Pinterest: Here’s What eCommerce Sellers Need To Know, Episode 216

Pinterest: Here’s What eCommerce Sellers Need To Know, Episode 216

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Today we are (finally) diving into the world of Pinterest, where pins lead to profits. And nobody knows this better than Kate Ahl, the mastermind behind Simple Pin Media and host of the Simple Pin Podcast. I’m so excited to have Kate here today because, let’s face it, Pinterest has been a big mystery to many of us. But we’re in good hands, because there is no better expert on this topic than Kate.

Back in 2010, Kate was just like many of us—navigating the wilds of the internet with more enthusiasm than experience. With little kids at home and a need for some extra cash, she started helping a friend with Facebook and her website, diving headfirst into the digital arena. The world of social media and affiliate marketing grabbed her, and she was hooked by the vibrant online community and its endless possibilities.

Kate launched Simple Pin Media in 2014 with just three basic service packages aimed at content creators. It was supposed to be a three-month trial, but the results were undeniable. Clients reported transformative impacts on their businesses, leading Kate to the realization that she might just have a viable business on her hands.

Since then, Kate has dedicated herself to demystifying Pinterest marketing, making it accessible and not so overwhelming. She’s here to tell us that with a solid plan, anyone can conquer Pinterest (and maybe even enjoy it).

Exploring the Potential of Pinterest

Kate says that first and foremost, using Pinterest effectively is all about making sure people are aware that your product exists. It’s not just about throwing up a photo of your product and hoping for the best. You want to really engage your audience, help them understand what you’re selling, and educate them about it.

For instance, e-commerce owners who showcase their products effectively tend to be more successful. Say you’re selling jeans; showing different ways to wear them or comparing various styles can make a big difference. This approach doesn’t just build awareness; it educates your potential customers too. Simply posting lots of product photos without context tends to be ineffective because customers don’t understand why they should buy your product.

Take, for example, a handmade tile seller she works with. She knows that buying handmade tiles involves careful consideration and measurement, so her strategy on Pinterest focuses on inspiring and informing her audience, rather than pushing them to make a quick purchase. She aims to get her product samples into potential customers’ hands and raise awareness about current design trends. Her approach helps position her brand as a viable alternative to big-box stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s, making her a go-to choice for those in search of handmade tiles.

Ultimately, success on Pinterest comes from using strategies similar to what might be done on Google to educate and engage, rather than just listing products for sale. This is how you turn casual browsers into informed, interested buyers.

Key Elements Of An Effective Pinterest Strategy

When diving into Pinterest, remember there are three main elements you should focus on to make your pins pop:

Images: This is key because on Pinterest, the image is pretty much everything. You’ll want to nail both product shots and lifestyle images that showcase your products in a real-life context.

Keywords: Spend some time researching what people are actually searching for on Pinterest, which can be different from other platforms. For example, the terms “vegan” vs. “plant-based” might attract different audiences. It’s crucial to use the right keywords in your pin descriptions to tap into the correct search queries.

Pinning Strategy: Once you’ve got your pin with its perfect image and keyword-rich description, start pinning it across your boards. You don’t have to worry about overposting the same pin too frequently, because unlike Instagram, Pinterest isn’t about scrolling through someone’s profile. You can pin the same content to different boards at different times, even revisiting it months later. This approach works because Pinterest’s algorithm isn’t time-sensitive, and frankly, most Pinterest users won’t notice if you’ve pinned the same thing multiple times.

How to have a big impact on Pinterest in Just 2 Hours Per Week

Many of our students are hesitant to add another marketing channel because Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok already take up so much of their time and energy. But Kate says there are a few key areas that you should be dedicating your energy to, and they don’t need to take more than 2 hours a week.

Before you dive into pinning repeatedly, it’s crucial to set up your Pinterest profile correctly, mainly to make it algorithm-friendly. Start by setting up your boards—they’re like buckets for the algorithm to sort your content.

For example, if you’re selling jeans designed for pear-shaped body types, name your board accordingly and craft a clear description. This helps Pinterest understand exactly what type of content you’ll be pinning there, like it’s all about jeans for pear-shaped bodies.

Once your boards are ready, the next big task is creating compelling images, which are like billboard ads on Pinterest. Remember, people mainly look at images, not read through lots of text. For fashion items, less text usually works better, so focus on visuals that highlight the features of your jeans, like the fit or style details.

When you upload these images, either directly or using a scheduling tool like Tailwind or Planoly, you’ll want to ensure your keywords match the content of your board. This alignment helps Pinterest show your pins to users who are searching for those specific terms, enhancing the relevance and reach of your content.

Setting up a routine of creating great images and using the right keywords is essential. A scheduling tool can help spread out your pins over time, which reduces your workload. No need to constantly comment or follow others—the platform does much of the heavy lifting.

It typically takes about six months to see significant results on Pinterest. If you’re only a couple of months in and not seeing much activity, don’t get discouraged. It’s all about consistency. Keep feeding the algorithm with good content. Your pins from day one will eventually start getting attention, and before you know it, you’ll see a snowball effect: more engagement, more traffic to your store, and an increased interest in your products.

So, hang in there, keep pinning, and watch how your two-hour weekly investment gradually builds a robust presence on Pinterest.

Pinterest SEO: How To Find The Best Keywords

It’s important to remember that Pinterest is a visual search engine. Users are primarily looking for content that benefits them in some way, unlike Instagram where your followers are keen to see behind the scenes content, or personal posts from the business owner. If you’re good at SEO, you’re likely to excel on Pinterest too, although the approach to keyword research might vary a bit. Here’s how it works:

When you do SEO, you’re typically looking for keywords that Google favors. Well, you can start by plugging those same keywords into Pinterest. But in reality, Pinterest itself is the best tool for figuring out what works specifically on their platform.

When you enter your keywords on Pinterest, pay attention to the search predictions that pop up. These suggestions are gold because they show exactly what users on Pinterest are looking for. Sometimes, these keywords might differ from what you’d use for Google. So, even if a keyword works well on Google, you might find a more effective variation or a completely different popular keyword on Pinterest.

Essentially, Pinterest not only helps refine your keyword strategy but also tailors it to capture the most relevant Pinterest audience. So, stick with the keywords that resonate with the Pinterest crowd, even if they’re a bit different from your usual SEO terms. 

Pinterest Marketing Metrics: What To Look For

How can you tell if your Pinterest strategy is actually working? There are three key metrics you should keep an eye on: impressions, saves, and clicks. Let’s break these down a bit:

  1. Impressions: This tells you how often your pin is shown. For example, if someone is scrolling on their phone, Pinterest might show two rows of pins. Your pin might be on the left, but if they’re looking at the right, they might not see it. However, having a high number of impressions means your pin is getting out there to a broader audience.
  2. Saves: This is a big one because when someone saves your pin, it shows they’re interested. Pinterest users typically browse through and save a bunch of pins they like. Later, they revisit their saved pins when they’re ready to engage further or make a decision.
  3. Clicks: This is what you ultimately want — people clicking on your pins to take a closer look or go to your website.

While Pinterest offers up to nine different metrics, focusing on these three will give you a solid indication of how well your content is performing. You can literally compete against yourself by tracking how your pins perform in terms of impressions, saves, and clicks over time. Adjust and test different strategies to see what makes your pins more save-worthy and click-worthy. Remember, it’s not always about creating brand-new content. Sometimes, tweaking what you already have can lead to better results.

What You Need To Know About Pinterest Ads

For store owners accustomed to getting quick results with Meta and Google ads, Pinterest ads can feel a bit slow to kick in because they need about two weeks just to run without any interference. This pause lets Pinterest figure out the best way to distribute them. You’ll spend another two weeks just collecting data to see what’s working, totaling a month of prep and observation. This can be a shift for those used to the quicker pace of Facebook ads, and the different dashboard and reporting style on Pinterest might also take some getting used to.

If you’re new to Pinterest ads, Kate suggests dedicating at least a month to learn the ropes, maybe through a membership program that guides you through the process. After about two months of learning and preparing, you should start to see your ads perform well.

And here’s a fun tip: try experimenting with low-cost Promoted Pins, like a dollar a day, to see how they perform without much risk. This can be a great way to learn what resonates with your audience without the pressure. You might find that even these small investments can give you decent visibility, which is always a win. Plus, playing around with promoted pins and different types of Pinterest ads can help demystify the process and make it more enjoyable.

Pinterest Is NOT Social Media

Pinterest, like Google and YouTube, is used by people who are actively trying to solve a problem. They might visit your site, decide it’s not what they’re looking for, and keep searching until they find the right solution. The key is to make sure your site can meet their needs when they land there, making you the solution they’ve been searching for.

To capture their interest, you need to quickly convince them they’re in the right place—for example, confirming they’ve found the right plant-based skincare product they were looking for.

A common mistake is directing these users to a homepage when they’re expecting a specific product page. This mismatch can frustrate users because they don’t want to search again—they want immediate solutions. Pinterest users often take longer to make a decision because they’re looking for the perfect answer to their needs.

Want To Work With Kate?

Kate’s agency Simple Pin Media offers a few different ways for people to work with them, depending on their needs and how hands-on they want to be.

First off, they handle both organic and paid Pinterest ads directly for clients who prefer to take a hands-off approach. For those who want to be more involved, they offer a “done with you” service which includes membership options. This is great for people who want to learn how to manage their own Pinterest ads but with some guidance from Kate’s team. It’s a pretty affordable membership that lets you get your hands dirty without going it alone.

They also have a DIY option through their Shopify store. Since Pinterest is friendly towards digital products, they’re set up to sell things like e-commerce templates for Canva and other resources directly through Shopify. This setup is perfect for folks who want to integrate what they sell with their Pinterest activities.

For those already running ads but looking to optimize, she offers specific resources like Pinterest ads templates that you can grab and use right away.

So, whether you’re looking to fully outsource your Pinterest marketing, get some guidance while doing it yourself, or just grab some tools to make your life easier, Simple Pin has a solution for you.

RELATED LINKS:

Check out https://juleptile.com/ on Pinterest for a great example of how a successful eComm store uses Pinterest

See the Simple Pin Shopify Store: https://simplepinshop.com/

Learn more about Pinterest services and training: https://www.simplepinmedia.com/

Listen to The Simple Pin Podcast: https://www.simplepinmedia.com/simple-pin-podcast/

Get a Plan to Grow Your Sales Every Month

Stop wondering if you’re “doing it right” and learn how to grow your sales in a consistent, predictable way. Spend 40 minutes with me in this eye opening workshop, and you’ll leave with a few simple steps that will grow your sales next month. Find a time that works for you.

The Formula For An Easy Collaboration You Can Do This Month, Episode 215

The Formula For An Easy Collaboration You Can Do This Month, Episode 215

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Joining Forces: The Magic of Brand Collaboration

If you’ve been around The Social Sales Girls long, you know that we’re all about traffic. Driving new eyeballs to our websites and converting them to customers. In the Inner Circle our students learn all about how to identify their ideal audience and how to leverage social media, SEO strategies, and paid ads to bring those people in.

But what if I told you there’s a SHORTCUT?

A way to reach your perfect audience, without spending a dime? We call it “collaboration” and our Member Success Coach Tina Bar-On is our resident expert on this strategy that will introduce your brand to folks who might never have stumbled upon it otherwise, boost your site traffic and, grow your email list with engaged, potential customers.

Back in episode 120 Tina told us about her year of monthly collaborations. Initially, she wasn’t blown away by the results—some collaborations seemed to fizzle out. But when she looked back and really analyzed the data, the outcome was impressive. From all those collaborations, Tina ended up growing her email list by thousands. What’s more, these weren’t just any subscribers; they had a phenomenal 5% conversion rate, with several making multiple purchases. This was a prime audience that really resonated with the ethos of shopping small and valued her brand’s unique qualities.

The big takeaway from Tina’s experience? Even if in the moment a collaboration doesn’t feel like a win, the cumulative effect can be significant.

How Collaborations Can Multiply Your Sales Opportunities

 

A brand collaboration is basically teaming up with another business to help each other reach more people and grow. It’s about pooling your resources—like your audiences and your marketing platforms—to give each other a boost. You could share each other’s social media posts, promote each other’s products, or even team up for a joint giveaway.

 

The idea is to introduce your brand to folks who trust and buy from your collaboration partner, leveraging their credibility to gain new followers or customers. And here’s why I think every single online store owner should be embracing collaboration: you’re not shelling out big bucks for ads, you’re using what you both already have to reach a wider audience. It’s like getting a friend to vouch for you, making new potential customers feel more at ease checking you out since someone they already trust thinks you’re great.

Blueprint for Success: Crafting Your Collaboration Strategy Step-by-Step

Here’s how Tina likes to roll out a collab. She starts with a couple of teaser posts on Facebook, her go-to platform. She’ll drop hints like, “Hey, something cool’ss on the way!” and maybe show off a pic of a favorite product from her collab partner’s collection, or their logo to stir up some interest.

Next, she dives into a full week of sharing their products and content. She might post their brand video, a cool discount code they’ve given just for her audience, and she’ll send out some emails to spread the word. But she keeps it to a limited time—no more than a week or a week and a half. Then it’s back to business as usual, focusing on her own store.

What Tina loves about this method is that it’s quick and impactful. We know people need to hear a message a few times before they act on it, so packing it into a short burst helps drive that message home. It might seem like a lot to share their content for a whole week, but it’s effective.

Tina doesn’t make any new content; she uses what her partner already has. She’ll browse through their feed, pick things that align with what her audience likes, and share those. She might add a personal touch like, “Check out this amazing behind-the-scenes look at how this jewelry is made—I think you’ll find it as cool as I do!”

Since it’s Tina sharing, people who know and trust her taste get that extra nudge to check out what she’s recommending.

Keep it simple at the start. This makes everything less intimidating, and you’ll feel good knocking out those smaller wins, which amps you up to take on more.

What’s Stopping You? Common Barriers To Collaboration

Each month in the Inner Circle we have focused training in the classroom. And as part of that monthly theme, we host a live call with two of our coaches where students can ask questions, meet other members (and potential partners), and start to plan out their monthly activities. Our focus in April was collaborations, and on the live call, Tina was able to hear firsthand some of the barriers that store owners encounter when trying out this strategy.

Here’s how you can tackle some common hang-ups that make collaborating feel tougher than it is:

Hang-Up 1: Finding the right partner

Issue: Many store owners struggle to identify collaboration partners because they think they need to be selling something similar.

Solution: When you’re on the lookout for a collaboration partner, keep it straightforward and easy. Start by finding common ground. For example, if you’re independent store owners, that’s a great starting point because you’re likely attracting customers who aren’t just hunting for the cheapest deal—they’re not your typical big box store shoppers. They’re looking for something unique, something that big retailers don’t offer.

It’s also smart to partner with someone who serves the same geographic area as you do (i.e. find stores who ship to the same countries as you do). This way, your audiences are more likely to overlap, which can make logistics and marketing smoother.

Sometimes, people worry about potential partners being too similar to their own brand. But remember, each brand has its unique story. Tina sells artisan-made home decor and jewelry, and she’s successfully partnered with other jewelry shops, vintage bookstores, and even food stores. It works because both shops’ offerings connect with different facets of our customers’ interests.

In the end, it’s all about getting your brand in front of new eyes. Focus on shared interests and values rather than worrying too much about product overlap or audience size. Let the audience decide what resonates with them. Keep it simple, and you’ll find the right partners who can help you reach new customers and grow your business.

Hang-Up 2: Feeling Too Small to Play

Issue: If your social media following is small, you might think you’re not a good enough partner for a collab.

Solution: It’s all about quality, not quantity. Even if your follower count isn’t massive, every store owner struggles with what to post that will delight their audience. Can you create a post for them that has great photos? Can you tell a story that will get their customers laughing or excited about what you do? Do you have a stellar brand video they could share? That’s what your partner and their audience will value most, not the size of your audience.

Hang-Up 3: Fair Play Fears

Issue: Worrying about whether it’s a fair trade if your new collab buddy has a smaller list or fewer followers can stall you before you even start.

Solution: Think generosity over reciprocity. It’s not about matching up stats—it’s about mutual growth and reaching new customers. If it really bugs you, the store with the larger list can send only to a segment that’s equal to the size of your list. But remember, this is more about helping each other out than keeping score.

Hang-Up 4: Making Mountains Out of Molehills

Issue: Overthinking every little detail? That’s a surefire way to never get past the planning phase.

Solution: Start with something small and simple. Share each other’s posts, team up for a mini-event, or swap blog features. Get a feel for working together on little things before you dive into anything too deep.

 

When you start out, just get it done, done is better than perfect. And success really just looks like, okay, I did it. My products in front of a whole new engaged audience. Somebody has shared my story on social media.”

 

 


Teamwork Makes The Dream Work: Measuring Success

When your collaboration has ended and you’re evaluating whether it was a hit or miss, here’s what you should consider:

  • Did They Deliver? Check if your partner did everything they promised. It’s all about whether they stuck to the plan.
  • Communication Check: Did you guys manage to have a post-collab chat? It’s good to talk things through—what went well, what didn’t, and learn from each other.
  • Repeat Potential: Is this someone you’d be keen to team up with again? If you’re nodding yes, that’s a pretty good sign it went well.
  • Engagement Metrics: Did your links get clicks? How about the emails they sent out—did those drive traffic your way? These numbers can tell you a lot about the practical impact of the collab.

Before you dive into more complex projects like giveaways, these are the basics to nail down. They give you a solid idea of whether you’re on the right track for future successful collaborations with this partner.

And if a collaboration doesn’t pan out, don’t stress over it. You always end up learning something valuable. Maybe you find out that the product or brand just didn’t click with your audience, or perhaps the strategy you chose wasn’t the best approach. Next time, you might try tossing in an extra email or maybe including a discount to see if that spices things up.

Sometimes, it turns out the person you chose to collaborate with isn’t the right fit, and that’s totally fine. Don’t just throw in the towel and decide collaborations aren’t for you. Keep pushing, keep trying. Here’s the thing: it’s a numbers game. It’s all about taking action and getting your brand in front of new eyes. The more you do, the better your chances of striking gold.

How Often Should You Collaborate?


Tina has a pretty big network, so she collaborates every two or three months. But if you’re just starting out, aiming for at least two collaborations a year is a solid beginning. And if you click with someone awesome, why not suggest another collaboration the following month?

Remember, it’s all about spotting opportunities. Whenever you meet another brand or store owner, think about whether they could be a good fit for a collaboration. Open up that conversation! And if they’re not already in the know—like not part of your usual circle—you might need to spell out what collaborating involves because sometimes people assume it’s going to be a huge deal.

Realistically, you could collaborate as often as once a month if you’re up for it and have partners lined up. It should definitely be part of your content strategy. After all, it’s about getting more eyes on your products without extra costs—purely a numbers game. So, don’t hold back. The more you do, the more your audience and traffic will grow!

How Do You Nurture Collab Leads?

Treat them just like you would any other contact, it’s as simple as that. Sometimes we overthink it and start creating all these complex rules—like if someone came through a popup, they need a certain type of message, or if they came through another route, they need a different approach.

But here’s the thing: these are all warm leads. They’ve shown interest; they’ve opted in. So just loop them into your regular communications. Send them the same engaging content and brand stories you send to everyone else on your list. Keep it straightforward and consistent. Whatever you think they should know about your brand, that’s what you should be sharing right from the start.

Get Over Yourself And Collaborate!

I know I’m a broken record about this strategy, but I really encourage you to just dive in and start. Don’t let anything hold you back. Find a partner without overthinking it. If you’re part of our Inner Circle, you’ve got a pool of potential partners right at your fingertips. Decide what you’re going to swap—maybe a story, a brand video, or something cool like “Tina’s favorites” or your own version of that. Settle on what you’ll exchange and when, and then just give it a shot.

Try it out and stick with it for a while. You’ll see how all those small steps add up over the year. And the best part? It’s not just about business growth. This is also about connection. E-commerce can be a lonely place, but through collaboration, you end up making friends, learning new things, maybe picking up a tip or two.

 

RELATED LINKS:

Organic Results That Will Shock You (Tina’s Year Of Collaboration)

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/a-year-of-results-that-will-shock-you-episode-120/

The Story of A Profitable Makers Collaboration

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/the-story-of-a-profitable-makers-collaboration-episode-30/

How To Use Collaborations To Get Traffic And Sales

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/how-to-use-collaborations-to-get-traffic-and-sales-episode-18/

Think Out Of The Box For Organic Growth

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/think-out-of-the-box-for-organic-growth-with-suzi-dafnis-episode-101/

Get a Plan to Grow Your Sales Every Month

Stop wondering if you’re “doing it right” and learn how to grow your sales in a consistent, predictable way. Spend 40 minutes with me in this eye opening workshop, and you’ll leave with a few simple steps that will grow your sales next month. Find a time that works for you.

The Real Source of Stress For 6 And 7-Figure Store Owners, Episode 214

The Real Source of Stress For 6 And 7-Figure Store Owners, Episode 214

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The Reality of Reaching Six Figures in Sales: New Levels, New Devils

So, here’s a fun fact that might date me a bit, but here goes: I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1990. Out of those 34 years, the first 20 were spent on just one business. And from the outside it probably looked like I was doing pretty well. The business grew so quickly, I hit a million in sales by the second year.

But what if I told you that for almost that entire time, I felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff? Just waiting for the other shoe to drop. For the next big disaster to take me out completely, and I’d be left with just the ashes of what I’d built.

At that point the only people I had to talk to about it were my accountant, my bank manager, my lawyer, and my husband—who usually just asked about the sales figures. None of them were deeply invested in the nuances of my day-to-day challenges. My employees were encouraging, but it seemed like each of them only saw a small slice of the whole pie. Plus, I had made the mistake of surrounding myself with yes-men who never challenged any of my ideas.

 

It often left me feeling as though the entire weight of the business rested on my shoulders. I carried not just the operational burdens, but also the emotional weight of potentially jeopardizing my family’s security with a single wrong decision. This fear drove me to keep pushing myself beyond limits, year after year. I thought if I could just get over myself, put my head down and work harder, it would be ok eventually.

 

 

I know that so many entrepreneurs feel this exact same way – terrified, overworked, burned out. But all these years later I realize that while it might be normal, it’s not healthy, for you or your business.

With some time and distance, I came to understand that all of that stress was due to three primary factors, and now I’m determined to help others avoid these same pitfalls.

1) Managing Money

The primary source of my stress was money, of course. Despite everything looking great on paper (after all, the bank kept giving me money) I constantly struggled with cash flow. I’d stay up at night, tallying up expenses in my head against what remained of my credit line.

My default solution was always to aim for higher sales the following month. For example, if sales were averaging $50,000 or $70,000, I’d set a new target of $100,000, believing that just one more bump in sales could right the ship.

I also never saw the value in investing in administrative services that didn’t directly generate sales, which often led to me screaming into my accountant’s office at the last minute with disorganized records stuffed into envelopes and chaotic spreadsheets. He would patiently go through it with me, and while I was sitting there I could grasp the numbers but by the time I got back to my car, my understanding would evaporate.

Since then, I’ve realized two things: first, I was probably afraid of truly understanding the financials of my business, and second, I really needed an accountant who specializes in physical product businesses. Because the “profit” on your P and L sheet is often actually tied up in inventory, an accountant who doesn’t understand product finances won’t be able to solve your cash flow troubles.

2) Managing People

The second major source of stress for me was managing the people in my business. We had some fantastic employees, but it was always something. Someone had found a better job, someone else needed different hours, or was going on maternity leave—which in Canada could last up to four months for key personnel.

 

I often felt vulnerable because I needed these people to operate my business, and the uncertainty turned into a constant source of frustration. It seemed like everyone else’s needs came before my own. And because I wasn’t on the regular payroll, I was always last to get paid too, assuming there was enough left over to pay myself.

 

3) Managing Growth

The third big stressor in my business was achieving sustainable growth. Every year, it felt like I had to dig deeper, come up with more promotions, and find new ways to boost my sales. And it only got tougher and more expensive over time. Why? Because my overhead costs were climbing. Each step I took to grow—hiring more staff, buying more equipment, signing more leases—just piled on more fixed expenses each month.

Chasing after sales became a never ending cycle. It was like constantly trying to outdo myself—last year I hit $1.1 million, so this year I needed to make $1.5 million just to keep up because my daily starting cost was now $4,000.

All of this combined—the money, managing people, and figuring out how to keep the business viable—created a ton of stress. It made me constantly question my end game: How would I sustain this? And what was my exit plan if I decided I couldn’t keep going?

Learning from Mistakes and Finding New Perspectives

The rollercoaster of wins and challenges often left me feeling like a bit of a fraud, or at least like I was only good at certain aspects of my business. I used to brag about my sales skills , but when it came to finances and organization, I’d convinced myself I was terrible.

And that mindset spilled over into how I viewed my role as an entrepreneur: I was the sales driver, nothing more. I’d say things like, “I can only take the business this far and no further,” which really boxed me in. But looking back now, years later, I realize it didn’t have to be that way.

I was largely writing my own narrative. Just working harder and doubling down on effort wasn’t the answer—it only added to the feeling of teetering on the edge of a cliff.

What I needed, and what anyone in a similar position needs, is education. Back then, if you’d told me that my struggles with finances, managing people, or sustaining growth were due to a lack of knowledge, I might have resisted the idea. But now, I clearly see that it’s  not about working harder; it’s about learning the aspects of business management that you don’t know yet. Understanding this can completely change the way you approach challenges and lead your business toward a more controlled and confident future.

Moving Forward with Less Stress and More Knowledge

There are tons of us online, myself included, who can show you how to set up ads or leverage social media. That knowledge will take you a good distance in business. But the real game starts when your sales hit around $100,000, you begin hiring staff, and managing inventory becomes a daily task. That’s when deeper challenges emerge.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much out there about managing the team dynamics or the operational hurdles of a growing business. But I’m fortunate to have figured a lot of this out, and now I’m in a position to pass on that knowledge. I don’t claim to know everything, but I can pinpoint the problems and suggest ways to tackle them—although it takes time to iron these issues out.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to start discussing these critical areas—like understanding finances better and managing people effectively—that aren’t often covered in our industry. I’ll dive into how to foster sustainable growth and set yourself up for success beyond just making do.

 

We often think our options are limited, especially when just starting out. Yes, it’s crucial first to secure consistent sales, but once you hit that $100,000 mark, it’s time to strategize differently. You could work hard and still end up stressed and unprofitable, or you could learn how to work smart and build a valuable asset.

 

If you’re interested, sign up to receive weekly emails where I’ll share more about these solutions—not a course, just sharing what I’ve learned to help others in similar spots.

So, if you’re feeling the pinch or just want to prepare for future challenges, sign up for these emails. Let’s make your business journey less stressful and hopefully, a lot more enjoyable.

 

RELATED LINKS:

How To Do Less And Get Better Results

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/how-to-do-less-and-get-better-results-episode-210/

How To Create Profit Goals

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/how-to-create-profit-goals-episode-209/

How To Grow To Multi-6 Figures When You’re Strapped For Time

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/how-to-grow-to-multi-6-figures-when-youre-strapped-for-time-episode-45/

Behind The Scenes Of A 6-Figure Sales Funnel

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/dont-risk-making-this-mistake-behind-the-scenes-of-a-6-figure-sales-funnel-episode-176/

Get a Plan to Grow Your Sales Every Month

Stop wondering if you’re “doing it right” and learn how to grow your sales in a consistent, predictable way. Spend 40 minutes with me in this eye opening workshop, and you’ll leave with a few simple steps that will grow your sales next month. Find a time that works for you.

Try This Clever Way To Stay Motivated And On Track, Episode 213

Try This Clever Way To Stay Motivated And On Track, Episode 213

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Stay Motivated And On-Track with This Mindset Trick

Meet Megan Jock-White, a new-ish Inner Circle member and all-around powerhouse of an entrepreneur whose journey through personal challenges led to the creation of Windsor Lane, a thriving handmade sign company.

We talked recently about how Megan transformed her battle with anxiety into a flourishing business by celebrating small victories—a strategy that has been game-changing for her mental health AND for her business success.

From Anxiety to Entrepreneurship

Megan never actually intended to start a business. In fact her venture into the world of e-commerce began unexpectedly in 2016 when she was seeking ways to manage a crippling anxiety disorder. Despite “not having a creative bone in [her] body”, Megan turned to art therapy, a suggestion from her therapist that would kick-start her business journey. Megan’s initial projects, created from pallet wood her husband salvaged and basic art supplies, were intended to bring some peace into her life. But after sharing her creations on Facebook, the overwhelming response from her friends and family opened the door to a new business opportunity, and Windsor Lane was born.

 

“I was flabbergasted because I started getting a whole bunch of people from my local community sending me messages and asking me if I would make them a sign. And it just never stopped.”

 

Once they realized they had a viable sign business that might allow Megan to continue her recovery while staying home with their children, she and her husband Aaron decided to take a chance. They set up a Facebook page and created a group where they could host exclusive sales and dropped 20 to 30 new signs each Friday night. Group members who commented first on a post received a 50% discount, while others could still purchase it for 20% off.

The group quickly gained traction, bringing in up to 100 participants each Friday night. The competitive nature of the sales (hello exclusivity, urgency and scarcity!) Episode 212 here and was fun for everyone and the group became the talk of Megan’s town.

Soon they expanded to Etsy and made their first sale just a week after joining.

From Etsy To E-Commerce Empire

From its humble beginnings, Windsor Lane expanded to various platforms including Faire, Amazon FBA, Amazon Handmade, TikTok, and eventually their own e-commerce site windsorlanedecor.com whose website traffic has recently tripled.

Surprisingly, it’s Megan’s experience managing her anxiety disorder to which she attributes the success. During her recovery, Megan often found herself so overwhelmed by future uncertainties that she developed monophobia, a fear of being alone. It was so severe that her husband Aaron quit his job to provide support.

But Megan refused to let anxiety dominate her life. She devised a personal recovery plan she refers to as “practice,” starting with small goals like spending five minutes alone and gradually increasing this time. Celebrating these small victories was crucial; it reinforced her progress and helped her regain independence. Now, eight years later, she has fully recovered and cherishes her alone time—a complete transformation.

Megan’s method of staying motivated while maintaining a positive headspace has been key to her success in business, as well. Like most e-commerce store owners, Megan’s initial progress was slow. But applying the same principles of small, incremental victories from her personal recovery to her business strategy kept her from getting discouraged. Simple daily achievements, like completing tasks, are celebrated, reinforcing a positive mindset and continuous progress.

 

“If you’re a parent like me, when [your babies are] learning to roll over or crawl or walk, when they roll over just a little bit, you’re not like, oh, well, they didn’t do it…You’re on the phone with grandma and you’re on the phone with your best friend, you’re posting it on Facebook and you’re celebrating that!

So you kind of have to take care of your inner child. You know, like, hey, you know what, you did it. You may not have gotten there overnight, but you’re making improvements little by little.

And that’s how I like to think about it.”

 

 

Megan’s Success Path: Track, Measure, Celebrate

Megan employs her “practice” to her business via a disciplined and systematic approach to her daily operations. This method boosts her bottom line, and creates a positive work culture that keeps her and her team motivated and focused on continued progress. Here’s how she applies the practice to her business:

Setting Consistent Daily Goals: Megan emphasizes the importance of consistency in her daily routine. By committing to specific tasks each day, she ensures steady progress towards her business goals.

Breaking Goals into Manageable Steps: Megan divides larger goals into small, achievable steps. This allows her and her team to experience frequent victories, maintaining motivation and focus.

Tracking and Measuring Progress: By keeping close tabs on her achievements, Megan can see the direct results of her efforts. This tracking helps her understand what strategies work best and how close she is to meeting her goals.

Creating a Culture of Celebration: Within her business, celebrating small wins is part of the company culture. Megan teaches her employees to appreciate their own efforts and the collective progress of the team, reinforcing a positive workplace environment.

Maintaining Non-Negotiable Daily Tasks: Megan has identified three critical tasks that need to be completed every day to ensure the business continues to thrive. These include posting a new listing on Etsy, updating a TikTok listing, and pinning on Pinterest. Consistently performing these tasks keeps her platforms active and engaging for customers.

Incorporating Celebrations into Daily Activities: Megan and her team take a moment to celebrate each sale they make. Whether it’s a simple cheer or a momentary pause to acknowledge the success, these celebrations boost morale and reinforce the significance of every accomplishment.

Megan’s Secret Weapon: Consistency

It’s important to emphasize just how often Megan mentions the role of consistency in her success. Staying consistent has repeatedly proven to be a key predictor of success for her, both personally and professionally.

“The best way to start is to focus on things that are in your control. So that could be as simple as writing out your to-do list for the day…and then when you get to the last thing, celebrate that.

And you’re not going to really be focusing on the bad stuff anymore. You’re going to look at everything in a positive light. The more consistent you are with that every day, you’re going to start seeing more things like wins.”

 

You can check out Megan and Aaron’s work at www.windsorlanedecor.com

Get a Plan to Grow Your Sales Every Month

Stop wondering if you’re “doing it right” and learn how to grow your sales in a consistent, predictable way. Spend 40 minutes with me in this eye opening workshop, and you’ll leave with a few simple steps that will grow your sales next month. Find a time that works for you.

The Thing Everyone Forgets About Conversion, Episode 212

The Thing Everyone Forgets About Conversion, Episode 212

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My Lightbulb Moment About Conversion

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why some of the tactics you try work like gangbusters, and others land like a lead balloon, this one’s for you. I recently had a moment of clarity that made me realize that many of us are missing a crucial piece of the sales puzzle.

And I want to share it with you, because it could potentially transform the way you approach sales.

The One Thing Almost All Ecommerce Store Owners (Including Me) Skip 

I was on a call recently with my mastermind members, and these people are all very advanced. They all have multi -six, multi -seven -figure online stores; they’re super smart, focused, they know how to get sales, they have it all figured out. But one of them was sharing that she had made an offer that completely flopped. And I had this lightbulb moment – here she was re-thinking her entire strategy, but the truth is that it wasn’t a problem with her offer, it was a problem with her sales funnel.

The Ecommerce Sales Funnel Explained

The term ‘sales funnel’ might sound familiar to you, but if you’re like many newer Inner Circle members, you have a hazy idea of what it means. You might even believe it doesn’t apply to your online business. We prefer to call it “The Big Picture” because really it refers to all of the things that have to happen before a customer makes a purchase.

At the top of the sales funnel, you’ll find the widest and largest segment of people who are aware of your brand. They’re familiar with your store to some extent and might have a general understanding of what you offer. Essentially, they’re the people who have you on their radar, though their engagement might be minimal at this stage. This segment is crucial as it forms the broadest base of potential customers in your funnel.

 

“What we know is that when you look at your audience as a big pool of people, you can reliably count on between one and maybe two or 3% of those people clicking on your thing and going to your website, and then they become traffic.” 

 

The next layer of your funnel is traffic. Those are people who have visited your product page, and have far more awareness of what you sell.

And then the last, narrowest part of the funnel is conversion. Those are the people who actually make a purchase from your store.

If you’ve ever heard of people “falling out of your funnel” that would refer to the folks who maybe liked a post on your social media feed, but never took the next step to visit your site. Or the people who viewed a product, but realized it’s not for them, and never returned. You lose a lot of people as your funnel narrows, and that’s completely normal. But you’ll run out of steam quickly if you don’t keep that top-line audience (the awareness stage of your funnel) filled with prospects at all times.

Troubleshooting Your Funnel: A Data-Driven Approach

Each month in the Inner Circle we fill out our numbers at each stage of the funnel: awareness, traffic, and conversion. Typically, you can expect between 1% to 3% of your awareness audience to engage by clicking on your advertisements or links and visiting your website, becoming actual traffic. For instance, on a good day, 1% to 3% of people who know about you will check out your product page or website.

Moving down the funnel, when we look at the traffic segment (those who have visited your site), on average only about 1% to 2% of these visitors will convert into buyers.

Let’s put this into perspective with an example: If your initial audience is 10,000 individuals and 2% of them, which is 200 people, visit your site, then you’re moving those people from broad awareness to specific interest. Now, if your overall site conversion rate is 2%, out of those 200 visitors, 4 will make a purchase.

This progression from a broad audience to traffic to actual buyers is the essence of the sales funnel, or the narrowing journey from initial awareness to final purchase.

It’s Not Your Offer, It’s Your Reach

So back to my Mastermind member with the floppy offer. I inquired about the number of individuals she targeted, essentially trying to understand the size of her audience. I also wanted to know how she had promoted, and about the methods she used to engage her audience.

She revealed that her audience consisted of 70 individuals, reached through an email campaign and a Facebook group post. This begged the question: how many from this group actually went on to visit the product page?

It’s tempting to assume that every recipient of the email and post viewed the offer, but that’s magical thinking. Given that these 70 individuals are part of a paid membership—suggesting higher engagement—I used my own paid membership stats as a benchmark: a 65% to 70% open rate for emails and around 10% engagement for Facebook group posts.

By these metrics, less than 50 of the targeted 70 might have seen the offer. If we assume a 60% email open rate and a 10% Facebook post engagement, the actual number of viewers is likely even smaller. And when we delve into how many clicked through—the true measure of traffic—it’s likely that fewer than 10 people engaged in any real way with the offer.

 

Considering she sold two units, this translates to a pretty impressive conversion rate of around 20%. This is WAY higher than the standard conversion rate, and gives us a critical insight: the challenge wasn’t the quality of the offer, but its visibility.

 

It’s a classic sales funnel issue—without sufficient audience reach, even the most compelling offers can flop.

The Keys To Conversion: Scarcity, Urgency, Exclusivity

Here’s something else I want you to onboard when creating any offer. It’s the power of enhancing appeal through three key elements: scarcity, urgency, and exclusivity. In the case of my mastermind friend, the offer was available exclusively to a select group. But because it was accessible throughout an entire month, it lacked scarcity and urgency. Add to that the small number of people she began with, and her poor results were predictable.

But imagine if she had announced that only ten items were available, and then updated her audience via social and email as the number dwindled to seven. That’s the kind of FOMO she might have leveraged to really engage and motivate her audience. If she had started out with a much larger number of people at the top of her funnel, that offer might have gone from dud to dynamite.

The lesson is this – when launching an offer, think beyond the basics. Focus on expanding your audience and building awareness. Whether through ads, social media posts, or pre-announcing it to your email list, increasing visibility at the top of the sales funnel makes all the difference. You’re not just informing potential customers about the offer but also creating a sense of anticipation and exclusivity that can lead to better results.

Putting It Into Practice

Now, let’s say you aim to reach 50,000 people with your offer. You need to determine how much of this audience will actually visit your page—this is the middle of your sales funnel. Understanding your email click rate and social media post engagement is key here. These metrics will tell you how frequently you should email or post to achieve your desired traffic levels.

Next, consider your sales goals. How many units do you realistically intend to sell? It’s crucial to align your inventory or production with these expectations—there’s no point in overstocking 144 items if you’re likely to sell only seven.

Finally, after laying this groundwork, introduce elements like scarcity, urgency, or exclusivity to incentivize immediate purchases. These three things can significantly boost your offer’s attractiveness and get potential customers to act fast.

Lessons Learned

Without asking these questions, my floppy-offer friend probably would have given up this strategy altogether. She never would have known that she was actually making a GREAT, high-value offer, she just wasn’t putting it in front of enough people. And the truth is, we always get the worst results the first time we try something. So after looking at the data, my friend now knows that taking the time in the month leading up to her offer to build anticipation and awareness would have made all the difference, and she’s going to work a lot harder next time to fill that top of funnel.

This is why I love data, because numbers don’t lie. We can waste energy feeling sorry for ourselves, or we can look at the data and realize that we missed a step, and make it better next time. The data tells us that we CAN control the outcome, and it tells us exactly what we need to do to achieve our goals.

 

If your conversion rate is 1%, and you have less than a hundred site visitors, you can expect to sell zero. So is that a problem with a product? Or is that a problem with the traffic?

We’ve all made the mistake of setting a goal, like making one sale a day, without fully considering how much traffic we actually need to achieve it. But realistically, attracting enough visitors daily doesn’t happen just because you’ve built a pretty website and turned on the “open” sign. By planning your approach and setting clear goals for traffic and sales, you’re not just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. You’re making calculated decisions that could significantly improve your results.

I hope this perspective offers you a fresh angle on how to refine your strategy. It’s not about dwelling on past missteps; it’s about adjusting your tactics to enhance your business’s success. Give it a shot and see the difference it can make in your sales outcomes.

RELATED LINKS:

Why You’re Not Getting Results

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/why-youre-not-getting-results-episode-1/

How To Create Profit Goals

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/how-to-create-profit-goals-episode-209/

Not Getting Sales? Here’s How To Figure Out What’s Wrong

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/ten-months-of-sales-at-my-new-store-episode-15/

How To Solve Your Sales Problem

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/how-to-solve-your-sales-problem-episode-70/

What You CAN Do When Nothing’s Working

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/what-you-can-do-when-nothing-is-working-episode-74/

8 Ways To Get Sales NOW

https://thesocialsalesgirls.com/8-ways-to-get-sales-now-episode-125/

 

Get a Plan to Grow Your Sales Every Month

Stop wondering if you’re “doing it right” and learn how to grow your sales in a consistent, predictable way. Spend 40 minutes with me in this eye opening workshop, and you’ll leave with a few simple steps that will grow your sales next month. Find a time that works for you.

ToyCycle’s sales have blossomed from 1 monthly marketing task. Episode 211

ToyCycle’s sales have blossomed from 1 monthly marketing task. Episode 211

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The Monthly Marketing Task That Skyrocketed ToyCycle’s Results

I sat down recently to speak to Rhonda Collins, founder of ToyCycle, a resale marketplace that offers a sustainable shopping solution to parents of young children by selling new and gently used toys and baby gear. As a mom of twins, Rhonda knew firsthand how chaotic and overwhelming keeping small children is, and she founded ToyCycle to take some of the stress and overwhelm out of shopping for toys that were both entertaining and sustainable.

Rhonda has been in the Inner Circle for over a year, but she was mostly flying under the radar, quietly doing the work. Then one day she showed up in our Facebook group with some Year-Over-Year results that completely blew my mind. Sales up 138%. Traffic up 71%. Average Order Value up 36%. And the list goes on.

So I knew I needed to get her on the podcast to find out how she did it.

The One Thing That Changed Everything

If you’re like most of our members, you hear the term “Sales Funnel” and your eyes glaze over, or you envision a bro marketer in front of a whiteboard talking gibberish. Maybe you thought it didn’t apply to your ecommerce store, or maybe you suspected it did but had no idea what it meant. Rhonda felt the same way.

But when she first began the Inner Circle program, the “Big Picture” training (that’s our way of saying sales funnel) completely blew her mind.

 

The sales funnel is perhaps the most important thing that I’ve taken from the program at this point. You look at the data, you put all of this together in a picture, you see the funnel, and you can understand what’s missing and where you need to work. ”

 

 

After watching the training and looking at her numbers, Rhonda was crystal clear on where her focus should be and what she needed to do next. She says that every single month without exception she takes the time to look at her sales funnel numbers, compare them to where she’s been and where she wants to be, and creates goals accordingly.

Since Rhonda discovered that she needed to build her top of funnel audience, her next step was the Facebook Ads training. Through a methodical process of testing creative and copy, she was able to start running an ad that was getting a lot of eyeballs on her products without spending much money. And now that ad is steadily humming along in the background, continually making potential customers aware of ToyCycle.

 

“When you understand that an action that you’re taking is not necessarily the thing that…generates the sale right then and there, but the thing that builds your audience, you understand how the whole flow works. Then it’s very fulfilling and exciting to have created that engagement ad.”

 

Funnel Mastery For The Win

Once her winning ad was in place, Rhonda knew from her big picture/funnel that she needed to get those people one step closer to purchase. Using several other types of social media ads, she brought those people down the funnel to visit her website and sign up for her mailing list.

And now she’s in the middle of our Reliable Revenue course in which she’s setting up email automations that are doing the work of capturing web visitors’ email addresses and turning them into buyers. Which frees Rhonda up to continue building her audience.

Compared to a year ago, Rhonda has so much clarity and a more positive mindset. Instead of running herself ragged pursuing every strategy and reinventing the wheel each month, she tracks her numbers and follows the program while her numbers continue to climb. She believes in what she’s doing, and she trusts that she’s on the right track.

Rhonda’s Success Strategy

When asked what advice she would give to another business owner struggling with traffic and sales, Rhonda doesn’t hesitate – don’t try to do all the things. Look at your numbers, figure out what your priorities are, and put your head down and do the work. She doesn’t get discouraged, she sees each new challenge as just another problem to be solved.

 

“I love to tackle problems. I mean, I don’t know what would happen if my business suddenly just, like, worked perfectly and there were no problems. I might get bored.”

 

And she especially loves having the Inner Circle community to validate her struggles. Seeing that other ecommerce store owners face the same challenges she does makes the journey much less isolating. Plus she can always call on one of our expert coaches for one-on-one help when she gets stuck or needs clarity.

What’s Next For ToyCycle

Rhonda is really excited about getting her email automations set up, because once that reliable marketing system is in place she is ready to step on the gas driving traffic to her site. She’s also committed to collaborating with other Inner Circle members to share her best customers with them, and vice versa. It’s one of our favorite ways of growing your audience without spending much time or money.

I expect great things from this tenacious business owner, who leaves us with these words of wisdom – “If you just do the work, that’s the missing piece.”

You can check out Rhonda’s website at ToyCycle.co and don’t forget to tell your friends and family about her super cool (and eco-friendly) business!

Get a Plan to Grow Your Sales Every Month

Stop wondering if you’re “doing it right” and learn how to grow your sales in a consistent, predictable way. Spend 40 minutes with me in this eye opening workshop, and you’ll leave with a few simple steps that will grow your sales next month. Find a time that works for you.