How I Launched a Business and Left my Job in Just 6-weeks
I was sitting in the doctor’s office with my parents on Zoom, sitting across from a surgeon that was telling me I’d be getting a spine fusion surgery in a little over two months. I had seen 3 surgeons over the past 8 years, gotten several rounds of imaging done, and gone over a ton of different options to try to heal the pars fracture in the base of my spine that I got from a gymnastics injury when I was 18. Until now, nobody wanted to operate. I was too young, I didn’t seem to be in “enough pain”, it was something I could live with until I was in my 40’s or 50’s. Only now, 7 years post-injury, the disc had withered down to nearly nothing. The MRI looked like there was an infinity sign between the two vertebrates, or how a marshmallow looks when you squash it between your fingers. After looking at all the options, and considering my active lifestyle and the desire to carry and birth my own children within the next 5 years, Dr. Godisnky determined that a spine fusion would be the best option. This meant not being able to lift, bend, twist, or be on my feet for long periods of time for 12 weeks.
The problem was, I had built up a career as a wedding dress stylist which meant taking back-to-back appointments, carrying dresses, undressing and redressing mannequins, fluffing trains, and running around the store for 8 hours a day. There was no possible way I was going to be able to work under the restrictions of this post-surgery plan, and I found myself out of a job during a global pandemic.
I got the official diagnosis on August 30th, 2020, my last day of work was scheduled for October 15th, and I was in full-blown panic mode. It was like I lived on Indeed and Linkedin, scouring for remote-based positions, and even though I was qualified, I knew that I just didn’t have the time for the callback and interview process. I couldn’t wait for someone to choose me, and I knew that the only person that could help me in this situation was myself. So I took a single day out of the chaos of fulfilling my work notice, applying for jobs, and preparing for a major surgery -- and I created a single website page.
To give some backstory, I went to journalism school with the hopes of becoming the “Miranda Priestly” of the wedding magazine industry.
I majored in mass communications with an emphasis in digital copy and graphic design and obtained a certificate in marketing and sales. While I was getting my degree I interned at a local wedding magazine and freelanced some articles for others in the area. I volunteered for a few wedding planners on the weekends to gain some experience, and I got my first job at a small bridal boutique selling discounted wedding gowns. I wanted to eat, sleep, and breathe the wedding industry, and that’s essentially what I did for the past 7 years.
Over time I came to see that wedding magazines were struggling in the wake of Pinterest, Instagram, and online blogs. Plus, while I published some pieces I was proud of, I wasn’t getting to write the kind of articles I was excited about. Venue roundups weren’t exactly fueling my fire if you know what I mean. Then while that was happening, I was quickly moving up in the dress sales arena. Within 5 months of starting that job at the boutique, I moved my way up to becoming one of the top sellers. Then after two years of being there, I wanted to try my hand at luxury gown sales, and kind of miraculously found my way into a high-end boutique. Everything happens for a reason, right? I would find myself in that job for a total of 4.5 years, while I finished my degree. In this position, I fine-tuned my sales skills and learned so much about the mindset around luxury services and products. There was so much psychology that went into it, and in a way, I had to embody what it meant to play at that level. I learned how to dress differently, speak differently, when to speak at the right times, how to negotiate, and how to determine different trends. During my time there I was promoted to Marketing Coordinator and attended bridal market in Cancun the summer of 2019. A position that taught me the ins and outs of online marketing, campaign strategy, promotion tactics, the whole nine yards.
… but I digress, I promise there’s a point to this. The knowledge I obtained in the wedding industry, plus my degree, left me with a boatload of skills that I knew had to be good for SOMETHING. I knew I could write (at least good enough to be published in a few magazines), I knew how to run a business social media accounts, I knew how to write professional marketing emails, and I was fairly decent at graphic design based on the posters, flyers, and graphics I made for the store. There had to be something that would work.
I wanted to be super niche at first because I just wanted some base-freelance work that would get me through those 12 weeks, so on that single website page, I created a sales page for my copywriting services. I offered to write blogs, emails, social media captions, and website copy that would come with Pinterest and featured image graphics. Then I took to Facebook to find leads.
In this case, God had to be looking out, because right away I found someone in a Facebook forum we were both a part of literally ASKING for a copywriter. I was one of the first people to see the post, and I jumped in the comments, wrote her a quick message, and attached my link. She booked me for my first project the next day. Trolling Facebook forums became my method of choice, given my short timeline, and desperate need for work. It was also highly effective. I never had to post anything for myself (most forums don’t allow you to anyway), but people seemed to always be asking for someone like me to help them.
*Side note: Being in the wedding industry for so long and following a lot of women in business like Jenna Kutcher, Amanda Frances, Jordan Lee Dooley, etc. I knew I wanted to work with female entrepreneurs/women in business. I didn’t have a truly defined client avatar yet, but I at least knew that and it helped me search out areas where I could find women like this.
By my last day of work, I had about 4 projects booked that amounted to maybe $500. They were all beginner projects, but hey, my name was getting out there and I was banking that these projects would lead to bigger ones. I could also ride on my last paycheck for at least 4 weeks so I wasn’t panicking quite yet. Then came my big break. You know that very first client I told you about? After writing her a few blog posts and asked me to help her write the copy for her new business website. An entire sales page, and an entire about page, amounting to over $1000 (not how my prices are now, but at the time I felt like I hit the freaking jackpot). This covered all of my bills for November (surgery month) and a few extra projects covered expenses like food, gas, etc.
The results from this project lead to a retainer agreement with this client starting at $2500 a month. AKA, matching my monthly take-home income from the bridal shop. I would write the copy and design the graphics for her blog posts, email nurture sequences, social media posts, and YouTube LIVE streams. Plus she hired me for website projects, extra content creation, etc. Not to mention she also referred me to her clients and other people she knew in the industry. Thank GOD for women who support other women!
By December I was matching my take-home income from the bridal shop plus with a little extra for Christmas presents. January I hit my pre-tax 9-5 income of $3,300, February I hit over $4,000, and then in March I doubled that and made over $8,000. At this point, the business is growing in strides and I have more freedom to tailor my work to fit my interests rather than just take on anything that comes my way. I have set prices now, my website is fully formed and branded, I have specific packages people can purchase that highlight my skill set. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted, and it happened so much faster than I ever could have expected.
That’s the whole story, but let me give you a quick breakdown of how I launched a business and left my job in just 6-weeks.
I created a single-page website highlighting a specific skill set in detail with an option to inquire about my services.
I set up an account with Honeybook that allowed me to send invoices and collect payment professionally. Here’s my referral link if you’re interested in that: http://share.honeybook.com/anna39584
I determined that I wanted to work for women in business and that I wanted to write blog posts, emails, website copy, and sales pages. AKA I just decided who I wanted to work for and what kind of work I wanted to do.
I went to Facebook and found leads on Facebook forums. I also found a lead by listening to her on a podcast, realizing she didn’t have any blog posts and pitched myself to convert her podcasts into blog posts. She then hired me for some sales pages and additional projects after that. I genuinely believe that if you’re truly looking, you’ll find them.
I completed projects, hit my deadlines, responded quickly, just did my best to be a good person to work with and then I let my work speak for itself.
In the end, what the secret sauce really was, was just deciding to go for it. To risk it all, jump it, and MAKE it work because it HAD TO. I had to go about it in a really scrappy way, and it was terrifying, which is why I created a package to help you launch your business with the support and help of someone who’s been there and done that.
May I introduce to you, The Launch Package.
In this package, I take on your launch strategy and I create all of the content and systems that we need to promote your offer to your high-paying, ideal clients. My mission is to amplify your reach, nurture your target market, and maximize your sales while you spend more time doing what you do best and focusing your zone of genius where it really matters to you.
I specialize in high-ticket sales and promoting online brands through value-based, organic marketing.
With my promotional strategy, we're going to create value, establish trust, and reflect your brand in a way that attracts clients to you -- and we are going to do it across all of your platforms for optimal visibility.
We are going to use your promotion to create a lasting impact that benefits your brand long after the cart closes.
Sales Page: Copywriting, graphics, and design on your preferred platform.
Email Marketing: Nurture sequence of at least 5, with graphics, & scheduled on your preferred platform. Supplied every week for up to 4 weeks before the offer launch.
Social Media: (Set of 5) Visual element, captions, and hashtag set scheduled using your preferred platform or app. Supplied every week for up to 4 weeks before the offer launch.
Blog Posts: 1 blog post each week for 4 weeks leading up to the launch. Written based on your anointed topic, SEO optimized, with graphics and interlinking to social & sales page.
*Pinterest Pin included*
Graphics: Any graphics needed for LIVE streams, webinars, podcast episodes, calendar invites, IGTV covers, etc.
Bonus: Instagram Story brand series promoting an offer. (A series of graphics nurturing the audience and explaining the offer.)
If you’re anxious to leave your job and start making money online then this package is for you. You worry about your services or product and let me handle marketing it for you. Four weeks from now you could be your own boss making 3x more money than you’re pulling in right now.