social slowdown

A podcast to help you decrease your reliance on social media & find new ways to market your business sustainably. Get new leads & clients … without needing to be constantly attached to your phone.

Ep. 15: Shoulder Tapping: Using Personal Outreach to Grow Your Audience With Megan Flatt

Today I’m here with Megan Flatt, a business growth Strategist at Let’s Collective and Focus Sessions talking about personal outreach (or what I like to call, shoulder tapping).

In this episode, we discuss one of the easiest, most underrated ways to get clients: reaching out directly. Sometimes we just forget that we can send an email to someone we already know to ask them to work with us. And these warm contacts are a GREAT way to get your first clients or maybe even continue working with them long term!

How do I know this works? It’s how Megan and I first began working with each other in 2014.

So if you’re wondering what kinds of businesses this works for, how you can use it to retain or bring back previous clients, or how to use personal outreach to get your first clients and even grow a larger audience, this episode is for you

Read the full transcript

Meg Casebolt 0:01
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lip sync, send cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started.

Hello, hello, I am so excited to share this interview with you today I’m talking with Megan flat of let’s collective and focus sessions. And I know I knew when I started this podcast that I wanted to have a conversation about personal outreach and about reaching out to individuals who you already know who are warm contacts in order to ask them to work with you. I think that personal outreach is kind of an underrated way to get either your first clients or to continue working with clients long term. And we can often forget about how easy it is to just send an email to somebody and say, Hey, I have some openings. Do you want to work together? Do you know anybody who would want to work with me, that can be the fastest way to get a client without needing to set up really complicated funnels or, you know, put people through a seven part email series to work with you. Sometimes you can just pick someone that you want to work with, ask them and they will sign up with you. And the reason why I know this works is that this is how Megan and I started working together back in 2014. Megan was my first business coach, we met through a mutual friend. And after that first conversation, she just reached out to me and said, Hey, I’m running a mastermind, I think you’d be great for it. Here are the reasons I think you’d be great for it. Here’s how much it costs. Here’s when we’re beginning, what do you think, do you want to hop on a call, and it felt really welcoming, and inviting, without needing to feel like, Oh, I was on this big deadline, and I was gonna get this big FOMO it was very warm without feeling pushy. And so that’s what I want to share with you today is Megan’s approach to personal outreach, what we call shoulder tapping, which is just finding the people you want to work with tapping on their shoulders digitally and saying, Hey, here’s how we can work together, we’re going to talk about what kinds of businesses this works for how you can use it to retain or bring back existing clients, or how you can use personal outreach to get your first clients if you don’t already have a big email list or client roster. And we’re going to talk about how you can leverage this kind of personal outreach in order to grow a much larger audience. Even if you don’t offer one to one or small group services, you can still benefit from this personal outreach that Megan’s talking about. So I will leave it here. And let’s hop right into the interview.

Megan, I am so excited to have you here. Thank you for being our guest on the social slowdown Podcast.

Megan Flatt 3:14
I’m so excited to be here. I’ve been looking forward to this all week.

Meg Casebolt 3:18
I know you were one of the first people that I told that I wanted to start this podcast, and I really wanted to have you on because I know that your relationship with social media has really evolved over the years that we’ve known each other. So before we leap into that, tell me you know, quick overview of what your business what your primary business and your secondary business are, and where you get your clients from what it looks like to work with you. Okay, that was like 10 questions, I’m sorry, I can do

Megan Flatt 3:46
well, I am a business consultant. I like to say I’m a Business Growth strategist. My company is called Let’s collective and we make entrepreneurship easier. So we do that through strategic planning. We do that through helping our clients make revenue focus decisions, and we do that through science backed accountability. And so right now there’s basically two ways that you can work with me or kind of interact with my with my business and one is through one on one coaching and we’ll get into all of the different ways that I’ve worked with clients and why I’m focusing on one on one coaching right now. And then I also have a membership or subscription program that is a virtual co working and accountability program that called Focus sessions that provides dedicated distraction free virtual sessions where you can get your most important work done. So those are the two ways you can work with me right now. And so you just said you know, I right now I’m doing one on ones but I’ve worked with people in a wide variety of ways over time. So talk me through kind of the the rise and fall of group coaching and the masterminds and all the different ways that people have worked with you and why you kind of scaled back in to one on ones for the tech

Meg Casebolt 5:00
Yeah, absolutely,

Megan Flatt 5:01
I think, you know, it’s kind of like I talk a lot about that business as a spiral staircase. And how we revisit the same concepts, the same questions the same, you know, all sorts of things over and over again in our business. But we’re at a new kind of a new level on that spiral staircase. So sometimes you hear people kind of lament like, Oh, I’m back to square one, or like, Oh, I’ve got to figure out my ideal client avatar again, right? Like you’re you, you know, you kind of hear these things. And my whole philosophy is, it’s, you’re not back to square one, you’re another rung up on the spiral staircase, and now with the new information you have with your bringing that with you to that point, and that’s kind of what the evolution for me, has been with working with my clients, I started out when I started my coaching business, I started out coaching, one on one, business coaching one on one clients. And I was working mostly with mom, entrepreneurs, and I was hearing the same questions and more, so concerns over and over again. And so I was hearing from a lot of people that like, kind of the story of like, I’m the only one that struggling with this, everyone else has it figured out. And I have literally had three calls before that, where everyone said the same thing. And I’m kind of like, wait, you need to talk to this person, you need to, you need to hear them. And that was when I realized that was about 2014, when I realized that I wanted to start bringing these solopreneurs bringing, especially for you know, women who are mothers or for people who are, you know, raising children and socialized to be women that are working from home, and are kind of isolated, they don’t have co workers, they don’t have a boss, they don’t have colleagues, you know, because they’re starting these kind of solo ventures, that it was really lonely. And you know, we’re gonna really well, we’re gonna talk a lot about social, but it’s like, so easy. We always, you know, socials, the highlight reel, right? So you’re looking on social, and you’re like, oh, my gosh, this person is launching this thing this person is making, you know, six figures in six minutes this person has, you know, all the things. And so and it’s really easy. And especially when you’re being pulled in other directions, whether it’s, you know, kids nap times, or taking care of elderly parents, or whatever. The other thing is, that’s important to you, it’s easy to feel like I’m the only one in this position. And so that’s why I wanted to bring people together into kind of the mastermind format. And I ran different versions of masterminds from 2014 to 2020.

Meg Casebolt 7:32
And with different groups of people, it was usually just those those people who are parenting who are socialized as women, bringing them together, but I know that your price point for that, you know, sometimes it was a six month contract, sometimes it was six weeks, and it was a sprint, sometimes it was a full year, it was $200 a month, it was $1,000 a month, it’s been all over the place as you were testing that out,

Megan Flatt 7:51
testing it out and focusing on different segments of the population and what different, you know, I think that I’ve always tried to, which I think we all do, right, we all are kind of adapting to what our clients need, you know, and so I it’s like, okay, well, when people needed, like you said, the sprint like when people needed like, okay, let’s just get in, let’s get this thing done, let’s accomplish this thing and move on. And then when when people need it a longer from kind of 2017 to 2020 is when I was running a year long mastermind where more advanced business owners, they wanted to go a little deeper, they wanted that long term support, they wanted to be in community, but they wanted that high level, you know, business support as well. So kind of switching to that. And then and that’s kind of the that’s the same reason, while it was pivoted back to one on one work is I felt like we, we all came out of and even though I don’t specifically brand myself around kind of that Mama CEO brand anymore, it’s still definitely kind of my ideal client and my target market. And so we all went through multiple layers of trauma in 20, and 2021. And as you’re coming

Meg Casebolt 9:03
through, it’s not over yet, even when it is over, then we’ll have the trauma of figuring out how to come out of it again, which we thought we were

Megan Flatt 9:13
exactly. Nobody’s really what you were just saying, This is what I started hearing from my clients. And either they were literally saying this, or they were kind of subconsciously saying this, like, I can’t think about being in a group program. Because I just have to like, I have to narrow down what I can think about and I just need to focus on my own business and how either how I’m pivoting or how I’m you know, some of some of my clients, a lot of my clients had kind of explosive growth during the pandemic. Yeah, and other clients or did it because people

Meg Casebolt 9:50
find it makes perfect sense that I had this huge 2020 year but also no time to do it, you know?

Megan Flatt 9:57
And that’s what my clients were dealing with, like how do I pick You know, I have clients that have brick and mortar locations, and, you know, that got shut down. And then I have clients that, you know, things exploded for them. But then they’re also either homeschooling, you know, homeschooling distance learning online learning whatever the version was their kids or they’re having to, you know, they have family members that are sick, or all of the different things. And so I just felt like, people kind of wanted to, I don’t know what the word I’m looking for is, but just, like suck in. That’s all I’m trying to say. But you know what I mean, I’ve heard people

Meg Casebolt 10:29
I’ve heard people say, and I have a couple therapists who are in some of my programs, who said, like the goal of, you know, either being a therapist or or being a coach or something like that is that you want to hold space for somebody else to walk through something that you’ve already been through. And so when you are be trying to hold space for somebody, but you’re also in that experience with them, it can be really hard to maintain objectivity in that moment. And so the therapists were hearing things that they hadn’t had a chance to process yet, because they were also still in this, you know, pandemic lockdown space. And I think that’s true for a lot of group coaching programs and memberships that I’ve heard about in the past year, or to, which is like, I have to really narrow and focus on my business, I can’t hold space for everyone else’s businesses, I have to worry about my pivot and my transitions of my choices, without also needing to create space in my brain for other people’s businesses that won’t, you know, directly impact the revenue that I’m making this year. Like, I need to be a bit selfish with my time because instead of my kids being at school, or my parents having some autonomy, like I have to be the glue that holds that together. I can’t be the glue that holds other people’s businesses together, right?

Megan Flatt 11:45
Yeah. And I think it was hard was is hard for people to wrap their brains around, like, you know, Oh, okay. In October, we’re going to talk about marketing, am I gonna? Am I gonna need to talk about marketing in October? What if I need to talk about revenue in October? And so even though I’m seeing what I saw back in 2012 2012, and 13, when I was doing one on one coaching, that really all my one on one clients, we’re still all kind of talking about the same thing. Yeah, my clients, I’m working with larger businesses, large business owners, most of my clients have teams and employees. And, you know, I’m working with kind of a different size of business. But we we really all could still be in a mastermind, you know, there’s an of those commonalities, but I just think everyone’s brains, I think of it as like a pie, right. And like it, like half of our pie is taken up by the pandemic, and social justice, and maybe more than half of the PAI politics and all of the things that have been going on, and we just have, yeah, we have less brain space to, you know, to think about, just like you said, like, Okay, how do I navigate this, instead of just like, oh, great, here’s my call with Megan, we’re going to get on the call. And we’re gonna talk about this specific thing that’s affecting me right now. I don’t have to listen to her give advice to someone else, and then try to translate that into how that would apply to me. And, and that’s just that’s kind of what people are needing right now. And so I pivoted to accommodate that. And I love running masterminds, I’ll probably go back to running masterminds at some point. But right now, it’s also working for me, I don’t have to launch. I just, I take clients on when they’re ready to start. I don’t there’s no FOMO. There’s no, like, you better sign up by December 1. Like, no, it’s like, when you’re ready to start working with me, then we’ll start working together. It’s just it’s taken the pressure off me too.

Meg Casebolt 13:34
Yeah. And where, how are you finding these clients are? How are they finding you? Where are they coming from?

Megan Flatt 13:40
So 100% of my clients and looking up at my board right now. 100% of my clients right now are actually past clients. Okay, so, so we’re talking about, I love a shoulder tap, I love a private invite. And once I had a few at the, you know, it was about August, probably, maybe even a little bit earlier. And I had a few past clients reach out to me and say, hey, you know, are you doing any one on one work? I have some questions. I’m making this pivot. And so when I had a couple, you know, I literally think it was three clients that reached out to me, I thought, Okay, let me just shoot out an email to the the people that have been in my mastermind over the last, you know, two years, and just say I have X number of spots open. Here’s how I’m working with clients for the fall, there was no sales page. There was no, like, webinar, there was no it was literally an email that was like, this is how I’m working with clients. This is, you know, this is why, you know, the whole explanation that I just went through with you. Does it sound do you need some support? Would you like to book a call? I’d love to just catch up. I mean, I know like,

Meg Casebolt 14:55
email to Gmail, right? This isn’t something that’s going to email email service provider. This isn’t Let me come up with a list that then I send out an email blast these people, this is you going into your Gmail, yep. And putting in my email address. And having that sort of template as a template. Here’s the way that I’m working with people, but also starting it out potentially with like, hey, Meg, I know that we’ve worked together before, and you’re going through this transition. And here’s what I know about your kids and your family. And you can easily customize that exact and also in that email, you can say, Do you want to hop on a call about it? Do you want to just join and here’s a way to book your first session, you know, here’s what the cost is going to be for this time period. So you’re still in the driver’s seat of what that conversation can look like, You’re what our mutual friend Leah says, leading the client. Yeah, but you’re building on the relationship that 100% is with that person?

Megan Flatt 15:47
100%, you know, and I was, yeah, exactly, I was able to draw on things that I already knew about that, about that client, or the last, like you said, the last time we worked together are what I know about them, you know, from social media, or, you know, things like, you know, things like that. And, and, but always, it’s always very genuine. And I also, you know, really protected my own. You know, I always get to this point in a podcast, I’m like, how vulnerable I’m going to be, and it’s always super vulnerable. This is

Meg Casebolt 16:14
reality, right? Like, this is how we make decisions. It’s not all analytical II this emotion motional

Megan Flatt 16:21
the pandemic was really hard on me, too. It was really hard on me. And so I also the people that I invited to come and if anyone didn’t get an invite any past client didn’t get an invite from me don’t take this personally, but like, but I did really did really kind of curate that list to protect my own energy to like, who it was a genuine, it wasn’t like, ooh, money grab, like, who can I convince to work? No, it wasn’t like that at all. It was genuinely like, Okay, I’m, I think I have space for this many people who if I could wave the, you know, proverbial magic one, who would I want those people to be? And I reached out to those specific people. And you know, and

Meg Casebolt 16:59
and if you know, you have, you know, I only need five, one to one clients, right. And I’m pulling numbers out of error right now. But it’s like, if I have five, one to one clients, and they’re each paying me $1,000 a month for that, then that’s $60,000 a year. And that’s enough for me to live on. While I also have this other business that I’m running, right? Like, you don’t need to have a list of 5000 or 50,000, or however many email subscribers and social media people, it’s like, I need five people. I have 50 people that have worked with me before. And they each have 10 people that might be a good fit for That’s exactly it. Yeah, I make my dream client list. And I know I need five people. And I reach out to 10 people. And I can just say, here’s what I’m doing, do you and we use the term shoulder tapping before I want to kind of define that, yeah, you’re reaching out and you’re essentially doing the digital, like, I want to work with you. And if you want to work with me, here’s how, right? And if you don’t do Can you introduce me to somebody who this package that I’m proposing to you seems like a good fit for and it can be 10 emails that you send it an hour, and now you have your entire roster filled for the next 369 12 months based on just those individual personalized emails.

Megan Flatt 18:16
Exactly. And, and, and you can kind of, again, I think I just said this, but it takes the pressure off launching, it takes the pressure off, there’s going to be a webinar, and then there’s going to be these six emails, and there’s going to be this, that and the other thing and, and I have to get people to sign up by this date. And then that’s all I can do. Like this was, you know, I got three people to sign up. And then I sent out a couple more emails, and then the fourth person signed up, and then I sent out a couple more. And you know, and so some people joined in August, and some people joined in for three months. So some people joined in August, and some people joined in September, and some people joined in October. And for me from from where I was feeling emotionally, that was just so much kinder. That was so much kinder to my soul, it didn’t, I didn’t feel like I was doing the full court press on anyone, which has never really been my style. But I didn’t feel like I had to say to anyone, you have to join because we start on this date, it was just like, great, you need another couple of weeks to decide, let’s circle back at the beginning of October and see if that’s a better time, you know, just gave me the room to do that. And

Meg Casebolt 19:19
you’re also protecting a little bit your mental health, because you’re not just throwing open the doors and saying Whoever wants to join here is the date that we start. And then you are out of control of who those people can be that can join and share. You could do like we’re opening the doors and here’s an application and you have to but then you have to screen the applicants and still people might sneak in that are going to cause drama, and they’re going to not be they’re going to have some red flags, but then you have to work through right. Whereas if you have this pool of candidates and you work through it methodically and think about each person that you can potentially reach or you have people that you trust, who are sending in referrals and we can talk about that because I know that’s part of your system. Exactly. It doesn’t all have to be like, I’m starting now. And this is how much it costs in or out. Exactly. It can be a welcoming invitation with shoulder tapping and personalized emails. Exactly. Exactly. And, and rolling where, you know, somebody has their three month end, and they decide whether or not to renew and then you can start doing outreach to fill that one spot.

Megan Flatt 20:23
Yeah. And that was what talking about mental health, like that was what I needed from a mental health and, you know, so switching to one on ones has its pros and cons. And, you know, and there’s, there’s a, there’s a limited, you know, I’m I’m, there’s a limited time factor. It’s not, it’s not as leveraged as group programs. But, um, but it’s just working really well for right now. And I think because it just, it’s taking the pressure off both sets, you know, it’s taking the pressure off my clients to feel like, oh, gosh, you know, like, there’s, there’s programs that come around that you and I both know about that, you know, that they only open the enrollment, like once a year, and every year when that enrollment opens, I have this like, panic attack of like, should I launch a digital course, this is my chance to join the program, you know, and like, like, there’s pressure on you as a consumer to like, that fear of missing out, you know, and I, we have so much pressure on us right now with our kids and with social justice and politics and families and, and health care and pandemic. It’s like, I just didn’t want to add another layer of like pressure. It’s like, Hey, here’s an invitation. And if it if it makes sense for you, let’s do it. And if it doesn’t, maybe there’s no, maybe you just want to do this, or maybe there’s an alternative. And I didn’t get too crazy with like customizing for everyone. But like, again, they were past clients, I was like, Oh, is this what you need? This would be helpful to be helpful if I came to your, to your team and help to facilitate a planning session. Great, let’s do that. You know, so

Meg Casebolt 21:53
you don’t have a list of past clients. It doesn’t have to be past clients, it can colleagues, it can be friends, it can be people, you know, in your real life, like, you have a lot of clients in the Bay Area, because you’ve met them in real life, and then they become your clients. And you don’t have to meet in person, right. But you can tap those personal if you don’t have a, you know, if you haven’t been in business for 10 years, you can still tap into existing networks, you can tap into people that you know, exactly, that’s

Megan Flatt 22:18
how all of these clients became clients in the first place in order to be past clients is they you know, again, if I think of the specific and looking at the list, like I can tell you, you know, this person was referred by this other client, this person was referred by this other client, this person I met in a group program that I did, this person was referred by another client. So even even the clients that are past clients, at some point, they were new clients, and most of

Meg Casebolt 22:43
like online business is all like that six degrees of separation. I met you through Suzy exactly, because Suzy did a website for you. And I did some design on it. And then you reached out to me in one of those personal emails, and that was eight years ago. Yeah. And we talk all the time. Exactly. You know, like, we’re still in touch all the time. And we’re good friends. Yeah. And we

Megan Flatt 23:01
refer people back and forth to each other, and we hire each other back and forth. And

Meg Casebolt 23:05
many times, I think we’re probably at net revenue, passing the same

Megan Flatt 23:09
$20 bill back and forth Exactly.

Meg Casebolt 23:12
Just that Pay Pal, just like we shouldn’t even bother anymore. So one of the things that I’ve said before is that when you’re thinking about how you want your business model to run, it can be easy to sell, or it can be easy to deliver. And I think that we’ve been told, you know, preached to really by the people who are in the leveraged offer, passive income group coaching courses, digital downloads, you know, those are all things that are easier to deliver, right? Because they’re packaged up in a certain way, or you’re going to put everyone through the same curriculum, or you’re going to just have them download a specific workbook or whatever that is, but the marketing and sales system that goes into the getting the right amount of people into the funnel, so that way, you can have a lower conversion rate. So that way, it’s really easy to deliver on the back end. Yeah, because all they have to do is download it or join the Facebook group or whatever that delivery looks like. Because you’ve built the delivery system to be leveraged. Yep. But what you’re saying about, you know, not needing to launch, when you’re trying to get these one to one clients, that’s easy to sell. And then the delivery side is more limited, because you’re like, Okay, I don’t have a curriculum people are working through I don’t have, you know, we’re going to talk about money in October and marketing in November, and we’re going to meet at this time in this place. The delivery is more customized. You don’t have an idea necessarily going into those coaching calls exactly what’s going to happen on them. But you also are probably and I don’t want to put words in your mouth, you’re probably making a similar amount of money with less overhead if you have fewer clients that you’re able to dig in deeper with as opposed to a larger audience where you’re not able to have as deep of a relationship and as deep of a difference making in their businesses. So tell me about that kind of trade off and how that’s worked for you.

Megan Flatt 25:09
Well, okay, so where yes, I’m just like smiling and nodding as you’re saying all of these things. So I’m to go on a slight tangent, because it will, it will come back to this. So in June, we launched this membership program. And so I mentioned, you know, at the beginning that these are the two ways to work with me right now are this one on one consulting or joining this subscription, virtual co working, which is $40 a month. And so like a

Meg Casebolt 25:34
very leveraged very, you know, if you want to work with Meghan one to one, it’s going to be high touch high price, or you can you do this, this membership, or subscription program, I should say, Yeah, which is, you know, large group of people low price, so both ends of this spectrum. So we’re really

Megan Flatt 25:51
running, and I’ve never, I’ve always done high touch, even when I was doing masterminds and, you know, group programs, they were still, you know, higher touch higher price. So running this lower cost program, I’m doing exactly what you just described. So I’m really running both types of businesses at the same time. And so I really have this business where we’re trying to really figure out, you know, I’m using like air quotes here, like, what’s the marketing engine? Right? What’s the thing that you pour more people into the top and they go through the, the cogs and they come out a member, and so we’re really trying to figure that out as well. And I will tell you right now, all, I was gonna say all but you know, whatever the percentage of my expenses are going to running the $40 a month program, because I’m paying other people to host the sessions, I hired an a mate, actually a past clients of mine talking about past clients, I hired a past client of mine to help me run it, she’s amazing. But you know, so, so we’re charging $40 a month. And, you know, there’s, there’s software platforms, I hired another past client of mine, a mutual mutual friend of ours who’s done a lot of work on both of our sites is doing Natalie is doing, you know, all of the design, she’s figuring all the back end, she’s making the custom, you know, membership platform on the back end. So there’s a lot of money, like literal money, going into this low cost program, on the assumption that when our membership, you know, that our membership is, is infinite if the capacity is infinite. And you know, that as we get this marketing engine dialed in, we’ll be getting more and more members to come into that program, that it will because it’s not paying for itself yet. Right. So so I’m over here working with my one on one clients, which you’re right, I, I could do pretty much by myself, I have some great admin support around, you know,

Meg Casebolt 27:53
but really all you need for this zoom and a scheduling link. And then that’s all that you need in terms of overhead. Yeah, exactly. Maybe a Gmail workspace so that way, you can email people not from your personal account, but really, to run a consulting business as at that level, you need a way to take money in a way to book calls. That’s it.

Megan Flatt 28:13
Yeah. And so I’m really financing. I’m my own bank, right. Like, I’m really financing the other side of my business right now, which is working, and we’ll see. Well, you know, we’ll we’ll kind of see how it goes. I think that I think the membership, I think focus sessions is amazing. I think they’re super effective. And I think that, that that side is going to really take off. And, you know, so again, it’s just it’s following. It’s following these breadcrumbs. It’s like what’s working for me? What’s What do my clients need? What is that? I think that with focus sessions, I think more and more people are going to be working from home. I think our world is increasingly distracting. And so I think, I think the focus sessions is a really needed thing. And right now, my clients need one on one support. I even had clients that were in my group programs that were kind of like, oh, like, I’m a little disappointed. I love the group program. I’m a little disappointed that you’re not running a group program, but I want to keep working with you. So yeah, I’ll do your one on one. And then we finished three months of one on one, they’re like, oh, my gosh, I loved this personal attention. You know, so, yeah.

Meg Casebolt 29:19
And also, like, there’s only so much bandwidth that a person has as a leader of an organization of, you know, how am I going to be doing marketing? And so if you have the one to one clients coming in really easily, you don’t have to think about it and then you can spend your time going, okay, how am I going to get more subscribers to the focus sessions program, you know, and you can put your energy into growing that while also not needing to worry about where the money is coming from. So yeah, so where are the subscribers coming from? What how are people finding out about this?

Megan Flatt 29:53
Well, that’s what I was gonna say. I’ll tell you a really interesting AHA that I had, again, a mutual friend of ours that kind of points it out that I’m like, she called me the queen of the shoulder tap, right. And as you and I were talking about themes for this podcast, I was like, oh, I want to talk about, you know, the shoulder tap the private invite. And so when you’re running a $40 membership program that you want to get hundreds of members into, like, you’re not going to privately invite people to join that, right? That just, that doesn’t make sense that seemed, you know, I don’t want I don’t cost of your time for an hour, not only what’s the cost of my time, but I don’t know, you know, 2000 people to invite or, you know, whatever it, you know, whatever it is. But what I realized is that I can use that same technique, because I know a lot of people like Meg Casebolt, I know a lot of people that I can reach out to and use that same technique that I can reach out to and say, Hey, here’s why this might be really good, a good fit for your audience. And this is why you might want to either market this as an affiliate, or you might want to buy these spots for your own clients. And so I’ve kind of leveraged the same kind of shoulder tap and private invite marketing strategy. But I’m asking other people to invite their audiences to join. And now we’re also doing some social media. And we’re also we, you know, we’ve done some Facebook ads, and we’re doing some organic marketing and all of those things. But I’m finding that I’m getting my best results when I’m getting in front of other people’s audiences. And that has come through private outreach.

Meg Casebolt 31:26
Yeah, we did. We did. I purchased seats in both focus sessions last summer for everyone who went through SEO summer camp. So it was a value add to the program I was running. And I also got to support you and share that. And I think some people did end up staying on summer camp, and they found the value in it. So tapping into that network of people that you already know, figuring out ways that they can support you, while increasing value of what it is that they are doing can be a really great way to you know, that was a couple 100 People who are in summer camp with me that then heard about this, and maybe they joined at that point. Maybe they thought about it later. Maybe then they heard you when Claire’s podcast last month, you know, like, right, there’s all these different ways that people can you know, and they say that it takes seven.

Megan Flatt 32:10
Yeah. Yeah, yeah,

Meg Casebolt 32:13
to actually go for it. So you were just every time that you get in front of those people, they’re more likely to think about it a little bit more seriously, the next time. So you said, you know, because you’re trying to reach new people with this, you are trying to spend some time and energy and money for viewing ads on social media to expand the reach of this. So the way that I’m hearing it is like you start when you were thinking about focus sessions, you’re thinking, Well, when you think about your consulting, you’re going to hot leads to people who already know you who are already familiar with you, they’ve worked with you their referral clients that repeat clients, like they’re hot, really close to you people, you don’t have to reach that far. And then when you’re thinking about how do I grow the audience more, the next phase that you did is warm, are the people that I know that know, people? Yep. And so for me to tap into my audience and say, Hey, I’ve got this, you know, great offer, if you join my program, you get this thing. Those people are warm, they trust my referral, they know that I’m not going to try to lead them astray. So they’re already kind of familiar with me. And by proxy, they trust you. Exactly. And then you know, some of those people may be on social with you, they may be warm already. They’re already following you, they’re finding out about it. And then you moved to the cold outreach to the, you know, the Facebook ads, we are trying to reach an entirely cold audience expecting that those people will take longer to consider joining a program like this, because they don’t know you already. And maybe they’ve been to your pages, and you can retarget them, and maybe their friends of people who know you. And so it’s not entirely super cold. But it’s pretty cold. So you started from the warmth and the people who already know you and now you’re moving outwards as you’re trying to grow the audience.

Megan Flatt 33:52
I gave this advice once to one of my own business coaching clients. And And as I’m, as I’m listening to you reflect back to me what I’m doing. It’s kind of one of those like, oh, yeah,

Meg Casebolt 34:02
it didn’t do that.

Megan Flatt 34:03
I shouldn’t I should do that, too. But I remember again, I’m such a fan of this private outreach. And I it’s always what I tell my clients to do. I think it’s if you’re ever in a cash crunch, it’s the fastest path to cash. It’s all these things. And so I remember one time telling my client that like your if private outreach is going to be kind of a cornerstone of your strategy, then your marketing efforts should be to grow the list of people that you can privately outreach to. Yes. So if you want to, if you are reaching out to past clients, referrals, people that have it doesn’t have to just be past clients. It can be people that were you did a webinar, and they were really active on the webinar. You did a free training and they were the ones that emailed you and said Oh, thanks so much for that that really helped. Like those. Those become like they’re moving from cold to warm to hot and So you’re moving people into that bucket where you can, you know, so so so I really think about my social media. And of course, we’re always trying to grow our social media and increase our audience and get, you know, new people into the social media. But I think of the social media as what’s nurturing the cold audience into a hot audience, you know, what’s

Meg Casebolt 35:22
just warm, the next time that you have an offer, they are familiar with you. And I want to also say like, social media isn’t the only place where we can be making this cold to warm transition. I’d love what you said about, you know, people who reply to your emails and say thanks for this. That doesn’t have to be wait until you’re launching something and then go back and see what’s going on. Yep, reply to those emails, start developing a relationship with those people. If you start to develop that, then by the time they’re ready to do something, then they might be more open to that conversation, because they feel like you’re a real person, right. And you and I also use a tool called member vault that tracks this stuff for you too. So when you go into like, we, we use this for our free information, but then people can also look at our paid products. And it looks at that too. And it says, Hey, these people just joined to look at your freebies. And then they also just like went and looked at your products, right. So if you want to take a look at that, they have that information there where you can say, Oh, these people are maybe a little bit interested, maybe I’ll just send a personal follow up email, or find a way to reach out to these people or just like, note that in a CRM somewhere or your email somewhere and just say like, this person is interested in something more, but something’s holding them back. So this information about who is kind of cold, but maybe could be warmer, could be social media, DMS, it could be you know, people who are commenting on your stuff, and then you go and comment on theirs, and you start this relationship there. But that’s not the only place where we can be nurturing these relationships. Absolutely.

Megan Flatt 36:53
And I think, you know, definitely within your own, you know, within your own email list within, you know, whatever, whatever your appropriate platform is, you know, whether it’s social media, whether it’s LinkedIn, whether it’s a local, you know, a local membership, or a local thing that you’re a part of, you know, whatever kind of your thing is, it’s like, making those connections and I’m an introvert, like, right, so I

Meg Casebolt 37:17
get that, because, because we talk so much, but you do need that, like, kind of refreshing and, and, you know, recharging time,

Megan Flatt 37:25
yeah, but I see some of our, you know, some of our mute, I’m thinking of, to kind of, of our mutual friends that are so good on social media, they’re so good about really sharing and talking about and, and whether they’re sharing tips or their personal, you know, their personal journeys, and they’re in stories, and they’re, you know, they, they’ve got 27 story tabs, whereas like, I’m lucky if I get one up, you know, every other day, and sometimes I look at what they’re doing. And I’m like, Oh, they’re so much better at it than I am. You know,

Meg Casebolt 37:57
there’s so Oh, if I sometimes, I just want to be Erica Tabin.

Megan Flatt 38:00
That’s exactly what I’m talking about. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Eric Evans, you’re amazing. You’re amazing.

Meg Casebolt 38:05
I want to be able to show up and be visible in the way that Erica shows up. But I also know that that is a huge part of her marketing and her personality. Yeah, she doesn’t put nines in that space. And I’m like, I can do it for like a day. And then I’m like, I’m an extrovert. It’s not it’s about the energy expenditure, right. And I don’t feel like I get back what I need. But because Erica has cultivated that experience of this is where you can connect with me, and this is how I want you to interact with me. She’s getting that input that she

Megan Flatt 38:35
needs. Right. And Shawna Clingerman is the other Shana Clingerman is the other person. I mean, her Instagram, like, I mean, I just got chills thinking about her Instagram, it’s so she talks about mental health, she talks about, like, it’s so genuine. It’s so open. And, you know, and then, and I think like this whole, the whole name of your podcast social slowdown, I think it’s like really important for us, and I’m sure you’ve acknowledged this in other episodes. And, like, I just think it’s, I think it’s really important for us to acknowledge that, like, social could be the perfect platform for you. It could be the perfect, perfect place for you. And if you’re feeling like it’s not, that’s okay, too. There’s other ways there’s other ways to market your business.

Meg Casebolt 39:18
Exactly. And I think also if you if you do want to be on social you can make a choice about what you share and how often you share and how that feels to you. So Shawna may be okay with talking about her mental health and Erica may be okay, sharing pictures of her family and what’s going on behind the scenes. But we may have different boundaries around that like I I have two kids I try not to say their names on my everything because I want them to have some privacy and that’s my boundary that I want to hold for them. But someone else may have a different experience of what they want to say. And I know your kids are older so it’s probably even more important to

Megan Flatt 39:56
you right? Well, my kids now like we’re really big, I mean, oh my Gosh, the conversations that we’ve been having about consent in my family for like the last Well, I mean, I have a 13 year old, a 10 year old. So we’ve been having it forever, but especially since like 2016. But you know, posting on posting on social media and even, we even ask our kids before we send before we text pictures to the grandparents, like we give them like, Hey, can I take a picture? Like you’re doing something right now? Can I take a picture of it? You know, I think grandma would really like to see this picture. Can I send it to her? And sometimes my kids say yes. And sometimes they say no. And that’s yeah, that’s they get to choose that. You know. And so and sometimes my kids will say, you can send that to grandma, but don’t post it online. Great, then I don’t, you know, and sometimes they say, Yeah, it’s fine for you to post that online. So my kids or my kids are older. So where we have those conversations, but I want to give, I want to give them that control. And if they don’t, if they don’t, even if they don’t want their grandma see in the picture, that’s fine. That’s their choice.

Meg Casebolt 40:53
That’s their choice. Yeah, that’s their body. That’s their choice. And I think like knowing especially that you came from a space of, you know, I help moms to grow their businesses online. But also respecting that, that doesn’t mean that you have to share every single thing underneath your roof. You know, that may work for some businesses that may be part of some brands. And it might be funny, you know, the kind of messy behind the scenes, and that’s part of their brand. But it doesn’t have to be, you know, throw open the curtain and show people everything that’s happening in your life, you can curate, and still and still be genuine, honest and transparent and authentic without needing to share everything out.

Megan Flatt 41:30
And that goes back to I think that sometimes I see people who share, even whether it’s whether it’s touchy subjects or not, like just people that are like, you know, now I’m eating this food. And now I’m doing this thing. And now I’m like, Oh, here’s what my desk looks like. It doesn’t have to be like, I’m not just talking about like, the super personal stuff that can also just be sometimes I think, oh my gosh, I’ve got to do more of that. I’ve got to do more of that. And you just you have to find the right balance for you. And I think, again, entrepreneurs and people who are socialized to be women, I think both the Venn diagram, the crossover, right, that crossover a piece of like that we are, we constantly have a new idea. We’re constantly like, yeah, yeah, I’m doing that. Oh, yeah, yeah, I’m really good at private outreach. But gosh, I should be better at social media, like we’re constantly like, but I should be doing it this way. And I think that’s the biggest lesson that I have learned, and I’m learning over and over again, is like, you’ve got to find the right path for you. And that might change you the way you want to interact on social media might be different than it was in 2019. It might be different in 2023. And that’s fine.

Meg Casebolt 42:40
And let it evolve instead of it let it evolve based on what you need versus what someone else is telling you to do.

Megan Flatt 42:45
Exactly, or what not even I feel like it’s not even what someone else is telling us to do. It’s like what the mean voice inside of our head is telling us to do, right like, oh, well, you would be more successful if you could just do it this way. You know, or whatever that is. Yeah.

Meg Casebolt 43:00
Yeah. Whatever that comparison, inner critic going on is, and recognizing that voice when it happens to you, I think the first part of breaking the pattern is recognizing the pattern. Yeah, totally. So when you’re talking about growing your audience, and you’re talking about people who might want to join focus sessions, is SEO something that you’re considering for that versus business coaching? Yeah, I

Megan Flatt 43:25
think absolutely right. Because I don’t think maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think anyone is Googling, I need a business coach, and then immediately clicking the buy button. I mean, there’s not even a buy button for that, you know, like I said, there’s no sales page right now, for one on one work with me like, right, but no one, no one is clicking the buy button on a $5,000 Plus, you know, coaching program without knowing the person having a referral, following them for a while, whatever it is. So what I really view SEO for the business coaching is that that nurturing that when people find me when they do get referred to me when they do if they go to my site, they’re reading the blogs, they’re reading the resources, they’re downloading things we have in there, and they’re figuring out if they connect with me more, but on the focus session side, I think people and you and I, before we launched I did a session, you know, talking about the passing our money back and forth, like I did a session with you and said, okay, like what are people looking for? What are the words that they’re searching when they’re feeling like I’m not productive? I need better time management skills. I’m having trouble focusing, like what are they actually typing into Google that hopefully leads them to focus sessions as a solution. And so with two different kinds of business models, SEO makes perfect sense and is a huge part of our we have the keywords that you research for us. And you know, we built an entire opt in around something that you said people were searching for, and we use the words you know, okay, there, instead of calling it I always love to like name things like fancy names with alliteration. We’re like, No, we’re going to call it exactly What Meg said people are searching. Yeah, so so so we are really leaning into the SEO on that side, because that is something that people are searching for. And it’s a price point that people can take action on from a Google search.

Meg Casebolt 45:12
Absolutely. And I think when you’re, when you’re saying like business coaching, if you don’t need, you know, hundreds of people to find your website, if you just need those five to 10 clients, and then the amount of time that you’re putting into creating the content to get those people to your website to nurture them, and then maybe they won’t want to go to that high level product, it might not be worth your time to do the content for the business coaching website, unless you want to, again, scale up into more of a leveraged offer. But when you do have the leverage offer, and you need to bring in a lot of people in order to convert a small percentage of those, then a tactic like SEO or content marketing can be really powerful in terms of getting consistent leads into that page.

Megan Flatt 45:52
Yeah. And we took I mean, I just took pages of notes from our conversation, you, you know, you told me to blog about books on you know, because people might be searching for that author, we did that we you know, we posted a seven books on productivity you should read, you know, we just so we went through all those kind of SEO tips and like hot points, it’s like, okay, how do we leverage this more? And so it’s working great.

Meg Casebolt 46:16
Awesome. All right. Well, that was awesome. Thank you so much for sharing and being so honest and transparent about everything going on. And where can people find you?

Megan Flatt 46:27
Well, you can find me at let’s collective.co or you can check out focus sessions at Focus dash sessions.com. You can also get there from let’s collective.co And you can find me at Meghan flat on Instagram or focus sessions on Instagram. So we hope to see we’ll make sure to include all of those in the show. Yeah, exactly 8 million links. But I’d love to I’d love to connect with anyone and talk more about this. And thank you for thank you for hosting this and having this conversation. I think it’s so valid and important.

Meg Casebolt 46:58
It was my pleasure. All right. I’ll talk to you soon. Megan. Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slowdown.com and sign up for our email list so you never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown comm slash review or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media Talk to you then

Please forgive any typos or grammatical errors, as this transcript was automatically recorded by otter.ai.

shoulder tapping - using personal outreach to grow your audience with Megan flatt

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