EP 238: Scaling Up With A Certification Program With The Ops Authority Founder Natalie Gingrich

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • Why The Ops Authority founder Natalie Gingrich opted for scale using a certification program instead of building out an agency
  • What she created first on the way to developing her certification program
  • How she determined what the certification program would include and how it would be structured
  • What she’s tackling next to continue to create value and build capacity for her company

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What you do doesn’t have to be magic.

One of my all-time favorite quotes is Arthur C. Clarke’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

I love this idea because not only does it apply to the iPhone in my pocket or the car that plays music from that phone as soon as I turn the key. But it also applies to the work we do on a daily basis.

I’ve heard from so many small business owners over the years that what they do for their clients can feel like magic.

Maybe you feel that way too. You don’t know exactly how it happens… but you get on Zoom with a client and magic happens. You start writing sales copy for a client… and magic happens. You get on a stage… and magic happens.You start painting or designing… and magic happens.

Now, I don’t—in any way—want to discount the feeling that comes along with making that kind of magic happen.

But… what I do want to do is point you to the underlying technology that makes it happen.

“Technology” in this case isn’t code or wires or processing units.

It’s a system.

We all have them. And, even when something feels like magic, there is a technology—a system—that is making it all happen.

So let me remind you of Clarke’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

The reason your work feels like magic is because it’s really advanced technology! And, listener, do you know what else that means?

It’s super valuable.

This month, we’re talking about scale and, as you might have already guessed, the advanced technology behind the magic you make on a daily basis could be the key to scaling your business.

So far, we’ve explored this in the form of your “special sauce.” But really, special sauce is just another way of talking about advanced technology! In Episode 236, Carol Cox shared how she’s using her advanced technology to train other speech coaches to work for her. In Episode 237, Katey Schultz shared how focusing on her advanced technology allowed her to expand the capacity of her monthly mentorship program.

Today, we’re going to look at another way of scaling up based on your advanced technology—certification programs.

My guest is Natalie Gingrich, the founder of The Ops Authority.

After spending 15 years in corporate at a Fortune 150 company, she dove into entrepreneurship leveraging her project management and HR experience to assist high-level influencers in the online and small business worlds. What she discovered along the way was that there was a ton of super capable women whose skill sets were not leveraged and whose natural tendency toward leadership wasn’t acknowledged.

To change that, she started training other women on how to leverage their skills as Directors of Operation.

In this conversation, Natalie and I talk about why she decided to create a certification program instead of an online course, why she takes screening candidates very seriously, and how the certification unfolds from start to finish. We also talk about some of the new opportunities she sees for growth now that the certification program is underway & successful.

Now, let’s find out what works for Natalie Gingrich!

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EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

Today’s guest is Katie Hunt—who is a member of the former group and serves the latter group.

Katie is the founder of Proof To Product, which helps creative entrepreneurs run and grow thriving product-based businesses. She works with designers, illustrators, and artists to help them develop in-demand product lines and get them sold in stores all over the world.

Not long after the pandemic threw her business and the industry she serves for a major loop, Katie and her team launched Proof To Product Labs to provide a completely digital, ongoing support opportunity for business owners when they needed it most.

And that launch was a smash.

Katie and I get into all of the nuts and bolts of how she adjusted the offer to meet the moment and how she warmed up her audience before the campaign, as well as the exact mix of emails, podcast ads, and social media content she used to sell the offer when it went live. We also talk about how she sees the sales system evolving in the future and how the offer has been received now that people are using it!

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support