The 9 Business Models That Didn’t Work and The One That Did

Today we are celebrating the fact that we’ve been in business for nine years! WOW! We are going to talk about a lot of the changes I have made in the last nine years at Classy Career Girl. Over the years, I’ve changed. I’m not the same person as I was when I started Classy Career Girl. I have quit my day job, I became a mom. The digital world is not the same as it was when I started. I have had to adapt to the digital landscape, but I have also had to adapt to myself, growing and changing.  

I’ve tried a lot of things to see what works. Some things worked really well, but they just didn’t fit me. I didn’t enjoy myself. And because fulfillment is so extremely important to me, I always have to ask myself, “Am I happy doing this? Could I be happier doing it a little differently?” Where you start isn’t where you have to end up!

9 Business Models That Didn’t Work for Classy Career Girl

Nothing is wrong with any of these business models. You can make any of these methods work. I found that I enjoyed one of them the best, and happiness and fulfillment is always what I aim for.

1) Advertising/Banner Ads

This was the first way I made any money off my blog. I got an email from someone who said they wanted to pay me to post a picture on my site. Sometimes people would pay for links on my website instead. I charged $50-$100 per link or $100 per month. My first big win was a 6-month contract, and someone paid me six months in advance, so I made $600 for having an advertising image on my sidebar. I was in heaven!! I thought I had made it!

Pro: You get paid to have a website and blog about what you love!

Con: You have no control over if they will continue their contract. You are relying on other people to build your business. Not how I wanted to grow a business. You have to have a ton of traffic!

The first step if you want to do this: Create a media kit! Showing your stats and traffic and reader demographics.

2) Sponsored Posts/Blog and Social Media

This involved creating a post with a brand and sharing it with your audience. This is not easy. You have to be creative. You can try their product and write about it. You have to make it suitable for them. Sometimes affiliates fall into this. You can get paid by commission or by a lump sum; I always preferred a lump sum. You do have to watch out for sketchy people and sketchy links.

Pro: You get paid to write about products you love!

Con: Once again, you rely on someone else for an income. You have to really love it. You will cloud your readers with advertisements, and they might feel like you are not authentic. You have to be very careful. You have to have an audience.

The first step if you want to do this: Create a media kit! Showing your stats and traffic and reader demographics.

3) Speaking

You can get paid either by a corporation or association that pays you a lump sum. Or you can speak for free and pitch the audience at the end. I’ve done both.

Pros: You can speak to a lot of people at once and make more sales than selling individual sales calls. You really grow your authority.

Cons: You have to travel. You have to have your sales presentation down and be very confident in your material. You have to love your material. It can also be time-consuming. 

The first step if you want to do this: Build your speaking sheet and start calling associations/organizations that need speakers and pitch yourself!

4) Publish an Ebook

I didn’t like not having interaction. I thought I would just put it up and people would buy. You really need to have a promotion around it. I also like teaching, so it didn’t give me a way to actually teach. I love doing videos. I’m not just a reader, so for more value, I always add videos around my ebooks and make it a course instead.

If you have something you know that others don’t, you need to do this. If you have been thinking about starting an income stream for a long time, this is where you start. You can put this up and sell it today. 

Pros: Easy to put together and sell. Great way to start!! Quick wins. You can make it in Canva or word or create a PDF and sell it. 

Cons: Your audience doesn’t get to know YOU on camera and create a relationship with you. Can’t charge as much. No one is just going to come and buy. Need to create content around this and a funnel.

The first step if you want to do this: Start blogging or writing. Consolidate your best posts into an ebook. Survey your followers and create an ebook and sell it.

5) Online Course

You create videos or audios and worksheets and put them into a course. This is for people who want to learn one thing by the end of the course. My first course was the Get Unstuck Bootcamp with four people in it. I started on Ruzuku, but today there’s Teachable, and Kajabi and I use Wishlist Member to create my courses.

Pros: If you love to teach, this is great. There are so many tech options to make this beautiful.

Cons: High-quality content is essential these days. If you aren’t a teacher, this might not be for you. There are a lot of moving parts. May need help from a VA to get the tech stuff set up and ready to launch, but you can do it.

The first step if you want to do this: Create an outline of the course. Find the result people want to get in 5-6 weeks. Brainstorm all of the things you would need to teach and create a path for them from start to finish. Survey your audience. Get questions, and start sharing behind the scenes what you are working on. Set a launch date and remember the content does not need to be complete when you launch.

In part 2 next week, I’ll cover four more business models and then finally the one I love that really did and does work for us! Can’t wait for you to hear!

Before we go, thank you so much for sharing that you are listening on Instagram! Thank you for sharing with others. That means so much. Thanks for the reviews too.

  1. Share a screenshot of this episode you are listening to in your Instagram stories or Facebook page and tag classy career girl.
  2. Leave a review. Can we get to 75 reviews? Almost at 66 reviews and 500,000 downloads.  (currently at 474,000 wow!!) Make sure you are subscribed to the show and review the show on iTunes or whatever platform you use. I read every single one of them. And if this is helping you, I’d love to know! If you enjoy this show, please share it with someone else!

Thank you again for sharing with others. I truly appreciate you.

Before we go, one last thing.

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect. Just go at your own perfect pace and stop comparing yourself to other people. You are doing great!!

Hi, I'm Anna!

I’ll help you create a career strategy and plan so you can finally have a job or business you love that supports the life you really want.

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