Tue, 12 September 2017
Oh Friends, I’ve been dying to share this episode with you! Today on the show I’m pleased to welcome Jamie Clinard, who owns the shop Saturday Morning Pancakes. She creates adorable t-shirts for moms and kids inspired by 90s hip hop. You’ll have to head to the show notes to check out Jamie’s hilarious and so adorable shirts.
What makes this interview so exciting and so incredible is that by digging into Facebook and Instagram ads last summer, Jamie has taken her business from being a nice hobby ($500-$1,000 a month in income) to hitting $1 Million in sales in March of 2017! She told me she’s on track to do $2.6 Million for her business this year(!!!)
And, no, Jamie didn’t start teaching others how to grow a business to get these amazing results. She doesn’t have all these hidden revenue streams or $1,000 products she’s selling. She just dug deep and focused on her t-shirt shop.
Jamie got busy serving her customers well, finding new customers, creating ads, testing audiences, and scaling what’s working. That’s all she’s done, and she’s hit $1M in sales! When Jamie reached out to me to tell me what a difference Facebook ads have made in her business, I was seriously stunned!!
Now I KNOW Facebook ads work, but to go from a hobby biz to a 7-figure biz in less than a year?! They’re even more powerful than I realized!
I hope you will listen to this interview with an open mind. Don’t set up barriers for yourself and think, “well, Jamie must have something special that I don’t.”
Or “Jamie just got lucky.”
Or “Great for Jamie, but this won’t work for me.”
I want you to know Jamie is a SAHM, just like me and just like you. She grew her business in the margins. She was tinkering with ads during naptime and bedtime, and her business started taking off!
In fact, after the first month when business really exploded, she had to turn her ads off because she was getting SO much business. She took the time to hire the right employees, set up the right systems, and then she turned the ads back on for massive growth!
I hope hearing from Jamie will get you excited at what’s possible when you use Facebook ads to grow your business!
4:00 - A Shop That Started...Thanks To Pancakes!
Jamie is also a mom of two kids, a 4-year-old girl and 18-month-old little boy. She worked in gang prevention before she got pregnant. She loved her work, but when she was expecting her daughter, her family decided it was time to pursue something different. There’s so much negativity in the world that Jamie wanted to find an outlet to bring more light and laughter to people.
Jamie has always been a fan of 90’s rap and hip hop. In college she created a playlist called ‘Saturday Morning Pancakes’ to crank up every Saturday morning while she made pancakes for her roommates. They were the kinds of songs you just HAD to dance to!
So when she thought about a company name, that was the first thing that popped into her mind. She thought about how funny it would be to incorporate hip hop phrases into kids clothing… turning something “tough” into something funny and cute.
And it worked! People loved it. Saturday Morning Pancakes has taken off. (Just wait until you hear the behind the scenes!)
7:24 - Best Seller From The Beginning
Jamie’s first tee design is actually still her best seller -‘Regulators Mount Up’. The song is so popular and well-known, but the twist of the kid tricycle is just so funny. That’s why Jamie thinks the tee has sold well.
8:40 - Crazy Business Growth...Thanks to Facebook Ads!
We’ve been hinting a lot about Jamie’s crazy growth, let’s get to it!
Until the summer of 2016, Jamie was doing everything for her business -- from the screen printing and shipping, to the marketing and designing, in her garage - with two kids in the house! Something snapped in Jamie and she wanted more from her business. With that motivation, she started researching Facebook ads, Instagram marketing, and email newsletters. It was pretty overwhelming to tackle all at once! So Jamie decided to pick one method and roll with it.
It was around this time that Jamie found FB Brilliance. She was in a PR-focused group called Cupcake Magazine. She asked if anyone knew anything about Facebook Ads, and a member directed her to Brilliant Business Moms!
She found us thanks to that group, and joined our course. It took Jamie two months to get through the content with two little ones at home, but it was exciting! She kept pushing past the tech hurdles and tougher parts of mastering ads, and she finally got her ads up and running!
Jamie’s first ads were okay, but once she sat down and thought about her customer, it all started to come together. Jamie started thinking about all of the websites she would visit online, and all the interests she had, and she used that to narrow in on her targeting and show her ads to the right people.
She started testing a few audiences at once, and things really started snowballing! As Jamie’s sales started to grow in a big way, her husband finally told her, “You need to turn off the ads!” She got so many orders that it was almost scary! She knew she couldn’t continue to run the business on her own. Jamie and her husband sat down together to refocus, and make a plan.
Jamie hired a fantastic college girl to help her with shipping, and the business kept growing the more she scaled her ads. It was really fun...and addicting!
After a few growth spurts, Jamie was able to get some warehouse space and hire even more staff to handle fulfillment and shipping.
With all this growth, Jamie is still really involved in her business. She does all her Facebook ads and product design herself, but she has a team that helps her ship, and a company that helps her screenprint her tees.
13:20 - Nobody Can Nail The Heart Of Your Brand Like You Can
Jamie tried hiring an ad agency to help with Facebook ads, because she thought there might be a lot of information she didn’t know. But… the ad agency totally bombed! They were targeting all sorts of strange interests and creating ads that just didn’t resonate with Jamie’s ideal customers. This experience helped Jamie realize she REALLY was the person who knew her business best!
At the end of the day, a big fancy ad agency can’t capture what makes your business unique as much as you can. No one else has that special sauce!
In our case Ellen, our team member, is perfect at making ads exactly how I envision them. Jamie also has an awesome team member Carli, who is their Social Media Manager and always hits the nail on the head with her funny posts.
Jamie’s first hire was her General Manager, Jenn, who is in charge of all operations. (To meet her entire, awesome team, just visit their about page!) It is scary to let go, but oftentimes letting go in some areas will allow you to grow! Isn’t it hard to be a mom and CEO?
16:00 - Tips For Hiring A Team
We always recommend hiring for personality. That really matters!
Jamie has found that her customers really connect with her team! They love getting to see them in action. Her team shares hilarious videos on Instagram stories, and Jamie loves it when fans write to her saying, ‘Your Team Is So Cute!’.
16:50 - Just HOW Big Did She Grow?
To give you a sense of how much Jamie’s business has grown: she has 9 employees, a shared warehouse with an aftermarket company, and a shared space with a non-profit.
Her business is bringing in six figures each month. “I never thought this was possible in my LIFE! I didn’t even think six figures in a YEAR was achievable!”
18:14 - Crushing Business Goals at SMP
Okay, so I have to go on a little rant here. A lot of us mompreneurs receive patronizing comments on a regular basis: ‘“Oh honey, your cute little business” - that kind of thing. And it’s so frustrating! All of us are capable of six figure years and more!! We need to ignore the patronizers who think we just have a cute hobby. Our businesses can be so much more than that if we want them to be!
In fact, Saturday Morning Pancakes is already a seven-figure company! (That’s still a goal of ours here at Brilliant Business Moms!) When Jamie hit a million in sales for the year, she was so in the grind trying to make sure everything was working, that she almost missed the milestone! (It happened in March of this year!)
Once she realized that her company had surpassed seven figures, she and her husband did have a celebratory beer on the couch, and kept on working hard. “I would say to myself, ‘It’s working! It’s working! I hope it keeps working!’ I kept thinking I would wake up one morning and the ads would suddenly not work.”
So far, Jamie’s business just keeps on growing, and now, she’s got a huge base of happy customers who will continue to come back and buy from her again and again!
21:00 - Why You Shouldn’t Set an Ads Budget
So you ladies might freak when you hear how much Jamie is spending on ads, but stick with us to hear her ROI!
Jamie determines how much to put into a given ad set (a particular audience that she’s showing a particular ad to) based on whether she’s getting sales for $6 or less from that ad set. If a couple of days go by and Jamie’s cost per sale is much higher than $6, she’ll turn off that ad set.
And if she’s getting sales conversions for as little as $1 to $2 each, she will scale those ads aggressively!
At first, Jamie started with ads for 2 t-shirt designs, and tested 5 different audiences per shirt. These days, she’ll often have 7 different ads going to 7-10 ad sets (audiences) inside each campaign.
Jamie never caps her budget. If your ads are doing well, and earning you profitable sales, don’t limit your success by capping!
Early on Jamie and her husband DID experience some moments of panic: “Oh my gosh! We’re spending $500 a day on ads!”
In March, when they hit 7 figures, they probably spent $1,000 a day - and made $5,000 or more back in sales on that same day.
Again, she always bases her spend off of her conversion metric: $6 sales conversions or less = scale up baby!
You might have some growing pains at first, but if you’re making profitable sales and can fill your orders, keep scaling! Hint: This is EXACTLY how we do things here at Brilliant Business Moms too, and I never would have hit six figures so quickly without this strategy!
(And, yes, Jamie checks on her ads at least 3 times a day to make sure they’re still profitable :)
24:05 - A Great Big Ads Mistake
Since Jamie is earning such a great profit from her ads already, one day of having a loss with her ads would be a bummer, but it wouldn’t end her business or anything!
And of course, Jamie has setbacks or days when the ads perform less well than others.
Jamie told me about the time when she meant to increase an ad set budget to $50 a day, but accidentally changed it to $5,000 per day! She didn’t catch the mistake for almost 3 hours!!! Eeek!!!
Sales went through the roof, but she DOES NOT recommend this method! Her cost per sales conversion was $30 each, so Jamie was losing a bit of money on each sale. Thankfully she caught her mistake quickly enough and didn’t spend the entire $5,000! It was more like $300, with some sales thrown in to recoup most of those costs.
Jamie’s story totally cracks me up, because it sounds like something I would do! We all have goof-ups, but usually they’re just opportunities for growth and knowing what not to do next time :)
25:30 - Why Spending Big Can Mean Big Profits
It’s easy to spend $1,000 a day when you’re getting profitable sales. In Jamie’s case, if she’s spent $30,000 on ads in a month, she’s made about $100,000 in sales that month - or more! Jamie says she’s getting back 3x her Facebook ad investment.
If for every dollar I give Facebook they give me back three or four dollars in return? Well, I’ll keep giving them dollars all day long!
Cause here’s the thing: You can decide not to spend money on ads and work your buns off to earn $10,000 month all on your own. And I know you can do it!
But think about all the extra cash Jamie gets in the door from ads. She’s working the same amount as that solopreneur bringing in $10,000/month, but in Jamie’s case, she’s bringing in $70,000/month after she accounts for her ad spend. Even if you then factor in her growing team and say, half of those profits go to expenses, Jamie’s still coming out way ahead at $35,000/month in her pocket. (This is just a general example for you to see why ads can be amazing for your business!)
“It felt like magic,” Jamie said.
Scaling Facebook ads for massive sales can be easy when you have a great product and you know your target market really well. And the more ads you run, the better you get at knowing what your customers will respond to!
26:50 - Campaign Structure
Most of Jamie’s campaigns are optimized for conversions and then she chooses the purchase event. Facebook is so good at optimizing whatever action you tell them to!
I’ve started optimizing for purchases with my $15 mini classes. I can show my ads to a cold audience, get super affordable purchases, and get a 2-3x ROI on my ad spend.
And here’s a quick tip! Facebook has a neat resource called Facebook Blueprint. Sometimes they’ll do mini classes to help your ads experience. The teaching style is a bit robotic, but sometimes the instructors will totally nerd out and give you insider info!
This is a recent tip I learned inside a Facebook Blueprint class: People who are strong clickers are different than strong converters.
Some people assume a traffic campaign will be enough -- just to get clicks and eyes on their site. But there’s way more competition for those clickers. And the clickers aren’t necessarily the same people who will convert into a customer. Just something to keep in mind as you run ads.
29:10 - Getting Started With Facebook Ads
So what did Jamie’s first ad look like and how did it do?
Her first ad was...also her worst ad! The very first ad Jamie ran was a promo saying they hit 10,000 followers on Instagram. She had 30 Facebook followers at the time. Needless to say, the results weren’t great!
After taking our course, Jamie’s first ‘real’ ad was for one of her adult tee shirts that read ‘But First Gangsta Rap’ with a selfie of her wearing it. She was targeting cold audiences as she hadn’t quite figured out lookalike audiences just yet. But her sales were profitable!
Jamie says she tried targeting from every angle to narrow in on her ideal customers, and probably 90% of the audiences she tested were not successful, but the 10% that were she threw everything at them and made massive sales!
Jamie’s purchase pixel was already in place to track those sales and measure exactly how much it was costing her per sale for a given audience she was targeting.
31:05 - How Much Should You Spend to Know if it’s Working?
Some of Jamie’s audiences convert immediately, low and quickly. Those are the ones she pushes money towards. Some audiences have no sales for 3 days, but all of a sudden they take off like wildfire.
Jamie gives each ad set about 3 days at $5 a day before calling it quits. And if she has a gut feeling to push one audience a bit further, she’ll go with it! The more you run ads, the more you’ll get a feel for what’s worth hanging onto and what you can stop on day 1 because you just KNOW it’s not going to work out!
32:33 - First Month Ad Results
Jamie can describe her results best by growth.
She started advertising after finishing FB Brilliance in August. She experienced an immediate growth in sales of 500%. It was fast! And she instantly became a crazy person with Facebook ads. She really wanted to push things off the ground. She was researching audiences and checking her ads every 6 hours.
“You can’t give up right away if it doesn’t go well,” Jamie cautions. She went through about 20 audiences before one worked. But once it worked, it REALLY WORKED.
I still remember Jamie emailing me at the end of last August telling me about her month of 17k in sales! Things took off for her really quickly because she was constantly testing and tweaking her ads strategy!
The selfie with her tee shirt was her only ad she was running at the time, but then she created ads for her ‘Regulators’ kid tee. Facebook tends to like women’s shirts better than their kids’ shirts, which is interesting!
34:40 - Way to go Facebook!
I see Jamie’s ads in my Instagram feed all the time! I’m someone who sees a product I love, and I will buy it right away! Way to go Facebook, very smart with the targeting ;)
The Facebook pixel is seriously awesome, you guys. They will go out and find people who will give you sales at the most affordable rate!
35:50 - Mind Blown With Lookalike Audiences
Delving into Lookalike audiences really blew Jamie away. She did a lookalike audience based on her website visitors at first. Then she created an audience based on people who watched a marketing video SMP produced. Jamie has created lookalikes of people who have visited certain pages on her website, and a lookalike of her customers. You can get really deep with it! It’s amazing what Facebook can do!
36:31 - So Many Lookalike Options!
I, Beth Anne, am currently running ads to build my email list. Let me give you an idea of how many lookalike audiences I’m leveraging:
You can do so many things with lookalikes, and the coolest part is, no one else’s lookalike will be just like yours - so you’ve got all these killer audiences of millions of people that only you can really target to! (Ok not exactly but… you won’t be competing person-for-person the way you would with an interest-based audience!)
37:20 - Are Lookalikes the Best Performers? Or Interest-Based Audiences?
Cold traffic sometimes will perform better than lookalikes for Jamie! If the shirt she’s advertising has been around a while, then cold traffic audiences are better. If it’s a new shirt she’s introducing to her audience, lookalikes or retargeting ads are best.
One caveat: sometimes Jamie finds that her ads will suddenly stop performing. What she’ll have to do then is change up a new picture and post text for the same shirt, reset the ad, and the sales turn back on. This is all part of being a savvy business owner!
38:36 - Jamie’s Best Ads
Let’s have a look at some of the best ads Jamie has run.
The first ‘But First Gangster Rap’ Tee, featuring her daughter’s preschool teacher!
Image: Selfie type of photo that moms relate to. It’s totally cool, casual mom style!
Copy: Coffee is great, but for reals, though. Nothing gets our day started quite like a little Biggie Smalls, am I right?
Get free shipping with promo code → GRFreeShip
Grab yours here -> Bitly Link
40:20 - Talking To Your Audience Like a Friend
I love how conversational, casual, and fun Jamie’s ad is! This is how you would share about t-shirt you really like with a friend. That’s why it resonates so much with people.
Jamie says she doesn’t want her company to feel like a big name brand.
Saturday Morning Pancakes include gifs and memes in all of her emails. Jamie responds best when she can laugh with someone and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t!?
41:11 - Another Winning Ad
Copy: First Gansta Rap. Then Coffee. Then I do the things. Grab this super soft gangster rap tee and turn your cold, cozy mornings into hip hop awesomeness.
Get your free shipping code here → GRFreeShip
And if you remember back to Melissa Kaiserman’s episode, she also said her customers don’t often use her free shipping codes! They just love the product! It’s nice to include coupon codes, but don’t be surprised if most of your new customers don’t use them!
42:57 - Pricing Tees
Jamie charges $31 for an adult tee and $21 for her kids sizes. So again, people aren’t coming to her for cheap tees, but they are coming to her for these hilarious and fabulous products that tell the world what they’re all about!
Another factor in pricing the tees is that they’re sourced with high quality fabric, which makes her costs higher.
Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth, and of course, leave enough wiggle room so you can afford to pay to acquire a new customer. THAT’S how you scale up a business!
44:00 - Has Manufacturing Changed?
Does Jamie screenprint her own shirts? SMP does work with a screenprinter now, due to the quantity. There’s just too many to do on her own! But Jamie does still screenprint a few of her shirts.
During Christmas of 2016, Jamie was still screenprinting 60% of her tees, and her heating element went out! She was desperate for a solution, and even tried baking her tees in her oven! Jamie says she was desperate to make things work and not keep her customers waiting!
45:46 - Another Ad
This ad is a flat lay of a t-shirt that says ‘You're The Wu To my Tang’ with a cute pair of sunglasses and cut-off jean shorts.
Copy: GREAT NEWS! We are now offering our Wu Tang tees in another color! Woot woot for Wu Tang!
Grab yours here: (bitly link to the shop page)
Get 10% OFF with the code WuTang.
(And shocker again! Not a lot of people are using the 10% off coupon!)
46:22 - What’s Working For Jamie Right Now
Jamie has a great product that appeals to a specific niche. She’s always testing marketing.
What else is working for her right now?
“Build a community! People know when they're being sold to,” Jamie says. “I love my customers, and I’m sure we’d all be best friends if we had the chance!”
I know just like Jamie, you and your customers are passionate about all the same things. You all have a story. Jamie has extended her branding and connection to her customers all the way down to the packaging of her products! Everything she does is light and fun!
If you’re just trying to make a quick buck, people will know. Your business should be community-oriented.
48:00 - Loyal Customers
Jamie says she’s always had a strong, loyal customer base. About 70% of her customers are new this year because she’s just growing like crazy. But once she earns a customer, they ARE repurchasing!
This is why even if you can just break even on ads but get a bunch of loyal customers for years to come, it's worth it!
50:04 - Jamie’s Adorable Mom Moment
You’ll have to listen for this adorable burn from Jamie’s 4-year-old daughter! I was cracking up!
51:20 - FB Brilliance is Opening its Doors Again!
Was that not incredible hearing from Jamie!?
Here’s the exciting news: If you’re ready to dig into Facebook and Instagram just like Jamie did and explode your business growth, I’m opening the doors to my course on Facebook advertising, FB Brilliance, this month!
The doors will open Thursday, September 21st and they will ONLY be open for a week. I will close the doors Wednesday, September 27th - and that’s it, friends!
I won’t re-open the course til next April.
But I don’t want you to wait 7 months to learn a strategy that will get you the biggest bang for your buck and help you scale your business like Jamie did.
In the meantime, I’m running a scholarship program from Tuesday, September 12th - Saturday, September 16th. This scholarship will be hosted inside my new Facebook group FB Ads For Brilliant Mamas.
Five motivated ladies who submit their answers to all 5 assignments I give during my lessons will receive lifetime access to FB Brilliance, for free!
You want to be in this group, and you WANT to be eligible for this scholarship by completing our totally doable assignments.
And if you’re not sure about FB Brilliance, you still want to be in the group because you’ll learn a lot from my live sessions! (Jamie is also going to make a surprise appearance in the group towards the end of September!) Don’t hold yourself back! I know you can do it!
Even if you have doubts that you can succeed, we will all be there to rally around you and help!
And you can still grab our cheat sheet, 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Run Your First Ad right here: brilliantbusinessmoms.com/facebookadscheatsheet
Keep In Touch With Jamie
Fri, 8 September 2017
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we’ve been talking all about Facebook ads and their potential to help you grow your business this month on the podcast. If there’s anything I’m ridiculously passionate about, it’s using Facebook ads to explode your business growth. I’m on a mission to help as many brilliant mamas realize their potential as possible!
I’ve got another amazing case study for you today from LJ Johnson. What I love about her story is that a year ago she didn’t even have a website! She just had an idea in her head. She was passionate about planning trips to Disney on a budget and wanted to help other moms do the same.
In January of 2017 LJ started her website, Smart Moms Plan Disney, and in March she launched her first product with a presale. LJ has done more than $30,000 in eBook sales since then. I think that’s pretty crazy for someone who didn’t even have a website a year ago!
It’s not often you’ll find someone who starts a blog, and less than six months later brings in five-figure sales stats, but that’s the power of Facebook ads! You can really amplify your business growth.
If you’re out there just thinking about a business idea, I think you’ll be completely inspired by LJ’s story. You’ll feel empowered that you can do this, too!
The other thing I wanted to mention is that LJ talks about going through my Scholarship Program for FB Brilliance. And I wanted to let you know I’m hosting the Scholarship Program again this year! 5 brilliant, amazing ladies will get to enroll in FB Brilliance for free.
And I’m not talking limited access or limited stuff. Nope, they get the whole sh’bang! They get lifetime access to the course + all updates. Access to my weekly coaching calls that happen for the first 8 weeks of the program. Access to the private Facebook group to connect with other amazing Mamapreneurs. Access to my mastermind pairing bonus (yep… everyone will get matched up into an 8-person mastermind this year!). My scholarship students get everything!
To be considered for a scholarship, make sure you request to join my private Facebook Group right here. Every day, for 5 days in a row (from September 12-16th) I’ll share a lesson. At the end of the lesson, there will be a simple assignment. Each woman who completes all 5 assignments will be considered for the scholarship. We will pick those 5 winners based on who has done the best job on each assignment. Plus, each lesson and assignment will set you up to be more successful with your own Facebook ads, so it’s a win-win!
(Something else fun...and I don’t even know if I should mention this! But I actually gave everyone who submitted a scholarship application a special discount code for FB Brilliance last year! So if you’re on the fence, you should give the Scholarship Program a shot! It’ll give you a sense of my teaching style and steps you can take to set you up for success.)
Ladies, I just can't wait to see you in those lessons!
And one more note before we get into the interview. I wanted to say that LJ gives FB Brilliance a pretty rave review. That is totally unsolicited! She just started sharing how much she loves FB Brilliance and how it’s changed her business. I just want you to know I did not try to pull that out of her! She just started sharing, which was so, so sweet. I love that she’s enjoyed the course so much. And I honestly think you will, too. Make sure you’re on our list so you get all the updates about FB Brilliance!
7:05 - Meet LJ
LJ Johnson is the founder of SmartMomsPlanDisney.com. She lives in Kentucky with her husband and 4 kids. Her business is not even 1 year old yet, and she’s already done amazing things!
I am just so excited at how she’s grown a blog and created a product from scratch this year and you won't believe her sales numbers for that brand new eBook!
LJ achieved her insane growth primarily using Facebook ads and I can't wait for you to hear her story.
8:26 - A Business Is Born from a Personal Passion
LJ’s business idea was brewing for a while. She knew she wanted to do something Disney-related because her knowledge around doing Disney on a budget was seriously ridiculous! (As in, she and her family had been going to Disney every month, and sometimes twice a month for several years!) LJ was eager to bring friends along for the ride.
She discovered Brilliant Business Moms in the Fall of 2016 -- the last time the doors to FB Brilliance were open. In fact, she stumbled upon our 5-Day scholarship program ON Day 5! She watched the entire series after the fact, but almost wrote the scholarship off as she didn’t think she would have time to complete the assignment.
LJ’s super amazing husband agreed to wrangle their kids for two days while she worked through the assignments so she could be considered for a scholarship.
“My business was born in FB Brilliance,” LJ says.
10:25 - Faith, Trust, and Ebook Pixie Dust
Those initial business tasks took LJ until the first of the year, which is when she officially launched her business.
At first, she was considering becoming a Disney travel agent, but it wasn’t a great fit for her passions. LJ felt the real pressure to make a profit, especially since she was spending a lot of her own money on Facebook ads to build her email list.
The idea of writing an eBook came to her in March of 2017. She realized that two of her areas of expertise were managing money and going to Disney World, and her ebook was born: Disney World Within Reach: Meeting The Mouse Without Breaking the Bank.
This book was the answer to a question LJ has received hundreds of times: “How do you afford to go to Disney?” LJ always thought she was giving common sense answers, but as we business owners have to remember, what comes naturally to us doesn’t come naturally to everyone else!
Disney has improved LJ’s life in so many ways, from getting her finances in line (her family was almost a quarter of a million in debt!) to learning how to make the most of time with her family.
15:00 - Maximizing eBook Sales
Through our emails, I recommended my sister-in-law Abby’s Book Boss* resource to LJ. In that course, Abby shares her own eBook launch strategies - such as offering presales and working with affiliates - which LJ took to heart.
By creating a product that really helps people and following solid marketing advice, LJ has more than earned back every cent she has invested into her Facebook ads. During just her week of presales, she sold over $11K worth of ebooks! And that was just presales! Those customers hadn’t actually received the final product yet!
Within two and a half months of the book going live, LJ made $35K in sales. LJ says she is reinvesting a lot back into her new company, but the income has already outpaced the real estate company she already has!
17:38 - How to Run Presales
In February, LJ started a Facebook group, which really works well for her niche. Fans were posting to LJ’s business page asking their Disney planning questions, and LJ was eager to answer them...but she felt uncomfortable answering personal questions in a public place. She had the idea to start a private Facebook group where moms could ask their questions, and it worked well.
Facebook did a great job of matching up the perfect members to join Smart Moms Planning Disney. By the time the book pre-sale started, LJ had about 5,000 members in her group, with tons of engagement!
LJ told her group an ebook was coming the moment she started writing it! And it worked out great since she got tons of amazing feedback during the writing process. (People were even begging her to finish the book as quickly as possible!)
Once LJ was ready to warm up buyers, she introduced the book price at $50. She knew most moms might find $50 for an ebook too much to pay, but she wanted to establish that value in their minds. Plus, when she announced the presale price of $35, everyone was super excited for the deal and eager to buy!
22:33 - Favorite Tools to Run a Presale
Of course, Facebook is LJ’s #1 tool. She says she never would have connected to her audience without it.
Another tool LJ loves is SamCart. This app makes it easy to offer customers other products you have for sale. And in fact, it motived LJ to diversify her product offerings and create several packages for customers to choose from.
SamCart includes training that suggests using ScreenFlow or PowerPoint Mac to create a slideshow pitching your products and how they work together. She also purchased a quality microphone to record her voice overs.
LJ invested $1,000 to use SamCart for a year, but it paid for itself on her first day of sales.
25:00 - Using Facebook Ads for Affordable Leads
LJ ran her first Facebook ad on Christmas Day, but there was a MAJOR glitch. A friend sent her a screenshot which showed that LJ’s landing page was completely messed up and looked awful! Still, those leads were coming in at $2.20 each, which is pretty great considering her error-filled page. LJ quickly turned off the ad and did some troubleshooting. Once she was back online, she started getting leads for as low as $0.15 a day!
LJ watched our FB Brilliance course in bits and pieces. But whenever she would hit a dry spot or snag with her ads, she picked back up and watched the next module - which usually solved her problem.
Due to her background in real estate, LJ is comfortable with the idea of investing money in order to grow. She was okay to spend money up front (about $2,000 a month for a few months) to build up her email list so they would be ready to buy when the time came.
Once LJ started writing her book, she backed off Facebook ads and let the momentum organically continue. These days, she is spending about $200 a month on targeted ads.
28:21 - LJ’s Brilliant Ad
LJ’s most successful Facebook ad is her simplest.
She tells the story of how her first Disney trip was a total disaster! But she came back home, learned more, and tried again. The second trip was a huge success!
Then she directs visitors to her free cheat sheet on a carefully designed landing page.
This simple ad is her highest clicked link of all! Despite the fact that she’s really pushing other ads to evergreen blog posts.
From the investment she’s put into Facebook ads, LJ already has 10,000 subscribers on her list. That kind of growth is incredible for such a new business!
And the proof is in the pudding that LJ’s sales funnel is on point. In fact, she has a recent example of one customer completing her entire sales funnel in the course of a one day! The customer:
31:12 - My New Assignment for LJ
Since things are going so well, I have a new experiment for LJ to try: Retargeting ads for the people who ended up on her product landing page but didn't end up buying. She could offer a special bonus or $5 off coupon, or even a customer testimonial ad to recapture those visitors and get the sale.
At this point, LJ says she can’t handle more sales. (And I know that’s a great problem to have!) Currently, about 6 out of 10 orders are digital, but taking care of the printing for those few physical orders is a lot. LJ is interested in assembling a team at some point to help her grow.
33:47 - The Magical Story LJ Paints with her Ad
So let’s dig into LJ’s ad. It’s so well done!
Copy: I know you barely have a second here between taking care of your kids and career. In fact, you’re so busy you don’t think you have time to plan a vacation this year. But you know your kids are only the perfect age for that Disney World magic for so long before the time passes you by.
I’m LJ and I understand exactly how you feel.
But to be honest, my first trip to Disney wasn’t all that magical. I was so busy, I just showed up in line and stood all day. I had no plans, no reservations, and no idea where anything was. We stood in the heat all day and did very little.
I didn’t go back for 3 years.
But when Baby #2 started walking, I wanted to go back again.
And this time I wanted to be prepared.
An obsession was born.
I now look back on that next trip with such fondness and feelings of joy. I wouldn’t trade those magical memories of my kids and husband for a million dollars.
Since then, I’ve gone to Disney over 20 times. I spent over 100 days at Disney World in the last 2 years. I’ve taken not only my four kids but also people of every age from newborn to school age to grandparents! I’ve stayed at almost every Disney resort, rode every ride, seen most every show, ate at so many of the restaurants.
And I’ve started this blog to help other working moms find the magic I found at Disney World. I’ll make it easy for you to plan your trip because I don’t want you to end up like me during my first trip! I even have a free cheat sheet that will give you all the important steps to plan your trip.
Click here to sign up and grab my free Disney World Planning Cheat Sheet. → bit.;y/WDWFreeCheatSheet
Photo: It’s a fun flat lay, desktop shot. And she has snapshots of Disney World overlaid on the desk, as well as a checklist.
Headline: Disney World? You CAN go this year.
Tagline: Disney World: Make the Magic Happen in 2017
This ad has so many shares and views, it’s really perfect!
36:50 - BUSINESS MOM POWER!
You guys, this is why moms business are going to take over the world! Moms love supporting other moms, and telling other moms about the awesome things they find! And, moms listen to each other. I just love this energy!
LJ is also passionate about moms having an outlet, and being able to earn an income from home.
(Audio abruptly cuts here due to some technical difficulties we had, bear with us!)
39:00 - Getting Creative with Targeting
We see that LJ has an ‘Ear Hat Ad Set’ that is marketed directly to travel agents for them to be affiliates of her book. Pretty smart!
Copy: You’re the expert. Your client is looking to you to provide assistance to make their trip to Disney World as magical as possible. They want you to tell them where to eat, where to stay, what they should fast pass, and how to save money.
If you’re like most people, you probably value a great recommendation. When someone tells you about a product that makes your life better, you’re grateful to that person and you’ll go out of your way to help them in the future.
The word for this is loyalty.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could make a great recommendation and earn your client’s loyalty for years to come?
And it would be even better if you got paid to make that recommendation!
If this sounds intriguing, click here to check it out the program.
And the link goes to a smart landing page explaining the affiliate program for LJ’s book.
40:10 - Narrow Your Target Audience With Your Ad
What I also love about this is that LJ let her ad do the work of narrowing down her target market. A lot of newbie advertisers try to perfectly pinpoint their audience on Facebook, only to get frustrated that Facebook doesn’t have that exact audience at their disposal.
But the thing is, it doesn’t cost a lot for Facebook to show your ad around. Let the very clear message in your ad copy, image, and headline do the narrowing for you. It’s totally okay if thousands of people pass you up on your offer, as long as a few of the right people see it and respond. That’s the power of Facebook!
40:54 - Facebook Ads Are NOT Just For Huge Companies
A lot of people think that Facebook ads are only for huge businesses, but I’m here to tell every Brilliant Business Mom that ads are doable for any business of any size!
You don’t even have to run your ads every day to see great results. You can have a successful campaign for $50 a month, get new people in your funnel for about 10 Days, turn off your ad, nurture them, measure your results, then tweak from there!
41:30 - A Fabulous ROI
When LJ started her real estate company a few years ago, at the time she was really nervous about investing! “Am I really going to spend all this money? I might never get it back!” And thinking about FB Brilliance, LJ says if anyone is on the fence she can attest that the course is a great investment.
She says, “This course had everything I needed in it. You gave me the direction for me to head in.”
(That is SO sweet and kind. Thank you, LJ! And our interview ends really abruptly here due to technical issues. But stay tuned! We’ve got great things ahead.)
43:30 - Ready To Try Your First Ad??
Did this interview leave you just itching to test Facebook ads?? We have a cheat sheet you can grab before you do: 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Run Your First Ad.
It'll save you time, tears, and money!
43:50 - Closing Comments
Whew! That was so fun talking to LJ! One thing I wanted to mention, there were a few awkward starts and stops to the interview, and you might have heard baby squeaks in the background. That’s because I was holding Levi while recording, and his schedule was a bit different than mine :) We did have to cut this interview short, and didn’t get a chance to hop back on due to scheduling, but I did want to share LJ’s story!
Her success is absolutely crazy.
And one thing I wanted to point out is that LJ is not afraid to invest funds up front in her business to get results. You can absolutely do Facebook ads on a budget. But LJ did scale more quickly to see bigger results more quickly.
As LJ shared, she comes from a real estate investing background. And in real estate, you’re often putting up large sums of money before seeing a return. And honestly, that’s how a lot of business growth works.
We’re almost spoiled to think we don’t have to spend anything and can just start a profitable business from thin air. Yes, we live in an amazing time where we can set up shop on the internet instead of having the huge overhead involved in a storefront or physical place of business. But that doesn't mean starting an online business will be free.
There is always a cost to growing your business. The question you have to decide is what expense do you want to trade in: dollars or hours?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer. But if you’re ready to trade dollars for quicker growth, I think you’ll love FB Brilliance!
Tue, 5 September 2017
Erin Odom blogs at TheHumbledHomemaker.com. She’s wife to Will and Mommy to a lovely trio of redheaded girls and one sweet baby boy (yay! another boy mom!). Erin says she’s a recovering overwhelmed homemaker, and she writes about motherhood, homemaking, healthy living, and family finances. Her debut book, More than Just Making It: Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated, is coming out on September 5th. I just have so much praise for her book! I’m so excited for Erin and delighted to have her as my guest today. Welcome to the show, Erin!
2:10 - How a Low Point Turned into a Brilliant Book
When Erin’s family was living the difficult story she recounts in her book, she would think to herself, “God is teaching me so much. What good will come from this? If I ever make it through this time, I want to do all I can to shatter the shame and stigma of the poor.” But she never envisioned she would write a full book, and with a major publisher!
Erin was raised in upper-class middle America, went to private school, and received a college education. Yet her book opens with Erin walking into the Department of Social Services to apply for food stamps. Like many of us would be, Erin was embarrassed and shocked to have found herself in that position. In fact, she says her pride was so strong that initially, she thought she would write an expose on government aid and how broken the system was! Erin’s story is one of being humbled over and over again.
Her book formally began when an agent, actually through Facebook, reached out to her. Her agent told her three things were needed to publish a book:
Erin had several long phone conversations with her agent about her life, what she’d learned, and ideas she had, but things kept coming back to this low point in her life. While going through this time she would think, “We are just barely making it,” but at some point the tables began to turn and she started saying, “Okay, we can be more than just making it.”
6:45 - The Long Road to Publishing
Book writing can be more rigorous and drawn out than you might think! Erin signed with her agent in January 2014. She took two years to write book proposals due to other professional projects. Her book was finally written in 2016, and is now getting published in late 2017.
Thanks to the time between the actual living through these events and the writing of her book, Erin had already processed much of the emotions bound up in her story. She had shared bits and pieces of the story to real life friends and blog readers, and already faced much of that shame and privilege in the eye.
8:15 - Expecting Critics
Erin is also wisely looking ahead and anticipating critics. Especially due to the controversial nature of a few, main topics in her book - like government assistance - she knows there will be people who disagree. Erin says she’s at peace with that now, but also won’t be surprised if she sheds strong emotions when that first negative review comes! But even still, she says she couldn’t NOT have written her story.
11:30 - If You’re Thinking About Writing A Controversial Book (or Business)
Especially for other Christians, Erin’s chief advice is to pray about the decision. Her book couldn’t have been written without lots of prayer!
Also, she suggests doing a ton of research on your topic. Erin had her own story, but also she needed to research the facts to help her gain objectivity.
13:10 - Wisely Choosing What Influences Your Work
Whatever book or business you want to produce, you’ll be influenced by what you read and listen to during the process. A couple of books in particular were foundational to Erin’s writing process during the proposal phase. She was very drawn to books which read like fiction, even if they weren’t!
Bonnie Gray’s Finding Spiritual Whitespace was one such book on Erin’s list. Gray did offer practical tips on how to find whitespace, which was helpful to Erin in a time of entrepreneurial burnout, but her book was framed in memoir. Erin really loved that feeling!
Emily T. Wierenga’s Atlas Girl, was another title that gripped Erin’s attention. Wierenga’s book didn’t have a practical element, but she does chronicle her time moving around the world, alongside the story of her mother having a terminal illness.
Erin took this inspiration and thought, “if I want to write a book geared toward financial practicality, I don’t want it to be dry and boring.” She wanted her book to take her readers into the story. Erin wants people to feel that space with her, and evoke their empathy. “The way we evoke empathy for other people's stories is by sharing our stories.”
17:00 - The Hard Work of Book Writing
Writing this book wasn’t easy, even having always loved writing and majoring in Journalism! Erin says she thought it would be much easier to write her book than it was. Around 2015 she was in entrepreneurial burnout mode, and simply longed to write. As her blog became a business, she got farther away from those writing roots and wanted to get back. Since this was her heart, she thought book writing would be easier....but it was MUCH harder!
The memoir was emotionally difficult to write. There were many layers of her financial situation, and painful realities to walk through - some of those stories made it into the book and some didn’t.
But writing the practical part? Well, Erin confesses that it was kind of boring to write! (We’re all business moms, aren’t we? We can admit there are boring parts to business, right!?)
Primarily, Erin wondered if readers would even be helped by her tips! She didn’t want to write a book that only gave people the warm fuzzies, she wanted to write a book that gave steps to life change. (Phew! Erin placed a tall order on herself with this book… but I think she totally delivered!)
18:50 - What If This Is Super Obvious?
It’s tempting to think that everyone already knows the things we do. When Erin was writing the book, she incorporated many tips her parents instilled in her. Both Erin’s parents grew up in large families with not a lot of extras; and though her own father had a great job, frugal living was the norm.
She realized in the moment that God prepared her for her lean years since she was a girl. And Erin realized while writing the book that not everyone grew up in a family that was super frugal like hers was. (What’s common sense to us is often knowledge that others need to learn about!)
22:10 - Hope for the Frustrated
If Erin could tell a mom feeling financially frustrated just one thing it would be, “There is always hope.” Of course, she can’t predict levels of financial success, but she can say, “Wherever you are doesn’t mean you’ll be there the rest of your life.”
In any trial, it’s easy to think the trial will go on in the same way forever. Erin says, “Especially if you are listening to Brilliant Business Moms and you’re an entrepreneur, trying to make a business for your family, you’ve already taken a big step!”
One major issue the Odoms discovered is that they had an income problem. A key component of her book is to identify that if you’re financially frustrated, you may have either an income problem or a spending problem. Once you know the root cause, you can find a solution.
“If you have a small biz or are planning on starting one, you are steps beyond what many are,” Erin says.
25:05 - Making a Blog a Business
The Humbled Homemaker (Erin’s successful blog) launched in 2011 and it was on a bit of a whim. She was freelancing for newspapers, and one of her editors told her, “Erin, there are moms making an income from home with their blogs.”
The idea was certainly intriguing to her!
At first, Erin had absolutely no money to invest into a business. There are lots of ways to start a blog or business by investing money up front, and you usually do get quicker returns. But Erin didn’t even have $10.00 for a website domain. Her first domain literally was thehumbledhomemaker.blogspot.com. Back then, as is true now, you couldn’t monetize a wordpress.com site but you could monetize blogspot.com domains.
Erin’s blog was completely DIY’ed. Though one crucial step was Erin getting into a mastermind group from the beginning. The group provided her tons of resources, one of which included a friend who was eager to design her site!
It was about 2 years before Erin was making more money online than her husband made as a teacher, and it was 3 before she was making a very good income from her blog.
Erin and her husband Will thought a LOT about whether or not he should quit his job. In 2014, he went down to teaching 4 days a week, and in December 2016, he totally quit his job as a teacher
One reason her husband didn’t make the leap to quit his job was because they weren’t sure if their marriage would survive working together!! It’s a joke, but with a bit of truth to it! The first 6 weeks of working together in early 2017 went really well...and then their 4th baby was born!
As with most newborns, a family adjustment was required. But 8 months in, Erin says it’s gotten better as time has gone on.
Blogging as a business isn’t easy, and comes with lots of work. (Pssst. Another venture Erin had a big hand in was starting the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle with Stephanie Langford!)
With all of these activities spinning at once, when Erin’s agent signed her, she was in a stage of burnout. But thankfully her agent did not pressure her to write a book proposal right away. (And it is highly unusual for an agent to not put pressure on writing a book proposal!)
29:50 - Book Marketing
Some authors will receive a launch budget from their publisher, but not most! You have to do a LOT of marketing yourself, even with a traditional publisher. Erin did receive a marketing budget but is still pouring a lot of her own time and money into the book.
One benefit of a traditional publisher Erin enjoyed is that she didn’t have to hire an editor or designer for her book. The quality of those services was very high caliber.
Receiving a marketing budget depends largely on the publisher and the size of the author’s platform. But even with a marketing budget, Erin says that a publisher would not cover 100% of those expenses. The publisher may have a plan in mind, but the author will lead the way. In fact, some of Erin’s marketing ideas were covered by the publisher, while others were not.
32:44 - Why Traditionally Published?
It’s possible to make more money by self-publishing if you know how to market well, so why traditionally publish? Erin says working with people has made it really worthwhile! She loves the accountability, and it fits her personality well to work with a publisher. That’s not to say she would never self-publish another book, but she’s really enjoyed this experience!
33:20 - Book Payments
Let’s talk about the book money, honey! It is traditional to get paid part of the book’s advance before even writing the book! Erin’s publisher pays the advance in thirds. She got one third when she signed the book deal, the second 3rd upon getting the completed manuscript, and the final third when the book is published.
Other publishers offer 50% upfront, and 50% when book gets published.
Erin’s blog has taken somewhat of a backseat to the book, and so having that advance money is a really nice cushion as the blog is her family’s primary source of income!
35:40 Mark your Calendars for Erin’s Next Book!
Erin already has her 2nd book on contract! It is a gift book that will come out in 2018. (And, yes, Erin wrote 2 books and had a baby in a twelve-month period, which she tells us isn’t necessarily recommended!)
The upcoming book is a gift book, and it’s called ‘You Can Stay Home with Your Kids: 100 Tips, Tricks, and Ways to Make it Work on a Budget’. Actually a team at her publishing house came up with the concept and title, and asked her if she would write it!
Erin was amazed that books go up on Amazon while they’re being written! (Like the book Erin is still writing which will come out in 2018.) Why the early-bird treatment? In the book world, preorders are everything.
I just loved sitting down with Erin and chatting about her story, her incredible book, and her business wisdom. I hope you’ll go grab your copy of More than Just Making It, because I know you’ll find it incredibly encouraging and chock full of practical advice!
37:40 - Adorable Mom Moment
You’ll have to tune in to the podcast to hear all about the sweet moments that are happening between Erin’s girls and their new little brother. So much cuteness!
Stay in Touch With Erin!
Erin’s New Book: More Than Just Making It
Erin’s Blog: The Humbled Homemaker
Facebook: The Humbled Homemaker