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Sophia Amoruso Built a $100M Business From Nothing—Here's How She Expertly Sells Her Premium Course

Learn how Sophia Amoruso is using social media to launch her membership program, Business Class, to great success.

By Mighty Team

April 1, 2022

9 min read

If you’re interested in entrepreneurship and investing then you’ve probably heard of Sophia Amoruso. She is a serial entrepreneur, New York Times Bestselling Author, and founder of Girlboss and Nasty Gal.

She bootstrapped her first business to $30 million in revenue with nothing but a laptop, thrift stores, and a 1987 Volvo. No investors and no debt. On eBay. With no formal education. Pretty incredible, right?

Since then, Amoruso's business empire has grown to over $100M.

Her latest venture called, Business Class, is a 10-week premium digital course for founders who are serious about building smart, profitable businesses. She’s worked with us at Mighty Pro to build her own fully branded iOS and Android apps to host her paid membership, The Lounge, in conjunction with Business Class.

It’s no surprise, then, to say there is a lot any entrepreneurs looking to increase their business’s revenue and achieve new levels of growth can learn from understanding how Amoruso is marketing the launch of her paid membership program.

Her secret? Leveraging her large social media following to attract new paying members. Through a mix of social posts emphasizing her personality, cunning entrepreneurial insights, and the elevated brand identity she’s developed for Business Class, Amoruso is the perfect person to emulate in your own membership launch plans.

Sophia Amoruso’s Social and Community Engine:

  • 639K+ Instagram followers

  • 9K+ TikTok followers

  • 98k+ Twitter followers

  • 2k+ Community members

  • Business Class Lounge App

Ahead, we’ll break down some of the standout choices from her social media accounts for launching her membership.

Sophia Amoruso’s Instagram account at a glance

When you first land on Sophia Amoruso’s Instagram account, you’ll notice the sheer amount of variety she packs into her social presence.

From color-coded Instagram Stories each detailing a specific part of her persona from Business Class, her “Thoughts,” “Goals”, and more, to Reels, static images, and GIFs. Amoruso’s page is a blueprint for creating a varied social presence that appeals to a wide variety of people that compose her following.

Let’s breakdown her Instagram strategy a bit further, what you’ll see is that Amoruso sees the value in diversifying her content to provide her audience with crucial insights,funny posts, behind-the-scenes, free live events, and more, all funneling people to enroll in Business Class.

Motivational statements

A key thing you’ll notice no matter what kind of post in on Amoruso’s Instagram is that she rarely if ever gives a straight sell of Business Class. No one likes to be sold things, especially on social media platforms like Instagram which have maximized the number of ads and sponsored posts people see whenever they open the app.

Instead, Amoruso’s motivational moments show glimpses into her daily life. These posts are part lifestyle, aspirational in nature, and provide something for her audience to ruminate on in their own lives. At the end of her posts, she provides a low-key CTA about Business Class enrollment.

Other versions of motivational posts that Amoruso posts on her Instagram feed use an easily replicable graphic template showcasing the quote (whether it’s her own or someone else’s) in the beautiful branding she’s created for Business Class.

In this second example, she examples upon a quote from Harrison Ford, providing her own insights into what she thinks about his statement, followed by a quick CTA about a free live masterclass about “How to Create an Iconic Brand” that gives a glimpse into the kinds of material offered in her 10-week Business Class program.

Personal experience

Another striking way that Amoruso builds credibility and sells more memberships for Business Class is by acknowledging her own personal failures and missteps in her business career.

In this post, Amoruso does a bit of storytelling, chronicling her time during the height of her book #GIRLBOSS. While the “girl boss” moniker she coined took the world by storm, behind the scenes she began a lengthy battle to gain ownership of her creation. Ultimately, she lost out a big piece of the pie in her legal battle, but uses it as a learning experience.

This is a smart move because it shows that Amoruso understands the struggles of building your own brand and business, she didn’t take shortcuts, and in turn, was able to take this bad experience and use it to become a better businesswoman. At the end of her post, she uses her personal experience as a gateway to provide a sly CTA, “If you want to avoid expensive legal mistakes like this, I highly recommend you join me in my big bad digital entrepreneurship program, Business Class.”

Comedic posts

Sophia Amoruso’s Instagram is a masterclass at leveraging all of your talents to sell your brand. Another way Amoruso sets herself apart is leaning into comedic posts and her eccentric personality to get people to stop and take a look at her posts.

Here, Amoruso starts her post, “How I feel when I meet a founder who doesn't have a plan,” and in the video she presents herself in a confused and startled manner, then says “RUN” when the music erupts. This connects to her point that founders without a plan are fighting a losing battle. She provides a steady stream of valuable information about what she can provide founders looking to become more organized and then ends her post with a CTA to join Business Class.

Frequently asked questions

Creating a sense of FOMO is a proven way to get new people to buy what you’re selling. An interesting way of doing this is including an FAQ section front and center on your Instagram page.

On Amoruso’s page she has a full catalog of frequently asked questions about Business Class, and each question has an embedded CTA for where people can join her membership. This is effective because her FAQ catalog gives the implication that many people are asking her these questions about Business Class. The conversation has already started and for someone not in the know, they are already missing out.

Creative partnerships

We are big believers in actively seeking out creative partnerships that will allow you to get more eyes on the awesome things you’re up to. Sophia Amoruso’s Business Class offers incredible value, but for some folks interested in the course, the $199/month price might be a bit out of their reach.

It’s completely fine if your membership or course isn’t for everyone, in fact, that’s a great thing, but allowing some folks who normally couldn’t afford your products a chance to opt-in is a great way to foster goodwill over social media, and create some immediate super fans who will sing your praises to the heavens.

Amoruso saw this opportunity and partnered with Mailchimp to create a scholarship program for Business Class to allow people from underrepresented groups the opportunity to participate.

Why is this so effective though? If you look through the comments you’ll realize that not only does this opportunity appeal to the people already following Amoruso, but it also is a great way to get her followers to extend her reach by tagging people they think the scholarship might be a good fit for.

What we can learn from Amoruso’s marketing tactics

So, what can we learn from Amoruso’s Business Class launch? A lot. We think there are four major points that you can easily incorporate into your own marketing strategy whether you’re a seasoned veteran in the paid membership business or looking to add a new revenue stream to your already successful business.

Diversify your content

If it wasn’t apparent from the wide array of posts we walked through above, Amoruso is excelling because she’s leaned into diversifying her content. Why? Because that content diversification allows her to create a multi-faceted marketing front that appeals to a variety of different audiences that compromise her massive social media following.

Experimenting with comedic posts, trending memes, motivational statements, and even stories of your successes and failures are all methods worth trying when launching a paid membership program.

Repurpose content across social platforms

While Instagram is Sophia Amoruso’s biggest social media following, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t use various other channels like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter to get the word out about her membership program.

Instead of spending an exorbitant amount of time creating curated posts for these various platforms, Amoruso repurposes content she’s built on Instagram and deploys it across Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter using the same visuals and often the same text. This works well because she’s already creating a diversity of different types of content, so she can curate the posts that best fit each platform and reach her intended audience.

Don’t rely on traditional ads

One thing that might be surprising to some is that Sophia Amoruso doesn’t incorporate many traditional paid ads into her marketing strategy. Take her Facebook ads for example, while she’s produced some incredibly high-production value marketing videos for her Business Class campaign, she isn’t flooding Facebook with an ever-flowing well of paid ads. Since her first cohort launched in the 2021 she’s only ran 20 ads, most of which launching just a day before her registration deadline for the most recent Business Class cohort.

While Facebook ads have been a proven model for big brands in the past, it’s becoming harder and harder to gain traction through these means today. There’s simply too many competitors out there and Facebook’s algorithm is not your friend. Instead, Amoruso has utilized more organic growth opportunities through using her eccentric persona and unique business perspective to entice people.

Create FOMO by using a cohort model

We talked briefly about the importance of creating FOMO when launching a paid membership program in our FAQ section, but another way Amoruso creates FOMO is through a cohort-based course model.

A cohort-based course model means that only a certain number of people can take the Business Class at a time, and if you miss out on registering for the course during the enrollment period, then you’ll need to wait until the next cohort opportunity arises.

Creating a sense of urgency in your marketing strategy incentivizes people to opt-in before it’s too late. Additionally, you can get creative with how you leverage this sense of urgency. Some simple ways of going about that are things like creating countdown posts, last-minute CTAs, spontaneous live events, and more. It also allows you creative opportunities in building out new content that leans into that urgency.

Wrap up

And before we wrap-up, here’s one last example of how Amoruso uses her unique persona, exceptional branding, and her limited-time cohort approach for her membership launch to attract last minute members. Sticking with her “airline flight” theme, the “doors are closing” CTA is a cheeky way of presenting a last call for people to opt-in before the opportunity passes.

Sophia Amoruso’s social media marketing strategy embodies the dynamic energy you need to bring to your content today in order to sell paid memberships. The good news is that all of the insights we’ve explored today are concrete, actionable steps you can start taking to tweak your marketing strategy today if you’re launching a membership in the future.

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