Welcome to another episode of the One Funnel Away: Stories podcast! I’m so excited to introduce my guest for today, Tara Ballard, an IT specialist who, in pursuit of her purpose and passion, became a health and fitness expert.
Tara originally started her career in IT, but in 2012, she started dabbling with online entrepreneurship in efforts to transform her love of fitness into a business. These days, aside from taking on some occasional consultancy work, her main focus is helping women in their 40s deal with the emotional and physical changes they’re going through. Powered by the support of friends and family, her brand started blooming, and she’s enjoying every second of it.
Not so long ago, Tara Ballard was desperately searching for something that would help her break away from a pattern of exchanging time for money. Finally, after being bogged down by 70-hour workweeks, she discovered ClickFunnels through Russell Brunson’s Network Marketing Secrets book. Soon after, she decided to take the One Funnel Away Challenge, which helped get her out of fear and into learning by doing.
Tune into this episode and hear all about Tara’s journey, her experience with the OFA, and how it helped her grow her brand as a fitness expert.
What Tara Ballard Values Most From Her Experience With the OFA Challenge
The moment Tara Ballard got hooked on digital marketing was when she came across Russell’s books. But it wasn’t until she took the OFA Challenge that she dared to try and implement what she had learned. Up to that point, even though she was fascinated by everything she read, Tara was still afraid to go all-in.
Looking back on her time spent with the OFA, the thing she feels made the biggest difference had to do with how the challenge is set up. Everything is split into easily-manageable, bite-sized pieces, and all she had to do was show up for the next 30 days. Also, by signing up, she was perfectly aware that she was making a commitment – to her group of fellow challenge-takers, as well as the OFA coaches.
“It was exactly what I needed just to get into momentum.” – Tara Ballard
That sense of being kept accountable was what helped her finally get over her fears, build momentum, and got her to a place where she got hooked on taking action – spoken like a true Funnel Hacker!
How Tara Ballard Plans to Use Her Funnel Building Skills to Expand Her Offer
After the challenge, Tara Ballard took one of her old fitness programs and restructured it into a new offer. And within only 4-6 weeks, she was able to make $5,000! Tara is still planning to tweak it further and is far from being done with it. Yet she realized that it didn’t have to be perfect for her to start making money off of it. Just one more of the many nuggets she picked up from her time with the One Funnel Away crowd.
“Half the game is just being present in front of those who might buy from you.” – Steve Larsen.
The next big thing Tara has in store for 2020 is to expand her offer by adding group and one-on-one coaching. Getting more involved with coaching has been on her wishlist for a long time, but after the OFA, she feels fully confident and knows exactly how to promote it.
Another thing she is currently working on is The Millionaire Sessions funnel, where she sat down with 5 top network marketing earners and created a lead magnet around those conversations. Our previous guests have also shared that interviews go a long way in terms of creating and repurposing content. That is what Tara based her offer on, and it sounds like a very elegant idea.
You Have to Remind Yourself There’s Always a Way
The One Funnel Away Challenge is quite demanding because it’s meant to prepare you for the real world of digital marketing, funnel-building, and all the daily frustrations that come along with it. You have to learn to accept there are going to be plenty of times when things just won’t work out the way you thought they would.
No matter how challenging the journey gets, you have to keep pushing. Tara never gave up, and she urges you not to as well. And if you’re just starting out, she also has a very neat trick you should use.
Since you know you’re going to be facing tons of frustrating situations where things just aren’t working, Tara encourages you to pay close attention to what you’re saying to yourself in those moments. A simple reframing technique can help you muster up the strength to keep going. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t fixate on the fact that something’s not working.
“Ask yourself, ‘How can I make this work?’… There’s always a solution. Always.” – Tara Ballard
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Tara Ballard 0:00
For me personally, if it takes me a little bit to like,... If I don't know how to do something, I'm almost intimidated by it at first. And it takes me a little while for my brain to say, "Okay, just sit down, start going through the steps, and you'll figure it out." You know, and it was! It was so easy... Yeah, it was amazing. It was like I said, it was exactly what I needed just to get into momentum. And now I'm just like, "Okay, what can I do next?"
Steve Larsen 0:27
If you're like us, you've dreamt of building your own business empire, and the freedom it can bring you. But today, there's hidden traps on the path of entrepreneurship placed by Big Brother and the big brands. So now we're forced to answer hard questions like, how do we grow a real company without taking on debt or giving away ownership? Or how can we get leads and buyers for our own products when there's so much competition with deep pockets? Finally, those questions are answered and 10s of thousands of people are taking the challenge to walk the new path of entrepreneurship. Follow this podcast while I ask about their shocking journey from failure to freedom. You can join them too at onefunnelaway.com. I'm your host, Steve J. Larsen. And you're listening to One Funnel Away: Stories.
Boom, how's it going everyone? This is Steve Larson, welcome back to the One Funnel Away: Stories show. And I'm very, very excited for you guys all to be here. I've been asking entrepreneurs about their ups and their downs, the realizations, the epiphanies, the growth all along their journey that they've had in their business. And whether it's their current business or they've closed and opened up a whole bunch, it's been a lot of fun going through this. Today I have the good pleasure and honor of having on Tara Ballard. And excited to have her here with us today. Welcome to the show, Tara!
Tara Ballard 1:42
Thank you so much. It's an honor and a privilege to be here.
Steve Larsen 1:46
Thank you so much. This will be... This will be awesome. Could you tell everybody a little bit about yourself? Where you're from, your business... To get to know you?
Tara Ballard 1:53
Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, I'm from North Carolina. Yeah. I am a relatively new entrepreneur, I was in the IT field for many, many years and back in 2012, kind of, sort of diving into entrepreneurship, and... In the health and wellness realm, and just really found that to be my passion. And so I kind of took it and ran with it, and created a sort of... Creating online programs and offering nutritional products to my clients, I was a personal trainer too so just all of that fun stuff. And it really, you know, got a little... I started a little bit later in life as far as entrepreneurship goes. I turned 50 this year and... And I feel like I'm really just getting started, just really finding my groove with... Especially in the online marketing space.
Steve Larsen 2:44
That's super fun. I mean, so you were in IT. How long? How long were you still in that now or did you leave?
Tara Ballard 2:50
I still do. Yes, I do, I do still do some IT consulting. And yes, so that really, that did help me as far as taking things online with moving programs and things online. I did a lot of in-person training and then you know started moving everything online back in 2012 and it was it was awesome but yes having the IT background has been a huge help for sure. So you've you've been you're still in the IT space I’m only bringing this up because it seems like most people not always but a lot of people that kind of get in a situation where they kind of force they’re you know, into entrepreneurship. What made you want to go start a business? Oh, gosh. You know, that's really that's a good question. I, you know, it started with I knew, I mean it is what I was trained for, and I really did enjoy it for a long time. But it was when I really started getting into health and wellness and really wanting to start to help people that was always my passion and my calling and you know and it, you know, yes I was helping people but it was more of a you know, a very stressful like this has to happen right now. Rather With starting my own business, I was in control of, you know, the impact that I could make. And that really was a big key and I reached my ceiling, you know, and it there was not I couldn't go any higher. And, you know, that was okay, am I going to do this until you know, I retire or and really be stressed out a lot? Or am I going to find something else that I enjoy doing that there is no ceiling, you know, I create the ceiling? So that's really, you know, that's really where my thinking was at the time was Yeah, you know, and a lot of my friends and, you know, people that I'm close with, were diving into having their own businesses and I was surrounded by all that. So it was a good group of people to give me the support and the motivation to say yeah, you should totally do that. Do you know? Yeah, definitely is.
Steve Larsen 4:54
That's a huge gift to you. Um, okay. So you know, it feels the feeling like you're hitting the ceiling. And then on top of that kind of stuff, you've been on the side health and wellness, Personal Training, you're seeing entrepreneurship as the answer to impact more and go further with it. That's, that's amazing. So, what happened there then so you wanted to see your personal trainer and you just try to sell it more. We're trying to get it out more what, what are you trying to do over there more?
Tara Ballard 5:23
Well, what I found was, you get to a point where there's only so many hours in the day. And when I was when I first started Personal Training, I was still working full time in it. So I was doing personal training on the side I was you know, working you know, eight to five with my it job. You know, there's always I couldn't do anymore you know, so I was still I was kept and so when I started deciding that Okay, I'm going to start phasing back my it, I was able to do that and I did increase my personal training, but then I still I was like, gosh, I'm still trading time for money. Hear, you know, I'm still tired. And you know, I'm still hustling like crazy to do this. And around that time a good friend of mine started taking a lot of her training programs that she would train people, you know, in-person with and she was taking them online. And so I'm like, Hmm, okay, so can I find a way to make this work and in my specific niche, which is women over 40 helping them you know, kind of get their mojo back after hormones, throw some curveballs at them, you know, it's like, okay, I can reach a lot of people, if I can figure out how to do this. And save my sanity was not having to, you know, get up at 4 am every day to meet people before work, to train them, meet them after work to train them, you know, and get my life back in the process, so...
Steve Larsen 6:48
That's a lot. Yeah, I'm totally it, you know, consulting itself. Yeah. And then traveling back and forth, everybody. So we were trying to duplicate what you were doing and is it Bye You did you like film videos and put it on like a members area for them to log in to is that kind of how you the angle you enter?
Tara Ballard 7:05
Yeah, it was very very basic in the beginning and but you know it was I worked with what I had in my knowledge that I had and definitely having an IT background was beneficial in that but yeah just basically would film myself on my phone it was super simple just doing workouts and then I would you know and then I would you know load them up to the member’s area and yeah so it was cool and then just from there just kind of tweaking that process and making the program's a little more complex a little more holistic and you know, mindset body everything so yeah.
Steve Larsen 7:45
So somewhere along the lines like I mean we you were in IT, I mean, do you code, do you know do all of that stuff or?
Tara Ballard 7:53
I used to be way back in the day. I was doing some programming but my role basically As it stands now, and for the past, gosh, 15 years, there's probably been more project management than anything I don't do a lot of hands-on anymore. I know, you know, I know enough about the processes, but it's more project management and just consulting and making sure companies are getting the best bang for their buck as far as their IT services go. So,
Steve Larsen 8:20
So what made you get into IT itself?
Tara Ballard 8:23
My dad. Yeah, so my dad, my dad, gosh, we had, you know, this is really aging me, but, you know, we had the old Commodore 64 computers when I was growing up, you know, he was always into computers, building them, you know, just tinkering with them. And so I grew up with that. And when I was trying to decide what to do with my life, that you know, after several other things, I tried didn't work. That really is what stuck. And so I, you know, went to school, I went to a two-year college, you know, It and came out of that and just kind of worked my way up in the ranks and became an IT Director for a law firm. And, you know, that was pretty cool. And it was great. You know, I love it, you know, I love that. But it was again, it was about creating impact. And, you know, there was, there was only so much I could do in that type of environment as far as impact goes.
Steve Larsen 9:21
Sure. And it's that itch, you know, if you just can't I get anyway, yeah, I can actually understand that. I might add a super nit. And he built like, with him, we hardwired, which also dates the tech, you know, this hundred and 20 port network through our walls in our house Big Sur. And nothing does that anymore. So it's really about them. Anyway, but that's awesome. So it's super fascinating. And then you go in and you start filming yourself and putting things in members’ areas, which certainly obviously helps with the background you have but were you coding a website? Were you where were you building all this stuff?
Tara Ballard 10:01
Gosh, I built back then I think I started with WordPress, you know, kind of building WordPress and then I finally got to a point where I just said, you know this I need to outsource this because, you know, I'm starting to spend and I'm not a graphic designer either so I, you know, I could, I could get it up and running but as far as it looking really pretty it was that was not my thing. So yeah, I started outsourcing stuff at around that time a little bit and in, you know, just kind of building upon that. And then getting into funnels was the next step, which was fairly recent. So...
Steve Larsen 10:35
Yeah, how'd that happen?
Tara Ballard 10:36
Oh, my gosh. So I have been interested in ClickFunnels for a long time. Well, I'd say a couple of years and had read you know.com secrets, expert secrets. And I was literally just on my computer one day and it's funny how, you know, Facebook works and they're like, in your head, right? And I and I'm also in network marketing. So Russell, you know, the ad can up for the Network Marketing Secrets book. Yeah, I like sweet. Let me click this, you know. And so through that process, I got into the one funnel away challenge back in June. And I was like, This is exactly what I need to get off my butt and into action with finally really doing you know because it fat funnels and the marketing that's taught in those books fascinates me. But I hadn't taken that next leap of just really putting it into action. So that's when, you know, one funnel away challenge came in and I was like, Okay, let me do this. And it was awesome. It was exactly what I needed. So...
Steve Larsen 11:38
What was it that you needed so much?
Tara Ballard 11:40
I think it's, it's not that there's a deadline with that, but it's, you know, it's a four-week deal. So, you know, just having those tasks to do every week, and some accountability with that group. You know, just knowing that okay, there's going to be another video today. I got to watch a video I got to do these tasks. And I mean, I'll be honest, I didn't finish it. And you know, I finished my funnel in a month. But it just, it got me focused on something, you know, to have that that strategic plan of Okay, here's what to do first, here's what to do the second launch, you know, and, and it was awesome. It was exactly what I needed just to get out of fear. And, like, I think for me personally, if it takes me a little bit to like, if I don't know how to do something, I'm almost intimidated by it at first. And that takes a little while for my brain to say, okay, just sit down, start going through the steps, and you'll figure it out, you know, and it was so easy. Yeah, it was, it was amazing. It was like I said, it was exactly what I needed just to get into momentum. And now I'm just like, Okay, what can I do next? So...
Steve Larsen 12:52
Yeah, so, I mean, this is what you're going to do. Yeah. And then afterward, I mean, some People get multiple times some people do once, but it kind of changes the lens that you see all of the ideas that you have with what's happened since then.
Tara Ballard 13:07
Well, I launched my first real funnel. I mean, I've created Lee pages and things like that before, but using ClickFunnels... I love ClickFunnels. I'm a diehard ClickFunnels fan. And yeah, yeah, and so I launched my first funnel I used I basically used a program that had been sitting on my website that was just sitting dormant, nobody was buying it, it was like a $20 program. And I said, Okay, let me This is easy, I can take this I can rebrand it make it a little sexy, you know and using the steps you know the Click Funnels provides I'm gonna build a funnel around that and so I did I rebranded it renamed it and was like I launched it in August I think. And over the course of about four weeks, four to six next weeks, I'd say I hit about $5,000 with that, and $20 thing with I increased the price to 37. And then I had a $99 upsell for another program that I have. And yeah, and I'm in the process now of tweaking it even more. And that was really I mean, this is, this is what I always tell people, I'm like, don't feel like everything has to be perfect before you launch. Because I've heard you guys say over and over again, you know, you're gonna suck at first. And I was like, Well, you know, I'm not going to be I'm just going to put it out there, you know, and see what happens if nobody buys it. nobody buys it. I didn't spend you know, money on ads. I didn't do that. So I was just like, okay, let's just see what happens. And now you know, now I'm tweaking it and making it even more attractive trying to increase the price a little bit. And now I'm in the process of about to relaunch it. So...
Steve Larsen 14:59
That's a huge deal. $5,000 in four to six weeks, he said something like that?
Tara Ballard 15:03
Yeah. And then it's, you know, it's I'm still getting, you know, a little bit here and there now, too. I haven't I'm not promoting it quite as much right now until I get some things tweaked. But yeah, and I didn't even you know, and that's why I tell people, you know, I didn't even follow the process, like you told verbatim, you know, and I think that's where a lot of people get hung up, you have to do XYZ, well, you know, just do it.
Steve Larsen 15:24
Half the game just being present in front of those who might buy from you. So just in front of them. So, are you? What's the plan in the future moving forward, then what's the next thing you're thinking about selling, you know,
Tara Ballard 15:36
A couple of different things I have kind of visioning for 2020 is a group coaching and a one on one coaching program. So that's been on my list for a long time. And I just didn't feel like I had the tools really to, to promote it the way that I wanted to or the way that it would sell so I feel like with what I've learned with this, it's really really given me those tools to do that. So that's on the that's definitely on the plate for 2020 the other thing is I'm working on for network marketing my business with that I just created a funnel called the millionaire sessions where I sat down with five top earners and you know, other network marketing companies. And that's a lead magnet for I'm not quite sure what the what’s the what the next step is on that I'm still working on that. But...
Steve Larsen 16:31
That's that though. I want that right now. That's very real.
Tara Ballard 16:36
It was real if I do if I, you know, not to toot my own horn, but I was really proud of the way it came out and just the willingness of people to want to give you interviews, so that was really cool. And I would love to interview you sometime. So...
Steve Larsen 16:50
Deal! Sold! Well, I mean, this is quite the journey and it's so cool to see that... You know, I feel like people think like "It's gotta be working for someone else or not. And you're doing, still, kind of this combo, which is very... Very doable, and you're rocking at it. This journey that you're on though, looking back and seeing kind of final hindsight 2020, what advice would you give to somebody who's kind of just starting out?
Tara Ballard 17:18
Oh, gosh... Don't give up because there are going to be times when you get frustrated. And you know, you try to launch something and nothing happens. nobody buys it or you don't have any eyeballs on it. Do not give up. That is one thing that has kept me going is like, I'm not... I'm going to figure out a way, you know, and that's... I, you know, whenever I... I always tell people, "Don't say, this isn't working, or I can't make this work. Ask yourself, how can I make this work?" And you know, your brain is going to automatically start searching for that. You know, that answer to how, you know, how you can make it work. There's always a solution. Always.
Steve Larsen 17:58
That's awesome. Well, thank you so much, Tara, this has been super fun, honestly. And thanks for the value that you've been giving us. This is a... I think this will be of help to a lot of people who are in the middle.
Tara Ballard 18:08
Cool. I hope so. I hope so.
Steve Larsen 18:10
I appreciate it like crazy, so... Thanks so much. We'll talk to you later.
Tara Ballard 18:13
Awesome. Thank you, Steve.
Steve Larsen 18:16
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