Artwork for podcast Fascinating Entrepreneurs
How Erin Fabio's Grit Studio Positions Beauty and Wellness Brands for Success Ep. 95
Episode 9515th November 2022 • Fascinating Entrepreneurs • Natasha Miller
00:00:00 00:16:46

Share Episode

Shownotes

Owner of content + digital marketing agency, Grit Studio, Erin has an 15+ years of experience in content marketing on both the agency and brand sides of the table. She specializes in content creation and strategy for consumer and retail brands in both the beauty and wellness spaces. Brands she’s worked with include Bluemercury, Sassoon, Walt Disney Studios, ABC Family, Lifetime, Marlo Thomas + many others. Erin lives in the Washington, D.C. area and she’s a mom to 2 babies and 2 doggos. Yoga keeps her sane, coffee keeps her going.

Where to find Erin Fabio

Website: gritstudio.com

SPONSOR

This episode is sponsored by Entire Productions- Creating events (both in-person and virtual) that don't suck! and Entire Productions Marketing- carefully curated premium gifting and branded promo items. 

PLEASE RATE, REVIEW, & SUBSCRIBE on APPLE PODCASTS

“I love Natasha and the Fascinating Entrepreneurs Podcast!” <– If that sounds like you, please leave a rating and review of the show! This helps me support more people — just like you — to learn more about what makes the greatest entrepreneurs "tick" and become and stay successful.

Click here, open up the podcast in Apple Podcasts and click on "Ratings and Reviews". Tap to rate with five stars (thank you), and select “Write a Review.” Here is the link if you don't see the hyperlink: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fascinating-entrepreneurs/id1548836057

Transcripts

Erin Fabio:

What we say a lot of times before you invest in paid

Erin Fabio:

media, for example, is that you have to get your house in order.

Erin Fabio:

You have to get your content house in order.

Natasha Miller:

Welcome to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.

Natasha Miller:

How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur?

Natasha Miller:

How do they scale and grow their businesses?

Natasha Miller:

How do they plan for profit?

Natasha Miller:

Are they in it for life or are they building to exit these

Natasha Miller:

in a myriad of other topics?

Natasha Miller:

Will be discussed to pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful

Natasha Miller:

and fascinating entrepreneurs.

Natasha Miller:

My book, RELENTLESS is now available everywhere.

Natasha Miller:

Books can be bought online, including Amazon and BarnesAndNoble.com.

Natasha Miller:

Try your local indie bookstore too, and if they don't have it, they can order it.

Natasha Miller:

To them, the reviews are streaming in, and I'm so thankful for the positive feedback

Natasha Miller:

as well as hearing from people that my memoir has impacted them positively.

Natasha Miller:

It is not enough to be resilient.

Natasha Miller:

You have to be relentless.

Natasha Miller:

You can go to TheRelentlessBook.com for more information.

Natasha Miller:

Thank you so much.

Natasha Miller:

Today we're talking to Erin Fabio, the founder, CEO of Content and

Natasha Miller:

Digital Marketing Agency Grit Studio.

Natasha Miller:

She has 15 years of experience with content marketing on both the agency

Natasha Miller:

and brand sides of the table and specializes in content creation and

Natasha Miller:

strategy for consumer and retail brands in both the beauty and wellness spaces.

Natasha Miller:

We talk about funnel marketing, being a certified woman owned business, and how

Natasha Miller:

she manages her team of 10 employees.

Natasha Miller:

Now let's get right into it.

Erin Fabio:

So Grip Studio is a content first digital marketing studio.

Erin Fabio:

We're a boutique agency and we're based, headquartered in the DC area

Erin Fabio:

with employees all over the country.

Erin Fabio:

And we provide everything from all content creation, from copywriting

Erin Fabio:

through commercial production.

Erin Fabio:

And then we do the ecosystem of marketing.

Erin Fabio:

So email and marketing, social media, marketing, influencers,

Erin Fabio:

affinity, all that good stuff.

Erin Fabio:

Campaigns, the fun stuff for brands.

Natasha Miller:

It's a lot.

Natasha Miller:

I looked at your website.

Natasha Miller:

I was really overwhelmed.

Natasha Miller:

How many employees do you have?

Erin Fabio:

So we're 10 now.

Natasha Miller:

Okay.

Natasha Miller:

So 10 people can do all that.

Natasha Miller:

Amazing.

Natasha Miller:

Just really.

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Erin Fabio:

I mean, the way that we think about it is we're kind of a

Erin Fabio:

brands outsourced marketing arm.

Erin Fabio:

So a lot of times brands come to us when they're either seed

Erin Fabio:

funded or series A funded and they haven't quite hired head count.

Erin Fabio:

So they need strategists and they also need doers, and they also need analytics

Erin Fabio:

to report back to those investors.

Erin Fabio:

So we're able to get really involved in the brand and live in the brand and

Erin Fabio:

be like their actual outsource team.

Natasha Miller:

That's wonderful.

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Natasha Miller:

So I wanna talk straight about funnel marketing.

Natasha Miller:

It's something that you said that you-

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Natasha Miller:

would talk about and it's something really interesting to me, as an

Natasha Miller:

entrepreneur that's moving into a space from a place that funnel marketing really

Natasha Miller:

wasn't a thing for my core business.

Natasha Miller:

So teach me, tell me everything.

Erin Fabio:

So the concept is that when you market, you have

Erin Fabio:

to market to the full funnel.

Erin Fabio:

So the brands that we work with are typically retail brands, right?

Erin Fabio:

So at the end of the day, the ROI is sales, right?

Erin Fabio:

Dollars in the bank from sales.

Erin Fabio:

So the idea is that you have to get people to convert, but to convert, people

Erin Fabio:

have to have thought about you, which means they have to know about you and to

Erin Fabio:

think about you and to know about you.

Erin Fabio:

They have to have heard about you.

Erin Fabio:

So that's sort of the flow, That's the backwards flow.

Erin Fabio:

So when you think of the funnel, which you get is you have awareness on the top.

Erin Fabio:

Consideration in the middle and conversion on the bottom, and you have to work a

Erin Fabio:

customer all the way through that funnel, often, many times through those first two

Erin Fabio:

phases before they become a converter.

Erin Fabio:

So the whole concept is that you have to be able to create and serve content at

Erin Fabio:

each one of those stages to the customer, where they want it, when they want it, and

Erin Fabio:

how they want it, if you want that sale.

Natasha Miller:

Yeah.

Natasha Miller:

Okay, so break that down.

Natasha Miller:

How on earth do you figure out where they're at in the funnel?

Natasha Miller:

How to target them at the top and not give them a message that it's at the bottom.

Natasha Miller:

Is it cookies?

Erin Fabio:

Well, So there's a lot, and of course that's complicated now

Erin Fabio:

with like the way things have changed.

Erin Fabio:

Media's like a wild world right now.

Erin Fabio:

So we have wonderful paid media partners.

Erin Fabio:

We don't actually do paid media, but paid is a huge part

Erin Fabio:

of filling that funnel, right?

Erin Fabio:

So like you have to be able to, if you're talking about a website sale for example,

Erin Fabio:

you want that conversion and you know that you convert 2% on your website, let's say.

Erin Fabio:

So if you want a million dollars in the bank, right at the end of the day,

Erin Fabio:

and you know that is a 2% conversion, you have to do the math backwards.

Erin Fabio:

So how many people have to come to your.

Erin Fabio:

To make that conversion.

Erin Fabio:

And so that's when the numbers get really, really big and you have to have

Erin Fabio:

a really big number of people coming to your site for that little 2% conversion.

Erin Fabio:

So that's where there's a lot of different awareness tactics.

Erin Fabio:

For example, there's paid media, there's pr, there's lots of different

Erin Fabio:

branding activities that you can do.

Erin Fabio:

And then the conversion messaging is really like, "Promo code sell here".

Erin Fabio:

GWP like incentive, incentive.

Erin Fabio:

"You're already in our ecosystem.

Erin Fabio:

How do we close the deal?"

Erin Fabio:

Right?

Erin Fabio:

So that's kinda how we get people to do that.

Natasha Miller:

And how much does SEO factor in with all of this awareness and

Natasha Miller:

getting people at the top of the funnel?

Erin Fabio:

Yeah, so SEO and SEO are two different things.

Erin Fabio:

So SEO is like how you're technically and bio keywords optimized on your website.

Erin Fabio:

And then SCM is the marketing of words.

Erin Fabio:

So from an SEO perspective, it's so important that Google

Erin Fabio:

knows how to search you, because otherwise Google can't search you.

Erin Fabio:

So how's Google gonna serve you to people who are looking for something like you?

Erin Fabio:

So that's super important.

Erin Fabio:

We do a SEO re- strategy and execution, and that's everything from blog posts,

Erin Fabio:

writing keywording, the technical side of things so that what we say

Erin Fabio:

a lot of times before you invest in paid media, for example, is that

Erin Fabio:

you have to get your house in order.

Erin Fabio:

You have to get your content house in order.

Erin Fabio:

So if your website's janky, why are you gonna spend money driving people to it?

Erin Fabio:

Right?

Erin Fabio:

So, So we get a lot of people who are like, I'm ready for

Erin Fabio:

paid, and we're like, "Not yet."

Erin Fabio:

And like, "Yes, it's an investment to redo your site, but it doesn't matter

Erin Fabio:

cuz you're just a waste of money."

Erin Fabio:

So we focus first on getting your house in order, making sure your

Erin Fabio:

website is awesome, making sure it's optimized, making sure that

Erin Fabio:

your owned channels are ready for traffic and to serve these people.

Erin Fabio:

So we work on that first, and then we sort of look to the other

Erin Fabio:

levers, which might be like PR or.

Natasha Miller:

Okay.

Natasha Miller:

That's a lot, but that's awesome, . And then if the website's converting 2%, and

Natasha Miller:

let's say that that is an average, what is your overall conversion with a product?

Natasha Miller:

Like what is a slam dunk?

Natasha Miller:

If you're convert at, well if 2%, so that's from the website.

Natasha Miller:

Are all of these direct to consumer Mostly?

Erin Fabio:

In this situation?

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Erin Fabio:

Okay.

Erin Fabio:

That would be like a D2C.

Erin Fabio:

So at that point you also know what your average order value is.

Erin Fabio:

So like you can say that if you have a hundred people converting and most people

Erin Fabio:

purchase a $98 cart, that's how you can understand like the math of what's on

Erin Fabio:

the other end, the happy end of revenue.

Natasha Miller:

You are a Certified Woman Owned Business, and I'd

Natasha Miller:

love to know how that has added value to your company or not.

Erin Fabio:

Ok.

Erin Fabio:

So first of all, that process is a beast.

Erin Fabio:

I dunno if you.

Natasha Miller:

Yes, it's I have, I did it three times before.

Natasha Miller:

I actually had the wherewithal to actually go through with it.

Natasha Miller:

It's like an FBI probe.

Erin Fabio:

Oh yeah.

Erin Fabio:

I went through a third party cuz it's, Im.

Erin Fabio:

I was like, I assure you, I am still here.

Erin Fabio:

It is still me.

Erin Fabio:

It is just me.

Erin Fabio:

It has always been me, and here I still am a woman.

Erin Fabio:

So to be honest, it's a very new certification.

Erin Fabio:

So I haven't quite leveraged it the way I could.

Erin Fabio:

We're in the DC area, so around here sometimes that just might mean like

Erin Fabio:

government type contract funding.

Erin Fabio:

We're not really in that space, but I don't imagine that that would be like

Erin Fabio:

so much of a revenue source for us.

Erin Fabio:

But for me, it's just something that I want to have established because it's

Erin Fabio:

something that I'm very proud of and like I've worked very hard at, and our entire

Erin Fabio:

team is obviously women and mom owned, but then are also completely women run.

Erin Fabio:

So just something to have there leverage when we can.

Erin Fabio:

I don't know if you have any ideas on how to leverage it.

Erin Fabio:

I'm totally open to.

Natasha Miller:

I mean, I have a lot of experience shares that I can

Natasha Miller:

share with you in my core business.

Natasha Miller:

It ended up.

Natasha Miller:

Doing a huge amount of research and the deep dive and really talking to the

Natasha Miller:

Fortune 500 companies that are, they have this diverse supplier program.

Natasha Miller:

I'll just say for the people listening to this, in my experience, what I've

Natasha Miller:

learned is, Yes, it would be great if they could actually do the program, but

Natasha Miller:

know they are not staffed and really paying as much attention to it as they

Natasha Miller:

thought they could set out to do, and maybe that will change in the future.

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Erin Fabio:

Interesting.

Erin Fabio:

That's good to know.

Natasha Miller:

Have you ever thought that you should write a book, that you should

Natasha Miller:

write the story of your life to help other people learn from your experience?

Natasha Miller:

Please go to MemoirSherpa.com and learn how I can help you write, figure out your

Natasha Miller:

publishing path and market your story, your memoir, to a best seller status.

Natasha Miller:

What is your culture like at Grit Studio, and how are your

Natasha Miller:

employees motivated day to day?

Natasha Miller:

To do excellent work.

Natasha Miller:

Especially it sounds like they're remote and

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Natasha Miller:

sprinkled around.

Erin Fabio:

So our culture's based on our name, which is

Erin Fabio:

grit, which is hustle, right?

Erin Fabio:

Passion, hustle.

Erin Fabio:

That's what the business has been built on, and that's truly like the

Erin Fabio:

vibe of every person on this team.

Erin Fabio:

We're scrappy.

Erin Fabio:

And what I mean by that is that we are efficient and we get shit done.

Erin Fabio:

And we're not full of frills, like we truly believe in like the economy

Erin Fabio:

of content and sustainable content.

Erin Fabio:

If you create this beautiful piece of content and you just have

Erin Fabio:

it like be a blip on the radar.

Erin Fabio:

What was the point that was such a waste.

Erin Fabio:

So we think everything through the content ecosystem.

Erin Fabio:

So when it comes to culture, I'm very proud of our team.

Erin Fabio:

One of our core values is have each other's back, and another

Erin Fabio:

one is make fridge worthy work.

Erin Fabio:

So those are things that are constantly reminded.

Erin Fabio:

We also say often, this is "PR", not the "ER".

Erin Fabio:

So perspective is very important to our team.

Erin Fabio:

So those are some things that keep us going.

Erin Fabio:

We do.

Natasha Miller:

I love that.

Natasha Miller:

Let's just stop for a minute and say, okay, this is "PR", not "ER".

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Natasha Miller:

That you are calling that out is so wonderful

Natasha Miller:

and I do something similar.

Natasha Miller:

It's like my core businesses, events and entertainment.

Natasha Miller:

It's like we're planning parties, let's not get ourselves all worked up.

Erin Fabio:

Right, Exactly.

Erin Fabio:

Exactly.

Natasha Miller:

Like we're not doing, like, we're not saving lives.

Erin Fabio:

Right.

Natasha Miller:

Yeah.

Erin Fabio:

And like I come from the beauty industry and I'm

Erin Fabio:

like, You guys, it's mascara.

Erin Fabio:

Meanwhile, like my sister's a pediatric oncology nurse, so it's

Erin Fabio:

like we have to have perspective.

Erin Fabio:

And that's not to say of course we super prioritize and value all of our brands

Erin Fabio:

and we're in the beauty and wellness space, so they are top priority to us.

Erin Fabio:

But at the end of the day, these things are not emergencies.

Erin Fabio:

We can take the time to think them through and be strategic and have a

Erin Fabio:

little bit of grace and perspective.

Natasha Miller:

I worked at an Ad Agency 20 plus years ago, and I remember I

Natasha Miller:

was a project manager, but the graphic designers, the creative designers,

Natasha Miller:

the mechanical artists, they would stay till midnight or two to get like

Natasha Miller:

a, she talker out and I'm like, What?

Erin Fabio:

I know.

Erin Fabio:

I know.

Erin Fabio:

And I started this cuz I wanted a change and I think it's very clear to my team.

Erin Fabio:

We're constantly like, How's your beyond earth?

Erin Fabio:

What do you need?

Erin Fabio:

Who needs support?

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Erin Fabio:

Where are we?

Erin Fabio:

It's known to everybody that everybody is super special and very talented

Erin Fabio:

and great expertise, but there's nothing that any of us do that somebody

Erin Fabio:

else on the team can't also do.

Erin Fabio:

So to be able to have that support and know like you're not on an island

Erin Fabio:

, there's somebody there to help you and support you, I think is really important.

Erin Fabio:

We do have a office space actually in the DC area, so-

Natasha Miller:

Do you actually go to it?

Erin Fabio:

Oh yeah.

Erin Fabio:

Our DC team is always here and like they don't have to be there.

Erin Fabio:

They're supposed to be here one day a week and most of 'em come in most days.

Erin Fabio:

But I think this is like the extrovert team here in DC.

Natasha Miller:

Right, exactly.

Erin Fabio:

So it's been great.

Erin Fabio:

And like I live in a bubble.

Erin Fabio:

I think that's kind of like my, I have a 11 month old and a three

Erin Fabio:

year old, and I've got the business.

Erin Fabio:

And so my house is literally two blocks from my office, which is two

Erin Fabio:

blocks from the pediatrician, which is two blocks from the grocery store.

Erin Fabio:

So that's the only way I can kind of function.

Erin Fabio:

So for me it was a way to like get out and be able to focus.

Erin Fabio:

And then it turned out that we were able to hire some local talent and it's

Erin Fabio:

been a really fun environment for us.

Natasha Miller:

That's brilliant.

Natasha Miller:

I actually also lived very close to my office when my daughter was growing up.

Natasha Miller:

It makes such a difference.

Erin Fabio:

It does.

Natasha Miller:

And like my employees actually commuting any amount of

Natasha Miller:

time since like such a waste of time.

Erin Fabio:

It does.

Erin Fabio:

And like at the same time, I do think there's.

Erin Fabio:

Again, like it's a choice and we do everything virtually

Erin Fabio:

with the rest of our team.

Erin Fabio:

But it has been a fun thing because we also do photo shoots and like

Erin Fabio:

all the gears here and stuff, and like both of them Tiktoks here.

Erin Fabio:

So like I am all about like flexibility and remote life.

Erin Fabio:

But it's also, it's nice to have like this hybrid kind of life.

Erin Fabio:

And then we do two retreats a year.

Erin Fabio:

So like on the 19th we'll go to Austin for a week and the

Erin Fabio:

whole team will be together.

Erin Fabio:

And do all-

Natasha Miller:

Is it like a working retreat or is it?

Erin Fabio:

So I think we did like too much work at the last retreat,

Erin Fabio:

so that was like the feedback.

Erin Fabio:

So this time it's like Camp Grit.

Natasha Miller:

Okay.

Natasha Miller:

Yeah.

Erin Fabio:

So we'll see.

Erin Fabio:

I mean, we're gonna do like coworks in the morning, which will be nice

Erin Fabio:

just to be able to work together.

Erin Fabio:

And then we're doing some sessions, like some growth sessions, and then

Erin Fabio:

we're gonna have a lot of Austin, Texas.

Natasha Miller:

It's gonna be really hot anyway.

Erin Fabio:

I know.

Natasha Miller:

Right, along.

Natasha Miller:

How have the last two years of the pandemic changed and shaped

Natasha Miller:

your company for the better, and how has it affected it negatively?

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Erin Fabio:

To be honest, we were a company that scaled and grew during the pandemic.

Erin Fabio:

Before the pandemic, I was working with local brick and mortar beauty

Erin Fabio:

shops, jewelry shops, things like that.

Erin Fabio:

And with the pandemic, they obviously shut their doors, didn't have

Erin Fabio:

budget for digital activations, and just by like, I don't know, like

Erin Fabio:

whatever was in the universe, I got a hand sanitizer plant, so like-

Natasha Miller:

Slam and dunk.

Erin Fabio:

I'm gonna call that luck.

Erin Fabio:

So that obviously was very fortunate at the time.

Erin Fabio:

And then from there I started focusing more on national brands and sort

Erin Fabio:

of hit, like shifted gears to that direction and it worked out for us.

Erin Fabio:

So now we work with mostly national brands, D2C, Beauty and Wellness Brands.

Erin Fabio:

And so from there, at the beginning of the pandemic, I was a one woman shop.

Erin Fabio:

And now we're a 10 person shop, so that's amazing.

Erin Fabio:

That's been a good thing.

Natasha Miller:

Most of the publicists and media and creative entrepreneurs that

Natasha Miller:

I talked to did grow within the pandemic.

Erin Fabio:

Yeah.

Erin Fabio:

And I was pregnant with my second kid and I was on bedrest with

Erin Fabio:

both my pregnancies, and so I was kind of like, what else can I do?

Erin Fabio:

So, here I go.

Natasha Miller:

Yeah.

Natasha Miller:

So we're nearing fourth quarter.

Natasha Miller:

What is your number one strategy for growing your business?

Natasha Miller:

Growing and or scaling.

Natasha Miller:

Because there are two different things related.

Erin Fabio:

Yes.

Erin Fabio:

We're at this like awkward teenage phase, right?

Erin Fabio:

Where like, and I've heard from people, this is like the hard stage where like

Erin Fabio:

you're kind of still doing all the things, but you're also hiring things

Erin Fabio:

and, and the economy is wack right now.

Erin Fabio:

So like we're just, even this week I'm kind of like.

Erin Fabio:

"Okay, buckle up for this quarter."

Erin Fabio:

Like I feel like I'm like trying to keep the ship afloat, but also like

Erin Fabio:

put great things on the horizon, but also like Dooms Day feels like

Erin Fabio:

it's halfway behind me, so it.

Erin Fabio:

We're kind of in this like wacky space right now.

Erin Fabio:

My theory for the rest of the year is kind of just try to excel at our work

Erin Fabio:

and close out strong revenue is obviously something that we're hunting down, and Q4

Erin Fabio:

has always been a big growth month for us.

Erin Fabio:

But right now I just wanna like lock it up, like make sure that we're elevating

Erin Fabio:

everything, doing really, really amazing work through the end of the

Erin Fabio:

year and come out on the other side.

Erin Fabio:

that's kind of like where we are right now.

Erin Fabio:

I don't have any plans for any new hires until 23, so we're kind of.

Erin Fabio:

We're hunkering down with the team that we have and really optimizing,

Erin Fabio:

making sure that like the wheels are turning really efficiently and that

Erin Fabio:

we're doing everything as best we can.

Erin Fabio:

What I'm seeking right now is always guidance and mentorship in with

Erin Fabio:

companies in of the service model that are in this teenage stage or

Erin Fabio:

have like just come out of it because something that I've struggled to find

Erin Fabio:

is that I left that side hustle world.

Erin Fabio:

So like.

Erin Fabio:

Packaged up and put behind me, and we're not like a huge agency

Erin Fabio:

yet, and I don't even know if that's really where we're headed.

Erin Fabio:

So that's kind of where I'm always trying to navigate what's next as an

Erin Fabio:

entrepreneur and with that other side of maybe the next three, five years

Erin Fabio:

looks like from this teenage stage to more of like a welcome machine, I think.

Natasha Miller:

For more information, go to the show notes where

Natasha Miller:

you're listening to this podcast.

Natasha Miller:

Wanna know more about me, go to my website OfficialNatasha miller.com.

Natasha Miller:

Thank you so much for listening.

Natasha Miller:

I hope you loved the show.

Natasha Miller:

If you did, please subscribe.

Natasha Miller:

Also, if you haven't done so yet, please leave a review where you're

Natasha Miller:

listening to this podcast now.

Natasha Miller:

I'm Natasha Miller and you've been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.

Links