How To add ecommerce to the
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Jen:             

00:49 Hey Heather. Welcome to the show on. I'm so glad to have  you with us today. You really are the perfect person to be on the front row entrepreneur podcast because you really exemplify what it means to be a front row entrepreneur and that's to say that really you've taken advantage of all the great tools that we have at our disposal and use them to create a booming business. But what really blows me away is that you have done this not as a person who we would think of as a traditional entrepreneur. You are a creative type of person and I know that what you share today is really going to interest all of our listeners out there who think they can't make or create a lucrative business from their creative little corners of the world wherever they may be. Now, for our listeners out there, Heather first caught my attention in a Facebook community that we're both a part of Marie Forleo's B school to be exact and she was so excited and she posted it and she's like, you guys, you guys, because we do share our wins in that group.

Jen:              

01:58 So she went and she was like, you guys, I've got to tell you. I am so excited. I'm a writer. I'm not an e commerce person, or at least I didn't think I was. I write books. I put on virtual summit about Tudor history, Tudor being capital T, U, D, O, R, Tudor history. That's my jam. But after hearing Marie Forleo extol the virtues of shopify, I decided to start thinking outside the box. In October. I put together a shopify store, stocked it with items that could drop ship that were somehow related to tudor history, two months I've made close to $20,000 and I am now a total believer in creative entrepreneurs like me using this method, not only to generate a wish of cash into their accounts, but also to raise their profile. The last few months I've added another thousand people to my email list, most of whom didn't know me before showing up higher on the itunes charts, on and on and on. So I was electrified by this post because I said, you know what? This woman is the perfect example of everything I tried to share with the world. And that is, you can do this. So Heather, I want you to take it away and tell us how you got into this journey. Tell us all about it.

Heather Teysko:              

03:12 I first made my very first website on history. It was colonial American history in 1998 and it was a geocities website. You remember geocities?

Jen:              

03:12 I do

Heather Teysko:              

03:25 It actually got to number one on Yahoo. This was pre google when people search for history. So I was very proud of that. The thing is I kept thinking this was in the age of the.com bubble and I don't know if you remember like the sock puppet on the superbowl ad.

Jen:                                     

03:42 I do,  like for a pet store, petco or something.

Heather Teysko:              

03:45 Yeah, but like all these people basically if you had a .com they were like throwing money at you. Right? It seemed like at least.

Heather Teysko:              

03:52 And I thought, okay, I had this site that was number one on Yahoo. It grew to like a couple thousand people a day. I was getting dozens of email queries a day from students who are asking me questions. I actually was cited in a book that a college professor in Australia wrote, you know, I was like 22 and just out of college and I actually my job at the time, I was a secretary at a university, the University of Tennessee actually at a sports department and it was a very slow time and so I spent my days like working on my website and I took advantage that the salary was awful, but I got free Grad school there, so I was like, okay, that's cool. So I spent my days working on my website and that was what I did and I thought there has to be a way to make some money out of this.  Right.

Heather Teysko:              

04:37 And I just kept thinking about that and you know, then I moved to Los Angeles and I did some other stuff and no money came. I think I put some banner ads up and made like four cents. So that was that. And then the next kind of step in my writing online journey was in 2002. I had been living, I had moved to London and then I was back. I was living in New York and I had a blog, this was one blogger was actually blog spot before it was owned by Google and I started this blog and I was a single girl living in New York and this was at the height of kind of like sex and the city popularity. I had this blog and I thought it was so cool that I could just type all my deepest thoughts. I didn't know who read it, but I thought it was fun and so I blogged about my awful dates that I went on.

Heather Teysko:              

05:25  And my crappy apartment and my crappy job and this blog actually got popular. Right? I was featured in the paper because people liked reading about my horrible deeds I suppose, and I kind of thought I was like Carrie Bradshaw, but with a substandard shoe wardrobe. And Anyway, I thought, okay, I was getting a couple thousand hits a day on this blog and I thought all right, now this is how I have to be able to make money. Like I have to like there's chiclet books everywhere. I have to be able to parlay this into like a book deal or something. Right, and life happened and nothing ever happened with it and within five years I was no longer living in New York and single girl. I was like a married homeowner in southern California, so then I got busy with my job and I had a really good job, but in 2009 I started a podcast and I started a podcast because it seemed like something that was a good skill to have.

Heather Teysko:              

06:15 It was still really new at that time and I thought, well, I'd like to learn how to do this and what better way to have a platform for my other passion, which is Tudor history. I had moved to London in 2000 because I was obsessed with the music of Tudor England. Like that's my real thing

Jen:                                     

06:34 I'm going to stick some in the podcast. I'm gonna stick something here because I'm just picturing like Gregorian chanting.

Heather Teysko:              

06:40 Well, now you know what's really interesting. I'm going to get sidetracked here, so please feel free to edit this out. What's really interesting is that England at this time period started off Catholic and then change the Protestant and then went back to Catholic and went back to Protestant. The thing is with all of those liturgical changes, the music that was written largely for the church kept having to change between languages because you wrote in Latin, then under Protestant you wrote in English and then you had to go back to Latin and then you had to go back to English and all of that changing and the polyphony of the time.

Heather Teysko:              

07:09  It's such a unique sound and it's such a very interesting, like no other choral music. If you listen to French choral music from the same time period, it's very different. So anyway, Thomas Tallis, if you put some Thomas Tallis in, that would be lovely.

Jen:                                     

07:23 Well, I'm not really up on my French choral music, but I'm going to take your word for that, but I am going to listen. I definitely, I want to list. I'm very curious now. I want to listen.

Heather Teysko:    

07:31 All right, so I had this podcast and I actually, I did it off and on. I really wasn't great about keeping a good schedule and at one point in 2013 I actually hadn't podcast for like a year and I just had a baby and I thought, well maybe I should just cancel the hosting. I got my regular bill for the hosting and I thought maybe I should just cancel this, and so I logged on and I looked at the stat.

Jen:                                     

07:52 Can I pause you for just one second because I want to go back to some. Don't lose that spot. Okay. You decided to podcast about Tudor history. How did you initially reach that? Did you just put it up there and you were like, okay, let's just see who listens. Did it take off right away or were you strategically targeting? What were you doing?

Heather Teysko:              

08:09 I was not doing anything. I was not even thinking that far ahead. I just wanted to learn how to podcast and the thing is I was really lucky at that time there really wasn't that much competition. Now there's a couple of hundred history podcasts a day launch and so I got into the itunes. What's hot like right away? I just did it because I loved it, you know?

Jen:                                     

08:29 That's so great. That's the best. That's the best. Okay.

Heather Teysko:              

08:31 Yeah. And I, I really, I wanted to have a reason to read scholarly books and to be able to like, feel like I was actually doing something with it besides just reading it for fun.  So it'd be like, okay, I'm going to read this for the podcast and then I talk about it. So anyway, in 2013 I actually thought about stopping altogether because I had had a baby and life was crazy and I logged on and I looked at my stats and I was like, holy cow, I was getting like 30,000 downloads a month. And I was like, Huh. I was like, maybe I can do something with this. And then fast forward to 2015. And we had an opportunity. I'd been at my job for 10 years. I wanted to have a change. I had this almost two year old daughter and we moved to southern Spain. We just wanted to have an adventure. We went on to like a crazy adventure and so we moved to southern Spain and we had savings and I said I'm going to like, this is my chance before our daughter's old enough to be in school before we have to like officially grow up.

Heather Teysko:              

09:23 I want to pursue my passion and see if I can do this because I believe wholeheartedly that if you are passionate enough about something you can find a way to make money out of it. Yeah. So I thought, alright, let's do this and so right away in 2015 I did all this stuff. You're kind of like supposed to do. I started building my email list and I took courses and I got really consistent with my content and I did guest posting and guest blogging and getting interviews and so I was taking all this stuff, learning all this stuff. Just really immersing myself full time in like how do people make money online? Right. Because I just had this nebulous view that you kind of just did it and it happens. I didn't know everything that went into it. So within a year and a half I had published two books, self published them.

Heather Teysko:              

10:15 I had grown my podcast statistics that I was now getting pretty solidly 50,000 downloads a month and I had kind of upped my patrion pledging, asking people for Patrion. I'd put out an episode every other week regularly and I was really kind of doing. I had my email list with a couple hundred people and I was doing the stuff that you're supposed to kind of be starting to do. I was making about $22 a month from patrion supporters and I think about $40 a month from ads and I'd sold a couple of hundred copies of my book, which was great, but that's not gonna be enough to pay for your life full time. So it was the summer of 2016 and I was really up against it. I thought like our savings were dwindling and I thought, is this it? Can I admit that you can't do this?

Heather Teysko:              

11:05 Was this all just a pipe dream? Am I going to have to go back and beg for my job back? What are we going to do here? And I actually was on a call with a business mentor and I said, I don't understand how people make money from Niches like this, like I didn't know it's possible because I see people do it but I don't understand how I'm still trying to figure this out. And she said, well the thing is, Heather, like looking at your website, you actually don't have any way for people to give you money that right? She's like, okay, so you have a book which you've self published and it's on Amazon for like 499. Like okay great. And I thought about doing tours but they weren't really panning out that well. There wasn't really any way for people to give me.

Heather Teysko:              

11:49 I said, well you know, I have patriot. And she said Heather Patrion does work because asking people for money just out of the goodness of their heart, the only organization that works for his National Public Radio and even they have to bribe you with swag. And I was like, right, okay. And so that autumn I had this idea, I love planners and stationary and I just like kind of go nuts over that kind of stuff and I thought it would be really cool to have a Tudor planner, like a nice planner that was a beautiful planner that was filled with Tudor history like this week and Tudor history and quotes and all that kind of stuff and in a beautiful cover that looked like an illuminated manuscript kind of thing. And so I thought, all right, well I'm going to figure out how to do this. So I taught myself how to use indesign and I found a designer who could do the cover for me and I did it through blurb print on demand and I actually wound up, I wanted to take pre orders and then just do all the ordering for myself rather than push people to the blurb site because I wanted to get their email addresses and you know, have people order through me and then I would just order on their behalf kind of thing.

Heather Teysko:              

12:54 So I started doing Facebook ads and taking orders. I had absolutely no idea. I had never done a Facebook ad before. I had no idea how this thing was gonna turn out. Plus it was print on demand. It wasn't like, to be honest, I look at that planner and it's like it's just a hardback book. It doesn't have like a pocket, it doesn't have a ribbon, it doesn't have the kind of things that like a nice planner you kind of expect would have. But I sold this thing for $39.99 and I thought maybe 50 of them I sold over 300.

Jen:                                     

12:54 Oh. Wow.

Heather Teysko:              

13:25 Yeah. And that was like with minimal facebook ads with me not really having any idea what I was doing.

Jen:                                     

13:31 What was the margins. I mean or if you don't, if you can share.

Heather Teysko:              

13:33 No, for sure. I mean so through blurb to order, it just straight up was costing me. It was gonna cost about $18 plus shipping, but what I did, they had this black Friday sale where you got 50% off of everything and at that point I was only up to about 200 orders are not even quite that much. Maybe a  150. And I remember saying to my husband like I should buy them now. I shifted them all to my parents in Pennsylvania and God bless them, they send them out for me during the Christmas season. And so I said to my husband and I was like, you know, I guess how many should I buy it because it's 50 percent off. It's like such a big price difference. And he said, well buy 250, you should probably be able to sell 250 if you come close to that. The difference is made up for itself. So by 250. So I bought the 250 which was 50 percent off that $18.

Heather Teysko:              

14:25 So it costs me $9. Plus then the shipping to Pennsylvania and then my parents packing and shipping, they didn't charge me anything to pack it of course, but the packing materials and then for them to ship it. And then the facebook ads and stuff all told, it probably costs me about 18 to $20 each sale after it was all said and done with all the materials and the ads and everything like that. So I made. I was making double my money on it. So then what happened was with the last 50 or so, I had to go directly through blurb in order because I ran out of them at my parents house. Wow. Okay. So that took us to early 2017. I thought, okay, I'm onto something here. There's something here that I can do that I can work with. So the only thing I knew at that time that was blurb.

Heather Teysko:              

15:08 So I kept thinking like, okay, well I could do journals. And I was back home visiting and I was walking around Barnes and noble in the Journal section. I was like, oh yeah, like my planner belongs on this shelf. And like look at these beautiful journals and like I could do things like this. And so I did a couple of journals that I did an indesign filled with quotes and I have this one, the fierce woman journal, which has a cover with Elizabeth the first and the quote though, she may be little, she is fierce and then it's filled with all these quotes that these powerful Tudor women wrote and said, yeah. And so I did stuff like that. But you know, it's, you can only sell so many journals, you know. And then by the summer I was still kind of thinking, okay, well, you know, I, oh.

Heather Teysko:              

15:49 And I decided I was going to work with a printer for the planner because I knew I could sell 300 copies now at that price I thought, well I should work with a legit printer and get higher margins and everything like that and be able to get the customizations that I wanted to

Jen:                                     

16:05 And were you using your podcast at this point as a way to push these products as well?

Heather Teysko:              

16:12 Yeah. So I always have like two minutes of Admin and the beginning of my podcast that says, go here to buy this, buy that, do this. Here's how you can support me. There we go. So yeah, and I also was sending out my newsletter so I try to send out a newsletter every other week and so he's using that as well. But you know what the beautiful thing. So. Oh here, this is important. The beautiful thing that I realized with selling those planners was not only did I sell 300 planners, but in the span of six weeks, I added four times as many people to my email list as I had in the entire year of working to build it up before them.

Heather Teysko:              

16:47 And that is because of these, the beautiful thing about facebook ads, because I had the facebook ads and people clicked on the facebook ad for it and maybe they didn't buy it, but they gave me. I had a pop up right there that was like, you know, sign up for a coupon or blah blah blah. And so they signed up and I put them on my mailing list and I was blown away because every day I got these paypal notifications. I got these people signed up from. Yeah. But you know, at one point I was adding 50, 60 people a day to my email list and I was just kind of like blown away by this because the whole year and a half up until that point I was like kind of little trickles. Two people a day here, maybe three here a day with nobody, you know.

Heather Teysko:              

17:28 And it was just like, this was just insane. The amount of people that I was adding my email list. So it was this magical thing that introduced me to the idea of product sales, not only as a way to make money but as a way to grow your audience and then to serve your audience and to connect with your audience so much more deeply. So I spent 2017 trying to kind of replicate that but only being limited to blurb because that was all I knew. And then I thought about going the route of like half a process, zazzle and all of that kind of stuff. Because I thought, well, you know, I want to do other things besides just journals. And I realized the margins, and it's not just the margins, but it's also not having control of the sale. So when you put somebody through to Zazzle, I'll just use dazzle as an example, the way people say Kleenex.

Heather Teysko:              

18:16 So when I say Zazzle, I mean any of those red bubble society, six, one of those places. When you put somebody through to that place, you're essentially turning your customer over to them and they're handling the whole sale interaction and that's great. You're kind of essentially paying them to do that through a smaller commission. But then they're going to add that person, their email address or their email list and they're going to push things from other creators to that person. And you're going to be lucky if you get a commission of like a dollar on a tee shirt, you know. So you're essentially saying to Zazzle, here's my customer, which I have taken a lot of time building up a relationship with. Here's my customer. You take them, you handle the sale. And by the way, you set the discount times you set when their sales, you market stuff from lots of other people to them and you don't even give me their email address so I can keep in touch with them about stuff and even send them a thank you note and then you can maybe deposit a couple of dollars into my paypal account at the end of the month.

Heather Teysko:              

19:19 Right. I understand. If it's not what you want to do full time, it can be a great way for people to do it on this side without having to think about it without having to think about customer service, anything like that. It sounds like I'm knocking that. I'm not knocking that as a general thing. I'm just knocking it. If it's like, this is your thing that you want to work on full time. For me it was. And so then I got hit to the whole idea of shopify as a sales channel or is it a payment processor slash web host slash everything kind of thing. And they will work with other print on demand companies. So you can still go the route of putting your design on a tee shirt and having it printed on demand, but you are handling the whole interaction, you're handling the sale and the followup, the ability to send a thank you note, the ability to have discount codes when you want them and gift cards and all that kind of stuff that you expect from an online store and you're not just basically giving customers to zazzle sort of thing.

Heather Teysko:              

20:18 I opened my shop in, like kind of started working on it in September. Really launched it in October. Yeah, that you took us up to the b school posts and then since then I've actually started a subscription box service. You know how you can like do this, right? So I'm sending out the first one next week. I'm so excited. It's called the treasures from Beth. It's named after my history, heroine who is best at hardwick. She was this amazing, awesome woman. So it's named after her and it's like the Tudor treat box. So every month there's going to be a book. This month there's like a pampering thing which is a bees wax lotion, which is handmade, but it's very historical because people used to bees wax lotion then and there's like just some funny things like different kinds of English biscuits and tea bags and then there's like a sticker of the Tudor rose and a love bracelet and so this is stuff that like I'm sourcing in part like the bee's wax lotion was through etsy.

Heather Teysko:              

21:14 The books I'm getting from people I know at a good rate and then some of the stuff I'm looking through ally express and different places like that.

Jen:                                     

21:24 Are you processing these shipments yourself for now, how are you handling the actual. Especially since you're sending. Because you're still in Andalucia Spain, right?

Heather Teysko:              

21:32 Yes, I am. So I have a friend based in Maryland and he's a person I've known for years. He sells on Ebay and Amazon and so he kind of already is familiar with how to ship things and he shipped. Because this past year I worked with a printer for my planner and I kind of glossed over that part. I ordered a thousand copies of my planner for 2018 and I had to figure out fulfillment for that, so I hadn't talked to my friend who I knew did Ebay and Amazon and I asked him if he would send them out for me and he did and he charged me, you know, a pick and pack rate and then just billed me for the shipping.

Heather Teysko:              

22:07 Once we got done with the planners, I said, would you be up for doing these boxes every month and you know, here's what I'd like. And so he's just sending them out for me

Jen:                                     

22:16 And the response has been great or?

Heather Teysko:              

22:18 Oh yes. So the first month, I mean I'm a little bit confused by it at the moment because I've got to figure out my stripe, like the details of life sometimes. But I've sold 48 boxes the first month, which I'm pretty pleased with it.

Jen:                                     

22:33 That's amazing! So is it like they could buy like a 12 month package, a six month and then. Or just a month to month.

Heather Teysko:              

22:38 So they can do month to month. And then if they pay for 12 months up front, they get three months free

Jen:                                     

22:38 And what's the cost?

Heather Teysko:              

22:46 $39.99/month and that includes shipping in the continental or in the. In the US, in the continental us.

Jen:                                     

22:49 This is just amazing.  Like I'm picking my chin up off the floor. I'm just, it's just so exciting. It really is. So how are you dealing with because as this grows you've got a lot of balls in the air now.

Heather Teysko:              

23:03 The other thing I do is run an online summit, the Tudor summit, the second one is next weekend where I get Tudor bloggers and podcasters and historians to all come together in a weekend Tudor extravaganza online. And I did the first one of those back in the summer and a thousand people signed up and I've got the next one in a week and a half and that's that. So that's the other thing I'm working on right now too.

Jen:                                     

23:25 So when they register for the summit, do you have on the thank you page a pop up for your subscription service now

Heather Teysko:              

23:25 You bet, I do.

Jen:                                     

23:35 Awesome. Really, this is amazing and I'm very fascinated by this whole Tudor niche actually. So you went from the early colonial period, American colonialism to Tudor because you're interested in that clearly, but  what happens when like you've sort of said all you need to say or do you think you could spend the rest of your days completely immersed in Tudor or do you see yourself like picking a whole another stage in history?

Heather Teysko:              

23:58 No, no, no. I could spend the rest of my. I mean there's so much, right? Like right now, I just did a series on the Elizabethan foreign policy with the Ottoman Turks and there's like there's gardening and the Tudor period, there's a Tudor fashions, there's medicine, there's architecture, there's the idea of priesthood and like the religious experience. I mean there are people who spend their lives on just one tiny aspect

Jen:                                     

24:26 I never knew.  So these people, your audience, who are they?

Heather Teysko:              

24:29 Okay. So I have a couple of different people who listened to my podcast. They actually have a large group of men who are really into history. Podcast history. Podcasts are a real thing with a certain segment of men who commute to work and they're really into usually like military history and stuff like that, but they found my show early on when I wasn't podcasting is regularly and there wasn't as many options and they've kind of stuck with me so that's kind of one segment I have but they're not my core ICA or or anything like that. And it's funny because they sometimes email me and say what's going on with your podcast lately? Because I did an episode on pregnancy and childbirth and in renaissance England and they were like, I did not have to hear about that kind of stuff. And I was like, I'm sorry, you know, you're not my ICA.

Heather Teysko:              

25:13 You're there. We got it. Right. But then I have a section who are college women who find me through like maybe their professor mentions it or something or they're looking for more resources for classes and stuff like that. So I, I do have a section of that. I have a section that is women who are older who are. One thing I do is I run an online book club and every month we meet online on zoom and we talk about. We all read the same book and we talk about a book and it's interesting because I love, I always recommend to people who want to get into product sales to interact with your ideal client as much as you possibly can and to do things like that because you get to once a month for an hour. I just listen as all my ideal clients, we all hang out on zoom and they all talk about stuff and I love it because I don't even talk that much.

Heather Teysko:              

26:00 I just like like to listen to them and they are largely women in their forties and fifties who are like this island of Tudor love in a sea of nobody understanding them and what I found was that I can give them community through my Facebook groups so they can interact and the Tudors summit and the online book club, so they interact with people that they share their interests. They think I see it as so many people tell me. I thought I was the only one who was into the Tudors. Like, no, there's a Tudor historian who has 250,000 Facebook likes. Like, no, there's like, this is a huge, like look at the success of like the white princess and rain and all that kind of stuff. This is like a thing and it's just so nice to like meet these people in real life and say like, no, we're, we're all, we're all Tudor fans together.

Heather Teysko:              

26:46 It's great. They're part of it too. And then when I really work on like creating my ideal client Avatar, she is a woman who's like 28 and she's recently married and she has a job. She doesn't have kids, but the thing about her is that she misses having intellectual conversations that she had when she was in college and now she's trying to figure out who she is and this new relationship of being a wife and having a job and she's trying to figure out where she fits into that because she spent her early twenties working on her career and being really busy and now she's like going back to missing. Maybe I was a nerd, but you know, like in college I really liked just kind of getting drunk and reading Dorothy Parker and having these kind of weird intellectual conversations with people and you don't do that so much.

Heather Teysko:              

27:34 Yeah. That was what I was gonna ask you, are you your Avatar?

Heather Teysko:              

27:38 Well, it's me 12 years - 15 year ago

Jen:                                     

27:41 Right,  right. Exactly. Yeah. I find that we do that. You know, it's like I can't wait. That lady is me

Heather Teysko:              

27:47 Exactly. This has been 15 years ago and it's funny because I actually had, I made up a name for and I actually have a person who is exactly her with her name and everything. One of my biggest she liked just showed up and it was magical. I was like, oh my gosh, you're a real look at you.

Jen:                                     

28:03 Well, let me ask you. So just listening to you and wow. I mean you're doing so much. And again, just sort of the model of what I think everybody is trying to achieve with their online businesses, which is to do the thing that they're passionate about, that they really deeply, truly love. And to be able to have the financial freedom to go along with that and it looks like, you know, you are definitely on the trajectory to achieve that and then maybe even exceed your own expectations of yourself. But I know so many people who say nobody wants to buy my course because my course, for example, I'm just using a course as an example. My course is not something or my topic, let's not even say course like my topic. My niche is not something that makes people money, therefore they're not going to spend a lot of money on it. You know? And I hear that all the time. And so what do you say to those people?

Heather Teysko:              

28:58 Well, part of me used to think that when I would see those quotes, there's that quote. Who is it? I haven't posted up here somewhere that says the more people I serve, the more money I make. And I would think like, okay, well how am I serving people with Tudor history? You know? And what I found is that every niche, every passion to start with, there's somebody else on the planet who has that passion. There are 7,000,000,000 people on the planet, right? So I guarantee you, you, that you are not the only person that has it. Even if it's like something so random like roundabout history or train cars, trains and Whales or yeah, who knows? But there are people who share that history and those people often think that they are the only ones who are passionate about that subject. And if you connect those people to each other, if you give them a place to share who they are and to be known.

Heather Teysko:              

29:54 And that's one of the things about my products. So I have, I have like leggings that have portraits of all of Henry, the eighth wives, he's the one who had six wives and he killed two of them and so you know, I have leggings with the portraits and people actually send me pictures of themselves wearing those leggings out to places and they say I love it because I got so many looks and so many. Actually some people recognized it, some people were like, what are those leggings? And they were like, it's so great to show off my Tudor love and people want to be known for who they are and for what they're passionate about and to have that be recognized in the world and if you can give people a way to express themselves and to share with other people what they're passionate about and to build connections with other people and to build community with other people.

Heather Teysko:              

30:45 That's invaluable. You can go onto facebook right now and find 8,000,000 groups on entrepreneurial ship or you know, online business or whatever. And within that there's a whole set of different things of how do you differentiate yourself. But there are not that many Facebook groups for trains and Whales. I mean, I haven't actually really looked, but I would be willing to bet if you give people that, I mean that's such a service to give people a place to connect with other people who share their passions, where they can learn things and talk to the experts whose books they've read and to be known, you know, we all just want to be known. Right? And you'd give people a way to do that and that's how you serve them. That's what they're willing to. They're willing to pay money for that

Jen:                                     

31:33 And then going from that point. Okay. So let's say we've, we've got a community and it's all about, you know, our community is all about Himalayan cats. Cats. Okay. But a cat person, but I don't know, that came into my head, emily and Cathy. How do we then go from maybe we've created a course or a summit or whatever and we're all gonna. Talk about Himalayan cats. What's the next step to going to e commerce route? Like you've done.

Heather Teysko:              

31:59 Right. Well, I think then you know, if you want to do a shopify, if you want to do a store, you can set up an account with shopify and I actually have a on my website. I have a Freebie, a getting started guide, so I might, I might plug that

Jen:                                     

32:13 Please do. Can I just say I'm going to plug it to you because I downloaded it before this interview and it is absolute gold. In fact, in my marketing tutorials, I will probably use this as the perfect example of really outstanding lead magnet. It really has all the steps that anybody really needs first steps for doing what you've done.

Heather Teysko:              

32:31 Awesome. Well, thank you. Yeah, so you people can check that out, but here's what I would think. The first thing I would do is do an ideal client avatar exercise and  get in the head of the people who you want to give you money. Right? So you think, okay, well what kind of person do I want to give me money? I wouldn't just look at. There's a girl in one of my writers groups and she said, well, I'm looking at the people who read history and I want to write for them, and I said, no, no, no, no, no, that's backwards, right for the people you want to write for, and they will come. Don't look at the statistics of WHO's reading history books right now and try to write for them because that's going to be inauthentic, right? Like you, right, you and those people will come. So I would tell people, create the ideal person that you want to give you money and then figure out what that person wants to buy. Right. Which sounds really simple, but you know, I think, okay, I want 28 year old, recently married girl to give me money. What would 28 year old may have wanted to buy it? Well, 28 year old man would totally have bought anvil and leggings. Forty two year old me has bought leggings. Oh, go ahead. I'm sorry. No, and I mean just going along those lines, you can think about what would that ideal client want to buy it and then you then you make it.

Jen:                                     

33:44 Okay. I got to say I think you're really onto something with these leggings. First of all, the whole trend of like the crazy legging right now and the crazy socks to that. Such a thing right now, right? With a little Arrow or whatever that that brand is. So I went and looked on your website. Really those leggings are just genius and they're great looking. They're adorable, but what I wanted to know is just a backup to the print on demand. So you're able to create a design and then just plug it in on a print on demand site and then as the orders come in, they print it and they're going through your shopify to get it to purchase it. But what I want to know is with these designs, like how are you dealing with copyright issues like on those designs?

Heather Teysko:              

34:26 Yeah, so I mean I'm sure somebody some day is going to copy my designs. I would look forward to that day happening because you know, people can only copy what you've already done. They can't copy what you're gonna do because they don't know. So you know, if I'm popular enough that somebody copying my designs, God bless them. I mean I'll pursue whatever I have to pursue legally, but I'm not gonna stress about that at this point in my life.

Jen:                                     

34:49  And what about the images that you're using of. Yeah, you know, from history, were you getting those and is it okay? Like, you know, like. Yeah,

Heather Teysko:              

34:58 Yeah, sure. So I have a designer that I found through fiverr and she creates the designs for me and I get all the commercial rights for that and the ones that are based off of the paintings. I mean those are public domain images because they're so old because there 500 years old. So those are some public domain images. I actually have a course right now that I'm running teaching people how to creatives, how to build shops and we just actually had a big discussion over intellectual property and how to make sure that we're, that we're safe with that. And there's a lot of different places like creative market, there's the Noun project that you can buy for as low as $3, ninety nine cents. You can buy some great icons that make really simple, nice designs on tee shirts. You can, there's a lot of different places that you can go to get the basic artwork that you want to use.

Heather Teysko:              

35:43 And then you can have it worked into whatever pattern you want through using somebody on fiverr. The thing that I would warn about using somebody on Fiverr is if you just hire somebody off of fiverr and you don't give them the artwork that you know is approved, it's very possible that that person's going to go out and Google image something and it's actually not going to be legal for them to have used. And they don't really care because they're wherever they are and it's not on them. So if you're doing this, you need to make sure that you're providing them with artwork that you know is safe and is illegal for you to use. And that means there's places like on Pixabay where you can get patterns and vector graphics that are free for commercial use, buying it from the creative market, the different places.

Heather Teysko:              

36:29 And so then you give the. So what I do is I give my images to the designer and I say this is what I'm looking for. Can you put together a design on that? And so then she does that. And so then I know that she's using images that are totally fine because I have given them to her and then we're covered.

Jen:                                     

36:43 Okay, great. Well I know everybody who's listening right now is like ask her about the course, ask her about the course because we want to know how to do this. So where can we. Well first of all, is it a course, it's sort of like open year round and it's recorded or is it an open and closed date? How do we find out more about your course?

Heather Teysko:              

37:01 Yes. So it's an open and close date and I'm going to open it again in April.  So it's so funny because this just came together. This is just one of those things that like the universe kind of sent my way. I guess my own business coach told me I should do a course and she's like, I need you to get that course together real quick, Heather, you just need to do it. And I said, well, you know, I'm still figuring stuff out. She said, Heather, you're ahead of the pack. You're always going to be figuring stuff out if you wait until it's perfect, it's never going to be done, so just get that course up. And so I was like, okay, I'll get the course up. She actually signed up like 10 minutes after I emailed her and told her that it was up. She's like, that's why I wanted you to get the course up because I want to do it.

Jen:                                     

37:40 That's why it got you going and yeah, she's been coach. That's exactly right. That's the lesson for everybody to hear and learn like we don't have to. It doesn't have to be perfect. Get it out there because I'm sure the course that you created is super helpful and it's going to get us going.

Heather Teysko:              

37:54 Well, and the thing that I've done actually is I limited it to six seats and then I'm doing one on one calls with everybody every week, so there's a group call and then there's one on one calls. So it was really great because I'm getting so much feedback and so many questions, things that I hadn't thought of. So then I'm going to take all of that and kind of put it into the next round that I do for extra for April. Yeah. So that's going to be available in April and you can.

Heather Teysko:              

38:18 It's on my website, heatherteysko.com. There's information. Okay.

Jen:                                     

38:22 And I'm going to put all this stuff in the show notes and is that the best place for people to find you after the show if they want to connect?

Heather Teysko:              

38:29 Yeah, I guess so. Sites also do like funny. I, you know, and it's because I really feel called to talking about this with creatives especially because I feel like when you go on to YouTube or you search online and you search for e commerce, drop shipping or whatever, and drop shipping is the term for when you are holding something in stock where you're having somebody else send it out. What you're doing with print on demand, so that's called drop shipping. So if you go onto YouTube and you search print on demand or drop shipping, what generally comes up are really loud. People standing in front of sports cars that they just bought and they're screaming at you about the million dollars they made last year and they're screaming like they're so loud and I really want to bring this to people who maybe look at that and say,

Heather Teysko:              

39:23 Whoa, I'm just gotta turn that off. That's like too loud. I cannot even handle that because you don't have to be a screaming person in front of a sports car or aspiring to be that to do this. This is a way. There's a woman in my course who's passionate about digital safety for kids. It's her, she's in your course, she's in your thing.

Jen:                                     

39:23 This sounds like Elizabeth.

Heather Teysko:              

39:44 It is, and I love it because she is getting a message out. She is passionate about this message and she's going to get this message out through bibs that say, well, I don't want to take her to her story away, but she's going to have things like that say like, don't tag me on facebook, on, on the bib or you know, I'm, I'm cuter than a Snapchat filter or something like that and, or the Instagram, whatever, and, and it's, she's passionate about kids and safety and she's going to open a shop that's gonna spread this message for me.

Heather Teysko:              

40:13 That's what this is it. This isn't about necessarily like making a ton of money, although that's really great too, but this is about reaching more people. I'm passionate about history because it's building the empathy muscle. If you can start to understand why Henry the eighth felt that he needed to execute his wife Anne Boleyn. If you can really start to get in his head and understand that, then it's not that much more of a stretch to being able to look at somebody who disagrees with you politically and say, okay, I might not agree with that, but I understand it and I feel like in this world, one thing we need is empathy with each other and that is my message is like his building empathy through history and being able to have a platform to talk about that and I do episodes that are. I did an episode on xenophobia in Tudor England because there's a huge influx of Protestant refugees and everybody was afraid that there were.

Heather Teysko:              

41:06 They were secret Catholics who are going to rise up against them and it was very similar to what people think with with refugees now. And so I did an episode on that. I did an episode on the black experience in Tudor England and I do these episodes that make people think about how you can connect what happened 500 years ago to our time. And once you can start to understand the forces at work there and understand what people cared about, it's not that much of a leap to look at somebody and say, okay, I don't agree with you right now, but once you can do it without the charge, then you can practice it more with the charge. Right? And so I'm really rambling, but I love it. I love it. I am like on the edge of my seat right now. I'm like, yes, you preach girl. This is the point of this is like having a place where people can give you money and you can spread your message and you have money to do Facebook ads and to do Pinterest ads and spread your message even further and build your email list and all of this through a platform that you're actually like selling something and giving people a way to give you money and to support you. And they get something really awesome that they love all of it. It's just magic.

Jen:                                     

42:14 Well, magic indeed. And one thing, one thing I do want to close with is a sense of what our creatives who are listening, what are the takeaways I want them to leave this episode with is that they could do this and that they need be an expert in technology because there's a lot of things that we went over from all the different websites and fiverr and in designing and, and the drop shipping and everything. But ultimately, I mean, would you say that you are a computer expert?

Heather Teysko:              

42:45 No, I mean I know wordpress, I know how to put together my word press stuff and I know how to like copy and embed code from a YouTube video and I mean I know how to do my podcast, which is recording and audacity and uploading it. I mean it's not. I actually tried to use woocommerce and I broke my website when I did. That was like a year and a half ago before I got on shopify. So yeah.

Jen:                                     

43:08 So, so point being like, you know, you learn to how to you kind of, it sounds to me like you thought, okay, I want to do this. And then you went and figured out that part of it and then you didn't do this and you went and figured out that part of it and then you did it. And it really is just, what is it eating the elephant one  bite, at a time.

Heather Teysko:              

43:26 One bite at a time. And also I have to say I just started a free Facebook group for people who want to learn how to do this kind of stuff too. That's like not for my course and people are happy. I'm happy to answer questions on there too. So if people just want to come on in and explore and see kind of what some other people are doing, I would welcome people coming on there to.

Jen:                                     

43:43 What's it called?

Heather Teysko:              

43:45 Uh, it's called The Abundance Whoosh because that's what I call this. It's The Abundance Whoosh so they can go on Facebook and search for them.

Jen:                                     

43:52 I love it. And Whoosh is spelled Whoosh

Jen:                                     

43:57 Linked to that as well in the show notes. Well Heather, thank you so much. This was so exciting for me. I just again think you are the poster child for what it means to be a front row entrepreneur and thank you for just blazing this trail and sharing all this great information with us.

Heather Teysko:              

44:15 Thank you so much for having me. This is just so exciting. I love getting this message out. This is like what my new kind of calling in life.

Jen:                                     

44:23 Oh, I can't  wait to check in with you on a couple of months and hear all about your summit and your, your gift box subscription program and the great things that you have  going on, so stay in touch.  Okay. 

Heather Teysko:              

44:35 Alright, I will. Thank you.

Jen:                                     

44:36 All right, take care. Bye. Bye.

Jen:                                     

44:38 Thanks so much for joining us today. If you're not already a member of my free community, the Front Row, make sure and head over to frontrowclassroom.com and join us for the best tips and strategies for growing an online business and for all of those show notes from today's episode because Heather shared a lot of great resources. Go to jenlehner.com/nine and that's spelled out N, I, N, E.