Welcome to the Eventual Millionaire Podcast. I’m Jaime Tardy and today we have Amy Applebaum on the show. Amy is a success coach and created the Release Your Inner Millionairess Coaching Program which is designed to create life changing breakthroughs in her clients. We connected online a few weeks ago and I had to ask her on the show. So thank you so much for coming on today, Amy.
AMY APPLEBAUM: I’m so excited. Thank you for having me. I feel honored.
JAIME TARDY: Excellent. Well, first, let’s get to know you a little bit in case my audience doesn’t know. What sort of background do you have and how did you become a business owner?
AA: Well, I had a vast 41 years of background so, when you ask me that, what specifically do you want to know?
JT: Oh you asked me a question back. You are totally a coach! What I’d love to know is sort of how you grew up number one and then what it took to sort of become a business owner the very first time.
AA: Okay. Well, I am the oldest of five kids. We have a big family so that makes me the bossy one. So I kind of learned how to take care of things and solve problems right from the get go. I was always, I really do think you are born with your personality. You know what I mean? I was always kind of the this is what you should do. Here’s the problem solving thing and then it helps to kind of confirm that position when my parents got divorced because now I had to like basically take care of my siblings. So I was always kind of in this very like leader of the pack role.
I’d have to find solutions to problems and I love solutions to problems. I’ve always been attracted to that. But, when I went into, well not but, so when I went to college I studied to be a therapist and it was really a fascinating experience because I wasn’t interested in it. It was like I was going through the motions and I thought if I have to talk about the problem that one suffers from for a second longer, I’m just going to, it’s just not me. It’s making me crazy.
It’s not that there’s not a place for therapy or that I’m bashing therapy because talking about the problem is an important part of getting to the solution but I just felt like there was this kind of, just this fixation and focus on the problem instead of fixating and focusing on the things that needed to shift to be in the solution. So I kind of moved and gravitated away from therapy in the final hours. It just wasn’t doing it for me. But there wasn’t coaching at that time. That didn’t exist 11 years ago, really.
I mean it was kind of out there. There was Tony Robbins and LP. So kind of cut to floundering after school not knowing exactly, after college, what am I going to do now? I’m a communications international and intercultural and interpersonal communications major. Those were my degrees. What am I going to do with this now, all of this therapy and all of this stuff? I didn’t really know and I feel like a lot of people don’t really know. Trying to figure out how is this going to manifest itself.
I ended up working for my dad which was kind of random but I needed money and he is the quintessential entrepreneur. He has been an entrepreneur forever since he had a paper route at 14. So I definitely went the direction of taking after my father. I just wasn’t one to really work for other people. I was kind of on my own. He taught me sales. So he was really my first experience into the business world. I didn’t own a business yet but I was learning sales.
He had me, do you remember those, I don’t know how old you are, but do you remember those honor boxes where people would have them in their offices and it would have like candy and cookies and stuff in it and it was on the honor system that the people in the office would take one of the treats and put money in the little box. Do you remember that?
JT: I don’t. I don’t. That’s so crazy.
AA: Okay, exactly. You’re too young. All right, I just totally aged myself but here’s the thing. That’s what it was. It was basically like this little vending box.
JT: Wow, so that’s what he sold?
AA: That’s just one of his little side projects he had me on. So here I am. I’m so young. You know what I mean, I’m like 14 and I’m walking around to businesses with my curly red hair going, “Hi, can I put these treats in your office? It’s all on the honor system.”
JT: That’s perfect.
AA: That’s kind of my entry into business and sales.
JT: See, that’s a great way to go though because you don’t get rejection when you’re a cute little 14-year-old girl with red curly hair.
AA: Well, I don’t know if I was cute at that time. I don’t think I had come into myself yet but I did know I did have a personality. So I used my charisma. I suppose I might have been slightly cute but it was a little, 14 is awkward. You know what I mean?
JT: Yes, I do. I do.
AA: So that was kind of my entry into that world. Should I keep going?
JT: Yes, please.
AA: Okay. Kind of cut to that didn’t really last long. I mean, you know, that wasn’t overly stimulating or anything. So my dad, kind of long story short, well I should tell you, my parents used to own a roller skating rink in the ‘80s when roller skating was so cool. So you must know that I was incredibly cool in the ‘80s because here we had the hottest Northern California roller skating rink and this is where I got introduced into the world of vending because I worked behind the snack bar. There was a woman who had come in and she wanted to put these vending machines in my dad’s roller skating rink.
You know like arcade games, like the little arcade things and the sticker machines and all those things and basically, what they were doing was they were going to put these machines into two square, it would take up X amount of space footage, square footage, and then we would make a certain percentage of the revenue that got generated from those machines. So that was kind of cool because we didn’t have to invest in the equipment. So this was kind of my dad’s first entry into the whole vending world and he got the, being the entrepreneur, the serial entrepreneur that he is, he got the idea that ooh I should have a route which basically, in vending terms, means he should have a whole bunch of machines in a whole bunch of locations.
And Amy should do the sales for that. So once again, he has me off and running. So that was my first real, real sales job. I say this and why I am talking about sales is because it’s the key to your business.
JT: Great. Let’s go into sales a little bit because a lot of people don’t understand that it’s the key to their business. So tell us more about sales and any tips or advice that you have on sales.
AA: I mean sales means that whenever you have a business you are providing some kind of value to somebody who needs it or you’re solving a problem, if you will. You’re solving someone’s problem with your products or your services. If you’re not, then you shouldn’t have a business selling what you’re selling. So really, to me, sales is just the transaction of giving somebody what they already want and I think where that kind of nasty sales, women get really afraid of sales and I think it’s because they got that used car salesman like stuck in their brain.
In all actuality, it’s not like that at all. I help women build their businesses. I love what I do. If they don’t hire me, I can’t help them. So I can stand on a platform and shout to the world, “If you’re ready for this then I’m here for you and come and step in. If you’re not, then that’s okay, I’ll be here for you when you are.” You really start to learn that you aren’t salesy because you offer what you’re offering. I mean, think about milk, right. Think about a maker of milk, Knudsen or whatever some name brand is. They don’t think to themselves, “You know, this week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, let’s pull our milk cartons from the grocery store because we don’t want to look too salesy.”
JT: I love that analogy. That’s great.
AA: They’re not thinking that because what they’re thinking is we’re here to provide you milk and as long as you want it, it’s here for you. So, if what you’re offering is valuable, then get that it’s valuable, know that it’s valuable and be excited to share it with other people because at the end of the day, I can’t get these awesome testimonials from women, successful women, if I couldn’t help them with their problem. Now where it gets ugly is when you try to sell somebody something that they don’t want. So don’t do that.
JT: That’s easy, just don’t do it.
AA: It really is. People think it’s so complicated. It’s really not. If somebody is not shopping for milk, then don’t make them have milk. Don’t push it on them.
JT: Excellent. So it sounds like though that people have issues with knowing whether or not their stuff is valuable. So how do you help them do that?
AA: I get them in touch with why they started their business to begin with. I mean knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing, they talk about doing something that you love. There’s a variety of reasons why one might love what they do. For some, it might be because a lot of people want what they’re offering and they make a lot of money from it and that provides them a certain amount of freedom in their life and that may be why they’re doing it. Another reason may be because it inspires them.
I mean there is a zillion whys, in terms of business and why we get up and do what we do everyday. You have to know what yours is and you have to be in touch with it because building a business isn’t easy and no matter how much you love it, no matter what, it’s not easy. It’s just not. It’s formulaic. It’s strategic and if you follow the rules, you’ll do fine. But it’s not easy. It takes time and commitment and dedication. So, if you’re not up for that, don’t be a business owner. I mean it really is like, because during those challenging times, that’s when you need to remember your why.
So, it’s really about knowing, I remember, I’m just thinking back to after that whole vending experience with my dad, I moved out to Los Angeles and I waited tables which seems completely like why would I have gone from this to that, you know what I mean. But, I hadn’t thought about owning my own business yet and I wanted to kind of move away from my family and go out on my own and so I came out to LA and I was having a good time. I was shooting some national commercials so I was playing in that arena and I realized very quickly that waiting tables wasn’t going to work for me.
I was too entrepreneurial minded and I got fired. Well, I should say I got myself fired. I mean ultimately, just long story short but I think it’s worth it because it’s really funny. This woman came into the restaurant this day and she wanted oatmeal and she said, you know, she was like I’m in Beverly Hills and I am going to snap my fingers at you and you’re going to service me which, if anyone who knows me, I have way too much attitude and personality for that. She’s like snapping at me, hailing me from across the room.
I come over. She says, “I’m in a very big hurry I want the oatmeal.” I said, “I would recommend that you don’t get the oatmeal then because it takes 20 minutes to cook because we make it from scratch.” “No, no, no, I want the oatmeal.” I’m like okay. Ten minutes later she’s snapping her fingers at me, “Where’s my oatmeal.” I said, “It has only been 10 minutes but I’ll bring it to you, it’ll probably be done in about 10 more.” She said, “I want my oatmeal and I want it now!” I’m like okay. So I go up to the cook station and I say, “I need the oatmeal for whatever, table 65.” They said it’s raw. I said, “That’s how she wants it.” So I got fired that day. I really felt within my right, you know what I mean?
JT: Oh yeah, I gave her what she wanted. Come on, that is so not wrong!
AA: That’s right. Exactly! But the whole point of this was I reeled for like two weeks. Could I be any more of a loser? I just got fired from a restaurant. Are you kidding me? What am I going to do with my life? I mean I was in a hole for two weeks. When I finally kind of got pulled out of this hole, that’s what I had this epiphany about George Michael’s song Freedom was on. You probably don’t remember that.
JT: Oh yes I do. Yes, I totally do. Took me a second but I totally do. I love that song.
AA: Okay, remember Freedom. So I don’t know why it clicked. Maybe I was just tired of being depressed or something but somehow I started making the connection between getting fired and Freedom and fired and Freedom and like, oh my God my own business, my own business. I always wanted to have my own business. I hate working for other people. I know I’ll start a vending company. I already know how to do the sales. I’ll do it here in LA.
So that was my first business and it really wasn’t about me being passionate because this brings me back to circle back around on the why. It’s not because my goal in life was to provide vending machines for people although there was a need. Kids go there. They want a toy. It’s cheap and they feel satisfied. So I didn’t certainly feel bad about what I was offering. But, at the time, I was getting value from it.
I was learning business. I was learning how to do stuff on my own. I was making money. Well that took a little while but that’s a whole other story. But there was a value so everybody has their why and whatever their why is, is okay. They just need to know what it is.
JT: Excellent. What are some recommendations on finding out what your why is. I know this can be a sticking point for people because it seems like such a big deal. Like I need to figure out why which is such a huge question. What advice do you have for that?
AA: I think women do want to know why. I think men don’t care as much because they don’t, I am, of course, generalizing here, right. So I just want to make sure but women specifically and I don’t know, I can’t remember. You have a lot of men and women who frequent your site, correct?
AA: Why, I’ll say to the men and the women. For the women who already know they want this, they like why because they want to feel like what they do has purpose and I think men are just, they get to it faster so they don’t always take the time. But when they do take time to understand their why, then when there are challenging times it helps them get through it. Understanding the big picture, the vision of what you’re kind of living into, makes all today’s decisions easier.
Because you understand like, if I am doing this because of this, and then when I’m up against a question or a challenge or should I go in this direction, that why will dictate that for me. It’s kind of like if you make a commitment to a healthy diet, right? You have to make the commitment to the healthy diet so then when someone says, “Do you want Rocky Road ice cream?” You can say, “No” because you think about your bigger purpose which is a healthy diet. Okay?
JT: Yes. And I said no to cake I don’t know how many times this weekend for July 4th so I know what you’re saying!
AA: Exactly. So knowing your why helps make the decision making in the now so much easier.
JT: Yes, because sometimes it can feel muddled too like you’re in a decision and you don’t know which way to turn. So that sort of gives you a compass in order to know which way you’re going.
JT: Excellent. So what I want to ask is what are some of the most common issues some of your clients come to you for?
AA: Gosh, basically it’s one of a few things. It’s either I am really good at what I do, my expertise, but I am not good at business. I don’t know what to do and in what order. I don’t know what steps to take. I don’t, you know what I mean? That would be more the general issue, right, or the other would be I know what to do and I’m not doing it. So those would be kind of the two. So they really need a guide and/or accountability, right, and it’s not just the motivational guide.
I mean my program has two very, it’s a two-pronged approach. Not only are we learning business from vision to the elevation of one’s platform, but then I’m also dealing with all the emotional stuff that goes along with it and so that’s important because both need to be tackled and it’s not very common that a coach has the experience in both areas and that’s where all the psychology and understanding human behavior and certifications in hypnotherapy and all of those things are helpful in my understanding of who people are and what motivates them.
JT: That’s excellent.
AA: Because everybody is different, you know.
JT: Yes, definitely. So how do you deal with, I mean emotional stuff is hard. Besides going to therapy, of course, how do you deal with some emotional stuff that comes up that stops you from moving forward?
AA: I mean ultimately you have to look at A) where the person is trying to get to, okay? Once you understand where they’re going, then you have to look at how the way that they think and behave actually presents them from getting there because that’s typically what’s happening. There’s obviously the root cause of why one is behaving. Sometimes people just don’t know that their behavior and their thinking doesn’t support where they want to go.
Sometimes but sometimes it’s more a matter of really dealing with why that is and starting to refrain what that looks like. You have to actually be willing to have new conversations and choose different actions in order for anything in your life to change. A lot of times people just kind of wait. They wait for stuff to happen. They wait to feel a certain way. They wait to feel motivated. They wait to take action. That won’t unfortunately get you anywhere, especially in business.
Donald Trump is successful not because he’s the smartest man in the world but because he makes decisions, he has a clear vision and focus and he makes decisions quickly. Some work out, some don’t. But this is an area that making decisions is a very critical part of business and when you can’t make decisions you cannot go forward.
JT: Excellent. Of course, when you have that why, making those decisions is a lot easier. It pulls you towards them almost instead of just pushing. Because making critical decisions is difficult, you know.
JT: Excellent. So why do people wait? Besides the emotional issues, what are other reasons why people wait and just don’t take action?
AA: Fear, you know. Not feeling like they’re valuable. So a lot of it is thinking and belief systems. Then what am I going to do and I don’t know. There’s a lot of questioning so there’s a lot of trepidation, hesitation and fear in taking specific actions because then what will you do? When you can start to kind of move past that and just decide that fear is part of the process and know that everyone is in fear. I mean I’m in fear all the time because I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone all the time.
JT: Can you give us any examples of that because I know, this is what I ask a lot of millionaires because, in general, we assume the people that aren’t millionaires to the people that are, well they just are better. They know more, whatever it is. But in talking with everybody, they all have fear too. So tell me about some times when you’ve had fear and had to overcome it.
AA: Every step of the way is the building of any business. I mean when I was first doing my vending business, I was so scared. I didn’t know anything about administration, marketing. I knew sales but I didn’t how to start a business. I didn’t know what entity formation meant. I didn’t know even, I just didn’t even know where to start. All that just basic stuff that now seems easy, back then was a freaking nightmare.
So I really believe that what you don’t, you just can’t know what you don’t know. So the difference between someone who is saying maybe more successful or who has done it is more experience. But then as soon as we, being say the more experienced person, jumps into an area where we have no experience, we become fearful again. My very first, it took me six months to get my first vending machine put in a location. I was broke and I refused to ask my dad for any help.
I wouldn’t get help from anyone. I was so arrogant at the time with the I’m not going to get help. I just didn’t know any better. I’d do it on my own. It was a saturated market, which ultimately meant sticker machines were in every freaking location and I couldn’t get them in anywhere. So I finally got my first one in and it turns out that I never was the person who put those machines together when I worked for my dad. I just did the sales. Well now I’m doing everything. So the machine, I didn’t mount it properly and it fell on a 3-year-old child.
JT: Oh my gosh.
AA: It’s like a 150 pounds machine.
JT: Oh my gosh.
AA: Okay. So I like, first of all, I mean my first thing is “Oh my God I’ve killed a child.” Then the second thing is “Oh my God I’m going to get sued.” I mean, you know, it was just multiple like “Oh my God that means I need business insurance.”
JT: Now, yeah.
AA: So there’s just like, it was so scary and that’s when I made that, that’s when I knew I couldn’t do it by myself and that was a huge epiphany for me. So to kind of circle back to your original question, when am I not fearful? I guess only when I’m not doing something that I haven’t done before. I’m scaling to the masses now. It’s scary. I’m exposed. I’m out there. I’m like going to speak to large groups and bring in large amounts of community and spend lots of money on marketing and it’s scary.
JT: It’s funny because yeah, you assume that since you’ve done so much already, you’ve learned so much that there wouldn’t be as many things to be scared of but even talking to, I know Frank McKinney, he’s like I’m scared every single day. You know what I mean? I have fear come up every single day and that’s when I know I’m living the life I want to live because I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and making things happen.
AA: Yes. You know and then the other thing too is people think that because people are grossing a certain amount of money that they’re like in the money. Well, it doesn’t really work like that unless you have no overhead. So think about cash flow. If you have a million dollars coming in and $950,000 going out, you’re broke.
AA: So it’s not people. When you hear about people saying I need, I don’t have the budget for that and you’re thinking to yourself but you’re already established. What do you mean you don’t? It’s like well what do you mean, what do you mean? Like I’m spending a lot of money in these areas, you know, wasting money, trying things, experimenting, trying new marketing initiatives that I’ve never tried before. Are they going to work or am I going to spend $5,000.00 a month for ten months on something that is just going to be a waste?
So it’s still about testing and trial and error and it’s scary all the time. And then what if it dries up? I mean we just had a huge recession. I mean lucky for me I was scaling to the masses but my one-on-one coaching got hit dramatically during that first year of the recession when everyone was freaking out and multimillionaires were losing their homes. Coaching becomes a luxury item.
JT: Yes, definitely.
AA: So the more business you have, the more you have to manage. I mean it’s not, you really have to just kind of love this thing called being an entrepreneur.
JT: Well, it’s funny because we assume people that aren’t millionaires or even aren’t doing all that great in their business assume that people that are have it made. So therefore, once you hit this status you then have it made from then on out. But like you said, you worry about it drying up. Like once you have it, then you worry about losing it. So it’s not as though worry then goes away completely.
AA: No, it’s not. Unless somebody hands you a massive trust fund that you can live off for the rest of your life and you’re conscientious about what you do with that money, I mean, this is why it’s so important to manage your finances. Don’t spend money you don’t have. Plan ahead. You know what I mean? Diversify where you put your money because you don’t know when the stock market is going to fall and if you’ve got everything there and nothing in just CDs or nothing under your bed.
JT: Yes, definitely. Let’s talk a little bit more about personal finance. A lot of my audience sort of is really interested in the personal finance side too because they know you can’t become a millionaire, like you said, even with your net worth, if you’re spending way too much. So what are your thoughts on personal finance and what would you give for advice for someone who is just starting to really take back control of their money?
AA: I would say be conservative on how you spend and get really focused in your business. Instead of trying to do everything at once, which I see is a big downfall for newbie entrepreneurs, really focus on what do you need today? What part of your business can you grow first and what’s the fastest way to do that. That’s going to be through referrals and sales. Focus on the sales. This is what people don’t focus on. They focus on the beautifying of the website and all these other things that at the end of the day don’t, they matter, they do matter, I’m not saying they don’t matter, but at some point you’ve got to get to the sales.
You need an execution strategy for your sales goals. It’s like the funniest thing. I never thought about that with my vending company. I knew there were sales but I would just, like in the beginning, I would just kind of get what I needed to get by. I didn’t have like a formal sales strategy. You have to know like how much money do I want to make this year and how am I going to make it and what’s it going to cost me to do that and is this the best way to do it?
So I always tell people like social media marketing, which a lot of people are confused about. It’s really just networking online. That’s all that it is.
JT: Yes, thank you for clearing that up!
AA: It’s just networking on line. It’s the single one of the best ways and cheapest ways that you can get new clients. So, anyway, I could do a whole seminar.
JT: Well, I know, I mean that’s sort of the thing. It’s sort of the hot topic now. Everyone is talking about social media and things like that. How do I create this massive social media online thing but what it really is, is networking online and that’s pretty much it, especially if you need clients, if you’re a service type of person and you need clients. That’s really important. It’s just networking online. I mean talking to people, don’t just push your message out and hope that people will respond to it. But talk to people. It’s networking. That’s it. I’m very lucky. I’m from Maine so social media helps me actually talk to people that aren’t within the 2,000 people in my town.
AA: In your local area.
JT: Yeah, which is awesome. So it’s an amazing resource. So you recommend it for your clients too, to really get in on social media?
AA: Oh, absolutely. I do tons of social media. I mean it’s just about connecting with your potential clients, strategic partners, your fan base, your community. For me, it’s important. It doesn’t matter if you only want 20 new clients or you want 200,000 new clients. At the end of the day, where are you going to find those clients? You are either going to attend networking events and begin to create partnerships that way or you are going to do it online and be able to expand into areas that you never could have before. So it just means the pool is bigger.
JT: So what are some strategies or some tips for social media to really use it effectively?
AA: Really understand what you’re using your profiles for or your pages for. Know or have a strategy, actually have one. There is no right strategy. There’s the strategy that works for your business. So, for example, I like to see it as we’re going on a first date or a first drink. You’d never walk up to somebody in a bar and be like, “Hi, my name is Amy Applebaum and I’ve got a great program called The Release Your Inner Millionaire Social Club and I want to know if you want to join.” I mean they would just look at me like I was high. You know what I mean? That would be the nasty used car salesman.
JT: Yes, definitely.
AA: So rather than that, I begin to think about well what are the types of clients that I actually want? Where would I find them? Then I would start to go to those rooms or those pages or those areas or those groups where those people hang out and I would just start going, “Hey, how long have you been a part of this group? How’s it going for you? What do you do? The name of your company is interesting.” I would start to get to know people.
JT: One on one is what it sounds like more than just mass market.
AA: That’s right. And then they’re like, “Ooh I really like this girl.” So then they’re going to go and they might go over to my Facebook page and what’s going to make them want to join? Well, I’m going to make sure that I am kind of advertising what it is that I do. They have now, because I reached out to them and built a relationship, made the decision to be part of my network. So now that they have opted in to my network, I can let people know about what I’m up to, what my live events are, what I’m doing because they actually asked to be there.
What’s so great about social media marketing is it’s kind of, it’s attraction marketing, right, versus kind of get in your face marketing or what we call interruption marketing. So you are attracting people to you versus saying, “Here’s a billboard. Here’s an advertisement.” That’s a much more natural way of bringing people into your network.
JT: Definitely. It’s funny though. We hear so much about social media. We hear so much about the internet and use it, make money online. It sort of has a bad rap now, in general, because of all the scamming people that are out there. Do you think that it’s sort of saturated now? I mean you’re online. Your business is mostly online now.
JT: Okay. You said no very quickly. I like that.
AA: How can, that’s like saying no, it’s not even the right context. You couldn’t even call it being saturated. What it is is it’s having access to the whole world and what you need to do is understand what the different groups are and interests of people are so that you can go and find the people who would be attracted to you easier. There’s no, it can’t be, saturated would mean I have 100 potential possibilities to put a vending machine in and 95 of them already have a machine.
So I would say to myself, “Well, my God, that is saturated. I need to think of a new market.” So, in the vending world, I did. I dais, “Okay, forget the family chain restaurants and the bowling alleys and the fun centers, I’m going for fast food chain.” Totally different what we would call vertical. It’s a totally different market.
JT: Nice. Good thinking.
AA: That I had never thought of and so suddenly I got my stuff into Taco Bells and then I was getting them into Taco Bells all over the country and then I was the queen of vending Taco Bell lady.
JT: Really? I had no idea. I didn’t know they had vending machines in Taco Bell. That’s crazy.
AA: Oh yes!
JT: That was you.
AA: But I had to be creative so to say that like the social media space is saturated, it is filled with people. The more people the better. You have to do a better job at making sure that what is on your Facebook page says what you do so that people can find you. It becomes backed by search online is so important. That’s why search engine optimization is so important because people are going to not stop using Google and Yahoo to find things and you want them to find you.
So it’s not about like being tricky. It’s about making sure that you have optimized your website in such a way that people can find you. The ones who want to find you. So you’re really brainstorming what would they be looking up and I better be coming up if that’s the case because otherwise how can I help them?
AA: Right? So there’s kind of two types of marketing. There’s interruption marketing and then there’s relationship or attraction marketing. And the interruption marketing is the stuff I don’t have a choice about like I click on a page and this advertisement pops up and I have to X out of it. Or a billboard pops up while I’m driving in my car or a commercial gets thrust, I don’t have a choice if a commercial pops up. Okay, but now I do have a choice. I can actually forward through it.
So you understand that the attraction marketing becomes so much more important. What’s great about social media marketing is that it makes it possible for people who don’t have a lot of money to attract people to what it is that they’re doing which is so awesome and it’s affordable. So it’s kind of like the best of both worlds.
JT: Excellent. So we’re talking about marketing now, there’s a big difference between marketing and sales though and I know you said sales was sort of number one. So if there was somebody who didn’t have a lot of money, really needed some clients or if they have a product they’re trying to sell, what would you suggest for them to do in terms of sales and in terms of marketing? I know we talked about SEO Search Engine Optimization but that also is a long term strategy. So say, in the next two or three months, how can they really get their business going?
AA: They need to be very clear on what they’re selling. They need to be very clear on who they’re selling to meaning who was their target market. Once they are totally clear who their target market is, they have to go and find out where those people are. So the fastest way that you’re going to get new clients is in the social media space, literally doing searches in Facebook and on Twitter for groups of people like yours, where your target market hangs out or attending live events and networking that way, getting part of a sales lead group or a networking. You have to get out there and be communicating with people and sharing about your products and services. That is the fastest way.
JT: Now do you have any tactics? You sort of go yes I can sign up for and like a Facebook page and see tons of people there or I can follow someone on Twitter but what’s your first step? Like how do you actually interact with them? Just say, “Hey, that’s, you’re cool? We like the same thing.”
AA: Yes. Everybody on Twitter is doing nothing. They’re like, “Hey, check out my event. Hey [sound].” And once again, I’m not going to check out your event. I don’t even know who you are. So quit selling to me. So get to know people. So I would find out, I would look for groups of powerful women or women who are newbie entrepreneurs or struggling entrepreneurs who want support.
I would look at all the different women’s groups. I would look at my competitors. I would look at who is around doing something similar. Where are all these women flocking to? What types of online chat rooms and forums can I get involved in? If you’re going to start a conversation on Twitter, you know, look for women who are in business and start talking to them. “Hey, I just checked out your, you know, thank you for following me. I just went to your website. It’s so awesome. When did you decide that you wanted to be a chiropractor?” Start talking to them. Nobody is talking to anybody on Twitter.
JT: I know.
AA: And everyone is wondering why it’s a waste of time.
JT: Yes, definitely.
AA: Like it’s not a waste of time if you’re clear on what the purpose is. There’s millions and millions of people on Twitter and Facebook. Decide why you’re on it and then go for that. So if you’re trying to up your sales, then you’re looking for clients. So go find your target market and start talking to them.
If you’re doing it for a totally different reason like, you know, you want to get publicity, then you’re going to start befriending journalists and people like that and following them. I mean I have had some really incredible people contact me through Twitter or I have reached out to them on Twitter and they email me back because nobody is talking to anybody.
JT: Yes. Well I loved you or maybe it was your sister Laura sent me a message on Twitter and I was like “I know who Amy Applebaum is, wow! Like she totally emailed me or sent me a message on Twitter.” It’s so personable. You know what I mean? I didn’t know you before but I was like oh that’s great, somebody wanted to tell me.
AA: That’s right and now we’re friends.
JT: Yes and we chatted and that’s the thing. Then it went on the phone and now I feel like I know you instead of it just being an online relationship.
AA: That’s right. And that’s exactly how you make relationships and you know some are going to work and some are not going to work. People think they’re going to go in there and just suddenly start attracting masses of people. Social media doesn’t work like that. The only way that works is if you happen to release some kind of cool viral video or some kind of promotion or campaign that everybody hears about.
But that’s different. Those are different marketing initiatives. If you want massive responses and things like that, then you have to start to invest money into marketing whether it be pay per click campaigns or that’s a whole other thing.
JT: That’s really good and just sort of a side note on the followers, I mean, I think, everybody who gets on Twitter goes I want this many followers or Facebook but it doesn’t necessarily matter how many followers you have, it’s how many followers you know.
AA: That’s right. How many followers are interested in what you’re offering? See, people just want to get followers to get followers. No you don’t. That’s like having a bad mailing list where nobody responds.
JT: Yes, people at a party that you don’t want to talk to, yes, great.
AA: Right. Well one of the big mistakes people make on Facebook and I’m actually trying to repair this mistake because I made this mistake three or four or five years ago, whatever. When people first started on Twitter they didn’t understand fan or business pages which, by the way, fan and business page is the same thing. So they use their profile page to attract people and get them to follow and then they both follow each other and then you kind of end up with like 3,000 people who are just following you because you follow them.
Whereas a fan page is something or a business page is something that you, it’s not about follow-follow. People join it because they want to be part of your community and that’s what you want. So the way that you let people know whether they want to become part of your community is to make sure that you advertise properly what it is that you do. Then they get to decide do I want to be part of Jaime’s group, Amy’s group? Whatever, you know what I’m saying?
AA: I get to decide. So you better tell me what you do so I can decide.
JT: And that’s sort of the thing. People want that. Especially if you give really good content which is trying to be the norm online, right? So people are trying to give really good content. You’re just helping them. So you want to be able to explain to them that you can help them in order for them to get all that good content.
AA: That’s right.
JT: Now you talked a little bit pay per click which I want to touch on before we wrap up. Do you use paper click and have been your experiences with it?
AA: You know, pay per click is, it’s advertising. That’s all that it is really. It’s like having a billboard online. So you just have to decide if that’s, it’s expensive. Any way you look at it you are going to have a budget. I mean I know people who spend $100,000 a year on pay per click campaigns. So it really depends. I can’t tell you whether or not one should or shouldn’t.
It depends on your goals as a business. If you are not interested in getting large amounts of people or you don’t need that kind of lead base coming in to your network, then not necessarily. Do you know what I mean? I don’t think one is more powerful necessarily than the other. It really depends on what you’re selling and what your primary objectives are. Does that make sense?
JT: Yes, definitely. There’s no one size fits all for pay per click.
AA: There isn’t. I think people get confused about what marketing is and really what marketing is everything and anything that you do to communicate what it is that you offer and keep clients so that they keep coming back for more. Sales is just the transaction when somebody purchases what you offer. That’s it.
Marketing is everything else. It’s the copywriting. It’s the customer service. It’s the initiative that you do to get people excited about what you’re doing. There are a zillion marketing initiatives. There’s not just one or two or five or ten. There’s any that you can think of. Any way that you can think of that would work to announce what it is that you’re doing. So some people do it through videos. Some people do it through advertising. Some people hire a PR person. This is all marketing.
JT: And now we can get overwhelmed because there’s so many different things that you can be doing too.
AA: Yes, but you know what, it is not overwhelming if you get focused on what it is your primary goal is and stick with that first. Grow past that later. We get unfocused because we have too many goals and we start really diving into that big picture and that purpose and that why and it’s also exciting but it’s really big. So you have to really narrow your focus. You have to really narrow it down and say, “What do I want to achieve in the next year? In 90 days?” Like what specifically?
So then whatever marketing initiative that you’re doing it supports that. If money is your primary focus, don’t start spending money on SEO and a whole bunch of things unless you have a completely search, unless you’re like an eCommerce site and search is the way that people are going to find you. If it’s more like a client service base type of thing and you need a certain amount of clients, networking and referrals.
JT: Yes, okay. Thank you. I mean that’s huge. Focus is huge and I know I have clients who want the next hot new thing. They told me LinkedIn was good now so now I have to do LinkedIn and it’s like “No! Just get good at one for now and once you feel really confident and are working one system, you can move on.” It is all about testing of course. Not everything is going to necessarily work for you. But just do one to the point where you can determine yes or no it’s working for you or not.
AA: Yes, absolutely.
JT: Otherwise it can get too crazy. Excellent.
AA: It’s just too much to do and then you’ll short circuit and you won’t do any of those things well. At some point you just go, okay, well, in order for me to scale to the masses, like in my case, I need a certain amount of money in order to do that because it’s going to require a lot more marketing dollars. Well to get those marketing, how am I going to do that? How am I going to get the money to pay for that marketing?
Well, there’s a variety of ways but the fastest way for me, you know, five years ago to have done that is individual clients. So I minded that part of my business and then I used that money in order to grow the other part of my business. So it’s about really like carefully thinking out a plan. Don’t just LinkedIn [sound], you’re all over the place and you’re just short circuiting. You need an execution strategy.
JT: Excellent. I love that. So what resources did you turn to or do you recommend because I know you’re quite experienced now and know what sort of has worked for people, especially your clients. What have you read or tools have you used to help?
AA: More specifically, when you say resources, tell me what, I’m sorry, tell me what you’re thinking.
JT: Well, a lot of the times I get books or I know some people are like I found my CEO on Craigslist. You know what I mean or whatever it is. There’s some really good tools out there that you can use or any books that have really changed you guys or your clients.
AA: The best resource one can have is a very strong board or advisors or mentors because those people have a lot more experience than you do. You, the bigger you, not you personally. But that board of advisors or mentors is absolutely critical in any level that your business is at. It’s more important than any book. It’s more important than, because what happens is the book is great and everything but we short circuit on a day-to-day basis and we need support.
So my two kind of primary resources that I think above all will actually change your life as a business owner are a board of advisors/mentors and a coach. There’s no question because you have somebody holding your hand, pushing you when you’re scared, taking you through the process. You have advisors and/or mentors; people that you can talk to once per quarter who can look at your execution strategy and tell you if you are on track.
If you don’t have those things in place, you will feel lost and no book is going to make you not feel lost. In fact, in many cases, a book will confuse you more unless you pick one book and follow it.
JT: Which almost never, we almost never do. We read books and go oh that was good.
AA: Right and then you read the next one and the next one and then there’s a million things to do. Business is about testing. You have to practice certain things and see how it works.
JT: Excellent. I love how you say both because I have a mastermind group and a coach and I find having both is extremely helpful. Why do you suggest both?
AA: Because they provide two entirely different things. Your coach is going to be there with you day to day depending on what level you hire them as a coach, but they’re still in the trenches with you. They’re still helping you on some level build your business. What women need, I keep saying women because I market to women so I’m so sorry, but what we all need, sorry, what we all need is somebody who can help us with the business building on a day-to-day basis.
Like what’s the vision and how am I going to build this out and who is my target market and what’s the right target? How do I price and what about my fears and what is elevating the platform mean and I don’t understand what marketing initiative and I don’t understand sales and what’s the best way to network and do I have a 30 second pitch and I mean I can go on and on and on. The questions are endless that come up when you’re running your business.
Your board of mentors, they are not your coaches. They will not answer all of those questions. They will tell you to go fly a kite if you bother them too much. Because if you do what I recommend, which is have an incredibly powerful board of advisors/mentors, then they won’t be that accessible to you. So you’re using them for planning and you’re using your coach for the day-to-day execution as well as planning. They’re totally different.
JT: Excellent. So what’s, I know we’re running a little bit long, but I need to ask you these questions. What exactly for a board of advisors, how would you go about getting one, especially if these are people that are really high level?
AA: You know, this is a really good question and I feel like we won’t get to it on this call because, I mean, I do a whole seminar on this. It is not easy and it’s just about being very, very creative and identifying specifically who you want, making sure it’s well rounded and then actually reaching out to those people in a variety of different ways. If it’s okay with you, I just feel like I could go off for 40 minutes on that but that’s kind of the overview.
JT: Okay, excellent.
AA: But it is important and it is about enrolling people in your vision. If they’re not enrolled in your vision, they will not participate. But most people love to help. There’s help right in front of us. It can be a friend’s family member. It can be a friend of a friend. It can be a business, you know, someone who is a business associate. You just want to aim high. Not aim high celebrity. Don’t aim high celebrity. That’s ridiculous.
People are like I want to have Oprah as my mentor. Okay, well good luck. You don’t need that. You don’t need that. That’s not what you need. You need a really successful person that’s more behind the scenes so that they have access and will give you time.
JT: Excellent. Great advice. So for my last question that I always ask, what’s one action that listeners can take this week to move them forward towards their goal of a million?
AA: Build their board of mentors and hire a coach. You know what’s great? Coaching doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t. I, for instance, have a coaching club and I have different tiered subscriptions so there are people who are only paying $25 a month and granted they’re not getting as much as the people who are paying more, but it’s a start and they have access to me once a month to ask their questions.
There are more expensive programs that will range like $300 a month, $1,200 a month and then you could do private coaching if you have the funding for that. Those packages usually start, if you want a good coach and you want to work with them privately, your packages are going to start at about 15 grand. And if they don’t start at 15 grand, you should highly consider not hiring that coach privately.
And I say that, Jaime, I’m really direct about it because there are so many people out there saying that they’re coaches that don’t have the business experience, don’t have the background and you want to be careful because you are putting it in their hands. Hence a powerful board of mentors because, if you have a powerful board of mentors, they’re going to know whether or not you have a great coach or not.
So, in any case, that is my advice because you cannot do it alone and that was the biggest epiphany that I had when I finally called my dad when that sticker machine fell on that kid. I’m like, “Dad, my life is over, I need you.” I just totally gave up control. He had so much, he is so amazing. He still, to this day, on the top of the top on my board of mentors. He’s so smart. Like what was I thinking? He was right in front of me to give me so much information.
JT: That’s so awesome.
AA: And I wasn’t taking it. Those two elements, for me, are the most critical.
JT: Perfect. So where can we find out more about you and your coaching programs online?
AA: You can just go to amyapplebaum.com and it’s A-M-Y-A-P-P-L-E-B-A-U-M.com and my coaching club is called Release Your Inner Millionairess and it does market to women although interestingly enough, 30 percent of the people in the program are men.
AA: You know, I went that route because I’m a woman and I felt like people could relate to it more but lots of men want it and need it and all those things. I will be launching Release Your Inner Millionaire. So it will just be slightly differently. A little bit more of a masculine approach. In any case, that’s where you can go to releaseyourInnerMillionairess.com or amyapplebaum.com to find that information.
JT: Great and you also have a bunch of articles and I think you get like a free eBook or something like that if you sign up for your list?
AA: Yes. I have a 150-page business guide on the six steps. It’s really about kind of the mental breakthroughs that you have to have in order to be successful. So it’s just chock filled with information. It’s my gift to you. Enjoy it. It gives you a sense for who I am and again, it’s about relationship building. So that gives people an opportunity to hear my voice and see what I’m up to. I actually will be releasing a crash course here pretty quick in the next month which will be a free five-day crash course in the becoming an entrepreneur.
JT: Oh nice!
AA: Yes, because once again, going back to what we said, it’s about relationship building. People aren’t going to get involved with you if they don’t have a sense for who you will be for them.
JT: Definitely and they can get a taste of what you’re like with your five-day course.
AA: That’s right. Exactly.
JT: Excellent. Well, thank you so much for coming on today, Amy. I really appreciate it and I hope everybody checks out Amy’s site and I hope you have a wonderful day, Amy.
AA: Thank you so much for having me. I’m honored and any time. I love what you’re doing so you’re a great resource for people having all of these great leaders share with people. So thank you.
JT: Excellent. Have a great day, Amy. Thanks.
AA: Okay, bye-bye.
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