SFR 64: Interview – Alison Prince’s $1,000,000 Selling PILLOWCASE’S

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The Story Behind Alison’s Ecommerce Empire…

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Stephen Larsen:

Hey everybody, this is Steve Larsen, and welcome to a very special episode of Sales Funnel Radio.

Welcome to Sales Funnel Radio, where you’ll learn marketing strategies to grow your online business, using today’s best internet sales funnel. Now, here’s your host, Steve Larson.

Stephen Larsen:

All right you guys. Hey, this is exciting. You know, for me I’m just selfishly wanting to talk to, in my opinion, one of the coolest people that is out there. One of the most inspiring stories. Doing exactly what they love. I’m just excited that I hit the record button and you guys get to listen in. There’s a lot that I feel like I could learn from this person. I haven’t done an interview in a very long time, and I’m excited to bring on just a complete rock star.

Everybody, this is Alison Prince. Alison, how you doing?

Alison Prince:

Good. I’m so excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah. You’ve been running the, let’s see, Pick a Plum and Because I Can Clan for a while now, right?

Alison Prince:

I have. I actually own seven businesses, Stephen.

Stephen Larsen:

Oh really? Don’t tell Russell.

Alison Prince:

I know. I’m a little bit of a serial entrepreneur.

Stephen Larsen:

We get that. That’s cool. What’s your most favorite one right now that you’re doing?

Alison Prince:

Do you know, it’s actually the Because I Can Clan.

Stephen Larsen:

Oh really? That’s your most recent one, isn’t it?

Alison Prince:

It is. I launched that right after I joined the Inner Circle. Launched it in about March, officially in March.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s awesome. Just for everyone listening, the first time I ever met Alison is actually, actually do you want to tell everyone how you got into the Inner Circle? I think it’s hilarious.

Alison Prince:

Yeah. I hope I don’t get in trouble for it, though.

Stephen Larsen:

No. It’ll be awesome.

Alison Prince:

I own a blog called How Doe She? I’ve been running that for almost eight years, which is crazy. We’re always trying to learn, always trying to figure out new ways to do affiliate type promotions on the blog. I went to an affiliate conference, it was actually down in Las Vegas.

When I got there, it was not the conference that I signed up for. I went to the classes. The classes, I swear, every single speaker was drunk, or it was totally a click bait class. The title was one thing and then what they spoke on was totally different. I’m like, where am I?

I saw Click Funnel and I’m like, oh I wonder if this will really help my business?

I went and I listened to Russell, and his title was exactly what he spoke about. He wasn’t drunk. I really appreciated the honesty from the title. His pitch, the way he presented himself, I was just super impressed with it. Then what, two weeks later I had joined the Inner Circle. From just figuring out who Russell Brunson was, two weeks later, joined the Inner Circle because I knew he was good. I knew his message was good. I knew he was honest, and so I just jumped in with both feet.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s awesome. I mean, it was literally, what, two weeks later you were at the Funnel Hackathon event, the FHAT event.

Alison Prince:

Yes, which was a wild ride.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah, and you stood up and you were talking and stuff. It’s funny because you introduced yourself and your story. I remember, I mean it’s an intense three days. In the back office though, like back in Russell’s office, he and I were both like, “Have you met that Alison lady? Oh my gosh, she’s so cool. Where does she come from? Where are more people like that?”

eCommerceWhen we see you as an individual, and you as a person and the things that you’re doing, you just seem like the kind of person that is 100% truly genuine and there and happy. You’re present in the moment, and it makes people wonder, “Who is this lady? How is she doing what she’s doing and why am I not doing that?” It’s really cool.

We talked all about … Don’t think, yeah, we were talking all about you. It’s really easy.

Alison Prince:

Go for it. Lots of people do. I don’t care.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah. It’s really easy to see just that you absolutely love what you do. It’s super unique, it’s extremely inspiring. You’ve got the family side down and the business side down, it seems like. You’re traveling. Anyways.

Alison Prince:

Yeah. Well there is. Okay, so I’ve been over to Thailand for the last three weeks. I have severe jet lag right now. I took my whole family over there. We were out there for three weeks doing service projects. Why?

Because we can…

I decided, I’ve been able to do this and I have lived my dream life. Now it’s time to help others live their dream life too. This is, we have so many opportunities here in America. The education, like on YouTube University, everything that Russell gives. Stephen, your podcast is absolutely amazing. We have so much information to change our lives.

I decided to start the Because I Can Clan, because we can. We can change our lives. We can do the things of the dreams that we want to, and be in the moment. Have the family. I mean, I have four kids and we’re over Thailand. Like real severe poverty, helping those kids, trying to help them change their lives. We were able to do some job training over there too. It was just, I don’t know, there’s just so much opportunity, so much excitement out there, to be able to live how you want to. Because it’s just, it’s there. There’s so much out there right now.

Stephen Larsen:

It’s so true. Before I hit the record button everyone, we were talking and you were saying, “It seems lik you and Russell don’t sleep.” That’s so true. It’s the exact same reason. It’s funny, all these things that we learn and we go do, it’s fun, but there’s also a bit of a mantle that comes with it, it sometimes feels like. You have a responsibility, in my opinion, to go out and help other people know that you know how to do.

Anyway, I’m just completely in agreeance of what you’re saying. It’s so real and tangible. When you start getting to these levels of various success, that you’ve got to turn around. I believe and it sounds like you do too, that there’s a little bit of a responsibility to turn around and kind of just help humanity, help the other guy who’s still struggling.

Alison Prince:

Yeah. Then I think it’s … Okay, so let’s go back. I think it might be a little bit of selfishness too, because when you serve, you feel so good. If you can create a business around serving, it just fulfills you. In the mornings when you get up, it’s not hard to get up at five, six in the morning, and you’re so excited to get to work. You don’t feel like you’re working.

It’s just this beautiful thing that goes together, where you’re actually having fun every single day, doing what you love. Then going to bed at night knowing that you did … I don’t know, you’re just happy.

It just fulfills, it fulfills me…

Stephen Larsen:

That’s so fun. That’s so cool. Yeah. I love what I do for people. My wife always makes fun of me. She’s like, “How come you get kind of awkward every time someone asks you what you do?” I’m like, well because I don’t know what to say sometimes.

How much time do they have?

Alison Prince:

So true.

Stephen Larsen:

I want to just tell them everything, and they’ll run away from me from that. I am extremely interested, my sister, my brother, lots of my close family and friends actually follow you very closely, and what you do.

They’re incredibly inspired by it. I just wanted to ask, did you always want to have your own business? Is this something you stumbled into?

Is it something you created out of a side necessity? You know what I mean? What really put you into that?

Alison Prince:

Okay. I went to college and I was a junior high teacher, if you can believe that.

Stephen Larsen:

Wow. I had no idea.

Alison Prince:

I loved those kids. We laughed, or I laughed at them, every single day. Imagine, I don’t know, 300 eighth graders that you got to see every single day. They were just a ball of energy. I know some people it’s like their worst nightmare, but I love, we had so much fun together. We would do pumpkin chucking contests.

Then we would sit in shopping carts for the mass equals acceleration times whatever. I forgot. It’s all physics stuff. We’d put a kid in a shopping cart, push them down the hallway to see if they would go faster if someone was in the shopping cart, out of the shopping cart. We had so much fun learning.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s awesome.

Alison Prince:

Then I got my first paycheck. Stephen, it was like a slap in the face. Because they handed me my paycheck and they said, “Oh, by the way, you qualify for food stamps.” I was like, “Wait, what? No, I studied math and science for four years in college. What do you mean I get food stamps?” They’re like, “Yup, welcome to being a teacher.”

You know, I should have done the research beforehand, but when you’re young you don’t really think about money until you start having children and your husband’s going to school full time and you have real bills.

I started a little tutoring business on the side. I could tutor one to two kids a night, but I had a baby at home. My husband was going to school full time and I just couldn’t get enough tutoring hours in. Then I started hiring people. Hired them for $15 an hour but charged $20 an hour, so I made an additional $5.

Then I ended up hiring about four teachers, and so I was making as much money, not actually having to go and work those two hours. I’m like, oh my gosh, what is this? That’s when the entrepreneur bug bit, as I figured out how I could free up my time by hiring other people to be able to grow a business, or to be able to work on the things that made me happy. I haven’t stopped since.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s amazing. What eventually made you leave that? I really wanted to be a tenth grade history teacher for a long time. That was actually my dream for a long time. That’s the first time all you guys on this podcast have heard that. I really love history. I love war stories. I love all that stuff.

It was the exact same thing you just said, it was the paycheck that kept me from doing any of that. What eventually made you leave that altogether?

Alison Prince:

Well, we moved to Oklahoma. My husband got accepted to school out there. The pay was $10,000 less than the pay in Utah, if you can even imagine that. Then I was pregnant with my second child. We were on food stamps, state support, and I was working a ton as a teacher. I’m like, this is just, this isn’t right.

This isn’t right…

I don’t want to be on state assistance. I’ve gone to college. My husband’s going to college. I became a realtor at that point.

I had to stop the tutoring business because, this is going to tell you how old I am, but the internet really wasn’t up and going at that point. It was hard to do a business out of state, so I became a realtor during the boom. I made $60,000 working part-time. Was able to get off all the assistance, be able to support, help pay for my husband’s college.

Through that, real estate, I was helping new buyers and so I was still educating. I was still getting that fulfillment of educating people, but it was just in a different area. I was helping new home buyers find their first home, and it was awesome.

Then that just led to the next business and then the next business. Then eventually it rolled around into How Does She, which is the blog. I call it my playground, where I get to learn how the internet works, how to grow Facebook. We actually grew our Facebook page to two million followers organically.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s huge.

Alison Prince:

I know. We just hit two million like two weeks ago. We did it in about two years, so we’re pretty excited about that. I get to learn and play. Now I started the Because I Can Clan, helping others be able to do the entrepreneur side of things, to be able to change their lives. To be able to, if they are teachers and they need extra money, there’s a way to do it where it doesn’t eat all your time.

There’s a way to do it to be able to bring in that extra income.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah. I know everyone’s situations are different, especially the guys that are listening out there. Everyone’s coming from different backgrounds, so obviously take what I’ll say with a grain of salt here. I remember the exact same thing, when we were in college and all this stuff. When we were first starting out, we had to take loans.

We had to get all the assistance and stuff. I could not help but fight this incredibly huge feeling that I was just cheating, and I needed to go create a business. That’s one of the major reasons I started doing that also.

You’re heavily involved though, right now in eCommerce, right?

Alison Prince:

Yes.

Stephen Larsen:

Big, big, big.

Alison Prince:

Yeah, when I started the blog, with How Does She, we would do posts. They were creative posts, like how to make this or how to make that. Then people would say, “Where do you get your products from?” I was sending them to Home Depot. I was sending them to Michael’s Crafts. Then one day I was like, “Why am I not sending them to me? Why am I sending them to these other stores? Why don’t I set up like an eCommerce store?”

I started a business called Pick Your Plum, and sold out the very first day. What it was is, it was a daily deal site and I would have one product up every single day. The very first day, put up my product, sold out. Second day, sold out. Third day, didn’t sell any. I’m like, dang it, is this the right thing?

Then grew it into a huge business within two years, just by sending people over. It was just one product a day. Now it’s about 70, 80 products a day. In the beginning it was just one product a day. I had never done eCommerce before. Then we would sell out so fast, and a lot of our American distributors, they would run out of the product for us. I got on an airplane, went over to China, and started finding manufacturers. I don’t know any Chinese.

I have never been to China. I’ve never taken a business class, Stephen, ever.

Stephen Larsen:

They’re overrated. Off the record, they’re totally overrated. I learn more from books. It’s all good.

Alison Prince:

Yup. I learned more from doing and getting on that plane to China, than I ever could have in a classroom. It was scary. I had four kids at the time. My sweet husband was here and I’m like, “I’m going to China.” He’s like, “Okay.” It’s not just like going to the mall and getting products.

Stephen Larsen:

No.

Alison Prince:

It’s crazy across the world. Yeah, got on a plane, went and found manufacturers. Then started to learn how to import. Did I make mistakes? Oh yes I did. Did I learn from it and created a successful business from it? Absolutely. It was well worth that.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah, I remember, okay one of the most recent things that I’ve heard of that you’ve done is, you sold pillowcases.

Alison Prince:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stephen Larsen:

First of all, how did you choose pillowcases out of every product that was out there?

Alison Prince:

Okay, so let me back up a little bit and tell you a little bit more about the story.

Stephen Larsen:

I would love that, yeah.

Alison Prince:

My daughters, they were sleeping in and just, they were 10 and 13 at the time. This is when I’m running How Does She, when I’m running Pick Your Plum. The girls, they were just being teenagers, and they were tired and sleeping in till 10. My husband and I were like, we don’t want to raise children that are lazy. They were just trying to figure out what they wanted.

What we did is we said, “You guys have three options. You can move out of the house.” Which of course, we didn’t want them to move out of the house. “You can do more chores, which we’re going to start at seven o’clock in the morning on a Saturday morning. Or you can start a business. Which of those three choices would you want to do?” Of course, they were like, “We want to start a business.”

Stephen Larsen:

Cool.

Alison Prince:

What they did is they started this business. I gave them some resources, but I really wanted them to try and to test it, because I didn’t want to be holding their hand the whole time. They needed to learn this journey.

Then you’re not going to believe this, but in nine months, just nine months, they sold over $100,000.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s crazy.

Alison Prince:

$100,000. Makayla, she was in junior high at the time, she would come home crying because she couldn’t get her locker open. I’m like, “Don’t worry honey, you just sold $5000 today. You can pay someone to open up your locker for you.”

Stephen Larsen:

A 10 and a 13 year old, $100,000 a year.

Alison Prince:

10 and a 13 year old, yeah. Yes, they sold over $100,000 in nine months. I was like, okay, if these girls can do it, other people can do it. Then I of course went to my sister. You got to test it, right? Done it with my girls, so I went to my sister and I’m like, “Hey, let’s try something.” She needed something at the time because she needed a new roof.

There was just a lot going on in her life. She was budgeting and going to garage sales and just didn’t have a ton of money to buy this roof that she needed. She went through this whole thing and she sold $129,000 in nine months. Apparently she wanted to outdo the girls.

Stephen Larsen:

New roof.

Alison Prince:

Got her new roof, yeah, it was pretty exciting. People have said, “Alison, well that’s cool you’ve done it, and it’s probably because you have these platforms.” I’m not going to lie, How Does She has a great following of two million people. When the girls started, it wasn’t that big of a number. People have said, “Alison, of course you can do it. You have these huge social media platforms.”

This goes to the pillowcases. I build a business to prove that you don’t need to have this huge social media following to be successful.

I went out and I found that pillowcases, yeah, like the lamest, boring product, were trending. That’s the rule, secret number one, the rule to success is just sell what other people are buying. If people are buying it, just put it in front of them. You don’t have to go out and have this huge, crazy shark tank idea. We went and we built this little pillowcase business. In 24 months we sold over a million dollars in pillowcases.

Stephen Larsen:

That is insane.

Alison Prince:

Yeah, and it was to prove that you don’t have to have this big, huge social media following. On that pillowcase business, there’s only like 55 Facebook followers. It’s my sister and my brother, and I guarantee you they did not buy $1.1 million in pillowcases. Promise.

Stephen Larsen:

Now my brother and my sister, they’ve all gone through your course. They love your course. They talk about you all the time.

Alison Prince:

Yay, good.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah, they just really, really love it, all the value you put out there too, and showing people how you do it. Their biggest question afterward though, and I was wondering if I could ask you here.

Alison Prince:

Put me on the spot.

Stephen Larsen:

Was, what are some of the methods you use to go find what people are buying?

Alison Prince:

I’ve actually built, and I go through it step by step in the course, so maybe I just need to point them to that again. You go and you, like there are specific sites that I look at to see what’s trending. I check it almost every single day, except of course when I was in Thailand, because you couldn’t get the internet half the time.

The internet is so amazing and so beautiful, and it just, it literally spoon feeds you the information. You just have to know where to find it, and be receptive to it.

Stephen Larsen:

Oh that’s so true. Yeah.

Alison Prince:

Once you know how to find the #trending on specific sites, then you just see what’s selling. Then you go, and you don’t copy their idea, I want to put that out there. You don’t copy, like if they’ve got a specific branded product, you don’t copy it, but there’s so many commodity products out there.

eCommerceMy girls, they didn’t come up with some new crazy idea. You want to know what they sold? Did I already tell you what they sold?

Stephen Larsen:

No, I don’t think so.

Alison Prince:

They sold scarves, Stephen. Scarves.

Stephen Larsen:

$100,000 with scarves. I told Russell the other day, if there’s another like 12 year old that makes a million bucks, so help me, because it’s ridiculous. The formulas are all out there everybody, for you to actually just make money.

Alison Prince:

It is.

Stephen Larsen:

You really just have to look around. The market will always tell you what you need to sell. I always tell people, the creativity that you need in order to make a lot of money is actually not inside of you.

You don’t have it or you don’t possess it. All you do is you look around at everything that’s around you, and you look at the market through some of the ways Alison’s talking about. There’s these ways you can test and see before you jump in, and before it’s scary and you might lose your shirt. The market will always tell you what to sell, it’s not inside of you to know.

Alison Prince:

You don’t invest a lot of money, I love that you said that. The girls, they didn’t put in like $16,000. No. They bought some from California, and then they just tested it. We probably, I don’t know, put in maybe like $100 to $200 to see if they would even sell, and they sold out very fast so we knew we had something.

Then we invested more, and then we invested more. Don’t risk your whole life savings, you don’t need to. That’s crazy Stephen. I have sold so many products, and to this day I still won’t invest huge money into stuff until I tested it. You don’t need to. Test it first.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah, 100%. I’m in the middle of doing that with my own thing. Just this small, little $100 thing, and it’s been running for a long time. Finally, I feel like, all right, that’s been tested to death, I think that I can actually jump full in on this other thing. It’s been a lot of fun to do that. The testing is so key.

Everybody dreams, I feel like. We get caught in this, it’s totally the shark tank mentality.

I need to sell something that’s big and unique and crazy. I call it product big bang theory, where it’s just boom, this big massive idea that no one’s ever heard of before. The problem is that no one ever wants that stuff. They think they do. It’s really product evolution. You’re just finding other things that are selling and you add little tweaks to them, and go blow it up.

Alison Prince:

Yup.

Stephen Larsen:

This is Sales Funnel Radio. Which funnel do you use to sell that stuff?

Alison Prince:

Okay, so you have to remember that I just started ClickFunnels in March.

Stephen Larson:

You’re a pro.

Alison Prince:

From February until June, I have been out of the country for two of the months. It has been insane and crazy, crazy stuff. I did a freemium funnel, and honestly the freemium funnel didn’t convert as much as the 4.99 funnel did.

Stephen Larsen:

Wow.

Alison Prince:

I know, it’s kind of crazy, right? The scarves, this was done before I knew about Click Funnels, the scarves, so we just did it on a basic shopping cart website. We did a freemium offer then, did amazing. We did three free scarves with the shipping, and then shipping and handling, and they did amazing.

We did a lot of those. It did really well. I’ve noticed that in the community that I am in, I work with a lot of bloggers. I work with a lot of marketplaces. The freemium offer isn’t converting as well. I think people are a little scared of it. They’ve been burnt by it. It’s too good to be true.

If we can just give them a really good deal, let’s say we do the pillowcases for like two for 24, that goes like wildfire, with free shipping. Because it’s an offer, and what you and Russell both talk about is give them an option, give them an offer they cannot turn down. Two for 24 with free shipping on these pillowcases, people eat it up.

What we’ve been doing is we’ve been putting a lot of funnels in place that just really focus on one item, and one really good offer, which you guys of course talk about nonstop. That’s it. Stephen, all we have to do is just listen to you guys and do it, and it works.

Stephen Larsen:

I’m paying her to say that everybody.

Alison Prince:

No, but it is so true. We over complicate things. We just need to keep things simple, and listen. It works. It’s just super, we overthink things, we over complicate things as human beings. I know when I built my course out, I was over complicating things like crazy. Stephen, like I asked you some questions and you’re like, “Simple Alison. Keep it simple.”

It converted so much better than when it was complicated…

Stephen Larsen:

That’s awesome.

Alison Prince:

Props to you.

Stephen Larsen:

Thank you very much. You know, it’s funny, most people, they tend to think, “Well eCommerce Alison right now, she’s talking about eCommerce and I’m over here in info products.

That’s completely different so I must need to disregard all of the things that she’s saying.” Or, “I’m doing this over here.” Guys, it’s all the same. It’s human psychology.

These sales processes, the way you create offers and you put it all together, it’s the same thing across the board. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling physical, digital, any kind of info product business, a service based professional service, like you’re a dentist or something. It’s all the same.

Alison Prince:

It really is.

Stephen Larsen:

You just have to think what part your business fits in that model, and then go fill the gaps and it starts to come together. That being said, how did you think up an offer that they can’t turn down? That’s interesting.

Alison Prince:

I just asked them.

Stephen Larsen:

It can’t be that simple.

Alison Prince:

It is that simple. You put it out there, and if nobody buys, no one pulls out their wallet, you know your offer stinks. You don’t take it personally. You just say, okay, let me come up with another offer. I was on Facebook the other day, of course, and I wish I can remember the quote. Someone was saying, the reason why he’s successful is because he just puts out offers.

The more offers he puts out, the better he does. You take your product and you put out an offer. If it doesn’t do well, okay, not a big deal, redo it and then test it again, and test it again and test it again. We need to be testing things constantly, until we can nail it. Then once we nail it, then of course we scale it, we grow it as big as we can.

To put out a Facebook offer, that doesn’t cost a lot of money. If you’ve got a good following, it doesn’t really cost anything to just test it. You put out an offer, you put $5 in. If someone bites, oh take it.

Tweak it just a little bit…

See if you can get two people to buy off of it. I think that’s what people think, they put out an offer and if nobody buys they’re like, “Oh, my product stinks.” Or, “Oh, I’m not good enough.” When that’s not the case at all. It’s they just need to tweak it and try it again. I mean you’re an entrepreneur, you know this. The only way you fail as an entrepreneur is when you stop. That’s when you fail right there, is when you stop.

Stephen Larsen:

You know it’s funny, two or three days ago Russell and I were at the office still, it was 1:30 in the morning, as men do.

Alison Prince:

Are you sleeping at the office too? I know Russell is. On a cot or something.

Stephen Larsen:

Not always by choice. Sometimes I just fall asleep there. We got this big cot there and a tent right now. It’s funny.

Alison Prince:

You know, okay a little, another pitch. Seriously, I am so grateful for you guys. All of the information that you give makes my life so much easier, so thank you for not ever sleeping, just for Alison Prince.

Stephen Larsen:

Oh thank you very much. We have a lot of fun doing it. It’s very, very fun.

Alison Prince:

Click FunnelsThat does not go unnoticed. I am seriously very, very grateful for everything you guys produce and put out there.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s much appreciated, very much. We were talking a few days ago. He and I, for some reason, we both got on this big rant. We had been working super hard on these things, trying to relaunch and tweak and fix. Exactly what you’re saying, what’s the problem with this one?

All right, let’s go fix it. Just relaunch, relaunch. We both got on this topic, how did we both get started? He started going through his journey with me, and luckily we flipped the camera on, so it’s going to be an episode here soon. It’s really cool. He was walking through all the different products and all the sites and all the things that he had put out there.

The ones that worked and the ones that didn’t. I started doing the same thing, and it was really fun.

He asked me, he was like, “When did it finally click for you?” I said, “It finally clicked for me when I realized that products and offers are not the same thing.” For years, I had been selling products, and that’s why I was failing, because I was the exact same as the other guy.

When I created an offer out of it and I made it this awesome thing, and you get this and this, or you get this and an info product, or whatever it is. I started bundling and creating offers. That’s honestly when it blew up for me. He said, “Yeah, for me what I’ve noticed is that it’s the people who are obsessed with the marketing who always make the money. But the people who are obsessed with the money never make the money.”

It’s totally about the marketing part of it and creating the offers. Anyway, I thought that was interesting you just said that.

Alison Prince:

It is. It is like, I call it the vision. How do you put together a product that’s going to inspire people? On Pick Your Plum, it’s a lot of like commodity, it’s a product based site. I’ve never sold a product on Pick Your Plum. I sell the vision. One of my examples is, this is crazy, but when we first got started there wasn’t a lot of money. I went out to my backyard. I found these blocks of wood.

What I did is I decorated them with some stuff and made them cute, made them into ornaments for Christmas trees. Made them into block kits for kids, stuff like that. I sold the vision of what you could do with these blocks. Stephen, we ended up selling over $9000 in trash.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s so cool.

Alison Prince:

Because we never sold the product, we sold the vision of what you could do with it. That’s what you sell, right? You don’t sell something.

Stephen Larsen:

You sell the hole, not the drill.

Alison Prince:

Yes, yes, that’s exactly it. What can they do with it, that’s what you sell, that’s what converts. That’s what people want.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s awesome. How many times do you buy something and you never end up using it? Russell, it was kind of fun, he came over for dinner last night over here. We were geeking out over my books and the bookshelves. That’s what we do, it’s geeky and it’s fun.

We’re going through all these books and my wife walks up and she goes, “Are you ever actually going to read those?” I was like, “Yeah, of course I am.” Yeah, whatever.

Russell was like, “Yeah, we read the titles and get the gist.” It’s funny that so many of us are like that though. We look at these, we’ll go buy stuff, whatever it is. Exercise equipment is a classic example. Treadmills are just another kind of coat hanger for most people. It’s because they got sold on the vision and not the actual thing. It’s powerful.

Alison Prince:

It is.

Stephen Larsen:

Now I wanted to ask another part here. You’ve talked about how you just ask them and you create the offer. How do you get a lot of your traffic? How have you figured out that aspect of it? I know that’s a big challenge for some of the listeners.

Alison Prince:

Okay. Remember what we learned in like kindergarten, about how to share?

Stephen Larsen:

Barely. I kind of skipped that one. Just kidding.

Alison Prince:

It really goes back to like elementary school, you share. You reach out to a blogger. You reach out to another shop, and you figure out how you can collaborate. Because that shop’s trying to grow too, and you find out how you can work together.

It really, it’s so simple and everybody makes it very, very complicated, but it doesn’t need to be.

Like in blog land, we always are sharing each other’s posts. In the eCommerce world, we’re going out there and we’re saying, “Hey, let’s do a giveaway together. You’ve got a product that compliments my product, let’s do a giveaway together. We’ll get your readers and my readers excited, pumped up about it, and we can throw traffic to each other.”

Then we go to, now I’m working with my course, my digital product, so now I’m going out there and I’m working with other people who have a complimentary product. Then we interview each other or we post each other’s stuff. I’m helping them grow. They’re helping me grow. Now when I do this, you have to do it with people with similar numbers.

If I came up to like Russell and I’m like, “Hey Russell, post me on your Instagram page.” Something like that, and I only have like 200 followers or something like that and he’s got a gajillion, it’s not going to work. It’s got to be something where, if I’ve got 200 followers, I’m working with someone with around 200 to 500 followers.

You do it in a way, it’s more organic, or it’s more like a friendship instead of go follow, I don’t know, Cookies With Lacy or something like that. That just looks too spammy.

If you can post a picture that says, “Hey look at these cookies that Lacy made. They are so great.” Vice versa. It really is networking and getting to know each other in the social world. It really does work. That is the big secret to how we grew our Facebook page to two million, is we just worked together.

We came up with, “Hey, let’s share each other’s posts.” Then I’ve got some bloggers right now that are excited about sharing this course. There’s a few things that I’ve been working on, tweaking on. Stephen, I’m still working on that.

I launched it in March, this course, and I’ve been tweaking it, testing it and perfecting it. Then I’m excited, I just got back from Thailand, to be able to start pushing it harder and harder and harder. I’ve actually got a webinar this morning and I’m really excited about it.

Stephen Larsen:

Oh cool.

Alison Prince:

I guess it’s not a webinar anymore, we call them master classes, because nobody wants to go on a webinar.

Stephen Larsen:

Marketers.

Alison Prince:

Yeah. I’ve got a secret master class coming up today. I’m constantly tweaking that offer. How can I serve my people more? How can I get them more information? How can I help them become more successful? They see it. Then other people see it and then people start talking about it. It really goes back to what you learned in elementary, and it’s to share. It really is so simple.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s so interesting too, that you say it that way. Because I know one of the pieces of advice Russell and I give is, some people will be like, “Okay, I’ve got this sweet offer but I have no money for ads.”

A situation that we’ve probably all been in before. “I’ve got no money for ads. I’ve got no following. I’m literally brand new, there’s still green on my ears.” We always tell them to do something that sound ludicrous but is very strategic, which is just to go find somebody who has a following who would want the product, and just give it to them. Don’t even try and get any profit from it.

What you end up getting out of it though is a list, because you just send them out there and you end up getting all these people who opt in. Now you have another asset, there’s a piece of value there.

You go to the next guy and you say, “Hey, I got this list, you got this list, you want to do a little cross promotion?” Just like you just said. Now your list grows and you’ve got a little money. You go to the next person and do it again. By the time you’ve done it and flipped it six or seven times, you’re rich. It’s exactly like you’re talking.

Alison Prince:

Yeah. You are going to get told no, and I think a lot of people are scared by the word no. Who cares if you get told no, just go find another person. You don’t want to work with them anyways, if they’re …

Stephen Larsen:

It’s going to happen.

Alison Prince:

It is. If you’re prepared to get one yes out of ten, then you’re a rock star and you will feel good when you get that yes. Don’t think that everybody’s going to say yes. You’re going to get told no, it’s not a big deal, just move on to the next one. Move on to the next one. I mean if it was easy, if we were just to flip on a light switch and become a millionaire, everybody would be and then money wouldn’t have any value.

eCommerceWe actually have to go out, do the work, build those relationships. Spoil those people and be treated how we would want to be treated. I know when I get a product in the door, a package, I’m like, “Woo hoo, this is the best thing ever.”

Stephen Larsen:

I loved yours, by the way. Thank you.

Alison Prince:

Good. I’m glad you got it. That’s the same thing. People want to be loved and want to be spoiled. Just treat them how you want to be treated. It’s back to kindergarten.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s awesome. I have one other area I just wanted to ask you about real quick. That is, okay you’ve got a guy over here who’s saying drop shipping is the thing. Another person over here saying, “Do all fulfillment but only high ticket.” This person says … There’s a lot of areas and a lot of facets of the eCommerce world, and you’re obviously an expert in it. I just wanted to ask why you picked self-fulfillment, and low ticket, high volume?

That’s mostly where you’ve been, right?

Alison Prince:

Yeah. The In-N-out Burger approach. Where we can sell thousands and thousands of a product at a low price and make good money. The reason why, a couple things. When I first started, I didn’t have money to get a huge warehouse. I didn’t have money to have someone fulfill my products. It’s expensive to have someone fulfill.

The margins weren’t there, and I knew a lot of people that needed jobs. I started, the very first one was in the garage, and I had people come over to the garage and help me fulfill out of the garage, because you do what you need to, to start growing your business. Then we got a little tiny warehouse, I think it was about 1200 square feet. Which I’ll tell you what, scared the hejeebies out of me to sign that contract.

Stephen Larsen:

I bet.

Alison Prince:

When you’re uncomfortable, I don’t know, if we stay comfortable …

Stephen Larsen:

Stuff happens.

Alison Prince:

Yeah. Don’t stay comfortable…

You’ve got to get uncomfortable to be able to have results. Then I just found joy in writing people checks that I knew, that I grew to love, that I grew to find. Then there was more margins in it. We got to do a lot more fun things as a company. In my course I do teach self-fulfilling has higher margins, and there are great ways to do it, but I do give options about having other people fulfill for you.

The reason why I give both options is because I’ve been gone a lot, and I’ve been traveling. I want to be with my family. I don’t want to stay up till two o’clock in the morning shipping products. That just, to me, is not fun.

There’s other options that I give to help you, because the entrepreneur should not be shipping. They should not ever ship one product. Well maybe one, to see how the process goes, but they should not be shipping the product. I do give options. I do talk about ways to be able to get that off your plate, and how to hire it out. How to hire another company to do it when you’re ready.

Things like that, just so you can truly focus on what you’re good at. Finding the product, marketing, getting sales, getting out there, branding your product, growing your business. Not necessarily shipping, because that’s, I don’t know. Some people love shipping.

I’m not a fan of shipping.

Stephen Larsen:

No, and it’s funny to hear you say that, with the amount of stuff that you ship.

Alison Prince:

Yeah, no. I had my fair share of shipping. Oh man. Find help. Do not do it yourself. Find help. I teach that a lot in my course, you do what you’re good at. You have, tell me which one it is, you have a podcast that talks exactly about that. When you guys are at … See I stalk you Stephen, I really like what you have to say. When you’re at IHOP and you were asking Russell like how he can get so much stuff done. He just hires it out because he’s like, “I don’t know how to do it.” Which podcast is that, do you remember?

Stephen Larsen:

I don’t remember. You know, it’s funny, I usually, I just know that there’s something cool that I want to share and then I come up with a title later.

Alison Prince:

Oh. It was probably about a month ago, because I listened to it. It was probably about a month, month and a half ago, but it was really, really good on focusing on what you’re good at. Everything else, hire it out, get it off our plate.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah, he told me once, he’s like, “Stephen, I realized that I am a starter, and you are a finisher, that’s why you’re here.” It’s so true. That’s how it happens, he starts and I finish. We’re a cool team like that. It’s very true, you’ve got to know which one you are though, hire out the other.

Alison Prince:

Agreed. Absolutely.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s so cool. Alison, I know we’ve been going for a little bit…

I just want to thank you for, I mean for anyone who’s listening to this, I’m going to put so much stinking ad money behind this because I want everyone to hear your story and your voice and everything that you do. I am such a huge fan of Alison Prince and all the things that you do. It sounds like we stalk each other. You’re just one of those people out there who’s living and loving living. You set up what you do in a way so that you can love it.

There’s a lot of trial and error that comes with that in order to have it be that way. Anyway, it’s just a massive example. Where can people find out more about you?

Alison Prince:

Facebook page, I just started the Because I Can Clan about three months ago. You can find me on Facebook over there. I do have a personal Instagram account AlisonJPrince, which I will start converting over into more of the business side soon. I really like about the journey, talking about the journey, how we’re doing it. You’re going to see how I start doing that, and I’m sharing my story. Like right now, on the Because I Can Clan, I’ve been doing a Facebook Live. I did a Facebook Live every single day except for two days in Cambodia when I didn’t have internet.

Stephen Larsen:

Wow, what’s your excuse? Just kidding.

Alison Prince:

Oh Verizon and Cambodia do not get along.

Stephen Larson:

That’s funny.

Alison Prince:

I even called them and they’re like, “Yeah, no. We just don’t work with Cambodia.” I’m like, “Wait, what? You realize what year it is.” They said, “Yeah, there’s just a lot of stuff.” I’m like, okay, I don’t wan to get into it. There was a couple days that we couldn’t do it in Cambodia. I did, I related our experiences of scorpions and elephants and crazy stuff that we ran into and how that related to business.

I did a Facebook Live. We’re on day 19 today. I did it and I’m jotting down how fast that page is growing. In 17 days it had grown over 1000 followers, which I was pretty excited about. Then the next half the month I’m going to be doing that and then adding more. I’m documenting my journey.

I’ll do it on the Facebook page, and then I’ve got a closed group, Because I Can Clan group. Then I’m sharing with people over there what I’m doing, so they can watch what I’m doing. What you guys do, watch the master’s hands. We go out there, we test it. We tell people what we’re doing and what works and what doesn’t work.

Then they go out there and then they replicate it. Anyways, long story short, Because I Can Clan on Facebook, or my Instagram page. Then if they want to sign up for the course, that’s 0-100k.com. You can find out all the information on the course. How people can make this a reality, if they want to get their kids going on it. Like my girls, they have their college education ready to go. They’ve got their savings accounts set up.

They actually set up Roth IRAs this year. My eight and nine year old little boy, they have Roth IRAs right now.

Stephen Larsen:

I don’t even have that. That’s awesome.

Alison Prince:

It’s a gift that we can give them as parents to be able to set them up financially when they hit certain ages. You’ve got to think through the process of, no, they’re not going to be able to get all that money when they’re 18 and go crazy with it. We’ve set up milestones so they can get it when they’re this age or this age or this age.

They have something, and they’re eight and nine years old right now. Imagine what it’s going to be like when they retire. Anyways, I talk about that kind of stuff because it’s life changing.

Stephen Larsen:

It is.

Alison Prince:

I want others to be able to do it too, because it’s not hard. You just have to listen to people. I think that’s the biggest thing. Listen and do. You have to be a doer. You have to make things happen.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah, and you can’t be so afraid of appearing imperfect. I think that’s the biggest killer.

Alison Prince:

Yeah.

Stephen Larsen:

I know it’s one of the biggest killers, in my opinion, of entrepreneurs. Actually being vulnerable with your marketing, and getting out and sharing stories. Sharing the successes, but even more importantly the failures, if you are afraid of appearing imperfect. I always bring this up and people are always sick of me saying it.

Again, when you start down the entrepreneurial path, like your imperfections explode in your face and you can’t move on till you fix them.

Anyway, it’s awesome to have a person like you who’s walked down the path. You know what it’s like and you’ve been very successful. It’s really cool to see. You’re not afraid of messing up or being imperfect, or hey that test didn’t work, and being public about it. That’s a huge key.

Alison Prince:

You want to hear something funny?

Stephen Larsen:

Yes I do.

Alison Prince:

When I did my course, I set a date. Stephen, I set that date way too early but I wanted to push myself. I had stayed up for probably two weeks solid, just trying to get it done. I bought Liz Benny’s course on the whole, how to set up everything for a course. Which Liz Benny, props to her, she is an amazing, amazing woman, a very wonderful teacher.

When I did, oh my gosh, talk about a hot mess. When I did the course, I did the master class, it went well. I had people buying the course after. I had linked them to Liz Benny’s course. People would buy the course and then they’d say, “Alison, how come I see a lady that’s like talking about monkeys?”

Which is her course, Social Media Monkey. I’m like, “Oh my gosh I forgot to change her link out.”

Then it gets even better. Then the payment plan, I didn’t know that Stripe, when you do a payment plan it automatically sets it to a free 30 day trial, so I had given everybody my course for free that signed up for the payment plan. I’m like, oh my gosh. Then it gets even better, because why not, right?

I put a huge type, like ginormously huge typo in the guarantee. I said, “100% money back guarantee if you are happy with the course.”

Stephen Larsen:

Usually we don’t care about typos that much, that’s kind of a big one though.

Alison Prince:

That’s a huge, huge typo. I am the perfect example of just do it. I ended up selling over, I think it was 26 courses my very first launch, and it was a complete hot mess.

Stephen Larsen:

I remember that. You did it, you crushed it. You just did it.

Alison Prince:

I just did it. You go out there knowing you’re going to make mistakes. You tell people, say, “You guys, the tech’s probably going to be screwed up because this is my first time, but the information that I have is valuable.” It was. I was confident in what the offer was. I was not confident on the technology. They were patient with me and they were like, “It’s okay. It’s okay.”

I was able to get Liz Benny’s course off there and direct them to my course. Get the payments fixed. Change the guarantee. I didn’t have one person ask for their money back, because of what I was giving them. Because they were so excited about the offer, that they were fine with the mistakes. I think that we don’t give ourselves enough credit, and we’re too scared.

Don’t be scared. People are there to help you because they want to be helped too.

Stephen Larsen:

Yeah, they’re all making it up.

Alison Prince:

Just do it. Yup. Mistakes and all Stephen. Everybody listening, who cares, just go do it. People need you. They need your information. They need your product, so just get out there and do it with mistakes and all.

Stephen Larson:

Yeah. I can’t remember, I think it was Dan Kennedy, or I can’t remember who it was, but he says, “You have an obligation to sell.” If you’ve got something, it’s actually an obligation.

Alison Prince:

Agreed.

Stephen Larsen:

Get out there and just do it. You owe it to your message.

Alison Prince:

Yup. You owe it to, I don’t know, we were given talents, so let’s go out there and share our talents. Let’s do the best that we can, and live that Because I Can Clan life. Live how we want, because we can.

Stephen Larsen:

That’s so true. Guys, go check out AlisonJPrince.com. 0-100k.com, I love that course, so good. The Because I Can Clan, the Facebook page. Alison Prince is the real deal. Super authentic. Very, very genuine, and is willing to be vulnerable whenever she makes mistakes like the rest of us. No reason to hide behind your own, because we all make them.

Alison Prince:

That’s right.

Stephen Larsen:

Anyways, thank you so much Alison for being on the show, really appreciate it and all the value you gave.

Alison Prince:

Yeah. Thank you, it’s been fun.

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  • Luke Bonner

    Dude…I loved…LOVED this episode!!! 😀 😛 I love interviews on podcasts so much because it bring two amazing insights for the price of one (haha…price of free). Awesome work, man 🙂 Well done!

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