Welcome to this week’s Maven Mini! I have a little bit of tough love for you this week. Yep! This topic was inspired by some of the conversations I’ve had with my clients this past week and it really opened my eyes towards some of the real challenges they’re currently having.
You are probably in the same boat right now as well. You might be incredibly, incredibly under booked and instead of focusing on the true tasks that matter, you might be spinning your head around and looking at ‘all the things’ that don’t matter. Today’s Mini is to get you out of that headspace.
To start, I often get asked how I was able to build my brick and mortar business so, so fast. The answer is simple. I made customer generation my number one priority and I placed myself right in front of the clients that mattered and that I wanted. If you dedicated 20 hours a week to client care, but only 5 of that is being filled, that means you have 15 hours of client prospecting and client hunting to do.
I know some of you might fill those 15 hours up with other things, maybe even find it a convenient time to do personal household chores. But you need to snap out of that, because 20 hours is 20 hours and you need to focus on filling that in with clients until you’re fully booked.
Without clients coming in the door, you can’t even do what you do best. So, how can you spend the time in your business correctly? Well, you don’t do that by focusing on what color your logo should be. You need to focus on making authentic connections with potential clients. You do that by moving your butt, getting out there and meeting people. Get to know your potential customers and their pain points, ask them questions, understand their needs, and build a relationship with them.
You need to spend a lot of time doing this. And I mean, A LOT of time. This has to be the main focus of your business right now, especially if you only have 5 hours of patient care a week to do!
Solo entrepreneurs can get a lot more done when they have an accountability coach by their side.
Allison Schaaf is a chef, dietitian, and founder of Prep Dish, an online meal prep website that offers gluten-free and paleo meal plans. While she has been running her meal prep business for the last five years, she has been an entrepreneur and chef for a lot longer than that. On this episode, we talk about technical challenges and blunders Allison faced in the beginning of her business, the power of accountability for a solo entrepreneur, and so much more! Allison offers some great advice for those who are just starting out, so be sure not to miss out on this episode.
Key Insights & Aha Moments
*Mini celebration. Our Facebook community has passed 2,000 members.
*Allison is a personal chef and dietitian.
*There’s no need to re-create the wheel. You can find your niche within an already established market.
*Allison’s business, Prep Dish, has been around for the last 5 years.
*What kind of challenges has Allison faced? Getting customers.
*Allison shares tips on how you can find new customers in your area or online business.
*If there’s an opportunity to meet people in person, then definitely go out of your way to do that.
*Allison tries not to jump into things unless she knows it’ll help the customer or add value in some way.
*Find out where your clients are hanging out when they’re searching for an answer to the problem they’re having. Are they on Facebook, Pinterest? Where are they?
*Allison talks about a major technology fail she had when she was first starting her website.
*Accept that you will make mistakes in the beginning.
*Allison would rather learn her lesson now than to never have gotten started.
*Allison has one ‘jack of all trades’ freelancer and her husband to help her with her company.
*Allison really recommends finding a good group or coach that keeps you accountable.
*How does Allison find a good accountability group?
*Hiring a coach right out of the gate really boosts your confidence as an entrepreneur.
*At the end of the day, Allison always focuses on the product to ensure it’s a quality product.
*How does Allison get feedback from her current customers? She follows up with them!
It’s hard to pick the biggest takeaway from this episode because it was just so jammed packed with great info. The way Allison interacts with her customers is a big plus for those who are just starting out and wondering how to keep existing clients and make them happier.
However, I think the most important takeaway Allison mentioned was hiring a coach at the beginning of her business. She said, not only did she learn a lot but it also helped her build confidence in her business ability and her entrepreneurial skills. This is huge. We already know what we have to do for our business most times, but having a coach who is able to push you out of your comfort zone is something that is invaluable. I highly, highly recommend you seek someone now to help you become more accountable and speed up your results.
Hellllllooo Mavens! I’ve got a topic that I’m very passionate about for you on this Maven Mini. I talked about this subject before, but haven’t touched on it in a long, long while – which is about classifying your clients. There’s really three big buckets on how to classify them. To break it down it goes like this:
1) The price shoppers. These are the ones who don’t -really- care about the quality you offer. All they want is the best deal around. These people tend not to worry too much about building a relationship with you. There’s nothing wrong with these clients, but as long as you’re aware of who you’re dealing with at the time.
2) Loyal customers. This is the opposite side of bucket number one. They’re extremely engaged with what you’re doing. They’re loyal. They love you. They love building relationships with the people who serve them, they love referring your business to others they know, and more. Honestly, they are probably the most ideal clients for you.
3) The middle. These potential clients sort of fall into those two buckets above. There isn’t a great way to classify them. The relationship isn’t first and foremost for them, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to them. If they hear one of their friends got a better deal down the street, they might head over there to see whats it’s about. These people also tend not to give you a second chance – the relationship simply wasn’t there for them to care in the first place.
Personally, I love loyal clients. They’re just good on all fronts for your business. Though, I know some of you guys go after completely different types of clients and that’s OK! However, this is what I do want you to know about these three categories. I took the time to find those loyal clients, really get to know them, so that I could serve them better and build a better connection/relationship with them. This came back to me because I always had good business from good people.
Why is this important to you? You need to recognize which bucket you’re currently catering to. If you’re finding yourself struggling to find new customers or have existing customers stay, then it might be because you’ve got the marketing all wrong! When you try to cater to all three categories, all you’re going to do is dance around and waste precious resources catering to everyone.
Thinking about becoming a healer? Be sure to listen to Gabrielle’s wise words first!
Dr. Gabrielle Pelicci is just a rock star. If you can believe it, Gabby started her career off as a fashion model. Her father was a physician and so she was used to having every cough and cold treated with traditional medicine. Gabrielle knows there are huge benefits to medicine, but when she was growing up she realized right away medicine could not treat her stress, her eating disorders, and others alike. Gabrielle currently helps teach other wellness practitioners how to navigate their businesses in this industry, but I don’t want to give too much away about Gabrielle’s story. You’ll just have to find out more by listening in!
Key Insights & Aha Moments
*Share your story. People need more healers like you.
*Who is Gabrielle?
*We love to look at perfection, but seem to hate the messiness underneath.
*It can sometimes feel like healers get burned at the stake in 2016.
*Gabrielle struggled with eating disorders.
*As good as medicine is you can’t solve things like stress with it.
*Nothing felt as right as healing. Every other career Gabrielle has done never felt like it was truly ‘home’.
*How has Gabrielle’s career evolved over the last 20 years?
*Gabrielle feels so blessed to have had a mentor to help navigate her on this journey.
*Gabrielle does see a huge benefit in having a formal education in this space.
*One of the biggest mistakes Gabrielle sees is that business owners start putting out all this content, but it does not connect with the client.
*You have to slow down and really figure what you’re doing on the content side of things.
*You have to keep tweaking content until you find the sweet spot.
*Is this a hobby or a career for you?
*Go out and interview as many people as possible who are doing the kind of work that you want to do.
*Remember to practice self-care.
*Be prepared to go through several transformations.
Let’s talk about the healer’s journey for a moment. As Gabby mentioned early in the episode, we’re so used to seeing perfection on the cover of magazines, TV shows, and even well-established businesses, we almost forget there’s a darker side to everybody’s journey. Everybody has failed at one point or another and we feel ashamed for even expressing this failure, but Gabby and I say don’t! Be proud of your transformation, be proud of the story, be proud of what it took for you to get to where you are today. I also want to remind you that you will experience multiple transformations in your life time. Don’t be afraid of where that journey takes you.
Everybody has to start somewhere. Entrepreneurship is a learning process!
Amanda Cook is a digital marketing expert and certified holistic health coach. Amanda had been working in a corporate environment for 12 years before deciding that she had enough. She talks to me about struggling to quit her job. Somehow, she kept finding new excuses as to why she couldn’t quit, until one day she realized it was just because she was absolutely terrified of the unknown. Fast forward to today, Amanda is so glad she pulled the plug to start her own business, and has been out of the corporate world for the last three years.
Key Insights & Aha Moments
*Amanda started her health journey when she was in the corporate world.
*Thank you for celebrating with me last week!
*Join us on the Biz Maven Facebook group!
*Amanda admits she had no idea what she was doing in the beginning.
*It took a couple of years for Amanda to understand the direction she wanted for her blog, Vintage Amanda.
*Amanda kept making excuses/new goals as to why she couldn’t quit her job *right now*.
*When Amanda left her job, she did have a financial cushion, but she found out she burned through it very quickly. She just wasn’t making wise financial decisions.
*Be prepared for your friends and family to not understand why you’re making this sudden shift or leap in your career.
*Amanda’s co-workers didn’t believe she could earn money on her own.
*Amanda has been out of the corporate world for the last 3 years.
*It sounds woo-hoo, but Amanda got career advice in a dream.
*It shouldn’t be hard or a struggle, but keep in mind there’s a ton of work involved.
*Produce content that’s natural to you.
*What has Amanda done that has made her so successful? She built her email list really early.
*Your customers just want solutions. They want to know if and how fast you can get them results.
*Not everybody is ready to tackle what ’emotional eating’ is about. It’s not a sexy way to sell your services. Selling a weight-loss program or service is much more marketable and gives them a comfortable gateway to understand what emotional eating and other weight-issues really are.
*What kind of challenges has Amanda faced?
*Amanda realized this year that one of her services isn’t scalable.
*Don’t be in a scarcity mindset. When Amanda killed her successful, but not-scalable program, it opened her up to more money-making opportunities.
*By starting a business, Amanda has become much more clear and confident about what she wants.
I’m so glad that Amanda pointed this out on the show. When you’re starting your own business, it can be tempting to push your credentials down your customers’ throats. But the reality is, they don’t particularly care how you’re doing the job, most clients just want to know if you can get them results. Of course, it’s important to educate your customers, but you can’t do that if they don’t really understand what it is that you really -do-.
For example, it’s easier to sell a weight-loss program and then slowly transition your customers into other aspects of your service, than it is to try to sell someone on an emotional eating program. Those words, unfortunately, aren’t sexy and not everyone will be ready to tackle that particular problem. Amanda says it’s important to find a balance between language your clients understand vs. what will actually help them.