This week I’m welcoming Lacy Boggs back to talk about something we both have experience with – and that’s invisible audiences.

In this episode, Lacy and I talk about the importance of knowing that your audience is not always trackable – and that there’s probably a good chunk of people that are invisible to you. So what do we do with this audience, and how do we serve them? Find out in this short episode!

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, everyone, I am so excited to have Lacy back. She is our first second time guest. And the reason why I’m bringing Lacy back, like in month two, for all intents and purposes, is that I had a list of things that I would like to talk about in my solo episodes. And then Lacey legitimately wrote an email that took the words out of my mouth, and I was like, okay, instead of a short solo episode, this will just be kind of a mini conversation on this topic with Lacy, because she said it better than I could. So why not for her? So what we’re going to be talking about in this episode is knowing that your audience is not always trackable, and that there is like probably a good percentage of people that are completely invisible to you, that aren’t necessarily your biggest cheerleaders and what to do with that audience and how to know how to serve them so Lacy if you want to start with kind of your story about this.

Lacy Boggs 1:44
Sure. Yeah. I was inspired to start thinking abou t this. My coach Merel Kriegsman mentioned something in a call, I think that we were on not even to me to somebody else about how she felt like she had an invisible audience because she definitely appeals to more experienced entrepreneurs. And she’s, she was saying, like, they’re not going to necessarily comment in my face at Facebook group, although they might join and stalk and look and see what’s going on. They’re not necessarily going to come to a webinar, they’re not going to download a freebie, but then they’re getting on sales calls and being like, I’ve been following you for a while I’m ready to buy right and it got me thinking about the fact that so much of what we try to do in marketing or like that the I don’t want to use the royal we because you and I Meg kind of know that this isn’t true. But there’s

Meg Casebolt 2:38
although we are royal in many ways, we’re queens of our own domain. So I think it’s okay in this case, right?

Lacy Boggs 2:44
I guess what I mean is like there’s a lot of marketing noise about being trackable right and and everything being trackable that you can, you should be watching your numbers watching your metric seat watching your traffic, what are your likes, what are your bla bla bla bla bla, right? But there is always going to be a section of your audience a segment of your audience that is invisible in this sense, like there’s no way to track what they’re thinking what they’re doing. And I find that as you have a higher ticket offer. If you’re just buying if you’re just selling a widget, you might be able to track like, oh, I wrote a blog post about the widget. And when I got more traffic, I sold more widgets. Hurray. Right? But when you’re selling a higher ticket service, especially, it gets harder and harder and harder to measure the ROI of any single piece of content, right? People are not going to read my blog, and then immediately click a Buy Now button that they invest in a $12,000 retainer with me. That’s just not how it works, right.

Meg Casebolt 3:49
I wish I wish it worked that well. But this is not Oh,

Lacy Boggs 3:52
I’m a good writer. I’m not quite that good. But I do know that like my blog posts have value because I know that people when they find out about me, or when somebody refers them to me, they come and check me out. They read my posts, people mentioned on sales calls, well, I read your posts about X, or I read a bunch of your posts, and I really like your style. So there’s this untrackable ROI of those blog posts, right? And the same is true of just about every piece of content I produce, you know, likes on an Instagram don’t translate to sales directly to me, right? But it does help me see maybe other things like oh, that person’s paying attention, or that message resonated with the types of people I’m interested in talking to. It’s just not the kind of like super direct A equals B equals A sale.

Meg Casebolt 4:46
Yeah. And I think you’re right, that are Merrill’s right to be more accurate, which is that like, sometimes people just loiter for a really long time. And the busier that person is, the less they’re going to take time out of their schedule to reach out to you to comment on things to show up for free trainings. You know, I definitely see within my free trainings, it’s often either people who are completely brand new to me or people who have been, you know, showing up to every free training that I’ve had for the past three years. And there’s very little middle ground in there, but the people who join the program are not necessarily the people who show up for the free training, but you have to have the free training in order to let them know that, you know, and and recognizing that conversion rates are squeaky they’re hard numbers.

Lacy Boggs 5:30
That’s a technical term. Squeaky is

Meg Casebolt 5:32
I did I did learn the words, squelch. Today, I looked up the definition of it. No, it was about the way the toothpaste comes under the tube. Yes. Obviously, it’s my verb of the day. I feel like I wouldn’t normally bring that up unless it were Yeah. But there’s, there are people who say like, just reach everyone and be in front of everyone and build an audience and then, you know, throw spaghetti at the wall, and somebody will buy it from you. And as long as you have a big enough audience that people will buy, even if your conversion rates crap. And then there are the people who are going like, as long as you have like a high conversion rate, you don’t necessarily need to have a big audience. But in both of those camps, there is this assumption that you know, the size of your audience.

Lacy Boggs 6:22
Right. Right. And and I think we’ve all gotten used to Well, if your internet old like I am, we’ve gotten used to be able to track late, we’re talking about those numbers, like how big is your email list? How many people are in your social media audience? What are your conversion rates? What’s your traffic like? And, you know, for a while it was very much a measuring contest, we’ll say like, who has, who has the biggest email list, etc, etc. But what I have discovered is, even a big email list doesn’t necessarily convert if it’s the wrong type of people, right. So I actually had this experience a couple of times in my business where I would use a strategy to build my email list, and it worked like gangbusters. But it was attracting people who didn’t necessarily want to buy what I had to sell. And I went through a very ego decimating experience where we cleaned my list, and we went from over 5000 people on my list, to under 300. And those were the people who were active, who were opening my emails, who had, you know, we gave them all the opportunities. And that was a real blow to my ego. But at the same time, I didn’t want to be paying Active Campaign for those people who weren’t opening my emails. And if they’re not opening my emails, they’re probably not my ideal customer, right, they’re probably not going to buy from me. So although I came up in this world of like, you know, your email, list sizes, everything. Not having those people on my email list has not impacted my business really, in any way. I’m still sending out emails every week, I’m still getting leads, I’m still selling things. Because the size of my audience is not directly related to the number of sales I make.

Meg Casebolt 8:15
Yeah, and the you you said, you know, the people who aren’t opening my emails might not be my ideal client, they may not want to buy for me, or the people who are gonna buy from you might not be email reader.

Lacy Boggs 8:26
Exactly, exactly like the to do not necessarily correlate. Like, if they subscribe to my emails, and then want to buy from me fantastic. But it doesn’t necessarily correlate. It’s like correlation is not causation. Right? I’m married to a scientist. So I’ve had that drilled into my brain. But yeah, the the size of my email list and who’s on there doesn’t necessarily correlate to who’s going to buy from me. I know. Because I’ve been doing this so long. I know where most of my clients come from, they mostly come from referrals, a few come from Google search, and a few come from like hearing me on podcasts like this one and things like that. So it’s not but people do subscribe to my email list. They do read my blogs, I do read my Instagram posts, they do, right? It’s it’s different things. It’s just not necessarily I can’t build my business, like, oh, I can definitely tell that I’ll make X number of sales when I have X number of new leads on my email list.

Meg Casebolt 9:21
Yeah, every time I hear someone say, like, you know, take the cost of your product and then your conversion rate and divide it by the number of people on your list. And that’s the value of each subscriber. I’m like, That’s bullshit. That is not a metric that makes any sense that really

Lacy Boggs 9:34
only works if you’re selling a thing if you’re selling a physical product that might work. But it works a lot less for service providers.

Meg Casebolt 9:43
It really does. And I think you know, you made a really good point, which is the the three top referral sources for you are really no direct referrals, people who are making that one to one introduction, SEO which is not necessarily people who are are going to, to leave a trackable trace behind themselves. They don’t sign up for your email list, they might just go straight for your contact form. And people who hear you on podcasts and podcasts are one of the least trackable ways to market your business because we have a know that the podcast apps are the hardest to track.

Lacy Boggs 10:18
Okay, so can I just tell you, Oh, you can tell me. So two years ago, I think it was 2019 into 2020. I worked with podcast ally, which is a podcast pitching PR service, I had a great experience with them. They got me on a lot of really good podcasts, et cetera, et cetera. Their CEO, Bridget Lyons reached out to me recently and was asking me, if I had any, like testimonials I could share where I could directly track a client to an appearance on a podcast like where I could say this episode, that you can go link to and listen to and get a transcript of directly got me a client. And in the I don’t know how many years I’ve been doing podcasts. I went back, I have a forum on my website and then asked, Where did you hear about me, at least within the last like three years for which I can definitely validate the data. Six people six, have said they heard me on a podcast, one set, who became a client said she thought she heard me on Claire pelletize podcast, which I’ve never been on. And the only other person who actually specified which podcast No, I guess there were two, there was one who specified a podcast but didn’t become a client. And one where I was literally on a client’s podcast talking about what I do for them. And the person who heard me there became a client. So like, it’s so untrackable. It’s crazy, like the, it’s great. And I’ve been, I’ve been on dozens, and dozens and dozens of podcasts.

Meg Casebolt 11:51
And even if you do if you’re running your own podcast, and you have experience with us, you had a podcast for a bit. Even if you’re running your own podcast, you can’t track who’s listening to it’s the closest you can come is how much traffic is coming into my show notes. But like, I’m an avid podcast listener, I never go to the show notes unless there’s something really specific I’m looking for. And then half the time I don’t even open up the show notes, I just go to the links in my podcast player and go to the outbound link from that. So that may work for you know, the eventual site that I get to, they may be able to say, oh, this person came from Lipson or Buzzsprout. But it’s not even necessarily which episode that person was listening to that you can try. So when we’re talking about invisible audiences, it’s like, we have no freaking clue where are people come from? So that what you just said about like, I have a form, or my contact form has a blank that just says, How did you hear about me? That’s kind of the best we can do.

Lacy Boggs 12:46
And it’s still not super accurate, because people are like, I don’t remember where I heard about you. I’ve been following you for a long time. I bet you get this a lot to make. Because, yeah, people are like, I don’t know, I must have heard about you on a podcast four or five years ago, and blah, blah, blah, you know, and so it’s even that is not,

Meg Casebolt 13:03
we don’t I get what I get a lot is, I’ve had, like 10 people tell me that I should read you. And I’m like, who was one of them told me what? Like, sometimes I’m in like, investigation rooms, like on brand for you. Right? It’s like, give me a name.

Lacy Boggs 13:22
Totally. And so you know, you can only do the best you can do. But I really do think that even the marketers who have relied on this kind of information in the past are going to have to just get comfortable with invisible audiences in the future, because we’re seeing this as a trend because of privacy laws and things like that. So, you know, the iOS, what was it iOS 15 update, 14 update for Facebook was a biggie. And then the more recent update, where it’s not tracking opens in certain certain emails anymore, like, track is becoming less and less accurate every day.

Meg Casebolt 13:58
And now Google has been sued a couple times for being illegal in the the EU. So we’re gonna see a lot more rolling out in terms of privacy and cookies. And I’m seeing a lot more privacy tracking software, gaining speed, right? I’m sure I’ll be talking about that soon to probably more on YouTube than on the podcast, but but recognizing that none of these tracking systems are accurate, we very rarely know really, but very rarely can we know where people come from except to direct word of mouth, right? And even then, you know, people will say, you know, I reached out to you, I asked who, who I should reach out to for SEO and people kept saying your name. And also I thought that I’d heard of you from somewhere else. It’s like, we can’t think of our marketing as individual pieces of content anymore. It really has to be a body of work, that we’re creating an any any one of those pieces of content, whether that’s relationships that we’re building trainings that we’re doing for groups, podcast, interviews, blog posts, like social media, Those are all, like the whole is greater than the sum of its parts in a lot of ways.

Lacy Boggs 15:04
Absolutely. And it’s all about how you’re showing up, you know, that’s such a good way to put it, you know, it’s not about single pieces of content anymore. And that’s, that’s totally true. And I would argue, it’s maybe never been about single pieces of content, because when you think about it, if a piece of content of yours goes viral, what are the chances that that viral piece is actually going to lead to sales, again, with higher ticket offers, it’s rare, like it might grow your audience, it might grow your likes, you might get a bazillion likes on your on that particular Facebook page or post or whatever it is, but the likelihood that you’ll get the second click, and the third click, to get them to where they’re ready to be ready to actually be a client is is very, very low. So like, my, my goal is never to go viral anymore. It’s just to produce content that’s going to continue that conversation with the person who’s thinking about being, you know, who’s thinking about what they might need, and, and being coming top of mind, staying top of mind. And you never know who’s listening. That’s the other part. Like, I’ve definitely had people come on sales calls with me and say, I read your book, and you’ve been on my, you’ve been on my vision board for three years, and I’m finally ready to work with you. And you’re just like, that’s incredible. And it’s so moving. And it’s such a wonderful compliment. And there’s no way to track those people.

Meg Casebolt 16:32
No, I just had one who said three years ago, you gave me advice in a live training, I used it, I watched all your free stuff, I you know, I was able to get to the point where I could build my business up so that 30% of my traffic comes from SEO and lead to more sales. And that gave me the chance to leave my job and go full full time on the business. And now if I already have that from the free stuff, imagine how much more I’ll make when I know what I’m doing. Right? Yeah, those people are all and hi other people are always hanging out. And and, you know, a lot of marketing speak can be really open ended and kind of like, oh, well, you’re building brand awareness. And brand awareness isn’t trackable. But then when you have those people who are lurkers, then they know about you and and you never know how long the sales cycle is going to be. That was, you know, 2019 That was three years ago, we were having that conversation. And now she’s finally ready to take that next step. And we don’t it’s, it’s not something that is visible, measurable trackable in any way we there, there’s just a certain amount that goes to your marketing of, I’m just going to keep creating something that’s good quality. And I’m not going to be able to track the lifespan of

Lacy Boggs 17:46
it. Yes. And I’ve said this since like, practically day one in my business, but my marketing philosophy is show up and be useful. And if you do that, regularly, continuously guess what people remember, people remember that you gave them good advice on a free training, they remember that your free stuff was good. They remember that they read my 99 cent book or whatever. And then when they’re ready to invest, they remember you it’s the same same idea that top of mind advertising, if we’re going to call it that are top of mind marketing is so valuable in the long run, and we cannot track it.

Meg Casebolt 18:23
Well, that was all I wanted to say. This anything else that’s on your mind on this topic?

Lacy Boggs 18:29
No one except that I’d like to go ahead and already scheduled my third appearance because, as you know, I am about to put out a podcast project that has no direct call to action whatsoever, stowed. And it’s entirely conceived as like a top of mind Visibility Project. And so maybe in six months or a year, I’d love to come back and talk about if and how it worked.

Meg Casebolt 19:00
Yeah, and I think you’re also talking about some really interesting things right now about just being okay with experimenting and being playful and seeing what happens and not, not feeling like everything that you do has to have a direct correlation to an outcome. It can sometimes it can just be fun. It’s okay to have fun. And at me as the the marketing data person who is like, let’s look at your analytics, let’s find your privacy’s after like let’s let’s track what’s working. There is still just a certain extent where it’s like this is entirely untrackable in our hands, so let’s just have some fun and play man

Lacy Boggs 19:32
100% I’m here for it that’s definitely a message I’m shouting from the rooftops right now. Like God, let’s just have some fun. I’m so tired of everything being so serious

Meg Casebolt 19:44
and fun doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you know, dancing on Tik Tok. No, we’re doing a real fun can be I thought I had this idea in the shower and I’m going to see what

Lacy Boggs 19:54
happens. And fun. A lot of times the metric you’re looking for there is does it get you By then, does it get the people around you excited? Guess what? It’s gonna get your audience excited.

Meg Casebolt 20:05
Yeah. And who do I get to meet? Who do I get to play with? Who’s gonna show up? Who do I get to partner with? What relationships do I get to build? None of this is short term totally. If you if everything that you do in your marketing is based on what can I get out of it this month, then you need to rethink sort of how how long you want your business to live.

Lacy Boggs 20:27
I think you and I are an excellent demonstration of that because we have been friends and business buddies and referral partners and everything else for God knows how many years at this point, and it just keeps getting better team.

Meg Casebolt 20:39
Yeah, Megan flat introduced us in 2015. So

Lacy Boggs 20:42
that’s like seven years and it just keeps getting better.

Meg Casebolt 20:46
Wow. And and the referrals and the relationships, you know that none of that is? I mean, sometimes Lacy, I feel like you and I just trade money back and forth.

Lacy Boggs 20:57
100% I’m okay with that.

Meg Casebolt 21:00
Right. I’m sorry that I just increased your taxes, but you know, increase your expenses. Okay, well, thank you so much for coming on to just have this mini episode with me. I

Lacy Boggs 21:10
really appreciate it. My pleasure. I’m glad we could do it.

Meg Casebolt 21:13
We’ll see you in six months for your pocket.

Lacy Boggs 21:15
Sounds good.

Meg Casebolt 21:18
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 Or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll 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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invisible audiences with lacy boggs