Boss Lady

The Top 9 ways to grow your business this year


When it comes to marketing, many business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, coaches and experts get completely overwhelmed with all of the different methods, strategies and ‘blow up your business now’ hacks being promised by endless marketers – and either end up doing a million things poorly, or absolutely nothing at all!

So whilst this article is going to share 9 methods with you – there is strategy to how they may be selected for your business.

Having been in business for 14 years now, I can assure you that the best way to succeed is to have one clear objective (yes, just ONE) for your business each year.

Then use a carefully selected combination of marketing strategies that collectively and individually have the sole purpose of achieving that one, single goal.

The one goal you choose will be unique to you, but it must be something very measurable


  • X number of students in your online course(s)
  • X number of members in your membership program
  • X number of clients for a particular service

Note that I don’t have a monetary figure there – that’s because it’s better to:

  1. First come up with your financial target for 2020,
  2. THEN work out how many customers you need in order to reach that financial figure
  3. Then work out how many customers you will need to get per month, per week and per day in order to meet that target

From here, your marketing activities become simple, because no matter how many or how few marketing methods you choose to take on, they all have ONE clear purpose with measurable markers.

Eg, if your goal is to get X number of members in your membership program and you select the following marketing channels:

  • You will use Social media to connect with your audience, build relationships > lead them to become paid members
  • You will use your Website for establishing your credibility, sharing valuable information, encouraging visitors to join your email list >  and ultimately to sign up to your paid membership
  • You will use Emails to build familiarity and trust, establish a relationship, share valuable content > and to ultimately become paying members
  • You will use YouTube to give tasters of your content, build familiarity, build a following > and ultimately encourage them to become paying members
  • You will use Books to establish your expert credibility, get targeted customers > become members

There are endless examples – but you get the picture!

ONE goal – as many strategies as you want to use, but all with that ONE single mission at the centre.

9 Ways to grow your business in 2020

1. Create an online course

Online courses have a huge array of benefits for any business and expert, and are highly versatile to meet certain functions in your business.

Not only do online courses immediately provide an additional income stream into your business as soon as you publish one, it’s passive income too!

Another excellent use for an online course is to build your email list, by using them as lead magnets.

If you have a smartphone and an internet connection, you already have enough to create a basic lead magnet course without any extra expense or complex tech.

Simply record your top 5 tips in your area of expertise in 5 short videos, and use that as mini lead magnet course that you can deliver to your prospects by email when they sign up to your list.

And that’s not ALL online courses can do!

A lead magnet mini course is only ONE type of course that you can create to grow your business and your bottom line!

Did you know that there are FIVE different types of online course that you can create – all of which have extremely powerful, but quite different benefits for the course creator?

Before you get started on creating your online courses, it is critical that you know which of the 5 types is best for you and your business so that it helps you quickly achieve your goals.

I have created a quick quiz to help you identify exactly which one is right for you – and as soon as you complete the quiz you will be sent an email with your results and a full description of all of the 5 types of online course too.

2. Video and live streaming

According to recent research by CISCO, video content is and will remain the number 1 form of consumed content on the internet.

The report states that videos “will continue to be in the range of 80-90% of total IP traffic. Globally, IP video traffic will account for 82 percent of traffic by 2022”.

This is absolutely huge and backs up the point that I have been hammering into edupreneurs for years – YOU MUST be creating and publishing videos if you want to have any influence or impact in your market.

To take it up one notch further – there has also been published research stating that people watch live videos for over 3 times longer than they watch a pre-recorded video.

With live streaming capability now available on YouTube (once you hit 1,000 subscribers), LinkedIn, Facebook and more, it’s easier than ever to reach huge numbers of people from your mobile phone to theirs, with the click of a single button.

But it’s not just any old videos that are trending.

The past few years have been insanely hot for educational, information and how-to videos. Research by Curata, sited in a Forbes article shows that tutorial videos and demonstration videos account for the most popular videos on the internet!

Further – live videos get you exceptional reach and maximum relationship-building opportunity.  There is nothing more ‘real’ than somebody who is live.

My ‘30 Days 30 Tips Challenge’ has been designed to help you grow your expert profile using live videos.  This challenge is currently FREE, so do go and check it out!

How to make the most out of video in 2020:

  1. Find 52 questions that your audience are asking, and answer each one in individual videos.
  2. Record them all in a couple of days’ worth of filming, then mass upload them to YouTube using the ‘scheduled publish’ option.

With only a couple of days’ worth of work, you’ll have a video preloaded to release on YouTube every single week for an entire year.

3. Authoring print books and ebooks

According to Author Earnings, over $1 million eBooks are sold every day on Amazon alone.

Short of gaining exposure to millions of people by having your knowledge and education on the pages of a book, you also gain exceptional industry credibility when you have published work.

I have published 7 books, and without any real marketing (other than an email to my list and some posts on Facebook) I have sold more than 12,000 copies of my books on Amazon Kindle alone.  That doesn’t even count any of my hard copy sales at all.

Although it’s hardly a million dollar income stream, I’ve sold 446 books in 10 countries in the past 90 days, from ONE platform alone, whilst doing absolutely nothing other than the odd share on Facebook (automated of course!)  Not bad, huh?

Now aside from them bringing in enough money to cover my coffee habit via a nice little cheque from Amazon each month, they also serve another, very powerful function for any business owner or expert….

In the front pages of all of my books, I include a link to a free online course which many of my readers take up – thus growing a targeted email list of people who often later invest in my full Edupreneur Academy.

Book sales won’t necessarily make you a millionaire on their own, but they have certainly worked for me in affirming extra credibility, harvesting thousands of targeted customers from one of the biggest marketplaces in the world, and subsequently have them invest in my other products and services.

Imagine getting over 12,000 new eager clients?  What would that do for your business?

The best bit is that becoming a published author is nowhere near as hard as you may imagine – and in fact, I have an online course in my Edupreneur Academy on ‘How To Write and Self-Publish Your Own Print Book and eBook if you’re thinking about tapping into this massive platform of business growth too.

4. Subscriptions and memberships

Predictable, regular and consistent cash flow is critical for sustainable business and should be a priority for all business owners, experts and edupreneurs.

Selling online courses is a great way to earn a good income, however your sales can be unpredictable from month to month when you’re selling them ‘one-off’.

A trend that grew exponentially in 2017 and that really improved my cash flow, was shifting from selling courses individually, to creating a subscription based business model.

This works excellently when you have more than one online or digital offering, and you bundle them all up and offer them up for a monthly fee – which is a no-brainer cheaper option for the subscriber than paying for each item in the ‘package’ individually; and thus is the incentive for them.

A lot of entrepreneurs and business owners baulk at this idea at first “but discounting my stuff devalues it! I’ll lose money!”.

You HAVE to see memberships through a different lens – it’s a different income stream, even though it comprises the same content.

You see, lots of small sales, make a big income; and customers who can see that they are getting insane amounts of value for money become your raving fans, stick around for ages and tell their friends to join too.

Not convinced?

Look how easy it is to earn $10,000 per MONTH in residual income from a simple $47 a month online membership academy…..

  • 10 students = $470 per month
  • 50 students = $2,350 per month
  • 100 students = $4,700 per month
  • 150 students = $7,050 per month
  • 250 students = $11,750 per month
  • 750 students = $35,250 per month
  • 1,000 students = $47,000 per month

(Note: I am not saying your membership offering should be this price – it’s just an example)

Not so scrappy now, is it?!

How many membership subscribers would you need to achieve your personal passive income goal for 2020?

5. Blogging & guest blogging

Blogging is still one of my favourite ways to invest my time to create evergreen marketing collateral and I will definitely be continuing to use blogging as a growth strategy in 2020 and beyond.

The best bit is that blogging is a free and easy, lifelong marketing strategy that you get better and better at the more you do it.

I still get business today from posts I published years ago and without fail, I make some kind of sale from every post I put out each week.

Every time you publish a blog post you are putting out a digital, Google-searchable signpost to the world that points back to your website and ensures that your future customers can find you in Google search results for all of time to come.

I always liken blog posts and other ‘content’ such as videos, to the silky rings of a spiders web.  Every time you publish a blog, you add another ring to your web. Your web gets bigger and bigger with every new blog, more people can find you and the wider area of ‘capture’ you have.

Blogs never stop working for you and they simultaneously demonstrate your expertise and gather up leads.

To take it to the next level, you can write blogs for other people’s sites.

Why? Because these sites could have thousands, hundreds of thousands or even MILLIONS of subscribers and YOUR blog article will be put in front of all of them – thus the potential for you to attract lots of brand new fans and followers yourself.

How to make the most of blogging

  1. Ensure that your blog titles are the questions your target audience are typing into Google, then your blog will come up in their search results.
  2. Search for the top 20 questions that your audience are typing into Google and answer them all in 20 blog posts
  3. Send it out to other blogs first so that they get ‘first publish’
  4. Schedule your blogs to auto-publish on your own website once a week and to auto-email to your mailing list for maximum impact.

Blogging has by far been consistently one of the best investments of my time for the most passive and sustainable rewards.  I highly suggest you consider it as a long term growth strategy for 2020.

6. Podcasting & guest podcasting

Just like blogging and publishing videos, creating and publishing podcasts is another incredible way to ensure that your prospective customers come across you and your content.

Podcasting has now become an everyday part of many people’s lives, so to ‘be there’ is to ‘be found’.  Although I have admittedly neglected my Course Creators podcast, it still gets new listeners and followers all of the time.

However, the tech and time required to set-up and run a podcast is not everyone’s cup of tea, but never fear, you can still tap into this enormous opportunity another way – by being a guest on other people’s podcasts!

Simply search for podcasts that serve your target audience, and reach out to the podcast owner to ask if they accept guests on their show.

But don’t leave it at that.

Make sure that you outline a very specific way that you would like to contribute to their podcast as a guest, including what your interview topic could be called, what top 3-5 things you can share or teach their listeners and something you have to offer their audience for free as an extra value contribution.

This method has got me many podcast interviews and they continue to collect new leads for me constantly.

7. Digitising traditional products and services

Going online means going from a local market to a global one, instantly.

I used to limit my face to face workshops to 20 students in a classroom at a time; now I have over 20,000 students enrolled in over 40 of my courses in 146+ countries at any one time (and growing every day) – all because I went ‘digital’.

And when it came to my curriculum design services, serving my clients depended a lot on me driving into their offices and physically working with their teams in-person.  Now, I offer my course creation services online and have corporate, Government and small business clients all over the world – without leaving my office. You can too.

Instead of having JUST face to face based offerings, can you ‘digitise’ what you do?

  • Turn common consult content into video tutorials
  • Create an online course
  • Put your topo tips into a published eBook or print book
  • Provide your consultations and coaching online and via video call rather than in-person
  • Offer predefined services for a fixed price that can be delivered remotely
  • Deliver your knowledge via paid or free webinars
  • Produce audio files or audio books
  • Create a digital instruction manual / PDF

Going digital with your offerings doesn’t have to replace your face to face offerings – in fact, once you have digital products and services your face to face options can go up in price.

But by adding a digital version of what you currently do in a traditional manner will scale your customer base to unlimited numbers, along with your bank balance.

8. Mini challenges

The concept of the short, sharp ‘challenge’, with its promise of practical implementation and a quick result, has proven to be a highly successful strategy for me in previous years; and has attracted thousands of new leads and customers into my business.

The 5 day and 30 day challenges to achieve X result, have been the most popular for me – but you can chose whatever number of days you prefer to help your audience attain a certain desired outcome.

If your ‘challenge’ is a 5 day challenge, simply:

  1. Film 5 tutorial videos (one for each day)
  2. Develop a practical task for the challenge participants to complete each day
  3. Add downloadable templates
  4. Make it available by email, messenger bot and as a free online course on your website or learning management system (a delivery style to suit different preferences).

What challenge could you create to engage, educate and help your clients and prospects get a much desired result for themselves?

9. Sell packages instead of individual items

People want more for their money, and you probably want more money for your time.

By shifting from an hourly rate service, or a single product sale, instead move to selling packages that include numerous offerings.

Bundle your online courses together to increase your transaction value, add eBooks to your course packages, add a consult to the bundle, templates, checklists and even discount vouchers for other people’s products and services and more.

There is no limit to how creative you can be about what you add in, but increasing the value of your packages does NOT have to mean adding more of your time to it.

Stop working for an hourly rate and instead work for a value transaction that maximises your profit and increases your customer satisfaction.

Even better, create 3 different packages that your customers could choose from (think baby bear, mummy bear and daddy bear, or bronze, silver, gold).

One of my clients managed to increase her hourly rate from $250, to over $1,500 per transaction without increasing her input by a single second, by simply packaging a number of her digital offerings together.

List all of your assets, content, products and services and work out what you can offer together in a much higher value bundle instead of selling everything individually.

I go into more detail on how to do this in my book “Edupreneur: How To Monetise Your Expertise and Profitably Educate Your Market”.

Final thoughts

The strategies listed above are only a teeny weeny selection of the many strategies out there  – I could write a whole other book just on the various business growth strategies that have worked well for me, but hopefully these will be enough to get your brain ticking for now.

Remember that there is no single method to attract leads and grow your business, and that different strategies work for different businesses.

The best way to know what works best for you is to simply start experimenting. Challenge yourself to try something new and make your 2020 the best year yet. If you found this article helpful, please give it a share!

About Sarah Cordiner

Sarah Cordiner is a three-times international number 1 best-selling author, TV host, Podcaster, qualified educator and professional speaker.' Huffington Posts' 'Top 50 Must-Follow Female Entrepreneur for 2017'. 11 years in business & education, over 7,000 students in 130 countries and multiple awards - Sarah combines education and entrepreneurship as the EDUpreneur’s internationally acclaimed leader in ‘profitably educating your marketplace’. Web: Youtube: LinkedIn: Twitter: Entrepreneur to EDUpreneur Facebook Group: Facebook:

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