Scaling Your Business, Marketing

Our $15k Mistake (And How You Can Avoid Making It Yourself)

Episode 190: Show Notes

Today on the show, we’ll be telling you a story about a $15k mistake we just made. We are finally at a place where we are no longer blaming others for this mistake, and we are able to reflect on it and share it with you. So, we are going to talk to you about a concept we had hoped to implement in our business, the mistake we made, the giant role we played in allowing the bad crap to continue happening – and most importantly, how you guys can avoid making the same mistake in your own business!

Today on the show, we’ll be telling you a story about a $15k mistake we just made. We are finally at a place where we are no longer blaming others for this mistake, and we are able to reflect on it and share it with you. So, we are going to talk to you about a concept we had hoped to implement in our business, the mistake we made, the giant role we played in allowing the bad crap to continue happening – and most importantly, how you guys can avoid making the same mistake in your own business!  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

Our excitement to create a successful, automated funnel in our business last year led us to hire an outside marketing team. After numerous red flags and no deliverables, we eventually had to cut ties with the team and call it a day. But at that point, it was already too late and we were at a $15k loss! In this episode, we explain how we got ourselves into this situation in the first place, exactly what the red flags were, what we should have done differently and how we are going to bounce back from this ever so slight hiccup. In addition, we walk you through the nitty-gritty of contract negotiation, KPI’s and managing the social dynamics of a new team. We hope that you will learn some lessons from our own sad story and takes this as a friendly reminder to always be the BOSS!

How The $15k Loss Story All Started

We spoke to you guys about how in 2018 we wanted to make our business simpler and more automated. In order to do that, our idea was to create a funnel involving Facebook ads, emails and follow up sequences so that people get sent to the sales page to purchase our gateway course. The idea was to bring on a marketing team (which sounds even crazy to us now...Hello! We are a marketing team.) Bringing in an outsider in the process was scary to begin with but then we just stuffed it up further by dropping the ball 17 times. The marketing team was a referral from somebody that we trust, and they were working with businesses which were very similar to ours. This made us very confident in our hiring decision. However, we got them on and they didn’t even know who we were, what we sold, or how we curated our content, at all, and so we spent a lot of time in the beginning educating them on our business and our market. Imagine having to regurgitate all of that information that is SO embedded in your head, to a stranger, over a couple of Skype calls! Yes, it may be possible for a marketing team to get this, but unfortunately, not this time around.

Red Flags! Red Flags! Red Flags!

The first red flag was that it was over a month later with no deliverables. None. Zero. There were other red flags that kept popping up, for instance, we once jumped on a Skype call and mentioned one of our products and on the other line they were like, “Oh I didn’t know you had that!” In addition, they didn’t know we even had a podcast for like the first two months! They had not done their basic research and so quite clearly, there was going to be a disconnect between us. We were not expecting some seamless, super successful funnel from the get-go, but we realize now that someone else really could have done this job and succeeded, or at least broke even for us. We should have realized earlier on that this particular marketing team was just not the right fit for our business. It was not because of their experience or skills, but it was their timeline mostly. Their timeline was just not a fit with ours, and we were not seeing results.

The Mistake That Was 100% On Us

The number one mistake that was 100% on us was that we sat there and said “Getting this funnel working is our number one priority.” But then we didn’t actually make it our number one priority at all. This relationship began in October, and we were in the middle of our last launch for the year. We were really working overtime so that we could take that long December holiday vacation. We were recording sometimes three podcasts a day, prepping for our launch, writing emails and sometimes handing stuff off to this marketing team to set up this funnel for something to run in the background over December. We had told this marketing team that they were our number one priority...but then we were off recording episodes and trying to keep all our other shit together all day long.

It was the wrong timing. The wrong relationship. The wrong goal. If we had been more present from day one, we feel like we could have stopped the problem before it began. From our second meeting with this team when the red flags were already going off, we would have been like, “You know what? We think we need to bow out.” But the truth is, we just wanted it to work so badly that we kept throwing money at something that wasn’t working.

What Is A KPI and Why Does It Matter?

Although we are super on it with recording and analyzing our sales data, we don’t think we fully understood the things we were supposed to be measuring on a consistent basis in regard to running an ad that converts to sales. This was another big learning curve for us. So we had looked at conversion rates and how much our list was growing but there’s these things called KPI’s – which is a whole new world and we will dedicate a whole new podcast to them. KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. Things like earnings per lead, we’d never calculated. We didn’t know that that was even a thing! Up until the KPI epiphany, we were able to see generally which ad converted better than another, but we never had an overall, apples to apples comparison. These KPI’s gave us a much better idea of the sorts of things we should be tracking to see if we’re getting the results we want and what is really working. Live results are always and forever going to convert a lot higher and get you a lot better ROI than something that’s automated. But if you are getting lower results on automation, that does not mean that it’s not working!

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It was the wrong timing. The wrong relationship. The wrong goal.
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The Biggest Lesson We Have Learned

We put a lot of pressure on our in-house team to babysit our out-house team, and it just was not sustainable. What we really want to share with you is that you should, number one, not hire a new outsider team when you are burnt-out, spinning and just do not have the mental capacity to monitor them. You have to sometimes, even when you’re frustrated with something, be willing (because you care more than anyone else ever will) to take it upon yourself and spend the time and energy to make it your thing. Then once it is working, hand it off for someone else to manage. That is the biggest lesson we’ve learned. We still don’t know how to funnel. We have tried and tried and tried and only now we’re going to back up and invest in someone who has proven to make it work for their own business and for other businesses. We are going to pay to learn the thing, implement the thing and work with somebody to make sure it is established. Once it is all running smoothly we can then pass on the maintenance of it. But we’re not there yet and this mistake has shown us that.

You Have A Right To Negotiate Contracts

So, you can imagine the contract with this marketing team was a whole ‘nother story. Abbie usually signs off the contracts and Emylee trusts her to do that. (Which can be nerve wracking!) There were a few red flags in the contract terms when Abbie signed it. You need to remember that everything in a contract is negotiable. You have the right to negotiate. But a lot of us assume that we just need to accept everything as is. So what we signed, that we didn’t realize we signed, was a year long contract even though we were paying them on a month to month basis. We thought that we could just give a notice if we wanted to book out of the contract. But that wasn’t the case. Part of the terms of cancellation was that we could cancel before the year was over and only had to give 30 days notice and had to pay for those 30 days. (They didn’t make us pay for those).

Either way, at the beginning, we should have gone in with the contract and said, “We don’t want to sign for a year, we only want to sign for three months.” And then shorten the 30 day cancellation to a 15 day cancellation. We should have just edited that section to make it a little more reasonable for how we work. Because we don’t want to put a whole year into something that isn’t working! At the end of the day, we are very lucky that this type of mistake isn’t breaking our business right now. It could be breaking many other people’s businesses. So make sure that that business is not yours!

It Might Be You, Not Them: Standing Up For What You Will Not Accept

This situation really could have derailed us altogether but actually what ended up happening, and we’re very proud of us for doing this, is we reached out for support to a friend of ours and asked her some critical questions. Then, by chance, she ended up inviting us to one of her programs which is literally all about this topic. She gave us every step, tool, email and training we needed on doing automation ourselves. We got that about a week or two before we let the marketing team go. If we hadn’t have had these resources, we might have just not carried on! Having a program that helped us help ourselves was really what we needed and seemed a lot nicer at this point.

So if you are in a bad situation, whatever that ends up being, look for another solution before you let this one die. A lot of people come into our Facebook group out of desperation because they are ready to let an idea go. If you are going through a situation like this right now, please sit and think about the role that you are playing in making it not great. Whether that is you not calling someone out for not communicating with you in three months or following up on an email that was not responded to. A lot of people who are early on in their business tend to accept what is happening to them. But you have to be your own advocate for stuff like that. You have to say what you will and will not accept, and it’s on us to do that. At the end of the day, you are the boss and you need to keep people on their toes and cut ties when they need to be cut. So go be boss!

Highlights

  • How The $15k Loss Story All Started and When We Hired An Outside Team. [0:05:30.1]
  • Red Flags! Red Flags! Red Flags! The Signs We Should Have Acted On. [0:10:30.1]
  • Too Burnt-out And Too Busy: The Mistake That Was 100% On Us. [0:12:45.1]
  • What Is A KPI and Why Does It Matter? The Information We Really Needed. [0:21:32.1]
  • The Biggest Lesson We Have Learnt Throughout This $15k Loss Journey. [0:25:00.1]
  • You Have A Right To Negotiate Contracts, So Don’t Be Shy! [0:28:18.1]
  • It Might Be You, Not Them: Standing Up For What You Will Not Accept. [0:32:15.1]

Today’sGuest

Abagail+Pumphrey+&+Emylee+Williams.jpeg

ABAGAIL & EMYLEE

The Strategy Hour Podcast

Instagram | Facebook

We help overwhelmed and creative entrepreneurs break down their Oprah-sized dreams to create a functioning command center to tame the chaos of their business. Basically, we think you’re totally bomb diggity, we’re about to uplevel the shiz out of your business.

KeyTopics

  • Contracts.
  • Funnels.
  • Creating a funnel.
  • Marketing team.
  • Team management.
  • KPI.
  • Automation.
  • Communication.

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