Pixie Dust & Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher, and Yasmine Spencer as they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.
Hey, everyone, welcome to season two of pixie dust and profits. I am Nicole Boucher and I’m joined by Yasmine Spencer, and we are super excited to bring you this new episode. We took a little bit of a break because there’s a new Disney fan and this little family, and we’re excited to be back. I hope that you’ve had a great winter break that you’ve had some time with family and friends that you’ve got some renewed vigor for your business this year, and you’re ready to get some more magical inspiration to grow and scale up in 2020. Yeah, we’re super excited to be back and we have just finished planning our content for season two and we have so many fun things in store for you. You know, there’s been so much content coming out on the business of Disney as of late, right?
Nicole. There’s been the, Oh yeah, I’ve been bingeing Disney plus there’s the Imagineering story. So I’ve been bingeing that I haven’t gotten to the one that’s about like a day in the life of a Disney employee yet, but that’s definitely on my short list. Yeah. And it’s giving us tons of ideas on how we can break down how Disney does business just for you guys. The other thing that’s come out recently is Bob Uyghurs masterclass and we both signed up for that. Yeah. Masterclass. I actually downloaded it all. I’m going on a flight in a few days and I’m hoping I’ll have some time to listen to it. It’s a family vacation. So where is it? Nicole? We’re gone to Disney world. We’re taking the extended family and having a big truck or celebrating birthdays and also getting away from winter where it is like the feels like today.
I think it was like negative 15 or something like that. Fahrenheit. I know. I don’t know what that is in Celsius for you Yasmin. I’m sorry, but as Siri, but I don’t want to interrupt our recording, but yeah. So I downloaded all of his classes to listen to because I’m really fascinated by, you know, what the CEO of Disney thinks about how to approach different problems and we’re going to have a whole episode about it. So I watched a little preview and I don’t want to talk about it cause we’ll, we’ll, we’ll record something for you guys. Does she worry? And another exciting thing that we have coming up this season is we’re going to have guests on the show. Yeah. Yeah. We’ve gone back and forth on having guests and you know, we’re pretty picky and we’ve decided on a couple that we would love to have on the show. It’s not going to turn into an interview show at all. So don’t worry about that if that’s not your cup of tea, but there’s a couple of people that we feel like they are experts that you need to hear from and they can give the Disney on things. So I’m excited to share that
Right on. So Nicole, do you want to start us off and let us know what we’re talking about today?
Yeah. so today we’re talking about something that was actually an idea we wrote down, I think two years ago. So we have even more material now than what we started with, but it’s all about growth by collaboration. And in the context of Disney, it’s talking about how they know what they are and know what they do well, and they know how to leverage partnerships, to grow their own business without having to like create the intellectual property themselves. So in a more like a more direct way of saying that, like, here’s the example we’re going to be talking about a lot today is the minivans at Disney world that are using the Lyft system like Lyft, like Uber they’re using that system, that app on your phone to actually order vehicles to get people around Disney world. So, you know, they didn’t reinvent the wheel, something already existed. And they said, Hey, we’re Disney and let’s let’s work together on this. So we’ll be talking about that. And the importance of collaboration over competition, I guess.
Yep. And another example of that we’re going to be taking into is Disney’s recent collaboration with Target. You know, they want to attract more of the youngins and, you know, even the cool hip moms like us and, you know, we, we love Disney, so why not make it more accessible and have a whole Disney set up in a store. So that’s a really cool thing that they’re doing. And of course, as always, we’re going to be breaking down how you can apply these lessons in collaboration to your own business. And we also have a fun bonus that we’ll be sharing at the very end and we’ll let you know how you can get access to it.
Awesome. I think I’ll jump right in and talk about minivans. Minivans are really cool. And if you like dad jokes like I do, when they first announced them, I was giddy. I mean, they are mini vans that are the, have the mini dots all over them. They’re red CRVs. And I think they have a couple of different vehicles now with the white polka dots and it’s a minivan and my child does not understand that joke because we don’t have a mini van of our own, but I love it and appreciate it so much. And I love that they’re bringing many more into things in general. I feel like Mickey has the spotlight, but many’s been holding her own for the last few years. So I was there when they were pilot testing the minivan system and it’s gone through a couple of changes, but you know, it’s very fascinating how they merge these two brands together.
Now, if you don’t know, minivan is basically just a Disney’s version of Lyft and Uber. It, they only operate on Disney property. They have set hours that they operate and you can get from magic kingdom to your hotel, way faster than using the complimentary bus system or the gondola system or anything else. It’s just fun. It’s fun. Even when you’re on the buses, you see minivans driving by and we kind of point them out. It’s kind of like punch buggy, but with minivans. But the amazing thing about this collaboration is that Disney knew that why bother building our own proprietary system to have people like call a taxi and get where they need to go. We know that there are companies that already do that, so let’s go talk to them and see what we can do. So that’s the first part is like they recognize what they do well and what someone else does well, but Disney has a really strong brand.
And so they had to make sure that the Lyft experience could merge with the Disney experience. And so there are parts to Disney lift that I will gladly pay more money to take a minivan somewhere when I could just use a regular Lyft vehicle to the same location. And it’s $10 less. And that’s because Disney has a commitment to safety and customer experience and they have a high bar of quality. And so they knew that if they just use the standard Lyft approach, they might not know what their customers are getting and they need to make sure that all of the people, all their guests visiting the world get that level of service. So the employees they’re actually employees of Disney who are driving Disney owned vehicles. The only piece of lift that comes into here is basically how the app works. So Disney has their own fleet and you know what you’re getting from that. So I think the important thing here is like, Yasmin can jump into it. It’s just like when you are collaborating, making the strategic partnership decisions, it’s not just a like, so when asked me to do something, let me say yes
For sure. And like one other thing I want to add, that’s really interesting about the collaboration with Lyft is that they really hit on a great customer pain point where many, many Disney even they might not necessarily have Lyft and Uber in their like local towns. Right. So there’s always that like weird trust factor of like getting into a stranger’s car. So by actually hiring does feel that way. Yeah. Yeah. Like when you hop into an Uber, like you kind of never know what you’re getting. I know like when I travel alone, even though it’s been relatively safe, I’ve had no negative experiences. I always like share my like trip with like my husband or like my mom or a friend if I’m meeting up with them just so they know where I’m at. But for people who don’t have Uber or Lyft are not familiar with how the service works or comfortable with it, but having a Disney employee, they sort of take the stranger danger factor out of it.
They’re so nice for families. Like I use Lyft and Uber here and there for myself and I still feel uncomfortable with it. But like, I know with a minivan that they will have a car.
Yep. So they have two car seats that come with like every minivan. So if you have kids that are still under the age of, I feel like I should know this, so I’m a bad mom right now, but how old is it now? Nicole? Like six, seven,
Actually the law is different in every state. So I think in Florida, they only have to be like four or something like that. I mean, where I live is much older. They have to be in some sort of seat for, I dunno, at least 10 years old. Yeah.
Yeah. In Ontario, like if I was literally two inches shorter would have to be in a car seat still. Yeah.
The laws are different everywhere, but I mean, it’s just peace of mind to know that they will have an infancy if you have an infant or a regular car seat, because that is a concern when you’re renting a car, you got to figure out, okay, do I bring my own car seat on the flight? It’s, it’s a headache that didn’t exist before having children.
Oh, for sure. And yeah, it makes it easier for families to get around and not have to like lug all of their stuff. So, okay. It’s an interesting collaboration and like the whole, it’s a very strategic partnership. How are you guys going to apply this to your business as well? I mean, not all of us can set up a partnership with Lyft or another big corporation out there, but you’ve got to think about complimentary industries and brands. Right. And we’ve talked about this in previous episodes and the importance of working with others who can support your business in a way that’s not necessarily always competitive. So one idea that we love a lot is joint venture partnerships. So the way that those work is you partner up with someone again, often they’re in a complementary field business industry and you leverage their audience to sell your product.
So the way that we see it work really, really well for a lot of our clients is JV webinars as we call them. And a great example of this would be, let’s say so Nicole and I, we work together a lot. We do we can do like each other’s jobs. So we definitely have our zones of genius. Like Nicole is the operations and project management like mastermind. She’s like awesome at basically breaking out all the steps and keeping everyone on track and organized. I love digging into numbers and finances. Like that’s my jam. Finding ways to cut costs, make more money increase profitability. Those are the things that really jazzes me up and knowing that, you know, our audiences are probably similar because someone who probably wants operation support will also want the sort of financial management support as well. When they get to that level, their business.
If I wanted to sell a financial management, let’s say workbook, I could always partner up with Nicole and have a joint webinar where I would pitch her audience on my offer. And she would in return get a percentage of the sale. So she’d get affiliate commission for everyone who comes through the beauty of this is instead of going through the process of like investing in like Facebook ads and growing my own audience, getting leads in and then nurturing them till I get to the sale with a joint venture. Nicole has built in credibility with her audience. They trust her. They, they like, you know, love her. They buy her products. They know that she’s the real deal. So if she says that, Hey, like is cool too. And you probably want this workbook. If you want to get your numbers in order, they’re more likely inclined to trust her.
And it increases the conversion rate of the sale. So something like this could be really beneficial. And the percentage that you pay out to the affiliate where you would be spending that on ads and other marketing anyway. So it really helps streamline the, it shortens the conversion window. And it also helps you get in front of a really targeted audience because you know that the person that you’re partnering with also engages your ideal audience. So joint ventures are an amazing way to sell a product a little bit more efficiently, a little bit faster and to increase your reach. And it doesn’t require the same like lead time that you typically would with a traditional marketing lead up approach.
And I think something to point out here is that like, if you’re getting an offer to do a joint venture, that could be a summit, it doesn’t even have to be a paid product. It could be something where people are asking you, or if you’re a product based business, like, Hey, throw your product into this giveaway so that we all can get like share our followers on Instagram. There’s, there’s so many different types of joint partnerships. And I think one thing that we need to encourage you to do is when you’re getting these offers, think about who it’s coming from. Think of it. It’s not selfish to think about what’s in it for you. Does this make sense to say yes to does it align with your brand? It does their branding align with yours? You know, I year in recent years I have definitely like been a little more myself on social media, but like in the beginning I was prim and proper at times because, you know, I felt like that’s what I had to be.
I came from a corporate background and you know, I’ve laxed on that, but you know, there’s no way, two years ago, I would have said yes to anyone whose brand was about like swearing and all of that stuff. So like make sure it feels aligned to, and it’s, you know, taking from Disney saying like, this is how we do things and this is our level of quality. So we need to make sure that our version of lift instills these things know that it’s not selfish to say I like your offer, but I feel like it needs more for my audience or my audience is struggling with this. Can we tweak it over here? It is totally okay. When you’re doing these joint partnerships to ask for things that work for your audience, I mean, that’s, you’re giving up your trust points. You know, you’re, you’re maybe even like giving up the opportunity to have your own sale because you can’t sell something of yours.
And then the next week sell something of someone else it’s, you’re, you’re taking a little bit of that trust from your audience. And you want to make sure that the person that they’re interacting with is the same quality level that you would have. So, you know, whether you’re doing saying yes to a free summit or putting your product in a giveaway, just know that like you have that power in that, right. To make sure that it aligns with your brand and always ask because the person on the other side doesn’t know your business, they might not know that that’s important to you. This is a total tangent, but like when I was in grad school, one of my favorite courses was negotiation. And it was so eye opening because you think of negotiation as, Oh, you, you have a car and I have money and I’m going to give you a thousand, but you want 1200 and you just kind of go back and forth. But the thing about negotiation is what’s most to you might not be most important to the other person. And we can have a whole episode just on negotiation. Yeah. Just to just remember in these types of things, it is a negotiation. You might not know that you’re actively negotiating, but you’re negotiating your list, your credibility, all of these things. And it’s okay to ask for things that are important to you.
Let’s not forget your time, right? Like if you’re partnering up with someone, it can take a significant amount of your time. It’s not just showing up on a webinar or showing up for the summit. You have to prep materials. Typically when you do a joint venture and you’re partnering with someone else and they’re engaging your list, you have to send out some emails to them. Granted, they might create the materials, but again, like it’s time on your part. And if an opportunity doesn’t seem like it’s worth your time, whether it’s because it’s not a right fit from an audience standpoint, or if it’s just not a fit within your marketing mix and what you’re doing in your business right now. That’s okay.
Okay. Yeah. And I mean, we’ve been talking a little bit about it, like from the perspective of saying yes to a joint venture opportunity, but I think all of these lessons are still important. If you were the person pitching to someone else to join your venture, remember that there is a cost that they are giving up and some people aren’t motivated by money. So when you sit there and say, you get 30% of the sale, that might not be enough for some people, you might need to find out what is important to them. And of course, you know, we can just talk in general about joint ventures. It’s always great when you’re pitching to someone to consider them their business, make it a personal invitation and not a, let me spam a thousand people and ask them to join this thing. And two 12 people will reply
And give them numbers. I mean, people love data when making these decisions. So if there are any like figures that you can give them that would help encourage their decision, prepare that information in advance. So they don’t have to ask you for it.
Oh yeah. It is so helpful to know like this course that I want you to help me sell has been around for two years and has sold this much already versus I’m kind of beta testing this right now. It’s not done. I mean, there’s a huge difference in how much I’m willing to work on something when those two scenarios are presented. And I mean the same thing with giveaways, if someone’s having this, like let’s get all of our products together and Instagram share, or if they’re doing something like that, well, have you done any of these in the past? How many people actually participate and what can we expect for numbers? So even if you’re not a numbers person, it’s good to include a couple of stats to show if you’re the one pitching that you’ve done your research and you know what you’re doing and that they can trust you with their business or vice versa. If you’re the person being pitched to, to make sure that like the person you’re working with knows what they’re doing. And they’re actually going to deliver on the return that you expect to get
Right on. So we can again talk about joint ventures in so much more detailed, but we really want to get to the next example. And this is for all of our product based business, friends out there, we don’t want to exclude. I mean, yes, you can do joint ventures and maybe webinars we’ll work to sell your products, but more often than not it’s a little bit different when you have a product based business. And
Well, I think like a joint venture for a product based businesses, like an artist doing a piece of art for someone else’s product, you know, stuff like that. Or like I’ve seen collaborations where Megan, from all she wrote notes, she has like a very specific design to her brand, her confetti. And she worked with someone who makes these things called Libby clips. And I bought one for my son for Christmas. They were amazing. Go check them out. It’s just this clip, you clip to your backpack or you know, your purse or whatever to hold your lip balm. So you don’t lose it and you’re not digging everywhere. So I, Megan collaborated with Libby clips to make a design of her, her brand and their product. And so that’s the type of like joint venture that you could do as like a product based business.
No, those are great examples. Okay. So what’s Disney doing in terms of their joint venture as well. I mean, a lot, like you can even think of like licensing deals as a joint venture. But the example that we want to talk about that we mentioned earlier was in Tober Disney, worked with target to launch 25 little like Disney stores within various locations. So
Maybe they were closing their Disney stores. I mean, they were so infrequent throughout the United States anyway, so they were closing them and they were like, Hey, target stores
And target gets a lot of foot traffic. So they’re launching in October, 2020, and they’re basically mini Disney shops. So they’ll also have about a hundred products that are previously only available in Disney store. So again, those are target exclusives now that people can only get, if they go to target. And again, it helps the reach of the Disney stores by going into locations where, you know, there’s already a retail setup existing. Now Disney is also launching this store concept online at target as well. So for people who don’t have a target store with a shop Disney, or I should say a Disney store little experience in there, they can access everything online as well. So you’re not out of luck if you like live in Canada, you don’t have targets like I do, or
That’s really brilliant when you think about it, right? I mean, they had Disney stores kind of throughout like a mall outlets, which I don’t even know if mall outlets are visited as much as they used to be, you know, 15 years ago. But now if Disney’s got this deal with target, their products are still there. They’re getting that foot traffic it’s being seen, but they also don’t have to handle like that distribution piece of things. If you know, it’s in Target’s warehouse and they’re handling the inventory,
They don’t have to hire new employees again, they’re all leveraging basically targets, infrastructure, and assets to sell through their product. And in return, Disney is opening a target in Orlando in 2021. So I mean, Nicole, like you’ve, you’ve on site and you’re like, Oh man, we need this thing. We need that thing. And the only way to, yeah,
Yeah, definitely had a moment. I think my son was like two or three and he can be a little bit noise sensitive. And I’m sure he’s not on the spectrum or anything like that, but I’m sure that parents on the spectrum have dealt with this too. He like the buses backing up with that beeping noise and he would just kind of melt down and try to cover his ears. So we used Amazon next day or whatever it was got some noise canceling headphones sent to the hotel. So we would have it and be able to do those rides and listen to the buses, backing up without a meltdown. And, you know, I can just imagine that that’s probably the next level after this Orlando target opens up near their property, that somehow minivans are going to get included in here to like be dropping off packages to people who will be willing to pay that $15 delivery fee or whatever it will be. So I imagine that’s, that’s, might’ve been a concept on the table at some point who like, who knows if that’s actually coming, but I’m just speculating that there’s there’s they always have another game plan.
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. And again, like the added convenience is going to be awesome. You don’t necessarily have to, again, now get a minivan to go offsite. Well, you can, with the maintenance, we don’t have to find like an Uber or Lyft to go offsite. If you don’t have a car to like pick up some snacks or if you forgot like an extra towel or, you know, if you
I’ll have a collab with Instacart and I’ll just add target to like that specific target to the list and get a cut from it. Like there’s so many different ways it could go. Right. so talking about this, like, how does this relate to your small business? It’s like, think about if you sell on Etsy or you put your designs on minted or you like self publish a book and get it on Amazon. It’s kind of the same idea where you’re taking advantage of someone that has a bigger audience and a larger platform, and you give them a cut of the sale and it’s like, yeah, you know, I’m using your stuff here, here’s your portion of it. And you’re getting more visible and more noticed. So that’s how this can all relate to, to your business.
Yeah. So think about if you have like, there’s a lot of like small Disney shops out there. Right. And they sell all sorts of things. In fact, like we have tons that we’ve talked about that we love, but I’ll use them as an example. If you have your own site, you have to do a lot of work to drive traffic there. It’s being visible on Instagram. Sometimes there’s like advertising involved being on Facebook and social media and just really trying to build up that hype and get people specifically to your website. And that takes a lot of work. It’s it? Same, same thing with like a service-based business. Right. Getting someone to your own standalone site. Like if you build it, they will not come. You, you have to do a lot of work to get them there.
Well, I mean, just in and of itself, like the use of social media is using some platform that has a bigger audience to get them to your clients, your website, which doesn’t have that size audience. So yeah, social media is all about like interaction and community, but at the heart of it, it’s trying to, as a business owner, it’s trying to get in front of people who might not otherwise know you exist because they are there,
Right. And leveraging the discoverability aspects and elements of the platform. So the way that this would work on Etsy, Amazon minted, or other platforms out there is you can take advantage of their search. So people will go to that website to search for a specific thing. Nicole, you want that mothers knows best church, right? So if you type that in there, if you on Etsy, you’re going to be presented with all of the shops that create a shirt of that nature. And rather than having to like Google it and seek out that like one shop, that’s going to find it and just go through the extra effort of hunting it down. You’re now presented with an array of options and array of colors. And if you use the correct search terms, when you’re creating your listings, your discoverability is going to prove and you’re going to pop up and it helps people find you where they might not have before. Now, a lot of shop owners typically use like Etsy platforms like it when they’re starting out, because they’re trying to build their base. And then eventually they go to their own websites, but some of them still keep Etsy around too, just because it helps improve the discoverability elements. So
It gives you some really good data because then, you know, like what products are showing up the highest in the search results and what’s selling on Etsy. It can be a place where you kind of test your beta designs before they go into your more permanent collection on your website.
Yeah. And the other benefit is like, if you do keep both of those and you want to really drive traffic to like your core site and build that while you can offer exclusives that are only available on your website and not necessarily on Etsy. But like on Etsy you can say like, they’re all, I don’t want to say that you can say this because there are rules around how you could phrase certain things. But if you link to your main website or mention your main website you know, people can discover more there. You can’t necessarily say things like head to my website for exclusive designs, but if people are seeking you out and connecting with you and finding you through Xes their first touch point, well, they’re going to find you on social media. They’re going to find you on your other websites. So they’re going to,
Well, I kind of like that post purchase process too. You know, if someone buys something from Etsy should always in the physical item that you mail to them, have some sort of note that sends them to your website or to subscribe or to your Instagram, whatever. Maybe you pick one, don’t pick all of them because chances are, people will see one thing and do one thing. But you know, I just recently got a pair of pants from the cave or even claw them because as much as I love Disney, I also love Harry Potter. And, you know, it’s called from once upon a peril. And so once they got the order in, there was like little Mickey confetti, which I loved and, you know, they had this code to go back to their site and you’re on your next order, save 10%. And so that’s how they get you off Etsy and onto website and onto their Instagram and being that lifelong fan. So yeah, you can certainly start out on a place like Etsy and go from there. I think Facebook even has like a products market you can do if you’re a product seller. So it we’re saying Etsy, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that you can
Also make your Instagram shoppable. There are tools and platforms that you can use that make it easy for you to link to specific products that you feature on Instagram. So it reduces the barrier to discoverability. So like if I see something that I love on a website and then it’s like swipe up for the link and it takes me to the main website, well then I have to search and try to hunt that item down. But if you use, like, it’s like pulling only has like shop link, for example, as their tool, it’s an ad, it’s a like extra fee to use it. But if you’re selling through Instagram probably worth it and you can basically shop an Instagram feed that way and find exactly what you’re looking for and quickly add to cart. Because I don’t know, like since becoming a mom, that’s the newest Disney fan, by the way that Nicole was talking about earlier, my daughter, Layla of course I’m dressing her up in old, like the mini things, but I spend a lot of time in the middle of the night on my phone looking through things because I’m feeding her and when I can easily access what I’m trying to find.
If I discover it through Instagram, I’m going to be honest, I’m going to be more inclined to buy it. Then when I have to like seek it out, because trying to navigate through certain interfaces, one handed, if you have small child sized hands, like I do in a big iPhone kind of hard sometimes. But if I can just like click, find the product, use my thumb to hit, add to cart, loading my credit card information. I’m more inclined to make the purchase. Right.
And all we were talking about this, like the importance of PayPal, you know, there’s a love, hate relationship with PayPal as a business owner for many business owners out there. But there is so much power, especially if your audience is moms. Even if just a portion of your audience is moms the Sunday night where you’re scrolling through your bed, looking at your calendar, just find out what’s going on this week. And you see something, I am 95% more likely to finish that checkout if you’ve got the PayPal option, because I do not have my credit card next to me. And I am not getting out of my nice warm bed, especially when it’s like negative 15 outside to go get my credit card. And you know, I am not the shopper. Like I’m not a person who shops a lot, but I have definitely left cards because I’m like, I’ll go do that later. And I don’t come back because I forget about it. And yeah, it’s not that I don’t want it. It’s just that, you know, it, my credit card wasn’t available at the time and other things popped into my head between then and when I finally got back to my desk.
Yeah. So you have a short time period to capture someone’s attention, but also to close the sale. So make it as easy as possible for them.
All right. Well, I think this episode is probably one of our longest one. So hopefully you’ve enjoyed all the insights that we have shared about joint ventures and collaborating with other brands, leveraging other platforms and selling your products and making it easier for people to buy. We have a bonus for our subscribers. So whether you are already a subscriber, you’ll automatically get this. If you are not a subscriber, just had to magic.pixiedustandprofits.com, you can sign up and then you’ll get a copy of the email that gives this bonus out. So I’ll let Yasmine tell you more about the bonus.
So as you know, we start including bonuses that relate to the lessons learned in each episode. So this week we’re actually sending you a pitch email that you can sort of fill in the blanks for it. So if you want to do a JV or with someone, or you want to pitch yourself to a podcast, we’re going to give you the structure and the key things that you have to hit upon. And all you have to do is fill in the blank. So we hope that’ll be a helpful resource. That’ll help you grow your audience and collaborate with other business owners and companies out there.
Yeah. Awesome. So sign up, subscribe magic.pixiedustandprofits.com. And you’ll get a copy of that. And you’ll probably also get copies of all of our past bonuses, but that, that might take a few days to get to you just giving you a little insight into our welcome sequence, which you can reverse engineer if you’d like. And we’ll probably talk about that on another episode, but thanks for joining us today, we really have fun being here. We can’t wait for the rest of season to follow us on Instagram and join in the fun.
Speaker 4 (31:02):
We’ll see you real soon.