MENU

Turning Dreams into Reality: Building a Successful Online Business

Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with Becci Hollis, where we are talking all about how she stopped trading her time for money and created an online business that has meant she now has the freedom to be able to work from anywhere in the world.

In this episode, Becci shares her story so far, what was necessary to have in place to create the online business she has today, as well as some invaluable insights and tips for people who want to work more passively.

Becci is a nail technician, beauty educator and the owner of Blossom Academy. She started in the beauty industry just over 9 years ago and built her business from doing clients in between and after university lectures, to being fully booked and completely self employed. She became an educator so that she could pass on her knowledge and passion to help others to create their own successful beauty business.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

  1. The importance of passion, hard work and being willing to invest, if you want to succeed
  2. The lessons Becci has learned and the key behind being able to scale an online business
  3. The marketing strategy behind Becci's success

If you enjoyed this episode then please feel free to go and share it on your social media or head over to iTunes and give me a review, I would be so very grateful.

 

LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE

Connect with Becci on Instagram

Find out more about Blossom Academy

Connect with Teresa on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook

Transcript

Teresa: Hello and welcome back to the Your Dream Business Podcast. How are you doing this week? I hope you're good. So this week I have another interview and  I have a very dear friend who I have known for a very long time. I was like, I said this the other day actually on an episode that I've been just interviewing people that I love, which is awesome because I just have conversations and like, I'd love to know what you lot think.

Cause I think it makes a better. A better, I can't speak a better interview because we're just having a chat and I enjoy it more anyway. So today I am interviewing the very lovely Becci Hollis, who is a nail technician and beauty educator and the owner of Blossom Academy. She started in the beauty industry over nine years ago and has built her business from doing clients in between and after university lectures and now is fully booked and completely self employed.

She then became an educator Educator. I hate reading as you well know everybody. So she could pass on her knowledge and her passion to help others and create their own successful beauty businesses. Becci Hollis, welcome to the podcast.

Becci: Hello. Thank you for having me.

Teresa: I am very happy to have you Becci. Not only am I happy because this is the last podcast I'm recording today, which as much as I love them, what I've done a lot.

I'm happy about that. But because to have you on, because like, you're Becci Hollis, like, and people who are in my world and have been in the club will know Becci Hollis, but the, the story of how we've kept coming into each other's world is just amazing. So let's take us back to when you first reach out to me.

Cause like that was a million years ago. So let's start the story there, Becci.

Becci: Yeah. A lot's happened since then, hasn't it?

Teresa: Boy has a lot happened.

Becci: So how long ago would it have been? I mean, I was at university, I was doing my dissertation and my mum told me about this marketing lady that she'd heard of.

And because my degree was in marketing. I needed an expert to interview. So I went onto your website, I think, and submitted a contact form or something like that. I don't even remember how it was now. And yeah, basically I interviewed you for my dissertation. You were my expert that I interviewed.

Teresa: And I remember sitting at ADCA where my daughter used to go to school in the car park waiting to pick her up.

And I'd booked this call with you and I was on my phone because we had an actual phone call. We didn't have a zoom back in those days. And, and I remember you interviewed me and I remember you said, would I like to see your finished dissertation? So I said, yes, that would be lovely. It was awesome. It was really, really good.

You've done this whole like gamification thing to do with clothes and I can't remember the full details, but it was very good, Becci.

Becci: Oh, thank you. I enjoyed doing it, actually.

Teresa: So, so that was the first time. Well, what we thought was the first time we met. And then you had finished uni. And was that then when you said, could you come and do some work for free and come and just do some work experience with me?

Becci: Yeah. Yeah, so I was just trying to get some experience because obviously, you know what it's like when you first graduate, nobody wants to actually give you that initial experience. You have the degree, but no experience. So yeah, you very kindly had me for, was it a week?

Teresa: Yeah, maybe a week or two, I think.

And then you came back into my world again because you worked for, you actually, and this is kind of the irony of it all, you worked for a company that taught beauty industry people, didn't you?

Becci: Yeah. Yes, I did. Yeah. So I was doing their marketing, but then also used to help out on the courses as well. And I think that's when I sort of first started to realize how much I loved the beauty industry.

Yeah. And yeah, we reached out to you for help with the marketing, didn't we?

Teresa: Yeah. So I came and did some training or some consultancy or something. And then, and then the next time. You were working somewhere else in a completely different industry and

Becci: I've tried a few things.

Teresa: Yeah, well, you've got to, and you were young, like you were, like, how old are you now, Becci? You're 24, 25? Oh

Becci: 27.

Teresa: Oh, I've still, you're stuck in that age with me. But like, so you were pretty young then and you still are pretty young, much younger than I am, but then you worked for another company and. They reached out to me before you knew, and I rocked up and there's Becci Hollis working at this place.

We were like, and then we did, I did some more training there and I did some consultancy there. And then you got in contact with me cause you were not very happy in that role. And as we later discovered Becci, just as like me, wouldn't be happy working for anybody. We are good working for ourselves. And then you did some more work experience with me.

Becci: So, yeah, I was like, I just want to work for you again for free.

Teresa: Which I was like, yeah, sure, go on. And then we got to the point where you then started working properly for me, didn't you? So you had set up. doing. So the nail thing you'd always done, you'd always done nails, like from, like you said, at university, that was how you made money go through uni, wasn't it?

And when I say nails, in case someone isn't sure, explain to them what you mean by you do nails.

Becci: Yeah. So I make people's nails pretty. So I do basically all types of gel nails and yeah, I can enhance them. I can do it on the natural nails. Yeah. Basically just make them pretty. Isn't it?

Teresa: Yeah. So like, yeah.

Not like fake, fake nails, but like, yeah, the gel thing. So, so you went back to doing a bit of that, to doing a marketing thing and part of doing the marketing thing was working for me in my team, which you did for, how long did you work in my team for?

Becci: I reckon it was maybe 18 months to two years, because my role kind of kept on expanding, didn't it?

I started with just a very small part, but then, yeah, it expanded.

Teresa: Basically became my right arm. So obviously all this time, Becci keeps coming back into my world, back into my world, back into my world, and you're trying out things. So let's, let's take it from there then. So you have got three businesses at this point, no, technically two.

Because you hadn't got the academy yet, had you?

Becci: No, not quite.

Teresa: Okay, so you were working as a nail technician, doing nails, and then working as a marketing person. Doing marketing for me and others, and then tell us what happened.

Becci: So lockdown happened and obviously I then couldn't do any nails. That side of my business was completely closed.

I panicked because I had a mortgage to pay and bills to pay. So, yeah, I was like, right. Well, the only thing I can do is ramp up the marketing, which luckily I had some good connections and good contacts. And once I sort of put it out there and that this is what I'm doing, I luckily gained a lot of clients and yeah, it literally went from there.

I think it was the end of 2020 that I then decided to become an educator whilst we were still in lockdown because I could train online and that's when I kind of, when I reopened the beauty business, when we could finally work again. Mm-Hmm. , I was then into more of the teaching, but obviously my marketing, I still did up until sort of early this year, 2023.

Teresa: You. When you talked about the education, you first started educating in person, didn't you? That was how your business looked in the beginning.

Becci: Yeah. So at that point I then had three things that I was doing because I still had all my marketing clients. I still had nail clients and then I was teaching courses.

So it was a lot.

Teresa: But You just did the in person, you weren't doing the online stuff at that point, were you? Then remind me, because obviously the other thing that was always very exciting about your story was that you created a business that meant you could go traveling. So how much of the online stuff had you got sorted before you left to go to Australia?

Becci: It was all, it was all up and running.

Teresa: Up and running by then, yeah, I thought it was.

Becci: Because we went in 2022. So I'd had two years of educating and in that time I'd created all the online versions of the courses. So then when I went to Australia to live, I could still run that business even though I wasn't teaching in person.

Teresa: And the good news about that was you pretty much stopped most of your marketing clients, especially the big ones like me. So for someone like me, Becci was my right hand, which meant we spoke all the time. We had like, you know, a lot of calls. She was constantly back and forth with me and obviously going to Australia.

Initially we were going to make it work, weren't we? And then luckily when, do you know what, I'm not going to be able to relax. And that was my big concern that you would just wouldn't switch off and you wouldn't like take that time and that's the whole point of you going. So then were you able, so let's go back a bit.

So let's talk about the shift to opening the online and how long was it? Well, how did those early days go? Those first few months, first year, when was it that you went, Oh no, this is working?

Becci: I mean, I was pretty busy with the in person training. I mean, I wasn't charging enough at all for those in person courses because I was charging for a one to one course because I didn't have, like, all the kit and everything to be able to do the group courses.

So, I was charging what I charge now for a group course as a one to one. So, the people who trained in the beginning had to That's a good deal there, but it was great because it was all good experience. So it got me to this point now. But when I was doing the training nails and marketing, it did become quite apparent that, you know, my head was always in three different places.

And as well, I mean, you know me, like I. Have a tendency to burn myself out before I then take a step back and go, hang on, we can't sustain this. So I was just continually doing this burnout cycle, but I loved all three things. So I didn't really want to sort of give any of them up. And yeah, I think.

Conversation that we had probably maybe six months down the line, six, yeah, six, 12 months down the line where I just said, you know, I am at capacity. I can't physically take on any more nail clients. I can't do any more marketing hours. And, you know, I want to do these courses more, but my time is just completely taken by everything else.

So then we started to have a conversation of, right, how can I sort of make it more online and more scalable and stop sort of trading my time for money all the time? And that was what sort of initially sparked the, the idea of the online courses. And then I just kind of ran with it from there, didn't I?

Teresa: Yeah. And I think, so this, you are like the perfect example of how an online business should look because you had a passion and an expertise in an area that you loved. You never came in and bearing in mind, you knew the online world because you were working with me and I was all online, but you never came in and went, how can I create an online business and get rich?

Like, it was never that, was it? It was like, You loved doing the courses. You loved doing the education side. You loved helping other technicians and people in the beauty industry. And it was like the online aspect was just another part of that. It wasn't like, Oh, now I want to get rich being online. It's like, this is my expertise.

That's just a medium as to how I can do that. So, so yeah, what point did you think? This is working. Did it work pretty quickly? Obviously, I know, but for, you know, the, the people listening, like, how long was it before you went, Oh, hang on, like, this is going to make me money.

Becci: Well, I remember when we first, when I first started it and I was on a coaching call with you and you sort of said, you know, what's the goal.

And I think I remember saying to you, if I can just sell one course a week, I'll be happy. And. It was like that for probably the first six months, I would say. It was kind of like a tumbleweed, but you know, I'd spent hours and hours and a lot of money putting these courses together, paying for all the website, the editing, everything.

And I didn't get a return on it for a long time because I didn't have my SEO sorted and, you know, I'd built an audience before I'd launched them, but once they'd kind of all purchased that, that was it. And I didn't know how to continue that momentum. I think the real shift was probably. I would say a year later, I, all of a sudden it wasn't all of a sudden, but I started to gain a lot more momentum on my social media.

I started to sort of create a bit more of a platform for myself. And then we started looking at things like SEO and paid ads and, you know, driving that traffic. And that definitely came with the help of other people as well. That wasn't my expertise at all. So I would say the, you know, the real turning point was once I started to be able to then hire other people to do those things for me, because at first, you know, yes, I'd created the product.

I knew the product was good, but I couldn't get enough people to kind of see it. And yeah, to just get on the website and then obviously to purchase. So yeah, I would say actually, when I went to Australia, Which is so ironic. I had my best year ever when I was actually not even in the country, which is so weird.

Teresa: Yeah, but you were technically traveling, having a gap year, but that was when it worked. But then that, and this is the thing, like, there's so many things to talk about with you, because that is almost like people's dream, that they can get on with their life and a business can just run and make money. But one thing I want to say before we get to that, and actually what it has meant for you, You worked your backside off, right?

And this is the bit that people don't always want to do. Now, what happens when people start an online business? Right, so the few things that led, I think, to your success, right? Obviously, working with me was a me No, I'm joking. Obviously, because I was in your world. No, I am teasing. Because Becci works really flippin hard.

So, the first thing is, right, when people move to the online thing, thing, like if I was to kind of list out what made you successful, one was this was your passion. It was your thing. So tick, right. You're not just in it for the online thing. You're not just in it for the money. You love this stuff.

The second thing I think that was really worked for you was the fact that you worked so incredibly hard while setting that up. Now, there's two things people can do here. You had money coming in from the marketing side of your business. You had money coming through the nail side of your business. And even when you're to Australia, you still did nails, didn't you?

Because That was actually a really lovely way for you to meet people, to get to know people and stuff. And your partner at the time, he was, because you both have to work when you do that kind of traveling thing. And I only know all this because of Becci going, but, but he had to do a job that took him away for like the week.

So you were on your own in another country. And I know Becci and Becci is a real home bird and she had, and I remember talking to you really early doors because it was hard. It was, you know, it's not what I imagine. I think people like, Oh my God, you're so lucky you get trouble. And I don't ever think that you might be out there going, I'm not sure I want to be here, but you had built a really lovely life.

You were successful. You were earning money. You had your life exactly as you wanted it. You know, you were going to the gym and you were with your friends and like. And then you upheaved all that to go to Australia. So it was a big, big, and that was a massive and in fact, if I think about it. That changed you a lot when I think about the Becci who's back, like that, that trip and that having to go through something quite tough, which like I said, most people wouldn't look at it and go, well, that's tough taking a year out and whatever, going traveling, but, but you were away from your family.

You were away from your friends. You were in a country that was brand new. Your partner at the time wasn't even with you most of the time because he was having to go away to work. It was massive. So, so yeah, so you kept earning money in other places, which then enabled you to invest in your online business.

And I think where lots of people go wrong is they either Aren't willing to do both at once, which you were, and then they don't have any money to invest in their online thing. And they get to a point where they're not earning enough in anything and therefore they can't invest. Whereas you went, okay, I'm gonna have to work my backside off and you've never been afraid of hard work ever, but a matter of months and months and months until I can start seeing this make money and pay it out.

And then you invested and you still do invest heavily to this day in terms of Facebook ads. You did a whole thing of SEO. You're constantly looking at using those paid platforms to get people in, aren't you?

Becci: Yeah, definitely. And it's only been since sort of April last year, 2023, when I got home from Oz that I've actually been fully just Blossom Academy.

That's why I've always had to do multiple things because I've had to sort of diversify because yeah, it's like having all your eggs in one basket, isn't it? And I wouldn't have been able to, like you say, grow the online side without having that money from other sources to invest.

Teresa: But then your business wouldn't have grown to the level it has if you hadn't have invested.

There's no way, you know, you were doing really well. There's no doubt about that. In terms of most of the online businesses I've seen and helped, your business did organically take off, but it would have never, or I think so, and I'd be interested to hear your take, I don't think it would ever have got to the scale it is now if you hadn't have invested that money.

Becci: Yeah, a hundred percent. I would agree. Yeah. Yeah.

Teresa: So, so that was the next thing is that you went out and you invested in stuff. And then what, the thing that I love about this story as well is most people come into the online space so that they can live on the beach and not work and they want this passive income, passive my backside, we wish it was passive income.

However, You've been able to create a whole nother dream based on the fact that you've built this. So tell us what's happened since you've come home.

Becci: Yeah, so I signed a lease on a premises for myself for the academy, but now also there's a salon attached to it. So I have eight girls working in there.

Teresa: Honestly, Becci, like, I can't tell you. I've been obviously to Becci's salon. It's not far from where I live and Becci does my nails, which is lovely, which is nice because we just get to chat and catch up. However, like, honestly, I was like the proudest person ever seeing Becci do that. And I think That's the, that comes back to you creating your dream, you deciding what success looks like for you and you decided that yes, although the online business was bringing you in a very reasonable amount of money to say it politely.

Actually, what your dream was, was to have an actual in person academy where people could come and train and learn and be in your world. And you've done that. It's huge.

Becci: Thank you.

Teresa: Honestly, Becci, it's massive. Not only that, you also bought a new house as well, didn't you, Becci?

Becci: Yeah, I just decided to do that on top of that as well.

Teresa: So you're 27. You have your own house that you've just bought a new house, you had another property and you've. You're coming out of that property, you're buying, you've bought your own house, which you're doing up top to the bottom, like everything being done, you have an online business. So just give us an idea of how successful that online business is in figures that you're happy to share in terms of number of students that have gone through, how many courses you're roughly selling a month, whatever you're happy to share.

Becci: Yeah. So we, I think we probably have on average about 130 students come through a month. So, yeah, and then, I mean, the in person courses, we've had multiple fully booked ones over the last few months as well. So they're starting to get really busy, but yeah, so it's, we've trained, I think it's I mean for 1600 students now since starting.

Yeah.

Teresa: I mean, how does that feel? Because you just said we, and obviously you have people in the team, but you're the one who's trained them. You're the one who they're learning from. How does that feel knowing that?

Becci: Yeah. I mean, it's quite, when you see a number, you can't almost expect it can you? But when I think, gosh, if all those people were in one room, that would be a lot of people.

Teresa: That's a huge fricking room.

Becci: Yeah. That's a lot of people. So yeah, it's, it's amazing. I, it's still, I pinch myself that this is, you know, I get to cool work and I say all the time, but it really is a dream come true.

Teresa: Yeah. And it's amazing. So. What have, what are the things that you've learned creating this business and is there anything you'd have done differently?

Becci: I think the biggest thing I've learned is that done is better than perfect because my course, my online courses are not perfect. The voiceovers are a little bit dodgy in some places, but. They provide value to my students and people get so much out of them. It doesn't need to be perfect and if actually I'd have, you know, got them all professionally filmed and all of that and spent all of that money and Taking all that time, I probably still wouldn't have even launched them and, you know, you just think, gosh, yeah, I did kind of throw them up at the start and I've tried to, you know, improve them from there and every single one I do, I do slightly, you know, more streamlined process and things like that, but actually sort of just got it out and to start selling them was better and then you can always tweak afterwards because, you know, like I say, you could procrastinate about it for a years.

And just never get it up there. So yeah, done is better than perfect. I've also learned that we all have our own zone of geniuses, as you say, because, you know, we can't be masters in everything and we do have to ask for help. And I think it's really important to identify what your zone of genius is and make sure that your time is spent doing that.

And actually, if you're trying to figure out, you know, things like SEO, if I was to go and do a course on it and learn about it and spend my time doing that, it's then taken away from The bits that I'm really good at and that come really naturally to me. So, you know, by paying someone to do that and to take it off my plate, I think that's how you can then scale your business because your time is then kept to the things that you're really good at.

Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. And what would you do differently?

Becci: I don't know, because even things that have not gone so well, I just see as a lesson. So I feel like I wouldn't really change. That's a really boring answer, isn't it?

Teresa: No, it's not. It's not. It's a great answer. Because you're right. Like, everything that got you to this point here has got you to this point here.

So, you kind of needed all those things. You needed all the, you know, the things that maybe didn't go quite right. And like you said, you've learnt from them. One thing I want to talk about, because it's a funny story, but, is One of the areas that I've seen you really grow in over the years is becoming more confident to show up as you.

So you wanted to go live, didn't you, Becci? Yes. I know what you're going to say. Becci, I'll go live with you and I'll interview you. That was it. Because you were selling a course. Were you selling an in person thing or your first online one?

Becci: Launching the online courses.

Teresa: Yes, it was. So we were going through because obviously Becci worked with me, but you know, we kind of obviously she's in my world and I can't help but coach people and give people advice and you know, whether they want it or not, no, I would ask.

So Becci and I were talking about how she could launch it and all the things that she could do and all the different stuff. Anyway, we. I said to her, right, you could do this, this, this. And then I said, you should go live. And she was like, no, I don't want to go live. I've not gone live. Didn't want to do it.

I said, I'll go live with you. We go live together and then I can interview you and I can ask you about the course. We went live and somehow, and I guess this is still on your Instagram somewhere.

Becci: Yeah, you're gonna have to share this on your Instagram when you share it.

Teresa: We're gonna have to put a link to it, right.

So somehow, as we were, the live started off okay, but then suddenly my face got really sooty.

Becci: It just went zoom.

Teresa: Yeah, like literally my whole face filled the screen. Because I couldn't see this. Because I think I'm fine. And everyone is like, no, your face is massive. So then, eventually I did something. And so I managed to Get rid of it.

We carried on. And then afterwards, the thing got uploaded. It was absolutely hilarious. But what was the best thing about it was this poor Becci going, I'm really nervous to go live. It's all right, Becci, I'll go live with you, the confident one, and I'll mess up. And then you can see how easy it is. God, it was so funny.

Becci: It was so funny. And I was trying to carry on as normal talking to it. It just zoomed in.

Teresa: I keep saying it in the politest way she could find. I love it so much. So yeah, so how have you managed to grow your confidence so that over the years you, because you will now go on stories, you went through a whole thing of doing lives with people, you are happy to show your face, you're doing a podcast.

And it's so funny because I think if I had said to you, 18 months ago, do a podcast with me. You'd I don't know what to say to you and I'm not sure. And yeah, no, probably not. And then you sent me a podcast you'd done and I was like, Becci, you are brilliant. Like, so what, do you think there's anything that you've done to become more confident over the years?

Becci: I think it's just that whole, like feeling the fear and doing it anyway, and literally just faking it because. I've just got to the point where, and I think as well, it's probably come with age because obviously when you are young, you're so aware of everyone and what they can, you care way too much. So I would say it's definitely come with age, but also I just started to do it.

And yeah, cause I remember having a conversation with you and I was like, I can't even, I can't talk on my story. That, you know, that would be like the worst thing ever. And then I started to do it and the response that I would get, I would think, okay, this actually works. And then I think it was in lockdown.

I was doing a series of lives with people and that just sort of got me out there. And then yeah, just now I just, I don't even watch it back. I just literally put it up, put the captions on. And leave it and sometimes out of 10 I get lovely, you know, even if someone just hearts it or a reply or something to it and that just kind of gives you that boost each time and I just think the more you do it, the more you're like, Oh, it doesn't really matter.

I mean, I can't say I'd probably do it on, you know, my personal Instagram page, but definitely on, you know, your business page. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm like a, it's like my, what's the word, when you

Teresa: Your alter ego.

Becci: That's it, my alter ego.

Teresa: This is Becci Boston Academy Becci. This is normal Becci.

Becci: This is normal Becci Hollis.

Teresa: Yes. I also can't say a name without saying a surname, which is very odd. I don't know why that is. There are certain people in my world, which I call them by their full name always. And Becci Hollis is one of those. It's a very strange thing that I have. So if someone was sat listening to this thinking, I would like to earn that kind of money because a hundred and something students a month is phenomenal.

What advice would you give them if they wanted to create a business that did? And this is the thing, because you haven't created just a online business, just a passive income business. You have created a business that you love, but you have an element of it, which is online, which is funding other things, which is amazing.

So what would your advice be to them?

Becci: So, I mean, a bit like I do, teaching something. I mean, this is, this is your advice to you. You've taught me.

Teresa: Yeah, but people hear this, so you need to say it. A different voice will help.

Becci: You always said if you can do it, you can teach it. So, you know, depending on whatever your business is, if you can do something and it might seem just standard to you, but to somebody else, that might blow their minds because it's, you know, your special skills.

So I think definitely going down something like the teaching route, even if you are a service based provider and you could do sort of masterclasses and anything like that, they're all scalable, aren't they? Because you can sell an infinite amount of tickets for that one thing. So yeah, I think it's just getting creative, isn't it?

And I think as well, I found, and I still do this now, even with my content and things like that, I put myself in the shoes of my consumer and I know exactly who my customer is and what they need. And it's me, it's making something that is going to either solve a problem for them or just add value for them.

So. Just really getting to know what they want and where they want to get to is going to help with that and whether that's a free resource or a free, not free, sorry, we're doing paid now, aren't we?

Teresa: Oh, you can do it for free, you're not going to make a lot of money. That's not the whole, yeah. Just another episode all together.

Becci: Sorry, a paid masterclass, a paid resource.

Teresa: Let's make some money from this. Yeah. Yeah.

Becci: So yeah, just something that's just basically going to help them to get further so that closer to that goal that they have. So yeah. And I just think, like I say, don't make it perfect. Just get it done, get it up there and then listen to feedback and then you can always tweak it, add to it.

You know, it's not like it's just up there forever and you can never touch it again. So that's what I would say.

Teresa: I love that. And one thing that you, you are very good at knowing your customer because your social media posts are excellent. And obviously I'm not Becci's customer, but I have that same power that Becci has because we're marketers that we can easily put ourselves in the shoes of other people's customers.

And I just know when I read that content, I'm like, yeah, that is talking directly to your customer. So one final question, because I'm conscious of our time. What is work? And it's quite a big question. 20 minutes later, not joking. What is working for you right now? So if I was to lay out your marketing strategy for someone to go copy that, don't copy it, but you know what I mean?

What is, is working? And obviously I want you to split it out in between sales and audience building, because I know some things you'll do for sales and not necessarily what you're doing audience building. So what kind of marketing are you doing and what's working for you right now?

Becci: Okay. So there's a lot to break down.

So initially I, so organic social media, I use a lot of Instagram to do my audience building and we do use, I cross promote on Facebook as well. But to be honest, organically on Facebook at the moment, it's not doing as well, but Instagram, reels are doing really well. Just making sure that I have that hook that's going to get them to initially watch it.

Using trending audios and then having really quick, snappy bits of value for people, either in the reel or the caption. Shareable content, that's probably the content that goes the most. Viral, not even viral, but, you know, gets, gets the most engagement. And then I do get people following from that. So for example, I'll create content for nail techs to then share with their clients.

So, you know, I think I did one last month that just said, thank you clients. Thank you for supporting me in 2023. And I think it's got over 3000 likes it's been shared. Like thousands of times, because of course it's relevant to every single Nail Tech that's following me. And then, yeah, it's just a little thank you post, but all of those then Nail Techs are potentially customers for me.

So yeah, shareable content has been massive. In terms of, I do emails every week to my whole list, which are just kind of values. So that's kind of just nurturing the relationships. We only tend to do sort of really salesy ones, sort of once or twice a month, I would say. So otherwise, it's just kind of keeping people on the list, ready for when we do things like exclusive offers or big sales and things like that.

And then we do use paid ads. So we have over the Christmas period, because it was quite a low sales period for us, because of course, people are not focused on training and things like that. In December, it's kind of like Christmas is coming, this is happening. We use that time to do a lot of audience building.

So what we did was a competition to win a bundle of the free, I keep saying free, why is everything free?

Teresa: Listen, Becci, we are going to have to have a conversation if you're going to start giving things for free.

Becci: Yeah, it should be the online courses, the bundle of the online courses. We did a competition where people had to put their email address in.

And then it was announced on Boxing Day. So that built the email list. I think we had like 600 new subscribers from that. So that was really good. We always have free lead magnets as well. Those are actually free. They're all on the website. So things like checklists for nail techs, you know, free resources for them basically.

So as soon as they land on the website, if we can capture their details in terms of their email, that's always good. And then, yeah, once we've done a kind of building stage by the paid ads, we'll then start to retarget everybody that's visited the website with a bit more of a direct salesy. Type ads, and then hopefully convert them to customers.

So that's kind of been our strategy. And I am saying our because I do have help with my paid ads and things. But yeah, that's been. Doing really well, just kind of focusing on that build in the audience, really making sure that I'm like an authority as well, I think. So making sure that I'm, you know, showing up and that I am the face of the brand as well.

Cause I think that is quite important for what I do because it's that trust with people because of course they're going to be learning from me. So yeah.

Teresa: And you're an inspiration for them, like, you have literally, and this is the other thing that I like about you, you have walked the walk, like, you've done nails for years, you've built your own.

Like client business. You got fully booked with clients. You went and did all this training yourself. You went and learned these new things. So again, you know, you're not, sometimes it's really frustrating when people are like, you know, you and I have had many, many an honest conversation about this world, but you know, when someone buys a course on how to put together a course and then sells it saying, I could show you how to put together a course and they've never done it.

Like, no, no, no. You, you know, yeah. And, and how to, it's like when people talk about, you know, fully booked, I'll teach you how to be fully booked. And it's like, well, are you fully booked? Because I would question whether some of these people are. And I think that's the thing. I think you going through all the steps I think is, is awesome.

And then going, no, look, I've done it. So, and again, like there are some nail techs out there who are going to be aspiring to be you. Who are going to aspire to be the educators, to have a salon that is also a training academy, you know, to aspire to do all these things. And also Becci has a lovely eye for things.

So the, the academy itself is stunning. Everything's very pink, which obviously we love. We love. So we're very at home in the pink salon. But yeah, I was also just looking at your Instagram. So you put a post up that I think I shared the other day. Cause I was like, Oh, I wish I'd put that post up and it's not, they're not even my customers, but it worked for me.

So you put one up that says it's okay if all you did this year was survive. And it was very apt for how I was feeling at the time, but like. But it was a great post and I shared it because it's like, yeah, so that's what you mean by the shareable content, the stuff where people are going to go, Oh, I want to show my audience that and actually that's what you do really well in terms of doing that post that said, you know, dear clients, even though you were writing that and you do have a couple of clients, don't you know that you do nails for like literally she can cherry pick the nice people.

I'll put myself in that. But like, yeah. you know, even though you're putting that out potentially for yours, you're doing it because you want them to share. So for instance, one of the posts that I did, I think when Becci was with me was like five reasons to buy from a small business. Now, obviously I am a small business, but I was doing that more for people to share.

I'm not very good. We don't do a lot of shareable content. I should maybe do a bit more shareable content. There was something else you said that I wrote a note down and then I. forgot. Oh yeah, I was just going to ask, so you have your person who helps you with your ads, you have had help with SEO, do you have any other team members, as in for the online business side?

Becci: I do have some that helps from the admin side of things, so they'll just help with the emails, but yeah, really, it's kind of just me.

Teresa: Yeah, which again, Like, it's kind of amazing in the sense of your, you don't have to have the huge team. Now, great, you can, but you are bringing in, you know, a ton of money without having to do that.

So I think now for you, it's a case of if I brought someone into help here and here and here, would I make that much more money or would I just have an easier life or, you know, how would that be? So, so to finish off, Becci, what is the dream? Because you have achieved everything that, and then I'll tell them how we first knew each other.

You have achieved everything that you've ever told me you wanted. So what is next?

Becci: What's next? Well, I've still got half the salon to do. So

Teresa: Yeah, the place that she's Let is really big and I think you've already done quite a few rooms that are just stunning. So there's still some other salons, so make the salon bigger.

Becci: Which then will enable more people to wet down and see more beauty treatments to happen.

So we can be a kind of one stop shop. So that's kind of the dream with that. I just want to keep on expanding the team of lecturers as well, so to have more than just me, because I basically want to have everybody who is an expert in their field. That's why I'd say NAILS is mine. I want to have that for every single part of beauty.

So I've got a lot of people earmarked in Shrewsbury and I've told them all that they need to become educators. But basically, yeah, if they're an expert, I want them to then teach the courses. So I want to expand the team of tutors basically.

Teresa: So it's not just you, it really is an academy of teachers. I love it.

Becci: Definitely. Yeah. So that's it. And then just to continue, keep on seeing the world with my laptop and my online business at the same time as doing those bits in between.

Teresa: And you have had a really lovely 2023, like you have visited some places, you've done amazing things. You are just awesome, Becci Hollis, just awesome.

Becci: Thank you. So are you.

Teresa: Well, thank you. I've not quite done what you've done this year, but like, you know, not as much travel. I'd quite like a bit more of that. So the other, so I need to tell you about the original, what we worked out after Becci and I had been each other's world for years. We worked, this just makes me feel incredibly old.

I don't, I'm sure I must have said on the podcast at some time or another that I was once a nursery nurse, a qualified nursery nurse who worked at a nursery and we worked out that Becci was one of the kids that I looked after and it was so funny because the minute she said it and I met her mum and obviously I would have met her mum loads when I was looking after a daughter and yet her mum and I had never quite like, put two and two together.

And then Becci was talking about where she went to nursery and then she mentioned one of the staff and I was like, well, she was there while I was there. And I was like, Oh my God, you're Rebecca Hollis. And suddenly it all came to like, yeah, that's you. So I basically known Becci since she was two.

Becci: Yeah.

That's mad, isn't it?

Teresa: It is the universe wanted us in each other's worlds a hundred percent. So it was like, come on, back again, back again, until we finally got the message. I went, fine, we'll be friends. But honestly, Becci, you are an inspiration. And, and I hope you know that I hope you really know you are an inspiration because what you've achieved in the time that you've achieved it with the what's the word I'm looking for.

You've done it morally, and like, I can't think of the word I'm trying to think of, but you've done it really well, like you, you care, you give a damn, and you've created something that's awesome, and you've not just gone in it to get the money, so honestly, and whoever's listening to this now will be shouting out a word to me, and I can't hear it, but yeah, you should be so proud of yourself, Becci, because I am very proud of you.

Becci: Thank you.

Teresa: So where can people come and find you? And especially if someone knows someone who wants to be a Nail Tech, where can they come and find you and say how amazing you are? And they love this episode.

Becci: So the best place to find me on socials is Instagram. I am Blossom Academy. I still want to get Blossom Academy username, but someone else has got it.

Yeah. So just pop an underscore on that. And then my website is blossom-academy.co.uk. So that is where to find all the information. and pass it on if you would like to.

Teresa: Wonderful. Thank you so much for being on the podcast, Becci.

Becci: Thanks for having me.

Teresa: My pleasure. Okay. So thank you for joining us for today's podcast episode.

I hope you enjoyed it. Please, please, please do come and say hi to Becci. Do share this episode. Becci is the, the truth that this can be exactly what you want it to be. And she's done and she's making good money. with an online business and making it build the rest of her dream business. So it can be done.

It really, really can. So please do come and say hi to both of us. I will be back. I don't know if I'm going to, I think I might have a solo next week or maybe no, maybe I don't know. I'm just, I'm not even going to say whether I'm going to have, it's going to be a surprise. I'll be back next week with either an interview or a solo. I will see you then.