171: 7-Figure Online Store in Under a Year Using Facebook Ads

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By Beth Anne Schwamberger, Beth Anne interviews Mom entrepreneurs who are succeeding in online business. Mom bloggers, Etsy shop owners, and Designers are just a few of the brilliant business moms featured here.. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Oh Friends, I’ve been dying to share this episode with you! Today on the show I’m pleased to welcome Jamie Clinard, who owns the shop Saturday Morning Pancakes. She creates adorable t-shirts for moms and kids inspired by 90s hip hop. You’ll have to head to the show notes to check out Jamie’s hilarious and so adorable shirts.

What makes this interview so exciting and so incredible is that by digging into Facebook and Instagram ads last summer, Jamie has taken her business from being a nice hobby ($500-$1,000 a month in income) to hitting $1 Million in sales in March of 2017! She told me she’s on track to do $2.6 Million for her business this year(!!!)

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And, no, Jamie didn’t start teaching others how to grow a business to get these amazing results. She doesn’t have all these hidden revenue streams or $1,000 products she’s selling. She just dug deep and focused on her t-shirt shop.

Jamie got busy serving her customers well, finding new customers, creating ads, testing audiences, and scaling what’s working. That’s all she’s done, and she’s hit $1M in sales! When Jamie reached out to me to tell me what a difference Facebook ads have made in her business, I was seriously stunned!!

Now I KNOW Facebook ads work, but to go from a hobby biz to a 7-figure biz in less than a year?! They’re even more powerful than I realized!

I hope you will listen to this interview with an open mind. Don’t set up barriers for yourself and think, “well, Jamie must have something special that I don’t.”

Or “Jamie just got lucky.”

Or “Great for Jamie, but this won’t work for me.”

I want you to know Jamie is a SAHM, just like me and just like you. She grew her business in the margins. She was tinkering with ads during naptime and bedtime, and her business started taking off!

In fact, after the first month when business really exploded, she had to turn her ads off because she was getting SO much business. She took the time to hire the right employees, set up the right systems, and then she turned the ads back on for massive growth!

I hope hearing from Jamie will get you excited at what’s possible when you use Facebook ads to grow your business!

4:00 - A Shop That Started...Thanks To Pancakes!

Jamie is also a mom of two kids, a 4-year-old girl and 18-month-old little boy. She worked in gang prevention before she got pregnant. She loved her work, but when she was expecting her daughter, her family decided it was time to pursue something different. There’s so much negativity in the world that Jamie wanted to find an outlet to bring more light and laughter to people.

Jamie has always been a fan of 90’s rap and hip hop. In college she created a playlist called ‘Saturday Morning Pancakes’ to crank up every Saturday morning while she made pancakes for her roommates. They were the kinds of songs you just HAD to dance to!

So when she thought about a company name, that was the first thing that popped into her mind. She thought about how funny it would be to incorporate hip hop phrases into kids clothing… turning something “tough” into something funny and cute.

And it worked! People loved it. Saturday Morning Pancakes has taken off. (Just wait until you hear the behind the scenes!)

7:24 - Best Seller From The Beginning

Jamie’s first tee design is actually still her best seller -‘Regulators Mount Up’. The song is so popular and well-known, but the twist of the kid tricycle is just so funny. That’s why Jamie thinks the tee has sold well.

8:40 - Crazy Business Growth...Thanks to Facebook Ads!

We’ve been hinting a lot about Jamie’s crazy growth, let’s get to it!

Until the summer of 2016, Jamie was doing everything for her business -- from the screen printing and shipping, to the marketing and designing, in her garage - with two kids in the house! Something snapped in Jamie and she wanted more from her business. With that motivation, she started researching Facebook ads, Instagram marketing, and email newsletters. It was pretty overwhelming to tackle all at once! So Jamie decided to pick one method and roll with it.

It was around this time that Jamie found FB Brilliance. She was in a PR-focused group called Cupcake Magazine. She asked if anyone knew anything about Facebook Ads, and a member directed her to Brilliant Business Moms!

She found us thanks to that group, and joined our course. It took Jamie two months to get through the content with two little ones at home, but it was exciting! She kept pushing past the tech hurdles and tougher parts of mastering ads, and she finally got her ads up and running!

Jamie’s first ads were okay, but once she sat down and thought about her customer, it all started to come together. Jamie started thinking about all of the websites she would visit online, and all the interests she had, and she used that to narrow in on her targeting and show her ads to the right people.

She started testing a few audiences at once, and things really started snowballing! As Jamie’s sales started to grow in a big way, her husband finally told her, “You need to turn off the ads!” She got so many orders that it was almost scary! She knew she couldn’t continue to run the business on her own. Jamie and her husband sat down together to refocus, and make a plan.

Jamie hired a fantastic college girl to help her with shipping, and the business kept growing the more she scaled her ads. It was really fun...and addicting!

After a few growth spurts, Jamie was able to get some warehouse space and hire even more staff to handle fulfillment and shipping.

With all this growth, Jamie is still really involved in her business. She does all her Facebook ads and product design herself, but she has a team that helps her ship, and a company that helps her screenprint her tees.

13:20 - Nobody Can Nail The Heart Of Your Brand Like You Can

Jamie tried hiring an ad agency to help with Facebook ads, because she thought there might be a lot of information she didn’t know. But… the ad agency totally bombed! They were targeting all sorts of strange interests and creating ads that just didn’t resonate with Jamie’s ideal customers. This experience helped Jamie realize she REALLY was the person who knew her business best!

At the end of the day, a big fancy ad agency can’t capture what makes your business unique as much as you can. No one else has that special sauce!

In our case Ellen, our team member, is perfect at making ads exactly how I envision them. Jamie also has an awesome team member Carli, who is their Social Media Manager and always hits the nail on the head with her funny posts.

Jamie’s first hire was her General Manager, Jenn, who is in charge of all operations. (To meet her entire, awesome team, just visit their about page!) It is scary to let go, but oftentimes letting go in some areas will allow you to grow! Isn’t it hard to be a mom and CEO?

16:00 - Tips For Hiring A Team

We always recommend hiring for personality. That really matters!

Jamie has found that her customers really connect with her team! They love getting to see them in action. Her team shares hilarious videos on Instagram stories, and Jamie loves it when fans write to her saying, ‘Your Team Is So Cute!’.

16:50 - Just HOW Big Did She Grow?

To give you a sense of how much Jamie’s business has grown: she has 9 employees, a shared warehouse with an aftermarket company, and a shared space with a non-profit.

Her business is bringing in six figures each month. “I never thought this was possible in my LIFE! I didn’t even think six figures in a YEAR was achievable!”

18:14 - Crushing Business Goals at SMP

Okay, so I have to go on a little rant here. A lot of us mompreneurs receive patronizing comments on a regular basis: ‘“Oh honey, your cute little business” - that kind of thing. And it’s so frustrating! All of us are capable of six figure years and more!! We need to ignore the patronizers who think we just have a cute hobby. Our businesses can be so much more than that if we want them to be!

In fact, Saturday Morning Pancakes is already a seven-figure company! (That’s still a goal of ours here at Brilliant Business Moms!) When Jamie hit a million in sales for the year, she was so in the grind trying to make sure everything was working, that she almost missed the milestone! (It happened in March of this year!)

Once she realized that her company had surpassed seven figures, she and her husband did have a celebratory beer on the couch, and kept on working hard. “I would say to myself, ‘It’s working! It’s working! I hope it keeps working!’ I kept thinking I would wake up one morning and the ads would suddenly not work.”

So far, Jamie’s business just keeps on growing, and now, she’s got a huge base of happy customers who will continue to come back and buy from her again and again!

21:00 - Why You Shouldn’t Set an Ads Budget

So you ladies might freak when you hear how much Jamie is spending on ads, but stick with us to hear her ROI!

Jamie determines how much to put into a given ad set (a particular audience that she’s showing a particular ad to) based on whether she’s getting sales for $6 or less from that ad set. If a couple of days go by and Jamie’s cost per sale is much higher than $6, she’ll turn off that ad set.

And if she’s getting sales conversions for as little as $1 to $2 each, she will scale those ads aggressively!

At first, Jamie started with ads for 2 t-shirt designs, and tested 5 different audiences per shirt. These days, she’ll often have 7 different ads going to 7-10 ad sets (audiences) inside each campaign.

Jamie never caps her budget. If your ads are doing well, and earning you profitable sales, don’t limit your success by capping!

Early on Jamie and her husband DID experience some moments of panic: “Oh my gosh! We’re spending $500 a day on ads!”

In March, when they hit 7 figures, they probably spent $1,000 a day - and made $5,000 or more back in sales on that same day.

Again, she always bases her spend off of her conversion metric: $6 sales conversions or less = scale up baby!

You might have some growing pains at first, but if you’re making profitable sales and can fill your orders, keep scaling! Hint: This is EXACTLY how we do things here at Brilliant Business Moms too, and I never would have hit six figures so quickly without this strategy!

(And, yes, Jamie checks on her ads at least 3 times a day to make sure they’re still profitable :)

24:05 - A Great Big Ads Mistake

Since Jamie is earning such a great profit from her ads already, one day of having a loss with her ads would be a bummer, but it wouldn’t end her business or anything!

And of course, Jamie has setbacks or days when the ads perform less well than others.

Jamie told me about the time when she meant to increase an ad set budget to $50 a day, but accidentally changed it to $5,000 per day! She didn’t catch the mistake for almost 3 hours!!! Eeek!!!

Sales went through the roof, but she DOES NOT recommend this method! Her cost per sales conversion was $30 each, so Jamie was losing a bit of money on each sale. Thankfully she caught her mistake quickly enough and didn’t spend the entire $5,000! It was more like $300, with some sales thrown in to recoup most of those costs.

Jamie’s story totally cracks me up, because it sounds like something I would do! We all have goof-ups, but usually they’re just opportunities for growth and knowing what not to do next time :)

25:30 - Why Spending Big Can Mean Big Profits

It’s easy to spend $1,000 a day when you’re getting profitable sales. In Jamie’s case, if she’s spent $30,000 on ads in a month, she’s made about $100,000 in sales that month - or more! Jamie says she’s getting back 3x her Facebook ad investment.

If for every dollar I give Facebook they give me back three or four dollars in return? Well, I’ll keep giving them dollars all day long!

Cause here’s the thing: You can decide not to spend money on ads and work your buns off to earn $10,000 month all on your own. And I know you can do it!

But think about all the extra cash Jamie gets in the door from ads. She’s working the same amount as that solopreneur bringing in $10,000/month, but in Jamie’s case, she’s bringing in $70,000/month after she accounts for her ad spend. Even if you then factor in her growing team and say, half of those profits go to expenses, Jamie’s still coming out way ahead at $35,000/month in her pocket. (This is just a general example for you to see why ads can be amazing for your business!)

“It felt like magic,” Jamie said.

Scaling Facebook ads for massive sales can be easy when you have a great product and you know your target market really well. And the more ads you run, the better you get at knowing what your customers will respond to!

26:50 - Campaign Structure

Most of Jamie’s campaigns are optimized for conversions and then she chooses the purchase event. Facebook is so good at optimizing whatever action you tell them to!

I’ve started optimizing for purchases with my $15 mini classes. I can show my ads to a cold audience, get super affordable purchases, and get a 2-3x ROI on my ad spend.

And here’s a quick tip! Facebook has a neat resource called Facebook Blueprint. Sometimes they’ll do mini classes to help your ads experience. The teaching style is a bit robotic, but sometimes the instructors will totally nerd out and give you insider info!

This is a recent tip I learned inside a Facebook Blueprint class: People who are strong clickers are different than strong converters.

Some people assume a traffic campaign will be enough -- just to get clicks and eyes on their site. But there’s way more competition for those clickers. And the clickers aren’t necessarily the same people who will convert into a customer. Just something to keep in mind as you run ads.

29:10 - Getting Started With Facebook Ads

So what did Jamie’s first ad look like and how did it do?

Her first ad was...also her worst ad! The very first ad Jamie ran was a promo saying they hit 10,000 followers on Instagram. She had 30 Facebook followers at the time. Needless to say, the results weren’t great!

After taking our course, Jamie’s first ‘real’ ad was for one of her adult tee shirts that read ‘But First Gangsta Rap’ with a selfie of her wearing it. She was targeting cold audiences as she hadn’t quite figured out lookalike audiences just yet. But her sales were profitable!

Jamie says she tried targeting from every angle to narrow in on her ideal customers, and probably 90% of the audiences she tested were not successful, but the 10% that were she threw everything at them and made massive sales!

Jamie’s purchase pixel was already in place to track those sales and measure exactly how much it was costing her per sale for a given audience she was targeting.

31:05 - How Much Should You Spend to Know if it’s Working?

Some of Jamie’s audiences convert immediately, low and quickly. Those are the ones she pushes money towards. Some audiences have no sales for 3 days, but all of a sudden they take off like wildfire.

Jamie gives each ad set about 3 days at $5 a day before calling it quits. And if she has a gut feeling to push one audience a bit further, she’ll go with it! The more you run ads, the more you’ll get a feel for what’s worth hanging onto and what you can stop on day 1 because you just KNOW it’s not going to work out!

32:33 - First Month Ad Results

Jamie can describe her results best by growth.

She started advertising after finishing FB Brilliance in August. She experienced an immediate growth in sales of 500%. It was fast! And she instantly became a crazy person with Facebook ads. She really wanted to push things off the ground. She was researching audiences and checking her ads every 6 hours.

“You can’t give up right away if it doesn’t go well,” Jamie cautions. She went through about 20 audiences before one worked. But once it worked, it REALLY WORKED.

I still remember Jamie emailing me at the end of last August telling me about her month of 17k in sales! Things took off for her really quickly because she was constantly testing and tweaking her ads strategy!

The selfie with her tee shirt was her only ad she was running at the time, but then she created ads for her ‘Regulators’ kid tee. Facebook tends to like women’s shirts better than their kids’ shirts, which is interesting!

34:40 - Way to go Facebook!

I see Jamie’s ads in my Instagram feed all the time! I’m someone who sees a product I love, and I will buy it right away! Way to go Facebook, very smart with the targeting ;)

The Facebook pixel is seriously awesome, you guys. They will go out and find people who will give you sales at the most affordable rate!

35:50 - Mind Blown With Lookalike Audiences

Delving into Lookalike audiences really blew Jamie away. She did a lookalike audience based on her website visitors at first. Then she created an audience based on people who watched a marketing video SMP produced. Jamie has created lookalikes of people who have visited certain pages on her website, and a lookalike of her customers. You can get really deep with it! It’s amazing what Facebook can do!

36:31 - So Many Lookalike Options!

I, Beth Anne, am currently running ads to build my email list. Let me give you an idea of how many lookalike audiences I’m leveraging:

  • I have a lookalike of everyone on my email list
  • I have lookalikes of people who have visited certain blog posts
  • I have a value-based lookalike (which is a new feature Facebook rolled out where they take all your customer data and try to find people who will spend the most with you!)
  • I have general customer lookalikes
  • I have lookalikes of webinar signups

You can do so many things with lookalikes, and the coolest part is, no one else’s lookalike will be just like yours - so you’ve got all these killer audiences of millions of people that only you can really target to! (Ok not exactly but… you won’t be competing person-for-person the way you would with an interest-based audience!)

37:20 - Are Lookalikes the Best Performers? Or Interest-Based Audiences?

Cold traffic sometimes will perform better than lookalikes for Jamie! If the shirt she’s advertising has been around a while, then cold traffic audiences are better. If it’s a new shirt she’s introducing to her audience, lookalikes or retargeting ads are best.

One caveat: sometimes Jamie finds that her ads will suddenly stop performing. What she’ll have to do then is change up a new picture and post text for the same shirt, reset the ad, and the sales turn back on. This is all part of being a savvy business owner!

38:36 - Jamie’s Best Ads

Let’s have a look at some of the best ads Jamie has run.

The first ‘But First Gangster Rap’ Tee, featuring her daughter’s preschool teacher!

Image: Selfie type of photo that moms relate to. It’s totally cool, casual mom style!

Copy: Coffee is great, but for reals, though. Nothing gets our day started quite like a little Biggie Smalls, am I right?

Get free shipping with promo code ? GRFreeShip

Grab yours here -> Bitly Link

40:20 - Talking To Your Audience Like a Friend

I love how conversational, casual, and fun Jamie’s ad is! This is how you would share about t-shirt you really like with a friend. That’s why it resonates so much with people.

Jamie says she doesn’t want her company to feel like a big name brand.

Saturday Morning Pancakes include gifs and memes in all of her emails. Jamie responds best when she can laugh with someone and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t!?

41:11 - Another Winning Ad

Copy: First Gansta Rap. Then Coffee. Then I do the things. Grab this super soft gangster rap tee and turn your cold, cozy mornings into hip hop awesomeness.

Get your free shipping code here ? GRFreeShip

And if you remember back to Melissa Kaiserman’s episode, she also said her customers don’t often use her free shipping codes! They just love the product! It’s nice to include coupon codes, but don’t be surprised if most of your new customers don’t use them!

42:57 - Pricing Tees

Jamie charges $31 for an adult tee and $21 for her kids sizes. So again, people aren’t coming to her for cheap tees, but they are coming to her for these hilarious and fabulous products that tell the world what they’re all about!

Another factor in pricing the tees is that they’re sourced with high quality fabric, which makes her costs higher.

Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth, and of course, leave enough wiggle room so you can afford to pay to acquire a new customer. THAT’S how you scale up a business!

44:00 - Has Manufacturing Changed?

Does Jamie screenprint her own shirts? SMP does work with a screenprinter now, due to the quantity. There’s just too many to do on her own! But Jamie does still screenprint a few of her shirts.

During Christmas of 2016, Jamie was still screenprinting 60% of her tees, and her heating element went out! She was desperate for a solution, and even tried baking her tees in her oven! Jamie says she was desperate to make things work and not keep her customers waiting!

45:46 - Another Ad

This ad is a flat lay of a t-shirt that says ‘You're The Wu To my Tang’ with a cute pair of sunglasses and cut-off jean shorts.

Copy: GREAT NEWS! We are now offering our Wu Tang tees in another color! Woot woot for Wu Tang!

Grab yours here: (bitly link to the shop page)

Get 10% OFF with the code WuTang.

(And shocker again! Not a lot of people are using the 10% off coupon!)

46:22 - What’s Working For Jamie Right Now

Jamie has a great product that appeals to a specific niche. She’s always testing marketing.

What else is working for her right now?

“Build a community! People know when they're being sold to,” Jamie says. “I love my customers, and I’m sure we’d all be best friends if we had the chance!”

I know just like Jamie, you and your customers are passionate about all the same things. You all have a story. Jamie has extended her branding and connection to her customers all the way down to the packaging of her products! Everything she does is light and fun!

If you’re just trying to make a quick buck, people will know. Your business should be community-oriented.

48:00 - Loyal Customers

Jamie says she’s always had a strong, loyal customer base. About 70% of her customers are new this year because she’s just growing like crazy. But once she earns a customer, they ARE repurchasing!

This is why even if you can just break even on ads but get a bunch of loyal customers for years to come, it's worth it!

50:04 - Jamie’s Adorable Mom Moment

You’ll have to listen for this adorable burn from Jamie’s 4-year-old daughter! I was cracking up!

51:20 - FB Brilliance is Opening its Doors Again!

Was that not incredible hearing from Jamie!?

Here’s the exciting news: If you’re ready to dig into Facebook and Instagram just like Jamie did and explode your business growth, I’m opening the doors to my course on Facebook advertising, FB Brilliance, this month!

The doors will open Thursday, September 21st and they will ONLY be open for a week. I will close the doors Wednesday, September 27th - and that’s it, friends!

I won’t re-open the course til next April.

But I don’t want you to wait 7 months to learn a strategy that will get you the biggest bang for your buck and help you scale your business like Jamie did.

In the meantime, I’m running a scholarship program from Tuesday, September 12th - Saturday, September 16th. This scholarship will be hosted inside my new Facebook group FB Ads For Brilliant Mamas.

Five motivated ladies who submit their answers to all 5 assignments I give during my lessons will receive lifetime access to FB Brilliance, for free!

You want to be in this group, and you WANT to be eligible for this scholarship by completing our totally doable assignments.

And if you’re not sure about FB Brilliance, you still want to be in the group because you’ll learn a lot from my live sessions! (Jamie is also going to make a surprise appearance in the group towards the end of September!) Don’t hold yourself back! I know you can do it!

Even if you have doubts that you can succeed, we will all be there to rally around you and help!

And you can still grab our cheat sheet, 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Run Your First Ad right here: brilliantbusinessmoms.com/facebookadscheatsheet

Keep In Touch With Jamie

SaturdayMorningPancakes.com

120 episodes