The Freedom Plan: Building A Lifestyle Business w/ Natalie Sisson

We all have people we follow, people we admire, and people we model. For me, one of those influencers is Natalie Sisson, the Suitcase Entrepreneur.

Natalie has built a multi six-figure lifestyle business that allows her to travel the world and work from anywhere.

And guess what she uses as foundation:

Her website is built on WordPress.

She sells her online products through WordPress.

Since day 1 of my online business I’m reading her blog and her Blog Challenge helped me understand how blogging works.

You know that I’m a big fan of building relationships with influencers like Natalie and now I’m proud to call her a friend.

Just yesterday I interviewed her and grilled her on how she built her ravingly successful online business, and how you can do the same.

I got her to share the exact steps you can follow to build your online business.

Enjoy!

Natalie released a free 3-part video series, which we mention during the interview.

It teaches you the essentials of building a lifestyle business, you can find the link in the resources section below.

If you don’t have the time to spend the almost 40 minutes to watch this interview, here’s a brief summary.

(Definitely check out the 3-part video series!).

———

Resources mentioned during the interview:

Why did Natalie say this interview is worth $1,000?

In the interview she says exactly that. Yes, she and I both look great, but that can’t be it 😉

The reason, that I got her to share the exact steps you can take to build a lifestyle business and experience true freedom.

Let’s dive right into it:

Designing Your Lifestyle

Natalie is BIG about lifestyle design. Really big.

She has no home, travels all around the world, and works from anywhere.

And that’s because she designed her business to sustain that lifestyle. (Guess why it's called lifestyle business)

But if you’re more like me, you like to work from home and don’t travel the world.

I just moved into the house of my girlfriend. We have two dogs and two horses, so being abroad for weeks isn’t really an option.

Yet, my business is designed so that I can work from home on a flexible schedule.

See these two different ways to run a business?

That’s exactly Natalie’s approach. Her way of building lifestyle businesses allows you to create the exact lifestyle you want.

The first step when building a lifestyle business is to actually design your lifestyle.

Here are a few questions to get you thinking:

  • Do you want to travel the world or just work from home?
  • How many hours a day do you want to work?
  • Do you like management a team of employees or would you rather run your business on your own?
  • What personal goals do you have that your business can help you achieve?

These are just four questions to get you thinking about your ideal lifestyle.

It’s different for everyone, there’s no wrong or right. Just get creative and be honest with yourself.

Finding Your Niche

After you got clear about the lifestyle you want to live, it’s time to create your business strategy.

What you can learn from Natalie’s experiences (and mine too):

Natalie and I both made the mistakes of not niching down. We tried to serve a too large audience.

In Natalie’s case it was female entrepreneurs. In my case it was aspiring online entrepreneurs.

The problem with those “niches” is, that our marketing wasn’t specific enough.

Thus it didn’t resonate with anybody. People loved what we did, but our businesses didn’t get traction.

The more you niche down, the better your marketing will resonate with your target audience.

You can never narrow down your target market enough. - Natalie Sisson

Use this exercise to define your niche:

Find the intersection of these three things:

  • Things you enjoy doing
  • Things you’re good at
  • Things people would pay you for

Hint: things that come naturally to you are struggles for others and make up a great starting point.

Building Your Online Presence

The next step after niching down is actually building your online presence.

Set up a simple WordPress website and start producing content for your target audience.

Natalie’s recommendation here is very similar to what Dan Norris or Jason Cohen say:

Just get a nice looking theme, install basic plugins, and focus on content creation.

Stop obsessing about themes and plugins. Pick a premium theme that looks great out of the box and go with it.

In the early stages it’s not about having the perfect design (which doesn’t exist anyways).

You need to build a relationship to your audience by producing content consistently.

Once you do that, people will start telling you how to grow your business.

You’ll hear things like:

I have problem XYZ and I don’t know how to solve it.

I’d love to achieve XYZ but I don’t know how.

I’m looking for XYZ and I don’t know where to find it.

In Natalie’s case people even asked her what they could buy from her, because her content is that good.

Here’s how to get a head start:

Making Your First Dollar Online

You might wonder what you have, know, or can do that others pay you for:

Let your content show you what your audience is most interested in.

You should see from blog comments, traffic, or direct responses which topics resonate most with your readers or listeners.

Create a product or service around the topic that gets the most traction.

Solve a problem, enhance people’s lives, make their world a better place.

Be aware though, that this is where things really get tough. Natalie and I both are no friends of sugarcoating.

Asking for the sale is uncomfortable, because you’re not used to it (despite you worked as sales person).

Offering a product or service that will hit 4 or even 5 figures in the first try is very unlikely (although it just might happen to you).

But you learn as you go and by improving your offer over and over again, you’ll see sales and revenue increase.

This was just a brief summary of the 40 minute interview. It’s packed with golden nuggets for those of you who want to use WordPress to build online businesses.

If you’re really serious about lifestyle design and online business, you can’t go wrong by getting Natalie’s 3-part video training which is linked in the resources section above.

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Jan Koch

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