Welcome to another episode of the Bright Minds of E-Commerce podcast. Today, we’re joined by the brilliant Annelise Worn, a Business Strategist with a wealth of experience in navigating the e-commerce landscape. Get ready for a conversation packed with valuable tips on collaborations, visibility, mindset mastery, and simplifying strategies for e-commerce success.
In today’s episode you’ll learn:
- The importance of mindset mastery in e-commerce
- Strategies to increase visibility and stand out in a crowded market
- Building profitable relationships and collaborations for business growth
- Avoiding burnout by simplifying your business and setting realistic goals
- Identifying and plugging time and money leaks in your operations
- When and how to hire help and how to delegate tasks for optimal efficiency
- Focusing on the five key metrics/numbers every e-commerce business owner should monitor
- Streamlining your daily habits and morning routine for success
Dahna Borg: Hi, and welcome to the bright minds of e-commerce podcast. I’m Dahna founder of bright red marketing, and after helping so many businesses in the e-commerce space over the years, I wanted to bring you the best advice Australian experts in e-commerce and e-commerce store owners had to offer. If you want relatable stories and actionable advice and the latest Facebook advertising strategies, you’re in the right place.
On today’s episode. We’re joined by Annalise Warren. Welcome Annalise.
Annelise Worn: Hi, thank you so much for having me.
Dahna Borg: It is so good to have you. So can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how your business came to be?
Annelise Worn: Oh, yes I can. So I started my business because I moved from the city to a regional town and I was declined flexi time. So that would have meant two hours Drive on the way to work, two hours on the way home. And I had two young kids at the time and I knew we wanted more kids. And so I quit and because it was a regional town pre COVID people weren’t working from home and part time wasn’t really an option.
So I started my own thing. I was like, this will be easy. Right?
Dahna Borg: Yep, definitely. Amazing.
Annelise Worn: started doing some marketing from my kitchen table at my in laws house where I was living. And then built an agency and quickly then learned that it was the mindset mentoring part that I really loved. And so now that’s the majority of what I do. And now that’s, six years on. Yeah, my husband and I work inside the business.
I have four kids. We work from home. We homeschool. Yeah, life is good.
Dahna Borg: So I know one of the things that you’ve talked about is sort of ways for people to increase visibility. Do you have maybe like your top three ways that a business can increase that visibility and be seen more?
Annelise Worn: Yeah. Well, when for me, I know that when we’re getting started, often we can open cart, right? We can turn on our website and then we think that clients are going to come, the customers are going to come like flying through and we’re going to sell out in a day. And then we’re like, Oh. No, that didn’t actually work as well.
Dahna Borg: I wish it did. I wish it did for everyone.
Annelise Worn: It would be great. I just think it’s so funny that so many of us still go through that journey. Like even now they’re like, no, but I’m opening card this day. So I need to have, I’m like, it doesn’t actually work that way.
Dahna Borg: No,
Annelise Worn: so then, right. We have to spend. Either time or money. And so the money part of course is obvious depending on what your product is and what it is that you’re selling.
You’re going to go with likely Facebook ads or Google ads or both. The time piece I find is. Where a lot of people have to go because you’ve got product based businesses, right? So you’ve just invested in this website and you’ve invested in product. It’s like service based business owners, I feel have it so much easier at times because they can just go Oh, I have a business now.
Did you know,
Dahna Borg: I have a new service. It costs me nothing.
Annelise Worn: exactly. And there’s so much more that goes into that process. And then often there’s not a lot left over for marketing and so what I really like to talk to people about is collaboration and actually building relationships with people that it makes sense to build relationships with either referral partners or people you can do something joint of joint project with or, really get creative, but you’d be amazed at what.
comes when you plant those seeds, whether that is from that actual, you know, relationship or whether it’s from that broader perspective and kind of a little bit down the road, but by leveraging people who already have the audience, either because they’ve been in it for a while or because they’ve paid for it, that trust is so invaluable and just getting then, the ripple effect of that.
Is really gonna help.
Dahna Borg: Yeah, no, I think that’s so important. Do you have any sort of tips for people that are sort of struggling to make those relationships? Cause I think a lot of people go into it too heavy rather than the best. I mean, obviously it’s a different business, but the best connections I’ve made, they’ve become friends.
And I feel like people really struggle with that in the online space. To be less salesy and just really make those genuine connections. So do you have any tips on how to do that?
Annelise Worn: Totally. Yeah, I, if you take yourself out of it and go, okay, be strategic, right? It’s not about just making friends because that’s not what we’re here for. We’re all business owners and we all are here to make profit. And so. That is what makes something worth my time, right? That’s why I’m going to have a conversation with somebody is if it helps me get to my goal quicker.
So if you think strategically around who is serving the same audience as me, who has a similar, like a complimentary product or who is a service based business owner that. Their audience could utilize my product. How can I help to make them more money or help them look good? And that’s how you identify the people.
And then you pitch to them, right? You pitch and say, I’ve noticed that, your audience could really benefit from This thing. I have this thing. This is how it’s going to actually help you grow your business or your credibility or, help your clients get more results or your, this is how we could work together, but you have to tie it back to what’s in it for them.
And how can you actually add value? To their business and the friendship stuff will come, but it’s okay to have a business to business conversation,
Dahna Borg: Of course. It’s nice when it turns into friendship though.
Annelise Worn: Totally, but then , it comes from you going, I can help you in this way. And if you do genuinely think like that, not, Oh, will you please, put my product in your box?
Will you please do this? Yeah, but why? What’s worth their time even reading the email? Like we’re so busy. You have to be really obvious around how you do that. And I would connect as personally as you can, send a personal video on send a voice message, send something that shows them that you haven’t just mass emailed 40, 000 people.
Dahna Borg: Copy paste, copy paste, copy paste.
Annelise Worn: yeah, literally actually go send a video, Oh my gosh, I think we’re really aligned in our values. This is what I think your people could really benefit from. Let’s just have a chat about it and actually be a nice human that wants to offer value and the circle comes back around, right?
Dahna Borg: I love that so much. I mean, big takeaway, be a nice human. There we go. Done. You mentioned before about being really busy and I know that so many business owners today are just, there’s so much to do. There’s so much coming at them. Everyone’s trying to scale. Everyone’s trying to grow their business. I know something you’re really passionate about is avoiding that sort of burnout.
Do you have any sort of suggestions, tips, strategies that help with that? Because I know it’s something that so many people are worried about.
Annelise Worn: I think the bottom line comes down to, we are just doing too much. Like we are so ronically distracted and comparing ourselves and going, Oh, that might be a good idea. And I could do that. Or she’s doing that. And he’s doing that. And they’re doing there’s so much comparison itis and so much just.
Copycatting that we think we have to do all the things and I’m busy mama of four, right? So I get it. There’s lots that we are doing personally. There’s lots that we want to do in our business. And I had to learn this lesson really early on when I started my business because I did a course and lots of other people who did that course to grow.
An agency didn’t have kids, didn’t matter when they worked. A lot of them were guys who would just, you know, being able to be on their computer for 18 hours a day and they were growing quickly. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m so far behind. And I was like, hang on, why did I start my business? I really had to like step back and go, Oh, I started my business.
So I could work from home around my kids on like three days a week. So. Why am I now trying to work seven days a week to build the three day a week business? Why don’t I just do the three day a week business now and like be okay with the fact that my level of growth looks different. And I think it’s a combination of all of those things of wanting what we want so badly.
And I get it. And business is so bloody addictive. Like If you love what you do, it’s really easy to just be like, I can just work and this is fun and it’s fine. And I don’t want to do that. But it does lead to burnout. I we just can’t, we’re just not robots.
Dahna Borg: Look, I’m with you on that one. I think it’s just. Going back to the basics of what you want, if you want to grow a multi billion dollar business working seven days a week, that’s fine. But most of the people that I speak to certainly don’t, they want to spend time with their families and travel and do all those things.
And I like the idea of just. Starting there and stop comparing to everyone else and have your own trajectory.
Annelise Worn: Yeah. And simplifying because all we need is to get in front of more people and nurture those people and keep in touch with those people and sell to them. Like it’s just three things. Right. It’s only three things. And so I think we try and do too many to try and get in front of more people.
We’re like, okay, we’re doing this and we’re doing ads and we’re over here and we’re over here and we’re doing we see these big brands doing all these things. And so we think that we have to do all of these big things, but that’s not where we start. Right. Just start with one, like start with collaboration, like if you do have the money, hire someone who knows what they’re doing. Right. And you’re listening to the right podcast for that. And if you don’t have the money yet, then spend the time and pull the biggest lever, like what’s going to get the best result.
It’s going to be relationships and collaborations in my opinion. I’m happy to hear otherwise, but in my experience, that’s what is going to be the best you know, it’s not one plus one equals two. It’s one plus one equals 10. So the synergy is there. And then have that be, okay, that’s, I’m getting in front of new people then go, what am I doing to make my product really great?
My content really great. Like how am I doing that? But don’t do socials and over here, I know 10 things, just do one thing really well. And then make sure you, you know, you’ve got your sales strategy. And you’re sticking to that and just forget about all the other pieces for now. And I think you’ll find that you have that steady growth in line with what it is that you’re doing.
And we could get run over by a bus tomorrow, not to be like really morbid, right?
Dahna Borg: but it’s true.
Annelise Worn: But it’s true or anything could happen. And then what? We’ve lived our life behind a computer screen waiting for the day when we have some magical number that’s going to change everything. So yeah, I think we just get, we forget, we just
Dahna Borg: yeah,
You and I have very similar life values. I have discovered, and it’s great. And I just, I think you’re so right. I think people get so distracted. They listen to a podcast. They go, that’s a great idea. I’m going to add that to the list. And it’s well, hang on a second. Do the partnerships really well, get that running really well first.
Then maybe you look at a different platform and you do the same thing. Maybe you add Facebook ads, but you’ve got to do each thing well first. And you might find that that’s all you need. I’ve had guests on that podcast that, that’s all they do. They just have partnerships and collaborations and that’s how they got their success.
Like it can be that easy. And I think you’re a hundred percent spot on on that. I
Annelise Worn: yeah, it’s, I think it’s really cultural though, cause we’re such in that hustle you know,
Dahna Borg: hate the hustle.
Annelise Worn: But it’s really addictive too, because we’re like, I’m achieving, I’m doing things like. But then what, like the relationship goes to crap or our health, we just realize that we have some autoimmune thing because we’ve burnt the candle at both ends for so many years.
Dahna Borg: that fisherman analogy where some big businessman finds a fisherman and he’s like, why don’t you get a higher staff and do this and do this? And the end result is that he gets to do what he’s doing now. If you’ve got the business that’s doing what you want to, you don’t have to grow it anymore.
Like it’s fine to be where you are. I think that sort of hustle get better all the time. Must grow culture is quite dangerous a lot of the time.
Annelise Worn: Yeah. And it can be really hard. Like I get it. We, because we were living with my in laws, like I mentioned, because we were building our house. And so we were building the business. We were adding children like business house and children. And so instead of doing those things quickly, or like my kids not ever seeing their dad, it took us over three years to build the house because we were doing part time business, part time kids, part time house.
And some people like, Oh my God, like even now we don’t have cupboards, right? We’re living in the house, but we don’t have cupboards like, that’s okay. I would rather have the lifestyle. That we have and enjoy my family and enjoy the sunshine. And rather than, you know, have my husband work on the cupboards, like it’s okay.
It’ll come. It’ll come.
Dahna Borg: it’s fine.
Annelise Worn: Yeah. So, but I get it’s frustrating,
but it is coming back to your values and what is actually important to you. And maybe it’s different to me.
Dahna Borg: Exactly. And I think that’s it. Working out what is good for you and not what’s good for other people. I know something that helps with the burnout, if it’s your goal, is to hire people to take on certain jobs for you.
Dahna: Hi, it’s me again. Just wanted to interrupt the podcast episode briefly to let you know about small budgets, big results, If you’ve been around a while, you might’ve heard about it last time it launched, we’re about to relaunch. And basically small budget, big results was built to help people on small budgets, get their foot into the door of Facebook ads and learn how to get results because it really is a different ball game when you’re playing with five, 10, 15 a day. I couldn’t find a course. That was teaching people how to do this. So I built one. So if you want to learn more and you want to be one of the first to know when we relaunch, head to waitlist. brightredmarketing. com. au and I look forward to seeing you there.
Dahna Borg: When do you think is a good time to sort of look at getting help?
Annelise Worn: Good question. So this point is going to be different for everybody. And it really depends on, what else you’re juggling, what your goals are, where you are financially, all of that. But I’d say when you know that there’s too much on your plate, or there’s going to be too much on your plate. And when you can see yourself repeatedly doing things that are Below your pay grade.
So if you are paying yourself to, do the little admin stuff or the data entry or like the back of house stuff, anything that is taking you either too long or you just shouldn’t be doing like, you know, and there’s a point that if you start your business and you bootstrapping, then there’s a lot that you’re going to be doing yourself.
If you have money to invest, As soon as you can then get the stuff off your plate that you don’t love or is not in your zone of genius because it’s actually going to be cheaper for you to hire somebody else to do that for you and I was like, So scared to do this in my business,
so scared and I stuffed it up so much.
I was like, Oh, I’ll just get someone to do blogs. And I was like, why am I paying? That’s not giving, bringing me money back. So I think if you can think about how you can build profit into the role and make the roles actually revenue generating, then you think differently about it because you’re not like, Oh, hang on.
I’m spending 3, 000 a month on this person. It’s. Is this person going to bring in money? And how can I, how can I build that into the role? Is it that they’re getting more, more products up or they’re making the images better. And so I’m going to sell more. Is it that they’re doing Facebook ads for me?
And so the return on investment there is really obvious. Is it that I now don’t have to reply to all of these emails or I’ve got really great customer service. And so they buy more, like what are the things that are going to link directly to. People buy more, buy more often, to have some really great strategies around the quickest way there.
But if you can tie a role to that, then you know that. You don’t need to worry about it, right? If you can tie it to revenue, regenerating activity, it’s not a cost. It’s an investment. So as soon as you can do it, and you probably need to do it before you think that you’re ready,
Dahna Borg: Which is the hard part.
Annelise Worn: It’s going to feel scary. But I had my first full time person and we doubled in 3 months. Like it was. I was like, Oh, why didn’t I do this before? And that’s when I realized, Oh, it’s freed me up to do the moneymaking activity. So even if it does that, cause I wasn’t just doing the doing like the, like the day to day junk anymore, I could actually go and build collaborations, get on more podcasts, go and actually out there and sell my thing, get my face visible, which for me was the thing that was the needle mover in my business.
So what is that thing for you?
Dahna Borg: Yeah. I love that. Do you have any tips for people to make sure they’re hiring the right people when they get to that point?
Annelise Worn: Yes, I have lots of tips for this. This is like a whole bunch of stuff.
Dahna Borg: Look, I feel like every topic we’ve had is a whole podcast
Annelise Worn: it’s true. All right. So first off, you want to know exactly what you want them to do and have some standard operating procedures around that. You want to be really prepared so that they come in and you’re not trying to teach them everything
on the go, you’re not ready because then any time that they spend is not going to be optimized. You’re going to be wasting a lot of time. So if you can be prepared with checklists or videos or something that is training for them, so you don’t have to repeat yourself 40, 000 times, then that is going to be really helpful for you to then write a really killer position description, which And You want to scare people off with that.
You want people to read that and either go, either go, Oh my gosh, this is me. This is everything I’ve ever wanted in my life or be like, heck no. You want them to really? You want to scare people off, be like, I want this and this, and put KPIs, show them what good looks like. I need this done in this many hours.
Or I need, be really specific because you don’t want to waste your time talking to dozens of people who then you find out, actually, I don’t want to work Fridays. Actually, I can’t actually do that. Oh, hang on. I don’t really like editing. Don’t waste your time. So be really clear out what you want.
And the benchmarks of what good looks like so that you can weed people out beforehand. Also put some tests in the opposition description, your application, tell me where the spelling mistake is, or, make sure that you address your cover letter to banana, or tell me your favorite joke. I’ve used all of those in the one thing because that way their joke tells me their personality.
Can I actually, do I want to speak to this person all day? Do they have attention to detail, which is really important for me and what’s the other one? And yeah, basically attention to detail times two. So that’s where I would start.
Dahna Borg: I love that. It’s just, it is so daunting hiring people. I’ve done it a couple of times now and I’ve been very lucky. I’ve been very lucky. And I’m aware of the fact that I’ve been lucky because you hear horror stories. But I love your tips. That’s great.
I know you talked about like time and money leaks. Where are some places? Cause. I of clients that have problems with this, but where are some common ones and how can people look at that sort of stop some of those leaks?
Annelise Worn: Okay. I think, I think where you can start with this. Is getting again, really clear on your values and the things that are going to move the needle in your business. And so there are some specific numbers that you should be aware of in your business every week, every month, have your. eye on what are you bringing in? What are you spending? What are your costs? That kind of thing. And then once you. Have some benchmarks around those. It’s going to be easier to spot where things are going, but also make decisions.
Figure out the numbers that you need to know for your business. Is it, average order value? Is it The amount of people on your website, like what actually moves the needle for you? What’s really important for your profit? What do you need to know? And what do you need to keep your finger on the pulse on?
And don’t make it be more than five numbers, right? Just pick five numbers that you’re going to keep your eye on so that Oh, hang on. This is sick. This is dropping. What are we going to do to post that? Or. This is increasing. Amazing. What are we going to do with that?
So you can make good decisions with your time. I’d come back to what we spoke about before. What are the actual needle movers? Is it posting on Facebook? That’s actually bringing in clients or is it the ads or is it getting in Facebook groups, is it like more. User generated content, like what’s the thing for you and not doing all the things, but going, ah, this is the domino that actually brings everything else down and get simple.
What’s one way to get in front of new people? What’s one way to keep people connected to you? And what’s, how are you going to sell to them? How are you doing that on a schedule that makes sense with promotions or seasonality or whatever it is for your business? And delete everything else. Right?
Automate whatever you can, delegate whatever you can, delete whatever you can. I didn’t make this up. Someone else did. Maybe it was like Tim Ferriss on the 4 hour work week or something. It’s like delete, automate, delegate. That’s where I would start with that.
Dahna Borg: I feel like there’s another one, but I can’t remember what
Annelise Worn: There is another one. There is another one.
Dahna Borg: I don’t know what it is. We’ll find out.
Annelise Worn: We’ll put it in the show notes.
Dahna Borg: I love that. And I think. What I love so much about your attitude to business is just that simplicity. It’s going back to basics. It’s finding out what works. It’s efficient. Like it’s, everyone’s always trying to tell you to do more and you’re just like, don’t know, do less, do less, but do it better.
Annelise Worn: And I, I, I read this really simple quote from like hundreds of years ago. I think it’s like someone Nietzsche or something. But it’s like they muddy the water to make it look deep. And. I feel like that’s what the online marketplace is, right? It’s they muddy the water with all of these different options so that we spend more so that we like we buy other things and to make it more complicated, but it’s just human to human interaction like that’s what it is. And humans haven’t changed. So yes, right now we’re using socials and all of this other stuff, but it’s like more is not better. Actually, more is more to deal with. It’s more complicated. It’s more mess. It’s and it actually doesn’t work better and that’s where the leaks are, I think, because we try and do all of the things and where it’s like the 20 percent of things that bring in the 80 percent of the income do those things and it’s.
It’s not the norm. So you’re going to, people are going to think you’re crazy. Like I deleted probably 80 percent of my clients last year. And guess what? My profit margin is the same, is the same. Like I got rid of different members of team. Like I streamlined everything because we decided to homeschool.
And I was like, Oh crap, I can’t work every day anymore. I can only work two days a week. How am I going to do this? My I’m bringing home the same amount of money. There’s no new income stream. Like it’s just was a rearranging. And so. How can you do that? How what’s your equivalent of that? What are you doing that’s not directly contributing to the bottom line or like your reputation or credibility or visibility?
Anything like that, you’re going to need to keep if it’s showing you. actually working? Is it actually working or does it just make you feel good because you just put the post in 10 places? What’s your equivalent of that? I’m sure everyone has their own like, Oh yeah, I’m actually just, the blog post isn’t actually doing anything.
Or maybe it is, maybe it’s not the blog post. Maybe it’s something else.
Dahna Borg: I love that so much.
We bounced around a lot, but you just had too much that I wanted to ask you about. Is there anything you think we’ve missed? Any other really good tips that you want to share before we ask the last couple of questions?
Annelise Worn: I don’t think so. Let’s go into the last couple of questions
Dahna Borg: Last couple of questions. They’re just, they’re just, I like to know do you have any strategies or habits that you follow each day to help you stay on track in business? I’ve been simplifying everything.
Annelise Worn: I totally do. And it’s become more and more important to me, the more years I’ve been in business. And I think, and I have funny enough, I’ve been talking about this a lot today on different, different capacities. It’s the whole mindset stuff that we. I think at least for me, I was in a management role in corporate.
And so I had this certain level of belief in myself and I carried that through to my business and got my business to a certain point. And so at the start I was like, mindset, whatever, it doesn’t matter. Like I can do this. I don’t like that doesn’t affect me. And then you get to a certain point, you’re like, Oh crap.
So at some point I think we all need to do the mindset stuff because. It’s only based on what we have experienced either through someone else or our own experience. And so for me, having a morning routine now that gets me grounded and reminded about who it is that I want to be in the world, how I want to show up yes, in my business, but also with my kids and, with my clients and just.
In the world. And so I have this life GPS document, literally, it’s two pages that I read through that talks about basically like my dream life on two pages. And I read that every single day. And I learned this from John Mitchell, who runs think it, be it, and. It just gets me realigned with that.
So then, if I’m talking about how I’m a calm, joyful mother, and then I want to scream at my kids, it’s not necessarily going to stop me screaming at them. A lot of the time it does. But at least it puts a filter, right? If I’m saying that I’m showing up in a certain way, or I have certain goals, and I’m not doing anything towards those For days on end, then I’m going to feel incongruent with that and I’m going to change my behavior.
So for me, it makes sure that it’s like, what’s that analogy when you you’ve got a boat or a plane and you’re going from here to Tokyo or something, if you get one degree off course, you’re going to end up in china or Alaska you’re going to end up somewhere else. But if you re keep coming back, like actually the planes, of course, like 95 percent of the time, apparently, but it keeps coming back to that center line. And that’s what that is for me is realigning. No, like this is the life, this is the life, this is the life.
And this is what I want. And so then. I put things in place. you know, I’m slowly rewiring my brain to act a different way in line with the calm, joyful mother or the, whatever the, your version of that is. Yeah, so that has been really important to me and helped me show up when I didn’t feel like showing up and send those scary emails and, pitch to go on podcasts and all the things like that is the practice that.
Has really helped me to do that.
Dahna Borg: I love that. Do you have a favorite podcast other than yours?
Annelise Worn: I have so many. I have so many. I’m loving Glambition at the moment with Ally Brown. She’s fun and she speaks to really incredible high level women with so they’re all so varied and I love hearing that story because it’s so many of them are not the my norm like in my world and so that’s what I’m loving at the moment but there’s lots.
I’m obsessed with podcasts.
Dahna Borg: And how can people visit you if they want to chat more and find out more about what you do?
Annelise Worn: Come on over to Instagram Annalise Warren. You’ll have to check the spelling because it’s odd. If you prefer Facebook, I have a Facebook group. But yeah, Instagram is probably the best place to get all the links and all the things.
Dahna Borg: Amazing. Well, thank you so much for joining us. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show.
Annelise Worn: Thank you so much for having me.
Dahna: Thanks for listening to the bright minds of e-commerce podcast. As always you’ll find the show firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash episode 54. thanks for listening.