David Crabill: Welcome to the Forrager Podcast, where I talk with cottage food entrepreneurs about their strategies for running a food business from home. I’m talking with none other than the Miracle twins, Heather and Corrie Miracle, who run Sugar Cookie Marketing. But real quick, I wanted to check, have you created a website for your business yet?
And if you have, do you pay for it? A lot of entrepreneurs still think they need to spend money to get a good website, and that is simply not true anymore. I am a really big fan of Square Online. That’s what I use for my Fudge Businesses website, and I created a free tutorial that will walk you through how to set up a totally free website in less than an hour.
And in case you think free also means cheap. It’s actually quite the opposite. I think Square Online is hands down the very best website tool for most cottage food businesses, and it’s even better than any of the paid services out there. So if you wanna learn more, you can watch my free tutorial by going to forrager.com/website. All right, so I have Heather and Corrie Miracle on the show today. They live in Fairfax, Virginia and really need no introduction, but I’m going to introduce them anyway. The twins have many different businesses. Actually, Corrie does have a decorated cookie business called Mixing Bowl Cookie Company.
They also run in person cookie decorating classes, and they have a digital marketing agency called Target Rocket, but they are best known for their most recent business Venture Sugar Cookie Marketing, which started just two years ago as a Facebook group and has become wildly popular.
That group now has over 36,000 members. And trust me, when I say that is one of the most active, positive, fun, and helpful Facebook groups that you will ever find. But the twins didn’t stop there. They now also host the popular Baking It Down podcast where they share tons of marketing tips each week. They also run the Cookie College, which is a premium membership that includes its own private Facebook group, its own podcast, and advanced tutorials.
And they also run two other free Facebook groups, each of which have thousands of members. I could go on, but needless to say, what Heather and Corrie have created is simply incredible. But how did they get to this point? Who are these miracle twins? What drives them? Why were they successful and do they get any sleep?
These are the questions that we want to know, and that’s what we’re about to cover. And so much more. Of course, as usual, they’ll be sharing plenty of great business advice along the way. This is part one of my conversation with the twins. And with that, let’s jump right into this episode.
Welcome to the show, Heather and Corrie. Nice to have you here.
[00:02:56] Corrie Miracle: Thank you so much, David!
[00:02:58] David Crabill: Well, you know, I usually start episodes by asking people to go back to the beginning of their journey, but today I’m gonna do it a little different because I think I should start with the most important question I possibly could ask you guys, which is, who is the favorite twin?
[00:03:13] Corrie Miracle: David, let me take this one over. Being the favorite twin, I think I’m an expert on this,
[00:03:18] Heather Miracle: Here, I’ll give Corrie this. In this space, I don’t know how to bake. I don’t do it. And what I do know how to do is organize and people hate it, so,
[00:03:27] Corrie Miracle: but but let me just talk to Heather. If I didn’t have her, I wouldn’t have the sales rolling in because of
[00:03:34] Heather Miracle: be a ship without a sail in the ocean, but you’d have a delicious ship
[00:03:38] Corrie Miracle: by myself.
[00:03:38] Heather Miracle: I’d be a sail in the ocean with no ship.
[00:03:41] Corrie Miracle: It’s really honestly one. One helps the other. I’m just the better looking of the two
[00:03:47] David Crabill: all right. Well, obviously you have a very fun dynamic and that is apparent through all of what you create. And I do wanna go back before you started Sugar Cooking Marketing to see like, what got you guys here? So can we take it back to like when you were kids, right?
you were students, what were you like, what were you like in school? Were you guys outgoing? Were you popular? Funny? Were you shy? Did you guys get along? Like, what was it like being
[00:04:15] Heather Miracle: are
[00:04:15] Corrie Miracle: are
[00:04:15] Heather Miracle: I a lead with this. My mom really liked to cut her hair short. David, like your hairstyle. So that’s what we were working with.
[00:04:23] Corrie Miracle: We started with short hair, but it never held back our level of nerdy confidence. were like as nerdy as nerdy could
[00:04:29] Heather Miracle: Best collection of Beast Wars Transformers you’ve ever seen. My micro machine collection was enviable world over but we went to private school, so even though it
[00:04:40] Corrie Miracle: was a tiny private school. So when you say if you were the popular kids, I think everyone was popular
[00:04:46] Heather Miracle: think we just had majority votes.
[00:04:48] Corrie Miracle: we votes of the class like do you want go have PE the here or PE there me and you voted and that was half the
[00:04:55] Heather Miracle: where we had PE. Yeah. So not a ton of options. No bullying. It was a religious school, so it was very much, They have short hair. They have short hair,
But my mom really liked cutting our hair short for whatever reason. She said, I think it was cute. My dad said when we turned 15, I was really good at uh, laser tag, just so you know.
We had many laser tag birthdays, you know, we got all our class there cause we had to invite all five people. And they say, Can we get the birthday boys to the front? And then they panic, Right? Of course Corrie and I are like idiots.
[00:05:25] Corrie Miracle: Yay
[00:05:26] Heather Miracle: No, they’re girls. And then after our birthday party, I absolutely slaughtered at laser tag. Then my dad says, Wife, you’re not cutting their hair anymore. That, that was insane.
[00:05:36] David Crabill: So I know that you guys are super creative, super enthusiastic in your group, I just was wondering like, is that something that you always had?
[00:05:46] Corrie Miracle: Yeah, when we had the short haircuts, we had to be really good at our personalities and quick wit,
[00:05:52] Heather Miracle: I think everyone should cut
their kids hair. shorts,
[00:05:54] Corrie Miracle: So when someone sent like a, a mean phrase over to us, we were able to like volume it back with something that crumbled.
[00:06:00] Heather Miracle: right. But I’ll say that Corrie was a lot more entertaining when we were growing up. So voted leader of the Girls club
[00:06:08] Corrie Miracle: I was
[00:06:09] Heather Miracle: and I wasn’t, but my parents let us do any extracurricular, even against art will. So we were always in piano lessons. Voice lessons was a mistake, but we were in that drawing classes, horseback riding lessons. That was a mistake, Sorry, to the horses. We were not good. not gymnastics.
[00:06:24] Corrie Miracle: Yeah. We did speech stuff,
[00:06:27] Heather Miracle: Core, really giving speeches
So where were we creative?
[00:06:33] Corrie Miracle: Yes. Yep.
[00:06:35] Heather Miracle: As creative as now?
No, no. There’s a lot of tools. So, but I think they all built on each other. So of course it was the building blocks, ‘probably maybe to where we’re at now.
[00:06:44] Corrie Miracle: I think what that honestly made us good at is being good at failure. .
[00:06:48] Heather Miracle: Cause we were That’s
[00:06:49] Corrie Miracle: were bad.
[00:06:50] Heather Miracle: That was a good one. We don’t
[00:06:51] Corrie Miracle: don’t get told no when we fail things we keep on chugging
[00:06:55] Heather Miracle: Yeah.
[00:06:55] Corrie Miracle: but David, let me talk to the competition. Between us two, we’ve never not been in competition even to this day. , we’re in competition together. But what it’s done for us is made us super trying to to out best. The other one,
[00:07:10] Heather Miracle: Yeah. Unlike twins who have each other’s back, we were the first to tell on each other . So it kept us kind of always on the same side at odds. If Corrie got in trouble, I got in trouble. So it was in my best interest to make sure that she at least passed the test.
[00:07:25] Corrie Miracle: you go. There you go. Yeah.
[00:07:27] Heather Miracle: But I don’t, I don’t think we were on the same side, even though we are a hundred percent growing up together.
Like we shared our first car we shared a job. Shared bedroom, shared rooms. Yeah. That’s why I tell everybody we do not live together. Thank you so much. . Do not live
But yeah, so that we went to this private school up until eighth grade. Then we switched to another private school for you know, high school.
[00:07:50] Corrie Miracle: Mm-hmm. .
[00:07:50] Heather Miracle: Then we went to college and then Corrie’s like, I’m going to start life without you, Heather
So she got married. I got got married and had a kid. And Heather’s said, No, I think I’ll
[00:08:03] Corrie Miracle: living that crazy night live. I’ve gone out on the sound.
[00:08:07] Heather Miracle: Right. We went, we definitely went our separate ways at 19. like we didn’t even talk for about two years. Yeah. Which I think is pretty crazy. But it was a really great change in our dynamic from being these like, I hate you, but I’m gonna help you to like, Oh, that’s what I’d look like with a kid.
[00:08:21] Corrie Miracle: not so horrible to hang out with
[00:08:23] Heather Miracle: Yeah. So after that two year hiatus, which I don’t think anybody realizes that for two years, no one knew I was a twin. I was like, Great
[00:08:31] Corrie Miracle: and you were sad,
[00:08:32] Heather Miracle: devastated. But then we came back together and then we’d go on We call them twin trips once a summer.
And I would just sit there and we’d typically go to Virginia Beach or something and say, I just really think we can get into marketing. We both work marketing jobs. You know, why not just take the agency approach versus, you know, being um, W2 for companies. And then one day Tuesday, like an odd Tuesday, right?
Nothing happens on a Tuesday. Corrie calls and she’s like, Hey, you know that, marketing agency, you wanna start? Yeah, well let’s do it tomorrow. I said, That’s a weird thing to say on a Tuesday. Said, I just quit my job and I don’t wanna do it anymore.
I wanna do this. And that is how we started a business together.
[00:09:10] Corrie Miracle: It was crazy.
[00:09:11] Heather Miracle: that was over five or six years ago, and then we’ve been doing that ever since. And then COVID kind of switched things up,
[00:09:17] David Crabill: right. So I, I also, I saw before that a couple little tidbits from LinkedIn. Corrie, you were a used car saleswoman.
[00:09:28] Corrie Miracle: as dirty as they come.
[00:09:29] Heather Miracle: Can I sell you a car?
[00:09:31] Corrie Miracle: on take a seat.
[00:09:32] David Crabill: So, obviously there’s a stigma to that, but you know, you obviously had a lot of experience in sales before starting this business.
[00:09:39] Corrie Miracle: Yeah. that car sales business taught me so much. I cried even more, but I learned a lot about dealing with people, the sales process and what to do to make a sale where both people leave happy. That’s, that’s the thing that I think I learned the most. You don’t want one person leaving happy and the other person leaving crying at another new car.
[00:10:02] Heather Miracle: Are you sure? Car salesman?
[00:10:05] Corrie Miracle: Oh, that was a crazy job.
[00:10:06] David Crabill: Well, the other side of that, Heather, I’ve also picked this up from LinkedIn. Maybe you know where I’m going with
[00:10:13] Heather Miracle: I think I do. Cause there’s only one interesting thing
[00:10:16] David Crabill: I saw that you’re bikini fitness competitor.
[00:10:19] Corrie Miracle: She did. She
[00:10:20] Heather Miracle: Yeah. I was in a relationship with a guy and he was like, What are your New Year’s resolutions? And I was like, You know what? I’d like to think I could compete in one of those fitness competitions. Like, I’m not going to, but I would just like to think that I could. And he was like, You wanna eat your donuts? And I was like Uh, excuse me. he was like, No, you just, you wanna say you’re doing something, but you don’t wanna fully commit.
[00:10:40] Corrie Miracle: So what you did was went and signed up Right. Then
[00:10:43] Heather Miracle: Even I hate being told I can do something.
[00:10:45] Corrie Miracle: Yeah. Even though she didn’t know if she was gonna go through with it, she had no meal plan. No idea where all, a little how to sign up. She went and
[00:10:53] Heather Miracle: I found a know, the body building.com forms I had written there and asking a couple questions on like macros or something. And a guy was like, Hey, I actually remotely trained fitness competitors. And he answered some questions. So when the donut comment came, I knocked back on that guy’s digital door and I said, Hey, can you take me on as a client?
So I think, yeah, that was,
[00:11:11] Corrie Miracle: did you train for nine months?
[00:11:13] Heather Miracle: I ended up pulling a muscle halfway through.
So I took a small three month break and then I think in total I was with that guy for about 12 months.
[00:11:21] David Crabill: I just thought it was ironic because I mean, you were so focused on health right? And healthy eating and now you pretty much help people sell mass quantities of cookies.
[00:11:33] Corrie Miracle: Believe it or not, she still doesn’t know how to bake. David. She
[00:11:35] Heather Miracle: It’s not the way,
[00:11:36] Corrie Miracle: No.
[00:11:37] Heather Miracle: but so when Covid hit, I said, This is the original story. Corrie’s like, Well, I have all these cookies and like, I need to still practice. Do you wanna eat them? And I was like, Absolutely. Yeah, they’re delicious. And then a friend of mine was like, Hey, do you wanna go skydiving? Well, in the skydive center here in Virginia, you stand on this giant scale. and then they shout out the number. And I stood on the scale and I said, Oh my goodness, Corrie, how many calories was in those cookies? And she’s like, Oh, a ton. You’ve been downing them like as a
second breakfast. I, I said, they shouted it and tied me to a person to
[00:12:08] Corrie Miracle: a,
plane. my cookies are delicious. ThaThat’s, that’s what I got out
[00:12:12] Heather Miracle: stuff. are good.
[00:12:15] David Crabill: Well, it also shows case just like how competitive you guys are. I mean, you talked about how you are super competitive and how do you feel like that has affected your business? Like has that been an important trait to have as you move forward with your business?
[00:12:29] Heather Miracle: Almost in a unhein
[00:12:31] Corrie Miracle: a unhealthy,y way. So if I bring on a client, Heather will be like, Why run on this client? I’ll be like, Be right back.I’m going to go bringg on another client.
[00:12:38] Heather Miracle: Like even Corrie’s like, Hey, I know you made a sheet for transfers for icing. I wish you would’ve done a pie in this style. Uh, okay, here’s your pie in this style. Like, it’s, it’s like, good cause you keep pushing, but it’s almost like the finish line was way back there and we’re like, No, I’ll be you, but we’re way down there
Um, yeah. So toxically healthy is the word. I’m going to choose
[00:13:01] David Crabill: all right, so let’s move into your digital marketing agency. You started this company, what took you through getting that started and what’d you learn the process?
[00:13:10] Corrie Miracle: Well, I will say for one whole year we did not pull a paycheck
[00:13:14] Heather Miracle: But I know, and you know, David, I, seo, internet marketing is the way of the future. At least in my little world. That’s where it’s headed. So in the, the day job I was working for at that time in property restoration, I was like, Hey guys, let me focus on the website. Let me do seo. Let me, I’ve, you know, taken these classes on my personal time.
Let’s optimize this. Let’s, you know, build these sites out. And they were like, No, we believe that in-person marketing is the only way. If we never had to worry about online leads, we wouldn’t also, can you help us get us delisted from Yelp? We don’t like our better view. So I was like, Oh wow, that’s absolutely the opposite direction I wanted to head in.
So that’s when I was talking to Corrie kind of about like this, you know, SEO’s been around since the advent of the internet, but it’s changing. It’s this semantic stuff. It’s this more cohesive approach. I think we can really help websites kind of, you know, dig in. So she and I, after she get called me on that Tuesday, we like sat down, we took the Google Analytics certification, we took the Google ads.
AdWords that was used to called certification. Like just to kind of take these classes. And then you know, I was still working my day job cause I didn’t violently quit on a Tuesday. But Corrie would show up to my apartment and she would work nine to five on this company. And then I would swing by after hours and we’d just keep kinda plugging away for one year.
And then we started getting clients and that’s where we learned about boundaries
[00:14:37] Corrie Miracle: That’s true. I will say my husband was not for me quitting my job and us an agency together. he was very angry about it.
[00:14:46] David Crabill: Well, what it seemed like what you focused on with this digital agency was local marketing, right? For small businesses. So I mean, that obviously ties directly into this transition into your sugar cookie marketing but did this digital marketing agency. Sounds like it was pretty successful, right? So how did you end up transitioning? Not not away from it. I know you still do it, but you obviously transitioned into
[00:15:12] Heather Miracle: was like, Boo bear. You’re gonna transition away
[00:15:14] Corrie Miracle: from when covid started? we didn’t hit any bumps in the road for the first few months, but we said we were looking over the horizon. We said we need to brace ourselves
[00:15:24] Heather Miracle: Because they were kind of saying, Hey, this uh, obviously eggs in a basket. We had really built up service based businesses that dealt a lot with in person communication and sales. So when the Covid quarantine came in Fairfax first, they kind of said, It’s only two weeks. So we’ve got, you know, clients, Hey, can you just put up this notification that we’re gonna be remote for two weeks, then two weeks, then three weeks, then four weeks, and then it starts dragging into a co like two months.
Like this is a part where people are like, Hey, we’ve gotta start cutting costs and marketing always gets cut first. So they were like, We really like you guys, but it’s not you, it’s us. Like, that’s kind of thing. So Corrie, I was like core, like We kind of put all these eggs in the service base, aspect of it.
And what no one predicted is that service-based businesses were gonna see this larger uptick later on. But for then we were like, Well, we got
something. Yeah. So she was like, It’s so funny. I’ve been doing these cookies, obviously I had been eating them professionally. Now at this point, three or four months, she’s like, I see a little gap in the sugar cookie market of all this stuff.
The same way you sell cars, the same way you sell roofs, you can sell cookies. And I just don’t think that that information has really infiltrated so much. This sugar cookie thing. You wanna try something? Yeah, sure. Okay, great. Yeah, let’s do something.
[00:16:39] Corrie Miracle: I think when you’re in the marketing space, me and Heather are thinking marketing constantly. When we walk into Target, the signs, I’m reading ’em, I’m trying to think how are they trying to get money out of my pocket and into theirs.
[00:16:51] Heather Miracle: Turns out they’re very good at it.
[00:16:52] Corrie Miracle: great it. taking many, notes for Target.
But what we didn’t realize was not everyone thinks that way. you know, a lot of people start off cookies as a hobby, it’s something fun and then they realize it’s costing them a lot. Or their friends and family like, Hey, I would like to buy them from you.
when I realize that like, hey, we could help these people, you know, think broad and think big in business, like that’s why I pulled Heather on and said, Let’s start a group.
[00:17:17] Heather Miracle: Turns out I was doing nothing. So I was in
[00:17:19] David Crabill: and Corrie, when did you actually start making and selling the cookies? What was the timeframe?
[00:17:25] Corrie Miracle: I wanna say about four years ago.
[00:17:27] Heather Miracle: I wanna say I witnessed it the first day. First it was like, you know, some family member was like, Let’s grab bakery items from the discount section at Walmart. So there are ups here, here. And they’re like Uh, it looks terrible.
[00:17:40] Corrie Miracle: Was horrendous.
[00:17:41] Heather Miracle: I was like, Well, you know, at first you don’t succeed.
I don’t know why you were so dedicated to this idea.
[00:17:48] Corrie Miracle: See here’s the, that competition you told me like, better luck next time. And I said, I’m gonna prove,
[00:17:54] Heather Miracle: I said, Wow, you have tried and that, but what made you want to do the first
[00:18:00] Corrie Miracle: You know what? I just saw those beautiful Instagram videos and I said, You know what? I can do that. And then when it didn’t work into my favorite at the beginning, I said, Okay, there’s gonna be a little bit more harder work than I thought. thought it was gonna come naturally. Does not
[00:18:12] Heather Miracle: you really kind of tripled down and then you did that blobby heart that you named Bob the blob,
the and then what I remember the, the clouds ate them. So
[00:18:23] Corrie Miracle: Yes, I did cactus. What’s great, David is my husband is on the police force. So anything that you like make at the home, they just bring it to the department and everyone just chows down. So he was bringing my ugly creations and people are like, What is this
[00:18:37] Heather Miracle: I think someone’s like, she’s really trying.
[00:18:40] Corrie Miracle: uh, So they kind of helped me so I didn’t have such a backlog at home. So Heather was eating Um, the police department was, No, my neighbors were eating
[00:18:49] Heather Miracle: I was eating a lot.
[00:18:50] David Crabill: And then you decided to start selling them.
[00:18:54] Corrie Miracle: Well, I think about a year into it, I said, You know what? I started just like everyone else. I said, This is going to be a hobby of mine. You know, my son, I think was in middle school or around that age who was younger. And I said, This is just gonna be a hobby. And then I was like, Oh, people make Instagram and Facebook pages to show off their
[00:19:13] Heather Miracle: Creation. It’s the ga, it’s The marketing finds you.
[00:19:16] Corrie Miracle: So I said, I do kinda wanna show off my little creations, never expecting to sell something. Then someone reaches out to me and says, Hey, I need an order for two dozen cookies. And I was like, Oh my goodness, a sale.
[00:19:29] Heather Miracle: and Corrie came in price. What’s fair, not what your numbers are.
[00:19:32] Corrie Miracle: did so low, David, I said, Well, this is horrendous. But I was so happy to tell my husband, like, Hey, look, this thing that’s costing me a bazillion dollars, I’m getting ready to make 20 bucks off of it.
[00:19:43] Heather Miracle: Corrie got mad at me once I and I was like, That same annoying boyfriend with the donuts definitely we’re not together by the way. I said, Hey, Corrie’s really mad, like I don’t know how to get back in her good grace. He’s like, Well, what’s she into?
I don’t know, this cookie thing. He’s like, Well take her to a class. So we found that, I found this like I went to event, right? Find a class. It only has two seats left. It’s like Valentine’s Day themed. So we went to class. Of course I’m terrible. Corrie’s pretty good, but we walk out and she’s like, Honestly, think I could teach these classes.
So right here, right here was the
[00:20:14] Corrie Miracle: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:20:15] Heather Miracle: bribing
[00:20:15] Corrie Miracle: credit, work. Credit to do
[00:20:17] David Crabill: And I did see that you, you know, started actually teaching classes and was that like just right before the pandemic? I
[00:20:26] Heather Miracle: We timed it perfectly. Did you like that Yeah. We had launched a class. Okay, cool. Like before the shutdown, but it was definitely perfectly timed. I wanna tell you that there’s no more perfect timing than this. Horrendous. So we post the class, my mom immediately signs up like bless her little
[00:20:45] Corrie Miracle: soul.
[00:20:45] Heather Miracle: then the government shut everything down and then people were like, You better
[00:20:50] Corrie Miracle: How teach
[00:20:52] Heather Miracle: according I were like, Oh no. Oh, okay. So we canceled the classes for the first three or four months of COVID and then people were like, Can you please start the classes?
Oh my goodness, people, what do you want? But when we started the classes back up, you know, again it was, we followed the state protocol on the guidelines. So it was like masks and Corrie and I had these like dog collar masks. It was very spacey and it would fog up cause we have high pitch voices and talk a lot.
But yeah, then we started doing them and I think we’ve done, we used to be crazy and do ‘ 3, classes on Saturdays. But now we’ve slowed down a bit in our old age down to one . But it’s fun
[00:21:27] David Crabill: then even though the pandemic slowed that down a lot, in the beginning it probably became very popular cause people were looking for something to do with their time. Right.
[00:21:35] Heather Miracle: Oh yeah. You know what I like to tell people? If you go to trends.google.com and search the keywords, or I’m sure you do as like an seo, but like when you look at that before covid, the trends of sugar cookies was headed downwards year over year. Then Covid completely kind of changes this trajectory back up.
So I’m curious to see where we’ll be in another five years. But Covid, as much as it took, it also shifted back. And then I said to Corrie, like, I was traveling up to Michigan and was October 30th and it was that first year where everyone’s like, Is Halloween canceled or are we allowed Like, And so I said, Corrie, let’s just try these DIY kits.
Like you’ll bake them like I’m obviously not there, but you know, let me, So I’m pulling off on the side of the Pennsylvania turnpike, right? I got my hotspot in my Chromebook. A police officer pulls up beside me. Are you okay sir? I’m trying to sell DIY kit. Can I have five minutes? He say, Absolutely. I’m just making sure you’re fine.
We list these DIY kits and they sell out immediately maybe even 30 to 40 kits. And I was like, wow, Covid has truly changed this landscape of what people are looking to do to entertain their kids when in this kind of social distance environment. And I think that we’re still holding on to that even today.
cause our cookie classes fill up kind of pretty fast. Granted two or three years of marketing it. But I haven’t seen a huge downturn. I think the sugar cookie world has gained a lot, from kind of a very weird new normal
[00:22:59] Corrie Miracle: And I will say, I think a lot of bakers came in during Uh, the quarantine. And that’s why we also saw that there was no one really there to hold the hands of new bakers. I wish someone would’ve hold my hand, you know, So I didn’t sell that two dozen for 20 bucks, . So I said, Hey, I, I think we could help these new folks just coming into the realm of baking and get them started off on the right foot.
So they’re not spending a ton of money in quitting because either burnout, you know, the cost involved, like they really have a shot at making it happen.
[00:23:29] David Crabill: Well, you say that the cookie decorators didn’t really have somebody to help them when they were starting out, but like, I mean, cookie decorating was not a new thing. It was a very mature market. Right. And there have been people that have been around for a decade that, have been teaching this stuff.
Right. So did you feel like, I don’t know, was there a part of you that questioned if maybe the market was a little bit oversaturated?
[00:23:50] Heather Miracle: definitely from how to learn it. like I think my grandma’s cookbook tells you how to learn it. but how to effectively sell things using economic principles and packaging and you know, your logo maybe shouldn’t take up the whole screen that I thought maybe the voice teaching that could be a tinge bit louder than what we saw.
[00:24:10] David Crabill: Were you guessing or did you do like research on.
[00:24:15] Corrie Miracle: it was a guess, no. I’ve been in the groups for so long and that’s why I brought it to Heather. I said, Hey, you know, a lot of times people are telling people to price their products, you know, like less than the guy next to ’em so they can, you know, get the deal, get the, get the sale. And I said, But like you can’t price on feelings. You can’t price on
[00:24:32] Heather Miracle: you know, a lot of this stuff derived from the SEO world where like, you know, I’m in these SEO groups and I’m like, Hey, I’m trying to price out this service. And this guy comes, of course, SEO being more male dominated, they do not care. He was like, Idiot, you’re ruining it for the rest of us. And I was like, Oh my good look sir.
I’m just trying to learn. He was like, No, the more you price low, the more it’s a race to the bottom for the rest of us. So stop underpricing yourself so I can charge what my services are worth. Of course, like I’m like, Yeah, okay, thank you for the help. But like, that’s the stuff that we could take into the cookie world because it does make a lot of sense.
It is a race to the bottom when it becomes a price strategy. it’s a math problem and that’s why I like math cause it’s so unemotional. You can’t price less than the labor costs it. There’s a math problem that spits out the number that you have to charge.
[00:25:17] Corrie Miracle: And I joined every group and most of the questions were like, You know, I had color bleed last night. What do we do to fix it? But nothing was really centered around, you know, I really wanna start teaching cookie decorating classes. What are the five places I need to list my classes at so that I can sell
[00:25:32] Heather Miracle: Yeah, let’s
talk about search engine optimization and Google business profiles and all these lead gen sources that we’d been building for these, you know, service based businesses, making a killing with huge margins on roofs, and let’s apply it to cookies.
[00:25:46] David Crabill: Right. So you obviously have a decade of experience uh, learning, seo, learning social media. You ran this agency, obviously Corrie, you’ve been making cookies, selling cookies, trying to do classes before really kicking this sugar cookie marketing thing into gear. But, you know, for the cookie world, right?
I mean, they didn’t really know who you were even though you had all this experience. Right? Did you feel like you were new kids on the block or like, how did you get notice or paid
[00:26:15] Corrie Miracle: I felt like, you know how our child like us, where we, we thought we were popular, but we weren’t. We’re just nerdy. I felt like that carried us through this. But we started the group and we didn’t think anyone was going to join we knew our stuff when it came to marketing and you know, it’s factual and it works.
So we said we needed just a few people to join to take that risk and believe what we were preaching, and a few of them did, and that’s what made it spread like wildfire. People were saying like, Oh my goodness.
[00:26:44] Heather Miracle: But again, it comes down to your target audience and core. And I learned that the real hard way through the agency that you know, someone I can’t afford, this doesn’t mean I need to charge, unless it means that they’re warning you, Hey, I’m going to be, It’s always like the 2080 rule. The 20% of your best clients account for 80% of your revenue.
when you bring that into kind of what we wanted to start, it may not be the perfect message for everyone, but the people who do find us and resonate that 20%, they’ll probably see that 80% that we need, and I think. Unless people are lying that it’s working out really nicely. It’s, I think a lot of people are succeeding in the ways that make me feel like, Okay, good, this is good. This means that this is working for people.
[00:27:26] David Crabill: Well, hey, congratulations in order cause you just hit your two year anniversary right?
[00:27:31] Corrie Miracle: we did, I can’t believe it feels like 10 years . No, but two years. It’s just flown, honestly. Flown by.
[00:27:39] Heather Miracle: Shortness, longest two years of my life,
[00:27:42] David Crabill: So two years. I mean, that’s really not that long of time in business sense, but let’s just talk about what, you got going on, right? You got four permanent groups that you’re moderating posting in. I know the main sugar cookie one has over 36,000 members. Another one has over 11,000 members that these are very sizable groups, so that’s like a full-time job in my mind. Then you got two podcasts that you’re running, one public and one kind of private paid for. You are publishing tutorials, both free and paid every single month. I, I calculated you’re at least posting to seven separate Facebook and Instagram accounts consistently, and you’re creating TikTok videos. You’re also somehow still running in person cookie decorating classes.
You’re somehow still selling cookies and taking orders, and I think you still do marketing consulting for other businesses, right, to help them with their
[00:28:42] Corrie Miracle: Tired, you’re listening. Retire. Yeah. We still have our marketing agent. There’s no time in the day. David from
[00:28:49] David Crabill: Do you guys get any sleep?
[00:28:51] Corrie Miracle: No.
[00:28:52] Heather Miracle: We do, we do this like transfer of the guard. Like Corrie goes to bed way early to me, like when do you go to sleep?
Nine 30. And then I typically stay up till midnight and then I go to bed, and then she wakes up at six 30 and then I lovingly wake up at like nine. So like, we’re there , there’s only a smidgen amount of
[00:29:12] Corrie Miracle: of time. The plus I having a twin.
[00:29:14] Heather Miracle: But I will say like virtual assistants, you know support people. That goes a really long way. I wish we had more, but the gems that we do have are just
[00:29:23] Corrie Miracle: Yeah.
[00:29:23] Heather Miracle: saving graces.
[00:29:25] Corrie Miracle: To live life without them.
[00:29:26] David Crabill: Okay, so you have lot of team members, right? Like how many team members do you have helping you?
[00:29:32] Heather Miracle: We have one or two VAs that come in when we need them kind of just monitoring kind of all the menial tasks and they’re like, Yeah, I’ll do that. Amy is a great admin that she deletes first, asks questions later, so she monitors the sugar cookie marketing group and then I hate to give credit to admin assist, but that’s like a little free virtual assistant by Facebook.
So that guy kind of monitors a lot of stuff. Kind of once you really kind of dig into group settings, there’s a lot of power that Facebook has built with ai. Mm-hmm. , which is a little crazy cause always gets in trouble with it as well. Yeah. So yeah, I’ll say that as our team, Carla.
[00:30:09] Corrie Miracle: It’s a, it’s a small team, but it’s a good one.
[00:30:12] David Crabill: It sounds a lot smaller than it should be based on how much you have in the air. And then Corrie, you also, you know, you have a son on top of this, right? Like you’re you’re
[00:30:23] Heather Miracle: involved.
[00:30:24] Corrie Miracle: Yeah. He’s about 13 though, so now he’s like that self licking ice cream, you know, stage. So he’s, top of his class. Self
[00:30:31] Heather Miracle: ice cream.
[00:30:32] Corrie Miracle: Self licking ice cream cone. Yeah.
[00:30:34] Heather Miracle: Self licking. He can do
[00:30:35] Corrie Miracle: his own thing.
[00:30:36] Heather Miracle: Oh,
[00:30:36] Corrie Miracle: self licking ice cone. He’s, he can of himself. Can make that up right now? No, I think that’s been around, but I’ll Google it after this. Um, But he’s a straight A student. He is fallen in his mom’s footsteps of nerdiness. So he reads for fun. he makes mom proud. I don’t
[00:30:52] Heather Miracle: Who has a YouTube channel? I have to watch every video. I know a lot about Roblox and
[00:30:57] Corrie Miracle: now, yeah.
[00:30:59] Heather Miracle: but we try, like we have two other sisters. Our older sister is involved in the marketing side of a finance application, so she can kind of, She sends me books and notes and stuff, and then my little sister is an accountant, but we’ve been begging her to like do something.
She was like, Nah, I don’t have any desire. But I like seeing the photos, so keep posting them. Yeah,
[00:31:18] David Crabill: Does it ever feel overwhelming just having to, like, you created this humongous thing, right? And like I just, Does it ever feel like you’re just trying to keep up with it all the time?
[00:31:31] Corrie Miracle: You hit the nail ahead. It can get overwhelming. It can get a lot of people saying your name, a lot of tags, a lot of time going out. You know, that, that we don’t get to spend necessarily with our families. But what is really like what we’re addicted to is when people are like, Oh my goodness. Thanks for the tip you gave me last week.
I made X amount of dollars and never thought this is gonna be my life. Or someone saying, I quit my full-time job. Now I get to stay at home with my kids and bake and do what I love. And that’s like, we’re always chasing that high. Uh, So even though it does feel overwhelming,
[00:32:02] Heather Miracle: sounds like a really unhealthy work relationship, but my grandfather was a business owner and my dad’s a business owner, so working is a part of what we’ve always done. However, I will say that if anybody else probably saw how late the computer’s on, they’d be like, That’s unhealthy, but what else am I gonna do?
It’s so fun. Like, I can post a meme. I, I posted a meme that went when it hit yesterday, David, that’s why I’m on this high. But like, people are like, That’s so funny. And I’m like, Oh my goodness. Something I made or something I knocked off. People are like LOL-ing about, and I think that that’s kind of what keeps you going because it’s like uh, you know, this is fun.
I can create something and it can make a difference or people can laugh or it brings a community together. However, I’ll say if somebody watched us working, they’d probably be like, Yankers, that’s not good.
[00:32:51] David Crabill: So how much time do you guys actually spend on social media every day? You know, either creating or consuming social media.
[00:33:00] Corrie Miracle: me an ungodly amount.
[00:33:03] Heather Miracle: And I don’t, I don’t use social media too during working hours. so Corrie’s, Corrie’s like, you’re not even existent in the groups. You only just post your memes and leave. But she’s managing and monitoring and cleaning up and responding. And then she’ll say, Hey. So while I’m like, Okay, the podcast editing, this is me, the newsletter, this is me the organization and then, you know, interfacing with the clients from the day, job’s gonna be me.
She’ll say, Hey, do this. And then I’ll pass. So we have a Monday morning meeting, a stand up. Now we just call and we spend about 30 to 45 minutes, kind of say, Here, what’s a strategy? Here’s what’s coming up. Make sure you’re here for David’s podcast. That one don’t make me call. And then we kind of just kind of knock it out that way.
So Asana. Uh, As a project management software, we use big part of keeping everything going and on time and then really kind of setting up boundaries with clients like, Hey, no, Covid proved that we actually don’t need to meet face to face and we can do a quick phone call and that’ll be completely fine.
So in this area where it’s a, you know, an hour commute to get to a meeting, we’re able to kind of carve out time that way. You know, automation, that’s why I preach it so hard in the group is automation cleans up a lot of work that people are like, How do you get that organized? I didn’t, Zapier did it.
And I have that form, talks to this form that sends this email once you kind of start falling in love with automation, it kind of really kind of looks like you’re doing more than you ever had to do
[00:34:21] David Crabill: Do you have your business tasks pretty well separated from each other? So you have your own spaces that you’re working on.
[00:34:29] Heather Miracle: I’m not turning on an oven, I got a boundary there, it’s just not something I’m gonna do. And then she does the kitchen stuff. She kind of source the supplies and everything and then we just kind of reconvene, Hey, I need this from you. Like I’ll say, Hey, I need this. Or she’ll be like, Hey, can you print me a 3D cookie cutter?
[00:34:44] Corrie Miracle: even though Heather has never turned on the oven a day in her life, she can teach a cookie class. She has memorized how to teach a cookie class, ask her something off the
[00:34:53] Heather Miracle: You’re cratering right there. We got a little overflow. Let me show you how to fix that. You’re gonna wanna grab your scribe right now.
[00:34:59] Corrie Miracle: if they ask her a technical question. She’s like,
[00:35:02] Heather Miracle: You bring up a great question, Corrie. Let’s talk about it.
[00:35:06] David Crabill: Heather, do you ever feel like a fish out of water in like building a business around something maybe you’re not even that passionate about.
[00:35:14] Heather Miracle: I think that’s a great question. And I look at Corrie’s cookies and I’ve even tried to like ice them. Remember I went to that class and I’m like, Oh, this is just, there’s not a ton of joy for me. But the joy, and that’s where Corrie and I have always kind of contrasted, is I really like organization. I really like the business side.
You know, I will be taking a QuickBooks class as much as I hate that application and just kind of organizing and say, Hey Corrie, like here’s what we’re doing. Look at this automation. Like, stuff like that.
[00:35:41] Corrie Miracle: she isn’t passionate about baking, she’s passionate about winning marketing when it comes to baking, because we’ve, Yeah. If our clients, you know, in our day job and in the Sugar cookie marketing group win it’s regardless of what, you know, avenue that it is, you know, a roofer or a baker um, that’s where Heather really has the passion for
[00:36:02] David Crabill: So, I mean, you obviously work really well together and just thinking like, this is such a big thing now. But it does seem like tied to you too as a pair. Like what if one of you is just like, you know what, I can’t do it anymore. Heather, would you keep doing it on your own? Or Corrie, would you keep doing it by.
[00:36:21] Heather Miracle: I told Corrie it was not as nice as you said. I said, If you died in a car, it’s another way to cookie class. What would I do? And I thought about it. The issue with being twins is that like if Corrie was crying cause she skinned her knee, I’d be like, Oh child crying cause you skid your knee and she’d like, I’m not crying you or seeing things.
And so there’s just that whole like emotional side, I think we’ve really kept each other at bay from our feelings. Right. So I said if Corrie ever stopped, I would just have to learn it. Cause if I partnered with somebody and they got overwhelmed, I wouldn’t know what to do.
[00:36:57] David Crabill: Corrie, what about you? It’s the same story.
[00:37:01] Corrie Miracle: Well, I think if Heather wasn’t around, I’d have to pack up the ship
[00:37:04] Heather Miracle: I asked her, said I would just keep selling the cookies.
[00:37:08] Corrie Miracle: I keep selling the cookies. I think Heather is very, very smart and very dedicated at learning things that are new. So because she is so smart and dedicated to learning new things, I don’t have to, So I would have to be like, Where’s the, the password to the website?
[00:37:23] Heather Miracle: I said Corrie, because I really like motorcycles. I said if us were in a motorcycle accident, you need to not look for my body, but find the phone. It has like Google Authenticator and you’re gonna need it.
[00:37:34] Corrie Miracle: So, I don’t know. I think Heather could learn baking. I don’t know if I could learn my other nose.
[00:37:39] Heather Miracle: I just wanna say anybody can learn anything, anything. And once you realize that I can learn baking and Corrie can learn backend, we all have the same 24 hours. You can learn absolutely anything. Don’t let anyone make fun of you.
[00:37:52] David Crabill: You might be able to learn anything, but do you think that anybody would be just passionate about the creativity aspect of cookies? Like do you think it takes a certain type of person to start a successful cookie business?
[00:38:05] Corrie Miracle: I’m not an artist by trade. I would say I was the one who cried us out of the art classes. But with a passion to learn it, I grew a passion for,
[00:38:17] Heather Miracle: I think less of a sexy answer is if anybody wants to make this a business, they can. They may not be the most creative, but the most creative cookies actually aren’t the primary sellers. It’s unicorns. And if you can learn a unicorn cookie, man, you can make it like, And I say like, you know, my grandma will be like, Are there any men there?
Yeah, they’re doing it. They got it. You just have to just sit down and say, This is something I’m going to learn. And I think that even without tremendous amount of creativity, most people can still enter this market and be successful.
[00:38:49] David Crabill: So with that, do you feel like the cookie aspect of this sugar cookie marketing business is super important to you? Or do you feel like you could have, cake decorating marketing and be just as passionate about it?
[00:39:04] Corrie Miracle: For me specifically, I have really enjoyed decorating cookies, so I don’t know if I’d be just as passionate with cakes. Granted, have I ever made a cake? No. But I just know that I enjoy cookies and the things that I’ve collected and like when cookie cutters that are being shipped to me, I am just like cloud nining it when it says it has arrived,
So I think you could have the passion for it if it was something else. Um, I just know that my passion lies with just cookies and that’s because that’s what I know.
[00:39:31] Heather Miracle: Fortunately for marketing, we have a lot of cake bakers and we have bread makers, and then we have people who, like I sell an e-commerce, like I sell a bag where you put your pens. Can I join? Yeah, come on. Yeah. Cause at the end of the day, the marketing concepts are pretty universal. You can sell Corrie’s like sleazy cars the same way you sell beautiful cookies.
[00:39:50] David Crabill: Yeah, definitely. I mean, you’re, you’re running a marketing group obviously, so this could apply to a lot of businesses, why’d you decide to niche it so much, right? Because with your marketing agency, you just were focused on like, marketing for local businesses, right?
It wasn’t like specifically tailored to a niche. And why did you decide to not have just like food business marketing, right? Like this stuff could apply to any food business.
[00:40:15] Corrie Miracle: I think when it comes down to truly good marketing, if you niche down to who your target audience truly is, you can connect with them on a different level. So broad while it opens the door to have more people like be able to potentially come into sugar cookie marketing and learn um, it’s too broad and you lose your messaging in there.
So we said, let’s even niche it farther down. We’ll have a smaller audience, which is okay, but we’ll be able to connect with them on different levels in that, you know, when I say cookie bleed or color bleed or those bread you know, I can connect with those people versus saying food. And someone’s like, Hey, did you get that starter for bread? And I’m like, What are you talking about
[00:40:53] Heather Miracle: In the SEO world, the phrase is, the riches are in the niches. And I agree. I think that we fall in love with, I can appeal to absolutely everybody, but if you could appeal to everybody, you actually appeal to probably nobody. So niching it down seemed like a great segue. And then she was doing this little passion project over there, so why not head towards cookies? Yeah.
[00:41:13] David Crabill: How does this apply to cookie decorators? Like how do they niche down in their business to be more effective?
[00:41:19] Heather Miracle: It’s the menu I like to start with. If I offer everything, I’ll appeal to everyone so I can make more sales. That is the natural thought, and it’s a great one because it makes so much sense. If there’s something for everybody, everyone will buy it. But when I tell people, think about it. If you offered brownies, cakes, hot cocoa bombs, drop cookies, sugar cookies, you know, kombucha at this, that the other, you’re gonna actually not seem like the best at one thing.
And it’s the handyman versus the kitchen remodeler. handyman’s good at everything, but you wouldn’t trust him with the big project, right? Mm-hmm.
[00:41:51] Corrie Miracle: Yeah. And down to their target audience. Uh, a lot of people are like, If you have a mouth and I can feed you which is great, but that’s not the person who’s knocking, you know, in your DM saying, Hey, I would like to order cookies. So it’s niching down to that target audience like 99% of the time. It’s a mother for a birthday party for one of their kids that’s ordering from me.
So I’ve niche down where I’m talking to about to them in my copy, we’re talking about the kids, we’re talking about like trunk or treats that are happening this weekend. So there’s a lot of. You niche down.
[00:42:20] Heather Miracle: Yeah, I really like niching down in marketing because it gets really hard to tell a bunch of stories at the same time. I was telling like, we’re sugar cookie marketing group, could we be bakery business marketing group? Could we get even broader and go, stuff you made at home marketing group.
Uh, Well then what’s, why stop there? Why would just do marketing group like we are, can appeal to everybody. But as you start losing that niche down aspect, you, one, you sacrifice community and then you sacrifice communication.
[00:42:45] David Crabill: Well, certainly it’s worked. You’ve become super duper popular. You have over 36,000 people in your group. I think you actually had to like cut off people coming into the group at one point cause there are just so many people like trying to get into this group. And it’s only been two years, right? So like has there been any growing pains that have come from like, growing this so quickly?
[00:43:09] Heather Miracle: Yeah, I’ll say that community management is a little bit of trial by fire. And the one very interesting thing, and I gotta thank Facebook for this, is they have a group for admins and you have to be invited and then they don’t accept you. You pen for 5 million months and then one day they’ll be like, You are allowed in.
I don’t know how they decide, I’m not sure if somebody’s doing research or clicking on profiles, but when you get in, they were like, Hey, here’s a bunch of rules that’s summarized by a bunch of admins on the best way to really keep a group healthy. And before, at the beginning of this we were like, You know, every vote matters, every opinion matters.
Don’t delete anything. We need growth, we need numbers. And then we’re like, Ooh. So this stuff is a little toxic. And that’s where the rules came from. And. Hard and fast and people hate them, but at the end of the day, the engagement rate proves that people, while you hate being told no, and I hate being told no, you kind of love that it’s such a strict community.
It’s about marketing only. You’re not gonna get no spread questions. You’re going to get, you know, we don’t have this client, no client bashing rule. Not because clients are great, not because clients are right, just because that toxicity is not something we want. Let’s strategize how to win over this client.
Mm-hmm. . Cause otherwise then you get that redundancy in the comments section. I had this one client, I hate clients. No way. Great. Okay. Thank you so much guys. Let’s make this a learning environment and how can we strategize to overcome this? So probably that’s one of the biggest thing is really doubling down on the rules rather than relaxing and as many posts go up is also the same amount of posts that probably don’t go up. And for that reason I thought it was gonna cause like a, a decline of the group growth. But we’ve seen it actually really bolster the content that’s being shared there.
[00:44:51] David Crabill: Yeah, you certainly created quite the culture within your group. I mean, there’s a definite culture. It’s very alive and it’s very positive. As you’ve very specifically tried to make it. Did you guys sit down and decide like, Okay, this is how we’re gonna make our group, or did it kind of come from having problem?
[00:45:12] Corrie Miracle: It came from. having problems uh, when we first started the group, cause we didn’t know how big it would end up. I think when we hit. Of first 500 people, there was zero rules. Um, you were, we’re flying by, I post whatever you want. Baking questions are allowed. But then I said, Hey, wow, is this week coming? Just like every other group, every other baking group allows all the questions or whatever, and we said, Hey, that’s what we don’t wanna be, We don’t wanna be just, you know, another group that someone joins and then they forget about it.
So we decided probably at 500 and a thousand people, let’s really gear this towards what we know best, which is marketing. I’m not the best cook here, but I’m the best marketer. Just kidding,
[00:45:49] Heather Miracle: okay.
[00:45:50] Corrie Miracle: But I said, We know marketing, so let’s make sure that we nail our rules down. So they’re pretty specific. And Heather had some queue wording with them so they don’t feel so bad when you’re, you know, you’re post deleted and you’re hit with a rule violation.
Um, But that, they’re pretty rock solid. So, you know, there’s no question. And if someone’s post deleted, I always tell ’em like, it’s just business. I don’t, I don’t even look at your name, man. It just, you know, you had a curse word in there, so I just deleted it. But,
[00:46:16] Heather Miracle: And I want, I wanna stress to people, the rules aren’t how we like go out and live our lives. Like Corrie and I are calling it like, Hey, can you believe this one client said this to me? I, you know, wow. Like this is, you know, and maybe I, and don’t tell my mom, but maybe I curse. But just to create the community we’re gonna abide by this higher set of rules.
Like, I don’t think the client’s always right. Maybe I curse a little bit, but not in the group. And that’s just to kind of keep that group pretty clean and focused. It’s cause I think people think, like with a twins just love to refund clients and love all clients. No. That we just refund clients to get ahead of problems.
And there are problematic clients. That’s why you price high and, you know, price them out of your market.
[00:46:54] David Crabill: Speaking of problematic clients um, you’ve obviously grown a ton and with growing and with becoming very popular, you’re obviously gonna also get the haters right? You’re gonna get people who don’t like you. How have you dealt with that?
[00:47:13] Heather Miracle: Well, that’s why I think we’ve taken the approach of like, Hey, you don’t have to like us, but if you don’t like us, that’s a completely respectable approach. If you wanna still grab this information, stick around, learn, you know, you can hide my posts if I make it, or you think the meme is dumb.
That said, if you don’t like how the admin team works, just gonna ask you to find another group. There are so many kind of really fantastic groups on Facebook, and you’re going to find some kind of marketing knowledge or tidbit that you resonate with better it’s kind of when somebody unsubscribes from your email marketing list, it hurts.
It hurts. But you need to thank those people cause they are helping your open rate. They’re helping in a way, your email deliverability and it is a form of a boundary for them. I don’t like you, you know, I don’t like the brand. I don’t like how you guys approach this. I don’t like your rules. I’m gonna take myself elsewhere and that I can respect from a business standpoint and marketing standpoint.
Thank you guys so much. Like I appreciate that you have a boundary strong enough that you take an action to make your environment more suitable for where you exist. And I don’t think that we’re trying to be it for everybody. And I also don’t want a hostage situation where we force people to like us. Uh, Yeah.
So I encourage people, find what works for your business, find where you like to, you know, learn information. And if you think our voices are annoying, which they are, you know, stick in a group, don’t listen to podcast or you know, get the newsletter cause that’s a summation of what the podcast was.
[00:48:35] David Crabill: Yeah, I. One specific instance of this where you know people were actually accusing you of being unethical in trying to sell your cookie photos, right?
[00:48:45] Heather Miracle: That was an interesting one. And I actually agree with their stance from where they were standing. It, you know, cause if you go to therapy or whatever everyone’s doing what they see is right in their own eyes. Very rare people are like, I know this is wrong and I’m going to do it. You know, we know we’re do, we’re acting with the knowledge that we have in the best interest of what we believe.
So I never wanna look at somebody and be like, you are wrong, you are evil, you are a bad I think we can agree to disagree. You know, I obviously have a thousand dollars a year shutter stock license where I buy stock photography and use them on these service based businesses until they can get better photos.
They all seem to wanna hold an iPhone. Cricket. I’m not really sure why. And it looks like potato quality, but when we when take the emotions out of it. I can say, Hey, I understand that you guys may think that this looks like an easy buck.
And in a way it is. You know, if we set up a diy, couldn’t take the photos, the camera equipment that we have uh, the camera that this is 3000, the camera, that some of these photos is $7,000, that’s uh, that’s too much money for a lot of home bakers to spend. So let us spend that. And here’s a DIY kit photo if you disagree.
And we tell members of that. If you don’t like this approach, just don’t use them you don’t have to. But however, we do not hold the copyright. If they pay us for it, they can keep that copyright.
[00:50:02] David Crabill: Yeah. So I mean you definitely have gotten people who probably have said some pretty mean things to you, but that probably uptick when you started selling, right? Cause it’s great to give away free stuff. and I don’t know how long you’re giving away free step before you decided, you know, we’re actually going to start charging people for something.
So what, when did you actually start charging people for things and like, what was that transition?
[00:50:26] Corrie Miracle: What’s crazy is, no. We actually have been doing this whole selling things for the last year and just recently has it become an issue, but it’s actually been around for a whole entire year and no one said anything about it. So um, I think the Cookie college is the membership course that David is referring to, and that just had, Its what, one year anniversary.
[00:50:46] Heather Miracle: August 31st. Last year we launched it. Okay. Of course, we hadn’t monetized anything. Nothing had been sold up until this point. The only money generation was from podcast sponsors, all three of them. And you know, this, company was operating at a, a net loss through and through, like we were using day job money to invest into this one.
So October 31st, the day before Cookie Con, we said, Okay, let’s launch it. We’re only gonna keep it to 250 members. It won’t take anything from the main group. Nothing that was given there is ever gonna go away. It’ll be an addition to it. So a lot of the marketing stuff that we talk about, these, uh, photos with, the stock photography to be able to sell a DIY kit, we launch that, then we drive 12 hours down to Orlando in a car together.
It was stupid . but while we’re driving down, we end up feeling the 250 slots. I thought it would take us six months. It took us about 24 hours. So I’m like, Great. Cool. That’s the market saying, Yeah, we like it. Let’s do it. So we’ve been for the last year, adding three classes a month to that college.
The freebie photos drop about three times a month. The private podcast is on Wednesdays, even though I did skip this Wednesday.
[00:51:52] Corrie Miracle: Bad on you. You’re getting a
[00:51:54] Heather Miracle: Great. Yeah. But then, so yeah, I think that, you know, the membership has continued to grow. The numbers have continued to say that, hey twins, you know, despite the little bit of drama we’ve seen around the freebie photos, the content, which is far more than the, the photos has really helped people change their businesses.
I’ve seen people saying like, I went to Disney World than I didn’t think I could, is a hundred percent paid by my cookie money. And I think, Wow, that’s the flip side of this coin. You know, we had some lady and she’s like, I wasn’t able to use to create a DIY kit because my, you know, dog’s in the, at the veterinarian. But I used the DIY kit and I was able to still make Halloween sales, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to. But it paid for the dog’s vet bill. And you know, whether people say, Oh, you know, I don’t really like that approach. The cookie college is, a small fraction of, it’s a freebie photos.
A huge portion of it is the community. And then obviously I’m biased cause I teach the classes. It’s a lot about business optimization and being able to free up time to spend with your family.
[00:52:52] David Crabill: All right, so we’re gonna stop the conversation there. There was just too much good stuff To fit into only one episode so you can hear the rest of my conversation with Heather and Corrie in next week’s episode.
For more information about this episode, go to forrager.com/podcast/75 And if you’re enjoying this podcast, please take a quick moment right now and leave me a review on Apple Podcasts. It doesn’t have to be a long review, but it’s truly the best way to support this show and will help others find this podcast.
And finally, if you’re thinking about selling your own homemade food, check out my free mini course where I walk you through the steps you need to take to get a cottage food business off the ground to get the course go to cottagefoodcourse.com.
Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you in the next episode.