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[Podcast] Pursuing a Pivot: When Taking a Detour is the Next Right Thing (Ruth Soukup)

By Bob Sparkins  |  Published Dec 08, 2022  |  Updated Feb 08, 2024
Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A marketer with 17 years of experience, Bob has taught over 1,000 webinars and spoken at over 50 events.

The Lead Generation Podcast Episode 44: Ruth Soukup

Are you an entrepreneur who has another great idea to pursue, but you’re scared of taking the risk? Then this episode of The Lead Generation podcast is for you.

Ruth Soukup is the founder of Ruth Soukup Omnimedia, which includes the brands Living Well, Spending Less, Elite Blog Academy, and Thinlicious. She's also the New York Times bestselling author of Do It Scared and six other books.

In this episode, Ruth shares lessons she's learned in her entrepreneurial pursuits, her new venture in helping women with their health and wellness, and an update on how her community is doing after Hurricane Ian.

Key Takeaways

  • Remember to mentally step back and look at the big picture. It’s easy to feel in the weeds all the time if you’re a bootstrapped entrepreneur. But it’s important to know where you’re headed by reflecting on your vision and the decisions you make.
  • Consider borrowing other people’s credibility. You don’t have to know everything about your niche, especially when you’re entering it for the first time. Bring on additional experts into your offerings to expand your value and boost your credibility.
  • Listen to your gut—and your network. As entrepreneurs, it’s natural to have more ideas than you can pursue. Take action on those that make you feel the most alive.
  • Spend time brain-dumping your thoughts when you feel overwhelmed. Thoughts can be organized and prioritized when they’re on paper, but they can’t be when they’re stuck in your brain.
  • Keep your numbers top of mind. If you’re going all the time, you might stop analyzing the data you receive. Understanding what the numbers are telling you and considering where you should go next allows you to make better and more critical decisions.
  • Use your business platform to contribute to your community. You don’t need to wait until you’re uber-successful to contribute or donate.

Resources Mentioned

Podcast Block Blog@2x

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Who is Ruth Soukup?

Bob Sparkins: Ruth, thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Lead Generation Podcast.

Ruth: Thanks so much for having me. It's great to be here.

Bob: One of the most popular pieces of content I've ever been involved in is the webinar we did a couple years back for thank you pages, so I'm really excited about this conversation, because whenever we've been able to work together, it's really impacted the way people think about business or their life, et cetera. So we're going to be talking a bit more about a new venture you've been doing for the last few months, but I wanted to start out just with a little bit of entrepreneurial pursuits, and that is that these days your business has grown to RSO, Omnimedia, or RSO for Ruth Soukup Omnimedia. You have several different brands. If you could go back to when you only had the one brand to start with, first of all, what was that? And what made you decide that it was time to start to feel out the second branch of this giant tree that you've been building for the last few years?

Ruth: Yeah. Well, basically it's funny, because I pretty much have done with my business what I tell all of my students not to do, and all of the people that I mentor not to do, and for a good reason. It has so far worked out okay for me in some ways, but I think that there's often times where could I go back and do things differently, I may have, or what I know now, applying that to a brand new business probably would've been different.

All that to say I started with Living Well, Spending Less. I started that brand and that blog as basically just a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers and trying to figure out how to live well and spend less, and do something that was more productive than going to Target. It just started very organically. I didn't really intend to start a business, but I have a business brain, and as soon as I started that blog all these years ago, that was back in 2010. So I'm basically the oldest person on the internet I think at this point.

So I started that brand and right away... It wasn't a brand even at the time. I wouldn't have even used that terminology, but I saw that there were other people making money blogging, and I went to my husband, and I was like, "Honey, this is something I think I could do for money." And he's like, "Mm. Yeah, I don't think so, honey. That's pretty dumb. You can't make money on the internet. Who are you kidding, right?" And I was like, "No, I think I'm going to try." So then I started taking it more seriously. I started researching and reading everything that I could about how to make money blogging, and how to make money online, and so I went through a lot of different phases with my business, and how I was monetizing.

At first, it was all ad network revenue, and SEO, and trying to get... And then just timing of different things, right? You look back on your journey, and you see that there's always a lot of luck that comes out. You work really hard, and you create luck, but there's just sometimes you got to be in the right place at the right time, and the harder you're working, the more likely it is that you'll be in the right place at the right time, I think. And so there was a lot of that that happened for me, and it took me three years with Living Well, Spending Less to make enough money that my husband was able to quit his job and become a stay-at-home dad, so that I could then focus full-time on the business, and he had to eat a little crow after telling me that it was impossible, but at that point then I started to have a lot of people going, "Well what are you doing?" Right?

Because I had started to make lots of friends in the blogging world, and I would go to conferences, and they were like, "How are you making enough money that your husband could quit his job, but I'm not making any money, and I've been doing this just as long?"

I got a lot of that, and I would have a lot of readers and a lot of blog readers write to me and ask how they could start a blog, and how they could make money blogging. And so I thought, "Well, I'll just write a book about it, because I got nothing else to do. So I'll write a book." And I did. I self-published a book called How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul, and I honestly didn't think anybody was going to read it.

I thought it was just going to be something that I would hand to people like my friends and people who wrote in to ask us, be like, "Here, here's this book. You can read it." So I published it and put it on Amazon, and it literally went to number two on Amazon the first day that it came out. It was just like... took off, and that was pretty crazy for me, and realized that I needed to start... Well, then I started... Instead of answering everybody's questions, people just came to me with more questions, and so that is ultimately how my second brand started. This is turning into a long story, but that's how my second brand started, very organically. It wasn't really intentional, but I had so many people ask me about blogging that I first started doing some consulting on the side, and realized that was not scalable. It was too time-consuming, and everybody was asking the same questions.

So I decided instead to create a course that was basically answering the question that everyone was asking me, which is, "There's so much information out there. I don't know what to do. Can you just tell me what to do in what order and make it easy?" And then I was like, "Well, yeah. I can do that." So that's what I did, and that's how Elite Blog Academy came to be, and then those two brands have been coexisting for a long time, sometimes amicably, and sometimes not so amicably, but it's definitely been a lot. And then crazily this year, I decided to start a whole new brand. Yes, I am crazy.

Building a Dream Team

Bob: I can't wait to get into that one as well, which I think we'll spend most of the second part of this conversation with, but I'd love to see... You mentioned you tell people don't do what you do, but those that do want to disavow your advice, you had some help.

One thing you've already pointed to, your husband was able to stay home, so the workload of the home is shared a little bit differently than maybe the average bear. What else could you attribute getting help from? I know a little bit, obviously, because I've worked with Heather on your team quite a bit, but for those that don't know the structure of RSO, how could you grow two things, and maintain two things, and now a third thing super well while becoming a bestselling author, and some other media appearances over the last year, et cetera?

Ruth: Well, I've definitely had help along the way. I've been growing a team, or I've had a team to support me since 2010. Well, Heather was actually the first person I ever hired as just a contractor back in 2010, and we've been very good friends, and now, obviously, she works for my company full-time. She's our COO, and she's always been there by my side, and we also have... I've had lots of people helping, right? I've been growing my team since 2013, I think, is when I had my first actual employee. And so there'd be no way to do it without that help, and this year is actually a little bit different, because up until this year, even though I've had a team, everybody has always been focused on all three brands. So we had different people doing different jobs, and we're pretty flexible in the way that we do our jobs, and I like to call our org chart sort of like an amoeba, right?

We would just kind of shift to wherever the attention needed to be, and that worked for a very long time. It allowed us to be very flexible, very nimble, very profitable, because we were able to get a lot done with a fairly small team, and in relation to how big the business is.

However, this year now with the addition of Thinlicious, our newest brand, I've realized that the only way to take it to the next level is to really separate our three brands and have this sort of overarching corporate company, which is RSO, Ruth Soukup Omnimedia. Then we have each brand set up separately with its own team and its own leader, and we have sort of this new level of leadership that's been a lot of fun. Actually, for me as a CEO, that's a whole new level. Instead of me doing all the things, it's me teaching my leaders how to actually run a brand and run a business, which I'm enjoying a lot.

Bob: I imagine towards the end of 2023, I'd love to have you back on again to talk about the leadership challenges that you've faced and overcome as you get to that side of things, because I know that founder stories that go from their initial zone of genius to then having to put on the 10th hat, as you're doing now, has its own rewards.

Ruth: Yes, for sure. Yes

Giving Back to South Florida After Hurricane Ian

Bob: So I can't wait to have you back to talk about that. I want to share or have you share a little bit about what RSO has done over the last few months. Your community was impacted by Hurricane Ian. You happened to use Leadpages to fire up a website, RSOcares.com, that people can take a look at now. I think the promotion/charity event that you were running is a little bit different, but tell us about A, how is your community doing, and what happened with RSO Cares that you'd love to share as a result? Because a lot of members of our community want to see what's the update, because they got a chance to see a bit about it in October.

Ruth: Yeah, yeah. Well, thank you for mentioning that. So I live in Fort Myers or just outside of Fort Myers in a little community called Babcock Ranch, and we were actually pretty much the only town not devastated by Hurricane Ian in three counties. We were the only place that didn't lose power, right? Three counties were out of power, every traffic light was blown down, but our community is fairly new, and it's solar powered, and it's got its own power grid, and so we didn't lose power. We didn't lose internet. We were very, very fortunate. However, the rest of Fort Myers, including many of my employees who are here locally, we have an online company, but a lot of people do live in the Fort Myers area, were pretty badly effected. Fort Myers Beach was completely demolished. It's gone. Sanibel Island is pretty much completely devastated.

Downtown Fort Myers was that's where our church is, was three feet of water down the main street, every restaurant, and is closed, and when we'd drive down there, I mean, there's still boats sitting in parking lots of apartment building. It almost like blows your mind to see just the devastation, right? It's everywhere. And so many people in Fort Myers, you have hurricane insurance, but the problem with this particular hurricane was the storm surge, and a lot of places that flooded, which the flooding is way more devastating than the wind damage in a hurricane, especially in Florida, because the building codes are typically so strong. The flooding was what really did it, and so many people haven't had flood insurance, so they've lost everything, and it's just been really hard.

Lots of people from our church have lost everything. My kids school, my kids go to a school that's more in the middle of Fort Myers, and so their classmates and things have been really adversely affected. Even though we were fine, it's just a hard thing to watch in your community, and my kids were out of school for several weeks, and we had them helping in different houses, and tearing out drywall, and ripping out carpet. I've got two girls, and they're pretty girly girls, and they were having to work harder than they've ever worked in their whole life, but we just needed them to see you guys have a good, but let's know what our neighbors, and our friends, and people that we care about are going through as well.

And so we just wanted to do something as a company because this is our community. I try to run a company that's very non-political, and we have employees, we have customers from all walks of life, and which we love. We think that there's something bigger that brings people together, but this was something that was just it was home, and it felt like we needed to do something. And so we decided, or I decided as a company, that we would donate one week of sales, that all of our sales for the week would go to Hurricane Ian relief, and so we did set up a Leadpages website, which I love those sites. We don't use them very often in Leadpages, but they're so cool, and they're so easy to do.

And so we set up this website and basically kind of explained what it was, this RSO Cares fundraiser, and then each brand had a page with links to all their products, to each individual product. And we ended up raising almost $88,000 for hurricane relief in one week, so that was pretty cool.

Bob: That's awesome. So I love you sharing that in part because if you are listening to this, and you're wanting to have a really successful company, one of the things I always loved for people to think about is what happens when you are successful, and the road to that success doesn't have to wait till the status that you have like Ruth does, but along the way, if something comes up, isn't it awesome to be able to contribute to your community, whether it's the sweat labor of knocking down drywall, or being able to have a sale where a portion or an entirety of that week sales can go towards a relief effort? So obviously this has been a big impact for your community, Ruth, and I know it's inspirational to a lot of people as well to want to be able to do that, and I hope that they don't wait any longer before they start doing that for their business, because it's really a cool thing.

Ruth: Yeah. I think the cool thing about just the platform is that it does allow you to do something so fast. Sometimes I think we overthink everything, and, oh, what should I do? Should I do this? Should I do this? Should I do this? And sometimes you just got to go, "Nope. You know what? I'm just going to make it happen, and we're going to do it fast, and we're not going to overthink it, and here we go." And that platform gave us the ability to get that site up in a matter of days.

And that's pretty incredible when you can have that sort of flexibility to just go, "Yep, we're going to do it." And I mean, the money is already out, right? It's already been donated, it's already helping people, and that is incredible, because it's only been a month since Hurricane Ian. So we were able to raise all this money and then distribute it as fast as possible.

Turning a Fiery Passion into a Business

Bob: Yeah, that's amazing. There are a lot of things that you and I could talk about between your earlier adulthood life where you overcame depression, and suicide attempts, and a coma, and all that kind of fun stuff that is... I'm not saying fun because it was actually fun, but the opposite of...

Ruth: I knew what you meant.

Bob: Yeah, you know what I mean. You have a book, Do It Scared, that has led to a lot of doors opening. You had an appearance on major morning show this past year. All those things are things that I hope that people go and find out more about from you over at Ruthsoukup.com and explore, but I would love to take to the next part of our conversation towards this launch of Thinlicious that you mentioned before.

First of all, how did you decide that a health brand would be the next thing of RSO? And I loved watching you launch this, because it was like this textbook launch, and I'm sure there was ups, and downs, and challenges, and all this other stuff, but between the social media, the lead magnets, the thank you page, sales page, all this cool stuff, it was like you were just doing this game plan.

Ruth: It's so funny to hear you say that, because behind the scenes, not textbook.

Bob: Exactly. So that's why I want to break down for people is this looks on the surface as something that's really awesome. I'm sure there's a lot of words behind it. And so let's go into the first question. Why was a health brand your next move in what you're doing with the world?

Ruth: I couldn't help myself, Bob. I mean, that's the honest answer, is that when I am really passionate about something, it spills out of me. And I think that's a blessing and a curse, but the reality is that I have been on my own health journey over the last 18 months or so, and I've struggled as a woman, especially after turning 40, struggled a lot with my weight, as many women do as you get older, and your hormones start kicking in, and you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk for 12 hours a day. I just struggled, and I struggled. I struggled, and I also have a job that puts me in front of people, and so that was hard, because I was constantly self-conscious from gaining weight, and losing weight, and gaining weight, and losing weight.

And I don't know that people really knew the extent of my discomfort with my own self, because it wasn't really something that I talked about a lot, but, man, I had literally tried every diet out there, and for years, and I'd do okay, and lose a few pounds, and then I gain it back. And finally, finally, over the pandemic, I gained quite a bit of weight, but I also was actually at a place personally where I was probably happier than I had been in years. Like many people, I started staying home and reconnected with my family on a different level. There was just a lot of blessings, like sort of hidden blessings that came out of the lifestyle changes that happened, but one of the not-so-great blessings was that I was just eating a lot, drinking a lot, socializing with my neighbors, and not really... And I think the fact that I was happy meant I was also less self-conscious about where I was physically.

But I was definitely at my heaviest weight ever, and then I saw a picture of myself, and here it was on a day, and I remember that so distinctly, because I had actually thought that day that I was rocking it, right? I had this little white dress on that I just got, and it was a size extra large, and I had spanks on underneath, but I thought I looked so cute that day, and it was actually the 4th of July, and there was a golf cart parade, because in my little community of Babcock Ranch, there are many golf cart parades. Every holiday there's a golf cart parade. So I'm standing outside waving at the golf cart parade, and the town photographer snaps a picture and posts it on Facebook. And I saw that picture, and I wanted to die, because I could not believe that that was what I looked like, right?

It was like I was seeing myself through somebody else's eyes for the first time, because Zoom, you only see yourself from head up. So I thought I felt like I looked okay, and that was when I realized something had to give, but I also knew that... And maybe that was the benefit of having just been home, and more relaxed, and less stressed, I also knew that I had to do something that wasn't this quick fix for getting healthy. I needed to find a way of finding something that I could live with, and that actually worked. And so I started to do the research, right? I started to do what I do, and for the first time, I decided to apply my business brain, and my research brain, and my break it down into simple step-by-step brain to my own life and my own health, which I had never really thought to do before. I don't know why. I always thought somebody else had the answer when it came to weight loss.

And so I started reading all the books, and doing all the research, and trying different things, and experimenting based on what I was reading, and really dove into metabolic science, and why things work, and just really realized that so much of what we'd been taught our whole lives and conditioned to believe about weight loss, and especially for women over 40, and hormones, and all this stuff really is not all that true. And so I started applying it to my own life and health, and lost 40 pounds in about six months, and felt amazing, right? Felt better than I ever had. I ran a half marathon, and people really started to notice the difference.

And so it still wasn't really something I intended to talk about, or write about, or share with anybody. In fact, at that point, I was not even really... I was kind of hiding in my business. I was hiding behind my paid programs, and I would interact with my students, but not really anybody else. I wasn't posting on social media. So it was really not intended to be something for anyone else, but then I started having more people ask me, and friends started asking me, and neighbors started asking me to help, and so I did. And I created this little program.

Bob: It sort of sounds like Elite Blog Academy all over again, right?

Ruth: Kind of, yeah. I mean, pretty much it was. I created this little program at the beginning of the year. I had several neighbors who were like, "Ruth, you got to help us. You got to help us." And so I created this I called it Better Keto Bootcamp, right? Because it was kind of keto, but better. And so that's what I called it, and I just made them little binders, and printed them out myself. This was so not a business, right? It was not going to be a business. I was not going to start another business. I needed another thing to do in my business like I needed a hole in my head. And that took about two months, and then I read this book, or I was listening to an audiobook by Ryan Daniel Moran. I don't know if you know him. The book was 12 Months to a Million, I think was the name of the book.

And it was a lot of stuff that I've heard before. He focuses mostly on physical products, but there are a few tidbit bits, as most books will have, right? Every book will have at least one or two juicy little golden nuggets where it just hits you some way, and all of a sudden I was like, "Oh my gosh. I have this idea." And I got home from my walk that morning, and it was like I almost felt like it was divine intervention or something like that. This idea just poured into me, and then poured out of me, and I grabbed one of my little notebooks. I have these notebooks everywhere. I grabbed a brand new notebook and just started writing. And by the time my husband woke up, he comes out, he's like, "Oh, no. What are you doing?" Because he knows that after almost 20 years together, he knows that look in my eye.

And I'm like, "I have an idea that's really good." And he's like, "Oh, I feel like this is going to be really bad." And then I texted Heather, and I said, "Oh, Heather, I have this idea. It's so amazing. You're not even going to believe it. We have to do it." And she's like, "Okay." And that was it. She didn't even know what the idea was. She's like, "Okay, let's do it. I trust you." That's what she wrote back to me. And then she said, "But then you have to tell Chuck first." So she knows. Yeah, so I did, and that was really Thinlicious.

And then I had to go to my team and convince them that it was something to do, and I presented it, and by that point, I had a whole business plan laid out, and I printed it for them, and sent it to them, and they read it, and we discussed it. And because in our team, we do profit sharing, so it actually was going to have a pretty big impact, because we knew that our profit would go down for a while before it would go back up. So it was they're taking the risk as well. And they were unanimously for it, and here we are.

Consider the Big Picture When Making Large Decisions

Bob: That's amazing, and I want to touch on two things that you talked about. So one is for anyone out there who has this like, "You can't not do it," when you first started your story with this, it was like it just... There's no way you couldn't pursue this in some way, or shape, or fashion. Listening to that and trusting that for yourself I think is important. Talk to us for a moment about how do you reconcile in your mind that it will take a distraction for some amount of time. It will negatively impact the other areas of your business, but it's going to be worth it as long as X, Y, and Z are in place. So how does that jive with the way you looked at it?

Ruth: Well, I mean, to be honest, that's probably the scariest part, right? To take something that is doing well, and that it's we're doing okay by itself, and to go, "Okay, if we do this, it's going to be a huge risk, and it's going to cost a lot of money to do this, and it's going to be a huge investment, and it's not going to be very profitable right away," I think that's part of being an entrepreneur. And so you do that on a small scale, right? I've done it on a small scale, and then you take a risk, and it pans out, and then you take a bigger risk, and you do... And so I've learned how to do that over the years. I don't know that I would've had the courage to take this amount of risk if I hadn't done that for so many years, but definitely there are moments where I think, "What the heck did I just do?"

I think as every entrepreneur has those moments, right? And you just have to... That's where I know for me that especially because I have this tendency, having been the kind of bootstrapping entrepreneur who's done it all from scratch, and who's very intimately involved in creating content and things, and I tend to be a little bit control freaky when it comes to some of that stuff, where I need to learn how to step back, that I find that for me, the best moments are when I actually am able to step back, and to look at the big picture, and to really go, "Okay, I need to get some perspective here, because when I'm in the weeds, it can feel very scary."

But when I take a step back and see where we're going and where we need to go, I realize that the best and highest use of my energy is not being in the weeds, but it's casting the vision, and it's leading my team where we need to go, and then providing that assurance, because I need to believe it that it's going to be okay, and I also need to be the one who's like, "Yeah, guys, we can do this. It's going to be scary, but we got this, because we know we've been here before, and here's where we're going." Yeah, that's been a fun journey.

Launching a Product Even When It’s Not Totally Ready

Bob: I bet. And then you mentioned that there were some under-the-surface challenges that maybe the public didn't get to see. Obviously, we don't need to take a look at all of it, but what are some lessons that surprised you as you went to launch this new brand with the playbook, as they would say in the internet marketing world, of being in full force?

Ruth: Well, the thing that I probably should point out is that one of my brands is Elite Blog Academy. And within Elite Blog Academy, we teach a very clear business framework, right? So we teach something called the Customer Superhero Path, and we know exactly how things should go, and we teach other people how to build a business from scratch. And so coming into it, I sure hope it would be textbook, because I literally wrote the textbook for how to do this.

But even with that, there's like what we decided to do with this brand, because we are... The long-term plan for Thinlicious is that it's going to to be a physical product brand. We're going to have a little lineup of different physical products, clean food, and supplements. Liquor is on the plan, and then possibly even other items that are congruent with the philosophy that we teach within the program.

But we started with education products, because those are the ones that we could get to market fastest, and that's also in our wheelhouse of what we do. And so the first product that we launched on the day that we launched the brand was our 28 Day Metabolism Reset, which is a four-week sort of entry-level program, and helps lay out the basics of our system, and what we teach, and how it all works. And we were literally, we had some graphic design struggles. We struggled with our branding, and sometimes it's better to be perfect than good. We were working with our product designer, who was telling us that we needed to figure out the product design before we could nail down the rest of the branding, but that was holding everything up.

And so behind the scenes it was just this huge scramble, and we're literally, I think we launched on a Wednesday, and Tuesday night at 10:00 PM, we were still proofing the final document, and still getting it done, and got it uploaded, and then we went live at 6:00 AM the next morning. I mean, it was so last minute. Nobody would've ever known, because it went off, and it was great, but the behind the scenes, it was pretty touch and go there for a minute.

Bob: Yeah. Well, I think a lot of entrepreneurs can resonate with the idea of deadlines being the thing that helps motivate to the finish line. And I imagine you had the opportunity as the boss to say, "Let's postpone this two weeks. Let's get it perfect." And instead you had a public-facing deadline, and you stuck to it, and you did whatever it took to get there, which I think is really important to consider as a way of going about things. I know that's the way I like to operate. It might not be for everybody, but it seems to have worked out pretty decently for you.

Ruth: Yeah, so far it's been okay. And we've just had to figure things out. We've had to pivot a lot, and ultimately what we realized is that... So we went with our kind of temporary branding for that first product, but we kind of fell in love with the branding, and our customers sort of fell in love with our temporary branding, and so then we're like, "I guess this is our branding, so now we're going to pivot," and we ended up pivoting the product to kind of go along with it. So it's worked out, but it's been an interesting journey for sure.

Using a Multi-Pronged Marketing Approach

Bob: I bet. Now, you launched this during the summer. We're recording this and releasing it towards the end of the year when people are all about getting that reset for the next year. For whatever reason, the turn of the calendar tends to get people inspired, motivated, whatever the case may be. So talk to us a little bit about what is the kind of marketing approach you're taking, and what are you doing with the Thinlicious brand to help people get excited about their health for the next year?

Ruth: Yeah. Well, so our marketing approach for Thinlicious, has basically been kind of full-on blitz attack, right? So we knew the benefit of having already had an audience and already having existing people in our orbit is that there's a lot of brand recognizability with me, but one of our big goals for Thinlicious is to grow a brand that is actually not dependent on me, that I'm not necessarily the face of the brand. So we want the brand to stand alone on its own as we want our other brands to stand alone on their own as well. And so that's one of our real big goals for our company, but we also knew that we had to be able to pivot my personal story to get it launched. It was born out of my personal story, and it was born out of my personal experience, so it was very authentic.

We started by going to our existing audiences, and sharing my story, and sharing kind of the excitement that we were doing this thing, and here's this new thing. We hope you join us, and giving people an opportunity to sign up for our new email list for our Thinlicious list, and then our goal has basically been to grow that audience, right? Start with the existing audience, but then expand it, grow it. We started a Facebook group in order to have a community element, which has been amazing. The Facebook group has been just absolutely amazing, and then we created a lead magnet and an opt-in page, and have run ads to it, and have also worked very hard on our content marketing, which is something that we teach through Elite Blog Academy is blogging, and SEO, and using Pinterest to grow your audience.

So we've actually had a lot of success with that. We've been very aggressive with our content. I believe we had 50 posts published before we launched, and we've since been posting three posts a week for the whole year, which is very intense, but we're seeing an uptick. Every week, we're seeing more and more traffic to that website, so that's been really fantastic, and that's also helping us to grow. And so now we're up to, I believe, a 30,000 on our Thinlicious email list, and our goal is by the time we launch our food products to have that up to 50,000 on the list.

Bob: Very cool. And with the shift towards the end of the year, towards 2023 will be the awesome year ever kind of things, are you also doing podcasts? Are you doing Facebook lives a lot? I know in the launch up leading up to or the run up to the launch, you were doing a lot of videos of you walking around the neighborhood, talking to your audience very personally. Are you doing a lot of that? I mean, it seems like the idea of marketing at this time of year, especially when it's around personal development of health or wellness of any kind, that personal connection really needs to be there. So is that still playing a role as you're going into this next phase?

Ruth: It is. We're definitely doing a little of both, right? I sort of come and go. Thinlicious has its own social media team, and it has its own social media account that is run independently of me, where they're doing a lot of recipe reels and a lot of that kind of stuff. I do bring in the personal element, and we also have a community manager who leads a lot of the stuff within our community. She does a lot of Facebook Lives and just does a really great job of coaching the community. We call her our success coach, and she's very knowledgeable, and so that's actually the goal is to have more people like that in our brand. So it's not just me, even though we like to have that personal element, and I will always have that involvement as the founder, but it doesn't necessarily... That's what I'm realizing, is that it doesn't necessarily have to be me doing all the things all the time.

And we are planning to do a big challenge at the beginning of the year. We did a fall challenge in September. It was very successful. For our 28 Day Metabolism Reset we're going to be doing one in January called the New Year New You Challenge, and which will again be using our 28 Day Metabolism Reset, but then we'll add in more live videos every day and just get... It's a perfect time. It's the time of year where people want to be thinking about their health, and then the last week of that, we are actually hosting our first online summit, which we're really excited about.

So that we're bringing in all sorts of big speakers to participate in the summit that we've already secured some pretty amazing names in the low carb space, and it's called the Low Carb Living Summit, so that will be kind of our next big thing, and we're hoping to use that as sort of a way of establishing our presence in the low carb community, because this is a whole new niche for me, and I haven't really... Even though I have lots of contacts in the online world, I don't really know a lot of people in that world. So it's been kind of fun to stretch myself and start to learn other people. So we really are taking a multi-pronged approach to the marketing in order to grow our audience and get our name out there.

Bob: That's really cool. I remind people who are listening, go back to listening to Liam Austin's conversation we had on The Lead Generation around virtual summits. A really good way to drive your business forward.

How to Increase Credibility in a New Space

Bob: I think this is also a good opportunity just to ask one last sort of business question that I have, something around resources that I'd like you to talk about, and that is this a new space for you. You do have this journey that you've been on that's relatively compressed in its timing. How are you establishing your credibility and authority in what the outside world is a relatively new space? Because I think that's a challenge for a lot of folks who want to do something, and they just don't have the name recognition yet in that particular area. How are you making sure people can trust what it is that you're doing?

Ruth: Yeah, that's absolutely a great question. So from a business perspective and even from an education perspective, I definitely have the credibility and the experience, because I have been doing this for a long time, but from a health perspective, I've got zero, and that was a big concern for me.

I think one of the really cool things that I picked up and learned from Ryan Moran after reading that book was that you can actually borrow other people's credibility. And so you can bring on additional influencers or experts in the field that you want to go in in order to help boost your own credibility.

And so what we did was bring in a physician advisor for the program, and that has been huge, right? Huge from a credibility standpoint, because it allows us to have somebody to ask medical-related questions and health-related questions, who has a medical degree behind their name, but also she helped... It's Dr. Edie Wadsworth is our physician advisor. She helped to teach our actual program, the program lessons, and did all the Q and As, and continues to stay involved in the community. And I think that has just been that extra piece to go, "Yes, I did come up with most of this stuff, right? I've done the research, but I also have now verified it with someone else who is backing it up and saying, 'Yes, this is good information. This is solid information.'" And so that has been just really, really huge for us.

And I would absolutely recommend anyone who's in a field, and I think that there's some fields need that more than others, right? But anything related to health and wellness, I think either having that, some credentials yourself, or bringing somebody in that has those credentials can be really, really helpful.

Bob: Yeah, that's brilliant. I love that combination, because I think people may even start down a pathway, and then they have this sense of imposter syndrome, and then they give up versus like what you did, and which is I did the work. I need a second validation point, so that people believe me. Now the results will help people believe me, right? Because now you're getting testimonials of all the people going through the 28-Day Resets, but those first couple of times, it takes a little bit of extra help. I'm glad that you reached out for that.

Ruth: Yeah. And that part is actually amazing. The fact that now we launched in June, so we've had women who have lost 30, 40 pounds, and even more so far, and they're just rocking it in the program, and we have several of them have come on to be community cheerleaders. We just hired one to help us actually collect more stories from students, because that's one of those things that's just really hard to keep up on is all the success stories, and you have to have somebody dedicated to actually being focused on that. And so that has been really, really cool to see the way that the community supports itself, and I think that's one of the really neat things about starting a brand new brand is that you kind of get to have that sense of we're in on the ground floor, and we're part of something special.

We're the OGs, and that's actually when we launched for the first time, that's what I told people like, "This is your opportunity to be an OG. You will forever more be the first class here," and a lot of them are like, "What's an OG?" It stands for original gangster, in case you don't know. That's what all the cool kids say. It's been a really cool way to start to sort of build the community and have those super fans that are your base of support in that small group, because that's going to then build, and I think one of the things that I love to do is lead, is to lead communities, and to bring really cool people together, and that's something that I do have a lot of experience having done that now with two other brands.

The Number One Thing To Do To Get Into Shape

Bob: Yeah, that's awesome. So I know a lot of people listening are entrepreneurs, and most of the people on your list, maybe they cross over, but they're not entrepreneurs by default, but for those of us that are entrepreneurs, and I'm obviously not female, so I will still take your advice, but for everybody else listening as well, what is one tip that you love, that you share in the 28 Day Reset, that our listeners could take on? Obviously, there's more context with the rest of the program, but what's one thing that you say, "This will help you a lot if you just even start doing this?"

Ruth: I mean, cut out sugar really is one of the biggest things, I think, and it's a low-carb, ketogenic-based plan that we share. And so that's not new, but what I have learned, and what I have seen is that a lot of people do keto wrong, right? There's a lot of different ways to do keto, and there's a lot of ways that are not actually super healthy or super helpful. And so ours is it's very health based, a very whole foods based, and also takes a lot into consideration about macros, and what your macros should be, and how you should change them, and all those kind of things. But the reality is that 80% of Americans, the American population, is struggling with some form of insulin resistance. Sugar and refined carbohydrates are the death of our society.

I mean, they literally led to every single health condition that affects modern society. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, autoimmune disease, all of those can be directly tied to metabolic syndrome, which is directly caused by insulin resistance, and all of that comes from sugar and refined carbohydrates. So if you can even just cut out some of that in your life and start to stabilize your blood sugar a little bit more, and start to lower your level of insulin resistance, you will see amazing health benefits.

What I say to my customers and students all the time is, "We come because we want to lose weight, right? We're women. We want to look good. We're a little bit vain about wanting to fit into our skinny jeans." That's kind of the draw is thinking that it's a weight loss program, and it is, it is, and it has helped women a lot, but you stay, and you stay committed because you feel so much better, because you realize the health benefits.

And I think that's what I'm so proud of with the program itself with Thin Adapted System™, which is TAS, that's our full program. It's so science based on the research, and it's so health-focused. It's not just about looking good in your jeans. It is about doing what is going to provide long-term health benefits well into the future, and the ramifications are insane. We've watched people get off their medications, and that is they go to the doctor, and the doctor said, "What are you doing? This is incredible." So it's just really, really cool to see.

How to Slow Down to Give Yourself Space to Think

Bob: Awesome. So as we wrap up, Ruth, I love to give people the opportunity to share a resource, or a quote, or a mantra, or something that when you do hit the wall, or you hit some form of a struggle, what comes up for you that helps you get to that other side?

Ruth: Oh.

Bob: Besides a dog. That was well-timed.

Ruth: I got two dogs in here waiting for me. Honestly, I think the thing that helps me when I feel overwhelmed, I'm going to give two sides of my advice. So when I feel overwhelmed, which will often happen, right? When you're trying to build a business, and you've got all these different things, and it starts to feel like too much, the best advice that I can give you is to do a brain dump, is to get everything that is spinning around in your head, those tornadoes, and actually just put them down on a piece of paper and start to make sense of them, and separate them, because when they're on paper, your brain can sort them, and you can prioritize, and you can see what's important, what's not important. But the other side of that is to actually give yourself enough mental space sometimes to take a step back and look at the big picture.

If you're so in the weeds that you are not able to breathe, if you're not able to keep up, and you just keep going, going, going, going, going, going, going all the time, you're going to lose that perspective that allows you to make critical path decisions that are going to lead you to the right place. And so what I encourage... I'm in the midst of growing up my leaders for each of my brands, and so I've really been thinking about this a lot lately, but what I encourage them to do is that each week we have a whole dashboard, we have a whole framework that we teach and that we use in our business as well, and we have a dashboard for what numbers they should be tracking on a regular basis, on a weekly basis, and how to apply those numbers to the business.

And so what I tell them to do is once a week, take a step back, look at your numbers, and actually analyze your numbers, because data is nothing if you're not doing something with the data, if you're not using it to guide you and make decisions. So block out at least a couple hours once a week to think, to think on the numbers, to stop doing all the things, and to actually think about what the numbers are telling you, and where you should go next as a result. And so I think sometimes just that pause is the most essential thing that you can do.

Bob: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Ruth, for a fantastic conversation. We covered just even maybe 5% of what we could have talked about, because of all the cool things that you've been up to in the world, and I look forward to future conversations like that, but thank you so much for joining me today for this episode.

Ruth: Thanks so much for having me. It was great to be here. I'll come back anytime.

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Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A former high school history teacher turned entrepreneur and marketer, Bob has educated business owners worldwide on how to leverage lead generation to grow their brands for over 18 years. Bob is a conversion expert, specifically when it comes to landing pages. Hosting over 1,000 webinars, he has walked thousands of business owners through advanced strategies to help them optimize their pages and maximize their leads and sales. Bob works with Leadpages affiliates and users to ensure they have all the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to build high-converting landing pages that grow their businesses.

The Lead Generation Podcast Episode 44: Ruth Soukup
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