Want to know how to figure out what your audience will buy from you? You are in for a treat.
I’m interviewing my friend, Monica Froese, from Redefining Mom, on how to know what products to sell, how to find product opportunities, how to build highly converting sales funnels, and how to provide wins for your customers so they keep coming back.
We do a deep dive into the strategies and frameworks you need to know to build compelling products for your audience and market them successfully so they happily buy.
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- Redefining Mom
- Catch My Party
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to The Blogger Genius.
Looking for tech support, teaching, and community? Join our MiloTree Membership Group
Before I get started, I want to announce that we have a program called the MiloTree Membership Group.
We were listening to what you guys were telling us in terms of feedback. And one thing that you kept saying is getting tech support is difficult as a blogger. Bloggers have to wear so many hats.
So the idea that you have to dig in and deal with all of the back end technology related to your blog can be difficult. Also, we’ve heard that you want ongoing teaching sessions and workshops, like in the podcast, and third, you’re looking for a community of like-minded bloggers and entrepreneurs.
So within the MiloTree Membership Group, we offer tech support. We offer workshops, and we offer community. It’s all of that rolled into one. We’re very excited about it.
It’s like having a whole support system behind you. So if you want to learn more head to milotree.com/membership.
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We as you can tell, are really committed to helping you succeed.
For today’s episode, I have my friend Monica Froese back on the show. What we are talking about is business building. And we are talking about how to think about your blog as a business, how to roll up your sleeves and really get to know your audience, how to solve problems for your audience, an dhow to sell to your audience.
We give you the whole framework in this podcast episode. And I love Monica because she is so straight. And her advice is so clear.
I think you are really going to get a ton out of this interview. So without further delay, here is my interview with my friend Monica Froese from Redefining Mom.
Monica, welcome to the show.
Monica Froese 2:51
Thank you so much for having me again.
And I was just saying to you that your episodes are some of my most popular so I was very excited to get you back.
Monica Froese 2:51
I think we’ve recorded some really good ones like the first one was right after I had the baby, which I still think is one of my favorite because it’s a it’s like a snapshot in time. I get to listen to how I was feeling in that postpartum period.
Jillian Leslie 3:03
Yes. And I think that you were so authentic and honest about the struggles. Yeah. And I found that. Yeah, but I think that there was something. I think other people could see themselves in that struggle to go. Yeah, that explains all those feelings that I’m having.
Monica Froese 3:19
Yeah, for real and that and I’ve gotten emails with people who told me that that really helped them. So I appreciate you having me on so that I can share that kind of stuff with people.
How to Build Online Products
Jillian Leslie 3:28
Absolutely. So what I wanted to talk about with you today is products. You’ve built your business— you tell me if this is true—by serving needs, finding needs, serving those needs to your audience.
And we talked about this before, which is when you started Redefining Mom, you were a variety of different things. And I think that you’ve been able to potentially find your sweet spot.
Monica Froese 3:58
Yes, even a lot has changed since the last time we talked in terms of my product strategy. So when Redefining Mom started in 2013, there were no products because I was working full-time corporate, didn’t have time for that.
When I decided to start taking it seriously, I knew that I really wanted to do products, but I needed somewhere to start. So I had this brand Redefining Mom, which is for working moms.
Now it was for corporate working moms and like time management for corporate working moms, and we’ve morphed into helping moms balance running a business and motherhood.
So it’s taking them out of corporate and moving them into like the entrepreneurial space, but we still cater to the mom needs and the business needs. But what has happened is so when I got started with Redefining Mom and creating products, it was very much geared towards the stuff that moms needed to address. And I started with a product.
The Importance of Experimentation in Building Products online
Jillian Leslie 5:02
You started with like a Google Sheet or a spreadsheet or something for yourself.
Monica Froese 5:07
still one of my best selling products. Yeah. So I basically when I in 2016, I remember this, it was June of 2016. And I wanted to accelerate the process of leaving my corporate job. And I wanted the quickest win I could get.
And my husband actually said to me, because we had this really awesome family budget spreadsheet that we had developed while we were in corporate, to manage our finances, we got out of $65,000 in debt doing it or using it.
And he’s like, moms need this. Why don’t you just throw this up as your product and see how it goes? Well, it ended up going very well. Which was like my first sign of understanding what people need and then how to fill that gap.
Jillian Leslie 5:55
So it was like a light bulb moment.
Monica Froese 5:57
It was a light bulb moment and I would say it took a few months for the light bulb moment because I, I didn’t really know what I was looking at, like, why are all these people buying this stuff and or buying the spreadsheet and I had to like back into it.
So it took a few months to try to dissect what was going on. Like, why was this such a big hit? And, you know, part of it was the uniqueness of Pinterest at the time, and still the uniqueness of Pinterest, which we can talk about.
But at the time in 2016, you could get a lot of organic traffic pretty fast, like you could rank under keywords pretty fast in 2016. And this happened to take off for me. And now you can still rank but it’s a little bit different.
Creating a Product for Pinterest by Using Pinterest
And I’ve I look at creating products for Pinterest a little bit differently than I used to, which I know you’re probably gonna talk about, but what happened after the budget spreadsheet was I started creating more products for moms.
Specifically, I had a course which I’ve since retired, which was to help moms take their corporate skills and repurpose them into the online world.
But what happened was I ended up getting really good at Pinterest ads because I’m impatient. And I got to the point where I was sick of waiting for organic traffic to come to me. I really wanted to have more metrics that I could look at.
I love looking at data, you only have so many metrics that you can go off of like you can’t see specifically what keywords are getting you traffic clicks, conversions, but promoted pins would tell me that.
So I got really good at that. And of course, as soon as you get good at something that nobody else is doing, everybody wants to know how you did that. And so teaching Promoted Pins took on this life of its own. I developed the Promoted Pins course right before I had the baby at the end of 2017.
And I would say for all of 2018 and all of 2019, it was all about refining that course like I put all of my energy into making this the best Pinterest ads course that it could be. There’s no recurring fee to be in my student group.
And so like people who bought the course two years ago are still getting support. I do monthly office hours. And so I really became known as the Pinterest ads girl. But there was a part of me that still felt this pull to help moms and create products that I knew would help them.
And for reasons that they were coming to Redefining Moms so we made the decision, which we hope to finish this year, which is to break off all of the Pinterest products under my own brand.
Creating Products for Women Balancing Careers and Motherhood
So just MonicaFroese.com and bring Redefining Mom back to what it was originally intended to do, which was to help moms, particularly with balancing motherhood and their careers, specifically bringing them from their corporate career into the online world.
So this really has created this opportunity to create two distinct products sets for two different audiences.
Jillian Leslie 9:00
That’s terrific. Again, we have Catch My Party we have MiloTree. They don’t look at all alike, but one came out of the other one. And one is a SaaS business, which means software-as-a-service and one is a B2C business which is, you know, consumer-facing.
And most people have no idea I’m the person behind both, you know, there is some crossover, but not a lot. But again, it was organically how we grew our business. Right? Nobody said, you know, you didn’t start off and go, I’m going to become Pinterest expert. You started using it. It started working for you. And you thought I can teach this.
Monica Froese 9:37
And I really feel like now that I’m a few, like four years into really taking this as a serious full time business. My corporate skills were invaluable to me for where I ended up here because I looked at Pinterest differently.
All the people who are teaching Pinterest back in 2016 were not looking at it in the same way. All I care about is ROI and what I’m getting from it. So, like I got very hyper hung up on the fact that everyone was talking about all the pageviews they could get from Pinterest.
And I just was sitting there scratching my head thinking, why do I want a pageview? I don’t like what comes after the page view and see, you know, sale. Yep. And that’s the thing, like, you know, a lot of bloggers at the time and still, are monetizing through ads and sponsorships and stuff.
But you don’t have as much control over that. And I couldn’t get, I could not get away from, why am I going to spend all of this time getting traffic to my site for them to click away from my site. It just never resonated with me.
And when I put into place the principles that I executed in corporate, which was like the ROI principles that I was accountable for when I ran large marketing campaigns.
It just seemed logical to me that paid advertising was the way to go, and the most targeted way to go. And that’s kind of how it ended up happening.
And honestly, I don’t regret it at all. Because while I still have this pull, I want to help women get out of corporate into this world and repurpose their skills. I couldn’t have funded that part of the business if I hadn’t gotten to be known for something.
And if that happened to be Pinterest ads, that’s great. And that has served me too. So it’s been an interesting ride, to be honest with you. I couldn’t have predicted it a couple of years ago.
How to Create Emergent Online Products
Jillian Leslie 11:30
There is this concept that I think about a lot. I talk about it a lot, and it’s called emergent business building. And what that means is bottom up, not top down. So top down would be, I have this hypothesis, and I’m going to go toward it and not be open to what my audience is saying to me.
What people are coming to me, for that kind of thing. And, again, I have used this example I live in Austin. An Austin is all about emergent development, meaning it’s the antithesis of the planned community.
You go down some street and like there’s a shopping mall, and it looks like it’s out of the 70s. But there’ll be one cool coffee shop in there. And then all of a sudden, you notice, like, there’s the record store, or there’s something else is coming, like right next to it.
And it’s because all of a sudden people are discovering this. And then other businesses are drawn to those businesses. So it looks really messy. Yes, but it’s emergent. And I believe when you are building businesses on the internet, that is definitely the way to go.
Because if you think you’re going to plan this out, that it’s going to work the way you think it’s going to work, I think you are setting yourself up for a world of hurt.
Should you Niche Your Blog Down?
Monica Froese 12:53
I completely agree. And actually, because I originated in the blog world, I hear a lot of conflicting advice about you have to niche down right away, or it’s okay to go broader and then niche down and I am all for the broader first to see what resonates.
If you think about it, I had no business putting any budgeting stuff on Redefining Mom, it wasn’t the purpose of the site. But I did it anyways, and it ended up being a huge smash hit, which has made me a ton of money.
And I wouldn’t have done it if all I listened to were the people who told me you have to niche down, you have to niche down, you have to niche down.
I’m to the point where I firmly believe if you know how to drive targeted traffic, then you can really have a funnel about anything as long as you’re, I mean, don’t be a fraud, like be able to give the advice that you’re saying that you can give, like for me with the budgeting spreadsheet. I literally had at that point used it for five years.
We did use it to pay down $65,000 a debt. It’s the only thing that saved us from literally going completely broke when we had our daughter because we were paid on commission, and it was how we estimated out, like the highs and lows if we hit commission if we didn’t, how we, you know, literally could pay our bills.
And because I used it, I was able to authentically speak about it and the tools that we use every day. Like, I would have sat back in 2016 and said, doesn’t everyone have a budget spreadsheet? And my husband said to me, he’s like, No, your father is a CPA, and drilled this into your head. Ordinary people don’t actually do this all that often. And I was like, Really?
Jillian Leslie 14:34
I know. Yes. Yes, yes. So we call them “at bats,” which are, how many times are you at bat? And the goal is to increase the number of experiments that you are running, because you don’t necessarily know what’s going to hit, and you think you have a hypothesis, but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been wrong, or it’s morphed into something.
We could never anticipate it. And that is always the surprise. You are trying to attract the audience that you think is the right audience, but you have to be open to I always say like, hold your hypotheses, have them, but hold them lightly.
Because you can get blinded thinking, Oh, no, you’re the wrong audience for me. So I’m going to kind of push you aside trying to attract the quote-unquote, right audience, when you need to recognize No, no, this is the right audience. They just look different than I thought they were gonna look.
How to Attract an Audience on the Internet
Monica Froese 15:34
So I get asked all the time, because I bring on thousands of people through my budgeting stuff onto my list, which my email list is integrated with these both sides of the business, and I’ve gone back and forth about are we gonna divide out the email list or are we not at this point.
I don’t think I will. Because the thing is, if people are interested in saving money, they’re also interested in making money and because my brand attracts, primarily moms. My messaging is actually very on point if they came in on the budgeting side, or they came in wanting to know more about how to build a business, how to get good at Pinterest, marketing, all of that stuff.
I have done a really good job, in my opinion, at least of connecting the two. And the people who don’t like the connection, they’ll weed themselves out, and I’ve become okay with that.
I just am because I this is how this is what resonates with me. This is how I like teaching. This is how I want to develop my products and so people who aren’t okay with that, they’ll just believe.
Jillian Leslie 16:37
So let’s talk about your products. You started with a budgeting spreadsheet, which surprisingly sold really well. And then you figured out Pinterest ads and started teaching people about Pinterest ads. Yes. Now you also then have other products. What are they and how did they emerge?
Monica Froese 16:57
Yeah, I have a lot. So they’re all digital. I’m actually in a mastermind with two girls who do physical products. And I think that’s a lot of work. And I give them so many kudos because obviously we need physical products in the world, but it’s a lot more work than digital products. Just there are a lot more intricacies that go into it to make sure it’s profitable.
So the order of things: I had the budgeting spreadsheet, then I launched the course, which was to help moms in similar positions to me who were in corporate and they’re like, I want to have a career. But I also want more time with my kids. How do I make that happen?
It’s like, No, you are smart, you are smart, and you can take what you’ve learned in corporate and bring it over to this world. That was the next thing.
From there. What ended up happening was because people were saying, How are you getting all of these leads? How are you selling these products, and I was selling them with Pinterest.
So it started with a 13 video course that I made for friends because I got asked the same questions of what I did on Pinterest. I gave them I literally gave these 13 videos away just to friends and they’re like, you should have people pay you for this. Like this is really good. This is better than other courses I’ve taken on Pinterest, and I wasn’t even trying to make it a course.
So then I put it up for sale and that was my original organic marketing course.
How to Teach what You Already Know
Monica Froese 18:23
This is how it started with me teaching organic Pinterest marketing to people who simply just in conversation, were asking me questions. And then I turned that into a course that I did an actual launch for that in like mid-2017. And that well.
At the time, I was also very heavily invested and getting traffic to the mom side of my business with Pinterest using Pinterest ads, I had the budgeting spreadsheet. I have a few other templates, spreadsheets, a planner, stuff like that.
And so my blogging friends who took my Pinterest organic course were then like, I want to learn how to do this next level things because it really at that time was definitely next level.
I mean, I would argue it’s still next level because not a lot of people actually do Pinterest ads still. But it was certainly next level at that point because all anyone talked about was organic. And nobody talked about the power of Pinterest ads.
So during my third trimester, they pushed me into launching this course which I was so adamantly against. I didn’t want to do it. I just wanted to have this baby. I want to go nesting.
I am so thankful to my friends that pushed me to do this because clearly it was a huge gap out there was stuff that people wanted to know, but they didn’t know they needed to know. It was like they didn’t know they needed it until someone was there presenting it to them.
It’s kind of what ended up happening. When I was on maternity leave. I was getting very big influencers, like people that I had followed for years, sending me dm saying, Can I get this course? And I was sitting there saying I just had a baby I’m not working because I didn’t have help or anything.
At this point, so I was like, No, no, I had a baby. I don’t have time for this. And my husband tapped me on the shoulder and said, maybe you should take a day and open the cart since these people are begging to give you money and let them in. And I was like, okay, so we did that.
And then I came back from maternity leave. And I got really invested in making that course the best it could be, while having this calling to wanting to get back to creating other products that I could put behind funnels because as I was doing the Pinterest ads course, what was the prevailing thing that I kept running into was, when you are ready to run an ad, you need an offer that converts.
Like you should not put money behind something that doesn’t convert. Overwhelmingly, I was getting people joining my Pinterest ads course that didn’t have a converting offer. And that could be converting someone onto your email list, converting someone into a sale. They didn’t have an offer.
How to Create Sales Funnels that Convert
So then they would run an ad, and they’d come to me with data even though I said this is in the course. I don’t think it necessarily resonated. They just wanted to get to the running ad part. So they’d run the ad and they come to me with data and they’d say, this didn’t work.
And I’d say, What is it? What is your objective? And overwhelmingly they’d say, to get traffic? Well, why then my question be like, Why? What is it for? Well, I don’t know. Just I have ads on?
Jillian Leslie 21:22
And by the way, we talked about this all the time to run an ad to for traffic never make sense. It will never be itself. So if you are thinking that you’re going to boost now, if, for example, you’re working with a brand, and you do some sort of sponsored content, and you want to show the brand that you’ve got traffic to make the brand happy because they’ve paid you a bunch of money for this. It’s worth putting some money behind that to go look at my numbers.
But if you think you can monetize that traffic, just because you’re with AdThrive, or you’re with MediaVine, it will never, you’ll always be upside down. Always, you’ll always be paying more than that traffic is worth to you with ads.
Monica Froese 22:11
And if you think about it, you’re literally running an ad that you’re paying for to send people to another ad that you’ll make back end money from it. It seems it’s very goofy to me.
Add the MiloTree Pop-Up to Your Blog and Grow Your Followers and Subscribers on Autopilot
Jillian Leslie 22:22
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I think we’re all realizing the importance of nurturing our online businesses. So we can have freedom to live the lives we want, but in order to get there, we have to manage our scarcest resource time.
So let MiloTree do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to growing followers and email subscribers, and you spend your time creating content solutions products that serve your audience, so you can start seriously monetizing your blog.
So here’s my advice. stay consistent. Kill the perfectionist in you so you can get stuff out there quickly. Touch yourself with kindness, embrace the mess, and go make a couple of smart choices like using MiloTree on your blog to grow your followers and subscribers. So you don’t have to worry about that.
Get Your First 30 Days of MiloTree Free
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How to Start to See the Opportunities for Creating Products
Monica Froese 24:07
So what ended up happening through running this course and getting very dedicated to being in it for these two years and not letting myself diverge off and create all these new products, is I started to see the gaps.
And I took notes of these gaps, but I was resistant to filling them until I had that course so buttoned in, and just and the students were doing really well with it.
Once I got to that point, and I would say that took just under two years. So I started the course in November of 2017. And in November of 2019 is really when we started launching, again, different products.
So the first thing we did was we realized that some people have really ugly landing page and it matters for conversions, and I get super good opt-ins and tripwire conversions.
And I have other different funnels that I teach, specific to Pinterest that I get really good conversion rates. And when I would be asked to review like my ad tanked, I’d go into the page that they’re promoting. And I was like, you know, and it’s hard to get feedback like that, but your page is ugly.
You know, that’s hard. That’s hard feedback to give. So I thought, How can I solve that problem? I created templates in Elementor and LeadPages. I use LeadPages for all my funnels. And so that was my first. That was the first way I was going to solve the problem of people not having ugly pages.
Unknown Speaker 25:39
Are you working with a designer? Are you designing them yourself?
Selling High Converting Template Landing Pages
Monica Froese 25:43
Funny enough, I don’t feel like I am a designer at all, but yet I make pretty good landing pages. I like pretty things that convert. So first in my mind was, how do I get this to convert? Second in my mind is how do I make this look aesthetically appealing?
Because and this is super important. Pinterest is a visual search engine people expect to come from Pinterest and see pretty things and I was seeing so many funnels that had ads popping up and pop-ups here and pop-ups there and it’s like, guys, like a display ad should never be on a sales page
Jillian Leslie 26:36
For MiloTree, we create it so that you can turn it off on certain pages and people say why would I turn it off? And I go, if you are selling something you do not want to distract from the sale even if it’s my product, turn it
Monica Froese 26:52
off. Yeah, exactly. And that’s the stuff that Oh, I just feel like there was a big gap of understanding. Finding that and so when so we started with the templates and those went super well.
Monica Froese 27:09
I created them on LeadPages. And we duplicated them on Elementor. So we have two solutions. Here’s the difference between my templates and what you see on the market for other people’s templates.
A lot of templates sellers are giving you templates in different color palettes, right. Mine are designed with the conversion mechanism in mind and you have to plug in your branding to it. So it’s like branding agnostic.
I’m not giving you different color palettes or anything like that. I’m giving you a page that I know convert. You plug your messaging and your brand into it, which is, I found very different than pretty much anything out there that I’ve seen at this point.
And it’s very specific because I’ve spent years testing, where different buttons should go and different headlines. And so it’s basically like, the best information I can give you for what has worked on Pinterest.
Not just with me, though, with hundreds of my students, because as I’ve cultivated this promoted pins group, I help them to change their pages. So over time, you just get really good when you see the back end of hundreds, I mean, really thousands of campaigns, you just get good at knowing what works and what doesn’t.
If You Get People to Trust You, They Will Buy More From You
So that’s when that came out. But there was still a gap I had in the Pinterest suite of things. So I had the organic Pinterest marketing course which we were keeping updated, but it wasn’t necessarily my passion. It was kind of like the on-ramp into getting to know how I teach.
And I do think when you stick with the same teacher makes things more seamless. So by the time we get to my promoted pins course, it’s like you already understand my logic of Pinterest. So I had an organic, I have an organic Pinterest course, then I did an affiliate marketing course, on Pinterest because not everyone is ready to move right to products.
So affiliate marketing is a nice gap that can be filled on Pinterest. Then it went right to paid ads. What I realized was I had a gap between the affiliate marketing and the paid ads, which was I needed to teach people how to create Pinterest-friendly sales funnels.
And so actually, as we speak, I am in the very last module right now I’m launching it. I have 125 people in the beta round and I would say probably 85% of them are promotion students so they’re my students that know they trust me.
They know I delivered in that course, and I’m telling them hey, this course is going to make your funnels just amazing so that when you go back to ads, they will convert like gangbusters. And they’re like, yeah, we trust you.
We know you you know what you’re talking about. That launch I did on Black Friday went nuts. It was like, incredible. The power what I learned from that because all these are learning lessons like, every time I’ve launched the Promoted pins course, I’ve learned so many different things like from flash sales, to life challenges, to how long you should have between launches.
When I launched them Black Friday, this new sales funnels course to my current students that taught me the power of cultivating your students and pouring into them, they will buy almost everything else you offer, because they trust you.
And I’m like, Whoa, light bulb, like I mean, that’s logic, right. It’s actually very logical. But it was such a lightbulb moment for me to realize that people that everything I did over those two years, really meant something.
So that’s what we’re doing now is teaching people and when this is over, it’s kind of like the last installment of my Pinterest, then I have like really a whole framework in place.
So there are a few things you have to decide one we want to move the Pinterest courses to MonicaFroese.com. So that Redefining Mom can go back to being for moms. I really feel passionate.
The Importance of Integrity as An Online Entrepreneur
Like my employee right now, Haley, she’s pregnant. And it really reignited my passion for maternity leave. Because under the law in the US, I’m not required to pay her or give her a maternity leave. But I’m going to because I believe that I need to set an example if I’m going to sit here and preach about that stuff, which I did when I started Redefining Mom, that I need to live up to that.
And it really reignited my passion to want to help moms. So my goal now is to get the Pinterest stuff buttoned up running. However, we ended up combining it maybe it’s gonna be one framework we don’t know yet. Like that’s our questions there. And then that’s going to be moved over into its own thing and then I want to dive back into creating more funnels in more products for the mom side of the house.
Jillian Leslie 32:03
I love that. And just to go back for a second to filling in gaps, I noticed because I’m on your email list that you are always coming out with templates for pins and selling them or offering some I think for free. I don’t know how you do it, but what I love about what you’re saying, Have I noticed a gap? I fill it.
Monica Froese 32:28
When I got started, there were a lot of like marketing people, gurus, experts that would say stuff like that, like listen to what your audience is telling you, and then create the product that they want.
And for some reason that never clicked for me. I’m like I don’t under I didn’t. It didn’t resonate until I was in the weeds. And this is part of the reason why I don’t want people to get stuck. I see so many people getting stuck in the questions that they should not be getting stuck in because you don’t know until you try.
You have to start putting stuff out there so you understand what people want from you. And then you move forward. Like if I had never done the promoted pins course, I never would have realized how important teaching the sales funnel piece was. You know, it just all I needed all of that,
Jillian Leslie 33:15
I would say, and you can tell me what you think the more you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get in the muck with your customers, the more success you’ll have because it’s in the muck. It’s in the confusions. You can’t be kind of above it all thinking you’re gonna sell stuff to people. You need to get down and dirty. Like it’s, you know, I always talk about this, get on the phone.
Monica Froese 33:45
Jillian Leslie 33:46
Do things that do not scale. You know, you think you’re going to set up all these automations are all going to be working in the background and the money’s just going to come?
And it’s like, you take that person who’s asking you questions and you say hey, can we do like a 10-minute phone call. And of course, you can’t do that 100 times, but you could do it three times, you could do it five times.
We’ve been successful in businesses where we understand where people are struggling, like from a visceral place, not from an intellectual place.
Monica Froese 34:21
So one of the things that I like to tell people, because everyone always wants to look at where I am now, and they forget all the things I had to do to get here. I used to do 15 minute calls. All the time, I
had a free Facebook group that I had regular teaching lives in that I never missed for like a year and a half, like so I had, I ended up having to close the group when the baby was born just because I could not keep I couldn’t keep up with it.
And I didn’t have an employee at that point either. But the point is, like I showed up for free for a very, very long time to understand what people want it. It wasn’t just a matter of I put up a funnel and it did well.
I’m not gonna lie, I can put up a funnel now, and I can get it to do well without ever getting on the phone with someone. But I’ve learned so much over the four years. It’s all of that experience that has gotten me to the point that I can do that now.
Jillian Leslie 35:22
Absolutely, absolutely. So do it’s messy. Like, those are always those are always my thing. Like, don’t think it’s neat. Don’t think it’s like you just kind of follow what you know, you pay thousands of dollars for a course and boom, all of a sudden you’re gonna have business and it’s all gonna work out.
Ah, it’s like nights of anxiety where you don’t understand why this should work and it’s not working and it’s tweaking and it’s making it ugly before it looks pretty and it’s, it’s getting down in the weeds.
So if you’re willing to like, get in the muck, that’s how you grow business. It doesn’t look you know you see people Like Goop with Gweneth Paltrow and it just looks so effortless. And so even though you look at it and go I want that.
Like No, no, it’s you in your pajamas. It’s you. You know with a crying baby on your hip. It’s you going Why isn’t this working? It’s you investing in Pinterest ads and sometimes losing money because you’re trying to learn, right?
So if you think it’s glamorous or anything, trust me, it’s totally not. But I think it’s totally worth it. But know that your mess is not unique. It’s the way through to ultimately find little nuggets of success.
Why You Need to Treat Your Online Business Like a Full-Time Job
Monica Froese 36:48
I absolutely agree with all that. I show up every day I treat this like a full time job. I get up every morning as if I’m going to work. I take my shower, I get changed. I make my coffee, I sit down, and I work for eight hours.
It’s not, I don’t, I don’t work in the margins. I personally don’t feel like I’m wired to work in the margins. And I have seen women that do work in the margins. And they have made some really amazing things doing that. I would, I would argue that the majority of people who are going to be successful are going to need to treat it as if it’s a full-time job and treat it like you would get up for a job.
There are plenty of days like this morning, I got a migraine. And it would have been much easier for me to close my computer and not be on this podcast and not finish the Facebook ads. I’m going to finish when I get off this podcast and not finish the module.
But I’m not going to because that’s not what gets me to the next step. It’s all building blocks. I say that all the time. Like my sister right now is trying to start a blog because she’s at home with her kids. She’s a health care worker, but she’s, uh, she goes to people’s houses. And so that’s pretty much like not happening right now in the current environment. Um, so she’s home.
And she’s thinking like 15 steps ahead, and I keep reminding her that like you have 15 building blocks you’re missing here. You got to go back to the beginning. Everyone started from nothing, you got to go back there. You can’t be where I am now, because I had four years to get here.
Jillian Leslie 38:27
Absolutely. People ask me all the time. They want a magic bullet. They want something and they say, how did you grow Catch My Party to millions of pages a month? And I go, it’s a long slog. That is the answer. And they don’t like that. Because if I believe me, if there were a magic bullet, I’d be using it.
And I’d be selling it for like millions of dollars. But the truth is, you make mistakes, you make a couple smart decisions along the way. You add some keywords in there, you know, work with your audience, you definitely are making decisions and you hope that those are the right decisions, or if they’re not that you’re able to pivot those decisions. But for me, I would argue it’s all about showing up. Just what you’re saying.
Monica Froese 39:16
Yeah. And I went through a period in late 2018, where I was, I was in a pretty bad burnout stage. And I stopped emailing as much as I used to, and there’s a direct correlation with communicating with your audience to sales, really, I mean, it’s all about consistency and showing up and being a real person.
Unknown Speaker 39:45
I feel like we’re gonna have to do a part two, where you come back and talk more about this, like the nitty gritty,
Monica Froese 39:51
I took notes before we got in. Okay, I know I know. At some point in my notes, I said, connection and more connection, especially when you’re first getting started, tell us and then like how I have my free group and I went live every single day.
And in my paid course I show up every single day, they didn’t just pay me money, and then I disappear. Reputation is everything. And I’ve said this so many times, and I firmly believe that I will make money slower. If it means keeping my integrity and my ethics in place, and I love that.
There are people that make money online that are not ethical and they don’t keep their integrity in place. And I don’t want to be that person.
Jillian Leslie 40:44
And I feel if you want to be in it for the long term. That is the answer because people can ultimately I believe that it gets discovered. You know, like you can’t, I don’t believe that if you work in the internet, you have to weirdly believe in karma.
Because eventually it comes back to you. So the more good you put out there, the more good you ultimately get back. Now, it might not be in the way you think it’s going to be. And this is again, that idea of, you have to hold things, ideas lightly, because you don’t know what it’s going to look like you have an idea of what it’s going to look like, like, I’m providing all this value, why isn’t the money coming?
Well, maybe something else is coming. You know, maybe, who knows, maybe you’re attracting a person to you that you can ultimately work with. And that’s gonna lead to something like it’s not necessarily going to look the way you think it’s going to look. But if you put enough good stuff out there, over time, you weirdly, I think, attract a lot of good stuff back. And the reverse is true, which is if you cut corners, if you don’t walk your talk, if you don’t deliver, you could probably survive for a year or so but eventually it will show.
Yes, You Want to Make Money Online
Monica Froese 42:02
So the thing is, I, okay, I find nothing wrong with being in business to make money. Like that’s what we have to feed our families. Like I show up every day, I should get paid for my hard work. There’s nothing wrong with running a business that’s profitable, and making money at all.
There’s nothing wrong with it. I think the disconnect is when you don’t, when a business owner doesn’t understand the bigger impact that they’re trying to make in the world, and it’s just all about the money.
If it’s only about the money. It is very hard to wake up every day, stay motivated and keep doing it. Because absolutely, just money is great, but I’m going to tell you I firmly believe now and the thing, more money, more problems. That is a true statement in my opinion. It’s not all rainbows and roses all the time. It’s a lot of hard work and so if you lose sight of why you’re doing it to begin with, and that’s why, like when my employee got pregnant, and they put me in this position where I could walk the talk, which meant when I started Redefining Mom, my rant was about maternity leave in the US.
I actually got to talk to President Obama about this to his face. And I will never forget when he said to me, he’s like, so what are you going to do about it? That was what ignited me to start this, like to make this a business that served moms, not just about money, but it was about making a greater impact.
So when she got pregnant, I actually can hear him saying I can see and hear him saying this to me. What are you going to do about it? Well, you know what, I am going to offer her a paid maternity leave because she deserves that. I ranted about that and I am not going to contribute to that problem.
Jillian Leslie 43:50
And I would say by you doing that, which is it’s a sacrifice to you, you’re not going to have an employee, and money’s going out out the door. However, She will love you and be so dedicated to you and go the extra mile because you saw her and you were there for her. Again, not a bad situation, but you know what I mean? Like, again, you do not know that you will, chances are get that back tenfold.
Unknown Speaker 44:25
Jillian Leslie 44:26
But it’s about the faith of that. It’s about putting out your best highest self and it gets rewarded. So I again, I don’t mean to sound all woowoo about this, but think about how you show up and where your values are because I believe people can sniff it out.
Monica Froese 44:45
They can. Okay, so this actually goes to like the topic of the tripwires because a lot of my students and a lot of people I teach, are afraid to sell.
They are so afraid to sell and and I always ask them, Do you not believe in what you’re selling because if you believe in what you’re selling, you wouldn’t be afraid to sell like I got to a point in this, I think was the last launch I did for the promoted pins course, I had someone emailed me and was not very kind about. They thought that I was charging too much.
And all these course creators think they can charge all this money and they all suck and they don’t provide. I wrote her back a very factual answer, which is that there are some crappy courses out there. I’ve taken them I’ve invested in them, and I understand where you’re coming from, but mine’s not crap.
And I show up every single day, and it is worth what I’m charging you and I’m I stand behind it. I don’t feel bad about charging it because I know I provide that plus more value. And so when people feel like they can’t sell that, the question I always have is, do you not believe that what you’re selling can actually help the person you’re selling it to? Because if you believe it, there’s no issue with selling because it’s your expertise, you’re giving them the shortcut, you know, selling is a good thing. Also selling is what keeps our economy going.
People Value What They Pay For
Jillian Leslie 46:08
Absolutely. And wait and I will say this. There’s this weird reverse thing, which is, when I get something for free, I tend not to value it as much. But if I put money behind it, you better believe I’m going to show up, I’m more likely to show up. If I paid a couple of hundred bucks, let’s say for something versus it’s the exact same product, but now you’re giving it to me for free.
So if you want a more dedicated say, student, my hunch is those students that have made the decision to actually open up their wallets and pay you will be better students, which will make a better course which will make a better you know, the whole environment is better. So free is not always better. In fact, I would argue if you’re if you are providing value, you charge for it because you want to attract the kind of customer who’s willing to pay for it
Monica Froese 47:04
Exactly. And so that when you offer something for free to get a conversion to get people on your list, you give them a taste of who you are and what you know and what you can offer them. But it doesn’t give away the kitchen sink as they say.
Pinterest is a visual search engine. So people come to Pinterest with a problem. They search it, they visually are looking to see their solutions. That’s what they arrive on with search results. It’s a visual solution that they’re looking at. So I come they like to say like meal planning for a week.
When I get there. I want to see a visual representations of what meal planning solutions, that’s what I’m looking for. So when I click to the meal planning solution, let’s say it’s an opt-in, that opt-in is to solve, it’s meant to solve a quick win.
Your Opt-In Should Be a Quick Win
It’s to give them that immediate gratification that you can help them over that hump. And then your paid product is like, and it can go. There’s two different ways, i Pinterest that often can be a layer of your solution, like the first prong of your solution. And the paid is the rest. It’s how they take that first prong and make it an actual system.
Or your opt-in can be the “what” and the “why,”like, this is why you need this. This is how it will help you and then your paid product is the how. So there’s two different ways that you can look at it. I would say I lean more towards the “what” and the “why” and the paid product is the “how.”
Jillian Leslie 48:46
So I like that. Oh, I like that. Okay, so Monica. I feel like we could talk forever and I know that you have a hard stop. Will you come back? Can we put this in our calendars. We can talk about the tactics, I feel you and I, we are so like-minded.
I’m so happy to know you as my online friend on the east coast. Because I feel like my audience loves the tactics, you know what not to do what to do that kind of thing.
Monica Froese 49:19
So interesting that you say that because my course on sales funnels is broken down. Strategy is the first three modules. And the last three are tactics. And I say in the course, you cannot have the tactics without the strategy and everyone wants to go to the tactics always and not have the strategy and that’s when you fail.
And I seriously take my students kicking and screaming sometimes through the strategy, like they just want to tell me where to put this and tell me where to put that and No, I will not. I refuse because if you don’t understand the strategy if you don’t understand the problem you’re solving if you don’t get all of that and how it fits into the bigger picture. But you can have all the tactics in the world and it will not help you make sales.
Jillian Leslie 50:05
Absolutely, absolutely. Okay Monica. I just I love talking to you so, so let’s we’re literally going to hang up this call and schedule part two. And I just love that you come on on the show and you share so much.
Monica Froese 50:22
Well, I’m really glad that you have me. People listen, I love doing this.
Jillian Leslie 50:28
Alright, so Okay, so until part two.
My big takeaway from this episode is how putting in some thought about your solution, how to attract your audience, how to provide them with a quick win and then ultimately sell them on the solution,
I think is really powerful, I think to step back in your own business and think about putting these pieces together, lining them up. So they all make sense is what I recommend. Did it take some thought it really does.
If you want to talk product with me, please reach out at Jillian@milotree.com. And I’d love to hear what you’re thinking and give you some feedback. Also, I want to say do check out the military membership. So it’s Milo tree.com/membership, if you are looking for tech support, ongoing tech support, so we’ve got your back.
So when you want to make a change to your blog, we can do that for you. Also, it provides you with workshops, ongoing workshops of what is what are cutting edge strategies that we want to share with you both strategies that are working in our business, but also strategies that we are seeing work in people’s businesses and also community because being an online entrepreneur can sometimes feel lonely.
It can feel like you are yelling into the abyss and you’re not sure anybody is listening. Well, I’m listening and this community is listening. So, if you if any of those things are interesting to you, and you can roll them all into one, please head to milotree.com/membership. And again, there are no contracts or anything so there’s really no risk and I will see you here again next week.
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