Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the show. First, I want to ask you, if you are enjoying the podcast, to please head over to iTunes and rate us. It helps other people find the show. And then, I can get really cool guests. So please do that. Or, if that’s too difficult, share the podcast with a friend. If you have an entrepreneurial friend that might benefit, just let them know about it.
For today’s episode, my guest is Kelly McCausey. Kelly has been doing this for a long time. She’ll tell her origin story back when she was broke as a single mom. Kelly has a site called Love People + Make Money. I think that message is so powerful.
What she does is she cultivates communities. She helps them. She serves them. She relates to them. And then she find solutions to their problems and sells them products mostly through affiliate sales. Also, she creates her own products.
But if you’re thinking of monetizing and making money on the internet, I think you are going to really love this episode. So without further ado, here’s my interview with Kelly McCausey.
Kelly, welcome to the show. I’m really glad you’re here.
Kelly McCausey 1:27
Thanks for having me.
Jillian Leslie 1:29
Could you share your entrepreneurial journey? What I know about you is you have been doing this for a long time. It seems like your business has changed over the years. But could you share from the beginning how you got started in online business?
Kelly McCausey 1:43
You bet. My beginning goes back to 2002. I was working full time as a office manager at my church, which felt like my dream job because I loved it. It just didn’t pay very much. As a single mom, my son was 11 and I needed extra money. I was running into trouble with just about everything.
My phone kept getting shut off, the propane tank would run empty. There was never enough money. And some friends who often came to me for help with desktop publishing said, “You should start a business and offer to make, I don’t know, make wedding invitations and graduation announcements, and maybe get paid for that.”
I thought that’d be cool. I could probably make a couple extra hundred dollars a month and that would fill in the gaps. I created a little website to market myself that way. And I never got even one desktop publishing client.
Jillian Leslie 2:56
Waiting to get your business exploded.
Kelly McCausey 2:59
Well, people said, “Hey, can you make me a website like that?”
Jillian Leslie 3:03
Kelly McCausey 3:04
And I thought, “Well, I don’t really know what I’m doing but apparently I know more than you. So, sure. I’ll do that.” And that opened up a can of worms. My first few clients were work at home moms who needed a graphic created or needed their website store setup.
That opened my eyes to all the different ways that moms are making money online. I followed my curiosity. That’s what led to starting an internet radio show the next year. It was called Work at Home Moms Talk Radio. I interviewed moms. I just ask them all my curious questions.
That’s what changed everything. I did make a lot of money over the next… Until 2011, I ran a graphic design and website design business. But the joy was in doing the internet radio show. Meeting people, developing relationships, the community grew around the show.
People started to think of me as an expert. I started to help other people start podcasts. Lead into coaching and information product sales and running paid memberships. It’s my life.
Jillian Leslie 4:24
Wow. Okay. So today then, where are you in this? Of all of those elements, where is your business?
Kelly McCausey 4:33
I ran Work at Home Moms Talk Radio up until my son grew up and moved out of the house. And then, I went through just a little shift in direction. My business today – I closed down the web design business in 2011, and went straight into leveraging everything I do.
So, rather than doing something for you and teaching you how to do it, or I’m consulting with you on how to do it. So, today my business looks like selling information products, running masterminds, holding events, hosting retreats.
I do one on one coaching and group coaching. I run challenges. That’s one of my favorite things to do is to open up the space and invite people to stretch. I got a lot of affiliate marketing.
Jillian Leslie 5:25
Okay. So what does that mean that you run challenges? What is a challenge that you are running?
Kelly McCausey 5:32
So in 2019, the Stretch Yourself Challenge is in its 10th anniversary. This is a Content Marketing Challenge, where I have written 15 different content marketing project challenge plans. Let’s say you’ve been blogging for a while, but you don’t have a great opt-in yet. Because that the challenge.
Like, let’s go make a great small report to act as an opt in. Maybe you’ve got that but you’ve never done a webinar. So let’s hold your first webinar. Maybe the next stretch for you is to do a one day summit, or participate in a bundle, or start a YouTube channel.
So everyone comes into the challenge, they sign up. They pick something to stretch themselves with. The live experience, which runs in September every year, it’s just I get to stand back as a cheerleader and bring everyone together. I bring in pop up experts to provide extra advice and support.
We celebrate as people complete their challenges. It’s gotten to the point now where it’s so focused on the group motivation because I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but being an entrepreneur can be isolating.
Jillian Leslie 6:56
I talk about this all the time. One of the reasons I started my podcast was to show the inner workings of people including my own of our businesses, because I find it can be very lonely. And you can fill that loneliness with stories about how everybody else is doing better than you.
Kelly McCausey 7:17
Jillian Leslie 7:19
And so kind of to say, “No. No. We’re all in the struggle. We’re all here. We’re all figuring it out. Here’s some tips that might help you. But you’re not alone.” If I were to say what is the message of my podcast, that’s really, I would say at its core.
Kelly McCausey 7:35
That’s fantastic. I’m all about content marketing and community building. Teaching people the how-to of content marketing is fun for me. A lot of people know how to. So, you write a great blog post that you’re proud of, but do you promote it? You design a fantastic webinar, but do you put it out there and pursue the joint ventures? There’s so much personal mindset involved in getting yourself out there and creating any relationships.
Jillian Leslie 8:23
Let’s break that down. You’re all about community, right? I Googled your website and that’s really what kind of comes out at me, what I see is community building. So let’s talk about how you think about building communities, and what that means, and why people should be doing it.
Kelly McCausey 8:46
I’d love to say that I just knew instinctively how important community was when I got started, I didn’t. I just knew I was curious and wanted to ask people smart questions. I knew other people would enjoy listening to that. I didn’t realize how much they would enjoy connecting with one another.
It was very organic. There is a listenership that grew around it. The people who I interviewed wanted to know each other. We were all gathering together on forums back then. We didn’t have Facebook groups back then.
After Work at Home Moms Talk Radio was born, the next summer, Alice, Eva, and I started Mom Masterminds, which was a paid membership group. The podcast and our article marketing that we were doing back then was what fed people into the membership.
And even then I thought the membership is about us teaching them. And then, after a few months, like my jaw’s just hanging open as I see them getting into projects together, joint venturing and supporting each other. There’s something so magical about being elbow to elbow with people in a digital sense.
So between 2004 and 2006, this was when my business was growing so fast that it ultimately set me free from my day job. Community is magical. Today, I am strategic about community but it’s based on what I learned from just watching it grow in a natural way around content. Attract the community, and serve the community.
Jillian Leslie 10:57
Let’s say I want to build a community. What would you say to me?
Kelly McCausey 11:06
Be open to creating a mutual experience. Like I mentioned, back in the day, we had private forums. So there was a forum on my website where you came and engaged with each other. Now we’re hanging out on Facebook because it’s so easy to find people there.
Jillian Leslie 11:27
And are you talking about Facebook groups?
Kelly McCausey 11:29
Jillian Leslie 11:30
Kelly McCausey 11:34
The fact that Facebook makes it so easy to create a community, a lot of entrepreneurs go, “Oh, I need a community.” So, they open up a group, and then they proceed to treat that group like a broadcasting venue. That’s not community. That’s just bow guarding the group and treating it like a page.
You’ve got to invite to embrace a mutual experience to understand that if you really want to tap into community, create a space that’s about them, not just you. In my community, I do share what I’ve got going on. I share when I’ve got a new podcast, or when I’m on a podcast as a guest, I share it.
When I’m promoting a new course, I do share it in there. I let them know what I’m working on, but that represents probably 10% of what is going on in that group because they’re welcome to share what they’ve got going on too. And we ask each other questions, and we celebrate each other.
It feels like hanging out. If you think about the college experience… I live in a college town, MSU. There’s all these other stuff that develops around the students. It’s like the difference between what happens on the quad amongst the students versus what happens in the…
Jillian Leslie 13:20
Instruction hierarchy in the classroom. Yeah.
Kelly McCausey 13:22
Create a space and then hold it loosely. I’m codesigning a culture with my community and my groups.
Jillian Leslie 13:32
Right. Right. Well, it’s funny. I always share this story. My husband and I in 2009 built a site called Catch My Party. It’s a photo sharing site where you put up photos of your parties. We built it initially for teen girls. I have shared this story before.
And what happened was we couldn’t get teen girls to add their parties to our site. And ultimately moms found it, especially moms with Etsy shop selling like high end party goods and throwing beautiful parties, and they latched onto it. And all of a sudden they’re uploading their photos.
And there was a moment where my husband and I were kind of freaking out going, “Oh no, no, no. This isn’t the right community. These aren’t the right users.” And then we had to step back and say, “Oh, no. Maybe these are the right users.”
And I always say from that moment on, I learned the value of cocreating with your users, cocreating with the community, listening to them. Initially, our thought was, “Should we delete these parties?” Because this isn’t how we imagined it would go.
Then when we relaxed a little bit, we realized, “No. The beauty of the internet is people find you and they find a way to use what you’re building.” And then you got to go toward that, not pull back.
Kelly McCausey 14:54
Yeah. I have an advantage of having gotten started in a period of time where we didn’t know what we were doing. Radio and podcasting was born. It was just this amazing way to deliver a media file. The guys who who invented it we’re certainly excited about the possibilities.
But nobody was teaching you the right way to run a podcast. It was the Wild West. And so, I got to learn from the organic nature of it all. And yeah, I still hold tight to not… just don’t try to control things so much. It’s such a mistake to design too much in a bubble.
Jillian Leslie 15:49
Yes. I am a big fan of that. I agree. I agree. And look and get close to your community, to your audience. See what they’re struggling with. See how you can serve them. I think about it this way, which is we really don’t make long term plans which is weird.
We think, maybe three months ahead, six months ahead, but that’s it. Because honestly, I don’t know.
Kelly McCausey 16:21
Jillian Leslie 16:23
And so far it’s worked out. I mean when I say it out loud it kind of freaks me out of my head. Like, “Wait. We don’t know where we’re going to be in three years.” But the truth is, we don’t.”
Kelly McCausey 16:34
The risk for me after 17 years of being in business is to think I know what’s going to happen next. I’m not a long term planner. I call them my big rocks. I know I’m going to do the Stretch yourself challenge every September. I know I’m going to host my conference in October.
There’s the big things that exist on the calendar to look forward to but everything else in between, I leave fluid, so that I can respond. So next month the Stretch Yourself Challenge will run. And I guarantee, something unexpected will rise up in that.
Some reaper of curiosity will show up where I realized, “Ah, what they really need next is…” And I’ll design something around that. And then just be cool.
Jillian Leslie 17:32
And then you’ll see if it flies. It might not. I am a big believer in putting it out there. See how people respond. Make sure it’s not perfect. What is the expression? Like if you’ve launched your product, and you’re not a little bit embarrassed, you’ve launched it too late.
I think Reid Hoffman, who founded LinkedIn said something like that, and I really take that to heart. And by the way, I have many cringe worthy moments where I go, “Oh, my God.” I write an email and I send it and it’s got typos. Or, I do something and I come back and go, “Wait. What did I do?” But it’s the only way I learn.
And the truth is that David, my husband and partner, and I’d say, “Oh my God, we’re not pushing stuff out fast enough.” Because, again, we have the constraints of time and all that, but also that self critical thing of like, “Oh my God, what if people laugh at me? What if people don’t like it? What if it doesn’t work?”
And then we have to say, “No. No. No. This is the beauty of the internet.” What you want to be doing is putting stuff out there. So okay, then do you strategically build your community so that you can serve them, so that you can sell to them, and make a business out of that?
Kelly McCausey 18:53
Yeah. I mean I still serve the same community that I always have with just a slight shift from we just focus on how it serves us being a work at home mom. I went from talking about ~ how can we make money while still being there for our kids? Now, it’s how can we make money while hanging out at the beach? It’s just a shift of reasons why but it’s still teaching the same thing.
Jillian Leslie 19:22
Now is this because your child grew up?
Kelly McCausey 19:25
Yeah. My son’s 29. He’s given me a grandchild.
Jillian Leslie 19:30
Wow. Okay. Okay. So you could have time to be with your grandkids and go to the beach?
Kelly McCausey 19:35
Yes. The beach plays big in my life.
Jillian Leslie 19:38
Okay. I get it. I get it. Okay. So the idea then is you’re not doing this from just a place of giving, giving, giving. You’re doing this as a way to bring like minded people together, but then also build a business off of that.
Kelly McCausey 19:54
Yeah. Love People + Make Money, I believe if you think your roots deep into a community of people you love, you’ll get to know their needs, and then you can position yourself to meet them. I position myself to meet the needs of entrepreneurial, mostly women, I’m not exclusively women, mostly women.
I position myself to know what they need in the realm of content marketing. I position myself to teach them that. I can help you learn how to create great content that people just shrug their shoulders and say, “So what?” to. And then I also position myself to solve problems that I don’t know how to solve.
Jillian Leslie 20:47
What do you mean?
Kelly McCausey 20:48
Well, by connecting them to other people who do. I’m not a long term planner. I’m just not a big detail person. But my friend, Cindy Bidar is a whiz at systems and funnels, and making things technically. So I’m an affiliate for her.
I tell my community, “If this is what you need, Cindy is the answer.” About 30% of my income comes from affiliate marketing. So, I’m connecting them to solutions that I can’t actually provide myself.
Jillian Leslie 21:31
Got it. Got it. And then, is that how you recommend other people building their own communities start to monetize?
Kelly McCausey 21:39
Yes. The thing about community – the key thing about it being a mutual experience is that my competitors are welcome in my community. My community is not, like you said, it’s not a broadcasting environment where thou shalt listened to Kelly and Kelly only.
It’s everybody has something to share. To sink your roots deep into your community, the people you love, look around what are their needs? Can I meet the need? Yey! Let’s make the solution. Nope, this is not my wheelhouse. Who can I connect them to? Who has an affiliate program that I can connect them to? Yeah. I love affiliate marketing.
Jillian Leslie 22:31
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When did you start in into affiliate marketing? Because I know you have your own products.
Kelly McCausey 24:45
Yeah. Well, I started a full year after I should have.
Jillian Leslie 24:50
And don’t we all think that?
Kelly McCausey 24:52
When I had working on Moms Talk Radio in like 2004 when Alice and I launched the membership together, my masterminds. She said, “What do you want to do about affiliate income?” And I said, “Oh, you just do that part.” Because you know, it’s not that much money, is what I thought because I tried to dabble in affiliate marketing and I would do my promotions and I would not make hardly any money. I just thought, “This is a waste of time with my little list.”
Well, a year later, Alice is telling me about her commission checks. Like, “Dang it!” I made the mistake of not seeing the big picture that affiliate marketing like most everything else gets started slowly but it builds momentum.
Jillian Leslie 25:47
Right. I’ve had other guests on who do affiliate marketing and that’s what they said. It is not a get rich quick scheme. It is a slow burn. But, if you start now it will continue to hopefully to snowball if you put the effort in. But then, if you do put the effort in, and you can tell me if you agree with this, it will start paying off and you don’t have to be putting as much effort in.
Kelly McCausey 26:16
Yeah. I call it deja vu money. Cindy Bidar, for example. I promote her. She creates systems checklists and trainings. Like, here’s step by step exactly how you do this sort of thing, the stuff that makes my eyes glaze over. She’s so good at. I’ve sent people to her pretty consistently over the last year.
I get a commission check from her every month. Some of it is based on her recurring memberships. Some of it is based on the customers just coming back and buying the new things that she’s released. So now I don’t have to promote her every month.
I can come back and remind my people about her. Every now and then as it occurs to me, but my commission checks keep coming in. And, of course, there are so many recurring programs that the software as a service industry has opened up a lot of affiliate opportunities.
Jillian Leslie 27:29
Right. I have to plug MiloTree. That’s the app that we built. We have an affiliate program. And I will tell you that I would say the largest most consistent way that we get new signups is through our affiliates. We pay $20 per conversion. And so, what we feel is we want to be generous to our affiliates because they’re the ones who are vouching for us.
I feel like, oh, my God, if you’re saying, “Yes, get MiloTree on your site to grow your social media followers and your email list, I want to say hey, thank you.” And some people will write these elaborate emails. And this is interesting, because there’s a new affiliate, and she wrote this read. She took this deep dive into MiloTree. I was blown away.
She tracked her stats of how her social media was growing and stuff. And now I see it paying off for her. So she probably spent, I don’t know, a couple hours, writing this post. I mean really detailed. Yet, I’m watching her continue now to make sales. It’s genuine. What she did was genuine. And you can tell. And now people are reading that and they’re converting based on her recommendation.
What I love about affiliate marketing from the other side, meaning I’m writing those checks, I’m sending those PayPal payments, is it feels like a win-win. Everybody’s winning. In fact, it’s a three way win because I’m winning, my affiliate is winning, and my customers are winning because they’re not paying any more for it, they’re just finding this tool that works for them. So, it’s very satisfying to me.
Kelly McCausey 29:20
It is. I got into a social media tip with a dude a few years ago. He was kind of anti-affiliate marketing because he felt it put people in the mind of squeezing blood from a turnip. Like, I’m going to get every penny out of my people that I can by promoting affiliate links.
I just suggested to him that he had a twisted perspective in that I’m recommending what I consider relevant to my subject matter. I’m not recommending something just because there’s a commission attached. I’m recommending it because of the service to my people.
Jillian Leslie 30:08
Totally. I think about that as a mom. At school, how many times does a mom recommend something to me? I wear a lot of sunscreen. I’m always recommending my sunscreen because it’s one of those mineral sunscreens. Or if somebody’s skin looks good I’m always like, “Well, what do you use?”
And it’s not because anybody’s getting any sort of affiliate income from this. It’s just because we all want to be helpful, and it’s a way for us to bond. You do that in your everyday life. I agree with you. I think that initially I had that same idea of like, it seems unsavory. It seems like you’re just trying to hawk stuff. It seemed fake.
Instead of saying, “Oh, no, no, it’s real.” Because when I step back and thought, how many times do I get recommendations from friends? And how many times am I recommending random stuff like a restaurant that I tried? Or anything like that. It’s very similar to that. I’m sharing it with my community in real life. Why wouldn’t I share it with my online communities?
Kelly McCausey 31:19
Yeah. Coming out of the work at home mom, world, growing up there and building my marketing chops, I know it is really common for moms to notice affiliate marketing for the first time, and then be offended. Like, “Oh, I thought we were friends. But no, you’re just doing this to make money.” And it’s like, there’s this moment where you’ve got a choice at that point, you can either go, “Oh, yeah. My bad. I’m sorry.” Or you can say, “Oh, it’s awesome that I can be your friend and profit.” That’s the whole thing, love people and make money. If some individual person is really going to be offended that I took the time to connect with them, know their needs and make a thoughtful relevant recommendation that’s just right to solve their problem. The fact that money’s attached to that makes it wrong, then that’s about them.
Jillian Leslie 32:29
I agree. I agree. I think that that is very wise. I think as women we get confused because as women we want to serve, we want to take care, we’re gentler, we’re more intuitive. When you throw money in there as well, it feels icky. And the truth is, it’s not because we do need to put food on our table.
I feel like, if I can make money, I can provide more service. So it’s not this uncomfortable thing that a lot of times we feel. I also believe that as women, we under charge for whatever we’re doing. And so, doing affiliate marketing, you know what? You can’t undercharged yourself. You are just making money without having to think about pricing yourself.
Kelly McCausey 33:28
It’s funny you say that because there are affiliate marketers who do technically figure out a way to still under charge.
Jillian Leslie 33:37
Kelly McCausey 33:40
Let’s say, I have a product I’m selling for $100. And you’re going to promote it and earn a 50%. commission. If you are mildly uncomfortable with the idea of making $50 just for recommending up a course, then you might say to your community, you might say to your friend, “Oh hey, use my affiliate link. I’ll send you half.”
Jillian Leslie 34:07
Kelly McCausey 34:10
I used to do it. I remember very well that discomfort with making easy money.
Jillian Leslie 34:16
Kelly McCausey 34:19
I think I just outed myself on something.
Jillian Leslie 34:22
Okay. I thought you were gonna say, “Well, I’m promoting this, but somehow I forgot to put my affiliate link in. So, in a weird way I’m giving away free business to somebody else without also profiting from it.” So in fact, I recommend anybody who has done that. Go back and put your affiliate links in. But that one, Kelly, where you’re giving half the commission away, that’s amazing. Yeah.
Kelly McCausey 34:50
I’ve done it before. What you got to know about me is that prior to being an entrepreneur online, I’m a high school dropout. I dropped out my GED. I dropped out of college. I dropped out of a social work program. I never made more than $11 an hour at a day job.
So when I started to work online, I had a very skewed perspective of the value of my time. And so I thought, if I could make $20 an hour, I was killing it. And so, when I would do something like I would do affiliate marketing where, “Okay. I’m going to write this blog post. I’m going to send this email. You tell me I’m going to make hundreds of dollars?” There was a level of discomfort with that.
I get that.
Almost like, “Gosh, there’s something greedy about this. This is more than my fair share.” And so, I used to do lots of silly stuff to try to even things out to be comfy.
Jillian Leslie 35:50
Kelly McCausey 35:52
But my mindset is changed through the extreme effort of a lot of amazing coaches to realize that people are not hiring me for my diplomas or degrees or lack thereof. They’re hiring me because they want to do what I do and I can help them.
Jillian Leslie 36:15
Right. Right. And again, I think that is about digging deep and figuring out the stories we tell ourselves and the stories behind the stories that we’re not even sure we’re telling ourselves because we believe it to be true. And that we don’t recognize it’s just another story.
And so, that’s interesting that you were able to dig deep enough to find that place of going, “Oh, wait a second. I don’t know if I deserve more than $20 an hour. I need to change that.” I bet it took a while.
Kelly McCausey 36:54
It did. Oh my gosh you guys. Do you know who Carrie Wilkerson is?
Jillian Leslie 37:02
Kelly McCausey 37:05
Her brand is The Barefoot executive. She’s amazing. She’s with working on mom with me way back in the day. She’s huge and amazing. Speaks on giant stages. She came and spoke at an event, and I ended up doing a little coaching program with her and Paul Evans.
I had my butt kicked about my prices. I’d gone home from that event and raised my prices. I doubled them. And so, I showed up to a coaching call with her and I proudly announced that I raised my prices. She looks at it and she says, “This is the before?” I say, “Oh, no. This is the after.” She’s like, “No, this is the before.” I said, “No, you’re not hearing me. This is the after. She’s like, “No. You are not hearing me. This is ridiculously low.”
And oh man. Because when you go from like $25 an hour to $50, you feel like you’ve just hit the jackpot.
Jillian Leslie 38:08
Kelly McCausey 38:09
But she was like, “People are not even gonna know what to do with you at this price. They’re gonna assume you don’t know what you’re doing?”
Jillian Leslie 38:15
Yes. Yes. You know, it’s so funny. I say this, which is becoming a mother, I think, made me a much better negotiator. Because a brand would come to me and say, “Oh, tell me your rate for a sponsored post.” And I would, “Oh my God, I would agonize over that because I didn’t want to charge too much. And I didn’t want to charge too little.”
I would kind of come up with a number that I thought was somewhat fair, but I didn’t know. I used to then send that email back and agonize. And then I had a child, and I just didn’t have time to agonize anymore. So what I would do is trick myself and I’d say, you know what? Send back a number or figure that makes you uncomfortable. Because at the end of the day, you’re going to be too busy and you’re going to just forget that you did that. If they never respond back, you’re not going to remember.
And so, before I had my daughter, I had the time to really agonize and have sleepless nights over. Maybe I wrote, you know. Maybe I’m charging too much. Or what. And she’s not getting back to me. And then, after I had my kid, I’d be like, “Well, here it is.” And the truth is, I was busier, and it was going to take more effort, more energy.
So I would say what am I comfortable with. And then, I would double it to make myself uncomfortable. And I would press send. And then in my sleep deprived stupor, I didn’t care. I almost wish she didn’t get back to me because God forbid if she said, Yes, I had to go do the work. So I just thought, “Wow, that’s so interesting.” And I will tell you, more often than not, they would come back and say, “Okay.”
Kelly McCausey 40:00
Yeah. Some friends of mine always say pricing is arbitrary. That used to just make me crazy when they would say that, but now I get it. It is arbitrary. It is what you want to charge. The thing is that I’ve come to understand. I bring value just by showing up.
If someone is my client, if I’ve said yes to them, that right there often… like, if we’re going to figure out what created the value for them, I mean just saying yes has changed somebody’s business because they just start showing up differently. Because they’re like, “Oh, I’m coaching with Kelly.” It’s so funny.
But I am known for being choosy. Like, I just don’t have any patience for somebody who doesn’t want to show up and be awesome. So it’s like, “I’m coaching with Kelly. I’m going to get up and kick some ass today.” So I bring value just by showing up for somebody.
I bring my 17 years of experience in perspective. I bring willingness to speak up and hold them to their greatest possibilities. When that is the value that’s being delivered, prices are arbitrary because who knows what it’s going to create for them.
Jillian Leslie 41:37
I agree. I agree. There’s something to charging more as a way for you to show up. For example, when I would send these numbers to brands, and it would make me uncomfortable, if I got the job, I would do a better job because I felt like, “Oh my God, they believe in me and they think I can do this.”
Even though there’s part of my my head that’s going, “I don’t know if I can do it. I will show up better.” So in a weird way, it tricks you into performing better and being worth what you’re charging and making you feel like that expert. Even if you’re scared.
So it’s good work on yourself to do it, to risk, to put yourself out there and to recognize that the right client, or the right company or brand is going to recognize that. If they say yes, it probably is a good fit.
Kelly McCausey 42:48
These conversations are really easy to happen from the perspective of today. When I was that broke single mom who’s eye on the bills to figure out if there was going to be heat flowing in the house next week. These conversations are just like – they boggled my mind back then. I just want to let anybody who’s listening who’s like, “Guys, I don’t get you.” Like, ” I didn’t get you.”
Jillian Leslie 43:19
Kelly McCausey 43:20
When there’s not enough, price becomes the – How do I get the client?
Jillian Leslie 43:28
Yep. I agree. And I agree, there are stages. And in the beginning, I’m not opposed to, for example, you really want to work with Target, do an Instagram story. And you’re at Target, you’re shopping, you’re finding cool stuff, and you’re tagging Target. And that’s free for Target just to say, “Hey, guys. Hey, Target. I love you. And I want to work with you.”
So, yes. It isn’t you’re just starting and you have no money, and you’re just saying, “I’m going to charge $10,000 to work with Target.” Like, no. There are definite stages. But to be mindful of the fact that as you continue to build your business, hopefully you are also continuing to build yourself.
Kelly McCausey 44:18
Yeah. So there’s a process that I teach people. Our little course is called Ten Testimonials. You want to do something, you want to get paid really well to do something, but you’re just getting started. So, you don’t have any testimonials. You don’t have a portfolio. You don’t have any track record.
Let’s say, you ultimately hope to get paid $5,000 to do something. Offer to do it for somebody for some ridiculously low price, because you’re excited about their business. But the rut that I know I got into, that other people have gone into is they start out and they go, “Yeah. I don’t have experience but I’ll do it for you for cheap.” And then they stay there.
Let’s say there’s these 10 little actions you take, and you said, “I’ll do it for you for just like 50 bucks. Just let me prove myself.” The minute that it’s done, and they’ve said, “Wow, good job.” You say, “I really enjoyed working with you. Let’s do it again for $100.” And then they say, “That was wonderful.”
“I really love working with you. Let’s keep it going. Let’s go for $200.” If you started cheap, you always push it for repeat business. Never fall into the all too common rut of, “Well, they were my first client.”
Jillian Leslie 45:47
“I don’t want to hurt their feelings.” “I don’t want to rock the boat.” “I feel loyal to them.” “And we become friends.” Absolutely.
Kelly McCausey 46:01
Keep pushing the envelope and raising the price and have a measurable result to point back at. What’s going to happen is that if you just keep doing that, you’re going to find out the sweet price. There’s gonna be a moment where the person goes, I really enjoyed working with you, but I just don’t value it at any higher price than this.
And then you have a decision to make. Is this my sweet price? Then go ahead, say “Let’s make a deal. Hook me up retainer. I’ll do it.” Or you say, “Thank you. It’s been such an awesome experience building my expertise with your business.” You know, “Mwuah! I wish you well.” And go start with somebody new. Only, don’t go back to 50 bucks.
Jillian Leslie 46:51
Totally. Well, Kelly, I have to say this have been such good insight. I love that you’ve lived this so that you come from such experience. I love talking to people who have been at it for a long time because there is this knowledge that you get from doing it over and over again.
Kelly McCausey 46:59
Jillian Leslie 47:17
So Kelly, how can people reach out to you, learn more about you, and your masterminds, and all the stuff that you do? And Kelly, thank you so much for being on the show. We are very like minded when it comes to building businesses.
Kelly McCausey 47:32
It sure seems like it.
Jillian Leslie 47:34
I hope you guys enjoyed that episode with Kelly. The other thing is that right now we all know that Instagram couldn’t be hotter. If you are trying to get to 10,000 followers so you can get the swipe up feature, or if you want to grow your Instagram followers so you can work with brands, or get your post seen or build your community, definitely try MiloTree.
Just install it on your website or your blog, and it will pop up and ask people to follow you on Instagram. It really works. So head to MiloTree.com, sign up and get your first 30 days free.
I will see you here again next week.
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