Q&A with Actress-Turned-Entrepreneur, Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis, Visibility Vixen

Michelle Lewis of Visibility Vixen® is a Visibility Expert and thought leader who specializes in helping launching entrepreneurs grow their following online through branding, video, and livestreaming techniques; helping them skyrocket their visibility; monetizing their success; and finally start changing the world with their unique gifts.

With a history in television, she grew up on movie sets and has worked on shows like “Paycheck”, “Pretty Little Liars” and “Chuck”. Through her online courses, “The Visible Entrepreneur” Facebook Group and “Visibility Vixen” podcast – she provides a safe space of creative inspiration to help you learn the ropes and make an even bigger impact on your audience. She currently lives in the old Hollywood town of Toluca Lake where you can find her at the local coffee shop daily, hiking in the nearby hills, or FaceTiming with her east coast business bestie, Kristin M.

Can you tell our readers about your background?

I grew up in a small horse town right next to the big city of Los Angeles. Between following my Dad around the world on film sets, I would ride horses, play in tree forts, and raise chickens. Still having the film bug after high school, I got my degree in Film/TV and got into the industry myself. I worked in front of and behind the camera for about ten years before deciding to hop into entrepreneurship.

What inspired you to start your business?

During my last two years on television shows, I was also getting my degrees in natural medicine and interior design, so I knew I wanted more than what I was doing. In my heart of hearts, I really wanted to help people on a global level. My Father encouraged me to write a book, which led to exploring e-courses and creating my first one. I loved the flexibility and creativity of it all, so I made the leap and started Visibility Vixen®!

Where is your business based?

I work out of my home office in Los Angeles, CA, but can work pretty much anywhere as long as there’s Wi-Fi!

How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

I started my business with my first e-course, “Life Reboot”. It was definitely an ambitious undertaking as it’s a 30-day course! I made a plan, stuck to it, and spent the next two months recording videos, editing, and putting slideshows together. I’m so grateful to have known how to shoot and edit videos – I can’t imagine how overwhelming that would be in addition to starting a business. Those people are true titans!

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?

Definitely the “Comfy On Camera” challenge. I started it back in 2015 when livestreaming first started, so it was good timing to help entrepreneurs learn how to get comfortable live in front of the camera. I’ve had hundreds of people go through it in my Facebook group, so that’s been an awesome awareness booster for my business! I do it every few months and it’s amazing to watch people’s transformation and see their business start to grow immediately from it!

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

There are so many challenges when you’re building your own business. Technical and personal. How do you set up your website, how are you going to take payments, where are you going to host your material, how do you market yourself, etc. Those are worries that really permeate your first two years. Then the personal doubts, failures, and expectations. I think those are the silent killers that are responsible for taking so many businesses down in the first year. We tend to compare ourselves to other “successes” out there and throw in the towel thinking we’ll never measure up.

I think the key to sticking it out for me has been reminding myself {and more often than not, my husband reminding me} that entrepreneurship is a muscle. It starts weak. It’s okay to have no idea what you’re doing and for it to take months to create your first product. But, as you practice and dedicate daily time to it, tasks take less amounts of time, learning a new skill becomes easier, and the daily panic steadily decreases.

Trust me, there are still days it feels totally overwhelming, but now I know to break down my tasks and handle it piece by piece!

How do you stay focused?

Tending to be a thoroughbred-type personality, I don’t struggle too much with focus. But I also take rigorous care of my health and body. Our bodies are machines that need fuel, so if I’m going into a more intense season of work I make sure to keep my vitamin b, c, and minerals up so I can handle the increased stress. I’ll also do a lot of herbal teas and lemon water to keep acid {the body’s response to stress} flushing out of my system. That keeps my brain in top shape and my body able to handle launches, deadlines, and tech disasters.

How do you differentiate your business from the competition?

Man, I totally succumbed to comparisonitis to the competition for a solid year when I got started. What a waste of time! I was downloading freebies, stalking what everyone was doing trying to measure up. I finally unplugged from everything, went to a coffee shop and dug deep into exactly how I could help people. That’s how Visibility Vixen® really got started.

Most people think visibility is just video and livestreaming, but it goes so much deeper than that! What I provide is based 100% on the struggles I personally went through, so I give my clients a roadmap experience.

When they find me, they know to start with the inner work {Life Reboot}, then master their systems so they can handle increased exposure {Chic Systems}, then branding intentionally with color {Branding Like A BadAss}, then the tools to make gorgeous videos for their website and YouTube Channel {Video Youniversity}, then to increase awareness with livestreaming {FB Live FastTrack}. It’s a very intentional, specific journey that makes my tribe feel supported and guided every step of the way.

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?

So, I build my business backward from how most people do. I created my courses first.

After the courses were done, I’d make a masterclass, then a free opt in. So, when I was ready to present my freebie online, people could automatically take my masterclasses, and purchase my courses.

It made everything much, much easier in terms of immediately making steady income when everything was completed. Everyone told me I was nuts, but it’s such a lesson of listening to your own gut about YOUR business!

What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

Do it. Take that immediately daily action to get where you want to be. The people I knew when I first started, the ones who took that daily action are so much further in their business than the ones who have kept putting it off. You should be looking at new goals each quarter instead of playing catch up to complete the ones you had months and months ago.

I know it will take sacrifice and hard work, but if you want to be an entrepreneur, you’re embarking on something very few have the perseverance to do.

Stop ingesting information and start creating it!

What’s your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?

App: 528 Frequency. This app plays the “love frequency” and is so relaxing. I play it while I sleep and if I’m under a lot of stress.

Blog: Eep! I’ve got to be honest, I’m not a huge blog reader. I’m more of a podcast listener and my favorite right now is “Sounds Of The Trail” because I feel like I’m hiking with these people and it brings much-needed expansion into my day.

Book: “Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself” by Joe Dispenza. Hands down. It’s a book that changes your life. I recommend it to every person I meet!

Who is your business role model? Why?

It would have to be a tie between Marie Forleo and Kimberly Ann Jimenez. I love how Marie’s made her course such an industry standard with an open and close formula. And Kim does a fantastic job with her membership group. They both inspire me so much and I’m hoping to build my business as a combo, inspired by them both!

What do you have planned for the next six months?

I am absolutely ON FIRE about my upcoming VISIBILITY SUMMIT: MESSAGE MASTERY. That launches September 4-8, 2017 and it’s totally different than the summit’s you’re seeing in the online space right now. I used my film background to record meeting with my speakers in person and cut the number down to 8. So, each guest will receive intensive education on mastering their business message so they can walk away knowing what to do on their website, social media and PR strategies. I can’t wait!!!

How can our readers connect with you?

I’d love to connect with you! You can join the Summit, head on over to Visibility Vixen, or hop into the complimentary group, “The Visible Entrepreneur”.