Building an evergreen business
Last week, I chatted with Jasmine Star, a social media strategist who helps creative entrepreneurs create a brand and market it on social media. You can find her online at jasminestar.com.
Thanks Jasmine for taking the time to share part of your journey!
Watch the full video interview here or read the full transcript below:
JB: This is Jack Born, founder of Deadline Funnel. I’m here with Jasmine Star. Thank you so much for being here.
JS: Thanks Jack, and thanks for the heads up of not telling me this was going to be video. I thought this was just audio. So, everybody know, I’m just sitting here without any makeup. I got home from yoga, and I’m having a conversation. So, I’m just going to commit to this Jack. Because this is what I do for friends. For new friends.
JB: Well, I appreciate that.
JS: Thank you.
JB: So, you and I met at James Wedmore Mastermind and James graciously invited me to come and speak to the group and that’s where you and I met, and so part of what I was talking about was creating evergreen funnels and just the importance of doing it. Of course in the process, I mentioned Deadline Funnel. And you followed up with me a little bit later, and said that you had put your funnel together and so I want to get to that front and share how that worked for you, but let’s start back at the beginning.
Can you tell everyone about your business. What you do. Of course, mention your website URL because you’ve got great stuff. You’ve got a lot of awesome energy, and so tell everyone who you help and how you help them. So lets start there.
JS: Awesome. My name is Jasmine Star. You can find me at jasminestar.com and all social media handles at jasminestar. I’m a social media strategist and I help creative entrepreneurs create a brand and market it on social media.
JB: Okay. So, walk us through what your business model was say, 6 months or a year before, well, let’s just talk about 2016. So your business had been growing very rapidly, you don’t have to share numbers. But your business has been going very well. But how are you primarily getting people to find out about you and decide to take your course?
JS: Okay, so, let’s start exactly 12 months ago. Virtually within two days of us having this conversation 363 days ago, I was sitting in a hotel room for a mastermind. I didn’t even know what a mastermind was. I had signed up for it because I just stumbled across it on the internet. And we have these opportunities called hot seats, where you ask a question and everybody responds. I had no idea what a hot seat was. And so, I sit there in my hot seat in front of really talented and brilliant people was … what’s a Webinar and do I need to do it? And the follow up questions were, “Well, what do I use for Webinar?” and “I have to have Q and A at the end?”
I had never done one, I had never heard of one. And at the time I was nationally recognized photographer, and I knew that I wanted to take what I’d done for other photographers, which is help photographers build a brand in the market and social media, and then over the past few years other entrepreneurs, creative entrepreneurs, so soap makers, copy writers, purse makers, were coming to me saying, “Can you teach us what you’re doing for our business?” And at first I was trepidatious, like “I’m not sure if the applications I’m teaching apply across grade industries”, and over the years I noticed they did. Totally and truly, and so I decided to join a mastermind to see how I’d be able to scale my business online.
And so that happened until February 2016, I don’t know what a Webinar is, I don’t know how things are going, but I know that I want to move forward with it. So, in my mind at the time, I had this course that I was creating, and as I started going on through the mastermind, I realized that what I needed to do was reposition myself in an industry as an authoritative figure in a niche market, so our very first online product was launched in July of 2016. We called it “Insta180“, which is an Instagram for business course specifically for creative entrepreneurs. And we launched, and I’ll just speak honestly, it was an amazing success. We were blow out of the water. We had no idea that this potential resided within us. And also resided online. And when I say us, I’m lucky and fortunate enough to work with my high school sweet heart, husband and business partner. So when I see say we, that’s what I’m referring to. It’s my name on the brand, but it’s both of us behind the scenes. So, we launched it in July, and then we also launched it again in October.
And in November was when you and I met. So here I am just coming from “What’s a Webinar? Oh, I can sell stuff online? Oh, we had this great launch.” And then in November I hear about this thing called evergreen. And I’m like taking notes, no idea what the words are that you are saying. It’s like I’m writing Japanese. And I’m like “I’m gonna figure this out when I go home.” And that puts us to where we are today. So we met in November. I emailed you. It was pretty stalker-ish of me Jack, let’s be real. Like you spoke and then the next morning I’m on a flight out at 5:30 am, “Hey Jack, great meeting you. What does your business do? How can we connect?” And then in December of 2016 I started building what we now know as our evergreen is Insta180. And in January I connected with a team at System.ly to help build out the funnel, but really use Deadline Funnel as a key component to our launch, and now success.
JB: Awesome, awesome. So what I want to ask you is, so if things were going great, and they were, why was it that you decided that you wanted to invest the time, the money and the energy with not just my software but also a team to help build out an evergreen funnel? What was the thought process behind that?
JB: Well, I only make business decisions based on demand. And because we were having a hard open and close for these massive launches that we were doing, we were leaving a lot of opportunities on the table. Because there are people that want to learn Instagram for their business then, and I had decided that we were gonna launch Insta only twice a year. So if you didn’t get within that one week time, so two weeks out of the year you’re eligible to buy this, and I just felt like there were a lot of people who needed help now. And we’re really trying to use our funnel to go after cold traffic. So our audience may have given them plenty of opportunities. We did a seven day Instagram challenge, which lead into a series of Webinars during the live launches. But, you know, the vast majority of the year we also want to give an opportunity to people that are interested that may be not on my radar and didn’t have that opportunity.
JB: Awesome, awesome. So, you sent me an email and you shared some of your results. So maybe we should talk. Show whatever numbers you want, or don’t want. Give me an idea of how it worked for you, using the evergreen funnel set up by system lead.
JS: Yeah, awesome, absolutely. So I don’t mind talking about numbers because I made a promise, a promise to myself, that when I transitioned into a new industry, I want to bring whoever I can along with the journey. I want to be transparent. I want to talk about the sticky points, things that aren’t working as well as the things that are. I don’t profess to be, or have the Midas touch, or everything that I touch turns to gold. We have a lot, a lot to learn. So having said that, we built out the funnels. We knew exactly what we wanted to do, we set ads in place, and not even 24 hours after launching the evergreen of Insta180 we had, by the time we had emailed you, we had made 1,800 dollars in about 21 hours. So I woke up the next day and I was like “What the heck just happened?” Like, I felt guilty, I all of a sudden felt money shame. I was like, “How am I making money not doing anything?”
I mean, we did a lot, we did a lot to get that thing online, but in that moment there was like this weird, surreal, oh my god, the thing that I had dreamed of in college, was to make money when I sleep. And that was happening, and it was just a completely surreal, crazy moment. And so my strategy was to focus on my strengths. So my strengths was to record the Webinar, find really crunchy, tactile Q and A, to make sure that I’m answering in a very conversational manner. Making sure that I’ve gone through the Webinar enough, with enough time, to really know that it delivers.
Our Webinar, when we did it live, was converting at 13 percent, which is pretty good. I thought it was terrible. I had done a Webinar and was like “Aw this is terrible, who converts at 13 percent” and people were like “no that’s pretty average, you’re hitting a nice stride.” And our price points, when we are live, are 197 and 297 for a VIP option that’s not eligible for our evergreen. So we’re only launching that project at 197. And so we knew that it delivered, we knew that it performed, we knew the hot button things to kind of press on as we’re engaging with people who are watching online, as well as we know what bonuses work. And I think that having done all that heavy lifting in advance I don’t, you had even said in the November meeting, you had said “I don’t think that you should really create a product and then put it immediately out on evergreen. Like, you should test it. You should let the market kind of mold what it should be.” And I think that that was one of the best things that we could have done.
And so by the time we got to November. I had done all like, the creative, the ads, the videos, how are we gonna actually be launching this? I had all of the emails. So I repurposed a lot of the emails that I used during our live launches, turned that all over to System Lead, and I itemized. They gave me a list, these are the emails that we need. I plugged and chugged those, and then they set up all the emails for me. It was pretty seamless. And then we have Deadline Funnel, which really does create the call of action all on it’s own.
JB: Fantastic. So, now I know that you’re not super techy, from the stand point of funnel building. That’s why you hired System Lead to build it for you. But can you give us somewhat of an over view of how someone goes through your funnel? Because I know that people are going to be interested to know, well “what does her funnel look like that’s working so well?” Are they watching three videos? Let’s just start there. Just describe it however you want.
JS: Okay. Now I am just gonna say what people who are like funnel hackers, they’re gonna be watching this and they’re gonna be rolling their eyes, and like “how is this girl successful?” And this is the thing I get quite often, is “How can she be in a position to talk about something when she herself isn’t doing the implementation?” And I can say that we are running a highly successful business because we really focus on what we do extraordinarily well. I don’t need to do everything in my business. I need to have an understanding of what’s going on in my business, and so the understanding of my funnel is what I’m going to share and disseminate today. But I’m call it for what it is. I will probably say things wrong.
So I’m going to talk about this because I’m very creative. I’m gonna talk about it from actual functionality. So I have an ideal client. We’ve targeted her on Facebook. We know what she likes. We know what likes she wants to be engaged with. So she sees the ad and when she clicks on the ad to sign up for the Webinar which we’re calling a masterclass, when she signs up for her master class she gets one of two options. Just in time, which is “Oh, you have a Webinar that’s starting in 15 minutes”, or you could sign up for a Webinar starting the next at 10 am Pacific standard time.
So if she signs up for the “Just in Time”, she’ll get a reminder saying “Here’s your link, tune in now, we’re gonna be there.” So she goes and she watches the webinar, and then when the webinar commences, if she buys on the webinar she gets bonuses, and then a thank you, and then access. If she does not buy, she will get a link that night that says, “Hey, if you missed the webinar,” or actually we’ve tagged them. So if they didn’t watch the webinar but they missed it, they get the replay. And then we say thank … or another funnel would be “Hey if you came to the Webinar, we want to make sure that you have a replay so you can watch it and take notes.” And then from there we have an email that goes out. So we have a seven day cart, and we have an email every single day of the seven days with a mid-launch bonus on three days after. And then we have a cart closing and then on our cart closing day we send four emails.
JB: Ah, You took my advice.
JS: Jack, I told you whatever you said I was like “That guy’s smart, let me do that.” I’m not lying. Like, I literally copied everything so, I’m definitely a guinea pig.
JB: Cool, cool, cool. So let me ask you this, and you don’t know the answer it’s fine, but I’m curious. The mid-launch bonus, I know that that’s something that works extremely well in a live situation. So it’s gonna work well in an evergreen situation. But is your team, did they set it up so you’ve got funnel for that mid-launch bonus, and closing it at the end?
JS: No. Just at the end.
JB: Okay, okay. Maybe that’s something that I could contact those guys about just to let them know that it’s possible to do that. Yeah, but okay cool that’s great. So currently how does your team manage that? Do you look at the time stamp of when they ordered and send out that bonus based on that?
JS: Yes, I have, when I say a support team, it’s one amazing girl, and she will do all the logistics for that. Again, I’m a huge believer in outsourcing, I know that initially it will effect my preliminary bottom dollar, like, or the profitability for that first year. But once we have a system in place, I feel like I can grow and scale from there. So yeah, I’m not doing support.
JB: Well this has been great. Thank you so much for sharing about your business and about your origins story, where you came from. It’s obvious, your passion for what you do, and your excitement is contagious. So I want to make sure that anyone who’s interested in learning Instagram has a way to get in touch with you or get on your list to get to all the good stuff that you have, so what would be a good way for people to learn more about what it is that you guys offer?
JS: Awesome. You can visit insta180.com, because we want your Instagram accounts to do a 180 degree difference. And you can find me on social media, on Instagram at jasminestar. And hey, if you guys get there you might see a targeted ad to check out a live Webinar, so it’s good. And I just, I think more than anything Jack, I want to say thank you for having me and I really kind of wanted intentionally to come on to show people who feel like a hot mess like me, and not know what we’re doing, and actually show when you put your mind to something and you really want it done and you follow the advice of people smarter than you, it actually works.
JB: All right well thank you so much. And I appreciate the kind words and also I appreciate your time. So thanks.
JS: Thank you Jack.
JB: Thanks for making the time to talk to me.