Today, I have Tamara Bennett from Southern Adoornments Decor back on the show to share how to build a seven-figure membership.
The reason David and I built MiloTree Easy Payments, was to help creators start memberships the fasted and easiest way possible. We think there is no better way to serve your audience and make serious money than with a membership.
And in fact, it was Tamara who opened my eyes to this whole thing.
Tamara and I discuss how she got started painting live on Facebook, how she was able to build a membership off of that teaching people how to paint door hangers. We also talk about the importance of community when building a membership and how to show up for your people.
Tamara shares her TikTok strategy, her favorite new platform, and how she’s been able to grow her following to over 60k.
If you are interested in creating recurring revenue, money that you can count on each month, a membership is a great way to do it, so definitely listen to this episode.
And to start putting the pieces in place for a membership, I recommend you test your idea with a paid workshop.
Please come to my new live training on December. 13th at 12:00pm CT on How to Pick a Topic for Your Paid Workshop and Set Up a Sale Page in Under 60 Minutes! It’s only $10 and it might transform your business!
Table of Contents
- Choose Your Workshop and Set Up a Sales Page in Less Than 60 Min
- MiloTree Easy Payments
- MiloTree Pop-Up App
- Southern Adoornments Decor
- Catch My Party
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- All Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
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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 hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving we just got back last night from Miami Beach. And I have to tell you, it was so nice to get away.
Sign Up For My New Live Training on Dec. 13th: How to Pick a Workshop Topic and Set Up a Sales Page in Under an Hour
And I am really recharged. I want to announce that I am leading a second live training, I just lead my first one on “How to Set Up a Paid Workshop in Under an Hour.” So in this one, I’m going to be talking about how to pick a topic.
How to actually pick a topic that you can then teach to your audience and get paid, plus how to use our MiloTree Easy Payments, sales page creator and get a sales page up.
And the way that I’m thinking about this is this one’s going to be more interactive, where you’re going to get live feedback.
But the goal is to come up with an idea, create a sales page, put it out in front of your audience, and see if this is what people are interested in. So, before you create the workshop, if nobody’s interested, fine.
Guess what? You get to come up with a new idea, create a new sales page and test it. I am all about testing. Don’t build until you’ve tested, until you validated that there are people there willing to pay you for your what I call special sauce.
And this is how you get to build your business. And you get to build it with your audience with the people who want to get close to you and learn from you.
So, this workshop is happening on December 13th. It’s a Monday at 12pm Central Time.
It’s going to be an hour, we’re going to go through a lot, it’ll be a lot of fun. Of course, you’ll get a recording and PDFs and everything. To sign up it is $10. Because again, I want you to have skin in the game.
I want you to put your money out there, you will show up differently. To sign up, go to workshop2.milotreecart.com. And also just go to that page just to see this is what your sales page will look like.
As a creator the goal is to figure out what products and services you can sell to your audience and using this technique with MiloTree Easy Payments. This is honestly the best way to do this and to move your business forward.
Even if you didn’t come to the first one. No problem. Definitely come to this one. It is a new way to think about business building. I think you’re going to really like it. Again, workshop2.milotreecart.com. Hope you’ll come.
For today’s episode I have my friend Tamara Bennett back on the show. This is her second appearance. And she has an incredible business called Southern Adoornments Decor where she teaches people how to paint door hangers.
This is the exact model that I am promoting with MiloTree Easy Payments, where you figure out what your audience wants from you and you show up for them and wait until you see the business she has created.
It’s all about showing up for her people and providing value. As you listen to this episode. See if you can start noodling on an idea where you can do the same.
How to Build a Seven-Figure Membership
So without further delay, here is my interview with Tamara Bennett. Tamara, Welcome back to the show. It is so good to see your face.
Tamara Bennett 4:10
Thank you so much for having me back. I feel like it’s been forever since we spoke.
I know we were talking about this kind of like the pre-pandemic world and now the post-pandemic world and I have to say, showing up with a familiar like a friend. It just feels so good. It feeds my soul.
Jillian Leslie 4:28
So, just when I saw your face pop-up on Zoom, I was like, “Yay, I get to talk to you.”
Tamara Bennett 4:33
It’s exciting to reconnect. There’s so much that’s happened and changed not only in our world, but like in your business, my business since I’m excited to catch up with you. Absolutely.
Okay, so you really opened my eyes, it was probably about two years ago where we met at a mastermind. And I remember first of all, learning that you painted door hangers and I didn’t even know what a door hanger was.
Building a Community of Crafters and Painting
Jillian Leslie 5:00
And then I was like, oh my God, the more I learned, I was like, you’ve built this amazing business, doing something very niche that I had no idea even existed. And you built a membership by creating a community. And people showed up for you.
And I was blown away. So, would you just tell kind of the shortened version, I’m going to link to our first podcast episode where people can hear your whole story, but just how you did this. And then what I want to talk about is how it’s grown since then.
Tamara Bennett 5:38
I think not only your mind was blown, but everybody at that mastermind was kind of like, “Oh, my goodness, this is eye opening.” Because I remember, I showed up to that mastermind like the one person who was not considered a blogger.
And everybody else in the room they didn’t know really what memberships were, or anything. Most of you guys didn’t even have like a very big following on Facebook and everything. Because you guys put all your eggs in the blogging basket, right?
Yes. So, back then I don’t think you had a blog, I think you might have had like a small website.
Yes, I had a website and I had a Facebook page. That’s kind of what I started with. And now we have a blog. And I’m pretty proud of the blog we have built now. But when I was in that room with you guys, I would not have called myself a blogger.
Because I only had just a few random blogs up and I didn’t really have like a strategy for my blog. And so, all of my focus and attention was on growing my social media to send traffic to my website.
And my page has exploded since COVID happened, because everybody is at home. So what are they going to do? They’re pulling out their phones. And then they’ve got all this extra time. So why not learn a new skill, like learning to paint a door hanger?
So first, what is a door hanger? I know that like to everybody else, what is the door hanger?
So, if you know what a wreath is, a wreath hangs on your front door, it’s kind of the same thing. But instead of being made with ribbon, and florals and things like that, it’s just a piece of wood that’s been painted.
And it can be any shape really, imagine shaped like a snowman. And you can hang it on your door just like you would hang up a wreath and it might say welcome or something like that on it.
And typically a lot of times are seasonal, right?
Yeah. So, I would change my mind out almost every month, depending on the season.
Showing Up Live on Facebook
And who knew that all these people wanted to join you in learning how to create door hangers? Okay, you make this Facebook page, right? And you started painting door hangers on the Facebook page isn’t that true?
Yeah, I started doing it just as a way to connect with other people because I was a stay- at-home mom and I was starved for attention to talk to another human being besides my kids. And so, I was up late at night painting.
And I’ve discovered Facebook Live was the thing. And I’m like, let’s just try this out. I don’t even know what this is. But I’m one of these that I’m like the first one to download the new app and try the new thing. And so I hit Go Live.
And I think my very first video was showing how to make a bow for a door hanger. And all of a sudden names started popping up of people that had painted with me in my hometown at these paint parties we had done.
So they were faces and names I recognized. And so, I felt like I was talking to friends. And so that’s kind of where it all started.
And then when did you think to yourself, I could start a business. And by the way, we were just talking about this previously, like you are the person that I’m looking that I think could benefit from MiloTree Easy Payments.
Jillian Leslie 8:40
You were one of the inspirations for me when I heard how you built your business, which is you kind of built this community, they wanted to learn from you. And you’re like, “Hey, I’m just going to start a membership with a PayPal button.” Right?
Tamara Bennett 8:48
Yeah. I already technically had a business before I started my membership. But it did not have any recurring revenue at all. I was just painting door hangers and selling them or I was showing up live at in-person paint parties and teaching.
So, once I started doing Facebook Live, I started to grow an audience on Facebook of people all across the United States and even in other countries who wanted to learn how to do what I was doing.
And so, I was just teaching without even really realizing it, just giving out tips and telling what color I was using and all of this in every video that I did.
And I started to realize that, there was this thing out there where people would charge for a class or something to teach something. And I’m like, “Well, that sounds interesting.”
Hosting Virtual Painting Parties
And so I kind of dabbled with that idea a little bit. I did something called virtual paint parties.
It was kind of the same concept of what I was doing in person but I was mailing them a wooden piece and showing up in a Facebook group with them and painting with them.
Jillian Leslie 9:55
So, you would charge them upfront and it would be like here we’re going to show up like zoom a thing, were you doing it on Zoom?
Tamara Bennett 10:03
I wasn’t doing it on Zoom I was actually doing on Facebook Live inside a private Facebook group. And then I was mailing them the wood piece.
Wow. Okay. And then you said and people started showing up for these?
Yeah, I think we started out with like 40 or so and then eventually grew to about 60. And then I started to realize there was a bit of a disconnect, a lot of the ladies who were watching me live, already knew how to cut out the wooden piece.
And so they felt like it was kind of unnecessary to pay for me to ship them something. So I had to figure out a way to serve those people.
And I figured out that I could create digital templates that they could download print out on their computer trace on the wood. So, they would have the same wood piece I’m working with, but they had cut it with their own hands.
Okay, and then when did you think recurring revenue membership?
So, we had tried the virtual paint party thing, like I said, but that was all was shipping the pieces. And I kind of kept doing that in the background. But I’m thinking there’s got to be a better way.
Sending out the printable template that’s more just a digital subscription, I don’t actually mail you anything would be a way better solution. So, it took me about a month or two to wrap my mind around what exactly I wanted to create.
Starting a Painting Membership
But once I got the idea, I came up with a name for it, I call it the Painter’s Clubhouse. And I started to define what the monthly content would be because I didn’t want this to be a one-time payment thing. I wanted them to pay monthly. So I had a stable income.
And I wanted them to feel like they had a handheld, like guided experience. They didn’t feel like they were, taking one class with me. And then I was dropping them, we were continuing to learn from each other.
Jillian Leslie 11:50
Now, one thing, though, that you opened my eyes to, was when you said and tell me if I’m right about this, if I remember correctly, we show up and we paint together.
Tamara Bennett 11:59
Yeah. And it’s more about the community than it is actually the lessons. People would come to learn how to paint the door hanger, but they’ll stay for the community. They’re a part of something.
By the way. I’ve been sharing this; I’ve been interviewing people like you with memberships. And people who are thinking of starting memberships worry that they need a library of content.
Jillian Leslie 12:24
And I say to be honest with you, from what I understand, people don’t really go back to your live. I’ve got all these lessons and I’ve created all of these things is these teaching sessions and stuff. They come because of you and they stay for the community.
Tamara Bennett 12:41
Yes, we have a library of three years’ worth of content in there now hundreds of tutorials. And they do go back and reference them on occasion. And we’ll watch an old one and post it in the group. But it’s kind of just like a buffet.
They can go in there. And they can pick and choose what they want to do. Or they can do something live with me.
But I think the thing that really ties them into the membership is the fact that they get to when they are drinking their coffee every morning, log into the Facebook group and scroll and see pictures of their friends posts of what they’ve painted.
And so, then they go in and they comment and they tell each other, “Oh, you did a wonderful job.” Or they want to log in and see who commented on the picture they posted yesterday.
And I can remember this goes way before I started a business. When I had first become a stay-at-home mom, I was starved for interaction with people. And if I posted something on Facebook, I was checking every hour to see who had commented back.
Because I wanted to feel connected to somebody and that’s what we all want. We just want to feel connected. So, if somebody is commenting on your art. There is no better validation than that.
People Crave Connection Online
Absolutely. I was just interviewing somebody who was posting in food, Facebook groups, like vegan Facebook groups. And she’s like, you would not believe how many people all they want to do is take photos of their vegan food.
Jillian Leslie 14:07
It’s not like their food bloggers and post it and be like you’re my tostadas. You’re my whatever. And other people go, “Oh my God, that’s awesome. And the photos don’t necessarily even look that good. It doesn’t matter.
But I will say the same thing, when you’re a new mom, again, you love your children so much. But it can be so lonely.
Tamara Bennett 14:29
And it’s the same on the opposite end of the spectrum, the ones who are empty nesters or retired. They feel the same way. They don’t have anything to busy themselves with anymore.
And people like honestly again, like showing up and seeing your face today you’ve made my day. Because too with the pandemic we are all so starved for that interaction that I completely get it.
Jillian Leslie 14:54
So that’s why I keep saying it’s all about the community. The community fuels it like you are the leader. And I’ve now started to call the membership almost like the camp counselor.
Tamara Bennett 15:08
Actually, that’s funny that you say that because that’s what I call our community manager. We have a community manager inside the Facebook group, but because it’s called the Painter’s Clubhouse, I envision it like a summer camp. Only, it never ends.
And so, we call our community manager, the camp counselor. So, I’ll be like the camp leader.
Showing Up Together to Paint Online
Okay, you’re the camp owner, you’re the camp leader. You got the megaphone, you can speak in the morning announcements. Because it’s not so much like teacher student, it’s like, you’re kind of all in it together.
And our group even does monthly, and sometimes more than one time a month Zoom paint parties, and they will just get on Zoom and just paint together. And so, it’s like, they’re sitting in the craft room together, while they’re painting.
And I’m not even there for that. That is for them to connect to each other. Maybe once or twice a year, I’ll do a special themed one where we’ll like, play games and do all this stuff.
But for the most part, every month, they’re getting together with each other not with me, because they need that time with each other.
That’s amazing. So, let’s say I join the clubhouse. Every month, what do I get? What do you give me?
What You Receive in the Membership
I give you two of the digital templates that you can download, print out, cut out your own wood. And then we have a tutorial for each of those templates. So, one is always taught by me and one is always taught by guests that we bring in.
And then we usually do what was something new that we’ve started to do, since we’ve had a membership for three years now is we go back. And we pull out an old design from maybe two or three years ago, and we call it remixing, we remix the design.
And so we will take the old design and we’ll paint it a completely new way because you know trends change. Color schemes and designs and patterns are different now than they were three years ago.
And so, we’ll update it and make it more modern looking. And so that’s a lot of fun. We do that as well. And then we teach like techniques like how to paint leopard print or buffalo plaid or lettering, things like that.
And of course, we have the Zoom paint parties, there’s so much like, depending on your speed and what you want to do, you could do it all or you could just show up for the Zoom paint parties every month, if that’s all you really have time for.
And how much do you charge per month for this?
It’s $47 a month?
Jillian Leslie 17:21
And do people stay?
Tamara Bennett 17:23
Yes. Our average time for someone to stay in the membership, I think is at least 12 months. Some of them are 13 or 14 months.
Starting a Second Membership
That’s amazing. When I just recently reconnected with you, I saw that you had a whole other membership now, in addition to this one. So can you talk about how you built that, because it sounds like it was an organic outgrowth of what you’ve already built.
Yeah, I feel like the secret really is just listening to what they want, and giving them what they want. And after these ladies have been in my membership for a year or so most of them have reached stage four of our success path.
So when you come in, you’ve never really painted before we take you from stage one, all the way to stage four. And stage four is you’re really confident with painting, you don’t even really need a tutorial to follow anymore.
You’re doing this on your own, and you can kind of imagine in your head what you want it to look like. And most of those people have already started to sell a few door hangers. And so they’ve kind of got the seeds of a new business that’s starting.
But the problem was, I didn’t have anything to help them after they’re starting their business. And so, I created a new membership, we don’t really consider them separate, we kind of consider it like a stair step.
So, you step up a level into our membership called Paint to Profit. And we teach you how to turn your business, how to turn it into a door hanger business and get it off the ground.
We teach you how to set up your email list and an opt-in. We teach you how to set up your Etsy shop. Things like that. And we bring in guest instructors every month who are specialized.
Like next month, we’ve got somebody coming in who’s an expert in Canva to teach you how to make social media posts and all of that. And of course we do live Q and A’s and things like that.
So, I’m more of like a coach in that class. I’m not necessarily expert in all of these areas because I’m still learning how to grow my business as well but I bring in the experts and then I coach you along the path for how to implement what’s being taught.
So if I joined that, first of all, how much is that a month?
That is $67 a month but it includes the Painter’s Clubhouse. If you wanted to keep the Painter’s Clubhouse you’re really only paying $20 more a month to learn the business side.
Jillian Leslie 19:43
And what do I get in that one?
Tamara Bennett 19:45
In that one, you get a business training every month from a guest expert. You get a live Q&A with me. You get a rapid fire Q&A, which is when they just submit their questions and I record that one really quickly.
It’s faster than like a live Q&A because I’m not getting real conversational. I’m just hitting those points. And sometimes we do like an Etsy page review or an Etsy review of your Etsy shop or your Facebook page review, things like that.
And then of course, every Monday I pop in and I do a little video that I call Monday motivation, and I talk about mindset type of things on those videos.
I love that. So let’s talk about how you see your role now, because you were saying, oh, you go live. And also you mentioned, Facebook, how important is Facebook to you.
Jillian Leslie 20:35
And then you mentioned TikTok. So, tell me kind of what’s your role in your business?
First let’s start with social media? Tell me like how you see your role. How is it evolved? What’s working for you?
Building a Team to Run the Business
Tamara Bennett 20:50
So in the beginning, I was the one creating every single post everything. And then I eventually, I’ve hired VAs, I have an actual team working under me now to the point where all I have to do is show up and go live, connect with everybody.
And work on the relationship building piece. Because really, that’s the part that like, my special sauce. I’m the one who’s connecting with the audience. And so I show up, I go live a couple times a week.
Jillian Leslie 21:18
At schedule times or just random?
Tamara Bennett 21:21
Both really, we go live on Tuesdays and Fridays at scheduled times. But then I’ve started doing one or two others in between that are more spontaneous. I feel like the Facebook algorithm really likes those spontaneous lives lately.
They’ve been doing better for me than the scheduled ones. And then it’s also freed me up a lot to be able to focus on another platform. So, I’ve been focusing a lot on growing TikTok.
Since COVID happened, I discovered TikTok like everybody else in the country. And so, I actually took a TikTok course back in August, and my TikTok following has grown tremendously, we just hit 80,000.
Oh my gosh, that’s amazing!
It’s so fun. It’s just different from Facebook, I’ve had to really learn how to create short form videos.
What’s your TikTok handle so people can follow you, I’m going to go look you up.
Southernadoornmentsdecor. And adoornments has two O’s in it.
Grow Your Followers and Email Subscribers on Autopilot with the MiloTree Pop-up App
I wanted to take a short break to talk about MiloTree, our pop-up app that grows your followers on Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook, and YouTube. All you do is install it on your site and it asks your visitors to follow you.
It’ll also ask your visitors to join your email list. But this is all top of the funnel. This is all about attracting the right people to you. So, that you can then build out the rest of your business.
So to sign up, you get your first 30 days free, head to milotree.com. And now back to the show.
Top TikTok Strategies
Jillian Leslie 22:57
Tell me your just top secrets top tips for TikTok. How many are you making? How often are you doing it that kind of posting?
Tamara Bennett 23:05
I’m hosting one to three times a day. And from what I’ve heard, it does not matter how many times you’re posting a day, just that you’re consistent. Whatever you decide, you’re going to do stick with it.
Jillian Leslie 23:17
Tamara Bennett 23:17
So, if you’re going to decide to do a minimum of one a day, show up and do a minimum of one a day. Keep up with the algorithm?
Jillian Leslie 23:24
Are you dancing?
Tamara Bennett 23:26
Rarely, very rarely, because I have zero rhythm. I cannot follow a beat for anything. But I did learn the one where you kind of like do the little handclap in motion. I can learn short and very short ones.
But I tried to learn the one that was the fancy like dance and I could not get that one for nothing. So, I just said never mind.
Jillian Leslie 23:48
Are you painting in yours? What is the kind of theme? What do I get when I come and see you on TikTok?
Tamara Bennett 23:54
So, sometimes you might have a time lapse video of me painting with a voiceover that kind of explains the technique I’m doing. And those are simply taken from a Facebook Live and sped up.
And I’ll chop out some parts in it so that I can fit it into 60 seconds or less. And I’ll record a quick voiceover kind of talking about it. Some of them are quick videos of my laser cutting machine cutting out the wooden piece.
Some of them are funny, like relatable. I had one the other day where I was sitting on my front porch and I’m kind of like got my hand on my head looking like I’m just so embarrassed.
And it’s an audio that saying how many times have you done that? And it’s like hundreds of times, and she’s like looking embarrassed.
And the caption at the top said, when somebody asks how many times you’ve snuck off to Hobby Lobby to escape your family. And so, it’s like she’s embarrassed to admit how many hundreds of times she has done that.
And the point of that is yes to make somebody laugh but for somebody else to say me too. And you want that person to say me too because If they see me too, they’re probably going to click the Follow button.
Yes, you’re their person.
They want to feel connected again, it all goes back to that feeling connected and seen and heard.
So, are you enjoying TikTok?
Oh, I’m loving it. It’s like the most fun thing for me right now. Because it really fuels me creatively to come up with ideas for content. And I’ve always loved, acting stuff out or doing improv. And that’s kind of what this feels like to me.
But it doesn’t have to be that kind of content. For people listening right now, you don’t have to act things out, you don’t have to lip sync, if that’s not your gem, you don’t have to dance.
There’s a guy on there who does psychology. And he he’s a doctor, like a psychologist. And he just, connects with the audience so well and talks about something that’s like a common struggle for people.
And all it is, is his face to the camera talking about this common struggle. And it’s so simple, but it’s so good. And he’s got like, hundreds of thousands of followers. So really, you could do anything, just scroll through and see what you connect with.
And then try it. One of my favorite things to do. This is like a little tip. If you’re scrolling through TikTok you might as well be learning and saving these ideas for later. So, if you find a TikTok that you’re like, I feel like I could recreate that idea.
Hold down your finger on the video and click Add to Favorites. And then later when you’ve got time, go to that Favorites folder and just start batch creating some of these videos based on the idea that you saw.
Save them as drafts, instead of just posting immediately save as drafts, and then just drip them out one a day or however often you can to your feed.
How many do you batch? And how long does it take you to batch them. Does it take like a day?
I spent two hours a day and probably batch 20 videos.
Jillian Leslie 26:55
Tamara Bennett 26:56
It was because I had those all saved up in that folder. So, it was really simple. As soon as I was finished one, I would go to the next one and think okay, what do I need to do to recreate this video and keep it as simple as you can.
People don’t really have to change clothes. If you’ve got two characters in the video, just change the camera angle and people get the concept and it hopefully be fun.
And how long are your TikToks on average?
They’re about 15 to 30 seconds. I try to keep them short.
Yes, yes. Our attention spans are shrinking, shrinking, shrinking. So, then how does Instagram fit into this? Are you doing reels?
So yes, I’m also taking the TikTok video and I’m downloading it but I’m using a website to remove the watermark and then also putting on Instagram Reels. I don’t know that necessarily tricks the Reel algorithm. It probably doesn’t. But it gets the job done.
It makes the Reel on there and I would rather do that than create the video twice.
And it’s interesting that you are creating on TikTok and pushing it to Reels versus making it on Reels and pushing it to TikTok.
I feel like TikTok has a better—.
Jillian Leslie 28:14
Tamara Bennett 28:15
Interface. More tools, more things you can use as a creator.
Building Out a Team
Jillian Leslie 28:19
Now let’s talk briefly about your team. What are like the camp counselor? Where are these people and how are they helping you build this business?
Tamara Bennett 28:30
So, everybody lives in different states where they’re all virtual, the only person who lives here in town with me, I just happened to look out and she was the perfect fit for this kind of job.
But the person who lives here in my town is actually my online business manager, or an OBM, if you will, and I kind of consider her like a team manager, she manages everybody else on the team.
That way I don’t have to micromanage or go to each person and say, do you have this piece, this piece, and this piece for the sales page?
She can check in with everybody and she keeps us all organized on Asana. So everybody knows what their tasks are.
Asana is like a management tool where everybody can be there seeing the different projects that you’re working on.
Yes, and so the team can collaborate on there and make tasks or subtasks for a project. That way everybody kind of is on the same page.
And how many people are on this working for you?
Let’s say we’ve got an online business manager. We have a content manager. She does all the social media and the blog content, she plans it. And then we have a copywriter who actually writes the blog posts and stuff. We have a graphic designer.
We have like a tech VA who also can make sales pages and things like that. We’ve got our community manager that we lovingly call our camp counselor. Oh goodness, I know I’m going to forget somebody. If my team is listening, I’m so sorry.
There’s so many of them really, it’s hard to keep track of how many. We’ve got a Facebook Ads Manager. I can’t think of all of them off the top of my head right now.
But it’s growing. Our customer service that’s so important because we get hundreds of emails a day. And so, we have at least two people in customer service who manage the emails, but also keep track of the comments on Facebook.
Because we feel like it’s really important to respond to questions and comments on Facebook and the other platforms as well.
Growing a Membership Business
How many people do you have in your membership?
The Painter’s Clubhouse has 1,800 right now.
Jillian Leslie 30:38
Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. That’s amazing.
Tamara Bennett 30:43
We’ve grown a lot over the last two years.
Jillian Leslie 30:44
So if it is, in fact, like if you guys are showing up to paint together or on Zoom, how many people will show up?
Tamara Bennett 30:52
It’s just a regular live inside the Painter’s Clubhouse, where we’re teaching a tutorial. For the live video, there might not be like 60 people. Most people will like pop in, say, hello, chat for a few minutes, and then go do whatever they’re going to do.
And they’ll come back and watch the whole video later if they want to paint alongside.
Is the community living in a private Facebook group?
Yes, it is.
Using Platforms You Already Know for Your Membership
Jillian Leslie 31:19
Okay, so this is something that I want to tell everybody. Like with MiloTree Easy Payments, all you need is MiloTree Easy Payments in a private Facebook group to start, and maybe you host stuff on Zoom the end.
Because even though you’ve got expensive stuff working in the background, or a place where you store your content library, people are really showing up on Facebook to talk to each other.
Tamara Bennett 31:44
Yeah, and it depends, I feel like on your demographic, my demographic is a lot older, and Facebook is like a comfortable, familiar place for them to show up. They know how to get in there. They know how to find the Facebook group. It’s not intimidating.
We’ve had to teach them how to use Zoom. But they are figuring that out. And they love to get on and do the Zoom paint parties together too.
Right. And what’s interesting too, is I was talking to some young moms, and they use Facebook, not like older people use Facebook, but they do use Facebook groups like all these parenting groups. They’re like, I’d be lost without those groups.
Jillian Leslie 32:24
And they use like Facebook marketplace to buy like the use stroller, and like all of their baby stuff. So, I thought that was super interesting. Like they’ve got this reason to be on Facebook.
So, people tend to know about Facebook groups, they might not be using, like sharing photos like they would on Instagram. But at least they’re for community.
Tamara Bennett 32:46
Well, you remember 20 years ago, before Facebook, we were using forums. And that’s what would be a Facebook group now. And that’s how you would connect with other moms or people who own chickens, or whatever it is.
I say chickens and raise my hand because I have chickens. And so, if I have questions about chickens, I’m going to a chicken Facebook group to figure that out.
But 20 years ago, I would have gone to a website that had a forum, and I would have looked at it there. So, Facebook is just really convenient because it’s now taken all of that and put it in this nice, neat little place where we can connect with one another.
Jillian Leslie 33:18
Absolutely. Like you put a question in a Facebook group. And it’s like always shocking to me that there are all these people who are willing to help you and answer your question.
And do you find that somebody would put a question and like other members in the group are so happy to answer like, what their favorite brushes or what’s on sale at Hobby Lobby or those kinds of things.
Let Your Members Help and Interact with Each Other to Build Community
Tamara Bennett 33:41
So I feel like that’s the awesome thing about our membership is those ladies are so generous with one another, they will share tips, they’ll turn around and make a video for somebody if somebody can’t figure something out.
And they’ll, use their time to make a video for somebody to teach them that. But the thing I feel like a lot of group owners, the mistake they make is they jump in and they answer the question before anybody else has a chance to, help out.
And if you do that, and you’re seen as the group guru, or the teacher or the expert. Think about it in a real classroom setting, if a kid asked a question, and the teacher answers it, are any of the other kids going to jump in and help?
No, because the expert has already spoken. What else could be said about that topic. So, the thing you got to do is you got to let the member speak first, let like 20 comments go by, let them help each other.
And then step in and be like I agree with Jillian. She said it best, when she answered it this way. And so then that boosts Jillian up it makes her feel great because she gave the right answer, but the teacher is still there to give the guidance as well.
She’s just not the first one.
Open and Close Cart for a Membership or Evergreen Model
Now you mentioned that you have an Ads Expert running ads for you. Are you doing an open and closed cart or can people join at any time? And are you running ads for that?
It’s always been open and closed cart. But right now we are working on converting it into an evergreen model. Because once you reach a certain level or a certain number. There’s not even a magic number really.
But once you get your platform built up so much that people are asking every single day, how do I join? How do I join? How do I join?
It really works out better if you can create a funnel where they come in through a free opt-in and then you funnel them into the membership eventually.
But for those who are just starting out with memberships open and closed model is where it’s at. That’s what you need to be doing.
Because when your membership door is close, that’s your chance to focus on serving the people who have said yes, I want to be a part of this.
And so close those doors for three to six months, however long and serve those people the best you can and then make a big deal about opening the doors again.
And so you’re running ads, when you open your cart? Are you running ads to grow your Facebook page? What’s your ad strategy?
So, we are running ads every single day towards like free opt-ins for learning how to paint something because we want to constantly be building our email list. And then we are also running ads where we are retargeting video views.
So, if somebody shows up to watch me paint on Tuesday, when I go live, we will retarget that video to get people who have watched a previous video to also watch this video.
Because I know that the more times I can get Jillian to watch me paint live, the more she’s going to be invested in me as a teacher, and she’s going to want to learn to join my membership eventually. So it’s just kind of building up that relationship.
What I hear you saying over and over again is the word relationship.
Yep, that’s the common denominator.
That it is you and I love what you said too like, when you’re talking about your business and stuff, you’re like, “I’m not the expert. I’m learning along with you guys.”
Jillian Leslie 37:03
Like, I might know stuff about painting, but it’s not like you are so advanced that you’re like untouchable.
Tamara Bennett 37:14
We laugh because recently I was trying to do splatter paint on one of my door hanger projects. And I could not get the paint to splatter the way I wanted. And everybody comes into the comments and they’re like, try this, try that works best if you do this.
And I’m just giggling because I’m supposed to be the teacher here. But they’re telling me the best way to do the splatter paint. I try my best to be real with my audience so that they know that I’m not perfect. I’m still learning things.
And they can teach me something just as much as I can teach them something. And that’s another reason why we have guest instructors come in every month is because I don’t know everything. And I’m constantly learning some stuff from our guests.
And so I’m looking for talent all the time to see stuff that I know, I don’t know how to do and that would be great for my membership. And I’m bringing them in to have them teach.
Totally. And I feel that way about my podcast like, I’m like a lifelong learner. I love learning. I love learning from people that make me go, “Wow! I hadn’t thought of that.” Like you today, I’m taking notes as we’re talking.
Jillian Leslie 38:26
And so I feel like having a podcast is like an invitation where I can say, “Hey, can I pick your brain for an hour?” And then we get to share it. But in truth, I feel like it’s this weird personal conversation that we can have.
And so I’m always looking around going, who can I talk to? And it almost gives me this invitation to say come on my show. Let’s talk about this. So, I’m always so excited to learn from my guests as well. I get that.
Tamara Bennett 38:58
And I love to consume stuff that way too. I’m a podcast junkie.
I am too. I am too.
Hearing those conversations and those little nuggets and those aha moments. I love it.
Absolutely. I am always with my Air Pods. I’m one of those rude people at the grocery store who is like, I’m just always with my Air Pods in my ears listening to podcasts, I listen to them when I go to sleep. I listen to them when I wake up in the morning.
Jillian Leslie 39:24
It totally resonates with me. And I think I like having people who I respect and like in my ears because I feel like I have relationships with them.
Tamara Bennett 39:36
I feel like it constantly pushes us to level up too because we constantly have good advice coming in all the time. And so, it keeps me from being complacent in my business and from being stagnant.
I’m always looking for the next thing that I need to implement.
What Does Your Membership Feel Like for You?
And this is another theme that I keep hearing, but I don’t even want to lead with. What does your membership feel like for you?
Cozy blanket, I don’t even know how to explain it. It just feels comforting. When I go in there and I go live in that group, it’s different than going live on my public Facebook page.
I’m live with my friends, I am live with people who love me, people who, like get me. I can be vulnerable, and I can cry about something on Facebook Live in that group. Whereas I would never feel comfortable doing that on my public platform.
I don’t know, it’s because those people I recognize their names and their little profile pictures, I feel so connected with them.
And knowing that they’re always there, for me to go in and spend time with if I’m feeling down, I can do a live video in there. And it boosts me up every time.
Jillian Leslie 40:54
Because that’s what I keep hearing. And I feel that way in my own membership. These are my friends; I look forward to showing up for them. I love cheering them on. And I love when they cheer each other on.
And I think being an online entrepreneur and having to do reels and having to be putting content out and stuff, it can feel almost like you’re yelling into the abyss in a way. And something about having a membership, I get that cozy blanket analogy.
So, my hope is to empower people who have communities to go (a), there’s money in that community. But (b), there’s love in that community.
How to Think About Monetizing Your Community with a Membership
Tamara Bennett 41:40
So I know a lot of people listening right now probably have a free Facebook group, a community group or something. And they’re probably feeling like, how could I ever start charging somebody for something, if I’ve got this free group?
And the thing is, they want to go deeper with you, they want to feel more connected to you. They want to feel like they’re special to you. And I feel like every single one of my members are special to me.
Because yes, I can grow a free Facebook group with 15,000 people in there. And we can have new posts every single day and lots of comments and stuff. But it’s not the same as when you know, everybody is a paying member. And they all have skin in the game.
They are investing in me and my teaching, but also in the community. They show up differently, Jillian, you show up differently in a paid membership than you do in a free group.
I show up differently and my members do. And it’s like everybody is raising their hand and saying I’m here. And just like you were saying like some people will pop in, and then they might go off and then come back.
Jillian Leslie 42:54
It’s like, otherwise, I feel like we’re all just on our phones watching Netflix, like there’s this split focus. And it’s kind of like, yeah, that’s something I kind of like, but it’s not really important to me.
But when something is important to a group of people, it has its own energy. It’s charged in a way that our lives are so splintered. It’s a way to bring that energy together with a group of people.
Tamara Bennett 43:22
And there’s something to be said for creating a safe space for people to connect. I don’t monitor my free Facebook group, like we do our paid membership. And we make sure that there is never any drama in our paid membership.
The Importance of Cultivating Your Group
There’s never anybody saying you copied my design or anything like that. There’s always drama in Facebook groups, somebody is always ready to stir the pot. But that does not happen in my membership.
And it’s because we have cultivated this group to be like minded and I praise them for the good things that they do in the group and the way they show up. And it just makes them want to show up that way more and more.
And so if there is one negative person in the group, it’s squashed because they realize not everybody else is like that in here.
Everybody else is more like Tamara, they’re positive, they’re uplifting. And so it’s hard to be negative in a group where everybody else is positive all the time.
Tamara, I love that. I really do. And I feel that same thing as I am interviewing people like you who have memberships. I was reading a quote from somebody about how she feels about her Facebook group. And it was so simple.
Jillian Leslie 44:40
I love the cozy blanket analogy. I’m going to use that. Somebody said energized. Another person said I feel satisfied. I feel like I love my community. It’s just so interesting that there are these themes that keep recurring through this.
Something about building a community and when the community takes on a life of its own with you, again is like the camp counselor, the camp leader, it’s just bigger than the sum of its parts.
And I do think in this world where we’ve all been kind of freaked out and splintered. I was sharing before I press live that I’ve got this party this kind of stupid party for parents for my daughter’s school.
And it’s causing me so much anxiety about am I going to go? Am I not going to go? And my husband and I are talking about it. And it’s just like a dumb little thing. But it creates so much anxiety, I feel like we’re all walking around.
I don’t know, with all this stress, and even without knowing it. And so showing up safely with people who you can get out of talking. One thing I shared was, I don’t know if I want to go and just talk about the pandemic.
But because you have a group, and you all love painting, not just painting, painting dry hangers.
You have this commonality where you can transcend whatever’s going on in the world and come together in this safe, loving environment doing something together.
Hosting In Person Events
Tamara Bennett 46:17
It’s elevated even more when you can bring those people together in real life. So the last time we were able to do that was right before the country went on lockdown. It was March 2020. A week before.
I don’t know if that was like God’s timing, or what but we got together a week before the country shut down. And it was so nice bringing people from the online space together in real life.
And we’re planning on doing it again next summer like July 2022. And so, I look forward to that because those kinds of things energize me so much because you get to actually hug the people in real life.
And I’m an extrovert I know you’re an introvert. So, that does give introverts a little bit of anxiety. But coming to an event like that, where even if you’re an introvert, you feel like you know the people at the event before you get there is so much easier.
I love that. Okay, Tamara if people want to find you on the interwebs or on your blog, or wherever what is the best place for them to connect with you.
My biggest platforms are Facebook and TikTok. But I’m also on Instagram. And you can find me at all the places by searching Southern Adoornments Decor.
Jillian Leslie 47:34
With 2 O’s.
Tamara Bennett 47:36
With 2 O’s. Because we make door hangers. So in the word door, you’re going to put door in there adoornments.
Jillian Leslie 47:42
I love that. I just have to say, you’ve totally energized me, I’m so happy that we got to connect again, you’ve like made my night. So I just want to say thank you so much for coming back on the show.
Tamara Bennett 47:56
Thanks, Jillian. And it was a pleasure to be here.
Jillian Leslie 47:58
I think my biggest takeaway from this episode is to think small, we think the internet is so big. But to grow a successful business, it’s about shrinking down, getting close serving your people, and figuring out what they want from you.
Join My Live Training on December 13th at 12pm CT
This way, when you’re posting on social media, you have a plan, you know what the goal is. And the goal is to grow your audience so that you can then take them off of social media and serve them in a way that actually makes you money.
And in fact, we’re going to talk all about this at my second live training that I hope you will come to because again, I think it is about looking at entrepreneurship in a whole different way.
And understanding how to iterate and what the importance of that is of testing your ideas, small bats all the time. And that’s how you grow a successful business.
So, please go to workshop2.milotreecart.com. And this will be happening on December 13th at noon Central Time, but of course if you can’t be there live, I will be sending the Zoom recording.
And I’m just so excited to help you find new ways of making money. You are a very talented creator. And I am a huge believer in the creator economy. So any way that I can help you. That’s all I want to do.
Hopefully, I will see you at the live training and I will also see you here again next week.
Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:
- How To Easily Profit From Your Niche with Tamara Bennett
- The Truth About Courses Vs. Memberships with Alisa Meredith
- How to Grow a Successful Membership by Loving Your Members with Amy Sadler
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 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.