Ladies and gents, today I have the pleasure to be talking with a fellow wordsmith, Shaunta Grimes.
She’s a member of the hard working, super focused peeps who are not scared to test and fail, dust off and then test some more — until they figure it out!
First of all Shaunta, I love your writing!
Seriously awesome style.
Who taught you?
I've been writing for as long as I can remember.
Any specific copywritng courses?
I studied creative writing at the University of Nevada and at Godard College.
I'm taking Jeff Goins' Tribe Writers class right now.
That's the first copywriting course I've ever taken.
I'll take it that you're a natural wordsmith :-)
It's one of the reasons why I wanted to feature your website and your story.
Writing is a skill that takes practice. I've written every single day for more than twenty years.
I tell my students all the time that being a storyteller might be something that comes naturally, but the mechanics of writing are something they can learn.
I think that only certain homo sapiens are able to love and appreciate the written word.
Plus, people nowadays just want to skim and hunt for the gems.
Being able to write succinctly is definitely a good skill to have in a time when people are inundated with mountains of information.
By the way, you're the one responsible for writing the copy in your Facebook, right?
Anything with my name on it is written by me.
How did you get started with Facebook ads by the way?
I know LOTS of people are terrified to type in their magic credit card numbers and spend $5 bucks on running ads.
I knew that I wanted to build an email list. It was the best way I could think of to do that.
Almost as soon as I started, I put my writing planner for sale on my 'thank you' page. The sales of the planners pays for my ads, so it's a nice little cycle that pays for itself.
So you didn't hesitate at all to spend some money on FB ads?
I had no list at all before February 1. I knew by the end of the month that my year-long class was going to be something that at least some people wanted.
I really didn't spend much out of pocket.
I absolutely love action takers!
It took me by surprise to be honest.
By the way, how did you figure out the "thank you" sale offer?
Did you learn the strategy somewhere, or you just wanted to make a test based on a hunch you had?
I spoke with a woman on a FB group I belong to who mentioned it to me. It worked like a charm.
I was already using the sale of my planner to pay for my ads, it's just that discounting it as a thank you gift increased the sales significantly.
I was selling 2 or 3 a week at the full price ($20) and now I sell 5 to 8 a day at $7.
Can you share the link from the "thank you page"?
Or you'd have to kill me after?
The Optin Page
The Thank You Page
I was gonna ask for the optin page as well, you beat me to it!
Great option offer by the way.
Thank you :-)
My goal is to give away so much amazing content for free that people are dying to know what they'll get if they pay.
Straight, no hypey sleazy marketing stuff, just pure value.
That's what I aim for.
This is exactly what I tell people every time they ask me about their optin pages and how much free content should they give away.
Or should they keep their best stuff for later
By the way have you split tested the optin offer?
Do you know the conversion numbers?
I know there will be some people asking if you can disclose some of that.
Okay... let's see.
I have done lots of testing, but most of it informal.
I just kept tweaking until I got to where I was spending about .15 per click to my website and my website was converting at 10 to 15%.
How many FB ads did it take you to finally get the numbers done right?
After how many attempts did you get the first breakthrough?
People usually tell me they've run "some" ads, failed, stopped (and joined forums/groups to complain).
It took me about a month to get to where I was happy with the system I had set up.
It was frustrating, because I had no idea what I was doing.
First, my opt-in freebie was way too big. I had to pick a smaller one.
So, I had people coming to my site from my ads, but no one was signing up.
How many optin page variations did you test in total?
I had a free 8 week course which was WAY too big.
People were interested enough to go to my site to check it out, but they wouldn't sign up for it.
Then I wrote a manifesto, which did much better.
Finally, I switched to what I'm using now, which is my #1 writing exercise, and that worked even better.
So the transition was like this:
→ here's an awesome 8 week course that you can get it for FREE → to manifesto (extract intravenous portion of the course) → ONE specific B.A.P. (big a$$ problem).
I'm not sure about the problem, but the other two, yes.
I think it is, as you've got the offer down to a single big problem that you can show people how to solve right away, instead of addressing and teaching them multiple things.
Beautifully done I must say.
Why did you go with that strategy by the way, instead of adding more things to the 8 week course offer?
I know a lot of people would think "This is not enough, my offer is weak, I need to giveaway MORE free stuff".
...instead of stripping it down just like you did.
I asked for advice on a couple of Facebook groups for online entrepreneurs and the feedback was that my class was too big for people to take on a whim.
They were right, too.
As soon as I put a deadline on the class, people started signing up for it.
And when I started asking again, after they were on my list and had interacted with me some, my enrollments in the free course skyrocketed.
Did you use any 3d party apps to run the ads, or you used the regular ads manager/power editor?
Just ads manager.
Did you go through some Facebook ad courses (or blogs, youtube vids) prior running the launch?
Or you just experimented completely on your own and asking feedback in the FB groups you're a member of?
I just experimented on my own and by asking questions in groups.
That was it?
No Facebook marketing courses?
No, no courses.
Hot damn that is awesome!
You're a full time digitalpreneur right, or do you also have a job as well?
I do have a job.
I'm a teacher.
Don't tell me that during your launch and all the FB experiments, you also had to spend time at your regular job?
As that would really suck for all the people that are *cough* working from home full time *cough* whilst spending most of their time on forums and groups complaining 'bout their launch and how they need more than 24h/day....
I did, full time.
It's been hard...
Like working two full time jobs.
So you're a supehero teacher, right?
Plus I assume a mom too? :-)
Yes, I have three kids. I'm a soccer mom :-)
Ok now I find it hard to believe that you orchestrated the launch?
Be honest 'k?
How many people were working behind the scene on your launch while you were watching your kids playing soccer?
Was it Gary involved in all this?
I know it was!
As that's the ONLY explanation!
...I’m just being silly by the way lol
Just me and a very part time assistant.
But you did all the heavy lifting and all the planning and execution, right?
There is just me and my assistant, who works maybe 15 hours a month.
What was the assistant in charge of?
By the way I assume it was a VA (virtual assistant)?
He is a VA, but someone I know in real life.
He helps me manage the FB groups and does some other behind the scenes work.
So he was not involved in creating the FB ads, the landing page, retargeting ads?
Just to moderate the FB groups?
By the way did you outsource the web design and all the tech jazz or you did it on your own?
I really did the FB ads on my own.
I'm sorry you don't believe me.
I did everything on my own.
My blog is just a WordPress theme.
No no, I was just being sarcastic earlier.
You won't believe the amount of comments I read and forum posts from people who have "burned their bridges" and do not have a job, yet constantly complain how there's not enough hours during the day to plan and execute a launch.
And almost all of the time Gary Vaynerchuk's name pops up, because he’s notorious for hardcore hustling.
But I'm VERY glad that in spite of having a job + being a mom, not to one, but 3 children, miraculously, you've found the time to plan and execute a launch.
Bravo, my hat's off to you ma'am!
Thank you :-)
It's a lot of work, but I'm confident that it's going to be worth it.
I already feel like my life has changed.
So how the heck did you find time to do all that?
What's your secret guuurl?
I wake up at 5 a.m. to work before I go to my day job.
Well well look at that, not all writers are night owls.
Plus, that's super healthy!
I'm not AT ALL.
I also don't drink wine or coffee LOL
Sometimes I think they might revoke my writer card.
Now that is funny!
Green tea, I assume?
Diet Pepsi LOL
Now I'm thinking how the heck can I bribe you to change that to a better alternative :-)
That Pepsi can be addictive.
I need my caffeine. :-)
There's a healthier alternative.
Without all that bad sugar.
Ow, and if I’m not mistaken not only that diet cola's are not diet drinks at all, but some contain more sugar than regular sodas
I'm kinda a boring person, I know :-)
Ok lemme ask you something else...
What about the domain name of your biz, how long did it take you to decide to pick the "right" domain name?
I mean how long did you procrastinate on this?
That's a funny story.
This whole thing started because I got a random email offering to sell me howtowriteanovel.com for some huge amount of money.
And I was like... I'm not going to spend five years income on a domain name, but I bet I could start a writing blog.
Since howtowriteanovel.com was obviously an SEO thing, I decided to play around on Google Keywords to see if I could find something that people search for that relates to writing.
I wound up with whatisaplot.com
I wish that I'd thought of the Ninja Writers ahead of time. I would have named my website ninjawriters.com
Honestly, I think whatisaplot.com is much better.
Plus I love the fact you didn't procrastinate around the branding either.
This is actually where most people waste months on!
...just thinking about the perfect domain name that's gonna be amazing and it's gonna draw endless amounts of visitors - on autopilot too.
Did you outsource the web design? Or you did on your own?
I really haven't outsourced anything at all.
I spoke recently with one of our members and she spent 4 figures on a web design.
She hasn't launched her product yet
I might have, if I'd had the money.
I think simple is best, though.
I think one reason why my audience is responding to me so well is because my 'brand' doesn't come across as super polished or professional.
It's just me, trying to help people.
And that's all that matters in first place!
Man you've done soooo many things right and in the right order.
Mostly by accident LOL
I'm scrambling to learn now and keep up.
By the way, do you now sell other products/services via FB ads?
No, I don't.
Why not? :-)
I've only been doing this for two months.
I'm trying to keep up with what I've already got going on.
I don't have anything else to sell right now.
Ok cool, I was just teasing you :-)
And on the other hand, you should explore some more.
Speaking of testing, how long did it take you to do market research and find the right audience to target?
What tools did you use for market research?
It took about 3 weeks to get my FB ads working the way I wanted them to.
Just FB manager.
And I assume Audience Insights, right?
Just tweaking until my ads were converting to clicks to my website at about 15 cents per click.
Oh, so you were testing targeting different demographics/fan page likes?
Until I hit on a combo that converted well.
And I set up retargeting, so I target my own audience as well.
No 3d party tools for the retargeting either, right?
Just the FB pixel on your WP (wordpress) site?
Just the pixel.
Simple and effective.
Can you talk about the FB ad stats?
Ad image, the psychology behind the targeting - not actual fan pages that you've targeted.
Here is an example of my ad:
So the cost of this ad was 0.15 per click and it converted at 10-15%, correct?
That ad cost me about 15 cents per click and I had a 10 to 15 percent conversion rate.
Alright, 3 more Q's and we're done!
#1. Who/what gave you the idea to use Facebook ads to promote your business, instead of using some other platform?
#2. What's the hardest thing that you had to learn about FB ads?
#3. What was your biggest aha moment during the launch?
#1. I'm not sure who gave me the idea - someone who posted about it in a FB group.
#2. The hardest thing to learn was how to create an opt-in that would convert once I got people to my site.
Intuition told me to offer something spectacular and BIG, but people want something spectacular and small - something they can use right away.
#3. Probably the moment when I sold my first spot in my year-long course.
I emailed my list the sales page just before going to a movie with my husband.
When I came out of the theater I had two sales.
That was huge for me.
It was the moment I realized that I was going to be able to do this.
In case no one told you today... you're awesome! :-)
Any final thoughts?
Questions/notes you think I've missed but the readers would love?
I'm pretty sure you've covered everything.
Splendid my dear :-)
Thank you for your time and of course for being so opened and not holding back anything.
This is gonna be very motivational for so many people!
Awesome, thank you so much!
Love your work and keep being awesome!
Catch you later on the interwebs :-)
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