She tried to REFUND my program… How this Social Media Manager went from asking for a refund to 10K months

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Looking for tips on how to pivot from your 9-5 to starting your own business? Wondering how you can make consistent 10K months as a social media manager and coach?

I interviewed Ellen MacKenzie, on the Turn Your Followers Into Clients Podcast. To explore how she went from a BOSSGRAM Academy student who was wanting a refund to now making consistent 10K/months as a social media manager. 

Ellen is a social media manager and coach who specializes in helping small business owners overcome their social media struggles and smash their business goals. 

After three years working as a journalist in New Zealand while also juggling freelance social media work, she decided to take ‘the leap’. In October 2019, she left her full-time job and officially launched her boutique digital marketing agency, Dishing Up Digital. 

We dive into the juicy episode of how she wanted to refund The BOSSGRAM Academy, why we said no, and how that led her to where she is today making $10,000 per month online using social media. 

If you prefer to listen to the podcast, make sure you check out the latest episode here and I would love to know if today’s episode resonates with you.

But if you prefer to read, then keep scrolling to learn more about how Ellen was able to go from a 9-5 to making 10K/month as an online entrepreneur. 

Transitioning from a Career in Journalism to Social Media

Ellen started off her career with what she thought was her dream job. 

She worked as an entertainment writer where she had the chance to interview celebrities in LA. On the outside, it looked like a dream life. But on the inside, she realized she didn’t have the passion for it anymore and became miserable. 

The turning point that led her to pivot in her career was when she got into a skiing accident and ended up with a concussion. She had to spend a week in bed, off work, with no technology, alone with her thoughts. 

That’s when she really paused and realized that she wanted a change in her life. As someone who already loved blogging and digital media, marketing was the first field that came into her mind. 

At first, she applied for marketing jobs of all types and levels but could not get an interview no matter what. That’s when she decided to take matters into her own hands with the idea of starting her own business. 

It was during that time that Ellen came across my content on YouTube and one night after she had just left her job. She watched my free master class and just decided, “YOLO” and bought The BOSSGRAM Academy.

Asking for a Refund and Why We Said No

Refunds are very common, especially in digital courses. 

So why did Ellen ask to refund the program? At what point in the course did she ask to refund the program? 

The reason that Ellen wanted a refund was that she thought the course would be more focused on social media management. 

So she bought the course, logged in all excited and it was a big surprise to see that most of the modules were about coaching. Specially, on the business side of starting a coaching business and how to use social media to grow your business. When she saw that it was not what she had expected, she panicked and demanded a refund. 

The deeper reason behind that panic to refund the program was because she was coming from a place where she was very scared and had a lot of self-doubt due to the awful breakup she’d experienced two weeks before. 

She told me, Of course, it made sense that I wanted to invest in this program and add that kind of asset to my business. But at the time, I just freaked out and I was coming from a place where I was very scared and I had a lot of self-doubts. 

I went through an awful breakup two weeks before launching my business. So an eight-year relationship ended out of the blue. And for me, I always say that was the darkest point in my life. 

I’ve never experienced such sadness and also self-doubt. 

To clarify for our readers, we do have a 60-day refund policy. It’s really hard to say no to a customer who’s upset. It’s a very hard conversation to have on our end too. 

But you gotta do the work. You can ask for refunds if you feel like you’re not getting results in the program but the key thing is you have to show us that you’ve tried to implement the strategies we teach. 

We would have given the refund to Ellen, but she would have had to show us that she tried the program. And because we said no to Ellen and asked her to do the work and submit the documents in order to qualify for the refund. It forced her to go through the course again from beginning to end. 

If we had been like, okay, yeah, sure, Ellen, you’re having a hard time and you’re scared. That’s okay, here’s your money back. Screw the terms and conditions that we have, then Ellen likely might not have gotten whatever transformation that she had gotten.

On our team, apart from celebrating huge milestones like our students signing clients and hitting their income goals. We also celebrate the situations where we’re able to turn around these refund requests and have people thrive because of the boundaries that we set.

How She Started Making Profit in Her Business

The funny thing that Ellen wanted to explain was that the first time she went through the program she actually rushed through it and skipped some steps. 

So when she launched her first Instagram course, nobody ended up registering or showed any interest. But instead of being embarrassed about her first launch, she thought, I’ve obviously done something wrong.

She went back to the course a second time, went through this process a lot slower and did it properly. 

The funny thing that Ellen wanted to explain was that the first time she went through the program she actually rushed through it and skipped some steps. 

So when she launched her first Instagram course, nobody ended up registering or showed any interest. But instead of being embarrassed about her first launch, she thought, I’ve obviously done something wrong.

She went back to the course a second time, went through this process a lot slower and did it properly. 

One of the beginning modules in the program that she had skipped was marketing research. And when she came back to that lesson it became the most part of the program for her. 

Through the questionnaires she collected, she was able to pull out all these keywords that people have been given her and she turned that into a sales page as we recommend in the program. 

This way, you can understand specifically what someone’s pain point or goals are. And you put those words into your sales page and it will speak to people on a whole other level. 

After going through the program again from beginning to end, Ellen was able to go from zero to a hundred in her business very quickly. 

She began working on her second launch in December of 2020. This time it was a six weeks program just for social media managers, with 8 spots only. Even though she only had 3000 followers on her Instagram page, within two weeks of her launch, five people signed up! A week before the course start date, she exceeded her goal and had people on the waitlist! 

Since that first relaunch, she’s launched it two more times with a bunch more people on the waitlist! 

Ellen’s Advice to Social Media Managers Who Want to Start Their Own Business or Increase Their Income

What changed the game for Ellen was really diversifying the packages she offered in her business and focusing on generating more streams of income. 

That’s when she was able to hit her first 10K month.

Some ways she diversified her packages was through:

  • One-off strategy sessions
  • Photography 
  • Social media management packages 
  • E-books
  • Having a YouTube channel 
  • Coaching 

She made her first 10K month, the month before she started her coaching program. She had been promoting the fact that it’s possible to make $10,000 a month without having to do coaching because there are lots of people who only want to be a social media manager and not a coach. 

And then from there since introducing her coaching services, she’s been able to hit 10K months consistently, which is crazy! 

Bonus Tip: if you want to be a successful social media manager and make lots of money, increase your prices. You’re not going to hit 10K months if you’re only working with 10 clients for $500, you need to be charging more for the work you do. 

Ellen’s Tips for New Entrepreneurs

#1 Don’t let fear control your life

Fear controls us too much in our life. And once you let go of that, you’ll have a new found freedom with your business. She’s tried so many different things in her business. She wrote an ebook, is currently writing a second ebook. She has digital products that she sells on her website, Instagram templates people can buy. She’s now exploring selling physical products, and even if some of these ventures don’t work out, she’s learnt to not care too much about it. Because it’s all about learning and experiencing new things and trying new things.

 

#2 Confidence matters 

When you become more confident, it’ll flow onto so many aspects of your business. When you’re more confident, you’ll believe that you’re an expert, you’ll increase your prices and you can start making more money. When Ellen first started, she was so terrified, and would only charge people $200 to manage their whole social media for a month. Now she charges them around $800. And she wouldn’t be able to do that if she didn’t believe in myself.

What's Your Motivation for Sharing This Story?

I just remember when I was stuck in a job, miserable and working 11 hour days, I would sit on the bus home, plug in my headphones and listen to podcasts of great female entrepreneurs and that would make me feel so inspired. 

I thought, if Vanessa can do this, I can do this. 

I think it’s really important to not just share your success stories. There’s so many people online advertising how they went from zero to 200K in one year or how they made 10K in the first month of launching a business! 

That wasn’t me! I didn’t do that! I made $2,000 in my first month, and then took a break and went to Bali. 

I think it’s really important that people hear that. Not all entrepreneurial journeys are this exponential curve. 

I just remember when I was stuck in a job, miserable and working 11 hour days, I would sit on the bus home, plug in my headphones and listen to podcasts of great female entrepreneurs and that would make me feel so inspired. 

I thought, if Vanessa can do this, I can do this. 

I think it’s really important to not just share your success stories. There’s so many people online advertising how they went from zero to 200K in one year or how they made 10K in the first month of launching a business! 

That wasn’t me! I didn’t do that! I made $2,000 in my first month, and then took a break and went to Bali. 

I think it’s really important that people hear that. Not all entrepreneurial journeys are this exponential curve. 

As soon as you leave your job, it is really hard. And I think people need to be kind of confident in the fact that if they’re struggling, if they’ve been through a really tough situation, you can still come from that low point and turn it into something great. 

You can push through and become what you want to.

I’m still here, I still have a business during a global pandemic. 

Now I’m in a new relationship as well and like happier than I could ever be. 

So I look at everything and think that it’s really just meant to be. 

You can be in the middle of that hard period and not see a way out. 

If you stay optimistic and think, okay, it’s a really bad place now, but I know I’m on the right path. There’s going to be something at the end. 

Then I think that mentality is what will make you a great entrepreneur. 

What Was Your Experience In The BOSSGRAM Academy?

The reality is when you have a roadblock or a hard situation in your business, you do get a little bit lonely. 

There’s no one to bounce ideas around, off. And for me doing The BOSSGRAM Academy, it sounds really cheesy, but it was like having a colleague with me. It was something that I can revert back to when I need a little bit of guidance. 

When you have those moments of doubt in your business, you can go back to the program. I’ve read through some modules multiple times, I love that it’s always there. When you released The BOSSGRAM Academy 3.0, I got to do that as well. I was like, Oh my God, there’s so much cool stuff in here as well. 

And I really love it. It’s been a true asset to my business and I definitely wouldn’t be here where I am and wouldn’t have created my program without it. 

Stay Updated With Ellen

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Cheering for you, Boss! 

– Vanessa

PS: Have you attended my free masterclass yet to help you turn your followers into clients, just like I did? If not, CLICK HERE to register before seats fill up!

by vanessalau

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