PP 140: Mompreneurship with Allie Bjerk

Quick Show Notes: Allie Bjerk

Allie Bjerk and Kim Sutton engage in an entertaining discussion about marketing, motherhood, managing clients (and too many internet browser tabs) and much more! As an added bonus, this episode even includes a few bloopers!

Listen to @thekimsutton & @alliebjerk's entertaining chat about #mompreneurship: https://thekimsutton.com/pp140Click To Tweet

Episode Transcription: Allie Bjerk

Kim Sutton: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity. This is your host Kim Sutton and today I am thrilled to have Allie Bjerk, a digital strategist and business coach, here with us, Allie, welcome.

Allie Bjerk: Okay, thank you so much for having me.

Kim Sutton: Listeners, you know it’s Positive Productivity, not perfection. This is take two because just a couple minutes ago, we were starting and yeah, my recording software was off

Welcome to another day of Positive Productivity.

Kim Sutton: Allie, I would love if you would share what you do and what your journey has been to bring you here with the listeners.

Allie Bjerk: Yeah, absolutely. So right now, I am working as a digital strategist and business coach. So, mostly working with entrepreneurs to help set up their Facebook ads and their sales funnels and really empower them to know that the tech behind them and you know, all the strategy is totally learnable.

Allie Bjerk: And a lot of people get intimidated or, you know, think they can’t do this for themselves. But I work with a lot of mommas and a lot of female entrepreneurs, so it’s been really rewarding to help people grow their businesses in this way.

Allie Bjerk: And we really focused on relationship building and I refer to it as like a trust funnel instead of just a sales funnel because you’re taking a potential client through a journey. So that’s, that’s what I’m doing right now.

Allie Bjerk: It’s really evolved over time. I started about five years ago as owning my own marketing agency, and then pivoted and then started doing just digital strategy services for like running the Facebook ads for people. And then I discovered this whole world of Facebook groups which totally blew my mind that there were other female entrepreneurs doing exactly what I was doing, because up to this point, I had only been working locally and with a lot of older males and I didn’t realize that my people were out there and very reachable.

Allie Bjerk: So, since discovering that, it’s totally changed my business and my world and now I’m working directly with those business owners. So it’s been really inspirational and a cool journey to… to see and get to help other people build their businesses.

Kim Sutton: I love so many things that you just said.

“Finding your people…” Like, I didn’t even know that I had people.

Allie Bjerk: Right.

Kim Sutton: And when I started my business, I was just saying yes to everybody.

Allie Bjerk: Yeah, don’t do that.

Kim Sutton: Listeners know…. I mean, burnout, stress, lack of passion for what you’re doing. Chasing income is not the way to go.

Facebook groups…

Allie Bjerk: Yes…

Kim Sutton: I was blown away by that as well. However, I did realize that you have to be careful because you can easily get sucked in.

Allie Bjerk: Yes…

Kim Sutton: and, and also be sucked into comparison syndrome. I may have just made that up, or, but it’s not healthy to constantly be comparing ourselves to the successes that others are saying that they’re having. Right? Or chasing their successes because we have to know what our own y is.

Kim Sutton: I do have a question about Facebook groups for you. Do you recommend that your clients have a group… have their own? Or does it depend on the client? I would love your thoughts on that.

Allie Bjerk: I think it depends on the client and what their goals are. You know, if they if they have goals, reaching a broader audience and you know, maybe selling courses or doing doing more passive income products, I think it’s a really good option.

Allie Bjerk: It’s… The way that we’re marketing online is changing a lot and that you’re gonna I think, see a lot more of like messenger bots and those type of things where you’re doing the personal touches on Facebook versus email marketing. So it’s kind of another way to build a list of people that are interested in working with you.

Allie Bjerk: But, you know, you it does take a lot of talking to yourself basically in the beginning and you know, showing up consistently. So if that’s not something that you want to do, or it doesn’t serve you and your business, then I wouldn’t recommend it. But, you know, if you’re, if you’re in it for the long game of building up more and more engagement than that, I think it’s a good idea for everybody. Good for now. I mean, that could change.

Kim Sutton: I agree. It’s always changing. And to listeners who are part of the Positive Productivity group on Facebook, this is something that I’ve personally struggled with is focusing my time and remembering to go in and post because we’re all trying to do so much. I mean, sometimes I wonder if I would be better just not having the group because I’m not in there.

Allie Bjerk: Yeah…

Kim Sutton: But I’m hoping that it will build up And, you know, people will start conversations on their own, but there has to be the effort.

Allie Bjerk: Mm hmm. And I’ve noticed that I’ve heard from a lot of people too, that they’re, they’re spending more time in the smaller groups versus like the groups with 30 or 40,000 people, because those groups just they don’t feel very relationship oriented or like, you know, it’s not a community where we’re all in it for helping each other.

(Transcription clean-up still in process! Thank you for checking it out, though!)

Allie Bjerk: It seems like the bigger the bigger the community, it’s like, it almost flips a switch where it’s just about other people promoting versus, you know, helping. So, I think smaller is better, you don’t need to feel nobody needs to feel bad if they only have you know, 100 or 200 or anything. It’s just starting conversations and and I’ve actually gotten away from doing like the Oh, it’s Mindset Monday, or it’s Tip Tuesday or something like I’m starting to try to do shorter posts and more engagement like asking people, you know, personal, not personal personal but things like you know, what’s your favorite color or whatever. This quote means you things like that are more relationship building versus just talking at them. And I’ve noticed the difference from doing that too. Even in the last couple weeks.

Have you noticed a trend as well about people being a lot more transparent and authentic in Facebook groups especially? Well, to me it feels like in the past six months or so,

yeah. Yeah, absolutely. In some groups and some it still feels like that I made 150 k in one week type. That’s a gene which, you know, was it that can cause the comparison and imposter syndrome and all that

is an entrepreneur myself, I would like to thank and listeners and you too early, if you ever see me put up a post like that. Give me a virtual Slack, please. Yeah, I do digital marketing for for clients as well. But this is not about me, this is about you. But what I want to share is how to get results and how to impact And not necessarily the income? I mean, how do you share your message and get your message out to the world in a way that people are going to see it? And where do you go? Are you finding and I really don’t want to date stamp this episode. But I’m just curious, are you finding any less success

with Facebook groups,

Facebook groups, Facebook ads Facebook pages because of the political climate, especially in America right now? I think

maybe that where people are just they’re feeling they’re falling out of love with using Facebook in general, because there was so much negativity recently that I think a lot of people just kind of sign out for a while. But there’s also a lot more competition to apart from, you know, anything that’s going on in the world. They’re just more people running Facebook ads and more people starting their own groups and I think it’s probably on the tail end of this type of stuff working for marketing your business, but as long as like minded main focus is building the relationships with people first. So if someone, if I’m posting something in another Facebook group, always making sure to, you know, follow up with anyone that comments and chatting with them and just human to human versus business to business. And I think that’s what’s really working because we are so inundated with marketing messages and, you know, posts all the time on Facebook and ads everywhere, that people are really craving that connection with someone.

What would you say is the top piece of advice that you would have for any business on Facebook? Or maybe for your people, I should say, Ellie, who are your people? Who would you could you share again, who your people are?

Yeah, so service based businesses and coaches. And I primarily work with women but I I’d work with men a little bit too.

Okay. So for service based businesses and coaches, what would be your number one piece of Facebook advice

Don’t be afraid of private messaging people just even to start out conversationally and say hi and get to know them. Another thing that has worked really well is doing like coffee chat type connection calls, where they’re not pitching you on anything, you’re not pitching them on anything. You’re just genuinely getting to know them as a person, and finding out what they’re all about and talking a little bit more about what challenges they have. And in being transparent on a call like that you’re building a relationship where they feel like they know you even after a 20 minute coffee chat, and then they’re referring now that they’ve learned what you do. They’re like, Oh, she’s a designer, I saw posts or someone’s looking for a designer, I mean, her her business to her because we really connected on this coffee chat. So it’s like a very organic relationshipy based way to grow your business but also be able to build community and support other people too, because now you know what they do. And you can refer back and forth. So it’s kind of like the old in person networking. events where you’re you’re chatting in person and you’re shaking hands and you’re eyeball to eyeball that that stuff worked really well for a reason. But being mine, it totally changes the game in that you you can’t easily get a feel for somebody who they are as a person just by their their posts and ungroup

Oh, absolutely. And I love that I call it virtual coffee. Yeah. And I’ve been using it. I’ve been personally using it over on LinkedIn, oh, I sent out a connection request. I know we’re talking about Facebook. But listeners when you’re sending out a connection request on LinkedIn, please personalize it. Like I accidentally sent out one of those. cut and paste not cut and paste out of the standard Skype invitations earlier today. And I just cringed because I do not like to just send out the Hey, you know, username here, I’d love to connect with you. And that’s the same on LinkedIn. Like let them know that you took the time to look at their profile and then send it out. Right But then in After they connect, I’ll send out a message that invites them to have virtual coffee. And it’s not at all like there’s nothing spammy in it. I’m not trying to sell on services. And the same thing for Facebook is the other for coffee. And don’t please don’t like try to sell them your stuff right

away. Yeah, don’t ever use it. It’s just a good opportunity to get to know people. I think of it as like, How to Win Friends and Influence People. That book by Dale Carnegie and it’s just taking all of the elements that he wrote. It was it like eight years ago or something, but just how to like show people you appreciate them and you know how to win friends. Basically, you just take some of those same principles and apply it to today’s tech world. Where you know, you’re you’re actively listening and not making it all about you and not trying to jump into a sale right away or propose marriage on the first date. And it’s, it’s about like, genuine organically caring about people instead of just selling whatever you want to sell in your business.

Right? We don’t do business in Vegas. I mean,

I mean, we could do business in Vegas, but no, you don’t just meet somebody and get married on the right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I like to come out like all wrong but I think right.

What are some of the systems that you have in place in your business that help you manage everything that you have going on?

I speaking of Facebook have installed that Chrome extension called Facebook feed Eradicator Have you heard about that one?

It does not

get like wipes out your your Facebook newsfeed. So anytime that you try to log into Facebook, it gives you an inspirational quote about time basically. That’s

Yes. I actually need to put that on my husband’s computer.

Yes. So every time you try to log on and I was fine myself after I downloaded or added it to Chrome, I would I would go to Facebook just randomly, like why am I doing this? This is not effective use of my time this you know, I would be checking like, oh, did anyone send me a message or or any clients meaning anything, they great now it says our truest life is when we are in dreams awake, like it’s just something that reminds you to take advantage of everything that you have available in life to enjoy it and don’t get sucked into. You know, mindlessly scrolling scrolling

is also easy. I mean, it’s so tremendously easy to get sucked into the scrolling.

Yeah, so that’s one system that’s helped helped me another thing that’s helped me is only checking my email twice a day. So once in the morning when I’m present and ready to respond to everything, whereas before I had it on my phone and I was checking it, you know, on the treadmill at the gym and then I’d say all respond to that later. But then I was forgetting things. And I wasn’t I was putting so much pressure on myself to have a perfect response that I wanted to sit down and do it and then it would be it wouldn’t be new anymore so then I’d miss it and I am totally a work in progress I am like a what will be will be type personality and I’ve had to work really hard to create systems and hire people to help me create systems because otherwise I was a little bit too free spirited business wise and doesn’t always help.

Perfect if you have open on your browser right now

I was afraid of you’re gonna ask me that. I’m probably like 15 maybe 20 Yeah, probably 20

Oh, by the way, I am not one to criticize. You No, no, this is positive productivity. I think last night I I literally had to restart my computer just to force chrome to quit because I locked it up with like 35 tabs only. Now that is not the way to go, folks. Right? One tab

has been awesome for me though. Is that your mission now? Oh, no.

I mean, it’s actually it’s a, it’s an extension for Chrome, oh, elbow for other browsers. But what you do is you just push this little icon in. We’re all those little extension icons are. And it will compress all of your open tabs into a list on one tab. So what I was finding was that I was keeping tabs open until I could get to them. Yeah, but that’s where you end up with 35 open tabs in four different windows. Yeah, right. So I just compressed it all down. Chances are I forget about it. And if that’s the case, then I really didn’t need to be looking at it in the first place. Yes, that’s true. My goal is three tabs. However, right now 123. I have seven plus my one tab tab.

Okay, that’s it. Not too bad.

No, it’s not. I mean, my email really doesn’t need to be open because I like You have been trying to I have escaped the slavery of my email. Um, but I’m still probably three or four times a day and I don’t check on my I don’t check on my email. I don’t know why I’m not about to start though I might just uninstalled it’s just it amazes me how that’s how most emails are read is I think what I heard, but I yeah, no, I just don’t.

That’s what other tools do you use.

I use Trello a lot. I’m really big fan of Trello. And I’ve actually rearranged my phone homescreen. So that Trello is where my email used to be. So that I’m focusing on being productive instead of just going through emails. So just keeping track of client to dues and Trello and, you know, I have like a meal planning board for my family and an event board for my family. So just just keeping everything in one place. It’s really helped a lot too.

I do have to go back to the meal. Planning. Oh yeah, sorry to be in. So you go out.

I try to do a month at a time. Wow, try

how many trips to the grocery store to somebody in your house make

we usually go my husband I will try to go together once but it’s usually once or twice a week for like fresh produce and stuff. But the wish it was less, especially with with three kids until right

now I completely hear that and even at two or three times a week you’re better off than me because what do you do? I don’t plan I need to get better about planning. And then it becomes a battle of I know listeners. This is not at all positive productivity. Seriously, I realized that by not planning in advance. I’m in my opinion, I’m wasting 20 minutes a day trying to find a parking spot. Especially driving the Man, man. Yeah. Because it takes me like six times driving or you know, backing up and going forward just to get a park. So I’m not parking on somebody. Yeah. Okay. I haven’t had anybody yet. Anyway, we have clickless at our Kroger here. Okay, and but the problem is, is that every time I go to order, I need groceries that day and I forget that they don’t do same day that you can just go pick up your groceries, it’s your next day or two days later. But in full disclosure, I usually wait till Saturday to do it, which is probably not the best idea either. Right. But I would love to at least plan out a week in advance.

Yeah, it helps a lot. I just found myself being so stressed at dinnertime like I have to feed these kids again. What am I going to feed them and trying to figure out a meal and what did I have on hand and it just it got to be too stressful that it was just one area that I could take care of. That would make it less

less stressful alley one of my morning goals is to have the littles dressed and ready to go. So that can get them to daycare by the time they stop serving breakfast. Because that alone frees up so much bandwidth and yeah, we they have a cup of milk and a bowl of dry cereal at home because or else it would just be a disaster. But every single day at home that they eat breakfast at home, there is a bowl of spilled dry cereal somewhere every morning. Yes, single morning. Yeah. So if we just get them out of here for breakfast, then great tool, your mom’s cat history in the podcast. To all the moms who run your business with kids at home. Bravo to you. I would just be completely without sanity if I tried to do it, but I am not knocking what You do that allows you to keep it together. So actually, I would love your comments on that. If you want to come over to Doug KIM SUTTON comm forward slash p p 140. Or we’re with blooper where you’ll be able to find the show notes and full transcription, all the links that we talked about on this episode. Ellie, do you have any type of routine built into your day?

Yes, otherwise I would struggle. So similar situation in the morning where we have a bowl of cereal and it’s, I have a five year old, a two year old and a five month old. So the five year old and the two year old are fighting over what color bowl they get. They’re generally spilling milk at some point. That’s usually the morning routine. And I do I do three days a week of daycare for my two year old and then my five month old is with me during the day. In the sheets with a sitter if I have like a client call or something, so I get them either to daycare or preschool and then I go to a workout class at the gym for about two hours and then I come home and I usually work you know in the late morning and mid afternoon and then call quits and hang out with the kids from about five to 730 when they go to bed. So it’s pretty, pretty similar every single day Thursday’s are a little bit different. I try to take some time off during the week so that I can just be mom. So I keep my try to keep my work days to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So those days that are a little more, you know, depending on how the weather is if we go play at the park or those type of things, but we always hit the workout class in the morning because I get very crabby if I don’t get my workout in. I just learned that it’s more like a mental clarity thing than anything else but I just need like an hour, two hours of Being in the gym and then I can keep other things afloat but it’s it’s very Go go go right now I have a with a nursing five month old if I need to drop her off at the sitter right after the gym then I’m like pumping in the car and it’s she’s like making use of every minute possible, just to keep everything afloat. And you know, it’s definitely a juggling act when you’re running a business and wanting to be mom part time, not part time, but you know, be have your mom days and your work days and just making sure all your clients are happy and your kids are happy and your house is somewhat clean in your husband’s happy like it’s a lot of organization keeping it all going.

Oh, it definitely is. And I have to say, I have to get my older kids great credit for helping keep the house going.

That’s awesome. Because

I mean, they’ve got chores they want. Yes, they get chores. I and how old are they? 11 and 14 Okay, so the longevity additions get done without me. Have ya hire out or do it myself? Yep. Which is absolutely amazing.

And I did try to have the

the twins when they were born home with me and work but no joke there was one client that every time they would call in one of the twins would start screaming it was always the same one. Oh no. So yeah, I gave it an effort.

Yeah. I saw a time lapse video that someone posted in a Facebook group and she was working on a computer and she had like a two year old and a four year old that were like climbing all over her in a time lapse is probably a minute long but it was amazing. Like how how focused she was on working and the kids are like sitting on her head and they’re pulling your hair and they’re like asking her to get a snack for them and like the time lapse just cracked me up because I can completely relate like we’ve tried I’d pretty much every situation possible for childcare like I’ve tried keeping them home full time. And I found that I’m not. I’m not as good at work as I would like to be. And I’m not as good at mommy as I would like to be when I tried to combine them. And we’ve done daycare centers or daycare, in home, daycares, or nannies, like we’ve tried everything. And now know you kind of settle on what’s working until it stops working.

Oh, finding a solution? Yeah, we we’ve tried everything. And we’re actually in between or looking for a new daycare right now just because things happen. But no, I think the final straw with us having them at home was I was trying to focus and my oldest son the youngest, managed to find a brand new carton of eggs and crack it on the kitchen floor. The whole complete doesn’t

know so.

I mean, it’s amazing. I find it quick. Yeah. They are very good. But as moms, I think we are especially great sometimes at really focusing in on what we’re trying to doing. trying to do. I mean, multitasking isn’t necessarily something that we should be doing all the time but when we

McDonald’s toys, gotta love

to say one



Listeners positive productivity, where we get accompaniment by McDonald’s Happy Meal toys. Because Mama’s too busy to go to the grocery.

Hello, yeah, no, but you know, we find that we can be focusing on what we’re doing. Whereas I love them, but my husband cannot focus when there is just chaos going on with the kids in the background. And maybe that’s a good thing because I can focus and sometimes I get over focusing so much that things like a whole carton of eggs gets cracked on the kitchen floor because I did for you realize everything right? Yeah, exactly.

You know, we thought was anything dangerous?

Oh, yeah, no, no, I,

I hear I hear the danger. I don’t know I hear that. But yes.

Yes, exactly. Mama, Mama Mama. No, I can. Yes. That has been a transition though as well, because I was working nights and weekends way too much. And I finally started reclaiming that. Was that something that you had to work on as well?

Yes. And still working on it.

Do you have a team Ellie?

I do, which has been an immense help.

What was the first team member that you hired?

I hired Well, I hired a coach to help me. Just see some of the things that I was missing in growing My business you know helping me that’s saying like you can’t see the forest for the trees like helping me find some my blind spots and different ways that I could work being a busy mama and wanting like being very driven to grow my business like how can I do both at the same time so I hired a coach and then she suggested hiring an online business manager. So the the woman that I hired has a group of virtual assistants under her so she keeps everything like rolling for me online and being visible and helping me set up like different sales pages when I’m watching something and you know, shoot like I get to be the overall idea maker and showing up for you know, my brand and showing up to work directly with my clients. But then all this other stuff kind of happens in the background, as long as I’m creating content and so I batch create all the content that I put out in Facebook groups, and if I’m doing a Facebook Live, like I I put all that together on one day And then it kind of goes out through the week because of my amazing IBM.

I’ve finally made the transition of not working 99% for clients and maybe 1% for myself. Yeah.

And I can’t even imagine going back, right?

You have to give yourself time and just just block it into your calendar. All will not fall apart. If your clients don’t get 40 to 80 hours a week from you, it will be okay.

Right, I think he can kind of train people what to expect to

and choose choose your dream clients who will understand is a big part of it. Or don’t work for someone that expects you to hop on a call with them at 10 o’clock at night if that’s not something you’re comfortable doing. Kind of without, without who you want to work for and back to saying yes to everything. You don’t have to say yes to every client that comes your way. Because that just makes room for more dream clients if you’re saying no to people that aren’t so ideal.

Oh, absolutely. I completely agree. Ellie, where can listeners find you online and learn more about you and what you do?

So my website is Alli beer calm. So that last name is tricky one. It’s a Ll IE, BJ er k.com. And then I do have a Facebook group. That’s a little baby Facebook group, but it’s growing. It’s called elevate your empire. So it’s all about community and lifting each other up and answering online questions and our questions about online marketing, I should say. So those are the two places that I hang out the most. And yeah, feel free to send me a friend request to say well, I just love connecting with people and that’s why I love marketing because it’s just all about people.

Fabulous listeners, those links and everything else that we’ve talked about as well as a full transcription will be at bat KIM SUTTON comm forward slash p p 140. Le. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you here today.

Thank you so much.

Oh, you’re very welcome. Thank you right back to you. Do you have a closing piece of advice or any words of wisdom for listeners that you would like to share?

I have a favorite quote that I would love to share. And that is someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason. So just giving yourself the grace and growing your business and you know, taking time for yourself and for your family and knowing that everything will happen as it should and just trusting the universe to help it happen. And trusting the process I think is would be my biggest piece of advice. Don’t be impatient with yourself. But just go for it and do things scared to.