What Conversation is Your Product Part of?
So first of all, what's the big conversation that your product or service is a part of? What's the big conversation your product or service is a part of? So for Brianna, who's helping girls with soc, er, who's helping girls with self confidence through soccer, I'd say she's a part of two big conversations. One is young people's personal growth, and there are certainly young people who are turned on about their personal growth, who are working really hard on doing better in school, and getting good grades, and going to college, and thinking about their careers and their future. But then there's also the conversation of just kid's athletics, right? Kids love to play sports, girls love to play sports. And so there's that conversation you could tap into as well. What conversations are your customers already having with friends and influencers? What conversations are your customers already having with friends and influencers? And now I'm gonna ask you to be a little bit more specific, so if...
that first question is about the big picture conversation, what is the littler conversation? What does that conversation actually sound like? When people are talking about the problem your product or service solves, what are they talking about? Are they talking about that problem or are they saying something else? Yesterday I asked you if these things sounded familiar, right? And I asked you if you say, well my business always worked before, but it doesn't work, it's not working right now, ugh. That's not really talking about the problem of not having a solid business model, right? So you may need to think, my customers may not be talking about my, the problem I'm solving, they might be talking about something that I know is indicative of that problem. I call that an insight. That's an insight into how your customers think, how they feel, how they perceive their own situation. Those insights are super powerful. When you can connect those kinds of dots, you've got an immediate in with your audience. When I mentioned all those things yesterday morning, there was lots of nodding of heads, right? And as soon as I get those heads nodding, I know I'm good to go. (laughs) Right? I've got this. Now I can tell them, now that I've made that alignment, now that I've given them that insight, now I can go to what I actually wanna talk about. I can actually help you with the underlying problem, alright? So, and that's a good point, too, if you're dealing in a lot of underlying problems, most of the time those things aren't perceived. You need to start at the surface. Don't be afraid of starting at the surface, okay? So what conversations are your customers already having with their friends, with influencers, what answers are they already looking for, what questions are they already asking, and what does that actually sound like? It doesn't sound like when you talk about it. What does it sound like when they talk about it? Alright, what are the most natural ways for people to find out about your product or service? What are the most natural ways for people to find out about your product or service? I'm gonna pick on Brianna again. (laughs) What's the most natural way for a girl to find out about a self help group, essentially? Or a sports team? It's from another girl,
It's girl to girl referrals. Or it's mom to mom referrals or dad to dad referrals, right? That's the most natural way. And so yesterday when you asked me, is a free group a good idea? Absolutely a free group is a good idea. You need to plant that seed. You need to get that referral engine started somehow, right? And so that can be one way. It's not the only way, but that can be one really solid way to do that. So you know that's something to think about. If referrals are the way that people are most naturally gonna find out about the product or service that you offer, how are you gonna get that referral engine started? Alright? Other times the most natural way for people to find out is through something like Facebook. Very rarely is it actually through Twitter. Although sometimes, some fields, some industries, some types of problems and solutions people will find out through something like Twitter. Facebook's great. What about Pinterest? Oh my gosh, what a product discovery tool, right? So if you make physical goods, Pinterest makes so much sense. If you've got great photos, if your product is beautifully designed, people are naturally gonna find out about it through Pinterest because somebody is gonna be pinning that thing, right? Right? So you can plant the seeds there. So what are the most natural ways for people to find out about your product or service? Last question, what channels make sense with the type of relationship you're trying to nurture? So this goes back to the ways people find out. So what ways people find out about your product or service makes sense with the type of relationship you're trying to nurture? And that of course harkens back to our last question, you have to know what this relationship is going to be before you find out. Yesterday I used the example of doggy daycare or the fun loving pooch that needs daytime fun, right? And so the relationship, we came up with two different ways, well we came up with three, but let's focus on two. We came up with two different ways that this product, or that this solution could be delivered. One was a doggy nanny and another was a matchmaking service, that was Susan's idea and it was awesome. And so they are two vastly different types of customer relationships. One is kind of a luxury, on-going, support relationship and the other is a simple, transactional DIY, you're in and you're out, grab and go kind of relationship. So what channels make the most sense for those two examples? Well the high end, luxury service is probably gonna be through referrals, either that or you're gonna see it on an HGTV show, right? (laughs) You're gonna see it in the lives of celebrities television show, alright? So referrals, or that kind of aspirational brand marketing through media. The match making service, dude you're gonna find out about that through a Facebook ad, right? Or just from a friend on Facebook. But that would make a great Facebook ad, that's easy, super easy targeting right there. And I want professionals, who have dogs, in major metropolitan cities. Easy, Facebook targeting, boom, transactional relationship. I can click on that ad and get immediate value from it. That's what's most natural, that's what's easiest, that's what lends themselves to the type of relationship. But would a doggy nanny have any luck with a Facebook ad campaign? No, no. And he or she should not spend her money on that, alright? So different types of channels lend themselves to different types of customer relationships. Which is why we need to be intentional about our customer relationships so we can determine what kind of marketing and sales channels work best. Alright, what marketing and sales channels lend themselves to the answers to those questions? That's what we've just been talking about, so I won't spend too much more time on that before we get to a hot seat, which is exactly where we are right now. So, I would love to help at least one or two of you with the marketing and sales channels that you're using right now. Brigitte, you're nodding, so you get to go first.
Awesome, come on up! (group applauds)
Come on down.
Come on down! Okay, so let's see, let's do this. Let's tackle marketing first. Mostly because we are gonna cover sales a lot right after lunch, so let's focus on marketing. Let's focus on creating awareness. So first of all, tell us again who you are, what you do, and then give me a specific product that you're thinking about, either something that you have on the table or something that you are like on fire about developing, and then let's brainstorm some ideas about marketing for that.
Well my name is Brigitte Theriault, and I'm at 365daysofradicalselftransformation.com and I do help coaching. And as far as product, I mean I have coaching programs.
Okay, do you wanna talk about the changing eating habits kind of product that we talked yesterday? Let's do that. So you've got clients that want to change their eating habits. Did you think more about the format that you'd like to deliver this value in?
I'm still thinking about it.
Give me one idea of what you're thinking about.
In terms of?
Of how you're gonna deliver it. Is it a book? Is it a program? Is it an individual coaching service?
I think I'm gonna start it off with an individual coaching service and then I'm gonna figure out how to develop it into sort of a bigger program that can be self directed.
Perfect, that's really really good strategy. Alright, so first, what's the big conversation that this product lends itself to? The big kind of big picture conversation?
The big picture conversation? Like of health and cooking?
Yep, sure. Health, whoops that's heath, and cooking. Great, now what does this conversation sound like? So in other words, what are the smaller conversations? What are the conversations that your right people are having with their friends or the conversations they're trying to get out of the influencers they are engaging with? So those could be magazines, bloggers, experts, authors. So when they pose a question, what does that question sound like?
What do I need to eat to be healthy? What is healthy? How do I organize my life around the time that I have? You know people are so busy working, they don't, it's take a lot of energy to to do, you know, eat healthy and to really care about the stuff that you put in your body, so how do you manage to do that when you're, you know?
Yeah, so here's two good questions. Here's almost like a complaint, right? I'm just so busy. Susan?
I wanna start eating healthier, but I don't know where to start.
Okay. I want to start eating healthier.
How about, I don't like to cook?
Yeah, that's a great one. Like to cook, see this is excellent because you're in a group of potentially right people. And so focus groups don't actually focus, well you can actually focus group, but I don't think you need to a lot of times. One thing that I really recommend is thinking about people, so in the future you can come back to this group of people and just think about them. Think about the things you would imagine them saying. Like literally, what would Robin say? What would Susan say? And focusing on those people specifically like that will help you get down to this point where it's more, it's their language, it's their concern, not something that you're putting on them.
So using a kind of, I call it a virtual focus group. In this case, we've got kind of a real focus group. That can really help you narrow these things down. So this is great. I'm so busy; I wanna start eating healthier, but I don't know where to start; I don't like to cook. Alright, and that's not necessarily, again like what we were talking about with Brianna, changing people's eating habits or I want to change my eating habits, is not necessarily the thing that people are saying. They might say, I don't like to cook. Or they might say, I'm too busy to eat well, alright? And so this may be where you start the conversation to start making people aware of how you can help them change their eating habits.
Make sense? Alright, let's talk about the, so one to one coaching, that is the relationship, alright? So what kind of marketing channels, and this is things like referrals, different social media platforms, advertising, all that kind of stuff, what kind of marketing channels do you think lends themselves both to these conversations and to that kind of customer relationship?
That's why I'm here.
Okay. (both laugh) Definitely referrals, okay? And so, um I think I spelled that right. On Thursday I mentioned about working for free instead of working for cheap. Yeah, this is a situation where you could easily take three people through a one on one coaching program to help them change their eating habits, to both get testimonials from them, which is kind of a really passive way to get referrals, but also you could say to them at the end, if this worked for you, if you got the results that you wanted to get, I would love if you would tell three or five of your friends about this, because I'm trying to build my customer base right now. And, I don't generally recommend working for cheap, but still you could give them a referral discount or something like that. All with the purpose of very quickly getting you to the point where you're working for full price with a full roster of clients.
As long as that's where you're working toward and you've got all these little milestones that you're hitting along the way, where it's a plan, that's cool. What else? What other marketing channels?
Well right now, I've been using Facebook and I've been blogging and I've been doing some guest posting.
Blogging. Okay, blogging is great because you are able to be, like you mentioned yesterday, more vulnerable. You're able to share you're own story more. It's a little bit longer form, so as you build your customer base that way, you can use, or you can use blogging to build your customer base so that you've got that readership that is gonna be open to this kind of audience.
Right, because we've been doing it to build trust with people, but I haven't necessarily been blogging the whole time about eating habits. I've been sort of blogging more about the sort of underlying growth surrounding.
Great, so what I want you to do is not stop, but instead of always talking about the underlying stuff, which is the stuff we really like to talk about. (Brigitte laughs) Trust me I know, I also really like to talk about the underlying stuff. I need you to, you know, maybe, so let's say you're blogging three times a week? Two times a week I need you to blog about stuff like this. I need you to start your post with, I understand that you're so busy. Here are five ways that I get, that I make healthier choices with my busy lifestyle. You wanna start with that piece of empathy. I get where you are right now.
This is where they're at. But they're not aware of the underlying issues that they have, the underlying problems. But you can help make them aware of that. Alright, so that's where blogging can really help a lot, but you have to fight that tendency to always approach things from the expert's perspective and you have to start using the customer's perspective more to get them even aware that what it is that you do is for them.
Alright, something else that's really important here is email. Email marketing. Are you doing anything with email marketing?
Not as, no. I mean I'm sending out my blog posts through email, and I'm not sure if I should be doing that or not?
You absolutely should be doing that. You don't need to do anything more than that. You do, but for the vast majority of the time, if you're sending out your blog post via your email list, that's all you need to do. It's all I do. It's working for me. Okay?
Any other marketing channels? Susan?
There are tons of made up groups surrounding food issues. You could offer your own, and it's a one day, one hour or two hour workshop and then do the feedback referral thing through that. Just to get people's opinions
Or do your thing and it's, you know, or Google groups or that sort of thing as well.
Let me just piggyback ride off of that, too. You wouldn't even have to do your own meet up, you could--
Right, just joining them and--
Joining one and then volunteering, can I give a 15 minute talk? I won't sell anything, I just wanna talk about ways to make better eating choices when you're so busy or I wanna help people learn three techniques for learning to love to cook, you know?
Okay? So if you're not going for the sale, you're not going for, I can help you change your eating habits. You're meeting them where they're at, you're delivering value, and you're creating awareness of those underlying problems that you can help them change. Susan, did you have more?
Well going to, well you said guest posting, so going to other people's blogs you know yeah and saying that you wanna share your advise and that sort of thing.
Partnering with maybe a yoga studio or a pilates studio or some place where maybe your client is hanging out?
Or a gym, and being able to volunteer, and saying, you know I'd be happy to answer questions or you know, and then the other thing, too. With Pinterest and with Instagram, maybe doing a month 30 days of healthy meals and just taking images and maybe writing like, what the meal is and maybe the health benefits of it and not necessarily selling it? But just to show people and then they can go to your website to get the recipe or something like that?
Things that are just kind of like building up your brand and helping you create the details that you need to tell the story that you wanna tell. Cool? Questions about this?
Good, alright awesome. Thanks, Brigitte. (group applauds) Let's do one more on this. Let's do Shauna. Come on down, Shauna. (group applauds) Alright, Oops I could have left this. Marketing, alright. Let's tackle something with prenatal coaching. I go the one on one, well we just did a one on one. Let's, I know you're--
Let's do the online one.
Okay let's do online.
Because that's where I need some help.
Because my stuff in person is very intimate and very face time referral, but the online world and selling kind of an online program is being totally out of my, yeah.
Gotcha, and I know we've got lots of people who are selling online programs in the online audience, so this is perfect. Just tell us again who you are, where people can find you, and she does prenatal coaching.
Shauna Brandes, shaunabrandes.com, local here in the Bay area, doula, prenatal coach, yoga teacher, blah blah blah yeah.
Okay, great. So how many people do you wanna get in, ideally how many people would you like to be in an online course? Is this an online course where it's ideally you've got a thousand people in the course? Or is this ideally an online course where you have 10 or 20?
Well it is going to include some Skype sessions with me, so it's not, you know, completely online. There is a presence that I have to have. Oh my gosh, I don't even know. You know if I had to, I don't know yet. I haven't got that far.
Okay give me, give me your gut.
If I had four people a month, you know four couples a month doing it, that'd be awesome. If there was 10, that'd be even more awesome.
Okay, let's say 10 couples. So this is a fairly small group.
Okay. But it's a group nonetheless, this is definitely a leverage to offer. Alright, so what's the big conversation that this is a part of?
Well definitely it's birth, pregnancy, women's health.
Yeah, it's okay that it's easy. It should be easy, it should not be hard. Okay, what does that sound like? (chuckles) What are people saying to their friends, family, influencers?
Well specific to this offering, is you know I think what a doula does is really cool, but I wanna keep my atmosphere really intimate and just me and my husband.
How about I value privacy?
Privacy, we'll also put intimacy.
Or maybe they're in an area where they just don't, you know doula's are a big thing here in the Bay area, but--
I want a doula, but I can't find one.
Exactly, exactly. Which is why I'm creating this online niche which I'm creating for those who might not have access.
That was my problem.
It could be that they live in an area like this where doulas charge a big premium and they can't afford it, so they're wanting a doula's perspective, but at a cheaper option.
Okay, I wanna point something out here. These are all very solution aware customers, okay? Every single one of these things says doula, okay? Which is fine. What you're going to get planning your marketing around these kind of things are what I would call an early adopter audience. So they would be early adopters for your online course because they're already really aware of this service. They're already aware of the solution that they want, the need that they have, and the solution that they want, and all you need to make them aware of is there's another option, okay?
That's fine, that will get you, that'll get you far in this case. It will not always get people far in other cases. Alright so I'm gonna challenge you to, let's take one step back and think about people who are not solution aware, but only problem aware. So people that are aware they're pregnant. (laughs)
Or you know, maybe this may help. I love my mom, but I just don't want her there.
Okay, aww that's so good. Robin, did you have one?
Or you know, I didn't get anything out of that hospital child birth class.
I have a question, are you doing just couples or are they single parents, too? Because a lot of--
I mean but ideally in this kind of a course, you know I do a lot of partner training so that they can be kind of a stand in support system in a different way than they would normally be just as the partner.
Okay, gotcha, cool.
So, but that could be your best friend, that could be a relative or whatever.
So now, this is a really good example because this actually lends itself to two different kinds of marketing strategies. So first of all, what's our relationship here? It's supportive, it's long-ish term (guffaws).
Right, I'm thinking probably this is gonna be like, you know, four to six week?
Yeah, but it's not necessarily, not hand holding.
Since you literally do hand holding.
Well we'll put that there. This is the kind of relationship that's supportive, it's longish term, but it's not hand holding. It's a little bit more informative. It's a little bit more of a, just a coach kind of relationship, not the intimate doula relationship that is also available. Alright, so two different kinds of marketing strategies can be used here. What do you think for the first one? What kind of marketing channels really lend itself to people who are solution aware, they know they want a doula, but for lots of different reasons, it's not available to them?
I can market both to the actual couples, but then there's also other ways. I can market this through other doula groups, other you know, 'cause this is a new option even in the birth world, so--
Yes, this lends itself really well to strategic partnerships.
Because a lot of other doulas are not going to want to do what you are doing. What you're doing.
Sorry. So strategic partnerships become an excellent marketing channel for you here. Like you said, you can go into a different doula group, you can go to a professional doula group, you can go maybe even into a doula who offers in person workshops and say, hey if anyone's coming to you from the other side of the country or from around the world, I've got this online thing. I love what you're doing, I really support you. You've got great clients, and for when you've got clients with problems you can't solve, I've got this offering. So that's great, strategic partnerships are huge here. What else?
I mean for this one I've really got to get in where the couples are, so that could be, and that's where I need help. Like how do I? I don't wanna be spammy, so I don't wanna be just get myself, it feels spammy to me to be getting myself into some kind of parent, you know some kind of mommy's group or you know be like, I don't know how to reach these people necessarily.
Okay, I hate the word spammy. I also hate the word sleazy, because the things that you're considering are not spammy or sleazy, alright? Or the things, anything that's gonna come out of this is not spammy or sleazy. So you wouldn't go to a parent group as a parent. You wouldn't ever, you wouldn't ever lie and say, oh little Susie is six and she's... (group laughs) Right? Or you can't go to a pregnancy group for very long without them figuring out that you're not pregnant. So same thing with what we were talking about with Brigitte, you could go to a pregnancy group or a hospital setting and volunteer to do a lecture on, I love my mom but. Like this would be an awesome workshop, or it could be an awesome workshop, I don't know. I love my mom, but, birthing strategies for the independent woman.
Yeah? Okay? So I think a hospital would eat that up. I think an OB/GYN office would eat that up. I think a pregnancy group would eat that up. I think that's awesome and you don't have to be that flippant if you don't want to be either. You know this kind of audience, too, you need to start them earlier. You can't just go in and make a pitch, right? So, I had mentioned Facebook ads before.
But I think that would actually be really helpful here. What I would not advertise is the solution, you don't advertise the class. But what you might advertise is your best blog post ever or that pdf download that's behind the email wall, I've had a lot of success doing this, okay? So actually paying for traffic that's going to get people on your list, that's going to give them a pdf, give them a white paper, given them even that mini course that you were talking about, that's going to start making them aware of the solution that you have or the opportunity that's in front of them. Does that make sense?
Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.
And your Facebook targeting here is really easy, too, because you could look for not only pregnant women, but you could look for other values that they have. So there are plenty of women who don't necessarily know about doula services or maybe have written them off who have similar values to those women. Health consciousness,
Yoga, exactly. So, if you did a Facebook ad campaign around women who are pregnant who do yoga, I think that would be really successful. And obviously you'd need to play with it, it's not just that simple, but I think there are, I think that's a really great opportunity for you to get these less aware customers and to move them into a place of awareness so that then you can get them into the sale cycle.
No, that's good. And I will, this is going to be in my blog post next week. (both laughing)
I love it! Alright, great. Thank you, Shauna.
Thank you, thank you. (group applauds)
Now I've had lots of comments in the chatroom. Thank you, they've really got engaged with our students, really following their stories. But we are going to be getting some of our students do produce products, they produce jewelry sets. So we are going to be getting into some of those hot seats later one definitely, so although those of you who do products rather than services, we're going to be coming to you as well. Some questions here, Tara.
Particularly about Facebook marketing, that's something that's really started off here. Jake214 is saying, for higher end markets and clients, they're getting from you that Facebook is less optimal.
And so which are the better via referrals. What channels can be used to get those referrals quickly?
Well, I think the key with referrals is always helping your customer know what they should be telling their friends. So, it's not that you want to script them, but you do want to give them the language that's going to help explain what you do, what you create, to the friends that they know they would need those products and services, okay? And so that can be as simple as an email that you're sending out a week after you've closed services with someone or a week after they get the product delivered and you say, hey if you've got friends who are looking for X, Y, or Z, which is exactly the kinds of things we were putting up on the board here. Those things that the conversations sound like, but they're not necessarily the people asking for the solution you have, you give them that information. If you've got a friend looking for X, Y, or Z, I'd really appreciate the referral. You can send them to this link. And then maybe you've got a page on your website that's specifically guided toward referrals, you know that says something like, I'm so glad you go here through a former client of mine. Here's what you need to know about me, here's what I know about you, here's what I have to offer you. So that's an idea, but I think yeah. Facebook is, it's not that Facebook is bad for high end services, it's just I think you have to use it really differently. I think what Shauna is describing, for instance, is not necessarily a low-end offering, it's still a very relational offering, but you've gotta get them started sooner. People don't make buying decisions on a $2,000 product from Facebook, right? They don't click an ad and be like, oh my gosh! This is exactly the $2,000 solution I was looking for. Very rarely, very very rarely, does that happen. And probably when it does happen, it's been engineered a different way. So yeah, so absolutely. Facebook is great, I love Facebook. I even use Facebook to do some awareness around my higher end offerings, but it's the more personal things. It's the direct email referrals, it's the call up your friend on the phone and tell them they need to do this kind of referrals that are gonna be more helpful for that kind of service. And absolutely we're gonna get to products as well. I wanted to make sure that we did some of the more complicated marketing things, because you guys, you've got something to, you've got here this is my thing. Isn't it awesome? So, yeah.
We've got a question from Brianna says, advice on getting at those conversations customers are already having with friends and influencers, especially when you're dealing with a newer online business?
Sure, so this comes down to unlocking the social information you have about people. See the thing about human beings is the vast majority of us are really good in social situations. You don't stop and think when you're having coffee with someone new, okay well they've got their hands a certain way, they've said something in particular, give me 30 seconds and then I will answer this question or and then I will come up with a new topic of conversation. So what I would encourage you to do is actually kind of close your eyes and imagine you're sitting down with your most ideal customer, face to face in a coffee shop. And you don't, even for a new business, so this doesn't have to be someone in particular. It doesn't have to be someone you know, it doesn't have to be a customer you've already had, it's who you imagine this customer to be. Once you've got that kind of mental image down, two people in a coffee shop, real simple. I want you to think about the conversation you'd have with that person. What kind of questions would they be asking you? What would they tell you they did over the weekend? Where do they like to go shopping? What did they make for dinner? Where do they work? Once you have that kind of information, you can start to flow more into your unique topic of conversation, that market that you're participating in. And think about what they'd actually be asking you. Those things that you hear and you know, I could help you. Those things that you hear and you think, oh my gosh this is a chance to talk about my favorite thing! Right? That's what I think about when people tell me that they've hit their plateau. I think, oh my gosh, I can talk about my favorite thing! That's what it's gonna be for you, too. So just imagine those actual kind of conversations that you have. And then you can take it to another level, which is not just a conversation they're having with you, but the conversation they're having with their friends. The conversation they're having with their partner. The conversation they have with their mom, with their kid. What are those people saying to them in those social situations? It's easier than you think if you just give yourself permission to get that silly, to get that, you know, mind kind of mediative about it. It really does work. We are social beings that have all of this information on the tip of our tongues, but we overthink it. We go analytical way too often.