This week’s episode is a special 2-parter! My conversation with Erika Tebbens was so long that we’ve split it up into two parts: the first part, which you’re listening to now, and the second part which will be released on Thursday of this week! 

Erika Tebbens focuses on growth strategy for established entrepreneurs who are looking to figure out what’s next for them and their journey. So this episode is all about how to grow your business by bringing value to conversations and building relationships with others

In this episode, Erika and I talk about:

  • Imposter syndrome; You do not have to do what other people are doing in order to be successful!
  • How to know what to do more of if you don’t necessarily know what’s working for you
  • The importance of understanding fundamental business knowledge before trying the “fancy, shiny things”
  • The importance of relationship-building over time to build trust
  • Abundance mentality and leaning into your strengths

Listen now to Part 2 of this 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 a cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started.

Hello, my friends, it is Meg. I’m here with a special two part episode of a conversation that I had with my friend Erica turbans. As you listen into this conversation, you’ll probably recognize that Erica and I have known each other for a very long time. Our husbands were actually in the Navy together and work together for many years. So we would often have these types of long winded conversations over Hi piles of plates of brunches.

Many long coffee dates in real life. And you know, she came to my wedding, we’ve been friends for years. And now even though we no longer live in the same wonderful town of Saratoga Springs, New York, we both miss it very much. We still have very similar values in terms of how to grow your business by using relationships, and how to really think about the value that you’re bringing to conversations, and the ways that you can collaborate with others, instead of just thinking of every single relationship as a transaction that you can use to monetize, which sometimes is what online business feels like. When Eric and I recorded this, we talked for almost two hours, which is a lot of fun for us, but maybe not so much fun for y’all to listen to. So we are breaking this up into two separate episodes. In this episode, which you’re listening to now, we’re going to be talking about impostor syndrome, and the ways that we have been socialized and expected to behave in a specific way. And to follow someone else’s framework in order to feel like you need to be successful, and how to figure out what it is that actually works for you. Because so often there is this feeling of you need to go do this new fancy shiny thing in business without necessarily having the fundamental basics of what your business needs to be. There are so many times that I get served Facebook ads about specific marketing tactics about you know, you need to do this on this platform. And here’s how to grow your audience on tick tock, but I don’t even have tick tock, I can’t handle it, you guys. But what Eric and I both deeply believe and talk about here is that there are no fast solutions to this and that building relationships and having collaborations and making sure that people that you’re talking to trust you. All of that takes time. And it takes a consistent, intentional effort in developing your network in supporting others and giving without always expecting something fast in return. So that’s what we’re going to be talking about. In this episode, there’s our sneak preview of what you’re going to be hearing. In the episode that we’re releasing later this week, we’ll talk more about influencer marketing versus how to be an expert, how to be reciprocal with social media and how to reach out to people in a way that feels warm. And how to realize that realize that you don’t have to do things in your business that you hate. So definitely listen to this episode, reach out, let us know what you think about it. And then tune in next week or later this week, I guess for that part, too. And without further ado, I will I’ll let us get started on this conversation. I’m thrilled to introduce you guys to Erica Tobin’s.

Unknown Speaker 4:13
Erica, I’m really excited to have you here. i We have been already talking for 20 minutes. And if I don’t just hit the record button, we’re just gonna laugh at each other for the next 40 minutes that we’re supposed to be recording. So

Unknown Speaker 4:25
thank you for coming to the social slowdown podcast. Yes. Thank you for having me. It is my pleasure. So before we get started, if you could just share with our listeners, how what it is that you do, what is your specialty in this weird online business world? Yeah, so I focus on growth strategy for established entrepreneurs who are looking to figure out what is next for them at you know, their next level, and they want to make sure that as they’re doing

Erika Tebbens 5:00
If they it’s not causing them to work more, or to compromise their values, and that they don’t have to do any, like sleazy or slimy sales or marketing. So it’s really making sure that the growth truly serves them and their strengths and their long term vision. So I really kind of distill it down to like, it’s more like sustainable growth. That’s what my folks always say, they’re like, oh, this just feels like, so doable. So much more sustainable. So that’s, that’s what I do. And people over time, kind of have known me as like this leaves free sales person. Because I think the thing about you, that I love and admire so much, is that you’re not like growth at all costs, set up the funnel, hack, the emails, you know, build, build the Facebook ads to the landing page, you’re like, hey, why don’t we just make some friends, like, talk to you, like humans?

Unknown Speaker 5:55
Is this revolutionary business advice, but like, actually, it kind of is like, let’s just make friends and see how we can help each other. Yeah, and it’s funny that you say that because literally earlier today, I was fostering with a friend. And I was like, kind of having this like, micro existential crisis, because like, even as I grow, it’s this thing of like, like the other thing that people always say, like, whenever I get like feedback at the end of you know, like working with a client, we’re off boarding like, getting that the, like, testimonial feedback and stuff. The thing that is so common that people always say is like, Oh, you made it so simple. Like, everything was really simple. Like, that’s really. And I took the Colby a assessment, and I forget what the columns are, besides Quickstart because I know, all the rest were very few are.

Unknown Speaker 6:45
All the rest were very low. But the one like the summary, like adjectives that gave me for one of them was that, like, simplicity is my strength for that, that category. Um, but I feel like even as I grow, even though I know, like, internally and externally, that simplicity is my superpower when it comes to, to grow through, like sustainable growth, is there’s this level in the back of my brain that’s like, Yeah, but now it’s something needs to be different, right? Now you need to start like, you must need to start looking at all of those things like that you just mentioned, right and MIT start making it more complex, and to having to, like really remind myself that, like, know that my perfect people, like, they actually don’t give a shit about any of that. They just want a simple, simple plan, because like that, that that is the thing they want. But I think, you know, as when you look around at the landscape, it’s easy to compare and be like, okay, but I don’t know, like, at this level, do I start like, like, will the jig be up at this level? Like, I don’t know, it’s that kind of a thing. I think it’s a combination of like, I hit this milestone, it might be like, followers on social or podcasts downloads, or email subscribers, or gross or net revenue, or whatever. But like, when we hit these certain milestones, we kind of go like, Oh, is this a? Will? What I did still work? Or do I have to following the things of the people who say that they that if I want to get from, you know, $250,000 to a million dollars, you have to change everything, instead of just like honing in on what it is that you’re doing? Well, and, like, really cleaning up your system so you can serve more more efficiently. Like, that’s not sexy, that doesn’t light up our brains in the same way as like, well, what if I just change everything? And then I’ll double my income.

Unknown Speaker 8:41
Right, right. And I think it’s the thing of, like, we we get so accustomed to, and I kind of I feel like I blamed school for this forever, but like, you get accustomed to seeing somebody where you’re like, Oh, well, if they’re at a million dollars, like they must have some secret knowledge that I don’t or like, I must have to follow their system now for it for it to work, just like how you were saying, rather than just trusting like, oh, yeah, no it actually cuz I can just keep like, rinse, wash, repeat, but just adjust some of the other things behind the scenes to like, make it work more in my favor. Like I don’t have to start overcomplicating it but I think that’s hard, because there are so many people out there who are selling you their system, and like that is more complicated. And so I feel like we start gaslighting ourselves because you’re like, Well, I don’t know they’re making so much money selling this thing. Like I maybe do I actually need that thing. Am I in the wrong Am I stupid? I don’t know. It’s just like there’s this like imposter complex that pops up for us when we’re like, oh, but they’re successful, but we don’t always know what’s happening behind the scenes of their businesses and like the reason we’re being served the Facebook ads in the

Unknown Speaker 10:00
Instagram ads about it is because they need to like mass market in order to get more people in order to make more sales in order to make more money. And so they get stuck in this like cyclone of lead generation where their conversion rates are like super low because they’re casting such a broad net. But because they have this, like, really high gross revenue number, we don’t know how much they’re spending on ads, we don’t know how much their team is costing, we have no idea how much it costs to build these programs, we, you know, like, there’s, there’s no accountability for how they’re doing it aside from let me sell you into the program that teach you how to do it. But you have to do this thing. And then also like the results of what may vary based on how well you actually do the work. And like, maybe it doesn’t actually work for you sorry, by you know, there’s there’s no real like, behind the scenes accounting of how they’re getting there. It’s just you kind of have to take their word for it. But our own insecurities are like, Oh, but they said that they’re making $14 million a second. So they must be doing something right? Totally, totally. Yeah. And I think I think that’s like, on the other side of it, because I love, like one of the things I love to do, as you know, is like help people create offers, like I love to geek out about around offers. But like, often what I see happen is that people will think they need a certain offer type to grow because it’s being marketed at them. And then they do it, they buy the program, they do the thing. And then like they might even try to have the offer. And either like, it’s just not the right type of offer like for them or their audience, and it’s just not selling, or it is selling. And then they’re like, I hate delivering on this offer. And then they’re like back to the drawing board of like, what is the next type of offer and like, you know, you, you and I have been like online for a while. So it’s like, it’s always just different trends that kind of come around of like, things that you supposedly need to have, if you want to grow your business, like whether that’s a course, or a membership or group program, or a VIP day or whatever. And there’s nothing wrong with any of them. But it’s, each one of them isn’t meant for every person. Right? And even the ways that you’re bringing people in and selling to them. It used to be like you need to do this three video email sequence where the first video is this and the next video is this. Yeah, how well it worked for all these people. And then as more people did it, the effectiveness went down because people got tired of it. But like the sales strategy and the messaging remain the same. Yeah, exactly. willing to acknowledge that because then they’d have to come up with another offer. You know, yeah, yeah. Actually, Claire Pelletier when I were Vox saying the other day about this. And she was saying I get feels like there’s like a two year lifecycle around those, like marketing vehicles like those like sales, like formulas. Yeah. And because eventually, yeah, just like you said, like people get wise to it, they know what it is. And then they’re like, then it starts to be less effective. Yeah. And I think also, there’s this thing where like, I’ve hit a certain milestone, whether again, revenue, or followers, or whatever that is, and then there’s this feeling of like, well, I can’t sustainably continue to work one to one or in small groups with clients, because then I’ll work too much. And I’ll burnout. So I need to go into a different business model. And so can you kind of explain your models of working with people because I feel like the way that you work with people is so interesting, without taking up all your time. Yeah, so I have a group program called rebellious success. And then I also have, I really love and my ADHD brain loves, like intensives and VIP days, right, that have some support on the back end, but are really just like we’re gonna meet, I’m gonna look at what you’ve got going on, I’m gonna look at your goals and figure out the simplest and best path for you to achieve that next thing that you’re going after. So whether that is like a sales and marketing plan, or helping create a new offer and like the launch plan for that offer, or doing just like a full offer suite audit, and looking at all your marketing and like giving you a really comprehensive plan of like, okay, here’s how you can kind of streamline everything so that you can still keep serving people and making more money without overworking like basically just like making it work better for you. Because you know, after a while, it’s like, you just you kind of keep like creating stuff, whatever. And it’s like you get to a point where it gets to be a lot and you have to look at yourself and be like, almost like a spring cleaning Right? Like what can I

Unknown Speaker 15:00
Declutter. What can I refine here?

Unknown Speaker 15:03
Anything to you know, sometimes that that can be like raising your rates or adjusting your positioning or, you know, even bringing on other like, support people in your business, depending on what it is that you do. Like, I know you’ve done that to be like, Oh, I can bring in people to help me with some of this work so that I can still keep growing. And like, that’s what feels fine. Oh, actually, I can like that I can do one better. I don’t have people who come in and help me I have people who come in and own the projects. Yeah, I just want to make sure that that’s clear is like, Yes, I’m still there. But like, there are times where things go out to clients now where I just trust my team knows what they’re doing enough that I don’t necessarily need to, they’re not helping me, they’re running that Yeah. Which is also, you know, a big change. But we’re not here for hiring, hiring and delegation conversation. Where I really wanted to go with this is like, you were saying that the format of I have group coaching, I have these one on one days, the format is really simple. But the things that you can help people with are different based on their needs. And I think that there are a lot of people out there who are like, I want to help people

Unknown Speaker 16:14
do sales pages, and so the outcome is going to be the same, they’re gonna get the sales page. But you’re really thinking like, How can I productize and really systematize, the process of selling, but then be able to give those personalized, customized feedback for your clients? Like, I think that feels hard for a lot of people to figure out how to make bespoke solutions, but simplified processes, you know what I mean? Yeah, yeah. And I feel like it’s something where truthfully, like, I get really in my head about it sometimes because I’m like, you know, there is no deliverable. Like, I’m like this, it would be easier if I was just like, you’re gonna get a high converting sales page. Or another thing I don’t do is like, I never make income promises. I’m never like, when we do this together, you’re going to double your revenue in the next 60 days. Like, I can’t, I can’t promise that. I mean, literally, nobody can yet people.

Unknown Speaker 17:16
But I’ve just never I’m like, I don’t know, there’s so many factors, they’re like, I can give you a rad plan. But if you don’t do the plan, or like, if you have a business that then totally gets swamped by COVID, like I’ve had those clients, like where we, I gave them a plan, they were working a plan, it was a great plan. And then COVID came along, and it was like, oh, we need to pivot. Like, that is not a viable business for the time being. So, you know, like, I wouldn’t have been able to say like, you’re gonna double whatever, because, well, now you it’s $0, right? Like, you just can’t, you can’t do the thing. So yeah, like, that is something with like messaging, like, I kind of go round and around in my head about because I’m like, I don’t know, like the promises like simple sustainable growth, like in a non gross way. And, and sometimes I’m like, I don’t feel like I’m as like shiny or sexy as like some people online. However, I am often a person that people come to when they’ve tried other things that are shiny, and then they’re still not there. Like, they’re still unsatisfied, they’re still not getting the results they need to and then they’re, like, tired from doing all the things. Right. Like, they’re like, I don’t know, I did, like, the social media, you know, like, I like took that person’s reels course or like, whatever. And like,

Unknown Speaker 18:45
I still don’t understand how it leads to getting clients, right. Like, it’s like, now I’m just like, have to spend all this time thinking about making reels, but like, I don’t actually know how it relates to like, me getting more business from doing that, right. And then it’s like, yeah, okay, like, because you don’t have, you don’t have a larger strategy. All you’ve learned is like a tactic, right? Like, that’s really what it is, is like, I get a lot of people who have spent a lot of time money and energy learning tactics, but they still lack fundamental,

Unknown Speaker 19:22
like business knowledge of like, this is how you need to think about growth strategy, like over and over and over again, like these are the pieces of that of that puzzle. And, I mean, that’s what I’m just such a nerd about business. Like I’ve been doing this since 2004 in different capacities, so I love to geek out about it. Yeah, we have a lot of people who come to us where they’re like, well, the Yoast plugin has greens for everything and I was like, but What words did you choose? Right like

Unknown Speaker 19:53
and there’s there’s just a different example off of social which is like you can have the tactics you can have everything checked off on your team.

Unknown Speaker 20:00
checklist, but if they’re the wrong things,

Unknown Speaker 20:03
then you’re not going to see the results that you’re craving. Yeah. So how do how do your people find you? You know, you’re saying that they’re they’re coming to you when they’ve tried so many other things and feeling like they’re not working? Are many of your clients coming from referrals? Or from people who know you? Are they hearing about you, you know, on your podcasts? And how are they finding that? Tell me about that, like first point of contact? From people to your world? Yeah, so when I audit where my clients are coming from, it is typically

Unknown Speaker 20:39
like referrals or, like, relate, like, we’ve had like relationship, like a relationship in some way. Like, I have met them through something that I’ve done online, be it a group program I’m in or a membership that I’m in, or a collaboration I did with somebody else, like I was like a teaching or a speaking event, or from Instagram, which is really the only place I mean, I have Facebook and stuff, but like, I don’t really do much marketing on my Facebook, it’s really my Instagram, I have a LinkedIn, I never go into there. Um, so yeah, but it’s it’s really like those, those places. And then a lot of times people will learn about me, and then they’ll like, listen to a bunch of my podcast episodes and be like, Oh, wow, like, this is good. Like, you know, a lot of stuff. I’m like, I do, I do. I know many things. I know many things, I have a lot of episodes that you can listen to. But yeah, but then it’s it really is.

Unknown Speaker 21:45
It’s those people who it’s like, they know that they trust me. So it’s either I will say it’s either people who have tried stuff and are frustrated, because they feel like it’s their income still isn’t matching their expertise, or it’s people who are looking at the landscape and going, I don’t really even know what I should do. And a lot of that looks not like my kind of thing, and but they trust that I will direct them, like I will put them on the right path for them. So it really is like it’s a lot of like relationship building over time. And then when people are, like ready to grow, they know that I’m like a trustworthy resource for that. Yeah. So you mentioned like, Oh, two things I want to talk about when you said, when I audit where my clients are coming from, and I liked that verb audit of like, you’re not just letting people kind of filter in through the door and being like, great, you’re here, let’s work together, you’re actively like tracking and figuring out what’s working so that you can do more of that. And I think a lot of people that I’ve talked to, and I’ll say like, Well, where are your customers coming from? I don’t know. How do you know?

Unknown Speaker 23:04
Like, what you can do more of if you’re not sure what’s working, and then we get that feeling of like, overwhelmed, like, oh, well, I tried everything. And I was like, Well, yeah, you tried everything you’re tired.

Unknown Speaker 23:16
What was actually getting you the results you were looking for, which is clients. So go ask your clients, how they found out about you.

Unknown Speaker 23:24
And then you also said like, a lot of people found me through collaborations, and guest expert trainings and, you know, ways that you’re supporting other business owners and almost like borrowing their communities. So can you talk about that, because I feel like you do this so well is just like when somebody says I need a guest expert, you are always raising your hand and even like going out of your way to find new opportunities to teach without a pitch without like a fast result from it. So talk to you about the strategies that you use there to just get in front of people.

Unknown Speaker 23:59
Yeah, so I like talked about this before how like, with referrals, why referrals tend to work so well, is because you’re borrowing the trust in the person who referred you, right? So if like, if person A worked with you already, or they know you and like know, you’re legit, and maybe they tag you in a Facebook group or something, then like Person B, who knows Person A, they’re like, Oh, well I trust Person A, and they said that so and so was really good. And I should look into them. So they’re like they’re borrowing the trust and so that’s why they that’s why referrals convert so high. But you can do the same thing when you collaborate with somebody who already has built trust for their audience. So like, I won’t just like you know, collaborate with anyone but like if somebody has similar values to me, and I know that they like live their values and their people like know that about them and

Unknown Speaker 25:00
and all of that I’m gonna want to, I like I would want to collaborate with them, because then I am adding something to their audience, like I’m giving value to the people who follow them. But also like, there is a level of trust there. So conversely, when I have people like on my podcast or like, whatever, wherever I’m showing up, I am very clear about like vetting people, because I have built a lot of trust, like, like I have, as I already mentioned, like, people really trust me. And so if I have somebody on, they are getting to borrow that trust that I’ve worked really hard to build over the years. And so if I say like, Oh, if you need a speaking coach, you should talk to so and so like, people are automatically going to be like, Oh, well, she she must be legit, because otherwise, like Erica wouldn’t, wouldn’t mention her if she weren’t. And so, in terms of that, like, if you think about it, I think that, you know, the online space has really, like warped us to, you know, more is better, like more always equals better. But if you think about it, like if somebody has a group program or something, and they have 20 people, and you come in as a guest expert, well, that’s 20 people now who know about you who didn’t know about you before. And so at some point, like when they are needing your services, you’re going to be top of mind, because probably after you spoke, they probably started following you or got on your email list or something. And now they’re like, it could be six months, a year later, four years later, I just got a client who was in, we were in community together in 2018. And like, never anticipated, this person would hire me, but she’s starting a new business. And she was like, I know, you’re legit, like, I want to hire you. I want to work with you. And so

Unknown Speaker 27:09
by doing that, like, rather than thinking like, Oh, my God, I have to have a webinar with like, 3000 people, they’re like, Well, what if you just spoke to 30 at a time, but they were like, the perfect people. Because like webinar, conversion rates suck, but like personal conversion rates, I don’t know exactly what they would be, but like, they’re a hell of a lot higher, for sure. Yeah, you can easily, you know, you could convert five people off of a 20 person conversation much easier than you can convert five people off of a 2000 person webinar, I mean, like, sort of making up and exaggerating these numbers.

Unknown Speaker 27:47
But I found that when I do guest expert trainings, or anything that involves that small group, I’m able to give people personalized advice. Even if I’m teaching, I’m saying, Before we get started, tell me about your businesses. Let’s talk about how this tactic applies to e commerce businesses. Since that’s who’s in the room, let’s talk about how you guys do this, this and this differently? You know, it’s not just go it’s not just a live version of my YouTube channel. It’s

Unknown Speaker 28:16
right. Whereas a webinar is a basically a live YouTube video plus a pitch at the end. And yes, there’s a chat box. And yes, there’s that capacity to, to engage with somebody, but it’s not a face to face conversation. It’s not a dialogue. Where as collaborative opportunities, especially smaller collaborative opportunities, can be so powerful because they’re small. Yeah, yeah. And I’m glad you mentioned that, because I have found like, obviously, there’s a lot of good and legit people out there doing webinars, but like, somebody could keep, like refining, refining a webinar,

Unknown Speaker 28:56
to a point where they know it converts, but it could also convert into something that like, you don’t actually need or whatever, you know what I mean? Like, it could convert into something that like, you might be like, Oh, this is great. Yeah, totally. And then you invest in you get inside the thing, and you’re like, Well, no, this was not what I thought it was right? And, or like, or like, I don’t actually need this after all, or whatever the case may be right, like, because somebody can keep refining their webinar to a point where it is incredibly high converting. But like, especially, you know, if you are there in person, and somebody can ask you a question, and you can be an expert in the moment, like you can’t prep for that right? Like yeah, well, you are showing them in the moment. Like it’s like what do you got, like hit me right? Like I, I am going to either be able to answer this for you and I will show you or if it’s not

Unknown Speaker 30:00
my wheelhouse I had that recently I was giving a talk and somebody asked about getting like corporate gigs. And I was like, that is actually not my wheelhouse, but I have a friend who does. And like, this is her name and whatever message me if you need her, like, if you forget, I’ll, I’ll connect the two of you. And like, because I do have a great referral network of people who I also know are legit. But like, I also got to show in the moment, like, I’m being honest, like, I’m not just pulling an answer out to like, make myself seem smart or valuable. Like I did answer a lot of people’s questions. But then I also was very honest, like, I can’t answer this one. It’s not my specialty. But I think that like, that’s the difference. Like when you are live teaching,

Unknown Speaker 30:48
like you, people get to actually see you in your element. It’s not like yes, your talk might be polished, but like the q&a at the end is like, they get to see you like real and raw to a degree with that, I think that if you’re just kind of like, faking it till you make it like with like a great webinar or something like that you got like a swipe file slide deck from somebody on like, it’s gonna be pretty obvious if you freeze and you don’t know what you’re actually talking about. And I think you make a really good point, which is that

Unknown Speaker 31:26
the way that you mark it, ideally should also reflect the way that you will eventually interact with your audience. So if you aren’t great at live communication, if even if you’re like a subject matter expert, but you get in the moment, and someone asks you a question, and you have that freeze up, then not only is maybe live teaching, not the best choice of marketing tool for you. But you may want to pre record all of your trainings, and maybe do live chat support or email support, that gives you more space, to be able to respond to those things where you can still be the subject matter expert, you’re just not put on your toes quite the same way. But if you are really good on your feet, then set yourself up for opportunities where people can get a taste of what it would be like to work with you. So for you, it’s like you can have these small group trainings that are probably very similar to what you’re doing in your group coaching program. And the same is true for me where I’m like, people will say, can you come do like a guest expert training for me? And I’m like, Yeah, but like, let’s not do a slide deck. If you have less than 10 people there, send me the websites. And we’re going to talk about those websites. And I’m not going to look at them until I get in the room because I want it to be fresh and raw and real advice. Yeah. Not like overprepared advice, but I want that, like cold reaction that people are gonna get from search anyway, which is also awesome, because then I don’t have to prepare that hard. Make slides in advance. But if you’re good on your feet, and if you’re good at responding to things in the moment, give yourself the opportunity to use that to your benefit in marketing, your, your approach to things where you don’t, if you if you’re like us, and you’d like to go on the fly and make things up, build your strategies around that and let yourself be loose and be messy and let people see you that way. Not to say that you’re messy. Erica, I’m not trying to imply that. No, no, but I mean, I listen, I love being kind of messy, like I love be, I mean, my number, my 10 as a quickstart, which, like, Latasha booth, who told me to like Tasha was like, she’s a huge fan of the Kolbe, she makes everyone on our team take it. So I finally was like, okay, okay, because I do love, like personality tests and stuff. She’s a nine. And she was like, Oh, I didn’t even know that people could get like, I didn’t. She’s like, I’ve never actually met somebody, she’s like, I’m actually surprised that you have a successful business like as a 10 Quickstart. And like, surreal, you know, we joke about that. But um, so for me, that’s like, if I can like if I have an epiphany on Monday, I love being able to have like, an offer available by Friday. And it’s like, most simplistic form, right, so that I can sell it like I love kind of being able to do stuff like that, but, but to your point, like, yeah, if you’re somebody who’s like, oh my gosh, this freaks the hell out of me. Like, I can’t, I wouldn’t want to answer questions on the fly, then like, yeah, there’s all sorts of ways around that, like you can use like the question sticker on Instagram, or you could have like, a form that people could fill out and maybe like, once a month, you do like a q&a Roundup, and you’re like, Oh, I got all these great questions. And like, that could be a reason why somebody would want to be on your email list because like, you might do like a really juicy q&a Roundup, where every month you do like a pre recorded thing or a written out blog post or you know, you do something that is like I’m gonna go through in detail like what you need

Unknown Speaker 35:00
To no and put that out there kind of like I feel like Tara McMullen does a great job of like, really in depth, like, explaining of things, you know, like her, her content pieces are like really, really, really good. I am way too impatient like, I could like word vomit a lot of that stuff that you but I’m personally too impatient to sit down and write a really long thing because to me that feels like homework. So it’s just like, yeah, like what are your strengths like, lean into your strengths and trust that there are enough people out there who will also vibe with that. Right? And in have that like abundance mentality of like, there are plenty of people who will never want to work with me. And that’s okay. Because the right people will want to they will, they will find me they will or you know, connect with me somehow. Yeah, they will resonate with me and they’ll want to work with me, I don’t need to be best. I remember I remember like my brother saying this to me when I was in high school like, Mike, you don’t need to be best friends with everyone. You may not be best friends with everyone.

Unknown Speaker 36:05
Like you actually are pretty much best friends with everyone’s like, just tender up, right. Like just all.

Unknown Speaker 36:12
I do, you know, a lot of good friends, but a lot of friends with everyone. Yeah. You know, and there are people who like phase in and out of your life in the same way that like referral partners and clients and like, how, how do you keep in touch with so many people? Because I know, like, Yes, this is Social slowdown podcast, but you use social in such a positive way to remain in touch with your network and connect with new people without just feeling like I need to make 40 reels a day. Right. So talk to me about that.

Unknown Speaker 36:47
Yeah, and I know you do make a good real so I don’t want to disparage I’m regularly entertained by them.

Unknown Speaker 36:55
Listen, I’ve been I have been allowing myself to just no rules experiment on tick tock. And I had one where I was talking about the different stories.

Unknown Speaker 37:07
It has almost 600,000 views. I can’t It’s ludicrous. It’s I don’t it’s like the wild west over there on tic tac truly. But right so I’m Sorry, I interrupted you. It was the Canadians. Reese’s Pieces come in three packs. And Americans come in two packs and how sad is right.

Unknown Speaker 37:25
Yeah, I’m learning so much about Canadian candy. It’s wild. Um, but I will say to the point about like, yeah, not everyone, like wants to work with us. Like, listen, there are a million people as you know, online who do work similar to me. Right? But like, there are people who would look at me and be like, she is too weird or too messy or too, like, it’s too simple, you know? Or like, whatever.

Unknown Speaker 37:54
Yeah, yeah. Like, I know that there are people out there. Or like, even you know how there’s like a lot of like spiritual business coaches, like, I don’t bring any of that in to my work. Like, it’s cool if you want that, but like, it’s not going to be for me. And so it’s like, but if you if you are somebody that’s like, spirituality is really important, and I want to infuse my business with it, like, also trust that like, there will be people who vibe with it, just like there are people who like probably don’t hire me because they want someone who’s like, gonna be more woo with them or something like it’s there. Yeah, there’s plenty of room for for us all.

Unknown Speaker 38:28
So how do I how do I keep track of people? Well, so I feel like for me, it’s really about

Unknown Speaker 38:35
if I am, like, I really only like to follow and pay attention to people who I actually would be like, who I would want to be friends with. Like, it’s it’s weird, like, I almost have this criteria of like, the people I work with. Okay, I have this fantasy of getting like a van life like campervan and just traveling all over and like hanging out with like, like meeting clients or past clients in real life and like business friends, some kind of like, if you aren’t somebody that I would love to get brunch with, like, we’re probably not going to be like,

Unknown Speaker 39:13
a good match, right? Like, I really liked Not that I’m saying we have to be besties right, but like, I don’t like hollow one sided working arrangements. I actually like to get to know my people and what they’re all about. Because when I have clients like I will shout them out. Like I will be like, oh, this person we’re working together. They’re freaking brilliant. You need to follow them like you need to check out their offer like so, like, I need to feel really good about the people that I’m working with too. So like that’s first like I don’t want to just be collecting people for the sake of collecting people on social hoping that they end up working with me. I want to average them brunch rule is a really good one. And I think I’m gonna start applying that because like, if somebody is like, you know what, I don’t like bacon and waffle

Unknown Speaker 40:00
I’d be like, it’s okay, you can be done to me

Unknown Speaker 40:05
Ross Swanson.

Unknown Speaker 40:08
I have had so many like, very full plates of waffles with raspberries and all the things with the side of bacon and some fresh made coffee and just like, let’s just sit at brunch for two hours till it’s time that the booze bar starts. Yeah, he’s, these are the people that I need in my life. So yeah, I think,

Unknown Speaker 40:28
yes, we’ll take the Saratoga foodie approach to business building. Exactly, exactly like it, like, gotta have brunch, like, you need to be somebody I could have brunch with. And like, so I think it’s really in that realm of like, I want to be connecting with people that like, even if they never spent a dime with me, like, I would actually enjoy connecting with them, right? Like, I have a lot of people that I have been connected with online for a while. And they’ve never been a client of mine. And I’ve never been a client of theirs, but they’re super awesome. I happily send people to them all the time, like, and I just like to know what is going on in their world. And so I would say that’s number one. So number two, then you have like a smaller volume of people that you’re looking at. So it’s easier to kind of keep tabs on people. But then like, just paying attention, like what is going on, like, you know, now with stories, like a lot of you get to see a lot of like, behind the scenes of people’s lives. So like, you can know what’s going on. And then usually, like, if I just think of something, I’ll be like, Oh, I’m just thinking about that person, I should, like, reach out, I should see, like, we haven’t chatted in a while, like, I should see what’s up with them are, you know, and, and just like, reconnect, if I’m having that thought, it’s like, I just want to reconnect with them. Or like, I had a coffee chat a few weeks ago with somebody. And I was thinking about her earlier today. And I was like, I should message her and see how about one thing that she was like working on, like, if any new thing came about because of it or like transpired from it. Like, just because I don’t know, like, she’s a cool person. And I’m, I’m curious, I’m like, I hope she’s, I hope it all worked out, like kind of a thing. And so

Unknown Speaker 42:22
I feel like for me, like, Yes, I have, you know, a semi used, like lead list or like tracker or thing like but you know, ADHD, like I’m not great about like keeping up on it, I was just gonna say, and for those of us with working memory issues and executive dysfunction, like, you don’t have to keep this all in your head, you can build, essentially, you know, like, Thiago forte calls it building a second brain, but like getting that information out of your head someplace, but also not holding it so tightly, that you’re like, let me have like a robust CRM that prompts me every three months with notes from when I last talked to that person about what the name of their dog is, or like, you know, like Michael Scott has his Rolodex with the different colors on the back of it, but like, don’t talk about this. And then they actually, like dropped the ball. You know, like, these complicated systems, whether they’re digital or analog, but you know, like, it doesn’t have to be that detailed, but I love that, like, I have a thought about this person. Let me just reach out and see how they’re doing without an agenda without just like, Hey, you said that you were going to move to Portugal. How’s that going? Did you get all the pages ago? Have you gotten there yet? You know, like, How’s how’s the client does, you know the moving process going like that kind of thing without being like, and are you interested in giving me money?

Unknown Speaker 43:40
Right, right. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Like, without it being this like weird, fake, like, lead in kind of thing. And yeah, like, I love to have so. So a couple things like, even if it’s like a Google Doc or a Google sheet, or like literally the Notes app, like whatever, or like a pen and paper, right? Like just even just jotting down sometimes like the names of people, like if I’m being super lazy, and I’m not going into notion or whatever. Like, I had to like, update my thing. Like, I will just write a few people down. And then I’m like, oh, yeah, I just want to check in with those people. Another thing you can do, I don’t know, with like, LinkedIn or Facebook if it like, I don’t think Facebook Messenger, you can do this. But like, I know, on Instagram, one thing you can do is you can flag DM conversations, and then you can filter it by like there’s like your full inbox, there’s unread. And there’s flagged. So sometimes what I’ll do in the moment is be like, Okay, I can’t respond right now to this person, or I want to come back to this person. So I will just flag certain conversations. And then I will, if I have, you know, like 20 minutes or something maybe in between client calls. I’ll be like, oh, I’ll just go

Unknown Speaker 45:00
Under the flagged messages, and like quickly, I’ll go through and like, reach out to those people that I wanted to reach out to. So that’s like an easier sort of hack. If you’re like, I don’t, I don’t have like the capacity to like, move this person’s name to somewhere else, like, you can just, you can just do that, right. And I also know that like, when you are opening the doors to a program, or you have some space available in your calendar, that’s also a time where you like, reach out to individual humans, to let them know that I’m thinking of you for this, do you want to work together and like, ask them to work with you instead of waiting for them to come to you? So talk me through that, because I feel like people are really afraid to do that. And this is where that non sleazy sales comes into play. Right?

Unknown Speaker 45:44
Yeah, so I feel like

Unknown Speaker 45:49
okay, so I fully believe that attraction marketing is the thing like at because I will get clients who, like, every time I’m launching or whatever, like, there are literally people I’ve never had a conversation with, who all of a sudden, I’m like, Oh, they’re, you know, filled out an application, or they’re on my call calendar, or whatever. And I’m like, Who is this person?

Unknown Speaker 46:10
Go look, and I’m like, Oh, wow. You know, so like, yes, that’s a thing. But I think what happens is, I think out of mostly fear of not being gross, of not being like the the like, MLM, like, Hey, I have an opportunity for you, or like, do you want to buy my like, weight loss, whatever, blah, blah, blah, bullshit. Like, it’s like that kind of, you know, nobody wants to be like that person. And but I feel like so what happens is, is like, people are relying so heavily on attraction, marketing, rather than like, going out and just getting in front of more people kind of like going back to like, the collaborations or like guessing on podcast, or whatever the heck it is, right? But then when you when people know about you, right, and like, nurture them building that relationship, and then be like, Oh, I have this thing. And I feel like this person would be super great for this thing. I don’t want to risk that they don’t see me talking about it. I don’t want to assume that they are seeing all my emails and my posts and whatever, I’m going to actually reach out with the understanding that they might ignore me, they might say no, they might say not now, like, whatever. And say, I have this thing. It is open. Now. Here’s why I think it would it could be awesome for you. What do you think? Do you want to have a conversation? Like what you know? And I have gotten so many clients over the years from that, and I’ve also gotten so many noes, and not now’s. So like, it goes both ways. And you have to, you just have to be okay with that. And it’s easier to put up a post? And then be like, Well, no, no, it’s algorithm or it’s never end. It’s like, I should have posted it four minutes later, because then people would have seen it next time, I’ll just have you know, right? And it’s like, it’s like no, like you don’t see even like, if you think about in a day, right? Even if you spend hours a day on social media, you still are not seeing every post from every person you follow. And so it’s very easy that you would miss something especially like, I go through phases of like watching stories and not watching stories. Like, I have to have enough mental spoons, to watch stories, because I’m a lot more apt to reply when I’m watching stories than when I’m just scrolling the feed. So like,

Unknown Speaker 48:54
I could go a really long time not seeing any what’s going on for like somebody in their stories. And if they’re only like talking about something in stories and not on the feed, I might miss it. And like everywhere, you might still miss it right? I might also miss it. Yeah, I want to go back to something else you said which is people will say to you, sometimes they’ll say yes. Sometimes they’ll say no, sometimes they’ll say not now. And if they say not now, that actually often means not now.

Unknown Speaker 49:26
So the next time you have an opportunity go back to those people and sometimes people will say not now because they’re trying to be polite. There’s a point where you’re like, Okay, we’re just not a good fit. That’s cool. But often it’s just an inconvenient time. You know, like I regularly launch things and people say sign me up for two cohorts from now and I’m like great. Like I left launch the program in February, our mutual friend Veronica’s like, I need to launch my website. I need to launch this program and then in August I will be joining you right like, we will plan ahead and you might be by

Unknown Speaker 50:00
like sliding into their DMS two days before cart closes and they don’t have the cash or they have too much on their plates. That doesn’t mean that they never want to work with you. That means not now means not now. Right, right. And I feel like we think that, well, I should just sit and wait for people to come to me because it’s going to be too awkward. I’m going to be too uncomfortable. If I directly ask somebody, and then they say like, no or not now, but to that point, like, I literally have a list of people that are those people. So like my group program, every time I’ve reopened it before my formal like, external launch, I go through all of my hot leads. And I’m like, Hey, do you want in and I will be very clear, like the last time I launched, I was like, you have a week and a half before the price doubles. So I am just letting you know, like, cuz you’ve been on the list, like since Cohort One. And now we’re in cohort four. So like, I’m just telling you, right? And because I would want them to be able to, like, get in, right? If they’ve if they’ve been on the list if they’ve been waiting. And there were still several people who were like, Yeah, I just can’t right now. And I’m like, okay, like, but you, you have all the information, right? And I even said like, the next time it’s open, it’s It might even be more like because historically, like often as I do stuff, like the price will keep increasing, like, over time. And so but like, they know that they have all the facts, right. And then I trust that they’re going to make the best decision for them. But one of the clients I have in cohort three, when Cohort Two was launching, it was not a good time. And so I just was like, Cool. I’ll reach back out when cohort three is starting. And then she joined and like, so. I mean, I’ve thought about there plenty of things like I was talking about, like, JESSICA RODRIGUEZ, like, I know, like, you know who that is. And like, for years, her group program like she would invite me to it. But it was all it was legitimately a bad time. I remember one time I was moving one time, I was in another coaching program and like,

Unknown Speaker 52:17
and so I never I have never been in a group program of hers. But when I was relaunching last year, because I know she does work similar to me. And I trust her. I was like, Hey, can we do an intensive, I want you to help me with my lunch plan. So she still got my dollars just in a different way that like because she maintained the relationship. She wasn’t like, Screw you. You didn’t want my group program like we just continued to be friends. Yeah, I’m thinking about, I’m thinking about our friend Kayla, who is like such a genius marketing strategist. And she was telling us probably on a mastermind call, she was sharing this with us and debriefing it where it’s like she had launched her group coaching program. I don’t think she’s running it right now. But she’d launched it twice in a row. The first time, she was like, kind of the sales page was not as robust. The emails weren’t as robust. But she spent a lot of time doing that personal outreach.

Unknown Speaker 53:17
And being able to answer questions in the inbox and the chat box and let people know whether or not it was a good fit for them. And that was the majority of the time that she was spending on it. And then the next time she launched it, she had a bit more space on the front end to build out some systems. And so she, you know, built up the sales page and maybe sent a couple more emails and kind of did more of like the traditional mass marketing approach. And her conversion rate, even though her marketing assets were better, her conversion rate was lower, because she wasn’t doing that outreach. And the person, the voice in her head was saying, but the outreach isn’t sustainable, and the voice of the other voice in her head, not that she has voices in her HUDs. But you know, then she was looking back at her her metrics and being like, if I’d taken the same amount of time that it took me to build up the sales page and to build right those extra like broadcast emails and put it into those personalized outreach conversations. My launch would have been more profitable. Yeah, um, I think if we take this all the way back, like to the beginning of the conversation about people selling these programs and just trying to get like as many people as possible in Yeah, like warm bodies in like, a lot of how people are taught marketing and like sales best practices in the online space are from people who are working at a massive, massive scale who really and truly, like do not have the capacity to be doing personal outreach. And but like, the difference is, is that when you sell you know, a two or 3000

Unknown Speaker 55:00
$1 course, and you need to have a multiple six, or even seven figure launch, because you only do it like once or twice a year. And you have an ad budget and a huge team and you have all that, like when your overhead is that high, you need all of those warm bodies. But when you’re like, Well, I sell, you know, a $10,000 coaching package, or I, you know, do copywriting and it’s like for a full launch suite, it’s 25 grand, like you don’t need as many clients, you’re not working to like this volume scale. And so you, you actually do have the ability to

Unknown Speaker 55:47
have more space to do the personal outreach. So this is why I always because I freaking love organic marketing, even though like I know, and I help some clients with like paid advertising, right, but like, I love organic marketing. This is why when people are like, well, I want like, you know, like a slow funnel, right? Like I want like a like a tiny offer or, like they’re, they’re pricing like way too low. I’m like, okay, the math will not math, though. Because I know, I know how that will only work when you you have to replace yourself with ad dollars, you have to replace your time with money, right. And so you This is why it’s so important to make sure that your offers and the pricing and all of that align with organic marketing, because otherwise, you will always be working harder than you have to for not enough return on investment. Like I actually had this post it was spur the moment post this was a few months ago. And it got shared very broadly that was like marketing is the free work that you do. It’s like the free labor you do in hopes of getting paid labor in return. Right. And like, that’s really how I see it is like you we all have to market in some form or fashion if we want like consistent revenue and like long term growth and all of that.

Unknown Speaker 57:18
So like you have to you don’t have to spend a billion hours a week doing organic marketing. But the time you do spend whatever that is converting into

Unknown Speaker 57:31
it better compensate you not just for the time you’re going to be spending working with that client. But for all the time it took you to get that client as well. Like, it’s really, really, really important. It’s really important. So because if you’re going to relationship market, a $37 thing, like you can kiss your capacity goodbye.

Unknown Speaker 57:56
And we’re actually going to interrupt this conversation right here so that it doesn’t go on too long. I know for me personally, whenever podcasts go over an hour, I start to kind of zone out a little bit. So we’ll be releasing the rest of this conversation later this week. So tune in later this week. Or you know, if you’re binging this later on, you can just skip ahead to part two of my conversation with Erica next in your feed. See you then.

Unknown Speaker 58:24
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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