EP 208: Pricing By The Numbers With Systems Saved Me Founder Jordan Gill

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • How Jordan Gill used data and experience to set competitive prices for her business operations firm
  • Why she focused on serving seasonal service-based businesses and how that impacts the way she delivers her service
  • The stat she used to figure out a new way to offer her services
  • What expenses Jordan accounts for in pricing her unusual offer

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Sometimes the numbers top you in your tracks.

It was the summer of 2017. I was on a bonus day of vacation with Sean and Lola because our original flight had gotten canceled.

We were on the way to Sean’s grandmother’s lake house and I thought I’d check in on my email quick since I’d be coming back to work a day later than planned.

Staring at me from the top of a stack of unopened emails was an email informing me that, soon, 30% of our membership revenue was going to flow toward Apple instead of our bank account.

My stomach sank.

The still-new community wasn’t even breaking even yet and now we were going to have to give up 30% of our revenue to the world’s richest company?

I panicked.

Luckily, even in my panic, I read through the email a few more times to check the—unbelievable—details. It turned out that Apple was going to take 30%—but only for memberships that originated in our app.

Okay, crisis averted. But in the time between my panic and realizing what was really going on, I had already started to concoct a plan.

My plan was simple: we needed a serious influx of new members to offset the potential hit to our revenue. So… get this… I decided to drastically reduce the price of membership from $60 per month to just $15.

Yes, that’s right, when faced with the potential loss of 30% of our revenue, I made a decision to lower our prices.

Hear me out: I thought that by lowering the price to something more akin to a piece of software you subscribe to, I could build our customer base by hundreds—if not thousands—while maintaining our current expenses.

This did not happen.

Instead, new members joined at about the same rate but with 75% less revenue coming our way.

It didn’t take long to realize that this was not working.

The numbers just didn’t add up.

Without an onslaught of new members at this lower rate, we were never going to be able to cover costs.

I’d made a big pricing mistake and something had to change.

Of course, it wasn’t just a matter of covering expenses. That’s an important part of pricing—and one we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of in this episode.

But price tells a story. While I was trying to tell a story about our community being as invaluable as one of the software tools you run your business with, the story we were really telling was just, “This is cheap.”

By raising the price, we could better reflect what we actually offer.

That’s another piece of the story we’re covering in today’s episode.

Meet Jordan Gill. Jordan runs a business operations firm and is the founder of Systems Saved Me, a hub for templates and online training designed to improve your business systems.

Jordan is adamant about running her business by the numbers. Not only is her pricing strategy intentional and precise, she’s also clear on the metrics that have shaped the way she offers her service.

When Jordan notices a trend and the numbers prove it out, you can be sure she’s going to make an adjustment.

In this interview, Jordan and I talk about how her business model evolved into VIP weekend offerings, how her pricing strategy has evolved with it, and the numbers-driven marketing she does to support the model.

Have you made an important decision in your business because you got real with the numbers? Have you discovered a new opportunity right under your nose when you examined your traffic, profit margin, or conversion rate? We want to hear about it!

Share your story on Instagram and tag me, @tara_mcmullin and use the hashtag #explorewhatworks.

Now, let’s find out what works for Jordan Gill!

Find Jordan at:

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EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

Today’s guest is Katie Hunt—who is a member of the former group and serves the latter group.

Katie is the founder of Proof To Product, which helps creative entrepreneurs run and grow thriving product-based businesses. She works with designers, illustrators, and artists to help them develop in-demand product lines and get them sold in stores all over the world.

Not long after the pandemic threw her business and the industry she serves for a major loop, Katie and her team launched Proof To Product Labs to provide a completely digital, ongoing support opportunity for business owners when they needed it most.

And that launch was a smash.

Katie and I get into all of the nuts and bolts of how she adjusted the offer to meet the moment and how she warmed up her audience before the campaign, as well as the exact mix of emails, podcast ads, and social media content she used to sell the offer when it went live. We also talk about how she sees the sales system evolving in the future and how the offer has been received now that people are using it!

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support