Did you know that stinging nettle, or “Urtica dioica,” can be used to make a delicious risotto, gnocchi — or even beer?
Robin Harford is a solopreneur, ethnobotanist, forager, and wild foods educator. On his blog Eatweeds, you can learn all about stinging nettle (and a variety of other edible plants).
After a high-pressured digital marketing career, Robin realized that he’d rather turn his marketing prowess on his passion. So he decided to ‘forage’ his own path by building a blog and an email list.
Over the years, Robin’s used a variety of different lead magnets to teach foraging and build his list. Free offers have included:
- Reprints of Old English books about edible plants
- A waiting list for his foraging course—so that interested people were sure to get in
- A “Stinging Nettle Monograph,” part of Robin’s larger Plantopedia Collection
With a blog and a podcast, Robin needed a way to get people’s email addresses. Lead magnets (delivered via ActiveCampaign automations) fit the bill.
Doesn’t stinging nettle gnocchi sound fascinating?
Of course, a business needs more than just email subscribers to run. That’s why Robin has also created a variety of paid online resources.
How does he turn this passion into a business? How does he host his courses online? How does he make sure the right people get offered the right courses?
For that, he uses ActiveCampaign and Podia together.
With ActiveCampaign + Podia, Robin can sell the right products to the right people
“For a few months, I signed out of ActiveCampaign and went to ConvertKit because they integrated with Podia. When ActiveCampaign integrated with Podia, I came running back. ActiveCampaign is so much better.” – Robin Harford
Podia is an all-in-one digital storefront that lets solopreneurs like Robin house all of their products, online courses, digital downloads, and memberships in one place for people to buy. It’s how Robin sells his foraging related online courses and membership site.
Through his Podia and ActiveCampaign integration, Robin sells online courses, digital downloads, and e-books related to wild food and medicinal plants to the contacts on his email list.
The challenge Robin faces is that he has so many different products and resources:
- A subscription to his weekly digital publication, GATHER!
- A blog, videos and a plant podcast
- Online plant factsheets
- Additional Foragers’ Notebook digital downloads
- Foraging walks in local UK areas
With the ActiveCampaign + Podia integration, Robin can trigger automations when customers do any number of actions, like buying his plant notebooks, joining a course, or booking a foraging walk.
He can also use ActiveCampaign to tag and segment his contacts—so that he can send people the updates they’re most interested in, like
- Recipes: Products related to cooking with wild plants
- Medicinal uses: Products related to medicinal uses of wild plants
- Locations: Openings for foraging walks in different areas
Let’s take recipes as an example.
As a wild foods educator, one audience that Robins attracts with his plant content are chefs, both professionals, and people who just love to cook.
Remember how stinging nettles can be made into gnocchi, risotto, and beer?
Robin does, and he uses segmented, automated emails to share his knowledge with chefs and home cooks.
Believe it or not, you can actually eat this. Robin can tell you how.
Several top chefs in the UK area have taken his edible plant knowledge and used it to bolster menus in their restaurants.
That’s why Robin needs to be able to segment effectively—so that he’s not sending chefs medicinal information instead of recipes.
Robin’s email list and business continue to grow. And people love it.
“We absolutely loved the course: fascinating and deeply therapeutic. Robin is a brilliant communicator and his courses are excellent value for money too.” – Naomi Cleaver, Channel 4 & Sky TV Presenter
Robin’s passion for plants, his friendly interactions with fellow foragers, and the combination of ActiveCampaign + Podia make for a successful business.