Amy Porterfield—wife, stepmom, teacher, and marketer—has helped thousands of online entrepreneurs build a business and life they love.
From corporate girl who launched major campaigns for Harley Davidson and “flexing [her] marketing muscles for legendary performance coach and speaker Tony Robbins” to mega-successful entrepreneur who “helps online experts, educators, and entrepreneurs sidestep years of struggle and build amazing online businesses of their own,” Amy knows how to get results. Her company has generated over eight figures in revenue for the past three consecutive years and, in 2020, achieved a head-turning profit margin of 48%.
Other statistics are equally impressive. She has accrued a massive email list and social media following (on Instagram alone she has nearly 260,000 followers), and her top-rated podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy, garners hundreds of thousands of monthly downloads and is a perennial Top 5 Marketing Show on Apple Podcasts.
And, while the stats are impressive, Amy takes greater pride in knowing that the show is widely recognized as one of the best business podcasts available in terms of implementable, tangible tactics and strategies that listeners can actually use. Each, and every, episode is “designed to help our audience build a highly engaged email list, create online training courses, and use online marketing strategies to sell with ease.”
Ironically, Amy is quick to point out that she is “an entrepreneur who was made, not born. I never had an entrepreneurial spirit. I went straight into corporate right out of college. Early in my career, I simply didn’t have any great desire to be my own boss.”
One day, while working for Tony Robbins, Amy’s career trajectory took a sharp turn toward entrepreneurship.
“I attended a meeting where Tony asked a small group of Internet marketers to come and share their expertise. Tony was fascinated by what they were able to do. Throughout the consultation, one message kept resonating over and over… ‘lifestyle freedom.’
“I didn’t understand what these marketers were doing or how they were doing it, but I wanted the lives they had and knew I had to learn more. Around that time, we were marketing Tony’s CDs and DVDs with an online-based marketing model. So, I asked to move over to marketing, and the more I learned, the more I was resolved to do my own thing.”
A year later, Amy got married. Being on the road much of the time for Tony’s events meant time away from her new husband Hobie. The idea of attaining ‘lifestyle freedom’ and being able to work when she wanted, from where she wanted, became her top priority.
Shortly thereafter, and with Hobie’s support, Amy made the entrepreneurial leap, launching what today is ostensibly known as Amy Porterfield, Inc.
The company’s mission? To help entrepreneurs in the first few years of their business answer the question Amy hears most often from her clients:
“What do I do to grow my business?”
And Amy is the perfect person to ask.
“I was in business for roughly six years before I hired my first full-time employee, Chloe, who came on as a project manager,” Amy shared. “I remember thinking, ‘What if I don’t have enough money to pay her?’ She’s been with me six years now, and she’s transitioned into the role of Chief Marketing Officer. She literally helps me run the business, and I would never want to do it without her. She was a key hire and has played a huge, pivotal role in our success.
“But the fear is still there, 12 years later. I am afraid at almost every turn. I’ve just vowed that I will do it anyway, because the alternative is going back to a job, and that is not going to happen. So I just do everything scared, until I’m not scared anymore.”
That kind of risk-taking is often integral to one’s success. So is the hiring of a strong team to support you. Amy admits that, when a hire doesn’t work out, it “breaks my heart. But first and foremost, I have to consider the company culture. I’m not looking for someone to fit into mine—I’m looking for someone to add to ours. Otherwise, my business won’t be diverse. We, of course, also have company values, like ambition. We are very competitive with ourselves. We are hungry… we are tigers. We want to win, and then we want to win some more. And we typically aren’t competing with other people, but with ourselves. There’s an energy around what we do, and if someone is not excited about that energy, he or she is likely not going to be a good fit.”
Today, Amy’s company consists of 20 full-time employees as well as contractors for copywriting, website development, and similar positions that aren’t required for everyday needs. Reflecting, Amy explained how the last few years of explosive growth required her to relinquish one thing:
“Control. I finally stopped trying to do everything and have my hands in everything. At one point, I reviewed every single piece of content that went out. I looked at every image we used; I did all the social media; I was in everything. And then, as the team started growing, I was the chokehold. One of the smartest things I did was build a leadership team. It consists of a director of community, a director of customer experience, a director of operations, a director of content, and Chloe, my Chief Marketing Officer. We meet once a week, so I have a pulse on the business, but I’m not making all the decisions anymore. And that really skyrocketed things.
“One more thing that’s changed between when we were doing $5M-$6M/year to the jump in the last few years is that I finally came into my own. I stopped playing small. I’ve always been insecure about the way I look… about my weight. I did not want to be on camera. And then someone said, ‘Amy, women who look like you need to see themselves doing big things on stage, or in podcasting, or in business. You need to stop hiding.’
“And so I finally found my voice. I started speaking up more. I started showing up more, and I stopped being so scared that I would allow the fear to keep me from living. I started ‘just doing it anyway’ in a really big way.”
Amy’s entrepreneurial journey has also resulted in core concepts that she implements in her business at all times:
“Our message—how we teach and what we do—is a reflection of who we are as teachers and marketers both. We keep the question, ‘Is this the best reflection of who we are?’ in mind at all times. We ask ourselves, ‘Do our email communications reflect our values? Our videos? Our brand?’
“Our brand says, ‘We hold your hand. We walk you through it. We have been where you are, and we get the frustrations. We know you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and stretched too thin. I have a step-by-step approach to fixing that, and it includes more handholding than most.’ Our brand says, ‘I’m patient, and I will get in the trenches with you.’ I hope that’s what it conveys.”
It certainly does—as does Amy’s offering of “insider’s advice” around creating an effective webinar as part of a successful online funnel:
(Note—only read the next five paragraphs if you want to MASSIVELY transform your online business.)
“In the first five minutes of your webinar, teach something doable. You want your audience saying, ‘I can do this. I’m going to pay attention to this person. She knows what she’s talking about.’ From there, you do a quick introduction of who you are and what you’re about, but more importantly, you explain why you’re the person who should be teaching the content you’re about to teach.
“Then, get right into the teaching. I have a motto: No matter if they buy or not, they walk away feeling excited, inspired, and driven to take action. Make sure you give your audience what you promised in your marketing, and then, ask a very easy ‘yes’ question: ‘So do you now see what it takes to create a digital course once you know the framework?’ Once you know the framework, it is an enthusiastic ‘yes.’
“Then, it’s ‘I want to invite you into my digital course, which is all about XYZ.’ And that’s when you slow down and sell. Most people hurry at this point, but you’re walking them through exactly what they’re going to get in your course, so really, you need to slow down. Talk more about the benefits your customers will get than the features of your program.
“Then, handle objections: ‘Right now, you’re probably thinking about enrolling, but you might still have questions. Let’s talk about what’s on your mind. You might be thinking you’re not ready because XYZ.’ And then address those objections with integrity and honesty right there in the moment.
“Then you go into Q and A, during which you keep bringing the conversation back to the course you’re selling while still offering value. That’s the framework I use with every single webinar.”
In a word, Amy’s frameworks… work: just listen to her podcast. Walking her talk, Amy delivers what her marketing message promises, and then some, as she interviews experts and shares actionable secrets for making online marketing easier and profitable.
She “whispers success secrets” in the listener’s ear, so they get inspired while discovering “why hundreds of thousands of online business owners turn to Amy for guidance when it comes to all things online business. Each episode is designed to help you take immediate action on the most important strategies for starting and growing your online business today.”
Amy credits the show as a cornerstone of her success.
“I don’t believe I’d have the business I do today without my podcast. When my students ask if they should start a blog or podcast or video show, I’ll always recommend my bias: podcasting. The barrier to entry is so low. You just need a mic, and it’s off to the races. You can keep it so simple! It gets you in front of audiences you’d never have had access to before. Podcasting is how I reach so many people who would have never, ever found me elsewhere. My podcast does three things: it teaches, acts as a lead generator, and produces revenue. We are always promoting our own webinars, freebies, and products on my podcast, and that’s allowed us to grow the business using the podcast.
“The podcast has grown year after year. It’s everything to my business. Without it, I think it would have been tougher to grow as quickly as we have.”
One could argue that, if the show didn’t exist, so would Amy’s listeners—as evidenced by one very eye-opening fact—OMME has been downloaded more than 29 million times since launching in 2013. And, in 2020, when many podcasters feared losing listeners who would no longer be commuting to work and listening to podcasts, Online Marketing Made Easy experienced growth by the millions.
Amy’s success as an entrepreneur is unarguable, and she has clearly secured the lifestyle freedom her heart has always longed for.
How she defines success today, however, has nothing to do with her personal accomplishments.
“I define my success by the success stories of my students. I couldn’t have said that 12 years ago, when I started out. Back then, I found success in the little wins—making my first dollar online, doing my first webinar and not dying. Those little wins were a big deal to me!
“But now, I find success in the stories of others. Like Danira. She’s a single mother of three in Los Angeles. As a baker, she took an extra job to provide for her family. Over time, she created a digital course teaching bakers and hobbyists how to make caramel candy apples, and her very first launch resulted in $60,000.
Now, she’s working toward retiring her mom. Those are the stories I love.”
Recently, Amy and Hobie left California to make Nashville, Tennessee their home.
“Hobie really wanted a change… to shake things up,” Amy said. “Our son had just gone to college, and we thought, ‘Well, it’s now or never.’ Nashville has a great community, which I’m so excited about. It’s just been a little bit harder than I thought it would be to get adjusted. But my husband is now a retired firefighter, and I am absolutely loving my time with him!”
In honor of Mother’s Day, and all of our podcasting moms and readers, Amy spoke to her role as stepmom to her son.
“I never had my own kids; my business was my baby. But when I married Hobie, his son was four, and I was eager to be involved in his life. His mom is amazing at always including me—and it truly is wonderful that he has a close relationship with both of us.
“When Podcast Magazine® selected me as the #1 Mom in Podcasting, honestly, I cried. I so appreciate the honor. Stepparents are sometimes overlooked in the role we play in our children’s lives. I’ve raised him as my own… because, in my heart, he absolutely is.”
Given the impact Amy has had on millions of lives, she’s undoubtedly established a welcome position in their hearts, as well.
Happy Mother’s Day, Amy… and to everyone who has the good fortune of being known as “mom.” We thank you for the way you raise and love your children.