Ever feel like your marketing is too salesy? You’re not alone. The question is, can you promote your business with integrity and still attract customers? Can you stay true to yourself without your sales taking a hit?
Spoiler alert: You can! In fact, being upfront with your audience will likely lead to better results. That’s why Daphne Gomez is taking over the show today to talk about mindful marketing.
This is another installment in our Teaching Friday series, where we invite members of our SPI Pro community to share their expertise with our listeners.
Daphne has mindful marketing down to a three-step process. She’ll walk you through creating your brand values, developing a brand tone of voice, and, finally, auditing your current approach with your core values in mind.
These practices will help you attract the people you can best serve, the ones who will become your superfans and help you have a bigger impact. Listen in on today’s episode to find out why “just be yourself” is actually very good business advice.
Today's Guest Host
Daphne Gomez is a former teacher who left the classroom in 2017 for roles in professional development training and instructional design. Teachers would often reach out to her to ask for career advice, so she began creating the resources and community she wished existed during her own career hunt. She is now the host of one of Apple's Top #50 podcasts in Education, The Teacher Career Coach Podcast. Since beginning Teacher Career Coach in 2018, she has helped thousands leverage their experience in education to find new careers.
SPI 592: How to Market Mindfully with Daphne Gomez
Pat Flynn: Hey, hey, it's Pat here. You're about to listen to something a little different on the show today. It's not our usual Friday format where I follow up on Wednesday's episode. Don't worry. Those aren't going away forever. Just a little break to bring in something even more special. In my opinion. And this episode in the next few are a part of our teaching Friday series, which we do with our SPI Pro members.
We have an incredibly talented pool of people within SPI Pro. Why don't you give our Pros, the spotlight and teach you here on the podcast every once in a while. It's just one of the perks of being a part of Pro, in fact, is this possibility with each episode, you get to hear a different Pro, teach you something special from their area of expertise.
Without further ado, I'll let them take it away. Oh, and if you want to find out more about SPI Pro and be a part of it, you can go ahead and apply at SPIpro.com.
Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it's all about working hard now. So you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your guest host, her middle name is Leia, and yes, she was born in the 80s and was named after characters in Scooby-Doo and Star Wars, Daphne Gomez!
Daphne Gomez: Hey, I'm Daphne Gomez, the CEO of Teacher Career Coach. And in this episode, I'm going to be sharing my tips on mindful marketing and how to be really strategic with your tone and approach. I'm going to show you how to actually do this in three different steps. First, creating your brand values, second, developing your brand tone of voice, and then third auditing your current approach with your core values in mind.
First, I really want to share why this is such an important topic to me. I am a former teacher who left the classroom for roles in Fortune 500 companies and startups. And now I actually work full time helping other teachers make a career pivot from the classroom. Giving career advice has a really huge impact on other people's lives.
So I always wanted to make sure that I was really accurately relaying the information and not giving advice that is black and white when life often isn't. And now with the crisis that we're facing and education being an extremely sensitive and sometimes polarizing topic, it's more important to me than ever before, to consistently evaluate my approach and my messaging when it comes to marketing.
These efforts have paid off with Teacher Career Coach and its success and community. We have this extremely loyal base of over 85,000 followers that know that they can confidently direct other teachers who are struggling my way and that I'll share the resources that best support them wherever they are at in their journey.
Now, why should you be putting a lot of effort into mindful marketing practices with your company will first, this can help you attract the people that you best serve and detract from people who will potentially have negative experiences with you. Second, your audience is going to be far more likely to recommend you to others if you're honest and upfront with them about roadblocks or challenges that they may face. And then lastly, your integrity and approach is going to pay off by creating an extremely loyal and trusting audience. You can build great relationships with others in your space, and you can feel proud of the impact that you have, which is something that's always been really important to me with my own business.
So my first step to creating a mindful marketing strategy is to create your brand values. So start by creating your ideal client avatar. Be as specific as possible. When you're writing this out, write down what are their goals? What are their occupations? What is their age? What is like the average income level that they have? What deliverables do they usually want from you? Whatever factors that you can think of. And while you're at this stage of brainstorming, you might want to start compiling data of your current results or testimonials so that you can see who you have a really great record of serving in the past. While you're writing all this down, start to identify any potential caveats to your ideal client.
An example is like someone who may need results in a specific timeframe that you're not quite sure you're able to deliver. Let's say maybe they need to replace their income by next month and that's really not the norm for the results that you've seen, or maybe it's someone who's in a similar industry, but you're not 100% sure you feel comfortable serving.
These are not total exceptions to the rule of who you can serve, but more of a list of people who may need additional information from you before purchasing to ensure they get a really accurate idea of what you are able to promise. And. Next you want to draft what values you hold as a business owner, write down a list of who you are and who you'd like to be.
Your values can be words like integrity, learning, customer experience, fun, diversity, quality, courage, whatever it is that is important to you that you never want to lose sight of during your journey. Start to begin to write out what promises you feel comfortable making and what promises you'd like to be able to make in the future.
For me, I can promise that I can help teachers rewrite their resume, identify new careers outside of the classroom interview with confidence and answering some of those tough interview questions. Like why are you leaving teaching? But I can't promise them that I can get them a job because there's outside factors that I don't have any control over.
Also, just be really clear on who you would never want to be as a company. This can be what type of tone you never want to use for your audience? What types of partnerships would never really be a good fit for your community? Just anything that you are very clear is a non-negotiable for you moving forward.
So for my company, personally, one of the decisions that I made was I stopped using Facebook ads altogether. We used them for a really brief period of time and they did really well, but after reflecting, I realized I actually didn't want to advertise my program to all teachers who were dealing with a lot of stress right now.
And I wanted to focus my marketing attempts just on strategies, like search engine optimization, to get my resources in front of teachers who are actively looking for my support so that I wasn't advertising to every teacher who was going through a really hard time. Well, I knew that many of the teachers who were seeing those ads were interested in learning more about different careers outside of the classroom, and this is probably an issue that is very unique to what I am doing with Teacher Career Coach, I only really wanted to find those two were already seeking out this type of support. So now that you have mapped out your ideal customer and your brand values, you can start to really dig into developing your brand tone of voice.
Remember your target client, and go back to that often, when you start to create your brand tone of voice for them, your brand voice is going to really, truly represent your brand's personality. So this can be whether or not you are funny or quirky or serious or somber or sage, but everything that you are writing make sure that it goes back to how you serve your audience best. For me, I never want to feel like the advice that I'm giving is condescending. If people are starting their career journey and they're really struggling, I want to make sure I come from it with an empathetic, I can walk you through the steps type of voice instead of you should have already known X or Y by the time you got to me. And I've seen marketing that accidentally comes across that way. And I want to make sure that mine doesn't. So I approach all of my marketing attempts really strategically to go with that. And for me, I like to think of myself like I can be a funny person at times, but it would not really be appropriate to talk about anything funny during many of my conversations or discussions about teachers leaving the classroom, because this is a really super serious subject matter.
I leaned towards drafting messaging from the lens of being more sage and honest and transparent about the struggles of what's going to happen inside the classroom when they leave as well. Because that's something that's really important for all of us to understand. I like to always talk about things from an optimistic point of view, but not with toxic positivity or glossing over the very real struggle that they're going to face as they're actually approaching this challenge.
This can be in the messaging for your content and also in your approach to answering comments or customer support. Many of the comments that I have that are actually somewhat on the like saltier end are still coming from my intended audience. And that's something that I always make sure to pay attention to as well, because I know that it's coming from a place of burnout, a frustration and overwhelm.
So I still try to respond to even the saltiest of comments or questions with mindfulness and empathy, and then direct them towards the resources that I've created that can help alleviate those concerns. And that is going back to my brand values and my brand tone of voice of making sure that I am not condescending.
I am not pushing back on this audience. And I'm remembering where I came from when I had the same sort of issues and concerns. Remember your ideal clients, caveats and, uh, trust them from time to time openly. For example, that client that may need to replace their income within a one month timeframe. If you have actually seen this happen, if you've been able to deliver the results, but it's not the norm.
It's really important, to be honest with that upfront with them, if you aren't 100% sure that you can deliver on that result. And there's just a really big difference between saying absolutely I've helped others achieve this goal or saying this really isn't impossible, I've helped others achieve this goal, but it is less common to deliver within this timeframe and I really want to be transparent about that before we start to work together. What you should really never do is answer vaguely or misleading, hoping for a sale if you really don't know the answer of whether or not you can do it in that specific situation, remember, you will have an ideal client and you want to genuinely attract those ideal clients, but not attract those who are, who are going to have negative experiences with you just to have a sale.
But just because you have not worked with someone in a specific situation doesn't mean that you can't. So I do want to put that out there. Don't let imposter syndrome tell you to shut doors on all opportunities besides those that you're really comfortable with, but see if there are any ways that you can test the waters prior to making promises you are secretly unsure you can deliver or be transparent with them while they're asking that this would be the first time that you're working in this capacity, but you're pretty confident that you'd be able to still deliver those results. When developing your brand and content, this is one that's really hard for me personally, but pay attention to your trolls and what they're saying.
If they do say something that's completely contradicting what you have taught as being the actual deliverables that are common within your industry or with whatever you're you're offering. Can you start a dialogue to hear if they actually have had different experiences from a different point of view?
It's so easy to just chalk it up to people being trolls are constantly having something bad to say, but it is important to read them and have a dialogue with those that disagree, just to hear their personal experiences. And then you can speak to that more confidently in the future as well. I've been able to do this in the past, and now I even have a few more caveats that I can confidently speak about when giving advice to teachers who are leaving the classroom.
Continuing to share these examples helps my ideal audience become even more certain that they are in the right place and still continues to detract from those who may need a different type of support or to go a different direction. So now you have created your brand values. You've started to develop your brand tone of voice and it's time to really audit your current approach with those core values in mind.
Once you have this really clear idea of who you are confident serving, what results you can help them achieve, how you want to actually deliver those messages to them. Start to create a few resources to address and educate some of those caveats or some of those knowledge gaps that they may have. So if you are confident that you can help them achieve C, but they may need to do A or B prior to getting there, be upfront with them about that. It's always okay to give them really clear expectations of what they may need to do or learn. And then you have the paid program that will sell them how to do all of those things, A through Z. Remember the potential caveats to your ideal client that you discussed earlier, like someone who needed those results in the timeframe that you're not able to deliver and flat out, discuss those openly and your messaging and your content from time to time, you can say something. "The common timeframe needed to see the results that we find typical is three to six months time. And actually we have seen students get results within as short as a few weeks, but that's really not the norm."
Another example of how I use this. And my own company is we never make claims like join the Teacher Career Coach course, and we will help you match your salary point blank.
When I talk to teachers about matching their salary at a new career, I am very clear that salary differs greatly for teachers depending on their state, what step they are taking in their salary schedule. I do have stats that I can share of how many of my course members have matched their salary. And I also make sure to refer them to this free video that I have on how to calculate where they are on their pension schedule, since if they are closer to retirement age, that is just a huge factor to consider that I do not want to downplay.
I even have this entire episode of the teacher career coach podcast that walks through what the higher paying roles are for teachers who are transitioning in higher paying states with more years experience to help them match their salary more easily. How to research salaries in your state to figure out whether or not those roles are going to be the right fit for you.
And because some of my testimonials are teachers who talk about how they received $20,000 pay increases with their new role I really openly talk about how that might be a $20,000 pay decrease for another teacher in a different state who's looking at this exact same role. This really helps educate my audience upfront so that they're not surprised or disappointed if they join my course and they haven't done this research upfront.
These more complex caveats that probably need a really good explanation to walk them through step-by-step is just such a great opportunity to create more content, to educate your audience for free. Your audience is really going to appreciate the thoughtfulness and thoroughness that you provide. It's going to help alleviate concerns on whether or not they should even join your course.
And you still won't be giving any sort of secrets away from within whatever your course or your offering is. Now speaking of testimonials, please do not make up testimonials. I've seen this done before where people have stock images, or it's very clear that they just launched a week before. And it's just not really a real human being. Ask people to beta your course, or program to get some real authentic testimonials where someone that you've worked with in a similar capacity, who'd be able to talk authentically about what you've been able to do to support them.
While you are working on like your course landing page or program landing page this is a great opportunity to add a who is potentially not a great fit for your course or program section on the sales page itself. Maybe potentially in the frequently asked section. And if you're not certain, if you can support, you can just be upfront with your limitations if asked and like a DM or a email, just say something like I've never worked with someone in that specific situation, I'd be happy to support you, but I do know that my understanding of X, Y, and Z is limited. And the frequently asked questions page. It's a really good opportunity to go back to those free resources that you've created about more complex caveats that need like a great explanation to walk them through and add them there.
So if someone asks, will you be able to promise a match salary? You can write a little short blurb explaining that and then link it to an outside resource that really walks them through step-by-step so that they feel more confident when they do actually join your program. If you are starting out and you really don't feel like you can "promise" something it's okay to find experts to partner with you if you feel like you have knowledge gaps. You can hire a consultant or look for someone else to partner with, to do like a course audit of your materials or to help you develop your certain practices. When I actually started Teacher Career Coach, I knew that there was a really huge difference between me landing a few impressive roles outside of a classroom and actually being a career coach. Because one of my core values is ensuring we are giving accurate advice because we know how serious of a subject matter this is, I invested upfront with working with a career coach to audit the materials and help me create and develop my entire program to ensure the advice that we gave was accurate from multiple industry standards and not just my own personal perspective. And if you do not have the resources to pay for this, I completely understand that as well, but just to as much research as possible. If you're teaching people to freelance, reach out to the stakeholders who your clients would be potentially interacting with and just make sure that the advice that you're giving is as thorough and well thought out as possible.
Try to get on coffee calls with people at the businesses, and then just compile as much data as you can as possible. You can then even add that to your messaging as well. You know, we've developed this program after speaking with over X companies to hear what they are really truly working for when it comes to web designers.
And bonus points, start to try and find other people to partner with that have proposed solutions for the sections of the audience that you can not feel comfortable serving. So potentially another product or company that can truly solve their problems. See if you can create a partnership. As I've mentioned before, you know, my company values are that we never really want to push teachers out of the classroom because this isn't a one size fits all answer.
But I just know that they are finding Teacher Career Coach because they are unhappy. So sometimes the solution to being unhappy in the classroom, all it really takes is changing schools, districts, or just evaluating your own teaching practices. And then that helps many of the audience members. I have actually ended up staying in their career as well.
And I'm not an expert on helping teachers stay in the classroom or like creating work-life balance. That was never my strength, but I have sought out experts in that field and I've partnered with others in the education space that focus on creating solutions to help teachers make teaching a more sustainable career.
And I amplify those voices on my podcast and on my Instagram as well. So that teachers who are still weighing the pros and cons know that there are multiple options out there besides just my solution as well. Look for others in your space that you can confidently refer them to if you know that they're not potentially your ideal client and see if you can build a relationship with those other people in the space. As you continue to grow, it's just so important that you always refer back to your values as a business owner, and just make sure that you're still aligned with your goals and your mission.
I hope that you found this helpful and thank you so much for the opportunity for letting me come on and speak to this audience. If you want to follow me, you can find me on Instagram at teacher career coach. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.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. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.