About This Episode
Today I’m coaching Melody from MelodyWilding.com. Melody’s been in business for six years, but her current offerings don’t appeal to most of her email list; she wants to create an offer that serves most, if not all of it. What should her next steps be?
Melody is a coach herself, as well as a licensed social worker who helps female executives and entrepreneurs. She also has a course called The Media Darling Method—the methods she uses to get PR and publicity, which is how she built her business and how she gets most of her clients to date. You can also visit MelodyWilding.com/mediasecrets for free training on how to get mainstream publicity.
To kick things off, we evaluate what Melody’s learned from her audience about what to create next. Her gut is telling her to do something different than what her reader surveys indicate, so she’s conflicted. Next, we get to the bottom of her hesitation around group coaching and whether that’s the right direction to go in. Then we go over the pros and cons of going the group route and uncover methods for validating her plan. Melody ends the call with a clear strategy for the future.
What You’ll Learn:
Uncover tactics, insights, and thought exercises for creating an offer that serves most, if not all of your audience.
AskPat 1034 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Thank you for joining me in Episode 1034 of AskPat 2.0. What you’re about to listen to is a coaching call between myself and an entrepreneur like you who called in and actually applied at AskPat.com. You can actually do that yourself too, and we’re going to have a conversation. Our guest today is Melody. You can find her at MelodyWilding.com and she’s a coach and she wants to serve more of her audience. She actually has an offer for her audience that actually serves a small percentage of her email list, and she wants to build something that’s for majority of her audience but she’s not quite sure exactly how to do that. We kind of walk through that process today. We uncover some interesting things during this conversation that allow her to discover exactly what she needs to do next. Make sure you listen in.
Now before we get to that, I do want to mention and thank today’s sponsor for this episode, and that’s FreshBooks. They’ve been sponsoring this show all year long and I love them for that, but I also love them because they create software that makes it so easy to manage our business finances and all the paperwork involved. Especially if you’re doing anything like coaching or you’re freelancing, you know there’s a lot of things, from invoicing to keeping track of income and expenses, even proposals. They can help you manage and create all those things.
They can help you create an invoice in less than thirty seconds. You can use their new proposal feature which is brand new, which means you can include an outline of a project, scope of work, timeline, all those sorts of things. Send it to a client so you can get paid sooner and actually have the terms there. You can even have like, esignature situations going on too. Plus obviously, tax season coming up and all the profit and loss statements, balance sheets, all those kinds of things: Those are all handled in there too and you can even have it automatically track a lot of the expenses that you have to, which is amazing.
It’s just built for entrepreneurs like us, so if you want to check them out for thirty days for free, all you have to do is go to—here’s the URL, don’t forget it—FreshBooks.com/askpat, and then when it asks you, “Hey, how did you hear about us?” just make sure to enter “Ask Pat” and then you’ll be all set. That’ll get you access to a free, thirty day—and full out, no things that aren’t available. You get access to it, all thirty days for free, FreshBooks.com/askpat. Enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Awesome. Now let’s get to today’s coaching call with Melody. Here we go.
Melody, thank you so much for coming on AskPat 2.0. How are you doing?
Melody Wilding: Good, Pat. Thank you so much for having me.
Pat Flynn: Of course. Tell us a little bit about what your business is and then we’ll kind of dive in.
Melody Wilding: Sure, so I’m a coach and a licensed social worker and I help female executives and entrepreneurs master the mental and emotional aspects of having a successful career and a balanced life. On top of coaching, I also have a course that’s called The Media Darling Method. In that, I teach other coaches and therapists the strategies that I use to get PR and publicity, which is how I built my business and it actually continues to be my main source of clients to date.
Pat Flynn: That’s very cool. How long have you been doing business for?
Melody Wilding: About six years now.
Pat Flynn: Oh, wonderful.
Melody Wilding: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: Very cool. These seem like two different things, which I know is a little bit about what you’re struggling with. How about you just tell us kind of what’s on your mind related to all this right now?
Melody Wilding: Sure. My question has evolved a little bit since I originally submitted it, so I can bring you up to speed.
Pat Flynn: Cool.
Melody Wilding: I successfully launched my Media Darling program a few times to a segment of my list that has other coaches and therapists on it. Now, that process is evergreen. Any new subscribers who come in actually get an offer to join that course automatically. That’s an autopilot at this point, which is great. However, only about 10 percent of my list is other therapists and coaches, so what I call the B2B side. The Media Darling course, it was great practice, it taught me a lot about launching my first program, but now I really want to turn my attention to creating an offer that really serves the bulk of my list and my whole list in general. I would love your advice about what my next steps for validation for that should be.
Pat Flynn: That’s really cool. For people coming in now, you segment them and when you know they’re a coach, that’s when they kind of get into the evergreen funnel you’ve created?
Melody Wilding: Yes. I have a specific opt-in that people can go through for that, or as part of my onboarding sequence, my welcome sequence, there’s a segmentation email as part of that. So yes, they would be dropped into the funnel from there too.
Pat Flynn: I love that. So now we’re looking to serve everybody else.
Melody Wilding: Yes.
Pat Flynn: How might we best do that?
Melody Wilding: Well, so far I’ve ran a reader survey and I’ve done some customer research calls.
Pat Flynn: What did you find out?
Melody Wilding: I already know that what my readers really need help with is confidence, boundaries, and assertiveness skills. That’s the one thing, time and time again that comes to the surface. I also know, from blog posts, that’s a very popular topic as well. From that survey too, I found out that my readers like learning best through watching recorded videos and reading articles and books, which makes sense because I write a ton for them. But where I’m getting tripped up is that my experience as a coach tells me that teaching those types of topics—boundaries, assertiveness, confidence—that’s a little tough to pick up passively, even if I do include guided exercises.
What I’m really trying to figure out is, what are the best steps for figuring out exactly what that next initial offer—beta offer that I make—what that actually looks like and entails so that I can balance actually validating if people will pay for something, but something that requires relatively low investment upfront. I don’t want to create an entire course and then no one buys it or takes it and I also want to make sure the format actually gets them results to achieve those goals. That’s what I’m wrestling with.
Pat Flynn: What in your gut is telling you the right direction is?
Melody Wilding: Yeah, I knew you were going to ask me that question, and it’s a little weird to have the tables turned as a coach.
Pat Flynn: Right? Am I doing okay?
Melody Wilding: Yes, you’re doing great. I love it.
Pat Flynn: No. It’s good, this is all about you.
Melody Wilding: Well, my gut is telling me that some small group program is the way to go upfront.
Pat Flynn: Why did you say that?
Melody Wilding: Because that will give me the opportunity to actually have real interaction with people to flesh out the material, go through exercises that I’ve mind-mapped out. Go through them in real time, get feedback, give the participants the opportunity to work on those skills together in a group format to learn from one another to get almost like a mastermind style. Maybe like a hot seat where we’re working through challenges they’re having to setting boundaries at work. We can give them some specific action steps for that. Where I feel conflicted is that that’s not what my reader survey would indicate is the best path. That’s kind of where I feel is a bit of a catch-22.
Pat Flynn: The reader survey doesn’t reflect what you feel in your gut is the best way to serve your audience?
Melody Wilding: Right.
Pat Flynn: What’s stopping you from trying the small group program, despite what the reader audience is saying, the survey is saying? Because you know, that survey results only tell you sort of the surface level answers and you as a coach understand that it’s a little bit more than that, what they might need. Where do you feel the real conflict is?
Melody Wilding: Yeah. I think what is beneath the surface is that I’ve never done a group program before.
Pat Flynn: I will tell you, I recently started doing group coaching programs too, and they’re very scary because it’s real people who can respond to you immediately when you say something, versus what I was used to doing was, okay, I could craft the perfect blog post and I can script out the perfect video. Then the comments come in and you know, I’ve already edited everything that they need to see, versus group coaching. What about the group coaching is scary to you? Besides the fact that like, yes, you’ve never done it before. Why is that? Why is that worrisome?
Melody Wilding: I think it’s part of what you just mentioned, my comfort zone is writing for sure. I even have trouble making videos because of that. Being able to speak off the cuff is not my strong suit, at least I feel. I’m very comfortable writing because like you said, I can kind of sit with my ideas and move them around to perfect them. One-on-one coaching where it’s just one person I’m working with and I’ve developed the rapport with them over time, versus a large group of people, and I’m having to figure out and balance how everyone is doing in that moment and if they’re getting what they need. Like you said, just the unexpected concerns that might come up, I think that’s probably the bigger fear underneath it.
Pat Flynn: Those are the potential negatives of doing the group thing is like, “well I can’t personally have everybody all at the same time in a way that I would do one-on-one,” but let’s flip it. What might be the benefits of actually doing it in a group type setting?
Melody Wilding: I think by and far the benefits are that they learn from one another. Any group format that I’ve been in, that’s always the most powerful effect, is that besides just—you go from almost being a coach to being a facilitator were they’re able to give advice to one another and do like peer to peer teaching, almost. That just makes the experience so much more rich for everyone involved rather than just one-on-one. They’re learning from each other in the moment and they’re even listening to one another’s experiences. They can pick up things from that. Also, the bonding to not feel so alone in a lot of these struggles I think would just be transformational for a lot of the women I work with. That’s why in my heart and in my gut I’ve been leaning towards the group program but have been hesitant to do it.
I think another layer to this too is that I haven’t really done a good job of making offers to my audience that are . . . Right now the only offer I have is my one-on-one coaching, which is pretty high ticket. I guess I’m nervous, I don’t know if that’s the right word, but I haven’t really made and don’t really have in between or a lower price offering for my audience too. I’m going back and forth a little bit on, is this the right topic to do that with or should I break this out into, maybe it’s a smaller ebook or a one-off webinar. Then there’s group coaching on top of that. I think I’m sorting through some of that as well.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, this is all great. Let’s do a little thought experiment if you don’t mind.
Melody Wilding: Sure.
Pat Flynn: You launched this group and you fill out all the spots, you run a beta program to validate it and it’s validated. You have now every week, every other week, this coaching call and you’re helping people and you’re getting all this amazing feedback. How do you feel? Do you feel that that’s where you want to be? Yes, you’re helping people which I know is the goal here. Having that in your life, working, having that be something you do now and will be doing for a while—where I’m getting at is that, does that insert itself into the life that you want and the way that you want to help serve your audience?
Melody Wilding: Absolutely, 100 percent.
Pat Flynn: That’s good. That’s good because sometimes I’ve coached other people and the group coaching calls are the answer, but then they go do them. They’re like, “That’s not me. I can’t. No. Oh my gosh.” Like, “I tried it and I just get so nervous and it’s just like I wanted just be behind the scenes. I don’t want to be interacting with people.” So that’s great, we’ve gotten that kind of checked off.
Now let’s do another thought experiment. You do this and you launched the beta. You have a sales page set up and you pitch it and it doesn’t go so well. You’ve launched it and you’ve offered this opportunity and twenty people—nobody fills the spot. So you know for a fact that this is not how your audience wants to be served. How do you then feel after that? I obviously know that that’s disappointing, right? But what might be the positive as a result of doing a mini, small validation launch like that and yet not having it work out?
Melody Wilding: Well, I always say failure is not fatal, it’s feedback. I try my best—like you said, it’s always a little bit demoralizing for a day or so. But getting that feedback that, okay, this confirms something I saw in that anecdotal feedback from people—this confirms that, let me try something else. Like I said, my list said they do enjoy watching recorded videos, so maybe I do a webinar and turn that into some sort of a mini course or something like that that people can take in their own time, or some sort of a workbook or ebook. I would see it as, yes, it would be disappointing, but it would just be another stepping stone.
Pat Flynn: Would you at all believe that “okay, I can kind of remove that potential option out of my brain and I can now focus on something a little bit more into what, yes, they said they want”?
Melody Wilding: Yes. It’s funny you mentioned this because I actually just went through this process. I pitched–I had sort of rattling around in my brain this idea that people might want virtual coaching offered through like, Voxer, being able to message with me and go back and forth on voice. It had kind of sat with me for like a year or so when I figured, “you know what, I’m just going to do it. I’m going to put it out there,” and literally no one was interested on my list. It was like, okay, now I know. Now I can cross that off, and it was a relief to just kind of mentally take that off the table.
Pat Flynn: Nice. I think that could likely happen in this case too, but the flip side, you could sell out and it could be exactly what people needed. Now I would still pay attention to the fact that in their surveys they said they like to read. They like to do worksheets and things like that. Those can be included in your group coaching situations. I would definitely recommend having some sort of those kinds of components that match up to that, but I think that you as a coach know that they’re going to need a little more help. I think what needs to happen is when you pitch this, you need to justify why it is this way.
If you were to pitch to me, well why not just an ebook? Like, what would you tell me to convince me that no, the group coaching is what I feel is the best solution, because . . . You don’t have to answer that right now, but I’m just saying those are the questions that people are going to have when they try to understand this. My challenge to you would be to—I think you’ve already kind of answered what your next steps might be. What might those next steps be, actually?
Melody Wilding: Well, I think my very next step is to write this group coaching scope out, what the offer would look like, how many sessions it is, what it includes. What you’re helping me realize is that I think incorporating prerecorded videos and readings into the group coaching format—maybe it’s one week they’re watching videos or before our call they have videos to watch and things to read and then they come on the call and we can work through things in real time on the call based on whatever they’ve worked on outside of that session. So it kind of it hits on all of that.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I love that. It almost doesn’t feel like . . . It is coaching obviously, but in a way that they would best respond to and it almost gives them a little bit more freedom because they don’t have to consume those pieces of content that you create at the time that those pieces of content are created, versus what a lot of other coaching programs are. It’s like, okay, you have to show up at this exact time on this exact date, and some people may not be able to make that and then they feel like they missed out. Although I do feel like it’s almost like an online course in a sense, but a little bit more personalized with a lot more care on the individuals, but not as much care as a one-on-one which I think honestly—I don’t know how much you’re pricing your one-on-one, but that price will anchor the price of this course.
You know, this is perfect for the solution for you to serve those people in the middle who want to work with you one-on-one but just can’t afford it. There’s a lot of benefit here for them beyond just a cheaper price. There’s the, like you said, the interaction with everybody else. How are you feeling with knowing that? Okay, like you’re going to give this a shot and first step, scoping it out, and like where are you going to go from there? How many people are you going to try to get in? I’d love to know what you’re thinking.
Melody Wilding: Good, good. I’m feeling good, energized, which I think is a good sign. Right now I’m thinking a small group, so no more than I would say five or six people, who would be my goal to start to warm me up to group coaching too because I, I want to kind of scale myself in that too. I think in terms of next steps, my task is to first, I think create a curriculum of what I would see myself teaching. Let’s say over, I would say like eight weeks maybe is a good amount of time. I’d love to hear if you have any feedback on that. But creating the curriculum of the topic first, then creating the actual offer itself. I love what you said about those benefits to people beyond just, you know, “this includes x many calls and x many worksheets.” It’s really about freedom. It’s that personalized care, and the one-on-one attention. So I love all of that too.
Pat Flynn: How might you create an additional step in there, in the middle after you outline it and scope it out, to feel even more confident moving forward that that’s the right way to go?
Melody Wilding: Well, I was thinking about, I know in your book you mentioned the hand raise method, which is sending an email to your list and asking them what they would be interested in. I was considering doing something like that. I’m not sure if I should do an opt-in first or some sort of a piece of content and gauge interest that way. I don’t know. What were you thinking?
Pat Flynn: I think there’s a lot of ways to go about this, right? You can send an email and go, “Hey, just send a reply back if this is something you might be interested in and then I’ll give you more information.” That way you get before you give them things to say, “No, I don’t want that too,” you give them a reason to go, “Yes, that’s something that I want to know more about,” and that way you at least know they’re at the start of where this program might be perfect for. Emails in that way could be one way. You could combine that and do that alongside, with, or uniquely.
This other one that I see that’s very common is on social media and it’s essentially doing the same thing and being very open and honest on the Instagram or Twitter and or Facebook saying, “Hey, I want to help people with creating these boundaries and having them be more assertive and confident in their business. This is something that I was thinking about teaching through books and whatnot, but I know in my heart as a coach that this is going to take a little bit more time and effort and care on a more individual level. I’m thinking of creating a solution for those of you who want to become more A, B and C so that you can X, Y, and Z. If you’re interested in learning more as I come up with this, DM me,” and the DMs are where a lot of things go down. It goes down in the DMs. It’s very simple for a person to just click on your name and send you a quick DM. Like, “Yes, tell me more.” Then you can start the conversation as opposed to “opt-in to get this free thing,” or “commit to, yes, a small group coaching program now.” Don’t even tell them it’s a small group coaching program, right? Because that will give them a number of things that they can imagine that they don’t want. Only tell them the things that you know they would say yes to if it was perfect for them.
The small group coaching program is the feature, right? The benefit is the everything else. You want to tell them what they need and have them say yes. Tell them what they want and have them go, “Yeah, I want that.” Then you go, “okay, well here’s what you need.” That make sense?
Melody Wilding: It does. It does. I love that idea of—
Pat Flynn: Low friction.
Melody Wilding: Yes. Low friction, low risk on their part, and getting them excited and getting them to say yes rather than kind of putting people on guard.
Pat Flynn: Right, and low risk on your part. It’s just a post or an email and you know, it’s not big announcement for a thing that publicly people will see if it works or not. It’s taking this large thing that you’re doing and chunking up into smaller bite sized experiments. Get them to raise their hand and then you go, “okay, well here’s what I’m thinking of doing”. Then you could literally, you might not even need a sales page to be honest. You might go, “I’d love to invite you into one of the five spots I’m going to have in my coaching program that starts on this date and it goes for eight weeks.”
That’s when likely they’re going to want a little bit more information or you can go, you know, “Here’s the outline of the scope of the work that I think we’re planning on doing and I’d love to—if this is something that seems like right up your alley, we can get something together to have you fill in one of those spots.” You might not even need a sales page or to do anything beyond just—especially with such a small group, just interactions on email and social media could work.
Melody Wilding: Yeah, that would be awesome.
Pat Flynn: Cool, okay. Biggest thing you took away today, for everybody else listening and for yourself of course, and for me before we sign off? Then obviously I’d love to know where people can find . . . Let’s start with your website and where can people go to find you.
Melody Wilding: Sure. You can find me at MelodyWilding.com and you can go to MelodyWilding.com/mediasecrets if you want to get that free training that shows you how to get mainstream publicity. I think that my biggest takeaway from today, at the risk of sounding cheesy, is follow your gut. Listen to what is inside your gut and your heart telling you, because that’s usually where a lot of the gold is.
Pat Flynn: You just need permission, basically.
Melody Wilding: Yes. Yes.
Pat Flynn: Which is so funny, because that’s like a running theme here. Many of the people who end up on the show basically tell me what they’re going to do already and I just go, “yeah, okay. Do that.”
Melody Wilding: The beauty of coaching.
Pat Flynn: I love it. You’re going to do great, Melody. I look forward to following up with you in the future and hearing about all the success, and I just want to wish you the best of luck, and I appreciate your time again.
Melody Wilding: Thank you, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Thank you.
All right, Melody, thank you so much for calling in. I appreciate you and thank you all for listening all the way through as well. Good luck to you, Melody. You can find her at MelodyWilding.com. By the way, I just want to say thank you so much for listening to the show, and make sure you subscribe if you haven’t already. By the way, thank you to everybody who has left amazing reviews on iTunes. It’s super helpful and we’re just going to keep going strong. We have more episodes in the can ready for you, so make sure you hit subscribe because these are coming your way and I cannot wait to serve you in the next episode of AskPat 2.0. Until then, keep crushing it and just check out the blog at SmartPassiveIncome.com. Appreciate you.
By the way, I don’t know if you heard this . . . lot of by the ways today, but I’ve just been thinking about a lot of these things. I just announced—at the time of this recording it will have been a week since I publicly announced in person at Podcast Movement 2018, which is an event that happens every single year for podcasters, but I held a meet-up and there were 200 people there and I made this announcement for the first time. I’m going to make it live here on AskPat for the first time for you and that is: I’m holding an event next year in July of 2019, at the end of July in San Diego. More details coming soon, but I just wanted to let you know to plant that seed for you.
I’m going to be hosting my very first live event. I’m not even calling it a conference because it’s not a conference. Really, it’s an experience. It’s going to be very different. It’s going to be an event where it is mostly me onstage. It’s not going to be one of those ones where you go and you see like fifty speakers speak and some of them are happening all at the same time. One stage, one giant audience, hopefully you and mostly me, my family will be involved and a couple guest speakers that you won’t even know about it until you get there. This is going to be very different, something that you’re going to walk away from that hopefully will help inspire you to move forward and push yourself in your business. Look out for that. I’m not even going to tell you the name of it yet, but it is coming July 2019 and I hope you can come. More information coming soon. It’s going to be awesome. I cannot wait. Super stoked about it; hope you are too.
Cheers, take care, and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat 2.0.
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