9 months ago we swapped out our link-in-bio service for Stan Store (you can read our blog post about it here). We’ve been somewhat casually using Stan Store for the past nine months (you can check out our stan store here). Before we jump into what we learned using Stan Store’s features we wanted to break down how we’ve been making money without actively leveraging Stan Store, so that once we do begin to leverage Stan Store more (big things to come) we’ll be able to compare.
But first, what is Stan Store?
Stan Store is a mobile-first digital store designed to be simple and easy to use for customers arriving via a social platform. Unlike most common link-in-bio tools, Stan Store gives you the ability to invite visitors to take a variety of actions further than the standard clicking of a link. Some of these actions include:
- Buy a digital (or physical, if you’re creative) product
- Subscribe to an email list
- Book a (free or paid) call based on your Google Calendar
- Purchase a recurring subscription or membership
- Sign up for a webinar
- Buy & Attend a course in stan store
The whole intention with Stan Store is to make it easy enough for your customers to take a specific action with you with as few steps as possible. An entire buyer’s journey can occur without ever leaving Instagram while using Stan Store since it’s a quick link that pops up and takes people directly to what they’re wanting to buy.
In our case, before signing up for Stan Store we were paying subscriptions for Teachable (online courses), Calendly (scheduling links), and Shopify (digital storefront for both digital & physical products). Stan Store has the features to replace basically all three for us.
What have we used Stan Store for?
Since we started using Stan Store (admittedly causally) we’ve brought in $901 in income (check out the table below for specifics). If you read our initial blog post about Stan Store we weren’t selling anything at that point but we had specific plans for three ways we intended to make money using Stan Store. Here’s the breakdown of what we’ve earned so far. I’m going to give you a look at how our 3 plans played out next.
Add a few digital products: We’ve made money on 4 digital products. We created them, published them, and (other than the photoshoot planning guide) we basically just mentioned them a couple of times on our Instagram stories. This was mainly used as a place to sell resources that we got DMs about, not actively marketed.
What we offered ($588/total):
- 2 versions of presets: Mobile (a couple of weeks ago – $27/ea) & Boudoir for Desktop (last fall – $30/ea)
- PDF Guide on How to Plan Out a Photoshoot – $27/ea
- A couple of days ago we brought back a refreshed version of our Productivity Playbook from a few years ago – $15/ea
A bigger push on our coaching offerings: honestly we were really excited about this, but Stan Store doesn’t integrate with Apple iCal and since that’s what we use as our calendar platform it’s been difficult to use the built-in scheduling link. Tbh this may just be a me problem – I don’t love google calendar so I’ve been procrastinating on figuring it out… Still really excited about using it, just have to figure out calendar integrations ical <-> google 😩
Offering our masterclasses as one-time purchases: We sold a few masterclasses (and replays) and used Stan Store to collect free sign-ups for a summit we hosted with over 150 sign-ups. Fun Fact: they have a Webinar product option that automatically schedules a Zoom meeting and invites everyone that signs up (we somehow missed this and used the digital product that also worked just as well)
What we offered ($169/total):
- Intro to Personal Branding Photography (All the deets + Replay) – $22/ea
- How an ICA Can Change Your Biz – $5/ea
- Marketing Your Biz Summit (You Ready for This) – Free with live upsells
What we’ve learned:
We recently became Stan Ambassadors and had a call with one of Stan’s team members who shared some super helpful feedback on what would improve our stan store presence (I’ll be sharing links to stans help docs with these examples that go even deeper on the particular subject).
- Too many affiliate buttons: when we first started our store we simply created links for all of our affiliate links to our favorite programs we used, which was like…12 different links. It really cluttered up our store and made it messy (it’s worth noting here that we currently have the next 3 years of Pic-Time for free simply from people using our affiliate code: JOANDCO). The first recommendation was to switch to a simple free downloadable guide at the top of the store with our favorite tools that allow us to explain why they’re great (higher likelihood of people signing up) and really clean up our storefront (stan help doc).
- Include more low-dollar entry points: some people aren’t ready to invest large amounts of money at first. As photographers most of what we offer is high-value (over $1000) which is a lot for some people. Stan Store is great at providing low-dollar entry points for people who want to learn more, get to know you, or just dip their toes into investing with you. This is a great way to provide valuable information and simultaneously prime customers to start investing more with you after they see ROI on their low-dollar investment. You’ll start seeing more “entry points” from us as we build up passive income and provide more ways to add customers to the top of our sales funnel for photoshoots and/or 1-on-1 coaching (stan help doc).
- Feature what you’re promoting: this may be something most people do, but oftentimes we forget to update our Stan Store to daily/weekly relevant things. The perfect example is we have a link to our blog, but we don’t update the blog link to the name of our newest blog to drive traffic. The advice our Stan Store representative told us was to put whatever is most important for that day/week at the top of our storefront with a more descriptive title/description so that if someone does want to check out what we’re referencing they don’t have to go hunting to find it.
What we’re focusing on moving forward
I’m going to be honest, when supporting two people $901 is not very much money over 9 months (did you know we’re renovating a new house right now? Check out our #bradfieldbungalow over on our Insta). We have now passed the “proof of concept” phase of using Stan Store and it’s time to start leveraging this a lot more! Here’s how we plan on doing this over the next few months:
- Add coaching calls: I’ll finally have to admit defeat and figure out google calendar 😤, set up the simple integration to Stan Store, and make it possible for people to book a 60 min coaching call with us directly in our Stan Store (stan help doc).
- Set up some funnels 🙌: if you have a creator pro subscription to Stan Store you unlock a few pretty sweet extra features like payment plans, affiliates, and funnels. Funnels can be used as unique pages to sell a single product you’re launching, or they can be used as part of your Stan Store to sell products with an upsell. For example, looking at products we’ve sold so far we could set it up so that when someone buys our Photoshoot Planning Guide they’re offered an upsell to buy our Mobile Presets for 20% off if they buy them together. As we’re building out complimentary digital products we plan to build out this capability more (stan help doc).
- Courses: we’re no strangers to courses – we’ve bought them, made them, sold them, and even discontinued them. But how Stan Store approaches courses is really intriguing to us. They have really simplified the customer experience and are perfect for mini-courses. There’s a lot that we’re knowledgeable about that overlaps with topics we tend to get similar questions about, and this is a prime opportunity to create mini-courses to bring in that #passiveincome. (stan help doc).
That’s all folks!
If you’ve made it this far, kudos to you for wading through my endless bullet points (#sorrynotsorry, that’s how my mind structures information) 😂.
After spending 9 months with Stan Store we’ve become fairly confident that the $29/month for their lowest tier can fairly easily pay for itself with minimal effort. That’s pretty much how we treated it for a while, as long as we were net positive we didn’t feel bad about paying for it every month. It was “free money” that we wouldn’t have been getting otherwise. As you can see from going through this, Stan Store is a very flexible and capable tool with a lot of really good options. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort setting up offers that will perform well and you promote them on your social platforms, there’s a very good chance Stan Store will help you convert more sales.
As a predominantly service-based business (photography and coaching) there have been some learning moments on how to best use Stan Store since right now we don’t sell any of our services on Stan Store. And that’s not really what it’s designed for, it’s a great entry point for low-dollar/high-volume offers. Once you onboard a new client we’d still recommend using a CRM to manage the client relationship (we use Honeybook to manage communication, contracting, and invoicing).
We’d recommend trying out Stan Store’s 14-day free trial if you’re interested in seeing what it’s all about; you’re welcome to cancel before ever getting charged (we appreciate you using our link to support our referral income).
If you’ve got any questions feel free to send us a DM on Instagram @joelleelizabethandco.