Want to know how a paid workshop helps you grow your true fans? Today, I’ve got Carrie Forrest from the blog, Clean Eating Kitchen, on the show to share her story.
Carrie has grown a very successful food blog, but over the last few years, she felt like something was missing in her business, interacting directly with her audience.
By creating paid workshops, she’s been able to show up live with her community, and build real relationships.
The reason why you want to grow your true fans is because these are the people in your community who will buy all your offers, give you guidance, and help you plot the direction of your business.
As someone in the wellness space, Carrie also found this connection incredibly satisfying.
She’s been able to be of service to her community and better understand what her audience wants from her, as she moves her business forward.
The relationships she’s been able to cultivate by hosting paid workshops, has made her fall in love of her blog even more! I think you’ll be inspired by her story.
Table of Contents
- Paid Workshop Live Training—July 21st 1:00pm CT
- Clean Eating Kitchen
- MiloTree Pop-Up App
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- All Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
- MiloTree on TikTok
- Clean Eating Diet Recipes + Tips FB Group
- Sugar Free Challenge with Carrie Forrest FB Group
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Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie, and I am a serial entrepreneur. And really, what gets me up in the morning is building tools to empower you, as a creator, for you to grow your businesses.
Jillian Leslie 0:31
I’m incredibly excited to announce that on July 21st, which could be tomorrow, depending on when you’re listening to this, because this is going to drop on the 20th.
Jillian Leslie 1:01
On the 21st at 12:00pm Central Time, I am hosting a live training, where I will be showing you how you can launch a paid workshop in under 15 minutes.
Jillian Leslie 1:00
What I mean by that is I’m going to go through how to set up a paid workshop using MiloTreeCart our payment solution. I’m going to go through how to set up a free sales page on MiloTreeCart, and also give you a 14 day launch calendar with everything you need to launch your own workshop.
Jillian Leslie 1:22
And it will have things like sales email templates and social media templates. And really go step-by-step we have your back and I want to show you then how easy this is to put together. All you’re going to need is MiloTreeCart, Zoom and an email service provider. So I hope you will join me it’s $10.
Jillian Leslie 1:45
And again, I’m charging on purpose because you will show up differently if you pay $10. If you can’t be there live, no problem, I will be sending a recording and all the goodies and everything afterwards. So to sign up; head to launchplan one word dot milotreecart.com.
Jillian Leslie 2:11
Launchplan.milotreecart.com. This is the perfect way to get your feet wet in selling digital products to your audience so that you can build your digital product empire tap into this revenue stream because if you have an audience, it is waiting for you,
Jillian Leslie 2:32
For today’s episode I have my friend Carrie Forest on the show. She is the founder of the Clean Eating blog called Clean Eating Kitchen.
Jillian Leslie 2:43
And what we’re talking about actually, is how she’s had tremendous success as a food blogger, and how she started offering paid workshops to her audience, because she felt like her business was missing something.
Jillian Leslie 3:00
I think her story is incredibly inspiring. It gives you a sense of what it is like to put one of these together. I think it’s really honest. I think you’re going to really like it. So without further delay, here is my interview with Carrie Forrest.
How a Paid Workshop Helps You Grow Your True Fans
Jillian Leslie 3:17
Carrie, welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast.
Carrie Forrest 3:20
Thank you, Jillian.
Jillian Leslie 3:23
We were just reminiscing about how we recorded an episode. I have to look up the date maybe four years ago, and I messed up the recording. And I had to reach out to you and go, “Oh gosh, Carrie, I really messed this up. Can we reschedule?” And we never got a time to reschedule.
Jillian Leslie 3:39
So cut to four years later. And here you are finally back on the show.
Carrie Forrest 3:44
Yes, and we should probably revisit that topic sometime. It was keyword research. And so much has changed. But we’re not going to be talking about that today.
Jillian Leslie 3:53
Will you share how you started your food blog? How you got into blogging and where you are today?
Starting a Successful Food Blog
Carrie Forrest 4:02
Yes. I have been blogging since 2009. But I’ve really only focused on turning it into a business since around 2018. So it really was more of a hobby and I was doing a lot of other things in between that time I got a Master’s Degree in Public Health.
Carrie Forrest 4:24
And it wasn’t as common to build your blog into a business in 2009, 2010. There weren’t really a lot of monetization options and especially not to make it a full time business. Around 2018 I really did start focusing on turning it into a business. I wish I had started earlier.
Carrie Forrest 4:48
But at this point, fast forward to 2022 and I am a full time blogger and it is a full time business for me and I get most of my traffic through search traffic. And then I monetize through Mediavine. And my website name you probably mentioned it is cleaneatingkitchen and my specialty is gluten free and dairy free recipes.
Carrie Forrest 5:17
And I also do health articles because I have my master’s degree. So I can usually rank pretty well for health articles as well.
Jillian Leslie 5:25
What got you into healthy living, healthy eating?
Carrie Forrest 5:31
I’ve had pretty much a lifetime of health issues from hormone issues like PCOS to autoimmune stuff Hashimotos. And then 2012, actually, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. So I’m actually coming up on my 10 year, cancer free anniversary. So that will be fun to celebrate.
Carrie Forrest 5:57
I didn’t really make the connection between food and health until my 30s, definitely into my 30s. And then it just was like, this whole new world opened up to me, I got really interested in nutrition, I never took any food or nutrition classes in school, in college or anything.
Carrie Forrest 6:16
So then I ended up going back to school, and really studying nutrition. And then I just started blogging that whole journey. And I also kept asking my audience, as I was growing my blog, what do you want, because we always heard like, “Oh, you should survey your audience and see what they want.”
Carrie Forrest 6:34
And they would always tell me recipes. So back in 2009, when I started, I would never post a recipe, I would just maybe post a really horrible looking picture of food that I took with an old digital camera, and maybe comment or say something about my day, but my audience did keep asking for recipes.
Carrie Forrest 6:58
So, I did start posting recipes around probably 2010. But yeah, it’s just really grown very organically since then.
Jillian Leslie 7:07
And can you share how many pageviews a month do you get?
Her Food Blog Pageviews Per Month
Carrie Forrest 7:14
It took me forever to reach 100,000 pageviews, probably well into 2019. And then once I hit 100, because then I started to know what I was doing. I started doing keyword research, I really started making sure my site was SEO friendly, really started optimizing for pageviews and for what Google wants.
Carrie Forrest 7:43
And so, I quickly got to 250,000. My high this year so far was 650,000. I’m hoping to get to a million pageviews. I think that will be so exciting. A million monthly pageviews. I vary between 500,000 and 600,000 pageviews a month at this point.
Jillian Leslie 8:04
So what does it feel like? Because when we started talking, what does it feel like to know you’ve got this engine that is running? That is you know how to optimize posts, you know how to provide what people are looking for. But then we started talking. So would you share what that journey has been for you?
Carrie Forrest 8:31
Yes. So, growing a website is very fulfilling, especially when you start to see the revenue come in. But at a certain point, it does start to feel like you’re putting content out into a black hole.
Carrie Forrest 8:47
Especially when you’re really working on keyword research based on Google search traffic, you’re not necessarily responding to reader requests. But it just starts to feel kind of mechanical.
Carrie Forrest 9:01
And of course not to complain about revenue, because more revenue is always nice, but you don’t necessarily get the same thrill if you make, say I hit 400,000 pageviews versus 500,000 pageviews, it really doesn’t feel that much different.
Carrie Forrest 9:19
And so, probably at least several years ago, start to feel disconnected from my audience. And also, of course, blogging has changed so much back in the early days. We didn’t have social media, so everyone was commenting on everybody else’s blog.
Carrie Forrest 9:37
I have blog posts that have hundreds of comments on them from the past. At this point, I will only get comments if somebody makes the recipe and they want to either say that they loved it or they hated it. So at this point, most of my blog posts have 1 to 3 comments on them at the most.
Carrie Forrest 9:56
If a recipe really takes off after a couple of years it will get more comments and ratings and things like that. But it is easy to start to feel very, very disconnected from your audience. And I’m not a really big social media person, the bulk of my work and my effort goes into my website.
Feeling Disconnected from Her Visitors
Carrie Forrest 10:14
So, I don’t have a lot of time for Instagram, and even YouTube, I have a small presence there. You really don’t feel connected, you’re making the video and you’re putting it out there. It’s not like you’re really in front of your audience. They feel connected to you, but you don’t feel connected to them.
Carrie Forrest 10:32
I think maybe other bloggers maybe feel the same way.
Jillian Leslie 10:38
It’s so funny. And this is true for me too. I say in every podcast episode, email me, I’d love your feedback, talk to me, I’m a real person, I respond to every email. And I will tell you, I get so few emails, or DM me on Instagram, I see all the messages and stuff, I would love to interact with you. And people don’t.
Jillian Leslie 11:02
And I find that so interesting. And I used to take it very personally, like everybody else is having all these amazing conversations and their audiences are so responsive. And yet, like nobody wants to talk to me.
Jillian Leslie 11:15
And then as I’ve dug in with people, they say the same thing. So, you go well, you’re supposed to talk to your audience and ask them what they want from you. And then people go, but my audience doesn’t talk to me.
Carrie Forrest 11:26
Yes, I felt the same way. That’s true, I think the most interaction I get is maybe if an Instagram post goes viral, but that happens so infrequently these days, or maybe Instagram stories, and then it’s usually about your personal life.
Carrie Forrest 11:43
It’s not really about business, these stuff or what they really are looking for when they’re having a problem, like, what is your problem? So actually, a few times I reached out, I do have some Facebook groups, which is okay way to connect with people. It’s hard because of the Facebook algorithm.
Carrie Forrest 12:04
But every once in a while, we’d get somebody who would comment a lot on my Facebook posts. So, I actually did some one-on-one calls with people. I actually reached out to them and said, “Would you be willing to chat with me about your Clean Eating experience or whatever?”
Carrie Forrest 12:20
I can’t spend all day on calls, as much as I would like to. It was interesting, and it was a great way to connect. But there aren’t that many people who are willing to do that. And of course, it takes a lot of time on my part as well.
Jillian Leslie 12:36
So, you started to think about courses?
Carrie Forrest 12:39
Jillian Leslie 12:40
And can you tell me about your thinking and how you started to, potentially work on them or subscriptions you’d signed up for or whatever and how that path worked for you?
Feeling Overwhelmed By Creating a Course
Carrie Forrest 12:53
I had done some eBooks. And I figured the next rational step for me to try to connect to my audience, or give them more of what they wanted or needed was to do a course. So, I had heard some podcasts’ episodes, and you hear about people who make tons of money on courses.
Carrie Forrest 13:18
And so of course, that was enticing. And so, I started to go down that path, I took some very expensive courses on how to set up a course. And I’m sure like many other people, I didn’t even finish that course, the most expensive one I bought, I didn’t even finish the course.
Carrie Forrest 13:39
And I also just got overwhelmed with the process of making a course. And then I have my daily activities that I have to complete. Because I publish almost every day on my website. And so I’m very, very busy blogger, I just don’t have a lot of extra time.
Carrie Forrest 13:58
And so, creating a course kept just getting further further down on the to-do-list. And then I’m pretty sure I heard a podcast or you offered a workshop on.
Jillian Leslie 14:12
How to set up a workshop.
Carrie Forrest 14:15
Yes, how to set up a workshop on how to set up the workshop.
Jillian Leslie 14:18
Carrie Forrest 14:20
Yes. And I’m not sure if you mentioned something about courses at that time. Like if you’ve thought about a course but you can’t get it finished maybe consider a workshop. Maybe that just had that connection in my head. But I took your workshop on creating a workshop.
Taking My Live Training on Creating a Paid Workshop
Jillian Leslie 14:38
Which by the way, I’m going to be offering very soon again.
Carrie Forrest 14:44
It was amazing. It was everything I needed. You charge a minimal fee versus the fee that I paid for that other course on Creating a Course which probably about 100 or 1,000 times, maybe 100 times more expensive. And so, I jumped at the opportunity to learn how to do a workshop.
Carrie Forrest 15:05
And it just seemed like, you sold me on the idea to do a workshop. And then of course, you had a product, which made it so much easier.
Carrie Forrest 15:15
When I was in the process of creating my course, that never got finished, just the process of making a professional looking sales page was so technical and overwhelming, that I had no idea what to do. And I’m not super technical, but I’m not completely untechnical.
Carrie Forrest 15:35
I run a blog, I know how to do a lot of stuff. But creating a fancy sales page, like doing some kind of plugin, and there was all this code, and it was so overwhelming versus you have this product, where you create a sales page in literally five minutes. And it looks very similar.
Carrie Forrest 15:55
It looks very professional, it’s there to send to your audience that was extremely appealing to me.
Jillian Leslie 16:01
So we worked and we got on a call. And by the way, this is like what I say, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And we’ll get on a call like I did with you, Carrie. And we started to kind of brainstorm what did you want to teach people?
Jillian Leslie 16:14
What inspired me about working with you, was this idea that you have a message, which is that food can be healing. And I could tell that you wanted to connect with people around that message that you had something that you thought could help others.
Carrie Forrest 16:37
Yes, yes, I think that’s key. You really do need to want to have something to share with your audience or something that your audience just keeps asking you for. It just makes it a very natural fit that then you create this workshop opportunity that gives them exactly what they’re asking for.
Getting Inspired to Create a Paid Workshop
Carrie Forrest 17:00
I think even before we got on our call, so after I took your work workshop, I was inspired. So I did create the sales page using your product, the MiloTree Cart. And I have to say my first one was a complete flop because I didn’t know how to sell.
Carrie Forrest 17:21
It was a good lesson, if I had gone down the road of creating the course and spending months doing it because I really didn’t get that far. I would not have known how to sell it. So it would have been actually even more money and time loss to me.
Carrie Forrest 17:39
But thankfully, you have some great podcasts episodes about selling. And then you were really kind to give me some really great advice on selling, which I needed because as bloggers at least like super introverted bloggers like me, where I’ve never had a sales position.
Getting Good at Selling
Carrie Forrest 18:04
And I did have office jobs before I became a blogger, but I’ve never been in sales. And I’ve always been very introverted. Just being a blogger, there’s really no selling maybe the eBooks, but that’s very passive. You can put it in our newsletter, there’s definitely no time crunch.
Carrie Forrest 18:27
But selling a workshop where it’s coming up in a few weeks. That is a very different experience. So I have learned a ton in the past few months. So that very first workshop, I sent out one email to my email list. That was it one email, and nobody bought it. And I was so disheartened.
Carrie Forrest 18:47
But then when you sent out I think an email or you mentioned on your podcast that you would actually coach people if they wanted or do a call with you. I definitely thought I needed that. And so we did that. And you pretty much blew my mind with how aggressive you do need to be with selling.
Carrie Forrest 19:10
To me, it doesn’t feel aggressive now at the time, it did feel aggressive. So I went ahead and I set up my second workshop. And it was based on I think, even more enticing topics that my audience had asked for. So you and I brainstormed some of that.
Jillian Leslie 19:27
What was the first one on? I don’t remember I know the second one was Going Sugar Free Without Being Deprived.
Carrie Forrest 19:34
The first one was the Healthy Holidays.
Jillian Leslie 19:36
Carrie Forrest 19:37
And I think I’m going to try to do that one this year. Now that I know how to sell. So that one was the one that didn’t happen. The sugar free one. I knew my audience liked that topic because I have a special Facebook group around that topic. I have an eBook around that topic.
Carrie Forrest 19:58
I have top ranked posts around going sugar free. So, I knew that in general, it’s a very popular topic that people are interested in. And so, I think on our first call, we set up my sales page.
Carrie Forrest 20:12
And you gave me a rundown on how the selling should go, which, as I mentioned, blew my mind because you essentially said, send out an email every day for about two weeks.
Jillian Leslie 20:24
We have a 14 day launch calendar with email templates and social media posts templates. And it says every day you don’t have to send all those emails, but they’re there.
Seeing Your Product as a Solution to a Problem
Jillian Leslie 20:37
And I do believe that if you see your product as a solution that can help people, then it’s almost like you have an obligation to go help people to let them know that there’s a real person Carrie there who wants to make your life better.
Carrie Forrest 20:54
Yes, I so agree. You reminded me on more than one occasion very firmly, “Carrie, you’re not selling snake oil.” And I hear that in my head all the time, because I’m really not. And I also priced my second workshop extremely low. I think I did it at $10. Because I did not want the cost to be a barrier.
Carrie Forrest 21:20
Of course, nowadays, with everything so expensive. I really wanted to make it very accessible. But also, I didn’t want to make it free. Because there’s research showing that people value things more when they pay for them. And so $10.
Carrie Forrest 21:34
Anyways, so I took your advice, I followed your advice, almost to a tee some of the things I’m still was too shy to do. I don’t think I really push on Instagram Stories,
Jillian Leslie 21:49
You didn’t go live, didn’t you?
Carrie Forrest 21:50
No, I didn’t. I definitely didn’t go live in my Facebook groups. I really did not take advantage of my Facebook groups, which I did more in my third workshop. I’ve done three now. Or I’ve planned three. I’ve done two.
Carrie Forrest 22:04
So, my first workshop that I actually went through I sold 30 seats. And I was so pleased with that number. It did feel scary to do all that marketing and all that selling. And some people did unsubscribe from my mailing list.
Carrie Forrest 22:26
And I think you and I talked about that, too, that essentially, you said that, it’s okay, because you kind of need to train your audience that you offer more than just free blog posts.
The Benefit of Connecting to Your Audience
Carrie Forrest 22:43
And that you do have this opportunity to connect with me more, not one-on-one. But kind of face-to-face through this workshop, I allowed time for people to ask questions. I’m not like a nutritionist or a dietitian but I do have pretty good training in nutrition.
Carrie Forrest 23:06
If you tried to get any kind of an appointment with anybody trained in nutrition, you’re going to spend a lot more than $10. And I’m essentially giving people access to me for an hour at the workshop and follow up emails, which hardly anybody followed up.
Carrie Forrest 23:24
So you offer these things and you think, oh, I’m going to get 100 emails, but you don’t you get maybe a couple of emails.
Jillian Leslie 23:31
What was so interesting, because after you did it, we did a call just to hear how it went. You said a couple of things. You said it was really satisfying. You said it was really exhausting.
Jillian Leslie 23:44
And then you said that there was a woman who took it, I guess and was like emailing you or staying in touch with you in the Facebook group or something. And you felt this connection with her because she was really going sugar free.
Jillian Leslie 23:59
And I don’t want to speak for you. But at least in my read of that. It was like, Oh my God, these are real people. It’s not like I’m yelling into the abyss.
Carrie Forrest 24:12
Yes, now that you mentioned it, I remember I felt like wow, I’m changing somebody’s life for the better. And that felt extremely satisfying. A lot more satisfying than knowing how many thousand people read that article I have on going sugar free.
Carrie Forrest 24:34
That feeling of satisfaction is nothing compared to knowing one person. She was posting in the Facebook group how after the workshop and all the changes she was making day-by-day, and it was extremely rewarding.
Jillian Leslie 24:52
Let’s talk about your third one versus your second. We did another recap discussion and you said you felt like you were getting into your groove.
Jillian Leslie 25:04
And by the way, I talked with somebody else who did their first workshop, who said the exact same thing, “Oh my God, I felt exhausted, I was worried about my technology.”
Jillian Leslie 25:13
And then she said to me at the end, “If I were to do it again, in a half an hour, I could totally nail it. Without feeling exhausted, I know what it is now. It’s almost like I broke through, I know what to expect. I recognize like, yeah, my technology could fail. And that’s okay, just having gone through the exercise.”
Jillian Leslie 25:34
So it was so similar to what you said.
I want to take a short break to say that if this is sounding interesting to you, if all of a sudden you’re thinking I want to launch a paid workshop, but I don’t know what I could teach, I have a free download for you that will help you come up with your idea. And you can get this at milotree.com/workshopidea.
So that’s milotree.com/workshopidea. It’s just a little worksheet, and it will help you ideate and think about what your audience would want from you, what problem could you solve? And now back to the show.
Gaining Confidence Running Your Paid Workshop
Carrie Forrest 26:23
The third one that I planned not only was it easier to actually do the workshop, I did not feel as tired afterwards, I felt a lot more confident during the workshop. But all the lead up to it was a piece of cake compared to the first time the sales, I felt extremely confident.
Carrie Forrest 26:43
I really had no qualms about sending out emails. I use Mailchimp for my email, and you can send like a follow-up email to the people who don’t open the first email.
Carrie Forrest 26:58
So, I had no qualms about doing that, that I was going to annoy people, or I kept hearing your voice. The thing about not selling snake oil that I was offering value to them.
Carrie Forrest 27:12
I did increase my price on the third one as well. Not significantly. But I had one person tell me that she thought it was too expensive. So, I asked her more about her situation and stuff. And she was on an extremely limited budget. So I let her come for free. It’s not like high ticket item.
Carrie Forrest 27:36
So, it’s been really fun to think about, now that I’ve done two successful ones. You have all these ideas for future topics. I do feel so much more connected to my audience and not in the sense that I know people’s names. Because at the workshop, you’re still the leader, and it’s on a Zoom call.
Carrie Forrest 28:01
And you’re not necessarily asking people oh, what’s your name and where you are from, there’s really not that, I suppose you could do something like that, if you did, like a support group or something like that.
Carrie Forrest 28:13
But it was more about seeing people’s faces, and just feeling like my emails that I put out in general, they’re going to real people, people, my Facebook, they’re real people.
Carrie Forrest 28:31
I also do follow up surveys after my workshops. And I find that to be very helpful. And also, I tried to ask for criticism, but usually I’ve just gotten really nice comments and compliments about how it was a good workshop.
Carrie Forrest 28:50
And so it’s ended up boosting my confidence even more, although I would love for people to give me some maybe constructive criticisms how I could make them better. But I do recommend doing a follow up survey so you can always try to hear feedback from your audience.
Jillian Leslie 29:09
The thing that I would say Carrie having known you now and watching this progression. I feel like there is a confidence today talking to you just about this and about putting out stuff in front of your audience and selling value then you really have value to sell value to provide.
Jillian Leslie 29:32
I watched it now as you’ve gone through these three exercises and then you came back and I remember you said I’m probably going to do the four year or we’ve talked about doing like a three week challenge.
Jillian Leslie 29:50
It’s really opened you up almost as if by getting through the block of oh my god, I’m really going to show up live on Zoom with these people. And oh my god, I’m really going sell to them, like really sell not just like a PS, hey, I don’t want to pressure you, but that kind of thing.
Adopting a “Selling Is Service” Mindset
Jillian Leslie 30:07
But like going no, no, no, this is valuable, this will really be beneficial for your life, I can guarantee it. Otherwise, I’ll give you your money back. There’s a level of creativity. Possibility. That’s what I see in you, as an entrepreneur, more than a blogger.
Jillian Leslie 30:26
It’s like you kind of switched, you are a blogger. And that’s where you make the bulk of your money right now. But it’s like this entrepreneurial switch got flipped.
Carrie Forrest 30:37
I totally agree. Because as a blogger, at this point, all of my blog topics, all of my recipes, and articles are all based on keyword research. They’re not remotely really, it’s kind of sad to say, but they’re really not remotely related to what my audience is asking me for.
Carrie Forrest 30:58
It’s all data driven versus these workshops are 100%. Based on what my audience wants, I either ask them in a survey what they want, or they’re asking about in the Facebook group, or based on the trends or whatever, but it’s not based on keyword research. That’s kind of like save that for the blog.
Carrie Forrest 31:22
And now there’s this other like, really rich component to me, I guess, and to my business where I can speak directly to my audience and give them exactly what they want, as opposed to like the sugar free thing, I only write an article about sugar free, maybe once a year.
Carrie Forrest 31:39
And it’s really only when the keyword research reveals that there’s a topic that has high search volume and low competition. But my audience, they need more help than some random article once a year, they might need a workshop four times a year on different topics on sugar free.
Carrie Forrest 32:02
So, it really adds, I think, a connection that wasn’t there before. And it almost puts me back into the business where it doesn’t feel so cold and analytical. It really feels like it’s my business. And I’m the head of it. And I’m the one speaking about it. That was good.
What’s It Like Working with Jillian Leslie as a Coach?
Jillian Leslie 32:29
Working with me, was that scary? What was that like? Because I want to encourage others to reach out to me that I will help them because again, it’s like you wanting to help your audience live better, healthier lives.
Jillian Leslie 32:47
Same thing, I want to help women predominantly, although I do work with some men to help them but my audience is predominantly women. And I feel like we all because I can speak from my own experience, have our blocks in our places, and I’ve been pushing myself to lean into the value that hopefully I’m providing.
Jillian Leslie 33:09
It’s like, I learn it, and then I can teach it. Because I feel like oh, I had a breakthrough. Let me share my breakthrough with everybody. What was that like for you?
Carrie Forrest 33:25
Well, I think you were amazing. I think you are like a business coach, and a cheerleader, wrapped in one. I think you’re more extroverted than me.
Carrie Forrest 33:41
But it helps me because I could hear your voice so much when I was doing my selling and in a way it really helped because my voice would have been, “I don’t want to bother you. I do have this workshop if you don’t want to come it’s okay.”
Jillian Leslie 33:59
But it might help you.
Carrie Forrest 34:02
It might help you. Versus your voice. I know this is going to help you I’m doing this workshop, I really want you to be there. I think it’s really going to help you with this problem. I can’t wait to see you there. And then maybe follow up the next day with that person. And that’s not my voice.
Carrie Forrest 34:24
But now it’s kind of becoming my voice because you do need to have that assertiveness and that confidence to sell because it doesn’t sound the same when you say this might help you.
Carrie Forrest 34:43
So, in a way I needed that because again, I have never had sales experience and it’s just so easy to sit behind the computer as a blogger and be passive which for most of the time that’s what I really love.
Jillian Leslie 35:00
By the way, I have to say, I’ve been just going through like MiloTree customers and stuff and reaching out to them specifically about MiloTree Cart.
Food Bloggers Can Hide Behind their Blogs
Jillian Leslie 35:08
I feel this, I said this to David, my husband yesterday, I said, I think food blogging is a great way to hide behind your blog, because it is all about the food, and you can do photos, you can do videos, and you never have to show yourself and you never have to put yourself out there.
Jillian Leslie 35:24
And I believe that being an entrepreneur is a great way to work on yourself to push yourself in ways that are uncomfortable, but that can fill up your gas tank that can put food on your table that can create a better life for you, if you’re willing to push yourself into those places of discomfort.
Jillian Leslie 35:46
My philosophy about blogging has changed. In that it was me too hiding behind my blog, with Catch My Party. Initially, my feeling was I wanted to make it seem like a really big company. And it was just David and me.
Jillian Leslie 36:01
So, it was this weird fiction of like, look at us. We’re like the experts on party planning. As if we have a staff of 100 people, and we didn’t, but that was blogging back in, 2009. And so today, I feel like you’re standing now in front of your blog.
Jillian Leslie 36:21
And it’s you kind of directing people into your blog, but also directing them to all of the offerings that you have, and your blog is a way to gain authority. And a way to get people to know you, trust you and all that, and to put out your expertise. But that’s now one part of your business.
Jillian Leslie 36:21
And that if you really want to be this well rounded entrepreneur, it’s like the person in front of the restaurant going, “Hey, come on in for the best Italian food.” Or whatever it is, and that I think it is about reorienting the way we think about where our blog sits in our business.
Carrie Forrest 37:00
I think that’s true. But I also think that if I had been happy just plugging along like I was, then I wouldn’t have felt the need to do something different.
Carrie Forrest 37:13
But I think in a way like your restaurant analogy, if a chef is in the kitchen and never ever ever comes out into the dining room, or even looks into the dining room, that chef is going to feel extremely unfulfilled because you can only make great food, back in your kitchen and send it out.
Carrie Forrest 37:33
But if you never hear from customers, and you never see their smiling faces or even get feedback, I’ve never been a chef I can imagine that would be extremely unfulfilling.
Carrie Forrest 37:45
And I think that’s what had started to happen being a blogger, because I got just deeper and deeper and deeper into the analytics and just pushing out blog posts without coming out and seeing like, how are you people? Are you enjoying this? Is it helping you? What else can I do?
Carrie Forrest 38:05
So, that’s what these workshops have really done for me.
Jillian Leslie 38:08
So, people want to know, what are you planning? What are some of the ideas that you’re thinking about? Maybe they might reach out to you and say, “Oh, do that one. I would be interested.”
Carrie Forrest 38:26
Since I do have Facebook groups, I can ask I have two Facebook groups for my business.
Jillian Leslie 38:31
What are they so people can join if they want?
Carrie Forrest 38:35
There’s one. It’s called Clean Eating Diet and Support. I don’t even sure if my name is attached to it. I think that’s what it’s called. And then there’s the Sugar-Free Challenge with Carrie Forrest.
Carrie Forrest 38:46
So that’s a place that I can ask people, but then just off the top of my head. Since I write about gluten free and dairy free, it’s pretty easy just to think of topics like I want to do the Healthy Holidays one. I want to do a hormone one.
Carrie Forrest 39:06
Really, any topic that does reasonably well on my website, I think is a potential and also to be frank, once you have a blog post, and even if you’re a straight food blogger, even if you find people gravitating towards something even kind of obscure like how to use gluten free flowers or even how to bake a cake.
Create a Workshop From One of Your Top Posts
Carrie Forrest 39:35
If you find people gravitating towards those posts, it’s very easy to create a workshop because you already have the blog posts. So, you’re literally in a lot of ways you’re bringing a certain blog post to life with your workshop.
Carrie Forrest 39:47
That’s another thing. I think I was overwhelmed. Like with the course you’re creating all this content. You can’t just take one blog post and make it a full course and expect to charge anywhere from $300 who knows $1,000.
Carrie Forrest 40:03
But with a workshop that you’re selling for, most likely less than $100, you can really take one blog posts and turn that into a 45 minute discussion. You’re going to get to be very detailed, and you’re going to be able to answer questions. So, it’s really easy to set up the workshop versus the course.
Carrie Forrest 40:24
So, I just want to kind of put that out there. Because, again, we’re all very busy, we don’t have days to devote to creating, slides, and then you had templates for slides. It’s just so easy to set up.
Carrie Forrest 40:40
I think that’s one reason that it’s just so easy for me to think of topics because I just look at what’s performing well, and I send out a weekly newsletter. So I can see in my newsletter, how many people clicked on that specific topic. So that gives me a clue of what people are interested in.
Carrie Forrest 41:00
And I can use kind of my own intuition to feel like what topics might be interesting. And then of course, you can test a topic, you can set up a sales page in a few minutes. You could maybe even set up two different topics.
Carrie Forrest 41:17
And maybe schedule one for one month and the second one for the second month and see which one people are signing up for. That’s going to give you an idea of what people are interested in. So it’s pretty easy to find a topic.
Jillian Leslie 41:31
As an introvert what was it like? Again, just to set up a workshop with MiloTree Cart, you need MiloTreeCart, you need an email service provider like Mailchimp, and Zoom.
Carrie Forrest 41:42
Jillian Leslie 41:43
What was it like for you then to show up on Zoom?
What’s It Like to Host a Workshop as an Introvert?
Carrie Forrest 41:45
It wasn’t too bad. I think maybe the pandemic has gotten us more accustomed to video stuff. It really wasn’t too bad. I was nervous. More so with the first one, I think I would say fairly nervous.
Carrie Forrest 42:04
The second one, I would say minimally nervous. Maybe just more kind of the adrenaline of having something to do. And I know we have to be there on time. And the technical part was easy. I recorded it.
Carrie Forrest 42:21
Because a lot of people, they can’t attend live because it is kind of hard to figure out what time to offer your workshop. So you suggested like, middle of the day in the week, which is what I did. But of course a lot of people can’t come and so I recorded it, I uploaded that video, which is very easy. Zoom makes that easy.
Carrie Forrest 42:42
I just uploaded the video to YouTube, my YouTube channel and made it private.
Jillian Leslie 42:48
Carrie Forrest 42:49
Yes or unlisted. And then YouTube gives you a link. And then I just sent out a follow-up the same day through my email to everyone. So people might even want to watch the replay even if they attended live.
Carrie Forrest 43:03
And then I included anything I’ve done, I promised them like I made a Clean Eating shopping list, which I already had on my website. It’s funny because a lot of these things I’ve already given to my audience, maybe they forgot.
Jillian Leslie 43:22
And I say this to people all the time. I was talking to this one woman. And she’s like a crafter, and she got sent by the company, the certain crafting tool and learned like the special techniques or something but she was with a cohort of other crafters. And she came back and I said why don’t you teach that?
Jillian Leslie 43:43
And she said no, no, because the other people in the cohort are going to be teaching it and I don’t want to step on their toes. And I turned to her and I said everything in the world is on YouTube.
Jillian Leslie 43:53
I promise you that this crafting company wants all their secrets out there so you better believe they’re not just sharing them with five crafters. And if these other crafters are sharing, this best ways to use these tools.
Jillian Leslie 44:08
You’ve got your own spin and your own personality and your own way so even if they are teaching it you can still teach it because you know it differently. But that idea of you’re like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m charging for this workshop even though all the stuff is on my blog and it’s free.”
Jillian Leslie 44:26
Everything is free meaning if you really are looking for whatever that thing is. You can find it but the truth is what’s not free is you like you are special. You are the thing that is the glue and I’m showing up for Carrie to teach me this.
Carrie Forrest 44:45
I thought about that because I remember you saying that. And that is so true because it’s not just an opportunity for me to get to know my audience better. They’re getting to know me this is probably the first time that they have ever seen me beyond just my little picture on my website.
Carrie Forrest 45:04
Because I don’t do the Facebook Lives very much. I don’t do Instagram stories. I might show like, the beach where I live, but I never show my face because I am shy. So this is likely the first time that they’ve seen me or maybe they’ve seen me on YouTube. But they have never actually seen me as a person.
Carrie Forrest 45:23
So, it’s an opportunity for them too because most of my traffic is search traffic. And a lot of I would say probably 80% to 90% of those people don’t come back to my website. But that leaves 10%, they are signed up on my email list. They are connected to me and trust me.
Carrie Forrest 45:46
And so this gives them an even greater chance to actually see me as a real person. So it’s an opportunity for everybody really.
Jillian Leslie 45:56
I love that. I love that. Well, I have to say, I’m so glad that this recording hopefully will work. And that I’ve gotten to watch this transformation. On my side, I’m watching you. And I’m hearing what you say. And when I reached out to you, and I was like, “Carrie, please come back on the show.”
Jillian Leslie 46:20
And you were like, “Yes.” Again, I’m watching you blossom as an entrepreneur. That’s it. I’m watching you blossom as an entrepreneur, moving beyond your blog, like you are kind of now stepping out in front of it.
Jillian Leslie 46:35
And you have this really successful, beautiful blog to be so proud of that has really put you on the map. But now it’s almost like you’re even bigger than that.
Carrie Forrest 46:45
Thank you. This has been a process because I really started feeling this disconnection several years ago. And I just never found the right way to break out of that. And so your product, and of course, you helping me, gave me that opportunity. So I’m grateful to you for that. And I appreciate it.
Jillian Leslie 47:08
And I feel again, like we are friends. And that feels so nice.
Carrie Forrest 47:13
I know I got a new friend.
Jillian Leslie 47:15
That’s exactly how I feel. Carrie, first of all, if people want to reach out to you how can they do that? And then if they want to join your Facebook groups, or get on your email list and find out what your next workshop is going to be about. How can people find you on the internet?
Carrie Forrest 47:36
I would love to get emails
Jillian Leslie 47:42
I feel a little needy. Do you? Like, please email me.
Carrie Forrest 47:48
I do love it because I love this business side of blogging, I don’t sell anything. I don’t have a course about blogging or anything but I find the topic fascinating. And so when other bloggers reach out to me, and they say, maybe they heard me or something I said resonated with them.
Carrie Forrest 48:09
I love to have that interaction with other bloggers and see where their business is. And maybe try to help brainstorm because I’m at the point in my career too where I feel like I’ve learned enough where I like mentoring people and offering my advice. But I don’t have the business podcasts or anything.
Carrie Forrest 48:29
So, if people want to email me that is great. And my email address is on my website under my contact page. I think that’s pretty easy to find. It’s right there.
Jillian Leslie 48:40
And your blog.
Carrie Forrest 48:41
My blog is cleaneatingkitchen.com
Jillian Leslie 48:45
Carrie Forrest 48:47
And then on Instagram, I’m cleaneatingcarrie. Even though I don’t post that often. I do of course check it multiple times a day. So, it’s fun to see what other people are up to. So, you can message me there as well.
Jillian Leslie 49:04
And if anybody out there wants me to help them set up a paid workshop, I am super happy. And by the way I want you out there to be successful. And also I get to learn about my own product. So it’s a win win.
Jillian Leslie 49:21
Because people have said, why are you really doing this for free? And I’m like, Yes, I’m doing it for free. But there’s definitely something in it for me as well. So you can reach out to me at email@example.com and I’d love to get on a call with you to help you think through this.
Jillian Leslie 49:25
And one thing that we do offer is a really detailed 14-day launch calendar not overwhelming. It just tells you what each day what to do and gives you email templates and everything.
Jillian Leslie 49:48
My goal is to take the overwhelm out and to make it something where hey, just follow this and you’ve got yourself a workshop and show up and connect and build out your business and become this entrepreneur that’s what I want for everybody out there is just success and happiness.
Carrie Forrest 50:10
I would highly encourage people to take advantage of your offer because it’s helped me hugely.
Jillian Leslie 50:16
Oh, well, Carrie, I am so proud of you. And I really am so happy that I have a new friend. So thank you so much for coming on the show.
Carrie Forrest 50:25
Thank you for having me.
Jillian Leslie 50:27
I hope you guys liked this episode. For me what resonates the most is when Carrie talks about the journey she went on from her first workshop all the way to her third and the confidence that she developed the way that she was able to see her blog as something that’s really helping people that’s not just about algorithms.
Jillian Leslie 50:51
I find that very nourishing. Hopefully this episode has inspired you to take the leap and launch your own paid workshop. And if this sounds interesting to you remember, on July 21st, at noon, Central Time, I am offering a live training on how to launch your own paid workshop in under 15 minutes.
Jillian Leslie 51:15
Please come it’s just going to be an hour, you will get the recording and all the goodies afterwards. So to sign up, head to launchplan.milotreecart.com. So again, I would love you to come. $10 launchplan.milotree cart.com.
Jillian Leslie 51:37
Again, what motivates and drives me is watching you have success in your businesses being able to make money the way you want to and living the life you’ve always dreamed of. So please join me on the 21st at noon Central Time.
Jillian Leslie 51:59
And if you can’t be there live no problem. You’ll get a recording of the video and if you are listening to this episode after the workshop has already happened, you can still buy the recording so just head to launchplan.milotreecart.com and it’ll be up for sale. I hope to see you there.
Jillian Leslie 52:21
And if I don’t I will see you here again next week.
Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:
- The Best Blog Content Tools You’ve Never Heard Of with Britt Reber
- She Tripled Her Blog in Less Than 3 Months Doing This… with Anina Belle Giannini
- How to Build a New Income Stream Fast and Easy with Cristy Harfman
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.