What creates a business breakthrough? Is it getting mentioned in a national magazine? (Not a chance.) Is it staying on top of every social media platform? (No way.) Is it building a giant course and getting all your friends to blog about it? (Highly unlikely.)
Often, a breakthrough occurs not because you’ve willed it so through blood, sweat, or tears but because something clicks into place.
Quite often, that thing clicking into place is positioning.
It’s the adjustment of your message, your brand, and your way of connecting with people that helps them understand how you can help them and helps them feel comfortable and confident in working with you. This small (or sometimes not so small) tweak is at the heart of what I do with Quiet Power Strategy clients.
But really, how big a difference can precise positioning make? The right positioning can inspire you to innovate on the service you’ve always offered. It can lead to a new product. It can turn around a failed launch or give you the perfect messaging for the podcast you’ve been wanting to start.
That’s what Kathryn Brown’s case study is all about.
When Kathryn came to us, she had a functional side business supporting clients 1:1 with project management and productivity help. She was successful but she didn’t see how she could grow what she had into a business that would replace her excellent day job.
Something needed to change. Was it a new product? A different marketing tactic? A new set of clientele? She just didn’t know. Here’s what happened:
Kathryn Brown, founder of Creating Your Plan
Before joining Quiet Power Strategy, I was working 50+ hours in my day job while building my coaching business nights and weekends. Clients were coming in, but I didn’t feel like I had a handle on the bigger picture—including how I could transition from 1:1 client work to something more sustainable long term. I was worried that it was going to take another whole year before I could even consider reducing my hours in my day job.
Fast forward about halfway into Quiet Power Strategy, I knew without a doubt that I would be able to transition from full time to part time in my day job. Making this decision was one of the most freeing moments in my business-building to date. I had spent about 9 months trying to make the “right decision,” but it wasn’t until I went through Quiet Power Strategy that I knew it was do-able. The result of this decision was two-fold — I gained 2 full days a week (not including weekends) to build my business, and I confidently let go of 40% of my day job salary knowing I could absolutely bring in more than enough income to cover the difference.
I was able to hone in on my messaging about what makes my business different than others who offer systems and productivity coaching. My tag line, “Productivity is a CREATIVE practice” came out of this process, and that slight shift in messaging opened up the opportunity to create and beta test a “done with you” systems design and implementation service, my most expensive service to date, raise my price of my small group program, create a few smaller offers around work life balance, and offer an “add-on” service for clients as they transition from more intensive 1:1 coaching.
Often the difference between where you’re at now and where you want to be isn’t some big sexy change, idea, or formula, it’s something small–quiet, even–and unassuming. I’ve seen this happen in my own business where a small change in positioning (and the subsequent changes it led to) was directly tied to 130% revenue growth in 2014.
I love how Kathryn used a single insight to not just create a new tagline but as the basis of new offers, new pricing, and new organization. That made all the difference for her in revenue, time, and confidence.
What could it do for you?
If you’d like to learn more about Kathryn and how productivity is a creative practice, hop on over to her website, Creating Your Plan.
If you’d like to learn more about Quiet Power Strategy and find your next business breakthrough, click here.
It doesn’t matter how much time, energy, blood, sweat, or tears you put into marketing and selling what you’ve already created if it isn’t designed to get you where you want to go.
The beauty of starting a business today is that it can be rough & tumble, fast as lightening, and fly by the seat of your pants. You don’t need to know what you’re doing and you don’t need to plan ahead. But I often see business owners stay stuck in this cycle of unintentional creation.
They keep creating products or programs. They keep creating marketing campaigns. They keep creating content.
But they don’t create a true system for growth.
They end up frustrated–sometimes at the edge of burnout–and tell me, “I’ve realized that what’s gotten me here won’t get me where I want to go.” Yes, exactly.
You can make money, change lives, and create great stuff without a plan. But if you want to take a break, realize a big goal, create a legacy, and level up your earnings in a big way, you need more.
When Adrianne Meldrum, founder of The Tutor House, came to Quiet Power Strategy, she was ready to make some changes and try things she hadn’t done before in the name of creating an intentional, cohesive strategic plan. Here’s her story:
Adrianne Meldrum, The Tutor House
324 hours lost. Hours I couldn’t get back no matter how much I wanted to. These hours were not lost watching television or browsing social media. They were not on account of making mistakes and fixing them. The hours were the victim of worry. Worry was starting to take the joy out of running a small business for me. At night when my entire home was quiet, I was awake worrying if I had made some serious mistakes in my business. It had to be something serious because I did a lot of things right in my business.
I had opt-ins, products, a podcast, a new app, and a tribe of dedicated followers. I often would feel hopeful that the launch of my newest idea would be the ticket that would finally set me on the path to profit. It just had to be some huge mistake that I was overlooking. It had to be! The question that always ended this barrage of thoughts was, “Why was I spending so much time working without much in profit? Is this really worth it?”
Just when I was ready to throw in the towel with my business so I could claim my life (and my sleep) back, I got an email from Tara inviting me to her free webinar about doing business your way. This caught my eye. I attended the webinar and then devoured her eBook. So much of what Tara was saying made sense to me. The way I was doing business is what other people were advising and in fact may not work at all for my own business. For the first time, I felt the weight of what Tara was saying. My unique talents were the key to my business success and she could show me how to harness them.
During my time in the Quiet Power Strategy program, I felt empowered after each lesson. I understood myself better as a person and why my tribe is attracted to what I have to offer. Tara taught us about personal archetypes, or how the world perceives you. When I saw my results, I couldn’t believe how well they fit me. I found a lot of value in understanding how to use this knowledge to make decisions in my business. It made writing sales copy easier and also allowed me to embrace some of my limitations so that I would look to add other team members that had different strengths than mine in the future.
Quiet Power Strategy taught me to start with the end in mind when creating a product first. This was a game changer for me! My flagship product resonates with my audience because I was able to make the benefits clear. Before I would slave away at the new product and then write my sales page when I was exhausted and just ready to be done. By swapping those actions, I was able to use some of those key phrases that connect my audience and I, directly into my product bringing it full circle.
Quiet Power Strategy has also completely changed my mindset. Tara taught us about valuing ourselves and our unique craft whatever it may be. During one of our group phone calls, she was able to help me bust through some assumptions I had about my audience and make a plan to succeed. I’ll be honest, there were tears when I realized that the pricing I chose was one of those big mistakes that I didn’t see and lost sleep over. Pricing based on value affects so many pieces of your business. Now I have the confidence to take my business and navigate it back onto the right path.
Tara and her team taught me how to re-work what was already working in my business for maximum impact right away. After completing Quiet Power Strategy, I have earned ⅔ of what I originally invested within three weeks of finishing and I am on track to earn the rest back within a month. This was some of the best money I’ve ever invested in myself.
I sleep really, really well these days because I know how to confidently move my business forward with tools like the Business Model Review, the Quiet Power Inventory, the Customer Perspective Process, and the Chief Initiative. With the help of QPS, I’ve had my first ever successful launch!
To echo other QPS-ers, “This process is freaking changing my life!” I am excited to work through the lessons again and uncover new insights. Thanks Tara and Team!
One of the biggest realizations Adrianne made was that she was actually underselling her products. By not connecting them to outcomes that her customers already knew they wanted, she was convinced they wouldn’t pay more than $10 or $20. We tied real, urgent results to what she was already selling, put it into a complete package, and raised the price by a factor of 10.
Now she’s selling more than she’s ever sold before.
If you’d like to learn more about Adrianne and her Tutor Business Framework program, click here.
This session of Quiet Power Strategy is half sold out. Join us for the Fall Session (we start September 28) and create your personalized strategic plan with our hands-on support. Click here to learn more.
You’re a passionate pro. Customers and clients love your work. You help people achieve their goals. But… your business seems stuck in a rut.
Mind you: it’s not a bad rut. You’re bringing in pretty consistent revenue. You know you can create new offers and sell them. You feel like people are listening.
But getting to your next big milestone? No clue.
Well, you have a clue. And that clue seems unpleasant: way more work, way more sleaze, way more money. So what do you do?
I’d been watching Randi Buckley for a long time before she came to us. Oh, how I longed to get my hands on her business. The situation I described above is the situation Randi found herself in. The answer to me was clear: Randi needed a machine.
Randi’s business model was nonexistent. Sure, there were offers (great ones!) and marketing (effective!) but there was no system.
Your business model is the way your business creates, delivers, and exchanges value. But what’s more, it’s a system by which you create exponentially more results from less work. You put effort (say, marketing for an entry level product) in at one end of the machine and lots of little cogs (say, revenue from your high-end program) spill out the other end.
When you have a complete business model, you understand how all of your offers work together to create something better than the sum of those parts.
That leads to profit. More than how much you take home, more than how much you’re charging, you can finally start to see how your business is going to generate the profit you need to grow, feel comfortable, and get excited about the future of what you’re creating.
Here’s Randi’s own words:
Randi Buckley, Truth, Depth, and Beauty School
I’m pretty dang pleased with how my business is evolving, or dare I say growing up, after interpreting and applying my learning and insights in Quiet Power Strategy™. It’s been a shift from a feeling of scramble, to a feeling of grace. So what’s new?
The concept of profit.
The idea of “charge what you’re worth” has always been hallow and empty to me. Not only is it impossible for me to try to put a price on someone’s, much less my own, talents and gifts, it doesn’t provide a framework for what to charge. It’s nebulous.
Looking at my offerings through a profit lens woke me up to the realities of why my business was never feeling like it was getting ahead, despite solid offerings, reputation and an exquisite tribe. Without considering profit, I always felt like I was in hustle mode. And that didn’t jive, because I’m not a hustler.
Note: if something doesn’t jive, it’s not going to happen.
What does jive is the creation of a new business model that houses my various offerings and provides structure and continuity for my clients to deepen their work with me. With the new structure of Truth, Depth, and Beauty School, I no longer feel like I am scrambling to care for the diversity of my offerings. Now, everything is under one roof: Healthy Boundaries for Kind People alumna can now become trained facilitators of the work; Viking Woman Workshop alumna can graduate to the Wise Women of the North Retreat in Norway, and my Maybe Baby, workshop, and my-one on-one clients can find their next step with me, in my school. It’s a structure I love, and supports my next step, writing my book.
There’s more to come. DIY won’t support long-term growth or sustainability of the spirit. Naturally, systems and the building of my team are next. And that’s both surreal, a relief… and full of grace. (Thanks Tara!)
Thank you, Randi.
If you’ve been wondering whether there really is a “next step” available to you, I can assure you there is. But it does take strategic planning.
If you’d like to find out more about Randi and her work, check out her Healthy Boundaries for Kind People program.
If you’re ready to make the time to create your own machine and a strategic plan for reaching your “next step” and a few beyond that, join me for 5 Ways to Make Time to Work on Your Business, a free training I’m offering with Brigitte Lyons. Click here to register.
Want to make more money? Afraid it’s going to take a lot of time to create something new or devise a fresh offer so you can do it?
It doesn’t have to. An important concept we work with Quiet Power Strategy™ clients on is reworking what you’ve got to make it easier to sell. We also show our clients how to develop sales cycles that sell those offers throughout the year–and how to plan those sales cycles so you always know where your next dollar is coming from.
Last week, I heard from Lacy Boggs about a big success she had with very little work. It’s exactly the kind of result I like seeing from clients because it means they’ve developed a process they can use time and again to make more money. Here’s her case study:
In January 2015, I made my Blogstorm course (my lowest priced, introductory offering) evergreen after doing the revenue planning exercise in Quiet Power Strategy. I had realized that launching and running the course live was waaaaay too much work for the amount of revenue I was generating from it, so something needed to change.
I saw a nice spike in sales when I made the evergreen announcement, and since then I generally get 1 or 2 sales a month without doing anything, which is fine by me. When I mention it in a blog or newsletter, I usually get 1 or 2 more.
Since the course helps entrepreneurs get 6 months of blogs planned in an editorial calendar, I was inspired by a random comment on Facebook about the year being almost half over to do a “launch” push for June. I decided to offer a value add of going through it “live” with me in the Facebook group. And I made the decision to do this “launch” about a week before June 1st!
Note from Tara: This is what we call a sales cycle. It’s the same type of content, pitch, and follow-up you’d use in a launch, but it’s used to boost sales of an existing or evergreen product or service offering. Normally, I recommend using our Revenue Planning tool to forecast these sales cycles. But the power of an unplanned sales cycle to boost your revenue unexpectedly–and pleasantly–can’t be overstated!
But, I’ve had great success! I sent one dedicated email to my list, and wrote a blog post promoting it using Tara’s CEAD content framework (it’s usually spread out over four posts or emails, but I didn’t have time).
I also had my message fresh in my mind from working on it with Tara and Brigitte at the Quiet Power Strategy™ retreat, and tried to really drive home what I want to be known for in both the blog post and the email—no more being polite about my opinions, no holds barred. Since the email went out on Monday (the Memorial Day holiday, no less) I’ve sold 20 courses and made about $1200 in unplanned income five days later.
That’s more than double my last “live” launch in 2014!
By tweaking my sales message for this course based on the work I did in Quiet Power Strategy™, I realized I don’t have to run a lengthy, all-consuming “launch,” but rather focus on giving people what they really want. The course hasn’t changed, even my “value add” is the same as when I ran it live, but my message made a huge difference.
At this point, it’s like the best of both worlds. I have the trickle of income from the evergreen product, but I can run it “live” as a value add—with my newly improved messaging—twice a year for a healthy boost in sales without all the DRAMA of a big launch. Just one more example of Quiet Power Strategy™ giving me the guts and permission to do things my way, and having it pay off almost immediately.
Let me recapped what worked so well here for Lacy:
- She created fresh messaging for an old product to make sure it was obvious it’s exactly what her customers need.
- She reinvigorated her sales by creating content for a sales cycle and publishing it to her blog and list.
- She planned for the future by incorporating new sales cycles for this product in her overall Revenue Plan instead of just waiting for sales to come.
These are all things we create strategies for in Quiet Power Strategy™ and these strategies are something that Lacy can use over and over again for other products and new offers. It’s timeless, effective, make-more-money technique.
Put this to work for yourself. Look for a product that you know you could sell more of. Create messaging that ties that product to a problem or goal your customers are regularly talking about. Then create content that supports that messaging and send it out to the people most likely to buy from you. Finally, make a plan to do this throughout the year.
In the mean time, you can find out more about Lacy Boggs, the Content Direction Agency, and how to get more from your blogging effort: get instant access to her resource library.
One of the most fun parts of being an entrepreneur is the ability to generate revenue from nowhere. Of course, it’s not really coming from nowhere. You need to be able to spot an opportunity, create the right conditions for success, and make it all happen.
It’s not that it’s easier said than done but that it takes a type of perception that needs to be worked at. The good news is that anyone can learn this type of perception and learn it quickly. It’s one of the things that I teach our clients in Quiet Power Strategy™.
- They learn that opportunities are most often driven by their customers’ evolving needs. In other words, you’ve probably nailed one need at this point so now you need to ask, “What do they need next?”
- Then they learn how to create valuable experiences that require very little work to produce. Instead of trying to get everything right, they only prioritize what their ideal customer truly cares about. They also take into account what is going to make them as both a business owner and a value deliverer most effective.
- Finally, they create a plan to make it happen. We focus this around their Chief Initiatives so that they have the kind of focus that not only transforms the way they work on a day-to-day basis but transforms the way others perceive their businesses.
Breanne Dyck, a brilliant learning strategist who has helped me craft my last two CreativeLive workshops, used this system to generate unplanned revenue and seriously up-level the way her business is perceived in the market. Not only that, but the way she perceives herself and her business has changed. Here’s her story:
“Create a plan to generate $8000 in un-planned for revenue during the course of the program.”
That was the challenge that Tara gave us in September, at the start of Quiet Power Strategy™.
My gut response was, “$8000? Unplanned?! In four months!?!”
It’s not that I didn’t want the revenue; I just didn’t see how it could be possible. My plan for the rest of the year had included no new sales cycles, offers or clients. Just taking the program.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that this “plan” was really just me holding myself back. Over the next few months, the coaches helped me strip away that false complacency and lack of confidence. Nothing was sacred; everything I thought I knew went under the microscope.
I thought I helped online entrepreneurs who wanted to create online courses. Turns out, “my people” are business owners who want to be recognized as best-in-class, every time they show up in the world.
I knew they liked my experience, smarts, and ability to apply theory to the “real world.” But I learned that they love my drive for excellence, my ability to quickly zero in on opportunities, and my dedication for making them – and their work – stand out.
Quiet Power Strategy™ didn’t create this knowledge. Instead, it helped me to articulate it and bring it together, so I could stand firmly and confidently in the overlap. In doing so, I found a brand new business model, a new way of talking about my work, and a set of all-new offerings.
Looking back now, I can hardly believe that so much could change in such a short period of time. There was a lot of unlearning to do; a lot of stepping outside of my comfort zone; a lot of trusting myself and my instincts. But every step moved me closer and closer to where I want to be.
And that insurmountable-feeling challenge?
I knocked it out of the park, with more than $10,000 in new, unplanned revenue. My January 2015 sales alone exceeded 1/3rd of my total prior-year revenues.
What I’m most excited about, though, is that I know the best is yet to come.
If you’re looking to develop a best-in-class workshop, program, or course, I cannot recommend Breanne more highly. She has helped me infuse incredible value into my teaching and create experiences that are grounded, measurable, and truly beneficial to my students. You can find out more about her Elevate sessions and get access to over 9 coaching videos by clicking here.
And if you’re ready to learn how to start applying these principles to your business, I invite you to check out my free training on creating your Chief Initiative and finding the focus that not only transforms the way you work but the way people perceive your business. Click here to register–FREE.