Nicole Bernard has a fascinating story about how she had too much business! Yes! Too much business! A business that frankly wasn’t expected to grow given the market or location. Join us as we hear her crazy story and how she handled the twists and turns of her tale!
-why marketing fundamentals are the key to everything.
-the tricks and tips she used to get too much business
-and how social media is changing
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Podcast: Win The Hour, Win The Day Podcast
Master: Nicole Bernard_Podcast Interview
[00:08:43] Kris Ward: Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Win the hour, Win the day I am your host Kris ward, and today we have a super interesting story. I’m going to dive right in and tell you about Nicole Bernard’s story. I’m going to gonna let her talk yet because you really want to pay attention to this.
[00:09:04] This is quite interesting. She and her husband started a business in 2007 they started this organic farm and Michael brewery and it was, you know. It was doing really well because of all the hard work that Nicole was putting into marketing it. It was doing so well that they got too much traffic and they got complaints from the neighbors, and there was this sort of big pushback because of all the SEO and the marketing and everything she did.
[00:09:32] She literally had too much traffic and they dealt with the town and they did all that they could do to advocate to keep it open, and they just. Couldn’t, they had to close the doors? Can you imagine too much business? So what she did is she took her smarts and she took them online. So I mean, here’s a lady that literally had too much business, and now she’s helping other professionals with their marketing.
[00:09:56] I’m not kidding you. So Nicole, welcome to the show.
[00:10:00] Nicole Bernard: [00:10:00] Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to chat today.
[00:10:03] Kris Ward: [00:10:03] Well, it’s such an interesting story because you know what? There are so many, like, you know, farms and microbreweries and all that kind of stuff, like, you know, bricks and mortar type places, and I, I just don’t hear every day where they had too much traffic.
[00:10:18] That’s just not a problem that comes up every day.
[00:10:21] Nicole Bernard: [00:10:21] I know. Yeah. So, I mean,
[00:10:24] Kris Ward: [00:10:24] even online you could be like, okay, I wasn’t ready for that. Or we didn’t have the admin stuff in place. But you know, when they’re coming in physically, physically getting into their cars, driving there to see you, and you’ve got too much traffic.
[00:10:36] I mean, that’s a phenomenal story. And it sounds like, you know, I know you’re going to be all polite, but to have your own horn, it really was the marketing that you did.
[00:10:45] Nicole Bernard: [00:10:45] Yeah, it really was. I mean, our beer was good, but it wasn’t great, you know? So it was, you know, really building the audience and getting people there.
[00:10:53] And I dunno, you know, you can go to a lot of breweries, but a lot of them are on a farm. So it was the environment and just like word of mouth, like just really creating that environment that they really wanted to come to. And then they just told their friends, you know? And then we did it. Just some other like really fun strategies, to really get people to the farm cause we were in a really small town.
[00:11:12] so yeah, I did all of that, which was super fun and I learned a lot along the way.
[00:11:16] Kris Ward: [00:11:16] Yeah. But see, you know, you talk about that and you say, Oh, well, you know, in fairness, we have this unique environment. But you could hear that from other people saying, Oh, we just couldn’t make it work. We were remote. We were out off the beaten path.
[00:11:30] We weren’t within stumbling distance, stumbling distance to get home, you know? So these are things that you’re claiming worked for you. But I could easily hear a lot of people saying that those would be disadvantages.
[00:11:41] Nicole Bernard: [00:11:41] Yeah. True. Yeah. and like I said, you know, we really used a lot of different strategies, like one of my favorite ones every year was.
[00:11:47] Like I would hold a blogger open house. So I was just like, craft beer where we live is huge. So I would reach out and say, come try all the beers you want. And then they would go home and blog about it and they put it on social media and say, you know, we’re giving away free stuff, but the SEO and the social credibility we got was huge.
[00:12:06] So just to have little tips like that.
[00:12:08] Kris Ward: [00:12:08] You know what, and stuff like that. When people say that you go, Oh, that’s a great idea, but it’s also a simple idea. You’re like, Oh, okay. But when you’re there and you create that idea and you go, this is what we’re going to do. And especially beer. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s.
[00:12:24] It’s a pricey thing. It’s not coffee. Right. It has some expense there. So that was awesome. So wow, you’re just that, that, that isn’t interesting. You just started, keeps getting better.
So tell me a little bit, our audience always wants to hear about where you are now. Where do you hope to be in, and even though you had such success, what was that transition like for you to go from really offline to online?
[00:12:47] Nicole Bernard: [00:12:47] Yeah, it was hard. You know, we ran our business for seven years, and so when it came down to it, like. It came down to a public hearing and we really didn’t think that we would close down. And so, after seven years, we’re just like, what do we do now? I mean, this has been our life, you know? so luckily from there I was able to get a remote job with a digital marketing agency.
[00:13:07] and so that’s, you know, where I am now. Like, I stayed there for a few years, got all those strategies as well, as well as what I used. and now I’m helping those to, you know, help small business owners with both of those, like the experience and the knowledge that I’ve picked up over the years. and we’re in a much better place now.
[00:13:24] Like everything does happen for a reason. like I said, we were crushed when it happened. And, like my husband immediately got on a plane, went to our hometown, and Louisiana started working while we figured out how we were going to transition. but yeah, now we’re
[00:13:38] Kris Ward: [00:13:38] here. So you took that knowledge you had and then you got a job.
[00:13:42] And from that you evolved to having your own company.
[00:13:45] Nicole Bernard: [00:13:45] Yeah, exactly. And,
[00:13:46] Kris Ward: [00:13:46] but I have to say too, that bounce would be kind of hard, like you were all about. It’s entrepreneurs. You have to dust yourself off and get back up. But often it’s, and I don’t know. I don’t know which would be worse. I don’t know. Often, it’s because the company failed and you’re like, okay, okay, I learned my lessons.
[00:14:03] Okay, I can do this now. And you just get better resources. Right. But then to go, yeah, all right, that really succeeded and that went great and everything was going wonderful and they closed me down. I don’t know you, you wouldn’t have a lot of company, a lot of people to give you pep talks because you would be in a unique situation.
[00:14:21] Nicole Bernard: [00:14:21] Yeah, totally. And one thing I don’t think I mentioned either. from being closed down, we were like, okay, well we’ll take our business idea, we’ll make it bigger for you. We’re going to get like a full-scale restaurant. We got investors. Is that all this time and money getting all that? and then we went and applied for a loan and we got denied.
[00:14:38] And so we were like, Hmm, well, what do we do now? And then, so that’s kind of how we, like when my husband worked, like I did, I did the marketing and everything. So he did the farming, and so he transitioned to, I worked full time. He’s with our kids. He homeschools. but yeah, it took us a little while. It was a little Rocky there for a little while, but now.
[00:14:58] It’s flattened out for sure.
[00:15:00] Kris Ward: [00:15:00] I’m sure it is. And you know what? Nothing makes me angry. And then those bank commercials that say they help small business, because I’m telling you, I think being unemployed is the same thing as, you know, having your being self-employed or having your own business. So yeah, I’m sure it was not a smooth transition, but you did come up the other end.
[00:15:15] And I think that’s the amazing part. So having all that experience and gone through those Hills and valleys, what you tell us. Some things that, listen, if you, what is it that we should know about marketing? What are some things that you see people doing wrong all the time? That you just wish they knew better?
[00:15:34] Nicole Bernard: [00:15:34] Yeah. So the one thing I always tell people is, you gotta know your foundation like you really do. I know a lot of us, we’re so excited about our business, so we jumped right into it. But if we don’t know who we’re talking to, where they are, what resonates with them. You know, what your goals are from the beginning, and like your messaging, your branding, all of that, like it doesn’t matter what tools you’re going to use, you’re never going to be able to connect and grow with them. So I always tell people, You know, just take a little bit of time. Just really think about those, those foundational pieces. and then from there, that makes your marketing more effective and more efficient, so that’s probably the biggest thing that I tell
[00:16:11] Kris Ward: [00:16:11] people. Yeah. And that’s a good point. You know what? Cause I know for me, when I wrote my book, Win the hour, Win the day, and that was based on. and I’ll try to shorten that, that story, but it was based on, I had been pulled away from my business. I came back and you know, that is why I was pulled away a story for another day, or if you don’t already know it, you can look it up.
[00:16:30] But, and what happened was, then I started working with my marketing clients under the capacity of. Helping them build their teams because I think business should support your life, not consume it and all this stuff. So I started having a lot of success with them and, and I wanted to help more people cause they just thought, wow.
[00:16:47] Like, you know, you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t be making such huge sacrifice in your personal life and wearing yourself down cause you’ve got dreams,
[00:16:54] Nicole Bernard: [00:16:54] right?
[00:16:55] Kris Ward: [00:16:55] So I did work with a lot of people and I was getting all these great results and I thought, let me help more people. So I wrote my book and I thought, okay, I’ll take this online.
[00:17:02] And I went and. Blazing in, cause I also have a background in marketing. I have a marketing agency, but of course you can only see out. You can’t see it. Totally. When I went to take this online, I was going with the confidence of all my experiences offline and it was completely different because where they sort of came in at the story online is very different.
[00:17:22] Like, you know this, let’s say there’s five points that I would cover right. Offline. I started them at number one, but online they wanted to start at number three. And I really, it, it’s still, I’m still kind of, navigating my way more and more effectively through that messaging. So I think it is a really great point that you say that, like, okay, you have to figure out where your audience is.
[00:17:43] And I foolishly thought because I had had like. Five years experience with this. I thought, Oh, no, I know. I know where my audience is, but it was just very different, offline and online, so you can really be seduced into thinking you have a good grip on it and you don’t.
[00:17:57] Nicole Bernard: [00:17:57] Yeah. Totally. I agree. and I think too, like a lot of people that I’ve talked to too, they either do like a lot of online or a lot of offline.
[00:18:04] And that’s another thing too. I’m like, you can, they can support each other. So, you know, just use these different strategies and tools to enhance the efforts that you’re putting in online. You know, there’s a lot of area as
[00:18:16] Kris Ward: [00:18:16] well. Yeah. And so when you were making this transition and then you, you know, even dealing with your own marketing company, because again, I, I’ve seen myself where my mentors said, Oh my gosh, I’m paying money for turn around and tell me something that I told the client, you know, not too long ago he’s paying me.
[00:18:34] And I’m like, how did I not see that? Cause I tell them to do it and I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is exact same thing. This is hilarious. So sometimes it’s even more difficult when you are a marketer, you think, Oh, I’ve got this. Is this education, but it’s really hard to operate on yourself. Tell me some of the stuff that, when you said, okay, now you know, I’m a big girl, I got my own business.
[00:18:53] What are some of the bumps and hiccups you had in your marketing journey?
[00:18:57] Nicole Bernard: [00:18:57] Yeah, so same kind of thing. Like I didn’t really, I kind of jumped in as well because like I said, I worked for an agency and I’ve kind of transitioned to my own, but I kept a lot of what I had learned over the years from them.
[00:19:10] so. And tell, you know, so I was just doing like all of my client work and then I wasn’t actually doing the same exact thing for myself. So I’m getting the results for them and I’m just like, why aren’t I growing? Well, you know, what am I, whatever. And I didn’t even take that time to, you know, put my foundation in place.
[00:19:29] So, and do some of the things, like for instance, you know, I know video’s huge. I’m not a huge fan of video. But I tell my clients all the time, you need to do video. And so now I’m trying to work it into my strategy, like baby steps. But, yeah, like you said, it’s hard to take our own advice, but then when you do, it’s like,
[00:19:49] Kris Ward: [00:19:49] Oh yeah, that’s right.
And he seen her don’t get to put a banner across your website that says, yes, I know, but it’s like the shoemaker’s kids have no shoes. I’m too busy with everybody else’s stuff. I can’t do my own. Right. And you know, and that’s one of my principals too. And win the hour, win the day. You know, you always think, well, once I get this done, once I get back done, you know, all of a sudden, once we get whatever, because you’re last, you always push.
[00:20:11] You’re not going to put your deadline ahead of a paying customer. Right. Right. But then there just comes a point where you look foolish because you’re telling them to do something you’re not prepared to do.
[00:20:21] Nicole Bernard: [00:20:21] Yeah, exactly. yeah, so I started getting some examples together of like clients and everything, and then I’m like looking at my own results because same thing, I’m doing it for everybody else.
[00:20:30] And I was like, I am not even proud to show my analytics, you know? And I was like, that’s not right. Like I have to change that.
[00:20:38] Kris Ward: [00:20:38] Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. A hundred percent Oh my gosh. I know. I try really hard. And. To do this. And, and I was just speaking to one of my mentors last week and he said he does the same as you really have to treat your own business as a client.
[00:20:51] Like you haven’t saved this client here. Like cause you have a process for your clients and then you have to say, well here is a pro. We are going to use that same process. And, and we are going to, and here’s another thing I talk about too, is if you put that the first hour of the day, like I have to do this the first hour because then.
[00:21:09] You don’t have all these things that interrupt your day or say, Oh my gosh, you can’t even get to it. I’ll get to it tomorrow, tomorrow, or whatever. So I know whenever I’ve made a shift, like when I launched this podcast, we were in a really busy season and I was willing to do it in the spring. I thought, yeah, okay, let’s do the podcast.
[00:21:24] All right. The spring. And that was like six months away. And my team said, well, why don’t we just, you know. Do the strategies and do it in four weeks because you have the speaking gig coming up. And I thought, Oh my gosh. Okay. So I then just did it the first hour of every morning and that at least it kept moving and I was able to meet that deadline.
[00:21:40] So that’s a big deal too. So, yeah. So tell me some of the highs or what, you know, what has really worked for your marketing clients and for yourself as you dive deeper and deeper into the online world?
[00:21:52] Nicole Bernard: [00:21:52] Yeah, I’m so, getting that foundation in place really helps. you know, and then some of them. Big believer in organic, marketing, like, I know, like pay, like ads and everything.
[00:22:04] That works as well too, but that’s not what I concentrate on. so, you know, and like I said, for the analytics, like each month, you know, I kind of go into their analytics that are, you know, on the back end and really focused on like a lot of their keywords. and then I vote, you know, construct their content strategy and, you know, then put it on the different platforms.
[00:22:23] and I think, you know, a lot of people are like, Oh, I blog and I do social media. But yeah. Really taking the time to look at those analytics and make sure they match up with that foundation really has made a huge difference. and you know, spending time where they actually are, you know, where they’re not on all, all the social media platforms just because they think they’re supposed to be there on the ones that get them results and that they’re actually engaging with their community.
[00:22:47] so just, yeah, thing, things like that. because like everybody, you know, there’s all these different aspects of digital marketing, but they still have to be tailored to the different clients and their different industries. and so just really taking that effect, like that approach and not just a blanket.
[00:23:03] You know, all right, this is what we’re going to do. that’s just, that’s really where my clients see results.
[00:23:09] Kris Ward: [00:23:09] So we talk about organic, and then I guess what you’re saying is, you know, make sure when you get all, just because it’s done doesn’t mean it’s good. So you say, okay, I’m going to write a blog every year.
[00:23:20] Thursday on LinkedIn and you go, great. I promised I would be consistent. Consistency is really important with content marketing. Okay, I am consistent. Look at me, I’ve accomplished something. But then go back, and this sounds like common sense, but it’s really easy to overlook it because you get busy. Go back and look at, are those blogs working?
[00:23:39] Nicole Bernard: [00:23:39] Right? Yeah. And if they’re not, you know. That’s going to tell me your messaging is slightly off, or are you gonna like your analytics that they’re not looking for the keywords that you think that they might be looking for? You know, it might be something completely different.
[00:23:51] Kris Ward: [00:23:51] Okay.
[00:23:52] Nicole Bernard: [00:23:52] So
[00:23:53] Kris Ward: [00:23:53] perfect. Okay. So if it’s off, we go back and we revisit it and we say, all right, so we’re either not working on, the messaging has to sort of be more specific, may shut down, or we, you know, the key words are what the whole bunch of things.
[00:24:08] So if it’s not working. W we’re, and we do those two things. What is it we’re looking for? Like if I’m using the wrong words, how do I know what the right words are?
[00:24:18] Nicole Bernard: [00:24:18] Yeah. So you can do some keyword research. There’s a few different tools out there that will kind of help you. and then what I do is I go into the analytics that you have to have your Google search console set up with it.
[00:24:31] Which you should anyway, because that’s, you know, part of the algorithm stuff and it’ll show you the top keywords that they’re looking for. Like, for instance, one of my clients is a dog trainer in Southern California, and we went in, looked at hers, and she was like, Oh my God, I would have never thought that.
[00:24:46] you know, it was like dog frustration or dog aggression and hurt. But prior to that, her blogs were not focused on that, and they were big, different variations of that. And now like her v-neck search has just skyrocketed. So just knowing like those aspects are, is invaluable.
[00:25:04] Kris Ward: [00:25:04] I think what happens too, is you can kind of get seduced by one camp over the other, whatever the flavor of the week is.
[00:25:10] So I know the two things I hear a lot about are Facebook ads and Google ads. So even though, you know we’re in Google keywords, we’re looking there, but those keywords are still going to aid us in LinkedIn and areas like that. Is that correct?
[00:25:25] Nicole Bernard: [00:25:25] I was actually talking about just like your content, like getting cert, like search.
[00:25:30] but yeah, like LinkedIn and you know, all the different platforms that use hashtags, you know, really doing some research on those to get found and grow your audience. That’s, that’s an amazing way to grow as well.
[00:25:42] Kris Ward: [00:25:42] Okay. Perfect. So, the organic keywords for Google, that’s be clear since I clearly misunderstood what you were aiming at, we’re talking about spell it out for me.
[00:25:52] Nicole Bernard: [00:25:52] Yeah. So I’m talking about your different blogs or not even content. I mean, it doesn’t have to be blogs per se. but content that you’re putting on your website and even using those keywords. Like on the backend of your website and your manager descriptions and things like that. But don’t just stuff them in there.
You know, Google’s really intuitive and so they want to be able to read it just like you would be writing it and telling a friend. so just, yeah. Optimizing that way.
[00:26:18] Kris Ward: [00:26:18] Gotcha. Alright. And what are some other rookie mistakes you see happening all the time? If they only knew, if they only knew.
[00:26:29] Nicole Bernard: [00:26:29] So yeah, like you said, you know, I mean, I feel like everybody kind of either like hops on the latest thing, or they see somebody doing something that’s really successful for them, and so they’re just like, okay, I’m going to do that too.
[00:26:42] And again, that doesn’t really line up with your foundational work, then it’s not going to get you any results. the other thing is I think, you know, same kind of thing. They’ll try these different things and once they don’t see results, they hop to the next thing, but it really takes a little while to start seeing the results and just being consistent, doing it and just knowing that, you know, that is gonna pay off. I think is huge. that a lot of people just
[00:27:08] Kris Ward: [00:27:08] don’t feel like. As we were talking about in another episode, it’s really another episode we recorded and she was talking about it being a slow burn. And I think when you have so many options with social media, it’s so easy to be somewhere and go, Oh my gosh, I didn’t get any engagement here, and this other person is getting all kinds of engagement so that you think, this platform isn’t for me, I’ll move on.
[00:27:31] Right. It’s the whole, you gotta pace yourself.
[00:27:36] Nicole Bernard: [00:27:36] Yeah, definitely. And also too, so I had, two Instagram experts on my podcast a little while ago, and they were just like really winning deep dive, like, and this is just Instagram specific kind of, yeah, they’re just talking about, you know, engagement rates are dropping, but people are using it different.
[00:27:52] So say, you know, you’re planning a trip, you want to see what this cafe has. You go to Google. And you want to look at Google, then you go to their Instagram and they’re still looking. They’re not engaging, they’re not liking or anything, but they’re using it as a research tool. So just keeping in mind that you know how people are using social media is shifting as well. So just because you’re not getting a ton of engagement doesn’t mean it isn’t a useful tool for you.
[00:28:14] Kris Ward: [00:28:14] No, that’s a really good point. I was at a, an event and I got the privilege of listening to somebody and she was doing a deep dive on Instagram and her
[00:28:24] Nicole Bernard: [00:28:24] whole.
[00:28:25] Kris Ward: [00:28:25] Focus where she was showing us that people with very low engagement and low following was making large money.
[00:28:31] Because we do always get distracted and think, okay, I need 10,000 followers or a hundred thousand followers because the cool kid is doing this and they have all this attention, and she was showing, well, look, this, these person, they were low numbers and they had contracts or sponsorships. They’re all kinds of, yeah.
[00:28:48] Like she could show the math that they were really reaping the rewards on the quality of those relationships. So I think it’s kind of like, I don’t know, like flyers, you think all the hand, 10,000 flyers, maybe two people will show up, right? So you just start going for volume. And I think for most of us, we know
[00:29:04] Nicole Bernard: [00:29:04] this, but
[00:29:05] Kris Ward: [00:29:05] it’s just such a busy world and you’re out there and you’ve got so much going that you, you get distracted and off, off track
[00:29:11] Nicole Bernard: [00:29:11] ever so easily.
[00:29:13] Yeah, definitely. I mean, there’s so much stuff to do in our business, you know? And it’s, yeah. Just this whole other element, that can easily just become a slippery slope.
[00:29:23] Kris Ward: [00:29:23] Yeah. Real fast. Real fast. Okay. So tell people where can they find you when they want to hear more of your brilliance?
[00:29:30] Nicole Bernard: [00:29:30] Yeah. My website is just nb.marketing.
[00:29:34] and then, Instagram, it’s NB that MKTG so, you know. Yeah, and Facebook as well. Oh, and my podcast is bubbles and biz. Right. So we just chat them out. Entrepreneurship over some champagne.
[00:29:51] Kris Ward: [00:29:51] Yes. She sends
[00:29:52] Nicole Bernard: [00:29:52] you alcohol. She talks
[00:29:55] Kris Ward: [00:29:55] to you while you’re drinking. Oh my gosh. Okay. Now I’ll let you know how that all is going to turn out because I, I have a friend that said they shouldn’t be ramen, my ice cream, because I am very inexpensive.
[00:30:08] A date, I guess I would say. Versus the not politically correct, cheap drunk, but yes, the bubbles and biz, and it’s a dynamic. It’s a dynamic podcast and it just cracks me up to no end that the foundation of that is alcohol. So. Awesome. All right, well, thank you again, Nicole. We were lucky to have you and thanks for that.
[00:30:27] I just, I’m constantly thinking of your little journey and I think you should write a book. I really do. Yeah. You could have. You could have a little all kinds of, there’s so many stories and some stories in that journey really. And I think it’s really interesting cause I, I just haven’t met anyone else that had closed their business cause it was too busy.
[00:30:48] Nicole Bernard: [00:30:48] I know. Yeah. It’s crazy. And I’m, you know, I was talking to someone the other day, they were trying to get on a reality show and I remembered like when we had the farm, like a production company out of LA was like, would you be having like a reality TV on your farm? And we’re like. We’re not very interesting, I promise, but you know, it’s just get like little stories like that.
[00:31:04] Then I kind of forget about, which would be kind of fun to put in the book.
[00:31:06] Kris Ward: [00:31:06] Yeah, absolutely. All right. Thank you again and everyone. Until next time, don’t forget to win the hour so you can win the day.
[00:31:14] Nicole Bernard: Thanks.