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The Business of Business Podcast

Jan 11, 2022

Persistence Drives An Overnight Success Two Years in the Making Featuring Alison Lumbatis

Persistence drives overnight success. They're very few overnight successes in this world. I think it's actually a disservice to call someone that term. It discounts all the years and hard work they put in to be successful. Probably even some failures mixed in. It's not easy. You have to show up and grind it out every day. Be persistent and consistent.

About Alison

Alison Lumbatis is a 7 figure entrepreneur and the founder of the Get Your Pretty On website and creator of Outfit Formulas - the #1 online capsule wardrobe building program in the world. She's served over 40,000 women through the Outfit Formulas program and has attracted an audience of millions to the GYPO website.

As a former engineer, she knew there had to be an easier way to get dressed every day so she created Outfit Formulas - a foolproof system to build your wardrobe and create outfits.

An author and life coach, Alison is a thought leader in the personal style and confidence arenas. She's been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Redbook, Life & Style Magazine and on Good Morning Texas. Her book The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas will be released on September 14th.

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Twitter - @alisonlumbatis

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Persistence Drives an Overnight Success Two Years in the Making Featuring Alison Lumbatis

Sun, 8/22 2:38PM • 46:54


people, blogging, blog, create, content, women, blog post, business, formulas, instagram, dressed, put, pieces, thought, day, work, long, top, outfit, started


Alison, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:03

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can point out something that you haven't thought about that can help you in your business or we can provide you with solutions with things that are keeping you up at night. We have we're lucky today to have Alison Lumbatis with us.


She is a seven figure entrepreneur and the founder of Get Your pretty On website, and the creator of Outfit Formulas. The number one online capsule wardrobe building program in the world. She served over 40,000 women through the Outfit Formulas program and has attached attracted an audience of millions. The GYPO website. As a former engineer, she knew there had to be an easier way to get dressed every day. So she created Outfit Formulas, a foolproof system to build your wardrobe and create outfits, and author and life coach Alison is a thought leader in the personal style and confidence arenas.


She has been featured in Forbes Business Inside, Red Book, Life and Style Magazine and on Good Morning Texas. Her book, The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas will be released on September 14, Allison lives in Flower Mound, Texas with her husband, Craig, and three children, Devin, Aubrey, and Ava plus a whole host of critters from their meaning farm. Allison, how are you doing today?


Alison  01:35

 I'm doing good, right? How are you?


Roy Barker  01:37

I'm doing great. Thanks so much for taking time out of your day. Not only do I probably need to be a client, but there's a lot of us out there. I could share yourself in the wardrobe. After taking a whole year off. It's like we forget where the nice shirts and slacks are. .


Alison  01:51

Yeah, absolutely. That's what I'm here for.


Roy Barker  01:55

Well, so tell us a little bit first kind of how your journey went from telephone engineer over into fashion. Has that always been something that you've been interested in?


Alison  02:06

Actually, it's not. So it's interesting. You know, I've always had creative pursuits on the side, I was in a very technical career as a as a telecom engineer for 14 years. And I just felt like there was something missing. Well, I enjoyed the challenges of being in a technical career, I also had these creative things that were on the side that I was doing along the way. So you know, I did some acting in the Dallas area for about 10 years, overlapping with my career, in Telecom, I got my life switching certifications, started working with clients, you know, on their businesses, and in personal life coaching as well. And I always felt like I had something else going on.


So whenever I'm around 2011, I got the opportunity to work from home, which was amazing. Something I always wanted to do, as a mom of three, my kids were still pretty young at the time. And I was just, you know, just so incredibly grateful for this opportunity to do that. But what I started to notice was that I didn't know how to dress anymore, it's super easy to get dressed for the office, you know, we get into our little, I want to say ruts, but they're more like routines of our office uniforms that we put on every single day, whether that, you know, for me, it was a skirt, a blouse and some high heels or, you know, some dress pants or a button down whatever.


We know what to wear to work, right. I didn't know what to wear to work from home. And I think a lot of us have dealt with this, you know, just during the pandemic, especially where we're just not quite sure how to dress for the day. So I did the thing that I probably shouldn't have done, which was default into throwing on my favorite yoga pants every morning, throwing on a sweatshirt, a big t shirt, pulling my hair back in a ponytail and calling it a day. Which is fine, because I got ready really fast, right? But I noticed over time that things were changing, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I felt like I didn't have as much motivation as I did when I first started working from home.


And I didn't want to work out anymore. I wasn't making time for that anymore. I wasn't taking care of myself. I wasn't cooking as healthy as I used to. And I was like the snowball effect of these things happening. And I kind of just woke up one day and said, What happened? Like, what changed? And how can I get out of this. And so the first thing I knew that I could do that was super easy, was get dressed in real clothes, take a shower, get up and feel good about how I looked for the day. And even if no one was going to see me, you know, as I was seeing my kids off the pool in the morning or whatever, and then getting ready for the day.


So I did that. And the first day that I did it, I was like wow, I feel so much better. I feel so much more productive. And I just feel better about myself. And I just kind of went through the day feeling like every like I was clicking on all cylinders. And when my daughter got in the car that afternoon, she looked at me and she kind of did a double take and I said what honey, she said What have you done? What She said, You look pretty today. And I think for me, that was really that moment where I thought, Okay, this isn't just affecting me, it's affecting everyone around me too.


And I want to be the best version of myself. And in order to do that, that I need to take a little bit of time and devote it to getting dressed every day and taking the steps that are going to make me feel good. But the problem was that all of those clothes in my closet would have worked great in office, they just did not work for my work from home lifestyle. So that's really why I started blogging, I had to reinvent my wardrobe, to work for my new lifestyle.


And as I went through this journey, I started blogging about it and other women started following along, they're like, Hey, I'm gonna work from home mom, I'm a stay at home mom, I don't go into an office anymore. And I don't know how to dress. And really, that's what I was teaching them, I was just one step ahead in that journey, but enough to be able to say, this is what I'm learning. This is how I'm rebuilding my closet. And that is how everything started and just kind of really took off from there.


Roy Barker  05:57

Wow. Yeah, it's an it's different. I have to admit, for men and women, you know, we do the smell test if it you know, if it doesn't smell bad, and it's good, good to go. But you know, especially working from home, it, it's a challenge, because, you know, as I told you pre show, I really wasn't kidding, I have a nail over here on the wall that I keep my nice shirt on.


And then it's usually sweats or t shirt and shorts is you know what I do? And that that worked really good back in the olden days. But now that zoom has become more prevalent. It's like, Well, you know, you have to appear on camera three or four times a day. So you have to probably do a little bit more. But I think for women that it's even a bigger challenge, because just there's so many components, like you know, we have slacks and shirt, and that's really about it. But I don't know, it's more, it's more complicated. I've seen it in action.


Slightly. But then there's also the fact of like you said, dressing for the office is one thing, but if you're home, and you've got kids, and you're chasing them around, sometimes that's not always the best thing to just go with. And so I never really thought about it. But it's an interesting concept. And so what, so how does this work? As far as the Outfit Formulas? Do you just, I wouldn't even know where to start. So I'll let you talk a little bit. Yeah, if I called you up and said, Hey, or emailed you said, Hey, I really need some help. Where would you start? Besides probably firing me for a customer before you get started? But pretend to pretend I did have some potential?


Alison  07:33

No, we never fired. You know, I, I really love meeting people where they're at as far as as far as getting dressed and building a wardrobe. And I started out with Formulas in 2014, after I'd been blogging for about two years. So I really had built an audience up at that point and was able to go to them and say, What would you like to see more of? What can I do for you? What kind of service can I provide for you that's going to help you get dressed every day, it's gonna make this easier for you. And I sent out a customer survey at that point and or reader survey. They weren't customers yet. But I asked them these questions. And when I started going through all the responses that came back to me, there were so many women saying, hey, just give me a list.


Tell me what to go out and buy. I want to know what basics to have in my closet. And I want to know what seasonal trends to add in keep things fresh and new. And I said great, I can do that. Sure. So I started working on this list. And then I realized as I was going through it well what good is this list if I'm not showing you ways pair it up, so I inadvertently created a capsule wardrobe which is basically a group of pieces that can mix and match easily in your closet to create outfits. And this first tap hole that came out of Outfit Formulas.


I thought you know, maybe 50 women would sign up with 500 signed up out of the gate and I realized right then and there Okay, this is definitely got some potential to become a really big thing and grow into you know, a great community of women who are able to support each other on this style journey. So I started it as a seasonal program. And what I do is I give women the shopping list of top, bottoms, toppers, which are essentially jackets, shoes and accessories. So there are five pieces of an Outfit Formula. And then once they have the pieces then they mix and match all of those so there might be you know, say five pairs of jeans or pants or skirts on the list and then six or seven tops and then three jackets, for different types of shoes and then some accessories and I take those pieces and my engineering mind comes in handy here.


And I just mix and match them into different outfits and show the women different ways that they can wear them. So the cool thing about this is that it truly works for everybody. So all every shape, every size, it does not matter. It works for every budget because I am giving you guidance and telling you these are the categories of items you need. For instance a stripe top you can buy a stripe top at anywhere from Amazon to Neiman's, it doesn't matter as long as you have that stripe top. Some women do thrift shopping for their purchases too.


And others find that they have a lot of the pieces in their closet, they don't do any shopping at all, they're just seeing new ways to pair up the item. And that's what I love about it is I feel like, I'm able to democratize personal style, like most women aren't going to spend $150 an hour to have a stylist come in, show them how to pair up pieces in their closet, and then take them out shopping to buy more clothes. They just want somebody to give them ideas and tell them what to buy and then be able to pair it up.


So I really believe that that the way that my program kind of created disruption in the personal styling space, because it wasn't a one on one program. It's a group program. And also because I don't send the clothes out like there are companies out there like Stitch Fix and other box styling services that send you a box of clothing that may or may not work for your body shape that may be the quality's not quite what you want, or the price is too high.


With this, I'm allowing you to pick those pieces and pair up the outfits and giving you the inspiration to do that. So I love when women can shop with a purpose that we're not just walking into the store and saying, I don't know what to buy, I used to be a terrible shopper. And I would do that all the time, kind of walk in and get overwhelmed or chase the bright shiny objects and take all the stuff home. And then I didn't know how to pair it up. So I really wanted to make that easy for women and just take away that decision fatigue of deciding what to wear every morning. Now they get an email in their inbox, or they log into our membership site app on their phones. And they see exactly what they're going to wear every single day. And it just makes it one less thing that they have to worry about.


Roy Barker  11:31

Now, and that's cool, because I know for myself, I find myself in a rut is like that pair of pants and that shirt, you know, and I don't really look outside that box to see that, you know, you can mix and match. And I I think I come from a time that nowadays is a little more liberal and what you can mix and match. It's not as I don't know, used to seem like it was a very stringent code.


Well, yeah. We're relaxed. Yeah. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about this transition. So I know that you were saying you're kind of winding down, you know, at the telecom. But Had this been a thought that something you had been doing prior to that, that you were kind of starting to build the list up. And then at that point, it was like, Okay, now I get it in, this is the direction I'm headed.


Alison  12:20

Yeah, so I had to blogging for about six months. And my manager came to me and said, Hey, would you like to move to the data group I, I was a member of an engineering group that had 20 engineers and and I was a team lead at the time. And by the time I left in 2013, there were two engineers left in that team. So I had the opportunity to either go and retrain and do something completely different, or take a chance on this blog that I've been only doing for six months, and I decided to kind of take the chance on it and see what would happen.


So for the next year, I took that severance, I put it in the bank, and we were very conservative, you know, living off of half of what I used to make, honestly, just to make it stretch as long as possible. And I put everything into growing that blog into growing my readers, what happened at the end of that year, when that server was gone. I wasn't making any money. And I think this is an important part of the story that I did not make money.


For two years, I blogged I created free resources, I was blogging sometimes five or six days a week, just putting information out there and growing my readers growing my followers building my email list, so that when I did launch out that formulas in 2014, it was a six figure business in year one. And, you know, this is one of the things that I tell entrepreneurs all the time is that you put in the effort and you've got it like the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is doing the work when you're not seeing the results. Because you just have trust that it's going to come like six months, a year, two years later down the road, when you look back, you're gonna say, Well, this is happening because of the things that I was doing back then.


And we're so used to that instant gratification. And we want those immediate results and those immediate sales, but sometimes it doesn't work that way. And not everybody has the luxury of a severance package. And I do understand that maybe you have a side hustle and you're still in, you know, in corporate America, you're you're trying to transition out, just trust that if you keep putting in the work, someday it's gonna pay off and then you'll have that audience and those people that are there ready to buy what you're selling at that point.


Roy Barker  14:25

I think it's good to that, you know, you have that passion. Because that's what sustains you on those days you wake up and say, I've been working hard at this and I see nothing at all. But if you really feel passionate about what you're doing, it makes you push on. So I'm always gonna ask about so you get your severance, you leave and the first day you're at home. Do you like I mean, I've you just got your mind's already made up that that first day off you were pushing it or was there some time where you kind of like, Hey, is this really what I want to do? Was there any of that decision making?


Alison  15:00

You know, it was scary. I think that that first six months honestly, were the scariest of my adult life because I didn't, I didn't know if it was going to work. And there were no guarantees that it would. And my the law, I worked for Verizon than when I left, they assigned me a career counselor as part of my severance package. And she was I would jump on the call, you know, once a week and talk about what was going on and talk through different options.


And there were times that I was scared. And I was like, Oh, I'm just gonna run back into Telecom. And she would say, No, I really think you need to try to make a go of this, like, this is your thing. And every time I talk to you, this is the thing I can hear you get excited about, and you get passionate about, you start talking really fast, and you start using hand motions. And this is what you need to do. You don't need to go back to Telecom. And I was like, Okay, okay, but you know, I'm paired up here to pick, okay, all right, just keep going.


And I think I needed that voice there to really just cut through the fear for me and helped me to tap into my intuition, and tell me what she was seeing in me. And that's what sustained me and I laugh, I tell people all the time, I quit, I've quit this, like 100 times, probably 100. I wake up the next morning, and I started again, like, it's fine, you can quit in 5pm. But you're gonna start the next day. And and you'll have days like that, where you're just gonna feel like, you're getting nowhere and nothing is happening, or everyone's blowing past you.


And social media especially makes us feel that way. Because we log in and like comparison is the thief of joy. We see everybody on social media, you see all these other businesses that start out with you. And you think, oh, gosh, they've got it. So together, they're so far ahead of me or whatever. But you really don't know what's going on in the inside of that. And everybody struggles and has their things that they go to go through.


And yes, I might be a seven figures now in my business, but it takes an average of 10 years to get there, and I'm on your nine. So it's not, it wasn't an overnight success by any stretch. And if you keep at it, though, I promise you it will pay off.


Roy Barker  17:02

Yeah, cuz most of the time, we see these overnight successes, and it just means that we've just kind of become, we've just seen them in the last overnight. They've, you know, they've all got these 10 15 20 year stories before they got to that point. And you said that earlier about the instant gratification. I think that to us, the old agrarian thing is, you know, we have to plant the seed, and then we have to cultivate it before we can actually harvest it and so many, and this, it goes into sales, too. You know, when we talk about sales, people want to call you up.


Are you ready to buy? No. So they're off to the next one. They don't take the time to try to cultivate it's and it's the same being this being an entrepreneur, and it's a struggle, there are times and it's funny, as I had a an interview years ago, and a young lady was asking me, have you ever thought about quitting? I said probably three times this morning. But true, yeah. But it's like, you know, it's like, at some point you get to it's like, well, there's really not an option because I believe in this enough, then you know, I'm just going to keep pushing. So that's interesting.



And I think also to talk about the importance of surrounding yourself with people. Not Not that tell you what you want to hear. But that can be encouraging to you, you know, like this lady, because it's, it's sometimes it can feel lonely, especially if we're if we're doing it by herself is that you know, and I'm fortunate with Terry, she is awesome to bounce ideas off or to cry on shoulder or, you know, walk outside and throw a rock or whatever.


And then when I'm done with it, she'll pat me on the shoulder and say, You know what, it's gonna be a better day tomorrow, we're going to just push on through and sure enough, it helps. So you know, I guess the message is, get a coach, surround yourself with some other business people, you know, talk to, you know, have somebody that you can talk to it makes a world of difference.


Alison  18:55

It really does. Yeah, see, every all of us need those sounding boards. And we need more than one like, I rely on my husband a lot for that, too. I have my business manager who's my right hand woman and I have all these different people in my life that I can go through and know that, that I'm not alone. And I think you know, it can be they say it's lonely at the top.


And when you are a founder, you are a CEO, and you're the one that's responsible for everything. You really have to make it a priority to have that support network in place for sure. And I've even joined my mastermind groups, I find that they're really super beneficial not only for your network, but just the emotional support people who really get what it's like to be in the trenches and be there with you.


Roy Barker  19:35

Yeah. So let's switch over. The other interesting aspect that I found about your story is that you actually blog for two years. And, you know, I realized that some of that was still when you were working for your other company. But I think that's another point that we could talk about about the instant gratification is I talked to many people that like I did two blogs. But you know, my phone's not blowing up or people aren't walking through the door. It's so much more to that. So tell us a little bit about, you know how you went through that process?


Alison  20:11

Yeah, so and this is a topic, I love talking about this, especially whatever I'm exploring the entrepreneurial side of, of my business and that story, because I do encounter so many entrepreneurs that come to me and say, Hey, I'm just getting started out, or I've only been at this for about six months, or I'm just, I'm not making money. And I say, Yeah, you're you're right, you're not making money, you probably shouldn't be right now, like, that's, that's true. Yeah, so building that audience first, I mean, there, there are two ways you can start a business.


And some people get frustrated, because they don't have the audience there, they have the idea, they have the concept, they have the product, or they have the service, or they have a program that they're trying to sell, but they don't have anybody to sell it to. So if you're in that situation, and you're wanting to get results faster, then that's when you got to put some money behind it. And you've got to be able to pay for your traffic and pay for your marketing and your ads and all of the things that are going to bring it to you and but I did it organically.


And I think that there are definite advantages to organic growth. Number one, it's relationship building. So you're going to be bringing those people on the journey with you, they're going to be engaged with you, they're going to love knowing that they were part of your story. I have people with me that have been with me since I started blogging in 2012, that are now customers that have been with me for years and years and years because of that personal relationship that I was able to cultivate with them, and continue throughout all these years.


So you know, you get that opportunity. When you're producing content, people trust you people like you, they get to know that you're somebody that's gonna keep showing up for them. And when I was blogging every week, they were getting glimpses into who I was as a person, they were seeing that I was going to be someone that was going to be around for the long haul, so that they did make a purchase. For me, they didn't have to worry that I was just gonna take their money and run. But it's all about that, you know, the know, like trust factor, they, they get to know you, they like you, they trust you.


And they'll be fans for life. And it's really about kind of creating that. I want to use the term cult following. Because isn't that what everybody wants? Like, there are companies out there like What-A-Burger. And you know, these other companies are doing this so well, where they have this cult following of loyal fans that absolutely love them and are there for them and cheering them on. And that's, that's really one of the biggest benefits of just going slow and gaining that organic following and all of those people that are there just cheering you on.


And another great thing about that is you can involve them in what you're creating. I involved my readers all along and everything that I've ever done, I say what do you want to see? What do you like to wear? What trends Do you like this this fall? What colors? are you liking what patterns, and I can take all of that feedback and create a product that they've been involved in and that they love? And that absolutely make selling a really easy thing for me to do?


Roy Barker  23:03

Yeah, no. And I think that engagement because a lot of times and it's hard in the beginning, but you know, we're blowing this information out there. But we're not really trying to engage our audience, which I think that's what leads to the cult following, like you're talking about is that you've engaged them, you're you, you care what they think, which is important. That's what people want to do. They want somebody to care what they think and be as responsive as they possibly can to that.


Alison  23:32

Mm hmm. Definitely.


Roy Barker  23:33

Yeah. Yeah. And that is, again, that there's a there was a guy and I think his name was Palooza, Joe Pulizzi. He's a marketing guru guy. And he wrote a book about this about he blogged for like, like you said, two years, with really not even a path, a service or a product in mind. I think he was, you know, talking about something specific, but he actually blogged for this whole entire period, getting that feedback.


So he could decide, you know, kind of which direction he wanted to navigate to versus just, you know, like you said earlier, too, is like, Okay, well, I dreamed up this awesome product in my basement. But I don't know if anybody else thinks it's awesome. I do. But maybe there's something like it out there. Maybe it's like, I wouldn't waste my time where, you know, when we do engage, and we do some of this upfront work, we can get it we can get an idea of you know, this is not so great. Or, you know, maybe we need to tweak this or tweak that. There's just a lot of information we can get out there.


Alison  24:33

Absolutely. It's a goldmine when you have those people that are already there that, you know, you can use as your beta testers and can give you that feedback. And then you can launch it into the world and on a bigger scale.


Roy Barker  24:46

Yeah, and you've talked about this as well, but education, you know, I think to me, that's what I always strive to do with my blogs is not I don't want to tell people how awesome I am or how awesome the company is. That's always better from third party. People to tell other people how great you are. But try to make sure that we're giving people actionable items like in your, in your position, but also, you know, when I send emails out to different groups, I may say, Hey, I found this article, here's a couple really good points that might work, you know, might be something for you to think about. But always continuing this education prog process. I think it it's engaging, because people are, you know, glad that somebody is there to try to help them.


Alison  25:36

Definitely, I, I love educating and I think that a lot of us kind of get stuck in this headspace where we think I'm not an expert. So why would anybody want to listen to me, we don't have to be an expert, you just need to be one or two steps ahead of the people that you're talking to, because they sometimes don't want that expert, you're more relatable than somebody that they see is an expert on a topic.


And I've had to really view myself in that way as a stylist because I did not come from a style background. I'm self taught, I'm you know, and the same thing with being an entrepreneur, I didn't come from a business background, I taught myself how to run businesses. But that doesn't make my experience any less valuable. In order to share it with others, it's just about giving them the shortcuts that you're learning along the way, that's what they want.


Roy Barker  26:26

Because I think we're all experts in our journey, you know, it's like is that journey, relatable to other people, but you know, once you've gone through a buying process for any product or service, you know, you're pretty well aware of, you know, the different aspects of it, what you should look for the pitfalls, and so I think, yet we are a little hard on ourselves that we think we have to have years of education or experience. But again, I think this gets back to passion, if you're willing to learn, willing to listen, and that's your passion, it really comes across to our readers or listeners very, it's very loud, louder than it is sometimes,


Alison  27:05

for sure. And authenticity is something you can't fake. And people can see through that, even though you might think you can follow them on social media or your blog posts or whatever, but they're gonna see through that if it's something that you're not truly passionate about. For instance, I have a good story to tell on this. So when I started out as a blogger than primary business model, was to sell clothing to people that would come to your website, or would follow you on social media.


So you would earn commission on the back end of that. So I would send them to, you know, Nordstrom and say, Hey, you can buy the shirt I'm wearing or whatever. And I would earn a little bit of money. So that's what was working really, really well. And it still works really, really well. There's influencers, they're making millions of dollars a year on YouTube, and Instagram and Tiktok, and all the places doing this business model.


But it was inauthentic for me because I didn't shop a lot. I reused the pieces in my closet. So I learned early on that my readers were going to pick up on that, if that wasn't an authentic to me behavior to be out shopping constantly. And they did. And then I started saying, Well, how am I going to make money if I don't do this business model that everybody else is doing. But that's when they came to me with the idea. I didn't have to reinvent the wheel.


They were waiting. And because I attracted the right people to me, that we're also not into just going out and buying a lot of stuff. I was able to create a business that was really truly authentic to who and who I am as a person. And I think that that just strengthen that relationship and that trust factor there as well. Yeah,


Roy Barker  28:34

yeah, definitely. So talk about the blog for a few minutes. Did you start out just blogging? Or did you use social, like Instagram is huge on the pictures that were you putting a lot of stuff up there, as well.


Alison  28:49

So I started off just blogging, and this was in 2012. So at that point, Instagram was probably in its infancy, I had a Facebook page associated with my blog. But I wasn't really putting a whole lot into social media. At that point. One of the things that I want to stress is that social media is great. But you own your website, you own your assets, you don't own your social media following and if Facebook, Instagram, whatever goes away tomorrow, you lose all of those people. So if you're not building your own platform, then you're making a big mistake.


So I one of my biggest regrets is I did not start my email marketing list early enough. In my blogging career, I didn't started to play around two years in and then I started building my list. But that list is something else that you own. You always have those contacts they belong to you and you will always have those people to communicate with even if something else falls by the wayside. So I wasn't doing a lot of social media back then I do now. But I use social media more of the handshake and get to know me opportunity not as a sales opportunity.


We do run ads on Facebook and Instagram. And Pinterest is my top traffic. Refer to my website because I have a very visual company, and it works very, very well for me. And I do put some money into ads over there too. And I have specialists that kind of work in each of the social media platforms to help us get the most out of them. But at the end of the day, my program sales are my bread and butter, they're my revenue. And that's what I focus on is what assets do I own? And how can I feed into my program. And, and that's really, it's hard, because we get distracted by Oh, it's fun to have all these likes and followers here and there, and then our ego who loves that stuff.


But when it comes right down to it, my P&L statement comes at the end of the month, every month, and I take a look at that. And I realized, okay, this is what really matters is you know, you know, getting people into the program, and social media is fine, to entertain and educate and inspire people and create authority, but at the end of the day, you've got to be feeding them into whatever your program product is, as well.


Roy Barker  30:59

Yeah, cuz two examples I like to give is that, no, we're on an income statement. Do you see Facebook likes listed on that. And also, as you know, this little Mexican restaurant we'd like to go to over here, you know, she brought the check one day and I said, oh, here, I got 1000 Facebook likes, I'll just put, you know, just take the tag out on my likes.


And you know, she didn't understand what I find. It's kind of funny, because we sometimes we do lose our way and think about these vanity metrics. Versus, you know, what does it take to put money in the bank account, which is what we do. So but you mentioned you didn't start your email list until later. So how did you grow that in the beginning, was it just word of mouth and other people sharing your blog on your website with their friends?


Alison 31:47

Yeah, so it was mostly just organic traffic. For the most part, I was serving a niche that no one was at that point, which was really helping work from home moms and stay at home moms feel stylish and not in the sense that they had to be dressed up. But more about cute, casual put together looks like t shirts and jeans and sneakers, nothing that was really, very like haute couture high fashion.


And there weren't a lot of blogs out there at the time that were like that. So back in the early days of blogging, we do something called blog hops. And we would host them with other bloggers. And essentially, it was this piece of code that you would put in a blog post, and people can link up their blog posts to it. And I think that a lot of my growth came through the top because people would hop through the different blogs and comment on them, and would start following them that way.


So it was really a cool way to create, you know, like viral hits on your site by collaborating with other bloggers. And I brought a lot of traffic in that way. And I also started out with a few bloggers that were in my circle that were just getting started with me. And we're kind of blowing past me at that point, if I'm being honest. It's funny now because I've kind of like been in, in the long, like the long haul for so long that everything is sort of leveled out.


And I'm kind of going like this now or they're kind of like this, but they were doing a different business model than me it was all about the affiliate commission's model. But that group of core bloggers that I started with, we all just kind of lifted each other up at the same time too. And we're sharing each other's content, and just getting everyone's names out there at the same time. Yeah,


Roy Barker  33:25

it's important to, you know, kind of beat run your own race be in your own lane, you know, we need to know what the competition is doing. We need to check it out and be, don't be blind to it. Because we can learn a lot from their research their mistakes and their successes. But when we look at are we successful versus somebody else, those pictures are always the reality, you know, we see the guy with the new car and the new boat, but we really don't even know if he owns the old, he knows he owns any one of those. So just if you have if you're passionate, you got your plan, just you know, work your plan and keep moving forward.


Alison  34:04

100% Yes. Now that consistency beats anything else, you know, just showing up every single day and doing it over the long haul?


Roy Barker  34:12

Yeah. Which kind of brings up the next question I had on the there's always a number of experts weighing in on the number of blog posts we need to make per week. How long do they all need to be? So in the beginning, when you were starting out, what was your averages? And generally what were you putting out?


Alison  34:31

Yeah, so it's interesting because you can talk to people today who say blogging is dead, most of those people would be millennials or younger and I kind of get where they're coming from. However, blogging is not dead at all. If you are wanting any kind of search engine optimization on your site, if you want to hit if you want traffic, you should be blogging, curious, unless you're gonna pay some SEO expert to do a bunch of work for you on the back end and get traffic to your website, blogging is still an incredibly powerful tool. And I went 100%. And still totally on board with it. In the beginning, I was creating probably around five to six pieces of content a week, which was a lot. So I was blogging at normal daily basis in the beginning.


And I did that for, you know, consistently for almost two years. The great thing about that was not only were my people getting to know me, knowing that I was showing up consistently, but Google was, you know, crawling my site every single time I put that new content out there, and creating all of this great stuff on the back end, that I'm still benefiting from to this day. And I talked to an SEO expert last week. And I said, I'm kind of embarrassed to say this, but I've never done paid search engine optimization. And he said, Well give yourself some grace, because I want to tell you that you are ranking organically on 90 unique keywords. And that's amazing.


And he said, that's the result of you, just blogging all these years, and putting that content out there. So yeah, so you don't have to do that much content if you don't want to. But if you are going to do it, just be consistent with it, don't do a blog post, you know, five times in one week, and then wait a month and do one more like commit to one blog post a week, or commit to one every two weeks or whatever, just make sure that you stay on a schedule, because that also helps the people that are following you know, hey, she's going to show up with new stuff now.


And then what I also do is I send out a newsletter once a week on Wednesday mornings, I've been doing this for ever since I started my email list. And I put all of the blog posts in that newsletter, so they can click through and visit anything that they may have missed. We pull evergreen content, because there's so much out there, we don't have to reinvent the wheel with content, you can repurpose that your people don't care, they will read it again, they might get something different out of it this time than they did the first time. So don't think that you constantly have to always be creating content, either you can go back and pull up some of the stuff that you've done in the past to


Roy Barker  36:55

Yeah, so how long were when you were putting out four or five a week? How long were those typically, word count.


Alison  37:04

Typically, you know, no more than 500 to 700 words. And I could get away with that, because I was putting a lot of outfit photos in there. So images, images can definitely you know, take the place of putting in a lot of you know, words. And if you're going to using a lot of images in your blog post, just remember that your images have tags on them also. So we're you know, kind of like getting into the technical part of this, because I'm an engineer, I got to do it. You know, use that to your advantage because you can rename your images with those image tags. And they will also index in Google so that when people put in key words, and they stick to the search terms, then your images will pop up to and they can find you that way. Yeah,


Roy Barker  37:47

yeah, definitely pictures and videos, anything we can plug in there. But because there's always this, it's kind of shifted used to it was that, you know, 800 is a pretty good target. And then now I see a lot like 2000 2500 words, and it can depend on the industry that you're in, I'm just I don't long attention span. So for me 6, 7, 8 800 words is probably just long enough for me to look at get all the information I need. So I think that's it's a good point to make.


Because sometimes people get so caught up in, you know, this crazy word count that they don't do anything. And that analysis paralysis, sometimes it's, you know, just keep if you're consistently put out the 700 800 words, you can see, as you know, you're a great representative of what can happen if you just stay after it. And as far as the indexing, you're right, I think the putting good content out is is definitely the way to the top of Google.


And we have to make it good. There's a lot of behind the scenes on that, because you know, Google likes to rank for the experience of their consumer. So obviously, make sure that we're giving them good, consistent content that you know, that they're enjoying, and that's easy to read and all those other things. Any other tips along those lines that you have that you did?


Alison  39:11

Yeah, so YouTube is really powerful too. So if you google virtually any person or business, one of the first things that shows up on that first page from Google is their YouTube videos, if they have a YouTube presence, if you're creating any kind of video content whatsoever, if it's on Instagram for igtv, if it's on Facebook, if you're doing live, download that content and upload it to YouTube, because that is really going to help your ranking and Google loves to show the YouTube results.


So you know, we we definitely utilize video in that way and I feel like video is such a powerful way to connect with your audience to all of the platform's are rewarding it now Instagrams loving real, those are this short little 30 to 60 second video 15 to 6o second videos that that people are doing now and I've been resistant to some of the newer social media platforms. I'm really not sure like, what, where should I be spending my time, right?


But I did finally become a late adopter to tik tok. And that's another place where you don't have to pay to play yet. And if you feel like there's something that you can share on tik tok, I created a video two weeks ago, I'm very new to the platform, I had maybe like 40 followers. And over a single weekend, it got 150,000 views and I was at 5000 followers in a single weekend. So content is still very much able to go viral on tik tok.


And if you don't think it's your demographic, let me tell you that it is your demographic, my 50 year old husband system lets you sit back all day long, like I my women are over 40 but do my program and for the most part, I was like they're probably not Tick tock, well, heck, yes, they are, they are on Tick Tock and they are watching the videos. So don't discount that. And it can definitely lead to growing, you know, getting your name out there and growing your platform and doing it in a free way, which is something that's incredibly hard to do right now on Instagram and Facebook, everything is, is pay to play and a lot of those arenas.


Roy Barker  41:12

Well, just a small Tick Tock story, you know, we were the same way, neither one of us because, you know, I just jokingly said, well, you're not gonna see me out there dancing, or, you know, putting any crazy moves on there, for sure. But a guy just said, Look, just go reserve your names, just in case, you know, things changed later on. So we did and then but now we have gotten hooked that, you know, in the morning, we were drinking coffee, we've got a couple people.


It's they're not selling anything, but just a couple people we like to follow and look and see what's going on. So it's interesting that you know, like, people of our age have, you know, are looking at Tick Tock on a daily basis. So I think it's interesting. Any other thing you mentioned earlier, just want to touch on briefly, I know we're getting long on time. But that content repurpose and content, when you write a lot of blogs. And when you have that inventory, it makes it so much easier for your social media campaigns.


Because you know, like us, we will break up our videos into a couple smaller pieces to use, we will pull you know, specific quotes or couple sentences even from an episode and from our blogs to use. So really, it's because there are a lot of people that struggle like I don't even know what to put up on social media. But say, if you're blogging and doing these other things, you've got the content, you just have to figure out how to use it.


Alison  42:37

It's true. And if you have one piece of Cornerstone content, you can take that and you can repurpose it across all your platforms. So say for instance, if you start you can start with a blog post, or you can start with a video if you start with a video as the cornerstone content, you can take that video, have it completely, you know, transcribed on a service, there's a bunch of free services out there that do that, that will transcribe that for you make a blog post out of that, embed your video in the blog post, then take you know 10 second clips out of that video, use it on your social media create quote cards out of that, you can just take it and put it everywhere.


You can show up on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, your own blog, tik tok, all of it just from this one Cornerstone piece of content. And I think that that's super important for everybody to realize, because you don't have the same followers on all those platforms. So not everybody's going to be seeing that. And just taking that one piece of content really save you so much time and energy and effort thinking that you have to do all of these things for all of these different platforms, because you really don't.


Roy Barker  43:42

Right, right. Exactly. Well, Alison, I want to thank you so much for taking time out of your day. It's been a pleasure speaking with you. And I think it's such a great success story. I think there's so many people that can follow in your footsteps. So a couple things tell us. I know you've got a lot going on. But tell us about the website about the Outfit Formulas. And then of course, about your book.


Alison  44:06

Sure, yes. So you can find my blog and it's just really, it still exists as a free resource for women to really kind of help them on that style journey to give them affordable options. For pieces that work for everybody, every budget, no exceptions. I have my first book coming out September 14, it is The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas. It's already hitting some bestseller lists. So I'm really excited about that. And I'm launching the Outfit Formula Fall Capsule wardrobe in September as well. So it is going to be a really fun and busy month but lots of really good stuff going on. You can learn more about that at and the book is sold in on Amazon and stores everywhere. Okay.


Roy Barker  44:46

Yeah, great. Yeah, you're gonna have a I think this is the end of August. We're talking right now. So you're gonna have a busy? Probably six or eight weeks coming up getting it? Yeah, for sure. Yeah. You'll have to come back. Well, maybe we'll You rest up in October, November, but you have, and tell us how it's going.


Because that's that's another important part is I like to keep up with guests, especially who were, you know, have something launches like this going on, it'd be nice to come back and see you know, how that went things that you've learned from it and just be able to keep our listeners updated. So that way, I love to do that. I forgot to ask what is a tool or a habit? What is something that you use in your daily life that you feel adds a lot of value? Personal professional, either one?


Alison  45:32

Yeah. So I would have to say my planner, I know it sounds so basic, but I have an hourly planner that I've kept ever since I first started blogging in 2012. Because I feel like if I can keep myself accountable on an hourly basis, that I never waste time. And one of the most important things I do in there is I put non negotiable things in this calendar, like getting showered, getting dressed for the day, working out the things that are important to myself care and filling my cup up. Because that's what makes me a better wife, a better mom a better leader a better everything. Yeah,


Roy Barker  46:05

All right, that's awesome. Well, again, y'all reach out, take a look at all of Alison's content. And we'll get her back on here. Tell us how this next few months goes for. So that's gonna do it for this episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, I'm your host Roy, you can find us at We're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify.


If we're not a one you listen to reach up, be glad to get it added to make your listening easier. We're also on all the major social media networks probably hang out on Instagram a little bit more than others. So reach out we'd be glad to interact with you over there and a video of this interview will go up when the episode goes live. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.