Today’s guest is Rachel Fairchild of This Crafty Home. She has been blogging off and on for several years and in 2020 she found her niche. She is now making a full-time income selling products around freezer meals.
You’re going to love hearing from Rachel and will be blown away by how she has scaled her freezer meal product. Rachel has taken that first freezer meal plan that sold well, and is now turning that into multiple different products and offers that serve her audience in different ways, but yet are all centered around freezer cooking.
Press play on the podcast player below to hear the full episode.
Seasons of Blogging and Finding a Niche
Rachel first started her blog over six years ago. At the time she was working a full-time job outside the home and her blog was mostly just a hobby. Once she had kids, her blog hobby fell to the wayside.
About two years ago, when her son was born and in the NICU she knew that she didn’t want to go back to work. She dusted off her blog, invested in some courses and a lot of hard work, and was making good money from ads fairly quickly.
Ad income is great to have, but Rachel knew that she also wanted to sell products.
“It started out as a crafting website but with two small children, I didn't have time to do crafts. So before I really knew about niches or anything like that I started blogging about everything in the world that I wanted to blog about. I think everybody does that at first.
“So I started just blogging about anything and everything and my baby posts did super well. I made great affiliate money off of them so I said, ‘Okay, I'm gonna create a product around this.’ So I created my pregnancy planner. And I did, okay, it was just like, Okay, and then I actually It did okay but not great. I ended up creating other products too that all kind of fell flat and didn't do too well.
“Eventually, I created a freezer meal guide simply out of necessity, because I needed it.”
Things did not go smoothly at first.
“I dug really deep into freezer meal planning. And then I did it myself. It took an entire weekend and it was miserable. And I hated it. But after that, for the whole month, every night. I was like, ‘Oh, I don't have to cook. Oh, this is amazing.’
“There was such a big payoff. And I thought there's got to be a better way to do this. I'm a strategic person. I like numbers. I like all that kind of stuff. So I decided we're going to do this, and we're going to make it better.
“I created this guide for myself first. And then I followed it and it was so much better. And so I started selling that guide for $7. It did pretty well with my small list. I only had about 500 people at the time on my email list.”
It wasn’t time to switch gears yet though. Rachel had just joined the Facebook Ads Intensive and was still focusing on her pregnancy planner at this point.
“At that point, I was trying to make ads work for the pregnancy planner. And they kind of did. It pretty much broke even the whole time and I did add people to my list. But then the coronavirus hit.
“I kept trying, and I kept trying, and it just wasn't working. I honestly think it was a God thing that it just stopped working. Because if it had started working better, I wouldn't have done my freezer meal stuff. I would have kept going with that.
“In September I released a new freezer meal guide because I had gotten so many requests from my email list. They were asking when a new one would be coming out because they really liked the last one. I figured that would be easy because I could just revamp last year’s plan which needed to be updated and improved anyway.
“I put it out and it did really well. And I thought, okay, maybe I should run ads to this. I just hadn't even thought to try it. I think because technically it’s too cheap to do well with ads. It's only $13 on the tripwire. But then I have a second option which is a $39 bundle for all three of my meal guides that I have out right now.
“I had never even bundled it together before but I wanted to try and do something. I knew this type of thing works. So I just kind of threw that all together on a whim.”
Running Ads to Two Different Products at Once Shows the Way Forward
Rachel not only created this freezer meal bundle and started ads for that, but she also turned on her pregnancy planner ads again. The results were eye-opening.
“The pregnancy planner was profitable with a ROAS of 2. But my freezer meals ad had a ROAS of 6!
“I was shocked! I couldn’t believe it. But since then, I’ve been rolling with it and it’s gone really well!”
Breaking Down the Contents of a Freebie to Tripwire Offer
Both ads were using what I call the Freebie-to-Tripwire option. Let’s take a peek at what Rachel’s offer includes:
“The freezer meal guide itself is how to make a month of freezer meals in four hours. The freebie for that is just a freezer meal prep cheat sheet. So it's basically everything you need to know to get started with freezer meal prep.
“Believe it or not, there is a decent amount of stuff you need to know and learn to make successful freezer meals. Like how long can your food be in the freezer and different techniques and stuff to make sure your food actually tastes good at the end? You can definitely screw up freezer meal prep. Remember my first attempt?
“A very common question that I get is “Do these taste good? Because my husband hates frozen food.’ I understand that. These taste great because they're made specifically for the freezer.”
Finding the right freebie to go with your offer is very important.
If your freebie is not compelling enough, then they're not going to click through and opt in. But if it's too big and juicy, then they’re satisfied with what they already got for free and won’t purchase the tripwire product.
Rachel agrees. “I think that was a problem with my pregnancy pack. The freebie was too good and they didn't feel like they needed the other product. Whereas this one is a very good middle ground. It gives you all the information you need to kind of get started but it doesn’t give you the plan.”
Happy Customers Come Back Asking for More
“The freezer meal guides take me forever to make. It’s getting quicker as I learn and improve but it’s at least two months of testing and tweaking the meals.
“Putting out a quality product matters. I did a survey of the people who bought the previous meal plan and they all loved it and couldn’t wait for another one. They were excited and ready to buy when I launched my latest version.
Learning As She Goes
Rachel says that her current launch isn’t going as well as she hoped but it’s still doing pretty well.
“I'm not good at funnels. I'm terrible at email. That's just not my strength. And the fact that the majority of this launch is email revenue is insane. For my previous launches, the majority of the sales are on that first day, and then it dies off. And that's it. But this time, it's just been different.
“I think I'm just still learning what works and what doesn't. Honestly in the past, I was hesitant to send an email every day but I’ve been doing it this time and I can see a difference.
“So I'm still very much learning how to do this whole launch thing and I'm not really worried that it's not making as much as I really wanted it to simply because I know that with my tripwire and my warm ads, it's going to make the money I need to make over time. I'm not worried about it at all.
“Another exciting thing too is I've literally never been able to get direct-to-sale ads to work as well as retargeting ads. That kind of stuff is just not my forte either. That's a goal of mine this year to really get comfortable with those because I feel like tripwires are the thing that I've done really well at so far. All my warm ads are doing so well direct-to-sale. Right now I’ve got about a 4x ROAS.”
Having a good launch is great but Rachel is also looking forward to the ongoing sales that she will have now that she has this great product that can continue to run with ads even after the official launch of the latest version of the freezer meal plan is over.
“That's exactly why I'm not like stressing about it whatsoever. Because I know that my ads work. Especially now that I finally got a solid lookalike audience, those have been really working super well for me lately.”
In October, Rachel spent $8600 on ads and made $19,000 in sales – her first five-figure month! Also, the source of her income has changed.
“Basically my revenue had been affiliates and ads and then products were just a nice little extra bit of money. But now it's completely flipped. Products are my money. And then everything else is like the extra money.”
Testing Ad Audiences Takes Time
Rachel’s ads have been going well but there’s always so many different audiences and budget and offer combinations to try out, which takes time.
“I still have so much testing to do. It's just I haven't had the time. That's always the thing, right? Because I'm literally still just doing the freebie to tripwire offer. It was to all cold audiences and then I changed to look-alikes in December and those have been doing super well and are way more stable. I'm excited to try some direct-to-sale offers and I haven't done the lifetime budget either. I've been doing all CBO.
“I've got so many things to test and try to find the best results.”
I just know Rachel is going to continue to grow. She has a variety of seasonal freezer meal plans she can create and she’s going to offer a live freezer meal workshop soon which will have replays available too. She’s growing so fast now!
Rachel agrees. “On top of all the sales I’ve had, I’ve also added about 30,000 people to my email list in the last two and a half months. It’s insane!”
It’s Important to Test Different Ad Formats Too
Facebook used to have a rule that they would penalize ads that were more than 20% text but recently changed this. Great news for Rachel who had a text-heavy image on Instagram that was doing really well. Once Facebook changed the rules, she was able to use it in an ad and it has been doing really well.
Another ad format that she’s trying now is a sped-up food prep video. There are so many different fun formats we can try now for ads. Instagram Reels and Tik Tok style videos can be very eye-catching. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
When your ad looks different from everyone else, it can really grab your audience’s attention!
The ad that’s doing well for Rachel right now is a picture of herself holding a stack of freezer meals. The title says, “How Freezer Meals Saved My Sanity” and all around the picture she has listed the benefits she has gotten from making freezer meals – cuddling her kids, fewer dishes, not wondering if she has the ingredients on hand that she needs to make dinner, saving money by not ordering takeout, and so on.
Rachel says, “I think it has done so well just because everybody's like, oh, like that sounds great! I want that too!”
Aren’t Rachel’s results amazing? She’s added 30,000 email subscribers in two and a half months, she’s getting 2X ROAS on her ads, and making a profit of $8,000-$10,000 per month.
After Finding Her Niche, She Expands Her Product Line
Now that Rachel has found her niche in freezer cooking, she is expanding her product offerings. After selling so many Fall Freezer Meal Guides, she knew she needed to expand her offerings so that those customers will have other things to buy.
Here’s what she’s got coming up-
Rachel will offer a live freezer prep workshop. She is also making more meal plans to fill the requests she’s had for vegetarian and keto options. She’s also planning smaller live workshops around breakfast prep, snack prep, and back-to-school lunch prep.
She says, “I never thought I could make a whole business around freezer meals but I have!”
Personally, I love the idea of Rachel’s live cooking classes! I’m such a procrastinator but if I have an appointment on my calendar, I’ll show up and get it done. And it would be a lot more fun to be doing my meal prep along with Rachel at the same time. Fun and accountability at the same time – perfect!
Rachel also plans to target the people who didn’t originally purchase the live class option, offering them a second chance to buy at the reduced price.
The hope of doing a live class is that people show up and enjoy it, creating more happy customers. It prevents the meal plan from becoming just another pdf that they bought that is gathering dust on their hard drive.
I love seeing my ads students building a business and helping their customers in tangible, amazing ways. I love seeing them get great feedback about how they are improving people’s lives.
Now that she is established in the freezer cooking niche and loving it, Rachel is planning a bit of a re-brand soon.
Building Audiences – From Cold Interests to Look-Alikes
Finding the right audience is key to successful ads but it can take a lot of testing and tweaking to get it right.
“I only started at 20 bucks a day for sure. And that was with a cold audience that I thought might work. Then it hit 6 ROAS! So on the next call, I was asking, ‘This is doing really well. What do I do now?’ You told me to increase it to $100 a day and I ended up bumping it up to $50 and it did really well.
“Then while I was doing that, I was also starting a new cold interest audience, because I knew there were all kinds of other ones that I wanted to test. And I kind of did the same scaling with each of them. I started at 20 and then I went to 50. And then scaling up from there.
“I got to the point where I had like four or five different cold interests campaigns but they have several cold interests within them. Overall I got to the point that I was spending $500 a day total on my ads.
“Eventually those ads started to die out but I realized that I had enough people on my list now to create a look-alike audience. I made two different lookalike audiences – one for my purchasers, and one for my opt-ins.
“I haven’t had a chance to scale these new lookalikes audiences much yet but they’re doing pretty well with a 2.3 ROAS.”
Okay, all you newer advertisers out there – this is an important thing to remember. This does get easier because as you get all these sales and targeted leads and even targeted web traffic as well then you can try look-alikes, with each of those. And those tend to be even more targeted than any of those cold interests and so it really does build on itself.
Rachel has been able to grow over three and a half months using just one ad image and one version of ad copy. She has spent $19,700 on ads and made $40,000.
Sometimes, all you need is one good ad.
Okay friends, now it’s your turn. Are you in the beginning stages of your business too? If you don’t know what type of products to create or what you’re best at, spend some time thinking it through. Think about the problems that you've solved for yourself in your own life. Think about the ways that you've reduced stress or saved yourself time or any number of other things that made your life better. And ask yourself if that's something that you could create a product around, if that's something that you could help others with, too.
I hope you found this episode encouraging and are ready to get out there and be brilliant!
If you’d like more information about the Facebook Ads Intensive class that Rachel mentioned, click the banner below.