Today, we’re doing a special episode because I’m in lock down at home with my entire family and I’ve got nothing else on my schedule for today.
And my partner in crime Toni Anderson also happened to have today free, so I decided to bring her on the show today to talk about how Corona virus has affected our businesses.
We’ll also discuss what we believe is the right way versus the wrong way to handle your business in a financial crisis.
What You’ll Learn
- What to do when you’re dealt a bad hand
- How to turn lemons into lemonade
- The right way to handle your business during a crisis
- The financial repercussions of the Corona virus on our business
Other Resources And Books
Klaviyo.com – Klaviyo is the email marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store. Created specifically for ecommerce, it is the best email marketing provider that I’ve used to date. Click here and try Klaviyo for FREE.
Privy.com – Privy is my tool of choice when it comes to gathering email subscribers for my ecommerce store. They offer easy to use email capture, exit intent, and website targeting tools that turn more visitors into email subscribers and buyers. With both free and paid versions, Privy fits into any budget. Click here and get 15% OFF towards your account.
EmergeCounsel.com – EmergeCounsel is the service I use for trademarks and to get advice on any issue related to intellectual property protection. Click here and get $100 OFF by mentioning the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast.
SellersSummit.com – The ultimate ecommerce learning conference! Unlike other events that focus on inspirational stories and high level BS, the Sellers Summit is a curriculum based conference where you will leave with practical and actionable strategies specifically for an ecommerce business. Click here and get your ticket now before it sells out.
But before we begin, I want to give a quick shout-out to Klaviyo for sponsoring this episode. Code Black Friday is right around the corner and for my e-commerce store email marketing is a heavy part of my holiday sales strategy. And in fact last year, it was close to 50% of My overall sales. And of course as you all know klaviyo is the email marketing tool that I use for Bumblebee Linens now Klaviyo is the growth marketing platform chosen by over 20,000 Brands generating more than three point seven billion dollars in Revenue in just the last year and with the holiday season right around the corner klaviyo has created the ultimate planning guide for crushing those holiday Revenue targets for marketing creative to segmentation strategy. These are proven tactics for more personalized marketing, especially in time for the holiday season. To get ahold of this guide, visit Klaviyo.com/mywife. Once again, Klaviyo.com/mywife. Now on to the show.
I also want to thank Privy who’s a sponsor of the show. Privy is a tool that I use to build my email list for both my blog and my online store and right now I’m using Privy Display a cool Wheel of Fortune pop-up basically user gives your email for a chance to win valuable prizes in our store and customers love the gamification aspect of this and when implemented this form email signups increased by a hundred thirty one percent. Now, you can also use Privy to reduce car abandoned with cart saver pop-ups and abandoned cart email sequences as well one super low price that is much cheaper than using a full-blown email marketing solution. So bottom line Privy allows me to turn visitors into email subscribers and recover lost sales so head on over to privy.com/steve and try it for free if you decide you need to the more advanced features use coupon code MWQHJ for fifteen percent off once again that’s privy.com/steve.
Intro: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle so can spend more time with your family focus on doing the things that you love. Here’s your host Steve Chou.
Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast. Today we’re doing a special episode because I’m in lockdown at home with my entire family and I’ve got nothing else on my schedule for today and my partner in crime. Toni Anderson also happened to have today free. So, I decided to bring her back on the show today to talk about life business the event industry basically everything and if you don’t remember Toni, this is actually her sixth appearance on the podcast and we run the seller Summit together, which is our annual Ecommerce Conference and we also launched a Blog and course over at profitable online blog.com late last year. So, how you doing today? Toni? Thanks for taking the time to come back on.
Toni: Thanks for everything. Do I have the record of the most appearances?
Steve: That’s a good question. I think you do actually.
Toni: I think I do. I hope I do. I mean Jen might have me beat but that’s okay.
Steve: No, she’s only been on twice.
Toni: Okay. Yes. I hope I have the record. This would be cool.
Steve: I thing you have it by far by like double.
Toni: Okay. Awesome. I feel special. I feel special. Thanks for making my day.
Steve: Hehe. Well, let’s first start by talking about the Seller Summit. I mean for me personally; I cannot remember the last time that I was this stressed out about a business.
Toni: Yeah. I can’t either this has been an absolutely crazy like two weeks for us personally, you know you and I with the with them Seller Summit stuff.
Steve: I mean I must have spoken to you every day for like a month about it. That’s stressful in itself. Haha.
Toni: Haha. I feel like not only have we spoken, we’ve texted, we’ve messaged, we’ve exchanged emails. I feel like the level of communication. Is it like a def con six or something?
Steve: Yeah. And I remember at the beginning of March was specifically stressful like events left and right. We’re canceling or postponing shows like ours like Prosper decide to postpone, South by Southwest shut down that was pretty major.
Toni: One traffic and conversion. They actually kept saying they were going to keep going and then I think at the last minute realize that they just couldn’t, couldn’t do it.
Steve: It yeah, totally. I mean, I think, I think what most people don’t realize is that event insurance that you buy actually does not cover infectious disease and a lot of the…
Toni: Who would have known.
Steve: Yeah. I know who would have known that this never happens, right? And a lot of the upfront costs involved with running an event are prepaid. And once you’ve paid obviously it’s hard to get a refund for.
Toni: Absolutely and you and I get a lot of questions about running events and I think my advice and your advice is, it’s a very risky endeavor financially. They’re great and they’re fun and I love them. And you know, I’ve been doing this for 11 years now, but financially this is not a this is not a way that I would recommend people build a business in any way.
Steve: Yeah. It’s not a profit center. It’s not a huge profit center for the amount of work involved. Yeah. I actually read that South By may never come back as a result of this. I think I saw an article the other day.
Steve: So, my heart goes out to all the event planners out there and I mean this is just a hard time.
Toni: Absolutely and I think it’s really a hard time. I mean for us it became pretty clear cut that we could not have an in-person event in May because of just the current situation. It was absolutely irresponsible and unsafe to do so, even if we could legally do it, which I don’t think we can’t right now because there’s a ban in Florida about groups getting together, but I think even before that happened you and I just felt like it would be super irresponsible for us to even ask people to try to travel and just create it creates such a risk. It’s really hard for these people that have conferences that are like in this end of summer because there’s just so much uncertainty right now. What are they going to do? Right? So, it’s like everybody who has an event basically in 2020 is in sort of this limbo.
Steve: Oh, yeah, totally. I mean, I know like I was super stressed leading up to the point where we decided to postpone and what’s funny is that you are unfazed. I felt by everything until the NBA got canceled then all of a sudden it got real.
Toni: It did, it did, stuff got real right about then. How am I going to spend? Well, you know, I mean, how am I going to spend my iBook my summer vacation based around the NBA Playoffs so that I have every night free to watch them. So, what you know, what’s going to happen now?
Steve: I think you may have even shed a tear over the over the NBA.
Toni: It might happen.
Steve: Yeah kind of. And for all you guys who know Toni she never cries. She never cries. Yeah haha.
Toni: But when news broke of the cancellation or the postponement of the 2020 NBA season.
Steve: Oh man, you were crushed. I remember you texted me. You’re like, “Oh my God, forget the seller some of the NBA’s done.”
Toni: Hahaha that’s right! Yeah. Well, of course I saw meme the other day that said if you told everybody in the South that the 2020 college football season could be saved by social distancing. No one would come out of their house for two months.
Toni: We like our basketball and we like our college football. So yeah, it’s crazy.
Steve: Yeah. So, what I want to do today actually was. I wanted to talk about like the right way and the wrong way to handle a crisis. And by right or wrong, of course, this is our interpretation of it. There’s in reality no actual right or wrong answer but I just kind of want to talk about our philosophy and how we handled Seller Summit in a way and you know a bunch of my friends actually had tickets to South By and guess what? They decided not to give any refunds at all and instead. They’re allowing people to go again in 2021. If they’re in fact, is in fact, if they don’t go bankrupt and another friend of mine Derek. Derek Halpern. He actually paid for a sponsorship to a council event and they refused to give him a refund if you wouldn’t believe that.
Toni: Yeah, it’s ughh man, it’s tough.
Steve: Yeah, I mean, so it’s unclear as of yet how some of the other business’ conferences are going to be handling things. But at least in my mind, refusing to give refunds in the case of a worldwide pandemic just seems a little wrong to me.
Toni: I agree absolutely and I think right. I mean I think at this is such a weird situation, right? Because things are tough for basically everybody. This isn’t something that’s just hitting one industry or another. I think everybody’s being impacted by this. I mean the news of Amazon. I don’t I don’t know the exact term but they shut down the shipments right? For non..
Steve: Yeah, you can’t. Basically, add anything to your Warehouse. So, if you go out of stock, your out of stock. Basically.
Toni: So you think about this, you know, I’m sure the global, you know, the general public does not understand the impact that this would have on many of our friends and colleagues because a lot of people are not only do they support their own families. They have employees or contractors that work in these businesses. And you know, if you have stock, you’re okay for now, but at this point this could dramatically impact a huge amount of FBA Sellers.
Steve: Absolutely. I actually have an acquaintance who just opened a restaurant last weekend and he’s basically screwed. I think I mean she’s importunate. Yeah.
Toni: Yeah.. Well in regards to the refunds I think for you and I it was almost a no-brainer to refund people’s money and I think you and I we had we had several very long conversations about our own personal financial hit for this because we’re on the line for money to the hotel and things like that and I think for us it was never a question of not offering people their money back because it just I don’t know anything else to me just.. I hate you know, you know, I’m pretty logical person but it felt wrong, right?
Steve: Yeah. I mean Here’s My Philosophy. I mean, I feel like you have to play the long game here. Like there’s a lot of money on the line and you can actually take people’s money in the short term, but it’s going to actually destroy your business in the long run.
Steve: Like if I bought a ticket to a conference and they refuse to give me a refund. Or if I bought a sponsorship not only am I not going back to that event, but I’m going to probably bad mouth them for the rest of eternity. Haha
Toni: Haha. You’re going to write a post, you’re going to rank number one, and it’s all, it’s all over for them.
Steve: I mean..
Toni: I agree though, I think for us, I think everything that you and I do together as a team and I feel like we both feel this way individually with our own businesses is we’re not in this for quick money or quick, you know, anything. Quick recognition, quick success. This is a long-term plan for both of us and our families and our businesses and doing the right thing today means long-term benefits. And if nothing else just like be a good person, right?
So even though for us it I don’t think we even like questioned whether we would give people refunds. I think that was just a I don’t think we even had that conversation. It was just understood but I think people that are, maybe not thinking that way, are just focusing on right now and I get the financial impact is huge on people. I totally understand that but I feel like you’ve got to look like five years from now. We are not going to be dealing with this but we are probably going to be dealing with some of these same customers and people that we interact with and our decisions today are going to impact that.
Steve: Absolutely! And just to be upfront about the Seller Summit like the event’s not huge but there are still hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line and you know, there’s money considerations, there’s long-term consequences and as you mentioned before that, it’s also what’s doing, it’s also about doing what feels right?
Steve: So, I guess for the past month, I would say we, we racked our brains and we came up with a plan. It’s not an ideal plan, but I feel like what we did was a good compromise and a pretty good solution in terms of turning lemons into lemonade.
Toni: And you know, what’s funny is I think aside from the whole like Financial aspect of it, I was just super bummed about not having the… not having the event. I mean, these people are like friends of ours now some of these people have been coming for four years. I look forward to seeing them. I look forward to hearing how their business is doing. I look forward to hear about their family. I look forward to seeing their spouses, right? I mean, this has become so much more than just like a business endeavor. A lot of these people started out as acquaintances and have become friends of ours over the years.
Steve: Absolutely. I mean, we’re not doing… We don’t do Seller Summit for the money. There’s, there’s a lot of easier ways to make money. I do it for the community and the social aspects of it. At least that’s my reason for it. And I think you have similar reasons as well. Right?
Toni: Absolutely and definitely at a time like this feeling like, hey people need… I mean a lot of our sessions this year were focused on, are still focused on because it’s we’re still having the virtual event. We’re focused on growing your brand creating that brand off the Amazon your own store how to drive advertising how to drive organic traffic. We had an SEO session, which we haven’t had an SEO session in what 3 years? 4 years? So, we have these, we had a lot. We have a lot of sessions that are based on creating sort of that sustainable product that’s going to whether what’s going on right now. And so that was to me, like I feel like it’s so important that we still get that out there because I think I think people really need that in their businesses, especially today.
Steve: And you mentioned earlier like Amazon made a policy that they’re not allowing non-essential items into their warehouse. and of course, if you have your own brand, in your own website, you are you wouldn’t be affected by that. So, it’s like more important than ever to have your own strong brand.
Steve: So, you want to talk about what we did? So first off, we offered all sponsors and attendees the option for a full refund, but then we actually offered these additional options.
Toni: Right. So, the first thing we decided to do was, even though we be together in person. We felt like these sessions and this information was so important that we wanted to still get it out. So basically, we’re still holding the Seller Summit May 6 through 8, but it’s a virtual event live. So, you log on to your computer basically like a webinar and you’ll get to log on our speakers will be teaching live. You’ll have the up… there’s opportunities for live QA.
Typically, before when we offered the virtual version of the Seller Summit. It was edited recordings of the sessions that were delivered two to three weeks after the event because it’s just too glitchy to kind of, stream live from an event. So, the people that have just the virtual path, would get the information afterwards. But they didn’t have that ability to ask questions or interact with speakers or attendees, online. This year since we’re not meeting in person were able to do all of that online and give people the opportunity to ask questions during the, during the talks or after the speaker’s done you can ask questions at the speaker and we’re giving some more extended QA time as well.
Steve: Yeah. I mean one thing that’s really unique about our event is our Masterminds. And I know for a fact that I was really bummed that the in-person Mastermind couldn’t happen because we can get together and so, you know. Toni now we talked about this and what we’re doing now is we’re having a virtual Mastermind and it’s going to be groups of 6 to 8 people and we’re just going to run it just like the real thing except it’s going to be over, you know Zoom or Hangouts however we decide to do it. But we’ll get a chance to have everyone their hot seat, where we can actually help other people with their business. And we decided to extend both the virtual Paths as well as the virtual Mastermind, you know free of charge to all ticket holders with the Mastermind pass, which I thought was pretty cool.
Toni: Yeah, because I think that’s a lot of the reason why people come to Seller Summit is for that, that first day if you have a Mastermind ticket, it’s the Mastermind session and that is just such a valuable component in building and growing your business. I know both you Steve and myself we’ve been part of Masterminds in the past and for me, it’s actually when I started an E-Commerce, I joined up with three or four other people that were also starting in E-Commerce, and we met at least once a month. We even met in person once just to kind of help each other get going and answer questions. So, I think this was something that we didn’t want to lose out on just because we couldn’t meet in person.
Steve: Yeah, absolutely and you know along the lines of just kind of value add, we’re basically doing this essentially for free. If you have a ticket you get the virtual pass. We’re going to have another event with all new content and a whole new live Mastermind as well. And we thought it’d be a good idea to just keep the spirit of the event alive and just anyone. Has purchased a ticket already gets access to these things.
Steve: If you sell an Amazon or run any online business for that matter, you’re going to need a trademark to protect your intellectual property. Not only that, but a trademark is absolutely necessary to register your brand on Amazon. Now, I used to think that any old trademark registration service would work and that could even try to register my own trademark by myself on the cheap, but I was dead wrong. Securing a trademark without a strategy in place usually results in either an outright rejection or a worthless unenforceable trademark. Now, that is why I work with Stephen Wagner and his team from Emerge counsel. They have a package service called total TM, which provides the same attention to detail and process that large law firms do at a fraction of the price. Now for me personally, I like Emerge Council because of their philosophy, their goal is to maximize IP protection while minimizing the price. So, before you decide to register a trademark by yourself or file for other I could protection such as a copyright or a patent, check out Emerge counsel first and get a free consult. For more information go to emergecouncil.com and click on the Amazon sellers’ button and tell Steve that Steve sent you to receive a $100 discount on the total TM package for Amazon sellers. Once again, that’s emergecounsel.com over at emergecounsel.com. Now back to the show.
So, I wanted to kind of switch gears a little bit and just talk about business in general. Like I personally have been getting a ton of emails and messages from small business owners and new entrepreneurs. They may ask me questions. Like, you know, “Is this like a terrible time to store my business?” or “Is Ecommerce dead?” or “Is importing from China no longer an option?” and you know, it’s funny me and you… You have a couple years on me I think but we basically both started our blogs during the last recession. Right?
Toni: Yeah. Sure started my blog as a business because I was blogging in 2006, but I kind of turned into the business blog in 2008, which I think was sort of the I don’t follow the economy as well as you do but is it wasn’t that when it sort of sort of bottomed out.
Steve: Yeah, it was 2008. So I started the end of 2008, but I tell people that I started in the beginning of 2009 because that’s when the so – we officially launched and come to think of it my e-commerce store started in 2007, but we kind of weathered that that first down turn back in the day also.
Toni: Yeah and for me. We, I mean we have very two very different blogs, right you’re teaching people about business. I’m teaching people about saving money. So, for me recessions are awesome because everyone…
Toni: Everyone wants I we were talking yesterday. So, my traffic stops 40% because everyone wants to know how to save money right now and I do a lot of home school information on my site. So those posts are just going crazy right now. So, for me recessions are awesome as far as the happy housewife blog for you. I know it’s a little bit different because if you’re trying to start a business, you know, there’s could be capital involved and I don’t know people are willing to spend. What is your impression of all that right now?
Steve: Well, you know, all I can say is I just went back and through all the archives at mywifequitherjob.com, around this time. Like they’re not published anymore because it SEO reasons but actually went back and looked over some of the older posts and the reason why I started mywifequitherjob.com was because I was one of the reasons was I was worried about losing my job and I told myself screw it. I’m just going to go out on my own I don’t want to have to have this worry anymore. And that’s actually one of the reasons why My Wife Quit Her Job was born. Do you remember why you started to Happy Housewife or you mentioned that you turn into a business and in 2008, right?
Toni: Yeah. So my husband had was dealing with some injuries from a deployment and it looked like he might be discharged from the military without like six months shy of a retirement date so he wouldn’t get any of the military benefits and I was thinking well, you know, I’ve got all these little kids at home daycare is going to eat up a paycheck. So, what can I do from my living room and that’s when I went, you know full in on the blogging because I thought well, maybe it maybe I can make this into you know least pay our rent right least get our rent paid. But yeah, that’s basically the same reason I started because I thought well, you know, my last real job was bartending, hahaha you know, I didn’t really want to go back to that. So, I thought hey let’s try this blogging thing. See what happens.
Steve: So, it’s that’s amazing. I actually didn’t know that so we both kind of started it because we were worried about like I was worried about losing my job at you were worried about your husband losing his job, right?
Toni: Yeah. Because he had put basically been like our primary… I had always been doing, like I sold on eBay. I did all these like odd jobs, but it wasn’t anything consistent right? That could, I could count on like okay every month we’re going to make x amount of dollars and I felt like, you know, I got to step up right now and figure this out, but you know, I think and this is just I mean, you know of your listeners should probably know me well enough to know how I think yeah at this point.
Steve: Yeah. It’s your sixth time.
Toni: Most people have to work from home except for our and I will tell you like our First Responders and people that are like, I mean y’all you’re doing amazing. Like I actually messaged one of our mutual friends Chris and said hey, hang in there. Like we really appreciate you but a lot of people that work at standard, you know, nine to five job are working from home right now and there’s other people that maybe got furloughed right? We know some people that got furloughed or you know, their hours are cut drastically because they work in like a service industry where there’s not a demand right now. This is like the golden opportunity, right?
Steve: I totally agree.
Toni: You don’t have to commute, you work at home, you know, you don’t have to sort of sneak at your lunch break to you on your computer at work to watch a webinar or to get something started. You have and you can’t go anywhere and do anything right now. So, take this extra time and start building your business. I mean, this is just like to me this is like golden opportunity for people.
Steve: And people are asking me whether E-Commerce is dead. Well, guess what? When everyone’s stuck at home, like we’ve been doing more online shopping than ever.
Toni: Yes. Yeah!
Steve: And then I know there’s some statistics in China where like the amount of eyeballs glued to their devices increased 20% and that’s going to happen here in the US as well. No doubt about it.
Steve: And someone asked about importing from China. They’re pretty much they have it under control all the Apple stores in China are open and we actually are getting a shipment this week, as we speak. So, all of our factors are online, are your factors online too? Toni? For your E-Commerce?
Toni: Uhm yes, and we actually had a Surplus anyway, so we were good. This, we were able to weather this pretty easily. But yeah everything that I’ve heard from other people everything. I mean we have another friend that’s importing like paper goods like books and journals and she’s totally online hasn’t been an issue. So, I think things are very much back to normal on the China side of things.
Steve: I mean, I’m personally really bullish about e-commerce. I mean, especially in the face of this downturn more and more people going to be ordering online and this is going to happen for a long time. I don’t see this as a short-term thing. Yeah, I agree. So anyways, if you guys are a little bit disheartened about what to do. I mean you basically have two options. A lot of people want to give up at this point and because of that it’s actually a period of a huge opportunity here. So, you can move forward, you can press on, you can rally the troops, you can make lemons out of lemonade, you can double your ad spend while it’s cheap, you can acquire new leads or you can you know, sit back and play the victim curl up, watch Netflix. Lay off your stash cutouts, sat there scared.
Toni: Well, that sounds like a great opportunity right there.
Steve: You got to make you got to make a decision, right? I mean, do you want to just sit back or do you want to do something about it? I mean as you mentioned earlier.
Toni: Yeah, and I think I don’t I mean, I don’t know exactly for you. But I know one of the reasons why I was able to see such success with my blog early on is because I started in a time of opportunity and I really just went like, I mean an I had little kids at home and we still had a regular life. I mean there was no quarantine Nor self-shelter-in-place whatever they’re calling it and you know, I would get up early, I would stay up late but I was determined to make it into something because I felt like there was such an opportunity at that point. Like people were afraid people were looking for ways to save money. I felt like I had that information to share and I wanted to get it out as quickly and has been the best way that I knew how back then and so I think if you know, it makes me think of our friend that we talked to last week Kevin who had a business idea. We gave him some feedback and he had us an outline and a business plan by Monday, right?
Steve: I hmm yeah. The next day basically. Yeah.
Toni: So, take this there’s just to me that’s like it’s just screams opportunity for so many people even people that maybe weren’t thinking about it to begin with. As we talked about in our blog course. Everyone has a talent or something about them that people want to learn more about that you can share and eventually make money from online. And so, this is the time when you probably have more free time than you’ll ever have again for the rest of your life. This is the time to take advantage of it.
Steve: And what’s nice about blog, my blog actually is I have like an archive of all these posts that I wrote during the recession during the downturn and here’s a couple things like I’m just want to share a couple of these posts. One was how we increased our profit 147% with our online business and that year, year-over-year profits increased 147% revenue growth was 94%, our margins increased by 6% traffic increased by 200% and here’s the thing instead of sitting back and I’m kind of like patting myself on the back right now from 2009. So, we actually ended up maxing out AdWords, we actually ended up increasing our ad spend, we ended up buying in larger bulk and we actually improve the packaging of our goods and then so I do, I do to income or I used to do 2 income reports every single year and then the mid-year for the downturn the year over year profits were up 75% revenues were up 72% and traffic increased by 91% in the mid-year. And then once again, I’m patting myself on the back here again, but apparently, we did a complete site redesign during the downturn. We optimize their ads and we increased a lot of the automation for our store.
Toni: And let’s remember that you did all this while working a full-time job. You were not laid off or anything like that. You still had your 9 to 5.
Steve: That’s correct, and I’m actually surprised because you know, it’s fun to look back, even though the writing was terrible for these posts, but it’s interesting that we… It’s almost like we double down on the business during the downturn because everyone else was scared.
Toni: Hmm when I think people tend to give up, right? And so you can take that as another opportunity.
Steve: Here’s one thing I just noticed, you know during right now, when everything is everyone is scared my ad spend or my ad cost, I should say have been reduced dramatically. I think a lot of companies right now are cutting back on their Ad spend and so our ads which were still running are getting really cheap.
Toni: You’re just, so you’re just a best-case, best case, best case, best case.
Steve: Well, I’m just telling you like it how it is. This is what I’m saying. I know I think everyone’s cut especially the big companies, the big box stores of cutting back, big time. And so yeah for the little guy, you know, we don’t have any overhead. So yeah, we actually had the advantage actually it back in 2009, our overhead was like $80 a month to keep our store running and I think the blog was like five bucks a month or six bucks a month. And just for hosting I’m sure yours was the same right?
Toni: Oh, yeah. I mean I oh, absolutely. I was trying to think of what I actually paid for back in 2008 and I would say my once-a-year domain renewal at what 1497 or whatever it was and the hosting which I don’t even I mean it was under $10 a month for sure and now is back for all the hosting companies had deals, you know, I don’t I don’t even know who is hosting my sight back then.
Steve: Yeah, and I know you pretty well. You’re pretty cheap. I’m almost positive. that you kept the expenses to the utmost minimum.
Toni: Yes. Well, we didn’t have any money back then when I started blogging like we didn’t I didn’t have any money to start a business. I mean, I was totally relying on just putting content out there.
Steve: Yeah. No, that’s true. I mean we had some money since I was an engineer and that sort of thing, but you know me I’m pretty cheap. I keep expenses to a minimum anyways.
Toni: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, we were a one income military family living in base housing. Well, I can assure you we did not have a lot of extra money back in the day. Haha.
Steve: Well, there you go. I mean, that’s why Blogging is great. Right doesn’t cost any money.
Toni: Absolutely. You just need an internet. A decent internet connection. Which and now I feel like there’s a lot of companies out there like currently offering discounts on services. Like I just got an email from my hosting. I use Liquid web now and I got an email saying they were doing no overage charges if you have like ‘cause my traffic spiking, you know, and they said we’re not charging you for any extra usage all that’s just going to be included for the next, you know, 60 days. So, a lot of these companies even virtual companies are offering some really sweet deals and discounts to people.
Steve: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I mean things are slowing down and everyone’s going to be offering deals. So, it’s actually a really good time to get started.
Toni: Yeah for sure!
Steve: So, Toni, what are you doing right now during this downturn with your business?
Toni: Other than trying to make a virtual Summit out…
Steve: Well besides… I was more talking about Happy Housewives. But yeah, the Summit we already talked about. So yeah.
Toni: So I am, I actually posted this today in our in our blog Facebook group that I am focusing on I have a ton of content geared towards that Frugal Living saving money, you know how to bake things from scratch and so I’m making sure that those posts are clean, updated because some of those posts I wrote in 2009, 2010. and you know making sure that they are getting pushed the top. I’m going live on Facebook almost every day. I actually think this is really valuable. I was watching a friend of ours Leslie Samuel go live this morning and I thought you know what, in a time like this people actually love that. I mean, I’d go Facebook live occasionally anyway, but people love that interaction people love seeing another human at this point because I’m people aren’t leaving their house. So, going live reminding people of the content on my site republishing things if I need to, I wrote two blog posts this week, which is two more than I’ve written in a month…
Steve: Oh, is that right? You’re not putting up content?
Toni: I put out. Oh, I refresh old content. So, I go through and completely revamp old posts and just republish so the contents different but it’s the same, you know, core titled things like that. But I put actually to totally new posts up this week one with a load of resources for people that are home with their kids everything from like, you know, all these places that are offering like virtual museum tours and things like that to like educator published, public, publishing companies that are offering freebies for parents as well.
So got that up there and then got a like hey, this is how you can homeschool your kids if they’re home with you for the next month. So, I got that up there and just trying to get that content that on my side. I still have over 3,000 post. So, trying to get that content that I’ve legs really relevant back out in front of people using social media.
Steve: I should be reading that. So, what’s funny is our kids at least my son they basically just threw him a work packet and said do it.
Toni: Yeah. Yeah
Steve: Yeah and I don’t think I think the schools here are really prepared for a virtual classroom. So, I could I’m probably gonna end up reading that post on the homeschooling.
Toni: Well, yeah, and I think parents just it… Like if you have not homeschooled before had your kids home with you on a regular basis, it is definitely a very different lifestyle. As you know, I mean, I know you work at home and I know your kids are home now with you, but I think there’s a lot of things that you can learn from home school parent just like how to get your day so that you can… Because if we think about this for so many years homeschooled my kids and worked from home almost full time. It’s definitely possible to do but you have to sort of restructure how you think about your day and I think it’s definitely do-able for people but it’s just going to be different.
Steve: I know for you, it’s Child’s Play. For me, like you actually have to keep them on a schedule. Otherwise they’re just gonna goof off the entire time.
Toni: Yes, yes, although this week was my kids’ spring break anyway, so this was sort of a weird week for us because they were on spring break already. So, I didn’t want to you know, throw… Become a schedule crazy person right away.
Steve: I had my kids were so disappointed that they canceled Russian math.
Toni: Oh, I’m sure your tears, tears of sadness
Steve: I mean, I broke it to my daughter says like, “Oh my god, what am I gonna do?”
Toni: She cried, cried all day.
Steve: So, for my businesses as I mentioned, I’m still running my ads full force and you know a couple of people asked me whether I was going to start drawing them down because business is a little slower now. Mainly because you know weddings aren’t happening, right? Or they’re getting postponed. They’re not getting cancelled. Although if they hang out enough. Maybe they will cancel. But you know, so Google Ads for example, those are cost per click so you don’t actually pay until someone clicks and the Facebook Ads are significantly cheaper. Now the conversion rate is lower, but it kind of offsets each other. So, when you take that into account, it’s actually not a huge deal. And on the blog side, I’m actually creating content like crazy. So, I launched my YouTube channel month ago and now like I have all day to just film stuff. So, I’m getting really ahead on the curve. I might even consider upping the amount of videos. I upload per week.
Toni: Yeah, I think that’s what the people don’t take anything else away from all of this. I think they need to take away the fact that you are that, you have more time than you’ll ever have. And so, this is your opportunity like this is your chance to start creating stuff and as I mean, like even with YouTube you don’t need to really any money to start a YouTube channel.
Steve: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, this is the best time ever to be creating content and I think with all the deals and everyone being scared. This is actually the best time ever to be getting to E-Commerce as well. People aren’t going to be shopping at Brick and Mortar. They’re all going to be buying everything online for a while now.
Toni: Yeah, for sure.
Steve: And for blogging I mean if you’re it doesn’t really depend on what medium right? If you’d like to write start a blog, if you like to talk into a microphone start a podcast, if you’re good on camera, you know start a YouTube channel.
Steve: And Not only that, you can even repurpose your content, right? So, what I’m doing right now actually is I’ll write a blog post and I’ll turn that into a video and I’ll turn that into a podcast and I know you’re doing something similar as well.
Toni: Yep. Yep. I’m doing a lot of… I’m basically turning my blog posting to Facebook lives just because that’s where my people are. But yeah, you can whatever wherever your people are is where you should be, you know repurposing that content for sure.
Steve: Everyone is scared. So just don’t be one of those scared ones and start doing something with all this extra free time that you have.
Toni: Absolutely and there’s no risk. There is zero risk.
Steve: There’s no risk. We’re still running the Seller Summit May 6th to the 8th if you guys are into E-Commerce join us virtually. It’s going to be one big hangout. I think we’re even doing like an opening party, right? A virtual opening?
Toni: We are, virtually opening party haven’t figured out how that’s going to look yet, but it’s going to be awesome.
Steve: And if you want to hang out with people other than your family and like a Mastermind environment consider joining our Mastermind as well. If you want to learn about e-commerce my free mini course. Course is over at mywifequitherjob.com/free. And if you want to learn about blogging, we also have a free mini course there too over at profitableonlineblog.com/free as well.
Toni: Just a plug for the blog course since you know, that is our business together, you know, you get to see videos of me not just Steve. So right there get the free course.
Steve: Which I’m here is like a huge attraction to the course.
Steve: So, we both know that Toni is a lot better than I am at building community and being social in general like I’m an engineer. You know my I’m used to being in a cave where someone’s just checking me pizzas every now and then but I mean that’s one of the reasons why we work so well together, I think.
Toni: Absolutely I know how to order pizza and you know how to…
Steve: Right. You just check the P… You don’t even ask me what toppings I want anymore. You just check it in.
Toni: Just start throwing them in.
Steve: All right. Well, I mean, that’s basically all I had to say Toni you got anything else to add before we get off here.
Toni: No, I mean I just I can’t say it enough guys use this opportunity. This is your chance. So, do something amazing.
Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode now running a business is not always easy. But now that everyone is terrified right now. This is the perfect time to plan ahead or get started with your own business while everyone else is panicking more information about this episode go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode2 97.
And once again, I want to thank Privy for sponsoring this episode. Privy is the email capture provider that I personally use the term visitors into email subscribers. They offer email capture exit intent and site targeting tools to make it super simple as well. And I like Privy because it is so powerful and you can basically trigger custom pop-ups for any parameter that is closely tied your eCommerce store. Now, if you want to give it a try it is free so head on over to privy.com/steve. Once again, that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/steve.
I also want to thank Klaviyo for sponsoring this episode, Klaviyo is my email marketing platform of choice for e-commerce Merchants. You can easily put together automated flows like an abandoned cart sequence a post purchase flow or win back campaign. Basically, all these sequences that will make you money on autopilot. So head on over to mywifequitherjob.com/klaviyo. Once again, That’s mywifequitherjob.com/klaviyo.
Now I talked about how I use these tools in my blog and if you’re interested in starting your own e-commerce store heading over to mywifequitherjob.com and sign up for my free six day mini-course just type in your email and I’ll send you the course right away. Thanks for listening.
Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast where we are giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information visit Steve’s blog at www.mywifequitherjob.com