Wondering what you can be doing in your business to diversify your traffic without doing ads?
This is a question I hear a lot and in this episode of Art of Online Business, I sat down with Hunter Donia to talk about how you can grow your business organically. These intentional strategies we are sharing in this episode will help you grow quickly and without any type of ad spend.
Sometimes as a coach, you get to work with people that you just know right away are going to make a massive impact on the lives of the people they serve. Hunter is definitely one of those people. He has a unique niche and he serves them in a way that very few other people do, and it has led to massive success.
Hunter is a digital educator teaching beauty professionals how to streamline, automate and elevate their processes in their businesses. He’s been recognized and awarded by multiple industry publications, spoken at well-known industry events, and has built a multi-6-figure business for himself by the age of 24 – all with modern, organic marketing strategies
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How Hunter got started in his business
- Why Hunter decided to avoid using paid ads
- How he uses webinars to sell his course
- The organic strategies that are working for Hunter
- Tips for using Reels
- Why Hunter is so particular about who sees his content
- How he uses his podcast to grow his business
- Why networking is so important
Links & Resources:
- The Art of Online Business website
- DM me on Instagram
- Visit my YouTube channel
- The Art of Online Business clips on YouTube
- Full episodes of The Art of Online Business Podcast on YouTube
- The Art of Online Business Podcast website
- Check out my Accelerator coaching program
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
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Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:
Hey my friend, welcome to the Art of Online Business Podcast. My name is Rick Mullaney and I'm an online business coach. I'm an ads expert, and most importantly, I'm a dad. And this show is where we help established online course creators and coaches create more profit, more impact with less hustle. All right, let's get into it. There it is. Some people you come across when you're a coach and you just know right off the bat, even if they're in the early stages of their business, you just know that they're going to have a massive impact on their niche that they're serving. And that's what I think about my guests here today. Hunter, Dana and Hunter is a member of my accelerator coaching program, and Hunter teaches stylists. He helps them streamline their business on like the business side. So his audience are going to here today is the booked, busy, overwhelmed hairstylists. And he serves them in a way that very few other people do. And he does it with a unique knowledge of because he's a stylist himself. And so he shares his expertise and he's been able to build a really, really successful business in a very short amount of time, all organically. And so so many of you are asking for, okay, what can I be doing in my business to diversify my traffic? But I don't want to do ads. I want this to be organic. And that's what we're been talking about here today. We're going to be talking about intentional, organic strategies that can help you grow your business very, very quickly and without the need for ads. 100 doesn't do any kind of ad spend. And he has a very successful online business. And we break it all down here for you today. So let's go hang out with Hunter. Donna Hunter, my friends, welcome to the podcast.
Hello. I'm so excited to be here.
I'm really excited. Like we just as I mentioned you before, we hit record here. I have a blank document in front of me, and you were like, Uh oh, help me. You know, like, God help us where this conversation goes.
But I mean, because with my.
Podcast and whenever I have guests on, I'm actually completely unorganized and I completely wing it. So you know what? I'm trusting the process with this one, right?
Yeah, but, like, this is me being organized, though. That's the thing. This is this is intentional.
I love it.
Like, it's like people send me questions, like when they interview me for their show and I'm like, I don't want to look at them just because, like, no, like, let's just have a conversation.
I am the same way. I don't want to be too robotic with anything. I want to go with, like what feels organic in the moment. I think that's the best. That's the best content. Always.
Yeah. All right. So no pressure. Let's deliver that today.
For I'm down.
Okay, cool. So you've done an amazing job building your business and you're still early in the business. Yeah, and you've done it all organically. Yep. No paid ads.
That is correct. Yeah, it's.
Actually been with my online business. It's been actually only over like it's probably been.
Like a year and a half at this point. And what I've been able to do in that year and a half has just been I'm so grateful for it. I've also worked my ass off for it, but it has been really, really cool for sure. Thanks. Thank you.
So so tell people what what it is that you do. Okay.
So I teach.
Hairstylist how to streamline all of their processes behind the chair. So I help them with their operations. And.
So I help them like implement their.
Processes in a more streamlined way in which they don't have to be on their phone, texting their clients all the time. I help them automate things. I teach a lot of technology and that's my main gig in my niche, is helping them systematize and streamline.
And you your stylist like it sounds weird to say in person you actually have you have high inter you have clients but you know, at what point did you have like this grander vision of like, you know what, I can be doing this online sort of what happened there?
Great question. So I have been doing hair for about I've been doing it for nine.
Years at this point.
And when I decided so, I had been in like I've been an educator.
For a while, I've.
An educator within my industry teaching other salons and stylists how to do technique. So like teaching them how. To color and cut and.
All of those things. I've been teaching on behalf of a brand for a couple of years at this point.
And so I always loved.
Educating, like I had been educating and I got into the industry when I was like 16 years old as I did my. My local.
High school program for cosmetology. I got my.
First job in a salon on my 16th birthday as a general assistant, and I got my cosmetology license before graduating high school. So like, I started.
Really, really early.
And I became like this educator teaching these.
Like, like people who have been in the game for so long.
I've been teaching them technique and I've been doing that since I was like 19 maybe.
And the point where I.
Felt like it was time for me to bring things online and really break off and do my own thing.
I found a lot of crazy success, like within my own business. And suddenly people were starting to ask me about it. And I, like I.
Said, I was teaching technique for a long time, but I.
The technique and like the what we deliver.
Behind the chair, like what we deliver as hairstylists.
Nothing without the business.
Like the business is so important and like the.
Customer experience is so important.
Rare that us as an industry.
And just trades in general, that we talk about the business.
Side of things, unfortunately.
And all of us are, so.
A lot of the time ill.
Equipped to be able to run and.
Successful business and make a great living for ourselves. And so I.
Found myself just naturally being really passionate about talking about the business side of things. And I had been able to create some really great results for myself and people started.
Asking me about.
It, and so I started sharing about it.
And the best way, the best way for me to do that is online. I get to reach so many people. I get to teach the. Tech and all of like the back end stuff in a really streamlined way versus.
It's really weird for me actually to teach that stuff in person. Like, it just doesn't make sense, you know? So, so that's, that's how I. Got into it.
So you see you basically, like so many people, created a solution for yourself, started working. Other people were asking like, Hey, what are you doing over here? Can you show me precisely? And then.
Yeah, precisely. And the cool thing about it was though too, that like, I didn't realize the real.
Impact that I'd be making at the end of the day. And I'm sure that you can relate to this, and I'm sure that like a lot of other people who are like in the quote unquote knowledge expert industry, whatever it may be, like educators in one way or another, I'm sure that you can relate. Like, I didn't realize how I was actually going to be changing people's lives.
And yeah, what I.
Do is it means so much to me because this industry specifically, like the hair beauty industry, has allowed me.
Who like. It really.
Helps me step into who I was, like as a human being and like being gay and like, I felt like it was the. One of the rarer.
Places when I was younger that I actually was like celebrated for who I was. And like, I was really accepted for. Like wearing makeup and coloring my hair and.
Doing all that stuff.
And I just know that, like, if I.
Wasn't equipped with the knowledge, tools and mentorship to be able to stay.
In this industry and make.
A good living for myself, then I'd be giving up like a massive part of my life that has given me so much, and. I never want anybody.
Else to feel like that. And so it's such a privilege and honor to be able to be giving people those tools.
Now that's really cool. Yeah, I love that. So as you started to, you're like, okay, it's so much it makes more so much more sense. And you're like, it doesn't really it's really hard to teach this stuff like in person. So how do so you've grown your business. Really quickly. You said about a year and a half with no no pay traffic, no paid.
It's been all organic. So before we get into like the strategy, like what you're doing from an organic perspective, has the no paid ads been intentional or like. I love it. Like, you know, I teach paid ads. But if people are like, no, I'd rather build my business without them. Amazing. Okay, cool. So has that been an intentional decision or has it just been like, no, I just started out organic first and then maybe someday we'll get there?
I think like in the beginning when.
I was just like figuring everything.
Out and I was just.
Going to like launch my course for the.
First time. I think it was kind of like a I don't have.
Time to do this and master it.
I am somebody who like, I.
Love taking things.
On and really.
Understanding them inside and out before I execute.
Them. And I get I like to get obsessed with things.
I like to like dive deep.
And it was something where I.
Mean, I was working five days behind the chair, you know, like. Blossom out, hair in and out while I was also building this course and coming up with my offer and this sales strategy all and.
And marketing and all.
These things. Like it was a lot. And I think that ads was just something that was way too much of a beast for me to really feel confident.
In diving into. And so I was just like, You know what? I don't have any.
Expectations for this.
I was just going to sell the sell the course, see if anybody buys it, and then.
Go from there. And if nobody buys it or if I didn't have the awareness, whatever it may be, then maybe I should have gone into ads.
But every launch, it's kind of been the same thing. It's almost like I don't have time to be learning this shit, so let's just see what organic can do for me until it stops working and we do it. We must do it really well. And I'm coming up with more organic marketing.
Strategies and diversifying the way that we do it, keeping up with trends as much as we possibly can. And recently I had a conversation with.
And Accelerator about my next steps, and I was talking about.
Should I be doing should I be doing ads.
I want to I feel like I'm like FOMO going over the awareness I could be getting. And then he was like, Well, you do organic marketing, so well, why don't you instead of investing the.
Money into the ads.
Why don't you invest the money into more organic.
Outreach, right? Whether that be like.
With a team member.
And somebody who can spend.
Time like doing more of what's already working, which is so much easier than.
Figuring out this whole new.
Yeah. And that's a question I ask you all in accelerator all the time. Like, what would this look like if it were easy? Can we be doing more of what's of what's working right and you know, could paid ads help you? I really think that they they could. But I don't like we're talking about I don't think it's necessary right now at all.
So so you've been successful with your launches. Every launch you've done, you do really, really well. Your conversion rates are off the charts. And so let's start right there. Like, what is your secret? You'd so let's describe number one. You have that, you have the course and the membership. So let's kind of break the break that down like the relationship between the two and how do you launch those two offers and why do you think you convert so well?
So I so I have a course in.
A back end membership just like you shared.
So I have a course. It's called pre visit pathway. It's like the 12 week course, how to get.
Everything streamlined and automated, implement a bunch of tech into your business and get her going. And so. It's 12 weeks and after.
The 12 weeks is over, they're invited to an alumni only membership in which then I give them more advanced strategies, I give them ongoing support, a lot of intense community. It's a.
Live launch situation. Like it's I am very involved in the community and I'm super inspired by it and we have it as streamlined as possible to where like it doesn't burn me out, but I'm still giving so much value and I'm giving them like really direct support, which is helpful. And so I.
Sell my course.
With webinars. That's what I've been doing since the get. So I would do webinars and my webinars convert. Really, really, really.
Really well unexpectedly.
I didn't realize that they converted well until.
I started seeing like.
Like digital educators and like how they were.
Going. And I was like, oh wow. Like, I guess I don't do too bad with these.
What's your what's your average conversion?
I was literally I was like, I should have come prepared with the numbers. Like, I'm so stupid. Like, how am I supposed to get on this. Podcast with you and not have my.
Numbers out? Like, that's just like that doesn't work.
If I remember correctly, your conversion rates are like. Between 30 and 40.
Yeah. If I remember correctly, I have. Yeah, it's.
31% conversion. On the webinar.
We I lied. I so lied. It's 31% from my email list.
I just read the wrong thing.
It's 31% from my like just for my total people who are in the launch. But on the webinar, the average.
Conversion rate is 38%.
Yeah so. So the everybody in your launch so your lead to sail conversion rate is like 30%.
So it's good.
Stuff. That's it's unheard of.
Yeah. I'm like really proud of it.
Why do you think that's the case? Like what is because people are listening right now, like, oh, my God, tell me, like, what? What are you doing in order to achieve those numbers?
Do you know what I think? Like, like we're talking, I think like the organic marketing is like a really big part of it, you know, like these are people who, like, want to be part of this because.
They really wanted to be a part.
Of it. Like these are people who.
Have just naturally organically.
Like through their own will.
And journey. Found me, you know, and have been following me and.
I've been able.
To nurture because with organic like you just have so much more like high touch, especially like through social media. And if they're following you on Instagram and I don't know, I.
Really do think that it all being organic has been a really big.
Part of it. But then the other part.
Of it too is.
Think I do a really brilliant job of.
Number one. I hit a really big.
Pain point that that.
A lot of other educators sometimes hit, but they don't.
Hit it the way that I do.
Like, I really.
Believe that I am the only person teaching what I'm teaching, how I'm teaching.
And it's a massive pain point. And I think I do a really good job at bridging the pain point and my solutions and making it make sense to the person.
Is there is there like a specific format that you follow in your webinar?
So I, I, I did DCA with.
Amy Porterfield back in, back when I first was figuring this all out and I very much followed that blueprint. However, I've like.
Changed it to like be my own thing. Like, especially like after this like last launch that I did. I definitely changed up the webinar a lot. And what I enjoy about what I enjoy about the framework is that I really am teaching like.
You know, like it's a free webinar.
But like I'm actually like giving people like real information.
But I think like the.
Overarching theme I take.
I've taken like the.
Overarching themes and I, and.
Why it works. Like, like I said, like if I'm going to be doing something, I want to understand why it works. So that way I can do it really well.
And I think why it works.
Is because I really focus on, like I said, bridging the pain point to the solution.
Creating like new beliefs, like showing.
People that there's.
Like a new way, a.
Different way of doing.
Connecting with people and making them understand like this, like things could be different for you.
You know? Yeah.
And it doesn't have to be.
Like, in a weird way or a way that doesn't feel right to you.
Like, I can show you the path, and I feel like I just do a really good job of doing that in the webinar for sure. Do you have a hard time getting people to show up?
I actually have, I think, an average of a 60%.
Show up rate.
So no, the answer is no, no. What do you think is the what do you think is the reason for that? Are you doing your webinars? Unlike because don't most stylists take like Sundays and Mondays off or something like so?
So this is I think that I have a massive advantage with the fact that I'm speaking to a very specific industry that has like calendars. You know.
Noticed that like within accelerator, like we like talk about webinar times and dates and stuff like that. And I've noticed that people who are speaking to a much broader audience like have a harder time coming up with what those days and times look like. I'm so grateful that I have such a predictable industry. So, yes.
So the majority.
Of the industry has off on Sundays and Mondays, and so we do one Sunday at 12, and then we do a monday at 12, and then we. Do another Monday.
Where I do one at like ten and eight. So I really hit those dates and I think that that works out really well for me.
So you do webinars a week apart, so you have a Sunday, Monday and then the following week and then so is the cart open the whole time in between those. It is in that first week. Yeah.
I have like a pretty like long open, open car. My, my open car is like.
Between like a 10 to 12 day situation.
I mean, it works.
So you can't argue.
Exactly. So I'm not going to change it. Yeah.
And so at what point do you do people then go into the membership?
So once the 12 weeks is up, I then.
Have like a graduation ceremony and it's.
All fun. It gets like superlatives.
We talk about like all the things. It's all it's really cute.
And then I.
Basically they're all there live. And so I, I do like my little pitch. It's nothing crazy, but I do a little pitch. And then they. Join the membership and. Move on forward.
With me from.
There. Nice. Yeah.
And then that's just that's ongoing, right? It's not like a it's a correct is.
So okay, let's talk about the organic marketing, what type because people I know listening right now, they're like, okay, I would love those numbers on whatever it is that I'm doing in my business. And so what types of things are you doing from an organic perspective? And then like what do you find is working really well for you within the organic strategies?
Yes. So number one.
What I'll say, I just.
I just feel like I need.
To talk about this because it really launched me off the.
When clubhouse was like on and.
Poppin. Like I took.
Full advantage of the opportunity.
And it just goes to show you like if there's something.
New out there, like if people are attracted to like this new space and you have the chance to like jump on that train before it, like it derails, get on the train and like take full advantage of it. And I feel like such a hypocrite because I'm not on TikTok yet.
I was, I was just going to say. But yet we were. I know before. I know. And I'm not giving you a hard time like there. And like we were talking and joking, but not joking. I really am obsessed with tick tock. Yes. And I'm getting there myself as far as being on the platform, as far as creating content. But I think like for I think it'd be just amazing platform for you.
I agree and it's on the list trust and believe.
Like we need to get on there.
But but but to share with other people like if they're like sure like to share with other people, especially if you're like at the. Beginning of your journey for sure. Jump on that train because clubhouse like.
I blew up so.
Fast within my niche, within my industry on clubhouse. Like it was actually crazy. I created.
I networked so hard. I have like friends that I never.
Thought I'd be friends with just because of clubhouse, and that really was really helpful.
Now, it didn't absolutely.
Explode me like it definitely. I've definitely done a lot of different things that have gotten me to where I am now, but it was a good launchpad for me. Clubhouse is like dead ripe now. I got off that as soon as it.
Died, so clubhouse was.
Like the first thing. And I was showing up there like every day, sometimes twice a day. It was wild.
And Instagram was actually.
How I grew my clientele. Behind the chair, like in my salon business. And so I had already been pretty familiar with like how to market well on Instagram. And I mean, I'm Gen Z, so I've been using Instagram since I was like, what, like 12, right? So I'm.
Familiar with the platform and I'm super comfortable.
With it. And so I just pivoted like I.
Completely stopped talking to clients and trying to get their clients. And I completely just started talking to hairstylists on there and just keeping things very like niche specific to what I teach. And you know.
What did really well at the.
Time was if you like post like static post or like carousels of just like controversial.
Shit, like industry.
Specific controversial stuff, right? So like.
For you, for example, like, like, like.
When you say like live launching is dead like something like that, like that.
Hits really well. Sure. So for us.
Like I've always leaned into those types of things that that do well and that works out really well for us at the time. Now we are reeling it up. We're doing reels all.
The damn time.
And it's really.
Fantastic because I have with the help of Accelerator, I have been able to.
Grow a mighty like small.
Team that has just been so excellent as and has helped me show up so much more consistently and made it such a streamlined, more effective process. And so I'm really, really consistent with Instagram and Instagram reels still, and they work really, really, really well.
And the thing.
About before we go on to.
Before we go on to the next thing there, when, when you're doing, when you're doing reels, I think there's a big thing where people believe people have a question around what's the balance between creating content that is like, you know, challenging like, like you said, like something.
Right in your in your in your niche and or whatever it might be versus like, all right, how do I build my email list? How do we get people over here to join whatever it is?
How do you find that balance?
I do both at the same time, right? Like I just do both.
At the same.
Time. And and sometimes I'm calling to.
Action the podcast.
But a lot of the times, like, I'll be able to like.
Talk about the controversial topic and then.
Related to my niche. So as long.
As it's related, I'm.
Able to bridge it back to the call to action. So I'll like hook.
Them with whatever it may be.
Talk about a pain point, talk about a common belief misconception, like something that's.
Like what? I've never heard of any.
Other stylists doing this before. And then I have something that such as like my, my lead magnet or my podcast episode where I can call to the action and then go from there. So I do both at the same time.
Have you noticed the that reals have been most helpful for you when sort of that shift happened when reals became more popular? But also it's been recently it's been like. Organic and like the reach and stuff like that. Yeah, but I believe I remember you saying that you, you haven't really felt affected from it.
Is that as far as, as far as like lower reach with reels. Yeah. Yeah. So here's the thing. So I have never wanted to go. Viral with my reels.
Because I'm so.
Industry specific. Right.
And I think it's an important.
Conversation to have for like us as digital educators, like with like our niches and our industries that we're speaking to. Because like for some people, like going.
Viral on Instagram and getting like a million views may be super.
Lucrative for you. For me, it's actually.
Like a bad thing. And you know, you know this.
I'm on I am on this podcast, okay, hesitatingly. But I love.
Rick, so that's why I'm here. And I'm honest, obviously honored to be on this podcast. I listen to it and I love it. But I am very.
Picky, choosy about the audience and the traffic that comes through through my my channels, because I. Don't.
Want to be bogged down by anything that isn't a customer, a paying customer. It's just a waste of space. Like I literally like if I get a follower.
On it, I'm this crazy about.
This. If I get a follower.
On Instagram who is not a hairstylist or like a beauty professional or somebody who would be paying. Money, I literally unfollow them.
From my page because.
It it bogs down the algorithm. Like, the more people.
I have that.
Aren't buyers is the less people that less buyers.
That will see my content.
So with reels, if you go on to my.
Instagram like you'll notice I have not like exceeded like.
K views like.
Which is pretty small.
For somebody who like does reels all the time.
But I am really happy about it because I don't want a.
Bunch of random people following me.
You know, what I do know is that I am reaching people.
Within my industry.
For everyone listening right now, what Hunter is saying here is huge, huge lesson. And I don't think it can be, you know, focused on enough. You see so many people, so many of us get judged based on like on our content, like, oh, that's not a lot of views or that didn't get many likes or whatever it might be. When what Hunter is talking about right here, this is what it's about. It's it's about quantity, you know, it's the whole cliche quantity, not quality. Yep. Right. I would much rather have a thousand people on my email list who are you know, it's the whole thousand raving fans thing versus 100,000 of just, you know, random people who are not necessarily my target audience who are just, again, to your point, Hunter taking up space. So I love that you do that.
And that's obviously helped you. You're very specific on who you're speaking to and you are showing up for them, providing value and content and, you know, help to them. And it shows in your business. I mean, you have grown your business really quickly and just look at like obviously it's more than numbers, right? The the conversations that you're happening that are that you're having and that are happening with your target audience, that's what this is all.
About, 100%. And just being so intentional, there's such a lack of.
Intention with social media.
Like you really.
Need to think about like, why am I posting this?
Like who is who is going.
To see this, you.
Know, and really.
Understanding obviously. And I feel like this is kind of.
101, but like so many people overlook it, like really.
Understanding who you're speaking to and where where they're living and how how you're showing up for that person in that moment, like.
Is so important.
To think about in every single step of the way and like how it affects you and your business at the end of the day. And so although I don't.
Go viral like I know that I'm reaching my people that I need to be reaching. And the great thing about being so industry specific is like, like within my industry, we, there's like these large reposts accounts, you know, like there's these like massive like industry publications who like reposts, hair stylist content all the time. And so we get reposted like a lot and those get like 100,000 views. But I know.
Still like those are for the right.
People at the same time.
Yeah, totally. So it's worked.
Really well for us and it's also just a really excellent nurturing strategy too. I mean, like once somebody follows us and they're going to be seeing our reels, you know, and it really does, it does help. So we get a lot of our traffic, especially to the podcast and to I mean, most of my lead magnet downloads are from, are from my Instagram for sure. And then we and then we're doing two other things and I'll pause because I talk a lot.
No. I mean, you're. You're dropping the gold here. There's this right here. I wish so many people were more comfortable with what you're talking about here in their own business, because most people think, oh, the more niche that I get, I'm bringing the pool down too much and I can't have a successful business, whatever success.
Means to them. Right.
And that is simply not true. And you're you're proof of that in how you're approaching your business. And you're like, I want to speak directly to my audience, the people who are going to buy from me. And that's I mean, we're we we're in business because we want to help a specific. Set of people. And I don't mean that from, you know, excluding. I just mean like, all right, this is the niche that I serve. This is who I want to be talking to.
Well, and the point the point is, is that I can't I know I can't serve somebody outside of that niche. Right. As well as I. Can, that person. Right. So I'm going to focus on that person because that's what that person deserves. And it's actually doing a disservice to anybody.
Else for me to be pretending like I can serve them better. You know what I mean?
Like, yeah, yeah. And that's how I, that's like.
How I approach everything. Like, for example, like in.
My courses and in my philosophies and what I teach, I always say, like, as a hairstylist, you shouldn't be taking on every single client in your chair.
Like, you should only be.
Taking on the people that.
You can do a good job with because that's playing the long term game. That's playing the game where like you're going to be creating a relationship with somebody.
Who you serve really well, who will stay with you for.
A long time. They'll stick with you through the price increases, their.
All their friends to you.
Versus somebody who you're miserable.
With and you're not going to show up 100% for.
Like it just nobody.
Wins at the end of the day.
Because they aren't.
Happy. You're not happy.
So like let them go like let them go to somewhere else. Focus on the person that you can.
Serve the best and then and then you will thrive.
So I'd rather have I'd rather have 5000 like totally perfect followers on Instagram.
Than 100,000 like Randos on Instagram. What matters is the coins and the bank account at the end of the day. And because of this approach, you're I would imagine that the number of referrals that you get within the industry is huge.
Yes. You said this at our our in-person retreat a couple months ago. You said that there's fulfillment, sales and marketing. Right. And you asked us like, which one should we be focusing on first? And you said.
Fulfillment we should.
Be focusing on first, because.
Fulfillment is down.
Then the marketing becomes easy. And I think that that has.
Really, really true for us.
Since the beginning. Those like coincidentally, because.
I have always.
Really focused on our customer experience.
And the amount of referrals.
We get is insane. Like that is a.
Part of our organic strategy and.
It's completely free and those leads are so piping hot. Like, sure, like if their friend, if their trusted peer tells them about my course and.
Said that they had a great, excellent.
That person will.
Course. So. Absolutely.
Do you incentivize referrals in any way?
We do have an affiliate program, but truly, like, we don't need it. We we wouldn't need it. And I wish I honestly I wish I didn't start it. I wish I didn't.
Start it because now I feel like there's this, like, expectation because I already.
Started it, you.
Know, that I have to keep doing.
It. But I, I'm, I'm lowering it as much as possible.
To where it's like nothing. I don't feel like it's taking away from my profit very much. And also, I'm not putting a crazy amount of effort into.
It because we get the referrals.
Without the incentives. So why am I incentivized? It just doesn't make it. Yeah. So anyways, we have. An affiliate program.
But I hate it.
So you're doing organic, you're doing Instagram, crushing it on reels. You've got the word of mouth. Anything else that you're doing organically?
So I have my podcast.
I'm not since it's so.
Hard to track.
I don't know what new traffic is coming through. However, I.
Know that it's obviously a fantastic nurturing strategy. And like if I know if I can get somebody on the podcast, they are going to be way more likely to buy. And it's been really, really, really helpful for us. So I've been really excited about the podcast. We just did a summit, we just did a virtual summit.
So a summit where.
A bunch of other.
Speakers within our industry, educators within my industry.
And it was a completely free summit. We had we had 20 speakers and we had really massive industry experts who are way bigger than me come in. And then we had some like small fish.
It was a really great blend.
We had a lot of good diversity and a lot of different topics.
Really, really great.
And I niche I still.
Niche like the entire summit down.
To be relatable to what.
Because at the end of the day I wanted it to be like a traffic flow for me and for people to the.
People who are coming in. Again, I didn't want just I need sound this.
Specifically like this is how.
Intentional I am. I don't want any.
Hairstylists coming into this gig.
Like, I want a hairstylist who is booked.
And busy, independent and overwhelmed. Like that is who I'm speaking to.
And so I know if I created this summit that was like, learn how to build your clientele, which is sexy and will 100% get way more people in there. It won't be buyers for me.
At the end of the.
Day. So instead.
Of doing that, I focused way more on.
My people and then took all.
The speakers and made sure that the speakers were kind of like fitting into that box at the end of the day. Super smart. Yeah. How many days? 20. You had 20 speakers. How many days was it?
Yes, it was. That is a lot. It was a three day event. We honestly probably could have gotten it down to two if we didn't like. If we didn't, we gave like an hour gap for everything.
Just to make sure we have plenty of time, just in case anything got messed up.
And it was all.
Prerecorded. So it was super predictable and.
Easy, but it was completely free for.
Somebody to attend. We did have an upgrade option in which we contributed 100% of the proceeds towards a Bipoc Pocket Beauty School Scholarship Fund.
So the mission was super impactful.
I'm so proud of it. We were able to raise like 26,000 just from that.
That's awesome. It was just.
And we had we got I got bringing up the numbers. I mean, my Google sheets right now. Hold on, hold on, hold on. We got I got 1429 new organic.
Leads from my summit.
And like for.
Free basically. I mean, there was a whole lot of labor and I'm paying my.
Team, but like, that's like crazy for me and they're ideal and I know that their ideal leads, which is.
Like so awesome. So yeah.
So was that, was that you promoted it obviously through Instagram. Yep. Your email list. Yep. Podcast. Yep. And then I would imagine there was a lot of word of mouth again from people in your community, in your audience that were telling their friends, Hey, you've got to come check this out.
And all of the speakers that we had, we they were all.
They they signed our agreement. They were required to send a minimum of two emails to their email list. And then we gave them a.
Bunch of swipe copy. We gave them a bunch of social media swipe stuff and they promoted it on their on their Instagrams and all of the things. And so.
I mean, these are all.
I'm getting so much new traffic because these are other speakers within my industry, you know, and they're promoting to their lists. So that was a really great way of getting all those new people in there.
Was there did you have to like. Was it easy to get the quote unquote, upper level people?
So I also wanted to talk about this. So this is a great transition tool.
So my other.
Organic strategy thus.
Far has been.
That I've been able to create have been.
Excellent and so important in my journey of getting to where I am without any paid ads.
Like creating the relationships.
That I've had with these other industry.
It truly like has skyrocketed everything.
And it is so important to spend time nurturing those relationships and making authentic, genuine relationships with these people. And like really aligning with other people who are who.
Have the same core values as you to.
Like. We have I have other I had other really big.
Industry speakers who I probably could have asked and probably would have agreed to join us, but I didn't because I didn't feel like they were aligned with like the mission and the core values and stuff. And I just genuinely think, like what I've.
Poured into those relationships.
Have paid. It's paid.
Off so much for us.
And the business. Very much so. And so making relationships with other people has been a massive thing for us as well to.
People have a real, you know, like sort of block around this concept of building their network because they often think like, well, I want that person, I want to meet that person over there. I want to get to know that person over there because I know they can help me when that's not the approach that we need to be taking. So how do you approach building those relationships through authenticity?
That's a really great question.
I think it's just being like I mean, you know, I've met all.
These different people in so many different ways. So I guess it kind of depends on how you meet them. But I mean, like, think about what I.
Just think about what I can relate to them with, like with education and stuff. And I just ask them like, how is your business going? Like, what do you do? Like, what's your niche?
How do you help hairstylists? And then we just relate over.
Like, you know, like different industry topics and.
Concepts and then all of that. And I just.
Actually have a really genuine interest in here's the thing, I have a real genuine.
Interest in making it impact.
Care about it. And so I'm really.
Curious about how these other people are doing the same thing with me.
And so I ask.
Questions about it and I want to know what they teach and I want to know how they teach it. And I ask them like, Would you be down to come on my podcast? And then they eventually ask me if I want to come on. There is you know, that's another thing we do. We like pitch to get on other people's podcasts.
But just being just be real and just care about what you guys are doing and like come from it.
From like a real angle and like ask real questions and then go from there. Like, don't go right into.
And create a relationship.
Before you start pitching shit.
And it's, it's, I mean it's pretty basic, right. But I think we tend to want to overcomplicate it like, like most things. Right. But it's like. Have a real, genuine reason why you want to connect with this person. I want to connect with them because I want to have a big impact in what I'm doing and in the niche I'm serving. And that person is having an impact, too. So, hey, let's connect with that person.
Yes. Yeah. And like, I have this weird, like, underlying.
Primal fear of.
People, like, because.
Not. I feel like it's just natural competition. Like, it is just like our brains, like being nervous about about that. But, like, there's plenty to go around. And again, like.
It goes back to.
Like, I really.
So if I really care about, if I think.
That this person.
Can really if I think Michelle Cook, CPA.
Who teaches hairstylists all about taxes and all that.
If I think that Michelle's.
Course can help other people.
Then I'm not going to be worried about like, Oh.
Well, if somebody spends money on her course, then they may not have the money to spend on my cause. I'm going to think about, okay, I want this person, I want the industry to change. I want to help the industry. Like I'm going to give people Michelle's contact and like, everybody wins at the end of the day, you know, like, yeah. And there's plenty to go around for real.
And thank you publicly here on the podcast for referring Michelle to the to accelerator.
Oh yeah. Michelle. Okay. No, you want to. Michelle referred me back in.
Oh she was the OC.
Yeah, Michelle referred me but she wasn't a part of it yet. And then I was like, Well, I.
Need this now.
So I got to go. But she was coming up on tax season.
And she like, couldn't handle it and now she's. Yeah, so.
Yeah, it worked out well.
There she is. So what do you think as we start to wrap up here, what do you think just from for accelerator, what do you think has been the biggest help for you? As I mean, you're still in like it's not like you're finishing tomorrow. I don't mean that. Like, what do you think? Spend the biggest help for you?
So when I like so I still work behind a chair. I've definitely.
Significantly reduced my hours.
But when I.
First joined Accelerator, I was working like four days a week, like if not five sometimes.
Like I was working.
Long hours behind the chair.
And I was working.
Tirelessly on my online business because I was really passionate about it and I was really I was excited about it. And so. I was just, I was just working non.
Stop. It was really bad.
And I was doing really freaking well. I don't know if I necessarily regret all of the hard work that I put in. However, if I.
Kept going down that route, it would have not been good. I would not been able to sustain my own life, be happy in my own life. I wouldn't be able to show up and serve people the way that they deserve from me.
And so I joined.
Accelerator because I needed to learn how to be.
And grow a team that that I actually got a return of investment on.
Like I had like.
A VA up until that point, but I felt like I was always like micromanaging. I felt like I was always having to be the one ending up fixing it or doing it. Like I didn't feel like I had a return on my investment.
Accelerator has done for me is it's helped me understand how to get a return on my investment in the labor that I'm investing in, like.
And and also create a team that I absolutely love and like a team that is like sometimes even more passionate about passionate than me sometimes like I it's just it's been transformative for me. And, and you have really helped.
Me step into that different mindset and like have these different behaviors about how I approach things with the way that. Things are getting done in my business. Like I get like that old.
Sometimes I like creeps in that.
Old like, oh, well, I'll just.
Go ahead and I'll do it.
Like, I'll, I know I'll do it right.
So I'm going to do it now.
Or the old like maybe I, if I worked a little bit harder than, than it'll be better or I'm missing out on.
Something if I'm not working harder.
And I've just been able to step.
Into a mindset where it's like, I know that's not true anymore. I know that's not the right way to go about it. That's not playing the long term game.
And I'm able to just delegate and trust and things.
Are done better and I'm able to grow faster and do more things because I have more arms and legs that I absolutely trust. Some love which you have to have if you want to have the impact that you want to have.
Without working 18 hours a day.
We could not.
Have done that summit without. Oh my God, I could not have done that myself. I couldn't even imagine. It would have been hell. And so I would not have been able to raise that money for somebody to go to beauty school if it was not for. My team.
Helping like they took they did the.
Thing for me and I would not have known.
Them to do that if it wasn't for Accelerator. And I wouldn't have been able to execute it if it wasn't for my amazing team.
That's awesome. I love hearing that. So for those of you listening, if you only if you are a busy stylist behind the chair, you are overworked and overwhelmed. This is where you can connect with Hunter.
Go at Hair by.
Hunter Agency on Instagram.
Everybody else listening who does not fall into that. Leave me alone. Leave him alone. Thank you so much, man, for coming on here. I just, you know, I think the world of you, I tell you that all the time. And I think what you're doing and how you're doing it is the right way and through the three year authentic self. And that just shows up in everything that you do. So thank you for for doing that, you know, through what you're doing in your business and also, you know, the kind of help that you're offering right here, whether everybody listening can can win from this episode and learn from what you're doing. Right. And so thank you for taking the time to.
Come on here. Thank you so much for.
Wanting to have me on here. Thank you for all that you've done for me and taught me. I really, really appreciate it. And I wouldn't be where I am today without you. So I was absolutely happy to come on here and share. It's been a pleasure. Thank you so much.
Hey, if you'd like my eyes and attention and focus on your business and help you find leverage in your business and help you scale your business and your impact while working way fewer hours. Because while we're all about here within my accelerator coaching program, is helping you build the business. Whatever success looks like to you in a 25 hour work week or less, if you want to work more than that. Amazing. But let's do it in a long term, sustainable way so that there's no burnout and you're having a blast in your business and you're just having the impact that you want to have. And so if you'd like to learn more about how I can help you inside of our accelerator coaching program, just go over to Rick Muller Telecom, Forward Slash Accelerator. You can learn more about the program, hear from current and past members. And there's just a short application that you fill out. And so I can see if we might be a fit to work together again. It's Rick Mueller Radio.com four slash accelerator. Thank you, my friends as always for tuning in today. Super appreciate you. Until next time, be super well and I'll talk to you soon.