Episode #21: Listener Q&A

DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. Listener Q&A

In today’s episode, we’re jumping into some Q&A about how to make money! We’re answering YOUR questions then finish the show with a weekly actionable tip.


Podcast Sponsors:

NTA | Podcast Sponsor | Driven Podcast

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that what I mentioned before; getting really clear on your niche, and who your target customer is, is hyper-critical. If you think that this person was your target, but she is not willing to pay the money or do the work, then she is not; you’ve got a mismatch. Either in target client or in pricing or in offering or what have you.

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: In today’s episode, we’re jumping into some Q&A about how to make money. We’re answering your questions, and then we will finish the show with a weekly actionable tip.

Topics:

  1. What’s on my plate [2:21]
  2. Shop Talk: Listener questions: how to determine free and priced content [15:14]
  3. Shop Talk: Listener questions: How to price your content/services [35:15]
  4. Shop Talk: Listener questions: Not making the sale [48:39]
  5. Shop Talk: Listener questions: Selling platforms [56:13]
  6. Shop Talk: Listener questions: Finding affiliates [1:01:37]
  7. Tip of The Week: Multiple price/commitment offerings [1:06:29]

Cassy Joy: Today’s show is brought to you by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners by focusing on bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes a whole-food, properly prepared, and nutrient dense diet as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s innate ability to heal.

Throughout their programs, students learn a wide range of educational tools and techniques to identify and correct nutritional imbalances and deficiencies in their clients, and to launch a successful career in holistic nutrition. The NTA produces like-minded practitioners and consultants that we endorse and consider colleagues in the health and wellness space. Registration for the February class is now open through January 31st. And seats are already filling up quickly. You can learn more, and save your seat, by going to www.NutritionalTherapy.com. Don’t forget to mention our name, The Driven Podcast, on your application.

1.  What’s on my plate [2:21]

Cassy Joy: What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses and lives this week. Diane, what’s going on over there?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, we’re actually, this episode will air in the new year. So, happy New Year, everyone!

Cassy Joy: Happy New Year!

Diane Sanfilippo: Hap-py birthday! I just think of Frosty the Snowman; how he says happy birthday on Christmas.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Am I dating myself? Well, I’m really excited because, again, as of the airing of this episode. Final meal notes for Balanced Bites meals. We have; I think this is our third batch that we’ve tested and refined. Those have gone in, and the next stage in the process, for those curious about this whole behind the scenes, is that I’ll get a box of the very final meals, and will also send a box, if not two, to our photographer. Currently, Tricia Hughes does photography for us for the meals. She does an amazing job at what I like to call the glamour shots.

Because we obviously have photos of the food in the trays; in the little containers. And I work really hard with the kitchens to make it so that those are as appealing as possible. You know? It’s like, food that’s frozen and vacuum sealed. There’s always going to be a balance. We don’t expect it to look like a glorious cookbook photo.

But what Tricia does is take it from the tray to something that does look like a glorious cookbook photo. For me, it’s just one of the most exciting things, to see the food get it’s glam on. You know? {laughs} Gets its hair and makeup and it’s lighting and all of that.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Anyway. It gets garnished. That’s a decision that I made, too, to say; you know what, we can add a few types of garnishes. We can add citrus, we can add herbs, we can add something like sour cream, and just make a note to our customers; we’ve garnished it. We recommend doing it this way. But, that doesn’t come with the meal in every case, of course.

So, anyway. That’s really exciting. I can’t wait to see some of these new dishes. Get their glamour shots, so that will be coming soon. And we’ll probably have at least a handful of the new meals releasing this month. And then some of them, they’ll be tested and ready and kind of banked for development and all of that, to deploy later in the year.

So I’m going to be able to have newness coming out throughout the year with this bank of 10 more meals that we’ve tested. Because I also think there would be an uprising if I were to pull certain dishes off the menu that people are obsessed with. So I’ll do where I have been, where I rotate maybe half are new, half we’ve had and are favorites. So that’s exciting.

And I think I’ve talked about this on a couple of past episodes. But planning 2020 content. So I have notoriously been not a planner. “I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal; you know, moment to moment. That’s me.” I’m just kidding.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Which movies will we quote in this podcast? Liz used to quote, on the Balanced Bites podcast, all kinds of old black and white movies and TV shows. And I was like; Liz. I’m older than you, and that is too old for me. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Anyway, I’m just quoting Pretty Woman.

But, I have not been that great at scheduling and planning content. And I’ve just seen how this is a huge need that I have for the business, and the direction that I want to be taking Balanced Bites going forward, as a food company, and being able to support our customers, our readers, etc. And we’ll talk more about this when we get into pricing later. But being able to support people at any stage of their journey in wanting real food solutions. I’m recognizing how this content plan really feeds into that, and feeds into the mission that we have with our company.

So, it’s exciting for me to finally get my head wrapped around it. To have a way to look at this content plan very visually; which is what I need. I can’t just have it words somewhere. There has to be some way to create a visual hierarchy and a visual organization for it. And that is going well. So I’m very excited about that. So, yay! Heading into 2020 feeling; I feel organized and like more of a real business than I have in a long time. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: It sounds very strange. But yeah. That’s where I’m at. What’s going on over in San Antonio? Over in the closet studio, as we’ve discussed.

Cassy Joy: Have I ever told you that this beautiful ancient piece; not ancient. It’s not like a special kind of antique. But this dresser that I’m sitting next to was my dad’s growing up.

Diane Sanfilippo: Aww.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that.

Cassy Joy: I like it. It works, right? And it hides in the closet, so it doesn’t have to match anything. {laughs} So in 2020, we are going to; I’ve put off making this decision for a long time. And 2020 will have been four years. But I am going to reboot the Fed and Fit app. Don’t go looking for it right now, because it’s not ready. But, there is a Fed and Fit app. And I built it to help people with the Fed and Fit project; which, also don’t go look for that because it’s also changed a lot.

But the Fed and Fit Project and our online wellness program; we built both of those in really robust online platforms when Fed and Fit the book came out in the middle of 2016. And ran those apps and supported them for almost two solid years. But the users really started to dwindle by a lot. So I was like; why are we keeping up with this thing. We’ll just transition everybody who wants this content over into a more manageable system. But the app just kind of hung out there as this old, ancient relic with poorly formatted technology.

And I just got a report from my developer, because what we would like to do is make Cook Once, Eat All Week shopping lists available in the app. Because we do have shopping lists from Fed and Fit book in there. And we’re chatting with our developer. And I was like; how many people are actually seeing this thing, before I decide to jump into it? And it’s getting 200 downloads a week right now, as it is. In its horrible form. {laughs} So we’re going to reboot it. I was like; holy guacamole! I’m so embarrassed that it’s showing up on people’s phones after all this time. And I wish we had just taken it down entirely. But we’re going to do that, and that will be exciting. We’re going to really simplify it.

But, y’all. If you’re going to ever build an app for your business. Go in with eyes wide open. It is a real tiger at the carnival. I really want you to realize what you’re bringing home with you.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’ve not heard this expression.

Cassy Joy: You haven’t? {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: No.

Cassy Joy: You haven’t heard, “you won a tiger at the carnival”? You’re like; oh yay, I won! Oh no.

Diane Sanfilippo: OH. And then you get it home and you’re like; oh.

Cassy Joy: I have a tiger! {laughing} Yay, I got an app! I have this brilliant idea, and we published it. And; oh no, now what do I do with it? Because the updates that are required to make sure an app is still viable. It’s not a little bit of work. And somebody; not me, because this is not my field of expertise. Somebody tech savvy enough needs to keep their finger on the pulse of the changing software systems and all the IOS out there, and user experience, and how all that is evolving. Like; somebody needs to stay on top of evolving the software. It’s not like a website; you design it once every four years and then you get to build a new one. It is an evolving, living, breathing organism. So realize what you’re getting into.

And then other updates we’ve got; we set the schedule for book three production, which is so exciting. I mean; you talking about feeling organized; amen. That makes me feel; I’m so excited. Nothing makes me feel more excited than having a plan and knowing we’re going to be able to just; it’s going to be a lot of work. But the dominos are set up, and we’re ready to just kick it over, right. So we’re going to do the photos of me first. Because I’m still going to be in my second trimester, and I just don’t know what the end of this book is going to look like with me being enormously pregnant. Who knows? I at least want to be able to recognize myself in this thing, and not just be a super puffy person that has to sit down doing photos {laughs}.

So, we’re going to take those photos coming up really soon in January. And then we’ll have five; we’re going to shoot all of these photos for the book, all the food photos, in five weeks. They’re broken out, but we’re going to hammer them all out.

And then a quick note. Did you know that; we had chatted about Planoly in episodes past as a really great way to organize your content if you are planning and programming content for social media; Instagram specifically and Facebook. You can plug it into this program called Planoly. It’s spelled just like it sounds. And you can schedule things to auto post your Instagram. It’s really nice. It allows me to get off my phone and work on my desktop, which I really like. I can type more easily there. And then I can even also visually figure out; like Diane was saying, visually you can see where all the grids are going to fall. Like where the photos are. Which is just so nice to be able to wrap your head around it if you’re trying to build an experience; a user experience on social media. And I switched to a creator account on Instagram to try it out, from a business account, and it turns out you cannot auto post on Planoly. So that’s just a quick PSA. If you want to use Planoly, and you want to auto post, you actually have to stay as a business account.

And then, my very last thing. Have you ever heard of the Instagram account called UPS dogs?

Diane Sanfilippo: No.

Cassy Joy: So, you have to go follow it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Immediately going to follow. And then can I tell you about a funny one after?

Cassy Joy: Yes, of course, please.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Cassy Joy: So UPS dogs; that’s exactly what the account is. Somebody tagged me in it because the most recent post is a Pyrenees. And it’s essentially a collection of posts organized by this UPS dog fan; I assume. But it’s all these UPS delivery drivers who are interacting with all these puppy dogs. Some of them find dogs, and then make sure they get home safely. Some of them just bring treats to the houses that they visit a lot for the puppies that live there. Isn’t that so stinking sweet?

Diane Sanfilippo: That is adorable. Immediately I followed.

Cassy Joy: {laughing} What’s your account?

Diane Sanfilippo: I have a funny one. It’s not as huge, but it’s definitely funny to content creators and anyone who writes recipes. It’s called NY Times Cooking Comments.

Cassy Joy: Oh, tell me everything.

Diane Sanfilippo: What they do is screenshot comments that come in on NY Times recipes; and it is so funny.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s funny to me, as a content creator.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh, it’s so good. I’m just reading a couple.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. It’s pretty good. So, anyway. I have long wanted to have a ghost account. I think a lot of content creators where we can share our plight. Is that the right word? {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Yes! {laughing} I mean, the comments, y’all, that come in. Any of you who write recipes know that sometimes it’s just obscene.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Like; almond flour cookies. “Can I make these without almond flour?” And you’re like; well, they’re called almond flour cookies. But, I don’t know. Try it if you want to. But they’re good.

Cassy Joy: Yeah; this comment goes, “Any way to make this without oats? Oats are for horses!” This was on an apple crisp recipe. {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’m surprised it wasn’t an; “Oat Apple Crisp” you know, surprise.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Anyway. I take pleasure in that as well. But thank you, I’m really pumped about this dog account. I want my Instagram; I strive for my Instagram feed to be at least 20-30% dogs.

Cassy Joy: Amen. Absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: Currently, I would say 20-30% is nail art.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Which is something I highly value, and I love seeing.

Cassy Joy: Mine is all marine biology.

Diane Sanfilippo: Interesting.

Cassy Joy: I love marine biology accounts.

Diane Sanfilippo: We should do that one day where we do a; “What’s on my explore tab.”

Cassy Joy: Oh I like that. If you don’t follow…

Diane Sanfilippo: Also Kardashians are in my explore tab. I think they’re hilarious.

Cassy Joy: They are. If y’all don’t follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium, though; please. Do yourself a favor and go follow them and support them. Because they’re fantastic.

Diane Sanfilippo: Following.

Cassy Joy: Yes!

Diane Sanfilippo: Did it.

Cassy Joy: Enjoy. Enjoy all the adorable whales.

2.  Shop Talk: Listener questions: how to determine free and priced content [15:14]

Diane Sanfilippo: Now it’s time for Shop Talk. In this segment, we talk about topics that are on both our minds and yours. We’ll cover all sides of the issue, and hopefully land somewhere concise, actionable, and helpful. Today we’re talking shop about your questions on how to make money on your own products/services, and the products and services of others. Whether that’s via affiliate sponsorship income, etc.

And yeah, we’ve got a bunch of questions that came in. So if you guys are not currently following us @TheDrivenPodcast, head over there on Instagram. We post our calls for questions there. We will have a lot more content coming soon in 2020 on a weekly basis for each episode. But you can always just kind of stay tuned in over there.

So, do you want to go ahead and read; how apropos, the handle for the first question.

Cassy Joy: I was just thinking that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Do you want to go ahead and read that?

Cassy Joy: I would love to. This handle is Dogs and Dishes. {laughs} Which is perfect. Ok, so Dogs and Dishes asks; their first question is, this is a great question. “How do you determine what to monetize versus give away for free?”

Diane Sanfilippo: This is a great question. I’m going to start off on it, and then maybe we can share some notes back and forth. But I have heard a couple of folks talk about this in different ways, and I’ll share my approach as well. But initially, the way that I had been offering things was a blog. I’d been offering content through a blog, and it’s a piece of information. It’s maybe one post about one specific topic. It’s valuable. Somebody can get a lot from it. But it’s not 100%; it’s not a 360 view of whatever this issue is. It’s just maybe 10%. {laughs} You know, of the topic.

So there’s one way to do it. Another way to look at it is; you can give away for free the what and the why of an issue. So, let’s just say for example, you’re teaching people about; I don’t know, thyroid health. And you talk about what is the thyroid. What is hypothyroidism. All of the issues surrounding it. Why you should be concerned. Why you should change what you’re eating. Why it matters. Why it’s helpful. Etc., etc., on and on. And then the how, of how to implement it, where you pull all the pieces together and give somebody a very clear-cut plan. All of the information they’re going to need to execute all of that would be something you put into something that’s purchased.

So, it does sort of combine what I was talking about with these pieces versus a comprehensive solution. And ultimately, it’s very possible that a lot of the information that you want to sell; it’s available out there in the world in bits and pieces for free. And this is something that often negative book reviews will come in; “Oh, I could have gotten this information on the internet.” Ok, go ahead. Spend your tens, hundreds, thousands of hours to culminate all of this information into one place in an easily digestible, pun intended. It’s like; yeah. At some point, something that I’m selling is a more comprehensive resource and solution than these bits and pieces that you’re getting kind of out in the world.

And the reality is; if what you have is information that you’re selling and giving away, ultimately you do need to give away a lot of value in what’s free. Because at some point, if you’re not giving a depth of value. And I’ve had this happen; when we were running the Balanced Bites podcast for 8 years. There are 400 episodes there, if you want to listen to me talk about health and nutrition. But there would be moments in time where we would have folks come on the podcast, and they went deep on the content. They were telling a lot. They were even giving a lot of the how. Maybe not all of it. Because at some point, you need to position yourself as an expert. Or the best resource for whatever this topic is that you’re going to sell something on. And if I don’t see depth in what you’re giving me for free, then it’s really hard for me to feel confident that when I pay for something, I’m also going to get that depth and then some.

So, I had folks who would come on the podcast, and I was digging to try to get them to say anything meaty or of value. This person is just surface. I couldn’t get more out; and I’m thinking to myself, this is not going to convert. If what you’re trying to do is sell a book, as a listener, I’m not seeing the value. You know what I mean?

Cassy Joy: Absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I need someone to expose, where is your expertise? Why do I trust you, believe you? Why do I know that that book is going to be amazing? So, that’s kind of that initial part on what to monetize versus what to give away for free. And if it’s not just information that you’re selling eventually. When I say information; a book is information. It is a physical product. But let’s just say Balanced Bites, for example; we will have plenty of free content that will be recipes and tips and advice and inspiration and all of that. But then there’s a physical product where there is a really high cost for the physical actual item. Clearly I’m not going to give away the spices and the meals for free. I can give away information; because while it does have cost, it has time costs, and it has costs that don’t repeat or are not exponential to the degree that that item may be used or consumed.

So what I mean by that is; I might spend X number of hours writing a blog post, creating an eBook. My team may spend X number of hours creating something. But then that item can be consumed exponentially far beyond the cost of what it was to produce that. So you can also look at that, too. Like, if you have to consistently pour in financially to something, that might be something that you consider charging for.

So in your case, you were talking about your app earlier. Maybe your app is going to be free; but maybe one day, not all of it is free. Because it’s not free to maintain in the longer term. Or even close to free. Right? Where a blog post, we might update it, and that costs time in terms of hours. But it’s nominal compared to what it’s going to be to update an app. So I think those are some good ways to look at it from the consumer side, which is; what are they getting. And also from the producer side; as a business, what does it cost me to continue to offer this thing? And do I need to charge for it, because otherwise am I running myself into the ground if I don’t?

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm. I think that’s great advice. Diane really nailed it. To give you some ideas of how we determine what is free and then what we charge for within Fed and Fit; some really specific numbers and parameters. These are ballparks, so know that this changes. But if you are a recipe creator, I think a free resource, obviously, your blog post is free. Right? One-off recipes. That’s going to be free content. And then micro-content that you’re publishing on social media. By micro-content, I mean you publish a picture of kale and you talk about the benefits of kale and how to eat it. That’s micro-content. You talk about the five ingredients you always try to avoid in skincare that may not meet the naked eye. That’s micro-content. That’s stuff you can publish for free.

But when you’re thinking about eBooks, and things like Diane is saying are really going to help establish trust with your readers; to the point that they say, why would I buy something from you? Just because someone consumes something really short and worthwhile on social media or on your blog, doesn’t mean that you have earned… Just because they made one recipes from you, maybe they did one workout that you posted, or they learned one or two things about a personal care product that they didn’t know before on your social media short form content doesn’t mean that all of a sudden they’re going to convert a buy a $200 program that you have designed.

So you have to give them a slightly larger piece of content; and this is where eBooks are really great. And when I do that, we try to ballpark no more than 10 recipes, for example, because we’re recipe writers. So that’s kind of an idea. 10 recipes; it’s a good amount, where they can kind of get a better feel for the quality and the collection of our body of work, and what they can expect going forward from a larger resource. If you write meal plans as a nutritionist, I would say one week of a meal plan is something that you can absolutely; that would be give-away-able. And anything more than that; when you’re talking a full month, or three months, or six months depending on what kind of therapeutic meal plans you’re writing; those are the things you charge for. But give people a way to test drive it.

And if you are offering a service; something where you are offering consultations to people. If you have the bandwidth, I think that 30-minute free phone calls. Or maybe make them 5 minutes, or 10 minutes. But a really quick free consultation that you can do for folks to help them get an idea of how you would continue to serve them; that’s going to pay. I really believe that that’s going to convert for you. And that’s how you bring more people in.

You can; let’s say you are an enneagram coach. And you really want to do consultations for companies, and you want to help jump in and help them figure out from an HR perspective how their team can work together more cohesively by way of using the enneagram. Do a free consultation for 30 minutes with their lead of HR and maybe a couple of other VPs at the table. And you can say; “here’s how I would coach your team. When you hire me, I will deep dive each department, build you a plan, and make recommendations on the best way to work with certain folks on your team.

So you give them something that’s helpful, something that’s useful that they can use for the short period of time. But it’s not like you’re saying; you’re not giving away everything. When it comes to Cook Once, Eat All Week, for example; we gave away a lot. I have given away a lot of Cook Once in the past. In fact, we have almost 10 full weeks of Cook Once, Eat All Week meal plans that you can find online for free right now. We have the original series, which was 5 weeks long. I did another series later on for 4 weeks to celebrate when the book came out. And then we have a bunch sprinkled across the website. That’s a lot of content! That’s almost, what, a quarter of the year already done for you in terms of meal plans.

Why do people buy Cook Once, Eat All Week the book? Because of what Diane just said. Because they’re getting all of these references in one place. They don’t have to go and search the internet; and they could. They can, and I know people do. There are people who just sit there and they print off the meal plans that they can find online, they put them in a three-ring binder, and then they put them on repeat. That’s great. I don’t have a problem with that. But most folks, if they use a meal plan and it works for them, they’re going to say; ok, I want more of this and I want it to be easier to find. And I want the shopping lists. And I want all the bonus goodies, and the reheating instructions that come with the book.

So giveaway your best product and the thing that you’re selling; but I encourage you to be generous. Give away a good chunk; a good test drive.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I have a couple of notes. So; I have to pick this notebook up here, since my microphone is right in front of my mouth. A couple of things; one, based on what we had talked about in previous episodes, don’t forget that the free content that you give is your grounds for proving your concept. So when you say how much people may be clamoring over the free content, or not, that helps you know; is this concept good or strong? Obviously we talked about it in the context of a book before.

But let’s say what you want to create is a program, or you want to create an eBook, or whatever it is. Seeing how people use the free content, and how much they use it; how much they like it, what they’re asking for. It’s a proof of concept. So for you, it’s valuable to have that free content, because it’s a way for you to learn and find out what it is that’s going to be helpful for your audience.

The second thing I was going to say is; if you’re in a position where you’ve been giving a ton, and you’re now in this place where; oh my gosh, I’ve just given things away for so long. It’s not a bad position to be in. It is challenging; I recognize that it’s challenging for people to flip the switch and say; oh my gosh, now I have to ask them for money. But what I think you’ll find is, once you finally get over that. And maybe you talk to some of your peers. Like; hey, do you think what I’m offering here is in-depth enough, or broad enough; is it enough content? Is it high quality, high value enough that I can put a price tag on it this time?

What I found when I finally launched the 21-Day Sugar Detox as an eBook back in 2010, after a minimum of a year of just blogging very consistently about sugar and all of that; people were just waiting to pay me for something. Like; take my money, because I’ve been learning from you. Actually it had probably been three years of really consistent work where they were just consuming it for free. And again, this was a different moment on the internet. And my audience was way smaller. Maybe I had a few people paying attention; I don’t know. Not that many.

But, you know; 50 people being ready to buy an eBook at that stage was a lot. And to be able to convert that into a couple of thousand dollars, or whatever it would have been; that was a big deal. When you go from zero to a few thousand dollars, that’s a lot of money. So I think it’s important to not feel badly or feel guilty, if you’ve been on the train of; ok, I’ve never asked for money before. There’s a time where you have to flip the switch and be like; this is not a hobby. This is a business. And I need to put a price tag on things.

And then, the last thing I wanted to say is; on the note of a free consultation, which obviously; you have to do that for a lot of situations. You can’t just expect someone to not have a conversation, especially when there’s a high-ticket item. So I think that this offering can scale to how expensive what you’re selling of what you’re offering is. So, if you’re potentially offering, let’s say coaching of some sort or service, whatever it is, for somewhere in the $300 to $600 range, I think a 15-minute consult is fine. I don’t think you need to offer a huge amount.

But to Cassy’s point; a 30-minute consultation for something that will cost somebody multiple thousands of dollars; that’s your marketing expense. Your time that you spend on the phone with that person, that’s your marketing expense. And you do need to know that it’s going to cost you either dollars or time to do marketing. And when you’re starting out, your time is what you have most often, more so than money. Right? We don’t all have investors. Sometimes we have to just dig in and spend our time.

So I think that it’s important to know that that time, it’s not wasted. It’s not, oh, I shouldn’t have to do this. No, no. That is your marketing. And if you can’t sell your thing to that person; first of all, if they’re not a good fit, then that’s one thing. But if they’re just the right fit, and you’re realizing you can’t sell this thing to them with a conversation, then that’s such good information to go back and figure out; ok, maybe what could I have said differently. Maybe months later, you have a postmortem. Like; hey, why did this not work out? Was it something about my offering? Was it just not the right time? Trying to find out what it was. That sounds scary, I’m sure, to a lot of people. But you’re going to find out a lot in that.

Cassy Joy: You will learn a lot. I love that advice. And when you’re in those conversations, I want you to be really generous. Really generous with what you’re giving away. Nothing is more off-putting than somebody saying; oh, that’s a good question, but I can’t answer that until you pay me.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Cassy Joy: Right? And to Diane’s point about podcast interviews; on the Fed and Fit podcast, which was my show before we launched Driven, which is now concluded. To your point; there are folks that came on that had written books that were unbelievably tight-lipped about the things that they had written in their books. And I would not be surprised if not a soul purchased those books. When I am listening to a podcast; I listen to a lot of enneagram podcasts. Ian Morgan Cron is a really good example.

But he brings on folks; Typology is his podcast. And it’s a really big podcast. And he constantly brings on folks of certain enneagram numbers and has great, in-depth discussions with them. And they’ve written books. And they’re always; they do a great job of prepping their guests, maybe. They’re always very generous with their information that they give away. Donald Miller, the people who he interviews; very generous with the information they give away.

And there’s never a vibe of; you’ll have to buy the book to get that. They give you the outline. They give you examples. And you know what? That’s when I go buy the book. When I feel like I’ve really got an idea of how generous and the quality of information that they’re going to present, and this person isn’t going to keep things in their back pocket from me; that’s when I will go and purchase. So, I want you to be generous in those conversations.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. I think that from; {laughs}, leave it to me to bring up the emotional side of things, which I don’t think people would assume I would. But, I think there’s an emotional part of this, too, that what I have noticed over time amongst some peers. So, it doesn’t matter who. But just in the last decade, it’s come up where people sound very resentful of doing work for free. And I’m like; this is a situation you’ve created.

So if you notice yourself becoming resentful. I hit this point at one moment when it came to talking about products on my Instagram. I didn’t yet have the perspective of exactly how much trust I was building with my audience by recommending products very consistently, whether or not I was being paid for it. Right? We talked about that in previous episodes.

But I know that when it comes to content creation, over the years I’ve just heard it swirling around different folks who just; they’re really resentful and they get angry. Resentful of certain questions. We all do, right? There are certain moments where you’re like; ok everyone. This was a free thing. Simmer with the follow-up, because there it is. That’s the work you get for free. But if you aren’t asking for money, you will become more resentful of the work that you’re doing for free.

And I think that as consumers, we need to recognize the limit between what we consume for free and what we feel entitled to as support when we’re consuming for free versus when someone is paying. So when someone is paying to be somewhere; they’ve paid for a product, a service, an eBook, a membership, whatever it is. The attention that they’re getting is totally different. And the way that you feel about answering a question is totally different than if the question just comes constantly from the free content.

So I think it’s important to just check yourselves, if you’re creating free content for forever and then becoming resentful of people, but you’ve never given them an opportunity to pay for something, it’s on you. Nobody is going to say; “Let me pay you. Please. Create something for sale with a price tag.” That’s not the job of the people consuming whatever it is that you’re creating. It’s your job as the business owner.

3.  Shop Talk: Listener questions: How to price your content/services [35:15]

Cassy Joy: That’s great advice. Ok, the second question we have here; “How do you price your service and/or product?” And goodness, isn’t that a great million-dollar question. What do you think, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my goodness. I think that for the most part, the way that you price something, it’s going to vary highly whether it’s a product or a service. But I do think that you have to know what the market will bear. And I’ve learned this very well the hard way, which is how 8s like to learn everything, I think. You can’t just tell me something; I have to learn it the hard way. Do you have to learn it the hard way too? I think so.

Cassy Joy: I have to learn it the hard way. Yes, I do.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I guess I’m learning that with us. It’s like; I feel like I told you something 6 months ago, and then it comes up and I’m like; I thought I said that but it doesn’t sink in until it happens. And I’m like; ok, I learned it through my own experience.

So, here’s an example. When it comes to pricing digital products, your cost is, again, fairly nominal. You’ll spend time, and of course there’s time cost. But the hard costs are not usually that intense. So you’re going to need to price it in a way; like, what’s out there? What are people paying for? Is it a product with a broad appeal? The more broad appeal something is, the lower your price actually needs to be. The more niche your product or service is, the higher the price can be.

So here’s an example. Let’s say you want to create an eBook with just healthy real food recipes. That’s a very broad appeal. You’re not targeting a very specific solution to a very specific problem. So the folks who are going to buy it have a lot more options out there. And it’s less of an; “oh my gosh, I need that solution.” Whereas, let’s say you’re making a healthy recipes to support thyroid health with Hashimoto’s. Just one example. That’s going to have a higher value, because you’re narrowing the scope of who it appeals to, and you’re really targeting a solution for a specific population. So that’s where you can start to have a price that will increase a little bit, because you’re narrowing who it’s for. And you’re offering a much more targeted solution.

When it comes to products, this is where I’m really learning. I come from a retail background, and I come mainly from apparel and accessories, jewelry, clothing, etc., that type of background, for many, many years. And in typical retail environments, which are probably changing now, anyway. So as I’m saying this, I’m thinking; a lot of people are very much inclined to only shop when there’s a promotion or a sale these days. But, typical retail markups would be called a keystone markup, or it’s a 50% markup, which we might think is 100%. We buy it for $10, we sell it for $20. That’s a very typical retail situation.

What I’m learning is that consumer product goods, which are consumables and things that people use up much faster and come back to repurchase, the margin or the markup on that is way lower. Like, the amount you will earn per item sold is so much lower. But the way that you will be able to actually make money on something is volume. You have to sell a lot of something to really make it a viable business.

So, I think that the other part of that is, again, what will the market bear? What’s out there? And can you position yourself, if you’re going to charge more than most, let’s just say spice blends. If I’m going to charge more than most other same sized spice blends on the shelf, what is the positioning? Why is this worth more? How can I prove that it’s worth more to that consumer? And if I can’t really prove it, then I’m going to be stuck. It’s going to be a real challenge to sell it at that price.

And maybe you price something a little bit higher because you know, and you want to allow for promotional offers. That’s a real thing. But I think all of that kind of comes into play. And ultimately, I will say this; it’s generally easier to lower a price than to raise it. So if you’re unsure of which way to go, starting higher is usually easier. The only downside there is; if it’s something that’s a one-time purchase and somebody bought it three weeks ago and you just lowered the price, you need to find a way to honor that. Because I’ve been through that with the 21-Day Sugar Detox, and making sure people feel like; I really got my money’s worth. The price didn’t just come down, but we cut back the offering as well. You got something at a different value and a different price than we’re currently offering.

But over time, that does seem to be easier. If you’re going to raise the price; again, you need to have a reason why it’s being raised. Be able to communicate that to people. “You know what? Here’s what’s happening. This is what’s happening with the price.”

You guys will see some of this happening with Balanced Bites. I have different products coming out. And the price is going to change on some of the things I’ve been offering. Because I’m figuring out how do I continue to maintain and grow this business? And I can’t do it with the offering that we’ve had for the first three years. It’s just not going to be viable. And I can tell people; you know what? Either you can want and expect it at this price for forever, or you can have this business be around. Right? {laughs} We’ve got two choices here. Keep that as it is for X amount of time, or have it for forever and make sure that we have a viable business.

So those are a couple of notes. Your thoughts?

Cassy Joy: I love those. I love that. I almost wonder if there are two rules at play when it comes to pricing things, and if you want to change your prices later on. Because you mentioned with a consumable product, it makes sense that you could lower those prices in the future. That would be very normal, if you think about your favorite; I don’t know, spices. Right? Just either, maybe they went on sale. Or maybe the prices raise. I feel like that is a little bit more; as a consumer, I can understand prices will change for things.

Diane Sanfilippo: Understand it, yeah. And the ingredient prices. Like my raw material price; I can’t control if the price of garlic increases because there’s a drought. That’s going to push the price; yeah. I think I know what you’re getting at with the digital product.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And then with a digital product, or like you said, you called it a one-time purchase. It’s interesting, because I don’t have a consumable that I sell. So before I heard you talk just now, I was thinking you can only ever raise your prices. Because from a one-time purchase of, let’s say, a wellness program that ideally should be a one and done. The point of the Fed and Fit Project was one and done. You don’t need to go continuously purchase this thing. It was exactly what you just described if somebody pays more, and then I lower the price later, it’s a disservice to that clientele group who paid more for the same thing. Unless, of course, you’re changing the content, like you said.

So I wonder if there’s two rules at play generally that if you have a one-time product, a service that you’re offering, a program. If it’s better, maybe; I’m throwing the spaghetti against the wall, see what sticks. But if it’s better to price medium. Let’s say you come up with a pricing strategy, and you’re like; on the high end, this is where I think I’m at. On the high end, I’m at $500 for this program. On the low end, I don’t think I should be charging anything less than $200. Then I would encourage you possibly to price it around the $300-325 mark, and see what happens. And raise them later if you need to, and add more content at that time, because you’ll have more time to have done it.

I don’t know, what do you think?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well there’s also the option, when you have a digital product, of an introductory price. And you don’t need to specify how long that’s valid. You can create some scarcity around the pricing where it’s like; “Ok, this is a $497 program, for a limited time it’s $297.” And you could say, for the first 30 days it’s $297. Or the first two weeks, whatever the case may be. And then it’s going to go up from there. You could so that. I mean, a lot of people do that. We can talk about different psychological factors that influence the way people make purchases and all of that. But scarcity is a very, very valuable tool. I think it’s important not to abuse that tool. But it is a real one, and people offering something.

So we’ve launched many online programs over the years, and let’s just say we’ve had the first 48 hours is a lower price. Like, an early bird price, and then for the next week or two, it’s regular price. And maybe even the last 48 hours it jumps a little more.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because interestingly, the most people will enroll in the first and the last 48 hours. And instead of waiting and leaving people on the fence, people who are ready, it pushes them. It encourages them; hey, just sign up right now. Don’t dilly-dally and wait. So you can definitely raise the price.

Lowering the price of something that people; the one time, like you said, that is definitely harder. But typically, especially with an online program or something digital. You can offer so much, that you can always pull back some of the offering to say; you know what? We’re scaling it down a little bit. What you got, you still have access to. Here’s a way to download it. That’s what we did. And the reason we lowered the price; we did change how much we were offering. That wasn’t fake, with the 21-Day Sugar Detox. We had a point where it was this one PDF, then it was 10 PDFs. We’ve changed it a million times over the years, and will continue to do so as we decide what we want to do in this space. But we went and scaled it way back down again in a different way. So we were like; ok, the price changes.

And a couple of people might get upset. And we can handle it. But I think when you are going to change the price, it’s always important to consider people who may have paid more, and especially again that one time versus a consumable. I think most people in the grocery space, for example, we’re used to the price fluctuating a little bit; even up to multiple dollars, depending on what it is. A good jar of coconut aminos one say is $6, or $7, or $8.99 even, and one day it’s on sale for $3.99. and we’re just like, great. I’ll buy 3, you know. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Stock up. And if we need it that day for a recipe, we pay the full price. Whatever it is. If we can do that. So I do think it’s highly variable. But I want people to know that you will always have to consider; what will the market bear. You can’t just say; ok, I want to make this margin on this jar of spices so I’m going to charge $30 for a jar that typically runs anywhere from $6 to 12 in the store. What people are used to paying for something.

I think the digital space is definitely a little bit more flexible, and the wild, wild west in a way. And that’s where looking at the niche of what you’re offering. And also how much direct one on one time with you are people getting. I think that’s something that is of super high value. And when people buy a program like that, they’re buying you. They’re not really buying the PDFs. They’re buying a piece of you, unfortunately, {laughs} whatever. For better or worse, that’s what’s happening.

With my 21-Day Sugar Detox Coaches Program, for example, what we’ve done over the years is we’ve had these weekly calls. Or maybe it’s been every two weeks. Or however so often we’re finding is useful for people, and now we do have a call every month. And that’s what people are there for. They’re there to hear from me, and get that insight and expertise and all of that. So, it’s not just about how many PDFs or how many videos. It’s; what are you offering to those people.

So there is no one answer, but I think those are the things to consider when you’re pricing your product or your service. And always taking into consideration, of course, whatever the cost is. And I think when you’re newer in creating something online or digital or a program, etc. When you’re newer, what you account for in terms of your time, you’re not going to get paid as much initially, per hour of time that you spent doing something, as you will later. I mean, you have to take a lower salary when you’re new, even in your own business. You can’t expect to ask for top dollar the first time you launch something.

Cassy Joy: Oh, heck yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: And you can adjust that over time.

Cassy Joy: Have you ever calculated your hourly rate?

Diane Sanfilippo: No, never. Nuh-huh. That would be a dangerous place to be.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Don’t do it. Don’t do it. The day that I tipped; because I did it. Because I can’t help it. I do love math. It’s like; my fun pastime. And I did, and I was like; honey, I’m above minimum wage! {laughing} From all the years that I spent.

Diane Sanfilippo: For the amount of hours that we spent.

4.  Shop Talk: Listener questions: Not making the sale [48:39]

Cassy Joy: Yeah, that we spent working. The five years that I spent working for free. Ok. Next question. Jeanie’s in a bottle. I think I said that right. That’s clever, the way she has it spelled. She’s asking; “Price is market competitive,” which we’ve just talked about, “But people are not willing to pay for it/don’t want to do the work.”

Diane Sanfilippo: This is a good one.

Cassy Joy: Ok. Jump in.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think she said she’s a nutrition consultant, or an NTP. So, this is a challenge for a lot of people. You’re like; ok, I have my offering. I have my coaching that I’m putting out there. I think that what I mentioned before, getting really clear on your niche and who your target customer is is hypercritical. If you think that this person was your target, but she is not willing to pay the money or do the work, then you’ve got a mismatch. Either in target client or in pricing or in offering or what have you. She’s not the target of this thing. Or, the thing you’re offering isn’t right for her.

I think we need to own the part where we thought we figured it out. We thought we had the solution and the price. And the thing that the person would do. And let me tell you; with nutrition coaching, it’s challenging. Because it’s so much easier to be like; here, take this pill. Than it is to say; I need you to change the following five things about the way you live your life. That’s really challenging.

So, getting clear on that I think is critical. And being willing to look at what you’ve decided is right, and say maybe it’s not. That’s tough; if you’re like, I created this whole program, and it’s an 8-week program, and it’s for; I keep talking about thyroid, but that’s a big one. It’s an 8-week roadmap to supporting and healing your thyroid, whatever it may be, and she’s just like; I’m not buying it. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to commit to that work, and I don’t want to spend that money. Again, either she’s not the right person for your program; and that’s going to take more leg work to figure out where is she. Where is this person out there; your avatar client. Or, your offering isn’t the right fit.

So here’s where the second point that I want to make is. Having options; offerings at two to three different price points that also require different amounts of effort potentially and money. And that can be a way to reach more people who; you know, ultimately not everyone is going to hire you directly and pay top dollar. You can’t control what people’s budgets are. You can’t control where they are in their journey, where you might see; you know what, she could really benefit from this. That might not be on her radar right now. She might be thinking; “I just really wanted to know if I should eat bread or not.”

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: This is all she wanted to know. Not; here are the five supplements I think you should take. Here’s how I think you should change your exercise. You should start meditating. You can’t change; you have to meet somebody where they are.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: So by having different offerings, you can really help out in that way. And sometimes, your offerings are including something free.

So here’s an example; when I was running my health coaching business in the very beginning, a decade ago or more at this point. Examples were; the top line pricing would be one on one coaching. The most expensive thing is one on one, you have my time. The next thing down would be seminars or online programs. So come to a seminar for a day; it’s $100. You’re in the room for anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, with anywhere from say 20 to 100 people. And that’s an all-day seminar, or a 4-hour seminar, whatever it’s going to be. Lower price point. From there, there’s eBooks. That’s where it’s going to be an even lower price point. But, you know, lower value of what’s being delivered. Then there’s free blog content.

So all of that; I think in the nutrition coaching space, which I know we talk about that a lot, but I know we have a lot of listeners in that space. There’s always work that people need to do. But I think people are usually willing to buy this sauce versus this one. That’s a really lightweight shift that somebody can make, again, versus saying; you love to run but your thyroid is saying let’s not run anymore. And coaching someone on that or giving them that directive might be more challenging. So just directing; you know what, buy this soy-free sauce instead of this one. That’s an easy change.

So you have to remember that you’re charging, but you’re still asking somebody to do a lot of work. So that can be a challenge.

And the way this translates, as well, to product offerings. What we’re doing with Balanced Bites; we have three levels of product offerings. Whether you don’t want to spend a lot of money in the moment, or just want information. Great, we’ve got tons of recipe content, free inspiration, all of that. Next level from there; you can grab spices. Cool. You’re still going to do the cooking, but we’re making it a lot easier for you, and that price point is kind of in the middle of the road. And then the last one is going to be meals where you don’t have to spend pretty much any of your time. A couple of seconds; stick it in the microwave or put it in a skillet. But it is going to be a higher price point.

So we’re meeting people wherever they are in terms of what’s the money they have versus the time. How much effort do they want to put in. Being able to vary what you’re offering is really valuable, do you know what I mean? That way you feel like; “ok, Jane. This is not the service for you. If this is too expensive and you don’t want to do this work, cool. I’ve got this quick download. It’s $15 or whatever it is, and I’m going to tell you what to buy at the grocery store to support your health for this particular challenge that you have. And then goodbye.” And if she’s got more questions, you can say; “If you’ve got questions about it, here’s my hourly rate.” Because you got the thing for $15, and if you want more help, here’s the rate. Does that make sense?

Cassy Joy: It does. I think that’s great advice.

Diane Sanfilippo: What are your thoughts on this?

Cassy Joy: Honestly, I think you’ve really covered it. I think calling out on, if people don’t want to pay and don’t want to do the work, it’s just a bad fit. Like you said, you have not presented them with the product that they actually need. Or the service that they actually need. And it’s a call and a sign to you; it’s time to reevaluate what’s on your product deck.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And it doesn’t mean that it’s not the best solution for a person with that problem. It’s just not the right solution for that person for a multitude of reasons that you don’t control.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you know what I mean? This person may just be like; well, I’m not ready for that. So I think that’s a hard one. And we see that a lot; where people are like, I know what I’m offering is awesome. But people aren’t buying it. It’s like; you have to do that self audit of, well do I want to sell something or not? You know what I mean? And if ultimately you want to sell something, then you need to figure out, what is she willing to purchase? What is she willing to trade her money for so I can keep this thing going as a career?

Cassy Joy: Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: Heck yes! Make that money! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

5.  Shop Talk: Listener questions: Selling platforms [56:13]

Cassy Joy: Oh, goodness. Let’s see. Lynn’s Blinn’s wants to know; “Do you have a recommended platform.” I think we have two rapid fire question to close out today’s episode. “Do you have a recommended platform for selling online, Shopify, Volusion, etc., and is there a best value?” Diane, you’re definitely the best person to answer this.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} When I very first had an online store, I believe Yahoo Stores was where I hosted a store.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Does anybody even still know what yahoo is? That’s how old I am.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I was selling things online before it was really viable. It was so challenging to do this. So anyway. Here’s my overarching recommendation. First and foremost, I use Shopify for both Balanced Bites where we have spices and whatever else will come of that. We also have a separate Shopify site for the meals, because they ship separately. So unfortunately it’s kind of annoying, but we have to do that separately.

I like Shopify so much, and I see so much potential in the platform. I liken it to the way WordPress is like the gold standard for websites these days, because there are so many plugins. Developers are creating things to make more functionality happen, more customizable options, etc. I think Shopify is the WordPress of online selling. I have a great experience using it with a lot of different retailers and brands. and so, for that reason, I personally bought shares of the company. I was like; I love Shopify so much. I was like; I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I really believe in it, and I use it as a customer.

So, full disclosure, I bought shares in the company. And whenever I say that, I don’t mean, like, millions of dollars’ worth of shares, ok. This is just me being like; can I get a little piece of this?

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Not like Oprah level, let me own half the company or something. This is not what I mean. But I do want to make that disclosure, because there’s potential financial impact there. But, I love Shopify. I think it’s awesome. It has its limits. I’m hoping that in the future they’ll have the ability to tell it; I have two warehouses, and here’s the inventory in this one versus this one. Here are the zip codes that ship from each of them. I hope it becomes more robust as time goes on. But, for those of you who are new to selling online, I think Shopify is probably one of the best ways to do it. especially if you have physical product.

If you’re selling something digital, I would research some other digital platforms. I used to sell through a platform called Click Bank. And I forget, there was another one that a lot of folks used for digital items, and I don’t know if you remember it. A lot of us were probably looped into them because we were affiliates for these programs. Do you remember what some of them were called? I can’ think of it off the top of my head.

Cassy Joy: I cannot think of them.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, what I would do. She’s asking best value. I would just look at; they always have a chart of what options come within each membership level. And I would compare across the board. And I would also pay attention, if you can, to other websites that use those platforms. One of the things I do love about Shopify is; it’s saving information. So if I’m shopping Hu Kitchen, I’m shopping with the Sill, I’m shopping with; I don’t know if Rothy’s uses it. But a lot of different companies are using it. It just makes the user experience overall very consistent. I know what to expect. And it’s very smooth. So that’s kind of my take on that.

And aside from that in terms of value; just look at what they offer. You do want to see a platform that offers things that you know potentially you’ll need. Like if there’s a transaction number limit for something that might be free or very inexpensive; being able to have a platform that grows with you is great. We were on big commerce for a while with the spices because that’s where Kasandrinos was. And for a while we were only selling through Kasandrinos.com, which is my friend’s olive oil company. But they shifted to Shopify, we shifted to Shopify. And it’s just been a very smooth transition. I think their tool is fantastic. So that’s what I have to say about that.

If you’ve got a digital product, let us know, and we’ll see if we can dig in. And if you guys sell a digital product, and you love the platform you’re on, let us know. I do also use Kajabi for online programs. Which we didn’t; we used Teachable for a while. We used Kajabi, then we didn’t. We went back and forth. We were on Teachable for a while, and now we have currently all of our online programs are through Kajabi.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, my data points are a little old. I did WooCommerce a couple of years ago. It is a plugin that you can install on WordPress to sell eBooks, for example. So that might be old information. But that’s what we used then.

Diane Sanfilippo: And there are also really easy ways to do things. Like PayPal, or stripe, where you kind of have a onetime payment. So that’s something you can do. Especially if you’re selling coaching. I’m pretty sure I just used PayPal and I would install PayPal button for a couple of hundred bucks, you write on the button, and easy copy and paste of code into any website versus having a whole platform that you need to develop.

6.  Shop Talk: Listener questions: Finding affiliates [1:01:37]

Cassy Joy: That’s nice. Ok, last question. Jessie.life asks, “How do you find affiliates, and do you ever approach a company that doesn’t have an affiliate?” And I can tackle this one pretty quickly. I would say, when it comes to affiliates, I know I really emphasized that affiliates are the way to go because you can build recurring revenue and you can build resources around affiliate income. But y’all, I want you to understand. I’m really picky. I would not sign on with an affiliate because of how complicated it is to manage links, and keep track of all of these things. If this is not a product that you’re probably going to talk about weekly, or this is not a retail outlet that you’re going to talk about probably weekly, then I would not even worry about the affiliate model to begin with. So don’t just call up your favorite, I don’t know, protein powder company unless you are genuinely going to talk about them all the time and ask them if they have an affiliate program.

So, how do you find affiliates? I mean, you can look around. The top ones I would say, Amazon for example is a great affiliate program. And if you are in a state; this could be old information also, but I want to say there are a couple…

Diane Sanfilippo: I think it changed.

Cassy Joy: It changed? Ok. Maybe it’s available everywhere now. But if you can, I would definitely sign on as an Amazon affiliate, because that gives you a lot of products you can recommend in one place to grab links, which makes things really handy. And then for the rest of the affiliate programs, the ones that I do are custom fit to Fed and Fit’s content. Beautycounter, Primally Pure. We’re educating on safer skincare with both of those, on a very regular basis. Butcher Box, another grass-fed; salmon and seafood, and all of these things. Those are affiliate programs, and I talk about them, and I utilize them because I’m talking about them all the time and we’re referencing them constantly. So I wouldn’t worry.

Now, if you reach out to a company and it’s your favorite deodorant brand, and you ask them if they want to do a sponsorship with you; a one-time sponsorship or even a three month, six month, if you listened to our last episode, sponsorship. That’s great. And if they say; well, we offer an affiliate program you can earn 10 cents for every stick that you sell, really think about it. Is that going to give you the return that you’re really looking for?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I would say, and very logistically, how do you find it? Scroll to the bottom of the website, usually it will say affiliates. But I’m with you. I think for the most part, unless it’s something you’re going to talk about a lot ,and the affiliate program is a certain way that you think you can actually earn, you’re better off having a lot of products that you will recommend that you don’t earn from but maybe you develop a relationship where you can get some free product. Or that’s just one of the things you don’t earn from and you build trust with that.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because even when I’m thinking about the affiliate program, eventually maybe we’ll have something for Balanced Bites spices. But the payout; the margins are so low, that the payout can’t be that high. And as for myself, it’s not even worth it. I think it’s better to just say, you know what? This will be one of the products that every now and then, maybe they’re going to send me some product. I’m going to tell people about it. Because I love it, they’re going to love it, and I will earn money with something else. There are certain products where the margins just don’t allow for it, and certain products that do. Supplements have much higher margins, personal care. There are just certain areas where that’s just the case.

Cassy Joy: That makes a lot of sense. Planners. There’s a planner company; the Full Focus Planner. I’m pretty sure. I’m a huge fan. It’s just the one that really works for my brain. It’s owned by Michael Hyatt and his family. And they, I’m pretty sure they have an affiliate program. But I’m like; I would rather just talk about you guys, and not have to go find a link. I would rather just send people your business. And then they sent planners to me as a thank you! Just for being friends of the brand. And that’s worth way more to me than the $12 I could have made in affiliate fees.

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7. Tip of The Week: Multiple price/commitment offerings [1:06:29]

Cassy Joy: Tip of The Week! In this segment, we give you one tip that you can take action on this week to move your business or life forward. Diane, what’s your tip?

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. So based on what I said earlier in this episode, I want you to write down three or more product or service offerings that you can create so that you’re hitting your ideal customer in at least two if not three or more different price points/commitment points. And I think that will help you to realize maybe part of what you’re saying there is actually free content. Maybe one of those is lower end, and then a higher end. I think if you don’t currently have that, I do think that’s really important. Because in today’s world, we need to meet people where they are. And the greatest thing you can grow, even before you grow revenue, is growing an audience. So if you can create something that’s free, and you can nurture an audience, then you will eventually be able to monetize that audience. So, work on your list of; here are the different things I can offer and different types of price points in depth, etc.

That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @TheDrivenPodcast. Cassy is @FedandFit and I am @DianeSanfilippo. Tune in next week for our next new miniseries. We’ll see you then.

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