[00:00:00] Heather Crabtree: I'm bringing you this four part bonus series where I'm diving into the game changing strategies and impactful upgrades made by some of the members of my three month Thrive mind, Your Success Squad. Discover why and how they implemented these strategies. Tune in for each part of the series and if one feels aligned, apply it to your business too.
[00:00:18] Find out more about Your Success Squad and the other ways that you can work with me at HeatherCrabtree. com.
[00:00:28] For this first episode, I'm bringing you designer, brand strategist, marketer and speaker, Amanda Shuman, who is the founder and CEO of CarryLove Designs, a fully remote digital marketing agency for creative small businesses. With over 100 success stories, her team of designers and copywriters help creatives craft a brand that stands out from the crowd so they can make more doing what they love.
[00:00:50] Known for her strategy first way of thinking, Amanda knows pairing a beautiful brand aesthetic with an intentional website strategy is the cornerstone for success and booking clients effortlessly. Welcome, Amanda.
[00:01:02] We're going to talk about something exciting that I know a lot of people have actually asked me about and Amanda does these really well. And she's had a lot of success with them.
[00:01:13] Let's talk about this event that you did and how you use it to sell your high ticket offer. You've done these branded events before. You love them. So talk to me, like, what made you start doing them?
[00:01:30] Amanda Shuman: Yeah, I love branded events like being on the opposite side. So seeing other people do branded events. I think that there's so much fun and they capture people's attention really well. But for me being a creative they allow me to, to have that creativity to bring that into my marketing. And so that's one of the reasons, but also just in 2020.
[00:01:53] Three. I mean, I feel like the marketing space has gotten so much more loud and I wanted something that could help my message stand out and intrigue people. And so I started thinking how can I capture people's attention? But still making it fun and different. And so I do another challenge earlier in the year called find your first class ideal client challenge.
[00:02:21] And it's first class because it's travel themed. And the way that one came about I had these marketing pictures from our photo shoot and they had luggage. We were planning on doing like something else with carrying and love and that just like, didn't make its way into my copywriting.
[00:02:36] So I was like, I still want to use these pictures. And so that's how the, the travel one, which initiated all these branded challenges and made me fall in love. And so most recently we did the brand unwrapping challenge, which was more holiday focused.
[00:02:53] Heather Crabtree: Yeah. And y'all, when she goes in to like the branded event, she goes all in, like it seemed to the max and I love it being a creative myself. I love that. I mean, it just really jumps in and with every portion of. Challenge and the ones you've done before have been free challenges. And so people, I think sometimes like, Oh, a free challenge, like really, what am I going to get from that?
[00:03:21] Oh my gosh, she dives so far in and makes it fun along the way. So even though it was a free challenge, you want to join because you just, it's almost like you see the, you see what's. Offered to at the beginning. And you're like, Ooh, if this is like on just this, then I want to see what she actually gives you inside.
[00:03:41] And the words that she chooses and how, you know, the boarding passes. All that with the free challenges was really cool. And so when we were talking about this, she was talking about what she wanted to do, the brand and unwrapping. And I was go all in, this is your chance.
[00:03:59] And so she did the photo shoot and like all this stuff. And of course she's a designer. So. You made it beautiful and you present it in a beautiful way. But also once you got in, it was so much goodness. Share with us how this one was a little bit different. Cause this was a paid we were trying to paid event, a low ticket paid offer.
[00:04:22] How before, when you did the free, how did you get people into the event? How are you promoting it?
[00:04:29] Amanda Shuman: Yeah. So for the free event, the first time that we ran it, we were doing email list Instagram. And I also did Facebook ads for the first challenge with our Facebook ads person who we had been working with for probably about a year prior. So not just like starting Facebook ads with having no track record, but Unfortunately for the Facebook ads we spent a total of about 3, 000 on Facebook ads and none of them ended up converting into paid clients after the challenge.
[00:05:00] Heather Crabtree: You had people that, that did convert to paid, but not through the people that had come through the ads.
[00:05:07] Amanda Shuman: Yeah. So for the first challenge we did, we had people convert afterwards. So this one's a free challenge. So we had them convert into clients after the challenge, but none of those were linked back to the Facebook ads. So for the second time, whenever we ran the challenge, we didn't do Facebook ads.
[00:05:25] And we just did email. Instagram and then podcast episodes mentioning it. And actually I did like one full podcast episode that was kind of talking about the challenge and did a client success story now for the brand unwrapping, what was interesting versus the free ads where we got most of our signups through email for the brand unwrapping.
[00:05:52] Most of our signups came through Instagram, which I thought, yeah, it was interesting that the Instagram actually converted better than the email for a low ticket offer.
[00:06:03] Heather Crabtree: Yeah. So interesting. The cool thing about that is I wonder if you write like, I, and I know we've talked about this, like running ads to it. But it's a paid event instead of a free one. I wonder if you would get a better return. Cause I know you didn't, we didn't do it this, you didn't do it this time, but I wonder if in the future, if you utilize that same, concept and run ads to it, you know, through Facebook and Instagram, if you would get even more.
[00:06:32] So interesting though, how it was different from email and Instagram.
[00:06:36] Amanda Shuman: Yeah. I thought that was an interesting take too.
[00:06:38] Heather Crabtree: This is another thing about Amanda that I love. She is a data collector. So like she is data driven and that's her brand too, right? Like she'll, she says it all over her brand, but I love it. She really has the numbers and is able to see where the stuff is coming from and what's converting and what isn't.
[00:06:59] And I think that's brilliant. And You know, we need that. We need to because otherwise you're making decisions based off of emotions all the time.
[00:07:06] Amanda Shuman: I have a spreadsheet for every single one of the challenges that we have ran in. I was trying to be nice and not scare y'all away. If you want to know everything about our Facebook ads, I had total spent sign up the cost per lead. I have it all.
[00:07:18] Heather Crabtree: Obviously, this was based around the holiday, but When you were creating this event, what things did you learn from it that you were like, Oh, I really love that. I'm going to do again.
[00:07:28] Or you, while you were doing it, were like challenges that came up, maybe just a little bit more about when you were creating the event maybe mindset too going into it. We were talking about how your mindset can get a little wonky through it and go, Oh gosh, is this going to work?
[00:07:42] I'm putting so much effort into it. And I know you ran into that too, because there was so much stuff going on in your business already. And so talk to us the ups and downs, the good, the bad, the ugly of creating this event.
[00:07:55] Amanda Shuman: Yeah, mindset for sure, because I go into these events with the mindset of , I just want to have fun, and I'm going to try out a paid event. I've never done a paid event before. If it doesn't work out, it's fine. But then, I get into it and then I'm like, Oh, well, I got to do a photo shoot and I got to do this and I got to say, and it kind of snowballs.
[00:08:13] And then I'm like, well, crap, if this doesn't work out, like I just spent
[00:08:18] Heather Crabtree: put a lot of time.
[00:08:19] Amanda Shuman: more time. Yes, that it started out as this small, , Oh, let me just test this out too. Well, crap. If it doesn't work out, I spent a lot more time than, than I wanted. So the mindset definitely ebbs and flows, I guess you, you could say, and I, you had messaged me on Slack, like the first day we had promoted it and you'd asked me how it was going.
[00:08:44] And I was like, I got one sign up so far. And I was like, well, I can see how this is going, but. I mean, it ended up, I surpassed, I do goals by good, better, best. Yes.
[00:08:55] And I was like, well, I'm not even getting to like my good goal, but I ended up falling between, so my good goal was 20.
[00:09:03] My better goal was 30. And then my best goal was 41. And I think we landed at, we landed at 31 signups. So we're a little bit more, more than my better, but if you would ask me the first day, whenever we only got one signup, I would have been like, this sucks.
[00:09:21] Heather Crabtree: She was, she was like, Heather, what, what have I done? And please tell me this is going to work. And I was like, I can't tell you it's going to work, but let's just, let it set for a few days to make sure that, and you can make tweaks and things along the way too.
[00:09:34] And that's allowing that space, but always at the beginning with everyone. Is this going to work?
[00:09:42] It's been two weeks and I haven't got a sale yet.
[00:09:45] You got to give a little bit of time. Allowing it time to actually work. Cause this was new in the fact that it was a paid event. So how much did you charge for this event?
[00:09:55] Amanda Shuman: So we charged 48 and that was just like a good, I put on the sales page. I was like, it's a good omens to doubling your revenue in 2024.
[00:10:03] So it was 48. And then on the checkout page, I had an order bump to where you could add in a customized. website audit stocking stuffer.
[00:10:16] Heather Crabtree: Yes. Which was super awesome too. I love that she had the opportunity to do that. Okay. So let's talk about then what were the results of the branded event,
[00:10:28] Amanda Shuman: hOw much data do we want to get into?
[00:10:30] Heather Crabtree: you know, give us all that you want to give
[00:10:32] Amanda Shuman: For this. paid events. We ended up having 31 people sign up and we had eight of those 31 people upgrade to the website audit included.
[00:10:44] And so we ended up making just over 2, 000 on the event itself, which already put me in the green because since we didn't run Facebook ads, it. had minimal, cost. Being a designer, I didn't have to pay anybody from our team, so I just did all that my, myself. So that already put us in the green.
[00:11:04] But from that, so the idea behind the branded event is going ahead and pushing our signature experience, which is our four phase rebranding. experience. The reason why I had shied away from doing a paid event is because I felt kind of weird about pitching something else at the end of a paid event,
[00:11:24] which is why I'd always done them as free in the past. But the reason why I decide to do the, the paid event just branded events in general is because as a service provider, We always have our signature experience open. And so there's nothing that pushes people over the edge you know, do or die now or never. So anytime that we do a branded event, I always have upgrades.
[00:11:49] I never discount our services. The lowest price today is the lowest price that I will always be. But I do. Upgrades to push the people who are on the fence who have they've been in the community like I see you that have been kind of stalking us to push them over the edge. And so for this events with the 31 people, we had three of them convert into signature experience clients.
[00:12:12] And so the, the event All in all with the paid signups and then the contracts booked. So we don't get all that money up front. They are their contracts. But it ended up being a 38, 000 event all in all, once it was said and done,
[00:12:27] Heather Crabtree: That's amazing. So what did you learn from it? Are there things that if you did or when, because you'll continue to do branded events, whether they're paid or not. I guess that's one of the questions. Do you think you'll continue to do paid events or do you think doing them free works better for you?
[00:12:45] Amanda Shuman: that's hard. I think I'd have to have to run a paid event. Again, because the nice thing with our free events is the last one that we did in September for the find your first class ideal challenge, since it was free, we got 99 people signed up for the free event compared to 31. And we actually have a really good, like show up rate in.
[00:13:12] During the challenge. And so the nice thing with free is that, of course, we can convert higher opting into the challenge. I will do a paid event again, but I think I like having the option open to maybe doing a couple free and a couple paid during the year, but I'm a big believer in, in branded events.
[00:13:32] I actually just did the brand unwrapping the education inside of it actually included a portion of like. doing branded events inside of it.
[00:13:41] Heather Crabtree: And so the next branded event, will you do your, your ideal client or do you know what your next branded event will be?
[00:13:52] Amanda Shuman: Yeah, we're doing the find your first class ideal client challenge tentatively for March
[00:13:57] I played around with making that one free and then having a paid upgraded version.
[00:14:04] Heather Crabtree: It's a really great event too. I also think there might have been because it's a holiday event, a branded event. I wonder if just the timing of that too plays into it, right? Because it is during like the holiday season. You know, all data that you have to take into consideration when you're when you're doing these things.
[00:14:24] So you'll run that one in March. So tell us about your the signature experience. That's what your main offer is when you're running these events. And you can talk about the other things that you offer as well, but let's talk about the signature experience and kind of the four parts of your signature experience.
[00:14:43] And then once they work with you what you have on the backend to sell to them too.
[00:14:49] Amanda Shuman: So for the signature experience, it is a really holistic approach to branding. It's a four phase process. So we start out with brand strategy which is all about like finding your place in the market. Who are your competitors? What makes you different? What are your unique selling points, kind of everything that you need for your message.
[00:15:09] Then we go into phase two, which is the brand design portion. So the logos, color palettes, fonts, patterns, all the, all the pretty stuff that people think about whenever you say brand. tHen inside of phase three, we do the copy in website design. So we have copywriters on our team that write all of the words for your website.
[00:15:27] They are a conversion. Copywriters. So they write with a mindset of somebody coming on your website, that's point A. How do we get them to point B? What information do they need? And how can we get them to convert in the quickest way possible to a lead for you? And they're also SEO focused as well.
[00:15:43] And then the last. piece to the puzzle is actually launching and marketing your website. So phase four is just that we help you to launch it. And then all of our clients get at least a two week, a launch plan that's done for them. So we call it a launch kit. It has all of the copy in there, emails, social media, captions, reels, everything done for you in a box.
[00:16:05] So just either a, you can take it and you can schedule it out and you can. Go continue on. Or we also do have VIP marketing services that are retainers for our clients who want to take marketing off their plate that are specifically and exclusively for clients who have gone through our signature experience.
[00:16:25] So we don't offer marketing outside of our signature experience clients.
[00:16:30] Heather Crabtree: I love that opportunity that you give them the wow factor of here's all this stuff. Now, you can do it on your own and figure it out, or you can continue to work with us and in terms of the marketing aspect. So I really love that. When you're selling from a challenge or an event and you're selling into a high ticket offer, right? How is it different than selling maybe like lower cost offer from these events?
[00:16:56] Amanda Shuman: Because I've been doing this for so long. No, I was telling you in Slack, I'm actually more comfortable selling at a five figure amount. And then I am a low ticket offer because I, I'm so solid in our service. And we have such a track record in all the receipts that I'm like, this is what you need.
[00:17:17] I know that we can get you results and. Like, take it or leave it. , I'm confident in our offer because, you know, we've helped over a hundred creatives launch at this point. And so, I don't have any hesitations around that. The biggest one too is just like I said, with a paid challenge, I always am like, oh, do I, how do I feel about pitching to them at the, at the end? I am a no fluff type of person if you're showing up to one of my workshops or one of my events, I, if that's a virtual or in person, whenever I'm speaking on stages, I always have people that come up to me or email me afterwards. And they're like, I took pages of notes because I want people to walk away and feel like they got value and they can start taking action on something. And that's mainly because whenever I go to, to workshops, whether they're virtual or in person, I hate that feeling after I've watched something and I'm like cool. What did I take from that?
[00:18:17] I hate that feeling. And so I never want anybody to walk away feeling that way after they've spent time with my education.
[00:18:25] Heather Crabtree: Okay. Where can people find you?
[00:18:28] Amanda Shuman: SO my website is carry love designs. com. If you put in backslash resources, You can get all of our freebies and education and stuff like that. And then I'm always open to a good DM on Instagram, which I'm at carry love designs on Instagram.
[00:18:46] Heather Crabtree: Go check her out. Thank you so much, Amanda, for being on the podcast and we'll chat with you soon.