“Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.”

David Beebe

Check Out These Highlights:

When COVID hit, I had to pivot hard from doing everything live. Everything I did with clients and business development t was done live. Speaking and networking events, to training and coaching my clients. The other thing I had to figure out was online and digital marketing.

As I reflect back on that time, I see how important it was for me to learn about the relevant technology and marketing strategies that I needed to use with my client outreach and business development. It all seemed to change overnight.

What I realize is how important it is for every working person to stay relevant and be aware of tech changes happening in the marketplace.

How To Create Your Profitable Marketing Machine With Nicki Chang-Powless (EP. 105)



I know you guys are sick of me saying that sales is icky, a manipulation. We hate it. I’m making a movement to change that feeling of ick too. Sales should be coming from a place of love, care, and respect. I know it’s like she’s a broken record. Here’s the thing, I’m going to give you a free gift so you can help or help you navigate when you’re talking to a prospect, a colleague at work, or a client perhaps.

Go to my website, www.WhitmanAssoc.com/CSA, and you take your free communication style assessment. You will get two reports. One is your natural superpowers which is important to know. On the flip side, you will get your lowest score and a report for spotlighting or, hopefully, shining a light on a potential blind spot you didn’t even know you had. That might be even more important for you than the superpower.

My motivational quote is by David Beebe. David says, “Content marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” When COVID hit, I had to pivot hard. I say that my hips broke a little bit. I had to do everything live. I was doing live for my business for twenty years, and now all of a sudden, COVID hit, and everything had to shift to the digital. My clients’ needs changed. My business development had to change. Speaking, networking, and everything had to change.

The other thing I had to figure out was how to take my programs, digitize them, and do this online marketing. Sales and marketing are two very different things. As I reflect on that time, I see how important it was for me to learn about the relevant technology and those marketing strategies that I needed to get familiar with and use for my client outreach. It all seemed to change overnight. I realized how important it is for every working person to stay relevant and be aware of whatever technology is changing or whatever’s happening in the marketplace. We have to remain relevant.

Now, to help you remain relevant, my guest is Nicki Chang-Powless. We are going to talk or discuss some of the biggest challenges business owners are facing when it comes to marketing and attracting their ideal clients and how to overcome these challenges. This is a constant battle that I fight about who is my ideal client. Nicki is the author of Putting the Pieces Together: Your Survival Guide to the First Five Years in Business. Her vision is to help entrepreneurs achieve their greatness and make their impact by uncovering creative ways that save time and money and ultimately grow in abundance and make more profit.

Nicki was the recipient of the 2018 Best New Business Venture Award in the SuPEARLative Awards and the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year at the Business from the Heart Award. Nicki helps entrepreneurs work less and make more money by designing a business journey that is fun and simple. She’s also brilliant and my friend, please help me welcome Nicki to the show. Nicki, thanks for being on, and this is an important topic. It’s one I struggle with every day.

 

About Nicki Chang-Powless:

CSG 76 | MarketingNicki and I discuss some of the biggest challenges business owners face when it comes to marketing and attracting their ideal clients and how to overcome these challenges.

Nicki is the author of Putting the Pieces Together: Your Survival Guide to the First Five Years in Business. Her vision is to help entrepreneurs achieve their greatness and make their impact by uncovering creative ways to save time and money, and, ultimately, grow in abundance and make more profit!

Nicki was the recipient of the 2018 Best New Business Venture award at the SuPEARLative Awards and the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Business from the Heart Awards. Today, Nicki helps entrepreneurs work less and make more by designing a business journey that is fun and simple!

 

How to Get in Touch with Nicki Chang-Powless:

It’s something that is so common among small businesses, especially small business owners. I come from the corporate world. The thing is, corporations have money to spend on marketing. Small business owners like you and I, can’t afford to take the long way around or to be putting our efforts into marketing strategies that aren’t getting results.

 
CSG 76 | Marketing
 
Give a little background about yourself because not only are you a marketing genius, but you also understand the strategy to get the pedal to the metal to save time and money. Everybody is always trying to save time and money. Tell us a little about you to give us some grounding in the conversation.

I have spent over twenty years in the corporate world, and it’s one of those things where you know it’s time to move on. What I did was I said, “I’m going to retire.” Isn’t that what we all want? Work and then retire, then I’m sitting here going, “I can’t retire. I’m not meant to retire.” People started coming up to me and asking me for help with their business. I didn’t recognize that the twenty years of corporate experience I had was not common knowledge among the small business community. I decided I was going to start a business to help businesses.

I had a couple of clients to get started because they were the ones who motivated me to start the business. I had a couple of clients to start it. I put up the open for business sign, even had a website and everything, and I was thinking, “They’re going to come knocking at my door,” and they didn’t. I’m sure you can understand the scenario. I hired an ad company, and I spent $2,000 to get people to my website, and no one called. I’m like, “I tried a ton of things. Some worked. Some didn’t.”

When I started my business, I had taken a chunk out of my retirement savings fund to market. That was the startup cost for my business. It was disheartening when I looked at my bank statements, and I started to see them go lower and lower. One day, my husband looked at the bank statement. He didn’t have to say anything. With that look on his face, my heart completely sank. I knew that each time I wasn’t able to pay back that family loan, it was taking 1 year or 2 off our retirement fund. I was not only letting myself down. It was our life. It was our future, our family.

I know I’m here to make a difference and support small businesses because that’s what the universe puts in front of me. I knew I had to make this work. What I uncovered is that the reason my marketing was not working was that I was missing the core foundational elements for the marketing to work and that I was doing things in the wrong order. I was putting the cart before the horse. I was trying to run before learning the basics of how to run properly so I don’t injure myself. You wonder why I kept falling.

I created a system that helps entrepreneurs with those foundational elements and in what order they should be done. For me, it’s about helping business owners, understanding the steps, creating the systems, and creating profitable marketing machines so they don’t have to keep falling down. They can better attract clients and live as a pundit. I’m going to be sharing more of this with you. My work has made such an impact on my clients that I started winning awards, which you mentioned earlier. I was proud of it, and I’m just sitting here going, “I’m making a difference,” being an author and everything. My husband and I do have the freedom to be able to travel the world, go to places like Peru, and enjoy life.

Now, my mission is to help 1 million business owners around the world make their impact. My vision, though, is to create a nonprofit foundation to help women in underdeveloped countries to be independent and to break through that cycle of poverty and abuse by providing them the funding to get the equipment they need, whether it’s a sewing machine, a computer, or whatever it is, but to give them the skills to be independent and to be a proud, contributing member to their community. Five percent of the proceeds from the sales of any of my programs are set aside for the foundation. This is what I do.

My mission is to help a million business owners around the world make an impact. Click To Tweet

Oftentimes, when a chapter closes, you leave corporate, and you thought, “I’m just going to relax. I paid my dues. I worked hard.” You’re a hardworking person. You’re very productive. To sit home, you were like, “This isn’t going to work for me. I need to do something.” This is the interesting thing I find with my clients, whether corporate clients or small business owners. I was in corporate for twenty years in sales.

What you did before those twenty years of corporate, we don’t lose those skills because we’re not in the framework of corporate anymore. All of those twenty years of learning and knowledge become our own intellectual property of how we see the world, our perspective, and how we view, in your case, marketing. You said something important and I want you to know this, my readers, because of the system.

When I started when COVID hit, Nicki, you and I met through networking. Everybody was networking hard because, all of a sudden, we were on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or whatever it might be. I was trying different things, but I didn’t have a marketing system in place. I went to one of your workshops, and I thought, “This makes so much sense.” I was doing a lot of things, doing them in the wrong order, or not putting enough effort into one of the strategies or whatever.

I want you to hear that word strategy. Marketing is wonderful, but you have to have a plan. You have to have a strategy that’s specific to your company. Another thing that I do want to mention about you and how you work is there is no cookie-cutter with Nicki. Just because she’s a marketing expert and she has a strategy, my business and your business, there might be two very different approaches depending on our industry, where we are, and what our offers are. You are a strategist as well as a marketing expert.

I have a lot of people that are good at marketing. I want to make sure that people understand that you are a strategic thinker and that there is no cookie-cutter. This is my marketing plan, and you need $2,000 on AdWords and Facebook. If I’m not on Facebook, you would customize that for me. That was an important word you fluffed over, but it differentiates you from the marketplace.

No One Size-Fits-All

Here’s the difference. There are fabulous marketing tactics out there, marketing activities. You could be doing Facebook Ads. You could be doing social media and all of that stuff. There are some wonderful marketing companies out there. I do not replace those marketing companies. What I do is more on a high level. Which marketing company and which strategy is going to be best for you? The expression I like to use is it’s not a one size fits all. The key to it is understanding what your choices are and how to make those choices.

CSG 76 | Marketing
Marketing: There are fabulous marketing tactics out there. It’s not one-size-fits-all. The key is understanding what your choices are and how to make them.

 

We don’t deplete our 401(k)s or the money that you had saved in your example for retirement. We don’t want to deplete the savings.

One of the key challenges entrepreneurs have when they’re creating their marketing strategy is, “There’re all these different ways I can market my business. Which one should I choose?” I have a program called Marketing Mystery to Marketing Mastery, where one of the steps is understanding, “What are the options out there? Why I would choose one over the other? Which one is the best for me?”

Whatever you choose is not going to be the same as what I would choose because we have different businesses. We have different target markets. We are at different stages of our business. All of these factors go into why you would choose specific activities over others. That is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs have when they’re looking at marketing. What should I choose?

These marketing companies are great at what they do but what we’re looking at is the big picture. If you don’t understand why you are choosing that strategy, where it fits into the big picture, and what that big picture is, how do we know that company is going to be able to take us there? That’s one of the biggest mistakes. That’s what happened to me. I’m sitting here doing ads. I wasn’t ready for ads.

The Important Of A Marketing Plan

Here’s the other thing too. You said something important again. We’re at different stages of our business. Even if our clients overlap, we’re at different partways in our business. Even though we might have the same ideal client, that doesn’t mean I’m going to market it the same way that you’re marketing it. All of those things you mentioned have to be taken into account, not just coming up with the marketing to blast out their information about our business. I want to ask another question. The importance of marketing, you’re the big picture thinker, all of those things.

Why is it important for business owners specifically? Even if you have a side hustle right now, you’re working in corporate. There’re a lot of people doing side hustles out there. Why is it important for them to start creating that profitable and make it a marketing machine so that profitability comes as they spend the money? Why is that so important? Give some examples, however, you want to address it.

As entrepreneurs, would you agree with me that we all want more clients in sales? Isn’t that the ultimate goal? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were able to do it more efficiently, in less time, and with less effort?

Yes.

That’s what happens when you have a well-thought-out plan. I want you to imagine speeding up the time you spend to find your ideal client, not just any client, and ultimately make more sales. The other thing is trial and error can be costly. When you have that well-thought-out marketing plan, it will help you get the best return on your investment. Not just in money, but also in time because, as I mentioned earlier, we are not corporate. We can’t afford to waste our time and money on things that aren’t giving us results. The third reason is a well-thought-out plan allows you the opportunity to free up your time to do the more important work.

We can't afford to waste our time and money on things that aren't giving us results. Click To Tweet

For you to do your zone of genius.

It’s making a difference in somebody’s life. It’s working on revenue-generating activities so you can have more time with your friends and family enjoying life. For me, it’s traveling with my husband to all these exotic places. Can you imagine doing that and still having the leads roll in?

Yeah.

This is why we would want to create a profitable marketing machine.

I like how you phrase that too, Nicki. It’s the ROI on money. That’s important. We’re spending money, money’s energy. We want to get that back, but additionally, our time where we spend our time. If we’re doing all the admin stuff and we’re not doing the business development, that’s my sales hack coming into play.

As business owners, we should spend more time client-facing, not worrying about the admin. The admin stuff’s not making us money. It’s supporting us, but it’s not the revenue generator. We’re the revenue generator, selling our programs, and doing speaking events. You have to free up your time to become visible because that’s part of the marketing, hopefully, your marketing campaign as well.

I wanted to add something because you talked about the sales part. There is a difference between marketing and sales. You’re about to have that sales conversation, but the thing is, who are you going to have that conversation with? That’s where the marketing side comes in. That’s where I’m about attracting the people so you can have the sales conversations.

Nicki and I partner a lot because, philosophically, we run our businesses from a value standpoint of giving. She’s very philanthropic with 5% of her proceeds going to the underprivileged, giving an opportunity to these people who don’t have the opportunity we have in the US and Nicki’s in Canada. I love that philosophically, we’re highly aware of the ROI of money and time, but also the emotional capacity. If we’re doing all the admin stuff too, I don’t know about you. It’s fatiguing. You’re like, “I have to do some client calls. Who wants to do that?”

You’re so worn out. You can’t be at your best. You don’t want to be exhausted and be in front of a client. They’re not going to hire you. Again, there’s this energy exchange that we share with our clients and prospects subconsciously. We want to be the best at what we do. Marketing and sales are important, but they’re two distinct things that you have to address. I believe that in marketing the ideal client, we have to get the traffic, and then let’s perfect that sales conversation. Again, it’s a strategy. It’s got to be part of the strategy, but you can’t put the carpet for the horse.

I can help you all day long and develop your sales skills, but if I have nobody coming in the door, I’m wasting time, energy, and money. I’m spending money on this marketing, but it’s not the right strategy because the people I’m talking to aren’t bringing in the revenue that I need. It becomes this sticky wicket that we need to educate ourselves on what’s available.

Here’s the last thing I want to say before I ask my next question. This is important. I said it at the beginning, and you mentioned it here, we have to remain relevant. I’m not a marketing person. You are not a salesperson. We balance each other and help each other out. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s a great marriage. It’s a great relationship that we’re building.

I have to understand marketing because how do you know that’s going to be the right marketing thing for you? It’s your business. You need to advocate for yourself, and the marketing person has to support that and know what questions to ask and all those things. We have to remain relevant with our own education so that we can have intelligent conversations as we hire marketing me for sales. Are they the right fit for you?

I’m not the right fit for everybody, and that’s okay. Are we hiring the right people? You have to make sure that you’re relevant with your knowledge, so don’t ever stop learning. That’s my little rant for the day. Next question, Nicki. Thank you for that, by the way. What are the biggest challenges you see your clients or people who don’t hire you face when it comes to creating that profitable marketing machine that’s working all the time behind the scenes?

Three Key Challenges

There are three key challenges I’ve encountered that make a huge impact on everything. The first challenge is many people are frustrated because there are so many options available for marketing, and they’re confused. They’re asking themselves, “Should I do this, or should I do that?” There are way too many choices. That’s one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs when they’re trying to decide how to market their business.

The second most important challenge they have is probably even more important. What do you say? You have a website. You attend a networking event. What do you say? I had a client who had a website, and he said to me, “I spent money for this company to get me clicks to the website, and I got no clients from it.” That’s disheartening because we were sending traffic, and there were no leads for this client. He says, “You look at my website.” I looked at this website, and I’m sitting here going, “First of all, it’s a beautifully designed website. “

Visually, it was gorgeous. The website also told me what he did, which was great, but the thing is, the website didn’t tell me what he could do for me and why I should pick up the phone and call him. That’s what he was missing. It’s great to have a beautiful website. It’s great to tell people what we do. If we’re unable to engage them, you’re the visitor to the website to take action, then that has to change.

That’s one of the biggest challenges with any marketing strategy. You can go out and do marketing. You can do networking and all of this stuff, but if your message is not clear, if your message is not connecting with people, you’re not going to get the results. That’s the second biggest challenge. The third biggest challenge is if your message isn’t working, what do I change? That is a huge challenge. Those are the three key areas I find people scratching their heads and going, “What do I do?”

CSG 76 | Marketing
Marketing: If your message is not clear, if your message is not connecting with people, you’re not going to get the results.

 

It’s a blind spot. We don’t know what we don’t know. You’re right. My website is gorgeous. Messaging is off. What do I change? I have no idea because we’re not marketing experts. You have to go to the experts. I wanted to share. I want to give an example of what you just said. I network a lot. I know you network a lot. We see each other a lot in these networking things. I was on the one you hosted, and people had sales questions. She’s like, “We’re handing this over to Connie.” It was kismet. It was meant to be that I happened to pop in on that event.

I’ve been on too many networking events, Zoom, for the past two years. Things are starting to come back to life, but we’re still in Zoom a lot. This one young lady got on and she went on about her being a marketing expert. She sold Arbonne. She was doing bank, which is like a disc, like my CSA, my communication style, and there were two other things. I sat there. I started checking emails. I know how rude that sounds, but I thought, “I’m never referring to her because I don’t know what she does. She’s doing too many things.”

I’m not going to send my people to her so she starts pushing Arbonne and all these other things that they might not need. She clearly just says, “I do these five things.” I’m thinking, “When it’s my turn, I’m just going to talk about sales. I do one thing well. How do you do all five of these?” The answer is, I’m sure she’s not doing any of them well because her messaging was so off. She kept going on and on about each one of them.

I started checking emails. I’m like, “I don’t have time for this.” Time is valuable. I don’t mean to sound rude. Figure out what your zone of genius is, and that will help with the messaging piece. You can’t be like a smorgasbord. I’m not a buffet when you come to Connie Whitman or when they go to Nicki. I’m very strategic in how I can help you. It’s funny, Nicki, because people say, “Marketing and sales,”

I go, “I’m going to stop you right there. If your questions are marketing, let me hook you up with one of my colleagues. I’m not your gal.” I don’t know about marketing. I understand it. I don’t want to do it. I’d rather have pins in my eyes. That’s what we’re talking about. Whom do you find? You have to start thinking about these things.

Otherwise, you could put yourself behind the eight-ball for years if you don’t focus on those three challenges. Well said. Thank you for that. That was an example. It’s so frustrating for me, Nicki, when, “You need to meet my friend, Nicki,” “I’m good at marketing.” Clearly, you’re not because you don’t know what you’re doing.

The thing is, a confused mind does not buy.

You said this at the onset and I want to reiterate it. I do want you to talk about your free gift. Having the strategic plan before you start the execution is mandatory, and that saves time and money. We’re thinking about if you do this, what are the benefits? What are the downsides? As a business owner, because I’m relevant and keeping myself educated, I can make a joint wise decision because of what I know, which is my business, and because of what you know as a marketing expert.

You have to have conversations and people that you trust, but people have to understand your business before they can start putting, “You got to do AdWords.” To me, run. If somebody comes with one recommendation, run the other way. That’s what they want to do. That’s what they’re comfortable doing. That doesn’t mean they’re good at marketing from a big-picture perspective.

The last thing I want to say before you share your free gift. If you pay attention, Nicki said she has the AdWord person, the marketing person, or the PR person she can bring in when needed because they’re not her zones of genius. Again, the word marketing is a ginormous topic. Do you know the programming and WordPress on the backend? That’s another whole different skill, but it’s still part of the marketing process and strategy. I wanted to make sure everybody heard that too. You have your team that is vetted and trusted and that you know can execute what your recommendations are.

That’s their zone of genius. My zone of genius is about understanding it. I do want to let you know that those challenges that I had outlined are why I created the Marketing Mystery to Marketing Mastery program. That does go over the steps on how to overcome those challenges. It also gives you the community to be able to test out your content because going back to that third challenge, what do I change? It isn’t working. The collaborative environment is huge when it comes to marketing. Do you know how many people have done testing in marketing? They’ll have one ad, and then they’ll have another ad with different images but the same ad in itself.

Do you know how many people have come back to me that say, “In the market testing, everyone picked the one I didn’t like?” This is why the testing component is so crucial. What I’m doing is building a community that gives people a safe environment to be able to test it. What I think is going to resonate with people doesn’t matter.

We’re the zones of genius. It’s the response you get. Even in my own business, when I’m in a sales conversation, I’m reiterating all the time because the clients are always different, but things are changing at a rapid rate. It goes back to what I said at the beginning, stay relevant. Otherwise, you’re going to fall behind. It becomes a slippery slope, and you could fall behind fast. Make sure you’re educated and hire the right people. Marketing is important, but you have got to get the right people in your corner. I want to share your website before I do free gifts. Can you give them a brief description of what they will get? If you could talk about that free gift, that’d be great.

CSG 76 | Marketing
Marketing: Things are changing at a rapid rate. You have to stay relevant. Otherwise, you’re going to fall behind.

The Free Gift

The free gift is along the lines of marketing is over 101 ideas on how you can market your business so you can get more sales. I started putting this list together, and I was going to go call it 101 Ideas until I started getting to 102 and 103. Now the free gift is over 101 marketing ideas. That is a great compliment to hopefully open your eyes as to, “I didn’t even think of this.”Maybe some might be relevant to you. Some might not be relevant to you. It’s a great compliment to the training I do give, which is Marketing Mystery to Marketing Mastery. If you check it out on my website to find out when the next available courses for that, that will start bringing things together and answer the questions out of those 101 marketing ideas. Which ones should I be working on?It’s such a great springboard and a place to start. Thank you, Nicki, for sharing that with my people here. I always appreciate that and check it out. If you’re unsure, check it out. Its information remains relevant. I know I’m like a broken record with the show but this is another easy-peasy tool for you to remain relevant and make sure that you’re crossing all your T’s and dotting all your I’s, saving time, saving money, and making money. To me, that’s my triple-win formula. It’s got to be a win-win for everybody. Let me give you Nicki’s website. It’s NCPConsulting.net, and if you’d like to reach out to Nicki if you have questions, that’s cool too, Nicki@NCPConsulting.net. Nicki, thank you again. Great conversation. I hope this gets everybody thinking and download the free gift because now you have a tangible tool that you could start to look at and decipher all of what we conversed about but now it becomes tangible about topics that maybe I should be paying attention to, and I never thought about blind spots. We all have blind spots. Hopefully, the over 101 ideas give them a little bit of tangibility to what may be the next baby step they should be taking. Thank you so much for that. Thank you for inviting me. This has been a lot of fun.I love hanging out with you. We’re like a bazillion miles apart but thank God for Zoom that we’re able to connect and meet the amazing people in my orbit. I feel very blessed, and I’m so happy we had this great conversation. It’s a needed conversation. Thanks again for your zone of genius, Nicki.

Thank you.

I hope you’ll join me in every episode as we question, build, and discover together. I am trying to change the sales game so that when you get everything in alignment and you are in front of your ideal client or prospect, your conversations are so beautiful that there never could be an ick factor. It always comes from this place of love, care, and respect.

Again, Nicki is a great resource to compliment your sales conversations or to refine those sales conversations. Thank you so much. Please download and use the tool. Tuning into the show is wonderful. Sharing information is wonderful. Learning information is wonderful. If you do nothing with it, it’s just information. If you do something with it, that’s when the magic starts happening. We could create the changes or the business or transition from a career in corporate to a small business owner.

Whatever it is you’re looking to do, please use the tool. Please use the recommendations we’ve made. Action creates reactions, and that’s when we can start changing the world together. Thank you for tuning into the show with me on WebTalkRadio.net. I truly wish you all a wonderful, inspired week. Take the tip, the tool, or the strategy or look at those challenges Nicki mentioned and start using that information to evaluate where you are so you can recreate the change you’re looking for. Thanks so much. I’m honored that you join me in every episode and I will see you all next time. Have a great one.

 

Important Links

 

Stalk me online!

 

Subscribe and listen to the Changing the Sales Game Podcast on your favorite podcast streaming service or on YouTube.  New episodes post every week on webtalkradio.net – listen to Connie dive into new sales and business topics or problems you may have in your business.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *