Saving Time By Automating Your Marketing with Kari of @wildfigmarketing

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Kari Switala lives in Farmington with her husband, Kevin; her sons, Max & Sam; and her furry-legged sons, Steve & Murphy. She is also the chief creative officer at Wild Fig Marketing, a boutique marketing firm that specializes in helping businesses develop potent and nimble marketing strategies. They walk with their clients every step of the way. From determining their goals to leveraging the use of dynamic tools and strategies to attract, convert and retain their ideal clients, Wild Fig sets businesses up for success. Engaging content, powerful websites, robust email marketing and automated lead generation campaigns are a few of the many tools they leverage in this process! The client result? A strong online presence, increased website traffic and a thriving bottom line.business and marketing automation, email marketing and website design. When she’s not writing or working, you’ll likely find her at her cabin in northern MN, where she loves paddleboarding with her puggle, Steve; boating with all of her boys; and reading books while relaxing on the dock with a glass of chardonnay.

She is also wildly passionate about helping others tell their stories, so they can better connect and cultivate more meaningful business relationships. She does this in two main ways: through her new book, “Living with the Lid Up” and through public speaking.

Her favorite quote is, “If you don’t go out and build your dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs.” by Tony Gaskins.

www.wildfigmarketing.com/

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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Full Transcript:

Hey, everyone, welcome to Twin Cities collector podcast. I'm your host Jenna Redfield in today I have a very special guest. This is carries with Paula, is that right? Correct. Okay, and she is a marketing expert. She has her own company called Wild fit marketing. And she also just wrote a book, which we're just talking about before the podcast

Kari Switala 1:28

started. Welcome. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 1:31

And you've been on podcast before. This is my first it's your first time. Oh my gosh, well, that is so exciting. Because you. I feel like I wanted to have you on we we met at recently at Janet Johnson's event, where you talked about automation. And I was like, we need you on the podcast because I get those questions all the time automation. So how did you get maybe let's talk a little bit about your background. How did you even get started in marketing?

Kari Switala 1:52

Sure. So marketing actually has been something even kind of dating back to high school where I was part of deca I don't know. Oh, yeah. My high school. Yeah. So I got started in the deca program when I was in when I was in high school, and then started my first campaign there. And we did a whole teenagers campaign against smoking. And so from there, I was hooked. And I've been in marketing ever since. So never really straight. Yeah. Did you

go to school for that? Then? I did. Where did you go to the University of Wisconsin? Eau Claire.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 2:24

Okay. Very cool. And so did you get started at like an agency? or What was your journey been? Like?

Kari Switala 2:29

So my journey has been quite varied. Yeah, I said, I always laugh. It's like one of those things where, you know, as you're going through it, you know, nothing kind of really make sense. But when you look back, it's it's really obvious, you know, like the horse that you've, you know, path you've gone on. And so I actually got started in event planning and kind of grassroots marketing with the American Cancer Society. Okay. And then from there went on to more of the non traditional route, where I went, ended up working for the frontal Chamber of Commerce, doing marketing for them. And so I've kind of had you a mix of nonprofit and for profit work, ever since then. Yeah, it's been kind of a fun. Yeah, that's cool.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 3:06

I feel like people either go one of two ways ago, like small business or they go agency, right. And I went to a small business, I never worked for an agency. So me there, it was good. We have a kindred background. So basically, what are the things that you've really enjoyed about marketing? Or what's maybe like, your special skills that you have? Sure,

Kari Switala 3:25

I think, really, for me, it's the ideas, you know, and being able to, you know, think outside the box. And I think, you know, for us, our clients really appreciate that. Every day is something new. And as much as that can be a challenge at times that that, you know, the marketing world is constantly changing. Social media is ever changing as you but it's also exciting, because it's, it's something new, it's a new challenge and a new opportunity. So it doesn't matter if you know, you're just coming on to Facebook, now, there's it, there's still an opportunity for you to be involved. So that's the part that I like, is just that that dynamic?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:00

Who are kind of the clients that you help, because I feel like there's a lot of different specialties, but it's mostly a small businesses, would you say? Yes, mostly small businesses, and mostly b2b,

Kari Switala 4:10

okay, really kind of focused in that area, and helping them kind of figure out how to how to attract, you know, the right clients, but then also how to keep the clients that they already have and kind of continue to grow with them as well.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:21

So you're kind of I would say, one of your specialties is automation, which I don't think a lot of marketers focus on. So how did you get into that?

Kari Switala 4:30

So it's something that kind of evolved as our clients kind of evolved with us. So one of the things when we originally started, we were really heavily focused on email marketing and social media. So what we found is that, you know, we would be marketing their business for getting them, you know, new leads, but they really didn't have if they didn't have a sales team to follow up on those leads, they would just kind of sit there and unless they, you know, unless they've actually calling that client. Yeah. And so we needed a way to be able to deliver those leads, you know, directly to the inbox of that that business owner, that person. And that's where we we said, you know, what, we need something to kind of automate this process. And that's where we brought in automation.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 5:08

So I guess we should talk a little bit about maybe like, the sales funnel of what marketing is, because I feel like a lot of people have heard the word sales funnel or the word automation, but they may not don't know what it is. So can you kind of like, maybe how you explain it to your clients? What is it?

Kari Switala 5:23

Yeah, an automation we see in kind of a couple different ways. So typically, when we're looking at automation, we're looking at into into different tracks, basically. So first and foremost, it's like the lead generation, you know, sales, so helping you. So you go to someone's website. Now, you know, how do you engage with them there, maybe you have a free ebook or a free download, that would be an example of a sales funnel or an automation marketing automation there, where they enter their information, then they get that sent to them by email. And now maybe it's it continues to nurture them with a couple additional emails before a call to Yeah, the second piece of that the other track would be the business automation. So that's kind of looking at your processes that you have internally. So those repetitive tasks that you're doing over and over again, that you know, are taking up a lot of time. So if business owners are trying to scale and grow, they need to look at where can they kind of shave off some of those time. So that's the other part of automation, that probably doesn't get as much attention. not as sexy. But

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:25

that's another big piece of what we do. I think that's what most people struggle with is they're like, I don't have time to do all this. And I think that's what you help do is take back some of the time that they're losing to these things that they can automate. Exactly. So I guess we can start at the beginning. So generating leads, let's talk about that a little bit. So usually, it's through email signup, I would say like opt in. So how do you work with your clients to figure out what their opt ins got? Sure.

Kari Switala 6:52

So the biggest part of it is really understanding, you know, kind of marketing in general is understanding who your ideal client is. So that's kind of the first one question we asked him is like, Who who are you trying to market to who you're trying to attract? And then kind of working your way backwards? Like, what information would they want? You know, what would they find valuable or relevant. And then from there kind of crafting, whether it's, you know, it's an offer, or maybe you know, it's a webinar or an opportunity to kind of hear from you learn from you. Or maybe it's a piece of content, people love the checklist, or hacks or things like that. So that's really kind of where we start is understanding who they're trying to market to? And then what kind of information where they find valuable, and then kind of creating a landing page or, or a pop up or so yeah, kind of?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:37

Yeah. So one of the stories you told at the workshop I saw you about was about like a lawn care company? Could you tell that story? Like I don't know why, but it stuck with me for the last few weeks? I keep thinking about it, could you just kind of tell that story? Yeah.

Kari Switala 7:50

So working with an irrigation contractor, and and trying to help them figure out how to close you know, more, you know, increase their conversion ratio. And so one of the things that we did was we understood, you know, what their sales cycle was, which was about seven to 10 days, and knowing that, they typically were the highest priced in their market. And they were usually going up against two to three other competitors. And so we created a campaign for them that basically, they didn't want to have a lot of access to the system. So wait, they meet with a couple, they enter their information into a basically a web form that we created. So it's just right on their cell phone, they enter their contact information, and and then automatically, it sends, hey, it was really nice to meet you. Looking forward to following up with you in a couple days, two days later, knowing that they're getting other bids, we actually called it out and just said, Hey, more than likely, you're probably getting a couple other bids. And if we were you in the same boat, we would do the same thing. So here's some things that you need to know to kind of do an apples to apples comparison, and actually provided a link to like the national irrigation association that says, here's the check list of like, everything you need to know, so that they're educating that, you know, that prospect, which the other companies aren't doing. And then two days later, they get another email saying, Hey, I'm gonna be following up with you tomorrow. And the best part about all was the text message that our client would get the next day reminding them to follow up. Yeah. So that that was led to a 30% increase in closing ratio. So I mean, you know, it's just those simple, simple things, but we get busy and you think about a Minnesota like, our seasons can be super short. And you're taking in all of that, all those leads at one time. So

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 9:36

this happened actually recently to my mom, she had hired a hired Oh, she like had a landscaper come out to look at the backyard. She wanted like a like how much is this going to cost to redo? She kept having to follow up with him because he would not respond to her. And I was like, how is this company still in business? Because they like obviously didn't want our business. Right? I know, I was like someone who helps my businesses, I cannot believe this situation.

Kari Switala 9:59

And it unfortunately, they're just so backed up. And they have so much luck. And it's it's they're just treading water. They don't have a good system in place to manage. They're just they're doing what they can. And it's It is unfortunate, because I don't know about you guys. Like, I take that business. Yeah, exactly. It is one of those things

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:17

like can you not hire more people? At that point? Is it Can you not bring in more people to help you if you're overwhelmed with work or right through prices? There's I don't know, like there, I think there is such a limited number of people doing a specific thing, right, that there is like a demand for it. Exactly. But it's it's so interesting, because I never knew about automation until maybe two, three years ago. And there have been new software's that have come out that have really improved social media posting and all that stuff. So how do you decide which tools to use?

Kari Switala 10:48

Sure. So when we're working with a client, it's really understanding kind of, you know, what their goals are, what they're trying to do, who they're trying to reach an end even kind of looking at their sales team, you know, do they have a sales team, how active or engaged they are. And then based on that, you know, taking a look at what would fit them. So there's a variety of tools that are out there. But they're not, you know, some, some companies might just need a little bit of automation. So to put them in a humongous tool, that's going to cost them a ton of email, and they're going to use you know, 5% of it doesn't make sense. So it's really just understanding there and Okay, and then finding the best match for them. So

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 11:20

what do you I mean, I think you kind of talked about it at the workshop, what are the ones that you use? Sure. So we, we love ontraport

Kari Switala 11:28

And we also just became a partner with HubSpot. So we're learning a lot about that tool. And it's got a lot of capabilities. So those two are kind of the ones that were more most versed in. But we have utilized some of the other tools out there as well.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 11:43

Yeah, I used Dubsado, which is more for small, like one person business, I would say, I feel like, there's different like levels to and there's so many of them.

Kari Switala 11:51

Yeah, and I think that's part of it is like getting into something that you can scale away. And and ensure you know, if you are going to look to you know, grow rapidly, you want to be in the system that you don't have to like then get into another system, because that's a whole other set of pains.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 12:05

Yeah, so does entrepreneur. I never used that one before. Does that have email as well? Okay, so So what are the things that you set up for the people? Like, what are some of the things that can do?

Kari Switala 12:16

Yeah, so basically, when we're working with a client, typically we're doing something, we're automating something on the business automation side of it, and then at least something one or two campaigns on the marketing or lead generation side. So we're usually creating some sort of, you know, lead generation campaign for their website, we might also be doing a prospecting campaign. So our pre sales, like, hey, you're meeting with this prospect, let's kind of warm them up for you. So you meet with them, you enter or you enter their the meeting date in the system. And then this starts to kind of warm them up prior to that meeting. So it's setting you up for success. You can also automate, online scheduling, billing, all sorts of things. So we do a lot with onboarding clients. That's a big

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 13:00

talk about that, because I don't think we've ever talked about on the podcast before. But that is a huge part that it does take some time, it does take some time. So what what does what does onboarding mean? And what what are some of the things that you have to do when you're first getting a

Kari Switala 13:12

giant? Sure. So when we work with onboarding, with a new client, or with a client, we kind of walk through their process. And sometimes they might have a process, sometimes they don't, sometimes it might be really loose. So it's like literally like, step by step, like you get a new client, then what, then what you know, then what happens next. And so once we understand, and we have all those steps documented, we kind of look for opportunities to enhance that process, so that every client, you know, that's coming on board is having an amazing experience, and kind of tightening up any potential, you know, loopholes that might be in there as well. So that's kind of what we look for. And then from there, we look at what needs to be communicated, what's the best way to communicate it. So some might be when we say automation, everyone just assumes it's all email. But it might be assigning a task for a staff number to follow up via a phone call. So it's, it's a mixture of both. So that's kind of our processes to document it, identify those opportunities, and then, you know, identify the best mode of communication and then to build out the system. So we'll actually build out a whole entire automation.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 14:16

Amazing, because I think what a lot of companies, I was reading a book or something where they talked about they, they went to like a barber shop or something and like the system was amazing. But then the next time they went there, it was so different, that it wasn't consistent, right. So I think having consistency and how you work with clients is so important. If you're like a service based business, definitely.

Kari Switala 14:33

And if you have multiple people touching, you know, are working with those clients to you want to make, you want to ensure that everyone is getting that same experience so that you're retaining those clients that you've worked so hard to get out door.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 14:45

So there's kind of like different stages. And that's what like, basically, the funnel is it's like, first it's like, you know, the lead gen and it's like, you know, once you get the sale, then it's the onboarding, but then there's also that follow up, you know, whether it's asking for feedback, all that what's kind of the end part of that funnel?

Kari Switala 15:00

Yeah, I would say that that's probably the end part is really, you know, in any in even really continuing, if you're, if you're the type where you can they get the money to buy from you, or getting them to refer you to someone else. So you're continuing to communicate with them. And most of the systems that are set up for automation will do that entire process. So taking someone from potential, you know, lead all the way through to becoming a customer to referring, you know, to becoming a raving fan, right? So it really, they should take you all the way through that entire process.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 15:33

I think, like even just saying this now I'm like, oh, God about doing this, you know, like, I know, I need to do it. But like, is it sometimes hard to have your clients understand the power of that touch points with people? Or how, how often does that struggle happen? Where they're like, Oh, yeah, I never even thought of that before. It's pretty common. Yeah, you know,

Kari Switala 15:55

we all have the best of intentions, but it's like sitting down, it's like, the, you know, one of those things that have like, on your to do list, I'm going to get to that next. Yeah. So we always tell people, you know, like, just start with when you're, if you're going to dabble into or get into automation, start with the thing that's going to have the biggest impact on moving your business forward. You know, so do one thing at a time, because it can very easily get overwhelming when you get into it and go, wow, there's so many things that it can do. You know, I want to do this and this and this. And then next thing, you know, you're completely paralyzed. Because there's so much, like,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 16:26

so hard. Yeah. How do you know what's the priority in that situation, though,

Kari Switala 16:30

I think looking at, if you were to document or take note of what's taking like those tasks that you're doing on a, on a repeating basis, that maybe you don't enjoy the most, that's it, that's always a good place to start, right as an added motivation, but also those that are taking you a lot of time. Gotcha. And that's where I would start first, because that's going to free you up to do more of what you're good at, and things that you enjoy, or maybe you know, more sales. So that's where I would start is, is really those things that take up a lot time and that are very repetitive.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 17:02

Yeah. So I think one of the best ways to get set up, I think, personally, is to have like a forum on your website that can be automated, definitely. What are some of the ideas that you have to send something back to them right away? Do you have people send a proposal? Do you have them send like the cert like, like the pricing? What's kind of some of the first steps for that?

Kari Switala 17:23

So So if someone's interested, it's like,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 17:25

they fill out the contact form. And then you can have that automated where they within you could be right away? Or it could be within 24 hours, it sends them, you know, something? What do you usually send them?

Kari Switala 17:35

Yeah, I would say in that sense, just because, you know, they're usually probably just trying to find get some gathering some information. So I wouldn't send them any pricing or anything, oh, really, I would start start to just communicate and kind of gather some information. So provide them with a resource, like, Hey, thanks for reaching out, I think it's a great opportunity to showcase your personality, and, and your the personality of your company. Okay. So that to me, would be a great opportunity to say, Hey, thanks for reaching out, here's some you know, information about our company, or here's a guide we just recently put together or a checklist you might find helpful. And then here's maybe some testimonial about a recent client that worked with us. So anything that you can do to just kind of give them something first, I would always try to do that first before even providing them with any any sort of pricing, I would let that kind of sit a little bit first and then kind of use it as an opportunity to have almost like a digital conversation.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 18:31

Yeah, vs vs forcing the sale. Yeah. So I struggle with that, though. But then when do you actually send like, Oh, hey, you've looked at our stuff now. Like, we want to work with you. What's that transition, then?

Kari Switala 18:42

Yeah. And it's it really depends, which I always hate that answer. But it does depend on on kind of what you're selling to, you know, it's like, if you're selling a $5 item, you know, on your website, you probably want to sell it. Right, right. But more often than not, I find that so many people are trying to sell right off the bat where if you've got a big, you know, high ticket item, you need to warm that person up, or they maybe have just heard about you give them an opportunity to kind of like, get to know who you are first. So if we're doing any sort of lead generation, you know, kind of campaign, we're going to probably talk to them three to four times before we're going to ask them to do anything or to put out and it might be an exploratory call. Yeah. And if it's b2b, that might be something or an invite to a webinar before we ask them to buy anything. So it's usually going to be some sort of more soft approach to Sure.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 19:31

The hard thing, I guess, with me is that people usually are either referred, so they're ready, like ready to work with me. So it's like, at that point, do I have to keep, like educating them on like, our group, I guess that's my concern is like, they've usually come to me because I'm like, one of the only people to offers what I do

Kari Switala 19:47

and see, and then that's a different scenario. So I think that's where it really depends on the type of business. Okay, so so maybe you still want to warm up like, Hey, thanks for reaching out, you know, here's a little bit more information about what it is that we do. And, and a guide, you know, facility here, yeah, click here. If you'd like to schedule an exploratory call, that's what I would do on your first, given your so giving a thing and introducing who you are a little bit more. But now you're giving them an opportunity to take that. Yeah, I think I'm probably missing out on that step. But one of the things that brought my attention was, so when people do sign up for your email, one of the things you can do is you can set them up with that like nurture sequence. That's kind of what you're saying. But this is more for like joining someone's email list. How do you recommend doing that? So if someone's if someone says,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 20:32

I'm gonna join an email list, you can set them up with like, a specific route where they like get these automated emails. And I always tell people, like if you don't have time to send an email every week, yeah, pre write them. And then every time someone new joins, they'll get something like, once a week.

Kari Switala 20:46

Yeah, so so we do something like that. And and I think thinking about like, what are those high points that you'd want them to know about? You know, your company? Or what are those frequently asked questions that might provide them with some value we have, we kind of just one thing, we tried to be kind of fun and quirky. So we often use like our dogs in our marketing. And so we send out like, I think it's our second or third email, which is our, our top, you know, top blog picks from our team. And so it's a couple of our staff or human people. And then and then a couple of the dogs have their favorite blogs. And so we just use it as a way to kind of infuse our personality and and make it fun. So that that's an easy way to kind of now you're directing traffic back to your website. But in a fun and engaging way. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 21:32

I love the idea of like best blog posts, because I'm like, everyone wants to know what, what your best content, right? So I think that a lot of people, they just stress out a little bit too much about what to send them like, just give them valuable information. And they'll send it

Kari Switala 21:46

you know, exactly, you're connecting on social media, you know, that's another one where, like, hey, if we're not connected yet on LinkedIn, let's start a conversation there as well, because that gives you another opportunity to talk to them. Another channel of communication. I love LinkedIn,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 22:00

been really into it lately. I think they've just done a really good job of basically allowing content now. And I feel like I get way more views. Like, Oh, for sure. It's funny, because I mean, I'm literally talking about business all the time on Facebook anyways, right? Talking about right, LinkedIn, I was calling the Dark Horse of social media. So

Kari Switala 22:17

it's like they they always kept you kind of like the last to adopt things. But it's still like, for us, it's like one of our best.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 22:24

Yeah, lead gen. I think for for me, it's more of I feel like it's a way for me to connect with almost higher level people, right, I want to learn from two because I feel like some of them aren't on Instagram. But they're doing really well in their careers. And I just am like, inspired by them. So Exactly. Very exciting. So let's talk a little bit about kind of how you balance your like life, and you just wrote a book, I really want to talk about that. Because I think every time I have an author on here, I'm fascinated because one of my goals in life is to write a book. I don't know what it's going to be on. But I think it's cool that like, you know, you can now be we self publish, and there's so many ways to do it. So how did how did the idea for the book come about?

Kari Switala 23:04

So it's very long story, but I'll make it.

But basically, I hadn't for years, I've been a storyteller. So like, whenever we get together, you know, with friends or family or business colleagues, they're always like how you, you always have like, the funniest, craziest stories. They're like, you gotta do something with that. And so for four years, I'm like, Yeah, I know. But no one wants to just read a story, you know, a book about all like, the craziest things that have happened in my life. Like, what am I going to do with that, you know, it's like, sure, it'd be entertaining, but like, and so finally, like, just the light bulb went off. And I thought about it. And like, I tell people all day long about how they can utilize stories as a way to build relationships and make connections with people. And I'm like, duh. So it was like the that proverbial, you know, light bulb or flip of the switch. And so that's what the book is about. It's like, my goal, My mission is to help people really change how they do business. You know, it doesn't have to be like your personal world is here, your professional world is here. They're connected, you know, and there's, there's no fine line. And so by embracing that, by sharing kind of who we are not talking about what we had for breakfast, or anything like that, but but by sharing who we are, and our stories, and our hobbies and our interest, on our professional side, we are able to form and connect and build relationships quicker.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 24:25

Yeah, I struggle with combining the two sometimes because I do kind of want to keep it separate. But at the same time, it's like people I find out people are interested in what I'm doing my personally, but I'm like, Oh, yeah, I guess I don't really mention that on my business stuff.

Kari Switala 24:37

Well, it's like, just like you hear, you know, someone says, like, oh, you're you know, I have a friend who's a huge Packer fan. And as soon as someone says, you know, she says that date she either gets like, the Vikings are like, oh, gosh, but it's a it starts a conversation. Or if they're Packer fan, they're like, Oh, my gosh, you know, so it's, there's an instant connection that's formed. And I think that's the part that we're missing when we try to keep things so separate. Yeah. So yeah, so that's why Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 25:01

that's, that's really cool. Because I haven't really heard of a book like that, which is, what's it called? Again, it's called Living with a lit up. So it's a

Kari Switala 25:08

mixture of of funny, you know, heartfelt, heartwarming stories about being a wife, a mom and entrepreneur and of course, a mom of two boys. So, hence the

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 25:20

Yeah, I think that's so cool. So how did you get like the book going, Holly, how long did it take to write? How did you decide to publisher all that? Yeah,

Kari Switala 25:28

so So actually, I had a friend who is is a publisher. And so I, she was actually our next door, and our next door neighbor, business saver. And so she was instrumental and, and she helped kind of walk me through the process got me hooked up with the editor who was phenomenal to work with. And so the process, I had only written about one or two chapters, and then my oldest son was actually in a tragic ATV accident a year ago, actually, almost to the day. He almost died, then that, that going through that whole process, and just kind of that, you know, I feel like we're always going through the motions. And we're always saying we're busy. And, and for me, that was kind of that proverbial line in the sand, like, I'm like, all right. You never know when you're going to take your last breath. And I've had this on my list forever. And so that happened June of last year. And so from June until November, I wrote 95% of the book, so I was really motivated, and on a mission to finish it. And so that was my kind of motivating factor.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:34

That's, that's a great. I mean, that's a great story, you know, how, like, how many hours a day did you write like, was it just kind of when you could? Or Oh, gosh,

Kari Switala 26:42

so yeah, so we still have, you know, a whole, you know, full time load of clients that we work with on a monthly basis. And so, I will say, one piece of advice is that if, when you start writing, don't force it, because what I found is like the the chapters that I forced, because I'd be like, Okay, I gotta get a chapter done in week. Now, fortunately, because I'm writing about stories. I didn't have to go in order, so that I had my chapter list. And so I would just work off of it every week and be like, all right, what do I feel like writing about this week. So that helped, that I didn't have to go?

more challenging.

But what I found is those weeks that I forced it, what would happen is I like those were the weeks where I get it back from the editor, and I'd be like, oh, there's way more edits are a lot more, you know, a lot more challenging. And so, but I did basically a chapter a week. And so that was anywhere between if I was in a good, a good, you know, good writing Mojo. That could be for, you know, four hours. And sometimes I got two chapters done, and it was, you know, eight hours, but probably all in all, once the editing came back, and it's probably tend to tend to two hours. That's a lot of work.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 27:49

Yes. Oh my gosh, I can't even imagine but I think it's so rewarding, because now you have this like physical gang that you can like, sell and you know, do all that. I wanted to mention this. So you sell a lot of them and person but you also saw mine. Yes. And there's like a huge differentiator on pricing big. How did you like discover that? You're like, Oh, my gosh, selling on Amazon is like, you don't get as much

Kari Switala 28:10

of the sale. Yeah, so you know, and I'm a huge Amazon fan. You know, I am also shop local, but I

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 28:16

yeah, you just love it. It's just crazy.

Kari Switala 28:18

Yeah, and I'm a I'm an avid book reader. So I'm like I someone gives a book recommendation. I'm literally on buying it and getting it two days later and thrilled about that. But once I went through that process, and started to see, you know, they basically take 60% of your profits, and it's like, wow, it's edible. Like he just didn't, I didn't have any idea. Yeah, and even how they print, you know, basically on demand. So I sure like a big warehouse of like, all these books being shipped out. And it's like they print based on where it's purchased. Oh, so if you buy if someone bought a book in Japan, it prints closest to where it saves on money.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 28:56

Yeah, yeah. Cuz I don't have to have like, I'm all sitting around, ya know, which was kind. I

Kari Switala 29:00

don't know why I just like I said, I just envision this big huge warehouse stacked of

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 29:03

books, but I guess I did, too. I don't know. You know, I'm sure there's people may be listening that work for Amazon or know of Amazon. But I feel like, it's, it's interesting, because it's kind of this duality of like, you have to be an Amazon to be found. But at the same time, it's harder to make money on there. It's kind of and we're talking with Ian about audiobooks, they even take more of the audio book. Yeah, you know, and all that. But I think it's still worth it. Like, I've talked to some people where they're like, you know, maybe I'm not don't make as much on the on the book, but like, just being able to have a book, I can get news appearances. I can be a speaker at events, how has the book impacted your, like, media appearances?

Kari Switala 29:41

Oh, definitely. I mean, it's that I wrote it for two reasons, you know, obviously, to be able to, to impact people and impact how they're doing business. And that's where I have to kind of go back to so when I see that from Amazon, and like, okay, you know, about, you know, what your mission is for sure. And the second part is, you know, for speaking purposes, you know, as soon as you have, it's funny, like, I speak all the time, I spoke all the time prior to the book, but then once you have the book, it's like, now you're you're legit, you're like a

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:11

published author. Yeah. So. So it's funny, it's like, my, my speech is probably the same, you know, but that just gives you additional credibility. So sure, and I think I've seen it, I've actually seen it with people locally that have written books, like it's just, it's easier to say yes to them.

Kari Switala 30:28

Yeah, one, it's nice to have another revenue source to like we were talking about, like,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:31

kind of like a side hustle for your income.

Kari Switala 30:34

Yeah. And if you need to kind of offset, you know, speaking cost based on their budget, or things that they've got going on, it's nice to have another way to still be able to generate revenue. And like I said, it's also really cool. Like, when you get to see it in friends, like you all that hard work, and you know, it's just it's a cool, it's

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:49

so cool. And I I just feel like there's so many people listening to this today that are probably like, Oh, my gosh, this is like, exactly what I needed to hear. Because I think when you're starting a business, this, you know, the time element is so such a struggle for people. That's like probably like the number one complaint I hear. Oh, yeah. And I think that they don't realize that there is solutions with automation, right. So I think that I, one of my goals this year is to introduce people to this concept, and how like, how many hours would you say people save

without action,

Kari Switala 31:22

I mean, we have one client that they have a wedding and event venue, I think they saved just by just by going through and automating their their onboarding of new new couples that were having their wedding at their facility 20 to 30 hours a month, just from one process. And that was like the, you know, 20 spread, you know, madness. So it really depends on the on the task, but then it also like, as they grow that number just kind of compounds as well,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 31:54

yeah, especially if more and more employees are coming in. And there's they're all doing, you know, yeah, having to even teach employees how to do it, right, automated, they don't even have to learn some of the parts of it exactly already done for them.

Kari Switala 32:07

And I think everything you you know, everything you read, as you look at growing your business and scaling your business, it's all comes back to processes, you know, and it's like having a solid process. So even if you're, even if you're not quite ready for automation, you know, just writing down the steps of your process, you know, your sales process, your onboarding process, and refining that so that when you're ready to automate, you've really got a solid, you know, steps, you know, that this works in, you're doing it over and over again. So that repetition, wow,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:35

it's harder to automate something when you don't know what you're automating, right. And you know, the process. And I do think that it is trial and error. Because especially if you're new to it, you might not know the right way of going about like the steps, right. And so just trying things out, and the more clients you get, the more you'll like, see a pattern develop of exactly want what you can offer. Exactly. And I've had many different types of businesses, years and like, you know, I sold stock photos for I was my first real like online business, which is I still do it on the 20th collector website. But it's, you know, I don't do that as much anymore. Because it's just such a passive $10 a photo, like, I'm not going to make a living doing that, right, like, but now it's like, people still ask for custom stuff. And I'm like, Oh, I like forget that I have to like send them like that process. And there's like, I'm still like, there's so many steps to that. And oh, yes, like, I don't know if I want to even go down that road, because it's just so much work. Right? And maybe not even worth it. Right. So it's like figuring out what's worth the time and effort. And maybe you're not even making that much with it.

Kari Switala 33:39

And the one other thing we talked about before, I think briefly was tracking your time, you know, to know what you're spending and we use toggle. Yeah. Okay, as a way to just kind of see, you know, it's good in general, to see what you're spending on clients, and maybe, you know, are you building the right amount, but then also, from an automation stamp point to know, if you're, it's this, is this a worthwhile task to

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 33:59

automate. While it's true, I, it's interesting, because I, I've only done it for other people in terms of time tracking, but I need to start doing it for myself, how much time am I spending on my own projects? Right, right. Because it's like, even because a lot of time, what I've realized recently I've been doing is I'm spending more time in my business. And on my business, then like working with clients, right? Which doesn't make me any money, but makes me feel like I'm like doing something productive, but I'm not, you know,

it's also good. And, you know, like,

Kari Switala 34:26

there's, there's a good balance to that. Because I think so many people spend so much time with their clients, and then they're not moving their business forward. So it's, you know, finding that happy medium. Nice. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 34:37

I think that's, it's hard. Yeah, it's, I think that that's true. And I feel like I just need to tell myself, like, you know, you need to balance it out. You have to obviously take in clients, right? And then sometimes I'm just like, I don't want to work with clients. I just wanna work on my business. Um, but yeah, so Was there any other last things that you want to tell the audience any advice on getting started with automation? Or?

Kari Switala 34:59

Huh? I think just we covered everything. Yeah, I think just start by, you know, making, making the list, you know, and identify that one thing that's going to have the biggest impact, and work on that first Yeah, and then once you get that done, then the next next biggest thing Yeah, so

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 35:13

awesome. Well, how do we find you online? How do we follow you? And yeah,

Kari Switala 35:16

you can go to our website is wild pig marketing. com. And then for the book, it's living with the lit up calm, so visit us at either

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 35:23

either place. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us. And I'll talk to you all next week. Bye. Bye.