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  • Tracking What Matters in GROUP PROGRAMS and MEMBERSHIPS with MELODY JOHNSON, The Course Consultant

    This is a transcript of the OMGrowth Podcast episode 59.

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and today’s guest is none other than the course consultant herself, Melody Johnson…. and Melody and I taaaaalllllked. I think I thought I had one of those hour-long interview podcasts – in fact, talking to Melody made me wish I had one of those because we went on… and on… because running a group program or membership successfully is flipping magical to me. There’s so much work that goes into acing the onboarding for every single person who joins, the processes and content creation it takes just to maintain that recurring income and membership, the constant improvement mode you’re inevitably in with this business model – we talked about it all but I had to shorten what we recorded to fit this podcast episode format and it still feels like it’s bursting at the seams. There’s so much misleading information about how easy it is to make a gazillion dollars overnight with a membership that will be your money faucet that Melody’s super-professional, grounded in reality expertise is exactly the point view I want to hear from and I’m stoked to be bringing her and her OMGrowth-based insights on what you have to know to run a successful group program to you today.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Melody, welcome.

    Melody:
    Hey, so excited to be here today.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I am so excited to have you. Let’s get into it. So, with data, talk data to me. You dropped the MRR and ARR. What are they and why do course creators and membership owners, membership founders, why do they care about MRR and ARR?

    Melody:
    Yeah. So ARR is annual recurring revenue and MRR is monthly recurring revenue. So, for instance, when we’re tracking the income that’s coming in, whether that’s through monthly recurring revenue from our membership, our group program or our cohort or our subscription-based business, we want to know what is the money that is generated from the base package. That’s the monthly recurring revenue. And as we continue to receive that revenue, that is contributing to the annual recurring revenue. So we have our monthly and we have our annual. Makes sense. But what can be challenging to track for membership owners and group founders is all the data sources. Where are we getting the dollars from, right?

    Melody:
    So for people who will listen to this, you’ve probably used some sort of payment process or maybe used a course platform to receive payments. And, of course, well then, maybe you have some deductions because of the processing fee or whatever and then you’re trying to track all of these other metrics. Maybe you have one-off products that are not really related to your main offering, which is your membership or your group program. And now you’re just looking at the numbers and thrive cards saying, “Is this accurate? Are the numbers inside here a true representation of what’s actually in here? Because I have to go do my taxes and I’m not quite sure what’s going on here.”

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Worst feeling ever.

    Melody:
    Yes. And I’ve done that because I myself have a membership and I’m looking at the numbers going, “What the heck is going on? I’m so confused. These data sources are saying this year, this is saying here and now I have this other stuff. And what’s going on? I’m not a numbers person.”

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Okay. So, what do you do?

    Melody:
    Yeah. So what I recommend doing is using a single source of truth. And what I like to use personally that has worked for me is to use a software that’s free called ChartMogul. That’s chartmogul.com. It’s a free tool that will help to input your data sources, specifically payment platforms like PayPal and Stripe, and will take that data and it will actually create this beautiful dashboard with a full graph visualization chart that will actually share with you the data of what’s actually the monthly recurring revenue every single month. And you’ll also have something that’s called a cohort analysis. And, essentially, what a cohort analysis is, is it will actually track when students came in during this month, how many continued on and where did they fall off.

    Melody:
    So what you might see is you have a big launch, okay? So you have a group program launch, certification launch, membership launch. You have people join and then you have something that’s called churn. So churn is actually the rate at which you lose customers. So it’s actually a percentage. And, obviously, the lower your churn rate is, meaning the less people leave, the better it will contribute to your annual recurring revenue. Meaning you generate more sales from the front end and you retain your customers, which contributes to the growth of your annual recurring revenue, right? So you have, instead of people falling out the funnel, you have it where it comes in and it grows at the base.

    Melody:
    And so I talk about this a little bit more inside of a free training that I have. But, essentially, what ends up happening is you can actually see money coming from your main users or however you call them. Your visitors, your customers, your clients. You have main income coming from those customers. And you also have something called expansion revenue, which is basically revenue that’s not tied to the original purchase price of the main product that you’re selling, but it’s actually additional revenue. And most business owners are already doing it. They’re just not aware that that’s what it’s called. It’s just supplementary services or products that will complement the main package or offering. So for a group program, that might be annual retreats, it might be a one-on-one intensive, it might be a power hour or a licensing agreement or something like that.

    Melody:
    So there’s two kinds. I don’t want to give everything away because we could talk about this for hours, but there’s different kinds of expansion revenue that you can use in your business. And what’s important to actually track first are those two numbers. What is the rate at which you’re losing customers in your group program or membership? And then, also, what is your monthly recurring revenue and what do you want to improve? How can you increase your monthly recurring revenue so that you retain the customers you already have? Because as we’ve said, the money that comes in, we want to keep and we want to grow.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    You had me at dashboard, first of all. Oh, and you can see how all of this plays out on a dashboard. I love the creativity behind that, because you can actually wrap your head around what the numbers look like. My mind is already spinning in terms of, how does that information apply to everything else that you do? Because you’re essentially calculating what the client lifetime value is for your membership. And when you know that number, you know how much you can afford to spend on ads, you know whether you can afford to sponsor that summit, you know how you can spend money to be able to generate more. Not only that, you can forecast how much more money you can afford to make when you invest in these other strategies. Which that’s exciting to me. That’s the most exciting to me.

    Melody:
    Yeah. And I think that we’re just not taught this, right? We don’t sit in school saying, “Can you explain to me what the customer lifetime value of this is for Susie and Jared?”

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Yeah.

    Melody:
    We don’t learn this. And it’s kind of a funny, interesting world that we live in. Because in the SaaS world, this is very common knowledge. The whole process of the cohort analysis, the customer lifetime value, calculating what your cost per acquisition is and then seeing how you can increase your recurring revenue. And that’s why that ChartMogul software is there. It was actually created for SaaS or subscription-based business models. However, group coaching program founders and memberships could absolutely benefit from it. And it’s free until you hit 10,000 monthly recurring revenue.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And at that point, if you’re bringing in those kinds of numbers, you can afford to pay for the dang software. So bring it on.

    Melody:
    Yeah, exactly.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Tell everyone not only where they can find you, but where they can find that training you mentioned. Because for selfish reasons, I will be tuning in as well.

    Melody:
    Yeah. So, well, I do have a free tool that I created myself and it is called a retention calculator. So all the numbers that I was talking about-

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Yes.

    Melody:
    Yeah. So we were talking about churn and you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, how do I calculate that? What’s the actual calculation?” Well, I do have a retention calculator that will do all the heavy lifting for you. So if you go to http://www.thecourseconsultant.com/retentioncalculator, and I’ll share the link with you, Lanie, you will be able to input the data sources that you have. And the free training that I was talking about, it’s actually a three-day workshop series called The Customer Success Sprint. And there’s a group program audit, basically a workbook that’s associated. Yes, you can type it in. It’s cool like that. And you’ll be able to take a look at all of the important things we talked about. Calculating churn, identifying what your monthly recurring revenue is, what your goal is for ARR. And then also to identify some opportunities for growth in your membership through curriculum design, which is how I kind of got started in instructional design, and then creating just a checklist of what ways are going to make this change. At what point are you going to help to make and iterate this change with your team and with your customers.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And I want to emphasize, look, if all this sounds like, “Oh, wow, I’d really like to know that, but I’m not a numbers person. I can’t do this sort of stuff.” Listen, you have a team. I would assume if that’s how your thought pattern is. Get somebody on your team to take the training and do this heavy lifting for you and report back numbers because that’s what the boss does. That’s what wearing the bossy pants means. It means knowing your numbers and having a plan for how you’re going to use those to improve how you’re operating. So, even if you’re not the person doing this in your organization, you need somebody in your organization coming to you with those numbers. So set yourself up for success on that front by either registering for it yourself or signing somebody else up for it.

    Melody:
    Yep, absolutely. Yep, it’s a great training. And I’m always open, if people have questions, to talk about it. Because not many people, at least that I’m aware of, are talking about this.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    That’s so great. You’re so great. I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you so much for being here, Melody.

    Melody:
    Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

    And she’s right, you know? Not a lot of people are talking about what numbers you need to know to be and to stay profitable in group program and membership models. It’s a lot easier and sexier to talk about how recurring income is like a money faucet stream, but what do you need to get that tap flowing in the first place and then keep it flowing is a totally different thing. I love Melody for that and you know I’m signing up for that retention calculator, and you can too in the shownotes. There will also be a link to that 3-day training in the shownotes as well. And I actually met Melody on Instagram so I know she’d love if reached out and said hi to her there too https://www.tiktok.com/@thecourseconsultant
    https://instagram.com/thecourseconsultant

    CONTINUE READING

  • The Future of RELATIONSHIP MARKETING with Jordan Gill of Systems Saved Me

    This is a transcript of episode 52 for the OMGrowth podcast

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and even though I had a cold at the time of recording this episode, my heart had the warm and fuzzies because I had the pleasure of speaking to Jordan Gill from Systems Saved Me about how mega-aligned she is to the future of marketing. If you’ve listened to other episodes of the podcast, you’ve heard me say that if you want to stay relevant with all the changes happening in digital marketing, you’re going to have to start interacting with people like a human… and when I heard Jordan was collaborating on a solution for that, I had to talk to her and today’s episode is that talk.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I received an email from you. And the subject line was “I built a software 😱” and I was like, “what is she up to?” And I read the email. I’m like, oh, Jordan acquired a new skill. She’s clairvoyant now. So, uh, tell us about the software and then we’ll get into why it makes you clairvoyant.

    Jordan Gill:
    Oh my goodness. Yeah. It’s uh, it was quite the announcement. Some people were shocked, some people were not. Um, cause they’re like “you are a systems person.” I was shocked that I got into it, but having the business name Systems Saved Me, I, I guess it was that part of it should have, I should have seen it coming, but you and I are very similar, Lanie, in the sense at, you know, we geek out about systems. We love software and tools and all those things. And alongside of that, the reason that we love that so much is because the power of business really comes in like real life and connecting with people and talking and having really amazing connections and relationships. But if you’re so busy doing all the, you know, admin stuff in your business, or God forbid like sending one-off contracts or whatever else, like you’re missing out on what I believe to be the joy of business, which is the connecting and relationships part. So I was like, well, gosh, I guess I am the person – or one of the three people, cause it’s a partner ship – to bring this into the world and to make sure that people recognize and realize in the grand scheme of algorithms and cookies and craziness, that we’re just getting back to how business has always meant to be, which is connecting and serving from your highest purpose instead of, you know, click clacking behind your computer, click

    Lanie Lamarre:
    “Click-clacking behind your computer.” Yeah. We all spend way too much time staring at a screen. The connection part of it seems like a missed opportunity, but you’re making it easier for people to tap into that opportunity with this software that you build, yeah? What is the software doing exactly?

    Jordan Gill:
    Yes, so there is, you know, 2022 Trends – so I do feel very clairvoyant – is that, you know, social selling is a thing. Meaning that people are selling and connecting and messaging through social media, whether that’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, all the things, um, instead of text messaging, email, not to say you don’t have an text message and email, but there’s software that’s already doing those things. And no one has capitalized on the social media selling aspect of things. And that’s really the only place I was really selling for my group program that I run for my business. And it got messy, if I’m being honest. Yeah, because it’s really hard to track how many conversations are happening and whatnot in the main inbox feed of any of the social media platforms. So we are taking the social media conversations and placing them in a pipeline format that will allow you to know how many conversations are in each phase of your sales process or your funnel.

    So how many people are you talking to right now? Who’ve downloaded your freebie and you know, they need to go into the next step of registering for your webinar and then, okay. How many people have registered for the webinar? And they have attended the live webinar or, or watched a past webinar. Okay. They’re in this list and then moving forward to, okay, how many have watched the webinar, but have not joined or enrolled? How many of those do you need to go through the objections? So it’s putting a spotlight on how many conversations you actually are having and then which conversations to be having, right. It’s not just, “Hey, how’s it going over there? Everything cool?” Like, no, you should actually be talking to this person about why they haven’t joined the program because they’ve already watched your webinar. Like, don’t just start a conversation because you don’t know what to say. You’ll know it’s exactly where they’re at in your sales pipeline, in your sales journey, in your funnel, whatever you wanna call it. And so you can have a, a more prevalent conversation with every person that is in your messages and, and direct messages.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Yeah, we have this for everything. We have it for our inbox. We have it for our email marketing systems. Like these client relationship management systems, essentially what it is. But for your social media and to have that speaking to everything else that you’re working with is not just brilliant, but it’s just like, it’s one of these things where it’s like, why hasn’t somebody already done this? It had to be you, Jordan! Because this is, like, your pain point. This is something that yes, you could do these things based out of your own experiences of what’s missing in the online world. So how did you sit down and decide to be the change you wanted to see in the world? Hahaha.

    Jordan Gill:
    Oh gosh. Um, it took many, many nights on Airtable, uh, because I, I honestly, I have a pretty brilliant system in Airtable. The not-so-brilliant part about it is there’s so much manual work that my sales team had to do that it just became ridiculous. And so I was actually at a, a peer mastermind with some friends and we were just sitting there, you know, talking about problems in business and things we wish there were solutions for. And every single person in the room was experiencing the same issues. Now I was the one who had, I guess, the most jumpstart to a solution to this issue. But everyone was like, well, what if we create a software based on Jordan’s Airtable ? And I was like, “yeah, yeah. Okay. Like, cool.” And then we were like, “no, but really like, can we, can we do this? Like, is this the thing we can do? “

    And so myself and, uh, two others. So co-founder between myself,ErinLindstrom, who is technically our CEO, she’s actually sold high ticket for agencies and a lot of group coaching programs for the past five years. And then we have Lindsey Padilla who is technically in more of an advisor role and she’s built a software company herself. And so she is more or less, again, more of an advisor role, but she still is a co-founder. And then I fulfill the role of more COO/also end-product and making sure that again, what we’re creating similar enough to the Airtable that I have built, but literally reduced all of the manual stuff that we have going on. You’ve

    Lanie Lamarre:
    You’ve already met some of the challenges of managing this in the way you were already doing it with air Airtable, so how to manage social media… social media marketing client relationship management? I’m sure that there’s a better term out there for it. And if you have one by means I’m happy to use it, but the you’ve encountered all the issues with improving it and how it works in Airtable and how, you know, it doesn’t work in Airtable to translate that into however it is that you are doing it on the backend to have someone like Lindsay who she’s, this is Hello Audio?

    Jordan Gill:
    Yep. Yep.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    So she’s like, she’s gone through the growing pains of, “oh, I’m gonna start a very needed platform that everybody wants and doesn’t exist and why doesn’t it exist” sort of thing. And to have those two super powers mixed with the person who organizes everything and who interacts with everyone. That’s so great to have that trifecta of different expertise levels where you’re going to skip a lot of learning curves that neither one of you would be able to do alone.

    Jordan Gill:
    Yeah, exactly. Exactly. We have the trifecta of kind of the expert in sales experts, software experts andsystems. And I’m like the systems part of that little trio.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    That’s amazing. So when does this launch, or is it already launched?

    Jordan Gill:
    Yeah, so we, uh, decided to soft launch, I guess you will say to we ended up being about 75 people. And those are 75 people who essentially said yes through paying us a one time lifetime fee for access to the software prior to its hard launch, meaning it will be a lot more public and there will be monthly and annual payment plans that will happen in April of 2022. So right now our 75 people are helping us flush out the features and find the bugs and, and give us that feedback. Um, and they they’re gonna be our true fans, right? It’s kind of the notion of a thousand true fans, but really we just were like, let’s just focus on 75 cuz a thousand is a lot, uh, to have to focus on. So we are in the process right now of getting the beta into their hand and their teams hands and figuring out again how we can just make the product that much better for the hard lunch in April of 2022.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Yeah. And it’s like, things break. That’s just normal.

    Jordan Gill:
    Oh my God.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    In terms of software I’m clearly I don’t have to tell you, but when you’re putting any system together, when you’re automating anything in your, even in your small business with your, you know, your own little operations, things will break. Things need to be fixed. Bugs need to be worked out. And to be able to identify those before you do launch it, where you have to manage a thousand people who are buggy versus 75 people who are buggy, being like “we’re here to support you and we’re here to make this work and be a part of how it gets built” also in ways where you are serving how people are interacting with their own clients in a way that you might not actually be doing either, or you might not be savvy on having that feedback is so, so valuable. Feedback is the most valuable data set that you have. And it’s not a number it’s just information that you have to ask people for, is the clincher. You can’t… there’s no Google analytics for it, unfortunately.

    Jordan Gill:
    No, there’s not . And if there was Lanie would know about it

    Lanie Lamarre:
    So how long did it take from people admiring your Airtable processes and saying, “Hey, Hey, I want to be able to replicate this in my business” to where you are now with your 75 founding members and getting ready to launch into, um, making it available for all.

    Jordan Gill:
    Yeah. So when was this? April of 2021 is when we all met up and I was showing everyone my Airtable. Um, that’s the thing about the “behind the scenes” juice is, it’s not very often for people to know what, you know, what’s going on “behind the scenes” of everyone’s business and everyone, you know, naturally wants to see what I’m doing, cuz I’m always tinkering and creating stuff. But I will say my Airtable is pretty dang awesome. So we’re gushing over that April, 2021. And, and it was almost like, you know, we actually had originally five partners and slowly throughout the process, two of the partners determined that it wasn’t a good fit for them to put, you know, effort and energy toward the project. And that is totally okay. And we’ve many, many conscious conversations about that. So I would say the core three of us moved forward in technically June-ish/July and settled in.

    Jordan Gill:
    So we had, you know, the equity conversation, which is not something, you know, you have to have every day. we had, you know, roles and responsibilities conversations, legal conversations, and whatnot around everything. And, you know, cuz someone has to be the CEO. And even though it is technically my process and Airtable, I did not wanna be the face and I was very clear about that. So, um, I’m a behind the scenes gal. I already have to be the face for my one company, I don’t wanna have to do it twice. So we just had all those conversations in June, July. And then I would say we started, uh, development in July. And so when we’ve had to continue to hire developers to keep up with all of the magic that we’re trying to put together and have ready for people. Uh, so it’ll, it will have been a full year from conception of like, “okay, yeah, we’re gonna like try and move this forward” to when we actually hard-launched to the public.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    So correct me if I’m mistaken on the sort of timelines, but so let’s say about a year from conception to launching to the public, where you spend essentially one quarter determining what everybody’s going to be doing, who’s going to be responsible for what, putting all the legal stuff in place before you even start working on the project.

    Jordan Gill:
    Yep.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Then a quarter working on developing the software, another quarter selling to and testing with those founding member and then you’ll be about ready to launch at, well, no, it would be a full, so maybe I’m underestimating how long it takes for the development…

    Jordan Gill:
    The development was about two quarters.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Okay.

    Jordan Gill:
    Yeah.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And that’s still a pretty quick turnaround, it seems to me.

    Jordan Gill:
    It is.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Do you know what the industry standard would be for, for something like that?

    Jordan Gill:
    Oh goodness. More than likely, about two years actually is what we found.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And I’m sure that had a lot to do with the expertise that you’re working with. One: people who know the subject matter really well. Two: people who already started software companies and have done that. And also the fact that you got your ish together, if you will, with putting all the ducks in order, everyone knowing what their role is.

    Jordan Gill:
    I think that’s probably one of the biggest things: he had a team in place. That was really crucial because again, uh, Lindsay on our team was in a tech incubator for her other software, Hello Audio. And so there were three months where she’s like not coming to any meetings. Uh, and we were okay with that and everything, everyone ever in flows, everyone has stuff going on. This, this is not our main business for any of us. So, you know, we have to make it work for everyone in order for us to continue to move forward. And when it doesn’t feel like it works, then we have a conscious conversation. So yeah, it’s um, I, I don’t know if I would partner with many people….

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Uh, nor would!

    Jordan Gill:
    Right. But for me, Erin and Lindsay, I’ve been in a, a peer mastermind with them for five years. I know them in out upwards, backwards, sideways all the ways. So we’ve gone through life and business together. And so I know a lot more about them than potentially even my husband that I’ve only known for three years. So, you know, it it’s, um, it’s a, it takes a very special individual for, for me to wanna put my effort and time behind something. And, and these two individuals specifically and this specific tool and, you know, there was a lot of timing. You know, three years ago, even last year, if they had come to me with this, I’d be like, uh, like, “I don’t know, like let me see.” But it just, it’s one of those things: when it feels right, then, then it feels right.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And that’s where you’re also like tapping into the clairvoyant thing, by the way. Because if you were to come up with this idea a year ago, I’m not sure it would have the impact that it does right now.

    Jordan Gill:
    I agree.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    With all of these changes with the iOS updates and people being, “I can’t do my tracking and the, uh, the cookies aren’t working and everything in my marketing is falling apart.” Your marketing isn’t falling apart. It is forcing you to be more human. It is forcing you to interact with people in a more humane way, rather than just being pitching with emails that are cold and automated. You’re actually going to have to, you know, use pipelines and things like that and follow up.

    Jordan Gill:
    That’s a crazy concept.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    It’s such a weird thing, but it’s what we all used to do. And I really love that this software is coming out when it is when everyone’s just kind of screaming for the hill saying, “oh, my whole marketing system’s ruined.” No, you’re just going to have re-think how you use it. Yeah. And this is so perfect for filling in that gap. What is the software called? How do people find out more about this?

    Jordan Gill:
    Yes. So the software is called Collect and the technical legal name is Let’s Collect but you can check out our website, it’s just, letscollect.co. I’m sure Lanie will have it somewhere in the show notes as well.
    If this is previous to April, there will be a wait list. But if it is after April, you know, you’re listening to this, then it will be our main page and you can check out the features and us and, and all of the good stuff. So, uh, we also are on Instagram and Facebook technically, um, not a shocker as we are connected to social, but, um, and that, let’s just, you know, letscollect, I believe @letscollectco on Instagram and I believe it’s also letscollectco on Facebook.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I’ll make sure that we have all the links to those, as well as to your own personal Instagram feed. Because if you are at all interested in getting organized and connecting in a human way with the way that you are putting systems in place, Jordan is, um… I know that your Systems Saved Me is your brand but when I think of you, I think of the relationship building skills that you have. That’s the number one thing that always shows up for first for me.

    Jordan Gill:
    Thank you.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And that shows up so much in your, in Instagram posts, in your feed, in the way that you interact. So, um, I encourage everyone to go check that out as well. I’ll put link to that in the show notes, but if people do wanna follow you, where do they do that personally?

    Jordan Gill:
    Yes. So I am at Systems Saved Me, um, and Instagram is my jam. That’s mainly where I am. So if you’re on Facebook are actually gonna be routed to my team. I? Um, so, uh, I just, I don’t know, Facebook is not isn’t my jam as much as Instagram. So I would say @systemssavedme on Instagram is probably the best place to connect with me specifically.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Jordan, not just for doing the podcast, but for creating the things that… listen, we all know that we want this, somebody had to do when it was you and I’m grateful you did.

    Jordan Gill:
    Oh, thank you so much, Lanie, for having me on and for always just again, doing amazing, amazing work with systems. It’s, it’s really awesome to continue to support you and, and shine a lot on you as much as I can.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I encourage you to take a step back and think about how YOU are interacting with people, how YOU are building relationships in this digital landscape. Not how you’re making sales, not how you’re building awareness of your brand, but where is the interaction and engagement happening, where are the conversations taking place?

    It is only going to become more and more important for you to be able to meet people where THEY are, and you can and should expect to see more tools like Connect making that easier for you to manage. The value of something like Connect starts with YOUR ability to identify “hey! my people and interactions go down on social media… how do I better set those interactions up?” and finding a system or process that will make that happen.

    Jordan has taken hers for social media and created the software so you don’t have to. But you do have the action item here of thinking intentionally about where those connections are happening for you and exploring the ways you can make those better for both you and your audience.

    And if you want to connect with me by way of a 5-star review, I’d love the stink out that so please do that and subscribe and all the things, and we will connect again next week – baiiieee!!!

    CONTINUE READING

  • Get To Know Your CEO PROFILE with Diane Mayor

    This is a transcript of episode 50 for the OMGrowth podcast

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and I took a break between Season 1 and 2 of the podcast to find myself. My day-to-day operations and systems just felt “off” and that was when I discovered Diane Mayor’s system for not just tapping into what I was good at, but prioritizing what kind of work I was actually at my highest performance level… and it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be or how I was working.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Last Fall, I took a break and I just really wanted to get back in touch with what I wanted to spend time with what I wanted to be doing more of. And I would love for you, Diane, to talk to the fine people, the fine podcast listeners about Wealth Dynamics and what that did for well, not what that did for or me, but what it does for everyone.

    Diane Mayor:
    Awesome. Hello. Thank you for having me. Hello, fine people. So Wealth Dynamics is kind of like Disc or Kolbe or any Enneagram or any of those things. So you might not have heard of it before, but it’s very similar to those personality “assessments”. But what Wealth Dynamics is, it’s built for entrepreneurs, right? So it’s an assessment that’s designed to tell you the best way for you to get from where you are right now to whatever your rich life looks like. Right? So when you hear wealth, people get all up in their heads about the wealth and Wealth Dynamics just substitutes in whatever that looks like for you, right? So pina coladas on the beach, spending more time with your family, whatever that is. And all the test is doing is looking at what gets you into flow and how we can keep you there and how that all comes together to really build a business that you’re excited about, but that also doesn’t burn you out.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And it was, like a, really simple questionnaire that I answered and I got some really great insights, but then I spent some time talking about them with you, which was, you know, the total game changer. I think we spent was it an hour or maybe a half hour? And I think it was an hour that we spent together.

    Diane Mayor:
    Mm. I think it was an hour.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    One of the big key insights that I, I got out of talking with you about it was how you really were able to focus on highlighting my superpowers rather than my skillsets. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Because, oh my gosh, that was such a huge game changer for me personally. And I think a lot of people can benefit from making that distinction how they’re working in their day to day.

    Diane Mayor:
    Yes. Okay. That’s one of my favorites. When people tell me that that’s the thing they took away, I’m like, yes, job done. So I’m gonna like reverse up a little bit. And I just wanna give a bit of background into why we care about you being in your superpower, right? And your superpower is just the thing that gets you into flow. Right? And if you aren’t sure what flow feels like, there are genuinely some people who are just like, “I do not experience flow in my business.” Think about something in your personal life, but it’s usually that thing that you’re doing where you just, you lose time, right? It’s really easy for you to do it. You could do it for days on end, without needing kind of anything else. And the reason we want you to be in this state, I mean, a it’s quite an enjoyable state to be in.

    But if you think about the thing that you show up like that for versus the thing that just drains the life out of you now – unless you’re an accountant, that’s probably something like doing your taxes or your bookkeeping, right – now, if somebody was gonna pay you to show up for both of those, you would still show up, right? You would still show up and deliver on what you promised, but the level of service that the person is gonna get from you is just gonna be exponentially greater. When you show up excited, enthusiastic, ready to go buzzing to help them with it. Right? So when you are in flow, people can really rely on you to deliver that first class service. Right? And so your prices can go up. Your value to them is higher. So it all matches up. Okay.

    So first of all, yay, we can charge more. People want to pay me money. Then on the flip side where you are in flow and working, and you just lose track of time and hours go by and you’ve forgotten to go to the loo. You’ve forgotten to eat anything. You know, you’re still in your pajamas from the morning. I’m assuming it’s a no-online call kind of day oh, you know you do you, uh, but because you aren’t having to stop and recover the whole time, you can also do more. You know? So you’re getting that leverage purely out of managing your energy. Okay? So that’s why we want you in flow. If you think about it, we’re gonna increase your value and we’re gonna increase your capacity. And therefore we are gonna increase that wealth or that rich life or those results, right? If you want more time, you can do more and less time, right

    If you want more money, you are more highly valued and you can take on more clients. So it’s really important for people to be in their superpower. But what happens is very often we mistake our skillset for our superpower. Because if you think back to when you very first were a baby newbie entrepreneur, the very first question people ask you is “what skills do you have that people will pay you for?” Yeah. And so what happens? You build an entire business on this skillset and you could be incredibly skilled at it, but at some point it’s not lighting you up, right? It’s not energizing you. At some point, that starts to burn you out. So you’re still showing up to your clients. You’re still delivering on what you promised, but you are that bit more exhausted. Your service drops just that little bit. And therefore you start to have like the value thing dropping a little bit

    Now this gets more and more complicated. The longer it takes you to find this concept. So I’ll use myself as an example. I come from a really long career in investment banking. Before I started my business, I was a chartered accountant. I spent my time in finance. I did all the planning, all the, like anything to do with numbers. I was responsible for it. So I love a spreadsheet. I am skilled at a spreadsheet. They’re beautiful. They’re color coded all the formulate. They are my skillset. They are not my superpower. Okay. And so what happened to me in that career was even though I was really good at the thing, eventually it just completely, yeah. And I had to run away for a year and a half to travel. Yeah. In order to recover. Right. We don’t really wanna have a year and a half break in our business. So like, let’s not get there.

    My superpower is actually my ability to have ideas and think outside the box, particularly related to business. Right. Very different skillset. Right. One and super implementation, heavy numbers, heavy data, heavy one, super spacious, lots of time with whiteboards and blank pieces of paper. Right. And people get really, I don’t wanna say defensive here, but really concerned when they stop and think, “oh, hang on a second. I have built my whole business around my skillset.” Now what your skillset might be your superpower. And if it’s not, there are things that you can do. It’s not like you have to shut your business like down today. “That’s it. Diane told me to do it. I now can’t pay rents.” Please. Don’t shut your business. But what, you also then want to exponentially grow that into your business and think if you wanna stay in your superpower, you need other people to help you with the things that aren’t your superpower, but then you wanna make sure they are in their superpower so that they don’t burn out. Right? You don’t wanna hire a team and then two years later they’ve been doing something that is a skillset instead of a superpower, and now they’ve burned out and now you have to replace them. So there’s ripples.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And even if you’ve built your business around your skillset and you realize that’s not your superpower, and that’s not where you wanna be, you don’t have to shutter everything down. You can actually just bring balance into the way that you’re operating. And by honing in onto that superpower is so empowering, if you will, because you’re able to slowly move more into that and build the things and the systems and the processes and the people and the resources and all the things that you need to support, uh, what you’ve actually built it on while you are able to focus more and more on what your super power is, which I think is really, um, helpful in terms of how you’re going to move forward and not feel burnt out and not feel, like, that feeling of defeat when you’re putting in so much effort and not seeing the sort of returns that you want to see

    Diane Mayor:
    A hundred percent. And it’s gonna also, it’s gonna do two things for you. So in your current state, what it will allow you to do is manage your time around your energy, right? So knowing, okay, this is in my superpower, this is gonna feel really energizing for me. This is not in my superpower. It’s not gonna feel energizing. It’s gonna feel draining. So I’m gonna need to add a bit of self care. I’m gonna, I need to add a coffee break. After I do this thing, I might need to treat myself once I’ve done this thing, that’s out of my superpower. So it’s gonna help you in your current state to think about how do you build buffers into your business and future state. It’s gonna allow you to think about who you need to hire. So worrying less about what is their job title and thinking more about the superpower that you wanna bring in to fill in the gaps with you and how you then step into that CEO space with your superpower coming with you. If you like. So it’s not just something that it’s like, oh, I’m a solopreneur. So I need to care about this. This goes the whole way with you. As you build a team, as you develop a team, as you run the business, as you lead the business.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And there are so many different personality, quizzes and whatnot that you can benefit from and take highlights away from as to what your strengths are. But what I like about the Wealth Dynamics formula is it doesn’t just tell you where your strengths are, but it really does help you focus on how you can work more efficiently. I hate the idea that you’re always supposed to be productive, but I do love the idea that when you’re working, that you have that feeling of productivity, that you feel that fulfillment in the work that you’re doing, because it does make your work so much easier to do. And you actually kinda wanna do more when you are in that zone.

    Diane Mayor:
    Yeah. And I think it’s a very kind of nonjudgmental assessment, right? Sometimes you can do these assessments and where they tell you the things that you struggle with. You get that kind of vibe of like, “oh my gosh, I’m a really bad human . Everybody must absolutely hate me. I’m a nightmare.” Right? Whereas Wealth Dynamics is very geared around: here are the best things you can do for your business. Here are the things that you can still do them. We always say your profile isn’t a label and it’s not an excuse. You can do anything. You just have to understand that it’s gonna slow you down because you’re gonna need to recover because you’re not gonna be showing up as your dazzling sparkling self. And so maybe your high ticket price is just very slightly under what it could be. It’s just gonna take you a little bit longer to get to that goal. It doesn’t mean you’re not capable of anything. And so it’s this great: “Here are roles that work for you, here are roles that probably don’t work for you. Here’s how you lead, here’s how maybe you should think about tweaking some of your approaches.” So I do like that. Nobody leaves the assessment kind of feeling lacking in anything, you’re just different.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I hear people like, you’ll have some people say that they love launching, and you have other people that is their complete nightmare to launch. And it really does have to do with how you approach your work, where you feel most in flow as the, I, I love the way you use the word flow, because normally it’s in a very woo woo kind of capacity. But you say it really very much in terms of workload and numbers and being able to produce in a way that you feel is in your superpower.

    Diane Mayor:
    Yeah. I think one of the things I have struggled with coming into the entrepreneur space is very little nonproductive training that happens in corporate, right? There’s no, like, “let’s make you a really great person.” There’s a lot of, “let’s make you a lot more productive and make sure you don’t break the law.” That’s kind of where training comes in. Right. And so I stumbled into entrepreneur land and was suddenly surrounded by this person of, yeah. And I kept hearing flow flow flow always said, it’s like the other F word, like in business flow, flow flow, and everybody would be saying, you really need to be in flow. Mm-hmm , you know, you should just, you should choose what gets you into flow. Your zone of genius you’ll be in flow, but no one was like, here’s how to get there. And I’m the kind of person I wanna know, like, how does this fit together? How does it work? Let’s take it apart. And so what I love about Wealth Dynamics is, it’s very clear. Like these are the things. If you do these things, you will experience flow. If you do these things, you will not .

    Lanie Lamarre:
    So if somebody wants to get started with figuring out what gets them in flow, where would you recommend to get started? So

    Diane Mayor:
    So I have a quiz that’s basically like, find your CEO archetype. That’s gonna give you high level. Like this is the kind of CEO that you are probably showing up as, and then you can dive deeper than that and actually take the Wealth Dynamics assessment itself, which will go deeper and take you from four archetypes into eight archetypes. And it’s, I think it’s a 35 page report or something yeah. That you get. Um, so it goes really deep into, into what’s great for you, what’s not so great for you, where you should think about teams, et cetera. So you I’ll link both of those at dianemayor.com/omgrowth and you can play around with whichever one works for you.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Absolutely. And this isn’t a fluffy report. Like, this is super in-depth and it really did help me step back and look at how I’m spending my time. What sort of returns I’m expecting from that time? What type of people I should be surrounding myself with. It was really, really helpful.

    Diane Mayor:
    Yeah. And I think really important for like, “Hey, I think I’m gonna do this new thing or this new pivot.” Right? So there are like four main energies. One’s the energy of ideas. One’s the energy of people. One’s the energy of really just getting everything done. And one is the energy of data and analysis, right? So four very different energies. What happens is you can start to evaluate, okay, “I’m thinking this is my next pivot. Is that pivot in my superpower. Mm-hmm.” And if it is great, if it’s not okay, what else am I gonna need? Who else am I gonna need? What systems am I gonna need? Before you dive head first, right? So it’s, it just gives you that, that check-in because a lot of us like to run head first into the latest idea from the latest guru, who’s just made it sound incredible on a webinar when actually they could be all ideas energy, and you could be all data energy, and it’s gonna feel completely different for you.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Yeah/ Right. It really does help you step back from, yeah, those sales page pitches or the things that people “should” on you, like, you should be doing this. You should be doing that. And you’re able to have that sort of, like, being able to not be worried about what everybody else is saying and thinking and telling you that you need, because you really do know yourself and your strengths based on what you’re working with. Yeah.

    Diane Mayor:
    I do find a lot of people who take the assessment will say to me like that, they just feel so seen, not necessarily in those words, but it’s often the first time that they’re like, “oh, this is why I’m really good at marketing. And I shouldn’t go anywhere. My bookkeeping. Right. Or this is why I’m amazing at people, but I really don’t care about details. Yeah. Or this is why, Hey, you know what? I don’t wanna go to that massive networking event. I would rather try this more systematic approach to finding leads.” So a lot of the time it just removes all of that external, you know, there’s always some funnel that’s trendy. Mm-hmm, always, there’s always something new that’s being sold to you. And this will just help you not even go to the webinar, if you’re like, “this person is talking about one to one high ticket coaching offers and I’m more on the introvert space.”

    And when we talk introverted extrovert, we talk about how you like to take action versus like how you recover. So if you’re on the introvert scale, you bring the most value and get into flow, working things out on your own. If you’re on the people side of things, the extrovert side of things, you get all your energy from people. So if someone’s gonna sell you how to do a really big high ticket offer, the introvert really doesn’t even need to go to the webinar. You don’t even need to put yourself through that pressured hard pitch. Yeah. Because you know that it’s not the right fit for you, even if the person makes it sound magical

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Knowing everything about those strengths has been such a huge game changer for me. I know I’m repeating myself at this point, but real, it was so helpful to me. And I wanna thank you so much for not only offering this, but it was really valuable to spend time with you discussing those things, because it’s almost like a well, a therapist for professionals, if you will, where you’re just really honing in on, okay, “this is how this suits you, these are the sort of offers that you have. How does that reflect on what your results are?”

    Diane Mayor:
    Yeah. A hundred percent. The call, we can go so much deeper. We can customize very specifically to your business because you know, sometimes people will go, well, I’m not a hundred percent sure of this is my profile. And a lot of the time, I get that people will be like, oh, I dunno if this is my profile. And then we’ll talk, talk it through. And they’ll be like, oh no, no, this is definitely my profile. Yeah. Or, you know, they’re showing up so much in their skillset that when they get their superpower profile and it’s something the complete opposite, they get really nervous that now, which one is wrong. Yeah. Like, quote, unquote, neither of them are wrong. If you’re in your skillset, you’re not wrong, especially if you have a successful business. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it just creates a bit of friction. And just to be able to talk it out really just helps you implement it yourself, going forwards.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    We will have a link in the show notes to be able to take that quiz, to access all the things that you can tap into with Wealth Dynamics. If people want to follow you and your superpowers, where would they do that?

    Diane Mayor:
    So Instagram is the best place to find me. I am at Diane underscore mayor. And I also talk about all things like as well as other kind of business strategies on my podcast, which is Coffee And Converse where this particular host has also been a guest. That’s

    Lanie Lamarre:
    That’s correct! I’m so glad that you came on today because this is such a valuable conversation to have and to hone in on, in ways that things like Enneagrams and whatnot don’t do, because this is so specific to how you work, how you operate, how you are running your business. And I feel like there’s so much pressure put on the marketing part of it and how you should be selling yourself and not enough emphasis on how can you tap into what makes you stand out from everything else. So thank you for that.

    Diane Mayor:
    Awesome. Thank you for letting me nerd out on it. You know, I love this stuff.

    Unlike a lot of other quizzes or resources – even the personalized resources! – I’ve received in the past, I actually still do refer the 33 page report breaking down my profile.

    The link to Diane’s quiz, the Wealth Dynamic test and the option to work through your results 1:1 with Diane are all in the show notes. Last year, I was so depleted of… I guess the word would be “enthusiasm” but as proud as I had been of all the things I had built, my business felt like it was taking way more from me than it was giving back. For all the perspective and insight it’s delivered to me, I can honestly say that this has been the single greatest thing I have done to really stoke my embers into a bonfire flame.

    And if you do take the quiz, please do slip into my DMs @omgrowth with your results because if you show me yours, I’ll show you mine – and for clarity’s sake, we ARE still talking about profile results, m’kay, so keep it classy in the DMs.

    Another classy move would be a glowing 5-star review – which I always appreciate – and we will talk with you soon… baiiee!!!

    CONTINUE READING

  • You Do Too Damn Much: AUTOMATING with Ashley Hogrebe of Do The Damn Thing

    This is a transcript of episode 47 of the OMGrowth podcast

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and today, we’re going to talk extra nerdy – nerdy squared! – because I have my pal Ashley from Do The Damn Thing and she too is an Airtable expert but she also rocks socks at automations. Look, I’m all about getting more done without being the one who does it and if that’s your vibe, too, this episode is here for all the auto-magical edu-caring.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I really love everything about automations. I do have a lot of them in place, but I’m sure that I’m not using them to their full potential. And I wanna talk to you about it.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    I don’t even think I’m using it to the full potential. Like it’s the sky is the limit with automations, but I’m excited to be here and nerd out with you for sure.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I mean, that’s a great place to get started because the sky is the limit. So what is sort of like the low lying fruit, the baseline area that you would re and people get started with when it comes to automating all the things they do.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Yeah. Great question. So the thing I see the most is people are… solopreneurs are at capacity and their first thing is like, “I need to hire a VA to do the little things I don’t wanna do anymore and take off my plate”. So checking emails or sending contracts ending follows, creating Google folders, all of those things that you start to think, “oh, I need to hire a virtual assistant for”, if you kind of take a step between that and think, “what can I automate from my plate?” And then hire, that’s a really good place to start because there’s so much that your VAs are probably doing that you don’t even know could be automated, that can absolutely be automated with like free zap. So some of the biggest things for me, when people get started are things like when a client buys from you, put them in an email sequence or send them a welcome packet or something like that. Any of those, when this very specific thing happens, then do this. You are doing it manually. That’s a really good, good place to start there.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Now that you say that I realize that I do have probably more automations than I think in place, because when somebody buys from me, I get an advisory now where it’s like, “send out the thank you card”. And I also get a little alert on my phone that makes, um, like a fun money sound because it makes me feel good. And that’s an automation that has no practical use, but all the emotional feel-good use.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Yeah. And that’s like, automations can help you be notified. I get a lot of slack notifications because Slack is kind of my hub for my team and I to communicate, but we have Slack chanels devoted just to notifying us when things are happening. So if someone fills out a form, if a client fills out a support ticket form that we have inside of air table – which Airtable is a whole other can of worms – but they fill it out, we get an automation in Slack that someone filled out the form. So it helps us just kind of keep an overarching eye on the business, this, and be notified versus having to like go into all of these different places and see when the updates are happening. I have a sales one too. They get, I get a text with money emojis. It’s like new sale and all of those. And it’s just like, those are fun to do.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    They are fun. Yeah. It puts having fun in your operations as kind of, at least for me, a big key in enjoying doing it. It’s not just always work. You can bring some sort of water cooler vibe, even if you’re a business of One.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Well, and that’s the biggest, I think misconception people have about automations is they assume on automations are stale and gonna make you feel like your business is like robotic and that your people are gonna know that they’re talking to a robot. You can infuse so much personality and personalization into automations and really infuse so much of your voice in there. So it’s not this like robotic email that’s coming through when someone books. You get to decide what the copy looks like, you get to decide what these automations do. The real magic with automations is that you don’t have to think about it every time so you create the personality framework, you turn it on and then you don’t have to send them and, and they can just happen kind of in the background.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Yeah. Just cuz it has to be done, doesn’t mean it has to be done by you. And a lot of stuff related to emails is with automation, because that’s sort of where we think of first of things to automate, but there’s a lot of manual things that we all just get in the habit of doing that I think that we don’t think of implementing automations for through platforms like Zapier – zay-pee-ur, it’s za-pee-ur, isn’t it? Because it

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    It’s Zapier because their tagline is “Zapier makes you happier”, which I think is like their subtle dig at being like, this is how you pronounce it.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And they have a bunch of free ones as well.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Yep. So, so many free ones, Airtable also has integrated automations as well. Um, so with Zapier you can do, what’s called a one-step zap for free. So if this happens over here, then do this. There’s so many, I think a lot of us are still like in the Google suite domain and we’re creating Google folders for our clients. Some people create Google calendars, you can automate those. The thing I hate to hear the most is, is, “well, it only takes me a couple minutes to do it. It only takes my VA a couple minutes to do it”… like, that will kill your productivity. because you have to not only do it, you have to remember to do it and all of those things. So it just takes a couple minutes is a great kind of alarm to be like, let me go see if I can automate this and, and take that off my plate.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    It’s so not the “doing it” that’s the problem. And I’m so glad you said that because it’s the having to think about doing it. Like I have a personal thing at home. I hate meal planning. I don’t mind cooking. I don’t mind, you know, getting the Instacart thing ready, but the actual plan out what we’re going to eat. Like that’s the actual work thinking about what has to be done to me feels like the actual work. So if you can remove that thinking part and use your thinking into something that is going to better serve you, I’m 100% on board with that. Always, always,

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Totally. And you don’t wanna be in the shower thinking like I didn’t send that email to my client. like, like the shower time to be for more fun ideas, not like, uh, like, “oh my God, did I not? Did I not send that thing? Did I not do that thing?” Like you can tell this totally eliminate that kind of stress from, from your day to day.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    There are way better things to think about in the shower than that one folder you forgot to create. Oh my gosh. So with you the Airtable automations – I really used them a lot when I had the summit going where, when I wanted to send an email out, as soon as a certain thing was done and I checked something off, I was able to automatically send an email that I didn’t have to think about and do for each individual person. And you can populate it with some of the fields that you had in the actual, in your database that you had created. Yep. So you’re not reinventing the wheel for each speaker and you can super mega personalize everything, which I’m always for. And I think that is the trick with automations and not making it seem like it’s a robot: being able to personalize those things actually isn’t that hard to do.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    No, there’s so many places you can infuse it. I use those automations a lot. I have, uh, I have ADHD and sending like call notes, follow up is very hard for me, like hopping off a call and being like, oh yeah, like, I’ll send that to you today. I won’t do it. Like it’s, it was a really big and like that loses me sales. It, it dampens the client experience. Like all of those things were really challenging for me. And now inside of Airtable, I open up a record and type in my call notes there. I type in while I’m on the call, I’m typing inside of an Airtable record and I just drop the email, send status after I’m done to send follow up email and right away without me even having to go into Gmail, I can send my follow notes to that person within seconds of the call being over. And that has eliminated so much shame as well. For me of like I’m a bad business owner, not following through on my promises of like, yeah, yeah. I’ll send you that email. And then a week later I have totally forgotten about it. So being have automations help you cut down that barrier of, of getting things done and it can just be like, get it out there, send it, and, and it’s, it’s done

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Anything you need to follow up on or have to remember to do something about it. There there’s usually is a way of automating, at least the remembering part of it… if not the task completely.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Yeah. A hundred percent. I love, I love reminders. yeah. And even if you can’t automate the follow up of a reply, having an automation that says, “Hey, if I haven’t Received a payment from this person, text me, slack me, put a task and click up to follow up with that person.” shley Hogrebe: (08:52)
    And even the creation of those reminders is, is huge.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Get paid! And you have a free resource about the call note automations that you have set up, right?

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Yep. So if you are interested in that, I have, so it’s a call notes Airtable template that you can download for free. And it’ll walk you through how to take your call notes inside of air table and how to set up that very easy automation. So it’s just a, when the status is ready to send, it will send through your own Gmail account. It’ll go through your sent inbox. So it looks like it’s getting sent from you, cuz it is, and it is, it’s so easy. Like hundreds of people have downloaded it and it’s just like, people are obsessed. and it’s really, I, what I find with automations, I say, they’re kind of like Pringles. It’s like, once you pop, you can’t once, like you cannot stop with them. And you’re just like, what else can I automate? What else can I do? So just kind of dipping your toe into automations is a, is a really fun, fun thing to explore.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I was just gonna say that automations is one of those things. It’s like the, the… I’m gonna totally butcher this quote, but it was, but like, “creativity creates its own need to create itself”. I’m gonna edit in whatever the actual quote was, but it’s something about like “creativity begets itself” and it’s the same sort of thing where automations, oh, you, once you actually practically put one in place. Yeah. You think, oh, “I wonder if be able to…”, and then you start going down that rabbit hole of that creative way of thinking and you don’t get that unless you actually put one in place.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Yep. Yeah. You just, you don’t know what’s possible until you to dive in. Like, we joked about it this at the beginning of like, “oh, we still are like, not scratching the surface of automations”, but it’s really true because I don’t even, I still can’t sometimes comprehend what’s fully possible. I’ve automated almost everything I can out of in my business. I’m a big believer in like I, as a CEO should only do CEO tasks. My team should do things. Only team people can do and robots should do everything else. So if a robot can do it, there’s no reason for me to have my team do it. Zapier is the cheapest VA you can possibly have. And I’m not about like getting rid of jobs or like automating jobs. I’m not interested in, in that narrative. But I am interested in hiring my team to do the thing, to do outreach, to do other things that just cannot be automated. Cuz there are things that we, we shouldn’t automate. Um, but, but there’s a lot we can and we should have have the robots doing that and have humans do human centered things.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    And for the humans to be doing things that fit into their own zone of genius and the things that make them shine and the things that make them wanna stay and feel, uh, stimulated in terms of the work that you are, are doing with them. Mm-hmm , those are the types of people that you wanna have working with you. And those are the types of people who are going to stay with you. And when you can automate something that is repetitive, uh, rather than hire it out, the problem with hiring it out is when they leave you that task isn’t being done and it now needs to be trained into somebody else where it’s like you trained an automation to do it once and then walk away, maybe check on it every now and then, but that’s about it.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    And instead of teaching my team how to do these repetitive tasks, I’m teaching them how to think in automations and how to monitor the automation if it breaks. So that’s a, that’s a higher paid skillset than like filling out a spreadsheet like every day for 30 minutes, you know? So being able to empower your team to step into these kind of higher operation roles and like strengthen those skill sets helps helps everyone.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Absolutely. In my Airtable course there’s um, somebody had put, I’d seen somebody put it together where they used some of the Airtable scripts and they did all kinds of fancy coding that would automate pulling in your data from YouTube into your air table spreadsheets. Now this is a much more advanced automat, but if you are doing these things manually, rather than doing it every single week to just pay a developer, a flat fee, to put this sort of automation in place for you, like anything you can think of within community guidelines, is probably something you’re able to put into place. It’s just a matter of thinking creatively enough and getting the right people, supporting you to do that. So you don’t have to be the subject matter expert into putting it into place. You just have to be a creative enough boss to be like, oh, I don’t need to be doing this anymore.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    That’s so interesting. You say that, cuz that’s kind of where I’m at now. It was like, I’ve kind of used Zapier to its fullest capacity and developers grips API. Like all of those things I don’t know a lot about. And I don’t need to know. And sometimes I like not knowing because the no code options are so robust now. And so you don’t have to be a developer. You don’t have to know HTML, JavaScript anything because there’s amazing a software that has made it so intuitive. You start to put these things together. It’s as easy as like assembling, like building blocks together. And that’s like, that’s so cool is just, the technology has made it so easy and accessible for all of us to do this. And when you get to the highest levels, then you’re like, all right, developers like help me out.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s money well spent. If it’s something that you or someone on your team is spending that much time doing on. Repeat where do people go to find out more about air table and automations from your brilliant mind.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Yes. Um, Instagram is where I live. So we’re at do the thing underscore. The link in the bio has the freebies for the call notes template, an Airtable 101 Workshop, a lot of fun things there. Um, we love the DMs. So please, if you, if you’re listening to this, um, shoot me a DM that you heard this and we can, we can nerd out on Airtable and automations and all the things. But yeah, Instagram is the best place to find me.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I wanna put it out there too, that Ashley and I met on Instagram and we met because of a mutual love in sharing our knowledge on Airtable. One of those things too, where people think, oh, I can’t talk to this person because they’re competition. I’m like, there’s not enough people talk about Airtable. I’m so glad that Ashley’s around spreading the gospel of it. Cuz I think more people should be using platforms that enable them to work smarter, see their projects in a way that that’ll cater to how they’re working and also hello, automate some of their workload. So let this also be sort of something to you, the listeners, if there’s someone that you wanna talk to go ahead and talk to them because it just gives you someone else to nerd out with.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    I remember so vividly I was pacing my kitchen being like, “do I send lLanie a DM?” Because lanie was like, the Airtable queen. No one else was touching Airtable at that moment. And I was dipping my toe in and I like, I just wanna tell her that she’s inspired me and that like, will she consider me an equal or a competitor? And I just DMed her transparently. I was like, here’s how I’m feeling. I’m so nervous to say hello to you, but hello. And that was years ago and we’ve had great collaborations and friendships and conversations. Um, yeah. So if you’re collaboration over competition, for sure and reach, reach out to the people in your industry because we, we need more of it.

    Lanie Lamarre:
    I don’t really see it as competition. There really is room for everyone because of the way you talk about Airtable and the people who you talk about Airtable to is sort of a very different tone than how I use and people will gravitate to whatever they gravitate to. And I think a at is I think that’s great. Kay, thank you for being a guest today, Ashley.

    Ashley Hogrebe:
    Yay. Thank you for having me.

    Show notes will include links to my signature course – Airtable Like A Boss – and there’s a whole module dedicated to automations and integrations for you to check out.

    You can also check out the meeting note automation tutorial Ashley talked about with a link to that in the shownotes as well as her Instagram.

    And finally, the dang quote I butchered is: “you can’t use up creativity. the more you use, the more you have” and some attribute it to Maya Angelou and some say it’s Oscar Wilde but whoever said it first, it’s still true today and the more you think with that CEO cap on, the more CEO type thoughts will come popping into that cap so I encourage you to carve out some time to get those wheels turning as to what you could be doing less of in your day-to-day operations.

    If you have questions about Airtable, reach out to either Ashley or I because, you know, nerds gonna nerd, right? Baiiieeee.

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  • Putting Your KPIs and MILESTONES on a Schedule with Timelines and Gantt Charts

    This is a transcript of episode 46 of the OMGrowth podcast.

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and fun fact: I know I sound perky and light-hearted, and yet I enjoy very aggressive music.

    I also enjoy planning in a way that aligns me to actually achieving my goals and in my experience, you need two things for this to happen: 1) you need targets – something like a key performance indicators or maybe milestones – however you label it, you need to point at something; and 2) you need a schedule because what’s a goal with a deadline: just a dream!

    So now that I’ve hit my quota for cute quotables in a podcast intro, let’s get into the actual episode, shall we?

    You’ve heard of procrasti-planning, right? It’s the concept of planning for the sake of “doing” something without ever really moving ahead or making progress. How do you avoid becoming a procrasti-planner? Make sure that your planning process always includes milestones and KPIs (or what the cool kids call key performance indicators).

    DEFINING YOUR KPIs AND MILESTONE

    I’m going to come in hot with this one because the reason you want to set milestones and KPIs is simple: it sets expectations.

    Goals are great. Setting the expectations you have of those goals is even better!

    And just as you typically have just a few goals you’re focused on, you’re going to select just a few milestones or KPIs in order to represent your focus, your progress and yes, your expectations.

    I love examples so let’s use one: let’s say your goal is to sell 10% more of your signature product than you did last quarter. This is an excellent goal because it’s taking what you already have in terms of products and results, and you’re seeking to improve on those.

    So what has to happen for you to sell 10% more? You pick any number of things, such as:

    • Increasing your traffic from social media through ads;
    • Increasing your reach with joint venture webinars that upsell to your course;
    • Implementing an evergreen email sequence that promotes your offer on auto-pilot to new or targeted email subscribers.

    You’ll choose whatever strategy you want to implement and then ask yourself, “what needs to happen for this to be deemed successful?”. This is how you’ll determine your KPIs and milestones.

    Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all, and what you use as your KPIs and milestones will not only depend on the strategy you pick but also what you value. For instance, if you go the paid ads route, you’ll likely want to target a specific number of sign-ups that will get you to that +10% mark, but you’ll also have to determine the cost per lead you’re targeting and the return-on-investment you’re expecting.

    If you need help figuring these types of things out, that what The ROI Calculators I have available are designed to take the guesswork out of doing, but you will need to have those baseline numbers figured out BEFORE you start investing in your ads to determine whether or not your efforts were successful and your goal was achieved.

    Likewise if you’re going the joint venture webinar route: you want to start by establishing exactly how many more sales you’re looking to make, and then figure out how many people you’ll need to collaborate with and what your expectations are for sales with each collaborator in order to hit that number.

    Same deal with establishing an evergreen sequence: how many sales do you need to make to meet your goal, and then how many people does that mean you need to funnel through your evergreen sequence with what conversion rate.

    For any goal you have, you want to set a baseline number you have that would meet your expectations; then, you want to figure out what the breakdown is – in numbers and percentages – that would enable you to meet that expectation you set out.

    Let’s go back to our cross-stitch worthy quote for a moment, though, and remember that a goal without a deadline is just a dream.

    ESTABLISHING “HOW” AND “WHAT”

    Unless you’re doing a launch or something major like that, your growth and results will typically be incremental. This is why you want to not only create goals and milestones, but to create a schedule for these.

    Let’s stick with the last example of putting an evergreen sales funnel in place: you’ll need to schedule time to write the emails, create the sales pages, set up the automations – these among a whole bunch of other things required by this promotional strategy you’re putting in place – and they’ll all have to be done before a single sale gets made. So is it then realistic for you to put the pressure and expectation of increasing your sales by 10% on this one strategy?

    Your expectations need to account for the learning curve and the resources you’re imposing on them.

    The simplest way to do that is to break down all of the singular tasks that need to be done to get to where you’re going, and then put them on a schedule.

    SCHEDULING YOUR EXPECTATIONS

    There are 3 ways you can schedule your expectations, and I recommend you use a project management system like Airtable to do this for you. My preference IS Airtable because I’m a very visual boss – I need to LITERALLY SEE how all of the pieces come together for me to properly process them – and in my humble, project management-driven opinion, their time-based views can’t be beat.

    CALENDAR VIEW

    You can always use a simple CALENDAR VIEW, which is always better than nothing because it’s like, “hard stop, boss: this is due” and that’s always helpful. Of course, it’s best with one-off deliverables like content planning or social media scheduling.

    But when you have more project-based plans – and when we’re talking about goals that have KPIs and milestones, we most certainly are talking about something that will require more advanced scheduling requirements – you’ll want to use either a TIMELINE VIEW or a GANTT CHART. Let’s look at when and why you would use either.

    TIMELINE VIEW

    Picture an Olympic sized pool with swim lanes and all. Everyone on your team is beginning from the starting line – always a good place to start – and we’re all working towards reaching the same goal at that finish line – also a good place to end!

    When you schedule using a timeline view, it’s almost like playing Tetris with those swim lanes; you’re allotting tasks based on the resources available to you and the time you expect to see them through.

    So let’s stick with the example of wanting to increase your sales by 10% next quarter using a shiny new evergreen sequence: your goal here isn’t the evergreen funnel but rather, making SALES from the evergreen funnel. This means your swim lanes need to be front-loaded with implementing all of those deliverables.

    And maybe your team already have things to do or recurring tasks. When you schedule things in timeline views – taking that swim lane approach – you’re able to see the big picture of how your resources are being allocated, whether you’re over-loading certain people and making the best use of your team.

    Even if you’re the only Olympian in the pool – kicking it solopreneur style – by planning in that swim lane view, you can easily identify what your expectations are imposing on your workload and whether that’s realistic when it accounts for your other requirements.

    What I swoon hard for when it comes to Timeline Views is that I can actually just brain dump everything I have to do, and then go into my Timeline View to redistribute my tasks in a way that visually makes sense for the time I have to work with. Oftentimes, I’ll see that – wow! – my expectations for Month 2 are goofy and I have very little on the roster for Month 1 so let’s shift a few things in the schedule to better balance things.

    GANTT CHARTS

    Sometimes, though, you can’t just move tasks to accommodate the gaps because you have dependencies: this is where a GANTT CHART comes into play.

    So sticking with the evergreen funnel example: you would need the sales pages in place and the emails written BEFORE you put the automations in place, right? Those items need to be produced and ready to go because the automations you’ll then put in place depend on them.

    When your planning requires one task to be completed before the next one can be done, you’ll want to use a Gantt chart.

    But again, you can easily swim those tasks and deliverables around to accommodate what space is available to you and your resources.

    So here’s your ACTION ITEM…

    Because yes, I love Airtable and am admittedly bias when it comes to using the easy drag-and-drop features for scheduling… but you don’t have to stare at a screen to do this, either.

    You can get an erasable wall calendar – if you think and brainstorm better that way – and use highlighters to identify your tasks and resources. It’ll be harder to edit but it’s also light-years easier than trying to plan without that visual response to seeing what is due, when it’s due and whether you’re even able to stay on track with your goals.

    Your action item is to not just put goals in place like “I’m going to 10x my business” or “I’m going to have a whatever-figure month”: establish what has to happen for you to achieve that, breakdown what numbers you expect to see that will reflect that achievement, and put it on a schedule that fits your needs and availability.

    If you’re a visual boss like me and you want to explore Airtable as a system to fit your needs, I’ve just completed by annual update of my signature program on Airtable called AIRTABLE LIKE A BOSS and you have freshly pressed lessons on using Timeline Views and Gantt Charts, as well as the Interface feature which I’ll brag about next week because I’ve had a couple of 1:1 conversations that were of the “ohmigosh, this changes EVERYTHING” persuasion.

    Check out AIRTABLE LIKE A BOSS here.

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