and learn more. Handing over your email address is not an easy thing to do, so I like to take care of my subscribers by offering them a lot of inspiration, insights, love and support.
I can’t even express in words how much they help keep me inspired. They share with me their stories, hopes and dreams and it motivates me to continue doing what I do.
We have an email list dedicated just to the blogging and business. So jump in with us:
4. Using the data
As soon as we started paying attention to our data, we knew what our readers needed and how to deliver it to them. We got sharper and smarter.
Data can come via surveys, comments, email responses, research, Google Analytics, and social media metrics.
We still only do a mediocre job – it’s a resource thing. So don’t fear if it’s an issue for you too, just start with the basic – have good listening ears. And it will help guide what you do.
It was by paying attention to the data that we realized our insanely huge Pinterest community was actually not full of spammers, but thousands of people visiting our site every month. Using this data helped us to change our approach and making Pinterest our priority.
A few years ago we got put on the “suggested user” list by Pinterest which is when new users are directed to our page when they sign-up, I’m not sure why but I don’t believe in luck. I believe this door opened because of our intention and dedication to our business.
As I mentioned, when you treat it like a business, when you show up and offer value, flow happens and the Universe supports you. Be open to it.
Pinterest brings us a lot of traffic and, due to our time limits, we haven’t even really put much effort into utilizing its power. This year is a focus for that. We use Tailwindapp to schedule pins and to analyze our content on Pinterest to gain insight into what our followers want. (read how we use the Tailwind app here)
Pinterest is by far the best social media platform for driving traffic to your content that helps people. If you aren’t on it, rethink that strategy.
6. Working on money mindset
Having a strong money mindset is key in business. Makes sense right? You don’t have a business without income. And you’ll struggle to have money visit if you don’t feel good about it.
I’ve spent the last year intensely working on my money mindset and clearing away the blocks. It hasn’t even really been about the money, but more about a journey of uncovering my own value and how I best want to use that to help others.
Having a money mindset has helped me create better opportunities, open up different income streams – like public speaking – and create products that can help others follow a similar path.
Part of this money mindset means being okay with saying no – sometimes to large amounts of money – if you know it’s not a good fit, or undersells your worth. You trust that something better will come along.
A good money mindset is also being aware of the flow of money in and out. Part of the reason we have an accountant is she takes off my hands I job I hate. I don’t want to put painful emotions towards money. She ensures all the boxes are ticked and the reports are done well.
Then it’s up to us to analyse and make decisions according to how it is going.
7. Our website design
Our recent website design has been a total game changer. We haven’t seen the full extent of it yet, as we are still testing and tweaking, but it’s given us an amazing platform now to create destination HUB pages and resource pages.
Our content can be found more easily and we now lead our readers through a 12-steps-to-travel process. Creating this is also leading us to new products and eventually a store that will house all our offerings and trainings.
8. Building strong relationships
I spoke about this in our 15 steps to a successful blog. This is a long-term strategy, but can help create game changers.
Because of the relationships we have created, and still are, we have solid partnerships with various tourist boards and brands, which has led to consistent work and continues to do so.
It’s also helped us get freelance work and speaking gigs, form partnerships with brands, and give us a foundation to plan for our US road trip.
9. Creating proposals that work
OMG. I had not clue about proposals or pitches before we started blogging. A game changer for us has been learning how to do this properly. How? A lot of rejection. A lot of mistakes. A lot of advice. A lot of mentoring.
And learning how to craft value and give people what they need. Applying some of the principles in B-School, we were able to create a proposal that worked for working with tourism boards in Australia.
We’ll be refining these now based upon our experiences and evaluation and using them for our US road trip. Create a system that works and replicate it.
10. No sharing or follow back groups
This might sound as if we don’t want to share or help others. Absolutely not the case. We actually help and share others’ work a lot.
When we first started blogging and connecting with the community we were in a lot of groups that shared and commented on other people’s work. It was fun and a great way to get to know others work. But, then it got to be too much work and I found myself leaving comments that didn’t have a lot of soul in them. I figured the same was happening for us. What was the point then?
Did I want to write just for other bloggers, or did I start blogging with the intention to help people travel more?
It was a big move to take myself out of those groups, and of course, comments went down, but the quality of my work improved as I now had a better and more valuable focus – the readers who actually need what we are writing.
I wanted my blog to have an audience of those people and merit to stand on its own. It meant we had to work harder and smarter to build that platform, but we did.
We still continued sharing and commenting, but now it was on work we really loved and wanted to share and our comments were more valuable to them. I actually like sharing and helping others without an expectation of receiving anything in return and vice versa.
I also don’t follow people back just because they followed us. I only want to follow people I genuinely want to follow. This one was a difficult one to let go of as I felt really rude if I didn’t. But, it’s not rude, it’s respecting your own time and space and giving others the space to have people in their community who want to be there. Then they can serve better.
I knew if I wanted to create something amazing and have success, I had to do it through my own efforts and content, not just because other people were sharing.
11. Qantas Great Crusade
This was a huge game changer for us.
We were invited to attend the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand as an official correspondent for the Qantas Great Crusade. Qantas was a dream brand for us to work with, and even though Savannah was only 10 days old, we decided Craig had to go so we could take advantage of this opportunity.
It helped elevate our profile immensely and we got fantastic references as a result from Qantas and Ogilvy, which we could then put into our media kit and use as a case study for future proposals.
12. Speaking at events
Public speaking is something that will raise your profile immensely. I’ll always seize the opportunity when it arrives.
My years of teaching helped develop my confidence in speaking and I love to do it via this amazing platform. I still have much to learn and I’m hoping to dive more into this year.
Speaking at various blogging and social media events means my authority has been elevated, which can only help in building your own platform and strengths. It can often have a run on effect. I’ve gotten speaking gigs out of speaking gigs before.
13. Our Australian road trip
There’s nothing like walking your talk. We felt our business was stalling because we weren’t traveling. The only travel we were doing was the odd press trip, which is fine, it’s a great way to highlight new destinations and experiences for your readers. But, we were missing the personal story.
We were encouraging our readers to break through their fears to follow their heart and travel, yet we weren’t. It was a gigantic leap of faith, but we grew our wings on the way down, and created a story for people to follow and become part of.
Our Australian road trip has been epic, loads of fun and a game changer.
14. Involving our community
Following on from that note is involving our community in our journey. Lonely Planet used to be our bible when we traveled. We still use it, but to a much lesser extent.
Instead, we have the most amazing community of followers who share the BEST insider tips.
When arriving to a new destination we simply asked them what to see and do. Their suggestions have been incredible.
Our readers feel part of our journey more and we love having them along. We also make the effort to meet up with readers on the road when we can.
When we do our big US road trip, we will continue to reach out to them for advice and to connect with them in person.
15. School of the Modern Mystic course
I’m still working through this and seeing the benefits. This is actually a life-long process.
Belinda Davidson’s course helped me learn how to clear the junk from my inside. When you clear that junk you connect better with your purpose and how to serve others.
The mediation and healing techniques I learned through this course have helped me to become unstuck when I land in the mire, and to manifest more easily my desires. This is a woo woo course and may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I believe it really helped me with my mindset and intuition.
16. Writing for Kidspot
I wrote for Kidspot, one of Australia’s biggest parenting websites for about two years. I had a weekly column on family travel, which was sponsored by Nissan. Part of this deal involved us having a Nissan X-Trail to explore with.
Not only was this beneficial to building our profile, but learned a lot about writing, formatting, and the business behind websites owned by Murdoch! My editing team were great and taught me a lot about the craft – I’m still learning!
15 tips for creating game changers in your business
- Know your long-term vision.
- Understand who your audience is and how you can best serve them.
- Evaluate every opportunity to see how it fits with your mission, vision and your community.
- Show up every single day and give it your best shot.
- Look into the future to see the possible results of every decision you make. Act for that.
- When an opportunity seems like a good fit, take it no matter how fearful or insecure you feel. A failure can always be turned into a lesson, if you choose it.
- Always be learning and refining your skills so you grow into new opportunities.
- Mindset is everything. Work on it every day.
- Make networking a priority.
- Just ask. If you don’t ask the answer’s always no.
- Think outside the box. Be creative. Offer value – tons of it.
- Take risks.
- Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.
- Don’t put all your efforts into the game changers. Put 100% into your daily habits and actions and the game changers will flow right to you.
- Believe in the magic of possibilities.
Tell me about a game changer for you. What was the strategy behind it and how did it elevate your business?