Entrepreneur and Biz: Alexis Haselberger
Tilt: Time management and productivity coach
Time to First Dollar: 3 months. Within 8 months, she matched her full-time salary.
Rev Streams: Online courses, group and one-on-one coaching, corporate workshops
Our Favorite Actionable Advice:
- Contact everyone: Alexis launched her business by sending the announcement to every email address in her contact lists, from high school peers to her insurance guy. All of them weren’t in her target audience, but they might know someone who was.
- Grow and send regularly to your email list: Unlike social media, email addresses let you contact the person directly. Alexis sends a weekly newsletter with a post from her blog and quick calls to action to stay top of mind.
- Think three years: After three years, Alexis found she didn’t have to hustle as she did early on because many of the content seeds she published were growing.
The Story of Alexis Haselberger
At the start of her career, Alexis Haselberger worked at early-stage startups, where she was often an outlier. Not interested in working more than 40 hours a week, she got really good at time management and productivity. Her colleagues took notice.
About seven years ago, the CEO of one of those startups asked her to teach a productivity workshop. For Alexis, the invitation was unexpected but exciting and thought-provoking. It was the first time she realized the fixes she figured out for herself could help others, too.
“I really loved it,” says Alexis, who had pulled together task management systems at previous jobs as well. When the startup she was working for went bust, instead of looking for a new job, Alexis started a business of her own, focusing on her productivity and time management expertise.When the startup where Alexis Haselberger (@NoStressAlexis) failed, she launched her #ContentBusiness, focusing on her productivity and time management expertise. Click To Tweet
Today, Alexis is a successful coach who has taught more than 134K people to “do more and stress less” through online courses. She also offers group and one-on-one coaching and corporate workshops.
Building her own content business has allowed the entrepreneur to create the life she wanted. Alexis spoke to The Tilt right after taking a six-week sabbatical from work.
“It’s been totally amazing,” she says. “I didn’t really know how satisfying it would be for me to wake up every day and work on things that are my goals and not in service of somebody else’s goals … And it’s just afforded me a lot of flexibility.”
‘Sure, why not?’ attitude
Around 2018, Alexis started her coaching and content business — creating a website for free on Squarespace and writing out best practice documents to outline her time-saving tips and tricks. Then, she emailed everybody in her contact list about her nascent venture — from the insurance guy from three jobs ago to high school classmates she hadn’t spoken to in years.
“If I had your email address from the 10 email accounts I’d had since high school, you’re getting an email,” she says. “And it basically said, ‘Hey, I’ve started this business. Here’s what I’m doing and the people I would like to work with. If you know anybody, let me know.’”
It was “super scary” and “totally uncomfortable,” Alexis says. It also worked.@NoStressAlexis launched her business by emailing every contact she ever received, from old high school classmates to an insurance guy. #Entrepreneur #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
That initial email blast, along with LinkedIn connections, helped Alexis score some of her first coaching and corporate clients. And in 2019, a representative from Udemy, the online course platform, reached out to her on LinkedIn because they were searching for more time management content.
“I had never taken an online course at that point,” she says, “and I was like, ‘Sure, why not?”
It was a well-timed request. As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel not long after, interest in online courses, including hers, skyrocketed.
That willingness to try something new opened up a revenue stream for Alexis, who now makes a living from her online courses, group and one-on-one coaching, and corporate workshops.
While most of her Udemy customers don’t convert into higher-paying coaching clients, the platform has connected her with corporate HR leaders seeking an expert to teach live workshops for their companies. “It’s almost a legitimizer,” Alexis says of her online courses. It’s an area where she plans to grow.
Finetuning and thriving
Trying new things and being open to client suggestions has helped Alexis finetune her business. She welcomes suggestions from her clients to iterate her content and its presentation. “All this stuff develops piece by piece,” she says.
Through the expertise of an instructional designer that Udemy assigned to her as she built her first courses, she also better understood how people consume content online and what boosts engagement. The best videos for online courses are short – no more than three or four minutes. And each video should come with a clear, actionable takeaway. “What people want is results as fast as possible,” Alexis says.
Advice for content entrepreneurs
For creator entrepreneurs, here’s what Alexis recommends as you build the business:
Grow your email list
Social media is one way to connect with followers and clients, but you don’t own that, she says. From day one, start collecting emails. Alexis sends out a weekly newsletter with a post from her blog and some quick calls to action, alerting readers to her services and how she might be able to help them.
Whatever you do to share your content, reach out to followers, and attract new audience members, be consistent. “Just be in front of people so that when they have a need that you can solve, you’re top of mind,” Alexis says.
Several people told Alexis the work would get easier after three years. She found that advice was true. Whether it’s through her newsletters, online courses, social media posts, or SEO, each piece of content or connection is one more opportunity to build her business.
“You plant all these seeds, and you have no idea which ones are going to grow,” she says. “And then, sometime around three years, it just didn’t feel so much like a hustle anymore.”
About the author
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall is a longtime journalist, freelance writer, and founding editor of two popular parenting websites in North Carolina. She frequently writes about parenting, aging, education, business management, and interesting people doing remarkable things.