1657 – Putting Life First with Annelise Worn

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Founder of Freeceo, Annelise Worn.

Annelise's journey is one of resilience and determination. She launched her marketing agency in 2017 and soon realized the need to empower women to control their marketing. This led her to start teaching DIY marketing, expanding her focus to include both men and women. Her mission? To help entrepreneurs design businesses prioritizing their well-being and serving as vehicles for freedom.

One of the most common challenges Annelise has observed among women entrepreneurs is the tendency to get caught up in the busyness of their businesses. This often leads to undercharging for their services, resulting in burnout and entrapment within their creations. Annalise's solution is to help entrepreneurs establish structures that make their businesses work for them, not the other way around.

Regarding marketing trends, Annelise is enthusiastic about a shift towards more relationship-based marketing. While automation and funnels have their place, she believes building genuine connections and focusing on substance is vital in today's market. She advises against relying solely on paid advertising and emphasizes the importance of nurturing relationships with potential customers.

Annelise also touched on the use of AI in marketing. She sees its potential to make processes more efficient when used correctly. However, she warns against using AI as a shortcut and encourages leveraging it to generate ideas and inform content planning.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Annalise Warren's journey and impact in the marketing world
  • Common challenges faced by women entrepreneurs
  • The importance of putting structure in place to make businesses work for entrepreneurs
  • The trend towards relationship-based marketing
  • The use of AI in marketing and its potential benefits and cautions
  • Moving away from band-aid solutions in offers
  • Speaker 2's programs for building agencies
  • Speaker 2's podcasts and how to find them

About Annelise Worn:

Annelise Worn is a business strategist and CEO of a digital agency known for empowering coaches, course creators, membership owners, and service providers to achieve freedom, profit, and impact in their lives by integrating efficient systems into their businesses.

She is the Founder of Freeceo, an all-in-one marketing, sales, and CRM software platform. Annelise's journey began when she was denied a family-friendly work schedule in 2016, leading her to build a successful agency from her in-laws' kitchen table.

Despite facing challenges like undercharging and hiring the wrong people, she learned valuable lessons she now shares with others. Annelise teaches the 7 Simple Systems that helped her break free, avoid burnout, and build a thriving business, allowing her to homeschool her four children and enjoy a self-built home by the beach.

She is now a featured expert in various media and events and hosts the Mumstyle Business Podcast and Impact Business Show.

About Freeceo:

Freeceo is an all-in-one business platform designed to streamline and optimize various aspects of your business. With Freeceo, you can replace multiple tools and consolidate your operations efficiently.

It is a comprehensive solution for website and funnel creation and landing pages and acts as a central communication hub with features like email, two-way texting, Facebook and Instagram DMs, and ringless voicemail.

Additionally, it offers social media scheduling, calendar bookings, forms, surveys, quizzes, and a chat widget for seamless client interactions.

Freeceo also facilitates contract signing, individual and group email management, and automation to save time and effort. Managing payments, review feedback, memberships, and hosting courses is made simple through its versatile features. By integrating all these functionalities, Freeceo empowers businesses to enhance productivity and effectiveness in one place.

Tweetable Moments:

02:39 – “We end up drowning in client work and we've created effectively this prison for ourselves instead of this vehicle to freedom.”

13:18 – “If you're in that place where you are feeling overwhelmed and like you need some structure then you can go to analyze one or slash seven the number seven systems and you'll find that you can download that there.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Freeceo website at

Check out Annelise Worn on LinkedIn at

Check out Annelise Worn on her website at

Check out Annelise Worn on Instagram at

Check out Annelise Worn on Facebook at

Check out Annelise Worn on Instagram at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. It's Annelise Worn. Annelise, you are a marketing consultant and expert strategist, and you are found on the web at Annelise Worn. Now, I should also point out that you are a fellow podcaster, and I'm going to have you tell us about it in a moment. But first, give us an overview of your work and impact in the world today.

Annelise (00:01:24) - Hello. Hey, thanks for having me. Sure, I'd love to. So I have a marketing agency that I've been running since 2017, and that got started, went really well, and I started teaching women how to DIY their own marketing. Now, what that looks like six years later is I work with a lot of men and women on business strategy and really designing their business in a way that puts life at first because I think a lot of us get caught up in the the sweep of our business. We love it. We get into burnout and we kind of create this monster. So it's about putting some scaffolding around that and actually making your business work for you, not the other way around.

Josh (00:02:09) - Yeah. Where do most people trip up on this?

Annelise (00:02:13) - Oh, my goodness. So many ways. I think my experience with women is not to be too stereotypical, but I work primarily with women and that's my lived experience. So I'm going to speak to that is a lot of us love what we do and we want to some sort of freedom and that's why we start our business and we start and we say yes to everything because we want to be everything to everyone and we don't charge enough.

Annelise (00:02:39) - And then we end up drowning in client work. And we've created effectively this prison for ourselves instead of this vehicle to freedom. And so I think it starts there wanting to start a business. And so we say, yes, we can do it. We figure it out later. We're resourceful. We, you know, we get something together and we haven't put the structure in place a lot of the time to make it actually serve us.

Josh (00:03:07) - Yeah. And so how did you find yourself in this role in wanting to mentor other women business leaders? Like, what was that transition? What were you doing previously? And like, okay, I need to step up because I see some good I can do in the world here.

Annelise (00:03:23) - Yeah, initially they came to me, so I started a marketing agency maybe two years in. I brought my husband home from work and we got to be home together with our young family. And so people started asking me, how the heck did you do that? And so I taught them how to do that.

Annelise (00:03:40) - And then I realized it was more of a mindset game. And then I started working with women who weren't just at the beginning starts of their business. And I realized it was a common theme, that burnout was something that so many of us got into for for different reasons. Or the we'd run up the mountain, got to the top of the mountain and realized we didn't kind of like the view from there. It was it was on as shiny as and as amazing as we thought it was going to be. So I got to that place as well. And so now that's where I focus in helping people to systematize their marketing, their sales, every single element of their business, but also prioritize their well-being and use their business to make an impact in the world so that, you know, there's a reason to keep growing.

Josh (00:04:30) - Now, in marketing today, what trends have you been noticing or what things are you seeing in marketing that you're most excited about right now?

Annelise (00:04:42) - Oh, I. I'm excited about.

Annelise (00:04:47) - A return, I think now to more relationship based marketing, because we got we got we got to a point where everyone was like, I don't even want to talk to people. I'm just going to automate it. I'm going to have the funnel, which is great, right? I'm all for automation. I think we both use the same all in one, you know, marketing, sales, CRM, Like that's. Brilliant. You need that. But it's kind of nice now that after that boom and the changes in the economy and everything and everyone are making, people are being more discerning now with their decisions and we need to found it based on relationships and real substance.

Josh (00:05:26) - So if someone says to you, but analyze, I was told I'm just one funnel away, how would you caveat that or how would you massage that for that person?

Annelise (00:05:38) - Yes, you might be. But you can't just rely on paid advertising and a hands off format anymore. There has to be something of you that that nurture period is what we need to focus on.

Annelise (00:05:58) - So if you think about marketing, we can simplify it really, really, really, you know, distill it down to we need to be getting in front of more people. We need to be nurturing those people and we need to be selling to those people. And I think the balance of the three of those things is where the magic is, and that's where we're going to find the best success. And I think a lot of us in the past have been able to shorten that window Whenever when automation was, you know, people were hiring, people were buying people, like the economy was just a little bit different. Every a couple of years ago, things were different. And now we really as people are being you know, there's lots more options on the market. People are being careful with their being. They're choosing, they're still spending. They're just deciding in different ways and really caring about the values. And so that piece and you need to really come through a little bit more, you know, the the.

Annelise (00:06:59) - The values piece needs to come through more.

Josh (00:07:02) - Yeah. And analyze the obviously one trend that's been huge this year, you know and is is AI right. And using tools like ChatGPT, where are you seeing brilliant executions of AI technologies and platforms.

Annelise (00:07:20) - I think it's making things faster for people. The people that are using it well are just doing are getting are achieving things in a way that is more efficient. The people that are using it badly are going here. Right. My blog post here. Right. Spit out ten social media posts, please. But the people that are using it well, the people going, yeah, give me ten ideas, ten questions around this topic. And then they're using that to inform their content planning or they're using it to, you know, give some of their older content for their SEO, some new life. And there some ways that you can you can use it.

Josh (00:07:59) - So analyze looking at your social media. One thing I've seen you post about frequently or recently is the concept of an irresistible offer, and I'm curious about your observations about maybe in work with clients you've looked at like where their offer was, maybe gathered some data and you were able to provide some tweaks to that.

Josh (00:08:21) - Are there any patterns that you see in terms of like maybe offers that aren't well optimized versus things that you're like, Yeah, that tends to work really well today.

Annelise (00:08:33) - Yes, there are definitely some trends. One trend is we do way too much research and then we that's why we look across the market and we see all of these kind of carbon copies of really similar things. And the second one is, I think a lot of the time that offers that we put out there are bandaid solutions and we're not always thinking about what is the ultimate solution for this person to fix this problem. It's just going to get them like another step of the way. Whereas if we can create something that is going to totally transform that problem, that is going to take them all the way from A to B where they want to go, then that is where we're going to have be able to make it more expensive. We're going to enjoy delivering it more. We're going to get them better results and then we're going to get referrals, We're going to get great testimonials.

Annelise (00:09:29) - So I think a lot of the time I lean towards a higher ticket solution that is the whole like actually the ultimate solution to their problem because it's really good for everyone. Better results, better referrals, better testimonials.

Josh (00:09:47) - Yeah. Analysts Who do you work with and more importantly, who do you not work with directly?

Annelise (00:09:54) - I work with service providers, mostly service providers who are solo or have small teams and are looking to scale, and they've created a little bit of a monster. And we really need to transition their business from what does that mean?

Josh (00:10:13) - What creates a little bit of a I'm sorry to interrupt. What does that mean? Created a little bit of a monster.

Annelise (00:10:19) - Where I find that businesses are a little bit of a monster, right? Like their time and energy and money. Insatiable like so they'll they'll take as much as we as we will give them. And seriously. Right. Like when when can you ever close your computer and be like, oh yeah, like I've done like, it's enough.

Annelise (00:10:38) - Like I've done, I've done all of the things you've probably never done all of the things. But I got to a point in my business where the client work was overwhelming. I wasn't getting paid enough because of my own fault. I'd built a team of juniors so they couldn't support me in the way that I needed to. And I think a lot of people get to some version of that where they're stuck in what they're doing and they can't they can't grow, they can't work on their business. They're like in this place of just their hands are full. They're juggling all of the balls. That's what I mean by kind of creating a monster. If they're feeling stuck and overwhelmed and they know something has to change in their business with the structure or with their offer or with their pricing or, you know, some things they can't grow anymore because they're full. Then they're typically the kind of people that I work with now.

Josh (00:11:30) - And what does that look like? Like what? How does engagement like, how do you start And do you typically it's just kind of, you know, creating a new plan with them and you do that within period of time.

Josh (00:11:41) - You work a little bit more ongoing.

Annelise (00:11:43) - Yeah. So I've got a I've got a program, a six month program for people who are wanting to build agencies, specifically, it's a group program and other people I work with one on one. So we'll typically work together over three months and create a strategy and I'll work with them over three months as they as they begin to work through that. And then if we're doing one on one coaching, then that can continue, that can continue on or they can join a group program from there. But it'll either typically start in one of those places where we created a 12 month strategy for them, or they join a group program because their goal is to build an agency with other people that are doing the same thing.

Josh (00:12:21) - Yeah, your website is analyze, Warn what? What would you recommend for someone that's once a little bit and also want to know before let me ask before I get into that, let me ask you about your podcast. So you have two, is that correct? Mom style business and Impact business show?

Annelise (00:12:40) - I have just actually combined them, so Good.

Annelise (00:12:45) - Good.

Josh (00:12:46) - And so.

Annelise (00:12:46) - Now it is just.

Josh (00:12:47) - Common name.

Annelise (00:12:48) - Is the podcast. Very original. The podcast with Annelise Worn.

Josh (00:12:53) - I like it. I like it well. So yeah. So to our friend that's listening. Just just search Annelise Worn in your podcast directory, you're going to find it. Yeah. And so in addition to that, your website Annelise Worn, what would you recommend that folks do or like where do they go from here? Any pillar, piece of content, anything that you'd kind of recommend if they they want to kind of dive more into your world?

Annelise (00:13:18) - Yeah. So when I was talking about systematizing the different elements of your business, I talk about seven different systems, which is we've got the traditional five marketing sales service delivery people and then. Finance and legal in one sorry finance and legal people. But then from there I add in a wellbeing system and impact as a system as fundamental pieces of your business. So if you'd like to know more about that, if you're if you're in that place where you are feeling overwhelmed and like you need some structure, then you can go to analyze one or slash seven, the number seven systems and you'll find that you can download that there.

Annelise (00:14:01) - You can learn a little bit more about me there. And yeah, look forward to meeting you.

Josh (00:14:07) - Annelise Worn again your website Annalise Worn the spelling of all of that in in your podcast player you just kind of click around and find where we got the show notes. Got a direct link, analyze to your website. It's been great having you and at least thank you so much for joining us.

Annelise (00:14:22) - Thank you so much for having me.

Josh (00:14:30) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the thoughtful entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day.

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