meaningful work podcast

Episode 13: Getting paid to raise your visibility

Aug 14, 2023 | Podcast

As a business owner, raising your visibility, growing your audience, attracting publicity, growing your email list: these are all part and parcel of our work. This can be a huge challenge for many owners – not only because there are many ways to build our audience, but because not all visibility works to our communication strengths. (We can’t all be good at writing/talking/video/interviewing, etc.)

The other significant frustration is that raising your visibility can be expensive, time-consuming, and ineffective. It’s enough to make you give up. (DON’T!)

There is a better way – a way to raise your visibility and grow your audience while also getting paid. This is what I did, especially in the early days of my business, and still do so, today.

We discuss:

  • My story of my early years of business when I discovered the win-win-win of getting paid to grow my visibility. The various ways that you can get paid to grow your audience.
  • The changing trends of email subscribers and how you don’t need to worry so much about unsubscribes.
  • The rise and rise of online classes.
  • How to test and validate your course, program and membership, while getting paid.
  • One of the biggest mistakes I made with course trainings – exactly what I did wrong, so you can learn from my mistakes.
  • How to choose the visibility raising method that will work best for your communication strengths and your goals.

If you’re ready to leverage your expertise and give your clients a deeper transformation, with premium group programs, then register your interest in our upcoming Leverage Mastermind.

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Welcome to meaningful work remarkable life. I’m your host Brook McCarthy, and I’m a business coach, trainer and speaker living and working on the unceded lands of the Camaragal people here in Sydney, Australia. In this podcast, we explore the paradoxes inherent in working for love and money, magnifying your impact, and doing work you feel born to do, we explore the intersections of the meanings we bring to work, and the meanings we derive from work.

Hello, this is Brook McCarthy and welcome to episode 13. Today, we are going to be talking about building your audience, raising your visibility, doing your own publicity, but most excitingly getting paid to do so. So this is a huge piece of the sustainability puzzle. This is a huge piece of building that sustainable, healthy, flourishing relationship between you and your business.

Because for so many of us building our audience is very slow, very tiring, very confusing, so many different options available as to what we could do or should do or would do, if only if only, only that lots of people become unstuck, or they become stuck before they even get started. Right? Because they’re so busy procrastinate researching, and procrastinate planning and procrastinate thinking and procrastinate the networking and deciding and talking and figuring out what they should do and could do and would do that nothing gets done. Yeah. And then of course, we finally get over ourselves. And we launch ourselves into social media, thinking, hey, this is gonna be exciting, everybody’s gonna think we’ve got a winning personality. And I’m just so funny. And we get crickets.

Yeah, it feels like some kind of echo chamber, some kind of abyss that we’re shouting down, and we cannot hear ourselves or see ourselves. And we feel like Nigel no friends, and then we quit, right, but not before, a huge bout of self loathing, and perhaps a little rage on the side. So let’s not do that, hey, let’s not do that, let’s instead look at some of the ways that we can get paid to build our audience to validate our ideas, to test our assumptions to test the market, and to earn an income while doing so.

So I want to start by focusing on what I did when I started my business in 2008. I guess I did it somewhat strategically, but not really, I didn’t I certainly didn’t foresee this. But once I spotted the opportunities, I absolutely pursued them. So at the time 2008, 2009, 2010, I had a digital marketing agency, and a lot of what I did involved writing up articles, I was producing a lot of words every month for a small number of clients. And I would create the strategy, create the plan, decide on the topics, you know, with a little input from the clients, but many of my clients were really too busy and not really that interested. And they were happy to kind of give me free rein and and I you know, I’ve always enjoyed receiving free rein and being able to just, you know, do what I want have the creative license.

So I found myself, interviewing people loved it. I had done that in public relations before I started my own business and really enjoyed interviewing people love the privilege of being able to pick up the phone and strike up a conversation with a stranger and ask them all kinds of audacious questions and they answer them. Amazing, I get to do it now with coaching. But what I quickly kind of spotted is an opportunity to start building my network to start introducing myself to strangers, and to be really strategic with the kinds of people that I wanted to meet that were in similar industries, of course, that my clients were in, which is why I was interviewing them in the first place.

So I would find the leaders in the category, the leaders in the sector, the leaders in the industry, and I would pitch myself or introduce myself rather to them and say “Can I interview you?” Now I’m getting paid to interview I’m getting paid to write and publish these articles. And I am doing a favour for the person being interviewed because I’m giving them a platform to be seen and heard on I’m, of course, there making my job easier than making my clients work look good as well, because we’ve got the credibility by association. And it really was a win win win, like nobody lost in this scenario. And of course, I was getting paid in the process, there was a debt of reciprocity being created, because, you know, people would feel favourably towards me, and they could see my expertise in action, I was demonstrating that I knew what I was doing, I was show showcasing my writing skills, my digital skills, my promotional skills, my networking skills, and being paid in the process.

So it was really, really fun. And, you know, helped kind of validate what I was doing, helped build my network, helped build my leads helped build my audience and help build my bank balance. Now, the next thing I did, and this was around 2011, 2012, is I started teaching and training. And initially, I started teaching and training on other people’s courses and programs. And I’ve done that ever since.

So, you know, 11 years later, I’m still happily teaching and training on other people’s programs, I teach and train on behalf of various training institutions, but also other business owners that have their own audience. And they want to bring in an expert, a subject matter expert, they want to bring in a different perspective, to come and teach something to the group. So this was fabulous. It was, you know, probably my first foray, it was definitely my first foray into group training, I loved it, training, group training, lead to coaching, and coaching lead to group coaching. And again, I was being paid, I was growing my audience, I was actively soliciting for email addresses, at the very least, I could say, give me your email address, and I’ll send you the slides. Further down the track, I got a bit more organised and started creating lead magnets that pertain to the topics that I was training on, to kind of supplement you know, create supplementary materials or 10, gentle materials on a topic that was similar topic that was tangential to what had been speaking and training on. And I did this in a variety of different settings. So I did this at conferences when I was, you know, I was in a workshop room, for example, you know, there might be 50 people in the room, I’m running a one hour workshop.

And back in the day, back in the day, it would be you know, paper and pens around the room. And I would say your name, email address, phone number, and people would give me not just their email address, but they’d give me their phone number oftentimes, too, because it’s got that face to face, you know, element to it. In more recent years, I’ve done this, of course, on Zoom, I’ve done lots of online presentations for various tapes and training colleges, vocational colleges, universities, and it works very similarly.

So I’m posting the link to my lead magnet, which of course is highly valuable and desirable. So that people can quickly and easily click on that link. Or they can, you know, I might have a QR code on the slide, and they can point their phone to the screen, and download whatever the lead magnet is. So in this way, I am building my audience, I’m building my email list, I’m building awareness of myself, my business and my offer, I’m demonstrating my expertise, I’m demonstrating my style and approach. And then people resonate, or they don’t resonate, they sign up, or they don’t sign up, they come back or they don’t come back.

I’ve seen this play out over so many years over the last, you know, 11-12 years now. Just the other day, I was having a sales call with somebody and I said oh, so how did you find me? You know, what, how did you first find me? And she said, Oh, I saw you speak at a festival. You know, I remember the festival and it was a good five or six years, you know, and that’s not unusual people, you know, have been in my orbit for 5, 6, 8, 10 years before they are, you know, ready to to reach out and do work with me. So, next thing that I want to talk about is the paid live trainings. Now I didn’t actually call these paid live trainings. I just called them online master classes at first. Then I just called them online classes. Some people run them at lunchtime, some call them lunch and learns. But you know, another way to talk about it is paid live trainings and basically a paid live training is anywhere from let’s say, I don’t know 45 minutes to an hour and a half, I think, hour and a half, two hours max online is probably the limit. And you can sell it for anywhere from $27 $39 $49 $97 up to, you know, $290. I’ve seen, you know, online classes for about two hours, hour and a half $297. Probably not that much more than $297. Because then it starts to tip into the next kind of category. Yeah.

So the idea here is that it’s short and sharp. And most importantly, it tests and validates the topics, the headlines, the angle, that you are kind of exploring, and wanting to see if there’s an interest in a market for it. Now, I’ve made all the mistakes in business so that you don’t have to so let me tell you about, you know, perhaps one of my biggest mistakes, and it was the biggest or one of the biggest, because it stopped me from launching, it stopped me from proceeding.

You know, I stupidly let a small mistake turn into a failure made it mean something. But what I did, and I’m thinking it’s 2000, and well, around then 2012, possibly 2013, early 2013, I ran a pay what you like experiment, and it was called 30 steps to business building something or another very Duff’s name. But I had an audience, I had an email list, and I sold 79 spots in this pay what you like experiment, and people could put into PayPal, whatever amount they wanted, I gave them a suggestion of $30, which more than half of people paid $30. So if I had suggested $50, or $80 or $100, then I presumably, I would have seen something similar that, you know, a good chunk of people, probably half or more than half are going to pay the suggested amount. And then it was delivered over email automation, which, you know, was pretty funky back in 2012. That was like the height of sophistication really. And you know, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with delivering online training by email, we sometimes think that video is somehow superior, and don’t ask me why.

So the mistake that I made, or one of the mistakes I made, was that this was to test and validate a larger program, a bigger kind of premium group program that I had, you know, my heart set on. And I made a couple of key mistakes, the first mistake I made was that I didn’t differentiate it enough. Yeah, the name of the paid live training, let’s call it a paid live training. And it wasn’t really live. But you know, nonetheless, it was paid. The name of this paid experiment was too similar than the actual name that of the premium group program. It wasn’t differentiated enough. And this is the massive trap that I see business owners fall into too many times, is they don’t differentiate it enough.

They don’t just take a tiny chunk or a key, you know, idea. And put that in the paid live training, they they go, I’ll just call this the beta program, or the you know, whatever. I’ll give it all away, but I’ll give it away for a song. And then of course, you go from your $49 paid live training to your 1000 or 2000, or $3,000 program, and you haven’t differentiated enough, and you haven’t, you know, made it clear and obvious that this is distinct and different and bigger and more valuable. And you’ve exhausted your audience with the paid live training. So don’t do that. Yeah, we just want to take off a tiny chunk, we want to test and validate, you know, one particular topic headline idea, we do not want to give the whole kit and caboodle we do not want to over deliver. We do not want to give people overwhelm people with resources. Oh, my God, all of a sudden, they’re like, Wow, I’ve just got so many resources and so much to do, and I couldn’t possibly consider purchasing anything more from you, because I’m just bamboozled and overwhelmed with the volume of stuff you’ve given me. And all I can see are all the things that I haven’t done that I now need to do, because you’ve created that need in me.

Yeah, so don’t do that. Give people something that has a very clear, defined outcome. Yeah, it’s one clear step. And perhaps it’s like the first step, or better yet, it addresses a major barrier to purchase. So let’s pretend hypothetically speaking, let’s pretend you know a major barrier to purchase with with a with a premium group program and this is is pretty common is I don’t have time, I don’t have time. I’ve got too much on my plate too many things too many priorities, too many competing priorities for my attention, I do not have time. So therefore, your paid live training could be something like, you know how to find five extra hours in your week, without waking up any earlier, how to better manage your time, how to say no, how to free up six extra hours without giving up on next Netflix.

So let me know what you think. I really, really like getting paid to build my audience, I think it is a win win win win. This is only three quick ideas. So the first one being getting paid to write by your clients interviewing other people. Second one was training and coaching on other people’s programs speaking at other people’s events, where you are the talent you get to sworn in, be brilliant, dazzled people. But at the same time, you’re getting in front of a new audience of your ideal client group. And you’ve got that inference of credibility and authority. Because you’re not just some random you have been introduced. Yeah, you are being paid by the organizer. You are being paid by the community, you know, head, so to speak. And then finally, the third idea to get paid to raise your visibility and build your audience is the paid live trainings, including at pay, like experiment.

So this is just three ideas. There’s many, many more ideas on this. And really, you know, in 2023, it is getting harder to pay for people’s attention. It is getting too expensive. We had the glory days of Facebook, ads were 2012 1314 I wish I had invested heavily I wish I had but alas, those days are gone. Yes. So what we still have what we will always have which is free is our creativity.

It is our creativity that makes a massive difference not just in finding you know creative ways to get paid while building our audience and email lists and reach and visibility but creativity and creative ways of expressing ourselves of saying something worth listening to doing something worth talking about being memorable, you know, being part of the anti banality society instead of standing up and saying the same old same old how to suck eggs.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this. Let me know how you go. I’d love to hear from you. All the ways carrier pigeon, post, PO Box 4122 castle crag 2068, Australia. Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.

Brook McCarthy Business Coach

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