Emily Thompson 0:02
I'm Emily Thompson. And I'm Kathleen Shannon. And this is being boss. In this episode of being boss, join me as I fill your ear so some big balls that wisdom from the wide range of creative business owners who joined me on the virtual stage of our being balls conference in April, you'll hear from Tara McMillan on why you still need to market your business, even when times are weird. From auto went void on a very creative marketing idea, Vivian Kay on the importance of displaying your passion and your business, and so many more. As always, you'll find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss dot club.
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Emily Thompson 1:52
Every fall we do a survey of our listeners to find out more about you. We ask you things like how you identify yourself? Do you call yourself a business owner or a creative or an entrepreneur. We asked you how much money you're making in your business and how many hours you spend working each week. And we ask you what you're struggling with. And year after year, we've seen so many things change. For so long, the majority of you identified yourselves as entrepreneurs. But this past year, the balance tipped and more of you called yourselves small business owners instead. And we've seen your revenue shift to especially as our listenership has grown. Once upon a time, we had more full time business owners here, most of which were making more than $50,000 a year as our reach has expanded. And we've brought more and more side hustlers into our fold. That number is actually dept with more of you making 25 to $50,000. But at the same time, those of you who were making $50,000, a year five years ago, are making up a good chunk of bosses who are making $100,000 a year and well beyond with quite a few of you are making over a million. This proves to us that the normal constraints of demographics for our boss crowd don't apply to us, which we love. Because let's break all the rules. Instead of normal demographics. You're here because of what you want, which is to gain control of your work and live life on your own terms as a creative who wants to make money doing what you love. And that transcends normal markers like revenue. Which brings me to what it is that you struggle with, because the struggles of our kinds of creative businesses transcends revenue to and also doesn't matter how long you've been in business and how many people are on your team. It doesn't matter how much money you make, how long you've been your own boss, or what your audience size is. Our main business struggles are all basically the same. We're all facing them just at different phases of business. Things like marketing yourself, pivoting your offerings, gaining more customers or clients and keeping up with technology, our struggles, whether you're brand new, or you've been here for over a decade. Why? Because business is a series of never ending cycles. When you solve a problem one day and move on to the next you better bet that that first problem will pop up again someday, over and over again. Basically forever. I know this is true because I've been my own boss for almost 15 years at this point. Sure the scenery definitely changes. But I'm still confronted with many of the same issues that I faced in year two year five year 10. It took me a long time to come to terms with that repetitiveness, and once I accepted it as just how business goes, the sooner I felt more ease in the flow of my entrepreneurial journey. And we know these cycles are true for you too. We see the proof of that in our surveys, as we see bosses of all experience levels speaking on the same issues in their business. There's no matter how much revenue they're making. And year after year, your biggest struggles stay the exact same as creative entrepreneurs and business owners, or whatever it is that you want to call yourselves. Your biggest struggles are time management and marketing. Sure, there are others too. But those two are always the top ones, I guess the top two. So when it came time for me to choose the topic for the being boss conference, I decided to address what you've told me you need addressed time management, and marketing, from which I created the theme of make time to shine. to dive into this topic, I hand selected some of my favorite bosses, many of which I knew pretty well as I navigated my first conference, and some new friends that I hadn't yet had the pleasure to chat with, to create an event of highly curated content that would leave our attendees with a deeper understanding of how they can take control of their time and better market themselves. And what it is that they offer. Our speakers or boss experts, as I like to call them, were brought in to take part in a series of conversations that would share their experience from many different viewpoints, lending to our attendees ability to broaden their perspectives of how they can be better marketers and better managers of their own time. Today, I'm going to be sharing with you some highlights of this event, because of what went down in our three days together blew my mind. I will set the stage a bit and remind those of you who have been around at least since the beginning of the year that this event was supposed to be held in New Orleans, my very favorite city and the unofficial home of being boss. As we've hosted many events there for our bosses. Over the years, I knew that I wanted that to be the place where we held our first conference. But a month before we went live COVID hit and I made the obvious call to take this event online, we did a fast pivot. And what came out of it was a roaring success. We all had admittedly set our bars pretty low. But as we do, bosses showed up our attendees and our boss experts had a blast, it was insanely engaging. And the countless raving testimonials prove that I succeeded in the intention that I set when I had to make this an online event. I wanted it to be the coolest event on the internet ever. Just that pre Loki it blew even the highest expectations that I had out of the water, which makes me even more excited to share this recap with you here today in an effort to help you make time to shine to. To get started, I'll start where our three days began. We did actually begin our first day with a grounding meditation exercise by Amy curette. ski, you can listen to way back in Episode Number 77. So before we dive into the meat of our real session, feel free to take a second to close your eyes to really get yourself in the mood for a lot of valuable content to be soaked into your brain. I'll give you a sec.
All right, now let's begin. In this first session we brought in Tara McMillan, host of what works podcast and founder of the What Works network, a longtime friend and three time being boss guest. She's joined us for episodes 2192 and 154. Tara joined us for a deeply impactful keynote called meaningful marketing in Strange Times, because we live in very strange times. And sometimes even just the idea of marketing makes most of our skin crawl. And though Tara was speaking, at this point directly about marketing the time of COVID this information holds true no matter what strange times you may find yourself in, or also literally anytime because creators are notorious with feeling weird about marketing themselves. And as usual, Tara was here to drop some mics. The
Tara McMullin 9:18
number one question or you know, it's sort of a series of top questions that I've been getting and that I've been seeing in our community. And so I'm sure it's the same in this community as well. Is Is it okay to market my business or sell my offers right now? And you know, sometimes This question comes up is how do I market my business or sell my offers right now or I've got a launch coming up or I had a launch scheduled like, should I go forward with it? Should I put it on hold? Should I do it differently? And then, you know, other people with, you know, ongoing Facebook ads? What do I do with my Facebook ads? Should I keep running them? Should I change them? What do I do? So like I said, I don't have a simple answer to this question. You know, I really believe that that no question in business or maybe almost no question in business has a singular answer. But I do have some ideas of what I'm doing to shift up my marketing and sales right now here in the weirds. And I also have some some ideas of how we can kind of reframe what we think of when we think of marketing and selling, that won't just get us through this time and the after times, but I really think can guide our marketing and sales for the long term. And that, dare I say, should guide our marketing and sales for the long term. So that's what we're going to talk through today, I have six ideas for you. I'm going to go dive deep into each one of them. But before I get into that, I want to talk about how we perceive marketing and selling sort of as a as a whole. I have thought a lot over the last few weeks about how we've sort of rallied to support bricks and mortar businesses that are being hit so hard right now. And I've been thinking about the fact that bricks and mortar businesses never question whether they should be selling or not. Right? bricks and mortar businesses, pre Hanks Wilson, they put the hours on their door, they unlock the door every single day, they welcome customers in, they sell their products, those businesses are selling and marketing every single day. And yet, when we think about online business, whether you're running a service based business or a digital product, space business, you know, and even if you're selling physical goods online, a lot of us have gotten the message that we're supposed to do everything but marketing and selling most of the time, right? You know, how many social media posts Do I need to send out before I put one out that says I have something for sale? How many emails Do I need to send before it's okay for me to mention the product that I have for sale? You know, how do I how do I get in touch with someone who I think would be a great client, but without, you know, selling or really marketing what I'm doing, we have a we have this idea that marketing and sales is something that happens every so often, as opposed to something that happens as a default mode. And I think this is an opportunity to
shift our default mode, I think this is an opportunity to look at marketing and selling as something that can happen all the time. It doesn't have to look like you know, cramming your products or services down people's necks, or throats not next throat, the phrases throats. But it can look like I'm getting comfortable with the fact that you have something for sale, it can look like getting comfortable with the fact that people want to buy, it can look like getting comfortable talking about the fact that you do in fact, have a business. And not just a pretty Instagram account or a pretty Facebook page or pretty Pinterest page. So a big part of what I'm going to talk about today is actually getting into a state of mind, where marketing and selling is your default mode. Because and you know, this is directly related to what I'm what I just said is I actually believe we should be selling more right now, not less. And what I mean by that is not that we should be selling more, but that we should be more direct, we should be more upfront, we should be more willing to talk about the fact that we have products or services for sale than we normally are. And here's why in an up economy in an economy that's chugging along, where people feel really comfortable, where people are excited about, you know, going shopping or shopping online. It is it is possible to wait for people to come to you, right. And if you've started your business anywhere in the last, let's say, eight to nine years, you have started your business in an economy where people are from moderately to very excited about spending their money where they feel moderately to very comfortable with the way the economy is not across the board, but many people that's the kind of economy that you started your business in. And so a lot of the advice that's come down the line about marketing and selling has been from the perspective of that energised up comfortable type of economy. And so that's why we get this advice where, you know, we really, we got to be careful about how much we sell, we got to be careful about how much we talk about our products and services, the people will come to us. In a down economy, it doesn't mean that our businesses have to contract, it doesn't mean that we're going to take a hit. But what it does mean is that we need to connect our customers to our products more explicitly, we need to connect our potential clients to our services more directly. We need to be willing to go out and find the business as opposed to sort of sitting back and waiting for it to come. Now you might, you might feel like, well, it's here, I haven't been sitting back and waiting for it to come, I get out there and I hustle every day, I want you to take a look at the tactics, the strategies, the techniques that you've used over, however long you've been in business. And I want you to take a look at those tactics from the point of view of Have you been putting yourself out there in terms of your products and services saying this is what I have to offer? Or have you just been putting yourself out there because that's what I see a lot. Right. And I'm speaking from, I'm not I am speaking from the vantage point of watching hundreds of small business owners 1000s, really, on a regular basis. And I see them putting themselves out there, right, I see them posting to social media, I see them sending emails, I see them doing coffee chats and connecting with people. But I see it as more of an exercise in just sort of general connection, general awareness. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I do believe at this point, we need to start shifting our perspective and get more direct get more explicit about what we're doing. We need to be willing to say, I have a business and I have goods and products for sale. Here's what they are.
Emily Thompson 17:08
If you could have seen the chat flying through that session, and you just got a snippet of her hour long keynote and q&a, it was the thing to be impressed with. So many lightbulb moments and some serious revelations were flashing and how we as business owners have a responsibility that affects the economy. And our willingness to show up even when things are weird is directly tied to the health of the economy, obviously on a personal level, but on a global level to now, Tara did go on to sharing her six principles of sales and marketing in a crisis. Along with more amazing insights and of hearing the rest of that session or any of the other ones I'm sharing here is appealing to you, you can watch every session of the conference now and the being boss clubhouse. I'll share more about that at the end, or you can find the link in the show notes. But for now, we're moving on. So if we're talking time management and marketing, and that was a marketing topic, then at let's level it out with a focus on time. Our first panel of the event was called creating time, where I was joined by three of our boss experts Becky Simpson, and artists and art director. She's joined us previously for Episode 78 and 162 Kelly, knight owner of modern mystic a retail shop in Atlanta, Georgia, who joined us for episode number 197. And a boss that I connected with almost a year ago that I was so excited to bring into the being boss universe, Erica core day, a diversity Equity and Inclusion coach and entrepreneur. We started the session with asking everyone to assign a word to their definition of time, which is what I want to share with you here. Because this is an important first step to managing your time. And I think you'll see just what I mean when you hear all of these answers from our boss experts as well as our attendees.
So I know for everyone right now, time has become sort of this very nebulous thing. But I do believe I hardcore believe that creative business owners have had more experience in breaking the mold of time to create careers and businesses on their own terms than anyone else out there right now. That doesn't mean that we don't have a lot of work to do, or some like rules that we still need to break. But I do think that we have had more practice in sort of arranging our time. I keep thinking of this as like, what we sort of have to do next is bring order from chaos, like everything is chaotic at the moment, but so was your idea for building a business once upon a time. And what you had to do was start bringing order to this chaos. And that's kind of what we get to know it is what we get to do now. Get to sort of put our lives and work back together. And I think about this oftentimes in the concept of time. So before I get going in my questions, I do want to ask everyone over in the chat, what is one word that you would use to describe your current relationship with time? And then I'll also pose that to our panelists. How do you guys are what's one word that you would use to describe time, Becky, you're like, chomping at the bit. What is it? I just
Becky Simpson 20:30
but you want to hear it now? Yeah, I can't I just last, first of all, last talk, I was like, all up in the chat. And now I'm like, holding myself back in case it messes with the audio and like, so much I want to say the time it was a few years ago, um, time, I just, I guess the word that came to mind for me is choice. Because I used to really, like, I mean, I still am guilty of this, but it's more of a conscious thing now is like, I'm so busy. But the reality is, everything I do is a choice. And so I can get into this more later. But it's easy. Like I do work full time. And I have all these other projects. So it is easy, or in the past has been to be like, well, these people who get to do this full time, they have so much time to do all these things I wish I could do. And but the reality is I'm choosing, I'm choosing to spend my time cooking dinner or hanging with my husband or working my full time job like these are all things I get to do. And I'm choosing to do so. We don't have to be busy. We're making a choice to spend time where we spend it.
Emily Thompson 21:40
I love that choice. I haven't seen a lot of choice over here. I've seen a lot of inconsistent shattered. Oh, Mary Beth blacked out what have you been doing?
Becky Simpson 21:50
Can I like rewind, especially after the last talk? I understand right now. And I don't have kids COVID life. I don't mean that to sound tone deaf like it. There actually are not a lot of places with the things right now. So I guess that's more of a generality
Emily Thompson 22:07
is your word. It's my world.
Becky Simpson 22:10
It's my world. Acknowledging that things are crazy right now. And there are a lot of things that we didn't choose. So
Emily Thompson 22:16
yeah. Right, there's still some choice. Okay, I like it perfect. You
Kelley Knight 22:22
can about you, I was thinking of the word ample, which is a luxury. And I have really almost probably never felt that way before. But we're in a brick and mortar business scenario. And so since we're paused right now, it really does open up for me a lot of time. And then also sort of like psychic space. And our business, we're open at 1030 11am to 9pm on almost every day, except for Sunday, 363 days a year. And so there's always someone working, there's always like an employee that has a need, or you have to have this sort of like heightened awareness that we're always operating. And just just shutting that down has given me so much just sort of space to relax. I've never had that experience before. But granted, also I am childless, we don't have any kids in the house. And so my time really does feel like it's my own currently. And I'm kind of working through a little bit of guilt, like milking that, like it's kind of it's enjoyable.
Emily Thompson 23:29
I think it's an important mindset shift. I mean, because you're a brick and mortar store is shut right now, like closed down. And also, this is one of those scenarios, guys. We're like a business is closed. And granted, you still have website and stuff, but a huge part of Kelly's revenue stream is non operational at the moment. So you could just as easily say wasted Hmm, you know, but like, that's not the choice that you've made it you have not said wasted. You said What was your word? I'm sorry, your full time field. So I think it's important. I like that. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I'm Erica, what about you?
Erica Courdae 24:08
It's funny, I'm like watching the chat. So if you see me like squirrel I do. There's a part of me that yes, choices there. Because there is that actionable place of this is what I am choosing to do or what I'm not choosing, choosing to do. Part of it. Um, it feels like for me, it's kind of going to be the word now. Because there are points when it's the kid. So this is what I have to do now, a six and an eight year old that are both going on 37 and 40. So having to figure that out and you know, with business, my default is always to go there so I can very easily just get absorbed in it. So I have to also create boundaries to say I am choosing now to go in meal prep or I'm choosing now to go sit and do nothing. Whatever it is that I am being called to do now is kind of what it has to be because the way that you're feeling is an ebb and a flow. So trying to honor that, and not getting stuck in the shoulds. And I have to and I ought to, and well, why am I not? what is now called for?
Emily Thompson 25:19
That's powerful practice and mindfulness, for sure. Probably more so than you ever do. Like, are you always thinking about time now? Or is that just a recent thing?
Erica Courdae 25:30
No, because I think before it was, Oh, of course, I'm going to get up in the morning and take the kids and I can go work out, of course, I'm going to come back and I can work and they're not going to be here and I can do whatever I need to do before I have to get them. Of course, I'm gonna go into the studio, and I have clients, but I have a podcast interview, and I know that I can do these things, that surety isn't there in the same ways that it was. So being able to say, Okay, I'm not going to let that derail me. And what do I still need to do to find a way to be grounded in a time where you're like, what the ham sandwich is happening to me right now. To figure it out, and that's part of trying to figure it out. And that doesn't mean that it always feels good there at times, it now is like, What the fuck, however, it passes. So,
Emily Thompson 26:19
right. So all we can do is now
the most important lesson that you can learn when it comes to taking a draw of your time is to take control of your mindset around time, whether you're doing that through focusing on now, like Erica, or recognizing your choice, like Becky, or simply choosing the positive aspect of your situation like Kelly, you create time by managing your mindset around it, and then setting your priorities and doing the work. Speaking of time, I'm a big fan of not wasting it, of all the resources you have at your disposal. Time is the one that you can't make more of, it's finite. So when you're wasting it, you're wasting the most precious thing of all, which is why I mindfully use tools and systems in my business that save me time or, in a sense, give me back my time. For example, I could spend way too much time and back and forth email chains, with my clients trying to find the best time to have a meeting. Or I can take back that time by just sending them a link. Instead of spending even five minutes in a sequel email, or maybe 15 minutes. If we're both busy folks, I can send the link in about a second and instead use that time to do literally anything else. What tool do I use to save this time for myself? acuity scheduling, I wouldn't call it a time machine. But if it works with my calendar to schedule meetings and saves me a boatload of time too. I could see how one might think that it is acuity scheduling, the scheduling assistant that works 24 seven behind the scenes to fill your calendar so that you don't have to, for a limited time only get 45 days of acuity scheduling absolutely free. no credit card required by going to acuity scheduling, calm slash being boss. Okay, let's flip back over to marketing for a minute. And this next clip I want to share with you a peek into our creative marketing strategies panel, which was maybe my favorite session of the event. I could actually probably say that about all of them. In this session, I was joined again by Kelly Knight, the owner of modern mystic and Tara McMillan who gave that keynote as well as automotive void, a lawyer for entrepreneurs who has joined us previously on episode number 73. These days, if you attend to any sort of marketing talk, especially when a bunch of online business owners are around, you're going to spend the entire time hearing about social media, what's working on Instagram, the most use of Pinterest, how to make Facebook work for you. Boring. Why? Because business is not just social media. For years, I felt the business marketing space has been so inundated with ever changing info about what's working right now on social media, that you forget that there were 1000s of years of business that was done before the internet. So when I call this creative marketing strategies, it was a little tongue in cheek because what I really meant was marketing strategies that aren't social media, or as Tara McMillan snidely called them regular marketing strategies. And I challenged the boss experts to share the tactics they use to market in their highly successful businesses that have absolutely nothing to do with social media. Feel free to enter a gasp here. So to get us in, one of our community members went straight in with a following question for a boss experts. Can you give us some real life examples of creative marketing that you've done? Off social media and response, autumn takes the lead. Yeah, so
Autumn Witt Boyd 30:11
one thing I wanted to talk about that came up earlier was cold pitching. And I don't necessarily like do totally cold pitching. But what I have been very intentional about and this was something like I'm Oji being boss. So I don't know what episode this was, but very long time ago, Emily and Kathleen talked about having like a hot shit 100 or hot shit 200 List of like dreamy dream clients, so people you would love to work with. So I created one like years and years ago. And every maybe once a quarter or so once or twice a year, at least I sit down and I look at it. And I try and see who am I one or two people away from. So as my network has expanded, I now am really intentional about trying to connect with those people and asking for connections. So I have found, like Kathleen said, sending out a totally cold pitch rarely ends up anywhere good. But sending out a slightly warm pitch or asking a friend for an introduction or saying, you know, I'll be in their city, is there a way we can all get together so it feels more natural. I mean, I sent Emily a cold email, I don't know if you remember this, I do. But I was just a podcast listener. And she was moving to Chattanooga and had mentioned it on the podcast. That's where I live. And so I just sent her an email saying, hey, like, I don't want to be a crazy person. But if you need anything, let me know, like, I'm happy to be helpful. And we had coffee, and then it kind of, you know, turn into a client relationship. So I've done that a lot, because my business is low volume, high touch relationships. And so I don't need a million clients, I need, you know, 100 really great ones. So you know, I've built that very intentionally. So my favorite creative thing that I've done, though, was I put together we call it our million dollar dinner, and I invited, I was in San Diego already. And I was one person away from a lot of the people I wanted to work with, who also live in San Diego. And so I really, like kind of leaned on some of my friends and clients to invite these people I was really wanting to get to meet and we threw a beautiful dinner. And that's how I landed Amy Porterfield as a client, like she was friends with some of my clients. And I sat myself across from the table from her and, and even that was kind of though I didn't land or that night like it was several months later, that was the beginning of a relationship. So that's what I said, when I've kind of I'll cold pitch our relationship more than trying to cold pitch a client,
Emily Thompson 32:36
if that makes sense. And it will say to autumn, like we've gotten to know each other over the years, and she is a master at nurturing these in person relationships and not just not just people she's meeting online, but she's very active in her local community. And
Autumn Witt Boyd 32:55
going out for brunch, that's what we did, right? She's
Emily Thompson 32:58
always brunch and cocktails and dinner. She lives a fab life. I'm doing all these fun things. And, and again, it's not even so much nurturing people who will directly turn into clients, but those people will rep you to anyone and everyone they meet who needs you. So it's also really setting yourself up for a very powerful word of mouth marketing engine that I think is just as powerful, if not actually more so than just nurturing those relationships so that those convert,
Autumn Witt Boyd 33:32
hey, I want to hear what Kelly has to say no,
Emily Thompson 33:34
Kelley Knight 33:36
So we're a consumer facing business. And a lot of our marketing is tied around building community and education. Because sometimes the products that we sell like a ritual kid or, or even crystals, people aren't really sure how to engage with them. So I think one of the most successful creative ideas that we've been implementing is our Sunday school classes. So every Sunday at 11 o'clock before the market opens, we open our doors, we bring in an expert on some sort of topic for a free class to our public. And they teach for an hour and then we record that and then we push it out as a podcast. So we get distribution for our sort of our online remote community. And then we also build real life interactions with our in person. Customers who become super fans through this engagement. And then what we've learned is, we usually sell about $1,000 or more of product when we first opened on a Sunday. So instead of start opening at noon with $0, we're usually starting anywhere between 1000 or 11 $100 in sales, which across you know, 50 to 52 weeks a year. That's an extra maybe $50,000 of revenue every year through this community engagement, opportunity that creates a lot of relationship building goodwill, but then also converts to actual dollars. So I would say that's probably one of the best ideas that we've Had and you know, I'm I post the podcast which is loosely like I record an introduction and then we go into the live class. But it feels like some of our customers that can't experience in person really feel like they are part of our community and it feels hyperlocal and customized. And they're listening in on this sort of experience. So I think that's been a really great tool, or just one activation. I've done that we've now we've done it for over a year, and it's really been working.
Emily Thompson 35:31
Yeah, and this is just a great example of a product business that's using information marketing. Yeah, like, plain and simple. So I oftentimes I hear product makers are like, I don't know what I can't do or don't can't do a blog, what am I just going to show myself in the studio? And like, yes, you can absolutely do that. I think that's great. There's so many ways for you to support your community, and or your customers, because those are not always the same thing, through providing valuable content that supports the sort of lifestyle that your brand is there to cultivate. So I love that you do that. I think that's a great way for you to bridge the gap between online and offline.
Kelley Knight 36:08
Yeah, definitely. And then there was someone just asked him, I'm sorry, I can't stop looking at the comments with the app, how it is that I promote the in store classes. And I would say, it really is another marketing tactic. That's super old school for us. But we have human beings in our store who talked to other people. And that's how we get the message out. And, and we spend a lot of time cultivating and hiring and educating our staff so that they're super knowledgeable. And it's part of the training where they mentioned, if you're a local that when they're checking out, they'll say, because we have a lot of tourists in our building, too. It's a destination. So it's part of the training at closing to ask them, are you local? Or are you visiting and if they're local, then we tell them about the Sunday school class. And if they're visiting, we tell them about the podcast. And so either way, we're continuing the relationship with the with the customers.
Emily Thompson 37:02
Tara McMullin 37:05
Well, it's funny, because Kathleen, just posted marketing tactic have a good product service or offering and I was totally going to say, you know, I have come up with all sorts of creative marketing strategies over the last decade, and most of them have been like, magic, but it's so true. But you know, what it works every time is when I develop some sort of new product, some sort of, or even just like a campaign around something that even already exists. Selling what I actually offer has always grown my audience. And I think it's something that we forget, because again, like this agenda of bro marketing is like build your audience, build your audience, build your audience, and I am all for building audiences. And also, the fastest way I found to build an audience is to market a product and sell a product. Because people, you know, people understand immediately, oh, this is what she does. This is why I should follow her. This is what she has to offer what they have to offer. Whereas when I'm just kind of talking obliquely about random things tangentially related to what I do, or what I sell, while while an individual thing can be a hit, or like people can be into it, it just doesn't have that same legitimate urgency and that kind of a cute that sort of encapsulation of what I offer a value that just selling something does. And so I'm not saying the actual sales process is what builds my audience. But the the I do have what I whatever I'm putting out around a product or service that is clear and direct, and just very tangible. That's what builds my audience and markets, my business to a new group of people.
Autumn Witt Boyd 39:11
I kind of build on that. Yeah, what we looked at, so we use a CRM, a customer client, relationship management software. And so I do a lot of tracking, I enjoy the data. Even though like Tara, it's not always good data. But we always ask our new clients or anyone who contacts us, where did you hear about us? Or where did you find us? And I, you know, I had been doing the podcast for two years, and I do all this social media and blah, blah, blah. And I looked at that data about a year ago and it was like 98% referrals or some like bananas number and I was like, Oh, great, like I'm and it's not that all that other energy is wasted, because that's supporting the referrals. But when I saw that, I looked at everything I was like, well, we really need to focus more on referrals then. So we built a into our customer service process like it is now Asking for referrals is part of our like the end as we wrap up projects that's now kind of systematized.
Tara McMullin 40:07
Yeah. And to bounce off of that, I often hear people say, Well, I really need to work on my marketing game, I really need to work on my marketing game, all of my marketing is where are all of my business comes from word of mouth and referrals. It's like, wait, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, you have the Holy Grail marketing. And yes, it's nice to have other channels. And yes, word of mouth. And referral can be slightly less predictable than, say, a Facebook ad that you know, is converting at a certain rate. But like, if you have word of mouth and referrals, you have a marketing strategy, and you should optimize the shit out of that.
Kelley Knight 40:47
I would agree with that, too. It's the same thing with the retail situation ranks I'm saying we are basically when I say it's organic growth, that means fucking word of mouth, people like us, and then they bring their friends. And when they come to visit Atlanta, they make a big deal out of their way to see us. And then they bring their mom and she comes into town because where their favorite place where their best friend where they're expert, where they're educator. And so that's really why we haven't done pretty much any paid marketing, and we're going into your four. Because that's how we've been growing, it takes a while for people to know about you, and then people just start snowball. So from a, you know, cost like a customer service perspective, like paying attention to customer service and the experience that they're having with you. And the getting those referrals even in a retail environment or a product business. It's it's all the same.
Emily Thompson 41:44
So the secret isn't about cracking the Instagram code or being great at Facebook, it's about delivering a product or service that people can't help talking about because it is so fantastic. As Tara McMillan called it, it's the holy grail of business. That's not a monumental discovery. But it might sound fresh if you've had your head in the algorithms for too long. The rest of the session went on to share other quote unquote, creative tactics that really dove into a common theme. Just be a human who has something of value to sell, and know the people you're selling it to, but mostly bring that being a human back into your plans for marketing your business. We know that a lot of bosses here want to create, sell and market what they know, be that in the form of an ebook, an online course or a membership site. And this isn't just for coaches and educators. But as you just heard from modern mistake can really be great for product businesses too. But as a coach myself, I know that what often holds bosses back from writing and launching that ebook online course or membership site isn't because of a lack of content or direction, but from some serious frosty feelings about your ability to figure out the tech. Well, our friends at podia are here to help you do that in a low impact way that pushes frauding feelings to the curb, and brings your expertise and content to the forefront. podia is a place where you can create courses, digital downloads, and memberships all in one place. It's a hassle free way for creators to earn a living from their passion, get 14 days free with no credit card required by going to podia.com slash bosses. Okay, it's time for me to start wrapping up this little recap, and choosing one more clip from our three days together was a really hard job. But before I do that, let me remind you that if you want to hear the rest of these sessions, or any of the 19th sessions from our three day conference, you can access each of them now in the being balls clubhouse, which is the second tier of the being boss community. In this space, you get all of the perks of the community including the member stable Monday meetups, which is a weekly check in zoom call available to all of our bosses, plus extra clubhouse only content like monthly clubhouse conversations, which are live calls featuring a special guest and all of the conference videos, you can learn more and sign up at being boss club slash community. And I do also have a bit of news. This conference was such a smashing hit that I have decided to do something we've been sitting on on our dream list for a very long time. In fact, I can totally just thank COVID for the push to doing an online conference because we've been talking about doing them for years and just never found the right moment. Well, we did it and we loved it and our attendees loved it. Seriously the feedback that we got from our attendees sent us over the moon. They loved how highly interactive it was, how conversational it felt, and how engaged they were able to be they live jazzed and so did we. And so we're doing it again on October 8, ninth and 10th. So go ahead and put In your calendar, and if you'd like to be among the first to know when our virtual Tickets are available, you can go to being boss club to sign up for our email list.
Unknown Speaker 45:09
Emily Thompson 45:10
let's get back to the good stuff. In this next session, a session that took place on day two of the conference, I was joined by Kathleen Sr. Tara St. Is co founder bring creative who you've heard from here on the bean boss podcast three times before on episodes 56 109 and 175. Along with Becky Simpson, who you heard from an earlier clip, Lynn market Dan, who's the chief marketing officer of podia, and a being boss vacation alum, as well as Vivian Kay, a business coach and founder of Kinky Curly yackey, you'll actually be getting a full introduction to Vivian in our next podcast episode as she was our live podcast guest at the conference. We got together for a panel discussion around your number one marketing asset. And spoiler alert, your number one marketing asset is you. My intention for this session was to bring in this particular mix of boss experts in very different industries, but with a deep understanding of harnessing the power of your own personality to build a powerful brand. Why? Because in our many sessions leading up to this, we uncovered again and again that too many automations and funnels algorithms, they're not serving our businesses, if anything, too much of them makes our businesses stop working. So how do we bring that ever important human element back into our businesses, to hype up our own valuable work to connect with our customers to make the impact that we want to make? Well, here's something for you to consider. No one will ever be more passionate about your work, then you show them that you are about your work. This stands true whether you're doing your own marketing, or you've hired out someone to do your marketing for you. Your story, your personality, your passion, is the fuel that propels your business forward. You set the pace and everyone else from your team to your customers will follow your lead. The question of passion came up in our marketing panel and this is the clip that I want to play for you. And attendee asked is adding your passion into your brand positioning a way to personalize your business or does passion belong somewhere else? Vivian takes the will here sharing the role that her passion and ultimately our purpose has played in building both her product and her coaching business.
Unknown Speaker 47:32
Think it's a way to personalize Yeah, only because I know for me personally I could like even with kinky, curly Yak. Yeah, I really don't care about hair. It's so what my product is his hair extensions, I don't really care about that. But I care about the I'm passionate about giving people confidence. So same thing when it comes to my coaching ecommerce clients. I really don't care about the technic, the technical stuff about the SEO and all that stuff. What I care about is giving my my my clients the confidence to make the great decisions for their own business. Because that's really what a lot of people are lacking. It's not that you can go and learn technical stuff anywhere. But you need someone who's been through all that stuff, to give you the confidence to make decisions for your own business. So I think that Yeah, the passion because that's what I'm passionate about is giving people confidence. So I think that Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Like
Becky Simpson 48:31
it's the passion intersects with, like your perfect audience. Like you. I might be Miss interpreting this a little bit too. But like, I think there's, you know, if it's, we don't have to share everything, either that we do or that we're into, and if it doesn't serve us, okay, like rewind, I used to, like, share everything on Instagram ish. Like, I just felt like I took I saw what everyone was doing. And I was like, I'm gonna be that maybe that would be that. And of course, that's the recipe for just like not, it's not really serving anyone or myself. And so I now can be passionate about things, but I don't have to share them. Because that's not going to serve the people in my world. But if it's like Vivian's saying then of course, that's like the best is then to share our passions, then it makes us not just this like lukewarm. They person applies to everything. It's like we can then specialize and focus and reach the perfect people and drive a deeper connection. Yeah, I
Emily Thompson 49:39
think you're being spot on there with sort of curating which passions you're sharing because I think that all the creatives here are highly multi passionate, like, so many Maltese. So many possibilities, right? And I think that if you are sharing all of them in one place, it can be very confusing. And Ooh, can we make an Cake analogy here. It's like if you have all the ingredients for your cake, and you put them all into your cake, like, no one's gonna want to eat that cake. But if you choose the right ingredients that support the kind of cake that you're trying to bake, then it's going to be amazing. So yeah, I think that's a wonderful little additional tidbit on that,
Unknown Speaker 50:21
for sure. Can I just jump in and also say I think passion is different for different people. So if passion is showing up in your personal brand, that we all sort of think that I'm supposed to be so inspiring and purpose filled and, and encouraging. And like that's showing passion, because you hear that word, and you think that's what other people's passions are. But for some people, your passion is being logical and even keeled. And you're not Captain Kirk, your Spock, and your passion showing up with a little eyebrow, right? You're not even a cake. You're like a, you're savory. I don't know, you're a pork chop, your little red berry on some pork chop, right. And so I just want to acknowledge people out there who do not have not everyone personal brand, even with their passions showing up and wearing their passion on their sleeve, is that, you know, maybe you're not super woowoo, maybe you're not super intuitive. Maybe you're not kind of more of those really inspiring things. You're more even keeled and reassuring. Or maybe you're funny, you know. So there's just different ways that people show up in their personal brand.
Emily Thompson 51:34
We flesh out that question with a few more food puns that I won't make you listen to. But I think that you get the point. And I'm actually going to pair this with another clip from this session. See, I told you that it was hard to choose just one where our panelists address a question from a jewelry maker. Hey, Mary Beth, about sharing your personality or being authentic with a strategy. Because without a strategy, you're not on a path to get out of your efforts, what you most desire. You'll hear Becky kick off this answer, which is then wrapped up by Vivian.
Becky Simpson 52:12
To me, strategy is more about being mindful than having like a full on strategy. It's like Len was saying like serving them in a way that's relevant. I also feel like in general, a way to be authentic. Like we want to be authentic. We want to be our most like the most us but we're a fish in water. So we're like, What am Who am I? I feel like just doing being kind of paying attention to things like how do you text your friends? Like, Are you someone who uses exclamation marks all the time in real life to your friends than you that's how you can like type your captions, but I kind of a little drier humor or you know, it's like, talk to I tried it I try to do this is talk to say my followers, like I'm texting a friend use talk the way I would talk and you use the themes and the conversation and all that stuff that I would use. So that's like one like little snippet of a way to look at that corner of it.
Emily Thompson 53:16
This actually reminds me of been watching some Netflix with the kid where we're watching heroes, which is very exciting. You guys remember that one from like, mid 2000s. Anyway, um, there's a commercial I'm seeing over and over again is Rachael rays, new dog food called nutrish. Again, almost basically just recite the whole thing for you. But like opening up, she's like, Hi, friends. And she's just like jolly little Rachael Ray. And she's like, I love good eaters. Anyway, it's Rachael Ray shows up talking about dog food, and you're ready to buy it, because she's just talking to you, like, you know, you're just they're having dog food dinner with her or whatever. Um, sometimes I like to look at sort of very personal brands like that, and see how they're showing up for something as big and official as like a national ad campaign, because usually, we can pare that down to how it is that we're doing it in the same way if you'd like to excellent. We know Rachael Ray is probably texting with so many exclamation points. And when she's showing up for these ads, like she's all exclamation points. I think it can be super similar to how it is that how it is that those people are showing, we can look both ways both look at how you're talking to your friends, but also sort of look at how those bigger people are bigger are also bringing their personalities into their brand as well because they're doing it you just have to pay attention. Vivian, do you have any thoughts on personal brand for product people,
Unknown Speaker 54:48
specifically? Um, it's all I think it's all about the story, especially if you're if you're, you know, if you're a jewelry maker, there's got to be a story as to why you started making jewelry. And that's what people that's what resonates with people, people don't necessarily buy the jewelry, they're buying the person behind the jewelry and the story and the lifestyle and the emotions that that is tied to the product. So when you tell the story, and you tell it in your own voice, because like Len said, you just by being you, you're gonna attract your own tribe. So whether they like they don't like you, then they can piss off and go by, you know, jewelry from someone else, but the people who, who love you and love your story, and everything about you resonates with them, they will be your bit. And those are actually the best, because they will be your biggest fans, they will go and tell everybody in their mother about you. So I think telling a story is super important when you're selling a product, especially when you're selling a personal product, if you're just selling I don't know, like if you're just selling light bulbs for the sake of selling light bulbs, then yeah, you're not really gonna, you're not gonna really have much success. But if you're selling something, because you want it to solve a problem, you you know, you're you're solving people's pain points, then it's the perfect opportunity to tell the story why. And that's what will stick with people, they may not be ready to buy your product right now. But they're going to remember Yeah, you know, I remember that girl that told me the stories. She said she her grandmother used to make all that resonates with me because I miss my Grandma, I'm going to go buy her jewelry. That's that's really what it is. That's what it's about.
Emily Thompson 56:35
In order to connect with your customers, you have to show them who you are, if I may say so. You have to allow yourself to shine. Yeah, I taste that cheese. And with that, it's time for me to officially wrap this up. But first, I need to share some gratitude to all of our bosses who shared these three days with us from your kitchen tables, your couches, your beds from all over the world. Thank you for navigating the switch to an online conference with me. I know it wasn't New Orleans. But I think we can all agree this was a blast. Thank you for coming and hanging out with me for showing up for the kind of engagement and connection I never thought was possible in a virtual setting. Even though I knew you wouldn't disappoint, you still managed to blow me and all the boss experts away with your presence. And your follow through has continued to impress me from Kundalini Yoga challenges to follow up book clubs. I'm so glad to know that even remotely this conference was just the beginning of so many relationships, and so much development of your business and your lives. And to all the boss experts and to my team. Thank you for showing up ready to deliver and deliver you did, we made something seriously awesome together. And to leave you listeners with a little something. I want to share a couple of key takeaways from days of chats with some of the most badass people I know and an entire community of creative business owners. First, focus on creating something of real value more than figuring out any kind of tactic. Next, once you've got that amazing offering, don't be afraid to sell yourself ever. Also, our work has a far reaching impact. And when the world has thrown a wrench in everything, get back to the basics. And finally, don't let the trappings of online business Jade you just be human. Thanks for listening. And hey, if you want more resources, we're talking worksheets, free trainings in person meetups and vacations and more. Go to our website at www dot beam boss dot club. Do the work the boss