Marianna moved from Venezuela at 13 with her family eager to learn English. Unfortunately, the school district they moved into didn’t have a great ESOL program, so she spent most of 6th, 7th and 8th grade watching movies and being taught in Spanish instead of learning English.
Fortunately, she had great teachers in High School. This made her excel even pursue other languages in her college career.
Instead of pursuing her intended path to take law, she went on to teach English and instill the things she would have wanted for herself as a young English learner to her students.
Now, she helps other parents raise bilingual and bicultural kids through her business bilingualavenue.com.
We talk through some of the struggles of a new membership community — about not focusing on getting in as many people as possible immediately, but on getting the RIGHT people into the membership.
After spending a lot of time giving away free content there is a point in time that you will need to spend money to get in front of new people with paid advertising. We talk through if this transition is right for Marianna.
You will learn
- What to do when starting a membership community
- Remember Memberships Grow over the Long Term
- Ways to Retarget People
- Great Webinar Strategy
- Focus on one thing when having a webinar
- What a webinar Bonus is really there for
- Difference Between ‘stick’ & ‘scarcity’
- Strategy to Promote already created content
- Batching your content together
Links and resources mentioned in today’s show
Enjoy the podcast; we hope it inspires you to explore what’s possible for your family!
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Can’t Miss Moments
Each week Jocelyn and I share moments that we might have missed if we had not started our online business. We hope these moments inspire you to see the possibilities and freedom online business could provide for your family.
Going to church on Sundays, we volunteer in the nursery and help lead worship for the kids. When we were coaching and teaching we had to miss a lot of Sundays. We have the freedom to do really whatever we want any day of the week.
You can connect with S&J on social media too!
Thank you for listening!
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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’re going to help Marianna take her bilingual membership site to the next level.
Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams. Join us, each week, as we teach you how to flip your lifestyle upside-down, by selling stuff online. Are you ready for something different? All right, let’s get started.
SHANE: What’s going on guys? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, great to be back with you again this week. We have another member of our Flip Your Life community coming on the show today and we are going to be helping them on a consulting call to take their business to the next level. Our guest today is Marianna Du Bosq of Bilingualavenue.com. Marianna, welcome to the show.
MARIANNA: Thank you, I’m thrilled to be here.
JOCELYN: Yeah, it’s really exciting to have you here, we love talking to our members and helping you guys really delve into your businesses and figure out the next steps to take. So, let’s go ahead and tell our audience about what it is that you do online and anything else you would like to share with us.
MARIANNA: So, like Shane said, I have a podcast and a blog called Bilingual Avenue and it is meant to be a guide for parents on what to do, how to do it, and what to expect when raising bilingual children. It’s been inspired from my own journey as a language learner, as a dual language educator and now, as a bilingual parent. I moved to United States from Venezuela right before my 13th birthday and my family and I were really excited searching for the American Dream, but we quickly found out that the school in my community, if you didn’t speak English and you were an ESL student, you were put in a trailer in the back of the school –
SHANE: Oh my gosh, that’s terrible.
MARIANNA: – all sixth, seventh and eighth graders were packed into this one classroom and rather than being taught, we were mostly shown movies and we were spoken to in Spanish all day and that was really frustrating because come from a family of hard workers who were coming here willing to do the work, but just weren’t given an opportunity. So, my parents were luckily, very involved and they had some great, great teachers in high school and I worked really hard and not only did I end up catching up to my peers, but I went on to learn other languages, minored in French in college, and I was all set to go to law school until my senior year. So, right at the end, I sort of felt this calling, I just felt like you know what Marianna, you need to go into the classroom and you need to help other students who maybe in a similar situation to what you were in; and that is what I did. I went into the classroom, taught English language learners for several years, loved it, but I was getting paid very little even with a Master’s and I was spending so much time, so much of my free time unpaid, making all the resources because my school didn’t have them or they just didn’t exist and it just didn’t seem sustainable. So, I went back to school one more time, got an MBA, had a career change and then my husband and I decided to start our family and we knew we wanted to raise bilingual children. I felt very lucky and fortunate because I learnt all these strategies in my master’s and having taught learners in the classroom, but I knew that that wasn’t the case for other parents, and again I felt this calling to help other bilingual parents who may be struggling, or are about to give up and inspire them, and that led me to create my podcasts and subsequently, my blog.
SHANE: Wow that is an epic story. I mean, I am always amazed by all the people in our community and the niches are just so different and it’s amazing how many pain points can be addressed and be helped in an online business like this. You can talk to these bilingual parents through your podcasts, you can help them in a community like a membership or something to get the strategies that they don’t have access to and this is a huge deal for our country right now as we are transitioning into a bilingual country, basically. Jocelyn’s best friend, here in town, is raising bilingual children.
JOCELYN: Yeah, she’s from Brazil and she wanted her boys to be able to speak Portuguese. So, she speaks to them only in Portuguese and her husband speaks to them obviously in English.
SHANE: Yeah, this is an awesome deal and I think that this is something that could help a ton of people. So, let’s go ahead and jump into your first question and see if we can get this thing put together and get it out there for all these families that need your help.
MARIANNA: Great. Well, I’m planning on launching a membership, which is something my audience has basically said. They feel like they are the only ones in their circle of parents with bilingual children, so they can’t always bounce ideas off of each other and learn together. So, I’m planning a launch on March 1st, I’ve done kind of a soft launch to my mailing list and so that is going to happen six weeks from now. So, how can I leverage my website, my ongoing podcast episodes and any other avenues to grow my list quickly in those six weeks?
SHANE: Okay, first I want to tell – this is kind of blanket advice for anybody listening; you have to – especially when you are starting a membership community, it feels so urgent and it feels so right on top of you because this thing is about to roll out, but the goal of any membership community online is the long game. We say in the Flip Your Life community, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” So, let’s just back up a little bit before we get into some strategies to sell as many memberships out the gate as we can. Don’t think that this is like one time at bat, I’ve got to hit a homerun. A membership community grows over time; you know, you build it brick by brick, foundation, and then you add a layer on top of it. So, the goal right now is to get the right people in, a really good solid core of members, whether that is 20 or 200, it doesn’t matter. To make sure that the community is healthy, it’s growing and the people are really involved in the community. So, let’s think about getting the right people in before we start thinking about I’ve got to grow this as quickly as possible and get all stressed out; does that make sense?
MARIANNA: Yes, it does.
SHANE: Okay, now actual strategies, I think that you have a few podcasts between now and then; I don’t know if they are recorded yet, if you have batched your content ahead of time, but if they are, I think you might want to go back in and add something at the end of each episode. You could cut like a commercial or something for this specific thing that you are selling. I don’t think you need to focus totally on I’ve got a lead magnet here, a lead magnet there or whatever the topic of that show is, because the list that you need is quality and not quantity right now. You need the people who are most interested, identified and segmented into their own list, a small list of the people who are really going to buy this product. So, I would put something either at the – maybe at the beginning or at the end or both and say, “Hey, just a reminder, I am going to be launching this community and it is going to be coming out on this date, and if you want to be one of the first people in, you are going to be able to save X percentage, you need to be on this specific list. So, head over to whatever.com/thething and get on this list immediately.” We want quality and not quantity when we are starting a membership site because if you can get 20 really, really, really good members, that could be better than a hundred random members that may quit; you know, half of them quit on you later and your conversation in your community be a little disjointed coming out of the gates. So, let’s really focus on the quality of the list and get the word out, ‘This is coming, you need to be part of it.’
JOCELYN: Yeah, I think the language on her podcast has definitely the low-hanging fruit for you; just throw in a little outro or an intro. A lot of people will say, “This podcast episode is brought to you by –” and you can say the name of your product and this is coming up soon and if you would like more information, go to wherever.
SHANE: Yeah, we really got to get the right people involved. Another thing I would do too, we are not going to get deep in the numbers right now, but I know – we’ve seen how much traffic you have in our community as we have talked about it. We have seen how many people are on your email list and I think retargeting might be a really good place for you right now to start growing that email list more so than just saying on your podcast, it’s really hard on a podcast to convert people from listener to email, right?
SHANE: But when people come to your site, and they have actually walked in the front door and they’ve looked around and they’ve done some window shopping and they are there, that’s where you got to get them. So, I think that you might want to look at some Facebook ads, retargeting people that come to your site over the next six weeks with some kind of a really good opt-in.
JOCELYN: With a lead magnet.
SHANE: Yeah, some kind of a lead magnet that you can draw people to your community. You can set that in a day, draw up a retargeting pixel on your website and then everyone that comes in, most of them will be listeners, some of them will be on your email list, that will be a better way to convert those listeners into emails upfront and that way you can get them on that opt-in list and market to them later.
SHANE: So, that’s your low-hanging fruit; don’t hide what you are selling. Be overt, go get the people who are listening – say, ‘If you are listening and you want to be a part of this, you need to be on this list, go here’ and then retarget everybody over the next six weeks to try to grow that list fast. Then target some people too, like start an ad – I’m sure there’s lots of bilingual topics in Facebook in the interest categories, so you could go find some people like that and run a separate ad to kind of draw people in as well.
MARIANNA: Okay, that makes sense; I like the focusing and the quality. I had planned out the episodes for the next six weeks and I had lead magnets for each and that is a lot of work, but being really intentional about who should be there and who will benefit from the community is a great advice.
SHANE: Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have a thousand emails of people who might be interested, or would you rather have a hundred people who are really, really, really interested?
MARIANNA: Yeah, right.
SHANE: Yeah, because you never want to be a shotgun approach to online business. Like, I would much rather have a thousand-person email list that converts than a ten-thousand-person email list that doesn’t convert and a lot of the gurus out there brag about the size of their email list, but then they are converting at one percent. It makes no sense. We want the right people at the right time, with the right product and that is what is going to make you money online.
JOCELYN: Okay, let’s move on to your next question.
MARIANNA: Okay, so part of my launch strategy is going to include doing several webinars and so, I wanted to pick your brain about how I can maximize those webinars to convert, like what types of bonus should I have to get people to attend live, to join the membership, any act-now bonuses, anything along those lines.
JOCELYN: All right, as far as like getting people on the webinar, I would definitely have some type of pain point that you are addressing in the webinar. So, I know a whole lot about bilingual parents, obviously we are unfortunately not bilingual, and their problems –
SHANE: We speak Kentuckian, which most people don’t understand, so does that count as a second language? I’m not sure. Appalachian; is that a language?
JOCELYN: So, I don’t know off-hand, a problem that they are facing but I think the people that sigh up for a webinars typically to address some type of problem that they are facing and maybe you can help them solve it and of course, then you can say, ‘We can help you solve it more if you join our membership.’ And that’s what we do here at Flipped Lifestyle; we will have webinars about various topics that –
SHANE: We know are pain points.
JOCELYN: – that people are needing help with, we will help them and then say, ‘Oh by the way, you can get even more help if you join our membership community’ and it’s the same thing with Elementary Librarian.
SHANE: Like, what’s a pain point on Elementary Librarian? Like Jocelyn runs webinars all the time so like, what’s one of the topics, back to school or something?
JOCELYN: So, like one of them is – I’ve done a lot of different webinars, but one of them that I have done is how to use centers in your library, and that is not like a really good example of –
SHANE: Because people don’t know what those are.
SHANE: But that’s a specific pain point for a librarian that only a librarian would be interested in; right?
JOCELYN: Yeah, also I do one about new librarians like top tips for new librarians so that’s another one that people would be like, ‘Oh I’m a new librarian, I need to sign up for this.’
SHANE: A very good strategy when you are doing these webinars is to pick one thing; I think a lot of people, when they first start doing webinars, especially sales webinars, is they want to throw everything in the kitchen sink in this webinar. Like, this is the greatest thing ever and we are going to talk about every topic that could solve every problem in this niche; right?
SHANE: You want to pick one thing; like if we are going to do a webinar like on email marketing, we are only going to talk about one part about email marketing. We might have a whole webinar on the lead magnet, just to get the email. We might have a whole email marketing webinar about just the autoresponder and how to build that correctly, maybe just the nurture sequence and how to handle people after they have been through your initial pitch. So, you want to focus on that really quick-win pain point that you know you can knock out of the park and you know is a no-brainer for people coming in. It’s not about telling them about your membership. You want to have some kind of – the content of the webinar is the draw. You don’t have to have a bunch of bonuses. That content is what is going to get people to sign up for the webinar and then when they show up, you serve them and then tell them how you can serve them more at the very end of it; does that make sense?
MARIANNA: It does and I am going to repurpose– my idea is to repurpose a lot of the content I have for my episodes. I have 104 episodes already and there’s [Crosstalk] they address those pain points because those are questions I’ve gotten from listeners and so, what about – I’ve seen a lot of talk about getting bonuses to get people to buy live, or like when you are doing the webinar, any thoughts on those?
SHANE: Okay, here’s what the bonus is actually for: a lot of online marketers use bonuses of other gurus and things like that, that works in online marketing, it doesn’t always work in specific niches that are outside the make-money-online space. Any bonus – the webinar content has to draw them in; if your topic is not good enough to draw them into the webinar itself, no bonuses will make them come into the webinar. The bonus is designed to get people to stay till the end of the webinar. So, at the beginning of the webinar, it doesn’t matter what the bonus is, you just say, I have this bonus that I have created for you, a worksheet on something, whatever, doesn’t matter. One of the bonuses that we used one time was the first seven emails in your email sequence; that was a template. You say at the beginning, ‘I have a bonus for you, remind me at the end and I will give it to you’ and that that does that everyone stays through the content to the pitch to get the bonus. It’s called ‘the stick’ it’s to keep them sticking around long enough to hear your pitch because the goal is to make money. So, any bonuses are really not to get them to buy, to get them to show up, the bonuses are there to make people stick around because you don’t tell them how to get the bonus until the end.
SHANE: At the end of the webinar, the way you get people to buy is through scarcity. So, this membership is going to be 50 dollars, but you can get it for the next 48 hours for 29 a month, whatever, but this goes away at the end of that period and the webinar goes away. So, you tell people – scarcity and in front of the webinar, you have to be there live, the replay will only be up for 48 hours or whatever and then this goes into my member content. And then the price goes away, it’s going to go up at the end of that. If you structure it that way, I have a really good pain point that makes people show up, I have a bonus that makes people stay till the end, and then I have a price scarcity that’s going to make people jump now so they don’t miss the opportunity, they don’t want to be left out.
SHANE: So, that’s kind of the structure of how everything should flow for your webinar to be successful. One last thing, at the end of the webinar, a huge thing that we see people making a mistake is when they make their pitch, they just pitch it; they say, ‘Hey, buy this.’ You need to be future-pacing people in what is going to happen in their life after they join your community. So the last five slides of your webinar really need to be, this is the huge benefit you are going to get, ‘oh by the way, let me show you around’ and you open the door and you show them into your community and say, this is a forum, I have trainings here, I am in here, this is what your life is going to be like over the next couple of days as you are joining my community. If you future-pace people, now they have a real reason to say man, I really want to sign up before the offer goes away.
SHANE: Makes sense?
MARIANNA: Yes, it does.
JOCELYN: All right, so I think that’s all our webinar strategy for you, let’s move on to your next question.
MARIANNA: Okay, so I want some clarity on where I should be spending my time to drive more sales before and after I launch my membership. I’ve spent a lot of time creating free content; at one point I was producing two episodes a week and we have now gone down to create more time to really focus on the membership. So, where should I be spending my time between now and the launch and then going forward?
JOCELYN: So, this comes down really to what we say all the time, you can spend time or you can spend money; it sounds like you spend a lot of time creating lead magnets and content and podcast content and you know, you’ve done a lot of the backend work that you need to do. I think now you are probably at a point where you are going to have to start spending money to really start growing this thing bigger and bigger. There are ways to do that in targeted ways; we really like Facebook ads, it’s really easy to target people –
SHANE: I think that’s going to be good for here too; this is a very family, community-type niche. People are checking Facebook on Facebook, taking pictures of their kids, so that’s going to probably mean they are more than likely using Facebook consistently.
JOCELYN: And I think for your market, it is definitely going to be relevant. I think that the retargeting campaign is going to be really big for you at capturing people after they have been on your website and then finding them again on Facebook again and saying, ‘Oh by the way, thanks for visiting my website, here’s something cool that I can give you if you will give me your email address.’ Then also, I think you can do some targeted ads, maybe at specific audiences. I’m sure that there are bilingual groups out there on Facebook or like pages of organizations for bilingual parents or something like that, you can probably target those to get people interested. Maybe you can send them to one of your more popular podcast content, maybe you send them to you know, something you created at a lead magnet, you could try out different things actually. You could try out a series of different ads, you don’t have to spend a ton of money, but I think you are probably at a point where you already have maxed out your organic reach, and you need to start paying a little bit to get yourself out there a little more.
SHANE: You can create the greatest content on Planet Earth, but if no one knows about it, it doesn’t matter. So, a lot of people out there are just aimlessly creating content, when they are trying to do their online business because everyone says, just create it and they’ll come, the more you create, the better chance you got; when really, you create really, really good content and then you pay to put it in front of the right person and that is probably where you are going to have to start putting your time is in creating this promotion and these ads to get it in front of people and also too, what is the most important place right now for you to be able to sell this thing, the webinar. You’ve got to get that webinar created and done and get it structured correctly so that you can make the pitch at the end and future-cast and show people inside the doors. So that is where your time is going to go and then you are probably going to have to go in and especially the retargeting, I think that is the number one thing you’ve got to set up to start getting the people that are coming into your website to see more of you on Facebook and draw them back into the content they may have missed.
SHANE: So, promotion is where you got to – don’t create a bunch of more content besides the webinar. You’ve got plenty to promote; you’ve got to come up with a good strategy to promote what you have already done.
SHANE: Now, I know that was a lot of information to take in Marianna, so, do you have any follow-up questions that you would like us to clarify for you or anything else you want to ask?
MARIANNA: Yeah, so a quick follow-up on the time, I definitely see the webinar as sort of my next step, I’m going to be creating that instead of going and creating more content, but how do I manage working on the webinar and still having content on my memberships so when my new members log on, they have material or training to go through.
SHANE: Okay, the number one thing I want you to do is, you are going to create a strategy to drive conversation. You don’t need to create a bunch of stuff; a membership is not about a ton of stuff. It’s about conversation and community and flow, and that is what is going to happen inside your membership. If you want to create some things ahead of time, you need to batch that. like, let’s say you really want to bring out a five-minute thing each week of your membership over the next ten weeks, whatever, you need to set aside a day or two and get all of it knocked out and all of it scheduled to release over the next ten weeks while you are doing all these other things, promoting this membership because adding more content is not going to draw people in. Getting the people in there and then serving them is what is going to get them into keeping them around. So, if you want to do some content, I got no problem with that, but batch it. Tell yourself, in the next seven days I am going to create enough content for my free site and the paid membership for the next two months and you have to come up with content that you can do that. it might just be an activity, you know, do like six worksheets that you are going to release only to members, activities for them and their children; whatever that is, make sure that you can get it done, get it scheduled and release it over eight weeks, batch it, it’s over with, you spent time to save time and free up time later and then you can move into the – you’ll have about five weeks left to do all of your promotion and things like that. So, batching content is the way you are going to get around not having to every Monday wake up and say, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I going to give my members?’ I’ve already got it done, it’s over, eight weeks I’ll worry about more, I’m going to make content for a week and promote my sales for seven weeks and then we’ll start over; does that make sense?
MARIANNA: Yes, absolutely.
JOCELYN: All right, so I think we got some great information here; I can’t wait to see what you are going to do with this as you move forward –
SHANE: Because Marianna is a rock star; y’all don’t know this, but man, you talk about an action-taker, like she throws the action – we have an action plan that people come in and they put what they are going to do over the next few days and it’s just like tick-tick-tick, check-check-check-boom, and she’s all over it. So, I know she is going to knock this out of the park.
JOCELYN: We love some action-takers in the Flip Your Life community. So, Shane and I are big action takers, we don’t always do the right thing, but we always do something. So, just keep that in mind when you are moving forward in your online business. So, with all those things in mind, and everything that we talked about Marianna, what is the first thing that you are going to do like immediately to take action on what we talked about today?
MARIANNA: 100% the Facebook ads with retargeting; I have started dabbling in Facebook ads and I’ve started already with the conversion pixel on my site, but I haven’t actually put the two together. So, that is something that I can do tonight.
SHANE: Yes, and that’s going to pay immediate dividends.
JOCELYN: That is going to be huge for you; so –
SHANE: And retarget that, make a really simple ad, don’t over-complicate and just take it to the best piece of content that has – the best lead magnet you’ve got for right now, and you are going to see immediate dividends in leads over the next couple of weeks for sure.
MARIANNA: Great, thank you.
JOCELYN: Awesome, so, you know we’re here in the Flip Your Life community, if you need help we’ll be there for you.
SHANE: Really thank you for taking the time to come on the show, I know it’s very – it was awesome – usually people are very nervous to come on the show, but I’m like Marianna is a podcaster, she’s got this. So, we really appreciate you coming on today.
MARIANNA: Well, it’s fun to be on the other side of the mic.
SHANE: Right on it.
JOCELYN: Okay, that wraps up our call with Marianna and we had a great call with her and can’t wait to see what type of action she is going to take. Right now we are going to move into our can’t-miss moment segment of the show and these are things that we may not have had the opportunity to do before we started our online business and worked for ourselves. So, Shane, tell us about this week’s can’t-miss moment.
SHANE: My can’t-miss moment this week is actually just going to church on Sundays. Jocelyn and I volunteer in the nursery, we have two little kids, our kids are in the nursery, especially Ana, Isaac has moved up into the kindergarten/first grade area and it’s just really cool. We volunteer in there, we do the worship, the kids come and they sing songs and we tell them a story and then they kind of go back to their classroom each week, but I was just thinking, I was talk to a friend of mine the other day and he has to work on Sunday and he is not able to come to church because he is you know, schedule demands that he has to be at work. I can also remember back when we were coaching football and teaching and doing things like that, I had to miss a lot of Sundays for meetings, watching film, getting ready for the next week, and I’m just really thankful that we have such control over our schedule that there is nothing out there that really tells us we have to be anywhere and we get to do things like volunteer at our church, go to church and we kind of control when we are in town and out of town and we can do those things. So, that’s my can’t-miss moment for this week; it’s just kind of having the freedom to be able to do those things any day of the week and not have to worry about a job dictating my calendar for me.
JOCELYN: I want to again, thank Marianna for being a part of the show today. Marianna is one of our Flip Your Life members and she gets up from us pretty much daily over in the Flip Your Life community. If you are interested in getting some help, figuring out what your next step is in online business, or for a chance to be on the Flipped podcast and talk to us live, then we would love for you to head on over to flippedlifestyle.com/flipyourlife to find out more.
SHANE: Before we end the show, we would like to leave you guys with a Bible verse; Jocelyn and I draw a lot of our inspiration from the Bible, both in our personal life and in our business. So we would like to close each show with a power-verse for the week. Our Bible verse today is from 3John 1:2 and it says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health, and that all may go well with you” and that is our prayer for you guys this week. Don’t forget, in the middle of all your online dreams to take care of yourself, take care of your health and have a great attitude and be positive. Great things are just around the corner; we know you can do it and we are here for you guys to answer any questions you might have. Until next time, get out there, take action, flip your life. We’ll see you then.