How to Up-Level Your Business by Using Your Goals and Working Backwards with Johanna Voss

by Amanda Abella  - October 26, 2021

Johanna Voss and I are on the same page about women making money. Who is Joanna and how did she get here?

Johanna is a Pisces who lives in Denver and has been working for herself for over a decade.

“Like every good entrepreneur, I’ve had a bunch of seemingly random pivots.”

For example, as a nutrition coach for women doing half marathons, she pivoted to doing strategy and operations for solo female business owners when they had become successful and established. They were looking for their next phase of growth and understanding.

Delegating and Streamlining Your Business

Johanna talked about delegating for growth and streamlining systems in her new business. You need to delegate. That behind-the-scenes work led her to the first influencer talent client, Lorraine laddish of Viva 50.

“I was doing a strategy session with her in Florida, and I didn’t know anything about influencer marketing.” Talking with Lorraine and using backward design to get her business to the next level, Johanna asked about her life’s different pillars and lanes. When she crunched her numbers, she found that Lorraine wasn’t charging her clients enough.

“We changed her rates and talked about all the different ways to negotiate and think about project work, what she could offer, and how she can be more efficient and streamlined.” At this point, she wanted Johanna to be her manager. “The power of seeing that impact on her because of the extra stress that was relieved from having more cashflow.” In addition, she also felt good about the value that she added to the project and getting paid what she was worth.

Selling Through Word of Mouth Referrals

Once she started getting more referrals through word of mouth, she connected with me from a mutual fund advisor, Stephanie Halligan. “The reality is, we’re always selling, whether you’re selling a restaurant or your partner for your date night.” However, selling around yourself and your business can’t get weird for most people.

Why You Don’t Have a Cap on Your Income

There’s no cap on your income if you are a business owner; you are commission only. When you haven’t trained people to start bringing in sales for you, then you are commission only.

Using technology, building systems, and delegating through those systems will make money for your business. However, you can’t just wish for new business; it’s not going to just come to you magically. “One of the things that’s really irritating me about online spaces right now, is the build it and they will come attitude.”

Building Relationships and the Importance of Following Up

Selling is much more about building relationships and following up once you’ve made that connection. But, first, you need to make sure to stay in touch. “At the end of the day, I need someone to be super responsive. I can’t bring in someone who works for two hours on Thursday and Friday afternoon.” That’s one of the reasons I started hiring employees versus contractors at one point because I wanted employees to who I had their attention.

Planting the Seeds of Sales

Instead of the super hard pitch, go in with value and plant the seed. “My recommendation is to just ask. Let’s say I have good ideas a client wants to work with, then I connect with the person I have a relationship. If I don’t have a relationship, I connect on LinkedIn and introduce myself and ask if they are open to connection?”

Balancing Your CEO Power

Johanna says she doesn’t live a life of drama, which has a lot to do with your general success, ability, and how you show up. So much is lost in that swirling of emotions. You don’t want to get caught up in that.

“Your world is going to question you,” says Johanna. We’ve gone through so many changes to our social circle, community, support group, friends, and even within your family.” She says she doesn’t always celebrate her successes with her family because doing so creates a trigger.

She prides herself on her life being simple and straightforward without physical, digital, or mental clutter. Johanna also likes her niche of an all-female clientele, with most of her clients’ women of color.

The Importance of Having Business Boundaries

Boundaries are essential to protect your personal freedom. “I’ve had people come to me that would be great clients. Their businesses are super successful, except they are a dude.” So she looks to find a way to set up herself and her business situation to pick who she wants to work with and how she works with her clients.


Resources that are mentioned or add value to this episode:

Redefining Women's Wealth with Patrice Washington

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