Stop Adding More Value

March 16, 2018

We’ve noticed a trend of creative entrepreneurs adding more, more, more, but we’re feeling like all these “value adds” are actually taking away from the value you provide. So in this minisode, we’re talking about focusing your offering on its core value to really make that the best it can be.


Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"We're conditioning people not to appreciate where the value is."
- Emily Thompson


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Emily Thompson 0:00
The being boss book is officially available for preorder.

Kathleen Shannon 0:04
And you can buy it wherever books are sold.

Emily Thompson 0:07
Let us know that you bought it and we'll send you some goodies just go to for more details.

Kathleen Shannon 0:17
This minisode of being bosses brought to you by twenty20, where creative entrepreneurs get inspiring photos. If you're looking for authentic images to illustrate all of the hard work you've been putting in lately, twenty20 has millions of real world photos proven to help you tell a more engaging story, whether that's on social media, your blog, or your website. And they're all available under a simple royalty free license. twenty20 is partnering with being boss to support all the creative bosses and is offering new a seven days five photo free trial. That's a seven day access to licensed five photos for free to start your trial now go to, that's the word 20, then to slash being boss to get five free photos.

Kathleen Shannon 1:07
All right, I've got a topic that has been on my mind and I kind of want to talk it through hash it out with you.

Emily Thompson 1:14
Let's do it.

Kathleen Shannon 1:16
I've been thinking about a lot how everyone is feeling like the internet is so noisy, and that markets are so saturated. And I'm feeling it myself as well. And constantly trying to find the answers to you know, making a living doing what I love online whenever it just does feel kind of loud and noisy. And that can lead to frati feelings and all the things. So I'm looking at all the sales pages of all these creatives. And I'm noticing a common theme here. And what is that, it's that they all keep adding more and more more and more to what it is that they're offering, myself included. Like, I think that there's this temptation. whenever it comes to creating something online, especially if you are a woman, I think that we're conditioned to like, give so much of ourselves and to apologize for charging money for it that we just want to give more an added value and fast actions and all these things, and community. And you can pay whenever you want. Or you can pay whatever you want. Like I think that there are just so many people adding so much stuff to their offerings, that it's just adding to the noise. And so one thing I've been thinking about is you maybe we should stop adding more, maybe we should strip it down and do less and be better.

Emily Thompson 2:44
I love this. And as you're saying it reminds me of like those. Those infomercials, but wait, like you I mean, more feeling like, right? I completely agree with that. And I think it's like one of those like, perpetual, like cycles of just, it's just going to get worse until so like we all stop. And I think it definitely, it makes me feel like things are of less value, whenever you keep adding everything you have for 9095 or whatever it may be. Um, whereas if you are super discerning about what it is that you're offering and super clear, then it's so much easier for people to see the value than if you're like hiding it under all these extras. I agree with you wholeheartedly in this. And it is something that I think this may be one of those things that's kind of been making me tired of the online business world over the past couple of months is I'm really tired of hearing of all your more's. What is it that you do because I forgot,

Kathleen Shannon 3:50
right? And I think it's so easy as creatives and people who are making their creative living online to be able to make things in an instant and put it up online and sell it. And I'm not saying that we should stop doing that. I think that we should be marketing and selling what we have to offer. But maybe we just really step back a little bit and think about the true value. Like if you could just offer one thing, what is the true value behind that thing. And so whenever it comes to coaches, for example, wanting to they want to keep on adding on, like, let's put on more and more and more. What if you just thought about like, what's the best tactic that you have? And what does a client look like before they work with you and after they work with you? And how do you package that up and just sell that one thing?

Emily Thompson 4:42
I love that.

Caitlin Brehm 4:43
I think it's a semantics issue. Because I think it's not necessarily don't add more value, it's that more value doesn't equal more things. Because adding more things is just spreading your value and you're getting spread thin. So Back to the coaching example, you might have a great coaching package, but then you have the community component, and then you have this free ebook, that's part of it. And then you have these weekly things that you have to do. And all of a sudden, you can't devote all of your energy into that really great coaching session, you have to be monitoring the community and creating the ebook and all of these other things. And not only does that spread you thin and make the energy you're putting into each thing less valuable, but the person who's purchasing it suddenly now has almost decision fatigue within this valuable quote unquote, thing that you're giving them. And so they're not able to devote their energy to all the things either they're not really, truly focusing on that coaching session, because they also have to be in the community. And they also have to read this ebook before they talk to you, and do their own work for their own business.

Emily Thompson 5:51
And then they get no value out of what it is they've purchased, and what it is that you're providing. I also find that this is conditioning, at least online buyers, but also I see this offline as well into expecting more even though they're not going to use any of it. Where you know, and I've seen this, I've even seen this, you know, getting some things from us, like we create a thing and people are like, Well, what about the community? And what about like, all the free things and all the bells and whistles, and like, we're conditioning people to not appreciate where the meat is. Actually, this makes me think of McDonald's.

Kathleen Shannon 6:30
But you know, I'm even thinking about the braid method ecourse. So one of the couple of the components that came with that, after we repackaged it a few years ago, was a quarterly masterclass, which I love doing to engage with our community. And then a Facebook group. And this was around the time that we had started the big boss Facebook group, and there was a lot of engagement and it was thriving. And I just assumed every Facebook group was like that. But the e commerce group is just a little bit more stagnant because people are doing the E course and doing the work. They're not really engaging with each other for one reason or another. So

Emily Thompson 7:04
but but then you also get those two or three people who are like, well, this Facebook group sucks. Apparently, the value of this ecourse isn't what you say it is.

Kathleen Shannon 7:13
Well, you know, so I popped in there the other day, and I said, hey, there's not a lot of engagement. Like I just shine a light, big ol light on what was happening. I said, there's not a lot of engagement here. Would you guys rather me shut it down. So you don't have one more Facebook group to worry about? And I did a poll and it was like, Yes, shut it down. And then the other one was like, No, I like it being here, even though I don't use it. So kind of like holding them accountable to not using it as well. And a couple of people chimed in and said like, yeah, I'm kind of disappointed that there hasn't been the engagement here. Like, I know that this is a hotbed of creativity, and that there's so many talented people taking the ecourse, it would have been awesome to connect. I wanted to respond to be like, but you're a part of that, like you're a part of that connection, you have to step in and do it yourself to to make it work. And, but all of it made me think like the meat and bones of that ecourse is in the course itself, not in the Facebook group. And really not even in those quarterly masterclasses as fun as they are. It's really in what it is that I'm offering. So one of the things I've also been thinking about is like, let's say you do want to create a lot of content. And even here at being boss, we do like we love creating curriculum and content, we love community, we can't help but want to do more and more and more. It's just in our bones. It's in our creative nature to want to make things. But I think that maybe kind of unveiling it along the way. Like it doesn't all need to be on the sales page. It doesn't all need to be in that first introductory email. So I'm even thinking about like, how do you drip content, if you are wanting to create a lot of it to your audience in a way that is sustainable and doesn't overload them or overwhelm them or paralyze them?

Emily Thompson 8:57
Yeah, sell what it is that you're selling? I think so often we find yourself selling the thing we're not selling so that we can sell the thing that gets a little convoluted and everyone loses focus on what it is that you're here doing.

Caitlin Brehm 9:10
Do you think this is a symptom of like blogging kind of dying out, like people aren't sharing this content as blog posts, they're like, I need to cram this really valuable thing that like three years ago would have been a blog post that I shared for free. But people aren't reading my blog. So suddenly, it has to be like an additional thing in this course or this program. Like maybe that's what you can do with the quote unquote, more value.

Kathleen Shannon 9:38
I also think it's a symptom of maybe the way we work changing. I think that more people are wanting to work for themselves without wanting to take the time to develop an expertise or hone their craft.

Emily Thompson 9:53
I think it's a product of comparison. I think you look at everyone else's stuff who are doing things Similar to you, and you see what they're offering and you add that and you go as you go find someone else, and they've all they're offering something else, and you end up with like, five different things, as opposed to they're like one thing each.

Kathleen Shannon 10:14
And my gosh, you're so right, right? Yes. Because I even find myself doing this like, Okay, well, now I guess I need Facebook ads. Well, okay, now I guess I need webinars. And I mean, all the things that we've done, and I'm glad that we're doing them so that we can teach other people about them or see what works and what doesn't, it's all information. But I think that especially for you know, bosses who aren't quite able to make a living doing what they love yet, like, I think that we have the freedom to experiment because we're able to pay our bills, doing the thing. But if you don't have, you know, the freedom to experiment,

Emily Thompson 10:49
we have a good core, like we've developed this super valuable core, where are we, like, people know what we're doing. And if we're wrong, guys, don't let us know, actually, because we don't really want to get those emails. But I do feel like we've been in this long enough that we know we're here doing we know where our value is. Absolutely. And we have no problem selling that thing.

Kathleen Shannon 11:10
But we've also fallen in the trap of doing more more things like Caitlin saying, like, I think that we have a lot of value. And we test and change. We're like, Okay, this is too much for people to handle, how do we scale it back in a way that is actually achievable and helpful. And

Emily Thompson 11:27
it's because we've been in this so long that we have the ability and the confidence to be able to look at what it is that we're creating and see where the value is, and cut things without like feeling like we're like, you know, cutting off the left arm of our business or whatever. Whereas I definitely, it's usually with newbies, newbies, sweet things, where, you know, they're creating these offerings, and it's like, here's the thing, but here's 20 things to go with it. Where that's where the problem is, you need to be spending some time, I think, until you are, I think, here I go. I think that until you are a completely sustainable business, that is completely sustaining your life, you should just focus on the thing that like one core awesome thing that it is that you do. And then at that point, you can experiment and play.

Kathleen Shannon 12:16
Agree, because it's not like the experiment is going to break your spirit or break your bank, you can keep going, Yeah,

Emily Thompson 12:22
and you're conditioning your people, the people who love you and the people who are going to buy your things, to recognize where the value is, as opposed to having them assume that all the other little things that you're packaging up with it, or what you're trying to do.

Kathleen Shannon 12:38
I feel like we've been able to get really discerning as we experiment with our own offerings, and how we sell and market those. And we've become discerning through a series of questions. And I wanted to share those for our listeners here. So that you can maybe stop adding more things and start adding more value. So the first question or prompt that might help you out is what can you stop doing? We've had to make some tough decisions about what to cut. Things like the Facebook group, for example, with over 25,000 people. But once we saw it wasn't adding value and just adding noise it had to go. Now, if you had to just offer one thing, what would it be? So what do people get the most value from? So even within our own products that we've had a lot of components to we've asked ourselves, what was the most valuable thing within that whole project? what's helping people actually change their businesses or change their lives or solve their problems? And then if you were to just offer that one thing, what would that look like? And then finally, can you feel like that one thing is enough, and I'm talking about enough for the price that you want to charge enough to creatively fulfill you and enough to effectively make change for your client. And if it's not enough, because sometimes it might not be what needs to change without adding more things. So those are some prompts for you to consider. I love that you all have anything else to add.

Emily Thompson 14:19
Oh, just that like you'll do this in the beginning of your business. And you should do this in the beginning of your business to define your business so that you have a starting off point, you know, you're always talking about I was at Kylie Jenner's lip kits. That's like Yeah, she started with like, if Kylie Jenner thing is holding it in and off to start with just one thing you guys can do. Um, but these are also questions that we ask ourselves every quarter or so in our businesses that have been growing and evolving and testing and changing. It's the kinds of things you need to get comfortable asking yourself and answering and implementing along the way.

Kathleen Shannon 14:55
And then as you master that one thing, I think that you can naturally evolve and grow And add more things without it feeling noisy or without it spreading you thin

Emily Thompson 15:05
agreed. And I just want to throw in here too as I've been starting Almanac supply company, this is the exact tactics that we've gone through because dreaming and scheming about what I want that business to become has included all of the things for sure. But we started with what we started with one thing candles, like when we got to the core of what it is that we wanted to represent, we chose a one product, candles, and we're going to do that. So damn well that we can become known for that one thing and then we can easily grow and evolve around it. So as someone who's starting business number, I don't even know what like this is a tactic for starting on the right foot. Alright, excuse me while I pause this here and let you in on the exciting news. The being boss book is about to hit the shelves of a bookstore near you, Kathleen and I have taken years of conversations between ourselves and those we've had with experts and industry leaders here on the being boss podcast, and have distilled them down into what we found makes you boss into a book that you can read, hold in your hands and share with a friend.

Kathleen Shannon 16:17
And we'd be lying if we didn't admit that we have a big dream with this book. We wanted to be a best seller. We want every creative in the world to cultivate the confidence it takes to take control of their work and make money doing what they love so they can live life on their own terms. That's what our book is here to do. And we need your help to make it happen.

Emily Thompson 16:37
If you want to dive into the core of what it means to be boss and support us while you do it. It's time for you to preorder the book. And once you do that, let us know you bought it and we'll send you some goodies. Just go to Bing boss club slash book for links to purchase and for more information on how to claim your swag that's being boss club slash book. Now let's get back at it.

Kathleen Shannon 17:02
This minisode was brought to you by twenty20 check them out at that's t w e n t y 20 as in the slash being boss.

Emily Thompson 17:16
Did you like this minisode Be sure to check us out on our website at There you can find more from being boss including our full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work. Be boss