Today we want to talk about what’s working for coaches to fill their calendars now. If you’re a coach, you may have noticed a slump in getting calls booked with prospective clients recently? It’s not just the holiday season causing the slow-down… certain ways in which coaches have been marketing for years have stopped being effective. And today, we have a very special guest to help shed some light on how to overcome this dry spell and clear up those vacancies on our calendar.
Since 2010, this social-savvy geek has been teaching how to shift from marketing as a headache-causing, time-sucking expense to marketing as an efficient, smile-inducing, money-making system…
She helps coaches, authors, consultants, and podcasters cut through the confusion and get a program in place that works for your business, so you can stop stressing out about finding your audience online and start bringing in business.
She also co-founded the Coaches’ Compass, providing education and support for coaches, so they can ethically build profitable businesses that adapt to support them as their lives and goals change over time.
And finally, if you ever attend ANY social media conference in North America, this gal is likely taking the stage.
You don’t want to miss this episode with Lara Pence Atencio!

Jeffrey: Welcome to the light in your launch podcast today, we're talking about how to book calls without ads or a large list. Stay tuned,

Jeffrey: Welcome back to the show. I'm Jeffrey and I'm back again with Katie Collins. And today we want to talk about what's working for coaches to fill their calendars. Now, now, if you're a coach, you may have noticed a slump and getting calls booked with prospective clients. Recently, it's not just the holiday season calling causing that slow down certain ways in which coaches have been marketing for years have stopped being as effective.

And today we have a very special guest to help us shed some light on how to overcome this dry spell and clear up those vacancies on your calendar. Katie, can you please help me welcome today's guest

Katie: it would love to. So since 2010, this social savvy geek has been teaching how to shift from marketing as a headache causing time sucking expense to marketing as an efficient smile inducing money-making system. She helps coaches, authors, consultants, and podcasters cut through the confusion and get a program in place that works for your business.

So you can stop stressing. About finding your audience online and start bringing in business. She also co-founded the coach's compass providing education and support for coaches so they can ethically build profitable businesses that adapt to support them as their lives and goals change over time. And finally, if you've ever attended any social media conference in north America, this gal is likely taking the stage.

Please join me in welcoming to the big mic. Laura Pence, Atencio Q audience.

Jeffrey: que que applause.

Katie: Hey,

Jeffrey: the show.

Katie: glad you're here.

Laura: Hi, I'm glad to be here.

Thanks for having me.

Jeffrey: so Laura, welcome to the show. First of all, I'm so glad you're here. Um, first, could you tell us what's not working anymore? I'm sure everybody out there is relating right now. So let's just clarify and set the basis. What's not working

Laura: sure. Well, there are a lot of things that aren't working and it is all situational as well. So I work specifically with speakers, authors, and podcasters who were coaches or consultants. So if I say this isn't working, I mean, for those people, so that caveat, but what isn't working anymore.

is just cruising.

You can't just wait for referrals to come in. You can't just throw up a Facebook ad and think, oh, I'm going to get some, uh, some easy wins from that. Ads have gotten more expensive and less effective, uh, trolling other people's Facebook groups and commenting on things, not a good plan. Um, so there's a lot of things that people have been doing that it did work for a while that aren't working now.

Um, those are the ones that come to mind first.

Katie: yeah. I love the comment of the trolling of the Facebook groups. You can, you can spot them a mile away and it's like, Go troll someone else's group. Like I've spent a lot of

Laura: well that, and then additionally, just completely spamming your own personal timeline with business post, which I've never done, but I've seen people doing that. And there have been people who, even though it's complete violation of Facebook, terms of service, treat their personal profile as a business page and have had some success with that in the past.

But those days are gone. Not only will you get yourself banned and you know, lose access to your page anyway, but also you'll just annoy people.

Jeffrey: Yeah.

And that's even worse. That's even


Laura: one is bad.

Katie: yup. So tell me, like, why do you think, um, you know, you and I have talked quite a bit and uh, I loved our conversation around. Um, you know, just things that worked even last year, they're just not working anymore. And I personally think it has to do with your niche itself. Like our niche is speaking to other online business owners.

And so I think we've all been over-saturated. Whereas if you have a niche, that's not a business owner, they're not as savvy to what's happening, but business owners can just spot what you're doing a mile away and it's just been overdone overused and they're

Laura: Yeah. Well, and since my audience is specifically coaches, um, coaches like to coach coaches who coach coaches, who coach coaches. And so you'll see. Almost like pyramid scam of coaching. Um, and people use the same tactics over and over again. And, and marketers, I'm also in marketing. So, oh my gosh.

The double whammy of being a marketer and a coach and people like don't, don't do this to me, don't do this to me. And they, they, they see stuff coming, as you say. Um, but I guess the, the thing that people are dreading is the kind of MLM feel of the gotcha. And so it. used to be, you could just friend request anybody or connect with somebody in a comment on a post and develop a relationship and have a little conversation.

And now people are afraid to post or comment on a post because they know as soon as they say anything at all, yes, no indifferent. Their DM is going to be like, oh, Hey, did you buy this thing that I have that will help you with your situation? Even though I don't know who you are and you know, it's coming, it's horrible.

Katie: yeah.

Jeffrey: is the curse that as people become, uh, I guess savvy is, is the right word. Right? They're they're, they're expecting it. And, and now they're disappointed when, when that happens. Right. Whereas before there was this level of like, oh, cool, yes, try this out. And they weren't expecting it. Now that they're

Laura: well, I feel like trust has been broken and in now it's been broken so often that we're all a little bit jaded and, and the thing, the same thing was happening. It's not just Facebook. This was on LinkedIn as well. it.

basically people are skipping, social niceties and normal relationship building and going straight for the sale.

And it seems like, It never worked to be clear. It never worked well, but it worked well enough that if you were willing to spam 1000 people and get 10 yeses, then people would do it anyway because they really didn't care because they were making their numbers.

Katie: Yeah, it was totally a numbers game. And if you, if you were willing to do that and I've worked on behalf of other coaches, You know, behind the scenes and their launches doing what's called social selling. Um, I think that was coined by, oh no, I'm skipping. I'm missing her name now. It'll come to me anyway.

And I got trained in it and I was like, I hate this. I just didn't. I just didn't want to do it. I don't want to teach people to do it because it's just this constant bombardment of Facebook messages, you know? Hey, did you join us on day one? What was your biggest takeaway? Day two, you know, Hey, did you dah, dah, dah, right.

And asking questions and trying to get people to engage. And I'd have like 350 people on. That I was supposed to be emailing every single day. And then Facebook doesn't even let you do that. So then they would like banned my account from sending messages for 24 hours and, you know, anyway. And so the person who taught it was like, you know, saying it works, it's very effective and I'm like, it might be, but it's exhausting. And I personally don't like reach it. Like I'm in sales. I understand it's a numbers game, but at the same time, I'm not somebody that's going to reach out to hundreds and hundreds of people as if

I'm a robot. Cause I'm not.

Laura: So

Katie: And, um, and it just kind of kills

Laura: right when that's something where, so I'm always a little bit torn myself because I love systems and processes and automation. I love scripts. I, I want to build businesses that will scale because I don't want to spend all of my time doing these things either. However, little sweet spot in the middle of automation and human relationships.

And I do I'm and I'm not knocking anybody who uses bots. There is a time and a place and a use for bots. And until you need a person, a bot is great. But when you're reaching out to people on Facebook or LinkedIn as a human being in a personal way, that needs to be a human being and not a bot. Now, if somebody comes to your bot and interacts and engages with the bot and chooses to go forward with it, yay, everybody's happy, but, uh, things need to be as authentic and real as they can be.

And as relationship, you know, relationships are everything. And that has been a little bit lost with this. Oh, well, we can just make everything super like run by itself and people come to the page and they'll just buy and we're kind of over that. So, I'm not saying that you should not have email nurturing sequences and you shouldn't have funnels.

I build funnels. I write emails. I love marketing automation, but, but that doesn't work unless you have a system and process in place. That's proven to get people to that level of trust, where it works. So we work with people in the coaches, compass who are just starting out and are not. at six figures yet. And, they don't have a budget for high ticket purchases, which is why we're doing more, um, education and support and doing low cost workshops and a membership. And. A lot of value, but it it's more scalable because it takes less of each coach's time. Um, because it's not, it's not yet a group coaching. It's just it's a membership with office hours and that kind of thing.

But in each of our own businesses like social savvy geek, I've had 12 years, it's a high ticket agency for successful established authors, speakers, and podcasters people who are grossing six figures and can afford $2,500 a month and done for you. A boutique marketing services. We're a fractional marketing company where for, you know, coaches who have a team, but don't have a marketer on staff.

And so, you know, we fill the gaps, gaps in marketing programs, but we're not selling $2,500 programs through automation. We're having a conversation with people.

Katie: And that's when I was telling Jeffrey about you, you know, I was like, you guys have so much in common, like you like all the same things. Um, and you know, she's bringing this way of like, uh, humanizing. Connecting on Facebook, you know, and I just, I started to get so tired of the messages that were like, you know, Hey Katie, thanks for joining the group.

You know, tell me about your business. Or even if I hadn't joined the group and they just sent me a random friend request and now I just stop accepting them. If I see that they're a certain, you know, a business coach or whatever, I'm like, eh, I know that you're just trying to friend request me to get my

Laura: Well, and that's the thing where,

Katie: not interested.

Laura: that's the thing where w as marketers and coaches we've ruined it, we've ruined it. Um, and, and people teaching it ruin it and they say, you know, marketers can ruin everything faster than anyone else. And it's like, it's like a race to the bottom. Well, so now we're, I won't say fighting, but we're fighting against that trend because it's, it's ugly and it's, it doesn't feel good.

And if everybody isn't winning in a relationship, then you're doing it wrong. So it, we need to make it not about the gotcha. And it needs not to be a bait and switch. And I feel like the only way to have a scalable growth oriented business that we're in to make money and serve people really well is to make sure that we take the time to qualify people before we take them to the next step.

Because when you get into someone's, if you friend request them. Which is the beginning of this process. You have to make friends with them or you can't message them properly. So you make friends, but then you need to find out who they are and what's going on in their life before their business. Because I start with life questions because half the time when I'm messaging with people and they are my ideal client, or they could be a referral partner or a business bestie, or you don't know where it's going yet, but there's someone you see by the qualifications listed publicly about them.

That there's someone, you could do something with someone you want in your circle, that stage one, but then your friend request them. And if you ask them, where are you struggling in your business? Firstly, they may not be struggling in their business and they, then they're, they've made a decision now that you're there for the kill and you've ruined it.

You've ruined it.

Katie: Yup. And I mean, there's no trust established, like who are you and why do you think I'm going to break down for you? My biggest challenges, like, right. Like you're a

Laura: Like hi random person. I just meant tell me your worries. I mean, what, wait,

Katie: Yeah.

Laura: what, so now, instead of that, you know, we'll ask and in, in full transparency, I use scripts. I have all my questions that I have a whole big database because I've, I, I participate in this process a lot. Um, but I have a virtual assistant who acts on my behalf and anytime she gets something where I have not told her what to say, cause it's my words.

Then she comes and says, oh, here's the thing that is new. Please tell me what to say. Um, because she can't read my mind. And um, but, but we start out with. How are you, what's going on in your life? Like literally what's going on in your life. And sometimes quite often I get back things like my child's in the hospital.

Hello. I am, uh, what is your child's first name? I would like to pray for them. Like I'm not businesses now off the table, period. Done. We're not pursuing that.

Jeffrey: You're like, oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. So let me tell you about

Laura: Yeah, no, exactly. So you can't just have a bot. You can't just have somebody who is not English proficient or is not well-versed in human behavior to continue on down a script at that point, the script stops and you're human. You're human. As Brian Kramer would say, you're human to human. It's all human to human.

Um, yeah.

Katie: And that part is so important. Like having, if a VA is going to do it for you, just ensuring that they've got. Socio emotional language capabilities to read certain things like, you know, after, uh, grieving, I'm now ready and understanding what that means so that you're

responding appropriately. Right. And the Mo the only appropriate response is I'm sorry for your loss. So

you have to be having somebody, like I had hired someone to do outreach for me, and it started with happy Saturday. Cause that was the day I wrote it. And I apparently needed to put in the SOP that if you're not emailing them on a Saturday, please update the day of the week that you're emailing and she just cut and pasted cut and paste it.

So it's on Wednesday. They're getting a happy Saturday email for

Laura: That makes no,

Katie: know, and I was like, oh

Laura: at all. Well, and the other thing is.

If I, if somebody says something super personal like that, it always comes to me, Always. My VA's not putting in their what's their name. I'd like to pray for them because that's what, no, you can't do that. It has to be me because you can't pray for me. I can't outsource that. Um, like you can't answer, I could ask her.

Katie: I got a layout with a lay would

Laura: Well, I could, I could ask her to, to join in and pray with me, but no, you can't outsource your prayers. No. Um,

Katie: Right,

Laura: I

Jeffrey: Can we automate

Katie: We're going to pull up, we're going to pull that as a

Laura: Maybe maybe PR

Katie: you cannot

outsource your

Laura: can Protestants do that? I'm Catholic. We don't do that. We don't do that anyway. Um, so, but if the person says, oh, I'm really, uh, head down in my launch right.

now, then I'm like, Ooh, they're talking business. Awesome. I love launches. Tell me more, you know, so then you're continuing the business conversation and if they say, gosh, I'm just so you know, absolutely busy with delivery or, you know, there's so many things where you could say, wow, that's really exciting.

Um, decide whether if there an urgent need, just offer them a phone call and say, you know, I might have some ideas about that. Would you like to hop on a call and you skip the rest of everything? Cause you could actually, you know, help them. And if they're like, well, you know, everything's, eh, you know, whatever, I don't know, LA blah.

And they don't really give you any information. Then you could say, well, I've got this group for people just like you, you know, in my case, it's speaker authors and podcasters who are coaches or consultants, you know, looking to scale their business. Does that sound like something you'd be interested in?

And then you freaking wait, you wait, you don't send them stuff. You wait,

Jeffrey: E you don't send you don't copy and paste and send that response every

hour on the

Laura: you wait. And that's the

Katie: and the, and the link to the

Laura: every time that you like are communicating, you wait for an answer and it could, I mean, it could be hours, days, weeks. I've had people respond to me a year later. That's fine. Whatever. Um, but, but, but you have a spreadsheet to track everything. So, you know, to check back on people.

Uh, respond after a certain period of time, he checked back and say, Hey, is everything okay with you? Not continuing on like, nothing. Like there hasn't been a giant pause. Um, but once they say, yes, I like the blank. Then you invite them to the group. You don't add people to your group without asking. That's rude.

Nobody likes it. I get added to like a hundred groups a day. And when somebody friend requests me and then doesn't messages me, and then as me to the group, I'm like, I see you there. I know what you're doing.

Jeffrey: right.

Laura: I know what you're

Katie: yeah. No,

Laura: yeah. And then I'm not joining your group. I'm not looking at your group because you didn't ask me if I want it.

And, and I'm, I have zero interest in groups that I didn't ask to join. Plus Facebook tells me I have to unfollow things. I'm following too many things on Facebook. I can't even follow things. They're like, you've hit your limit of 5,000. I'm like, you. should've told me there was a limit before I hit it, because now I've, I've liked things that aren't important.

And I can't follow things I'm truly interested in or.

Katie: I remember a coach telling me, um, you know, not to send the link without the permission. And that was gold for me because I, my intention is not to be pushy, but I'm very, um, east coast, like let's cut to the chase. I'm just very direct, you know, and I want to save everyone time. So it's like, Hey, I've got this thing coming up.

I wanted to let you know about it. Here's the link. And she was like, no, take out the here's the link

Laura: That's really presumptive.

Katie: And that was

Laura: And you know, I'm from, I'm from, I'm from Virginia, which is on the east coast, but it's still Southern. so I'm kind of in the middle, but I

Katie: You're you're in the,

Laura: oh yeah, that's right. And I'm moving to Texas. So then I'm on bless everyone's heart Um,

Katie: Yeah.

Laura: but I, I personally am very direct and I don't necessarily know. Need all the things that we're doing for other people, but I'm not normal. I can't judge other people's behavior on my own. Um, so I've definitely learned that taking time and being respectful and treating people basically with kid gloves, I mean, treat people as though they are the most important connection you're ever going to have in your life.

And you don't want to screw it up because you don't know which one of them is the most important connection and people on the other side of it, will I get the question? Well, if you're doing this at scale and you know, your virtual assistants reaching out to 50 people a day and you know, she's having this conversation back and forth with all these people, um, you know, isn't that like lying, aren't you being inauthentic?

And I'm like, well, firstly, no, because she's using my words. I wrote every word that she's using. Um, and she's under my direction, but also. Quite frankly, I'm a business owner. And I don't want to say necessarily that I have better things to do with my time. But if I were in charge of doing this task, uh, well I was in charge of doing this task.

I tried to do it myself. I have ADHD. I cannot do this myself. I don't do it. I literally just don't there. I will not do it. It is not in my personality to do the messaging. It makes me crazy, but it needs to be done. And I have a virtual assistant who freaking loves doing it. It is her God given talent. She loves it.

So she does it. She's happy. I don't do it. I'm happy. The people who are being served and come through our process and get into the group, they love the group and we tell them exactly how they got there. And they're still happy. Now, one in like, I mean, a lot of people say, no, I'm not interested in the group and that's.

I don't even see that most of the time, because seeing, even though Noah's part of the process, seeing it can hurt. So not seeing it is much easier. Um, and if somebody is really upset, then I will go in and, you know, say I'll, you know, I'll speak with them through the messenger about it. But I think it's pretty much now too.

It's like one in 500 people, they get super mad and I feel like that's, it's more about them than what we're doing, because they're in the, they're like 1% of 1%. I mean, it's a tiny, tiny people, but I did have someone ask me, um, you know, if this was a copy and paste script and was I, you know, doing, and I'm like, absolutely. Yeah.


We're we're copying and pasting. I don't think of a new thing to say every day. When I sit at my computer to say to people, I was like that, I'm like, I'm running a business and that is not an efficient use of your time. And, Oh my gosh, she got so mad and I'm just over here going well, have fun being broken poor. You know, I'm like,

Katie: That's yep. That's that's what happens with that judgment, you know, it's like, well, you, you may be judging it, but are you making

Laura: Like I'm doing business over here. And if I were only doing this myself and we weren't using scripts, I'd be lucky, lucky to connect with one or two people a day. And my business would not be thriving while other people's businesses are struggling. I'm like,

my business is not struggling. Um, I'm helping other people

Jeffrey: yeah, I

Laura: that are not struggling. It's ethical and it's, we are connecting with people. We are listening to them and responding appropriately. We are not hitting people over the head with our offers. We're not jumping the gun. We are taking time.

Katie: I think one thing that you said when we chatted about this and I was like, darn it, we should have just hit record right on that conversation. It was so good. Um, but one of the things that you said that I really appreciated was you got to let your VA

into your life. They have to know your dog's name, your kids, how old they are, like what's going on because when people do reply and you're doing the smalltalk, she has to

know, you

Laura: it's not just that, like my virtual assistant. I mean, she's amazing. Like, I mean, we know, what's going on in each other's lives generally. I mean, she, I know like if she's she took it, she took time off to go get married. Like it was a favor and I'm like, oh my God. Yay. Yay. I'm so excited for you Like, please tell me when you're celebrating things and if you need time off, because your life is just as important as my life, your life events need celebrating too.

Um, so, and we've got to the point now where she's like comfortable telling me when things are going on. I'm like, I'm not judging you. You need to take time off, please let me know when you need it. Um, you know that, that kind of thing. But my, uh, she knows not just general things. Like my daughter's eight years old, I have a service dog.

His name is bandit. Like we like to travel a lot. I tell her what's going on with. In our business slack. So she knows all our business stuff like what's going on. Um, you know, not like the partner chat, but she's in the general marketing chat. She knows generally what's going on at all. Launches, you know, she's included in everything, but, um, she's a trusted part of our business when someone's going to be in your messenger being you, they need to be a trusted partner.

Not some like rando, you picked up on Fiverr. Okay. And

Jeffrey: And that that's really kind of the, the, uh, the component that changes it from that feeling of the copy paste to the feeling of, oh, there's a human

Laura: And she's now been with me, um, I mean, well over a year, like, and she'll be with me until we can't do it anymore. Like, she's my person she'll be here. Like, like, please God protect her. I need her. Um, but we, more than that though, she knows. Like happy celebrations and like minor things that she can share with people that are going on in my personal life, not just business.

Like she knows that I'm moving to Texas. She knows that, um, you know, we're getting ready to take off for Christmas. And then I am probably going to pause my messaging for all of the week of Christmas, because as previously mentioned, I'm Catholic and it's kind of a big deal to me. and I don't work Christmas and I can't Have my VA working when I'm not working.

Because again, with the inauthenticity, like we don't work Christmas, so she's not working Christmas because I don't want people messaging me. And I don't want her messaging people at Christmas. Like, please go be with your families. And my, my Jewish friends who were just celebrating Hanukkah, sorry, I messaged you during Hanukah, but we congratulated you and said happy Hanukkah to you as well when you're like, dude, I'm Jewish.

Yay. I'm so happy for you, but I'll, I'll, I'll check back with you after the new year, you know, like you gotta be respectful of other people's traditions as well. It's when you're doing human business, your business needs to be built around your life. And that's something that we're teaching. Like I'm not messaging people on independence day.

I'm not messaging people on Easter weekend. Like we, you need to set your calendar up around, you know, your life and your principles. And if you're not a religious person, then you feel free to message people on religious holidays or not. It's up to you, but, but be true to yourself and be true to the people you're messaging with.

Katie: Have your values. Yeah. Like you, you gotta have your business values and you have to make sure that your VA is aware of those values. Um, so I want to talk a little bit about how, how do you decide who and you or your VA, you know, who to friend like, who becomes a good lead? And I realized this is different for different businesses, but, um, I think if you gave some parameters that you use or that someone, you know, uses, then people can start deciding, okay,

these would

be my perimeter.

Laura: And so one thing is you start with the Facebook friends suggestions and people who have people in common, like that is a good place to start. But within that, you're also looking for people who would be ideal people for you to have in your circle. So in my case, it's speakers, authors, or podcasters, and they usually say they have a book or they do public speaking, it'll say, and a little bio speaking, or, you know, you, you have to click through and look at people.

You can't. You know, search and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Like my virtual assistant is better at this than I am. Like, she can do it because it's, it's what she does. Um, but we, we look for people who are obviously in business because I prefer to work with self-employed people. I'm not looking for people who work for a company.

I'm looking for self-employed business owners who are coaches or consultants. And the reason I say speaker, author and podcaster is not because I have to have my coaches to be those things. It's because those three identifiers, let me know. These people are not afraid to get in front of an audience.

They're not afraid to market themselves. They have a voice and they're willing to use it. And those are my people.

Jeffrey: that is so true. It's, it's hard, uh, to overcome somebody's, uh,

Laura: Um,

Jeffrey: desire to grow a business and reluctance to

Laura: It really, really is. And so then from that, we narrow it down to I'm looking for people who are nonfiction authors, who are selling a program or service. I I've had one author kind of sneak through who was a fiction author who didn't have a business. And that was the most awkward conversation I've ever had.

And I did have,

Jeffrey: snuck right in there.

Laura: to send them to cause I was like, oh my gosh, I have listened to these podcasts about selling fictional books just because I'm interested personally. Um, but I don't do that. But these people do teach that, go listen to this podcast and that podcast. And you know, it was a self publishing foremast, uh, formula and mark Dawson's bestselling authors and like stuff like that, send them over there.

Um, but the person was like, well, what do I do right now? I was like, well, you can start by email building an email list. And she's like, I don't know anything about anything. And I'm like, oh my. But it did remind me, and it was a valuable conversation. I'm glad that I had it because it I've been helping people at a high level for 12 years.

I also teach adult continuing education students at Colorado free university locally. So those people are non marketers and not coaches, usually they're just business owners. So I kind of get that, but I forget because I'm good at what I do, how much people do not know. And it was a good reminder that when I say, well, build your email list, people do not know how to do that. So now in the coach's compass, when we're doing the backend educational content, we are breaking things down to a granular level so that people who are fresh out of the gate and have no knowledge whatsoever can get value. So there.

is beginner. And then of course we have intermediate for the people who are like, Yeah. I have an email list now.

Well, And then, you know, yeah. So, but it was a good conversation. So I would never say that any conversations that I've had through the system have wasted my time, but that one was shocking because that person I'm like, how did they get through all my layers of qualifications, but no system is perfect

Jeffrey: Somehow they

knew what to

Laura: systems. Aren't perfect. Some people will sneak through your where you're like, what is going on here? They're on my calendar and I'm talking to them and they are not qualified to have this conversation, but but when you go into your call with the attitude of, I have a person. And we've qualified them as, as a good person who could potentially do business.

The one thing that Facebook doesn't help you qualify as success level or level of business, because through the genius of marketing, we could make someone who's just started out look like they've been an awesome business for 20 years. Um, not by lying, just by doing great branding. Um, so you can't necessarily tell if someone is successful or unsuccessful and also people put on a fake it till you make it and false front.

And there's a whole lot of shenanigans, which is a whole other topic, but, but so we

Jeffrey: Hm. That is that's another episode in itself.

Laura: my dog is misbehaving anyway. He's trying to knock my laptop down and just be enough. He's being a toddler. Um,

Jeffrey: It's not getting the


Laura: one he's a service dog, so he's pretty much glued to me all day. And he's like, this is our time. Why are you doing something after work hours? And I'm like, oh dog, his internal clock is stronger than mine.

Jeffrey: Right. Oh


Katie: one tells them

Laura: he doesn't know about weekends. He will not let me sleep in. And I'm like, my daughter is old enough now to sleep in and my dog will get me up and be like, it is seven, 10. It is time to go to school. And I'm like, uh, no dog, there's no school today. Go back to bed. Um, but anyway, so my point is you can't qualify people, uh, necessarily coming into a conversation.

Now we do, you can ask questions to pre people before they get to the phone call, but because I have something to serve people, regardless of the level of business they're in at this point, Pre-qualify them any more because I have something for them, whether they're just starting or whether they're, you know, $500,000 in business.

So I really don't care very much how much money they're making right now, because I want to know where they are, where they want to be and what's in their way. And then I offer them the proper solution and sometimes they have no solution. I'm like the thing that you need next is not me. I have nothing for you except your recommendation and a referral.

And they love that. And then those people turn around and become like the best sending people to my program. Cause they know I'm not just trying to sell them something.

Jeffrey: that's huge. That's huge. I love that.

Katie: I want to, I want to check in now, like about these calls because, um, you know, as a sales expert, I'm always talking about quote unquote sales calls, but that's not really what this is. This is really, um, right. More of a, like, how can I serve you in some way for about

Laura: It's a third, it's a 30 minute. Yeah. And the format really is setting the expectation and letting them know that I'm going to ask you a very, you know, personal questions about your life and business. And then I'm going to talk to you about my area of expertise, and then if it's appropriate and I see a way that I can help you, I'll make you an offer at the end.

I let them know that straight out of the gate. And that way they're at ease and knowing exactly what to expect. And then I literally do ask them what is working and what is not working and where they want to be. And what's keeping them from getting there. And, you know, it's, it's always different. The conversation is always different.

Um, but I do tell people by the end of the call, what Is their next best step? And sometimes it's something that I have in S you know, I'd, I'd say sometimes it's not, but, um, I'm not simply there for the sale. Yes. I love it. I love it when there's a sale at the end, but I have enough of these calls coming in to where I can do the math and know how many are going to be going to the coaches, compass, how many are going to be going to my agency.

Um, and quite frankly, I only work with a maximum of 20 clients in my agency per year. So I really don't need that. many to come through who are qualified for my agency because it's, it's high, high touch, high level stuff. I don't want everyone in my agency.

Katie: we're the same. We're the same.

Laura: It's more of a disqualifying process than a qualifying process. Um, but

but I have. I have a, I'm a, I'm a great connector. So I'll have people with podcasts and I'll be like, you should be on this show and I want you to come, you know, talk on ours and please, you know, do this. I'm making connections for people.

I'm introducing them to people. Um, basically, yes, I'm there to serve.

as a connector. I give actual solid advice that I can absolutely charge for, but we're exchanging value in our time. And if, if I see a path for a revenue relationship down the road, I will give them enough value that they can get that small win that makes them want to give me more money.

And we continue on and my clients stay with me. So, I mean, I, I'm still working with my first client from 12 years ago and I'm working with other clients that I've had for seven years. So I'm not, I don't have. So, and that's also why I started the new company, because I'm like, I need something young and new and fresh and exciting where I can help more people because you know, so it's all, it's all exciting.

Katie: let's talk about that. Let's talk about that a little bit, like, cause I want to hear about Facebook groups and stuff because you know, th the, the angle of the show is, Hey, for those of you who aren't, you know, who don't have a big list or aren't ready to run Facebook ads, or you just don't really have the budget to reach that many people, um, you know, building a Facebook group, building a community that you can speak to, um, is, is a really valuable way.

Um, and it can get also exhausting

Laura: how I do

Katie: so people are always like, how do I fill my group? and

you know, and how do I nurture them? So I would love to hear, like, what, you know, what, how

do you approach the group that

Laura: and that's the kind of the whole point is I love traveling. So anytime I don't have to be work, I'm traveling. I wanted to travel full time, but that's not with my daughter's school. That's not a thing right now, but we still travel every chance we get. When we have long weekends, we go camping.

So I want to keep my work hours confined to, you know, typically right now I'm working like 10 to two, Monday through Friday, and I don't always work Friday. Um, but there are times when you need to work. Yeah. There's times when you need to work more and times when you need to work fewer. And I'm not judging people for working more, but I lost my husband and decided that time is my most important thing and I want it


So I took it. So, Yeah. your priorities are your priorities, but when your priority is time, then you figure out ways to have more time. And also I'm the sole income provider. So I still have to pay my bills. Uh, so that's a thing with that being said, I wanted a system where I could outsource. Most of it, but still be involved.

So it's, I know what's going on at all times. I am not one of those people where I call in once a week and find out what's going on in my business. I'm heavily involved in it, but I'm not doing the daily lifting because I just, I get bored. I have the add I'm telling you. So what we do is we have the messaging and I have virtual assistant running the messaging, and then people get into the Facebook group.

I participate very much in. I take phone calls. Jack takes phone calls, Carrie, take phone calls. We all three take phone calls based on the needs of the person needing the phone calls. If they need marketing and systems and processes, it's me. If they need, you know, sales and communication and branding, it's Jack.

If they need profitability help, they, they go to Carrie because she's a profit first coach and an accountant. So, you know, it's the Right. people. She does bookkeeping. Um, so anyway, they go to the right person for the right help. But once they're in the group, we, you know, we welcome them and we keep, we keep the messaging going, which is still the virtual assistant.

She all, she all, she does posting in the group, but we create the content. We were still creating our own content. I'm, I'm a very big person of, I create templates because I went to school for art and I'm really picky. So I like that part. So I do it. If you don't like that part, don't do that part. Um, it's all customizable to what.

But people get in the group, we do not do cheesy low value engagement posts. Cause I don't like him. we just make sure that we introduce people and engage with people on the post to keep the group active without doing those. What's your favorite color? Well, it's cobalt, but why do you care? Like, you know, Um,

Katie: you know, but what's funny for us is those are the ones people comment on the most in

Laura: well and the thing.

Katie: is what's your favorite Halloween candy? That was like the biggest

hit of the year.

Laura: you though,

Katie: Whether or not you like candy

Laura: now, if you want to do like one of those monthly, that seasonal, inappropriate. Yay. Because it can be fun, but the ones that do those every day, three times a day, I leave those groups because I have better things to do with my time. Then see, and then I have to unfollow every post because people are, it keeps coming up and I'm like, stop it Facebook.

I don't want to see that. Like, please stop showing me, you know, the, um, I don't want to know what my like LA what sexy street star wars, Avengers name is, you know, like. I w that was going to go someplace dark. I actually do want to know what my star wars name is, but I'm just saying that's something you do and your personal time, not when you're in a business group.

So I'm like, I have, I have mama groups for that. I have like camping groups for fun. Like if I'm in your group for business, please enlighten me as to things that will serve me in my business, or help me connect with people in your group in an authentic way do not do like, I'm not, I'm not, I'm, I'm not here to like, do crafts and be Etsy, you know?

Like, so it really met the vibe of your group should match the vibe of your business. I'm not into that. So that's not how our group is. It's very, you know, how can we serve you? What can we w what can we help you learn for your business? yeah.

Sometimes it's not as active as other groups, but really the important thing was to get to find out what people need and do the live trainings so people can get better at their business.

And those replays are there for them in a library. And then we've talked to people on the telephone and we're messaging them with them in person, and we're getting them into the membership where they can get on Q and A's and get their questions answered. So we're not really concerned with whether people are active in the Facebook group or not.

You know, I don't want say I don't care, but I don't care. Like, you know, that's not, we're not there to waste your time. So if you're not having time to be engaging in the group. Yay. That's good. Happy for you.


Jeffrey: right. then you're probably likely focusing on something else that

Laura: yeah, no for sure. And so we do want people to get served. We do want to engage with them, but not, we don't need Facebook as the vehicle we, we asked for email address when people come in so that we can, you know, when Facebook went down. I'll be, I was like, Ooh, I hope it doesn't come back. Which sound, which sounds funny when I'm using it, but I'm using it because it's available.

And if it were gone, I'd find something else. And I have a love, hate relationship with Facebook. I kind of feel like it's the Titanic and we're moving the chairs around on the deck while it's going down, but it's still effective when you do it this way. And you know, but we are also getting everybody's alternate contact information and our paid members are in a group on Geneva, which is a free app, similar to line or discord, but cleaner, more business. friendly

Jeffrey: Hmm. Tell me about

that. Hold on, tell me about that.

Laura: at spelled that way.

Um, and it's, it's free for users. It's free for businesses and it's, here's the kicker. 100% of the people in your group will see 100% of your content unless they ask not.

Katie: whoa.

Laura: why I'm saying Facebook is a great way to grow your network. You don't have to have a list. You can engage with people at a very personal level.

You can build trust, you can get them on the phone. It's wonderful for what it is, but once they're in the group, they're not going to see your stuff.

Jeffrey: That's ah, that's so aggravating.



Katie: it makes

no point,

Laura: there's, but there's no. point in fighting against it. Things are what they are, treat them as they are, appreciate them for their good and don't fight it, you know? And the, the Facebook groups that are like super, highly active. They make me crazy. I don't like them. So that's why I'm like, my, my group is really chill.

But if, and I've seen other groups where like I've bought someone's program, who was like, we got our group to like 8,000 people within a month that it's super active. We make tons of money and I bought their thing and basically their secret was, um, invite everybody and let them, invite everybody and keep it super active.

Like it's a party all the time. And I was like, it's junk that doesn't help me with my business. I'm like, that's great. If I'm trying to have a party, I'm not having a party. And I need qualified people. Only our group is invitation only. I didn't even invite my existing friends. We invite only highly qualified new people.

And now as I talk to people about it and they're interested, I invite them But when you're starting. And you don't have a list in the group is new. You need people who don't know you because people who know you think they know you, and they may not view you as the expert leader that you are developing yourself as.

So I've been in business for 12 years. People think over those 12 years, whenever they met me, whatever I was doing in that year, that's what they think that I do to this day, because that's how we are as humans. But I wanted this group to be clean and nice. And now of course, I've got people who've known me for ages in there, but when it was brand new, you don't need a list.

You don't need an existing relationship. You invite people in you talk to them, you know now.

Katie: you pre-qualify them,

then you invite

Laura: for sure.

Katie: Um, you know, I it's like inviting people to a call and if they don't take you up on it, then that's okay. Like move it on. Right. It is a little bit of a numbers game, but the people who say yes are the ones you get to

serve and

we're good to go.

Laura: the thing is that I'm connecting with all people who are potentially my best people, but I don't know which one of them wanted.

Katie: Right.

Laura: I'm all of the people I'm connecting with are my potentially my people like I'm, I'm not having my virtual assistant reach out to anybody. I don't want to talk to, I want to talk to all of the people, but I can't talk to all of the people.

So that's why we do the process to narrow it down to, we get to the people who are our people who are ready for what we have, who do want to talk to us. And we talk to them and it's blissful. It's wonderful. It's a wonderful experience for everyone involved. and the people aren't in the right place right now.

It's not like, we're mean to them. Like we're still friends with them. We still connect with them. We're just not speaking to them right now. And they're not being invited to the group. So they don't even know that they miss out on something because it's not the Right.

time. And that's the other thing, is this the way we're doing this is keeping my groups small.

And I say my group, I mean our group, cause it's jacking Carrie's group too. Um, but it's, it's, I think we're still under 700 people Right. now and it does grow. Um, I don't know, appropriately it's there's no specific number of people grows, but it grows between three and 25 people a week, I think. Um, and it varies because we are listening to people and only inviting the ones who we think will be good.

We're not inviting everybody and we're not encouraging people to invite other people. We are doing it by hand on purpose. It's a very nice group. We love everybody we've we haven't had to ban a single person. We haven't had to tell a single person to behave.

Like it is the nicest group of people you're ever going to meet in your entire life.

Uh, we love our people. We, I mean, we love them.

Katie: So I know that, um, you guys are actually just about to teach this process right. In a, in a non-free

Laura: to nuts. Oh yeah, no, it's paid.

Katie: Yeah. I like that. I'm really getting into that, that model better. It just attracts more committed,

interested people.

Laura: Well, we give a

Katie: tell us about that.

Laura: We give a lot of value without you needing to pay within the group. And we answer questions. And if anybody wants to know something, it's not like we're holding anything back, but this is a workshop where we are giving a very high value system. And if someone's not willing to pay for it, they're not going to do it anyway.

Katie: Yeah.

Laura: you've got to be willing to invest in yourself to do this. And it is something where if you do it like half-heartedly, or if you just, if you don't put the effort and the, if you don't humanize it, if you don't make it your own, it's not going to work for you. it really needs to be one that you, you do, but yeah, we've, we've, uh, we're giving our, our actual script, which we're constantly updating.

So people. have to make it their own, but we're giving it as a swipe file. We're giving a checklist step by step of exactly the process you have to go through to make this, um, and we're explaining why each step is important. So there's an hour of, um, teaching, which includes me going through the process and Jack teaching, how he works with our VA on the scripts, because he's better at communication than I am.

I mean, I'm great at talking obviously, but he's a communications expert. That's what he does. So he and Tammy now, cause that's our VA. We love her, but she, he, they together go through all three of our scripts every week. So what Carrie and I are responsible for is letting Jamie know what's going on in our lives.

But other than that, Um, we're to the point now where she's got a huge database to work from, and we've answered so many questions. That he works with her primarily, unless they have questions and then they reach

out to the other two of us. Um, yeah. So he's going to go through that. And

then, you know, Carrie's pretty much just emceeing this one, cause it's not her area of expertise.

Katie: Yep. So

so that's happening. I know this is kind of a timely thing. It's happening next Wednesday. Is that

Laura: we are doing it again on, I believe it's Thursday afternoon, but we will be adding the replay into the membership site and it'll be there

in perpetuity. So as long as the system Is still relevant, if at some point it stops working, then we'll put a big spoiler on it and be like, no, don't do this anymore.

There's there's

Katie: was really good for 2022.

Laura: exactly. We've updated this version. Don't watch this anymore. We'll pull it down. But as long as the system is to working in it, so what we're doing, then it'll be in the membership area. So what we're doing is we're charging. Um, we had a black Friday cyber Monday, special $27. We may run that through the end of December, but then it's going to be $47 workshops, $47.

And with that, you get one free month of our $47 currently a voyage level of our membership. That membership will go up to 97 eventually, but it's new. We don't have as much content in there that does mean people get more personal attention because we are showering them with the personal love. that's not scalable.

So eventually the price will go up and the personal attention will go down, which sounds awful. But that's life. That's how That's how, That's how it works, but we're

Katie: That's how it scales.

Laura: yeah. That's how it


And we're always going to do our Q and A's and there always be a availability to us. But as we get bigger, though,

it'll be shared amongst more people is what happens.

Katie: Yeah.

Laura: So we're not going to give less, it's just going to be spread amongst more people.

Jeffrey: exactly.

Katie: can people find that? Do you have a link? I mean, we can pop it in the show notes,

Laura: we did. I shared a link with you. Um, the best place to go is just link tree forward slash social savvy geek, which is where I put all my goodies all the time.

Katie: all


Laura: It's the easiest thing. I keep that up-to-date. So if you want to see things go there.

Katie: Awesome. Cause yeah, right there is like the link to your group and your website and how to find you. So you make our

job easy, but

Laura: and I'll turn the

workshop button on, uh, when the workshop's available and when it's not, it won't show up there. So you can just go back there and see what's available at any given time. And there's a work with me button, then you can just, I mean, if you want to talk to me, talk to me. If you are sitting here going me, I'm qualified.

I want to talk to you. Well, then make an appointment. I'll talk to you on the telephone.

Katie: awesome.

Jeffrey: that's awesome.

You know, w we've been, we've been talking about, you know, what's not working and what is working, do you have like a T to kind of sum up what we've been talking about? Do you just have like a laundry list of, okay. If, if there's coaches out there who are saying, raising their hand saying, yeah, man, I can not get calls booked anymore.

Things are slowing down. What's that kind of checklist laundry list that they can just kind of

go back and, you know, change this, change

this, do this

Laura: I didn't just take the workshop. I mean, it's, it's a process. I'm not,

Jeffrey: One thing to do on the list. Take


Laura: I'm literally gonna spend, we're gonna spend an hour walking through step-by-step how to do it and then answer questions for half hour after that. But it's, it's not,

if it were simple and easy, everyone would be doing it is simple, but it is not easy.

And it takes a lot of prep work and there's, I mean, you can try to do this. It took it. I mean, we've been doing it now for a year and we've pretty much perfected. Like our scripts are really good. Um, and personable and conversational. And not that you can copy it because you have to have your own conversation, but it gives you a thing to say, oh, what would I say in that situation?

And then make it your own. Um, and that kind of thing, but it really is. I mean, the, the shortlist is connect with people authentically on Facebook, messaged them with them about their life and then their business, and then invite them and then talk to them on the telephone. And then from there, take them where you need to take them.

So that's the order of operations, but there's, there's like five steps to every one of those steps. It's just like making an automation where you think, oh, I'm just going to put up this funnel and it's going to be five minutes and it's golden. No, really it's not.

Jeffrey: Each step has a step and those

Laura: Yeah. Every step

has a

step and

then there's steps. And here's the thing. When you first start doing. You're going to suck, be at

peace with your mistakes. Be willing to swim around in the awful first feeling of awkwardness that will

inevitably happen. And you'll put your foot in your mouth and It's going to go badly until you do it.

And then you'll be like, oh, that wasn't what I meant. And then you'll fix it and then you'll go on and it'll be better. And after a while, and after a while, you're going to be like, this is so good. And you'll forget about the beginning

when it was awful. Just like learning any new thing. Like just, you have to, you have to keep doing it.

I didn't start out liking this. I hated it. At first. I hated it.

Katie: letting yourself like fill up when people respond and you do engage with people,

it's like, okay, yay. Right. Like where I think I used to

focus more on the negative, the people that weren't replying

instead of

Laura: Yeah, I don't see that

anymore. So that's one of the things you've got to figure out. Where is your area of expertise, which part of this process are you really good at? And that's the part that you do. And then the other parts, you find someone else where they like it and they do it and you pay them for it.

And it's wonderful. And then I've had people say, well, I can't afford to pay for it. Well, guess what? You can start by doing it yourself. And then you make a sale and then you pay someone. And then it grows because we had people who didn't have the, the money to pay

for it. At first, they did it themselves to get the money and then they paid for a virtual assistant.

And now they're, you know, the, the system is pumping. It's going, it's working, it's scaling. um, businesses

being had. Uh, and now they're, they're not looking back and, you know, you start where you are and do whatever is the next best step for you. And, um,


Katie: Yup. That was like the best business

advice. Like when I first started my very first coach, she would say start where you are with what you have.

Jeffrey: Yeah.

Katie: So I

Laura: don't compare yourself to other people because I'm going to tell you being in marketing and coaching for the past 12 years, things are not always, as they appear in a, it is like that duck, you see a duck or a Swan and on the surface, everything's beautiful. And that. Swan is swimming and you're like, oh, and under the surface, their little feet are paddling like crazy.

And it's all chaos, complete chaos. And I have seen that. you know, and Yeah.

so, and you know, some,

and That's the thing too, right now. I'm, I'm, I'm in a good place in my business, but I could break it

and then I have to scramble around to so, um, I mean, I'm not, I'm not any special or perfect. I just have been doing this longer and I know how to fix things faster.

That's all.

Katie: Yup. Well, this has been so informative. Thank you so much. Um, I just, I loved our conversation the other day and I was like, oh my gosh, we've got to get her on a podcast and just share, um, you know, just again, like we may have learned strategies three years ago, they're just not working anymore. And it really it's like full circle back to just connection and treating people like humans

Laura: You know,

Katie: you


serve them,


Laura: it's, it's, I feel like we're back to being in my time. Cause I've always taken traditional business practices and, and human behavior and put it together with marketing. And for a while, people who were taking shortcuts were getting ahead and I was like butts, they're burning their bridges. I'm like, if you're selling somebody else's thing that you don't care about and you could just change your brand name and move on.

More power to you. You do you My thing is so personal and tied to me as a human being that I'm like, I don't want people thinking like that about me ever in my life. So I'd rather go the, the quote unquote slower way that feels more in alignment. And I know?

that I've been ethical and, and I've have my integrity intact and that's more important to me. So here I am. And now 12 years later, I have seen those people come and go and come and go and come and go. And I'm like, you go ahead and take short cuts. I'll be here doing my thing.

Jeffrey: yeah, it takes a lot longer to build, to grow a

tree than a Bush. That's for sure.

Laura: But when you build slowly on a good foundation, your business will test, it will, it will ebb and flow

with your life and it will support you through. I've had a child while I've been in business. I've lost my husband while I've been in business. I've moved across the country multiple times and I'm about to do it again.

Cause I like to do it. I get bored. Um, That's the thing your business can move with you and ebb and flow and support you. If you take the time to build it that way. And that's what we're doing. so that's good. That's

Jeffrey: so good. So good, Laura, this has been incredible. I really want to thank you for, for taking the time, uh, to, to chat with us and everything like that. Well, thank you so much

for your time.

Laura: Thank you.

Jeffrey: Awesome, everybody. Thank you so much for tuning in and joining us. And if you enjoy this episode, please leave us a five star and hit that subscribe button.

And if you want to check out how to connect with Laura and for the show notes, go to the launch squad, forward slash episode 53. We will see you next time.

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About the Show

The Lighten Your Launch Podcast is for Coaches and Course Creators who want a lighter online launch experience. Maybe you’ve done a few launches already, and feel exhausted just thinking about it! Or, it’s been one of your goals, but you don’t know where to start.

Tune in to learn from our team of experts, The Launch Squad, who aren’t afraid to dig into all aspects of launching: sales, strategy, technology, mindset, funnels, and even a bit of woo to get you through the toughest times. Let’s put a stop to perfectionism and procrastination, and finally take your launch from intimidating to money-making!