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Last month there was a competition where CovertKit launched their new landing pages along with incentives for new users to generate leads. This is genius and just made me more a fan of the software as they provided weekly webinars with general tips and tricks for building an email list.
Paid vs. Organic
One of the biggest hurdles I’ve faced starting out has been generating leads. I’ve been online with my first venture in Shopify for about 2yrs now, and it wasn’t until about a year ago that I started using HubSpot to build my marketing list. I haven’t done anything with the list as I’ve been super at odds with my ability to blog, email, and create products and services as the brand evolves.
One thing I realized was that after accidentally gathering quite a bit of followers and monthly visitors, Meditation Life was getting around 100 visitors through Pinterest every month. Now, I’m no expert on anything at this point mind you. However, I have spent quite a bit on Facebook, Google Ads, IG Influencers, and Promoted Pins to appreciate the right kind of traffic over just getting my offer in front of any and everyone with a pulse.
I learned this through the difficulty. I found the truth of why paid traffic has its place but ultimately people that buy again and again don’t need an ad in order to make a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th purchase. This sounds good, but like most things in this space, it’s only really good if you can make it useful. Let’s dive in.
Step 1 – Educated Guess
Make a best first guess. For me it was a combination of using tools like SEM Rush, Ubersuggest, and Keywords Everywhere. Obviously you get what you pay for, and the real value is in taking the time to use the tool well. Still this is a starting point, you need to have some way to get your offer into the market and then use FB Pixel, Google Analytics, or preferably a lead magnet.
To simplify this to a point impossible to miss, you need to have a way to identify those that interact/click on your offer or brand so you can get back in front of them.
Obviously, the most cost effective way to do this is either getting there email or having them follow you on social media. Either way, building an audience that has essentially given you permission to contact them is a huge step in the right direction.
Step 2 – Test
Something I heard time and again yet neglected was the idea of A/B testing. I knew there had to be something to it, (kind of like Game of Thrones) I just heard it referenced everywhere and then realized I no longer needed to be convinced, I just needed a way to experience it for myself.
You will never really know what you are excelling at without testing your traffic sources. My Thrive Themes subscription was ultimately the deciding factor. I haven’t found anyone to really make it easy to A/B test. Through the university section I finally would understand why along with how, I haven’t looked back since.
I connected Google Search Console and lastly Google Analytics to finally start tracking and making better decisions.
We’re only as good as our most informed starting point. This is how you tighten the process and make it worthwhile.
Step 3 – Talk to Peers and Customers
Sometimes it becomes obvious when we just speak to people that are less invested. I was absolutely stuck with my first offer because it was high-converting.
I quickly realized that building a brand and offering higher-end products down the line would be a result of getting the right customers onto the list from the beginning.
I realized the hard way that many people that take the free + shipping offer don’t necessarily want to spend $400 on a meditation seat. I also experienced classic 80/20 rule for the first time in my life. 80% of my customers were complaining about a cheaply made blanket that cost $10. This wasn’t the type of “business” I had in mind.
After talking it through with a few peers and calling a couple customers directly, I found out that I could use Etsy and Pinterest to promote my meditation seat, new life would breathe into my business, this was something I should have seen coming and transitioned to earlier.
Step 4 – Track Some More
I started getting sells from a built in Google Adwords campaign that Etsy provided. The next thing you know, I was at about an order a day on a $5/day ad spend. This was absolutely amazing, and definitely a high point in my progress. It was easy and quite straight-forward, but my success would be short lived after receiving an email stating that I could no longer use the platform because my products didn’t fit the requirements. No hard feelings (anymore), time to adjust once again.
Simultaneously, I listed on Amazon naively to gain international sales only to find out that they don’t pay out until 14days after customer receives item. Yikes. I got into some scalding hot water with the supplier, this damaged the relationship more than I realized.
Step 5 – Do More of What Works
I admit, this 1-2 punch had me licking my wounds and second guessing my ability to find stability in order to then make Meditation Life worth the blood sweat and tears. After a couple months of stagnation, I decided to run ads on Facebook using the limited earnings I’d scrape together as an Uber driver.
It was a step in the right direction, but it was uninformed and lazy. I ran into a guy at a local meet-up who said he’d be able to produce results, I blindly gave him the burden and said “figure this out”. In my ignorance I would learn that interrupting people as they scroll works to get attention, but not really to get buys.
My car broke down and so did I.
I was at wits end and around that time I discovered SEO and by mistake, I learned that my Pinterest account had grown to about 1mil views and 300k engagements a month!!! I had no idea how or why, but I knew I needed to pay attention and build at the most logical place Pinterest. I paid for Promoted Pins and ran a few Google ads campaigns. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but I was spending money while broke so yea, my judgement wasn’t the best.
I was checking things off the list, but not taking the time to understand the how and why of any success or failure I’d come across. I had become mentally lazy from the overwhelm. It was a coping mechanism for a misinformed view on the Ls I’d taken to get me to this point.
Fast forward, I now get around 30 visitors a day organically, I run no paid ads, and I plan on hiring a Pinterest expert to ramp up my impact and visibility so I can reach a couple sales a day through Pinterest. Only after I make a couple thousand dollars in profit will I then go back and experiment with paid ads on other platforms. For me, it did take me trying different things with mixed results.