Doing business in a capitalist economy has a way of turning people into users, clicks, page views, and targets. As business owners with more data at our fingertips than we know what to do with, we reduce relational questions to math problems and automations. What’s...
I often hear from business owners that their customers are on their email lists or following their social media accounts for years before making a purchase. Maybe you can relate. Since there's overwhelming evidence that customers take years to materialize,...
This month, we’ve explored finding customers and building an audience—which are not the same things.
Every business needs to find customers. But not every business—not even most businesses—needs to build an audience.
Yet, so many small business owners get hung up on building their following counts or email lists instead of doing the things that actually lead to sales.
The drive to build an audience partially comes from the false belief that “scale” is the universal goal for all businesses.
Many successful businesses never scale—or they don’t scale in terms of serving thousands of people instead of tens of people. They might scale in terms of efficiency or price or team—but scaling up one or all of those things does not require you to build an audience.
But everywhere you look on social media, someone is telling you that you have to scale.
As Maggie Patterson put it, they’re serving you poison and then selling you the cure.
Now look, if you’re excited about scaling up or you’ve found success with scaling up, wonderful!! I personally love the idea of serving at scale and enjoy speaking to an audience.
But I also recognize that this is the best way to build a business for only a teeny tiny segment of the business owner community.
A stronger, more sustainable, more effective way to build a highly profitable business is to…
wait for it…
Stay small and do things that don’t scale.
Today, I have 3 more stories of people who are serving and building in a really impactful ways without building an audience in the way you might have been taught.
You’ll hear from messaging consultant Dr. Michelle Mazur, branding expert Amy Walsh, and leadership consultant Nancy Hess.
Nothing fosters human connection faster than a story.
Stories are the most direct way to tell someone else—or a whole audience of people—an important truth about you. Stories give us shared experiences and emotions to build relationships from.
Stories make even the biggest concepts or most technical information feel real.
Practicing storytelling has been a game changer for me in the way I communicate, market, and teach. And I believe it can do the same for you.
Today’s episode is a sort of conversation-meets-workshop excerpted from a special joint event for The What Works Network and Standout Podcast Club.
I talk with Tell Me A Story founder Hillary Rea about how we can more effectively use stories in the content we create and why stories have such a positive impact on our results as business owners.
This conversation is chock full of ideas, explainers, and ways to experiment with story so you can forge a deeper connection with your audience.
So settle in for this conversation on connecting with story with Hillary Rea!
Today, I’m talking with Felicia Sullivan, a brand strategist who has built a thriving business on marketing activities that don’t scale. Felicia works with startup founders and small businesses doing $10-20m in annual revenue—folks who aren’t looking for business help on Instagram.
So Felicia spends her business development time on 3 things: coffee dates, writing long-form articles geared directly to her prospective clients, and referrals.
This episode answers some of the questions I’m most frequently asked about when it comes to marketing businesses that aren’t built on online courses (which, you know, is most of them).
Get ready to take some notes.
I hear from a lot of small business owners who say that they want to build an audience. They want to increase their followers on Instagram or get more views on YouTube. They want more subscribers on their email lists or have more people tune in for their live streams....
All this month, we’ve been examining the relationships in our businesses and how we make them stronger. We looked at our relationship with our customers, our relationships to our team members, and our relationships to our community and internet neighbors. We even looked at our relationships to ourselves and our businesses.
This week, we’re going to step back and take a look at the patterns that often make nurturing our relationships difficult.
A couple of these patterns are overt–and a couple are more stealthy. As you listen, I encourage you to pay less attention to the specific patterns and stories we’re diving into today and pay more attention to your own curiosity at how your own relationship patterns are at play in your business. You may or may not see these exact patterns and stories as your own–but I know that your own patterns are influencing YOUR story.
You’re going to hear from 4 different business owners today and I’ll help you unpack the very common patterns that I see at play in each story. My goal isn’t to pathologize or armchair diagnose. I just want to help you hear what I hear in these stories and celebrate the ways these business owners have overcome their patterns made really great choices for them and their businesses!
Today, you’ll hear from coach Carla Reeves, real estate broker Page Huyette, coach & podcaster Shawn Fink, and attorney-turned-community-builder Ali Zucker.
What I really love about customer experience design is that it can be so creative!
There truly is no one-size-fits-all process. Our different values, types of customers, ways of serving, skills, strengths, differentiators, points of view… they each contribute to making our customer experience uniquely our own.
During the course of this episode, we’re going to look at 4 ways you can make your customer experience remarkable and help build a more intentional relationship with the people who buy from you. I’ll share some things you can consider as you think about your own customer experience and you’ll hear examples from thoughtful business owners who made customer experience design a priority.
You’ll hear from OnlineDrea & Savvy Social School founder Andrea Jones (EP 212), financial behaviorist Jacquette Timmons (EP 141), attorney Autumn Witt Boyd (EP 296), and Bank Boost creator Sarah Von Bargen (EP 156).
It seems that every year we’re showered with new ways to exert control over our businesses, our customers, and ourselves. There are always new must-have sales funnels, frameworks for persuasion, and apps. There are new planners to use and new ways to declutter our...
Offer development is an incredibly important part of running a service-based business. Without a careful strategy and thoughtful process behind how you create value, you are likely to get stuck in the trap of trading time for money or wind up overwork & overwhelmed.
That’s why I wanted to make sure we included a bespoke service-based business in this series on creating value.
I invited India Jackson, the founder of Flaunt Your Fire, a full-service brand visibility agency, to share her approach to how she creates value and constructs the services she offers clients.
India is clear on what her agency does and what it does not do.
She’s clear on why her agency offers the types engagements it does and why some projects just aren’t right for them. And, she’s clear on how her team adds value to the services the agency provides—so India isn’t stuck doing everything herself.
Even if you don’t run a service-based business, this conversation has a lot to offer. Listen in and consider how you might be trying to do too much with your product-based business or how you’ve succumb to making offers that aren’t aligned with your values or best work.
Host of What Works
Tara is a podcaster, small business community leader, strategist, and speaker. She’s been helping small business owners build stronger businesses for over a decade.