Angela Brown’s Recurring Revenue Niche Membership Site Journey and Success Story

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Learn about Angela Brown’s recurring revenue niche membership site journey and success story in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Angela is from SavvyCleaner.com, and she also has a podcast and YouTube show called Ask a House Cleaner. Angela breaks down her struggles and successes with entering the online teaching space, and how that contrasts with what she had done before with in-person training.

Angela Brown's Recurring Revenue Niche Membership Site Journey and Success Story

All the training Angela was used to was training live in a hotel room in front of a bunch of people where she would work with a PowerPoint presentation to help people learn the cleaning and business concepts she was teaching. The online world is a different scale, so over time she learned all the different skills of running an online course business, such as putting together graphics, recording videos, managing enrollments, building out the courses, etc.

Angela first started out in house cleaning, as she knew it very well growing up in a house of 19 children, and she was very disciplined in her practice. Over 25 years she has perfected her training style of teaching and trains in 31 countries across the globe.

She created her first learning management system in 2016 with LifterLMS and a text-based course and added content over time that included videos, graphics, etc. After a famous YouTuber helped give Angela the confidence to get started in the YouTube space, she started creating videos for marketing and teaching, and is she now at 78,000 subscribers.

Creating a one-time course sale often will leave you in a position where you always need to hustle to make sales. But if you build a recurring revenue membership, that allows you to have a much more predictable income and really grow over time. Angela emphasizes creating a culture that makes people want to come back and continue to engage with your program.

To learn more about Angela Brown, be sure to check out SavvyCleaner.com and her podcast and YouTube show called Ask a House Cleaner. You can model what she’s up to, and she’s an amazing case study of the power of education online and what a dedicated entrepreneur can do with an idea and the tools to make it happen.

At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Badgett:

You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.

Chris Badgett:

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Angela Brown. She’s from savvycleaner.com. She has a podcast and a YouTube show called Ask a House Cleaner. Welcome to the show, Angela.

Angela Brown:

Well, thank you so much, Chris, for having me on your show. I’m super excited to get to spend a little bit of time with you, because I’m a huge fan of LifterLMS. And it is because of LMS, I was able to create a learning library. So thank you. Mass respect.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah. Awesome. And we help education entrepreneurs, people who are in the business of transforming the lives of others, and getting results, and building a business in the process. And you, you’re moving, you’re doing it. You’ve got a YouTube show, you’ve got your book on Amazon, you’re building this training library, and you’re just on a mission. When I look at the progress you’ve made over the years, you’re making a tear through the world. And you’re super focused on a tight niche of people, these people who want to start, grow, and scale a house cleaning business. What’s it like helping other entrepreneurs?

Angela Brown:

Well, that’s a great question. And I’m still learning how to help them because what I’m doing right now is different from everything I’ve ever done. As I’m moving into the online space, I am relearning everything. All the training I’ve ever done has been in a hotel room in front of a whole bunch of people, where you rent a space, and you have a PowerPoint presentation. To move online and to help people on a different scale, it’s a very different type of process that requires a whole different set of skills.

Angela Brown:

So it’s been a huge learning curve for me, to learn how do people respond online. And I only expected that if I set up a customer service line, that they were only going to respond through the customer service line. I had no idea that we’re going to be sending me IMs, and phone calls, and texts, and all these different avenues that social media has provided for us. And so, even just in customer service, I’ve had to backtrack and say, wait a second, we’ve got customer service requests coming in from 12, 13 different avenues, how do we staff and prepare for all of that? The online world is a whole new space for me.

Chris Badgett:

I was talking to the CEO of WP Engine. Well, he’s the founder, he’s not the CEO right now, but he said a long time ago, we were having conversation, he said, “The internet is a really big place.” And it sounds like a simple statement, but the internet is massive, and the ways people can communicate and the ways people personalize their experience on the internet is really profound. It’s not like you’re saying, just like a room in a convention center, where everything’s a controlled environment. I think that’s really interesting.

Chris Badgett:

And in your story, you’re an expert house cleaner, business owner yourself, right? What was the evolution from you being a house cleaner, to building a house cleaner business, to helping other people build these businesses? How was that expert journey for you, from practitioner to teacher, coach, expert?

Angela Brown:

Well, that’s a trick question because I was never going to be a teacher.

Chris Badgett:

Okay.

Angela Brown:

I just was only going to ever be a house cleaner, that was kind of the end goal I guess. I guess that’s as far as I could see at that point in my life. I started as a waiter in a restaurant, and there was another waitress that worked during the day as a house cleaner, and she needed some extra help, and asked me if I would like to come join her. I lasted all of one day. I realized after working with her that our work ethics were not the same, and she was charging a lot of money for her house cleaning. I made 150 bucks in the one day I worked with her, and we were being paid $2 and 13 cents an hour at the restaurant plus tips. So you have to get really good at making tips if you’re going to survive.

Angela Brown:

And I said, wait a second, I should be a house cleaner. And I grew up in a large family, I’m one of 19 kids. And so we had very strict housecleaning behaviors, and rules, and jobs, and chores, and stuff at home just to keep a balance and organization at home. So when I moved away from home, six of my seven sisters have all had housecleaning businesses, so this is something that I knew growing up. I wasn’t scared of housecleaning. But I did not have any business background on how to run a cleaning business. So I had to go to the local community college and take business and management, and how to work with employees, and how to hire people, and all those things.

Angela Brown:

So as I started my business, I decided the housecleaning will be a business. And I think there’s a really big distinction between having a hobby and having a business, because hobbies cost you money, and businesses make you money. And so, for me, it was always ever going to be a business. So as I jumped into it as a business, there are certain behaviors and disciplines that you have to have if you’re going to run a business.

Angela Brown:

And so as I started running this business and creating systems that fell in place, there were, well, word picks up, they say cream rises to the top, and in this particular avenue, we did really well. Within a couple of months I’d hired a bunch of people. We were growing really fast across the city and everyone was following the systems we had created. So other cleaning companies from other parts of the country started saying, “What are you doing? I heard that you’re doing something fantastic. Can we fly you in and have you train our people?”

Angela Brown:

And at the time I wasn’t a trainer either. I’d never done public speaking, I’d never been in front of audiences, I’d never showed them other than my teams. So I was like, well, if they’re willing to pay me to show them what we’re doing here, we’re scrappy, we’re making it up as we go, but we’ll show you what we have. Over the next 25 years, I’ve perfected that training process, and I’ve now trained in 31 countries across the globe. And so, it’s been a huge experience for me. I’ve been able to see the world, they paid for my flights, they paid for my hotels. I mean, it was awesome. And then in the process of that, still running a housecleaning business.

Angela Brown:

And then in the summer of 2015, we had a troubled teenager that came to live with us. And she was a relative of a family member that we could not save. And so, with sadness in our hearts, we kind of felt like this was a second chance. And this young lady was just destructive, and violent, and suicidal, and assaulted clients, and employees, and she stole things, and you couldn’t leave her alone because she would try to kill herself while you’re fixing dinner. It’s just violent things, I couldn’t leave her alone.

Angela Brown:

So now I’d had this really successful career that I kind of thought that was it for me. It’s like, hooray, I have arrived. And I think the misnomer is you’ve never arrived, you’re never actually there. And so, there I was, middle-aged woman, that had a troubled teenager living with us, I’ve got this big business that requires still a lot of my time, what am I going to do?

Angela Brown:

And so, I had to make a conscious decision in that moment, I’ve got to reinvent myself. And it’s a really frightening place to be when you have no internet skills, and you have no social media skills. And all of your podcasts, you talk about the five hats. I had exactly zero hats. “I’m going to start something, I got zero hats, like, Chris, help me out. What do I do next?” And so I listened to all of your podcasts, and I went on YouTube, and I’m like, how do I create a YouTube show? And I didn’t want to do YouTube. I created this amazing little library. I joined up with LifterLMS, I followed all of your rules, and it made this really awesome little training program that was all text. I was so proud of myself.

Angela Brown:

And then we did beta tests, and people were like, “Text, text? We don’t read, we want videos.” I’m like, “I don’t do videos.” And I didn’t have any WordPress skills. All of this runs on a WordPress backdrop. I didn’t even know that you could adjust the size of pictures. So all my pictures I was uploading were thumbnail size, and I was trying to create a learning management course around thumbnail size pictures. And this is back in the days when it was JPEG, So they were compressed and they were super small, and now they look horrible, right? Everything switched to 4K screens, and PNGs that stretch. And I had no idea.

Angela Brown:

And so, what happened is I have to ask myself this question. There’s somebody on YouTube that’s going to teach me this one skill, it’s going to take 10 minutes. I can fight myself and never, never learn it, or I can spend the 10 minutes and in 10 minutes I know how to do it. And so I buckled down every single day, and I said, let me learn these skills, because once you learn those skills, they build on top of each other. And once you build on top of each other, you cannot unlearn those skills.

Angela Brown:

So I created my first learning management system online back at the beginning of 2016. I joined, I looked at all the different options available. And LifterLMS made the most sense to me because it was the most user friendly, and you seem like a really nice guy. I hate to say that, but you’re a really great teacher. You tricked me, you made me feel like I could do this. And I was like, well, he said that I can, so maybe I can. I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know. And I had no idea what kind of a commitment it was. But at the time, because I didn’t have any of the five hats, what I didn’t realize was this. It was like committing to run a marathon when you’ve never run before. And not just committing to run the marathon, but committing to win the marathon.

Angela Brown:

So as you start, you have to learn all the skills that surround it. So when I jumped into the learning management system, I had to learn video, I had to learn audio, I had to learn graphic design, I had to learn hard copy. I’d never marketed something like this before. When you market house cleaning, it’s a very decided outcome. You come in, and you clean their house, and they look at it, they go, “Wow, that looks amazing.” Boom, you get the money. But now you’re selling an intangible online, and that’s a whole different set of skills. I didn’t have any marketing skills for selling online courses. I didn’t have a following. I didn’t even have a Facebook group, so I went and I created a Facebook group and I started with the five hats. I’m like, well I’ll just knock these out one at a time because Chris makes it sound easy. Well, you lied. It’s not easy. It’s a whole lot of work.

Chris Badgett:

Well, that’s real talk right here. And if this happens to be your first episode, the five hats are, you have to be an expert, a teacher, a community builder, a technologist, and an entrepreneur. And I think you always had the expert hat. You have to have that to start, so you were an expert house cleaner, subject matter expert. And there’s things that experts go through wearing that hat to evolve and build these kinds of online training programs.

Chris Badgett:

And I have a question for you. One of the things I recognize is the quality we share, is that you have an incredible work ethic. Where does that come from?

Angela Brown:

I hate to say this because it’s more simple than the answer you’re probably looking for. It comes from my age.

Chris Badgett:

Right.

Angela Brown:

I don’t have another 20 years to screw around, I really don’t. And in housecleaning, I hate to say this, but I didn’t specialize in money management. You don’t know what you don’t know, and I didn’t know money management. I grew up in a big family, and we weren’t poor, I think poor is a state of mind, but we were broke, and broke is a temporary situation. And so, when I moved out into the real world, I was still broke, and I took those behaviors with me because I didn’t ever have any money, so I didn’t know how to manage it, I didn’t know how to invest. I didn’t know how to save it. I didn’t have anything for retirement. And when you run a housecleaning company, you are your own entrepreneur, and nobody says, “Oh, now it’s time for your 401k.” I didn’t know.

Angela Brown:

And so, when I reinvented myself in the middle of 2015, I realized, wait a second, I’m on the fast track to retirement and I got nothing. I’m not prepared for this. And so, I don’t have time to screw around, I have to make this work. And I didn’t know what that looked like, but for me, I said, I’m going to commit to making one show every day. I’m going to make a YouTube video and a podcast every single day, and I had no idea what that meant. And I’m glad I didn’t because if I knew how much work it was going to be, I would never have done it.

Angela Brown:

On the other end of it, now that I’ve gone through that learning curve, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, would I do it again? Absolutely, in a heartbeat, because of where it’s positioned me, where it’s put me, the content that it’s given me for my learning library, the trial and error that I went through to learn all of those skills. It was going through that process every single day that taught me the skills to come back to the learning library and say, guess what, guys, get out of the way because we are coming through.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. There’s another quality you have, which is being a lifelong learner and a commitment to continuous improvement. Where does that come from for you? Is it fun? Is it you love challenges? Where does that drive to just continuously learn, improve, and level up come from?

Angela Brown:

Well, thank you so much for saying that. You give me far too much credit.

Chris Badgett:

Okay.

Angela Brown:

I do not love challenges, I love the easy route just like everyone else.

Chris Badgett:

Okay.

Angela Brown:

But I have to realize this, when I jumped into this space I made a commitment. And the commitment is, I got to reinvent myself and my business for the rest of my future so that I have money coming in on a regular basis, and it’s going to require a set of skills I don’t have. And so I’m smart enough I can outsource a whole bunch of things, but I’m not smart enough to even know what I’m asking for. So when I go to ask someone, how do you help me with SEO, for example, I don’t even know what that looks like. I don’t even know the right words to use. When I was making YouTube videos, I did not know, for example, like I’m searching on Google, how do I fix a shaky camera? Well, the actual term is called warped image stabilization. I didn’t know that, I had never taken a class.

Angela Brown:

And then there’s going to be a 10-year-old on YouTube that’s going to teach me how to fix warped image stabilization, right?

Chris Badgett:

Right.

Angela Brown:

And I have to come back to this. I don’t know it now, but in 10 minutes I will know the answer, and I will never forget it, because I can’t unlearn something I already learned. So am I going to spend the time right now? And the answer is, yes. I hate it because I’m in a need to know learning curve. And so, every day there are things that pop up and I’m like, I want to know that. I don’t have time today, I don’t need to know it today, and I put it on a … it’s like a grocery list of things I want to learn.

Angela Brown:

I remember when I was going to learn Camtasia, I wanted to learn it, I want to be able to click things on my screen and have it record my screen, but I didn’t need it today. Today, I can actually take a picture of it and make a little arrow go to it, and I know how to do that today that will be my fix. Then I woke up one day and I was like, it would be so much easier if I knew that today. So then that’s the day I registered, I bought the software, and I sat down in front of 35 YouTube tutorials, and I learned every element of it. And now, in the back of my head, I have a whole new piece of software that if I get in a pinch I’m like, “Let me just show you.” And in 30 seconds, a minute and a half I can pop out a little video that shows you exactly how to do it.

Angela Brown:

And so if you are going to create a learning management system, or a learning course, or a membership site, or any of the things that LifterLMS is so keen on as far as promoting yourself for the future, my suggestion is this, I’m a house cleaner, I’m a middle-aged house cleaner that is self-taught via YouTube, and podcasts, and stuff like that, if I can do it, oh my goodness, anybody can do it, okay? I’m not the best learner in the world. But my suggestion is this, if you’re going to create something, don’t create a crappy course that’s going to have 35 people come through it, and then poof, it’s gone, and you never get anything else out of it.

Angela Brown:

Create an ongoing membership site where you funnel new and interesting information in there, and create a culture where people keep coming back over and over, and over again. Because if you just give somebody something once, it’s like, did you teach them to fish or did you feed them fish for the day? Teach them to fish, and bring them in, and then create a group of fishermen, and all of you are working on this together. And so, learn the skills because the skills are not going away.

Angela Brown:

When I grew up, the survival skills were reading and writing. Now it’s video editing and image editing, you have to know those skills. And as much as I would like to pretend you don’t, you’re a fool if you think otherwise. The internet is not going away and everyone is switching to video. Everyone is switching to online learning, people are not going to hotel rooms anymore, and they’re not renting out space for a weekend, and pulling all their people off the main line, and taking that money away from the revenue, and having to rebook clients so that they can learn about housecleaning. They’re not doing that anymore. They’re going online. What courses can I take on my free time, or on my phone, or my tablet that’s available on the internet. And so, if you have something to teach, you got to get there already because if you don’t, your competitors will.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah. That’s awesome. Man, this is like a gold mine of information here of the skills you needed to develop. Somebody on the street is like, what is your business, the Savvy Cleaner, what’s the elevator pitch? What do you say for your training platform?

Angela Brown:

We’re a membership site that helps house cleaners create and grow their own cleaning businesses.

Chris Badgett:

How do you get customers? How do you do you do marketing?

Angela Brown:

It’s really, it’s a fun question because I’m still learning that right now. As I started learning the five hats, and I love your whole breakdown of them, because I had zero of them, I was no good at any of them, but if you make a commitment to them, you can learn them as you go. And so, as I launched my first evolution of my membership site, I launched it with a really low even pitch that wasn’t … and I’ve never paid for a dime in advertising, I’ve never paid to boost a post on Facebook, I’ve never even had Facebook Lives. I mean, I’ve been really low-key about my process.

Angela Brown:

But what I did is I wanted to create a culture, where I would pull people in. And I believe that there’s pull marketing and there’s push marketing. The push marketing is where you pay a lot of money, and like keywords, and ad words, and you boost posts, and you do sponsored ads on Facebook, and all of that stuff. And I love that, that is available to people, because as long as you’re paying the money, you get the results, but if you stop paying the money, you also stop getting the results.

Angela Brown:

And so, for me, it was an organic approach. I wanted to learn organic SEO, and I wanted to learn to create a culture where we were pulling people in, where they felt like they wanted to be a part of what we’re doing. And then just the next natural conversation is, by the way, we’re creating a membership site, we would love to have you guys come and join us. And so, we relaunched our course at the beginning of 2020, and I have to say it took me four years. I hate that it took me that long, but it took me four years to actually learn all of the skills that I needed in order to do group coaching, and to have ongoing courses. We have 68 courses that we’ve completed over the last four years.

Angela Brown:

And now, as I’m releasing them one by one on a drip system, what’s really interesting is I’m going back saying, oh my goodness, this actually needs to be rewritten. We are so much better than that now. Our skills have gotten better, our videos have gotten better, even our ad copy has gotten better, the way we explain things has gotten better. And that only comes with jumping in the trenches and doing it every single day. If you think you’re going to create a membership site or a course, and you’re going to wing it and throw something together, okay, that’s great. I love, I love people’s ambitions to do that, but there’s no longevity in that. And then it’s going to drift away after a while, and then you’ll be embarrassed at the course as your skills get better, and then you just have to reinvent it and start all over again.

Angela Brown:

But if it’s a growth in process you’ve brought along with you the culture that you’ve created. And so we’ve screwed up. I don’t know, it’s weird thing, we upgraded PHP 7.3 or something, and some of our plugins fell out of whack. And people were like, “Everything’s not working.” And we’re like, “I know, right? I’m going through it too. This is awful. How do we fix it?” And so we’re going through it as a group, and then we figured out how to fix it, and then we all move on.

Angela Brown:

You are going to screw up, and that’s part of the process. There are things that will fall apart. But if you make a commitment to it, it … I don’t know that I answered your question, other than it’s just been a really low-key sales process so far. And as we’ve grown, everything we’ve done has just kind of grown slowly. And I’m really grateful for that because as we’ve made the mistakes, we figured out what’s wrong, as people have canceled, why did they cancel? What’s wrong? How can we fix it? So that as we release it on a mass scale. And I don’t know, one day we may do all the Facebook ads and all that stuff, but then we will have all those bugs and kinks worked out. I’m still learning this stuff.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Four years to overnight success or whatever, I love it. It takes a while, it’s not … I’m thinking about erasing the word easy from the marketing or whatever, but-

Angela Brown:

It is easy.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Angela Brown:

But what’s challenging is, if you don’t have the skills, and I didn’t have the skills, you have to make a commitment to the skills that are going to get you there. And so, for me, again, this is going to last me through the rest of my … I totally see myself doing this for the rest of my life. And the cool thing is, I can do it behind a computer, right? I don’t have to be out physically cleaning houses at 65, 75-years-old. If I can learn this right now, this is a huge investment in my future.

Angela Brown:

And with the software that you have created, the plugin, all the stuff that you provide, all the integrations. I was with Infusionsoft and had no idea how to make it work. And you came on one day and you said, “Guys, we’ve got this thing called ConvertKit.” I was like, “Oh, that looks like so much easier than what I’m doing. And it works with LifterLMS, let’s go to ConvertKit.” And with a lot of the things that you’ve recommended, you recommended or switched one day to Astra. I was like, “Oh, that makes so much sense. Let me switch.” Now, we’re using Elemento, I’m like, “Oh, that makes it beautiful. Yes, I like this.”

Angela Brown:

And so all the integrations and everything that you’ve pulled together have made it possible that it’s easy enough that I can do this. And I love that because I’m so clunky. Even just getting on a call with you, I have to have somebody come in my office, and they’re like, “Click here, click here, and then don’t touch anything.”

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Well, I want to touch on YouTube. How many videos do you have on YouTube approximately?

Angela Brown:

Well, we’re working, we’re in editing right now, 807. So we’ve released about 800 so far.

Chris Badgett:

That is amazing. And the thing I love about that is, you have a tight niche. There’s a very specific type of person that you serve, so that’s great. And your videos are very like, here’s one topic that we’re going to help you today about X.

Chris Badgett:

Just tell us more about your YouTube strategy. How do you approach YouTube? As a nontechnical, you weren’t necessarily a YouTube power user, how do you approach YouTube? Because it’s the second largest search engine in the world, and I think it’s a really smart marketing choice to invest there.

Angela Brown:

Well, thanks for saying that. My YouTube strategy was not a YouTube strategy at all. I wasn’t going to do video. I sworn off video, it’s not for me. But it’s a very quick way to get your message to the market. And so, I was at a conference in Miami, Florida, and I was supposed to be in charge of and managing Logan Paul. He’s a big YouTuber, had at the time about 17 million subscribers. And so, I asked him, “Hey, I’m kind of thinking about making a YouTube show,” and I was kind of making excuses for myself, “I’m a middle aged woman, I had braces on my teeth, I’m clunky in front of the camera, I shouldn’t really do this, right?” He’s like, “Why don’t you have a show already?”

Angela Brown:

And I was like … and I was just making excuses. He’s like, “Go home and start right now, start tonight. You go home and you put something up tonight.” And he’s like, “If I ever see you again, I want you to give me a link to your YouTube show, and I will subscribe.” I was like, “Oh, okay.” And he said, “You’re not going to fail in front of 17 million people. You’re going to fail in front of your mother, your brother, and your one best friend. And as you grow a following, those people will love and support you, and they will come along through the clunkiness. And when you get to the point that you have 17 million subscribers, you will have mastered the art of YouTube.” And I’m like, “That actually makes a lot of sense.”

Angela Brown:

So I went home. As I was leaving the conference, I walked through the expo, it was like a trade show. I walked through the expo and they had these booths, and behind the booth was this stretch fabric trade show display that was very similar to the thing that’s behind me. And I stopped and I just froze. And I was like, that’s my backdrop, because I’m not smart enough to do green screen. I didn’t even know how that was going to work. And I didn’t have a great big fancy whiteboard like the one that you have, that has all the notes and all that stuff on it. I’m like, what am I going to do? And then I saw the stretch fabric thing, and I’m like, if a picture says a thousand words, and I put a picture on a stretch fabric display, what does that look like? And because I’d never had a YouTube show, and I never had a podcast, I decided I was going to do them in tandem.

Angela Brown:

The YouTube show is literally my podcast in front of a camera, and it’s a talking head show. In the end I would like to have guests, and I would like to have where I show you that I’m cleaning, and all this stuff. But just to get started, I had to start with where I was, and with what I had, and with what I could afford. And the show wasn’t making a lot of money at the time, so I had to start on a micro budget. And so the micro budget for me, it was ponying up money I didn’t have for the backdrop that I have.

Angela Brown:

And then I’m not fancy enough to know about hair glamor, and fancy nails, and cool clothes, and all the stuff that you see on YouTube shows. For me, I’m just a house cleaner, so I’ll show up with a bun in my hair and my house cleaning clothes. That’s what we’re talking about, is housecleaning. And the picture behind me is just residential cleaning supplies. These are not commercial supplies. You don’t see the little yellow, do not step here, caution, when wet signs. This is not commercial, this is residential cleaning. That’s the picture I chose.

Angela Brown:

So what am I going to talk about? Well, I’m going to answer one question. You have a house cleaning question, I have an answer. And I am not the expert. I don’t have to have the answer, I just have to know where to go to find the answer. So I never promised you I was the expert, I only promised you I would help you find the answer. So every day we answered one question. And it got really great because then I could batch my shows recording one hour a week instead of recording all the shows one day at a time.

Angela Brown:

Now, the cool part about it was, and my strategy was, instead of creating a one-one hour show, because I know lots of podcasts are one hour, I would break mine up into eight or seven, eight-minutes segments, because that way I could produce one show every single day, and I had seven different chances for search engine optimization.

Angela Brown:

Now, a minute ago you said that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet, but it is also owned by Google who is number one. So it only made sense to me that if I learned search engine optimization, and it took me 39 days to learn it, but once you learn it, you can’t unlearn it. And so then you start doing things in your videos, like the very first words out of my mouth are the keywords that I’m ranking for, for the day. And so I have to figure out an organic way to make that sound like a sentence.

Angela Brown:

But I have seven chances now for search engine optimization in a week. And here’s the key. If I have a one-hour show and you don’t like it, you may drop off, and I never hear from you again. But if I have a short show, and you don’t like it today, you might still come back tomorrow. So I had more chances of winning people back on a short show than I did if I had a really long show, besides who wants to hear me talk for an hour, right?

Angela Brown:

So this was a really great way to get started, and it was small enough that it wasn’t overwhelming to me. And I think when you create a YouTube strategy, you have to start where you are with what you have, and it has to be something that you can commit to. And I think that’s the key.

Angela Brown:

When I started my YouTube show, I did not have the skills to create a YouTube show every day. My schedule was full from morning until night. And then to add in another few hours a day, where I’m going to record a show, and I’m going to edit a show, and I’m going to do the search engine optimization, and I’m going to add in affiliate links, and I’m going to upload it, all these things take a lot of time. But when you make that commitment every single day, what happens is you start saying no to other things in your life. And so, if you’re going to be successful, for everything you say yes to, you have to say no to other things. So all the things that were not my top priority started dropping off my list as I started laser focusing in on my strategy.

Angela Brown:

And then what happened is, as I started laser focusing my strategy, all the other elements started falling in place. When you create a YouTube show every single day, you cannot help but learn audio editing, and you cannot help but learn video lighting, and video camera elements, and then you can start adding in B roll, and then you can start adding in photography and different things that will help you tell a better story. And my goal was every day that we produce a show, I want to get better than yesterday’s show. Okay, so we’re awful in the beginning, in my early shows, they are so awful. They are just rotten. But every day we got a little bit better, and everyday we’re still getting better. Stuff that I see two months ago I’m like, is that the best we can do? Because we’re so much better now.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Do you know approximately how many subscribers you have?

Angela Brown:

61,000 at last glance.

Chris Badgett:

That’s amazing. Do you have a sense for how many, like in business, they call it the TAM, the Total Addressable Market, how many house cleaner business owners are there out there? Do you know, do you have any idea on the statistics?

Angela Brown:

No, no. And I’ve sat in on several corporate meetings at the highest level of the cleaning industry, and it’s kind of this nebulous number. And for this reason, there are a lot of moms and pops that have started their own cleaning business that have never registered a business license. We don’t even know who they are. They’re out of, I don’t want to say the trunk of their car in a disrespectful way, but literally they drive their car to a house, and they have a few accounts. And they don’t have business cards, they did not register their business name, they haven’t trademarked their name, trademarked a logo, they don’t have a website. We just don’t know who they are. So I honestly have no idea. So if you find out, please let me know.

Chris Badgett:

Well, I just find it fascinating because you have a very focused niche, but if you think about it, it’s a massive niche. I mean, it’s a big business in every town in the world. Just about, I guess, I mean it’s …

Angela Brown:

There are 74 and a half million households at last report in America alone, just America, and every house needs to be cleaned, whether the homeowner cleans them themselves or whether they hire a professional house cleaner. And then the trick to that is, there are many homes that are now Airbnbs, where the kids have moved away from home and the parents are renting out those rooms to guests that are traveling through town. So instead of them cleaning their house every other week from a professional house cleaner, they’re turning their properties two and three times a week as people are coming and staying at their homes, so there’s lots of house cleaning out there. And I don’t think I was prepared for the scope of housecleaning when I got involved in this, I didn’t know what the scope was either. But you’re right, it’s a very untapped market for the space that we’re in.

Chris Badgett:

Let’s talk about another place people go to, to get answers to problems, or their questions, or to find opportunities, and that’s Amazon. You wrote a book. Can you tell us the story of why you wrote a book. And I think I saw like 200 some reviews on it or something like that. I mean, how did the book come into existence?

Angela Brown:

I hate to say this live in front of other people, it’s going to come off the wrong way and I don’t intend it to be this way, I wrote the book to buy back my time. As I started the learning library, that requires a significant amount of time in order to learn the five hats, and I didn’t have the skills for the five hats, but I had the skill for the book.

Chris Badgett:

So would you say that writing a book is easier than making a membership site?

Angela Brown:

Way easier. Yeah, just go write a book, that’s [crosstalk 00:31:24] part.

Chris Badgett:

Okay.

Angela Brown:

But the writing of the book, what it did is, it was designed to be free, it was only ever designed to be free, but it was also, it had 12 lead magnets in it, so download the free worksheets or download the free flyers or whatever. And when you download those, you then go into my database so that I can start building an online community, where I brought you from Amazon to my own little ecosystem, where then we could have conversations and we could go from there. So it was only ever designed to be a free book.

Angela Brown:

If you pay for the hard copy book or the paperback book, it’s about $10. And so, as a passive revenue stream, on average today, it makes us about $250 a month. So we’re not getting rich off of it, but you can still get it for free, and you can read it on any device free of charge with the Kindle app, so yay.

Angela Brown:

But the purpose of that was this. When I got started in the online space, I was bombarded with people going, “Oh, you’ve moved online, yay. Can you give me some coaching and consulting?” And again, if I’m selling coaching and consulting, that takes away from the time that I was going to create my membership site and I was going to learn the five hats. And so to buy back my time, I wrote the book, it’s free. Go read the book, it answers, lots and lots of your questions. And then when you come back, my consulting fee is not cheap. It is not cheap. But when you come back, you’re not starting from ground zero, you’re starting from way up here. Let’s come in and troubleshoot what you’ve tried that didn’t work, and we will just tweak those few things. And instead of you hiring me for an ongoing program, then you can just hire me for a couple of hours and we can do some blind spot sessions.

Angela Brown:

And so, that was the whole thinking behind the book, is that I could give it to people for free, like here you go, yay, here are the answers, but not have to stop and answer each of those questions individually. That was my strategy behind that. Oh, that’s awesome.

Chris Badgett:

Okay. What has been your approach to starting out with this idea that you’re going to build this asset that can help you retire, that is infinitely scalable, not limited to a conference room? I’m trying to think about the best way to ask it. What was the transition from solo operator to having people help you, or a team, or whatever? How did you approach doing everything by yourself to getting some help?

Angela Brown:

So my answer there is just desperation. As I started the show, and it’s a daily show, I edited …

Chris Badgett:

Who was the first hire?

Angela Brown:

Well, I edited the first 180 shows by myself.

Chris Badgett:

Out of 800, yeah?

Angela Brown:

Out of 800, the first 180. And so, what I did is, I had to figure it out because I was teaching myself. I was teaching myself the Adobe Suite, the Adobe Audition, Adobe Premier. I was teaching myself WordPress, I was teaching myself LifterLMS, I was teaching myself Facebook. There are a whole bunch of things that I can’t turn around and outsource it until I know what I’m asking, what I’m expecting, how do I know I’m getting the results that I want, and how can I verify it?

Angela Brown:

So, I hate to say this, but for the people that think they’re just going to jump in and create a course, and then it’s going to run itself, that is so much further from the truth because you’re creating a business. And again, this is not a hobby, it’s a business. And for me, it’s a business. This was designed from day one to make money. In order to make money and scale, I am not the best person to be doing all the tasks. I know that.

Angela Brown:

So immediately, as soon as I learned something, how did I learn it? Are there any of these elements I don’t need that I can erase and move off the plate? If these are the narrowed down elements that we need in order to move forward, how quickly can I document the process? How quickly can I train? Meaning now I make a little Camtasia video, like click here, click here, click here, add this, put this here, make a little training video. Now anyone that I hire, including a remote person, even someone on Fiverr can watch my video, and go, oh, that’s the process, and now they can help me with whatever it is.

Angela Brown:

And so, as the show started making money, and we monetize the show now 14 different ways, and so as we monetize the show and money has started coming in, I get really excited. I’m like, “We just made an extra $5,000 this month, that means I can hire two more people.” And I just get really excited because I have a whole list of tasks that I’m outsourcing. And I’m not the best person for a lot of this stuff.

Angela Brown:

The other day I was making some graphics, and I realized, why am I doing the graphics? There are so many graphic designers out there that are so much more skilled than I am that this is not the best use of my time. And I immediately switched the gears, and I went through my database of the graphic designers that I know, “I need this done right now, who’s available?” And three or four people shot back and said, “I’m available right now.” I’m like, “Great. Here’s a pack of 20 images I need from you, I need a pack of 20 images from you, here’s a pack of 20 images. I need them by Sunday night at 6:00 PM.” Boom.

Angela Brown:

And it’s great when you’re able to do that because now I know what I’m asking for, I know what I’m looking for. Because we have a specific series of criteria, they know what I’m looking for. And we all work off of Google Keep. I just discovered Google Keep, but it’s basically a long checklist, where it can go from person to person, to person. And in our YouTube show, we have a series of different things from the time somebody books a show, to the time that we’ve done our last SEO, and it goes live. And so, somebody might work on 15 of those elements, they check them off, it goes to the next person in the line, they check them off, and I can jump in any time, anywhere, from any device, and I can see exactly where we are in the process. Then when we’re done, we’re like boo-yah, we archive it, and we go to the next thing. But you can have multiple shows going on at a time somewhere in production.

Angela Brown:

And so your question was, what was the process? The process was, it started with desperation. It started with recognizing that I needed to outsource. It started with the goal of how quickly can I outsource, and what of these projects that I’m doing, can I get off my plate once I understand them well enough to help someone else through the process of hiring them and then checking it off and saying, that’s exactly what I’m looking for. But the more you narrow it down and the more precise you are about your expectations … I hired somebody off of Fiverr and he works for me in Brazil. It took him exactly one show to get it right, and there was one tweak we made to that show, and then I was like, “Wow, this is brilliant. How easy was that?”

Angela Brown:

And the goal is, I like to work smart, not hard. And so, if I have to go through all the trouble of doing 180 shows to learn it myself so that I can document it, and I can systematize it, and I can create that to move it on down its way, it’s worth the time that I’m going to spend right there in the beginning to take the time to document the process, because then I don’t ever have to do it again.

Chris Badgett:

Wow. That is really cool. I like what you were saying about around … and I think it’s really smart, and this is sort of what’s evolved for me as well, is before I try to outsource something, I need to, whether it’s WordPress, or graphic design, or whatever, I’ve found that helpful to get in the weeds myself and do it, even if I have the resources to outsource so that I can better communicate, and understand the profession of the person I’m outsourcing with. Because if you don’t have that, if you haven’t at least tried SEO, or you haven’t tried WordPress, or you haven’t tried to design a banner image for something, or make a video, or edit a video, it’s a lot more challenging to communicate effectively and outsource effectively.

Angela Brown:

I completely agree with you. And one note on that, there are so many times that at the last minute, somebody will call me up and say, “Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry there’s been a family emergency. I can’t finish my project.” And I’m like, “Well, I wish that didn’t happen. I’m so sorry for your family member, that’s awful.” We’re on a deadline. And so I got to jump in and I got to pick up right where they left off.

Angela Brown:

And the cool thing is this, when you have the systems in place, and this is even with our video editing, somebody can leave as much as one marker in the middle of the place where they left off, and they can walk away from the project. One of our other editors can come in and sit down and look at what’s going on, and go, “I know exactly where to pick up.” They know exactly the process to pick up exactly where that person left off and finish. All of our files, all of our systems, they’re all systematized. All of our files are in one place, they’re all named the same thing. Everything that happens, happens in a very strategic order, so that if somebody does cut out in the middle and there’s a tragedy or something, which believe it or not, we hire humans, it’s going to happen. Even if I have to jump in myself, I know exactly even with one marker how to pick up and finish the show without any other instructions from that person.

Angela Brown:

So, yeah, get in the weeds. You got to get in the weeds, you got to learn it, you got to learn it. There’s no other way around it. I like to pretend that’s not the case, but you got to learn your business.

Chris Badgett:

We talked about design briefly, but how did you develop your brand, or what has been your approach? For example, if you’re listening on this podcast, there’s a YouTube version of LifterLMS YouTube channel, which you can check out, but behind you is a fabric with household cleaning products on it, you’re very much on brand. And I think I may have noticed this, but correct me if I’m wrong, is you wear the same uniform basically when you work, it’s consistent. And-

Angela Brown:

I do wear the same clothes every day for many, many, many, many years. They make a joke about me. They say, “Oh, look, Angela’s in disguise. Her hair is down and she has a different color top on.” I have a very easy disguise.

Chris Badgett:

Why is that or how … Well, there’s two questions. I do similar things, I have just patterns so that I don’t have to free up any mental processing to focus on the creative or the problem solving I have to do. That’s two questions, they’re different questions but they’re related. How did you develop your brand, and then why do you stay so consistent?

Angela Brown:

Good questions. So first and foremost, I had to determine who is my audience. And my audience, it starts at fifth grade education. And the reason for that is we have a lot of house cleaners that are coming in from other parts of the world and English is not their first language. And so, everything that we do has to base a fifth grade education. We have seven different filters that we run everything through that brings everything to fifth grade education. And I’m counting on the fact that there are a lot of people, even if they’re trying to understand English, it’s going to be tough.

Angela Brown:

And so, for me, a big part of my brand was, let’s use pictures to illustrate what we’re talking about. And so, everything that we have, you can have these beautiful, classy, muted pictures or you can have bright, happy colors that are right in your face. So I’m really trying to get your attention, I really want you to understand this concept, so I choose bright, flashy, happy colors. And everything that we do, all of our branding, our bright happy colors are right in your face, and that is also the backdrop behind me.

Angela Brown:

I also wear a turquoise shirt every single day and that is part of my brand. The branding was for a couple of reasons. This is a uniform I’ve been wearing for 25 years as a professional house cleaner, and so it’s my go to outfit.

Angela Brown:

You mentioned earlier about having a particular go-to series of clothing where it removes that decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is a very real thing. If you get up every single day and you’re reinventing your day and your life every single day, how exhausting is that? By the time you get to the serious stuff for business, you’re gone. You already spent all your decisions for the day.

Angela Brown:

And so, for me, everything in my life is a system. From the time I get up in the morning, my workout, the clothes that I wear, the shower that I take, the way I brush my teeth, I take my vitamins in the morning, I packed my husband’s lunch. There’s a series of things that happens every single day. And the good news is this, when you’re feeling bad, or you’re having a bad day, or your bio rhythms are out of whack, or whatever, if you follow the systems, you still end up with the same results.

Angela Brown:

And so, even though there are days I woke up and I’m like, “I’ll just roll over, and pull the covers back over my head. I don’t feel like doing YouTube today.” Well, the reality is, you’re going to do YouTube anyway because it’s a system. And that’s the process because once you follow the system, you end up with the same results. It’s like all these years that I went to clean houses, there were times that I showed up and I had cramps and I had a migraine headache, but guess what, you follow the system, you do the exact same cleaning every single time, and they get the exact same results, which then leads to referrals, and recommendations, and consistency, and longterm customers, and all those things.

Angela Brown:

So if you have systems in place, it’s not cute and it’s not glamorous, and I promise the outfit that I’m wearing is not going to win me any fashion awards, I get that, but it also says housecleaning. So when I stand up in front of my house cleaning backdrop, and I look like a house cleaner, it’s more credible than if I’m wearing my Sunday clothes. Because if I’m wearing my Sunday clothes, you’re going to go, “Yeah, I don’t see her as a house cleaner, right?” But then when I switch gears, and I’m showing you B roll footage in there, I am scrubbing the bathroom, I’m wearing the exact same clothes. And you’re like, “Oh, it’s true. She’s really cleaning. Wow. Hark, look at that.” So it’s a consistent brand that’s scalable. So if you’re doing big videos, or little videos, or you’re doing product reviews, or whatever it lends to, these are actually workable clothes. And so it was just a very common sense decision.

Angela Brown:

And I think every decision that you make in your business, and this is where it comes back to, it takes me four years to get to the point I am in my learning library right now, every decision that you make is a conscious decision. And what is the strategy behind it, and is it scalable, is this going to last for the duration? Is that something you can do for the next five years? Because if you have a really great plan, like for me the really great hair, and the fancy clothes, and different color fingernails every day, that’s not scalable for me. Where do I go with that? Am I going have a different outfit every day? Am I going to wear the same clothes over and over again? How does that work?

Angela Brown:

It’s easier. Let me just wear one outfit, and then if people see it on YouTube, because YouTube is a huge place. There are thousands of videos that are uploaded every minute of the day. And so if I’m wearing the same clothes, people are just going to go, “Oh, yeah, I’ve seen that before.” And it creates a consistency in the brand. Even in the thumbnails, they’re like, “Oh, yeah, yeah, that’s another one of Angela’s shows.” And so, again, it’s not cute. I’m not winning any awards for being cute, but it is very consistent, and people know then what to expect when they land on that channel, or they land in our learning library, or they land in our Facebook, it’s that consistency that goes all the way across your brand.

Chris Badgett:

I love that. And I like what you said too. I think a lot of people don’t think about the language we use. There’s something called the experts curse where we start using overly technical jargon or some people call it technobabble. And if somebody is a beginner, or maybe English isn’t their first language or whatever, you’re going over people’s heads, or you’re just missing an opportunity to communicate more effectively. So I love that you brought that point up as part of your brand.

Angela Brown:

Well, it is a challenge. It is a challenge because sometimes when you read a lot, you end up picking up words that float out of your mouth without your permission. And so, I might say the word inculcate, and my editors are like, “You did not just say that on camera.” I have to cut it out because it doesn’t translate into other languages. And so, even the close captioning won’t be able to translate it into other languages. You can’t use words like prolific, it doesn’t translate.

Angela Brown:

And so, we have a joke, and it’s a running joke in our offices, where anytime someone says any word that doesn’t translate, everyone’s like, “Doesn’t translate,” then we all crack up and we laugh about it. We’re like, “I shouldn’t say that.” And so, even in a video now, if I catch myself saying one of those words, I’ll stop and I’ll say, which means … and then I got to bring it back down to the very simplest form, don’t do that, or that’s bad, or that hurts, or something like that. So it explains what it was I was trying to say, so we don’t have to cut it, out and stop, and all those things.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. And I’m just curious, so Lifter is five and a half years old. Do you happen to remember how you found it or heard about the LifterLMS’ software, the community, or some of the other content we put out? Do you remember how you discovered it? Was it just [crosstalk 00:47:05].

Angela Brown:

Yes. I have a brother that was creating a learning management system and it was from a competitor, and he told me it was the best thing since sliced bread. And he said, “If you can find one better, please let me know.” So I went out and I researched the one that he had, and it was really expensive, and it was complicated, and it wasn’t very intuitive, and it wasn’t my language. It didn’t seem like a good fit for me. And I loved the fact that what he was doing was online, and I could see that there was a future in creating a learning membership site online, but I wasn’t connecting.

Angela Brown:

So I went on a mission to research and to find out what was the best for me. And in all of my research, I stumbled on LifterLMS. And like I said, you are a really nice guy, and you told stories in a way that I could understand them. And then you made videos that I could watch, and you’re like, “Click here, click here.” I’m like, okay. And I literally would set up two computers side-by-side. And so, you’re on one screen, and then I hit pause, let me do that over here. I would go over here and I would do this. Okay. What did Chris say? Do this. Okay, I’m doing it over here. Okay. All right. He said, “Do this,” I’m doing this. And then I was able to walk through, and at the end I had a learning management system set up. And like I said, there were a lot of WordPress things that I didn’t know, and there were a lot of graphic design things that I didn’t know.

Angela Brown:

But as my journey has evolved, so has LifterLMS. LifterLMS is better now than it has ever been. And it’s so user friendly, and it’s so intuitive. And right now I have to confess that I’m copying your help section in my own version. You have this help section where if I have a question, how do I do this? I go to the help section and it’s broken down by categories. If you’re working on a sidebar, here are all the questions you have about the sidebar, here are all the fixes. And so I’m like, oh, that’s brilliant. I should do that in my learning management system, where when people have a question about cleaning, there’s a little section, there’s a little picture, I click on it, and then it gives me all the answers about that one thing. It’s brilliant the way it’s set up. And again, it’s very user friendly and it’s intuitive.

Angela Brown:

And so, when you talk about simplifying everything down, your program was the most simple program that I could find. And because I didn’t have any online skills, you made me think I could do it. And so, my husband was asking the other day, “You’ve been working on this for four years, why are you still at this?” And I’m like, “That’s a great question because many people would have given up before now.” But the reality is this. I had to figure out a way to create something that would last as long as my business. So for me, it was never just going to be a course, it was going to be a membership site.

Angela Brown:

And I remember even in the beginning, setting up the WooCommerce plugins and stuff before LifterLMS had its own membership portal. And I was trying to connect all the dots, and figure out how it all worked, and all that stuff, because I wanted people to come back month, after month, after month, that’s where the recurring revenue comes. But in order to do that, you have to have a wealth of information, and you have to have a culture where people want to be a part of it, because if they just come in, they grab your information, download everything, and then they’re gone, there’s no incentive for them to come back.

Angela Brown:

And so, along with my learning management system, I also had to learn how to do group coaching. And so we released one course. We have two membership sites on our LifterLMS, and so we have one for employees and one for employers, and they’re all for the cleaning business. So if you have a new hire they go over here and if you are the boss you go over here. And the one that has if you’re the boss, you also get this training program as part of the thing, so you get to see what they’re learning, but then we also cover a bunch of stuff that they don’t get to see. And we’ve created a Facebook group for the business owners, where we can discuss and troubleshoot some of the things that are happening over here.

Angela Brown:

And so, in order to do that, we have group coaching on the in between weeks, where we release a course group coaching, we release a course group coaching. And the reason we’re doing that is because we’re answering the questions then that come up as people are trying and going through the program, “I tried this, it didn’t work, or I had a question about this.” That’s what we answer on the group coaching. And so, now it’s not just, here, to take a course, it can be part of our ecosystem because we really believe in your success, and we’re dedicated to making that happen for you.

Angela Brown:

And when you are a part of that, we put together a calendar of courses, where we have our entire year at a glance of all the courses and when they’re going to be released, and all the group coaching, and when it’s going to be released. So that people that, “Well, I’m not sure, I’m kind of on the fence,” our best sales pitch is just go and check it out and see if it’s right for you, because we’re not holding anybody hostage. If you don’t want to be part of what we’re doing, don’t be part of it. And if at any time you want to leave, it’s now super easy to just close your account.

Angela Brown:

So we’ve made it difficult for people to want to close their account but easy to do so. And so if they want to close their account, they just click on a button. Do you want to pause your account and maybe come back later or do you want to erase everything you’ve ever worked for? Well, I’ll just pause it. Okay, great. Well, now you’re still on our mailing list. We can still market to you. And every time we say, hey, this happened in our group coaching, hey, this new course was just released, hopefully, it inspires you to come back, because this is not a tough sale. We don’t want anyone in our program that doesn’t want to be there. We don’t want your money. It’s bad money if it’s not helping you.

Chris Badgett:

Wow. That’s amazing. I like what you said, you kind of went over it, but just to highlight it, you’ve mentioned you were looking at LifterLMS’ website. And we’re a software company in the way we do our knowledge base. And I think course creators and membership site builders can learn a lot by studying what software companies do, simply for the fact that because they’re technology companies, and they’ve had software is kind of an infinitely scalable global business, you can learn a lot just by studying this other industry. I study all kinds of other industries that have nothing to do with software because I learn from them. And I thought that was cool to see how software companies organize their customer support documents and how you might leverage that.

Angela Brown:

Well, thank you for putting it together, because, like I say, everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from you. And so, “What is Chris up to now?” “Oh, that’s so cool. We should do that,” not knowing even how we’re going to implement it or how it works, but I get really excited. I go to the website and this little thing pops up in the right hand corner, like, “Hey, we’re not here right now, but we’d love to answer your questions if you have one.” And I’m like, “Oh, that’s so cool. I need one of those.”

Chris Badgett:

You need a bot.

Angela Brown:

So, yeah, I’ve learned so much from you, and I’m so honored that you keep jumping in, and you keep teaching us, and you keep coming back with new updates, and new skills, and new stuff. Because of you we where we are. So thank you.

Chris Badgett:

You’re very welcome. And, yeah, it’s my pleasure to serve. And I just love seeing people like yourself, who have put in the work, skilled up, and are really sending out this positive impact, helping people build businesses, and figure out putting food on the table for their families and stuff like that.

Chris Badgett:

My last question for you is around, from four years ago to today, what result have you achieved with Lifter besides having like the membership site, but how is your life different now, both externally, internally?

Angela Brown:

It informed everything that we’re doing, because the learning management was the goal. That was the goal. None of the other stuff that we’ve done was the goal. The five hats were not the goal. But the goal was to create a membership site that would then support us for the rest of our lives. That was going to be the end goal. And I will be so honest as to say the money was the goal. I wanted to earn money from it. It’s a business decision. This was not a hobby. I wanted to make sure that this would pay my retirement for the rest of my life. So in order to do that, I have to learn how do get members in, how do I keep members in, how do I make it important that members feel like it’s so valuable they want to tell and share it with their friends?

Angela Brown:

There are a whole bunch of elements that surround that, and I had no idea what any of it meant. But you can’t sell a membership course when you have no audience. So once I started creating it and I realized, well, we have no audience, we got to go create an audience. And so, by creating the audience, we could bring people in and say, “Hey, will you give us some feedback? We’re doing some beta tests.” So there were a lot of people that came through our courses for free to try to figure out what we’re doing. And they were like, “This is horrible.” And it was like, “Oh, ouch, that hurts. But thanks for the honest feedback.” Then we would go back and we would rework it and try it again.

Angela Brown:

And so, it was really helpful to have some people behind the scenes that would help us grow that information. And in the process of doing that, we weren’t going to have a YouTube show, but how are we going to get out of this message if we don’t use YouTube, and podcasts, and the way that you spread your message in an organic reach sort of way. And that’s how you were spreading your message, so if Chris is doing it, hey, we must do it as well, right?

Chris Badgett:

Yeah.

Angela Brown:

And so every step along the way, we’ve really followed your lead, and how do you grow and build the network that then comes and becomes part of your culture. And so every step along the way. And I’ve been an early adopter to LifterLMS even though we didn’t have the course up and running as successfully as it could have been, but I wasn’t ready for it. In all fairness, I was not ready for it. I hated my online experience because I was lacking so many of the skills. And the more skills I learned the more my confidence grew. Until I woke up one day and I’m like, “Oh, this is such the next natural step, I now have the skills to pull this off with finesse. Let’s do this already.”

Angela Brown:

And even though we still have some glitches, and there will still be glitches as we move forward, but even as we have glitches now, we’re documenting them, we’re fixing them, we’re reframing them, we’re putting them up in our health section. So that we are never in this place again. And so, it has informed every decision that we’ve made by having that learning management course early on.

Angela Brown:

If you’re thinking about doing a learning management program, an online course, or an online membership, I would say the very first step along your journey is to sign up with LMS, and to make sure that you have all of your integrations in place, and that you start practicing because it’s not going to be perfect. It’s like my early YouTube shows, super clunky, super embarrassing. But the good news is the more you learn, the more information you have. I’m tapping into a lot of those videos now because they were answers to one question each. And as those questions come up and of course I can pull that video in and that becomes an organic part of our learning library, even though it was free over here, we may have only just cut half of it out and we’re using a piece of it over here.

Angela Brown:

But that is the foundation on which you build everything else. So if you just get started and you jump in, and you start playing around with it, because it’s going to be overwhelming to you, first and foremost, because you’ve never done it before. It’s like learning to drive a car. You white knuckle it at first, because do I put my foot on the gas, or the brake, or I’m going to switch lanes, do I look behind me this way, do I look behind me this way, or both ways?

Angela Brown:

And then there comes a time where you just get in the car and you just drive. And you’re like, “How’d I get here?” Right? It’s familiar to you. So jump in and get familiar with the software because every day I learn new tricks inside LifterLMS, and I’m like, “Oh, that’s so cool.” And there are things I’ve made mistakes on that now I’m going back and I’m redoing because I thought it would be super cool just because there’s a feature where you can have like a prerequisite, I thought it would be super cool to have every lesson have a prerequisite. And then as I added other lessons I forgot to turn that off, and then it would make them go wackadoodle on me. So all the features are not necessary for all the lessons. But the more you get comfortable with it and the more familiar you become, the more you become a master of that craft.

Angela Brown:

And if having a membership site and if having a learning management program is in your future, you got to jump in already and do it. And this is the easiest thing by far still to this day that I’ve ever seen. It’s the most intuitive, it’s the most user friendly. This is my Google as far as the search engines go. That’s the most user friendly search engine, this is the most user friendly program as far as learning management goes. And I’ve converted my brother to it. I’m like, “Hey, whatever you were using, this is better.”

Chris Badgett:

Well, Angela, I want to thank you for coming on the show and sharing your story. It’s super inspiring. And it’s really a pleasure for me to just hear more of the details of your journey. And this has been a really excellent show.

Chris Badgett:

And I think the big message for you that’s watching or listening right now is, being okay with being a working progress, and committing to just putting one foot in front of the other, being a lifelong learner, modeling, watch what other people who do even if they’re not in your industry and that looks to be like it’s working, and start modeling that. These are all the qualities.

Chris Badgett:

And doing the long game. Like you said, this has been a four-year process to here. When you get all that firing, that is a recipe to really increase your odds of success.

Chris Badgett:

Angela Brown or the savvycleaner.com, So savvycleaner.com. Her podcast and YouTube show is Ask a House Cleaner. Go check that out. Model what she’s up to. I mean, you’re an amazing case study and an education entrepreneur, going from idea to doing the work and putting it out there.

Chris Badgett:

So, thank you so much for being a part of the LifterLMS story and sharing your journey with us today.

Angela Brown:

Thank you so much for having me on, and thank you so much for being my coach, my mentor, and my teacher, because everything I learned, I learned from you.

Chris Badgett:

And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results-getting courses on the internet.

The post Angela Brown’s Recurring Revenue Niche Membership Site Journey and Success Story appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.

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