top of page

Shannon Nelson

Classy Sassy Digital Marketing

Shannon Nelson

Gabriel Flores  0:00  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I welcome the co owner of classy, sassy digital marketing. Very interesting. Name. I'm very excited, Shannon, how are we doing?

Shannon Nelson  0:16  

Good, how are you? Thanks for having me.

Gabriel Flores  0:18  

Thank you for coming on the show very excited, very interested to kind of hear about what you guys are doing. But first, let's introduce the world to Shannon, please give them a little background who is Shannon?

Shannon Nelson  0:28  

Well, I am a mom of four crazy teenagers and been married to a long haul truck driver for quite a few years. I was born and raised in Southern California, but have been in Oregon for about 17 years now. And have just fallen in love with it. And I have been a foster parent, we were foster parents for six years. I have an associate's of accounting, a bachelor's in business, but most recently, I have attended bam, university.

Gabriel Flores  1:02  

Nice, nice. So for the listeners at home, what is classy, sassy digital marketing.

Shannon Nelson  1:11  

Classy and sassy is a digital marketing company where we help businesses grow. So if you were to Google, concrete in Portland, we try to get those businesses up in those first three listings and definitely on the first pages of Google to increase their revenue.

Gabriel Flores  1:28  

Nice. And how do you go about doing that? Without without giving away the trade secrets? Of course?

Shannon Nelson  1:33  

Well, basically, we kind of do an audit of their website, we optimize their website. So Google is pulling certain things and looking at their social media looking at their website. And it's basically telling Google, hey, this is a great business, you need to showcase them.

Gabriel Flores  1:51  

What What would people so for example, if I'm I'm trying to start something and I want to push it out there, what are some common mistakes that would make like thinking, I want to go viral? I want to put something online to make it big. What are some common mistakes you see,

Shannon Nelson  2:05  

the most common mistakes I see are business owners not budgeting for marketing, not investing in themselves. It is not free to do. And you need to have a good, solid foundation for it. Your website is your business card. And then Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, all that kind of feeds off of it and relates to one another, just giving you it's more of a popularity contest on the internet.

Gabriel Flores  2:36  

So how did how did this whole concept come up? How did you kind of words, what's your experience in the digital world?

Shannon Nelson  2:42  

Well, actually, I have I've always worked helping others. I'm a givers game kind of a thing. I have worked HR for staffing agencies where I've helped employees find work and I have helped employers find good employees. i The most recent prior to this, I have worked for local school district, sorry, district for six years. So I was helping kiddos in helping the teachers and everything else. Unfortunately, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer, stage three, which luckily he is in remission right now. But it was a wake up call. I loved what I was doing at the school. But if something were to happen to him, I have to be able to take care of my kiddos, I got to keep a roof over their head. And a relative of his had been in digital marketing for over 10 years. And he had talked to my husband about getting into it before and whatnot. But once this hit, it was kind of like, let's look into it a little bit more. And he hooked me up with BAM University, and I started on my training and I've fallen in love with it. I get to still help others and watch them grow and succeed. So that's how I've gotten into it.

Gabriel Flores  3:57  

would you how would you say would you say that was like kind of the catalyst to motivate you to kind of get into this?

Shannon Nelson  4:03  

Absolutely. I had to. I was comfortable working at the school. And I had to really step out and get out of my own way and grow. I'd put myself out there and get out of my comfort zone. And that I mean, that's hard. That's nobody really likes change and everything. But the more I got into it, the more and more I loved it. And seeing these businesses not only meet but exceed their goals, hire another employee, expand their market. It has been so rewarding. And I'm I'm thankful for that I can I'm actually enjoying it. It's not just a job to me. I love it. I can take it anywhere with me and I really do enjoy it.

Gabriel Flores  4:52  

You know one thing you said you got to get out of your comfort zone. Right and I truly do believe that and that's something I talk about too. Students often is, in order for you to grow, right? Either personally and professionally, you kind of got to get out of your comfort zone. And sometimes that means either a new profession or even just getting out of the country or getting out of your state or getting out of your county lines, right? Why was why was getting out of your kind of comfort zone important for you?

Shannon Nelson  5:18  

Well, I am not big on sales. I don't like cold calling. And one thing when you're starting a digital marketing company, is you. I mean, how are people going to know about you? And so I've really had to reach out. I mean, I've been told no 100 times, and I'm okay with that, you know, and a lot of these businesses that understand a little bit about digital marketing, but understand the importance of it, have been burned by a lot of digital marketers. So I've had to kind of fight that battle and let them know, Hey, I'm different. I'm not looking just to, you know, take your money and run, I want to build that relationship. I don't want just a company, that's just gonna be blow Joe off the street, I want to build that relationship and truly sucks to watch them succeed.

Gabriel Flores  6:15  

What would you say has been the difficult part about building this business?

Shannon Nelson  6:20  

Definitely getting your name out there. And, and the cold calling. And the cold messaging? That is probably the hardest part.

Gabriel Flores  6:34  

And I think that's, it's kind of funny, when you're starting a new business, I think people, you know, forget that the cold calling still works, you know, and sliding into the DMS right works as well. getting your name out there organically in that way. So how did you? Did you have to go through any venture capitalist start this business? Or was this kind of grassroots effort? How did you find it?

Shannon Nelson  6:57  

Well, luckily, my husband and I had a little nest egg saved up. And that is how I've done it all. I started on just a laptop, and I have moved to a desktop to computer screens. When I have room for it, I actually have three computer screens. And if you have a phone, and you have the drive, and a computer, you can do it. You don't have you don't have all the tools until you start making a little bit of money. But there's ways out there to do it.

Gabriel Flores  7:30  

Now, is this your first business. The other business

Shannon Nelson  7:33  

we own is my husband's trucking company. But it's just him. He's just an owner operator. But this is the first business that I've truly seen from start to

Gabriel Flores  7:45  

ongoing. What's been hard.

Shannon Nelson  7:49  

drumming up the business, getting the name out there, that is the hardest part. How do you do it? Cold calling DMS, if I'm researching for one company, and I see that no other website is not secured or, you know, they just don't have what Google's looking for on their website. I'll call him up and say, Hey, I noticed this, can I send you a quick little video with some tips to help you out?

Gabriel Flores  8:16  

And so for you like as a as a new entrepreneur, you're kind of jumping into this venture? What what is what have you felt that's different between you know, your old role in the teaching world where you had a consistent paycheck, versus being an entrepreneur where you're like you're saying, the hardest part is trying to get, you know, consistent cash flow? You know, the nice

Shannon Nelson  8:39  

part is I'm not answering to anyone. Besides my clients, I do answer to them to a certain degree. Right, right. But if my daughter has a soccer game, I can go to that. I can schedule meetings around it I have the more of the freedom. I was able to go on the road for two weeks with my husband and still do work because I had my phone I had my laptop and I was able the freedom has been great.

Gabriel Flores  9:06  

Nice now what what keeps you up at night as an entrepreneur? What What are, what are some things that keep you up?

Shannon Nelson  9:13  

Constant thought of growing the business of getting the name out there. I also if I'm working on a proposal, I can't shut my brain off. I want to make sure I've covered every aspect that's going to help them I've looked at every keyword they need on their website. And just making sure I cover everything to meet their needs. My brain does not turn off.

Gabriel Flores  9:40  

Now what let's flip it around what has been easy, if anything.

Shannon Nelson  9:46  

The easy part has been building the relationships once you get your foot in the door. They realize you are a human you. They're not just another number to somebody. It's somebody that you actually care for So actually building a relationship has been the easiest part, once you get in the door.

Gabriel Flores  10:05  

You know, one of the things you've been mentioning pretty consistently is relationships, right? Not clients, right? Or relationships, where it's obviously important as you move forward, and you're capturing a lot of different individuals, and you're meeting these people and sparking these conversations. Where do you store all this information? How do you kind of remind yourself to follow up? And in these kind of keep yourself on track? What kind of tactics do you use?

Shannon Nelson  10:31  

I have a lot of Excel spreadsheets. I use my calendar religiously, for everything. So if I know, the client said, Hey, follow up with me in a month, right there it goes on my calendar, follow up in a month. And with a little note of why I'm following up, or make sure you send this report to so and so on this date, my calendar, my Excel sheets have been huge. Now there are CRM software out there that you can utilize. At this point. I'm just relying on with Excel spreadsheets, I've always used them.

Gabriel Flores  11:11  

Now for the folks at home, what what is a CRM? Can you kind of explain it for the folks at home, just kind of your kind of understanding of it.

Shannon Nelson  11:19  

It's a software that you put in every person that you've talked to, you can put notes in, you can you know, their phone number, contact, everything goes in there. And again, it's like a reminder, it puts them you can even set them up where they're in certain steps in the process. Like you need to follow up this date, follow up this date. So it's, it's a great software to utilize.

Gabriel Flores  11:42  

Yep, I must admit, you know, folks that are listening. If you're definitely get into like the sales world, or relationship world where you're going to meet a lot of contacts, definitely look at some various CRMs because they are they are useful. However, nothing in this world is free, right? So they do cost some money. Now let's talk about the brand a little bit. I'm very interested. How did where'd the name come from? And, you know, let's let's kind of talk about classy, sassy digital marketing. Where did that originate from?

Shannon Nelson  12:16  

So clumsy and sassy kind of came up is. I can be classy when I need to. But I'm also sassy. Same with my husband. You know, we can dress up with the best of them. But we're just down to earth. People that were sassy. You know we don't we're an open book. And the the running joke is we don't know which one's classy and which one sassy. So and it was part of there was something out there. I don't know if I kept seeing it on Facebook by there was a shirt that said classy, sassy and a little bit smart athlete. And that was just kind of it kept sticking with me. And so classy and sassy just arose from there. And the joke is we don't know which ones which.

Gabriel Flores  13:07  

You know, one thing you've also kind of mentioned pretty consistently is your husband throughout this podcast. How important has he been to your you know, success as an entrepreneur.

Shannon Nelson  13:17  

He has been very important. He has been the main funder and everything of it of my little, you know, software and stuff tools that I need. But he's my drive. Besides my kids, he is my drive. My ultimate goal will be to get him off the road 100% And have him working doing this with me.

Gabriel Flores  13:41  

Now, who would you kind of say is your client your what would you identify as your target client?

Shannon Nelson  13:49  

That's hard. Um, I do a lot with a various different niches. I love working with concrete contractors, real estate agents, I influencers I'm actually starting to work with. So there's a lot out there and various niches. Contracting is one of my favorite niches to work with, though. Nice.

Gabriel Flores  14:11  

What would you say that there's something that you've learned throughout this process that surprised you as a small business owner? Like what are some like maybe like maybe the paperwork or

Shannon Nelson  14:22  

know what being an office manager is the paperwork, that sort of thing I've been comfortable with. What was the most surprising to me is what all goes into a website and what the reasons for it. Before I got into this, I Googled everything. I needed someone to fix my gutters. I googled it. Very true. Very few people got some quotes moved on. I never realized why they're in the position they're in on how they got there, the analytics behind it and everything that goes into it all the testing equal sign. So that has been the biggest surprise and the biggest learning experience for me.

Gabriel Flores  15:08  

What a little kind of tidbits could you get folks at home? If they're trying to build their own website? Like myself? I'm trying to build my own website right now. What What tips do you have for me, don't do it. Because it's stressful, I'm telling you,

Shannon Nelson  15:23  

you know, if you want it to rank, if you want people to find you hire a marketer. And, you know, it needs to be someone that you can connect with, you can trust, because that is your livelihood, that they're helping you with. And that is the biggest thing. I, if you don't have experience with it, I highly recommend. I mean, there's a lot of platforms out there that oh, you build your own website, which you can, and you'll make it look amazing. But unless you know, all the analytics and everything, you're just building a pretty page.

Gabriel Flores  16:02  

Yeah. And you know, it's kind of interesting. The analytics piece is so foreign to me, really. Because to your point, I didn't know you needed to think about all these little things in the background was at SEOs and all these fancy things and jargon that I'm just completely unfamiliar with. Now, why did why did you decide the digital world? You know, you're from the teaching world? Did you kind of already have an appetite for it? Or where you're just like, No, I just want to try something completely new.

Shannon Nelson  16:33  

I wanted to try something completely new. And I enjoy challenges. And I enjoy research. And a lot. There's a lot of challenges that pop up. Every company is different, every need is different. So you don't have a cookie cutter version that you can just go oh, here's your website, and just plug in their names. It's not like that. You have to have the right amount of Content Keywords, a lot of like you said technical stuff that goes into it. And I've just come across it now. I've been joy and I love it.

Gabriel Flores  17:09  

I love it. So what's the plan? What's the goal for classy sassy digital marketing in the next five years?

Shannon Nelson  17:16  

next five years, I would like to hit probably 40 new clients. My short term goal for this year is 10 new monthly clients doing SEO and then I would like to be able to where I can hire others you know whether they want to just work from home when a little bit more freedom. That way I can hire them. They can I can train them I mean I can train them it does take time but I am willing to do it you know and someone gonna want to grow with me too. So yeah, over the next 10 years, I definitely want to be able to hit six figures get my husband off the road and get my kids as cars paid off.

Gabriel Flores  18:03  

I like it I like in fact if you have any leftover you can pay off one of my

Shannon Nelson  18:10  

cars no I don't have a car. It's like wait a minute.

Gabriel Flores  18:15  

So the end of the you know the end of the show, we definitely want to ensure that the listeners have your contact information. So how do they get in contact with you? What's your website social media channels. Let the listeners know.

Shannon Nelson  18:27  

So my website is classy and sassy digital on Facebook, I'm under classy and sassy digital marketing. I'm on LinkedIn under Shannon Nelson. And I'm on Instagram to classy sassy digital marketing.

Gabriel Flores  18:44  

I love it. Shannon, thank you so much for your time to come talk about your business. I'm really excited to kind of get to know you guys a little bit more and talk about what you guys are doing and kind of see you guys grow.

bottom of page