How Leah Toth built a business from a love of journaling

“Spiritual stationery. I think that sums it up really well.”

This is how Leah Toth describes her fledgling company, Destiny Drive, which was born out of her love of newspapers.

Toth started Destiny Drive in 2020 during the Australian lockdowns. “There was something about that first lockdown,” she says. “I gained weight eating poorly, drinking too much, feeling very unmotivated.”

However, during the second lockdown, everything changed. “Something about that second lockdown really sparked a desire in me to lose weight and be healthier and have more positive habits.”

She started a weight loss tracker as well as a money manifestation tracker. Every night at dinner, she and her husband would name one thing they were thankful for. Toth also knew that she wanted to build a side business, but the type of business she should start had her stumped.

One day, she decided to write in her journal about opening a side business and all the pieces fell into place.

And then I had that horrible moment where I thought I had a great idea, but then I realized the idea already existed.

But Toth, a student of Foundr’s course, Start and scalefound his answer in the program.

“I think [the course] He gave the example of going to the stores and seeing how many different loaves of bread there are. Just because other people make bread doesn’t mean you can’t make bread too. You just do it a little bit differently.”

She didn’t have to stress about being first to market with a new product, she just had to find a gap that no one else had recognized. Toth bought all the manifestation journals she could find and flipped through his pages.

“The best part was that I didn’t like any of them,” she says. “They didn’t find what I thought was good in a protest journal.”

He had found his niche. Now she simply had to fill it.

The Diary of the Manifestation

Toth launched her business with the Destiny Drive Manifestation Journal, a 26-day journal that focuses on self-care and personal development.

“For those of you who may have heard of The 75 Hard, which is about two workouts a day and going all out, going on a strict diet, all that kind of hard stuff, I like to think of my diary as being like The 26 Soft. . It’s challenging, but it’s not that intense,” she says.

The journal includes self-assessment tools, which Thoth calls a backwards bucket list. Clients use the journal to assess their achievements so far. It is an opportunity to feel gratitude for where they are and identify where they can grow.

Next is a page full of pots representing life, love, and career categories, for example. Here, they can draw flowers that represent various parts of their lives. Users then spend the next 26 days cultivating positive habits that help them reach their goals. At the end of the 26 days, they are encouraged to look back at those flowers to see how far they have come.

“It’s just about incorporating positive habits and positive behaviors every day, expressing gratitude, and simple things like making your bed every day and drinking water, as really easy things to do,” says Toth. “And if you do all of them consistently over time, then you develop a lot of positive habits and then you’re well on your way to your goals.”

While the magazine encourages users to set goals, Toth also says she’s a fan of skipping a day.

“It’s one of those things where you don’t have to do it perfectly. If you miss a day here or there, you still get a lot of benefits,” she says.

Building a better diary

To get the project off the ground, Toth pulled out his journal and took a hard look at how he used it. He noticed patterns in his diary and began to group them into different sections.

Using Canva, she created a prototype that she could use to help her communicate her vision (layout, page number, tabs for different sections) to designers.

He found his designer in the Start and scale group: a woman who was just as interested in manifesting as she was.

“He even had his own podcast about the rally,” says Toth. “So I said, ‘Yeah, you’re the person for me.'”

He started with 250 locally printed magazines and set a goal of selling them in six months, which he did. He then ordered 500 from a manufacturer in China and decided to sell them in six months.

She reached that goal, too.

With increased organic traffic and a full suite of well-honed marketing tactics tools, Toth is on track to triple its original goal over the course of the year.

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Creating a community around the demonstration

One of the biggest surprises for Toth has been the sheer number of returning customers. It’s been a little over 12 months since he launched the magazine and he already has customers who have bought 7 or 8 magazines. Returning customers are a strong affirmation of Toth’s vision. They may also be evidence of a comment he often hears: People wish the diary was longer.

On the other hand, Toth’s diverse and well-laid out marketing strategy certainly doesn’t hurt. Toth marketing runs on all platforms, from organic ads to paid ads, and is constantly experimenting with new channels and new content.

He also understands the importance of building community through channels.

“I really tried really hard to get the first 1,000. I wasn’t just sharing on my personal page saying, ‘Oh, can you please follow me?’ I was personally messaging everyone on my friends list. And I felt like a psychopath saying, ‘Oh hello. I know we haven’t talked, but I’d really appreciate it if you’d follow me. I’m really trying to increase my following.’”

However, your Facebook group is one of the key elements of your product. Through him, Toth has built a strong community. Customers who buy his magazine (whether in print or digital version) have exclusive access. They can join challenges, talk to other party members, and interact with Toth.

First-time customers keep coming back to the group for the sense of community, making them loyal ambassadors for the Destiny Drive brand.

The Facebook group also allows Toth to collect feedback that it can use to improve its existing products and generate ideas for new ones.

“I found the Facebook group to be awesome for that. Especially when I’m doing these group challenges. On the 26th, I just say, ‘How did it go? What did you like about him? And that’s amazing to take those little bits, to capture everything that they’ve said.”

He also uses the Facebook group to run an annual group challenge, where everyone starts the journal on the same day. There are giveaways and prizes throughout the year on Facebook and Instagram.

She firmly believes in offering her clients exclusive benefits so that they feel part of something. For example, at the end of 26 days, journal writers can open her crystal jackpot, something she was inspired to do after taking the Start & Scale course.

“You can’t open this until the end of 26 days, and the crystals will be different for everyone. So you don’t know what you’re going to find.

Toth also has a few other tactics in his back pocket:

Email: Before the launch of the magazine and its website, Toth focused on his email list. “I think email is definitely very important because anything could happen to your Instagram or your Facebook, but you own your email list.”

popups: At first, Toth says, she was a bit embarrassed about using pop-ups on her website. But she soon realized that they were just part of the game. “I still try to get a lot of new emails on the email list by having a popup that says if you enter your email address you get a discount code. And you also get this free manifestation tool, which is like a blank check that they can print out and write down how much money they want to manifest.”

Influencer marketing: Toth admits that he’s only dabbled in influencer marketing and didn’t notice much of a boost from his efforts. “I’m still always on the lookout for micro-influencers who are often very happy to share something in exchange for a product,” she says.

Text Marketing: Toth is very interested in expanding into text marketing. “I know that’s really cool now, and it’s taking off because the chance of opening a text message is so much higher than opening an email these days. But I haven’t bitten that bullet yet, where I know I should, and I’ll get more people on board that way.”

Subscription boxes: Toth treats subscription boxes as a marketing activity, keeping their price as low as possible, even below wholesale price. She is always looking for new subscription box businesses, keeping an eye on their growth and engaging with them on Instagram. She tries to time the right time to communicate with them when they are still young enough and eager enough for the products, but not so young that they don’t order enough magazines.

The art of upselling

Toth’s latest marketing tool is upselling. For example, she took feedback about the journal being longer and started working on a 12-month planner. Once again, she went out and bought all the planners she could find.

“I don’t want to just put another planner on the market,” she says.

“I want to do something similar to what I’ve done with this diary: find the gap and find what’s missing and find what I would actually use myself.”

Toth wants to create something that complements the magazine instead of copying it.

It’s a strategy you’re already using to upsell customers. It currently offers journal pens that contain different crystals. Customers can choose from three different crystals and add the pens to their purchases. In the past, Toth has offered exclusive products such as affirmation cards in product packs.

“That’s kind of a marketing ploy to increase average order value,” says Toth. “And I know for myself as a consumer, I’ve fallen in love with it many times. I’ve seen packages, and I really want that one thing. And I end up buying the whole package instead.”

Toth is also toying with the idea of ​​an affirmation bracelet.

“What if you spent $100, then you get the free affirmation bracelet to try to really increase the average order value to try to make it much higher?”

While Toth is thinking of other products, she is very careful about what she offers. In fact, she has scaled back the packages and other products on the site to focus on the magazine again.

“I think I’m muddying the water a bit by having too much to choose from right now.”

Read more: How Samantha Brett Made Naked Sundays Australia’s #1 SPF Skincare Brand

Tips for fellow beginners

Although Toth’s business is just getting started, he is already sharing some important takeaways with other budding entrepreneurs. His biggest tip: Starting a business may not be as difficult or overwhelming as you think.

“You could get a little carried away by all these brothers saying, ‘Oh, I make $100k a month,’ and stuff like that,” he says. “It does not have to be this way. It can be easy. It can be fun. It can feel like a hobby. It doesn’t have to feel like work. So as long as it’s something you love to do, then you’ll love doing it.”

Click here for the same strategies Toth used to start and climb Destiny Drive.

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