PP 601: Diversifying Your Income with Joe Fier
“I would say consistency is king… So anything you can do to focus and stay consistent with that focus is going to win out for sure.” –Joe Fier
Your entrepreneurial journey is certainly one of the most exciting yet challenging part of your story. It can be rough sailing at times and you may feel doubtful of your chosen career. Don’t give up just yet. Try these strategies on effective marketing in today’s episode. Life is beautiful with its twists and turns but it is more beautiful if you live it with grace.
04:42 Coming Out of the Box
12:56 Where to Focus: Ads vs Traffic
16:47 Grow Your Email List
24:21 Pull Out Your Assets and Repurpose
29:01 Deciding on the Price
35:21 Foster Your Community
39:22 Keeping the Work Accelerating
43:46 Be Consistent
About Joe Fier:
Joe Fier, a man with an incredible genius in management, progressed into this arena with his personal touch on people’s lives. As the Co-Founder of Evergreen Profits Marketing, Strategist, Author, Speaker, and Podcaster, Joe’s life may seem so cramped. But, his secret to his success lies on how he gets everything done with the right perspective and at their own place and time. His entrepreneurial journey started as he took his first steps creating an environment that is both productive and fun. He always knew he was meant to live big, and today he’s living his dreams.
“Just pick a couple things that you could do really well… so you can actually do them effectively, actually implement effective ads and then follow up effectively as well, since that’s where the money’s at.” –Joe Fier
“Content marketing is really effective if it starts with our voices… And then we can repurpose it.” –Joe Fier
“With the personal touch, you definitely have the ability need to charge more.” –Joe Fier
“It’s just making sure it’s the support style that is going to be essential for you there.” –Joe Fier
“I would say consistency is king… So anything you can do to focus and stay consistent with that focus is going to win out for sure.” –Joe Fier
“I would say consistency is king. That’s what we’re finding out. So anything you can really in this because of the automation, and the follow ups, and emails, and all the pixel stuff, retargeting figure out consistency in your business, and if you just do that and simplify, you know, kind of put the blinders on a lot of the other moving parts, keep it easy, it’s just going to keep your sanity in place. And entrepreneurship is tough so, you know, and maybe you can do to kinda focus and stay consistent with that focus is going to win out for sure.”
Kim Sutton: Well come back to the Positive Productivity Podcast. This is your host Kim Sutton, and I am so happy to have you here today, and I’m thrilled to introduce Joe Fier. Joe is the cohost of The Hustle & Flowchart Podcast , which by the way, if you haven’t heard yet, you have to go listen. Joe and his co host Matt keep me entertained and educated every day of the week as I’m catching up with backlogged episodes, and along with Matt, Joe was also the cofounder of Evergreen Profits. He’s passionate about blending digital marketing with podcasting and as heritage sites, if you have not subscribed and listen to Hustle Flowchart, you have to go do it. Like right now, pauses, go subscribe there, and then come back and resume here. But Joe, welcome. I am so happy to be having this chat with you today.
Joe Fier : Yeah, thank you very much for having me, Kim. That was an awesome little intro there and I know you are an avid listener, so that is God’s honest truth right there.
Kim Sutton: Oh yeah. Listeners, you have to know that as podcasters, and Joe, I’m sure you feel the same way, but I love hearing feedback from listeners. I mean, there was one day, you may have already heard this story because we’ve been at a few of the same events, but I was literally walking through the toilet paper aisle.
Joe Fier : Hmm.
Kim Sutton: Part of my mouth, everybody, you know, I don’t usually, I swear. But I was having a shitty day, and I was walking through the toilet paper aisle, of all aisles, and I got a pop, or I got a Facebook message from somebody who had just been like marathon listening to the podcast and let me know how much it meant to her, and how great she thought it was. And I was like, wow, my shitty day just went away with the toilet paper and it felt so good (laughs). And I don’t have that case very often, but I mean, it was just one of those days. And just that simple message. Yeah. This might be like episode 600, I think it’s 602?
Joe Fier : Is it not? That is abusing, that’s a lot.
Kim Sutton: Yeah, oh my gosh, Joe. I had this, I was going to launch it one day a week, or when I launched, it was one day a week. And then I had something possessed me, probably a lack of coffee within the first couple of weeks, It went to seven days. And then last year I cut it back down to two, which is been–
Joe Fier : Yeah, one to seven is a little aggressive, especially with, you know, all the work you do, and the kids you have, and all that and all that, just life.
Kim Sutton: Well, it’s just quantity versus quality. The quality.,I mean, the guests were awesome, but we weren’t able internally do it as good as we wanted to, when we had so many.
Joe Fier : Yeah. And that’s, I mean, well, we started as a one time a week show as well, and then it really was the demand of people wanting to be on our show is what caused us to boost it to two times a week. So now it’s Tuesday and Thursday, and yeah, I don’t think we’ll all increase any time soon because of exactly what you said, because we have so much stuff that happens outside of just that one episode that goes live. You know, there’s so many ways that we repurpose the content and follow up with every single person that’s on the shows. So we establish a really good bond relationship with these folks. They usually turn into, you know, advising deals, partnership deals, or just helping them for karma, good karma. It’s Kinda, it’s kind of our style is, you know, we always want to establish a good followup with everything we do. And yeah, I think if we boosted it more than two, at least currently there is no way we can keep the same quality.
Kim Sutton: Oh, absolutely. Well, Joe, for people who don’t know you already, would you mind sharing a little bit of your backstory because listeners, you know, I’ve climbed, you know, partial mountains come back down and then, you know, it’s been a constant journey to say the least, but I know you’ve had quite the journey yourself in the entrepreneur space. So would you mind sharing anything about that?
Joe Fier : Of course. Yeah. I didn’t come from entrepreneur family and entrepreneurship, or anything like that. There were definitely corporate go to college, go to school, you know, just hustle and grind, walk fast. When you know, look like you’re, you’re getting stuff done to your boss and all that stuff. And I was just like, okay, okay, I can do that for a little bit. But I learned it very quickly that I am not good kept in a box, so be that a cubicle, or just you know, needing to be at some place at a specific time, that’s not my choosing. So, I quickly realized I need to make something for myself and my partner and that’s Matt Wolfe. We’re luckily working together at the time. This is a time where I had two jobs, I was going to college full time, I was like commuting all around San Diego, and it’s a huge county if you’d never been here. So, I was basically from all corners every, maybe three or four times a week. So, I was just grinding. But Matt and I, someone gave us the Book– Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. He was one of the employees at that job, and he was like: “You guys seem like you have this bug, this entrepreneurship bug. This book has been really effective.” And it was for us, that was our Aha moment that got us out of this kind of hourly wage living mindset and moving into more, hey, how do we exponentially increase our income without, you know, needing a B time based, you know. So there’s a lot of ways that we can leverage ourself in different ways, not the typical employee things. So that’s sent us on a path to blog actually, and like the first thing that we got into online was blogging. Matt had more of a finance wealth focus blog because that’s his background. And I headed up a site and more of the health space cause one of my jobs, my gigs was actually being like a food sample guy at whole foods markets and all these other, you know, natural food places. Ironically, that company is actually was owned by my wife’s mom, now my mother-in-law. As I was dating the wife a little, or the boss for a bit, which was kinda cool, but–
Kim Sutton: I didn’t realize that, I’d never heard that part.
Joe Fier : Yeah, I haven’t really said that too often (laughs). Yeah, we’re still married and, and it’s great. And that company is now sold, but that got me really into, like natural foods, organic stuff, and yeah, a holistic type thing. So that’s what that blog was all about. And we learned how to attract traffic. Usually, you know, we were due for marketing, and then we did a lot of advertising through Google, and these things that are not legal anymore by Google standards, but text link ads. So we would sell links on our blogs and we’d make probably a whopping, I dunno, $100 a month?
Kim Sutton: What type of timeframe was this?
Joe Fier : This was like 2007, 2008 somewhere around there.
Kim Sutton: Okay. So when I started my ecommerce shop in 2005 I think it was, it must’ve been 2007 when I gave one attempt, one attempt to Google Adwords, and accidentally spent more than my monthly rent payment in a day. Now keep in mind that I am in Ohio, I’m not in San Diego. So rent here is a lot less than you guys pay out there. But I had no idea what I was doing, I had no idea.–
Joe Fier : And most people don’t.
Kim Sutton: –And I have never gone back, and I made that mistake. We have a mutual connection, Richie Otay, hey Richie, who’s like: “I can help you, I can help you.” And I’m like: “Okay, as long as I don’t need to touch it, fantastic.” But I love hearing stories like that. I mean, even $100 a month is better than losing 800 in a day when you don’t know what you’re doing.
Joe Fier : I hear Ya. And I’ve definitely lost, I think everybody with advertising has some kind of story of spending way more in a short period of time than they ever expected to, yeah, and not getting any results. Maybe like one lead out of it, you’re like, wait, what? I totally messed that up. So yeah, the blogging days, that’s what like the catalyst to everything. So, I’m getting started with content marketing, and throughout the years I’ll just fast forward and kinda pet to it. But Matt and I had started together as, we weren’t like official partners, but we were essentially just like side partners in this blogging thing, and we’d always help each other go to all these events. And that’s where we established our initial network was, you know, we joined some coaching programs. So we network, they’re inside this community, and a lot of those relationships are still very tight relationships with our affiliate marketing, or other partners that we can just bounce ideas around or meet up with. And you know, their friends became our friends, and you know, our network kind of just organically grew and still to this day. It’s like a lot of those folks have now appeared on our podcast, and we’ve done some partnership deals with them, whatever it might be. But it’s really cool because over the year we’d more, from so many business models from agencies, to Matt had his own separate company. I was at video production guy doing launch videos for all these big internet marketing launches for years. Very colorful backgrounds. So like, we kind of call each other these marketing generalists at this point. And you’ve probably heard on our show is, we can kind of talk to anybody in terms of marketing and have like a general idea of where to, kind of dive deeper. And I think it just comes from studying so many things implementing, always experimenting. And our thing is like, we always tried to somehow teach that to our subscribers, our listeners and give some of his best stuff away for free. The podcast just happens to be, now the thing that is the free thing that just is a fully like, hey, here’s our best stuff. And yeah, that’s kinda how we do things.
Kim Sutton: I love it, and I love marketing generalists, but at the same time I would love if you, and I could have a chat for a little bit, I build marketing funnels for clients pretty much all day, every day. And I’ve had to help many clients overcome the thought that they need to be everywhere. So many people think they need to be on every single platform. And in reality, our ideal clients are not on every single platform, or at least they’re not spending their time, their focused attention on every single platform. I can tell you that I have way more profiles than I actively use.
Joe Fier : Oh yeah, that’s everybody.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. And you can tell, I mean, I think I signed up for snapchat just so I could keep an eye on my kid, to be totally honest. I have my profile name, but I think after that initial thought of, yeah, I should be in here to see what he’s doing. I don’t even think I have it on my phone anymore. And I–
Joe Fier : Yeah.
Kim Sutton: I gave periscope a shot when that came out. So I’m on the big ones. But you can tell by looking at any of them. She doesn’t spend her time here.
Joe Fier : That’s okay. And I think that, it’s funny you mentioned that because I’m actually talking with a pretty big name guy, you know, I’m previous client of mine from this launch days who wants our help for monetizing his podcasts. Cause that’s kind of something we’re starting to do more than growing the traffic. But mainly it’s like, hey, how do we actually make money with this thing? And he wants to be on every single channel. And you know, it’s like one of those things, and it’s always in our minds too. It’s like, okay, so let’s think 80/20 here, where is like, we just put 20% of our efforts, like what’s gonna give us the 80% results that we seek. And for a lot of folks it’s Facebook, or Instagram, or maybe if it’s more corporate, like Linkedin. Like I know that’s extremely effective right now. So it’s like just pick a couple things that you could do really well. And then, like you said earlier with the podcast frequency, you know, turn the frequency down a little bit in terms of the platform so you can actually do them effectively, you know, actually implement effective ads and then follow up effectively as well. Since that’s where the money’s at.
Kim Sutton: Do you think ads are essential for any entrepreneurial looking to grow their business right now?
Joe Fier : No. Even though this is an ads guy that’s kinda talking, you know, it’s a big part of our business. I didn’t touch ads for like five years in my business. It was all referral based. It was all based out of that network that I grew. I was selling over the years and just given value, and something that Matt and I still to this day, which we’ve done since day one is consulting for karma thing has just like, hey, we’ll hop on a call with you. For you know, 15 to 30 minutes or whatever it takes, or meet up with you if you’re a buddy of ours. But you know, if there comes a time where there’s, maybe the help is just becoming a little bit too demanding, or they’re just calling a little bit too much. It’s like, hey, you know, I’m totally willing to work with you, but maybe there’s some kind of retainer thing, or you want to pay for consulting, or we partner up on this thing, or whatever it might be, yeah. Back in the day when I was starting my company, it was completely referral based, and I knew that there were a handful of folks who are really good advocates of what I did at the time. And I just made sure that I always gave them a good product. My results, you know, were very clear, and my name got passed around. So referrals, I would say is the number one way to start out. And honestly, most companies just stay that way too.
Kim Sutton: That’s how I get all my business is referrals and I love it. But at the same time, there’s been that concern in the back of my head. Well, I had to be totally honest, for the last year, 99% I went back to New York for a second. 99% of my work has been coming from one client. And that’s a scary place to be in.
Joe Fier : Yeah, I can talk into that too, in multiple fronts. So a couple things, so I’m gonna, I’m gonna write that down because I don’t want to forget that (laughs). So, going back to the traffic thing really quick, there’s two things I would suggest and I wish I did way, way, way sooner when I was a service business doing those videos where it sounds like a similar business where I was kind of like the main person. I was doing a lot of the work, I had a couple of contractors, the overhead was pretty low and it was all referral-based. But at the time I didn’t realize how easy it is and how effective just simple Facebook retargeting. You can even do this on linkedin, and you know, Instagram. But folks who have visited your website, or maybe you’ve been a specific page on your website, like your contact form. So you know they’re like really interested in talking to you. Or maybe it’s someone who’s actually, you know, completed the contact forms who just retargeting people on a thank you page. Cause that’s, you know, the deeper you target, the more effective your ads in that audience should be to, maybe have a call with you. So what I would do in the past is, or what I should have done is just run some simple retargeting ads, kind of showing my brand, my face, maybe some videos to grow more of that trust factor, then know like and trust, and then with repetition of just some basic, basic, basic Facebook retargeting ads or Linkedin, if your target market’s there, that should be enough to at least get them to be like, oh yeah, I forgot about Kim, I wanted to give her a ring, or maybe we should chat, you know, a little discovery call. So I would have done that, I really wish I did that because I would get become a little less reliant on referrals then.
Kim Sutton: That is so huge, Joe.
Joe Fier : Yeah, I hope it helps. It’s effective too.
Kim Sutton: I have chronic idea disorder, so like I have to be really mindful when ideas like this come my way because I could easily drop everything that I have on my agenda for this afternoon.
Joe Fier : Okay.
Kim Sutton: That is so amazing though. Yeah, I want to hear number two.
Joe Fier : Okay, yeah. Then just write them down, or you have a recording so we jump on it. Yeah, and then the other one is 100% grow that email list and I believe you already doing that, but you know, it’s not only grow the list which I was doing at the time, but I was not following up with them on a consistent basis, at least weekly to just give value and show some of the cool stuff that, you know, we’re doing, experimenting with, who we’re talking to, who are working with, you know, not a pitchy thing at all. Everything we do in any of our ads or emails, it’s, we’re usually teaching to something, even though we almost email daily, which sounds like a lot, but people legitimately have asked for it when we go down in frequency and they’re like, hey, I love your emails, but it’s because we’re always teaching in there, there’s always a nugget. Even our sponsorships on our podcast are starting to, you know, because we just started taking on sponsorships. We’re always putting a little bit of, like a mini tutorial in there. Even if it’s like a minute long tutorial. So emails are the same exact way. I would definitely figure out a good follow up system or schedule for your emails. So ads and emails are the two things I would do cause that’s in your control. Those are buckets that you can follow up with whenever you want.
Kim Sutton: I want to throw something else in there if you don’t mind.
Joe Fier : Yeah.
Kim Sutton: The thank you page for the optane. I have seen so many people who just forget about their thank you page and all it says is thank you. You know, check your email in a moment. It’s like, hello, that’s prime real estate.
Joe Fier : Yeah.
Kim Sutton: You can easily get an upsell on there, or invite them to your, you know, your private Facebook group, or do so many other things. Get them to subscribe to your podcast or your blog.
Joe Fier : Hmm.
Kim Sutton: That’s just such a huge opportunity. And then, I don’t know about you Joe, but I hit 404 pages, left and right.
Joe Fier : Mmm, your own words–
Kim Sutton: No, not on my own. I just, I’ll be typing really fast, and I’ll type the wrong slug, or whatever, and I wind up on 404 pages all the time that say, oops, you know, this page is no good. And that was early change that I did on my own site, was I am now using my 404 pages, a huge marketing opportunity for other products.
Joe Fier : Yup. That’s smart. We’ve done that as well. Yeah.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. And it’s not hard to do, well it wasn’t hard for me to do, but I know there’s a lot of listeners who aren’t as tech-savvy, but there, listeners in the show notes, I’ll put a link if you have wordpress, that’s an awesome 404 page plugin that lets you design your own in it. I think it was even free, which I love. But yeah, it just made it so easy. But actually that has to go on my list too because it needs to be updated.
Joe Fier : Yeah, no, that’s a good one. And that’s just kind of, yeah, you’re just covering your basis in any opportunity. You can bring someone into your email list is a good thing, it’s good for them. You brought up the whole 99% is on one client that’s similar to this reinvention we’re kind of going through right now, which I mentioned before, we started recording is, you know, if you put, and I know it’s not on purpose, typically that’s not on purpose cause I’ve done this before. Like in my service days, sometimes my whole monthly income would be on 100% one client, you know just taking, cause we didn’t do a bunch of projects at once. It was maybe like two or three per month, and one of them were probably like 80% or plus of the income cause it was a big project. So it’s being mindful. That’s why it’s important to have control of followup so you can, you know, offer other services, or maybe there’s some kind of recurring element to it that you can bring in there. But with our business, I’ll just give you a quick example is, we were very heavily dominant in affiliate marketing and still, still is. But as our main driver of income, that’s a little scary because it’s controlled by someone else. It’s an affiliated product so we have no control other than the marketing we can do prior to a sale. But you know, if a page changes its pricing model, or its copy and starts kind of tweaking a bunch of things, conversions can completely, don’t you just fall, which happened semi recently for us on a, actually a couple of products, a handful of products that we felt like almost immediately. And, we’re like, oh okay that’s not a good structure to a businesses being reliant. Cause we were for a while a good 80% of our income was coming through affiliate income and it’s, I can relate that similar to client income because you’re not totally in control of a client either. You can be doing great work and then the next week they could just fire you because they hired a marketing manager that has their own team, and they’ll just take all your processes–
Kim Sutton: Ehmm.
Joe Fier : –which has happened to us multiple times. That’s what got us out of the agency work actually. So there’s a lot of things you should always think of how to control your income in some way. And the way we’re pivoting, so maybe you can take some ideas from this were, and you’re seeing this on our podcast, is we have our newsletter, this physical newsletter, but we also have a membership site. This is just like a bundle thing. And that’s a recurring income of ours, it’s only 15 bucks a month, I think is the Max rate. And that gives access to all sorts of things. But the intention there was it’s monthly recurring income now. It’s not a lot, but we’re going for micro continuity, which you know, we can give an immense amount of value for just $15 a month, and it’s been working very well and it’s growing. You know, we’re adding maybe five new people to that every day. We have some ideas on how to actually exponentially grow that, we’re trying to sprint to a thousand. But now, that opens up opportunities for sponsorships, yeah, we can, we can do affiliate marketing within there too. So it’s kind of like a layered approach we’re starting to do now, but with like, we want to control some of that income as well and that all, it’s all kind of repurpose from our podcast, which is also cool. So it’s not a lot of extra work.
Kim Sutton: Well, I just want to share and then I have a question. The majority of all that work was coming in through a mutual connection who I won’t name, but you know, we’ll be at the same event in a couple of months, but I’ve been white labeling, which is fantastic. It’s consistent income because there’s always new clients coming in. But should anything ever happen to that client? There goes that lead source.
Joe Fier : Yeah.
Kim Sutton: And I, I am a naturally positive person, but I also have to be real, and I can’t just let my wells run dry. And then I was thinking, you know, I was doing funnels before I started working with this client, so why aren’t I trying to build my own packages, or not even trying? Why aren’t I?
Joe Fier : Yeah. And you can use a lot of what you’ve done really well with that client and you know, you can create some templates out of those things. Obviously, if it’s their IP, you want to make sure you’re not ripping anybody off and getting their approval and all that stuff. Putting your own spin on things, but you can use this time as like a, the way that we framed our agency days and we did this for, you know, probably a handful of years together, Matt and I, and then I worked myself, you know, with the video stuff, personally. I kind of related to getting paid to learn a little bit because you’re seeing the backend of all what’s kind of working right now. You’re getting paid to work with new people, so new connections as well. There’s just a lot of ways that you can frame agency life, or even working, you know, 99% of your income is coming from one source. You can frame that into a positive thing and make sure that you can pull out the assets that you can use to then, okay, let’s be real as well, have a foundation. But still know that you’re getting paid to kind of do that work for yourself. You can repurpose a lot of that stuff for your own foundation outside of just that client work, if that makes sense.
Kim Sutton: Oh, that absolutely makes sense.
Joe Fier : Cool, yeah. We literally took our client business, we were a content marketing agency for a bit and this is just a real story again, case study of a, we’re doing amazing work for as a brain center, and they’re paying us about $5,000 a month to create all their content, increased their leads, and just do some general kind of online optimizations on their website, and we’re crushing it. I think we increased their leads like five X or something within a few months, and these leads are like, you know, traumatic brain injury type leads. So they’re very, very valuable. And, and they ended up firing us because they hired that marketing manager, and they had their own team, and they’re like: “Okay cool, we’re just going to do this with our own people and bring it in house. You guys did great work, bye. That was your last month.” And we saw that, and then we saw another one kind of starting to go that direction. And then that’s when we were just like, okay, so we can make exponentially more money if we did this for ourself. If we did this with affiliate products and then we would get, you know, 50% of could be a recurring product. So like a SAS software type product, and our markets marketing type people, you know, business owners. So there’s a lot of tools out there to get behind that, have either a, you know, 50% commission could give us 2 to $300 per sale. So like cool, okay. So, it doesn’t take a lot of those sales, if we could figure out this content marketing thing just for ourself. So we took a lot of that stuff that we did for clients and then applied it to our own business for affiliate marketing. And then that kind of morphed into, really the business we have right now that led to the podcast cause we’re like, content marketing’s really effective if it starts with our voices so we don’t have to write so much.
Kim Sutton: Right.
Joe Fier : And then we can repurpose it like crazy into blog post, transcripts, and ads, and then now products even. So, yeah, it’s interesting, but that’s kind of the evolution actually. That was the catalyst for us, you know, getting fired and you know, $5,000 almost immediately dropping, you know, that recurring and yeah, that’s real stuff right there. And then you know, fast forward to semi recently here is when that whole affiliate kind of shake up, you know, a few pages got changed so our income dropped in that regard. So it’s, that’s causing it like another reinvention, a little bit refocus of our business. I think it’s all for the better though because it’s allowing us to be a stronger company at the end of the day.
Kim Sutton: I love that you are building your membership platform in your newsletter. I am curious, and this is such a nosy question. How did you decide on the price of 15?
Joe Fier : It’s interesting, because we started this newsletter like three years ago and we actually did 13 months of it, and then it stopped. People loved it, but we had a hard time scaling it, and we started that price at about 50 bucks a month, I think it was, maybe it’s 39, and got up to as high as $99 a month. And that thing, I mean, we gave them solid content, still do, but it was a different kind of form. Yeah, it was all unique content written by Matt and I. we spent a lot of time on it. We did monthly calls, had a membership thing, worked really well, but then you know, someone drops at $99 and we kind of hit a ceiling on scaling it. So it was really tough at that price point for us. And you know, someone drops, or a handful of people dropped, really start feeling it–
Kim Sutton: Right.
Joe Fier : –your monthly income. So we’ve always been interested in this micro continuity and that’s, you know, anything from like, 10 bucks to, maybe $20, I think like Netflix.
Kim Sutton: Right.
Joe Fier : That kind of models, that’s really a micro continuity. It’s like, if you bring in 500 people and a few people drop that month, you’re not going to feel it. And you have the ability to run some free trials. Like, right now, we’re starting to experiment with some trial offers to get people in the door. Retention we’ve noticed so far is much higher. And the sheer numbers, you know, we’re kind of starting to see our company as a media company, rather than a direct marketing company, or education company, whatever you want to call it. So it’s a new audience that we can now run the numbers and figure out, okay, so our conversions on an insert for an affiliate offer will give us X, actually don’t know what I’ll tell my head right now. Matt was actually written those numbers, but we know to a science more or less, like okay, well we’ll back out this kind of math because of this number of people reading this every month. And then there’s the opportunity for sponsorships. So we are now starting to sell certain sponsorship packages, and one of those is an insert in mentions in our newsletter. So more money is made there. It doesn’t necessarily need to be made by the actual customer themselves.
Kim Sutton: Right. Well, I just did the math here. I mean 500 people at $15 a month, that’s $7,500, that’s a healthy amount.
Joe Fier : Yeah.
Kim Sutton: So the reason why I was asking because I’m actually, I have the Positive Productivity pod, and late 2017 I was working on building out this grand membership site on wordpress and I was Joe, I was literally like an hour or two from being finished. Had to go across the country to go to a conference, couldn’t finish it while I was there, got home and all my websites had been hacked, and not just hacked but deleted.
Joe Fier : Oh my God.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. So I lost it all because the backups, long story, there’s a whole episode about that people, I’ll put the link in the show notes, but I never went back to it because I had so many other things. I mean when you lose all your podcast content that you’ve been, I mean that’s driving the traffic. That’s what you need to focus on, getting that backups, and your blogs backups. So that’s what I was focusing on. But in January of this year, I was scrolling on Instagram, which I really don’t do a lot, but I saw an ad, join this community for six to seven figure entrepreneurs for a dollar for 10 days, or something like that. And I was like, Eh, really? How much is it? How much is it really going to be? Or how good is it really going to be for a dollar?
Joe Fier : Ehmm.
Kim Sutton: Signed up and it blew my mind.
Joe Fier : There you go.
Kim Sutton: I don’t even want to give away how it’s hosted. Let’s just say it did not require a wordpress site. Okay, I just got to share. It’s in Slack, it’s in a free Slack set up for the owners. They’ve got 1100 people in there, and it’s a $147 a month.
Joe Fier : There you go.
Kim Sutton: Yeah, so all that is required is the e-commerce setup. They do some ads and the whole thing is on a free slack, and they’re making like 167, or $160,000 a month off of this. It’s a couple of years old, but I’m like, that’s where I started to be curious because I’ve been going back and forth with pricing for my own program, and I was like, hmm. You know, because I have wondered should I charge more? Or should I charge less? I’m still trying to find that sweet spot for my people.
Joe Fier : Yeah, and it depends on what your offer is for sure. So if it’s a service, I wouldn’t do this at all, of course.
Kim Sutton: Oh no, this is purely like a member community with two monthly calls, so no services provided. But this was one of my ways of, you know, spreading my eggs across multiple baskets.
Joe Fier : Smart, yeah. No, I think that would be really good for figuring out your, whatever your time investment is on there. You know, with the personal touch you definitely have the ability to charge more. But at the same time, if you go for scale, which we are in our personal touch, comes in the form of our forum, our community in there where we answer questions and all that stuff. And then also we have a monthly call, which is kind of like a, what’s working now call, and there’s a Q and A on there as well. Those two are personal touch points for this community and yeah, but saying that there’s only really a call is the hour commitment, or so you know, an hour, hour and a half, whatever it’s going to be there. And also the time that we check them into our community to answer questions that maybe takes us, I don’t know, 30 minutes every couple of days. And you know, we also have, once you get to that community, and a crank, and then a lot of those folks will kind of do the answering for you, which is really cool.
Kim Sutton: Yeah, absolutely. And I know because the owners of this community are very active. I’ve had a couple of one on one calls just, I actually hosted a mastermind in that group now, I found out it’s two year old community. They didn’t start at that high of a price, that high of an investment every month. But as the community grew, they realized there was just so much value in there. So they started lower and you know, they can be serving at such a high level now.
Joe Fier : Yeah.
Kim Sutton: Because the community’s answering the questions.
Joe Fier : There you go. To do that, you gotta almost foster the community a little bit. So what we do is, yeah, we’ll always send a weekly email out to highlight some of the topics that are going on really well. Some new training in there. We’re always trying to get them to log in.
Kim Sutton: That’s the hardest part.
Joe Fier : Yeah, and that’s were actually talking about retaining tension yesterday, Matt and I, you know, for this free trial especially, and we’re going to go for anybody with who signs up, we’ll have a kind of a mini sequence. Maybe it’s four emails that are dripped out over that first week and a half or so. And those are just highlighting the main benefits of being a part of the membership, and yeah, each one is directing them to specific things. Maybe there are different threads, or different training that we’re just stoked about, and the idea is to link those all up so they can actually click in there, you know.
Kim Sutton: Were you reading my morning brain dump? I mean seriously, that was on my list because that’s what I’m experiencing myself is just getting them to login, get them engaged, get them to fully recognize the value of the community. So it was on my list for today, the welcome series of emails because it’s a dollar, my community is following this other communities.
Joe Fier : Yeah.
Kim Sutton: Model of a dollar for the first 10 days. And I did that, in case listeners are wondering, I do the dollar because with the systems that I’m using, I need to get their credit card number up front so after the 10 days I’ve already got their credit card because if they don’t jump in, if they don’t get engaged, I’ve been there before where I’ve signed up for like a dollar for the first month. I never go in and then I get hit with like the $90 charge.
Joe Fier : Yeah. And that’s not good for anybody.
Kim Sutton: Well actually, this was Laura Roeder’s program and I have to give her a big shout out for this. This was like five years ago, you know, I didn’t log in for the first 30 days and then I got the $90 charge. So it’s like, oh, I guess I paid for it now, I better go in. And then I realized how much I loved it, and I ended up staying for another year.
Joe Fier : See, you’re a good customer because most people are not, I wouldn’t say most, but yeah, there’s definitely a percentage of folks who would be like, authorize this, or you know. And then your support blows up.
Kim Sutton: Actually you put it right on my sales page. I was like–
Joe Fier : That’s good.
Kim Sutton: –no refunds (laughs). We have better things to do than refund your money. So it’s your responsibility to log in and if you want to cancel, do it before your target date.
Joe Fier : And that’s fair, and then we do the same thing. We have everybody agree to terms, it’s very clearly stated, you know, no refunds. It’s pretty obvious why it’s already cheap enough, and we’re just sending something to you physically in the mail as well. And that’s the one thing is getting support dial, then you know, when you go to scale, that is the thing we’re dealing with now is coming up with a good knowledge base, like a FAQ list of all the common stuff, common questions, macros for support as well. So there is that element when you’re doing something like a micro continuity, yeah. If you go to the $99 mark then yeah, I mean either way it’s just making sure it’s support style then is going to be essential for you there.
Kim Sutton: Oh, absolutely. I mean I even had to think about what inboxed our support requests going to, because it’s never been anything that we really had to address before. So setting up the new support email, cause I don’t want everybody emailing my, I do my best. This is one of those little OCD things of mine, I’m not OCD on many things at all. You may know me, you’re laughing because you know that’s true. I like to keep my inbox to less than 50.
Joe Fier : Nice, eah.
Kim Sutton: You know, on the primary page. So, I don’t want support emails clogging me up.
Joe Fier : Sure.
Kim Sutton: I know that you and Matt travel a bit, you have a lot going on, there’s some life changes coming in a positive way, but what helps you, like what systems or tools in particular really help you keep your business going when you are not in front of whatever device you use.
Joe Fier : Yeah, yeah. Our computers, ideally we want to be away from computers mostly because we find that all of our money is, me talking to people face to face, or on phone calls, or whatever, collaborating. So the tools that we use, I mean she’s not a tool, but we do have an operations managers, so she holds down the fort, like all the operations. She’s our Goto Gal Shannon, and she’s awesome. But at the same time we use this tool called Notion, which is our, I guess called the CRM, but it also has a lot of our procedures, and docs, and stuff like that. We’ve tried a Sauna and all that stuff, but we just find that mainly Shannon that’s managing it. So she kind of chose Notion. So it’s a really cool tool, I think there’s a bunch of free features that you can just check out as well. And then, we live on Slack, so that’s all of our communication. We don’t go through email because like you said, I mean, we don’t want to bog down our inboxes, things get lost. And Slack is, you know, it’s on our phones. We can easily get back to everybody on the team when we’re aware. And email, I mean, I would say email, we use active campaign mainly a little bit of drip as well, but we’re kind of gonna move away from that, and so that’s going to help us, you know, that helps us already because we have a content calendar, marketing calendars. So almost every single day, typically not Sunday’s has an email going out, and you know those can be preloaded if we’re ever gone.
Kim Sutton: How did you write them? Are you batching them in advance? Or do you or Matt writes them on a daily basis?
Joe Fier : Matt is mainly the one that writes the emails and he typically does batch, the batch just to an extent. Some of them we can’t because they’re like podcast type things, and we have to wait until the page is alluded, and that can get a little funky cause we always send out podcast emails as well. But definitely we try to get ahead of them by at least a week or two.
Kim Sutton: Yeah.
Joe Fier : And then we can load them up and essentially have our promos lined out. Everything is slotted out there, which is really helpful. It’s just get on the brain, and in the business just stay consistent. That’s how we’re doing the podcast too.
Kim Sutton: I love automate anything that I can come back to try to bite me a couple of times for example, I will preload Instagram when I’m doing, when I’m being good about Instagram, which I haven’t been, but my Pinterest is also preloaded. I use Tailwind for both of those, but I’ve had clients be like, are you listening to me? I saw that you just instagrammed. And I’m like, oh no, that was pre scheduled and then, oh, you can do that. Oh yeah, here’s my, here’s my affiliate link.
Joe Fier : That’s right, yeah. I mean, that’s a lot of magic in automation, so we’re a huge fan of that for sure.
Kim Sutton: Yeah. Well, I’m horrible with my thumbs on my phone anyway, so nobody needs Instagram captions that come on phone at all.
Joe Fier : Yeah.
Kim Sutton: Well, Joe, this has been amazing. Listeners, I just want to share again that you’ve got to go listen, subscribe, rate, review, all that awesome stuff to The Hustle and Flowchart podcast which will be in the show notes, which you can find at thekimsutton.com/PP601. I can’t believe that I’ve made it this many episodes, but Joe–
Joe Fier : That’s awesome.
Kim Sutton: –thank you so much for coming on today. Where are the best places to connect with you online, and just get to know more about what you do?
Joe Fier : Yeah, so you mentioned The Hustle and Flowchart podcast, that’s awesome. You know you’re going to get two episodes a week from us there, so just Google Hustle and Flowchart, or you can go to hustleandflowchart.com and check it out. We also did put a page together for you at hustleandflowchart.com/positive, and that is basically going to give you, if you’re, if you’re interested in all this marketing stuff, there’s actually a 30 day trial, free trial on that whole letter stuff that we were talking about the membership. So if that actually resonated all this funky marketing talk, that could be a good thing for you guys to check out as well.
Kim Sutton: Awesome. And that link, if you are trying not to burn dinner, don’t want to fall off the elliptical. That link will also be in the show notes, that’s so generous of you. Thank you so much.
Joe Fier : Of course. No, thank you very much for the time Kim, this is fun.
Kim Sutton: Oh you’re so welcome. Showed you a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget that you could share with listeners.
Joe Fier : I would say consistency is king. That’s what we’re finding out. So anything you can really in this because of the automation, and the follow ups, and emails, and all the pixel stuff, retargeting figure out consistency in your business, and if you just do that and simplify, you know, kind of put the blinders on a lot of the other moving parts, keep it easy, it’s just going to keep your sanity in place. And entrepreneurship is tough so, you know, and maybe you can do to kinda focus and stay consistent with that focus is going to win out for sure.