This is a follow up story for Leader Connecting Leaders. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 4 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hi, my name is Jodi Carlson I currently run the blog Leader Connecting Leaders, and recently in 2020 started a sister blog Mom Connecting Moms which is also my brand I am working on launching physical products from.
I currently bring in between 5000 and 8000 a month before expenses and paying contractors. Over the past 8 years, I have credited my success with collaborating well with others, offering to promote their business and material vs trying to sell my own. Everyone learns how to blog manual says charge people to promote them, charge for sponsored posts, use your readers to prove you are worth earning money from other businesses. I have never done a Sponsored post but have dozens of people I have promoted and shared their products with my readers. Sometimes sure I have an affiliate link so if someone purchased from them I get a commission, but there have been several times I just really thought the product or service they had would benefit my readers.
I have a few blog posts to this day 3 years later that get some of the most traffic of all my posts and I don’t make a dime from the post itself, but the traffic coming in brings me, new readers, new subscribers, which often lead to wow this person has great ideas, I will purchase one of their booklets. I love what I do and the people I have meant along the way. Financially 2020 stayed pretty consistent in net profit from 2019 but the difference is I have grown in projects I am currently pursuing. Which I discuss further down in the interview.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
Covid took a hit on my printable booklet business for Scout leaders. Which made me realize I needed to try some different things. Here is what I have been up to this past year;
Started a sister site to inspire moms and kids - momconnectingmoms.com
Been building up a mailing list and product line
Started outsourcing my blog writing needs - the blog writing was taking up a lot of my time so have been able to get freelancers to write a majority of the blog posts and then I just come in at the end and add my personal touch to them.
Started digging into Youtube and how it could be another source of income - still early here.
Working on 2 new larger printable booklets - camping wide series and a challenging book for STEM activities. They will be released in early summer.
Started a Facebook Group for Leader Connecting Leaders - it has been challenging to collaborate with others on a page so took a leap and started a group we are 700+ strong already and it's only been a month.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Don’t rush! So I was eager to get my first physical product out the door so thought cool do this as quick as possible. Well, I started in October 2020 and didn’t launch till April 2021. Why? Well, it wasn’t for the lack of trying but because I rushed after samples I didn’t ask for additional samples when I had some changes made. That was a mistake because not only did they ship pillow coverings that were wrong color and wrong spelling, but they then got lost in the mail and took 2 months to get here to find out they were wrong. So had to scrap the sets and sell single from my garage and still got 100 sets left that are 3 sets or 2 sets.
Sure some will hit it rich quick but for many, it's a trial and error game.
I started a Etsy shop as well with my new brand so if you are interested in smaller sets of Sunflower inspiration that is where they live.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Currently, I am in the process of building up my sister website mom connecting moms. I have focused the last 5 years on scout leaders specifically girl scout leaders but I am so much more than just an expert at inspiring girls. I have a young boy of my own and every day we are exploring and doing new things that remind me so much of the work I do with my other website.
I started it during the lockdown in 2020, with this new brand I am also starting to branch out into physical products. I want to not only inspire kids to be good humans by guiding and teaching them to be friendly, caring, and respectful to others. Also to teach them to be creative to be big thinkers and to dream big. Along with inspiring kids I am working on a line of products to inspire moms my first product has officially been released to Amazon. We want moms to know they can be the sunshine, and that they are my sunshine with this 4 piece sunflower pillow cover set. In the next 5 years I hope to work on creating affirmation products for kids, more inspiring products moms will love, and continue to build up my printable collection of resources both for leaders on Leader Connecting Leaders, and resources moms would love to use with their kids on Mom Connecting Moms
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I just finished reading 12 months to millionaire It sure gave me a lot of motivation to keep trying new things and creating a physical product to sell.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Don’t read the blogs and books that say 12 months to a million or 3 months I was making 6 figures. Read them for inspiration to give you motivation not to give up, but don’t bank on the thought your journey will lead you to a million that quick. Sure some will hit it rich quickly but for many, it's a trial and error game. I have tried many different things some go great others crash and burn. But I learn something new every time.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
I am always looking to work with other professionals that have skills that relate to one of the badges Girl Scouts have to offer. I create booklets to make earning badges easier, when I can collaborate with someone that has more skills than I on a topic it allows me to not only promote other people businesses it is also an opportunity to make a booklet that provides even more value and I offer commissions on booklets sold.
Where can we go to learn more?
- Mom Connecting Moms
- Leader Connecting Leaders
- Facebook Group Leader Connecting Scout Leader
- Facebook - Mom Connecting Moms
- Facebook - Leader Connecting Leaders
- Feel free to email me anytime at [email protected] I would love to collaborate with you. There are very few topics that don’t translate to a badge a scout can earn!
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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