Today I’m here with Stephanie Hayes, a business coach and strategist who’s been building stronger businesses for 20 years.

Stephanie specializes in helping business owners on their growth path to align their marketing activities with their business models – and today we’re talking all about how you, too, can align your marketing in your business.

Maybe you feel like you just can’t keep up, or you have all this pressure from other businesses to do all the things, and you’re unable to prioritize what really needs to get done.

In this episode we’ll talk about ways you can give yourself permission to stop trying to do everything, to make your marketing much more effective.

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Read the full transcript

Meg Casebolt 0:01
You’re listening to Social Slowdown, a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro-businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double-edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lip sync, send cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started.

Hello Stephanie I’m so excited to have you on this social slowdown podcast, we’re gonna be talking all things how to create offers that work for you how to get new clients without stressing out all the time and how to also run a business when you have ADHD. And you forget what the third thing was that you were going to get it all saying before we started recording that, when you have people with ADHD talking to each other, you have to have a little bit of an outline going into things. It’ll just go off the rails and we’re 30 seconds and it’s already up and stuff. Tell me about your business and what you offer into whom?

Stephanie Hayes 1:30
Well, Meg, I am a business strategist. And I work with small to medium sized business owners who are just kind of on a growth path. And I don’t mean that in the sense that these are people who are like hustle culture, go go, go go go everything, you know, six figures in six months kind of thing. These are these are people who want to intentionally and thoughtfully go from where they are right now to a business model that’s a little bit more feels a little bit better for them and is really personalized towards what they want. Because I think a lot of business owners, they they build businesses based on what they think they should be doing or what other people have done or what sort of the, the general consensus is out there. And they end up in business models that are not really aligned with who they are as individuals. So we try to build business models that are very personalized. And then we we design the execution plan to figure out how they’re going to get there in a way because there’s, it’s not just a business model, but it’s how you execute your business model that needs to be totally aligned with who you are. And we are all different special snowflakes and individuals that have you know, different things that kind of work for us and don’t work for us. So that is where we kind of get into the conversation around marketing. But I work with my clients in intensives. And that is very much because I want to work that way. And that is how my ideal clients really prefer to work. So we fly in for like, one or two days, we don’t actually physically fly it, but we

Meg Casebolt 3:00
let it come to where you live, it’s free, maybe it

Stephanie Hayes 3:02
depends where you are, if you’re down in the Turks and Caicos, I’ll definitely be fun.

Meg Casebolt 3:07
You’re paying for my flight, I would love to do this.

Stephanie Hayes 3:09
But what I love is the is this, and what my clients love is that kind of like, let’s get it all done in a couple of days. And sometimes it’s like two days worth of work over four days or something like that. But what we want to do is we want to kind of dig in, get the changes happening, figure out how we’re going to execute on them, and then they kind of go away and they start working. And I’ll be there as a support for them. And sometimes, and we’ll kind of check in on a regular basis. But for the most part, the work is getting done in a short duration of time. And it’s you know, they’re getting some time to sort of percolate on it. And then we move on. So I do intensives focused on business strategy. So you know, you’ve gotten to this place, and you want to know what’s next. And, you know, you feel like maybe your business model needs some alignment. And we need to figure out how you’re going to price your offers and what your offers are going to be and no do a little bit of like financial planning and and that sort of thing. I do more more systems focused strategy session where I have 25 years of IT consulting experience. And so systems and technology are really come really naturally to me. And I know it’s a it’s a place where a lot of people have have issues. So we want to align both your business strategy and your technology strategy. So we will choose some process within your business that needs some support and kind of go deep on it for a couple of days and have my team help you kind of build on an implementation plan. And then the third intensive that I do with my clients is around this idea of productizing your services and taking a service area and turning it into something that scales so when we first start out we’re kind of like working one on one and customized services and then we kind of understand what those are a little bit better as we go along. And then we get to This place where we’re like every, so every time I work with a client, it feels really customized. And it feels really like different. And I’d really like to kind of create some something into a container around the work that I want to do, because I’m realizing there are certain services that I just want to do over and over again. And I want to make it a lot more understandable for my clients. And I want to be able to scale that and teach other people how to deliver it. So that’s kind of what the sort of the, the services that scale kind of intensive is all about. So those are the three areas that my clients have really like they really struggle with. And the three areas that I am uniquely positioned to provide assistance, and we have packaged them up in these nice little kind of chunks, and we can kind of get it done. And that’s how I like to work and how I do best and and that’s kind of what we do. So how do you

Meg Casebolt 5:49
know if your business would need a like more of a business side of things or more of a system side of things? How do you know where you said, you know, you sort of came out and kind of said, you want to grow, but you feel like the way that your business is set up doesn’t work for who you are, or what your values are? Or what your time commitment is, like? How, how do you know what to fix? Like? What are the signs that things aren’t working? And then how do you know exactly what you should do next,

Stephanie Hayes 6:17
quite honestly, if that’s where you’re at, that’s where we’re gonna start, we’re gonna start with a business strategy intensive, right? The examples of the people who know that what they need right now is to dive deep on a system or a process. It’s like, you know, my client who’s who runs a mortgage brokerage. And she’s like, we have all this data coming from all these different systems. And we have this issue because my team internally just cannot for the life of them track the lifecycle of a customer. And so you know, we’ve put this thing in place and nothing in place, but we just need someone to rubber, wrap their arms around, you know, the strategy behind this system and the data and figure out how we’re going to make it better. And the third, the third, the offer piece, honestly, that’s probably something that’s going to come like I will never sell one of these by someone kind of coming to my website, no conversation clicking and, you know, signing up, I mean, great, maybe, maybe, but for the most part, we’re having a conversation first. And so I’m going to be able to tell you that your business model feels good already. Your question isn’t really about kind of what you’re doing, it’s more about how we go from kind of where we are right now to moving into leverage and a team and that sort of thing. I think that people, you know, after a quick conversation, people kind of know where they’re at. And it’s up to me to make sure that I’m directing them in the right place as well.

Meg Casebolt 7:44
So you made a really good point, which is that with the the price point of this and the intensity of this, the the short amount of time that you’re going to spend with people, you really do want to get on a sales call with people before they buy from you to make sure that they’re a good fit for you to make sure that you understand their business to make sure that you’re not going to waste two days on somebody who isn’t going to show up who isn’t going to do the work who isn’t a good fit for what you offer. So where do those people come from?

Stephanie Hayes 8:13
You know, so I’m going to go on a soapbox, man,

Meg Casebolt 8:17
we should just call this the social soapbox. Bring it on all the soapbox is bringing it because I know where you’re going with this. That’s why I like cute it up. You and I

Stephanie Hayes 8:27
talk pretty much every day. That’s true. We know each other’s businesses. And we work together. So I know you know where I’m going. So a lot of my clients will come to me with all this pressure on them, right? They’ve got all this pressure on them. And you can literally see it in their faces. Like they get on this call. And they’re like,

Meg Casebolt 8:46
one more person a dog do I don’t have time for this, I’m so tired. She’s gonna tell me that I need to do 20 things. And I don’t even know I can’t even do the things that are on my to do list. No,

Stephanie Hayes 8:56
I think that so it’s really funny because a lot of times people come to me and they’re like, I just can’t keep up. I have I don’t have enough time. And I’m like, No, everybody has the same amount of time. It’s not like you’re not you’re not supposed to have more time, what you’re supposed to do is be more like realistic about what’s effective in your business and and so where this all comes from is this mentality that we get placed upon us by the culture and the community that we’re in that if you don’t have a funnel and you’re on a social media strategy, and you know you’re doing content marketing your newsletters, and you’re like, Oh God, I like all the things right? I should I need to be I should. I should be doing all these things and I’m exhausted and I can’t possibly Well, of course you can’t fit them in. Like there’s you can’t invent time, right? Like there’s, there’s an end one of the things that I’m constantly conditioning my clients to do is is get out of this mentality of like, I have to stuff more into my day. And it’s more like oh, how long do you actually have and like It’s readjusting their own expectations. And they get they have to go through this like concept of I’m a failure, because I’m not doing enough. But what it forces us to do is get really clear on what’s actually working for them, and give themselves permission to stop trying to do everything. Because the reality likely is that they’re not doing all these things well, and then they’re like, Oh, but I have to hire a team member to the I’m like, No, let’s talk about whether these things are actually effective for your business or not. And a lot of times, it’s like, Oh, I hate like, social media is such a drain for me, I have a lot of introverted clients, I have a lot of like, people who are HSPs, and people who are like us, right? And

Meg Casebolt 10:39
really quickly, say, highly sensitive people highly sensitive. And when we say people who are like us, we’re talking about neuro divergence, and people who, whose brains are just wired differently. Yeah,

Stephanie Hayes 10:47
totally. And so like, it’s really heavy for them. It’s, it’s heavy, it’s a drain. And I’m like, if you if you’re saying I should, it really means I wish I didn’t have to write Yeah. So I do a lot of like permission giving. And we, at the same time have to have to look at your strategies, and like choose one or two. But what I can tell you is most of the time if you’re running a service based business, and this is a little bit different for a product based business, for sure. But if you are running a service based business, most of your clients, no matter how you how much you want to like, build some type of, you know, social media, funnel, whatever, because it seems like it’s easy. It all comes back to engagement, it all comes back to showing up as a human being. So you can push all the content you want out there, you’re going to be lucky if one of those pieces of content actually sticks, with the exception of a very well executed SEO strategy. Just to make it’s

Meg Casebolt 11:45
you don’t have to say that we don’t this is not an SEO podcast, this is not an advertisement. But this idea, I actually do believe that like, I think I think the point of that, too, is not even just like an SEO strategy, but being found by people who are ready to buy.

Stephanie Hayes 11:59
That’s right. And so it’s the intentionality. So at the end of the day, all the things that are going to drag people over to your business, require you to show up and require you to engage and require you to not just sit there running ads, or, you know, putting posts out on Instagram and hoping somebody sees them, you actually have to show up in their space. So if you’re not comfortable doing that, and I’m not I hate engaging on social, like it just it’s just like not my thing, right. And so if you’re not comfortable showing up in their space, and being like a human, that’s gonna, you know, be noticed, then don’t do that, right, find other places where you can do that, that it feels more comfortable. And I’ll tell you, one of the biggest reliefs, reliefs is that I ignored reliefs,

Meg Casebolt 12:46
it wouldn’t be relieves right, it would be released plural. Yeah, you’re right.

Stephanie Hayes 12:51
The biggest sources of relief for a lot of my clients is that they can that they can mark it and sell their business, just by showing up and being a good human being like being helpful. And I’ll tell you the first year in business for my coaching business, I filled my business and grew to six figures simply by being involved in one community and just being helpful. And it was a community I liked to be in,

Meg Casebolt 13:19
filled with people that you wanted to work with, who needed what, you know,

Stephanie Hayes 13:23
I’ll tell you that the most benefit I’ve gotten from that community has not been people hiring me, but people referring me. So a lot of these folks were a little too early stage to be able to afford to work with me. But I get I still get referrals to this day, like five years later from people in that community. And they all knew who I was. And it wasn’t even like intentional, I just kind of was there. And I like the people and I was helpful. And it happened to be really good for my business. So if you are really feeling cocky about that’s like a word, Aki, if you’re feeling really uncomfortable about the idea of selling, because we have a lot of mindset about that, oh, selling is taking from people flip that around, it’s actually service, right? If people don’t know you exist, how are they going to get the help that you can give them.

Meg Casebolt 14:15
And if you are spending your time marketing yourself in a way that doesn’t feel aligned with what your business is going to provide for them or what your values are, then you might not feel comfortable once you get to a sales conversation because their expectations won’t be aligned with what it is you can do for them or how you want to engage with them. And then you know, by the time they work with you, they still don’t really understand what you do. So yeah, yeah, it’s really tough. Listen, like

Stephanie Hayes 14:43
I am not woo but I will tell you there is something there right because and I will tell you I’ve never even said that before. Apparently you

Meg Casebolt 14:49
have now you just notice it. It’s that semantic satiation once you hear it? No, that’s that’s when the word sound weird. I can’t remember what it is. But when you hear the phrase over and over again, you notice that every time Though

Stephanie Hayes 15:00
there is something about the energy that flows, when we have intention when we feel aligned, that’s why I spent, I focus so much on making sure that we have alignment in our business models, right? From like starting with you and who you are, and better understanding yourself all the way through to who you’re working with, and how you’re delivering it, and how you’re marketing it right, all of that stuff makes a huge difference. And the alignment of that energy, like, it’s, it’s noticeable. And when we get that, right, your marketing is so much more effective. And when you show up for sales calls, you’re like, Yeah, I like I get it. And if you show up for a sales call, and you’re like, here, let me read you my script. Probably not gonna be super effective. But the like, the secret with sales calls, is that it can be very, very easy. If all if you just start asking questions, if you just let that person talk. And we get taught by sales professionals to own the conversation and to structure the conversation, here’s what’s going to happen over the next 15 minutes or half an hour like imagine being the recipient on the other end kind of going, Oh, okay. What if I just sat, like my little secret with sales calls as I just sit down and say, so what’s going on? The first thing that you’re going to hear from that person is like, all the things that are the primary concerns that they have? Well, that’s sales gold, right? Like, if only everybody showed up and just told you honestly, and from the heart, like what was really bothering them, then you can structure your conversation appropriately. And sometimes structuring that conversation means, you know, what I’ve heard from you is that, you know, your biggest concern is X, Y, and Zed. But oh, you Canadians, I know. But I’m not really in a position to deliver that for you. So I’m going to recommend to go with someone else, right. So just let them talk, let them talk until you notice that they just kept they have nothing more to say. And at that point in time, you gotten a lot of really good information with which you can structure the rest of the sales conversation, but also they feel heard. And if you make them feel heard and known, that is your number one sales advantage, right? You people are gonna buy based on how you make them feel not on a laundry list of benefits that your service offers.

Meg Casebolt 17:15
Yeah, not on something that you send out in an automated DM when they join your whatever that is

Stephanie Hayes 17:20
correct. Right. And, and you know, like not to knock that because there is actually like, there are a set of business models where that’s make sense. And if you construct your business around them, and you got the rapey, you know, they got the people who respond to that. And that’s what they want, great. But for I think most people and most audiences that we’re talking to, and most of the people I talk to, are kind of out there going, Look, I just want it I just want this to be my livelihood. And I’m not out here to be a celebrity, and I don’t need to create some, you know, massive audience around what I’m building, I just want to like do good work and get paid well for it and be home for my kids or whatever it might be. So the most of the people need to know that there are easier ways to build it and drive and grow your business than trying to build all the things.

Meg Casebolt 18:10
And I think we’ve been told, like, oh, sales calls are unsustainable, because you have to spend a half an hour with each of these people, and that eats into your day in your profits. And I think the people who are saying that or not recognizing that, like, you don’t need to do a sales call with every person you meet, you are doing a sales call with somebody who has already already identified themselves as a good lead. And they have potentially gone through some sort of screening or email questions before they get to you. And you don’t need to have 100 sales calls a month to get one client.

Stephanie Hayes 18:47
You need like 100 clients, you need probably two or three, right?

Meg Casebolt 18:50
And that’s the thing, it depending and here’s where it comes back to what is your business model and aligning your sales process in your marketing with what you want to how you want to deliver whatever it is that you’re doing. So if you’re a high touch coach, like you were you’re going to be deep in people’s businesses, it’s like, because you’re going deep, you don’t have to go wide, you don’t need to, if you had 100 clients, you’d be a total burnout.

Stephanie Hayes 19:16
Like, yeah.

Meg Casebolt 19:18
And there are people who are saying like, you can’t scale your business if you don’t, if you need to either grow a team or leverage your systems or you know, like, and then you can get yourself out of the business. And that’s not what every business No, don’t always need to scale beyond your capacity just so that way you can get out of the business. Maybe you love your business and you just want to work with a handful of people who are awesome. I look at look like

Stephanie Hayes 19:43
look at our friend who has done that in our little mastermind group. And she you know, she very intentionally and it took like three or four years. She very intentionally wanted to work in a very, very specific way that worked with her brain and her creativity and she’s extremely highly paid, like extremely talented, creative. And she has built that business for herself. So there’s like, there’s like nine different ways to scale. And people seem to think it’s only because I have to put a team in place. And that freaks a lot of people out because they don’t want to manage people, they don’t want to have to hire people they don’t want to give up, they’re like, you can have a very simple business and scale. You can scale without people,

Meg Casebolt 20:26
you don’t need an agency, you don’t need a course, no, those are two ways that you can do it. Those are not required to grow

Stephanie Hayes 20:33
it. But having said that, like I have worked with very big clients, where their entire business is around scale and leverage and, quote unquote, passive income, but it’s not really writing, there’s no passive income, but Right, like, and that’s their chosen business model. And that’s the business model we created for them. And it’s great, like it works. And we build a team, and we build technology, and we build systems to scale. But you don’t have to follow that business model, you can have a tidy little business that’s extremely profitable, and doesn’t suck your energy without having to follow all these strategies. So that’s why I keep coming back to this personalization of your business model, and moving away from the sheds. Because there’s like a lot of different creative ways for you to sell and market and deliver services that do not require you to do things that feel uncomfortable, and the

Meg Casebolt 21:21
intentional choice of what you want that to be not just well, my business coach, coach told me that I have to follow this three part framework. And if I follow this framework, and I set up this funnel, then I will be profitable. And that’s it’s not that simple. And it does, and that business coaches plan may work for someone, but it may not work for you. And that’s okay, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it means you need something different,

Stephanie Hayes 21:47
totally and and I sort of just cut all that out. And I’m like, Look, we’re just going to start with the customization, we’re just going to start with the personalization, we’re going to start with the assumption that you need something personalized and customized. And I can give you all the frameworks for executing for sure, like keep you kind of in a box. But if you don’t like get right back down to the sort of the foundation of who you are and what you want, and you start there, you’re just going to keep putting, it’s like putting good money after bad and Band Aid over band aid, right? You, you’re just going to end up in the same place as before. Listen, if I had built a business model, based on what business education told me to do, I would have a very different business that I actually did for 20 years. And I and it was totally out of alignment with how my brain works, how I like to work how I’m best working, and it was always a struggle. So if you’re feeling friction in your business, there are places that you can take that friction out and it and you just have to go through the discovery process to kind of figure out what that is. And and I can’t tell you what it is. Because we just need to have a conversation. But everybody’s, you know, that’s where you have to customize first is what the business is that you’re running. And then we can apply, you know, frameworks or we can apply like, you know, some tools that help you execute, but I would never, ever want someone to try and pursue a cookie cutter business model, if their intention is to have a business that they really enjoy.

Meg Casebolt 23:19
So if you’re trying to design a business that works for your personality, and then have a marketing strategy that comes from the business model that you want, how do you decide where to promote yourself. And I think that there’s so many frameworks out there that are like, just go where the customers are, that aren’t really aligned to where your business model is. So talk me through how to make that decision.

Stephanie Hayes 23:42
But like there’s a little bit of just trial and error. First of all, because I’m a huge fan of you can’t knock it until you tried it right. But I think that there are also ways of figuring out where your creativity lives, because that’s what’s going to feel really good every day. And you know, like, I learned all the things and I tried all the things I’m like a little crash test dummy, right?

Meg Casebolt 24:06
It’s really hard everything that I’ve ever tried. I’m like Stephanie, just tell me what happened. Because I know you’ve already done we tried this tool. Have you tried this strategy? What’s your What are your thoughts on this?

Stephanie Hayes 24:16
I have learned I have learned it I have been in every course in every program, I have learned all the things. And what I did is I kind of cherry picked right and like well what’s what’s what makes sense for me what doesn’t make sense for me and so, you know, like, I tried to Instagram and I tried all the things and like you want not sort of perfect fit of where people actually are what you’re selling. Like it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to try and go hard on my Instagram strategy to sell, you know, high ticket intensives because all I’m doing with my Instagram strategy is strengthening my brand. So I used to get very, very worried about the numbers in fall. Following the formula and making sure that I was posting this many times and, you know, down to like, what’s the content God,

Meg Casebolt 25:09
I just saw an Instagram graphic on somebody’s Instagram that I follow that I want will not call out that was like in order to maximize the algorithm, you need to post in your phone three times a week, your story’s twice a day doing one one reel every three days. I was like I can, I can barely remember to feed my dog.

Stephanie Hayes 25:28
Right? Sorry, Charlie. That is where the exhaustion comes from. That is where people who get overstimulated that is where they’re like, Oh, my God, I have to do all these things. And here’s what I’ll tell you. There are two sides of market. One is what I call your creative work, which most people know is like content. And then the other side of that is visibility. And visibility can is the place where most people cringe and go, Ooh, I want to do that, because they think it’s like PR and jazz hands and showing up and but visibility is is like the essential part. Because content and your creative work is only there to strengthen your brand once people find you. With the exception of good SEO. So when when I think about all these, all this pressure that we have to do, like there are always going to be people who like go deep on a platform and are like nerding out on a platform. And they’re like, Hey, I figured out how to beat the algorithm. Great. But if my people aren’t buying from that platform, like they’re not making buying decisions, or like clicking and buying from that platform, why am I spending all this time and stressing myself out? To follow the algorithm, I think you need to recognize what the platform does for you, and then treat it accordingly. So when I figured out that, my Instagram account is the place where I can be creative, where I could write, it’s a receptacle for my writing, but it’s just there to strengthen my brand so that when someone does see me or find me, they go there. And they’re like, oh, they start reading. And they’re like, Okay, I already have some context around this person. And now I get to like, learn more about her. That’s really cool, right? It’s just, it’s kind of like my content hub. So I’m just going to write what whatever like, feels really good there. And I’m not going to stress out about the algorithm I’m not going to stress out or how much how much like, I took all that pressure off. And as it turns out, in June, in June, at some point in time, like my Instagram account got shut down, for no apparent reason, like, nobody has yet been able to explain it. But it’s just I wasn’t allowed to comment. I wasn’t allowed to post anything, I wasn’t allowed to do anything. And over three months, four months, it took for them to finally reinstate it, even though every time you could even get somebody on tech support, they would be like, Yeah, we don’t know what’s wrong. It’s, there’s nothing like, you know, I hadn’t even been posting like, it’s

Meg Casebolt 28:03
just you haven’t violated these terms of service. And we don’t know why it got shut down. But there must be a reason and I just can’t identify it. And I don’t have the right, like permissions and access to be able to do anything about it. So sorry, bye.

Stephanie Hayes 28:14
And they kept saying they kept saying no, it’s fine. It’s fine. You haven’t done anything wrong, but but will will reinstate it, but they didn’t, right. And so eventually, I was just like, Well, okay, well, what are we going to do here and, and weirdly enough, my business kept on going, and I made the same amount of money, and it was fine. So, you know, it just further was further evidence that, you know, my social platform does encourage some conversation. And people do read my stuff in the they like my stuff, because I, I just sit in bed and I write posts in like 10 minutes. I don’t over engineer this stuff. But it’s really like, become a place where I can just be me and I can I can post my content, but it’s not get any clients. And it’s never gonna get me clients. It will just help people make a decision that I’m somebody that they’re interested in. And it’s up to me to be more visible and work my networks and talk to people and be helpful and communities and stop trying to make everything I do measurable,

Meg Casebolt 29:18
which is so hard for people like you and I who are so data driven, where we want to have the numbers and we want to know exactly where each person came from so that we can replicate that same experience for somebody else. But sometimes there’s just like something that happens that isn’t tangible, that isn’t measurable. That’s still that’s a reputation thing. It’s a gut instinct thing that cannot be quantified.

Stephanie Hayes 29:42
If you are running a funnel based business, and you’re selling a digital product and you’ve got it all like architected and that sort of thing. Then we start looking at numbers then we start looking at trends and patterns and you’ve got enough data to but that’s not the business I’m running and that’s the business with most my clients are well that’s not true. But some of my clients a lot of Clients are not running those kinds of businesses. And what we mean that the mindset shift that we have to make is that your all your marketing activities, you have to stop looking at them and seeing did I get all these results, what you have to get clear on is like, you’re just kind of putting money in the bank, right? You’re just every day, having some faith that your, your activities are going to eventually pay off for you. So showing up in those groups, and just just engaging and just being a helpful human being, and like having interesting conversations and being curious, but people were going to be like, Oh, but I didn’t land any clients from that. I’m like, just stop, right? Because this is like, brand building over time.

Meg Casebolt 30:43
Right? It’s very, it’s a very similar mindset to like learning to play piano or getting stronger at the gym, you got to do the work consistently. And it might not be visible, and you might not take the selfie and post it, you know, in this metaphor, you might just go do the work. And it might be the secret stuff that you do, where you’re doing outreach to people who have been on your email list for a while and you’re sending them a personalized email, or they had a sales call with you they didn’t buy you want to check in three months later and say, Hey, what’s going on? And the same with what you said, just open a conversation with people let them know you were a member them that can work spending, you know, 20 minutes, sending personalized emails can convert people, especially if you want, you know, some people are like, I need to make money right now. Okay, then start with the people who are closest to you, instead of trying to get somebody who doesn’t know you to move to a sale in a week, start with somebody who’s already reached out to you to somebody that’s already in your email, or in your DMS, or wherever you’re having these conversations. Yeah,

Stephanie Hayes 31:44
so listen, there’s the three easiest ways for people to get clients are like, not what you get taught. One of them is just reaching out to friends, like people, you know, right, just like, I will reach out to my close colleagues, I’ll be like, Hey, I have a spot to fill for intensive next month, just if you know, anybody, if you think of any opportunities, or, you know, just be aware, and these are the kinds of people that I’m looking for. So the key here is that you want to make sure people understand who you’re looking for. And then people like to help, right, and they’re like, oh, I have this other client over here, or I was talking to somebody I know over here. And they’re, they’re like really struggling with this problem right now, honestly, like, you need one or two clients, you don’t need 10. So reaching out here, just people you know, and just like I have a client who like routinely gets herself spun up, and she’s like, I should be doing all this email marketing, I should be building my list and blah, blah, blah, I’m like, You need one client. Just go and talk to somebody. And she’ll be like, oh, yeah, right? Wasn’t that does that feel better than being like, oh, my gosh, I have to do all of the, like, 800 things that I like, build my list, and blah, blah, blah, and I have to really, like, just go and talk to somebody. Right? So the second tactic that we’ve talked about already, is like find your communities find either online or offline, just find your people. And just like engage. And that does not mean that you have to turn every conversation into a sales conversation, just like go ask your own questions just become known to them, become known as a helpful, like, engaging member of that community. So all you have to do, like, it really doesn’t have to be sales conversations, because people are going to seek you out. Once they see that you understand,

Meg Casebolt 33:36
and they’re gonna tag you people who know you will tag you will pull you into conversations for other people who may be closer to working with you, or who may be a better fit for whatever it is that you’re offering. A lot of times when you’re in these communities, like you were saying at the beginning, it’s like it’s not, it’s not always the people that you’re talking to. It’s the people that they know. And by building a reputation of being an expert, and a being a approachable human being. At the same time, there are a lot of people who are experts who are not approachable and a lot of people who are nice, who are not experts. And we need to find the depth Venn diagram of the overlap there that are people that you want to work with that

Stephanie Hayes 34:12
you trust, but I don’t even think it has to be that constructed. Right? I always have a framework stuff the like, do you like to be in this community? Can you ask your own questions? Can you be vulnerable can like people create emotional connections with you, and it’s active being present? Right? You can you can show up there and just ask questions every day. You can like show up there and just participate in conversations. It does not have to be something it always leads to a sale because people are gonna notice you and you become familiar to them. And that familiarity is what we’re after.

Meg Casebolt 34:45
I like that that feeling like people know you they remember you you’re top of mind. You don’t always have to be pitching yourself. You don’t have to be the bees.

Stephanie Hayes 34:55
But you just have to be like consistent. So the third way to show up in and find clients size is very effective is by finding sort of collaborative partners, right. And this could mean that you show up and you present someone’s you’re borrowing someone else’s audience. So the place to look are the people who serve the people that you want to work with, in a slightly different capacity or who are before you on the journey or after you on the journey. The great example I have here is a client of mine who was like, a grief coach, right? She was actually a life coach, but she had this really cool business model where she, she did life coaching from the perspective of death, right? And so people who had been through a brush with death, people who had just lost a loved one, people who were like, in this place where they were like, wow, I really need to, like look at everything a little bit differently. So when we’re talking about her kind of like collaborative partners, we’ll think about the journey that somebody like this follows. The Who are they talking to? They’re talking to doctors, they’re talking to people in hospitals they’re talking to people aren’t horrible, but like funeral,

Meg Casebolt 36:04
funeral homes, churches or places of worship,

Stephanie Hayes 36:06
yep. All of those people are people who should know who you are, yeah. Because you might be able to co host an event with them. You might be like, even just getting referrals for them. Or you might publish something together with them or do whatever you and I have hosted webinars masterclasses together. And because you’re already being referred by them, or you’re just presenting with them, that’s like automatic credibility. And all of these people who are now in their audience are now your audience as well. Those three strategies are honestly the most effective way to get clients. And if you want to supplement those strategies by doing some funky stuff on like, Erica, Erica loves Instagram, she loves making real she loves all that shit.

Meg Casebolt 36:56
Good. Like, if you like it, do it,

Stephanie Hayes 36:58
do it for you do it. She’s awesome at it. I am not. I want

Meg Casebolt 37:03
to add one more thing about partnerships too, which is partnerships aren’t always just a way to do referrals. Sometimes you can build a service partnership that is equally beneficial to both sides. So with my SEO agency, we have design partnerships where designers just build us into their process. We have copywriting partnerships where these folks are rewriting websites, and they need to have the keyword research in place. Yeah, sometimes we’re not even seeing the clients, the partners are the clients. And if you have enough of those people who are, especially if you’re you know, you were saying a lot of your clients are introverts, maybe they don’t want to go out and do all the sales calls and get those those clients directly, maybe they just need two or three really strong partnerships with people who are continuing to bring in ongoing clients, that is a completely valid business that’s based on relationships, without it needing to always be about audience growth and being seen by everyone, you can have a really powerful behind the scenes like white label business where you don’t have to do any of them.

Stephanie Hayes 38:03
Yeah, totally like you and I are working on that right now creating a little like productized offering that I can leverage for some of the projects that I’m working on. And I’ll just bring you in like it’s just a repeatable, awesome little business model. So there’s

Meg Casebolt 38:18
so in that first option, which is go reach out to people that you know, that doesn’t just have to be people in your network that doesn’t just have to be people who know people that can even be go back to your old clients. Yeah, go back to people that have expressed interest in potential partnerships, go back to people who you were on their podcast, or you’ve done a webinar with them, and see what they’re working on, you know, all of these different options that we’re talking about. They’re not just, you know, do the thing, and then it will work forever. Try all the things, see how it works. And then once you figure out what works, do more of

Stephanie Hayes 38:51
it. These are just conversations, right? And I’ll tell you what the objection that people have to this sort of like reaching out to your network, they’re like, oh, I don’t want to like take advantage of the relationship and come across as being like, salesy greedy, or asking people to sell for you, but you’re not, here’s what I know about people as they like to help. And so if you structure the conversation, you’re just super honest and super like, like with everything, just be super honest and super vulnerable. And you just go to your, your network, and you say, hey, you know, my business is built mainly on referrals. And I’m just trying to, like, I only want to get referrals from people that I really trust and that I really, you know, respect. And so I’ve got a couple spots open and available. And I’m looking for this type of person to work with. And, you know, if you’re out there in the world, and you you know, are aware of anyone or anybody to kind of cross your path, or you can think of somebody right now who would really benefit from them. You know, let me know, I’d love to I’d love to have the referral, right? You don’t asking people to sell for you not indebting them to anything is just, it’s just like Hey, everybody wants to help. If you came to me, Megan, you said, I really need some clients that are X Y, Zed and, and whatever I’d be like, Okay, sweet, who can I think of? Okay, I’m constantly

Meg Casebolt 40:11
you are, the easier it gets, you know, we have, we have a friend Natalie. And she did this exact thing to me many years ago, when she was just starting her business, especially in like, 2015. She sent me an email that was like, I have two spots available in the next few months. And this is the client that I’m looking for, here’s what the outcome will be. And I said, Yep, I know that client. It’s me. It wasn’t a sales pitch email, it was a request that was done from a place of, hey, you know, people I know people, and then it ended with, and if you meet anybody sent to you tell me who you’re looking for. Because I’m always having these conversations. I think this can be a very, it can be a relationship based on reciprocity, instead of greediness. And if you treat it that way, it changes everything. Totally.

Stephanie Hayes 40:59
And I think like you and I have this, been doing this for so long together, that it’s just like, it’s just a given, you know, I’m like, Hey, Meg, I got a spot open, know anybody? And you’re like, Yeah, I know. I know, I know what you got already.

Meg Casebolt 41:11
And I learned to always go through my mental Rolodex of like, who’s in my program, who have I worked with recently, who, who’s coming down the pike and is on my waitlist right now that I know that they’re gonna need this help before they get to me, you know, and just kind of always being, there’s a part of business that is just thinking about who you know, you don’t always have to have the entire, you know, I think they say that you can keep like, 100 people in your brain at a time. And that might be all that you need. You don’t need to have the giant audience to have a thriving business.

Stephanie Hayes 41:42
Listen, the number one thing that’s gonna that’s gonna keep your business growing is consistency. And I don’t care what you’re being consistent in. If one week, you’re like consistently doing podcast pitches, and then one week, you’re consistently just showing up and communities another week, you’re just like, I’m just gonna reach out to feel whatever, as long as you are keeping your buckets full, right? You allocate enough time every week, to do whatever, whatever feels good that week, give yourself permission, and you do it. Great. But if you go out and you’re like, Oh, I spent a week just engaging on social media, and I didn’t get any sales. So this is stupid. I’m just not going to do my

Meg Casebolt 42:22
business is a failure. I’m never

Stephanie Hayes 42:24
marketing doesn’t work. I hate social media. Like, I don’t I don’t particularly enjoy using social media in the way that I’m supposed to use it. But I do think it’s really effective. Depending on like, provided you understand how it fits into your business, right? Do you have to do it now. You don’t have to do it. And your needs are going to change over time. Like I’m realizing now that LinkedIn is incredibly effective for me. So I’m gonna start we’re going to discuss gonna start showing up there, right, and I did this week. And right away, I got somebody reach out to me, he’s like, I’ve been following you for a really long time. And I’m like, really? I don’t even know who you are. Can I work with you in January? I’m like, okay,

Meg Casebolt 43:00
yes, the answer is yes.

Stephanie Hayes 43:04
But this is what I mean, it’s, it’s like, this isn’t someone that was on my radar at all. And I just, I went out there just with like, this intention of like, I’m just going to show up, I’m just going to show up, I’m going to make some noise, I’m going to do something interesting. I’m going to say exactly what I want to say. And it doesn’t have to be like part of some content plan or anything. Just gonna show up. Yeah. And

Meg Casebolt 43:25
it works, right? Because I just started doing every day on my calendar, I put in an hour of marketing and half is creation and half is relationships. So it’s like, yeah, I’m gonna record YouTube. I’m going to record podcasts, I’m going to get those to the people on my team that I need to do it. And then the rest of it is like, who’s in my inbox right now? Yeah, who’s on my to my follow up list right now? Who do I who haven’t I talked to in a bit who was in my slack channel that I’m just like, oh, I probably should connect with that person, because they were a long time ago. You know, what are the opportunities? Yeah. doesn’t always have to be creation. Like you said, it doesn’t always have to be that, like, people hide

Stephanie Hayes 43:59
behind creation, right? Because it feels like they’re doing something. But it’s not the hard thing, right. But if we start stop thinking that the relationship building is the hard thing, because it’s not it’s just conversations. Yeah. Then I would rather you spend your time doing that.

Meg Casebolt 44:16
doing some outreach, or just hey, I saw this article, I thought you’d like it. It doesn’t always have to be a request. Just be a friend.

Stephanie Hayes 44:23
Just be a friend. Seriously, that’s all.

Meg Casebolt 44:27
Alright, friend. Well, I’ll talk to you in 20 seconds after recording this interview. Before we do that, how can people find you?

Stephanie Hayes 44:35
I am at Stephanie Hayes dot biz. You can find me on social media platforms, but I may or may not be engaged. Going check out my content at Stephanie In Instagram, you can find me on LinkedIn, like I’m everywhere, but I just like I just do my own thing, right. So by probably the best, the best way to reach out to me is via the website or via LinkedIn.

Meg Casebolt 45:00
Sounds great. You like do what you want to do, right? Darn it. Alright, thank you so, so much stuff. I

Stephanie Hayes 45:09
really appreciate your time today. Yeah, love talking to you as per usual and I’ll talk to you again very soon.

Meg Casebolt 45:16
Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social and sign up for our email list so you never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown comm slash review or grab that link in our show notes for easy access will be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media Talk to you then.

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aligning your marketing with your business & life goals with Stephanie hayes