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Audience Building

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How do I grow my audience?

How do I reach more people?

How do I get engagement?

How do I grow my email list?

How do I grow my Facebook group?

How do I talk to more people?

 

One of the BIGGEST challenges my clients face is audience growth. They’re constantly wondering how to bring more people into their circle of influence, giving them more credibility, more people to sell to, and more opportunities to grow their business.

While I will admit it took me a little while to figure this part out – I felt like the few tips I’ve been putting in play in my business could help YOU get started on reaching more people today.

Disclaimer: My audience is not huge, I know that. But, my audience has grown A LOT since January 1, by deploying these tactics.

Invite People In

 

The number one way to grow your audience is to invite people in.

Seriously. Aside from Facebook ads (which we’ll talk about later) – the number one biggest way I’ve grown my audience is by simply inviting people in.

When I am connecting with new people online, be it on Facebook or LinkedIn (even Instagram) – my goal is to invite them to my Facebook group. That’s the “bottom of the funnel,” so to speak. Yours might be an opt-in to your email list, following you on social, inviting them to a challenge, or a meeting. It will be different for everyone.

On LinkedIn, I find I can be more direct by letting people know I have a Facebook group, what value they get from being a part of it, and that I’d love for them to be a part of it.

On Facebook, if I’m in someone else’s FB group answering questions and providing value, I will let the person who I am talking to know that I have a FB group and that I’d be happy to DM them the link if they’d like to join. This way, I’m not breaking any rules in someone else’s FB group.

On Instagram (which I don’t use a ton) –  I use stories to talk about the amazing things happening in the Facebook group. I promote the free trainings we do, the different conversations we’re having, and the awesome women connecting and growing inside the group.

Finally, my invitation to the my Facebook group is in my email signature. I use it as a P.S. in pretty much all of my email content. It’s all the call to action on my landing pages, when someone opts in to my email list. Finally, there’s a link for inside my freebies, too.

Regardless of where you interact with me, I am inviting you into my Facebook group – which is where I spend most of my time serving my audience.

Make It Easy

When I’m networking in a Facebook group, receive a new FB friend request, or connect with someone new on LinkedIn – I like to check out their pages and profiles to learn more about them. The number of times I’m unable to figure out what the person does is surprisingly high.

I know you’re not supposed to use your personal FB profile for business, BUT, if you’re connecting with people via your personal Facebook page, they should be able to tell what you do, if you have a business. On my profile, it’s part of my bio and there is a link to my Facebook group. It’s easy to tell what kind of business I have and who I work with.

That way, if someone is interested in what I do, it’s easy to for them to figure out how to connect with me!

On LinkedIn, it seems as if we’ve gotten really big into fancy, fun titles that aren’t really clear on what you actually do. This is a professional networking site! Be as clear as you can about who you work with, the problem you solve for them, and HOW they can connect with you.

I have my link to my Facebook group and a link to a freebie on my LinkedIn profile. It’s EASY to figure out what to do next.

 

Connect with More People

The more people that you connect with – the more people that connect with you. My goal is to add 10 new people to my network everyday on LinkedIn (I’m more successful some days than others). But, I find the more people I add to my network, the more requests that I get to join my network. Not sure if that’s an algorithm thing, but that’s how it seems to work.

On Facebook, the more people I interact with in Facebook groups, the more groups I join, the more pages I like, the more people that will come check out my content, download a freebie, or join the Facebook group.

I see this like I do most things – provide value before you ask. Show interest. Comment on other people’s stuff. Read their content. Hit the like button when you’re scrolling by.

On Instagram – the #1 way to grow your audience is to go out and like and comment on other people’s stuff. Follow people. Interact. Provide value. They will come back and follow you and interact with your content.

The more people you connect with AND the more value you provide – the more people will connect with you.

 

Facebook Ads

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention ads as part of this strategy. I have a FB ads specialist I work with to grow my email list. After they download the free PDF, the landing page gives them a link to the FB group.

It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s effective.

 

Facebook Groups

I know, I know – if one more person tells you to hang out in FB groups to connect with new people, you might throw something.

Sorry, friend, but it’s true. If your ideal client is in Facebook groups – YOU need to be in Facebook groups.

First of all, it’s a great way to get visible. Answer questions. Provide value. Post valuable content. Use the Promo Days to share your free stuff.

The more often someone sees you – the more interested in they become. Remember – you’re building the know, like, trust factor.

Facebook groups ARE NOT a place to sell. I’m going to say it again.

Facebook Groups ARE NOT a place to sell.

Facebook groups are a place to network. Use the guideline of how you would connect with someone at a networking event. Say hello. Ask questions. Provide value. THEN, if it makes sense, invite them into your world (whatever that looks like for you).

You can also start to establish credibility inside Facebook groups. If you’re offering really insightful, thoughtful advice to people – eventually other people will want to know more about you. Who is this girl?! She’s really on it! I love her advice.

Then, they go to your profile or page – and because you’ve made it EASY for them to connect with you – they download your freebie, join your Facebook group, like your page, connect with you on LinkedIn, etc.

 

Networking

In my personal opinion, and quite honestly, in my personal experience –in person networking is the fastest way to grow your audience, establish yourself as an expert, and grow your business.

Even if you have an online based business – connecting in person ups the know, like, trust factor BIG TIME. It’s easier to connect in person. It’s easier to establish credibility. It’s easy to position yourself as an expert and show more of your personality.

Finally, growing a network and connecting with like minded people are two of the most valuable things you can do for your business and for yourself.

I know, sometimes it sounds over simplified when someone puts together a list like this. But, this is 100% how I’ve grown my Facebook group by around 300 people since January. I’ve also added about 400 people to my email list. All with a combination of these things. I’ve launched my first group coaching program with these tactics. I’ve launched my four week sales foundation course using these tactics. I got my first B2B project using these tactics.

Get out there – invite people in, make it easy for them to connect with you, connect with more people, continually provide value and GROW YOUR NETWORK – and your business will grow!

 

 

How to Prioritize Your Time

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One of the many questions or challenges I hear from clients and the women in my Facebook Group is that there is an endless list of things to do. The problem is – it’s hard to decide which things are mission critical and which things aren’t, especially when it feels like EVERYTHING is important.

The first exercise I have my clients do is write down ALL of the things they feel like they need to do. From content creation, to videos, to website updates, to email, to landing pages, to social media and beyond. Literally write down every single thing that needs to be done.

One, you should feel better just having it all out on paper. My coach tells me that the reason I get overwhelmed when I have a lot to do is because my brain is trying to remember what all needs to be done, which creates this crazy “OMG, how am I going to get it all done?” loop in my brain. Sound familiar?

First things first

After you have it all on paper – tackle the things that will take 5 minutes or less. My guess is you have sat down, set a timer for 30 mins, and focused on those tasks – you’d easily knock out 5-7 things. While none of these things have been prioritized they are now DONE and there is nothing more satisfying than checking stuff off of the list.

Now, with your new found sense of accomplishment – you get to start prioritizing.

If you’re in a position to hire a Virtual Assistant, even if it’s just for a few hours each week, you should start there. What 5-7 items on your to-do list do NOT need you or your expertise to get done? Outsource those thing. Not only will it save you time, that person will likely be able to get stuff done in half the time you can.

Now, my guess is there are somewhere between 8-12 things left on your list for you to do. While that’s better than 20+ – it can still feel like A LOT to get done. Especially if you’re juggling a full time job while launching your business.

What do I do first?

This is where the rubber hits the road, my burned out and overwhelmed entrepreneur. You have to start by prioritizing the money making activities.

Tweaking your website for the 4 million-th time – not making you any money.

Editing your email sequence – not making you any money.

Making pretty images in Canva – NOT making you any money.

Taking 3 hours to write your blog – NOT making your any money.

So what IS making you money?

This is likely to be different for everyone, in some capacity. But, at its core, money making activities are:

  • Connecting with your audience
  • Growing your audience
  • Selling to your audience
  • Nurturing your audience
  • Live streams
  • Training webinars
  • Consult Calls
  • Challenges
  • Prospecting
  • Inviting people to your FB group or email list.

When you look at the remaining items on your list – do they match up with the above?! If the above items AREN’T on your list – we likely have an even bigger problem.

Before you freak out…

This is a GOOD thing. We’ve now identified that you are spending an abundance of time on activities that aren’t making you any money. Which means we can now actually start prioritizing your time and planning your days.

Calendar Blocking

Whether you use an electronic or a paper calendar – blocking off time on your calendar to get things done is MISSION CRITICAL. If you need to spend 30 minutes responding to posts in your Facebook group each day – that needs to be on your calendar.

If you want to make sure you’re inviting 15 new people to your email list each day – that time should be on your calendar.

If you need to plan your social media for the week – that needs to be on your calendar.

I wish I could remember who told me “what doesn’t get put on your calendar, doesn’t get done” – but it is 100% true. If you do not have time earmarked for certain MONEY MAKING activities you will find yourself chasing the bottom of you to-do list and totally broke.

Sad, but true.

Tips and Ideas

What I do – might not work for you, but it’s the best experience I can speak from.

I have tried to create a system for myself as it relates to weekly and daily activities in my business. On the weekends, I focus on content generation. Blog content. Social content. Outlines for lives throughout the week. Landing page edits, email sequence edits, etc.

The more I can get done Friday – Sunday – the more time I have to connect with and nurture my audience throughout the week. I know a lot of entrepreneurs earmark Mondays for content. Doesn’t matter when you do it – just make sure it gets scheduled and done.

I have a daily to-do list. It’s a list of activity I do every single day in my business. It includes activities from posting new stories to connecting with new people on LinkedIn, to welcoming people to my Facebook group. Every. Single. Day.

Because I juggle my full time job with my business, I don’t do these things at the exact same time every day, I fit them into lunch breaks, after hours, etc. If I had a choice though – these activities would be the FIRST thing I get done each day (with the exception of Insta stories).

Primarily because there are often the “less fun” activities than things like live training inside my group or answering questions inside other Facebook groups.

Also, once it’s done – it’s done. My prospecting activities for the day are DONE – which is important, because those are the things that usually get “skipped” most often.

Block off Time for Client Work

This one I almost forgot to do, and it’s caught up with me a few times. If you wear ALL the the hate (sales, marketing, content generation, etc.) – it’s often hard to balance ALL of the things we should be doing with client work. Make sure you factor this into your day and your week.

The good news is – client work should be your zone of genius – and be the easiest thing to  get done. But, nonetheless, if it’s not on your calendar, you’re likely to find yourself scrambling to get things done (speaking from experience).

Guidelines

I just gave you a lot of advice on how to manage your calendar. That likely feels overwhelming and very limiting – like I’ve asked you to plan every minute of every day. That is NOT what I am asking you to do.

It’s likely you become an entrepreneur because you were looking for time freedom and a calendar with every single minute planned is NOT freedom. I know that.

However, without boundaries and without a plan, we’re likely to spend an ENTIRE day writing a blog post instead of the 20 minutes it should take. Also, the bigger your business gets – the more you will get to out source, which will give you the time freedom you’re looking for.

The whole point of this entire blog wasn’t to make you feel restricted but rather to give you some insight into planning out your time and making sure that the MONEY MAKING ACTIVITIES get calendar-ed and get done FIRST. Then, you squeeze in the rest.

Take these tips as a guideline and find the system that works best for you. As long as your money making activities make it on your calendar first – you’re doing it right!

 

Welcome to the Podcast

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Welcome to my new podcast.  I’m Ryann Dowdy.  I’m a sales coach and revenue mentor that helps business owners overcome their negative mindset around sales and increase revenue. I support ambitious, smart, motivated, female entrepreneurs as they work towards their business goals. I believe that mastering basic influence skills (or sales skills) is the key to greatly increasing the number of clients you work with, reaching your income goals, and living the life you imagined when you started your business.

In this first episode, you’ll get to know a little more about me and how I hope to help you take your skills up a notch? Do you want to work with more clients? Do you want to have better sales conversations with your clients and work with more people?  If your answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right podcast.

Discovery Call vs Coaching Call

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When you’re really good at what you do and when it comes easily to you – it’s hard to listen to someone spill their guts about a problem that they’re having that you know you can fix and not FIX it! Right?!

While we always want to provide value in our Discovery Calls – we want to make sure we leave our prospects an opportunity to BUY from us.

I’m not saying that you can solve someone’s MAJOR business problem in a 30 minute call, but if the prospect has enough information that they feel like they can do it on their own, then they have no reason to pay you. They can continue to make excuses as to why they shouldn’t pay for it (as we know we often do when we’re making decisions).

Free Coaching Calls?

Have you ever heard that you should offer free coaching calls when you’re first starting your business? Or maybe you just want to get people used to scheduling calls with you.

In fact, for Valentine’s Day I offered free 15 minute coaching calls to my community. I did this to connect. I did this because I want to help. I did this as a gift and way to provide value to YOU – my audience.

On these calls – there will be NO pitch. There will be NO ask. It will be a quick 15 minute Q&A.

This is intentional. I will NOT betray my audience by ASKING for anything.

I sincerely 110% hope that I help each woman I get to talk to (I am SO excited).

THIS is an instance where you COACH without SELLING. Without asking. And without expecting anything in return.

Spoiler alert…

The reason you provide value to your audience is because you want them thinking “OMG – if I can learn THIS much from this person for free in 15 minutes – imagine if I actually joined their coaching program or hired them for 1:1 coaching?”

That’s why you offer free coaching calls. To solve a small part of what we all know is typically a larger problem.

Discovery Call

A discovery call is a SALES call. It shouldn’t be a secret to the prospect that it’s a SALES call. Whether you call it a consult, a strategy session, a discovery call, a breakthrough call. It does not matter. At all.

It’s a sales call. And no one should ever, ever be surprised when they get on a sales call that they are going to be asked to buy something (if it’s a good fit).


I teach to the “non-negotiables” of the Discovery Call often – but here is my framework.

What is their current situation?

What is their desired situation?

What happens if they get there?

What happens if they don’t?

How have they tried to solve the problem before?

The Discovery call is an 80/20 conversation. Your prospect should talk 80% of the time – you should talk 20%.

You know what the means?!

There is NOOOOOO coaching on the Discovery Call. You are looking to find out what the prospect’s problem is and if your program can solve it. If the answer is yes (and ONLY if the answer is yes) should you share your program, solution, opportunity, etc. with the prospect.

You are NOT there to solve their problem on the call. You’re there to learn what their problem is and tell them how your program can fix it.

That’s it.

Here’s the deal. You are likely to get asked questions during the Discovery Call. I am not saying you shouldn’t answer those questions or provide any value – you 100% should. I always coach to the idea of – “would you answer this for free on social media or if asked at a networking event?” If the answer is YES – then answer is the question.

If the answer is a much longer conversation that you would cover in a 1:1 coaching call – then the answer is “Sarah – that’s a great question. And one we’d absolutely get answered inside my (insert the name of your program).” Then transition back to the conversation or better yet ask a question.

On the Discovery Call, you’re promising that you can and will solve their problem when they work with you. That’s it.

What do I do if someone doesn’t get it?

We’ve all been on that Discovery Call where the prospect gets frustrated that you aren’t solving all of their problems. The best way to avoid that is to set the expectations on the front end.

As soon as you get on the call you can set an agenda, some like this:

Sarah, I’m so excited to talk with you today. I’ve checked out your social media and your website, but I want to hear it from you. My goal today is to learn more about you and your business and your biggest challenges around (insert what you do here). If we’re both in agreement that it makes sense, I will share with you how I support business owners like you. Sound good?

Now, you set the expectation that you aren’t coaching them today – they’re doing the talking. And only if you both agree it makes sense, you will recommend which program they should participate in.

Setting expectations early on is important. And, if they still just don’t get it, they weren’t your person anyway.

If I don’t Coach on my consult calls – how do I provide value?

Girlfriend, you are providing value EVERYWHERE.

Your freebies. Your blog posts. Your website. Your FB lives. Your social media content. Your FB group.

By the time someone says YES – I’m ready to jump on a call with you, it’s likely they’ve assumed a fair amount of your (really amazing) free content.

You have provided value – the Discovery Call is the opportunity to learn about one another, see if there’s a fit to work together, and invite your prospect to one of your programs (if you can solve their problem). That’s it.

Remember – you’re amazing as what you do. You have an incredible gift to share with the world that have VALUE and shouldn’t be given away for free!

What To Do When It Feels Like Nothing Is Working

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I’ve tried it all. I post to Facebook all the time. I use Instagram stories. I interact with people on LinkedIn. I go live ALL the time. Nothing is working….

Any of that sound familiar?

I’ve not only heard it all before – I’ve personally experienced it, too. You feel as if you’re doing ALL the things and NOTHING is working. It’s frustrating. It’s lonely. If you’re a high achiever, it’s almost embarrassing. I know.

You have two choices here.

Give Up.

Or…

Figure. It. Out.

My business coach gave me the amazing advice to think “I will figure this out, no matter what” every time I get frustrated. It’s unbelievable how different you look at things through that lense.

But, today’s blog is not about mindset. It’s about what do actually DO when you feel like nothing is working. I’m going to tell you what I did and what actually happened ….after months and months of feeling frustrated and helpless.

Show up.

My first step towards taking control of my business was to start Showing Up. Every Day. Even when you don’t feel like. Even when it feels like noone is listening. Even when you don’t feel good, you’re exhausted, you have sick kids, etc. Show up.

Why is this so important? Because your followers will notice your inconsistency. Not in an obvious way, but in a subtle way. There’s a lot of noise out there, my friend. If you’re not talking to them – someone else is. You want your ideal client to feel like you are EVERYWHERE. And that only happens when you show up.

How do you do it?! Map out a plan. Come up with different themes for different days. Create social media templates. Write out your content ahead of time. Do everything you need to do to make it as simple as possible to show up every day.

Answer every question you get. Use live video. Don’t just post your own content, interact with other people’s content.

Just show up. Your business will improve.

Start Inviting People Into Your World

Whether it’s your Facebook group, email list, or whatever – you have to invite people in.

Believe it or not, people aren’t just going to raise their hands and buy stuff from you. Eventually, yes, it will feel like that. But not without doing the leg work ahead of time. You have to TELL people what you want them to do. You have to invite them into a conversation.

You might have heard, but social media has a mind of it’s own. Posting once or twice about your amazing Facebook group or incredible free resource ….isn’t going to get you anywhere. Marketing is a reach and frequency game.

Which is why you have to reach out to people and ASK them to be part of your world. Notice, I didn’t say you have to cold pitch really salesy, spammy messages to strangers. I said connect with and invite new people into your world.

Then, nurture. Serve. Nurture. Serve.

Ask. Ask. Ask.

You want to book more Discovery Calls? You have to ASK more people to jump on discovery calls with you. You want to launch a group program – you have to ASK people to be in the group.

We assume that because we have a business and because we’re showing up every day and because we’ve invited people in that people KNOW how to buy from us. Shocklingly, they don’t. You have to ASK people to buy from you.

Again, at some point, your business will be a well oiled marketing machine and your visibility will be through the roof and you’ll be making money while you sleep. BUT – in the meantime, you have to ask people to buy from you. You have to tell them what problem you solve, how you solve it, and why you’re the person to solve it for them specifically. Then – ASK for the sale.

While all of this MAY seem like an oversimplification, I think if you’re really really honest with yourself about what’s going on in your business – you aren’t doing these things every single day.

I know that I wasn’t.

I had a small FB group that was growing by 3-4 people a week. I wasn’t reaching out and inviting new people to be part of my world, my email list was stagnant at best. And I certainly wasn’t asking for business often enough – and I was rarely jumping on Discovery Calls.

What happened when that changed?

I grew my Facebook group by 200 people in January.

The group is active and engaged.

People now show up to my Monday night live trainings.

I grew my email list by about 150 people in January.

I made more money in January than I did all of Q4.

By taking the steps I mentioned above.

Show up.

Invite People In.

Ask.

I always see posts in Facebook groups asking “what would you go back and tell yourself at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey?” My answer is always the same. Focus on revenue generating tasks first. The rest is secondary.

To be clear, what is considered a revenue generating activity?

Show up.

Invite People In.

Ask.

Got it?! Good.

 

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