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Entrepreneur Trudy Rankin on How to Start Your Own Online Business: The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 71

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Thinking about starting your own online business but don’t know where to start?

In this episode of the ROI Online Podcast, director & founder of West Island Digital Trudy Rankin shares why potential entrepreneurs like you can sometimes struggle. Shifting from employee to business owner isn’t always easy, but Trudy will help you come up with the right direction for your business and fulfill those dreams.

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West Island Digital—and Trudy in particular—helps you find technology solutions that best fit your business, no matter your needs. They keep up with the rapidly changing online world so you don’t have to.

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In entrepreneurship, bumps in the road can become mountains that set us back for days, weeks, or even months. Having the right framework, skills and tools can make these bumps disappear, so you maintain your momentum and thrive in your business.

Among other things, Trudy and Steve discussed:

  • The creation of West Island Digital and client success stories 
  • The process of identifying who your audience is 
  • Why matching your business with your personality can make your business more successful
  • The Online Business Lift-off program
  • Different types of business models so you can choose the perfect match for what you want to do
  • Trudy’s framework to creating your online business from scratch in a less intimidating way
  • How technology can be overwhelming and ways to get past that bump
  • Turning data into stories to save time and money


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Also available wherever else you get your podcasts.

You can learn more about Trudy here:
https://www.westislanddigital.com/

Follow Trudy on LinkedIn 

You can learn more about the Online Business Lift-off here:
https://onlinebusinessliftoff.com/

Read the books mentioned in this podcast:
The Golden Toilet by Steve Brown


Enroll in the QuickStart Academy today to learn how to develop and implement a proven growth strategy that grows your ROI, your business, and your confidence. Learn more HERE.

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Topics: Marketing, Podcasts

Trudy Rankin: 

So becomes this really lovely, cyclical thing where we help people create knowledge that gets turned into a masterclass, that then helps people in our community, grow their business. And then the people who we've collaborated with to create that master class can take that masterclass webinar, and use it to serve their customers that's popped up on their website, it becomes a beautiful lead magnet, or it becomes an evergreen webinar that they can charge for. It just works really well as a concept. But it's all built around the idea that you need to understand where people are, and then give them an aha moment that helps them move forward. You use the data that you collect to make decisions about what you're going to do, so you end up saving yourself a lot of time and effort and waste that, you stop yourself from wasting energy.

Steve Brown: 

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI Online Podcast where we believe you, the courageous entrepreneurs of our day, are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown and this is a place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together. Trudy Rankin Welcome to the ROI Online Podcast.

Trudy Rankin: 

Thanks for having me, Steve.

Steve Brown: 

So, Trudy, you're coming to us today from Australia, your company is West Island Digital. But I think that you're hanging out in an area that a lot of people are trying to figure out on their own. What value they can start to get cobbled together and start connecting with people? And that's exactly what you do, right?

Trudy Rankin: 

Yes, we work with a lot of people who, well, we tend to work with people who are slightly older. So they might have missed out on bits of the digital expansion, emerging digital tools and technology. And they're just not quite sure what to do just to get started. They've got lots of real world experience, but around the tech stuff a little bit uncertain.

Steve Brown: 

Yeah, I find that there's a lot of people that are like at a point in their career where they're starting to think about whether they're going to retire, or what are they going to start doing. And they're very curious about this online stuff. In one case, I helped a gentleman get, he writes stories, but now he's reading them, and he's posting them on Anchor. And I think this is a great example of what you're doing, you're helping them figure out that the value that they have is universal. And it'll always be but we have to figure out a way to put it in some format of the technology of our day.

Trudy Rankin: 

Yes, absolutely. And there's an extra little bit to it, too, though, I think that a lot of the the courses and the trainings and things out there tend often to ignore. And that is that whatever it is you decide to do online, in terms of your real world experience and things is that you've actually got to pay attention to your personality, you need to match your business model, your online business model needs to match your personality and how you like to do things and how you like to work with people. How comfortable you are working with people, and how much energy you get from working with people. So because there's different ways you can shape your business model to actually use who you are and how you interact as a real strength. But if you ignore it, and you get it cross hatched, if you want to call it that, then you can often you can just burn yourself out.

Steve Brown: 

I love that point because, you know, most people, I ran into this person, he's part of a band. And I was watching one of his band members do a, he plays the bass and he was showing people have to learn bass, but his process to learn is first you imitate, then while you're imitating you assimilate, and then you start to land into an area where you can create. And I think that's what you're helping people do. Wrong?

Trudy Rankin: 

Yeah, no, that's right, and one of the things that we sort of add on to that too, a little bit is that you watch somebody do something to learn how to do it, you try it yourself, and then you teach somebody how to do it, and it helps him get the learning. So in our community, we have a community of four people who have got lots of real world experience and want to have some help with with getting online. It basically we have a community and just being part of that community, those people who have that experience can just come in and use to help support other people, which I think is really good, good way of doing it.

Steve Brown: 

I agree. But the thing that's assumed in that conversation is that you know who you want to serve. And there's a whole process of identifying that, correct?

Trudy Rankin: 

Yeah, there absolutely is. And I know you've got, you know, you've got lots of information and knowledge about that, but we, with our community, you know, we have a specific process that we use, where we look first at personality, passion, experience, life experience, including heart experiences that you've lived through, and you've managed to survive. Figuring out how you manage to survive can often bring you to the point where you can go well, alright, now, what kind of problems are there around me, that I would really like to be able to help solve, or I'd like to make a difference for and sometimes they'll go, the problem is this big, there's no way I could do anything about that, you can always chunk it down to something small. And by focusing that on that problem, and then using lots of techniques, like keyword research and doing online research, you can then quantify what that problem is, and use that information to then figure out who it actually is that you do want to work with, who you do want to help, because everybody has a bit of a preference as to the type of people they want to work with age, you know, all the different demographic types of criteria that you use to decide. So it's really useful, it's useful to have a process to be able to think through that. And using that process helps people go from a point of feeling like, I don't have anything that I can offer to people, there's what can I do, I'm nothing special, to realize that it doesn't matter who they are, they've got life experience, they've got skills that they've had to accrue just by living that they can use to help other people. So I don't think we mentioned but we you know, we do work with people who are older, but we also work with people who, for whom they just don't suit a traditional nine to five job mauled. And they need an alternative, they need an alternative to just the way that society tends to work around jobs and careers. And by, because of that, we do tend to work a lot with people who are carers. So they're people who have spent their entire, you know, working life, instead of working in a paid job accruing career experience, they've been at home looking after somebody who's got a severe disability or illness or sickness. And when it comes time for them to either, you know, try to look for a job, or they need to look for a job, or they desperately just need a break from their job. It's almost impossible to find any traditional job that's going to fit their needs timewise. or to even allow them to get, they haven't had the chance to get the experience they need to get the job. So by focusing on what they've already crude, it allows them to get over that lack of confidence that they've got nothing to offer.

Steve Brown: 

Yeah, when you think about it, so we'll get on YouTube, and we'll watch someone maybe regularly they have a cooking show, or they do some hobby that we just really enjoy watching. But if you stop for a second and and back out and go, alright, this person has created a brand based on their past. And over their timeline, they created the talent stack. And then they decided, you know, I'm going to package this and brand it and I'm going to distribute it. These are the folks that you're talking about that they don't need reach millions of people, but there are, there's an audience that they could really be impactful with.

Trudy Rankin: 

Yeah, no, absolutely. And you know, what it's been interesting, because our, you know, the work that I've been doing, you know, it's been a bit of a journey. I just for your listeners, they probably don't know, but I originally started work on our signature program, which is the Online Business Liftoff Program, which is a very intensive three month program that takes you from absolutely no idea to having an online business in the platform that you need your website and those things to get started growing. But we started that or I started that way back in 2016. And in fact, a little bit before that, when I actually met, I was looking for an intern to join my business. I had just recently started my own online business. And I actually was working with Vision Australia. Vision Australia is a not for profit organization. It works for people who are blind or partially sighted and I went there because I knew the CEO and I just went and talked to them about the chance, you know, maybe I could find somebody in there, an intern, you know, they have a, they try to help people find employment. And I went and talk to them. And I found a young man who was interested in an internship. And I started working with him, he had some writing skills and he had, he's partially sighted he could see just he could see just enough to read if it's held it right up close to his face. And he loved writing. And he had wanted to find a job since he'd gotten out of high school. He went all the way through getting a master's degree in writing, because he just couldn't get a job. So we just kept working on his skills. And finally, just out of sheer desperation, and boredom, he started writing a blog. And he wrote, you know, he had by the time I met him, he'd written a number of blog posts. And I asked him, you know, how many people are coming to your website on a monthly basis? And he said somewhere around 1000? Then I went, Oh, that's actually quite a lot of people for the types of things that he was writing about. And I said, Well, how are you? How are you monetizing that? And he said, what does that mean? I didn't know you can make money from that. And it just went from there. I helped him, I helped to figure out how to monetize it. He now has an online business where he buys and sells antiques, and he does them up. And he creates videos of him doing his antiques and stuff. So but I took that I took that realization that the world, the internet world could help people like that, actually have a different perspective. And then I went and talked to the CEO of Vision Australia, and said, let's do this for more people, we did it for more people. And then we turned it into a program that focuses on just doing that, giving people other ideas and opportunities for doing stuff. And just that process has allowed us to see very deeply the different needs of the different groups of people who like I said, don't actually fit the nine to five mold. And they're all slightly different. But the desires are the same. The desire for financial stability, the desire to make a difference in society, the desire to have something to do that makes them feel valued. And just because even if I just come back to to Shanahan, who was the young man that I was working with, when he started earning his own money, just the way it changed the family dynamics, and how he worked with his parents, was actually quite significant. Like he had a good family, you know, great family, great parents, but just it just changed the dynamic, he became more adult, and it just leveled things out just a little bit. It's just kind of interesting dynamic.

Steve Brown: 

To think about that what you're doing is, we have a lot of people that do have something of value to offer, but they talk themselves out of it. Or maybe they're intimidated by the steps that they need to, or maybe they don't know the steps even, that they can start to process and walk their way into something that's uniquely them, and very valuable to an audience that would really appreciate it.

Trudy Rankin: 

Yes. Yeah. And that's part of the fun part is, is introducing people to the different types of business models, because we basically, we've got a bit of a framework around that, because there's so many different ways that you can earn money using the internet. And you can combine them, layer them, whatever. I'm sure you that you and your listeners know what I'm talking about. But for people who haven't been introduced to that I haven't thought about it that way, and actually creates quite an aha moment where they go, Oh, oh, actually, I can do that. And then they take that knowledge about the business models. And you combine it with your personality, thinking that you've done about your personality, and then you able, and the problem that you've been thinking about, and you do a bit of a triangulation to come up with your preferred problem that you want to help solve and your preferred products and how you want to help actually want to help people. So it's really kind of, it's so much fun watching people just go, Oh, I get it, I really want to do this, and it's going to be so much fun.

Steve Brown: 

So yeah, you know that people that are listening to this, maybe you haven't actually thought of themselves doing something like this. Maybe they've been helping others. Maybe they work in a position where they're supporting their business. But at some point, I think it's there in the back of their mind is, what is it that I shouldn't be getting out of this that's preparing me for what I'm really going to do in the future? What are some, give us an idea of the steps or the framework that you help people start to approach.

Trudy Rankin: 

So in terms of basically getting them to the point where they, they see what's possible, and then they start to work towards getting those skills. Basically we use a combination of let's show you what's possibl, get you to think about your own situation. And then give them some research some stuff to do some actions to take, researching, thinking, talking to people going out and finding people who might be potential customers talking to them. And then basically, using that data, because we have a very strong focus on, you know, using your available information to make decisions about what you're going to do in the future. So basically helping people go from no idea to having an idea, we teach them about how to do keyword research to validate that, we help them learn how to set up their own website. And then we teach them all the skills around just the different types of marketing and how online marketing works, and how it's a bit different, a little bit different to traditional marketing, because they're used to traditional marketing, and then we get them familiar with the the online marketing approach. And then just help them practice hone, and hone those skills. And so they can they can produce something, pop it into the community and ask for feedback. And they'll get a lot of feedback, because of the people that I have in my team, are all people who actually have their own online business as well. So they have a lot of expertise that they bring to the table, in helping people do that. But I'm sure you would have found as well, that half the challenges is actually dealing with mindset, you know, things so you know, I'm not good enough, I'm not enough. I don't know enough, you know, who's gonna listen to me, you know, I, I'm not an expert. And we just keep reminding people that if you are two steps ahead of somebody else, they're going to be really grateful for your assistance, because somebody who's 10 steps ahead of them is too far ahead, they can't see, they can't imagine or visualize how they could even possibly get 10 steps ahead, they need somebody who's two steps ahead. So if you are two steps ahead, you're so much closer to the problem. So much closer to the language, so much closer to the mindset issues, then you have so much more chance of helping those people than somebody who's way ahead. So that's something to remember, I think that's really, really, really important. And also sometimes, you know, when we have these mindset issues, it ends up, if you think about it, it's actually all about our ego. We don't feel enough, we don't feel this, we don't feel that. And a lot of times, that's just all in our heads. It's not what other people think about us, it's not the you know, the the thoughts that are going through their heads, they're looking at you and going, Wow, how can I get to where you are, I want to get to where you are You look so confident. And you might be thinking, Ugh! You know, I'm not confident at all. But in reality you are, you've got a lot more experience in the hands. So just that, you know, just the mindset side of things is the biggest cause I think of failures in online businesses, people, people just give up. And if you give up, failure isn't failure until you give up. If you give up, then you're done.

Steve Brown: 

Hey, I wanted to pause right here and tell you about a book that you need to get today. It's the funniest book on marketing. It's called The Golden Toilet, stop flushing your marketing budget into your website and build a system that grows your business. And guess who wrote it? That's right. I wrote it. And I wrote it just for you, because I want to help you get past the last hurdles of setting up your business and getting it squared away. I wrote it so that you can avoid time wasting time, wasting money, wasting frustration. Get the book on Audible, you can get it on Kindle, you can get it on Amazon, but get the book take advantage of the insights in there, and let me know what you think. And now back to this excellent episode. We're talking today with Trudy Rankin. Her company is West Island Digital in Australia and she sets up communities to help you go from I don't have an idea, or maybe I have an idea to, you really have a process and a framework to follow through to start to realize your unique talent stack and the value it can offer to others and how you can start to market it. Trudy, tell us an example of another success story of someone that was like really pushing back on what they had to offer, and then six months later, we had someone that was a totally different person.

Trudy Rankin: 

I could give you lots and lots of stories. It's just like, you know, where can I start? And, you know, we've got one person who, she's a carer her husband is quite disabled. And of course, had to stay home because of that, and she had her own health issues and stuff. And she started out on one of our programs and ended up having to quit because of her health issues. And then, but she didn't give up, she actually joined one of our later programs. And so when she joined the labour program, it was like she was more ready for it. And she went through all of the processes, again, all of the thinking again, and she chose a completely different idea this time to the one she chosen before. And it was much more suited to her. But she said, you know, she said, Look, this idea popped into my head that very first day of the second time through, she said, I know, no, I don't want to do that. I'm not going to do that. That's no. And she said, it just kept coming back, and coming back and coming back until she finally said, I have to do this. I know there's people out there who are being through the same sorts of situations that I've been through. And I know what it's done to me, and I know I can help them. And so she's built her whole business around that. And in the process of building her whole business around that she's actually fallen in love with building websites, she loves the process of building websites and her website is mazing, it's really cool. And so she's very, very active on the in the community, just giving other people support, and giving them feedback and helping them overcome their doubts and lack of confidence and giving no just the things that you need in terms of supporting each other as a community. So that's been really lovely. I mean, I could tell you stories all day, you know, the banker, who lost his job, he lives in a rural town lost his job. There's no other jobs like it around. And he's got kids that he has to support. What do you do? You go and start your own business. And it you know, it took him probably seven months from start to the time that he had actually got to the place where he had clients and he was starting to reach his goals, financial goals. And then by the time he hit a year, he was actually he replaced his salary from his previous job. And it's been interesting, one of the things that we've heard a lot from people who have been part of our program, especially during COVID was is that lots of people have been made redundant. They've lost their jobs, just because you know, there's just the work isn't there. It's not because of people being horrible. There's just not the work, but they've been made redundant. And when it's happens to you more than once, you know, we've had a number of people say to us, I don't ever want anybody else ever in charge of my job again, I want to be able to manage my own career. Having my own online business is one way of doing that. And they're really, you should see how hard they work. They just get stuck in and they do the work. They do the thinking they do the work. And it's not easy. It's a we tell people at the beginning. This is not a get rich, quick scheme, this is hard, hard work. But people are willing to do it because they can see the value. And they have these goals of being able to be self sufficient, which I think is important. But anyway, I could tell you lots of like, you know, we've had people who've been homeless who've done the program. And it's given them confidence that they've never had before. Just to just to be able to keep going, it doesn't solve their problems. People still have got issues and anxieties and things like that. But it gives them hope, gives them opportunities that they know that if they apply themselves that they have this alternative that they can put in place. And I think that's kind of, Hope is probably the one thing that matters the most to people, no matter what their situation is.

Steve Brown: 

If there's ever been a time that this is so applicable, it's now. We're having to figure out how to do things differently when we can't go and necessarily shake someone's hand or meet him in a conference room or who would have thought you couldn't meet someone for a coffee, or that would be difficult. But now, now there's a way to take advantage of the technology that exists and actually provide a similar experience. You're just doing it more remotely. But there's a lot of hurdles there on our minds. And so going through your course and going through your training, you help folks get over that. You have something called Decision Trees? Tell us a little bit about that.

Trudy Rankin: 

Yeah, one of the things that we do with our community is that we we bring in experts on a monthly basis to help them learn something that's going to help them grow their business. And we have is it's like a win win win situation where we, for those people who are coming in to do those master classes or workshops is that we work with them to create a completely new masterclass or workshop, all based around a very simple concept that somebody needs to learn but we include as part of our collaboration, we do it as a collaboration. And as part of that collaboration, we actually create what we call a decision tree or a diagnostic quiz like tool that actually then by answering, take your framework for what people have to learn, you turn it into a series of questions, you build those questions into a tool that has branching logic in the back end. So it's like choose your own adventure, how you answer the question determines where you end up. And then at the end of answering those questions, you get given a visual representation of the outcome of those answers that you gave. And so it gives you an aha moment, that lets you realize where you are, in terms of this thing. And the next steps, you need to take just the next little steps that you need to take to actually move you from here to here. And it's really, really, really very effective. And one of the things, you know, the decision trees, or the the diagnostic quiz tools, those are my things that I really love. Because I love the process of helping somebody take that knowledge that's in their brain, turn it into a framework, if it's not already in a framework, or if it is in a framework, take that turn it into questions that are then become very effective and creating that aha moment. That's very fun. That isn't that is fun thing to do. So yeah, and also, what I haven't mentioned is that, those decision trees, actually, as people answer those questions you end up with is set up data set that allows you to look at it in a meta kind of way. That then lets you look through and see Well, what is it that people are actually challenged by? Where are they struggling? What are the things where you can see that if they had some help there, they would be able to make progress a lot faster, or be more efficient or their results would be better? And then you can use that information to create more products and services that are going to help people so becomes this really lovely, cyclical thing where we help people create knowledge that gets turned into a masterclass, that then helps our people in our community, grow their business, and then the people who we've collaborated with to create that masterclass, can take that masterclass webinar, and use it to serve their customers and that's popped up on their website becomes a beautiful lead magnet, or it becomes an evergreen webinar that they can charge for, it just works really well as a concept. But it's all built around the idea that you need to understand where people are, and then give them an aha moment that helps them move forward, you use the data that you collect, to make decisions about what you're going to do. So you end up saving yourself a lot of time and effort and stop yourself from wasting energy working on stuff that people don't care about, doesn't really matter, isn't going to make an impact on them. So that's kind of how, that all kind of fits together. But it's the fun part of the business.

Steve Brown: 

You know, we see this big trend right now. I bet most people listening, have maybe considered at least if not participated into a free online course, a masterclass, or an online conference. But imagine that, how did they come up with that master course in the first place? If you were to deconstruct it, and walk backwards, you would see that this person is not unlike you. And probably was thinking they had this nagging thought you should do something like this. No, I who am I, but they actually started to venture into it. Well, if you knew there was a process framework to follow, then it would make this actually a lot easier and less intimidating on how you're going to make it from scratch in the first place.

Trudy Rankin: 

Yeah, and it's, you know, happy to sort of share this, it's really, it's a simple framework. But it takes thought, you do need to sit down and think about it, and it's really simply this. I'm assuming, first of all, that you do know your customers relatively well, and you serving customers, and you know enough about them to kind of know a little bit about what they struggle with. And so you basically say, Where's my customer now? Where do they need to be over this next little while? What's the gap in between? What are the steps that they have to take to fix that gap or to move along that gap? Pick one of those steps, just pick one of those steps, and deconstruct it into the things that they need to do to move from that step to the next step. And that becomes the basis of your framework. And it's as simple as that and you can create multiple, multiple master classes, which then becomes an online course doesn't that really, you go well, what do you do for step one to get from one to two, what do you do from two to three Three to 445. And you know, at some stage, you've helped people move from here to here. And then they're going, Hey, I did it. What's next? And then you have the privilege of being able to offer them what's next?

Steve Brown: 

Yeah, I love that, you know, I realized that the folks that are really enjoy the process that we take them through, there's a transformation you're in, you're describing what is the transformation that your potential customer seeks. And if there's an educational component in it, they really love the experience. And so you're moving them from one state that they don't want to stay in to an aspirational state, this state that they picture themselves in, they just need to figure out where to step on the rocks to cross the creek, so to speak. And that's what you're providing our step here, step here and step here.

Trudy Rankin: 

Yes, yeah. And how wide the step is, and, you know, avoid alligators along the way, etc.

Steve Brown: 

Where did you get inspiration for this? Obviously, it was in your mind, you saw a success or something, but one day you like, really got convicted that you needed to embrace this and move with it?

Trudy Rankin: 

Well, you know, it's interesting, because, you know, you think that people who have done sort of online business for a long time, you know everything, will actually you don't know where everything is this too much to have to learn. And we had done our online business liftoff program, we created it, we're running it successfully, we have government funding to run it. And we put quite a few people through the program. And now we have our community. And I was, when I first started my business, I worked in a shared office space, and I met another crowd there a marketing crowd, who were, they were just getting started at the same time, and I didn't work with them then but later on, when we got to this point where we're kind of going, Okay, now, what's next for us? And I went back to them, and I said, you know, let us work together. And they put me through this, this thinking process, which, because I've done lots of, because my background is Chief Information Officer, and I've worked in senior management roles. And I know a lot about organizational developments at the big scale. And so I had read Blue Ocean Strategy as a book. And, you know, you basically want to try and differentiate yourself from the competition, etc. But they have this thing called a value curve exercise as part of that. And I won't go into the details, I'm sure people know about it, or if they don't, they can check it out it's worth reading as a book, but they put me through this hour and a half process and asked me lots of questions. And at the end of it, I looked at what they had really up on the board on the whiteboard, and I went, the problem we have is that we have this amazing program. It works. We have proof it works. We have testimonials, we have amazing success stories. Does anybody know about us? No, they don't. Why is that? And so I went, that was really useful. That was a really valuable aha moment for us. Because we're focused on the getting sick, helping our people get success. And we hadn't been focusing enough on that getting the word out there. And so we went back and started to do some work on that. And I just kept thinking about how valuable that was to us. And I thought there must be other people out there who have that same blinkers on or blindness or unawareness, that they're, they could do a much better job of, I won't even call it marketing. It's just about making people, helping other people find them that need them. And so I approached this same marketing crowd again, I said, hey, let's do a collaboration. Let's see if we can turn this part of the framework, not the whole value curve thing, but part of the framework into a smaller framework, develop a series of questions and a training to go with it. And give them that aha moment. And we did that we've got a lovely masterclass that we run that does that you answer the questions, and it ends up giving you a traffic light type of a report at the end, just to say, Where are the things where you need to focus your attention that you could do better? And it works, it helps people. But that was how we got started with these master classes. I just thought Oh, and then I thought, Wait a minute, that was really effective as a process because we used our community members to give feedback, we did a beta run, use the community members to give feedback, they loved it, and we tweaked a few things. And then you know, you just keep running it. And then you get to the place where you know, you can either choose to charge for it or you can choose do whatever we want with it. But I thought that's a repeatable process. And so we started just doing that, you know, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, when you find, and along the way I figure out who I want to work with is, I find people who have expertise that my community members need. I don't just read, you know, we don't just not, it's not a whole, the smallest who ever wants to do this can do it. It's got to be expertise that we need for our members. And and we've got, we've had some amazing master classes, and we've got a whole bunch lined up. The whole year is just about booked out. So it's really great.

Steve Brown: 

So do you work with Yanks, or otherwise known as Americans as well?

Trudy Rankin: 

We do work with whoever is interested in working with us. When we were running the online business liftoff program through the Australian Government funding, it was with Australians because obviously the government paid for it. But we've got people from New Zealand in the program and for people from all over the world, you know, we've got a YouTube channel and I have my own podcast, they listen to those things. And we love working with people who wherever they are, because we all have the same sorts of issues and problems when it comes to building an online business.

Steve Brown: 

So I guess, tell us about your podcast.

Trudy Rankin: 

My podcast is The Online Business Launchpad Podcast. And it's focused on people who have already set up their business, but they're in that phase where they just need to start growing, they need to really get growing. And they still need some guidance and just some advice on what they could be doing. Because my team, and I, we love the technology. You know, we really enjoy working with the technology so we can help with the technology. But what we talked about in the podcast, because you've been on the podcast, and we talked to people who can can help people who are in that phase, they're in the growth phase, or their people, as I said, people who have got lots of real world business experience. And they just need a little bit of advice on what to do with the tech on how to think about funnels. Most people haven't been introduced to funnels, even though they might have been marketing in a bricks and mortar business. But anyway, introducing them to funnels and the different types of technology and the things that they can do to run their business successfully. Whether it's a bricks and mortar, or whether it's a, you know, a regional or local based business, everybody, I think everybody can always use tips about you know, how to how to improve how, how to help other people find you.

Steve Brown: 

I think that the problem is, you know, we think, Oh, If I can just get this little piece of technology implemented, then everything will be okay. But what I like about, what you're doing is you're offering more of a comprehensive framework to help you walk through the processes, let's figure out where where your best value is, let's figure out what your ideal market or avatar that you want to serve. And then let's figure out a course that you can start to offer and put it into what tools, that's huge when if you think about trying to figure it out yourself, when you're not familiar with all of these things, especially in this new age that we find ourselves in.

Trudy Rankin: 

And people aren't stupid, they just need a little bit of advice, maybe somebody to point them in the right direction. And they can figure it out. A lot of people don't feel confident about the technology. But by the time they've been through the whole process, and they've had to practice and practice and practice, they get to the place where where they are much more confident. And that's one of the services that we offer as part of our communities is that we have tech support, tech support hours. And so if people have a question, a tech question, we've got people who can just help them figure it out. Because sometimes, you know, it's interesting, that's one of the things I discovered, even in my own journey was is that when you're starting out, and you're still kind of finding your way, little tiny bumps can become absolute, you know, mountains, and they can stop your momentum cold and you can lose a week, two weeks, five weeks, two months. And before you suddenly finally figure it out, or you suddenly realize you could have asked somebody and whatever. So if you can can help people within a day or two days, get past that bump, it means that they can maintain your momentum. And they're going to actually move faster through that whole learning process. Because face it, you know, when you're starting an online business, you're learning new skills, there's just no getting around it, you have to take the time to learn the new skills. So that whole concept of 10,000 hours to get to mastery is really real and valid. And we promote the idea that you need to try to do all the pieces once, at least once so that you know what's involved, so that if you, well not if, once you get to the point where you can go, I hate doing this, I need somebody else to do it. You can find people that aren't biessing you because you know what's involved and you can actually tell them what you need in language that they understand.

Steve Brown: 

We're talking with Trudy Rankin from West Island Digital out of Melbourne, Australia. Trudy, what's the one question that nobody ever asks that you wish they would that you'd love to answer?

Trudy Rankin: 

The one question, well, ah, people often don't ask me about the role that analytics plays in, or what role it should play. And I've mentioned it just a little bit. But people often go, Ah, it's numbers, no, freak out. I'm not good at numbers. They tell themselves that lie. I'm no good at numbers. And the reality is that you don't have to be good at numbers. What you have to be good at and able to do is turn those numbers into a story. People remember stories, they do not remember numbers. And if you can turn those numbers into a story, you can use that to inform your actions. So let me give you I'll just give you an example. Basically, when we were first getting ready to promote the online business liftoff program, we started to run ads. And you sort of, first of all, you look at the ads, that's a whole complicated process. And you can look at the analytics for that. But we were looking at the analytics for how many people were coming to the website. And you're looking at those that you thinking, Is this the number? What does it tell me, it just tells me that this many people came? And it doesn't tell you how many of those people were your team, it doesn't tell you a whole bunch of stuff. And so we had to learn to figure out how to look at our analytics in a way that went, Hang on Wait a minute, let's just ignore that number you see it the first, let's go look at that diagram that looks like a pie chart. And let's just see what percentages are coming from where once we figured out who's coming from where, then we can really focus our efforts on that area and increase it or if we want to improve another area, we can focus on that area and improve it. So you know, search, social media, is it coming directly? Are people typing the URL directly into your, into your browser? Things like that. And so by doing that, it helped us save time, it helps us save time and money by by learning that skill of being able to turn the numbers into a story, and then applying that knowledge to our actions. And I think that that's an underrated skill set. And there's no reason why people can't actually learn how to do that. And they can learn how to do it relatively quickly. If they just lose that thought of I'm no good with numbers.

Steve Brown: 

Excellent. It wha 's the best way to connect wit you if someone wants to exp ore maybe going through your mas er class or figuring out how the can design a master class the selves?

Trudy Rankin: 

Yes, sure. So if they're interested in a maste class, they can contact me via m LinkedIn profile, connect with e on LinkedIn. And tell me in th little note that you're inter sted in that because I like t when people try, it's about d veloping relationship . It's not Yeah, I think that's really good. Or if they're inte ested in our community, t ey can go to onlinebusinesslifto f.com that online business lifto f is all one word, dot com, and basically, just check ou our community. But the masterclass one at the moment, we're just getting our West sland Digital website redon . So the best place to go t connect with me, because we o ly do a few we don't do lots o these master classes, becaus they're very intensive and the take a while to develop. And ut go to LinkedIn to Trudy Rank n, and you'll be able to find me and just connect with me t ere.

Steve Brown: 

Trudy Rankin, onli ebusinessliftoff.com. I love th t. I love what you're doing t ere, some excellent storie . Trudy, you've been an awesom guest on ROI Online Podcas . I appreciate you.

Trudy Rankin: 

Oh, thank you for having me. It's been fun. All right. And that's a wrap. Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI Online Podcast. For more be sure to check out the show notes of this episode, and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better be sure to pick up your copy of my book, The Golden Toilet at surprise, thegoldentoilet.com I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI Online Podcast.