Recently, I put out an “ask-me-anything” request to get questions for my year end review. It was meant to be questions about ME and my business and what happened here this year at Uncaged (narcissist much? lol). I got some great questions, and I sent out that post a few weeks ago.
But I also got a LOT of questions more specific to general marketing tactics and how to grow your business. Because business is confusing when you’re just starting, right? So much conflicting advice and SO much to do.
So I wrote a whole separate post to answer those questions for you and help demystify the process of starting your new business and getting clients! There is a LOT here, but it’s a LOT of goodness (especially if you’re new to business and just starting to try to get clients and learn how to market your business).
So scroll through to find what’s relevant to you, or read ’em all – you might learn something new!
Here are your MARKETING Ask-Me-Anything Questions
1. How do you figure out/find who to pitch? I need to do guest blog posts, interviews, podcasts… get the word out, but I don’t know how to find venues. I’m an energy healer…so other energy healers don’t necessarily want to interview me since it’s competition. Other than spending hours and hours trolling the internet??
You’re smart to be asking this — getting in front of other people’s audiences in this way is my favorite free way to grow your business quickly! My BEST tip to find places to pitch is to google the name of one of your competitors (big or small!) + “guest post” or “podcast” or “interview”
So for example: “rebecca tracey + podcast”
This will show you ALL the places that your competition has been featured. Then you can go and pitch to the same places!
My second fave way is through market research. Simply ask your audience/ideal clients what podcasts they listen to and what blogs they read around X topic. Then, go pitch there!
I will also argue that other energy healers WILL want to interview you! Podcasts and blogs that do interviews are always looking for guests, and I’ve been on many shows that are technically my competition. The truth is, we all work in different ways, have different niches, and do slightly different things.If you pitch a topic that is relevant and you show that you’re stoked to be collaborating (and don’t come at it with the air of competition), many similar business owners will be grateful to have a guest who shares a similar niche and can share their unique expertise! Just make sure to pitch a topic that is slightly different than what that person teaches, something with a unique twist or an area of the niche that doesn’t get talked about much. They will love you! And worst case, they say no, and you move on to the next pitch.
2. Is there a way to fill your first few group programs without going to 3 networking events everyday. That’s the advice I’m getting and I’m hoping there’s another route you could suggest. Thank you! 🙂
Ok let’s be super clear here — I NEVER go to networking events. And 3 a day? LOL. Shoot me. I prefer to stay home and get clients from the comfort of my own pantslessness. You can absolutely build a business without going to networking events (unless you love those events — then the more the merrier! They can be great for making new connections). There tends to be a misconception that you are going to networking events to get clients. No. You are going to networking events to get to know similar people, expand your referral network, and work on slowly building up your connections. And you can do this entirely online too.
Participating in relevant Facebook groups (or even getting to know business owners in biz-focused groups like Uncaged Lifers, commenting on people’s posts on IG and getting to know them there, doing whatever you’re supposed to do on LinkedIn, hell, even being on reddit can work for this! They key is that you are getting outside of your usual group of friends and colleagues and meeting new people. Those people can eventually become your referral network. Which will help you get clients.
But that’s more of a slow build. Beyond just building a referral network, you can get clients to fill your one-on-one coaching or your group programs by getting in front of other people’s audiences, offering free content to them, and then having them sign up for your email list. This could be offering a webinar, doing an interview, writing a guest post, or hopping into their FB group and doing a FB live. This is a great quick way to grow your list, and THEN you can launch your group program to your list.
** It is important to note that I don’t recommend creating a group program until you have enough people to launch it to and get at least 8-12 people in it pretty easily (ie. without having to do the whole song and dance of a proper “launch”). You should be able to sell it out with a few personal emails to past clients/your list and maybe a few FB posts. If you have NO idea where to get people for your group, you are not ready for group yet and I would recommend growing your list more so that you have a group to sell to!
3. Can you explain the detailed difference between nurturing campaign vs launch campaign.
🤷♀️ Literally have no idea. All my emails campaigns are used to show people that I understand their problem, and then show them that I have a solution to their problem. I don’t think too much about it beyond that and like to keep things simple. We don’t use a million tags and segments and send people different stuff based on different segments. Way too complicated for my blood!
4. If I’m wanting to create 2 programs, the lower end automated program and the signature 1-on-1 coaching program, how should they differ?. I.e. should they deal with the same main problem, but the signature one goes into more depth? But then how do you market this when the signature program is more likely to get solid results vs the lower end automated program.
I would NOT do this. and here is why. You need to actually TEST your signature 1:1 program before you turn it into an automated program. Why? Well for one, you need to know that it works when you do it live. But you also need to learn where people tend to get stuck, where they drop off, what additional questions they have that you hadn’t considered, and what else they might need that wasn’t already included in the program.
Then, you need to build that into your program, and test THAT. Once you have tested and tested and tested again, with real live clients, then you can create your content and try it out as a self guided program. And, you guessed it — you need to test that extensively too. Is it working? Where do people get stuck? What additional content needs to be added so they don’t get stuck?
Once you have tweaked your methods and your content enough that you KNOW your course gets results even without your live coaching, THEN you can sell it on an automated funnel.
5. Of the people who purchase your live course Uncage Your Business, what percentage actually follow through and participate in all of the modules? Of those that DO participate what percentage still don’t launch? What are their biggest reasons for not gaining traction even after purchasing and participating?
We have an 85% completion rate in Uncage Your Business. I am SO proud of that (most online courses are more like 15%).
It does end up that some people don’t launch and some people never become successful in business. This is more a function of the person themselves than the course (many of them have taken many other courses before UYB and also not gotten results).
Some people just get into it and realize just how much work running a business is. And they don’t want to do it. Or life gets in the way. They have a baby. A family member gets sick. etc.
OR, I’d say the most common thing that happens, is that their MINDSET gets in the way. They get stuck at the first failed launch or rejection after rejection (which is so common in your first year!), and they don’t make it through it. It’s why our mindset and clarity coach Erin Foley is such a huge part of UYB, and our participant completion and success rates in UYB have gone way up since Erin became a co-teacher in the course with me helping students move past the common mindset blocks that usually cause other business owners to quit.
6. How do you know you’re charging enough for your services? I’m building an online program and struggle with what to charge for it.
You know you’re charging “enough” when it feels good to you, and a little scary/exciting (but not SO scary that you would never be confident telling someone your prices). You can learn my whole pricing methodology here.
7. I feel like everyone gets UYB so easily and I’m the only one struggling through the course work. Do you have any advice for getting around this?
First off whoever wrote this – I am sorry to hear this through this anonymous ask-me-anything form! We always hope that if you are really struggling, you will reach out to our team at [email protected] so we can help.
We also recommend you ask for help in our program Facebook book. Many other past UYB grads have struggled and then UN-struggled, and they are always so generous with helping other students out in there.
We also have our one-on-one coach Erin Foley who is a pro at helping you move past the stuckness. She is your best weapon to beat this and I recommend booking a session with her (only available to current and past UYB students – email us for the link if you’re a student!)
8. If you were to start your business again, what marketing activities would you prioritize during the first three months of business?
I actually would NOT recommend marketing during the first 3 months of business. I would recommend taking that time to do what most people don’t do — getting MEGA clear on all your foundations. Crafting a clear message, niching in (even more than you think!), doing market research, putting care and thought into your offers and creating them based on what people tell you they want (not what you think they need), and learning how to talk about what you do in clear concise ways.
THIS is what will get you clients the fastest in your business and this is the only thing that will make all your OTHER marketing efforts work.
Once you have those foundations, you can start to market yourself. I recommend working to get in front of other peoples audiences through things like podcast interviews, guest posts, and free trainings.
You can download my whole 3 month business checklist here — it walks you through exactly what I recommend doing, and in what order, in your biz when you’re new.
9. I’m a rule follower. I really believe in doing things as right as possible from the get go. Because of this, the bureaucratic side of starting a business overwhelms and discourages me. I don’t have money for a lawyer, accountant, etc. Am I overthinking this?
Yes, you are overthinking. You don’t need any of that to start a business. Is it the responsible thing to do? Sure. Maybe. But I know many a business (mine included) that was built BEFORE any of that was even considered. Learn the basics of how to report your business income on your taxes, and the rest can wait. (* not legal advice, just my own experience and that of most of the other service businesses that I know)
10. How did you work out how much content to put into your course? I was hoping mine would be 3 weeks but it seems more suited to 12 weeks (recently took 9 weeks with beta clients and participants were under the pump).
Course content creation is NO JOKE and should be taken seriously, so I am glad you are asking this! People focus so much on launching and not on actually creating a great student experience with great content that gets results.
Without teaching you a whole course on curriculum design right now, here are some quick tips:
You don’t need to teach everything you know. You don’t even need to teach them anything necessarily. What you need them to do is to take ACTION on something, to implement. The learning will come from that. So focus mostly on having the DO things and teach WAY less content. In fact, take your content and cut it in half. Then likely in half again. Then you should be good to go.
Here’s an example — if you are teaching a program about gut health, you don’t need to actually teach them everything that YOU know about the gut and the microvilli and how it works at the cellular level. What you need to do is tell them what to eat and not eat to heal their gut. So that is what you will teach them, and you will focus on making sure they do it. So you can remove 90% of the teaching you probably wanted to do, and instead just tell them what they need to know (that gluten will destroy their gut), and then give them easy ways to cut out gluten, and include a system for accountability.
Take out 90% of your content and replace that with action. That’s how you create a course — in a nutshell 🙂
11. I have a business that I like. I’m getting some recognition, clients, etc., but…my heart really isn’t in it. 🙁 But starting a brand new business in a new direction (following my passion) scares me. Should I change direction? How do I decide? How do I go back to people who know me and say, “Hey, I have a new business now” without feeling/sounding like a flake or a quitter?
This is SUCH a common thing that I hear! There’s a lot I want to say about it but I will try to keep this short.
First off — get clear on whether it’s the actual business topic that you don’t love, or whether it’s something about the business in particular. Are you getting underpaid? Do you want to switch up how you work with people? Are you tired of your niche (and could you do the same work with a different niche?). Often when I see this and really dig in with someone, it’s not the whole business they hate, it’s just one (big) part of it, that they assumed they were not allowed to change.
So if that’s the case for you — here is your permission. Change whatever you want in your business! Then see how it feels.
Now, if that’s not it, and you REALLY don’t want to do this thing anymore and you want to switch directions to pursue your OTHER business idea, then by all means, DO IT. Who the fuck cares about what other people think. Turn it into a teachable moment (sometimes when something is successful on the outside, it’s still not right for you, and that’s ok), and move on.
A word of caution though — I have also seen this happen with the “passion chasers” out there who think something will make them happy, then they do it, and it doesn’t, so they move to find the REAL passion, the thing that will REALLY make them happy (and then spoiler alert: it doesn’t). If this is you, I recommend that you don’t switch businesses. Stick with what you have that is working, And make sure you are fulfilling your passions in life OUTSIDE your business. I don’t actually think your business needs to fulfill your passion. It’s ok if it doesn’t. As long as you don’t fucking HATE it. You can like it well enough and find passion elsewhere. That is ok.
12. Every webinar, YouTube video, blog or book I read about launching a program or course says I need an email following of at least 1,000 people. You said don’t build the whole program until you have clients consistently. What am I supposed to do, really? I know I have a great coaching program and course ideas, but I don’t have the following. So where should I start for real?
I think you may be misconstruing the advice here (or else maybe I am confusing your question!?). You can absolutely start a coaching business (one-on-one) before you have 1000 followers. And you can make great money doing it.
The advice of not launching a course before then is because courses are a numbers game. You need enough people to actually join the course, so you need people to launch it to. Which is where the 1000 subscribers come in. Usually, around 1% of your email list will buy from you. That means 1000 subscribers = 10 students in a course.
It’s much much easier to get a one-on-one client than to get TEN clients all at once (and you don’t need a huge list to get started with one client).
ONCE you have your foundations clear (strong message, clear niche, and have done market research), you can start working to get in front of other people’s audiences to help grow your own. In Uncage Your Business we give you a whole daily plan for getting clients in the door. The gist of it is networking and collaborations with other people who already have an audience. Get started now and get those one-on-one clients WHILE you build your list! Your winning course idea will come from that one-on-one work too.
13. What email service provider/CRM do you recommend for someone just starting out?
People like to start with Mailchimp because it’s free. But it’s kind of sucky. If you just want to get started and not spend anything, use that and know that you will switch once your business grows. But once you have a list of over 1000 people I would recommend switching to ActiveCampaign. And, honestly, it doesn’t matter. I see people procrastinate FOREVER on making decisions like this. Just choose one and move on to things that will actually move the needle in your biz!
14. What is the best way to determine the best opt-in to create to grow your email list when you don’t have and clients or a lot of information about your ideal client?
Market research baby! Get out there and find your people and ASK THEM what they are struggling with, what they have tried, and what they wish they knew. Then create it for them. Your market research will help you in EVERY single part of your business from your offers, to your marketing, your sales calls, and everything in between. Don’t skip this step.
If you have never done market research and you need help, I teach you how to do market research and use it to make strategic business decisions in Uncage Your Business.
15. What advice do you have for the person starting out and only has part-time hours and limited $ to commit to their business growth.
Niche in and niche in FAST. Niching will be your quickest way to making money in your business.
Spending time trying to market a vague business is NOT the best use of your time. Get specific about exactly what you do and for who right away. If you’re scared to niche, you will have to get over that 🙂
You can use my free niching guide to learn how to niche. The reason is takes people so long to build businesses is because they don’t niche. Once you have gotten MEGA specific, then you need to get visible. See some of the questions above for my tips about how to get visible quickly when you are starting your business (but note that without niching and then market research in your niche, these strategies won’t work!).
16. Other than YOU, who should I follow/buy into to get information on systems and mindset.
I don’t teach systems or mindset, so it wouldn’t be me anyway! For mindset, Denise Duffield Thomas. I freaking love this woman. Her new book Chillpreneur is a must read for any new business owner who wants to take the stress out of alll the things in your business. It’s about mindset in business but also covers some practical stuff like how to deal with refunds and how to set your prices.
For systems — I’m not even sure! I don’t tend to follow a lot of people for systems stuff. I don’t even really always understand what that means when people say it lol. My eyes kind of glaze over when I hear that word. I think people selling “systems” need to be VERY clear about exactly what they are selling!
17. What is your favorite way to find new clients organically? I don’t really like the FB groups method.
Getting in front of other people’s audiences is my fave. Podcast interviews, guest posts, interviews, FB lives in other people’s groups, free trainings for other people’s lists — all great ways to get in front of a niche audience that already exists!
Here is a blog post I wrote about how to do this.
18. How do I create content that doesn’t give away too much (i.e. bread crumbing). I hardcore suck at this and drop bombs of stuff onto my audience and then end up frustrated.
Share the what and the why, but keep the exact HOW to yourself.
And remember, that even if you were to tell people everything they need to know about how to do something, people suck at implementing on their own, and will still pay for your personal help, attention and feedback.
Don’t worry about over-giving, especially at first. better to build trust and build your audience rather than give away too little and have people not think your work is valuable!
19. How the heck do you really find your first paying client??
Steps to getting your first client are as follows:
- Choose a very specific niche. What problem do you solve for people? What results can you get them?
- Do market research and TALK to the people who have that problem? What exactly do they struggle with? What have they tried? What are they frustrated with? What do they wish they had the answers to?
- Take note of the exact words and phrases they say. Write them down. Commit them to memory.
- Create a package to solve the problems they have described to you, and give them exactly what they want.
- Go back to your market research participants and offer them a spot in your new program or ask them to be your client. You can offer them a free spot, or a discounted spot in exchange for giving you feedback and a testimonial. You already know they have the problem you solve, and you have created a program based on exactly what they told you. They are VERY likely to buy from you.
- Then go tell the rest of the world (I have outlined my favorite ways above – specifically getting in front of groups of your ideal clients in various ways). And make offers. Don’t just give away a bunch of free content forever. Make sure that people know that you are selling something that can help them.
The steps that MOST people skip are 1-4. They start at 5 — getting visible — but they haven’t done the legwork to get their foundations clear, usually niche and specificity about what they ACTUALLY do.
This is the difference between clients and no clients.
For example, a life coach that goes out there at step 5 saying “I help people live their most authentic lives and walk their true path” is not going to get traction quickly (or at all). A life coach who goes out at step 5 saying “I help women stop feeling insecure and overwhelmed in their new job and help them build the confidence to get a promotion or ask for a raise ” will get clients pretty quickly.
If you’re not taking the time to define a clear niche, do your market research, and test out your packages, you are doing your business a huge disservice and it will be hard to get clients (or keep them).
My Uncage Your Business program helps you do exactly this and has helped hundreds of people land their first paying clients, Learn more here.
20. What are the most important first steps for setting a solid foundation for my online business?
See the previous question 🙂
21. How do I start making money as a coach?? (yes, I did Uncage Your Business)
Great — you did UYB so you have all the foundations in place and are ready for those clients. In UYB we have a whole 3 month plan for getting clients (you’ll find it in the bonus section of the program). In it, we lay out what to do each day, week, and month in order to get clients. Perhaps you missed that? Go check it out – it will tell you exactly what to do do gain visibility quickly and get those clients!
If you’re not in UYB yet — why not? Enroll here and learn exactly how to get clients.
22. What are those main must-do revenue generating activities that an newbie coach should be doing every day?
AFTER you have niched in, done market research, and tested your programs — then you need to be getting visible. Are you guys sick of hearing me say this yet!? lol
Networking and connecting with people who can help you spread the word will make it happen fastest. Doing interviews and posts for other people’s communities (communities that are teeming with your ideal clients, communities that already exist). Building from scratch takes a long time, so it’s better to borrow from other people at first.
Building a business is NOT that complicated when you are new. I mean, ok, yes, it is confusing for sure – because there are so many people telling you what to do and what not to do and there are so many strategies and you have SO much to learn.
But you don’t have to be doing all that. The whole reason I have my business here at Uncaged is to demystify how the F to get clients and get started. I don’t teach in-depth complex launch or funnel strategy, because to be 100% honest, you don’t need it yet. You may NEVER need it. You can grow to 6 figures and more without any of that fancy complicated shit.
Get clear. Then get visible. Then make offers to people. That’s it. That’s all.
23. How do I know when/if I need to get permission for incorporating ideas created or used by others, in my work? For example I do a version of Danielle LaPorte’s core desired feelings exercise, and I refer to Jim Collins’ hedgehog concept (everyone does I think). My program incorporates a lot of stuff I’ve learned along the way and have tweaked in some way to make it work for me and for the teams I worked with. Have you thrown away things because they’re not totally original? Do you have an opinion on it? Thanks Rebecca.
This is a fantastic question, and the answer is kind of grey. What is NOT grey is that if you are using someone else’s material, you need to make sure you reference it. So if you are using Danielle’s core desired feelings, you need to say “This is taken from Danielle Laporte’s core desired feelings work” or whatever. You also need to have PERMISSION to teach that material. For example, you can’t go take a program (say, B-School, or Uncage Your Business) and come out and start teaching the exact same material, even if you reference it. You need permission. Many programs actually have clauses against this — so if you take their program, you are not allowed to go and launch a program with a similar topic.
Some concepts do become more mainstream. For example, the idea of niching — I don’t even know who invented that. It’s a widely known concept. It would be ridiculous to have to reference a source every time you mention niching.
The rule always is — if you want to use something you learned from someone else, ask them what the best way to share and give credit is. That way you won’t get yourself in any trouble!
I asked my friend Tad Hargrave from Marketing for Hippies about this, as he often has some great things to say about topics like this, and he made a video for you. Watch it here.
Just to state the obvious — it is NEVER NEVER ok to plagiarize, steal or repurpose someone’s exact content (free or paid). This is theft and never ok. Not only is it not ok – it’s illegal and there are repercussions. Potentially big ones. If you want to share a concept you learned from someone, just ask them!
24. I am a financial coach, but lower income folks who really need my help struggle with the idea of paying for the service. I was looking at a tiered approach where I would charge a rate based on an income metric low, mid-range and high. What are your thoughts?
Many people tell me “my clients can’t afford my services” and MOST of the time, that is not true (it’s actually more about the mindset of the coach/business owner than it is about the clients).
For example, I have had students that tell me that their niche is new business owners, and new business owners don’t have money to invest, so they have to keep their prices low. Well, MY niche is also new business owners, and they pay me lots of money every year. I have met new business owners who invest $10000+ when starting their business.
My FAVORITE motto is “there are lots of people with lots of money to spend on lots of things”. Go and find those people if someone tells you you are too expensive.
BUT — there are always exceptions and there are niches where it’s TRUE that the demographic can’t afford your services.
For example, trying to do financial coaching with low income people. Not just people who are struggling with finances, but legit low income families and individuals who are on disability, social assistance, or for one of many other reasons, can’t make ends meet. Those people need help too.
Short of becoming a charity, I would recommend working with low income folks as just one small part of your company, and making your main niche people who CAN invest in help. For the low income folks, you can do a sliding scale, or offer a certain number of pro bono spots or scholarships.
Keep helping them! It’s such a great way to incorporate giving back into your business. But make sure you make the bulk of your clients people who can afford your services.
25. I know the world depends on social media, sales funnels, irresistible offers and so on. I don’t like gimmicks, tactics and technique to close deal. I believe in showing clients what’s not working in their situation, the pain it causes now and the future affects and how I can add value and help them. Your thoughts?
Awesome — this question tells me that you understand the basics of marketing and you will do well in your business! This is literally all you need to sell and build a thriving business (show clients what’s not working, address their pain points, and show them you can help).
The rest, in my opinion, comes into play later once you have decided on a business model that works for you and you are ready to scale and grow. Let me break down the specific things you mentioned here and give you my two cents on them:
Social Media — is GREAT for connecting with your current audience and building a new one, and meeting colleagues and like minded people all over the world. It’s ONE way to get more visibility in your business, and it’s a great way. If you choose not to use it, just know that you WILL have to find another way to get in front of people.
Sales Funnels — While I don’t think you need complex funnels with a billion tags to make sales, a SIMPLE sales funnel should always be in place. This just means having a system for what happens when someone finds you. If they sign up for your email list for example, how will you tell them about your services? A simple series of a 4-5 emails is a great way to do this, and you could consider this a “funnel”. Once your business grows, you might decide to build out products like online courses, as I have done here at Uncaged. When you do that, selling through funnels is a great way to make sales and I do recommend them if you are selling courses. But you don’t need anything fancy for one-on-one services — a few emails telling people what you offer will work! I have seen a lot of people who SKIP this step — they have no system in place for telling people about their offers. This is a huge mistake. We assume people will look around and find our services naturally, but this is not always the case and you can’t rely on it. Don’t be shy to tell people how you can help them!
“Irresistible Offers” — to me this literally just means having a good package that answers the needs of your clients. Something they see and think OMG I need that! Everyone should have this. It could be one session or it could be a whole year long program (or anything in between). And you should figure out what that offer is through market research (not just assumptions!).
If you are not sure how to do market research or how to create your own “irresistible offer” I teach you in Uncage Your Business.
26. What’s your book recommendation for newbie coaches to sell sell sell?
I am not sure – I haven’t really read any books on selling in a long time. I would say anything MINDSET related would be a good start, since most people get tripped up on selling because of their mindset! Denise DT’s Chillpreneur is a good start!
27. Where did you learn to sell so well?
Aw thanks! I don’t feel like I am THAT good at selling (I’m still always learning!), but everything I know I learned from Kendrick Shope. I highly recommend working with her if you struggle with SELLING (meaning doing consults, showing people the true value of your work, handing objections, knowing how to follow up, etc). Learning these skills will absolutely change your business, and you CAN learn how to sell in a way that feels authentic and not sleazy.
28. What are some signs or signals to look for, when prepping to launch my business, that you’re really actually READY to launch? What can I look for as a pretty solid bet that I’m delaying launch by planning more than I need?
I looove this question and I have so much to say about it! Ready for some truth? Ok, here goes.
Honestly, NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION. Usually, “launching your business” just means making your website live on the internet.
And I have a reality check for you — no one cares (except maybe your mom). It’s not like once you go live, you are going to have a huge party and clients are going to stream in from all over the world.
Literally no one will know.
You’re not Apple launching the news iphone for god’s sake lol. And this is GOOD NEWS! It means that it’s not a big deal to have everything PERFECT when you “launch”.
Here is how launching a business usually goes:
- Stress for months about getting everything ready to “launch”
- Finally bite the bullet and go live.
- Tell everyone you know (meaning you make a post on your personal FB page)
- Get a slew of likes and “congratulations!” comments on your post from your friends (who, by the way, will never be your clients)
- Sit and wait for the client inquiries to come rolling in.
- Wait a little longer.
- Cry when they don’t, and then realize you need a marketing plan.
Launching is SO not a big deal, and the sooner you do it, the sooner you can start to market your business!
BUT — I will repeat the same old story I’ve been saying this whole blog post – if anything, the work you should be doing BEFORE you launch is allll the stuff I teach here at Uncaged and have talked about in this post:
- Crafting a CLEAR and compelling message
- Getting Niche AF and super specific about what problem you solve
- DOING MARKET RESEARCH (** do not skip this step)
- Creating and *testing* your packages
- Learning how to TALK about what you do in a clear way
- And THEN learning how to tell the world about what you do in a way that will actually bring in clients (and not just congratulatory comments from your mom)
^ THIS is the stuff that will get you clients when you are ready to finally tell the world.
SO — if you accidentally skipped these steps (oops!), go back and run through them before you go tell everyone about your new business (this free workshop I did will walk you through this in more detail).
Go TALK to a few of your would-be clients and find out how THEY are talking about their problems. Make sure your programs and packages line up with what they need. Make some tweaks to your website so that it’s CLEAR exactly what you do and who you help and how. Then, get that website set to LIVE and work your marketing plan.
So to answer the original question — my guess is that YES you are probably are delaying if you are doing shit like trying to choose fonts, colors, and website themes. Or designing a logo. or making business cards. or tweaking your website copy everyday (when you have done market research properly you don’t need to tweak because your clients literally tell you the words to write on your site!). Or doing ANYTHING other than the things I listed above.
No joke — I once spent like 25 hours trying to make the contact form on my site yellow (with zero website or coding knowledge), because a coach I knew had a yellow form and it looked SO COOL? Wanna guess how many clients this yellow form brought me?
NEGATIVE 10. Yes, that’s right. Why -10? Because in the time I spent trying to figure out how the fuck to make it yellow, I would have been doing stuff that actually brought me clients. I wasted so much time and energy.
I KNOW it’s fun to tinker around with colors and fonts and design and all that stuff (I get it! It’s tangible, and it feels fun to be able to show people your new fancy logo, or your brand colors). But I really want you to let this sink in that this is an absolute procrastination strategy and that it will NOT help you get more clients.
The sweet thing is, if you focus on the foundations first, you can get clients before you even make your website!! In fact, this is what I recommend.
Because you will learn SO much from those clients that will literally help you make changes to your programs and give you perfect language to use on your website. So your website will be BETTER if you have already worked with clients.
We tend to think we need a website to get clients, but it is NOT true. I work with SO many students in Uncage Your Business who get paying clients well before they have a website, because they are SO freaking clear about describing what the do and who they work with, and it helps the SO much with writing their copy and feeling confident in putting their website out there later.
So the moral of the story is — do Uncage Your Business, get clear, get clients, and then LATER work on your website 😎
29. What would be the best way to approach an influencer to promote your course/project ?
THIS is an interesting one. I don’t actually know anything about influencers and how that works — it’s a whole different beast I think than getting to know other people in your industry (for example, other coaches) who you would like to collaborate with.
For collaborating and networking with other folks in your industry, the best way is to either 1) get an intro from someone you know (just blatantly ask them to introduce you — no shame in that!), or 2) get to know them like a normal human. “Like” some of their instagram posts, comment on their FB live videos, send them an email telling them that they are amazing and how much you have learned from the (be cool about it though k? No awkward fan-girling). Basically, just get on their radar. This doesn’t mean that if you pitch to them they will say yes, but it does mean that they know who you are, and you never know where that can lead.
AND — get to know other business owners who are around the same level or just a little bit ahead of you. There is SUCH power in that networking with people at the same level of you. ALL of the people I collaborate with now started their businesses around the same time as me. Some of my biggest affiliate partners, the programs that I affiliate for, and people who let me come onto their podcasts and into their groups to help support their audience – all of these relationships were built online over the years while we were starting our businesses.
You can always have a go at pitching your course cold to people who are much more advanced than you in business, but for the most part, people only tend to promote courses they know and have done themselves OR courses from people they know and trust. So, the same way you build that know/like/trust factor with your audience, you need to build it with your partners too.
30. I feel that my niche is important but is not very “popular” and doesn’t have hungry clients ready to buy. How can I use the UYB program to help me?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you do need a niche that wants to actually pay for solutions to their problems.
The key to a working business is finding that sweet spot between what you love to do, and what people will pay for.
Sometimes, if you do your market research (which is what Uncage Your Business will help you do) and you find there is just not a strong enough need and that people won’t actually pay for it, then you need to be willing to be flexible and shift your niche. It doesn’t mean that you have to abandon it altogether. It just means you have to shift it slightly so you find the niche that WILL pay.
For example — selling prevention in the health and wellness field is very hard to do (in fact selling ANY kind of prevention is hard!)
YOU might think that it’s a great business idea to sell health coaching packages to help people prevent heart disease. We all know that there are preventative steps we can take to help decrease the risk of disease. The problem is, people are cocky and think they are invincible, and they don’t want to pay for this.
Instead we need to meet people at the exact place they are at when they are experiencing their pain point. So for this example, that would be AFTER the doctor has diagnosed them with heart disease, or after they have had a heart attack. There is an acute pain there, and a “holy fuck this is serious” moment that motivates people to get help.
I know it can be hard to let go of a niche that isn’t willing to invest in help but if you want a business that works, you’ve gotta roll with it and be willing to be flexible!
**Note** There is a difference between a niche that really isn’t profitable, and just assuming your niche isn’t profitable because you haven’t learned how to market yourself yet or talk about what you do in a clear way. I have helped turn around MANY “unpopular” niches simply by helping people tweak how they talk about what they do. Uncage Your Business is your best bet to help you do that.
31. How did you get published on Entrepreneur and other PR/marketing opportunities?
I pithed to them! I found the info about how they accept pitches, and then followed the instructions. I always make sure to check out other posts they have done to make sure I am writing something in line with what they typically publish, and I pitch a topic that is different but similar to what else they’ve done.
You can find some of my tips for pitching here.
** I should note that I no longer support Entrepreneur magazine (or the brand). Last year, they sued ANY small business (including several of my friends) that used the word “entrepreneur” in their business name. From what I heard, hundreds of small businesses were not only sent a cease and desist, but sued. It was terrible to watch it happen to my friends and I can’t support that kind of nonsense.
32. When your business was new, did you work another job?
Yes! Well, not right away. I started my business and moved into a van at the same time, and went on a year long roadtrip (woot!). When I got home, going into my second year of business, I was not making enough money yet to live comfortably, so I went back to the restaurant industry and picked up my old part time job as a server. I eventually dropped down to just one day a week (enough to pay my rent!), and then the following year was able to quit and live fully off my business income.
Not only is there no shame in working another job when you start your business, I recommend it! If you’re broke and struggling and desperate to make your business work, that brings really bad energy into your business. You make bad decisions, you have a scarcity mindset, and for the most part, it doesn’t work in business. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, do NOT rely on your new business. Get a job (even a part time one!) so that you have some financial breathing room (and have money to invest to learn HOW to make your business work!)
33. How much money were you bringing in when you hired your first VA?
I actually don’t remember, but I think it was somewhere around $80k. I did a lot myself for the first 2 years of my business. I’m pretty low tech and I had to learn a lot. If there is something that is taking you WAY too much time and is making you tear your hair out, I recommend paying for help to get it done (as long as it’s actually an important thing and not just a shiny object. Usually, if it’s a shiny object, you can tell because you won’t be willing to pay for help with it. If it’s a legit business thing you need (ie. a website), then pay a pro to get it done in a fraction of the time and get on your way!
WHEW – that’s a wrap on the most epic marketing post ever! Thanks for all the great questions that were submitted!
If you know you need help to get your business working, I highly recommend you join Uncage Your Business. The program walks you through a simple (but powerful) step by step system for getting clear on your foundations so you can start getting clients now. Watch my free workshop to learn more about my process and how UYB can help your business.