How to use facebook ads to grow your biz
Amin & I talk about paid social media, installing the Facebook Pixel, video ads, when to hire help & more!
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Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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Amin Aaser 0:55
Everybody? My name is Amin Aaser, thank you so much for Jenna for having on the podcast, I run a organization called nor kids. It's a subscription based children's book series. Our work is in about 25,000 homes across 25 countries and we've made studio co work our home along with other things like studio Americana, by the way, this amazing podcast that you're hearing today, mixed by Studio America. So plug for them.
Jenna Redfield 1:25
Yeah, we're in the we usually do it in our studio. But today we decided to try and studio Americana. So we can do a total collaboration between a lot of people that work here at Sonic Ark. Appreciate it. Yeah, thanks for that in. He's the guy who runs to America. And it's really cool to have all of us collaborating for this podcast episode.
Amin Aaser 1:45
Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, we've been in this space. And when I say we, I mean, Nora kids, we've been in this space for about two months. And one of the reasons why we joined was just because we wanted to be around other people who are working on cool things. Other people who can give us inspiration and ideas. And in the spirit of transparency, this is the first time I have ever been on a podcast
Jenna Redfield 2:06
that about 80% of the people I interview is their first podcast. So that's pretty cool. So
Amin Aaser 2:13
I hope that this one goes well. Yeah. 80% of the people who are on my
Jenna Redfield 2:19
I always interrupt, which is probably bad. I don't know if that's, I don't know. I don't
Amin Aaser 2:23
know how I listened to a lot. Do you listen to podcast? I do. Yeah, I listened to a lot of podcasts. I mean, in in, you know, it's it's both when I drive, but also when I work because I feel like it makes me more productive.
Jenna Redfield 2:34
Yeah, I think I think driving is the best time to listen. Also, I used to take a lot of walks, and I'd listened to them. But in the winter, it's a little harder.
Amin Aaser 2:43
I don't walk enough at least
Jenna Redfield 2:45
there Well, we have a treadmill downstairs, if you ever need which I think I'm going to start using more, especially in the winter. But um, yeah, so can you so this month's topic is social media marketing. And that's the reason I want to bring you on this month was because you've done a really good job that and I think that the results have been proven for themselves. So can you kind of talk about just in general, your whole marketing structure of your business and all that?
Amin Aaser 3:09
Yeah. So um, maybe before I get into that, you know, we started in our kids about six years ago. And when we did, it was just a passion project. So you know, my brother was at Harvard Business School, he had to come up with an idea, I was actually not doing anything related to children, I was doing mergers and acquisitions and corporate venture capital, General Mills. And so we started this up just as a passion project. And it grew, and it was fun. And then about two years ago, when I was getting ready to graduate from business school at Berkeley, my mom actually passed away. And so we started thinking a little bit about, you know, what it is that I wanted to do when I graduate, and I thought, Hey, you know, what, if I can, you know, help children through our children's books, let me do that. And so we've been doing our kids full time for about a year. So far today, we have sold something like 100 50,000 children's books, that have made their way into over 25 countries internationally. And we've got a very lean team. So right now we have about two full time employees, and like 14 part time employees. So we do have a large team. But you know, we've been blessed in that we've had a lot of success without you know that many team members. And the key part of that is because of how we are marketing. Now, as I think about our marketing mix, there's actually three key things that we do within our marketing. Or at least this is the way that I is sort of like managing director think about our marketing. The first way is what I think of as digital. So digital includes our website. So if you can imagine, you know, we don't have a brick and mortar store. So our website is our storefront. So we're consistently thinking about how do we strategize, optimize and improve our websites. That way, when people come to our website, we're able to turn them into customers. Within digital, the other thing that we think about is content creation. So that's thinking about how do we add value to people such that they end up on our website. And then number three is advertising. And I think that's what we'll probably talking a little bit about more today. And specifically, when I say advertising, I mean Facebook ads, Google search, ads, YouTube ads, things like that. That's just one part of our, of our marketing digital. Beyond that we do a lot of events, it turns out in person events are huge for us. So you know, we do a lot of that every month, we're traveling probably two to three weekends, doing events around the country. And then number three is actually referrals. So every time we get a customer, we want to turn that customer into more customers. And so we do a lot of referrals.
Jenna Redfield 5:44
Awesome, that was very well explained.
Amin Aaser 5:47
Well, you know, the thing is, is we've got a, we've got a pretty robust team, and we have people that are aligned to each one of these things. And by the way, this is like, you know, my role in the organization right now is marketing. Like, we have to figure out how do we grow? Because the only way we can keep this dream alive? Is by growing? With that I want to put in a quick ad.
Jenna Redfield 6:11
That's good. Yeah, yeah. advertising is such a huge topic. And it's something that I am still new to. Because,
Amin Aaser 6:18
for me, I've always done organic social media, and paid is a whole nother thing, because you have to it's all about conversions. And is it worth the ROI and all that so hot? Like what was the first platform that you started advertising on? So the first platform that we ever advertised on was Facebook? And by the way, Jenna, what you said was, I think so important. What I heard you say is you said, Look, you know, I've been doing a lot of organic stuff, what that means is I put in a ton of time into, you know, creating content, doing stuff on Instagram, posting things up, you know, curating my community, and because of that, you know, I get a lot of impressions and things like that. And by the way, like, more power to you, like, That's amazing. The challenge, though, is, that takes time. And the reality is, is for me, as I think about, you know, the time in the day, it's like, you know, I could spend my time, you know, curating my community, putting stuff on Instagram, doing all these things. Or I could be, you know, doing other things. And for me, as I think about my time, where we're at an organization, I can no longer do that. So when we started, yeah, it was just me putting stuff up, things like that. But we've, you know, started to rely on advertising or paying for ads for two reasons. One is, you know, when you pay for ads, you're able to perhaps access a customer that you currently don't have access to meaning they're not like your followers or anything like that. And number two, is, you're able to essentially save time as well. I will say, though, Jenna, at no point should your organic work stop. page should be in addition to it, it shall be in lieu. So yeah, so we started on Facebook. The cool thing about Facebook is your ability to be laser focused on exactly who your target market. So I'll give you an example. Now, nor kids are books, it's a subscription based children's book series. It's primarily for Muslim children. So when I was a kid growing up in Maple Grove, Minnesota, I had a lot of trouble sort of fitting in. And in the world that we're living in today, there are millions of Muslim kids around the US and Canada who are going through similar experiences. And their parents are thinking, Well, you know, I want these kids to fit in. So this really is the problem that we're solving. And this is the customer that we're targeting. And on Facebook, we're able to specifically target that customer, we know that our customers a mom, between the ages of 30 and 45 years old, we know that they're Muslim. And so what that means is on Facebook, they say say that they're Muslim, or if they don't say that they are, that means that they like pages or people. So popular scholars and popular books and things like that. We know that the majority of them are married. And we know that they live in the US and Canada. And when we're able to figure out that market in Taylor adds to that. Were able to communicate specifically with that demographic. And that's, you know, what Facebook allows us the ability to do,
Jenna Redfield 9:29
yeah, I think that's very hard on social when you're doing it organically, because you can't you could just you're just kind of throwing it into the void and just hoping something sticks. But yeah, that's the nice thing about Facebook is that you can target is that the say? I think that's a It's different with Google, though, because that's more based on keywords. And based, right and maybe location, but I'm not sure exactly how deep you can get on Google.
Amin Aaser 9:51
Yeah. So on Google, they have like interests and things like that, you know, I don't want to get too advanced, or I'll get as advanced as you want me to Jenna. But, you know, as we think about our ads and the ads that we pay for, we think about it in terms of a funnel, right? So if you think about a funnel, the top is the widest and as you go down, it gets less wide, more narrow. So the first set of ads, and we think about our ad strategy, it's not like we just have one ad, no, we have a couple of different ads. The first ad is what we call for cold customers, these are customers that we literally do not know. So what that means is when we go on Facebook, we say hey, you know, we want to target moms between the ages of 34 and, or between 30 and 44 years old, who live in the US and Canada who like XYZ things and by the way, are not currently connected with nor kids. So these are people who literally are not they don't like our page. And so this is like a cold audience, it's never heard of us, well, then we have another ad. But that ad is for a warm customer know that warm customer is specifically for people that are connected with nor kids. And then we actually have one more ad and this is for what we call hot customers. These are customers that have been on our website in the last 14 days, but they haven't actually made a purchase. You know, when we're able to string together the ads in these ways, we're able to, you know, be more effective. Now, the way that so those second and third degree ads that I talked about. That's what's called retargeting, right? Yep. And Facebook allows you to do that. Google allows you to do that, too. And I think that's where Google in my mind is strongest. Because, you know, when you read target via Google ads, you're no longer just connecting with customers when they are on Facebook, for example, you're connecting with customers when they are anywhere on the internet. And so you can still get your message to them. So for us, we find that Google is most valuable for retargeting.
Jenna Redfield 11:54
Yeah. So maybe for the people that are listening that don't understand. How does the facebook pixel work? Maybe you can just describe it. Because I've told this to people this week, and they're like, I have never heard of the facebook pixel. I don't know what that is. Can you kind of explain how to set that up?
Amin Aaser 12:11
Yeah, so this is actually not that tough. I think it sounds much more difficult. Yeah. So remember when I just talked about those advertising strategies, right? So there's that first one that just for like, it's a broad thing for everyone in this market. And then I talked about retargeting, right? And so the retargeting is only possible when you set up these pixels. And by the way, Facebook has a pixel, Google has a pixel on, you know, I think Bing probably has a pixel too. And so when you put these pixels onto your website, Google and Facebook, then are able to track Oh, you know what, Jenna came on my website. Therefore, I'm going to retargeting her with an ad or I have that ability, it's through that pixel. That's possible. By the way. The other thing that the pixel is good for, is you're able to track from the perspective of analytics, when someone actually views your website, when someone views your ad, you're able to then track through the pixel, you know, which websites that are, they get to the end up adding this to their cart, do they end up purchasing it? And so when you have that pixel on your website, we're able to say, okay, for every $15 that we spend on advertising, we actually get one person who buys this, right? And that becomes a really valuable statistic. Now, how you actually do this is very simple. You go on Google, you go Google com, and then you go into the search bar. And you say, How do I set up my Facebook? And I'm confident that Yeah, YouTube video or something, I don't know, off the top my head. But I mean, it basically, it's a snippet of code that Google gives you and Facebook gives you in it specifically to you. And you basically copy it, and you paste it onto your website. Now WordPress, and Shopify, which I think the two like very prominent platforms, I'm sure Squarespace. Well, there's, there's a place in the admins dashboard. So like, there's an admin dashboard within there. And in there, they literally have like a place where you can put this pixel such that it's basically put throughout your entire website, but you can just Google it. Yeah, I think that's, that's true. And people, it took me a long time to set up my pixel just because I was like, totally not clear on why I needed it. But the more I looked into it, the more I was, like, why have I set this up? And I've done that for both studio co work and for my own website, and as well as translates collective, because we just started selling a mug. And so I can now target people that have been to our website, and then they go back to Facebook, it's like, oh, we're selling a mug, all that stuff. So it's kind of interesting. And I mean, I think the thing that you'll find about ads is two things. Number one is, it is a little bit tedious, because there are a lot of steps involved in order to set up a good ad. So specifically, it's you know, creating the audience, figuring out the creative is all these different things. But if you're a curious person like I am, it is so fulfilling. Because there's few things in life. It's sort of like the dishes, like the dishes are dirty, and then you like wash them, and then they're clean, and you're like, Oh, look at me. So similarly, with Facebook, when you do these ads, it's like, well, you know, I didn't have any ads. Now I spent $50. And look, you know, I have generated X amount of clicks, I've generated X amount of purchases, I've done XYZ things. And, you know, you really are able to see the results of your work, which I think is pretty cool.
Jenna Redfield 15:34
Yeah, I was we just got our first purchase from an ad. So that was exciting.
Amin Aaser 15:39
graduations and yeah, like, there's no feeling like, yeah, link is pretty amazing. For
Jenna Redfield 15:43
sure. It's like I was like, I hope this works. You know, because I think that what I need to learn is the the psychology behind the ad and what gets people to click, like what gets people to buy? And you would you telling you we did a an event last week for Startup Week. And you talked about how because you do a lot of video ads, you talked about how with the first like three seconds of it, especially if you're doing video ad is so important to get people to stay watching. Can you kind of explain your reasoning behind that?
Amin Aaser 16:10
Yeah, um, so PS Jenna, one of the things that you just said is you said, Look, you know, we just did this ad and you know, I'm working on you know, the the creative piece of it. Two things to keep in mind. Number one is, there's no doubt about it. When you set up your first ad, you're probably going to fail. And still with me, yeah, man, we still fail miserably all the time. The cool thing about ads, though, is it gives you the opportunity to iterate and to experiment. So on Facebook, or in Google, or wherever you decide to create ads, you can figure out like, Hey, you know what my hypothesis is? If I change the picture, you know, one picture is blue one is yellow, one is green, you can test it, you can literally test and see, hey, is there a difference? And the reason? Yeah. Now, obviously, I just had good, yeah, but you can test anything. And so the moral of the story is you have to consistently test and then test and then test them and test more until you continue to refine your ads such that it's good. Now, the creative piece, I mean, that's a million dollar question. And you know, it's funny, because it's always easier for me to create ads for other people, and it is to create for myself, because when I create it for myself, I'm like, oh, man, I just think so much. And I'm like, and for whatever reason, it just takes a lot longer, and it's just challenging. But anyways, the two things with respect to the creative that I think are valuable to think about are number one, who's your demographic? And number two is what insight do you have about that demographic that you can connect to them about? So let me give an example. So we know that our demographic is Muslim moms between the ages of 30 and 44. So when someone sees our ad, we want to make sure that immediately without even having to read anything, they're able to see, oh, wow, this ad is speaking to me. So one of the ways that we do that is prominently displayed within the image is something that is like Muslim or something that is Islamic, it could be a woman wearing a headscarf, it could be you know, a boy performing prayers or something that effect. And when they do that, then, you know, the viewer is able to visually see that, oh, wow, this is connecting with me. So being able to visually tell that, you know, they say a picture's worth 1000 words, that's valuable. Number two is the insight. So the insight is only gathered through, you know, your marketing work and your marketing acumen to understand well, you know, a greater truth around why someone is interested in this product. Right? So for example, Janice, I think about the mug, why is someone interested in the mug? Is someone interested in the Twin Cities collective mug? Because they are avid coffee drinkers? Probably not. Because if they were just buying it, because they're interested in coffee, they might just go to Walmart and buy whatever is Yeah, right. It's true. I imagine that the person who is going to buy your mug is someone who feels like they are part of this community. It's almost like an NPR kind of thing where, look, you know, what I'm part of, you know, I listened to National Public Radio, I support the work, therefore, I want that sticker on my car, right? So similarly, I imagine the people who are buying v mug or people who enjoy the podcast, enjoy the events, enjoy the work that Twin Cities collective does and therefore want to feel like, you know what? I'm not just a part of the community, but I'm supporting it as well. Yeah. And so when you know that, that's the insight like, that is why people are really interested in it, then you can think about the creative. So the creative maybe is, you know, it speaks to be a part of something bigger than yourself, or invest in the dream, or something like that. Yeah, relates to you know, your insight.
Jenna Redfield 19:57
Yeah, cuz another Yeah, that is so true. Because I, I think one of the lines of copy that I wrote was, you know, support our organization, because that's what it's doing by by buying the mug. And I feel like I might have to tweak that too. Because I'm, I'm not really a copywriter. So I think that's something I need to work on is, what is the trigger words? Or what are the words that get people to buy? You know, and have you found any of those? Are there any like copywriting things that you've worked? Felt? Or is more? Is it more the visuals?
Amin Aaser 20:26
I think that's a great question. You know, we, we continuously iterate and some things work, some things don't work. You know, I don't have like a silver bullet. And that way. I will say, though, that it seems as though right now, video ads performed better than static ads. Yep. So even if you were able to take like a picture, yeah. And like string it together with like, two or three other pictures such that it becomes like a video and just like these images that move or something like that. You know, that's something that we're seeing. But you No, I can't think of like a
Jenna Redfield 21:02
Yeah. Oh, hey, your word. Yeah. works. I
Amin Aaser 21:05
mean, it's just constant trial and error. Kind of a thing.
Jenna Redfield 21:07
Yeah. Cuz I, I work I've worked. I mean, I know a lot of copywriters locally. And I just I know that's important. But for me, it's a struggle, I definitely more of the visual side. And being a video editor, it's easy for me to think of video ideas. But for myself, sometimes I get shy struggle with doing, as you said, you can think of better marketing techniques for others than for yourself. Is that kind of something that you've struggled with?
Amin Aaser 21:29
Yeah, absolutely. And hey, PS. With that in mind, one thing that I will pitch for myself, since I'm here is, so over the last two years, we've actually created four videos that have each gotten 50,000 organic views. So that means is that each of these have been viewed a ton of times. And it wasn't because we put ad dollars into it, it was because people shared them. And so last week, we did a event during Twin Cities Startup Week, where we talked a little bit about, you know, the recipe for success of how we do that. I love telling stories. One thing I didn't mention about myself is I used to teach storytelling for leadership at UC Berkeley. And since I've been back in Minnesota, I haven't been able to scratch that itch. So if you have a video or a organization that you're looking to create a video for reach out. And I'd love to help. Yes, that would be fun for me.
Jenna Redfield 22:24
Yeah, and I do video editing. So plug myself to
Unknown Speaker 22:29
quick plug for studio American. And although
Amin Aaser 22:34
the idea. So just just to set the stage here. So Jenna and I are in this like amazing production studio, where there's like six Mikes and 4k cameras and like three TVs and like a fridge that's just fully stocked of all sorts of different things. And like, yeah, and so the thing is, is that even though because he's actually producing this, he's in another room so we can see him. It's so he's in our ears. Yeah.
And he's in your ears, too. So when he you know, we forget that he's listening?
Jenna Redfield 23:05
Well, it's cool. Because one thing about America or see America and steel core guys, we're just trying to build this podcasting hubs here, here. So that's kind of what's cool about this space. And we all get to kind of help each other. So we kind of moving off of social media marketing, I also want to talk about email marketing. So you mentioned that you use drip, which is a lead pages project, we actually did a lead pages earlier this year. So they've been really good to us. I just want to maybe have you talk about some of the things you've been doing with them.
Amin Aaser 23:31
Yeah, drip is amazing. And lead pages is amazing. And I think that one of their secrets to success is the fact that they are based in Minnesota. Yeah, so no, I'm sort of kidding. But like, I mean, honestly, pride for lead pages, and Trump being based in Minnesota. And you know, if you're looking at in the space, there's a lot of competitors, I do think that their products are amazing, and support the fact that they're in Minnesota, but anyway, so drip is an email Mark platform that helps you automate emails. So the the idea is, is that, you know, we talked about like a retargeting pixel. And so what that basically means is, hey, if someone came on your website, you're able to target them, because you have like a pixel on your website and things like that. Well, you know, what's better than that? What's better than that is actually having their email address. If you have their email address, that means you can talk to them personally. And the challenge, though, is when you have all these email addresses, what do you actually do with them. And the cool thing about drip is it allows you to create automated sort of messaging and funnels, and it integrates with, you know, your Shopify, or integrates with your Facebook. So it's like, if someone does this, then send them this email. And if they do this, then do this. Now, it's still something that is a work in progress for us. But in terms of the power, I mean, cheese, this is like super powerful. And it has the ability to, I think, be really strong. So for example, one of the things that we started doing on our studio co work sign, this is something that Janet did. It's like, you know, on our website, we offer a amazing guide that Jenna put together, it says like, Hey, you know, here's a one on one on podcasting. And when someone does it, you know, we get their email address. And once we have their email address, then we actually sell it. No, I'm kidding. No, when we get the email addresses, what we do is, we send them a couple of emails to say, hey, look, PS, we saw that you're interested in this, let me tell you a little bit more about studio co work. Right? So that's an example of, you know, being able to create a drip email, you know, funnel, you know, based on using these tools, like lead pages and things like that.
Jenna Redfield 25:54
Yeah, so I think one thing that's really cool and, and beyond drip, all that a lot of other email market, if you do something else, you know, like, I use MailChimp personally, because it's free. But like, I personally like the fact that they have automated stuff. So you basically set up where it you don't have to send it, you just set it up, and then it automatically sends it so that how many emails do you do after like the original one.
Amin Aaser 26:18
So um, so we have, I think something like 30,000 emails in our like, repository, which is pretty cool. And each one is different, each one's a little bit different. And I think the thing is, is that you have to, you know, it's just like Facebook ads, you have to iterate and see what works for your customer. And it's cool, because there are some metrics that you're able to look at, for example, you're able to look at open rate, you're able to look at how many people unsubscribe in one email to the subscribe from and click through rate and things like that. So it really depends, and I think each, you know, for each use case, it's a little different. The thing to think about, though, just like any marketing is, yeah, what messages Do you want the consumer to get? So do you want them to know that? You know, we have free parking? And that's a key selling point? Or do you want them to know that? Hey, you know, you're working with amazing people who are also creative. You know, you have to figure out what are the types of messages that were Yeah. And then based off of that, you know, sending those to the sending them via the email marketing, I will say this, too, I think drip I know that they have a free trial and I think they're the mount it costs depends on how many subscribers you
Jenna Redfield 27:41
have. That's like a lot of them.
Amin Aaser 27:42
Yeah. And and number two is this, like automated functionality. I think drip was one of the pioneers. And so they're consistently improving and providing new things and stuff like that. And MailChimp, for example, is offering it now. There were a little bit late. Yeah, right. But but but they all office service.
Jenna Redfield 28:01
Yeah, I think we try to be vendor neutral here. So like, I just want to talk about all types of different, you know, marketing, but yeah, that's what you use, I use something different. And I'm sure like, Convert Kit is a huge one that a lot of my friends use in that world. But yeah, so I just wanted to but I do think it's cool, because lead pages is local. So I love to promote local. So it's cool that you're using a local company. Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I support Minnesota whenever I can.
Amin Aaser 28:27
And so yeah, absolutely,
Jenna Redfield 28:28
for sure. And there's a lot of tools out there. And I think we need to get into more email marketing episodes of the podcast, because I don't think I've ever talked about it before. And it's something I hate emailing, I hate getting emails, I'm not a big email fan. So for the longest time, I was very pushing against it. But I've been told over and over and over and over. And I've learned that it does work. And that's why people do it. Because when you're on social media, you might miss you know, a notification or two, when you get an email, unless you've decided to like filter it out or something, you get that email, it goes to you directly, and you will get that message. And I think that people underestimate that.
Amin Aaser 29:04
I totally agree with you. You know, there's a lot of you know, I think the the key challenge, right, just like every other form of marketing is figuring out how do you break through the clutter? Yep. Because there is so there's a lot. I mean, I swear to God, like email marketing for staples. Oh, staples. No, it's not good. They send emails like, please open. And I'm just like, this guy's sending me this. Is his job depend on me opening his emails? Of course, I hope
Jenna Redfield 29:36
Yeah, it's like clickbait.
Amin Aaser 29:37
But it is. And and I don't think that that's a winning strategy. Because I'm talking about it here on this podcast. Right. But I think that there are people who are doing a better job and a worse job. And it is about, you know, figuring out well, you know, for your business, how do you break through the clutter? And, you know, I think, for small businesses, and I think the majority of people who are listening into this small business, I think, in general, people are more excited to read those emails, then staples, just period. Yeah, that's true.
Jenna Redfield 30:09
I think they don't, personally, I'd only read those if there's like a coupon. Like, I don't really care. You know, like what they have to say, it's just like, Oh, I need this. I want a coupon.
Amin Aaser 30:17
Yeah, that's why I'd open it in but but To that end, like orbits sends me and Priceline send me some every day about like, oh, and get this this week. And I'm like, Yo, dude, this is not even a real coupon. Like you always have coupons,
Jenna Redfield 30:29
or or it's always like the same price. It just makes it look like it's a coupon. Yeah,
Amin Aaser 30:32
play games with me. And so. So you know, I think it's, it's a a, you know, you have to continue, continuously iterate and figure out what works for your organization. Yeah. So I guess, now thinking about it. This sounds like a lot of work. So how many hours? Or would you say like percentage of your time? Do you focus on that, for example, you have a staff, like, I'm a solo person, so I have to do it all myself, never outsource anything. So how much of my time should I spend marketing versus doing the actual work? That is a amazing question. So two things I will say to that, number one, Jenna, you said that you haven't outsource anything. And I think that that is a problem. Yeah, that is a serious problem. And so in the world that we live in today with two resources, one resources fiverr.com Yeah, heard of that, you should go on it right now. And the other one is up work. com, there's a lot of stuff that you do not need to be doing the outsource, and things that are relatively cheap to do, whether that's, you know, you know, I want to find the list of all of the different, you know, businesses in the area code 5531. I mean, like, whatever it is, you could have someone do that, or, you know, higher functioning things like creating graphics and things like that. So number one, do outsource, because when you don't outsource, what it's saying is, your time isn't valuable. Your time is valuable. Number two is it takes a ton of time. Yeah, that's and the reality is, is for me, you know, as I think about my team, you know, the 14 people that we have on it, they're primarily aligned to the product. So every month, we're putting out a new children's book every month. And so we have amazing people who are working on that. Yeah, what I have found, though, is being able to get really good marketing talent to, you know, put together these email, you know, marketing things, and these Facebook ads, either number one cost a lot of money, and I'm not willing to do that, or number two, aren't as good as me. And so, I actually find myself like right now, probably 50% of my time, you know, 60 hours a week is working on this. Now, I will say that the cool part about it is it's a one and done kind of a thing. Like once you've set these things up, you don't have to revisit them for another, you know, 368 months, and then you know, take a look at them and, you know, figure out, you know, how you want to, you know, retool them. But yeah, they do take an investment on the front end. And I think that investment is worth it.
Jenna Redfield 33:08
Yeah, because I think that that has been an issue for me is I like to do it all myself, you know, like, I'm like, I'm kind of a perfectionist, but at the same time, I'm like, Ash, probably not spend, I spend a lot of time I think wasted, because I'm not being as productive. You know, even though I'm being productive. I'm not being productive in the right way, if that makes sense?
Amin Aaser 33:29
Well, one of the things I'll say is, you know, I'm not 100% sure, like the audience of this podcast of like, you know, the various types of people who are listening to it, but you know, if it is people who are small business owners, one of the biggest learnings I made was that of having a team. And when I say team actually mean two things. The first one is sort of your cofounders. And then number two is everyone else, specifically with cofounders. The reality is, you know, we're six tears into your kids. And we've been doing it full time for about a year. And yeah, I have a co founder, but he, you know, it's actually my older brother, and he's doing great and making a ton of money. He's like SVP at Ameriprise, but he's not in it day to day like I am his his skin is not in the game. Yeah, mine is. And so it's tough. Being a solo is really tough, emotionally. But also tough because you don't have someone with perhaps a similar degree of sophistication and acumen and, you know, a wanting this for things to be perfect. Because at an early stage, it really is, you know, those cofounders that that care the most. And so one of the things I would encourage any company that is young, that has big aspirations and wants to do a lot is have a co founder or two. And, you know, again, there's a whole discussion on that around, you know, having synergistic capabilities and having diverse skill set. So it's not like three co founders that all do the same exact thing. No, it's one who's really good at marketing, one who's really good at the technical pieces of the website, and one who's really good at, you know, something else, maybe it's a product, but that co founding team is just super ultra, like, double time important. If I can highlight, you know, turn that italics, like that's a big deal. And if you're early on, like, invest into that, because it doesn't get easier. And then number two is, yeah, I mean, there's no substitute to having an amazing team, our, our books, you know, when we started in our kids, I was doing everything, you know, I was creating the book. So doing all these things, we have a powerhouse team that is developing our books every month. So I can say with certainty that our children's books are the highest quality Islamic children's books in the world. And that's pretty crazy to think out of maple grove, Minnesota, we're missing the highest quality world, but the fact is, we are Yeah. And in a big part of that is because of our team. Yeah. And so anyways,
Jenna Redfield 36:09
that makes sense. So I guess for me, it all comes down to money. At what point do you hire someone like? Well, like for me, I'm like, I don't know if I can afford that right now. Like, I don't know if I can afford to hire someone? Or do you just outsource it when you can? Or how do you like, how do you even start to begin that process?
Amin Aaser 36:26
Well, I mean, there's two things I think about. And I think you might find this trend, there's two things I think about for a lot of things. But anyways, the two things I think about is number one, you know, my brother in LA, he used to own some Dairy Queen franchises. And for anyone who, for example, wants to open up a franchise, which is in my mind, like a stereotypical business, right? I'm using quotes, like that's a business, right? When you start up that business, there are costs that are incurred during the first year. And these are what are just called startup costs. So for example, when you you know, start up a dairy queen, you know, first you have to pay franchise fees, things like that. But you also have to incur expenses, for which you probably won't see any profit, but you know, that you're going to, you know, experience those expenses in the first year. And so I think about that, as well, with respect to some of my expenses. Now, that said, when you start a dairy queen, you know, what a dairy queens are gonna, like, there's a business model, you know, that you're going to be able to sell ice cream cups, by the way, Dairy Queen, another Minnesota. But anyways, um, you know that there's a business model, you know, that there's a way that you're going to be making money, what I would say is this, if you feel confident in your business model, if you feel like you know, what, I know that people are going to buy my product, we've got a great product of figure out the business model. At that point in time. Think about it as a dairy queen, where you have to put in money of you know, you know, investing into it, if you're not at a place where you're like, Hey, you know, what, actually don't know how we're going to be making money? I think you have to figure that out first, before you're marketing anything, right. So that's, that's sort of how I think about it. And the other thing I would say is, you know, there are there's outsourcing work, when you outsource work, there is no long term commitment, sort of a one and done kind of thing. I'm I don't think too hard. Before I outsource things that are sort of one and done kind of thing. I do think a lot more hard when I'm hiring a part time employee or employee, because that is a greater level of commitment, for sure.
Jenna Redfield 38:34
And yeah, that makes sense to me. I think I should just start outsourcing things. Because they're like, for example, Facebook ads, I would actually really, I might want to talk to someone or actually hire someone to design a Facebook ad for me, because I'm like, that's not my strength. And I feel like if they designed a graphic that would maybe sell my products, then I think it would be worth it.
Amin Aaser 38:54
Yeah, I think so too. I mean, look, I don't have as much experience in that. We, you know, maybe we'll a future. I don't know that the biggest hesitation I've always had is, is this person who I'm hiring going to understand my business enough to, you know, do this? I think they would say yeah, of course we do. Yeah, we're part of your mix of things. And also, it's one of those things where, I don't know, like, generally you get what you like, put in so it's like, you know, you can't like pay, you know, geo Metro salary and expect like a, you know, Mercedes Benz. And that's one of the things I remember. So, similarly, with respect to ads, you know, in a world where that's so cluttered, I'm like it can this you know, if I pay for someone to do it, and if I don't have that much funds, are they actually going to create something better than I could do? Yeah, I don't know. Anyways, I guess we only know unless we try
Jenna Redfield 39:45
it. Yeah, that's true. And I think I'm very cautious and very, I don't like to jump into things, you know. So that's definitely something that I Tripoli should think about more, but awesome. Well, I think we're going to probably be wrapping this up. So do you want to maybe talk a little bit about how we can find you online and all of your handles? So how we can find you or email you or whatever?
Amin Aaser 40:08
Yeah, so you can check out our stuff. It is at nor kids calm. That's NORK IDs, comments or website and that same name, nor kids, you can find us on Facebook, and on Instagram and on Pinterest. We're more active on Facebook than really anything else. And by the way, North kids is two words. If you want to reach out to me, if you need help with a video or you just want to chat, I'm actually looking for people who are like minded who are working on startups and things like that just to be friends with because we're only been
Jenna Redfield 40:42
working so important.
Amin Aaser 40:45
Yeah, absolutely. So my email address it's a mean that's a MIN at that's the at sign nor kids calm. A mean at Northcott. com, send me a note and we can be friends.
Jenna Redfield 40:55
Yeah. And if you really want to talk to me and all day like I do, you should come and be a co studio caller Hey,
Amin Aaser 41:02
we can offer this but like, Look, we're like 30 something minutes and yeah, someone has like waited this long, then that means that they're probably pretty cool. And I would love to meet them. Yeah, like, you let them come for a day. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 41:13
Oh, yeah, for sure. We I mean, honestly, I we're very open to that right now and just talked to me. I'm always wanting people here and just you know, even if you want to kind of meet me or meet I mean, just come on in like literally just scheduled tour and then I'll give you a free day pass.
Amin Aaser 41:27
Yeah. And And the thing is, though, like we for and I don't know if this is something we can disclose yet, but we have another like company that's joining and so like our space is filling on. So you know if you want to join this community of like minded people don't sit on your hands for long because the space is, is filling up.
Jenna Redfield 41:49
Yeah. So yeah, plug for studio cork, and it's such a fun space. And I feel like I've gotten to know everyone here really well so far. And we've been here for three months, but it's been really awesome. So thanks, everyone for listening and talk to you guys next week. Bye. Thanks again for listening to the 20th collective podcast conversations with creatives with your host Jenna Redfield. Make sure to head on over to iTunes to subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss a single episode. New episodes come out every Monday. Make sure to also leave us a review let us know how we're doing as well as helping us grow our subscriber count. We also want to let you know that we have a website Twin Cities collective calm where you can learn more about us join our online directory learn more about events as well as join our Facebook community. Shout out again to Allison burns, who created all of our artwork as well as our logo, as well as Nikolai whitelist. For the use of the song and the intro. I also want to say thanks to studio cork for letting us use the podcast studio that they have on site. Make sure to go to studio co worker calm to learn more about how you can start podcasting too. Thanks again for listening and I'll talk to you guys next week.