Whether you’re new to bot building or trying to figure out new ways to grow your agency, we’ve got the inside scoop on how you can tackle your marketing goals.
This week on our Meet the Speakers series, Molly Mahoney, a certifiable Facebook Live and Messenger Marketing ninja and founder of The Prepared Performer, sat down with Mackensie Liberman, Chatbot Queen and Founder of Orca Marketology, to discuss how Mackensie went from being a clinically certified Cytogeneticist to a bot-building expert and how she grew her agency to six figures within 18 months.
“I was just getting kind of burnt out of cytogenetics. Being in a room with microscopes and no windows, I was like, “Okay, I can do more with my life and help more people than just sitting here looking at chromosomes.” And the rest is history,” exclaims Mackensie.
Despite not knowing much about coding, Facebook Messenger or bots, Mackensie shares how she changed careers, transformed her life, and became an entrepreneur. In case you missed this week’s inspiring story, watch it here, and get motivated to take your business to the next level.
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Learn Mackensie’s lessons and more.
How Did You Decide to Change Careers?
Mackensie: In the summer of 2016, I was working full time in a lab on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. My husband was working Monday through Thursday. So, we didn’t get a day off together. And having three kids during the summer, we can’t go to the lake or anything, because Mama’s always working. I was getting burnt out.
So, I started looking online. And I started learning about people running Facebook ads for businesses. I’m like, “I can learn how to do that.” I took a course in September of 2016, and the thing was, my husband had been laid off for like almost two years, so it was just my income for a family of five. And the issue with that was we were racking up our credit card debt, all that stuff.
So, when he got a job earlier in 2016, we obviously hadn’t paid off a lot of our cards, and I didn’t have any extra money lying around at all for the course. But thanks to PayPal Credit, I got approved for $2,000 with six months interest-free. So, I thought, “Sweet, I have six months to pay this off.”
So, I bought this Facebook ads course, I was like, ” I’m going to start running ads for clients.” And it took me forever.
What Was Your Next Step?
M: It took me a good 4 to 5 months to get my first paying client. Just because the big thing was in between my head. I’m like, “How am I an expert? How can I actually do this?” So, I had imposter syndrome. The worst case ever.
So, it was hard for me to run with that because I was like, “I’m not an expert,” but I understood it. I was learning it. And then finally I was like, “You know what? I’ve got to make this work.” And it was that do or die moment. I was hating my job even more and it was motivating me more to get out. Plus also, my kids and I couldn’t do stuff with them.
How Did You Get Your First Client?
M: My very first client was a local junk hauler. I got a flier in the mail and I was like, “Well, he’s obviously spending money on advertising. It’s print advertising.” I went on his website. He didn’t have the Facebook pixel on his website. I’m like, “Okay. He’s not running Facebook ads.”
So, I call him up. I asked, “Hey. Are you interested in doing Facebook ads? I got your flier, but are you interested in doing that?” He was like, “Yeah. I’ve actually been thinking about doing that.” So, I said, “Great.”
How Much Did You Charge?
M: He started paying me $400 a month for just posting on his Facebook page and then he agreed to do ads and that really took off. I was running an offer that was $37 or one big item haul away, which was great because people would come in and say, “Yeah. I want this item, but I also want you to pick up all this other junk.” So, it was really easy for him to upsell.
After Your First Client, How Did You Grow Your Business?
M: I got another trial client for Facebook ads off of Groupon. That’s another place. So, if people are looking for clients, check out Groupon. They’re paying money to Groupon, but they’re not able to get any information from them. So, Groupon’s another great place to get clients.
I called an Anytime Fitness Gym and I said I was doing a free trial, right? Saying, “ For $100 I’ll Run your ads for you and do an offer.” We did a gym offer of a class. And it was great because I was able to look at the results and learn. By the way, no one showed up. But, this was my moment for messenger.
How Did You Get Into Messenger Marketing?
M: When I was running his Facebook ads, people would message the Junk Hauler’s page asking him questions about the offers. I was having to reply to all these people and then also text him. So, I got my first of taste of how automation would be great. So, when I was first learned about bots, I was like, “Sweet. I can actually automate a lot of this.”
So. I went to two local restaurants. A really cool pizza place and a Mexican restaurant and I dropped off proposals for each. They were identical and I had a screenshot of an ad that I made up as a mock-up for them to show them I could do ads, and I told them about Messenger bots.
The pizza place said they’re fine with sending out flyers. They didn’t want to do any digital marketing. The Mexican restaurant was like, “Yeah. I want to use this thing called a Messenger bot that will actually help automate and bring people into Messenger and then you can send messages to them for future offers and things like that.”
How Much Did You Charge for Messenger Marketing?
M: I told the Mexican restaurant that the cost would be $500 a month, plus ad spent. And they thought it was too much. So, I dropped it to $400 and he suggested $300 and free food. I’m like, “Sold.”
I’m glad that that worked out and I didn’t hold out and say, “$500 or nothing,” because he was my first bot client that I was able to really test some things on and get results.
And, he’s still my client, and it’s been almost two years, and he’s still paying me $300 plus free food.
What’s One Example of a Messenger Bot Test You Ran?
M: We ran a giveaway for the Mexican restaurant, you can read How To Get More Diners for 85¢ Per Lead. It just blew up like gangbusters. I took those results and then posted them around on my Facebook page and my profile and in a couple of groups, and I got a ton more clients from that.
How Did You Transition to Full-Time Messenger Bot Builder?
M: So, one year to the month after starting Facebook ads, after I bought that course, I surpassed $10,000 a month. I’m like, sweet, this is amazing. Like I could have probably quit before that. Cause that’s like, you know, three times more than what I was making at the lab but I also was getting health insurance for myself and my kids.
By this point, I had gradually worked my way down to part-time. And by the time I quit I was only working one day a week, which was a Sunday.
The final straw, my daughter’s birthday is in December and we were going to have her birthday party on the weekend of her birthday. I’d asked for that Sunday off. However, my mother-in-law had to have emergency surgery so we had to delay the party. So the Sunday before I said, “Hey, I need to switch it to have it be next Sunday.”
And my supervisor said, “Well, you might get an occurrence for this because it’s not enough time.” And then it hit me, “You know what, I don’t need you guys anymore.”
So, I went to the grocery store, I got a “sorry for your loss” sympathy card. And I wrote my two-week notice in there because I already had the next two weeks off because of my daughter’s birthday and the following was Christmas. So, I wrote in the card my notice, put my badge in there and put it in my supervisor’s mailbox. And then I walked out.
What’s One Messenger Marketing Lesson You Learned From Starting Your Business?
M: First, to get new clients, offer a trial, but not a free bot. You have to put in a ton of effort and time to build a bot, unlike Facebook ads. If you’re doing a bot and ads do a limited trial that’s maybe 50% off or something like that because guess what? To businesses, it’s a tax write off. So, if they’re not willing to at least pay you something for your time, then they’re not a good potential customer because you need to get paid.
Also, after that experience with the restaurant, I have not created a landing page since. It’s all been Facebook ads to bots and it’s great because it’s building their list.
The other big thing and a big tip for people to use is using Rules to be able to send reminder messages because that’s the retargeting of Messenger bots.
If someone is going through and let’s say it’s a lead magnet that you’re asking for a free consult for a roofing company or something, right? They go through. They give their name obviously because they’re on Facebook, but their email, but let’s say they don’t give their phone number, then you can send a reminder message to them. Say, “Hey. Were you still interested in getting a free consult?” or, “Getting $500 off a new roof with a free consult?” Then that actually gets a lot of people.
Another tactic I used to do for lead generation, I would take out the skip option just because they need to get whatever, right? So I took this out or I keep the skip in there and then right after I have each user input question in its own block and then I have it go to a condition that looks to see if it’s there. If it’s not there, that means they, you know, they hit skip, then they’ll say, “Hey, it looks like we didn’t get your email address, were you still interested in a free consult?”
They can say yes or no and or they can respond. So, that’s the other thing. If someone’s typing, wanting to ask a question it’ll say, “Please enter an email.” And it will also give them the option to skip. So if you do it then, they can skip it and then ask their questions there.
Anyway, I cannot wait to meet everyone at the conference to discuss more!
About Our Facebook Live Meet the Speakers Series
Each week Molly Mahoney hosts a LIVE interview with one of our Conversations 2019 speakers to give you the opportunity to meet them and learn their secrets to successful Messenger Marketing. It’s a way to ask questions that you might not be able to ask at the conference and discover more about what will be discussed at Conversations 2019.
Here are the details.
When: Thursday, 9 am PDT.
- Go to our Facebook page: ManyChat
- Click on the Live announcement
- Watch, learn and ask questions.
View more Meet the Speaker episodes.
And, if you haven’t registered for Conversations 2019, do so before prices go up! Reserve your spot.
We’ll see you LIVE! #Conversations2019