“ClickBank for me was just the obvious choice. I had an idea and I've been wanting to put this SMS course out for a while but I'm a busy professional, I have two kids, I travel a lot, I do a lot of public speaking. So for me it was, okay, how can I bring this to life really quickly? And ClickBank did that for me.” -Amanda Dobson
We've got Amanda Dobson speaking to our ClickBank audience in this episode of What Makes You Click?
This brilliant #girlboss recently spoke at #trafficandconversionsummit and is soon launching her first ClickBank product that teaches digital marketers how to implement SMS strategies into their current marketing plan.
Here are some of the highlights of what we learned from sitting down and speaking with Amanda:
1 - How did Amanda overcome the stereotypes and growing up in a small town?
2 - The story of why Amanda switched from being a successful attorney to digital marketing.
3 - Amanda tells us how she not only navigates but dominates an industry made up of mostly males.
4 - The reason Amanda is choosing ClickBank for her new sms product.
5 - How to focus on traffic channels as opposed to traffic sources.
Watch the full episode now:
Amanda Dobson - Hi Guys I'm Amanda Dobson, the founder of Seven Level Profits, and this is what makes me click.
Shannon Smith - Welcome to What Makes You Click, I'm Shannon Smith. And today I'm joined by somebody who got their start in the industry and found her passion through photocopying some video sales letters. She already had her law degree and today is a highly successful marketer who is currently with Agora Financial. Welcome today to Amanda Dobson.
Amanda Dobson - Thanks for having me, lady, I'm so happy to be here at ClickBank. They've been such a big part of my career and how I've learned throughout this process so I'm super happy to be here and talking to you guys.
Shannon Smith - Awesome, thank you for coming. I haven't heard this story so I'm excited to hear it but I heard that this all goes back to something in high school. What happened in high school that kind of led you onto the path of getting into Internet marketing?
Amanda Dobson - That's a really funny story. So, in high school, I was a conflicted child. I spent my first couple years thinking I was this punker, I wanted to be heavy metal, and then I realized that that wasn't who I was so then I decided to try out the whole Valley girl. Sex and the City at the time was like my life, like designer stuff was totally, that was what excited me at the time.
Shannon Smith - Were there hairstyles that went along with each one...
Amanda Dobson - Oh yeah. I haven't really lost the hairstyle thing yet. But I feel like my taste in shoes has got a little better, it's changed a little bit. But I actually took marketing and business throughout high school and I had a professor at the time and I guess he didn't see the potential or didn't see me in that kind of way. I was actually working at my summer job before heading off to university at a restaurant and I saw him and he's like, "What are your plans after high school?" And I was like, well, I'm going to study law so I'm heading to go off to university and that's what I wanna do. And he was like, "Really? "I kinda just imagined you'd just marry rich "and that's what you would do." And honestly I think it too me like two weeks to process that. I was just like, did that really just happen? So I always remind myself that those who do, do. Those you can do, do, and those you can't do, teach. And that came full circle later on when I got asked to actually speak at the high school about alternative careers and of course, just being as petty as I can be, I talked about online marketing and all of the cool things that I learned and all my clients and all the money we were bringing in and all this cool stuff, so it was nice to be able to get on stage and smirk at him from a distance, knowing he didn't think that was possible of me. So it was cool to be able to talk to people like you can be anything and still put your heart into something and be successful at it.
Shannon Smith - Hindsight is amazing. If you were talking to that Amanda that was in high school who had the teacher who told her that she should marry rich, what advice would you give her, knowing what you know today?
Amanda Dobson - Well, life would certainly be a lot easier had I followed his advice. So, I would always just encourage myself and I tell this to my two little girls as well is just be curious. It was curiosity that led me to discovering how to write sales copy and then it was curiosity that led me to learn about sales funnels and learn about platforms and technology and different types of marketing. So be curious, and if you don't know, I've got people that I mentor on a regular basis and their question is always to me, "How do I know what I'm gonna be good at?" And my answer to that is, well, get your fingers into everything and see what sticks. Poke your head into meetings and ask if you can sit down and be part of things. Always be curious and always be trying to push the envelop and try and prove yourself just by exploring new options and new things. So had I met myself then, I would've said, don't be discouraged by the expectations of the people around you and don't limit yourself by what people impose on you or what they think about you and stay curious.
Shannon Smith - Amazing. What are you good at? What would you say your biggest traits are?
Amanda Dobson - So, my specialty right now, in addition to funnel optimization, I do a lot of split testing, copywriting and that kind of stuff, but for the last year or so I've actually specialized in just introducing new traffic channels. So I run a program called Seven Level Profits where I teach people how to leverage their email list to then build a text message marketing list to then build a messenger bot list. And the idea is to build out seven different types of communication that you can integrate into your marketing to really create a fully comprehensive strategy for how to talk to your customers, when to talk to them, and where to talk to them. Knowing that marketing is heading towards more conversational style, that just seemed to be the next progression for me. So that's kind of my specialty at the moment.
Shannon Smith - Awesome. So, traditionally, marketing has been a male-dominated industry. What tips or tricks do you have for women who are trying to break in and make a place for themselves?
Amanda Dobson - Yeah, I get asked that all the time, and I have a different approach to women in this industry than most people. I get asked all the time to be part of women-only masterminds and women-only Facebook groups and the women that are there to empower others. And I kind of have the opposite approach. I love having the idea of having a female support system and being able to talk and communicate with people who have relatable issues, but at the same time when it comes to masterminds and stuff, I like to challenge myself and put myself in positions where there are a lot of men around because at the end of the day I wanna be able to cut it with the big boys and it shouldn't matter if I'm a woman or a man or any of those things. I know that I can hold my own in those rooms. So I'm not worried about that and I don't think it's healthy for women to downplay their skills or their ability because of their gender. I think we've made massive leaps and bounds in the market and I don't think that's the same problem that it used to be and I'm encouraged more and more when I go to events like TNZ and I go to events like War Room, when I first joined War Room, which is a mastermind group, it was predominantly men. There was only maybe six or seven women that were actually at the events when I first joined, and now there are probably 30 or 40% women. It's just getting to be more and more aimed towards women and inclusive of women, not that it was exclusive before, but I just mean like there's more successful business owners that are willing to step forward and be like, "You know what, I want to challenge myself "and I want to play with the big boys "and learn all these skills "and it doesn't matter where I sit, "whether I'm male or female." So my advice is always just don't think of it as male or female. If you are driven and you're curious and you have a product and you want to learn and you wanna be successful, find a way to make it happen. Don't hold yourself back because you're intimidated by that situation. That's how we all move forward and ahead. So as much as I love the idea of having that support system, I definitely don't think, I'd love to see more women participate in these kinds of programs and these masterminds and these groups that are aimed for everybody. But as a woman in the marketplace, we have a very specific skillset where we understand people, we are more empathetic, we are, in my experience, tend to be harder working, so play that to your advantage, and that's what I've always been able to do in the room. Because I come into a room sometimes and there's always a longstanding joke, I'm always mistaken as somebody's assistant.
Amanda Dobson - And it's always really funny because they find out that I'm actually the one that is implementing all of this stuff and learning all these lessons to share with friends and other marketers in the business, so it's really natural for people to just assume, oh, she's just an assistant, whatever. And I love the look on people's faces when they see that it's actually a woman that's actually moving all of this stuff forward. Like, for the last couple of years I've written all of the copy for Survival Life. So walking into our big affiliate party and then all of these guys finding out that it's this 27-year-old blonde Canadian girl that's writing all of the Survival copy. I'm empathetic and I'm skilled and I know how to understand my audience, so learning how to harness those skillsets as a woman and leverage them in business actually gives us a competitive advantage if we know how to do it right.
Shannon Smith - Absolutely, I love it. What is one of your biggest best failures? Something where you just completely didn't go the way you thought it was going to go but you learned so much from it.
Amanda Dobson - I tend to have that a lot with different app platforms. Sometimes it's really hit or miss. If you've got a new product or a new service, sometimes this happens with new clients that are startup businesses and they don't quite know their audience. If you don't do your research properly, I've had it before. I've done this a lot. I've set up ad campaigns before and forgot them and had offers that are already deadlined and I'm still running traffic to them, I've done that a few times before. But for me it just became like a focus thing. It's like, you gotta stop and slow down. I'm always trying to do so many things at once 'cause I'm so curious, I wanna play around with so many things. So I'll start a Google Ad campaign that I'm testing and completely forget about it. But sometimes, I've made the mistake before of just not researching audiences well enough so I'm targeting the wrong person. And I created a system for myself to actually learn more about audiences and products and how to become those people. I do a lot of research on Quora and Reddit and Amazon reviews. I actually like to get into inboxes for things like Facebook Messenger for clients as well so I can see how people are talking to them and who are the types of people that they're talking to so that when I'm launching a product, I'm not launching it to completely the wrong people. 'Cause I've had that before where a client isn't clear enough on their product or their position in the market, so I'll go against my best instincts to, my biggest mistakes are always when I go with the client and what they think is right versus what I know is right. So if you've got a client who's trying to target two different markets, trying to make an offer that serves both markets is much more of a challenge than building two offers that serve two markets. So that probably has been my biggest learning curve in a while. It's just being confident and knowing that I've done this for so long that I know better but still be respectful of clients' wishes while trying to accomplish the end game. So that's kind of a balance but it's important for agency owners and for people who run marketing for other people to kind of understand that.
Shannon Smith - It's awesome. So, you spoke about, and I don't expect you to give everything away because you have an amazing course and I've seen her presentation, she does a fantastic job onstage as well. But what are some of the traffic sources that you see as up and comers?
Amanda Dobson - So, for me, I'm not so much looking at traffic sources as traffic channels. So for me I think 2019 is gonna be a big year for more conversational style marketing platforms like SMS marketing. I'm pretty excited to have my course come out in just a couple of days. And then we've got Facebook Messenger bots and more a transaction that's based on conversation, so these bots are based on an interaction that are coming in to you. And I think it's a really powerful tool and it's good for creating longterm customers and prospects for your business to actually have a conversation with them. Bring them into your world, let them be part of the conversation, let them help decide what products are sold or how they're going to be sold. I've spent a lot of time in the last six months working on Facebook groups and how to leverage data in Facebook groups. I'm going into my Facebook groups for continuity programs and being like, hey guys. For our Survival market, we were wanting to break into more Bizup stuff, we wanted to teach them how to make money on the weekends. So I'm like, hey guys, what skills are you guys learning outside of Survival that if the economy crashed tomorrow you could border to serve your family? So the answers were like blacksmithing and gardening. So my next move was then to create products that are blacksmithing for profit. Like how do you take a hobby from a weekend doing this and turn it into a business. And then I'm asking them, what is your life like? When do you have your free time? I'm mining them for data but to them, it's engagement. They're thinking that I'm just wanting to get more involved in their life but really they're telling me what to sell, how to sell it, who to sell it to.
Shannon Smith - When to sell it.
Amanda Dobson - And when to sell it. So I think, as marketers, if we get smarter at paying attention and having a conversation with our buyers and with the people that are in our continuity programs, or even prospects, I think the more we involve them in the process, the more likely they are to purchase from us but to stay with us. When you create a friendship and a relationship with your customers, that's really where you wanna be.
Shannon Smith - 'Cause you're truly listening to them.
Amanda Dobson - Yeah, yeah. And you're letting them feel like they're part of you. Specially if you've got a business where you're the face of your business, it's really great for them to feel like they're a little part of your life. Even if they know or don't know that it's automated, it doesn't really matter. Getting a text message from somebody is so personal and it's really important to remember to keep it personal when you're in those conversational channels. We know at the end of the day it's all about sales and promotions but you want them to feel like they're part of the world, they're part of the process for you, they matter. So it's really important when you're choosing how to build up those platforms you keep that in mind.
Shannon Smith - Awesome. So, if somebody wants to purchase your SMS course or promote it, where can they find information about that?
Amanda Dobson - ClickBank. ClickBank for me was just the obvious choice. I had an idea and I've been wanting to put this SMS course out for a while but I'm a busy professional, I have two kids, I travel a lot, I do a lot of public speaking, so for me it was like, okay, how can I bring this to life really quickly? And ClickBank did that for me. I built the course within, it took me a couple of days of filming the course, I spent weeks preparing the content, but it took a matter of hours to get the offer up on ClickBank. And now that it's there, affiliates can run it. I know you guys are gonna be using it for your team to train your internal staff. So I'm pretty excited about the course but for me, if you're interested in the course or in promoting it, it's on ClickBank, it's in the marketplace.
Shannon Smith - Awesome. And what's the official title?
Amanda Dobson - I called it The SMS Squeeze Strategy. And I recorded the course without even knowing what I was gonna call it. I went back and forth. There was a lot of ridiculous names that came to my head. But the idea behind the SMS course was to teach people how to squeeze the most out of what they already had. So if you've got an email list, this course teaches you how to extract more money from there. If you've got leads coming in, it teaches you how to extract more money from those leads. 'Cause at the end of the day we're paying for every eye ball that hits our landing page. So my goal with this course was to help. And I actually built this course for, when I was writing it I was writing it for ClickBank and for ClickBank's users because I know what that life is like and I know that every penny matters and every little bit closer profitability I get from cool traffic or affiliate traffic, that's cashflow. So as a business owner, cashflow is at the forefront of my mind. All that stuff is really great but at the end of the day I have to pay the traffic bills. So, for me, I've built this course for that reason. So The SMS Squeeze Strategy is, how do you squeeze an additional opt-in out of your landing page without hurting your conversions? How do you squeeze an extra couple of dollars out of your average order value? How do you increase your return on investment on your ads spend? And SMS was the solution for me. So I called it The SMS Squeeze Strategy and it is what it is. That was just the only thing that represented to me what the course could do.
Shannon Smith - So, we've talked about the past, now if we can do a little future. Where are you gonna be in five years?
Amanda Dobson - Well, not married rich, apparently. 'cause I didn't follow the right advice.
Shannon Smith - You never know.
Amanda Dobson - Yeah, married rich or on a beach somewhere, maybe collecting ClickBank royalty checks, that'd be nice. When I set out on this mission, I didn't necessarily do this for me. But for me, from being from a small town where there's not a lot of expectation for women, for me it was like, I wanna make my name in the industry and when you think of females in marketing, I wanna be the first that comes to your mind. So within five years, I'm already making great leaps and bounds towards that. I'm speaking on the biggest stages and I've done really well in the industry for myself. But five years from now I wanna be a leader. Within five years I hope by then I've developed something that no one else has. I'm looking for a new channel or a new tactic or a new strategy. I love to teach and share with people so I'm hoping within the next couple of years I'm more in an educational arena. But I also wanna be on the agency side. And I run an agency now where I have multiple clients so I can be all over the place and be in different niches and different markets and continue learning, 'cause that's what it's about for me, I'm all about learning. So I'm hoping to be running a fairly decent sized agency within the next couple of years where I can be playing with some of the big players and building out new sources and trying to play with new things.
Shannon Smith - Awesome, sounds exciting. I'm very confident this will come true because you're way more than halfway there.
Amanda Dobson - Oh, thank you, thank you.
Shannon Smith - If anybody hasn't had the chance to see Amanda onstage, she does a fantastic presentation. I've seen you at TNZ, I've seen you at Fightclub, Mastermind, War Room. So if you have the opportunity you should definitely take it, she has great content.
Amanda Dobson - It's been interesting. I still get so nervous sometimes. Platinum Summit last year was such a fun experience for me but I had to speak on the last day, I was the last speaker at Platinum Summit, so the whole trip I was so nervous and shaky and I didn't wanna have fun or go out and do anything 'cause I was so nervous in anticipation for that presentation. But apparently it went well 'cause I'm here.
Shannon Smith - She killed it. She killed it, it was awesome.
Amanda Dobson - So, anyways, I always appreciate everything that ClickBank's done and I love being here and sharing some of this information with you guys and I hope you get a chance to take a look at the course.
Shannon Smith - Yeah. So, we like to close off all of our segments with asking you, what makes you click?
Amanda Dobson - Well, I love to empower entrepreneurs and to work with them to actually bring their ideas to life. And recently that's become bringing my own ideas to life. So I get this on a whole other level. So I'm in this and I work so closely with ClickBank because I love watching this happen. I love seeing ideas being shared and lives being changed based on not just the platform and how it's used but the relationships among the affiliates. You truly get a support system as well and I feel like that's so important whether you've been in business for a while or you're new to business, just that community. And it's the whole reason I'm in marketing and the whole reason I work with you guys and I'm always helping you guys improve your platform and all of the relationships with all of your users. It's something that you don't find anywhere else. So that's why I'm here.
Shannon Smith - Awesome. Thank you so much for being here--
Amanda Dobson - Thank you for having me.
Shannon Smith - And taking time out of your busy, busy schedule.
Amanda Dobson - I love it. First time in Boise.
Shannon Smith - Anyways, if you enjoyed this, please like and subscribe and check out Amanda's new SMS course.