How to scale your business from 0 to 6 figures with ConvertKit

Marketing Take Yourself Pro
7 min read
In this Article

Six figures. It’s a mythical number for many creators and entrepreneurs—the first sign you’ve “made it.”

While you need to nail product-market fit, research and create an ideal customer profile (ICP), and develop an operating model, much of what allows your business to grow has less to do with what you do and more to do with how you do it. As James Clear writes in his book Atomic Habits, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

As dull as that might sound, the systems, processes, and discipline you bring to your business creates scale. So whether you’re an artist, influencer, author, musician, podcaster, or other creator, it’s time to add one more title to your resume: CEO. The more you think about your business as a business, the more methodically you can grow.

Here are a few key systems to put into place that can accelerate that process:

Build your own audience

If you haven’t yet started your email list, add that to the top of your to-dos.

Your email list is the only audience you’ll ever truly own. There’s no algorithm to contend with. Instead, you’re speaking directly to a dedicated, engaged audience through the most connected space you can access: the inbox.

Take product designer Femke van Schoonhoven, who runs a successful YouTube channel with over 50,000 subscribers around topics like building your portfolio, presenting your work, and trying out new graphic design tools. However, despite this reach, it’s her email list she cites as making her business successful.

“My email list is my most reliable audience I have,” she says. “Whenever I have a new product to sell or even something to share, my email list is where I go. On YouTube, it’s just shouting into the void, but my email list wants to hear from me. I always have an overwhelmingly positive response from them.”

Get started growing your email list by setting up a simple landing page on your website using ConvertKit, and adding a subscriber form to your website footer.

femke design

There’s nothing more personal in marketing than letting someone into your inbox. In fact, 92% of consumers and 72% of marketers say email is their favorite channel.

Your subscribers aren’t passively scrolling through a social media feed; they’re actively opening, clicking, and engaging with your emails (or at least, that’s the hope.) They’ve said “yes” to hearing from you regularly. This is where your community and true growth begin.

Connect with your community

Once you have an email list, it’s time to grow it into something that makes an impact. One repeatable, easy-to-set-up system to add to your marketing tactics is a lead magnet.

Lead magnets offer high-value advice or resources that align directly with your overall products and services, usually for free, in exchange for an email address. This can take the form of many content types, including ebooks, guides, checklists, templates, courses, workshops, or giveaways, depending on what you want to experiment with. There’s no one lead magnet that’s going to work for every audience, so think about what type of pain point you can solve without giving everything away.

Watercolor artist Lucy Reiser runs a popular multi-week course in addition to selling her own artwork. One of her most popular lead magnets is a pre-recorded teaser version of that course: A 10-minute tutorial on how to paint a mountain landscape.

She also offers free templates, a guide to getting started with watercolor paintings, and more, which she rotates based on the time of year and the specific big-ticket offer she’s planning to sell later on.

“The simplest thing I do is create close-ups of paintings or palettes and share them as free phone backgrounds if you enter your email address,” she says. “I try to keep it simple and easy, like a free mini-painting class for 10 minutes or PDF downloads that explain a key concept.”

Once you’ve built the content, the rest of the lead magnet setup is easy. Create a dedicated landing page in ConvertKit and add a form for prospective subscribers to download. Boom—you’re growing your email list already.

Automate your marketing efforts

As you grow your business, you may be thinking about hiring more team members or outsourcing some of your more basic tasks. Before you go through the hiring process, though, fine-tune your existing processes by introducing a layer of automation.

Turns out, you don’t have to spend time copying and pasting individual email addresses from your forms or writing a brand new email each time you want to talk to your subscribers. With ConvertKit’s automations, you can set up workflows that make your subscribers feel like part of your community—and you only have to do it once.

Entrepreneur Justin Moore uses Automations each time he wants to promote the launch of his cohort-based course, Brand Wizard, which teaches influencers and content creators how to find and negotiate their dream deals with major brands.

“Early on, you’re unsure of your value for the newsletter or for yourself as a creator, so you try everything,” he says. “Once I realized what my value is and what I can give my subscribers, my list has matured, and it gave me the comfort to fully make that change and know I’ll still get the results I wanted.”

Taking a multi-week course can be a huge time commitment and investment, and not every subscriber is always ready to make that leap right away. That’s why Moore put together a ConvertKit Automation to track any subscriber who has shown interest in his offering but may not be ready to make a purchase:

Rather than constantly come up with new messages for follow-ups, Moore only has to do this once, turning it on each time he’s getting ready to promote his next cohort. Then, he can set up more targeted, personalized emails to the people who are already interested instead of starting from scratch.

If you’re not sure where to get started with Automations, don’t worry. Check out some of our templates here.

Think bigger about your product offerings

Another way to scale is to diversify your offerings with digital products. Chances are, there are plenty of opportunities to leverage your expertise and creativity to help others in your community, from how-to courses to self-publishing books to selling graphic design templates.

Author and writing coach Jen A. Miller does this with her self-published ebook, which she sells directly on her website for $10. Even though she’s a respected, established writer for major outlets like the New York Times—not to mention a twice-published book author—her online ebooks net the most cash.

“I’ve made more money on that ebook than on either of my published books,” she says. “It’s a niche product that pairs well with my newsletter, which is a niche topic, but that’s exactly the type of content that my newsletter audience is interested in.”

notes from a hired pen

Adding digital products to your portfolio is easy to do with ConvertKit Commerce. In the case of Miller’s ebook, all that’s required is uploading a .pdf, .mobi, or any other ebook file type, and it will be delivered to customers’ inboxes automatically. The same goes for other items like presets, paid newsletters, music, coaching sessions, and more.

ConvertKit's creator marketing platform offers an easy path for creators to experiment with earning a living online—without needing to invest in another platform. Grow your audience, build a community, and sell products all in one place with ConvertKit.

Take the next step on your creator journey

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Kayla Voigt

Always in search of adventure, Kayla hails from Hopkinton, MA, the start of the Boston Marathon. When she's not using words to help businesses grow, she's probably summiting a mountain or digging into a big bowl of pasta. Like what you're reading? Come say hi:

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