“We go about speaking to people about the end result, versus trying to educate them on the hemp plant.”
Amanda founded House of Wise after realizing the potential of CBD oil in her life. Despite what you might assume, she wasn’t always totally on board with CBD. Until recently, she had never used any cannabis products. Amanda was born in a conservative Midwestern home and is a former group-fitness instructor, marathoner, and overall health nut. Over the past two years, she has navigated a divorce while being a mom of three children and working as a VP of marketing at a major wedding industry brand (The Knot Worldwide). Amanda turned to CBD out of desperation, and it has truly changed her life.
Much of the world still has a stigma around cannabis products (aka CBD and THC). Amanda wants to change this while empowering women to control their sleep, sex, stress, and wealth with House of Wise.
In this episode, we talk about why Amanda is moving to Miami, her biggest failure as a founder, how she markets through the stigmas that are associated with cannabis products, the regulatory constraints behind marketing cannabis and sex products, why she didn’t go with the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) strategy to sell her product, why founders should be using Twitter to promote their businesses, her work at Teal HQ, what a fractional CMO is, and more.
Full Episode Transcript:
Kenny Soto 0:00
We are now recording and 54321 Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Kenny Soto Digital Marketing Podcast your resource for tips, tricks and trends on all things digital marketing, and today we have a very special guest and I’m very excited to speak to her today. Her name is Amanda. Amanda how Don’t you say your last name
Amanda Goetz 0:24
gets Amanda gets
Kenny Soto 0:26
Amanda gets Amanda founded House of wise after realizing the potential of CBD oil in her life. Despite what you might assume she wasn’t always totally on board with CBD. Until recently, she had never used any cannabis products. Amanda was born in a conservative Midwestern home and is a former group fitness instructor, marathoner, and overall health nut. Over the past few years, she has navigated a divorce while being a mom of three children and working as a VP of Marketing at a major wedding wedding industry brand. Amanda turned to CBD out of desperation, and as it has truly changed her life. Much of the world still has a stigma around cannabis products, aka CBD and THC. And Amanda wants to change this while empowering women to control their sleep, sex, stress and wealth with House of wise welcome, Amanda. Thank you. Thanks for the intro. Now, I wanted to start off this podcast, not with marketing, but with a personal question. Because I’m originally from New York City. I’m currently in South Africa. And I’m thinking about changing sceneries. As soon as I get back to the states, so I wanted to ask you, what is drawing you to Miami?
Amanda Goetz 1:43
Wow, it’s a great question. So I have been in New York for the past, over a decade, had all three of my kids there and when COVID hit one New York City with three kids, if you’re not optimizing for being inside, when you live in New York City, it’s about everything that happens outside of your tiny apartment. And so when COVID hit needing to homeschool three kids plus be on my own zoom calls, like tiny apartments are not what that’s for. So we did leave the city gotta house. We’re currently in Charlotte, North Carolina for the year and then
honestly, watching everyone. So my framework for where I want to live involves one first and foremost, to the people that I’m surrounded by, and are they, you know, motivating me and inspiring me to continue to grow? I never fully fully feel settled. I always am like, how can I get better at something and so it’s about the people around me. And then to its quality of life, for me and my children. And so Miami had this amazing pull from New York City and San Francisco tech communities were prominent VCs started moving here and making a big, you know, almost marketing campaign about it. And the mayor had his How can I help, you know, DM that went viral. And I saw an opportunity to be a part of a new wave of people coming to a city that will build up the the tech and founder community here. On top of having the most beautiful environment where you can’t just sit inside all day, like you feel the pull to go outside. And you know, focus on the other things in your life. And I feel creatively charged. I’ve been here for the past week. And I have gotten out and and I’m doing more walks outside and I feel more creative inspiration. So that’s the long winded answer. But yeah, we’re we’re moving to Miami and after the school year.
Kenny Soto 4:01
That’s good to hear. I’m currently debating whether I’m going to Austin or Miami. I was originally leaning towards Austin until what happened a couple days ago. And now I’m now leaning more on to the Miami sun. And with all that being said, I want to shift into your career now. And before we talk about House of wise, or anything else that you’re involved in, I want to talk about your past. What is one big failure that you’ve experienced in the past that is now contributing to your success today.
Amanda Goetz 4:41
So I had a failed tech startup back in 2000. I started in 2009 ish. And then really left my job and started doing it full time in 2011 did it for a few years. Went on Khalid did an accelerator program. And ultimately it failed. Like on paper, you know, we couldn’t raise capital. I had, you know, some co founder conflict, we weren’t totally aligned on the vision, I was the only one full time. And so I was very resentful because I was really doing a lot of the heavy lifting. And it was a really, really tough time just in my life. I was pregnant, and I just had my baby when we launched the beta. So I was juggling a bunch of things.
But that season of life, one functionally allowed me to manage a tech team manage engineers, I, my UX designer was in Serbia, I was doing sales marketing, I had to understand, you know, value props, and how to communicate this to people, I was the salesperson, but also fundraising. And I didn’t do any of those things, you know, perfectly because I was doing all of them mediocre ly, but I learned so much that allowed me to that kind of Season of Life prepared me to take the role at the knot. And the knot allowed me to really build my marketing career and expertise in a way that was a much more structured environment where I was learning from various people and in each of those functions, but the fact that I had dabbled in, you know, managing engineers, and working with designers and building a tech product, allowed me to have empathy and speak the language.
And really, those the five years of the nod, were kind of I really looked back and say like, that’s when my career took off.
Kenny Soto 6:53
Now, it’s interesting to see that you had a very impactful experience for yourself in the wedding industry, working at the knot. Could you elaborate on your transition from the wedding industry into the cannabis industry? How did that happen?
Amanda Goetz 7:14
So this happened more on a personal level where, and I know, you mentioned this in the intro, but I’m at a, quote unquote, height of my career, you know, I’m like, 13 years into my career, I’m truly like, headed towards the CMO role, and feeling really good. And then life happens, I found myself navigating a divorce, I had three kids under the age of four.
And I was, you know, going to therapy twice a week, but the physiological effects of stress and anxiety, just all that was coming at me, were real. And, you know, there were days that I was going from, you know, a courtroom to having to be on a media appearance in the morning and the the inability for me to, like slow down my brain or focus on the task at hand was real. And so I started to research so much about cannabis because I also found myself turning to, you know, the two glasses of wine at night.
And my anxiety just continued to be at an all time high. And I started to research the direct correlations with you know, alcohol and anxiety and alcohol and, you know, inefficient sleep. And I think when I started to understand that, what cannabis does, and how it works with our endocannabinoid system, and what it actually is doing, I turned to it but yet, I felt such a stigma around it being, you know, an executive in a mom and I was the fact that you know, moms are celebrated on Tik Tok for you know, drinking a bottle of wine at night. But yet, if I were to say that I was, you know, microdosing THC, there’s a massive stigma and cultural lens that that is looked through. And so, whenever I feel like something just as wrong in society, that these are societal impacts. They’re not actually about the health and wealth, or the health of the person and the well being of the person.
That’s when I lean into it and think about how I can impact change. And I the fact that I’ve created a product where I get DMS and messages daily from women saying, I am now drinking less and this is helping me sleep better and I’m feeling more in control. roll up my day in my mind in my body. Like, that’s why I’m doing this because that’s how I felt. And yet women didn’t feel permission to explore this other option.
Kenny Soto 10:13
Now, I’ve had to have personal conversations with people in my life trying to help push past the stigma. I’m a big believer in THC and CBD myself, and I definitely want to hear from your experience. How do you market through that stigma? Is there like a balance between selling to people who already use CBD products? And you’re just trying to stand out as a competitor? Or is there also like a balance between that and marketing to the non believers, if you will? How do you go about that?
Amanda Goetz 10:49
First and foremost, you find the people that need the help, like they’re not sleeping, they aren’t having sex anymore. They feel immense stress. Those are three product lines, sleep, sex and stress and you speak to what they actually need help with.
There is a huge barrier when you are in a cannabis related industry where so many women I still we get lots of questions like, will I be Hi, can I drive can I be around my kids, when I take this piece, there’s even though the farm bill was passed multiple years ago, and CBD hemp derived CBD is federally illegal, there’s still this massive wave of products hit. And people were not educated on the actual benefits and use cases. And so we go after speaking to people about the end result, versus trying to educate them on the hemp plants because once you start going into hemp plant explanation, people just think they’re going to get high. Versus Hey, are you not sleeping? Like, let’s talk about that.
And we have something that can help you. And look at all of these women who are using it to sleep better and are drinking less. And so it’s right now more about incorporating house of wise into someone’s routines. Like most women have kind of a nighttime routine, whether it’s like, if you’re a parent, you get your kids to bed. First many women it’s like, okay, I go for the glass of wine, I head to the couch, I watch a TV show, then I go wash my face, how do we actually put a House of Lies into that routine. And so we’re starting to help educate women on on new routines that are a little more healthier and end result which is to have more energy and to be able to attack their life in a way that makes them feel more in control and not just like reacting to everything that gets thrown at us.
Kenny Soto 13:09
What are some if there are any regulatory constraints that your team faces from a marketing perspective specifically?
Amanda Goetz 13:17
Oh my gosh, I mean, as a marketer, it is comical, you almost just have to laugh like we’ve CBD is federally legal and no one has ever died from taking CBD like it’s you really can’t truly overdose and I am restricted account on all things social because Facebook will not allow you to do any kind of paid advertisement for an ingestible and because I have all ingestibles We have gummies and we have drops and when you when I log into our like Instagram account it is a restricted account because I get hit two ways one being a Mr. BMS marijuana related business is what they kind of categorize everything as cannabis related and to because I have a sex product and there is a whole other wave of restrictions around promoting sex products, which there are so many double standards when you look at the landscape you know, alcohol does not have anything right like there are no restrictions if you have an alcohol brand you can promote it.
It if you have an erectile dysfunction product, you can promote it but yet I can’t promote something that helps with libido enhancing for women. So there’s a lot of it’s highlights for me a lot of double standards and problems with society in general and how We are viewed and how women’s health and wellness is kind of always on the there’s a barrier to getting the help that we need. And so as frustrating as it is on the day to day of how can we grow a brand? And how can I create increase awareness of House of wise, it lights a fire inside of me because it just shows how much we need to impact on society and how a lot of these things are viewed.
Kenny Soto 15:37
Now, in some respects, my next question will be a lead in and tie in to what you just talked about. But I also want you to elaborate based on some research that I did from Forbes and a Forbes interview that you did recently. So you mentioned that house of wise is not a multi level marketing company. Could you elaborate on that more?
Amanda Goetz 15:59
Yeah, so an MLM multi level marketing is what many people view as a pyramid scheme, right, multi levels. And that’s why it’s called a pyramid scheme. And what happens in a pyramid scheme is you start with a person, they have to recruit other people under them, their quote, unquote, team.
And when they recruit somebody, they get a percentage of their sales, and then those people recruit people, they get a percentage of their sales, and now the person on top has like now two levels under them, that gets very, very predatory very fast, in that the people at the bottom who are selling products get very, very small percentages, and then the people at the top, get a lot of money, it’s very, very hard to get to the top. Once those pyramids get bigger, and bigger and bigger.
And kind of the second mechanic of MLMs is high upfront costs, many women have to they get, you know, sold this idea or dream of making so much money being at the top of this pyramid, and they see some women who have made it and they’re advocating for that. And yet, they have to buy all this product. So they’re actually in the red from the get go. And now they have inventory that they have to sell. And it’s not authentic, like if you have a toothbrush that you’re selling, and this, you have 1000 of these toothbrushes at your home. And you don’t really love the toothbrush, but you just got to move that inventory because another month is coming and you have to buy more inventory, because that’s what you signed up for.
You’re just promoting a toothbrush that you just need to move, it’s may not be the most exciting, best toothbrush that you’ve ever had, but you’re just trying to push it. So I’ve removed all of that. And we’re not an MLM we’re just treating women as affiliates, so they try the product, and if they love it, and it actually helps them sleep, or they realize that they are, you know, getting their their sex drive back, they get a link. And whenever they talk about House of wise someone buys from their link, and they get a very high percentage cut. And that’s it. Like they don’t have to We dropship to the person it then you know acts kind of as a traditional DTC post, click. And it’s just about finding women who are impacted by the House of wise product and are excited to share it with their friends and family.
And that’s it. So it’s not an MLM it’s a traditional affiliate model. But we are just targeting everyday women who have influence like we’re not quote unquote, influencers, but they have influence over maybe it’s just their five best friends. Maybe it’s, you know, 500 followers on Instagram, or maybe it is 50,000 followers on Instagram, but they like truly believe in the product. So it is an affiliate model.
Kenny Soto 19:15
And would you say because of the regulatory constraints that you mentioned earlier, that this is one of the key players that you’re using to promote your product.
Amanda Goetz 19:26
Exactly, yes. Perfect.
Kenny Soto 19:29
Now I want to talk about Twitter, and your personal profile. And I want to start off this conversation by asking should all founders be present on present on Twitter?
Amanda Goetz 19:48
I mean, this is definitely the debate. I let me speak from my perspective. So I got on Twitter over a year ago. It was more Because I felt like Twitter was not a place for women. And I wanted to kind of be proven wrong. I had heard so many success stories of people finding their investors or friends. And as someone who is really an underrepresented founder, because I’m a single mom, I don’t have the discretionary time to be going to networking events, etc. And, you know, flying to San Francisco and meeting with the best investors, I was like, Alright, let me let me let me actually focus on Twitter and see what happens.
And it kind of took off. And over the past year, I found most of my investors really the WISEWOMAN community came from, from my Twitter following. And I’ve built this company with like the the foundation of the company through Twitter. And so I think it’s less of a binary question of should all founders be on Twitter, but it’s always around, what is the outcome that you’re looking to have. And if you don’t have access to capital, like I did not have, I did not have a pre existing network of investors that I knew and that knew me, and I couldn’t get a lot of meetings in the beginning and you needed to kind of make a splash, then yes, it is important to put your thoughts there and connect with people and engage with people, it is very, very easy, like Twitter is a green pasture, you have access to anyone, you can reply to anyone, and jump into conversations.
And so if you are listening, and you are part of that community that just has that access gap, like I had, Twitter is a level playing field, you get to jump in. And yes, in the beginning, you feel like you’re tweeting and to avoid and that, you know, zero followers to 1000 followers feels painful, I was in that kind of realm for six months, before things started to to really have that doubling effect. But it allowed me access first and foremost. And then it allowed me to generate buzz around the the launch of House of wise. And then third, it allowed me to find support systems. So prior to launching, I didn’t have a lot of female founder friends.
And you know, you have your friends from everyday life that come from, you know, what are college or parenting, etc. But when you’re building, you need to have some people in your life that understand the ups and downs, and can celebrate, they truly understand what it means to secure that deal. Or to have that intro made, and can truly like, celebrate with you or empathize when something falls through or, you know, you have supply chain issues and you just like so I found my hype crew, this like group of women who I’m on this now text chain with and we meet regularly.
So I think those three things it’s helped me with now, if you’re a founder, and you don’t need help with those things, and you need to look at, you know, kind of these axes of impact and effort. Being on Twitter is a high effort, you have to be tweeting a lot. And you have to be engaging a lot to build a following to be you know, have people see it’s just like marketing and advertising. It’s like you have to have like six to seven impressions of something before people will have any semblance of recall.
And so somebody needs to keep seeing your little avatar in your name a few times before they can have recall of who you are. That’s that’s a high effort. And if if it’s going to have minimal impact for you then high effort low impact is falls under this you know the the far left below axes and I would never tell somebody to spend time on that.
Kenny Soto 24:16
Now, I liked that you mentioned high effort because obviously you’re managing several brands at once. How do you balance between your Twitter and your personal brand overall, and the house of wise brand are they more combined than separated?
Amanda Goetz 24:37
They’re definitely combined in that part of the house of why story is kind of my my story as a woman who felt like we’ve been duped in this idea that women can quote unquote, have it all. And we can’t like that is a fool’s errand to say we can have it All, we can’t without help.
And help comes in various forms that comes in very privileged forms of like, you know, people helping you and whether they’re like paid help, etc. But then they come into, like, you know, help from a community or support from a community or products like House of wise. And so they are very much intertwined. At this stage of the company, because getting into something like cannabis for many women requires a high level of trust, because we do so much like you cannot take and this is why I started the company I was taking, you know, off the shelf products that I had no idea where they came from, no idea who was behind them.
And then all of a sudden, I’d have like a bad reaction where like, my eyes were bloodshot the next day, or I was insanely groggy after I took it. That’s not okay. And I didn’t know who to trust. And so I was like, Alright, I’m going to spend a year finding the best farm the best chemists and create the best product that women like me can actually trust. And so yes, right now, it is very much intertwined.
Do I see like 10 years from now that being necessary, like look at Emily Weiss from Glossier? In the beginning, that was her block, she was the face of glossier, now glossier has taken off in the brand created its own persona and personality and, and you know, mission and you see it and you have high recall, and you know, what it stands for as a brand. It doesn’t require Emily to be sitting there talking to everyone, but it did in the early days, and I find myself feeling in a very similar path for housewives.
Kenny Soto 26:52
Now, let’s shift into talking about teal, could you explain your role as chief marketing officer there? And what does teal do?
Amanda Goetz 27:04
Yep, so I’m a fractional cmo started as halftime and now I’ve moved into the fractional cmo role. And and so for anyone that’s like, what the heck does that mean? This new era of fractional executives, has really popped up. Because a lot of early stage companies are looking for, like senior level expertise to help guide the strategy.
If you are a non marketer, CMO or CEO, you’re looking for someone to help you understand like, How do you tackle brand strategy? What what do I need to focus on right now? Is the growth marketing is the content marketing and social media, media marketing? When do I bring in influencers? alike? All of those things are kind of high level conversations to to figure out your strategy and your resourcing plans, like you’re gonna go raise a seed round of capital, how are you going to employ it? Like, is it going to be on influencers? Am I going deep on SEO, you’ve no clue if you’re a non marketer, CEO, founder.
And so right, what happened was, I was looking to go more full time on passive why so I was still building it as a full time executive at the knot in my nights and weekends. And you know, my Twitter bio is like building in the night and you know, at the knot during the day, and I was very public about that. But there came a point where this company needed more of me. And at that moment, it was very serendipitous. In that day, Fano had reached out to me asking to be an advisor at Thiel, because I care so much about people being kind of more proactive than reactive in their careers. Until we say a lot that like, everyone, every company out there has an HR department guiding what’s best for the company and their resources, their human resources.
No one has something on the individual side, helping you advocate for your career growth and your career path. And what happens is people find themselves in these like, kind of like looping moments, it happens like every three to four years in your career, sometimes every one to two years where you find yourself frustrated in your current role, whether it’s you’re not growing, you’re not feeling valued. And what happens is in those moments of emotional frustration, you take whatever is the first thing that comes that will relieve that, that frustration and that pain.
And whenever in life in general, when you make a decision out of pain relief versus growth, you’re probably not going to make the best decision. And so Teal is an Tire plot, we have these incredible tools, resources, we have a content library of classes you can take, like self awareness assessments to understand your work style and what motivates you Are you a starter? Are you a finisher, helping you have like the terminology, all to get you to grow in your career and feel like you are in control of it.
And so it’s interesting, because when I think about how supplies and to obviously, very different products, but they have the same mission, which is helping people to feel more in the driver’s seat of their lives, versus just, you know, in the backseat taking a ride and has no clue where they’re going. And so that’s a steal. And so right now, I’m the fractional CMO. So as it takes a very, very high level of communication and trust and transparency and a lot of expectation management of what does the role mean, at this stage.
And so in the beginning, I was you know, more in the weeds, I was managing people, when I was the halftime cmo and I was there two and a half days a week. Now I’ve moved into a more fractional cmo role where it’s more high level strategy. And then I’m leading classes for till now around marketing careers. And so we’re actually gearing up next week, we kick off our in eight week series around, you know, navigating a career in marketing.
And, you know, lots of different all all eight weeks will consist of, you know, do you think about a big company versus a small company? Or should you be a generalist or a specialist, all these big questions that people are thinking about early in their careers, and as they, you know, continue on. So, that is the long winded answer, but happy to answer more. But that’s what I’m doing with skill,
Kenny Soto 31:58
I will definitely put a link to the eight week series in the show notes, I want to more. So like go and this podcast on a high level and look from like a bigger perspective. So my last question for you is, if you could use a time machine, and keep everything you know now and go back 10 years or so, how would you use what you know today to speed up your career and basically get back to where you are now but even faster.
Amanda Goetz 32:35
I so I don’t believe in like regret at all, in that. I have experienced a lot of failures at like the macro life level, quote unquote, failures, I do not view them as failures, I view them as just like growth opportunities. Every time something happens in your life that doesn’t go for uncoupling planned it, you you if you really attack it with a self awareness lens, you grow immensely.
So looking back on 10 years, the only thing that I would do differently that would speed up that growth rate is go to therapy faster. I waited until it was a point of desperation. And that I was like hitting kind of like emotional rock bottom that I went to therapy. And therapy is is such a critical part of my week, every week where I have a place where I can go and kind of drop off my emotional baggage, reflect on things that I was triggered by and move faster. Because we loop on things for so long. And therapy helps me not loop on those things. And so I would definitely say that is the one thing I would change 10 years ago.
Kenny Soto 34:01
Perfect. This has been one of my favorite episodes of the podcast. If anyone wanted to find you online, where could they connect?
Amanda Goetz 34:11
I’m active on Twitter, and Instagram. And House of wise is very active on Instagram. We’re starting to ramp up Twitter. But if you are looking to buy from a wise woman, definitely. I do a new WISEWOMAN every day in my Twitter bio and also on Instagram. So those are the two best places.
Kenny Soto 34:33
All right, you’ve heard it here, folks. Thank you so much, Amanda. I may ask you to be on the podcast later in the future. So we can talk about specifically just Twitter and do a deep dive there. But I definitely appreciate your time today. I appreciate the time of you the listener. And as always, you’ve listened to another episode Kenny Soto Digital Marketing podcast and I hope everyone has a great week. Bye.