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Time is Money - How to Prioritize Your Time Based on Profit with Nicole Riccardo [Podcast Ep 72]

May 24, 2021

It can be tricky to make sure you’re doing things that will actually move your business forward. So, in this episode, Nicole Riccardo helps us understand what a backend sales system is and why it’s an important piece of your business, how to use this system as a filter to prioritize tasks and how to use this system to create a schedule that cuts out the busy work and drives profit.

  • How to use branding to incorporate your personality and things you love
  • How to attract the right people into your tribe
  • Tips on creating freedom for yourself while growing your business
  • The importance of keeping track of leads and sales data so you can measure business growth and success

Nicole Riccardo is the President and Founder of NR Media, a digital agency for creative entrepreneurs, and a digital course creator. After 12 years working professionally in social media and digital marketing, Nicole got sick of making other people's dreams come true while putting hers on the backburner. That's why she dedicated her career to helping creatives and entrepreneurs turn their craft into sustainable and profitable careers!

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Welcome to the elevated entrepreneur podcast. I'm Jenessa McKenzie, an intuitive business and mindset coach to inspire success, driven solopreneurs like you who are ready to show up as a bad-ass boss and create the impact and income they desire. It's my mission to help you see who you were created to be. So you can share your gifts with the world and make a difference. My approach to business is not what most would call normal. Thank God, because being weird and unapologetic about it is my jam on this podcast, or mix the glue with the do to help you create the space energetics and strategy to attract the clients and cash you really want, but unapologetically showing up as who you are. So you can design the business and life you desire from the inside out. So if you're ready to say peace to settling, hiding half-ass and dimming your light, and yes, to have the abundant, profitable business and life of your dreams without living on the edge of exhaustion and overwhelm, listen up as I hit the BS button on the extremely outdated perception that you need to hustle and be something you're not successful.

Thank you so much for being here today. Now let's do this. Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the elevated entrepreneurial podcast. I am here today with Nicole Carto and she helps freelancers struggle with working way too hard for way too little. She doesn't help them do that. She helps them not do that, right. We don't want them working way too hard for way too little, because you know, around here, I'm always talking about doing last, be more so, um, she has some business courses and she teaches creatives how to get off the freelancing hamster wheel. So I'm going to let her introduce herself. Tell us a little bit of her story and we'll get rolling. Nicole, how are you?

Yes. Thank you. So, so much for having me. I'm so excited to chat with you. Um, so yeah, exactly. Like you said now, uh, I have digital courses, business courses, really helping you get these business foundations in place all the way up to growing and scaling and scaling with a digital course. Right. So it's really, um, I've been very intentional on crafting things. So that way it can really go through my entire exact ideal dreamboat client with their entire journey with them. And I am all about sustainability and not just bandaid fixes, you know, I'm someone that's very much in it for the long haul. I don't want just, you know, a random, like let's make a lot of money this month and then crickets or the rest of the year, you know, I'm, I'm all about because then that allows you to get into that, that flow energy.

And it starts really cultivating that abundance mindset versus constantly having to worry and feeling like your bank account is starting back at zero every single day, right. Not here for that life. Um, so yeah, I do that. And then I do also have another aspect of my business. I actually have, a media agency and our media where we do brand and web design very intentionally to make sure not only is it just an absolute, beautiful representation of you and who you are but also conversion-based we love conversions. Um, so yeah, that's kind of the, what I do now, but obviously getting to that point has been a roller coaster ride, which I'm sure a lot of us can relate to. Um, my degrees are actually in music. I am a classically trained flutist and I did my bachelor's and my master's. But throughout that time, I kept getting these little nudges, these little nudges that marketing and social media marketing and setting up the events, coordinating stuff like this, this more businessy side of things, I got nudges all along the way, Oh, maybe you should be doing this.

And, Oh, you're really good at that. And just kept finding myself in positions of doing that. Right. So then after I graduated, you know, of course, yes, I would have loved to win an orchestra job and be playing in an orchestra as a flutist. And I was definitely trying to do that. I was doing auditions, but I had bills to pay. So I had to get a normal nine-to-five job where I ended up working again in marketing and doing social media marketing. And so I did that for, for quite a few years, worked at a few different places and I'm incredibly grateful because I got to learn from, well, this big marketing agency that was seriously like something out of madmen.

So I gained, I gained

A ton of experience and was able to keep seeing, you know, result after result, lt, and my clients being able to help so many more people. So, you know, eventually, it was like, well, you know, I should probably use all of these things that I know to help my people, um, and businesses that I actually know and love and support and really, truly care about. So I started making that, that transition of, you know, taking everything I knew using it for myself and to build my own business, and yeah. Made that transition and started, started doing what we're doing now.

Yeah. I love that. I love that the nudges. Right. Cause that, that's kind of just, it's just how we evolve, like by listening to those nudges and going, Oh, okay. This is the next one. Oh, okay. This is the next step. Does that same thing happen to me? It's kind of like the opposite. So I off, well, I, I worked in corporate for 20 plus years, so have all the logistical mind businessy, you know, things going on. And I started as a photographer as the creative stuff. So, um, started with like kids and families and women's empowerment and all of that, and then moved into branding. So I was like, okay, branding. And then, you know, those clients like would ask like a bazillion questions as we were going through, you know, branding shoots and things like that. So it was all like social media marketing, all that stuff-based. And I was like, Hey, I'm pretty good at this. Like, let's, let's try that out. Right. And then as I started to do that and really like dug into all the strategy stuff, I was like, Nah, I don't like this.


I can do it. And I'm good at it, but that's not what I love. So, and that's where I just, I evolved again, you know, people, some people call it pivoting. I like to call it evolving.

Yes. That constant evolution. That's so funny because actually when I first started, it was doing social media, marketing, and management. That's really how I established everything. That's what I was known for. But yeah, I eventually realized like, Hmm, I don't super love doing this. Like, uh, so that, I mean, that's exactly why I ended up now. I have a course it's called the Instagram marketing and sales Academy and it is literally everything that I know now I just try to try to have that be accessible for people versus me having to do it for them. Do you know? So yeah. All of those, those nudges that caused those changes and the pivots along the way.

Yeah. I love that. That you're like, okay, I have all this knowledge and I'm going to put it all into a course so that it is accessible to all these people, but now I don't have to do it one by one by one.

Yeah, exactly.

That's like the biggest thing right now too, is that you know, people, especially this past year have really been like, how do I, you know, either start a business, get my business out there now that, you know, maybe they had a brick and mortar that closed, or maybe they got laid off from their nine to five job or a million other things that could have happened this year. Right. You know, the now they're like, okay, uh, now what do I do? Yeah. And the digital entrepreneur has boomed this year and everyone is looking for so much information and there are so many new entrepreneurs out there. Um, so tell me, how did you, or how do you stand from the noise of everyone and their mother that has, you know, information on the, for these, you know, because this Instagram Academy that you have would, I would assume kind of be for newer entrepreneurs that are like, I need to Mark it on Instagram. Right. Um, so how do you, you know, stand out, like what, what do you do in your own marketing that you're like, Hey, this is me and this is why you need to come over here and see me.

Yeah, absolutely. And so I think for that, it really, honestly, it all ties into your branding, you know, because not only is your branding, we want it to be a true reflection of you who you are actually as a human being. Right. And letting people get to know that, um, and working that into your branding, because really the way that I view branding is it's basically an exercise in being memorable. You know, everybody has these, this handful of certain things that they associate people with, and that's what they remember them for. Right. So for me, one of those things is Instagram because that's literally how I started. That's how I really built my name. Um, I was doing a lot of interviews and articles and whatever speaking, you know, and it was all very geared towards Instagram and marketing on Instagram. Right. So that definitely is one of the things that I'm known for.

But the other side of that kind of what I said at the beginning is, is letting people get to know who you are as a human because just the way that we're built everybody is completely different. Right. And so like an example from me being a musician, you know, there's a flute teacher at every freaking college and university around the US right. But I, you know, I auditioned at multiple places, but the reason that I chose to study with the particular professor I did is because of her personality because how she builds her studio to be a family, right. Because of her vibe, like I just vibed with her. Right. But the way that she teaches too, you know, and so even though all of these different teachers might be saying something similar or kind of, you know, teaching the, around the same things, which, I mean, everybody has their own kind of tips and tricks that are unique to them.

Right. But everybody has a different way, of saying things and describing things and doing things that are unique just based on the fact that they are them. So here's a, here's our little branding, the hot tip of the day. This is something that I personally do with all of my students with our clients is we want to find those aspects of yourself that you are okay. Sharing publicly and that we can kind of put on repeat. So that way people can really get to know you right in this comes back to the strategy behind this is on average. People need to be told something or see something here, something anywhere between like seven and 21 times before they're actually going to listen or internalize it. Right. So we kind of want to pick these like three to five different aspects of your personality and just really like kick it up 10 notches.

Do you know? So one of those things for me is I love new Orleans. Like I consider myself a New Orleanian at heart. So that is something that you'll see if you go on my Instagram feed, you'll see pictures from new Orleans or new Orleans architecture, right. Within my programs, all use it like systems or something that I'm creating with some sort of new Orleans influence. Right. It's something my, my dog is named a hurricane after my favorite new Orleans cocktail, the hurricane. Right. So it's one of those things. It's an aspect of me that, and you know, it's true. I'm not being like, you know, Oh, the authentic, the keyword. Right. But it is, this is actually who I am. I'm just kind of talking about it a bit more frequently. So that way people start knowing that about me and they start connecting with it.

Right. And now what has happened is I will literally have people send me house listings. Ooh, I found your new Orleans house. Right. Or I'll see like a new Orleans meme and they'll tag me in it. Do you know? So it's yeah. The aspect of not only being true to yourself, but it's making you a lot more memorable for the people who are, you know, maybe looking for, let's say an Instagram coach or a business coach or whatever it is you do. Right. It's, it's a way for them to connect with you on a human level, but also remember who you are. Right. And so bringing out those, those aspects that are unique about you, not only as a person but also in, you know, the way that you do and teach things, right. Because that's the other side of this is everybody has their own unique ways of, of doing and teaching things.

Right? So like in the coaching space, there are so many different types of coaches. I'm very, strategy-based, you know, I have ideas for days. If we hop on a call together and you're like, Hey, I just like, I have this idea and I need to brainstorm on it and trying to build out this product suite, whatever, as a girl, I will sit there and break it up, you know, and ideas at you for 45 minutes, like all the ideas, you know? So that's really, I'm a lot more like strategy-based and creativity, you know, throwing all of those ideas at you that you might not have been able to talk about or think about yourself. Right. So, um, really honing in on those two separate aspects of what makes me really unique and relatable just as a human that I want them to know me for and associate me with and what are the unique superpowers that I do within my business. And how can I communicate that and really show that, so that way that becomes more memorable for people?

Yeah. I love that because I think a lot of people, like when you say authentic or vulnerable, a lot of people intertwine those two, one, and then two, when you say authentic and vulnerable people go, I have to tell them all my dirty secrets. No, no, no. You're like, and I love how you put it that, like, it can be something as simple as you love new Orleans. Right. So it doesn't have to be like, if you don't want your kids on social media, you don't need to share your kids. Like you don't want your husband on social media. You don't need to share your husband.

My husband is that he honestly, hates social media. It's so funny. So I'm like, literally this is what I built my business on. Do you know? So yeah. He's hardly ever on there, but yeah, it does. It does not have to be groundbreaking. Like some of the things for me, for my personal relatable things. Yeah. I love New Orleans. I'm a dog mom. Um, paranormal. I love anything. Paranormal. I even have a little like the paranormal podcast, you know? So like, those are things that are, that's about me. Those are things that I'm really passionate about. And those are things like, yeah, if we sat down and had a margarita girl, I will talk your ear off about, you know, places. Right. So it's like, those are, and it's not like deeply personal, right. Like dog, mom. Right. But it is still, it allows people to build that personal connection with you and get to know you a little bit more as a human.

Yeah, exactly. And, and those things will also attract or repel. Right. Because if somebody like hates dogs yeah. And definitely, you know, who the heck hates dogs, but I guess there are some people out there that might, so, you know, if they see you talking about your dog, they'll be like, Oh no, I'm a dog lover. Nope. Or new Orleans. Oh, I, you know, maybe they had a bad experience in New Orleans and don't love it. Do you know? And they're like, Nope, don't wanna hear about that. So, you know, those are all things that people don't think about when they're branding or marketing or attracting like the client for them. Like the person that you attract does not have to be in love with New Orleans, but they just have to know that, you know, you, these are the things that you love.

Yeah. And it's interesting though, because I, with the new Orleans thing, like I literally booked a client, a private coaching client because she saw my new Orleans seven. She was like, Oh my God, I'm literally in the process of buying a new Orleans condo right now. I feel like we're like soul sisters, you know? So it was kind of that other side of it too. Like you're going to attract those people who are just the exact dreamboat, perfect fit for you. They love it. You, as a person, you have those common interests, you know, for me, I'm like, I'm taking a client on and I'm working with them. So, so in-depth, like, yeah, I want it to be a person that I can go, you know, go down to the bar and have a, have a, be your width. Do you know?

Exactly. Exactly. Yes. And that's, you know what I tell my, my clients and students, all the time too like you want to attract the people that you would love to just go hang out

With. Yeah. I mean,

That is the dream one year, you know, a service-based business is attracting the people that you want to it's your tribe. Yeah. And you just want to go hang out with them all the time. So, okay. I mean, can you imagine having a group program or even a one-on-one client, or even a Facebook group, like a free Facebook group that you go into and you can't stand the people in it?

Yeah. Like not the move.

No. So that's exactly why you need to be yourself and, you know, show some of those sides, like hobbies, or like, I love the beach or I love water, like bodies of water, period. I love the sound of water. I love the rain. I love thunderstorms.

I love

All of that stuff. So if you go on me, mostly on my personal page, but I use my personal page for business too. So, but you'll see, like just last week, it's still kind of cold here. We're in, I'm in New England. So it's still a little cold, but you know, my daughter was like, let's drive by the beach. Okay. So we went down to the beach and, you know, you'll see her on the steps to the beach at high tide with like the water coming up and I could sit there for hours and just watch that and listen to it.

Yes. Oh my gosh. Okay. Well, I'll send you pictures from the beach when I'm in Florida next week. So

Yeah. And I love, as I went to, um, I went to Florida a couple of years ago. Where, where was I? Uh, GLAAD. Clearwater. Tampa.

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. That's I fly into Tampa and then I, my family is in Sarasota, so,

So that is on the Westside,

Florida. Yeah. The West Coast. So yeah, I'm, Clearwater's right there. And Sarasota is about 45 minutes South of that. Yeah.

Yeah. So here in New England, we, we get the sunrise

At the ocean.

So for me to see the sunset at the ocean was like one of the coolest things ever.

Yeah. I was like, Oh yeah, you get to see the sun

Set. And then like, California was the same thing. When I went to California, I was like, ah, I'm so excited. I get to see the sunset over the water.

Yes. Yeah.

I mean, we get awesome. Pretty colors here, but you don't see the sunlight just sink into the water here. You see it rise from it. So it's so cool. So cool. Yeah. And then like my spiritual journey, I was scared to death to share that for a long time. And now look at me, I'm like, Hey, I'm like the wealthiest person woo. Over here. I'm like, Hey, you know, uh, and that is, that's a huge, a huge thing, right. Especially for people that are just starting their spiritual journey, they're like, Oh, thank God. Like somebody that's going to get me or entrepreneurs who are like, I have a spiritual business, like healers or, um, you know, other spiritual business coaches or spiritual life coaches, or just other people who have the same, like loves and interests and beliefs as me. Like your beliefs and your identity are so huge in your marketing. Yes,

Yes, yes, yes.

Yeah. So that's another great example right there. Right. So identity and, you know, kind of pulled out a piece of that with what, what are the things that you love, right. That's like a piece of your, a piece of your identity, but then, you know, what are other things like your dog or dog mom, like that's an identity for you. Right. Um, other things like for other people that have like human children, like just to being a mom, but that doesn't mean that you know, you have to specifically write posts about your kids. Like I posted the video of my daughter, like, you know, getting a kick out of the water, um, splash it up with the steps, you know, he was like, so excited about that, but that, you know, shows you certain identities about me and it can just be simple. Like just let it be simple. Don't overthink the.

Yeah. I agree.

Yeah. So what other courses, or, you know, what, what else do you do? Like you said the Instagram is, kind of like your brain dump of all of that awesome. You know, acknowledge that you have about Instagram, but if that's not what you like to do one on one, obviously you don't like to do it with people. What, what is the biggest passion that you have right now in your business?

Yeah. So my current biggest passion is I just created a program called digital course partnership. I am so, so passionate about digital courses. Cause kind of like what you touched on earlier, you know, last year, a lot of us were just forced to go online. There are so many new digital entrepreneurs, right. And it's, it's such an inspiring industry because really there, there are not many other industries that give you this unlimited of potential. Right. And not having an income ceiling. But the thing that, that I found, and this is something actually that I personally struggled with when I was starting is, you know, okay, great. I have all of this amazing information I've seen result after resolved or result. I'm working with clients, they're getting amazing results. I have some students that are getting amazing results. Like this information is powerful. It has the ability to literally change lives.

Like it, I mean it changed my life. Right. And so then I was in that position of, okay, well, I, I started working for myself because I wanted to have more freedom. Right. I wanted to be able to set my own schedule, have some time freedom, but also have financial freedom. Right. And not somebody just saying, Oh, well you can only make this much per hour. Right. I've just always had that aversion of like, don't tell me what to do, you know? So, I started it with that intent, but then you get to a certain point where you don't have any more time in your schedule, you know? And so then you're sitting down Monday morning and you're, you're pulling up your schedule and it's just back to back and you're sitting there thinking like, Oh my God, am I even going to be able to get in like my, my little yoga flow today?

Am I going to be able to get in my meditation today? Like where this is, it's all back to back. But then internally you're like, I just, I know I can be helping so many more people with this information though, you know? So that was a big, a big disconnect for me and something that I, I did struggle with for a long time. Um, and so that's kind of kinda ended up being how my agency was born. You know, it's like, well, if I, if I don't have any more time to do this, one-on-one work. Right. I can just bring some other people on. We can, then we can have some more one-on-one work that way. Right. But then the other part of that is everybody has their own zones of genius. Right? Like my designer, Jolene, she is a freaking magical unicorn when it comes to, doing brand photography, branding, creating logos, all the design stuff.

Right. Then my right-hand woman Taylor's the one that actually goes in and builds the sites. Right. And then I was the one that was doing a lot of the copywriting and the business strategy and blah, blah, blah. Do you know? So there was still a big piece of it that is requiring me to order to make it work. And so when the light bulb finally went off for me, it was when I started my very first digital course because then I can package up everything that I know, everything that I know and people can go through and they can learn it all. And they go through on their own time. And the price point is much more accessible than say, you know, doing 10 one-on-one sessions with me or however it would take to get through that same amount of material, you know? And then in the courses I do, uh, we do late group coaching calls too.

Right. So they're still getting that support. And if they have questions, they can get feedback. But by doing that, it allowed me to be able to share everything I know and help so many more people than I would ever be able to do just one-on-one or by continuing to only do the done for you work. Do you know? So now it has really given me that freedom back of, of exactly why I started now, we can have that freedom of not having to work 24 seven, right. Like I can take off for 10 days and go fly home and see my family just because, right. And, and then the other side is now I also don't have an income cap simply because I only have so many hours in a day, you know? So digital courses that were really kind of the magic spark for me that was like, Oh my God, like this, this is how I can have a bigger impact.

This is how I can help more people and make it so much more accessible, but also be able to use this, to build the kind of lifestyle that I want for myself, you know, because I don't want to be working 24 seven. I don't want to be just at the mercy of my schedule. Right. And so this newest program, digital course partnership it's pretty much, I mean, everything I've been doing over the past, Oh my gosh. I started in 2018 doing courses. And then all last year I was testing it with my, you know, my founding group and going in and testing it, making sure it's working for them and not the systems are like, literally just repeatable. I'm a big fan of work smarter, not harder. Right. So I wanted to format it. So that way it's literally like, like a recipe, right.

If you want to bake a cake, you follow the steps and you're going to get a cake at the end. You just have, you just have to do it. Do you know? And so yeah, that is this, this newest program that I've released in, I am just, just over the moon, like, so freaking excited for this and, you know, call in people who are just so passionate and so obsessed with what they do and know that it can have that bigger impact just like I did. Right. But they've, they've maybe been same as me kind of struggling like, Oh, how do I do this? So I only have so many hours in a day. Right. So, uh, that, that is my current, my current passion.

Yeah. You know, it's funny because I just kind of went through that same thing. I was like looking at my calendar and I'm like, okay. Um, but knowing what I know about time, like, and actually we're going to talk about all things time in my Facebook group this month. Yes. I'm excited. Oh, when I say this month, we're recording this in April. Um, and I think this will air in May. So if you're listening to this and you're like, Ooh, time stuff, like, come join the group, the elevator entrepreneur on Facebook. Um, it's at Bay to elevate your business. Now, if you're gonna just search for it on Facebook, but we're going to talk about all things time. So like, um, time is an illusion of time. Um, how time shows up for you and how you actually relate to time. Um, divine timing, like all of the things about time is what we're going to talk about this month. So I'm excited about that. Uh, but knowing what I know about the time when my calendar started to look like rainbow bright, threw up all over it. Yeah. Uh, Nope.

And then I looked at my offers again and I'm like, okay, what do I really want to do? And all, like all of the things that you said, are true for me too. Like I was like, yeah, I want time, freedom. I want to, you know, feel like I can, you know, get up in the morning and drink my coffee, do my meditation, or whatever. I feel like doing that morning and not feeling like I have to rush to the computer to get on a Zoom call, you know, while I love helping people. One-on-one, I've decided to not focus on that going right now. I am actually building out a course myself, which will also have, um, you know, coaching included in it. And, and that's exciting for me. So that's kind of like, you know, I have created other courses before, but this type with like this flow, I guess like the course and the group coaching, but not, it's weird though.

Isn't it like when you're like, well, it includes group coaching and then people are like, Oh, okay. How does that work? Like, that was what my brain went through when I was like, how's this going to work? Exactly. Yeah. Because if they're buying it, if like it's an evergreen course. Right. And you're like, well, there's group coaching attached to it as well. People like, well, where am I going to fall into this group? Right. Like this group coaching type of thing, you're going, I'm going to buy say they buy today. And somebody else bought it six months ago. I think our linear time brain says, well, that person six months ahead of me. So how am I going to get anything out of this group coaching? Do you know what I mean? So how do you, how did you structure? Like what do you do?

Yeah. So I actually, well in the program, my program creates your career. It is a, I am going to turn it on evergreen eventually. So we are going to get to that point. Um, and the way that I'm going to be structuring it is just having, so I do two calls per month. So it'll be, you know, the first call will be for phases one and two. And the second call will be if you have questions for phases three and four. Um, so that way it's a little bit more split up because one and two are branding websites and then phases three and four is starting to get on social media and then doing that marketing and, uh, phase four is, uh, you know, pitching negotiating and stuff like that. So yeah, I'm just going to split up the call so that way, um, if they have questions specific to either one of those, they can submit the questions, but also, you know, if somebody let's say maybe you're in the later stage and you're like, you know, I just, I really want to revisit this thing that I did in the beginning. They can hop on the other call. Right. Or if somebody that's still in the beginning, they're just like, well, I just want to kinda like start wrapping my brain a Brown around some of the stuff we'll be doing later on, you know? Yeah. Great, awesome. Come hop on the other call. Right. So that's how I will personally be structuring it, breaking it down, based on where they're at.

Yeah. So, and then like your, you we'll just do two calls a month, like forever. Like how does that work?

Yeah. And so in that program specifically, I actually do have another coach in there and she, so this is Taylor, my right-hand woman that I was referring to earlier. And the way that we met, actually, she was in the very first round that I ran of that program. So she has not only gone through that program. She's now a part of my team. So she, you know, knows almost everything that I know, you know, I've been treating her and her, you know, she knows the material and she's been through the program. Right. So, yeah, she is actually my second coach and there, which is awesome because then a lot of the Facebook group management, um, she's actually running, running that for me. So when people are asking questions, we of course want to make sure that everybody's feeling super loved and supported and getting a reply for every question.

So she's handling a lot of that. And then when we, uh, she sets up the call, so then that way, all I have to do is just show up on the call and answer questions. Right. Which is, that is my zone of genius is strategizing and brainstorming. Right. So I can, I can do that for hours, you know, so that, that really helps a lot to have some support in that area. And then obviously as it continues to grow and expand and evolve, you know, as needed, we can bring on another coach. Right. And so I found for that, especially, you know, taking kind of handpicking, those students who have already gone through, who've been really amazing at it. They're going to be the people that will be the best coaches for the program. Right. Because they've already gone through it. They've already implemented. They already have that experience there, they're indoctrinated into your world. And, you know, you're all going to be speaking the same language. So that's, that's my plan for how that, what that will look like as things are growing and evolving.

Yeah. I love that. So they'll buy your course, get into your Facebook group and that's where you hold the calls.

Yep, exactly. And the Facebook group, that community, um, you know, the reason that I love it so much is even the people who've gone through the course previously, every single time somebody puts up a post, there are yeah. Some current students, but a lot of them, the alum who have already gone through they're in there, like hyping them up, giving subjection suggestions, doing reviews, right. So I call it the CYC fam and I, that, that's a why cause it really is. It's like a little family, you know, and that is for me, that's the part about it that I, I love so much. And I'm just so grateful to have cultivated a community with, you know, such amazing and kind humans that will do that and show up for each other because that's, you know, that's huge having that community aspect.

Yeah. Yeah. I love that. That's great. Amazing. So tell me, what would you give, uh, what advice would you give an entrepreneur right now that might be, you know, just struggling with that same thing that you struggled with, like the time and the, you know, that piece of, I really want this freedom and that's why I started, so what the freak am I doing? Like what is the one piece of advice that you would give them?

Yeah. Oh my gosh. Okay. Well, I'm not sure I can narrow it to just one, because I think a lot of this comes into, to be honest, I think a few of the big mistakes that people make when first starting on this journey, because I, I believe wholeheartedly that it's by doing, creating a digital course or membership, right. Because that's how you're going to be able to help and impact so many more people and also still get some of that time, freedom for yourself. Right. And also not have an income cap, all of the good things, right. Winning all around. So the first thing that I want to point out here is one of the things that we see online all the time, and this is what a lot of people do. This is what a lot of people are teaching is live launching a course, right?

So meaning maybe, you know, twice a year, you do this big promotion, great. Create your career open for enrollment. Uh, enrollment opens this day and enrollment closes the stay. Right. Which is super awesome. It's a great way to generate a big influx of income right off the bat. Right. But here's the thing. A lot of us probably want sustainability in our business. And this was a lesson that I learned the hard way because the Y if you're only live launching a program twice a year. Okay, great. Well, that's two months out of 12 months. So what, how am I making money the other 10 months of the year? Right. I'm putting myself right back on that, that hamster wheel of that schedule. Right. Having to do all that one-on-one and doing the done for you work. So that way I can make ends meet and that way I'm making money then.

Right. And so obviously the alternative for this is something we kind of mentioned earlier is doing an evergreen course, right? So an evergreen course, meaning it's a course that we can put on your website. People can join at any time, it's open 12 months a year. It doesn't have like a, you know, it's closing down on this date. Right. It doesn't have anything like that, which is awesome because then that means whenever people need that information, they can join and they can get access right. When they need it, we love the accessibility. Right. We love that. But here's the other piece of the puzzle to this. And this is something that I have seen so many times with clients coming to me and they're like, you know, yeah. I built this evergreen course. I, you know, I launched it, did a promotion, whatever. I have it on my website.

And, uh, you know, I talk, I've talked about it in some, some Instagram posts and have it in some emails, whatever, but like, I'm just still, I'm still, it's not making me any sales. I got someone, I promoted it, but now it's just kind of collecting dust on my website. Right. Um, like ask me how I know I've done the same thing, you know? And so this is where it comes into. You have to have an actual system in place. That's going to scale that program for you, right? Literally one of my least favorite sayings is if you build it, they will come because that is just not how the world works, especially with digital courses. Right. As amazing as you are and all of the incredible information that you have to share, we need other people to also know how amazing you are and how incredible this information is that you have to share.

Right. And the only way that we're going to do that is not by just popping it on your website and, you know, do maybe one or two Instagram posts a month talking about it. Like, that's, that's not going to cut it if we were, if we're aiming for sustainability and building a business that is going to bring in consistent income for you every month, right? I'm not here for having a business that you feel like your bank account is starting back at $0 every month. Like that's, that's freaking stressful and that's going to throw us into that lack mindset, you know? Um, so for the shift that we need to make for getting it to be sustainable and generating that consistent recurring revenue, we need a system in place that's going to help us consistently reach new people. Right. And so let's go through what these options are.

So what we hear most people online talking about is Facebook ads, right? Yeah. Do Facebook ads because it's like, you know, if I, if you give me a dollar today and I say, I'll give you $10 back tomorrow, that's a no-brainer. Right. But, okay. Here's the reality from someone who runs a digital marketing agency and is run Facebook ads, there's a big testing period. And in that testing period, to put in enough money to get enough data, to make educated results on how to move forward, like just being transparent, you're going to have to be sinking in like two, three grand to do that. And that's just the testing, right? You may or may not see any return on that. That's literally just the testing phase. So then moving forward, it's, you know, if you're someone that's at the beginning of your business, you're like, this is the very first course I'm creating.

We don't necessarily have like two to $3,000 minimum to throw around every single month for testing and tweaking and honing in on our audience. That's that is a very large amount of money. And like, I am not independently wealthy yet. So yeah, it's just that, that one is tough. And so that was the other big struggle for me only. Well, how am I supposed to do this? If everybody is just saying, you know, do Facebook ads, right. Do Facebook ads do Facebook ads. So then the other option here, and this is why a lot of people online teach live launching because it's a lot of celebrity entrepreneurs, right. Or people who have larger audiences live launching works. If you have a really big audience because they're functioning on volume. Right. So if they do, Oh, this program is, uh, you know, $5,000, but good news, I have a 12-month payment plan.

Right. So if they have the volume of people enrolling then great. Yeah, they're going to get enough people on payment plans that that's going to might bring in enough income for them to live off of for the next 12 months. Right. But again, that's functioning on volume. And so like, let's come back down to reality here. The majority of us, probably don't have a massive audience of like 20, 50,000, a hundred thousand millions people. Right. And so that's not necessarily realistic. Like we can't rely on that strategy. And then the other side of that is, okay, well, even if we don't have a large audience, we can still be consistently growing our audience. Right. But I, the amount that you would have to be growing your audience every single month, which would be like pretty much hundred, right. You would need to be growing by hundreds of new people in your audience every single month too, you know, the next time you launch great.

I have these, you know, like hundreds of new people in the audience that again, maybe, you can get by with functioning on volume. Right. But again, that's very, that's a very specific circumstance. That is probably not the case for most of us, you know? And so then this brings me to the way that I personally like to scale, and this is actually a, you know, I mentioned the digital course partnership earlier. This is literally why I created this because I struggled with that for so freaking long I'm well, how am I supposed to grow? How am I supposed to scale? I don't want to run Facebook ads. And I don't have, you know, hundreds of thousands of followers. Like how do I do this? And so what I created is I call it the profitable partner system. So instead of having to rely on Facebook ads, instead of having to rely on me, burning myself out and showing up every single day and content, content, content content, right.

So I can consistently grow my audience, which it's exhausting. Like I think we can just have a beer over that a lot. Um, instead I really love doing partnerships and, and partnering up, you know, at the end of the day, I would love to partner up, like, let's say, Janessa, you know, I, I love what you're doing. I want to come to support your business and do this training for you, Pete for your people. And then maybe if we get any sales, I'll give you a percentage of that. Right. I would much rather do that and support people that I know in love than sync that into Facebook, you know? And so the big perk to this also is that it, I mean, yeah, you're supporting people that, you know, in love, but then you're not having to waste that money on Facebook ads. I'm not having to work, worry about constantly growing my audience because then you can just tap into other people's audiences who already know them love them to trust them. And you know, if you can come in and authentically recommend, you know, hey guys, you know, I I'm inside of Nicole's Instagram marketing and sales Academy and it's freaking amazing. And I learned this, this and this, right? Like, they're probably going to be so freaking excited to hear about that too. So you're providing all of this audience to your, or all of this value to your audience, you know, but it's, it's mutually beneficial for us then. And you know, we're not just sinking more money into Mark Zuckerberg's pockets.

Yeah. And while, you know, and you can do that while running like $10 a day to build a home.

Exactly. And it's a lot lower cost to do it that way because then you're not relying on them.

Right. Yeah. You should never have just one spicket open. Yeah. You should always have them all dripping somewhere. And I do that all the time. I, I collaborate with other businesses. I mean, obviously, this podcast is one of the biggest places that I do that, but what I have found too, is that a lot of the guests that I have, where we stay connected after the podcast, most of the time, and you know, now I've built this amazing network of other incredible entrepreneurs who are like, will reach out to me and be like, Hey, um, you know, I'm having this, like I'm doing a summit next month. I'm going to be a guest at a summit next month. And, you know, because somebody reached out to me and was like, Hey, I have the summit. You want to do it? Yep. Yes, yes I do.

Or being on other people's podcasts or going live in other people's Facebook groups where you're not it's, you know, not necessarily, and not that this is bad either, but look for the ones, like, look for the opportunities where you're not, you don't have to pay to go live because there are groups. And I was, I was in one and found that the group was so big. It was like 400,000 people in that group. I mean, yeah. Talk about a crazy number. And you know, you paid every month to be able to go live once a week, but with 400,000 people in that group and not all of them paid for this privilege to go live, but that's a fast-moving group. Right. So even if you're alive in that group, like you go the life and then 16 or a hundred people post, like right after that. And you're just going to prove all the way down the line.

So if you're not catching people's attention right away, as you went live in that group, it was, you know, you had, uh, a lower chance of, you know, people watching or people clicking on the links that you had in your post or whatever it is. And then if, if that post gets lost, it's just lost. Yeah. So, you know, I, I did try that group for a couple of months and was like, Hmm, this just isn't for me wishes another thing, like the test, test it. Like, if you're like, Oh, this looks cool, try it out for a month. If it doesn't work out then, okay. It doesn't work out. But now you know, that it either worked out like it could be the most amazing thing ever, or you could be like, Hm, Nope. That's not for me.

Yup. Exactly. And that's, that's definitely one of the things that, ah, like as, as a marketer and someone that does social media, one of the things that gets me real jazzed up is that there are so many people that advertise just one size fits all approaches. Right. And especially when it comes to marketing and social media, there are none. You have to constantly be tracking what strategies you're trying, looking at the data. What did that produce for you? And then like personally, in our agency, like we do that. And then at the end of every month, we're reviewing, okay, what worked great. We're going to keep doing that. What didn't work, great trash it, you know, because the other side of that is things changed. So constantly that, you know, what worked this month and didn't work this month, maybe, maybe next month, neither of them work again.

Right. Or maybe something that we tried in the past that didn't work, maybe this month that's working, who knows, you know, but it's so, so important to make your decisions based on actual data. Like you have to be tracking that stuff and knowing where your leads are coming from, knowing where you're seeing results from. Right. So that way you can do more of that. And then the flip side is if it's not working if it's not bringing you lit leads, like girl trash, it, throw it in the trash, you know, like stop wasting your time, work smarter, not harder. And so that's one of the things that, that I've noticed that, um, a lot of people tend not to do is tracking those things because yeah, I mean, it's not like the sexiest thing in the world, right? Let me get my spreadsheet and track. Right.

I think it's not super exciting, but for business growth and success, you have to, you have to track it. You have to be re-evaluated on, a constant, like a regular basis. Because if you're not, maybe you were just trying this strategy, this one strategy for the past six months, and when you finally go in, you do your own, let's do a half-year review. Right. And you look at it and you realize it has literally brought you zero new leads, zero new client applications, zero new clients. And you're like, well, you just wasted all of that time. Times, six months trying something that you probably could have identified after only four weeks and said, this isn't working. Let's try something else. Do you know? So it's, that is something that I'm, I'm really big on tracking your data and make decisions from that.

Yes. That's great advice. Perfect advice. Love it. All right. While I could talk to you for hours, We could probably definitely talk for hours. I think there was so much good stuff in this episode that people are gonna listen to this and go Holy crap. I get to listen to them out again and take notes.


So if that's you and you're listening and you're like, Whoa, there was a lot of stuff in there. Uh, and I need to take notes. Like we want to know what was your biggest takeaway? What were you like? Holy. I need to start doing this and, and let us know. So Nicole, where can I find you? Um, first give us your Instagram handle so that they can tag us in their stories when they tell us of these amazing

Aha, moments they're going to have.

Yes. Yes. So Instagram is obviously the place that I'm hanging out. So you can find me on Instagram. It's at Nicole Ricardo. My last name has two CS in it. So R I C C an R D O. You can find me on there. If you have any questions, of course, feel free to DM me. Um, yeah. In time tag me in your stories. I would love to love to come to say hi and show you some love.

Awesome. Yeah. And they can get to you like your website or whatever from your Instagram profile will give us your website.

Yeah. And the website is just my name, Nicole So if, if any of the programs that we talked about today that I randomly was mentioning. Yeah. If any of those sound interesting to you, do you have any questions? Of course, message me and let me know, but you can find all of those on my website as well.

Awesome. Amazing. Thank you, Nicole, so much for sharing all of that. That was awesome.

Yes. Thank you so much for having me.

You're welcome. Okay, everyone. We will see you in the next episode. Make sure you go show Nicole some love on Instagram. Have you ever wondered why? Some days you're so energized that whipping through actions in your business, a breeze, and others, you feel like you just want to go back to bed, pull the covers over your head and totally retreat from the world. Or maybe there are weeks where everything feels easier and the abundance is flowing while others feel like you're smashing your head on a brick wall. And resistance seems to role leading Jewish, a ton of trash talk going on in your head. you're anything like me and most entrepreneurs you've tried to push through and keep hustling. Even when your mind, body, and soul are crying out for rest because that's what we've been taught. We need to do something to be successful. Go, go, go 24 seven.

What if I told you that it doesn't have to be that way. Imagine just for a moment that if we create an abundant, profitable business without living on the edge of exhaustion and burnout, but if you could actually enjoy your business in a state of joy, ease, and flow, where if you could find that healthy balance of business, life, and self, with all the guilt of not being on all the time, while you can, by understanding your own unique energy, clearing out the old stories that play plan a loop in your head and replacing them with upgraded next level empowered versions that are aligned with your vision, kick strategies and awesome business coaching to move your business forward. You don't always have to be on to be successful and get big things done. In fact, it's not natural or healthy and could even be a barrier to the ultimate success of your business.

Knowing when the floor of the gas pedal and when to hit the brake, you'll no longer need to push a force your way forward. Instead, you can switch into receiving mode, find your flow, and be the limitless abundant being you were created to be. I'd like to introduce you to the elevated entrepreneurial membership in this vibration-raising community. I am bringing you the first business-building spirituality-driven membership that shows you how to apply the principles of energy, spirituality, mindset, and strategy to grow your business from the inside out for lasting success. Check out the link in the show notes or visit my website, the elevated entrepreneur

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