Mon, 6 July 2020
Welcome! Today I have one of my very own Brand Creator members, Thai Linda, on the show! She’s going to share how she was able to increase traffic and sales for her business and show that no matter where you are in business, you’ll want to see where the low hanging fruit is. She started building out an email list when she started Brand Creators, and it took off! It wasn’t always easy, but she never gave up. Let’s get right to it!
PSA: We’re opening up Brand Creators on July 6th, for five days! If you want to join, now is the time. We talk a lot about being stuck and how to overcome that. We show you how to get unstuck and to take action to see real results, and we’d love to have you. Head over to brandcreators.com/join to sign up.
I got my degree in speech pathology, and on the side, my husband and I had a boat dealership and were making tornado shelters. We were getting by until the economy took a downturn, and we had someone embezzle from us, and we lost everything.
There was a factory near us that made custom picture frames. After talking to a few people that worked in the factory, we discovered they were in need of wood. So we made the decision to move to the rustic wood business, especially because we had plenty of land to make it happen. We were recycling reclaimed wood by working with contractors in the area. We would pick up the wood they wouldn’t use or were planning to dump. We improved the services that our competitors were offering and started to get a lot of business.
Our primary customer at the time was a large chain store that built custom wood frames. We reached out to tell them we wanted to sell wood. They had specific requirements but said they would buy as much wood as we could get them as long as we met those criteria. It was going well until a couple of years ago when they decided to buy the picture frames from China. We had no warning, so we had to think fast of how we could make money moving forward.
We decided to pivot to selling online about three years ago. I had already done research about selling wood online but hadn’t taken any action yet. Once we lost our big client, we got to selling on Amazon. It took a long time to figure out how to ship everything, and it took a few months for me to send in inventory without any problems. Most of our inventory was reclaimed wood for projects. We weren’t making anything with it yet just selling the wood. Most of our competitors were selling processed products that looked like new wood, so we took the direction of going with the really rustic authentic barn style wood to stand out.
We just put it out there, and it took a couple of weeks to get the first sale. It was a sample box, but it was still exciting. It started to sell, and it just kept growing, and we sold more and more every week. The best part was that we were able to keep all of our original employees, and we ended up hiring a couple of other people in the process. I was a rehab director overseeing six rehab centers and then coming home at night to help with the business. We couldn’t survive on the business alone at the time, and I didn’t want to give up the income I was making.
Thai-Linda’s Next Pivot
We decided that we were ready to take the business to the next level so I wouldn’t have to work full-time anymore. I started adding more handmade projects, and soon enough, business started to pick up. We got to the point where it was busy enough where I felt like I could finally quit my job, which was such a great feeling. In March of 2019, I finally quit and decided to work on the business full time. I was just working in the shop all day, so I didn’t have much time to build the business.
I made the decision, so join Brand Creators, and I was actually one of the first groups to join. I just decided that I was going to do it, and once I got in the group and felt the motivation, that’s when everything started to pick up, and we’ve made huge progress since then. It really was life-changing.
How She Took Action With Brand Creators
When I started with the group, I had a good foundation. We had a website and sold on Amazon, Etsy, and Wayfair. But it was all organic, and I hadn’t done a lot to grow it. The first thing after starting with Brand Creators was completing the checklist and working alongside the group. We ended up getting over 10,000 email subscribers and extra sales, and it’s continued to grow since then. The essential push really helped us get a better presence on social media.
Note From Scott: It’s a big thing to be willing to go all-in and never give up even when things get tough. It really does pay off as you’ve shown us.
We almost quit right before we started Brand Creators. We had been to the same shop for a long time and had just expanded to the shop next store. It had cost a lot of money to make it happen. Unfortunately last July our landlord let us know he wasn’t renewing our lease. It was hard because we had 6,500 square feet with an acre lot full of equipment that was full of supplies and equipment. We had no idea what we would do next and how we could afford to move the shop.
It’s important to remember that when difficult things happen and you think it’s the worst thing possible, it can sometimes turn out to be the best possible thing.
Our new shop is much better than our old one, and it actually costs about the same. It was an example of something that turned out much better than we could have ever imagined. The new location has allowed us to expand our product line, hire more people, and up to our production. So it was a huge blessing.
Note From Scott: When you’re going through hard things, you’re asking ourselves why. However, once you’ve done it, you realize it’s actually a good thing. Always look at the lessons learned from the tough times. You gotta ask for help in order to give help, or you won’t get anywhere.
It’s a huge accomplishment to have a lot of families work for us that we can take care of, and we all count on each other. The transition from the little business to where we are now has been so tremendous and happened in such a short time. When we took the leap and started growing our email list and focused on our marketing, it took off like wildlife.
The big payoff is being able to enjoy some freedom as I’m sure that’s what we’re all working for. We all want that time with our kids and family, so it’s rewarding that we’ve finally been able to make it happen.
For people who are in a business like ours and you’re doing the daily grind, it can be hard to turn that off. You need to work on your business, not in your business. Make sure you take the time to build your business so it can eventually work for you. I recommend setting regular goals for yourself to get things done.
How Thai-Linda’s Email List Has Helped Grow Her Business
I’m still learning, but I’m getting more comfortable with sending out emails. The first giveaway we got 10,000 subscribers, and at first, I didn’t send anything because I didn’t know what to say. I would honestly just send them a coupon to say thanks.
The group helped me come up with some ideas to include in an email, and I actually had a few people reply, which was really rewarding. It was exciting to see that it was really working and that people actually cared about what I was sending. My open rates and click-through rates are getting better, too, as we get a more engaged audience.
Why It’s Worth Pushing Through The Tough Times
If you’re wondering if it’s worth the effort, it really is! We started Brand Creators in October, and below are a few stats to see our growth.
Just go out and take action. It’s never going to be perfect, just go for it! There is always room to improve later on.
Final Thoughts From Scott
I want you to go back and read each step that Thai-Linda took. She started by building an email list. Now that is taking off, she is focusing on her content. She now has a great foundation, which is great. Figure out what you need to focus on. If you’re looking for help, make sure that you go over to brandcreators.com/join to get more information if you’re reading this the week of July 6th so you can sign up and be a part of our awesome community.
Thanks so much for being here! Remember, I’m here for you, I believe in you and am rooting for you.
It’s time for you to take action, and go rock your brand!
Take-Aways From Today’s Episode