Emily Ley has been featured in Forbes, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping and HGTV.com to name a few and her products are carried in over 800 retail outlets across the world. The kicker — Her product is a “once a year” purchase.
Emily Ley is the founder of Simplified®️ – a brand of planners and organizational tools for busy women. Emily could teach us about MANY things — but today I want to focus on the one thing she does SO WELL. Educating her clientele on not only why they need HER product, but how to use it to it’s best ability — keeping them coming back for more. If you want to educate you potential clients about why they should choose YOU over anyone else, Emily is going to teach you how to stick out amongst the masses, create a cult following around your business, and how to truly turn followers into raving FANS.
Starting Her Business
Emily Ley started her business from a pain point in her own world. After giving birth to her first baby, she was overwhelmed by the so-called perfect images of moms who were able to run their lives wearing “six inch heels and perfect hair” while she was floundering in piles of dirty laundry. Emily dialed down her business to a very specific thing: planners. Her husband thought she was crazy to create a planner in the world of iCal and other computer based scheduling systems, but Emily had a vision of the planner she would create to simplify the lives of other busy women and mothers. She bootstrapped the company and built it while working full time in corporate America. Fast forward to now, and her product has been in 800 retailers across the world, and even landed on the coveted end-cap spot at Target.
Making Big Changes for Big Growth
Emily reached a level of success that at one point felt very overwhelming. Simplified was in over 800 retail stores, and instead of her team fostering community and helping her customers understand and effectively use the product, they spent their time answering retailer questions. She knew she had to make a drastic change to continue the vision she had for the brand. Her husband suggested cutting wholesale which made up 40% of the business. They crunched the numbers, they weighed the options, and ultimately decided that shipping planners to retailers and simply being transactional was not what she set out to do. They cut wholesale and dialed back the operation. It ended up being a great decision… That year they grew the company over and above where they were before cutting wholesale by 30%.
The Secret to Keeping Your Customers
“The day we run a planner company is the day we pack this up. This is way too much work to just be schlepping office supplies.” To Emily, the mission and vision of the Simplified brand is so much more than the planner. It’s about infusing more value than is required of a planner company. Simplified sends free monthly coaching to their customers who purchase through the website about everything from meal planning to organizing your home. It’s important to Emily that when someone purchases a planner they become part of something bigger. Sure, casually using the planner as a day organizer is great, but if you really want to make a change in your life, she educates her customers on how to use her product to make it happen. The secret to keeping your customers according to Emily? Education and community, both of which she and her team at Simplified do so well.
More from This Episode
Emily Ley and Simplified are masters at educating their customer base and creating community around their product. So much so, that the whole “once a year” product thing doesn’t really matter. In this episode, Emily talks about the challenges and printables they’ve created that keep customers engaged with the product and using it effectively, turning them into raving fans who return year after year to get their Simplified planner, and who spread the word to all their friends, too. Press play on the player above to hear more from Emily and her journey building her business into the powerhouse it is today.