Brilliant Business Moms https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com Thu, 05 Sep 2019 03:55:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.12 How One Mom Used a Facebook Ads Tripwire Funnel to Build Her New Blog Business to 10k/Month in Sales https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/facebook-ads-tripwire-funnel-mom-blogger/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/facebook-ads-tripwire-funnel-mom-blogger/#respond Wed, 04 Sep 2019 07:30:51 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=7048 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 […]

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Learn how one mom blogger grew her income to over 10k/month using Facebook ads. Corina Holden, a mommy fashion blogger, used Facebook ads to build her email list and earn customers through her tripwire offer right away. She also retargets her website visitors with a brilliant offer for her outfit guides and capsule wardrobe plan, and she works really hard to build a great community and be super helpful to her audience. Learn how you can grow your blogging and digital product business using Facebook ads — even if your products are on the more affordable side. For full show notes, go to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/episode197.

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

nowthaticando.com

Facebook

Instagram

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! 

The post How One Mom Used a Facebook Ads Tripwire Funnel to Build Her New Blog Business to 10k/Month in Sales appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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How to Create a Highly Engaging Email Mini Course https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/email-mini-course-how-to/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/email-mini-course-how-to/#respond Wed, 28 Aug 2019 07:31:58 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=7032 Are you struggling to get happy, engaged subscribers onto your email list? Maggie Frank-Hsu has the perfect solution — an email mini course!  Learn how to keep your brand new subscribers engaged, excited to open your next email, and encouraged to learn even more from you because of the quick win you’ve given them.  You’re […]

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Are you struggling to get happy, engaged subscribers onto your email list? Maggie Frank-Hsu has the perfect solution — an email mini course! Learn how to keep your brand new subscribers engaged, excited to open your next email, and encouraged to learn even more from you because of the quick win you’ve given them.

Are you struggling to get happy, engaged subscribers onto your email list? Maggie Frank-Hsu has the perfect solution — an email mini course!  Learn how to keep your brand new subscribers engaged, excited to open your next email, and encouraged to learn even more from you because of the quick win you’ve given them. 

You’re going to LOVE hearing Maggie’s email marketing tips. Take it away, Maggie!

Press Play on the Podcast Player below to listen to this podcast episode.

Hi friend! I'm Maggie Frank-Hsu. I'm an email marketing strategist and copywriter specifically for moms who want to build online businesses.

Maggie Frank-Hsu

Maggie Frank-Hsu

I've worked with Beth Anne in the past, and she asked me to come on the podcast and share some tips and tricks about email marketing. Thanks so much for having me!

Beth Anne's Email Mini Course Was a Success and Here’s Why

I created an email mini course for Beth Anne in the Fall of 2018, and she's gotten a great response back from subscribers!

Typically, when an online business creates an opt-in or a freebie, they offer a file (like a PDF or a video) when people sign up. However, for Beth Anne's project, we bypassed all that and created a mini course that was delivered as an email series. 

It was totally free, and subscribers got a series of emails from Beth Anne that taught them how to take the stress out of social media.

I think one of the reasons it's working so well for Beth Anne is because she pinpointed her audience's burning problem: time and consistency devoted to social media. You all were just so overwhelmed and not having fun!

Beth Anne wanted to help you take action and see some quick wins with social media, and you responded! You had a need, and she met it with her email mini course.

Put Valuable Content in Your Freebie to Build Trust with Your Audience

There are so many people running online businesses because there's no overhead. All you need to start an online business is a laptop, smartphone, and the Internet. So there's no reason for potential customers to trust you, right? You're just a 2-dimensional face trying to sell them something.

By offering valuable content as a freebie, you build a relationship with your audience before you start asking for their money. The right client for you will feel like their life or business improved as a result of knowing you.

It's totally okay to promote the things you sell in your business. But find out what your audience needs first! Get on the phone with your customers (even if you don't want to, you should do it!), do surveys, hang out in Facebook groups, and really get to know them. Once you've formed a relationship, they will think of you when they need your product.

I hang out in Facebook groups because I want people to know who I am. I want them to think of me when they think about email or when they have trouble with email.

I also want to listen without taking any action. I notice the topics that come up repeatedly and start to identify pain points. Once I've done that, I can decide which format would be best for providing a solution.

Offer a Freebie that’s User-Friendly for Your Customers

A lot of people use videos as their freebies. That's cool, but what if you have an audience that can't ever turn the volume up on their phone? It's going to be hard to connect with them, even if you use captions. That's why an email course can be helpful, because you can consume it on your own time and it's safe in your inbox.

Another popular freebie option is delivering a PDF or a printable. However, if Beth Anne did a PDF freebie and then delivered that PDF in her first email, her drop-off rate would be off a cliff! 

She would have lost at least 75 percent of her subscribers, because they got what they wanted, so there’s no reason for them to open any emails after that first one. A free mini course was a great way to keep people opening her emails.

That's what I'm all about — really simple ways to get people excited about your next email. It's really freeing to write an email and not have to worry about selling anything! 

Just sit in your zone of genius and show us what you can do.

Valuable Content Offers a Specific, Clear, and Attainable Goal

Another thing I like about mini courses is that you can pick a really narrow topic — get as specific as you can — and teach the heck out of it! If you can do one thing really well, that is way more compelling than just being OK at a bunch of things.

In each email subject line of Beth Anne’s series, we specified which lesson it was (Mini Lesson 1, Mini Lesson 2), so subscribers would know at a glance that it was a part of a series.

At the end of each lesson, Beth Anne assigned homework. That broke the lesson down into attainable steps, was a natural transition into the next day's lesson, and provided some accountability to apply the lesson!

Beth Anne asked her students to check in and tell her when they completed the homework, and she's received so much good feedback from it! 

She said she was amazed at how many people wrote back and told her about their social media successes. They were so excited and proud, because they'd overcome something (with her help!) that had previously been overwhelming.

This worked because Beth Anne genuinely wanted to know how her students were doing. She wasn't asking them to reply just to get stronger open rates or manipulate an algorithm. She made her connection authentic by celebrating her students' successes with them!

(And here's a win for you: When your students see results from your mini course, they will be ready to hear about your offer!)

Both Positive and Negative Feedback Will Improve Your Email Course

Feedback improves your mini course. The worst thing that can happen is that your subscribers hit a stopping point because there's something wrong with it. If they're stuck, they'll quit! So if you open yourself up to feedback, you'll get responses that will flesh out your course and make it better over time.

A lot of students in my program get negative feedback when they start emailing regularly. But that's OK! If you're getting feedback, positive or negative, that means people are paying attention! And that's what you want, because no one will take action if they're not paying attention first. 

If you're so blah that you don't get any response, then that's way worse than negative feedback.

Process Your Thoughts Offline First

There's a difference between being authentic and oversharing on the Internet. A lot of people pour their hearts out and are really vulnerable in ways that they probably shouldn't be.

I think sometimes we feel this pressure to put it all out there because we think that's what “authentic” means.

Yes, you want to be authentic and say things that are real, true, meaningful, and will attract people to you. But you don't want to be throwing up your emotions all over the place!

I call this processed vs. unprocessed. If there is something that you don't understand the full meaning of, then you should work it out privately before posting about it on the Internet. 

Get some distance from the situation and ask yourself, “Why do people need to hear this?”

I always try to share things that I think will help somebody else. If I have a little bit of distance and I share what I'm working through, I get a lot of feedback.

Give Your Customers Something to Believe In

Michelle Warner, a business strategist, has three questions that you can ask yourself when it comes to your freebie.

  • What do your subscribers have to believe about you?
  • What do they have to believe about the product?
  • What do they have to believe about themselves?

You need to show your customers that you have the solution to their problem. Once they believe you (sign up for your course), believe your product (take the course and see results), then they are ready to believe that they can succeed.

Keep Your Freebie Simple and Engaging

When I first showed Beth Anne the mini course I put together for her, she said it was a lot simpler than she'd expected. She admits that she tends to put way too much into her freebies. But the beauty of the freebie is that you don't have to!

I think it's really easy to overwhelm potential customers. That flicker of curiosity when they see your landing page is like a tiny spark from a campfire. They have their hands cupped around it, desperately trying to keep it away from the wind, the kids, and anything else that might extinguish it.

Information overload can be the enemy of that spark. It's too much to sift through, people will just give up and leave. They have no reason to stay because they don't trust you yet!

What people really want is a DIY version of what you're offering. They want to think, “I can do this, I can follow along with this, and I can get to the end.” 

Pare your content down to the bare bones so you don't lose people in the middle of your freebie.

Write Emails That Subscribers Are Excited to Read

I developed my business as a response to the idea that you're supposed to obsess about building your list. I noticed a lot of solo entrepreneurs doing this, but then they didn't know how to follow up.

Here's the scenario: Susie Q signs up for ConvertKit, comes up with a cool opt-in, and people start to sign up. She writes an automation where her subscribers get a drip, but then what?

Does she send a weekly newsletter?

Does she send a newsletter because she wants to do a launch?

Does she write a weekly newsletter and then send a launch newsletter and then drop dead from exhaustion?!

I finally ate my own dog food (figuratively) and started listening to what people were struggling with in terms of email. I heard over and over, “I don't know what to say,” “I don't want to bother my audience,” or “I don't want to be just another newsletter in a pile of emails.”

I get that! I don't want you to feel those things, either! But here's the thing I've discovered: 

Email is the best way to reach the people who care about you the most.

You might be wondering, “Why can't I just use social media?” 

You can be on Instagram all day, but that's still an algorithm-controlled newsfeed that Facebook built. And we all saw what happened to Facebook, right? The pages had good reach at first, but then they just took it away. We have no control over the algorithms.

But, if you're doing a good job writing emails and someone subscribes, you'll end up in their inbox EVERY SINGLE TIME. 

When you show up consistently, build name recognition, and nourish that relationship with your subscribers, your open rate will increase.

Successful Email Series Checklist

This Freebie Will Help You Revive Your List

I created a free opt-in called Revive Your Dead List that teaches you how to reconnect with your list.

If you haven't emailed them for a long time because you don't know what to say, or you think you're not supposed to email them because you'll bother them, this freebie is for you.

If you're one of those people that is saying, “No, thank you. I tried email, it doesn't work for me,” you're exactly who I'm looking for! You are going to feel refreshed and ready to reconnect with your list after you get this freebie.

Go grab my freebie at bit.ly/revive-your-list. You'll be empowered to email your list, have cool things to say, and not feel awkward anymore!

Connect Online with Maggie

maggiefrankhsu.com

Instagram 

If you follow me because you heard this podcast or read this blog post, please DM me! I'll definitely DM you back!

— Maggie

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Everything you Need to Know about Email Marketing with Donnie and Abby Lawson of Just A Girl and her Blog https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/email-marketing-donnie-abby-lawson-just-a-girl-and-her-blog/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/email-marketing-donnie-abby-lawson-just-a-girl-and-her-blog/#respond Tue, 30 Jul 2019 07:30:01 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6979 Do You Want to Have a Vibrant and Growing Email List? Press Play on the Podcast Player below to listen to this podcast episode. Hey friend! I am so excited to be spending time with you today! I want to know if you've ever run into this situation: You've spent a lot of time and […]

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I'm so excited to have two guests on today's episode that I happen to know quite well! Donnie and Abby Lawson are the husband-and-wife team behind JustaGirlandherBlog.com, and they are also my brother and sister-in-law! Just A Girl and Her Blog primarily focuses on organization, productivity, and home decor, but Donnie and Abby also share their blogging strategies to help newer bloggers learn how to grow. I'm partnering with Donnie and Abby for their Browser to Buyer course. They walk you through a three-part email marketing system, give you tangible examples from their own business, and even show you their stats and what works for them! So not only is the course on sale from Tuesday, July 30, through Monday, August 5 for $79 (it's normally $99!), but they're also doing it LIVE on August 5-7. To get your hands on this course, you need to go to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/B2B. You want to go directly to that page because that's where the sale is happening. Go to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/episode195 for full show notes.

Do You Want to Have a Vibrant and Growing Email List?

Press Play on the Podcast Player below to listen to this podcast episode.

Hey friend! I am so excited to be spending time with you today!

I want to know if you've ever run into this situation: You've spent a lot of time and effort on building your email list because everyone tells you that's what you need to do to build a successful online business (and they're not wrong!).

But then you went to sell something to your email list and … [crickets]. I have to admit, it's one of the biggest bummers, right? Especially when you've really gone all out and you've planned a big promotion and people aren't responding.

One thing I've noticed recently is that my online shop owner students are getting sales much more easily from their email lists than my blogger and digital product creator students.

Here's my hunch: It's because online shop owners are very clearly selling something. You can see from their Instagram account and from their shop that they have products for sale. So people expect to get emails about products and promotions if they join that person's email list.

Whereas if you're primarily a blogger or an influencer, people expect to just get lots of free content from you. They opted into your email list for a great freebie, but don't you dare try to sell them something, right? Sometimes people are outraged because they're not expecting you to sell to them!

Maybe you haven't primed them to expect that from you. You're a legit business, and while you enjoy helping people and providing value for free, you need to sell things in order to be successful.

So how can we make sure that all the time and effort we're spending on building our list is actually building up a list full of buyers and potential customers who are going to love what we promote to them?

I don't want you to build a list that just expects everything for free from you all the time. I want your list to say, “Yup, this person provides awesome, valuable content, but they sell things to me, and I'm cool with that because I like them. Not only do I not mind buying a product from them, I'm excited to do it when the time comes!”

The 3-Part System to Ensure That You Have Buyers on Your Email List

  1. You have to have an email freebie that draws your perfect customer to your list. That email freebie needs to be highly related to what you're going to sell.
  2. You need to have a tripwire. A tripwire is a limited time offer of one of your products for your brand new email subscribers. After they opt into your email list, they're immediately taken to a thank you page. It confirms that they're on the list and are getting their freebie, but for those who want to go to the next level, there's an awesome offering waiting. It's just kind of a surprise — a fun offer that they're not going to find anywhere else.
  3. You need a profitable welcome series. So you need to hook that reader in, build a relationship with them, get them excited and eager to open your emails, provide valuable content to them, and then you give them another chance to buy a fabulous product from you.

So do you want to know how to do this? Do you want to know how to get this all set up right? Do you want to have this system so that you can bring in those profitable email subscribers every single day?

Just a Girl and Her Blog's Browser to Buyer Course is on Sale!

I'm partnering with my brother and sister-in-law, Donnie and Abby Lawson of justagirlandherblog.com, for their Browser to Buyer course. They walk you through this exact three-part system, give you tangible examples from their own business, and even show you their stats and what works for them!

Donnie and Abby primarily sell organizational products. They have organizational courses, organizational printables, and they do affiliate promotions. So they sell and make a lot of their revenue outside of the business-to-business space, and they are very successful business owners.

Donnie and Abby are a huge reason why I have a thriving business online because they went before me and I saw that it was possible. They've been so important for my business growth.

So not only is the course on sale from Tuesday, July 30, through Monday, August 5 for $79 (it's normally $99!), but they're also doing it LIVE. So there will be a one-hour class each day on August 5, 6, and 7 at 1 PM EST.

On Day 1, they'll talk everything email opt-ins.

On Day 2, they'll help you set up your trip wire that converts.

On Day 3, you'll learn how to create your profitable welcome series.

The Browser to Buyer Course Holds You Accountable to Your Goals

I actually bought this course at the beginning of the year and went through it live. I thought, “OK, this is how I'm actually going to consume this content, hold myself accountable, and make sure I get all my questions answered so I have to take action on what I'm learning.”

The course was so fun, because they have a prerecorded, high quality video (no glitches!), tech tutorials along the way, and a live chat throughout the lesson! Donnie, Abby, and I will be in the live chat August 5-7 to answer all your questions. So you're learning live with a whole community of awesome business owners and getting all of your burning questions answered!

Now, if you're thinking, “OK, I need an email list of buyers, but I can't attend those live class times,” you still want to grab the course because you get the class recordings FOREVER. Plus there's A LOT of bonuses. But you also want to grab it because the sale, right?

To get your hands on this course, you need to go to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/B2B. You want to go directly to that page because that's where the sale is happening.

Donnie and Abby are just doing this for me and the Brilliant Business Moms community, which is so sweet of them! So we've got to show up and show them how awesome we are as a community. 

I want us to be the most fun live class that they've ever had. What do you say?

When You Buy the Course, You Get a Couple Bonuses From Beth Anne!

I am including a bonus training with this offer to show you how to structure Facebook Ad campaigns.

I'll also be doing a bonus live Q&A call on Zoom the week after Donnie and Abby's live class so that you can strategize with me! And you only get in on this call if you grab the course!

So head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/B2B and we'll get you there!

Just a Girl and Her Blog is Run By a Husband-and-Wife Team

I'm so excited to have two guests on today's episode that I happen to know quite well! Donnie and Abby Lawson are the husband-and-wife team behind JustaGirlandherBlog.com, and they're also my brother and sister-in-law!

Just A Girl and Her Blog primarily focuses on organization, productivity, and home decor, but Donnie and Abby also share their blogging strategies to help newer bloggers learn how to grow.

The Lawson Family

Abby started her blog in 2013 while she was a stay-at-home mom to two young boys. It was supposed to be a side project that she worked on while the kids napped, but she caught the blogging bug pretty quickly!

2 years into blogging, Donnie joined Abby to work full time on the technical side of the blog. Donnie and Abby’s online business has supported their family full-time since 2015!

Your Email List is a Powerful Tool for Sales

I think that new online business owners often have the wrong focus when it comes to building their business and making more sales. 

Many new biz owners focus on building up a huge social media following — assuming those follower counts will lead to revenue.

Other new business owners focus solely on traffic to their blog — assuming they’ll make money from ad revenue and sponsored posts on their site.

But here’s a secret experience business owners know:  Your email list will likely be the BIGGEST driver of revenue in your business! Don’t overlook it. 

Revenue Breakdown:  How Successful Bloggers Make Money

Like I mentioned above, new business owners tend to focus on growth in all the wrong places … and I can’t blame them. 

When you’re just starting out, you might not realize what areas of your business will be the biggest drivers of revenue. 

Donnie and Abby break down their blogging income for you:

  • 10-20% from display ads on their site
  • 10% affiliate income from the blog
  • 20% digital product sales on the blog
  • 20% affiliate income via email marketing
  • 30% digital product sales via email marketing

For the majority of their revenue, they focus on affiliate sales and product sales.

Note: These are approximations, and the breakdown can vary a bit from month to month, depending on what Donnie and Abby are promoting.

Your Email List Can Build Your Business in Many Ways!

Abby says their email list is HUGE in driving revenue, since it's their main point of contact with their customers! 

It also drives a lot of traffic to their blog, which translates into more potential ad, affiliate, and shop revenue.

The blog has tons of valuable content, which helps Donnie and Abby build deeper relationships with their customers. (It's not JUST about sales, remember? Relationships are key!

Then, customers can share that highly valuable content with others, spreading the traffic even more!

If blog visitors don't end up on your email list, they don't have any chance to become a loyal reader who's visiting your site on a consistent basis. 

But by nourishing a relationship with their list, Donnie and Abby hope to become a one-stop shop for their readers' organization needs.

There are so many different angles for how your email list can support your business!

To recap, you can use your email list to:

  1. Sell your own products
  2. Promote affiliate offers
  3. Drive traffic back to your site
  4. Direct your audience to share-worthy content, so your brand grows even more as they share!
  5. Increase ad revenue on your site (since your list is growing your site traffic!)
  6. Increase affiliate and product sales on your site.
  7. Build deeper relationships with your audience

Umm … whoa!  If you’re not focused on building your email list and emailing your people regularly, you’re missing out, friend!

Weekly Emails Build Stronger Relationships with Your Subscribers (and create an audience who looks forward to hearing from you!)

Every Saturday morning, Abby send out her weekly newsletter to her Just a Girl and her Blog Subscribers. 

Abby’s weekly email newsletter includes:

  • A new blog post (or two!) from the past week.
  • Related blog content (older content that is seasonal or related to current content in some way)
  • Something new or fun from a different blogger or content creator (spread the love and introduce new people!)
  • Sales or promotions (if applicable for that week)

Abby uses her weekly email as a relationship-building check-in with her list, where they get to know her a little bit better. They have already expressed that they're interested in organizing, so she tries to give them tools that she has found helpful.

“Hopefully, when they see my name pop up in their inbox, they know it's going to be good and they're willing to open it and see what it's all about,” Abby says.

I think because Abby works so hard to put out awesome content that’s super helpful, her subscribers look forward to getting that email from her each week. (I know I do!)

Sales Are Possible Without Being Pushy

I’ve been a part of several Ultimate Bundle Sales with Donnie and Abby, and they tend to top that affiliate leaderboard! But, as someone who's on their email list, their emails feel much more casual and friendly compared to the other affiliates I see promoting bundle sales.

So … how are they raking in so many affiliate sales without being pushy?

Abby says this is a personality thing. She won’t ever be pushy or salesy because it’s just not her style. 

Instead, she chooses to promote only those products that she thinks will be genuinely helpful to her audience.

Next, she structures her emails by starting with a story about herself, or sharing a personal experience of how the product she's promoting has helped her.

“I probably would fail a real sales class, but I just hope that through that method, people can see that I'm being genuine and sharing a product that will improve their lives. And we get to keep doing what we love and blogging by making a commission off of that. So it's a win for everyone,” Abby says.

The Key to Effective Emails is Quality Over Quantity

The number of emails sent during a promotion is very important, Donnie says. The majority of the sales they make during a promotion come at the very beginning and the very end of that promotional period. 

So, Donnie and Abby send one email on the first day of a promotion, their weekly Saturday morning newsletter will mention the promotion, and then they’ll send two emails on the last day (one in the morning and one in the evening).

“Doing [three emails + our weekly newsletter] generally works as well as if we send eight different emails over the course of the promotion. We always have unsubscribers with every email we send, so the more emails we send, the more unsubscribes we get,” Donnie says. 

“We've found that sweet spot for us is that we don't really need to email all that much. We just want people to know about the opportunity, pique their interest, and then let them decide if it's a good fit for them.”

“I want to be respectful of their inbox. Maybe we're leaving money on the table, but it has seemed to work well for us,” Abby says.

Sidenote from Beth Anne:  I DO find that when I email more frequently during a promotion — every day for a 4 day promotion + twice on the last day, and at least 5-6 times for a 5-10 day promotion, I tend to earn more sales. 

But every audience is different, and I DO think that once you’ve built up your passive revenue streams behind the scenes like Donnie and Abby have (and you’re less dependent on those big promotions), and once you’re in a rhythm where your subscribers look forward to and open that weekly email from you, you won’t need to send as many emails to make a big impact. 

Donnie and Abby have earned that huge response from just sending a few emails about a promotion, because they consistently show up week after week and provide incredible value to their people.

What to Do When a Promotion Doesn't Perform As Expected

Donnie and Abby make an exception to the three-email rule if a promotion doesn't seem to be taking off like they'd expected.

If their audience doesn't resonate with a product right away and sales aren’t coming in, they abandon ship and don't try to force it onto their audience. (Smart move for keeping those relationships strong!)

Sometimes a product that they're not too sure about performs better than they thought! Through this process, Donnie and Abby have learned to be flexible and pay attention to what their audience is saying.

You can't always predict what's going to work best. Just put it out there and see what happens!

How Do I Start Building My Email List?

I know I have listeners who are thinking, “OK, great. Donnie and Abby have this big email list and it's driving a ton of revenue for them every month. But how do I do that? How would I even begin to start building my email list?”

As far as getting numbers on their list, Donnie and Abby started by paying attention to their audience's needs, and then offering them a freebie that met those needs. 

For example, every subscriber gets access to their FREE organizational printables library!

Courtesy Just a Girl and Her Blog

Courtesy Just a Girl and Her Blog

When it comes to creating freebies, look for:

  • What's already working. Then create more content + freebies with a similar bent.
  • The content people are asking for. Create that content + an awesome freebie to go with it!
  • What readers seem to like. (Give the people what they want!) 🙂
  • Which posts are performing well. Create a highly related freebie to go with that post.
  • What you already have that can be put into a more convenient format — like bundling your printables or freebies together into a library.
  • Freebies that create a shortcut for your reader and make their lives a little easier.

Donnie and Abby say that your opt-in percentage rate (the number of people visiting your blog post versus the number who opt-in to your email list) is a great indicator of whether your freebie is a great fit for that piece of content, and whether your audience is really interested in it.

Donnie says that even when everything on a blog post is optimized, and there are multiple images and mentions of the freebie on the post, as well as an exit-intent pop-up, the very BEST freebie opt-in rate that you’ll see for a blog post is 20 percent.

However, if your freebie isn’t that great, doesn’t resonate with your audience, or isn’t a great fit for that piece of content, you could see freebie opt-in rates of just 1-3 percent. 

Pay attention to Donnie and Abby’s advice and create the right freebie. It makes a world of difference for turning more site visitors into subscribers.

An Effective Email Freebie Leads to Sales

It costs money to run a blog and maintain a list. Whatever is being offered as a freebie should also be closely related to a product that you offer for sale.

“Our goal is to grow our list, but we also need to be able to make revenue on that list,” Abby says. (And in her and Donnie’s case, their blog is their full-time income!)

One great example of a lucrative freebie would be Donnie and Abby's library of organizational printables. This freebie is a perfect fit for their audience, because they run a blog that focuses on organization and have several organizational products to sell.

But for another blogger, creating organizational printables just because they seem popular could be an awful waste of time. It’s all about relating that freebie to the end product you want to sell, and drawing in just the right people to your email list.

It's better to have a smaller number of opt-ins that are genuinely interested in your topic rather than a large number of subscribers who aren't invested in what you're doing.

You don’t want to pay for subscribers who simply don’t care. Draw in just the right people, be genuine and build relationships with them, keep them engaged, and of course, sell your fabulous products to them. 

An Effective Welcome Email Series Leaves Subscribers Wanting More

Abby writes all the emails that go out to new email subscribers. (That was my hunch, because I know what a talented writer she is! She laughed and asked if the hearts and smiley faces gave her away!)

Within those welcome emails, Abby:

  • Provides value by helping her audience with a pain point they might be facing.
  • Gives away a lot of free content.
  • Hints at the end of each email that something good is coming in the next email — so they’re ready and waiting for it.
  • Gives surprise, extra freebies away.
  • Isn't afraid to talk about the products she has for sale!

Abby says hooking your audience into the next email is key! You have to give them a reason to stay engaged.

“We give them what they asked for in that first email, but we also give a hook and say, ‘Hey, we're so glad you're here, and we have even more valuable things to give you. We're going to send you another email tomorrow that is going to have a bonus gift for you,'” Abby says.

Once they've nurtured their audience for a few days with value-packed emails, then they have the opportunity to offer the organizational products they have for sale.

Donnie says using email hooks is similar to how Netflix gets you to binge watch a show. An episode never ends on a clean, wrapped-up note. There's always a little bit of a cliffhanger, right? It leaves you wanting more!

Running a Business as a Married Couple is Challenging and Rewarding

I know you're curious: How do Donnie and Abby balance working together with having their own space and time? How do they function as a couple and as business partners?

“The beginning was the hardest,” Abby says. “The blog started out as my thing and then all of a sudden Donnie came into the picture, and I was like an only child who had never shared my toys. He started trying to work on things and I was like, ‘No, that's mine! Don't touch that!'”

It took Abby a little bit of time to let things go, but as she watched Donnie work, she realized that they had different and complementary skill sets. So she sticks to what she likes and is good at, and Donnie sticks to what he likes and is good at.

“We have no interest in doing what the other person is doing, but we're also confident in the other person's abilities in that area. We trust the other person to do their job,” Abby says.

Donnie says a lot of people think it's harder than it is. It's easier for him to maintain the relationship at home than when he was at an office all day, because he feels like they’re no longer leading these totally separate lives during the day.

“Even though we've added this whole business relationship to everything, I honestly think it makes life a little bit easier,” Donnie says.

Donnie also looks to other couples with similar business models to see how they run things together, like Bjork and Lindsay Ostrom of Pinch of Yum.  

“It's so hard to completely blaze your own trail. It's a lot easier to have someone in front of you that has done it,” Donnie says.

I couldn’t agree more! And I’m always watching Donnie and Abby to learn from them!  I know for sure I wouldn’t have built my online business if I hadn’t watched them dive in first, and didn’t realize just how possible it is to be successful. 

Connect with Donnie and Abby Online

JustaGirlandherBlog.com

Instagram: @abbyorganizes

Enroll in the Browser to Buyer Course Before the Sale Ends!

Was that not an incredible interview? Donnie and Abby are just so smart and so intentional. I love their approach to online business and I am always learning new things from them.

My mind was a little blown by Donnie's self-paced email series idea. Was anyone else's mind blown? I am so excited to structure that in my email sequences!

But if you're not there yet, then you, my brilliant friend, are the perfect person for the Browser to Buyer Course. It's a 3-part system for getting the right subscribers on your email list and how to build that list.

It'll show you some cool tech tools and how to optimize your site, how to create a great trip wire offer to get sales immediately from your new subscribers, and then how to write a high converting email sequence on the back end.

Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/B2B to enroll in Browser to Buyer. It's $20 off until Monday, August 5, and you also have the chance to take part in the live component.

Get this done, my friend. Building up a profitable email list full of buyers is so important, right? Because all of your best-laid business plans will be in vain if you don't have a list of buyers. So let's build that list with Donnie and Abby's amazing course + some amazing bonuses from me!

If you're reading this after Monday, August 5, you can still use this link to go grab the course (it just won't be on sale and there won't be the live component). It's still going to be an amazing, valuable course, but I want to see you there live and I want to help you and answer your questions.

So let's do this! Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/B2B and we'll build your email list of buyers.

And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

The post Everything you Need to Know about Email Marketing with Donnie and Abby Lawson of Just A Girl and her Blog appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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How Kara Fidd Pulled Off a 20k Digital Product Launch with a Small List https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/kara-fidd-20k-digital-product-launch-small-list/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/kara-fidd-20k-digital-product-launch-small-list/#respond Fri, 12 Jul 2019 16:47:14 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6960 So… just exactly how many email subscribers do I need for a successful online business? Well when it comes to Kara Fidd, you can pull off a 20k digital product launch with a small list! No problem 🙂  It’s way more important to have the RIGHT, targeted subscribers on your list than it is to […]

The post How Kara Fidd Pulled Off a 20k Digital Product Launch with a Small List appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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So… just exactly how many email subscribers do I need for a successful online business? Well when it comes to Kara Fidd, you can pull off a 20k digital product launch with a small list! No problem 🙂 

It’s way more important to have the RIGHT, targeted subscribers on your list than it is to have lots of the wrong people on that list.

Kara Fidd has pulled off two, ridiculously successful product launches with a super small list.  Her first launch was to 2,000 subscribers and she made $10,000!

Her second launch was to 6,000 subscribers and she made $20,000!

Read on to hear what Kara offers her new subscribers, how she structures her launches, and how she makes sales on auto-pilot each day.

So… just exactly how many email subscribers do I need for a successful online business? Well when it comes to Kara Fidd, you can pull off a 20k digital product launch with a small list! No problem :) It’s way more important to have the RIGHT, targeted subscribers on your list than it is to have lots of the wrong people on that list. Kara Fidd has pulled off two, ridiculously successful product launches with a super small list. Her first launch was to 2,000 subscribers and she made $10,000! Her second launch was to 6,000 subscribers and she made $20,000! Read on to hear what Kara offers her new subscribers, how she structures her launches, and how she makes sales on auto-pilot each day.

Press Play on the Podcast Player below to listen to this podcast episode.

Kara Fidd of Simplifying DIY Design Knows How to Launch Digital Products!

Today we’re talking to Kara Fidd of Simplifying DIY Design about two of her successful product launches. These launches were for the most gorgeous, helpful, user-friendly Canva templates for bloggers to use. 

Kara has templates for creating email freebies, workbooks, planner pages, checklists … any sort of amazing digital item that you would like to create, there's a pretty good chance that she's got a gorgeous template for it! 

I love the way she's niched down in her business, and she has seen incredible success because of it.

Get Your Blog Design Freebie!

Kara has an awesome freebie for all of us to grab. It's called the Design Your Blog Growth Challenge: Three Days of Easy Design Tasks to Grow Your Blog. You'll get easy design tasks that will help you optimize what you have, boost your traffic, and grow your email list. And, of course, gorgeous templates are included to help make that happen!

You'll walk away with an awesome email freebie template, a template for your sidebar to highlight your most popular posts, and a template for creating killer social media graphics so you can drive more traffic to your site. And all of that is yours free!

If you want to sign up, all you need to do is head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/designblog to sign up for that free challenge from Kara, plus get your hands on some of her awesome templates!

The Solution to Juggling a Job and Babies? Template Design

Kara, a mom of two and a wife to a full-time Air National Guardsman, started Simplifying DIY Design in 2017. She was doing client and contract work (mostly for just one client), but she wanted to start generating more income.

Because she had a toddler, a baby, and only had so much time in the day (I hear you, mama!), she decided to make predesigned templates to produce some passive income. 

If a business owner didn't want to hire a graphic designer to make a specific template for their brand, they could just buy Kara's predesigned templates and then customize the fonts and colors to match their brand.

Kara's idea took off, and she says her style really spoke to a lot of people. They kept saying, “More templates, more templates!” 

So Kara kept on creating products with templates attached to them, and hosted workshops to continue to provide value to her audience. 

Time Spent on List Building Translates Into a Successful Launch 

Kara pulled off a $10,000 launch just 6 months after her website went live! She credits this success to building her email list.

When Kara initially launched the site, she knew right away that she had to start building her email list. (This is not her first blog, so she knew what she needed to do for a solid business foundation!) So she gave herself three months to get 1,000 subscribers.

She created a tripwire offer of Canva templates. (A tripwire is a product offered as a flash deal on the thank you page after someone opts in to your email list.)

Kara also ran ads to her lead magnet (a freebie Kara offered in exchange for someone’s contact information). This generated enough income to put back into the startup costs of her business.

Kara’s lead magnet was a resource library, but since the main products she sells are Canva templates, she made sure to emphasize those Canva templates for new subscribers. 

By making her tripwire and lead magnet Canva-specific, Kara made sure that the people coming onto her list were really interested in that one specific program.

When Kara first used Facebook Ads, she ran them to a cold audience. It was a general ad for her resource library with a call to action saying, “Get free Canva templates when you sign up for the resource library!” 

And then she had an opt-in landing page where there was more information and a sign-up form to get a password to the library.

“But Beth Anne,” I can hear you asking, “Why would people want to purchase a tripwire full of Canva templates when they could just get Kara's templates for free?” 

Well, Kara says that her motto is to always continue to provide more value. So once people got free social media and Pinterest templates (which are high quality!), she would entice them with more value on the other side of the tripwire: a workbook + a planner for $7 (the normal price for the bundle was $54!). 

By using this method, she was able to break even on her Facebook Ads campaign! So essentially, Kara built her email list using ads — for free!

Kara's $10,000 Launch Was a Result of Her Pre-launch Strategy and List Size

Kara had a little more than 1,000 subscribers when she started making her products, and because of her pre-launch strategy, she increased that number quite a bit. By the first day of her launch, she had about 2,000 subscribers!

How encouraging is this?! Kara's subscribers were targeted, and she was super intentional, focused, and strategic. With 2,000 email subscribers, she had a $10,000 launch!

Besides Facebook Ads, Kara drew in subscribers from Pinterest by making one or two pins for each of her blog posts.

She was also pretty active in Facebook groups where she knew her avatar (her ideal customer), the blogger, was hanging out in. She felt like she had a bit of an advantage, because she could participate in the “Share Your Freebie” threads and attract those bloggers to her product. 

I love that Kara utilized those free groups and places where her ideal customer hangs out and got in front of them with her awesome Freebie!

“I feel like those groups are kind of like the new link parties,” Kara says.

Kara's Pre-launch Strategy Featured a 3-Day Challenge and Affiliates 

For her prelaunch, Kara did a 3-day challenge on Teachable where each lesson was dripped out, day-by-day.

On the first day, Kara talked about how to spruce up blog pages with popular post graphics for the sidebar. The second day focused on social media, and the third day's topic was lead magnets.

Kara enlisted a couple of high quality bloggers with engaged audiences to share the prelaunch freebie. For each of the 3 days, they had a couple of free templates to play with and share with their followers. One of her affiliates utilized her Facebook group to create buzz, and Kara interacted with everyone there who was taking the challenge. 

As people signed up for Kara’s challenge, her list grew.

This is a really interesting strategy! I have never heard of anyone using a free course in Teachable as the mechanism for delivering their challenge. I like it!

Be Confident: Your Product is Worth Promoting

The launch price for Kara's first product was $76, and after the launch it went up to $97.

On the first day she had a spike in sales from her most loyal audiences members. They bought what she had because they love her stuff. There was a bit of a dip in the middle of her launch, because as a new blogger, Kara wasn't confident enough to send an email every single day. 

But on the last day of her launch, her sales were DOUBLE what she made the entire week prior. So now, Kara always does 2 last day emails. (You just can't deny those numbers for the last day!)

Pro Tip: Kara gives the people on her list an opt-out button for her launch emails. That way they can stay on her list, but not see the launch emails if they aren't interested in that particular product. 

Kara Created a New Product to Help Her Audience Solve a Problem

Kara surveyed her audience and found that (surprise!) they wanted more templates, but she wanted to meet a more specific need. Some of the comments she received were:

  • “I don't have time to create a product.”
  • “I don't know what to make.”
  • “How do I launch my product?”

So for her second big product, The Product Creator's Ultimate Toolbox, Kara templatized her entire Product Launch System. She made templates for surveys, templates for product outlines, a template for the actual design of the product, email templates … basically templates for every step of her launch system!

Kara knows that she is much more productive with a plan, so that's how she structured the product as well. Some of her subscribers had mentioned that they lacked focus, so Kara created a lesson about assigning due dates to keep yourself on track.

“When I was doing client work, I was never late to deliver a project” Kara says. “So I treat myself the same way I would treat a client. If I have a task that needs to be done, I have to get it done by that due date. And that's the only way that I get products done. Because let's face it, it's really easy to say, ‘I kind of just want to take a bath.'”

It's so easy to put things off till tomorrow! But I love how Kara says she ALWAYS meets her deadlines for clients. So you should be your most important client, right? 

You've got to treat yourself with that same level of respect and take yourself seriously!

Meeting Customers' Needs and Enabling Them to Succeed

In her survey, Kara asked her audience what kind of product they wanted to make. All of their answers boiled down into something that could be compiled into a workbook, a planner, or a course. So she went through every single answer and categorized them based on those types of projects.

Then when Kara went to design the templates, she made a bunch of different styles of every single category, so customers could mix and match or just start out with the complete product design and add in their content.

“I try to make my products a tool, more than anything, that can be used over and over again,” Kara says.

By Warming Up Her List, Kara Was Rewarded With a $20,000 Launch

When Kara was planning to launch The Product Creator's Ultimate Toolbox, she was very anxious about it, because creating the templates took three months longer than she anticipated.

Kara learned from past launches that she wanted to send an email every day (whether it was annoying or not!) and on the last day she was going to have at least two emails. She sent out an email to let her affiliates know about the launch, and she sent a pre-launch freebie to her list about three days prior to the actual launch.

On launch day, Kara's launch emails went out to her list and her social media manager posted about it on Facebook a couple times. A few of her affiliates sent it out to their lists, as well. Her goal at that point was to just get her Toolbox out there.

Ninety percent of the sales during her product launch came directly from her email list. She surpassed $20,000 in sales during launch week, and that was with a list of just 6,000 people!

The Product Creator’s Ultimate Toolbox was $97 during launch week, and that included a couple of bonuses (one of them was a funnel workbook!). After that, the price went up to $147, and the price has gone up one more time since then.

Evergreen Funnels Bring In Consistent Cash Flow

Kara says she always does evergreen funnels because launching a product can be exhausting! When people sign up for her pre-launch freebie, they get offered the related product in subsequent emails, so in that way, Kara can sell on auto-pilot.

Right now, Kara has three different evergreen sales funnels running in the background of her business.

Obviously, a launch is going to produce a lot more income in a short amount of time, but having an evergreen system set up in the background between launches is a good way to make consistent income.

Connect with Kara Online

simplifyingDIYdesign.com

Facebook

Instagram

Well, holy cow! Kara is less than 1 ½ years into her brand, and she's already had a $10,000 launch AND a $20,000 launch! It's just incredible!

Start Building Your Email List With a Freebie from Kara

I was so encouraged by chatting with Kara, and it just reiterated for me that I need to focus when it comes to my list building. I need to double down and focus on who my ideal customer is, how I help them, and creating the products that will serve them best.

You don't need a huge list to get huge results! You need a focused, powerful list. 

If you're ready to start building your focused, powerful list, there's a good chance you might need a little help designing that freebie.

If that's the case, Kara's got an awesome resource for you. It's called the Design Your Blog Growth Challenge: Three Days of Easy Design Tasks to Grow Your Blog.

You'll learn how to optimize what you have, boost your traffic on social media, and grow your email list with a gorgeous freebie. Kara has free templates inside this challenge just for you! Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/designblog to sign up for FREE!

And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

The post How Kara Fidd Pulled Off a 20k Digital Product Launch with a Small List appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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7 Things to Post on Instagram Stories When You’re Stumped on What to Say https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/seven-instagram-stories-post-ideas/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/seven-instagram-stories-post-ideas/#respond Fri, 05 Jul 2019 07:30:18 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6931 Instagram Stories can be an incredible way to build close relationships with your audience online and build your business. But … you might be stumped on what to say! (I used to feel that way, too!) After committing to IG Stories for more than 8 months now, I’m no longer stumped on what to say, […]

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Instagram Stories can be an incredible way to build close relationships with your audience online and build your business. But … you might be stumped on what to say! (I used to feel that way, too!)

After committing to IG Stories for more than 8 months now, I’m no longer stumped on what to say, and sharing something daily feels really easy!  

Keep reading (or press play on the podcast player below!) to learn 7 things to share when you have no idea what to say. (And these don’t involve long episodes of teaching or getting on video! These are truly easy-peasy things you can say in a jiffy!)

It’s time to find the fun in IG Stories and use them to build your business!

Instagram Stories can be an incredible way to build close relationships with your audience online and build your business. But… you might be stumped on what to say! (I used to feel that way too!) After committing to IG Stories for over 8 months now, I’m no longer stumped on what to say, and sharing something daily feels really easy! Keep reading (or press play on the podcast player!) to learn 7 Things to Share when you Have No Idea What to Say (and these don’t involve long episodes of teaching or getting on video! These are truly easy-peasy things you can say in a jiffy! It’s time to find the fun in IG Stories and use them to build your business!

Press Play on the Podcast Player below to listen to this podcast episode.

Let's Talk Instagram Story Ideas!

Hey, my friend! I'm so excited to be back in your ears today. We are talking about 7 things to share on Instagram Stories when you're stumped on what to say.

The Stories struggle is real, I get it! It feels exhausting to think of something to say every single 24 hours.

However, I've got ideas for you that are going to make Instagram Stories a lot easier and hopefully help you find the joy, fun, and connection there that I have found.

My How to Be Brilliant on Social Media Course is ON SALE NOW!

My How to Be Brilliant on Social Media course — all about how to stop obsessing over what to post and easily build a loyal tribe — is on sale for a limited time!

If you act now, you can get this course for just $27! I have more than 4,000 happy customers, and they've said that the course is awesome and very thorough (just a reminder that the low price tag doesn't mean it's low quality!).

I have a 30 days, no questions asked refund guarantee, and my refund rate is around 0.01 percent.

This bestselling class will teach you: 

  • How to stop obsessing over what to post 
  • How to build a loyal tribe 
  • The real purpose of social media 
  • How to build strong relationships with your audience (relationships that will last for years to come and truly help you build your business!
  • How to bring the joy back to social media

How to Be Brilliant on Social Media Class Sale

Not only do you get all of that, but I've added some bonus trainings. (If you're a past customer, don't worry, you get these, too!)

My bonus trainings will show you: 

  • What's working on Instagram right now 
  • How to use Instagram stories 
  • Ways to grow with Instagram stories that you may not have considered before 
  • Best practices for the Instagram feed 
  • 100 Conversation Starters, so you’re never stumped on what to say!

Go to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/social to grab my social media course while it's on sale.

The whole point of this training is to emphasize that relationships are first! I want you to get that message. But when you're new, it's nice to grow, too, right? 

I've got awesome, feel-good growth strategies (that aren't hacky or spammy!) that you're going to love and allow you to build new relationships that can last for years to come.

I want to help you figure out what makes you unique. It's not about being a weirdo copycat. This is about finding your own unique voice and making relationship building and growth that much easier.

Feedback for My Social Media Course Has Been Overwhelmingly Positive

Here's what some of my students have said about this class:

I feel like I can be myself. I don't have to post like another influencer. I can have my own style and rhythm to my posting. I also have realized the importance of IG Stories!” Gina P.

“Beth Anne is amazing. I have bought almost all of her courses. You will not be disappointed.” – Hannah M.

“Beth Anne is so giving and personable, you can't go wrong with any of her products.” – Karen M.

“Beth Anne's level of detail is incredible. She talks through the theory of why her strategies work and then also how to implement them. She gives multiple examples so you're empowered to be successful regardless of your niche. I've purchased products from big names before, that cost double the price, and they're not nearly as good as Beth Anne's course.” – Kati K.

Oh my goodness, I can't even tell you how much I love that feedback!

Grab your copy of How to Be Brilliant on Social Media, friend.

Now let’s get into 7 Instagram Stories Strategies!

1. Share Other People's Posts

Do you know that when you're just scrolling through your Instagram feed and you see someone else's post that you want to share with your audience, you can post it on your Stories with just a couple taps?

All you have to do is hit that little paper airplane symbol, choose to share that post, and add it to your Stories.

Before you share it, you can tag that account in your caption just to make double sure that they see it.

My audience loves this, because they're getting exposed to new funny things or new pieces of encouragement. I don't have to have a corner on all of the funny quotes or wise thoughts or business tips and tricks. I can share from other people. There’s room for everyone!

This is great because I didn't have to come up with new content myself, but I'm still adding value to my audience.

You can still add your own interesting thoughts to the top of the Stories post, and if the person you shared likes your thoughts, maybe they'll share your post on their account! It's a win-win because you're both getting exposure!

Now you might be saying, “OK, but I have such a busy day. I'm exhausted and overwhelmed and I don't have an hour to scroll through my Instagram feed looking for something interesting to share.”

If this is your situation, I get it! So what you want to do is when you DO have time to scroll through your feed, hit that little save button on the bottom right of any Instagram post that you think your audience will love (it looks like a little ribbon). 

In my last podcast episode, we talked about the three different content buckets that you should have as your Instagram Stories focus. You can create different collections in your saved posts for those three different content buckets.

For example, if one day is a “mom moment” kind of day, you can go to that collection of posts and share one of those to your Stories.

In a matter of a couple of days, you could save up posts for an entire month! You're sharing encouragement, you're sharing funny things, and you're probably going to get extra exposure for your own account because people love that you're sharing about them.

2. Ask Your Audience a Question

I love to ask my audience questions because they’re my friends! I get to know more about them and their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

This one might feel tricky at first, so go back to those three big content buckets and think about one little area in one of the buckets. For example, I could go into my “Mom Moments” bucket, and then narrow it down a little further to house cleaning.

Then I might ask a general question like, “Any tips for cleaning your house with a toddler around?” or “What's the funniest thing that your kids have ever done while attempting to clean the house?” and see what my audience writes back in that little question box.

When I get a response to my question, I like to share it individually on my Stories and use a cute on-brand stock photo as the background. I also MAKE SURE to tag the person I'm responding to (Instagram won't do this automatically when you share a response)!

My audience really loves when I give them a shout out! They're getting acknowledged for what they had to say and for their thoughtful advice, funny comments, encouragement, or wisdom. 

Plus, if they answer one of my questions, they'll be checking back in with my Stories throughout the day to see if I posted their response!

If your question is more personal, you may want to make a point of saying you won't publicly share your answers. If someone does share something that just seems way too personal, I just make a judgment call to not share it publicly or to not tag the person who shared.

But overall, this approach is really fun because you get to acknowledge your audience members individually! They get their own panel on my Stories and it makes them the star. I'm sharing their wisdom instead of only sharing my own thoughts and opinions.

Posting responses makes it super easy to have content to share all day. People really don't want to view 10 responses all in a row, that's a little much. 

But if I share two or three responses at a time, and then I wait several hours before posting a couple more, it makes it super easy for me to be consistent and present on IG Stories all day!

3. Do a Poll

Polling your audience is very similar to a question, but it's a little less personal. It's a great way to get people's preferences!

I have seen brands use this as market research, but it's also really fun to use it to build community and help people feel less alone. It's really fun to see what people have to say!

4. Shout Out Another Business You Love

This is similar to sharing someone else's post, but in this case it's a way to be able to share someone who takes gorgeous photos or creates an amazing product, and applaud them for doing a great job. 

You can point your audience to another account and say, “Hey, this is someone that you should go check out because she has products that I just absolutely love.”

It's just a way to be another business's cheerleader (“Who can I encourage? Who can I give the spotlight today instead of making it about me?”). 

A lot of brands do this on Fridays for #followfriday, and they might feature 3-5 different business owners that they love.

When I get shared that way, I reshare it on my own feed. Someone else saying they love me is great social proof! (I also return the favor and tell them thank you.)

This goes back to using social media the way I think it should be used, which is for building relationships! When you focus more on what you give versus what you can get, things go so much better.

5. Share a Quote From One of Your Own Posts or Pieces of Content

All you need for this approach is a blank colored panel. I create mine on PicMonkey and then save it to my phone. Then I upload that panel and add any quote that I want (from my most recent podcast episode, blog post, or just a funny anecdote).

If you've been doing this for a while, it doesn't have to be a recent piece of content. You can pull quotes from anywhere and everywhere! Your quote could be a really helpful tip or something new that you're teaching.

You could take two hours once a month and have 15 quote panels ready to go for all the days when you don't feel like making a video.

6. Share a Previous Video From You or Your Life

I take videos of the kids in our life all the time that I don't post Instagram Stories! 

Sometimes I don't post them because it's just not meant for Instagram Stories. 

But sometimes I don't post them just because I was focusing on teaching a ton of stuff that day, so there wasn't any space for a personal video.

So, if I'm stumped on what to say and feeling extra busy a couple weeks later, then I can share that cute video or funny little kid moment video! And that's totally fine. Share what you have the margin to share today.

7. Giveaways!

Who doesn't love a giveaway?!

Now, of course, you've got to keep your budget in mind, but I have to tell you what my friend Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom did on her Instagram Stories.

Crystal did an exclusive giveaway just for her Instagram Stories viewers (it's over now, but she's having another one soon!), challenging them to like all of her posts from June and then DM her to be entered into a gift card drawing. Super easy!

Crystal Paine, @themoneysavingmom

She did face-to-camera videos talking about the giveaway, but you don't have to do that! You can do a static image post or a couple of panels where you explain what your giveaway is going to be. You could pair up with a friend and do a joint giveaway. There are so many options!

And again, because it's Instagram Stories, you don't necessarily need to have the same level of gorgeous, polished, perfect graphics for your giveaway that you would curate for your feed.

With These 7 Instagram Stories Tips, You Have No More Excuses!

OK, friends, you can now no longer use the excuse that you're not using Instagram Stories because you have no idea what to say!

I'd love to hear back from you if you start using Instagram Stories more regularly! Send me a DM @brilliantbizmom on Instagram and tell me all about it. And if you tag me in your stories and tell me about it, I might even share you on my own Stories! I would love to cheer you on!

Still Stumped? My Social Media Course is on Sale! 

If you're still stumped on how to structure all that other content you want to share on social media, and you want to build relationships and a loyal tribe, then you need to go grab my course, How to Be Brilliant on Social Media.

It's on sale for $27 for a limited time. You can grab it at brilliantbusinessmoms.com/social.

Seriously, My Students LOVE This Course!

A few more of my customers gave me feedback that I'd love to share with you!

“Since taking the course, I feel I've been able to stop obsessing over the perfect thing to say and allow myself to have more fun with it. This has allowed my audience to enjoy my presence so much more and also inspired them to do the same. I started to get a lot more DMs on Instagram and make solid connections, which often turn to sales just through being who I am and talking about what lights me up. There is nothing that makes me glow more than when I get a comment like, ‘OMG, how are you in my head right now?' or ‘I needed to hear this today so much.'” – Amber R.

“The biggest success and win I've had in my social media accounts since going through Beth Anne's course is confidence in creating content that is ME and is FUN. I'm just starting to build a following and I'm confident that my content is improving and I'm communicating better to my audience. I'm communicating my story, my products, and my ‘why' much better.” – Christina S.

“I love your authentic self! Thanks for the very valuable content for an affordable price. As a startup, this was so helpful.”

That is something I love, as well! I try to keep my products as affordable as possible. Of course, it's a business, but I love having products that fit within the budgets of so many brilliant moms who are just like me and don't have unlimited cash to spend. I totally get that.

So even though this is a $47 product (regular price), it's really meaty and helpful no matter what stage of business you're at.

I also have a 30-day, no questions asked, money back guarantee, because I'm confident that it will be helpful and that you're going to love it.

So make sure you head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/social to grab your copy of How to Be Brilliant on Social Media.

And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

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Instagram Stories: Why They’re Important for Your Business https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/instagram-stories-important-business/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/instagram-stories-important-business/#respond Wed, 03 Jul 2019 07:30:22 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6925 Have you written off Instagram Stories for your business because they feel too time-consuming or complicated? I used to feel the same way!  When I finally dug deep and learned how to use Stories to connect with my audience, I discovered it was EASY to always have content to share by deciding on my 3 […]

The post Instagram Stories: Why They’re Important for Your Business appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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Have you written off Instagram Stories for your business because they feel too time-consuming or complicated? I used to feel the same way! 

When I finally dug deep and learned how to use Stories to connect with my audience, I discovered it was EASY to always have content to share by deciding on my 3 main content buckets, and I discovered that by focusing on building relationships most of all, I’m able to convert WAY MORE of my Instagram Stories viewers into customers than on any other platform.

Don’t ignore Instagram Stories, because they’re a powerful way to build your business! Keep reading for best practices and strategies that work.

Have you written off Instagram Stories for your business because they feel too time-consuming or complicated? I used to feel the same way! When I finally dug deep and learned how to use Stories to connect with my audience, I discovered it was EASY to always have content to share by deciding on my 3 main content buckets, and I discovered that by focusing on building relationships most of all, I’m able to convert WAY MORE of my Instagram Stories viewers into customers than on any other platform. Don’t ignore Instagram Stories, because they’re a powerful way to build your business! Keep reading for best practices and strategies that work.

Press Play on the Podcast Player below to listen to this podcast episode.

How to Be Brilliant on Social Media is On Sale for a Limited Time!

Hello friend! I have some exciting news to share with you!

My course, How to Be Brilliant on Social Media, is on sale for a short time!

I currently have more than 4,000 students in this course. It's regularly priced at $47, but if you get it right now, it's only $27! And I've even added some extra trainings and bonuses!

This bestselling class will:

  • Show you how to stop obsessing over what to post
  • Easily build a loyal tribe
  • Show you the real purpose of social media
  • How to build strong relationships with your audience (relationships that will last for years to come and truly help you build your business!)
  • Help you bring the joy back to social media

Not only do you get all of that, but I've added some bonus trainings. (If you're a past customer, don't worry, you get these, too!)

My bonus trainings will show you:

  • What's working on Instagram right now
  • How to use Instagram stories
  • Ways to grow with Instagram stories that you may not have considered before
  • Best practices for the Instagram feed
  • 100 Conversation Starters, so you’re never stumped on what to say!

Even if you haven't seen past success with hashtags, for example, there are many other growth strategies that you can use on Instagram. I can't wait to share them with you in this course!

This Course is for YOU as You Grow Your Business in the Margins

I've been accused of underpricing my products in the past, and it's true, I really do.

I've even had people reach out to me and say, “Beth Anne, I didn't buy your social media class for the longest time because it was priced so low, and I felt like it was just going to be fluffy nonsense. Who is offering helpful content at this price point?”

But finally those people decided to see what the hype was all about (thousands of customers and great reviews go a long way!). And after they purchased the course, they LOVED it, and recommended I bump up the price to reflect the content quality.

But here's the thing: I get the reality of being a stay-at-home mom and trying to grow your business in the margins. So that's why I try to have products at a variety of price points.

In my business, I am able to have premium courses AND mini classes that I can price more affordably! It works for me and I especially love that it works for moms who are on just about any budget. I'm so excited about this sale!

Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/social to grab my How to Be Brilliant on Social Media class for just $27! This sale won't last forever!

My Past Students Have Loved This Class!

Here's what some of my students just today had to say about the class:

“I love the simplicity and the straightforward approach!”

“I loved the post prompt ideas. It's challenging to create unique content each day, and sometimes I just need a question to respond to. I found the prompts alone to be massively valuable, not to mention everything else I learned in the course.” – Amber Rochelle

“This course was pretty loaded! It's a lot to learn and it's a lot for your money.”

“This course pushed me to get outside of my comfort zone and try new things, especially Instagram stories.” – Gina

I Challenged Myself to Try Instagram Stories for a Month and Here's What Happened

In today's podcast episode I'm talking all about Instagram Stories and why they matter.

I want to tell you a little bit about my own journey with Instagram Stories. When it first came out a couple of years ago, I personally felt like Stories were super exhausting to create. They felt really stressful to me.

As someone who is especially wordy and used to recording long Facebook Lives or podcast episodes, I felt very limited by the short video format.

It took me a while to really get comfortable with Stories, and I'm so glad that I didn't just throw in the towel early on and just say, “OK, Stories are not for me. I'm too wordy and it's taking up too much of my time. No, thank you.”

It wasn't until late last year that I gave Stories another try. I wasn't really sure what was going to happen, but I knew that if I didn't commit, I would never find out! So I committed to being on Stories every day for a month as an experiment. 

I also shifted my mindset and told myself that if I was consistent, that it would get easier. That shift made a big difference, because for the longest time my attitude towards Stories was that it was time-consuming and exhausting.

So every single day when I was tempted to not hop on Stories, I told myself, “This will get easier.” And it did! For the past 6 months, I've been an almost daily IG Stories contributor.

It takes less time for me to post on Stories now, because I've found a groove and stopped overanalyzing my content.

And here's the very best part: Stories are way more fun, too! I get to be spontaneous, share funny mom moments from my life, and share anything that's inspiring or encouraging me that I think my audience would love.

Building Relationships is My Chief Goal with Instagram Stories

My favorite part of IG Stories is all of the relationships that I've built with my viewers. So when you think about giving Stories a try, I want you to think about it in terms of the relationships that you can build.

I hear a lot of Instagrammers talk about the fact that they don't have the swipe up function because they have less than 10,000 followers. And so why should they even give Stories a try? They can't get the click through. So who cares?

Friend, that is a crazy mindset, if I do say so myself!

You've likely been posting in the Instagram feed for years now, and there's no direct way for people to click on that post and come to your website, right? You always have to tell them to click the link in your profile. Well, you can do the same thing with your Instagram Stories!

Just make a pretty link for your blog posts, podcast episodes, shop, email, Freebie, signup page, and just plaster that text all over those story panels when you want people to click (and, of course, also send them to the link in your profile). You can also tell your viewers to send you a DM so you can share the link with them individually.

So, to me, this whole swipe up excuse is just crazy talk. I think the bigger issue is that you're completely missing the point of Instagram Stories.

The point isn't just to drive traffic to your website or get more email signups. Those things are great, but primarily you should use Instagram stories (and every form of social media other than Pinterest) to build relationships.

Strong relationships matter so much more than reach, views, or click throughs. They are what you need to build a healthy business, because no one can take that away from you.

So many of my audience members have become dear friends, and I love them so much. I know their biggest passions, goals, how many kids they have, who homeschools … maybe that sounds creepy, but to me, not so much! That's what gets me excited and amped up to be on Instagram Stories on a regular basis.

Treat Your Audience Like Friends and You'll Never Run Out of Content

The other really common question I get about Instagram stories is, “What the heck would I even say every day? How are you coming up with things to share or say multiple times a day? That seems exhausting.”

Well, again, when you reframe it and start looking at those individuals viewing your stories as your online BFFs, it really changes what you share and how you share it.

I'm not saying that you need to go on Instagram Stories and air your dirty laundry! There are some things you might text your BFF that you're not going to share on your Instagram stories.

But think about like the GIFs, memes, and funny moments from your day that you text your real life BFF. You might share an article with your friend that you're both interested in. You might text them a little note to encourage them if they're having a hard day. 

As soon as you start approaching your social media audience this way, it really changes the dynamic there.

Now with that, you need to remember that these are friends with a particular interest, and that's why they're following you. My friends on Instagram Stories, for the most part, are following me because they are moms who want to grow a business in the margins. 

So the things that we have in common are: motherhood, business, and goal-setting and productivity. Knowing these commonalities allows me to divide my Stories content into those three spheres.

I share lots of funny little snippets of what my kids are doing and mom moments I'm having (even maybe a more difficult mom moment!), because I want to give my audience a good laugh, cheer them up a little bit, or give them some encouragement so they don't feel so alone.

I want them to know they're doing an amazing job as a mom. It's okay to live in this push-pull space — to not have everything figured out but still be able to trust that you're doing the best you can. 

I see you, I support you, and I'm with you in that same struggle. We're in this together!

What are the three main topics that your audience will most resonate with?

One of my awesome students, Bailey of Purple Rose Bows, does a great job of sharing her day-to-day interactions with her son and daughter. Her primary customers are moms with little girls, so they relate to those behind the scenes shots, the cute kid moments, and the mom moments.

Bailey also shares lots of cute hair bow content. She'll share styling tips, new designs, or how her daughter is wearing her hair bow that day.

Bailey's third topic is the #momlife angle. Like on her Stories today, she was talking about her laundry woes and asking her audience, “Who can commiserate? Who's in this boat with me?” So her audience completely relates to her life in that way, too.

If you're someone who doesn't like to share your kids online, that is totally fine! You can pick three different areas to share. If you had a hair bow business, you could share about hair bows and also share funny mom memes, for example. Or even just you relaying a story about a funny mom moment when your kids aren't there.

There are plenty of ways that you can come up with three main content buckets that you want to share about on Instagram Stories, and you should definitely do what's most comfortable to you.

What's Better on Instagram Stories: Photos or Videos?

The other question I wanted to answer in this podcast episode came from Ashley inside my Facebook group. She asked, “Do you share more photos or more videos on your Instagram Stories?”

I think if you're nervous about Instagram stories, you can absolutely start off just sharing photos with captions. I did a lot of that during this past planner season. I'd share a lovely photo of the Brilliant Life Planner with a little caption and a link to the shop, and those did really well.

But what I have noticed for my own Instagram Stories is that when I am doing face-to-camera videos, I get more DMs and responses. 

When I share a hard lesson I've learned, offer some encouragement to fellow moms, or give insight on a valuable business lesson, that's when people take the time to DM me and say, “That was so helpful. Thank you so much for sharing this, that was just what I needed to hear today.” Those messages warm my heart!

I also add text to every single panel for people who don't have the sound on or are in a situation where it doesn't make sense to have the sound on their phone. They can still interact with my Stories even if they can't audibly hear me.

I definitely see much more drop off on my Stories if I'm doing longer videos (typically anything more than a minute). But I'm not worried about that, because I'm also going to see way more personal responses back from people. Relationships matter more than reach.

So I do want to encourage you to give those face-to-camera videos a try! You don't necessarily have to look all pretty and polished every single day. (I've definitely given that up and use filters as needed. I don't love using the filters, I'd rather just be natural old me, but really depends on how ragged I am for that day.)

More Than Half of My Students Are Also My Instagram Stories Viewers

This is a stat I think you can all get behind: More than half of my premium course customers were Instagram Stories, viewers of mine! I could look down my customer list and go, “Yep, I see you in my DMs all the time. You're in my DMs all the time. You are, you are, you are. I know all these people!”

It was exciting to welcome all these new students and feel like I already knew them! It's extra special fun to teach someone who is my friend, because I already have a sense for where they're at and what their big goals and dreams are.

Those sales did not come from being pushy or making anyone feel like they had to purchase. They just came because I had built relationships with all of them and it was easier to say, “I want to be part of Beth Anne's because I like the way she teaches me on Instagram Stories. I like her style. She has the same values as me.”

My viewers who became customers want the same kind of life that I have, and that was really powerful for me to realize. Just sharing my life with all of these wonderful, amazing women by being their friend was why they chose to purchase from me. People buy from other people they know, like, and trust. It's so true!

So be brave, my friend. You can do this. You can invite people into the parts of your world that you want them to see. Start by sharing the things you would share with a new friend, share your values, and lead by example. Your audience is watching way more than you might think they are!

Don't focus on what you can get out of people today. Just ask yourself, “How can I help my people today? How can I encourage them today? How can I give them a little bright spot to their day?” I think you'll be amazed at how you can build relationships and have a wonderful time using Instagram Stories.

Stay Tuned for Another Podcast Episode on Instagram Stories Content Prompts!

If you're struggling with knowing what content to put in, your content buckets (“What do I actually share. Beth Anne?!”), I'm going to cover that in more detail in my next podcast episode. We will talk about 7 things to share on IG Stories when you're stumped on what to say.

I think you'll breathe a lot easier after that episode because you'll realize you don't have to constantly record videos of yourself to make Instagram Stories work for you. You're going to love that and be amped up and be that much more prepared to be consistently present on Instagram stories!

Grab My Social Media Course Deal While It Lasts!

Make sure you grab my course, How to Be Brilliant on Social Media. It is $27 for a short time, and it's worth a lot more (so my audience tells me!)

Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/social, particularly if this discussion on building relationships and treating your audience like friends resonates with you. You're going to love the course because that is a main focus of what I talk about, and I feel like it's just a breath of fresh air in this stressful, overwhelming online marketing world. And I really want to help you bring that joy back when it comes to social media!

And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

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Building a Planner Sticker Business by Caring for Customers First with Ashley Monda of Sunshine Sticker Co. https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/building-planner-sticker-business-caring-for-customers-first/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/building-planner-sticker-business-caring-for-customers-first/#respond Sat, 29 Jun 2019 07:30:49 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6906 Well hello, my Brilliant Business Moms friend!  I'm so excited that you're joining me for another episode of the podcast. I don't take for granted that you're spending your precious time with me. I feel so lucky! Today I'm talking with Ashley Monda of Sunshine Sticker Co. I have known Ashley for quite a few […]

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Well hello, my Brilliant Business Moms friend! 

I'm so excited that you're joining me for another episode of the podcast. I don't take for granted that you're spending your precious time with me. I feel so lucky!

Today I'm talking with Ashley Monda of Sunshine Sticker Co. I have known Ashley for quite a few years in the online business space, and I've watched her grow this business from the ground up.

Ashley started Sunshine Sticker Co. in 2015 and is currently making a steady income from it! 

She has had such incredible focus: She hasn't veered off course, she knows who her customers are, and she serves them by continually creating and giving them all the planner products that they want!

Ashley has used her Facebook group to build really strong relationships with her customers and earn more sales in the process. You're going to love hearing about that, because Ashley didn't have to build up a beast of a Facebook group to see results! Her group has about 3,200 members and is the lifeblood of her business.

I just love her focus on taking care of her customers. We all know that is the very best way to build your business. So let's dive in!

Today I'm talking with Ashley Monda of Sunshine Sticker Co. I have known Ashley for quite a few years in the online business space, and I've watched her grow this business from the ground up. Ashley started Sunshine Sticker Co. in 2015 and is currently making a steady income from it! She has had such incredible focus: She hasn't veered off course, she knows who her customers are, and she serves them by continually creating and giving them all the planner products that they want! Ashley has used her Facebook group to build really strong relationships with her customers and earn more sales in the process. You're going to love hearing about that, because Ashley didn't have to build up a beast of a Facebook group to see results! Her group has about 3,200 members and is the lifeblood of her business. I just love her focus on taking care of her customers. We all know that is the very best way to build your business.

Press Play on the Podcast Player below to hear Annie’s story.

Staking a Claim in the Planner Sticker Niche

Sunshine Sticker Co. was born in 2015, after Ashley organically stumbled across the planner sticker marketplace and community on Instagram. She started the company with another Brilliant Business Mom, but after a few months they decided to part ways.

“I was like, ‘I can make planner stickers, I can do this!’ And I feel really blessed to have gotten in when I did, because it's blown up so huge now,” Ashley says.

Ashley Shares Foolproof Instagram Strategies and Hashtag Hacks

Ashley posted consistently on Instagram during the early days of her business, when it was much easier to be seen by her audience.

She tries not to overpost about her own products, but also mixes in other people's products that she uses.

Ashley's lifestyle posts tend to perform a lot better, because she lets her audience see her personality, what she believes in, and just how she rolls! She gets the best interaction and connection with her customers this way, too.

Ashley finds that she's able to draw in new viewers with the hashtags she uses! She has two sets of hashtags, one for her regular Sunshine Sticker Co. posts and another for bullet journaling posts.

She uses a keyboard shortcut to automatically populate all of her preferred hashtags! (This is brilliant!

Sometimes she'll switch things up by deleting a couple or replacing a couple just to keep things fresh.

Using hashtags on IG Stories has helped boost Ashley's views there too. She tested this out during a promotion she was running, and the IG Stories that she used hashtags on had a couple hundred more views than her regular IG Stories!

(Instagram hack: Put hashtags on your story and then cover them with a cute GIF!

Fun Promotions Are a Great Incentive to Buy

Ashley likes to run fun promotions for her customers, because she's noticed offering an incentive to purchase increases her sales. A couple weeks ago, she offered a free “It's a Planner Thing, You Wouldn't Understand” pinback button with purchase. It's so cute and it makes sense because it's such a perfect fit for her audience!

Courtesy Sunshine Sticker Co.

Courtesy Sunshine Sticker Co.

I think sometimes people tend to overanalyze the scarcity factor and think they need to do something fancy or a big sale. 

But I love that Ashley just did a fun free gift that was so on point for her customers and — BOOM —they rushed over to buy because they really wanted to get their hands on the free gift!

Know What Your Product is Worth and Price Appropriately

Ashley has learned that pricing her products appropriately (not too low!) lets people know that she values her product and knows what it's worth. She credits this approach with how she has retained her customers.

“I'm literally the only person in here from start to finish. I'm making every single thing, and so when I offer you a 30 percent discount, that's 30 percent off of what I'm paying myself!” Ashley says.

Instead of offering a lot of sales, Ashley uses a Shopify app called Smile.io to give rewards points to her customers. 

They can earn points for every dollar they spend at Sunshine Sticker Co., following Ashley on social media, reviewing a product, and sharing things on Facebook. You can even earn points for your birthday!

I love Ashley's system because her customers get rewarded for doing things that build up her following. 

Currently, Ashley has 772 members signed up for her rewards program!

Ashley Uses Her Facebook Group to Connect with Customers

Ashley says the best place to connect with her is in the Sunshine Sticker Co. Facebook group, which has about 3,200 members.

She loves to interact with her fans there and engage in fun conversations, encouraging posts, and lots of creativity. (Insider tip: This is where Ashley shares what she's working on, too!)

“I love my Facebook group, they're just so awesome,” Ashley says. “You can post something and get instant feedback on something you're working on or build excitement right away because people are always there no matter what time of day. There's always somebody up in the world somewhere!”

Ashley started her Facebook group when they were starting to become popular in the planner community. To build up the group, she invited her Instagram followers to join and also did a couple joint giveaways with some of her planner community peers.

(They shared about Ashley's group inside THEIR Facebook groups! Hello, brilliant way to earn new group members!) Ashley found this approach to be really effective!

I love hearing that Ashley's group is so active and vibrant! I think that's encouraging for my podcast listeners, because you don't have to build up a ridiculously massive Facebook group to be successful.

Treating Customers Like Friends Builds Community + Sales

Whether it's a promo, a funny anecdote, or a giveaway, Ashley posts in her Facebook group every day. She's found that treating her customers like friends and sharing life with them has made the community so special.

Consistency and commitment are so important to business growth, and Ashley's group is working because she's showing up there and building those relationships with her customers.

“They know when they purchase from me, my hands are on it from start to finish and their order makes a significant impact in my life and my kids' life and my family's life. It's just more meaningful, and I want them to know how much I appreciate that,” Ashley says.

I love that! When I'm thinking about a product that I need in my life, I think, “Who are all the awesome shop owners that I love to buy from and would they have what I'm looking for?”

I always think about those people first because they feel like friends, right? You get to know who they are! That's the secret sauce that a big company can never have.

Partnering with Other Business Owners Builds Customer Confidence

Ashley partners with other planner-related business owners to build relationships and to support them in their craft. 

Purchasing and sharing another company's product or doing a collaboration on a product is so huge. Not only do you build up a rapport with each other, you give confidence to your audience that you're promoting each other's quality products.

“It's just so important to share other handmade business owners. Everybody works so hard and they're so amazing at their craft, especially all the people that draw their own stickers. I only do that a little bit, and I'm just like, ‘Holy moly, I don't know how you do that all the time!'” Ashley says.

Ashley has worked out a deal with a few companies where they buy something from each other each month. If it's a product she can't use, she'll use it as a giveaway in her Facebook group to give back to the people who support her.

I love that Ashley cheers her community on instead of competing with it. People can be so weird about the whole online competition thing, when in reality, there's enough room for everyone!

Staying Organized Helps Ashley Stay on Top of Her Business

Ashley does all the order fulfillment herself, and she has a LOT of products in her shop! I'm amazed at how she keeps track of it all!

To keep inventory organized, Ashley assigns a serial number to each sticker set and stores them in plastic bins with dividers. 

Courtesy Sunshine Sticker Co.

She keeps 5-6 of each sticker sheet in stock to make them easier to pull. 

To keep all of her digital files in order, Ashley uses Dropbox.

Ashley says serial numbers also make customer service easier. If a customer messages Ashley with a question about their order, she can ask for the serial number and help that customer quickly and efficiently.

Ashley uses Etsy + Shopify to Reach Her Audience and Generate Sales

Right now, 60 percent of Ashley's sales come from Shopify and 40 percent come from Etsy.

When Ashley promotes her products, she typically shares her Shopify link, because she makes more money there. But she sees the convenience of having an Etsy shop, too.

So when people ask her, “Shopify or Etsy?” her answer is, “Both!”

Ashley Outsources Tasks So She Can Focus on Her Designs

At the beginning of this year, Ashley spent 2 weeks just hammering out new designs.

A new sticker design is typically released every Friday, and Ashley puts out a mini kit on Mondays. She tries really hard to stay at least a month ahead of schedule, but sometimes that doesn't always happen!

“I try to give myself grace when I fall behind by my standards,” she says.

Another thing Ashley did this year was invest in people that can help her, because she’s too busy to do everything herself.

She hired someone to help her cut stickers, employed someone to do a lot of the product listings (she says that has been absolutely priceless), and outsourced her bookkeeping.

It can be a big step for a business owner to hire outside help. It's also an extra expense! But Ashley has found that her revenue is higher this year because she has focused on putting out quality products and designs.

It has also saved her sanity and helped her be a better mom, because she's not stressing about little details while she's at home with her kids.

Knowing that the details of her business are done right and done by someone Ashley trusts is amazing. To her, it's so much more rewarding than taking home $200 more a month!

Giving away tasks that felt overwhelming to Ashley actually helped her get ahead! It has freed up so many hours for her to be able to focus on her main job: Creating designs.

Connect with Ashley

Instagram 

Website

Facebook

And in case you were wondering, Ashley designed the Brilliant Business Moms stickers!

Courtesy Brilliant Business Moms

Courtesy Brilliant Business Moms

Get Your FREE Marketing Plan!

I love Ashley's focus on serving her customers, taking care of them, using that Facebook group to let them know about new products, and just becoming friends with her customers.

Now, Ashley is kind of a beast when it comes to releasing new products. I mean she releases new designs every single week. She is so focused and just amazing at what she does!

If you don't have the margin to release new designs every week, but you would love to build more excitement around your design releases, your product releases, or even your digital product, I've created a Brilliant Marketing Plan that'll show you all the steps you need to take.

This free 20-page guide is geared toward a product launch model, where you might spend a month or two developing your product, build excitement and anticipation for the product, and then release it into the world.

I think you’ll get a lot out of my free marketing plan, because you’ll see every single thing that you need to do to be organized, to take your audience on the right journey, and to get them to move their buns to buy your wonderful product!

All you need to do to get your hands on that marketing plan is go to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/marketingplan. I promise you'll learn some new things and walk away from that marketing plan with some new ideas for how you can grow your business even more.

And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

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How Instagram and Baby Steps Built This Stay-at-Home Mom’s Business with Artist Annie Quigley https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/instagram-baby-steps-built-business-artist-annie-quigley/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/instagram-baby-steps-built-business-artist-annie-quigley/#respond Wed, 19 Jun 2019 15:12:57 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6874 Do you ever feel like you can’t start or grow your business right now because …. (fill in the blanks here – life’s too busy, your kiddos are little and need too much of your time, your kiddos are BIG and need too much of your time, life’s too stressful, you don’t have enough support, […]

The post How Instagram and Baby Steps Built This Stay-at-Home Mom’s Business with Artist Annie Quigley appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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Do you ever feel like you can’t start or grow your business right now because …. (fill in the blanks here – life’s too busy, your kiddos are little and need too much of your time, your kiddos are BIG and need too much of your time, life’s too stressful, you don’t have enough support, and the list goes on….)

The fastest way to pull yourself out of excuse-land is to take one little baby step every single day. You can absolutely find a few minutes a day to start making progress. And life doesn’t have to be perfect to get started.

Annie Quigley of AnnieQuigleyArtist.com is proof that baby steps pay off. She started her online art business when her first baby was born. She worked in the margins as a stay-at-home mom. THEN, her husband deployed for 14 months and she had TWO babies at home!

She worked at nap time every single day, and built up a business that now provides a full-time income for her family!

She honed her craft, never gave up, posted consistently on Instagram, and builds relationships there to keep her sales strong.

Learn how Artist Annie Quigley takes baby steps every single day to build her business. No excuses brilliant mama! Annie built her successful online art business during naptime! She also dishes on her Instagram strategies for growth! Click to hear Annie’s story and to learn how you can start your online business in the margins too.

Press Play on the Podcast Player below to hear Annie’s story.

Mamapreneur of the Week:
Annie Quigley

Annie Quigley, of AnnieQuigleyArtist.com, paints the most beautiful floral canvases and other gorgeous products for your home! She's also a mom to two little girls and a wife to a National Guard Serviceman.

Annie Quigley

Annie Quigley

What you'll discover about Annie is that she built her business while her husband was deployed for 14 months and she had two little babies at home (who are only about a year apart!).

She was on a bootstrap budget, and even talks about finding her painting supplies at garage sales.

Annie started her business with a $100 investment, and now it provides a full-time income for her family!

She has this wonderful philosophy of just taking baby steps every single day, and it's incredible how that mentality has helped her to grow. She works and grows her business in the margins, and by simply taking baby steps every single day for the past four years, she has built an incredible business.

“I love your intro when you talk about running a business in the margins because I don't know anything else. All I know is running my business in the little chunks of time I find,” Annie says.

Annie Uses Instagram to Build Her Business and Connect with New People

I stumbled across Annie on Instagram and immediately loved everything she was doing. She such a talented artist, and her Instagram captions are so cute and funny!

Annie says she loves Instagram for connecting with people. “I feel like I've made so many good friends that way. I know oftentimes we get so discouraged with Instagram, but …there are so many connections I've made on Instagram, and I honestly would not have the business that I have if it weren't for this platform.”

Annie Grew Up Loving Art and Painting

Annie comes from a very creative family. She describes them as “right-brained” kind of people, and credits her mom with giving her a love and passion for artwork by encouraging creativity.

In high school, Annie took art classes and had an incredible art teacher.  That time in her life built a really solid foundation for understanding drawing and painting. “Artwork was always a way of getting through the hard times in life,” Annie says.

When Annie graduated from high school and went to college, she stopped making art because she was busy trying to navigate being an adult. But after trying a couple semesters of college and realizing it wasn't her thing, she went back to her roots.

Annie lived in the apartment above her family's homemade gift boutique and ran the shop with her mom, who encouraged her to start painting again. Annie took up her brush and hasn't stopped since, and that's how her business started!

Annie started selling her artwork in her family's boutique. Then when her daughter was born, she got really serious about perfecting her craft, because she wanted to work from home and have lots of time for her daughter.

Annie Set Up Her Etsy Shop When Her Daughter was 3 Weeks Old

Annie started her Etsy shop when her second daughter was 3 weeks old!

“I was leaning against the futon, setting up my Etsy shop, and I thought, ‘I'm doing it, I'm going to start selling online!’ I finally mustered up the courage to navigate the world of Etsy,” Annie says.

You know what's so interesting? I feel like so many moms I've talked to get so much done in that period, right after they've had a baby or that's when a brand new big idea springs forth!

Florals and the Vintage 1950s Influence Annie's Painting Style

When Annie first started painting, she painted every single day, and that's how she developed her style. It's not just something that happened overnight!

“Everyone who finds ‘success' in the creative entrepreneurial world…it doesn't happen overnight. It takes practice, you don't just fall into success,” Annie says.

Annie's style of painting was influenced by the family boutique's vintage 1950s aesthetic and her parents' love of flowers. Her dad, a retired NYC fireman, tended a flower garden in their New York backyard while she was growing up!

Courtesy Annie Quigley

Courtesy Annie Quigley

Instagram and Personal Connections Help Annie to Make More Sales

Annie doesn't remember what triggered her to start an Instagram account, but when she made one, her mom said, “Don't do that. Nobody's on Instagram.”

Her first Instagram post got 2 likes, but within a year of posting photos of her paintings, her Etsy listings were selling out within minutes.

Annie credits Instagram with helping her get a lot of her sales today, but it took time to build up her presence on the platform. Her early success on Etsy was a result of forming relationships through her family's shop and with the local community.

“I know the online world can be hard, and I feel like when people are just starting out, if you're only online it can be really discouraging,” Annie says. “So I often tell people, if they're just starting out, to get into their local shops and form relationships that way. Don't just jump in and sell your work online and wonder why no one's buying it.”

That's so true! I think we take for granted the power of our own network of our friends and family and how they are our first customers and cheerleaders. They help spread the word to get us in front of new people.

Measure Your Business Success By How You Build Relationships

Business success depends A LOT on how well you build relationships, and sometimes we take that for granted.

If you have one person get in touch with you through Instagram, you give them the very best you possibly can, and then you go from there. They might tell a friend (or two, or five!) It's not about having the most followers, it's about starting where you're at. That one person who contacts you could be a loyal customer forever!

“Don't just shoot for the stars right from the very beginning, because that's how you get defeated so quickly,” Annie says.

Customer Photos Create More Relationship Building + Marketing

Annie tries to send personalized notes with each package and asks for pictures, because getting those customer pictures means so much to her. She loves seeing how her artwork is displayed in someone’s home.

Every time she gets one, she runs to her husband and says, “Ahh! Look at the picture I just got!”

(Check out my IG Stories and see if you can spot two of Annie's paintings in the background!)

Plus, having happy customer photos is a great marketing tool too!  

Courtesy Annie Quigley

Courtesy Annie Quigley

Annie Creates Margin By Sticking to a Routine

When Annie was selling out of things in her shop on a regular basis, she had about 3,000-5,000 followers. It wasn't a ton, but it was enough of a following that they wanted to grab her products as soon as they were listed!

At that point, Annie had a 1-year-old and a newborn, and she made sure they took one long nap in the middle of the day so that could be her time to work.

She would paint and then show sneak peeks throughout the week, so her followers knew there would be new products in the shop by the end of the week.

Annie would shoot for making a monetary amount each week, and then create the number of paintings that would help her reach that goal. In the beginning, she was making 20-30 pieces a week, all during her girls' nap time!

The best advice Annie received from her mom was to create a routine and stick with it. So Annie painted every single day for two years. She had the same routine for her children every single day. (And this was when her husband was deployed for 14 months!)

I want to encourage moms out there to fight for that routine! It might take more time, effort, and work (and maybe even some heartache and tears!), but in the long run, it’s a lifesaver. Plus your kids will get more sleep and (hopefully) be happier!

Annie encourages moms to focus on baby steps in their business. She can't grow her business as fast now as she did in the beginning, because she's in a different season of life with her kids. But that's OK, because the little chunks of time she spends on her work all add up at the end of the month.

Growing a Successful Business Means Doing What You Can With What You Have

Annie's story is such proof to any mom out there who is saying, “I would love to build a business online, but …”

All of the factors in Annie's life could have held her back, but she just did what she could with what she had, and now she brings home a full-time income with her artwork, which is just amazing!

Four years ago, Annie spent less than $100 to start her business. She bought her domain name and got a table and some brushes from a yard sale.

Today, Annie still works in the corner of her kitchen, in the little space where she started her business, but now, her business brings in a full-time income for her family!

Courtesy Annie Quigley

“Here’s a picture of our happy little kitchen. That little table there is where I hand paint all of the artwork you see on here.” – @anniequigleyartist

Annie’s Perseverance Was Rewarded With a Product Line

A year ago, Annie started doing art licensing. This means that Annie’s gorgeous floral prints now show up on a wide range of different products, like dish towels, mugs, and other gift items. Other companies can manufacture those items by licensing Annie’s designs from her.

Annie receives a royalty check each month from the sales she makes through the company that licenses her designs. It’s been a wonderful addition to her business, but it didn’t happen without perseverance on her part!

Annie established her connection with this larger company through a mutual artist friend, but was initially turned away! She inquired again, and 6 months later she received an offer to create a line of products.

I love that! I don't love that Annie got turned away, but I love that she tried again! So many people would be like, “Oh, I guess it's just a no,” and they would just leave it at that. But Annie didn't give up, and her perseverance was rewarded with a product line and a royalty check each month!  Heck yes!

Instagram is A Powerful Tool to Promote Your Business

I think Instagram is the most powerful online platform right now, as far as building up your business, creating relationships, and gaining new customers. Annie's sales numbers are proof of that!

Annie says she looks at which posts perform the best and then uses that information to help her figure out what kind of content to create in the future.

A lot of people have told Annie to show her face more on her Instagram profile. But the posts where Annie shows her face don't trend well!

So she shows up on IG Stories and talks to people there, but most of her posts are pictures of digital art with a quote or florals, because those are the posts that have performed the best.

Annie uses hashtags frequently on her posts (she uses Plann to put together her best-performing hashtag set), and says 60-80 percent of her views come from those hashtags!

A year ago, she was only getting 9 or 10 views from hashtags, but now she can get up to 10,000 views on one post!

Since Annie started focusing on posting artwork to her profile, she says it's been the easiest and most authentic Instagram growth that she's had since she started.

Annie says, there are weeks when reach, views, and engagement are down, and that’s really frustrating. But overall, she would 100 percent recommend Instagram to any mom who wants to start and grow a business from home.

Courtesy Annie Quigley

Courtesy Annie Quigley

Caring for Others is Good for Business

I tried to get Annie to spill more beans about her top secret strategy, but she laughed and said, “I’m more right-brained, I don’t have all these strategies for growth!”

Her philosophy is paying attention to what’s working, doing more of that, AND building relationships with all of the wonderful people who are already engaging with her on Instagram.

“When people comment on your posts, talk back to them!” Annie says. She focuses on each individual, forming relationships with them and caring about the people who are taking time out of their day to talk with her.

“It comes down to being a human being and caring about other people. Just wanting to have friends and serve your audience well,” Annie says.

The Secret Weapon of Small Business Owners

Even though Annie mostly shares pictures of her prints, I still get a sense for who she is — from the way she writes her captions to what she shares about — and her personality still completely comes through!

No big business can beat that for me. They're not going to be able to be my friend the way a small business owner is. And they don’t have the same strong personality either!

Don't worry, creative mamas: There will always be people who love and support small business owners!

Annie's Foolproof Instagram Strategy

The bulk of Annie's Instagram strategy is:

  • Produce excellent, gorgeous work
  • Post photos of that work
  • Study Instagram insights to know what's working
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Be a real person and engage with all of the people who take the time to share your work, comment, or message you
Courtesy Annie Quigley

Courtesy Annie Quigley

Instagram Stories Welcome Your Audience Into Your Profile

Annie recently started using Instagram Stories more intentionally, and she thinks that has helped with sales. Whether it's talking about what's going on in her shop or showing her face, IG Stories have made selling a lot easier for her.

Annie started playing around with using hashtags in IG Stories about 6 months ago, and she says it's been a process of trial and error. She uses bigger hashtags than she would normally use in her feed, and she'll only use one or two hashtags per story.

On really good performing posts, Annie can get up to 20,000 views, but on IG Stories she gets maybe 500 views. (Those numbers might make you think that IG Stories aren’t worth Annie’s time, but….)

The thing with IG Stories is it doesn't serve the same purpose as the feed. IG Stories feel more welcoming to your customers, and it's a different experience. It's about the people that you’re building up wonderful relationships with!

And even if it's 500 people who are seeing your story on a daily basis, that's a big number! I've been encouraging all my students to commit to IG Stories, regardless of views, to see how powerful it can be.

Relationships matter so much more than reach! And I’d rather have 500 die-hard fans than 20,000 views on my post, when most of those people might never see my content or engage with me again.

Connect with Annie

Instagram

Annie’s Shop

Did you not just love hearing from Annie? I love how she takes baby steps every single day so that she’s always making progress and getting better at her craft.

And Annie’s Instagram strategy is simple and straightforward. She's not spending hours a day messing around with all sorts of crazy complicated tactics. She measures what she does, implements more of what’s working, and builds relationships most of all!

She's doing the kinds of things that any mamapreneur can do!

Get Your Free Marketing Plan to Grow Your Business

Now, Annie is actually in my group coaching program for Brilliant Product Launches right now. While that program is not currently open for enrollment, you can get a small taste of my Brilliant Product Launch system by signing up for my FREE marketing plan at brilliantbusinessmoms.com/marketingplan.

I walk you through every single step in detail because I don't like to leave anything to chance. As busy moms, the easiest way to get off track is to not know what step to take next, right?

I like to break it all down for you so you can craft that marketing plan and bring in more customers for your business.

Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/marketingplan to get your hands on that guide and grow your business!

And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

The post How Instagram and Baby Steps Built This Stay-at-Home Mom’s Business with Artist Annie Quigley appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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How to Use Content Marketing in a Narrow Niche with Interior Designer Medina King https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/content-marketing-narrow-niche-interior-designer-medina-king/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/content-marketing-narrow-niche-interior-designer-medina-king/#respond Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:28:46 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6699 When we hear business success stories, it’s easy to feel like everyone else’s path was so simple and straightforward (and nothing but up, right?!) Well… that’s rarely true, and in today’s interview with Medina King, I love how open and honest she is about her setbacks and struggles to grow her Interior Design business. Medina […]

The post How to Use Content Marketing in a Narrow Niche with Interior Designer Medina King appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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When we hear business success stories, it’s easy to feel like everyone else’s path was so simple and straightforward (and nothing but up, right?!) Well… that’s rarely true, and in today’s interview with Medina King, I love how open and honest she is about her setbacks and struggles to grow her Interior Design business.

Medina first grew her business as a side hustle — taking consultation calls in the bathroom while working her day job, and working late into the night too!

Then she had a baby, and she felt so discouraged at her lack of clients that she considered working for someone else instead.

Thankfully, she received several important signs that she should keep going, and she did!

You’ll love hearing Medina’s story, and her advice on using content marketing to build your business. EVERYONE should be creating blog content to help build their business — even if you don’t consider yourself a blogger.  

Take it from Medina — creating helpful, interesting blog content has brought her a steady stream of interior design clients.

Learn how to use Content Marketing for your business, even if you don’t think of yourself as a “blogger”. Creating helpful, exciting blog posts that show off your expertise can be an incredible way to earn more customers as a service-based business owner. You don’t want to miss this encouraging interview with Interior Designer, Medina King.

Press play on the podcast player below to hear Medina’s story.

Mompreneur of the Week:
Medina King

Hey friends, welcome back! On today's episode, I'm chatting with Medina King, founder of MK Kids Interiors. She's an interior designer in the UK, but she has a very focused niche. She works on little kid spaces and she will often work with kids who have special needs, like a sensory processing disorder or autism.

Medina designs the most incredible spaces and her clients love the results.

Medina's path to success wasn't straight up. She had a lot of struggles in her business early on, but I love the way she kept going and how she uses platforms like Pinterest to drive extra traffic and clients to her business.

She has so many great content marketing ideas for you, you're going to love it!

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan! Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Get your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan

With that in mind, if you'd like a free, brilliant marketing plan for your business, I have one for you! Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/marketingplan to get your hands on my 20-page guide that will show you the five key things you have to do to pull off a brilliant marketing plan.

Medina King Has Been Obsessed with Interior Design Since She Was 13

Medina King is a children's interior designer in the UK (she's been a listener of this podcast for several years!). Since age 13 she has had a passion for art and design, and she knew she wanted to work in the field of art.

Medina King of MK Kids Interiors

Medina King of MK Kids Interiors

During lunchtime one day in high school, Medina went to the library and decided to pick a career out of one of the career books. Because she liked art, she checked out fashion designer first. In that description it said, “Must have an eye for detail.” Because Medina wears glasses, she thought, “Oh no, I don't have good vision! I can't apply to be a fashion designer. What's the next best option?”

Then she came across interior design and decided to pursue classes that would lead her into that industry. Medina graduated with a bachelor's degree in interior design in 2009 and she's been doing interior design ever since (as well as side hustles)!

Medina went back to Jamaica (she grew up there with her grandma, who was foundational in her early years) after graduation to see what job opportunities were available there. She tried to apply for the field of interior design, which she says was really challenging, because people kept telling her she needed experience. “How am I going to get experience if nobody wants to give me experience?” she asks.

Chasing Her Dream While Working Full-Time

Medina eventually landed two work placements, both at interior design companies. In her job at a high-end furniture shop, she was so bored that she started writing her elevator pitch on the shop floor and practicing with all her colleagues! She called potential clients on the shop floor, ran off to the toilet to answer and return calls, and told everyone about what she wanted to do.

She eventually wrote an interior design proposal for the store and it got the attention of the store manager as well as the managerial director of the company! Medina had a meeting with them and they decided to give her proposal a trial run.

In the meantime, Medina was just trying to get clients interested in her interior design service (it wasn't official, but she says it certainly was in her head!). One of her colleagues actually referred a client to her who was interested in buying a couch but needed an interior designer to help her.

The manager of Medina's department allowed her to do a consultation with that client, and then she actually did the work. She sketched the drawings by hand on her own time (outside of work hours!) and then did the presentation.

The client absolutely loved it, and because she was an older lady, she had an appreciation for Medina's hand drawings. Through that, the client bought the sofa and the shelving unit that Medina proposed.

A few months later, after Medina left the company, the woman contacted her again to consult on another piece of furniture! Through those interactions, she became one of Medina's first interior design clients.

Medina left the furniture company to focus more on her business during the day and then work night shifts at a probation hostel for high risk offenders. Even while she was working night shifts, there were quiet moments where she could blog, tweet, and do anything she could to grow her business. She wasn't a mom then, she says, so it was a lot easier for her to take a higher-risk job.  

(Medina says not to worry, she stayed safe throughout her time at the probation hostel!)

 Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan! Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Niching Down by Designing Kids’ Spaces

Medina wanted to find a niche in the interior design industry, so she attended a few business seminars. She was also toying with the idea of offering a creative consultation service, where she involved children in the design process and get them to do like a masterpiece that would go on their wall when the room design was finalized.

This idea helped Medina realize how much she needed to refine what she was doing. She turned up with paints and nothing for the children to cover themselves with. She also lacked a vision for the children and allowed them to do what they wanted, which sometimes works, but other times the kids would get stuck and the final product wouldn't come out quite right!

Medina says the idea of children's interiors came about because she loves color, and nobody was doing colorful spaces at the time. In England, people prefer the monochrome, muted, neutral look, and they shy away from color. So Medina thought that her style would suit children better than adults. She also felt that it's more fun to work with children than adults!

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

MK Kids Interiors Caters to the Individual Child’s Vision

Medina launched her website, MK Kids Interiors, at the end of 2013. It features designs for nurseries, bedrooms, and playrooms for children of all ages. If a child is older than 4, that's when Medina creates a masterpiece with the child that forms a focal point of their space.

Medina also gets kids involved by asking questions (if she has the opportunity to meet with them) about what they would like to have in their room. Sometimes parents speak to their children and then let Medina know what they want, because it makes sense for them to have something that they're actually proud of and to say, “Oh, I chose that!”

I love this! Why shouldn't kids have a say in their spaces? You can see some of Medina’s fun, creative designs throughout this post. Incredible, right?

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

Brilliant Business Moms (Like You!) Care Deeply About Their Customers

Recently I ran across Medina's Instagram story where she was sharing about a recent client she had and how excited the child was for their new space. She got really emotional talking about it, because she was just so thrilled at how excited the child and parent were about their new space, and I thought to myself, “This is what being a Brilliant Business Mom all about!”

For this particular client and her son, Medina designed a room that had a bed with a slide, a stepladder, and a blackboard on the side. (People in the UK don't usually have big rooms, so she tries to make or source things that have multiple uses.)

When the bed arrived and was set up, the client called Medina and said, “He loves the bed so much, Medina. He loves it so much. He loves his new room.” In the photos the client sent, Medina was able to see the child in every picture and how happy he was, and it made her cry!

“I was overwhelmed with happiness, overwhelmed with all these good feelings to know that…what I'm doing isn't in vain. There have been many times I wanted to just give up, throw in the towel and I didn't, and then it's come to a point where I see the reaction of children in the spaces that I design, and that's just amazing,” Medina says.

“This is what excites me and encourages me to keep going. The journey isn't always smooth getting there, but at the end the clients are usually smiling and happy and just really satisfied with what we've done.”

 Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan! Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Using Instagram Live to Create Business Opportunities

A lot of people have reached out to Medina asking her how she’s grown her business and how to get into interior design. Since she doesn't have the time to respond to people individually, she decided to communicate with her followers via Instagram Live videos.

At first it was scary for her, because she's not used to talking to a camera, but people reached out to her after the video and were interested in learning more. She inspired some people to start their business and others to continue on with their endeavors. One woman reached out and offered to write a blog post about Medina's story.

“I find that when I share a part of me, that's when people really connect and reach out,” Medina says.

Using SEO to Find Clients in Your Niche

Medina has taken courses to help her optimize her SEO. She says that once she learns a concept, she applies it to her business right away, and that helped improve her SEO.

Medina thinks that because she’s in a more narrow niche of children's interior design, that helps with her Google ranking (she's on the first page of Google results for children's interior design!). She also uses the hashtag #childrensinteriors on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to connect with potential clients.

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

I love that Medina focuses on creating great content that helps people to find her. She has a narrow niche, so that helps a ton that she's known for something. That is one thing I think new business owners really struggle with: They're scared to narrow in because they think that's going to limit their customer base. But if you're known for something, then you can stand out and be found!

How Blogging as a Service-Based Business Owner Can Help You Attract More Customers

I think many business owners outside of the blogging space tend to discount how powerful blogging and content creation can be for growth. Blogging gives you the opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your field, and it can help people find you way more often!

Medina does an excellent job of not just using her website as a portfolio to showcase her work, but also as a place to share incredibly helpful content that her ideal customers are searching for. If she helps them with some aspect of children’s design and kids’ spaces, they’re way more likely to want to hire her to complete an entire room for them.

Here are some examples of posts that Medina has written that can help people to find her.

She has a blog post on emphasizing comfort in children's bedrooms.

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

She has expert interior design ideas for kids rooms.

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

And then there's how to design a hammock floor, which is totally cool!

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

For every project Medina finishes, she publishes a blog post with pictures and shares where the idea came from and what she did to make it a reality. Her goal with her blog is to market content that brings her the right customers.

An SEO trick that Medina has learned is to not give your blog post a super boring title that no one would ever search for. For example, a recent project was on the Miller's playroom, but she wouldn't title her blog post “The Miller's Playroom.” That would be silly!

Instead, use something like “Six Top Tips on Creating the Perfect Workspace for Homeschooling and Tutoring.” That’s a great title with so many helpful keywords that people are searching for.

And then, of course, at the end of the post it says, “We will be happy to help you design your playroom” with contact information for MK Kids Interiors.

Medina says she wouldn't consider herself a good salesperson, but she's able to sell her product through her blog without feeling pushy about it. One of the most successful sales strategies she's found is sharing her story and sharing her customers' stories.

Medina hasn't blogged much recently, but it's OK, because blog posts from the past are still bringing her great Google traffic and new clients. She's achieved her goal of obtaining a steady stream of clients with her blog content.

Medina Invests in a Photographer to Help Her Business Stand Out on Pinterest

“Pinterest is an amazing tool. I mean, when I say amazing, it's just like you cannot have a blog without using Pinterest,” Medina says.

One pin of white dotted curtains caused so many people to contact Medina to ask where she got her fabric. She booked a project that grew out of an inquiry of her pin of a pom-pom rug. Her use of bright colors helps her pins stick out and attract traffic.

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

Photo courtesy of Medina King, MKkidsinteriors.com

Medina says she doesn't spend a lot of time formatting pins and writing the perfect description. She just makes sure she uses the right keywords that are relevant to the pin.

She also uses images that are light and bright so they stand out in the Pinterest feed. “Definitely invest in photography so that you have the right images to pin,” she says.

Hiring a professional photographer is one way Medina advertises her business and brings in new clients.

Signs That You Should Keep Going in Your Business

Medina says that it took some time and struggle to get her business to the place where it is today, and she's thought about quitting a time or two. All along the way, though, she’s had encouragement and confirmation to keep moving forward.

Before MK Kids Interiors even kicked off, Medina found out she was pregnant. The doctor had put her on bedrest and she was really sick during the first trimester. She was really discouraged, and didn't think she would be able to take care of her business baby now that a real baby was on the way.

When she started to feel better, she reached out to a client and said she wanted to finish their nursery before she gave birth. The client responded straight away and got the ball rolling for the project, and Medina got it done!

Another time, Medina reluctantly went to an interview for an interior design job because her husband encouraged her to, not because she wanted to. She wanted to contribute to the family, and didn't feel like she could do that by pursuing her own company.

When she went to the interview, the guy looked at her portfolio and said, “You have a good niche. Why do you want to give this up to come and work for me? You need to go home and work on your business.” (I just love it when business owners a few steps ahead of us can see our brilliance and encourage us to keep going!)

Just before the job interview, Medina decided to fast and pray for 3 days about whether she should continue with the business and ask God what He wanted her to do.

The day after the interview, when Medina went to church, one of the elders told her she was doing a fantastic job with her business and that he really liked what she was putting on Facebook. That was confirmation for Medina that she should continue working on her business!

I love that. I love when it seems like God just puts the right people in our paths and little signals that say, “Hey, this is the direction that I'm wanting you to go in.” I'm so glad that Medina didn't give up!

Connect with Medina Online

MKkidsinteriors.com
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Pinterest

Medina is so creative with the types of blog posts that she creates to draw in her ideal customer. I love that!

If you're not sure what kind of content you should be creating to draw in your ideal customer, well, that's actually something I cover inside my Brilliant Marketing Plan. It's yours free when you head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/marketingplan.

And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

– Beth Anne

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan! Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

The post How to Use Content Marketing in a Narrow Niche with Interior Designer Medina King appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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How to Use a Live Video Series to Build Relationships and Drive Product Sales https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/how-to-use-a-live-video-series-to-build-relationships-and-drive-product-sales/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/how-to-use-a-live-video-series-to-build-relationships-and-drive-product-sales/#comments Thu, 02 May 2019 00:27:58 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6683 How to Use a Live Video Series to Build Relationships and Drive Product Sales You're going to love the way Laura Smith of iheartplanners.com turned her product launch for her Sweet Life Planner into a true party. I mean, we're talking a 7-day full week Planner Palooza. What I love about this launch strategy is […]

The post How to Use a Live Video Series to Build Relationships and Drive Product Sales appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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In today’s episode, you're going to love the way Laura Smith of iheartplanners.com turned her product launch for her Sweet Life Planner into a true party. I mean, we're talking a 7-day full week Planner Palooza. What I love about this launch strategy is that Laura just gave and gave to her audience. She didn't have to be sales-y at all and it was so much fun. You'll hear all about the incredible value that Laura offered to her audience, but how that also turned into so many sales that she sold out of her sweet life planner early.

How to Use a Live Video Series to Build Relationships and Drive Product Sales

You're going to love the way Laura Smith of iheartplanners.com turned her product launch for her Sweet Life Planner into a true party. I mean, we're talking a 7-day full week Planner Palooza.

What I love about this launch strategy is that Laura just gave and gave to her audience. She didn't have to be sales-y at all and it was so much fun. You'll hear all about the incredible value that Laura offered to her audience, but how that also turned into so many sales that she sold out of her sweet life planner early.

Press play on the podcast player below to hear the full episode.

Here’s What’s Covered in this Episode:

01:36 – Get My Free Marketing Plan!
01:59 – Planner Palooza was Laura’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy
09:57 – Laura Paid Attention to Her Audience and Responded to Their Needs
13:36 – Calls to Action Are Key to Keeping Your Audience Engaged
19:36 – Laura Boosts Weekly Videos to Keep Her Audience Warm Throughout the Year
21:51 – Selling Out of Your Product is a Great Problem to Have
24:38 – Giveaways Engaged Laura’s Audience and Made Her Product Launch So Much Fun!
27:14 – The Grand Finale of Planner Palooza Doubled as Laura’s Birthday Bash!
30:32 – Laura’s Advice for Brilliant Product Launch Newbies
33:31 – Facebook was Laura’s Platform of Choice for Planner Palooza
41:27 – Connect with Laura Online

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Get My Free Marketing Plan for Your Brilliant Business Launch!

If you'd like to pull off a brilliant product launch like this in your business, you need to get your hands on my free marketing plan. You can grab it at brilliantbusinessmoms.com/marketingplan. I'll show you the five steps you have to take to ensure your product launch goes off without a hitch!

You'll discover how to define your offer, how to become BFFs with your audience, how to develop a freebie that gets the right subscribers on your list (the ones that are actually going to buy!), how to create your compelling pre-launch content, and how to launch your offer to raving fans who can't wait to buy.

You're going to love this guide! Make sure you don't miss the opportunity to grab it! 

Planner Palooza was Laura Smith’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy

Laura Smith of iheartplanners.com has a really fun marketing strategy she used to sell her Sweet Life Planner this past planner season. She turned it into this great big party called Planner Palooza.

Laura's idea behind Planner Palooza was to have a fun and exciting event to help her market her physical planner. It was seven Facebook Live events where Laura covered different topics related to planning, organizing, and how to use the planner. Planner Palooza ran from Dec. 26 through Jan. 3, which is a critical time for people who want to use a planner to get organized for the upcoming year.

To prepare her audience to participate in Planner Palooza, Laura started talking about it 2-3 weeks ahead of time. She got her audience involved by crowdsourcing topics via email and Facebook Messenger.

This was a little tricky, she says, because the warm-up period was right smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season, and no one wants to read emails on Dec. 24! So launching the event on Dec. 26 was a little abrupt, but by making it several days long, it allowed customers to opt in whenever they were available and wanted to participate.

“I got to know some of those people better by doing the live events every day and seeing some of the same people pop up. It was just so much fun because it was so interactive,” Laura says.

(The events are still available for replay, by the way! Click here!)

Laura Paid Attention to Her Audience and Responded to Their Needs

Laura didn't want Planner Palooza to be 7 days of her saying, “My planner is awesome! Please buy it!” That would get pretty old after a while, right? Instead, she intentionally wanted to talk about topics that she knew her audience was interested in.

In addition to crowdsourcing ideas, Laura paid attention to her audience and noted some of the common sticking points for them. She even use some of their own language when she came up with the titles for the different topics! (For example, a lot of people said they wanted to beat procrastination, so that was one of the live events was called “Beating Procrastination.”)

Then Laura would weave in whatever she wanted to talk about, like how she uses her own planner, how it helps her budget, and how she writes things down in her planner to help her beat procrastination.

She gave a lot of useful information as well as practical application from personal experience!

I just love that because Laura is giving so much value, and she's helping everyone who's showing up! Whether they buy her planner or not, they're walking away with a lot of valuable information.

Laura says she didn’t just want to sell more planners (even though she actually sold out in the middle of Planner Palooza!). One of her huge goals was to communicate with the people who already had the planner and make sure they were really happy with their purchase.

The last thing she wanted was for her product to sit on the shelf and collect dust! She really wanted to help her audience see how they could effectively use their planner.

Laura's approach was so smart! She devised a system that helped her current customers but also introduced her product to potential new customers, too.

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Calls to Action Are Key to Keeping Your Audience Engaged

Underneath each Facebook Live video, Laura would include links to buy the planner, watch the replay, and sign up for the rest of Planner Palooza. She also found that her planner sold really well through Facebook Ads. Even if she ran an ad to a cold audience on her planner sales page, people would buy it!

But it's even better to run ads to a warm audience, right? So Laura's goal was not necessarily to sell a lot of planners on the live events, but to grow the warm audience for the least amount of money. She was able to boost her events on Facebook and get a lot of engagement, and by doing it that way, it was super cheap to reach her target audience!

Each of the videos she boosted would get about 20,000 views, and it helped Laura's warm audience grow a lot bigger than it would have without the boosts. She also targeted:

  • cold audiences;
  • general audiences of pages she thought her target audience would like;
  • a lookalike audience to people who had watched at least 50% of the videos on her Facebook page.

Laura Boosts Weekly Videos to Keep Her Audience Warm Throughout the Year

After Planner Palooza, Laura and her team decided to start doing a weekly Facebook Live event. They usually boost those just to keep their warm audience growing and warm all throughout the year, even when they aren't actively selling a bunch of things.

Laura's advice for boosted videos is to include captions from a transcription service before uploading them to Facebook, because then viewers can engage with content without having to turn on their sound.

Laura's videos ran anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and she says they kept the live event going as long as the audience kept participating. A typical percentage of people who would stick with the video all the way through was 25%, and Laura said it's very normal to not have a whole lot of people watch 50% or 75% of a video.

Selling Out of Your Product is a Great Problem to Have

Laura sold out of all of her inventory earlier than she expected she would! She felt bad about telling people that she was out of the product they wanted, but really, that's a great problem to have! It's impossible to know how much inventory to buy ahead of time, and it's encouraging to watch your product fly off the shelf to eager customers!

That in and of itself is a really great marketing strategy to have. It's nice to be able to tell people that you sold out last year, so they need to hustle their buns and get their order in early!

Definitely don't feel bad about selling out! It's a great thing, and it keeps your customers and your audience motivated to make sure they're on top of your promotions!

Giveaways Engaged Laura’s Audience and Made Her Product Launch So Much Fun!

During Planner Palooza, Laura says she's never given away so much stuff! During most of the live events, she gave away digital products to anyone who attended. For example, when she talked about her budgeting tips, she gave away a free budget printable.

Laura says the freebies helped engagement, made the event more fun, and gave her audience a way to take action immediately.

In addition to that, Laura randomly selected someone to get a prize 3-4 times during each live event. Some of the prizes were a full digital pack, but a lot of audience members won a physical planner!

Laura would say throughout the videos, “OK, we've been talking for a few minutes, it's time to do a giveaway. Can you tell me what's your top budgeting tip?” And the first person who responded won a planner.

This approach accomplished a couple things:

  • Laura got to give a lot of people planners, which made them thrilled!
  • Laura got more engagement, because in order to win, audience members had to answer the giveaway question.

Laura also knew far more people would watch the replays rather than tune in live. She always said at the beginning and throughout the event that she would go back and award one or two prizes to replay viewers by the next day. So she was even encouraging the replay people to keep interacting with us that way.

The Grand Finale of Planner Palooza Doubled as Laura’s Birthday Bash!

The grand finale of Planner Palooza was Jan. 3, which happens to be Laura's birthday. She invited everyone to to her birthday bash, where she planned to give away one of every single item in her shop, digital and physical, which was worth more than $1,000!

I love everything Laura did for Planner Palooza because it had such a strong focus on giving. She taught amazing things that her audience wanted to learn more about. She gave away free printables away, physical planners, and other great supplies!

I think that so many listeners will be excited to hear that Laura also sold a ton of planners without having to be super pushy or upfront, which I think so many women are scared they are going to do.

Laura’s Advice for Brilliant Product Launch Newbies

Laura's advice for someone who is thinking about doing a launch like this is:

  • Start small and do 2-3 days.
  • Recycle old content. Laura wasn't spending hours everyday writing the outline for what she was going to say. All the things she talked about she had written on her blog in the past, so she had quite a bit of confidence.
  • Simplify it to the point where it's doable for you! You aren't a failure if you don't use a certain fancy tech tool or have sparkling new notes. There's always a way to take a great marketing strategy and pare it down to something that's doable for whatever level your business is at.

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Facebook was Laura’s Platform of Choice for Her Launch

Laura originally planned to do a webinar, but then realized it was going to be a lot of work! Facebook Live events just felt more casual, and that's the vibe her team was going for. They also knew that doing Facebook Live events would help grow their engagement on that social media platform.

Laura considered doing Instagram Live events, but for 90% of people who use them, they just don't get the engagement that Facebook Live events do. People are scrolling their Instagram feed and watching stories, but they are not really watching live or Instagram TV.

The other thing about Instagram that Laura noticed is that she can run ads on Instagram through Facebook, but they never got her the same results that running ads directly through Facebook did. Plus, they were just more expensive!

So what Laura decided to do was use Instagram as a way to promote Planner Palooza and drive customers to her landing page, and use Facebook as a direct marketing tool for ads and live events.

When using social media to connect with your audience, Laura says don't be afraid to test different things! Maybe your audience loves watching you on stories and maybe her audience doesn't, but they like seeing pictures of her planner on Facebook. It just depends on your audience and how they connect with you, so you just don't know until you try!

That's one thing I love about Laura. She is always testing and trying new things!

In the online world, it can be a pro and a con that things are always changing. But Laura tries to look at it in a positive light: Things are always changing, so she's not going to get bored!

Connect with Laura Online

You can sign up for Laura’s email list at iheartplanners.com. She is also on Instagram @iheartplanners.

And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

– Beth Anne

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

 

 

 

Previous images for this post:

In today’s episode, you're going to love the way Laura Smith of iheartplanners.com turned her product launch for her Sweet Life Planner into a true party. I mean, we're talking a 7-day full week Planner Palooza. What I love about this launch strategy is that Laura just gave and gave to her audience. She didn't have to be sales-y at all and it was so much fun. You'll hear all about the incredible value that Laura offered to her audience, but how that also turned into so many sales that she sold out of her sweet life planner early.

The post How to Use a Live Video Series to Build Relationships and Drive Product Sales appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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How to Use the Private Sale Model to Build your List and Make More Sales for your Online Store https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/private-sale-model-build-list-more-online-sales/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/private-sale-model-build-list-more-online-sales/#respond Thu, 18 Apr 2019 19:41:04 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6658 How to Use the Private Sale Model to Build your List and Make More Sales for Your Online Store When someone tells me they took two of their slowest sales months and turned them into their BEST sales months … my ears perk up big time! That's exactly what Molly Goodall has done by using […]

The post How to Use the Private Sale Model to Build your List and Make More Sales for your Online Store appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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When someone tells me they took two of their slowest sales months and turned them into their BEST sales months … my ears perk up big time! That's exactly what Molly Goodall has done by using Brilliant Product Launches in her business, Little Goodall. Now ... in Molly's case they're called Private Sales, and she uses private sales to: 1.) Build up a list of targeted email subscribers who are interested in her products. Molly says she grows her email list by thousands of people (usually a 30% list size increase) when she's promoting access to her Private Sale! 2.) Generate excitement around her private sale event, which lasts for a limited time, and includes deals on her products that her audience can't get at any other time. 3.) Sell like crazy during the live sale period (her version of a product launch), because her audience is primed and ready to buy, and she's created a brilliant offer that doesn't last long. My favorite part about Molly's private sales? She's not creating all sorts of new products in order to generate these incredible numbers. She's taking items she already has and making the most of them. Absolutely brilliant!

How to Use the Private Sale Model to Build your List and Make More Sales for Your Online Store

When someone tells me they took two of their slowest sales months and turned them into their BEST sales months … my ears perk up big time!

That's exactly what Molly Goodall has done by using Brilliant Product Launches in her business, Little Goodall.

Now … in Molly's case they're called Private Sales, and she uses Private Sales to:

1.) Build up a list of targeted email subscribers who are interested in her products. Molly says she grows her email list by thousands of people (usually a 30% list size increase) when she's promoting access to her Private Sale!

2.) Generate excitement around her Private Sale event, which lasts for a limited time, and includes deals on her products that her audience can't get at any other time.

3.) Sell like crazy during the live sale period (her version of a product launch), because her audience is primed and ready to buy, and she's created a brilliant offer that doesn't last long.

My favorite part about Molly's Private Sales? She's not creating all sorts of new products in order to generate these incredible numbers. She's taking items she already has and making the most of them.

Absolutely brilliant!

Press Play on the Podcast Player Below to hear Molly’s Full Story and Get Practical Tips on how to run your own Private Sale!

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Here's What's Covered in This Episode:

00:54 – Mompreneur of the Week: Molly Goodall
02:12 – Develop Your Brilliant Marketing Plan with This Freebie!
04:19 – Little Goodall Designs are Sometimes Years in the Making!
05:23 – Collaborations with Other Companies Are Beneficial for Everyone
13:23 – Molly Builds Her List Through Private Sales
15:15 – Private Sales Support Little Goodall’s Brand Values
18:34 – Molly Uses Facebook Ads and ConvertKit to Connect with Her Audience
23:01 – Create Urgency by Putting an End Date on a Sale
26:50 – Private Sales Have Majorly Boosted Little Goodall’s Lowest Revenue Months
29:49 – Online Influencers Help Promote the Little Goodall Brand
31:29 – Communicate Specific Expectations with Influencers to Maintain a Positive Relationship
38:32 – Molly is Confident in The Quality of Her Product, and Doesn’t Apologize for the Price
42:15 – Little Goodall is Intentionally Staying Small Because Molly Wants a Business That Fits Into Her Life
45:57 – Get on Little Goodall’s VIP List!

Mompreneur of the Week: Molly Goodall

You are going to absolutely love today's interview with Molly Goodall of Little Goodall. Molly has a Shopify store where she designs the most beautiful children's coats and works with local makers here in the U.S. to make those coats come to life.

On today's episode, Molly will share a brilliant strategy with us on how to generate more excitement for your products with Private Sales.

Molly hosts Private Sales twice a year for her subscribers and she has turned those slow sales months into her very best ones. It's pretty incredible, and that's considering the holiday season Christmas sales!

She's going to tell you all the ins and outs of how she does this, how she builds excitement, and the tools you need to have set up on the back end to make a Private Sale work.

We also chat about collaborations with other brilliant designers. Molly has collaborated with different artists (even with the Eric Carle brand!) to put incredible unique designs out into the world. So you'll learn the ins and outs of that, too.

Friend, you're going to learn much from Molly Goodall today on the show. She is one of those children's clothing designers and creators that I just really look up to. She is always coming up with the most beautiful, unique designs! I always love seeing what she's up to!

Develop Your Brilliant Marketing Plan with This Freebie!

Now if you'd like to develop a brilliant marketing plan for your business, I've got a Freebie just for you at brilliantbusinessmoms.com/marketingplan.

In this plan, you'll learn how to define your offer, become BFFs with your audience, develop a Freebie that leads to sales, create compelling Pre-launch content, and then launch your offer to raving fans who can't wait to buy.

You need all five parts of this brilliant marketing system in order to see incredible results. I can't wait for you to get your hands on this! And remember, this is totally free!

Little Goodall Designs are Sometimes Years in the Making!

It's really tough for Molly to decide how many new designs to create and release for a new season because usually has a lot more ideas than she's able to get out.

She starts out with a huge new list at the beginning of every season and then starts picking the designs that are most important, filling any holes in the line that her company needs. The designs she doesn't use roll over to the next season.

Some styles are years in the making. For example, she has an ADORABLE bunny coat in her shop that is currently a big seller, and it took 2 years for it to even get produced!

Other styles are based on collaborations with other companies. Those designs generally come in front of her regular line because she is working with somebody else who's also expecting those products to launch in a specific time frame.

Collaborations with Other Companies Are Beneficial for Everyone

The first collaborations that Molly did came from other people reaching out to her. However, with Molly's current Willa Heart collaborations, she initially reached out to the owner of Willa Heart, Aly. Molly had seen Aly's work on Instagram and had a very clear concept of how to transform it into a coat. Aly and Molly talked back and forth about how it would work, made sure that Aly was giving Molly an exclusive segment, and then put together a contract.

With Aly, Molly says, it's not just her artwork that makes the coats interesting. It's the way that Molly puts the designs together and makes a coat. So it's a partnership where the end product is often better than what either maker could create on their own!

Molly is also collaborating with The World of Eric Carle for the first time this year. This is the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and their team saw a natural fit between Eric Carle's artwork and the tactile quality of Little Goodall coats.

If Molly uses someone's beautiful artwork as part of a coat design, they typically get 8-15% of the sale as a commission. This is called a royalty. But sometimes, if she pays an illustrator up front to create an illustration for her, then she might pay the illustrator a flat fee for that artwork, and then the royalty would be less. Overall, the royalties depends on the collaboration situation, she says.

“I like to think of it as when my input and their input come together and they make a product that's better and more special than anything that we would have made individually,” Molly says.

“And that's why collaborations are so fun and exciting to me as a designer, because you're working together as a team to elevate the garment or the product to something really special.”

I love Molly's perspective on collaboration! Some encouragement for artists and designers: There is room out there for YOU to potentially collaborate with people who make other products and to get your beautiful designs, images, and branding out there in new and unique ways. There are so many ways to get paid to be creative!

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Molly Builds Her List Through Private Sales

Molly's Private Sales started when she realized that she needed to build her email list so she could communicate directly with her customers instead of just throwing content up on social media and hoping it would reach her customers!

So she had the idea to offer a Private Sale of production samples, products used in photo shoots, and retiring styles to her existing community. She also planned to invite more people into her world by collecting their email addresses and emailing them when the sale was launched to introduce them to her brand.

Molly doesn't tell her customers the day the sale is going to launch, and it takes her team weeks in advance to get all of the stock ready.

When the sale is live, they email a secret password to their email list, then those customers enter the password on the sale page, and they’re granted access to the Private Sale.

Molly uses a Shopify store app called Locksmith to make certain categories of her site exclusive to her list! It costs her $29/month but is well worth the price for the enormous revenue she generates through her sales!

I love the fact that it's a surprise landing when the sale happens! If I'm on Molly’s list and I want in on the sale, I would be scouring my inbox for a Little Goodall email every single day!

“You're creating an urgency to shop, because these are really special items, and in many cases, there's only one or two of them,” Molly says. “And you're also making it into an event that's going to happen at one time, instead of being something that goes on for months and months.”

Private Sales Support Little Goodall’s Brand Values

The Private Sales support three of Little Goodall's really important brand values:

1.) Accessibility.

The Little Goodall brand is a lot more expensive than other products because it offers handmade clothing made in the United States, so by having a sale like this, Molly is able to offer special deals to people who follow and support her, but can't afford to buy a coat at regular price.

2.) Sustainability.

Molly doesn't have back stock that just hangs around. When Little Goodall has a sale, everything goes. It gets the company ready to bring in new products and ensures that everything goes to a good home and gets used rather than tossed aside.

3.) Community.

The sale allows Molly to add to her email list and get new customers that she can talk to throughout the year. It also creates a sense of excitement and urgency so that people will be ready to move their buns quickly and shop the sale.

Molly Uses Facebook Ads and ConvertKit to Connect with Her Audience

Molly uses Facebook Ads to retarget her current shop visitors as well as go after cold traffic. So in the 2 weeks before her last Private Sale, Molly added another third of her existing audience to her list, just from Facebook Ads. That's thousands of leads!

This year, Molly switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit so she could customize her emails to her customers, get more information from them, and serve them better.

On the first launch that went out to her list using ConvertKit, Molly had a 41.1% open rate. That's fabulous!

(Psst! You can get a FREE TRIAL of ConvertKit using my affiliate link right here. I use and love them. They’re the only email service provider for me!)

Create a Sense of Urgency by Closing a Sale

The bulk of a Private Sale typically happens in the first 24 hours, Molly says. It's an all-hands-on-deck situation!

In previous seasons, Molly would just let the sale run, then if there were still things left after a couple weeks, she would remove the lock from her Shopify store so it was no longer a Private Sale.

During the last Private Sale, Molly's husband had the brilliant idea to close the sale at the end of the week and clean it out. So Molly posted the end time of the sale and sent a last chance email to her list. She got a significant boost in sales by doing this!

Closing the sale created urgency and allowed Molly to offer more products to customers who maybe wouldn't have shopped otherwise.

Private Sales Have Boosted Little Goodall’s Lowest Revenue Months

Little Goodall's biggest revenue months are the Private Sale months. February and August used to be her lowest sales months, but Private Sales have been a way to make those months the biggest earners!

Each season, Molly figures out new ways to make it work and new ways to get people excited about her brand, and she's able to grow her sales revenue even more.

Molly says her sales success is directly in proportion to her email list, because the more people who know about it, the more people are going to shop.

When Molly stocks her shop, it's with her final sales goal in mind, so she can make sure there's enough product to keep customers interested. If there's nothing interesting for them, then she's not going to sell anything!

Molly typically plans to stock her sale with about twice as many items as her final sales goal.

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Online Influencers Help Promote the Little Goodall Brand

Molly used to use a PR agency to promote Little Goodall, and she says it taught her a lot about how public relations works.

She works with a lot of influencers and photographers to promote her brand, and at any given time, she has at least 10 different products out to different people.

In some cases, she doesn't get the product back, but she says that's OK, because the influencer who has the product is bringing value to her by sharing it online and tagging Little Goodall.

But when Molly does get her products back, she puts them toward the next Private Sale.

Molly gets connected with influencers through big commission affiliate marketing platforms like rewardStyle, Pepperjam, and Shopping Links. Each of those programs has a monthly fee attached.

She also organically reaches out to moms who are photographers and influencers on social media.

If they agree on a partnership, Molly sends them a product to promote to their audience.

If they aren't a part of a large affiliate platform, Molly also provides a coupon code that they can share with their followers. Once their followers purchase an item using the coupon code, her influencer gets a commission based on that.

There are lots of little hacks to get around not working with a big commission affiliate marketing platform!

If you are able to find enough fabulous people who fit with your brand, have a specific style, and a strong social media reach, then your only additional payments are for the sales that they're making. That's a pretty great deal!

Communicate Specific Expectations with Influencers to Maintain a Positive Relationship

Molly says she picks influencers who apply for a particular project by being very specific about what she needs and communicating what her expectations are.

She asks about when the product is going to be photographed, when the images are going to be published, where they were being published, and when she would get the product back.

Something to avoid in an influencer relationship, Molly says, is having to chase down where the product photos went or never hearing the results from the influencer.

She learned to be very specific about how many images, how many posts, if the posts were going to be static or if they were going away after a specific amount of time. Clear communication is key!

Molly also talks to her influencers about how the products will be presented in the photos. She asks for the product to be pressed or steamed before being photographed. It's also helpful to ask to see the photos in advance and approve them before they get posted.

It's easy to see which influencers are professionals just by looking at the quality of past posts and their previous partnerships. The accounts that are high quality are the easiest to trust, Molly says.

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Molly is Confident in The Quality of Her Product, and Doesn’t Apologize for the Price

Last year, Molly started working with a company that did Facebook marketing. She found that it was a misstep for her company, because they were promoting her product to the wrong audience.

People were commenting on pricing, and when that happened, Molly realized very quickly that there's something in this audience that wasn't her customer.

Molly says when someone knows her product and learns a little bit more about her company, they know why it's expensive. It's because it's 100% wool or because it's handmade or it's made in the United States. She also makes sure that her employees are paid a living wage.

But when Little Goodall was being served to the wrong audiences, those audiences were either not taking the time to understand or were just commenting on the pricing.

In some cases, Molly would respond and explain her company's values and why her products were so expensive. And in other cases, it was just a signal that she was promoting to the wrong audience.

My big takeaway from Molly's experience is that she didn't receive the feedback and then decide to lower her prices. She is very confident in her pricing choices, in the quality of her product, and in her company values!

I think so many of us women business owners need to develop that confidence in our pricing. We need to sit down and really work through the numbers and our company values and decide that it's OK if our product is not for everyone!

“If you love your product, you've put a lot into it, and you know why all those little things are part of it. You have that knowledge intrinsically of why it's special and why it costs what it does,” Molly says. “But we won't be in business long if we price things below their value! I love what I do and I want to keep doing it!”

Little Goodall is Intentionally Staying Small Because Molly Wants a Business That Fits Into Her Life

The reason Little Goodall is staying small is because Molly likes being able to control what's going on. Her goal was never to have a huge army of people working for her or to scale a business as quickly as she possibly could.

She wants to be able to spend time with her son on spring break, do things that interest her at her own pace, and not feel that she's driven by the need to bring in certain amounts of money.

She wants to be driven by her curiosity and grow at a pace that's comfortable to her.

Molly says she really loves the people she works with. This is Little Goodall's ninth year, and Molly feels good with where her company is without taking giant strides and trying to make thousands of one garment instead of making hundreds. “I'm still cool with making hundreds,” she says.

I think that is a shared value among many women in the Brilliant Business Moms community: We are not about scaling at all costs. We want businesses that work around our lives. Most of us are moms because we love being moms, and part of our core values is the time we want to spend with our kids while they're young.

Get on Little Goodall’s VIP List!

You can find Molly at littlegoodall.com (and also sign up for her list so you know about the next Private Sale!), and on Instagram @littlegoodall.

I always learn so much when I chat with Molly! She's so talented, strategic, and best of all, she also cares really deeply about building a business that works for her.

That's a common trend among us, Brilliant Business Moms. We don't want businesses that run our lives. We want it to be the other way around. After Molly and I chatted, she took her son to the aquarium! I just love that we are balancing family and business life all day, every day, right?

One of the ways I make sure my business doesn't take over my entire life is by developing a Brilliant Marketing Plan for the products that I want to launch into the world. I don't love being chained to social media feeling like the only way I get sales is when I'm posting about a product. That gets really old.

Instead, what you want to do is take your audience on a beautiful journey where they feel heard and understood, their objections and questions are answered, and they are now ready to buy your incredible product.

Now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

– Beth Anne

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

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Inside One Mom’s 30k Online Course Launch in a Small Niche (Outside of the Business Space!) https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/inside-one-moms-30k-online-course-launch-in-a-small-niche/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/inside-one-moms-30k-online-course-launch-in-a-small-niche/#respond Fri, 12 Apr 2019 21:25:19 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6648 Inside One Mom’s 30k Online Course Launch in a Small Niche (Outside of the Business Space!) Have you ever gotten discouraged because a goal you’re working towards is taking you so much longer than expected? I definitely have! In this age of instant gratification and “overnight successes” it’s easy to feel like we just don’t […]

The post Inside One Mom’s 30k Online Course Launch in a Small Niche (Outside of the Business Space!) appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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Have you ever gotten discouraged because a goal you’re working towards is taking you so much longer than expected? I definitely have! In this age of instant gratification and “overnight successes” it’s easy to feel like we just don’t have what it takes if our journey feels slower than others. Nothing could be further from the truth, and my podcast guest today is here to prove that to you. Rayzel Lam built up a niche blog audience around a really narrow (and controversial!) diet plan. She focused on serving her audience as best she could -- with videos and blog posts, emails and building community in a Facebook group -- and then she launched a brilliant program to help them take the next step towards their weight loss success. Rayzel’s program took her nearly 2 years to complete!! (I know….!!!) The day before she planned to launch it, she was crying in the shower feeling completely overwhelmed. She couldn’t get her sales page just right and felt like giving up. Instead…. Some of her sneaky subscribers found their way to her unfinished sales page and bought the program anyway! It was just the shove Rayzel needed to launch her brilliant program. So she did! She earned $30k in sales over her 4-day promotional period, and this program has gone on to earn her, on average, just under 9k in sales every single month since. I’m so glad she didn’t give up just because her goal took a long time to complete! And friend, I don’t want you to give up either. Take that next step, and launch your brilliant product.

Inside One Mom’s 30k Online Course Launch in a Small Niche (Outside of the Business Space!)

Have you ever gotten discouraged because a goal you’re working towards is taking you so much longer than expected?

I definitely have!

In this age of instant gratification and “overnight successes” it’s easy to feel like we just don’t have what it takes if our journey feels slower than others.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and my podcast guest today is here to prove that to you.

Rayzel Lam built up a niche blog audience around a really narrow (and controversial!) diet plan.

She focused on serving her audience as best she could — with videos and blog posts, emails and building community in a Facebook group — and then she launched a brilliant program to help them take the next step towards their weight loss success.

Rayzel’s program took her nearly 2 years to complete!! (I know….!!!) The day before she planned to launch it, she was crying in the shower feeling completely overwhelmed. She couldn’t get her sales page just right and felt like giving up.

Instead…. Some of her sneaky subscribers found their way to her unfinished sales page and bought the program anyway!

It was just the shove Rayzel needed to launch her brilliant program. So she did!

She earned $30k in sales over her 4-day promotional period, and this program has gone on to earn her, on average, just under 9k in sales every single month since.

I’m so glad she didn’t give up just because her goal took a long time to complete!

And friend, I don’t want you to give up either.

Take that next step, and launch your brilliant product.

Press play on the podcast player below to hear the full episode.

Here’s What’s Covered in this Episode:

00:04 – 30k Online Course Launch in a Small Niche
02:13 – Are You Ready to Launch Your Product? Take My Quiz!
03:23 – Mamapreneur of the Week: Rayzel Lam
04:22 – A Weight Loss Journey That Created a Community
06:31 – Finding a Program Focus
09:17 – Is Niching Down Worth Your Time and Effort?
10:09 – Involve Your Audience to Get Them Excited for Launch Day
16:19 – Building Up Your List Through Opt-In Incentives
19:52 – The Launch That Went Better Than Planned
28:58 – Rayzel Recognized the Value of Investing in Her Program and Having an Experienced Team
31:56 – Give Your Customers a “Lightbulb Moment” to Help Them See That They Need Your Product
34:30 – Don’t Fall Prey to List Shame!
40:28 – Rayzel Channeled the Power of the Email Funnel to Create Evergreen Sales
46:14 – Rayzel and Her Son’s New Project:  Happy Kid Stories!

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

30k Online Course Launch in a Small Niche

Well, hello, Brilliant Business Mom! I'm so excited that you're back and listening to another episode of the Brilliant Business Moms podcast.

You are going to love today's interview with Rayzel Lam. She shares so many brilliant ideas for involving her audience all along the way while she was developing her premium digital product. Rayzel's launch didn't go exactly as planned, but in the very best way possible. She ended up earning $30k in sales during her 4-day promotional period!

There's so much we can learn from Rayzel on how to build our own communities, care for our audience well, and turn that into an incredibly successful launch. She mentions that she spent a lot of time blogging, building up her email list and connecting with her community ahead of time.

Rayzel wants to make sure you know that even if your very first launch doesn't go as smashingly well as hers did, that's ok. Every time you launch, you'll learn something new and make forward progress.

Keep going no matter what your list size is. When you're getting ready to launch, you can nurture those folks so well and see incredible results.

Are You Ready to Launch Your Product? Take My Quiz!

Now, if you're curious to know if you’re ready to launch, I've got a quiz just for you. It's called Are You Ready to Launch Your Product?

It's for those of you who might be thinking about creating a digital product, like printables or an ebook or an online course. And it's also for those of you who want to pull off an amazing affiliate launch or launch your own physical products. I have used my product launch model in all of those cases with incredible results.

So in this quiz that will just take you a few minutes to complete, you'll learn all of the different aspects that you need to have in place in order to be ready to launch. And when you get your results, I'll give you some specific recommendations for what to focus on depending on where you're at in your business.

The quiz is super fun, so I hope you'll head on over and take it. You can find it at brilliantbusinessmoms.com/launchready.

Mamapreneur of the Week:
Rayzel Lam

I am so excited to be welcoming Rayzel Lam to the podcast. Rayzel is a health blogger who took her own experience with a particular weight loss program, and then the maintenance plan, and then developed a course to help other moms with their weight loss maintenance.

She's going to talk with us today about how she launched that course, how it went, and how she continues to make sales with it.

It's a really fun story. We’ll also talk about the way Rayzel has set up her business so that she has the freedom to now pursue other hobbies and passions!

A Weight Loss Journey That Created a Community

Seven years ago, Rayzel started a very specific (and even Rayzel was quick to admit, controversial!) diet plan and chronicled her weight loss journey on Youtube, using it to track her progress and connect with other women who were doing the same thing. Then, she ended up starting a website and posting helpful blog posts for people who were new to the diet.

Rayzel made a physical workbook for her audience first (it’s still for sale on Amazon!), and then she made a digital version.

Two years ago, she released the program that we're talking about on today’s episode. This program still makes her consistent revenue each and every month, virtually on auto-pilot.

It took her a good 1½ to 2 years to make this premium priced product for her audience!

I love that even though this product took much longer to create than she expected, Rayzel didn't give up or throw in the towel.

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Finding a Program Focus

Rayzel figured out what to focus on for her course by finding a pain point in her niche — something other people were having a problem with.

She noticed that there was a lot of information out there about how to do her particular diet, but no one knew what to do after it was over, so a lot of people would gain the weight back. Rayzel realized, “I don't think it's the diet, it's just that there's no plan for afterwards!”

Rayzel is one of the few people who actually maintained her weight loss over the past 7 years, and she hasn’t had to diet since the first time!

But she wasn't sure if people would be willing to spend money on maintaining weight, instead of losing it. It’s less exciting than a dramatic initial transformation, right? But as it turns out, people are willing to pay to stay transformed!

I love how Rayzel saw that there was a hole in the marketplace where other people were not talking about maintenance, so she took the leap and filled that gap with her business!

Is Niching Down Worth Your Time and Effort?

There's a free tool called Google Trends where you can discover the search volume for certain topics. For example, if I searched the Keto diet or the Paleo diet, the search volume is huge!

The search volume for the diet niche that Rayzel is in is very tiny. So at first she wondered, “Can I really make a living off of niching down?” And, as it turns out, she can! She has built a sizeable community and following of women who are interested in what she has to say.

I've heard so many other good success stories of people serving super tiny niches and making a really good living. And what's so great about focusing on a niche is that is you're the only one, or one of a small handful of people, offering a solution for those searches!

Involve Your Audience to Get Them Excited for Launch Day

Rayzel involved her audience in her product creation process all along the way. Creating the program was 1½ years in the making, but she would continually give them updates and ask a lot of questions through email and social media to get their opinions.

When she was trying to figure out a name for the program, she gave her audience some choices and asked again for their input. (Note: If you do that, be sure to reserve any domain names that you are really seriously thinking about!)

I think there's this concern of, “If I share this process with my audience, then I don't look professional or I don't look like I have it all together.” And my thought is, “No, you look like a real person! A person that cares very deeply about what your audience wants, needs, and thinks.”

Rayzel says she has struggled with this, too. Even now, when she writes more vulnerable emails, she always hesitates to press send because it’s going out to thousands and thousands of people!

But when she shares the real things she’s going through, she says those are the times she gets the biggest response from her people.

Building Up Your List Through Opt-In Incentives

Rayzel has lots of areas on her blog where people can sign up to join her “email tribe.” She shows the number of subscribers she has to encourage others to be a part of a large group.

She also has a specific opt-in for one of the phases of her program.

“Over time, it just built from people seeing the opt-ins in different spots,” she says. She posts on social media, too, but most of her list has been built through her website.

Most of Rayzel’s traffic comes from Google. The name of her blog has turned into a search term. For instance, doctors will tell their patients about her program if they are recommending her diet. Rayzel says this still surprises her. “I’m just a mom who saw success with this program!” But she’s been able to help so many other women in the process.

Rayzel built her audience by putting out consistent content, inviting people into her community, and having a focused niche. That's another vote for niching down! It's so impressive that she is getting all her traffic from Google and has a very sizeable list of targeted subscribers (she’s currently at 34,000!).

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The Course Launch That Went Better Than Planned

Rayzel says her big product launch was so scary and stressful. Before this, her highest-priced product was $34.99.

She made a casual video in her car a week before launch day, saying, “Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that the program's coming out like next week, and this isn't a workbook, and so it's not the same price.” She was so nervous about what her audience would think!

Rayzel had the program finished but was still trying to get the sales page together. She was at a point where she was so exhausted and had so much brain fog that she didn't know what to write. So she decided to send another update email on Friday, but she wasn't going to sell the program quite yet.

Usually on Fridays, Rayzel does Bible volunteer work with her son, and she didn't want to forego that for her business. So she sent the email and hopped in the shower because she had to leave in 10 minutes.

When she got out of the shower, she had email notifications saying 2-3 people bought the program, even though she hadn’t finished the sales page! (She found out later that there's a way to find the sales page if you hunt around on her site a bit!)

Before that point, she was feeling so overwhelmed, but when she saw that happen, it was the little boost she needed to open the doors on her program.

She sent an enrollment email out with a subject line like, “You stinkers! You found the sales page!” then dashed off to her volunteer work.

When she got home 3 hours later, more than 200 people had claimed spots in her program, which amounted to $14,000 in sales!

The original plan was to cap the program at 200 students. So Rayzel sent another email saying, “Hey, we're already at the cap, but that's just not fair to you guys. So let's leave a little more room.”

She kept her cart open for about 4 days, and ended up selling about 400 spots. Her total sales for that period were about $30,000.

Incredible! Rayzel built a wonderful community, and cared for them well, and they were ready for what she had to offer!

Rayzel Recognized the Value of Investing in Her Program and Having an Experienced Team

Rayzel hired a recipe developer on Upwork, and they created 7 weeks of custom recipe meal plans. One of her virtual assistants did all of the document compiling and that took hundreds of hours. Rayzel hired a kitchen assistant who would cook all the meals and Rayzel did the food photography.

To do all of that, Rayzel invested about $10,000-$15,000 in the creation of her program. So it was a risk.

But Rayzel cared so much about creating an excellent, high quality product, and her customers recognized that. So many people snatched it up on launch day, knowing they were getting an incredible value.

“It's normal to feel scared when it's your first time,” Rayzel says, “But just do it, just do it!”

Rayzel and I also mention that you don’t HAVE to invest thousands of dollars into your first online course. If you create all your slides yourself, edit all of your own videos, and just take a bit longer to put it all together, you can create a course on a shoestring budget of $200 or so.

Many of us online course creators start out on a smaller budget, and then we add fancier elements and hire more help once our first course launch is a success.

Give Your Customers a “Lightbulb Moment” to Help Them See That They Need Your Product

Rayzel put out a video series before her product launch. In each video, she did a demonstration where she cooked three dishes: one of her program’s custom recipes and two similar ones from Pinterest.

She cooked them all, wrote out the macros for each dish, and then showed why the Pinterest recipes, even though they seemed like they were “safe,” weren't as healthy as the recipe that she had created for her program.

A very powerful sales strategy Rayzel employed was giving her potential customers a lightbulb moment where she said, “Hey, it's OK. I understand why you thought that these low-carb recipes would be great, but I'm going to switch everything around for you and show you that there's a better way.”

It was so smart for Rayzel to demonstrate this lightbulb moment on video! She says she always tries to put herself in the same boat as her customers because she’s been in the same place.

She’s showing, not telling, them what she’s learned over time. This goes back to being real with your audience, friends!

Don’t Fall Prey to List Shame!

You don't need to have list shame, you guys! You don't need to freak out if you don't have 20,000 people on your list like Rayzel had, because if you have the right targeted people on your list, solid open rates, and solid click-through rates, you know people actually want to see your product. That's where the real power of your list is.

For Rayzel’s product launch, the first email she sent (to 23,265 subscribers!) had a 17.9% open rate. It had a 3.9% click-through rate, which means that 898 people clicked over to the landing page and were interested in buying a spot in her program. And she only had 58 unsubscribes out of more than 23,000 people!

If your click-through rate is much higher than your unsubscribe rate, that’s a good sign that your email resonated.

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Rayzel Channeled the Power of the Email Funnel to Create Evergreen Sales

Rayzel has a very simple email funnel that's always running behind the scenes, and there are a few different ways people enter it.

She offers a P3 Foods List as a free download when people sign up for her list from blog posts on her site, and that puts them into the email funnel.

The other way they can get into the funnel is on her p3tolife.com sales page. There's a bar at the top with a coupon code for $50 off the program, which she says almost everyone uses, because that's a big discount! So when they sign up to get the coupon code, they also go into the funnel.

The actual funnel is comprised of six emails that slowly introduce subscribers to the program.

One email, for example, links to her testimonials page, which has more than 140 reviews!

Another email links to the videos where she does the food demonstrations she talked about earlier.

Right now, Rayzel is getting 60-70 new course enrollments a month. It tends to be a little bit seasonal (who diets in the wintertime, am I right?), she says, but the rest of the year is a little more stable.

She already has great blog content and she’s getting solid Google traffic, so those new students are coming in organically!

Rayzel and Her Son Started a New Project Called Happy Kid Stories

Rayzel is passionate about helping other women with their weight loss maintenance. But she can only tell her diet story so many times, she says, and she needed to try something new.

Her new project is learning to be a children's book illustrator! She homeschools her 9-year-old son, and she wanted to make this year more about doing things that brought her family together.

“With homeschooling,” Rayzel says, “I can't just sit and watch him work math problems and pop in when he needs help. I'd just be so unhappy! So I wondered, ‘What can I do that helps him learn something really useful and valuable, but also stimulates my brain enough to feel satisfying for me, too?’”

Rayzel and her son started writing children's stories together! They have 12 different partially finished stories, and they're all going to be connected.

When they were thinking about the illustrations, Rayzel’s son said, “Mom, you should draw them!” And she said, “Who, me?”

“He was so matter-of-fact about it. I literally just draw stick figures, but I'm trying to set a good example for my son that you can learn anything if you put your mind to it,” Rayzel says. So Rayzel started looking at illustrations on Instagram for reference and tries to learn how to draw them. She’s been doing that every day for the last 6 months!

Rayzel plans to illustrate the books, as well as create downloadable coloring pages and kid-friendly recipes to go with each story!

Rayzel thinks that parents will enjoy reading her stories to their kids. She wants to sprinkle them with details that parents will resonate with. She’s also asking for submissions!

“I would love to have people send in phrases, cute things, or silly things that their kids have said that we can use in the stories,” Rayzel says.

You can sign up for Rayzel’s email list at happykidstories.com. She is also on Instagram at happykidstories.

I love that Rayzel has built her business in such a way that she has time to work on this amazing project with their son, and that they’re bringing a community along on for the ride, too!

I had so much fun chatting with Rayzel. She clearly knows how to connect with her audience and cares so deeply about putting out a valuable product.

I know all of you out there listening care about that, too!

Now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

– Beth Anne

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

The post Inside One Mom’s 30k Online Course Launch in a Small Niche (Outside of the Business Space!) appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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What’s a Product Launch and Why Should I Care? https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/whats-a-product-launch-and-why-should-i-care/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/whats-a-product-launch-and-why-should-i-care/#respond Tue, 09 Apr 2019 15:01:18 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6640 What's a Product Launch and Why Should I Care? Do you know what a product launch is? You might think it’s just for fancy start-up companies, or maybe a product launch only applies to a brand new product, but that’s not true! You can use a product launch strategy to market ANY physical or digital […]

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Do you know what a product launch is? You might think it’s just for fancy start-up companies, or maybe a product launch only applies to a brand new product, but that’s not true! You can use a product launch strategy to market ANY physical or digital product (and even affiliate products!) for incredible results. With a product launch, you’ll take your audience on a beautiful journey so that they understand what your product is, who it’s for, how it can help them, and get them excited to buy on launch day!

What's a Product Launch and Why Should I Care?

Do you know what a product launch is? You might think it’s just for fancy start-up companies, or maybe a product launch only applies to a brand new product, but that’s not true!

You can use a product launch strategy to market ANY physical or digital product (and even affiliate products!) for incredible results.

With a product launch, you’ll take your audience on a beautiful journey so that they understand what your product is, who it’s for, how it can help them, and get them excited to buy on launch day!

Press the Play button on the Podcast Player Below to Learn more about crafting a brilliant product launch!

Here’s what’s Covered in this Episode:

00:19 – Let’s Throw a Party for your Product!
00:54 – Does a Product Launch Really Apply to my Business?
01:49 – Product Launches Apply to Digital AND Physical Products!
2:26 – Can a Product Launch Help Me Increase My Affiliate Sales?
4:03 – My Product Launch Lightbulb Moment
06:29 – Adding an Element of Scarcity Gives Your Customers an Incentive to Buy
08:19 – “For Sale” All the Time Doesn’t Mean Sales All the Time
09:11 – Pre-launch Content is Crucial to a Successful Product Launch
11:58 – My Super Successful Product Launch for an Affiliate Product
14:36 – Product Launches Work for Brand New AND Existing Products
18:05 – Another Example of How a Product Launch Worked for One of My Products
22:28 – Product Launches Can Be Fun!
23:29 – I Can Teach You How to Have a Brilliant Product Launch
25:00 – Take My Quiz to See If You’re Ready to Launch!

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Let’s Throw A Party for Your Product!

What is a product launch? And more importantly, why should you care? Well, I’m here to tell you that you SHOULD care, because a product launch is a GREAT way to increase sales and awareness! Whether it’s physical or digital, your product deserves to have a party!

Does a Product Launch Really Apply to My Business?

I think a lot of people have the misconception that a product launch is only for:

  • big startup companies
  • physical products
  • the very first time you release a new product into the marketplace

Well, none of those things are actually true! If you listen to my episode with Bethany Dasko of Board & Batten Design Co., you'll hear her say that using product launches in her industry has made a huge difference for her business!

Bethany has a Shopify store where she sells SVG files (digital cutting files that you can use on a Cricut machine or a Silhouette machine) to then create all sorts of different things, and she makes a large amount of her sales through product launches!

Product Launches Apply to Physical AND Digital Products!

A product launch involves taking your customers on a beautiful journey that prepares them to be ready to buy your product when you release it out into the world, and they're excited about it, too!

You can use the product launch strategy with physical products (I've done it with my Brilliant Life Planner and the Brilliant Business Planner!). You can pull off a product launch for digital products, like an online course. And I've used my product launch strategy for products priced as low as $15.

Can a Product Launch Help Me Increase My Affiliate Sales?

You can also use a product launch strategy to maximize your affiliate sales.

If you're not sure what affiliate sales are, basically someone else creates a product and they give you a commission off of any sales that you refer to them.

You can use affiliate links in emails, blog posts, or on social media. (FYI: You can't use Amazon affiliate links in your emails, as of the date of this podcast recording!).

For the longest time, I thought affiliate sales just didn't work for me! I just wasn't see big results when I tried to sell someone else's product as an affiliate.

Hardly anyone would buy, even though I highly recommended it and thought it was a great fit for my audience. So I wrote off affiliate sales as something that I just simply wasn't good at.

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My Product Launch Lightbulb Moment

A couple of years into my business, I realized, “Wait a second, Beth Anne! When you try to sell your own products, you don't just throw them out into the world and cross your fingers and hope a few people buy. You create a brilliant marketing plan any time you want to sell one of your products!”

Trying to sell a product to people who aren't ready for it is the equivalent of throwing a T-shirt at someone on their birthday and saying, “Here's your gift, happy birthday!” And they're like, “OK. Um, thanks … I think?”

Think about how that would feel if that's how someone handed you a gift! There's no excitement, there's no anticipation. They didn't wrap it up and make it look really pretty. They didn't put a lot of thought into it. And the way they presented it to you was pretty careless! They certainly didn't care about you or giving you a great experience, right?

Well, that's what so many of us do when we're trying to market our products. Instead, we need to take our customers on a beautiful journey. And the thing is, this isn't just true the first time you launch a product into the world. You can use this product launch strategy for a product that you've been selling for years!

Adding an Element of Scarcity Gives Your Customers an Incentive to Buy

Anytime you're promoting something, you need to have an element of scarcity to it. It could be a limited time sale, some limited time bonuses that come with your product, cool video trainings, or other digital goodies that help your customer get more out of your product.

There are all sorts of ways to create great bonuses your customers will be excited about and will want to make sure they don't miss! You also could include some limited time physical bonuses.

For example, sometimes I'll do a promotion where I offer free planner stickers with every purchase of a Brilliant Life Planner. My audience loves that, and it gives them that extra reason to move their buns and buy my planner.

You can also add scarcity by having limited quantities of your product, so if your customers don't act quickly, your product is going to sell out. You can be very intentional about having a small amount of a certain item, having a limited release of your product, or having your product going away if it's digital.

You get to choose when and how you're going to offer that product. You don't have to keep it for sale all the time!

“For Sale” All the Time Doesn’t Mean Sales All the Time

This is something that new business owners seem to get confused on. It's easy to think that by always offering your product for sale or by always having extra bonuses as part of the deal, that's how you're going to get more customers in the door.

Aren't you going to get more customers if it's just always there? Well, actually, the exact opposite is true.

When you set a tight timeframe on your offer — that fabulous product plus the extra items that are making it scarce — it will compel your audience to get off the couch and go buy. Scarcity gives that extra incentive to get your audience excited to buy.

Pre-launch Content is Crucial to a Successful Product Launch

The other piece of the framework that is so important and is very often overlooked is your pre-launch content. This is the content that you're sharing with your audience in the 3-6 weeks ahead of your offer going live.

You're going to be very intentional about the content that you're sharing with your audience. This content gets them ready to buy on launch day.

I mentioned earlier that it took me a long time to realize that the way I sell my own products was very different than the way I was trying to sell affiliate products.

When the light finally turned on in my silly little brain, I stopped trying to just throw an affiliate product at my customers and instead came up with at least 3 weeks of pre-launch content.

That got my audience thinking, “This might be something that's a great fit for me, where I am in my life, and the goals I want to accomplish.” When I started doing that, I saw an incredible difference in the amount of affiliate sales that I would make during a launch.

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My Super Successful Product Launch for an Affiliate Product

The first time I finally started treating an affiliate product like a true product launch, I was blown away by the results.

I partnered with my friend and former team member, Ellen Russell, to offer her product, PS Crash Course, for a really great discount for five days. Instead of the original price of $75, we were going to offer it for $37. That’s more than half off!

But rather than just throw this great deal at my audience, I very intentionally shared pre-launch content for 3 weeks leading up to this launch. During launch week, I intentionally shared live videos and relevant emails.

Guess what the result of my affiliate sale product launch was? We sold 452 copies of PS Crash Course for a total of $17,448 in sales, and my commission was $6,993.60.

I made almost $7,000 by taking this product seriously and developing a true product launch around this affiliate offer!

Product Launches Work for Brand New AND Existing Products

The other misconception with product launches is that they're only for brand new products. Nothing could be further from the truth!

What I would love to see you do is dig deep on one product of yours. Listen to your people, listen to your customers, make it the best it can possibly be, and launch that product into the world 2-4 times this next year.

You can make each launch feel different to your people, but you're going to hone your strategy every time.

This is exactly what Bethany Dasko does. Bethany only creates and sells SVG files. It's a very particular type of digital file, and she has a very particular style. She does not deviate from the vintage homespun look of her designs, but because the niche is the same, her audience is the same.

She's got this process nailed down pat. Every time Bethany is going to release a new collection of these beautiful files, she knows what her product launch strategy is going to be and how to get fabulous results.

If you think that the issue with your current business is, “Oh, I'm selling T-shirts, but I should really start selling pillows,” or “I'm selling notebooks, but I bet the issue with my slow sales is that I should be selling pens instead. Once I start selling pens, that's going to turn everything around,”

I'm here to tell you that in many cases, that's not what's going on at all. The issue is that you need to dig deep and learn how to really market your product, and that's what a product launch will do for you.

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Another Example of How a Product Launch Worked for One of My Products

I created a mini class a couple years ago called How to Be Brilliant on Social Media. You all wanted to learn more about social media, and I found a way to put my own spin on it. The first version of this class sold really well. We did about $18,000 of mini class sales for a $15 live ticket. So that was pretty exciting.

After a year had gone by, I realized I should have promoted this class to my entire list (at that point, it had already helped a couple thousand people, and that was before even offering it to my list!). So I decided to do a product launch for this baby!

I came up with three weeks of pre-launch content, had my emails and social media posts all planned out, and took my customers on a beautiful journey, but I was slightly skeptical about how it would do.

I was expecting maybe $10,000 worth of sales, but I didn't think it would do as well as the first time I launched this product. Well, I was wrong, because for this product launch, I made more than $17,000 in sales!

What really contributed to the success of this second launch?

  • I did raise the price again. This time, the regular price of the course was $47, and for the week that I was promoting it, it was a $27 offer. I didn't need to sell as many units of this course to bring in the same level of revenue.
  • I now had a couple thousand students who had gone through this course. I could point to their results and talk about what they thought of the class. I didn't have that customer feedback or testimonials the first time I launched this product.
  • Because I wasn't in the throes of creating something new, I had more focus, time, and energy to develop my pre-launch content and develop my content during launch week.

So you can see that the second time around, I had almost the same results as the first time, and I can tell you from experience that it took way less work!

The other thing that was really neat about this launch is that I did it almost as a solo-preneur. I did have a little help from one of my team members, but basically it was just me behind the scenes writing all of the pre-launch content, creating posts on social media, and taking my customers on a beautiful journey.

And you know what? On launch day, my customers showed me that I did it right, because when they showed up, they were so excited about this product that they were ready to buy! I want the same thing for you, friend!

Product Launches Can Be Fun!

I am so passionate about product launches. I think they get such a bad rap. People act like they're so stressful and so crazy and I'm here to tell you that they don't have to be. They can be fun!

There are ways to launch that aren't going to eat up all your time or require you to be promoting in a hundred different places.

There are so many ways you can utilize a product launch in your business. Not to mention, you can use them for the same exact product or same exact product line over and over again and still get incredible results every single time!

I Can Teach You How to Have a Brilliant Product Launch!

This is not about reinventing the wheel every 3 months, friends. This is about amplifying what's working and refining your marketing message.

That's my challenge to you: Pick that one product or product line that you want to focus on and make it the best you can possibly make it. Connect with your audience, connect with your customers, serve them as best you can, and develop a brilliant product launch for your business.

I'd love to be the person to help make that happen! On April 25th, I will be opening the doors on my Brilliant Product Launches Course. This course was previously available, but there is so much more in this new, revamped version.

It's organized in a brilliant way so that every single step of your launch plan will make perfect sense. My product launch strategy works whether you just have a couple hundred subscribers or 100,000 subscribers on your list. I'm confident you'll learn some brilliant new marketing strategies that you can apply to your business!

I hope you'll join me inside Brilliant Product Launches when the doors open! Mark your calendar for April 25th!

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Take My Quiz to See If You’re Ready to Launch!

Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/launchready to take my FREE quiz to see how ready you are to launch your product into the world! You'll walk away with specific tips and recommendations for you and the stage you're at in your business. You'll also receive a 20-page product launch blueprint to show you every single step you need to take. You're going to love it, friend!

And of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

– Beth Anne

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How a Single Mom Makes a Full-Time Living with Her Shopify Store https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/single-mom-full-time-income-shopify-store/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/single-mom-full-time-income-shopify-store/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2019 14:00:02 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6620 How a Single Mom Makes a Full-Time Living with Her Shopify Store Have you ever thought that growing an online business was simply out of your league? Maybe you’re a mom with kids at home, and you’re not sure you have the time or talent to grow the business you’ve been dreaming about? Today’s podcast […]

The post How a Single Mom Makes a Full-Time Living with Her Shopify Store appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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Sometimes when we hear “product launches” we think that's just for online courses. But Bethany, of Board & Batten Design Co., thought there had to be a way for her to take the bones of the idea and adapt it for her own business!

How a Single Mom Makes a Full-Time Living with Her Shopify Store

Have you ever thought that growing an online business was simply out of your league? Maybe you’re a mom with kids at home, and you’re not sure you have the time or talent to grow the business you’ve been dreaming about?

Today’s podcast guest, Bethany Dasko, has been there too. She’s a single mom with 3 kids, and when she lost her job last year, she decided to treat her online store like a real job instead, and her results are pretty incredible!

Bethany’s Shopify store now supports her family full-time, and she’s also used her shop income to pay off all of her consumer debt. Bethany doesn’t sell anything super expensive or crazy unique (she’s not a magical unicorn!). She sells SVG files, which are design files that can be used with a Cricut cutting machine or Silhouette machine. Her products range in price from $3.50 to $100.

What Bethany DOES do that’s a little unique is use a product launch system to sell more of her designs. She knows how to create an irresistible offer for her audience and get them really excited and ready to buy when her offer goes live. Bethany says that product launches have played a huge role in her business growth, AND she has a whole lot of fun doing them!

Press Play on the Podcast Player Below to Hear Bethany's Story!

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Meet Our Mamapreneur of the Week:
Bethany Dasko of Board & Batten Design Co.!

Bethany Dasko is the designer behind Board & Batten Design Co. She makes digital vector artwork — ready-made artwork for silhouette and Cricut crafting machines — and people use them to make wooden signs, T-shirts and other products.

She’s also a single mom with three kids. She live in a little cabin up in the mountains on 20 acres, where she owns milk goats and other livestock. Those are her three big things: her business, her family, and her homestead.

Bethany Transitioned Her Shop from Etsy to Shopify

Bethany half-heartedly started on Etsy in January 2017, and then in February got laid off from her job. So that’s when she really dug in and worked on her business, going to a local business center that had good wifi and working all day long on her store while her kids were at school.

Get this: Bethany replaced her job income in 3 months! “Treating it like a job is key,” she says.

Bethany knows it’s hard to grow an email list on Etsy! She says her business is conducive to that, because she can offer a a $3.50 download as a freebie and use that as an incentive to grow her list.

Bethany puts freebies everywhere on her Etsy shop!

  • In the shop description
  • A listing image that has an offer for a free ebook
  • An exclusive design that’s only available when you sign up for her list
  • An offer for a discount coupon code

Bethany’s Etsy shop was doing really well (she had a list of 725 people), so she decided to build a website. Her great big goals were to have her business revolve around her email list, and create a structured system for repeatedly making money.

She didn't want to just rely on trickle-in sales here and there from Pinterest traffic. And because she’s a single mom, she wanted to support her family with her business, which she does now!

Bethany built her website in September 2017. The grand opening sale was the first thing that she did with her Shopify store, and she made $202 in eight days.

She ended up earning $0.30 per subscriber for that promotion. That result was SO not worth all the work she put into it! It was more money than she had been making, because she was still making sales on Etsy, but it was very disappointing.

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Bethany Created Her Own Opt-In to Represent Her Business and Build Her List

Bethany was on MailChimp when she first opened her shop, and she thinks that’s a great place to start. She registered her domain right away, and her boardbattendesign.com was just an opt-in page to grow her list.

She built a pretty opt-in form on that homepage that showed off the design she was giving away for free. Then she made some pretty pins for Pinterest to help build up her list.

From a Trickle of Sales to Consistent Profit by Pulling off a Brilliant Product Launch

In the SVG industry, the answer to the question, “How do I get more sales?” seems to be, “Just make more products!”

Bethany thought, “OK, that brings in a little trickle traffic here and there, but it would take years to build up to the point where I could support my family.” And she needed to support her family immediately!

She would have eventually needed to get another job, and she didn’t want that. She wanted the life of being completely self-employed, and was really intrigued by the idea of product launching.

I think sometimes when we hear “product launches” we think that's just for online courses. But Bethany thought there had to be a way for her to take the bones of the idea and adapt it for her own business!

She wanted to create new products and then spend a whole bunch of time marketing and getting more eyes on them.

By November 2017, Bethany had a list of about 3,500 people. Having her own website really allowed her to leverage different ways to grow her list.

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But the neatest thing about Bethany’s very first attempt at a product launch is that she made more than twice as much per subscriber. During her September sale, Bethany made $0.30 per subscriber, but during her November sale, she made $0.66 per subscriber!

Hint: The size of your list is so much less important than how targeted they are, and how well you nurture them and get them ready to buy your offer on launch day!  

The one thing Bethany really loves about doing these design releases — which is her version of a product launch — is that she’s only decided to do them five times a year. So she’s only selling to her list five times a year.

She doesn’t feel like she has to email her subscribers all the time and bug them to buy her stuff. She’s able to back off and relax and send them stuff that’s helpful and cool. Bethany’s subscribers are her friends!

Because Bethany is building that anticipation and excitement, her people don't really feel “sold to.” They feel like they’re along for the ride, and they’re excited for when that new design release comes out.

Bethany has had some customers who have bought literally every single design she’s ever made! That is unheard of in the SVG design industry!

It’s Possible to Create a Profitable Business that Works Around Your Life Instead of Taking Over

Bethany works 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, and she also homeschools her oldest daughter (she's 12). She doesn’t want to have any one aspect of her life take over everything else.

She loves her business and marketing, but she doesn’t want to spend 8 hours a day doing it. She’s making enough to take care of her family, put herself in a better financial position, and have actual balance in her life. She says her business has changed her life in amazing ways.

Bethany might not be making a million dollars, but she’s leading a million-dollar life where she has margin and space and time for all the things she enjoys! I just love that!

Bethany’s Design Release Strategy (Her Version of a Product Launch!)

Usually about 3-4 weeks before a launch (what Bethany calls a design release), Bethany starts working on her designs. She posts screenshots to show people what she’s working on and tries to make it entertaining to promote interaction. She also gets potential customers excited by showing them a couple previews of the ones that she thinks will be well received.

Bethany sends out 2-3 emails ahead of her launch.

  • She starts off with a completely unrelated email where she hints at what’s coming and the new designs she’s working on.
  • Then she sends out some sneak previews.
  • Then she shows all the new designs.
  • And finally, she launches her new design collection!

At the beginning of her 4-day launch, she sends 2 emails the first day and includes an early bird special. Bethany also likes to include cool graphics in her emails. She says they make such a big difference!

Bethany includes 30-40 new designs in each design release, and tends to break them up based on the seasons. For example, her most recent design release was in March, and she put out a Mother's Day bundle, a springtime designs bundle, as well as some non-themed designs.

On her Shopify site, she’s able to offer really big bundles (which is hard to do on Etsy). When her customers purchase a bundle, they have access to all the future designs she ever adds to that bundle! She likes to give potential customers an incentive to buy and lock in the best price they’ll get for a bundle.

Even though an individual design costs just $3.50, Bethany’s bundles are priced from $25 to $100.

And once a year, she packages all of that year’s designs together and sells them as one ginormous bundle! That’s a really great deal!

Bethany also sells monthly bundles by for people who want to buy everything (as opposed to just the themed designs).

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As a Small Business Owner, Bethany Wants to Empower Other Shop Owners with Her Designs

When Bethany first started in this industry, she noticed that most designers were not really big fans of their designs being used on other people’s products.

But her perspective is, “Yes, sell the stuff you make with my designs! Make all the money!” That gives her something to talk about with her email list, to nurture them and to give them tools for their business.

It also helps because people who are in business tend to buy more if they're using designs for products they plan to sell. They’ll eventually need more designs. And if her style works well with their shop’s style, then they are going to continue to want more of Bethany’s designs.

Bethany says she tries to help her customers however she can. She wants to reward the people who stick with her and who are willing to take a chance on her, even if they don’t know her very well.

Board & Batten Design Co.’s Biggest Product Launch Ever!

The biggest and best product launch Bethany has had so far was her 2018 Christmas design release. She did it in October instead of November, which gave her customers more time to get designs before the holiday season. She made $5,800 in just 4 days!

But the best part was, her shop conversion rate was 6%. This is insanely HIGH for an online store! Most of us expect a 1-2% conversion rate for our shops. This shows that Bethany knows exactly how to nurture her audience, get them excited to buy, and drive those happy buyers to her shop on launch day.

FYI, when we say “conversion rate” above, what we mean is the percentage of people who visited Bethany’s shop who actually bought something. In this case, 6 out of every 100 visitors bought something. (This is a VERY GOOD conversion rate!) Most of us get just 1-2 people out of every 100 shop visitors to buy our products.

At the time of this promotion, Bethany’s list was about 7,500 people, and she made $0.78 per subscriber. She more than doubled her earnings per subscriber compared to her first attempt at a promotion!

Expert Advice for Product Launch Newbies

If you’re an online shop owner, you might be thinking, “That sounds so overwhelming! Doing a product launch doesn’t seem like something I can accomplish! How did you do it?!”

Don’t stress, brilliant mama! Bethany Dasko has some great advice: Just start small. It is crucial to have a good process, and you should know the steps, but it's really not as hard as you think.

Starting small is really the key because it can help you develop your method to warm up your audience, get them ready, and then sell to them. Even if you just have a couple days to prepare, it's better than not trying at all!

It’s so easy to sell to people when they are like your friend. You’re not just some person trying to make a buck. Bethany’s focus is creating an awesome product that's unique, being relatable, and helping people get to know her. That takes away the stress of feeling like she constantly has to sell.

Bethany’s philosophy is that time is going to pass no matter what. You can work toward something or you can sit around doing nothing. But if you're working toward something, you can be that much closer to the life that you want to have!

Find Board & Batten Design Co. on Shopify, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

You can find Bethany and sign up for her list at boardbattendesign.com. She’s also present on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Wow, friend! Isn’t Bethany’s story so encouraging?! And … maybe I’m feeling a little motivated to get off my buns a little more!

If a single, homesteading mom who’s currently building her HOUSE can build an online business, I know you can do it, too!

What questions do you have around product launches? I’m so passionate about using them to build my business, and I’d love to help you do the same!

And of course,  now it’s your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

– Beth Anne

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Dear Mamapreneur, Stop Feeling Guilty When Someone Says They Can’t Afford Your Products https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/dear-mamapreneur-stop-feeling-guilty-when-someone-says-they-cant-afford-your-products/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/dear-mamapreneur-stop-feeling-guilty-when-someone-says-they-cant-afford-your-products/#comments Tue, 26 Mar 2019 07:30:09 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6606 Dear Mamapreneur, Stop Feeling Guilty When Someone Says They Can’t Afford Your Products Hey friend, do you feel pangs of guilt when someone tells you they can’t afford your products? I’ve been there, too! Learn why you shouldn’t feel guilty about this, why that comment truly has nothing to do with you, and how to […]

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Hey friend, do you feel pangs of guilt when someone tells you they can’t afford your products? I’ve been there, too! Learn why you shouldn’t feel guilty about this, why that comment truly has nothing to do with you, and how to add more value to your products so you can confidently charge more. Friend, your business, your family, your customers, and your sanity depend on you charging based on the value your products bring to the table. Step it on up, sister! You can raise your prices and not worry about the Bargain Brendas trying to bring you down.

How I dug myself out of bargain product purgatory and found confidence and better customers on the other side!

Dear Mamapreneur, Stop Feeling Guilty When Someone Says They Can’t Afford Your Products

Hey friend, do you feel pangs of guilt when someone tells you they can’t afford your products? I’ve been there, too!

Learn why you shouldn’t feel guilty about this, why that comment truly has nothing to do with you, and how to add more value to your products so you can confidently charge more.

Friend, your business, your family, your customers, and your sanity depend on you charging based on the value your products bring to the table. Step it on up, sister! You can raise your prices and not worry about the Bargain Brendas trying to bring you down.

Press Play on the Podcast Player Below to Hear my Story and get Encouragement for your Business!

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Buckle Up: Today’s Episode is a Hot Topic

Hey friend! Today's episode is on a bit of a hot topic — one I think that nearly every brilliant business mom on the planet likely struggles with, and I know I do too.

I’m here to be, well…. kind of your business coach for the week! I don't usually think of myself as a business coach. I don’t do one-on-one coaching, but this is the type of episode where this is exactly what I would say to you if we were sitting down to have a cup of coffee together face-to-face. This is exactly the encouragement I would give to you, friend to friend

Do You Feel Guilty When Someone Says They Can’t Afford Your Product?

Have you ever been on the receiving end of this conversation?

“Wow, I love your product, but it is so expensive! I just can’t afford that right now!”

I don’t know about you, but whenever someone tells me that, my initial reaction is to feel guilty! I used to feel bad that someone couldn’t afford my thing, whether it was a physical product (like my planner) or a digital product (like one of my courses).

However, I no longer accept those initial feelings or allow myself to sit with them for too long. Getting over those feelings of guilt has come through hard-won experience.

How I Learned Product Pricing the Hard Way

I’m sure you have heard this advice before: “You need to charge what you're worth! You need to raise your prices! You're not charging enough!” But in many cases, you just get that short sound bite, not that person's actual business experience.

So here’s my story, and why I think not charging enough for your products or services is truly hurting you, your family, and your customers.

I have sold digital products and courses for as low as $10 and as high as $497. For our planners, we had a $25 first version of the Brilliant Business Planner and currently sell a $58 Brilliant Life Planner.

We have all heard the advice that we need to serve our audience well in order to grow our business. Ask your audience what they want, listen to them, solve their problems, wave your magic wand and that's all there is to it, right?

Well, I am here to tell you how that advice really steered me down the wrong path and nearly burned me out!

In 2017, about a year after I had been running Brilliant Business Moms solo, I did an audience survey to ask what everyone wanted from BBM, and I got a lot of great feedback. But the one piece of feedback I wish I hadn’t listened to was that my audience needed things to be priced ridiculously low.

My 3-person team and I came up with this idea of mini classes for different business topics. We said, “OK, let's try this: We’ll create a new product called mini classes where people can pay just $15 for the live ticket. If they show up to class live, it'll be a 2-hour class full of content, and they can get access to the class recording and class slides that they can reference anytime.” There was also a bunch of bonus content, too, that you all got for that initial ticket price.

It sounded like a good idea in theory, but $15 for a mini class that took the four of us working nearly full time for a month leading up to the class meant… I was BARELY covering all of my business expenses! These classes were not thrown together in a jiffy. I gave them my all, and my team did too.

I've gotten feedback from other experienced business owners telling me that I should be charging several hundred dollars for each of those courses. (I'm not going to do that, so don't stress!) But that mini class model nearly killed my business and did my business, my team, and my customers a disservice. It cheapened the product we worked so hard to produce, and we were barely breaking even with sales. And that’s a big deal!

The other thing that really bothered me was that in order to keep paying my business expenses, paying my team, paying for help to produce the podcast, paying for marketing, and paying for the overhead of my business, I would have to create and launch a mini class every single month.

As a member of my audience, do you really want to be promoted to in a big way every single month? I would literally be non-stop promoting month after month, and that sounds pretty exhausting for me AND for you!

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Is Product Price the Real Problem?

Want to know something else that is really interesting about offering those really cheap products? I realized that even though many of you said that price was a huge issue for you and a huge hurdle as far as growing your business, many of my mini class students would come to us a year later and say, “Hey, I bought this class and I've never logged into it. Can you help me figure out where it is and where to log in?”

So…. price wasn’t really the issue was it? These customers weren’t prioritizing their business or their time. They were handed an affordable option and still chose not to use it to grow their business.

My goal here is not to make anyone feel bad, because I know many of you DID take those classes seriously and run with what you learned, but business mom to business mom, pricing your product at a really low price point is not the solution, even if your audience is telling you they can't afford you.

You could give them a $15 product, like I did, and there are still people who will say they can't afford you! So the issue is something deeper: They're living in Excuse World. They're not taking ownership of their life and their choices and their ability to get stuff done and make things happen.

It is so discouraging to see someone snatch up my product because it was a good deal and not because they wanted to learn or take action. That's doing a disservice to the students who were serious about learning and would have gladly paid $150 for that content. I could have had some coaching sessions with them, we could have gone a little bit deeper, and they would have been happy to do that.

I don't think we should make purchases based on whether something is a good deal. I think we should buy things we're going to use and things that we actually need. Decide ahead of time based on your business goals and big priorities what you want to learn and what tools you need to grow, but don’t get distracted by shiny objects that aren't really going to help you reach your goals.

What Products People Can Afford Depends on Their Priorities

Here’s the other thing about the phrase, “I can’t afford that.” What people can afford is very relative. The same person who is telling you they can't afford your product might be getting their nails done every couple of weeks or go out to eat multiple times a month.

If you go out to eat once a month, that's about $50, right? If your product is $50, or even if your product is several hundred dollars, if they really want it and it's really a priority, they can forego eating out for a few months, and then, like magic, afford your product!

We all get to choose how we spend our money, and we all get to choose what’s a priority for us.

When someone says they can't afford your product, what they're really saying is, “Your product is not a priority to me.”

If they're not willing to give up some of their other luxuries in order to save up for your product, that doesn't mean that you need to bend over backwards and change your price or feel guilty.

You have to charge enough so that your business is sustainable. You're doing all of your customers a disservice when you don't charge enough, because if you keep doing that, you’ll get burned out, and even worse, go out of business!

Dream Customers and Students Never Complain

My dream customers and my dream students never complain. They ask good questions, they want feedback, they look for advice, and then literally just go out and take action! They'll come back to me a few weeks later and say, “Hey, thank you so much for giving me that advice or teaching me that thing. Here are my results!”

That is so different from the people that complain or just have excuses. You don't really want to have customers who don’t make your product a priority. Leave that to Walmart! Walmart can deal with all the people who just want to buy stuff because it's cheap.

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How Much Do Your Competitors Charge?

The other thing that really helped me shift my mindset on pricing was comparing the price of my courses to the community college classes that I've taken in the past.

I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Grove City College and then I have a bachelor’s degree from an accelerated program for nursing at University of Alabama at Birmingham. I also took prerequisites for nursing school at a community college in Pensacola, Florida.

I started thinking back to how much each class at the community college cost, and how much value did I get? Each of those classes cost at least $500. At Grove City College it was about $1,400 a class.

Am I offering a similar value in my online courses? I think so. I offer a similar level of support to my students with live office hours and quick email response. So why would I charge $15 for something that's comparable to a college class and is based on my real-life success and my real-life experiences? Why would I sell myself so short?

I want you to think about that, too, with whatever product you sell. Charge based on the incredible value that you can give, and you can give more value in all sorts of ways:

Ways to Add More Value to your Products

  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Answer every question your customers have
  • Offer a bonus training or a bonus book on how to use your product really well
  • Add a surprise extra in the box that ships out to them.
  • Overall, create a great experience every step of the way.

One of the ways I provide lots of extra value with my Brilliant Life Planner is by offering Planner School. This year, we did a live version of Planner School, where I released a video lesson every weekday in January inside a private Facebook group.

I would ask a question after each lesson, we had conversations going, and I got to personally give some advice and feedback. I can go above and beyond with the value that I bring to the table, so I can have confidence in my product and the price that I'm setting.

Hear from Another Business Mama Who Doesn’t Apologize for Her Price Point

Molly Goodall of Little Goodall sells handmade children's coats. She designs them herself and then partners with a manufacturer in her local area where they hand make the coats for her.

Her coats are very expensive (well…. expensive is a relative term!)  — but some of the coats cost $200. They’re gorgeous and super high-quality.

When I interviewed Molly for the podcast (her episode is coming soon!) I asked, “What do you say to the people who complain about your prices or say that your coats are too expensive?” And she said that doesn't bother her at all. Little Goodall hosts VIP sales twice a year just for people on her email list where they can get a lot of her products for a really good discount. If it's a priority, they can save up for it and they can be ready for that VIP sale.

Molly deserves to get paid for what she's doing. She says, “I know what I need to charge based on the materials I'm using, the time it takes me to design the items, to go back and forth with the manufacturers and create the patterns. I know how much time and money it costs to pay my manufacturers. I know how much money it costs to run my business, and I know how to appropriately price my products. If I do not charge an appropriate price, then I will go out of business! I love doing this, and I want to keep running my business for a long time.”

Be OK with Your Price Point and your Product’s Worth

Be OK with charging what your product is worth. Be OK with charging based on the value you bring to the table. Be OK with charging based on what you know you need to charge to operate your overhead and cover your advertising, and also take home a paycheck!

We all have to make tough decisions, and some of us are on tighter budgets than others. But you can always add in some fun ways to support those audience members of yours who are on a tighter budget. Molly does her VIP sales, and I do scholarship programs. You can find other ways to support the people who can't usually afford your products without working yourself to the bone.

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By Offering One Premium Product, I Have the Breathing Room to Offer More Free Content!

By digging deep and focusing and providing one awesome premium product to you all for the next few years, I have the freedom to offer a ton of free helpful content to you!

So if someone says, “I really want to purchase your course, but I can’t afford it,” I would say, “I'm really sorry about that, but I will be launching it at another time later this year if you'd like to save up! In the meantime, I have more than a hundred podcast episodes that you can listen to that will also help you to grow your business.”

By charging based on the value my products bring to the table, I can serve both my paying customers and my audience members who aren't ready to pay yet.

My New Signature Course: Brilliant Product Launches

I went pretty deep into the story behind the hard lessons I learned around charging what my products are worth, and I'm sure some of you were disappointed that I won't be doing more mini classes. BUT, I did promise to tell you what my new signature course is that I'll be focusing on, not just for 2019 but for several years to come.

It's all about product launches!

I will explain in another solo episode what a product launch is, and why it applies to you even if you think it doesn't. We’ll talk about why you should be implementing genuine product launches in your business.

I’ll share how it has affected my own business, how it has brought my business to the next level, and how I can help you with your product launches.

At its heart, product launching is simply about having a brilliant, well-thought-out, well-executed marketing plan for your business. So if you have a product that you want to sell, whether it's a digital product, a physical product, or promoting another person's product as an affiliate, I'll be sharing more information in coming episodes.

In the meantime, if you want to find out if you're ready to launch your product, I've got a fun quiz for you right here!

At the end of the quiz, you'll get your results and some specific recommendations from me on what to do to make sure you are ready to launch your products. I can't wait to see what you think of the quiz, and I can't wait to share more with you about product launches!

Charging a Sustainable Price for your Products is Better for Everyone!

Take this episode to heart my friend! Charge based on the value your products bring to the table, have confidence in your incredible products, and really sit down and think through all the numbers.

Think through your materials, your labor, and your overhead. Think through what the implications are for charging a price that you can sustain. Think about how that helps you provide a better experience for your customers, how it helps you to provide a better product, and how it helps make sure you're not burned out.

Make sure you can keep running your incredible business for years to come to better serve everyone. Everyone benefits when you charge a sustainable price for your products.

– Beth Anne

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The Signs of Business Burnout + How to Get the Fun Back without Throwing in the Towel https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/business-burnout-signs-mompreneur/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/business-burnout-signs-mompreneur/#respond Fri, 22 Mar 2019 07:30:50 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6598 The Signs of Business Burnout + How to Get the Fun Back without Throwing in the Towel Feeling a little blah about your business? Hear my story of steering my work-at-home-mom business in a completely different direction, why that wasn't the solution at all, and the 9 signs to look for that show you might […]

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Feeling a little blah about your business? Hear my story of steering my work-at-home-mom business in a completely different direction, why that wasn't the solution at all, and the 9 signs to look for that show you might be feeling burned out. Plus, learn how to get the joy back in your business and make it feel fresh and fun again WITHOUT starting something brand new that takes up all of your time!

The Signs of Business Burnout + How to Get the Fun Back without Throwing in the Towel

Feeling a little blah about your business? Hear my story of steering my work-at-home-mom business in a completely different direction, why that wasn't the solution at all, and the 9 signs to look for that show you might be feeling burned out in your own business. Plus, learn how to get the joy back in your business and make it feel fresh and fun again WITHOUT starting something brand new that takes up all of your time!

Press Play on the Podcast Player Below to Hear my Story and get Encouragement for your Business!

Welcome Back!

I’m back after a year-long hiatus from the podcast! A lot has been going on in my life: a big move from California to Pennsylvania, a new job for my husband, and a new project that made me “the queen of a town called BURNOUT!”

I got so burned out on the business I had created, that I nearly shifted the ENTIRE THING into this new line of products that I had somehow convinced myself was a perfect fit to what I was already doing in the business. That was a crazy thought! I’ll tell you more about the projects I ventured into in a little bit!

I want to tell you what I’ve learned about burnout, and how I’ve come out the other side with renewed joy for my business without feeling like I needed to tear the entire thing down and start over!

So Much Change in 2018!

The year of 2018 brought a lot of change for the Schwamberger family. My husband, Chris, left Marine Corps active duty and took a job as a commercial airline pilot. He spent a lot of 2017 and 2018 going through pilot training, taking trainings on how to interview and test well, writing resumes, submitting applications, and flying off to job interviews! 2018 was a year of big goals for him!

Our family moved in the summer of 2018 from San Diego, California to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is where I grew up, and where my parents, siblings, and their kids all still live. I’m so glad we chose to move back “home” and thankfully, Chris’ airline job really allows us to live just about anywhere.

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How I Almost Jumped Off the Deep End and Drowned in a New Business Venture

After our cross-country move, it felt like it took the rest of the year to get Brilliant Business Moms back on track. In fact, I nearly went off the deep end, in terms of shifting the direction of my business and… it cost me a lot of time and money!

I finally realized after spending countless hours on this new product line, that, “wait a second, I don’t HAVE to go down this brand new road. I don’t have to give myself loads of extra work on all these new projects. I have this incredible business right in front of me. I just need to reshape it and reframe it into something I’m excited about!”

The Crazy New Product Line I Almost Created!

I started designing a new line of felt letter boards and handmade felt flowers that would attach to the boards to make them feel more fun and unique.

I love letter boards for displaying products and prices at craft fairs, as home decor, to share funny or inspirational quotes, and to mark off special occasions. And… I saw a hole in the marketplace in terms of letter boards that went beyond just felt and letters. I wanted boards with a little more bling!

So I started designing felt flowers and little bouquets that could be placed on the boards to make them look more special.

My husband Chris and I came up with a jump ring/velcro combo system that worked really well to attach flowers to the boards, but there were lots of hurdles at every stretch. Since this little velcro attachment system was a brand new product, it just took a lot more back and forth and extra time compared to working with a manufacturer on a product that already exists and just needs to be tweaked for your needs.

Just because you CAN do anything doesn’t mean you SHOULD!

I saw all sorts of other brilliant Mamapreneurs who enlisted other moms to be the makers of their products (like Rebecca Smith or Brea Albulov) and I thought, “I could do that too with my felt flowers!”

I’m really proud of some of the floral designs I came up with, but it took so much time to craft and tweak each design.

All of my work time was going towards these felt flowers last fall, and I loved the creative aspect of designing and making them, but I got a little panicked as I thought about launching this new product line.

I don’t do things half-way, friend! For good or for bad, it just doesn’t fit my personality. So with this new product line I had plans for a brand new blog, brand new social media accounts, and so many big plans.

Plus, I still needed to find and train my army of Mama Makers, which was going to take a lot of time too! (I think I panicked most about releasing my new handmade flowers into the world, and then being holed up doing nothing but making flowers for months at a time in order to keep up with sales! I know — a good problem to have, but… I knew I’d be unhappy living that kind of life unless I had other Mama makers to help.)

If I had given myself a full year to just focus on this new product line, I think I could have done it. But… I have this incredible audience of Brilliant Business Moms (that’s you!) and you deserve my time and attention! You waited an ENTIRE YEAR while this podcast was on a break and our family adjusted to big changes, and I have so many new business lessons to share with you and things I want to help you with!

So, at the end of 2018, I decided that the felt product line wasn’t a good fit for any area of my life, including my family, business, or audience. It was time to call it quits and figure out how to rework Brilliant Business Moms to make it fun and fulfilling again.

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My Favorite Part of Brilliant Business Moms is YOU!

I realized that my favorite part of Brilliant Business Moms was YOU, my podcast listeners, my students, my followers, my email subscribers (my people!) I enjoy getting to chat with you on social media, learn more about you, cheer you on, hear emails back from you, and give you tips for how you can keep growing your business.

I love it when you're my students, and I get to show up and do coaching calls with you. I knew there had to be a way to restructure my business so that I could keep connecting with brilliant Mamapreneurs without experiencing burnout.

Encouragement for Burned Out Business Mamas

Do you ever feel this way?

  • Burned out in your business
  • Exhausted ALL the time
  • Uninspired
  • Stumped about what content to create
  • Stuck in a social media rut
  • Lack of direction on what to teach
  • Confused on what products to create
  • Just BLAH!
  • You’re no longer excited to wake up every day and work on your business

My friend, you are experiencing burnout! Don’t feel guilty about taking a step back and taking a break from those overwhelming situations. Your audience loves you, and they will show you so much grace when you’re ready to step back in!

I can tell you from experience that the solution is probably NOT to go off the deep end (like I did!) where you chase a whole new business venture and start over from scratch.

The solution most likely is to step away, take that much-needed break, and get that breathing room. Read lots of books, develop new hobbies, and then come back to your business with fresh eyes before spending a good amount of money and time on a new venture.

My biggest regret from this season of life is that this new venture took time away from my Brilliant Business Moms audience and it took time away from my family.

I absolutely believe you can do anything, but that's not the same as saying you should do anything. I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer here or stifle your creativity, but there are lots of ways to be creative in your current business without taking time, money, and energy away from what you’re doing.

Ways to Add More Creativity into your Current Business

  • Try new Marketing Strategies
  • Try Connecting with your Audience in a Different Way
  • Try New Ways to get your Audience to Engage and Comment or Message Back
  • Try out a New Form of Social Media
  • Try Delivering Content in New Ways
  • Have More Fun with your Content
  • Edit Videos or Photos in a New Way

Friend, business growth is so much easier when you have ONE CORE AUDIENCE that you serve. You know exactly who those wonderful people are, what they care about, what their day-to-day life looks like, and you know how to show up, serve them, and bring them your best.

Just because you can do something doesn't mean it's the best choice for you, for your family, for your business, or for the audience that you're currently serving. Every product you put out into the world takes so much time and care to develop, tweak, and market.

So think carefully about all of those things before you dive into a new product. Take those breaks when you need them. Find creative outlets for yourself. Give yourself permission to have a life outside of your business!

Ready for more customers who love you? SIGN UP for your FREE Brilliant Marketing Plan!

Give Yourself the Freedom to Focus

There is incredible freedom in focusing on what is important. One of the biggest temptations we entrepreneurs face is seeing every problem, every passion, every new interest as a new business opportunity. This is so dangerous, because we can get so tired chasing rabbit trails that we forget about what our main goal was in the first place!

When we focus on our main business goals, we experience freedom outside of our business, too. We can have a life outside our business. Go to that happy place you love just for fun. Have no expectations tied to your new hobby. Have friends outside of the business space. Spend more time with your family.

When we have so many products that need updating, tweaking, and improving, and perhaps different audiences and different social media channels, it just gets to be a lot of work!

Unless we have a big team to manage all of this, it’s just too much for one brilliant Mamapreneur to handle. It’s not an indication of how smart, talented, or motivated you are, it’s just an indication that all the things we do in life take time!

Focus allows me to be excellent at the things I’m doing instead of just skating by and being mediocre in 5 different areas.

A Sneak Peek at Future Brilliant Business Moms Episodes

Coming up on the podcast in the next few weeks you’ll hear from several brilliant Mamapreneurs who are AMAZING at FOCUS!  

All three women have very focused product lines and niches.

You’ll hear from a maker who designs adorable children’s coats, a single mom who supports her entire family with her SVG file business (cutting machine files!), and a Mom who helps other women maintain their weight loss with a focused diet and recipe plan.

These women have honed their businesses with their incredible focus! I can’t wait for you to hear how they do it!

Where Did Your Social Media Courses Go?

I used to offer courses on how to use Facebook Ads and Pinterest. They were big revenue drivers for me, but I decided to close the doors on those courses in early 2018 because I couldn’t keep them updated quickly enough.

Social Media changes so quickly, and if I can’t keep my courses updated and ensure they’re the very best, I don’t want to sell them. But, I do still want to help you, my Brilliant Business Moms, so last year I asked myself, “What do I want to be known for? What do I want to focus on? What is the one thing I can dig deep on and help my audience with in a massive way?”

It took a couple weeks of mulling things over, but I finally found the overlap of what I’m good at, what my audience needs, and what I’m passionate about. (ENFP and Enneagram 7 here …. I need some excitement and passion!)

Head over to my Instagram stories to guess what my new focus is going to be!

I’m so excited about this new focus, because it’ll help you to grow your business in a big way, still allows me to stay up-to-date on the latest marketing strategies, and it’s something I’m experienced at and will continue to do for the long-term!

Instagram Stories is the Perfect Place to Build Authentic Community

Speaking of that ever-so-popular social media platform, Instagram Stories has been my favorite way to connect with you all lately! I ask questions on my IG stories, you answer, and I repost your answers (when it makes sense!) for the rest of my followers to see and interact with! And I’ve been having so many great conversations in my DMs too. You all are the best!

If you don’t currently watch my stories, head over to @brilliantbizmom and connect with the BBM community there. Hit the follow button and join us!

How are you feeling about your business lately, friend? Are you a little uninspired or burned out?

Give yourself permission to take a break! Get creative. Go have some fun!

But also give yourself permission to not add new business ventures and tons of extra work to your plate! Enjoy the freedom of focus. You've got this, Brilliant Business Mama!

– Beth Anne

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My Completely Honest Review of the Genius Bloggers Toolkit 2018 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/my-completely-honest-review-of-the-genius-bloggers-toolkit-2018/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/my-completely-honest-review-of-the-genius-bloggers-toolkit-2018/#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2018 11:11:30 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6442 So you’ve probably heard about the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit from no fewer than 50 of your favorite blogging friends, ? but you may be wondering, what’s all the hype about? I have to tell you, at first glance, hearing that you’ll get over $5,000 worth of business courses and tools for just $97 sounds like […]

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So you’ve probably heard about the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit from no fewer than 50 of your favorite blogging friends, ? but you may be wondering, what’s all the hype about?

I have to tell you, at first glance, hearing that you’ll get over $5,000 worth of business courses and tools for just $97 sounds like a complete scam, because in this day and age, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!

This, however, is not that. The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is an incredible deal, and I’ll break it all down for you below.

Disclosure: I use affiliate links in this post, which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I only recommend products I personally use and love.

Not sure if the Genius Blogger's Toolkit is right for you? Get my insider thoughts after personally reviewing more than HALF of the resources inside! Get business recommendations for every stage of your blogging journey, and learn how the Toolkit works and why it's valuable. #blogging #bloggertools

How it Works

The reason you can get so many different eBooks and courses for such a low price is two-fold:

  1. Contributors get a high commission rate on their affiliate sales (70%), and it elevates the status of their product to be able to say, “hey you can get my great thing AND all these other amazing things for basically the same price you would have paid for just my ONE thing.”  It’s like adding 76 amazing bonuses to your course or eBook launch, essentially.

Tangible Example: My Craft your Brilliant Webinar Course, which costs $97 all on its own, is included in the Toolkit.

It’s a NO-BRAINER for me to say yes to this, because now people can get my course and 76 other business-building tools for the same price. Sure, I’m basically shaving off 30% of my commission to be part of the bundle, but I’m also majorly elevating the status and value of my product, and appealing to a much wider range of business owners because of all the different topics covered in the Toolkit.

2. The folks at Ultimate Bundles get to sell an incredibly valuable product for a limited time, and shave a whole lotta commissions off the top for all of their hard work in reviewing the resources, putting the bundle together, giving us fabulous marketing training, creating great freebies and webinars, delivering great customer service, and more.

I love the people at Ultimate Bundles. They’re right up there with the folks at ConvertKit for me in terms of kindness, responsiveness, and brilliantness (yep, that’s a thing! oh wait…. Someone is telling me brilliance is the right word…. Nahh I don’t think so!)

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit 2018

Ok all that to say, the folks at Ultimate Bundles play an enormous role in making the bundle sale a success, and so they get to keep 30% of the contributors’ sales earnings (we get the other 70% of the sale) and 60% of a regular affiliate’s sales earnings (someone who wants to promote the bundle but doesn’t have one of their own products included in it).

Bundle sales are always for a very short time period. (This one lasts from October 10th – October 15th) which is great because we contributors have a specific time window when we’re promoting this steal of a deal, and then the rest of the year we can go back to promoting our products on their own, and you know, serving our people and good stuff like that.

So these two reasons are why bundle sales work and aren’t scams full of worthless junk. They’re actually full of real products that smart bloggers created all on their own, and the folks at Ultimate Bundles just discovered and featured them..

The Real Benefit to You

Since my Craft your Brilliant Webinar Course is part of the Toolkit this year, I’ve had the chance to get early access and personally review all the resources inside.

To date, I’ve personally reviewed over 40 of the 77 resources inside the bundle. By review, I mean that I’ve consumed many of the resources in full. I read every word and watched every video.

And for others, I consumed about 50% of the content to make sure I had an excellent sense for what was included and the quality. (Hubby is off work this month… don’t judge me for for being a learning hermit! I’m typing this from my bed as we speak… where I’ve been holed up for a few weeks. What does the sun look like again? ?)

Will you be able to get through half of the bundle in a couple weeks’ time? No. No you won’t. But if you’re clear on your blogging goals for the next several months, you can absolutely consume several brilliant resources that will help you reach your goals much faster.

That, to me, was the key to this Toolkit:  Help you reach your goals much faster.

Think of me as your personal tour guide for the Toolkit. I’ll steer you in the right direction depending on where you’re at in your blogging journey, and I’ll highlight my favorite resources to help you reach your goals much faster.

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit

Who has the Time?

If you’re sitting on five courses already, and you don’t have a spare minute to get to those, now might not be the right time to purchase the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit.

But I want to encourage you to make education a consistent part of your online business growth. It’s necessary. It should be a priority.

So if you’re overwhelmed reading this right now, here’s what I want you to do:

Stop everything. Take a breather.

Almost all of those “I have to’s” and “I should do’s” can wait.

When I’m seriously spiraling, I take an entire day off. I go somewhere new, play with my boys, spend time with a friend. I completely separate from all of those have-to-do’s for a day.

And I always come back feeling so refreshed, with new insights, and way less stress.

Then, I start over again. I pick my top priorities for my life and my business, and I figure out how I can focus on those.

I recently went through Stephanie Dyke’s No More Frantic Workbook (it’s part of the bundle) and found it was a great way to reboot my life and time priorities.

If time management has been a years-long struggle for you, I recommend you get yourself a workbook that helps you to figure out where your time is going, where you want it to go, and how to make a plan to get there.

Stephanie has a really neat method of organizing our different tasks and making sure the important things fit, and her “At Least 3 Principle” fits really well with the way I make sure I have a little balance and actually enjoy my life!

So start there, friend. What are your top priorities for your blog this year? Do you currently have the resources you need to get there, or are the current courses you’re sitting on no longer relevant?

Abby Lawson has an entire blog binder waiting for you inside the Toolkit, and it includes goal-setting pages, figuring out your ideal reader, planning out posts and social media, tracking stats, sponsored content, and… I could go on. It’s 100 pages of planning goodness so you can organize your blog all in one place.

I’ve seen a lot of blogging binders, and Abby’s is very thorough.

My other favorite productivity resource from the Toolkit was Haylee Galloway’s Business Brilliance Bootcamp.  At first glance, all the lessons will overwhelm you (there’s one for each day!) but once you get in there, you’ll realize you can get through each lesson AND take action on it, in about 15-20 minutes.

If you feel like your business is bleeding money, you’re working way too hard for way too little, and you feel a bit frantic, Haylee’s 30-day course will be the right fit for you. And although I was personally disappointed that it wasn’t video-based, I think the busiest among us will appreciate that you can read through the text lessons quickly, grab your checklist, and get to work.

Some of the productivity resources weren’t my favorites. The courses felt too vague, and one was actually a SUPER interesting funnels course, but to me it didn’t fit the productivity category at all, and it’s definitely designed for a more advanced business owner.

The three resources below are my favorites to help you organize your time.

These are my favorite time management resources inside the GBTK 2018. Get a workbook to get clear on your priorities and get rid of what's not working. Get an extensive blog planner that helps you organize every aspect of blogging, and streamline your business with the Business Brilliance Bootcamp

I Need to Grow My Traffic, Like… Now!

You’ve made the time to get started on your blog, you’ve written some great posts, but you’d really love to have a few more friends hanging out on your site! (Yep, me too We can always have more friends, right?!  🙂

My very favorite resource in the Toolkit for building your traffic is the Tribes for Traffic eBook by Jen Koellmann. Pinterest has changed so much in the last couple of years, and most of us have noticed that traffic from Group Boards is way down.

Jenn dug into Tailwind Tribes this past year (with her brand new blog) and grew her website pageviews to over 45,000/month by month 3. Her eBook is so incredibly helpful, with formulas for figuring out which tribes are most effective, how to find the best ones, and a whole list of her recommendations.

I found Jen’s book to be easy to consume, easy to follow with screenshots, and in my opinion, the NEXT BIG THING with Pinterest. It’s the very first resource I’m taking action on from the Toolkit.

If you’re brand new to Pinterest and need some tips on setting up your boards and things, I recommend combining Pinterest for Bloggers and Business by LeAnn Fox, and Pinning for Profit by Jennifer Dawn.

They both go beyond the basics too, but many of the other Pinterest resources don’t necessarily start at the very beginning, and these two do a bit better job of that.

I also loved the quick and dirty (and unique!) Pinterest strategy that Chelsea Clarke reveals in her MicroInfluencer Handbook. It did raise a few questions for me, and I’m going to ask my go-to Pinterest expert if one aspect of Chelsea’s strategy is kosher. But it’s definitely interesting and creative!

For more next-level Pinterest strategy, I’m eager to try Kimi Kinsey’s hashtag database. She breaks down exactly how many pins there are for hashtags in each niche, and she shared a tidbit about hashtags on Pinterest that I didn’t have a clue about — excited to give my traffic a jumpstart with this.

One note here: She didn’t include any traffic results to share from using hashtags. That’s not to say she didn’t get any, but I love a good metric to really analyze whether a strategy is effective.

So while I think her database is the perfect place get started using hashtags without spending all my time on it, I’m still skeptical about how much traffic they’ll actually drive.

Finally, this course is a must for anyone who’s ready to automate their Pinterest strategy, but isn’t sure exactly how:  Tailwind Pinterest Scheduler by Anastasia Gutnikova. This was the most practical of all the Pinterest resources, with how-to videos showing me exactly how to set up Tailwind to work its Pinterest magic.

Anastasia shares all sorts of quick tips and gives her own insights on how often to pin, and more. She does have an adorable Russian accent, but because you’re taking things slow and learning technical tasks that require you to take action as you go, it wasn’t hard for me to follow.

This course is best taken with your Tailwind open, browser extension added, and ready to take action. The video lessons are meaty but easy to consume in under-10-minute chunks.

Pro Tip: If you’re brand new to Tailwind, you get access to a 3-month free trial as one of the Toolkit bonuses. #winning (does anyone say that anymore? Ahh, who cares, I do!)

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit

If it seems like I’m mentioning a bazillion Pinterest resources, I am, because most of the women bloggers I know and see online are getting the majority of their free traffic from Pinterest. It’s an incredible platform, and you owe it to yourself to dig in.

Each Pinterest resource approaches things from a slightly different angle and brings different strengths to the table, so I don’t think it’s overkill to have them all in the bundle. Every new brilliant tactic you pick up can pay off. I’m personally committed to trying them all this year!

My biggest disappointment with a lot of the Pinterest courses in the bundle is that many were full of text-based lessons. When I hear the word course, I think video. I like video because then I can learn while I cook dinner or fold laundry.

I absolutely get the benefit of text — it’s much faster to consume, but I felt like although the strategies and big ideas were good, many of these courses could have benefited from more videos and way more visuals. (The two exceptions are the Tribes to Traffic eBook (lots of visuals for an eBook) and the Tailwind video course.)

And overall, I didn’t feel like any of the Pinterest resources were the be-all-end-all-only-Pinterest-Course-you’ll-ever-need type of thing, but when you combine them all together, you end up with more insider tips and strategies than you’d ever get from purchasing even the very best premium, standalone course. #winningagain

There’s nothing worse than purchasing a premium product from someone only to discover you can’t stand their speaking style, or their writing, or the way things are organized, or all of the above! This is a hidden benefit of the Toolkit. If you don’t like learning from one person, you’ve got 70+ more choices without being out more cash.

Finally, if your Pinterest game is totally squared away (except seriously…. You’re going to pick up some new tactics in these resources… can you really have too much traffic? ?) I really enjoyed The Profitable Genius + Facebook Ads course by Aja McClanahan.

You’ll see behind the scenes of a smart little tripwire funnel, and then get a nice introduction on how to use Facebook ads to send the right traffic to your lead magnet. This course IS video based – hooray!

My only critique: There are a few pauses and ums and glitches on the videos that I wish were edited out. But I totally get it — shelling out for an editor is not everyone’s idea of fun!

Get insider feedback on the best courses and eBooks to improve your blog traffic, including lots of great Pinterest resources and video tutorials. Then take your blog to the next level with Facebook ads.

I’ve Got this Blog…Now I’m Ready to Make Money!

You’re crushing it with your traffic…. #jealous… which means you have lots of opportunities to monetize your blog. Oh girl, let me tell ya, there are lots of resources in the Toolkit to help you do just that.

I think overall, the monetization section of the Toolkit contains the strongest resources. It has some of the most polished video courses in the Toolkit, and there are a wide variety of brilliant strategies to help you increase your income.

Oh, and one thing I want to point out:  I’m not organizing these resources in the same way the Ultimate Bundles people do. I personally think some of the resources are categorized in the wrong place, and others aren’t getting their fair due as brilliant money-making courses.

So… keep that in mind if you head over to the Toolkit page, and half of the courses I mention here aren’t being featured in the monetization section 🙂 (You and I both know where they belong!)

Ok, are you ready…. Take a deep breath, because I’m about to share several different ways to increase your income with the Toolkit. This can feel overwhelming, OR you can choose from my different categories and start with the ONE monetization strategy you want to work on first, and go from there.

The reason this section has so many resources featured is because I felt each of these resources really DESERVED to be featured. I didn’t feel right leaving out the great content on earning sponsored post gigs, for example, just because I also mentioned great content on product creation, email marketing, and affiliate sales.

First up, affiliate sales. This is a GREAT next step if you’re getting respectable traffic. You don’t have to spend lots of time creating your own product, you can test the waters with other people’s products that you use and love.

Two standouts here: Carly Campbell’s affiliate marketing for Bloggers Course and Candis Hidalgo’s Little Black Book of Affiliate Marketing.

What I loved: Carly is super no-nonsense and non-hype. She’s not teaching you how to make 1 trillion dollars on affiliate sales, but she WILL teach you how to make a grand or two extra even if you blog about something outside of the biz niche.

Carly’s course is mostly text-based, but there are a few really helpful videos sprinkled throughout. It’s a lot of content, and Carly is super transparent which I always love. You’ll see her actual income figures, and an actual email sequence she used to generate over $5k in affiliate sales from one promotion.

Carly’s a smart cookie, and I’ve enjoyed learning from her. Finishing this course tops my list after I implement all the new Pinterest strategies I’ve learned 🙂

Candis Hidalgo’s Little Black Book is the perfect complement to Carly’s course. She tells you all about the different affiliate programs and products you can promote in every single blogging niche. It was nice to see which premium courses she recommended in the parenting niche and fitness niche, for example. If you’re new to blogging, I know you’ll find this super helpful. #nomoregoogling

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit

Next up, email marketing. Never sexy, always necessary and effective! (Even with as much as I love Facebook Ads, I earn way more from sending emails than any other marketing strategy. It’s not even a competition. Email is like the little tortoise that you completely underestimate… but he wins every time.)

There are two standout email marketing courses inside the Toolkit. Both video-based – YEsssss!

Ruth Soukup’s Irresistible Email Course has insanely high-quality videos, and Ruth is so kind and smart – she’s always fun to learn from. If you’re completely new to email marketing, and aren’t yet convinced that you should really build your list, you’ll love learning from Ruth.

However, if you’ve been using email to build your business for a while, I’d skip this one. Again, the videos were fun to watch and engaging, but I didn’t feel like I learned anything new. I think Ruth’s target student is at a different place than I am, and that’s cool!

Pro Tip: The Bonus Facebook Ads Training at the bottom of Ruth’s course is FAB! It’s an hour of Ruth taking you behind the scenes and showing you how to use ads manager, with her strategies sprinkled in. This section should get top priority for any experienced blogger who hasn’t yet given Facebook ads a try.

Jennifer Roskamp’s Email Growth and Marketing Bootcamp. Don’t let the cover art fool you – this course is VERY comprehensive, and Jennifer uses a pretty unique email marketing strategy. Since signing up for her course a few weeks ago through the bundle, I’ve been a recipient of many of her emails, and… goshdarnit I can’t help but open so many of them!

Jennifer has built her list to over 11,000 subscribers (these are very warm subscribers as you’ll discover in the course!) in just a year’s time, all for free, by using the right opt-ins on her site. She’ll share with you exactly which opt-ins convert best, after creating over 30 of her own. (!! Guys, I have a team and I don’t have 30 opt-ins… impressed!)

A side note here:  After purchasing more than 50 individual courses and resources from a wide variety of influencers, I often find that bigger names produce courses that are easier to follow and more enjoyable to consume because their videos are more edited and they use teleprompters, and great lighting.

But at the same time, there are a lot of much smaller names who hustle like crazy to make sure they put everything they possibly can into their courses. They dig really deep, and I love that.

Pro tip: If you know nothing about a topic and want a higher-level view, pick the course from the bigger name. If you’re ready to dig crazy deep and be lost in a topic for weeks or months, and get all the nitty gritty tactics and how-to’s you need, pick the course from the unknown person 🙂  

On the other hand, there are newbies who have no business teaching at all with junk or fluff products. My pro tip here is that if someone doesn’t share their actual stats with you on their landing pages – their REAL results on whatever it is they’re teaching, give it a hard pass.

Lol. Bet you didn’t realize you were going to get so much random “free advice” in this post! #yourewelcome #ohyoudidntsaythankyou? #yourewelcomeanyways

Ok next up, you’re going to be able to take your email conversions to the next level once you have products of your own to sell. There are so many possibilities here, but there are a few resources from the Toolkit that’ll make your life a lot easier.

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit

I went through nearly every video of Laura Smith’s How to Create your Own Printables Course. (I even told myself not to! I have a person on my TEAM who makes my printables for goodness’ sake! – Thanks Carlee!) But I was a bit mesmerized learning all sorts of excel tricks from Laura.

I didn’t even know you could use excel to create a gorgeous Printable from scratch. It was really neat to see this in action. Laura’s videos are short and sweet but show you exactly how to create and format and beautify your printables.

I put Laura’s course in the make-money category because you can create and sell printables. (Laura makes a full-time income doing this herself!) You can also use printables and worksheets to gain a lot more email subscribers, and like I already mentioned, email subscribers are a great way to make sales.

If you’d like to create an eBook, you’ll enjoy Beth Brombosz’s Blogger to Author resource. She’ll show you how to craft your outline, get writing, and even format that book. Kara Fidd’s editable Canva Template Bundle is the perfect companion to this, because she has an eBook template you can use, and it comes with a video tutorial so you can customize it. She’s got a planner template too – which is so helpful!

The one product-making resource I didn’t see inside the Toolkit that I expected to was a tutorial on how to create an online course. Courses are all the rage these days, I kind of expected to see that.

The compromise… in my Craft your Brilliant Webinar course, you’ll learn how to create a great presentation using Google Slides, and I give you some beautiful slide templates too.

You can take the advice you learn in my course on crafting a great presentation, then you just need to go find some screen-recording software you like, and you’re all set. Voila, you now have a course!

Pro Tip: Find someone on Upwork to edit your course videos for you, and get in the habit of repeating your lines over again if you say umm or stumble too much. The finished, edited product will be so much easier for your students to follow!

Next up if you have the spare cash, hire a transcription service like Rev to transcribe all of your videos for you. Some students love learning through writing, and it’s always a great reference when someone just needs to find something really quickly later.

Finally, my eyes were opened to the possibilities with sponsored content. I loved Jessie Festa’s video course on How to Work with Brands and Make Money. Jessie is a travel blogger by trade, so she teaches a lot about press trips (they sound super fun!) but she also covers creating a media kit and pitching sponsors in depth.

I learned how to turn a $1500 sponsor opportunity into a $5000 one with Jessie’s brilliant way of pitching and communicating with her sponsors.

Bloggers and Brands by Shannon Acheson is a great companion eBook to Jessie’s video course. She includes lots of different formulas for how to calculate your rates, scripts for reaching out and following up with brands, and overall it’s very obvious that Shannon is a kind, thoughtful person. (You need someone like this teaching you how to work with big companies, not a pushy weirdo, amiright?)

Learn the best resources to help you make more money with your blog from the Toolkit. You'll see which affiliate marketing courses to check out, which email marketing courses will uplevel your game, learn how to pitch and land sponsored content, and get access to courses that will help you create your own products.

I’m Struggling with Visuals. How do I Make Everything About My Blog Feel Profesh?

Here’s How!

1.) You need great stock photos. (This is a lot faster than improving your photography – that’ll come later!) There are over 100 gorgeous stock photos included inside the Toolkit – 3 collections from Elle Drouin and 5 collections from Elley Charles.

There are pretty pink desks, and black and white desks, and dark and moody lifestyle shots, and fall styled shots, and… you’ll love them. I’m a stock photo hoarder, and I’d probably buy the bundle just for these.

2.) You need to turn those photos into something magical. The Editing Bundle: Learn Photoshop and Lightroom by Stacie Vaughn and Randa Derkson was one of the stand-out, super helpful video courses I found in the Toolkit.

I’ve always been completely intimidated by Photoshop, but these ladies broke it down into bite-sized little tutorials so I could learn just what I needed to, and they showed me exactly what to do on the screen. This one’s a gem.

3.) You need a beautiful blog. Menucha Citron Ceder has an extensive eBook on just this topic. Learn how to create a logo, header, make your site more reader-friendly, and more.

I found that my style is completely different from Menucha’s, and sometimes it’s difficult to learn design from someone who’s aesthetic doesn’t match yours, but the Pinterest content alone was great (see below) and Menucha knows her stuff.

Note for all my Pinterest friends: Menucha’s eBook contains 18 pages and 21 real-life, visual pin examples to show you what works and what doesn’t. Seriously, hit up pages 71-89 of Menucha’s eBook for way more detailed pin image examples and instruction than what I found in any of the Pinterest resources. (Not a slam… they had loads of other helpful stuff, just a fact)

4.) You DO eventually need to improve your photography. Plus, it’s nice to get photos of your kiddos that don’t look like you all live in a cave 🙂 Jessica Cramer’s eBook, Blog Photography, Learning through the Lens is very meaty. She’s a really matter-of-fact writer and covers a lot of ground with each sentence.

Jessica covers Lighting, Composition, Gear, Food Photography, Interior Design Photography, and Product Photography, in addition to editing techniques.

As a total noob at photography, I feel like I can pick up Jessica’s book and get started pretty quickly without being paralyzed by overwhelm.

Bonus: Jessica didn’t include ANY affiliate links or upsells to other products in this eBook. This made me love her even more.

With over 100 stock photos, a comprehensive video course on Photoshop and Lightroom, and brilliant eBooks on branding and photography, there are loads of visual resources to help you stand out this year and improve your branding and photography.

I’m NOT Blogging, No Way, No How!

For someone who’s not a blogger, you sure just read through a whole lotta “how to blog” content ?) Kidding! Couldn’t help myself! But clearly you ARE interested in an online gig, or you wouldn’t be reading, right?

There are several fab resources inside the Toolkit for you.

My favorite non-blogging resource is Youtube Made Simple Quickstart by Tasha and Joseph Cochran.

  1. I love that it’s a couple teaching you together.
  2. Their course videos are high-quality (I mean they’re YouTubers right?)
  3. Just hearing their story in video 1 was inspiring! They’re earning $2,000-$4,000/month just in ad revenue on their channel, and a year ago they were only making a few hundred dollars a month. #goingplaces
  4. You’ll walk away from the course knowing exactly how to set up your YouTube channel the right way, create your cover art, use high-tech video gear, and basically, be rockin’ and rollin’ with your channel. Many of Tasha and Joseph’s tips carry over to someone wanting to be better at Facebook Live or other video platforms too.

There are two resources on Facebook Live that you need to check out as well: The Facebook Live Strategies Masterclass by Crystal Paine, and Rock your Live by Abby Rike Rockenbaugh.

I watched 80% of Crystal’s course, and it’s very good. It’s a super long video where she shares all her best practices on using Facebook Live. There’s also a workbook where you can take notes and fill in the blanks.

It’s nice learning quality video tips from a pro, but here’s where I was thrown off just a bit:  When I hear the word “strategy” I think “conversions and sales and marketing” and this really wasn’t that.

Crystal’s class is perfect for beginning Facebook Live users. If you’re so goshdarn nervous you just can’t push that Live button, Crystal will teach you how to produce a top notch Live from day 1, and that’ll make you loads more confident.

You’ll be way more prepared to go live after Crystal’s class. You just won’t walk away with insider affiliate and launch sales strategies that Crystal uses during a Facebook Live, for example.

I’m spoiled sometimes and forget that other people’s ideal customer isn’t always in the same place as me! (Wow, epiphany, the world doesn’t revolve around me! ha!)

Next up, Abby Rike Rockenbaugh’s workbook: There were some juicy little tidbits in this workbook, and I learned 4 different types of lives that I could plan for and how to structure them, but it’s definitely not a meaty, fleshed out complete eBook.

I also didn’t love the link at the very beginning to opt-in for a video training. I wish that was just a straight link. However, it’s a great next step after Crystal’s class, and personally I love Abby and think she’s fabulous! (I’m already questioning whether I should keep this bit up on the blog. I don’t like being critical of others, but I also promised you, my reader, honesty!)

There’s a little eBook in the Toolkit that’s pretty enticing for someone who wants a quick win but isn’t interested in setting up their own website just yet. It’s called Paid to Pin by Coco Dale. Coco teaches you how to set up pins that earn you affiliate revenue, without needing to have your own blog to do it.

It’s a clever little strategy, and Coco goes through the legalities of using affiliate links on Pinterest as well, so she’s not teaching you spammy stuff.

However, affiliate pins are bringing Coco a couple hundred dollars a month in revenue. They’re not paying the mortgage. Again, it’s a quick-win, just-get-started kind of strategy that could help you get your feet wet, but I also just want to caution you to not be spammy with this strategy.

I could see eager newbies getting the wrong idea and becoming Pinterest spammers. I think if you follow Coco’s advice you’ll be just fine.

Finally, Jessie’s course on working with brands and Chelsea’s Microinfluencer course fit in here too, because both show you how to make money just through your Instagram posts and platforms as well.

I LOVE these resources for moms who want to get started earning an income online, but they don't want to go through the hassle of creating their own website. Learn how to make money with a YouTube channel, with Pinterest affiliate links, and how to deliver stellar Facebook Lives

I DO think it’s possible to start making money online without your own website. You can take any of the courses mentioned above and get a great start, but you’ll take your business to the next level once you have your own website so you can really show off all your work, gain email subscribers, and create even more income opportunities for yourself.

Oh my goodness! You just read through 16 pages of all my thoughts on this Toolkit, and believe it or not, I feel like I could keep going!

I tried to feature some of my very favorite resources from the bundle, while keeping it real with my reviews, but if there’s a specific resource from the Toolkit that you’re really interested in and didn’t see mentioned here, just comment below or drop me a line: brilliantbusinessmoms@gmail.com  I’d love to give you my thoughts. (Umm…clearly! I just gave you 16 pages of them!)

I know how discouraging it can be to purchase a resource that you truly believe will help you to grow your business, only to feel let down and underwhelmed. That’s why I’m committed to giving you as much information about the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit as I possibly can.

I want this to be a decision you'll feel good about all year, if you choose to purchase.

How Long do I Have Access?

Since I just mentioned using the Toolkit all year, let me clear up how long you'll have access to the resources inside.

When you purchase, you'll be taken to a dashboard that lists out every resource and gives you instructions for obtaining them for free, or oftentimes you can download right away if it's an eBook. They have Mobi, ePub, and PDF formats for just about every eBook in the Toolkit.

You have an entire year to get into the dashboard and access your resources and bonuses, but once you've downloaded them or gotten access inside a particular course, that content is yours forever.

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit 2018

A Major Benefit of the Toolkit that No One is Mentioning

While I don’t think every resource in the Toolkit is “worth” the sticker price, I think many of them are, and many are underpriced!

If there are a handful of resources that caught your eye that you know would help you this year, then the Toolkit is worth it for you, and my sincere hope is that you’ll snatch it up and then put your blinders on and get to work.

That’s an enormous benefit of the Toolkit that no one mentions: You can put blinders on for the rest of the year.

Ignore all those sales and marketing emails. Stop watching Facebook Lives. Get the heck out of those Facebook groups. Just put your head down and get to work with the Toolkit as your guide, and I think you’ll be amazed at what you accomplish over the next year. I think your mental health will be in a much better place too!

Ok friend, what other questions do you have about the Toolkit? I’m committed to being your tour guide for the week, and I want to make sure you get all the information you need to make the right decision.

As for me, I’m headed back into the Toolkit… there’s a Pinterest training calling my name ?

Now it’s your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

– Beth Anne

The post My Completely Honest Review of the Genius Bloggers Toolkit 2018 appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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7 Ways to Earn an Income Blogging (Even if you’re Brand New!) https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/7-ways-make-money-blogging-even-youre-brand-new/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/7-ways-make-money-blogging-even-youre-brand-new/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 20:27:49 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6464 Most people I know think it’s absolutely ridiculous that a human being right now, THIS YEAR, could make money blogging. “Blogging is dead” seems to be the mantra, but friend, the only thing that’s dead are these grumpy people’s imaginations! My brother and sister-in-law make their FULL-TIME income blogging, as in, no other jobs, nothing […]

The post 7 Ways to Earn an Income Blogging (Even if you’re Brand New!) appeared first on Brilliant Business Moms.

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Most people I know think it’s absolutely ridiculous that a human being right now, THIS YEAR, could make money blogging.

“Blogging is dead” seems to be the mantra, but friend, the only thing that’s dead are these grumpy people’s imaginations!

My brother and sister-in-law make their FULL-TIME income blogging, as in, no other jobs, nothing else except blogging supports their family. (And they’re not living on rice and beans, friends. I’ve been to their house and eaten their food. It’s good stuff ?)

I have other online friends who completely support their families with blogging too, and one even paid cash for a beautiful house earlier this year!

These people are not made up. They’re just hard-working, smart, creative individuals who found a way to make blogging work for them.

And you can too.

There are SO many ways to make money blogging. It’s not a one-size-fits-all profession. I can’t wait to show you the lay of the land so you can find a money-making strategy that works best for you!

You can make money blogging even if you're brand new!

#1 Affiliate Sales

This is (in my super humble opinion!) the best way to get started making money blogging, because you don’t need a certain traffic number to start making affiliate sales, and you don’t have to spend hours upon hours creating your own product.

Affiliate marketing helps you “cut your teeth” in the blogging world. You’ll learn how to write well, be super helpful, solve your reader’s problems, and market in a genuine, authentic way.

These skills will then serve you well for any of the other monetization methods you may add in later.

Affiliate marketing was the first way I made money blogging. I was promoting my sister-in-law’s new eBook. Over the next few years I came to learn that I was one of the top affiliates of her product — simply because I matched what my audience wanted with a product I already used and loved.

A quick note here:  I wasn’t making big bucks in those early days! Maybe a couple hundred here and there from being part of a sales promotion. But it was something! And those first affiliate sales came within the first few months of setting up my blog.

Carly from Mommy on Purpose has earned anywhere from $1100 to $2500/month in affiliate sales over the last 3 months, and that’s just from her mommy-focused products. She’s since gone on to create a course on affiliate marketing, and she makes quite a bit more affiliate revenue inside the blogging niche.

Also, I thought this was crazy — Carly doesn’t even have a mom-tips focused email list. She makes all of her “mommy-product” affiliate sales just from her blog posts and site traffic. (!!) People making good money without email lists blow my mind! I love learning all the different ways you can earn an income. There truly are one hundred different ways to do it!

There are some niches that tend to be more lucrative – like business and finance, because some of these niches have affiliate programs with super high bounty rates (meaning you get paid a lot for each customer you refer!) but I love that Carly is earning over $1,000/month sometimes just from Amazon affiliate sales talking about Mommy products she loves!

Oh, and I almost forgot! The one fabulous thing about affiliate marketing is that, over time, it can become super passive. If you write an epic blog post that converts well for an affiliate product, and you get that epic blog post constantly circulating on Pinterest and ranking on Google, chances are you’ll be raking in affiliate dollars for that post month after month.

I’m able to make passive affiliate sales by recommending ConvertKit. I did the work upfront of promoting several different free classes from ConvertKit, and having a good portion of my audience sign up for a free trial. Once a free trial turns into a paying customer, ConvertKit sends me a check for 30% of the revenue that customer brings in for them…. Every single month!

It’s pretty crazy, actually, because as the people I’ve referred continue to grow their email lists, they have to use a higher ConvertKit plan (i.e. it costs a bit more) so my affiliate revenue increases some months, without me lifting a finger!

And I flippin’ love ConvertKit. Like I feel GREAT about taking that check from them each month because they earned it and I earned it. They have the BEST customer service and their platform is so easy to use yet so powerful. I have nothing but good feelings about promoting them whenever I can! (lol I did NOT intend for this to be an affiliate blurb for ConvertKit. I seriously can’t help it. They get all the hearts.)

It’s possible for a blogger in any niche to make affiliate sales by talking about the products they know, use, and love, and then finding the right affiliate programs to join.

FYI, Carly’s Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers course is inside the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit. And Candis Hidalgo has an incredible companion resource called The Little Black Book of Affiliate Programs, so you can quickly and easily discover which programs are right for you. She’s listed over 100 brilliant ones inside her book. I was just staring wide-mouthed at the parenting-focused affiliate programs thinking, I need to go sign up for these courses! I could use the help 🙂

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit 2018

#2 Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts can be a very lucrative way to make money blogging if you’ve got a large following or high traffic numbers, OR you’ve got a loyal following in a specific niche. My sister and I once scored a sponsored post that paid $500 and took just a few hours to write, and at the time our business blog had traffic under 25,000 pageviews/month.

This sponsored post rate is pretty high for our traffic numbers! But our blog is very “moms-in-business” focused, and that’s exactly the audience our sponsor wanted to reach.

Jessie Festa, a travel blogger, gets paid anywhere from $1500 to $5,000 for each press trip she goes on, and her blog has just 45,000 unique visitors a month!

That’s the power of knowing your stuff when it comes to pitching the right brands, being uber professional, and knowing how to upsell a $1500 yes into 5k. If you’re scared to death to pitch to brands, you’ll love Jessie’s course all about How to Work with Brands and Make Money.

Jessie walks you through every step of the process, from setting up a brand-friendly blog and social media accounts, to creating a gorgeous, uber-profesh media kit, to creative ways to make sure you get a Yes from your favorite brands.

I’ve been through a good portion of Jessie’s course, and I’m so impressed. I knew approximately ZERO things about working with brands before the course, but Jessie’s got me covered (and thinking I may be missing out on a really fun monetization method!)

#3 Ad Revenue

I don’t know any bloggers currently making a full-time income JUST from putting ads on their sites or on their YouTube channels, but I do know influencers making some great side cash from ad revenue.

YouTubers Tasha and Joseph Cochran are making $2,000-$4,000/month just from enabling ads on their YouTube Channel.

Note: Your channel needs to have over 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 watch hours in a 12-month period in order to be eligible to join the YouTube Partner program, so it’s going to take some time and work to be ready for ad revenue!

I love Tasha and Joseph’s story of just randomly trying out a few YouTube videos, letting their channel sit for a few years, and then getting their first $100 check from YouTube. That was their light bulb moment, and they really started pouring everything they could into their YouTube channel after that.

In March of 2017 they earned $100 in one month via YouTube ads, and by September of 2017 they earned $1000 in a month. I’m so impressed at their growth trajectory! It just took focus and digging deep.

You’ll love Tasha and Joseph’s YouTube Made Simple Course inside the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit. It’s one of my absolute faves!

If you want to place ads on your own site, Mediavine seems to be the current top ad network for this. Many bloggers report that they’re making 50-100% more revenue per pageview compared to using Google Adsense.

Note: Mediavine requires that you have at least 25,000 sessions per month to be eligible to work with them. This means 25,000 different people and/or people coming back at different times throughout the month to your site! So… this isn’t a beginner way to to make money.

However, Jen Koellmann of HairsOutofPlace.com was desperate to hit those 25,000 sessions/month FAST with her new blog. She dug into Tailwind Tribes and became eligible for MediaVine after just 3 months blogging!

(In case you’re not aware, this is kinda insane….I’m so impressed with Jen’s focus and the strategies she used with Tailwind Tribes. You’ll love her Tribes for Traffic eBook that’s inside the Toolkit. Homegirl is rocking out her traffic in a brilliant way that not many bloggers have mastered, and one year into blogging she’s got loads more traffic than me (I’m 4 years in!) I’m absolutely implementing Jennifer’s Tailwind strategy for my blog this year.)

So ad revenue can be some nice side income, but it shouldn’t be the only way you make money blogging. Let’s talk real numbers so I can show you what I mean.

There’s not a standard number of earnings per pageview or visitor with MediaVine because it depends on what ad partners are working with you, your site niche, and more.

But here are a few examples:  Jeremy and Angie of Living the Dream had 170,000 pageviews in September across two sites, and earned a total of $3,524 from ads. This equals 2 cents per pageview.

As a new blogger, it’s generally a struggle just to hit 10,000 pageviews within a month or two (and in this case, you wouldn’t even be eligible for Mediavine yet!) But even if you were miraculously on some other network earning 2 cents per pageview, that’d equal just $200 in ad revenue for the month. Now that’s some nice little side cash for doing something you enjoy, but it’s not supporting your family!

And if you were Mediavine eligible and eeked out 25,000 sessions per month (or about 50,000 pageviews), you’d be making $1,000/month in ad revenue.

And ad revenue numbers fluctuate a lot! These are pretty generous estimates

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit 2018

#4 Ebook and Printable Sales

When you’re ready to take your blog to the next level, I recommend you start by either creating your own eBook or your own collection of printables.

It takes way less time to create these two products than it does to produce a full-fledged video course, and it’s a great way get some practice on launching a product and figuring out how to market it to your people.

(Seriously, don’t spend 6 months creating your online course and then launch it to crickets. That’s too sad! Get some buy-in on an easier digital product first.)

One of the easiest ways to get started on your eBook is to see which blog posts resonate most with your readers. Which posts get the most traffic month over month? Chances are that’s because Pinterest and Google users are desperate for some help in that area! But just as importantly, which posts get commented on and shared the most? These are clearly posts that your readers are passionate about.

Inside the Toolkit, Beth Brombosz has an eBook all about how to turn your blog content into a great book — complete with marketing strategies and formatting tips.

I still remember when my sister-in-law, Abby, launched her first eBook in 2014. I asked her at the end of launch week how the sale was going, and she said, “good! We’ve made over 300 sales so far!”

I was blown away. I still remember where I was STANDING in my mom’s kitchen when Abby told me this, that’s how impactful it was.

Abby had been blogging for 17 months at that point, and she created this product from scratch that was all hers — no one could take it away from her! And in the first week of selling it on her site she had over 300 customers! Abby made over $3,000 in that ONE WEEK of sales!

That was such a light bulb moment for me. And I made a mental note to put creating my own products at the top of my biz to-do list!

It’s funny looking back now how dumbfounded I was by those figures. Abby and Donnie have gone on to do WAY bigger launches. I, myself, have had a six-figure launch of one of my premium courses…. Twice! (I DID spend a lot on ads… yes I did!)

But at the time, making REAL money blogging seemed impossible, so to have people in my own family make several thousand dollars in one week of sales… it changed my entire perspective on blogging.

I’ve lumped printables into this category as well, although they could truly stand on their own. By printables I mean selling digital copies of planning printables, checklists, worksheets, workbooks, journals, even art printables. Whatever interest or hobby you have, there are probably some printables around that topic that you can create!

I used to be completely overwhelmed by printables. I’d get freebies from other big bloggers’ sites and think, “how the heck are they creating these beautiful graphics and lines and making this piece of paper so pretty?”

Over the years, I’ve figured out printable-making the hard way — messing around in Microsoft Word for hours at time, willing the items on the screen to go where I told them to. Then, as my business grew, I outsourced printable-making to talented ladies that work for me. (Thank you, Carlee! You’re the printable queen!)

But recently I took the How to Make your Own Printables course from Laura Smith, and… I kinda felt like smacking myself upside the head. Laura showed me how to use Excel to create my printables, and holy crap, there are a lot of amazing shortcuts you can use!

Laura even walks you through this gorgeous daily planning printable of hers, and shows you exactly how to make it.

You guys…. there are so many amazing things you can learn from others. After taking Laura’s course I thought, “dang, if I was brand new to business I could literally start up my own little shop right now using my printable knowledge.”

Sarah Titus actually has a resource in the Toolkit where she shares the best things to sell on Shopify, and one of them is printables. She’s making a killing with these. As someone who sells a physical planner, I’m crazy impressed with all the women earning a BETTER income selling printables (without the hassle of manufacturing, working with designers, and waiting two months for their planners to arrive from China!)

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit

#5 Online Course Sales

Ohhh online courses. I feel like you’re getting such a bad rap lately, and…. It’s because so many people have COURSES teaching other people how to create online COURSES, and it’s enough to drive anyone a little batty.

I feel like internet marketers talk about online courses as though they’re a get-rich-quick scheme, when they’re not at all.

But, I will say, on the flip side, online courses have been a huge contributor to my revenue over the past couple of years (and hey, I didn’t even need to create a course on how to create courses! lol)

Here’s why I love online courses and think you should consider them for your blog:  They’re easy to consume as a student when you’re using mostly video content. I personally love learning from courses and will pay a lot more to learn via video versus writing, because then I can learn while I cook dinner, clean up the kitchen, fold laundry, you name it. (I’ve basically gotten an MBA while doing housework over the past 4 years!)

Second, because most courses are video format, they feel like a much more premium product than an eBook, and you can generally command a much higher price.

In my experience, most eBooks range in price from $5 to $70, with an average of maybe $15 a pop.

Most online courses I see range in price from $50 to $1,000 with an average of maybe $300 a pop. Big difference!

Even though you usually sell less products the higher your prices are, you also counteract that with much higher profits per sale, and the math tends to work out in favor of courses!

Third, I love online courses because they’re such a great way to build relationships with your audience. I can tell so much more about who you are as a person when I’m seeing and hearing you on video versus reading your words on the page.

You can nail an eBook and have your customers coming back for more from you, but goodness gracious when you nail a course, people REALLY come back for more!

We closed the doors on my two premium courses for good quite a while ago, and we’re still having to turn sad people away who are eager to learn. (Thanks, friends. I appreciate it!)

Oh, speaking of shutting down my premium courses, you might be thinking, “why… if they’re so great?”  Well, courses do have a downside. They can require MAJOR upkeep, like when the platform you teach about constantly changes. It’s much harder to edit or re-record a bunch of videos versus just editing an eBook.

Courses can also require massive amounts of time and tend to bring more demanding people out of the woodwork. I get it. They paid GOOD money to learn from you, and some students think that good money entitles them to own you indefinitely. It does not, but it’s really hard to convince them of that!

So… there are pros and cons to courses, but they can be really fun, and most bloggers who go the course route tend to see their business grow to the next level as a result.


The Genius Blogger's Toolkit

#6 Coaching and Workshops

I put coaching and workshops together, because coaching generally means working with someone one-on-one, and a workshop is often a group coaching experience.

To me, both of these options are even more premium-priced than a course, but you’re working with way fewer people.

You get the benefit of working with your customers much more closely and really ensuring they stay the course on whatever it is you’re teaching them.

On the other hand…. I have a hunch that clientzillas might be even more likely with these packages as compared to online course students.

I mean, oftentimes with coaching, someone is buying a package of sessions from you for several thousand dollars. They might assume that by purchasing that package from you, they’ve just pushed the easy button, and you’ll now fix their entire life. (But you and I know it doesn’t quite work that way!)

However, I know many bloggers who first launched their courses as group coaching programs, where they pre-sold their idea to a small group of people, created the content week by week, and then got loads of feedback from their first group of students to improve their final product.

And in some fields, it’s much easier to learn how to help someone one-on-one before you move on to big groups. I’m thinking about fitness or organization or parenting, to name a few.

I think if I was a blogger in one of those fields, I’d feel way more comfortable booking one-on-one sessions with people that were quite open-ended to start. I’d just listen and figure out where their stumbling blocks were, and then develop a plan of action and ways to help them from there.

After a year of experience helping individuals one-on-one, I could see it being much easier to identify the most common struggles and setbacks my audience faces on a particular topic, and then systematize my coaching to turn it into an online course for the masses.

The other reasons you might offer coaching:  You LOVE one-on-one work. You’re just the kind of person who loves to go deep with people and you can’t stand how big and stranger-like an online course group of hundreds of students feels.

Maybe you’ve got a super small audience currently, but you DO have several super fans among that group. They’ve been begging you to help them in your area of expertise, so offering them one-on-one coaching is the perfect way to increase your income. No major tech skills needed, no huge launches, you just offer up a paypal button individually to the people who want your individual help.

I’ve personally done a few one-on-one coaching sessions. (I was the coach — the one teaching, and it was REALLY fun!) I LOVE the chance to give someone that kind of personalized attention, but I really struggled with charging what I was worth, sticking with my time limits, and during that season of life with a baby at home, it just wasn’t something I could sustain with my unpredictable schedule.

But coaching could be perfect for you! I’ve personally met several coaches who charge a premium price and make a great living doing it. They love it, and they have no interest in complicated product launches, ad revenue, or sponsored posts!

#7 Selling your Services

I see this happen all the time:  A blogger gets really good at a particular skill, like videography for their cooking videos, or Facebook ads for building their list, and then all of a sudden people start begging to hire them for that skill!

That’s what happened to Lisa from Elembee.com  She started blogging in 2010, just as a fun hobby, but as she slowly nerded out on her website design more and more, she decided to quit a job she didn’t love and launch her own web design business instead. Since she was already blogging and building relationships online, she was able to find clients.

Fast forward to today, and Lisa is charging $2,000-$7,000 per web design project! Ahh! You go, girl!

I’ve seen bloggers turn themselves into full-fledged Ads Agencies, or Creative Media Companies, or Graphic Designers. And while some might view their trading dollars for hours as a negative thing, in many cases they’re charging really premium prices for their services, working with people they enjoy, and doing what they love!

The beautiful thing about selling your services is that if you niche down and work hard on improving your best skills, you DON’T have to have a huge audience to make money this way.

You just have to put your best foot forward and find the right people who can use your help.


You never know where your blogging journey might lead you. The key is to get started, work hard, and never stop learning. And along the way, make sure you pursue that beautiful sweet spot where your passions collide with what your audience wants most. THAT, my friend, is the real key to making money blogging!

Ok, friend! It’s time to come up with your monetization plan for your online platform! Will you write to me and tell me what your blogging goals are for this year? brilliantbusinessmoms@gmail.com I’d love to cheer you on!

Psst! The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is only open for 6 days, October 10 – October 15, and you don't want to miss it! You’ll get access to over 50 online courses, eBooks, and amazing resources to grow and monetize your blog. I’ve been poring over these resources the past few weeks so I can give you all my honest thoughts, and I’m giddy with excitement to tell you all about them!

Want to know more? Check out my Completely Honest Review of the 2018 Genius Blogger's Toolkit right here!

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit

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5 Ways to Use a Blog to Explode any Business https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/5-ways-use-blog-explode-business/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/5-ways-use-blog-explode-business/#respond Fri, 05 Oct 2018 22:23:40 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6415 Have you thought about blogging for your business, or are you firmly in the camp, “No, not ever, ….never gonna blog! I’m NOT a blogger!” Welp, I gotta tell you, I don’t think of myself as a blogger either! But I still blog for my business all the time, and it’s made a world of […]

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Have you thought about blogging for your business, or are you firmly in the camp, “No, not ever, ….never gonna blog! I’m NOT a blogger!”

Welp, I gotta tell you, I don’t think of myself as a blogger either! But I still blog for my business all the time, and it’s made a world of difference!

I totally get the hold-up here. Maybe writing isn’t your thing. Maybe you feel like you don’t have any extra time to spare. But before you dismiss blogging as “just not for you” let me give you 5 Ways you can use a Blog to Explode your Business.

And yes, this applies to everyone! We’ll chat about the ways that service-based business owners, product-based business owners, MLMers, and others can all use blogging to grow their business!

Wondering if you should start (or keep) your blog for your business? You should! Here's 5 ways (plus a bonus way) you should use a blog to grow your business.

1. Show Off All the Brilliant Ways to Use your Product on your Blog

Many product-based businesses could stand to do a little more customer education. You might have the neatest idea in the world – like a revolutionary diaper bag organizational system – or a sweater than can be worn 5 different ways – but if you don’t clearly explain all the features of your product to your customer, there’s a good chance they’ll walk away before buying.

It’s hard to convey all the brilliant aspects of your product in one tiny Etsy or Shopify listing. But if you blog, you really highlight each feature and educate your customer on how to make the most out of their purchase.

And I gotta tell you, I’m obsessed with the companies that link me back to the amazing resources on their blog when I purchase something from them.

If I’m buying felt for crafts, and I get a card telling me all about the brilliant felt project ideas you have for me, you better believe I’m heading back to your site for hours of crafting fun, AND I’ll never buy felt from anyone else, because you’re my girl! You didn’t just sell me a great product, you created a great experience for me!

Hint: All the brilliant blog posts you write that are related to your product can often spread on Pinterest, bringing your shop even more love! If your biz only has product pins circulating, it’s harder to see the same big traffic results.

Right now, there's an amazing Bundle Sale with over 77 different courses, eBooks, and resources to help you build your blog and social media presence! It's called the Genius Blogger's Toolkit, and you don't want to miss it!

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit 2018

2. Use your Blog to Highlight Case Studies so Clients are Banging on your Door

Okay, my service-based biz friends, I hear you…you’re so busy knocking on doors trying to drum up new clients and serve the ones you have, that there’s no time left for blogging.

The thing is, when someone new comes knocking at my door offering their services, I want proof. The only two ways I’ve hired people are through personal recommendations from others, or from looking at their past work and happy client testimonials. It doesn’t matter how much you tell me you’re great. Show me your happy clients!

When you blog about the success stories and happy clients you already have, you can build up a waitlist for yourself that means you never have to go knocking on doors again. A waitlist also means you can raise your prices and handpick the clients who seem like the best fit.

I’ve personally applied to work with certain videographers and ad agencies before, and this was because they clearly “showed their work”. I saw blog post after blog post of clients they successfully helped. I saw the results of working with them, and that's what convinced me I wanted to be their next customer.

Use case studies in your blog to showcase your happy customers

3. Show you’re the Real Deal with Expert Blog Posts

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to buy a course on parenting from a 20 year-old nanny who doesn’t have kids.

And I don’t want to buy jewelry from someone who has no fashion sense.

And I definitely don’t want to buy essential oils from you if you can’t show me how to use them.

When you blog on your niche, you get the chance to show you’re the real deal. I get to see that you’re also a middle-aged mom with a similar style to me, and not a 60-year-old dude trying to sell me junk jewelry from China.

One of the products I sell is planners. If I never blogged about time-management or showed you how I set goals and order my life, how likely would you be to buy my planner?

There are a bazillion different planners out there. It’s my job to show you I’m the real deal — that my planner has a different focus and different benefits than everyone else.

I know I wouldn’t want to buy a planner from someone who always seemed way-too-busy and way-too-stressed and unhappy with life. I want to buy my products from someone who’s living the way I want to live.

4. Set Yourself Apart from the Competition

When you blog, you have the chance to let your personality shine. And the more I get to know a business owner personally, the more likely I am to continue buying from them, even if the other guy has cheaper prices or some other gimmick.

It’s a trust and respect thing. When I get to know you, I trust that you’ll deliver high-quality products and services. I respect you and what you do. To me, that’s worth a lot more than saving a couple of bucks with some unknown company.

I’ll never buy a long, soft baby wrap from anyone other than Elle Rowley of Solly Baby Wraps. I’m sure there are plenty of other similar soft-fabric, comfortable wraps out there, but from all of her Instagram Lives, Stories, and Blog Posts, I feel like I know Elle.

I know what her priorities are — and that she values slow and simple, and connecting with the people who matter most over what the rest of the world tells us we should care about.

She loves to teach not just on baby-wearing, but on parenting and prioritizing, and all sorts of life goodness.

To me, she’s the real deal, and a fabulous person, so she’s who I think of when I’m ready to buy another baby wrap or gift one to a friend.

Struggling with ideas on what to write or how to inspire with your posts? There are resources just for you inside the Genius Blogger's Toolkit!

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit

5. Build up a Blog Audience, Then Sell Them Exactly What they Want to Buy

For anyone looking to grow an online business on a bootstrap budget, blogging is a great place to start. No, you won’t make thousands of dollars out of the gate, but you will save yourself a lot of money and heartache compared to aspiring biz owners who have an idea for a product, spend thousands of dollars having it manufactured, and then realize that no one actually wants to buy what they’re selling!

Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a product upfront before you know there’s a market for it. Heck, don’t even spend a hundred on an MLM start-up kit. Start a blog on a topic you’re passionate about, and then let your audience steer the ship.

Almost every product I’ve created in my business has been based off of demand from my audience. In year one, my sister and I surveyed our people, and managing their time was a huge struggle they were facing.

We wrote a book on time management and created a planner. 18 months after the first planner released, I pre-sold $29,000 worth of the new planner design — paying for all the manufacturing and then some!

My courses on Pinterest and Facebook were based on numerous questions from my audience asking, “How are you doing this?”

And, two of my favorites, my mini-courses on Social Media and Product Launches, represented some of my most successful launches. I pre-sold tickets to the live class for both of these courses when I just had an outline of what I wanted to say. Then I got super busy creating the finished class!

Both launches generated over $15,000 in sales each, and these were for $15 live tickets! I’ve gone on to launch my Social Media Evergreen class again and made over $15,000 on the second launch as well.

Give your audience what they want, people! It’s the best way to grow your business.

Don’t have an audience? Build one with a blog.

I have seen way too many people throw thousands of dollars and hours down the drain because they didn’t pre-sell their product to their audience. Save yourself the heartache. Build up a blog audience, then give them exactly what they’re looking for.

6. Bring in some Passive Income by Sharing what you Love

I know I said 5 ways, but I couldn’t resist, because this one is great for everyone!

If you sell a physical product, chances are there are other products that pair perfectly with yours. As a handmade scarf company, you might love the way your scarves look with certain sweaters and boots. Sign up for those companies’ affiliate programs and create style-focused blog posts!

And the same is true for an MLM. Those essential oils aren’t diffusing themselves, right?! What other great products on Amazon pair perfectly with what you do?

If you’re a service-based business, there are probably tools you can’t live without that you can highly recommend to your customers, like ConvertKit for their email service, or PhotoShop to help them work with the fabulous photos you took for them.

I LOVE affiliate sales for passive income that runs behind the scenes. I get a check for over $600 from ConvertKit each month, because I use and love their email service, and I’ve referred lots of other business owners to them over the past few years.

What products and services do you use and love that you could be earning a paycheck from month after month?

Phew! We just covered 6 ways to explode your business with blogging! Are you excited….ready to give blogging another try?

Woohoo, let’s do it!

Lucky for you the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is on sale right now! It’s an incredible bundle of over 50 courses, ebooks, and tools to help you grow your blog. These courses cover everything you can think of, like affiliate marketing, working with brands, using video to grow, building and selling from your email list, and so much more. (I’ve already reviewed over HALF of the resources inside and I’m majorly impressed!)

The Genius Blogger's Toolkit 2018

A blog is an incredible asset that every online business owner should have.

Now get to it — time to put words on the page and build up YOUR asset!

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6 No-Stress Rules for Easy Social Media https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/6-no-stress-rules-easy-social-media/ https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/6-no-stress-rules-easy-social-media/#respond Sun, 23 Sep 2018 21:28:02 +0000 https://brilliantbusinessmoms.com/?p=6404 I’ve seen so many rules about using social media in your business…so many rules. There are rules about when to post, how often to post, what to post, what not to post, what kind of videos to post, what lights to use, what colors you can or can’t use… Ugh! How boring. Honestly, I LOVE […]

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I’ve seen so many rules about using social media in your business…so many rules. There are rules about when to post, how often to post, what to post, what not to post, what kind of videos to post, what lights to use, what colors you can or can’t use… Ugh! How boring.

Honestly, I LOVE breaking the rules! It's a guilty pleasure of mine. I look at what all the gurus online recommend, and usually, I say, “Nah, not gonna do that!” As a result, I tend to be a lot happier and less stressed out than your average online business owner. And preventing stress is KEY if you want to use social media to build strong connections and raving fans, and sell your amazing products.

Instead of following the rules, I make my own rules.

Here are my 6 No-Stress Rules for Easy Social Media

6 No Stress Rules for Easy Social Media

1.) Don’t do what everyone else is doing.

The quickest way to burn out (at just about anything!) is to try to be someone you’re not.

It’s really easy to see what all the biggest influencers, bloggers, or biz owners in your niche are doing and think that in order to be successful, you’ve got to do all the same things.

Nothing could be further from the truth. There are hundreds of different ways to grow your business, and none of them are going to work if they feel forced and awkward.

Let me give you an example: I see a ton of biz influencers doing IG stories where they talk to the camera and share all these little biz quick tips. I see a lot of lifestyle influencers doing this too — just chilling in their cars, talking to the camera about whatever funny observations they have to share about their day.

When I tried sharing business advice in this format a while back, it drove me CRAZY! I’m a super wordy person!

My 30-second clips were always cutting off at super awkward moments, then I’d lose my train of thought, and also, every video took FOREVER to upload! So people who started watching the story right away weren’t even seeing all the clips.

It felt really awkward and time-consuming and also discouraging to see how much time I spent creating the story and then the HUGE drop-off of people after the first few sections.

I’m sure I could learn how to use this medium better over time, but it doesn’t feel worth it to me when I can hop on Facebook Live and create a much more natural, finished product where my audience can interact with me too!

And you know what else I realized? I really don’t like other people’s “talking at the camera” IG stories. I usually swipe right past those and only look at the stories that include graphics and text.

If I’m my ideal customer, it probably makes sense to create the types of content that I personally like to see! So that’s what I try to do.

These are the kinds of stories my team creates (when we have the time!):

Now clearly, we all have to stretch ourselves and find ways to keep growing and improving, so my advice for you here is to peruse social media as though you’re just part of the audience. Pretend you’re that ideal customer of yours. What do you see? What do you really ENJOY on social media, and what’s just kinda “meh” to you? Stretch yourself on the areas of social media that you personally enjoy consuming, and don’t worry about the rest!

2.) Don’t post every day!

Here I go… giving you completely different advice than what others are telling you, but hear me out: If you feel pressured to post every day, you’re going to get overwhelmed.

An every-day schedule doesn’t leave any room to unplug and enjoy your life. And it doesn’t account for those extra-busy weeks we all have.

And honestly, what I’ve found is that it doesn’t matter how long I step away from social media if the next post I share offers value and my audience enjoys it, I get just as much reach as I did before (if not more!)

Take a look at the diagram below. Do you notice any trends in how many days I go between posting and how much reach my post gets? I sure don’t!

Some of my LONGEST breaks from IG (14 days, 9 days, 6 days) have also resulted in posts that get the most reach! And usually, when I’m posting every single day or every other day, each post gets less reach.

Printable social media calendar + customer journey printables

In general, higher reach is very closely tied to my level of engagement on a particular post.

When I connect with my audience and give them the content they like, Instagram rewards me, and they don’t care how long I’ve been away!

Now, granted, if I posted every day, and then consistently reached 2,000 people each day, could I, in theory, be reaching MORE people overall? Maybe, or I could start to see my reach decline further and further if my posts weren’t as good, and more people ignored them.

I post when I have something valuable to share, and honestly…when I feel like it! I keep social media fun, and that makes a world of difference for me!

I would much rather see you focus on high-quality posts that your audience will LOVE instead of posting just to post.

Consistency IS more important when you’re first starting out. You haven’t built up a long-term relationship with your audience yet, so you DO want to stay top-of-mind before they lose interest.

But remember this: Consistency is utterly worthless if it’s consistent crap.

Yikes! I know you’re capable of putting amazing content out into the world. Focus on that instead of some arbitrary number of times to post each week. Post as often as feels enjoyable to you. Post as often as you feel you can put something great online.

3.) Don’t check in every day!

“Don’t post every day… don’t check in every day… geesh, Beth Anne, you’re one strict Mama!”

Yes! I feel SUPER strongly about this one because social media can steal your entire life away from you if you’re not careful!

Here’s what I try to do: Post on Instagram and Facebook on a given day. Respond back to comments and questions a little later that day.

Then, I take the next day completely off from social media. I’m holed up, working on email and blog content, product development, and marketing plans.

The following day, I’m back on with a new post to share, and right after I post I check in on straggling comments from my 2-days-ago post.

This prevents me from getting sucked down the social media rabbit hole on a regular basis. As much as I love seeing what friends are up to and cheering for my favorite biz moms, I can’t spend an hour (or more… let’s be honest!) on this every day. There are so many other things I want and NEED to do with my life.

And friend, I know you want to be a super-responsive, kind-hearted biz owner, but I promise those lovely people with questions and comments can wait. You’ll have chatted with all the early-birds on day 1, solidifying relationships with all your die-hard peeps, and the stragglers will be just fine. (Remember, you’ve got to have time to go create those amazing products they’ll love so much!)

My exception to this rule is during a special promotion. When I’ve got a limited-time offer running and people only have a few days to decide if they’d like to purchase, I don’t want a lack of response to be what stops them. I also find that I get way more questions and comments during promotions, so if I don’t respond quickly, I’ll end up with a big backlog!

4.) Don’t take all your own photos.

I remember when I first dug into Instagram a few years ago and I was completely gung-ho about it! I saw all of these shop owners and influencers posting gorgeous photos every day, and I was determined to be like them.

So for a month or two, I took photos of my entire life and was constantly begging Chris to get these model-wannabe shots of me. I was constantly posing and constantly feeling super awkward in public trying to get these lovely shots.

I also took out my photo props and backdrops several times a week — always trying to capture the perfect shot.

It was exhausting and stressful, and completely unenjoyable for me.

Someday, I’d love to improve my photography skills, but now is not the right time, and, truth be told, I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy modeling for the camera and trying to capture my whole life online.

So, I turned to stock photos and to Ellen, my ninja photo editor, and I haven’t looked back. I do work with a professional photographer on occasion, but then I generally make those photos last all year (or two!) by bringing on Ellen’s Photoshop expertise to mix things up.

You can also make your social media presence stretch further by collaborating with friends to give each other shoutouts and feature each other’s photos on your profiles.

Finally, find some happy customers or send your products to people who would love them so you can get photos from them too! There are a lot of ways to stretch your photo library so you’re not pulling out props and hunting for the right light on a weekly basis.

5.) Don’t look perfect.

I hear a lot of people talk about looking polished for live video or Instagram Stories, and when I first started using these platforms, I always felt like I had to have my hair down and fixed.

For a Mama who wears her hair up in a messy loop (I can’t even master the messy bun!) 6 days a week, this felt like a big burden and kept me from showing up on Facebook Live.

I finally decided, “you know what, I look just fine with my hair pulled back, and people will care a whole lot more about what I share with them than my hair-do, right?”

And I haven’t looked back since.

So, sure… maybe put on a little lip gloss and get rid of the forehead shine, but DON’T feel like you have to look perfect to show up on social media.

Be YOU, my friend! That’s the best thing you can offer the world.

6.) Remember WHY you’re doing what you do.

This is the most important tip when it comes to preventing social media stress. It’s key!

It’s so easy to obsess about the numbers — how many followers did I get, how many comments, what’s my traffic like this week? — but when we do this, we’re much more likely to feel frustrated and stressed when the numbers don’t add up.

Life (and your mood!) are a ROLLERCOASTER when you obsess over those numbers, and friend, you’re worth a whole lot more than whatever you think they’re telling you.

At its core, social media should be about building relationships with our audience, and the best way to prevent burnout is to focus on THEM.

Make your audience the hero. Look for ways to serve them each week. Appreciate the amazing people who are hanging out in your corner of the world right now.

If one person felt encouraged by your post or had a lightbulb moment, then you’ve done a great job! (And if no one commented to tell you so, trust that your brilliant self STILL did a great job, ok?)

With every post, you’re learning, growing, and improving your skills. With every post, you have the opportunity to meet a few people where they’re at, and that’s pretty amazing!

Feel better? Then use these tips to prevent social media stress and burnout and have FUN! Your audience will sense it when you do, and they’ll love what you’re doing even more!

Psst. Free Social Media Content Guide for you if you haven’t grabbed yours yet!

Grab your Social Media Content Calendar + Customer Journey Printables right here, and you're ready to create and share content that's useful, that builds relationships, and that gets your customers super excited for your product!

You've got this, Mama! Now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!

Printable social media calendar + customer journey printables


Looking for more great social media ideas? Check these out:

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