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Meet The Southern C
The Southern C is a business that helps entrepreneurial women #connect #collaborate & #create through in-person summits, virtual events and an online membership.
The Southern C Founders Cheri Leavy (Left) & Whitney Long (Right)
I’m a member & I attended my first retreat with them in Round Top, Texas this fall. They are amazing and have built an incredible community!
The Southern C’s Issue: The slow death of manual work
When I started working with the Southern C (back in April 2022), they shared their processes for managing their business with me.
I immediately heard a lot of red flags…
🚩 “When someone buys a ticket, we copy that information into here…”
🚩 “We double check this information by scrolling through here…”
🚩 ”We manually keep that list up to date”
They were doing a LOT of manual work to manage their online business. They at least had processes around their manual work, but still…I felt exhausted just listening to them!
After speaking with The Southern C, I knew that…
- I didn’t want to inherit this manual work 😂
- There had to be a better way
The Solution: Migration, Integration & Automation
Leveraging online tools to be your hardest working employee
1: 25% of their members were on Shopify and the other 75% were on Wordpress
How it Happened: Holdovers from their old Shopify site. When The Southern C first launched they were on Shopify, but then they made the move to Wordpress when they wanted to deliver a more robust virtual content (good choice — Shopify is the best for physical subscription products while Wordpress is best for virtual subscription products)
The Problem: Disorganization & no way to leverage automation. They were receiving payments every month, but it was all disorganized. It was hard to manage a complete list of current members and impossible to leverage automations when they were split between two platforms.
How I Fixed It: Migrated all Shopify members into Wordpress (without any hiccups!)
The Platforms: Recharge Payments (Shopify) → Woocommerce Memberships (Wordpress) This migration was tricky because we did not want to interrupt any recurring payments from members or force any members to sign up again. Once I figured out how to do this (every migration process is different) I handled the migration manually because I wanted to be super careful and not make any bulk mistakes with a bulk migration. After this successful migration, we were able to sunset their old Shopify site completely!
2: Membership data from the website was not automatically syncing with Mailchimp (their email marketing platform)
The problem: They had a mailchimp list of members they were manually updating. They did a pretty good job of keeping it updated but it wasn’t perfect (an email list of your active members should be absolutely perfect).
How I fixed it: I synced membership data from their website to Mailchimp with the Woocommerce Memberships for Mailchimp plugin
The Results: Membership status automatically syncs between platforms Bonus benefit: Able to trigger automated email sequences for Paused, Expired, Pending Cancellation & Cancelled Memberships.
3: New Member Info + New Ticket Sales were manually being entered into Airtable
The Southern C LOVES Airtable and so do I ❤️
For The Southern C, Airtable offered a more user-friendly, scalable & flexible way to managing their membership & attendee data versus the Wordpress admin interface.
The Issue: They were manually entering in order info for every membership sign up & ticket purchase. (HUGE time sucker)
How I fixed it:
❌ Woocommerce + Airtable integration does not exist
✅ so I used Zapier as our middle-man to automatically sync data.
A woocommerce order on the TSC website (membership or ticket sale) triggers Zapier to then add a record to their Airtable spreadsheet. (Via Zapier you can customize exactly what order data goes into what columns in Airtable!)
Now, 24/7 their Airtable spreadsheets automatically update with new order and member info.
4: Detailed demographic data was being manually entered into Airtable
The Southern C gathers rich demographic data from all of their members & attendees. This demographic data is set-up as custom fields at checkout.
The issue: Detailed demographic data was being manually entered into Airtable. (huge time sucker)
How I fixed it:
❌ Can’t pull the custom demographic data from Zapier into Airtable. (😪 still working through this!)
✅ So instead, I created an export template via WP All Export (I use their premium version) that includes the custom demographic data. The export template was tricky to pull off, but I was able to through the handy use of passing data through php functions.
With a one-click export from Wordpress & a one-click import into Airtable, we have all the demographic data available with no manual entry.
5: Creating a set-it-and-forget-it SMS list to text active members
The issue: The Southern C wanted to be able to send text reminders to members before their weekly Zoom calls. The SMS list needed to be an accurate list of active members.
How I fixed it:
- Through Zapier, I created an automation where phone numbers are added to mailchimp profiles after someone signs up for the membership on The Southern C website (mailchimp does not collect phone numbers by default)
- On Simple Texting (their SMS platform) I installed the Mailchimp integration and pulled in the tagged list of active members (which is automatically updated via our work in solution #2 above ^^) Now The Southern C can send texts to their active members without spending any time managing their SMS list.
The Ultimate Pay-Off: More Time to Focus On the Important Work
It has been so satisfying putting together these automations for The Southern C team. Now founders Cheri & Whitney can focus more of their time on CEO-level work, instead of being in the trenches of manual work everyday.
I can’t wait to dive into more systems and processes work with The Southern C in 2023!