In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about where to go to learn the best business strategy. And I’ve got some juicy options for you. So let’s dive right in.

When it comes to finding advice on how to grow your business and where to focus your energy first, you have so many options.  Oh my goodness, if another internet marketing expert jumps into the pond, it doesn’t even make a ripple.

There are so many people out there who want to give you their advice. They want to teach you their special methodology. They believe they’ve found the juiciest secret, and you have so many options available to you.

Now if you were to listen to the advice from some of these online marketers, you would be led to believe that every single person is able to be helped specifically by just one person. But that is never actually the case. What works for someone might not work for someone else.  What works in one market doesn’t necessarily work in another.

  • We need different business strategies for different people.
  • We need different business strategies for different target markets.
  • We need different business strategies for different products, different services, different countries, different cultures.

So when it comes to selecting someone to tell you what to do with your business, to help guide you to grow your business, here are a few things to look out for.

1. Check Alignment.

Does their sales process, ie the way they are trying to sell to you, align with your values? Have a look from an external perspective and take a step back when you’re going through this sales process. Look at the steps that they take you through.

Does that feel aligned? Would you be comfortable taking people through those steps yourself?

How do they make you feel when you sign up for their free training?  Does it make you feel positive and excited and thinking about possibilities, or does it really make you feel panicked and worried and freaking out that you’re not going to succeed without them?

Chances are if they are using feelings-based and emotions-based strategies on you, when you learn business and marketing from them, they are going to tell you to do exactly the same to your potential customers.  Does that feel like something you would want to be doing for other people?  Is that the way that you want to show up?

2. Examine the Sales Process.

Specifically, are there certain things that happen in the sales process that you would never do as part of your sales process?  For example, do they tell you that it’s a limited time, once-off offer? And then you see it in several other places online?

Are they using misleading information in this sales process?  Are you made to jump through hoops for seemingly impossible reasons?

Do they force you to make early commitments when you’re not really sure you’re ready for it?  Look at that sales process through the lens of whether you would be willing to do that to someone else. Because if you’re not, then chances are when you start to work with that person, you’re going to feel like it’s misaligned. And you’re not necessarily going to embrace all of their process in your own business and marketing techniques.

A lot of these sales processes require an “all or nothing” approach. I once had a business coach say to me if I was not willing to tell people that my pre-recorded webinars were actually live, then he would not work with me, because that’s where his conversion rates and confidence came from. So that was a really big alarm bell for me, and I didn’t end up signing up – (surprise, surprise) – but have a think about these things.

You don’t need to have that kind of confrontational conversation with someone to really get a feel for what the sales process is that they use and whether that feels like something you would be willing to do as well.

3. Listen to your gut; listen to your heart.

You are very smart person and often your body and your intuition is telling you to run in the other direction, but we make it mean that maybe we’re just not cut out for this stuff.  You think, “Maybe this is exactly what I need because it’s really pushing my buttons. Maybe this is what I just need to suck it up and do in order to be successful.”

But if you have a gut feeling that this person isn’t for you, or that this process isn’t for you, or that you’re not 100% comfortable with what’s just happened, then listen to yourself.  Listen to your intuition. Listen to those gut feelings. Only you know how aligned you feel with a business mentor and a marketing mentor.  Only you are able to really tap into whether it feels right, or whether it feels completely misaligned.

4. Review Stage of Business.

Are the strategies that they are teaching appropriate for your stage of business?  Now, this is a really interesting one, because a lot of people jump into programs and courses and business strategy they’re not ready for yet, thinking they are leap-frogging into a stage that’s really aspirational for them. But if you’re missing some of those solid business foundations, you end up playing in advanced marketing and strategies that rely on things you don’t actually have yet.

For example, if you are wanting to leverage your time and sell online courses and programs, but you don’t have an audience, you don’t have solid messaging, you haven’t proven that people are willing to pay for that outcome yet, then you might just be playing with marketing strategies that are “up here,” when what you really need to do is sort out what’s going on in the foundations.

So get really clear about what stage of business you’re at, and get really clear about what this particular marketing strategy is targeted towards.

Is it actually targeted towards people in start-up, like you? Or are they just trying to convince you that you can jump in and invest in Facebook ads and get results straightaway?

I was very disappointed a few weeks ago to go to a free webinar, where someone was teaching advanced sales funnel strategies and automations, and they were trying to pitch it as being appropriate for people who are in very early stages of start-up all the way through to having hundreds of people on your mailing list.

Actually, a lot of the strategies that they were talking about would involve you risking a lot of your time and a lot of your money in developing automated and pre-design all sorts of different funnels without actually knowing or having evidence that when people get to the end of the funnel, they’ll actually buy what you have to offer. That they’re actually interested in investing in this particular outcome.

So have a think about and do some assessments about what stage of business you’re at. And then when you’re looking for business strategy advice, make sure that it’s appropriate for your stage of business, and really listen to what that person is saying about who it’s designed for.

If they are saying it’s for start-up and all the way through to advanced, chances are the people in the earliest stages of business will get left behind, and will feel like there’s something wrong with them, and won’t actually get the results and end up going round in circles, because they haven’t got those solid foundations in place.

If the person selling you the marketing strategy isn’t clear on what stage of business it’s for, reach out and ask them. And if they give you a very broad brush answer, chances are they haven’t actually been discerning about whether this strategy is appropriate for all stages of business, because there are very few strategies that can be applied to all stages of business, carte blanche.

In particular, look for where they talk about investment in advertising, or other functionality, technology, and platforms. Because if they are expecting a significant investment, then you really want to make sure you’ve got proof of concept before you go down that pathway. A great question to ask before you join any course or program is: “What am I expected to invest beyond the purchase of this course or program?”

For example, in the Takeoff program, on the sales page, I say that all of the tools and strategies we use require less than $100 in investment beyond purchasing the Takeoff program.

I’m very upfront and very clear that you don’t need an additional budget in order to get the results.

Many years ago, when I was looking at purchasing a Facebook ads program, I reached out to ask what the expected investment in Facebook ads was. I said, “Look, I only really have around $500 to $600 a month to invest in doing Facebook ads in my business. Will I still be able to get value from this program, or is there an expected investment that’s a little higher?”  The person replied back to me and said “No, $500 is enough. Just make sure that you jump into the program.”

However, just before I clicked the “Buy Now” button, I went and read the terms and conditions of the program. This program had a 30-day “no questions asked” money back guarantee, but in the terms and conditions of that course, it said that I needed to show I had invested over $2,000 in Facebook ads within the first 30 days to be eligible for the refund!!  What!

Now I’m sure my legal peeps would say that technically, I would have been able to get out of that refund policy if I had chosen to invest, but you want to make sure that you’re going in with your eyes open.

So review the marketing advice and the potential investment that you’re making through the lens of whether this is appropriate for your stage of business.

5. Ask around.

Don’t just ask people their opinion but ask for their results – what the process was and what their return on investment was as well.

The other little trick I like is to ask for opinions from people who invested in the program over a year ago. If they are still feeling the love for the program, then chances are it is a good fit and it is a great opportunity.  What I find is when I ask for opinions on programs, the only opinions and advice I get back in public spaces are from people who’ve just joined. So they’ve just joined in the last four to six weeks, and they’re really excited about their investment, and they want other people to join them as well.

One of the things in buyer psychology is that “if other people are coming in behind me, it helps me to justify my decision.”  You might see this with people who are with certain telephone providers, they always recommend the one that they went with, because that’s the one that they went with, and they want to justify their own decision by making sure that other people see it’s a great opportunity as well.

So whenever someone offers to give me feedback on a program or share their experiences, I’ll always ask “How long have you been in the program?”  And if they haven’t been in the program for more than a year, then usually I won’t necessarily take their feedback on board as strongly as I would if someone has been in the program longer.

It’s a really good way to just see what kinds of results people are getting and really dig into whether it could be a good program for you or whether this is a great person to follow.

Now, the other thing I like to talk about is not just people’s opinions on the program, but to ask them what their results are, and ask them what it feels like – what’s the process inside the program. Ask them, “How long did it take for you to get return on investment from this particular program?”

They are really juicy questions to ask, and give you way more information, versus, “Is it a nice program? Is this a nice person? Is this worth my money?”  People can’t make those decisions for you, and people can’t tell you whether it’s worth your money because everyone has unique circumstances and situations.

6. Try out their free stuff first.

Often what we find in online marketing circles is that there is a push to get you to invest as quickly as possible. Other online marketers will say that the first 30 days when someone joins your list is the most critical time and you need to really bombard them with all the information and make sure that you get them to commit to the investment because if they don’t purchase within that 30 days, then the chances of them investing over time will go down and down.

But for myself, the opposite of that is actually true.  The longer someone has been in Tash Corbin world, the more likely they are to eventually invest in something with me.

And I think this is because I give people a really good indicator and experience of what it’s like to work with me through my freebies, and through podcast episodes like this, and the Facebook Lives that I do.

Over time, I’m actually growing people’s trust in me and what I offer, rather than diminishing their trust in what I offer.

 

Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.

Tash Corbin Business Mentor and Strategist