Abbey Ashley of the Virtual Savvy is always doing fun stuff in her business and trying new marketing strategies and new ways to grow. I can’t wait to share with you!
Press play on the podcast player below to hear the full interview.
Starting at the Very Beginning With Nothing
Abbey Ashley has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and loves to try new things. Past ventures include selling jeans on eBay and running a freezer kitchen. One day a friend suggested that she become a virtual assistant as a way to make some extra money while she was home with her kids.
Abbey says, “I had no idea what that even was but I scoured the internet that night and the next day started calling myself a virtual assistant. I got business cards and put up a website and went to lots of live networking events and just started getting out there.”
In just a matter of months, Abbey was able to replace her previous income and even started to grow a team.
Remember – Abbey didn’t even know what a virtual assistant was when she started but she didn’t let that hold her back!
Build on What You Know
“I think I had found a list of services that a VA could offer. I didn't have a lot of skills and I don't want you guys to be confused and think I had all this experience, because I didn't. Honestly, I started with what I knew how to do, which was basically answering customer service emails, and I taught myself Canva so I could do simple graphics and social media scheduling. I tried to keep learning new skills, but really, I didn't know very much when I first started out. I didn't have any experience, really, in digital marketing or anything like that.”
Once people realized that she could help them just a few hours a week, getting things off their plates, the business owners she met were ready to hire her!
Then Abbey had an opportunity to pitch her dream client.
“So I ended up landing a client who was, I guess, my dream client. It was this guy that I followed. I read all of his blogs, I subscribed to his email newsletters, and I just loved his content. I decided I wanted to work for him and so I came up with this massive pitch- I worked like a whole week on it- and he ended up hiring me to be his copywriter, and to do some other things for him too.”
Abbey’s dream client was a course creator which opened her eyes to another whole new world of possibility.
Okay, you guys can see where this is going, right? Abbey took everything that she had learned about being a virtual assistant and started teaching others!
Listen to Your People
Abbey’s career as a course creator wasn’t an instant success.
“I started the Virtual Savvy. And at first, I wasn't teaching people to become virtual assistants. I was just teaching what I thought people wanted to learn. I came up with all these courses and like, nobody bought them. I think in like six months, I had, you know, one person buy a course for $97, and I was really, really frustrated.”
At this point, Abbey started to look a lot closer at her mentor’s successful methodology and saw how he made sure to validate before he created. So she asked her list what they wanted to learn and they asked her to teach them to become virtual assistants too. Learning from her past mistakes of creating what she thought people wanted, she took a different approach to building this course.
“I didn't go out and create the course. I actually launched the idea of the course to my list. They paid me about half the price of what the course is now to kind of build the course with me. I was doing live training and hearing from them and that's what built the course. So that very first course launch, I had 16 people buy at about $500, so it was an $8,000 launch, which to me was like, crazy!”
Driving Traffic to Grow
Once you’ve got a course set up, you need to tell more people about it. Abbey says it doesn’t matter which traffic source you choose, for example, Pinterest or YouTube or Facebook, but only that you go all in on that one source until you’ve mastered it and then add another, one at a time.
Since Abbey was already comfortable writing and blogging for her clients, she chose long-form blog posts and Pinterest as her first primary traffic source. Once her process was firmly established on Pinterest, she added a Facebook group. And until this past year, this has been the only way Abbey was adding customers to her email list and selling her course.
“Those have been my only two methods of traffic really until this past year or so. Just launching my course twice a year and doing those organic methods brought us up to you know, a multiple six figure business.”
Oh man – we all know how easy it is to be pulled in a million different directions, trying anything we can to get traffic and customers. But I love how Abbey stayed true to mastering one source at a time and her results are fabulous!
Evergreen Webinars Can Fuel Your Email List and Sales Growth Even More
Driving traffic is great but what do you do with them once they’ve arrived on your page? An automated evergreen webinar is one way to engage and nurture interested people. Abbey uses a webinar funnel to create ongoing sales.
“At the beginning of 2018 I had a little bit of a funnel that I had built by just combining a bunch of strategies I'd read on the internet. And that was doing okay, so I wasn't really using ads, just converting my organic traffic. With my organic traffic I was making about $4000 in sales per month which I thought was awesome but then I joined a program by Mariah Coz to build out an evergreen funnel.
“The first month that I turned it on with the exact same traffic, my $4,000 funnel went to a $20,000 a month funnel! It worked really, really well! So we just kept building that and tweaking it and really focusing on more traffic, more traffic, more traffic – organic traffic – into that funnel. Eventually, by like the beginning of this year before I joined your program, that funnel had gotten up to between $70,000 – $80,000 months. Just organic traffic.”
Wow! Isn’t it amazing what Abbey has done with her focus on organic traffic?
Adding Paid Traffic to a High-Converting Funnel Is Like Adding Fuel to a Fire
Abbey admits to having dabbled in Facebook ads in the past but despite multiple courses, Facebook ads were super frustrating. Until she enrolled in the Facebook Ads Intensive, that is.
“None of them had the effect that your Facebook ads program had. You just break it down so simply and it's a strategy. And it's like, if you just do the strategy, it works. And I, for the first time– I mean, I've been in business for so many years, I had a seven figure business coming into your course and Facebook ads made me want to cry– And now I'm like, I actually understand this!”
Remember, Abbey was already making up to $80,000 per month in sales before she started really using Facebook ads in earnest.
“We turned on these ads and started going. And then we went from an $80,000 month to a $160,000 month. And last month was a $200,000 month!”
Wow! Facebook ads helped Abbey double her monthly sales!
Abbey claims that she is not an analytical numbers person but says that having a good understanding of the process allows her to see what’s working and what needs to be changed and improved. She can hand the day-to-day management of Facebook ads (she admits that she doesn’t love running her own ads) to someone on her team but finally has a good basic understanding of the whole process so she can make good decisions based on the reports she sees.
“Just understanding that and how it worked and seeing the little things that I could change to where I could say, ‘Okay, now I know that these ads are profitable,’ and that's that's a really good feeling. Because it's a lot of money, right? It's real money that you're putting out the door so I want to know I'm actually getting a good return on that.”
Abbey’s high-converting funnel which is already running so well behind the scenes is the fire. Facebook ads are the fuel, driving her sales through the roof!
“I think that, for me, what I always wanted ads to be was fuel to the fire, but you can't add fuel to the fire if you don't have the fire first, right? And so I think it is having something that converted well, that was already making money, that I knew was proven and that my audience wanted was just a way to really- Okay, now that I have this, now I can risk spending some of the money to have that fuel on the fire.”
Abbey just added so much extra fuel to her already amazing fire – I just love it!
Adding Scarcity Can Improve Conversion Rates
Abbey’s webinar is an on-demand training so people can watch it right away. She also has a deadline funnel with a timer that is ticking down on all of her emails, sales pages, and the webinar. People can see it and know that they need to act now.
“One of the biggest things that I think helped was adding true scarcity. So we use Deadline Funnel and I'm a huge Deadline Funnel fan. In our emails and on our sales pages, and on the webinar, there's just this timer, right, and people are seeing it tick down and it's like, okay, if I'm gonna do this, I need to do this now. And I really believe in those things. Because I do think that people just need that extra little push to make a big decision especially if it's a big decision you really believe in, right? So it's okay to push people to like want to buy it and so Deadline Funnel I think was huge.”
Abbey’s course is only open for enrollment twice a year so if new customers don’t enroll before the deadline expires, they will have to wait for up to six months for another chance.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Adding Leads to Your List
Abbey’s webinar enrolls students immediately into her signature course but anyone who watches her webinar is added to her email list where she can nurture them, leading to possible enrollment in the future.
“The great thing is, and I think that this is really important, even when we're talking about things like Facebook ads. You can say, ‘Oh, I didn't get that many buyers.’ But how many leads did you get? It could be that just a large number of those people are turtles, right? They're the people that are going to have to see your launch five times before they're finally convinced that they need your product. And that's okay. I think it's important to give space for both of those people. You've got to give people the opportunity right up front, those fast action takers, but I actually think that more people are the slower kind and they need to see your things multiple times.”
Was that not the best? I love all of Abbey’s tips about focusing your organic traffic efforts and building an evergreen funnel that converts. I especially love how she was able to add Facebook ads to her strategy, adding fuel to her amazing fire!
Are you ready to add fuel to your Brilliant fires?