Let me know if this sounds like a dream or what: being able to grow your business with less time on social media. Getting your products in front of your dream customers by your EXISTING customers talking about you and obsessing about your products. Having raving customer fans who essentially become your brand “spokesperson” because they love your brand THAT much.
Too good to be true? Not at all - and today’s special guest, Kerrie Fitzgerald, will be sharing with you how to create a cult-like following that takes your business from invisible to magnetic.
Kerrie Fitzgerald the founder of Kerrie Fitzgerald LLC- an ecommerce and product business consulting & educational agency, and host of top 100 marketing podcast- The 6 Figure Product Business Podcast. As a digital marketing expert, Kerrie helps e-commerce businesses create “wildly in demand” brands that their customers are obsessed with. Her unique framework stems in organic marketing that brings in consistent sales and traffic without focusing a dime on ads.
After starting her first high-end pet e-commerce business, The Dapper Dog Box in 2016, she grew the business to multi 6 figures of revenue in two years without funding, staff or support and successfully sold the business in 2019. During that time she was featured in Buzzfeed, Forbes and Mariah Carey’s Christmas guide. She is a proud boy & dog mom, hot sauce and coffee lover and is an east coast transplant living in Seattle.
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Follow Kerrie on Instagram @kerrie.a.fitzgerald
Listen to Kerrie's podcast, the 6-figure Product Business Podcast
Learn more from Kerrie atwww.kerriefitzgerald.com
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Monica Little: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the product, this podcast, and this is episode number 62. And I'm your host Monica little, and I'm just so excited to chat with you about how to create a cult like following with special guest Carrie Fitzgerald. So let me know if this sounds like a dream or what being able to grow your business with less time on social media, getting your products in front of your dream customers by your existing customers, talking about you.
And obsessing about your products to the point that they share about it on social media, but you're spending less time on social. Having these raving customer fans who essentially become your brand spokesperson because they love your brand that much. Now, I know this may sound too good to be true. But it's really not that challenging, not that difficult.
And today's special guest, Carrie Fitzgerald, we'll be sharing with you exactly how to create a cult like following that takes your business from invisible to magnetic. A little bit about [00:01:00] Carrie before we bring her on. She is the founder of Carrie Fitzgerald LLC, an e commerce and product business consulting and educational agency.
And she's also the host of the top 100 marketing podcasts, the six figure product. business podcast as a digital marketing expert. Carrie helps e commerce businesses create wildly in demand brands that their customers are obsessed with. Her unique marketing framework stems in organic marketing that brings in consistent sales and traffic without focusing a dime on ads.
After starting her own. High end pet e commerce business of the dapper dog box in 2016. She grew the business to multiple six figures of revenue in two years without funding, without staff, without support, and successfully sold the business in 2019. During that time, she was featured in Buzzfeed Forbes, Mariah Carey's Christmas guide.
She's a proud boy, mom, dog, mom, hot sauce, lover, coffee lover, and is an. East coast transplant living in Seattle. So excited to bring Carrie on so she can share with us [00:02:00] just exactly how you can create a cult like following with your brand. So let's bring her on and let's dive in. Are you ready to go behind the scenes and learn what it really takes to create consistent sales each and every month with your handmade small business?
Join me, Monica Little, self taught multiple six figure small business owner, and your product business coach, as I give you the insight and inspiration on how to better run your business and increase your sales. In ways that you may not have even been aware of so that your business can truly become what you knew it could be back when you first start.
Learn how to let go of perfection, overcome the fear of failure that is holding you back and finally start taking action so that you walk away feeling like you've cracked the code on how to run a successful small business. You're listening to the Product Biz Podcast. Well, hello and welcome Carrie [00:03:00] to the product this podcast.
I'm so excited to have you here today
Kerrie Fitzgerald: So excited to have I'm sorry not to have you so excited
Monica Little: I know I mean for you you're coming on my show. I was on your show a couple months ago So yeah, we're doing this swap for you to share with everyone listening here, how to really create a cult like following.
This is going to be such an awesome episode. You have so much knowledge on growing businesses and helping business owners. So I think I really want to start there. Give us a little bit of your backstory of the business that you started and grew and all of that up to what you do now and how you help small business owners and e commerce
Kerrie Fitzgerald: brands.
What an awesome introduction. So thank you. Um, and I'm, yeah, I'm really excited to chat. I know we had a really awesome conversation on, on my podcast. So excited to chat with you again. So my, my entrepreneur entrepreneurial journey started, uh, about seven years ago, I started a brand called the dapper dog box in 2016, which feels like for, it feels like forever ago, honestly.
But only seven years ago, and [00:04:00] that was a high end, um, pet e commerce and subscription box business. And I, that was my first time starting a business. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, like anyone else, but you know, I knew I had the tenacity and the ambition to figure it out and make it work. And I grew that, um, you know, I really figured out ways to not only grow the business in terms of sales and customers without advertising, but I really figured out scrappy ways to leverage my customers.
To be promoting me on my behalf. And that was really one of the secret sauce things I did to grow that business. So I grew that from, you know, zero revenue to, I made almost 500, 000 in sales in two and a half years. And then in 2019, I sold the business. And that has been for me, like my biggest, I would say like my highlight of my entrepreneurial career has been selling the business, not starting it, but selling it.
And like someone paying me some money to take over the business. So that for me was kind of huge. And when [00:05:00] I sold it, I kind of knew instinctively or intuitively maybe. But I really wanted to help people start their business because I had to figure everything out on my own. And I'm sure like, you know, I'm sure you did too.
I don't know how many programs and courses there were back then, but I didn't know of any. So I had to just get on the struggle bus and figure everything out on my own. And it was really challenging. I made so many mistakes and I, I wasted money on so many things in the early days in particular. And I always knew I wanted to do something to help people start their business.
So it was easier for them and they didn't make the same dumb mistakes I did. And I did do that. So in 20, um, like right around COVID. So Jan, Jan, Feb, 20, 2020, I launched my current business, which is like an education consulting. Type business and I actually started things off with helping people start and launch subscription box businesses And so I created the course I spent months creating this beast of a course and then I [00:06:00] was like, I I don't know if I want to do the subscription box niche anymore And so I've kind of pivoted a million times, you know, like everyone else does but now I'm really focused on helping more ecommerce Um, product based, so similar to a subscription, just a different little niche, um, grow without ads, without really being scrappy.
So my big thing that I'm focused on now is just creating a brand that people are obsessed with so you can get your customers. Again, you create these customer superfans, so they're out promoting you. They're out sharing your products on their stories on Instagram, um, you know, having affiliate partnerships where they're putting you in blogs and gift guides and things like that.
So kind of all the ways to grow a product based business that doesn't involve ads or social media. So that's kind of become my new little niche, but really like creating a brand where your customers are your diehard rider guys, like they are out there promoting you talking about you. They buy all the stuff that you sell.
And [00:07:00] I think in my opinion, that is one of the key ways that brands really need to, or brand founders need to focus on moving forward as ads get more and more expensive, as influencer partnerships are getting more and more like you have to pay me to promote the product, um, and just all the other things, all these new things I've been hearing about Google with privacy and, you know, it's just going to be harder and harder to get, uh, that traffic invisibility.
So that's just a little bit about, um, My journey in a couple quick minutes.
Monica Little: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I love it I love hearing about your subscription box how you sold it how then you started to help coach people on how to grow their business and I truly I truly Resonate with what you said because I do think we're at this really interesting time for small businesses where it's It comes down to your brand and how people promote it and how people talk about it and referrals and affiliates, because that can really grow your business in such a way versus like your own effort and doing everything [00:08:00] on your own, trying to like hustle and like make something happen.
Right. So I think it's really interesting, the point of view that you have, because I truly think that's going to be where things go in the next six or seven months of how do you create such an awesome brand and an awesome story and an awesome experience that people just want to share about it for you.
And then cool. They're doing your promotion, your work, they're spreading the word and you're there alongside just creating that awesome experience for them. So I love, love, love hearing about what you're doing, how you're sharing that knowledge with people, because I think it's super, super exciting. So I know you really focus on.
creating a cult like following that kind of segues perfectly into what we're going to talk about today. So give me a little bit more insights in terms of what is a cult like following? What are some of the main characteristics? Like, what is it? Why is it beneficial? We kind of dived in, but, but share a little bit more about that.
Kerrie Fitzgerald: Yeah. So in my opinion, a cult like brand, really, when it comes down to it, it's a brand that. People [00:09:00] are obsessed with. So really, when we just pull back the curtain, people are just obsessed with it. And it's always interesting when I when I talk about this topic, because I think this is a this is a different way to look at marketing and visibility and growing a product based business.
Not many people talk about this Like, create a cult like brand or cult like following. It's a little controversial. I've gotten a lot of, um, interesting messages from people, you know, not happy that I'm using the word cult. Um, you know what? I never want to offend people, you know, like, you know me. But, you know, sometimes you have to...
Do things that are a little bit spicy and do something that's different. And I spent years, the past three years exclusively talking about organic marketing, like how to get visibility organically and get organic traffic. And I got really just bored of talking about it. I'm like, I just want to Take that concept of organic marketing and organic traffic and sort of spin it a little bit and talk about this new thing, which is like the cult [00:10:00] like brand and what that means is just a brand.
Like I said before, your customers are just obsessed with and not just customers. When people see the brand, they're like, Ooh, that looks interesting. Or that's intriguing or When they hear in a, and I would love to talk about your story and how that plays a huge part with creating a cult like brand. But when people hear your story there, it's like, it's like magnetic.
They just, they're like, Oh, I want to learn more. I want to buy from you. I need to have that product or I need to support that founder or female founder. So that's kind of the simplicity of it. It's like just a brand that people are just. Kind of collectively really, really, really into and there was a lot more components, at least for my framework that what it means to have a cult like brand.
But I think when we're thinking big picture, it's, it's literally a product, um, or not really a product, but the brand, you know, like glossier, for example, people are obsessed with them. I know a lot of people also don't like them, but a lot of people are obsessed with them and they buy all their products.
[00:11:00] And they buy their lip balm on a subscription, so they're buying new lip balms every two months or three months. So just as a quick example, it's, it's, it's a brand that really people are very much into. And not only that, but what you said earlier about customers and how we're in this interesting time of e commerce and the product based space, leveraging your customers to do things for you.
So it's not all on you. I think so many people. Put all their eggs into, like, the Instagram or TikTok, and they're not doing other things to, to get visibility. And visibility is how people discover you. Visibility is how eyeballs find and discover your product. So it's super, super important to leverage customers.
And I think the other component of a cult like brand is diehard, loyal customers. Like, literally, they are obsessed. And I have a couple of brands that I, not many actually, but a couple that I am like psycho, diehard obsessed. I can definitely share it. I would love to hear yours actually. [00:12:00] Um, but that's a huge component is like loyal customers who not, they're not like a one and done the, not a one night stand.
They are buying your stuff over and over and over and over. When you have new things, they're the first ones to buy. So I think customer loyalty. And customer obsession is a huge component of a call like brand. So,
Monica Little: oh my gosh, I love it. And it was so interesting when you mentioned Glossier. I'm not even, I don't even know if I said how is it Glossier?
Is it like French? French? Yeah. Oh my gosh. Okay. But I love what you said, Glossier. Glossier. We can be fancy and say Glossier. Um, so I love how you said people love it, but some people don't. Cuz I think that's the thing when you have a cult like following, is you're a hell yes for a lot of people, but then you're also a hell no.
For people. It's not like this watered down vanilla trying to be for everyone. It's like you stand for something super, super specific through those components that you said your story. So people are obsessed. So we become super loyal. But on the flip side, you may get some people that are like, I don't [00:13:00] jive with that, but that's okay because you want to be a hell yes for those people and that's what matters.
So I love when you gave that example. And I would love to hear a couple other examples from you of brands that you are obsessed with and why. Cause I think this will really paint the picture of what it means to have a cult like following a cult like brand. So let's hear. Some of those brands from
Kerrie Fitzgerald: you.
Okay. One that comes to my brain. There's two that come to my brain immediately. Um, one is, and if anyone here has listened to my podcast, the six figure, we have similar podcast name, the six figure podcast. I talk about this brand all the time. I am a stalker, legit stalker. It is a, it is a blow up paddle board company called metal paddle boards.
So M A D D L E. Obsessed, obsessed, obsessed, obsessed. And it's not, it's not even for some of the, it's kind of ironic. It's not necessarily for some of the reasons that. I attribute to a cult like [00:14:00] brand, which are like having a great story, having this magnetic appeal, um, loyal customers, like getting, you know, you have visibility, people are discovering you from many touch points, but metal paddle boards, I'll just give like a super quick story.
So I don't bore the heck out of your listeners. So I was looking, so I live in outside Seattle. We're surrounded by water everywhere. And I discovered two years ago that I love. Kayaking and paddle boarding. I never did it before and I tried it once and I'm like, eh, I don't like it. But then I tried it again.
I think it was two summers ago and kind of just fell in love with it. And that's become my new favorite thing to do in the whole world. Besides walking my dogs is paddle boarding. And so last summer I wanted to get a new cute paddle board. And I went on Facebook marketplace cause I'm like, Oh, I'll just get like a used one in my area.
And I was targeted by an advertisement, and it was this beautiful, beautiful purple. Paddleboard with this funny design on it. And it [00:15:00] was kind of, this sounds really crazy, but this is just my personality as a marketer and like someone who is obsessed with building brands and helping people build these really cool brands, marketing, and the branding for me is really, really important.
So when I saw this paddleboard, it, it pulled me in the second I saw it. I was like, that, that that's it. Like that's the one. And I clicked on the ad and it brought me, it opened up, you know, the bigger. Product picture. And it was this beautiful purple paddleboard. And I forget what else it showed. And I was like, that is literally the most beautiful thing that I've ever seen in terms of like water sports.
So I clicked on it, went to the website. And again, it was like, it drew me in the second I went to the website. I was like, this product is made for someone like me who cares about the cuteness of a product who cares about what the product looks like. It's not just a functional product, but like you can have a functional.
Paddleboard, but it can also be really fun and cute and modern. And it was, like I said, like kind of like [00:16:00] love at first sight when it comes to seeing a product, which sounds crazy. I'm well aware I sound like a crack, but it was, and I scrolled through the website and I just was so impressed by the website.
And the way that they're featuring the products and the product photos and the branding and the visuals and just like they had all these images of, you know, at the bottom, you know, loved by thousands of customers. And they had this row of pictures and half the pictures had dogs on the paddleboard with the person.
And I just, it felt like this product was made for someone like me. And that's a really important point for anyone listening when it comes to creating a brand and product. When someone comes to your website, just like you said, it's either a hell yes or a hell no. That's kind of what your website should be.
They should make someone feel like, wow, I need to, I need to learn more. Or like, I need to buy that product or, ew, it's not for me. And that drew me in and I ordered the paddle board. It showed up in this beautiful box. Everything was pink and purple and [00:17:00] beautiful branding. It came in this beautiful bag where you could put all the paddle board products inside.
Just pure perfection. And ever since that first day that I saw that product online, I have been obsessed with them, obsessed. I talk about them. I can't even say how much airtime I've given this stupid people on my podcast. I just love it. Like I love their website, their product photos, their lifestyle photos, their marketing.
Um, they have done. And when we're thinking of products or brands that have done a fantastic job of putting everything together in this beautiful package, And paddle boards are not a unique product here. There's a million companies selling paddle boards. But what makes that one? What makes me stop the scroll and choose that one versus all the other crappy ones that I could buy on Amazon?
And it was the visual piece, the visual branding and the lifestyle photos. But yeah, ever since then, for me, that have been obsessed with them and not necessarily from their story, but the more [00:18:00] magnetic appeal that I, which is, I believe, one component of a cult like brand. When you see it or discover it, You want more.
You want to learn more. You want to like click on that website and keep looking, you know, so yeah, that's one of mine. I do have another one, but I would love to know if you have one. Yeah.
Monica Little: Oh my gosh. Okay. So first I want to comment on that because there's so many good things that you just mentioned, which I absolutely loved because it was interesting how you said that maybe you don't know their story.
Maybe they're like about us, why we got started, but I actually think through their visuals that you mentioned, you probably got a glimpse of that. Yeah. Like the value, like you said, going outside, bringing the dog on the paddleboard. And even though maybe you don't know the origin story, you know, their values, you know, that they value like outdoors being with your pets, being with loved ones.
So I love how you mentioned that and the lifestyle photos. Cause that's something that I talk about all the time is you got to show people what it's like to be using your product. So when you saw those dogs on that paddleboard, [00:19:00] you said, Oh my God, I can take my dog on the Paddleboard, how fun will that be?
Yeah. Look at that like amazing connection. And then boom, you had this awesome experience. Plus all the amazing packaging that you mentioned, like just sounds like it was so awesome. So I think that's such a good example of truly a cult like. Cult like person who loves this brand. Carrie, the number one spokeswoman.
Um, so funny. So, okay. Number one stalker,
Kerrie Fitzgerald: seriously. I need to stop talking about them. I sound like a crazy person. Or ask
Monica Little: them for like, you know, some marketing compensation. Like, hey, I'm talking about you all the time. Um, but it's so funny. You asked me, what am I a cult like person? Follower four. And that is such a good question.
You know, and this is funny. The first thing that pops into my head is like, I'm a diehard Etsy fan. I buy so much stuff on Etsy. So it's not a particular one business, but I just love and which is why I'm an Etsy coach, right? But I just particularly love it. Like I love going on there, being [00:20:00] able to support small businesses, being able to see who's there, what I can buy, what unique things and just really supporting small businesses.
So So that's like the first thing that comes to mind. And here I am like looking around my office to see what else am I obsessed with? I mean, I don't know. I like whole foods. Like I resonate with values. So whole foods, I'm super into healthy eating, super into, um, just. Knowing what's going in my body, et cetera.
So, I mean, I love the whole foods experience. I love going into whole foods. I love having like the good produce and, and having a good time there and healthier options. And then when I think about Etsy, another one of my big values is supporting small businesses. So for me, I think my.
Um, so yeah, those are the first two that I'll have to do some more research and get back to you. I'm like, what are other brands that I just absolutely love? There's this one, there's this one brand called Boca [00:21:00] that does floss. That's like more eco friendly and better for you, which they also have a great packaging experience and a unique website.
So, but another one of those values of it's like cleaner floss, that's better for you. I think it's. Plastic free or something like that. So, yeah, I'm very much like a value person. So those are three on the spot that I hear, but you said you have one more, so let's hear it. Cause you have this awesome, awesome story of, of how you find and how you love yourself.
Mine are just like pulling out of my ass. I'm like, I don't know.
Kerrie Fitzgerald: I mean, Etsy is an awesome example and that makes sense. So I love that example and I want to talk about one thing that you said after because one thing that you mentioned how values are one of your drivers and like who you're supporting that is completely part of the cult like brand like at least my framework or what I define of it and I want to talk about that because that's so important and I truly think the value your story and things like that are actually what gets someone to buy you versus the other person.
So it's so I love to talk about [00:22:00] that. Um, let's like really quickly one more that. That I didn't discover recently, but decided that I was obsessed with them recently. So, Kodiak cakes. So you can get that at probably Whole Foods, Costco. I feel like you can probably get Kodiak cakes anywhere. So it's like a healthy pancake or waffle type mix.
So I've purchased from them many times before, never thought twice, never wondered, oh, I wonder. I think when you buy things at these big brands, like a Costco, at least for me, I instantly almost get uninterested. Cause I'm like, oh, this is, this is a big brand. I don't really care. Like I like to just like you, I love to support the small people and the Small fish in the sea or the growing fish in the sea, maybe.
So anyway, so I never really thought twice about them, but then one day I was just looking at the packaging and I love bears. So I'm obsessed with bears and grizzly [00:23:00] bears and all that kind of stuff. And I just sort of stopped and like looked at the packaging for a second. And I was like, Oh, that's a, that's a cute bear on the, you know, thing.
I'm like, Oh, I wonder like what. What their story is. I don't know. So I went to their website. And I started reading about their story and their, their vision and the mission behind the business. And, and basically what happened was I was reading it on the website. I'm like, Oh, their website's amazing. Like I've not given this brand enough credit because their website's freaking dope.
And I'm scrolling through. And then I come to a page that talks about the founder and the history and all that. And that was cool. But then I come to the page that talks about their mission of the business and their bigger picture. And their conservation efforts of how they donate money. And that is what hooked me like that one thing.
So basically they have, and I forget exactly what they call their conservation initiatives, but essentially. They, they donate to all these bear foundations to help save the bear. So [00:24:00] I'm not sure if you know a lot about polar bears and grizzly bears. I'm literally obsessed. I've watched like every documentary.
I'm such a nerd, but polar bears are like literally on the way out. They're probably going to be extinct sooner than later. And it's really, really, really sad. So if someone who really cares about bears and all that, like I'm literally going to Alaska in August. And I'm doing a bear camp trip to see grizzly bears in real life, like that's how of a crazy bear person I am.
And so what I read about them and how they donate money to help polar bears and restore grizzly bear life in certain states of the country, it literally turned me from, I don't give a crap about this brand into, oh my gosh. And I say the word obsessed a lot because I'm a very passionate person. I either love something or I hate it.
I don't have any in between, but when I, the second I read about their bigger picture of the business, it's not, they're not just. It's selling you pancake mix, but they're actually trying to help make the earth a better [00:25:00] place and help animals that, you know, again, could be extinct soon, AKA the polar bears.
And that one thing gave me such a strong emotional reaction instantly. And again, I want to repeat myself here because I think it's a really important point and why you should share your story and share your values of the brand. And if there's anything that goes bigger than what your product, like, what is your impact that your brand makes not just selling floss or pancake mix or soap or something?
What's the bigger picture thing here? And I didn't care about the brand before I read about that. The second I read about how they're helping the polar bears and grizzly bears, I instantly had this like Emotional connection immediately. And I decided, Oh my gosh, like. This is a brand that I want to support.
So I think that's a really important example here because as anyone listening has a small business or, you know, you're a maker, you're selling on Etsy, whatever you need to be very Uber aware of how [00:26:00] to stand out against your competitors. Like how do you send out against competitors and how do you get people to want to buy you?
Verse Amazon. And if you're not thinking about that, you need to because Amazon, I don't know if it's the biggest econ business in the world, but pretty much there's like a bunch of them, walmart. com and all that people whip out their phone. And in three clicks, they have a product that's already on the way to them.
You're not making it easy for people to buy. You probably have crazy high shipping costs and a million other reasons why someone won't buy from you. But If you share the story, you share like a purpose or a mission that's bigger than your product, it creates an emotional connection with people. And they're like, boom, I want to support that floss brand or that soap brand or the lip balm brand or whatever you sell.
It's the emotional connection that you're probably not even considering. You're probably thinking, Oh, my website stinks or my product photos are bad. In the end, you probably haven't created that emotional [00:27:00] connection with customers. So they want to support you and not in the easier way, go and buy something from Amazon.
So it's kind of a long winded story, but I think it's important because I literally didn't care about the brand. And then in one second, when I read that, their story, I was like, Oh my gosh, that's, that's amazing because I value bears and I like am very into that. And it doesn't have to be about bears. It could just be you're an animal lover or you're someone like yourself who cares about healthy eating and that kind of stuff and you want to make better food choices or things like that.
So anyway, so those are two examples of brands that, um, for different reasons made me completely like kind of fall in love with them.
Monica Little: Yeah, I love it. That Kodiak cake example is so fun because I love how you took us along the story of not being super obsessed with them right when you saw it, but when you heard their story, that flipped a switch.
And I love how you said that bringing in that emotion for people to [00:28:00] actually Have that connection because how I think of marketing like marketing is that that emotional connection? How do you have that connection with the words that you say with the photos that you use with the story? Like you just said with the story that you share Yeah.
Because if people don't feel emotionally inclined, 100%, they're going to go to Amazon. If they, that's what I always tell people if they're selling on Etsy. If, if someone wanted just any old candle, they would go on Amazon. If they don't care what it looks like, what it smells like, what type of wax it is, the features of it, the stuff.
Story behind it. Even if they didn't care, they would go on Amazon. So you have to have like all of that teed up because when people are on places like Etsy or looking to support small businesses in general, that's exactly the type of stuff that they're looking for. Like the story, the emotional connection.
So I love hearing your train of thought, how you went from A to Z with Kodiak cakes, and now you are just sharing this awesome information and how it aligns with you with like your love of bears and your trip to Alaska. And I. That's such a big connection [00:29:00] right there that you just made with, with cognac cakes to your love of bears.
Kerrie Fitzgerald: Absolutely love it. Oftentimes, like it's not the product, it's those other things, you know what I mean? And then we're like, Oh yeah, I'm obsessed with them. So for you, I know that you mentioned Whole Foods. I love, also love Whole Foods and I love that you said Whole Foods experience. Cause I totally get that too.
I love going to Whole Foods and just walking around and. You see all the pretty branding packages and I don't know it just something about it feels good. So I love boutique y Healthy type stores, but yeah, like when it comes to smaller brands it often is those other things Like you have to have a good product.
That's actually like A non negotiable. Your product needs to be good. It should solve a pain point for someone, but it's when you mix in those other things, the story, um, because a story, someone seeing your face and learning you are a single mom and you launched this soap brand because X, Y, and Z, or, you know, whatever reason [00:30:00] It was that you started your business.
And then also you have this really cool purpose or mission attached to your business. It doesn't mean you have to donate money, but that, that does help. I would, I think that does help if you can donate something or you, you're a part of some sort of initiative that helps people or animals or something, because those are things that people connect with.
You know, and then it's like, okay, I like the product. The branding is cool. I like your vibe. Okay, cool. Like I'm going to support you because I love that you are supporting polar bears or grizzly bears, or I don't know, children of some kind there. It could be anything, you know, so that's like the factor that actually makes someone flip the switch in by, but then continue to support you, continue to buy from your brand.
And not just by one time, because it's memorable. The stories are memorable. Because you're probably going to remember that Kodiak cake thing now since I just told you. Yeah. People remember that[00:31:00]
your pancake mix Has this ingredient or that ingredient, but they remember the story or they'll remember part of it. So, yeah,
Monica Little: absolutely. Okay. So I love that so much. How would you, for someone who's maybe just starting with this and doesn't have their story or hasn't really shared it or hasn't really put it together, what do you recommend?
So is this just like why you got started and put it on your website, talk about on Instagram, give me maybe some of the tactical things on what people should do to get this if they don't have something like this.
Kerrie Fitzgerald: Just yet. I think a few easy things to get started because I know coming up with a story can feel really just like, where do I start?
What do I put in? So I think the first thing I want to mention is it doesn't have to be this earth shattering unique story. I think a lot of us here. I know, especially if there's any like business coaches listening, you know, you hear the stories from [00:32:00] other people, On these online business people where they started their business with 5 in their bank account and they were literally being evicted that day and they started their scrunchie business and then it grew to nine figures overnight and they worked only one hour like we've all heard there's, we've all heard these stories or like, you know, like the Jenna Kutcher story, I bought a camera for 300 on Craigslist and now I'm making millions.
Like it doesn't have to be that dramatic. And I also think a lot of people hear those stories and they kind of like copy them a little bit. Cause I, I see the same story constantly of like, I had 5 in my bank account and then I started this business and you know, now I'm helping you start your business and make sure you buy my 5, 000 course so you can do the same.
It's kind of like, it feels very Just copycat. So I just want to point out first, before we start about how to create your story, it doesn't have to be anything dramatic, crazy. You were going to be evicted. You had no money. It can literally be like, you know what? I hated my nine to five job. And [00:33:00] I just wanted to do something different.
Or it could be, Hey, I was going through a transitional time in my life. And I really wanted to take back control of my life. So I started this scrunchie business or this pet subscription box business, which is my story.
Monica Little: And I, I love that too. If I can, you know, but I think people actually relate to those stories more.
Cause when you hear this super dramatic story of like, from white to black or zero to a hundred or whatever it is, it's a little bit unrelatable, but the stories that you just mentioned, those examples, when people read that, they actually can relate to it. They're like, Oh yeah, I'm in that position. I feel that I understand this person.
Let me support them. Cause I totally get where they're coming from.
Kerrie Fitzgerald: Yeah, I totally agree with you. I, I, I agree about the unrelatability part, and I, you know, I did a talk somewhere recently where I was talking about this, and I was getting a lot of questions around, well, how do I, I don't have a story, like, I don't think people care, and I just want to also mention for point number two is [00:34:00] your story is It's unique and interesting, and there is no story that is not, that is boring.
It's not because that's your thing. It's your story. And I think just to get started when coming up with a story for, to represent your brand, it doesn't, there's no like right or wrong way. I think one, two things I would ask yourself is, how is I feeling? When I decided to start the business, how was I feeling?
What was happening in my life? What was I going through? No one wakes up one day and they're like, you know what? I'm just, I'm bored today. I think I'm just going to start a scrunchie business. That doesn't happen. There's a reason. So you have to go back in time, pull back the onion layers and figure out what was happening in my life.
That made me want to start this business. And oftentimes there is a, like A to B. thing that happened. You know, you're going through a hard time. Oftentimes people, I hear so many people that start businesses when they're going through some sort of, um, it could be like a traumatic [00:35:00] situation, which is kind of what happened to me.
I was going through a really hard time after having a child, like really bad postpartum depression. And I think in hindsight, it was My way of wanting control in my life because I felt like I hadn't, you know, he was six months old when I came up with the idea and I had no control, you know, and I was struggling.
And like, I just got the idea at the gym. I was like, Oh, okay. That's interesting. And then a week later, I was literally sitting at Starbucks working on my logo. So, Oh yeah. So I think oftentimes stories happen from things we're going through, but just think about that. So if you're like, I don't know what my story is, think back to what you were doing at that time.
How are you feeling? Was there something transitional happening? And share that. You don't have to give every detail of your life. Like I actually don't talk about my story much at all. I give a few small little snippets of it here and there, but I don't go into crazy detail because it's something that.[00:36:00]
It's still sort of like traumatic for me in a way, and so I don't like talking about it. I'm still not really quite ready to talk like deeply about that, but I can share just snippets of it. Like I was going through a hard time. I had a baby and I just decided to start a business, you know? So anyway, my point here is like think about what was happening in your life, and then two, how much of that are you wanting to share and just curate that into a couple paragraphs.
And when I say curate, I do not mean fabricate or lie. I just mean like pull that together, pull what was happening in your life and put it into a couple of paragraphs. And that can be your story. What were you doing before you started the business? And a couple of lines, what made you start the business?
A couple of lines. And then a couple of things about your personal life. Like I'm a coffee lover who lives in Seattle and I'm obsessed with walking my dogs in the woods. And pedal
Monica Little: boarding. Or
Kerrie Fitzgerald: I love crystal. I don't know. I think you like [00:37:00] crystals. I love crystals and, and working out and being healthy.
And I'm a Chicago, Chicagoan living in Arizona. I don't know if that's what you say,
Monica Little: Chicago. Spot on. Yep. But like
Kerrie Fitzgerald: those personality things are what people connect with. So someone's, someone goes to your website and they read a little bit about you and they're like, one, she's a human. She's an actual person.
Cause Amazon is all faceless brands. Um, so when someone sees your face, it builds trust, it creates connection. And then they read about you a little bit of your story, why you started the business, maybe what you were doing before. And then, Oh yeah, she loves healthy food too. Cool. Like, I love this girl. I want to buy from her.
So it doesn't have to be anything crazy, but I really, really, really feel that your story should be. on your website, not only on your about page, but there should be a block on your home page, maybe towards the bottom. Picture view, a snippet of like a statement that pulls someone in and makes them want to read more.
A [00:38:00] couple lines and then a call to action that says, learn more about me. And then we click on that. It goes to your about page. And I think on your, you asked about Instagram too. On your Instagram, you should have a highlight that talks about your story. Again, it doesn't have to be 300 things. It doesn't, it's not your whole life history.
It's, What made you start the business and why everybody has a why no one wakes up and decides to start a business for no reason. Like it does not happen. And if you, if that's you and you just woke up one day and you're like, I kind of want to just start this brand new business. I would love to hear from you because I know there's probably, there's an, there is a reason why you did it, you know?
So we just, that's what we want to figure out. Like that's kind of that little secret sauce we want to kind of pull from. And those things are super relatable to customers. You know, so whatever your story is, people love
Monica Little: that. so good. That was gold. Like helping people to determine what their story is, how to piece it together, [00:39:00] where to put it.
Love that super tactical advice that you gave. So hopefully everyone who's listening right now is going to take a pen and paper and actually get to work, figure out their story. Curate it, put it in those places. Absolutely love that so much. So before we kind of wrap up today, anything else that you want to share?
You gave us so much good content in terms of the story, the visuals, the packaging, the emotional connection, how to really make sure that your customers are just turning into these raving fans, a cult like following, anything else that you want to share, any advice you want to give to the person who's listening to this right now?
Kerrie Fitzgerald: Yeah. I think the other part of a cult like brand is. You know, your story and your purpose and mission. I like to call that part of the, in my framework, the magnetic and appealing factor, but there's other factors to like, getting those loyal. So once someone buys from you, then it's like, you want to create connection.
You want. Brand [00:40:00] evangelist. And that comes down to a lot of things once they are your customer, you know, creating an awesome customer experience. through packaging, your inserts, your post purchase email automations. I know I'm not sure if you can do those on Etsy, but if you have Shopify or your own website, you know, um, when someone buys from you, that shouldn't be the end of the conversation.
It should be where the conversation starts and that's where you want to pull them in. Talk about your brand a little bit more, you know, help them learn your story. Help them understand if there's any things they need to know about your product to use them or things like that. Um, and then just kind of continuing that conversation with, with your customers, and that can just be done through email automations, honestly.
And then I think the other part of a cult like brand is you have to be discoverable. So you cannot just be farting around on Instagram. You have to be like, and I know you talk about selling on [00:41:00] Etsy and there, so wholesale, and that's the thing is. If you have a product in a brand, you have to be multiple places where people can find you.
So if you think of any brand that's quite large, and I'm not talking about like a Target or something like that, or like a Tom's brand, but even like, let's say Primally Pure, for example. So Primally Pure skincare brand, they're, I'm definitely one of their, I would say, customer superfans. I love their brand.
Uh, I don't believe they do wholesale, but... They are they're on podcasts. They have incredible blog content. So if you search for anything that relates to their products, you'll find their blog posts. It's on Google everywhere. They are like masters at blogging and SEO. They're on social media. Um, they're just on all these places where people would discover them.
Uh, they work with influencers. They have a lot of influencers. They have affiliate programs. So they're always featured in gift guides and things like that. So just to give an example, but a cult like brand is very much visible and discoverable. So that's a huge [00:42:00] component is. You know, getting the people to get attracted to you so they want to buy and then creating an awesome experience for them so they want to keep buying.
And then lastly, your marketing efforts where people can find you in multiple places. So my big point is like, Instagram is awesome, TikTok is awesome, but like we need to add more things in. So, and then just one more point. If you're looking for an example of an awesome story, Coolhaus. ice cream brand. So C O O L H A U S.
They have the single handedly most interesting and perfect story of a brand I have ever heard of. It's absolutely incredible. They just to give like the cliff notes version, definitely check out their website. It's amazing. But they had a brand, I don't know how long they had the business for, but they like weren't getting traction.
And so they thought outside the box. Literally, they went and bought a mail postal [00:43:00] van from Craigslist for like 2, 000 or something. They bought a AAA membership where they could get one free tow and they towed this to Coachella. This was 2009, maybe? I don't know. It was a while ago. They decorated it as an ice cream truck and then sold ice cream there.
And this was, you know, I think they made their debut there. So maybe they hadn't launched their business much earlier. And there was hundreds of thousands of people and someone that was there wrote an article about them in some magazine or something. And because of that one article that that person wrote, the brand went viral and like blew up.
And now they're sold everywhere. Thousands of stores across the country. Whole Foods, health stores everywhere. I think they have brick and mortars in LA, definitely a huge ice cream brand. And it was all because they just did something super unique and different. It's like the coolest story I've ever heard.
And so if you're looking for an example, yours does not have to be that big. Okay. I just want to say [00:44:00] that, but Let's talk about a cool story. So when I, I was basically doing research for a, I think it was a podcast episode where I was talking about different ice cream brands and just what made them different or unique in terms of packaging and marketing and things.
And I, again, I've seen them before in the grocery store, didn't care the second I read their story, I was like, Oh my God, that is the coolest thing I've ever heard. And I buy from them all the time now because their story. Yeah.
Monica Little: Yeah. Hopefully they got good ice cream. I'll have to check it out. I'll have to see what they
Kerrie Fitzgerald: have.
They have dairy free options and it's more healthy, so you'll like it.
Monica Little: Yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh, that sounds so good. And I love that story that you shared too, because not only is it an awesome story that you can connect with, but I think it's awesome story for small business owners just to have in the back of their mind too, of a brand that was trying everything.
Yeah. And who knows when you get that one review, that one feature, that [00:45:00] one, whatever, that can just totally change everything. So talk about perseverance right there for them doing something scrappy, showing up, and then bam, someone picked it up and now they're in all these stores. Such an awesome story.
Kerrie Fitzgerald: Yeah, that's like one of my favorite brand stories because it's just, it's so interesting and funny. But then there's also when it comes to the two founders, they also like a different Story with them and like why they started and like their mission and their vision and their values So it's just it's so cool.
It's just like this perfect combination of like cool product awesome story mission and purposeful driven brand. So they hit like all the points. So, and they have beautiful packaging and it's like super fun. So yeah.
Monica Little: All the marks right there. I love it. Well, thank you so much, Carrie. Such a good episode.
So many good pieces of information here. I would love to just end with you sharing where people can find you, your podcast, your programs, all that fun stuff.
Kerrie Fitzgerald: Oh, thank you [00:46:00] so much. So you can find me, um, my first, first name, last name. com. So Carrie, and that's K E R R I E. It's not a Y, um, Carrie fitzgerald.
com. And you can just find some things on there. I have my podcast called the six figure product business podcast. And, um, Monica, you were on, I don't know what episode number it is. Maybe like one, 60 something. So definitely check that out. It was a long one. We had a really good conversation,
Monica Little: a couple hours of us chatting,
Kerrie Fitzgerald: but it was so good, really good conversation.
So definitely check that episode out for sure. And then I have a couple programs, but I do have a program called the Kaldish product. That's my newest. It's a group coaching program and I'm absolutely obsessed with it, but it's kind of all about creating a cult like brand, not really focused on the story part of it, but just some other things that will help you get discoverability, um, build sales.
Um, and then creating an awesome experience for customers. So some of the things I've talked about today are definitely relevant. And this is definitely for a [00:47:00] little bit more of an established product based business. So if you're a newbie, not a good fit, but great for established businesses. And then I just have a couple other, um, You know, I have an email marketing template membership, which is my other favorite thing.
And, um, but you can find all that information on, you know, my website, if you're interested, and then you can follow me on Instagram, that's a great place to check me out is Carrie. a. fitzgerald. And I share lots of random tips. It's about a lot of the stuff I talked about today. So
Monica Little: love it and I'll make sure to link all of that in the show notes so you can easily find Carrie, her website, her podcast, and you can connect with her there.
So thank you so much, Carrie. So great having you. And thank you everyone for listening to this week's episode of the product
Kerrie Fitzgerald: is podcast. Thanks, Monica. So good to be here.