Episode 103

Story Selling

Jamie Cross - MIG Soap
January 15, 2020
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Who doesn’t love a good story? As humans, we’ve relied on storytelling for entertainment, education, and preservation of culture since the beginning of time. Storytelling is also for marketers.

During my first sales job at a local radio station my boss sagely advised me that “facts tell, but stories sell.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. In this episode, I chat with the charming Jaime Cross the founder of MIG Soap. From her kitchen table to now a multi-million dollar eCommerce business Jaime has grown largely based on great products and solid storytelling.  Here’s a taste of what we cover:

  • What’s the psychology behind storytelling?
  • How good storytelling can increase the perceived value of a product by 2x or more.  
  • Common storytelling mistakes to avoid. 
  • The process MIG uses to get their overall story right…and then to get the story right for each product.  
  • How to turn customer testimonials into stories
  • How do you deliver your story across email, product detail pages, and more.  
  • Storytelling resources

Connect with Guest:

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via Instagram

MIG Soap & Body Co - Organic Skin Care and Body Products

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via Instagram

The HER Effect

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Instagram

The HER Effect Podcast on iTunes

Mentioned in this Episode

Blue Ribbon - Smart Marketer

Russel Brunson

Ultimate Marketer's Blueprint to Funnel Hacking - ClickFunnels

Funnel Hacking Live 2020

Ezra Firestone - CEO at Smart Marketing Inc.

"Building a Story Brand" book by Donald Millers

Episode Transcript

Brett Curry:

Well hello and welcome to another edition of the E-commerce Evolution Podcast. I'm your host, Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce, and man, I love digging into stories of real entrepreneurs, real e-commerce store owners that are out there making it happen and you're going to love the story we're going to share it today and the guest that I have on the podcast today. I was at Blue Ribbon a few months ago as her Firestone's mastermind, heard Jaime Cross tell her story, and I was blown away and grabbed her right after and said, "Hey, you got to come on the podcast," and thankfully she agreed. This episode of the E-commerce Evolution Podcast is brought to you by OMG Commerce and we are thrilled to underwrite this program and bring some amazing guests to you. I have a question for you. How is your YouTube game? Are you using YouTube to help scale your e-commerce business?

Brett :

Hopefully, you're using YouTube both as a remarketing vehicle and also for top-of-funnel growth. However, if you're like most e-commerce companies, then you're probably not fully leveraging YouTube. So, I have two free resources for you. The first is a two minute crash course on YouTube ads. I recorded this with the famous Ezra Firestone, so you can check that out by looking at the links in the show notes to this show. You can also Google "smart marketer" and "two minute crash course" and you'll find the resource there. Also, we recorded a 90 minute webinar outlining exactly how we scale with YouTube. We talk about keys to a great YouTube ad, we talk about audience targeting, we talk about bidding,, optimization and much, much more so I highly, highly recommend you check it out. You can also find that linked here in the show notes. It's also at the bottom of the two minute crash course page, so check them out and start scaling with YouTube. And now back to the show.

Brett :

Well I'm delighted to welcome Jaime Cross. She's the CEO of MIG Soap and has been tremendously successful and has massive, massive plans and this huge vision for the future, which I'm really excited about. And so we're going to get into a topic that I love and we're going to talk about story selling. And so we'll uncover what that means here in just a moment. But with that, Jaime, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for taking the time.

Jaime Cross:

Thank you, Brett. So great to be here.

Brett :

Yeah, yeah, and love your story. Love the topic that you shared in Seattle at Ezra's event. And so we're going to dive in. We're going to uncover this subject called story selling. And you guys have done a beautiful job of this. And so we're going to be going deep on what you guys are doing and how you're doing it and how that's works for your business and things like that. But first, I think it'd be fun for people to hear the story of, one, what does MIG stand for? Right? So what is MIG Soap? And then let's do the three to five minute origin story because you've got an amazing story. We're both people of faith and I love the story of how you started your company. And I think this could be inspirational to some people as well. But first, what does MIG stand for?

Jaime:

Yeah, MIG stands for Mighty In Good.

Brett :

Mighty In Good. And why did you land on that name?

Jaime:

Yeah, well MIG was one of the... It's part of the dream that I had. I saw it in my dream coming up out of these oils and that was one of the things that I was really like, "What is this MIG?" And we went through phases of, maybe it's this, what really speaks to who we are? And as we began to really build depth in our brand, Mighty In Good, just something that we landed on, because it's not just our products, it's our culture, it's our sourcing. Everything that we do is literally Mighty In Good, so.

Brett :

Yep. I absolutely love that. We talk a lot at OMG Commerce about culture and how we help our team grow, and develop, and... We talk about always being... We're all about accelerating growth, individual team growth and our clients growth. But I think when you begin to look at your business as, we're more than just great products, right? We're more than just great marketing. We're more than just a good story. We are impacting the people that are on our team, we're impacting our customers, impacting our suppliers. That, to me, that's when business becomes fun. When you're doing more than just your products, which you guys are absolutely doing. So walk us through... How did MIG come to be and what's your story that kicked this thing off?

Jaime:

Yeah, so I found myself... I was in corporate banking years ago, finance, wealth management, all kinds of... Just all the finance world, and came home to be home with our newborn and two years into full-time motherhood, I found myself in the position where I think a lot of mothers find themselves. Is there more to life than changing diapers? I feel like there's more.

Brett :

Yes.

Jaime:

There's something stirring in me. Big purpose. I wanted to change the world and I grew up a dreamer and I always wanted to do big things. And so I was in this stage two years into full-time motherhood where I felt like, man, I'm supposed to build something, I'm supposed to do something. And having given up a huge salary, my husband was a full time teacher and wrestling coach and I think we were living on $1,800 a month after taxes. And we couldn't... We weren't paying our bills, and so there's this sort of perfect storm of, there's got to be more and we need a radical shift in our financial future. I looked at my future and it totally haunted me.

Jaime:

So in one desperate night, I just lie in bed, bricks in my chest bawling my eyes out, crying out to God. And I asked him to show me a billion dollar idea so that I could change the world and leave a legacy for my family, and went to church that Sunday and, in a raw state, just was kind of staring off and not really paying attention to the sermon. And in the middle of nowhere-

Brett :

I've had Sundays like that, yeah.

Jaime:

Yeah, I'm nursing my newborn, struggling through postpartum depression.

Brett :

I haven't had Sundays like that, but I...

Jaime:

And my pastor, he stops the sermon, comes to the edge of the stage and gets everyone's attention and puts his hands on his heart and says, "This has never happened to me before, but the Lord just spoke to my heart and said that there's a stay-at-home mom here who he wants to give a billion." I still cry when I tell this story because it's-

Brett :

It's crazy. It's so cool. Yeah, it's just amazing.

Jaime:

Yes, so he's just said who he... "The Lord spoke to my heart and said that there's a stay-at-home mom here who he wants to give a billion dollar idea to."

Brett :

How crazy specific is that? And first of all, like how crazy is it for the pastor even to say that, right? That's putting himself out there quite a bit. I can look really dumb if I say this and this doesn't happen, or if everyone's just like crickets. But that was directly for you which is amazing.

Jaime:

It totally was, and I was ready to jump out of my chair, but in my heart I was just screaming, "Lord, whatever you give me, I will be faithful with it. Just show me." Because I didn't want to throw my life against the wall like spaghetti and hope it stuck. I wanted the... I think as visionaries too, and entrepreneurs now especially, it's easy for us to look at our future and say, "Man, I don't want to be 80 years old and look back on my life and think I didn't build the life that God put in me to build."

Brett :

Yeah, yeah.

Jaime:

So-

Brett :

Yeah, and I think that, to me, and I know to a lot of other people, and this was kind of an important shift that I think entrepreneurs need to make, it's that understanding that if I try something big and it fails, that would be tough. But if I never try, and if I have this haunting feeling that I could have done more, I had something inside of me that the world needed, that other people needed, and I never let that out? That would haunt you way more than a failure. Right? We all have failures and we grow from failures. That's part of it.

Jaime:

Absolutely.

Brett :

So yeah. Yeah. Really powerful. So you heard the pastor almost his prophetic word, right?

Jaime:

Right.

Brett :

Where do you go from there? Soap doesn't... By the way, just like little commentary, soap doesn't sound like the most logical billion dollar idea. Just throwing that out there.

Jaime:

Exactly.

Brett :

But so where did you go from here?

Jaime:

Yeah. To capitalize on what you're saying, starting something big, every vision starts with being faithful with the little things. And for me it was, I woke up told my husband, "I'm going to start a skincare company." And I had to learn chemistry and Ayurvedic medicine. I went out that day and found books and I was pulling chemistry books off the shelf at the library and Ayurvedic medicine and naturopathic healing. And I did my own research for a year and then formulated our first bar of soap after that first year.

Jaime:

But people think that the destination is the journey. Or no, that the destination is... That's what it's all about, but ultimately we've all heard it. The journey is the destination. Who we're becoming in that process. That's what it's all about. So, started, launched our product after a year of research, and I mean 2:00 AM like nursing babies studying chemistry, a subject I had failed in high school.

Brett :

That's awesome.

Jaime:

Launched the product.

Brett :

Well now you have a reason to study, right? Sometimes in high school you're like, "I don't need this, I'll never use this."

Jaime:

I'm never going to use this, right.

Brett :

Periodic table, I don't need this stuff. Yeah.

Jaime:

Yes, so, took my product... Here's another thing. It's like, okay, now I have a product. I have people coming to me, they're like, "How do I make money?"

Jaime:

I'm like, "Well what do you have in your hands?"

Jaime:

"Well I have an insurance company."

Jaime:

"Okay, go sell insurance." I'm like, "Okay, I have this soap, I need to go sell it." So I'm just walking up and down the streets of Denver, calling my mom saying, "Hey, can you load the babies up? Because I need to work." So she would drive eight hours a day, slowly, while I would walk into these stores asking for owners, and buyers, and showing up in my stilettos ready to do business with these people.

Brett :

You were hustling.

Jaime:

Yeah, and so I did that for wholesale retail for a year. Then I jumped into farmer's markets because I wanted to go deep with our audience and understand what people really wanted. And it was four years of R&D. Proved our product, came to the point where like 95% of people are coming back to my table. After going back to the drawing board, thousands of hours, and reformulating, and reworking my offer, basically. And came to the point where 95% of people are saying my acne is gone, my eczema is gone, my psoriasis is gone. Olympic athletes are saying-

Brett :

Which was that? Was that the intent? I mean, I know you... So you studied chemistry, studied Ayurvedic medicine, if I said that correctly, was the intent to have this healing property or were you just trying to create soap that was clean and that was healthy?

Jaime:

Yeah. Well, I mean, I'm a farm girl and I'm just super... I understand a lot about the Bible even... Or, not the Bible, the body at that point. That your body's designed to heal itself and so I didn't want to just create a product, I wanted to create something that was naturopathic medicine in skincare. And of course, going to farmer's markets where there's three other companies selling... They would send their people to my table and listen to my pitch and listened to my thing and try to hack my products. Then they'd be launching and saying my... They'd be stealing all my stuff. So I had to get really aggressive about who am I and what do we stand for and what this brand that I'm building and how are we going to separate ourselves in a saturated market where everybody wants to do what I'm doing. So I got really good at that because I'm like, "I will dominate and you cannot touch me," in a sense.

Brett :

Yeah, there's so many things we can dive into right here. One, just your obsession as you dug into the science and the chemistry and you obsessed about building a great product. That's actually a theme that's come across multiple interviews I've done recently, several have not been released yet but with some pretty big names, just talking about, "Hey, really the quality of the product is almost more important now than any marketing strategy or anything like that." So I love that you did that. I also love that as you got into the marketplace... Competition is fierce, right? And there's some unscrupulous players out there, or even just good people, they're trying to make a living too, and they're trying to take from what you're doing. And so you got to be dogging and you got to say, "Okay, who are we as a company? I'm going to be very clear. I'm going to be tenacious. I'm going to be good at sharing this story." And so, love that you did all of those things. So how did you land on "here's our story," or "here's who we are"?

Jaime:

Yeah, that's funny. I mean, so farmer's markets, you're talking to thousands of people. I'm in seven or eight farmer's markets with the whole team after our first year and so I'm talking to a lot of people telling the story over and over again. And I'm literally shaping the the delivery. It's almost the first draft, you've got the second draft, you're writing, you're taking the truth about your story, and you're saying, "How do we tell this in a poetic way?" In a way a way that... because if I told everyone I... "I learned how to make a bar soap and then I launched a company."

Jaime:

They're like, "Oh, that's boring." But if I go back to the emotion of what was going on during that time, I was re-crafting and going deeper and deeper into the poetry of the story. That we all have that, there's a reason that we do what we do.

Brett :

And the beauty of what you were able to do is that you could watch people's faces, right? You could see the reaction. You could see, did this land, did this not land? Did people perk up or did their eyes glaze over? Did they lean in or did they start looking around? You get that instant feedback. I was reminded, I had a client dinner the other day, one of my clients who's in the automotive space, and he said he believes everybody that's going to write copy or be in marketing at all should do door-to-door sales for a little while. That concept may be a little slightly antiquated in some... because there's not a lot of door-to-door sales, but doing something like what you did or just being eye-to-eye with people, sharing a message and reading people? So important in your learning how to craft a solid message, a message that resonates.

Jaime:

Yes. You're speaking my language. I tell people all the time, I'm like, "If you're going to go straight to digital and you have no proof of concept, you need to be in a room with people." And you're talking about what I call EQ selling, being able to be responsive, and changing your inflection, and a good salesperson knows how to-

Brett :

What do you mean by EQ? I know the acronym, but for those that don't.

Jaime:

Oh yeah. So its emotional intelligence basically. EQ versus IQ. You could be the smartest person in the world and not know how to sell somebody a bar of soap. But the best salesmen in the world know how to read people, and respond, and adjust inflection, and know where people are glazing over because you have to shift sometimes, and the last person to speak takes that product home. So I learned how to respond and sell, and then be quiet. And sometimes there's three or four minutes, they're looking at my product, they're smelling it, and I'm not saying a word. I watch people talk people out of their sales just by over-talkie. I did that and went through that for four years and really came to a point where our business... And every time there's been expansion, it's been like, okay Lord, show me what's next.

Jaime:

And I knew going and scaling online. I had avoided wholesale retail. I knew that retail was dying. So we went from farmer's markets to, okay, I need to expand our digital strategies. So found Russell Brunson, long story short, went from, farmer's markets $120,000 every summer just paying the bills, to scaling from doing $1,000 our first day online once I finally had funnel hacked. And that took me about three months, figuring out my copy and my offer, the whole process. Did $1,000 our first day, 130,000 in our first six weeks. And then we've done over 5 million in less than two years.

Brett :

It's amazing. Amazing. Love it. Russell Brunson's a good dude. We actually did a project together back in 2009 so he's a friend and still keep up with what they're doing with click funnels. It's amazing. So that's awesome. So you went, you shifted online, exploded online. And so I want to really dig into this, this topic, we've been teeing it up and getting ready for it, but story selling. And I know this has its origins back in your farmer's market days when you were pitching and sharing that story, but what is story selling and why is it so important for e-commerce?

Jaime:

Yeah, that's a great question. And one of the first things I had to shift from going in farmer's markets where people can pick up my product, smell it, try it, and now you're online and it's like, how do we make this product come to life to people? And stories are the best way to do that. You can write a description of a product, and we talked about this at Blue Ribbon where I'm like, "Here's some really bad descriptions, guys. Don't do this." Don't just talk about the product because ultimately what we're doing is we're speaking to the soul of the person that has a need and we want them to see themselves experiencing our products, enjoying them, and all of that so we can make the whole experience come to life with story.

Brett :

Love it. What's some of the psychology behind storytelling? And why do stories capture us and resonate with us and in such a powerful way?

Jaime:

Oh yes. One thing I loved about teaching about this was I really dug deep into the science of storytelling and what it does to our brains. And so, not only for the audience, but for the person telling the stories. There's a chemical reaction in our brain where you're releasing oxytocin, the love drug, you're releasing all these chemicals in your brain that causes attachment. And like a high, and you're happy, and you're like... So you're hearing this story and it's like I'm making a connection now.

Jaime:

There's what's called... Oh, training, I think? Or entrainment. And it's when your mind and basically your brain connects with the storyteller, and then that product, there's just this whole engagement that happens. So the more you can tell story... And how many of us watch movies and we don't get bored sitting there in a seat for two and a half hours, but we can't wait to see what happens. The transformation in the story. But the whole chemical reaction is just fascinating. Your brain is literally like, give me more story.

Brett :

It's so interesting, and yeah, that's a perfect example, right? We binge watch different series on Netflix where we sit through three and a half hours of The End Game, whatever the new... Avengers End Game or whatever.

Jaime:

Yeah.

Brett :

Because we're made like to love story and there is a chemical release and there's a connection. There's something very scientific that happens, which you don't have to know all that to be able to leverage story. But it's cool to know that, yeah, this is why people connect to brands that... Or part of the reason why, because of the story they're telling themselves, the story they're hearing from the brand. That's what really causes loyalty and people falling in love with a brand.

Brett :

So let's talk about... You told a story, and I'm putting you on the spot a little bit here, so if you don't remember it's no big deal. But I told a story about a journalist who purchased some products on eBay and then resold them. Did you remember the gist of that story? Because I think that does have a powerful example of how important story is.

Jaime:

Yeah, so this journalist gathers a bunch of other writers together and he's like, "We're going to do an experiment." He buys, basically, all this junk on eBay, pays $200 for... I believe it was a hundred different items. So he literally paid $2-

Brett :

A couple bucks a piece, this is not valuable stuff here.

Jaime:

Yeah, exactly. And for every product, they wrote a story for each one, and he ended up turning that $200 into $8,000 and so just think about the percentage and when you... And it's true. Even in our products, going from the very beginning, I was writing descriptions, quote descriptions, where it's just like, "This is what this product is, this is how you use it" to literally personifying the experience. And we don't have any problems selling our product.

Brett :

Yeah, yeah. It's amazing. That was a 40 extra turnover, maybe if I'm doing my math right, of taking these $2 items and then selling them for an average of 80 or whatever. That's amazing. So let's talk about this: how did you, and you alluded to it just a minute ago, but how did you get story wrong in the beginning? So as you were writing your descriptions and talking about your products, what did you have off there? Or what were elements of that that were not connecting with people?

Jaime:

Yeah, for sure. I was just... When I first started, I was just giving people facts. I had a dream, and I learned how to make soap, and now here we are.

Brett :

This contains lavender or whatever is in the product.

Jaime:

Yeah, exactly. People really don't actually care about ingredients. They care about the story. And so I went from just sharing facts about, not only my story, but the product origin stories, into what was going on. The emotional aspect, the transformation that happened in me as a woman as I was beginning to go through this whole process. And of course, we know that there's a 30 second version, and there's a three hour version, and there's a weekend event where you can extend your story out. And so, for me, it was going deeper on the emotional.

Jaime:

Bringing the actual story and getting past the facts and into... Now when I talk about beeswax, because people also really don't care about beeswax unless they know it takes 300 pounds of honey to produce one pound of beeswax. And I just went out to our bee farms and met with our bees and our bee farmer who has hives all across the front range. And our beeswax smells like honey and it's bright orange and it does these three things for your body. It's vitamin A and collagen, and it helps fight acne, and all these things. And so then people are like, "Oh my gosh, now I care about beeswax because there's a story.

Brett :

And I think what's interesting about that is, and I haven't seen specific research around this, this is more anecdotal, but I'm confident it's true. When someone hears the stories... Now, they hear about you, you're traveling to the bee farm and picture that in their head. You're meeting with the bees, I don't know if you're talking to the bees or what. Observing them, meeting with the bee farmer. Yeah, but also 300 pounds of honey, one pound of beeswax. You talk about the color and what's in it and all these things. I bet you, people's enjoyment of your product goes up when they hear the story. Right?

Jaime:

It does.

Brett :

I can think of so many times when I've been to a restaurant, actually this doesn't happen all that often, but I go to a restaurant and someone's just really passionate about telling the stories. "This is how this steak was aged and seasoned and cooked and these are all farm-to-table vegetables and here's how the process goes." I enjoy that so much more than if they'd said, "Yeah, these are fresh vegetables. I think you're going to like them."

Jaime:

Yes. And not only that, but as an entrepreneur, and as a business owner, and I've heard Ezra talk about this, but when you have a brand, and especially built on story, if we're not... The businesses that aren't charging premium prices probably will not be in business long because it has to be premium.

Brett :

Yep.

Jaime:

To hold on. And so the more story you tell... I bet if you knew that this was grass-fed be from a local rancher who has been around for a hundred years and he's got a fifth generation ranch and, like you said, farm-to-table, you'd probably pay $30 for that steak as opposed to $8 at-

Brett :

Absolutely, and my enjoyment would have been higher. I would have been more grateful for that, more excited about that meal than if I'd paid less and had known less.

Jaime:

Yeah. You can charge more when you start incorporating story. Because some people are like, "Oh I understand the premium nature of this thing."

Brett :

And I think that's part of understanding what people want and what's going to maximize their value perception, and their enjoyment, and all that. And really stories is a big part of it. So talk about what are you getting right now? So in terms of story, because I think you guys are just nailing this in so many ways, but what are you getting right now and what's your process as you look to tell your story? About specific products even.

Jaime:

Yeah. So I did our set... We had our own little MIG event here. We had a resort in the mountains. And I started telling and talking about-

Brett :

And this was for your customers? Or who is this for?

Jaime:

These are for women that are basically ambassadors or affiliates for us.

Brett :

Awesome, awesome.

Jaime:

They're like, "We want to know everything." And I realize how much people want to know, "How did you come up with the lotion bar?" And when I tell people that I formulated this lotion, and the first year and a half, I didn't have the formulation right. And I was getting feedback from people over and over and over again, and I had to go back. And so I was literally... My day, when I was... Nathan was still working full-time. I'm full-time mom. I'm putting the babies to bed at eight o'clock at night, and my day began. And I sat at the kitchen for months every night, like taking my 12 ingredients or my 14 ingredients and saying, "How do I adjust these?" So just going deeper into the process, because there's so much richness. And I've been in business now for nine years as a Saturday. It was October 5th so nine years I've been in business now. And there's just so much-

Brett :

Congratulations, by the way. I think it's a tiny percentage of businesses that make it that long. So, congrats.

Jaime:

Thank you. Yeah, so everything we do in business is about speaking, in my opinion, speaking to the soul of a human being and meeting a need. And so there are things that women... Most of our community are women who are moms and they do have dreams and they want to live this powerful life. And when I can tell the story of where I came from, and the pain that I went through to get where I am and that, hey, God has put something inside of you, too. Then they're like... There's so much community and energy around what we're doing because of bringing so many of those emotional stories to life.

Jaime:

And I've heard Russell say this a lot, but don't underestimate the power of your own story. There was a lot... There were years where I thought nobody wants to hear my story. They just want products that work. And the more I've especially just learned about digital marketing more, I'm like, "Wow, people really want to know the details when it pertains to them, when they can connect with what you're saying on an emotional level. When I"... It's not just about our stories, it's because we talk about this too. Somebody comes to your About Us page, is not really about us, it's about them, about how we tell that story in a way that makes them see themselves engaged with your brand.

Brett :

I love that. So pick one of your products, and I'll leave it up to you. Pick one, and describe some of the elements you use for that product to develop this story. Both to give the details and connect with people at the soul level, which is what they want. And also then to allow them to see themselves using it, benefiting from it, all that.

Jaime:

Yeah, for sure. So first is I always introduce our lotion bar, which we're going to change it to the serum stick because it's more of a serum product.

Brett :

Got it.

Jaime:

But I give them like a really quick new opportunity statement, because people don't want an improvement offer, we've learned. They want a new opportunity. I said that right, right? They don't want an improvement offer, yep. They want a new opportunity.

Brett :

Yep, got it.

Jaime:

So the first thing is, this serum stick, you leave it in your shower and right before you get out while your skin is still wet, you're going to apply it all over. And then you don't need to reapply lotion for 24 hours. And they're like, "That's impossible. I have to apply my lotion every three, four hours and my skin is still like alligator." And then so it immediately piques... Why does that work so well?

Jaime:

So then I talk about... The next step is, well the reason it's a new opportunity is because this is a waterless lotion bar. And if you look at the ingredients on your lotion right now, water is probably the first or second ingredient. And, scientifically, water attracts water. So when you're putting water-based lotion on your skin, it's pulling water from your skin and releasing it to the air, what you need is a humectant. And that's what beeswax does.

Jaime:

And so then I talk about the three secrets. This is where my perfect webinar comes in and I talk about the three secrets of beeswax and why it's so powerful for your skin. And then at that point, people are so intrigued, and they try the product. And then I'm like, "Here's the mom story about how I came up with this and discovered this and like spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours in my kitchen burning the midnight oil. Taking care of sick babies and reformulating so that I can deliver. And meeting with farmers and sourcing raw ingredients and bypassing the whole big beauty industry and controlling our own process. Because we manufacture all of our own products."

Jaime:

And then they're like, "Tell me more about everything because I just love this story. I love the new opportunity, and then I tried your product and it actually works and now I can't live without the product." So there's this trifecta of good story. You want repeat purchases, so you have marketers. I have heard the product doesn't... People have actually told me, the product doesn't matter, and I'm like, "I want to restore the art of true business."

Brett :

Yeah, true craftsmanship. True-

Jaime:

Craftsmanship, yes.

Brett :

Yeah, yeah.

Jaime:

Absolutely. And suddenly-

Brett :

That's what people want, too. I think that is a trend and it makes sense. People want to buy quality products and I had even seen that the millennials, the younger millennials, that aren't making their full potential income yet. They're buying nicer things but maybe just fewer things. And so there's this desire for quality products and true craftsmanship, which I think is really important. And so I love what you do there. You've got this good story, this human element of mom trying to make it happen, putting kids to bed, then working late at night, full year formulating this product, and then the science of why it works. And not the science to the level of, okay, I feel like I'm in science class right now and I want to nod off, but you're giving enough to say, "Oh, that makes sense."

Brett :

Water attracts water. If I put on lotion, it actually causes a need for more lotion. Right? It's almost like it's leaching water out of your body.

Jaime:

Yes, it's dehydrating your skin, which-

Brett :

Yeah, so as you see that, and then whatever word you... Humectant or something, I've never heard that word before. But, as you're saying that, that like that makes sense. I get it. I get the science behind it. Now I feel like you've taught me something, you've inspired me a little bit, and you've caused me to say, "maybe." Maybe this is what I'm looking for. Maybe this is the new opportunity that I should be exploring for my skin.

Jaime:

Yes. Yeah. And you said something, there's... Here's what people need to do as they're building brands because we know brand is basically the essence, the character, the nature of the... It's the living, breathing, active aspect of your business. It's not packaging, it's not labels and logos, and websites. That's not brand, it's just sort of an external manifestation of what the brand really is. But you use the word quality. But part of my journey too was starting to get away from words that people glaze over. On like, "Okay, I've heard quality before. I've heard magical before"

Jaime:

So I had to start asking myself, how can I describe this in a way that doesn't use the typical buzzwords that cause people to be like, "Okay, yeah, I've heard that before. What makes you different?" Now they're causing skepticism. So as your branding, starting to change your entire vernacular. In our whole community now, I have an entire long list of dictionary words that belong to us. Almost like with what... It's kind of like what the workout people, what do they call it again? The-

Brett :

CrossFit?

Jaime:

Crossfit. They have their own thing.

Brett :

Like the WOD, workout of the day and that kind of stuff, yeah.

Jaime:

Yeah. Yes. People were like... When they get into that community, they were like, "Hey, high five." I know... there's the own lingo. And so I started to really shape a lot of our vernacular around truth. You got to hear what's true and we're going to get away from words like quality and natural because nobody believes that that's real.

Brett :

They've lost all meaning. People want quality, but they don't want to hear the word quality. Right? You got to show it, you got to prove it, you got to make them feel it.

Jaime:

Yeah, you can make what that is come to life with story, like you're saying.

Brett :

Yep. Yep. Any other words you use in place of quality or are you just trying to tell the story in such a way that it communicates and implies quality?

Jaime:

Yeah, absolutely. And this, I can tell you too, because people think... Now they see what we're doing. They're like, "Wow, she did this overnight." And I'm telling you, I tried to craft and-

Brett :

Yeah, a decade in the making, but yeah, overnight.

Jaime:

Yes. It took me years to figure out how can we say this in a way... And now my mind is a lot more sharpened too. We're going to change this from this to this because this is bit more activating. And so quality is a word that, instead of quality, we say I've created the true beauty philosophy. And so now it's like, "In our true beauty philosophy, it's about beauty from the inside out, it's about purity. It's about... We have our core pillars and seven pillars of true beauty and it's detox."

Jaime:

So now when they hear quality, or instead of quality, they hear true beauty and they associate it with detox and healing and all of our seven pillars. And we've gone deep on this idea by bringing a whole philosophy and methodology to life.

Brett :

I love it. I love it. We talked about allowing customers to see themselves using the product and to see themselves benefiting from it and living this new life or this new experience because of the product. One of the great ways to do that is through testimonials, and I know you guys get a ton of very authentic, real, powerful testimonials. How do you use those? How do you use testimonials to shape your storytelling and story selling?

Jaime:

Yeah, for sure. Sometimes on some of our testimonials, we'll actually call the customer, or a customer will call in and tell us the story behind the testimonial and we'll highlight that either in our emails or... And a lot of times, even just in our ads. It's so great to take a snapshot of a testimonial, just quote it, and then highlight the story aspect. And so for instance, a woman calls and she's like, "I have... My son has been on medication for his skin since he was six months old. We've tried everything and I've now been using your lotion bar for three days and his skin is cleared up." And so taking a little... Almost like the power phrase in that whole thing, highlighting that one thing and then going into the story in your copy, or in the email, or like, "Hey, we had a lady call." And then people are immediately like, "Oh, what happened when she called? I want to know."

Brett :

Yeah, I love that. I think one good element or one thing that a great testimonial can do is it can communicate things that you can't. You can talk about the purity and detox and this true beauty concept, but making really big and bold claims? I know some industries are limited on the claims they can talk about even with testimonials. But when someone says something like that, like, "we've tried everything with my son and in three days things were cleared up." That's super powerful. You can't say something that powerful on your own without that testimonial. So that's great.

Jaime:

Exactly, exactly.

Brett :

Yeah.

Jaime:

Yeah, they're like, "Wow, if that worked for her, will that work for me?"

Brett :

Yep. Yep. And so then how are you weaving those then, so you're sharing those testimonials and email and video content and other things? How are you using them specifically?

Jaime:

Yeah, we use them in our ads. We use it in our email. Our emails are really like journal entries. So we tell a lot of story in our email and we use that a lot.

Brett :

And how often... Just a couple of mechanic questions there, or a couple of detail questions that are interesting. How often are you emailing? Does every email have an offer in it? Is some just story? How do you go about that? Because I mean you guys do a great job of email marketing.

Jaime:

Oh thank you. Yeah, well thanks to Ezra Firestone because he does a really great format. How often do you... We actually have a whole email strategy around how often are we doing educating or inner educating, are we creating offers? How often are we just telling just the story in a way that connects with people emotionally. Our gives versus our asks, but we email five times a week and we do one ask a week and I think sometimes it's even one every week and a half. And then a lot of it is just educating people in a way where they're like, "Man, if that's the truth about that product or that ingredient, I should try it." So we don't even have to ask. All we have to do is... Ezra said this as well, he's like edu-tain people, educate them while you entertain them with story and that works really well.

Brett :

Yeah. That's amazing. So a couple things as we wrap up here, just about out of time. What advice would you give, what resources would you give for someone that says, "Okay, I believe the story of my brand and my products is a little bit lacking." What resources have been inspirational or helpful for you and what would you I recommend people check out?

Jaime:

Yeah. For me, I think it was a lot of trial and error. If I had known about story selling books earlier, I probably would've made a lot more sales a lot faster. But I know that there are some good story selling books out there. I can't think off the top of my head. But what I would do is I would go through all of, and I can share some of the slides for my presentation if you want, where it's like, here's a great example of a description-

Brett :

Oh, that would be great, yeah. Yep.

Jaime:

Versus taking that description and how do you turn that into a storyline now? Because you want to look at all of your descriptions on your website, on your Amazon and how do you... Because you don't have to write a five... You don't have to write a book. It can be like on our Pounce. There's this little, tiny, mini romance story and people were like, "Oh I want to try that Pounce stuff because now I feel the romance in the air." But it's-

Brett :

Pounce, that's such a great name by the way. I love it. That's fantastic. Yeah, so I would love it... If you'll share the slides, we'll link to those in the show notes so people can check those out at ecommerceevolution.com and look for the episode with Jaime and I think that's a fantastic idea. I will share one book I mentioned on the podcast before, but it's called How to Build a StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

Jaime:

Oh yes, StoryBrand. Yes.

Brett :

I love Donald Miller's writing. I like some of these older books as well. Just very honest, very raw. But the How to Build a StoryBrand, he does a great job of saying, "Hey, your product shouldn't be the hero, the customer's the hero. Show them how your product makes them the hero. That's when you win."

Jaime:

Yes, exactly.

Brett :

Such a good resource. I also recommend... And you've done just a great job of connecting with people like Russell and Ezra and others, and just learning from them. I think people should learn from you. So go to MIG soap, subscribe to that email list, check it out, you'll learn from it. You'll begin to see Jaime's formula and Jaime's approach in your team. And I know you've got great copywriters and stuff on your team too. So check that out. Anything else you'd recommend? What else should people check out other than going, of course, and buying one of everything you have. What else? What else would you recommend? How can people connect with you?

Jaime:

Oh, probably the best thing is the HER Effect podcast. So I'm talking a lot about marketing now and I'm just kind of getting that off the ground, but that's probably the best way.

Brett :

And it's called the HER Effect?

Jaime:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brett :

I love it. I love the trend of women having a more powerful, more influential voice. I think they've always had an influential voice, but now it just seems more public in a lot of ways, which is fantastic. I don't remember if I told you, but I have six daughters, so I'm pretty... We have eight kids, six are girls, and so pretty passionate about that process of wanting them to be fully confident and live the life they we're called to live and not to be bashful on all those things. So, fantastic. So HER effect podcast, we'll link to that. Are you on the socials? Is the podcast on Facebook and LinkedIn and places like that?

Jaime:

It will be soon.

Brett :

Okay, okay.

Jaime:

Right now it's just iTunes.

Brett :

Yeah, yeah that's perfect. So we'll link to that in the show notes as well. With that, Jaime, thank you so much for taking the time. This has been a ton of fun. It's been inspirational. It's been really, really good. So, appreciate you doing this.

Jaime:

Thank you so much Brett, it's so great to talk.

Brett :

Awesome. Thanks to you also for tuning in, we'd love to hear your feedback. So let us know other topics you'd like us to discuss. We welcome your feedback on the site or on the socials. Also, love to get that review on iTunes, that helps other people discover the podcast. With that, until next time, thank you for listening.

Brett :

All right, that's a wrap, thank you.

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