021: Automated and Delegated: Carving Out Time for Self-Care
Nancy Badillo helps Esty sellers turn their passion into profit by teaching them the exact steps needed to start, manage, and scale their Etsy shops into full-time income.
Nancy’s Burnout Story
Nancy Badillo has been working in the digital space for thirteen years.
It all started in 2009 when Nancy lost her home and was looking for ways to bring in additional income. Googling ways to make money online, she quickly fell in love with digital marketing and made it her side hustle.
In fact, Nancy was so serious about digital marketing that she ended up going back to school to get her bachelor’s in business, followed by her MBA. She didn’t just want digital marketing to be a hobby – she wanted it to be a vocation. She knew that if she couldn’t turn her hustle into a full-time business, she still wanted to work in digital in some capacity, even if it meant doing so in-house somewhere.
For her first several years working in the digital space, Nancy balanced a full-time job at a call center and her budding business. She would drive an hour and a half to work each day, clock in for eight hours at her call center job, drive another hour and a half back home, and then work on her side gig into the early morning hours. When she wasn’t talking to customers at the call center, she was on her personal computer working on her digital marketing business.
“Let's say if I had a nine to five, when I got home, I would work from like seven to one in the morning, pretty much. Doing that probably stalled my success,” said Nancy.
Nancy became so obsessed with work that she ended up sacrificing friendships and sacrificing herself. While once fit and healthy, she stopped working out and eating nutritious meals and ended up putting on weight. Feeling both physically and spiritually drained, Nancy knew something had to change.
Part of the reason Nancy’s first few years as a digital marketer were so tough is that she had a hard time focusing or “niching down.” She would take on any sort of project related to digital marketing, whether it be pay-per-click, blogging, SEO, or anything in between.
“I was really all over the place,” she said.
Even though Nancy is glad to have a wide range of skills to draw from now, having her hands in so many pots wasn’t working for her at the time: “In reality, what really helped me kind of fast track my results was really niching down, focusing, avoiding shiny object syndrome[…], creating systems and processes, and just sticking it out.”
When Nancy got engaged, she turned to Etsy to shop for her wedding. She noticed that many sellers were “making a killing” running shops and decided to try it for herself. After she got married, she opened her own Etsy store as a case study and wrote about the experience for her blog. That first year she made $21,000.
“That’s when I realized, ‘oh ok, I’m on to something,’” she said.
Nancy decided to transition from general marketing into exclusively working as an Etsy coach (which were few and far between at the time). She began putting systems and processes in place to prepare for her new business model.
One notable system that Nancy implemented to make marketing her business more manageable was creating a content strategy founded on evergreen content.
“Having a podcast or having a YouTube channel or having blogging, it is a type of system that you can have that helps you. It's evergreen content that is seen all the time,” she said.
Nancy knew video content would be popular with her audience and only grow more so as the years went by. Despite being an introvert and not totally comfortable on camera, she started a YouTube channel and began packing it with content. While most of her competitors had 50-60 videos or so, Nancy now has well over 800.
YouTube has helped Nancy in several ways:
It has gotten her in front of a lot of people.
It has helped her build authority as an Etsy coach.
It has allowed her to create a system where minimal work (filming 1-2 videos each week) drives a large amount of traffic to her email so she can continue nurturing leads.
Even videos that are 4 ½ years old are still doing the work for Nancy, continuing to bring in leads over time: “That kind of [system] does everything for you. And you don't have to be posting or trying to be all over the place all the time.”
Email marketing has become another important system for Nancy, bringing in a majority of her sales ($434,000 in just the last 10 months!).
Knowing people are unlikely to engage with her the first time they’re introduced to her, Nancy has set up an automated email sequence of sixteen emails to nurture leads. As soon as a customer signs up for one of her training sessions, they are added to an email sequence designed to provide “tons and tons” of value.
Nancy doesn’t start selling right away, but instead brings leads into her community by sharing content about the training session. She sweetens the deals by adding freebies, promos, and exclusives, such as trainings that are only available to people on her list.
“I really built out authority with them, especially if they don't know who I am. I've already built that trust with them, because I gave them so much free stuff, right from the first like eight, nine emails,” said Nancy. “A lot of times people feel like ‘if I give out too much content, or if I give out too much free stuff, people won't buy.’ And it's actually the opposite.”
Not only does automating her lead nurture help Nancy avoid burnout, but it also helps sales feel organic and less sleazy because she’s giving more than she receives.
Another piece that has helped Nancy avoid burnout and take better care of herself is delegation. While Nancy is a self-professed control freak, she quickly realized that working a reasonable number of hours per day would require offloading some of the daily maintenance tasks eating up a lot of her time.
For example, in the early days of her business, Nancy spent 3-4 hours each morning moderating her Facebook group, approving posts, and responding to comments and direct messages on all her social media channels. By the time she finished, she was often too creatively and mentally drained to put her best work into more important tasks, like creating content and interacting with clients. Now she has someone else manage these pieces so she can focus on the things that need her touch.
“Anytime that you could delegate the tedious work – whether it's having people approve your group, whether it's having people add emails from a group to your list – go ahead and hire someone to do that. Because it really does help you have more time for the stuff that makes you money,” said Nancy.
With the automation and delegation Nancy has established, she has time to take better care of herself and focus on her relationship with her son. Now she’s working out, eating better, and creating boundaries around her time.
For example, Nancy used to check social media first thing in the morning, often setting a negative tone for the day and catapulting her into “fix it” mode right out of bed. Now, she makes it a point to check the weather, eat breakfast, open the window, or another small task that makes her feel more alive and connected to the world. Social media is also off-limits once she puts her son to bed each night.
“When I started doing these things, that's when I started seeing, like, huh, I feel better. I’m producing more content that’s better. I'm making more time to do research for this content. I'm sending boundaries,” said Nancy. “If I would have done this before, I wonder if that would have helped me, because back then I was running on fumes.”
If Nancy had set some of these boundaries sooner, she initially might have been able to make better choices for her business that would fast-track her success. Ultimately, however, the most important thing is that she got there.
“I see the difference now. I see the clarity that I have. I see the boundaries that I set.”