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[E4C44] Secrets to a 7-Figure Coaching Business – Shanda Sumpter, of Heartcore Business

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The field of business coaching is growing & becoming increasingly specialized. If you are an entrepreneur who loves helping others, being a mentor, and giving advice, you can easily create a side business offering your industry expertise as a business coach.

Some entrepreneurs have found coaching to be so lucrative that their coaching programs now drive the lion’s share of their revenue outside of the core service they provide. And if coaching is your full time schtick, you can build a 7 figure business within 3 years, if you do it right.

With us today is Shanda Sumpter who is the founder and Queen Visionary of HeartCore Business, a 7 figure coaching & training company that she grew from scratch. What I love about her company culture is that she designed a 3 weeks on, 1 week off lifestyle business model, where she & everyone who works for her gets to take the last week of every month off.

That’s an extra week a month of engaging in your passions, doing charitable work, going on road trips, you name it. And all without working harder during the 3 weeks you are “on”.

Shanda has transformed her clients’ financial lives & helped them build strong, lucrative online networks through her training & marketing program – The #1 Resource To Do What You Love, Make More Money, and Live the Life YOU Want!. In this in-depth interview, Shanda cuts to the chase & reveals:

  • The minimum viable audience necessary to generate a 6 or 7 figure coaching or consulting income.
  • Her secret method to list building that doesn’t require hosting an, exhausting all-consuming Telesummit event.
  • Why knowing and loving who you are keeps your business strong and consistent.
  • Why working towards a goal is better than working within your limitation.
  • The correct order of establishing an online coaching or consulting business from scratch.
  • and much, much more.

Mentioned in this interview

Where to Find Shanda

Full Episode Transcript

Lorna: Shanda, it’s truly a pleasure to have you with me on the show and I am really excited to speak to other women entrepreneurs, who worked with heart centered entrepreneurs to show us that there is another way to run our businesses.

So I’d loved for you to share with our audiences, who you are and what you do?

Shanda: Who I am? I am pretty much a woman just like you trying to make a living. No, just kidding! [Laughs]

I work with entrepreneurs who want to make a money make a difference. I would say if you are to sum me up, obviously I’m a business owner and I’m really focused on creating recurring income on people’s lives so that they can make a bigger difference in the world.

But there’s more to me than just work like I love to do triathlons because I love the way that it teaches me how to get stronger mentally and mind and get more physically fit. I love to – like what I said to my triathlon coach, last month I said, you know it really messed with my schedule and it make really hard so that I can learn how to manage through that.

I learned that Michael Phelps won the Olympics in his swimming because his coach used to mess with his goggles and when he was in his race in the Olympics, his goggles got all messed up and it was because he knew how to deal with that hardship that he was able to work his way thru that and essentially win the Olympics, and so you know its kind of like a little bit of what you and I were talking about Lorna before we’ve started this interview which was I love to stretch out of my comfort zone and see how long can I hang out the pain and actually transform that pain into enjoying it.

It sounds very strange but that’s kind of the mentality of who I am. My assistant was asking me today she used to be a client of mine and now she is an assistant for our company and she is not staying as an assistant. She has to work with us for about a year before she moves into a marketing position and she said you know I just want to know what makes you tick and what has you constantly drive to build more in your life when you really don’t have to anymore? And I said, I can always tell and it’s like kind an insight on who I am and how I think and what happens outside of the office and what happens is whenever I’m feeling moody or especially when I am you know nit picking up the person that I love. It is an immediate trigger and cue to me that I am off purpose and my goal is ever striving to figure out is there a way of operating in my life where I can be on purpose because ultimately I feel like that is your happy spot.

Like my boyfriend Ash always says if you’re ever in any sort of a down mood and or like just not, like I wake up in the morning Good Morning! Like it’s I am just notorious for it, but if I ever wake up and I’m feeling off and all, he’s like you know you just got to jump on the phone and work with your clients and you just light back up. And the reason being is because at that moment, I am giving. And so I am fascinated with that space that we all have the opportunity to get into which is that flow of what we are truly giving for a place not just to make money or not just to get what we want but ultimately know that we are doing certain things that we know A+B will equal C and give us that monetary value or that fulfillment value but it’s in the work that the pleasure is in and so I am also fascinated with that space. Does that give you insight a little bit?

Lorna: Sure certainly! But I’ve love to, you know uncover what exactly your business is.

Shanda: Mainly we’re a business coaching company. So we used to only coach women entrepreneurs now we do coach some men entrepreneurs in our community as well because we find that it brings in an interesting balance. Men are extremely focused. Women are very multitask oriented. We teach entrepreneurs and training community basically three different focuses.

First off, we run a program called Pace Club which we teach the foundation. There’s people that has been in the business for five, six or 10 years and they are not still not making money and they are still doing it the hard way. You look statistics at least in America and Canada, people who are coaches like most don’t even make 20,000 USD a year. I just heard that I think it was something like 60,000 USD was in the top percentage of Americans and globally if you make 60,000 USD you were in the top percentage people who make money, I think it was 60,000 USD a few weeks ago when I’ve heard this but was amazing to me it was 300,000 USD if you were an American to be on the top percentage. And I sit there and go at 300,000 you are actually just starting to open up to creativity and so my company and I am on a major mission to take people who are just starting or who have been in business for a long time and build a foundation under them where they have a subscriber list and they know how to sell to that list. That’s our Pace Club.

When somebody graduates from that program they go to a marketing mastery that’s where we get innovative. I’m looking to put more pleasure behind what people are doing because they have the foundation that I can do it with, it is kind a like what I was saying to you. One woman made 30,000 USD today, another one woman made 140,000 USD in two weeks. Both of these women were nervous about the coaching fee of paying me at the beginning of this year.

Right, so our Marketing Mastery Program helps to innovate and create some fun and some freedom after we have the foundation to put it and we have private coaching which has been sold out for the last 3 years we haven’t even marketed it for the last 3 years. People who have opportunities where they can come in and do full day intensives with me. We call it VIP days were I walk through strategy and look at 1 year and 2 years or 3 years out and your 2 or 3 years will change as the entrepreneur makes more money they start to dream bigger. Does that make sense?

Lorna: Yeah! So, help me understand is the Pace Club more of an online program with a methodology that people will follow and with group coaching calls.

Shanda: It is! We do group a little different though Lorna. I find that most group programs and home study programs don’t work and so what we do is we bring in private coaching to our group programs and for instance, like our staff call meeting today was pay attention over the next 2 weeks to anybody who has not showing up so that we can reach out, go in, start calling them and find out what’s going on so that we can pull them back up so that they can perform.

So ultimately, we do all of our programs virtually because we are all about, as long you got a laptop and a computer and internet service, and either Skype or a cell phone you can do business anywhere in the world and I’ve done it.

I’ve done business from Bali. I’ve done business from Barbados for 3 months. I woke up this morning and I was saying, I kind of feel like going to France. You know what I mean just randomly. So, you know we do all our programs virtually to give me certain a quality of life and to teach women that they can raise children or travel all around the world or be as they can make as many millions as they want and not necessarily have to be tied down to a certain building or place. So with that being intact, the big message we do we teach a lot of virtual but we always do have a live component were they come together. Like for instance, in our Pace Club, the first 90 days we teach how to build list then the rest we teach them how to sell to it.

So it is actually a money making program but they won’t start making money until month 4. At the end of the 12 month program at about month 10, we have them all fly in from Germany, from Australia, from the UK, Canada, from America. And they fly in typically to San Diego, California because it is a nice place to visit and it is where I live and I teach about really designing your business around. Your life comes first and then your business goes around that, to like to hug it. And so I typically like to stay in my backyard because it’s beautiful and so we have our live retreats here were the Pace Club or any other programs will get to meet each other. Now imagine this, I’ve now built your list for you, I’ve showed how to sell it, now I’ve networked you with you know another hundred or two hundred people who just you’d watched you in the Facebook group. You know them through the face book group, you’ve heard them on weekly calls and now you’ve met them and now they are armed with data bases where they can partner with you.

It is a very, very, very powerful model so we put that foundation under and we show you how to take advantage of opportunity and here’s a big message that I’d like to get out into the world. Stop chasing possibility. Stop doing things that are just possibly going to result in more money or more freedom. Like I hear this all the time! “Shanda, just got this really great opportunity where this woman who owns this community is going to promote me if I just go do this work with her and I handle this and then this is a great opportunity.”

Do you even know what the opportunity is, right? Why not fund yourself so that you own your data bases, so that you own your programs, so that you know how to actually make your money and then you can innovate from there and so I would love people to actually create stability versus chasing possibility.

Lorna: Definitely! I would say that your list, your database is really like the foundation of your business.

Shanda: It’s your economy. You know when the economy dumped in real estate I own the data base and did over 100 million dollars in sales. Okay so that’s because I own the data base. Everybody else is losing their ass and we were making money. Right? The economy still sucks, at least in America. It definitely is still is hard. And you know and the funny thing is I sit there and I think good is really not that good. Like where most people are living really is not that good. And so if people would take the time to build a proper community and actually learn how to sell to that community and you don’t have to be marketing genius to do this.

I mean everyday, mom who’s never worked a day in her life, as long you have a piece of life that you have been successful somewhere. Meaning that, like if I ask you “Where have you been successful?” If you can say I raise two amazing children and here’s why they’re amazing and you are gloating about, you are almost cocky about it. This is a good sign. It doesn’t always have to be great in business but if somebody can say that. I actually say don’t build a business you need to go to your personal development work, some self love work.

Lorna: Yeah! I completely agree with you I think the foundation of being a professional change maker especially purpose driven entrepreneur is to really know yourself first because knowing who you really are is the foundation for everything because anything can happen. You can lose your business.

I spoke recently to a 7 figure transformational entrepreneur and she at a certain point in time went bankrupt she has a 7 figure business and it all went away. And her take away from that is, if you know who you are, especially if you love and accept who you are and you know who you came here to be in this world and what you came here to do. Then a lot of things can happen around you in to you but it will never take that away. That core foundation of strength.

So Shanda can you tell me more about entrepreneurs you worked with? Are all they primarily coaches or aspiring coaches or are they a wide range of different type of business owners?

Shanda: I would say about 80% of them are coaches, consultants, financial advisors, and some sort of sales and services. We do have retail owners, like retail shops. We do have some spa owners. So we do have other businesses as well. I think mainly because my background is not an online marketing. I developed online marketing and taught myself online marketing and studied it, invested in learning from some of the best and innovated it to my business background.

It obviously comes to people know that I am a coach and you know so a lot of coaches gravitate towards me and will tell you that there are entrepreneurs that do want to make a difference in the world.

Lorna: I can say that I am really intrigue by the whole coaching business myself because people like Tony Robbins for example, are able to achieve phenomenal success not just you know for himself financially but in really impacting and changing lives of other people inspiring them to be the best that they can be. So it’s kind of fascinating. I never thought that the idea that a coach can be a seven figure coach was something that was fairly new discovery for me because you know I too like you mentioned, tend to know a lot more coaches that struggle in the five figure realm rather than achieving that multiple six figure or seven figure success.

Shanda: You know it’s really not that hard though, Lorna. It’s really not that hard to do it. You what I think the challenge is people don’t think and I mean that with love, and support, and respect. People just don’t think like, it’s like, I mean really you want to know how to get to seven figures build a list. Three to five thousand people on your list you should be making multiple six figures if you’re not, you have a sales problem. You know got more to eight to ten thousand people you can move yourself into seven figures and that is the God honest truth.

Year one should be about putting the foundation underneath. You know some people who are rock stars will make a hundred thousand. I’ve seen people do it in 6 months, from scratch to start. I’ve seen and I think that is extraordinary. I think the normal person within 12 to 16 months if they have a proper coaching for them they listen to what coach says. They stay out of drama when I say that there is like you know there is self doubt. There’s insecurities. All of that stuff comes up when you build business.

If you are willing to walk through it and just do the work anyway and think differently and think okay every problem I solve I get more freedom. Every problem I solve I get more freedom then what happens is you start to become addictive to solving the problem. So it changes your connection to how building your business versus “Oh shit I can’t find somebody with a five thousand person list to interview” or I’m just like, my database is dead and they don’t respond to my emails.

That’s going to happen all the way along as you build your business. What I mean by this is as your business is growing you are going to run into multiple problems every time you solve one, another should show up and so if you keep getting stuck on the problem you don’t get to go further. What I see constantly is that people hit problems and they never move through them they repackage them, they rejournal about them, they get more inspired about the plan that they’re going to work to get out of it but they don’t actually ever complete anything they start.

And again I mean this with so much respect but that’s the only gap. It’s not just these people can’t make the money they’re just not seeing that the connection to their problem is solving that problem of getting through.

I want to sleep in, I don’t want to do this interview at 6:30 at night. It’s like walking through these moments that we don’t want to do. You know, I say all the time, I don’t care what you want to do. I care your end vision of where want to go. The journey to that you are definitely not going to want to do some pieces of it and I don’t care and what makes you pro is that you step in to it and you do it anyway and it’s never as bad as you think and then you stand to the other side of it with this big glowing and beaming love for yourself and respect for yourself because you did it! And you’re that much stronger and then you get the benefits of what that yields.

So year one should be you know somewhere up to it $100,000 you know $80,000 to $100,000. Year two, you should move into, you should double that. So you are looking somewhere like $200,000. Year three you should be playing around in the $300,000 to $500,000 mark. Then it doubles. You go into a million, $800,000 to $1 Million. By Year five, everybody could be making a million dollars if they are doing it right.

I know this is such a bold statement to say but the only thing that stops people from doing it is they really, honestly just stop at the drama and they think you know. Let’s put it this way I never have the money to do the next big thing I want. You know why? Because these little doors keep opening up in my head that our bigger that I’ve thought was going to go and the event looks bigger or the moving a sales team down to San Diego or buying a bigger house. As I learn who I am you, as you learn who you are as the entrepreneur makes more money as he walk through those the small problems, then what happens is these big problems come up and you can handle them because you’ve already practice.

It’s like the reason why I love training for triathlons or races. It’s like I don’t even get off the race, I really don’t, I get off on the training because what it takes for me to do it. What it takes for me to keep going when somebody is away ahead on the bike and my legs are burning and the drama starts to sip in my head that I can’t do it; that I am not strong enough; that they do Iron Man that they do this that they do that and the minute that drama starts come in it doesn’t even get to the point that they don’t do Iron Mans. I stopped it before it even gets going. And through that conditioning I am problem solving can I focus to my breathing right now? What can I focus on to start pulling myself out of where I am going to make me stronger?

My body can handle more than I think it can. Your brain is connected with all of those solutions during that activities and so you know when I look at an entrepreneur and we say this all the time in my company FOCUS.

Right now Pace Club is on, they started in April or May so you know they literally, you know month and half in right now. They’re literally on how do you find your experts right know and how to you find good experts, right? And do you know what to they want to know? They want to know what am I going to sell. They wanna know what is my opt-in page going to look like. They want to know what is my sales campaign going to look like? They want to know when should I be hiring my VA (virtual assistant).

When if they would practice getting intimate with the step that they are in right this second they will be much more successful. The people who listen to me and I talk just like this to them. I don’t sugar coat it. I don’t treat them like they are new business owners. I treat them like they’re human beings. They’re intelligent human beings. I am going to talk to them as if I would be talking to any of my seven figure multi seven figure friends and I am going to say just be intimate with the process and you will succeed. Just worry about finding experts. When your 21 experts are there I promise you will have the rest of the equation to take your next step.

But people are so such control freaks they are trying to figure out “How do I feel better in this phase of uncertainty” and it just doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t! I don’t know anybody who doesn’t have a complete body breakdown or mental breakdown whether they’re taking Prozac to be able to manage the stress or they’re giving up their business. How many people have you seen give up their business because they don’t wanna be that stressed out?! It doesn’t have to look that way.

You need to let go of control. You need to stay in the present moment. If you are not making money. I guarantee you, either you don’t have a list or you don’t know how to sell to it and really it comes to that simplicity. I mean, I have clients right now. Making US$200,000 but still don’t know what they’re going to sell. They still don’t know what their ultimate product or service there is going to be. But guess what? They are getting paid and they are learning the step that they need to learn and they’re making a difference for the people that they are serving based on what they’ve already experienced in life. I mean that, there is always people that wants something you have. Right? So that’s where we start. As were in a journey of figuring out what you really want. Where most people like
“Let me figure all the these out and get it perfect on a piece of paper and if I can do that, then I know I’ll go and I’ll do these and I’ll be successful”. Wrong!

That control is going to stop you all the way along because you’re going to want to make sure you have the money before you invest. You’re going to make sure that you like “I don’t even look the food that’s going to be served at my event. Do you know that there was a time in my life that I would had to see every piece of food that was being served because nobody could do it better than me.” That is a control freak. That hurt me for so many years. The roller coaster making money lose always counting money.

You know, Ash and I, Ash is my boyfriend and we talk about future together. Like, don’t ever put me on a budget. Give me a goal to work towards. Tell me what I need to produce. Tell me where we need to go. That’s fun! That has me in the flow of creation and I learned that in my spiritual trainers. You know vs. trying to work within the limitations of what I already have.

Now I guess that is fine if you never want to grow but you know what happens when that happens is you get depressed. You start to bitch with your partner. You start to gain weight. You start to have fights with your friends and your family. You start to be unappreciative toward your clients. You start to not like your business because you are freaking bored. Do you get it?

Lorna: Yeah! I mean you know in listening to you describe this whole scenario. So many question come up for me. But let me start with the one that I’ve been wanting to ask you, for a while, which is “What is the minimum viable audience then?” You are saying okay basically there are two core problems you don’t have a list or you don’t how to sell your list. So, is there a minimum number of people you need to have on your list before it becomes a viable database to generate an US$80,000 to US$100,000 livelihood from?

Shanda: Well, I tell you that I just trained a book keeper and she only had a 500 hundred person list built. And that is she knows where she broke down her list built. She didn’t hold the list built minimum for people that she actually interviewed, which I suggest always has 5,000 persons minimum. But I am, you know, we do a lot of our interview series, I hold a bar anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000. I have friend that hold the bar around 25,000 before they would interview and partner with them. But as far as like to attend to your question. She built a list of 500 people. When she was done doing her list because we package her differently. We stopped just taking clients for any dollar amount we gather off about like rent her accountant for dollar, pay them per hour. We got her out of that and we created three packages and within two weeks she makes US$62,000.

Lorna: Love it, Wow!

Shanda: So really, it’s really hard to say as far as that’s concerned. You know when I look at 500 people on a list. I look at those as 500 potential people. Now if we can’t get, a couple clients out of that. That’s because we are either not speaking the message that they are looking for. So that’s the problem solving. Right? Like it’s like the opportunities and fun you can convert out of it. Used to problem solve vs. making the problem real. Does that, can you see a little bit about how we think? You know.

Lorna: Yeah!

Shanda: So now, the focus for her that built the 500, she is doing another list build now. So it’s like you kind of, you kind of, you skip some steps, so you got a lower list built. Most of our people, most of our entrepreneurs when they do their first list build, build anywhere from 17,000 to 23,000 on their first list build. But some people innovate the process because they’re scared. Right? They somehow think that what I am teaching them won’t work for them or they don’t want to feel bad by telling somebody, I do apologize but your list isn’t the minimum that we are looking for, for this project but I’d love to work with you later. They are afraid to say that because they don’t want to hurt somebody’s feelings. Ultimately, they are more concerned about being liked than they are about building their business. Do you see what am I saying?

And that’s a transformational stuff that needs to get taken cared of otherwise they will continue to work too hard. Right? Building business isn’t actually hard it’s the shit you put in front of it. That makes it hard.

The tipping point is 5,000. You know, that’s when cause at 5,000 you know you can be playing in the I really think the sweet spot of income is 300,000. I think that who you become as a person, grows massively. I think your generosity grows massively. I think the way you have to think to get to 300,000. You’re opening up. You know, as you are making more money, you’re opening up. Right, because you have to, because you have to let go of more control to keep going. Right? But then there is this big junk that happens between 300,000 and 500,000 and you see a complete transformation in the person. It’s very wild. It is extremely wild actually.

Lorna: Yeah! I can imagine. I mean you know. I am not there yet. But I want to be in. I envision what life might look like for me at that level. I mean it just seems so delightful. I am really curious about your list building processes that you take your clients in the Pace Club through. Can you describe more about that? This 21 expert interview series. Is that a tele summit? Or is that another process altogether? What do they do?

Shanda: It is a tele summit. We innovated it about two years ago when we started teaching a video version of it and now we actually even teach a live stream version of it. So that was the best way to answer your question. So you can do the same format on any platforms. Here is why I love it. There is so many nay sayers out there, that says “oh! Telesummits are overused and they don’t work anymore.” I sit there and say you know the last three telesummits that I’ve spoken on, I’ve made US$20,000 to US$25,000 almost US$40,000 in the hour I got interviewed.

Okay, So that is a lot to do with I know my message and I know how to speak to my clients and I am very clear about what I’m up to. So the right person that’s listening to me on an interview series is drawn out. I put it like I don’t believe anybody should be winging it. I think you should be practicing and knowing your point of views your tribe can gravitate towards you and then you just get out there. Right?

So with tele summit version. The tele summit’s obviously audio. We choose the formula of interviewing 21 people and we recommend that they all have a list of 5,000 people or more. Now here is a little something and I get this all the time. “I just got somebody whose got an 80,000 person list that says they’ll mail for me and they’re a part of it and then what they start doing is they look at the other 21,000 and either take some 21 experts and either cut there some at short and only interview 14. It doesn’t work that way. It’s got to be 21, that’s the sweet spot. Or, that 90,000 person list doesn’t pull the way you thought. Right?

I just, was emailing with somebody this morning that has a million people on their data base and the owner spoke at my event and they got a list of the people from my event because they were offering something to them at the event that just made it easier for them to deliver to them directly. Well, I got a message today and they were asking for some support. I am getting that product out to that list and I said to them, “Have you not communicated with the list other than the one you emailed two months ago?” and they said “No, we don’t hit our list”. Here is what I am sharing something with you. That million person database might not and I will tell you if they don’t communicate with it and do other tele summits, or video series, or podcast or sending out newsletters, if they’re not communicating with it on an average like I think it should be a weekly basis. It’s like, Lorna, if you and I went walking every night at the end of our day. Whether or not we have two best friends in other places. We’re going to know more about each other than our best friends do because we are spending time together. We are talking. We are sharing. You know that is the essentially the connection that needs to have with the list.

Unfortunately, many people don’t want to work they think sending out a weekly newsletter is too much work and it comes back to what I’ve said to you before we’ve even jump into this interview. It’s like “I know it’s work”, that’s what we get paid for. Like it’s part of it. Right?

So if you have an expert that has a big list but doesn’t know how to connect with that list. Then you are going to miss the currency piece, disconnection always equals to currency. Right? Which currency for an interview and a list build means that you would have people joining your list from them and mailing for you. You’ll sometimes get more of that from 5,000 person list than a 50,000 person list.

We took over coaching company that has, I think it was 75,000 and my existing 25,000 person list holds way better than that list. That’s like, I already know when we took it over last year. That it’s a two year process to build the relationship with that list because they’ve been spammed constantly with just offers they’ve been loved up. Right? They didn’t trust them.

So these are things that you cannot and we teach in our Pace Club. It’s too much work for you to go in there and I used that word loosely. Like you’ll never get your 21 experts in 90 days and get them interviewed and build the list. Like actually have a list at the end of 90 days if you do it right. You can’t do all that if you are sitting having an hour of conversation with everybody. How often you mail your list? It’s just you know that’s not the point of it. So if you get 21 people you can let go of control. The actual process can be a lot easier than it normally is and we ask everybody to send a solo and a newsletter blurb.

We also do something where we offer a list share and we teach this we offer list share where if you got 3 experts that maybe, really don’t know you and they really don’t know you and really want to have them in the summit they like I just don’t know if your summit is going to be very good. You could say, “Well here’s what I’ll do for you! I’ve got an opportunity for three people to list share in this program meaning that if you mail three times a solo email then I will share the list with you and that gives you an extra pop on your list building and get you some people that possibly might not interview if they don’t know you. You see what am I saying?

Lorna: Yeah! That’s really intriguing. How would you share the list?

Shanda: You got to put something on the opt-in page that signifies that. Like a disclosure, you do have to do something like that but what we do is we actually teach that those three people they email, they obviously every signs an agreement that they email their list three solos in a designated period of time and 60 days after your summit is done, you will download the list and send it.

Lorna: Ahha! Okay!

Shanda: The reason why you wait 60 days is because you need to able to launch your product or service after the video series or tele summit series or whatever. You’ve just spent a time to host a show essentially you’ve been Barbara Walters or Oprah and you’ve hosted a show and you’ve done all the work. At the end of the day, you’ve influenced these people and now it’s your opportunity because they’re hot. They’re ready to purchase, it’s your opportunity to make an offer and see if anybody is ready to step up.

Lorna: Now in my experience, hosting an online event like that. I also did a tele summit a while back. I found it to be a lot of work. It was literally about two months of working around the clock in order to be able to host this event. Is there any other type of list building strategy that you recommend for people that might be more gradual? Let’s say okay even if they did decide to do a tele summit style event or even a live stream that between then and now they continue building their list and other more organic ways?

Shanda: Well, you could actually, you could break telesummit up where you do an interview of the moth. You know what they mean? Were it is a 12 month continuous grow, where you actually partner with the people. Where you’ll mail your database and they’ve got to mail their database and you could probably innovate it very easily where if they send out two newsletter blubs and solo that you’ll have that interview up there for two weeks and you’ll remind your list that it’s up there twice.

That’s the powerful way to do it. You can also run Facebook ads. If you ever had a great expert. There is a lot of great experts that unless they know you won’t mail for you. That’s why I said that your network is your net worth. Unless they love your topic. Like I’ve definitely had some. Maryann Willamson wouldn’t mail for one of my friends that you go on her summit and I am not kidding you. She sells on her summit and you make about US$40,000 to US$60,000 in one interview with her. Okay.

Maryann Willamson said no to speak on her summit. She’s got about 200,000 people on her database. My newbie in Pace Club through the process that we teach. Which is has so much to do with loving what you’re doing. You know I was listening to Steve Jobs video today and he was talking about, you know that connecting the dots to your life and how at the end of the day loving what you are doing is just the most important thing because you spend so much of your time working. That when you die, you know, that’s a huge piece of you. So we really teach a very unique way of getting behind your passion of what you are doing. So it becomes an easier process but Maryann Willamson said YES to her and she didn’t have a list at all.

I don’t want discourage anybody in going after it and going after the people that you want to speak to but you know we have to be honest that your network is your network and when people know you and build a relationship with you they are more willing to tap into their data bases and share it with you.

So until then you can always do something where you can leverage people ‘names, and pictures and stuff like that on Facebook and you could create. We’ve got a couple of our clients doing these now. You can create opt-in page where you’re actually driving traffic to it thru Facebook ads and this way you can actually target certain areas depending on your annual strategy of your business. Like for instance if you are doing a live event, you might pull a lot of people within 100 miles of your area and you can easily do that through Facebook and you can use very credible people that you are interviewing to gain credibility with a cold audience and instantly warm them up and share that interview with them.

So there are so many ways to do it Lorna. I love to teach to you the live stream version but I mean I really teach that over three hours and it’s a pretty big process but we do a list filled of live stream where we kind of host it like a view and there is nobody out there that’s doing it. Like it’s a completely new list filled version. But it’s kind a like the view and everybody gets behind creating and co-creating the content. Which always makes a better show right? When it is not just you coming up with the questions and the content and the theme. Bringing up group of people doing that. So there it again it’s all problem solving.

Lorna: Yeah! I love the live stream idea and there is a part of me that you know wow I want to really you do that and start a live stream show. The challenge that I am seeing is for me being a based in Chiang Mai, Thailand is that even though, I do have a pretty fast internet for some bizarre reason of the video doesn’t really do so well on it. So when I try to record a video interview for example, it always seems that the video freezes when one or both parties have the most awkward facial expression and then it’s just the audio.

Shanda: Yeah! But it does happen but often it doesn’t happen. So my suggestion is may be do some shorter clips but you need to use livestream.com It is very different and you really do need somebody who can shoot that video for you.

Lorna: Like a videographer?

Shanda: Yes. You really do need it. It is not expensive and it is very inexpensive. There are people all over the world that do this. You get somebody and you cut a deal with them. If you are doing a show all the time and you are a regular scenario, you could honestly cut two or three shows all on a road. Guess will it be work? Yes, it will be work but you can run those live streams like they’re live afterwards. Do you see what I am saying? To break down on your time.

So once a month, you could really work hard for a day and you might be getting up in an odd hour if you are doing some American people, right? But you could knock out three or four 20-minute live streams with guests from different parts of the world and you do Skype them in, but you have the videographer. You invest like that because here is the deal: Video creates a higher connection, connection equals currency. It just does.

Lorna: I completely agree.

Shanda: It’s worth your time to do it. It’s worth of your time.

Lorna: Great. This interview has been so full of really valuable information, and we are coming close to the end of it. I kind of like to conclude with just the bigger picture. So let’s say for someone who wants to build a coaching business like yours, what do you think is the most efficient way to get started, the correct order to do things? So let me tell you what I think is not the correct order to do things. I started as a blogger and I blogged for years and I discovered that blogging, for most people, is not a business.

When I look back on it, I see the fastest course of action to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, looks like creating a bare bones website with an opt in page and auto responder series, then doing a webinar presentation script for to do a joint venture marketing in order to pre-sell a course. You do the presentation and script, and then you find JB partners to present the webinar.

Shanda: That is still a very hard way to do it. That is effective, but that should build the list first. Everything that you are just saying is powerful, but I would hit my list up with that opportunity first because I would always take care of them first. You know, I do very little JB stuff. In fact, I don’t know if you notice but a few years ago, I start taking joint venture affiliate fees.

When I promote somebody to my database, I promote them to my database because my database actually needs them and I never accept money. And I pay it. I mean, I don’t expect other people to adapt the way that I do business, but it’s my way of taking a stand for people supporting each other and not just hacking stuff to people in our list. It keeps them a little bit cleaner. I make more money off of selling coaching and we do very well. We are well into the seven figures. It keeps growing; we are only four years old.

If you put a list under what you just said – I was screaming this last year from every stage that I got on. Number 1 is build a list. Number 2 is learn how to sell to that list. Until you do that effectively, you do not move to Number 3, and Number 3 is innovation. What most people want to do is they want to innovate first. You should not be innovating first. Blogging, auto responder series, evergreen products, all of that stuff – blogging is how I educate my list. Webinar is how I train, sometimes for free, sometimes with an offer. I prefer live streams to my database versus anything else.

About once a year, I do something where I bring in like we are about to do something coming up in July where we are going to actually launch a product called List Power, which we did last year. List Power is a program that we actually pulled out of our Pace Club to teach the list building component because it is so necessary and people are just missing it, right? We will walk you through it, coach you through it, all of that over 90 days. We have an opt in for partners to work with us at that point, but that is the only time that we do it. And we pay affiliate fees for it. We pay 50% affiliate fees for it. And it really is a loss leader for us because we sell the program for $997, and we are with you for three months. Right?

But our goal is if we can do a good job in teaching you how to build that list, which we have a 94% success rate, we have 94% of people who actually go through our list-building program builds a list. It has been like that since the beginning of last year. We have got really good at teaching this component and having people walk through their fear, walk through their overwhelm, walk through that chaos in their head that always has them stop and get them to the other side of that.

We do not teach you how to sell to that list in List Power, but you have an opportunity at that point if you build a list of 1000 people or more that you can now move in to our Marketing Mastery which then we teach you just crazy innovative stuff and everybody in there has a list. Everybody partners together. It is kind of a built-in network, right? You are not having to go out there and find cold people to work with to leverage each other’s databases and things like that. We have literally created a global community that every year grows around that whole concept. Do you see how I was saying you do it the hard way the other way?

Lorna: Yes, absolutely. I am like this ball this going out on top of my head.

Shanda: It does not have to be that hard. Everything you are doing, everything you just suggested is all right. It is all right, but it is not in the right order.

Lorna: Exactly. That is the key. Can you share with us some tips on how to sell to those list? I know we do not have that much time, but what are some of the keys that we need to be aware of when we want to sell to our list?

Shanda: Well a goodie and an oldie that people tend to neglect especially after having their businesses for a long time and making money is we always survey our list every year. To give you an idea, it is the first thing I have done to cover the coaching campaign last year like somebody else’s coaching company. It is because you need to know where people are at. Here is a strategic way of surveying a list. It needs to be about seven or eight questions. The eighth question would be, is there anything else you want me to know about you are with the comment box. There is no comment box on any of the other seven questions. It is all multiple choice.

Now, say I had it on my heart to teach Facebook marketing. When we started focusing on Facebook, I just wanted to see how well we could do. Within a 30-day span, we made six figures. We made over $100,000 just from Facebook. Okay, and so if I wanted to teach that, I would survey my database and I would ask questions like, “How many people do you have as your friend on Facebook?” I would have multiple choice like some range in numbers.

Then, I might say, “What is your number one challenge?” Notice I am not saying, “Do you want to learn how to market on Facebook?” That is not what I am asking. I am asking, “What is your biggest challenge with selling on Facebook? (A) You fell to salesy, (B) You do not know how to sell on Facebook, (C) You do not have enough numbers or friends on Facebook, (D) I do not want to market on Facebook. Nobody is going to pick D, right? They are probably going to tell me that – I do not know what they would say.

If they are going to say they feel too salesy or they do not have enough numbers. You know, if they say, I do not have enough numbers, my product that I am selling, the marketing is going to be serving that. There is no use of me talking to not feeling salesy on Facebook if that is not their problem. You see what I am saying? So to give you an idea about the blogging, three years ago when I surveyed my database about what they wanted to know most in online marketing, it was blogging. So I had to really put out there, “Okay, I will teach you how to blog” connected with getting clients, right?

Lorna: Right.

Shanda: Then, when I resurveyed the next year, the number one concern was attracting new clients. The same database but only very slightly. My point is you never know. You think you know what your database wants, but unless you are connected because connection equals currency, often people are selling the wrong products and services.

Another thing people do is they create their product before they ever ask their list. It is so as backwards and the sad part is that I know some of these people want to make the bigger difference. Their hearts are in the right place, but then they get upset because they think it is the list’s fault or the people in the world’s fault when really the problem is that you are doing things in the wrong order.

Lorna: Yes. That is the challenge I see for a lot of people. I am guilty of this as well where there are individual programs being sold. I am like, “Here is this program about how to launch a tele summit. Here is another program about how to create an online course or how to do a webinar.” You can dive into these programs and go through the methodology but you may not get the desired result in the end because you have not seen the bigger picture.

Shanda: You are absolutely nailing it on the head. Do you know I have a client that now has a great business? She just put another 75 people in one program and 25 in another, and she is just doing really good. We are now innovating her business. She was saying, “I really want to get known for teaching people how to create a tribe.” I said, “Do not be an info product.” I said do not be an info product, you will kill your business.

I said yes, you teach people how to do her version of a tele summit but what she does really well is the launch of the backend. I said she loves this cause thing like having a cause in the world. I said, “Connect your whole marketing to entrepreneurs who want to have a cause. The reason for going to your program is to ultimately serve into a bigger calling in their life like a certain cause. Make that be their reason and do that really well, in the process, teach them how to list or launch.

People who are attracted to me, I have a work schedule of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I was done at 2 o’clock today. Other than coming back and interviewing with you but I was done. I was done at 2 o’clock yesterday, too. Monday and Tuesday are my busiest days. Last time what we call it tempo, which I got in my sports training. Tempoing is moving fast and hard. When we are doing an event, we are selling out a program, all hands are on deck and we all work hard. That might be for 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days.

But then, we go on to relax which is what we are back into now. For the next six weeks, we will be in relax mode and we will do a small little launch from this power and we will spend the rest of the year for filling. So my schedule really is about 32 to 36 hours a month. If I do not want to grow, I may well into seven figures at that schedule. That is why people hire me. I say that because people, they are taking this Learn How to Do a Six-Figure webinar, but if you do not have a list, you cannot do a six-figure webinar.

We are really conditioned on showing people – those info products are great for – I do not think you should brand until you make $300,000. I think it is a waste of time and a waste of money, and I said this to all my branding friends because you change your focus as you are growing and you are really innovating who you are and what your business is all about.

I guess what I am just trying to say to you is like I would love to see more credibility come out in the coaching industry where I really think for us were really focused on becoming a training facility, a virtual training facility versus a coaching company because I think that coaching companies, for the most part, are really pushing a lot of info products. And I mean this with respect because there are a lot of people doing it right out there and I totally bow down to them and extend shoulder to shoulder with them.

My coach did something like $120,000 or $130,000 in referrals from me in like three weeks last year. And I am a business coach, but she was a better coach for these people. I think that when we start doing business that way or working with the right clients or teaching people how to actually be sustained in their life. It breaks my heart when I get somebody’s like, “I went through someone else’s program and it was interesting and I learned how to do a blog,” and they spent $10,000. They spent their last $10,000. I am like, “That person has got maybe a husband at home, but now if she spent their savings account, now there are fights going on between them.” I do not know. I think there are just two sides.

The coaching industry needs to get responsible in what they are teaching and the people need to start thinking differently. It is a 50-50 game there. They need to start thinking differently. What do you want? If it is to make money, you need to get that recurring income. You must build a list. You must know how to sell it to it. Stop everything else. Stop Facebook. Stop Twitter. Stop blogging. Stop podcasting. Stop everything. Stop it. Stop putting your focus on those areas. Build a list and learn how to sell to it. Step back for a minute for 90 days or a year to do that properly is a small price to pay to take all these brilliant marketing that you all have learned and apply it to that foundation.

It is like a house does not stay erect if it does not have the foundation built properly. It leaks, it breaks, it cracks. People are trying to build their business like that and I know it is from an innocent standpoint because marketers are very good at selling their products and which they should be. You need to get smart at looking at what do I need so that you are not chasing money. Does that make sense?

Lorna: Absolutely. It can be very confusing for a lot of entrepreneurs because there is a lot of information that is out there that is, “Oh you need to be on Facebook,” and “You got to start a podcast.” You could go seriously ADD like that-shit-crazy trying to master all these platforms.

Shanda: All of it is great. I told them when they get into podcasting, all of that is great. Here is the catch. You should never have more than one thing every month you are focusing on. You are more focusing filling Pace Club, that is all you focus on. That’s it. I have no objective but to build a relationship with you, Lorna, that is why I am on this podcast with you because I have got nothing to sell. We are not in the process of selling right now. We are sold out of Pace Club. That is where we are at. We are on just fulfillment time. It is basically a month of what we call flex time, and the last week of every month, our company shuts down so that we all have a flex week so that people can enjoy their lives.

I told my assistant to go get a bigger life the other day. You know what they mean like go do something fun? Here is your time to put something else as the priority because business does not need to be the priority right now. Something else can be until we go back and do a sales priority and then you need to put that back to the top. So it’s like, it’s like all these things, Facebook marketing is a huge percentage to be making incredible money in my business. I told you I made six figures in a month. On top of that, it is a huge reason why my list builds on a monthly basis.

It is also a huge reason why people know me really well because I am super active on it. Do I think you need to become very strong on Facebook? Absolutely, but in the right order. In the right order because only 1% of your fan page, your business page ever sees your posts anyway. Unless you are spending a lot of money on Facebook, you are not getting the exposure you think you are getting unless you can build a list and know how to sell to it and make great recurring income, do you see how the rest of it falls apart?

Lorna: Completely. Wow. So much great information here but we are at the end of our interview. I would love to leave you with this last favorite question. What is the most effective way to change the world, Shanda?

Shanda: I always think of being on the plane. The plane goes down, you put the mask over your face. I think that it is time that people stop focusing on trying to change the world and start focusing on changing their own world. I think the most effective way to make a difference in the world is to – it is like that saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I think that people need to put the oxygen mask over their mouth first. They should be having their life operating the way that they want to be operating, making the income that they want, not selling for last, ticking themselves on, really truly living a fulfilled life, and then, I think through that, you make the biggest difference because everybody you come in contact with – I say this humbly because it really is humbling because obviously I live with myself on a daily basis and see who I am inside and out.

I constantly am told by my friends who now a lot of them coaches me now say you are the same person on stage as you are off stage. And you just inspire people by the way that you think and you are. And I think that and I wish that for everyone in your version, meaning that the unique thing that you are I would just love everybody to take care of themselves and to put that mask over their face and start breathing the abundance, the oxygen that is around you every single day and loving life. Through that, you give permission to other people to do the same. Does that make sense?

Lorna: Yes, it does. Thank you so much for that, Shanda. How can we best stay in touch with you?

Shanda: Well, you can go to HeartCoreBusiness.com and you can always pop in and say hi to us. There is a Let’s Talk that pops up. If you have a question for us on business, there is a good chance you will get me. I see all the request that come in. Obviously, we have a coaching team and a staff that actually fill a lot of the questions, but a lot of times I answer them as well, so pop over to HeartCoreBusiness. Say hi. You can always subscribe and say hi to us on Facebook as well which it is on Heart Core Business as well. That is the best ways to stay in touch with us.

Lorna: Thank you so much, Shanda. You have a beautiful rest of your day.

Shanda: I will. It was great hanging with you. Thanks, Lorna.

Lorna: Totally.
[END OF RECORDING]

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Lorna Li

Chief Evolutionary Officer at Entrepreneurs for a Change
Lorna Li is a business coach, entrepreneur and Amazon rainforest crusader, with a passion for green business, social enterprise, and indigenous wisdom. She helps changemaking entrepreneurs harness the power of the Internet to reach more people and make a bigger impact, while designing the lifestyle of their dreams. She is an Internet marketing consultant to changemakers, and works with innovative tech startups, sustainable brands, social enterprises & B-Corporations on SEO, SEM & Social Media marketing.
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