Doing these Where Are They Now episodes is always interesting. If someone’s run into roadblocks, it’s useful to understand that process and how we can avoid those pitfalls in the future. At other times, I’ve been able to give someone just the right little push they need to take their business to the next level. I’m happy to report that with Laura from Laundromats101.com, this was one of those times. Our check-in was phenomenal, and I’m so excited to share her amazing story with you.
Pricing information products can be super tricky, and it takes a lot of experimentation to get it right. Sometimes we think we’re offering an amazing bargain by giving customers all that and a bag of chips for one low price, but what we don’t necessarily realize is that price point can be a stand-in for credibility and quality. It’s actually possible to offer something that sounds too good to be true.
When I last spoke to Laura in January, she had a great product in a really specific niche, but it was seeming like no matter how many tweaks she made to her website and marketing, her monthly income kept hitting a wall. In her niche, people looking to invest in a laundromat for six figures, there wasn’t much of a functional difference to her customers between pricing her course at thirty-nine dollars and ninety-nine dollars. In fact, a higher price point paradoxically makes people realize just how much value they’re getting. By simply going to a tiered pricing structure, Laura was able to more than double her monthly income without changing anything else about her business.
I’m so thrilled to be able to have such a big impact with Laura, and it doesn’t stop there. She’s thirty-thousand words into a book on how she was able to get all this done as an entrepreneurial mom. You can sign up for the pre-launch team at LauraMichelleDobbins.com, and we go over some strategies for how she might look to launch it and promote it going forward. Obviously, I love seeing this kind of amazing progress from the people I coach, but Laura deserves all the credit for taking the ball and running with it. Congrats!
If you want to be considered for a coaching session, apply via the form at AskPat.com.
If you enjoyed today's episode and you love the format of this show and helping other entrepreneurs, can you help me convince others to listen too? All you have to do is leave a quick review and rating on iTunes (and subscribe if you haven't already). That would mean the world to me, so thank you so much!
Speaker 1: AskPat. AskPat.com. .com. AskPat.com.
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Welcome to Episode 1096 of AskPat 2.0. You're about to listen to not a coaching call. Well, it kind of is a coaching call, but we're actually listening to a where are they now call because earlier in the year I spoke to Laura Dobbins back in Episode 1052. That was a coaching call. Anybody can get coached potentially by submitting their application to AskPat.com. Laura did that. I selected her. And then back in January of this year, 2019, she was published here on the show. And wow, she has been taking action. So we are nearly 40 episodes later now through most of the year, and Laura has done some small things that have made some big results in her business. And now she's moving onto even bigger and better things that wouldn't have happened if she didn't take my advice. And she definitely implemented and found success with it.
Pat Flynn: So sit back, relax, listen to the Where Are They Now episode. This is Laura Dobbins from 1052 here on Episode 1096. Enjoy.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Laura. Welcome back to AskPat 2.0. How are you doing?
Laura Dobbins: Thanks. I'm doing good. Really, really good.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, it's been since January, so several months. About nine months since we last chatted. And for those who don't remember, you are the laundry mat lady. LaundryMats101.com. And you were killing it, and you were asking have you made all the money that you could in the niche. So I would love for you to answer your own question now. Have you back then and what's been going on? Give us the update.
Laura Dobbins: Yeah. So real quickly, my husband and I kind of do it together. I take the charge, but he helps for sure. So we had made a bunch of little... Tried to switch a bunch of levers. Maybe this will work to get the income, but it kept staying at $1000 a month. It didn't move. No matter what we did. It's like the testimonials... The testimonials did help. That was something we did notice. But everything else, a brand new website, nothing moved the needle, and that's of course when I cue Pat Flynn to come in. And that's of course when I reached out to you, and you had given me several ideas, which were all great.
Laura Dobbins: So really quickly, you had said, "Well, why don't you try exploring some advertiser opportunities, do some advertising on the site. There's probably some major players that might be willing to advertise." So I definitely made note of that, and then you thought about, "Well, what about incorporating come case studies from successful prior students, and that would encourage people." Yeah, that's a good idea. And then the third one, the last one you said, you had made kind of a parallel to your food trucker niche website and said, "You kind of need to cater to people that are in that..." They're willing to spend money. If they're going to be buying a laundry mat for six digits, they're not going to be afraid to spend more than the $39 that I was currently charging at the time for this digital download book and some templates and calculators and things. You said, "Try this here pricing structure."
Laura Dobbins: So that's what I went with first because I thought that's really simple. And you and I had talked about how I had the book already, I had all these extra bonuses and freebies. Just restructure it, and then offer it in varying levels. So I thought, like you said, that's really easy. It took me, with my day job, of course, mind you. It took me two weeks to kind of pull everything apart, repackage it together, do the website development that I needed to do, test it, upload all the stuff to my third party digital download company that I use. And I was able to get it up in two weeks.
Laura Dobbins: So, again, we were getting $1000 a month without any change. I implemented just the tiering pricing structure, that's the only thing I changed. They wanted to make sure I had an A-B comparison. Just that change alone, I still can't believe how that one lever made such a difference. So briefly what I did was I took the $39 price that I used to give away for all of the stuff included, digital book and all of the extras was $39. So what I did was I took all the extras away, and I said $39 for just the book by itself and then $59 for the book and a couple of the bonuses. And then $99 for essentially what we were selling before for $39, everything we had.
Pat Flynn: I like it. That sounds good. Good a breakdown.
Laura Dobbins: Yeah, right? So I did that, and I kind of pressed submit and went, "Okay."
Pat Flynn: Then crossed your fingers.
Laura Dobbins: Immediately, it was crazy, that same afternoon that I had implemented this change, I get the first $99 sale. I told my husband, I'm like, "Well, that didn't take long. Okay." But that might be a fluke. I never want to assume so let's just ride this out. So I'll cut the story short. So basically our income just from that change alone went from $1000 a month to $2500, actually a little over $2500 a month just from that alone.
Pat Flynn: That's epic. Congratulations.
Laura Dobbins: Passive.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, right. You just made one change. Everything else was the change. Good for you. So what was that like after that first month going, "Oh my gosh. We just almost doubled, if not tripled how much we were making."
Laura Dobbins: Yeah. It was really close. Again, even after the first month, I thought, "Well, is there some..." I kept trying to find some of the reason. Is there some other thing I'm not thinking of? Did someone promote me, and I'm just not aware of it? So even after the first month, I didn't really accept it yet. I kind of wanted to wait a little bit longer, but like you said, it's been several months. It's been several months since I've implemented that, and it's still consistent. It's that income is like I don't want to say permanently. I don't want to jinx it. But it's been permanently between $2500 and $2700 a month completely passive. I don't even do anything on the website. I don't even have much of a community. These people... I mean, they'll reach out to me, but they really come for like, "Oh, you're solving my problem." They're very low maintenance, which is even better I guess. But I do have some side discussions with people and stuff. But other than that, it's really super passive. I just get these awesome emails that say, "You have a new order."
Pat Flynn: That's cool. So what would be the lesson that you would tell your earlier self based on what you know now?
Laura Dobbins: Sometimes you're right at the point of finding the one that makes the difference, and that there's always got to be something that you can implement that will change it. Obviously the results will vary on those. But just don't stop. So I'm so glad I reached out to you for coaching because you know I was at the point where I'm like, "Well, okay. That was a fun business just making $1000 a month. I guess I'll move on to something else." And thank god I didn't because all of that income now is now redirected into where I'm pivoting. Now that I'm going to put that into maintenance mode.
Pat Flynn: Nice, and we'll talk about that. I'd love to learn more about where you're headed now. But the other big lesson that I think is like you were charging $39 for this thing that people were willing to pay $99 for. Why were you charging so little do you imagine?
Laura Dobbins: I think it's because... And what's funny, I hate to even admit it, Pat, I was charging like $20 at one point when I was messing with the prices.
Pat Flynn: Don't worry. I literally, my first eBook in the architecture space, which guides in that space for going for over $200, I was asking people to pay $19.99. So I'm right there with you. I just want to hear you say it before I say it.
Laura Dobbins: I know. And I think I wasn't aware or didn't think about the concept of people feeling like that's so cheap, it's probably not any good or it's not valuable because it's so inexpensive. And I'd hadn't had that ah-ha moment yet. So I'm actually playing with upping the price because 90% of our customers buy the $99.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, isn't that crazy?
Laura Dobbins: It is. I'm like, what?
Pat Flynn: It just makes sense though because it has everything they need. If they're going to spend $30, they might as well spend $99 to get all the things if they're that committed to that.
Laura Dobbins: That's really the psychology of it. It's kind of counterintuitive.
Pat Flynn: It is. And honestly because more people are paying more money, they're more likely to actually do the things. That's the other part about this is if you were to sell it at $19, the likelihood of somebody actually spending time and feeling like they have skin in the game to make use of that thing is much less. So I'm curious, when you say you're thinking of increasing the price, where to?
Laura Dobbins: I don't know. That's always the thing.
Pat Flynn: Double it. Just double it. Double everything. No, I'm just kidding.
Laura Dobbins: I know, right?
Pat Flynn: Although that often is the answer, to be honest, for many people. What do I price it? Double it. Literally just double it.
Laura Dobbins: I know. I know. I know. So I guess I was at least thinking about moving it up to $159 as far as the biggest package.
Pat Flynn: I like it.
Laura Dobbins: Starting to-
Pat Flynn: Man, this is like big level thinking right here. You're getting out of the little sandbox that you were in, and you're just exploring now. You're getting a taste of it. So I'm just so proud of you. First of all, thank you for taking action and for coming back on to inspire all of us who are not quite there yet. So this is amazing. And now you said you had other things, other plans. I'd love to know what those are.
Laura Dobbins: Well, so the money that I had started making this other very passive business, I realized, "Okay. I think I'm going to be done with that for now. I'll do some extra tweaks. But I'm pretty much done with the big stuff on that one." So I was able to take that money that I've been making each month and kind of seed money for this pivot. So I had bought a ticket to FlynnCon with the money that I made from the passive business. So I was able to go to FlynnCon and go down to San Diego and all that.
Pat Flynn: It was great to see you there.
Laura Dobbins: Yeah. Yeah. So it was great because the whole theme was press start, and I felt like this is perfect timing because I have this pivot that I want to move into. And even though I have a lot of background now, and I have some experience in the online space, but when you're starting something new, it's a little different. So I felt like I could afford to kind of step back and really start at the beginning again. So I used FlynnCon as kind of my press start, fire underneath me. And I'm pivoting into something that I totally love and hate to use the passion because everybody does, but it's true. I have a passion for life and organization and specifically for busy moms, entrepreneurial moms, working moms that have just, they've reached the time of overwhelm. And they're just getting burned out. And I had my own experience with that as a mom, just kind of going through the years. So I had found these specific things that for me worked really well as far as building routines and trying to work on boundaries in my life.
Laura Dobbins: So I had helped some friends of mine that kind of had some similar stuff. They're like, "Oh my gosh. This stuff is great. You should totally do something with this." So when I was ready to pivot, I've had this plan to pivot into that. So that's what I'm pivoting into. So I started writing a book a little bit before FlynnCon actually.
Pat Flynn: Good for you.
Laura Dobbins: I'm now at 30,000 words.
Pat Flynn: Wow.
Laura Dobbins: Yes. Because that was July-
Pat Flynn: Wait. Okay. First of all, number one, where are you getting the time to write this because you said that you're a busy mom. You're doing this laundry mat business, although that's very passive, which is passive's awesome for this reason. And then you said you had a day job as well.
Laura Dobbins: Yup.
Pat Flynn: Okay. You are a supermom. You have this time. Obviously sharing these things with others is going to be really beneficial and you've done that already. But I'm just curious, where are you finding this time?
Laura Dobbins: Well, that's part of the whole thing I'm teaching, which is because not only is it kind of about ending the overwhelm as far as morning routines and after school routines and just all the meal planning and meal prep and all of those things. There's that space where we're always leaving out... We don't focus on ourselves anymore. So I structured my life so that it's to the point where it frees up just enough time for me to have me time, which I sometimes spend just quietly without any tiny humans awake.
Pat Flynn: What's that like? That's crazy. That's awesome.
Laura Dobbins: And then other time is goal time. So that's when I work on my book or before, I was working on the laundry mat stuff and website. So I've been able to release some time by structuring my other stuff so well it naturally yielded some more time for me to focus on that stuff. It's so intertwined. It's just kind of funny. So that's kind of my point, especially for entrepreneurial moms that are struggling with being able to find that time, that's what helped me as also an entrepreneurial mom is being able to focus on getting the rest of my life kind of pinned down and structured. I was able to focus on some of the other stuff. So that's exactly what I do. I've just made a way so that I can get that time released to be able to focus on stuff that I like to pursue.
Pat Flynn: That's really cool. So what is the plan for this? So you have this book. You don't yet have a website or do you related to that stuff?
Laura Dobbins: I have a website as in I have the domain name. It's going to be a personal brand. So it's just LauraMichelleDobbins.com, but I have a landing page there. So it's ready to receive pre-launch anybody who wants to sign up can up on the pre-launch team. So they'll help me with... As I'm wrapping up, they'll help me with probably the title of the book, which is still untitled technically and the cover art and things like that. So I already have the sign up for pre-launch that's up there. It's just the main splash page on the main website. So I'm kind of thinking, well, this is kind of where I was hoping to get more coaching from you is I'm going to be wrapping up this book. I am going to hire some editors. I've been soaking all of your... It's so great this timing because you've been on this book writing thing.
Pat Flynn: Right.
Laura Dobbins: All your podcast... It's been so awesome. Oh, there's another one about writing a book. So I'm at that point where I'm thinking, okay, I'm going to be hiring editors. I'm going to be polishing this up. And I'm really taking this like I'm doing it right as far as I can. I'm going to invest the money that I need to really make this thing what it should be. So that's where I've been soaking in all of your stuff. So I kind of got some of the answers just by way of that. But it is kind of my questions for you are like where are... Being someone now without an audience because I wrote those other things for an audience that was kind of clamoring for it. This is new. So I'm writing for an audience that I know about, but that I don't have yet. So it's kind of like where do you... I know how Elrod, which I love by the way. He was actually instrumental in what I'm doing myself and the way I live my life. I know he kind of did the podcast blast where he was like on a ton of podcasts.
Pat Flynn: He did. Yes.
Laura Dobbins: So it's like is that... Other than pre-launch stuff, which I am starting to do. I am starting to kind of get the feelers out to people. As far as the big strides when I'm about to launch, it's pretty much done. It's going to be released. I have a date. What do you suggest is the first big step as far as you think it's podcast and getting on podcasts, or what do you think is a good step?
Pat Flynn: Well, the podcast is definitely a good idea. Not just because you have this book coming out but because you have this amazing success story to kind of back up your claims. You have this laundry mat business, and it's very unusual niche. And it's successful, and you've been able to grow the income. That's a story. That's a story worth sharing. There's a lot of podcasts out there where you can likely reach out and have a compelling enough story to get on a show. And obviously you're here on AskPat already. But there's many other ones that are related to side hustles and things like this. There's also a lot of ones that are related to moms that might be very interesting for you to kind of reach out to as well. You have this again very, very... I mean, use this story of the laundry mat to your advantage. This is your unique selling proposition that other people who also have books likely don't have. And so utilize that very similar to how I utilize the Green Exam Academy in the lead stuff, and I still continue to because it's a relatable story of getting started and making something work that everybody wants to hear about. So use that for sure.
Pat Flynn: The other thing is you said that you're already helping moms a little bit that are in your community or other people that you know. Those direct relationships and people who are in your network already are going to be extremely valuable because not only are you going to be able to hopefully get them to share it and get interested. But they're going to potentially get already some results with it and be success stories and case studies and be very likely to want to share it. And those kinds of stories spread in a very similar way too. So that's how you can kind of inject this into communities that exist already when you help somebody get a result who already has a community, and that's the other sort of nuance about this is if you can potentially reach out to people who have communities already, whether they have a podcast or a Facebook group or whatever. And you can literally give them results. They're going to share you like you're everything.
Pat Flynn: I remember when Derek Halpern who is from Social Triggers, he started his website in 2010 or 2011. He definitely wasn't the first one to talk about entrepreneurship. But the way that he got in front of all of us and the way he made me and Chris Brogan and many other people share him was he got us results. So he came to me and he said, "Pat, I can help you increase your email opt-in rate by probably 50% to 100% within a week. I'd love to do this for you for free." And I was like, "Uh, okay." And he was literally like, "Do this. Do this. Do this." And I did it, and it rocked my world. And then I invited him on my show. I invited him. Actually, we did a YouTube video together back then. And I still continue to, as you can tell, tell this story of how he helped me.
Pat Flynn: So when you can target certain people who have those audiences already, that can go a long way as well.
Laura Dobbins: That's such a great idea. I'm writing this all down.
Pat Flynn: Cool. Hopefully everybody else is too because these are the strategies that are working today, and really the theme behind all of them is relationships. This is why Superfans and what I talk about in that book is so key because when you get Superfans, awesome, they're going got be your ambassador. But when your Superfan is also somebody who has their own trusted audience, I mean, that's a home run, that's a grand slam. So that's what I would try and work toward.
Laura Dobbins: Okay, cool. Because I'm hoping this is just something that is the beginning of something bigger. I'd love to have at some point have a community, even an app down the line of implementing some of the stuff that I talk about. So I'm hoping this is just... I use the book I think as a, one, to have some kind of authority in the space.
Pat Flynn: So smart.
Laura Dobbins: Right. And then use it as leverage because I feel like it's so much easier to say, "Here's so-and-so. Here's Laura, author of blah, blah, blah." Rather than just, "I think there's this lady, and she seems to have some stuff pretty nailed down. She's pretty cool."
Pat Flynn: Oh yeah. There's a lot of moms out there figuring out how to manage their time and organize. Not all of them have a book and that's where you are coming in with another unique selling proposition. The other thing is, and I don't know if you have time for this, but it is getting on stages. You have again the compelling story. You can get in front of people in person, in front of moms at conferences and whatnot. Honestly, it's not just moms. It's everybody would likely benefit from these strategies that you're talking about. But the book is another way in to these audiences in person, and then that adds to the authority. Laura, who was on stage at such and such event. With us today is our guest, and she's also the author of this new book. Visualize and imagine people saying that, and it'll come true.
Laura Dobbins: That sounds really great. I'm making more notes again.
Pat Flynn: Cool. I think we'll have to have you come back on next year as a Where Are They Now Part Two with you to see all the things that you're doing. I'm just so number one incredibly proud of you, and thank you for coming on and inspiring all of us. Anything else related to next steps, or you kind of know what to do?
Laura Dobbins: No. I think I know what to do. It was kind of what I suspected in some ways. But then you added several things that I had not really even thought of yet. So yeah, again, thank you, Pat. Again, I can't say it enough. I know people say that, thank you, Pat. But really I feel like I spent the good part of a year trying to get all these levers with the other business, the passive business, and just not seeing any differences, and feeling like it was, "Well, I guess that's it." I'm so glad I reached out to you because you were seriously instrumental in this two and a half times income increase that we saw with no additional work. So it's kudos to you.
Pat Flynn: It's not about working harder, it's about working smarter. Right?
Laura Dobbins: Smarter, yes.
Pat Flynn: That's exactly what you did.
Laura Dobbins: I was going to say the intro to your podcast makes me smile now all the time when the voice over guy says the piece about work hard now so you can reap the benefits later. That's me. That's totally me.
Pat Flynn: You did it. You did it. Thank you so much. Where can people go to find out more about you and your stuff?
Laura Dobbins: Well, I think for right now they can go to LauraMichelleDobbins.com if they want to get on the pre-launch team for the book that's going to be coming out hopefully by end of fall. Otherwise, for my passive business it's laundrymats101.com.
Pat Flynn: Boom. Laura, thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate you and all the best.
Laura Dobbins: Thank you, Pat. Thank you.
Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoyed the interview/coaching call because Laura's continuing to be smart and ask for help with things and just seems like everything is perfectly aligned with her. And we even chatted a little bit more afterwards, after I hit close on the record there, about just the psychology of money and the psychology of selling. She had expressed to me that she was still a little uncomfortable thinking about increasing her price points again even though that was something that worked the first time and nobody has complained. And we talked about the idea of feeling like you have something worthwhile to offer and just when we really put it into perspective, what she's teaching and how much people are going to spend and how much money she could save them. I mean, she was completely and severely under charging herself, which is what most of us do.
Pat Flynn: So, Laura, congratulations. I look forward to catching up with you again. We'll have to start a series of Where Are They Now Again episodes because we did a series of Where Are They Now Episodes at the end of 2018, and we have yet to hear back form some of those people who have taken action. So we'll have to get in the call with them a little bit later. But for right now, just congratulations, Laura. Looking forward to everything that you have going on. LauraMichelleDobbins.com to check out her launch. If it happened already, it might by the time this episode comes out. But anyway, congrats, Laura. Appreciate you. Congrats and thanks to everybody else who's taking action.
Pat Flynn: If you haven't yet subscribed to the show, make sure you do that. Just go to AskPat.com and you can find the show there or obviously find it wherever else there's podcasts that you are listening to. Just hit subscribe because I'd love to serve you in the next episode. Speaking of, we have another Where Are They Now episode happening in the next episode. S it's just amazing to hear these success stories. I've already recorded it by the time I'm recording this outro here. And you got to subscribe because there's some amazing stuff happening I this world right now. I'm just so thankful to be a part of that story. I hope that I can be a part of yours as well. If you want to submit an application for the 2020 AskPat Coaching Calls, just go to AskPat.com, and you can fill out that application there.
Pat Flynn: And last time, just thank you so much for being here. I appreciate you so much. Keep up the great work. As always, Team Flynn for the win. Cheers.
Want more from SPI?
Enter your information below if you'd like to join our newsletter!