Today on the podcast, I'm so excited to be welcoming Maia Xiong of the Business Mom Collective. Maia is a pro at business organization, she has a course called The Mompreneur System with Trello. I am not skilled at organization so I'm really excited to chat with her about some of her tips and tricks and best practices for that. We'll also get into how Maia has scaled up her business using ads.
Press Play on the Podcast Player Below to hear Maia's Full Story!
Like a lot of bloggers, Maia started out blogging about general mom lifestyle topics.
“I was trying all different topics so it was just mom stuff and pregnancy stuff and budgeting stuff. I think my first real income from making money online was like $5 I earned from this affiliate program. And it was amazing. I celebrate all the time, because I'm like, oh my god $5! You know, I've come a long way. But yeah, I was blogging about all sorts of topics. And then as I started blogging more, I narrowed in and I really love talking about entrepreneur stuff and digital marketing so that's what my blog and my business focus on now.”
Maia’s first digital product that she sold is still offered as a tripwire on her blog. It is a bundle of three ebooks for people who are interested in getting their feet wet in online business. These books cover making the switch from employee to entrepreneur, finding a niche that’s profitable, and ideas of things you can do from home and how to work online.
Maia was selling this ebook bundle for a few months before she created The Mompreneur System with Trello.
I’ve tried Trello before and I like it but I’m just so bad at organization! I think I need someone to walk through it with me. If I can see how much time it’ll save me I would definitely feel more inspired to try to master it!
Why Maia Created The Mompreneur System with Trello
“In those early days, when I first started, I had no idea how much I had to keep track of for my business. And I know that a lot of times business moms who are just starting out in the online space have trouble keeping track of where everything is. They have stuff in Google Drive and they have stuff on their desktop. There are all sorts of digital files everywhere.
“So I really wanted to create a central place to house all their business efforts. That's where Trello comes in because I feel like it's the perfect project management system for someone just starting out. It's like the perfect gateway drug almost to organization. It's easy to use- it's not like Click Up or something like that where the learning curve is so steep. I feel like Trello is just easier to grasp.
“I thought it'd be such a great way for mompreneurs to get organized with everything they have to do day in and day out and also have one central place to keep everything they need to do.”
This is helpful not only for your own business organization, but also makes it easier to share procedures and information about tasks with contractors or other people who might be helping you with different projects.
“It’s a great place to keep you SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). My mompreneurs love what we call the business dashboard. And it just has all your most important links, like your brand board or your social media links. I reference mine all the time!”
That’s a very helpful tool for any business!
Maia says, “Sometimes it's hard to really show up for your business. I think if you just have a central place you can go to, to knock out some tasks during those short pockets of time that you have, then you can make the most of it. This way you know what you have to do, as opposed to sitting down and spending half the time just looking for things before you can even get started.”
An Overlooked Benefit of Trello – Using It For Business and Personal Tasks
“Even though I use it for my business, I also use it for my personal stuff. I feel like a lot of mompreneurs don't realize that you can use Trello for personal stuff too. I have my recipes on there. I have stuff for Christmas, like keeping track of gifts and everything and I use it for organizing parties. It's so dynamic, and you can just do so much with it because it's really just about the workflow, about taking something from To Do to Done.”
I can see how it would be a better idea to keep your favorite recipes on Trello rather than on Pinterest because we all know how easy it is to get sucked down the Pinterest rabbit hole! An hour will go by before I get dinner started if I’m going to my Pinterest boards to find the recipe I wanted to use.
Maia also mentioned that there are lots of ways to automate processes and interactions with Trello that make things even better and more streamlined! Zapier is a favorite tool that she uses to create automation.
Advice for Disorganized and Overwhelmed Mompreneurs
I asked Maia what advice she would give to someone like me who is quite disorganized or who doesn’t know where to get started when it comes to streamlining processes and getting things organized.
“The first thing I would recommend would be doing a brain dump of everything that you do. That helps me when I'm just so overwhelmed with how to get started. Just bring up everything that you need to do, and then kind of take a look at it to find some commonality among everything that you're doing.
“Then that's when I break out the Trello boards. I think, okay, I seem to be doing this a lot so I would create a board. And in the Trello boards, you can create checklists. So for example, for blog posts, I do have a board for maintaining my editorial calendar and in that board in the checklist, I have tasks like doing your SEO research, researching headlines, writing your h2 headings, and all sorts of stuff like that.
“But the number one thing would be to write it all out. Once you write it all out, you can start categorizing everything.”
Maia and I briefly discussed other organizational programs we have used such as Asana, Basecamp, and ClickUp but at the end of the day, as Maia so wisely said, “The best organizational system is the one you use.”
Applying for the Facebook Ads Intensive
Maia and I spent some time talking about the application process for my Ads Intensive course. She received a “Not Yet” response to her first application but applied again for the next round and ended up being one of my star students.
I received feedback from Maia about the application and subsequent “not yet” process that really helped me look at how I was phrasing my feedback. If you know me, then you know how much I want my students to succeed. Maia admits that even though she initially was quite disappointed by her “not yet”, she really wasn’t ready and her business and her ad results ultimately ended up better because of the delay.
“I'm so glad that you said no, because I think your ‘No’ pushed me to reevaluate why you said no. And where I could apply my efforts so that I could get a ‘Yes’”
If you’re curious and want to know even more about my application process and my philosophies around running the Facebook Ads Intensive the way that I do, be sure to check out Episode 212: 7 Changes That Transformed My Online Course and Got My Students Better Results.
Changes To Her Sales Page Improved Her Results
After receiving her “Not Yet” status, Maia made a lot of improvements to her sales page. She added testimonials and tried to speak more to the pain points of her audience.
Side note- Customer testimonials are HUGE! Be sure to check out the previous episode about Sales Page Secrets for even more thoughts on customer testimonials. People love to see testimonials!
I love that Maia didn’t give up after her initial disappointment. Just wait until you see how she did with her ads!
Expanding Her Reach to Cold Audiences
“I had launched my offer to my own warm audience who knew who I was so that I knew that people liked it. But then with the cold audience, which you teach that you can target cold audiences who don't know, like, or trust you yet, it was just amazing.
“With that first campaign to be getting sales from people who have no idea who I am, who purchased my first offer, and my second offer, and then my third offer?! What is happening here? Like, it's so magical.”
Maia’s first offer was The Mompreneur System with Trello. Then her bump offer was a small course on how to repurpose your content which is offering even more tips for working smarter, not harder. And her final bump was the Business Growth Blueprint which helps you evaluate where your business is at and what you can do to grow. It’s a great combination that brings them through the journey of where do I start and what should I do next.
In case you don’t know what I mean when I say order bump, it’s basically like an add-on offer given at checkout.
Maia uses Kartra as her checkout system and made each bump offer on a separate page. This helps with her pixel data and also allows her to accept Paypal on the bump sales.
“The main pixel is on the first page and throughout the whole funnel, but if they purchase the main one, the conversion is on the bump. And then if they purchase the bump, the conversion is on the one-time upsell. And then if they purchase the one-time upsell, the conversion is on the thank you page.”
To make sure the purchase event isn’t firing on the wrong page, Maia has her customers click a button with their choice of “Yes, I want the offer” or “No I don’t want the offer” which will then redirect them to the next appropriate step based on their selection. This also helps her get more accurate data in Ads Manager.
Doing it this way gives Maia more purchase events – up to three purchase events for each customer – which helps when optimizing our ads for conversion. Facebook has more sales to use when looking for more matching customers.
Maia really appreciates how thorough and hands-on the Ads Intensive is. Other courses often throw you right into the deep end and you’re left alone to try to figure things out.
“I was in another program where they just threw you in the deep end. And you just had to figure it out. Like, I didn't even know how to get to my ads manager when I was in that course and they didn't cover that.
“And so I think it's just a testament to you and how you taught the course that so many of us are successful right out of the gate.”
Seeing Great Results During the Ads Intensive
Maia had put a lot of work into her sales page and getting testimonials before she joined the Ads Intensive and all that hard work paid off. She spent $3,900 on ads and made $7,000 back. She also gained another 100-200 new customers from ads.
“Once I get that lead in, and they purchase one of my offers, then I'm able to kind of recapture that again through my email sequence. I have it set up to send them through the sequences based on what they didn’t purchase the first time.
“I have the two-step checkout process so they enter in their name and email address and then if they change their mind, I've captured the information already. So for that I have my cart abandonment sequence.
“But I have another sequence where if they bought something but not the whole product suite, then I have email set up that way too. And then as my last ditch effort I send them to a page with a timer. And it's at a reduced price point, too.”
There’s a lesson here for us – I think we don't realize how much of a difference all those little things can add up to!
Digital Sellers Sometimes Do Better After the Christmas Shopping Season
Maia saw the same thing that a lot of my students did – ads really suffered during the election season. Then post-election is Black Friday which tends to have very high ad costs.
I find that my sales tend to pick up around December 26. Once Christmas is over, people are starting to look ahead to the new year and what skills they can learn which is perfect for digital products! That’s our time to shine, helping people learn new skills!
I encourage all my digital sellers – even if you took a break through November and December, jump back in because post-Christmas through January is a great time for us.
One final thought from Maia-
“What I've realized about Facebook ads is that it’s all tests. We have to test it and see see what the data tells us, see what the market says, and see if people are receptive to our offer.”