I recently joined Fizzle (Full Disclosure: This is an affiliate link, which means I can get a discount off of my membership if you decide to sign up.) because Sarah and I realize how much we still have to learn about growing a business online.
There are a lot of great podcasts (hopefully ours included!), blogs, and books out there to help you home in on the best advice. Here's the thing, though, even though Sarah and I have the unique opportunity to pick the brains of other moms who are growing a business on the side, we're still just getting bits and pieces. We're learning from them, and taking action, but there's something to be said for taking a course if you really want razor-sharp focus on that particular topic.
To be honest, I've known about Fizzle for 6 months or more, but I couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger and be subjected to more information overload. When my brother shared how invaluable Fizzle was to his wife, Abby's, e-book launch, I was sold. If you have a product that you're in the midst of creating or launching, (or even if you have a product you want to re-launch!) I recommend Fizzle to help you formulate the best strategy. The best part? You can try Fizzle for a month for just $1.
Enough blabbering, here are 5 Things I Love so Far
1. The Guys
Knowing that Corbett Barr is kind of the “Big Daddy” of Fizzle made me much more confident in joining. I've heard him talk on too many podcasts to count, read one of his books, and plenty of his blog posts. Corbett is always doling out excellent advice for anyone in online business, and his advice comes from experience. I've learned so much about guest posting, round-up posts, email marketing, surveys, and product launches from him (and that's just naming a few things!).
Recently, the guys at Fizzle added Barrett Brooks to their team. In my mind, this was a genius move. Barrett is all about building the community within Fizzle and making every member feel welcomed, validated, and helped. When I tweeted about Fizzle a few months ago, Barrett was tweeting back within a few minutes. When anyone posts their intro message in the Forums, Barrett is right there to welcome them in, offer a virtual high-five, and see if there are any questions he can help them with. Barrett is the glue that keeps all of Fizzle working together.
Chase: what can I even say about him? He's crazy, full of energy, and his presence on the Fizzle Show will keep you laughing. Sometimes I'm nodding in agreement, because I have a bit of a “Chase” inside me. He reminds me of what I'd be like on 10 cups of coffee plus steroids. He's my cautionary tale. In all honesty, Chase puts out some great courses within Fizzle, and he knows what he's doing. He just likes to hide his brains behind the gorilla suit.
Caleb: the Woj was the voice of reason within Fizzle. Calm and steady, he felt like the big brother of the operation. (Not big brother as in spying on you – big brother like my own big brother – smart, motivated, but always cool, calm and collected. The guy who rolls his eyes at others' crazy antics but loves them anyway.) Unfortunately, he's leaving soon, but what I love is that he's leaving on great terms. When you listen to the Fizzle show, it's obvious that this group of guys has a great time working together and they genuinely like each other. That's the kind of business I'm happy to support.
2. The Courses
The guys at Fizzle are always adding new courses to the mix, and in the areas where they're not experts, they bring in others to teach the very best content. For example, John Lee Dumas teaches a course on Advanced Podcasting, and Leo Babauta teaches a course on How to Create Effective and Engaging Content. Within their own team, though, they cover topics such as Launching, Video Production, Email Marketing, Traffic, Productivity, and Website Design.
Their courses cover big picture business strategy such as Defining Your Audience, but they also cover nitty gritty topics like Accepting Payments Online – comparing different services, or Google Analytics. There's plenty in the Library to keep me busy for a while, and I know the guys at Fizzle will continue to put out relevant courses based on what the members are asking for.
So far, I've gone through Defining Your Audience, and have started the 30-Day Just Ship-It Challenge along with the Productivity Course. One thing I really love about some of the courses are the case studies. It's always helpful for me to see the knowledge applied in real-life to someone else's business.
Sarah and I are planning to create and launch a product for Brilliant Business Moms in January of 2015 (Keep your eyes open for more information!) so we knew we wanted to take advantage of the Launch Course along with a community of talented, experienced entrepreneurs to help us make our first launch a success.
3. The Forums
Forums can be an incredible place to learn from others who have gone before you, get valuable feedback, and problem-solve. With over 3,000 members, Fizzle is definitely full of talented, successful entrepreneurs who can lend you a hand.
In my mind, though, the very best part about the Forums is that they're well-organized, and the Fizzle team sends you an email each week with the best conversations that are happening that week. Seriously, why haven't more Forum leaders thought of this? It's genius! Rather than sift through every thread looking for new content, I get the best conversations delivered right to my inbox. I'm in love with this feature.
I recently noticed that every time I log into Fizzle, my dashboard will show me a handful of the hot conversations happening in the Forum too. Love. What more can I say?
4. The Founder Stories
With a plethora of podcast options, why would anyone care about the Founder Stories? Here's why.
They don't have the canned format that many podcasts do. The guys at Fizzle do their homework, ask the best questions related to the interviewee's expertise, and there's no pressure to fit the interview into a certain format or style. It's just straight-up, great advice. Also, there's a place in the forums where you can chat about what you learned from the interview.
So far, I've listened to Leo Babauta's interview on blogging and Andreea Ayer's interview on her product-based business, selling the biz, and teaching others how to grow a business.
Brilliant Business Moms, whether you're growing a blog or a product-based business, one of these interviews is going to be perfect for you. Andreea in particular, has so many inside tips on how she grew her T-shirt business to six figures. There are so many practical takeaways from this interview.
5. The Month-to-Month Payment Plan
This might sound silly to list as something I love, but after being subjected to countless webinars with ridiculous upsells and huge “lifetime membership fees” I love how low-risk Fizzle is. I can try it for a buck, and even after that, I can pay month-t0-month. If I ever outgrow it or want to change directions, it's no big deal. I didn't invest thousands of dollars into it.
To me, it also speaks to the confidence the guys at Fizzle have in their product. They're confident that if you try it out, you'll want to keep coming back. (They're right to be confident.)
2 Things I Hate
As promised in the title…
I will say that hate is a strong word. I tend to be a big-feeler of all the things, though, so a love-hate relationship rather fits me best.
Also, I never want to be disingenuous and act like I love everything about a product just to make a sale. Not gonna happen.
1. The Language
If you've ever listened to the Fizzle Show, you'll quickly realized that it's not G-rated. The guys at Fizzle really love a special word that rhymes with duck. Yes, they bleep these out, but it's still way too much for me to listen to the show with my son around. The first time I listened to the show, he asked, “What's that beeping mom?” I said, acting surprised, “I don't know, buddy, I think something's wrong with my phone!” That was an embarassing moment for me and a lesson learned!
As a mom, the bad language makes it really hard for me to catch up on the show. I'm often listening to podcasts while driving, folding laundry, or doing random things around the house. Holden is always within earshot, for the most part. Sorry guys, but no dice.
The show has remained a guilty pleasure, but unfortunately, that means that I rarely listen to it.
So far, the courses and interviews have been pretty clean. That wily Chase, though, his courses always seem to have a bit of unruly language 😉
2. The Beatnik Boys' Club
As much as I love Fizzle, I often feel like I don't quite belong there.
It's the same feeling I get when I walk into my husband's workplace.
I'm a girl. I'm not cool. I stick out like a sore thumb.
For reference, my husband, Chris, is a fighter jet pilot…. for the Marine Corps. It's an old boys' club if I've ever seen one – the guys there hardly know what to do with a female in the workplace. They all look startled when you walk in the door. They're happy to see a cute face, especially if I have food in hand, but it's like they have to turn on a different part of their brains that doesn't get any exercise 14 hours out of every day.
Their brains play a script that goes something like this: “It's a girl. Quick, what do we do?! Are we supposed to make small talk? What do we ask her? What do girls do all day? Do I stand awkwardly over here? Maybe lean against this wall? Do I shake her hand… give her a hug? Oh wait…. I should smile… smiling is good. Do I put my head down and just keep working? Should I gather some other dudes around to witness this rare occurrence? I think I smell… and I wore the same flight suit yesterday. That decides it. I'm ignoring her. Time to make a trip to the head.”
For reference, there are females in Chris' workplace, but it's very rare. From what I can tell, the “old boys” cope by treating them just like they treat other dudes. In their minds, they're not females, they're just Marines.
At any rate, when I “walk” into Fizzle, it feels the same way, except this time it's a Hipster Boys' Club. Trade the flight suits for plaid shirts, the face masks for hair gel, and I'm the one with the internal dialogue going on:
“Should I wear my fake glasses? I feel like I look more contemplative with my glasses. Maybe I should take a new profile pic with glasses. Should I mention where I live? Small-town South Carolina is so uncool. I definitely can't mention hubby's job – it's so environmentally unfriendly they'll probably ban me. I should buy a home-brewing kit, right? I mean I'm supposed to enjoy home brews, I think. I'm pretty sure that's a requirement. Can I talk about my kid? Naaah, I don't think I should. Most people in Fizzle don't really get it.”
In all honesty a lot of this is based on my own identity statements: I'm a military spouse. I live in small-town America. I'm a mom. I'm not cool. I think gluten free food tastes like cardboard except worse. All I know about the environment is that trees are good, bikes are good, and jets are bad. I would stick out like a sore thumb in San Francisco or Portland.
The guys at Fizzle certainly haven't made me feel this way, though. Everyone has been super kind and welcoming, and I'm really loving it.
With that being said, the community we've created at Brilliant Business Moms is really “my people”. There's something about being a mom with kids at home – trying to grow a business on the side – that's just so unique. Not many people can relate to our situation. We've got each other to encourage, support, and connect. I wouldn't trade you all for anything.
Seriously, though, as much as I wish I could, I can't offer you all of the courses, content, and experience that Fizzle can, so give them a try, and let me know what you think! I'll say hello in the forums…even if you forget your glasses and ramble on about your kid 🙂
~ Beth Anne