The Secret Ingredient for a Successful Online Business

You want to build an online business so you can finally experience freedom, ease, and abundance most lifestyle entrepreneurs dream of. With all the success stories out there of entrepreneurs reaching 6 figures in 6 months… you’d think it would be a piece of cake, right?

Not quite.

It just doesn’t make sense! You created your website. You started blogging. You’ve been sending out newsletters and submitting a few guest posts and posting multiple times a day on social media.

Even though you’ve been doing ALL THE THINGS, implementing all the online marketing strategies the so-called ‘experts’ insist are the secret to their explosive business growth… you deep down know that something is missing.

You might even think that there is some top secret online marketing trick you just haven’t learned yet – so you start obsessively watching webinars on Facebook Ads or SEO or whatever the techy tactic du jour might be.

You’ve downloaded everyone’s free e-book. You’ve spent hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars on info products promising that your answers are in gaining thousands of Instagram followers.

But despite all your hard work trying every idea under the sun… you feel like you’re exactly where you started (with a much lighter wallet).

Is there some secret that everyone but you seems to know about?

After coaching thousands of heart-centered entrepreneurs over the last 8 years… there is one thing I know without a doubt.

The difference between entrepreneurs whose businesses take off and those who just putter along isn’t about which high-tech online marketing strategy they’ve mastered. In fact – it’s the exact opposite.

The secret to the most successful online entrepreneurs is understanding the importance of High-Touch vs. High-Tech.

When you start to look under the hood of a successful entrepreneur’s journey… one thing that always stands out to me isn’t the technology – it’s the relationships.

[clickToTweet tweet=”It’s not what you know – it’s who you know!” quote=”It’s not what you know – it’s who you know!” theme=”style2″]

Here are some of my favorite ways to start bringing more high-touch into your online business so that you can create more impact (and yes – more income)!

1: People are the HEART of your business!

Too many people struggle to get up and running in their online business because they don’t truly understand the needs and desires of their dream client.

You might be thinking… “but I created a Customer Avatar! I did worksheets! I know all about my dream client!”

But have you actually TALKED with the people you want to serve? Have you actually asked them what they are struggling with… then scratched beneath the surface to hear more about what’s REALLY going on? How that’s truly impacting their life? What the underlying fears or limiting beliefs might be?

This is why I always recommend working 1×1 before attempting to launch a group coaching or online program. In fact – if you haven’t talked to 100 real live people yet – I’d go as far to say that you’re not ready to launch a big online program.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Want your biz to take off? Talk to 100 people before launching your next program!” quote=”Want your biz to take off? Talk to 100 people before launching your next program!” theme=”style2″]

Keep in mind – this isn’t 100 sales calls. If you have a script in front of you describing you and your offerings, you’re not having a real heart-centered conversation. These calls are an opportunity to ask strategic questions like:

  1. What is your biggest frustration/challenge with [insert your topic]?
  2. What’s the worst part about that?
  3. What would change if you could overcome this challenge? What would you do/have/experience that you can’t right now?

You will be amazed how much insight you’ll glean from a 30-minute conversation where the goal isn’t to sell yourself – but to deeply understand the needs and desires of an actual PERSON.

(You’ll also be amazed how many of those people will be ready to work with you and hear more about what you offer once you’ve extended the courtesy of LISTENING)

If you really want to understand the people you’re here to serve – then working 1×1 is the best focus group for any online program. Bonus: It is nearly ALWAYS the fastest path to creating stability and sustainability into your online business.

A lot of people in the online space resist that because they think that the best way to make money right away is to start an online program. The truth? Unless you have an email list of 5,000 – 10,000 people with a 50% or higher open rate {and yes – what I just described is a unicorn considering average open rates for lists that size hover around 20%}, only 1-2% of your email subscribers are going to sign up for your program.

Run the numbers – for most of us, it’s just not possible to generate a liveable income from your first group program unless you’ve got the community size to back it up.

But the secret shortcut to getting clients despite a small list? An actual real live conversation.

(In fact, if you’re ready to boost sales of nearly any offering or service, just creating an live opportunity to connect with your community will increase your enrollments).

When I was coming back from maternity leave and ready to grow my business from referral only to online business, I had only 100 people on my email list. I knew that 50 or 60 of them were reading my newsletter every week.

By simply opening up one day a week for free consults (and promoting it several times via email + social media), I was able to get 20 people on the phone and effortlessly accept a handful of private coaching clients, which brought in the cash flow for at least six months until I could get my program up and running.

Ask Yourself: Are you creating opportunities to talk WITH your community?

2: The Fastest Way to Grow Your Community? Other Communities!

At the end of the day, developing real relationships will drive your business growth faster than the latest social media strategy. Use those high-tech strategies… then take it high-touch!

Online marketing strategies are fantastic to grow your biz but creating opportunities for real conversations will accelerate the process faster than dozens of emails or months of social media strategy.

A practice that I’ve had for the last five or six years has been to set up weekly Skype dates to get to know other like-hearted entrepreneurs. There are so many entrepreneurs who I think are interesting and doing work that I respect and want to know more about what they are up to in the world.

It seems like such a small practice – but think about this: Over the course of 1 year, you’ll end up meeting 50 new people. Over a few years, suddenly hundreds of conversations have been the catalyst to meeting your next business BFFs, potential collaborators, or promotional partners.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Wanna accelerate your biz? Make time for a weekly #bizbff date!” quote=”Wanna accelerate your biz? Make time for a weekly #bizbff date!” theme=”style2″]

Those conversations don’t have to be very long to make a big impact. In fact – this is how I originally met my friend Nathalie Lussier. Several years ago, another biz friend had connected us and we had a Skype call to get to know each other and learn what we were each up to in our businesses.


Nathalie was living in New York City and ran into a yoga teacher who was looking for a business coach at a local women’s entrepreneur event. She referred her my way and that teacher became one of my absolute BEST private clients ever.

Fast forward a few years later, and a simple email update to Nathalie letting her know what was up in my world and asking about what she was working on led to an invitation to speak at her event Off The Charts Live!

This isn’t the only time this has happened either:

A conversation with Amy Porterfield led to her featuring my business as a case study on her live webinars and her joining me for a live streaming virtual event.


A conversation with Natasha Vorompiova led to an introduction to Carrie Green of the Female Entrepreneur Association… which led to this interview then an invitation to be a featured expert for the FEA Members Club.

I’ve had so many times like that with so many other people where just because they knew who I was and they knew what I did, they put the right connection in front of me. They sent me the right person. They did the right introduction. They featured my business in front of their communities. Those things will get you so much further than trying to just slog through this entrepreneur thing completely on your own.

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Your business grows at the speed of your relationships.’ via @Todd_Herman” quote=”‘Your business grows at the speed of your relationships.’ – Todd Herman” theme=”style2″]

Ask Yourself: Are you building relationships with like-minded colleagues?

3: Mastermind with Like-Hearted Entrepreneurs – STAT!

The number one mistake I see from new online entrepreneurs? Changing focus to fast and too often instead of really allowing that idea to gain traction.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Shiny object syndrome + fear of missing out = a hot mess in your biz!” quote=”Shiny object syndrome + fear of missing out = a hot mess in your biz!” theme=”style2″]

You have to stay focused. And the best way to stay focused as an entrepreneur is to have someone who really understands what you’re trying to achieve and will hold you accountable to it.

If you can have some support system in place — that could be a coach, a mastermind buddy, an accountability partner — you’ll have a fresh set of eyes on your biz who call you out when you’re losing focus and help you stay on track.

And it doesn’t mean you’ve gotta invest $20K into a high-end mastermind. In fact, I’ve invested literally 10s of thousands of dollars into coaching and paid masterminds, but the one that’s always made the biggest impact for me has been a group of about four women – we call it our DIY Mastermind – that gets together every quarter for a long weekend to support one another.

We have been together so long. We know each other’s businesses so well. We know our strengths so well that we’re able to give each other real candid advice and feedback, whereas sometimes if you do a one-off coaching session, they’re going to give you a tip or trick or tactic. They’re not going to really see what you’re trying to accomplish or know you well enough to help you stay focused. That’s been one of my absolute go-to things that I’ve created for more behind the scenes in my business that helps keep me moving forward and consistently growing my business.

If you’re ready to shave years off your entrepreneurial journey – finding ways to be high-touch in a high-tech world will set you head and shoulders above the competition.

Ask Yourself: Do you have a Biz BFF or Mastermind helping you stay accountable?

Talk To Me! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below – what are your favorite High TOUCH business strategies?

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