Transcript: The Passive Bundle


Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Meghan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business.

Kat Schmoyer 0:09
We’re competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.

Hey, y’all welcome back to this episode of talking small business. Megan and I are starting off this episode laughing because we started to record this episode. And I was saying the wrong name of her product. So just so you know, you know, that happens. There we go. But today, on the podcast, I’m excited because Meghan is in the hot seat. And we are talking about the passive bundle that she put together this past January, she is opening up applications for contributors for the next round of the bundle. And we realized that we’d never done a full like behind the scenes episode talking about kind of the back end of putting that bundle together, what it looks like, she gets tons of questions from you guys thinking about doing some sort of bundle in your own niche. And so we thought this would be a great time to finally talk about that. So the passive bundle Negan give us the details. Explain what that was? How you got the idea. All the things?

Megan Martin 1:23
Yeah, so thanks, cat, the passive bundle is the name. Yeah, so we launched that, I think it was the second week of February. And I had been in bundles before. So I didn’t like generate the idea of doing a bundle. You know, I’ve been in bundles in the past. And there, I saw great benefit from being in the bundles just personally as a contributor myself, but I also saw some, like really glaring issues with bundles that I’ve been in apart in the past. And I just, I wanted to create an opportunity to host my own bundle to sort of like write some of these wrongs that I’ve seen in the past as a contributor, and just as a collective contributor group. And I, I really wanted to, when I when I thought about hosting my own bundle, I didn’t want to just like copy and paste bundles that I had been in, in the past. And a lot of the bundles that I’ve been in in the past were very, like vague in terms of who they were for. It was like, for example, just it’s like for an entrepreneur, and there would be like 100 courses in a bundle. And they’re all different types of topics and niches, they don’t really connect to each other. Yes, there was, you know, you could pick and choose resources that did apply to you. But, and I’m sure you can make a lot more money by, you know, being open and available to a lot of people. But for me, I thought, you know, there needs to be a bundle that’s like, hyper specific to one person and one need. And that’s essentially what I preach in terms of teaching people how to create and sell digital products that, you know, you get better, you can get better sales, you can get better messaging, you can connect with your customers better when you know who it is for and what problem you are solving for them. And so for me, I decided, Okay, I’m going to host a bundle, but I’m going to make it hyper specific to the customer that I already serve. And that person is someone who wants to create and sell digital products. So I approach the concept of hosting a bundle for that specific person and every resource inside the bundle needed to apply to somebody who is creating and selling digital products in some way, shape, or form. Now, when you look at some of the products in the bundle, some of them aren’t specific to creating and selling digital products. But they did apply to the life of somebody who is creating and selling digital products in some way, shape, or form. And so that was like, really important to me. And I’m sure it turned people off who were like, Okay, well, I don’t want to sell digital products. So I’m not gonna buy this, even though there are resources in there that probably could apply if you were not creating and selling digital products. But I found great success in like niching down this bundle. And I also found great success in terms of like actually getting the contributors on board with this, because they understood who it was for. And if it was for their target customer, then they’re much more likely to push this, you know, this collaboration, right? So, so that was like, kind of what I wanted to do with the bundle. I had the idea and I had been telling Jeremy you know, every three months or so I’d be like, Hey, I think we should do a bundle. I think this is a really good idea. And you know, we kept putting it on the backburner. And finally I was like, No, I’m ripping the band aid off and we’re just going to do this. And so it was like November. We hosted Black Friday last year and as soon as Black Friday ended, I said okay, I’m doing this project and like I totally jumped in with zero like understanding of what I was supposed to do as normal, typical

Kat Schmoyer 5:07

Megan Martin 5:11
I did however, give myself plenty of time. Like I was like, Okay, this is right after Black Friday, I’m launching this in the second weekend of February. So are a second week of February. So it’s it wasn’t that much time. But it wasn’t my usual like launch in six days. So I was like, it’s a growth moment for me to plan something two months out, right. My, initially, I sent out invites, and I remember, like, I was so nervous, I was more nervous sending out invites than I was launching this thing. Like, there was something about like, that vulnerability of like telling someone else what you’re doing. And like, what if nobody says yes.

Kat Schmoyer 5:57

Megan Martin 5:59
I was so nervous about that. I remember I like I was like, so anxious for about three days, like, nobody’s gonna say yes. Like, I mean, I’m not gonna lie. Like, I was afraid somebody else is gonna be like, Oh, that’s a good idea. I’m gonna go do it myself. Like, I was so nervous those few days.

Kat Schmoyer 6:17
But you did it. Right. Yeah. I mean, and like, I think that just goes to show that no matter who you are, there’s always nerves around to doing something new in our business. Like, no matter how many years we’ve been in business, like just being like, Alright, I gotta like, pull up my big girl panties, so to speak, just like do it because you knew that this isn’t an idea y’all had been tossing around for a while, and you just wanted to see like what other people be on board. I also wanted to like speak to the niche of the bundle. Um, I know we’ve had these conversations like one on one. But something too for those of you guys listening that are like thinking about a bundle, something that Megan did really, really well, is not only was the bundle topic, so niche, so therefore you knew when you were purchasing, what you were getting, and the contributors like what they were going to be teaching you and how focused that content was. But it was also niche to Megan’s business. Like it was a great fit for her ideal client, and the list and the audience that she already had. So she could also leverage those things when working with contributors. So it wasn’t just Megan relying on the contributors to you know, bring in sales. But Megan had a list that was primed for something on passive income. And that is what she teaches. And the digital lab is creating digital products, like how do you create, sell and launch a digital product? And that’s what this bundle was also going to help you do. And so just something to keep in mind, if you’re thinking about doing a bundle that you Yes, want it to be niche in terms of the contributors, but you also want to think about your own brand messaging, and how does that become a really natural fit into what you’re currently offering?

Megan Martin 8:07
Right, which is, it took a lot of pressure off of me of like, you know, I didn’t care how many sales I got, I mean, obviously, it’s great to get sales, you know, but like, I wasn’t dependent on my contributors to sell for me, because, in my mind, I approached it as like, even if none of my contributors push this, which is typically when you’re in a collaboration, like part of the success is how much your contributors are also pushing the collaboration, right? But for me, it was like, okay, even if none of my contributors push this, like, I can still benefit my audience with this offer. And so, you know, I kind of just put the pressure on myself, just like a traditional launch would be, you know, and I as as the organizer, I think that was really beneficial. That I wasn’t I wasn’t leaning on you guys cat was in it. So I say you guys, I wasn’t leaning on you guys to to do the work for me. You know, like, that’s my own launch. It just so happened that you guys did a lot of work along with it, which was super surprising to me. But

Kat Schmoyer 9:18
we Yeah, it was fun. Like we wanted to. So talk about the like working with contributors. I know you said like the nerves around like sending the email to contributors, which there’s always like, no matter how many conferences I plan, I’m always like, these people are gonna say no one’s gonna want to come so I totally get that. But so besides the nerves around emailing once people were quote, unquote, in like once they said they were going to be a contributor. How did you organize that? Like, what was that like working with 30 contributors?

Megan Martin 9:50
Yeah. I definitely did not take organizing this bundle lightly. It was very big responsibility on my shoulders. And I would say to anybody who’s Thinking about hosting a collaboration that you have to realize that as the organizer, this is a big responsibility on your shoulders, and you have a lot of people who are looking to you, not only as a leader to but to also ensure that you’re cultivating an ethical collaboration, you’re cultivating an inclusive collaboration, like it is a very big responsibility. And so I really like besides my membership, and the offers that like I need to be in on a regular basis, I like cleared my plate for that like two and a half month period, so that I could go all in to make sure that I was serving my contributors really well. My biggest like it, my biggest, like inward goal was to make sure that I was being very open and honest with all of the contributors at all points. So one of the things that I did, which I feel like would surprise you, cat is like, I created a spreadsheet when I first did all of these invitations. So I created a spreadsheet. So I could like track who I was inviting, I wanted all of their information, like already saved. So I had like, their name, their email, their website, and then I would track what date I invited them. And then I also tracked, I would update that spreadsheet every single time I communicated with that person, like I

Kat Schmoyer 11:16
was so proud of you. I like who

Megan Martin 11:20
I am right now. But, um, but that was like one of the big things that was really helpful for me, because I also tracked where I communicated with them. So I tried to keep all communication in email form with the contributors, but there were some contributors that, for example, have a big team and their team manages their inbox. And, you know, sometimes when you’re working with somebody like that, and you’re sending emails that don’t really fit into their normal day to day activities, your emails can either get deleted or forgotten or pushed somewhere that never gets seen, right. And so then I would start like communicating on Instagram. And so even like countries, like tracking where I was communicating with people was really helpful. So that way, when I needed to follow up, or I needed an answer, and I wasn’t getting it, I was able to like go to those other spaces and platforms to communicate with people. But one of one of the other things that I did really early on was I decided I was gonna have a contract for this. And I think you should have a contract in any collaboration that you go to, I know that you have a contract with your conference. But just having a contract in place, I feel like made it feel very, not only professional, but just everyone understood what their responsibilities were and what my responsibilities were and what was going to happen. One of the one of the major things I wanted in that contract is like the what ifs, like what happens if a breakdown in communication were to happen or something like a breakdown in like the affiliate payout or commissions were to happen. So I felt like that really set it off on a a really like level playing field for everyone with that contract. And yeah, I would like absolutely encourage you if you’re going into some sort of collaboration to have a contract, even if it’s a free one, because I think that there’s just lots of like feelings involved in collaborations and having a contract just like, takes all of that off the deck. And you know, what is like what you’re responsible for?

Kat Schmoyer 13:26
And it sets really clear expectations. Yeah, like, obviously, I’m really close with Megan. So being a contributor, I could just send her a box if I had a question about something. But I’ve been a contributor in other bundles, and having that contract, right can say like, Oh, what was the affiliate payout? Like, I’m not I don’t remember, like these nitty gritty details, I get, like pull out the contract and be able to have that all right there. And I know that it wasn’t just something said in one email that’s gonna get like Lost in Translation later on. Like, this is a signed legal document that is like the backbone of this partnership.

Megan Martin 13:59
Yeah, one of the things that surprised me most about the just like the preparation phase was how many invitations I sent, I sent so many emails, and I like finally got good at like not being stressed about sending invitations, but I got a ton of nose like I really want and I get it like we’re all busy or whatever. But man, like it opened my eyes that in order to create, you know, an inclusive lineup, like you really do have to send a ton of emails, you have to connect with a ton of people. And it’s a lot of work to make sure that you’re casting your net wide enough to include lots of different voices and lots of different people from different backgrounds. And so that was like one of the most eye opening thing I recently wrote a guide about, you know, being an organizer and I would encourage anyone listening that if you want to create some sort of collaboration like you do need to give yourself months of time to like before you launch it like Don’t be like me who launches things in days when it comes to collaborations. Um, that was like definitely one of my biggest eye opening things.

Kat Schmoyer 15:03
Absolutely. And so talk about that then because right now, it’s July. But in you do this once a year, right, so this is like an every January thing, but you’re already thinking forward to this coming January to give yourself plenty of time and this time around doing applications for contributors.

Megan Martin 15:23
Yeah. I mean, as soon as the bundle wrapped up, I mean, we did we had, that was our first time ever doing anything like this, like we we did not, I mean, we were blown away, let me just put it that way. Like we we did not know what to expect. We did not run ads to this bundle, like it was 100% Organic marketing efforts on my part, and the contributors part. And we were just like, in shock at the results about this. And so as soon as the bundle was over, we basically looked at each other, I’m like, Okay, we want to do this again. But it is a lot of work. So we’re like, let’s just do this once a year, not try to like multiple, like, replicate this multiple times a year. But as soon as we were over, we were like, already trying to like put on our calendar. See, again, you’re gonna be so proud of me, we were like already putting on our calendar, when we were even going to think about starting the process of planning, because like I said, I did give myself a couple months. But I saw after the fact that just like I said it, it took a lot of invitations to get to the point that we got to in the end, like I’m starting in July this year, because I want to give myself and the contributors, so much time in order to again cast my net wide enough to get a really great, diverse set of resources inside the next bundle. So I think the more time that you can give yourself for the preparation phase of any collaboration is just going to take so much stress off your plate. Absolutely.

Kat Schmoyer 16:54
How else did you prep the contributors? And I know from being a contributor, that you it was very well presented to us, not only in terms of here’s the contract, so that was like clearly outlined, but then with swipe, copy and graphics, and just the way that you outlined that like, what would be like, Was that difficult for you, I guess to like create all of that content. Would you recommend other contributors doing that? If they are hosting a bundle? Like let’s talk about what you included?

Megan Martin 17:24
Yeah. So what I wanted to do was, first of all, like, there were no requirements to be a contributor to the bundle, like you didn’t have a certain amount of email list or Instagram followers, it was literally like, are you good at what you do? And do you have a valuable resource to share with someone that’s in this, you know, that has a similar goal, right. And so for me, I, I honestly had more business experience than a lot of the contributors in the bundle. And so for me, I saw it not only as an opportunity to like, collaborate with them, but also share a little bit of my own wisdom from previous launches and previous collaborations that I was a part of, to help them succeed as well, that was like my other thing. So communication was so important to me, but I really wanted to see my contributors succeed, is if they wanted to put the effort into it. And so I, you know, the first thing I decided I was going to do was create some sort of resource specifically for my contributors. That wasn’t just about my gains for the passive bundle, but also about like, helping them like I essentially wrote an entire guide on how to how to launch something in your business for by contributors, which, you know, is like I could sell this guide, essentially, what I taught them, you know, about how to I literally, like walked through, I actually had no requirements for contributors. So you guys didn’t have to, like, send two emails or post three times on Instagram, like, there was zero promotional requirements for my contributors, which was a huge gamble on my part. But I essentially created this guide to say, hey, there’s no promotional requirements for you. But here’s exactly what I would do if I were a contributor and this bundle and I wanted to see a monetary gain for myself, as well as you know, connect with new leads. And I think that that was probably one of my contributor favorite things that I did, a lot of people commented on that. And I actually didn’t plan to do swipe copy. I was like, at first, I didn’t want to do swipe copy, because I’m going to impasse collaborations where people literally just copy and paste the swipe copy. And you all share similar email lists, and you get five emails from five different people that are the exact same thing, you know, and so I was like, I really did not plan to do swipe copy, but then one of my contributors was like, Hey, are you gonna do this? And I’m like, okay, I can see the benefit for some people, but I tried to be like very, very clear and vocal in the swipe copy to say like, you need to change this. Let me Yeah, yeah, not, please do not send the same email to everybody that you’re sharing. You know? Right. Right, you guys. Absolutely. That is like it is that happens.

Kat Schmoyer 20:12
Um, and I will say, as somebody that again was a contributor in Meghan’s and I’ve been a contributor and others, I think, first of all, having being in a bundle where there is no requirement for sharing really does take the pressure off. And I’m sure you guys can imagine, like, as a contributor, it takes the pressure off of, oh, did I check off the boxes? Like, did I hit all the things I was supposed to hit? But then the reason of course, I’m selfish in my situation in this situation. So I was like, I’m going to share about it because it’s like Megan, and of course, I’m going to share about it. But I think being in any sort of bundle, if there’s no share requirements, the way to get your contributors to want to share is a really well thought out affiliate payout, and Megan had one. And so if I’m in other bundles, where there’s no affiliate payout, or the affiliate payout is really low, like, it’s not as incentivized isn’t like money talks, and in this situation, when you want your contributors, yes, of course, I wanted to get more eyes on my product. And I would love like email list to grow through people jumping into my product and an opt in, you know, etc, all those things. But again, money does talk. And so if you’re thinking about putting together a bundle, and you don’t want to have requirements, think about what that affiliate payout could be, that’s going to push people to want to share all the time, all day long. For the five days, that cart is open.

Megan Martin 21:35
Yeah, I’m a big believer, and this might ruffle some feathers. But I’m a big believer that your affiliates should make more money than you make for their own sales. So my I’m just going to be real with y’all. My affiliate payout is 70%, which is like a very insane number when it comes to affiliate commissions. And so but I feel like that really incentivized people to push this, you know, did even just like what what, like you said, Money Talks, they’ve not just even like incentivizes you, but like, there’s something about seeing like, okay, man, she is like giving me more money than she’s even gonna make. And it was a, that’s a big split, you know, 7030 is a big difference. Of course, you know, we did need to be compensated, like we were hosting the bundle, there’s transaction fees involved, like, we, you know, there’s tech that’s involved in all of this. So and of course, organizing, it took months of work. So there is a reason that I should be compensated as well. But I just, I’ve truly believed that like, this is yours work? This is your product, this is your brainchild, you should be making more money on your sale than I make on your sale.

Kat Schmoyer 22:49
Right? Right. And that goes back to when we first started this. This bundle was strategic for Megan, even if her affiliates did nothing, right. So Megan knew going into it that she was going to be launching this to her list, she was going to be pushing this to her list, and her list was primed and ready for this product. And she’s going to get 100% commission on her like, that’s her and her list. So she had a way to know like, okay, she could do her own, like, you know, launch success standard of good, better, best based on like her own list. And then she potentially just gambled with the affiliates this first time, you know, with like having no, no previous bundle to compare it to and just to say like, okay, and then let’s see, can I get 30% on any additional sales? And I mean, I know your affiliates, like blew it out of the water. So

Megan Martin 23:41
they did I paid $51,000 in affiliate commissions, which was so wild, I would have I mean, honestly, I know that sounds like this is gonna sound silly, but like, I honestly was so proud of that number. Like I was like, Yeah, I was excited to like, hit the Pay Pal. But like, most people be like, Oh, my gosh, I’m paying so much money right now. But it excited me like just to think that like, this bundle, not only served over 1000 customers, but it also was like, I don’t know, in some way shape or form a blessing to the contributors. I just I don’t know. It was like a full circle like cool moment for me to send that that out.

Kat Schmoyer 24:24
Yeah, I love it. You got to celebrate.

Megan Martin 24:28
I did. We popped champagne. It was fun.

Kat Schmoyer 24:31
I love it. Okay, so then to wrap up talk about the contributor application for the next round

Megan Martin 24:39
of the bundle. Yeah, so like I said before, I did a lot of research. I’m doing a lot of research now trying to cast my net wider and meet people that I don’t necessarily know yet. And so I would love if you are somebody who teaches on some sort of topic that applies to creating and selling digital products, whether that’s marketing, selling, maybe you’ve got templates. If you, if you have any resource that could help somebody who is trying to grow a digital product business, we would love for you to apply, we will link the form that you can apply below of course, please know that we cannot take everybody, we can’t have a bundle of like 200. And also, we were really careful to try to not have too much overlap as well. So we’re going to do our best to put together a really dynamite and dynamic resource together to launch the passive bundle 2.0. Coming this next January, so please apply. If you feel like you could be a good fit, I would love to learn more about you and your business and just connect with you even if it doesn’t result in being in the bundle. You know, I love to meet new people and learn about who you are and what you’re doing. So please apply and the deadlines and all of that will be on the forum for you to know what you need to do. And I’m just excited for the next bundle. And I also just want to quickly say like, if you’re listening and you purchase the passive bundle, like thank you, it truly like blew us away that you guys trusted us. And also, I just want to say thank you to all the contributors. Like I was just really really, I was also blown away by you guys and how much effort you put into it and what you put into it. And it was a really cool experience.

Kat Schmoyer 26:35
It was so much fun. And I’m excited for 2.0 It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be exciting to see like, what’s included and to find out and all that fun stuff. So yes, like Megan said, we’ll make sure that the application is linked below and if you guys have any questions, just shoot her a DM and voice chat with her about it.

Megan Martin 26:53
Yep. All right, friends. Thanks so much for listening to this behind the scenes conversation about the passive bundle and I cannot wait to catch you in the next conversation.

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