THE PODCAST FOR ONLINE COURSE CREATORS GOING BIG!
Join business strategist Tina Tower as she explores how to build your empire by packaging your expertise into online courses, speaking, content, podcasting and credibility.
Tina has over 17 years of experience in starting, building and selling companies, she's a speaker, teacher, mama and world traveller.
She's unapologetic about living an intentionally big life and if you want too, this show is designed to show you many different options to help you gain clarity over YOUR version of awesome.
Join us for an inspiring episode with Sandra, a trailblazer in the world of online education. With years of experience under her belt, Sandra opens up about the highs and lows of her entrepreneurial journey, including the frustration of a not as expected course launch and the evolution of her offerings to provide unparalleled value to her clients.
Discover how Sandra pivots from lengthy video courses to bite-sized mini-lessons tailored to specific areas of her niche. Get a glimpse into her bold move to close a membership program that no longer aligned with her vision. And learn how Sandra balances her busy life as a business owner and a loving mother while building a team to help her scale and succeed in the digital space.
In this episode, Sandra shares:
- Her disappointment with her second course launch
- The creation and evolution of her first offer
- Why she closed her membership program
- Balancing business and family, prioritizing family during launches
- Managing time and workload while being a mother
- Challenges of moving into the digital space and team support.
Join us for an in-depth look at Sandra's journey as an online course creator, and gain valuable insights into how she has overcome challenges and built a successful business.
OUR PODCAST GUEST - SANDRA CHAU
Sandra is a creative director and a stylist. She founded the School of Visual Branding in 2018 and specialises in teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their online brands and increase their profit using visual strategy. Known and respected for her minimalist design aesthetic, Sandra takes a thoughtful and intentional approach to design and connect brands to their customers by elevating their visuals in new and exciting ways. Through her creative agency, Sandra has directed and styled campaigns for luxury brands all over the world, ranging from jewellery, loungewear, bedding, beauty, artisan products, service based brands and more. She believes that defined visual branding goes far beyond your Instagram grid—it should awaken the very heart of your mission, value, and legacy as a brand, and is passionate about teaching and sharing this with her community.
Resources page: https://schoolofvisualbranding.com/empire
Branding Shoot Method®: https://schoolofvisualbranding.com/empire-bsm
Website: www.sandrachau.com and www.schoolofvisualbranding.com
We have some incredible things happening at Her Empire Builder this year! If you are a course creator, you have to be a part of this incredible community. Jump on to herempirebuilder.com and check it out!
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Her Empire Builder is a combination of live sessions and pre-recorded content to help you get what you need, when you need it.
I know that you're the expert and you've got all of your subject knowledge nailed - now it's time to build the business behind your online course and stop being the worlds best kept secret.CHECK OUT HER EMPIRE BUILDER
Tina Tower 00:00:00
Hi, friend , and welcome to episode 199 of the Female Course Creator Show. Thank you so much for tuning in with us today. I have an incredible interview for you. So one of my goals with the Female Course Creator Show is to bring new people from all different walks of life with all different sorts of experience and all different time in the game, results, all of that sort of thing. And so today, I have one of my incredible Her Her Empire Builder members who look, let's be honest, I have nearly 200 women in my beautiful membership that I run Her Her Empire Builder. And throughout the year, you're going to hear from some of them because they're amazing and wonderful. And I'm just going to bring them on because they give such a good perspective for Course creators who are just starting out or who are a couple of years in. We have in our membership everyone from like brand newbies to people hitting their first six figures, to people at half a million, people at a million. There's all the different levels. And I want to bring them all to you because I know that you can resonate with all of the different ones. And for Sandra, she has had and still runs a super successful service based business. And then when the Pandemic hit, added on her online courses, which I know a lot of business owners can relate to that story. So I thought that that would be really helpful in people that are trying to juggle both, that you're not just all in on your online courses with that. So because Sandra started in the Pandemic as well, she had already built this beautiful list of really dedicated customers. So when she first launched, her first launch was 40K. So she had a super successful first launch and has since. Now that the Pandemic is over, her service based business has like, ballooned and gone from strength to strength to strength at the same time as her online courses have. So she's going to share about her journey, how she handles both of those and how she does her range of services, how she splits her time, how she balances it, because she has young children and twins as well. She's going to talk about the challenges in moving to digital business from just running service based business. She's going to talk about being part of Her Her Empire Builder community. She's going to talk about the things that she's done in her business that have made the biggest impact and why bigger isn't always better, and how you can actually choose the business of your dreams based on the season that you're at, which I love that messaging. So a little bit about Tina Tower. Sandra is the Creative director and stylist and founded the School of Visual Branding in 2018 and specializes now in teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their online brands and increase their profit using visual strategy. Known and respected for her minimalist design aesthetic, Sandra takes a thoughtful and intentional approach to design and connect brands to their customers by elevating their visuals in new and exciting ways. Through her creative agency, Sandra has directed and styled campaigns for luxury brands all over the world, ranging from jewelry, loungewear bedding, beauty, artisan products, service based brands, and more. She believes that defined visual branding goes far beyond your instagram grid, and it should awaken the very heart of your mission, value, and legacy as a brand. And she's passionate about teaching and sharing this with her community. Her online course is called the branding shoot method, which teaches creative businesses how to create brands that sell through elevated and consistent visuals. So all of the links to check out Sandra in the show notes, so grab all of them. And I hope you enjoy this conversation about adding an online course to a service based business. Tina Tower 00:05:23 Gorgeous . Sandra, welcome to the Female Course Creator show.
Sandra Chau 00:05:28
No. Thanks so much for having me, Tina. I'm so excited to be here.
Tina Tower 00:05:31
I'm so excited to have you here. So I've got so many questions to ask you because you've built such an incredible business , and you've done it over such a sustained period of time , which , I mean, anyone that gets over a decade I can't remember what the latest stat is, but it's very small. It's like 1% or 3% or something like that of businesses that survive .
Sandra Chau 00:05:51
Tina Tower 00:05:52
Yeah. Already ?
Sandra Chau 00:05:53
You should know that . Thank you.
Tina Tower 00:05:57
Most fail in their first year. Over 50% are gone in three years and the percentage of people that last ten years is very small. So we're in the minority . So we can celebrate that , first off.
Sandra Chau 00:06:09
Thank you. I'll be completely honest , though , I do want to be upfront . I probably failed in my first two years, but I just kept going is more the thing .
Tina Tower 00:06:18
I don't know anybody who doesn't .
Sandra Chau 00:06:21
Yeah, that's also quite normal . No worries .
Tina Tower 00:06:25
Totally. I just celebrated 18 years in business , but I think it was the first nine years that I didn't pay myself any more than what I would have as an MBA. I was really overworked and underpaid for like nine years running and most sane people , I think , probably would have given up at that point .
Sandra Chau 00:06:47
Yeah, the story of my life, Tina.
Tina Tower 00:06:49
Yeah, but it's all worth it on the flip side. But a lot of people don't get through the flip side, which I think that in itself is one of the hallmarks of successful entrepreneurs , is believing in that end result enough and having the staying power to back themselves .
Sandra Chau 00:07:02
Going through it is hard to see it, though , when you're weeding through it, but absolutely , though , I always tell my students , like, keep going , just keep at it, it's not an overnight thing .
Tina Tower 00:07:11
Yeah, 100%. So, for you, you've been running like, your visual content development studio for brands in a range of services for ten years and started in online courses in 2018. So been going in that for a while . What got you started in the online space ?
Sandra Chau 00:07:31
So, I guess for me, I've been sort of styling and working with a lot of creative businesses , mainly in the initial period , because I sort of came from the wedding industry , so it was that sort of natural kind of evolution and started to create photos for actual creatives . And then what I found is, as my agency kind of slowly evolved and I started working with more bigger lifestyle international brands , I was leaving the creatives behind . I felt a little bit like that when people reached out to me to sort of create work for them , to create shoots for them , I wasn't really able to anymore at a certain price point . And I always had people asking me like, I really want to learn how to style , I really want to learn how you do what you do. And so it kind of just sort of went from there . I started dabbling and thinking , like, it'd be kind of nice to create a small course , but when you're actually writing the course , it just becomes this mammoth of a thing . And I just kind of went for it and did it just sort of be able to still have that connection with the creative businesses that I really loved and the creative industry that I kind of came out of and kind of it just kind of went from there , really. I sort of threw it out there . 2018 I think I did, like, a beta test with a few people that I knew, and then I did a proper launch , which was a little bit of a feel in the dark , just putting it out there , did a challenge or something like that , but then people were just so ready for it at that point . I remember I had a friend tell me, like, people have been waiting for you to do this for, like, five years. And so it kind of just took off from there , and I actually realized how much I really loved teaching in that sense, and I kept with it.
Tina Tower 00:09:05
Yeah. So there's a couple of things you said then that I'm like, okay, I have to ask you more about that .
Sandra Chau 00:09:12
Don't ask away.
Tina Tower 00:09:13
First one is you said people were waiting for it, waiting for something to do with that . And I think that's a really important part for people to kind of keep top of mind when they're going from a traditional business . Because a lot of our listeners , a lot of my clients , all of the people that kind of tune into what we do often have established businesses on the side and go, well, how can I scale this and leverage it a little bit more? And you started with the audience that was already waiting for it, which I think is a really good idea.
Sandra Chau 00:09:48
Yeah, no, I mean, it was really great . It didn't feel so much like selling , I think , at that point , compared to what it feels like now. It was really just , hey, this is something that I feel really passionate about . Some of you have been asking me about it. Here it is. And it just felt really easy at that point , and I was really happy with it, obviously , 2018, it was at a lower price point as well, too, and I guess much of an easier sell in that sense. A lot of the people who came into the course were people I actually not so much knew, but I'd actually been chatting with them on Instagram for, like, the longest time , and they're like people who were always commenting on my work and asking me questions already. So they were just really ready for it, and they were so nurtured . I think for five years, that , again, it just didn't really feel like selling . But I launched it again in six months time , and I remember feeling so disappointed because I had that first launch where it just kind of seemed so easy, and people were just ready to buy. Then six months later, I'm like, but why not ? Where are those people again? But because I was sort of doing this on my own. I hadn't really thought about things like email list strategy , growing your audience , and I was just kind of doing the same thing that I was doing before , and so I'd kind of exhausted them already. And people who were going to buy probably would have already bought . I think that's ultimately what it is. So I think I remember having , like, half the number of sales and just feeling like, but why? What happens ? Yeah, and I think that happens a lot , though . And it's helped , though , that kind of disappointment . So now I kind of know, like, okay, I need to focus on bringing new people in, nurturing those new people , and that's kind of changed sort of my approach to the course . In a good way.
Tina Tower 00:11:37
Yes. And I love that you've mentioned that , because I do see a lot of people get a false confidence from the first launch , especially if they've already got that audience already there , already waiting , already willing . And then you do this launch , and you kind of if you do it properly , you do scoop up everybody , nearly, who's on your list that's like, ready for what you're offering . And a lot of people really don't realize how much we need to build that list in the off season. Like, the off season is so much more important than the launch to get that nurturing going , to get those relationships built , to be able to do that next time . I can't even tell you how many people I've spoken to that are so disappointed by the second launch . Second launch is often , like, the thing that breaks people and they go hard.
Sandra Chau 00:12:20
Yeah, it's so hard. And I don't think anybody really prepares you for it, I think . And so it kind of happens , and you're like, what happened ? Why did this happen ? It's the same course . It's still me. I know. For me, anyway, I didn't really look at my numbers as much , so I probably thought I had grown in followers or grown in emails and all that sort of stuff , like people who download my freebie and all those kinds of things . But if you really looked at the numbers and started thinking about conversion , then you're like, oh, well, actually , it's probably about right that only three people bought it, for example . That's something that you kind of don't realize, I think , which is why it's really good to then invest in yourself and learn a bit more about the strategy and all those sorts of things completely .
Tina Tower 00:13:01
I geek out on the numbers . I love the numbers . I love the metrics . I love measuring all of it. Love it because it just makes it so cause and effect and makes it so much easier. And I find does take that emotion , doesn't take the emotion out . I always get emotional at lunchtime .
Sandra Chau 00:13:17
Tina Tower 00:13:18
It doesn't matter how many times I've done it. Like our last launch , I rode the wave of the roller coaster , and I'm always like, this is never going to end, is it?
Sandra Chau 00:13:26
Always it messes with your head. Like launching just like when you're in the thick of it, it just really messes with your head. Whether you get like, a lot of sales and then that middle bit where it hits , and then the end bit , that rush to the finish line, all of it just completely messes with your head. It's horrible .
Tina Tower 00:13:42
Completely . But it is it's so much fun. And I love that when you really get all of your numbers dialed in, you kind of know, well, if we've got this many coming to a challenge , or this many coming to a webinar, or this many calls, books , you know what that conversion is going to be. So I always know, like, going in whether we're going to smash it or not based on what I've done for the previous three months .
Sandra Chau 00:14:06
Absolutely . The pre launch period , that's so crucial . I'm in it now. And it's a really good that three month sort of runway is such a good sort of point . If you've sort of dropped the ball like I do, I dropped the ball, and then I'm like, Hang on a minute . I'm like, three or four months out . Okay, I need to pick a backup . And that does help, though , I do think , 100%.
Tina Tower 00:14:26
So another thing that you said that I really loved when you first started was when you initially got that course out , that you went to put a course together to fill that gap that you could see in the market and see in your clients . And you ended up having way too much content , which I think is something that we, as educators and cost creators do battle quite a lot . How did you distill or how did you create that first offer ? And how has it evolved over time to be able to deliver that maximum value to your clients without overwhelming the bejeezers out of them ?
Sandra Chau 00:15:01
Yeah, and that's a really great question , because I'm actually , at the moment revamping the course . It's overdue , way overdue . But what I found was and I didn't really think about it too much at the beginning , and I think back in 2018, there weren't as many courses , so there wasn't as much of a reference point as to what the market .
Tina Tower 00:15:22
Is very sophisticated now into now.
Sandra Chau 00:15:24
It's very different . And I think that's horrible to say. And I noticed this when I was going through it this time , my lessons were, like, an hour long. I think I even had, like, an hour and a half because you could kind of ramble and stuff . And then this time when I was doing the cull, I noticed that , okay, some of this stuff I probably just repeated myself, or this stuff I probably could take out . These examples would be more practical and better . And so what I did, even though it took me so long to actually evolve the course itself and do sort of modifications on it, throughout the time , I added little bits to it. So I added some case studies , which I found , like, my students really needed , or based on response in the Facebook group , to things when I popped up to live. I would add things , little bits to it and then I kind of over time realized like, okay, 45 minutes , a bit longer. So I kind of kept things at that 30 minutes mark tops , 2030 minutes mark and started to do more bite size kind of pieces . So that's what I'm focused on at the moment with the upgrade of the course . But what I did do is I felt some people weren't ready for a course because I think when I went to Rice It, I didn't realize how much of a foundational course it would be for people . I just basically documented my entire client process and how I create things .
Tina Tower 00:16:35
Here is everything .
Sandra Chau 00:16:37
Yeah. And so some people aren't just ready for it. And I think that's completely understandable because you need to invest the time and to actually do it right . It's like a method , so you want to follow it. So I actually started then creating the smaller sort of mini courses and products that kind of would then feed into the bigger one if people found that they were ready. And I felt that was quite good . So then I kind of touched on those people who maybe weren't ready to go into such a big course . And then I've got like a three day mini course that sort of leads people in if they want to, but if they don't , they still learn quite a lot and can sort of start building their brand . So I felt like that was probably how I evolved my course personally . But again, it was long overdue doing the update of the course , but I just never got around to it.
Tina Tower 00:17:22
Also, like, I know I started in 2018 in courses , and a lot of the value perception then was content length . Like you say, you've got this many and the more lessons and the more content was like, more value, whereas now it's kind of switched and going , if you can get me a result in less time with less effort , then that's going to be the winner. So it's kind of swung the other way and going , well, how can we get people results and how can we give them all of those action steps in less content ? Which is interesting .
Sandra Chau 00:17:55
I think so, and I find it a little bit harder now as well, too, because memberships are such a huge thing now. But on the flip side, I've actually got like a big sort of chunky course that I find it's a little bit trickier to sort of maneuver because people are expecting those kind of bitesize every month , membership type style content . And I actually had a membership for a year. I started a membership during COVID as you do, which was great and I loved it, but I actually closed it last year and middle of last year.
Tina Tower 00:18:24
Okay, talk to me about that .
Sandra Chau 00:18:26
So it wasn't so much that I didn't like putting out content for me. It didn't feel sustainable for me, I think , anymore . And I started getting love that you.
Tina Tower 00:18:37
Recognized that and were able to make that decision .
Sandra Chau 00:18:39
And it was a hard thing to do, though . Yeah, it was a hard thing to do because membership is a recurring revenue and I did feel like towards the end of the year, you could feel that dip in your revenue and kind of that monthly revenue. But I feel much better about it because I wasn't I think in the initial stage , I loved it. It was also when I was in lockdown , so I had the time to churn out the content . But then when things started to go back to normal , and then I've got my kids to shuffle around , all that sort of thing , it just felt I don't no, it just felt very hard to even put out that 20 minutes new video every month . And so I made the hard decision to close it down . But I think one of the things that made me do it was also I love my course . That's always been my signature thing . And I felt the messaging was starting to get very unclear and that was affecting the course . And then I also couldn't put as much attention in my course . And so there was that kind of mixed messaging that I felt was something that I needed to fix up. So shut down the membership . And I feel like now it feels much better to just put out that one thing and you're pushing that one thing , kind of like for you, you've got your main thing , like her empire .
Tina Tower 00:19:51
Her Empire Builder.
Sandra Chau 00:19:52
Exactly. And it just feels much I don't know, it makes more sense, I think , as well, too. And I love it. And I love now being able to just put everything . Yeah, I think so. And it reminded me of what it was like in that initial stage , that first year when I launched the course . And I'm always in the Facebook group , always giving feedback , but then I think when the membership came along, I had to be in both and I just felt so pulled and so stretched and it was just not sustainable in the long run. So I'm hoping to really just go all in, back into the course and then see where that takes me.
Tina Tower 00:20:27
I can ask you a bit more about that from a personal point of view, because it's something that a lot of people do struggle with in that we know that we need to put a lot of effort and risk and work into building a business . But then there's also a line in going , you do cross it and you lose that balance and you lose those boundaries and it becomes more friction than what it should be. And for you, you've got three kids , you've got twins , which is huge in terms of effort . It's something that a lot of, especially women , have to go through in deciding . I'm very ambitious , and I want to run a highly effective , high growth , really profitable business , but also be their present for my children . How do you manage that balance ? And how did you decide when to pull back and when you needed to create that space ?
Sandra Chau 00:21:18
Yeah. I mean, I'm always running around like a mad woman. I feel like because I've had my boys, I feel like it's always like that . But I do feel like I can see when I'm a bit shorter with them or I just feel too pulled in all the directions . Then I know something needs to give. And I used to struggle with this a lot . Even when I just had one child , I really struggled with not being able to give what I felt like 100% into my business . But I think because I've been in it for so long now and they've been a part of it for so long, that I've just learned to sort of understand that you go through seasons in your life, whether it's in your business . And at this point in time , I am just in that season. When my kids are younger, they do require a lot , much more of me. Which means there is only so much I can do in my business . And so it feels like there's a little bit of a ceiling , but I'm okay with that . And I think the thing is, it's being okay with being in the season. So sometimes when, like, at the moment , I'm in pre launch , I'm trying to get things ready to launch . And I don't know why I do this . Tina and I do it every year. I launch just as this going back to my pre launches during the summer holidays . And I don't know why I do this , but if it doesn't go as well as I'd like, to me I'm kind of like, well, okay. It's also because I took a week out to go with them on a holiday, and that's okay. I think it's about being sort of gentle with yourself . And it's really hard because people don't always talk about those seasons of life. And it's okay to not be in it 100%. And I think it took me a long time to sort of be okay with that . So don't get me wrong . It still requires a lot of work . Sometimes thinking like, okay, well, I got to go to this , then that just means I can't carve out that 5 hours that I was initially going to, like, my son had covered last week when we went away. And then we had to cut our trip short . But then it meant what I had planned for the week for work I couldn't do. So then I'm like but it is what it is. It is what it is. It's a season, and it's not always going to be like this . I have three under nine, and it's just going to be like this for a while . So I can see the ladder.
Tina Tower 00:23:39
Like, love that you said that . It is such a service to be able to share that message to other women , because probably every second day, at least, I get a message on Instagram by a woman asking me how I run my business and stay present as a mum like I do. And my answer is always, they're teenagers . The sad part was when my kids were young , no one was watching , so no one knows . And simply like, I would spend a whole afternoon laying on the floor playing Lego. That was the season. And I think a lot of the angst that especially women feel now is because trying to run a full time business and be a parent full time and all of the different , there's simply , logistically not enough time in the day. And I think we feel really bad because the expectation doesn't meet the reality , but it's recognizing because when you're in it, it feels like I remember having a two year old and three year old. The days are long days. Like, you're like, how are we not in bed yet? Oh, my gosh , this is taking . But it goes by so quick . And, like, we just got back from a trip in Bali, and this makes me sound like a little bit of a basket case, but I think it's really important . Like, there was one afternoon that I was sitting there just chatting to my husband . It was our first trip that we've actually had. We've got fully separate rooms , not connecting rooms . We were in different parts of the resort . My husband and I got the busy ocean front room, and the kids , we put in the cheapest room at the back of the hotel because I want them to start feeling independent and resilient and all of that sort of thing . And so we're sitting there in the afternoon and I just burst into tears . And I was going , I missed their little selves so much . Like, I can't believe they're 13 and 14. So there's obviously still a lot of parenting to be done, but that stage was the realization . I feel emotional just talking about it now. It's over.
Sandra Chau 00:25:33
Yeah, absolutely .
Tina Tower 00:25:34
They don't need me anymore . They need me in different ways, but they don't like, have you eaten yet? Have you had a shower ? Have you brushed your teeth ? They don't need me to manage their day. And I was so sad about it. I'm like, wow, I hope to live 100 years. That was literally 15 years of my life. And now they don't care if I have to work all day or if I want to go away for a week and work . They're like, have fun, mom.
Sandra Chau 00:26:02
Bring me back a T shirt . I love that . No, it's true . And my boys, they're five, and they're starting Kindy this year. And to me, that Kindy is like a huge. Milestone . And I almost can't believe that they're starting school . And they're starting school , I think end of next week. And initially I was like, okay, and their sister starting school earlier, so I've got like, a few days with just the two of them . And so I'm like, okay, but I am so behind . I'm, like, not even joy. I've got so much to do. And you know, Tina, especially when you're in that pre launch , always will. Yeah, there's just so much to do. And I was like, Should I take that Monday off ? Like, I was initially going to take them to the zoo because they're starting and I'm still battling with it at the moment . I'm like. Should I not ? Yeah. And I'm going to. But then it was just that battle , like, okay, but , oh, my God, that day's work would be, like, incredible , that kind of thing . I got so much to do. But then I was thinking like, but you know what ? They're only going to start kindy once in the way.
Tina Tower 00:27:05
There's more time at the end. And then we've got this beautiful like I look at now and I go like, I've got a decade or two where now I can fly. I can go all in on that . And I know I've done. Like, I soaked up as much as I could of being a parent . Like, I really, really did. And I regret none of it. I could have built my business so much bigger if I'd sacrifice more, but I didn't . We traveled , we spent time , and I am so grateful for it. And I wish women would stop being so bloody hard on themselves about because there's always more to do. We can always do more.
Sandra Chau 00:27:40
There's always and I think it's also because there's so much that's visible these days, and you see other people's successes and you feel like it has to be that . But for me personally , I like to look at it as like, what's the life you want to live and create around ? That means if you want to pick up your kids from school , cool . And that means you're going to earn $10,000 less in your launch , so be it. That's kind of the way that I feel about it, because you kind of leave a lot of people leave their 95 jobs or whatever to build to build a business , because you want that sort of freedom and flexibility , but then you get into it, and then you're feeling even more like pushed and stretched than you were before . That's not kind of the reason why we went to do this . So I think it's important to think about , what do you want your day to look like and then work around .
Tina Tower 00:28:24
That and yourself , like, your boundary of knowing when you've done enough . That's what I think . Like, I still struggle with that . After 18 years in business , he's going , Actually , that's enough , because the list is never ending . We always have more ideas than time and energy available to do them . But we do have to know because there's no boss putting a hey, you've kind of done enough overtime now. Like, you should really take a break . We have to go. You've done enough , you can walk away.
Sandra Chau 00:28:52
Exactly. And I speak to a lot of women business owners who are doing huge things . And then I'm always like, oh, I feel like I'm not doing enough . But then they're like, you know what , though ? Like you said, I have teenagers . Or they're like in universities . It's a completely different landscape . Essentially. You got to look at the entire picture .
Tina Tower 00:29:15
I do rent about it a lot when people say like, everyone has 24 hours in a day. And I go, because everyone's 24 hours is so unequal .
Sandra Chau 00:29:23
Completely . I think by the time I drop them to school and then have to factor in pickup and stuff like that , like shuffling three around . I work nine to two . It's not that long.
Tina Tower 00:29:37
With you coming into pre launch as well and getting into that because you've got such limited time . How do you operate your day? Are you allocating are you really systemized with how you go? I do this for marketing , I do this for this . You scheduled . How do you make sure that the limited time that you do have is. Tina Tower 00:29:55 Spent on the things that are going .
Tina Tower 00:29:56
To bring you the greatest return ?
Sandra Chau 00:29:58
Yeah, I batch work . I am like an OCD batch worker. If I'm doing one thing , I'm only doing that thing . At the moment with the priorities for the launch . I'm still updating my course and it's supposed to be out in three weeks, but I'm not done yet. So I will sit down . Like today, I'm only just doing the slides for it. I'm just recording or I'm just editing it. And then if I'm doing Instagram , I batch all my Instagram in one day. I allocate like 3 hours . And then I just sit there and I bang it out . And then I mean, this is also bad. I don't necessarily take lunch breaks and stuff like that . I just kind of really sit in and really get it out there . And I'll eat lunch in the car when I'm going to pick them up or something like that .
Tina Tower 00:30:41
But I think the woman listening can relate .
Sandra Chau 00:30:46
Have a piece of bread in the car. Whatever it is, I'll get by. But yeah, batchworking is like such a life saver because you're not just jumping and wasting time between things . I plan my day the night before , so I kind of know what , maybe I didn't get to something that I needed to get and it really is necessary , then I will sort of pop that in. But otherwise I'm quite systematic with when I do things . I don't check emails during the day. I leave things that I can do at night . Like, I might be okay I'm going to create some reels while I'm sitting in front of the TV with a glass of wine kind of thing . So I kind of look at where I can maximize my time during the day with the limited time that I have. So, yeah, like today my kids are at tennis camp. I'm like, after this , I'm just going to bang out some of my launch emails and fix that up and then that's it.
Tina Tower 00:31:33
Bachelor how do you get yourself in the mood ? Because you have that time and you're like, this is the time I've allocated to filming . For example , when you're doing your course , if you're not in the mood for it, how do you get yourself in the right state to do what you've got to do at the time that you've got ?
Sandra Chau 00:31:48
That's a good question . I don't think I really think about it too much .
Tina Tower 00:31:52
I think because I just have to do that .
Sandra Chau 00:31:54
I'm just like, got to make it happen . I mean, there are days that filming is one of those things I feel like you need to be in the mood for. And there are days where I'm like, you know what ? I'm feeling kind of gross . And no matter how I fix my hair, it's just not going to be it's just not going to look okay for it. This is not the day. Then I will batch something else, I think . But obviously when it gets to I mean, I do get to some points where I'm like, okay, it's now or never. I can't not do it. Then I just suck it up and do it. As horrible as that sounds , I feel like sometimes it does feel a little bit like that there's always going to be something that you don't want to do. That's not your favorite thing to do. And I feel like no matter how many coffees I drink or no matter how many cakes I eat or like snacks I eat, it's not going to make it any better . So it's just really, for me personally , it's just like, I just got to do it.
Tina Tower 00:32:43
I love your honest answers . It's so helpful . What's been the biggest challenge for you in going from like, I know you still have your service based business , so you're balancing the two , but what's been the biggest challenge in moving into the digital space for you?
Sandra Chau 00:32:59
I think scaling it I guess with the limited time I have and I think we've spoken about this before , but I find scaling it quite hard now that things and I've noticed it specifically this year before my course . Was smaller, and I felt like I didn't have as much going on in the last couple of years with my service business because , of COVID I could scale it. But then this year, last year when things kind of went back to normal and I had both picking up, I felt it really hard to sort of allocate the time to scale the online side. And I do still feel I struggle with a little bit like that , like in the back of my mind at the moment . I know I have like three shoots in March that I have that clients are waiting on me for, but I'm like thick in the pre launch , so it's kind of all that and I'm still trying to figure it out , honestly , and what's the best way to sort of manage still weeding through .
Tina Tower 00:34 :01
Yeah, because I know before we hit record , we were talking about team also. And I think that's the thing in going because a lot of people get to this level where it's like you could grow if you want to grow, but it's going to require either more of your time or getting other people to help you do the things . Because what I love about online business is what you can do. The scalability and the leverage ability of it with just you is like nothing else that you can like no other industry that I've ever seen. You can get to a million dollar business with an assistant , which I just think is like the most unreal thing ever. But you want to go past and you need those other people in there and we were touching on that . So what does your team situation look like now? And why have you made the team decisions that you have?
Sandra Chau 00:34 :51
Yeah, so I have a VA who helps me with some of the more tedious things , like all my emails and everything . Are there like, can you put them into convert kit for me? Thank you very much , I really appreciate it. Those kinds of things that I don't really want to spend hours doing because those menial things , they take time , right ? They're tedious , but they take time . And then I've got a wonderful VA who helps me manage my course side the community . The email, manages my students , encourages them and that so on the online side, there's sort of that small team and I don't feel like I want to grow it anymore because I don't have the bandwidth to manage people , I think . And then I feel like it would just not be done well. And then it probably got your boundaries .
Tina Tower 00:35:35
I think , so well figured out . So it's really going all right not to coach you on the call, but how can you maximize and optimize everything that's going in there with the support that you have now and then accepting that for this chapter of life? Yeah, I love it.
Sandra Chau 00:35:50
And I mean, even like on my agency side, it was always me. But now I've brought in sort of contractors . I've got , like, graphic designer copywriter , all of those things that can sort of help me do other things and help me sort of be able to work with my clients past the actual creation points . And now we do more strategy and social media management and all those kinds of things . And so it's just really that sort of smart , more little bits of growth that I personally prefer and just sort of playing around with it. Does it work ? If not , okay, maybe you need to cut back . But I do remember a time where I thought , like, I'd have this massive team, it would be so cool , but then over time , I'm like, you know what , actually , I don't know if I want that . And I'm okay with that .
Tina Tower 00:36:33
I absolutely love that . So we opened the doors to her Her Empire Builder next month and you joined us towards the end of 2022 . I keep forgetting what year we're in. Yes, like, towards the end of last year. What? Like, why did you join us?
Sandra Chau 00:36:53
Honestly , Tina, I joined because of you. And, you know, we chatted on Instagram and I can't even and I don't even remember how I came across you on Instagram . To be completely honest . I found you on Instagram and I was just looking for someone who was based in Australia because everyone seems to be based overseas and I could never make anything . Not that I make anything anyway, because I'm terrible with that sort of stuff , but I just wanted that community that was sort of more local based in that sense. And I love your community , it's like, so incredible . But I joined because I just really loved what you had to say. I love your energy and I think that's what sort of drew me in and I stayed because I just really love the community , though . I've made a lot of friends inside , even though I'm not always super on everything . And that was in part when we went to Uluru , but then also, I've had a lot of opportunities come about because of her Her Empire Builder.
Tina Tower 00:37:46
The connections .
Sandra Chau 00:37:47
I love the connections and I think for me, that's honestly what I was kind of craving more than anything else. So personally , for me, like, that has been a godsend . And I love that everyone , like, such a huge part of your community is in Australia as well, too, for me personally , because I just felt like, you know, I've been in sort of that online course area since 2018, but I haven't really come across that kind of community just yet that I sort of needed . So I love that . So thank you so much for sort of building that and creating that and providing that to people , I think .
Tina Tower 00:38:16
Thank you. Well, we love having you, and you were one of the top ten performers of 2022 as well. I'm sure you're going to be there in 2023 . What big goal are you working on now?
Sandra Chau 00:38:30
So, for me, I'm just going all back in onto my course this year, which is the first for a while for the first in a couple of years. And one of my focuses this year after my launch is to tweak my funnel , I think , because for me, because I do have that other side of the business , my funnel actually does the work behind the scenes . And so that's been really great . But I think in these last few years, especially because the landscape has changed a bit in terms of marketing , visuals , all that sort of thing , I'm just really looking forward to having the time to really sit down and go through what I put together , like two years ago and tweak it, because I'm one of those people . I put things out there and then they're like, oh, they're working . I'll just keep it there for a bit . I'll get to it when I have time passes and then you're like, okay. It's like now since 2008 , I'm finally updating my course . Even the Instagram chapter in my course wasn't really up to date because it changes so much . So I'm really looking forward to having that sort of space to really just make everything , I guess , the best that it can be and then have that sort of space again and the time to really pour into my students because before I felt a bit stretched . And so I'm just really looking forward to that this year, and that's kind of my main goal on the online side.
Tina Tower 00:39:41
Amazing . Well, thank you for sharing so honestly with everybody . I know it's going to be so incredibly helpful and I'm cheering you on all the way. It's going to be awesome.
Sandra Chau 00:39:51
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me, Tina. I really, really appreciate it.
Tina Tower 00:39:54
Tina Tower 00:39:56
This episode was brought to you by my signature group coaching program , her Her Empire Builder, the best online education for female course creators in the world . Check it [email protected] .com. Along with so many free resources to help you get building your empire and seeing those results that you deserve . If you loved this episode , please don't keep it a secret . Share it with a friend on social media and tag me at Tina underscore Tower and give it review. It really does help us to be able to bring you bigger and better content as we grow. Have the most beautiful day.