Today, we're speaking with Michelle Mozes of MichelleMozes.com. She helps people with their branding, and it's been going really well. A big part of her success is that she's kept herself at the center of her brand, which lets her stand out from her competitors by offering a personal touch. And of course, that comes at a price premium.
In fact, Michelle has managed to 4X her revenue, and things are going great.
But she's also feeling the urge to do more, to grow and expand her business… she's just not sure exactly how, or as you'll learn today, why. She thinks she should create her own online course, but she's not convinced it's the right move, and she's feeling stuck.
Through our conversation, though, we discover something really interesting that all of a sudden clicks for Michelle. It helps her get perspective on what she's been struggling with, and we use this epiphany to determine what Michelle's next steps should be. What exactly is that realization? Listen and find out!
AP 1219: How Do I Branch Out and Offer a Course to a New Niche?
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here. And welcome to episode 1,219 of AskPat. You're about to listen to a coaching call between myself and an entrepreneur just like you. And today, we're speaking with Michelle Mozes; that's Mozes with a Z. You can find her at michellemozes.com. And she helps people with their branding, and she does a really good job of it. In fact, she has herself stand out specifically from other competitors by saying, "You know what, I'm going to be the one to work with you. It's my magic touch that's going to help you. You won't get anybody else. It's just you and me."
Pat Flynn: And of course, that comes with a premium. But through the conversation today, we discover something really interesting that just all of a sudden clicks for Michelle. And it's something that she's been struggling with a really long time. But the questions I ask unpack something, and boom, we hit it right on the head. And then we use that to determine what her next steps are. So you're going to hear exactly what the challenge is, where the motivations lie, and then we're going to go from there. So listen in, this is Michelle Mozes, with a Z, michellemozes.com. Enjoy.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Michelle. Welcome to AskPat. Thank you so much for taking the time to hang and chat with me today. How are you doing?
Michelle Mozes: I'm good. Thank you so much for having me. I'm great. I'm so excited to be here. I'm a big super fan of yours.
Pat Flynn: Thank you.
Michelle Mozes: And this is a dream, really.
Pat Flynn: This is awesome. I want to help you as best as I can, but help us understand a little bit about who you are and what you do first.
Michelle Mozes: Okay. So I'll explain what I do. There's a bit of a backstory, but I'll just get to the point. Right now I'm a branding strategist, which means I work with entrepreneurs one on one. I get to the root of either whether they're branding or rebranding, we figure out what their strategy might be with their brand launch. I work a lot with design, logo design, brand patterns, packaging design, anything that's required to launch a business. And if someone were to rebrand, they would come to me and we would figure out together what their problems might be, why there's holes in their marketing strategy, and we work together to kind of bring them back to life and revive their business.
Pat Flynn: Got you. So is this an agency that you run, and you have clients that work with you, and you have a team and a few other people that help support these companies that are either branding themselves for the first time and launching, or rebranding and want to pivot?
Michelle Mozes: Yeah, that's right. Although I'm not an agency, I work independently. And that's actually part of the unique feature of my business is that people seek to work one on one with me. I think it makes it very personal and special. And I kind of hand hold my clients through the process.
Pat Flynn: Nice, I like that. So it's a lot more white glove in terms of the experience, and it's not just like you make the connection, and then now all these people are going to take care of you. There are pros and cons obviously to each, and one of the cons is, I mean, it's just you. Right? So you have to work, or else nothing happens. And also, your time is only ... There's only so much time to go around. But you could probably charge a lot more as a result of that and provide a lot better of an experience, I imagine. What's the name of the company that you have? In case people are curious.
Michelle Mozes: So it's just under my name, Michelle Mozes. My website's michellemozes.com. I really wanted to keep my name because you're not working with a company, you're working with me. And I really wanted to keep that personal vibe.
Pat Flynn: I like that as a very purposeful, this is my differentiator. It's me. You get me, and you can be sure of that. So I really like that. Who are you serving in terms of these entrepreneurs and these brands? Is there a particular niche, or type of person, or people, or company that you are serving?
Michelle Mozes: Yeah. What's interesting is that I find that I'm working with a lot of people like myself. And I've actually created long-term friendships with my clients. They're usually women about my age, between the ages of 28 and 32. They have children. They have business ideas. They don't have the creativity, or they are creative and they don't know how to put into action their ideas. So I am that creative brain for them, and I help them walk through, like I said earlier, any sort of business problems they might have, where they feel like maybe they're falling short in their marketing, or they're not connecting with their customers. And I help them form that relationship with their clients and their customers. And just I want to see them succeed, I want them to do well.
Pat Flynn: So they already have an idea. It's not like you're working with somebody from scratch and going, "Okay, what business can we create?" Right? You're at least beyond there.
Michelle Mozes: Yeah. So they come to me, usually all it is, is an idea. And then we talk about how we can make it this actual business, get it off the ground, launch it. So I do get involved a lot in the launch process.
Pat Flynn: Cool. Well, that sounds like a great service, and it sounds interesting. Tell me a little bit about where perhaps you might be concerned, or where you want to go. What's on your mind?
Michelle Mozes: Okay. So I'll give you a little bit of a timeline backstory of how I got to where I am now because I did try a lot of things. And now I'm kind of finding myself going back to some things. So a weird random fact about me is that I used to be a cartoonist. I was in the comic book industry. And another unique feature of working with me that my clients love is that I have this past as an illustrator. So I'm not just a graphic designer, but I can draw. And people love to bring that element into their own branding.
Michelle Mozes: So back when I did this and I was a comic book artist, I was doing well and it was fun. And I was not even 20 years old when I got the opportunity to ... I got a job offer to work as a cartooning professor at a college and I declined because I felt like I had so much more room to grow and move on. And I was looking for ways to make money while I was in college, and I ended up becoming a graphic designer. And I was just a graphic designer. I billed hourly and I was in this monotonous cycle for years, just being a freelance graphic designer.
Michelle Mozes: And I was like, "How can I make this more lucrative, but also more fulfilling?" It felt like I wasn't actually helping people. I was this machine, this robot just working 9:00 to 5:00. Even though I was working from home, I felt like I was working in an office. I was working 9:00 to 5:00, billing $50 an hour. So actually, over just the last few years, I kind of made this vow to set goals and achieve them. So goal one was to make more time for my children, so I didn't want to have to work these crazy long hours to make the money I wanted to make because when you're working hourly, you can only work so much. So I created packages and I got into branding specifically because I loved watching my clients' reactions to the process and watching them grow. There's something so fulfilling and beautiful about the branding process.
Michelle Mozes: And I loved working with people, I loved helping them. There was just something magical about it. Now in this rebrand, the main change that I made was that I reinvented myself, and I started talking to my customers differently. And I put myself out on Instagram, and I started to draw this clientele of people who needed branding, and they, like I said earlier, were a lot like me. And then I tried doing this monthly retainer thing to also try to make more money, which was a total epic fail because I found myself going back to that hourly thing.
Michelle Mozes: Now I'm actually in a good place. My branding packages range from $2,000 to $5,000. And I don't have to take on that many clients to make decent money. And also, I work part-time now, which is fantastic. I work 9:00 to 2:00. I have so much time for my children. I set a lot of goals. I also set a goal to get a house this year, and my husband and I bought a house this year. I have this whole idea of reinventing myself and growing. And I actually got to where I wanted. I'm very happy with the salary that I'm making now. I love the work that I'm doing. I'm not just a graphic designer. I'm a branding strategist. I really feel like I'm changing people's lives and I'm helping their business to succeed and get off the ground. I'm content, but then I think about I could grow so much more from here, and I don't know how.
Michelle Mozes: What happened was, as I put myself out there, and these people who needed branding came out to me and approached me, another thing that I noticed as a result of my rebrand was that the right people were contacting me and the right people were approaching me. And I suddenly loved the people I was working with. I was speaking their language and they were attracted to me and drawn to working with me and getting that one on one experience, which I call the Michelle magic. And my business superpower is that I could read my clients' minds. They tell me this vision of where they want to take their business and I help them get there.
Pat Flynn: Amazing.
Michelle Mozes: So you're probably like, "So what's the problem?" So the problem is that I started listening to your podcast. I started reading your books. And I was like, "I would love to start my own online course." And the people I really want to target are not my branding clients, not the people that are looking to grow their businesses because there's so many people doing that. I really want to target designers, people who want to grow in design, people who maybe want to learn the secret recipe to what goes into my strategy of Michelle magic and reading clients' minds.
Michelle Mozes: I have a very happy customer base. I've been doing this for so many years that I feel like I know how to make clients happy, and I know how to give them the results that they're seeking. I kind of have this tribe, and I've been growing on social media. But I really would love to help designers do this too. But I also still want to brand, and I don't really have that designer following. There are designers that follow me on Instagram. I started to put content out there to kind of feel out designers, if they're following me and if they're out there.
Michelle Mozes: And there's responding, I see them, I hear them. But then whenever I talk about doing mentorships or anything like that, I'm not getting a lot of bites. I mean, I had clients, I had people that I mentored and it went really well. I helped a lot of designers over the years get jobs. I know I have it in me to help people. I don't know ... If I created this course, I know no one's going to buy it because I'm not seeing the desire there. But I do see the desire for people to want me to brand for them, which I'm doing already. But I don't even know how to grow. So to summarize my question: How do I grow? Because I'm happy with my salary, but I want to make more. I would love to evolve. I really just want to help people. I want an empire where I can put content out there, where people could really be inspired and grow from it.
Michelle Mozes: Like I said with my clients, when I see that result of me creating this brand and my clients succeeding from it, I want to put that out to the universe, but I don't know how. If I did create an online course, if it's not going to be geared toward designers, who am I gearing it toward? See, I kind of just want to help everyone, and I'm having a really hard time niching down and figuring out. Who's that one person I want to help? Whose life am I going to change if I were to put a course out there, or a eBook, or anything like that? I'm really stuck with that.
Pat Flynn: That's interesting because you are where you said you wanted to be. Right? You have an amazing schedule. You have some amazing clients. You bought a new house. Congratulations on that, by the way. You're spending time with the kids. Why do you need more? And I'm going to challenge you a little bit because I want you to know why you need more, because sometimes we just feel like we have to grow because that's what we're taught to do, sometimes we feel like we need more and more because we, and I'm not saying this about you, but we tend to hoard our success in case something fails. And I don't know if that fear or something is maybe a part of this.
Pat Flynn: So yes, you can make more money, and there's ways that you can do that with your current client base. You don't need new clients, or you don't need to necessarily expand out of what you're already doing in order to generate more income. So perhaps we just need those strategies, and then you'd be good. Or even if you did make more money from your current client base, would you still feel less fulfilled? And we can start to unpack that. So where do you think you lie in terms of, what do you really, really want?
Michelle Mozes: So based on ... I mean, my income just quadrupled very quickly. And like I said, I'm happy with it, but it doesn't feel like enough, so it kind of feels like your second example. I could keep making more off of what I'm doing now, but something still feels like there's something missing. I still want to reach out to more people. I still want to help more people. And I don't know, I have skills. I can design. I don't know what to do with it. I don't know what more I can do.
Pat Flynn: It's interesting because like you said, you'd be able to generate more income from your current client base. You could increase your price point. You can turn it into an agency if you wanted to do that, or hire people that you know that would support the way that you create Michelle magic for others. Right? But to me, it almost sounds like that because it's so one to one, that you can only reach and affect so many people's lives, that you have this yearning to want to do that more outside of your client base because you can only take on so much in the current format that you're doing. To me, it sounds like you're not fulfilled impact wise. Is that true?
Michelle Mozes: Yeah, you nailed it.
Pat Flynn: Done this before. This is not uncommon to hear this, so you're not alone in this, by the way.
Michelle Mozes: That's reassuring.
Pat Flynn: This is not a bad thing. So that's really amazing. So what's really interesting is you do have this amazing skill, and you were able to brand yourself and turn this into an amazing business. And if you were able to do that to other designers, I'm sure that would fill that bucket of yours that seems to be a little empty as far as the fulfillment and the legacy that you can offer, and all those other things that come along with this more emotionally versus monetarily.
Pat Flynn: It's interesting because this is very common as well. You mentioned an online course, "I'd love to do an online course." But you don't have the audience yet necessarily. And you've poked around a little bit and you've perhaps mentored a few people, but you know that if you launch an online course, it really wouldn't work yet. And what's interesting is most people, when we come up with business ideas, we go, "Well, what's the product?" And we go right to that. And how can I create that? And you've already started mentioning an online course before you've actually started to have conversations and talk to people and really start to gather perhaps even the small audience in that space to see, "Well, maybe an online course would not work with them. We don't know yet. We need to lead up to that."
Pat Flynn: The greatest way to figure this out that I've found is to create some sort of X-week program, two, four, six week mentorship program, or crash course for designers to help you turn your skills into a monetized business, or whatever the hook might be. Because if you create this thing, first of all, you don't have to film the entire course and then launch it. That's scary because: What if nobody buys? Right? You can actually create the material as you go with the people that you collect upfront. And if nobody bites, well, then okay, good. I don't need to create the thing. But if you do get a few people coming in, even if it's just a handful, I mean, that could give you an understanding of what it's like to actually take them through a process. It forces you to create a curriculum that could in turn, turn into an online course with now testimonials behind it, and a real reason. In which case, then you can run ads to get in front of people with the confidence knowing that you know this actually works.
Pat Flynn: You could partner with other people who have designers in their audience, knowing that this works and this will serve their audience. Right? So you can build an audience. Anybody can build an audience. But we have to first understand, who is it that we're building for? And what is it that we're ultimately going to create for them? And a four week cohort based sort of twice a week meeting thing that helps them get from where they're at to where you want them, or know that they can go, it will provide all the information you need to know what to do next. It'll help you understand whether or not you actually like doing this, because it's in your head right now. You might train these designers and just go, "That was exhausting and I never want to do that again." In which case, great, it's out of your mind now and you can focus elsewhere.
Pat Flynn: Or you might do it, and you're like, "That is the most fulfilling thing I've ever done. Let's grow this thing. Let's scale it a little bit more so I can fill in that bucket." And you might find that the cohort based model that happens a few times a year on your own calendar is going to be best versus an online course where, every once in a while you might get questions randomly. And it's not fully getting people all the way through to the end because it's an online course versus a cohort based one. And you have more opportunities to create the Michelle magic inside of a cohort base, sort of with the connections. That's a superpower of yours. So why would you leave that out of an online course? Right?
Pat Flynn: So these are just sort of ... I'm brain dumping on you a lot of these things. But these are some of the things that come to mind, and a micro experiment to see where you can take it could be the next step. And then you get either a green light to keep going, or a red light to stop and come back. But it seems to me that the idea is that you want to fulfill and impact more lives, in which case, there's many other ways to do that. What if you spoke at a designer conference about what you did, and there were thousands of people in the audience? Would that fulfill? Probably, maybe, I don't know. But if it's impact that you're going for, there's many ways to do that, and it's not just an online course.
Michelle Mozes: It's so interesting that you summarized what I'm searching for in one word, impact. And I never thought of it as that one goal. I think that's where I was having trouble was: How do I make a goal out of this? Because doing a course, online course, and breaking that down into steps as a goal didn't feel right to me. But creating impact and then thinking about ways I can do that, I don't know, that just triggered a light bulb in my head right now. And that makes so much more sense.
Pat Flynn: Right. I think we've discovered it. And you provide great work for your current clients, but you can only impact so many lives. However, you also have to realize that you are impacting people through them. Right? Your work is now impacting others through your clients' work. Right? There's also, I wanted to make sure I didn't skip over this. There's some amazing business models that you could use to generate more income with the way that you currently have things. You could do it through a profit share or rev share.
Pat Flynn: James Schramko, my mentor, does this a lot, where he basically works with a company and says, "Hey, I will mentor your company." You serve them with the first package and you get them up to par, but then you go, "You know what, I'd love to help you and continue to stay here to help you, and any revenue that you generate beyond your baseline, I'll take 10% of it." And that way, you actually have even more skin in the game. They know you have more skin in the game. And you can also almost feel like you're a part of their company without having to do all the crazy amounts of work, but you're there as more of ... It's sort of similar to an advisor slash affiliate, but you actually get a rev share, and that's a way that you can impact these companies even more.
Pat Flynn: Anyway, going back to impact, which is really the thing that I think that you want. I mean, now you can reverse engineer from: Well, how much impact do I want to make? Do I want 1,000 designers to create their own websites and start making money for themselves? Boom, there's a number now. And we can figure out ways that we can get there. Some people have really large numbers: I want to reach a million designers across all the platforms I'm on to teach what I teach. Cool, so now I'm on stages, now I'm on podcasts, now I'm on YouTube, and I'm trying to get to a million people who have got into my lead magnet to download my how to start worksheet, or whatever. But that should help with the direction from here because now we know why we're going that direction. Right?
Michelle Mozes: Absolutely. It's so interesting that I couldn't pinpoint what it was that I felt like was missing from ... Because business wise, when I wrote it down even, I'm like, "I reached my goal and I'm happy. But something feels like there's something lacking." And when you say impact and not money, that's what it is. This is not even a money thing. I mean, I would love to make even more. But I want to feel more fulfilled in the sense that I'm impacting others and helping others.
Pat Flynn: Well, here's the funny thing. What happens to the money part of it when you provide more value and have bigger impact?
Michelle Mozes: Right. See, so that was my next question though. I don't want to take the money aspect out of it either because I don't want to sell myself short or get so focused on the impact that I neglect my business.
Pat Flynn: You definitely don't want to neglect your business. I mean, you have this amazing foundation and you need to be there for your clients. Right? It would be a disservice to them for you to AKA, get distracted, if you will, because that's what's important. However, the more service you provide, the more impact you make, the more revenue opportunities arise. So you could make money by speaking on stage. Literally, that could just be it. You speak on stages to designer conferences and you get paid for that. And legit, that could be it. Right? You could make money doing that.
Michelle Mozes: That would be amazing. Yeah, that would make me feel so good. I want to help people. Just based on the designers that I have mentored over the past few years, having them come back to me and telling me the stories of success that they experienced based on our working together, that's everything to me. You can't put a price on that.
Pat Flynn: I understand that completely. You are absolutely right. So let's say you do go down that speaker route. Well, you create the best dang designer presentation anybody's ever seen. That's your focus. You learn about that. You go to workshops about that. That's all that matters. Or another route, just again, you explore all the routes first, then you're like, "I like that one, or I want to try that one." You write a book and it's for designers, and you feature other designers that are in there and how they run their businesses. You compile all this stuff together, and then you get it out there. And boom, you're selling thousands of copies of this book. And you're getting Instagram pictures of people on the beach reading it in their hands. Wow. Right?
Pat Flynn: And I've experienced that before with my books. And so there's many ways to go about it, but I would experiment, maybe trial and error, see what you like, what you dislike. And once you find that thing, just all in on that for the stuff on top of your current work to get to that impact number or impact position that you want to be in.
Michelle Mozes: Do you think I'm limiting myself? Right now, I think my whole life is on Instagram. I am trying to build my email list by doing free workshops and kind of getting people to sign up and join. Is there potential beyond social media? Should I be exploring YouTube? Should I be doing in person? Actually, when I read Superfans, and you were talking about maybe meeting with like minded individuals and kind of creating superfans that way, I just love that idea of creating a group of people that share your interests and just hanging out with them. I would love to get together with other designers even, or just sit at the park and talk about our struggles and where we found that we did really well together.
Michelle Mozes: I mean, I think I'm just looking for that one thing to really focus on. I'm very goal oriented, so now when I make a checklist, it's going to be, okay, find that thing where I feel I get fulfillment from the impact. And how can I create that impact? Should I now with the weather getting nicer, should I now be thinking about doing maybe some group sessions at a park? Because I have the community; I work with other designers and I work with other entrepreneurs, so I don't know.
Pat Flynn: You won't know until you try a few things and see what sticks. We could look at the menu all day, but you're not going to eat until you pick something and tell the waiter. Right? All of them could work. It's going to be what excites you the most and what fulfills that bucket for you. And it might be one, it might not be the other. I don't want to say. You're not limiting yourself if you're fully putting your focus into whatever it is that you've chosen to do. However, a community, as you know, since you've read Superfans, is a great way to not just be able to provide value by creating a space and speaking to people, but it's a space where people can speak and connect and serve each other. And it becomes like a life force of its own. And maybe that combines some stuff that happens in person and online. Maybe it's a Circle community outside of Facebook. I don't know.
Pat Flynn: But you won't know until you put some things together. And what I would do is as soon as you can, try to get together in person with a few of these designers if you can, and just chat. Be in that world, chat, and tell them about your ideas and what you're thinking. And get a vibe off that. And you can get a really quick gut check on how that all feels, and probably some new ideas will get all spurred up at that moment. But that will give you a direct connection to who it is that you're trying to serve and how you might be able to best serve them.
Pat Flynn: You'd probably be able to quickly understand that an online course probably wouldn't serve these people best. Right? Maybe, maybe. It depends on what it is. If they took a course and it took two hours, but they now 2X their revenue as a result of that because it was all based on how to write the perfect contract, okay, well, then that's different. That's a very specific thing that a course would be best suited to serve those people with. But you're talking about community and impact and these other things that are way beyond those kinds of little frictions that I think that some experimentation would go a long way for you, but also help you find that really impactful thing that you're going to just focus on and do and become known for.
Michelle Mozes: Okay. I'm going to start with baby steps then. I'm going to try to figure that one out.
Pat Flynn: Love it. This has been incredible. What a discovery call this was about yourself. And I hope this was helpful, and if one more time, you can tell people where they go to get access to you as a brand expert, and then also follow you perhaps on social. You had mentioned an Instagram, in case they want to follow your journey. Where should they go?
Michelle Mozes: Sure. You can follow me on Instagram. I'm Michelle Mozes, M-O-Z-E-S. It's very confusing, not typical. And it's michellemozes.com.
Pat Flynn: Awesome. Thank you, Michelle. I appreciate you, and all the best of luck.
Pat Flynn: What'd I tell you? Epiphany. Right? It's one of those things that happens a lot here on AskPat. And so if you haven't subscribed yet, make sure you do that because this happens all the time in all different kinds of ways. Right? And it's so interesting because I'm just simply asking questions and seeing things from the outside. And as I often say, you can't read the label when you're outside [inside] the bottle. And we are all within our own bottles. So if you seem like you're in your own bottle and you'd love some outside help, head on over to askpat.com, and you can ask some questions there. You can get some help as well, potentially. Fill out the application. We'll see if it's the right fit. And you might be on the show like Michelle was today.
Pat Flynn: If you want to check out Michelle and all that she has going on, whether you are a designer looking for help from her, or you might need some branding help too, Michelle Mozes, with a Z, M-O-Z-E-S, michellemozes.com. You can check that out there. And again, I want to thank you so much, all of you, for your support this year. This show has been amazing. We had spoken about a show called The Smart Bar potentially coming to the podcast. Right? Well, we're starting to reassess that, whether that's the right thing to do on the team, so that's where we're at now with that. It may come, it may not. We'll keep you posted. But either way, I'm still going to be here. So I hope that you subscribe because we have a lot more content coming your way. Askpat.com is where you want to go. And of course, find me on YouTube if you haven't already. I have a lot of stuff coming this year for you there too.
Pat Flynn: If you want to get some specific training on some software and some other things, just look up Pat Flynn on YouTube. And yeah, I'll see you there. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Take care. Peace out. And as always, Team Flynn for the win. Cheers.
Pat Flynn: Thanks for listening to AskPat at askpat.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.