Hey y’all! We wanted to start 2017 with a shout out to all our members, fans, listeners… all of you who have supported us through thick and thin, Happy New Year!
Our first episode is an amazing success story from one of our FYL community members, Marnie Ginsberg, Ph. D.
Marnie lives with her husband and 3 wonderful daughters in Madison, WI. She has been deeply involved with educational research and has been a teacher for about 20 years; her research focused on strategies to nurture readers and help them overcome learning hurdles.
She also became a private tutor and consultant. Her passion and dedication led her to pursue her doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina, where she coached and guided teachers through a unique and dynamic K-2 reading intervention. This brought in promising results from students who struggled in reading and comprehension.
Mrs. Ginsberg had long been intrigued by the online business scene. She has been building her blog and email list since 2015 and by October 2016, she had managed to reach a thousand subscribers. She then co-founded the Reading Simplified Academy and was successful in her recent membership launch.
Join us as we talk about Marnie’s amazing journey. How did she reach her milestone, what did it take to be where she is today and the lessons she had learned along the way.
We will also be brainstorming on how she can retain members and maintain the membership.
The year has just begun. We have a lot in store for y’all!
Let’s get started 🙂
You Will Learn:
- How to grow and retain your membership
- How to have a sale conducive membership
- The importance of knowing your avatar
- Why you should keep your content organized
- Plus so much more!
Links and resources mentioned in today’s show:
Enjoy the podcast; we hope it inspires you to explore what’s possible for your family!
Click here to leave us an iTunes review and subscribe to the show! We may read yours on the air!
Can’t Miss Moment:
Taking Isaac to do archery. We’ve signed him up for a program called Center Shot, which is a program at our church that takes the sport of archery and applies biblical principles to it, and shows how it is like in archery we don’t want to miss the mark, and the same thing is true in our faith. It is cool to be able to go and volunteer in that sport.
Thank you for listening!
Thanks again for listening to the show! If you liked it, make sure you share it with your friends and family! Our goal is to help as many families as possible change their lives through online business. Help us by sharing the show!
If you have comments or questions, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post. See y’all next week!
Can’t listen right now? Read the transcript below!
Jocelyn: Hey y’all! On today’s podcast, we celebrate Marnie’s successful launch, and we help her to take it to the next level.
Shane: Welcome to Flipped Lifestyle podcast where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams.
We’re a real family who figured out how to make our entire living online. And now, we help other families do the same. Are you ready to flip your life? Alright. Let’s get started.
What’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. It is great to be back with you again this week. For those of you who may be new to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, we are a little different than other shows you might have listen to.
We do not bring on experts or gurus or people promoting their latest affiliate products onto the show. We bring on actual members of our Flip Your Life community, real people building real online businesses, and we help them take their business to the next level.
We also, at times bring on members who have had amazing successes recently in their online business, and we celebrate that on-air. We let you listen in to the tips that they have, why they think they were successful, the challenges that they overcame, and then we help them figure out what to do next. Today is one of those amazing success stories from the Flip Your Life community. Our guest on the program today is Marnie Ginsberg. Hey, Marnie, how are you doing?
Marnie: I’m great. It’s such an honor to be back.
Jocelyn: Yes, it is so great to have you on today. We’re really excited about your recent launch. Before we get into all of that, let’s go ahead and tell the listeners a little bit about who you are and how you got started, and how you got to where you are today.
Marnie: Sure. Well, I am in Madison, Wisconsin where it is under 0°.
Shane: It is cold here, too, very cold. It’s like 15 this morning or something.
Marnie: It’s shocking. I have been a teacher for about 20 years. I started this trajectory towards where I am today when my students in my middle school class couldn’t read, and I was frustrated because I didn’t know how to teach them even though at that time I had a Masters. That sent me on a path to become a reading tutor, get my doctorate, I did university research, worked with classroom teachers in that university setting. We got some really strong effects. I was really proud.
But it wasn’t having much of an impact. When my family moved up here to Madison, it seemed like a good time to transition to thinking about something different than just that recreation of research articles. Online business was intriguing to me, but it’s also very daunting because I didn’t really want to have a social profile. I did not even have it Facebook at one time.
Shane: You are off the grid, hiding from the world basically, is what you are telling everybody.
Marnie: Yeah. So what a shock to have to put myself out there so it’s been a slow process. I spent a lot of time reading blogs, and listening to podcasts as I just thought about the idea. I was really overwhelmed last year, 2015, because I was listening to people who were so far ahead of me. I had cracked into WordPress, and had one page on my blog. But I just felt like I had to do it all.
I heard you guys on Pat Flynn’s podcast, and I was so relieved by not only your simple message, but also the fact that you were teachers. I kind of felt a hope that I could do the same thing in this niche because a lot of what I hear about online is other online business people are marketing to online business people. I did not know if I would be able to get any traction.
Shane: It’s like podcasters teaching people how to podcast, or entrepreneurs teaching people how to be entrepreneurs. Where is the real businesses in all this stuff?
Marnie: Exactly. All the other people that are doing totally different things. That was really hopeful. I immediately started following you guys, joined the Flip Your Life community, and got– I think it was 30 days to get your blog started or something like that– that totally released me from a lot of anxiety, I just started implementing. In December 2015, I really started putting out blog posts as you had recommended, and building my subscribers.
I had content upgrades on almost all my blog posts, and was building my email list all this year. Also, I was trying to create a Reading Simplified Academy, my membership, that would teach classroom teachers how to streamline their reading instruction and accelerate their students reading achievement.
Shane: Let me jump in here real quick. What you were doing with all of your reading knowledge before was you were helping teachers, but it was a very one-on-one thing, and you were writing research articles. What you’re really wanting to do here, you wanted to scale and be like, “I want to be in everybody’s classroom, but I can’t physically go there.” That is kind of what you are trying to build here, right?
Marnie: That’s right. Scale. That is the perfect word for it. I was having impact in a number of classrooms in different schools, and different states even, but it was still maybe 10 or 20 schools, several hundred kids. Then when we published the research article, they were just collecting dust. Maybe the school would continue, maybe not. I did not have a continued relationship with them.
I also tutor a small amount of time for a portion of my day directly with students. That is really exciting, too, because I keep my skills fresh and I have material to write about with my blog. Also, I could include those students on Facebook Live, which we can maybe talk about later with my challenge.
Shane: basically, you’ve built this out, and you spent 2015 last year building your list, making content, while you were in the background getting this Academy thing prepared.
Jocelyn: I love how you said that because I think a lot of times people have unrealistic expectations. They see all these people out there saying, “Make six figures in six months,” and things like that. You took a lot different approach to it. You just took the time to build that list, and oh surprise, when you have a big list, and you are offering them good value, they are going to become your customers.
Shane: That is what we always say in the community. It’s become a thing where people post this at the end of their post: “Marathon not a Sprint.” You really sound like you talk that to heart.
Marnie: Yes, and it was partly through just being forced to. I just have a busy lifestyle, and the Reading Simplified Academy was a very large project for me to get that up. I was so discouraged when I realized I had to create a separate blog. All the backend stuff, I was like, “Oh, I worked so hard to get the first one up.”
That was just a slow process for me. I don’t like the tech, and I have a lot of family obligations. It was basically this whole year. I started in December 2015, and I’ve been building my lists across the whole year of 2016. In October, I hit a thousand subscribers, and I thought okay I can launch now. Let’s get me enough members to create a community, and that is what happened.
Jocelyn: Let’s explore that just a little bit. You talked about how you were growing your list. How did you do that primarily? Was it through blog content? Did you also do some social media things? How did you sort of nurture the audience along?
Shane: People put out content, and I feel the most frustration comes from, “Well, the experts told me that if I build it, they will come.” But that is not always totally true. Did you research? Were you focused on research for what you wrote about? Or, how did you do that?
Marnie: Right. I did follow your advice on keyword research, and that was very helpful. But I didn’t create enough blog posts, really, to get much traction on Google analytics or in Google. I was tracking my analytics, and just thinking, it is going to take too long. I did not want to do too much thinking about SEO. But I think Jocelyn had talked about her initial getting started with going into Facebook groups.
That really got me thinking. I had already opened up a business page for my Facebook, and my own personal page because I knew that was necessary. That was my main focus with developing my business. I joined a lot of teacher groups, and within those teacher groups, they are open for people to post in the comments to blog posts. People would ask a question like, “My students aren’t learning the letter sounds,” and I would say, “Well, this is an activity that I do, and you can watch a videos, and get a free word list or free activities.”
I would be posting back to my blog posts, and that is where I got a lot of traction. It was actually in February of this year that I first saw that. I saw this nice little blip in my convert kit. Stats, I was so thrilled, because I can see that what I was doing was going to have an impact, and people then would respond to me in my email sequence and tell me what their biggest problem was.
I was learning about my community, too. I did that throughout the spring and some in the summer. But again it was kind of sporadic because I was also building the membership. Then, in October, I also tried Facebook ads. I spent about $200 and got over 200 subscribers through that. That was pretty encouraging, too. Initially, it is kind of about $1.50 or $2.00, or whatever. Then I got it down to about $0.40. It was enough dabbling to make me feel like I could do that in the future.
Then to be able to see the number tip over past 1000, that was really encouraging because a lot of the people in online community talk about that as being enough of a momentum, and to see results. I was optimistic when I hit that number.
Shane: When we launched initially, it was like to 400 or 500 people. Everybody gets really confused. They think they’ve got to have this 10,000-person list to sell one membership, and that is not true. Your progression just amazes me because it is so awesome when we get to see start to finish, when someone does actually makes it to launch, and does well because we can go back and find those clues that success inevitably leads.
You have created the content but you did not go overboard like everybody says. “Blog post every day.” No. You created strategic content, then instead of waiting for Google to find you, you were proactive and you went and found where your avatar was already hanging out.
Jocelyn: In a non-spammy way.
Shane: In a non-spammy way. You actually help people with that content that you created. You did not have to reinvent the wheel every time you spoke to someone. You just said, “Go to my blog post,” and you optimized that so when they got there, you could get there email and that lets you, later on, launch your product. So many people get so confused they think, “Well, if I just create a hundred blog posts, I’m okay. Quantity over quality.” No, you focused on writing the right things, finding the right avatar, and then you went and found the avatar.
We always tell people it is either time or money, right? But there is tricks to take less time like going and finding a group of all the people you really want to reach and talking to there. Jocelyn used to go to Wiki. What do they call it, Jocelyn? Wikipedia?
Jocelyn: They are sort of like Wikipedia, but they are school– well they are not just education, there is all kinds of different types of Wikis. But you can just add your information there. It is like a collection of information that people would find helpful, so I would go add links to them, and you would be surprised at that type of traffic you can get from that. Just the sum of the parts is just you are leaving a link here and a link there.
Shane: It is like Hansel and Gretel, like the bread crumbs behind you kind of deal, so you can find your people again. I just think people really miss that. I want everybody listening to hear that. Don’t sit and wait for them to come to you. You go to them. That might be time joining the groups and participating the conversations.
Jocelyn: Finding out who’s was first in Google, go on and commenting on their blog. Things like that.
Shane: Or it might be advertising. Also, one thing I loved that you said too is, Jocelyn’s space was wiki. That is where she got a lot of traction. Your space was groups. When I did my football coaching site, it was old-school bulletin board forums. That is where coaches were hanging out, and we found them there, and we kind of reduced the time that it took us to be successful because we went out to where they were.
Jocelyn: Yes, I just wanted to throw out there that Facebook groups didn’t exist when we started out.
Shane: There were no Facebook groups, so we did not have that. You totally cheated, Marnie, I’m just saying.
Marnie: No, I did learn that from you guys. It was one of your podcasts.
Shane: Well, listen once groups happened, we jumped all over them, trust me. That is a great conversation piece, full of tips for anybody that is trying to grow their list. But let’s go to the launch, now. You’ve got 1000 people which, you know a lot of gurus would say, is not a big list but it is a good list. How did the launch go? Tell me how you felt before you hit send on the launch-like sequence? What was going through your head, the emotions, when you were getting ready to launch?
Jocelyn: For our listeners what were you selling?
Marnie: Right, okay. I’m selling a membership, a $29-a-month, or $209-a-year membership to this Reading Simplified Academy, which has a sequence course with videos, materials, and then hundreds of pages of student materials that those classrooms teachers could use with their students. Also a discussion board, which I learned from you guys, and I’m very excited about that element of it because that has been really dynamic. That is what I was planning on selling when I first launched.
Shane: Okay, you got all this together, you got your product which is something we harp on for everybody, you’ve got to have something to sell. You don’t have a business, til you are selling something, right?
Shane: You’ve got it all together, everything is in place, you are about to hit send. What is going through the back of your head?
Marnie: It was terrifying. I worked at it for so long that I just thought, “Well, what if nobody buys?” I had basically every fear you could have . “Well, what if I have too many, and I can’t handle it?” Either way it is going to be terrible. In the end, I got really what was just perfect for me: enough of the community to make me feel encouraged and to see outcomes not only for them, but for their students.
Also, I could learn about the snags in the system, and where I am going to need some help if I do grow with the technical parts. How to see the money coming in, and what to do with it once it is there, all those kind of backend things about the system. It ended up being, really, I think a perfect number of people for me at that stage.
Jocelyn: Let me ask you a little bit about the communications that you sent out prior to the launch. I know that you have been providing a lot of value for this list, and probably not asking for a lot of things in return. This is a fear that I see that a lot of people have. How do I introduce that sales type language in there? Can you talk just a little bit about how you did that, and how you sort of prepared them for that?
Marnie: Right. Well, I was still working really hard creating the membership. It’s actually still not even finished.
Shane: I love it. I love it.
Marnie: I feel that I couldn’t do a big full-blown launch. My materials would go well with a three-part video series, but I just felt that was just too many moving parts for me to try, and I needed to get this stupid thing launched. I’ve been working at it for so long, and I did not want it to go into the Christmas season, because I knew no one would buy at this part of the year, something out of the blue.
I was thinking about an email sequence, and I was trying to build up problem-agitate-solve, that kind of thing. I just felt insecure about it because people have joined my list a while ago. I hadn’t been keeping up with them. If they joined recently, they would have been getting my part of my email sequence. But because I’d work so much recently on the membership, I hadn’t really done a good job of nurturing the older members with regular emails.
I felt like I was just going to be coming at them, say, kind of with a fire hose, “Buy my stuff!” I was really uncertain about it. And then it occurred to me that I could do a challenge and teach one of my key activities. That is kind of the whole point of my system, the Reading Simplified system, is that there is only a handful of activities that classroom teachers need. I thought one of these activities can really make a big difference with kids, and then if I demonstrate that on Facebook Live, they will see that it’s exciting, it makes a difference, and they will be more willing to buy.
It will be more direct connection with me, again lots of value I would be providing for them. That idea came to me at the last minute. Then I had to scramble and create a five-day challenge, and again I needed to get it out before Thanksgiving. Two weeks before Thanksgiving, I launched that series of those five-days challenge to try this one activity, switch it, and then at the end of it I tried to sell the Reading Simplified membership, and kept it open for several days at the discounted price.
Marnie: Then on Tuesday, just before Thanksgiving or maybe the week before Thanksgiving, the price went up. I ended up getting, in the end, 26 members and some of them even opted to pay the higher price. They’ve just missed the day, I guess.
Shane: Wow, that is awesome.
Jocelyn: Yes, that is great. That is fantastic
Shane: Yes, that is mind blowing. We have a success forum inside the Flip Your Life community, and when you posted what happened, it always gets us really hard because when one of our members does put so much effort in, and so many people quit after two or three months trying online business.
They think it’s so easy and to hear you say, “I had to weave this in and out of my life for a year to build it to a point where I could launch,” and then you create a foundation where you have 30 people paying you 30 bucks a month, and now you have money to invest back in your business, to buy more ads, to grow membership, to do your things to scale.
I love how your launch was so perfect because that is something that, when people get their launch, there is a lot of back and forth about what do I do, how do I not sell, and still sell? The main thing you said to me was, you just gave them more, and got them engaged right at the moment where you were going to tell them how to pay to get more. That is really all you have to do, if you are going to sell online.
Jocelyn: You know, that is what I do as well. I just try to think about, “Okay, if I were going to buy something, what would I want someone to do?” That is how I try to approach all of my things. People a lot of times will say, “Well, don’t you worry about giving too much stuff away?” Because I give away a lot of stuff. You could really follow me and never buy anything and get some pretty decent lesson plans for a lot of the year.
Shane: Just like people listen to this podcast, we just got an email the other day from a guy who told us that, really, the first year of his business, all he did was listen to the podcasts and do whatever we talked about every single week. His wife was able to quit her job!
Marnie: Oh my gosh.
Jocelyn: Just from the podcasts.
Shane: Yes, she was able to stay home, just from that. And then he joins the community, and now he is going to quit his job, and he had just his first six-figure year. It’s just progression and taking action, and getting people engaged. Just keep putting that foot in front of the other foot, until you get there.
Jocelyn: Yes, so that is great. We are so proud of you. You did so many things right. I know we kicked around a lot of different ideas, and we talked a lot in the community as you were approaching this, and then beyond. We are just super proud of you.
Taking action really paid off. It took a little while, but it is okay because now it is really successful. Let me just ask you just really quickly before we move on, what has been the reaction of your family? What are people saying? Have you told many people?
Shane: We just talked about how you felt before the launch. When the scarcity was over, and you had your first crop of members, did you feel like a weight was off your shoulders? Or how did you feel and how do other people around you feel?
Marnie: Well, I’ve been talking about this forever. Everybody knows that near me, “Oh my gosh, Marnie finally launched!” And they are very ecstatic for me. I was very ecstatic too. It really was a weight off of my shoulders because I felt pretty confident. People were opting in, and I was getting some feedback through email, but you just never know what is going to happen when you ask for someone’s credit card. It was such a relief. Then even more significant, besides the money, then people actually started going through the course and participating in the discussion board. That was such a relief, too.
I thought I had designed it well. I had a couple beta people in there, but I didn’t really have a lot of insight as to whether it would work. I have 80% of the people have posted in the discussion board, 70% of them are active. They go do an activity that I recommend, they come back and they say, “This is what happened,” and then I respond to them. That is really dynamic.
I have something to say to my community every day. For a small community, I didn’t expect that level of engagement so that is just another self-fulfilling motivator. It’s just a snowball.
Shane: But it doesn’t happen by accident, because we also focus on the marathon, not the sprint. Because we are always thinking about the holistic view of what our business is going to look like forever, not the panic and chaos of the moment. The content that you gave them for free engaged them. The content you gave them to opt in engaged them.
The engagement from your challenge before the membership engaged them. You started a conversation before they ever got into the conversation discussion board. It was deliberate action that you’ve taken little by little and you’ve built brick by brick, stacking everything on top of each other, those layers like we talked about the community a lot, you built the layers that said, when a member comes in, they go. That is what you have to do in your membership.
A lot of people just open with content. But really you want to open your membership with conversation. You want to have that two-way street going before they ever set foot in the door, and then you know, day one they ask a question.
Marnie: I don’t know how many different members this would have applied for, but the challenge– like I said it was one activity, and then that activity is the first unit after an introductory unit in my course. I could see that people were connecting the challenge back into the discussion boards. It did seem to naturally push them forward, give them a little momentum that I might not have had if they just came to it cold, and had been persuaded, but maybe hadn’t already been taking action. They were already in the process of taking action, this just was the next logical step for them. I didn’t plan that, but it just worked well.
Shane: But you did it naturally within your content. We’ve noticed that lately him. For Black Friday this year, we realize that almost every person that comes in doesn’t know who their avatar really is. I don’t care if they’ve got a membership with a hundred people in it, or they are making money online. One of the quickest things that we can do to fix people’s business is to make sure they know who they are actually trying to sell to, and that they know what problem they are solving.
We have started doing that, releasing our avatar, and offering trainings out into the public more to get them started. The people that we have found that have joined our membership have already taken that first step. They have already taken action, and they are just hitting the ground running at such a different level now. What you are saying is true, if you release the first step, the natural progression is going to be, “I should buy the second step.”
Jocelyn: Yes, and that is what you start putting into your email sequence. You start putting those steps in there so then they are ready to take that next step at some point. That is like some really kind higher-level stuff. I liked that that came out of this conversation.
All right, Marnie, we’re going to jump into another question here for you, and this was, what do you think a key factor was as far as your success? If you could think back to maybe one thing that you did that you would tell somebody else was the main reason you had this success, what would that be?
Marnie: I think that the high-value content upgrades that are embedded in each of my blog posts was pretty persuasive. I think that from the very first times someone comes to my site, they get something that could be a paid product. I keep nurturing that through ongoing blog posts, and in my email sequence.
Shane: So many people just try to tag that one lead magnet, and then think they are done. It’s like, “I will just do this one thing forever, and that is the only opt-in I have,” but then they wonder, why is nobody opting in? You went in and put in a little extra work up front and categorically made something that was specific to the blog post, is what you are saying, right?
Shane: Would that be like, if I was what going to do, “Hey, this is how you fix the toilet.” Then they opt in and see a video of you fix a toilet? What were you given them?
Marnie: Yes, “These are the steps with pictures for how to fix a toilet, and also the three problems you are going to encounter and how to solve those problems.”
Shane: How many of those did you make?
Marnie: Well, I don’t know exactly, but I think maybe eight.
Shane: Did you finally figure out that basically some of those content upgrades could work for multiple posts, or that you could even retroactively write new posts and that would still be aligned to do that? That is what we find is, if we create categorical things, if we have an email marketing opt-in, and we can do that with email marketing stuff. If we have a sales funnel opt-in, we could do that with our sales funnel stuff. Is that kind of what you see, too?
Marnie: Yes, there is a lot of overlap, and now I am also trying to create macro posts where I linked back to those other earlier posts where it was just more to solve individual problems. Now, I’m tried to create, “Well, this is the whole system and these are the pieces of the system that you could go read more about in-depth, and also get the freebie.”
Shane: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in the last year leading up to the launch? What was the thing that maybe almost derailed you or almost made you gave up or almost did you quit that you kind of had to push through to get it done?
Marnie: I am kind of a learner; I am a researcher by trade. I am soaking up too much information, and so my brain has too many ideas in it. I could lose focus, so that is where the Flip Your Life community really helps answering my questions. Also, just seeing what other people are doing, and they have really clear action plans, and that is what got me over some of my humps every time I hit a roadblock of seven different paths for me that I could take this week. That was a continual danger. I think I’m still facing that. That Is why I am still a member, and I need to get more of your advice.
Shane: I think that is the coolest part about the community. There’s people at all different levels. The people that talk on certain threads are all at the same level. Also, I think a lot of times, we don’t need the “right answer,” because when you get to those seven forks in the road, sometimes two or three of them are right. Really, you just need someone who has not in there with you.
Someone who is looking down from 10,000 feet to say, “Oh my gosh, just go down Road three.” If you just do that, you’re probably going to be okay. But we do need that push sometimes. We have mastermind groups, and we have people in the community that get on to us sometimes. We post in the communities, too, when we are like, “Guys, do want us to do this or this? What should we do next? We are kind of at a fork in the road.” You need people that can see the forest through the trees, and you can’t always see it when you are in the forest.
Marnie: Right. You are great at kicking people like myself in the pants to get moving.
Shane: Yes, we do that from time to time. That is our job right?
Marnie: That’s excellent.
Jocelyn: All right, you had a great launch, so now we want to transition into what is next? What is your next goal, and I guess, how can we help you to get there?
Marnie: Right. Well, I have to figure out what the short term strategies are that I should take. I, of course, want to make sure that I nurture and retain my current members, and I need to grow, and I need to not forget about this blog that I have. How do I prioritize in this short term, the main action steps that I should take?
Shane: I think the biggest thing we always tell anyone after a launch is retention. You have to, right now, even if your blog falls a little to the wayside. Maybe you go write for a post, and your release every other week for a couple months. Just go ahead and batch that, and that is okay, because right now you’ve got this new group of members. You want to keep that retention high above 90% for the next two months.
You want to really focus on them, and say, there is no reason you should ever leave. And also, this is something that people forget: you can do the exact same launch again with almost no work, because you’ve already got it all done. Especially when you get like 30 members like that. You want to get to 50-60 members as fast as possible because that is where we see most churn levels out. I would go ahead and plan to relaunch again. I would do the whole thing again to your list immediately because you don’t know why someone didn’t join last time.
They might to join in January, when they didn’t in November just because something is different. Back to school is coming back. You’ve got to look at the calendar of your avatar. There are so many reasons every month for someone to join, and you have to capitalize that. Your number one priority right now is retention. Number two is relaunch. Do the exact same thing over again, and see if you can get 20 more members.
Jocelyn: But in that relaunch, what I would like for you to concentrate on is testimonials from the people who are already in your group. Really work on getting results for those people. Get them to tell you about the results that they have achieved as a result of being a member of your community, and share that information with other people. It doesn’t just have to be on email. Not too long ago, I made an ad for elementary librarian, and it was images of customer quotes about my products. I just let it scroll through like a little video.
Shane: That was the whole ad.
Jocelyn: That was a really effective ad for me. Social proof is so important. Don’t underestimate that. Get people to talk to you about what benefit they are getting from the community, and use that to your advantage. Use it in your emails. Use it on Facebook. Use it on Twitter. Quote people what they are saying about it, and that social proof is going to help you move it forward by itself.
Shane: You need to have a place within your community when you have a membership, where people can talk about the results that they are getting. We have a success forum. Not only does that motivate the people in your community to take action, and get the same results, it is going to inspire people, it is going to get those teachers out to using your content.
But it gives you a depository where every time someone says good, you can say, “Hey, that is awesome. Can I share this with other people, other teachers to make sure they can get these same results too? I want people to know what is happening in your space so I can help them make it happen in their own life.”
Jocelyn: Or put in your terms and conditions that you are going to use quotes, and use them. That is what we do all the time. We don’t use last names usually; we just use their first name.
Shane: It is in our terms and conditions when you join, that we can use your story even if we don’t use your name. We always ask if we are going to use someone’s name, or actually link to their website. But we use the quotes all the time. We just put ‘Flip Your Life Member’. You could do the exact same thing here, but it is going to be social proof now, is what you’re going to have, and that is what causes the avalanche.
You rolled the snowball down the hill, you got your launch, but now you just keep piling those stories of the successes on top of that snowball, and it is going to spiral to where you can get 20 more members, then 100 members, then 200 members.
Jocelyn: And I will just say that, also, you probably want to consider coming up with a long-term nurture sequence for people in your list so that they are not going forever without hearing from you. What I did on Elementary Librarian is I wrote a series of 26 emails. I did one every other week for people who were non-members. It is basically just to remind them, “Hey, I’m still here, here is a cool piece of free content for you.”
Shane: It is a link to something old basically, like an old piece of content.
Jocelyn: Occasionally I will say, “Oh, by the way, are you interested in joining Elementary Librarian community? Here’s a link for you.”
Shane: That will take care of that problem that you had before. If we can retain members for a month, if we can do a relaunch, get up to 50 members, get 20 more members — that is what our goal would be — we get to that 50-member level. We’ve already got retention strategies in place, now we create that long-term nurture sequence, and never again will you ever have to worry about your list being taken care of, because every time someone joins, you know they are going to get something every other week from you.
Shane: That’s what’s going to happen in the next couple of months, especially from now until March, like the first quarter of next year. Let’s retain, let’s grow, and then let’s set up a foundation behind you that you got a batch of content. Now, you can turn all your attention to doubling, and tripling your stuff because you’ve already got it in place.
Marnie: Okay. I’m still kind of building out the system. There is one stage of the system, and now I have to finish this system before I can really think about scaling really big.
Jocelyn: Yes. Exactly.
Shane: Yes, it is almost like war. This is the dude coming out of me here. This is like sports, or anything. When you get to a certain point, you have to consolidate your gains. A mistake that people make is that they keep pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing. Making launch after launch after launch after launch. But then, all their people quit their list, all their members quit after two months because they don’t retain. You’ve got to really cement and consolidate what you have before you can build on top of it.
Marnie: Yes, consolidate is a good word, thank you.
Shane: Does that make sense, what we’re going to do for the next couple of months?
Marnie: It’s awesome. I got it.
Jocelyn: All right, Marnie, this has been a great call. We love our success stories. We love all of our members, but we’re super excited when our members do something really cool, like you have done with this launch. Based on what we’ve talked about here today, we always end all of our calls by asking what is one thing that you plan to do, say, in the next 24 to 48 hours based on what we have discussed?
Marnie: Well, I am so grateful for your encouragement, and your tips. I think I am already doing a pretty good job of retaining new members, which you had suggested in a recent member call. The main thing I think I need to look at is looking back through the discussion board and finding testimonials, and thinking about how I could use them, and connecting with the members, and seeing if that is okay for me to share that.
Marnie: That would be fun.
Shane: That will prepare you for the “next launch”, “relaunch” of your membership which is probably going to happen pretty soon because this is being recorded around Christmas. After the Christmas break, people go back into the classroom, they are ready for that rush to the end of the year, and that is where we need to be ready to get some more members in quick.
Jocelyn: Yes, I think January is a prime time. Every January I send out some free lesson plans. This year, I probably send it out about midweek, the first week of January, that just says, “Hey, did you have a busy Christmas season? No time to plan lessons? Here are some lessons for you.”
Shane: I would love for you– and anyone listening to this needs to do this: know your avatar so well that you can predict what they are doing in their life. If you can do that, then you can jump into the flow with them, and say, “Hey, this will help you where you are today.” If you will just jot it down on a piece of paper, just notes, that is going to help guide your entire year next year when you are creating content, creating launches, and retaining members because you are going to understand exactly, not only how to serve them, but when to serve them.
If you can catch people just in time and help them get a result just in time, they are going to pay you on time. Why don’t you do that, and maybe we can post it in the forums and we can jam on that a little bit, too, okay?
Marnie: That sounds perfect.
Shane: Alright, Marnie, well we’re going to wrap this call up. But once again, congratulations. We are just so happy for you, and it’s just an amazing thing that you have done. Ninety percent of people fail at what you have accomplished. Now, you just have to keep building on what you have created, and you are going to be super successful going forward.
Marnie: Thank you so much. I am so grateful for you, and for the whole community.
Shane: Alright guys, that wraps up another call with one of our Flip Your Life community members. If you’d like to become a member of our Flip Your Life community, head over to flippedlifestyle.com/flipyourlife, and we can help you with your online business as well.
Jocelyn: All right, next we’re going to move into our Can’t Miss Moment segment, and these are things that we were able to experience recently that we might have missed if we were still working at a normal 9-to-5 job.
Shane: This week’s Can’t Miss Moment is a really cool one. It’s something that I never even thought we would be doing with my kids. When you grow up, if you haven’t had kids yet, you think they are going to do things you did. Play football, play basketball, whatever it is. But my can’t miss moment this week for me is being able to take Isaac to archery.
We’ve signed him up for a program called Center Shot, which is a program at our church that takes the sport of archery and applies biblical principles to it, and shows how it is like in archery we don’t want to miss the mark, and the same thing is true in our faith. It is cool to be able to go and volunteer in that sport. I never much was of a hunter or an archery person growing up.
Jocelyn: Or in outdoorsman.
Shane: Or an outdoorsman. I like the outdoors but I like well-manicured lawns, and golf-course kind of outdoors–
Jocelyn: And hotels.
Shane: And hotels. But we’ve been doing archery now for a few weeks with Isaac and he loves the sport. I’ve started shooting the bow and arrow with him at archery practice, and I love it, too. I want to set up an archery range out on our new farm, the new house that we are living on, because we got a lot of land to do that for us to go out to shoot bow and arrows.
It is just amazing quality time with Isaac. He is so happy for me to be there. There is only one other dad there. There is usually about 20 kids. It is me of this other guy are the only ones that ever come actually with our kids to shoot. I’m really thankful that I’ve got the time and the energy to, not only let Isaac experience new things, but to experience new things with him.
Before we go today, guys, I want to share a Bible verse with you. Jocelyn and I close every single one of our shows with a Bible verse. We get a lot of our inspiration and motivation from the Bible, and we want to share some of that with you. Today’s Bible verse comes from 1 Corinthians 9:24 and the Bible says, “Do you not know that in a race, all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” Make sure that you are giving every ounce of effort, that you are dedicated to making your online business work, and run that race in such a way that you will get the prize, and everything will work out in your online business.
That’s all the time we have for this week. As always, guys, thanks for listening to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. And until next time, get out there, take action, do whatever it takes to flip your life. We’ll see you then.