AMY PORTERFIELD: Well hey there, welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and I’m absolutely thrilled that you’re here today, so thanks so much for tuning in.
Recently I was in one of my private Facebook groups answering a bunch of questions for my students. One of my students asked me this question: “Amy, I’m not sure how specific I should get in my niche. Should I focus on sleep training for toddlers or should I go broad and teach about parenting overall?”
To me the answer is very clear. Go specific. Go after that very targeted audience. Go after the parents of those toddlers who are not sleeping whatsoever.
I know that’s a tough answer for some of your to hear. You see the huge potential in reaching a bigger audience. But trust me, you want to drill down. You want to find your true niche.
I get this question a lot from my students, “Should I start specific or, instead, maybe I should start out broad and over time perhaps get a little bit more specific in my niche.”
Of course you know my answer is to get specific from the get go but I thought this episode would be a whole lot more powerful if I brought on one of my students who happens to be an amazingly smart entrepreneur to tell you her own story of starting very specific in her niche.
My friend’s name is Danelle German. She is going to share her business- building story and, to say the least, it is pretty darn fascinating. I met my student, Danelle, at one of my recent entrepreneur experience live events.
If you listened to last week’s episode, Episode #189, I talked about the big wins and some of the misses from my live event. I said one of my “wins” was that I did a breakfast the morning after the live event for anyone who hadn’t yet flown out so that I could network a little bit more with the attendees.
I also told you I made it my mission to go around to every table to say “hello” to everybody that attended that breakfast. Danelle was sitting at one of the tables and I asked her about her business and as she started to tell me about what she’s created I literally hung on every single word. I was in awe of what she created.
I don’t know about you but I love to hear about how others have grown their business. I love to hear about how others make money in their business. She was really free with all of the information around how she’s built the business she has today so it was really fun to hear her story.
With that, because I was so impressed how she took a very specific niche of cat grooming and grew it into a complete empire, I had to have her on the show to share her experience with you.
Yes, you did hear me right, I said “cat grooming.” That’s exactly the niche that she really doubled down on in many different ways. You’ll hear all about it. But as I get into her story, she’s going to come on in just a minute, I want you to really go beyond the cat grooming.
I know that’s probably not your niche. However, the different ways she expanded her business and her brand and the different ways she
uncovered new opportunities in that niche was just so inspiring. I thought you would find it inspiring as well as you drill down in your specific area of your business.
Keep an open mind here. Don’t get too focused on the cat grooming although it does make for a very interesting story. I can’t wait for you to hear all about it.
Again, I wanted to give you an example of someone who started very small, very targeted, and then the steps she took to build a business that works for her and, of course, we’re going to talk about how she makes $12,000 a month with evergreen webinars. We’re going to get really specific into that strategy as well.
I won’t make you wait any longer, let’s go ahead and jump in.
Amy: Danelle, thank you so very much for being on the show. I really appreciate you being here.
Danelle: Thank you for having me. I’m so excited.
Amy: Me too. We have so much to cover so I’m going to jump right in. Tell me this, how did you get your start with a very focused niche like cat grooming? I know you were answering a very specific question, right?
Danelle: Yes, this is true. I was already grooming cats myself in my salon. It was growing quite rapidly. I was receiving questions at that time from people in the pet grooming industry. These were primarily dog groomers. They kept asking the same questions over and over again.
One of those at the top of my list, I still get it today, is how do you groom an aggressive cat or how are you able to groom these really feisty, angry cats by yourself? They just couldn’t believe it.
In the process of beginning to answer those questions initially, I began realize what they were really asking was, “How can I do what you’re doing?”
They were really missing this key ingredient of confidence. The confidence really needed to be based on knowledge as well as skill. While they were thinking that they needed to just learn a little trick here or there to handle an aggressive cat, what they really needed to learn was very fundamental stuff. What breeds are we dealing with? What are their temperaments? How would we handle that? What coat types do they have? That sort of thing.
In order to be successful and do what I was doing, building a rapidly growing clientele list and making really good money at this very niche business, they needed to become an expert. Then, on that they could begin to feel more confident in their skills.
Amy: That’s so good. One of the themes I know we’re going to see throughout this entire interview, because you and I both did our prep, is listening to what people are asking you and seeing the opportunities through that. We’re going to get there.
Here’s the deal. You started with a salon for cat grooming. That was a brick and mortar. Then you saw a need to educate the groomers. From there you started to expand into teaching groomers, is that right?
Danelle: Yes, this is correct. I also developed a certification program. At that time there were several certification programs already in place for dog groomers but there was absolutely nothing for cat groomers so this is where this niche, fill the need, actually started to really come together.
Amy: You saw a need for certification and you created that?
Danelle: That is correct.
Amy: That’s so good, so good. As a side note, before we continue, tell me this. Was it difficult to just focus on your very specific niche of cat grooming?
Danelle: Oh yes. The entrepreneur in me is like, scale all the mountains. Kill it in every way. I would go to these industry events which were really pet grooming industry events. It was 100% about dog grooming.
I would see all of these people, who are now my colleagues, these speakers and judges and these people that really had conquered the dog grooming world. I would see all of this stuff going on and the things they were doing and I was thinking to myself, “They’ve got the attention of the entire audience and I have this one little crumb over here, the cat grooming world.”
I also had to keep telling myself (we’ve both heard this) the riches are in the niches. (I always say neesh but let’s make it rhyme so it’s “riches in the nitches”). I knew there was more opportunity there even through it wasn’t bigger opportunity, it was grander opportunity, if that makes sense.
Amy: Let’s talk about that a little bit more. So many of my students are multi passionate. They want to do this and they want to do that. They see the opportunities and they actually jump to them. You were seeing opportunities. You were going to conferences. You knew there was a lot of money in dog grooming as well.
You knew you could do 100 other things because you literally have entrepreneurship running through your blood. That’s one thing I noticed about you when I got to meet you. What do you mean by “there was something more grand in what you were doing”?
How did you know that?
Danelle: I think that in any type of business model you will learn that it’s not necessarily about having mass amounts of customers. It’s more about having the best customers. Right?
Danelle: If I was going to reach everybody there I was also going to share that with all of my colleagues who were already doing that. I have a lot of competition. I am not necessarily reaching the ideal avatar that I want to reach. I’m just hitting the masses.
That works for some business models. But when I started to look at the people I was interacting with and who were actually buying training from me and pursuing certification and really interested, these people were who I ideally wanted to work with.
There was an opportunity, instead of spreading myself too thin to meet the needs of everybody, I could really hone in and focus on the things that would help them be successful in their business endeavors and build an empire out of that. That’s really what I saw.
I wasn’t having to work with everybody. I could work with these very select people that were enjoyable to work with. They are enjoyable to work with. I could build something grand out of that.
I don’t have any competition. That’s the beauty of it as well.
Amy: That’s pretty amazing because most people say, and I’ve said this to my students before, if you don’t have any competition there is likely not a need for what you’re doing out there. But that wasn’t the case for you.
Danelle: Absolutely not.
Amy: Why isn’t there any competition then?
Danelle: Well, it just was really an untapped market. Being in the right place at the right time. I don’t know. The first time I ever went to an industry trade show event it was up in Pennsylvania. I am in South Carolina so I drove ten hours. I was so excited. I was going to go up there and do some seminars about cat grooming and buy some products for my salon to help me do my job better.
I got up there and there was nothing for cat groomers at all. People looked at me like I had three heads. So I came back from that really discouraged. I was talking to my husband. I couldn’t believe these people.
He asked me what I was going to do about it. The next year I was actually on the ticket as a speaker at that event and then at many other events that year. That really kicked things off.
Instead of lamenting the fact that there wasn’t anything, I created something. There was a hole and someone had to fill it. Who was going to fill it? I decided to do that.
Amy: Why not you, right?
Danelle: Right, why not me? This is important too, when people are taking off and launching something and they are deciding whether to be really mainstream with their target or be more niche with their target I think it’s in our best interest if we really keep it tight around what our skill set and knowledge base is.
That’s where confidence really comes from. If I’m 100% confident in what I am talking about and what I’m teaching and ultimately what I’m selling to people I’m going to do a much better job of that. The further I get out of the scope of my area of expertise and skill set the confidence begins to diminish.
Then it’s a harder sell. It’s harder to succeed. I really believe that. I have experienced that myself. If I keep it real tight around that skill set and knowledge base and then grow from there it does become easier.
Amy: It pays off, for sure.
Danelle: It pays off, yes.
Amy: I want to make a side note to all of my listeners right now. One thing I know about Danelle is that she thinks like an entrepreneur. When I got to sit down with her and talk with her about her business just the way she looked at everything and the fact that she saw a hole and said, “Why not me. I’m going to go for it,” is the mind of an entrepreneur.
It is something you don’t necessarily have to be born with but it is something like a muscle that you need to build. I think it just comes naturally to Danelle. It doesn’t come naturally to me so I know it’s s ome thing you ca n fos te r a nd work on. But s he thinks l ike a n entrepreneur and that makes all the difference.
I’ll keep us moving along. Here’s the deal. You went from a cat grooming brick and mortar business that catered to cat clients to teaching groomers who to handle the cats and then you did that first by offering private instruction in your salon before alter opening the world’s only cat grooming school.
Then you branched out even more all the while staying inside your niche. You added new services as you saw the need. How did you expand next?
Amy: I know, when you hear that it’s pretty impressive, right?
Danelle: It is.
Amy: Pat yourself on the back there.
Danelle: Sometimes I still sit here and marvel. We have a saying in our family all because of Target. My very first cat that I got that really started this whole thing, his name is Target. We are like, If we knew then what we know now, right? It’s crazy.
Really, what I saw as I went through this progression from the brick and mortar to training people privately to the school and all of that was that my business had to grow with that industry we were creating.
In other words, what I’m saying is that when I started out with this, marketing for my cat clients was done very differently. We didn’t have social media and most of my clients didn’t have email addresses. All of the technology and things that have come into play over the last couple of decades changed how we do things.
In combination with that I was beginning to see that while the people I was training could be awesome cat handlers and cat groomers, they didn’t necessarily know how to get out there and market themselves.
Some of the things that grew out of that to meet that need were business classes that I started teaching in my school and also putting those online. They speak very specifically to the grooming industry. Then, teaching seminars that did that.
We developed marketing material like customer brochures and things that could be given out to help generate more business for any individual cat groomer wherever they live. We now have those translated into different languages and they are used in places around the world.
This also led to further training online, products, tools. I, myself, have a patented drying system that is sold worldwide that came out of a need there. How do we dry these cats in a way that’s safe, fast, and clean? That is sold worldwide.
Then there is an organic pet shampoo bar and all of these things that have grown out of this. Here’s the weak link in the chain. What can I do to crea te s omething to f ix tha t wea k l ink? S ometimes tha t mea ns outsourcing. Sometimes that means doing it yourself.
Amy: I love that you have a mix of the online business in the training and also in person. Although I have a 99.9% online business I do see the value of getting in the trenches. I would guess that time with those pet groomers in your salon and through the certification uncovered so many of these opportunities you’re talking about.
Danelle: Absolutely. Listening to them and seeing what their needs were is really where it was at. Otherwise, I’m totally guessing and thinking maybe they’ll like this or maybe they’ll like that.
You know as well as anybody out there running a business and developing new content or new product and services, that takes time, money, and resources. It’s not in our best interest to spin our wheels in the mud. We really do need to have a good gauge on what it is our clients need so that we can better create that product and service for them.
Amy: Completely. For my listeners, I want to encourage you. You may not have people coming into a brick and mortar or teaching them in person, although you could always add that to your docket and do live workshops to get in person with people.
But, think of the opportunities that you’re going to be in the space, whether it be virtual or actually in person, where you are naturally going to be hearing the feedback of your clients, students, and audience so that these opportunities actually present themselves.
You need to put yourself into situations for what Danelle is talking about here to happen for you as well. I just wanted to give you a heads up on that one.
I know this part is so cool so you guys have got to pay attention here. This was so interesting when I uncovered this while talking to Danelle. I know part of what made your business so effective in the early days was that you created a demand for cat grooming.
Talk about why and how you did that.
Danelle: I was attracting groomers to me for that actual training. But, there were two things that really came out crystal clear to me in the beginning. If my goal was really to train these groomers to be successful at cat grooming they were going to need clients.
They were going to need a healthy client list, not five clients or ten clients. They are going to need hundreds or thousands of clients.
There was that and then there was also, if I was going to continue to grow my business and get new students, I needed to create a demand for their services so that they would want to buy the training and certification to do that work.
We joke and call it cat calls. You know, you get cat calls at work. What that means is the phone rings and people ask how much you charge to groom a cat. That’s a cat call. That’s a potential client inquiring about your services.
There were some things that had to be overcome there. One was a myth, that cats groom themselves. No they don’t. They get matted and all this kind of stuff.
How can a professional cat groomer not only alleviate these problems but then prov ide a preventative maintenance plan going for ward s o everything’s better for everyone?
In the process of training these groomers to do the work I also had to spend some time focusing on how they could help create that demand for their services. I could not continue to do that all myself. I would burn out and run out of time and energy.
That was where some of the training took a turn in my programs to be able to equip them to do that.
Amy: So you would help the groomers actually get the word out about how important it is to hire someone to groom their cat?
Danelle: Correct. The best way to do that, really, is to identify the problems. This would be useful to anyone. We are talking pain points. To anyone in any industry, what are the pain points a cat owner is living with? Shedding hair, sharp claws.
What person that you know that has a cat loves cat hair all over their black sweater? No one does. So how can we use that very real fact to generate interest in professional cat grooming services? Who likes their cat shredding their furniture? No one likes that.
These are real problems. And guess what? Hair keeps growing. Nails keep growing. These are ongoing problems so that is even better. How can we address that and bring those to the forefront to shed some light on them so that people will go, “Oh yeah! You know what? I could really benefit from that. I need to find myself a cat groomer.”
Where are they going to go? They are going to Google this and hopefully they will end up at my website. We have a searchable directory of our members and certified members. We’ve got videos and things. There is a ton of stuff on YouTube we’ve put out. I’ve written articles for Catster and all kinds of things over the years. I’ve been on Animal Planet.
We can begin to get the word out about this stuff so that people on the internet are going to see this somewhere.
Amy: Oh my gosh. This is so good. You were creating the demand to show cat owners they need regular grooming. That is where the valuable content comes in to get the word out. Then you were also training the groomers to build the proper business to support the cat owners as well as equipping them to help drive the demand themselves because you can’ t be the only one educating people with cats that they need groomers.
You were having the business owners do that as well. So you were actually coming at it from both ends. I personally think that’s genius.
Danelle: Thank you. It’s been a lot of work but it’s paid off.
Amy: I bet it has, for sure. So it doesn’t even end there. From there you branched out to a non-cat grooming audience. How did that come about?
Danelle: That came about by actually having students in my brick and mortar school program. These people were coming from outside of my local area. They were getting on an airplane and flying from Australia or Taiwan or Switzerland or Canada or anywhere in the U.S.
They are attending my program. It’s several weeks long. When I have these students in house for a period of time and really get to know them I was starting to see that more and more non groomers and non-pet professionals were coming to the school.
They were coming from industries outside of the animal industry. They were either looking for a career change because they were burnt out and tired of what they were doing or they had lost their job. We had that 2008 and 2009 time where a lot of companies were downsizing and they were forced back into what they were going to do with themselves.
They chose that as a profession. They did great at it and they are doing great at it. I just have some incredible stories of students that are just killing it with the cat grooming and I love it. It’s exciting to me.
Amy: It is exciting. I was wondering when you first told me the story, how did you find your best customers?
Danelle: Initially I think they found me. It is the internet. I have done some research and asked them what they were searching for. What were you on the internet Googling that led you to National Cat Groomer’s Institute and think, “Hey, this is something I could do”?
They would tell me the terms they were looking for and we started to incorporate those key words and things into our website. We started to build some content that would speak directly to those people so that we weren’t relying on them finding us. We could actively start to seek them out.
Amy: Which I loved. We’re going to get to webinars in a moment but I have to say that you created a webinar, and I’m going to give the exact title. The title is “Break Free From the Job You Hate: 60 days to a totally niched cat-grooming career.”
This is a free webinar that you put out there, right?
Danelle: Yes, yes.
Amy: So brilliant. When I was talking to Danelle about this audience she actually didn’t know existed until it started to come into her salon to get certified, they were nurses, teachers, and HR professionals looking for a career change.
She said they were determined and intelligent and had a no-fail attitude. They were excited to learn and money was never an objection for them to buy her courses and get the certification and all that. She thought, “Wait a second, I want more of this,” so she created a webinar to attract the kind of audience she wanted in her training certification courses and all that good stuff.
I thought that was actually genius as well. I think I’m going to use the word genius 100 times throughout this interview because I genuinely feel that way. It’s so good.
With that, I want to talk about money. Today where does your revenue come from?
Danelle: We have books. I have curriculum I have written, DVDs, books, and that sort of thing. We have our certification program we do. They have to pay to take those exams and go through the certification process.
I still do in-person training on a very select basis and I do still speak both domestically and internationally and then also, my favorite, we added in about a year ago our evergreen webinars and online courses.
Amy: Evergreen webinars and online courses. Okay! This is the stuff I’ve been waiting for. I wanted to talk about this. Tell me your experience with webinars in your very specific niche.
Danelle: I started out doing webinars in 2010. I was using GoToWebinar. This was before they even had the capability to record the webinar so I did these. Talk about labor intensive. I would do the webinar. It was usually about an hour long. Then it was gone. It was GONE.
I hate to think about that but somewhere along the way there was the ability to record those and we did. I now have something like 40 webinars prerecorded from back in those days and we use those. We repurpose those in our member benefit online courses because that’s some great material.
I don’t need to do it again. It’s timeless stuff. We were able to monetize that through some of our online courses.
I stepped away from the webinars and got really busy traveling. I just stepped away from that for a while. I had 40 of them and thought it was enough. Then one day a friend of mine, a colleague of mine in the industry, and I were horseback riding together. She said, “You’ve got to hear this webinar by this gal named Amy Porterfield. You’re just going to love this.”
She sent me the replay link to your Webinars That Convert webinar you had done. I listened to it on an hour drive back from trail riding with her. That was the fasted hour ever. It was so fun.
As soon as I unloaded my horse and unhooked the trailer and got back in the house I ordered Webinars That Convert and started to implement those new, more modern, technology filled, wonderful things that are available to us now. It’s been great.
Amy: That’s so very cool. First of all, I just had an a-ha moment. I might have understood you incorrectly so you have to school me here. Did you say you listened to my webinar but weren’t actually watching it?
Danelle: That is correct. I was driving.
Amy: That’s kind of interesting in and of itself. The fact that I’ve been hearing a lot about audio just taking over. It’s so much easier than even watching video. I don’t know, something’s kind of brewing in my head around that. Thank you for sharing that you listened to it and didn’t even watch it.
It is a really image-heavy webinar. But the fact that it still converted for you is pretty cool. I also know you said you listened to the webinar and bought the program. Ten days later you implemented the program and did two webinars and sold ten off the bat.
When you shared that with me one of the a-ha moments I had about you being an entrepreneur and thinking like an entrepreneur is that you didn’t waste any time. I feel the people that have really good success with online training programs buy it and do it.
Even if it’s not perfect and even if they didn’t get every nuance inside the training program they went for full immersion and just did it. That’s exactly what you did, right?
Danelle: Yes, absolutely. I won’t lie. The technology part was hard.
Amy: It’s very tricky in the beginning, very tricky.
Danelle: But I’m also one of those people that when I get it in my head and have one of those “Eureka” moments and know “this” is what you need to do, I started looking at the timeframe. We were going into November of last year and groomers get super busy pre-Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Years.
If I don’t do it the very first couple of days in November I’m going to have to wait until January. My entrepreneurial brain would fry itself waiting that long so I had to do this. I got it and I gave access to my assistant, Lynn, who helps me with all of this.
Danelle: I said, “Look, here’s the date. We’ve got ten days and this is what we’re doing.” She is like me and gets really fired up about new projects so we dove in to Webinars That Convert. We flew through it and we hurdled the technology stuff.
I am super grateful that you have the tech vault in there so that we could go through it. It was really beneficial for me to pass that to her and said, “Here, Lynn. I need to you to listen to this and do this,” so I didn’t have to try to explain it all to her. I do really recommend that.
Amy: That’s huge.
Danelle: Let you tell them. I don’t need to tell them. We did. And we launched that registration and did two back-to-back lives.
Amy: And a $900 program, right? It is $897 for what she calls a syllabus package, which is books and DVDs.
Danelle: And online courses.
Amy: And online courses. Great. Then, what’s interesting is that her replay is $100 more. You are charging a little bit more if they don’t buy it on the webinar. Is that right?
Danelle: Well, I’ve done it differently in the different webinars I’ve done. One is they get some fast-action bonuses. I do things a little bit differently. I don’t go into a launch that’s open. I think you do launches where they are open for a certain period of time.
Because we need this to be available all the time we basically built in fast-action bonuses during the webinar with either a different price point or they get other items added on. Then the price either goes up or they lose those.
We’ve toyed around with some different things. But right now most of my webinars are retailing that complete training syllabus at $997 price point in the webinar itself. For the initial one I went in at $897 during a live webinar.
Amy: Perfect. Okay, so you did these live webinars. You perfected how they worked and we’ll talk in a minute about how you used Webinars That Convert to help you convert well in your webinars. But now these days you’re making about $12,000 a month with your evergreen webinars.
You’re a really, really busy woman so I think it was important for you to not be doing these live all the time, right?
Danelle: Yes. I’m worn out. The speaking and all of that. Live performance takes so much energy and I just knew I had to step back from that and let myself work while I wasn’t working, if that makes sense.
Amy: Amen to that. You said that you did webinars way back in 2010 and I love that. You are such a little early adopter. It’s so awesome. You were doing webinars back then and then you started to do webinars again in 2016.
What was the difference between those early days running webinars and after you picked up WTC?
Danelle: I think a lot of the automation stuff. Of course we have social media and Facebook ads. That was a whole new thing for me to learn. One of the key takeaways that I got out of Webinars That Convert, something I had just never thought about before, this is genius, is the on- boarding sequence and the follow-up sequence.
Back in 2010 when I was doing it people were registering and here I was capturing these emails through GoToWebinar but I wasn’t really using them. It was sort of a love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of way of doing things.
I was loving them during that one-hour webinar and then it was gone and it was all done. Then I just sort of waited to see what would happen. Maybe someone two years later would enroll in my school and they would say they attended my webinar on such and such.
That is just a terrible way of doing things. I’m ashamed of myself. The idea of nurturing them through the onboarding and really encouraging that live attendance and then also the followup to further engage them. I’m so excited the initial webinar we did, “The Three Biggest Mistakes”, last November, we had about a 63 % show- up rate, I believe, the live attendance rate.
Danelle: Then that carried on. I have stopped tracking them but even into January and February when I was launching a couple of more new live webinars we still were holding the 60%. I’m very happy with that.
Amy: That’s insane. I have actually never heard anybody say that had a 60% show-up rate on a webinar. For those of you who aren’t yet used to doing webinars, 20-25% is an average show-up rate of those who actually show up on your webinar live.
Sixty percent is crazy. And most people convert best on the webinar. They will convert afterwards but the biggest conversion is usually seen on a live webinar so getting more people on means more sales. You were converting really well on these webinars so there was so much going right.
Danelle: Yes, and this is where we come back to the niche thing. Maybe I didn’t have 1,000 people register for my webinar and have a really tiny show-up rate. Instead I had 400 people sign up with a really high show- up rate.
My engagement with my audience is going to be better. I’m just tapping in to my ideal avatar in this very niche, very specific industry on a very specific topic.
Amy: That’s huge guys. When you are really clear about who your audience is and you know you have something that they need and it’s a very specific niche like that they are more likely to pay attention. They have less people to go to. In Danelle’s case there wasn’t even any competition when she started.
They see you as their go-to source. They are going to show up for your webinars more and they are going to buy your stuff more. I think you really hit on the power of what it’s all about and I love that.
A few more quick things about your webinar. I know you used to not have as many slides. You are a stickler for my rule of 80 slides or more. Is that right?
Danelle: Yeah. I come in pretty much right around that, anywhere between 78 to 82 and it flows nicely. You hit it. It is right on. I also scripted it. I didn’t do this the first one and then I realized I was spending too much time on a slide.
I knew what I needed to say. I’ve done my seminars and stuff so often that I know what I need to communicate but I would get ahead of myself. My slides were falling behind so I went back and scripted for the second live and then going forward I have done that all the way through.
That 80 slides, when you get in a groove with that, it’s really nice. Right now I’m so happy. I do a new live webinar and we’ll log out afterward and I’ll message Lynn and be like, “59 minutes!” We are going for an hour and it is right on the money.
Amy: I absolutely love that. That is so cool. One more thing. I don’t think you use a lot of paid advertising, even for your evergreen, or do you?
Danelle: We are dabbling around with that. I don’t know what constitutes a lot.
Amy: Do you spend more than $1,000 a month on Facebook ads?
Danelle: I have some months. Other months I have spent zero.
Amy: To generate that $12,000 a month with your evergreen webinars it’s not heavily reliant on paid Facebook advertising?
Amy: That’s really cool too. I think people need to hear that, especially when they don’t have a big budget to get going.
Danelle: If I remember correctly, when we launched “Three Big Mistakes” and then going in with “Break Free” and “How to Make $144”, I don’t think we ran any ads initially for those registrations. Then we started to play around with the ads more so when we got into the evergreen.
Amy: Perfect. So there is some Facebook advertising but not as heavily as I do in my own business. There is definitely a difference there.
I know you were generally selling your syllabus program when you were attending and speaking at industry trade shows. Then you moved over to doing more live webinars that turned into evergreen webinars. That’s right, right?
Amy: Great. One thing I asked you in advance if we could talk about because I really do think that when we talk about business we still need to talk about the real-life stuff, you were telling me you felt that doing these evergreen webinars were game-changers in your business.
You talked about why that was. It had to do with some serious health issues, right?
Danelle: Yeah. This year has been tough for me. I just started really dealing with some health issues and I had to have multiple surgeries. Prior to this I was pedal to the metal, tons of international f l ights, speaking engagements. I was gone for weeks at a time, sometimes in another country.
It was just getting to be really difficult and taking a toll on my health and my mental well being, just getting that burnout. Then things came to a real screeching halt this spring when I could not work and had to cancel some speaking engagements and I had to decline some other invitations.
That was really my big source of income so that could have really ruined me. It could have really been detrimental to my business overall financially. Fortunately, Lynn and I had spent the previous two years building up a library of over 20 online courses.
We had spent the prior six months putting into place multiple webinars that were in evergreen mode and we were able to use that to generate revenue. It could have been something as easy as posting something about it in a Facebook group where we would have some of our target customers or running Facebook ads, writing a blog post, or something I could do from home while recuperating from surgery to boost the revenue.
It’s been a business saver, life changer, game changer for me.
Amy: So good. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing that story. It is a big deal to have that extra protection in your business. I still love live launching but I know that if I can’t get out of bed for a week I’m still making money in my business every single day. I really love that you shared that.
I have grilled you with a million questions, or at least it feels like a million questions and you’ve been such a sport in all of this. I just want to ask you one more question. What are your final thoughts for any of my listeners who are wondering how to find their niche and really nail it the way you have?
Danelle: I think that first and foremost it goes back to what I mentioned earlier. We really need to do some soul searching about what it is that we are super good at or really knowledgeable about and then combining that with what we enjoy and are passionate about.
If there is one thing I have learned in this business-building experience it’s been that if we aren’t loving it that really starts to come across to our customers. When we lose the excitement and lose the passion it’s just not going to go as well.
We’ve got to always keep ourselves in a place where we are loving it and we are excited about it. For me that’s changed and evolved over the years. One thing I’m constantly asking myself is, “What is it that excites me?” What is it that I can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning and do? What are those things that make me just love my job?
When I write those down and then start to build my skill set around that it becomes clear what I need to be working on and focusing on. That has changed over the years. I used to groom cats in a salon. Then that turned into private instruction and then it turned into writing books, writing material, presenting, and speaking on stage.
Now it’s really more along the lines of the online stuff and working with a very high-tier group of people and coaching them to really be leaders in the industry so that we can keep up with the demand.
I just think we need to be real clear on our skill set. That’s where the confidence comes from, our knowledge base. Then we need to build up a role that keeps us excited.
Amy: I love that. You have to tell the story about how you were slipped a note at a trade show.
Danelle: Yes, yes. I was coming off stage. People kind of mob up around and all have questions. I could see that this one gal wanted to ask something but there were too many people so she just slipped me a note.
Later when I had a moment to get away by myself I read it. She actually wanted to attend my school program and was asking about it. But there was a quote in there, “You breed excitement.” She had capitalized the word excitement and said, “I want excitement!!”
Years later, with my staff at the school, I got them really nice leather planner notebooks that we would use for our monthly meetings. I called them our growth notebooks because that was where we made our plans for growth.
I made the cover title page that exact quote, “You breed excitement. I want excitement!!” That’s still in my notebook because when I open it I want to see that and be reminded of that. If I’m getting bogged down and overwhelmed and losing that loving feeling then I’m not breeding that excitement anymore.
If that’s the culture that I have built my niche business around I need to keep it on track and I can’t lose that.
Amy: So good. I love that quote and I think we all need to ask ourselves if we’ve still got that loving feeling with what we’re working on inside of our businesses. If not then it’s time to change things. I think there are so many opportunities. It’s very clear. They are out there waiting for you. Danelle is a great example of that so you’ve got to get that loving feeling back.
My final question…I lied. I said I had just one more but I have one more for you. For anyone interested in becoming a cat groomer and learning from the best of the best, where can they find out more about you?
Danelle: They can go to http://www.nationalcatgroomers.com and visit our website. We’ve got a ton of information on there. We also have a business Facebook page, of course, but the website is the best place to check it out.
Amy: Wonderful. Thank you so very much for being generous with all of your insights and strategies and details. I really, truly appreciate it.
Danelle: Thank you so much for having me. It has been a pleasure.
Amy: There you have it. I hope you loved this interview with Danelle as much as I have. I felt she had so many great insights and stories and examples to share with us as we look at our business and think two things,
- Am I getting specific enough, have I found my true niche, and
- Do I still have that loving feeling with all of the stuff I’m working on in my business?
Those are two really good questions to ask yourself as you continue to grow the business.
One thing I wanted to point out is that Danelle talked a lot about her evergreen webinars and how they are really working for her, especially as times have gotten a little tough with her health. I wanted to point out that in Episode #188 I talked about my year of automation.
I talked about what I loved about it and what I didn’t love about it. I still believe evergreen webinars are incredibly valuable for your business and I will still continue to do evergreen webinars in my business as I move into the New Year.
However, I also believe doing live launches and live workshops and really adding that live element throughout the year with my promotions is important as well. If you missed Episode #188, What I Learned From My Year of Automation, make sure to check it out.
The final thing I’ll say is that this episode is brought to you by, of course, Webinars That Convert. You heard Danelle talk about it. We went into some specifics about what she learned from being in that course and what it’s done for her business.
If you’re interested in learning more about webinars but you’re not exactly sure where to even start then I want to offer you a free master class. It’s called, “How to Create Your First Wildly Profitable Webinar Even if You Don’t Have a List.”
It’s absolutely free. All you need t o do is go t o http:// www.amyporterfield.com/freeclass.
Thank you so very much for tuning in. I cannot wait to connect with you again next week. Next week is really, really exciting. Let me give you a little hint.
I’m doing something a little bit different where I’m going to share a week in the life of my business. I recorded the podcast over a five-day period where you hear from me in the morning and you hear from me in the evening as I talk about what I’m working on, where I’m going to focus, what’s working during the day, what’s not working during the day.
I’m just going to take you behind the scenes with me as I go through a week inside my business. It was really fun to create for you. I cannot wait to release it next week. It will be Episode #191.
Until then, I hope you have an amazing week and I can’t wait to connect with you soon. Bye for now.