Audio

298: How My Student Sally Makes 6 Figures Selling Cross Stitch Supplies Online

298: How My Student Sally Makes 6 Figures Selling Cross Stitch Supplies Online

Today I’m really happy to have Sally Osborn on the show. Sally is a student in my Create A Profitable Online Store Course, she resides in the UK and she sells cross stitch supplies over at CaterpillarCrossstitch.com.

Sally has been a joy to have in the class and in this episode, she tells us her story and reveals how she has managed to generate all of her sales.

What You’ll Learn

  • How Sally got started with crossstitching
  • Sally’s motivations for starting her business
  • How Sally validated her niche before she began
  • How Sally generates sales
  • How Sally built an audience.

Other Resources And Books

Sponsors

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.
Klaviyo

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.
Privy

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.
Emerge Counsel

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.Sellers Summit

Transcript

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If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

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297: The Financial Repercussions Of Corona Virus On Our Businesses

297: The Financial Repercussions Of Corona Virus On Our Businesses

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

Sponsors

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.
Klaviyo

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.
Privy

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.
Emerge Counsel

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.Sellers Summit

Transcript

Steve: You’re listening to the my wife quit her job podcast. The place where I bring unsuccessful bootstrap business owners and delve deeply into the strategies they use to grow their businesses. And today. I have my business partner Toni on the show. And as you may be aware, we decided to postpone our annual e-commerce conference the seller Summit earlier this month. So in this episode, we’re going to talk about all the decisions involved the financial repercussions and what we are planning instead. We will also discuss what we believe is the right way versus the wrong way to handle your business in a fine. National crisis.

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.

Toni: Wow.

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.

Steve: Hahaha.

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.

Toni: Exactly.

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?

Toni: Yeah.

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.

Toni: Absolutely.

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.

Toni: Absolutely.

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…

Steve: Hahaha.

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.

Toni: Absolutely.

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.

Toni: Yeah

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.

Toni: Hahahaha.
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

I Need Your Help

If you enjoyed listening to this podcast, then please support me with an iTunes review. It's easy and takes 1 minute! Just click here to head to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review of the podcast. Every review helps!
 

Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?


If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it's absolutely free!

296: 6 Ways To Become A Millionaire In The Next 5 Years With Steve Chou

296: 6 Ways To Become A Millionaire In The Next 5 Years With Steve Chou

If you are living paycheck to paycheck or saddled with debt, you probably think it’s impossible to become a millionaire unless you win the lottery or inherit a large sum of money. And it’s true. If you continue down your current path of spending all the money you earn or working at a dead end job, you’ll never ever become a millionaire.

But if you formulate a plan, start now, and develop the right habits, you can easily learn how to become a millionaire within the next decade (or sooner depending on the path you choose to take.

In this episode, you’ll learn all of the different ways that I’ve personally made a million dollars in the past 20 years.

What You’ll Learn

  • 6 ways to become a millionaire in the next 5 years
  • Why you will never become a millionaire working a regular job.
  • Why becoming a millionaire requires some amount of luck
  • How to improve your luck

Other Resources And Books

Sponsors

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.
Klaviyo

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.
Privy

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.
Emerge Counsel

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.Sellers Summit

Transcript

I Need Your Help

If you enjoyed listening to this podcast, then please support me with an iTunes review. It's easy and takes 1 minute! Just click here to head to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review of the podcast. Every review helps!
 

Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?


If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it's absolutely free!

295: Cathy Heller On How To Make Money As A Musician

295: Cathy Heller On How To Make Money As A Musician

Today I’m really happy to have Cathy Heller on the show. Cathy is the host of the popular podcast “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” and she inspires thousands of listeners every day to find purpose in their life and get paid to do what they love.

She’s been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, HuffPost, the NY Times and prior to her podcast, she made a 6 figure living with her music as a songwriter.

Today, we’re going to explore Cathy’s journey and how you can turn your passion into a career.

What You’ll Learn

  • How the music licensing industry works
  • How Cathy built a career licensing music to tv studios
  • How to make money with music

Other Resources And Books

Sponsors

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.
Klaviyo

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.
Privy

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.
Emerge Counsel

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.Sellers Summit

Transcript

I Need Your Help

If you enjoyed listening to this podcast, then please support me with an iTunes review. It's easy and takes 1 minute! Just click here to head to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review of the podcast. Every review helps!
 

Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?


If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it's absolutely free!

294: Grant Baldwin On How To Scale A Niche Business By 3X

294: Grant Baldwin On How To Scale A Niche Business By 3X

Today, I’m happy to have my buddy Grant Baldwin back on the show. Grant runs The Speaker Lab which is a business that teaches others how to get paid and booked to speak.

He also has a brand new book out called The Successful Speaker which I highly recommended. Over the past few years, he’s tripled his business using a combination of automated webinars, Facebook ads and email marketing and we’re going to dissect his strategies.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to increase attendance for a webinar
  • What tools Grant uses to manage his sales
  • The conversion rates of live vs auto webinars
  • The primary way Grant has scaled his business

Other Resources And Books

Sponsors

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.
Klaviyo

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.
Privy

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.
Emerge Counsel

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.Sellers Summit

Transcript

Steve: You’re listening to the my wife quit her job podcast. The place where I bring on successful bootstrap business owners and dig deep into what strategies they use to grow their businesses. Now today, I have my buddy Grant Baldwin on the show. Now, Grant is someone who took a very specific Niche and turn it into a seven-figure business. Not only that but he was partially responsible for increasing my top-line by millions of dollars over the years.

But before I begin I want to give a quick shout-out 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.

I also want to give a quick shout-out 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.

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 my wife quit her job podcast. Today, I’m happy to have my buddy Grant Baldwin back on the show. Now, Grant is someone who I’ve known for a long time now and he was partially responsible for introducing me to webinars, which is a strategy that I’ve used over the years to make millions of dollars. But if you ask Grant, he’ll take full credit for everything that I’ve ever done successfully. Anyway, Grant runs speaker lab, which is a business that teaches others how to get paid in book to speak and he also has a brand new book coming out soon called the successful speaker. And over the past few years. He’s tripled his business using a combination of automated webinars Facebook ads and email marketing. And today we are going to dissect how he’s grown has business so quickly and with that welcome show Grant. How you doing today, man?

Grant: I’m doing awesome. It’s always good to hang out with you my friend. Yeah and partially responsible. I don’t know man. Like I’m just kidding. I showed you the path you executed very well and the all the results are yours.

Steve: all that stuff. It’s evolved over the years. So I’m really curious to see you know, what changes you’ve made but for then it’s been three years since you’ve been on this show. And first question for you is, do you do any work? Because when I follow you on Instagram, it seems like you are perpetually on vacation my friend.

Grant: We like to travel we, I’d say this I’ll give you the joking answer and the serious answer. The joking answer is we do like to travel and we learn a lot on Facebook ads which leads to a lot of chase points which leads to a lot of free travel. So that has been very nice. The serious answer would also be like we have been very I say we meaning my Wife and I and our family have been very intentional to make sure that the business supports our life and not the other way around and so I think that I think you’re probably very similar in that. We enjoy work. I enjoy being an entrepreneur. I enjoy what it is that we do. Enjoy our team enjoy the students that we work with and the people that we get to help but like make no mistake like this is I still want to have a lot of freedom and flexibility and autonomy.

And so I tell our team all the time like I want to keep growing and building and doing what we’re doing as long as we get to still play by these rules. And once we can no longer play by those rules, like it’s no longer interesting to me. So for example, I live outside Nashville and Dave Ramsey just built a huge new headquarters here that was open up recently. And so it’s for five minutes away from it and passed by it regularly. And is this huge huge multi multi multi million dollar complex and neighbor of mine is a VP over there and give me a tour of the place. It’s a cool place, but I’m looking at it going like I don’t want that like I want to work from home and I like having again the freedom and flexibility to spend a lot of With the family and spend a lot of time traveling. And you know making memories and doing that sort of thing.

Versus like a traditional nine-to-five work from an office just because that’s what you know, a lot of people do so, it’s part of the fun part of the joy of Entrepreneurship is like you get to define the rules you get to the side like what makes sense for you. And so what works for someone else may not work for you. And so you just have to decide what what is it you’re trying to do what you’re trying to accomplish.

Steve: Absolutely my friend. We definitely do have the same philosophies. Give the audience a quick recap and remind them what you do and how you make money.

Grant: Yes. So for several years, I was a full-time speaker travel the country primarily the US speaking at a lot of, on education space a lot of with colleges a lot of high school stuff and then a lot with entrepreneurs and business owners, corporations, associations. And then sort of having a lot of people ask me like, hey, I want to be a speaker. How do you do that? And so then a few years ago, we started doing more teaching and training along those lines of teaching people the ins and outs of the speaking world. And how do you find a book gigs. And so that’s the core of what we do today. We have basically two Variations of a summer program where we’re teaching kind of some systems and structures of how to find a book gigs and the speaking industry whether you want to take a couple times a year or you want to speak, you know, full time.

We walk through how to do that. So one is more of a kind of a self-study program that we offer via automated and live webinars. And then the other is a kind of a group and one-on-one coaching program with myself and other coaches and that’s sold over the phone. So we have a team of enrollment advisors and they do calls on a daily basis and invite people to join that program. So so both programs ultimately teach a lot of the same material and content but once more of a kind of a DIY and ones were kind of on a in the trenches with you and also do several of the pieces for you some done for you stuff.

Steve: I’m always amazed at your success because I remember when I first met you I didn’t think that your Niche was that large actually to be quite frank, but you’ve turned this thing into a seven-figure business and I’m continually amazed.

Grant: Yeah. I mean, I’ve, I would say this, like there’s no shortage of people who are interested in speaking like speaking is one of those aspirational things that has been around for a long time it will be around for a long time. So that’s one of things. I think there’s a lot of longevity and stability and what it is that we do. So if we were teaching, you know Pinterest marketing there’s nothing wrong with Pinterest marketing, but I don’t know it’s interesting to be around in ten years is Pinterest marketing still going to be a viable strategy in 10 years. So, you know, who knows but speaking public speaking professional speaking is one of the things that has been around and we’ll be around and it’s kind of like equate it to like the number of people who want to write a book like it’s just a high amount of people that want to write a book and there’s a lot People who are interested in speaking. And speaking can also be very I don’t think device of is the right word but polarizing I guess where some people like, I love to be a speaker.

I love to sing on stage like that. Give me the mic that sounds amazing and other people like I know my wife, for example, she’s like just horrified at the idea of having to stand up in front of a group of people and it’s not that you know one’s better or worse than the other it’s just again if there’s a lot of people who are interested in speaking but just don’t know what to do. So I know for myself earlier, when I first got started a line that we use a lot is I felt like I had the potential but I needed the plan I had the potential but I need the plan. I like speaking. I knew I was an okay speaker. I want to do more speaking. No clue what to do from there. How do you find gigs? How much do you charge? who hires speakers? Like, how does this mysterious black box work? And so we found that there’s a lot of people who are in the same spot who is where I was where they have the potential passion about speaking. They love speaking they want to share their message, but just I don’t understand. How do I find gigs?

You know, there’s a lot of people who teach and speak about more of the art and craft side of speaking and we do cover some of that about how do Create deliver great talk and how do you stand on stage and deliver and how do you deal with nerves and all that stuff. And we do cover some of that stuff. But like if you’re a phenomenal speaker and like nobody knows you exist like you’re at a business and this is you know, not exclusive to just speaking with anything. I you can have an amazing product but there’s also the side of the business where you have to let people know what it is that you do. And so that’s that’s the core of what we try to teach.

Steve: so it’s been three years since you came on and you mentioned earlier that you tripled your business. Where did all that growth come from?

Grant: Yeah. So a big thing I would say would be doing the the high-ticket group coaching program that definitely move the needle for us because we had a lot of people who are asking like we had the the self study program which is $1,000 course that we’ve sold through again automated and live webinars. That’s always done fairly well for us. Facebook ads still work well for leading to that or email this is a good-sized now over a hundred thousand people and so the combination of those things has worked well provide a kind of a good base, but then doing the high ticket program definitely move the needle because we A lot of people who are saying Grant I want to do, you know group coaching or one-on-one coaching. I personally don’t want to do any one-on-one coaching. And so we are trying to think through what that model looks like. I also have been very intentional about not wanting to build a business based on me.

I tell our team all the time like this is not the grant show. I know that like, I recognize like on the face, my name is on the cover of the book. I do the podcast I do the webinars that sort of thing, but I don’t want people signing up for our programs thinking like they’re gonna get a ton of access to Me because that’s just this typically not the case. Like I’m sure they work with students and help students. But this is not like a one on one program with Grant and so a huge huge win for us as when people join our programs and they say, oh I worked with Eric. I worked with Rick or I work with, you know fill in the blank and like I had a great experience with them was like good because they, you know, we worked with them. We’ve coached them. We’ve trained them they’ve seen results and so them being able to help other speakers is incredibly rewarding that doesn’t just depend on me like this is not about me. This is not Grant show.

So that’s been very helpful of trying to build the group coaching thing. That doesn’t depend on me. Now that the group coaching thing has worked well, but the sales mechanism for of doing phone calls has been it’s been a new challenge which has been fun because when you know you last time I was on we talk to Tom about webinars and you and I geek out on webinars and the reality is is like if you have whether we have 10 people or a hundred people or a thousand people on a webinar, it really doesn’t dramatically affect our workload or how the webinars going to go. Like there’s there’s there’s hypothetically an unlimited number of seats of whoever wants to attend the webinar versus with calls. What you’re trying to do is they all they do inbound calls. And so we are regularly inviting our list or through Facebook ads for people to book calls.

And so it’s this delicate balance of supply and demand that we don’t want people to book calls, you know days or weeks out. We want them to ideally be able to book a call in the next day or two while they’re still interested and excited about it. But obviously, these are all one-on-one calls with our Team, we can’t send so many calls their that the soon as they can book is a week out but we can’t send to’ So if you where, you know, an enrollment visor has 12 open spots tomorrow and only two bookings like we don’t want to do that. We want to fill their calendars as best as possible. But again, it’s this kind of like delicate ebb and flow balance of you know, what levers to turn or pull and what knobs to turn and to make sure that everyone’s schedules are full but not too full where pushes things too far out.

Steve: So you’re running Facebook ads to human calls.

Grant: Yes. Yep human calls. Yeah, and it’s difficult and different in some ways and and better in other ways because you know when someone’s on an automated or a live webinar, you know, they’re just looking at a screen even though you may be calling them out. Hey, I see it. You know we got Steve here from the Bay Area. What’s up Steve? And you know, you can you can do that kind of touch but there’s something totally different with like one human talking to another human.

Steve: Yeah

Grant: about their business and what they are looking for and where their challenges are and how this program can help that specific thing. So, Certainly something that’s helpful about that. But there’s just there’s yeah, there’s a lot of

Steve: so if you look at your overall funnel, would you say that you grab people in? You have a free series. I remember. and then you’ve got your webinar. And then from those people are you doing the group coaching or is it completely independent?

Grant: Yeah. So basically I like we have a variety of different lead magnet. So you mentioned that you know, we’ve got some PDFs or we’ve got a the speaker fee calculator that’s done well for us people can find over at myspeakerfee.com, myspeakerfee.com. So when people ask us, Hey, how much should I charge as a speaker? We send them there. It’s a type form. They answer like seven or eight questions and it tells them what they should be charging as a speaker. So we use that quite a bit. So we have a variety of different like lead magnets like those that work but everything we do all the lead magnets even this new book everything points to one or two places. We either point to the automated webinar or a point to book a call all the calls to action on the website. If they point to like any content the podcast or any of these lead magnets, ultimately it’s going to end at either the book a call. Or attend the webinar. So those are the two calls to action for everything.

Steve: How many people do you have answering phone calls?

Grant: So they’re not even answering called there is like it’s not like a hey just call this one 800-number whenever and you know, we got someone standing by so someone would book a call in a sense of like, you know Thursday at 2 p.m. Central Time, you know, we have an available slot. So some of the book that and they’d be having that one-on-one call then. So at the moment we’ve got we have three enrollment advisors.

Steve: Oh, wow. Okay. Okay. So let’s let’s start with webinars since it’s kind of what we talked about last time how is webinars evolved for you? And specifically I noticed like on your front page. I think when you click on the button, it goes straight to an automated webinar, right? So first off so which software are you using and what is this webinar flow look like what is conversion rate and are you running ads to this automated webinar?

Grant: Yeah. We still run ads to that. One of the things that we do is all of our ads for our webinars go to the automated webinar. We actually don’t do any ads for the live webinar. This is partly for a tracking thing. We made changes to some point. But basically what we do is we do our automated webinar on a daily basis ads go to that. And then once a month give or take, we do a live webinar to the list. That’s largely the same the same webinar the same content, but we find that you know, if we have and I’d have to pull up the stats here. But if we have let’s say, you know for the automated webinar let’s say, we have a 50% show up right that means the other half the other 50% didn’t show up they registered they were in Interested in speaking, but they didn’t they didn’t attend for whatever reason and we get it like that’s part of it life happens.

So we do this once a month webinar live webinar as kind of a catch-all of hey, you didn’t you didn’t attend a webinar recently or at some point and so we’ll have people who will attend that who register for the automated webinar like weeks or months or years ago. We can also see, you know, just looking at tracking that we have had people who’ve attended, you know, two three or four live webinars before they ultimately decided to buy

Steve: Yup, same with me.

Grant: and so yes, I’m like who knows what’s happening on the other end of you know people who are like there’s probably all of us we have like different things that are kind of like Loosely interested in but then whatever reason like the timing is right and we pull the trigger on on buying something whether it’s a product or a book or course or whatever it may be because like, okay now the timing is right for me to want to jump into this. So so doing that combination of the automated and the live webinars has been has been really valuable because I live webinar is basically again kind of a, since we don’t do any ads that we know. That it’s an exclusively from those sales or from our list but there’s always again there’s always people in the list that are interested in speaking but just haven’t bought something for whatever reason and we’re able to kind of recoup some of that ad spend that we had before.

Steve: So how much are you paying for automated webinar lead?

Grant: so it is varied. Let’s see. I know you like stats and not vague answers only pulled up. I can give you some actual stuff here. One of things I’ve noticed is that we have an outside agency who runs all of our ads they do a great job. We’ve been working with them for about Year and a half we worked with a couple different agencies over the years. And so one thing that we’ve noticed is that we have started paying a lot more per lead. But our conversion rate is significantly higher.

Steve: Okay.

Grant: So for example, let me look up a couple of weeks here

Steve: And when you’re talking about conversion rate are you just talking about from the automated or you talk about collectively even including the live one scoop it up at the end?

Grant: just the automated.

Steve: Just the automated, okay.

Grant: Yep. So for example. Okay. Let’s see here. I got a couple of weeks worth of data. So we did have some weeks where we had low like five, six, seven dollar leads registrants, but our conversion rate on those was around 1%.

Steve: Okay.

Grant: And now if we go to some other weeks here, we were paying around fifteen, sixteen, Seventeen dollars a lead. So, you know 2 or 3 times that but we had conversion rates anywhere from three to five percent.

Steve: interesting.

Grant: So the idea being that the hypothetically we’re just getting higher Quality leads that are converting so we’re not getting as many leads. But our dollars are going to better leads that are converting better. So that’s one of the things that we’ve seen lately as just a kind of an observation.

Steve: So why an automated webinar as opposed to kind of like a drip sequence?

Grant: honestly, we’ve just never even tried the drip sequence. I know like if I remember correctly, that’s what you did before you did the webinar.

Steve: I’m experimenting with something new and we can talk about that a little bit. I’m just kind of curious what your input is, but go on.

Grant: Yeah, I was gonna say like, I don’t know there’s no necessarily like a Rhyme or Reason. Webinars have always worked well for us, so I think it’s easy for us to kind of fall into the Trap of okay, It’s it’s working. So let’s just keep doing that and maybe dabble with something here or there but for the most part like now this is working. Like let’s just keep doing that instead of trying to Tinker too much or, you know be distracted by other, you know, shiny objects that could work that could be incredibly effective an example too though is we had just recently hired a new director of marketing and he has a ton of experience with this and really will bring a lot more bandwidth to the table. Like that’s the other Challenges just limitation is kind of picking and choosing. Okay, if you’re if you’re a one-man band if you have a small team like you just got to decide.

What’s the best bang for the buck what makes the most sense for you to work on knowing that there are plenty of other ways that you may be leaving money on the table are the things that you could be doing. But here’s what I’ve got the mental capacity to focus on especially the going back to what we talked about earlier. I want to I want to do this and still be able to have a lot of freedom and flexibility and autonomy and life. So you got to be, you know, a little bit selective there. so so I wouldn’t say there’s any like strategic reason of why we’ve done, you know, we haven’t done more email marketing or emailed like drip sequence has other than like webinars of works. We just keep doing that.

Steve: That makes sense. If it’s working then don’t change it.

Grant: Right

Steve: so you’re not actually actively running the ads right? Yourself?

Grant: No. No, so this is actually the new director of marketing. He will in the near future be taking over. He has a ton of ad experience so he will be taking over that so I know enough to like just be able to have a conversation on it, but I’m not in the weeds on a day-to-day basis of you know ad copy or creative or targeting or placement or that sort of thing.

Steve: Do you know how much you’re spending like on a daily basis on Ads though?

Grant: so I can tell you like big picture, we’re spending. Well tell you what, let me pull that let’s pull up a different spreadsheet. I want to things that you know is I like a lot of spreadsheets we track all these. This one thing. I remember what we talked about last time and I tell people all the time that if you’re going to run ads like it cannot be just like ran ads and like I think it’s working but I’m not sure. Like I said, we religiously track all of this stuff. So we slowed it down over the holidays, but we’ve picked it back up. So we’re spending anywhere from like 25 to 30, 35000 a month on ads so, a thousand a day give or take.

Steve: okay cool cool. And what tools are you using for your auto webinars? Just curious?

Grant: Yeah. Currently. I think we’re using easy webinar and we still use webinar Jam for our live webinars. We have been having some issues with ever webinar, which is webinar jam’s automated tool. We had been having a couple issues there. So we did a lot of split testing between easy and ever and there’s some things that one could do that the other couldn’t do it and vice versa and the split test was Almost like identical and so we’re just like we’ve been using easy for a little while ever for a little while. So let’s try easy. And so that’s what we’ve been using for the past. I don’t know. A year or two. what do you use?

Steve: I don’t do auto webinars. That’s why I’m asking all these questions. I’ve been using this sequence. So what I’m doing now actually is I found that a lot of people when I was putting out, I did a kind of pseudo Auto webinar for a little bit and I notice that people weren’t watching the whole thing. So what I did is I decided to break it apart into three pieces, and now I have it hooked up in messenger at hasn’t launched yet, but I haven’t broken up. In a three pieces and if they don’t watch One Piece, they get a reminder in Messenger to go watch it. And the idea is to kind of push them down the line and leave a cliffhanger at the end of each one.

Grant: can’t speak to the actual text out of how this actually works. But I do know we use messenger and SMS reminders a lot for the automated and for the live webinar. So when someone registers for the automated webinar, they’re getting email reminders, but they also are getting texts and Facebook Messenger through many chat reminders as well. I think we send out some type of like PDF leading up to the webinar and we send that out the many chat because like the many chat, are just a Facebook Messenger open rates are just ridiculously high engagement levels. So we have it’s not that the primary thing but we do use that.

Steve: Yeah, I’m blasting everyone on all channels including push notifications to I mean, whatever it takes to get them to show up.

Grant: Yeah

Steve: Just kind of curious. What are your show rates these days because I know might have gone down over the years.

Grant: On automated or live?

Steve: Live.

Grant: Okay, let’s pull up the spreadsheet

Steve: by the way. I’m still using It’s Gran’t spreadsheet, I think you gave it to me a while back

Grant: so good. You looks like anywhere from 25 to 40 percent.

Steve: Okay.

Grant: Yeah, so it’s not it’s I would agree. It’s definitely down. Like if I were to go back much further here, let me open that up

Steve: In the old days. I used to get like 35-ish and now it’s around twenty five-ish.

Grant: Yeah. So the last one we did we did one a couple weeks ago is 24, 32, 29, 26, 34, 29, 25 25, 41. So I mean it varies but kind of in that range. But yeah, I think that I mean the reality is I think two things. One is that you know webinars, you know, I don’t know maybe five years ago were much more of a latest and greatest and new shiny thing that people are used to, are people weren’t used to. And now maybe the second thing would be that people are more used to it. So the other thing I try to think through is like a lot of people are busy and one of things I’m kind of interested in in this is an idea just on the dock. I’ve heard a few people talk about is doing the like a micro or mini webinar. So like I know our automated webinar is about an hour and then we get into some Q&A so it ends up being like an hour fifteen which you know as a this day and age like that’s a good spot.

Steve: That’s a good time, yeah.

Grant: So it’s a lot to ask someone I try to make sure that we get to the pitch to the offer and there’s a link to buy before the one hour mark on the automated but I’m intrigued by the concept of doing like, okay, let’s imagine that you had to do a webinar in 15 minutes. Like what would you do and so really trying to condense something down because most people are busy they have a lot going on and so again to sit through it’s gonna be a big ass, but if you say hey, we have a 15 or 10 minute Webinar where we’re going to go we’re going to cut out as a whole the fat possible and get right to it and then make an offer at the end. How would that convert? How would that affect show up rates? so that may be something we try at some point. I don’t I’ll have any personal data to give you on that but just something on the radar.

Steve: Yeah. Are you guys doing any different over the years on webinars? Just before we move on?

Grant: not dramatically, I would say like the the webinar that we have done in the past like we maybe make little tweaks the offer here and there but not not dramatically for the most part like we may be updating testimonials or case studies or examples but the content has largely been the same because the continents are the program is largely the same like it’s updated but like The Core Concepts aren’t dramatically changing, you know year to year. So there may be a few little pieces that we you know, we update or change but not not not a ton.

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I’m kind of intrigued by running ads to calls, to live calls because I know that if I ever get on the phone with a prospective buyer, that’s like the closure rate Is like 90%

Grant: Yep.

Steve: So I imagine if you could scale that like you could increase your conversion rate dramatically, like if you called like the people who clicked on the sales page of your live webinar, but didn’t buy. You called all those people. I’m sure you would close like a good percentage of them

Grant: Yeah, 100% totally you wouldn’t come close hundred percent 100% agree with your idea. But the other thing that we have done in kind of a similar vein to that is maybe a year ago, maybe six months ago. We added live chat just to the checkout page so we didn’t add it across the Across the whole side or anything, but just to the checkout page and so when people would hit that and they’re going hey my cards not working or hey, I had a quick question. Can I do this and get this bonus or hey, I just wanted to confirm whatever, you know, they’re there. They’re on the checkout page. They have the card in hand. They’re ready to make a decision and I got a quick question. So we have found like having that has helped us because we don’t get it. We don’t get a ton of chat like a lot of people who hit the checkout page don’t have questions.

But the people that do that are right there ready to make a buying decision if we can help just clarify one little thing for hem and that pushes them over the edge like and the it causes them to make a decision. Like that’s been a big big win. That’s really really simple for us to execute on.

Steve: What Are you using?

Grant: we use there’s several different tools. We use one called crisp currently. I think it’s crisp.

Steve: Interesting, I never heard of that before.

Grant: It’s Crisp.chat I hadn’t heard of it either. There’s a few different ones. There’s pros and cons to it to any of them. But one was it was it was relatively inexpensive to some of the others like some of the others have like all kinds of bells and whistles and we’re like we just want this 1 chat on one page and so it does like a it integrates well with slack I’m sure they all do but so we get a slack notification and myself or one of the other team members can just hop in their can the whole conversation can happen in slack. You can also see like we have a couple different versions of our checkout pages. So with a crisp has a good app and so you can get a notification there that you can you know have the chat conversation via your phone and see exactly which page that they’re on so you make sure that you’re answering them correctly. So like we like we may be getting Couple of chats. I don’t know handful a month or you know one to a week. So it’s not like a crazy amount. But again, if you have let’s say, you know, ten of those conversations a month and it causes, you know, two, three, or five of them to buy that may have walked away frustrated otherwise like that

Steve Oh it pays for itself for sure. how much you charging for the group coaching?

Grant: group coaching is currently a, at the time of this recording. It’s 4,000. I’m actually in a couple days. We’re raising it to 5,000.

Steve: So what are your ads look like for that for the live calls and what your conversion rate like once you get someone on the phone?

Grant: Yeah, so so there’s some people who like we’re trying to Target more and more like warm audiences for that. So sometimes it is like straight to book a call and that can be kind of hit and miss the other side of it is we may send someone to like a lead magnet. And as soon as they download the lead Magnet or they do this calculator or something. We’re sending them to some piece of content and then once they engage with the content, then we invite them to book the call. So hopefully they’re you know, it’s semi warmed up but also like just re targeting people who listen to our podcast regularly or come to the site regularly, so I would have to dig in a little bit more than off top of my head like how cold converts historically I’m guessing it’s not going to convert super great and that I’m scrolling through Facebook.

I just came across an ad. I booked a call and you know, I’m offered a I’m interested in speaking. But like I just found out about you guys type of thing. So there’s a side of the other side of is like, you know similar challenges with the webinars is similar challenges with the calls and that we have a lot of no-shows people who booked a call and who are excited and interested at one point and the call happens tomorrow or in two days and they flake out. or like I just kind of want to see what it’s about and not really take it seriously or they’re just kicking tires. So that’s part of it too. Like we we hear a lot of stories from unique people from our enrollment advisors are on the front lines who are like, man, I just had a really weird call with this person you get you know, you get some of those like looky-loos and and tire kickers and that’s you know, it’s also just kind of part of it.

Steve: So are the people making the cause of they compensated on a commission basis?

Grant: Yes. And so I’ve we’ve heard a different people do it different ways. Our people are Straight commission and so on one hand, you’re like well, if you know if they’re not selling then we don’t have any out-of-pocket costs but still since a lot of those leads may come from ads. We still have that hard costs on the ads. The nice thing is when you’re you know, when you have more of a high ticket type of program, then you have potentially more margin with ads. so you can afford to spend more on, you know, getting a booking or getting an are getting an application or getting a lead even. But ultimately like the the sales rep or the enrollment advisor like they’d still got to do a great job close them. or ultimately so going to be costing you more money.

Steve: These enrollment advisors are not the actual people teaching the class though, right?

Grant: Correct. Yep. They’re just purely Frontline enrollment advisors, sales team and then we have different coaches that work with them.

Steve: Wow. So, how big is your team now?

Grant: I think We’ve got 13, 14 people.

Steve: Wow. Okay

Grant: Yeah, give or something like that.

Steve: because the last time I talked to you, I think it was like less than a third of that you had like 3 people maybe

Grant: yeah, I was so the majority of the team is Contractors majority of them are part-time to varying degrees to some would be, you know, 10 hours a week and some are 30, 35 hours a week and probably should be employees and so and everything in between. So I would say cumulatively we’ve got I would guess maybe eight full-time people if you kind of add it all together.

Steve: amazing, amazing. Yeah. So for me personally, I have no desire to have that many people.

Grant: Well, I would say this, okay because I had the exact same thought and again, I think you and I I are very similar and that we don’t have like these we don’t have like these massive aspirations to be like an Elon Musk like seems like a nice guy, cool stuff he’s doing we get to be the beneficiaries of it. But I have zero aspirations to do something like that. Right? No knock on anyone who does that’s that’s great. We need we need to people like that. They come up with cool stuff that Steve and I can use but that I know that that’s not me. That’s not how I’m wired. And so I’ve always kind of felt similar of like you can’t have a low-stress business and you can’t have a lot of freedom and flexibility and autonomy. If you have people the more people you have the more Headaches you have. and sure like there are days where you just like man, it was simpler when it was just kind of a one-man thing.

I have found in my experience so far, that getting the right people on Place doing the right things. It’s actually created more freedom and more autonomy and more flexibility for me. There are some days where it’s busy and there’s a lot going on and I was a lot that I got to do but there’s other days you’re just like I know there’s a lot happening but there’s not a lot for me personally that I’m owning and I’m responsible for that I need to do and I like I think it speaks to this like One thing I know you have talked a little bit about was I took a sabbatical a couple months ago. I took a complete month off from the business and the business is great and part of it was kind of a stress test on the business to say. Okay, we talked with the team about this for months leading up to it. So it wasn’t like hey guys, I’m gonna be out next month. Peace out. Good luck.

It was like we prep for this we let we prepared for this and basically I took a complete month off was not on slack was not on email didn’t attend a single meeting had no communication with the team. I think they texted me once three days in Hey, we can’t find the login for the certain tool and that was it. So it’s a completely hundred percent off line and the business that great like that four-week period was one of the best stretches we had of the year and whenever I got back like we did kind of a debrief and and just kind of a re-evaluating like okay, how did it go? What worked what didn’t work and they’re all like it was kind of business as usual like things went well and so for me it was I don’t want to build another job for myself. I wanted to create something that didn’t depend on me having to show up constantly and be the dancing the dancing monkey.

So that was a very good validation. That one were moving that direction where we’re building something that doesn’t depend on me that the business can function without me and I would not have been able to step away for that long or for the business to do that well. if we didn’t have those right people in place because sure you can have you know, you have you know, your 10 hour a week VA is international and like no knock against that but at some point like you have to have like some solid people and and that also requires some investment but I know like that investment has also reached like significant ROI on that that has impacted the bottom line and thus also impacted me personally financially.

Steve: sure sure. I mean your revenues have gone 3x but your costs have gone up also, but at the expense of your freedom and everything also, its improved your lifestyle.

Grant: yeah, a hundred percent, Yes. So I would definitely agree like we have more people we have more overhead we’d spend more but we also are generating more and I would say that even though the business is bigger than whenever we talked A few years ago, I would say I’m potentially doing less and making more and also know like the you know, the business is just having a bigger impact. So so I’ve always felt the same way that you know, you kind of describe like you can’t have people without headaches and sure there are like there are certainly days like that are some of it is like people they’re just being goobers and you know, we’ve had that hires before but you also like like part of it part of my job is to get the right people on the bus and they’re certainly going to be like things that happen that are outside of your control.

So for example, a key guy this was two or three months ago, a key guy on our team a couple days before Thanksgiving his 16 year old son tragically passed away and so he was out for a month and a half or so understandably. So but so so having to suddenly deal with that and help him kind of deal and cope with that and also balancing like okay, but we’re you know, we are still running a business, but I also want to be extremely sensitive and generous with him. So that’s part of it. But I also know like he also provides a lot of freedom and autonomy for me. Because he of the things that he takes off my plate, you know, so there’s certainly a trade-off.

Steve: Yeah. Absolutely. Hey Grant, I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about speaking also for selfish reasons. So I’ve been speaking for many years now. I always speak mostly for free just to hang out the events and I’m very, you know choosy about what I go to if I were to transition to taking a couple of paid speaking roles here and there where would you go if you were me?

Grant: Yeah, so I would start with the book a successful speaker five step is an amazing platform.

Steve: Haha Amazing!

Grant: you definitely want to do that. So basically inside the book we walk through a five step process that makes the acronym speak. And so the first I’d really just I’d walk where it to that ladder. So the first step of it is that the yes select a problem to solve and this is the part that most speakers have the most difficult time with and this is not exclusive to just speakers. But any type of entrepreneur is we think that like, you know, how do I how do I speak to the most people possible? How do I affect the biggest broadest audience possible? So like if if you if we translate this to your world like the e-commerce space, you know, I don’t want to create a widget that’s for a small select group where I’m a big fish in a small pond. I want to create what something for a where I’m a big fish in a huge Pond and I want to reach as many people as possible. But the reality is is like by focusing on this very Niche thing like handkerchiefs. You can do really really really well versus like trying to create something for the masses.

And so the same thing is true with speakers is don’t try to speak on to you know, for speakers who say like, well I speak to humans I speak to people. My message is for everybody was like well then it’s really for nobody or the speaker who’d say well what I speak about what do you want me to speak about I can speak about anything I can speak about, you know, physical products are can speak about leadership or sales or marketing or marriage or parenting it’s like but you can’t. even if you know something about all those things if you try to be an expert on all those things like you just come across as foolish. So one of the things we talk about in the book is that you want to position yourself as the steak house and not the buffet, the steakhouse not the buffet meaning, Steve if you and I were going to go grab a good steak. Like we have a choice we could go to a buffet where steak is one of a hundred things that they offer and they’re all mediocre. We can go to a steakhouse where they do one thing but they do that one thing incredibly incredibly well.

And so that’s what you want to be positioned as a speaker is I do this for this specific audience and this is how I help them versus I try to help as many people as possible through as many ways as possible. And again, it’s counterintuitive because we think the more people I speak to the more things I can talk about the more opportunities I have. But the opposite is the case like the more narrow the more clear the more Niche the more focused I am. the easier it is actually find gigs and find clients. So that’s the hardest part for speakers. If you get that part right then the rest of it becomes actually a lot. Or is just because you feel like but I don’t want to limit myself, but I could do all these other things like yeah sure like if we went to a steakhouse I bet whoever the chef is that they could cook a really good bowl of pasta. I bet they could make really good tacos and I bet they could do really good job with making whatever other things but they say, nope. I could do those things, but we do steak and that’s it.

The same things true like I can speak to in our business for the speaker lab. I know that those who are interested in speaking are also interested in writing a book or publishing or doing a course or doing A coaching or consulting or any number of other things and so we could do all those other things but I know that the more things we try to do the more water down we’d become and so we just say no. No, we do this for this we serve speakers we help them understand how to find a book gigs. And that’s it. Like a couple days ago had a guy message and with some questions about writing and Publishing and that’s and books and he said, oh you have the speaker lab, you should do the author lab and part of me is like, oh that’s kind of cool and part of me is like, nope. Like we’re not going to do all things for all people. We’re going to serve one specific audience with one specific way and By doing so it actually makes it easier to find the right kind of people.

Steve: I just want to let you know that tickets for the 2020 Seller Summit are on sale over at sellersummit.com. Now what is seller Summit? It is the conference that I hold every year that is specifically targeting e-commerce entrepreneurs selling physical products online and unlike other events that focus on inspirational stories and high-level BS. Mine is a curriculum-based conference where you will leave with practical and actionable strategies specifically for an e-commerce business. And in fact, every speaker I invite is deep in the trenches of their e-commerce business entrepreneurs who are importing large quantities of physical goods and not some high-level guys who are overseeing their companies at 50,000 feet. The other thing I can assure you is that the Seller Summit will be small and intimate every year we cut off ticket sales at just a couple hundred people. So tickets will sell out fast, and in fact, we sell out every single year many months in advance now if you’re an e-commerce entrepreneur making over 250K or 1 million dollars per year, we are also offering an exclusive mastermind experience with other top sellers. Now, the Seller Summit is going to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From May 6 to May 8. And right now, we are almost sold out of Mastermind tickets already and I will be raising the ticket price regularly starting the day after Cyber Monday for more information, go to sellerssummit.com. Once again, that’s SELLERSUMMIT.COM or just Google it. Now back to the show.

Yeah, absolutely specialized. I mean when I think of you I think of you as the Speaker Guy

Grant: exactly.

Steve: right.

Grant: Yeah, and that’s a good like litmus test. So anyone listening like ask your if you have a business ask your you know, your friends family colleagues. What a I am the blank person on the blank guy the blank gal like what what are you? so some people would be like I think of you as you know, you do a lot with e-commerce and you do a lot with physical products and helping people start that that business versus people who are like, let’s see, what do they do? Like, I think they do Physical Products but they may also do some speaking stuff. I think they do something on course and they like they do all everything and nothing and I don’t know what they do and it feels like this kind of flavor of the month kind of bounced around. I think I think a reason that you and I have had some level of success is because we’ve focused not only that we focus on one thing but we focus on one thing for a long period of time like we’ve both been doing pretty much the same thing for years now.

Steve: Yeah, it’s been like a decade now.

Grant: Yeah, it feels like you know, like okay versus like I do this for a little bit and then oh, here’s an opportunity so do that for Six months and I’m like Just Bounce Around versus am like, Man, All I do is this and I’m going to be here for a minute. So if you’re looking for help, here’s the go to because like you said other people like friends colleagues other people in the space start to recognize like yeah Grant’s a go-to guy for speaking versus like I think he does speaking but I think he does a dozen other things and I’m not really sure like, I just don’t want to be lumped into that category.

Steve: So that’s step one is to specialize what’s step 2?

Grant: So the the P is to prepare your talk to prepare you’re talking to me. That like not all talks are created equal and so once you’re clear on on this is who you want to speak to. This is what you want to speak about. How do you put together talk? How you deliver talk even again, if you’re someone who you know, maybe you don’t want to you don’t want to speak a ton. You want to give a few talks here and there but you’re staring at a blank screen going. I know what I speak about and I know what I’ve been hired to speak about but I’ve no idea. How do you put together a good talk how you deliver it? And so that section is all about is talking through how do you how do you create and deliver a great talk.

Steve: What about actually getting the gig?

Grant: mmm, we’ll get there. We’ll get there.

Steve: I want to jump to that now, Grant

Grant: haha I’ll give you the I’ll give you the next one.

Steve: Haha Okay.

Grant: So the E is establish yourself as the expert.

Steve: Okay

Grant: and this is where you have to have two marketing assets. You have to have a website and you have to have a demo video. Okay, if you have to have these things especially if you want to get paid because people need to see some of that type of proof and get a sense of what you speak about before they’re willing to hire you, now

Steve: Make sense.

Grant: it leads us to the a the acquire paid speaking gigs. Now again, like you said, this is the part that people want to skip to but if you bypass all the other steps than you’ve defeated the purpose and you’re going to be backed to square one. So people say like yeah, but I just want to book gigs because like okay, but first you got to get clear on who you speak to what you speak about now as this I’ll speak about whatever I just want to speak. Okay. So what we got to figure out what the talk is about. Are you doing a keynote or Workshop or seminar or break out a woody? I just want to speak. Okay. What about your website, video? I don’t need those things. I just want to speak. Okay, we have to have these things as foundational pieces before we get to the part on how to actually find a gig.

So a couple thoughts on actually finding gigs. One, is make sure everyone in your sphere of influence knows that your speaker and knows what it is that you speak about all of them your family friends colleagues cousins uncles enemies anybody and everybody. the reason is you may be thinking like but none of those people book speakers, that’s fine. Most of them probably don’t but they may know someone who does and you have to put it on their radar that this is something that you do in the same way that I personally as Grant I want to be on Steve’s radar as someone who helps people with speaking gigs because Steve may not be looking for a speaker, but he may know someone who is looking for a speaker that I could be a good fit for. I need to make sure that Steve knows that this is what I do versus again going back to like well, I don’t really know what Grant does or I’m not really sure how well I didn’t even realize he’s a speaker like no. No, I like I want to make sure that anyone in my Spear of influence knows that this is something that I do and you need to be able to do the same.

The other thing then is that you can see several things you can do to actually go about finding gigs one of the things that work really well that doesn’t cost a lot other than just time is using Google. There are a lot of events that are already looking for speakers. You don’t have to try to commit like you for example you are you still doing your annual Conference?

Steve: Yeah

Grant: and it’s like in the physical product space, right?

Steve: it is. Yes.

Grant: What’s it called? Remind me

Steve: It’s called Sellers Summit

Grant: Sellers Summit, and you’ve done it three years? Four years?

Steve: It’s our fifth year

Grant: Fifth year, my goodness. You’re a legend. Okay, so you have Seller Summit year after year after year. So let’s imagine for example. I am someone who teaches, you know, Facebook advertising for physical people in the physical products business, right? I don’t have to convince you to hire a speaker. You’re already planning on hiring speaker. Probably multiple speakers for seller Summit. I’m showing you why I’m a good fit. So if I’m if the core thing that I I can speak about is running Facebook ads for selling physical for a physical products business. Then I’m probably speaking on something that’s a natural fit for your audience. So again, I’m just showing like why I’m a good fit for your event.

So what I would want to do in that situation then is you can spend a few minutes just kind of browsing on Google and looking for events that you would be a good fit for so, you know physical products businesses or a conferences rather or e-commerce conferences or those type of events that are naturally looking for speakers that you would be a good fit for. and then beginning to reach out and have conversations with them. So that can be very effective connecting and networking with other speakers can be very effective as well. I remember like my first year. My first full-time year is a speaker. I remember looking back and trying to reverse engineer like okay. I got a bunch of bookings. Where do these booking come from? And my biggest source of gigs came from other speakers came from referrals came from Word of Mouth came from hey, I can’t do this gig, but you should talk to Steve. Steve would do a great job for you.

So building relationships with other speakers makes a big difference. So it’s not necessarily like a All right about a website. I got my video. I’m clear on who I speak to. I know what my talks about now just sit back and wait for the phone to ring or the bookings to come in. Like it doesn’t work like that like speaking as a momentum business and you have to do something to kick start that momentum. I would I would guess I’m just kind of speculating here. It’s kind of like if you are launching a new physical product on Amazon like just listening on Amazon does squat for you. Like it’s a very much a momentum thing that you have to do a few things to build the momentum to get some initial reviews to get some initial traction to get the word going and then it starts to like it can take on a life of its own. But you it’s easier to sell product after it’s been out on the market for a year and you’ve got some traction but it still takes a little bit initially to get going and to keep it going in the long run.

Grant: Yeah, it probably involves doing a bunch of free gigs early on too, right? to get your name out there.

Grant: I mean it can like I don’t know that there’s necessarily so when people say like, you know should you do free gigs or free gigs a good thing or a bad thing? I always say like speaking for free is okay as long as you know why you’re doing it. Don’t just do it out of the goodness of your heart just because you like speaking. Like you and I like helping people we like serving people but we’re also running a business. And so you have to recognize that and realize that so realize though that there are a lot of ways that you can receive value Beyond just whether or not you got a check. That’s the most common way is I go speak I click to check end of transaction, but there’s a lot of ways that you can get value for your speaking that don’t involve a check.

So for example you and I have if we’re offering some type of like, you know product or service or coaching or consulting or book or something and we know like okay if I’m gonna go speak for free, but I’m going to generate significant leads for my business or help in other ways. Like I can think for example, you know, I have both we both spoke at fincon several times. Big conference for financial people in the financial space. And the first time that I spoke there I didn’t get paid a dime, you know, you’re headed there on your own dime and so on paper, I’m losing money, but I remember like okay we had several people who joined our courses with several people who join some coaching stuff so I can trace like thousands of dollars in Revenue to that event, even though I didn’t get paid by the event Organizer so recognize it again. There’s a lot of ways that you can generate Revenue that’s beyond just whether or not you got a check at that event.

Steve: Cool. Well said. Tell me about your book. When’s it coming out? What’s it about?

Grant: The book is out February 18th. The book is called the successful speaker five steps for booking gigs getting paid building your platform. And so there’s certainly some people who are listening to say. Hey, I want to be a full-time speaker. I want to do 60 70 gigs a year or more and that’s awesome. That’s great. The book will show you how and other people who’d say again, like yourself, say, I don’t I don’t want to do that much but I wouldn’t mind doing five a gigs a year 10 gigs year, but I’m just having trouble figuring out how to actually find those and again, how do I know what to speak about? How do I know if my topic is something that people actually higher speakers to talk about? How much should I charge? And like just the ins and outs of the speaking World.

In addition to the, you know, the sections on putting together and creating and delivering a great talk and the you know, what you need to think about when you’re preparing a talk when you’re crafting a talk when you’re studying rehearsing and going over your talk, whether you should use slides how you do a technology, how you interact with an audience like all these just nuances to speaking of whether you’re speaking once or a hundred times that you want to do a good job, you want to deliver you want to be professional and that the book will show you exactly how to do that.

Steve: and we talked a lot about webinars and that sort of thing where can people just kind of find a sample of what we were talking about today?

Grant: Yeah, everything that we do is over at thespeakerlab.com. thespeakerlab.com. You can poke around through, if you wanted to book a call if you if you do book a call just like poke around not planning on showing, just cancel it that will help us out.

Steve: Can you ask for a grant or no?

Grant: I am not doing any calls these days.

Steve: ha ha

Grant: and then also there’s going to be some different Opt-ins for the webinar. So people want to kind of poke around that. you hop on our email list probably a few weeks later or fairly soon will invite you to a live webinar. And so you can you can see that. So yeah, that’s that’s not a problem. And again, I would say I would also say to go back and I still regularly Point people to the previous interview. We did a couple years ago on webinars because that’s that’s the most like in-depth nuts and bolts. I’ve talked about our webinars before so definitely go back and listen to that episode as well.

Steve: Cool. Well Grant, I really appreciate your time and thanks for coming on the show.

Grant: Steve, always good to chat with you, my friend.

Steve: Yeah, man. Take care.

Hope you enjoyed that episode. I actually have grants book right in front of me right now. And it is a great read if you have any remote interest in public speaking whatsoever. And in fact, I believe that public speaking is a required skill for all entrepreneurs. For more information about this episode. Go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode294.

And once again I 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.

I also 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.

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

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Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?


If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it's absolutely free!

293: Arri Bagah On How To Do SMS Marketing The Right Way

293: Arri Bagah On How To Do SMS Marketing The Right Way


Today I’m thrilled to have Arri Bagah on the show. Arri and I both spoke at the Many Chat Conversations conference this past year.

He is the founder of Conversmart which is a company that helps direct to consumer brands generate 6 figures in revenue per month using SMS marketing.

In this episode, Arri and I go in depth on the best ways to implement SMS with an ecommerce store.

What You’ll Learn

  • Arri’s background story and how he got started with SMS marketing
  • The types of SMS messages that convert
  • The best way to acquire new SMS subscribers
  • Rules when sending SMS broadcasts
  • The rules of thumb for engagement and what strategies are working right now

Other Resources And Books

Sponsors

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.
Klaviyo

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.
Privy

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.
Emerge Counsel

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.Sellers Summit

Transcript

Steve: You’re listening to the my wife could a job podcast the place where I bring unsuccessful bootstrap business owners and delve deeply into the strategies. They use to grow their businesses. Now today. I have my friend are iboga on the show. And in this episode, we’re going to talk about SMS marketing and in short we should all be doing it.

But before we begin I want to thank 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 give a shout-out to 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. Now on to the show.

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, I’m thrilled to have our Arri Bagah on the show. Now, Arri is someone who I was introduced to by Ezra Firestone and we both spoke at the many chat conversations conference this past year. Now, Arri is the founder of Converse smart, which is a company that helps direct to Consumer Brands generate six figures in Revenue per month using SMS marketing and they were actually named the top performing agency of the Year by many chat. Now SMS marketing is still in its infancy. I’m actually not doing it yet for my store. But I sure as heck want to give it a try. So in this interview Arri is going to teach us how it is done. And with that welcome to the show Arri, how you doing today man?

Arri: Doing well. Thank you so much for having me.

Steve: So Arri, Give us the quick background story and tell us how you got started with SMS marketing because I thought for some reason you were doing chat marketing a long time ago

Arri: sure so, We still consider SMS marketing to be kind of a part of that conversational marketing ecosystem. So we started out Giving messenger marketing for e-commerce and like you mentioned we want the top-performing e-commerce agency of the year for Messenger marketing and for the brands that we work with we were always looking for the next channel for them to be able to leverage to reach their customers directly. So text just made sense, right? Especially after Facebook made quite a few changes to the Facebook Messenger platform. Text just made sense as a channel where Brands can communicate with their customers and that’s how, That’s why we decided to get into it.

And also to just like so many perks of like using text compared to other traditional channels like email that brands are attracted to and even today like all the things that brand are doing over a communication Channel like email can be done through text as well. So just kind of like made sense for text to be that next channel that Brands can leverage.

Steve: So first of all, so for the listeners out there, SMS is just like text messaging on Your phone but when I was thinking about this in the first time, I was a little hesitant to get started with it because I actually hate it when people text me offers and I get a lot of spam I get maybe one or two texts spams every other day I should so say, maybe like one per day and I can’t imagine getting these messages in my SMS inbox. Can you first talk about how to address this issue?

Arri: Sure. Did you actually like opt-in?

Steve: I did not they were spam I never opted in.

Arri: Yeah, so see that’s that’s the problem with text rate where a lot of people Had bad experiences with that channel where you would go through checkout you put in your phone number didn’t you know except to receive these marketing messages and boom they start texting you or you just fill out a form they get your phone number and then they export that phone number and start texting you that’s a bad way of using text messaging and companies do get in trouble in terms of compliance for using strategies like that. So we look at text completely differently than how most people you know, have looked at it and the reason why there’s such compliance like the CTI and TCPA laws on text messaging is because you know, these are some of the things that people were doing like, you know, 10 15 years ago all these telemarketers would like just by phone numbers and just like text a bunch of random people.

So that’s why all these regulations were introduced to kind of cut down on how much spam people were receiving and people have gone into you know legal trouble for Doing like Miss using text messaging right? So the new way or how we look at text messaging is that we kind of want to provide a good experience. And also let customers know ahead of time that they’re going to be receiving the text. So one of the ways that you can do that is actually if you’re for example at checkout, if you’re collecting your phone number, you can have the option to check a box to receive offers through text. So the customer actually knows that you’re going to text him and instead of just like shit up getting like a cold text message.

And also you can have a pop-up that gets users to subscribe through text. So they know they’re going to you’re going to be texting them. For example, if they’re opting in for like an offer when they put in that phone number they’re going to be expecting you to text them.

Steve: before we move on to the kind of guts of the implementation. Is there anyone policing this because I still get these Rogue texts and I can’t seem to block them and that’s kind of what I’ve been concerned about like you might be doing it the right way and all your clients might be doing it the right way, but is there anyone policing this platform?

Arri: Yes. So all the text messages that are going through like short codes or being monitored by these telecom companies. So if you reply stop to unsubscribe the keywords tab should automatically unsubscribe you but if it does not let’s say that company keeps texting you. You can reply report and Report less susceptible to come companies know that this company is sending unwanted messages and when they get to the point where there are ascending just they’re getting a lot of people responding report then they get shut down by the Telecom company. So that’s the first thing. The second thing, could be you actually like wanting to sue them and you can actually get like 500 dollars for unwanted text message that you receive because you have tried to unsubscribe and they keep texting you and that. That’s the second option where you could actually like sue them for keeping on texting you.

Steve: but it’s like playing whack-a-mole, I’ll block these numbers but then it’s always a new one. Like does that policing work or has it worked?

Arri: Yeah actually works and they’re all these telecom companies are always aware. Like for example, like one of these brands that were talking to they were getting like some people after texting for a while responding report. I think they have like 20 people so they get like alerted by, you know, an account manager from these telecom companies. They will kind of like let the platform that they use seeing Knew how much how many people are responding report 20s, like on a low end and it doesn’t really affect the brand but they do keep it keep track of how many people are, you know reporting you and if you get like super high reports then they do shut you down.

Steve: Okay. Okay. So I’ve had a bunch of people talk about Facebook Messenger on the podcast already and you know in March they’re changing the rules pretty dramatically. And if you wouldn’t mind just kind of summarizing the changes and I wanted to just kind of compare the two after you kind of summarize the changes that are coming up for Facebook.

Arri: Sure. So Facebook has been trying to make these promotional changes for the past probably like six months like year and they keep pushing it back every gets like a month closer. It’s like hey, we’re going to push..

Steve: It supposed to be January, right?

Arri: Yeah. Yeah, and then they just keep pushing it and I think to me it just doesn’t make sense because I think messenger could be be a channel for Brands to be able to leverage and research customers, especially after you’ve acquired someone as a subscriber you should be able to you know, text him but basically is going to be a pay to play a game where for each subscriber that you want to message outside of 24-hour window. You’re not going to be able to text him unless you do it through like an ad that is ran through ads manager. So Facebook just wants to control what people are sending. Well as you know, how much people are spending. In order to send these text messages and yeah, that’s a strange that coming and they’re also introducing like a one-time message API.

Which basically says that okay customers can actually sign up to receive a one-time notification from your brain that can be promotional or not. I don’t know if that’s going to make change anything because you only get like to send the customer one message.

Steve: Yeah. Yeah.

Arri: Yeah. Yeah, but basically yeah, he’s just going to have to reach those customers you’re going to have To leverage as manager in order to be able to communicate to those are some of the changes.

Steve: So let me ask you this. I guess for my story, we will just use my store’s context. So right now I’m gathering email subscribers, Facebook Messenger subscribers, and push. And I’m fixing everybody right now I’m still trying to grab email first because it is a medium that I control right? No one can ever take away email from me in terms of prioritization then because you’ve used Facebook Messenger as well as SMS. What are you prioritizing? Are you Addressing SMS? Are you down playing Facebook Messenger these days because of these new rules?

Arri: Yeah to us. Like Facebook Messenger was always a top of funnel play where we leverage it to engage with users with cold audiences. So one of the things actually that we did for tough to needles for example as leveraging Facebook Messenger to engage with users who have never heard of the brand so they would go through like an experience like a quiz where we would at the end recommend a product. So that’s kind of like how we’ve always used it and then, you know will leverage the ad manager for broadcasting and so a lot of the changes that Facebook has made hasn’t really affected us because we always went the paid route.

Steve: Okay.

Arri: And we look at SMS as more of like a bottom of the funnel / middle of the funnel where you can you know, collect subscribers that are already on site. That means they’re interested in get their contact information and be able to nurture them or send them a notification based on actions that they take on your website.

Steve: Okay.

Arri: it’s very, you know, a similar approach to email and the difference here is that, well, at least how we look at it right now is that on your mobile website, we like to leverage SMS. And on desktop, You can leverage your email. The reason why we want to do SMS on mobile is that the customer is already on their mobile devices probably way easier to reach them and send them that you know coupon or whatever it is that you’re offering while they’re on our cell phones so they don’t have to login to the Gmail and check. And yeah emails so very valuable channel. So we still like to leverage email on desktop traffic. So Messengers more top of funnel for us and SMS is more like bottom of the funnel.

Steve: Okay. So what are some of the best implementations that you’ve seen for SMS? Like what are some acceptable SMS messages that customers don’t mind getting?

Arri: sure. So first of all, like customers want to receive text messages and you’ve done the survey and about 79% are open to receiving Text messages special Millennial in that demographic where you know, they open text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. So text has been primarily a channel that across all demographic, you know, 18 to 55 heavy use and the interesting thing is that you know, we have this brand that is serving the demographic of 45 plus and text has been performing really well for them. And that is because they’re kind of also like predisposed just because if you look at some of the Presidential campaigns I have ran, you know, 2008-2012 even 2016 with Trump they’ve all used text messages.

So these demographics have already used text messages in some way to interact with either political campaigns mainly / political campaigns, right? and text is that channel and I think that’s the reason why it’s working for that demographic but one of the ways that we like to use text is first getting you know. Users to opt in, so they know you’re going to text him and after they do opt in and because you’re expecting you to text them, you’re not going to see those high on subscribe rate or customers being, you know, getting

Steve: sure

Arri: because they’re receiving text messages, but in terms of content, you know just content that your audience might be interested in. You know, we like to send a mix of content as well as offers, but we mostly focus on content and we also like Leverage creative

Steve: Can you give us an idea of what, like Blog posts content or?

Arri: Yeah by content text is like a very, you know, – warm content that people get you know, we’re talking like a hundred and sixty characters, you know or so.

Steve: It’s like messenger.

Arri: Yeah, so or 200 or so. so one of the things that you can send is, you know value propositions in short bites that people can just like that would really resonate with the customer. So we like to do different benefits. So our products does this, so you can get this result so different types of content like that that we like to send and we also send creative like GIFs and images to kind of illustrate the product in a way that would engage the user for a longer period, period of time and we found that to really really work and it just kind of enhances the experience of sending text messages the opposed to just receiving a text you’re now getting the text as well as a creative that shows you the products or different ways that you can Use a product and makes the experience a whole lot better for the customer.

Steve: these sound like full-on promotional messages is that is that accurate?

Arri: Not necessarily, so

Steve: meaning like they’re designed to sell a product.

Arri: Yeah. It’s it’s very bottom of the funnel and you know, usually like when someone is on your site and they opt-in they are interested in purchasing. They just need maybe a couple nurturing messages to be able to you know, get them to make that purchase.

Steve: I see

Arri: and also we like timely messages like abandoned carts messages that work really really well. So they’ve opted in they’ve added to card. They did not purchase text could be that you know medium for you to use to reach that customer directly and get them to come back and complete their purchase. So it’s all about figuring out where the customer is in a journey and then, you know sending them the right message at the right time. That’s kind of like how we look at text messaging right now.

Steve: What are some ways to get them to opt-in is? It just like a coupon that you give out and then you text it to them or what are some popular ways to get them to even opt in for text messaging?

Arri: sure. Usually, you know brands most brands are doing like exit intent or you know, first load discount code, whether it’s five percent ten percent whatever incentive it is that you think can resonate with your audience. That’s what I recommend. It’s different for everybody, but it needs sort of offer that would resonate with your audience. You can leverage on a pop-up. In get them to opt in

Steve: and then after that like as part of that pop up or whatever you tell them that by opting in your giving us permission to text you going forward.

Arri: Yes own pop-up. There is some sort of legal language that says that and also the first message that they receive is going to be that legal language that says that they’ve opted in recurring messages and they can reply stop to subscribe. So the first message has to let them know that they can reply stop it Anytime. To unsubscribe and then you can send them like a follow-up message to be complied. The customer has to respond. Well, there are two ways. So there are two different experiences that get users to opt in right now. So there’s one called the to tap where the customer will tap up, tap the pop-up the button on the pop-up to subscribe. It will open up their messaging app. They click Send.

So the when it automatically opens up their messaging app on their mobile device would Auto fill like a text that says send this text message to receive, you know, 5% or 10% off and then they would click Send and they get opted in and what that does it’s a confirmation the customer themselves sent that message to get opted in.

Steve: I see that’s smooth. They don’t have to enter any numbers or anything.

Arri: Nope. Yeah, they don’t have to enter the phone number and that gets rid of all the wrong phone numbers that someone might enter and that’s it’s a really good experience. That’s what we use probably like a hundred percent of the time.

Steve: What about on desktop though?

Arri: Yeah, the second way which I’m getting to is having to type in the phone number this could be on desktop where they type it in and you have to get them to respond first. So if somebody puts in a wrong number, you don’t want to just like keep texting that phone number you want to make sure that customer has responded. Like hey reply yes to get the coupon or whatever the offer is so they respond to confirm their subscription and that’s how you get subscribe. And these are some of the ways we do it. Obviously, this is not legal advice, but can kind of look at the different ways to get to be compliant in the users to opt in but those are some of the two experiences that users can opt in right now.

Steve: Okay, so we talked about some opt-ins with the pop-up slide ins and that sort of thing. The problem is, is that when you run a store there’s different information that you want to gather right? So like I have an email pop-up, for example that usually leads to trying to get someone to get a messenger subscriber. What would you recommend going for first? an email? SMS? Facebook Messenger? Like there’s, you can’t ask for all three right or you can I guess over time.

Arri: Yeah, you probably see pretty low opt-in rates if you ask for all three. Yeah, but yeah, I think you know messenger is kind of like out of the picture when it comes to web site using messaging on the website messenger. We just strictly used to running Facebook ads and connecting the add to a messenger experience.

Steve: Okay.

Arri: so that leaves us with email and SMS for your website. on Mobile Traffic you like to use SMS just because whatever you’re offering to the customer. It’s easier to just text them directly because they’re already browsing on their cell phone which you know about, you know, 63% us e-commerce traffic comes from a mobile device and for a lot of the brands that we talked to it’s usually like 80% plus that they’re getting through their mobile device. So we like to leverage SMS on mobile and for desktop can use leverage email I just because it might be easier to communicate that way when the customer is not on their cell phone.

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So if I were to collect an SMS on a mobile phone like so when I when I grabbed an email, for example, I have this really long nurture sequence where depending on what actions they take either give them a coupon or like it branches on what type of content that I give them. Can you replicate that same experience with SMS? And is there a really easy way to get an email once you have their SMS number?

Arri: Sure. So if you are leveraging SMS on your mobile traffic? You can definitely put people through a nurturing sequence. Obviously the content is going to be a lot shorter, but we do, if you like a welcome series on SMS that would be set in the span of like two weeks or so and it has worked very well and it you can model after the welcome series that you have over email. You know, all the other pre-purchase and post-purchase flows that you have on email. You can also kind of model over text obviously within a conversational context. That has worked really well and I think when you have a phone number right now, they are different ways to kind of collect that phone number, you know get customers to respond, but we haven’t really found the perfect way to automate the process of collecting emails through text and I don’t see the need for it just because you’re most of the time getting a 98 and 99 percent open rates over Text.

That’s as high as you can get and because you’re already reaching that customer directly. Why do you need to get their email? Check text a channel that you own so there is no there shouldn’t be like any reason to fear losing that list because it’s a list that you own. It’s not like Facebook Messenger where the list is on Facebook. So that’s kind of like how we look at it where but one thing we do though is leverage your email list to move those subscribers through to text because you’ll be able to reach those customers directly when they are on text as opposed to email where they might open it maybe 20% of the time. So that’s one thing that we do that has worked well.

Steve: I never done SMS before but whenever I do a messenger broadcast, I usually lose maybe one to two percent of subscribers. Can you give us a feel of how many people unsubscribe when you send out like an SMS blast to one of your clients?

Arri: Sure, so it really depends and I’m going to give you an example and I think the type of Content that you send or how you write your content really makes a difference. So for example for a brand that we were working with before we started to take over text messaging for them. They’ve been doing for year seeing okay results and they’re getting around seven to eight percent on subscribe rate, which I heard.

Steve: that’s high. Yeah

Arri: Yeah, and I was like, whoa, like what’s really going on here? When we took over we kind of, you know implemented more instead of focusing all the time on sales and promotions that We’re running we focus more on nurturing the customer and also leveraging more creative that gets the users attention and were able to bring that down to one and a half percent.

Steve: So on the same order as Facebook Messenger, basically

Arri: yeah. So yeah, depending on how aggressive you are with sales might go up but we like to keep at around one and a half percent or less.

Steve: Can you give me an idea of what a nurture type of text message means exactly or an example?

Arri: Sure. So when it comes to nurturing, so it’s all about the different ways that you can connect with your customer. So I think it’s really different. So how we do it is through you know, this product is made with these different benefits so you can get this results and that’s what we’ve seen work. That’s a formula that we’ve seen work most of the time and we don’t attach like an offer to it and then we also add creative that illustrates the product and also we do like a lot of you know user-generated content. So we’ll get like pictures of other customers using the products and we’ll turn them into like a GIF that we also send. So yeah, I think that’s kind of like our formula right now and it’s not silly like hey go by right now, but here are the different ways that the product can you know help you get the results that you’re looking for and that’s kind of like how we’re doing it.

Steve: Do you have like or are you allowed to reveal your clients just kind of use as an example?

Arri: Sure. Yeah, let me give you an example here. So for example for this brand called for Patriots, so they sell like they’re one of the largest survival food companies in the US and one of the things that we do is kind of show why their customers should be buying products because it keeps them always ready for anything that come in their way and they sell like different products like flashlight and we show them like different ways that they could use the product so different things like that just showcasing the value of the product through short text message bites as well as creative and one of the campaign’s that we recently ran actually built a waitlist through like a giveaway built a list of 4920 to phone numbers, which is really small. We were in the campaign over the span of five days and that generated $89,401.

And we weren’t to focus on you know, like hey, you should go just buy this now. We show them value of the products and with a call to action and then we also leverage a scarcity and that’s how we’re able to get that type of results for this client. So, yeah.

Steve: it sounds like just regular tactics that you would use with an email sequence. Just I guess condensed down to sms.

Arri: Yeah, there’s actually so that’s what I’m saying. Like you can leverage all the pre-purchase or post purchase flow that you have over email right now within the conversational context and do the same over text and it can work with you all.

Steve: interesting. So are there any rules to doing this like, you know Facebook owns their messenger platform. So they impose all these rules. Is SMS essentially like email like in terms of rules wise what you can send and in terms of spam and that sort of thing?

Arri: Are they any rules to email marketing? I’m trying to..

Steve: Hey, there are I mean technically you have to have an unsubscribe Link in there and I guess the ISPs kind of enforce it also like if you get marked as spam too many times your email just never makes into their inbox does SMS have something similar in place?

Arri: Yeah. I think I might have mentioned that in the beginning were telecom companies. If you reply, you know, stop you should get on subscribed in the first message also has to have the word stop. And then also if you get people reporting the messages multiple times, like big amount of people that are replying report and the telecom companies might shut you down. It’s also like best practices to also be in the broadcasting messages always add like reply stuff to unsubscribe that way users know like hey if they want to unsubscribe they can just reply that and this system that you should be smart enough to automatically unsubscribe.

Steve: Right

Arri: so that you don’t have to you’re not texting that same customer by mistake. So I think those are some of the..

Steve: but outside of that there’s no rules really as long as people don’t Mark you as spam your free. There’s no pay to play. It’s not like Facebook. There’s no one like there’s no overall governing body. That’s policing all this stuff. Right?

Arri: Well, there is the so the FCC Federal Communications Commission. So they are the company that so they have the telephone communication Protection act. Which protects what which basically overseas like companies that are all the telecom companies. And also there is the CTIA which is just like they put together put out like best practices for how companies can kind of implement what the TCPA Act talks about and that kind of the TCPA is set to kind of limit all the spam and telemarketers people doing like voicemail stuff. So there the FCC is the governing body that kind of looks over all the messaging stuff when it comes to text messaging.

Steve: I guess what I’m trying to ask is is there a chance that this will eventually become pay to play like if I gather like a hundred thousand subscribers, for example, can someone eventually say hey you’re gonna have to pay to text these people.

Arri: Well, it is paid in play right now like it’s so the cool thing with texts that right now if you want to text, let’s say a thousand people depending one like which platform you’re using. It might cost you, you know, $30 or 60. It really depends because whoever you using to send that text is going to charge you per text that you sent. So that is the cost that you paying to taste text those customers and what I like about it is that you know up front how much is going to cost you to like reach a thousand people over text whereas in messenger, you know, you really don’t know how many people are you going to reach don’t know when they’re going to get that message.

And you don’t even know if they are going to get that message. So I think that’s the difference right now. Where Text, It’s already paid to play, you know, you usually paying, you know, like one cent or more or less depending on the platform to reach each customer.

Steve: I just want to let you know that tickets for the 2020 Seller Summit are on sale over at sellersummit.com. Now what is seller Summit? It is the conference that I hold every year that is specifically targeting e-commerce entrepreneurs selling physical products online and unlike other events that focus on inspirational stories and high-level BS. Mine is a curriculum-based conference where you will leave with practical and actionable strategies specifically for an e-commerce business. And in fact, every speaker I invite is deep in the trenches of their e-commerce business entrepreneurs who are importing large quantities of physical goods and not some high-level guys who are overseeing their companies at 50,000 feet. The other thing I can assure you is that the Seller Summit will be small and intimate every year we cut off ticket sales at just a couple hundred people. So tickets will sell out fast, and in fact, we sell out every single year many months in advance now if you’re an e-commerce entrepreneur making over 250K or 1 million dollars per year, we are also offering an exclusive mastermind experience with other top sellers. Now, the Seller Summit is going to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From May 6 to May 8. And right now, we are almost sold out of Mastermind tickets already and I will be raising the ticket price regularly starting the day after Cyber Monday for more information, go to sellerssummit.com. Once again, that’s SELLERSUMMIT.COM or just Google it. Now back to the show

I guess what I was trying to get, there’s no like one gigantic governing body that sets the prices like like Facebook for example in SMS land, right? Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about like the best tools to manage this for e-commerce. Is there like a tool like klaviyo for SMS where you can do the abandoned cart win back campaigns and all that stuff automatically and keep track of all your sales. So, you know all of what all of your customers have purchased?

Arri: sure. So right now one of our partners I think put together a really great Stand alone SMS platform for or e-commerce Brands. It is called PostScript. And actually if you go to post script that I owe for / Converse smart, you get a thousand three credits and you can send a thousand text messages for free and that’s a great way for you to text this channel to test the channel and see How it would work that’s one I recommend for Shopify brands. And if you’re not shopped on Shopify attentive is also a good option. So for example, if your Magento, big commerce, woo Commerce you can leverage attentive. So those are some of the to that would our e-commerce focused if you want to do all of the pressures, welcome series of bank card set up your pop-ups and all that good stuff.

Steve: because I know Klaviyo just introduced SMS also have you have you used klaviyo at all or tried their new SMS features?

Arri: Yeah, so they are getting into the SMS space and I do get the fact that it will be easier. If you could just like manage your email and your SMS marketing within one channel, but within one platform the problem is that it doesn’t have all the features that I think any an e-commerce marketer could leverage really maximize the channel. So that’s kind of like the problem that I see with it right now because if you look at PostScript, for example, it’s like a whole another klaviyo itself for SMS. whereas right now, you can just, you know within your flow like a text message and the functionality is very limited from to consent or like doing like Integrations also.

Like if you’re to like integrate with like a cart hook or like other checkouts that you might use or any other apps really that you want to integrate to use to leverage text message. Like adjust to know those are some of the limitation and I think when they first launched are going to launch like long codes, which is like a 10-digit phone number. I’m not sure if they have the short codes yet, but there are limitations to using long codes in terms of the durability. That’s another problem that I see

Steve: Can you define. What a long code is versus a short code?

Arri: Yeah a long code is a 10-digit phone number and a short code is a 6-digit.

Steve: Oh, I see. Okay why anyone would ever want to do do like the short codes can be letters to write or no?

Arri: No, it’s just a phone number.

Steve: just phone number, I see. I would imagine you would eventually run out of those right real quick. If it’s just six numbers?

Arri: No, so I mean like the number that you’re text is coming from not like how many numbers you actually get. So the five digit phone number that the customer is going to receive your text from on their cell phone. So if I, as a business if I text you right now you’re going to get that text from a number. So that number could be a five-digit number called a short code or it could be a 10-digit phone number like a regular Us phone number.

Steve: I see so you’re saying a 10-digit may not get delivered?

Arri: So, ten-digit numbers have really bad deliverability because they’re not built for Mass messaging. They’re not built for business and short codes are actually built to be used as a mass messaging phone number. So if you’re sending like to a hundred thousand people, for example, you have a much higher chance of reaching all of them by leveraging a short code as opposed to a long code.

Steve: interesting. So I didn’t realize that certain text message you sent may never make it to the phone. Is that is that what you’re saying?

Arri: Yes, that’s also another thing that you have to worry about when it comes to different platforms because some platforms have really bad deliverability where you might leverage it to text to Customers and platform is not going to report it to you that those customer did not receive the text. But that’s another thing that you have to worry about. They might say that the numbers bounced but really they just have like bad deliverability

Steve: interesting, so are their metrics that tell you whether someone opened and clicked kind of like email also for text?

Arri: so you can’t track open rates on text messaging but you can track click through eight if you’re using like like a or if the platform is providing like a URL tracker and track the click-through rates as well as the conversion rate. So if they click that link and come to your website, you’ll be able to track the conversion rate as well as how much revenue

Steve: so you’re recommending a standalone tool right now to manage all the so this post group Tool. So for abandoned carts, for example, do you have to upload your I guess your product portfolio so they know which product images to show in that sort of thing and these messages?

Arri: so it’s automatically synced Into Shopify. So once you install it all that information, synced a PostScript and also you get a lot of segmentation power, which is another thing like all the products specific segmentation, segmentation based on you know, how many people have interactive or use your text messages before. There’s just like a whole lot that you can do when it comes to segmentation alone. So all that is available when you connect the app to your Shopify store.

Steve: I see, what about the many chat? It’s getting to this point now when as an e-commerce store, I got a log into four things. log into my email log into messenger. If I do SMS message, I got to log into PostScript and then I also got a log into my push notifications thing. How do you manage all this for your clients?

Arri: Sure, I think you know there needs to be a some point platform where you can do all of this things so you don’t have to jump through multiple different platforms. But yeah looking at many chat they are moving towards, you know, being able to you know, do messenger and email and text my only problem with it is that it’s not e-commerce focused, you know, you can’t, you know connect to your Ecommerce store and get all the data and all the segmentation that you’re looking to do as an e-commerce brand and also you can’t track recording unless you using UTM tribe the tracking codes of course, but there needs to be an e-commerce Focus tool that can do all three whether it’s like hey, you know, the customer has opted in I have their information over email and text, you know, maybe I should text them and if they don’t click maybe then I should email them.

So yeah many chat don’t have that right now and also because it doesn’t know what’s going on on your shopify store then I don’t think it’s like, that’s my only issue with it. But I think they are moving in the right direction.

Steve: Okay. Arri, this is really eye opening for someone who’s interested in doing this and has it done yet. To kind of summarize, So on desktop, you’re still going for an email and on mobile you’re going for SMS first and it sounds like that once you have their SMS number on mobile. It is generally very hard to move them and get an email address as well. But you’re saying that Because the conversion rates are so high email is not necessary once you have SMS.

Arri: Yes, and also to correct myself. It looks like klaviyo also launched the pop up and you can also leverage a popup on Klaviyo. But how I kind of look at it is that let’s say you are you know Shopify announce that they’re going to have their own email tool right? And you know, if you’re an e-commerce marketer what they launch is going to be, you know, something simple and not as sophisticated as Klaviyo from Announcement that they, from this announcement, so you always going to go to like Klaviyo because you know, you’re going to get you know, the most advanced tools from like the campaign opt ins, the flows that list segmentation customer profile as well as metrics.

So that’s kind of like the difference that I look at when it comes like, you know, Klaviyo having their own SMS tool and a tool like Postscript where the difference in the campaigns tool, the segmentation the list as well as tracking they just like a whole another level and you just can get more value out of a standalone platform right now, then, you know using something like Klaviyo. Although, Yeah, I’m not opposed to it. But that’s kind of like how I’m looking at the platforms right now. If you know Klaviyo decides to like create something that’s like another PostScript like a whole other platform for text and you know, that might be the right choice for brands.

Steve: Yeah, so just for the listeners if you guys are listening as later on this is the beginning of 2020 and this is just the current environment.

Arri: Yep.

Steve: So Arri, if anyone out there wants your services or wants to find you online, Where can they find you?

Arri: Yeah, you can find me at conversesmart.com And yeah, if you’re interested in working with us, we can. One thing that we do is you know, we just ask you a couple questions about your business and we can kind of estimate how much revenue you can generate with SMS. So we just need a couple of data points from your website visitors, conversion rate, average order value, and we can based on customer data. We can come and calculate that.

Steve: All right, cool. All right. Arri, I really appreciate you coming on. Take care man.

Arri: All right. Thank you.

Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. Now as I mentioned earlier SMS is next on my list mainly because Facebook Messenger is now charging to send broadcast and I want to own my own subscriber list. For more information about this episode go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode293.

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

I Need Your Help

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292: Mari Smith On How To Build Organic Facebook Traffic Today

292: Mari Smith On What Is Working With Facebook Today

Today I have my friend Mari Smith on the show. Mari is often referred to as the Queen of Facebook and is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing.

She’s a Forbes top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and co author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.

She also teaches businesses and brands on how to properly monetize their social media efforts.

In this episode, we’re going to have her teach us how to succeed with Facebook today.

What You’ll Learn

  • How Mari got crowned the Queen of Facebook
  • How did Mari become a Facebook expert
  • Is organic Facebook dead?
  • How to get more engagement on Facebook
  • What are the rules of thumb for high engagement. What’s working on Facebook today?

Other Resources And Books

Sponsors

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.
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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.
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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.Sellers Summit

Transcript

Steve: You’re listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, the place where I bring on successful bootstrapped business owners and delve deeply into the strategies they use to grow their businesses. Now today, I have Mari Smith on the show and Maria is known as the queen of Facebook and today she’s going to teach us how to succeed on the Facebook platform today.

But before I begin I want to give a quick shout-out 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.

I also want to give a quick shout-out 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.

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, I have my friend Mari Smith on the show now. Mari and I initially met at Social Media Marketing world and then just recently we both spoke at the many chat conference in Austin and just got back in touch. Now, Mari is often referred to as the queen of Facebook and she is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing. She is a Forbes top social media power influencer, author of the new relationship marketing and co-author of Facebook marketing: An Hour A Day, that she has also shared the stage with many famous leaders, which have included Richard Branson Tony Robbins, Paula, Abdul and Arianna Huffington.

Basically Mari is the real deal and she teaches businesses and brands on how to properly monetize their social media efforts. And today we are going to have her teach us how to succeed in Facebook land today and with that welcome to show Mari. How you doing today?

Mari: Wonderful. Thank you for having me Stephen looking forward to this.

Steve: So I’ve always been curious about this. How did you get named the queen of Facebook? Like was there a ceremony you have to belong to a certain bloodline to qualify?

Mari: Haaa, Just consistency and persistent and it just after a while really that is all I focused on in 2007. I just fell in love with the platform became an evangelist kind of like within a few weeks. Everybody I knew I’m like, are you on Facebook? Let’s get on Facebook. And that’s all I’ve done for, you know 13 years and I’ve always loved the acronym Focus follow one course until successful and so I just over a short period of time and people just started calling me that and had that title for all this times.

Steve: You know, what’s funny is I met you before but I don’t I didn’t realize like how tall and Majestic you are in person. And so you actually do look like a queen if anyone sees you in person, you just need a tiara or a crown I think

Mari: Exactly that’s funny. I appreciate you saying that.

Steve: So 2007. Wow. So how did you get into Facebook marketing? I imagine you were a user at first. How did you become an expert?

Mari: Okay, so it’s really interesting because throughout my entire career I have had these two parallel paths. Two parallel loves if you will where I absolutely love technology and the internet and then I also love people and relationships and behavioral analysis. What makes them tick and so in the early 2000s, I was creating information products. I was doing email marketing and I was I was specializing in both email and internet marketing, but then I also had this certified relationship coach. I was working with couples and singles and coaching them on the relationships. And then I remember a mentor of mine. I’m not kidding 2007. She said, Mari, you know, you got this divided path thing going on you gotta pick, you know, which area of your relation, You’re a relationship person yet internet marketing person.

I’m like, I love them both. It is like that’s when Facebook like just kind of fell in my lap. I had a friend of mine invited me to be on this beta test team you had an app that you could like take taken teach classes and I’m like, I’m not kidding. I was like a bit of a hold out because I’m like, what do I need an online social network thing? I’m a natural networker. I’ve got big Network here in San Diego, so But I’m like, okay if I’m going to test this app, I probably better have an account and pull up facebook.com and like, oh my God it was like a defining moment Goosebumps heard the angels singing, you know, like oh, oh, oh my gosh.

This is this is going to be this is my future. I just loved it everything about it. So it’s like yeah, it’s just one of those meant to be things in and I remember people say to me within about maybe six months or so, they’d be like, oh my God Mari social media is like made for you. It’s a blend of your two loves people in the internet. I’m like, I know

Steve: you know, actually you joined like during the golden years of Facebook and what I wanted to ask you about today was, you know, Facebook reaches kind of been on the decline for the past several years and I was hoping you could kind of comment on whether like organic Facebook is dead. Like I’m a brand new business. Is it still like a good strategy to to focus a lot on that platform?

Mari: So it’s really interesting because when Facebook went public in 2012 they’re actually there’s a mash-up graph Out There Our Friend Jay Beard created it and you can see that the decline the line on the graph going down is is that the organic reach and it’s commensurate with the same line going up with the stock price. So, you know there was definitely some genius, Evil Genius whatever you want to call it with their you know plans that Facebook the way that they rolled this out because that’s our number one way to make money is ads always has been and So yeah, I sometimes I’ll speak to audiences and say, you know, sorry to say but organic reach is so 2012 or 2013.

However interestingly enough. I just did a recently did a video for our friends at social media examiner is on there funnily enough. It’s on their YouTube channel. They’re really building out their YouTube, but I’m talking I give out all these great tips on how to increase your organic reach. And even though on average is literally like between one and six percent right between one and six out of every hundred people have liked your page. It’s really frustrating especially like you say to new business owners, but using technologies that I teach I can increase that up to about 65 percent organic reach.

Steve: That’s ridiculous. Okay.

Mari: Is it?

Steve: You’re going to tell us, right?

Mari: Yes. I am. I anything, I’m an open book whatever you want to know.

Steve: Actually the interview is over. Sorry everyone where Mari’s going to tell me privately. Sorry go on. I didn’t mean to interrupt.

Mari: No, you’re good. You’re good. But here’s the cool thing is that number one is that live Facebook live especially video if we just say video is a category so doing way more video than you do link post. And of course where marketers were business owners, we want to drive people to our offers or web pages or landing pages or opt ins whenever. But links, link post get the lowest reach in the lowest engagement. Instead, You should be posting maybe about 70% video content 20% photos and images and only about 10% link post. But the Nifty thing with all this is you can still put links in into your video post into your image post and actually Gathering an audience through video views is one of the most affordable least expensive ways to do it.

As you get people to get that view account, which is only three seconds and if you can get up to 10 or 15 or 30 seconds, the longer people watch your video the more of a captive audience they are and you could segment it out break it down and go into ad manager and do some retargeting which is really really great.

Steve: Let me ask you how do you embed a link? Into your video that’s clickable. Are you saying just post a video and then within the description post the link?

Mari: correct. So in the caption you include the link there ideally above the fold right because of the little more button but the cool thing is that you can add a clickable link. It’s not an embedded inside of the actual video but it is like a component of the it’s like a whole the whole bottom line where the description and the title and then there’s a call to action button that that is all clickable or tappable and mobile and even if you literally put $1 on boosting the post then you’re going to be able to add that button. They used to have it for free, you know Facebook gives with one hand takes away with the other.

But we used to have that CTA button organically, but now like, you know, any amount of budget will enable you to add your call to action button to a video

Steve: but that button only last for the duration of the Boost right?

Mari: No. No.

Steve: Oh, it stays. So you just

Mari: Once it’s added. Yeah.

Steve: Oh Okay. I did not actually know that.

Mari: Yeah.

Steve: Can you comment on boosting versus just going through and producing an ad through ads manager?

Mari: I can. Absolutely, So as there is a like a news feed algorithm as you just actually believe it or not as like a hundred thousand points or weights or signals that govern what goes into everybody’s individual Newsfeed organically, but equally on the ad side, there’s algorithms that pick up everything from you know, the obviously the pixels the URL and all the components of the ad and Facebook knows if you’re using the Boost button you are a novice Advertiser and I’m not saying don’t ever use it, but an actual fact this is directly from Facebook. Though they won’t necessarily say it publicly. But you really want to allocate only about 10% of your ad budget using the Boost button and it’s just for something like on the fly or maybe you’re on your mobile device and you just, you know want to get get a little boost of posted starting to do really well.

Give it give it some extra legs, otherwise 90% of your ad budget you’re going to allocate an ads manager and ideally you’re going to have the pixel installed throughout your website. You’re going to be using events even And so like add to cart and check-out and all that good stuff that can really track the individual actions people take custom audiences, look-alike audiences. And also you’re using business manager to manage your page. all of those signal to Facebook that you are a more sophisticated Advertiser and you will literally get a better ROI.

Steve: Okay. So basically if you can help it don’t even use the Boost button, right?

Mari: Yeah. Yeah.

Steve: Unless, you’re in a pickle and you’re just in a hurry and you want to do something on your phone, okay.

Mari: It’s Gotten better over the years that you can go in there and access your saved audiences and your custom audiences. And so it’s gotten a lot better. You can’t tweak the placement and you know, there’s a lot of things you can’t do so

Steve: since you mentioned social media examiner, so Stelzner a while back said that Facebook video like he completely I think dropped his Facebook video strategy saying that people are browsing on Facebook. It’s like looking at Billboards as opposed to someone on YouTube who is watching the video in its entirety and becomes a fan or subscriber. can you comment on that?

Mari: Yeah. Yeah. I love Mike I go back like 12 years long time friend and so it we often agree to disagree. He loves to be controversial.

Steve: Yes. He does. Yes.

Mari: He’s kind of bugged me. It was like Oh my God. Facebook video is dead. Everybody’s like migrating to YouTube. I’m like, no wait, not so fast people. And but so Mike’s concept is like yeah, he’s there’s absolute truth in any what you see here is the bottom line was with all of this is, that you’ve got to experiment with your own page. Because at the time I know social media examiner crew were producing a show called The Journey and and really wanting to get people to consume retain like the full 6 or 10 or 12 minute episode. And that’s tricky that is a little bit I can be it can be a little bit tricky on Facebook, but they’re definitely shows are doing that. I mean The Runaway success on Facebook with a show is red table talk with Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother and her daughter you have 3 generations they take on really challenging topics and obviously there are celebrities.

Certainly helps, but there’s a lot of people that are emulating this. I mean I literally have in my community because I teach a lot of how did how to set up your whole in home video studio and to create a show and whole, you know, developing a business around that and so I have like one of my students is a animal behaviorist and she every every week she has a show called coffee with the critters and she’s all these animals and she said, Just talking to people about animal behavior. And so, the thing is..

Steve: live or is that a show?

Mari: Live.

Steve: That was I was live, she does it live. Yep. Yep. And that’s the thing too also for your listeners here Steve, but it doesn’t have to be live because live can be really scary for a lot of people but you can do a beautifully produced. It doesn’t have to be super high end fancy expensive. But you know, well produce good audio good video good lighting and some editing, light editing and then you can air that quote unquote. Publish it. That’s what red table talk does this never live. It’s like, you know very well produced. And so back to Mike’s Point is like if yeah, it’s kind of drive by as people just thumbing through the newsfeed. But but there’s this term called thumb stopping if you produce thumb stopping content because it’s like 90% of people access Facebook on mobile predominantly.

So and then you’re doing some repurposing. So you’ve also go to an IG TV and on Instagram and in your stories and sure you can have a version on YouTube or maybe a longer version but the beautiful thing with all of that is on Facebook any of the Facebook family of apps including Instagram, course is that now you can do some retargeting you can you do a watch party. A watch party is a very underutilized tool for marketers in its it’s extraordinary it actually..

Steve: Can you walk us through how that works. So you specify they’re going to launch a watch party. How do you get do people just naturally find it or do you have to advertise the watch party?

Mari: You can’t advertise it yet, but they are adding more features where you can actually schedule it and in essence what it is is kind of Hosting movie night, right and get your popcorn out and you’re like, hey guys, come on over at my house tonight. We’re going to watch this this movie or you have a playlist and you’re going to binge watch, you know, whatever your show is. so you can host a watch party on your business page your personal profile and a group adding any kind of group and you can host any public videos. It could be anybody’s video plus your own your own videos and it’s a great way to get more mileage. So let’s say you do have a weekly show and it’s not live. It’s produced and you put it out there Facebook gives you two options to air it on your page like as if it were live. It’s called Premier, Premier, you can schedule and gathers an audience and it notifies people and it’s airs like quote unquote live.

And there’s another one called new release which goes right away. You don’t schedule it. So let’s say you’ve done that. You’ve got some traction some mileage. I usually the lower limit 24 hours. Let it kind of get out there then what you could do is go in your group. You’ve got a group where Going deeper with your audience your super fans as Pat Flynn calls them and now you’re going to say okay guys. We’re going to go deeper on this topic. I’ve got this watch party coming up Tuesday at two o’clock. And so they know it. Maybe it’s a weekly occurrence there and you’re going to eat more mileage. And now you say okay, you can be in the comment and answering questions and then use the watch party host.

You can control fast forward rewind pause, whatever. You’ve got all the questions, but what’s also pretty dang Nifty now is if you initiate that watch party on the mobile, you can hop on live and so you could like kind of talk over something or pause and just pop in for a little live commentary. There’s some really creative things that you can do with the launch party its literally only kind of the beginning has been out for a little while, but I think that there’s marketers out there that are going to really caught on to this and go. Whoa. Okay, there’s some creative ways. I can repurpose content reach a wider and wider audience and yeah. Gets get more mileage out of what you’re already producing.

Steve: so you mentioned so we were just talking about Mike and his Facebook video strategy. Can you kind of provide some guidelines on like the perhaps he was going about it a little bit wrong or something that was challenging. What are some of the guidelines that you have for Facebook video in particular?

Mari: Well, it’s funny because like you I’m sure when you start talking to people about a specific component of business building or marketing you realize you really have to take a holistic approach and So it was me and I teach Facebook marketing, but you know, I’ve been in the world of online business for like 21 years and so it’s like okay if I look at your content or your messaging or your branding or your website go to your website. I’ve really no idea what you offer. All right, or I go to your landing page and it’s too confusing you get too many options. One common thing is this people don’t don’t collect email addresses. I’m one person in my community right now. She has a page of a couple hundred thousand and something happened. I think she got hacked and her page got And she’s just devastated her home world is like ended and I’m like you do have an email list.

She’s like no, I don’t I was like, oh gosh, you know, yeah. So yeah. Absolutely. It’s vital that we also have an aspect of you know, I would say Facebook’s rented land all these social platforms are rent land. So yeah as a strategy you want to be having this real strong Clarity that your message is clear who you’re speaking to your avatars as they call multiple avatars. And you have clear offers and it especially now, I I teach a lot of women my about 80% of my audience is women, my students, my clients. And I typically find they have great deal of difficulty asking for the sale, you know, putting that call to action button over there asking those. Oh no I need to do I read somewhere that you need to do know 8 meme posts and two marketing host.

Don’t do that. It’s okay to ask for the sale but then when it comes to video content, it’s like having that balance of adding enough value. Giving away, don’t be afraid really if you’re in the information marketing business to to give away all your best stuff because you’ll always come up with more and you can always go deeper with people.

Steve: Let me tell you where I was going with that.

Mari: Yeah. Yeah, please.

Steve: Length of the video and your recommendations because I’ve seen a lot of one minute videos. I seen longer videos, but nothing longer than I would say five minutes. Is that okay usually the right length?

Mari: Okay, so I actually have different categories that I recommend. So for example start with the shortest. For ads if you want to have an ad break that means it shows up with the beginning or in the middle of a Facebook video, 15 seconds is your max. So 15 second ad break that’s going to be either square or four by five vertical or landscape. Then you’ve also got stories ads now, even though stories can only be 15 seconds. You can have up to two minutes a hundred and twenty seconds for a stories ad and and both Facebook and Instagram and and I would recommend ideally produce in that native. So you’re going to the full 9 by 16 vertical format and it Looks more natural. If you don’t do that fine. Facebook has automatic placements and you’ll just have your landscape video fit into a story format.

Then you’ve got what Facebook calls long form, long form video is anything three minutes or more and they’re actually right now craving really wanting creators to make more three minute or longer videos because they need us to produce that long form content in order to insert those ad breaks into them and actually just like YouTube, you know you Have to meet certain criteria in order to do your ad breaks like to have a drinks in your own videos and monetize them. But so then that’s the three minutes and then with your live. I usually like to recommend just like red table tag you go for like that television episode length, which is somewhere between 18 and 25 minutes. An hour or so a lot of people doing an hour and that’s great. If you’ve got an Engaged audience and you have good retention like I do.

Like I could do a live for 10 minutes or two hours and people would be and I just I have a very engaged audience in a as long as I’m getting given them Great Value, but if you find, you know, you’re going for an hour and people are just drop it off after 10 minutes. Then I would shorten it up. But yes.

Steve: I guess, arw people going back to what Mike said, you know, even for the long form video are people actually willing to spend, you know, three to five minutes watching a video and their feed?

Mari: Okay. So yeah, and I know he calls it like YouTube is more of a lean back experience and he’s right. as far as like people go to YouTube always as a search engine, right? It’s the number two search engine behind Google. Of course Google owns YouTube. And nobody, nobody goes to Facebook and start searching, you know how to learn to play classical guitar, how to bake a perfect chocolate cake. I mean, you just don’t do that. So it’s more about just not really Discovery. It’s almost just like happenstance or ad or you also have your favorite channels or pages that you follow and I know a lot of like my community have my page notifications enabled so when I go live it will show up and I know instant audience comes along and that but You have to cultivate that.

But people are asking you they willing to spend three to five minutes watching video. They are, when it’s done in a community fashion. And this is where I think marketers and the media the world over are missing the point in the differentiation that Mark Zuckerberg and team are attempting to do and that is the reason doesn’t sentiment analysis around this tons and tons of sentiment analysis if people watch a video solo by themselves scroll through the feed they spend three seconds or three to five minutes as you say their sense of well-being goes down. They feel not as good about themselves or about Facebook.

If they watch that same video with other people whether it’s a live a premier and you release a watch party. It’s in a group then their sentiment goes up. They feel better about themselves and about Facebook and about the video and everything and they’re more likely to consume more. So video, Yeah Facebook actually has a mission statement. Specifically, around video that is to create a sense of belonging and they don’t want people to sit back by themselves. they want people to lean in and watch with other people which is the whole purpose of the watch party.

Steve: So earlier you mentioned that you’ve had posts have 65% engagement where those videos where there’s part of watch parties or how did you achieve that number?

Mari: No organic reach it so tips. I’ll do like a there’s like a PSA, Public Service Announcement, and it’s like some me more some rumor and I Like to get in there and dispel the myth or the rumor and sometimes, something like that will pick up go viral or just a new piece of content or I’m just helping people understand and this is you know, this is in my field of expertise, of course translate that to other niches or verticals and it’s like where can you be the go-to person for fill in the blank whatever that is people come to you because as it is you’re a trusted voice your thought leader you you know, your audience knows that you’ve done your homework. And you’re what you’re sharing is fact, so that’s one area is that you’ve built that up over time.

And then if you know, it sounds counterintuitive, but earlier we’re talking about ads manager and you know promoting posts if you spend even a nominal amount could be like a hundred bucks a week or a hundred bucks a month anything. That tends to feed the algorithms to know that you’ll get more organic reach you get a little more organic reach than if you don’t spend a dime on ads and then there’s other Aspects is just like timing, you know to know like when your fans are most online or people that follow you or most online. You’ve got all that information in your insights. You can check that the 65 percent organic reach that particular post was an image post some of my videos if it’s a tutorial like for instance.

There’s a thing right now the schedule Facebook’s moved to schedule the ability to schedule into Creator studio and people are freaking out going oh my God. I can’t find it. So I did do a little video tutorial and show Here’s what you do.

Steve: All right. So we’ve talked about a number of different things. There’s one question. I do want to ask you, you can have a page and you can have a group. Is it even worth building up a page or should you just go and start a group right away and start getting people to join that?

Mari: Okay, so you absolutely need to have a page as well because the only way you can advertise is if you have a page you can even advertise on Instagram without having an Instagram account. If you have a Facebook page. Now, it’s not necessarily always about, you know, building a massive audience. It’s about Having that budget, so I want to give a quick example here. And this is a colleague of mine who’s worked with my partner and his name’s Dr. Pete and he was brand new to Facebook its long-established. He’s like in his 60s and he’s an expert on opioid addiction has this patented technology. So the Facebook page this Dr. Pete what he did bran brand new to Facebook, but he wanted to get the word out more about his patented opioid addiction Technologies.

Pain-free, withdrawal free, It’s only three days amazing. So what we did is create a Facebook page and an event and he hosted an event at UC Irvine and invited licensed psychologists and therapists that were targeted laser targeted right down to zip code in Orange County area and they had a bunch of $350. Oh and is Page Six fans only six fans on the page. And a budget of $350 and what that was used for was to promote the event which was a talk and in person talk and with these licensed psychologists there and therapist, and they had a room that would hold about 25 people and I’m not kidding.

They got a hundred and twenty registrations and they had to get bigger room and that yielded ended up yielding a $15,000 referral patient. So I tell that story because it’s not about a gathering lots and lots of fans. I’ve seen many many advertisers with a have just a small number of fans, but the whole goal here is that there actually is reaching their exact target audience.

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.

Right through engagement, right? Yeah. I mean that’s what I found over the years like my page, even though it has a lot of fans like think, I hadn’t done a good job of Engagement. I was sending out a lot of Link posts. And so that engagement drops but on my group is still okay. And so what I was getting at with that question was, is it worth trying to build a ton of likes on a page or should I just be staring everyone over to a group where it seems to be the reaches higher on a group?

Mari: Facebook just like giving video more reach in the news feed including live and watch parties as we talked about Facebook is also giving much more emphasis priority to group. So you’re absolutely right on that part, but I would caution against kind of like going all in on a group and not so much on a page because either way each takes resources, time, you know effort to and also you want to be really clear what’s the purpose of the group. sometimes groups have a Limited shelf life and which is not about a use of it to do like a pop up group in for a challenge and it’s over a short period of time and then you just archive it maybe start a new group. Or you have a support group or something our user group or for customer service.

It just depends and thinking about what is the purpose of the group and but utilizing still using the page to reach a broader audience, gather your audience, you know that gather your like your custom audiences do it’s where you do your look-alikes and your ads.

Steve: so let me ask you this then. So I mean it’s clear that you have to have a page. But how do you actually get more engagement on your page? So if you have some guidelines to share that be great like how often you should post what are some good rules of thumb for what types of content work? What should you avoid?

Mari: Brilliant. Yeah, so the interesting thing is as we talked about at the beginning of the interview where you know organic reaches is really gone down over the years. What I’ve seen is that many marketers actually think that the solution is to post more content and they may be previously posting, you know, three times a day now, they’re posting six times a day and actually that’s worse. It’s counterintuitive. Facebook doesn’t want you to post more they want you to go deeper on individual posts. HubSpot For example, they kind of pulled back a bit and though they go like much more video content spaced out more well-thought-out and so it’s better to put more emphasis on deeper post.

You’ll see that in my own page like sometimes I only post like three times, four or five times a week. So it’s okay to even miss a full day doesn’t have to be like every day. But the point is that when you’re really adding value you’re educating or you’re giving good information that helps people in the litmus test is, you know, what kind of traction are you getting at is It getting some good organic reach then you’ll know. Okay, I’ll do more of that type of post. So there’s no hard and fast rule for every page but I would say experiment it if you’re getting really low reach and you’re posting, you know, every day just try miss a day miss a day or two. Definitely post more video as I mentioned about 70% video, Try integrating some live in there. Also another one. That’s a good one is just a simple question, maybe like one sentence like one question no image. No graphic. No, nothing. Just a question.

And that does really well. Sometimes I’ll say you know in my industry about legal. Okay, what is what is if you could change one thing about Facebook, What would it be? people kept me this letter and that was that’s like that’s some, no UGC is a crowdsourced user-generated Content that I can use a lot of that for blog posts in order to create a video on

Steve: looks like I’ve found that creating long-form Facebook post almost like a little mini blog post has been working well, I guess it just comes down to what people want to read ultimately.

Mari: you are right and there’s that whole style of writing. I forget what they call it, but it says likes where you literally put like a line break after almost every sentence and it just makes it really easy as opposed to big long paragraphs, but you’re right. I do a very similar one. I’ve always been kind of more verbose with my posts and people just get used to that. They are like many blog posts. My brain just seems to work well and I’ve got something to say instead of writing on my blog. I’ll write it first on the on Facebook post.

Steve: Oh, yeah, that’s actually a good idea and then based on the engagement you can decide whether you actually want to follow through on that post on your blog that how you do it?

Mari: Yeah. Yeah or will embed the whole post or yeah, or make a video about it.

Steve: What about Facebook Stories? How does that come into play?

Mari: Oh my gosh, so I posted not long back on my page. It was a study that HubSpot had done on where people are more likely to see stories whether it’s Instagram or Facebook and they find it with Facebook. There’s a very small number of people. I forgot the name. Is only like I don’t know a couple hundred people and and I got a lot of people push back including Mike, he said Mari that stat’s not even legit and I’m like it totally is. it totally is it’s like to be legit. It’s like I forget what the stats are out there that people can Google it but there’s definitely was a legit stat. Now, the thing is that because Facebook has just really empathized, you know stories. They got bigger and bigger and then they know that take up a whole big chunk of space on your mobile phone for sure.

And then also you can cross pose. You can link your Instagram to your either your profile or your page depending on if you have an Instagram business account, and so it just depends on like your follower. So I know for me I can pose a contact I can post something on Instagram. I have over 30,000 followers over there and you get you know, reasonable number of views into the several hundreds and sometimes it pops way up and you know thousand or something and then it gets a some views on my Facebook page, but Then on my profile where I have, you know, almost 5,000 friends and three over 300,000 followers and just depends on what I post. I find definitely something a little bit more personal so, you know picture of me or something. A selfie would ever do something fun.

Then I can get like 8,000 views. So I want another week they’re on my profile. So I just like to mix it up and no matter what no matter where you do your stories. Just keep in mind that what you’re In is creating top of Mind awareness top. I like to call it top of mind and top of feed. So and every time you post a new story, it bumps you back along to the kind of the beginning of the row for your followers. And so yeah, so just you know, it best you can have a definitely have a story strategy.

Steve: I recently just started putting out regular Instagram stories and Facebook stores that kind of post the same to both platforms and I was told that just for building super fans for just creating awareness of yourself. Unfortunately it’s not really measurable in the dollar sense like an ad would be but in the long run it will put you it will gain you more mind share with your potential customers

Mari: Mind Share. You’re absolutely right. And then what I like to do is I like to build up good will , right? I really spend time. You might have like you’ve got different periods of time throughout the year where you’re doing a marketing campaign and during those periods where you’re not doing a marketing campaign. I mean you should I be little always be marketing. But but you just have to value letting people really see behind the scenes, living vicariously through you pictures of family or travels or whatever, pets. You know, we’re always good are just like thought-provoking things.

And then also with stories by the way, keep in mind that people love to touch their phones. There’s been studies done where average person touches their phone 2,600 times a day and the power users like us folks the top 10% It’s over 5,000 times a day. And so..

Steve: That’s crazy.

Mari: It’s crazy, It’s ridiculous. We’re addicted. And and so if you can get people in your story, especially Instagram, you give them a reason to touch their phone. So the slider pole or the yes, no pole or a quiz or questions or any of the stickers like the, you know people to follow recommending people to follow that kind of thing then people just love that so fun and interactive and engaging content and then you intersperse your marketing content. And if you don’t have those the swipe up you need 10,000 followers still don’t have the swipe up, but you could anybody can swipe Up to an IGT video and you can put links clickable links and IG TV video.

Steve: you know, Mari I like the way you do it because it’s good to see like how the queen lives everyday life and it kind of humanizes you a little bit also.

Mari: thank you.

Steve: So I did want to kind of end this interview. I just kind of talking about e-commerce and that’s kind of the focus of the podcast. Are people selling physical products on Facebook right now. And what do they have in the future and if you were too kind of formulate some sort of e-commerce strategy and Facebook. How would you do it?

Mari: Oh gosh. Yeah. It’s pretty exciting. Some of the things are coming down the line because a while ago, they tested this but now it’s more than likely becoming which is it was live Facebook being able to do Facebook live in having people just tap the screen in order right there all the while they’re still watching live. So it’s kind of like QVC or NHS, you know, Home Shopping Network meets Facebook live. Then what just came out this year is, you know, they’ve got their portal which is In home video chat devices like, you know, Google has one Amazon has one and I know that trust is definitely a all-time low trust is definitely pretty precarious with Facebook, but you’ve got your Die Hard fans, will have a portal.

And what they brought out is the this the television set top device that has the camera on it. So now what’s happening down not that too distant future is people be able to watch a full screen, 4K streaming videos. And with picture-in-picture having friends and family or possibly clients. I’m seeing that markers would probably be able to use this where you’ve got almost like a new way of doing a webinar. And so you’ve got the big screen you could picture in picture and then with the touch screen to be able to on your mobile device, anyway, be able to make it in place orders. I think that’s going to be an absolute Game Changer.

They tested about two years ago the ability and that just like that particular project cutting the team got deployed somewhere else. But it’s an area where I would keep a close eye if you’re a retailer. If you could if you have products that could be sold on likes of a QVC or NHS and then Facebook live with that instant shopping is not that far away now and I think it’s going to be epic.

Steve: I just want to let you know that tickets for the 2020 Seller Summit are on sale over at sellersummit.com. Now what is seller Summit? It is the conference that I hold every year that is specifically targeting e-commerce entrepreneurs selling physical products online and unlike other events that focus on inspirational stories and high-level BS. Mine is a curriculum-based conference where you will leave with practical and actionable strategies specifically for an e-commerce business. And in fact, every speaker I invite is deep in the trenches of their e-commerce business entrepreneurs who are importing large quantities of physical goods and not some high-level guys who are overseeing their companies at 50,000 feet. The other thing I can assure you is that the Seller Summit will be small and intimate every year we cut off ticket sales at just a couple hundred people. So tickets will sell out fast, and in fact, we sell out every single year many months in advance now if you’re an e-commerce entrepreneur making over 250K or 1 million dollars per year, we are also offering an exclusive mastermind experience with other top sellers. Now, the Seller Summit is going to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From May 6 to May 8. And right now, we are almost sold out of Mastermind tickets already and I will be raising the ticket price regularly starting the day after Cyber Monday for more information, go to sellerssummit.com. Once again, that’s SELLERSUMMIT.COM or just Google it. Now back to the show.

I know right now like you can have products on your page. But when you click on it actually takes them off site to your actual site. Do you know of anyone who’s actually taking transactions on Facebook directly?

Mari: Oh, yeah, absolutely. You can do that. You just do through Stripe. Yeah. I’ve sold my books on out. When they first brought it out. I should put one of my books on there and and that was yeah you just processes there, but you’re right. I think most people because if they already have an existing store, then they just drive people over to shopify or whatever they might have. Interestingly enough, I have Pinterest reach out to me. I’m going to be doing some stuff with Pinterest had no we’re talking all about Facebook and I’ll always be on Facebook and Instagram, you know Die Hard first and foremost but for your listeners, if there, Predominately more on the retail side than absolutely, Pinterest.

There really going all in with their ads and the research I was doing some doing some work with them. I just hired somebody to help me with my Pinterest because it’s been kind of neglected but Pinterest is actually the only social network where people actually look for the ads like they’ll punch in a search and it will pop up and they don’t even sometimes they can’t even discern whether the looking at somebody else’s pin or they’re looking at an ad. Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve had any Pinterest experts on your, on your show

Steve: We have yeah, Pinterest is actually a big try Versailles, especially since it’s like a search engine. the thing with Pinterest though is that people like to just create Boards of things. They might not be immediately in the market for something, like they might be to redesign their kitchen. They’re putting together different components that they want to buy. So the the sales cycle is a little bit more delay than it is on Google.

Mari: interesting, interesting. You know, what you just reminded me as a new placement on Facebook as they’re bringing out search as a placement. So but again back to what we’re seeing about videos. Like it’s not native for people to punch in and search for something but you’ve also got Marketplace. In Marketplace has eight hundred thousand users is an integral part of Facebook is not a separate app. So if somebody was searching for something and then you had your ad there and therefore your product on with the search placement and that certainly could be effective.

Steve: I haven’t actually I’ve run ads to that placement before but the volume is just really low.

Mari: I would imagine I think in the funnily enough to have four years, you know, y’all saying, Mike, that Facebook search is so broken if you’re looking for anything on Facebook just Google it

Steve: Yeah, does your Instagram strategy differ at all from the way you deal with Facebook. It seems like two are somewhat similar.

Mari: I mean does someone and I’m also just working with a new team member to really dive deeper into my Instagram because I just haven’t done a lot more on the personal side which seems to people really like that a long caption and it’s really kind of a little more in depth. I don’t do as much to my feed is I really need to also just need to kind of like do the whole grid thing and make it look real compelling and pretty and on brand. and so yeah, I’ve got the whole strategy coming on the old, just really pick up speed in the early 2020 where, just focusing on more like the tips based posts and driving people to offers and free downloads. My good friend Chalene Johnson does a great job of that and there’s certain accounts. I just love to follow. they do a great job with that

Steve: What are some absolute, no nos that you shouldn’t be doing in Facebook. I know I know posting YouTube videos is probably a no no.

Mari: you’re right. And it’s so funny because I was like, Mike stelzner is video there the YouTube video about Facebook organic reach and then I, you know, they posted the YouTube video on Facebook and that was actually one of my no nos. But there’s always a caveat is always a caveat because I even said right there in that tip. I’m like, you know, Facebook has these algorithms if you post about any other competitors YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, and it’s just going to get way less reach in the newsfeed. However, I actually had one of my community members had messaged me not long back and he has a page about 25,000 fans and he posted a YouTube video and it got half a million reach.

Steve: What. Okay

Mari: So you just saw there’s always going to be an outlier and anomaly and you’ve got to be able to test on your own and don’t just take a hard and fast rule go. Okay. I’m never posting YouTube video because it really just does depend and so one of the signals of the news feed algorithm is speed and so if Somebody, you have a raving fan, fan base and they start to pick up my oh my gosh, that’s a great video and if it goes get engagement quickly from the time you posted it that’s helps it literally feeds, you know

Steve: you know what the window is? for that quickly

Mari: really like minutes

Steve: Minute. Oh my goodness. Okay.

Mari: Yeah

Steve: Are there any special words that you shouldn’t be using in your posts?

Mari: Yeah. So this is a good question because it was, they call it engagement bait and Facebook’s got more and more strict about what they call Engagement Bait including what you say in your videos, even your lives they listen and they got these algorithms are really AI, excuse me, that will pick up what you’re saying and so engagement bait. So if you’re actually saying, you know comment below or please share that that’s one of those like, please share this or please like they don’t like you asking for likes or shares or comments so you can say you can just easily just say naturally like what do you guys think?

You know, or let me know your thoughts or you know, if you get value from this let your let your tribe know as others ways that you can just do it very naturally but not say those trigger keywords.

Steve: Okay, what about terms like free or buy do they care about those?

Mari: All those are fine.

Steve: Those are fine.

Mari: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah what they’re mostly looking for because I know like the whole chat bot. I like to integrate a chatbot strategy in there too. And so if possible, I don’t know you and I were just at the conversations conference. But so some people have like the keyword trigger. Let’s say you’re doing a live and you’ll say no comment below with the word, you know coupon and I’ll messages coupon and it just depends on again so many different factors of the page how regularly they go live how engaged the audiences but ideally the algorithms are looking for what Zak calls meaningful social interaction and that’s usually about five words or more.

So if you can get your audience to comment with more like full sentences than just a one trigger keyword, then that’s a good thing.

Steve: I know in this one as that’s doing really well for me. We sell handkerchiefs which is here’s a common thing. So we said hey, let me know if you’re a handkerchief lover and what you use them for.

Mari: Oh nice. That’s a great question. Yeah, because that you’re not going to just say one word answer to that. Yeah, that’s a good one.

Steve: And then it says they commented leads to a message and messenger where they can get a coupon. That’s kind of how I run it

Mari: brilliant, genius. Hmm. Love it.

Steve: So, Mari. I know you’re on a tight schedule here, and I did want to give you an opportunity to talk about where people can find you and I know you’re working on some courses. You mentioned earlier before the podcast started working people find you?

Mari: You betcha. So Marismith.com and I’m pretty much Mari Smith across all social channels and @Maria_Smith on Instagram. And indeed, I’ve got some new courses coming on probably my page and my Facebook page @MariSmith, the one with the blue check is the best place to find out anything new that I got going on and join some of my groups and stay connected and get all the latest and greatest of what’s happening in the Facebook family of apps.

Steve: and if you go to any social media conference, anywhere in the world chances are she is speaking at it. Haha

Mari: Haha Yeah. Thank you Steve. Yep. That’s true.

Steve: I really appreciate your time. Thanks a lot for coming on the show.

Mari: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. Now, Mari is my go-to woman when it comes to Facebook, but one thing that I’ve learned over the years is to never put all of your eggs and Facebook’s basket because it changes so often. For more information about this episode go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode292.

And once again I 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.

I also 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.

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

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Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?


If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it's absolutely free!

291: Subtle Conversion Killers You Aren’t Accounting For With Luke Carthy

291: Subtle Conversion Killers You Aren't Accounting For With Luke Carthy


Today I’m happy to have Luke Carthy on the show. Luke is an ecommerce growth consultant specializing in strategy, search & conversion.

He’s been helping ecommerce brands grow for over 12+ years and he’s spoken at a variety of events including the last Mozcon in 2019.

Today, we’re going to discuss his strategies for growing an ecommerce brand.

What You’ll Learn

  • Luke’s background and how he got into ecommerce
  • What are some typical mistakes shop owners make?
  • What’s the first thing entrepreneurs neglect with their stores
  • Best practices for conversion
  • How to improve sales for your business

Other Resources And Books

Sponsors

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.
Klaviyo

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.
Privy

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.
Emerge Counsel

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.Sellers Summit

Transcript

Steve: You’re listening to the my wife quit her job podcast. The place where I bring on successful bootstrap business owners and delve deeply into the strategies. They use to grow their businesses today. I’m with my friend Luke Carthy on the show. And in this episode, we’re going to talk about the more obscure ways to improve your Ecommerce store sales that many shop owners are not doing for both an SEO and a usability perspective.

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 give a shout out to 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, I’m happy to have Luke Carthy on the show. Now, Luke was introduced to me by Dan Shure who was a previous guest on the podcast and he came highly recommended. Anyway, Luke is an e-commerce growth consultant specializing in strategy, search and conversion and he’s been helping e-commerce Brands grow for over 12 plus years now and he’s spoken at a variety of events including the last Mos Con in 2019. Now today we’re going to discuss his strategies for growing an e-commerce brand. And with that, Welcome to show Luke. How you doing today? Man?

Luke: I’m really good. I’m really good sleep. Thank you so much for having a nice intro song. Appreciate it.

Steve: So Luke for everyone who doesn’t know who you are. What is your background? And how did you get into e commerce?

Luke: Sure, so my background is absolutely digital. It kind of all started back in my first sales job. So there’s a retailer here called Curry’s which for you guys over in the US Is a ultimately Best Buy and I was there show my age a little bit here, but always there when we were selling the old school CRT TVs and just kind of coming through with the plasma and LCD era. So HDMI cables were a thing there were notoriously expensive around the 50 pound mark and I thought, you know what? There’s got to be a way to get these things cheaper. So I did some research looked at AliBaba and the usual kind of Chinese resellers as post or manufacturers.

Bought a load and I realized when I sold the first, the first few cables I was like, wow, do you know what? I love this, this is awesome. So my kind of appetite and love of e-commerce started from basically the back of my first job about 13 years ago, something like that.

Steve: And do you sell anything today on your own?

Luke: You know what? No, I am, I left that game way behind before I had children. So it’s something I absolutely look at again in the future. But you know what It’s like? Can’t do everything and just trying to work out your priorities, but I do love that kind of, you know, never gets old of seeing like a notification when you sold something. So yeah e-commerce is a is not gone. He’s just not right now.

Steve: So how did you get into the other areas of your expertise like SEO and and conversion rate optimization?

Luke: Yeah. So almost kind of trickled back from the same sort of thing. So eBay guess as If you think about it, ultimately has a search engine lemon to it. So I started to optimize my listings started to use a piece of software called Terapeak, which is Ultimate. Like a ahrefs. I guess if you like for the SEO well, but an eBay but yeah, and it just it just got born from there. So I started to look at I landed my first ever job not long after having my success on eBay and kind of got thrown into the deep end so started the research, started some experimentation, started looking at HTML and all sorts of cool stuff. And it just spiraled quite literally from there. So call it like a hobby / career and then it’s just turn into a complete career altogether either.

Steve: Cool, so Dan who I trust very much. He introduced you to me as an SEO expert and consultant but in our discussions prior to hitting record, I know you do a lot more than that. So what I was hoping to do in this interview today, perhaps is to pretend to be one of your clients maybe and have you kind of walk through what questions you should be asking yourself on how to improve sales for your e-commerce business. Maybe, the best way to start would be what are some of the typical mistakes shop owners make or what do they neglect? That should be that should get more attention.

Luke: Yeah, for sure. So this this one is is a big one. It doesn’t really matter the size of the retailer. I’ve seen sort of global national, National brands do it and I’ve seen small independent econ plays. But ultimately your internal search engine on your site search for another term. It’s it’s painful how many times I see people neglect this gold mine really, so I guess you know from a View of just optimizing for what people are looking for perfect example, I’ve literally just put out a blog post that we about to couple of hours ago. There’s a major retailer here in the UK called home base and Black Friday is around the corner when you search for Black Friday, you get no results fanpage and obviously with as we get in closer more people search for this, you know to see no results found.

It doesn’t look great. But this is this is one of many examples, you know, misspellings spaces in the wrong areas all this sort of stuff which is really really important. So it’s One of the biggest quick wins you can do with virtually no cost is just to optimize and tweak your internal search engine to make sure the customers can find what they’re looking for.

Steve: So, let me ask you this, so by default like the shopping carts like Shopify and Bigcommerce. I think I’m pretty sure it’s like an exact match keyword search for your products and descriptions. What do you recommend to account for all these misspellings? And you mentioned people search for Black Friday, but it turns out a big doughnut like, how do you actually fix that?

Luke: Yeah. So Google analytics is almost a really cool place to start if you can configure it right out of the box so site search reports. I think it’s under the behavior tab, but it’s a gold mine of understanding what people searching what volume so as much as it’s important to understand, you know to fix Search terms that got broken makes more sense to find out which of those Search terms are driving the highest amount of frequencies. So, you know, you might have one person a month searching for something but you could have 50 people a week searching for something else.

So to try and get first get to the idea of How many such is do you have that are broken and so identify the ones that are broken the way I like to go about this is custom extraction. So

Steve: So before we get into that custom extraction, I just want to tell the listeners here in Google analytics. You can actually tell it to look for what is called like a search string in your URL and then Google will track all the searches that are performed on your on-site search and with that information. I guess it leads into what you’re going to be talking about Luke, which is custom extraction. Would you mind defining what that is for the people who are listening by the way?

Luke: Yeah, sure, so customer extraction. So in essence what will custom extraction allows you to do is extract anything you like. We were within reason from the HTML of a website to use an SEO crawler like so deep crawl or screaming frog or whatever your flavor of call that you prefer. So following on from that example, you know that that Google analytics piece. We just spoke about a finding out what your Search terms are. Every website of course has a URL structure for a particular search term. So for example, you know example.com/Search/key word.

So we just build a list of those search, search terms throw them into a crawler and extract the HTML that’s returned from it in layman’s terms. So what that allows me to do is to very quickly understand what the top. Let’s say 10 results are for any one particular search query if I don’t have any results for that query then I know that there’s a problem or I know that there’s a there’s a search term here that needs to be refined or looked at again and improved.

Steve: Just for the people who are listening because Luke’s very Advanced. I’m just going to kind of Define some of the things that he’s talking about here. Essentially what Luke is doing is he’s creating a web crawler like Google essentially and he’s using that to cross sites to figure out what sites are returning for a particular search query. Correct me if I’m wrong, Luke sorry.

Luke: No, that’s absolutely spot on. Yeah.

Steve: Okay. Okay.

Luke: So what once you’ve kind of got that information you can very quickly at scale identify what particular Search terms are causing your problems. So I’ll give you a couple of of Industry examples. These may or may not have been rectified since I found these but let’s look at say Best Buy for example, so there’s a lot of people on a monthly basis that are searching for the keyword online account. Now, of course, you know with that sort of context you can be pretty sure that no one’s really looking for a product. They’re mainly looking to find where they should log in to go and look at their existing purchase history or you know, maybe give customer services call or whatever. So to have no results found on that is like a gold mine because if you can fix that you improving the experience.

And as we know if you improve the experience then customers are more likely to buy from you or from your eCommerce store, but equally sometimes there can be a lot more profound than that. So we have of what with a client before for example where you search for inch, but with the quotes rather than the word inch and the search engine didn’t understand that but a lot of people were searching for inches with the quotation mark. So by rectifying that that was like a massive win almost like an overnight fix if you like, especially this particular client was in the DIY sector. So everything’s in measurements and you know this size that size.

Steve: So what you just specified in that example has nothing to do with custom extraction, right? That’s probably just results that you saw from your analytics is that accurate or?

Luke: no. I say because the the search term was found in Google analytics. So the amount of people searching if you like so a common with the exact keyword, but let’s say for example, it’s like other than that 10 inch less like a 10 inch shelf, for example.

Steve: Okay, Yep.

Luke: Now in Google analytics we would know because we’ve set up a report. That’s a Say 50 people a week search for that particular keyword.

Steve: Right

Luke: So what we want to do is validate, validate, sorry. Via customer extraction that whether that’s search term works or doesn’t work. So I guess to to distill it down, Google analytics will give you the amount of people that are searching for a particular term. But what he won’t do is tell you what the quality of the results are like.

Steve: so I guess my question is for that term why not just type it in..

Luke: into?

Steve: why not manually just type it into search or is the idea you’re compiling all these terms on mass. And just throwing into this custom extraction tool.

Luke: That’s it. Exactly.

Steve: Okay

Luke: We’re talking like hundreds if not thousands of..

Steve: okay. I understand. Sorry Luke, I keep interrupting you man, but I just want to make it clear for the people listening out there.

Luke: All right It’s cool. No problem, no problem.

Steve: All right so–okay so you have all these keywords and you’re throwing into this custom extraction tool. First off, My first question is are there tools out there that allow you to do this really easily?

Luke: Yeah, absolutely. Well easily depends on what you are but there’s absolutely tools that will allow you to do this and there’s loads of resources online. That can help you to get to get on there.

Steve: What’s your favorite one?

Luke: For me? It’s absolutely screaming frog.

Steve: Screaming frog. Okay.

Luke: I think the reason why I choose that one is because the barrier for entry is low, you know, it’s only a small cost license of under 200 pounds, you know, once you’ve got it set up and once you’ve kind of play with it and got it working. It can be really powerful. But I guess to very quickly break into another benefit of the tool and customer extraction is empty categories. So I guess for the for the smaller sites, maybe it’s not so much of an issue, but if you think of a website where you’ve got hundreds if not thousands of categories. How do you identify which categories have no products in, again is another wing you can use customer extraction for to find this sort of fact.

Steve: you know, it’s funny. I have used screaming frog in the past but mainly for an SEO audit so you’re telling me that I can just upload a series of keywords for example and have a screaming frog crawl a particular site based on whatever URLs I define?

Luke: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you can do that.

Steve: presumably you’re gonna get all this data out right and then does it just come out in a spreadsheet form?

Luke: It does, it does, yeah.

Steve: So for example in your previous example with the inches, like what are you looking for to determine that it’s a bad result presumable. Is it like a 404 page or what do you looking for?

Luke: So it’s yeah. It’s not a 404 and that’s the reason why customer extraction is so powerful because when you think about internal search results, you know a lot of them returned in 200 error, I’m sorry, a 200 status code which of course is not broken. So that’s where customer extraction comes in because you’re not looking at the data, you’re looking at the sorry, not looking at the response code you’re looking at the data that’s returned. So to your point earlier, you’re looking at, you know, a spreadsheet you can see a URL and you can see the data that’s returned for that given URL and that helps you to then really narrow it down.

Steve: So are you specifically looking for something on that page that indicates that it was a bad search? So, for example, on my site it says Sorry, your search returned No results. Am I just specifically looking for that in the results?

Luke: Exactly.

Steve: Okay

Luke: Yeah, that’s that’s yeah, so that h1 or whatever strip of text it is when you see that in the custom extraction data, you know that there’s no results returned for that particular search query.

Steve: Okay

Luke: I guess just, you know, just to make it clear when you think about all these enterprise-level search engines like say SLI or fact-finder. They’re great at giving you reports of all the Search terms that aren’t working. But for small businesses where you kind of have woo commerce or Shopify setups this data is not available to you. It’s really important. It can really make a difference. So this is where it really comes to play.

Steve: So just to summarize I am uploading all my keywords to this tool. It’s crawling my site and then it’s outputting a list of terms that return not an error I guess but in this case of search results that don’t return anything based on a custom stream that I defined.

Luke: That’s right. You got it.

Steve: Cool. All right, let’s move on then. So categories, So you mentioned before I rudely interrupted you again. That sometimes Search terms return categories with empty products. Does that happen or?

Luke: yes that does absolutely happen that does actually happen. So again, I did a for a presentation. I did a while ago. I looked at Best Buy. I looked at Home Depot and I found loads of categories that had no products in and I think it’s really important to look at what these are how much traffic they get in and really maintaining and call these categories because again empty categories bad experiences, right?

Steve: So, what do you suggest that you do when you see an empty category you just eliminate that category altogether or?

Luke: yeah, I mean it could be a case of the category needs product adding to it or it could simply be a case of as you said the category no longer needs to be there. So it should be redirected to the next best match if you like or something to that effect

Steve: what about categories with like a single product? I mean, I know I’ve been guilty of that in the past with my store. What do you do with this data after you have it I guess is what I’m trying to get at.

Luke: Yeah. So this is a normally when you’ve Got this customer extraction data you can make this data as rich or as contact for as you like. So adding the amount of traffic adding the amount of conversions for that given landing page. You can really go into it. But the point I guess I want to make here is you know, you’ve hit the nail on the head with thin and empty categories these things just need taken care of and then you wonder from a merchandising or a category management point of view whether you should even have that category one or two products in or roll it into a another category that might be better suited but it just allows you to have if you like a bird’s eye view of your Ecommerce store and everything that’s going on at that particular time.

Steve: And in terms of actually fixing the search engine. I’m not sure I don’t know what shopping carts that you work with, but are there plugins that allow you to easily fix your on-site search without actually having to code anything in? I’m not sure if that’s a question that you can answer or that you’re used to.

Luke: Yeah. Well plugins not so much. I mean if you think about like woo commerce and the default the default search engine there then typically no, but what You can do is play around with redirects. Right? So, you know, if you find a particular search term that doesn’t work very well or has no results found then maybe have a rule that when this URL fires or when they search term fires actually redirect it to this search term instead.

Steve: Ah Okay.

Luke: And that can then, you know that can be a way of getting that done without having like the you know, the beautiful dashboards that you get with some of the more Enterprise Solutions.

Steve: Right. Right. So I know from my cart which is like this homegrown cart. I actually wrote this there’s this file. That just defines how search works and in there you can do all these special cases for keywords. I was just kind of curious with the tool like Shopify or Bigcommerce, whether you can do that easily perhaps that’s a question for my Shopify and Bigcommerce rep.

Luke: Yeah, I would say so woo Commerce when I last had a look at it about a year ago the answer to that was no but hey, everything moves all the time. They might be a plug-in or maybe come oysters that out the box.

Steve: Okay. So on site search, so you mentioned, empty categories, Search terms that go nowhere, misspellings. What are some other things to look out for?

Luke: Search wise definitely non products driven Search terms. So, you know at the example I used earlier was online account, but there’s loads of them is customer services. There’s returns policy. There’s all these sort of queries that that people can fire in to a search engine expecting data and then, you know nothing or I guess maybe even slightly worse is getting something that really doesn’t make any sense. So, you know, if you’re a let’s say you sell software online and someone searches for, I don’t know, returns policy. You might have some software that includes the keyword return and then you get like three results that you didn’t really want.

So I think it’s paying attention to those queries where you’ve got to try and play it smart with the customers not necessarily looking to buy something there looking for help to point them in the right direction, but then I guess to take it a step further you’ve got to think if people are searching for these things is your user experience easy because technically they could find what they were looking for. They wouldn’t need to use the search for these sort of terms. So, you know, you can look at it. Either sort of where maybe depends on frequency and how often these sort of Search terms happens.

Steve: Do you find that more people use the search function on a mobile site as supposed to a desktop site and you kind of distinguish the two when you’re doing when you’re analyzing these results?

Luke: You know what that that is a really good question. And from what I’ve seen so far, I’d actually say no more people use search on desktop than they do on mobile.

Steve: Huh, interesting. Okay

Luke: And by pure hypothesis. I don’t have any data to support this but I think people’s attention spans on mobile is typically lower. Because you’ve got more distractions. You’ve got slow data loading if you’re on the train Etc. and if people search for something and can’t find it the first or second time on a mobile. They just think you know what, I can’t you know. On to the next one. Desktop, they’ve got a little bit more patience maybe things are faster, less distractions, maybe but you know, when I’ve looked at that data before there’s definitely a higher search volume on desktop to compare t mobile.

Steve: interesting because I know that I’ve been trained from shopping on Amazon to just jump straight to the search bar now like whenever I go on a even like a boutique say I don’t browse the categories. I just jump straight to the search bar.

Luke: You know what? Yes. I am. I’m with you on that. But I think a lot of people know where the way in which I’d like to think of e-commerce is that every page should really be a landing page.

Steve: Right

Luke: So whether you’re searching on Amazon or whether you’re searching on Google you should be able, you know, if you’re searching for sort of red t-shirts or something like that. Ideally you want to be able to when they come to your site to take me to the red t-shirts category page rather than a completely random landing page. So I hear you. I absolutely hear you, but it’d be perfect if when they’re searching for Google they didn’t actually need to then search because there are in the right place. The first time.

Steve: that makes sense actually. Yeah, so Google’s acting like the search engine like the Amazon search engine. So to speak in this case, so.

Luke: yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Steve: What are some of the common mistakes just to kind of look out for with your on-site search? So you mentioned like Black Friday, that’s actually something that returns empty on my site right now. I’m going to actually go and Implement a landing page for that after this.

Luke: Yeah, Fix that.

Steve: You got misspellings. What are some other common things that most people make a mistake on?

Luke: Part codes. If you’re in, if you’re in a business where you resell other manufacturers equipment, especially with Brands like Sony and Samsung where they’ve got ridiculously long part codes with slashes here and all kinds of weird characters that can get really messy, especially with slash because typically slash denotes in most cases and you like a subfolder. I guess if you like.

Steve: Sure

Luke: but in this case a slash is going break the search all together. So maybe even looking at how you’ll search handles those characters slashes and dashes and things like that, but that only really comes into play as I say if you kind of sell products with part codes in but actually you just made me think. We ran into this problem before when we ran a global looked at a global e-commerce site and different languages, you know, e with accent versus a standard e and how that behaves and how that works.

Steve: Okay

Luke: all those nuances there but to be fair, Sometimes and this is why it’s really important to have this data via Google analytics first because you could end up fixing problems that weren’t really a problem. You know, you’re thinking about let’s fix this. Let’s fix that how many people are searching for it? Because if it’s less than say, I don’t know to a month but you’ve got 50 other searches at a high volume that don’t work then you know, are you chasing the right things?

Steve: What is your threshold?

Luke: Oh good question. Good question. The threshold typically depends on how many search terms over a problem so, you know, I could say more than 10 and then I’ve got fifteen thousand results

Steve: right yeah

Luke: or I could say, you know five and it’s you know, it’s difficult but I would say as a number in the air, 10 a month, but you know 10 a month for one site and 10 a month for another site could be two very different things all together. Maybe we should have percentages?

Steve: Oh, yeah, that’s a good idea. Yeah

Luke: in like 1% of total queries. If it’s more than that pay attention if it’s less than that, maybe maybe review it manually

Steve: Okay, so they’re just so then MOS you just analyzing a hundred hundred keywords, I guess then?

Luke: yeah, I mean if you’ve got that many keywords to play with great, you know most cases you probably should have but you know, maybe not

Steve: I know the last time I looked at my on site search reports. I don’t actually look at it that often but it was like pages and pages and pages of stuff, right? because there’s so many different permutations of everything. I guess. That’s where the customer extraction tool comes in handy, but I guess in analytics what you would do I guess is sort based on the Frequency of that search term and then pump that into screaming frog

Luke: Exactly but you you mentioned permutations and I’m not sure what that

Steve: oh, I’ll give you an example. So we sell handkerchiefs. So there’d be handkerchief and then handkerchiefs plural. That was one thing that I have fixed my own search engine. I just automatically pluralize everything now or I think I add the plural. I can’t remember what I do.

Luke: but it works?

Steve: Well, yes stuff like that, you know.

Luke: yeah absolutely

Steve: and each one of those is a separate entry in analytics, right? because when someone performs a search.

Luke: yes. I’m GI, I guess just for people that are listening as well is purely case sensitive. So if you had handkerchiefs with an uppercase and at the search term with a lower case all the way through that’s going to come up with two separate rows of data. So that’s an important thing to look at as well.

Steve: Is there anything you can do after the fact with the analytics data to ignore the case?

Luke: You know what? I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it. I’m sure that probably is a way to do it. You might even be able to build something in the website that the basically just makes everything lower case, everything lower case. But we normally just you know, when I’ve looked at it. It doesn’t really come into it with, yeah we don’t when we worry about it.

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Steve: So I think we’ve thoroughly covered on site search. What are some other conversion rate or even sco optimizations that people typically make mistakes on?

Luke: Okay, so there’s a couple of glitch in my head full of ideas.

Steve: Okay.

Luke: One of the big ones is faceted navigation or filters. This can be a big problem sometimes and it can be a problem that a lot of people may or may not think about depends on how your site’s built. But you know, if we think about again technology where you if we said TVs and got sizes and Brands and all sorts of different filters, maybe color, technology. There’s a lot of different permutations of filters there. That’s a lot of crawling. That’s a Of URLs as a lot of duplication and there’s a there’s a whole I guess approach if you like as to how to manage the SEO implications of all of these different parameters, but

Steve: actually, How do you do it is it just canonical tags? I mean ultimately you’re still on the same page, right?

Luke: Yeah. So this is where it gets really interesting because there is it’s that horrible. It depends cliché SEO answer but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here because what I have found is if you turn off, you know, if you kind of canonical all permutations are filters back to their let’s say parameter free versions. You’re okay making it easier potentially for search engines to crawl those URLs, but you’re also missing out on huge long tail keyword opportunities as well. So it’s finding the bones. So let’s say going back to that t-shirts example, you’re in the men’s t-shirt category, but you haven’t got a category by color.

Because that’s a filter option. So when someone searching on Google for you know, red men’s t-shirts, you’re not going to be there if you’ve excluded every single filter option. So sometimes there’s I guess a middle ground between which filters you allowed to be crawlable and which filters you don’t want them to be crawled.

Steve: Let me ask you this, Luke. So if I find that a lot of people are searching a red t-shirts when I just want to plop down a landing page for that?

Luke: What you might do, but that’s that’s assuming you’ve got the resources and time to go away and build a land or reduced because if you think about you might have a landing page for t-shirts or even men’s t-shirt, but you probably not going to have a landing page for red t-shirts. Unless you’re using some really cool sophisticated, you know money table something like that, but you know back so I guess the real world is you are going to struggle to to do that and the only way you can really leverage that is to power, you know leverage some of these filters. But you know, You don’t have to have to choose and be careful which one’s of these you choose.

So colors probably a good one. But let’s say Brands probably another good one, but maybe size isn’t because a lot of people might not search for

Steve: well, unless you sell like abnormal size clothing like for a really tall people or you know, or what? Right?

Luke: Yeah exactly.

Steve: What are some keys to like ranking a category page?

Luke: Okay. Ranking a category page absolutely internal link structure is huge here. So You know, if you’ve got a category page that’s three or four categories deep you’re going to struggle to get that to rank just on its own. So again these in this t-shirt example is completely off the Dome. I’m hoping it works. But if we said we had a clothing department and then inside clothing, you’ve got men’s and then inside men’s you’ve got t-shirts and then inside t-shirts you’ve got designer. For example. That Designer /t-shirt category is going to struggle to rank because it’s so deep, you know so many levels down. But through internal linking structure, if you’re linking to the designer category, even the men’s category from the home page, then you are basically building the right structure to help those smaller categories to wrap.

Bread crumbs again are really important these help pass Equity up and down the entire funnel of of categories, but it’s really just been in a situation where you properly understand how you can leverage your link structure across the site. So to give a perfect example of where this really works. Is you mentioned landing pages earlier? We spoke about it a few times. Landing pages can be great ways to build those links because you know you land on a let’s say a Black Friday deals page you can link to all sorts of categories that are relevant there that might be three four five levels deep, but because your link into a Black Friday page, which is normally a pretty top level page.

That page, is going to therefore help the smaller categories to rank better and it’s just it’s been creative and thinking of about that.

Steve: So if you’re so it has a lot of categories, Should you just pick your best-selling ones and link to only those on your homepage or is it better just to kind of make sure that everything is navigable?

Luke: Yeah, you kind of a bit of bit of both if you like. But I would say your homepage and absolutely feature your main departments if you like so you google top of categories with you know, you kind of best sellers on your featured seasonal ones that might be more relevant. So, you know, for example, there’s no, well at least in UK at the moment. There’s no point link into to summer clothing because it’s freezing cold out here. So you probably don’t want to link to sort of like your winter warmers and you winter sales and that sort of thing but by doing that you you know, you’re playing to do Seasonality so one perfect example we have here is turkey.

I guess near Thanksgiving is a very different set of results in Google compared to Turkey in like August or something, which is obviously going to be about summer holidays and things like that. So you’ve got to think about and how you can play along and I guess be part of that that changes well that called you there.

Steve: So just for the better for the listeners out there. The reason why I asked that question is typically your home page has the most amount of inbound links coming in and Luke’s been talking about massaging your link Juice is what I like to call it, to your more internal pages from your from your stronger pages. So that’s why I asked that question.

Luke: Cool.

Steve: Okay, so Luke, I did want to talk a little bit about structured markup because we did chat about that a little bit prior to the podcast recording. How crucial is structured markup today? And can you define it first for the listeners?

Luke: Yes, I structured markup pays is basically if you like additional metal information that you passed a search engines to give them more of an idea about what your product or category or whatever it Is. But I guess to be clear, with structured data, at least at the moment, things has change. Has little to no impact on ranking as such but it does improve click-through rate. So, you know, if you’ve got your products structured data basically built correctly, you’re going to be passing information like price, like Brands, like stock information to Google and Bing and all the other search engines.

Which means when someone’s searching for a product that you sell this information could be presented to them before that even got to your page. As a result, They’re more informed. As a result their the result if you like, looks better to them and you’re more likely to get the click and someone who is not using structured data. So it’s one of those things that that really helps add context really helps make customers aware before they click through to your site and as a result would absolutely recommend it.

Steve: So outside of like the review Stars, where have you seen structured markup actually making a difference for Click through rate of a listing with structured markup?

Luke: Stock.

Steve: Stock, Okay.

Luke: Yeah, because you know, if you’re Googling something again that a lot of people stock so, keep your matters, TVs. Because I’m working on something like that at the moment. But you know, if you’re searching for a particular model of a TV and the first page is full of results that are selling this, if you have the price and stock status in the serp, you know in this in the Google page before anyone gets to your site. It reduces abandonment. And gives customers information that they need or one before they’ve even got to your website. So if you’ve got the best price or you’ve got a good price, you’ve got the click equally if you’re the only one or one a few people on the first page that I’ve got it in stock then hey, you know, you’re looking good there as well.

Steve: since I don’t look at this all the time has Google gone a lot better about just you know, just extracting that information from a site?

Luke: Yeah. It’s got clever because as usual in the world of SEO it gets abused, right and then obviously they have to be Stringent with it. So there’s no guarantees here. You could have the most perfect structured data across the site. It’s all valid. It’s all good, but it still doesn’t show. There’s no guarantees with this stuff. But the good news is for the guys that are at least using woocommerce. I’m not a hundred percent sure on Shopify, but I would imagine there’s something similar. There’s plugins that can manage this stuff for you automatically. You just tick some options you pick metadata rate through it and you know good to go.

Steve: all the major shopping carts do have plugins that do this. But sometimes you have to populate the information accordingly outside of just your regular pie descriptions and stuff.

Luke: Cool, cool, cool.

Steve: Okay, so structured markup. What about on like content pages?

Luke: Okay, content Pages. Yes. I love talking about this, when it comes to e-commerce because I think a lot of people will typically go to you know, when you think about content you think product pages and don’t be wrong, you know product page content is really important, but the content that I find is more important and more powerful is the content that mitigates that anxiety that the kind of confirms to a customer why they should buy from you versus somebody else. So this is your reviews page, if you like. This is your returns policy. This is giving customers the reason that you’re a proper, you know, e-commerce store front and not just a couple of guys working out of a shady bedroom, for example.

Steve: Haha okay

Luke: you know, I mean nothing wrong. e-commerce stores, I do very well that do that but the point is the customer wants to be in the understanding that one, they’re going to get their products and see if there’s an issue. You’re going to be, they’re going to get the help that they need. So this content is really powerful and we all do it as consumers will you know go for the purchase funnel potentially if it’s not necessarily, an Impulse buy. We research the product we want, we find a product we want and then we find a retailer that sells it and normally during that that process will go to a retailer X reviews. We tell a wire reviews. So all this sort of stuff that really kind of reinforces why they should buy from you is the content I find when you can move the needle.

Steve: I just want to let you know that tickets for the 2020 Seller Summit are on sale over at sellersummit.com. Now what is seller Summit? It is the conference that I hold every year that is specifically targeting e-commerce entrepreneurs selling physical products online and unlike other events that focus on inspirational stories and high-level BS. Mine is a curriculum-based conference where you will leave with practical and actionable strategies specifically for an e-commerce business. And in fact, every speaker I invite is deep in the trenches of their e-commerce business entrepreneurs who are importing large quantities of physical goods and not some high-level guys who are overseeing their companies at 50,000 feet. The other thing I can assure you is that the Seller Summit will be small and intimate every year we cut off ticket sales at just a couple hundred people. So tickets will sell out fast, and in fact, we sell out every single year many months in advance now if you’re an e-commerce entrepreneur making over 250K or 1 million dollars per year, we are also offering an exclusive mastermind experience with other top sellers. Now, the Seller Summit is going to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From May 6 to May 8. And right now, we are almost sold out of Mastermind tickets already and I will be raising the ticket price regularly starting the day after Cyber Monday for more information, go to sellerssummit.com. Once again, that’s SELLERSUMMIT.COM or just Google it. Now back to the show.

And so what can be done from an SEO perspective to make sure people find this content or is it just navigation?

Luke: navigation does help but also making sure the content is useful, you know, there’s no point kind of having a meticulous font size, 8 terms conditions page that no one can really read, you know, if it’s if it’s terms and conditions. That is clear. You’ve got H2. I’ve got it broken up. It’s responsive. If your returns policies nice and simple and explains and answers the questions that people asking. For example, you know, if you write in a returns page you want to want to write as if, write it in an FAQ style. So how long have I got to return something or during the Christmas break for example, can I return this in the new year or what if your returns child is will I get my money back? If I’m right.

You know all these sorts of questions are the things that people want to see. So when they’re Googling it, when they’re Googling these up questions, they come to your site equally they have all the information they need when they’re looking for that returns policy or whatever it is that they’re looking for.

Steve: So this is just kind of a page structure as opposed to structured data, right? So you’re trying to allow Google to easily crawl this page and then extract out the elements of your of your terms shipping and returns policy.

Luke: Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s I think you know be the designer page that you’d want to see, yourself in your customers shoes. If you’re going to see a page that’s just a wall of text or has they’re relating information on it’s going to make you slightly anxious. If they’re answering your questions. If there are you know, making it feel as if they could that they want you to see that content it helps it relieves anxiety and makes them want to choose you over somebody else.

Steve: Are there any other tips that you can provide for just getting like an e-commerce whether it be a category page or a product page. So even where I can search because typically there’s not a whole lot of content there and you know link building is often more difficult as well.

Luke: Yeah, so I would say in fact, you know, what department pages are really cool and a gesture to add context is what I mean by Department page. I guess using the an example. So if you had a clothing e-commerce store, for example, men’s or women’s would be like a department and then the categories inside there will be the types of clothes that you sell. But Department Pages can be really powerful because they can be the most link to pages on the site because of course men’s is got to be a lot visited a lot more than say men’s t-shirts, typically speaking. So by using those pages though, Attracts a lot of equity whether it’s internally via internal links you put in sight or backlinks or whatever it is you’re doing on social.

And you can then pass the equity where you want to from these sorts of powerful Department Pages if you like. I think in terms of SEO specifically in getting links for stuff like this, one page type that really helps and I’ve seen this been quite successful in the past is hosting your own discount code pages. So we’ve all done it. We will go to the checkout on a Retail store or an e-commerce store and you see a check out or sorry, say, coupon code box or add something like that and you think, you know what I mean. Just go to Google real quick. Let me just fire in retailer X discount code or blah blah blah and you may find one you may not but

Steve: I guess you’ll find a fake one, which is really annoying actually.

Luke: Yeah, and then they get the affiliate commission and everyone’s left this point, but you know the way in which you can really get to get links here is if you have your own coupon code page hosted on your website. When someone searches for retailer X discount code you’re going to rank their people are going to link to that page because they’re like, hey, I know something you don’t this is cool, we can get 5% off free delivery for use this and that can really attract some really cool links. And it also satisfies that desire for customers to find a discount code. It doesn’t really matter what that this kind of gives them. It could be free shipping which you do anyway could be five percent off which is like potentially not that big of a deal for you but it reduces abandonment. it attract links and improved conversion. So, It’s normally something that works really well

Steve: So from this coupon page do you then link to whatever category page or whatever you’re trying to rank for?

Luke: Yeah, you can absolutely do that. You know, you can say this coupon is valid in these specific departments if it’s a site-wide one, then you kind of you know, you’re doing well because you can lead to everything but it just allows you to kind of pass some of the equity if you like that he would have captured two other places

Steve: Interesting. yeah, that’s actually something that I did last year not specifically for the reason you just specified but because there are so many fake coupon codes out there. That, so I track all that stuff on my site and I get emailed every time someone enters in a bogus coupon code and I remember there was this one period I think last year during the holidays where I just kept getting these emails like it’s hammering on the site and I was like, where are these people gain their codes from and I just did a search for you know coupon codes for my site and it turns out all these fake coupon sites was just making up codes.

Luke: Wow. Okay.

Steve: Yeah, and so I just I just created my own page and it said real coupon codes for Bumblebee Linens and then I got that to rank in the top and that problem has been mitigated. We’ll see. The holiday season is right around the corner. We’ll see if it helps.

Luke: Yeah. Yeah, I guess actually a one last thing to be throwing for you or them on discount codes and coupon codes is you see so many retailers who make these things case-sensitive and its really irritating. So I’ll show you, a lot of money, right? If you’ve sent like a an email out or spend a lot of money. A Black Friday or something like that and you’ll say use code XYZ to get this off and it doesn’t work. It’s you practically lost the sale mainly because someone’s put it in uppercase or mixed case or whatever. So just make these things case insensitive.

Steve: I’ve found that people like even if it’s a code that doesn’t have that problem people just type in everything wrong. So my experience and you’re right if they typed it in wrong and they have this coupon code. They’re just not going to check out unless

Luke: Yeah

Steve: so I would recommend picking things that are very Easy to spell, like ridiculously easy like at an elementary school level. So people are going to redeem the coupons or just do a click and have it automatically apply the coupon code. That’s even better.

Luke: Yeah, even better.

Steve: So Luke, I really appreciate your time, man. Where can people find you if they need Consulting help or whatnot on search or conversion rate optimization.

Luke: Yeah, you can find me from anywhere. I kind of dominate the first page at the moment unless another leak off is going to come up and steal that from me. But, you can find me at lukecarthy.com. You can find me on Twitter and @mrlukecarthy. And yeah, you can normally get a hold of me. If you need to. You need to find me you’ll find a place you can get to me.

Steve: Yeah, so just to be clear. It’s lukecarthy.com.

Luke: That’s right. You got it. You got it

Steve: All right. Hey, thanks a lot Luke.

Luke: Thank you very much, Cheers, Steve.

Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. Now, I’m really happy to have spoken with Luke because I was actually guilty of not doing a number of the things that he suggested and it just goes to show that everything can be improved. For more information about this episode go to mywifeqyitherjob.com/episode291.

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

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