I first coached Gianna on the show back in Episode 1001—that's right, she was the very first coaching call here on AskPat 2.0! Today I'm checking back up on her to see how everything's going with her business, FamilyFunTwinCities.com, and to see what else I can do to help her grow and thrive.
This is another installment in the Where Are They Now? series that I'm doing here on AskPat 2.0, so next week we'll be checking in with another entrepreneur from a previous coaching call. I can't wait!
Gianna starts off by giving me the lowdown on what happened after our last call: Who she hired for her business and the difference it's making. She also tells me how, after our last conversation, she got an amazing podcast mention and stumbled on the perfect tool for her growing business. She made an amazing connection in the meantime who's helping Gianna set goals, budget better, and increase everyone's paychecks. Gianna shares the success she's had recently with live events and her top tips for running them successfully. She wraps up the call with an update on future plans for her business.
What You'll Learn:
Gianna got rid of overwhelm in her business and the aftermath has been amazing for her. Here's how she did it, plus her top tips for running a live event and what's on the horizon for her thriving business.
AskPat 1042 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Welcome to Episode 1042 of AskPat. This is the show where I help entrepreneurs like you with coaching, and so I dig deep and try to ask questions to get a person to figure out how they can move forward in their business. And sometimes we bring people back on the show just like we're doing today. So it's kind of the theme of the month here, Where Are They Now?, inviting people who have previously been on the show who I've given advice to, who have been coached through this process, to see how far they've come and what they're up to now.
Today, we're talking with Gianna who is actually, fun fact, the first person to get coached in this particular way because before, AskPat was literally people sending voicemail questions and then I would answer. But I just needed to go deeper. So that's why, starting in 1001 with Gianna we decided to switch it up and actually do a live call and just coach a person through a process so that I could actually ask deeper questions and figure out the root of the problems and all those things. And Gianna was struggling a lot in the beginning when she came on in Episode 1001 with a lot of overwhelm, and systems, and just kind of figuring out what to do and who does what in her business. Her business is at FamilyFunTwinCities.com. I love this because it's very niche specific. It's family but also families in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. So she has a lot of clients who pay for sponsorship spots and advertisement spots on her website and in her brand. And we talk today about how things have gone since this was published back in February.
So I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this, but for now, I need to let you know about an amazing product called FreshBooks. It is an amazing tool that you can use, a software that I use to help me manage my business finances for my income, to keeping track of expenses, and especially invoicing. So if you do any invoicing of any kind, you have clients of your own, just like Gianna, or you do coaching and you have students or you consult with any companies, FreshBooks makes it super simple. In less than thirty seconds, you can create an invoice that looks very professional and it allows you to track whether or not people even opened those invoices, which makes it really great when you have to follow up with them, which is really cool. And you can properly follow up because of that. And so, if you want to check out FreshBooks for thirty days for free, free access, free trial, all you have to do is go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
All right. Now here is the follow up call with Gianna from FamilyFunTwinCities.com.
Gianna, welcome back to AskPat 2.0. How are you doing today?
Gianna Kordatzky: I'm doing fan-stinkin'-tastic.
Pat Flynn: I'm so excited because you are the first on to be coached in this style here at AskPat 2.0, since Episode 1001. So if you haven't heard, Episode 1001, check out Gianna there. That was, gosh, ten months ago or so, or maybe nine months ago, and I'd love to get an update. And it sounds like there's a lot of things that's been going on. So I'm just going to let you roll in. Tell me all the things that have been happening since that episode of AskPat.
Gianna Kordatzky: Okay. So the first thing we did is we hired a bookkeeper and that was like, refreshing all in itself. And then we realized I really need more of an assistant who kind of comes along with me. So we kind of changed her role into, “Gianna, tell me what you need.” And she goes and does it as opposed to just checking up on the books, which was helpful, and she still does part of that. So that was like number one, and it has created so much more space in my life and I don't feel quite as like, panicked and worried. So that was awesome.
Pat Flynn: That's amazing because a big problem that you were having before was there was so many things and you were just getting too overwhelmed. What kinds of other things do you have this other person doing?
Gianna Kordatzky: She's sending emails for me, which honestly I do most of the emailing at first because I'm the one who is creating the relationship, but when it comes down to the, “we need this and we need this, and can you send us this, and here's the invoice,” those kind of emails she takes care of.
Pat Flynn: Awesome.
Gianna Kordatzky: And then she also puts on there, “Of course, you can always call Gianna if you have questions,” and throws out my phone number. So it's still open to me. It's just gives me a little more space.
Pat Flynn: Super smart. I love that. Okay. So you hired somebody, which is a huge step, and that's great. And that's going well. What else?
Gianna Kordatzky: Okay. So then I had a friend who heard our episode and like kind of tucked it away in the back of her mind, and then later she was listening to another podcast and my business, Family Fun Twin Cities, kept coming up. Like the guy being interviewed, Bruno Bornzstein, kept mentioning Family Fun Twin Cities. So she called me immediately and said, “This guy keeps talking about you on this other podcast.” So I went and listened to it. So me being me, I went and contacted him because that's how I roll. I'm like, “You talked about me. That's so cool.” So I connected him and he had this awesome, cool brand new software that he was just rolling out about the time that I called him. Maybe just a little bit before.
Anyway, it doesn't matter. And it's called InfluenceKit, and what it is is it keeps track of absolutely everything that you want to keep track of for your clients. So all the page views, all the clicks on your link, all the Facebook views, everything is in this one program. So you set up with your client what you're going to do, you go into the program, you label everything, you fill in the links and the URLs and all that stuff, and it just keeps track of it for you. It is the most perfect device/tool that I needed. It was so great. I keep telling people about it.
Pat Flynn: So InfluenceKit. I haven't heard of this. It helps me keep track of the things that my specific clients do?
Gianna Kordatzky: That they need.
Pat Flynn: That they need. Oh, okay.
Gianna Kordatzky: So we accept our contract and I say, “Okay. You're going to get two Facebook posts. You'll get the blog post, and I'm going to do a shout out on our newsletter,” or something like that. And you list all four of those things on there, and then you put in each of those links. So the two Facebook posts and then the blog post and whatever else, your newsletter, and it'll keep track of all of the people who . . . Not all of the people. That's not what I'm trying to say. It just keeps track of everything for you so you don't have to keep going in every day to check numbers. It just automatically populates the numbers.
Pat Flynn: I see.
Gianna Kordatzky: And you send one link to the client and they can see this fancy, nice, easy to read graph.
Pat Flynn: Okay. So these clients being people who paid to be shown on your website, to be shouted out on Facebook. So like advertisers or sponsors, if you will.
Gianna Kordatzky: Yes, exactly.
Pat Flynn: Great, and this is . . . I'm looking at the page now. “InfluenceKit helps bloggers increase sponsorship revenue by proving their value with gorgeous, automatically updated reports.” So this is cool because for you it's more easily . . . Because I think the last time we spoke, if I remember correctly, like a lot of the work that you were doing was reaching out to the clients and letting them know, “Hey, here's how things went last month. Here's where things are going,” and this sounds like it just is exactly what you needed.
Gianna Kordatzky: Yeah, and it came like, probably a month or six weeks after our episode aired. It was right on time.
Pat Flynn: That's cool. Like, why was this person mentioning you on the podcast, on their podcast? I'm curious.
Gianna Kordatzky: He's from the Twin Cities area, and so I think he was talking about InfluenceKit at this point. And he was trying to explain how the difference between certain kinds of sponsors, like national sponsors versus local sponsors, and the benefits and those kinds of things. So he was trying to explain how Family Fun Twin Cities is this great little site. I do that with air quotes even though I agree; I'm not trying to do that. But it's this great little site that would be great if you worked with family. You would want to work with this website because their target audience is families, and if your target audience is families it's a great partnership. That's what he was talking about.
Pat Flynn: That's cool.
Gianna Kordatzky: And he mentioned it more than once. So I'm like, “Oh my word.”
Pat Flynn: I think the big lesson there is some people might be listening to this and go, “Wow. That was really lucky,” and it kind of was, right? There's some luck involved in business. But I also think that because you're putting yourself out there and because you kind of like, internally and in your mindset, it's sort of like the think and grow rich thing, which I know a lot of people have some sort of various perspectives on. But if you don't believe that this thing can succeed for you, then it won't. And if you do like, the universe has this fancy way of making it happen. When you put yourself out there, where you help others, people start to talk about you. You were on AskPat and your friend heard you, who heard that other person. These connections wouldn't have happened if you didn't at least A, get started and B, put yourself out there. So that's really amazing.
Gianna Kordatzky: Yeah. I'd have to agree with that, and I'm not one to be shy about that either. It's okay if you're shy. It's just sometimes I feel like it's okay to look like a dork occasionally. Nobody's going to think less of you.
Pat Flynn: Right, right. I think the other big lesson is when you heard that this person was talking about you, you reached out to them, and I think a lot of people would either be too scared to do that or just send a quick message on Twitter. Like, “Hey, thanks,” and then that would be it. But I often say, “Yes, there's luck but really the opportunities happen when you see those opportunities and you take advantage of them.” You reached out and I think that's something that more people should be doing because there are opportunities right there in front of us. Sometimes we just have to ask or make those connections and build those relationships. So well done.
Gianna Kordatzky: Thank you. And it's nice. If they're saying good things about you, they're going to want to hear from you.
Pat Flynn: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. So bookkeeper, InfluenceKit.
Gianna Kordatzky: InfluenceKit, yes. And then, okay, this is the greatest story ever. Okay. So I believe I was on vacation in Scotland this past summer when I got this message from a friend of mine who, I knew her from like, she worked in nonprofit and I volunteered, that kind of stuff. So I knew her from there, and she has just gone into business coaching, okay? I didn't know this. We haven't talked for a while. We haven't even seen each other. But so, while I'm on vacation, she's like doing the whole getting all the information she can about business, listening to your podcast, listening to this podcast, all these things, and then she hears AskPat 2.0 Episode 1001 and she goes, “Wait a second, how many Giannas can there be, and from the Twin Cities?” And then she started listening and she's like, “Oh my. It is her.”
So listening to that, she decides, “Okay. Well, I'm going to contact my friend that I live like twenty miles away from, but I heard her from a podcast that's set up in California. But I'm going to contact her.” So she contacted us, and we're working toward getting her as our coach. And already we've seen our ideas, all three of our ideas, come together just with the few conversations we've had with her.
Pat Flynn: That's awesome. So what kinds of things are you working on?
Gianna Kordatzky: We are working on like, one or two goals per quarter as opposed to, Joy's got three goals over here, Anne's got two goals over here, and my goals are like ten, and they're all like, way ahead of everybody. And nobody's ready for those. So we're working on similar goals. We're also working on like, kind of budget-y kinds of things. Like, how can we create a budget and what do our paychecks want to look like and how can we bring in those paychecks?
Pat Flynn: Mm-hmm.
Gianna Kordatzky: And kind of like, what are our steps for getting more clients? What is step one? Okay, let's focus on step one. What is step two? Let's focus on step two. Like, one at a time. We're all three of us going to be working on that together.
Pat Flynn: That's fantastic. I think the big important lesson there is connections with others, not just people who talk about you on podcasts, but your colleagues and friends who are kind of going through the same motions. Sometimes you can all put your heads together in a mastermind kind of situation and learn from each other and create plans together and streamline each of your businesses. I mean, I come from a place of abundance, and even if they're in the same space as me, I want to help them. And I often get some amazing help back.
Gianna Kordatzky: Yeah, I kind of like to think of it as like, people heard our podcast and think that's cool. But we can take that lesson away too. That's a good one.
Pat Flynn: That too. Yeah. And hopefully people are listening to this one and getting inspired too, because when you put yourself out there, like I said, amazing things happen. So okay, so those connections that you were just talking about. How's the business going?
Gianna Kordatzky: It's going really well. We just had an in-person live event, and we had a hoedown at an apple orchard. And it was so fun because we had a whole bunch of our clients there. They got to be there and hang out with our readers, and they did activities and had . . .
Pat Flynn: That's so cool.
Gianna Kordatzky: Yeah, it was super fun.
Pat Flynn: Have you done live events like that before?
Gianna Kordatzky: We have, but this was definitely one of the best ones we did.
Pat Flynn: What made it the best?
Gianna Kordatzky: I think because we actually kept track of how many people came, and there was a good 200 people that came.
Pat Flynn: Wow.
Gianna Kordatzky: I think our total profits, not revenue, but our total profits for this event was like, higher than it's ever been at all ever before. So we were pretty psyched about that.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, that is great. Number one, it's tough to put on live events, and secondly, it's tough to put on a profitable one. So that's fantastic. Do you have any tips for anybody out there who is doing like, local stuff for their city and they want to build their resource similarly, that becomes known as like, a great place to connect businesses and members of the community? I mean, what was the biggest struggle for your kind of business, and what has gotten you out of that?
Gianna Kordatzky: The biggest struggle for putting on live events, for me, is all the little details. It comes right back down to details. That was what I was worried about before, and that's what was always the tripping point for me. But I think the first thing you need to do is establish a partnership with another business, whether it's going to be a location, like a venue or if you're the venue, the entertainment or something like that. I think that's the most important thing. You need to have a really solid foundation to make the event go well, and those two pieces, entertainment and location, or maybe not even entertainment, but you know what I mean. The main speaker or the main thing that they're going to for you, and then the location. That has to work really well. All the other details would be great to fill in and are important, but if you don't have that strong foundation it's going to not work at all.
Pat Flynn: Awesome. That's golden advice. Thank you.
Gianna Kordatzky: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: So okay. Actually, let me just keep asking. Is there anything else?
Gianna Kordatzky: Then from there, when you start, keep it small. Don't try to go too big. Keep it small. Either keep the number of people coming to a minimum or keep what you're offering to a minimum. Does that make sense?
Pat Flynn: Yeah.
Gianna Kordatzky: Don't have like, a promise of like thirty activity booths because if you get all thirty and you've never done this before, you don't know how you're going to take care of anybody. Or don't try to make it this great thing for 1000 people to come because if you don't get 1000 people, that's a lot of people.
Pat Flynn: Right. Right.
Gianna Kordatzky: So you got to keep your goals small to begin with, and then you can build. Definitely.
Pat Flynn: Thank you for that. When I had asked you that question I meant, “What else has been happening in your business?” But you went immediately to, “What value can I provide to everybody listening?” So that's so great. What else is changed since the last podcast? Is there anything there because I'd love to also spend a little bit of time before we finish up to talk about kind of what the next plans are. So anything else that happened?
Gianna Kordatzky: Anything else that has happened in our business since then?
Pat Flynn: How do you feel?
Gianna Kordatzky: Oh, that's a great question to ask because this is a really great question to ask. By the end of the summer, the three of us hadn't really had any time to chat. Oh, hold on one moment . . . You want to say hi? Say hi, but then you have to go.
Ari: What's that mean?
Gianna Kordatzky: I don't know. This is Pat. This is like, Mia's favorite person.
Pat Flynn: Hi, Mia. How are you?
Gianna Kordatzky: No, this is Ari, Mia's little brother.
Pat Flynn: Oh, Ari. Sorry.
Gianna Kordatzky: Oh, there's Mia. Oh my goodness. Hi. Everybody, Pat. Pat and I need to finish our conversation.
Pat Flynn: Hi.
Ari: Can I have some graham crackers?
Gianna Kordatzky: Yes, sure. Go. Go. Go. Go. Yes, sure. Sorry. Oh my goodness. So sorry.
Pat Flynn: No, that's all right. This is real life. Can I keep that in there? I mean, that was super authentic. I love that.
Gianna Kordatzky: Okay, sure. Sure.
Pat Flynn: I love your kids. They're so amazing.
Gianna Kordatzky: It was me like, pointing at him: “Just go. Go. Go.” Okay. What were we talking about?
Pat Flynn: I had asked you how you feel.
Gianna Kordatzky: Oh yeah, that's right. By the end of the summer, hadn't really chatted with each other very much because I had gone to London and I had gone to Scotland. And everybody had all these like, big plans. We were just super busy. So by the end of the summer, I was feeling kind of down just because I was like, “Oh, we haven't talked. We don't know what's going on. What's happening with everything?” And then we had a conversation right at the beginning of September, and we all got fired up again. We remembered our goals and we remembered why we're doing this and we remembered we liked each other, which is huge. So we're still riding that wave of we're enjoying our work, we love our work, and we feel like we're taking really good care of our people.
Pat Flynn: That's great. And then just mentally, before you were very, seemingly very overwhelmed with things, and just kind of not sure where things were going. How are you feeling related to those kinds of things?
Gianna Kordatzky: A lot better. I'm feeling heard and I'm feeling like I have the support that I need to help me out. So my assistant is really great. She will do what I need her to do without even asking why, ever. Like she just goes, “Okay. Just show me what I need to do.” So I show her once and she's good to go. It's very helpful.
Pat Flynn: That's so cool. How did you find her?
Gianna Kordatzky: She's the mom of one of my son's friends.
Pat Flynn: Oh, cool.
Gianna Kordatzky: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: Amazing.
Gianna Kordatzky: Yeah, so it's really good to start with people you know.
Pat Flynn: I agree. And then to finish off, where are things headed? What are the next big plans for you and the website?
Gianna Kordatzky: So we're having some big articles, like some very specific articles. Joy is working on SEO for Christmas articles, which will be huge. Yes. Which is great because she goes, “This is what we need to do,” and I know that she's telling us that so she'll go and then do. Then I can go, “Oh, that looks awesome,” because that's just the way she works. So we're working on SEO and we're also working on some like, homeschool field trips and some more guides like that that will be helpful to anybody. Doesn't need to be just families, though the focus is families.
Pat Flynn: Right. Right. So cool. So everybody, go ahead and head over to FamilyFunTwinCities.com. If you're ever headed down that way, make sure to check out that website and see what all the events are going on and some of the fun things that are there to do, especially if you're bringing the kids along. So, man, Gianna, thank you so much for the update. It's been really fun to hear how things have progressed. I think the main thing is the hire and the structure, and the organization has just changed like one-eighty, and it just, to me, feels like things are headed in the right direction now. I don't feel overwhelmed.
Gianna Kordatzky: Coming from me, yeah.
Pat Flynn: Coming from you, yeah.
Gianna Kordatzky: I feel so much better. It's not even funny.
Pat Flynn: Good for you.
Gianna Kordatzky: Yeah. I guess those are the stories that I have, and I don't even . . . I was trying to think about something to ask you to be like, “I need help with this.”
Pat Flynn: Do you need help with anything?
Gianna Kordatzky: No, I can't think of anything, which is horrible because I would love to have like, Pat's help on something.
Pat Flynn: Well, you know you always can ask me anytime anyway, right? So if something comes up, let me know.
Gianna Kordatzky: Okay. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Thank you so much for your time today. Good luck. Say hi to everybody for me, and we'll talk soon.
Gianna Kordatzky: Okay. Sounds great.
Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Gianna. By the way, if you want to get coached and hopefully come back on the show after making some great progress too, all you have to do is go to AskPat.com. You can leave an application there. I don't get to select everybody because there's way too many applications, but I might select you and I'll reach out if we're going to schedule that call.
But anyway, thank you to everybody who has submitted coaching applications and a question to me. It just makes it so awesome, because I know that there are still more people out there that I can help, which motivates me because this is just what I do. I love to serve all of you and great things happen when I do that. Just, my only ask right now is to make sure you hit subscribe if you haven't already and leave a review on iTunes.
So appreciate you all so much. Take care, and I'll see you in the next episode. Bye.
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