In this episode, we go over various criteria to consider when deciding what to sell (05:31), how mindset plays a crucial role (10:02), and how to incorporate your audience (18:39).
Hello, my loves. Welcome back to The Wanderlover Podcast. I’m your host, Danielle Hu. I just got out of the water from a surf today, we went down to Rockpiles.
So it’s a little further south of Waikiki. So much fun came home, got showered. And I was like, you know what? I’m going to record my podcast episode because I just feel so good. And while I’m in the water, I actually set the intention to think about what I’m going to share with you guys. And today I just had so many thoughts, so many connections, and I just couldn’t wait to come home and record this for you. So I’m really excited for this episode. I also love this freedom of just, you know, having these ideas and then being like, all right, you know what? I’m going to lock myself in my closet right now and record those because I just need to get the message out there. It feels super playful, super fun. And honestly, that’s how running a business should feel like it has been such a fun week.
This past week, the fourth edition of The Travel Influencer Handbook launched. It was such a success. And you guys I’ve had so much great feedback around it. I’ve added in a lot of chapters and I feel like those specific chapters really hit home with some of you. And especially during Corona virus, you know, people losing their jobs, everything is unstable and it makes people snap into reality and realize that you only have one life to live. And if you don’t take risks, if you stay in a place where you’re not feeling fulfilled, where you feel like you’re not growing, and you’re just not happy, you have the power to make a change.
And I actually want to read the nicest email I think I’ve received this year. This is literally the reason why I create these episodes. Why I have my business so I can help people like you. But this is from Tara. And she emailed me on June 3rd. She was like, I’ve been following you for a while now. And honestly, Danielle, when I used to see your posts, I never in a million years thought I could ever start my own business or travel as much as you do. But after losing my job during the pandemic, I started to believe that anything could happen. It took losing my job for me to finally pull my life together and believe in myself.
Funny, right? The Travel Influencer Handbook was so informative. I’ve read all of it in a day and took pages of notes. It’s tactical and me, the guided push. I needed to start actually making money from my Instagram and treating it like a business. I’ve downloaded some apps you recommended, and it’s already making my life so much easier. It feels so good knowing what I can achieve with this and how to do it. I can’t thank you enough for what you share. Oh, I woke up to this and I was like, oh my God, it’s really affirming. Knowing that the reason why I set out to write the travel influencer handbook is being realized by all of you. And the thing is, she’s not the only one who can do this.
She’s not the only one that can make a change in her life and start an online business. Sometimes all it takes is learning. What you don’t know, have the clarity to know which direction to work towards. If you guys haven’t downloaded a travel influencer handbook and you miss the launch week discount, it’s okay. I have a $10 off code just for you guys. As my loyal podcast, listeners just enter in podcasts, all caps during checkout, and you’ll get $10 off. I will link the handbook page in the show notes. So today I want to address the question, what to I sell.
And this was inspired by a question I got from one of my dear followers. She DMS me and asked if I had any advice on what she could possibly offer as a business. She has a great audience and a great following on Instagram. And now it’s just incorporating the business side of it. So products and services. And I’ve said this before. I’ll say it again. If you’re not seeing income from your business, unfortunately, you don’t have a business. And so with this episode, I hope it gives you a lot of clarity, knowing what you can possibly offer and how to go about doing so. I want to start by sharing what criteria I use to filter out new business opportunities.
When someone approaches me with a new idea, or if I have a new idea, what goes through my mind to see if that’s a good idea or not? And this filter mechanism comes from the book, millionaire, Fastlane by MJ DeMarco. And it is an amazing book. If you’re looking for something to read, I highly recommend it. But in it, he explains that in order to have a million dollar business, to be able to have time, freedom, financial freedom, and location, freedom, there are five steps you need to filter through to see if it’s worth your time or not. The first criteria is control. Do you have full control over whatever it is that you are going to pursue?
So for example, like let’s take Instagram. If your whole business runs on Instagram and Instagram goes down, you lose your business, right? And he calls it being in the driver’s seat or in the passenger seat. Is it yours? Do you own it wholly? Same thing. When I used to do Amazon FBA, like if Amazon goes down, I lose my business. This also applies to so many other, like for example, multilevel marketing, network marketing, if that product and that business model goes away, you lose your business. So you never want to be in that position where you’re so dependent on someone else and you’re just working for someone else. So obviously this goes for working in a corporation, having a job because your livelihood depends on your employer.
So the first is control. Do you have full control over this opportunity? The second criteria you need to think is barriers to entry. Can anyone do it? Do you need a certain degree? Do you need time investments? Do you need money? Investment? Can anyone do it? And if there’s like virtually zero barriers to entry, then it’s most likely not a good business idea, or it’s going to be harder for you to succeed because there’s so much competition. The third criteria is need to, people need whatever it is that you’re selling. Are you going to make sales? Is there already a market for it already?
And this actually is super helpful because a lot of the time we think that we need to be the next like Einstein or Edison and invent this life-changing device or invention. Right? And a lot of times we get so hung up in that. We don’t realize that we can create businesses and markets that are already established for us. And there’s customers willing to buy. You don’t have to be the first. You just have to be better. The fourth criteria is time is your salary, or is the income that you’re earning dependent on how many hours you put in. So if you are paid by the hour, if you have a salary, a lot of your time, if you don’t work right, you lose that income.
And that’s never a good thing because you don’t want to be trading your time for money. Your time is the most valuable asset. And so this is why after learning this, I started exploring other passive income streams. I’m starting to look at investing and real estate, and that’s really where you want your mind to be the last criteria. The fifth one is scale. Can you scale internationally or are you limited by wherever it is that you’re located? So for example, if you own an auto shop in Manhattan, you’re only going to get customers who are passing your auto shop or who have cars in Manhattan.
So it’s very limited. And if you have that shop and you have to pay rent, it’s a lot of overhead. It’s a lot of money that you’re putting into that one location. And it’s going to be hard for you to expand internationally or to other locations, because you can only operate at one place at one time. And so with the internet and because of how blessed we are in this day and age, where you can literally connect with almost anyone around the world and even target them with advertising, with all of these opportunities available to us, these are the five criteria I filter out business opportunities in, and this is what I teach my clients.
You guys know my core value is freedom. Back when I worked in finance, I had financial freedom, but I didn’t have time, freedom or location freedom. And every time I saw someone, you know, being able to go get coffees for an hour in the middle of the day, on a week day, I’d be like, how are they doing that? Or if I saw people working from co-working spaces in Bali and being able to travel for more than three weeks at a time, my heart was yearning for that lifestyle. And that’s when I really leaned in and started noticing things that could help me get the life that I live today. And that’s what I want for all of you. I want you guys to have not only financial freedom, but time, freedom and location freedom.
And so I’m going to share with you the business model that I tell my clients, and I hope this helps you with getting really clear on what it is that you need to be focusing on right now to sell. And before I share those, I just want to insert some mindset, pep talk. This is from another book that I’ve been reading by one quote that really stuck out to me, rich people see opportunities, poor people see obstacles or limiting beliefs. So if I’m going through all of these different products and services and with every single one, you catch yourself thinking, oh, I can’t do that.
Oh, but this is too XYZ. And I can’t do that one either because I don’t have this. And there’s no way I can start even working on this because I don’t have this or this or this. And just making up excuses after everything I say, I want you to catch yourself doing that and revisit those thoughts and start seeing opportunities instead of obstacles. Because if you don’t take what I say and actually take it to heart and all you’re seeing are obstacles, I can’t help you. There. That’s something you have to work through and realize that you have the power to change. And maybe instead of thinking, oh, I can’t do this.
You start thinking, but how can I learn this? Or who can I learn it from? And how do I do it? Right? Do you see how that thinking makes a world of difference? So with any business using my freedom model and keep in mind, this is what I teach. This is from my experience and my values, what I recommend. There’s so many ways to make money out there, but I’m only advising you to focus on the following because it gives you freedom. First off, think how soon you need the money. So if you need to be seeing income within the next few months, I would recommend something different than if you had the time. Let’s say this is your side hustle.
You have a lot of time to dedicate to it. You have backup capital and you don’t need it to be seeing income in like the first few months. If you do, let’s say you want to reach your first 10 K month within the next six months or even three months. My recommendation is for you to start looking at different coaching or consulting options you can offer with your business. This doesn’t have to be business coaching. It can be relationship coaching. It can be life coaching. It can be nutrition, coaching. It can be fitness coaching, anything that you’re trading one on one time with a client, you can charge more for it because you are catering the program around their schedule, around their needs.
And that’s when they see the most change in whatever it is that you offer. So when I first say this, I know some of you, if you’re listening, you’re like, but I can’t coach. I don’t know what to offer. I don’t have anything to offer my audience. I don’t have an audience take note of these beliefs and let’s sweep them under the rug. And I’m here to tell you that just because you think everyone around you already knows what you know doesn’t mean that there’s someone else out there in this world who wouldn’t benefit from you sharing whatever it is that you know, with coaching. There’s very low startup costs.
There’s no inventory, there’s no overhead. And I recommend this. If you’re just getting started and you need to see a cash injection in your business upfront, let’s say you want to reach $10,000 a month. And each client, you charge two and a half grand. So you essentially would need four clients a month in order to reach your income goal. And that is very doable. And what this cash, you are able to reinvest it into your business in more scalable options. So as I go down this list, the products and services are going to be more and more scalable because it’s not going to be dependent on your time. The next service I recommend if you need that cash injection, or if you don’t want to do one-on-one and you want to serve more people at a time, I would recommend group coaching.
So this looks like masterminds or round tables, whatever it is, whatever your niche is and offer to help multiple people at once. Okay? Next, we are diving into more passive streams of income, but this comes with more work upfront. So digital courses, e-books and memberships. These are the vehicles that we use to be able to create something and sell it evergreen for the rest of our lives. And with this business model. So with coaching, with masterminds and group coaching, with digital courses, eBooks and memberships, this is how you get that time.
Freedom, that location freedom and the financial freedom, having multiple sources so that you can depend on your business and only your business. And you have full control over everything that you’re working on. Digital courses can range anywhere between $10 to $3,000. eBooks can range from $2 to $200 memberships. They vary. There’s a huge range. And there’s honestly no way I can tell you what to price it at without knowing your business, but just know that all of these are possible for you. So now, if you’re wondering which one you should offer or focus on first, like I said before, if you start with something higher ticket, you’re going to need less customers in order to hit your income goals.
But let’s say you sell an ebook for $50. You’re going to need 200 customers. You’re going to need a large audience, or you’re going to need to implement advertising to get enough people to know about your book. I also want to mention with lower ticket digital products. So I see a lot of creators. They sell presets and they have a sizeable following, but you need to have your marketing strategy down. You need to constantly be promoting your presets every single day. In order for you to see enough income coming through this lower ticket item, you really need a lot of leads and constant promotion. And this is where I see a lot of people get discouraged because they think they have an amazing product and they’re only selling it for 20 or $30.
And they don’t realize how much marketing actually needs to be done in order to get a lot of people to convert. So I call everything that I just shared. All of those vehicles, I call them core products and services you should be focusing on in your business. That gives you freedom. Let’s say you want to work on something more physical. Let’s say you want to sell t-shirts or stickers or merchandise, or let’s say you have another idea that doesn’t fall into one of those buckets more often than not. I would call those passion projects and passion products.
Usually these are physical products. Usually they take a lot of upfront investment and you need to buy the inventory. You need to deal with shipping. You need to deal with overhead. You need to deal with packaging and you’re making less marginally, like less margin per sale. So all of these other ideas, I call passion projects because your income, especially when you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, there’s so much to learn. And with what I said before about like, you need to know marketing. If you launch with something that costs money upfront and you put a lot of time and effort into it, and you’re still not sales, it’s not the best route for you to focus on in the beginning.
And that’s just my two cents. I’m sure it’s so possible to be successful, but that’s just what has worked the best for me. And what I would recommend. I do not want you to be investing tens of thousands of dollars into something that potentially might not work. Okay? So I hope that that clears up which container you should be focusing on right now in your business. Let’s say you really want to go down the digital course route or the ebook route. You think that’s what your business needs at this moment. And you don’t know what the topic should be, what you should focus on or what people would buy from you. And this goes back to MJ, DeMarco, third criteria.
People need to need what it is that you are selling or else they’re not going to buy. My number one tip for this is to ask your audience to your market research and see what they’re struggling with and what they need from you and how you can help them that way you have guaranteed people who basically told you exactly what it is that they want to see from you. So for example, as I said earlier, one of my followers asked me what she should sell. And so I’m really listening to the conversations I have on a daily basis, what people are asking me and creating content and products and services around what is needed from me.
So I even told her, I was like, I’m probably going to create a podcast episode from this question. And she was like, oh my God, I’d love that. See, you are working with your audience and it just comes together so beautifully. This takes practice. And this takes a lot of listening, but it gets easier. And over time, it’s just going to be so natural. For example, I had so many questions about how to become a travel influencer and thus the travel influencer handbook was born. Then people started asking me about social media, about growing an online business. And I created coaching and products and courses all around the questions that I’ve already been getting.
And in the beginning, I know this can be scary. It’s a muscle that you have to exercise. I know in the beginning, when you’re thinking of things, you can potentially offer, you’re going to have limiting beliefs. Like someone else already did it, or even no one else is doing it. Why should I be the first? Or it could be no one needs this only this one person is asking me, but realize that those are limiting beliefs and they are holding you back. I remember when I used to have ideas, I would even Google and look up if other people were doing it almost as like, I don’t know, made me feel comfortable knowing that my ideal wasn’t the first. And it wasn’t weird if I were to go forward with it.
And now it’s like, if you have an idea, just execute on it. It’s yours. It came to you for a reason. And there’s no reason why you should be doubting it, talking yourself down or convincing yourself to not move forward with it. Okay? I hope this episode was really helpful. I hope you have a better idea of what it is you want to move forward with. I love, love, love the whole creation and executing and sharing and launching like this whole process. It just blows my mind every time that we can create something so magical and so transformative out of nothing like out of ideas in our head, if you listened to this episode and you caught yourself a few times, having limiting beliefs, such as I don’t have a brand, I don’t have a business.
I don’t have an audience. I don’t know what I can offer, or if you have a business, but you just need professional eyes to really look at your business and marketing plan and see where the opportunities are and what you should be focusing on right now, I would love to help you. I would love to talk through those limiting beliefs, really see where your blind spots are and map out a business plan for the rest of 2021. So you’ve see your highest income months and you create really transformative programs, products, and services. If this is a hell yes for you, if you’re like, yes, this is exactly what I need for my business.
At this moment, I’m going to put the link in the show notes to book a power session with me. This is where we do A deep dive and you get so much clarity for the rest of the year. Okay, guys, that is it for today’s episode, sending you so much Aloha from Hawaii. DME. If you have any questions, you guys all know my DMS are always open. And as always, I am wishing you the best happy love.
✧ Travel Influencer Handbook: https://thewanderlover.com/travel-influencer-handbook/
✧ Book a Power Session: https://thewanderlover.com/power-call
✧ Free Case Study: https://thewanderlover.com/create-build-scale
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