Using Authenticity to Reach Your Dream Clients with The Pajama Marketer – ATSiteomatic

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Lesa Banks was an award-winning Fortune 500 Marketer who worked with big companies and crushed goals. She loved marketing so much that her life revolved around her job, which was great until she became a mom.

When daycare cost as much as her mortgage, and with her long hours and commute she was gone 12 hours a day, Lesa took a look at what mattered most in her life.  

When Lesa saw the children she waited to have, the children she loved more than her prestigious career, she chose them. Although, little did she know one day she’d have her dream career while being a stay-at-home-mom.

Lesa resigned from her job and became a full-time mom. But, it wasn’t easy. It was really hard. Being a mother doesn’t give you awards or put your name on ambitious lists. You can’t get a raise or promotion when you’re a full-time mother. And more than anything, Lesa missed marketing.

With her background in marketing, she started to see potential in this niche space of motherhood and owning a small business. She saw how many other women had business ideas but didn’t know how to make them come true while staying home with their kids. So, Lesa got to work and The Pajama Marketer was born.

Lesa took her twenty-year career and began using it to show other women how to make their business dreams into a reality through social media marketing. And how uncomplicated it is once you figure out what you’re passionate about and why. 

Lesa has so many amazing tidbits in this interview, from marketing a small business today to balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. 

Enjoy!

What made you fall in love with marketing and pursue it as a career?

Lesa: It started back in college when I was a liberal arts student. I was really into anthropology, psychology, and music. But my entire family were business majors, even my grandmother. And there was a lot of pressure to become a business major. 

I thought it wasn’t for me until I took a marketing class, and that was it. I was all in. 

I had a professor who said a product is a complex bundle of satisfactions. And that was the big moment for me when I realized it was so much more than buying and selling. Marketing was a complex business transaction that had a lot to do with people versus accounting, no offense to accountants, but that just wasn’t my thing. 

It was a way to pull in everything that I loved. And from then, I became a marketer, and that’s all I ever did. I love it.

Was it hard going from an ambitious Fortune 500 marketer and self-described “workaholic” to being a stay-at-home mom?

Lesa: Yeah. It was really hard. A lot of who I felt I was, was based on my career. I was super career-focused. I moved for my career. I loved my career. Everything I did essentially around that. 

So making the transition from having that being my whole identity to being a mom, which I love being a mom, but it is so different. Nobody’s thanking you for cleaning their diapers, or for not sleeping. It’s hard. All moms know it’s a hard job but that transition was hard in the beginning.

Eventually, as I started my own business and I was able to dip my toe back into the person I was, I was able to pull in the elements that I loved and kind of get rid of the elements that I didn’t love. It has been a nice balance over time. But, the transition was hard, very hard.

What lead you to decide to leave your 9-5 job and then pursue Pajama Marketer full-time?

Lesa: I was living in San Francisco at the time, which I loved, but it was a different life and not totally conducive to having little kids. My husband worked in advertising, so he had really heavy hours as well. And then I was working in Silicon Valley. Commuting was about a 12 hour day on average, between the shuttle time and all of that.

After having my first son I realized daycare was as much as our mortgage, it was insane. I was gone 12 hours a day, I had my children older in life and I wanted to be there for them. 

I knew this was going to go really fast. And I knew how much of myself I was giving to my job, that it wasn’t just the time I was there because I was mentally very involved in my job. So that’s when we made the decision that I would stay home and pull our son out of daycare. 

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What did the process look like of starting your own business while also having young children?

Lesa: That process was interesting. I carved it out a little bit at a time because it’s hard to do everything at once. I started with a website, and then I began doing some small consulting. Over time I added different elements, but it took a while to build up.

I had to carve out dedicated time because it’s so easy, especially when you’re working for yourself, to let those things slide to the side. Then balancing between doing things for my own company and things for clients.

When a business is just starting out, what should it be doing to begin making sales?

Lesa: One of the key things I always say is network, network, network. Your network is key to your success. So many jobs and leads have come through networking. 

Now I live in a really small town where the more people you know, the more business you get. 

And people naturally want to help you, so ask for their help, ask for leads, tell them what you’re doing.

Secondly, look at ways you can easily monetize your social or whatever platforms you’re on. Plan some quick wins, whether it’s a mini-course or having your offer out there. Just make sure you have a way to quickly monetize what you’re doing so if somebody stumbles across you, they have a way to buy whatever it is from you. That will help give you some kind of transaction.

And then the third thing I would say is to find a mentor. We’re all in a different phase. There are so many people doing this, and everyone’s kind of in a different spot. It can be so helpful to find someone who’s ahead of you or where you want to be and learn from them. 

Don’t fall into the trap of doing a thousand webinars because you’re never going to get anywhere. Instead, hire someone to help you. It can catapult you to the next level because you can learn from all their mistakes and the things they’ve been through. If they’re already where you want to be, it can rapidly accelerate you getting there too. So learn from somebody who’s doing what you want to do.

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What marketing tips make the biggest difference in creating a long-term healthy and growing company?

Lesa: One of the first ones is differentiation. I think sometimes this gets skipped because you see on some of the social media platforms that everybody’s doing the same thing. Everybody’s stuff looks the same and has the same colors. But being unique is your greatest gift and your greatest selling point.

I have a friend who’s a very, very successful online entrepreneur and has a bunch of courses. And while she may be way up here and I am here, I might be able to reach people in a way she can’t because my story, my background, everything about me is different than her.

I have a friend who’s a very, very successful online entrepreneur and has a bunch of courses. And while she may be way up here and I am here, I might be able to reach people in a way she can’t because my story, my background, everything about me is different than her.

Just remember being unique is your biggest and strongest selling point. Don’t hide who you are, and don’t forget to let that part of you shine. 

I have another mentor who says it’s the unsexy work that gets you the sexy results. I think of it like a little puppy. When you get a puppy you’re like, “Oh my gosh, my puppy’s so cute.” If it pees somewhere, you’re like, “Oh, it’s okay. It’s just a cute little puppy.” And then your puppy gets bigger, and you’re getting kind of tired of having the puppy do all these things. It’s not cute anymore. But you still have to keep working with the puppy. And business is like that.

When you start a business, it’s like this tiny, cute puppy. When you first bring it home you’re so excited, and you’re like, “This is awesome. I’m going to love this puppy so much.” And then you get into it, and you start hitting roadblocks. Things start getting hard because your growth is usually exponential, it takes a lot of time. Where you’re expecting these exponential results, you get minimal results. 

And then a lot of people don’t make it to the point where they start seeing big growth. That period is just so hard. The puppy honeymoon period is over, and you’re it’s frustrating. 

When things get hard, it helps to not be married to your daily results, but your daily actions. 

There’s going to be a point, no matter how much you love it, that you are tired and you don’t want to do it. But that unsexy daily consistency is what makes the difference. Along with not forgetting why you’re doing it, and knowing that eventually, it will pay off even if it doesn’t pay off today.

How long does it usually take a brand to be consistent before they start seeing results?

Lesa: That’s hard to answer in a black and white way. You could have luck and get a lot of traction quickly, or it could take a long time. The biggest thing is just knowing that a lot of the time consistency will pay off.

The most important thing to remember is the growth curve, you think you’re going to slowly grow but that might not happen. It might be flat, flat, flat, flat, then up. A lot of people quit in that timeframe but you just have to keep pushing through.

So I don’t have a good answer because it’s so arbitrary based on so many factors like your background. You could have a huge network and connections before you start and then you just take off like a rocket ship. However, if you have no network, it could take time. Or you could go viral on Instagram.

The other thing is at first you’re not going to be great and that’s okay. I have perfectionist tendencies which made me an excellent employee and a not so happy person. You’re going to be looking at people who are years ahead of you, who are just crushing it in their lives, or they have thousands and thousands of Pinterest pins, and their Instagram’s amazing. But you’re not going to start like that, and they didn’t start like that either. 

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Just remember, it’s okay to be bad in the beginning. And if you let that stop you, you’re not going to get where you want to go. You’ll just keep getting better. 

So through that period, just remember every time you post, go live, or do anything, you’re just making yourself better.

If it’s always, always perfect, I think that’s a little suspicious.

What’s your favorite part about owning your own business?

Lesa: I used to work for really, really big brands. And I got to work on cool things, but it was rare that I would even talk to a consumer. We would work in stores a couple of times a year. 

But, being able to help people one on one, especially helping moms who want to work from home and start their own businesses. I know how that struggle felt of not really knowing what my next step would be. Then the one-on-one personal feedback and working with people directly, I love that. 

I have 20 years of marketing experience and being able to distill that into ways that people can leverage simply and easily makes me really happy.

As a busy entrepreneur, how do you keep a work and family life balance? 

Lesa: I try to set some boundaries because previously, I didn’t have any. I have some distinctive boundaries like we always sit together for dinner. I don’t work after a certain amount of hours. And I have a set amount of hours I work in a day. Although some days I work more than others. 

My husband is also a consultant and stays home. So we were both home during the pandemic. They were out of school for a year and a half, and we really had to balance our workloads by each having dedicated shifts for focused work time. 

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What lead you to sign up for Tailwind?

Lesa: Oh my gosh, I love Tailwind. I signed up with Tailwind in January 2019. Using my marketing background, I thought okay, where’s the white space in this world of online entrepreneurship? And I very quickly gravitated towards Pinterest. I was like, wow, there’s not a lot of people using this from a business perspective, at least not nearly as many as I anticipated.

I was researching and I very quickly figured out that Tailwind was the best way to use Pinterest. It was a no-brainer for me. I signed up and I’ve been on it ever since. 

It’s funny because I have schedulers. I manage social media for a bunch of people, but across many, many, platforms. There are other schedulers, but I couldn’t use them for Pinterest if I wanted to. It’s Tailwind all the way. 

I love every feature. I use everything in it. I have a Pinterest course and I recommend it to all of my students. I even have a whole section about how to use Tailwind and why you should use it. And I don’t say you have to, but I pretty much say if you want to do Pinterest, well you need Tailwind. Can you tell I like it?

I’ve had feedback from students especially people who are not super into designing pins and that kind of thing can get overwhelming from a time perspective. But using Tailwind Create they’re like, “This saved me so much time.”

And it takes a lot of the guesswork out of not just how to schedule, but how to optimize your scheduling. You can plan, batch, and do your Pinterest in one day for multiple weeks. So if you’re a busy mom, that saves so much time. Because how much you should pin and how consistently can get super overwhelming if you’re not using a tool like Tailwind.

Which Tailwind feature is your favorite, and why?

Lesa: That’s a hard question. I have a lot of favorite features. I love Create. But I think my favorite feature is Communities. I’ve been using that for a long time and I love it for sharing my content. I’ve gotten so many re-shares that way. I also use it to find great content to re-pin and to see what’s trending. 

Instead of digging through the Pinterest platform, I use Communities to go look at what’s trending, what in my category is doing well, and why. I use it for market research. It’s something that’s not replicated nearly as well. 

So that is probably the feature that I appreciate the most aside from Scheduling and Create.

What’s next for Pajama Marketer?

Lesa: Well, what I want to do for my business right now is to teach other people about the Instagram projections that just came out. And then of course I’m always studying the Pinterest projections too. There is so much opportunity for the trends of how people are buying things right now.

Most people are shifting from buying from big companies to buying from people on Instagram and Pinterest. There’s such a big opportunity, especially if you’re smaller. You don’t need a big budget like one of the mega brands. You can be super niche and be very successful. A lot of the people that they’re buying from have under a hundred thousand followers on Instagram. And on Pinterest, most of the searches are unbranded.

You don’t need a big brand. You don’t need a big marketing budget. You can sell whatever service or product. However, you want to monetize, once you do there is a huge opportunity for you.

So many incredible women are home with their kids and want something else, or they don’t want to go back to full-time. There are so many opportunities out there to monetize in some way through your social media that there’s a huge future for people.

So I want to help people do that. And also myself, because I believe in leverage. Your time is your most precious commodity, especially as a mom. You don’t get a lot of time to yourself, I think we can all agree on that. 

And if you can make sales through those kinds of transactions, or pull people in through funnels, there are ways to leverage your time. That is a way to get more time back for yourself without going back to a full-time job.

My passion is to move into that space and then teach other moms how to do that too.

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Where you can find Lesa and The Pajama Marketer

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Psst! This Pin was made in seconds with Tailwind Create. Try it for yourself

Lesa left her job as a Fortune 500 Marketer to help other stay-at-home-moms marketer successful businesses from their own home. Come learn what to do from an expert marketer!

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