Episode 125

Developing Your Signature Program with Maya Gaddie

May 23, 2017

So you’re thinking about building your own signature program, course, or product? Maya Gaddie joins us on the Being Boss Podcast to talk all about creating a signature program that you can be known for in your business. Learn about what it takes to make a signature program, how to go about making iterations and changes, and how to promote and market your signature program.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"You don't start where you want to end; you evolve it over time."
- Maya Gaddie

Discussed in this Episode

  • How Maya helps other creative entrepreneurs
  • What does it mean to have a signature program?
  • The ingredients and elements to creating a signature program
  • Being a multi-passionate entrepreneur but wanting a signature program
  • Examples of great signature programs
  • How other products or offerings can fit into your signature program
  • The difference between your signature program and what you want to be known for
  • The different formats of a signature program
  • The importance of iterations in creating your signature program
  • Experimenting with delivery method
  • Dealing with iterations and addressing failures
  • Promoting and marketing your signature program


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Braid Creative

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Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello, and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:04
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Unknown Speaker 0:08
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Maya Gaddie 0:10
I'm a Getty and I'm the inbox.

Kathleen Shannon 0:15
Today we're talking with our friend Maya Gotti all about developing a signature program. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we referenced on the show notes at WWW dot being boss club. All right, I don't know about you guys, but sometimes it can be really awkward, asking your clients to pay you. And this is why I love fresh books, cloud accounting so much. One, it makes it less personal. It makes it feel like you have your own accountant sending out invoices, and they're super professional, you're going to feel completely confident sending your clients invoices, but also what's really awesome about it is that freshbooks helps you avoid having that awkward talk with your client about past due payments. You can automate late payment email reminders, so you can spend less time chasing payments, and more time working your magic and doing what you do best. And you guys if you have any questions whatsoever, freshbooks has award winning customer service. It's amazingly helpful, super friendly and zero attitude. Plus a real live person usually answers in three rings or less. So if you've been wanting to try out fresh books, I want to offer it to you today for free a 30 day unrestricted free trial just for our being boss listeners to claim it go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section. So we met Maya whenever we were in a mastermind group with her and loved all the knowledge and wisdom that she has on developing a signature program, and iterating that signature program until it really reflects what you do and targets your dream customer in just the right way. So we really enjoyed having this conversation with Mike today and think that you will learn so much. Check me out at Maya gatti.com if you want some of the best how to actionable training and tips on where to start when you're ready to create your own signature program. But for now, you are not going to want to miss this episode. Maya, we are so excited to have you here. Thanks for joining us. Yeah,

Maya Gaddie 2:23
thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Kathleen Shannon 2:25
So let's start off by having you tell us how do you help other creative entrepreneurs.

Maya Gaddie 2:31
So I help other creative entrepreneurs by helping them build a profitable signature program online and then helping them through iterations of that online program.

Kathleen Shannon 2:40
I remember the last time that we hung out with you live iterations became our new favorite word. So we were in a mastermind group together. And we were like yes, iteration. So we will definitely dig into that. But I want to hear a little bit more about having a signature program. And I want to start off by asking you, what does it mean to have a signature program?

Maya Gaddie 3:04
Totally. So I think it means different things for different people. It depends on where it fits into your business. So I think a lot of times when you think of a signature program, you think of our our ladies, my ladies think of a big box system, something like a big box brand system, where it's going to be six to 12 weeks of all these modules and programs and things they need to go through. And that's not necessarily the case. So I think the signature program is really about creating something that's going to get your body of work in front of more people. And that will help you really connect with your clients and help them get a specific result. And ideally, help them build their legacy, or at least move it forward.

Emily Thompson 3:47
I love that. And the reason why I love that so much is because like as someone who helps people build them, like you do the planning of signature programs, and I've spent the last couple of years actually taking people's programs and putting them in an online platform. And so often, I get these people who come to me with that mindset, we're like it has to be the next be school like that's the only way that there is to make a signature program is if it is a replica of the school just with your words, or whatever sort of big box program there is out there. And I think you really touch into the magic of your own content and how you like to work with people, when you remove that framework from your mind and go at it with this idea that you can create anything, anything that looks like anything and teaches anything in any way that you want. And whenever you can, like release those, like preconceived boundaries on what this program has to be, that's when you really get to create really cool stuff.

Maya Gaddie 4:50
Totally. I can't agree more. And I think that that's the fun of it, right? That's how you figure out if it's right for you and your clients and your style of work is if you You actually get in there and do it. And don't try to copycat someone else really make it your own your unique signature program. Right, right.

Kathleen Shannon 5:10
And you know, I've spent the last five years through braid, creative, helping people brand, their signature programs. And maybe they're not calling it that. But the hardest, like, the most complicated creative I work with is someone that comes to me that doesn't know what they're offering, what they're selling, and what results their clients get from what they have to offer. So I love that you're helping people actually figure out what is it that you're selling? How is it unique to your approach, and really kind of packaging it up still, even if there's not that six to 12 week, module, email kind of program that we're used to seeing from the big guys is still something that you can dissect into a hopefully like a process or an end deliverable that is clearly defined and clearly

Maya Gaddie 6:01
articulated? Yeah, I think it's so important to not only figure out what your signature is, but to actually get in the game and do it right to get clarity around those pieces. So that you know what your next step is, and it becomes obvious for you and your clients how to help them evolve, and then also how to help you and your own business evolve. So,

Emily Thompson 6:24
and in there very clearly, like two pieces of the puzzle, too. There's content, which is obviously like you and your content, what it is that you're wanting to sell, but there's also delivery, and you know, being able to deliver in a way that that works for your content and how you want to help people get those results. So I like the idea of thinking about in those like, two different ways, like whenever you're creating something like this, and please correct me if I'm wrong, there's you have your content, and then you have the way that you deliver it. And delivery is usually the thing that people want to copycat, but it's the place where you can really optimize the experience for the people so they can ingest your content in the best way possible.

Maya Gaddie 7:00
I couldn't agree more. And the way I teach it to my clients is format versus function. So you really want to start with a function, you want to connect with your own clients get clear on the emphasis even going to work if you're even interested in doing it this way first, and really walk them through getting a very particular result and then come back to the format don't lead with the format. Start with the function.

Emily Thompson 7:23
Oh, I love that. Ha, yeah, that yes.

Kathleen Shannon 7:30
Okay, so what are the different ingredients to creating your own signature program? Like what are the different elements that you need to consider and really have in place? So let's say we have our listeners saying like, Oh, hey, wait, do I have a signature program? Or what if I want to create a signature program? Like, how do you even get started on that?

Maya Gaddie 7:48
I think it depends on where you're starting at and your business journey, right. So if you're already working with clients, and you have some idea of, okay, it would be really obvious for me to create a signature program or a piece of content around this thing, because I get so many questions about it, or I see it as a big issue or red flag for clients, then that's when you know, you have a signature program on your hands. Now, on the other end, if you're just starting out, and you're really just not sure you're like, I don't even know if this is the exact right client. For me, I'm kind of teaching this because I think this is right, you have to get in there and get in the game and kind of try it out first. So starting to connect with your clients, it might be in a one on one format. Or maybe you might create a community. Or maybe you might create a regular monthly call, whatever that is. But you need to be connecting engaging with your client so that by the time you go to create a signature program, it's really obvious that you're solving a particular problem and really helping to move forward with a particular result.

Emily Thompson 8:46
So you need to have like some proof in your process, you need to know who your people are, what it is that you're going to be telling them how it is that you need to tell them the things in a way that is going to work before you just start writing and doing the thing.

Unknown Speaker 9:01

Kathleen Shannon 9:03
So here's a question. I have a lot of creatives and probably even a lot of listeners who might know that they have an entrepreneurial spirit hidden and maybe they're still working a day job, or maybe the the job that they've created for themselves isn't working well. And my guess is that there's kind of a lack of focus or a lot of like all the carding happening, like I can just do whatever you need me to do. And one of the things I love about the idea of a signature program is it's like, it's less of what do you need from me and more of, let me tell you how I can help you. Let me tell you what I do for my clients and what they get out of that. So what are your thoughts on all the carding or having a lack of focus or doing all the things for all the people whenever it comes to developing your signature program and what do you do if you're a multi passionate entrepreneur who does want to do a lot of things, but really needs that signature program in order to mark Get in position yourself as the expert that you are

Maya Gaddie 10:02
totally. So I think that doing all of the things is something that we all try to do at some point in our business. I know that's kind of where I started out, it was kind of a hodgepodge of consulting and putting together things where people behind the scenes figuring out how to teach programs and classes. And I think there's a place for that in your business to kind of explore and confirm what you want. But once you've done that, and you're ready to move out of that space into something that's a little bit more formatted, maybe a little even more structured, that will help you really connect with one, what you're passionate about, to what you're really good at. And three, what your clients really need and the results they need to get. I think that's when you can really bring it all together. But it almost needs to be kind of like a period of experimentation, exploration, and getting clarity around what you really want and your business, then move forward after that. So I got to also say, though, when you're trying to do all of the things, it's sometimes exhausting, and you even in that space, you really need to streamline what you're focused on. And pay attention to what you're passionate about excited about and all of that and really prioritize your starting point. I

Emily Thompson 11:12
love that. So I want to talk about signature programs, and what these things can look like before we dive in any deeper. So give us Can you give us a couple examples of signature programs that are have just done been done really, right?

Maya Gaddie 11:28
Totally. So I can think of a few client examples. And I can think of a coach I've worked with. So I'll give you two. So I have one client who totally amazing, she's been around for a while she came to me and wanted to monetize what she was already doing. She had a community she had clarity on really her purpose driven message right is she wanted women to be more confident to help them move into the world to be more excited about life and really just live. So that's what she came up with, she was really clear on some things that they would be excited about. And so we created a program called choose the right man, which is really interesting. It's more of like a Trojan horse kind of thing, because she was like, I don't want to talk to women about relationships ever. But that's what she was always talking to her ladies about. And it was like, I know, you want them to be more confident, you want them to really step into their own light and then the world. But let's create a Trojan horse. So what that means is really creating something that's going to speak to what they want, but then giving them what they need and the end, right. So that program has done amazingly well. She's in her fourth iteration. And she's able to, you know, go from building it to actually putting it out to her ladies, getting all these amazing testimonials, and really knowing how to fill her program. And she normally runs it over a course of a weekend. And then she does some follow up within that next month or so to really help them implement. I'd also say one of the things that I always talk about with my clients is had this amazing coach. And she's still totally amazing. But what I thought was really interesting about her was she wasn't and still isn't very super tech savvy. She's amazingly knowledgeable. She knows exactly what to do and how to do it. But she keeps her stuff so simple to the point when I started with her, she had like a password protected page. And it was just like, you can download the PDF. Here's the password protected page, right? So it doesn't have to be all that complicated. And I know she's getting ready to hit the seven figure mark and has already it already when I first started working with her fifth hit the six figure mark. So I think there's a lot of opportunity in there to create things that really speak to your strengths and your abilities versus really trying to fit it into someone else's box like we were talking about before. So yeah,

Kathleen Shannon 13:49
I want to go back to this Trojan horse. Because whenever you talked about your client really wanting to help empower women, this is something I hear every single day. And every day. I'm like, what does that mean? And this choose the right man, you know exactly what that means whenever you hear it. And so I love the idea of getting specific and that it is around something that you do have a choice over or is something that you already have a conversation around. So for your client, she's already having conversations around, choosing the right partner. Now she's able to position and just it gives something for people to just sink their teeth into, right. So I want all of our listeners to think about what is it that you do that people understand that people can sink their teeth into if you're having a conversation over cocktails, and you say I want to help empower women, someone's going to be like now what they might think that your community organizer, they might think that you work with charities, they might think that you do branding and online business. I mean, there's a million different things that you could be doing with that but then you say I want to help Alright, man,

Maya Gaddie 15:02
very specific. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 15:03

Emily Thompson 15:06
right. And I even love the fact that that's not what she wanted to do. But because I feel like that's the most common thing, like, whenever you're telling someone about what you do, and they're like, Oh, so you do this? And you're like, No, that's not what I do. But it kind of is, like, sometimes that is the thing you should be marketing, even if it may grind your gears, they won't grind them once you make six or seven figures off of it.

Maya Gaddie 15:26
Exactly, exactly. And I feel like it was something that she was talking about with her ladies Anyway, she just didn't want it to be their primary focus forever. And always. So our solution for that was to help our create a larger program. So she does have a second program that she offers, but she only offers it once a year, and it's around femininity, and really how to step into that and up level. If you're an online entrepreneur, or you know, just with your family, really stepping into your feminine vibes from the keys is what she calls it. So I feel like she has an opportunity to have that balance.

Kathleen Shannon 16:01
Okay, so I have a question. If you have a signature program, it's not like you can only just do one thing. So for example, at braid, creative, our signature program would be the braid method. It's the way that we work with people every single time. But it doesn't mean that we can't do other things. On top of that, of course, we're very careful not to confuse our clients or to diffuse our expertise. So I want to talk a little bit about how launching other products or programs or offerings can fit in with your signature program. And then do you ever do any of your clients ever say, actually, I think this is the signature program now? Or how do you keep them focused on having that signature program, but then also experimenting or exploring? On top of that,

Maya Gaddie 16:45
I think it's about them engaging with their clients, really having the conversations, knowing what they want, and where they're going, and then checking in with themselves to like, are you aligned with yourself? Are you sure, it's just what you want to be doing? So stepping into that, and just moving forward at that pace. So don't go off and create something in your own corner, but really involving your clients say, Hey, I think this is what it is, this is what I'm going to be doing. This is how I'm planning to move forward, and then getting their feedback as you go. So that would be my answer, like to help that client move forward and to help your own clients move forward to,

Emily Thompson 17:21
right, it's all about evolution of like your client and yourself and your business. I mean, if you offer one thing, and you just stick with it, you don't improve, you end up with, you know, fates like taxi companies these days, or like so many things that haven't evolved and are feeling the heat because of it now, or simply closed down. These are things we can't even talk about, because they're not around anymore. So I love the idea of using your signature program as a way for you to lock in on the thing, because I think that focus of like logging in and claiming this thing is my thing is important. that's step number one. But then allowing yourself and your clients and your business to evolve within that thing. And even, you know, I think of the Danielle Laporte, for example, who has created these like, quote, unquote, signature programs. And I even think like the old school ones, like there was like, some big beautiful book plan or something like that. I mean, these these programs that are graded, and then they retire because she has evolved and does all these other things. So I don't know, there's just a couple of thoughts and examples around evolving beyond or within a signature program.

Maya Gaddie 18:33
Yeah, totally. And I'm a big desire map person, I normally do it once a year. And I know she has a book coming. I think it's white hot truth, right, which I'm really interested in, because it's like, that was one of her original things that she talked about, if you look back in her previous work, so it's really cool to kind of see it all come together. But yeah, I think that's part of it, just really stepping into your own, what you want to do, is it exciting, isn't aligned? Is it going to help your clients move forward, and then that's the fun part. That's why we do this right? To really get to do what we want to do, how we want to do it,

Emily Thompson 19:05
right, and help people along the way.

Kathleen Shannon 19:07
I have a question about kind of owning your expertise and embracing your expertise. Because whenever I think of signature program, I kind of think of it as being the thing that you want to be known for. So in Danielle Laporte example, as someone that we all know, and love, and I think about the desire map becoming kind of what she became known for, and she tried out a bunch of different signature programs. But in the case of your client, Maya, she doesn't necessarily want to be known for helping you find the right man or you know, choose the right partner. So how do you kind of balance what you want to be known for? positioning your expertise and then positioning your expert or my sight and positioning your signature program, kind of as that wedge of here's what you need, or here's what you want, or that Trojan horse of like, here's what you want, but what you need is what It really supports that expertise. So like, how do you balance those things,

Maya Gaddie 20:03
I think there's a difference between your focus signature program and your process. And sometimes you do need a Trojan horse horse or something just like entry level starting point to get people in the game. For instance, if you think about all my business you might have, okay, I need to get new email subscribers, or I need to learn how to be consistent with my blog posts. So maybe that's a starting point, maybe that's not even all of your thing. That's just a tiny piece of it, right? But you just got to help them get started and get an initial result. And then you move into this bigger, really awareness and focus for your clients to help them get their next result. So I, you know, I think sometimes if you have a signature program, like we talked about, in the beginning, you're thinking about this big box, I got to get everything I know until one place. And that's not necessarily the case, I think one of the best things you can do, especially if you're just creating your first signature program, is to grab one piece of the puzzle, and help your clients get one specific result. So that's a really good example to choose the right man one because it's just like, why it's just one little piece. But then she has this other program from the keys that really walks them through the entire process. But they almost need that prereq to help them get to that second part and really evolve and take in all of the work as it should be.

Emily Thompson 21:20
I love that. And that way, it also becomes like if you can think of sales funnels, like you have this sort of top level, like entry level offering that you can sell people that is just like one piece of your expertise. It's an easy buy and easy for someone to complete. And there will be some people who does that and they're done. They get there, man, and they're happy, and they're fine with that. But then there will be some people who get there, man, that still is sort of missing something in their life. And that's where they can dive deeper. So I love that idea of creating multiple, multiple things. But on the flip side, I also love the way braid is so like focused on the one thing, which is the braid method. And you guys offer that in the E course format, but also in the one on one work. So it's still sort of is the same thing where you have like this entry level buy in, and then this higher price more engaged, like signature offering. But it's really about it's the same thing. One of them is self study, and the other one is having a professional walk you through it. So just an example of there of how you can you can use these things to do or to build your business model and whatever way you want.

Kathleen Shannon 22:30
I know and that's kind of why I was curious about it, because my signature program directly supports and positions my expertise. So I'm really curious about the Trojan horse idea, almost from a branding perspective. Because I think about even the clients of your client saying, okay, I signed up for this course, to get the to get the better partner. But what I left really knowing was how to make better decisions, like this is something that I thought about even reading the life changing Magic of Tidying Up, you know, that book that was going around, that book was about tidying up. But for me, what it was really about was being ruthless about decisions and really owning my choices. And that's what I'm really talking about. Now, whenever I talk about that book. And some people when it really was about was hanging on to things or choosing to buy things that spark joy, it wasn't about decluttering It was about having more joy. So I love that idea. whenever it comes to that narrow wedge, which is something that we say a braid, you're calling it a Trojan horse, which I love as well. But it still gets you that that end result. And it's still going to position you as the expert you are whenever your process supports your expertise.

Maya Gaddie 23:51
Yeah, absolutely. And I think your ecourse is an excellent example of something that I'm assuming that you've evolved over time, you've gotten really good at it, you can shape and shift and transform that into one to one work. You can teach it as a course you can teach it as DIY and I think that's something that evolves versus you starting there. It's very natural and organic and really fits in with your brand and your style now, but it's not necessarily the starting point.

Kathleen Shannon 24:23
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Maya Gaddie 25:47
I think that's the best thing about a signature program is that you can repurpose it and reuse it and put it in all of the formats that you can possibly think of that's going to work for you and your clients. So while you might have a signature program, maybe you started off as DIY, because you just need to get more clients into your business and to help them get a starting point. But you can also take that same process and work with them one to one, or you can work in a larger class format, and add examples and help them achieve a specific result live. So that's Yeah, that's what it's all about is really helping them not only move forward, but really take your process and then get an end result. And one, you can repurpose that 10 ways to Sunday, right? Whether that's a one to one or group. But also when you do that, it naturally evolves into what you want it to be. So I gotta say, though, side note, I see a lot of creative starting with one to one work or consulting work. And I think that's where a lot of us start out. But I don't think that's necessarily where all of us wants to end, I have certain clients and I know certain people and certain peers who are really excited about one to one work, they are amazing at it. And that's what they want to do. And I think that's awesome and fine. But if you don't want to do one to one work, you got to get in the game to get your signature program going. Because the way you actually create a better or amazing signature program is you do the signature program, you can't do one to one work and think about it, and strategize and plan and not be creating a program. It just doesn't work that way you got to get in the game and actually get real results and take action around what you want to be doing. So I think it's you got to begin with where you want to end. Oh,

Emily Thompson 27:32
yes, because that was always my hardest part of helping people create courses for themselves. And this idea that they're just gonna, they've been doing what I want to work on to make this thing it's gonna sell amazingly, and I'm done with it. And that's not how these things work. They take time and focus, and a whole lot of energy. And not just like like hustle energy, but it's brain energy to take something that you probably do with your hands, or you do in conversation and turning it into content that someone can either read on their own, or workshop with someone else, or whatever it may be, there's so much energy that goes into it. And then that like evolution piece takes a lot of time. So it is something that you know, in my experience from both like building them for others and building them for myself, like, once you really dive into this, you're not going to have a lot of time for one on one work anymore. Which is pretty ideal for most people. But but it's also like a harsh reality for others where these things take takes a good amount of time and energy. And you have to go into it understanding the responsibility.

Maya Gaddie 28:39
Yeah, agreed. And you really got to just, you know, start where you are, like we talked about, you want to jump into this bigger thing, where you're trying to create this perfect match from exactly what you've done the one to one work and put it down. I think that's a great starting point. But then you got to go through it and you don't start where you want to end. You begin where you want to end and evolve it over time. iterations. Yeah. Right. Okay, so

Emily Thompson 29:04
let's talk about iterations per se, because this this is my favorite topic. I think whenever it comes to signature programs, or even e courses and processes, like all the things that go into creating the thing that you want to be known for, and that you're selling, is this idea of iterations. This goes back to my comment a second ago of people just wanting to launch the thing and it being done. Like, good luck. Best of luck to you. Because I think where courses and programs and all the things start getting really good is whenever you launch the thing, where you are, like I love a good minimal viable product, like just get it out into the world and see what happens. And then change it. And then let it go again and then change it again and then let it go again and then change like over and over again. And that's what these iterations are is this idea that you are, you're consistently improving and listening to your people and your own expertise and all Have those things and making it better and better? So I'd love to hear from you about iterations and why they're so important. And maybe some, like, maybe some, like pain points that you need to know and address and benefits of making it happen.

Maya Gaddie 30:14
Yeah. Okay, good. So iterations, I think are so important, because what we just discussed is that you want to not only evolve yourself and your business, you want to help your clients evolve, you want to help them build their legacy and get a very specific result. And then continue to do that over time. So as you dig into that you will evolve, your clients will evolve, and your process will evolve. And so you need to be working on each of those three angles to really make it work for you, for them and for your process to get better over time. Now, here's what I see happen a lot, you or my clients, or anyone who's coming in, they might start with, oh, no, I need to get really clear and really focused around something, I need to create amazing content. And then I also need to engage with my people, how do I do all of that? How do I fit that into my structure, and still run a business. So what I see so many people do is go off and do this planning thing. They are not into it right? Not not in the game as what I mean, like when I say not into it, and you got to get in the game, even if it's just a baby step, to really say, okay, clarity, this is what I think my clients need, this is the one little piece that I can help them with. And then maybe you create a piece of content around that, and then reach out and talk to them about that, and then follow up and make the offer. So three simple steps. But I just see, so many of us get stuck in this, I got to think about it really long time I want to plan for it. Let me do some more research, let me just kind of go off into this corner, and then you know, gotta get in the game.

Kathleen Shannon 31:54
Amen to that, right. Because I think that what you're even speaking to is this idea that I need to have had figured it out, like Marie Forleo has figured it out before I launch. And Marie Forleo was not Marie Forleo by just sitting around waiting until she had B school perfected. We were just, we just interviewed her a few months ago. And she it took her six years to get it to the place where she really liked it, which I thought was fascinating. So what's your best advice then for just getting started? Or even? You know, iterating? Like, what are some of the questions that we need to be asking ourselves, whenever it comes to refining our ideas, or refining our signature program,

Maya Gaddie 32:40
I think where you want to start is getting clarity around where you want to focus, right, what you're most excited and passionate about. And that's pretty much word ends in terms of inner internal questions, because I think it's more about your clients after that. Like, once you've clarified what you love, what you're excited about moving forward with, you might identify three or four things, but then it's about picking one of those things, and presenting it to your client. Okay, that one didn't work. Let's try the next one. And so really getting them there and engaging them, taking them through the process talking to them every step of the way, not just at the bit at the sales process. But when you email someone, if you see them clicking through a lot, are you going to reach out to them and engage, maybe you're following up and offering a live call once a month, you just want to get really clear with them. having the conversation just makes it so much easier for everyone versus you guessing on your own.

Emily Thompson 33:37
For sure. And I'd like to add like another level to this as like the girl who does delivery is also your own, like desires and management. Like because you're going into these these things with just like this test and change attitude. Like I'm gonna put this out there and see what happens. customer feedback is obviously like super priority, but you also have to think about how you like delivering it, and is the way that you're delivering it serving your own business goals. And that's something that a lot of times people will go into. And I think especially of like membership sites, we were like, Oh, I want this fantastic membership site, or everyone's gonna have their own login. And they can get the content and I can send them sweet little messages and all the things I

Kathleen Shannon 34:21
just want to send someone a Dropbox link, right? I

Emily Thompson 34:23
know. Right, but like, but those membership sites are so high maintenance, no one's ever gonna remember their password, everyone's gonna type their email address in wrong, the links aren't gonna work, right, like all the things. And so I think iterations are also about refining, like your delivery process of how it is that you can best and most efficiently get your content in someone else's head so that it's valuable for them and not a waste of your time.

Maya Gaddie 34:52
I was just gonna say I've had a lot of exploration in my own business and getting to the right format and I feel like you know, every process is new evolution. I would For the last three or four years, I haven't really been anything brand new. But I've definitely tried different formats and different structures. And so I'm really excited about my current structure, for instance, because my clients are excited about it, I'm excited about it. But I didn't just show up and go, Oh, this is the exact right format, let's just roll on it and make it happen. It took a lot of going through talking to my clients figuring out what works for me best all of that. And then getting to this point was like, I am so excited about this particular format and this particular way. But you got to go through definitely those iterations to get there. And like you said, it's, it can be quite a bit of work, but it should be ideally fun, profitable and experimental.

Kathleen Shannon 35:42
I think that what you're speaking to is so spot on of just wading through some muck, you know, and seeing what's working and what's not working. And one of the things I like whenever it comes to iterating is a couple of things. One, for example, using the Brady course, because that's definitely a signature program. That's a one to many kind of offering. I have definitely iterated it probably five times since the very first ecourse. And one of the things I asked people is, where did you get stuck, I'll ask the people who already purchased and they might say I got stuck at lesson three. So then I know in my next iteration, I need to make for damn sure that I'm helping people get through lesson three, or at least not get stuck there. So some things that I did, for example, was Emily and I were recording the podcasts a lot. And I know that people love just popping in some earbuds and going for a walk whenever it comes to continuing their education or feeling connected to a community that's larger than themselves. So I went to my business partner, my sister, Tara, and I said, What if we recorded an audio version of the ecourse and told people, if they're feeling stuck, just pop your headphones in go for a walk, you don't need to be sitting at a computer to take this ecourse. Another iteration that I went through was and this is more on a branding and positioning level. But asking people who didn't purchase, why they didn't buy, and iterating how I was selling it, and making sure that I was addressing the needs that people thought I wasn't addressing in the way that I was currently selling. So I'm not just iterating, the actual delivery, or the function or the format, I'm iterating the way that I'm selling along the way.

Emily Thompson 37:33
Yeah, and I even I want to, you went ahead of me, Kathleen, because I want to like walk through the lifecycle of, of a course or an offering. And I think braid is a really good example. And I'd even like to touch on rock your web design business to just like, give like two really good pictures of what this can look like. So for braid, it started with three courses that cycled through monthly, and they were on a membership site. And they cycled that way for two years, two or three years, I believe. So imagine like three courses as opposed to one course. And then you guys decided to combine it into an E book. And the solution or the thing that we were solving, there was that management piece of having to cycle everyone in and out of the membership site and dealing with all the missed passwords and misspelled email addresses. And, you know, emails that weren't being landed in people's inboxes correctly, all the things so addressing management issues. Another thing we were addressing is that we wanted to add a fourth course, yeah, then we start limiting buying potential, if we're only selling let's say one person wants to buy a course. And it's only coming around three times a year, right? And then they happen to miss that time. Like that's leaving money on the table for sure. For sure. We wanted to add a fourth course we ended up adding four more courses or four modules as we went. So yeah, we combined it all into one thinking about delivery. And really that content like all that content works really well together, not separately. So we went into merge it both, you know, on our side philosophically and and contextually and content wise, right. But also thinking about like cell cycles, like you guys were literally doing a cell cycle every single month for the new ecourse that was coming out, which is a little bit of a shit show. So taking it and putting it into one put you into four cycles a year as opposed to 12 cycles a year, which is a much better use of time. So lots of problems were solved with that really big iteration. That came whenever it got packaged into what is now the Brady course. And then and then yes, like as adding the audio was a really key iteration where you guys were making sure that you were addressing problems with people like once they bought it, why weren't they completing it and so giving them another way to consume that content, and then using surveys and things To change how it was that you guys were marketing it, which I think is obviously super smart. And then for rock your web design business, I went to that one. So that one's less than a year old. So Brian, how long have you guys had braid five, or the Brady course in

Kathleen Shannon 40:14
the Brady course for about four years, four years.

Emily Thompson 40:18
So a much newer course, I launched rock your web design business last August, and was a signature offering that I saw myself making for the purpose of helping web designers manage their clients better. And I knew from all of my experience doing e courses for myself and for, for braid, and all of my other clients that I was going to deliver this in the easiest way possible. And Dropbox links aren't always the easiest way possible, just so we all know. So I put all of my content in an email. So every lesson that goes out, it simply goes out and an email. And we keep a good check on everyone's like spam filters, obviously, to make sure they're getting email, because that is the pain point there, with the idea that I just wanted to get this content out to people in the simplest way possible. So I wasn't building. I wasn't building a course anywhere on the web. I wasn't designing a cool PDF, I had a Vimeo link to the video, I had Dropbox links to the PDFs. Super simple. So

Kathleen Shannon 41:24
that's what I was doing.

Emily Thompson 41:27
Right? Well, you're right, I'm so blowing them all into email and just scheduling them out through my newsletter provider. Super simple. And what I learned from that iteration is one people loved it, they didn't have to remember a password. They didn't need to go log in anywhere to get their content, it just landed in their inbox. On the management side of things, we have to like, make sure that people are getting their emails and clicking them, which is fine, making sure

Kathleen Shannon 41:55
that people are typing in the right email address. Yes, that is

Emily Thompson 41:58
the biggest pain point of all time. But then also, we ran that iteration, and I did workshops. So in my first in my first go have rocky web design business, I held live workshops at the end of every module so that I could have that face to face time with people who were actually in it and asking them very pointed questions about what their favorite part of the lesson or the module was, what they were struggling with, and planning my next iteration with that feedback directly. So thinking about, for example, one of the things that I did not anticipate and creating the course, was that people really wanted the community aspect of it. And I wasn't going to offer the community aspect. But they've all requested it. So we did end up going with a second iteration, were really the only thing I changed was sales tactics, addressing those pain points and a little bit in some of the delivery emails, the third iteration that'll be coming around this summer, is really about getting that content in a different kind of home, but having it very accessible in the email, and adding a community aspect, which is what people are asking for. So just to give you guys some like, down and dirty, of like, what this process looks like and why you have to go at it with that mindset. I've seen so many courses, launch once, do all right, launch again, fail and then die. Because that idea of evolution is not in the mix that you just have to know these things grow and change. And must or doubt.

Maya Gaddie 43:32
Yeah, I'd love to add to that, I would say. So my current course is create a signature program online. But in 2013, I created this is how to attack and it was just like everything I knew about technology from working with clients, one to one and consulting. And it was like, Okay, I'm going to teach you how to set up technology and everything you need in your business cool. But then what I found was people are really excited about membership sites, and online courses. And I fought it, I was like, No, but we need to start other places. But what I found is if I jump in there and educate them around why you might not want to start there and how to do it. And the more simple way and how to really connect with your clients. That's where my sweet spot was. So from that original course, I moved on, by the way, I only charge like $10 per person for that original course because I wanted to just really get it out there and take a baby step. So in 2013, I was still doing a lot of consulting, one on one work, all that stuff. But I knew I wanted to transition into this new model. So that was what was going on behind the scenes for me. And then from there, I created a launcher class. So I definitely put together like this bigger 12 week program to really walk people through not only how to create their class, but how to launch it, how to be profitable, how to really make it something in the world. And so what I learned a lot from then was talking to my clients, right? So moving them through each module, each level everyone was getting stuck at content. So how do I keep create content, how do I make it faster? How do I make it better for my people? And then how do I give them a particular result. So we spent a lot of time fine tuning that iterating that making sure that it was on point. So the next time and the next people that went through, it got better and better. And so now it's evolved into creating the signature program over a weekend so that in one weekend, they create their signature program from A to Z, and they walk away with an actual program. Now, on the other end, I've separated that, so I have a 90 day membership program, so they can come in and actually fill that program and walk through and actually run that program over the course of 90 days. So but it took a lot of from 2013. Right thinking about, okay, I think I'm just gonna talk about technology and tell you all into this. Yeah. So

Emily Thompson 45:54
I love that. I mean, there's and there's so much to say about about all the time and energy that goes into things like this, like, because you're focused on getting your people results. And, and again, sure, like you can do all of this stuff on one on one work. And you can definitely like, create this really amazing process. But I love how scalable This makes your expertise, like this idea of creating these signature programs, that you can do one on one, if you want to get like really deep in there with someone, but you can also do it for more people. And the amount of energy that you put into that over years just ends up like spreading, and all those people like helping them reach results. And I think that's so much more powerful than, you know, doing Allah carte services, or, or trying to be a jack of all trades, like when you you can put your focus into things like that you can actually affect real change with people.

Unknown Speaker 46:48
And that's a you know, what

Kathleen Shannon 46:49
I'm really hearing from all of this is that to be a creative entrepreneur, you have to have the confidence to launch with that first idea, maybe a little bit before you're ready. But then you have to have, you have to be humble enough to admit where you've made mistakes, or to accept your failures and learn the lessons in those failures to then iterate and evolve what you're doing,

Emily Thompson 47:13
you have to be curious about your failures, like you have to, like directly enquire about what is not working and be okay enough with the feedback to take it gracefully, and then apply change that you can make things better. Like, there's some deep like inner work.

Kathleen Shannon 47:31
You see, like with your clients, do they I mean, I'm starting to get used to this, especially through the book writing process of just having to go back and read the same thing we've written 456 times to edit and iterate it like that's just a very quick snapshot of an example of what it's like to iterate. And it's painful, it's painful to go back and look at what I've written and admit that it sucks and cut or edit it accordingly. And it's something that I used to not have the endurance for. So what do you tell your clients whenever maybe they don't have the endurance for iterating? Or evolving whenever it's just a little too painful?

Maya Gaddie 48:13
Yeah, you know, I think sometimes you got to step away from it. and refresh, right? The side. All right, maybe I just need a moment to gather myself since I don't, I don't want my clients to feel forced. So sometimes I need to step away a line, go read a book, meditate, whatever that is. So just really center yourself and get in that space number one. And then once they're there to just really own the fact that you know what, I put this out there, it failed, or it flopped, or I didn't reach my exact expectations the very first time, what can I learn from this? How can I move forward? And how can the next iteration be even better? So that yes, I can meet my original goals, but I can really see the future and the vision for where I want this to go and how I want to move forward in life and in business.

Kathleen Shannon 49:03
Alright, let's talk about promoting that signature program. So what's your best advice when it comes to promoting or marketing a signature program and getting it in front of those people that you know, it's going to help?

Maya Gaddie 49:15
I think that again, goes back to starting where you are, okay. So if you have clients or you don't have clients, you got to be not afraid to reach out to your folks. So if you're brand new, and you're just starting out, maybe you're taking an educated guess around who you think you want to serve, and then you got to go reach out to those people. Now I hear a lot of people say, okay, it's gotta be done in this particular format, or whatever. But I think what you really want to do is think about how you communicate best is that in person, is that online? Is that an online Facebook groups? Where do you get most excited and really get to be your natural self and share what you're excited about in business. So pick a format for you that works and then start to engage with Those people and then bring them in, pull them into your process and start to walk them through that I think that's the only way you actually get better at it is by doing it.

Emily Thompson 50:09
I agree. And we always talk about like this, this episode is basically launched before you're ready. really what it's all about. But and I want to talk about like newsletter lists for a second like so maybe we'll think like for me to have a signature program that does any kind of good, I have to have 5000 people on my email list or, you know, 10,000 Instagram followers or whatever. And we've talked about this before, but I want to reiterate, reiterate, the importance of are really how great it can be to have a really small, tight knit group. So whether it's a small list, or a very small Instagram follower, or following, and the magic that comes from making those interactions, super personable, it's so hard to do that whenever you have a big list. But it's really easy to do, when you do just start with the little bit that you have where you are now.

Maya Gaddie 51:01
Yeah. And I also would love to add in terms of promotion, like actual things you might do. If you do have an email list, or you do have family and friends to actually email them. Reach out, if you don't, you know, have that bigger list of 1000 5000 10,000 people and it's small enough for you to be able to create that intimate connection, now is the time to be making those personal connections, to be building those superstar fans to really be reaching out and connecting with them, seeing what they need, how you can help them move forward, how that fits into your overall process, how that fits into your program, and how you can make it better. So just direct connection. That's something I see that so many people don't do. It's like, Oh, I just I need to get more people. I need to get more people. And I'm like, have you talked to the people that you already have? Have you really engaged in data and clear direct conversation? Have you gone to see what they're doing online? Where are they hanging out? What are they following? Right? Have you listened to that conversation? So sometimes it's more about thinking a little bit more strategically, and then also just moving forward with them and helping them. See what's next. But again, the only way to do that is to have the conversation at the beginning.

Emily Thompson 52:13
Right start where you are right now.

Unknown Speaker 52:16
Absolutely. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 52:19
All right. Finally, Maya, what makes you feel most Boss,

Maya Gaddie 52:24
I would say really elevating who I am. From where I'm standing, I want to make sure that I'm aligned and showing up for myself first, that makes me feel so boss.

Unknown Speaker 52:39
Amen to that. Alright,

Kathleen Shannon 52:41
and where can our listeners find you and learn more about building their own signature program?

Maya Gaddie 52:46
Totally. So you can find me at my daddy calm. And then if you head over to my daddy.com backslash, subscribe, you'll find my three part audio training to really help you get started to start to get some clarity around where you are to engage with your own clients and to start to put together your own offer. So you can decide if the signature program is right for you, and how to get that process started.

Unknown Speaker 53:10
Love it.

Unknown Speaker 53:11
Thank you so much

Emily Thompson 53:11
for coming to hang out with us. Yeah,

Maya Gaddie 53:13
thanks for having me. This has been a blast. You know, you ladies really embody just how to be boss how to be human and how to be brilliant at the same time, so it's always fun hanging out with you. You may

Unknown Speaker 53:25
make me blush.

Kathleen Shannon 53:32
Hey, guys, I want to pause for a second as we're talking about signature offerings and signature products. I can't help but mention the being boss clubhouse. This is our signature offering that Emily and I are so incredibly excited about we've worked so hard to create the exact offering that we want to give you guys so if you want even more actionable guidance from me and Emily, we're taking our expertise and branding, marketing and building profitable businesses to the being boss clubhouse. The clubhouse kicks off with a two day online retreat followed by a year of support and community. We've helped our clubhouse members get focused double their revenue, launch their dream offering and market themselves like a boss. Learn more at www dot being boss club slash clubhouse. This episode of being boss was brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting, try it for free by going to fresh books calm slash being boss. And special shout out to Meet Edgar you can try them at Meet Edgar calm slash being boss. Thank you for listening to bein boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 54:46
If you're a creative entrepreneur, Freelancer or small business owner who is ready to take your goals to the next level, check out the being boss clubhouse, a two day online retreat followed by a year of community support monthly masterclass. His Book Club secret episodes and optional in person retreats. Find more at www dot being boss club slash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 55:10
Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. And RB encountered David Austin with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 55:28
Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.