Kimberly Weitcamp – The Audience Converter

Kimberly Weitcamp, Owner of The Audience Converter on the Thriving Solopreneur Podcast with Janine Bolon

To Learn More about Kimberly Weitcamp, [click here] to view her Media Kit.

Janine Bolon: Hello, and welcome to this week’s The Thriving Solopreneur. This is Janine Bolon. With me today, I have Kimberly Weitkamp who happens to be a remarkable young woman who does not only marketing strategy, but she is a conversion copywriter and, oh, yes, happens to be a podcaster as well. She’s based in my home state St. Louis, Missouri, for those of us who were raised below I-70. If you’re in St. Louis, Kansas City and above I-70, you say Missouri, but as we all know, it’s really pronounced Missouri. [laughs] Kimberly will be happy to join me in that argument later. Anyway, she happens to serve an international clientele, and one of the neat things about Kimberly that you should know for your business is that she developed the audience conversion method. This helps coaches and consultants convert their audience from strangers to loyal fans.

Janine: Now, you hear that a lot with marketing people, but Kimberly actually does this, okay? [laughs] I can definitely testimony[?] to her work. She brings this work to an international audience with her company, the Audience Converter, and as the host of the podcast Audience Converter Podcast for community leaders. Also, she has some of this alphabet soup stuff behind her name, and I think it’s important that you know she is an AWAI. Now, what is that? The American Writers and Artists Inc. have verified her as a direct responses copywriter. Now, how many people can actually say that with their alphabet soup? Not too many. Kimberly works with her clients to attract, build, and grow and engage audience and community to create long-term customers who speak in my language right there. If you are a business owner and you’re a consultant or a coach, you definitely want long-term customers. She specializes in emails, landing pages, and sales pages that convert. She has helped people increase their open rate up to 80%. She helps them hit their first ever 6-figure launches, double conversions on their landing pages. She loves talking marketing, travel, and all things sci-fi. Thank goodness, we get along so well. When she’s not working with her clients, she loves to travel and go dancing. Welcome to the show, Kimberly.

Kimberly Weitkamp: Wow, Janine. Thank you so much for having me and for the warm introduction, and welcome. Yes, we can have that argument about the correct pronunciation of the state of Missouri.

Janine: [laughs] That’s one of those things that unless you lived in the state, you don’t quite know that there is… This is why we’re a neutral state. Yes, there are situations that go back in our history, but also the pronunciation of the silly state is done differently. North and South, that’s crazy, but there you go. Anyway, welcome to The Thriving Solopreneur show, and what I’d love to talk about is, of course, what you specialize in and that is email. There is so much garbage that is being posted [laughs] on the Internet by people who are making these broad statements, and it’s not based on fact. It’s not based on statistical evidence that I even have with my small… I only have about 2000 people on my list, but even with my small list, I’m like, “What are they talking about?” They’re like, “Well, email marketing, really, isn’t that important.” So, let’s just start with that question [laughs] first about… Talk to us a little bit about how email marketing, yes, is very important.

Kimberly: Oh, my goodness, email marketing not that important. At the end of the day, here’s the big lesson to know about email marketing. I don’t care if you’re talking about a podcast, if you’re talking about blogging, if you’re talking about social media. If you use any of those other means to keep in touch with your people, guess what? Most of them, if they want to have an account on any of those things, they need something first, and that’s an email address. So, people are still actively using their email addresses. There’s this idea and I hear this all the time, “No one opens email anymore. I don’t want to read emails anymore.” Then you have the studies where it’s like, “Yeah, Americans check their phone like 23 times a day to check their inbox.” So, clearly people still check their inbox. They still look at their email. The problem is what are you sending in your email? If you’re not sending anything great, if you don’t stand out in an inbox, then maybe it’s not working as well for you as it could be. Email marketing is the only mass marketing channel in which you can communicate with lots of people at once, but in a way that they perceive to be one-on-one, okay? You can send… I don’t care if you have 10, a hundred, a thousand people, 10,000 people on your email address. When you send a message to everyone on your list, each of those people, those individuals reads it by themselves. It’s a one-to-one conversation that you’re having with people. If you use email marketing right, it’s a great way for you to have personalized communications with your audience.

Janine: I don’t know about other people, but I was an author. I mean, I know how important my readership is, and so thankfully my people read, right?


Janine: I know this about them. When I had this other individual walk up to me and go, “Well, basically…” This was at a conference 3…

Kimberly: Oh, my.

Janine: …years ago, okay? At a conference 3 years ago, he comes up to me and say, “Basically, email marketing is dead.” There was a group of us standing around, just turned and looked at this individual and said with incredulous look on our faces, “You’re kidding me, right?” So, the quick answer is, “No, email marketing is not dead,” but I would love to hear your perspective on how it is not a dead area.

Kimberly: Absolutely. I have been a copywriter and a marketing strategist for over 5 years now. Since the moment I started, I was hearing things online, seeing things online, “Email marketing is dead, email marketing is dead.” Guess what? I’ve been saying the same message for about 5 years now. People are still using marketing, and they’re still using email, right? They’re still using email, and the reason for that is because email has longevity, and email, as I said, it’s a one-to-one conversation. Just think about that. If you post, okay, somewhere on social… I don’t care where. Pick your channel, it doesn’t matter. If you post on social, you don’t get to decide who actually sees it. I don’t care if people follow you or don’t follow you, your organic reach is probably about 1% or something. You don’t get to control if people actually see that messaging. If they do see it, you certainly don’t get control who of your people sees that messaging. Email is completely different animal, right? Email, if I send it to somebody, I know it’s going to arrive there. Okay? I get to decide who sees it, and on that same note, because I get to decide who sees it, if I’ve got a list and I have done my due diligence and I’m using my email list the right way, I can send very highly personalized messages.

Kimberly: I’ve got a friend, she’s got an awesome course, a challenge going on right now. So, I only sent the message about this challenge to people who had told me they were interested in the content, that they were interested in the topic. Guess what? That open rate through the roof, that click-through rate and conversion rate also through the roof, because I knew that the message I was sending was relevant. So, with email marketing, it’s not dead. It’s something all of us still constantly check, right? I can’t fathom the idea that email marketing is dead when we have all of these things about how to reach inbox zero. Clearly, if we’re looking to reach inbox zero, that means people are still checking their emails, they’re still interacting with their emails. They want to get the most from their inbox. I don’t know about you. I check my email. I need to get better at this, but I check my email at least 5 or 6 times a day. You do the stars, you open it, you’re [inaudible] in a market later, or you put it into your own folder, but people still check their inboxes, and it is the best way for you to guarantee to get your message in front of people, especially when you have something time-sensitive, right? If you’ve got a launch going on, if you’ve got an opening happening, if you’re about to… if you’re asking for feedback from people. If you send out a message that is very time-sensitive, the chances of them reading that within a couple of days is pretty high if you’re using your email properly, whereas, if I post something and I… This is something that’s really starting to bother me about social, not going to name the channel but there’s a particular channel, the algorithm is weird now. I get stuff from groups that are specific days, right? This is Thursday throwback, or it’s a Wednesday wisdom, or it’s Monday is the day to share your promotions. I get those things 2 to 3 days after the day of the week that I was supposed to see it, and then I can’t comment on it. I can’t use it. I can’t actually interact with that because it’s the wrong day of the week. So, if you send something, though, on a Monday, guess what? It’s going to end up in their inbox on Monday. [laughs] Now, whether or not they read it on Monday, you can’t control, but you do know it’s going to show up, and they’re going to see it. It’s going to be there for them to be seen.

Janine: Thank you so much for mentioning that part because I’ve noticed that on a specific channel that remain nameless. I’m on a day of the week, and I am on these groups. These groups are my people, right?

Kimberly: Yes.

Janine: So, I’m assuming there… I thought it was just me. Thank you. Nice to know I’m not…

Kimberly: Not just you.

Janine: [laughs]

Kimberly: Shout out to everybody, public service announcement. You have to apparently go check all 65,000 groups that you were part of every single day to actually see what’s going on.

Janine: Oh, my gosh. Like we have that kind of time, so always[?].

Kimberly: Right. [laughs]

Janine: Speaking of time, let us talk about this wonderful aspect called a welcome series. Now, some people know about it, some people don’t. Go ahead, give us your definition. What is a welcome series?

Kimberly: Yeah, a welcome series is a part of email marketing, and I personally feel it’s one of the most important parts. One of the most common questions I get from people is “Well, how can I increase my open rate?” or “How do I up that open rate?” My favorite, “What’s a good subject line look like?” Which is one of the most subjective things in the world, okay? Because it depends on your audience. It depends on what you’re selling. It depends on time sensitivity. There are so many different things. The most important part of your email is the “from” line, and that means people recognize your name in their inbox. How do you become a recognized name in their inbox? You build a relationship with them and you do it fast, and that’s where welcome series comes in. Some people call it indoctrination series. I hate that phrase. It’s not propaganda. Some people call it a welcome series. Some people call it an enrollment or an onboarding sequence. There’s all kinds of phrases for it. There’s all kinds of terms for it, but basically, it is a curated and customized set of emails that get sent out to every single new subscriber who joins your list. This happens after they request access, right? If they ask for a gift, if they ask for a video. However it is, as soon as they get that, as soon as you deliver on what you promised them, then you put them into this welcome series. A welcome series builds the know, like, and trust factor fast.

Kimberly: There’s a couple of reasons for this and why it works, but number 1 is think about the last time you experienced a brand new email list as a new subscriber. A lot of us are getting leads. We’re getting new people into our world from giveaways or summits or these mass events where lots of people are talking and sharing. So, think about that. Twenty people just got this 1 person on their list. Do you think they’re going to remember who all these 20 people are? No. Also, the only thing they know about you… You’re a stranger to them. The only thing they know is why they opted in. You had a guide on the top 7 foods to avoid if you want lighter hair or something like that. Okay? [laughs] The reason why you opted in is the only thing they know about you. So, this is your opportunity to start the conversation.

Kimberly: I view email marketing as a conversation tool. You are having conversations with your audience with email marketing. It’s a way for you to start the conversation and let them know who you are, what you do, how you can help them, give them resources and address their top concerns, and build that relationship fast. The welcome series is usually about 5 to 7 emails goes out over a couple of weeks, and then suddenly people aren’t strangers, right? They know who you are. They know who is showing up in their inbox. They’re not getting onto your list, and then the next message they received from you is your next broadcast, which might be, “Hey, cart closing, just 4 hours left,” which creates a really weird and awkward situation. A welcome series builds the relationship with your brand new subscribers first before dropping them into whatever promotion that you’re using. It also lets them know more about you and why they want to hear from you before you start sending them the generic value ad emails.

Janine: That was something that… It definitely took me some time to learn, and once I learned it, [laughs] it was super easy. The thing is we make things really difficult.

Kimberly: We do.

Janine: We hear this word a lot, people want authentic relationships. They want transparency. They want these sorts of things, and I have always found that to be disturbing when I hear it from the people who I’ve been on their subscribers. I’m a subscriber on their open sequence and I’m like, “You’re anything, but…” You’re not really sharing what you are. Now, it depends on the industry. Like, if you’re into debt-free living or something like that, and you’re dealing with money, it takes time to build that trust factor with people because they have had so many situations regarding that. However, it’s so much easier if you’re into sports or something like that. So, one of the things that I like to share with people is don’t make it difficult because it’s super easy. Make it simple, but at the same time, definitely, take a picture with your dogs. Let them see what part of your life is like. It’s not going to kill you to do stuff like that. What I really wanted to hear from you was what are some of the common mistakes that people make in regards to this welcome series? I mean, you see it over and over. When people hire you, you look at their welcome series. I’m sure you have to cringe. I’m sure there’s a cringe factor involved with this. Tell us a little bit about that.

Kimberly: Absolutely. The number 1 mistake I see with the welcome series is the people don’t have one. [laughs] I am floored at the number of people I work with, who… They’ve been in business a long time. They have, they really have, and it’s like a brand-new concept to them. They’re like, “Wait a minute. Yeah, I should probably introduce myself before walking up to strangers and saying, ‘Hey, buy my stuff because it’s amazing. By the way, do you have enough Tupperware?'” It’s a concept that makes a lot of sense, but
something not people think about, or they had the best of intentions. They were going to do one, they were going to create one, and then they just forgot about it or didn’t have the time to sit down and create one. So, number 1 is have a welcome series. I know that’s obvious but have one because it’s a great way for you to increase your open rate for the lifetime value of your customers. People aren’t opening your stuff. There’s no way they can know about all the amazing things that you’re doing [laughs] in the world if they’re not actually seeing your message. So, number 1 is have a welcome series.

Kimberly: Number 2 is people don’t have a plan. I notice this a lot. People are like, “Yeah, I’m going to use a welcome series,” and then I’ll ask them a question. This happens a lot when I get hired for them. I’ll ask my clients, “What’s your goal with your welcome series? What’s your goal?” They’re like, “Well, what do you mean?” “I need to have one.” So, having a clear and defined success metric that has nothing to do with what I call vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are the things everyone usually focuses on. Like, what’s your open rate? How many subscribers do you have? What’s your click rate? It doesn’t focus on what is the important thing which is your conversion. It doesn’t matter if 85% of people are opening your message or if they’re not taking action, if they’re not taking that next step. So, have a clear idea. At the end of your welcome series, what do you want people ready to do? Some ideas for that are, “Well, I want them ready to join my free[?] group,” or “I want them ready to invest in one of my low-ticket courses,” or “I want them ready to get on the phone with me to talk about their personal situation, to see if we’re a great fit to work one-on-one,” or “I want people ready to do something.” What is it that you think people need to be ready for at the end of that sequence? Then plan for it.

Kimberly: Step number 3 is to plan for it. Have that step-by-step process in place, where they’re coming in from, and what are you leading them to? I’ll say this for the last mistake I see a lot, is people forget that they know a lot of stuff about their zone of genius, and the people who are just joining their lists are strangers. They’re brand new to that world for the most part. So, when you start using all of these terms and phrases that they don’t know, you’re losing people and you’re turning people off for wanting to open your messages and they’re like, “I need a dictionary to understand what’s going on here.” So, introduce any new concepts, introduce any new language. That’s actually a really good goal for you to have as the end of your welcome series, is that you want people on your list and in your community to start using the language that you use in your world because it includes them, right? It brings them closer to being an active member of your community, but in order to do that, you have to introduce the concepts and explain to people what they mean.

Janine: I love what you’re talking about as far as vanity metrics because I had a welcome series that I thought was an abject failure, mainly because people were not getting the free book that I offered. I had a second place I had to go. This is back in the dark ages of 2015.


Janine: Marketing[?].

Kimberly: So dark ages, oh, my.

Janine: So dark ages. It was a failure. People were astounded though, because they were like “Janine, you have an open rate, a 60 some odd percent.” I’m like, “But I’m not getting traction. I am not getting my people to stay with me long enough.” That was back in the day of the 10-email open series that they were [laughs] projecting that I don’t use anymore, but, now, it’s a much faster rate, that you can set that up. The other thing that I wanted to get your advice on is a lot of people have these challenges. That is something that you can actually use as a welcome series, if you will, is setting up a challenge. A lady I just happened to stumble across… When it comes to debt-free living and clutter-free zones… It’s amazing how the clutter-free and debt-free kind of walks hand in hand. It’s fascinating. Anyway, what was amazing to me was this woman has a 30-day challenge of decluttering your house. So, when you sign up to get on her whole welcome series is that challenge. So, that’s another thing I like to recommend to people, is if you have a challenge of some kind you send as a welcome series to help people get in with that lingo. So, those are some of the mistakes. Number 1, people don’t have a welcome series. Oh, my gosh.

Kimberly: [laughs]

Janine: So, take your challenge. Whatever your challenge is, use that as your welcome series until you can figure out a more appropriate one. I highly recommend you start checking in on Kimberly’s newsletter. She gives you some pointers. The other one is tracking that whole email conversion. Now, I know how I do it as an author and business owner, but what do you recommend for your clients who are like, “This is a whole new world”? How do you go about tracking that conversion?

Kimberly: Yeah. Step number 1 is to know what conversion you’re looking for. I see all the time, as I mentioned, that people are worried about “What’s the click? What’s the open? What’s the number of new subscribers?” But what does a conversion look like for you? What does a success metric look like for you? What I really want to emphasize for people is that it’s your business. Your business, nobody else’s, it’s your business, you get to decide what success looks like. So, stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t turn to the most successful person you know in your space who’s been around for 15 years and has an audience of a million people and be like, “I want theirs.” No, I want you to decide for yourself. Can you handle 15 new clients a month? Do you want 15 new clients a month? Do you want 3 new clients a month? Right? What are the steps that people need to take to reach that point? So, number 1 is to define your success metrics so that you can actually track it, and then number 2 is to track it. When I say track it, I mean, once a week, once a month, depending on what the metric you’ve chosen is. Like, for example, I know some people are like, “Yeah, I want at least 1 new person in my community a week just to… I don’t have to do anything. They get on my list, and then they’re ready to join.”

Kimberly: One of my clients I’m working with, she’s actually doubled that. She’s doing 2 to 3 now a week, and before she wasn’t getting anyone in for 4 months at a time. So, she’s really happy with that metric. As often as your metric is, check in that often. If you’ve decided “I want X once a week,” or “I want X once a month,” then once a month check. “Okay. Did I get 5 new sales this month for my course? Did I book 3 new calls this month for a discovery call from people who have recently joined my list?” Have an idea and then set aside a time to actually check on it. It’s really easy for us to forget about it, for us to push our own marketing or anything that has to do with running the business. “Yeah, I got clients to deal with first. I’ll handle them. I’ll take care of them, and then eventually I’ll take care of myself,” which is the completely wrong approach to take a business. Okay? So, when you have decided, “Okay, let’s do once a month. That’s an easy one.” Whatever once a month, you want 3 new calls booked once a month. Then once you get those new calls booked, you can go back and look at your calendar, what have you, but have a set date with yourself once a month to check your numbers. Then don’t let anything else intrude on that.

Janine: Don’t let anything else intrude on that. There’s that and don’t get distracted, that’s my [laughs] challenge, right? “Put it in your calendar, Janine, and pay attention to it.”

Kimberly: [laughs]

Janine: If you don’t mind, Kimberly, talk to us a little bit about what is this audience conversion method? Describe that a bit for us.

Kimberly: Absolutely. It’s a framework I talk to people about, to plan out their marketing strategy. Initially, it’s to plan out their next 12 months, but they can use it to plan out essentially your entire framework for all of the marketing that you’re going to need to continuously get in front of your people. One of the things I’ve noticed in the world of marketing is people focus on 2 things, but they don’t focus on the whole process.
They either focus on “Well, I need more people. I need more leads. I need more leads. I need more leads,” or they focus on “Well, how do I get people to say yes once they’re already on the list?” but they don’t have anything in between. So, [laughs] it’s really unlikely that anyone is going to join your list and immediately be ready to give you $15,000. Okay? People I work with, they’ve got high-ticket coaching programs, and they’re like, “Yeah, they’re going to get a free gift from me, and they’re going to be ready to sign up for that year-long program immediately.” The reality of that happening is very small.

Janine: [laughs]

Kimberly: It’s so uncontestable. You may not even be able to measure it with math, okay? There’s a popular statistic in the world of business which is at any one point, about 3% of your audience is ready to buy. Now, that does not mean 3% of the world. It means 3% of the exact ideal people that can work with you are ready to hit buy, are ready and they’re looking for that “Yes. Okay, just give me your offer, and I’m going to say yes or no.” That’s 97% of people who are not ready to buy yet. So, with the audience conversion method, we give you a process in a framework to plan out your marketing to guide them from that 97% to the 3%. So, there’s 5 parts, the audience conversion method, and that’s audience, ask, audit, answer, action. Basically, you have to know who you’re talking to first before you can create any marketing that’s going to do what you want it to do. Then you have to know what their top concerns are. What are they asking? What are their struggles? What are their obstacles? But specific to the different audience members you’re speaking to. Then you have to do an audit. How easy it is for people to find information related to those top struggles? Go through your own marketing. Is it easy? Is it hard? Is it easy to get in touch with you? That kind of thing. We have a lot of questions for you to ask in your audit, and then answer. You’re going to create the content, create the marketing, create and plan out the strategy for what is missing, what people are looking for, what people are struggling with. Then your action is to put a plan in place so that it all gets done. Set aside a specific time to do your marketing, figure out how often and when you’re going to get your marketing created, and when it’s going to go out into the world. By going through this process and by walking through it a little bit more in-depth, people know exactly what they’re talking about, when they’re talking about it, and how they’re going to get it done for the next 12 months.

Janine: That is a good place to be in when you have a plan for 12 months because… Let me tell you something as a mother of 4 children. Things happen, and what I love about having these year-long plans in place… My year usually starts in June. I start in June, and I move through the year that way. Everybody can start… Some people start in January. You can always tell when people start with their year, is when they start doing the massive marketing. Having that, your plan in place really frees you up to do what you do best, instead of sitting there trying to market whatever your product or service is. For a lot of the authors out there and business owners, it’s like, “Look, I’m an author. I am not a marketing person.” It’s what some people say. Or “I’m a coach,” or “I’m an X,” or “I’m a Y.” So, wonderful. Thank you so much for walking us through all this. Hey, somebody wants to get a hold of you. What’s the easiest way for people to reach out to you?

Kimberly: Absolutely. Reach out to me via email, [email protected]. Put in the subject line that you heard me on Janine’s podcast. [laughs] If people are interested, you can always go to, that’s my website. It’s also where you’re going to hear the podcast. There’s a whole tab for the podcast, just reached 100 episodes as a milestone. I’m pretty excited about that. If you thought…

Janine: Congratulations.

Kimberly: Thank you.

Janine: That’s always exciting.

Kimberly: [laughs]

Janine: When you hit that hundredth episode, it’s like “Take a breath.”

Kimberly: I know.

Janine: Just take a breath and go, “We got a hundred episodes and…” [laughs]

Kimberly: I can’t believe it, honestly. I was like, “Wait a minute. What? Is that the real number?” I looked at it as I’m preparing all the marketing stuff for this week’s episode. I was like, “Wait a minute. A hundred episodes? Really? Yes? Okay, cool.” Yes, so listen to the podcast Reach Out, [email protected]. If your people are interested in a welcome series and writing one, I have a gift if that works for you.

Janine: It does.

Kimberly: Fantastic.

Janine: Awesome.

Kimberly: So, It is a guide on how to craft the perfect welcome series, top 7 tips to get more opens, clicks, and engagements from email number 1. Some quick tips on how to get started with the writing process, what to put into it, where to start, what not to worry about, that kind of thing. ‘Cause I agree with you, too many people make marketing complicated. They make it stressful. They make it way, way, way more complex than it needs to be. So, start with the basics.

Janine: Wonderful. Thank you so much for your time today, Kimberly. It’s been a pleasure.

Kimberly: Thank you, Janine, for the invitation. It’s been great chatting with you as always.

Janine: This is Janine Bolin with The Thriving Solopreneur. Be sure to listen to us every Friday, that’s when we broadcast. Have a great day.