We're now on YouTube!
#130: Sarah Renae Clark – How This YouTuber Built A $200K/mo Coloring Book Empire

December 20, 2022

#130: Sarah Renae Clark – How This YouTuber Built A $200K/mo Coloring Book Empire
Play Episode

Sarah Renae Clark is a YouTuber who creates coloring books to help you overcome anxiety and create something you can be proud of.


WATCH

▶️ Watch this episode on YouTube

***

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

Sarah Renae Clark is a YouTuber who creates coloring books to help you overcome anxiety and create something you can be proud of.

Recently, Sarah launched her newest product the Color Cube, a physical product that makes color selection easy and fun! With 250 color palettes as handy cards to help build your confidence in choosing colors that look good. The Color Cube had a $50,000 launch and currently generates about $200,000 per month!

In this episode, you’ll learn how Sarah used communities to build her audience, how Pinterest plays a key role in her business, how YouTube improved her email newsletter engagement, and why actually caring about PEOPLE is what builds your business.

Full transcript and show notes

Learn more about Sarah

Learn more about the Color Cube

Follow Sarah on YouTube / Instagram / Twitter

***

CONNECT

📬 Subscribe to the newsletter

🐦 Connect on Twitter

📸 Connect on Instagram

🎵 Connect on TikTok

🙏 Make a guest or mailbag request

📝 Check out our curated Playlists

***

SPONSORS

💼 View all sponsors and offers

***

SAY THANKS

📞 Leave me a voicemail

💜 Leave a review on Apple Podcasts

🟢 Leave a rating on Spotify

☕️ Buy Me A Coffee

 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcript

Sarah Renae Clark  00:00

We had all the PayPal notifications rolling in on our phone and our revenue that month was like $12,000. What happened?

 

Jay Clouse  00:08

That's Sara Renae Clark. She creates coloring books to help you overcome anxiety and create something that you're proud of. Sarah has nearly 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. And that all began when she noticed another YouTuber having a massive impact on her coloring book sales.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  00:24

Every time someone does a video about this product, it takes off, maybe we should do the video.

 

Jay Clouse  00:30

Fast forward to today and Sarah's YouTube had a massive impact on the launch of her newest product, The Color Cube. Since launching, The Color Cube has generated $200,000 in revenue per month and it all started by listening to her audience.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  00:45

The biggest thing, the biggest bit of feedback that we've had for people over the years, I wish I could hold this in my hands. I wish it was a book.

 

Jay Clouse  00:52

So in this episode, you'll learn how Sarah utilized communities to build her audience, how Pinterest plays a key role in her business, how YouTube actually improved her email engagement and why actually caring about people is what grows your business. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode. As you listen, you can find me on Twitter or Instagram @jayclouse tag me, let me know that you're listening. If you're here on YouTube, leave a comment, subscribe to the channel if you're new. And now let's talk with Sarah.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  01:33

When I was on maternity leave with my first child, I didn't want to go back to my nine to five job so I wanted to find something creative to do. I actually had a few other failed ventures first I, I have a little bit of background just doing freelance graphic design or self taught. And so I actually tried to try to make a an iPhone game first, it was just a fun little iPhone game, I didn't know coding so I just kind of figured it out. And it flopped as a result because when you want to get into that kind of community, much like any other niche, you actually need to know the community if you want support from the community so that kind of flopped. Then, adult coloring became a big craze in America all of a sudden, and I'm in Australia. But the online world makes everything nice and close and connected. I made just one coloring book. And I thought I could probably do this. I think I've whipped it up in about a day to be completely honest. And I put it online, it was like 20 pages of patterns, put it online for like $3 as like a digital download, didn't have any audience at this point, didn't even have a Facebook page. And I just put it online on an old WordPress website that I had for my freelance graphic design. There was not even like consistent articles or anything. It was just there as a placeholder, I jumped in a bunch of Facebook groups that were starting to pop up for these like coloring for adults. And I put it in and said, hey, if anyone wants one of these, I made one for $3. And we sold 50 of them in the first month. And I stopped and went, oh, maybe this is my thing. At this point, I didn't even own a set of colored pencils. So I actually didn't do adult coloring. I didn't know anything about it. I just thought I could design one, how hard could it be? And it kind of just snowballed from there. And I thought, well, maybe I should make another one. And we made a bunch. Once I started making them, I sort of realized I need to actually learn how to use them. And I need to learn how to color. And then I started going down the rabbit hole of trying to learn marketing and learning how to actually promote them because those 50 sales a month didn't continue once you had a few more things. And when the craze started to die down. And there were other people that caught on to this idea as well. So I had to actually learn how to promote my books. And it's interesting because as soon as I started marketing, I realized I was actually just as obsessed and interested in the marketing as I was in actually the creative and the drawing side of things. And so for me, it just became this big rabbit hole and this big adventure of starting a business. And I kind of fell in love with every aspect of it from creating and taking the images to creating the products to learning the copywriting and learning all the analytics behind it and learning every social platform and, and it kind of just snowballed from there.

 

Jay Clouse  04:16

I have so many follow up questions. I'm organizing them in my mind. So what year are we talking about that you made this first coloring book?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  04:23

This was 2015.

 

Jay Clouse  04:25

Okay, and you're on maternity leave still?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  04:27

Yes.

 

Jay Clouse  04:28

What were your aspirations were even expectations of this thing that you're doing on maternity leave?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  04:35

I mean, I was just dabbling in creative stuff. At that point, I still thought that my way of earning money was going to be making websites for people making brochures for people, all that kind of stuff. And I thought, well, maybe this could just be passive income on the side. I even had, if you've ever seen those stock websites like iStockphoto and that where you sell your pictures and people buy them I even had like a bunch of those going and I was just looking for anything. I was very much like don't put all your eggs in one basket. Like if you can earn money from a million little things, it all adds up. And so this was, for me initially just supposed to be another one of those things. If I could just get some digital products up, like once you create the product, then it's made, and then people will buy it for the next 10 years, and you still earn money for that product. And to a point, that's true, and there is a passive element to digital products that I still love. But I learned very quickly that if you actually want it to be successful, that if you actually want to grow it, there isn't really such a thing as passive income like that. There's passive parts to it. But the marketing side of it and building the audience and everything else that you do is actually what's going to grow that business and bring that audience back. And those books that I created those seven years ago, are still selling. So the great thing is that like every extra year now, since that first year, I have that product base that I created, even way back then some of it which I'm a little bit embarrassed by now, but it's still there. So even when I'm making new products, people can buy my new products, and then they can go back and they look and some of them still go back and buy the oldest product. So those things that I did way back then when I had no audience are still earning money. But it becomes a really good foundation to just keep adding on, and adding on, and adding on. And that's something that I do love and actually recommend to people like if you're wanting to get into products start with something digital, because it's a really good foot in the door. There's sort of no outlay, no cost, and you can sort of start small and it's somewhat passive.

 

Jay Clouse  06:33

What have you learned makes a good coloring book, like it seems like oh, just you just make a design and you put them out there. But I'm sure there's like a lot that you've learned of like, what do people actually want in coloring books?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  06:44

I mean, the thing with coloring books is kind of like actual books, there are 100 different genres. So it's more about as an artist, especially independent artists, about actually putting yourself in the community, and getting to know the people and then creating a book that reflects the people that you're surrounding yourself with. Because I have met a lot of coloring book artists along the way, especially in the early years, I really connected with a lot of other artists. And the people that are still making books now, compared to the people that gave up a few years into it are the ones that got themselves into the community that took the feedback from the community. And that really made a point of just sticking it out. I was not one of the better artists from the community originally, there were a lot of better artists than me that have now given up because they just put their artwork out there. And even though it was amazing, they never put the effort in to actually connect with the people that were using their product. I looked at it. And especially a few years ago, I felt like I really was an amateur artists. But people saw me as being better. And it was actually just that I put all my effort into marketing and into the community and is it connecting with people. And that's actually what made my product stand stand out, not the quality of the product itself, people actually purchase things more because they fall in love with the brand, they fall in love with the creator and they want to support you and your values. And often that speaks more volumes than actually the product that you put out. Not that it's an excuse to create a terrible product. But you understand what I mean?

 

Jay Clouse  08:12

Yeah, everything you're saying here is so applicable to any creator listening to this, no matter what they're doing, like the two points that you made that I want to just like double click on and really highlight. Most people just give up after a short period of time, like simply by sticking to it. And of course, like trying to get better and building relationships, like some of the things that come along with sticking to it, you can't just put in the minimum effort and say, I'm still doing this. But if you really care about it, and you stick to it for years and keep putting effort in, it's gonna work out, you know, like, you can't help but find the things that are more successful and less painful to do. Like you're gonna break through and do that. And I totally agree with you also that people when they're making buying decisions in this world, a huge part of it is do I have affinity and respect for this creator? Like is this someone that I want to support with my dollars? It's such a big deal. I want to talk about this first, this first product that you sold in these community groups, this first book, you said you went into a community group and you said, hey, if anybody wants this I made this is $3. You can buy it over here. That makes a lot of sense for someone who doesn't have an audience to say, where are the people that want these things? I'm going to go there and do this. But I often find myself getting hung up on even if I know where those spots are, if I haven't been a contributing member to those spaces. Am I just gonna get booted immediately? So what have you learned about like going into these communities?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  09:35

It's interesting you say that because I think that like that was my strategy seven years ago, but five years ago, the people that were new to the community that did exactly what I did, were like shutting down the community because it was not okay anymore. Because when I did it, no one else was doing it and it was new and I came in and provided a resource. And I think part of that comes down to people very in tune to working out when you're someone who wants to add value it versus when you're someone who wants to sell. And it's interesting how look, the end goal is the same, you're offering a product, you're earning money, but the heart behind it is different. And it's amazing how I don't know how to describe to someone how you can show the difference. And yet people know the difference, people are very discerning sometimes. And these days, like once people worked out that someone like me was was selling really well, by posting in Facebook groups, suddenly, there were hundreds of people selling trying to sell their digital coloring books in the same Facebook groups. I at one point at the start, I'm not anymore, because as our business grows, like, you just can't do some of these things anymore. But at one point, I was in over 200 Facebook groups, and I had a spreadsheet going, yes. Early days, I literally had a spreadsheet going and I had written because some of the group started making rules that were like, not allowed to promote in here. And and and I was very big on you need to respect the rules of the community. And that's I guess, one big pay big piece of advice for people is, if you're in a group, and they say do not promote, don't try and get around that rule in like subtly promoting some other way, because they will flag it and you'll be hated on like, they might not kick you out. But it's a really bad reputation is that for yourself? Like it's people know. So I wrote down, like, what are the rules? What are the things and for the groups where I wasn't allowed to promote? It was like, well, I'll just go and just be a part of those communities don't, don't promote, just be there and just add value. And while doing that, I saw a lot of other people that would come in and just promote and just leave, we used to call them in the groups I used to call them the hit and runs, you know, they would they would come in, they'd post the ad, then they'd leave, they wouldn't even hang around to reply to the comments. Unless it was like a question about where do I buy. And then they would just hit them with another ad. I even realized over time, especially with the way the algorithms work, even the groups that were like, We love artists, we want you to post your ads, we want you to post your links, even in those groups, when I would post links, Facebook itself would actually reduce the reach of those. So I found that I would actually sell more books by just not promoting the books by just being in the communities. And then for me, because I started coloring my books, I actually even at the start, like I said, I didn't use my own stuff, I didn't color my own books. So I hired a little coloring team, I had like 12 fans, yeah, I had fans with my things. They were really good at coloring, they had all the pencils and markers I didn't, I had like one set of pencils, I basically paid them in free coloring pages, because that's what they were happy with. And so they they basically just used my stuff for free. And it was just that user generated content they gave to me with a little bit of extra permission that I could use it on my website, I would then use those pictures and sometimes post them in the group and be like, hey, this wonderful picture was drawn like this is from my book, but it was called by this person no links, people would then start asking, oh, what is this book? Where is it? I love it. And that ended up being a much better method to actually promote stuff because it felt more organic and more real. And I also just went in the groups and just started trying to answer questions. And it was actually through spending more time in these groups that I really got to learn what my audience needed, or my audience needed to know. And it was through that, that I actually started a blog on my website to try and help people. And that's kind of long story short, the actual beginning of what is eventually my YouTube channel, because it just became about how can I serve this audience. And the more time I spent at the start getting to know this audience, that has now changed a bit where I don't see it in those Facebook groups to that level anymore. Like I've left a lot of them, I'm in about four now, maybe five, because it's just at my scale. Now, that's just not a manageable level anymore. But I have my Facebook group now. And I still make a point of really trying to find different ways to get feedback from my community through my my comments through emails, and I really try to make a point of always paying attention to the questions asked not just of me, not just on my videos, but actually, when people are talking to each other. What are they asking each other? What are the questions? What are the common struggles that people are constantly looking at, because you can find this stuff on Google Trends and that but actually looking where people are talking is often a really good clue as to what is the current topic. And so it's really good if you're looking for ideas for videos, by the way, but also I would use that and I would create blog posts and I would use that to help people and so then I became a resource. And the more I became a resource and the more I made it my goal to serve people and help people, the more people came to me because they felt like I was there to help them. And so then selling products became easy because rather than me trying to feel like I was selling a product to people it was like I was helping them. The selling was kind of secondary, it kind of almost happened on its own. Because once they come to you and can see that you help them they kind of want everything that you have to offer.

 

Jay Clouse  14:54

It's a long term game, but I'm sure you I mean as a community builder yourself now If you just see the difference in the people who are not the hit and runs the people that are playing the long game of I'm actually going to, you know, water this garden before I ever need anything to sprout to the point where sometimes those members who come in and are just so helpful to people, you actually want to promote for them. You know, there's a guy in one of my, in my community, the lab, Dan Bennett, shout out to Dan, just want to give Dan a shout out because he's so great. You know, I plugged him on my newsletter this week, just because he's amazing. I'm like, I want to do everything I can to make Dan be successful, because he does so much for so many people. So at this point, what is the Strategy is a strategy that, hey, people are gonna come to my blog, and they're gonna buy products in the blog or were you thinking about building an audience in email or some other way?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  15:42

I guess, the funnel at this point, if we think about, you think about your funnel, you know, you put everyone in the top, and then you sort of warm them up. And then at the bottom is your sales, right? So for me, it was, you know, the Facebook groups and all of that, that was all my outreach, that was all that top of the funnel stuff. And I did have an email list as well. I also gave out a free coloring book as like a sign up for my email list. And I tried to use things like that. So that was all how I sort of collected my audience. Then I had my Facebook group and the blog was my way of trying to help them and helping them was trying to just get them more used to my stuff. I also actually and this went against a lot of general advice. In fact, I had to re explain it to people often when they come and like try and give me advice on my website, I had a lot of like a, I gave away a lot of free stuff. Like I sell coloring books, and I give away a lot of free coloring pages. But rather than just having them as like an instant download, or using all of them as an email sign up, I would host some of them as products in my website. But for free. So my strategy. And again, I don't know if this is like, the way to do it, but it's really worked for us is that it was kind of like a practice run for my audience of going through my shock process. Because they would actually have to add the free item to their cart. And it almost gives them the sense of testing the process and getting to the end, they don't have to sign up to the email to get that freebie, they just have to go through the cart process. But it gives them that little sense of Oh, this isn't that hard. So then the next time, they go and spend $1. And it's like, okay, all the same, like it's kind of like warming them up to actually spending money because they can see that they can trust me with that process. And it's interesting, because a few of our products like we had a free Mother's Day card that we put on Pinterest and Pinterest was a really big part of our strategy early on. Because Pinterest was really good at sending traffic to the blog, we had a free Mother's Day card that went on Pinterest. But we also had a pack of 20 cards. And it's amazing because giving away this one free card, which on Mother's Day, you only need one card usually for your mom, we were amazed at like how like it was it was only like one and 100. But the the card went so viral on Pinterest and got featured in I think Women's Day online magazine. And so that became our highest selling product of the year was this pack of 10 or 20 cards, because everyone got the free one. And then they went on a blog. And then they saw the paid products. And they decided, Oh, well I might as well get that because the paid one was only $5. These are downloadable cards. By the way, by the way, they're not, you still have to print them yourself. The amount of people that decided because they were already in the cart system to just add the $5 and get the extra product. It was huge. And so we found this real sort of technique in upselling, as we got people through the shop system. And that's been a lot of our technique. And well actually some advice that we got from someone I met here in Australia named Kim Fuller, who gave me some advice early on with our product, she said, you're gonna find it very hard to reach a million dollar business. If all your products are like one to $5 You need to learn how to bundle. And so from the start, we've always been looking at, how can we find $100 product? How can we not by just making one product more expensive, but how can we bundle things to add more value so that instead of people spending $1 in our store as an average, they're spending $20 or eventually $100. So we would make 20 products, or 30 products, we'd put them together and we would sell it for like 50% off discount if they bought the bundle and the amount of people that would buy the bundle instead of buying one or two items, because the perceived value is so much higher. We found that every time we found a new product to bundle, our overall revenue would just take this huge step up the next year because all of a sudden, our product range would have a higher value point. And they say it will get much much easier. And she was absolutely right that when we could find things to sell at the higher price point, all of a sudden our revenue like it started doubling every year. And that was when things started to go from that hobby level to actual, like serious business level for us.

 

Jay Clouse  19:47

After a quick break, Sara and I talk about how she learned the ropes as a creator. And later we talked about her journey to 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. So stick around we'll be right back.

 

Jay Clouse  20:00

Welcome back to my conversation with Sarah Renae Clark. Before the break, Sarah was explaining her process of going step by step into this creator world. And unlike a lot of creators, it seemed like she took a lot of the right steps the first time. So I asked her if she had a mentor guiding her.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  20:15

I'm just someone who loves learning. So when I tend to take something gone, I tend to obsess over it and just nerd out and learn everything I can. So like when I decided I need to get better at copywriting, my first thing was, I wonder if I can hire a copywriter and I looked around and found out that would cost me about $6,000 per website page. And I was like, Maybe I should learn copywriting for myself. And so I would look at what courses were available. And I would read every single blog post that I could possibly find them for like a good six months, I would just obsess over learning copywriting. And by the end of six months, and then just move on to something else. But like, in my head, I would, I would know what I was doing. And I would feel like I have a much better idea of it. And I did it recently with negotiating, I like read a bunch of books, like, you know, talk to did some calls with Justin Moore, because he's the person to speak to about that. And, you know, really obsessed over learning, negotiating. And then now I'm kind of like, okay, I feel like I've kind of like, I've got that figured out to the point that I'm happy now move on to storytelling, you know, like, I tend to just pick pockets. That's just the way my brain works. I don't know if that's actually a recommended method. But it definitely for me, I tend to just pick something and I go all in and I like I don't just read one thing, like if I take a course. And they ask for testimonials, I'm usually got I don't know if I can give you a testimonial because I took your course. And then I read like 1000 other blog posts at the same time as your course. Because when I'm in learning mode, I just I can't get enough information. And I don't like to learn from one source because you don't know if they've like actually got it right. You try and learn what you can. But I like to learn from 100 sources. That's just the way I'm wired so.

 

Jay Clouse  21:56

I do see this as a trend with a lot of creators like we are very autodidactic. And we just like dive deep and say, Okay, this is a new roadblock. I need to solve it. I'm just going to spend the next week manically doing everything I can to, to learn this thing. And now I'm pretty dangerous. I'm pretty good at it and how I'll do the next thing.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  22:15

Yeah, I remember when I when I learnt when I decided I wanted to learn Trello it was a similar thing. I was like, I've discovered this thing called Trello. And then four days later, I was like teaching people how to automate Trello because I've like, gone insane level and then like, absolutely mastered it in like two days and like, broken the thing and hacked it so yeah, absolutely.

 

Jay Clouse  22:39

Most people just won't do that. Like there is so much opportunity if you're just willing to go a little bit deeper and learning something because then that's also like a new skill set that you can teach others. And it's it's amazing. So you have all of these digital products, and you're starting to bundle these things. Here's the challenge that I find if you have all these digital products when someone joins the ceremony, Renee Clark world, how do you know which product to position in front of them? And when? Because it could be any one of these things? How do you help them navigate a growing catalogue of things?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  23:12

Yeah, so that's something that is a constant thing that we have to come and revisit even now. I have on my growing to do list that I want to stop and redo my website, partly because if you go to the homepage, on my website, it doesn't even say that I'm on YouTube, and I've been on YouTube for two years. And it's like amazing. Our website works amazingly. But it needs an update. And that's that's I mean, we're always always have like a million things to do. That's just the nature of the game. But definitely the growing catalog is something where it's like you need to start to work out what what is the the journey, what is the customer journey you want people to go on, I think the best way to approach that is to start to look at who your customer is, and really learning who that customer is working out who that ideal avatar is. If you've ever talked that for people that don't know that terminology, look up ideal customer avatar ICA, Google it, go down that rabbit hole for a while, and then learn that one. That's one with really diving into it's a bit overwhelming at first, but it will help you immensely in every area of your business. But that's something that I really learned who my customer was, and tried to figure out like, I'm like, Are my audience beginners? Are they someone who's already advanced at this? Are they someone who's just here for entertainment, and you might even have a split. And so then like my, my goal would then be okay, so maybe rather than sending them to your homepage, or just to a shop page, maybe you need to work on some landing pages. One of our products that actually out sells all of our coloring books is a product that helps people choose colors that work well together. And we have we started four years ago with a digital version of this called the color catalog and the sales of that. So for context in the last four years, we've sold about 20,000 of these digital catalog. Yes, so this has pretty much Spraying the thing, paying my wage and my allowed my husband to quit his job to work with me, this catalog for us has been a bigger seller than all of our coloring books. Because while the coloring books are nice, this actually solves a problem not just for people coloring before kind of arts, because people find it hard to pick colors, people find it hard to pick colors that work well together. And that actually creates a restriction on people's creativity. Because if they don't feel confident, then it holds up the whole creative process. And so by us providing this tool we've found over the past few years, it helps people so much in feeling more confident about their own work, that it's filled this gap in the market that like there are things on Pinterest, and there are things on Google that can kind of help with this. But no one's ever bundled in a product in the way that we have. And so this product for us is like if we had to pick one thing to sell our audience, and they were only to add one thing to their store and leave this would be that product, despite the fact that like my whole channel, I mean, if you're looking if you're watching this video, and you can see my wall behind me, like everything I do is based around coloring books. And this sort of almost feels like it's like, it took me a little while to accept that this was our biggest seller, because it's not directly a coloring book. But I've sort of realized that this is for many people the best thing to start them with. And so we've started to position that and we have a page on our website that is a landing page, so that when we send people like from a video, for example, if we talk about that, rather than sending them to our homepage, we send them directly to that landing page for that product. From there, they can go explore the rest of our website. But because we know that's what they're looking for, if they've just watched a video about color, we send them to the the page on our website about the color product. That's amazing.

 

Jay Clouse  26:43

So you're saying you basically have like a default product that when in doubt, like this is the thing that we're going to put in front of people and kind of lead with otherwise, all these other things, if we have reason to believe that, you know, this is getting in front of this specific customer avatar, this is the product and this is the landing page, we're going to put in front of them.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  27:01

Yeah. And I think if you have a huge product range, the best thing you can do is try to break it down into categories, I guess you've just got to think if you were someone looking at your website for the very first time, and you had no context to what any of this is for, how can you give people that roadmap, and the simpler that you can make it, the more likely people are going to act on it. So rather than giving them like a full on giant ways to have an in Melbourne here, what we call the MEL ways it was like before Google Maps, you had a book that was like a telephone book size of the map of the city. It's like, yeah, just flip through and like line up the maps on the edge of that. I don't know if you had something like that where you are. But it was like the manual book of the map of the city that you had to flip through to try and navigate. It's like instead of giving them that gives them the Google Maps version that's like, here's point a, here's point B, here's the road that you need to go on, ignore all the rest. Like that's, if you can give them some kind of version like that. Even if it's as simple as on the homepage, asking them a question of what are you looking for and giving them like three or two buttons, it's like if you're this person, start here, if you're this person, start here. If you're this person, start here. And if all else fails, like send them to your email list is the first thing because that should then be the thing that kind of breaks them up and divides them. If you if you don't have an email list, this is me telling you now get an email list. Because I mean, I'm sure that Jay has done a video or

 

Jay Clouse  28:27

I have an email list, I need to listen to more episodes this podcast.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  28:33

I'm not gonna waste your time on that one, get that email list.

 

Jay Clouse  28:36

Getting started.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  28:38

Yeah.

 

Jay Clouse  28:38

This product that you've sold 20,000 units of I could see myself in that situation. If I have this product that's done so well. For years, it's been this cash cow, almost getting like fearful or protective of it. Like, what happens if this is no longer as popular? Like some other thing comes into the market and takes it away? Do you have thoughts like that or have you built any strategies to protect against that?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  29:01

Yeah, I mean, every we sometimes my husband and I, we joke, we're like, well, if all this if all this disappears, then we can at least do this, like, you know, every now and then we joke about these other businesses, I think definitely yes. But I also think that you reach a point where I mean, we have so many other little things going at any given time that it does become a point of, we've learned so much about business at this point that it's like if this fell apart, we could pick something else up. And now thing is like if all else fails, we could always go back to making websites. You know, like we always have a plan B but I think at this point, we're beyond needing a Plan B because even if like our main products fell apart, we've got AdSense, we've got sponsors, we've got affiliate income, we've got our own digital products, we've got our own physical products, and then there's things like teaching that we haven't even gone into, you know, there's like a whole I actually set up a whole teaching business originally that we intended to jump and do that we've just put on hold completely because it's like, we don't even have time for that. So I was just waiting on the sidelines like, there. I think when you reach this point that we're at now, we actually do know what we're doing. And we've got enough runs on the board, and we've got our fingers in enough pies. Yeah, that we don't have all their eggs in one basket. And I think that's a really important thing, like I do worry want to hear about creators that are only on one platform. And I understand building one platform first. And I think that's good advice. You know, don't when you first start, don't try and do everything all at once. Because you just end up overwhelmed. But once you've kind of mastered one platform, it is important to them spread out. I mean, we like I said earlier, most of our sales initially from our blog, were coming from Pinterest, when like I'm talking 90% of our revenue was directly attributed to Pinterest, and then in 20, I'm gonna guess 20s 2019 It was it was right. Right when I started my YouTube channel, ironically, there was a Pinterest glitch. And my Pinterest website, just my website disappeared off Pinterest completely. No EFA context. This was right before Christmas two, which is a big sales season. So really not ideal. Now, I still had Facebook, Instagram, I had my email list, I had all these things. But 90% of our income came directly from Pinterest to context. Our impressions on Pinterest, like our reach on Pinterest, we had an audience of about 40,000 followers. But Pinterest is a little bit more SEO based than it is follower base, we had a reach of 10 million people per month. And it went down to about 100,000. So it took a dive. So you could still find me on Pinterest, if you went through my profile, but I was gone from search, the only thing you could find on search was all of the stolen pins of everybody else who taken my content and put it so we actually gosh, it was handy because I use that opportunity to clear out all of the stolen content from other people because my real content wasn't on there. So it was really easy to finally do all those DMCA takedowns because my content was missing. So I'm talking 1000s and 1000s of images directly into our website that we've gone. And we contacted Pinterest, and they didn't believe that there was a glitch, we were told it was all you know, your organic, organic ebbs and flows, you know, you can't expect to show up in search results every time. And I mean, without going into too much detail. It was it was blatantly obvious that there was something wrong. And I took a million screenshots and I showed them and I did the search results. And like you could search for my exact name. And you hit end of results without finding a single thing from my website. Whereas before I was in every search result for the top keywords on my website, so it was major.

 

Jay Clouse  32:40

Does it ever get fixed or did you just move on with your life?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  32:42

It did. So I did move on. But I also. So it was fixed four months later. In that time, I basically decided, well, if Pinterest is letting us down, I guess we're going all in on YouTube. So that was kind of a decision there. But a little I don't know if I should say this publicly, but I'm going to anyway, because let's get the gossip. I have a feeling that the glitch may have been fixed because I did contact Pinterest support and say to them, Look, I'm actually because I ran Pinterest ads at the time as well. And I said look, I'm about to pull my money out of Pinterest ads because no point me spending money when you cut my organic reach. And I was like, I actually was about to up my budget because we're heading into Christmas I might not have but I was quite happy to if they could fix it. And I was like if we can solve this, I will up my budget you can get me an ad manager and I will put more money in. And I got an ad manager. And the glitch happened to solve itself around the time that I put more money into the ads.

 

Jay Clouse  33:46

So weird.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  33:47

Sorry, I'm not saying that, you know, correlation doesn't always mean causation versus we can I'll let you guys make that assumption for yourself.

 

Jay Clouse  33:57

If you if you make a public stink, sometimes it solves it. Also, I lost my bag from my honeymoon on a flight. And I only found that bag because from my Twitter account, I raised a big public stink. And you know what the social media person at Lufthansa solved this problem for me. Unreal.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  34:17

Sometimes there are other ways to get around customers of war. And I do look I do have to say, in Pinterest defense, I have actually since that issue, had an amazing ad representative from Pinterest, who I speak to once a fortnight and she looks after my account to a degree that like I am now spending 10 times what I started with because the return on adspend that I get from my ads is so good that like I put in $1 and I get like five or six or sometimes $10 back on my ads because she knows what she's doing and she talks me through it. She answers all my questions and she gives me such confidence in spending money with Pinterest. So, a huge shout out to the advert team at least here in Australia in Sidney so that is a big positive for me that came out of that because I might not have even gone down that path. If not saying that the glitches Okay, that was terrible, but but I do have to say that for anyone working with Pinterest ads or thinking about it, I would definitely try and get yourself one of the ad reps. I don't know if if I've just gotten really lucky and got a really amazing person or if that's normal experience, but I was really impressed.

 

Jay Clouse  35:22

I am so unprepared to talk about Pinterest. But I do want to ask you, how, how much of your business would you attribute to Pinterest? And what does that look like?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  35:34

I think early on, I mean, early on, it was so much of like a saying like it was 90% of that revenue for such a long time now a bit less like if and I think because the algorithms like everything changed. I think now Pinterest for me. I mean it it has never fully bounced back from when I lost it for that time. I don't feel like it's as easy to grow on there now is what it was when I was on there. And I think all platforms go through that right? There's like there are people on Instagram, they got their 100,000 followers really quick. And then the rest of us like how do I get my 10 unites, they all go through that. So I don't know if I just got lucky or like I at one point even have an ebook is still available somewhere on my website on how I grew on Pinterest. But I don't know if I necessarily suggest that advice for everyone anymore. And we actually sort of pulled it off for that reason, because things don't always work. years later, in the same way that they worked two years ago. Yeah, a bit stuck on how to advise people on that one. For me, it has been a great platform, and I will continue using it. But a lot of the strategies that I use way back aren't having the same return now as what they used to. I will say that my paid ads on there have an amazing return. But then I also feel like I've spent a lot of time learning what content works on Pinterest. So I can't say that that would work for everyone. I know that. For me, I feel like I do understand the platform quite well. And my content being a lot of color. And a lot of color palettes for creative people is a really good fit for Pinterest. And I do believe any any niche can work on Pinterest, but whether or in any niche would thrive on Pinterest is a different discussion. So it's it's worth exploring, I think I think a lot of people just overlook it completely. But I know for me now, I would actually if you had to pick somewhere to start, and you had to pick a platform, I would 100% say YouTube.

 

Jay Clouse  37:16

When we come back, Sarah and I talk about why she started her YouTube channel, and how she turned that into a $50,000 product launch. Right after this.

 

Jay Clouse  37:25

Hey, welcome back today, Sarah is really known for her YouTube channel. But back in 2019, she hadn't even begun uploading yet. So I asked her when and why she decided to commit to uploading videos to YouTube.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  37:38

Starting YouTube, it was something that I was tossing up with for a long time. Because around that time, everyone's advice was to get on video. And that video was the future. And I was that person I was like, but I don't want to be on video. I don't I don't have to wear makeup. I just like just girl problem. You know, like, I just was like all this effort that takes so much time I don't I don't think I can handle that right. And I didn't feel confident on camera at all. I actually started in like my facebook group just doing some live videos. And it was interesting, because I noticed that when I did videos, people really connected, we started just doing a few videos, and that just testing the waters knowing that video was the future, but not really feeling confident in ourselves. But with this digital product, the color catalog that I mentioned earlier, we were sending that at that point to other YouTubers. And they were affiliates of ours. So we were doing affiliate marketing, but we were the product paying affiliates. And there were there was one person in particular so little shout out to color with Claire who is also in the coloring books space. She was one of our first affiliates. And I think at that time from memory, she only had about 15,000 or 20,000 followers on YouTube. And she did a video of the color catalog right when we launched it. And at that point in our business, I think our revenue was about $1,000 a month. And she did a video when we launched the product and in the matter of like three days, we had all the PayPal notifications rolling in on our phone and our revenue that month was like $12,000 and we were just like what happened and so much of it we can attribute to Claire's video, we need to get this into more affiliates hands. But that was what I first assessed is we need to find more YouTubers and so we started contacting all these YouTubers and it was actually after I think about the third person that finally did a video and we saw the same kind of like big like the you know, the sales would go back down. I think we kind of hit a steady maybe $2,000 a month. But then every time someone would do a video we did this huge spike. And eventually we stopped it when we should do the video. Every time someone does a video about this product, it takes off. What if we were to do the videos and we were to do it Just tutorials because we already kind of did them on the blog. And on the blog, I was getting guest bloggers. So I was sending all this traffic from Pinterest, to my blog saying really big views. But there were other people's videos embedded in the blog because they were guest bloggers. And so their videos, were getting all these views that I was sending them. And again, I was like, I'm missing out here. So we started it as what I thought would be just like a side thing to complement everything we did. And I think it was like the fifth or sixth video, we had a discussion, I was like, I'm enjoying this a lot more than I expected. I think. I think YouTube's like my main thing, I think, can I say I'm a YouTuber now, like I was, we very much just slowly made the shift. And it reached a point where within six months, it was like, I think I'm kind of happy to say that YouTube's like my main focus. And everything else is like now on the side of YouTube rather than the other way around, it's sort of just flipped, because we just fell in love with it, I fell in love with every aspect of it, I became more comfortable on the camera. Like I actually rarely use my own coloring books in my videos, because we worked out again, it's better to just offer value to the audience. So I color with the stuff they want to know about I it's more of an entertainment thing. But then when I do use my products, the sales just become easy. And it becomes really easy to promote our stuff. Because people are invested in me they're invested in what we do, and they love how I help. And so my products just becomes an extension of that. They don't see my videos as a sales pitch, unless I'm doing a promo video, and then I get in the comments. Can't believe I just watched a sales.

 

Jay Clouse  41:34

Sometimes you got to though.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  41:35

That's it, you're talking one comment out of like, 3002 so you know.

 

Jay Clouse  41:39

I feel like people like they understand what's going on here, like people are smarter than most people will give them credit for. It's like, you know what's going on here. And you also know that you don't have to watch this or you don't have to buy this and there's going to be five more videos coming from me, you know, this month that aren't a sales pitch at all, I think I think people get it. I think there's a lot of grace there for creators, which is great. All along the way. Here. You're talking a lot about serving people understanding their needs, helping people providing value in a medium like YouTube, where you're uploading a video and you're putting it out there. And then you're getting comments and things back, how are you cultivating your community to really get a sense for who these people are, what they need, because these these numbers are talking about now, you know, selling 20,000 units of this one product. And we haven't even talked about the color cube yet. You're getting a ton of sales volume from like a unit perspective. And there are a lot of people with large audiences who just can't get people to purchase anything. So I'm curious how you approach this relationship building with your your viewers.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  42:44

For me, like people has always been a core of my business. And even now, so we're reaching that point now. So I've got about 170,000 subscribers at the moment, we're reaching that point now where the comments are starting to get to that, that level where it's like all it's getting hard to read all the comments, because they're starting to pile up and so many of them is so thoughtful. And until now, I've read almost every single one up to this point. And I know that a creative with a million subscribers, that's just unrealistic. But even now, like my team and I are having those discussions of okay, so how do we how do we plan ahead for this? And our planning ahead is not just at some point, I'll stop reading the comments. It's like, what can we do to make sure that I'm still accessible, that I'm still connected to the community, but that I don't get overwhelmed. And that is like the balance that we are constantly trying to find. So like we have an email address where anyone can email, and we have it set up through a helpdesk system. So it doesn't come directly to me, but it goes to a system and we make sure that someone on my team reads every single email. It's not just some big pile up of emails that gets ignored. Like if a fan emails us it gets read. And more than that, if they say like, if it's an email from me, they might not get a reply from me because that does become just unmanageable a certain point. But that will get read and reply to you by my team and shit. One of my teams, a Christian who currently manages all the emails, puts all those emails into like a readable document or a spreadsheet, so that I can still read them all even though I can't reply, but it does also give me a chance that if there's one that I really need to reply to, she'll then go, Okay, you need like this one specifically reply. But it's like so I actually still see those emails and still read them all. But it's just more of a liquid trying to make it manageable so that I can still be a part of that and still be true to my audience. And so yes, I am still reading all those emails. But she's they're able to be on the ground and actually replying to them all. But also she's able to filter out all the spam and all the stuff that isn't actually from my audience and then like Instagram, as much as I want it to be available in the DMS we ended up just turning them off because it's like we have this email system in place. And we have that linked on my Instagram and I found that it was too hard to try and get a team member to help manage that without it being dishonest and not being me that I just found it was easier to actually shut that off in order to try and funnel people to this other system that we have in place. And then we also have a Facebook group, that our Facebook group, people can post their own pictures. And the community is really, really good at encouraging each other and talking to each other. But I pop in there like at least once a day, and just skim and have a look. And most of what I do is just like liking and hiding, but every now and then, like if I say, No one's answered a question, I'll jump in and answer it. Or if I, if I see that someone's posted something and they've pulled their heart out into the reason I'll reply, like, I tried to be really connected to the audience in whatever way I can, like I feel so me, when I reach a point where I can't talk to my audience. For me, that means I've scaled too big. And so that is like our priority, because our whole business is about people. And if I reach a point where I have to cut myself off from our people, because the scale is too big, that I feel like for us, we've lost the core of everything that we want to do.

 

Jay Clouse  45:55

Do you have a way of like preventing scale being too big, because I feel like on YouTube, even a video in your back catalogue could suddenly just hit and now it's got a million views? And now you've doubled your already large following like, how do you, how do you think about that?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  46:10

I think for us, part of that is actually just not chasing the numbers, because instead of chasing the growth, it's looking at where we are now and going well, what are we actually aiming for? So just in the last few weeks, I've stopped and said, Well, I would really like to post a video every second week, rather than every week, because I feel like we're actually really stretching ourselves too thin. And my concern was we would lose momentum. And then I was like, well, but our momentum is really good. Like what like actually stopping and reassessing what are our goals. And if the goal is just to keep growing, I mean, what's the what's the end goal, you know, there is no end to that. Because, you know, if your goal is to hit a million subscribers, well, then you're going to hit that. And then what, you know, there's never a sense of you've made it when you're a creator. So for us, part of that is just constantly revisiting our goals and looking going well, we're better off to actually even try and slow down the different areas and get a better pace, and allow ourselves to stop and put systems in place so that if something does take off, or if if our YouTube channel does suddenly blow up that we have, for example, in our Facebook group, more moderators already in place to manage the growth of that, or I'm on YouTube, that I have someone else helping me moderate the comments, so that we have a system and so we're constantly talking about, okay, I can handle the comments now, what happens when I can't? And if we ask those questions now, when the growth suddenly does come, which it might one day, like when we hit a million subscribers, eventually, whether it's in a year or whether it's in 10 years, it'll eventually happen if we keep running this business. So we're asking those questions. Now, what can we do? Is there a tool that exists? Or do we need to just create a system between ourselves? What can we do now and start while it's small in order that when it does grow, we're already ready for it?

 

Jay Clouse  47:57

How big? You mentioned your team a few times. Now, how big is your team?

 

Sarah Renae Clark  48:01

There's currently four of us. So it's me, my husband. And then I've got two other people here that work a couple of days a week each.

 

Jay Clouse  48:08

I listen to another podcast, we talked about hiring your husband or him coming on the team full time. And we start this conversation with you on maternity leave, you know, indulging your own creativity and your husband was was taking care of everything for you guys. And now you guys have come together to build this business. Has that been magical, because I think about that as like an aspiration for my wife and I one day, but I also recognize there's probably some challenges that come with that. And it's something to, you know, walk into carefully. So I'd love to just hear a little bit more about your experience working together.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  48:41

We have always worked well as a team, I think there are some people that definitely couldn't handle working full time with their father. But we're very lucky that we've always worked well as a team. And we have very complementary skills. So like, I tend to be a little bit more of the creative thinker, and he tends to be more of the technical thinker, I tend to be more like big picture, he tends to be more details. And even back when when I was like making websites, I'd like do the pretty stuff. And he would do the Making it Work stuff i So, so our skills have always complimented each other really well even now. I'm on the camera, he's behind the camera. So we are in a very lucky position in that sense. And even before he was working for me, he would come home from his full time job and would spend hours doing things for the business. The hardest thing with the transition, I think was giving up the stability of a nine to five job and I actually think in some ways for us going through COVID actually helped with that because COVID You know COVID Obviously, it was a very difficult times. I don't want to downplay that, but at the same time COVID Here, the business was actually it was the the tipping point where all of a sudden my income went a little bit above his income. So there was a little bit of a almost a, a game there of like, Oh, I'm earning more than you now. It was a bit a bit of a joke of Uncas among us, but it was also a point where some of them are stable industries around us. I was suddenly having layoffs. And suddenly, things were looking really, really bad. And it was like this illusion of stability and a nine to five, suddenly, it became obvious that it's like, it's not as stable as maybe rethink. And I think that was probably the biggest thing that kind of changed almost this mindset towards because I think at that point, and we tend to be quite, we're not big risk takers, I'm probably more of a risk taker than Shane is. So I was always like, when he kind of when he got to work for me, and what do you what are you quitting a job, and he was like, oh, you know, six months. Next year, I was probably ready for him to jump ship, like a year, year earlier than he did and just take the risk and go for it will be fine. Like, what's the worst that can happen? You know, but he needed a bit more time needed that process and working from home during COVID, I think was also a little bit of a helpful transition for us, because he was already home, which for one freed up that what was about a 40 minute drive for him to work each day. So an hour and a half extra that he had, that he could work with me. And that also meant that he got used to the environmental change, because I know for me, going from a nine to five job to going to be working by yourself, for me at home is a big shift even emotionally because you've gone from being among other people, and you've got that motivation of the people around you to suddenly have to be completely self managed. And that's a huge difference. He didn't have to make that massive jump in the same way because he was working from home, but still working at that that company. And so he sort of had a lot more of transitionary stuff. So and then it was it was really when we hit the point where I had my full time income covered. And we reached a point where the income could cover about 50% of his wage. And then he said, Okay, I think I'm ready. And it's funny, because like, he gave his notice. And he gave about three months starters. And I was like, let's just call it, you know? No, he was very good. And it was very good to his previous boss as well, because they're really looked after him. Well, when he finally took his first week working for me full time. He's set up some Facebook ads or something. And it basically the income from it covered like his wage, like straight away. And I was like, see it just what what are we waiting for? That transition is definitely a hard transition. And I think the biggest thing is, it isn't the same for everyone. But it really is that whole, like, you're not going to cover your wage until you take the risk and jump out. But then you just see so many people that take that jump way too early, and then end up broke. And so I think it's just something that is individual, and I think he could have left earlier than we did. But then I don't think we would have been comfortable because we would have been under financial pressure and we had kids. And that wouldn't have been right for us. So we actually waited a lot longer than what we could have. And I think that was probably the right choice for us because it meant that he had time to get more comfortable.

 

Jay Clouse  52:57

The one thing that we didn't talk about at all is the color cube. Why did you decide to build a physical product? I would just love to hear the a little bit about the experience of making this physical thing how long that time frame take what was the decision to actually do it because it seems like such a new inaccessible thing to me. And what has the launch been like, I'll leave that all open ended just to hear a little bit about that experience from you.

 

Sarah Renae Clark  53:22

We had the color catalog and that, like I said, we've we've sold 20,000 of this item and it was our most popular item. But the biggest thing, the biggest bit of feedback that we've had for people over the years again, because we just listen to our audience and listen that feedback, people kept saying, I wish I could hold this in my hands. I wish it was a book. And we knew that if it was a book, if it was physical, we would probably sell more. But as anyone who's dealt with anything physical knows anything that's a physical product, there are just so many more risks. There are so many more variables, it's a lot harder thing. In the past, we'd actually tried to do some print on demand products. We tried the merch angle, we did some cute mugs and tote bags and stuff like that, because we thought our audience they want t shirts they want you know, like stuff they can use with their coloring and it flopped. We sold like three or four items total. One at the launch. It was just like an absolute waste of an effort. And it was so disappointing. So that was a flop but I'm glad it was print on demand. Because then it was like it didn't, you know, no risk and my coloring books like I get them printed through Amazon so people can buy them as a physical product. But again, that's all print on demand. So we we hadn't really for many years gone into physical products, except that a few years ago, I started making another product called our coloring planner. And we realized with that that being a planner for that audience, it needed to be a physical products. So that's actually what our first physical product range was. We approached a company in America and found an American American manufacturer because that's even within Australia, most of my audience and most of my customers are in America. So we found an American manufacturer. And I remember that process being really tricky at the start, because we didn't know how many we might sell. And we didn't want to spend a whole bunch of money. So we were looking at printing like 300, which is a really small run. And like we didn't know, like, that's probably too small of an amount to get printed in China. And if you print them in America, it's like I don't, I'm not in America. So I can't go checking samples or anything like that, we eventually found a company that could do it, but printing a small run like 300 men that by the time you sort of get your prototype and get everything done, and try to sell it at a price that isn't just like a crazy, expensive price for your audience. We broke even on that first run of 300. And that's also because we sold a digital option that we bundled together, again, bundling to try and help cover the cost. And so basically, with the sale of the digital and everything else, we just covered our cost of manufacturing. But I was okay with that, because I knew that this was dipping our toes in and I was like, as long as we don't lose money, we're okay. We did that a second year. So we've actually done this for four years now. So four years ago is when we did our first physical product. That's That's how long it's kind of taken us to really sink our teeth into this physical product product concept. We did it a second year with the American manufacturer, again, I think we did maybe 500 planters that year, so that you get your costs down a little bit. We I think we broke even but made a little bit of profit. But we also sold out that year. And so that was like great. We sold out the product, you get a little bit of people like that whole FOMO of like they missed out. And so it was a bit of excitement. And then the next year was the year when we actually had our YouTube audience. And so when we started YouTube, everything else kind of multiplied all of our sales, multiplied our email, open rates went from 20% to like 50%. Everything changed when we put ourselves on video. But when we did this, this one the next year, we actually had a bigger number. And it was actually a company that were from China, but they actually approached me like a cold email, which I would normally normally avoid. But they approached me and I noticed that they were the manufacturer of one of another company whose plan I really liked. And I was like, I should get a sample from them. And so I got them to send me a sample of a planet they done. And I really liked it. And it was really good quality was actually better quality than the American one we were getting made. And so we got them to make up like a full product prototype the previous year, we had actually done our stickers in China. And because of a miscommunication because and this is this is actually the downside of dealing with manufacturers, especially if you're dealing with manufacturers in China is you have to communicate everything really clearly, and get samples of everything. Because we wanted coloring stickers, we wanted a paper sticker. And they misunderstood that as writable paper being you can write on it with a Vairo. So we got them and they were like a glossy paper, which you can't coloring with pencils. So we had to throw away like two or $3,000 from our cost of stock, and get them reprinted. And I was able to get a little bit of money back after like really arguing with the manager. But we lost a lot of money because they were like, Oh, you want extremely writable paper and I was like I asked for a paper sticker. What would you you know, because it didn't get a sample. So lesson there when you deal with Chinese manufacturing, get samples of everything, right? So we've made a mistake there. But anyway, we have now found this manufacturer that we were really, really happy with. And after doing another run of the planner, and we were so happy with that, that we had the conversation early this year and said I think we're ready to finally print our color catalog book. I think this is the people we're going to do this with I think we can finally make it affordable. Because doing it through the print on demand with Amazon, it was gonna cost us like $60 per book and, and we couldn't make sure the colors were going to be any good. Like it was just, it was just a not a good idea. So we were looking at it and I stopped I thought about how I would use it. I was like I feel like a book is actually really impractical because I'm going to be flipping through and I want to look back at the different colors. And I didn't like the format. And so I came up with this idea. What if we made them like cards. And so I sent the manufacturer these pictures of like little trivial pursuit boxes, and tried to make my own 3d mock up and I was cutting bits out of paper but I also did like 3d software and made like a mock up on the computer of this cube. I was like can you make a box that looks like a cube and the card inside of cubes. And they put together this prototype and sent it to us and it took us about six months to get the prototype right to to resize some things and then for me to put all of the digital because I do all the design stuff myself. So to put the digital format and completely redesigned it all into these 500 individual cards with all the hex codes and everything on them of the colors. And in July we launched it and while I would not recommend So people, we launched cold to our audience, because Wow, we had the 20,000 sales of the digital product, we knew that our audience wanted the physical product. And we had such raving reviews on the digital products like everyone who had loved it, minus, like the tiniest little percentage of people, that I was confident that our audience, were just going to love this product in saying that I actually underestimated how much our audience would love this product. So we ordered 6000. And within three days, I had to ring back the manufacturer and say, Can you make it 10,000, because we sold enough that in the first two days, the revenue was about $50,000. In the first two days, that's revenue. So that money pretty much went straight to just covering the manufacturing, but we'd never seen that kind of money. And, like, up until that point, that was like, we were lucky to hit that in like a whole month, which I mean, that's still great for creators. But that was huge for us to be able to see that kind of money come in. And now with the pre orders have just started arriving in Australia, they're they're like on the boat at the dock in America, like about to hit America, the American audience now. And we've already sold out in America. And we've only got like 1000 left in Australia, like we've sold out of that 10,000. And we've asked them to print 40,000 more. So we're ready to just take to the next level, because we're selling 250 of them a week. Wow. And that's only in the first few months, like people have only just started getting it in their hands. And the excitement and the hype from our audience and the interest from people that didn't even know who I was, until they've seen this cube in like a Facebook ad or on Pinterest or on someone else's video like it's blown us away. Because this product was it meets the needs of our audience. And it has been as much as it's brand new and out of the blue and only a few weeks old. This is the product that's kind of come from that back in 2018, when we first created the first digital product that came from the need of our audience who said, I need help picking colors. It's become this development from now I've got here. I don't know if you can see it there. So this is the cube and so yeah, so people are just loving it. And we had on the weekend, I actually went to an expo. And I went in person and sold it in person and actually met some of my audience for the first time. And I had people that would come and they'd be like, What is this and they buy it. And then they would come back with three friends and they would be there and they would sell it to their free their three friends. And I would just stand back and be like, Okay, you do it. So, yeah, it's been a really, really popular thing and a really good, exciting experience for us to just see how our audience has just taken this on board and just even champion us and come behind us and just celebrating this whole experience.

 

Jay Clouse  1:02:59

This was a really eye opening and inspiring look at how YouTubers can create and sell merchandise beyond the branded widgets and clothing that we typically see. If you want to learn more about Sarah you can visit her website sarahrenaeclark.com or find her here on YouTube Sarah Renae Clark. Links to both are in the show notes. Thanks to Sarah for being on the show. Thank you to Connor Conaboy for editing this episode and Nathan Todhunter for mixing our audio. Thank you to Emily Clouse for creating our artwork and Brian Skeel for creating our music. If you'd like this episode, tweet at me @jayclouse, let me know I'd love to hear from you or leave a comment here on YouTube. And if you really want to say thank you, please leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you next week.