Jul 4, 2018
Today I'm returning with Part 2 of my chat with Laura Fuentes, creator of MOMables, food plans for moms. In this episode, we talk about how to sell to moms by being a giver.
Laura proves that by being helpful, you can grow a hugely successful business.
Also, don't miss all of Laura's favorite marketing mentors. You're going to love this!
Some of these links may be affiliate.
Intro: [00:00:03] Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here's your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian: [00:00:10] Hey everyone. Welcome back to the show. I'm still in my echoey Airbnb. So I'm going to make this short. But welcome back, because this is part two of my interview with Laura Fuentes, where we talk about how she nurtures her list, how she provides value to them, and how she sells to them. So without further ado... here we go.
Jillian: [00:00:35] So let's go back now to your newsletter and how you build a relationship and how you ultimately sell to people.
Laura: [00:00:43] Yeah. So if you're listening and you sell anything, like at some point in your blog you may want to create like an ebook or course. But also I feel like selling includes when you work with a brand and maybe you're doing a promotion or discount.
Laura: [00:01:02] And they can seem very forced and awkward to say, "Buy this," or "Try this," for a lot of people. It feels odd. You have to kind of rethink the relationship that you have with your audience.
Laura: [00:01:16] Which is what your original question was is how do I really form that and so when people come to my list --
Jillian: [00:01:23] But I just want to interrupt for one second. Definitely get on her list. Right. It's MOMables.com But that way people can get healthy meals, but also see how you do it because I think you do it so well.
Laura: [00:01:39] Thank you. Yeah. Either you go to my website LauraFuentes.com or momables.com You get the same on-boarding experience.
Laura: [00:01:50] So and also you know like a lot of brands, you get to think of this as a brand. And I think of Momables as my food brand. But at the same time people see my face all the time. Right. It's a real person speaking behind the brand.
Laura: [00:02:06] And so most people think of growing their list as a way to send them the new blog content every week. Right. So somebody opts in, you offer some kind of freebie, and then you give them the freebie when they sign up and then you send them the blog posts that are happening that week.
Laura: [00:02:26] But what you have to rethink is that that is a very automated and impersonal process. I used to do it like that and I learned that that really didn't build a relationship.
Laura: [00:02:40] I felt like my job was to, once people opted in, was to send them a series of emails where they got to know me and what I'm all about.
Laura: [00:02:53] And then after that after they kind of go like OK. So she's got kids, she works. Here's her most helpful content, here's her best recipes. Here's some downloadable freebies from a series of emails. Then I send them my weekly newsletter.
Laura: [00:03:10] Because I've just started doing that a couple years ago maybe two years ago and the relationship that I have with people is so much stronger than because imagine like you know if you signed up this week and you get my Sunday newsletter and I'm telling you how I just bombed this week or something, you're like What is she talking about? Right.
Laura: [00:03:34] Like you don't even know that I have kids. You don't have a perspective of my life. So before I send them on my newsletter I create a series of emails where people received some of my best content, the most helpful content, and some free downloads.
Laura: [00:03:52] I send them to my videos so they got to see me and get to know me on video and then I send them what's happening this week.
Jillian: [00:04:00] Got it. So it's like a welcome series.
Laura: [00:04:02] Yes. It's a welcome series.
Jillian: [00:04:05] And how many emails are in your welcome series?
Laura: [00:04:05] I believe there are nine.
Jillian: [00:04:07] OK. And do they come out once a week or?
Laura: [00:04:10] They're timed. And we still I think we're still a/b testing. But basically it's like the download after you sign up and then there's another one that day and then two days later, and then three days later, and then five days later, and then day seven, and then day eleven or twelve.
Laura: [00:04:42] You know so like they're staggered right. You know basically it really, imagine it as you and I just met and the first time we were at the coffee shop. And I'm like, Oh look I got an extra coupon. Here's a dollar off of your coffee because I got an extra one so you know, she's nice, she's helpful. That's your freebie, right.
Jillian: [00:05:04] Yeah.
Laura: [00:05:05] And then while we're waiting for a coffee drink, at the end of the bar, then you and I are like, Oh so you would probably thank me for your coffee or the coupon, and then I'm like also what are you doing here. Do you work around here? You know, it's kind of like get to know me, and you're like "oh I'm visiting my..." oh you're visiting the area, then check out this restaurant on the right, that's me being helpful to you.
Laura: [00:05:30] And then after that, it's like you know, we move on to, oh well next time you are in town, let's grab coffee again and you're like, oh I'm going to be or I'm still here for a few more days. Awesome, we'll get coffee again.
Laura: [00:05:47] So there's kind of the same way you would naturally develop a friendship with someone that you click with. Right? I do that via email. Some things are helpful, some things are freebees tangible items.
Laura: [00:06:01] Think of it as a coupon, even though I don't give out coupons, but there are tangible things that people can use right away. But for the most part, and all of that what that creates is them understanding my life, and what the content that I'll be sharing on my blog is all about.
Jillian: [00:06:19] So OK, so now I've gotten through your welcome series and now I am in your weekly emails. So talk to me about them and how you're sharing your content for the week.
Jillian: [00:06:32] You're sharing about your life and then how do you sprinkle in "Hey, if you're stuck figuring out what to pack for lunch or what to make for dinner. You can check out my meal plans."
Jillian: [00:06:47] And how often are you selling that?
Laura: [00:06:49] Not as often as I should. From a marketer's perspective, from some people's perspective more often than I should. You can't please everyone.
Laura: [00:07:04] OK I'm going to answer your question, and then I'm going to make a very important point on this. The short answer is that now I have a sales series where it's almost like here's the problem. It's like a sandwich here's the problem, here is where you want to be, and here's how you're going to get there. So my meal plan is the solution.
Laura: [00:07:27] So that could be from a picky eater... I mean you know it doesn't matter what it is but it's a separate series of emails, separate from that Sunday email. The Sunday email doesn't mention the meal plans because I am a meal planning company and that is what you know.
Laura: [00:07:53] At the end of the day, like that's one of the products that I sell. And I feel super strongly about meal planning as being the solution to relieving stress in the kitchen, to feeling better about yourself because of the foods that you eat, and it's feeling better as a parent because you are providing good nutrition.
Laura: [00:08:17] So honestly, I have no problem telling people that if you're not meal planning, you really are doing yourself a disservice.
Laura: [00:08:29] Because being unprepared does not give you the opportunity to feel your best. And planning is the way to achieve whatever mealtime goals may have for you and your family. So honestly I had to make a mind shift.
Laura: [00:08:47] I feel so strongly about it for my family. Why not share that as much as I could. So some of the email I do mention, hey this is what our meal plan people are going to be eating this week. If you want to grab the recipes you can go here.
Laura: [00:09:04] So sort of give them a preview. But they have to buy a meal plan in order to get the five recipes that done for you and your shopping list. The meal prep sheet so you really do get a lot of value for two bucks a week or less.
Laura: [00:09:19] So I kind of had to get out of my mind that I was selling. I am not selling I am being helpful.
Jillian: [00:09:27] Yes!
Laura: [00:09:27] It's just that planned help costs money. You can DIY yourself a remodel of your house on Pinterest or you can hire somebody like an interior designer to cut the work for you.
Jillian: [00:09:40] I like that.
Laura: [00:09:42] So I don't feel like I'm selling, but of course there's people on my list who are like, "I just want your free content so you could just stop selling to me." And I'm like OK well then you need to unsubscribe, because I do sell a product that helps thousands of families.
Laura: [00:09:58] So if it's not helpful for you, you can come to my website. Of course I don't say these things but you have to be prepared to not be liked by everyone.
Jillian: [00:10:07] Yes.
Laura: [00:10:08] That's OK.
Jillian: [00:10:09] Yes. Yes. And there are people who do expect your content for free.
Laura: [00:10:17] And that's ok but not in my newsletter. Like it costs a lot of time, effort, and manpower and intention for me to sit down and build the content, and create the video, and it's totally fine that people will sit on my newsletter for free for years.
Laura: [00:10:37] I literally have people that email me and go, gosh I've been on your newsletter for X amount of time, some of them years, and they're like I've never bought a product. Is there a way I can send you money?
Laura: [00:10:48] And I'm like, oh my gosh you just made my day. I say to them it's really my honor to have somebody that's like minded. All I ask is that if you find my content helpful. Share it with your friends online.
Laura: [00:11:03] So it's really not about selling. It's really for me, it's always been about creating that relationship and having people understand that I feel super strongly about meal planning. And hopefully they'll give me the opportunity to do that for them and their family.
Jillian: [00:11:21] Right. Well the truth is that you can draw a line from meal planning to love, to love of your family, to love of yourself, to living a better life. Yeah. What could be better.
Laura: [00:11:38] Yeah I mean in meals. The reality is that meals are something that's very stressful for a lot of people, and I don't understand sometimes how people come to my list, and they tell me that they're just, it is the most stressful meal everyday.
Laura: [00:11:51] They don't know what to make, they go through the drive-thru more often they should, like there's all these things at the at the end of the day they're telling me, even in their own words and point blank that they don't think they're doing a good job.
Laura: [00:12:05] And I'm like here's a solution for you. And they don't buy. And I'm not sure why. Like we're just so stubborn about accepting help and two dollars or less a week. That is that sometimes I'm like if what you're doing is not working you have to change something.
Laura: [00:12:22] You know and the only reason I look online like I've it together is because I plan to death, and not because it's my job to plan, it's because it's the only way that I can make sure that I personally eat good for me food, that my family eats good food and that I can actually make it happen.
Laura: [00:12:42] When we get home from karate at 6:45 or 7:15 at night and my family is starving, so it's really easy to go through Chick-Fil-A or something like that on a Wednesday night when we get home at 7 or 7:15.
Laura: [00:12:56] Or I can say you know what, I have something in the slow cooker, or I already made the meal yesterday with leftovers. All I gotta do is heat it up.
Jillian: [00:13:07] I've got say that one thing you've been able to leverage is the fact that you are a planner, so you're able to say let me be the planner because that comes naturally to me, and let's say you're a mom who is not a good planner. I can give you a little bit of extra planning.
Jillian: [00:13:24] Like I I'm providing that service for somebody who might not be able to get it together.
Laura: [00:13:30] Right. And I would go a little bit further to say that if I looked at me, I've learned to plan because I was not good at it.
Jillian: [00:13:40] Interesting, I would have said that you are a natural planner.
Laura: [00:13:44] I'm a really good executioner. Like if I have a plan, I can execute like no other, right. I can also wing it because now it's my job and I'm confident the kitchen.
Laura: [00:13:54] I look at the ingredients in my fridge and I'm like you know what, I can make something out of nothing. And when in doubt when in doubt serve breakfast for dinner.
Laura: [00:14:02] But at the beginning you know, I had to learn myself as well. And it created a process which is what I sell is the process of doing that for any family.
Jillian: [00:14:13] That's great. So you said that you have these funnels to help them sell your meal plans. And can you explain what that means?
Laura: [00:14:24] Right. So I think oftentimes we hear the word sales funnel and we think of it like this sleazy marketing way of like some funnel. That all these people go to the top and then they kind of go down. Right. It's really not like that.
Laura: [00:14:38] The way we do it it's really about understanding that not everyone is going to open every email that you send.
Laura: [00:14:49] And so therefore while you feel like, gosh if I send them an email about my product every week they're not going to like that.
Laura: [00:14:58] I mean of course there's a right way of crafting this email with email copy. But the point is is that the reality is that they're probably not opening that email, they're opening one out of every four emails that you're sending out. And people read information differently.
Laura: [00:15:12] So in my funnel, I call it funnel but it's really a series, because it's linear more than it's not like, buy the small product. And then the next natural fit is to buy the more expensive one.
Laura: [00:15:25] Like for me is a continuous introduction, an education about the products and services that I have to offer that help them in an area of their life.
Laura: [00:15:37] So beyond the meal plans we also have like other programs, like the picky eaters course that's super successful.
Laura: [00:15:45] We have a course on budgeting and meal plans. It is kind of like meal planning 101, How to do it on a budget. This is like when people don't buy meal plans and because they want to do it themselves, but don't know how. Budgeting helps them learn to meal plan, learn how to shop for their food, how to make everything really cost effective.
Laura: [00:16:07] And then the other program that we also launched this year is called Kickstart. Family Kickstart which is really helping families like reset the way they eat, is kind of like Whole 30.
Laura: [00:16:22] But what I observed when I did Whole 30, gosh like four years ago, is that the Whole 30 community of moms, like they're super successful they feel great when they do it, but they're not taking their families along for the Whole 30 journey.
Laura: [00:16:35] And I'm like, oh my gosh you're making multiple meals. And by week 3 you're feeling great but then you're not feeling so great when you look at the table and you're looking at the meals that the rest of your family is eating because you know what your eating is so much better.
Laura: [00:16:52] Then it's almost like your mom guilt sets in. And this was happening with a lot of community members of mine that were using our meal plans for most of their families. But then they were also cooking themselves.
Laura: [00:17:04] There's very strict Whole 30 meal and they were feeling great but physically but also great emotionally because they felt, gosh I could do so much better right.
Laura: [00:17:16] And so that's kind of like what we tried to solve with Family Kickstart. And we have hundreds of families that did it this year to take the entire family on a journey to cut out sugar or cut out processed foods, learned to try new things.
Laura: [00:17:31] You know all the principles that I kind of talk about in everything else but kind of like more of a full family approach.
Laura: [00:17:39] So whether it's programs, meal plans, you know it's really about figuring out that not everyone knows all that I do.
Laura: [00:17:50] So my funnel is really more of a series that educates them of what's possible and how to get there.
Jillian: [00:17:59] And what are you most excited about right now that you're building, that you're selling? You know what are you most proud of?
Laura: [00:18:09] So what I'm most proud of is the fact that I've been able to take my real lif,e and I'm still living my life as is. And I'm able to share that with like-minded people and that I'm able to provide for my family.
Laura: [00:18:30] My business is my family's livelihood. My husband now works with me for the last two, almost two years now. He quit his corporate job. He was in healthcare for 15 years. And this is what we do.
Laura: [00:18:51] There's so much room to grow and change and improve but thus far, I feel like I've done really well because I've stuck to what I believe is true for me and my family.
Laura: [00:19:03] And I'm trying to find my customers and the people in my community are like-minded families. That's really what I'm most proud of.
Laura: [00:19:12] I've grown as my business has grown. I've been on television. I've had all these opportunities. But at the end of the day, you know I'm still me. I go out without makeup. You know I don't document everything.
Laura: [00:19:27] I feel really good about the lifestyle that I've created even though it's not perfect, it's the perfect lifestyle for my family.
Jillian: [00:19:34] So if I am a blogger just starting out, or I want to blog and start a business, what advice would you have for me?
Laura: [00:19:45] Create a plan for the vision that you see for yourself.
Jillian: [00:19:51] Explain what you mean.
Laura: [00:19:52] So we all have goals, but like the first thing is to create you know build that vision, like what is it that you want to do.
Laura: [00:20:03] Dream it's not just about dreaming, but fill in the color. Like make it real. Paint that picture in your mind day in and day out. And then plan it out how you're going to get there.
Laura: [00:20:19] Do you need to invest in courses? There are things you need to learn that quite frankly for free on the Internet it's not going to cut it.
Laura: [00:20:29] You know, I've invested thousands in courses to learn things for online marketing.
Laura: [00:20:35] Make yourself the best version of yourself so that you can really propel your own growth rate. That's why I say paint a picture, create a vision, and then build a plan on how you're going to get there, because if you have a plan you can then execute it.
Laura: [00:20:57] Sometimes it takes longer than other times but you can execute it, you know, planning is huge.
Jillian: [00:21:03] Who have you learned from the most?
Laura: [00:21:13] OK so it's been an evolution. So when I first started back in 2013 everybody knows who Marie Forleo is? I took B-School back in 2012 or 2013.
Laura: [00:21:26] One of the earlier versions of Bschool and I kind of learned a lot from there at that time. Which is now like that early version of the school is so outdated which is great that Marie updates it.
Laura: [00:21:39] So that's really a great investment if you want to take your blog into a business level. If you want to learn how to kind of like grow your blog.
Laura: [00:21:55] If you are a food blogger I think Food Blogger Pro is really good. It's by the Pinch Of Yum couple.
Jillian: [00:22:01] Bjork?
Laura: [00:22:07] Yes they are phenomenal.
Laura: [00:22:09] Your blog is a great resource.
Laura: [00:22:11] I just think that people need to sit down and learn and seek out the information that you know you're not best at.
Laura: [00:22:20] I read a book or two a month. So one to two a month is my kind of good rate on the areas that are my weaknesses. So I'm in business so that I can get better and see a different perspective.
Jillian: [00:22:37] Any you can recommend?
Laura: [00:22:41] Well I've recently read a ton of how to be a better boss type of books because I need to. I've been hiring. I'm in the hiring process and it's very very difficult to hire where I'm at.
Laura: [00:23:03] A book that I really love is the Go Giver. The Go Giver is by Bob Berg and John Mann. In fairness I recently read it. My friend, Alice Chase, she gave it to me because it really puts you in a how to succeed from a giving mindset.
Jillian: [00:23:26] I love that.
Laura: [00:23:27] She and I got to talk about you know, we met at a conference recently and you know she and I the both are the type of people that will give people five minutes but never like an hour of our time unless we really kind of click and connect and she's like gosh I have an extra copy of this book.
Laura: [00:23:45] She sent her husband to go get this book and give it to me. She said, you are everything that this book talks about and I was like, Really?
Laura: [00:23:52] And I read it and now it's a book that I've actually given like probably five or six copies recently in the last three months.
Jillian: [00:23:59] Wow. I will check it out.
Laura: [00:24:00] Yes the Go Giver and it will really change your mind shift of how to really live your life.
Laura: [00:24:13] But really for me was like how to position your blog in the role of giving.
Laura: [00:24:20] Of course I feel like Gary Vaynerchuk is like my spirit animal in a way. If I've had a bad day. I just I have him on my podcast and I really like to listen.
Laura: [00:24:32] It's really about like getting that push you know all the courage like almost like OK go get them right. I'm like, oh, OK.
Laura: [00:24:41] He's got me right when I'm feeling low. There are a lot of low days. I feel like I've also learned a ton from Amy Porterfield. She has a great podcast.
Laura: [00:24:56] So Amy Porterfield is really really good. I've learned a ton. I've purchased quite a few of Derek Halpern's courses he's socialtriggers.com his courses are second to none.
Laura: [00:25:11] And then I also really like Lewis Howes' School of Greatness. Before he was huge. He's got some really great content.
Laura: [00:25:24] Wait, have to tell you about this one more, I'm sorry to take so much for your time. I love learning and making myself better.
Laura: [00:25:37] There is a woman. Her name is Mel Robbins. At MelRobbins.com. She has a book but she has a she's actually great, you'll love her. And Lewis Howes podcasts. You might want to put this in the show notes.
Laura: [00:25:58] The five second rule. She's also on YouTube. But she's written this book about how sometimes, you know, you want to do things and you just don't know how.
[00:26:10] There are five crucial seconds to just get up and do it right. And then if you go, and you basically count yourself downed five, four, three, two, one. And it's like a rocket launch like you literally just like there's no nothing to think about.
Laura: [00:26:27] You just count yourself down and go do it, whatever it is, and Jillian when I'm telling you that I used to get up at four thirty two mornings a week to go work out for 5:00 AM work out. I'm like OK I envision that in my head. And by the time I get to one, I'm out of bed.
Laura: [00:26:46] So I use that and it's so powerful. It is a great resource. So clearly like I find learning an inspiration from everywhere.
Laura: [00:26:58] It's always like you said, a few minutes ago it's to fill a hole or a need in your life right now.
Laura: [00:27:05] And those are the things that make us better.
Jillian: [00:27:08] Right. Right. And I think the the willingness to learn says a lot. I think that people can feel that in your business, that you know you're always challenging yourself and I feel that in you're content.
Laura: [00:27:26] You know if not, we remain stagnant. If you remain stagnant like you're going to stay where you're at forever. I don't want to do that. I want my life to be exciting to me, to live it every day.
Laura: [00:27:42] If I stay the same way as I was and it's really not that exciting. I so agree.
Jillian: [00:27:49] So Laura, this has been wonderful.
Jillian: [00:27:52] Where can people reach out to you learn more about you and connect?
Laura: [00:27:57] OK. So if you want to connect with me, unscripted just what it is that's happening. Instagram is a great place @LauraSFuentes. I do manage my own Instagram. And that's just really a great place for people to see;, well, shoot, she really does like jump on a plane on a whatever notice you know.
Laura: [00:28:21] So I love Instagram for that. You can of course go to LauraFuentes.com and find out more about me there and then you know MOMables. Like really LauraFuentes.com is really a great hub for all of the things lifestyle and MOMables. I will be launching a business site really soon.
Laura: [00:28:45] I will be launching Laura Fuentes CEO, which is like the company of Laura and because for years, people are like, How is it that you do it? Walk me through the steps. You know when I feel like my personal blog it's really the lifestyle of living a fresh life but not the business side of my life.
Laura: [00:29:06] So that's something that I'm excited to kind of develop more this year.
Jillian: [00:29:11] That's wonderful, Laura. Truly I thank you so much for being on the show.
Laura: [00:29:17] My pleasure. I had a great time and if I can be a resource to anyone that's listening, I'm not going anywhere.
Jillian: [00:29:23] Oh great. And I always learn so much from you.
Laura: [00:29:25] Thank you.
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