Mark: Welcome to our November class. It’s called Business Money 101. This is a topic that, of course, I’ve taught a lot about over the last six years, but I’m just going to see if I can get it to show me. Am I on your screen? Am I the speaker on everybody’s screen? Or, is it? It is? Okay, good.
So, it’s a topic I’ve taught a lot about over the last six years, of course, but tonight I’m taking just a little bit different take on it. Usually, when I teach this, I’ll come at it from the perspective of accounting and bookkeeping, which we are going to cover in office hours. We’re going to give you a foundation for that, and do that in our monthly money meetings.
But, tonight I want to talk about the questions that I get asked most about the money, and I think the best way to start that, of course, is with a story. So, et’s go to story time. I’m going to put a website up on your screen. Can you guys see this?
All right, this is called Tough Press. Now, I had to go to the web archive. If you ever been to the Wayback Machine. I had to go to the Wayback Machine because this was my website, but I let the hosting and the domain expire, but I wanted to show you this website because, isn’t it great-looking? I look back at this brand and I think it is really, really well done.
Tough Press was a business that I started in early 2013, See, I’d had a business like this one, this one did WordPress backup, and security, and support and I had a business like this one with my brother from 2010 through 2012, and at the end of 2012 we sold that business. When we sold the business, we didn’t have a noncompete so I could go right back into business, so I started Tough Press.
The reason I’m showing you this at the start of Business Money 101 is that, right out of the gate, I had my very talented designer friend, Brad Hahn, who was also responsible for the little nerd icon that you all see in my newsletters and other places. I had him create this logo, and then, we went right into the creation of a full brand, of a full website.
So, when all was said and done, I had this amazing website that I still love. I like this design so much that I have a stack of business cards because, yes, I made business cards for this brand. I still have the business cards and I want to frame one of them because I like the design so much.
But, here’s what happened. This business never actually came to be. I got two or three customers for 25 bucks a month for this WordPress backup and security service and it ended up that it turns out those customers were a nightmare to support.
I actually hated this business. It ended up being very different from the one I had just sold. I didn’t have the same business partner. I didn’t have the same things in place. So, I had a beautiful brand. I had a beautiful website. I had no customers. This brand cost me, if I’m remembering right, I paid $8,000 for this brand. Might have been six. It was somewhere in that range, six to $8,000.
So, don’t get me wrong. I don’t beat myself up over the money that I spent on this brand. I don’t criticize myself for it. Obviously, I’m here now. I have a successful business. This was not an obstacle to my success, but it is a fantastic case study in getting things out of order in a business when you’re trying to decide how to spend your money.
There are a lot of things I could have done with that $8,000 that instead I chose to spend on this brand, and Brad and I, to this day, he’s still my friend. He, obviously, still does design with me, we still love this brand and we both lament the fact that it was never used because I built it before I had a business.
So, with that as our backdrop and also, by the way, to give more context, many of you will watch this recording or you’ll listen to this recording, and you’ll think, “I wasted so much money in my business. I was dumb. I got things out of order. I’m not a smart business person.” That’s not the message tonight. Of course, that’s never my message. But, it’s especially not the message in the context of the money.
This was $8,000 that I spent that you could say was, more or less, I didn’t really benefit from spending that 8,000. I could probably find several more purchases in the six to $10,000 range that had an equal result for me. In other words, that I got nothing from, and I don’t criticize myself for any of it.
So, this is not about beating ourselves up about how we’ve used money in the past. It’s about developing a toolkit that helps us be confident and happy with how we use our money in the present and in the future.
So, with that as our backdrop, let me stop sharing this screen and jump over to my slides. Put those on the screen, and how do I go into this play mode? Can you all see my slides? Are they full screen for you? Great.
So, Business Money, 101, the question we’re talking about is how much should I be spending on fill in the blank. This is the question that in my six years as a CFO for coaches, this is the question I get asked most. “How much should I spend on X?” And, it could be, I mean, it could be, “How much should I be paying myself? What about marketing? How much should I be spending on marketing? Am I going to get caught off guard by taxes? Should I be saving more for taxes? I don’t know anything about taxes. I’m losing sleep about taxes.
How much should I be spending on coaching? I’m a coach. So, what’s the right percentage for me to spend on coaching?” And then, along with all those, because I get almost all these questions all the time, the last question I get is, “Well, who should I be hiring? Who should I be hiring? When should I be hiring them? How much should I be paying them?”
And, the thing is, there’s really no answer to these questions, and there never has been. I’ve had clients over the years that keep begging me for the “correct” percentages. One that comes up all the time is, “For a person who’s at my stage of business, how much should I be spending on…?”, fill in the blank.
First of all, there’s no such thing as a “stage of business”. I don’t have an answer to that question. Secondly, there’s no correct amount for a person to be spending on anything at any particular made up stage of business. It just doesn’t exist.
I think when people ask me these questions, what they’re really looking for is some assurance from me that they’re, a), not doing it wrong, whatever that means. They don’t want to be doing it wrong, b), that they’re not falling behind. They don’t want to find out that other people who started their businesses at roughly the same time are doing X, Y, and Z, and they’re not being X, Y, and Z, and now, I’m behind.
So, I get asked the questions, “How much should I be spending on all of these things?” And, there’s really no answer. We need to develop a better framework for answering our own questions about, this opportunity that’s in front of me, how do I decide whether or not it’s one that I’m excited about today? The question you want to ask yourself when any opportunity comes into your inbox, comes across your desk, you hear about from a friend, any opportunity to spend money in your business, you want to check back in with, what is my top priority right now?
Now, that top priority can be your business. That top priority can be in your personal life. It can be some combination of the two. You could say, “Well, my number one business priority is A, and my number one personal priority is B.” So, when I’m looking at a spending decision, I’m trying to decide how that spending decision fits with priority A in my business, and priority B in my personal life.
And, what I’m really asking myself is, does spending this money this way support those priorities? Does it move me closer to those priorities, or does it move me far farther away from those priorities? And, if it moves me farther away from those priorities, do I like my reasons for moving farther from those priorities for the time being?
Because there are no right or wrong answers, there’s always just this exercise of checking in with, what am I working on today? What is my number one priority today, and how do I believe this fits into it?
When you are declaring your top priority, I just want to encourage you to be as specific as possible. For example, I might be talking to a coach and I might ask her, “Well, tell me what your number one priority is right now.”, and she will give me some version of this answer. She’ll either say money or she’ll say, growth. “What’s your number one priority right now?” “I just want to grow.” Sorry, that’s not an answer.
It’s not an answer because it’s not specific enough. Because if you say your priority is growth, you can justify almost any expense in service of this totally vague notion of growth. Okay? So, instead of saying growth, you might say, “Well, here are my current numbers. I’m getting about this many sales conversations per month. I’m converting about this percentage of those sales conversations. My number one priority in my business right now is increasing the number of sales conversations that I’m having in my business. I am spending this money because I believe it will increase the number of sales conversations I’m getting.”
So, that could be spending money on advertising. That could be spending money on coaching. That could be spending money on sponsorships, or live events that you’re hosting. It could be spending money on any number of things in service of the goal of getting more people into your world. Generating more traffic, getting more contacts, so that you can then convert some of those to sales conversations, so that you can then get more clients.
You can also spend the money trying to increase your conversion rate. Maybe you had 15 sales conversations in the last month but you only converted one. Maybe that means he wants to invest in a sales training, if it helps you convert a higher percentage of your sales calls. Doesn’t matter.
You want to be as specific as possible about what particular problem you’re targeting with this particular purchase, and the more specific you get, the more you’re able to like your reasons for making the purchase after you make it, meaning you’ll be able to look back on the purchase and say, “I know why I made this purchase and I liked my reasons for doing it, so whatever came of it, I feel good about what happened here.” That’s why specificity is powerful when you’re evaluating the potential benefits of any given purchase in your business.
My experiences, and speaking to this community in particular, right now, here are the three areas that I’m going to direct most of the money in a new coaches business, in a coaches business. Now, they’re numbered one two, three on the screen. That’s not my order of importance, for me. I just numbered them. Probably should be bullet points so that I’m not giving the indication that I think that’s the order of importance, but I do think that new coaches tend to spend money on coaching.
I happen to think that’s not a bad move. When you buy the product that you’re trying to sell, and if you’re having a great experience with that product, it’s probably going to help you feel more confident, more easily, about selling it yourself.
I do sometimes get a little curious, when I talk to coaches and I say, “Well, have you taken this topic to your coach?” And, the reply is, “I don’t have a coach right now. I don’t really want to spend the money.” Right. Okay. Well I might be able to guess at what objection you’re getting most on your sales calls. Just a guess.
Now, I am not in the business of shaming people for not hiring a coach. I think there’s a right time and a right way for all these things, but if someone is struggling to spend money on coaching, I do raise the question, “Well, are you getting objections about money when you’re trying to sell coaching because your confidence about the sale might not be translating in the way you want it to because you’re asking your prospect to do something that you are not willing to do.”
So, it’s just something to consider. So, I’m going to ask my clients, “Are you spending money on coaching?” You don’t have to break the bank on coaching, but I think if you do spend some money on coaching, your confidence in coaching might increase, it might be easier to sell.
Number two is marketing. Now, marketing means a lot of different things, especially depending on your business model. If you follow the beautiful business framework that we talked about last month, then you know that marketing, in my mind, the job of marketing is to create and strengthen relationships.
Now, one of the ways to create and strengthen relationships is to advertise on Facebook. Well, I should say, it’s really a way to create relationships. I don’t know about strengthening them, but it’s a way to create relationships, generate new contacts, but Facebook isn’t the only way to spend marketing money in a business.
Spending marketing money in a business could mean going to conferences where you know your ideal client is hanging out. It could mean hosting events and inviting your clients and their friends to those events. It could mean sponsoring events. It can mean a lot of different things. It could mean sending cards to people. It could mean sending small gifts to people. All of these things fall into the heading of marketing.
My experience is that coaches often get frustrated with a lack of momentum in their businesses because they don’t have very many conversations in their businesses, paid or free conversations in their businesses, and you can usually trace that to a lack of marketing investment.
The thing about marketing spending in a coaching business, in general, and especially in the new coaching business, is that sometimes spending time on marketing is more effective than spending money on marketing in the early days of a business. Sometimes, spending money on marketing requires other skills and other assets that a new business owner hasn’t developed yet. So, spending money on marketing, like on Facebook ads, it’s not really going to give them a return because they don’t have the supporting skills that would make that a win.
So, that’s why, for some new coaches, it’s really better to spend more time than money on their marketing efforts. And then, as their marketing starts to gain some traction, as they start to figure out who they are, what their message is, then they can accelerate that message and magnify that message with paid advertising. So, some of your resources have to be going to marketing. Those resources might be money. It might also be time.
But, the third area that a coach can direct money, and that I like to see coaches direct money is to their personal income. I have seen some coaches go years in their businesses without paying themselves anything. And, in the early days there’s a ton of enthusiasm and I’m just reinvesting everything because I want this thing to grow, grow, grow. That’s all great.
But, if enough months and years go by where a coach is not seeing any personal reward for all the effort she’s putting in, eventually, my observation has been that it wears on her, and she starts to ask herself why she’s doing this? “I’m putting in all this effort, I’m creating all this content. I’m doing all this coaching, but I just seem to get some money and then pay it right back out, get some money in and pay it right back out.”
And, my experience is the only way to break that pattern, the pattern of get the money, pay it right back out, is to start to harvest a little bit of that cash, however little. It could be 20 bucks a month. It could be 50 or a hundred bucks a month, some amount of money that she takes from the business as a signal to herself that she is benefiting from the existence of this business and all the effort that it requires.
If a coach comes to me and ask me, “How should I be spending my money in my business?”, I’m going to bring these three up, and then, we’re going to go from there.
And, by the way, taxes isn’t on this list, but if you start to take personal income, then the amount of taxes you take from your business is completely a function of how much do you take from the business. So, the taxes sort of become a natural consequence of the personal income. Okay?
So, before you spend any money in your business, or as you consider any spending decision in your business, I just want to ask you to ask yourself three questions, and the first one is, what problem am I actually solving here?
And, this goes back to specificity. So, when you have an opportunity come into your inbox, it could be a coaching program, it could be a mastermind, it could be a conference, it could be a course. You could be thinking about hiring someone. You might think to yourself, “I need to hire a contractor in the business.”, I just want to ask you to check in with yourself about, what problem are you actually solving?
Because sometimes the only problem you’re solving is, I’m a little bit anxious. I’m a little bit afraid. I’ve got some FOMO. I’m bored. Spending money feels like action. It feels like activity that I can point to to say, “Look how invested I am in my business. I’m spending money on it.”
Those motivations for spending don’t tend to produce a lot of happiness on the backend. Meaning, when we spend for those reasons, and I do it, I do it to this day, for the record. I don’t do it very often anymore, but it still happens. When we look back on that spending, we tend not to be very excited about having spent that money because we don’t really love our reasons for spending.
So, when we stop and ask ourselves, what specific problem am I solving? And, we get to the specifics of it, then we end up being happier about the spending. So, for example, let’s say you want to spend on marketing. We already talked about this example. You could be buying traffic to increase the number of people coming into your world. You could be hiring a coach or going through a training to increase your sales conversions, or your copy writing, or other programs that enhance your skills, and that magnify your results.
Those are great reasons to be spending. When it comes to hiring, what I always want to ask people, if they’re saying, “I want to hire some people.”, I want to ask them, “Well, what are they going to do? How are they going to spend the time that you’re going to pay them for?” Sometimes when I asked that question, a coach will say to me, “Well, I don’t know exactly what they’re going to do yet. They want to work 10 hours a week. So, what I’ve decided is I’m going to give them the 10 hours a week, and then, we’re going to figure out how to fill that time effectively.”
That’s a recipe for either a lot of money wasted or a short relationship because you’ll find that the real cost of those hires is not even the money. It’s the mental overhead of, “Oh, I hired her, I got to find something for her to do because I’m spending this money.”
And then, we might get into a situation where we’re saying to ourselves, “Look how dumb I am. I’m spending this money. I made this commitment I shouldn’t have. There’s nothing for her to do, and now we’re digging up more evidence that we’re not a “good” business owner.” That’s the real cost of hiring for reasons we’re not clear on.
On the other hand, I think the best reason to hire a person is that at this point in your business, you’ve identified a task that is absolutely benefiting the business. Meaning, it’s increasing the businesses results, or at least you have as much confidence as you possibly can have about that, because it’s never quite as clear as we want it to be, and I acknowledge that. It’s never quite as clear as saying, “I do X and it gives me Y.” That’s not how business works. If it is, a lot more people would be entrepreneurs.
But, what we’re saying is, “I do X, and I’m pretty sure it gives me Y.” I’ve got a lot of confidence, a lot of evidence about that. So, this task has stood out as valuable to the business, so now it might be time to hire someone to do that, but before I hire someone to do it, my next question is, is there something else for me to be doing that’s more valuable than the thing that I’m about to hire a person to do?
Because if I’m hiring someone to do something and I don’t have anything better to do then why am I not just doing that task? I could do it. I remember, this was a while ago, but I had someone reach out and say, “I really would love to work with you.”
This is years ago. “Love what you’re doing in your business. I would love to work for you, and I’m 60 bucks an hour.” And, at this point in my business, I replied to her and I said, “I am so thrilled that that’s what you’re charging and that you’re apparently getting that. But, at this point in my business, if the task is $60 an hour, I’m doing it. I’ll take the 60 bucks an hour.”
Now, I know that there are business coaches out there who say, “No, as entrepreneurs, we should only be doing thousand dollar per hour tasks.” Well, unless you can do thousand dollars per hour tasks all eight hours of the workday, or all three hours of your workday. If you can only fill an hour a day with $1,000 per hour tasks, and you’ve got a couple more hours, you’re not above the $60 per hour work, and neither am I, for the record.
So, before you hire someone to do something, those are the checks. The checks are, is this a task that has definitely shown itself to be valuable to the business? And, if so, is there some other task that I know is more valuable for me to be doing? And, if there is, then, yes, I’m going to hire someone else and bring them in. And, if there isn’t, I’m going to do that task, and I’m going to make it systematic, and I’m going to automate it to the extent that it’s possible.
I’m going to document it so that when I do hand it off, I’m able to pay a fair rate for the completion of that task, and not pay a premium to a person that I’m saying, “I sort of do this but I haven’t really gotten it dialed in yet. You figure it out.” Because to get that then you have to pay a premium, but if you’ve totally dialed the task in, or the process, the system, then you can pay a very fair rate to have it done exactly to your specifications.
Now, here’s the thing. There does come a time in your business where you’re able to hire people for their brains alone, and say, “You’re a very smart person. You’re very capable. I’ve got about this much budget per month for your role. I want you to do some innovating within my business.”
I’ve been in this particular business six years and I just arrived at that point where I have a team member, Heidi, who I’m giving some of that freedom, where I say, “Heidi, we know what my budget is for your role every month. I want you to spend a certain amount of time every month just trying to figure out how do we make this better?” And, she’s coming up with ideas and I’m really liking the direction of it, but only just now have I felt like it’s time for that to be the case in my business.
So, I like to hire slowly in a business. I’m not saying don’t hire it all. I’m saying humans are expensive, especially if we’re hiring them for reasons we don’t feel super-confident about. Okay? So, ask yourself what problem you’re solving.
The next thing to think about is, what are the keys to success for this purchase? So, anything that I’m spending, you think about it as, what does it take to make this thing a win? Do I have the skills to make this a win? Let’s take Facebook advertising, again, as an example. It’s not enough to say, I have a Facebook account. I know how to set up a campaign in Facebook.
You really want to understand, what are the skills associated with making a Facebook campaign work? What are the assets that have to be in place? What kind of website, and branding, and other assets do I have to have in place to even give my Facebook campaign a chance of success? Because if I don’t have those skills, then all the enthusiasm in the world isn’t going to pay off, or at least it’s not going to pay off soon.
So, then I get in a position, and we’ll talk about this in question number three, but how much money can I spend in the form of tuition/experience figuring this out before I’m able to make it useful to myself? Is there a way for me to spend the same amount of dollars and get a bigger relative result at this point, today, with what I’m trying to do in my business?
So, sometimes I’ve seen coaches spend anywhere between hundreds and tens of thousands of dollars on opportunities without asking themselves, what are the keys to success here?
I’ve seen them hire people to build out marketing funnels. I’ve seen them join $25,000 masterminds. And, in every case I’m asking them, “Do you understand what it takes to make that purchase a win? Are you in a position to follow through, beyond just spending the money on that thing, are you in a position to follow through on it and make it a big win? And if you are, then by all means, or if you even have an 80% confidence level that you can make it a win, then by all means, go for it.”
But, if not, have an honest conversation with yourself and say, “It’s not that we’re saying no to these opportunities, it’s that we’re saying, not yet. Let’s go develop our skills. Let’s go save some money. Let’s go do some things that prepare us to succeed with that opportunity.” Because, well, let’s go on to question three, and then I’ll talk about that.
The other question, by the way, I got to ask you, can you see yourselves on my screen right now? You can’t, right? Are you blocking the slide? You’re not blocking a slide. Okay, good. That’s good.
The last question you got to ask yourself is, how many times am I willing to lose this particular amount of money? Now, I know that in a community of life coaches, that might sound like a very negative way of viewing an opportunity because we coaches are optimists and we believe we can coach ourselves into and out of anything and we can make everything a success with the power of our minds. And, that’s all great. And, I do agree.
Here’s the challenge that we face as coaches. When we’re faced with a spending decision, here’s what we often do. We’re trying to decide whether to do it. Our true motivation might be FOMO, it might be anxiety about falling behind, it might be boredom. It might be any of these things, but we convince ourselves, and we say, “I am going to make this a win.”
This is so many years ago that I do feel safe saying this now because this client is long gone from my world. She spent another $7,000 on another coaching program and this has happened multiple times in the same year. And, each time she hadn’t asked herself questions number one and two. And so, the bank balance was close to zero and the credit card balances were growing, neither of which bothers me in particular, except as part of the pattern that she seemed not to be happy with.
And, I said to her, “Listen, it’s another seven grand.”, and this is might be the only time in my six years in this business that a client actually yelled at me, “I’ll show you, I will show you that this is the best money I’ve ever spent, and you don’t believe in me.”
I was like, “Oh, my gosh, okay.”. Anyway, she’s yelling at me because she was in full coach mode, and she was telling me how she was going to prove me wrong and how she was going to change the world because of this next $7,000 coaching purchase.
You might not be shocked to hear that she did nothing. She ended up telling me later that that coach didn’t really follow through on their commitments and how the program wasn’t really what she expected it to be. And, frankly, all things that I probably would have said if I were in her position because I’ve been there, I’ve spent the 8,000, and then, be like, “Well, it wasn’t quite what they said it would be.” I’ve done it.
So, as a coach, question number three here is very powerful when you can say, “Hold on, just as a sanity check, I’m going to ask myself, how many times am I willing to lose this amount of money in this area of my business?”
If the number is zero, truly, if you’re saying yourself, “Well, I’m not willing to lose this money.” and then, your coach brain kicks in and you say, “But I know I won’t.”, that’s where I want you to pause. If you’re totally unwilling to lose the amount of money you’re being asked to spend, then I would check in with your other motivations. I would make sure you like your reasons for this purchase. So, that’s one end of the spectrum.
If the number of times you’re willing to lose this particular amount of money is zero, I don’t think I would make the investment. On the other hand, if the number of times you’re willing to lose this particular amount of money approaches infinity, if you’re like, “Well, yeah, I mean, I could do this literally hundreds of times.”, then I would say you might be wasting time.
You might be just nickel and diming yourself because if you could spend that amount of money hundreds and hundreds of times and not have it impact you, then it probably can’t impact your business because there are market forces at work here and if something is that cheap, it’s probably not that valuable.
So, there’s a sweet spot in the middle, there’s some sweet spot where you say, “I’m willing to make this bet. I have a high confidence level about it. I can even do this a few times as a way of learning it and figuring it out, and I still wouldn’t be in a bad situation, or I wouldn’t be super-mad at myself for that amount of money spent.” That’s probably the sweet spot.
That might look something like, I don’t know, it might look like, I’m going to do some advertising on Facebook. It might look like, I can spend $10 a day for six months on Facebook, and the total dollars spent there will be, what, a couple thousand. You might even say, I can spend 100 bucks a day on Facebook for six months, and that’s 18,000.
But, you can say I can do that without causing myself significant emotional distress and without damaging myself or my family, our finances. I can do that, and at the end of it, I could lose all that money, theoretically, and still say, I learned a ton from the experience. That’s the sweet spot, is somewhere in there.
The key for us, as coaches, is making sure we’re not using irrational optimism to mask our unwillingness to really examine the purchase before we make it. I think if we’ll ask ourselves questions one, two, and three here, just as a review, if we’ll ask ourselves, what problem am I solving? What are the keys to success? Meaning, what skills and assets do I need in order to make this a win, and how many times am I willing to lose this amount of money on my path to figuring things out?
If we’ll ask ourselves those questions, I believe a higher percentage of the time we’re going to be happy with our decisions. Whether they give us the exact results we were hoping for doesn’t really matter because getting results, or not getting the results we were hoping for, is part of entrepreneurship. That is why we’re willing to be entrepreneurs and other people are only willing to get a paycheck. It’s our willingness to accept the negative outcome, sometimes. That makes us, us.
But, these three questions will cause us to pause, evaluate the decision on its own merits, and then, move forward when our confidence level is high and when we really like our decisions for doing it.
So, that’s my framework. When stuff starts hitting your inbox, when you start hearing your friends talk about X, Y, Z thing they’re doing, and you start to feel anxious, and it’s time to spend some money, maybe it is time to spend some money. Just ask yourself these three questions before you dive in.
And, with that, I’m going to stop sharing my screen, and we’re going to chat about it for a few minutes.
Mark: Who has, feel free to take 30 seconds to process, who has questions or comments? Go ahead, Judith.
Judith: So, this is very timely. My best friend owns a company in the Middle East and she has a marketing company that works with her. They do all her social media advertising and they just basically, at this point, it’s like a well oiled machine. They send her qualified leads and then they talk to the leads, sell them on the coaching, and everything’s done by this company. And because she’s my best friend, she talks to them about working with me and I sent them just my … all my stuff, all the content I created. And they were like, “Oh my God, we love it. We want to work with you, we’ll figure something out. We know you don’t have any money. We’ll work it out.” And then I sort of chickened out, and I haven’t contacted them again since because I was worried about spending the money. And maybe this is not the best idea in the world.
Mark: Well worried about spending the money. So is there an amount they asked you to spend? And do you feel, you don’t have to share it, but if you feel okay sharing, go ahead.
Judith: Yeah, so, they said basically the first week I wouldn’t have to pay and I’d have to, this isn’t in writing this was just a conversation so I’d have to get terms, but my understanding of the conversation was; the first week I wouldn’t have to pay them for their services. I would just have to pay for my ad spend. And then I think they said it was like two grand, a couple of grand on ads, but that they would guarantee me a certain number of qualified leads. And then it would just be up to me to sell them.
Mark: Okay. So your commitment is $2,000 a week spent on ads.
Judith: Right. Which I don’t have, that would have to be on a credit card. Or the first week would have to be literally everything I’ve made, and then thereafter, if I didn’t make it back, I would have to …
Mark: It does sound kind of funny to be like, well, we’ve got a plan for the first seven days.
Mark: I’m not laughing at you. I just think it’s a funny thing to say.
Judith: Oh, no. It’s totally funny when you put it that way. No, it’s hilarious.
Mark: [crosstalk 00:02:40] on day eight?
Judith: Day eight, we are fucked, but day one through seven, we’re good. Oh, sorry. I said the F word if that [crosstalk 00:02:49].
Mark: It was a well placed cuss-
Judith: [crosstalk 00:02:50] may not know me, so I apologize.
Mark: [inaudible 00:02:54] needs a well-placed F-bomb.
Judith: Okay, so yeah. Okay. That actually …
Mark: Question. Here’s my actual question. What if it works?
Mark: Do you have a business that can support the number of leads that would flow in from a successful $8,000 per month ad spend?
Judith: Okay. Maybe that’s why I chickened out, now that you’re saying this.
Mark: In very practical terms, let’s say it works. Let’s say, we’re just going to play with numbers, ridiculous numbers. We’re going to say that $8,000 in ads, let’s say you get, and I do have enough experience to sort of ballpark this. Let’s say you’re getting email addresses for, this is on the high side, let’s say you get email addresses for $10 each. That’s 800 email addresses per month. And let’s say that 5% of those, let’s say 3% of those are willing to have a phone call with you. That is 24 sales calls per month. I mean this is the most back of the napkin, back [inaudible 00:04:11] ever exist. My experience says that if this works, you will quickly be overwhelmed with sales calls, and by sales calls [inaudible 00:04:23].
Judith: Yeah. Sorry, my dog is barking, let me plug in my headphones.
Mark: The reality of Facebook driven one-to-one coaching businesses, or add driven one-to-one coaching businesses, is that successful campaigns quickly overwhelm the coach’s capacity. Now it can be a great problem to have because then they have to change business models and maybe they’re excited to change business models.
Judith: Well, no, this is a great question because right now I’m coaching five ladies a week. Either I’m waking up at 4:00 AM or 5:00 AM or I’m coming home from my law gig and I’m immediately sitting down to coach people. So if it was successful, I would either have to jump into a group coaching situation, fairly immediately, or I’d really have to consider going part time as an attorney to make space.
Mark: Does either one of those sounds terrible?
Judith: Terrible, no. [crosstalk 00:05:42] scary, totally scary but doable. And I do trust this firm that my friend works with, because my friend runs a million dollar company. They wouldn’t risk her business to work with me and then not [crosstalk 00:06:02] to some degree.
Mark: My experience with this particular thing is that, I’ve yet to come across a marketing agency that I’ve viewed as ill-intentioned or scammers.
Mark: They all seem to be totally sincere and well-meaning. 100%. I have yet, in six years, had a situation where someone said … where a client came to me and said, “I’m going to pay them and they’re just going to feed me leads.” I’ve never seen it.
Mark: I did have one client who had a lot of assets built. This is not a client any of you know, by the way, because I always have to be thoughtful about who’s assuming what. This is a client that I worked with a while ago. She had assets, she had written some books, she had quite a bit of experience in her business with her message. And then she partnered with the right ad person and it exploded in a way that I’d never seen before. So it’s not that it can’t happen, but I have not seen it happen.
Mark: And my feeling about it is this, it’s what we talked about earlier with question number two; what are the keys to success here? The key to success with any paid advertising program is, do I have the copywriting skills? Do I have the copywriting, the video skills … Do I have the skills, do I have the practice, to start to make good use of a flood of traffic? In my experience, usually coaches need some time in their business to develop those skills, and develop their comfort with their message, and their confidence in their message, and then accelerate it with paid ads.
Mark: But I’m going to be very clear here, Judith, I’m not saying don’t do it. If I’m you, I’m going to go back to them and say, “Let’s say I’m up for this. What exactly do you need from me in order to make this a win?”
Judith: Okay. All right. Oh, okay. Oh, that’s great. Okay. Because I wasn’t sure … Like I know there needs to be a next conversation with them, but I wasn’t even sure where to begin, other than … So I just felt flabbergasted. Like, huh. Like, people do this, this is a thing.
Mark: Yeah, totally.
Judith: That’s sort of where I landed. Okay.
Mark: Well the other thing is, if they’re working with your friend who has a million dollar business, if their business is tailored to million dollar business owners, then maybe without even realizing it, they’re assuming certain … A certain experience level and a certain base of assets. They might be assuming those things, and you are totally capable of creating them. The question is, are they willing to jump into this relationship without even checking with you on, “Oh wait, Judith, we’re going to need A, B, C and D in order to make this a win. Do you have A, B, C and D?” And maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But I would do a lot of digging.
Mark: I’d be cross-examining these people pretty hard. Not because they have bad intentions, but because you need to make sure, what are my keys to success with this opportunity?
Mark: And I would also ask them, let’s just imagine the best case scenario here; blue sky, total blue sky thinking. How many leads, ballpark, how many leads could you send me? Because in your business today you probably need, I mean 10 good leads per month would retire you from lawyering in the next year.
Judith: Yeah, I mean every time I run the math, that’s about … Like, literally, if I could convert 10 people, even, a month I’d be …
Mark: You don’t need to convert 10 people a month, your prices are low enough right now, I think, that that might be where your brain goes. But over a 12 month span, you’ll start by converting two and three, and then there’ll be a little price increase, and then you’ll keep converting two and three, and there’ll be a price increase. And you’ll get to the point where you’re signing, maybe … It’s totally hypothetical, you’re signing three-ish clients per month, at three-ish thousand each, and now we’re in the neighborhood of you being able to un-lawyer.
Judith: I love your optimism. I will take that.
Mark: It’s certainty, Judith.
Judith: I love it.
Mark: It’s absolute certainty.
Judith: Okay. Okay, cool. Now I have questions to go back to them with, as opposed to just sounding like a crazy Californian person to them on the phone. So this is good.
Mark: Really good question. Totally relevant. I appreciate it.
Judith: No, thank you.
Becca: Hi, can you hear me?
Becca: Okay. My kids are like running a muck downstairs. We’ll see how long this lasts.
Mark: Your office is looking very official and coachy.
Becca: Well, I’m a coach. I don’t know if you heard. I’m a life coach.
Mark: I did know that.
Becca: This is what I have to say. In the last like, I think it was Office Hours last week, I had this like epiphany come over me, where I was like, oh, I don’t need a program. This is going to sound really redundant, so just prepare yourself. I don’t need a program. I don’t need worksheets. I don’t need all the complication. I need to just like offer conversation. It feels so clear. So clear. And with that in mind, I wouldn’t know where I got any of those ideas from, by the way. I guess my question right now is, I’m doing the lunch and learns obviously. I’m sticking with them. I’m not going to change it. I’m not going to charge money for those. I’m working on like regularly emailing my list and working on my podcast, and I’m doing the lunch and learns. Where else should my focus be? Like where?
Mark: I mean, if I were just going to jump straight to it, I don’t know that I would change your focus. Those three efforts, like those three areas of effort, have built businesses that all of us admire, and kind of nothing else. Meaning, those on their own, those three areas of effort, have built businesses that we all admire. So what I would be looking at is how do I spend my resources, time and money, to enhance those things, to get them into more people’s hands, to make them more interesting, more compelling.
Example from my business right now is I have been very consistent with Instagram Stories, and it’s paid off, and I like it. So what I’ve been thinking about this week is what could I do that would make my Stories, like maybe I could up the production value. Maybe not excessively, but I think what’s going to get people to watch, and what’s going to get people to watch as far through my Stories as possible. And I’m thinking about maybe I get a little bit of camera equipment, maybe I do some more things graphically on the slides. I’m going to tinker and I’m going to spend some money in that area to try to enhance the experience. In my case, I’m doing that instead of saying, Instagram Stories are done, I’m going elsewhere. I’m kind of leveling up the experience.
You’ve also hopefully noticed the same thing with the emails I’m sending with Office Hours recordings. Instead of saying I need to add more and more features to Office Hours, which I am going to do, it’s going to be fun, but I’m staying with… That email is almost the entire experience for many of the members of this program. They don’t experience the program any other way. They don’t show up to these calls live, and they might not listen to any recordings. So I’m really thinking, how do I enhance that email. And it’s expensive to do. I’m spending a lot of money on those emails, and so what I’m wondering is how would that translate to either your lunch and learns, and/or podcast, and/or newsletter. How do you continue in those areas, but maybe level them up a little bit? Any thoughts come to mind?
Becca: My thought has always been that it would be great to somehow make like a lunch and learn, but held online. So more of a webinar. Somehow make it compelling enough for people to tune in. Just because so many of the people I’m getting likes in Instagram don’t live in this area. Not to mention, in seven or eight or however many months, I’m not going to live here anymore. So kind of changes things. So I like the idea of like expanding that. It’s just this idea that like every time I get on social media, there’s like 57,000 webinars that I see offered. You know what I mean? So this idea of making it compelling enough, that it’s not just another webinar.
Mark: I’ll just tell you, I never, ever, ever let myself have the thought that Office Hours is just another business coaching program.
Becca: Oh, that’s genius.
Mark: Because if I did, Office Hours would not exist. Because, let me tell you what the absolute least original idea in the whole world is. It is a $50 per month business coaching. And I do, when I’m scrolling Instagram, something has happened in the algorithm. It seems like 80% of what I see now is ads for people’s funnels.
Becca: Yes, me too.
Mark: I could look at those ads and make it mean that I’m just another dude.
Becca: Oh, gotcha.
Mark: I don’t.
Mark: I think about you instead.
Becca: Well, all right, I’ll start thinking about you and Office Hours.
Mark: Your job is to think about military wives, even 10 of them. Ten military wives. I do think there’s an interesting thing you could try, and I’m not the person who knows this, but if you want to start teaching… I don’t know that I would even call it a webinar. That seems like a loaded word for you. I might just let myself call it an online lunch and learn. Or you can use phrases like, I’m teaching classes online. Because those things just seem very… they’re just lighter than doing a webinar.
Becca: Or, at the end, I’ll tell you all about my program.
Mark: Which you can do.
Becca: Watch to the end. There’s some special deals at the end.
Mark: I actually think I’ve never watched a webinar in my whole 14 years of being an online business.
Becca: Maybe you’re not missing out.
Mark: Not true. I watched Russell Brunson’s webinar once, all the way through, and then I clicked off and I went straight to the shower, and I had to get all of it off. This is being recorded, and I don’t care.
Becca: What about the FOMO of the deal? Whatever deal it was.
Mark: I hate it so much. I hate it.
Becca: So you understand this loaded word, webinar, for me.
Mark: If this desk were not so heavy, I would be flipping it right now. That’s how much I hate it.
Becca: Now I have to go find one of his webinars to watch.
Mark: It’s him, it’s all the bro marketers, and a bunch of lady marketers too.
Becca: That’s true.
Mark: Like, no, really, we’re still going to do the secret insider information webinar? We’re still doing that? Clearly it’s still working. Secret inside information.
Becca: So maybe I’ll just teach a class though.
Mark: [inaudible 00:07:16]. See, if you like the beautiful business framework.
Becca: I do.
Mark: The beautiful business framework says, you teach online classes, people come, you make connections, you build relationships, relationships lead to relationships, and relationships lead to transactions. You can even advertise your online classes. Just as, I’m teaching a class. I will say this. Personal opinion, don’t go to great lengths to talk about how you’re not going to sell anything.
Becca: Right, I’m just not going to talk about it.
Mark: Just don’t talk about it.
Becca: I won’t make it weird. I promise.
Mark: In the same way, when people are like, you’re going to want to watch to the end for the special bonuses, and that raises flags, saying you’re not going to sell anything raises almost the same flags.
Becca: What’s the catch? Now we won’t even know it’s coming. We thought it was coming at the end. Now we have no idea what’s happening.
Mark: They’re going to get us at the end. [inaudible 00:08:16]. No, just be like, I’m teaching a class. It’s going to be great. You should come.
Becca: Which I had to learn to do for the lunch and learns.
Mark: And they’re coming.
Becca: I have one more question.
Mark: Ask away.
Becca: Okay. So I don’t feel like, I mean, I understand. I’m happy about the relationships I’m building. I really do feel like a lot of circles are closing, and I’m seeing people in different places and making connections. However, that being said, I don’t feel like I’ve got a ton of consults. I’ve had one… a couple of people ask, I can’t remember, maybe they’re not on my schedule yet. I believe that they’re coming. I understand that you have to hear something 50,000 times in order to do it. What is my question?
Mark: Is your question, when is it going to work?
Becca: Yeah. Or what can I do? What can I say? Do I need to change what I’m saying, or do I need to just continue to be patient?
Mark: All of us always need to be patient. It just never stops being true. I go days right now, multiple days, in between signups for Office Hours, for example. And I could make that mean that Office Hours is a waste of time, et cetera, et cetera. So I’m still being patient and I’m asking myself… I have honest, but not like doomsday, conversations with myself about what is the compelling reason for someone to join Office Hours. Am I making that clear? Is it even true? Do I even believe that there’s a compelling reason to join Office Hours, or that there’s a compelling reason to stay. And I have conversations with myself about that. Not from a fearful place. More from a curiosity place. Where I think that might translate to all of you is, I would have those conversations with myself about my content.
I think you’ve all heard me say this before, but if I’m saying the same thing, to the same people, in the same way, in the same place, as other people, then I’m not necessary to the equation. So we’re not on the hunt to like be sensational or controversial, but what we’re trying to figure out is what is our thing that we feel more strongly about, that we emphasize more, that attracts people to us. And that, to me, is not something we can sit at our desks and figure out. We figure it out by producing content and seeing what resonates.
So if someone isn’t getting consults, and they are creating and sharing content, my question would be, are you getting anything that would happen between the content and the consult? Things like replies to emails, DMs on Instagram. Those are probably the two most obvious ones. Messages from people saying, “Hey, so and so told me I should check out what you’re doing.” If none of those intermediate steps are happening either, it’s still not time to be discouraged. It is time to ask ourselves, is it time for me to take a different approach with the message, and see if I can get more resonance from the people that I’m talking to.
Becca: I don’t think I get a ton of any of those things you just said.
Mark: Okay. But we should be clear about a ton, because I don’t get a ton either.
Becca: Next to none, actually.
Mark: Okay. And that’s fine. It’s good to know that. Becca, this is such a key insight for you and for everyone who’s going to listen, it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. It means that you’re still looking for the message that resonates. One of the ways to experiment with this, by the way, is to pick the most widely held beliefs, the beliefs that your person is most likely to believe, and to try to find places where you disagree with it, and then start making a case for the disagreement in your content. Basically, you all know this, today, my business is, the whole thing is, in a very thinly veiled way, positioned against most of the business advice that I know that my community is getting, and that’s where the resonance is happening.
If I get a DM, it says something like, this is a breath of fresh air. I’ve never thought of it that way before. It’s so nice to get another perspective. It’s not even that my people are saying, “I have now chosen to ignore all the other perspectives,” but they’re saying, “You are an important part of the story for me now.” We’re looking for that. For you, and for everyone listening, I would say, if you feel like you’re regurgitating what was taught to you, then it’s time to start hunting for something that feels like it’s not regurgitated. We’re just going to be on the hunt for it. I say this carefully, because I don’t want anyone to feel like, “I’m not original. I’m not smart.” A lot of garbage thoughts.
Mostly what I’m encouraging people to think is, “I’m going to dig in and I’m going to look for my areas of disagreement, and I’m going to start to turn the volume up a little bit on those.” In the military community, I can’t guess what those are, but you can find out. And to everyone listening, if you’re struggling to find those, I think the way to discover them is with free coaching. To get into your community, talk to your people, find out where they’re hurting. Find out what they’ve already tried. Notice where your points of disagreement are with what they’ve already tried, and then start to magnify, turn the volume up on that.
You, in particular, Becca, are doing so well. You’re consistent in your content you’re producing. It’s so clear that your confidence is up, your consistency is there. If you keep showing up, you’re going to start to get a message here and there. And what I would encourage you is, when you get messages, reply with questions. So if I get DMs on Instagram right now, and someone’s like, “Oh, this is so great.” Or especially if I get a question, like a business question, I’m going to reply. And I do a lot of free coaching in DMs right now, because what I’m trying to draw out is content fodder, and I’m also trying to build relationships because it’s fun. But I’m trying to draw out, what juicy nugget is there in here that I can turn into tomorrow’s Stories, that people are going to be like, “Oh, I never thought of it that way before.”
Becca: Okay, that’s good.
Mark: So engage at every opportunity and try to create engagement at every opportunity. Those things, coupled with patience, has to pay off. Just has to.
Becca: Awesome. Thank you.
Mark: You’re doing a great job. Thank you for great questions. By the way, in the chat, Judith asks, so if you just do a class, do you make an offer during the class? I love the word invitation, Judith. And it might sound like semantics, but I love the word invitation. The most natural thing in the world to have some kind of class, and then say, “Hey, by the way, I would love to keep this conversation going.” And I believe that if someone in that classroom seems to have resonated with what you were saying, I love a direct invitation. “Hey, I would love to talk with you.” Sometimes, we as coaches hide behind broadcast offers, meaning, if anyone out there is interested. I got a couple of hand raises in the audience. Very, very specific invitations are so powerful. Hi Jane. Noticed you on my class. Would you be up for a call next week? I would love to chat.
Becca: Where is that happening? In person or via…?
Mark: Anywhere. Online. Could be on Zoom. It’s just, let’s have a conversation. What?
Becca: I have another question that I’ve probably asked you six times before. Don’t say it’s a free call.
Mark: I will never call it a free call. I won’t. And that doesn’t mean I’m right. Russell Brunson certainly will. I’m kidding. Lots of great, brilliant, authentic marketers. As in Katrina Ubell, Jody Moore. All, I mean, wonderful business owners with wonderful businesses. They’re going to use the word free all over the place. Great. I, in a setting where I’m trying to grow a one-on-one business, and I believe that the positioning, like the posture and the attitude of the coach is so crucial, the word free just does not cross my lips. It’s not part of what I’m doing. It’s a consultation, which is what all high-end consultants and coaches do. Of course they do consultations.
Becca: And I can use that to obviously coach them and turn them on to working with me, but I can also use it for like the content fodder kind of thing.
Mark: Yes to all of that. The attitude going in is, I am about to give someone a great coaching experience. It is going to strengthen a relationship, and relationships always pay off. I just can’t predict how.
Becca: Gotcha. Okay. That’s good.
Mark: Sometimes it will be an offer. I don’t want people to listen to the recording and say, “Well, Mark doesn’t think we should make offers.” No, you should absolutely make offers. You give a great coaching experience, and then you say, “How has this been?” They say, “Amazing. My mind is blown.” You say, “Would you like to do this again?” And they say, “Yeah, what does that look like?” And then you either tell them what it looks like, or you say, “You know what? Let’s both go think about it for a couple of days, and then we’ll come back together and figure out what it looks like.”
Becca: Very helpful. Thank you.
Mark: What could send up more confident message than, “You know what? Let’s go think about it for a couple of days.” Sink back up.
Becca: So let them off the call without making a commitment.
Mark: To get them off the call without making a commitment, because you’re in charge of when the commitments happen and how and where and when. That’s the message here. You’re not chasing anybody.
Becca: I love it.
Becca: Awesome. Thank you.
Heidi: Okay, so apologies if this is not super applicable because I’m not a life coach.
Mark: It’s totally applicable to your business.
Heidi: Okay, fantastic. So we are… So Ashton has her own one-on-one coaching, Butter Your Macros has their own one on one coaching, but we are wanting to combine on a new website platform so that we can drive all of our business to… Kind of like how Old Navy, we’re not going to be Old Navy though, but Old Navy and Athleta are all on the same website. You can go… So it’s like we can send all of our business to one website instead of the way it is now. So we were wondering if somebody signs up for one-on-one coaching and they purchase it through the macro challenge, could we… I mean the website platform we’re looking at is called Kajabi and they have an affiliate option. So theoretically somebody signed up for one-on-one coaching with Butter Your Macros, but they’re paying through the macro challenge, could Butter Your Macros be an affiliate? And so we could actually get paid a chunk of money for that coaching from the macro challenge instead of it all going to the macro challenge. Does that make sense?
Mark: Yeah. So where would the payment be processed?
Heidi: Through the macro challenge.
Mark: And then who gets the commission?
Heidi: Butter Your Macros, if we’re taking on the one-on-one client, we want to get a chunk of that money instead of it going to the macro challenge, if that makes sense. Just because we want to still combine on our group coaching but still have the option to take as many one-on-one clients as we want. Natalie and I can take a larger load than Ashton can. So we don’t necessarily want to split that money just so that there’s no obligation for us all to be… Do you know what I mean? One-on-one clients take a lot more time.
Mark: Okay. So a scenario is a one-on-one coaching client pays you $1,000. They pay through the combined site and the combined site is owned by who?
Heidi: The macro challenge.
Mark: Right. So it’s the macro challenge Stripe account and Natalie and Heidi are doing the coaching on this one and you’re taking the full thousand?
Heidi: No, could we have an affiliate commission that’s like $600 or something like that? I mean, I don’t even… We haven’t decided exactly how we’ll split it up.
Mark: Well in this case… Since you… Well see, okay. No. Do all three of you have the macro challenge in common?
Mark: Okay, got you. So yes, in this case macro challenge would pay a $600 payment to you and Natalie’s, your entity separately.
Mark: The other $400 would stay in the macro challenge to be divided however it gets divided.
Mark: Yes. That’s all fine.
Heidi: Okay, perfect. And then the other question I have is where we have hired a few assistants, which has been so amazing and I listened to everything that you said and I feel great about my reasons, so effing great. So what’s the best way to pay them through PayPal? And do we need to do payroll and all that kind of…
Mark: No, well I don’t think so. You’ll want to do some Googling around the IRS’s rules around contractors versus employees.
Mark: The key is it really comes down to control. If you’re trying to prevent them from doing other work or working for other people or having other things going on, if you were saying you can only work for us, that’s an employee and you need to put them on payroll and deal with payroll taxes, et cetera. If you’re saying you’re working with us, if you have a side gig or if you have other things going on, that’s fine too. That’s the biggest marker of a person being a contractor.
Mark: In which case, yep. You can pay it through PayPal. You can pay them through a service like Gusto, G.U.S.T.O. PayPal will charge them fees. If you pay them through PayPal Friends and Family or through Venmo, you’re in violation of Venmo’s and PayPal’s terms because you want to avoid the fees.
Mark: So I don’t have contractors anymore, but when I had contractors, I paid them through Gusto.
Heidi: Got it. Okay.
Mark: I had to pay $6 per contractor per month to have them in the system, but then I can make direct deposits into their checking accounts and it’s no fees, it goes right to them.
Heidi: Fantastic. That’s wonderful. Okay, perfect. And then when you were talking about… Remember that part where you were talking about taking money out of the business to feel paid or whatever?
Heidi: So we want to do that.
Heidi: We’re always wanting to do that, but we don’t want to do crazy like last year. So you can just… We can pay ourselves as long as it’s equal and just remember that taxes will be associated with that money. That’s…
Mark: Take equal amounts every time.
Heidi: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mark: And if the business does any reimbursements of expenses, have those be totally independent.
Heidi: We’re not doing that anymore. I got them cards. Virtual high five.
Mark: So yeah, as long as you do equal distributions, things stay… By the way, you don’t have to do equal distributions, but you will thank yourself for doing equal distributions.
Heidi: Equal’s good. Equal’s good.
Mark: Now you’re not an S corporation, right? No, okay. So you don’t need to be doing payroll and you can just, whenever you all want to take money out, just divide it three ways and distribute it.
Heidi: Fantastic. Thank you. Those are my questions.
Mark: Okay. How’s everything going? How’s macro challenge doing?
Heidi: It’s going amazing.
Mark: Oh, yeah?
Heidi: Yeah. Amazing. We just had this light bulb moment where we realized we were competing against ourselves. So combining everything, we let all of our-one-on one clients have access to all the macro challenge content. So that’s a free benefit you get with your one-on-one coaching, you get access to all of that information.
So, it’s just… I don’t even really know. There’s just a lot of nuances like that that have helped us just channel our energy all in the same place. And we doubled our membership without a webinar. I was laughing about all of your stuff about a webinar because I was like, it’s the worst. They’re literally the worst. I’ve never even watched one and yet we were trying to do them and they were the worst. We just opened to our wait list and talked about it on stories like normal people and literally, we doubled our membership. It was amazing.
Mark: That’s fun.
Heidi: No stressing over slides. None of it. It was amazing. So all good things.
Mark: Sounds really good. Congrats.
Heidi: Thank you. It’s going good.
Mark: It’s nice to talk to you. I haven’t seen any of you all in a while.
Heidi: I know we’ve been… We’ve each popped on for little bits of time, but your program is amazing and your stories are very inspiring by the way.
Mark: Thank you.
Heidi: Look who’s the Instagram pro now?
Mark: You know, me and the Grams were like old best friends.
Heidi: Yeah, you are.
Mark: So fun. Yes, it’s helped me get more excited to tell this group to create and share content because I’m having such good experiences with it.
Heidi: It’s funny how it trickles down like that. I really appreciated all of your slides and everything tonight. It was super relevant, so thank you very much.
Mark: Thank you. Say hi to Natalie and Aston for me.
Heidi: I will do that.
Mark: Okay. Anybody, anybody else?
Riece and Breian
Riece: I will ask you about Facebook ads.
Mark: Yes. Hi Riece.
Riece: So my question about it would be, sometimes I get the impression, I mean obviously through the Life Coach School, that if you get it right, that it’s just basically a no brainer. So, I don’t know if you… Have you looked at any of the 100K Mastermind stuff?
Riece: Well, they release all their numbers on their ad spends and their revenue for all the people in the 100K Mastermind that Brooke did. And it was really interesting, really interesting to me. The numbers and how they did and didn’t align with revenue. So it’s obviously not a super sure thing, not everybody-
Mark: How many people’s numbers did they release?
Riece: Well everybody that was in it, but it dwindled significantly through the year that they did it. So, they started with 10 and so I think they did three reports through the year and I think there were 10 in the first one and maybe six in the second one. And I think there was only four in the last one. And it was just, I don’t know… But I guess my question, and especially, I mean this is coming from, my husband just feels like that’s the way you do it. He’s like, when we talked about all of this initially, all of my information was coming from Jody Moore and Life Coach School and obviously their thing is Facebook ads. You build your website, you get your freebie and you do your Facebook ad and that’s the process.
And we could spend the money if, it’s not that we can’t do it. I guess I want your perspective on it, because I get the impression from those two people, Jody and the Life Coach School, that it’s almost like an ATM. I mean obviously you have to get the ads right. They say that, that’s the disclaimer. You have to get your ads right, whatever-
Mark: I’m going to stop you right there, Riece.
Mark: We blow over that statement as though it’s like, Oh, and by the way, you have to get the ads right. But that’s like waking up in the morning and brushing your teeth. If it were, many, many, many more people would be much richer than they are. So you’ve just got to pause and you got to be like, wait a minute. There were 10 people in the beginning of the 100K program and four at the end, it doesn’t… Like a 40% success rate is a pretty fantastic success rate. It’s also a 60% fail rate. The bottom line is six out of 10 people, in a program that was guaranteed, didn’t make it through. That’s not a criticism of the program. I can’t be more clear about that. It is not an ATM, I guess is my point. It’s not an ATM. If it were an ATM, why would any of us be talking about anything else?
Riece: I know and that’s what I’m having a hard time with. Both of them use that analogy, you know? Both of them. Brooke and Jody say it’s an ATM. And they’re not saying it like that, like it is an ATM, but they do compare it to an ATM and they’re like, yeah, if you had something that you put a dollar in and it gave you $2 back, you’d be stupid not to do it.
Mark: Yeah, you would.
Riece: You would. And so I don’t know, I guess… I think you answered it, that it’s not that simple.
Mark: It is not that simple. Here I’m almost at another table flip. I’m going to have to delete this whole recording. It’s not that simple. It is not that simple.
Riece: Well, I know and that’s kind of where I’ve been stuck is I’m just like… I mean, like I said, we’ve talked about this, I’ve said it twice now, that I do love the concept of the beautiful business, but I do also sometimes just go, I also would love to make some money.
Mark: I think, hurry up, is what you’re thinking.
Riece: I don’t even know. I mean, maybe that is what’s underneath it. I mean, I would not have spent $18,000 on certification without the intention to make money. Otherwise I could have just learned the stuff and talked to my friends about it, you know? But…
Riece: Well, I just mean, I spent the money with the intention of having a money making business.
Mark: Oh, absolutely. Yes.
Riece: Otherwise I could have… I mean, I started in Jody’s program, loved it. It’s the best thing ever. And I could’ve just been telling my friends about all the cool things I was learning, but I was like, I want to do this. I love it. I want to have a business doing this. And so, my point is, I would like to make some money. And so I’m just like, maybe that is a way to get a paying client, is to put some money in Facebook.
Mark: I want to tell you that I’m so sincere in saying what I’m about to say. Then go do it. Absolutely, go do it. It is not an ATM.
Mark: The teams of people behind… Question number two, what are the keys to success for this purchase. What skills and assets are required to make this successful? The moving parts in a Facebook campaign are many. The number of places it can go wrong are many. When it goes right, very few people who have a successful Facebook campaign can tell you why exactly it is successful. There’s some combination of factors there, some of which they correctly identified, some of which they did not correctly identify. It’s the niche. It’s the… What are you planning to target?
Riece: Grumpy moms.
Mark: Yeah. It’s not weight loss.
Mark: It’s not how to make money.
Mark: And that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. My very close friend runs Facebook for the Life Coach School and she did tell me, Mark, I think we could build you a successful campaign on five bucks a day, if you are patient. I said, well, what if I was willing to be patient for like eight months? She’s like, yeah, we can do that.
So, but my thing is, eight months invested in relationships pays off in a way that no one can take away from me by changing their algorithm. It pays off for me in a way that no one can increase the price or that the market can’t surge in and bid up the price of my traffic, such that now I’m like, man, I used to be able to get a lead for $10 and it’s $50 now. And I don’t have another lead source, because I’ve been just off, I’m not on Facebook gravy train. So I honestly get really frustrated with this idea of, just hurry up and get your Facebook ads going. What’s wrong with you? What’s taking so long?
If it’s that simple, when we were just at Mastermind for the Life Coach School, why were there 25… By the way, it’s awesome that there are 25 people that made over 100K, but if it’s as simple as flipping the Facebook switch, why weren’t there 300? It’s because it’s not that simple. You may get off this call and two weeks from now, tell me, well actually I’ve just got three paying clients from Facebook and I will stand and cheer and be surprised.
Mark: You can have an amazingly profitable business, Riece. Build relationships. Create and share content. Jody Moore and Brooke Castillo built their businesses by creating and sharing content.
Riece: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mark: That’s how they built their businesses. And then they accelerated all that success with ads. But it was not the reverse.
Riece: Yeah, that’s true.
Mark: It’s lazy advice, there I said it. I hear you shaking your head at me. I can’t bite my tongue for that long. She’s like, dude, [inaudible 00:09:46].
Riece: No, I appreciate your candor. I really do. And it’s exactly what I needed to hear, because that was where my mind was having drama about like, okay, but if it’s that simple, then I feel like I’d be stupid not to put the money in. Oh, tell her to come on and talk. [crosstalk 00:10:09] Tell her to come on and talk.
Mark: Anyone on the call know what 12DailyPro is? Google it.
Riece: What is it, 12DailyPro?
Mark: It is a ponzi scheme that was popular about 15 years ago, 10, 11 years ago. And it was just like, put the money in. Just put the money in. You get all this money back.
Riece: Well, I was saying to my husband, because I couldn’t remember the numbers that somebody said, it was like put a dollar in and get two dollars out. I’m like, that doesn’t work because you have to pay back the dollar that you put in and then put another dollar in. I’m like, that doesn’t leave anything. Anyways.
Mark: You’re not wrong. Also, that’s not why it doesn’t work.
Riece: Yeah, right.
Mark: It doesn’t work because there is such a thing as the free market and millions of people are trying to put a dollar in and get two dollars out. And a lot of them are having great results and they have massive machines that make that work. And some of them are one-to-one coaches who’ve grown a great one-to-one coaching practice with Facebook ads. It does happen. I don’t think this part of the recording is going to make it into the…
Riece: I want to hear what Breian has to say. She looks like she has opinions. I want to hear it. No, she won’t say it? Okay.
Mark: You’re still muted, Breian.
Riece: Yeah, you can’t hear it.
Mark: Check your audio settings.
Breian: See if this works. Is that any better?
Breian: You can hear me? I never had opinions, first of all, everyone knows that.
Riece: They might be actually, in this case, tamer than Mark’s though, so it’s fine.
Mark: I came strong tonight, didn’t I? That’s why this thing probably won’t make it into the archive.
Breian: This is bound to ruin your recording. I want to be the person who actually helps him, who sends him over the edge so he does lift the desk. But. No, Riece, I would just say, everything Mark’s saying, I think I’m one of the examples of that. I don’t have a million dollar business or anything, but my entire business is built off personal relationships. I did really well with even the Facebook stuff, as far as the front end of it. My ads ran at like 52 cents, 48 cents per conversion. It was a good rate. But none of that is doing anything. It is not giving me any business. The value of it is zero compared to what I’ve done on personal relationships and it’s just not… The Facebook thing, like Mark says, it’s not easy, you have to get the message perfect for the whole process to fall into place.
So I’m just saying, I hear what Mark’s is saying and I hear how you’re saying and what they’ve taught you and I just finished that whole process. I just have to tell you, if there’s a little patience in the game and you truly get out and build genuine relationships, yeah, I don’t make $1 million right now, it’s my first year out, but I feel like I’ve created a pretty successful, I think I’m evidence of a successful coaching practice from just building relationships. So I’m really, I’m with Mark on this one for sure, just because of my personal experience. And the Facebook thing when I’m shaking my head and it is not the dollar in, dollar out. I can prove all of that. My ads were very cheap, but they have never paid off like personal relationships, ever. So. [crosstalk 00:13:32]
Riece: No, that’s so helpful. Thank you so much for saying that.
Mark: Side note, Breian, do you realize that you just came on this webinar and told everyone that you have a successful business?
Breian: Yes. Did you hear it?
Mark: I did. That [inaudible 00:13:45].
Breian: Yeah. Two weeks ago I was quitting. We’re just like, keep this part, where Breian announces she has a successful business today, next year we’re shutting it down, but today. Good.
Mark: Thank you Breian. Riece, before I climb off my soapbox and stop ranting like a lunatic. I will say this, Breian and I and you and anyone else, could probably figure out how to make Facebook feed a one-to-one coaching business. I don’t believe it’s less work in the long run than a relationship driven business. The exception would be, if you want to pursue a totally different business model, like I guess groups or memberships or something. Maybe at some point you have to think about advertising, but even then, just maybe. It is not a requirement for success.
I did talk to a client this week and I said, you’re allowed to grow a business you love, doing work you enjoy. And I just have not yet come across a coach who’s like, Oh, I just can’t wait to get back into my ad campaigns, so fun. They’re out there and then they become Facebook consultants and do really well and great. The people who want to coach… Anyway, thank you for the question. I hope the answer was useful and not just a rant.
Riece: No, it was, it was. And I had a whole thing that I was telling myself, because like you said, I know that I kind of said it flippantly, you have to get the ads right, but I know that’s the essential part of it. But then I was like, okay, well maybe that’s what hiring out would do. Maybe if you get the right person to do your ads, then you could get that piece in place or something. I don’t know. But-
Mark: That’s a great question too. And that’s the classic case of, I’m going to outsource my ads. And it’s not dumb to want to do that. We all want to do it. The issue is what are the keys to success for that purchase? What are the skills and assets I need? And Facebook ad providers usually expect you to deal with the messaging and most of the copywriting, and they’re like, you’ve got to show up with some assets that they can then pour gasoline on that fire. If you show a blank slate, they don’t have a lot they can work with. And then even though they’re well meaning and your well-meaning, it’s not a win because it’s not set up to succeed.
Mark: So, this actually relates to what I was talking with Becca about earlier, where I think if you’re finding that you’re not getting traction, if no one is raising their hand and saying thank you for your message, I really needed to hear this, or could we talk or I’ve never heard anyone talk about it this way before then… Not that you’re even proposing this, but this is a principle I want to share with everyone. You can’t solve that with traffic from Facebook.
Mark: You were all on the hunt to solve that and then accelerate it. [crosstalk 00:17:14] That’s what I’m on the hunt for, too.
Riece: Yeah. Well, I think I just… Right now my audience is entirely my friends and family, not primarily, entirely. And a lot of them, I don’t know, recently I’ve gotten a lot of questions like, how’s your business going? All that stuff. And I’m like, I don’t know, I feel like they just see themselves as like, I don’t know, spectators to what I’m doing. Not necessarily like… I don’t know if that even makes sense, but they don’t see themselves as part of who I’m talking to.
Mark: Okay. Meaning?
Riece: Okay, just as an example, a friend, that has even said that she enjoys my content, she just asked me, Oh, have you been getting clients from it or whatever. And I’m like, no. And so I don’t know. I guess I took that to mean, she doesn’t see herself as… I don’t know. I feel like she sees herself as just my friend and not somebody that could come to me for… I don’t know.
Mark: This is all good stuff Riece. I mean, what you’re telling me, use your coaching tools. Listen to what you’re saying.
Riece: I know.
Mark: She doesn’t see herself as part of my business. Do you know how she sees herself?
Mark: No. And that’s okay. But the reason it’s so great, what you just said, is that it exposed what you think about.
Mark: And so, some part of you is thinking that the people that are in your immediate vicinity, they need to be behaving differently in order for you to feel like you have a business going or something. Also, you are not seeing how they translate into paying clients and you would really like to see how they translate into paying clients. And I don’t blame you for that. I think that’s natural to every new project, for me included. I never want to sound like, Oh, I already saw this in my life. It’s all done. It’s dealt with. The challenge that we face is, what am I excited about doing and where am I getting just enough evidence, just enough signs of life that I’m enthusiastic about continuing with it. So, you keep creating and sharing content. You keep coaching and then you look for opportunities to twist and tweak your message when residents start to happened with the people who are listening. Think you can do it?
Riece: Yeah. I hear it, when I say it out loud. I hear it. I hear it too. But I think that’s why I went to, maybe I need to do Facebook, because I’m like, then it would bring people into my sphere that aren’t my friends and family. Right?
Riece: Yeah. No, I agree with you and I hear it. I hear it.
Mark: I want that to be true for me too. That’s why I’m talking to my friend. With her, I’ve said, you know what, I’m just curious. Is there a scenario where I can establish relationships through a channel, like ads on Facebook? I have so much curiosity around it. I think the answer is yes. But I’m not looking to that as saving me from something else. I see it as an addition to what I’m already enjoying. Are you producing content?
Riece: Yes. I post on Instagram every single weekday. Yes.
Mark: Posting on the Instagram feed?
Mark: Okay. Stories?
Mark: Okay. Let’s get in those stories. Here’s why I’m saying that, first of all, because I have like 11 ugly posts on my feed and I’m getting, what I think is a lot of traction on Instagram, and I think it’s in stories. I happened to… I have, being friends now with some people whose Instagram reach is significant and I’ve gotten a little free advice from them. And the other day I was talking to one of them and I said, I never post on my feed. She’s like, you don’t need to ever, she said you never ever need to. And I was like, okay. She’s like, not that there’s no benefit to it whatsoever, but she’s like, just notice all the traction you’re getting from just being in stories. And I said, well, yeah.
She’s like, so post on your feed, don’t post on your feed. Your feed is sort of, if you think about a website, it’s sort of the about page, where people can scroll and kind of get to know you. So she encouraged me to get some pictures with a couple of my notable clients, so that people could scroll through my feed and see my clients, get the credibility boost. I may or may not ever do that, but I say that because that was sort of her point about the benefit of the feed, but in her opinion, the engagement was going to happen for me in stories. I happen to think it’s particularly compelling on Instagram, even though I am a total novice on Instagram. But I think it’s compelling on Instagram because it’s video, and video builds like and trust faster than any other media. And when I scroll Instagram and I end up on different coaches feeds, it’s honestly, it’s all the same thing.
Riece: I know, it is, yeah. In fact, I cracked up when you said if you feel like you’re regurgitating. I was like, yes, yes I do.
Mark: Yeah. Sometimes I laugh because I’ve started to like… There’s the standard posts that I see in people’s feeds and it’s like, there’s nothing at all wrong with them and you’re not doing a single thing wrong and neither is anyone who’s listening to the recording. What we’ll have to do is pause and say again, if I’m saying the same thing, in the same way, to the same people, in the same place as lots of other people, then why would anyone pick me? And it has nothing to do with I’m good, I’m bad, I’m anything, it’s just I am exact same voice saying the exact same thing. The clearest opportunity for distinguishing ourselves then, is in the videos because now we have a voice, we have a perspective, there’s a connection, there’s eye contact, even though it’s virtual eye contact. Now we have an opportunity, not to mention it develops our skills as public speakers.
So, I am frankly clueless about Instagram, but I’m not clueless about engagement and sales. And it was confirmation to me when she was like, feed, maybe, maybe not. Have you ever noticed, by the way, if you go to feeds where they have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of followers and like three comments? It doesn’t mean they’re bad. It means that seems to be the direction that Instagram is going.
Mark: Engagement on the feed doesn’t seem to be what… Honestly, I kind of came up in the blogging era. That’s where my first business was, in the surge of blogging. It’s what we saw with blog commenting and blogging engagement, where you’d see hundreds of comments on a post and today, find me a blog post with a comment on it. These things kind of trend over time. So on Instagram, today it seems to be let’s engage with each other on the video, make a connection there. Use the DMS to deepen it, to actually make connections. I spend a lot of time in my DMS. Maybe not a lot. I spent some time in my DMS. I like it. But the feed may or may not take you anywhere.
Riece: Yeah, I will try that. I will try to get on my stories.
Mark: Just do it.
Riece: I will get on my stories.
Mark: Yes. It’s a habit, that once you form it, you find it in very easy.
Mark: Less than for URIs. Because I think it’s true for everybody. Get in rooms with your people, meetups, workshops, conferences, local to you, where there’s moms. Get in those rooms, build relationships. You’re going to do great.