You may recognize Sophia Amoruso as the name behind iconic brands such as Nasty Gal and Girlboss. Her resume is packed with impressive accolades and career achievements — from scaling Nasty Gal to a $100 million company to being named one of Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women — that have led her to the position she’s in now: helping a new generation of business owners.
Sophia is now the founder and CEO of Business Class, a digital entrepreneurship community and membership-based platform for founders, creators, and solopreneurs at all levels. She’s also the founder and investor at Trust Fund an early-stage venture fund investing in companies that help people start and build businesses.
Here’s a snapshot of Sophia’s current business success:
- Exceeded $5M in course and membership sales
- Has over 3,500 members in Business Class
- Helped businesses go from zero to over $100K in sales
Having achieved stellar success and navigated the challenges of entrepreneurship along the way, Sophia is ready to share what she’s learned and help entrepreneurs see similar success.
“I’ve scaled my impact by inspiring people over the years, but actually sharing what I know is a really powerful thing,” says Sophia. She adds, “For anybody who has accumulated knowledge, experience, and unique insights that you can share with a community as a coach or through a course, a digital product makes sense.”
The Challenge: A Siloed Business
Sophia started Business Class in the fall of 2020 as a cohort-based course that launched twice a year. After signing up for the course, members get lifetime access to eight hours of course content, over 80 hours of video interviews with entrepreneurs like Daymond John of FUBU and Shark Tank and Jen Rubio of Away, and over 300 interactive worksheets.
She initially chose Kajabi to host her course because of the platform’s thoughtful and professional online course features.
“Kajabi was always the beautiful jewel box where the [course] content lived,” she says. “The video content, the brand, and the colors look good and don’t look like an afterthought.”
There is also a community component of the Business Class membership called The Lounge. This is where members can collaborate, learn from one another, and share feedback in a private social network. While both components contributed to the business's success, they were originally housed on separate platforms with The Lounge living on Mighty Networks. However, having two logins and being on two different platforms created friction and made Business Class and The Lounge feel like different experiences.
Sophia knew she needed to combine both elements into one platform to give members a more seamless experience.
The Solution: Going All in on Kajabi
When Kajabi launched Communities, Sophia took the opportunity to migrate The Lounge from Mighty Networks onto the same platform where she housed the Business Class course.
“It just felt like a total win-win to give our community an experience that was holistic in a place that was rapidly iterating, creating really interesting things, and has a lot of creators,” she recalls.
Before fully migrating The Lounge onto Kajabi, Sophia wanted to ensure there wouldn’t be any friction for the 3,000 members she had at the time. So she invited beta users to come and try out the new platform to provide feedback on how it was organized, how it connected to the course content, and how the interactive elements worked.
“To have a platform that’s seeded, even with just a few people, before people start joining makes your job a lot easier,” says Sophia. “[Members] are going to do what they see and model the kind of interaction that’s happening on the platform as they join.”
The Results: A Full-Scale $5M Membership Business
Business Class has been profitable since day one. The first launch earned a million dollars in revenue through Kajabi. To date, Sophia’s digital entrepreneurship business has generated over five million in course and membership sales.
Sophia bootstrapped Business Class to where it is today — an impressive feat alone — but what she’s most proud of is the impact she’s witnessed among members. The platform has over 3,500 members and tons of glowing testimonials from businesses that have grown from zero to over $100K in sales after taking Sophia’s course.
“Not everything is possible to quantify in terms of the kind of progress people make when they join Business Class,” she says. “[But] I don’t need a number to know how big of an impact it’s making.”
Looking Forward: Scaling to New Heights
Now that Business Class has fully migrated onto Kajabi, Sophia’s focus is to continue scaling and refining. She’s also changed the business model. While Business Class used to be a cohort-based platform that launched twice a year, Sophia wants the course and membership to be available to join year-round.
“Kajabi is built for memberships and the community is active year-round so it made the most sense for us,” says Sophia.
Sophia’s Playbook on Building Your Brand Voice as a Creator
Building your brand look, feel, and voice is one of the many things members learn when joining Sophia’s Business Class. Here’s a preview of her tips for building your brand voice:
Step 1: Who are your prospective customers?
Identify who your target customers are. Where are they hanging out? Go find them. Even if you’re a new business and don’t have customers yet, Sophia suggests immersing yourself in your potential competitors’ content — their Instagram, website, newsletter, or course — to learn more about your future customers. “It’s going to save you so much time seeing how [competitors] think and talk because they understand the psychology of the person that is likely going to be your customer,” she says.
Step 2: Figure out where they hang out and who they follow
Next, research more about your customers. Ask yourself:
- Who are they following?
- Who are the customers of the people you want to sell to?
- Who do they admire?
- Where are they going on vacation?
- What music are they listening to?
“I met a CMO once who said, ‘Great brands give people permission to be themselves,’” says Sophia. “Create a brand that does that for people, but is aspirational enough to where they feel like they're meeting like their ideal selves.”
Step 3: Conduct research into what their interests are
Sophia suggests digging further into your customers’ interests and ideas. “Just saturate yourself in their world,” she says. “Maybe there’s certain language or lingo they use or other cultural cues you can use in your brand voice and makes them feel like ‘wow, I’m really welcome here.’”
Step 4: Talk to them and bring them into your process
Now that you’ve found your target customers, talk to them directly by including them in your brand-building process. “Most people don’t want to talk to their customers or potential customers [because] they’re afraid to get feedback or they don’t have something to get much feedback on,” says Sophia. “When I was building Business Class, I had something called a test flight. I got together this group of small business owners [and] as I was creating copy for the landing page and some of the course materials, I was bouncing it off of them saying, ‘do you get this? Is this interesting or inspiring?’”
Step 5: Refine and test
Once you’ve refined with a small group you can refine on a broader scale by optimizing your website and landing pages. Use heat mapping software like Hotjar to see where people are clicking on your website, where they’re hovering, and where they’re dropping off. “You know your brand voice and your copy isn’t landing if people are dropping off at a certain part on a page,” says Sophia. “Voice is great, but you have to be sure that your voice is paired with copy that articulates what you’re doing and who it’s for so that people can see themselves there.”
When you have a strong mission, understand your audience, and have the right tools, you can achieve entrepreneurial success like Sophia. If you’re ready to scale your online course or membership business, see how Kajabi can help.