How To Make Your Audience Happy
It's Jen and I am checking in today for our daily live series we have been doing all about online business topics, almost daily until further notice.
Today's topic is going to be a short conversation, but this is super important.
We've been talking the past few days, actually yesterday and the day before, it kind of became a theme.
We've been talking about the feedback that you're getting in your business.
And so two days ago we talked about getting positive feedback in order to keep going <laugh> yesterday, we talked about how to deal with haters, trolls, and people who are generally rude and inappropriate to you on the Internet, how to handle that.
Today we're going to wrap up this little mini-series about the things that people say to you online, with the real gold.
I mean, actually, all of those things are gold, especially the positive feedback, but the real gold in your business in terms of making you money and helping you figure out the next thing to do for your audience comes in the form of what we're going to call constructive criticism.
And this can mean anything.
It doesn't actually have to be a criticism of you or your business or your product.
It can just be the questions that people ask, the things that people want to know more about.
So we're going to get into how to make sure that you are asking for that kind of feedback and getting it and what you should be doing with it, and so on.
Once you join in, please leave a comment because as always, I'm thrilled that you're there, but I don't know that you're there, unless you say something.
If you're watching this on replay too, I am so glad that you're joining in and you can check on my page, for the announcement of the time and topic.
It has bitten me every single time now, if I announce it too far in advance, then I inevitably have to change it or something comes up.
We are kind of going from day to day with this thing.
This is not my main business. And, obviously, we're all in weird times, just figuring out life right now.
Thank you for being flexible with me. Gabrielle said, hello. Hey girl! I was so glad to hear from you the other day.
Gabrielle's an example of someone who has been in my audience and in my world since the beginning of Pro Organizer Studio and me sharing online.
And so I never forget somebody who actually showed up to some of those very early videos because it definitely helped me keep the momentum to keep going.
On that note, I want to talk about how you use constructive criticism in order to grow your business - and by that, I mean, make money.
I do not want to ever give content that makes it seem like I'm guaranteeing that your idea is great and that people are going to love it.
That people are going to be - where can we, where can I send you <laugh> my money.
That happens for some people.
And, it can, it could happen to you if all the right things are sort of lined up.
But in my experience, what I have seen is that people need to sort of develop a skill set in order to grow an online business.
The expectation that's going to happen right away is not necessarily a good one to put out there.
Hey, Steve, glad to see you.
So here's what we're going to discuss today.
When we're talking about making sure that you're getting the constructive criticism, here's what I'm talking about:
Even when you're putting out your free content, making sure that you're asking people, do you like this?
Do you want to know more?
Tell me what your next topic is that you want to hear more about.
You guys can see me doing this, as I'm doing my live videos, and we talked a lot about this in a past video called the Content Snowball Method.
I really like that title.
I really am sure that somebody else has come up with something similar.
I hope they don't think I'm ripping them off because it was totally just the first thing that came to mind - and that is the number one video that if you have not watched yet is going to be really good to help you figure out content strategy.
When we're asking for constructive criticism, that can be, what questions do you have about this topic?
What would you like to see more of - that type of thing that is not necessarily a criticism, but it's just asking for ideas and asking for feedback and asking for people, to let you know how it is going with whatever it is that you're teaching?
How is this going?
How can I serve you better?
This is all, I've mentioned many times before that there is really no true passive income, for online business, but there are always ways that you can leverage the time and attention that you're giving to your business.
For example, here's a perfect example.
If you get the same questions all the time, in your email or in the comments under your videos, do an FAQ video or make an FAQ page on your blog or make an FAQ, as part of your email autoresponder series for your business.
That's a way to sort of leverage, I'm not going to talk to each one of these people individually, and it's not exactly passive, because you have to put in the work upfront, but over the long term, you're going to save yourself a lot of time and hopefully continue to gain trust and rapport with people who are eventually going to become your clients and your customers.
That's something worth writing down.
There's no passive income, but leveraged time and attention into your business is a really important concept to think about with an online thing.
So let's talk about requesting feedback on paid products.
The idea of continuous improvement is something that has to be sort of baked into your business model from day one.
I would think the number one, we were talking about going back to passive income, the misconception that you can just do it, and then never update it again, never engage with people who are asking questions, never put any more effort into it ever to continue making it a good product that continues to sell over time would be sad.
It'd be sad.
It would reflect badly on you, and you really missing out on a huge opportunity to continue serving people, with either an improved version of that product...
Or, this is a second thing:
What can start to happen is once people are asking enough questions or you've gotten them interested in like the next level of maybe whatever it is that you're teaching, then you can create a separate offer just for those people, who are more interested in something specific that is not really in the scope of like your original blog or program or whatever it is that you sold.
Let me relate this back to my story.
I've touched on this a little bit, and I've mentioned this to a few people here who have been showing up for these chats.
Hi, Stacy. I'm so happy that you're here, and Veronica.
When you guys are putting out your very first version of anything, it is very much okay for it to be the first version.
It doesn't have to be perfect, and you can do this - and this is what I hope you'll gain from me today.
Do it with the expectation that you are going to be surveying people who take your course, asking for even a quick one-on-one call with the first few people who become your first students and saying, what do you like about this?
How can I make it better?
What do you wish there was more of?
And keeping in mind that you're not going to have to keep doing that forever, but especially when you are in your first six months to a year of putting out any type of product or any type of program, pouring a ton of effort into the continuous improvement.
Part of it is super important because then once you kind of have your feet wet and you have a certain number of people who've already been through your program, they're like - this is amazing.
There's so much support here.
The testimonials are going to pour in and it's going to help you continue to sell it in the future.
But what you can do is take a period of time at some point to then update your first original version of whatever it is that you put out there.
Let's take, let's talk about courses for a minute, just because that is what I'm more familiar with, but this applies to anything that any of you guys are doing, whether it's like a coaching service or a consulting offer or what have you.
Go ahead and put out the basics.
Then gather feedback along the way as you're giving people that service, but let's talk about courses for a minute.
So I launched my original program in November of 2016 and I didn't put it out there and call it a beta version of my course.
No it was truly -- I had put all of the effort into it.
It was not what you would call the half-ass version.
I mean, I put all of my best core ideas and all the things that I thought that people needed in order to get results the very fastest - it cut out all the extra fluff and all that stuff.
After a year of having, I'm not sure exactly how many people had been through it at that time.
I could definitely look that up, but after a year, I want to say like maybe 80, that might be right about 80 people, maybe in my very first year of being in business, I did a big <laugh> survey.
We all went through it together.
Once I did a big survey, I asked for feedback.
I tried to, I mean, and I literally gathered and organized into very minute detail, all of the comments, all of the questions that anybody in that entire year had ever asked.
(I had help doing that.)
And then I went through and evaluated, the kind of relative weight of importance of actually answering those questions within the content or whether that was just really a one-time thing -- what did that represent?
Was that just a one-time thing or a one-time problem?
But I, especially in this phase of asking for this constructive criticism, I especially valued, and this is really interesting.
I especially valued the people who were almost too "anal" and over analytical about every little thing that I had put out there.
I really valued that because I don't have that exact same personality type.
So it was almost like my own student was a team member, an invisible team member who was willingly telling me, "Here are ALL of the weaknesses that could possibly be in this program," because they had really gone through and thought through everything.
What if, what if THIS goes wrong?
What is, what if THIS happens?
Those kinds of people while they might, it might seem like you spend a lot more time with them and supporting them in your business, they are truly valuable, and so good for you in the long run, because it's going to help you make the very, best version of your product.
I went through and of course, surveyed and did all of that and took it all into consideration.
We could probably talk about this in a whole different topic, the process of totally updating and rebranding and relaunching a course once you have proven the initial concept.
That was a big process.
But then once I relaunched it, I had rearranged some things and expanded certain pieces of the program in order to create extra tutorials and extra training.
Gabrielle said the difference was I was open to listening and considering the comments, thank you, Gabrielle. I was, and you were part of that group.
I absolutely was saying, give it to me.
It's not going to hurt my feelings!
Let's discuss it.
Where do you need more walkthroughs, or more detail?
When I relaunched it, was now a much more, what are we going to call it — dense?
We could call it a very dense program.
<laugh> But I had confidence and my students had confidence and I've been selling that same version of that product ever since then.
It continues to evolve and I continue to update small pieces of it that need it - for example, Facebook ads change a lot.
There are little pieces of the program that I am always kind of keeping an eye on for changes or tutorials that become out of date because the layout of the screen became different.
It got way too confusing, little things like that are always going to be a part of your life.
If you're a course creator or an online business owner, you cannot just do it once and then forget about it.
You might have a burst of success at the beginning, but in the long run, people can tell that you're not really in it for real.
Then you have to go figure out a new thing.
I really wanted this to be the very best option for this particular type of person who is interested in this industry.
Pouring all that time and energy into it, while it was very intense for a short time, in the long run -- and I am not going to exactly say numbers, but my program has continued to grow every single year.
I really only had one super intense chunk of time for a few months where I had stopped enrolling new people.
Everybody who was in it still had access to the current version of the program.
But then they got access to the new version of the program as well.
And so I kind of had to shut myself in a hole for three months, to be honest with you.
But then once I did that, it has now been over two years ago.
Well, over two years ago, and I have not had to do a major re-update since then, now let me, let me continue to talk about this.
We still ask for feedback from our students consistently.
It is with the idea that we may need to make some of those small updates I was talking about, if something becomes out of date, we want to know, as I said, it's a very big program.
While I review it myself on a regular basis, it's easier for people to say, hey, just this week I was watching this particular video and something, and it was not quite right.
Can you take a look at it? We do that.
So we continue to do it, but that's part of the continuous improvement, and it doesn't represent anywhere near the major effort that it takes to remake a beta program, a beta version program into a permanent thing.
All I can say is, that entire process is worth it because as we said, that has really represented my entire business for three years.
Now, do I make a million dollars a year?
God, no, not anywhere close.
Now there are course creators who will sell you a course and tell you, can, you can become a millionaire because it's infinitely scalable.
That is true on paper, but everybody has to start somewhere and maybe your particular topic, isn't exactly like there are a zillion people in the world who want to buy it.
A smaller niche is still okay!
Steve has a question. I'm going to ask this, or I'm going to answer this.
He said "I'm offering a contracting group coaching offer, but having a difficult time, because I do not have much of an email list or an audience currently, I made a sales page in Kajabi, and I'm trying to figure out the best approach to get seen."
All right, Steve.
Oh, you are such a good example of somebody for me to be talking to right now because you have a very similar setup as I did when I created my course.
Steve, what you could do, and let me ask you this - this is a next-level question.
Do you really want to be selling group coaching or do you want to use the group coaching experience to create a course out of what you teach them?
That is my first question.
And then also, Steve, in order to get visibility to even your initial version, your group coaching version, or even a small course or whatever, definitely you've got to start doing videos online and you've got to start sharing and talking to people.
Really <laugh>, I feel like - just do what I did, so easy.
No, I mean, go back to the video that I talked about, the Content Snowball, where you are just sharing, maybe your first five to 10 topics, on Facebook Live will get you a lot more visibility with a certain group, but then repost it to YouTube, which is where people are searching right now for, hey, how to start a home contracting business or, what the best way is to grow as a general contractor in 2020, and make it super relevant.
He said, yes. I figured that was true - about doing the group coaching and then using that to create a course.
Be posting things on YouTube that make it super obvious that this is right now up-to-date content that you are just sharing.
And Steve too, here's the thing is that when we talk about getting the feedback, the questions that people ask, even when they come and engage with your free content that will help you gather sort of, a framework or an idea of how you want to lay out your course content.
Does that make sense?
That's one of the reasons why it's super important.
I always tell people, just show up first and just be willing to talk first to anybody who comes to listen to your topic, because they will give you - here's your next step.
Here's your next step.
Because they're the ones asking the questions and you definitely want to follow the questions that people ask.
Not necessarily the things that you think are highly relevant and important.
I mean, you can weave those in as you go, but you need to keep bringing them back in by saying, hey, so and so asked a question about this the other day, and we're going to do a video all about it.
Please share it with somebody who you know is interested.
I mean, that works for when people have a network of other people who are having the same issue.
So Steve, going back to the best approach to get seen -- video.
Be doing that.
Yes, does it feel like a lot of people are doing that?
Of course, because nobody has anything else like that they can do, but really good content and somebody who really, cares about a topic like you do.
I know that you've had a passion for wanting to share this or teach this for a while, which is going to stand out above somebody else who's just talking just to talk and doesn't have any real strategy.
And then you, Steve, I mean, once you get even 10 people on an email list, I'm not kidding you.
What I would do is I would email all 10 of those people and reach out to them personally and say hey, I want to do a group coaching, a, short mini group coaching thing.
He said, I have to make the videos. It's about pivoting.
I hear you, and you want to make it scalable.
So email those first 10 people and say, I want to put together a group coaching and say, oh, it's going to be a short version.
It's going to be four weeks.
I want it to be super relevant to you and help you get the information that you need.
And say to them, I know times are tough right now, and I would love to just offer this to you at "a pay what you want" price.
The most important thing is not necessarily, you said, that you get 10 people who are paying you a thousand dollars.
That would be awesome.
But if you can get 10 people who are paying you $75, that's - they're going to get one-on-one coaching with you.
And you're going to get all of that juicy, constructive criticism feedback.
All of the questions that people are probably, I mean, whatever was working in 2019 is probably out the door now, right?
You're sitting there and you're talking to them and getting their questions that are relevant now, the information that is relevant to them now and putting it together in a structured thing.
That's really all a course is - it is somebody who has put together, all of this, there's a ton of free content on the Internet, but there's not any structure to it.
There's no accountability.
There's no person like you who's saying, hey, I'm dedicated to making this really good and making sure that you get the support.
So, the most important thing is that you have those people talking to you, and it's almost like you want to pay them!
I mean, it's that important!
Don't wait until you have, I know you said you don't have a lot of people on an email list, but if you can get 10 people who are willing to commit to that four weeks of calls or whatever, you get a little money in the door, but then you have your program ready to go and you can launch it and scale it later.
Hope that answers your question.
I could talk about this all day long as yes, he said just like a four-week course to start off and let me tie this back to the rest of my audience here.
This is an approach that can work for absolutely anything.
It doesn't have to be a business-to-business idea.
I was saying, my course is for other business owners, Steve wants to make a course that's for other business owners.
But if you are listening and you're in my audience and you want to make a course for just the regular, mom or person that's like you.
It can be the exact same process where you just get people on, get people in a small group setting, because it'll feel very special, who doesn't want to get on a Zoom call right now?
I'm willing to get on a Zoom call with just about anybody, but especially if it's something I know is going to help me and provide just an external, sense of here: here's what to do first.
Here's what to do second.
Here's what to do third.
Even though I might know that in my head, it's probably harder for the person to commit to it themselves.
It's insanely helpful to go through it with friends like a social group.
So sell it that way and make it an easy yes.
Where they're just - oh my gosh, you will do this.
It's, and it's just 35 bucks?!
That is amazing.
But remember you're not only creating that content for that four weeks.
You're now going to use that and take like every little gold nugget from it and turn it into something that, you're going to be able to sell later because people told you earlier, these are my exact pain points.
Whew. I know.
Feel like I kind of got off on a tangent, but that was a really, there are really good things to consider, that during this time I know a lot of us are trying to figure out how to pay bills now, but if you have any ability to just invest in other people and listen and understand where they're coming from, and show them that this is your thing, whatever your thing is, say, hey, this is what I do.
I really want to be of service.
I really want to create something valuable to you.
Then if you can delay the gratification of the money coming in, the bigger money coming in until later, it's going to be well worth it because there are going to be people I guarantee you that six months from now, they're just like Steve, you know...
They'll make a thing for somebody who wants to do a contracting business.
They'll just be - yeah, I'll just put some stuff out there and I'll just make it.
Or, I'll just make this little mini workshop and I'll just put it out there.
I'll just put some Google ads and just see who buys it.
Maybe they'll have a few takers, but it is not going to compare to Steve.
Because once those people find Steve's videos on YouTube and then see that Steve has a course and his is really thorough and thought out, and his has an actual person behind it, they're going to be - oh, I wish I wouldn't have wasted my money with that other guy.
Then they're still going to come and buy Steve's course anyway!
So those types of people who are not really putting the thought and energy into it now, they'll still try to throw something out there later and it's not really going to go anywhere.
Don't be that second person, be that first person who is - this is the time.
This is the time to listen and help solve the problems that people are telling you, "hey, I'm willing to pay for somebody to help me figure this out."
One final thing is I wanted to touch on.
1.) We touched on getting ideas from your free content.
Then we touched, just about more free content.
That's using your constructive criticism to grow your audience and grow your business and hopefully, people keep coming back and engaging with you.
2.) And then the second thing we talked about was using continuous improvement surveys, jumping on the phone with people, at least a lot in the beginning, not as much in the long run, but at least a lot in the beginning to say, how can I improve this thing that you already bought?
They're going to be - wow, he continues to deliver and continues to want to make it amazing.
3.) And then the third area that I said at the very beginning, is that the more that you ask for what people want to know more about, the idea for your next entirely separate products or course, or program or coaching offer or, even your next niche, maybe <laugh>, can come from those people who already have been your paying customers -- they're much more likely, I don't know what the statistics are, but it's so much easier.
They say it's so much easier to sell somebody a second, related product than it is to get them in the door in the first place.
I have never done that for my business, my current business for professional organizers but, let me give you just for example, my program is all about the business side of organizing.
I've had a ton of people who have NOT bought my program because they're saying, I really just want something that has everything that you have but also has organizing training and certification built in.
I say, awesome.
I send them to somebody else just because that's not my expertise and not really my interest or what I do.
But if I, that would've been maybe a second program or an example of a second offer that I could've created just based on the feedback from people that are on my email list, people that watch my videos and are, oh, I love your approach, but I just kind of want something different.
It's all good.
I could have done that.
That would be a great example for Steve -- he could do the business systems, he could create that as one product and then the training of how to actually sell, how to deal with clients, like that kind of thing.
That could be a second product.
You can think kind of strategically in that way.
Especially if you are doing something that has a lot of facets to it.
You don't have to make this one big all-in-one program.
I did that for mine because that's just kind of my style.
I have to just put it all in there and I want to make it super valuable.
And my strategy for that was that anybody who's in the organizing industry who is interested at all in the things that I teach, that this program has got everything in there. It would be the easiest yes.
Possible to be - it's just this much money and you have it forever.
There's community support.
You can talk to me inside the group.
I try to make it an easy decision where they're not having to purchase a lot of separate things in order to put together an entire business, if that makes sense.
But maybe Steve has an even more specific expertise in something super niche with contracting.
He just wants to start with that.
Maybe Steve, you could make that the focus of your initial group coaching, or you could even use your group coaching to figure out what the first focus should be, because once you have people in there, you can see what are the questions that people are most interested in asking about.
And then kind of say, all right, that's going to be my first direction and I'll create a course around this.
Then maybe later I'll come back and create a second related program, around this other thing.
So that's definitely a strategy that can be used for anybody in any industry, niche, even the consumer, just business to consumers, selling people on how to be a better cook or how to do a life skill.
It doesn't always have to be something that they're doing to make money.
I talk more about that just because it's something that I do, but definitely, there are people who are making money in something like selling workshops about sewing.
I mean, things that you're not going to be able to figure out yourself, just poking around on YouTube on a Saturday afternoon.
They're saying no, just lead me through this and teach me.
They want somebody who's really going to hold them accountable.
Steve said, I do have for them to focus on top clients and their sweet spot in their business.
It sounds like that sweet spot idea, whatever that means to you is a, what's the word -- it's not trademarkable, but it's like your trademark kind of concept.
That sounds like something that people would be interested in, what is the sweet spot in my contracting business?
It creates interest and curiosity.
That's really good.
Keep me updated, Steve. I'm so glad you came to this video, because I've been wondering how this was going for you and it's been forever since we talked.
We kind of covered the gamut.
I hope that you guys can see how making sure that you are asking and eliciting for this feedback is not a sign of weakness.
It is not a sign of, I don't know... it is not a bad thing.
It's always a good thing!
It shows that you care <laugh> and that you haven't just ghosted your clients or ghosted your students.
I have your money, so now you're on your own.
There are definitely online courses that are run like that -- I've taken some of them and it was terrible.
That's why I try so hard to be a good example of doing good in the world and committing to your people.
It doesn't mean always that you have to personally be the one who does everything forever, but you can continue to grow a team that all has that same approach towards customer service and community that you do.
They will grow to trust those team members who also help support them as much as they are trusting you.
I'll cut myself off there for today.
As I mentioned, in our past videos on Sundays, I am doing a Sunday book club.
It's really, good.
We have talked, a few times in my videos about a book called The Last Safe Investment, and it was written… not recently.
I'm going to say it's four or five years old.
I read it four years ago.
It has been just something that has stuck with me for so long and that I deemed worthy of rereading, which - I almost never reread a book.
I decided I want to do it with you guys.
It gave me a topic that we can just say, hey, every Sunday we're going to do one of these chapters.
It'll be for the next seven weeks or so.
I started last week with the introduction in Chapter One -- Chapter Two tomorrow is about the Super Skills, which the author says, are the skills that in any economy, in any industry, are always going to be the most valuable, the most beneficial, and essentially never go out of style.
And I think right now is a perfect time to be talking about that because if you are going to be launching an online business project, whether it is a blog that you want to grow and have a hundred thousand page views a month and just make money off ads, that is a business strategy, there is nothing wrong with that.
You don't have to sell a course.
You don't have to become a coach.
You don't have to do any of that stuff that is monetizable.
Then all the way to the other end, high-end one-on-one services, one-on-one consulting.
You can do that too.
You better make sure...
I don't say this lightly, the reason why this book seems so important to me is if you're going to be, if you're going to be investing all this time in launching in any type of online business, or let's be honest, any type of offline business, but that's not what we're talking about, you better be sure that your topic is something that is going to continue to be relevant and draw a lot of people in, not just today, but for years and years to come.
Because what you do want is like Steve said, we want to grow something that is scalable, that will continue to attract people and continue to be relevant.
So that is my soapbox moment for the day.
This is why we're reading The Last Safe Investment and why this chapter tomorrow is so important, because it is going to talk about not only super skills that you need to have, but if you can position yourself in whatever industry that you're in or whatever topic you're talking about, if you can relate to helping other people grow in these super skills areas.
Even if we go back to that thing where I said, you're selling a little course about how to be a better cook and how to be a better meal planner.
Well, when you're selling that - you don't want to just sell it and say, "...well, meal planning is great and everybody should be awesome at it, and it really, matters."
Well, you have to decide, and you have to be able to very well articulate why that matters.
So I think that if you can relate it back to some of these super skills, they're always important:
They're always a part of any economy, any industry, any family, you always are going to need to continue to develop yourself in this area so that you can continue to grow in your career, grow in your, business, strengthen your family, all those things that people are that are important to people, you know?
So, I really want to use what we're talking about in this book.
Even if you don't even read the book just re-listen to the chat and I will just shout out the highlights.
But I would love absolutely for you guys to participate and let me know what you're getting out of it, because that also lets me know what you want to hear more about, see how that works?
I will link, I'm going to end the video.
I'm going to link in the description from today information about the book club, information about that Content Snowball video that I keep referring back to.
So you really need to go watch that, and Steve, we'll be watching for a report from you in the upcoming weeks.
Jeanette said she was here. I'm glad that y'all showed up and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!