Almost nothing is a success right off the bat. But, with continued iteration and improvement, you can often turn so-so efforts into home runs.”
Lauren Pawell, MBA, helps entrepreneurs generate (and nurture) more leads through their websites. Through her company, Bixa Media, she offers one-on-one consulting as well as done-for-you services.
She firmly believes in getting business owners to focus on high-impact marketing efforts, so they don’t waste any time or money spinning their wheels on tactics that won’t drive real results. Case in point? That time she generated $262,822.58 in sales for a client using only 9 email campaigns.
As an online marketing strategist, Lauren has been featured in Copyblogger and Videofruit, appeared as a guest expert on Highbrow, The Office Talk Podcast, Live In The Feast, The Food Entrepreneur Summit, Teach What You Do, Nail Your Brand Camp, and Blissful Bites and has taught as guest faculty at the Laguna College of Art and Design.
Where did the idea for Bixa Media come from?
Like many business owners, I really struggled to come up with a name for my company. You want it to be something memorable, easy to spell (I missed the mark on that one) and you want the domain name to be available.
After weeks of trying to figure out, I had finally resorted to looking at lists of animal and plant names on Wikipedia, hoping there’d be something in there that would serve as a great metaphor for awesome online marketing.
One of my family members, who was with me at the time, said: “What about Bixa?”
We looked up what the bixa plant was and as it turns out, it’s a red, spiky fruit found in South America that has both functional and aesthetic uses (much like digital marketing). I was inspired by the hue, purpose and the name, so I made it official by buying the domain name on GoDaddy.com.
Shortly after deciding upon my business name, I happened to stumble upon a random bixa plant while hiking in Australia, even though the bixa is not indigenous to that region. What are the chances? Taken as a sign I was on the right path, Bixa Media was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My days are frequently varied, but typically are filled with calls with prospects, sales calls and a lot of work aimed at serving clients (copywriting, website design and development, paid advertising, email marketing, etc.) In short, it’s a lot of computer and phone time.
I make my days productive by:
Planning out my week ahead of time
Blocking and tackling projects
Focusing on the main priorities and putting everything else on the backburner
Assessing progress at the end of each week and reviewing areas for improvement
Starting the day right (with exercise and a healthy meal)
How do you bring ideas to life?
With careful and strategic planning + measured implementation. I believe there should be a reason for everything you create, so I’m very intentional about WHY we create anything…whether it’s for Bixa or our clients.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The renewed focus on delivering the “right message, to the right person, at the right time”. Mass-marketing is expensive and the ROI is not great. The ability to segment and get hyper-targeted delivers far better results. And with where marketing automation is going, it’s not that difficult to accomplish.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I set aside Fridays to work on the business. I don’t take any meetings, calls or client work. I focus solely on projects to grow and streamline the business.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop trying to figure out EVERYTHING on your own. Hire experienced consultants to teach you the skillsets or help you achieve the desired outcomes.
It may require some upfront investment, but it will save you a lot of time and money long-term.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
I’m not sure any “truths” are universal.
That being said, I don’t believe there is one perfect online channel or one perfect tool for every business, contrary to what many marketers say.
Be wary of someone who says “This is THE tool (or channel) that everyone should be using.”
All business have different needs. The perfect marketing solution will vary from company to company.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Invest in learning from the best.
You can find someone who’s accomplished what you want to do and can help get you there quicker and faster. Learning by trial and error is expensive. Instead, hire someone who can shave off your time to get to the end outcome. Your business will be better off for it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Email marketing is by far my channel when it comes to business growth. It allows me to nurture leads in an automated way, freeing up my time to focus on other business priorities.
Plus, prospects really get a feel for what we offer at Bixa and how we work, so they can decide whether or not we are a right fit for them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had many failures and many successes. There’s too many to count!
Here’s the thing: you can’t be afraid of failure as a business owner.
Almost nothing is a success right off the bat. But, with continued iteration and improvement, you can often turn so-so efforts into home runs.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Honestly, I see so many different business ideas from clients and prospects, many of which never get off the ground.
The idea alone is never enough for success. Being able to build and retain a paying audience is.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The gas money I spend every weekend to go out and hike in the mountains. Being a business owner means operating at your best 95% of the time. Getting out into nature helps me reset every week and start fresh every Monday.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Drip is a tool I use for email marketing, which helps me automate my lead nurturing. I couldn’t run my business without it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron. I was recommend this book after losing a loved one.
However, I think there is a lot of advice in here that is so valuable for the entrepreneur. Owning your own business means getting comfortable with uncertainty and challenges and thriving in the face of them. Pema shares a lot of practical advice on how to do this.
What is your favorite quote?
“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than doubling your traffic.” — Bryan Eisenberg.
As an online marketing specialist, I love this quote from Bryan Eisenberg. Why?
Because so many business owners focus primarily on growing their website traffic as a way to grow their business. But this is a long, hard road that typically doesn’t see payoff until 6 months to 1 year later. However, if the business owner instead focused on doubling their conversion rate and getting more leads from their existing traffic…he or she would see results far more quickly. Equally as important, once they decided to pursue traffic growth, they’d be in far better position to get greater results.
- Prioritize activities that will move the needle in your business and put everything else on the backburner. Plan your week and days ahead of time, so that these projects are scheduled in your calendar.
- When considering which ideas to execute on, thing about WHY. By being intentional about what you take action on, you’ll see far more ROI on your efforts.
- Don’t be afraid of failure as a business owner. Instead, embrace experimentation and iteration.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.