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Season 3 :: Episode 2yogipreneur radio

Cate: Our second topic is Getting Seen and Heard. This topic has a lot of different components in it. It’s about putting yourself out there, virtually hanging your sign or physically hanging your sign and attracting attention to yourself: outreach, social media, websites, potentially speaking gigs.

What we want to talk about is a bunch of the different things that come up in terms of being seen and heard, even including the emotional issues — the shadow side — and all that?

Who wants to start?

Amanda: Me! Okay. I mean, that’s a huge topic, isn’t it?

Cate: It is. It is.

Racheal: Such a huge topic.

Amanda: Huge! And it’s loaded because it brings up… you can have all these great ideas that you’re going to be Oprah and you want to speak on this huge stage and you’re going to have a book deal. Then, when it actually comes to the moment where you have to put yourself out there, it brings up everything. Everything somebody said to you on the school playground when you were in third grade. Just everything.

For that reason, I think that running your own business is the best self-help exercise in the world.

If you have an issue, it’s going to bring it up. This is where it comes up.

Racheal: This is one that, personally, I fight with the most — the whole visibility thing. Maybe it didn’t bother me at first, when I was first getting started, because there weren’t as many people watching me. But I think as you start to grow, and more people…the pressure can start to build a little bit. There’s a lot going on in many different levels.

I think we should dive in with just the logistics.

What does getting seen and heard mean and why is this so important for wellness entrepreneurs, for yoga entrepreneurs?

I think the biggest problem I see–that most people don’t realize as why they’re having this problem–is that they believe that if they built it, they will come. If I open a studio, they will show up. If I hang a flier, everyone will magically know it’s there. If I put a website out there, the traffic will just come flooding in. But it doesn’t work that way at all.

Cate: I just want to say it’s really funny because the three of us have probably hung out more with the men’s online marketing strategist out there who are totally hell bent on driving traffic around. For those who are like, “What’s driving traffic?” It’s how you get people to show up, whether it’s for a webinar or whether it’s for a workshop or whether it’s for just on your website to see an ad or whether it’s to click through to buy something on your webpage; how you drive people — large groups of people — to a specific place. How do you drive targeted people — people that might actually be interested?

In the space that the three of us work in, which is basically with an audience that’s 90-95% female, very low tech — we have a very low tech audience target group in terms of who we work with. Even those of you who are like, “I have a Facebook page. I have a website,” you’re still low tech compared to this other, more masculine traffic-driving, conversion-rate world.

There’s this huge schism between really understanding what’s happening in terms of getting seen and heard on a bigger level and the mechanics behind it, the metrics behind it, the numbers of what happens to the investment.

Amanda: Conversion rates. That’s something that is not talked about in the holistic entrepreneur world.

Cate: Not talked about.

Amanda: And in the super internet marketing groups, it’s all conversion rate. That’s what they live by.

Racheal: Yeah.

Cate: Let’s define conversion rate. Knowing that our audience doesn’t know what it is.

Amanda: It basically means the percentage of people that take an action. If you’re trying to get people to sign up for your free gift and you drive 100 people to your page that has the sign up for your free gift and 10 opt-in, that’s a 10% conversion rate.

Cate: Boo.

Racheal: Cate’s like, “10%? That is not up to par.”

Cate: Great definition. I wasn’t booing your definition. I was booing your conversion rate.

Amanda: It could be signing up for your opt-in or it could be a sales conversion rate. That’s another kind.

Cate: That’s great. That was great.

Racheal: The thing I want to translate to everybody — and this has become… I come from the brick and mortar world. Even regular brick and mortar businesses track traffic. For example, the biggest franchises in the world are going to be fast food — like McDonald’s or whatever. The first thing they do before they set up a new restaurant is they send somebody to the intersection they’re looking at purchasing and they track how many cars drive by.

That’s where the word “traffic” came from. 1950s starting businesses at this business at this whole new level. They knew that if the business was going to succeed, they needed so many cars to drive by in order to get enough people to stop and go in and buy a hamburger.

That’s why it’s so important. No matter if your business is in person or online, you still need a certain number of people to at least drive by.

They need to at least see something from you in order to get the percentage that will actually show up and take that action.

I think this is where even the online thing becomes so important because these days, let’s face it, in my town I don’t drive by anything. If a studio here in my town was waiting for me to drive by it to find it, good luck. Everything in my life is within a two mile radius. Anything outside of that, I don’t see. If there’s an amazing studio that just opened five miles away, I would not know if it wasn’t for the Google. When I’m searching for a yoga class, the first thing I need to pop up is studios that are relatively close by.

If you don’t have an understanding of how this type of stuff works, I will never see you. That’s one of the biggest reasons why traffic is just… I think it doesn’t need to be this complex, scary thing. It’s just how many people are driving by your business, whether it’s virtual or whatever.

Amanda: I must say, when you’re just starting online, nobody is driving by. I’m just going to do a smack down for a second because I get asked this question all the time. “I’m just going to start my blog and I don’t know. What’s the first post I should put? Should I do this post? Should I do that post?” I feel you because I have been there. We have all been there when you do your first blog post. When you publish your first blog post, nobody is reading it. Honestly. Your mom’s reading it and your couple friends and your Facebook friends.

Really, in the beginning, it doesn’t matter what your first five blog posts are. Just do the easiest ones. Whatever’s easy. Write five easy blog posts. Get those out there just to start going. I think traffic to your website — we can talk about how you do this and how you put yourself out there, but it doesn’t just happen when you click publish on your blog post. I think if you have a hang-up around that…

I feel a little bad saying that because I know publishing your blog post is so exciting and a huge milestone and it’s really great, but that’s not going to get you on Oprah, probably.

Racheal: Yeah. I heard this great example — just to put it into perspective so it really drives the point home — from a friend of mine who is a speech coach and she helps people prepare speeches to go on TED Talks and stuff.

She said, if you’re not doing the outreach and you’re not preparing to speak in a certain way, you’re basically taking all this time and energy to hone your speech, to make it as amazing as possible and then presenting it in your living room in front of your family. Versus, taking that speech and learning how you can get it in front of an audience so that people can actually find you and hear about you.

That’s what we’re talking about when it comes to outreach. We want to take what you’re talking about and, yes, putting it on your own site is a great first step and everybody needs to do that. That’s nurture marketing. Once people know who you are and they’re already coming. But we need to get traffic marketing. We need outreach. We need people to find you for the first time.

You know what I love? This kind of ties back into our last topic.

It starts by getting in front of other people’s communities.

Amanda: Yep. That is the fastest way. In terms of putting yourself out there and finding traffic, in these internet marketing groups, what they do is buy traffic. They place ads. You can place Facebook ads or Google ads or whatever and they’re driving streams of traffic to a landing page. But, actually, I don’t think most people listening need to do that to get started at all.

What Racheal says is right now. Just figure out who else — just like the last topic — who else has my people. Can you partner with them? Can you write a post there? Could you do a video for them? Could you do a webinar or a training? Just somehow get in front of their people and that sends people back to you. That’s one of the fastest ways to start to get eyes on your stuff.

Racheal: Totally.

Cate: Yeah. When I started interviewing, doing more interviews of… it was funny. It was like with a podcast. I’m like, I’m going to stop interviewing people who don’t have sizable lists to match mine because I’m just driving them a ton of traffic. They’re not reciprocating. We just targeted people who had biggest lists, who were more into online marketing and knew how to reciprocate. The numbers doubled that month.

They doubled and they were sizable already. It wasn’t like starting at two and going to four. It was starting with a lot and going to a lot more. It is really important. I think so.

Good. In terms of this question about this stuff that comes up, I think as we get more comfortable, it’s worth saying building a little bit more of a platform to stand on, building a little bit of a message to stand on, honing in on a few things, knowing your story. I think it’s really important. Telling a consistent story so all the people know a bit about who you are and what your story is and what your message is. That can really help. It can help you as the one who’s standing on whatever platform that you’re building for yourself.

An example for that that I use with my students is they go through a Tell Your Story workshop where they just learn a little bit about how to tell their story. Then they revisit that each year and they refine and they hone. What happen is when people then meet them for the first time, they’ve heard a consistent story. The person knows the story that they’ve put out there, the messaging that they’ve put out there, and there’s a natural attraction to that. It just creates a much stronger container for an exchange to happen, as opposed to being like, “I’m going to say this thing over here and I’m going to say that thing over there and this thing over there.”

You know what I mean? It’s like it’s a disorder in Ayurveda. It’s like, “The topic of the day is…” You know? Self-reinvention. “Today, I’m the Mexico Marketing Maven.” I’m going to play off yours. “Who loves bird watching. Tomorrow, I’m…” You know what I mean? I’m like, “Cate, who rides mountain bikes in Idaho.”

Racheal: Yeah.

Cate: They both may be true, right? But those are extraneous and I want people to know a bit more about, “This is how I am out there in that world.”

Racheal: Yeah, it’s so important to get known for a nice, clear, concise topic area. I know, Amanda, you’re going to have a lot to say about this because you teach blogging, specifically, but I know that for me one the easiest ways — because, let’s face it, we are among a creative group of people who are very passionate about multiple topics. The biggest challenge I see is, for example, I’ll be reviewing a site of somebody who’s been blogging for a little while, but they’re talking about so many different things. By the time I add up all their categories, it’s like 20 different categories and they’re kind of related, but not really related. As a result, no one really knows what you’re the expert in.

What are you trying to position yourself as?

I usually tell people let’s hone in on what’s the biggest thing you want to talk about and then, maybe, how can you splinter that into three to five categories that are very closely related so that you can become known as someone who really has their shit together and really knows what you’re talking about. That just instantly simplifies a lot, too, when you have a clear idea of what your container is that you’re creating for yourself.

Amanda: I’ll reign in. I have a lot to say on this, but it comes back to the issue of target market. I think when a lot of people hear “target market,” they feel like it’s squishing me in and limiting me. I think one of the issues — one of the challenges — in working in wellness and holistic health, is that you actually probably can help almost everybody. This stuff that we’re teaching… switching to a whole foods diet. That’s going to fix a whole lot of stuff that a whole lot of people have. All types of people.

Racheal: We should all do it. Just do it, guys.

Cate: Plant-based diet. It fixes everything.

Amanda: But because of that, and wellpreneurs want to help so much; you do want to help people and you see people and you kind of want to save them and fix them. I think there can be this temptation to be like, “I can work with busy professionals and moms and kids and teenagers and college students.

Racheal: And corporate. Throw corporate in there.

Amanda: And corporate.

Racheal: Yeah. Definitely have to.

Amanda: Everybody, right? Then, when you hear the idea of pick a target market, I think that feels really restrictive. What I always say is this is a big mindset shift. Target market does not limit who you can work with. You can work with anybody who wants to give you money. What it limits is who you market to. That’s different.

I think online that’s a huge difference because online there is so much noise. You’ve been to people’s websites where they’re kind of really vague and generic and say they help everybody with everything. It doesn’t really instill confidence. Whereas, if you go to somebody and she’s like, “I’m a sleep specialist. I help you sleep without taking drugs.” If you need help sleeping, that’s who you’re going to go to. Even though, probably, the other lady could help you, too, but you feel like she’s worked with people like me.

I think picking something that you could… I think Racheal mentioned before, maybe it was in the other call. Just to start to get traction. Something to start to get a foothold or a handhold so that you can start to get some money coming in. I think just being able to narrow down that really helps online. It helps you cut through the noise so people can say, “Ah. That’s Racheal. She does this.”

Racheal: I want to speak to that, just to add on to what you just said. For example, everybody could talk about the benefits of a whole foods or a plant-based diet, but what are the specific problems that people are having? I think a lot of people misconstrue target market with just demographics. I think what’s more important is what the problem is that they have that you can uniquely solve?

For me, let’s pretend I’m the target market for someone who is trying to help people eat a whole foods, plant-based diet. My biggest problem is I love eating this way, but I’ve got a family and I’ve got three kids under the age of six. How do I do that?

If I landed on somebody’s blog and that’s who they’re catering to, they’re like, “Here’s how to do a whole foods, plant-based diet with your entire family. I’ve made it so easy. It’s easy to follow, your kids are going to love it, your husband is not going to complain about it. Everybody is going to be on board.” I’m going to buy every eBook. I’m going to want to talk to you and — you’re speaking my language now because you’re directly addressing the problems I solve.

The other thing is when you can directly address people in that way, it makes it easier for me to talk about you to my friends. Even though we live in this amazing online world, let’s face it. Social media is still social. It’s still referral based. It’s still word of mouth based. If you’re making it easy for me to talk about you to my friends and they’re like, “Wow. Your skin looks amazing. You just look amazing right now. What’s going on?” I’m like “Oh, my god. I have to share with you this eBook that I just got with all these recipes in it.”

That’s how you really get the word going. In fact, literally, you gave that example and I was like, “This happened. I bought the eBook and I sent it to 10 friends. “You guys need to buy this right now because it’s exactly what we’ve been complaining about.”

I think that’s a big piece of it. As you get clear about your message, understand who you’re trying to reach and then understand what the biggest problem I can solve is. Use that to create this container, these topics, these things you want to help with and the more useful you are, the easier it will be for us to talk about you.

Amanda: This is great because I can tie it, too, back to our first topic about competition versus collaboration. In what you just said — what is the biggest problem you can solve — I just want to add to that. All the other problems that you could potentially solve, but you’re not going to. Right?

That’s part of a platform is just what you’re going to do or niche. It’s what you’re going to do and what you’re going to be becoming — for many of you an expert and some of you are already an expert in and now you’re just actually being like, “I’m going to dust off this stand and build it up a little bit and stand from a little higher place because I know what I’m talking about.”

Then, “Oh, I don’t have to solve everybody else’ problems. All I have to do is reach out to someone else who that’s what their niche. That’s the platform they’re standing on and now we’re going to collaborate. We’re each slightly different than each other. Then we don’t have to overextend ourselves, we don’t have to try to be everything to everyone and we can just say, “No, you actually need to go see…” A lot of people don’t refer out to other things.

Racheal: Yeah. They’re worried that they’re giving away everything to the competition.

Amanda: Right. Yeah. Right.

Racheal: I mean literally, for this example, when I found this person who was talking about the whole foods, plant-based diet for families, I found them on a blog that was very masculine and geared towards people who were… what was it? It was like a CrossFitter type of blog. You know what I mean? Very masculine.

They were collaborating. By posting on that blog, they were able to siphon off the right people. The people who read their post were like, “You exist? Thank goodness because this is okay. It’s gotten me so far, but now I’m ready for more support here.”

I think that’s what really nice about knowing where you start and stop and where other people can help up until they should be with you and where they should help after they leave you. You don’t have to be everything to everyone.

Cate: Yeah. I want to just back up the conversation for the newbies. I know in our notes we had thrown down there about when do I need a website or a Facebook page or who do I start if I don’t have any of that. I’m sure you guys have, too. I’ve worked with people that maybe started teaching yoga when they were 25 and now they’re 60 and so they actually have 35 years of experience. They might actually be the most skilled person in a 500/2000 — a wide range.

Yet, they are like, my systems are sort of broken because the whole world went online instead of being found by word of mouth locally in town or whatever. All of a sudden, they’re noticing that I’ve got to start somewhere.

Why don’t we talk a little bit about this just from the person that might actually have quite a bit of experience, but not have experience in just getting…

Actually, let me preface this even yet further to people might actually be searching for them online and not finding what the yoga teacher might want to be found for.

Racheal: Yeah. That’s really sad when somebody who you’ve heard is amazing, you go to search for them and you can’t actually find anything by them. All you find is posts someone else wrote or descriptions on Omega Institute or something. It’s like, “How do I actually reach you?”

Amanda: The first thing I just want to say about this is…

I see so many yogis and people in this field who are just so nervous and overwhelmed by the idea of technology.

Maybe they just labeled themselves as I’m not technical, I’m not techy. I can’t do this stuff by myself. It’s just going to cost so much for me to do this. I just want to reassure you that it’s actually doable and it’s easier than ever before and it’s cheaper than ever before. Which isn’t fair for the rest of us that started 15 years ago.

Racheal: No kidding. The rest of us spent tens of thousands of dollars just to get stuff off the ground and get websites built because there was no WordPress, there was no Facebook.

Amanda: No MailChimp.

Racheal: I mean, it is so completely different. It’s very, very user friendly. I think the best part about where we are right now is you don’t have to start from scratch. You can use something very, very simple and, honestly, pretty inexpensive to get started. For most people, I would say if you can use Gmail, if you can send and receive email and get an attachment, you can probably learn how to build a very simple website. Most tools now are drag and drop and very, very easy to figure out.

Amanda: Can I just say though that I don’t think — maybe this is controversial. I don’t think people just starting out even need a website because website projects… I studied computer science, come from a technical background, I work in the software industry. Website projects are a massive time suck a lot of times.

I guess it’s a little bit different if you’re already very established and people are looking for you. But, if you’re just starting out, you do not need a website. What you need is an email list. You can put that email list in on one landing page. I would just set up one page where people can sign up to get on your email list. I know people that have built very successful businesses just doing that, just collecting names.

I think websites are great and that does help you get found and it creates that platform for you online and it is important, but especially if you’re just starting out and you’re like, “I need to start generating revenue and start finding clients,” spending three or four months to put together a website is not the best use of your time.

Cate: What are you having them use to build the landing page? Like Instant Pages? Or lead pages?

Amanda: Yeah. I like lead pages or you could do one page on Squarespace or Wicks or WordPress. I mean, you could put up something like that to do one page. But lead pages would be…

Racheal: Yeah. I would actually agree with that. I had a great conversation with my CFO for my business. One of the things we talked about was you shouldn’t make these big investments of time, money or energy until it becomes a roadblock for something.

Especially in this world, I know people who have built very successful businesses 100% word of mouth and referral based.

The only reason they realized they needed to create a platform and create a website or an email list was because they reached that point in their business where word of mouth and referral was not going to get them where they wanted to go next. They’d reached an income ceiling. They’d reached a cap. If they wanted to take a workshop and not just take it locally but travel with it or if they wanted to turn something into a training or certification, now they needed to build a platform because there’s only so many people they could talk to. They had such a small, small community.

I think you’re totally right, Amanda. You don’t need to stress out about it until it becomes a roadblock. But, once you do have income coming in the door, I would argue that if you have been doing this for at least a year and you don’t have a website, it’s time. Simply because, yes, you can depend on word of mouth and referrals, but you can’t control a whole lot about that.

When you go online, you have more control and you have more information. I have no idea if someone is talking about me right now, but I can check on my Google Analytics and see when people are landing on my website.

Cate: Yep.

Amanda: Another part that I can just add in here — for those who are just wanting to start a conversation and see what’s out there and who you are out there in terms of building your platform and what kind of stuff you might want to put on your website — just start with a Facebook page. Just create your own business Facebook page. Start posting. Start seeing who’s commenting on it. See what people like when you post different things. See what’s getting traction. Then design an opt-in around what’s gaining traction. Like, “Hey, I’m going to make these,” — we’ll use the sleep example, — “Tens steps to better sleep. I’ll make this little PDF or thing that you can print and put next to your bed at night.

Then you’re collecting emails on that. Whether you use a lead page or an Instapage — you guys have to look that up. Go to LeadPages.com or InsaPages.com.

They’re really quick. Oh, yeah, .net, that’s right. Clay? What the heck? Why couldn’t you buy the com?

Cate: I know, right? But it’s pretty simple.

Racheal: Basically get that up and do that first little step to just test the waters and see how people respond.

Cate: Wicks or Squarespace, honestly, if you just do it and give yourself a day to do it, you can get a simple webpage up in a day. There’s just no, I mean no, reason… just to start.

I couldn’t agree more with don’t… I just want to say, I’ve built a big business in a super scrappy way with a great profit margin. Every step is like that. If I don’t need it, I’m not going to get it until I need it. Only in the last year or so have I been — and I started in 2001; I started YogaHealer.com in 2001, so it’s been a while. But only recently have I been like, “Oh, I’m just going to buy that and see if I even want it.” Just being a little bit more risky, getting stuff I don’t necessarily need but kind of want to check out.

But you can go so far for free. If you have more time than money, then by all means, just to start learning. What’s the easiest way to build a website?

Racheal: Sign up through MailChimp. Just sign up for a MailChimp account.

This is something I see a lot, especially as people start checking out the online stuff. Let me say, there’s a lot of tools out there that are really cool, but they cost a lot of money. If you’re just building your email list or your email list is under a couple thousand people, you do not need to go out and buy a $300 a month service to manage it. You can really start with something really, really simple and inexpensive.

Same thing with social media. There’s a lot of cool tools out there that will help you do all sorts of awesome stuff.

Amanda: If you knew how to use them.

Racheal: But you just need to start really simple and don’t over-invest in the tech and the tools unless you really know why you need it and that it’s going to give you a return on your investment. I think that’s just a really big thing, especially in the first few stages.

Amanda: I think when we look online, it’s really easy to get distracted by the latest shiny object. I know a lot of people have an issue with that. It’s hard because everyone in online marketing, they’re like, “Look at this amazing thing!” And you think, “Maybe if I just had that tool. That’s the thing that is just going to push the button and clients come out the other side.” That does not exist. I think the important thing is consistency. I think in the beginning, keep it really simple, especially if you don’t love technology and if you don’t feel really comfortable with it. Use Freemail, a Chimp account, use Facebook. The most basic stuff and just do it yourself and test things. See what resonates with people and then you’ll figure out where you actually do need tools.

Yeah, don’t get distracted and think that one tool is going to change your whole business.

Cate: Awesome. Great topic on getting seen and heard.

Next up, we’re going to go — if you listen to our next one, it’ll be Exchanging Value in the Marketplace, AKA making more money, if indeed that’s what you want to do.

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