Growing From “Here” To “There”
We’re flipping the script in episode 55! I’m joined by Stephanie Allen as she puts me in the hot seat this week to ask me her burning business questions.
Stephanie is a successful entrepreneur and is ready for the next milestone in her career. In this episode, she’s seeking out my expertise to achieve that.
Have you ever felt disconnected from your peers in the business world? When you compare yourself to everyone else’s highlight reel, it can be discouraging and make you question yourself as an entrepreneur. In this episode, I’m sharing how I overcame this habit and false perception, and how I intentionally closed the gap between where I started and where I am now.
In this episode, we also talk about how value can get buried in your marketing strategy. Let’s be honest, we live in a world of distractions and if it takes time to get to the point, you’re going to lose people. Tune in to find out how leading with value and ending with a cliffhanger can improve your engagement and the risk you take when you focus too much on “fluff” before revealing the nugget of value.
What’s in This Episode
- How to “catch up” to business owners who are where you want to be
- Why you should market yourself faster
- Lisa Larter’s business hindsight
- Grandfathering services and how to shift away from that
- Hiring people with “potential” vs hiring people with experience
- Invest in your “dream team” to fast-track your business
What To Do Next
- Join The Strategy Lab, Lisa’s insider entrepreneurial community that is learning, tackling, and coming together to support and challenge each other on all things business. Click here to join!
- Join Thought Readers and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs in this popular book club for business owners.
- Subscribe to receive this podcast and regular weekly strategies to grow and shape your business. You’ll also be the first to know about upcoming courses, programs and exclusive LIVE training.
- Join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn and share your insights from the show.
Where to Find Stephanie Allen
Books Mentioned in This Episode
- Masterful Marketing By Lisa Larter and Alan Weiss
CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE FULL TRANSCRIPT
Lisa Larter (00:01):
Welcome to, She Talks Business. If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or aspiring mogul, chances are you want to learn more about marketing and mastering and monetizing your business. She Talks Business is where you’ll learn all of that and more. My name is Lisa Larter and I’m an entrepreneur, high school dropout, wiener dog enthusiast and your host. Let’s get started.
Lisa Larter (00:24):
Hello, hello, and welcome to another episode of She Talks Business. This season is all about million dollar mind share, and this is Lisa Larter and I am excited to be here with Stephanie Allen, who has been on the show before. She was on the show for a hot seat call. And this is a little bit similar, but we’re actually flipping the script. And I’ll explain a little bit more about that. If you don’t know who Stephanie Allen is, she is an Operations Consultant who helps founders of privately owned businesses who want to scale and accelerate their growth. She does that in a role, a fractional COO role, where she helps business owners see what is and isn’t working and she helps them put systems in place to fix it. She is brilliant at all things people and process related. And she’s also the owner of The Peaceful Parentpreneur, which is her real passion project, I would say. And this is where she helps entrepreneurial parents show up at their best in both parenting and business. Stephanie, welcome back to the show.
Stephanie Allen (01:32):
Hi Lisa. Thanks for having me. This is great.
Lisa Larter (01:35):
It’s great to have you here. So I want to give everybody a little bit of context as to why I invited you back to the show. So you have been a member of Thought Readers, you are part of the Strategy Lab, and recently you reached out to me to have a conversation about working together. And one of the things that you told me when I asked you why you decided to work with me as a coach or advisor in your business is that you aspire to do what I have done in my business and you really felt that I could help you kind of fast track your way to 7 figures in your business.
Lisa Larter (02:15):
And so I wanted to bring you back and give you the opportunity to basically pick my brain about my pathway to 7 figures, because I thought it would be helpful A, for you, and B, for our listeners. But I also want to double click on the decision that you made to work with me. And not because it’s a decision to work with me, but more about the decision to work with someone who can help you to get where you want to go next.
Lisa Larter (02:43):
Recently, I was at an event where we had a guest speaker who runs a business who does hundreds of millions of dollars in sales a year annually. And I remember sitting there listening to this person talk about their business and I felt a sense of disconnectedness. I felt a sense of disconnectedness because I felt like they were so far ahead of where I am in my business, that my belief needed to go further in order to catch up to where they were. Meaning, I didn’t believe that I was capable of doing what they had done because the gap was just too big. And so I think it’s really important that we choose our mentors and coaches and role models very intentionally to help us get to where we want to go, but that we don’t choose a gap that is so great that we fall into the valley and fall out of possibility. So thank you for sharing that with me and for being here on the show today.
Stephanie Allen (03:45):
Well, this is great. Well, I guess I’ll answer that question then. So I think I had wanted you to be my coach long before I was ready for it. I think I was waiting for when I was ready for it. So when you mentioned I was involved in Thought Readers and some of your live events that we would go to and things like that, that was me getting to know you. I was listening to your earlier podcast about the 5 Ways to Fast Track, and I’m definitely one of those people that you’ve retained, that came in at a certain level and-
Lisa Larter (04:18):
You came in by accident.
Stephanie Allen (04:20):
Yeah, that’s right. It happened by accident. I’m so glad you think of the rocks and the pebbles and how to help bring people in on their customer journey with you, because that allowed me to grow into being able to do what I’m doing with you today. So I think I had made that decision years ago, but I knew I wasn’t ready. It was too far away from where I am today. So I think I’m a very intentional person. I thought, okay, this is someone who’s going to help me.
Stephanie Allen (04:50):
I almost think, who’s my dream team? In my own life, like in my personal and in my business life, I actually write down who’s on my dream team. They might not always know it. Now you do, you’re on my dream team. But it’s these people that I have that help me get to where I want to go. So that’s how I think in my mind.
Lisa Larter (05:08):
I think that’s really smart.
Stephanie Allen (05:10):
Yeah. So I work with business owners and they need a second in command. Everyone does. And when I’m a solopreneur, I still follow that philosophy. And I need someone to keep me in check to make sure I have a sounding board, I’m on the right track. So that’s why I invest in people to help me fast track. Because I do this for others, I need to make sure I set up my business to have that too, or else I’m not actually practicing what I’m teaching. And I believe I need do both. I need to do what I say, and then teach people how I do it. It’s a very thoughtful, methodical process that I do for that. Just to give you some context there. So that’s why I chose you.
Lisa Larter (05:54):
Yeah. And that’s really interesting, because I just got off a webinar for Predictive Index. And one of the things that I talked about in choosing a mentor and investing in yourself is the fact that sometimes the mentor that you want to work with is out of your reach financially, but they probably have other offerings. They probably have books or they have online programs or they have group programs, or they have events. They have things that you can kind of plug into in order to move along until you’re ready to actually do a higher level work coaching engagement with them. So I think what you said is really important. I wasn’t even thinking about it for my own work, which is the kind of interesting. So I’m really grateful for that.
Stephanie Allen (06:40):
And then I think the other thing is being financially savvy and having stability in my finances in a way that is resilient to whatever happens outside my control has really been important to me since I was a kid. So that’s been how I’ve modelled my life. So when I can’t afford something yet I actually save up. So as you know from our earlier chat, She Talks Business, I saved up before I went out on my own. And in those savings, I have reserved funding for investing in my professional development and my coaching. I didn’t not include that in my forecast. And I think the risk I took is that I don’t know exactly how long that would last runway.
Stephanie Allen (07:23):
But the good news is by surrounding myself by amazing people, I am fast tracking my revenue goal to the point that I have to work with you so I’m ready for when I hit that goal, which I think will definitely be next year if I keep on the trajectory I’m on right now. When I look at my forecast and how things are going, it’s not going to be that far off next year if things keep going in the direction they’re going. Which is really exciting, but I want to be ready and doing the right things now so that actually becomes a reality.
Lisa Larter (07:57):
Well, I want to give you permission to ask me anything. This is not scripted. You have not sent me a list of questions. I asked you if you wanted to take some time to write questions down or if you were okay riffing, and you said you were okay riffing. So for those of you listening, if we kind of go down rabbit holes and we go off on tangents, that is why. This is just a real conversation and I’m happy to do this with you.
Stephanie Allen (08:26):
That’s awesome. Thank you. So I guess the first one is, what do you wish you did differently on your path to reaching your current situation? Would you have done anything differently?
Lisa Larter (08:41):
There’s a whole bunch of things I would’ve done differently. So the first thing I would’ve done differently is I would’ve got greater clarity on what I wanted my business model to be instead of being so focused on chasing money in the early days. So I said yes to a lot of things because they helped me build sales and generate revenue and income in the business. And I knew I could do them, but I didn’t necessarily say yes because it was part of a super well thought out strategy. It aligned with the strategy to a certain degree. But because of the amount of experience that I have from my corporate work, there’s a lot of things that I know how to do. And so I said yes to things that in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have said yes to. I said yes because I was going to get paid to do them. So I think number one, I would’ve been a little bit more discerning.
Lisa Larter (09:39):
Number two, I probably would’ve charged more sooner. I think that I underestimated my value in the beginning. And one of my values back then was grandfathering of fees because I felt like it was a way to reward loyal long-term clients. And that was a mistake on my part. Grandfathering of fees is not a good idea indefinitely because what happens is you start to create gaps between customers who’ve been with you a long time and new customers. And if you have employees involved, your cost of operations go up, the cost of doing business goes up. And so you are actually inadvertently eroding your own profit margins. So it was a shortsighted decision. So in retrospect, I wouldn’t have done that or I would’ve changed that philosophy sooner.
Lisa Larter (10:37):
Is there anything else I would’ve done differently? I probably would’ve went out on my marketing limb stronger, faster, harder, if that makes sense? I think I did an okay job of marketing myself, but I think I could have put myself out there even more and even more confidently in the beginning. And I could have dominated in the space that I was in faster if I had been a little bit more sure of myself. But because I was learning how to be a business owner and I was learning all these new online marketing things and I was learning how to create content and I was learning all these things, I second guessed myself at times when it came to marketing. And what I have seen the impact of that be is that I’ve seen peers that got places faster than I did in their business earlier on because they did things that I wasn’t brave enough to do.
Stephanie Allen (11:39):
That’s interesting. And thanks for sharing that. So I have two questions. I’m going to go back to the earlier one about grandfathering in your services and the amount, the investment. Let’s say someone’s listening and they’ve done that. Or even I might end up doing that for a year because I just think that’s the right thing. And I know I can’t do it for too long, but I want to keep helping certain people that have a special place in my journey. So how did you shift? How did you talk with the people that were on the different investment level and how did you shift your business to get it on track with that?
Lisa Larter (12:16):
Well, there’s two different types of people. So one of those types of people are my private coaching clients, and the other types of people are marketing implementation services. So for the coaching clients, I’ve just had conversations with people to let them know that my fees are going up. And I have explained to them that I’ve changed my mind when it comes to grandfathering of fees. And I’ve explained to them why I’ve changed my mind and I have let them know that I’m going to step their fees up slowly. So I’ve said to my private coaching clients, your coaching fee is going to go up by 10% on your next renewal period. So if they’re an annual client, whenever their next renewal is, they should expect a 10% increase in price.
Lisa Larter (13:07):
But what I’ve also said is I hope that the work that we are doing together is more valuable and the ROI that you get from the work that we do is more valuable than the 10% increase that I’m going to make. And that you see our work together as being worth that 10% increase. It’s pretty hard for most of them to say no to that.
Lisa Larter (13:30):
And then on the marketing implementation side, we basically had to do a scope assessment. So we had to position what’s changed from a marketing perspective from when we started to where we are now, and how long it was taking back then versus how long it’s taking now. If you think back to when Facebook became mainstream, you’d dump a link in, and populated an image. You could edit the image. And that was about as far as it went. There’s so many additional things that are required now to do marketing well. And so we just had to educate our clients that over the years, we have honored your existing pricing, but the scope of work has shifted and changed. And so what we’d like to do is we would like to make new recommendations to you based on current market conditions.
Lisa Larter (14:23):
And we gave people options that allowed them to stay pretty close to the price point that they were at, but it would require us doing a little bit less work for them. Or they could step into a new program with recommendations that we had that we thought were optimal for them, which was at a higher price point. And we had conversations with people, but we were very strategic about how we did that. We picked people that we thought would be the most responsive to us as a testing ground to learn. Because communicating a price increase to a customer is never an easy thing to do. And the story that you tell yourself is that customer is not going to want to continue to do business with you.
Lisa Larter (15:11):
And so my very first foray into this changing of fees came from the beach house this year. So I’ve run this beach house retreat for years. The price of the house has gone up by almost double since I started this thing and the prices that attendees have paid has not gone up that much. And so this year when I was looking at the price of the house and I was calculating my costs, I just decided I probably can’t afford to do this anymore. And then I showed up and it was a beautiful evening and there was this gorgeous sunset. And I had this, I can’t believe I get paid to do this. This is so remarkable.
Lisa Larter (15:57):
So I crunched the numbers that night and I sat down the next morning and I said to everyone on day one, I said, “I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is I looked online last night and the price of the house for next year has come down a little bit. The bad news is, if you want to do this again next year, one, the price is going to be higher because everything is costing more. Two, I cannot continue to give my private coaching clients 40% off. I can only give you 10% off. And three, I’m charging in US dollars because everything that I have to pay for is in US dollars.” Whereas previously I had been charging in Canadian dollars.
Lisa Larter (16:36):
And so I put a flip chart up on the wall and I listed every single room and I put the price points beside it and I said, “By the end of the week, we’ll make a decision as to whether or not we’re going to do this again. Here are the rooms. If you want your room, if you want to come back, just put your name on the board so I know.” Well, instantly, somebody stood up and took the premium room. That was Monday. I think by end of day Tuesday, every room but two were spoken for. And then by end of day Wednesday, every room but one was spoken for, and by Thursday they were all spoken for. So the story that I told myself is people won’t come back and do this. But the story I told myself was wrong.
Lisa Larter (17:21):
One of the things that I always say to people, Starbucks doesn’t ask you permission to increase the cost of your soy vanilla latte. You don’t need permission to increase the cost, but you do need to communicate why you’re doing it. And you do need to ensure that if you’re increasing the fee, that you’re also providing the value that is worth the fee you’re increasing to.
Stephanie Allen (17:46):
It makes sense. That’s a great story. That’s a good news story. That’s awesome.
Lisa Larter (17:50):
Stephanie Allen (17:52):
So I want to talk a little bit about where you said you wish you had marketed yourself faster. Can you elaborate on that because I think that’s something that I actually should really tune in and listen to you right here and now, because one of the challenges I think in your first year of business of full time, and even some of the people that have been doing it for several years, you have to make sure you’ve got your marketing, your sales and your business in a good spot. And you’re at the spot where you know you’re going to hire in six months, but that’s not right now. It’s on the plan, but it’s not today. So what would you do differently if you imagine back to your first year? Tell me more about that.
Lisa Larter (18:35):
So the first thing that I would do differently is I would not pay attention to what everybody else is doing. So the first couple of years, instead of choosing one or two people to look at as models and mentors of what I aspired to do, I tried to consume everything and anything that everyone was doing. And what happened is I lost my sense of self. I lost what made me different and unique because I was too busy looking at, oh, what’s Fabienne Fredrickson doing? Oh, what’s Lisa Sasevich doing? Oh, what’s Lisa Nichols doing? Oh, what’s Mari Smith doing? Oh, what’s Christine Kane doing? Oh, what’s Frank Kern doing? Oh, what’s Brendon Burchard doing? I was subscribed to so much noise that every time I would look at what someone else was doing, all I would see is where I fell short. Instead of focusing on what I was great at doing, my own thing and trusting my own judgment and getting my own marketing out there, I almost fell into analysis paralysis in the beginning because I was spending way too much time consuming instead of creating.
Lisa Larter (19:47):
I was also inconsistent about creating. I remember when I hired Shannon to be my VA, saying to her, I’m not hiring you to do my blog and newsletter, I’m hiring you to make sure I do a blog and newsletter. And if that means you need to call me and chase me down and pull content out of me and write it yourself, then that’s what you need to do. So I wasn’t consistent. I didn’t understand the value of showing up and creating value for others in my marketing on a regular basis. And I also didn’t understand what made me great compared to other people because I was too busy looking for what they had that I didn’t have.
Stephanie Allen (20:26):
Interesting. So how long in was it that you hired Shannon and when do you wish you’d hired her?
Lisa Larter (20:36):
I probably hired her a year and a bit in. It was different for me at the time because I still owned my Telus dealership when I was building my consulting or coaching program. And so I was riding two horses with one bum at the time. And so I hired her to help me probably a year and bit in, but I wasn’t a hundred percent into the business at that point. I was only halftime into the business. So I think that I could have hired somebody to help me with that stuff earlier, but if I actually roll it back even more to ask your first question, what I really should have done is I should have went all in on what I wanted to do and not opened my store.
Lisa Larter (21:31):
So my first foray into entrepreneurship was a bricks and mortar retail store in the wireless industry. And I did that because that’s where I came from. That’s where I grew up. That was my corporate experience. And so I felt like I needed to run a real business in order to be able to consult, coach and advise business owners on how to run their business. And that was a very expensive endeavor. Whereas if I had just trusted myself to do what I really wanted to do, which was consult out of the gate, I probably could have eliminated that retail store distraction and doubled down on my consulting business a lot faster.
Stephanie Allen (22:11):
So let’s say you went all in, then the follow-up question is, how much time would you dedicate to marketing and putting yourself out there versus the consulting, or would you hire someone sooner? What would you do?
Lisa Larter (22:26):
I think that depends on where you’re at in your business. So I think that you need to dedicate a certain amount of time to marketing yourself in order to build your thought leadership, but I think the percentage of time depends on your own factory capacity. So if you’re a new consultant and let’s say you want to work 40 hours a week but you only have four hours of billable work, well you got 36 hours to do your own marketing. And you should be doing everything in your business, everything that you can, to market your business within that 36 hours. But if you’re out of the gate and you’ve got 36 hours of billable client time every week, you don’t have time to do your marketing. You only have time to do the drafts of your marketing, the core thought leadership. You need to find somebody to help you with the distribution of the marketing. So I think it’s a little bit of a sliding scale.
Lisa Larter (23:20):
And one of the mistakes that I see people make is they go all in on their marketing and they get really busy and then they stop. And then it’s like, all of a sudden, sales start to fall back and then they panic and they get all into the marketing. And so they end up with this business that’s like feast or famine. So when you as the owner go all into your marketing and you get your business to where you want it to be, you need to have somebody you can pass that baton to to keep the marketing high. Otherwise you will fall backwards in your sales.
Stephanie Allen (23:50):
Yeah. So when you’re starting out, is that a marketing VA? Is that a really great marketer? What’s the smart investment to do that? I’m probably in the in-between camp where I’ve got a lot of billable hours and not enough time to distribute the content for both my businesses. One’s great. I’ve got that as a well-oiled machine and now I’m working on the other one for marketing. But I can see that I’m not going to have enough time. I already know I’m going to need to bring a marketer on in some capacity after [crosstalk 00:24:29] the thought leadership. So just curious about what you think there.
Lisa Larter (24:32):
I think I was at around $160,000 annually in sales when I hired a full-time employee. And I think that full-time employee was 40 to $50,000. And to me it was worth it to invest in that person because I knew that I couldn’t grow the business beyond. And so if my memory serves me correctly, my first full-time year, I think it was 160 something. And that was after dabbling for a couple of years while I still owned my store. And then I went from the 160 something, I think to three something and then to five something. And then I plateaued at five something and then I went to seven something. And so I just started looking at the investment of resources as a way to help me grow faster.
Lisa Larter (25:26):
But it takes money to make money. So do I think you should hire a $50,000 resource if you’re only making 75? No. If you’re only making 75, then maybe you need to hire a part-time resource. Maybe you hire somebody who wants to grow with you? When I first started out, my favorite people to hire were stay at home moms. Stay at home moms who had kids that were in school for part of the day, but they didn’t want to go back to work full time because they wanted to be part of their kids’ lives, but they had enough hours during the day to help me and still be able to be there for their kids.
Stephanie Allen (26:04):
Yeah. Great. Good idea.
Lisa Larter (26:05):
The one thing that I would do differently though, I have been a teacher and a trainer my whole life. So I’ve always hired people that have potential and then trained them into the role. And when you hire somebody who has potential and train them into the role, you can hire them typically at a lower rate of pay. But the trade off is you now need to train them into the role. What I would do differently today, so even as I’m building this US company, is I want to hire people that are already in the role, they already know what they’re doing, so that I don’t need to spend as much time training them on what I need. I want to over-hire, if that makes sense?
Stephanie Allen (26:51):
Yeah. You’re hiring for where you’re going to be in the future and not have to worry about that. I think that’s really smart and that’s what I help businesses do. I think that’s great. It’s just an interesting thing when you’re on your own and starting to do that, you’re at a different stage. So a different application of strategy. So yeah, that’s great.
Stephanie Allen (27:15):
Okay, so let’s keep on the topic of marketing. Let’s talk about getting to the value fast. You and I have had some chats about this in our one-on-one coaching. I’m very excited to read your book when it lands with Alan. But I’m just curious. I think that to me is the most interesting way of looking at it because that makes everything else easy. And then when you are investing your time as an entrepreneur in marketing, you know that there will be an ROI on it. You might not know exactly when, but you can be confident that you’re going to see a return on that investment that you’ve done. So tell me a little bit about what does that mean, get to the value fast, and how do you do that in your first year when you’re establishing yourself?
Lisa Larter (28:03):
Well, I think getting to value fast for me means that you provide your client or your prospect with value as quickly as you can. And so sometimes in a sales conversation, we marry the person. We talk about everything but how we can help them. I think you have to be able to demonstrate value fast because in today’s world, we’re all distracted. We’re distracted by our notifications, we’re distracted by email, text messages, social media. And so you have a limited amount of time to impress a prospect. And so when you are in a sales conversation, you need to deliver some type of value in the communication with the buyer as quickly as possible in order for them to know that you could help them.
Lisa Larter (28:56):
And then I think in your marketing, it’s the same thing. Sometimes I read blogs or I watch videos that some of my clients have created and it takes forever to get to the point. I want you to imagine that you’re eating a hamburger and the bun is like eight inches thick on either side. Do you really want to eat all that bread to get to the burger? No. You want to get to the meat fast. You want to get into the burger. You don’t want to have to wage your way through all that doughy, non-flavorful stuff. It’s the same thing if you are writing a blog. Don’t give me seven paragraphs of fluff and then tell me the nugget at the end. Lead with the nugget. Give me the value up front and you’ll keep me engaged. But if you bury the value in the marketing, then you lost me.
Lisa Larter (29:50):
Now, one of the things that I teach my team to do, because I write my own blog content, but they often will write the newsletter introduction that goes to the blog. And my standard line is always, where’s the cliffhanger? Why would I click? Where’s the line that makes me go, oh my God, I need to know more? You have to be thinking about the marketing messaging and the value trail that you’re providing for people in everything that you do. And if it takes you too long to get there, you lose people’s attention and they don’t move forward.
Stephanie Allen (30:34):
I bet you if you asked a hundred people, 99 of them are going to say, of course I want to give the burger that people get to the meat faster. People I think want to do that. So what holds us back? Why do we take so long? Why do we create that eight inch bun in our marketing? Why does that happen? Do you see any trends? Do you notice what’s holding people back?
Lisa Larter (30:59):
Skill. And I’m going to give credit. Oh, I can’t remember her name. She works for LinkedIn now and she used to work… I forget where it was. Anyways. They asked me to write an article for them years ago and it’s like something like Salesforce, but it’s not Salesforce. And I remember I sent her the article and she came back to me and she said, “Oh, this is really great.” She said, “Except the most interesting paragraph in the article is this one. So I moved it to the top.” And I was like, “Oh, interesting.”
Lisa Larter (31:39):
So sometimes we have to build the bun before we get to our own meat. But that doesn’t mean that you need to leave the meat at the bottom. You can go back and look at what you built and you can reorder it. That is a skill. The skill is mining for the message that is the most compelling, the most valuable, and moving it up to the top. Writing is not an easy thing to do for a lot of people. And some people they can write and write, write, but they’re verbose and it’s all fluff. You need to get the fluff out of your system, but then you need to edit and you need to use, like a scalpel to get rid of all the stuff that isn’t important. And you need to reorder what you wrote so the value shows up first.
Stephanie Allen (32:25):
Is it possible we underestimate how long it takes us to create content and then we’re trying to rush it?
Lisa Larter (32:34):
Yeah, but you can create great content fast. You can. I do it in my roadmap workshops. I give people 15 minutes to create a piece of content and they do it. So you can create. It’s a skill. Just like anything, the more you practice the skill, the better you get at it. But if you don’t practice the skill, of course it’s not going to be good.
Stephanie Allen (32:53):
So what are tips for practicing? So you kind of said get it out of your system. [crosstalk 00:33:03].
Lisa Larter (33:02):
Create every day. My friend and colleague Chris Lema wrote a blog post every single day in 2021 because he wanted to get better at writing. So if you want to get better at something, do it every day. Challenge yourself to do it every day. I have this little notepad on my desk. I’m going to show it to you. If you’re listening, you can’t see it. It’s a little dachshund notepad. And my girlfriend Rita gave it to me. And on the top right here it says, what’s your objective. But here’s another little one that I have written down, it’s called blog rebook. And it’s just got some little ideas written down. I take ideas and I write them down on that notepad. And when I need to write a blog, I go grab my notepad. I’m like, oh, so you’ll see my blog, how to write a book. It’s from my little chicken scratch notes that I wrote down.
Lisa Larter (33:59):
So we just have to get into the habit of paying attention to what’s going on around us and figuring out how we can use that to create content and create the content more often. If you create the content more often and you write about things that are going to provide value to other people, then you’re going to get better at it. But if you don’t, then you won’t.
Stephanie Allen (34:24):
I like writing and I like doing videos. So those are things I can practice more at. But I’m just thinking, what about people that don’t like to do that stuff but they’re a business owner? Do they just do one thing and people amplify it? Does it have to be them, you know what I mean? I’m just curious about that.
Lisa Larter (34:46):
I think it depends on the business. So if you own Ron’s variety store, the way that you are marketing the business is going to be very different than if you own ron.com. So if you are the face of the brand and your business is built on your expertise, then people don’t want someone else’s watered down ideas. They want yours. So it depends on what your business is. And so saying to me, well, what if they don’t really want to do that or feel like doing that? That’s like saying I’m not good at numbers so I’m not going to look to see how much money I have in the bank or how many invoices are behind. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean you don’t have to do it.
Lisa Larter (35:28):
If you’re building a business based on a personal brand, based on expertise, then you need to deliver expert value. Plain and simple. Whether you like it or not. I don’t always like writing. I don’t always like video. I don’t always like how I look on camera. I mean, gosh, I’m 15 years older than I was when I first started. Every time I turn the camera on I think my God, Lisa, you’re getting old. But I still do it.
Stephanie Allen (35:54):
Yeah, that’s interesting. A friend of mine did an awesome Live this morning before and after their photo shoot. And I sent them a message because we were talking, I was like, “That was amazing.” And she was like, “I had a hard time rewatching that.” I said, “Everyone does.” I try not to rewatch the work I do because it’s just not worth it. But when others see it, they see your joy and what you’re talking about and stuff like that. So I think a common theme actually, which I haven’t asked you but what I’m observing is that mindset is so important. If you want the result, if you want the outcome, having the dedication and practice of doing it to get better at it is so important. And then you get faster over time, right? The more you practice, the faster it is. So it’s like a muscle.
Lisa Larter (36:43):
You know, when I was on the Predictive Index webinar, somebody asked a question about marketing and how do I get out of my own way when I second guess what I’m doing and blah, blah, blah. And I said, stop making it about you. It’s not about you. You don’t do marketing for you. Don’t get caught up in vanity metrics and what do people think and did they like it and did they share it and did they comment? Get more concerned about how can I provide value to the people that I really want to help? If you do it from a place of service… Alan and I’s book, Masterful Marketing, originally I wanted to call that book Value Based Marketing, but the publisher wanted to call it Masterful Marketing. Because to me it’s value based. It’s like, how do you deliver value in your marketing?
Lisa Larter (37:32):
And if you think about marketing as a vehicle for delivering value for others, you’re doing this for someone else, it’s not about you, then it’s amazing what you can create. There are times where I just sit and I quietly ask myself, what does somebody need to hear? What are my clients struggling with right now? What could I write them that would actually be helpful to them? I’m thinking about how I can be of service through the marketing that I provide. Sometimes I’ll even write something and I’ll send it to a client and say, “I wrote this for you.”
Stephanie Allen (38:08):
That’s really nice. I like that. You don’t know that when you’re reading it publicly, but they know that. That’s really kind. Yeah. Nice.
Stephanie Allen (38:20):
Maybe it’s a good last question. Okay, so I know I want to be a seven figure business. I know it’s not going to happen in year one, but I want to fast track it. So what are the things I should be thinking about on the lookout for? I listen to the five things like make sure that you’ve got the right pricing, you retain people, all about you’re thinking of the end in mind. I’m not paraphrasing it very well. I don’t have it all memorized, but I have all those great value notes in there. But what should I be thinking about to fast track my goal?
Lisa Larter (38:55):
How to create recurring revenue that you can grow monthly. Just think about it. You need $83,333 a month to do a million dollars a year. If you had 83 people that paid you a thousand dollars a month for a recurring program or a recurring piece of business, you have a million dollar business. And so I think when you start to think about recurring and repeatable and scalable revenue models instead of just the one to one model, you can scale your business faster. Problem is we get discouraged because sometimes those things don’t add up fast enough. And so then we go try to create something else instead of doubling down on the marketing.
Lisa Larter (39:40):
I’ll use my own book club Thought Readers as an example. The very first year that I did Thought Readers, I think we had 75 people in it. We had 75 people for the first few years, and then we had 50 people. And I think this year we have 30 some people. So by the end of this year, I need to make a decision. Am I cutting the cord on it or am I going to keep going on it? And so I need to do some serious thinking about what have I done to market the business? What have I done to grow the business? What have I done to build that piece of business? Because I still remember my husband saying to me, geez, why don’t you just get a thousand people to join Thought Readers? That’s all you’d have to do because a thousand times a thousand’s a million.
Lisa Larter (40:17):
So figuring out a way to build something that can grow and grow in revenue and grow in momentum is one of the ways that you can really fast track. And then in addition to that, having those big rock offers where you can… I’ll tell you, a hundred thousand dollar pieces of business add up a lot faster than thousand dollar pieces of business. And so finding ways to have five and six figure offers is another really great way to build the business faster.
Stephanie Allen (40:51):
I think the five to six figures is what we’re going to talk about in our next check-in because I’m good with everything else, but I need to brainstorm with you on that one. But yeah, that’s great. This has been awesome. Thanks so much, Lisa. I really appreciate it.
Lisa Larter (41:04):
Thank you and thank you for the great questions. It’s really interesting for me to sit and reflect back on my own business and think about the things that I would do differently and the mistakes that I’ve made. I don’t look at it as a mistake in retrospect. Your questions give me perspective around the things that I did that I would do differently. But I also think it gives me a bit of empathy for some of the clients that I have when I see them making the same choices that maybe I made and how to turn some of their situations around by sharing some of the places where I can see that they’ve fallen into areas that I potentially forgot that I fell into. So I think it’s valuable.
Stephanie Allen (41:50):
I think it’s very valuable. I know it’s helping me. Just in our conversation the other week, you changed my mind about my service offering and I immediately applied that in my sales conversations. And I’ve got people saying yes to something that I might not have offered as quickly if I hadn’t had that conversation with you. So that’s why I’ve chosen you personally. I know that you’ve gone through this amazing journey. And I like to do that too for my clients. Help them get there faster than I did. I think that also helps with the service based mindset, helping serve others.
Lisa Larter (42:28):
Momentum loves speed.
Stephanie Allen (42:30):
Lisa Larter (42:30):
Momentum loves speed.
Stephanie Allen (42:31):
I’m excited to see what happens in a year with you. Have a great rest of your day. Thanks so much.
Lisa Larter (42:37):
Thank you, Stephanie. Thank you all for listening. And if you’re getting value and if you’ve been listening to the show for over 50 weeks now and you have not left me a review, come on. It’s time. I’m giving you value. Give me a review. Thanks for listening. Bye for now. We’ll see you next week.
Lisa Larter (43:27):
Thank you for joining me for this episode of She Talks Business. If you enjoyed the show, you know the drill, leave us a review, tell someone about it and join the conversation on social media. Thanks for listening and until next time remember, done is always better than perfect.