By Yaro Starak
Jessica Nazarali dabbled in entrepreneurship in her late teens, buying brand name items from second hand clothing stores and selling them for a profit on eBay. Blogging is what kick-started Jessica’s online career, which led her down a path to e-commerce, and then what she does today – online coaching.
Jessica had a well paid job, a wonderful fiancé, and a great apartment in the beautiful city of Sydney… but something was still missing! Even with all the boxes ticked, there was some kind of empty feeling inside that just wouldn’t go away. This was what drove her to begin blogging.
In 2011, Jessica began an experimental blog about healthy eating and healthy living. Shortly after, she looked online to find information on how to build a successful blog and found my Blog Mastermind course.
After an evening of procrastination and asking the universe for a sign – Jessica got “the sign” (in the form of an email from me in her inbox the next morning) and joined Blog Mastermind. She began blogging about healthy eating and living, and her first blog was called Live Healthy Simply.
Jessica worked hard to produce top quality content from the start, blogging five days a week for two years. At the height of her health and wellness blog’s success, Jessica was getting 1,500 views a day.
After her first year blogging, Jessica began selling affiliate products like Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar book and running some sponsored posts and creating some of her own digital products. These various income streams made Jessica around $1,000 per month, which is about when people began approaching her for one-on-one wellness coaching.
Jessica completed a course in health coaching and worked with a couple of clients only to realize it wasn’t something she was passionate about.
Another nudge from the Universe came in the form of one of her blog readers contacting Jessica and asking her if she would help her set up her website and blog. Having already created and run her own successful blog, Jessica knew she certainly had the skills to help others do it.
After working with her first coaching client for online business, Jessica felt really inspired and excited about helping more people do this. Within a week, another woman contacted her for help with her online business and that was all the confirmation Jessica needed to start business coaching.
Jessica launched a one-on-one coaching program that she sold for $600 and had 20 clients sign up in the first week. From there Jessica created three month and six month coaching programs charging $1,000 per month.
Jessica was finally able to quite her job in February 2014 to make the transition to being a full time online coach. By the end of 2014, she had made $140,000 from her coaching programs and affiliate marketing.
In December 2014 she created her Find Your First Paying Coaching Client program and launched it on Christmas eve. The launch ran through all of January and was an extraordinary success, bringing in $110,000.
Some of the key elements Jessica stated are responsible for her success are that she was consistent in blogging regularly and building strong relationships with her email subscribers. She also does as least one webinar a month as well as connect regularly with her private Facebook group.
Of course there is more to Jessica’s success than just that, so to hear the full story from start to finish, listen in to her interview.
Enjoy the show, and please share it with any of your friends who may benefit from it.
Sign up for the EJ Podcast Newsletter and I’ll send you new
episode notices and the best interviews from my archives.
Hello, this is Yaro and thank you for listening to my podcast. Today’s guest is Jessica Nazarali who’s going to share with you her entrepreneur’s journey story of how she became a coach and make $257,000 in her first year of full-time coaching.
She’s actually coached two other coaches in the health and wellness industry, so people deal with nutrition and health and personal development and so on. She specializes in helping them with their coaching practices and she got her start herself in the health and wellness industry as well running a health nutrition blog and that blog actually came about partially because she took my Blog Mastermind program, so she followed my program back in 2011 through an email list and started making some money with affiliate programs selling her own digital products and eventually, an ecommerce store as well selling nutrition products.
So, you hear her talk about all of these things and also how that very important email list she grew from her blog gave her the platform to launch this coaching practice and really grow a significant sized income from it as well.
So, you’ll hear all the whole story from Jessica in a moment. I just like to tell you right now, if you haven’t done so already, join my email list for the EJ Podcast. You can do so at interviewsclub.com and that’s why I release these new podcasts that I do on a regular basis first so, it goes on my blog and out to my email list. It’s also a place where you will get sent a series of my best podcasts from my archives. I’ve hand-selected the ones to send you there. So, if you love my podcasts and you want a regular series to come at you, join the interviewsclub.com email list. That will redirect you to my blog where you can enter your email to join that list and I’ll know that you’re interested in getting all my best and latest podcasts.
All right, that’s it for me. Here is the interview with Jessica.
Hello, this is Yaro Starak and welcome to an Entrepreneurs’ Journey podcast. Today, my guest is Jessica Nazarali. Two reasons why I want to speak to her– one, she is a graduate of Blog Mastermind, the first version of the program, so I love speaking to my graduates and two, she’s had incredible success being a coach for other woman coaches and in her first year of coaching, she just told me she made $257,000 in her first year.
Of course, she used the blog as part of that. She does a lot of social media video… So, we’re going to find out how Jessica had this really great first year and how she’s currently living her year because she’s in San Francisco like I am. So she’s, I don’t know if I am copying her or she’s copying me, but we’re both traveling a whole lot at the moment, so it’s always great to hear how people live that sort of laptop lifestyle as I love to call it.
So Jessica, thank you for joining me.
JESSICA: You’re so welcome. It’s wonderful to be here.
YARO: So, in case you can’t tell already guys, Jessica is from Australia, am I correct?
JESSICA: Yes, Sydney, Australia.
YARO: Born and raised?
JESSICA: Mm-hmm, correct. Yes.
YARO: Okay, so you grew up in Sydney.
JESSICA: Well, okay. I was born in Sydney, but then my parents relocated to the Hunter Valley and I moved back to Sydney when I was 18, so Hunter Valley is about two hours outside of Sydney.
YARO: A lovely spot, as well. So, you came back to Sydney to go to University?
JESSICA: Yes, to go to University. To kind of back track a little bit, and I think, I read some review Yaro, as well. Do you go to Steiner school or an alternative?
JESSICA: Okay, I went to a Steiner school from kindergarten to year 12 and it’s like an alternative form of schooling for people who don’t know much about that, and I always say I rebelled when I turned 18 and I was like, I want to do whatever is like the most conventional, conforming thing I can do, so then, I went to University and just started business.
YARO: How did your parents feel about that?
JESSICA: They were fine. It’s just like funny to look back now. It was like, “Oh my god, I’m over all the art and the singing and the music.” It’s like give me something with some structure–
YARO: Let’s make some money [laughter].
JESSICA: Let’s make some money, yes totally [laughter].
So, I went to Sydney, studied business and I worked really hard and got good grades and from there, applied for my first job out of University. It was in recruitment, took the job, was there for like five months, hated it, left the job, got another job which was much better pay, great boss… I kind of had everything on the outside which you would think would make me happy. I was 23 living in a great apartment. I had a boyfriend who is now my husband and something just didn’t feel very right.
I remember, we went overseas to the US and Canada for about a month and we went to Coachella which is like an amazing festival in the US, and caught up with friends and it was just a really amazing trip, Fez proposed so then, we became engaged and I kind of–
YARO: But, where did he do that?
JESSICA: He did that in West Hollywood. We were staying at, where was it? I think it was the Western or… I can’t remember the name of the hotel. It’s like an amazing hotel in West Hollywood.
So, yes. He proposed there and it was just like a trip of the lifetime. We went snowboarding in Whistler and I met all his family for the first time because he’s Canadian and we came home from that and I just remember thinking, “I should be happy. I have a job that, you know, on Paypal, there’s bonuses and it pays well and I could walk to work,” which in Sydney is unheard of. I’ve got this great guy. We’re engaged. We’re going to be married. We have a great apartment, but I just felt like really empty inside and really I just really lost my purpose and I thought, “Is this all there is to life?”
And so, for probably about three or four months, I mean I don’t know if I was clinically depressed or anything like that, but I was like in a slump like I would cry really easily and I just felt like really directionless into what I was doing with my life.
And so, around that time I started reading other blogs and that’s when I came up with the idea of well, why don’t I set a blog like it will give me something to do and meet some cool people and I might just give me something to channel my energies towards because I was just feeling quite down about life in general.
YARO: What year was that, Jessica?
JESSICA: What year was that?
JESSICA: That was in 2011.
YARO: Okay, so blogging was a thing well and truly by then, so you must have been exposed to blogging. Did you just want a place to, well simply start a blog. It’s either very specific because they have a business goal or they have, I’ve been told because it’s a good marketing tool, or back in the early days, it was like, “Well, I just want to talk about dogs or cooking vegetarian food,” or something I care about. I’m just going to talk about for fun and treat it like a hobby. Did you have a goal in mind like that?
JESSICA: Kind of a bit of both like I understood that you could make money from blogging and I thought it would turn into something but in the beginning, it was mainly just a hobby.
YARO: Right. Did you want to sort of have these depressive rants, this-
JESSICA: And, I’ve always been–
YARO: So, I was going to go like how much you hate your job? [Laughter]
JESSICA: Yes. No, it wasn’t like an angry like an early 20 something blogger.
JESSICA: No, it was to deal with healthy eating and healthy living. It was called Live Healthy Simply. So, I’ve always been a vegetarian so I like sharing recipes… I mean, health blogging still is so huge. It seems like everyone you meet, if they’re a blogger, they have some version, or in my circle anyway, like health, wellness, personal development…
So, it was kind of a variation of that and I guess I started it because I wanted to be happier and connect with other people that, I guess, have the same goals and share the same views as me.
YARO: You weren’t thinking, “Here’s my career and this is what’s going to make me happy.” You were just experimenting.
JESSICA: Totally, yes. I watched enough of like keeping up with the Kardashians or [laughter]. I understood that if you have a following, you can monetize it in a way.
JESSICA: So, I got that but it wasn’t like I am strategically doing this to make money. It was, well, I’m sure that will happen at some point, but it was more of a hobby in the beginning.
YARO: By the sound of things prior to this, you really had no entrepreneurial activities. Like, okay, you did a business degree but that’s as I know, I did a business degree in Brisbane. It’s more grooming you to become a corporate employee and not to be an entrepreneur. I think I had one entrepreneurship subject in my entire degree. So, prior to starting a blog, even thinking that way like I might make some money from my blog, it’s a completely different mentality from, “I am working a job,” which you were doing prior to that. So, was this buried in you before or this just, you kind of randomly trying things?
JESSICA: Yes, that’s a good question.
YARO: Any entrepreneurs in the family that might have influenced you?
JESSICA: So, not really in the family. I mean, my husband, (so we were dating kind of at that time), he’s very entrepreneurial and he has different projects he was involved in then and is involved in now.
I’ve always liked, this might seem bad, but like, I’ve always kind of like money like growing up, I always had a job. I was always like working, so I had my own money. I used to, I guess, this is entrepreneurial, in high school and university, I used to go to second hand clothing stores like buy the things with the good brand names and then, sold them on eBay.
YARO: Someone very famous got very wealthy doing that. Who was it? The book that’s recently out from the girl that started that online store for… I can’t remember the name of it, it’s Girl Boss? That’s the book.
YARO: That’s how she got her start.
JESSICA: Sophia or Sophie…
JESSICA: Yes, totally. That was fun. I didn’t make tons of money off that but it was kind of, again, it was something fun. It was like, “Oh, this is like a bit like, oh I know I am going to be able to make $70 off this.”
At the time, when you’re in high school and when you’re 19, 20, or 21, like that’s… It was kind of good money and it was fun. So, that was probably my first entrepreneurial endeavor so to speak.
YARO: Right. So, the blog was a second one if we can call it that.
JESSICA: It was, yes.
YARO: All right. So, how did it go?
JESSICA: Yes, in the beginning, I started out… what did I do? I chose a domain name. I decided I would be using WordPress and then, I kind of got a little bit stuck in terms of well, like what should I put in the sidebar, how is it meant to all fit together like what things should I do until I kind of procrastinated for a little while because like, okay, well, I like to have structure and I was like I don’t really feel like I have a roadmap to knowing what I’m meant to be doing with this, like do I just put it out there and start writing and hope for the best? And, that’s when I came across your course, Blog Mastermind.
I hadn’t officially launched my blog yet like I bought the URL and everything like that but, I hadn’t done anything with it. And so, I remember I found you, I think I googled, I can’t remember what I googled but you came up in Google Search. Quite near the top, I remember, I looked at your website and I was like, “Wow, he’s travelling doing all these cool things. I want to do that.” And then, I saw the course and I remember it was something like $500 and I was like, “Oh my gosh, $500 is such a lot of money.” I said, “If I’d take it and it doesn’t work, I just wasted $500.” You know like this big story in my mind. I was like, well, that you’re not worth the risk.
So, I was having this big internal struggle. I was like, “Do I take this course or do I not take this course?”
I remember I went to bed and I was like lying down, and I was like, “Universe, if I am going to take this course, give me a sign.” And then, I literally woke up the next morning and I remember looking at my email and the subject line was something like “Blog Mastermind is closing.”
I was like, “No, no. This is the course I am going to take.” And then, in there, it said how it was closing but you still get a 50% off and you have like two-weeks or something to do it.
And then, I took that as a sign and signed up.
YARO: That would have been the very, very final time I promoted that first version of the course. That was 2011 like you said. So, yes. The last time, it’s funny, you don’t really know as a person sending an email, what’s going on in a person’s mind at the other end when they receive these emails which just really goes to show the importance of that ongoing communication through email and just having that dialogue because you just don’t know what point you’re going to reach a person and like you woke up to an email and you took it as a sign at the time, which obviously I’m grateful that you did, and maybe, universally it was a sign as far as I’m concerned. I just sent an email during my promotion.
Okay, so you made the leap. Now, I didn’t realize that this is virtually like very, very early days for your journey. You really had no, I’m guessing no online marketing experience. You hadn’t sold products online. You hadn’t built an audience or anything like that, so you just registered the domain name and set up WordPress but that’s about as far you’ve gotten so far.
JESSICA: Totally, and I don’t even, like I don’t even think I did that properly, so I was like totally yes. Really, at the beginning and that’s what I liked about the course because you were very specific. It was very like basic steps but like all the steps that you needed to kind of get everything up and going.
And so, I literally just followed everything that you said throughout the program and that really gave me the structures. I realized, “Okay, well, I think this is what I’m meant to be doing. I had no idea about options or why I should collect email addresses.” Everything was totally new to me.
YARO: Did it work?
JESSICA: Yes! Obviously [laughter].
YARO: Well, you’re here talking to me, but I don’t think… We’re talking the early days. You’ve done a lot since then but how did that, the process of… It sounds like you’re definitely a person who loves a plan. You love a system to follow. So, that’s a great thing when you take a course because you actually really benefit from it and can you maybe take us through even, I’m assuming you would have followed my course but you would have done your own things as well while you’re doing that.
Can you maybe take us through the evolution of that blog? And, what was it about again, you said it was healthy living?
JESSICA: Yes, healthy living. So, it was called Live Healthy Simply and it was like recipes, healthy living tips… I look back now and I kind of cringe a little bit. But, it was the head start. It was like what I needed to do to get going. And yes, like I don’t know, like probably about formations like all things like that.
I took the course and went through the process of setting everything up and then, started blogging. I blog five days a week for probably about two years.
YARO: Wow, busy.
JESSICA: Yes, I know, right [chuckle]. I was so into it. It was my thing and it gave me directions and I was meeting really cool people and the funny thing is, I never considered myself even like that much of a good writer. I used to actually think, and which is funny, why would you start a blog if you didn’t think you were a good writer? And, in the beginning, my posts were really terrible.
I remember I published the post and I sent it to a girlfriend who actually worked through communications. She was like, “Oh, it’s great, Jess, but you know, here are like 20 selling hours.”
And, I remember just kind of cringing going, “Oh my gosh. I’m really… like why am I even blogging?” I’m not even that good of a writer but despite that, I really persevere. It was kind of like I had these projects. I don’t know even when I kind of wanted to give up. I couldn’t because I don’t know, I just have this passion inside of me.
I blogged everyday for about two years and over time, well actually, quite quickly, I built up a bit of a following. I think at my heights, I was probably getting about 1500 views a day.
YARO: Hmm, that’s good. Growing an email list, too?
JESSICA: Yes, growing an email list, as well. So, I started my email list from the beginning because I remember like you really drove back in on the course and that was probably like looking back like the biggest takeaway for me within the course was you really spoke about like why it was so important to focus on growing your email list from the very beginning and why, waiting like or you might think you can wait three to six months or whatever, but then, you’ve lost those people and how, I remember, you just kept on like throwing that in and I was like, I had to really need to get this sorted.
YARO: I wasted a year myself without an email list on my blog, so it was a lesson learned from experience, that’s for sure.
JESSICA: Right, I remember you said that, yes. And, I think you even maybe in the course like you demonstrated or maybe it was a graph that I was like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t want to do that.” And so, I had an email list from the beginning, definitely.
YARO: Now, you said you got 1500 a day in views, what were you doing for marketing back then that was working well for you?
JESSICA: Mm-hmm. I was sending out my newsletter once a week. I also had a Facebook page. Facebook groups were just kind of becoming big back then, I think. So, I was showing and posting in groups, as well. I don’t know how like these days, it seems like there are so many Facebook groups and people showing everything, but then, I think because it wasn’t as common and not as many people were doing it, you did get more traction from it.
I also did a lot of like guest blogging as well as I interviewed prominent people in the industry, so health industries and then, I would often offer them to share [unclear] interview and you know, would you mind showing with your audience as well. And, as I got bigger, I got more confident depending on who it was but I would say like, “Can you put it in your newsletter?” And so, getting them to commit to sharing it, like definitely sharing it as opposed to, “Oh, I may share it.”
And so, sometimes, I remember there was this one girl who I interviewed, who had quite a big following, and the day I posted her interview, I think I got something like 2000 views and my email list grew by, I think it was like 50 people and yes, it was like really, really exciting.
YARO: Yes, great product and marketing. So, just to clarify, you were still working a full time job that whole time, am I right?
YARO: So, you were in HR and you were working full time and you were still managing to write five posts a week, do a Facebook group marketing, do interviews, get those people to promote the interviews so you got traffic. So, you know, you’re hustling– crazy, but it’s sassy plus you started my course, so there’s time spent doing that.
By the point where you were getting this traffic, are you actually thinking, or had you already started to try and make money from it.
JESSICA: Mm-hmm. So, I would say the first year, I probably didn’t make any money. It was yes, just kind of the love of blogging. On the second year, I was like, “Okay, well, I’ve put more focus on that.”
So, we started selling some affiliate products. I was selling like Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Books and they were doing quite well. I also started doing sponsored posts and that was working quite well, and then, I created my own digital products.
YARO: To do what?
JESSICA: To do, [chuckles] oh my god, it sounds quite corny looking back now but it was called Cosmopolitan Wellness, so it was a wellness six-week digital online product.
YARO: So, kind of overall health. I’m assuming you focused on women as well.
JESSICA: Yes. I don’t think it was necessarily like the best product in the world, but I think it sold because I had someone to sell to and it wasn’t… I mean, I think sometimes, when you’re creating products, we can go into, “Oh my gosh, like it isn’t…” or you can look back, or go, “Okay, well it wasn’t that great,” or, it’s not my best work, but it obviously helped some people because people bought it and not everyone asked for a refund, so I think you can get quite hard on yourself and sometimes, I’ll look back and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I did that.” But, that’s okay. It’s all part of the journey.
YARO: And in no doubt, there’s a lot of fear barriers to cross when you reach the point where you sell your own product. I know that is something, I mean, I felt it, too, even that first version of Blog Mastermind. It was like, “Will people buy this? Will anyone get a result? Will everyone refund?” All those sorts of questions. You don’t really know.
At the end of the two years, were you making some money consistently? How was it going?
JESSICA: Sure. So, with my sponsored posts evolved like my own online products, I was probably making about like a thousand a month from that and around that time, is when people started to come to me asking me for coaching.
YARO: To do what?
JESSICA: It was interesting because I had studied to become a Health Coach with the Institute of Integrated Nutrition because I thought I have a health blog, on a side note, we had started at the same time as my blog and online health food store which my husband and I still have today.
So, I always have kind of the shop separately, but we did get additional sales of products because I have my blog obviously promoting the shop as well.
YARO: Like an e-commerce store? Is that what it is?
YARO: What’s the address if it’s still up?
JESSICA: Yes, it’s still up. It’s called ShopHealthy.com.au. It’s basically online health food store products which delivered just throughout Australia. So, that’s still going now and we’ve completely outsourced the daily operations and management, and all that.
YARO: Right. How did you, just to quickly step into that one since it came along with your blog, an e-commerce shop is a whole different kettle of fish, you know blog is great for marketing and you can do digital products and advertising and sponsored posts and affiliate marketing.
With e-commerce, you got physical stuff, you got to send them in the mail, you got to take returns. Did you do all that or was it maybe drop shipping or affiliates? How did it work?
JESSICA: It was only in the beginning, yes.
YARO: So, you had a garage full of health food products?
JESSICA: A spare bedroom, yes.
JESSICA: Yes. I forgot about that side of the story because we’re not really involved in that. We have people who manage it for us now, so I’m not involved as much as I was in the early days.
But yes, in the early days it was me sending out the products and my husband basically managed the online side of things in terms of making sure the products were correct and all of that.
How we got into that, it was around about the same time I was starting my blog and we were kind of working out if we wanted to do them… At one stage, we were thinking about we’d have the shop on my blog as well, but then, my husband was like, no, his goal was to expand it and grow it and then, sell it. So, he didn’t want it to be kind of attached to a personal brand or a person. So, that’s when we decided to do it separately.
The shop definitely has been a journey that when we, we’re at the stage now where we can have people manage it for us and do the fulfillment. I must say it’s a great form of passive income now and our goal is to build it up and then, sell it in a couple of years’ time.
YARO: Okay, so back then, your husband built an e-commerce platform, you go find a bunch of product wholesale. You fill the e-commerce store with pictures of these products and then, you get an order that comes through to whatever, Paypal or E-way maybe if you’re in Australia, and then, do you ship it? You run down to Australia Post, send off the package to the customer, make a little margin and then, use your margins to go buy more products? Is that kind of how it works in circles for a while?
JESSICA: Yes, kind of pretty much. We had couriers but yes, it was pretty much it. I mean, I will say is well, we did start the store, we were like kind of buying all these products as well. And so, an advantage of when you are a wholesaler, you get all these products at wholesale rate, as well. So, when you’re 21 or 22 and interested in health food products, but they’re quite expensive, it was kind of like, “Okay, well this is kind of a cool way to–”
YARO: You got to be careful though or you end up eating or using all your products if you buy that way.
JESSICA: Oh totally. Like the first year, we just covered our expenses like eating pretty much.
JESSICA: But, it’s gotten better since then.
YARO: Right. Now, did the blog send a lot of customers to this or did the e-commerce store sort of find its own customers differently?
JESSICA: Sure. So, I would say probably half of the traffic to Shop Healthy was from Live Healthy Simply. How this store got other traffic is eBay, so we have a shop on eBay. That did and still does send us a lot of customers.
What was good about having the blog and having the shop is, I made friends with a lot of vendors like say, Power Super Foods who were a supplier on our site and then, they would do like a giveaway on my blog.
We kind of have things that would tie them all together. So, they’re like, “Hey, and the giveaway is this free protein and you can find it on Shop Healthy and you have the chance to win it if you enter the contest and you got to share the blog post.”
YARO: Okay. Just kind of cool. You guys, you’re great partners so obviously, you and your husband, you had a little bit of a fly wheel going like the Jim Collins concept where you’re building your blog which is growing and helping you to make money through different income streams, which is also helping Shop Healthy get some initial customers which is then opening doors to certain relationships. So, it’s all kind of positively growing and impacting everything and I can see, I can imagine your vision right then would have been massive super popular blogger and massive super successful health food shop, maybe some coaching and online courses and then, that sort of idea was there.
Now, today, you’re not known for that as much anymore. You actually switched to coaching other women coaches. So, you got some gaps to cover here. So, you’re making $1000 a month. Was that including what you made from Shop Healthy at the time because both of you are working full time jobs, right?
JESSICA: Yes, correct. It was probably with the shop like maybe a little bit more, but then–
YARO: Certainly not enough for two people in Sydney to move off.
JESSICA: No. It was like talk of money still. It was additional spending money. So, what happened, because I obviously had the health blog, had the health food shop, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to become a health coach,” and then, it all makes sense. Everything is tied together in a perfect bow.
I did this health coaching certification program and it was interesting. I didn’t really know that much about coaching, so I’ve learnt the beginning steps, I guess, to get started and I put up a package on my website. I think I emailed my list and then, from that, I got to–
YARO: You’ve done too many things.
JESSICA: I have done too many things [laughter] let me try to think. Sorry, no, I did email my list, have somebody contacted me that’s to do with my blog coaching. That’s something separately.
So, I did email my list about the health coaching and two people contacted me and we did the discovery session, so consultation and they signed up, I think it was something like a six-week package. So, a session each week for six weeks and I just started coaching them and I just went with being on the calls and it sounds really bad, but going, “Oh my gosh, I definitely don’t want to be doing this.” I wasn’t… I did it. I was so inspired like talking to people about what they’re eating and it didn’t really interest me.
I mean I thought it would because obviously, I have this health food shop and I have been blogging about health for almost two years at that time, but it just really, I just knew right then, I was like, okay, I definitely don’t want to be a health coach. I don’t know what it is that I’m going to do because that was kind of my plan, was to like really focus on the coaching side of things and get coaching clients from my blog. I remember just going, “Oh my gosh, it’s like I feel like a failure because I’ve done this course and I’m not even going to be a health coach anymore,” and I remember going, “Okay, well maybe I’ll just really focus on Shop Healthy,” like that’s what I would do.
And, that will be my way to be able to leave my job because at that stage, I was like, “Oh my gosh, I need to get out of my job.” It was starting to drive me insane and I thought coaching would be a quick way to do it, and it wasn’t looking like that was the case.
Around that time when I was having this dilemma, somebody contacted me through my business Facebook page. She said, “Hi Jess, I’m studying Naturopathy at the moment. I really love your blog and what you’re doing. I know you’re a health coach, but I was wondering if you’d be interested in helping me set up my website and blog. Would you be interested in doing that?”
Then, I went, well yes, okay. I’ve been doing it long enough that I knew what people needed to do to get started and so, I said, “Okay sure.” And I literally just made up some random price and she said, “Yes.” And, I think I saw her maybe like three or four sessions or something like that.
I remember I was speaking to her and she was talking about her dreams and what she wanted to do and I was talking about like, “Okay, but this is how you choose a theme and this is what goes in the website.” I just felt so excited when I was talking to her. I was like, “Wow, maybe I could do something like this. This is so much more interesting to me like more of the Internet Marketing, website like personal branding elements like this is so much more interesting to me than talking about how much sugar you’re eating.”
Then, somebody else contacted me about a week later and that was, I was like, “Okay, well maybe there is something in this.” This time, this lady was another health coach and she was kind of asking me for similar support.
So then, I came up with the idea of, okay, I am going to put together a four session package and I called it Blog Breakthrough [chuckle], great name, and I was like, okay, session one was going to be about websites. Session two was about list building… I can’t exactly remember what I covered in each session but it was something like that and I think session four was like promotion and like marketing. And, I put it out to my list and I literally got like 20 clients within a week.
YARO: What was that like? When you said it’s four units like that, was that an online course or were you going to do webinars or was it one-on-one coaching? What was it?
JESSICA: It was one-on-one coaching.
YARO: Okay, so 20 clients, one-on-one coaching, there goes your time, that’s for sure. Can you remember how much you charged for that?
JESSICA: I charged, in the beginning, let me think, I think it was something like $600.
YARO: Like for the whole package, four sessions.
JESSICA: For the whole package.
YARO: Okay, so you just quickly made twelve grand from your first ever coaching launch.
JESSICA: Yes, and I put it up to a thousand pretty quickly after that.
YARO: I can imagine with that much demand.
I can see why you mean the adding the email list was really important from day one because everything has been born from that lesson really, hasn’t it.
Okay so, clearly, you’re thinking, this is something I enjoy more so energetically. I am more motivated to do it. My customers are there and it’s kind of interesting that you found customers for coaching from within an audience that were there to learn about health to begin with. That’s really interesting. It goes to show that there’s always like a marketplace within your existing audience that might not be what they are there for right now and it’s something related like teaching them how you did what you did like right now you probably could do the same thing, “Let me show you how I launched my online e-commerce store.” Like to that same audience because they might want to learn how to launch their own health food shop.
So, it’s always a good case study when you’ve done it yourself, you can then teach how to do it. So, that’s kind of what you’ve done there which is what I do with Blog Mastermind. So, we go in to that process. Everyone goes through it. But, I’m curious, at that point, it does sound to me like the motivation behind everything here was getting something up and running enough to quit your job. We haven’t even talked about that empty feeling you had at the beginning. Did that disappear throughout this whole journey?
YARO: Was it just they disappeared after you found something to be motivated on that wasn’t a job, is that pretty much what happened?
JESSICA: Yes. I think I had a purpose. It’s true. I felt like I am going to work, I was working with large corporations which you don’t really get to see that much of an impact with work that you’re doing.
And then, I felt like with this blog, I was engaging with people and people saying, “Wow, I tried your recipe and it was great,” and like that one-on-one connection I really valued.
That feeling did go away but then, it started to turn into, oh my gosh, like I can’t, it’s getting really hard to get up and go to work and stay.
YARO: [Chuckle] You bet. Just from fatigue, you’d be so tired from e-commerce store, blogging, marketing, then going to do full time job, not to mention just living in Sydney.
So, okay can we go back to getting your first coaching clients? Just to clarify that, did you just send an email with a Paypal link and with a plain text description of what you’re going to coach? Or, did you actually do a proper landing page and then, a series of emails, or was it quite simple?
JESSICA: No, no. It was very simple. It was like basically a Paypal link and then, you could email me if you have any questions.
YARO: SO, it shows how engaged that audience was already. You didn’t need to do extensive marketing. It’s like, “Hey, I’m thinking of doing this. Who wants to do it? Here’s the link.”
JESSICA: Mm-hmm. And some people didn’t pay right away. I think I spoke to a few people in the discovery sessions and people emailing questions. Some people bought right away. But yes, it’s because I had an audience to sell something to.
YARO: Okay, but you’ve never been really a coach before so, how did you kind of… you got 20 people who just paid you $600 for your time, and you hadn’t coached prior to that, have you?
JESSICA: Well, aside from it to help coaching clients, no.
YARO: Right, and they were asking you about basic blog setup and things like that. So now, you’re talking about promotion, email, and a whole bunch of different things, as well. So, how did you learn that considering that’s your main craft today is coaching coaches, right?
JESSICA: Sure, so I mean, obviously, I did Blog Mastermind. That was the first course I ever took. I’ve done B-School with Marie Forleo. I have done that before I launched this offer. So, I’ve done B-School by then, preview like now of what the other coaches and taking other programs. I’m working with Gina Devee privately at the moment, if people know who she is. She is a transformational coach and —
YARO: All the coaches have a coach, right?
JESSICA: Mm-hmm, yes.
YARO: But, it’s safe to say that those first 20 people were really your, I guess, your big learning experience. Is that correct?
JESSICA: Totally yes. I knew this stuff. I’ve always been interested in business and online marketing. So, I felt really confident putting out that offer because It was like, “Well, I know my stuff,” and I’ve been doing this for so long, like well, you know, it felt like I have been doing it like blogging every day for X amount of time and that people like, beginners don’t know that they need to have an email list. They don’t know–
YARO: Or, what to do with it or–
JESSICA: Yes. Like how to even write a newsletter, how to write a blog post, how to promote their articles… People don’t know that. So, I was working with like very beginners and a lot of them were people who wanted to be a blogger, as well. So, they have been following me and I’m like, “Wow, I’m really inspired to start a blog but I don’t know how to start.” So, instead of them taking a course, they worked with me privately. That’s how it all started.
YARO: Okay, so how do you turn this first $12,000 initial 20 person coaching business into a $257,000 first year of coaching business? What changed to get that big?
JESSICA: Sure. That was the $257,000, that wasn’t my first year of doing this full time. So, to back track, after I did my first initial offer of $600, I increased it like quickly to a thousand dollars, so that was for the four sessions, and then, I started to create longer coaching programs, so then, I have like a three-month coaching program and a six-month coaching program.
YARO: That was the one-on-one coaching?
JESSICA: Yes, one-on-one coaching.
I’ve only recently launched that into groups. It’s taking me a while.
YARO: All right.
I can’t do the Math here. How do you take that many people on one-on-one coaching and maintain a full-time employment as well as run the blog and the ecommerce shop?
JESSICA: What did I do? I was doing it like on the weekend. I wouldn’t recommend people do it this way like I went the hard way. I mean, it was only four sessions. So, I think the sessions that were an hour and then, I put them down to 45 minutes. There were only four, so people were done within a month.
YARO: Okay. But then, when you launched a six-month one and it was a 12-month one you said the next one?
JESSICA: Three and a six.
YARO: Okay, and how much did you charge for each of those?
JESSICA: At one stage, I kind of increased it over time but for the longest period of time, it was about a thousand a month.
YARO: I know private coaching, you get on a phone call, you have a chat and you help people. Did you do more than that though? Is it starting to get structured by that point? Because three months or six months is longer, right?
JESSICA: Totally. So, with that, with my three and six months coaching program, the three months coaching program, I had it for a while and then, I dropped it.
So then, I realized that for people to get the results, I was finding they really wanted we needed a longer period of time. So then, for probably about a good three or four months, I was just selling six months private coaching. And so, it was $1000 a month or I think it was 5K if they paid in full.
So, I was doing this, I was selling my six-month coaching program and that was like on the lead up to me quitting my job, so I like launched my six-month coaching program, probably about in January 2014 and I got people into that and then, I quit my job in February.
YARO: Congratulations. It’s only quite recent then, isn’t it?
JESSICA: Yes, it’s been a year and I don’t know, four months or so. Yes.
YARO: It’s a good feeling. Okay so, again, the coaching though with like six months. Did you literally just speak to them like once a week for six months and just keep moving forward? Is that…?
JESSICA: Mm-hmm. I had a program so it was like month one is getting clearer on your niche and ideal clients. Month two is… (Gosh, I can’t really remember what it was). It was like marketing or list building. I had a sales page at this stage and each month, it was clearly outlined what we were going to be covering. This coaching was for people who… It started off around blogging, but then it became apparent. It was like people want more than just… It was like blogging was how I got people in but people really wanted to be able to make money online and be able to work from anywhere, leave their jobs… that type of thing.
YARO: But, you were finding you were attracting a lot of people who want to coach, as well. They like doing one-on-one coaching and things like that. Were they in the range of subject areas too or are they kind of all health coaches?
JESSICA: Yes, because I started off in health, in the beginning, there were a lot of health coaches and fitness coaches and then, over time, they started to get more. So then, life coaches, relationship coaches, self-love coaches, other like online marketing abundance… yes, like all different areas.
YARO: And, you kind of help them come up with their online marketing strategy which included blogging and email marketing. You kind of took what you would have gone through with me right back in the early days and packaged what you learned through your own experience for this sort of health coaches who were coming to you.
Were you still getting all of the sign ups? Because you got to sell a lot of thousand dollar a month coaching programs to make $257,000 in a year, Were all those people coming from still your blogs? We haven’t talked about that transition from LiveHealthySimply to JessicaNazarali.com, right?
JESSICA: Yes, mm-hmm. Cool. So, I released Jessica Nazarali in… (when was it?) It was around the time when I quit my job. I had been like building a website, well, I wasn’t personally building it but I had somebody on it for a couple of months. And, it was released around, yes, February 2014, so I made the transition over and basically, through the whole of last year, I was just telling one-on-one coaching. So, the whole of 2014.
And then, I got to the end of 2014 and I worked out basically, I had made… in 2014 it was like $140,000 from one on-one-coaching and affiliate marketing. There were two main ways of making money in my business but I was like totally tapped out, like as you can imagine, one-on-one coaching, like I think, at the max I had 20 one-on-one clients and like that’s quite a lot and I kind of got through December and I was like oh my gosh, I can’t… and I knew my next step was creating a group program but I had a lot of resistance to doing it because I was like, but you know if somebody takes a group program, what if they take it and they don’t get results like it’s easy with one-on-one coaching because you’re speaking to them each week.
Typically people get like somewhat of a result like an amazing result but, with a course, somebody could take it and get no results at all because they don’t apply the teachings and there’s no accountability. So, I have this big block around that and finally, it worked out. It’s like, “Oh my gosh. I needed to create a course. Otherwise, I am not going to be able to teach a new one.
So, that’s when I created in December Find Your First Paying Coaching Clients and it’s a four-month group coaching program which helps new coaches find their first paying coaching clients and start to make consistent income as a coach. I came up with the idea like early December. I launched it on Christmas Eve and I had $110,000 launch.
YARO: Fantastic. Just for people listening in, if you want to check out JessicaNazarali.com, just to see Jessica’s page, and you can see her private coaching offer and you’re global intensive offer, that’s, I’m guessing what you doing now for your live events, I’m thinking, right?
JESSICA: Yes, mm-hmm.
YARO: So, take us through that launch. When you say a launch, a launch to me is free report or some free videos, two-week time frames, sending a lot of emails, bonuses, doors open, doors close, that sort of thing. Did you do that?
JESSICA: Interesting. So, yes and no. I launched the program, I got some sign ups right away but it was obviously over Christmas and New Year so probably not quite the best time to be launching something, and then, I kept on promoting it in January and so, to answer your question, I was running Facebook ads through a free video series and then, they would get a sequence of email encouraging them to begin, to sign up to the program and I was also offering them a chance to have discovery sessions with me which took up a lot of time. So, I’m working on how to avoid that moving forward.
And so, basically yes, I launched the program, started taking people through it and then, I realized, I didn’t want to close the program. So, I essentially kept it open. So now, it’s basically an ongoing rolling program.
YARO: And, that’s your private coaching four months of one-on-one support program?
JESSICA: No. So, that’s Find Your First Paying Coaching Clients, so it’s a group program.
YARO: Okay, this is on the course. I’m on the wrong tab for you.
YARO: Find Your First Paying Coaching Clients, four months’ group program, lots of pictures of you Jessica over it [laughter]. Well, if they get you involved in the program, then it’s false advertising.
JESSICA: Women like that, Yaro.
YARO: No, I don’t. I don’t have enough photos of me all over my stuff. I’ve got a few though not enough clearly [laughter].
Okay so, that’s and I can see you have a sales page and it’s a fairly long one. Actually it’s a really long one. It’s probably close to as long as mine is. In fact, it might even be longer which is good to see, so you got all these testimonials on it now, you’ve got proof because you’ve been in magazines like Marie Claire and Health and Fitness, so it’s sort of really built up and you really run with it in the last almost two years, really isn’t it, if you’re looking at it.
So, can we take a step briefly into, this is, how do I say this? You’ve been coaching how to coach, born from a completely different, not completely different but somewhat different strategy. You previously were a blogger doing the traditional magazine model / ecommerce model and then, you’ve gone said, “Well, I don’t like the subject enough to keep doing that,” and obviously, I know from experience too, it’s a model way like you have to do what you were doing, five posts a day, constantly covering everything to do with the news and so on around that subject, and then, you go, well, I can coach people and I know this, I get paid really well, I love the subject more, I love talking about the business aspect, obviously you’re not just a business and then, you sort of turn this around to a quarter million dollar a year coaching practice, which is pretty impressive considering you didn’t have a whole lot of coaching experience prior to that. A lot of people go through years of getting coached how to coach and they get a few clients at $50 an hour and are sort of struggling.
But you jumped straight away into $1000 a month packages, $5000 for six months packages… things like that. So, you really have to get some strong rapport and really demonstrate a connection with people. So, I’m really curious about the marketing of you as a coach now because your old health blog is not even on anymore. You turned that off.
So, how have you grown to the point where you can… Well, how do you market yourself now as a coach to other coaches? What’s today’s strategy in terms of how you’re growing your business?
JESSICA: Sure. So, I am very consistent with my email marketing and because I blog so often like five days a week for nearly two years, I now love writing. I love writing my newsletters and my [unclear] so I send out, people would get for me if they’re on my list, probably about three email communications with me a week. I know some people are sending me emails once a week. I’ve kind of been taught and what’s worked really well for me is emailing more.
So, I send out three email communications a week. I do a lot of, I guess you can call them webinars and preview calls. Sometimes, I have slides and sometimes I don’t where I talk about different topics and areas and then, from that, I’ll invite people into my programs.
So, I probably do at least one webinar / preview call a month, maybe even two. I have a private Facebook group which I use for marketing, so there’s about two-and-a-half thousand women in that group and it’s a free group. Anyone can be in there. This kind of rolls around when other people can promote but that has been a really great way to just engage with people in a different way because I find people buy from your email list, but in this Facebook group, like if people are on my list and they are in the Facebook group, kind of like they are getting a double whammy from me, and so on my newsletter list, I have each week in my newsletter, I have a section that’s like stay in the conversation, have you liked my Facebook page? Are you in my Facebook group? That’s just another way to interact with people as well, and I also run Facebook ads.
YARO: Well, I was going to ask you that. So, is Facebook ads your primary exposure point for new people today?
JESSICA: Yes, definitely. Like this year, it’s totally changed my business. This year, my lowest month in income has been $40,000. I’ve had like 50, 60 and higher months and because of that, it’s really been from Facebook ads like getting more new people in front of what I’m doing.
I resisted Facebook ads for a long time, but yes, it’s been like a huge game changer.
YARO: Right. And, are these people, when you make fifty grand a month, are they coming from Find Your First Coaching Clients course? Or, is it sort of spread?
JESSICA: Yes, mm-hmm. That’s my flagship program. I also have another course which is The Next It Girl Coach, so it’s all about personal branding, marketing, website set up, kind of what I used to do in my blog coaching before. I put that into a six-week course. And so, I have that course and it’s $500. I also have a $97 downloadable product which is called Your First Leap. That is to help people who are in a job, kind of the get the first steps in place to start their coaching business, and I also have an e-book which is called Leaping from the Ladder, How to Go from Corporate Career Girl to Coaching Queen, and that is $10, and then, I have one-on-one coaching, but I’m really, (you’ll probably approve of these things), I’m really trying to get away from the one-on-one coaching and I’m learning now that I am travelling so much that it’s yes, it’s just difficult to be doing a lot of it.
So, I have at the moment probably about eight one-on-one clients and I am not looking, like if somebody comes to me and are a great fit, amazing but I am not marketing it at all.
YARO: Okay. Good. Got a great snapshot of where you are today and that’s fantastic. It sounds like you’ve kind of really been on a journey, I hate to sound cliché but the Entrepreneurs’ Journey here, you’ve kind of gone from employed, really hustling with your husband to running a blog, e-commerce shop, and then, getting into coaching and sort of realizing that that’s where you want to spend your time and really doing what I think a lot of coaches do at the beginning. I mean, maybe you missed the struggle to get clients phase, which I think some coaches go through. I know you help people with that. You went straight to the I’ve got tons of clients because you had your existing platform in place, then you’ve gone and taken on almost too many one-on-one coaches and start to move towards group programs and more passive delivery of content programs, which it was obviously fantastic, and now, you’re at that stage where you kind of get to pick and choose when you do and what you and where you do it, which is the ultimate goal.
So, thank you for sharing the whole process.
JESSICA: You’re welcome.
YARO: I’d love to end this with our last couple minutes here, for people listening to this who are let’s stick with your specially with the coaching, since I think coaching, I actually tell my bloggers today in the very current version of Blog Mastermind to actually start not a coaching practice as much as do five to ten private coaching or something directly with your clients, whether it’s freelancing, consulting, or coaching just to learn more about the audience and what they want and get that empathy.
Let me take a step further than that though, if you today, for a person listening in who is interested in a full time coaching practice, I suspect for most people, there’s kind of two things that they struggle with that you can maybe speak to. One is, well, I don’t think I’ll ever get any clients because it’s hard. Marketing is hard and also, I just don’t feel confident enough for people to pay me for my advice. So, how do you deal with those two issues?
JESSICA: Great question. When it comes to finding clients, the best way to overcome that is just to really sense what you sell out there and start to market, take a course, take a program and learn how you can strategically market yourself to your ideal clients.
The great news is, if you start off coaching, and I recommend with my clients that they do start off by taking some one-on-one clients to get the experience and because it is kind of a nice cash injection as well, you probably don’t need to get started with, like if your goal is to make, I don’t know $5000 a month so you can put your job, well, maybe it’s like $3000 or whatever, if you don’t need that many one-on-one clients to hit that goal, if your price is around a certain price point.
So, it’s kind of getting into reality of okay, well, how many clients do I actually need because you can freak out and go, “Oh my gosh! How am I going to find clients?” Think about how many clients you actually want. I recommend don’t have any more than, let’s say, ten one-on-one clients. So, are there ten people out there that need your products and services and are willing to pay you for it out of the how many billion people in the world? Like yes, the chances are yes.
So, having that mindset switch and actually going and learning the marketing strategies and tactics is going to be really useful for you.
Sorry, your second question?
YARO: Yes, so one is traffic and one is to believe that people pay you money for coaching.
JESSICA: The belief that people pay you money for coaching. Well, do your target market research. Find your ideal clients and ask them like what are they willing to pay for your services? Like, and I mean in some industries, it may be that they don’t want one-on-one coaching. They want more of the information product or program at a lower price point. And, it’s fine if you know that. And then, you just adjust your business model accordingly.
I think you need to definitely do your target market research to make sure that, yes, people, there is a market for what you are offering and people are willing to pay for it. And, if there is, and if there’s other people already offering similar products and services, always look at them for inspiration. It’s like, “Wow, if she’s doing that or he’s doing it, why can’t I?” And they may be some personal beliefs that you need to move past to be able to charge what you want to charge but, just really commit to doing whatever you need to do like personal development wise so you can go out there and charge what you desire to charge.
And, I also will say there’s nothing wrong with offering somebody complimentary package to get started with or okay ideally, I’d like to be charging this, but to get started with, this is my introductory rate, so I gain some confidence. There’s nothing wrong with doing that at all.
YARO: Awesome. All right, so Jessica, where should you direct people to today? I’m assuming it’s JessicaNazarali.com?
JESSICA: Yes, that’s correct.
YARO: Okay, so that’s N-A-Z-A-R-A-L-I at the end of Jessica and of course, there’ll be a link in the show notes so you don’t have to remember how to spell that one.
Awesome. So, Jessica, thank you for coming on the show. I’m glad to have been a small part of the beginning of your process towards what you do and incredible success there you’re having. So, congratulations.
JESSICA: Thank you.
YARO: That’s it. Anything else you want to throw out there to everyone before I wrap it up?
JESSICA: No. I just want to say that it’s been a real honor to be on the podcast today, and it was funny when I was actually listening to your recordings in Blog Mastermind, I remember you had a guest on one of the recordings and was sharing their journey. I remember I had a thought, it was like, “Oh wow, one day maybe Yaro will interview me,” and you have so, thank you.
YARO: Tick a box, bucket list.
That’s awesome. All right well, thank you Jessica for sharing the story. For people listening in, you can find the show notes to go along with Jessica’s episode on my blog as always and the transcript will be there eventually too, and of course, you can get the show on iTunes and Stitcher and everywhere else on the Internet where these things show up.
So, do that. That’s pretty much it. Thank you, Jessica for joining me today. Thanks everyone for listening in. You’ve been listening to the Entrepreneurs’ Journey podcast and I’ll catch you again very soon. Bye.
So, there you have that interview with Jessica. I hope you’re feeling inspired to possibly add some private coaching or some kind of coaching component to what you do online. It’s a great starting point, a great way to learn about your marketplace and a great way to make significant income too as you can see with Jessica’s story.
Before I go, I’d like to invite you again to my interviewsclub.com email newsletter for the EJ podcast. You go to interviewsclub.com. You’ll be redirected back to my blog to the page where you can sign up for the EJ podcast and I’ll send you my latest interviews like this one with Jessica as well as my best interviews in a regular ongoing series. That’s interviewsclub.com.
That’s it for me. My name is Yaro Starak. You know where to go. You can google my name –Y-A-R-O — to find my blog, my podcast and everything I do online. I will speak to you again in the next EJ podcast. Thanks for listening, goodbye.
About Yaro Starak
Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.