56: Unlock the Mystery: Spend or Skip? Where to Invest in Your Influencer Business

investing in your influencer business

In our new “Unlock the Mystery” series, we’re opening up the conversation about exactly how people make their money and where they struggle to help you get to the root of your relationship with money and reach your own earning potential.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “you’ve got to spend money to make money.”

But you’ve probably also heard “don’t throw good money after bad.”

The bottom line is, if you want to grow and scale your business you need to invest in your business, but not every investment is a smart one.
This is especially in the early stages, when every dollar counts and there’s little margin for error.

So where are the best places to spend money in your influencer business? What’s most likely to give you the best return on your investment?

Since this is a relatively new and quickly evolving industry, with new tools and platforms emerging all the time, there are no hard and fast rules: you’re not going to find a comprehensive, up-to-date guidebook on the best investments for influencer marketing businesses in your local library. We’ve been working in this space for over a decade, though, and we’re always excited to share what we’ve seen work— and what turned out to be a waste of time and money. (Keeping in mind that when you’re running a business, your time can be just as valuable as cash!)

In this episode of the Businessese Influencer Marketing Podcast, we advise you on when to skip or spend (in the style of Eat This, Not That) when it comes to investing in your influencer business. Some of the common spends we address:

  • conferences
  • courses
  • virtual assistance
  • project management systems
  • plugins
  • some popular blogging tools

and more. Tell us what you think and what you’ve found to be worth investing in over in our private Facebook group, Businessese HQ.

You may also like:
How We Are Growing and Scaling Our Business
Hiring and Growing Your Team with Shelli Warren
Maximizing Your Conference Experience
Working with Independent Contractors

55: Unlock the Mystery: From Hobby to Full-Time Food Blogger with Liz Falcigno

full-time food blogger Liz Falcigno

What if brands decide tomorrow that they don’t want to work with bloggers anymore, they don’t see the value?

-Liz Falcigno

In our new “Unlock the Mystery” series, we’re opening up the conversation about exactly how people make their money and where they struggle to help you get to the root of your relationship with money and reach your own earning potential.

Liz Falcigno is the founder of The Clean Eating Couple (which focuses on creating healthy, delicious recipes that are easy to make), a food photographer, fitness instructor and dog mom to her rescue pup Ziti. She also helps brands in the food space with recipe development and images for their websites.

When Liz started her website in 2013, though, it was a hobby: a way to chronicle her journey with health and wellness, with her “friends and mom” as her main audience. She quit her corporate marketing job in January of 2018, doubled down on growing her blog as a business, and now works for herself full time.

In this installment of our Unlock the Mystery series, Liz talks frankly with us about her blog’s financial growth (in real numbers), the back end of her business and how she prioritizes her income streams.

Listen in as she breaks down:

  • what her schedule looked like as she transitioned her blog from a hobby to a business
  • her expected total revenue for the year
  • her income streams and where she’s trying to build
  • her changing approach to affiliate marketing, particularly her Amazon Affiliate strategy
  • her to-do list and goals for 2019
  • the one thing she wishes she knew earlier when it comes to money and her business

Enjoy! Make sure to let us know what you thought of this episode over in our private Facebook community, Businessese HQ.

The Clean Eating Couple
The Clean Eating Couple on Instagram
Contact Liz: thecleaneatingcouple@gmail.com
Books by Gary Vaynerchuk on Amazon
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Check out these related episodes!
Going from Side Hustle to Full Time Hustle with Mary Clavieres
1% Infinity: Next Level Food Blogging with Bjork Ostrom
Monetizing with Affiliate Marketing with Angel Djambazov

54: Unlock the Mystery: Travel Blogging and Monetization with Amanda Williams

In our new “Unlock the Mystery” series, we’re opening up the conversation about exactly how people make their money and where they struggle to help you get to the root of your relationship with money and reach your own earning potential.

Amanda Williams is the former-journalist-turned-blogger behind A Dangerous Business, a travel blog that aims to inspire people to fit more travel and adventure into the lifestyle they already have. Since starting her blog in 2010, Amanda has traveled to more than 50 countries on six continents from her home base in Ohio, and has been featured by major publications and websites like AFAR, The Huffington Post, and USA Today Travel.

Like many old school bloggers, Amanda didn’t start out with a plan to make money, and she had no prior business experience. She now makes a full-time income travel blogging, and we’re so pleased to have her on the podcast to discuss her monetization tips and evolution through the past eight years.

Diversifying your income streams is so important as a blogger.

-Amanda Williams

Tune in to hear about:

  • Amanda’s trial and error process moving from sponsored posts and links to her current monetization methods
  • her #1 and #2 income earners
  • how she finds success with affiliate marketing
  • her insight into the travel blogging community and their conversations around money
  • Amanda’s plans for continued growth

A Dangerous Business
Amanda’s blogging courses
Amanda on Facebook and Instagram @DangerousBiz
Affiliate Marketing with Angel Djambazov
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Got monetization questions? We’d love to cover them in a future episode. Share them with us over in our private Facebook group, Businessese HQ.

You might also like:
Monetization Tips for Influencers with Jenny Guy
Our Top Money Lessons
Embracing Your Inner Salesperson with Nikki Rausch
Growing Your Business with Social Media with Lisa Lehmann


53: Unlock the Mystery – Our Top Money Lessons

money lessons

We need to talk about money.

We know, it’s awkward. Money can be very taboo to talk about; people tend to tiptoe around the topic, shrugging off questions about profits and expenses, tensing up when it’s time to state their rates. But as an industry, it’s vital to share our experiences— both the mistakes and the triumphs— so that that we collectively learn, grow and move forward.

With the “Unlock the Mystery” series we’re opening up the conversation about exactly how people make their money and where they struggle. We hope to help you, our listeners, to get to the root of your relationship with money so you can really get out of your own way and finally reach your earning potential.

To kick things off, we’re getting personal: talking frankly about the money lessons we’ve learned as they apply to our businesses, our lives and what we have seen clients encounter. Listen in as we discuss:

  • our own history with money issues
  • what to invest in when you “can’t afford” to invest in your business
  • ways to avoid wasting money
  • one thing every influencer needs to do to protect their ongoing income
  • tips for staying on top of your financial situation
  • some recommended reading (for those who like homework!)

Let’s get this dialogue going! What are your ingrained money issues, and how do you deal with them? Join us over in Businessese HQ for discussion, advice and support from your fellow digital entrepreneurs. (Bonus: it doesn’t cost you a thing.)

Monetization Tips for Influencers with Jenny Guy
New York Times: Why You Should Tell Your Co-Workers How Much Money You Make
You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero

Hey. Enjoyed this episode? You might also like:

Six Steps for Successful Negotiation
Invest in Your Self: Mindset Matters with Queirra Fenderson
Mind Your Mindset: Interview with Don Jackson
The Financial Side of Your Online Business with Cathy Derus


52: Optimizing Your Pinterest Strategy with Kate Ahl

Like every other social media channel, Pinterest has changed a lot over the years— and changing algorithms means needing to update those marketing strategies. For many, however, Pinterest strategy sometimes takes a backseat, and can mean a lot of untapped potential for your business or brand.

Pinterest is very much like Google. It can drive traffic year over year… there’s a whole different type of ecosystem that influencers can really tap into, not only to connect with their audience, but to connect with brands.

-Kate Ahl

Just how much untapped potential? We’re practically rubbing our hands together, we’re so excited to dive into that information with this week’s guest, Kate Ahl. She’s also sharing all her top tips for evolving your Pinterest strategy to maximize traffic and convert pinners into customers.

Kate is the owner of Simple Pin Media, where she focuses on Pinterest management for those looking to take that task off their plate completely so they can refocus those energies back into their business. In addition to this strategic content management for her 120 clients (with the help of her team of 35), Kate walks listeners through bootstrapping their own Pinterest marketing on her weekly podcast.

Long story short: Kate knows a lot about Pinterest.

Listen in and learn about:

    • the type of growth she’s seen from clients once overhauling their Pinterest strategy
    • the relative importance of follower count as opposed to other metrics
    • how to determine your target audience, and how to get in front of them on Pinterest
    • Pinterest best practices, and the only penalty to keep in mind as you prepare your pins
    • when to update old pins, and when it’s a waste of time
    • the pros and cons of using a third party scheduler like Tailwind
    • how your Pinterest hashtag strategy should differ from Twitter or Instagram
    • recommended first steps for new Pinterest accounts, or when converting personal boards for your business

What did we miss when it comes to your Pinterest questions? Let us know over in Businessese HQ, our private Facebook group for influencers and other digital entrepreneurs.

The Simple Pin Podcast
Sign up for Kate’s weekly newsletter
Kate on Instagram: @simplepinmedia
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

51: Celebrating Diversity with Hope McGrath

We’re opening up conversations about diversity and race more than ever online, and yet it can seem like these topics are as difficult to navigate as they’ve ever been. We know that we want to advocate for change, but what does it mean to truly be an ally? When is it best to speak up and use our respective platforms and when should we sit down and listen?

We’re so pleased to have Certified Transformational Coach Hope McGrath on the podcast to discuss this important topic. A multi-passionate entrepreneur, Hope combines her love of social consciousness, psychology, spirituality, wellness, fashion, and culture into her work. Her lifestyle platform Radiant Mix celebrates diversity from the mixed, multiracial experience through the lens of culture, style, parenting, and storytelling. Propelled by the current political climate, Hope created Radiant Mix as her way to talk about bringing racial dynamics together. She’s also a board member of her family’s non-profit organization, H2 Empower, that enhances education and sustainable development in Africa.

People that are one culture, they can have the richness of that culture. But when you’re of two or three cultures, you kind of flow between cultures, and that’s a different storyline. So I think that’s what I’m interested in talking about.

-Hope McGrath

Hope is co-hosting an international wellness retreat called the Tropical Transformation Wellness Retreat November 7th-12th in the mountains of Colombia. (Contact her using the email address in the resource list below and mention Businessese to receive a very special deal of 20% off your registration for the retreat!)

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • thoughts about the phrase “I don’t see color”
  • the importance of speaking out, as opposed to being worried about saying the wrong thing
  • how to ask about the things you can’t already know
  • how personal stories lead to dialogues and teaching moments with your children around race
  • how you can support the Radiant Mix and sites like it.

Let’s keep the conversation going in our private Facebook group, Businessese HQ!

Contact Hope: info@radiantmix.com
@radiantmix on Instagram
Do You Really Talk to Your Friends About Race?
She’s Black, but not Black, Black
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

50 and Feeling Fine: 10 Lessons Learned While Podcasting


It’s so hard to believe that we’ve managed to record and publish 50 WHOLE EPISODES of the Businessese Influencer Marketing Podcast. In that time we’ve become very familiar with our verbal tics, learned so much about the process of podcasting and interviewing, been lucky enough to talk to an array of amazing and inspirational guests, and received a ton of new book recommendations to add to our to-read pile.

It’s also been a fast moving year in the influencer space, with changes in privacy regulations, disclosure policies, SEO best practices and attitudes around follower counts vs authentic engagement.

In this episode, we’re celebrating 50 and feeling fine! Listen in as we discuss our ten favorite episodes and take a look back at the lessons we learned from each:

    1. 1% Infinity: Next Level Food Blogging with Bjork Ostrom
    2. Word of the Year: Reflecting on 2017, Ready for 2018
    3. Hiring and Growing Your Team with Shelli Warren
    4. The Financial Side of Your Online Business with Cathy Derus
    5. Invest in Your Self: Mindset Matters with Queirra Fenderson
    6. Monetizing with Affiliate Marketing with Angel Djambazov
    7. Selling or Acquiring a Business with Eric Nagel
    8. Monetization Tips for Influencers with Jenny Guy
    9. Creating Authentic Sponsored Content with Patrick Quinn
    10. Growing and Leveraging Facebook Groups with Brandi Riley

Hot tip: don’t miss the end, we have a special treat for you with a delightful blooper reel.

Be sure to join us in Businessese HQ as we pass around some virtual celebratory cupcakes and champagne! We’re so grateful to have had your company along the way and we can’t wait for the big 1-0-0.


49: Six Steps for Successful Negotiation

We hear so often that people find negotiation to be scary— often fueled by a fear of rejection or looking foolish, an unshakable imposter syndrome, or a tendency to shy away from confrontation of any kind. These are fairly common fears in entrepreneurs, particularly women, and they can absolutely hold you back from achieving your potential.

It doesn’t have to be this way! Keep in mind that negotiation means collaboration, not confrontation; the objective is to arrive at a compromise that benefits and protects both parties.

In this episode of the Businessese Influencer Marketing Podcast, we’re hoping to change the way you think about negotiating, and help you to start developing the skills you need to negotiate partnerships that are more productive, lucrative, and protective.

Tune in to hear us discuss:

  • your to-do list BEFORE negotiation begins
  • our six stage framework for successful negotiation
  • areas to consider for influencer campaigns
  • when to get on the phone and when to walk away
  • negotiable items other than compensation
  • what to include in your contract

Remember that “failures” are just practice and that practice makes perfect. The more you’re willing to negotiate, the more you’ll remove fear as a factor— and improved confidence will only work in your favor!  Understand the value you provide, and be ready to negotiate for what you’re worth.

As always, we’re ready for your questions and tips! Let’s dig into negotiation tactics over in Businessese HQ.

Downloadable workbook on the phases of negotiation
Contract templates

If you enjoyed this episode, you might want to check these out:
How to Negotiate a Blog Campaign
How to Negotiate Exclusivity in Blogger Contracts
The Latest on Sponsored Content Contracts (podcast)
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Analysis Paralysis
Mind Your Mindset: Interview with Don Jackson (podcast)

48: 1% Infinity: Next Level Food Blogging with Bjork Ostrom

We love a success story.

Headlines continue to sound the death knell for bloggers and blogging, but the truth is that this medium is far from dead. What it’s doing is evolving— growing up and learning responsibility, really— and there is no shortage of paths bloggers can take to also evolve, honing their craft and maximizing their potential.

…continual improvement, every day, over a long period of time.

-Bjork Ostrom

Bjork Ostrom and his wife Lindsay are the perfect example of that: they launched the food and recipe blog Pinch of Yum back in 2010, and they’ve been taking their food blogging business to the next level ever since. Bjork is the founder of Food Blogger Pro, a membership website that teaches food bloggers how to start, grow, and monetize their blogs. Day to day, you’ll also see him around WP Tasty (the go-to place for WordPress plugins for food bloggers), Nutrifox (a tool for creating your own custom nutrition labels), and Pinch of Yum, as well as hosting the Food Blogger Pro podcast.

We’re super excited to have you listen in on our conversation with Bjork! In this episode you’ll learn about:

  • The Food Blog Money Making Experiment: income reports and why they were included them on Pinch of Yum
  • the story behind the launch of Food Blogger Pro
  • trends in blogging and the influencer space
  • Nutrifox, WP Tasty and the plugins that they offer
  • advice for those looking to succeed in this space today

What small thing can you do TODAY to take your food blogging (or any blogging!) to the next level? Let’s brainstorm over in Businessese HQ, our private Facebook group for digital entrepreneurs and all-around awesome influencers of all kinds.


Food Blogger Pro and Pinch of Yum
WP Tasty: Tasty Pins, Tasty Links, and Tasty Recipes
The Food Blog Money Making Experiment
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin
Contact Bjork: bjork@foodbloggerpro.com

47: The Evolution of Type-A Parent with Rachel Honoway

Type-A Parent was established over a decade ago— an annual conference and community for bloggers who took the business of blogging seriously, and wanted to learn the skills that would take their websites and spheres of influence to the next level. In 2017, the company was acquired by Rachel Honoway and Eric Nagel of Rust Built and “Type-A” has become synonymous with power blogger and social media influencer. This year’s conference will take place September 27-29 in Chicago and features a speaker roster of over 50 professional practitioners (Jamie is one of them!).

We’re so excited to welcome Rachel Honoway to this week’s episode of the Businessese Influencer Marketing Podcast. Rachel is an experienced executive specializing in Internet Startups and Growth Mode Companies. Her career has been spent working hands-on with entrepreneurs to build and grow SaaS products and related services. Rachel has an extensive affiliate marketing background, working with large scale publishers like Ebates and Groupon as CEO of FMTC, but you may know her through her wholly-owned subsidiary, Fresh Press Media: an open marketplace connecting advertisers with bloggers and social media influencers.

Bloggers are amazing at driving traffic around very specific niche concepts and ideas and industries.

-Rachel Honoway

In this episode, you’ll hear Rachel discuss:

  • the challenges faced when taking over an established brand, and how Rachel and Eric overcame them
  • what to expect at this year’s Type-A conference
  • how they are helping wannabe podcasters to take the first step
  • her tips for getting the absolute most out of the conference
  • what she’s learned from her first year running the Type-A brand
  • Type-A Tribes: a full education platform that provides the expert resources, networking opportunities, and motivation of a conference, all year long.


You may also want to check out:
Selling or Acquiring a Business with Eric Nagel
Maximizing Your Conference Experience (podcast)
Get the Best Return on Your Blog Conference Investment
Networking Tips for Introverts

The Type-A Parent website
The 2018 Type-A Parent conference
Fresh Press Media
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin