You've got a new product ready to launch. What's the best way to come out of the gate strong and see immediate ROI?
This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Mindful Marketing founder Jordan West shares the details of a gated launch strategy he's used many times to nail new product launches.
In addition to his work as an e-commerce marketing agency owner, Jordan is a serial entrepreneur who owns three successful e-commerce businesses (with plans for more in the works!).
He isn't just advising other companies on how to market their businesses—he's in the trenches building his own businesses as well.
In this episode, Jordan gets into detail about what he's done to build customer communities, how he stays top of mind with his customer base, and why the concept of FOMO (fear of missing out) is a powerful tool to use in building momentum around new product launches.
Check out the full episode, or read the transcript below, for details.
Kathleen (00:00): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. I'm your host, Kathleen Booth. And this week, my guest is Jordan West, who is the founder and CEO of Mindful Marketing. Welcome to the podcast, Jordan.
Jordan (00:24): Hey Kathleen. Thank you so much for having me. I really, really appreciate it.
Kathleen (00:29): You are a fellow podcaster, which I love and it's just easier, isn't it? I don't have to tell you, you know, to silence your cell phone and things like that. Amongst many other things.
Jordan (00:44): Oh, I would have appreciated you to though because I don't think I did silence it.
Kathleen (00:48): Well, you can be forgiven just this one time. No, you're, you're a fellow podcaster. You are a marketing agency owner, which I was for 11 years. I feel like we probably could do about 10 or 20 podcasts together about any array of topics, but we're going to start with what I think is a really great one today, which is a big success that you had. Before we go into that though, can you tell my audience a little bit more about yourself as well as what mindful marketing does?
Jordan (01:20): Yeah, totally. I'm the CEO of a marketing agency. I also run three brands as well. My wife and I own and run three brands. So to me, I actually normally get introduced on that side. So it's fun to be introduced in the agency side. I don't wanna just have to slip it in at the end, you know, like I, I love that. That's, that's wonderful. Cause mostly people want founder stories when I, when I come on podcasts. So so I'd love to actually tell you the story though, of sort of how I got into business. So I was 20.
Kathleen (01:52): Four businesses! Like we, we might have to talk about like how you cope with the crazy, because that is a lot of work.
Jordan (02:00): Yeah. I mean, and we're doing two acquisitions right now, too, so.
Kathleen (02:05): Wow. Oh, okay. Yeah. So what's your story? How did you wind up doing all of this?
Jordan (02:10): So, okay. So I was 23 years old. I was a paramedic and a painter. So painting houses, being a paramedic, doing the part-time paramedic thing. And I really wanted to learn business. So my family actually had had a business. We had a, a mill and they wouldn't let me come in and learn business there.
They're like, no we don't want family involved. I'm like, Oh shoot. Okay. So I looked on Craigslist and I found a Mexican chain restaurant, a taco Del Mar for sale. And I'm like, Oh, okay, this is great. It was for sale for $35,000. All everything included. I'm like, Oh, this is incredible. Okay. I'm a learn business. And this like, what's the worst case scenario. I'm going to lose $35,000, like a big deal. Right. I mean, at 23 years old, actually 35,000 was a big deal.
Kathleen (03:00): Chump change when you're just starting out.
Jordan (03:02): No, totally. But I thought I'm like, okay, well that, that wouldn't be that bad. Well, the worst case scenario after five years was that we lost about $150,000. So we did not have to lose. I just remember having these lines of credit from every possible place. My father-in-law my dad, like all these places just to keep this thing afloat. We finally sold it for $25,000 at the end of it.
And it was a very tough learning experience, but I'll tell you, I wouldn't be here without it. I absolutely would not be here without, I remember before my grandpa died, who was big in business. He said, he said, Jordy, you know, nobody who I respect doesn't in business. Doesn't go bankrupt.
At least once I'm like, okay, good. I'll consider that my bankruptcy without actually going bankrupt, waiting those seven years, you know, for my credit to, to, to resolve. So, so that's really, that was the beginning and, and that could have been the end. You know, if I, you know, didn't actually stick to it.
And so we had, this is about seven years ago now we had our first child Daphne and she we decided to try cloth diapers. We thought, Oh, this is going to be great. You know, we're going to save a bunch of money. Use cloth diapers, be good on the environment. Yeah. I mean, we were just absolutely great people.
Kathleen (04:17): I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it when I had my son.
Jordan (04:24): Well we tried for, you know, I mean about three months, but my, my wife was trying to put leggings over top of her and no leggings would fit. And so she was she came from a fashion design background and she's like, Oh, I can whip up a quick pattern, like no problem.
So she put them on and she's like, huh, I wonder if anyone else is having these issues. And so she brought these leggings you know, she just bought fabric online, brought these leggings to a market and people loved them. She was already selling jewelry at the time.
And so she's like, Oh, I'll just add leggings on. And the leggings started to sell out every single market. And so then we put them on Etsy. This is back in like, I think 2014, we put them on Etsy and they, they would just sell and sell and sell.
Jordan (05:01): And we're like, this is incredible. So we started a Shopify store and we started to get men home sellers around where we were. Right. So we'd, we'd actually cut out the patterns at home, in our garage.
And we bring them to all of our home sewers and, and and so that was really the growth of our clothing company. And now obviously we, you know, we have manufacturers and all that sort of stuff. We're sort of like mid seven figures with that company and growing very, very rapidly now.
And so the baby brand is Little and Lively and then we've got, we're actually, we're doing a huge rebrand right now, but The Kindred Clothing co is the women's line. And we also have a new pajama brand that we're launching called Pretty Laundry. Yeah. Yeah. So those are, those are kind of the fun ones on that with that core business right now.
Jordan (05:50): So throughout all of that, my wife and I realized you know, we're not awesome working together day to day. It just didn't work. And the, the one thing that I was really good at was the marketing side I could execute on, on on the paid, especially in, in paid media really, really well.
And so, you know, I started doing consulting for people and I'm really like it, I'm not a Saint, but I just couldn't charge people. I just, it was just so hard for me to charge people or even charge like what I was worth to, to them at the time.
So, you know, I charged like 500 bucks a month or something to run these paid media campaigns for people. And and I realized one of the lessons that I learned to talk about more was bringing in a business partner, especially a partner who does the things well that I don't do it.
Jordan (06:34): So I brought a business partner in and and since then I think that was 2017, 2018 I don't know, time, just, just blurs and you're having fun. Totally. And so since then, now I think we're a team of 15. Now we just keep hiring right now.
So so yes, the team has grown. We're not, you know, a massive agency or anything, but but a really, really great team of super efficient. We work mainly with e-commerce brands. Actually, sorry, mainly we only work with e-commerce brands. Can't even imagine if a non e-commerce brand came in.
So we work with, with seven and eight figure e-commerce brands, mostly running paid media that we're adding services within that vertical all the time. And then, yeah, and then on the, on the other side, I'm the kind of an acquisition mode buying up kind of one to $2 million brands that hopefully we can scale into eight figures. And it's just, that's, that's my life.
Kathleen (07:28): I love this story. And, and when I said in the beginning that we probably could do lots of podcasts on lots of different topics, cause we both owned agencies and things like that. I didn't realize that you owned your agency or you owned your businesses with your wife and I, when I had my agency for 11 years, my business partner was my husband. So we could do podcasts together on those topics.
Jordan (07:53): I feel like that's even, that'd be even harder at an agency. There's so many more people issues.
Kathleen (07:58): We were like two businesses in one. And much like you and your wife. We had to figure out how to run our business in ways that we did not overlap. So literally our offices were at the polar opposite ends of our office suites that we'd have as little in-person contact, not cause we couldn't stand each other, but because we spend the rest of our time together, right?
So like when we were at work we were like, let's be far apart. And then we, we, we, I ran the digital marketing side of our business and then we actually sold promotional products, which is the side of our business that my husband ran. So they were like two businesses in one.
Jordan (08:28): Those are two totally different businesses.
Kathleen (08:30): Perfect, perfect division of labor for us. But we, I always say whenever anybody asks, that my proudest accomplishment in life is that I owned a business with my husband for 11 years. And I'm still married to him.
Jordan (08:42): That is good. That's something you should be very proud of.
Kathleen (08:44): I am. So anyway, I, that has nothing to do with what we're talking about today, but I just wanted to mention it because, you know, you don't come across people very often who've had that much experience working with a spouse and we are a small and unique and probably pretty crazy tribe.
Jordan (09:00): Yeah, totally, totally. We should probably start like a Facebook group or something, you know, just for support.
Kathleen (09:05): So one of the reasons that I was excited to talk with you was that, you know, we first met because of the world of e-commerce because in my day job my company does things that have to do with e-commerce and we started talking about e-commerce marketing and this and that, and you have had some particularly successful campaigns and things that you've run one of which was a big launch that you did that got amazing results and you have a particular strategy around that.
And so that's, that's what I love sharing on this podcast is who's getting great results and how are they doing it? So let's back up and, and talk a little bit about what was the launch and what it is that you were trying to do.
Jordan (09:49): Totally. So just to be clear, this launch was for our baby and women's brand. So for Little and Lively and Kindred, so it was our fall winter launch. So we generally launch almost all of our products on one day where people can finally purchase.
So we do about a two to three week lead up to that with content, letting them know sort of what we're going to be releasing over the years. And we've been around for five years now, we built up a really loyal following that we'll generally when we release something we'll purchase.
So ]what we've done though, is we've really tried to create some hype around this and real hype, right. Real hype and real what's, what's the word I'm looking for? Like feed, you know, fear of missing out yeah, all like all of that around, but without like scarcity, but not false scarcity.
Jordan (10:41): Right. We manufacture everything still in Canada. And so that's, that's very difficult to know exactly how much to manufacture, because it does cost a lot more to manufacture here. It's just one of our core values. So we're, it's not something we're going to get away from.
So people know that you know of items that are popular, which we have no idea until they buy them. What's going to be the most popular item. Otherwise we just make more of those. We don't know what's going to sell out and what's not going to. So generally during launches, people already know that we're going to sell out.
So we've created a VIP community over the last year. So the VIP community consists of a Facebook group and an SMS list. So those are kind of intertwined together. And we call those our VIP our VIP customers.
Jordan (11:23): And they know by being on those lists, that they're going to get early access to certain sales like this. So I got this idea years ago and I only implemented it this year. I got this idea from a book by Jonah Berger called Contagious.
And he talked about this fashion brand that that was really struggling and they decided to password protect their site. And then they would give the password out only once a week and then they'd sell out every single time.
And I thought, you know, why don't we do that? Why don't we try that? And so they just rebranded, they were selling all the same stuff. They were struggling almost going bankrupt. And then they turned it into this massive brand because they created this hype around the brand. Right. And sort of, re-imagined what it looked like.
Jordan (12:08): And so we weren't, we were already on our way to, you know, being a hundred percent year over year then sales, but I'm like, how can we, how can we create this kind of hype around this? And so we did that exact thing for 12 hours before the before we released the product. And I remember there's no discounts, no sales anything like that.
This is just new product that people were paying full price for. We password protected the site for 12 hours before, so nobody could get on people on the VIP group. You know, there's probably 50 posts that people like, Oh my gosh, I can't wait.
I can't wait. And we'd have launches before that were pretty successful, but like maybe 50 grand, which is great. I mean, that's still a great launch, but we had no clue what this, what this type of launch was going to do.
Jordan (12:54): And we have replicated it since. And so we so we, you know, password protected the site, gave people right at 10:00 AM Pacific the password. And I looked on Google analytics and immediately I see like 3000 people on the website.
Kathleen (13:08): Oh, wow.
Jordan (13:09): Oh my gosh. Not like 3,500. And then we just see the sales come in. And it's like, I think in the first hour it was something like a hundred thousand dollars in the first hour of sales. And we're like, Oh my gosh, I can't like, we couldn't even imagine.
So for two hours, people had to enter a password to get in. There's some incredible things that happen when when you make people want it like that. Right. First of all, there's the whole FOMO idea, right. Which is like, FOMO is not going away. Everyone has this, this fear of missing out.
Jordan (13:43): There's the idea of exclusivity, right? There's also, I think the thing that I love the most is micro-commitments right. They have now made this micro-commitment and they've, they've made I remember somebody told me this term years ago, and I just thought they were such a nerd. I love this term now. It's a Rubicon, right? It's something that you can only go through. Right. You can only go one way through and you do not want to leave. Right. You don't, as soon as you've, you've made it through that you know, through that gate, you don't want to leave that gate.
And I think that's the psychology behind it. Right. So, and why the gated launches do so incredibly well. We've replicated it twice since then. And every time it's results that are, that are very similar to that, essentially, we generally just sell out of everything during the gated portion of it, which then just self-perpetuates right. People join the VIP group. People join the SMS list because they know that they want that early access.
Kathleen (14:43): So, all right. I have a lot of questions. Let's back up.
Jordan (14:47): No I've talked all about this so I'm done.
Kathleen (14:49): No, it's great. That's great. There's so to unpack here, so this sounds like a good strategy. When you have something kind of big you want to announce whether that's like a new season of clothing, or it could be a new product you're launching, or, you know, what have you, I can envision lots of uses for it, but it sounds as though you started with building your list of let's call it most ardent brand enthusiasts or your brand loyalists in the VIP group. So you had that before you did this, correct?
Jordan (15:22): Yes. Yes. So we've been building that for a good year and we'd been doing launches to them, but we would just tell them early, right. We wouldn't password protect the site. We would just tell them early, or we'd give them like a special discount.
Kathleen (15:35): And how did you determine, like, how did you build that list? Was it invitations? Was it marketing of it? How did you get people onto that list?
Jordan (15:44): That brings up another great strategy or tactic that we've been using for a while now? So every new purchaser somebody who has never purchased from us before the first time, they actually get a personalized video from one of our staff that by name, thank them. They tell them what they ordered. Like, Hey, hope you enjoy your, you know, leggings in floral. If you want to learn more about the brand, do you want to ask some questions, join our VIP group. So that's where we invite people to the VIP group right there.
Kathleen (16:14): I love that you do a personalized video. That is, it's such a simple thing that is so easy to do. And I can't even imagine, it must be like a fraction of a percent of companies think to do something like that. And it has such a big impact. You must get great responses from it.
Jordan (16:33): Oh yeah. And it's really hard to actually measure the entire impact of it. Right? Like the, the brand, it's hard to measure what that brand loyalty looks like and the brand sentiment. But it's something we're going to do forever. We're not going to stop doing this.
I've told some you know, on our podcast and our agency, I've talked to massive brands about this and they've just started doing it because they realize how incredible it is to, to just start doing it and start letting people know, like, people don't want to buy products anymore. Right. They want to buy from brands. They don't want to just buy some random product.
I mean, go to Amazon, if you just want to, I don't know, buy toilet bowl cleaner, but if you want to buy the most incredible toilet bowl, cleaner in the world, that's surrounded by the toilet bowl. People, you know, build a brand. Right. That's, that's really what it's about, and brands have to have people involved in them. And so that's why I think that it works so well.
Kathleen (17:26): So do you have somebody who is assigned to be like your community manager?
Jordan (17:32): Yeah. So in this case we actually have so for the videos we actually use virtual assistants who we have worked with on the agency side and on the brand side awesome people. I've worked with them for ages.
They're essentially just full-time employees for us. They'll just actually do the videos. We tried to get in-house staff to do the videos and they would take like five minutes on each video and be like, I don't look super good. I dunno, like, no, this isn't gonna work. So and then as far as community management, believe it or not, that's something that my wife and I do that is one place where I truly believe that it is worth us doing that on, is managing that community.
I've seen communities thrive especially in the digital marketing space. So I don't know why I've talked about this a lot recently. I think it's cause I'm sad about it. But Digital, Digital Marketer like Ryan Deiss and those guys, they had an incredible community for years. I pay a hundred dollars us a month.
Literally. I never went on the platform. I don't think I've been on digital marketers platform in like four years, but I was paying a hundred dollars a month just to be a part of that community. And that community is dead. Absolutely dead.
Kathleen (18:42): Do they still have their Facebook group? Cause I was a part of that.
Jordan (18:45): Yeah. It went from 12,000 people to 3000 and nobody ever posts. The posts are garbage. It's not a great community and I think they've made, you know, they had incredible people in there who went on to - Susie, I forget what her name is. She went on to work for Facebook afterwards in building communities and, and became a real expert in that. And they have just it's dead. And to me, I look at that as a, as a warning of being like, no, that, and so I stopped paying. I'm out.
And that was the only reason I was here for all these years. Cause that's when I first started learning digital marketing, I became part of digitalmarketer.com and, and it's awesome. I love those guys. I've done presentations for them and stuff and but I think that they've really missed the mark on that. And so I use that as a warning to me, with our community, making sure that like that, to me, that's the $10,000 an hour stuff is, is being a part of that community.
Kathleen (19:44): Oh, I mean, and, and you certainly don't have to sell me on that. I'm a huge believer in building community. I was, I spent two years at a company called IMPACT that has a 5,000 plus member Facebook community that I was involved in growing when I was there. It is such an investment that you're making, like a long-term investment when you build community. It's an asset for your business.
Jordan (20:09): It is, it is. And it's interesting. Cause I'm looking at these two acquisitions that I'm making in the outdoor space right now. The reasons why I love them so much as they have massive communities and engaged communities, I'm like, you don't know, they don't know what they have. Right.
They don't realize how to leverage those communities afterwards. Right. I think that there's ways that you can leverage your communities. Especially like, I looked through them and they're not doing some of the things that we're doing and I'm like, Oh, I see the value in this, in these communities are like 10,000 person communities, ones on Slack even, which is even bigger in my opinion than a Facebook group. So yeah.
Kathleen (20:48): Cause you, you own your platform on Slack. I totally agree with you. Yeah. Oh, this could be again, a whole other podcast on community building. I love this. So you built your community and I liked that you used the video, the videos that you sent as a way of funneling people in and then what was the SMS component?
Jordan (21:10): What we were finding is that people at first didn't have SMS attached. We did not want to do SMS. We're like, you know, people don't want to hear from us via text. Like nobody wants to get that text from a brand, but we realized that people actually weren't seeing the notifications on Facebook, right. Because groups, I mean, groups still, I think, have the biggest reach, right?
If you have a big community you're going to get the biggest reach, the biggest bang for your buck, I think within a Facebook group, still with the algorithm, but that, that may go away at some point. So we said, Hey, if you guys want to make sure that you get the benefits of being part of the VIP group, sign up for our SMS list.
And so I think that's really been, that's really been the magic ticket of actually getting that direct response within the Facebook group, the rest of the community building, which you know all about.
Jordan (21:56): Right. The other portion of that too, on the Facebook group side, sorry, I'm jumping around here on the, on the Facebook group side. It's incredible to get the feedback from customers. So we'll often just ask them before we release something like, Hey, what do you guys think about this?
We almost released something at Christmas that like 90% of people and who knows there could have been some groups thinking this, but like 90% of people said, no, we hate this. Like really, like we had like 200 comments on on one of the graphics that people said, no, we do not like this. And so we had to go back to the drawing board and release new graphics. And luckily we hadn't,
Kathleen (22:33): When you say graphics, is this like your ad, your ad creative, or because that's a cool idea if you're able to test things like that.
Jordan (22:41): Actual graphics on shirts. So one of the things that we do within the the baby clothing company and the women's clothing company is so we produce all the actual garments, but we'll do graphics as well.
And and so luckily there wasn't something that we'd invested in. Yes. Was those graphics, but people said no. And then we showed them two more graphics and they're like, yeah, we love those. That's interesting. Yeah. Really good to get that feedback. Just, there's so many different ways that you can leverage those groups.
Kathleen (23:12): So you have the, the launch that you're planning and you've got your group that you can message and that is, am I correct? That's on Facebook.
Jordan (23:19): Yes. Yeah.
Kathleen (23:20): And then, okay. And then you have the SMS list. So how far ahead of time do you start messaging about the launch and what does that cadence look like?
Jordan (23:31): It depends. If it's a big launch, we're going to start messaging two to three weeks before. Right. Cause we're in, at that point, I mean with, with apparel, I think that most brands are probably doing something similar to we're doing. That's sales season for us. Right. So we're launching sales throughout that, like just getting rid of all that inventory. We have to carry so much inventory.
And that's just part of, that's just part of apparel. So we're, we're, you know, doing sales along with showing people what the new collection is going to look like. Right. so that's about two to three weeks out and we're going to let them know if you want early access, join these groups. Right. So in our emails, we're going to include links to SMS and to the VIP group. So that's it, generally.
For, for other launches, it'll be about a week before that we're going to let them know. We also don't want our sales to completely drop off before that. That just makes it a really difficult time for our staff to fulfill orders. We still do in-house fulfillment. So that does take, you know, quite a, quite a good amount of time for them to fulfill orders like that.
Kathleen (24:32): And then, so I assume you're regularly messaging folks leading up to it. How often do you hit them on SMS? Well, on SMS and in the group, like how often are you posting about the launch? Because there's, I feel like there's a fine balance, right?
Jordan (24:47): It's not a lot. It's not, we're not, we're not, we're not posting every single day about the launch. We'll do like maybe once a week, we're kind of reminding them, Hey, we're going to be doing this launch or we're doing it sort of subtly like showing them like, Hey, here's, you know, one of the things that, one of the new items that we're going to be launching that sort of thing, or we'll just make a monster post that shows them all of the different things or links to the look book. Like when we release a new collection, it's like 500 skews, right.
Five between five and 600 skews. So there's a lot of different products that we're launching. So those posts get a ton of reach and a ton of action on them, especially with people clicking links to go over to a look book or whatever that is.
Jordan (25:24): So, but we're, we're not banging people over the head that I feel like would start to people would not enjoy that. And then they would stop being a part of our community. And, and also we don't like, we really don't want people to think we're just about revenue, right? We're not just about selling things to people.
We genuinely want people to be happy. Like we have at all of our brands and we will continue with the, with the new brands will have return policies where we're paying for everything back and forth.
We just want people to be happy because if they're not, and we, we at the, on the customer service side as well, we have this idea that even the customer's not always right, but we're always going to say yes.
So we just don't say no, because it, it costs us so much more. They think that they're right, right. It doesn't, it doesn't really matter whether they're right or not. Like recently somebody, you know actually this is probably a good year ago now they sent us a picture of a ketchup stain and they said, yeah, I can't get this ketchup stain out. I want to return it right now. Just keep it, we'll send you a new one.
Kathleen (26:24): Oh wow. That's like, I feel like that's almost like the LL Bean return policy of the days of, of before where like, it was like a lifetime thing.
Jordan (26:33): And that's exactly, that's where we got the idea from right. Was from, from them. And I don't care how much it costs and if people take advantage of it, because the brand equity that we get from that is, we're so much more the, the, the not accepting those returns, that's just small thinking, right. That's this years thinking that's not 10 years from now and building a big brand thing.
Kathleen (26:57): Right now. I really want to check out your store because it sounds so awesome. So talk me through the results. It sounds like you've done this a couple of times. Talk me through the results you get when you do this kind of a strategy.
Jordan (27:12): Yeah, totally. So we just had another one. I think the last one we did was in November, December, this was actually after black Friday. So December generally is our worst month of the year at this company. And we're like, okay, we've got to figure out how we can get better December sales.
So we're like, ah, okay, let's launch of our bigger promos. It's like three leggings. We call them Kindred surprise cause Kindred is our company. And so it's this three legging bundle. They don't know what they're going to get in it.
And people love this promo. We only do it twice a year. And so we launched that one and I think in the first we actually just sold out. So it didn't. So we did about 150 K in the first day. And then we just sold out.
Jordan (27:55): It was an awesome promo, really helped our December out in incredible ways. And it just kind of kept the ball rolling for all of December.
Kathleen (28:04): And then, is there anything you do kind of after you run the launch to follow up on it? Or is it just really like then onto the next one?
Jordan (28:14): The great thing about a VIP group as well on Facebook in particular is that people do the promoting for you, right? What will happen? And we didn't promote this at all. People just started doing this. They started screen-shotting their cart afterwards and being like, Oh my gosh, look at all this stuff I got.
So there'll be like 40 posts of people talking about the different things that they got with a ton of comments on each one of them showing what, what they got, which then you know, incentivizes other people especially with, with the whole FOMO idea, being like, Oh my gosh, they got all this stuff. That's incredible. And it's user generated content that we're not even promoting. Right.
It's just going, like every post in our VIP group will generally reach like 3000 people. So like we're getting like 10 to 20 posts a day in a regular time that reach 3000 people that's like, and that's user generated content that has nothing to do with us. We don't promote that. Nothing.
Kathleen (29:12): So how large, can I ask how large the VIP group is?
Jordan (29:20): I think so. Considering we've only been growing it for about a year and a half. Yeah. Yeah. It's a, I think it's a great community and our SMS list is about the same size too, not massive.
Like these aren't huge lists that we're talking about, but I think that those customers, right, when you create loyal customers and we've been talking about this for years and actually Digital Marketer, speaking of, did an incredible job, Ryan Deiss of walking through what the customer journey looks like, right. Everyone thinks the customer journey stops at purchasing. It's goes so beyond that, right. To, to the place where like, you know, the eighth step of the customer journey is they are your brand advocate, right.
When somebody posts a complaint on the VIP group, it gets flagged immediately, immediately somebody flags. And those are our advocates, right. That are like, Hey, I understand you've got an issue. They flag it. And they say, talk to customer service about this. We don't have to do any of that for us.
We've got this 8,000 or eight to 10,000 person army. That's doing our promoting for us. Right. So we've actually been on, on the paid ad side. We've actually had to spend less or the money that we're putting into paid ads. We're trying to build our community and our lists even more.
Kathleen (30:25): No, I think doesn't Ryan Deiss refer to it as the Value Journey Canvas? I've seen that model before. It's really great. So cool. So you, do you also help other like online retailers to do launches? Is that part of what, how you advise them?
Jordan (30:45): It's actually part of our, at our, at our agency, it's part of the strategy portion, right? One thing that we discovered really early on, and I don't know how many B2B people are in this, but like one thing we, we really realized is that results mattered maybe like a quarter to people. Right.
Whereas results are kind of like the baseline when you're working with an agency, right. You have to have results, but strategy and relationships are so important to maintaining clients long term. And so for us, we really try and break up what we charge right. Based on strategy and then also an execution.
And I think that that's really important and I'm sure, you know, from, from being in the agency world but that's really important that people know, like, look, you're getting strategy along with us. And that's really part of the longterm strategy that we have with clients is like, Hey, you're not going to run a gated launch tomorrow. Not unless you've been doing all the things I've been saying, but let's get you to the point where you can run a gated launch.
Kathleen (31:47): Yeah. And I remember from my days as an agency owner, you're, you're spot on that. Like even if you have an amazing call it overarching marketing strategy, you still need to introduce new, littler strategies, like every quarter every month, what have you done to keep people excited, to keep the momentum feeling as though there's momentum? Yeah, there always has to be something new.
Jordan (32:10): We've actually, we've actually built out a whole, we use monday.com as our project management tool. Very similar to ClickUp if people out there, you know, wondering about that. So on Monday I've actually built out a strategy board that every, because I don't, I can't manage accounts. Right. Impossible.
But I've kind of given over that strategy to our account managers. So we have, I think it's something like 65 paid ads, strategies with loom videos of each, every single strategy so that clients can actually see. So it's a shared board that the clients and our ad account managers see so that they can then you know, on the ad account management side, it's awesome. Because sometimes you'll be like, just bang your head against the wall. Like, Hey, what am I doing?
Like, am I just running dynamic product ads? Or like what, like, you know, what's working right now and now they can go and be like, Oh, okay. So Facebook, you know, a level one strategy is this. And then the clients can also see it. And it future paces clients. I mean, our churn is so low at this agency because of I think it's the future pacing along with relationships.
Kathleen (33:16): Oh, that's great. And because agency, life can be very brutal if it's not going well.
Jordan (33:22): Yeah. I mean, you can have, yeah, yeah. It can be, yeah. It can be terrible. I really prefer the product side to be honest. Yeah.
Kathleen (33:31): Yeah. I can see why. Well, that's awesome. I love that strategy. I love that you built a community in order to facilitate it. Anything, any kind of like last words of advice, things you wish you knew when you got started that you would say to somebody, if they were thinking about doing this now themselves. Yeah.
Jordan (33:51): I mean, on the gated launch side, I just say start a community right now. Right? Like as soon as you can start a community, give tons and tons of value. Especially at the beginning, like we were asking questions every single day, right.
People want to give their input, especially in our space you know, moms who are struggling and, and you know, maybe first-time moms just ask questions, be involved, really be just think of your business. You're human to human, right. You're not direct to consumer. That is not what you are. You are a human selling to another human at a craft show at wherever. Just think of it like that.
Kathleen (34:27): Yeah. I love that advice. All right. Well, we have to shift gears now because before we wrap up, there's always two questions. I ask all of my guests and I want to make sure I get your answers. The first one is, of course this podcast is all around inbound marketing. Is there a particular company or individual that you think is really like setting the standard for what it means to be a great inbound marketer these days?
Jordan (34:51): That's a good question. That's a good question. Did you prep me with this one? I feel like you did prep me for this.
Kathleen (35:00): That's all right. There's lots of people that I prep and they read it and then they still don't have a good answer. So you are not alone.
Jordan (35:06): You know what? I actually, it's interesting. Cause I told my sales team about to follow these people recently because I think they're doing an incredible job inbound and that's Interview Secrets. They are, I forget what their names are. The owner Margie is one of them. They have a huge podcast, like gets you onto podcast agency.
And they run just the most incredible inbound strategy that I've seen because I really believe that in the, in the business to business space it's all about podcasts. These days, podcasts and YouTube shows, right? Like we've grown our agency just doing that. And so those guys that interview secrets go get into their Facebook group, they have an awesome community and they just give value all the time.
Kathleen (35:55): I will definitely have to check that out because I'm clearly drinking the podcast Kool-Aid and, and you mentioned that you have a podcast. So quickly, what is the name of your podcast?
Jordan (36:04): Yes. So ours is called Secrets to Scaling Your E-commerce Brand.
Kathleen (36:07): I love it. So if you're an e-commerce or you're, or you're e-commerce curious, just check it out.
Second question that I always ask everybody is, you know, marketers are constantly saying to me that one of their biggest pain points is that trying to keep up with all the changes in the world of digital marketing, particularly things like paid ads where you really specialized, it's like drinking from a fire hose because it changes so quickly. So how do you personally keep yourself educated and up to date?
Jordan (36:34): Ooh, good question for I'm going to answer that. First of all, that, that if you focus on offer and creative, thing, don't change. They really don't. IOS 14 - big deal. You still have to have good offer and good creative you're targeting.
Like for me, targeting is number five, right? It's the least important. It's the thing everyone wants to talk about. And the thing that matters the least because if you don't have any of the other stuff, it just doesn't matter. Right. so as far as where I get my advice, honestly our account managers are the ones who are doing, they're having calls every single week with their Facebook reps.
That's, that's really where we're getting the most on the Facebook side. And after that, I'm just looking at my peers, like Ezra Firestone is a great example. He's got great content out there. Digital Marketer is still awesome for the content that they're putting out just in a little, but like I said, they're in a bit of a funk right now. Those would be my, my two places that I would kind of point towards.
Kathleen (37:40): Nice. I'll definitely have to check out Ezra Firestone. I know the guys at Digital Marketer and they definitely have lots of great content. So that's also a very good one. So if somebody is listening and they want to learn more about the stuff that you've been talking about, or they have a question, what is the best way for them to connect with you online?
Jordan (38:00): Totally. So we actually have a checklist that we run every sales launch that we're giving away for free. So it's mindfulmarketing.co/sales-launch-checklist. I know it's a long URL, but man, we get like 20 or 30 downloads a day. So people must actually, it must get in their brains.
Kathleen (38:20): That's right. And I will put the link in the show notes. So that will make it really easy.
Jordan (38:25): Yeah, totally. And I love to connect on LinkedIn. So most of the conversations that I have start on LinkedIn and end in us chatting. So actually they own, and generally they end other places, but the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Kathleen (38:40): Oh, this is awesome. Jordan, thank you so much for sharing all of your tips with me and my listeners. If you're listening and you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would head to Apple podcasts or the platform of your choice and leave this podcast a review so that other folks can find us as well.
And of course, if you know someone else doing amazing inbound marketing work, tweet me at @workmommywork because I would love to make them my next guest. That is it for this week. Thank you so much for joining me, Jordan.
Jordan (39:08): Thanks so much for having me. Really nice to be on here.
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