Less sales, less hustle, more clients coming back and paying you over and over.
The beauty about web design is that you don’t need a ton of new clients all the time and once you get a couple dozen clients, if you keep them coming back by offering them value, you can build a solid 6-figure web design business without having to “sell” so much!
And that’s exactly what we’re going to focus on in this podcast episode where the founder of The Founding Moms online community and host of the podcast “Why Are We Shouting?!?,” Jill Salzman is on the podcast to talk about customer retention and how to keep customers coming back.
Apart from being a seasoned online entrepreneur and wealth of insight on the topic of customer retention, Jill is all one of the funniest and charismatic people I’ve met in the entrepreneurial world! I know you’ll enjoy this conversation as much as I did 🙂
Get ready to have some fun for this one!
In this episode:
00:00 – Introduction
03:36 – Greeting to Jill
08:27 – Branding transparency
11:09 – In it for the journey
12:34 – Jill’s first “adult” company
15:26 – Finding the answers
19:05 – Being an expert
23:08 – Community nurturing
24:59 – Natural retention
27:17 – Beginning of relationships
32:09 – Is the “hustle” silly?
34:57 – Hand off and be ok
36:37 – Finding touch points
42:26 – Refreshing engagement
49:25 – Writing off ideas
51:46 – Trickling
55:34 – Josh’s coaching hat
Connect with Jill:
- Jill’s Website | foundingmoms.com
- Founding Moms Twitter
- Founding Moms Instagram
- Founding Moms’ Facebook Page
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #189 Full Transcription
Hello, friends, welcome into episode 189 of the podcast. I’m so excited to bring you this episode. And to bring you an interview with someone who is I think maybe one of the most charismatic, engaging and funny people I’ve ever met. Definitely within the entrepreneurial realm and daresay, just in life in general, my guest in this episode is Jill Salzman. She is the founder of an awesome online community and website called Founding Moms.com. And she is also the host of a really interesting narrative podcast called Why are we shouting, which I’m gonna recommend you check out after listening to this episode and get no Jill.
But it was interesting because I met Jill on a panel with Circle. circle is the platform that I run both of my online communities on my web design Club, which is my coaching community and my students center. And you know, when you meet somebody, and you can tell I like this person, like immediately, that’s how I felt about Jill, I think you’re gonna feel the same way too. And I invited her on this podcast to specifically talk about her insight on customer retention. And that’s kind of a fancy term for saying, keeping clients coming back to you over and over and over again.
Jill does this and practices this in her business with Founding Moms. And she has a lot of interesting insight on this. And it’s interesting, you’ll find out she was actually in the music industry. And then she got into the online entrepreneurial world. She just is a wealth of interesting insight. And I think really practical insight on keeping clients coming back to you over and over again, instead of just hustling and going after new clients all the time. Because that’s what so many business owners and new entrepreneurs do. I feel like there’s so much emphasis on hustle and sales and new clients. But what about the clients you already have?
The good news as web designers is you can keep them coming back over and over and over and over again. So you don’t have to sell so much. And I found it just makes life better in business. Because you can just enjoy your clients, they already know you you already know them. They already like and trust you and know you and they’ll just keep on buying from you. But the trick is you got to retain them. And if you’re curious will, how the heck do I do that? This episode is going to empower you in so many ways to keep them coming back. And again, Jill is just one of the funniest and most engaging people I’ve met in my journey as an entrepreneur, I can’t wait for you to meet her. This is Jill Salzman, again, check out her podcast to why are we shouting after this one, which yours truly will be on. I think maybe by the time this comes out, if not shortly thereafter. But she’s awesome.
And I do want to say if you’re curious about some of the more like practical things on how to give a really good experience to your customers. I do have my business course my web design business course, which is literally my entire process all my SOPs, my standard operating procedures for helping you build an amazing web design business to keep your clients coming back. So that’s going to be available for you. Anytime you want. You go to Josh hall.co/business for that. And for now, enjoy this interview with Jill Salvo. We’re going to talk keep the nose clients coming back. We’re also seriously about the house of fun. So get ready.
Jill, welcome on to the podcast.
Thanks so much for having me. I’m so glad that I could match for you today. I just want everyone to know this is very unintentional.
For everyone watch because this is audio and visual. So the video of this goes on my
For everyone listening, I literally have hung a backdrop behind me that matches my sweater identically. And I might start doing this from now on and only by backdrops that match my clothing.
It’s just a floating Jill head, which adds a whole nother element to the show. So definitely everyone watching or if you’re just listening, you got to see the video of this. No witch Joe, I’m pumped to talk with you because you are funny. You’re super charismatic. We actually we met on a panel for circle because you’re you’re a big circle gal and you have a community and we hit it off. I was like I like I feel like I don’t know. I don’t I Yeah, that’s what most people think when they talk to me, but I don’t know if I’m a judgmental person. But I within one and a half seconds I can tell whether I’m gonna jive with somebody or not
I’d say that your human No. And you’re judgmental, but I also think it’s very human. And there’s not a single person that doesn’t do that.
Yeah. Okay. That’s good to know. Yeah. Because the older I’ve gotten, the more I realized, like instantaneously, I can be like, I feel like I could jive with that person. And it’s not that I don’t like somebody it’s just like we’re not You’re probably gonna go grab a beer. Yeah.
What’s your sign BABY? You know what I mean? Like this. It’s a sort of a wavelength thing.
There it is the wavelength. I liked that perfectly said on an audio, podcast and stuff. So before we dive in Jill, we’re going to talk about customer retention. And I love this topic. And this idea, because it’s literally how I built my business. My business was 100% referral base, as a designer. And as I become a course creator, and a community builder, especially as a community builder, I’m learning that I need to give more emphasis to my current clients to keep them coming back, rather than hustling for new ones. So I know that’s what you’re about as well. Before we dive in, do you want to let my audience know first off where you’re based out of? And I’d be curious, when somebody asks you what you do if they don’t know you, what do you tell them?
Yeah, I am based out of a rainbow dungeon. If you’re watching, I’m sorry, if you’re listening, you can’t see that. I’m in Chicago, stuck in a basement with a giant rainbow brick wall. I’m originally from New York, I started my third company, which is my current company 11 years ago, it’s called The Founding Moms. I usually tell folks that I am entrepreneurship on steroids is really what I say. But I run a community that helps mom entrepreneurs build better businesses. And we provide a lot of education and resources and inspiration for any mom, entrepreneur that’s looking to get better at marketing, or branding or sales for her business. That’s what I do by day. I mean, I have a podcast that also is entrepreneurial. And I’ve written a couple books, but mostly I love doing this and talking about things like customer retention. Because it’s to me, it’s so important, and how can you not talk about it, but a lot of people are not.
Yeah, let’s so your podcast is Why Are We Shouting? Right?
Why are we shouting? You have to say it like that.
Okay, why are we shouting? That’s the podcast. And of course, yeah, it was truly we’ll be honest, some point.
It’s a weekly podcast, that is just a story every week of how someone screwed up in their business.
It’s just which is gold. I love that mistakes are awesome. Best lessons
Is it went wrong lessons we’ve all learned. Very honest and very narrative. Not really. It’s not a conversation like this. This is much yeah,
Yeah, I know, I had fun sending you in an audio clip about my business card, which is a comical thing. Because as a lot of folks listening and watching know, my business card, my first business card had drum lessons, along with my web design and graphic design services. Classic, although actually turned out to be kind of a really good story to bring up over the years of what not to do. But it was memorable. And I think clients remember like, Oh, Josh, that web designer who did drum lessons. Hey, maybe it was a genius marketing move on my part. But
Honestly, I think it was and there are a lot of that I know who do things like that. So you’re not the only one.
Not doing one for sure. But your podcast is not the Founding moms. Why is that? And do you think, and I asked this in regards to customer retention, because I would think personally, a podcast, The Founding Moms podcast, to me would just fit perfectly with your online community brand.
I just want people to hear these crazy stories, because no one is talking about mistakes made in business nearly enough. – Jill
I appreciate that. Thank you so much. And in fact, if you want to call it that, you’re more than welcome to. But I don’t call it that. Partly because if anybody sees in their little podcast library, The Founding Moms podcast, it turns away a lot of entrepreneurs who have a lot of assumptions about moms about Founding Moms, and the stories that we tell while told by mom entrepreneurs are for anybody who is building a business. So to your point, it’s not 100% on brand, but I don’t mean for it to be. I just want people to hear these crazy stories, because no one is talking about mistakes made in business nearly enough. And I’m trying to personally I’m on a mission to eradicate that whole notion that like, everything is so awesome in my business, and I’m doing a billion dollars every month. It’s just that’s silly.
Well, there’s not that many people doing that. And a lot of those people are stressed and they or they have huge teams, and they’ve been doing it for a decade. So
Like a lot of chatter, though, about how well people are doing when they’re not doing so well.
That’s very true. That’s very true. And you may have done well like one year but maybe the next year is different with transits and changes. Yeah,
You’re a rarity in that sense. And you might be you’re just much more transparent and able to be vulnerable. And while I wished I could say that about everybody. You are in the minority in mind here. Yeah,
Well, that’s interesting. I appreciate that in the entrepreneurial world because I think that’s more important than ever. I do feel like There’s a new kind of keeping someone on topic of your current customers. I think there’s a new wave of just being a chill entrepreneur and I might start a side brand called that one day, I don’t know. But just like living the life you want to live, if you need to make $75,000 to live the life you want to live, then that’s what you do. Like that’s, I’m not really interested in being at seven figures. I’m not at that point I don’t really need to right now I don’t need that much.
I like being the quarter mil, the quarter million entrepreneur is like, seems to be have a small team, live the lifestyle you want to live lower expenses, but like we’re building a new house right now for me, my family, but I’m not making millions of dollars. We don’t need to we don’t need to go. I don’t I don’t have those aspirations, I guess yet right now. But it all goes back to like lifestyle approach balance and just kind of figuring out what you want. But I’ve got students like, depending on what season of life they’re in, or if they’re in different parts of the world, they don’t need a massive income. Right? That’s kind of freeing nowadays, right? Do you find that like freeing like, it is possible for anyone to be an entrepreneur and make what you want to make?
Oh, yeah. I mean, absolutely. What’s interesting, as you’re talking, I’m realizing that I have never been the type of entrepreneur to think about things in terms of goals, I did not set out to say, I’m gonna make this many zeros in my you know, at the end of the year, I am much more, it sounds so corny, really. But I’m much more about the journey, Josh, which is awesome. But what I mean by that is that I really want to impart to other entrepreneurs, part of my job is to make sure you know, business doesn’t have to be boring, we can have a lot of fun while we’re doing it, you can make a very comfortable living, and don’t need to go off and scale like all of I don’t know, entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine tell you is pretty necessary. So I find as since that’s my job. And as part of my own journey, I want that to be your journey. And if seven or eight figures hits Great, awesome, but it’s not where I begin, and I don’t think it’s where other people should start.
Agreed. When did you start? When did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
Lemonade Stand age five, first adult company, that sounds bad first company as an adult.
That was the importance of copywriting and where you place words,
That’s just quite a switch there. But
If I make the title Jill’s first adult company, this will get a ton of views.
Let’s go viral baby. But my first company A to 2005. I manage bands for a living and I did their booking I did their publicity for many years, and I started my second company, two years into the first one.
Okay, so funny. I just talked with somebody earlier in the UK, who managed concert venues. So there seems to be a common trend. He’s also an author. And very similar there seems to be if you can manage bands and manage artists and creatives, then by golly, you can do anything online. That’s for sure. That’s like that’s, that’s built to be a good entrepreneur who can delegate and get the most out of creatives?
Oh, yeah. Well, it’s just quite a zany industry, that music industry. And I think if you work with creatives you’re working with. I mean, they’re all entrepreneurs. So you’re, yeah, you’re working with folks and watching what they’re all screwing up so that you can do it better.
What you said earlier is totally to me being a drummer. I did. I had impostor syndrome big time early on, because I was like, I didn’t go to school for web design. I’m not I didn’t come from this background. I was a drummer and a cabinet maker. Like it feels weird to get into this come to find out later on in my journey. Now, everyone I know, who are successful web designers and entrepreneurs and doing what they want to do came from most of them came from music background or something way different, which is awesome.
It’s, I think it also that experience gives you a versatility you probably have carried into your business. My current graphic designer that I’ve worked with since 2005, I grabbed her from the music business, she used to just do posters for bands. Now, she’s an extraordinary designer and developer who also has come a long way and I think probably would tell you, she still has impostor syndrome, because because with roots back in the music biz, a lot of us identified very strongly with who we were as musicians or managers in it, or concert venue manager, whatever he was. Yeah, I love it. And I’ve carried it all the way to a community now where I work with mom entrepreneurs, but I have sort of carved out and created this company that’s based on what I learned working at a record label, where each artist had its own street team. And so I I’ve basically like copied and pasted what I learned in the music biz and applied it to just there’s different subject matter but same same,
That’s beautiful. No, I love that. It’s a great testament of how a seemingly unrelated industry will transfer perfect to online entrepreneurship.
Which is really cool. Now, how long did it take you to know that you wanted to focus on moms in particular and founding mom entrepreneurs? Did you was that because of your experience and what you’ve experienced in your business growth? Like in how old is this brand? That’s kind of a follow up question, because it seems like you know, your, your demographic pretty well.
I really do I, to answer your question, I did not want to work with moms. I my first company was in 05, I had my first baby in 07, started my second company and O had my second baby and 09, did you see the lapse? I’ve completely forgot when I had a child even though I was there. So because I was running two completely unrelated businesses. One was music management. The second was, I ran a baby jewelry company, Josh.
I’m not even into jewelry. So I was running two unrelated businesses ready to have two kids in my tiny home office. And I essentially just freaked out, like how do people do this? How do you? How do you complete a phone call? While there’s a screaming kid? You know what I mean? All those parenting and business building questions. And no one at the time, was answering those questions. I was going to a lot of women in business networking events where everyone’s in business suits everywhere, and nobody had any spit up on them. And, you know, I would go to like entrepreneurial groups, and it would be all dudes, and no offense to dudes. But I was, you know, I was nursing a baby. So anyway,
There’s difference there. Look, I’m a dad entrepreneur. But there’s a difference that moms go through, I actually had a colleague of mine a few episodes back about mompreneur ship, and how that looks different than than adapting, especially when you are the mom of a baby, if you’re breastfeeding, or whatever that looks like, there are more, there are definitely more challenges. There’s also hormones involved postpartum. There’s a lot of different things evolve. So I get that
I hang all of that, because this is usually very dirty territory to get into. And I don’t I think parenting in general, male or female, very, very hard to do when you’re building a business. But there are, you know, like a mom who’s nursing is attached to the baby a bit more than the dad, etcetera, like you just said, right. So to that end, all I did was go and start a meetup locally in Chicago and said, if you haven’t visited a baby, come tell me how you’re doing this. Because what, and I thought it was going to be a tiny meetup. And I was going to continue along with my businesses.
But so many women came to the first one, we decided to do it every month, then, you know, somebody said, Could we have a second meeting elsewhere? And I think six months in trying out this meetup, I realized, oh, there’s a business here. So I, I just sort of like, found my way into the mom, entrepreneur world, because I was struggling, looking for camaraderie. Yeah. And then turned out everyone else was too. So I think I just took my entrepreneurial cat, put it back on, I closed up the music management business, I sold the baby jewelry business, and I was like, I’m gonna do this thing and see where it goes.
So you were your ideal client. And then essentially, you were a founding mompreneur, who struggled with running business, growing your business feeling a part of an online community try whereas again, yeah, it’s probably a bunch of like, hustle, dudes, or like corporate power suit women who like I don’t jive with any of them either. So you have this need, you attract these people by meetups, and then the Founding Moms is born. That is similarly a little quite different from my story. But it’s the same in the way of what I do now is teaching Josh 10 years ago, like where I was a decade ago was exactly who is like my prime customer,
I did have a head start because I had run to other businesses and made a billion mistakes. So I had something to bring to the table. But it’s pretty funny you say that because about a year in somebody said, Oh, so you’re an expert in mom entrepreneurship. And I laughed at them and told them that was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Because what’s mom entrepreneurship, of course, fast forward to a decade later, everybody uses the word mompreneur. It wasn’t a thing. So we’ve put a long way in having empathy for this crowd of folks that I work with. And I appreciate that but so, so really, to go all the way back. I didn’t mean to start it. I love that I sort of fell into it.
That’s the best business that’s the best part of every business. I’m continually
learning from these women, as I teach them, you know what I mean? So it’s the I also love that community is now a hot commodity. When It once was not. Yeah, there’s this, like beautiful understanding that a lot more people have have the back and forth that we have with the people who join our communities. You know, yeah.
And that’s when we met through that circle event, I found out about you and about what you were doing with your community. And again, very different, but very same in principle where it’s like, I’m teaching freelance web designers, guys and gals, whatever, it doesn’t matter where they are in the world, but we have a similar challenge. And we have similar aspirations and like minded ways, even though our businesses might be different, or we’re different, but very similar in principle about getting like like minded people with similar challenges together. Now, I would love to know, as a business model, this will get into, you know, how you keep your your clients and limit churn and keep them coming back. Do you call them clients? Community? Tribes? Student? What do you call your people?
My members are members or Founding Moms.
Okay, so you call them The Founding Moms are? Yeah, members? Yeah.
And joined us? She’s a member? Yeah.
Okay. Gotcha. And what do you offer them? You have the community aspect, of course. And then do you have programs like one off services courses? What else was What is it your suite of offers? Yeah,
Yeah, yeah, I feel like I’m gonna rattle off everything that every other community has. We have a library of about over 80 ish courses, video courses, and we call them snack size, because who has time?
So I was gonna say, yeah, those can’t be like, massive courses?
No, they’re, they’re 40 minutes long Max, they’re, they’re cut up into 10 minute bite sized bits with a workbook. Okay, so that’s sort of the educational portion. We also have lots of live events. So we do anywhere from like I host, a monthly webinar, where it’s a lot of learning going on in a big fun way. We have hot seat sessions, where members in the hot seat, we have a virtual co working session, we have a lot of probably the sessions you have. But those live events are are in the most demand because they all end up being small group and folks get the most out of them.
And then on top of all that, you know, we just we have a lot of opportunities we look for, for our members in by way of grants, and sponsorships and PR, and I’m constantly trying to get our members out there in front of others.
The reason I ask is, so far, we’ve identified who your quote unquote customer avatar is. But the trick is now what do you offer them to help them and then keep them? So our majority of your members like do you have those broken up to where people can just get those courses and resources? Or is it all under the membership? Like when somebody becomes a member? It’s just all together?
Funny you ask? Because you’re talking to me in a moment, where we went from piecemeal to tidying it up into one membership. And we’re about to go back where backwards halfway. Okay. Something’s piecemeal,
Two steps forward, half step back.
Yes, exactly. Exactly. Yeah, so we offer a you know, what I like to go for the emotional jugular when talking about what we offer, because we mostly offer very practical tips and tricks, and we don’t talk about our kids and diapers we, we talk mostly about marketing, branding, and sales. Okay, we offer tons of inspiration, and emotional wellness tips and tricks and ways that these women can understand that what they’re selling, and what they’re doing is really, really freaking valuable to the world because as a mom, entrepreneur, in particular, you can get really lost in the world of, well, I know, I’m supposed to be paying attention to my kids, I have a lot of fear of letting a lot of people down, I’m pouring in more of my heart into what I’m doing than a traditional, you know, nonparent entrepreneur, there are a lot of stories that she tells herself. And so we do a lot of work with our members to make sure that they stay the course and have the confidence to build something fantastic, whatever that means.
What percentage would you use may be kind of difficult to answer. It doesn’t have to be exact. But if you could give me like a guesstimate of the percentage of like returning customers month to month versus new customers for you, because a lot of people again, just focus on new people. But when a community is
I’m the flipside, but I’ve known that for a really long time ever since before my entrepreneurial days, when I worked at a major record label in New York. Your whole goal when you have an artist on a record label, is to make sure that those fans come back to the next concert and the next concert after re point. You know, customer retention to me was imparted at the beginning. So with every company I’ve launched, it ends up feeling very much for me like it’s the same thing. So You know, we offer a monthly webinar, particularly that specific event at the Founding Moms, to introduce you to who I am to who we are to what we offer, et cetera. It’s the introductory. And at the end of it, I literally say, and come join us.
So the monthly webinar is public. That’s not for current Founding Moms. That’s for potential.
Correct. But I was going to say to your question, unfortunately, for me, it’s mostly current paying members.
Okay. Yeah, they’re just using it as a chance to potentially have one more call with your or learn something, which is fine to
I think they actually join because they want to see each other. And I had a lot of fun if I do say so myself, there’s…
I’m sure those calls are a blast, I’m not to put a wig on and jump on one of these family member calls.
I do a lot of dress up. But I do think that they join, and are, I’ve become so good at customer attention that I’m worse at the going and getting new folks, if that makes sense.
You know, but that’s a bad problem to have. Because I feel like most entrepreneurs are the complete opposite. Most people are really good at new relationships and getting people are interested. And as soon as they become a client, what happens, you’re done with them. And that is so especially in my world of web design, this is very, very common. This is why this is one of the biggest principles, I preached it everyone listening and all my students do not be a cable company, meaning don’t give like your most attention and best deals and offers to new people. And then once they sign up, you jack up the rates, or you leave them hanging or you don’t support them.
That’s the that’s the whole thing we want to avoid. It’s exact opposite of what you want to do, especially with most business models. Now, like as a web designer, if we’re charging on average, 234 or $5,000, a website maintenance hosting other services, you probably have at least a you know, maybe a $5,000 a year client. So you don’t need that many clients to get to six figures if you want to make six figures. So that’s where like this idea of customer retention is super, super important. Again, different than a community a membership, but a lot of the principles I’m sure the same and like oh, supporting them,
I mean, I had for my first business service base, second business product based, nothing in the way of customer retention values and plans has changed, like at all. I I don’t I actually don’t even fully understand why folks would pay I’m so it’s so deeply ingrained in me, why would you pay so much attention to somebody beginning, I think, and they’re like, what, that’s the part where that relationship is really beginning to blossom.
I think there is a misconception on like, a scarcity mindset, like you just feel like you have to hustle and get new clients all the time, like you need to be constantly in sales. I think some of that is there’s probably a lot of different reasons for that, because I experienced some of that, because I had to catch myself early on. When I was growing my business, I realized I was talking to new clients, potential clients and doing projects. And then I Once I completed a website, I’d say See you later, thanks for coming. And then I learned later on the old golden rule of sales that, you know, there are 20% of your clients that are paying your way more, and they’re going to be 10 times more likely to pay you over and over and over again, if you do a really good job. If you don’t need to start a new relationship, you can just stick with what you have, you can just build that relationship instead. Because there’s so much time and energy and effort that goes to landing somebody new. Whereas if somebody already knows likes and trusts you your anatomy automatic in all you need to do is convert them over the line to buy something
When all of the people already love and trust you, are ready to spend, you’ve got them locked in. Pay attention to them! – Jill
100 I was about to go 100% But I think it’s actually 80 90% Folks, like that’s how much people are chasing them. But your your earn, as you said, you’re earning so much less by doing all of that chasing to maybe land one person, when all of the people already love and trust you are ready to spend and spend some more and spend some, you’ve got them locked in pay attention to them. So yeah, it makes me very upset when I don’t see folks doing that. And I just yesterday spoke to somebody who runs a community I’m sorry, I spoke to somebody who is a member of another community and was raving to me about how it looks on the site and how the community is built in. It looks so wonderful. And she sort of dropped her voice and said, well, once you’re in there, they don’t really pay attention to you. So it kind of sucks.
But there it is. Yeah.
I thought well, that’s the whole you’re gonna leave. I didn’t say this to her. But you know, you’re gonna leave at some point very soon. Because it’s unsatisfying and you’re not
It’s it’s the same thing with like a one off web design job well, I always teach to do hosting and maintenance so you build your recurring income and keep your clients coming back stay top of mind month after month. But even if you do a one off website project for my audience, it’s like, you still win once you make the sale. That is when the relationship starts. It’s not when you’re done. It’s not like you’re a used car salesman and you sell it, you’re like, whew, Alright, see you later. That is when things start, and you should lay the groundwork for building that relationship for hopefully years. So
When did you figure that out.
I think probably, it was at least a few years into my journey, because I didn’t have recurring income I, I came from, again, the band world, I did not just like you, I did not set up say, I’m going to start this business. And this is what I’m going to do. Here’s my plan. I fumbled into it. I was an accidental entrepreneur, as they say. And once I got more serious about growing my business, I realized that as I got better as a web designer, and as I got more familiar with some of my clients, they started coming back. And then I realized, like, maybe I should intentionally keep in touch with them. So I started doing hosting and maintenance. And then I started doing like more email follow ups. And I do want to ask and talk about some ideas about how we can practically keep retention. But that’s what I started doing is it just I realized I had a few really good clients that were like asking me to do more. And it dawned on me ding, duh, why, and why aren’t I offering this and intentionally staying top of mind and intentionally making them a constant conversation? So that’s kind of how I fell into it that fell into retention, if you will?
And again, I don’t blame anyone for having that sale, sale sale mentality. Because I think it’s really common, depending on what your background is. But the good news is now and I think the reason this is so important, is we need to say, hold on. You don’t have to hustle, hustle, hustle, sell, sell, sell all the time, if you keep your clients coming back, actually, quick, quick question on hustle while we’re at it.
What’s What’s your thoughts on hustle?
I think it’s very silly. Now. I think it’s really hard to unlearn. I hustled real hard for the first few years of running multiple businesses. And I had that mentality or describing the, like, if I if I don’t keep going the scarcity bit, you know, I’m not going to have any business. No one’s going to work with me. And it took too long for me to realize that the more I was hustling, the more I was killing myself and not really getting more business in. So I sort of like I remember the first phase of going, Wait a second, do I have to keep doing it this way. I rearranged my schedule, I would like go in and lie to myself and put in like this chunk of time, I’m in Cancun, so that when I was on a call, I would look at it and go like, no, I’m sorry, I’m busy.
And I opened up my calendar so much more that I started working only four days a week instead of five. And then that kind of left me enough time and breathing room to go. Why am I standing in my standing desk for 12 hours a day, I don’t really need to be nursing my children in this tiny home, I could go out sometime. So it just was it’s been a very, very slow evolution to a place where now I feel badly for people who feel like they need to hustle, hustle, hustle. I even think making it look like you’re hustling is doing a disservice to every other entrepreneur, we need to give each other permission. Take a day off. To not pack you schedule.
Well, he had not packed your schedule the there’s certainly a feel like a new wave of anti hustle in some ways. And the thing is, is I’ve Yes, I It’s funny because I have tried to like, retrain myself as well, because I am a worker at heart. I have zero problems, get my work boots on and just go in. But I have learned that to quote unquote, move the needle forward in my business and to focus on the bigger things and for the health of myself and my family and to be present with them. I do have to be very careful about how much I’m working, how much I’m hustling. And to make sure I don’t take it in every aspect of my life.
Like if I were watching a hockey game, and I’m playing with my girls, I’m doing those things. I’m not checking my email, not doing anything else. Now, I do work really hard still, but I don’t work every day 24/7. And I’ve also learned I’m sure you’ve learned this too. It’s like sometimes hustle is seasonal. So if I’m creating a course and I’m launching, we’re going to be doing a little more work in that time. Whereas if we’re in a past a course launch and there’s a break and I’m just doing consistent content, it’s less hustle and easier to schedule. Have you have you abided by that kind of schedule as a mompreneur yourself?
Well, we have times of the year where mom entrepreneurs check out, you know, summertime, everybody’s kids are on vacation. So there’s just less activity overall, which is really nice. And we honor it. And so we don’t schedule giant festivals or big events during the summer. So we have very busy times of the year, I always try to take a tech break once a quarter where for three days, two or three days, I literally don’t look at a piece of technology, including my phone. I overtime try to insert more and more, which is not only a practice in not overworking. But also in being able to hand things off to other people now have control over every single piece. And there’s just a lot that has gone into being okay with it, because it’s easy to do. But you have to be okay with doing it. Otherwise, it’s not going to be effective, you know.
Great point. Yeah, that’s huge. And I’m curious back to the like this idea of your so you know, again, even like that, you know, your customers, you know, there’s busy times when those times are going to be and when there’s going to be time off so you can account for that. I’m curious, when somebody when you land somebody as a member, or whatever, how high touches the experience, like, do you I tend to offer a pretty high touch experience to make that first impression be like awesome. For example, I send all my new students personal videos, a quick personal video said, Hey, welcome to the core, it’s great to have you know, other course creators send personal videos. That’s why I do it, because no one else is doing it. So do you have like personal touches like that that are more high touch?
So when you ask that I’m like, I feel like I do. But I don’t think I do if you compare it to somebody who makes personal videos for every single person. We I personally message everybody who joins us every single time they join us. Cool. That said some of the things I will list off. Are Automated. Don’t tell anybody.
That’s all right.
They look like it’s me personal. Yeah. So they’re, you know, we I like very high touch I talked about in terms of hand holding. So from greeting her one on one messaging her within our circle platform, to having a very specific set of emails go out to her to literally having members of our team check in with her. There’s a lot there’s like, almost maybe too much. Because some people join us and they’re just like, I’m just here for the education leave me alone.
Or I definitely I think it’s better that you over communicate with them and you over help them then that feeling like the person you mentioned a little bit ago where they’re like you join it looks great, but you just kind of get left there with you.
I’d rather overdo it except that what’s interesting is I think we’re so high touch at The Founding Moms that we’ve actually heard from a number of members. Not not said this way, but kind of you know, hey, just leave me Leave me to it.
Just let me Yeah, well, you look, it’s like a pinch, pinch on the cheeks have a baby like, one pinch. But all right, give him some space. Give me a little space.
Yeah. And we have, we have texts that go out and remind people which feels very personal about upcoming things, or I’ll send something inspirational. We, we try to cover all bases because my years of emailing posting to social media have taught me you can post a social 40 times and email 25 times and people can still miss. Yeah,
I’ve learned that and I was gonna ask you about like your your ongoing calls? Because do you do like office hours or weekly calls with members to where I know, you mentioned earlier? Your
Live events? Yeah, we well, we sort of switched up recently, but we have a lot of these small group calls, calls, live events, video chats. And, you know, there’s only a certain percentage of the membership that takes advantage all the time. And those that do insure you. Same thing,
Same thing. Yep, smaller percentage, like so my coaching community, which is my premium club. What’s interesting is Yeah, same thing, like a smaller percentage of them are there almost every call all the time, those are the ones who are really driving and then there’s the people who are really busy, they just don’t have as much time to dive in. Most of them get more coaching from me, and then they’ll occasionally sprinkle and there’s the people who are kind of the creepers which is fine, too. You need the people who are just going to pop in every once awhile and they’re just checking things out.
But for like the calls, I found the same thing. I started doing email reminders the day before the day of and then I’m uh, the biggest thing for me that I found that helped is I’m live now and I’m live now email, a game changing. And I told my members I’m like, I’m sorry, you guys are getting hit like crazy. I was I asked him like, do you want me to remove one of them? All of them said no, no, I’m going to go on because he’s busy. Yeah, you can. You can email me and say Hey, Josh, I got a call in an hour. I’m like, oh, Okay, I want to jump on Jill’s call. Next thing I know the hours gone. I’m like, oh, shit just live. If you get that I’m live now, that is a big help.
Yeah, that’s a great suggestion. And I might lift that from you. Thank you so much. You’re welcome.
Yeah, I would recommend everyone doing that if you’re doing any sort of like webinar training it is,
it is kind of mind blowing how many times you can contact people. And I will have members say, Oh, you’re doing, I never saw it. And it’s like, we literally sent 72 notifications about it in various ways.
There are people who have like 1000s of unread emails, which just stresses me out to my core.
That’s why we moved to texting. So we’ll just go around that inbox all together. And we’ll be in your hand. And that seems to be going really well. But then people fear getting too many notifications, like, not a lot. For you. It’s it’s a, it’s a constant work in progress, as you know, and it’s constantly checking in with the communities to see what’s working. And I think I lost the answer the main answer to the question you asked,
Oh, that’s all right. I think we got there, I was just kind of curious, like what you were doing ongoing, but I want to ask about, so we talked about high touch in the beginning, whatever that looks like some automations really empowering them talked about some sort of like ongoing, you know, call office hours, community, whatever it is, it’s different for web design clients, they may just need a quarterly check in or, ideally, email is a big part of it still, it’s it looks like you guys are using the that’s one thing, if I could go back, I would tell myself 10 years ago, put all of your clients on an email list, even if it’s 20 clients, or two, and just email them once a month with something stay top of mind.
But then I do it with my students. So my I spend a lot of emails I send every pot every time I release a podcast, they get an email. Anytime I do a new tutorial, email, any sort of special offer or webinar or masterclass, whatever it is, most people are going to get an email from me generally, at least twice a week. So I’m always always, you know, right around ready for them to help out. But my next question was going to be when the relationship has gone for a little while, and maybe three months and five, six months? And that’s generally when things get a little stale. How do you circle back around with them and get them reengaged? Do you personally do anything? Are there automated things that you do to keep people coming back in that stale period,
More automated than not, we have a six month check in, that’s a drip campaign. So we’ll sort of been here a bit, how’s it going? We, so it’s a big jump, but after the six month mark, similar at a year, but then we’ll wait two more years, we have very long term members. So at the three year mark, good for you, well, flip a lot of our members into becoming mentors for the newer members. They sort of have like a new purpose within our community. So that they continue to hang out provide experience and knowledge and work we’re considering introducing a couple more automated ways to keep people talking to one another.
Gosh, I love that idea. Like I was thinking like a three month check in maybe a six month check in an annual check in for sure. And then once I get to a certain point,
I can I the three months mark to me, they’re just getting settled, they just come off of that whole intro sequence or whatever you’re doing. So to me, we don’t even check in at three months, we just wait till the six month mark where maybe we lost her for a month or maybe she just got busy and pick it up. And maybe that’s a big mistake. But that’s that’s what happens with our members right now.
Yeah, I feel like three months from my community is is going to tell me whether they’re serious, and they’re going to stick around, or whether they’re just kind of trying it out. And then they’re gonna they’re gonna leave for whatever reason. So I think for me, it would be more of a like, Hey, how are you finding things so far? What do you need help with? What? How can I better have more of like a little bit of a lagged, almost like the last onboarding type of approach. So I like that. The idea of member to mentors, though, is really cool, too. We need to do a whole separate episode a workshop on community because that’s fascinating. Maybe we can team up and do something for circle about that. Because that is really, really interesting.
Because what do you do with folks? If they’re still hanging out in there? And you don’t you just don’t want to forget about them.
Now, what about client service related website design clients? Let’s say I design a client site. It’s been two years, three years, haven’t talked to them feel a little weird. Want to see how they’re doing? Are they about that? At that point? Oh, so my, my community, our web designers, so for my for my web design audience who are building sites for clients. They’re likely going to be hosting and maintaining their site so they’ll get like monthly reports, but the idea of like intentionally circling back around to either do a website where redesign, or maybe upsell for a new service? What are your thoughts on how to approach that? If you haven’t talked to a client in a couple years,
Yeah, definitely email is like hands down the number one way unless you’re savvy enough to get into their DMS, wherever they are, but somehow landing in their inbox for them to go. Oh, yeah. So my example for this is always my favorite photographers have a regular newsletter that goes out maybe once a month, once every other month. It literally just includes three of their latest photos from their latest shoot. The only reason I love it is because it reminds me they exist, because the moment I have a need, I’m going to remember Gary Smith that just emailed me over the last five years I’ve collected over the years.
Way to go, Gary, yeah, listen, exactly, there is nothing wrong with staying on top of my clients will forget about you. And it’s nothing personal. Everyone’s busy. Some of my clients, like, you know, three years after I design their site, if I didn’t have a close relationship, they’d be like, who did our site? Was it Jeremy? No, it was John, it was definitely John. And then they’re gonna look for John, and they’re not going to find John in the email. And then they’re gonna forget who designed their site. Whereas if I emailed them once a month with something, portfolio, tips on web design trends, something new, whatever it is, Jill’s new podcast, whatever, if we email that the top of mind is so so crucial with retention, my gosh, it’s key,
It’s really, really tough. Because if you also then opt to email folks once a month for the rest of your life, or their lives, and let’s say they just finished working with you six months goes by, they don’t need yet Josh, they don’t need you, they’re gonna unsubscribe and then you don’t have a way to really get in touch with them without manually going in and emailing them a year later, which is too much work for you. But maybe it’s not if you really think that they’ll come back and buy something. So there, there are multiple ways, but the only ways that I have seen work for folks are email, or somehow catching them on social and reminding them you exist.
Yeah. And that can be tricky, depending on the industry, for sure. Especially now, because social media is so scattered. Now. There are people who are like strictly Instagram, strictly LinkedIn, strictly Facebook, strictly god knows what else I can like, yeah, that’s a really difficult
How are you not adding your previous former clients, to its own community, where maybe you don’t have ongoing things. But
I actually I sold my web design agency in 2020, to one of my students, because it was all client, it was all client base. And I just could not do both anymore. And I wasn’t I wasn’t burned out or anything. I just I my courses were growing and my audience of web designers were growing, I came to a point where I was like, I have to decide what I have to do one or the other. I don’t have the bandwidth to do both. So me all my clients, what’s one of my students, I’m essentially kind of a consultant for the for the agency now.
So they are they are the agency’s clients. And I check and I still know a lot of them personally and stuff. But yeah, my audience right now are web designers and web printers. So yeah, that’s where the difference is. But at the same time, I still similar to you, I learned a lot as a service provider. And I took that right into doing courses because like the personal video, I started, my conversion rate went gangbusters when I did personal videos for proposals. And I was like, hey, clay, I just want to walk you through the proposal. Here’s the goals, it was just like I was I would meet with them in person. And I got such a high conversion rate on proposals. When I started doing that. I was like, I am going to be doing videos in this business too. And and luckily right now I’m at a point where I can manage it. I do 10 to 20 personal videos per week, usually for new students, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. So it’s manageable. And I do it quick. They’re like 32nd 45 second videos, and I have a template.
You run your own Cameo company. Yeah,
I guess Oh, I didn’t think about like that. But yeah, it’s true. Yeah, but that guy goes such a long way. And it really it breeds into this, like, first amazing experience of when somebody signs up with you that they’re like, oh my gosh, I’m in this is awesome. Like, how supportive do I feel? Which which keeps that retention?
Right. I love that.
And that’s what’s worked for me at least Yeah,
No, it’s brilliant. I think a lot of people right off ideas like yours, because they got I’ll never get to it. That’s too much time for me. And they’re not realizing no, no, no, that’s what’s gonna make you a lot more money. Yeah, no to write it off right away because you don’t think your time is just short sighted.
Yeah, so a plug for this is for you Jill and for everyone listening. I was recently on Pat Flynn’s podcast for episode 563. The reason I say that is because I actually think you would really enjoy it’s a really it’s an in depth look at all of the strategy sees that I’ve used to grow my business without being harsh and salesy. So I say that to say you might actually really find that interesting. I love if you’re interested in checking in for everyone listening, you can just go to Smart Passive income.com/session 563. Or listen to the SBI podcast, it was episode 563.
Very fancy of you. Yeah
Very fancy. I just say that, because that really dives into more detail on those those basic principles that are counterintuitive that aren’t like, the hot like sale sales, you know, hustle, hustle, which is much, much more grabby on social media these days.
So yeah, love it.
But I like that eyes. Look, I know we’re already getting close to an hour, I can’t leave this as we’ve been going for almost an hour already. Do you have like a hard stop at 230? Central,
I have a soft stop. We can Okay. 15 over.
Okay, I just wanted to make sure just in case we need to like stop the call. So a lot of good things so far. I mean, really, we covered a lot about retention, including all this stuff leading up to it, knowing your demographic, height, you know, whatever you can do to personalize and high touch experiences to really keep them going. Because ongoing type of support calls, automated type of touches via email, text, whatever that looks like. One last area I’d love to focus on real quick would be like upsells. Because this is one of the best ways to get people to come back to you as a different service or something new. How do you go about doing upsells or like new services to people because you don’t want to like take advantage of your current clients. But at the same time, like we talked about, they will be 100 times more likely to buy from you. Because they already know you. And hopefully they already like you and trust you. So what are your thoughts on how to
My hope is that it just tweaks the brainwave slightly and they go, Oh, that’s interesting. – Jill
We don’t do major overarching launches with the upsells we normally just sprinkle it in. I was just gonna say it’s like a trickling we just like trickle sprinkle it into like our the newsletter, they’ll see it on the blog, they’ll see it in the socials. And my hope is that it just tweaks the brainwave slightly and they go, Oh, that’s interesting. So that when I trickle it in, again through a couple of emails they buy. And usually that works, we’ve partnered with an organization to offer the ability for you to find and hire virtual assistants really easily through us. And every single time I mentioned it, a slew of folks bite.
Awesome, awesome, it’s a little bit different with a business model like yours versus a service where you maybe have 20 clients, because you can take a more personal like one on one approach. For example, one thing I teach in a couple of my courses, my maintenance planning course in my business course is that you follow up with clients later on, like after a year or you know, whatever it is, and then maybe offer a free like strategy call or a console call just to see how things are going give them some free advice, which is the perfect segue for an upsell, whatever that is. And it can be soft, because you just gave them free value.
I like very soft. And in fact, I don’t know if it’s that different. Because what we should be doing that we aren’t doing it is going to any members that a year ago decided to cancel. And usually they’ll tell us it’s because they moved it’s because they feel like they ran out of money. They might be in a different life stage in the moment. And if we circled back and said, Hey, if you come back in, you know, you might be ready now. We just don’t yet. Do that. But I don’t think that’s so different.
Yeah, that’s a good point I have considered doing that, too is like just reject because I do not take it personally I had I had to tell myself early on when I started a community, people are going to leave, don’t be offended, don’t be hurt. Sometimes they don’t want to but yeah, like financially, things are tricky, or they’re in a different position or they’re in a different season of life. They’re just not going to be invested for a little while. But the idea of circling back to them is definitely very really, really valid. So
It’s also really scary because they already they said no. So you’re kind of going, you know, no is never final in my world when I reached out to the press, when I’m doing any pitching of any kind. But when they cancel a membership, I’m going Well, goodbye forever. But you know, it’s not
Well, especially if like if you have new resources and there’s new stories and there’s there’s so much more value that they are probably missing out on. So no, I totally agree with that. Jill, this has been awesome.
I’m so glad! This has been awesome. Very easy.
I’m super I’m super glad you came on. This was really fun. Like I said, when I met you on the panel, I was like I’m getting her on because we can have all sorts of fun chats here. We’re definitely I want to do a separate one on community but I would actually honestly love to end if Would you give me the permission to give you some coaching ideas for like five minutes.
Yes, please. Okay, before we do that permission, that’s hilarious.
I’ll bill you afterwards though. Yeah, fast. No, I just because I have I just have these I have this idea after hearing the senior setup, I gotta get it out otherwise, obviously, no give it to me. Before we get to that though. First off, where would you like everyone to go to find out more about you is do you want everyone check out the podcast?
Founding moms.com Go there. You can find us anywhere. Again. We’re all over the socials, you can find founding mom at founding mom, wherever you want to go put in Jill Salzman, our Founding Moms, you’ll find us come say hi.
Yeah. Okay. Five minute coaching advice. While I still have feelings with you, I and again, I don’t mean to like force my coaching strategy ideas on you, but I just feel like it is. Okay. I just can’t believe you don’t have this. I really feel you should have the Founding Moms podcast.
I say that because I find it with every fiber of my being. Let’s see, how does it tell you why?
Here’s why I think so. I love your your why we’re shouting podcast. It’s really cool. It’s narrative. It’s different. But and I think you could still do that because it’s more broad entrepreneurial. But here’s something I’ve actually learned from Amy Porterfield more recently, which is that, when you have a like ideal customer avatar, if you focus the majority of your content and stuff to them, you will capture other people, like you’ll capture some entrepreneurial folks, you may not capture dads with a founding, you know, mom’s things, but that’s okay. You’re, that’s that’s your person. So I think if you had the Founding Moms podcast, it would open up a slew of this idea of retention. And here’s
When you say that though, can I ask a question? Sure. Sure. You mean, like, Would it be okay by you? If I were to take off the title of the current one and just call it the founding mounts podcast? Or do you mean to have something different,
I would do separate because your current, your current podcast is cool, because it’s all about mistakes and blunders and issues that you give your narrative approach to. But what I envision and what I would just see so powerful for you, as the podcast for the Founding Moms is that you have this community, and you probably are connected with a slew of moms entrepreneurs. And it could be casual interview style, what you’re doing right now, I know you love doing just a casual chat, you could do that once a week for your Founding Moms. And you could bring on oh my gosh, you could bring on successful members who have had a lot of success as kind of case studies, you could have solo episodes where you just share half an hour about a lesson that you’ve learned as, as a founding mom,
I just I see your brand. And it strikes me as odd that you don’t have the foundings mom podcast. And here’s the thing, too. This is one thing I’ve learned with the podcast as well, as you probably know, once you do an interview with somebody or an episode, and you give them kind of a we’ll call it like a launch pack of graphics or whatever they want to use to share it. Suddenly they share with their audience. So you don’t you don’t need a market. You don’t I mean, you can but that’s just like, why do it yourself and pay Facebook ads when you can have someone else who you interviewed and then they share it. And especially for Founding Moms, this is a big because a lot of web designers that
I thought, well, if if we do launch that it’s going to be the Founding Moms podcast by Jill Salzman and Josh Hall.
There it is, there it is. I just I think I just think it would be so powerful for you,
I totally hear you. You have the best point. I have a litany of reasons that we don’t need to get into now as to why I’m opposed. But it’s yours. I used to have a different podcast for six years, with a guy named Brad Ferris, it was called the breaking down your business podcast, similarly, and to your point, he and I launched it together. And he thought it was going to help him build his he didn’t have a community, but his people his business. And I at the time thought, Well, that’ll help, you know, find some funny moms. And of course it didn’t because it was called the writing on your business podcast. So it’s not like we went into this not knowing that.
But yeah, that’s the other the last thing I’ll say. The last thing I’ll say and I think why it’s extra powerful for you is that mompreneurs tend to hang out with mompreneurs. So if you interview one mompreneur, and she shares it in a group, like that could be hundreds of people who are really curious to to join your community. So
You’re helping me go viral? Yeah,
I just had to get it out there because I feel like gosh, I would it would be so powerful.
I love that it’s so important to you. It’s really helpful to hear
Well and it fits our I think just like with the way we’re the way sales and marketing are now like it’s you and I are on the same wavelength of how we want to we want to soft sell. We don’t want to like buy this now in your face kind of marketing. I’d much rather just have a car recession and share stories and wins and lessons learned and let that organically bring the right people to you. So it just seems to me that into your marketing efforts, that could be a pretty cool thing, but
I love it. Thank you for sharing. Yes, please invoice me after this.
Okay, yeah, I’ll give you a discount early for the coaching session. But now Jill, this was great. I really, really enjoyed.
I’d love to do this again at some point and you are still welcome to come on to the podcast. We shall not name
I’d be happy to ya know, do either. Yeah. One day of Founding Moms makes it as a podcast. By golly.
You’re getting credit all the credits.
Do it. Yeah, I’ll take 10% and we’ll call it Amen. Oh, good. Well, thank you so much for your time. This was a blast.
We’ll definitely this was awesome.
We’ll do round two.
My sweater and my backdrop I appreciate it.
Loved it. It was awesome. This is by far the most colorful interview I’ve ever done.
All right, thanks, Jill! Talk soon.
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