How The Business Savvy Influencer is Guiding Influencers and Start-Up Businesses in Their Journey to Becoming Legal & Profitable Businesses

 

  • Course Instructor: Business Savvy Influencer – Gabby Luoma & Rebecca De La Paz 

 

  • Website: Business Savvy Influencer

 

  • Course Topic: Start-up businesses; influencer businesses turning a hobby into a legal & profitable business

 

  • Interesting Stats: Our first beta group consisted of 30 students
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The World’s Economy Has Already Shifted Into The Virtual Space More And Faster Than Ever Before & It’s Time To Catch Up Right Now… Or Else You’ll Risk Getting Left Behind.

The Most “Future Proof” Way To Get Ahead And Run A Sustainable Online Business Is By Entering The Exploding Digital Knowledge Industry With The Guidance Of Tina and 30+ Experts Through Online Course Talks. 

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1. Who are you?

The creators of this course are Gabby Luoma & Rebecca De La Paz. Gabby is the CEO of MOD Ventures, an outsourced tax & accounting firm, a CPA, author, and speaker. She has worked in the accounting industry for over 20 years and many of those years working with start-up businesses. Her firm is well known for its next-generation practices and virtual workspace. 

Rebecca is the marketing director of MOD Ventures and has extensive experience producing video and written content. She has a collective social media following of over 72,000 people between Instagram, and YouTube. With the combined knowledge of the business, tax, and accounting industries, and an influencer growing a business themself, The Business Savvy Influencer Course is a helpful and effective tool for influencers and start-ups looking to make their dreams a reality. 

2. What’s your course all about?

The Business Savvy Influencer (BSI) course guides students through four essential modules that will help start a business the right way. First, we walk through starting the business legally. This means choosing an entity type, submitting information needed for an EIN, how to build a good team (legal & day-to-day), and setting up an e-commerce site for tax compliance. The second module discusses the proper way to document accounting – money in, money out, budgeting, vendors, and more with QuickBooks Online. In the next module, the tax portion, we take a tour of form 1040 with a CPA (who is also an influencer). The 1040 document has many lines and can be intimidating; however, our line-by-line explanation makes it manageable. Lastly, our section on productivity suggests accounting, finance, and productivity apps help the new business owner make the best of their time and utilize technology in this new phase.

We look at starting a business from a modern perspective. Modern businesses need modern accounting & tax advice. That is what we provide with this course. 

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3. What makes you an expert in this field?

Gabby has 20+ years of experience in the accounting industry, she is a Certified Public Accountant, and has started a business herself (twice). She understands the pain points that business owners often face, and knows that a lot of those pain points can be alleviated with strong financial organization and practices. 

Rebecca is an influencer in a growing niche and understands the pressures of balancing a day job and a side hustle. Having gone through all of the preliminary steps of starting a business and growing a business, she also understands the pain points of new entrepreneurs. 

4. What is the transformation your course offers to the students?

Our course offers definitive answers where others are only able to provide assumptions or only “their own experience.” Lots of influencers talk about how they handle their finances, their accounting, etc, but aren’t able to consult others because they know they are not the professional. We are the professionals and all of the information needed to start a business lives in our course.

The information comes from tax and accounting professionals who have helped thousands of businesses through this very process.

Our course offers students access to accountants and tax professionals so that students can get direct answers that apply to them. During our BETA testing phase, we had a student who has owned her business for a while now. Her feedback for us was that she learned so much more than she was able to learn on her own doing independent research. If an experienced business owner was able to draw value from our course, we know that new business owners will receive value tenfold.

5. Which market does your online course serve and how did you get into it?

Our course is firstly directed to influencers, secondly to start-up businesses. Influencers are start-up businesses, just a specific type. We feel that this is an underserved demographic, likely because it is so new and contains many unknowns. However, we also know that influencers are popping up everywhere and are the future of marketing. Rebecca is an influencer, and in the process of figuring out her finances and legal standing a business, Gabby offered assistance. The wheels started turning… we thought, “there are probably a lot of influencers who are experiencing similar questions and issues. How can we help them?”

6. Why is it important to you to serve this market?

Most influencers won’t even realize that they have a tax liability, should be tracking expenses, and most often, don’t truly understand their worth in marketing. We see time and time again influencers being taken advantage of simply because they don’t know any better. They usually don’t start a YouTube channel to become a small business; they start a YouTube channel because they enjoyed making videos. This is how many side hustles start — they’re born out of a passion. We want to feed that passion and educate them so they can continue going after what they love, without the worry of finances lingering in the background. 

7. Describe the moment when you decided to create your own course. Where were you, what happened and why did you decide to do it?

We were sitting at Rebecca’s kitchen table setting up QuickBooks Online and walking through the steps of registering her trade name for her YouTube Channel/business. It is lucky that Rebecca works for an accounting firm and therefore has access to accounting professionals, knew what questions to ask, and where to start… many influencers don’t have that luxury. So we started to brainstorm potential ways we could help them. How can we provide this information to influencers and other start-ups in an effective and accessible way? So we decided to create a course. 

8. How did you overcome doubtful moments during your course creation journey?

People don’t typically enjoy reading or learning about tax and accounting. We have known this, and it’s something we keep in mind as we create content for MOD Ventures, our parent company. There is always a doubt that people won’t realize how helpful our course is… That they won’t understand how much they needed something like this until it’s too late. It’s hard to gain a social media following as a business that talks about something as dry as tax and accounting. But we know that people need this information, so that’s why we continue. We know that it will fall into the right hands one day and change someone’s life. There is an endless amount of tax and accounting questions out there, and admittedly, there are answers, but are they the most relevant and helpful answers? Are they easily understood? Usually not. It is our goal to translate technical jargon into text and information that anyone can understand, no matter what their experience. 

9. What are some of your tricks to deal with imposter syndrome?

First, realize that you are worthy. You aren’t where you are by mistake; even if you feel it was pure luck, you still worked hard to get to a place where you could be in that right place at the right time. Your hard work does pay off, either now or later. And you do deserve to celebrate that. If you feel like you don’t have all of the answers, that’s okay. No one does. Keep moving, keep working, and keep believing for yourself that you do deserve the good things that happen to you. 

10. How long did it take you to create your course?

It took about 3 months to complete all of the content for the course; we released it to a group of about 30 BETA testers who tested for 5 weeks starting in mid-October, we took a few months to refine the course again and launched to the public mid-January.

11. How did your first launch go?

Honestly, it didn’t go great. We realize now that coming from a small social following from MOD Ventures, the Business Savvy Influencer was going to have to be marketed differently. That is a huge part of business ownership – understanding that if something doesn’t go as planned, it isn’t a fail. What you need to do is shift and find a better solution. So, now, we are reaching out to BETA testers and signing them up as affiliates so that anytime they refer someone to the course, they get a percentage of that back. We want to utilize influencers to promote the course to other influencers and followers with small businesses. We understand the influence that they have and want to channel that for our course. 

12. How do you structure your launches in general now?

Moving forward, we will have a set of influencers/affiliates run a campaign on their primary social platform talking about the course and how it has helped them. We currently have 4 affiliates, one of them being Rebecca herself. 

13. Where does your traffic come from?

Most of our initial traffic came from Rebecca’s following. Her community is made up of people who love houseplants, many of which also owning or wanting to own small businesses. We initially used her page to call for BETA testers and had an overwhelming response of people interested in the course. We know that through the use of affiliate traffic, we will see great results. 

14. Which content do you like producing the most?

We find Instagram stories to be an approachable place to offer tips and advice on a day-to-day basis, and for more formal settings, we love webinars. We run webinars regularly at our parent company and want to use webinars as a way to drive traffic to BSI as well. 

15. What online course platform are you using?

We are using Kajabi. 

16. What is amazing about this platform?

We love using Kajabi because it is extremely user friendly, easy to customize, and is jam-packed with features. You can run your entire operation out of this one site – email communication, courses, announcements, affiliate program, and more. It was simple to customize our course to look unique and striking. Additionally, customer service is spectacular and always gets back quickly with helpful answers. 

17. Which features do you wish this platform would have?

It would be amazing if Kajabi had a course forum section where all of our users could chat with each other. We believe that, more than anything, creating a community around your product is one of the best ways to bring value. We could achieve this by creating a separate Facebook group, but it would be so much better if that could exist within Kajabi. 

18. Why did you choose this platform over other platforms?

Many companies that we admire utilize Kajabi, and we found the process to set up our course extremely simple. We didn’t want to jump through hoops setting it up, and we didn’t want our users to jump through hoops to have to use it.

19. Which other tools do you use to keep your online business running?

We love using Instagram to connect with our students & also to share helpful, free advice. If someone doesn’t want to take our course, they can always follow along on our Instagram to learn something new every day. 

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20. How many students have you served so far?

32.

21. How much revenue have you created during your first launch, and ongoing?

We have not made any revenue so far. 

22. What are you running costs to keep the online course business going?

$159/month for a Kajabi subscription, and roughly 5-10 hours a week on course maintenance, and Instagram content. 

23. What are some of the biggest mistakes you made along the way?

We didn’t utilize influencer marketing at the very beginning. We know now that we can do this and it will make a big impact, but at the time we were relying on people signing up who were interested in BETA testing and didn’t make it in. We also ran a webinar to gain interest and had several gaps in communication with them. We believe this is likely the reason we didn’t have the stellar launch we wanted, but we know that we can always step up and fix it. 

24. How has your business changed since implementing an online course into the business model?

As of right now, it hasn’t changed much. Our course is so new and hasn’t gained a ton of traction just yet. We know that eventually, it will be an additional passive stream of revenue, we just have to keep working for that day. 

25. How has your personal life changed?

Since starting the course, Rebecca & Gabby are always dreaming up what could be next for BSI. We want to continue to draw from our own experiences so that we can refine the course to be even better. As time goes on and Rebecca has new experiences as a business owner, new roadblocks pop up, which makes for helpful and relevant content for BSI students who are going through the same things. 

26. What’s the greatest transformational story you can tell about one (or more) of your students?

As I talked about earlier, one of our BETA tester students has owned a photography business for many years and has done a lot of their tax/accounting on their own. They were relying on information they could find on the internet and likely advice from others in their industry. We thought with a student who already owned a business, they wouldn’t draw as much knowledge… but we were wrong. In her exit survey and several conversations after, she expressed to us how much she learned that she never knew about before — even after multiple years in business. This is how we know that our course is valuable and that it will change people’s businesses, new or pre-existing. 

27. If you could use a time machine and send yourself back to the time before you started out, what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?

If we could give ourselves any advice it would be to utilize more influencer marketing at the beginning. We now know that that is probably going to be the way our course reaches more people since our MOD Ventures social following is smaller. Our client base is large, but not many people tend to follow tax accountants on Instagram. So we have to appeal to our ideal client for the course differently. We would tell ourselves to go where our ideal clients are! And that is watching videos of select influencers, or scrolling through Instagram. We need to do everything we can to continue to target those people so that they can be introduced to our course that we know is so valuable. 

28. What is your million dollar piece of advice to those who are just getting started in their online course journey OR for those who are looking to scale?

Create an ideal student profile and understand precisely what they need, what their pain points are, and what kinds of messaging will soak in the best. Also, don’t be hesitant to put yourself out there as a teacher because you don’t feel you know enough. What you’ve learned up to this point is extremely valuable, and it’s smart that you want to share that with others. Never miss an opportunity to hype yourself up and make sure that people know that the knowledge you hold is invaluable and will change their life. 

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Would you like to learn exactly how to create, sell, market & scale your online course?

Join Our Free Event:

The Ultimate Online Course Conference

March 29th - April 4th

Registration Closes In

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

The World’s Economy Has Already Shifted Into The Virtual Space More And Faster Than Ever Before & It’s Time To Catch Up Right Now… Or Else You’ll Risk Getting Left Behind.

The Most “Future Proof” Way To Get Ahead And Run A Sustainable Online Business Is By Entering The Exploding Digital Knowledge Industry With The Guidance Of Tina and 30+ Experts Through Online Course Talks. 

how to create an online course