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E-commerce for Author, Coach, Speaker

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Jesse and Richie stretch their internet marketing brain muscles today to provide advice to a site where e-commerce is only a small part of the business.

Hear from Antonette Montalvo who is a community health consultant and life coach for nurses. She has helped nurses find their calling beyond just nursing.

She uses Ecwid to sell her e-book on her website Visionarynurse.com and Jesse and Rich help her find the right strategies to bring her business to the next level.

Transcript

Jesse: Richie, Happy Friday.

Richard: Happy Friday. We’re back again.

Jesse: Back again, another podcast. I’m excited about it.

Richard: Yeah, it’s fun. We always love helping Ecwid users and we’re always looking for someone using Ecwid in a unique way. I think we found one.

Jesse: Yeah. Interestingly, we had some merchants on recently and people were telling their story and I think that caused a rush of people submitting their information to the bottom of Ecwid.com/podcast because we had several people submit and I had to actually choose between them. That’s a new thing and today’s guest is an interesting case because normally we have people that are pure e-commerce, we’d say. Their website is literally goes into the products they’re selling. And so today, it’s different. We have a coach mentor and then e-commerce is a very small piece of the puzzle. But interestingly enough I might say that’s not pure e-commerce. Well, it’s probably a lot of the Ecwid base out there where people have… Maybe it’s very blog-heavy or maybe it’s it’s heavy on whatever they’re doing. And then there’s just one little shop section.

Richard: Yeah, “I should be selling something to this audience I have.”

Jesse: Yeah, I think a lot of people, that’s their journey, they’ve built this whole following and they’re telling people how many followers and things they have and then someone’s like: “Well, how much money do you make?” “Oh yeah, I should probably sell something on here too.”

Richard: Sell get some affluence along with that influence.

Jesse: For sure. Also if our guest was probably doing that and then sold like an e-book for “How to win at Blackjack”, probably won’t make the cut. Let’s bring on our guest and she can tell her story. Antonette, how are you?

Antonette: I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Jesse: Awesome. We appreciate you being on the show and your website is VisionaryNurse.com.

Antonette: Yep, that’s it. That is what I focus on, that’s my realm. I’m all about taking that visionary approach and using my vision to help elevate others.

Jesse: Awesome. So give us your story, obviously you must be a nurse.

Antonette: Yes, I am I guess. Gather that from the website although some people may not be able to gather that but yes, I am a pediatric nurse practitioner by trade. Nursing was my second degree. Education was my first, and I always had this passion for blending health and education in some unique way to better serve my patients and to improve access to care. And so through a series of events I found myself branding myself as the visionary nurse and working as a consultant and a coach, a mentor for nurses.

Jesse: All right. So coaching a mentor for nurses so how… Go into more detail on that. So I’m a nurse, I need a mentor. How do I know I need a mentor? And what kind of mentorship would you provide?

Antonette: Right. So I guess I’d answer that question. A lot of it comes from the backstory of how I got into it to begin with. I wasn’t intending on getting into a small business or even necessarily holding a small little shop as you mentioned, or having some Ecwid use in order to launch something. But it ended up happening that way through a series of events. As a nurse practitioner, I was always very focused on community health as well, and wanting to see more beyond just the clinical setting, beyond what I could do in that short 15-minute span of time. And I’m sure you’ve experienced that. You go into your provider, they check off some boxes at times and then you leave and you have to figure out where to go from there. And I wanted it to be more, I wanted to increase that access to care. And so I made this big leap and relocated to a rural town to find a way to utilize my skill set as a nurse practitioner, but on the community level. But through my networking and getting a chance to really understand what was happening in the local area, I recognized from the conversations that they needed something that I had. I just didn’t know that I had what they needed. And so a piece of that came down to talking a lot about burnout and staff turnover, and how to equip nurses to be better leaders and innovators. I realized this journey that I was on by default or maybe by design I guess, as a result of having a hard time finding something that fit the mold for my nurse practitioner degree, I had to find and create something else. So I launched this coach and mentorship for nurses business where I focused on formally creating a strategic plan for nurses who want to think innovatively about using their nursing skill set whether it be… Beyond the bedside is a way to put it. You want to write a book, you want to find a unique way to provide access to care, you might want to start a clinic. It might just be about creating videos on social media, so others can learn how to survive nursing school. It was just really finding that way to say there is more to nursing than maybe what you see on TV. And I might be able to help you walk through that process, so that you can ultimately be sustainable for yourself but also create a new way to interface with the people that you want to help and care for.

Jesse: OK. That really helps. Yeah. Because I understand it where you might think most people that are listening right now be thinking like: “Oh yeah, I went to the doctors and the nurse is the person that helps you out with various different things and that’s it.” The thing I was thinking of as this basically allows every nurse that you work with to essentially scale. Beyond the 15 minutes they have with the patient, they want to do more. And this allows them to scale in whatever direction they want. It just sounds like you don’t necessarily have a “Here’s the course, you must follow.” It’s more “Tell me what you want to do and I can help you get there.”

Antonette: I think you nailed it spot on. I think you should be my marketer. And that’s a perfect way of putting it. It’s really saying that we all can create a vision and a plan, and we can utilize our skill set and seeing nursing and what you learn as a tool, and not only just your profession. And also to not necessarily limiting it to what you think you should be doing but really honing in on what are your passions in addition to this. How can you best utilize it, so that you feel that you’re not stuck when you need to pivot. And I’m sure everyone runs into that place where “I need to redefine myself but I just don’t know how.” For a lot of nurses a lot of times it might just mean switching departments. Maybe I work in the ICU and I need to work in the ER or I need to go from working with adults to children. But it’s even looking one step further beyond that and say “You know what, maybe I could be a nurse and be in business or I could be a motivational speaker. How do I need to think about that? What are some of the steps that I might need to practically take but also how can I show that there are lots of ways to influence health care beyond inserting an IV or taking a temperature?”

Richard: Yeah, and your leading by example here too because you realized, you thought you knew what exactly you were going to do and then you took a leap. You moved to a rural — I thought I’d be able to speak being a podcaster — rural town. And all of a sudden you realize what you thought you were gonna do transformed and that’s the nature of an entrepreneur. You set out with a goal, you start to do things and then entail you actually doing the things. You don’t really know what’s going to pop up. You think what your market is but your market started to talk to you and tell you. It sounds like what we’re needing these other things, we need to learn more about what you’re actually doing now, not this other thing. And it’s one of the beauties of Ecwid and why we were excited about having you on is we don’t want to always have the same merchant on talking about the same thing, following the same process, because no entrepreneur actually ever does follow that same path. And what I wanted to know, just to bring back to Ecwid for a moment here, is at what point did you start to realize “I’m saying the same thing over and over again and I need to put this down in some format where I can get them to go download this book or buy this book”? So although I can tell in your voice you have a passion and you would gladly say it over and over again. At what point did you realize: “It’s probably a good idea for me to to get this down on paper get it down digitally and get it to people”?

Antonette: No. And I think definitely again you guys are good at determining what people need to know but it’s just that I’m passionate about it one way or the other. But I recognized that in order for me to reach more people because it seemed like there were several and it just continued, nurses that kept wanting to hear this. How can I help people access this, whether they can contact me or not. And so I think when I first started off in this journey a portion of it. Again entrepreneurship wasn’t on my first track and like you mentioned it was definitely leading by example in many ways. I relocated to start a Community Health Initiative and I didn’t think it was about starting a business. It was just about wanting to do something innovative in terms of providing health care whether through workshops, whether through interfacing with students on vision plans or working within the local library to find ways to better manage illnesses and chronic diseases. I found out that maybe I could reflect on my process and a lot of it also came from just a lot of rejections trying to figure out what to do or just feeling a lot of resistance or pushback. And so I started writing down these notes of my e-book that I have, it’s called “Visionary Nurse”. Ninety days of inspirational musings on being influentially visionary but I just started reflecting on how to wide process and deal with this completely brand new thing that I never thought I would see myself doing. Or maybe I saw myself doing but just didn’t think it would be executed this way. And so I just kept writing and writing, and my husband telling me: “You need to do something with this, you need to publish this. There are people that I think can benefit from this.” And I was like: “Well, maybe I’ll post them on blogs on social media or maybe I’ll figure out another venue. But how do I know someone’s really going to want what I have to say?” And he’s like: “If people are calling you asking you for your advice on this very thing, they want to know what you have to say”. And so the light bulb went on for lack of a better term because it’s “Visionary Nurse”. But it was just thinking this could be something that could benefit more people. If this is really about not only just improving access to care in your area but influencing other people to be visionary in their approach, you potentially have an opportunity to transform the landscape of health not only in yourself and in your area but for tons of other people. So it still took a little bit of time to go from “I can do this. I’m going to put these thoughts down. I think it’s worth putting into a product.” And actually in a very transparent level one thing that really pushed me was that after the birth of our second son I had a pretty near-death experience. And after coming through that I said to myself: “If you have life again then you have no reason to hold yourself back from doing what you need to do. If you’re really going to be visionary, sometimes you have to just get over the fear and go for it”. And so I decided to take this compilation of thoughts and reflections and inspirational musings for lack of a better term on being visionary and being able to impact health care, and compile it in a way that it would be tangible for other people to utilize it, and to be innovative themselves. And sure enough I launched it and it’s probably been the best thing that I could have ever done. Not only for this business that I’m trying to scale but for other nurses who are looking to have some direction and some support and being visionary leaders themselves.

Jesse: Well, that’s awesome. It’s a very inspirational story and I think it speaks to a lot of things. But I can see it from the… For me attaching in to the online world, Rich is more the emotional one, he’s going to get mushy. But for me I am more the facts side. So you went from a place where you were able to talk to people one on one on this and maybe you did some workshops and some speeches and such, but now taking this online and then taking it to a book, you’re able to affect such a wide amount of people.You must have customers all over the world, all over the country that are giving you positive feedback on this. Are you feeling like you can tell that it’s made a difference for people’s lives?

Antonette: Absolutely. And definitely on the business side has been great visibility where I was creating a market that I didn’t exist in before. This is a talking point. And so it launched me into platforms that I didn’t. I could have gone and gotten organically naturally but it would’ve taken a lot longer. And so now there are people literally from all over the world that can take this and utilize it. And in general there’s 2.38 billion or million nurses, sorry billions probably over the top, million or so. Worldwide, that’s a huge market. And there’s this huge push for nurses right now in understanding leadership and innovation. And the world organization just declared the year 2020 as the year of the midwife. So this is urge of nurses as innovators and as leaders in certain spaces to be able to train even just their sphere of influence where they may not have resided before. So on a practical sense it really helped giving me a speaking place. The author events or web workshops as you mentioned, viewership conferences and being able to take a very tangible thing, utilize it as a product that someone can take home and say “I can use this to build my own platform wherever I am.”

Richard: I have a question for you. First off, thank you for that. That actually provides a little bit of insight as to why I ask this question now. The book gave you platform, you get to speak on other stages, you have access to getting in front of these people. There’s people who want to hear more from you now that used to, maybe never even know that you were even doing something like this. We want to be able to help offer you some advice and but I want to know a little bit about what the main product is. What helps you most? Does it help you most to move the book so you get people on an email list and you market your coaching to the email list? Do you want to get this book in front of other speaking associations or nursing associations so you can get on more stages? I’m sure you would also say all the above sounds great but what’s the main goal and what would help you most? We’ll give you a couple of techniques and then let you get back to your vision right now.

Antonette: I definitely think that latter option is where all the more I want to see it in academic institutions, associations and releasing it as a resource that can get to especially nurses in transition or in student nurses who are still trying to figure their journey out and know where to go next. So that they have something tangible from the get go. I think that’s probably even just making sure that I’m marketing in the right way in context because being for newbies and a lot of ways. I mean the social media platform a lot, I’m creating videos, I am interfacing on Twitter a lot, LinkedIn, every social media venue that exists to word of mouth and finding opportunities that come my way. But really wanting to hone it in so that the right voices are getting it. So that those voices can take it and market it to whatever their sphere of influence is because I can only do so much as one person. I need to get to a big audience, so that I’m not the only one making traffic but also to there other people who are gravitating towards it that can have bigger options.

Jesse: Got it. So it sounds to me that ideal customer if you will, and it’s really a follower or a reader or whatever, but I’m using the word customer but it’s primarily. And the good thing is I think you can actually target them fairly well. It would be maybe second year nursing students or recent nursing graduates perhaps. That allows you to… People put that on their LinkedIn profile or they put that, probably don’t put that on Instagram necessarily, but I believe that there’s probably a lot of ways to target people who are either in nursing school or just recent graduates of nursing. Would you say those are the primary people you want to influence first?

Antonette: Right, definitely. That is a testing ground for those folks who need something moving forward in nursing career.

Richard: And then if you took that audience, is it fair to say you start to build a mailing list of them and or you’re doing some sort of a targeting campaign on LinkedIn or Facebook? Then you could take that, build your audience and then now also go to these associations and then maybe strategically target the people who throw, run the event or create the events to actually then show them. “Oh, she has this following and she’s got a passion for it. She wants to help.” They’re always looking for speakers, I’m sure because I’m not a nurse but I’d imagine there’s intel you’re doing something like what you’re talking about is probably more or less the same conversation over and over again. But I’m not in it so I don’t know that for certain. So would you say that those would be the two main markets that the person who’s second year in and trying to find their unique point in their unique… I don’t know what’s the world… Unique place in the space of nursing and then also getting in front of those associations. Will those be the two main places you would like to get in front of?

Antonette: Definitely. And I’m recognizing as it’s moving forward and focusing even more in the business. It’s the nurses and be the university level and incorporate into a curriculum or may mean a hospital orientation in orienting their nurse. They’re going process online, it is also included in that process for their new nurse.

Richard: Yeah. First, I would ask, are you aware of Facebook pixel? Do you have your site? Do you have a pixel on your website that you can actually track people that have ever seen you on Facebook or senior page you could remarketing on Facebook?

Antonette: I don’t have that now.

Richard: All right. We’ll make sure we get you the blog post too on how to go through that whole procedure. It’s pretty basic but one of the things for sure if you’re driving people to your website. One of the things that you’d want to do is make sure that you can get your message back in front of those people one more time. It’s one of those things where you can’t really go back in hindsight. I’m sure you’ve driven a bunch of traffic there already but moving forward, it’s just one of those things that everybody should have this pixel put in place already. The day you do decide to market, you could market to people who’ve already been to your website and may or may not have bought.

Antonette: Right. OK.

Jesse: Definitely get the Facebook pixel on because there’s a lot of things you can do with that too. You can build lookalike audiences. I do have a hunch though that the book is fairly inexpensive. The bookings that requires local. So it might not be sustainable for advertising. Just being honest, it probably doesn’t scale well for advertising because you need a high average value per per customer. One thing I could see you doing here is taking this a little bit to the next level. You have a book, and you have, you speak and then. But I think there’s this big middle ground in there, which would actually help drive a following. And that would be some sort of a mini course or some sort of thing that can spread virally. So maybe it’s a “Hey, you’re about to graduate from nursing school, have you consider options for the future, take this ten question quiz to help put you in a certain category.” I don’t know, you need to figure that out but some sort of thing that it’s done fairly easily online. It’s free and it’s only targeted towards people that are either just about to graduate nursing school or have just recently graduated and maybe that helps them in some way. It’s probably a smaller way than them meeting with you or reading the whole book but at least it provides some little bit of value and you get their email and you start building a bigger list and it potentially spreads virally. If I’ve found value from this as a nursing student and I’m like: “Oh, that was really great. I’m gonna forward it to all the people in my class.” And next thing you know you have a list of 50 people from that one person on on your email list.

Antonette: Actually, that makes sense and that’s something that I haven’t necessarily tried effectively. I think how to build an email list because out of folks who are following what I’m doing, but I’m not capturing them effectively to keep that in a space that I can react to them again so that they think about what I’m offering. And the other pieces that I have recognized that can expand my coaching services more remotely and that there is even an audience that’s virtual. Depending on the situation or what’s the principle. There’s our membership, it is like that. So you’re definitely going in the direction where I feel like I need to go. It’s just practically making that happen.

Richard: One of the things I would also recommend when it comes to the content creation is just the title alone, “Visionary Nurse”, although I’m sure you have… You sound very smart. I’m sure you know much more than Jesse and I as far as probably the human body and how things work and all that stuff so. But you’re also talking with another group of people that probably have a lot of the knowledge. The information what I think would be unique when it comes to content creation for you. We have a never ending debate around here, just podcasters in general on what do you lead with. Do you lead with information, do you educate people or do you entertain people? And in the ultimate scenario, you want to do both. It’s not like you want to do one or the other but we also see part of why we pay so much to go to sporting events and there are people who are famous just for being famous. Productions and these different people that they’re just entertaining. And so I tend to if you can find what uniquely keeps people entertained to pay attention to, education will just come with the territory. And I know that there’s a never ending debate. People say it’s should be the other way. But when Jesse was mentioning viral, it made me think about this because every single study that I can find, when it comes to creating a viral video, I wish you could just say “This is the formula” but it can’t really say that. But there have been five things that have come out of. Every viral video has one of these five things and potentially if they have all the five things, it can even go more viral and so one is an adventure. And a sense of adventure is a sense of taking someone on a journey. You’re just sharing your journey, sharing the process almost like you’re documenting what’s going on in this whole thing. There’ll be nurses that will jump on board just because of that. That’s one of a comedy. And although you probably couldn’t go into a lot of detail and you couldn’t mention the people I’m sure there are all kinds of comedic stories when it comes to nursing. I would definitely think about that. Obviously, you’re going to know where that fine line is more than I. As far as where you should and shouldn’t do that. But sure there are all kinds of funny stories right through it. The third is like emotion. Just moving people emotionally and it just your story alone has that in it. And back to the same thing I probably wouldn’t go into the particular stories, but holy moly, of course, there’s a lot of stories that are emotional when it comes to nursing. Third, excuse me, the fourth word would be inspirational. Your story alone again. There’s gonna be tons of stories of inspiration with nursing and then the last one is basically going to be a surprise. And even though it might not seem like it on the surface, I think there would be all kinds of stories of surprise. That could be just the story that ended a different way than you thought it was going to end. It was a terminal cancer story and it turned out like this. But you could also see how when you see those other four in front of that, you might be going down the path of the perfect recipe, to be able to cover all five of these. Documenting your story, sharing funny stories that have happened. Emotional stories that have happened. Inspirational stories that have happened. Outcomes that you didn’t think we’re gonna happen that happen. I’m getting chills just thinking of it. But it’s also… We really do like helping people, I get excited just talking about it with you. I really think you have a perfect recipe if you just focused on those two things for now. First off, kudos on just you being you. Because the one thing that Jesse and I definitely agree on, because sometimes we agree on multiple things, but this thing we do is one of the few things that no one can beat you at. If not the only thing that no one can beat you out is you being you. And it sounds like you’re very much stepping into. Just you being you and the whole lesson is how can I help these other nurses do what they want to do while they’re being them? And so if gather that community on social focus on that email list and also focus on how can you create these pieces of content in a way that gets you a group of following of those same nurses. Say that the second year whatever that ends up being that is your perfect target market there. There’s no doubt that now you’re going to be a voice in that community of nurses. And it’s just going to naturally lead to a trail back to your LinkedIn, and associations are going to be reaching out to you because they’re going to see that same content on there. I just think it’s a perfect storm for you.

Antonette: I appreciate every single word that you’ve shared. And it’s incredibly humbling to get this knowledge from you because that’s what you have to get into a place, where you don’t know everything and you really need other people to support you in order to execute whatever you’re trying to do. So everything you’ve said is incredibly helpful but also to just I appreciate the validation and knowing it’s OK to be you. It’s OK to be OK, and in terms of where you’re going, and what you’re doing. This is valuable for me.

Richard: I would say not only it is important, I actually think it probably is the only way to do it. I won’t get into political and religious beliefs but let’s just say, at least for thousands of years, if not multiple thousands of years, if you stood out from the tribe, you’ve got kicked out to the tribe. Now if you don’t stand out, you can’t build a tribe and so keep it up. I reached out on LinkedIn to you, so you’ll see me there. And at your leisure, if you want to connect, we can go in more. But we’ll definitely get you some more information on building the list and the Facebook pixels too.

Jesse: For sure, building a list on the internet, you want to have those emails. You might have to give some freebies on the book here and there, but the emails gonna be worth it because you can communicate to them for multiple years. Particularly if they’re early on in their career, maybe five years later they are ready to hear your message. Maybe at first, they are just like “I have to pay for loans, so I’m just going to work and suck it up.” But after four, five years they are at a burnt out stage that you mentioned. And then they’re like “I keep following this Instagram profile with these awesome stories, I’m ready.”

Richard: I would just toss on one thing on top of that because Jesse just actually said a really good point that I’m surprised we didn’t say earlier. I would even consider giving out the e-book to build the list and then you start upselling that list for the hardcopy. I know that sounds counterintuitive but then you can do print-on-demand and it’s pretty easy. And then you are literally building your list a lot faster because of you giving that away and then you just gifted something to them so it’s not actually that strange to them right after the fact email that list and say: “Hey, thank you. Hope enjoyed it, I also have the hard copy you giving out, blah blah blah blah.” It’s really about building that community right now. We all know that nobody is really getting the house at the top of the hill from selling a book. The book is what gets you in front of other people.

Jesse: The book is the new business card.

Antonette: Yes, it’s is my calling current giving me space to talk in. Then I didn’t necessarily have something physical to hold onto. I can continue to be consistent whatever I’m talking about. I’ve definitely toyed around should I release the entire e-book as just a gift. Because before I did make a free download version for those who subscribe, just of the first chapter per week or 7 days, how you want to look at it. Because it’s ninety days but there has been a piece of me that’s wondered if I should make the entire electronic book version just open to drive up more tangible results like drive a following, a list, etc. And then we push for this other in a booklet piece, transforming from an e-book to a book that goes into the hands of that new nurse when she’s starting off or that is just getting into school or whatever that looks like.

Jesse: Sure, and I would probably push for not give it away for free because you want to have the perceived value of it as the price on the website. But I would probably give it away more often as a promo in exchange for “Send me an inspirational story from your rural situation”. Or when you get on something like nurses do their trips and things like that to other countries like “Send us a story, an Instagram story and we’ll send you a book.” That way you’re not giving it away for free but in effect, you are actually giving it to the way for free to a lot of people.

Antonette: No, that’s ideal, I like that idea. Because before any free copies I gave for download was when I would speak at local high schools to high school students. But I think they’re just not in the space that they need to be yet, they have to figure a lot. But doing more promos as you said and leveraging the following that is there and saying: “If you interface with me then that gives more opportunity to get something into your hands too.” So I really like that idea.

Richard: That’s great and just first off again we thank you. I mean it got to be a thankless job at times because you’re dealing with people going through hard times. I’m sure it’s extremely… It feels really good and it probably is really hard at times so we thank you first and foremost for being a nurse. Thank you for continuing to do what you do and trying to inspire other nurses. Please, keep in touch, we will do what we can to help spread the word of this. If you have any other additional questions, anything like that, please, feel free to reach out on LinkedIn.

Antonette: Thank you so much, this is a huge honor. Thanks for taking comments on the nurse unicorn so to speak. I appreciate even just the atmosphere. It’s really great to reach out and get practical steps of things even though it maybe looks softer than you usually do but this is really helpful and really tangible results. Thanks for helping me use this as a leveraging point to get some solid advice.

Jesse: Absolutely, we’re happy to help. Antonette, I really appreciate you being on the show. Everybody, check out Visionarynurse.com. For everybody listening, send in your information, we’d like to have you on the show. Antonette, thank you again.

Antonette: Thank you.

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Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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