I'm so excited to have Corina Holden with me on the show! Corina is a fashion blogger for moms at nowthaticando.com, where she's all about practical style that can work for your everyday #momlife.
The growth that Corina has experienced in the past 3 years is absolutely incredible! She currently brings in five figures every single month with her blog, AND she's also a stay-at-home mom to 3 boys.
“I want to encourage the moms that are listening that are thinking about starting a business to be totally stubborn about your success and learn every day. Keep learning and being smart about what you do, but don't give up. You will absolutely be successful if you're stubborn about it,” Corina says.
I have just loved watching Corina's business grow and cheering her on these past few years! I know you're going to love learning from her today.
Press Play on the Podcast Player below to listen to this podcast episode.
Building a Wardrobe That’s Friendly for Mom Life + Turning It Into a Blogging Business
Corina started her blog because she wanted to bring in some income while being a stay-at-home mom. When she stumbled across the Brilliant Business Moms podcast, she binge-listened to it while she was trying to decide what she wanted her blog to be about.
She decided to focus on fashion for moms, because that was an area of her life where she personally struggled. There isn't a whole lot of help out there for moms who work in the home!
“We're tired with sleep deprivation, and sometimes we don't have the motivation to get dressed up because we only see the UPS man and our husbands on any given day,” she laughs.
Moms typically don't have the time to learn about fashion or what's in style, either (Corina says she certainly didn't!). So she got really excited about the topic of mom fashion and started writing a blog for herself. She calls it a “fashion blog for dummies.”
“I didn't know anything, and I wanted to write these guides that would help anyone who felt like a total novice at fashion and clothes. I wanted to make it simple and exciting to build a wardrobe that was friendly for mom life,” Corina says.
Corina dove into the blogging world — writing, reading, listening, and learning everything she could get her hands on about growing a blog. As a mom, she didn't have a whole lot of time to do these things, so she was a good steward of her time by learning time-management strategies. Laying that foundation, she says, helped with the accelerated growth she experienced later.
When Corina launched her blog in March 2016, she had been writing and preparing content for a couple months. At that point, she was pregnant and had morning sickness, but she was motivated to see her dream succeed.
“I remember thinking, ‘I'm not going to let myself quit on a bad day. I am going to only quit on a good day…which means that I'm not going to quit! I'm gonna make this thing successful because I see other women out there doing it. I know I can do it,'” Corina says.
Corina built a foundation of helpful content on her blog, then shared it on Pinterest. After a few months, she realized that there weren't very many capsule wardrobe plans out there that were really fun, colorful, and also mom-friendly.
So she came up with a capsule wardrobe with example pieces of essentials that moms should have for a classic, on-point wardrobe in their stage in life. She put an infographic together, pinned it to Pinterest, and got 14,000 repins in a couple months!
“Capsule wardrobes tend to have more neutral looks, but I think a lot of people just love color. It's nice to guide women in planning a wardrobe around a color scheme they love and it's totally possible to do that,” Corina says.
Because of her capsule wardrobe pin, Corina started getting really good traffic. When she made her first $2 with Google Ads, she celebrated! She was amazed that her idea was working — she was blogging at home about something she loved and was getting paid for it!
Corina's first product was offering a capsule wardrobe PDF freebie, which helped build her email list. She then came up with an outfit guide that she turned into her first e-book. Corina's current products are a capsule wardrobe for the whole year and a large outfit guide of 280+ outfits for moms!
It's so exciting to hear how that growth happened! Corina saw a problem, wanted to solve that problem for herself, then went out and created a solution! And lo and behold, there are so many other moms who raised their hands and said, “I want that solution, too!”
Affordable Products Can Still Bring in Big Profits
When Corina launched her first e-book (which was about 100 pages long), she was so nervous about charging her customers that she priced it at $5. At that time, it worked, because it encouraged a lot of people to purchase and give feedback.
Now Corina's outfit guide for the year (which is 200 pages long) comes with a mini course, an online web app, and a shopping guide, and she charges $39.99 for that digital package.
Corina also offers a $79 course called Frumpy to Fabulous — an overview of how to figure out style, body shape, color season, as well as how to create a custom capsule plan.
With products that are $79 and under in price, Corina is bringing in more than $10,000 a month!
That's so encouraging, because I feel like so many big names out there are telling us that we have to have a thousand dollar course or premium services to be successful online. I just think that's nuts. Sure, that's one way to be successful. But you can have a successful business at all sorts of price points!
Corina's products are at the perfect price point for moms, and she's serving her audience well by offering affordable products.
“You have to be realistic about what makes sense for your audience. You have to be sensitive to the fact that people are getting to know your brand and they might not be ready to spend a lot with you right away. You have to figure out for your audience what works,” Corina says.
Corina Uses a Facebook Ads Tripwire Funnel to Grow Her Email List
Corina is one of my Facebook Ads Course students, and she created a Facebook ad that targets a lookalike audience of her customers (she's up to a 5% lookalike audience these days, as far as size).
Her ad features lots of emojis, a video, and a freebie link. The freebie is a 32-page PDF that's chock-full of visual examples of wardrobe essentials and example outfits. Subscribers also get a limited-time discount for Corina's outfit guide.
This limited-time discount on the Outfit Guide is the tripwire offer that shows up on the thank you page after you opt in for the free PDF. A tripwire is just a really great deal on a product that’s offered for a short time period after you subscribe to someone’s email list. It’s a great way to earn customers more quickly.
In Corina's 5-day email sequence, subscribers get the freebie PDF, as well as one video a day that explains how to implement the PDF. Corina knows that she's providing a LOT of information, and she doesn't want her new subscribers to be overwhelmed!
“I want to make sure they can take baby steps and feel the success of ‘Oh, I can do this,'” Corina says.
During that 5-day sequence, at the bottom of each series of videos, Corina gives an upgrade option at 40% off. At the end of the five days, she sends one more reminder email and uses Deadline Funnel to give each person their unique deadline. If they don't purchase at that point, Corina has a trigger in ConvertKit to offer the special discount again in a month.
I love that Corina uses videos to add extra value to those lessons. She's building a stronger relationship with her new subscribers, because they're seeing her and hearing from her, which is so different than just a normal text email.
Facebook Ads Stats and Conversion Rates
Corina has a 6% sales conversion rate on her tripwire offer from cold traffic (people that don’t know about Corina yet) who see her Facebook ad and opt in to her freebie. And 15-20% of her email list has purchased from her! She says a lot of people stick around on her list, even after the email sequence, and eventually make a purchase from her!
Corina has grown her list by more than 6,000 subscribers just from her Facebook Ads Tripwire Funnel. And with 15-20% of that list eventually purchasing from her … Don’t let anyone tell you Facebook Ads don’t work! They can be so powerful for finding REAL customers instead of just freebie seekers for your email list.
Corina's Facebook Ad Strategy Really Works!
The current version of Corina's funnel has been running for almost a year, and she's making nearly double her money back just from the 1st-hour tripwire offer. Since December 2018, her funnel has generated 16,000 leads!
“It's just so nice because not only am I getting free leads, I'm getting paid to get these leads and they're very targeted. It's just amazing how much faster you can grow your list with this great audience that really wants to hear from you,” Corina says.
I hear so many people talk about how Facebook Ads don't work or that the people who are responding are junk leads, but from Corina's experience (and mine too!), that's just not true!
She's built up this five-figure-a-month business and a huge portion of her leads have come through those Facebook ads. I think that's pretty good proof that these are not junk leads!
Corina's budget for her Facebook ad is $40 a day. In the beginning, she started out at $10-15 a day, and then paid more as her business grew and she saw profits from that ad.
Stack on Retargeting Ads for Even More Profits
Corina is all about retargeting ads! She actually sets up her retargeting ads before her main freebie ad to cold traffic, because retargeting is where she earns even more profits.
Corina retargets people who are subscribed to her list but haven't purchased yet. Instead of offering a discount in the retargeting ad, she points to social proof, uses video testimonials, and offers a no-risk purchase guarantee (read: if you don't like it within 30 days, you get a full refund!). And she only spends $4 a day on this ad!
Corina gets a 9X return on that retargeting ad, so she’s spending $4 a day and then on average making $36 back. So $32 of profits every day. What I love about Corina's ad strategy is that it's not this crazy huge thing, but it's doable and it's pretty low maintenance for her!
“I haven't really touched these too much. I know that I'm supposed to test and stuff, but I just don't have time for that. I haven't prioritized it, so I just try to be really smart about it. I try to do my best with my ad the first time,” Corina says.
This is another thing the gurus will say: “If you're going to run ads, it's so much time and so much maintenance and you always have to be testing.” Sure, it's great to always be testing because it allows you to scale more, but you don't HAVE to! You could keep a few good ads running for over a year that consistently bring in new money.
(I’ve done this myself when life gets busy! I keep coming back to certain ads because they just WORK!)
Corina’s Facebook Group Strategy for Continued Growth
Corina credits a lot of her business growth to her Facebook group, which boasts almost 10,000 members. She says it's the ultimate social proof setup — members use Corina's outfit guide and post photos of their outfits. They participate in challenges, share mom moments, and encourage each other. Corina says about half of her email list is involved in the Facebook group!
Corina has a calendar that can be purchased as an add-on to the main outfit guide. Each day has a picture of the outfit of the day and the outfit number that corresponds to the outfit guide book.
One of the challenges the Facebook group participates in is wearing two pieces from each outfit on the calendar. On that post, group members are invited to purchase the calendar so that they can see pictures of what the full outfits would look like, but they don't have to purchase the calendar in order to participate.
There aren't any prizes for posting photos. Corina says the purpose of the challenge is to feel good about getting dressed every day.
“A lot of people just love that because they don't have to think about what to wear each day! They can just literally be told, ‘Today you're wearing a patterned tank and your color shorts,’” Corina says.
Expanding your Business with Affiliate Offers: How Corina Crushed the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!
Corina was recently at the top of the leaderboard for the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle of 2019. She came in just behind Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom (Corina says she totally screenshotted the leaderboard as future encouragement for herself when she “just wants to take a nap”).
Ultimate Bundles is a website that puts together 80-100 digital resources from bloggers, influencers, and educators, and sells the bundle at a HUGE discount for a limited time. Each bundle focuses on a different topic and pulls resources specific to that topic.
Corina contributed her Stay-At-Home Mom's Outfit Guide to the bundle. As a contributor to the homemaking bundle, any sales that Corina made as an affiliate earned her a 75% commission.
She pitched the bundle to her list through a series of emails the week of the sale. She created different graphics for each day that highlighted that day's bonus (and when it expired!) so she could stand out in the flood of emails that were hitting people's inboxes.
“I went through the bundle beforehand and highlighted 4-5 resources that I wanted to try out, so I could personally say which ones were my favorite. And I listed the value, of course, because the bundle is like $29.97 and the full value is more than $3,000 worth of products! So I am personally a total fan of this bundle and I could just be really authentic in being excited about it,” Corina says.
Corina had two goals for Ultimate Bundles this year: she wanted to get her brand more exposure by being a part of the homemaking bundle (pro tip: Being included in an Ultimate Bundle is a GREAT way to get thousands of new eyeballs on your product!), and she wanted to be a webinar speaker that was featured during the bundle’s launch.
Corina achieved both of these goals! Her product was included in the bundle, and her webinar was included as a bonus for anyone who purchased the bundle.
At the end of the sale, Corina's list was 17,000, and her conversion rate on the sales page for the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle was 19 percent!
“I think it was the fact that I had my best product included in the bundle. I also offered a really good bonus for anyone that purchased through my link. And then I had a string of emails that really made sense and were tied together. It wasn't just a random topic each day. I think that was just key to keeping people just warm and excited,” Corina says.
I see a lot of people who are trying to market something like a bundle and they're just going broad, saying, “Oh, look at the great value!” And they're right, it's 90+ resources at a huge discount.
But that's a little hard for people to wrap their head around, because they want to know how those resources can tangibly help them.
Corina's strategy of highlighting 4-5 products within the homemaking bundle for her audience was really smart, because she showed her audience how the bundle could help them specifically.
“I just encouraged them to go to the sales page and look at the resources and find 3-4 resources that were going to be more expensive than the bundle price on their own. That right there makes the bundle worth it for you. But is this going to make your life better this year? Is it going to help with your stress level? Is it going to make your home a happier place for your family? It's not just about adding more stuff to your list to read,” Corina says.
Corina's advice for potential bundle contributors is to submit something that's set up as a course and requires a login. That way you can collect emails and continue to nurture your students even after the course is over.
If you offer an e-book or another downloadable product, you won't necessarily know who downloaded it or how it impacted them.
“I do have mine set up as a course because there's so many pieces to my product. Even though the main thing is an e-book, I was able to get signups or people that got my product in the bundle,” Corina says.
Find Corina Online
Success as a Stay-at-Home Mom Blogger Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
Didn’t you just love hearing from Corina? I love how she took a passion of hers + a problem she was struggling with — still looking cute and making the most of her wardrobe as a mom, and she turned it into an entire BRAND!
Corina has stayed very narrow in her focus, she shows up consistently for her audience, has worked hard to create incredible products, AND she’s harnessed the power of Facebook ads to grow more quickly.
I love what Corina has to say about making it online, “Be stubborn about your success.” There are so many ways to build a successful business online, but the BEST way is work with focus and determination — while serving your audience as best as you can.
You’ve got this, brilliant mama!