Vicki Landers The episode delves deeper into how Vicki reimagined her professional life by moving out of her comfort zone, challenging traditional
Discover the power of storytelling, the significance of focusing on your target audience, and the impact of client-centered marketing. Tune in for valuable insights on aligning your marketing efforts with your mission to build a successful and fulfilling business.
Simone is on a mission to change the way coaches and consultants approach marketing and business building online. She believes marketing is fun, easy and simple; and we don’t have to burn out and hustle to build the business you want while balancing life. That is why she teaches her clients how to build and market a business that is sustainable while having clients come already a “hell yes” to their offer.
Simone is a tenured marketing professor who teaches graduate students marketing and digital marketing strategy. She has over 18 years of digital marketing strategy and was the Head of Marketing for a tech firm, driving brand, leads, and customer experience.
She LOVEs marketing and believes it is what makes business building so much FUN.
*What follows is an AI-generated transcript may not be 100% accurate.
[00:00:00] Audra: welcome back to the show Today. On the Mess in the Middle, I have Simone.
[00:00:44] And, I’m very excited to get into a conversation with you and see where you are in your business and how you’re getting through the mess in the middle. So please, let’s take a few minutes and let’s learn a little bit about you and then we’ll dive into, how we can help some people today.
[00:01:00] So welcome to the show. Thank you.
[00:01:03] Simone: I am the marketing coach for ambitious coaches and consultants who are ready to like, amplify and elevate their marketing and book out their offers with what I call hell yes. Clients, right? Yay. And this,
[00:01:15] Audra: yeah. Hell yes. Client.
[00:01:17] Simone: and this level of marketing is 50% mindset.
[00:01:20] 50% strategy. And what I always say a hundred percent fun because marketing to me nice is honestly the best part about building your business. and it can be fun. It can be easy, okay? It can be simple and you don’t have to burn yourself out in the process. And that’s really something that I love to lean in and coach and teach my clients to do.
[00:01:38] I have. Nice, yeah. [00:01:40] and that comes from like truly that passion comes from a love of marketing. Cuz I have 20 years of marketing ex. Experience. I was the head of marketing for a tech firm. I was driving brand leads, customer experience for a number of organizations. And then I actually jumped into teaching, nice, a tenure professor teaching students, graduate students marketing and digital marketing strategy.
[00:02:02] So truly, I really believe in that. I love marketing and I love teaching that to my clients and my students about how they can build it in a really authentic, ethical
[00:02:14] Audra: way. we need more of that. And I know that there’s a lot of us out there that do what you’re doing, but there’s a fine line between I wanna do it the right way where it builds longevity, where I could transfer those skills to any kind of widget I’m selling.
[00:02:30] Yeah. Versus the, I’m looking for numbers, it’s only about revenue and the widget is not relevant. there’s such a divide there. So it’s great to hear that there’s other marketers like me that wanna do the right thing at the right time, Awesome. Yeah. I love that you just said
[00:02:47] Simone: that because I agree with you.
[00:02:48] I see so often,people are like, oh, but it’s the numbers, We need to have a lot of people following us. We need to have a lot of leads because the more leads we have, the better that it’s just a numbers game automatically we’ll convert.
[00:03:00] But that’s not true. Not true. And to your point, when you do it right, you do it the right way. What we wanna be focusing on is client-centered marketing. Okay. And when you are client-centered marketing, you’re listening to your customers and you’re doing something, you’re building relationships with them.
[00:03:15] And I love this idea that, you know what if we just made a [00:03:20] promise and we stuck with it, like that’s being authentic. And that’s having integrity. And I think that we wanna lean more into that type of marketing. Yeah. Because once you learn the foundation of client-centered marketing, to your point, you can take that skillset and you can apply it to any offer you have, any service, any product.
[00:03:39] Because the foundations never change. That’s true. Like we’re just humans. All we wanna do is make connections and we wanna have meaningful conversations and that’s all that marketing really is.
[00:03:50] Audra: and we wanna help. And that is the other huge thing that I’m getting.
[00:03:55] So see, out of 30 podcasts that I’ve done, probably 25 of them started their business because they were looking to help. Yeah. It’s so weird. I know that helping is part of an entrepreneur, but at the same time I didn’t realize what a core trait it is that I am seeing. And the widgets don’t matter.
[00:04:15] It could be coaching, it could be courses, it could be a brick and mortar, That is like a fundamental piece of every one of these people that I’ve been talking to, which is pretty neat to see these patterns showing up. It
[00:04:28] Simone: is really neat. And you’re right. I think that, really great marketing is serving is part of service, right?
[00:04:35] Showing up. It’s asking to help you, it’s showing you how you, they can help you. It’s giving you, social proof ahead of time. It’s solving your problem. And when you come from it, from really that place, it doesn’t have to feel icky or gross or sometimes those feelings that we get when we’re trying to sell a service or a product, or if you’re, especially if you’re, a coach or a consultant or a solopreneur and you’re selling your own services.
[00:04:58] People can start to feel that way, [00:05:00] but that doesn’t have to be the case when you’re honing in on service and really focus in on your
[00:05:05] Audra: client. So let’s explore the customer centered thing a little bit because some of the listeners may not know exactly what you’re referring to.
[00:05:14] But the other thing I want to do is there’s. So most business owners, let me back up for a second. Most business owners don’t wanna be marketers. They have no desire to become marketers. Now, I take the platform of, I’m not trying to make you be a marketer, but you’re still responsible for your marketing.
[00:05:35] So if you can’t hire yet, you have to learn enough to get it working, to be able to generate revenue than to hire somebody. So it’s not that, everything should be focused to become who you and I are. Yeah. But they do, they are responsible for bringing in the right people or for learning enough to know what it’s supposed to look like when it’s done properly.
[00:05:58] So let’s explore that a little bit with what you just said.
[00:06:01] Simone: you hit it right on the nail. I know. Whenever I talk to somebody about marketing, they’re like, oh, can I just give that to you? Can I give that to somebody else? I don’t wanna be responsible for it. And I work with a lot of service based or value.
[00:06:14] Yeah. Driven, entrepreneurs and like you said, they got into business to help somebody. They want to make someone’s life better. They wanna see that transformation. But I think if we think about it, so a couple things. One is we wanna think about marketing as that generous act of helping someone solve a problem, right?
[00:06:31] Their problem. So when you think about it that way, that’s all about helping them seek a transformation because you’re just helping them become the better version that they wanna be. [00:06:40] Okay. Okay. so when we lean into that and we take responsibility for that to your part, then I think we can show up so much differently.
[00:06:48] Okay. But when we are showing up in our business and all we’re thinking is, ugh, I have to do social media, or I have to set up a funnel, or I don’t know, someone told me I should be doing ads and be on TikTok, but I hate being on video. That’s such a different type of energy you’re bringing to your business.
[00:07:04] Yeah. But you are a hundred percent correct when you are first building your business. you have to be the one. Marketing and building, your business. You are the brand, you are the person that people are gonna relate to based on your ideas, your thoughts, your opinions, and what your personal philosophies are.
[00:07:22] if you’re on a mission to do something, that’s what’s gonna attract them to you.
[00:07:26] Audra: And the energy that you’re putting out around that. Yeah. to add on to what you just said, if you are looking at your marketing negatively as, oh, I have to do this thing, it’s so incongruent with who I am, don’t you think that the other person on the other end of that is also gonna pick up that energy from you and they’ll never get to actually why you’re in business to begin with?
[00:07:48] Simone: Absolutely. And that’s the part that I think that when, yeah, people are starting to scale their business and they’re able to be at the point where they have revenue coming in. They could hire someone to take on and alleviate some of their workload. They think, oh, I’ll just give that to them. But that’s the opposite.
[00:08:05] You’re always going to be the one in charge of your business. You always have to be the CEO of your business. And the CEO is in charge of marketing direction, the vision and the strategy. and that is a huge part. You still have to tell the person that you’re working with [00:08:20] what you want them to do, how it needs to look and feel, because it’s your voice.
[00:08:24] And I’m so glad that you brought this up, because it’s something I feel pretty passionate about because leaders use their voice to amplify their message. Agreed. Yeah. Yep. And so when that is what your marketing is doing, your marketing is amplifying your message, and you have to be the leader that does that, right?
[00:08:42] Because at the end of the day, your voice is the foundation of your message and your business in many ways, right? So how are you stepping in as the leader of your business to talk and deliver your mission, to talk to your clients, to amplify that? And I think that’s so important.
[00:08:59] Audra: Okay? So they hear us. I hope they hear us, how important this is and how much.
[00:09:07] I don’t want you to look at it like, oh my gosh, this responsibility is so big and my business isn’t gonna succeed without it. It’s not that. It’s that what I mean. There’s a lot of different channels that you can explore to start marketing your business effectively. If you’re not comfortable with video, find something else.
[00:09:26] If you are not good at writing, do video. If you are not good at video, do audio. There are so many different options that you have to get started that there’s seriously no excuse, right? Pick one and just dig into it until you do it really well, and you start seeing some results. The goal is to little by little, add more channels or opportunities to build a, a network, a community engagement, people to find out about you, whatever that end goal is.
[00:09:57] But Simone just said, you gotta start with a [00:10:00] strategy. What is the plan and the purpose for you using that channel to begin with? Yes, you wanna be congruent with it cuz otherwise you’re not gonna stick to it. You’re just not. Yeah. I’ve tried to put people on platforms that they weren’t congruent with.
[00:10:13] I’ve gone back six months later and I’m like, what happened? You guys spent $20,000 with me to build all these systems? Oh the girl you trained, she left and none of us really knew what to do. So we just went back to our old ways and don’t do that. Pick something you’re congruent with that you can actually stick to build it up enough.
[00:10:34] And then, like we said, once it’s generating revenue, you can delegate it. Absolutely. Because then we can hire. Yeah. I think
[00:10:42] Simone: that’s so important. I love that you said that because something that I work a lot with my own clients with is really when we look at like creating a really simple marketing plan, the, it’s so important.
[00:10:51] I have clients that create really simple, doable marketing plans. And especially when they’re first starting out, we dive into one or two platforms that they just want to dive into because A, their clients are there. And b is where they feel comfortable being as well. And so I have noticed that when we only focus on one or two things and do that well, we get so much more success and we start to build up so much more traction quicker.
[00:11:17] you’re building better content, you’re connecting with more people. I think that makes such a big difference. And I just had a client just the other day who was, to your point, just struggling a little bit with, Where they were, what they were doing. because they were like, ah, I just.
[00:11:29] it doesn’t feel right going on and just always just writing all the time. I just find it, it’s harder for me to sit down. I’ve got a writer’s block when I do this, and I’m like, okay. So we, I was like, what? What are your strengths? [00:11:40] And they were like, I just love, I went on this interview the other day.
[00:11:43] Someone was asking me questions and I could just talk nonstop. I loved it. It was so good. I was like, let’s play to your strength. Yeah. So then that person started to get more interviews on podcasts and then they started to go on and just answer questions and it be, it was so natural to them, and they started to do their marketing from a place of their strengths, not what they thought they should be doing or looking a certain way, just utilizing what they did really well on the platform that they desired to be on.
[00:12:12] Audra: That is awesome. That is a huge challenge. the competition of getting online and seeing your friends and seeing your competitors and seeing other businesses having so much success or appearance of success is makes you feel like you need to fit into that widget. It’s almost I don’t know, are they the bullies?
[00:12:35] Are they the popular kids? if you go back to the silly psychological things that we all run into, and as a business owner, you gotta step back and you gotta say, I don’t need to compare myself to that. That doesn’t necessarily need to be my path. That is not the only way to success. Let me step back here and what am like you, what you just said, what am I congruent with and where’s my audience?
[00:12:59] And those two pieces should be how you decide you’re gonna show up online. Yeah. you gotta block out all that noise. So let’s shift for a second with that being, with us just talking about customer centered, which we got off the path there, but let’s go back and visit that a little bit.
[00:13:16] How do I know. What I’m supposed to do to [00:13:20] get customer-centered. What does that look like?
[00:13:22] Simone: Yeah. great question. So I always just say client-centered is putting the client at the middle of what you do. okay. We always start with understanding who our client is first. who is our ideal client, right?
[00:13:34] And we wanna get really clear on that first. Because once you’re clear on who that person is, that’s how you build out your offer around that. That’s how you build out your messaging. That’s how you then build out your plan. It’s we always wanna start with the who in the middle and then build everything out.
[00:13:50] And in order to do that, you have to also be continuing to get really clear and focused. You have to be asking questions and really listening. and you also have to have empathy for your client because you have to understand where they are. Because the best marketing is always understanding and being in your client’s shoes to a certain degree, and understanding where they are in their process and their journey.
[00:14:12] To maybe hire you or in their journey of solving a
[00:14:16] Audra: if I look back at .The last 14 years of owning an agency, I would say 70% of them have never gone through that exercise to find out who their client is. Wow. Why do you think that is? Because I
[00:14:29] Simone: always find that
[00:14:30] Audra: so interesting myself.
[00:14:32] Yeah. I maybe they think they just, I know. so the story that I typically hear is Audra. I created this product or service for myself cuz I couldn’t find a solution. I know there’s other people that need it to. Other people that are going through this trauma, this pain, this opportunity, whatever it is, right?
[00:14:53] Whatever pushes you as the entrepreneur to start that business. and so they just look for people like them [00:15:00] to sell to. But I think if they would step back, hindsight’s what, 2020? if you try to figure that out. But people going forward, if you slow down for a second and actually force yourself to go through the process, because people I talk to don’t wanna do this, it’s so worth it.
[00:15:17] right now, think of it this way. You’re going to the park or you’re going to, central Park in New York City. You’re just walking around and you’re walking up to people saying, are you my. Are you interested in talking to me and then moving on to the next one. Are you interested in talking to me versus, finding a mall that has all your people in it and you just get to walk in and you already know that you’re at the right place.
[00:15:39] Yeah. such a different opportunity and you waste so much time because you skipped this step trying to do other things. just do social media, run paid ads, I’ll Yeah. do videos and if you would’ve just backed up and taken the time to do this, all those extra steps that you’re taking would’ve gotten you so much quicker results.
[00:16:01] Simone: You know what just came to my mind when you were saying that? It’s like you’re out on, you’re out on a rowboat. And you’re just like, okay, I wanna catch a fish, but I don’t know what fish. And if I was told if I put this in and this in and this in and this, then I like, I’m gonna get a fish.
[00:16:14] I can’t wait to fill up my boat.
[00:16:16] Audra: But then nothing, no one bites. That’s a great, yeah, that’s a great analogy. You’re not maybe in the right
[00:16:21] Simone: spot and you have too many things out. Instead of attracting the right people to you,you’re attracting not the right people, or you’re, or they’re getting deflected, they’re going somewhere else cuz it’s just too overwhelming and too confusing.
[00:16:33] But if you just went to the quiet spot on the lake and you put in the one thing Yeah. Then all of a sudden, you’re first [00:16:40] Sure. Gonna catch the, not only just a fish, but the right one that wants to hear and wants the right message.
[00:16:45] Audra: Yeah. I know you guys hear this all day, every day, but it’s worth repeating.
[00:16:50] Because it’s still a challenge. It’s because people are not begging up and doing this step. Yeah. And then you know,
[00:16:57] Simone: it kind it goes to theThing. I think of just that idea of what we talked about at the very beginning where people are like, obviously it’s about the mass marketing and this is the part, to that point where people I think, compare and despair a little bit.
[00:17:09] I find sometimes they’re comparing themselves to the 2,000,010 million coach when they’re just starting out. you are at a different journey than where they are and you know what’s making them really successful now? They’re focused. Yeah. They know who
[00:17:22] Audra: their people are and they talking
[00:17:25] Simone: directly to their people with a specific benefit that they can care for them and they know exactly what they want.
[00:17:32] Audra: Yeah. You’re not gonna get to a million dollars if you haven’t figured out who your target audience is. Yeah, exactly. It’s just not gonna happen. It’s not, unless you’re selling pet rocks or something, it’s just not gonna happen. It’s just not the way it works. But with that said, okay, so I figured out my audience, now I’m ready to move forward.
[00:17:51] But, there’s so much noise out there. how do you suggest they pull it back and focus? What would those next steps look like?
[00:17:59] Simone: Okay, so I, so the very first thing, so you focus, you know exactly who you are connecting with, right? and you wanna find that right group for you.
[00:18:08] Then I think it comes down to story. You needed to develop a story that matches the narrative and dreams of that tiny market that you’re going after, right? and I know some people like to skip this part, but [00:18:20] I promise you in my 20 years of experience, every time we would launch a campaign, okay, we’re launching a huge campaign.
[00:18:27] We’re looking to hit these revenue targets in a very short amount of time, and we will put out what we believe is awesome. Into the market and we’re like, why isn’t this landing? And I promise you it’s because our story wasn’t dead on. And you have to listen and you have to understand like what is aligned or what are the stories that you need to tell that are your customer’s views?
[00:18:46] But messaging is important, right? Yeah. People like you do this or I solve this person’s problem this way, right? By getting really clear is really important because you have to have a great story before you can spread it. And you want to tell that story in a way that’s easy to share. And what I say, you don’t have to spread it by spreading it to everybody.
[00:19:06] You just have to find the one or two platforms where your people are and just go all in on that.
[00:19:11] Audra: Yeah. there’s a lot of people that I’ve mentored through, different organizations. They can get the mechanics done. So I got a widget. I know who my audience is. Yeah. And then they get stuck in that technology space where I just need a funnel and I just need emails.
[00:19:30] Yeah. And from a,a building stage, they get the right pieces there, but they don’t nail the message or the story to connect buyers. So they’re getting the traffic there, but nobody’s buying. And the reason is it’s cuz you’re not saying the right things. You’re not, maybe you’re too focused on benefits, maybe your features.
[00:19:47] you’re focused on, what you think is gonna be important to them. But you never even connected the dots back to the story. You didn’t take them through that arc of solving a problem, stating the problem, [00:20:00] sharing that your product actually offers the solution for it without tying that together.
[00:20:06] The rest of that mechanics that you set up. That’s just that, there’s value in it, but it’s not where the focus should be. Yeah. The focus needs to be on the words, on the page, the story that you’re telling to get the rest of that to work. you brought up focusing at the right things at the right time.
[00:20:23] businesses are not a straight line, but there are still stages that we go through as we validate an idea, launch the product, start to grow it, go into scaling. there is some loose stages that we go through and without, the technical stuff. I hear that all the time. we built the funnel and we’re buying ads and nobody’s buying.
[00:20:47] And I’m like, but their focus was, I got the mechanical stuff there. It wasn’t the focus on, I spent two months working on the right copy. Yeah. That’s like an afterthought. yeah,
[00:20:58] Simone: exactly. Like around my client that I know who needs this. Yeah. And I agree. and that’s usually where people start to get into the.
[00:21:07] The overwhelm and the dread when it comes to marketing, cuz they’re focused on all these technicalities instead of pulling it back. And that’s why I love to keep my clients out of those weeds because yeah, we wanna do it when it’s the right time as well for you, depending on where you are in your business, right?
[00:21:23] We wanna be layering these on one after the other. and so to that point, like that’s why I always suggest let’s go in on one or two platforms and let’s optimize those platforms first before we add a third one. Cuz you even mentioned this, right? You like, do this first and then add this one and then add that [00:21:40] one.
[00:21:40] And I think that’s really important because if not, you’re gonna have all these to-dos and then you’re just busy in your business instead of busy on your business, right? Yeah. and it’s gonna make it harder for you to show up. I think showing up in your business to market and talk about your product or your service is huge.
[00:21:58] Building your confidence, creating that movement. You know what, that all comes down to showing up consistently. Not only for your business and your people, but for yourself. And I think that’s something that I see, when you’re swimming and overwhelmed with all, like you said, the technology, all the technology, that’s the first thing that burns out is you.
[00:22:18] Audra: You know what I’m finding is doing these mess in the middle podcasts, I get to talk to business owners that are in different stages and I wanna say the majority of them, they all, they’re all tripping on the same thing. they may be at different stage. Yeah. some actually get through the tech and then move on to the messaging and maybe flounder there for a while, but then figure it out and have moved on.
[00:22:44] This is what I find tech gives a new person control.
[00:22:51] Interesting. Tell me more because. I only have to, so I’m building on WordPress. I can watch a video on YouTube that tells me step by step what to do in WordPress and I can see a tangible result by the effort that I’m putting in. So that control at the beginning gives them confidence to stay going down that path of technology.
[00:23:15] Here’s the challenge though. Flip it up. I know nothing about [00:23:20] copywriting. I know nothing about the psychology of messaging. I know nothing about putting an offer together. Trying to learn that Is so much harder. So I’m gonna go with something that I can find online that is gonna, ClickFunnels or Leadpages or Unbalance or whatever software go high level, whatever they’re going to use.
[00:23:40] I can step by step, somebody shows me I can move to the next step. Somebody shows me and that gives ’em control and that gives ’em confidence that they’re spending their time on the right thing cuz they’re making progress. I set up an email marketing campaign step by step with that technology. But the one thing they actually needed was all that time to work on the messaging, the offer, the right audience.
[00:24:05] Somebody else could have backfilled that or they do that afterwards. Yes. But that’s the path where they get stuck. Yeah, you’re right. And I think, it’s so
[00:24:14] Simone: interesting co when you said the word control, cause it’s oh, tell me more. But you’re right, there is an element when you’re an entrepreneur that you don’t know, especially when this is your first time doing it because you’re like, I’m not sure how this works.
[00:24:28] It is a little bit of the unknown and I think that there is two elements there. it’s easy to get bogged down with the to-do list because it feels like you’re making progress even though you’re not. And then the second is just you’re really holding your belief. And something that I really work a lot with my clients on is really the hardest part about starting a business and even growing and scaling a business is the belief that, you have the demand and that people want what you have to offer.
[00:24:55] It’s holding the belief before sometimes you even see the results. Yeah. And [00:25:00] it’s easy to get out of belief, which is why we default, like our brains love this idea of feeling productive. So it’s why we default to those two. I’m working towards it. I’m
[00:25:10] Audra: wonderful. I did, I set up, I built half my funnel today.
[00:25:14] I’m guilty as charged.
[00:25:15] Simone: Okay. Sister. So many. I love going through a to-do list. I love feeling productive. I love at the end of the day being like, yep, did that, there’s a difference between a to-do list and
[00:25:24] Audra: a result list. Correct. Oh, that’s a good one. Let’s explore that a little bit. Yeah, so like a
[00:25:29] Simone: to-do list is send an email and, oh, I have to do this, or update the link and what, whatever.
[00:25:35] But a result list is okay, what is the result I actually want to accomplish? what do I want out of the end of working today? Is it that I wanna have a completed funnel? Let’s say, is it I wanna have all my, like, all my marketing copy done and schedules for the entire month? Is it that I want to sign to clients by the end of the week?
[00:25:54] That’s how I’m gonna measure my success. what is the actual result we want versus just the
[00:25:59] Audra: list of things that we have to do. Yeah. I compare it to, the strategy versus the, the project as a whole Versus the individual tasks that need to happen within it. I think here’s the other trip up.
[00:26:12] A lot of people that start their own business have an expertise in something. Okay. So they feel like they can just immediately ramp up when they start their own business. I’ve worked for, John for 10 years. I know exactly what needs to do. This is how I’m doing my product a little bit different.
[00:26:31] And then so they think they’re gonna make a lateral move to entrepreneurship, but it’s not Yes. [00:26:40] Your expertise. So I think they don’t think about the messaging and the benefits and features and everything that getting that part Because they feel like they already know it. So they come down here and they start at the bottom with all the technical stuff, try to work through that, and nine times outta 10, like you said, they’ll either burn out Because they can’t figure out the technical stuff. Even with, the stuff that’s out there that’s just not their space or they run outta money or they. Get this part built, but then you’re really starting over again because you don’t have your brand out there. You don’t have your message. Nobody knows you and you haven’t figured that out yet.
[00:27:21] So it’s another six months to try to figure that part out, which I think we need to replace that. You need to start building community. the process should be. Test and validate that idea. once you’ve done that, then you start building community, all that kind of stuff. Don’t spend a ton of money building a website or a funnel.
[00:27:41] you need a funnel. yeah. But there’s plenty of free stuff out there to get you started. Oh, I agree. Until you make a few bucks. Yeah. Again, being responsible and being a good steward, not just of the money that you’re spending, but of your time. So much time is wasted that you could have been much further than you are in your business if you would’ve done things a little bit different order.
[00:28:03] Oh, I agree
[00:28:04] Simone: with you. They’re so often my clients, especially when they’re starting, they’re like, I have to get my website and order this and this, and have my freebie and my funnel before I can start to, before I can talk about it. Before I can ask for business. And I’m like,no, you’re asking for business first.
[00:28:19] And then that [00:28:20] stuff comes as you go. Like we wanna be selling our services, marketing our services all the time. And it has to be something that, the technical part is, something that supports that. First. It’s not That before this. It’s actually the selling and the marketing first, and then adding the technical components as you go.
[00:28:40] And I was just gonna add too, you mentioned something really interesting just about, people coming into their business like it’s lateral. And it made me think as an entrepreneur, we have so many different hats we wear. And I think your point, we forget about that we do have to wear other hats.
[00:28:55] And I always say to a lot of my clients that I coach, right? You have your C e O hat. You are the technician and you’re the practitioner, right? So if you are like a web site guru, you’re the practitioner, you’re the person working with the client, doing that client work. The technician is like working on the backend part of your business, but then the CEO is responsible for the revenue and the marketing.
[00:29:17] And I think it’s so easy, to your point, we forget about some of all those different hats we have to wear. Yeah. And we only focus on the one that we really
[00:29:24] Audra: like. Or comfortable with, or have experie comfortable with experie
[00:29:27] Simone: or we don’t wanna grow into. Yeah, it’s, it takes a lot. It takes it makes it so much bigger in terms of just like understanding the skillset or under building a skillset.
[00:29:37] It’s also stepping into a new version of yourself and a new way of thinking that I think people don’t always realize until they start in it, until sometimes they’re messy in the middle.
[00:29:46] Audra: Yeah. You’re not kidding. My first adventure I had coffee shops. Yeah. And probably the first six months I struggled, oh lord, I struggled.
[00:29:56] It was my first business. I wasn’t used to being the boss. [00:30:00] having to fire people, having to hire people, having to put systems in place, all that kind of stuff was super challenging. Went to see my accountant and he is Hey, Audra, how’s it going? I see your shop’s always busy. And I’m like, man, I just can’t figure out this consistency thing.
[00:30:15] And it was in a town where I w grew up, so I knew a lot of people and I couldn’t even go to the gas station, go in, run in to get a gallon of milk or something where somebody wouldn’t stop me and say, Hey, Audra, I was in your shop the other day and so-and-so made my drink, but it’s not the same when so-and-so makes my drink.
[00:30:34] And inconsistency was killing me. And people were starting to get a little frustrated with it. And I was, telling my accountant, I’m like, dude, I can’t figure this out. I don’t know how to make everybody do the same thing. And he says, have you read the E-Myth? And I’m like, no. You think I got time to read?
[00:30:51] I got three kids. I’m a single parent. I’m going to school full-time. I got, at that point, I had maybe 20 employees. It was still small. And he’s you gotta read this. You’ll understand what needs to happen. It probably took me another two or three months before I picked up the book, I’d get frustrated enough that I couldn’t nail this.
[00:31:11] Because control doesn’t work. You can’t be there 24 7. Yeah. So that’s so true. I sat down over a weekend and went through it and I was just like, oh my gosh. The light bulb just went on. I was like, how did I not understand this? But we don’t know what we don’t know until somebody shows us. Yeah. That completely.
[00:31:30] So I went back and completely restructured everything. Within three months I opened a second store. Wow. So when I figured it out, yeah.
[00:31:39] Simone: When you [00:31:40] figured it out, was it just like how to create consistency in the customer experience?
[00:31:43] Audra: No, it complete. So I was trying to build from the bottom up. Ah, okay. And you can’t expand things from the bottom up.
[00:31:50] You have to actually build from the top down. Oh, got it. And so once I went in and I built all the systems so anybody could come into any one of my coffee shops from turning the lights on in the morning. Everything, how to turn on espresso machines, how the drinks were made, how recipes for everything.
[00:32:10] Kind of, this is pre Starbucks. that kind of stuff didn’t exist yet, but turning it into a system so you did not have to have a stitch of training. If you had this book, you could run one of my coffee shops. Love that. But it took me coming in from a, from 40,000 feet saying, okay, how do I get everybody to consistently do the same thing?
[00:32:31] if they’re taught from the same recipe, instead of, I taught you, you taught her, she taught him. It gets lost in translation. It the exact result that you’re trying to get. But if everybody’s taught from the same source, they have to go out of their way to do it wrong. Yeah. I love that. So it made such a huge difference.
[00:32:53] and just to wrap that up, that has served me for every single business I’ve had. And, probably, Over half my clients, I’ll go in, say, okay, wait, we don’t go this way, we go this way. What is our goal? What is our strategy? Then it’s just a matter of who goes where to deploy it. Period.
[00:33:12] Super simple. So
[00:33:14] Simone: simple. And it, you know what, you’re so right. It’s like that idea of top-down, if you think about that. Yeah. And [00:33:20] you apply that thought process to your marketing, that’s so different too. Exactly.
[00:33:25] Audra: It’s like Seth Goden,
[00:33:26] Simone: says, and I love Seth Godden. For those who maybe don’t know him, he’s like a marketing guru.
[00:33:31] Audra: has done some, one of our OGs.
[00:33:32] Simone: Yeah. One of, he’s been around for a while. He’s incredible. But he always says that too. People, he’s he has a controversial, you might think it’s controversial stance. Yeah. Stance around people don’t want authentic being authentic. They just want you, they just want you to be consistent.
[00:33:47] So it’s almost to your point, like if you’re thinking top down, like if people just want you to be consistent, how do you have to show up in your marketing day in and day out for your client? What does that start to look like?
[00:33:59] Audra: It should be, it is easy once you’re able to get away from it long enough to look at it from an outsider looking in.
[00:34:07] because we’re coming from the bottom up. We look at everything. Oh my gosh, I didn’t post on social media and how I didn’t do any videos. What about a blog post and somebody needs to update the website and the funnel? What was happening with that? And these thoughts that go on.
[00:34:22] They’re not gonna stop one cuz we’re entrepreneurs and that’s how we’re wired. But there, there is something that’s more manageable. Again, we go to the end. What is the goal of my social media? Yeah. Start with one channel where your people are. Start getting results from it. Build a community.
[00:34:40] Really, we over-complicated because? Because the internet, we feel like we have to serve everybody. Yes. What did we do before that? We met somebody locally, one person at a time. We built an authentic relationship and we sold them stuff. Yeah. Were in
[00:34:57] Simone: your coffee shops. When you first started, were you [00:35:00] selling coffee to everyone around the world?
[00:35:04] Audra: No, and it was super simple. Once I stopped, complicated it, I was one who put myself in the mess, but I didn’t know that there was another way until somebody else pointed the direction. So one, give yourself a little grace and understand this is part of the process. This mess in the middle. We all go through it.
[00:35:24] I’m on my fourth business. I still go through it. It’s just there. You’re not getting around it. How much time you spend there and what kind of results you, or solutions you learn to get through. It gets faster each time. Like I can say now, oh, I’ve been here, done that. Stop doing that. You know what you’re supposed to do, bring that back.
[00:35:45] but until you start walking through this, it’s overwhelming it, and that’s okay. That’s part of the process. Yeah. And I
[00:35:53] Simone: think,we have, we have certain problems when we first start out, but even when we scale our business the next level, we’ll find that we encounter some of the similar problems coming right back again and again.
[00:36:04] And I think that,
[00:36:05] Audra: that is by design too.
[00:36:06] Simone: Because we, either you’re getting clear or you’re adding multiple offers and you’re attracting a different type of clientele, which means you do have to refine certain things. So I think that to your point, we’re not gonna, you’re not gonna have problems when you’re an entrepreneur.
[00:36:19] It’s just how you approach them and what’s the better way for the lens to help you solve those quicker so that you’re able to stay consistent and be more efficient and not feel overwhelmed in the process.
[00:36:31] Audra: that’s the million dollar question. And it is part of entrepreneurship. So if you are listening to this and say, oh my [00:36:40] gosh, this overwhelm and this chaos is not for me, it is part of the journey.
[00:36:44] if you’re at the beginning, assess it. If you’re not prepared to. Take this on as a normal part of your business for the next 10 years. You, maybe you’re not cut out for it and not that I wanna discourage anybody not to do it, but I also don’t want you to live for tomorrow saying, tomorrow it’ll be better tomorrow when I sell a couple things, I won’t feel this way.
[00:37:06] You’ll feel it. We just get better at handling it. We just, we’re quicker to find solutions. And here’s the other cool thing, when you start doing well, we can just write a check and that goes away as well. yes. These are awesome. And that’s really nice. You can
[00:37:21] Simone: support you when you know exactly what you need, how you do it.
[00:37:24] And someone just takes that little bit off your plate. A hundred percent. And I was gonna just make mention, there’s something I always tell my clients, something I say to myself all the time, because I am human. And I’ll be like, oh, I didn’t do this. I’m not doing this. But I remind myself, most of the time it’s not a me problem.
[00:37:41] It’s a business problem. And we sometimes when we’re starting out or we’re scaling, we start to make these problems about us. Oh, our clients aren’t doing it because it’s me or they don’t like this, it’s about me. Yeah. no. It’s just about the business. So let’s take a, take that lens to approaching your problems as well.
[00:37:58] Cause when you do that, to your point, you step back and you’re able to see the business as the business, and you can make better decisions quicker
[00:38:05] Audra: as well. Please let that sink in. It’s not necessarily about you. A lot of times it’s the mindset and like you just said, the lens that we’re looking through, oh my gosh, they don’t like me.
[00:38:17] I’m not loud enough. I’m not out there [00:38:20] enough. I’m not this, I’m not that. It’s normally not that at all. If you’ve got a, the right product with the right message to the right audience, that’s it. Guys. Stop over complicating this. Totally. So let’s pivot a little bit. what is one of the biggest challenges that you see people get tripped up in that you are able to say,no.
[00:38:40] Just do this and they’re able to move through it faster.
[00:38:44] Simone: I think one that I find really interesting, cuz I think it’s something that get, that’s really sneaky. Okay. and I want a full disclosure. This has been something that I have to also, keep myself accountable for, but I find a lot of my clients and those, whether they’re just starting a business or they’re scaling from that five to six figure, like plateau,and beyond is perfectionism.
[00:39:07] And I maybe that is not the answer. You’re, or the answer you were thinking I was gonna say, but I see this creep up so much. We and I see it in the way that we look at our marketing, that we need to be perfect before we post. It needs to, we need to have the right message. We need to do it a certain way.
[00:39:25] We have to, perfectionism can also be hidden in like the time we have to dedicate to our business or don’t do. And the biggest thing I see is that it also keeps us hiding. Oh, that’s good. It goes from showing up. And marketing and telling everybody that, just that they, we can help them, right?
[00:39:43] That we are here, that this transformation that they’re looking for, we can help them, we can solve their problem. It’s, and we can do it this way, right? And so I see that often so much, and it’s something that I work with my clients a lot on, is that, we look at where they’re getting [00:40:00] stuck in their business and we look at really re really remapping their mindset, their beliefs, to show how it’s holding them back in their business and what they can do moving forward to actually smash the perfectionism and actually show up in the business that they want so they can create the results that they want.
[00:40:17] They can have a bigger impact in the business and on their clients.
[00:40:24] Audra: That is a huge one. That’s been a huge one for me as well. Yeah. growing into the project that I’m on now, the zindo and company marketplace is the biggest thing I’ve ever done professionally, mentally, and it’s definitely pushed me.
[00:40:41] especially because I know what the right thing to do is. So there’s that curse of knowledge thing that kind of come up and bite you when you least expect it. I would almost like to know less because I would’ve taken more risk. But because I know how it’s supposed to be done, yeah. It does push me into a place of perfectionism, but at the same time, that’s the product they’re buying from me.
[00:41:04] So it’s a tough place to be, maybe like a fitness person. Oh, I, so I’m selling fitness, but I’m not in shape. Therefore, I need to get in shape, otherwise people will think I can’t get them the result. Yeah. that’s what I run into with this marketing stuff. So my community is based on marketing.
[00:41:23] I can’t show up halfway. I’m saying I can do X for you. I have to have X available. To show you that it, that I can produce that result. So it’s a tough place to be and how I work through it is I just continually work on myself. So [00:41:40] part of that is getting me to a place where if somebody says, Audre, you said you were gonna do x, I can say you’re right, but this is the first step.
[00:41:48] I don’t have to give you all in the five. Now let’s get you through the one that I’ve built. Then I’ll give you two and I’ll give you three and I can build it as we go through it together. Yeah. And that has helped. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And
[00:41:59] Simone: I agree with you cuz you know, as somebody who,was in marketing in industry I’d have a team around me. I’d have My, not necessarily huge team, but I’d have four or five people working, with me. and I would have a graphic designer, I would have a web team, I had a marketing coordinator. I had somebody else, working, doing, search and Google ads.
[00:42:19] then all of a sudden I shift into entrepreneur life. I no longer have this big team always, and I’m like, that sucks. And I’m doing all of the things that I’m not necessarily the greatest at, like graphic design, not my team. thank the Lord for can, but I’m just saying,and so I’m with you, as a professional.
[00:42:37] Yeah. When I was doing that kind of work, it was always at an a plus mentality and I did have to give myself some grace and be like, you know what a b plus. Is actually really good and it gets the message out and that’s what I want. That’s what I started to focus my attention and my metrics on was more like, how do I just show up, send out B plus work because it’s about offering and helping people.
[00:42:58] And I had to really show myself some examples as well
[00:43:02] Audra: as it
[00:43:02] Simone: relates to people, not having it a hundred percent perfect, but still, creating an a great message and a mission. And I do believe that’s where like I get really rooted in what’s your story? And really understanding that because that amplified is what spreads.
[00:43:18] And so I’m with you. I [00:43:20] totally can relate with you. I agree. It shows up in weird places in my business all the time that
[00:43:25] Audra: perfectionism, oh, it’s so Even look, even, Simon and I, as much knowledge as we have in this industry, we still run into it. To go back to just reconfirm, it’s not that you’re trying to get rid of the challenges that come up in your business.
[00:43:40] They’re always gonna come up. We just developed better skills to work through it until it shows up again. then once you hit it again, then you can say, oh yeah, I remember this. I had to go spend some time on myself. I had to take a break. I had to get some outside help, whatever that looks like to help you work through that different stage.
[00:44:01] The goal, and to take it back to at the very beginning of this conversation and not getting into the weeds of tasks, focused on results all of our time. We have a lot to do as a small business. Especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur. The goal is when you sit down to map out your day, is it filled with tasks?
[00:44:21] Is it filled with stuff that’s actually not gonna get you results? Now, don’t get me wrong, we still have to do the how, right? We still have to get in the weeds and we still have to do step one, step two, step three, but are those 10 steps going to get you to some kind of result? Or is it just 10 steps? And tomorrow you have another 10 steps?
[00:44:40] And again, you’re not talking to the client, you’re not putting out offers, you’re not asking somebody to buy because you’re allowing yourself to hide in those 10 tasks. So you gotta stop doing that, cuz six months from now you’re not gonna be in business and you’re gonna have to go get a job. So yeah, that was perfectly
[00:44:59] Simone: put.[00:45:00]
[00:45:00] Yeah, absolutely. A hundred percent.
[00:45:02] Audra: stop doing it. Stop.
[00:45:04] Simone: It’s okay. It’s okay that it happens. Our brains are our brains, but just be aware of it.
[00:45:08] Audra: Yeah. and start putting whatever that is for you. If it’s going out for a run, if it’s breaking concentration, maybe you start out in the morning with a list of tasks and you say, okay, I’m gonna allow myself to work on this till noon, and then I’m gonna shift and I’m gonna focus on, engagement and talking to members, or joining a group where your people live or posting content, whatever your organic marketing looks like.
[00:45:33] Then maybe that’s how you split your day. but you’ve gotta be able to spend some time. I’ve had so many clients. They get stuck in that first part. A year later, they built something cool, but they have no traffic. Nobody knows who they are, there’s no brand. There’s literally no footprint out there for them, and they have to start over again.
[00:45:54] Yeah. They built all the stuff under the water. You know that iceberg picture? Yeah. They built all the iceberg underneath. But again, there’s nothing up here to even show that they existed yet. Yeah. It’s so true. And
[00:46:07] Simone: that’s why I really believe that you need to keep marketing simple to be sustainable.
[00:46:11] Like I really do believe getting rid of all the fluff, which I my clients do resist me, they resist that part because our brain is wired to believe more is better. And when you’re like, actually really great marketing is really simple. Yeah. At the end of the day, it’s actually super. That’s a great point.
[00:46:27] Super simple. People are like,no, it’s not. But it’s one client, one offer, one clear message. Simple plan. Show up. Yeah.
[00:46:35] Audra: tell your story. Stop complicating it. Yeah, exactly. Just
[00:46:39] Simone: [00:46:40] and make that time. That’s it. and when you do that and you do that over and over again, that’s when you start to get the traction.
[00:46:45] And it really is about getting rid of the extra things that you don’t need. And to your point, if you really know, like what is your result that you’re working towards, it also helps you to look at your to-do list and be like, oh, I don’t actually need to do
[00:46:59] Audra: half of those things because it’s not gonna get me any closer.
[00:47:02] They need to get done, but they don’t need to get done right now. Exactly. Because I’m not making any money or I’m not making enough money. So focus on, I am, every client I’ve gone into for the last 10 years, I, first thing I do is I look at how do I get you to revenue or more revenue faster. It’s always based on that. Yeah. Regardless if they, so a lot of times I found they would bring me in early in my agency time for social media. That was what I was known for. but social media was not converting to sales yet. And I got very good at looking at the whole marketing system. And saying, I know you want me to focus on social media, but what if I, you got a decent. Email list. What if I could help you monetize that even faster? And then it’ll pay for this other step that’s a little longer P play. Yes. or maybe they want me to do SEO or something like that. Yeah.
[00:47:55] And they don’t see any kind of return on that money for some time. Oh. And they get frustrated with spending it Audra, we paid you $5,000 and it’s not, we’re not seeing any results yet. I’m like, dude, this is like six months. Yes. Especially for seo, And I’m so glad you
[00:48:10] Simone: brought that up, because I feel like that’s something that is a huge misconception.
[00:48:14] People are like, oh, I hear this trend is happening this, but what we forget is that marketing is really like two [00:48:20] buckets, maybe three, right? You have short-term marketing. And then you have long-term marketing, right? And then you could think about collaborations, referrals. I sometimes put that in as third bucket, but everyone think they don’t know which one is which.
[00:48:32] But seo, Even like to a certain part, if you don’t have an email list that takes time to generate and build up. Social media can be a short one, but it also is a long-term strategy too. So understanding where they are and what you need to do is really important. Yeah, and to your point, I do the same thing with my clients.
[00:48:49] Like that simple marketing plan needs to be about some short-term tactics if you’re looking to generate revenue right away. But then you also need to at least have one long-term tactic that you’re building up over time. Yeah. That can sustain your business as you move forward.
[00:49:03] Audra: Yeah. and the quicker you get to revenue, conversation changes.
[00:49:08] Am I hiring somebody? Am I adding another marketing channel? Am I buying ads? Am I hiring a copywriter? you get the options change quite a bit when you can get to revenue. So if you are, if you’re just getting started or you’ve been around for a little while, you know that you’ll gain more leverage in your business.
[00:49:29] Once the, you can kick on the money machine and it doesn’t have to be big money to be able to add. Maybe you’re not great at graphics, but you don’t have a few hundred bucks to put them towards something. When you’re making a little bit of money, you get to find somebody that can help with some of the stuff that you’re suffering through.
[00:49:50] Believe me, I do not enjoy every single opportunity when it comes to marketing. There are, now I know how to do them. That’s a little bit different. I can get in the weeds. [00:50:00] I’ve built probably 500 websites over the last 10 years, but I don’t love them all. I just know that they’re necessary. It’s true. So true.
[00:50:12] And I’ve done both. So I’ve done the managing a team, and I have to tell you, I’d much rather manage the team having an expert copywriter and an ads person and a, and I just get to make all like the, orchestra. Orchestra,
[00:50:26] Simone: yeah. Like the
[00:50:27] Audra: conductor there. It’s, I’m the conductor. I love doing that.
[00:50:31] That is no. I, I create the strategy and the plan, and you guys go do the work, but sometimes you don’t get to do that. So the good thing is you have to hold yourself accountable enough to know what’s supposed to be done. And then you can delegate it out as you grow. Yeah. A hundred percent.
[00:50:48] Absolutely. Yeah. All right. So as we come to the end of this, what would be a piece of advice you would share to somebody that’s struggling through the middle right now?
[00:50:58] Simone: I think, a bit of advice that I think I just give to somebody who’s struggling in the middle is first you can sell to the people in front of you.
[00:51:07] Okay. market to the people in front of you. Cuz sometimes I think when we are struggling in the middle, maybe we’ve had a client drought or we’re putting a lot of pressure on ourselves. It’s because we’re looking outside of what we already have and we’re feeling really overwhelmed. But guess what?
[00:51:23] There are people right now following you, watching you. There are people that are listening and wanting, they’re just waiting for that next thing that will allow them to book maybe a consult with you or reach out to you and ask you for your services, right? And I think we get lost in that. So really [00:51:40] focus on the people who are right in front of you.
[00:51:42] That could be your own personal network, it could be online, but really focus there first because I promise you, when you do that first and you do that well, it’s gonna help you create momentum and then get out of that messy middle a little bit and keep you moving forward.
[00:51:57] Audra: Perfectly said. Momentum is your best friend.
[00:52:00] When it. Don’t. Yeah, you gotta stand it until it kicks in. And when it does, man, it’s beautiful. Oh, a
[00:52:07] Simone: hundred percent. Yeah. A hundred percent.
[00:52:10] Audra: A hundred percent. All right. Simone, this has been awesome. I hope people are able to walk away and understand that this mess is normal. Sometimes you gotta close that noise off.
[00:52:23] Focus on what am I doing today? Am I gonna get the results that my business needs to keep moving me forward?
[00:52:30] Simone: Oh, I love that. Yeah. This has been such a good conversation. I feel like we could chat
[00:52:34] Audra: forever, so we could too much, we’ll have to put something together and just talk about marketing some advanced stuff that’s not, but No, there’s benefits on both sides of this.
[00:52:44] When you get it right and you get a nice little machine together and it just takes off and you connect your clients to your products and it’s beautiful. It
[00:52:53] Simone: is best part of building your business,
[00:52:56] Audra: I promise. Awesome. All right, until next time you guys keep moving through the middle.
[00:53:02] Thanks for listening to The Mess in the Middle Podcast. If you like what you heard, you can subscribe on your favorite podcast app. If you are ready to continue growing your business, head over to zindolabs dot com. Be sure to join [00:53:20] our free community and check out our monthly webinars and explore dozens of online courses and professional certifications.
[00:53:28] So until next time, keep moving through the middle.
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