Brooke Jonsoon and Suzie Potter on using influencer marketing to launch The Good Ritual with and scaling it to the go-to wellness brand for women on the go

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Describe The Good Ritual in a few words?

The go-to wellness brand for women on the go.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

We already had our own service based businesses as wedding photographers however even though weddings allowed us to break away from our 9-5 jobs shooting weddings is a very labor intensive career. We wanted to create a product so we no longer were the product and could have more freedom.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

We have our own businesses as wedding photographers and videographers.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Honestly, no. In our 20’s we both went the corporate route. It wasn’t until we started our careers in the corporate world that we realized we wanted more freedom which then led us down the path of becoming wedding photographers. Both of us started our wedding businesses in our 30s so being an entrepreneur happened later for us. Now we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

We launched The Good Ritual in November of 2020. We actually started creating GR when the pandemic started. That had it’s pros and cons. The pro was that we had more time to work on another business as weddings took a hit however the con was that our wedding businesses fund The Good Ritual so losing income from weddings definitely slowed things down with getting GR launched. Since we both come from a creative background as photographers our goal was to have a very aesthetically pleasing brand and we think we focused too much on that and not enough of the digital marketing side of things. We launched with 10 influencers but nothing else. At that point we realized influencer marketing alone was not going to get us enough traction so for the past few months we’ve been researching/interviewing agencies for paid media (facebook ads and google ads) and email marketing. We actually just signed two agencies as well as Kerry from Joyful PR. It will take 30-60 days for all of these agencies to start implementing their strategies however we’re confident that combining paid ads, email marketing, PR and influencer marketing will help us grow quickly. We’d also love to create an affiliate marketing program but likely will launch once things start moving along with paid media, pr and email marketing. 

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

The hardest thing we’ve faced is hiring the right team. Brooke actually had a terrible experience with this in her photography business. She spent 25k on a rebrand that should have only cost her 10k. She hired 3 website designers and 2 copywriters and so many of them did a horrible job. In the end she got the website she wanted but it took over a year and a half of mistakes and money. This was helpful when starting the good ritual because it’s made us more cautious when it comes to hiring people. This is an area where you can really blow money so it’s important to ask a lot of questions and explain what it is you want vs throwing money at them and not being involved in the process. If they don’t work out it’s important to cut your losses and quickly move onto the next person. The faster you do this the closer you’ll be to finding the right person. I don’t think you can avoid hiring the wrong team but accepting that this is part of building a business and knowing it’s possible to find great people to work with is an important mindset to have.  

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

We’re most proud of launching The Good Ritual. I never imagined that we’d create a product that solved a problem. It takes so much determination and persistence to launch a brand and product. We’re both really proud that we launched a product that’s such high quality. The product itself was very hard to source, manufacturer and it’s very expensive. Bringing the product to market was definitely very hard. There were easier options however it would have dropped the quality of the product significantly and because of our values at GR we could not justify launching with a lower quality product. It really paid off for us because of the feedback we received. We sold out of our first round of inventory without any negative reviews, in-fact we had so many raving reviews. That makes it all worthwhile. It’s one thing to know you have a good product but that doesn’t mean anything if nobody else likes it. Once we knew our idea was validated we jumped into marketing full force.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

I wouldn’t say it’s a question. We honestly want to see their work and consistency in their work and then we want them to show us their strategy behind what they do. If they have the case studies and proof that’s a great sign. It’s also great to get referrals from other founders when it comes to hires so networking with other founders is important.  

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our wedding photography businesses were impacted greatly however since The Good Ritual is online there hasn’t been an impact.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

The next few years we hope to scale paid media and grow via email marketing. We hope to hire a team in-house which includes a graph designer, social media manager and influencer marketing manager. We’d also love to move into a warehouse, open up a photo studio for GR and others and to also create a coffee cart/truck. We’d like to expand our product line to include products that have helped us both thrive. Some of these products include boosters for your coffee like collagen, MCT, an immune booster and more. We’d love to launch non coffee lattes like chai, matcha and golden lattes. Recently we discussed mood boosting gummies. The sky’s the limit.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

To also keep going no matter how hard it is.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Have more people try the product before you launch so you can generate reviews pre-lauch and also test the product to make sure it’s well received and liked. Built a larger email list before launch. Built a larger following on instagram before launch. You can do this posting things like recipes, aspirational quotes. Have influencers using the product and talking about it pre-launch and set-up a pre-order and or waitlist. Think about potential products that could become upsells that go well with your product. For us it would be a frother, coffee mug or something you can add to your coffee like collagen. This helps with facebook ads costs when you acquire a customer. If you have the budget start running paid media on a smaller scale. Have all your email workflows set-up. The issue with just launching with influencers is that the customer needs to see your product 8 times before they buy so it’s important to have them retargeted by facebook ads and to have email automations sent to them like abandoned cart, a welcome series etc.If you have the budget, hire a PR team. It adds so much credibility and authority on your website, ads and emails to say seen in etc and this builds greater trust and authority

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

For Brooke it’s continuing to serve her wedding clients and to be grateful that her wedding business is thriving and is able to fund the GR and knowing that in the right time she’ll be able to move away from weddings and to working on GR full time. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling rushing to move onto the next thing and to focus on that. So staying focused on what you’re currently doing and having patients is key. For Suzie it’s taking the time to focus on herself as she has two children and things can get hectic when trying to balance everything. It’s vital to carve out time for yourself.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Brooke is an Enneagram 3 so work life balance does not exist for her because she simply loves to work. However outsourcing is a great way to find work life balance. Sometimes it’s not possible as you don’t have the funds for it but if you do it’s great to start looking at areas in your business you can outsource even if it’s getting a virtual assistant to help you for 10 hours a week or in Brookes cause if you can’t afford to outsource all editing just outsource some of it. For Brooke right now she’s working on outsourcing her editing so she can have time off during the week to decompress. The other day Brooke actually said if she outsourced her editing she likely would then have time to cook and slow down during the week so she could use the money saved on ordering take out to pay an editor. For Suzie it’s taking time for herself .

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

We both played basketball competitively growing up and we’re both from Melbourne Australia.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Take short break.
  • Drink coffee The Good Coffee (of course lol)
  • Create wellness rituals throughout the day like taking a walk, meditating outside etc

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

It means having the courage to go after your dreams and never giving up.

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