In today’s episode, I am joined by Kayleigh Christina. Kayleigh is a holistic nutritionist and the co-founder of Clear Stem Skincare, a non-toxic skincare line that targets acne, anti-aging, and scar reversing utilizing premium ingredients.
She’s a published author and co-host of the Balancing Your Hustle podcast, which interviews thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and wellness experts, diving into their individual stories and journeys. In this episode, Kayleigh will share her entrepreneurship journey and how she builds relationships with her customers to turn a one-time customer into a repeat customer.
Kayleigh’s Journey: Solving a Problem
Kayleigh and her business partner, Danielle, created Clear Stem Skincare in response to a problem.
About five years ago, Kayleigh broke out in bright red, inflamed, painful, cystic acne. Every doctor and dermatologist she went to couldn’t find the root cause of her acne and told her the only options were Accutane, antibiotics, or birth control. However, she refused to take any of those options because she wanted to get to the root of the problem.
As a last resort, she found the San Diego Acne Clinic, where she met Danielle. Together, they were able to find the core cause of her acne which included 11 different triggers such as products in her conditioner, supplements, and makeup she was using. Once they found the root of the problem, they were able to clear Kayleigh’s skin without any scar damage.
After this, the two of them felt they were onto something. They began to create amazing products that would help with acne and anti-aging at the same time. The issue was that there were no skincare lines that effectively dealt with adult acne. The anti-aging products often caused acne, and the harsh acne products often increased skin aging. Together, they were able to solve that problem and created Clear Stem Skincare to help with both acne and anti-aging at the same time.
“If you have dealt with [acne], or a family member or a friend, you know what I’m talking about. It changes the way you carry yourself, your confidence. It hits you pretty hard,” Kayleigh said. “My favorite part of the success of it all is the impact that we make with people. Danielle and I both got into this line because we wanted to help people clear their skin and feel confident and in control of their own skin. And the part I attached success to is the testimonials.”
The reason Kayleigh and Danielle created their business was to help people with their problems: acne and anti-aging. They discovered a problem, found a solution, and then built their business around that.
Since day one, their business has been profitable, and they have seen continuous exponential growth. Not only is this because they found a niche audience they could help solve a problem for, but also because they were able to constantly learn from their mistakes and adapt, as well as stay focused on their customer relationships.
Pivots and Tectonic Shifts
One of the most important things we need to do as entrepreneurs are to learn from our mistakes and make pivots when we need to. Every time we make a mistake or encounter a failure, we should take it as an opportunity to learn and change from it.
When I asked Kayleigh what her biggest mistake was, she told me that she doesn’t like to call them mistakes. “Every time I’ve made a decision and it hasn’t panned out correctly, we just pivot from it. Okay, what do we do now?” she said.
One of the “mistakes” she made early on was not doing enough research. They used to self-fill every bottle of skincare product and print every label themselves. And when they first got a warehouse to ship out their products for them, they just went with a recommendation. However, this caused them to get looped into a contract that cost them way too much money.
They didn’t do enough of their own research to know for themselves exactly what they were getting into. Since then, Kayleigh has learned from her mistakes and now they ask the right questions, get references, ask for reviews, and do the research.
Part of being an entrepreneur is learning from our mistakes and making pivots when we run into something that doesn’t quite work for us. We also need to be able to pivot and adjust to tectonic shifts.
Kayleigh said that one of the biggest tectonic shifts we have to learn to adapt to is COVID-19. With that, the customer is also becoming more educated and isn’t trusting marketers as much anymore. “Companies need to speak to the consumer more instead of about themselves,” Kayleigh said.
As I mentioned before, Kayleigh’s business was profitable within its first month. So many entrepreneurs aren’t able to pull that off, but it can happen when someone implements a strong business strategy. When I asked Kayleigh to share some of her monetization secrets, she gave me two, both focusing on the importance of the customer.
One of the only ways to have repeat customers is by owning their information, staying in contact with them, and making sure they are happy with our products. If we can get them to leave a review, this will not only bring in more first-time buyers but also remind them why they love our product and encourage them to return.
1. Email Marketing
We need to own our customers’ information. When we get their email or phone numbers, this gives us control of the conversation. We can stay connected. Repeat customers rely on this, and it’s one way to really increase our revenue.
“You can do all the Facebook, Instagram, [and] Google ads that you want, but you don’t own any of that information. But when you have people’s emails and phone numbers, you can control the conversations. . . . You can educate them about your product. You can give them updates. It is so important to be connected with your consumer because repeat purchases and building a family [or] a community with your brand is how you increase revenue and become successful,” Kayleigh said.
If a customer just makes a purchase, once they leave the store we’ve essentially lost them forever. We have no control over whether they come back and make a repeat purchase. However, if we get their email we suddenly have a way to contact them and send out more information about our products to encourage them to come back.
Kayleigh and Danielle have considered selling their products through retail stores so many times, but they eventually determined it’s not for them because they won’t have any connection with their consumers if they do this. They made the decision to keep the consumer with them so they can get their information and give information directly. They want to maintain stronger relationships with the customers and be in direct contact with them.
They’ve completely stayed away from the retailers and done everything themselves. They focus on providing education and bringing the consumer to them because they can serve them better and maintain stronger relationships with them by providing that education and support directly.
Reviews are everything. This is what gives our product credibility. As we mentioned before, customers are less trusting of marketers and businesses. They are starting to put more research into our products and services before they buy them. Most times they want to see good reviews before they make a final decision.
The best way to monetize what we are doing is to first have a good product and then have good reviews to back it up.
When Kayleigh first launched Clear Stem Skincare, they were selling their products online through Amazon and Shopify.
“We always knew that reviews were important from day one,” she said. “And we use that same tactic for our website as well, because people are going to research your product, and they’re going to think about buying it. They’re going to go to the reviews and see what other people are saying, and that’s how they’re going to make their decision.”
In order to get our customers to give us reviews, we need to really connect with them. The more of a relationship we have with our buyers, the more likely they will want to leave a good review to show their appreciation.
According to research done by DataBox, “customer proof” is the most important factor when evaluating two software products. This applies to other products as well. As customers become more focused on self-guided research, they rely heavily on reviews—customer proof.
DataBox asked more than 100 marketers to share their best tips for getting reviews, and some of them included simply asking for a review, engaging with current reviews, and offering an incentive. This is another example of where email marketing comes in. When we have our customer information, we can email them requests to leave a review as soon as they use our product.
Kayleigh will send out an email two weeks after a customer purchases their project. The email encourages them to write a review and provides an incentive such as a discount for their next purchase. This not only helps with credibility but encourages the buyer to become a repeat customer.
When customers reflect on their satisfaction with our product, they will also remember all the benefits of what we offer and be more likely to return and buy again.
Thank you so much Kayleigh for sharing your stories and knowledge with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. We need to discover a problem, find a solution, and then build our business around that. If we do that, we will be more successful.
2. We need to learn from our mistakes and make pivots when necessary. Every time we make a mistake or encounter a failure, we should take it as an opportunity to learn and change from it.
3. Companies need to speak to the consumer and get reviews, instead of marketing about themselves.
4. We need to own our customers’ information. When we get their email or phone numbers, this gives us control of the conversation.
5. To maintain stronger relationships with our customers, we should be in direct contact with them. Email marketing is essential in turning a first-time buyer into a repeat customer.
6. As customers become more focused on self-guided research, they rely heavily on reviews—customer proof.
7. Reviews are key in giving us credibility.
8. When our customers write reviews for us, they reflect on their product satisfaction and will be more likely to remember us and return in the future.
Connect with Kayleigh
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