Sometimes it’s nice to save the best for last, and this Where Are They Now? episode is near and dear to my heart. If you remember AskPat 2.0 Episode 1057, we’re bringing Stacey back on the show to find out how things have gone for her since we talked in January. Spoiler alert, they’re going gangbusters.
Stacey helps teachers make more money at Side Hustle Teachers, which offers courses to get started with a business. Since we last spoke, she’s been really focusing on communicating with her audience through the Side Hustle Teachers Facebook Group and via direct emails. She’s a ConvertKit user, and she’s configured it to let her see if someone’s clicked through on an email to her page but not made a purchase. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] She reached out to those warm leads to see where they got stuck, and that’s when she realized that there was demand for another course that she wasn’t yet offering.
We also talk about how Stacey has been able to organically grow her Facebook group without spending anything on advertising. Again, it comes down to a personal touch, as she’s active in several other communities and simply responds when people specifically ask for help making more money or starting a side hustle. It was amazing talking to her and seeing how far she’s come. The sky’s the limit for Stacey, so we go over how to take a step back and stay intentional building the business you want, instead of just growing for growth’s sake. As we wrap up 2019, I hope this story gives you the inspiration and energy you need to hit the ground running in 2020. Happy holidays, Team Flynn, and have a happy New Year!
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Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 1,100 (air horn sounds). That's my made up horn noise, but wow, what an amazing way to end the year here. It is December 26th. Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate. Happy Hanukkah. All the good things. All the holidays. And today we are finishing off the year with an amazing episode. Not just because it's Episode 1,100, but because we're going to be doing another, Where Are They Now episode. This time, and I mentioned this in the last episode, this is my favorite of the bunch. I mean, I love them all. They're all great success stories. Everybody's taking action and seeing results, but this one in particular I love because this person is helping teachers and I have grown to love many of my teachers growing up and especially the teachers that are now teaching my own kids. And just to see how much they work and how hard they work and how little they get in return. It just blows my mind.
And what I love about Stacey's business at Side Hustle Teachers is she helps teachers make more money. And her tagline is “being a teacher doesn't mean you have to be broke or burnt out.” And she helps teachers create little side businesses so they can earn a little bit more money and do something else. And I love that idea. And so Stacey came on in Episode 1057, way back in January, and she took some action and a lot of things happen that she's going to talk about today. And even a pivot and something unexpected happened as well. That means more people are going to get helped. And you'll hear how this perfectly aligns with something that I did as well. Something that we should all do in our businesses. Stacey just found this out by listening to her audience. You'll hear what it is in just a minute. So make sure you stick around. You don't want to miss this one. So let's just get right to it. Here she is. Stacey Ogden from Side Hustle Teachers.
Stacey, welcome back to AskPat 2.0. Thanks again for coming back.
Stacey Ogden: Well, thanks for having me again.
Pat: I hear there's some exciting things happening related to sort of what's going on in your business and it's been since Episode 1057, which was published in February of this year. We're almost at the end of the year now. What has happened since?
Stacey: Yeah, so the last time I was on, we were talking about the launch of a new program and it had multiple start dates and how to sort of work all that mechanically. So we got all that straightened out, and I followed your advice and we did one big launch for the program, and I was really excited about that, it went well. And as I was going through the process and I was reaching out to people personally who I thought would be a good fit for the program, I started to get some feedback that actually led me to create another program that just started.
Pat: Okay, so a new program, nice. But you're listening to your people. That's the big thing here. So what was that and tell me about . . . Keep going.
Stacey: Well, the thing I was hearing from my teachers was that they wanted to start a business but they didn't actually know what business they wanted to start. They knew they wanted something or they maybe had an idea and they were really lacking in either clarity of their idea or confidence in order to get it started. So what I started to come up with was this sort of monthly meeting program. It's a group coaching program that will take people through the steps of figuring out what is the side hustle that's going to work for you, how can you start taking baby steps to get it off the ground, how can you start finding clients? Those little, but really scary steps right at the beginning. So that started in September and, yeah, so far I'm loving it. The teachers are really enthusiastic, they're really opening up and, yeah, they're getting some hard questions answered and making some good progress.
Pat: That's really great. I mean, it sounds similar to—when I was coming up with ideas for courses and stuff and books to write, a lot of people were at the very beginning phases and were just like, “Help me figure out my first steps,” and that's it. And I think this is a very big lesson for everybody is oftentimes we want to take people to step four before they even get through step one, which often comes with a lot of mental shifts and other things that have to happen. What's it been like to see that kind of hole be filled? I mean, you didn't even know that was a hole before and now you have something there to start with. How is that changing everything for you?
Stacey: It's been really amazing. I mean, I'm thinking about my teachers in a really different way now, because before I was thinking that they were hesitant to either spend the money, or they were hesitant to invest in themselves. Because we know teachers spend a lot on our own classrooms. And when I really started talking to people, I started getting that information that, “No, I would love to do that and I'd be happy to do it if I knew that what I was doing was right.” But they didn't have that clarity of the exact thing they wanted to do. And even the ones who had an idea, they weren't a hundred percent sold on it. They still had the little voice inside their head that was telling them, “Yeah, but what if it doesn't work? What if that's not the right one for you? What if Janet can sell that, but you can't?”
So there was a lot of mindset that goes into it and the fact that it's gotten people in my community to open up about their struggles has been amazing, just for me personally. Like, the personal messages that I get on Facebook are just . . . I feel so honored that people trust me as much as they do. So it's been, for them, I think there's someone that understands where they're at because now that I've really, really honed in on what is missing, it makes them feel more heard and for me it makes me feel even more like I've found my people.
Pat: That's so great. I want to go into when you were sort of launching your other things and then you were collecting this feedback, how are you getting this feedback? Where was it coming in from? How did they feel comfortable sharing that with you?
Stacey: Mostly it was either through email or through Facebook Messenger.
Pat: Okay, so like a direct message.
Stacey: Yeah, exactly. So, they weren't really comfortable sharing in the whole group necessarily. People would put out questions like, “I'm thinking about starting XYZ,” or, “I'm thinking of joining this MLM,” and they were okay doing that. But if someone had something beyond that, like a more solopreneur sort of job, they hesitated to put it out there because they didn't want to be judged. They didn't want to be wrong and they didn't want to . . . I don't know if they didn't want to hear the negative feedback, or they didn't want to hear why it wouldn't work, or they didn't want to hear why it would work because that would mean they'd have to do it. You know?
So, there was a lot of hesitancy to put it out in public. And the group, since January when we started at nothing, is, right now as we're recording, is twenty-five hundred people. So, it grew really quickly and as it grew so quickly I think it became a little bit more intimidating. So, I found that really trying to reach out to people, if I saw that they clicked on the page but they didn't necessarily buy anything, they didn't sign up for the program, I would email them personally instead of sending another sales email, and that's when I would get the responses back. Or if somebody would post something in the group about, “I really want to try X. What do you think?” Then I'd reach out to them through a personal message on Facebook and say, “I noticed that you were asking about this. How can I help?”
Stacey: And the conversations are just mind-boggling.
Pat: That's awesome.
Stacey: I'm so in love with this right now.
Pat: There's huge lessons to be learned here and I've been talking a lot about this in various pockets of people that I've been involved with related to . . . Like, my Will It Fly? (Amazon link) strategy, right? [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] Which is like, hey, you go out there in communities and you find people who need help and you talk to them and you learn about their problems. And the key thing is realizing that people, like you said, don't want to talk publicly about a lot of these kinds of things. Some do. There are communities out there where they're very open with those things and you can see those conversations, but oftentimes those are just like the surface level stuff and all the stuff we need as entrepreneurs are levels deeper. And when you get into a private message, especially because now they trust you, you own this group, you have authority, you've proven yourself, you have a webpage and all this other stuff to kind of back that up, then they're going to open up to you. And that's gold and I love that you're following up with them.
A lot of times people go, “But that's not scalable.” But this is what works and what people need, right? They need that one to one interaction, which is why what I talk about in my book, Superfans, is so relevant right now. And I would love to ask you, you had mentioned something like figuring out who clicked on the page but then who didn't buy. How are you knowing that? Because that's a perfect opportunity to follow up, but how are you gathering that that person did that?
Stacey: Yeah. Well, I'm a ConvertKit user, so I tag, I use tags in my email so when they click through to the sales page, they're tagged as being interested. And then if they did not buy or if they buy, then the interest tag goes away and they're just tagged as being members of the group. So I can see on the regular who is in that interested group that I can reach out to specifically to ask, “What's the holdup? What's holding you back? What's are you struggling with?”
Pat: They're warm. They clicked but they didn't purchase.
Pat: Thank you for the plug for ConvertKit by the way, and I'm a massive fan of it for this exact reason. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] You can do things like this without having to have these crazy tracking codes or unique landing pages for everybody. It can just all be done through email so that's incredible. So then you're following up with them later. And so how are you positioning . . . I'm curious, I'm just digging deeper here because I think this is very useful for people if you don't mind.
Pat: In that reply back when you go like, “Hey, I noticed you did this. Also, I'm standing right behind you.” I don't want it to come across like that. How are you messaging that in an authentic and cool way?
Stacey: I actually just am very straightforward with people and I tell them, “My email program lets me see if people have clicked on this and I saw that you did. I hope it doesn't come off too stalker-ish.”
Pat: You literally say that? And it's just like—
Stacey: I really do.
Pat: Cool. I like that. It's personality.
Stacey: Yeah. I feel like I don't want to hide the fact that I'm tracking stuff because I am so . . .
Pat: But for their benefit.
Stacey: Yeah, absolutely. And usually they're very grateful for the fact that I actually reached out to them.
Pat: That's really smart. So a big lesson for all of you out there. Number one, use ConvertKit. Number two, set it up in a way where you can start to figure out who are the warm leads, right, and these tagging things like Stacey's talking about are pretty simple to do. It's just once you learn the language of it, it's kind of cake after that.
Okay, so a person goes into this brand new course. And I would imagine that if it's anything like what I teach my absolute beginners, it's a combination of strategy, yes, but a lot of just getting over the fear and mental kind of things, right? They finish that course. Where are you taking them from there? Or are you at this point now where you can kind of take them on this journey? Because you're just helping them with step one, and they're in now. Where do you go from there with them?
Stacey: So my goal when I set up the new program, the business program, is that they actually finish in May, so it goes September to May, so it basically runs the school year and then they're basically perfectly positioned to join the summer camp program. So they have all that background, they have the confidence, they have the clarity of what they want to do. And then the Side Hustle Summer Camp comes along right at the end and they can really just continue and dig in and use their summer to do this pretty intense program. But they've got the background, they know who I am and that's just the next step.
Pat: That's fantastic. Okay, so where are you at right now? What's your . . . With all this that's going on and you have the right direction now, tell us what a day in the life of Stacey is like.
Stacey: Oh gosh, chaotic at the moment because we're actually back in school and I'm still a full time teacher.
Pat: Yeah, you're doing this on the side.
Stacey: I am. I am walking the walk.
Pat: You are walking the walk. I was about to say that. “You have no idea what I'm going . . .” “Yes I do because I'm also a teacher.” So I would imagine that's very challenging. Before you go on and tell us about your day, how are you . . . I mean, I know the summer was there and you did a lot of things during then, but is that your cadence as a teacher? It's like summer is work time and sort of . . . You're a busy person and you deserve time off and all this stuff. How were you able to create a new course and a new program and manage all this? What's your time mastery wizardry stuff?
Stacey: Well, there's a couple things. First of all, I'm actually running the course live so I didn't prerecord a ton of stuff. I didn't . . . I want to make it responsive to the people in the business prep programs so that they are able to get out of it what they need.
Pat: So the work before that is just essentially marketing?
Stacey: Yeah. So I'm very active in my group and my group is very active itself. When I see someone who is eligible—I started talking about the program right after the 4th of July and it didn't open until mid-August. So, I started talking about it, sort of teasing it. And then I did a couple lives that indirectly led people into that way of thinking of that this is coming and this is going to be . . . If you're on the fence about a side hustle, this is a great place to start. So when I announced it they were very primed for it. So yeah, the summer was a lot of marketing. I don't do Facebook ads, I don't pay for advertising at all. I just really keep people coming into my group and I keep staying active in there as the best thing.
Pat: That's really great. For those of us who are getting involved more now with groups and communities online, which we all know is sort of what people are pointing us toward, and even Facebook has done ads for Facebook groups, like the groups and the communities are the thing and it's so great that you have one. What is it like in there for you? Do you have admins or is it just you who's keeping the conversation up? How do you balance your time in there? Because I have a group and it's quite large and you can get lost and sucked in there and then you can also leave them hanging. So I'm curious to know how you manage that.
Stacey: It's been interesting because I honestly—when I opened up the group, I thought that it would be like a trickle of people coming in, maybe five people a week and I'd get a couple hundred people and it ended up being . . . Because I would post in some of the other groups that I'm in, when I would see a teacher who posted something about struggling with money or I don't know if I can do this for much longer, I would just respond and say, “Hey come join Side Hustle Teachers. We're a community of people who get it.” So when I would post a response to one of those posts in another group, I would get fifty to a hundred requests to join the group within twenty-four hours.
Pat: Was that ever considered like, “Hey, what are you doing here promoting your own stuff on my Facebook page?”
Stacey: No, because I was really careful to only do it when it was an appropriate response to people, what the conversation was. So I never went in and spammed. I never posted my own link to it. It was just literally when people were asking for help.
Pat: Okay. So it wasn't like, “Hey, what are you doing for the summer?” “Well, I'm, for the summer, creating an online course to help you with your business.” And it wasn't . . . Cool.
Pat: That's right, and that's the way it should be done. It should be natural. I like it within conversations that were already started because then you know that you're there to help. So that's great. Are you or have you recruited any other admins or moderators in there to help manage?
Stacey: I haven't. I am planning on it. It's something I'm looking at towards the end of this year and the beginning of 2020 to start sifting through people. I have a couple of people in the group who are really active who I'm already thinking about asking. And then we'll see if they accept or not and I might open it up to applications, but I might just pick people out and say, “You're awesome. Do you want to be an admin for the group?”
Pat: Yeah. I mean, I have like eight or nine in my group and they're all volunteers. There's only one person who I kind of support a little bit. Brendan, our community manager on the SPI Facebook Community. He's great and he's creating challenges and featuring stories of success within the group. Is that something you're doing as well? Like, really spotlighting some of the key members that you have in your courses and highlighting them, that is working really well for a lot of communities now, to get everybody inspired by each other versus just kind of by you?
Stacey: Yeah, I haven't yet. We do have a lot of interactive posts going on. So yesterday I just asked the group, “Other than teaching, what are you great at?” And there was an influx of responses.
Pat: Such a good question.
Stacey: Yeah, and the other thing is I try to ask questions that will also help me know how I can help the community. And there were a couple of really interesting answers like, “I really love spending time with horses. I'm really good with horses.” And I'm like, “You could do that. You could do something with horses for your side hustle.” And she was literally like, “Oh my gosh, I was just about to sign up with this direct sales company, but you're right.”
Pat: Oh my gosh. I mean, you're literally saving lives. You know that, right?
Stacey: I hope so. That's what I hope.
Pat: As your business continues to grow, as you continue to get more success, as you continue to remain busy with a lot of the things that you're doing, just don't forget that because it can get out of hand. I mean, you're at that point now where it could spill over into areas of life that you don't want it to. It could potentially grow into a company much bigger than you ever wanted it to. And it's funny in a lot of these Where Are They Now episodes, this is the conversation we've been having.
It's like, hey, you're at that point now where things are going so well. You have to define your boundaries for where you want things to go and that would be the only piece of advice I really have for you at this stage. You're doing all the right things and it's just, be conscious about your growth and how much you want to grow and stay grounded because I've seen too many entrepreneurs burn out. They experience a little bit of success and then, like you said, the communities continue to grow and you're getting hundreds of people a day. Just stay aware and I'm speaking from my own experience as well, so, yeah. Any thoughts or reactions to that?
Stacey: Yeah, no, I appreciate that. And I am sort of . . . I try to take a step back every now and then and look at where things are going. Now that school has started, taking a step back is not as easy as it is during the summer. But I try to set goals for myself that are specifically aligned with what I want. Like, at the moment I want to continue teaching, so that's something that's important to me. Other things, I want to be able to connect with people in my community on a one-to-one basis. So, I have recently stopped posting in response to other things I see because I want the community to stabilize for a while. I had a blog that I started seven years ago that I'm actually selling right now so that I can spend more time on this.
Stacey: It's pretty amazing how things have shifted, but I appreciate that advice to keep things . . . You know, so you don't end up with a company that you didn't actually want.
Pat: Yeah. And you're at that awesome moment where you can choose whatever direction you want and you have the skills to make it get there. So, wow, Stacey, congratulations to you, just so proud of you and thank you for coming on, inspiring us. You inspired me today and I just hope that things continue to keep going in the way that you want. Just congrats.
Stacey: Thank you so much. I appreciate the advice you gave me last time. And the chance to to come on and share again.
Pat: Yeah. Well, keep up the great work and thanks for what you do as a teacher, and teaching other teachers, and just keep up the great work. We'll talk soon.
Stacey: Alright. Thanks Pat.
Pat: Alright. I hope you enjoyed that catch-up episode with Stacey. Just wow. Oh my gosh. I can't believe the amazing results that Stacey achieved and just, I'm so thankful that she is somebody who wants to help teachers as well. All teachers deserve so much more credit than they often get. So, shoutout to all the teachers out there and Stacey shoutout to you, especially, for helping teachers get more so that they can do more things and have more things and get the . . . Honestly, every teacher should be making six figures, in my opinion, and Stacey's helping them do that, so that's awesome.
Make sure to check her out. Side Hustle Teachers. She also has a Facebook group that's growing as well, like we talked about and she's doing her thing. And guess what. You're all doing your thing too. And we're coming in at the end of the year here. January 1st, 2020 is around the corner. How crazy is that? And hopefully you have 20/20 vision with what you're . . . Sorry, that was a bad joke. But yeah, I'm going to keep that in because this is real life. I'm also broadcasting this live on Instagram right now, so hello to all the people on Instagram who just heard that joke. But anyway, that's what I do. I'm a dad. We tell bad jokes, but hey, 20/20 vision into 2020 is what it's all about. Hopefully you have clear vision on what's going on and hopefully these episodes have helped you with that. Please, please, please, please subscribe to AskPat if you haven't already.
We have a great lineup of episodes coming already. I think we have six or seven already recorded for 2020, which is great, at the time that I'm recording this actually, so probably many more after. And we have a couple more Where Are They Now episodes coming your way as well. So make sure you stick around and come back after your New Year's celebration and join us for some inspiration, motivation, strategies, tactics, all the things to help you in your business by listening to others do it too. And I'm just here. I'm just a guide. I'm just here to coach. I'm the Yoda. You're the Luke Skywalker, you're the Princess Leia. I'm obsessed with you because I'm a nerd like that. But anyway, thank you guys so much. I appreciate you. Happy New Year. Take care. And as always, Team Flynn for the win.