July 19, 2023

Transcript Ep #207: Visibility Strategies: Breaking Through the Noise with a Small Following

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Transcript Ep #207: Visibility Strategies: Breaking Through the Noise with a Small Following

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Visibility Strategies: Breaking Through the Noise with a Small Following

– Transcript Ep #207

Hint of Hustle Episode 186

01:26

Well, hey, Friend. Welcome back to another episode. I am coming at you from the new studio for another recast episode this week. But before you, ugh, Heather, I want some new stuff. I want you to acknowledge that this is probably the episode you need to listen to on repeat, and no, this is not a rah-rah mindset episode. This is a pretty tactical episode that I find the majority of my clients need support with and it’s addressing the big challenge that so many of us face in this world of social media where we see so many big established brands launch successfully, be able to crank out content successfully, easily transition on to new platforms like Threads and have really large followings and we wonder like, but what about the little gal or little guy? Like what if we don’t have thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or ten of thousands, or whatever the number is that’s in mind that’s big for you? What if you have a thousand followers? What if your email list is 250 or 500 people? Like what then? 

02:42

Do you have to lower your expectations for success? Do you have to begrudgingly work all hours and all days and say yes to every single opportunity in order to just make your your bills get paid for? I don’t know. I see a lot of newer business owners hate this expression, but it’s essentially what happens people think they have to cut their teeth in order to earn the right to make money and this should be no surprise for you. I am a huge fan of making money and being profitable out of the gate in your business. So that begs the question, Heather, how do I make money? How do I get in front of more of my ideal clients if I have a tiny little baby nugget following, and that’s exactly what this episode is for you today. 

03:31

But I really want to give you a little heart to heart here and remind you that, you know, it’s easy to get swept away and look at our email list size and our social media following size and get swept up in the numbers and start thinking about hundred people is not that many, a thousand people is not that many, but as a speaking coach, let me remind you here for a moment that if you had the chance to stand on stage in front of a hundred people, 300 people, a thousand people, wouldn’t you be like holy crap, that is a lot of eyes staring back at me. Wouldn’t you be elated over that opportunity? And sure, I understand that in social media or with your email list, not every buddy is listening and watching so I get that it’s not the same but I’m going to encourage you to do a little check in, a little ego gut check here and say, remember, the goal is to be profitable, purposeful, to make an impact and truly help people. It isn’t about being popular because I think you would agree that even the largest accounts and the quote-unquote most popular influencers aren’t really influencers. They’re pseudo business coaches in this space. I would bet that if we were to check them out of their business, they are not actually as profitable as they would lead you to believe. 

03:34

So my friend the goal isn’t just to have a ton of people worshiping you and thinking you are the best, the goal is for you to actually help people and so let this episode be reminder for you that number one, step up to the mic and start making an impact regardless of how large your quote-unquote following is. And number two, stop playing the victim of having a small audience and nobody knows about me yet, like freaking get over it. If you want to build a platform, you have to own the fact that you are a big deal and you belong behind that mic and start showing up as if you’ve already made it because my friend you already have, and so I hope this pep talk today gets you fired up soon. Okay, Heather I hear you loud and clear. Let me get my tush in front of more people so that I can serve and help them. 

So without further ado, enjoy this episode and as always, send me your questions, send me your thoughts, send me your love over on Instagram. I’m @theheathersager. I would love to hear from you. I also really would love to hear from you. What are some of your burning questions when it comes to getting more visible when it comes to get in front of more people? What’s stopping you? what’s getting in your way? What would you like if we were able to sit down and have a cup of coffee together virtually or in person, what would you want me to talk with you about? Please send me those messages on Instagram. Please do not worry about bothering me or me thinking it’s weird. I want to hear from you. So send me a voice note or a text whatever that looks like on Instagram. I would love to hear it and heck, you never know it might actually become content on a future episode. Alright, friend, I will see you next week.

*****

Well, hey, friend, welcome back to another episode of the Heather Sager show. Today we’re digging into the question, how do you get seen? How to get eyes on your business when you don’t have a following or it’s really freaking small? If you were in this boat, if you’re feeling like you do not have a large enough email list, or a big enough Instagram following, or Facebook or whatever social media platform you’re on. There’s this idea that you have to have a certain number of quote-unquote leads or names on your email list before you can launch a successful product, or program, or whatever it is. And here’s the thing, a lot of people are going to tell you a lot of things. You have to filter them, trust your gut and make decisions that work in alignment with your business and what you’re trying to build. 

So today we’re going to talk about how you can grow your audience by getting in front of other people’s audiences. You all know that’s what I talk about here. It’s all about guest speaking but I’m gonna give you some specific things that you can do, specifically, five places that you can start looking at to get in front of your ideal customers and then encourage them to come back and follow you to grow your audience online.

Let’s dive into it and talk about helping you grow your following, grow your audience, whatever that means to you, right? People use this idea of grow your audience, but I guess let’s anchor down and define them. So when I talk about your audience, I’m specifically talking about people who either won or on your email list. That is the golden audience, right? Those are people who have said yes, they want to hear from you. You have the authorization and ability to send them emails, whether that’s informational emails, educational emails, inspirational emails, promotional emails, your email list. What they say is email is king or queen, one of the same on that. 

When we talk about audience size, I want to make sure you’re not ignoring that your email list is really important. But beyond that, you can think about who else do you reach online, specifically. You have your Facebook following and just know you have whether or not use your Facebook profile, that’s up to you. I don’t count that at all. That’s a personal thing for me, but your Facebook page. If you have a Facebook group, or your Instagram, if you do anything on LinkedIn or Twitter, you figure out what social media channels are best representative between you and your audience. But when I talk about your audience, I’m primarily talking about your email list and your primary social media platforms. 

So as you sit here today, we’re gonna like dive into it right now. I want you to anchor it and say, are you really clear right now of what is your audience size? I’m not gonna have a debate around does size matter. But I want you to know, do you know what your audience size is? And then here’s my follow up question. Are you tracking it? And maybe that’s like a super basic simple question. But y’all, I am actually surprised to how few entrepreneurs especially that have smaller businesses that are just getting started, how they look, maybe glance, right, or maybe you obsess over, how big is my Instagram following, but they don’t track it week to week. So the reason why this is important, which side note, there’s an episode I just did here in the last couple months where I talked about some of the specific metrics you should be tracking. We’ll link to that in the show notes but I want you to think about incremental improvements. If going back to this question, how do I grow my audience when I, how do I get seen when I don’t really have an audience? The goal is to grow your audience. I’m going to show you how to do that in this episode today. But what might start happening is you don’t realize the progress you’re making because you’re not keeping track of those incremental changes.

Have you ever heard, let me think of a metaphor or an expression we can use here. This idea, let’s just go with losing weight because that’s a really easy one to to think about. A lot of times when it comes to weight loss, people get really frustrated because they feel like nothing’s happening, they feel like nothing’s changing even though maybe the weights coming off a little bit, it’s just not working. And then they run into someone they haven’t seen in a long time and that person’s like, holy cow, like you look really good or you lost a lot of weight. And I don’t know, I don’t know if people should say that or not, or I don’t know, right, but just go with the example here. When we’re in it every single day and little bit by little bit the changes are happening, we don’t notice it. But when we stand back and look at the data over a period of time, we can actually see the significance. 

So for example, for me on Instagram, so we track all of our metrics every single week. But on Instagram, I know that each week, I gained anywhere from 10 to 40 followers every single week, time and time again and that’s because of the visibility efforts that I do. Is it huge on the numbers? Gosh, I know people that gain like thousand of followers each week, but they’re not me, I don’t care. But I have to compare my data to my data. I have to have data to begin with because if I was comparing it against that person capturing thousands of followers each week, I would feel terrible. But if I look at my historical data and say, oh, statistically speaking, I grow on average 10 to 40 followers every single week. And if there’s a week that I have, like huge numbers, I can then go, woohoo, what happened or if there’s a week that I lose people and don’t gain any, I can then go, what happened? 

So to all of this, what I’m getting back to is this question around, how do I get seen when we don’t have a large following? I want you to make sure that you have clarity on exactly what does following mean to you. I’m air quoting “following.” What is your audience size look like? If you’re not tracking those metrics week to week in a Google sheet somewhere, right? Your Instagram isn’t really going to give you much data. I want you to pull it out. Put it in a Google Sheet or Excel sheet whatever works for you but so that way you can see it. I want you to see the progress. You can see over time. That’s really, really important because you want to measure any activity that you do. Any of the strategies I’m going to give you today, if you’re not measuring the impact of that through both audience growth also revenue growth, what’s the frickin point, right? What we need to make sure that we’re anchoring our business decisions in data. 

Okay, so let’s talk about this question. How do we get seen or how do we get more visible? The real question is, how do we get people looking at our content when we don’t have a large following? So here’s the thing that I think a lot of us struggle with in the online space is there’s so much attention brought to this idea of creating content, right? Like this podcast is a great example of that. Create consistent weekly content, create a blog post, create a YouTube video, whatever your vehicle is to create your week of content. There is a lot of effort put into that, right? And then furthermore, we’re like, okay, we’re going to take the weekly content, we’re going to email it out to our list, and then we’re going to slice it up and put it on this social media platform, in this social media platform, in this social media platform and it can fill up a lot of time really fast. And then if you’re like me in the early days, you can start getting really frustrated because it feels like a lot of work for not a lot of people to see it. 

I remember when I started my podcast, I’ll be real with you on numbers. When I started this podcast in, it was Labor Day of 2019, kid you not I had less than 200 people on my email list and less than 500 followers on Instagram. So I could definitely position and go ah, my audience is tiny, like who am I to start a podcast or who is going to listen to her or get real frustrated real fast when the my numbers were small, right? Of course, it was small, my following was small. So if I would have just cranked out a podcast episode each week, emailed my tiny email list, posted on my small Instagram following and my even smaller Facebook page following, if I would have just rinsed and repeated that cycle each and every week and that is all I did. It would be like running inside one of those hamster wheels. You know, the hamster, like the ball, the plastic. I used to have this as a kid. I have a hamster like that plastic circular ball that you put the hamster in and they just run around through the house. Yeah, it’s like this idea that you’re, I guess that’s the bad example. 

I guess we need to talk about a hamster wheel, like the circle wheel you put in a cage because there’s a lot of effort but they don’t go anywhere. Yeah, that analogy works better here because the point of this whole metaphor around the hamster is, if you crank out content each week, that’s great. If you’re just emailing it to your existing list and you’re just posting about it on your social media, you’re not reaching any new people. It’s not really growing your audience. We’re just hoping that we become discoverable. We’re living the concept of the Field of Dreams. Do you remember that movie? It’s one of my husband’s favorites. But this is not a if you build it, they will come scenario. We can’t just sit here in our businesses and create, even if it’s exceptional content, and I hear you. I might not know you specifically listening to this podcast right now. But I have a hunch that if you’re hanging around here, you most likely hold yourself to some ridiculously high quality standards and I say that with love because you are in good company here. I am the same, a little bit of a perfectionist. I really want things to look beautiful, make sure the quality is there, I do not want to have any association with crappy content whatsoever. So what that means is when we create that weekly content, we spend a lot of time on it because we want it to be really good. And then we obsess over the post and we obsess over the email and spend far more time than we know we should but we see so much crap online that we don’t want to get muddied into the crap piles, right? We want it to stand out. 

But here’s what’s happening, right? We are stuck in this hamster wheel of content creation over and over and over again hoping that it’s the field of dreams that if you build it, if your content is just a little better, if it could stand out just a little bit more, or whatever else, right, then they’ll come. But the truth is, like you’re just getting caught up in a sea of buisiness. from other people. They’re all looking at other content. They’re not looking, I’m sorry, but they’re not looking actively for you. I mean, unless you’re something that they’re going to type legitimately into a Google search. We have to get ourselves in front of our buyer in a very conscious way. So how do we do that? 

This is my whole methodology that I have used to grow my business is what I teach inside of Speak up to Level up and it’s this idea that stop waiting for your ideal person to come to you. Also, when you’re small and getting started, controversial, do not dump a bunch of money into Facebook ads if you don’t know that your copy converts or your offer converts. Stop dumping money down the toilet, and instead, do this. Get in front of other people’s audiences. Get in front of other people’s audiences. And I’ll tell you specifically five ways that you can do this. But when you get in front of other people’s audiences, find people who have already grown a following so whether that’s an Instagram audience, a Facebook audience, they have a podcast, they have a nice large email list or heck, even an email list larger than yours, or heck, even an email list that’s the same size as yours. 

The idea is they’ve already established a connection with that audience. They’ve already established a level of trust and credibility with that audience. And when you can tap into that and serve that audience and that person. Fire. What happens is you are in front of new people but those new people aren’t just random cold traffic that, like the cold traffic on Facebook, right? That you see a stranger online, like you see a stranger’s ad. Just imagine this for a moment. Pretend you have your phone in front of you and you’re scrolling through Facebook. And you see, you probably see these everyday placing dozens of Facebook ads of other coaches, other course creators, and you kind of side eye and you look at them, but also, you’ve never heard of them. You don’t know them. You’re kind of skeptical and you just keep scrolling. But what happens when your business bestie or appear in your mastermind, or one of your coaches tells you about someone else? You’re like, oh, oh, yeah, okay, I’ll check her out or I’ll check that out. So get it in front of other people’s audiences is the same thing. So if you want to get your content seen, if you want to get your podcasts listened to, if you want people looking at your weekly Facebook Lives or looking at your weekly blog posts, whatever the weekly content you do, if you want people to look at that, you have to like get yourself in front of them. You got to like throw your body in front of the car as it’s driving down the road. That’s a terrible analogy. Please do not go out and do that.  That’s not a recommendation. I did not recommend you do that. It was just a metaphor. 

But I want you to think about this get out of the comfort of your little content space and you have to get in front of other people. Let me just tell you right now. I know you’re thinking of it okay to sound super logical. Most likely you’ve heard this before, most likely intuitively you’ve known this right? And maybe you’re doing this a little bit but I want you to really get present to how you’re feeling with the idea of approaching someone else and asking to speak on their platform. What physically, what you feel in your chest, in your gut, in your head, when I say, hey, you got to go ask people if you can get on their platform and talk to their audience. What comes up for you? It could be terrifying, like, oh, my gosh, pitching and like that freaks me the “F” out. It could be like, oh, my gosh, like how schmucky is that? Or maybe you’re thinking like, oh, I don’t want them to feel like I’m using them. Whatever is coming up for you, I really want you to honor it, right? And that sounds so cheesy, but you need to honor it. You need to recognize it, right? Because I don’t want you just push right through it. I want you to honor it and bring some awareness to it. And if you’re like me, if you’re a journaler. Heck, even if you’re not, journaling has been proven to be one of the most effective ways for you to work through some of these things in your head. I want you to get it out on paper and actually ask yourself, how you feeling about it? What’s the resistance to it? Is that resistance justified? Is it true? Is that how you actually think? Or are these emotions that are coming in? I don’t know what the right answer is for you.

But I know for me, a couple years ago, the idea of pitching myself to someone else at first, it felt gross because it felt like I was using them for their audience. But so if you’re feeling that too, let me give you one little shift. That was a game changer for me. When I asked, let’s say my friend Krystal. You all have heard her before Krsytal Proffit. She has the Proffit podcast. She teaches people podcasting. She’s a great friend of mine. For Krystal’s audience, right? Let’s say crystal and I didn’t know each other very well. But I’m like, oh, man, Krystal’s audiences are also course creators, podcasters people in the online space. I know, they want to get more confident speaking and I know that what I teach would really help them. If I was like, oh, man, I want to approach Krystal, but I don’t want to feel yucky like I’m using her list for my benefit. Instead of thinking like, how could I step on crystal to get to her audience, instead, what I have to think about is, wow, okay, Krystal is a coach for podcasters. She helps people get started with podcasting. I know that one of the big fears or objections that her people have, her existing audience has and the new people coming in, they fumble over their words. They struggle with filler words. They quite frankly are not the greatest speakers and they aspire to be which is why they’re starting to podcast. But sometimes they get all up in their head, when they go hit record, then they freak out and think they have to script everything. But they really want to be able to have an outline, but be able to speak from the heart. They want to create really good content. So if I try that perspective on for size, then that helps me go, huh, oh my gosh, I could help Krystal be a rock star for her audience and help them with a specific skill set that they’re lacking in right now. 

So if I approach it from that way of how I can be of service to Krystal by serving her audience in an area they’re already struggling with, that’s a freaking win so just that shift. I want you to think about that, if you’re feeling resistance to the idea of pitching, if you’re feeling resistance to going after other people’s audiences, flip that on its head, really think about how does what you do truly serve them because you’re not using them. You’re supporting them. You have to figure out what that alignment is. Anyways, it’s a little bit of side tangent but I know that feeling comes up a lot is people are worried pitch because they don’t want to have the perception that they’re using them. Well, don’t go out of that way, right? Don’t send a pitch and be like, hey, I’d love to get in front of your audience. Oh, schmuckers ville, right? instead say hey, I know this about your audience and I would imagine like my people I work with they struggle with this x thing and now talk about how your topic can support their mission as the host of the platform and the people in which they serve. You see that just little distinguishing shifts, it makes such a big difference, so I want you to think about that first and foremost.

 Now let’s dive into five specific places that I want you to think about tackling if you want to get your content seen. Let’s say you’re a coach and you are looking for more one on one clients. We got to get you in front of those clients of hearing them and seeing you and how you work and what you have to offer. We got to create that likability factor that get them aware of you, get to know you a bit, trust you, the like know and trust factor we talked about around here. We got to get you in front of other people’s audiences. So here’s five places, these are not going to be rocket science, They’re not going to be new. But I really want to challenge you to think about how you can get comfortable and start approaching these. 

So number one, podcasts. Earth shattering, right? You already know this, right? But if you want to get in front of other people’s audiences, I want you to find not just a big list of the big, big podcasts. Do not even touch those. Do not worry about those. That’s not going to, do not. You’re not going for quantity numbers here, you’re going for quality. And what I mean by that is you want to find smaller shows with highly engaged groups. These could be people that maybe they only have 30-40 listeners a week. Others might scoff on that. But for you, especially if you’re a one on one coach, you don’t need big numbers, you just need the right people. So becoming a guest on other people’s podcasts, there’s a couple benefits for it. Number one, obviously you get in like on new platforms. Get more people exposed to you. If you have a podcast, these are people who already listen to podcasts. So making the leap over to listen to another podcast if they resonate with you, they like what you talk about. They like how you speak. They like your personality. You’re funny, you have stories, you’re really helpful, things are tangible, right? They’ll want to come over and listen so that’s a great strategy there. 

But another beautiful benefit we don’t talk enough about of why I think being a guest on podcast is so important is it gives you the ability to practice becoming more articulate. The more podcast interviews you do, the better you get at talking about your craft, the better you get at speaking to your ideal customer. So the first time you do it, it might not be sunshine and rainbows, right? it might be a crapshoot, but you did it and then the next time you can make it even better. So getting in front of other people’s audiences, it gives you practice in real life. The podcast episode I did a couple weeks ago, I’m talking about practice, the importance of practice and how to do practice. I’ll link to it in the show notes. This right here is what I’m talking about, get on people’s podcasts, just start doing it and get familiar with being in front of different groups. Test out your messaging, test out your articulation, test out your charisma in your voice. Listen back and find out, man, did I come across as, or was I coming across really, really fast, really, really high and never break? Or am I coming across is fun and exciting and helpful? You gotta evaluate those things. But number one, get yourself on some podcast, but find the ones that actually have your ideal audience. And if you’re asking, how do I do that. We did a two part series on this show with PR guest, Emily Reagan, where she and I, two partners how to get started with pitching we walked you through where to find it. We even had to send pitches, how to leverage a virtual assistant to help you in those efforts. If pitching is a challenge for you go back to the pitching episodes, I will walk you through how to do it and where to look.

Number two place you can go to get in front of other people’s audience. This one is so underrated and it is my absolute favorite, especially if you’re a coach or you offer any kind of live support in your course or program. And this is going live on Instagram and just wait for it, there’s going to be two ways that we approach this. Live on Instagram consistently. This as you’ll see, this is something I’m going to start doing it now that my son is back in school and I have some time in my day and I’m not so strapped for a time. But going live on Instagram, there’s two parts of this. Number two, go live on Instagram. I want you to go live on your page and I want you to invite either your students, clients, or your audience on Instagram to actually come live with you and do Q&A. The reason for this is if you offer live support in your program, you want to give your audience a taste of what you have to offer. And I know this is not getting in front of a new audience but trust me for a moment. The the practice of seeing you in action, seeing you do coaching you in like interacting with other people, especially if you bring other people live on with you, your students, your clients or other people in your audience. You hack into their audience. Let me clarify what I mean by that. 

When you go live on Instagram and you invite somebody with you, it notifies their audience that you’re live on Instagram together and they’ll come check you out. So you just hacked into their following online. So I would do this number one, because we’re on number two, but first in this one a, I would do this specifically for you going live to showcase your coaching skills or do Q&A. And I honestly, if this were me starting over again, I would plan guests in advance, ie, I would text message my client, or my students, or asked my audience in advance for the questions or who wants to come live with me so that it wasn’t stressing about is somebody going to come live the day. Your audience is small, you cannot just hope that somebody joins you. So plan it out in advance and your audience will, I bet you those participate. If you send out your, if you have a small email list, send it out and say, hey, I want to do some free coaching. Are you interested in a spot and make sure you give them the details. It’s going to be on Instagram, right? They don’t think they’re getting this private thing. But people will sign up so you can pre orchestrate this. So that’s number two, go live on Instagram and invite either clients, students, or people in your existing audience. Yes, it’ll hack into their audiences but the main goal is for people to see you doing coaching. This leads me to the third thing.

Go live on Instagram, but I want you specifically to go live with people who have larger audiences that you that are aligned. So find other coaches, course creators, different professionals in your field. If you’re in the medical space, find other medical professionals, people who serve a similar audience, but target ones that have larger, not like giant, right? Don’t go after somebody who has like 80,000 followers on Instagram, right? But if you have, let’s say, 600 followers, if you can find somebody with 1500, 2500, even 6 to 7000, right? Don’t be scared off by the numbers. It’s about the fit and the value you can create together. So you can approach us in one of two ways. First, you could approach this as Hey, let’s pretend Susie is this person you’re admiring, maybe you’ve talked to her in the past. Ideally, you’ve been connected somehow, or you’ve been engaging in their content. You can invite Susie to be a guest and say, I’d love to have a conversation with you or I’d love to interview you, right? So you just play the role of interviewer. Bring Susie, on you hack into her audience. And I don’t mean hack in a bad way but hack is just that meaning of you tap into her audience, right? It just happens inherently. That’s one way you could do it. 

Another way you can do it is you actually asked Susie to come on with you and have a discussion. So you guys partner together or you offer to teach Susie’s people a specific topic right and then do a back and forth Q&A. You’re smart, right? You’re innovative. You can think of different ways to do it. But the point is, in Instagram Live scenario. The first one is you just go live and focus on leveraging your students and clients to have that back and forth conversations to get more comfortable in the craft of going live and showing people your coaching and your services. This other one is you’re specifically going live to talk with peers in your industry to broaden your audience. This is a really great way for you to get in front of other people. So if you’re not going live on Instagram right now, that’s going to be by number one, start doing that and start building this skill of going live because it’s going to feel awkward and clunky at first. Lose your virginity going live and let’s move on and figure out how to make it better. 

Okay, so we’ve covered number one, get on podcast. Number two, go live on Instagram with your clients and students. Number three, go live on Instagram with other peers or and or influencers. I’ll air quote that right? But people who are peers with aspirational audiences and do not undermine somebody who has a smaller following, that’s okay, like, just get started with peers in your industry. Okay, number four, I want to move on now. So we’ve been talking about interviewing and kind of live back and forth Q and A’s. Now I want to move into teaching. So number four, guest teaching inside of other people’s free groups. So I would imagine that you are a part of multiple free groups on Facebook. Find one or two that, find a handful that are aligned to your topic, reach out to the host and offer to do a free training in the group. This is going beyond. We’re not talking about interviewing anymore. We’re talking about you teaching a quote unquote free training. I quote unquote free training that because you’re going to put together a little mini session, right? I don’t want you to teach a module from your program. But you can put together a specific training to solve a specific pain point there having that really leads towards your freebie or your program. You don’t have to pitch your program. You should pitch your freebie that should be the thank you that you should get for being able to go in that group. But teach, actually, teach a session and maybe do a Q&A at the end. But doing that, so start networking with your peers to figure out, do you have some peers who have free Facebook groups? Do you have a, maybe they’re not peers, but maybe you’re inside of someone’s program right now and they have a free Facebook group? Reach out and ask and remember that shift I gave you at the top of this episode, that was about 12 minutes ago. That shift that gave you around, you’re not using them for your audience. You have to genuinely believe that what you’re going to teach is going to be of high value to their audience. 

So what does that mean? It cannot be fluffy. You cannot go in there with some generic information with some generic mistakes that they’re all already aware of. You actually have to go in with some insights that are useful. It does not mean that you’re going to teach everything but the kitchen sink in this session because if you’ve been around with me, you know that the signature talk does not give them everything, but it gives them the elements that are going to help them get a quick win, help them really see the context of how things come together, and also develop desire for what you do. So teaching inside a free group is a phenomenal thing which leads me to platform number five, which is again, teaching, but inside someone else’s paid program. And let me tell you, this has been one of my favorite strategies in the last few years. So let me clarify what I mean by this. 

I would imagine especially as you start networking in your industry and if you’re not networking in your industry, let me really encourage you to make that a priority. And what I mean by that is you need to find your peer group. And I’ll tell you, for me, it was hard the first 12 months. I didn’t know who my peer group was, I was trying to kind of collaborate in some different programs but it wasn’t really until I attended a live event and got into a mastermind that I found people and in finding those people, I found more people. And now here three years in I’ve really settled in and I have a very strong peer network inside the online entrepreneurial space. For you, give yourself some time, you need to start networking. But one of the things that really helps with networking is you being able to help other people’s programs become even better by offering guest speaking sessions. 

So let me give you some examples of some types of guest sessions that I’ve spoken in. And I’m actually going to pull up, I have a visibility tracker in my project management tool that keeps track of all of these. So things that I have guest spoken on in the last few months. Bobby Klink who’s been a guest on the show before. He’s amazing. Also, I’m going to be featured on his podcast here coming up in the next few weeks. I’ll let you know when that drops. But Bobby Klinck has an awesome coaching program. I was able to be a guest coach or a guest speaker inside that program a couple months ago where I went in and taught them about, I think we talked about live video or about speaking, using speaking to grow your business and other guest things that I’ve done. Let’s see here. I’m scrolling down real quick. There’s a lot of podcasts on here. So I do a lot of podcasts. Okay, Jamie Sears. She has the Not So Wimpy brand. She teaches teachers and educators. She’s amazing. She has a mastermind. She asked me to guest speak inside her mastermind to help them get over their fear of live video. So that was guest speaking in a mastermind, with guest speaking of a coaching program, guest speaking in a mastermind. Okay, here’s another one. Haley Birkhead. I was in her program last year. I reached out to Haley and said, hey, I love your content. Here’s what I’m loving. What we teach is aligned, here’s something that I could offer you. Would you be open to having an additional lesson in your program. So I now have an actual lesson. This is not a bonus. I actually have a lesson now inside Recurring Profit her evergreen course where I teach people how to become more magnetic and how they deliver webinars. So that has been an excellent referral source for my business. Let’s see what else done here. Virtual summit, right? People have paid summits. I’ve been breakouts, a breakout speaker in there. Let me see some other ones down here. A bonus inside of the program. So my new friend, April Beach, who was on the show earlier this week. We connected in the space, she had me be a bonus inside of her digital course program. 

So I’m giving you some sampling here, not to brag. Look at all these fun opportunities I’ve had but these are all peers in my industry. Tina Tower. She has her Empire Builder mastermind in Australia. She’s incredible. We’ve built a phenomenal relationship with her. You might also notice these people and calling out have also been guests on my podcast. That’s one of the strategies I’ve used to cultivate relationships. Please be a guest on my podcast. We get to know each other and then that branches out to other things. I’m sharing all of this with you today because it’s not a clear linear path of do x then get all these leads. No, it’s like ah, people who say that it’s so simple. It can be a lot more complex but what I’m giving you is a buffet of ideas that I hope spark something in you that you had something that’s been floating around in your head and something that I’ve said today has got you revisit an idea that you already had or you’re thinking like, Oh yeah, I should reach out to that person. Oh, yeah. I thought about doing a bonus for someone but I kind of abandoned that. 

What I’m trying to do for you is  out and let’s bring one or two to life because this idea of getting in front of other people’s audiences, this can be a very quick snowball. And this, let me tell you just some results here. Over the last, let’s see, two and a half years in my business. I’ve only done Facebook ads one time and I’m just gonna say it was not a successful experience in terms of the leads that came in from the Facebook ads that didn’t really convert in my program. I had some work to do before I really could be ready for cold traffic. But in lieu of doing Facebook ads, my entire strategy for growing my audience has been organically through guest speaking, through guest speaking. So looking through here. Heck, I mean, there’s a ton of on here. I don’t have a counter here. But I think I’ve done 40 or 50 guest speaking appearances so far this year which seems like a lot, right? But when this becomes my vehicle for driving leads and not just leads, but warm leads who have already nurtured because they’ve already spent an hour with me listening to a podcast episode, or watching my bonus session, or watching a workshop or something else, they’re already warmed up so by the time they meet my program launch, my programs convert very well. 

So to give you some stats around here, industry averages for conversion rates when you do a launch are 2- 3%. Some people say 1%. So let’s say 1-3%. Sometimes five. My average conversion for a launch is anywhere between 6 and 23%. I do not tell you that to brag. I tell you that, that sometimes, we need to question the strategies that people bring out in the industry, when people tell you that you have to have a thousand leads to launch, or when people tell you that you have to do Facebook ads, or people tell you that you have to do X, Y and Z. I’m not going to tell you that you have to do guest speaking. But I will tell you that if you’re still trying to cultivate your message, if you really enjoy building relationships, and you want to get to know your audience, and your program is still in the infancy stages where you’re you’re still morphing in a bit, you’re still learning more about your audience and learning how you are as a teacher and as an educator and a speaker. I see a high degree of value to getting out there and testing that engagement with groups. Get out in front of other people’s audiences and test how your content gets people asking questions and reacting and what they resonate with what they don’t. And it’s through that effort that you can actually get clear around what your offer should include and shouldn’t include and what your messaging should have and what what types of topics really are sexy for all those things.

I’m kind of rambling on here for a moment, but I hope you see how this is all coming back together. I think a lot of times we’re looking for the shortcut, right? We all joke about this. We’re looking for the easy button like, Heather, give me the fastest way to get as many eyeballs on my business because I have a tiny audience. I know that wasn’t the question but it’s kind of what we’re hoping for. I like to always remember that I’m building my business for the long game. I want to build, I want you to imagine this for a moment. This is the visual I have. I want to build a super solid, sturdy, cement filled foundation for the business I’m building, right? I’m building this business from the ground up as you are too, right? We created this businesses from a freaking idea and one first brave action, right? Like that crazy but if you think about it, like we built this, like this is our business that came from our idea, like from our brains. it’s crazy town when you think about it. But for me, I want to grow my business in the most sustainable way possible which means that I want to get to know my audience, really craft my offers and I’m gonna take a little slow. But I want my foundation to be really solid and strong. It doesn’t mean that I am going to do a bunch of stuff for free for a really long time to earn my right to sell. It’s not what I’m saying here. But I’m saying we need to put some work in. Lay a really strong foundation to then be able to scale when we seek out the easy button, right? 

When we seek out this huge big break to get in front of a giant audience. I want you to imagine it’s like very, very quickly building a house as fast as you can vertically but the foundation a base is very strong. So I want you to imagine this. What have you got the opportunity tomorrow to speak in front of a giant audience of 2500 people and they were all your ideal customers. Number one would you be mentally and contently, not a word. From a mental perspective and from a content structure perspective, would you be ready to go rock that talk right now, like to go rock that stage? Would you be ready right now? The answer is probably not as ready as you would hope to be. So we need to get you ready by priming you in front of some smaller audiences first, that’s my first thought here. But then also like mentally and content structure wise, you wouldn’t necessarily ready. But also from a business perspective, do you have the support to be able to, like, let’s say, 500 people signed up to your thing, do you have the customer service and the tech support to actually make that happen? So we think about all my gosh, I want this big, massive visibility but the question is, do you actually know the technical aspects and the customer support aspects that would be required to keep up with that level growth? What if instead of looking for that fast track that HOV lane, if you’re not in the United States, it is like the carpool lane where you get to go faster on the freeway because it’s dedicated to people that have three people in the car and work? We’re looking for that in business, but I’m just wondering, like, what if we just turned up the music a little bit and enjoyed sitting in traffic. Yeah, that’s my last analogy for you today. What’s the frickin rush? What is the freakin rush? How could we enjoy this process a little bit more and circling back to all the stuff we talked about today. Getting out in front of other audiences not only has brought my business high quality, hot leads, in fact, if you’re listening to the show, I bet you came from one of those speaking appearances, or you were referred by someone that you know, so hi, I see you welcome. But not only has it done that, but let me tell you, the people that I’ve met, the hosts of those platforms, I’ve been able to build a really phenomenal network that when I need something, if I need help, or like on my last launch, I was able to text message, like 15 people saying, hey, can you share this workshop series with people or hey, I’m going live on here? Would you share this with your audience? And it was an unfaltering, yes. How can I help you? 

I already have multiple people signed up as affiliates from when I do my live launch, Speak up to Level up in 2022. That’s the power of getting front of audiences not only getting more eyeballs on your business, but don’t forget about the attention of the host because when you build relationships with your peers, it’s the power of relationships and networking. I don’t want you to lose sight of that because that’s how you have more fun on the journey. That’s how you turn up the tunes in the slow lane on the highway. We’re sitting in traffic wondering when the heck is traffic gonna clear and we’re finally going to get our break and growth. Enjoyed the journey a little bit. But if you do this with friends, right? If you do through networking, start getting to know people, be a little less scared of putting yourself out there and be more curious about getting to know people and learning about their audiences and how you can come together to support their audiences and making your offers even better. Holy crap. Like that’s when things start getting really, really fun. 

Alright, we covered a lot of ground today and we’ve got a little weird there for a moment in my analogies but in true Sager fashion, that’s what we do around here. So I really hope that today’s episode got your brain turning. I hope that you took some notes and most definitely take away one specific thing, one idea that came up for you. Like I said it, it’s probably not a new idea, but I bet it rattled out an idea that you had already been sitting on for a while. I want to know what that is. So be sure to take a screenshot of this episode, share it on Instagram, tag me. Tell me what it was or if it’s something you don’t want to share publicly, please send me a message on Instagram. I love hearing from you around how these episodes and my random tangents are speaking with you each and every week. So please come say hello @theheathersager over on Instagram. 

And hey, if you’re thinking about okay, how do I put some of these things to life, Heather? How do I actually start approaching these speaking opportunities as a thing that will actually drive leads. I don’t want you just to go out and start talking about your business. Friend, I want you to have a plan. So if you want to, if you want, that was not a very fluid way to say that. But I have a roadmap for you, an actual guide with five specific steps you can get started with right now. This is a getting started guide. So these are the five things that I want you doing in order for you to be more successful with those visibility opportunities. I call it the online entrepreneurs roadmap to speaking on stages. It’s a simple guide. I think it’s maybe eight pages that includes these beautiful photos of me, along with some resources with podcast interviews and such that will help you support you in your journey. It’s got a workbook in it to help you get started but if you’d like to get your hands on that if you head over to heathersager.com/5steps, that’s the number five steps. You can grab that roadmap right now, fill out that workbook just so that you feel more solid in what to talk about, what your plan should be and then check out those pitching episodes I mentioned today so that way you can feel confident pitching those hosts to get yourself in front of other people’s audiences. Alright friend. I’ll see you again next week.

Thanks for listening to another episode of the hint of hustle podcast. If you’re in a season of hustle, consider this the permission slip, you didn’t need to take a beat. Go on a walk, stretch, call a friend. Go reheat that coffee for the fourth time and actually drink it because those big dreams are chasing paper require the best version of you. And if those goals include expanding your audience, establishing your industry credibility and selling your premium price programs. The best way to tackle this is through speaking your voice is your best brand asset. We’ll teach you how to use it as a marketing tool, head on over to the speakerco.com/start and I’ll see you there.

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