Today on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, we’re taking a look behind the scenes at one of our favorite tools: Project Broadcast! Johanna Bates is a customer success specialist and strategist who joined us not only to talk about the features and future innovations coming from the company, but also to share some of her best advice for using text-based marketing effectively. Listen in for her tips about connecting with leads, expanding your network, and creating lasting customer relationships—all using the familiarity of their phones!

Contact the Johanna and the Project Broadcast Success Team via text at 254-545-9626, or the PB Support Team via text or email at 469-200-0716 or [email protected].


Time based notes:

  • 1:57 Johanna Bates introduction
  • 5:04 Why does text marketing work?
  • 8:57 How to get started with text
  • 13:47 The personalization of texts
  • 17:02 Best practices in Project Broadcast
  • 20:48 Social media vs. text marketing
  • 24:14 Project Broadcast’s hidden gems
  • 27:34 Project Broadcast going forward
  • 29:20 Connect with Johanna and PB
  • 30:34 Johanna’s favorite office supply


Tips and Tricks for Text Marketing with Johanna Bates

Recently on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, we took a look behind the scenes at one of our favorite tools: Project Broadcast! Johanna Bates is a customer success specialist and strategist who joined us to share some of her best advice for using text-based marketing to connect with leads, expand your network, and create lasting customer relationships—all using the familiarity of their phones!


Johanna, if people have not yet met you, tell us a little about yourself, and what you do, and who you serve over at Project Broadcast.

So, I am a mom of two girls. I have been married for eight years. My husband’s awesome. And, I spent about 13 years in the Army. And then, I got out, and we had our first daughter, and I kind of just putzed around in the world of stay-at-home mom; that is a full-time job on its own. And then, I started checking out Project Broadcast. It was a new app. A lot of the people in the direct seller world were using it. And, I found it really easy for me to use. And so, I basically became a contractor for people to hire to do their Project Broadcast for them. And, it was really great. I had so many clients, but I got burnt out really quick. And, as I was thinking of stopping, I get a call from Dawn, who used to work at Project Broadcast, and she said, “Hey, Jake is looking to grow the team, and we need somebody who has some expertise, some strategy, in this,” and I was like, “Sign me up.”

So, I joined PB about a year and a half ago. I work for Jake Dempsey. He’s the CEO/co-founder and best boss I’ve had. He gets in the trenches with us and does exactly what we do. He’s amazing at it. And, my main job is training and strategizing and helping people understand how to use text marketing for their business. And, it doesn’t have to necessarily be direct sellers, but I would say a majority of our 30,000-plus users at this point are direct sellers. So, I get the chance to talk to 30 to 50 networks and learn what they’re doing. And then, I take all that information, and I come up with these strategies and ideas on, “Hey, this would work for everybody.” And, it’s awesome. I get to talk to people every day that are making huge changes in the network marketing world.


We are big fans of Project Broadcast and have been recommending it for years. And, speaking of which, I feel like Project Broadcast was so ahead of the game, but in the last year or two, text marketing has become more and more mainstream. So, I’m so curious: From your perspective, why is it so effective? Why does text marketing work? And, if somebody’s listening right now that has not stepped into leveraging text as a way to communicate and serve their leads and their customers, what are they missing out on?

I love that you brought it up like that, because I can remember when Gary Vaynerchuk, like four or five years ago, talked about text marketing. And, I was like, “Oh, this is so cool.” But, I was so shocked, because I was like, “Is there an actual app out that can do it? What’s the process? How does it work?”

And, it has a 98% open rate—which is huge when you’re doing any type of marketing or sales. Email has a 20-21% open rate. And, if you think about it, that’s “I sent 100 emails out and I got 21 people to open it.” But, did they read it? Did they engage with it? Did they convert off of it?

Text marketing gives you that extra oomph. Texts come over your watch. They come over your phone. If you have a Mac, they come over your computer or iPad. There’s very little friction. When I get a Facebook message, I have to go to Messenger or Facebook, then I have to go find the message, and then see whatever’s going on. With text, it’s very efficient conversations versus, like… Well, it depends on if you’ve been watching TikTok lately. There was a joke out a while ago where you’re looking over someone’s shoulder at a baseball game, and they have this huge text thread, and you’re like, “Oh, no…” So, not those type of texts. We want ours to be super efficient. Like, “Hey, this is Johanna. I just wanted to make sure you got my text. Products are on the way. Let me know you got this!” Something that builds that relationship quickly and creates that intimacy.

And, a lot of people realize once they started using it, “Oh, I’m able to connect with my customers quicker. Oh, I have an opportunity to grab prospects and have that relationship building immediately,” versus DMing on Instagram, TikTok messaging, Facebook messaging, email. It’s become so big, because it’s such a useful tool, and it gets you the profit or the progress that you’re looking for. And so, with Project Broadcast, we have seen people in their networks explode using it. Doing scroll parties, doing text campaigns, birthday campaigns—things that might normally take hours during your day is now squished down to a 30-minute thing, then you go off and be creative in your business.


Now, if somebody is new to Project Broadcast, and they’re like, “Okay, like, this sounds pretty dreamy,” what would you say is the best place to get started? Because, I do think that any time you’re stepping into a new tech platform or a new way to communicate with your customers, there’s this layer of resistance. Like, “Ah, do I import everyone’s phone number? What do I say in that first text? Is my customer is going to be like, ‘This is weird. It’s coming from a different phone number.'” For those people that are just stepping into it, what is your best advice to actually get started and get past all that resistance?

You literally just listed the pain points that I normally work with people on. So, when you sign up for Project Broadcast, you immediately get a text message from the “Your Project Broadcast Success Team” or “Your PB Success Team.” And, it’s like, “Hey! Check out our Quickstart!” And, the Quickstart is just a guide on, “Hey, this is how you create a contact.” And, you basically create this new mobile number that’s your personal phone number, and you send it a test text. And then, you think about, “How would I introduce myself in an efficient manner?” And then, you choose to create what’s called a “template,” and it’s just an introduction: “Hey, it’s Johanna. This is my new number. I use it for this business. I just wanted to make sure you had it, so that way I can send you any tips I have, and you can contact me about anything you’re having issues with or want to check out. Text me back when you get this.” And then, you can import your contacts, and you send them that first text. Literally, that’s all I want people to do.

What I don’t want people to do is import their 500 contacts and send them a sale. Do not. Because, people don’t know who it is. I’m not going to text my neighbor, who I just met, and say, “Hey, it’s Johanna. Are you interested in da da da da da?” I’m going to be like, “Hey, it’s Johanna next door. I just wanted to make sure you got my number.” And then, maybe we develop a relationship, and maybe I start to tell them about things that have worked for me, or we have that organic growth that we’ve talked about before. But, start out small. Send a note to your customers. And, after that, you’ll get into automating the follow-up and all the cool strategies with prospecting.


I love that first text being so critical. And, if you’re like, “Oops, I did that wrong,” there’s time to course correct. Because, when things go sideways, you’re like, “Hey! Everything is 50% off! Come shop with me!” And your customers are like, “Who sent me this spammy message?”

And, you can still come back from that. So, if you’re that person, and you’re like, “I don’t get any texts back,” or “Nobody’s talking to me,” I get it. Reach out to me; we’ll develop a new draft that you can send everybody, and you can be human about it. They don’t know it’s a mass text messaging machine-type app. They’ll see it as an individual text. So, you’re just like, “Hey! My bad. I wanted to make sure I was providing education and value, or really talking to you about how you use your products and making it the best for you while getting to know you. I’m sorry that I’ve been sending so many sales.” Whatever you want to do. Be human, be you, be genuine, and people will be like, “Ah, that’s the Johanna I know. Not this person that’s just bombarding me with stuff.”


Well, and the tool itself is meant to help build relationships and accelerate the quickness of those relationships and connections that you have, right? Like you said, if you’re sending emails, or if you’re posting on social, some people get to know you that way. But, text is personal. You’re all up in their phone.

I love that you said that, because it is personal. Even your wording can’t be like your wording on Facebook. “Hey guys, how’s it going today? I’m so excited for this!” It’s gotta be “Hi, Becky! I’m so excited to talk to you about this today.” You’re talking to one person, but you’re sending it out to, like, 500 people.


I love that, because it really is having conversations, but doing it at scale. So, you’re able to reach a lot of people at once, which is more efficient for you as you’re working your business, but on the receiving end, they don’t know that you might have sent it to 100 other people, right? On their side, it’s “Oh, Becky texted me!” So, keeping it conversational, keeping it short, all such great, great advice. And, I think sometimes it’s harder to write short messages than it is to write long messages. It’s a little bit of an art to narrow something down to just a couple of sentences.

So, you’re seeing lots and lots of different users; what texts get the most response? What are those best practices that you’re seeing across Project Broadcast users?

So, the most engaged text message is the birthday message. We have a birthday campaign, where everybody you import gets a message on the day in the month of their birthday. It’s awesome, because it’s done a year out for you. Just a message of like, “Hey, Becky, Happy Birthday! I can’t wait to hear if you were able to spend the day with family, or you got some well-deserved self-care. I hope you have a great day!”

And, it’s crazy, because there’s no call to action in that message. There isn’t a promo or a giveaway in there. But, people are like, “Thank you!” It’s their special day, and no matter what, we’re all that type of creature that we’re like, “It’s so nice that people are texting me on my birthday.” I know some people could use it for promos and giveaways. And, that’s fine, too. But, that is a 99% response rate. Not even “open,” not even “read.” Response rate. And, it’s so good. And, it’s so kind. And, if you really think about it, that you’re not asking for anything in that text. You are pushing out to the world kindness. So, if you’re doing anything right now, birthday messages are clutch.

And then, the second one is a weekly tip. And, this is good for customers and prospects, because if you add value and education to somebody without having a link to purchase something, people are 103% more likely to buy from you again, because, at this point, you’ve already converted them. They’re a believer, but they’re not loyal. So, if you come at them again with a promo or sale, they’re just going to be like, “Ah, here we go. You’re just trying to get me to just spend money. You really don’t care about me.” Instead, we want to show that we care. “I want to educate you. I want to impassion you. I want to build loyalty. So, I’m going to send you a weekly recipe. I’m going to send you a weekly mindfulness quote.” And, you can even use this with prospects. Get on your stories, get on Reels, and be like, “This is what works for me,” or “Here’s a tutorial,” or “Here’s the behind the scenes. If you want more weekly tips, text me here or click here, and I’ll send you a weekly tip,” and then you start the dialogue. You identify pain points. You build a relationship. And, it’s weekly. So, when you do come up with that promo or that sale, you have educated them so much that you most likely have educated them on something that’s going on sale. So, whether it’s through brand awareness or through conversion—weekly tips. That is my soapbox.


I love that because of the example that you just gave us, not only serving your current subscribers and customers, but growing your list and get in front of more people.

And, a quick parallel hit me. I think about social media. And, I don’t know about you, but for our social media plan, we’re showing up on multiple platforms pretty much daily, and we’re putting a significant amount of energy into showing up daily on Instagram, on Facebook, on Pinterest, on YouTube once or twice a week. And, the amount of energy that goes in to creating that content is significant. But, what I think I just heard you say is that one short, high-value text each week is going to have a 98% open rate by the people you’re texting, right? Versus me over here on social. Yeah, my social plan is great. But, I know that, what? 10%? 5%? I think the data is even sadder than that these days. 2% are actually seeing the content that I’m posting on all these platforms, and we’re spending 5 to 10 hours creating content.

So, if you can create one high-value text every week, 98% of the people are going to open it, and they’re going to see it, and you’re going to be top of mind for them, and it’s delivered directly to their phone. So, when we think about the energy that we put into our business across platforms, I just think that that’s such an important thing to recognize.

Completely. And, you said it in such a great way. It’s great that social media is the top of the funnel, but you still have to grab them. You still have to help them. You still have to provide things for them. And, if you can do that top-of-the-funnel piece, then the first part of the work is done. And, creating the text is great. But, at that point, somebody could just text a keyword or click a link, and they’re added to this series that goes out every week. You know they’re going to get it. They’re most likely going to open it. You don’t have to worry about them being on Instagram or on Facebook to catch it. It’s right there in their text messages.


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