Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels trying to figure out why your business isn’t getting off the ground like you thought it would?
Keep reading to see how Anfernee Chansamooth, in this very position, went from a simple idea to a business that is profitable, provides a tangible and viable service for his clientele, and that provides the lifestyle that he and his wife have always dreamed of.
Like many online entrepreneurs nowadays, Anfernee Chansamooth had previous experience in the corporate world but was looking for something more.
After a major health scare that resulted in brain surgery and two months in hospital, Anfernee left his corporate career and Australia in 2009, determined to see the world and also contribute to it.
Anfernee lived, worked and volunteered in Canada and Laos for a couple of years, before returning to Sydney in 2012.
When he finally did head down the entrepreneurial route, he began a Facebook marketing business with a co-founder in Sydney.
They ran for two years, and in that time, Anfernee learned a couple of crucial lessons to set the foundation for any healthy business:
-You’ve got to focus on profitability;
-But, you’ve also got to do something you love.
He and his co-founder decided to part ways, and in 2014, Anfernee got a full-time job as the marketing manager of one Australia’s largest coworking communities.
“I was actually writing a lot of the content for the company at the time. Even though we had a distributed team of about 12 people across Australia, we struggled to get content out consistently.”
This is where Anfernee’s idea for providing freelance writing services to small businesses took root.
Right before he left the company in 2016, Anfernee launched “Blogger Mates.” He jokes about how “ridiculous” the name sounds now – the company is called Simple Creative Marketing today.
The way in which he actually got the business up and running is, however, rather original!
“As part of a 7-day startup challenge, we had to take a business idea and get our first paying customer within 7 days.”
With a simple landing page and a fixed monthly fee offered at a discounted launch price, Anfernee tested his new “productized service”, and was able to procure 2 paying customers within 7 days.
“I then knew that I was onto something.”
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With the demand for freelance writing services so prevalent in his target market of growing online services and professional services businesses, Anfernee kept the fixed monthly fee business model.
As with any new business, growing pains were inevitable…
Anfernee and his team quickly discovered that a blog writing service with a monthly fixed-fee wasn’t profitable. After 8 months and taking on several clients, they found that they were even losing money each month!
As cashflow was not where he needed it to be, Anfernee took on a part-time job as a marketing advisor to reduce the stress on himself and his partner. They were also saving for their upcoming wedding!
The other challenge Anfernee was facing at the time was founder isolation – so he sought out online communities with like-minded business owners to be a part of.
As fate would have it, Anfernee was then asked by one of his clients to do a case study on Build Live Give Founder Paul Higgins.
Anfernee soon became a BLG Club (now BLG Boost) supplier and member, and received actionable strategies to make SCM more profitable.
“Paul helped me work out the gaps in my business model, and at the same time what I saw was an opportunity to provide a more valuable service to my clients.”
Related post: How to Increase Your Small Business’s Profits
In addition to providing outsourced writing services, SCM now also provides their clients with the services of a virtual chief marketing officer, helping them to develop and implement strategic marketing game plans.
With the slightly new direction, Anfernee honed in on his ideal target market.
“Simple Creative Marketing simplifies marketing for professional services businesses in a growth phase that are struggling to generate leads online. They typically have 1 or 2 people, such as virtual assistants, on the team who can help with implementing marketing strategy, and a marketing budget of approx. $5K per month”
The goal is to build brand awareness, set up the digital presence (website, online sales funnel, social media profile, content strategy) and drive new client acquisition for their clients.
With Paul and the BLG Boost community’s help, Anfernee customized and reframed his model into something profitable, valuable, and tangible. Anfernee is definitely passionate about what he does now!
“The biggest challenge has been to get consistent cash flow and meet our monthly revenue targets so that I could pay myself and my team a decent wage and also invest in growing the business.”
Before Anfernee and the team could overcome this all-too-common startup problem, they had to get clear on a few factors first:
-Their value proposition;
-Their ideal client (a factor constantly refined in a scaling business);
– A doable action plan to generate more sales.
“The way I was able to improve it was to work with Paul Higgins and the BLG Boost members on my sales strategy.”
That alone helped Anfernee target all three of these factors!
(Anfernee delivering a talk at Project 0.1 coworking space in Taipei)
With strategic partnerships and sales conversations in place, Anfernee was then able to focus on bringing in new leads. He used Salesflare CRM to help smooth out the process and maintain healthy client relationships.
This entire process does take focus and Anfernee had the forethought of delegating a lot of his responsibilities in order to be ready for the upcoming new business. He hired a VA to take 20 hours of admin work per week off of his plate. His wife also took on some of his CFO and COO roles for the time being.
“Honestly, joining BLG Boost and working with Paul Higgins to pull apart my business, identify gaps, and then work on a plan to fill those holes has been the most effective growth strategy I’ve applied since SCM launched.”
Anfernee loves the fact that in reaching out to other BLG Boost members, he and they are able to see positive returns in their respective businesses. This happens by building relationships and each Boost member constantly adding value to the group.
And, speaking of value, one of the things Anfernee prides himself on is getting his current clients tangible results—this is what he’s been focused on all year.
One of the biggest wins his team was able to produce for the Build Live Give business was to “blow up” Paul’s Linkedin profile, generating 70,000+ views on Linkedin within a month. That led to several sales enquiries and 50 or so new connections that were in Paul’s target market. (Grab a copy of the full case study here.)
Whether those tangibles are leads, sales, or growth in audience, Anfernee wants to convey that they are the direct result of good strategies and tactics implemented and monitored constantly.
Anfernee has been able to build in himself and his clientele the conviction that what he does and how he does it works! His value can be directly measured by the fact that his current clients always send him referrals.
He admits that the business model is not the most scalable as it is right now but, for the time being, Anfernee is comfortable with that.
“I’m a big believer that when you have tangible results to share with others, that goes a lot farther than empty promises.”
Related post: How Scott Gellatly Scaled His Own Empire
His results are pretty tangible to us!
“Our business is on target to hit an approximately $82,000 annual run rate after 18 months.”
Just about 40% of that income comes from the business’s outsourced content writing while the rest comes from his virtual services as a CMO.
While the demand for freelance writing is clearly still relevant by looking at his numbers, it was still a smart move on Anfernee’s part to begin providing those CMO services.
Moving forward Anfernee is focused on increasing the percentage for CMO services.
What has this growth in revenue meant for Anfernee? In May 2017, Anfernee and his new wife left Sydney to become full-time digital nomads. At the time of writing, the couple had traveled to Penang, Taipei, Byron Bay, Sydney and Ho Chi Minh City.
We asked Anfernee what he’s reading these days as well as what he’s listening to.
Take a look at his book list:
–The 7-Day Startup by Dan Norris;
–Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin;
–Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
And, here are his favorite podcasts right now:
We also asked Anfernee about the biggest win he’s had in the last year. And, we like his answer: “Getting married in April to the woman of my dreams.”
We know that with Anfernee, tangible results and value are the principles on which he runs his business on. This is why he had some reservations about joining a mastermind group at first.
He didn’t want to invest time and money—neither of which he had a lot of in the beginning—into a group that would turn out to disappoint him.
“Once I joined the community I saw that Paul ran a tight ship, and he only allowed quality people into the community.”
The quality of people, the support from other group members, and growth for his business were things Anfernee was looking for in a group.
“Since joining BLG Boost, I’ve been able to quit my part-time job and become a full-time digital nomad. Best of all, I have a business that is evolving and continues to support our lifestyle.”
To draw a more tangible picture, Anfernee’s joining the BLG Boost group has resulted in several strategic partnerships and referrals. This alone has led to 3x the revenue for his business since he first joined. Read more about Anfernee’s results in SCM’s 2017 year in review post.
We’re happy to say that BLG Boost delivers!
Are you tired of doing it all yourself? Do you genuinely want to build a dream business and take some time off? Join my upcoming free live webinar “Rapidly grow your dream business.”