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How to grow your business without spending money on ads with Niki Hutchison

Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with Niki Hutchison, and we are talking all about content, and how to be seen in as many places as possible, through organic reach; as well as sharing our thoughts around the online world.

Niki has spent most of her career creating and implementing marketing strategies to grow businesses. She has helped hundreds of small business owners, as well as large organisations like The NatWest Group, The Scottish Government, The UK Space Agency to improve their marketing strategies and effectiveness.

Her goal is for entrepreneurial women to enjoy marketing and the results that it brings.

This is such a great episode, and you’ll feel like you’re having a chat with us – so go grab your coffee, sit down, and join us!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

●     The difference between organic marketing and paid marketing

●     Why organic marketing is the solid foundation you need in place

●     The importance of an authentic brand consistency

●     Different ways you can build your audience

●     How getting negative comments can actually help you show up more naturally as yourself

●     Why you need to pay attention to your insights and use them to be a detective in your own business

●     Why purpose is more important than how often you post

●     Why joining a membership isn’t enough, you need to join in too

●     Whether it’s possible to accelerate not caring what people think of you and showing up more authentically

 

THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE

You are the only person who sees 100% of your content, so never think people will get bored of hearing from you; if they do, they’re not your people!

 

HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MISS

●     How to grow a business using organic marketing

●     What needs to be in place before you start doing organic marketing

●     How to choose the right place to be, when you’re just starting out

 

LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE

Head over to part 2 on the Audience Growth Podcast

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Hello, and welcome to this episode of the podcast. How are you doing? So we've got a really cool episode today. It's something a bit different. We thought we would try. And I'm really excited about it. Today is an interview with the lovely Niki Hutchison. And we're talking all about content and we're talking all about how to be seen as many places as possible.

And we're talking about organic, so things that you don't have to pay for. So it's a great episode, loads of good stuff in it. And we have some cool conversations about being employed and then being, you know, having your own business and what that's like. But what's super cool about this is we decided to do a two-parter.

We decided that we would do like a podcast swap where half the episode was on my podcast and then to listen to the rest of the episode, you need to go and listen to her podcast. So we thought that would be a really cool idea. And obviously half of the episode is on hers and hopefully her audience will come and listen to this half and if you are from Niki, Hi, welcome.

Nice to have you. So yeah, so we thought we'd do that. We thought it was cool. We had a great chat. We got on so, well, I really, really like her. Uh she's. She came to my September event, which is ACE and yeah, it was just so, so good to have a conversation with her. So many things in common. We loved it. So I'm really excited about this episode.

It's a really good conversation. It's definitely a one of like, get your coffee, sit down, or, you know, it's gonna feel like you're having a chat with us. It's really,really cool. So I'm not gonna take up any more time. I am gonna go straight to the interview. Enjoy.

Okay. I am really excited today to welcome to this very special podcast Niki Hutchison. Niki, how you doing?

Niki: Hi. I'm great. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited about what we're doing today.

Teresa: We're kind of, you know, cuz I'm more about honesty. We're kind of winging it if I'm honest. So we've decided that we're gonna do this cool concept of, we both have podcasts. We both wanted to interview each other.

So we thought. What if we did like a two parter, one part on mine and one part on Niki's. So good luck listeners. Let's see how this goes. But as we're over on my podcast, let me start by as I always do Niki, please introduce yourself and tell everybody who you are and what you do.

Niki: So my name's Niki Hutchison and I am a business and marketing expert. I work with entrepreneurial women who are looking to grow an engaged audience to grow their businesses.

Teresa: Amazing. So you and I fit very nicely in terms of what we do. Have you always done this, Niki? What, what's your background? What did you come from?

Niki: I haven't, I haven't, I worked as a brand strategist for many years in ad agencies, studied advertising, marketing, and then I had my kids and worked out that, that wasn't really a great environment for a working mother in my experience.

And. I actually had, uh, I lost a lot of confidence as an employee. And so when I left, after my second maternity leave, I didn't have the confidence to set up anything related to marketing. So I set up a kid's hip hop dance company, as you do.

Teresa: Well, they naturally seem to go from one to the other. Uh, I'm assuming you have some hip hop dance something. Or did you bring in a teacher?

Niki: I cannot dance.

Teresa: Perfect business.

Niki: Yeah, doesn't it. Basically, my kids were young and also when I had been working in the agency, I'd been working on a big research project for the Scottish government into how to reduce antisocial behavior amongst children and young people.

And the main findings were that they need a strong role model and an activity that they love. And I thought, “Hey, I could provide both of those with a hiphop dance company.” So that's what I did. And I grew that business for eight years until the pandemic. So we were delivering classes all over Scotland in nursery schools, communities.

I had a team of up to 40 at one point, and then the pandemic hit. And I quickly decided that actually the business model was not going to be viable for a very long time. And so I closed that down. And a few years prior to the pandemic, I had started this marketing business. Finally feeling that I had enough confidence and know how to run a marketing business. And so I started this business in 2017 and I've been growing it ever since.

Teresa: That's so funny, like what was it that made you not have that confidence? Like, because I, I came from marketing as you may or may not know and don't agree in it where my entire life in it. And for me, when I left, it was just the most natural thing.

What else was I going to do? Cuz that's all I knew, but my, how I'm helping with marketing has changed over the years of my business. So was there something in particular that made you go, “Do you know, I can't do this.” Or was it just the process of having children and being out of it?

Niki: No, it was, it was actually a boss. It was actually a male boss who treated his department badly, essentially. You know, in, I dunno if it's the same, you were client side marketing, weren't you?

Teresa: Uh, yes. So I was for worked for an agency. Well, no, I worked for an agency and I was client side, so I've got folks.

Niki: Oh, okay. Okay.

Teresa: Yeah. So the last job I had, I was agency.

Niki: So I signed often in agencies. There are people who are promoted because they're incredibly good at their jobs and they're very good with clients and they're great at what they do. And then all of a sudden they find themselves in charge of these departments and they actually haven't had any training in management.

Yeah. Yeah. And I actually had an ectopic pregnancy in 2019 and I was off work. I'd lost so much blood. It was it, it ruptured misdiagnosed, bloody blah. I'd lost so much blood. Sorry, I'm saying 2019. That's wrong. 2009.

Teresa: I was gonna say that time recent ago.

Niki: Yeah. A long time ago. And I'd lost so much blood that I was off work for three months. And when I went back to work. I was pulled up on the work that I had been doing the day that I was hospitalized.

Teresa: Oh, wow.

Niki: And when I said, are you talking about this brief that I was writing the day that I was hospitalized? I was told everybody has off days. And that was just standards kind of office crap. I realised I like to swear on this podcast.

Teresa: We can say crap, that's fine. Like see this, you know, it's something you'd done for all those years. You knew what you were doing. You were obviously good at what you did, cuz you couldn't have stayed in a job that entire time, if you weren't. And just because of some someone's bad management that then knocks your confidence, which then means, you know, And obviously you went into a business, which was great and you loved I'm assuming and was wonderful.

But what if you didn't, what if you went into something that you hated or went into something, you know, or tried to get another job or, you know, all because of that one person, like. Just not having a boss is the best thing in the flipping world. Isn't it?

Niki: Isn't it just, and I think that's why I'm sure you're the same. That's why I'm so passionate about helping other women particularly to grow their own businesses so that they don't have to have bosses like that. .

Teresa: Yeah, absolutely. I dunno about you. One thing that I occasionally see though is because predominantly my audience is women. It's not that I specifically only target women, but I do attract a big women base.

And often I see that sometimes those bosses are replaced with partners or husbands or family members that, you know, they're, they're out doing their thing, but they don't have the support from from their people who are immediate to them who are meant to love them and want, you know, cheerlead them regardless.

So I think that's where you and I can come in in terms of going, you know, great if you've got that support and it is still great, but I still need support that isn't my husband, because he's not in my business. He doesn't understand what I'm doing at day to day. Sometimes we still need to be that support when they don't have a husband that supports them or isn't particularly kind about their business or doesn't see the vision or the dream.

So I think even though we don't have bosses, so therefore we don't have to put up with that anymore, which is amazing. I think sometimes there are still people out there who, who are causing that for people who have their own businesses.

Niki: Yeah. And I think that's where it's our job to try and show them that there is another possibility and that they can have that freedom. But yeah, they might have to talk a few people around.

Teresa: Yeah. And I think as well, the boss thing was interesting cuz one of the reasons I left was because, uh, and it's funny cuz I get on with my boss very well now and she's lovely. And I loved her to bits then, but it got to the point where I was being managed so carefully.

And I remember going to, I was going through a divorce and I didn't have a day off. I, you know, I went in and subbed a couple of times, but I didn't have a day off. I'd got my three four year old at the time and I'd show up and I'd do stuff. And I worked so hard and I worked so many hours and I'd go to breakfast meetings for, and I'd stay late and I would do stuff on the weekends.

And I remember once going in and saying, “I've got a doctor's appointment, can I leave early?” And she said, “Yeah, as long as you make your hours up.” And I was like, I'm sorry, like, and it's little stuff like that, that you're like, you've just treated me like an idiot and I've done all this stuff. And it just got to the point where I thought, do you know what?

Like, I'd been through divorce, I've done all this stuff. I can't do it. I can't, I'm not, you know, and like I said, we are very good friends now. I really love her to bits. She's great. But I just couldn't stand that anymore. I just couldn't be that employee anymore. So tell me about starting the business then did you start in this guys? Has it always been that way or did you start and it changed.

Niki: So this business, I started just doing one-to-one coaching with local women in person. And I set up my own networking event. So I ran a monthly in person networking event. And obviously I still had the dance company at this point. So that was all, that was all that I had space for. Really.

And I kept things going. And I did a bit of consultancy for marketing agencies and just really kept my hand in with the marketing scene until the pandemic. And then when the pandemic hit, obviously it takes, somebody said to me, it takes three months to close a business and I thought nonsense, I'll have this done in a few weeks.

Trust me, it takes three months to close up this stairs.

Teresa: Seriously. Even in a pandemic when, technically in a pandemic like that. Like that is hilarious.

Niki: So all of that was going on and at the same time, I was suddenly inundated with people who'd maybe been lurking following me for a while who were contacting me saying “I need to take my business online. I need to grow my online profile. Can you help me?” So it just all went mad.

Teresa: Yeah.

Niki: Did you find that in your business?

Teresa: Oh, so much. It was really funny. Cause I remember when it first hit and I was like, oh, I suppose I've just put my feet up for a bit that would be ACE. And genuinely thought, like, you know, This is it's gonna be tough, but you know, I'll rest.

It'll be nice. And then I got on a call with an old client who has an online business. And weirdly we had got, like, he had signed up for so many calls with me, one to one, and he, this one hour had just sat there for ages and he's like, and I'd reminded him months and months before. Anyway, he messaged me going, I've got an hour.

I was like, yeah, yeah, get on a call, he's like, “I have to earn money.” I think he was the main earner in his family. And he was, “I forgot to earn money. What can I do?” So I was like, “Right. Do this, do this, do this, do this.” And I, and I got off that call and I was like, “What am I doing? I've just told him what to do.”

And yet I'm sat here going, oh, I'll probably just rest up for a bit. So I, I found. And it'd be interesting to hear what you think about this, actually, cuz I found that first year was amazing. Like best that I've had in a long while I was doing, although I wasn't speaking in person, which I miss dreadfully, I was speaking online constantly, you know, this whole like people in their pajamas permanently and I haven't washed me out for 20 days.

None of that for me, full face of makeup, fully dressed every single day. Cause I'm on camera, but then I've noticed a dip in the last year or so. I've noticed that, and I've tried to tweak and change how I'm doing things, but I have noticed that it suddenly shot up cuz everybody needed it exactly the same.

I've got people that I'd had conversations with years before going “I need it now.” And it's like, “You know, it doesn't work like that, don't you, but let's do see what we can do.” and, but then I found about a year and a half after the pandemic. I found it starting to change again, and I'm not sure how or where it's going and I'm trying to move with it, but I have found a change of you.

Niki: A hundred percent. So during the, about a year into the pandemic, I think, no, that's not right. About six months in, I decided I was gonna start a mastermind program. So I ran a pilot that went brilliantly and then I decided, right. I'm gonna up my game here and I'm going to run instead of one group of eight, I'm gonna have three groups of eight and I'm gonna run an online challenge and I'm gonna bring people in.

So that's what we did. And that was about a year in. So March 2021.Ran the challenge had nearly a thousand people involved.

Teresa: Whoa.

Niki: It was mad. I've got a free Facebook community. Every that was going off, everybody was loving this challenge and I filled the three groups. Really easily. Ran that program and then said, right.

I'm just gonna rinse and repeat. So that was maybe October last year and wow it was hard work to get people into that challenge. So where we had, obviously iOS 14 had happened. All the changes to, uh, Facebook ads. And I had to bring in, I had to bring in all of my organic marketing methods and work a ton harder to get the same number of people into that challenge.

So, yeah. I totally hear what you're saying.

Teresa: Yeah. And I'm not sure. I don't know if we're there yet. I don't don't think we're definitely not there yet. We don't know what, what is happening because it's interesting. So I try to interact the the difficulty with the online. Cause I think people, people were all for it and then they just got so fed up of it.

And no one wanted to do a flipping zoom party anymore and no one wanted to do whatever, whatever. So I think that like, and as the world started to open up, of course, people wanted to go out and do things and see people. And so then I tried to counteract it with an, with an in person event, which went fine was great.

Didn't fill it the first time. The second time I got the numbers I wanted, but I made it smaller. And now I've just announced my event in September by the time this goes out, it might have already been for me anyway. But, but again, that, those sales aren't going as well as I would like because I just think generally coming off the back of a pandemic, everything that's happening and not that, you know, this is not a, uh, news podcast by any stretch of the imagination.

I have definitely no extra that, like, you know, we went into the whole Russia thing and now we're going into, and the Brexit thing, and then we're going into all these things. And I think. What's really difficult is that in itself is having an impact on everyone's business, which is then having an impact on our businesses.

But actually now's the time to, or I feel like now's the time to shift, change, learn, network, move, do something because if I didn't. My business would go. Like if, if I don't move with the times the same as the pandemic, if we didn't all shift to the way we needed to, excuse me, it would, it would go. Whereas now we've gotta do the same.

We've gotta make sure we're doing the same. Whereas I think what happens is everyone pulls in and when they pull in, they cancel everything, they stop doing everything, but then all they're doing is sitting there and waiting for that, that wave to go. And it's like, well, you're gonna drown while you're waiting.

So for me, even though it's scary I have to put big guilt pants on and believe me, I do. And go, okay, let's keep going. Let's do this. Let's try this. Let's you know, so you're right. You have to, you have to really try and pull everything out the bag at that point. Don't you?

Niki: Definitely it's the same as any financial crisis. The first thing that any customer or client or company thinks they should cancel is their marketing.

Teresa: Yeah. Always.

Niki: But actually, if you can hold strong and be the person who continues to invest in your marketing during a downturn, then you are the one who will come out stronger to the other side.

Teresa: Yes. Yeah. And it's hard to, it's hard to convince people to do that, uh, without feeling like you're being irresponsible because sometimes people like “I need to save money.” And it's like, “You do need to still spend a bit.” it's really tricky, but this is where, and actually what's really great about this conversation.

That's led so nicely into it is if you know, with that professional, well, I'm definitely not. You might be way more professional than me Nik is the fact of like trying new things. So you mentioned iOS, you mentioned Facebook ads. And funny enough, I was just having a conversation yesterday with my very dear friend BizPaul.

And he was saying, “You doing ads.” And I'm like, “They suck, man. They're really bad. Like I've done ads for years. I know how to do ads. I used to do ads for clients when we had a more agency side, but they're really sucking at the moment.” So it's almost like. I dunno if going back to basics is the right word, but it's almost like, okay, let's look in our bag of marketing and pull out something else that we could try.

So, one thing that you are really keen on is looking at that organic marketing, instead of us all, just jumping to an ad going, please save us Facebook. Uh, tell me about, first of all, explain to my audience what do you mean by organic and, and what's the difference?

Niki: So organic marketing is marketing that costs nothing or very little. You're investing your time and energy and creativity. And you're smart. Basically. you're getting smart with the resources that are at your fingertips without investing a lot of money into paid ads. And I think what you were saying about ads. Yeah. Ads do suck right now. I'm sure there are lots of ad managers out there who will.

Teresa: No they don't. No they don't.

Niki: But if you don't have a solid foundation to fall back on, then it's like, to me, it's like anything. You've got to use a, you've gotta try different things. You can't put all of your eggs in one basket. And especially when that's a really flipping expensive basket.

Teresa: A hundred percent.

Niki: So I love to hear, I don't know about you, but as a business owner, in both of my businesses, one of my favorite things to hear from somebody is, wow, you're everywhere.

Teresa: Oh, always, always love that. Like, you know, I wanna be ping a field, you know what I mean? Literally everywhere. And do you know what? This is something that actually. I one of the first conferences I ever went to in the States with Pat Flynn, he talked about that. He talked about the fact of being everywhere, being seen by everyone, you know, and, and that as a strategy in itself.

So yeah, it's so good to have that, but I guess the question is, and this is what everyone's thinking, and it might be that we get to this, but how do we be everywhere, but also you wanna talk about, and it's so important about. Like how we show up how that branding looks, how some of the basics that we need in place.

So let's start with that first. And then we'll talk about how we show up everywhere, but what are some of the basics we need in place before we start trying to get out to everyone in the world?

Niki: Yeah. So obviously, if you want to be noticed everywhere, you have to look and sound consistent. Otherwise people will just think it's somebody different on a different platform or, you know, in a, on a different channel.

So often people. Think that brand and branding is just your logo or maybe even just your logo and, and your colors, your brand palette, but actually it's about so much more. It's about developing your own style, your own tone of voice. and being really clear on what that thing that you want to be known for is. So in America they would probably call it your niche.

We would call it niche or I certainly read.

Teresa: I would.

Niki: And I think people are often scared by that. Cause the first thing you think is if I niche down too far, then I'm limiting myself to the audience that I can reach. But actually how much easier is it to make a decision about who to work with or who to buy from when you know exactly what you're going to get.

So for example, it's easier to buy from, uh, YouTube marketer, if you're trying to grow a YouTube channel than it is to buy from a generalist, isn't it?

Teresa: Yes.

Niki: Obviously just one example, but you could apply that across across any type of marketing. So in order to be seen. And before you get yourself out there, you do need to make sure that your brand looks consistent and sounds consistent, and that you have got some consistent talking points as well. Some themes that you want to communicate.

Teresa: Yeah. And I think it, it was interesting before when I said that I have a predominantly female audience and I think that's because my branding is very female because it's me. And therefore I attract those type, you know, I attract people who are attracted to that.

I think as well, one thing that, you know, people have always said, which is very nice. And obviously I've gone through a bit of a branding transition this year was that they could see my stuff and they wouldn't even need to see my name or my face or my logo. And they knew it was mine. Because it's so consistent. And it's not just about having a very pretty Instagram that matches it's about that consistency of everything, like of the fact, you know, so I just did my in-person event back in June, and we are recording this at the end of June.

I did the beginning. And I did my in person event. And some of these people I'd never met, like, or I'd met very briefly or I'd had like a vague conversation with them, but obviously they'd been watching my stuff for a while to pay, to invest, to come to this event with me and cause it wasn't a cheap event.

It's a VIP retreat thing. And. Obviously when I, you know, and, and the podcast is very natural. I'm very natural. I'm very, like, I hate the authentic word cause it gets overused, but I am incredibly authentic. So when, of course they rock up and I'm like, wohoo can I give them a hug? And you know, we'd laugh and joke and whatever.

It's just me. There's no difference. Whereas if you saw my presence online is very professional, very serious, very corporate looking. And then you met me and I'm a bit of an idiot and I like to laugh and have a gin on three. None of that would make sense. So again, like the same with everything you put out, like when I do lives, cause I've just started doing lives G and T with T, which, you know, again, really sits with me.

Which is what I like. So it's not that I'm creating this brand that fits what people wanna see. It's genuinely my life. So I think that's the thing. It's about it being in everything and kind of weeding its way into everything. Isn't it?

Niki: Definitely. And I'd love to ask you obviously you've been at this a long time. I've been at this a long time. I still find that the longer I'm in business, the easier it is to relax into being me and to show the real me. Do you think there's a shortcut to that for people who is listening?

Teresa: That's a great question. Is there a shortcut? Do you know what? I think it's the speed in which you do things.

So for instance, if you suddenly started to do lives every other day. I feel like you would probably slip into it a bit quicker. But I think, I don't think that I could have shortcut to it. I think for me what it was was. One feeling okay. Because I came from corporate, you know, I came from a world where you don't even talk about the fact that you're married and have children or a child.

So it took a while for me to get out of  that. And then obviously I did agency, which helped a bit more. Uh, and then obviously I started the business, but again, like for me, it was very much, you should look like this and behave like this and show up like this. And I think the more that I showed up more naturally, the more human I was, the more like people saw and the more they reacted, the more confidence it gave me.

And it was so funny the other week. Oh, not the other week, quite a while back now, I had a, uh, slightly belated birthday party at my house. And I invited my members. Like I swear to God, I am that close with them. And people think I'm making this stuff up and I'm not.

And I invited a load of members that I know very well, and they came and BizPaul came and obviously he knows me very well, we're very good friends. And he stayed at my house and. And he is like, “Do you know the funny thing,” he said, “you're just you” he's like “your members were there and you are just you, you act just as you are, there's no different Teresa.” and it's like, yeah, I try not to swear on the podcast and I try and be a bit more behaved and I, you know, don't get blinding drunk when I'm doing a live, but like, you know, well, there's still time, you know that, but I'm still me and I'm still, you know, exactly the same. And I think. Now I love and embrace it, but also I think, I dunno about you.

Have you had negative comments cuz I think you almost need to get a couple of them to go. Yeah, I don't care actually. Have you had anybody say anything?

Niki: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And people talking about you, you know, and then people telling you what's been said, but you have to, you have to grow this thick skin don't you and just think “I don't care.”

Teresa: No. And, and if you don't like me, I don't want to work with you and you won't wanna work with me and that's fine. And I think in the early days, you're so desperate for like business and customers, people to wanna follow you and see your stuff. And, and I think in the early days, that's hard for you to go.

I don't care. And it's not that I go out and again with you, I'm sure. You know, we don't purposely go out to irritate someone or to make someone not like us, but I'm not gonna pretend I'm someone else in order to get you to come and buy my stuff. Because what is the point in that? Because you're gonna buy a course or you're gonna join my membership and I'll rock up onto a mindset call and I'll chat about something in name for the first 10 minutes while I'm waiting for people to come in and you'll be so irritated.

So there's no point no point at all. Is there?

Niki: No, definitely not. And. When you're delivering those courses, you want, I'm sure you're exactly the same. I don't want people on there who don't really want to be there. I want people on my courses or in my programs, working with me in any way whatsoever. I want them to be really invested in themselves, but also really invested in me and the process.

And ready to get the most outta it. And how can they do that if you're not the person they think you are.

Teresa: And it's funny when someone. If someone cancels the membership, like if I know them and I know I don't have a huge membership and as much as I would like it bigger. And I'm very honest about that. I'm also still very grateful that I know pretty much everyone in there exactly what they do, how they do it, they can come on a call. I remember whether they've been ill or what their partner did, or if their kids have done something. And I love that I can do that. It's kind of what I hope is one of my superpowers, because I have this whole thing in my business that, you know, I hear you.

I see you, you matter, because I think in the online world, there is a lot of, none of that. Like, you know, you don't matter, you're just a number and they would sell their grandma if it meant that they could get 500 more people on one of their things. Whereas for me, it's not like that at all. Like one of my members came around yesterday cuz she makes gluten free bread and she bought me some bread.

Another of my members is coming around today. Like honestly it's like free house come to Teresa's house because she's an amazing networker and I'm trying something new and I want her to come and talk to me about how she does it. Like. I just love the fact that I can see those people. And if someone cancels and I think, oh, I don't recognize them.

It's because they haven't been involved. And if they're not involved, they're not gonna get anything from it. Are they? So you're right. I'd much rather have those people who show up who do the work and it's not that they have to come to everything. They could come to one thing a month for one hour. And that would be perfectly fine.

But it's that you want those people, you don't want those people coming in who are ready to pick holes in it, because actually they're not too keen if they like you or not. And therefore, and this kind of comes back to it and we are really digressing there, but this almost comes back to some of the more underhand marketing tactics that people use.

So for instance, if I'm putting you in a position where I'm like, you've gotta buy now, cuz otherwise the price is gonna be three times the amount and we're gonna close doors and you're gonna fail in life and business because you aren't doing my thing. Right. Which basically what people say, then they're gonna join on a whim because they're panicking and they think, oh, well maybe this is the magic thing I need, which I have done in the past.

Niki: Me too.

Teresa: And then you get in and you go, well, this is useless and rubbish. And actually I don't even like you and then you're annoyed. And if anybody asks you to recommend it, you're gonna go. Yeah, no, don't do that. So I'd much rather go, well, I'm open all the time. The Club is open all the time. You can join whenever you want to. And I'm here and if you like me brilliant. And if you don't, then don't join. It's not for you.

Niki: Don't you find it so rewarding. Cause I have my business accelerator that are called the charge and I have small groups in there. And one of the things that I find the most rewarding is when people just message me outta the blue and say, I've been following you for ages and now's the right time.

Teresa: Yes.

Niki: To join. I don't wanna turn those people away. I want, great.

Teresa: No, exactly.

Niki: Right time for you. Right time for me. Let's go.

Teresa: Let's go, honestly. And, and also that whole, I dunno about you when you first started getting people sign up things or join things or buy things. And I would go, I just had someone buy this and my husband would go, “Do you know him?”

I'd be like, “No. And it'd be like the best thing in the world. I'm I had no idea recognize the name.” Like, it was just so exciting to think, oh my God, I've reached those people that, and they, those people are out there. And I think this is the other problem that people, when they're marketing, they see, they think it's like, and I like in marketing to gardening, cuz you have to put the seed in.

You have to water it. You have to do all of the stuff with the hope that it'll eventually turn into a plant. You don't know that at that point, like it's doing the stuff underneath you can't see it. And this is the same with what we are doing in terms of showing up, doing the organic stuff. We've got people who could be literally right on the edge of about to go, right.

I'm ready to do that. And if suddenly we go, wow, it doesn't work. Doesn't not, I'm gonna bother. Then. You've just lost all of that. And we've just gotta have faith that all the stuff we're doing is leading to those people who we don't know at this point. Cause they're quietly, just voyers in our world, listening to the podcast.

You know, I look at my download figures and I swear, there's chunks of people that are nowhere else in my world by the podcast. And I have no idea you exist welcome by the way. Uh, but you know, and you're just sat there quietly listening to the podcast, doing your thing. And at whatever point you might go. “Yeah. Cool. I'm ready now.”

Niki: And we think don't, we, we think, although we know this, but often we think that everybody sees everything that we're doing.

Teresa: Yeah. No.

Niki: I literally had, I sent out my email newsletter this morning and I had somebody who is on a course that I'm running at the moment reply and say, “Oh, I've just subscribed to your podcast. Always love finding new things to listen to.

Teresa: And you're like, “You're on my course.” Honestly, it's so funny. So I, I put up this event this September event. Posted it in my group for my members sent it to my members on an email. And there's a couple of members, not a couple there's loads of members that I've sat down on Friday, Friday morning in the sun thinking I'll take the day off.

And then my brain started kicking in. I was like, oh, do you know what? I might just voice message a couple of these members that I really love. Cause I'd love to see them at the event. So I DMed one of them voice messaged and I was like, “Hey Kim, you know, just on check, you've seen this. Love it, you come really great to catch up. Cause I love it to bit.” and she messaged me back going, I haven't even seen it. I've just bought that.

Like, and, and like you said, you get to the point where you're like, I don't wanna keep saying that people are gonna get sick and tired of seeing me say that. And it's like, no, cuz they don't even see it. Do they?

Niki: And also sometimes they question whether they're the right person for it. I had somebody join my group program last year. And same as you sent her voice notes. Did that personal outreach. And she replied and said, oh, I'm really glad you got in touch. Cause I've been looking at this, but I wasn't sure whether you thought I would be a good fit. And she was brilliant. She's a great person to have in the community.

Teresa: Yeah. Isn't it funny. So tell me some of those organic marketing things that you are doing and that other people can do to get out there.

Niki: Mm-hmm so what you said about kind of shortening that leads time by showing up more regularly on social is a hundred percent true.

And. I mean, I showed up every single week doing a live for four years inside my free Facebook community to

Teresa: Wow!

Niki: Grow that. That's now 2000 people and I don't do the lives in there anymore because now I do my weekly podcast instead. But choosing what is the right place for you to be. So I know that we'd spoke earlier about wanting to be seen everywhere.

But I don't think that's achievable when you're first starting out.

Teresa: No, no.

Niki: And I don't think it's necessarily right either because sometimes unless you've got, you know, we've been in business for a while, we've got a team to support us. You know, we've got people who produce this podcast, for example.

So they just need to show up and chat. Don't have that in place then how can you possibly do all of the things and run your own business? So it is about being selective when you're first trying to get more into marketing and working out where is my audience? First of all, that's the most obvious question. Isn't it?

Where is my audience? That's perhaps going to be the path of least resistance for me to reach them. But also I think it's hugely important to pick methods that you actually enjoy. Cause if you hate LinkedIn.

Teresa: You're not gonna do it.

Niki: Exactly. Exactly. That. Yeah. And if you know that you find it really hard to stick to a consistent weekly schedule don't go out and announce that you're gonna do a weekly podcast.

Teresa: Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Niki: A lot of work. So yeah, show up online, but be quite strategic about where you're doing that and start even with just one social media channel. And then maybe add in another one further down the line once you, once you know, what's working and I think that's the beauty of organic, isn't it?

Teresa: Mm. And I think you're so right. I think the problem is, and I see this all the time and you must see it all the time. Everyone looks at everyone else. Which is the first problem. And so someone might be looking at us and they might go, well, she's gonna go, she's going live now once a week on Instagram, she's got a podcast coming out.

She's consistent every day on social media. I've even got some blogs. Uh, I'm doing X, Y, Z. Oh my goodness. I need to be doing all of that stuff. And it's like, no, cuz I didn't start doing all that stuff. I, I got, so the podcast process we have now, and I constantly say, this is the best process in my business.

It's a dream. I literally record. And then as if by magic, somehow every single week, it comes out all great, whatever, whatever. So for me, Like, that's how I've been able to then free myself up. And because I pay for a team and, you know, the swings of roundabouts with that, you know, it's a lot of money I pay every single month to basically sit and create content for myself.

But it's about that. Like I said, totally agree. Choose where you like to be, choose where your customers should be or hopefully are, and just show up consistently. And I think the problem is, I dunno about you, but. I think people think it's gonna happen in five minutes and then it doesn't and then they go, it doesn't work. And then they try something else.

Niki: Yeah. And it's a fine line. Isn't it? Between keeping going and persevering with something and then thinking, or versus thinking, actually, hang on, maybe this isn't working. So I have this phrase that I always use. That is go detective mode. And that's what I really encourage my audience and, and clients to do is become a detective in your own business.

Because otherwise you could be creating all this content showing up regularly, being consistent and it's actually having no effect. It's not driving any visits to your website. It's not driving any listens to your podcast. So you do need to pay attention and nobody likes to do it.

Teresa: No.

Niki: Because it's boring. Isn't it looking at analytics and insights, but it's only boring until you find the gold. And then when you find that gold and you go, oh wow. What people came from that specific guest blog that I did wonder if I could do that again? And grow my business that way. So yeah, I think paying attention to what you're doing is the thing that will, what's the word I'm looking for, uh, motivate you. It will motivate you to keep going.

Teresa: Yeah. So let's say I've chosen my platform and I'm showing up consistently. Someone asked me the other week, how does that actually get new people into your world? So, how would you answer that? So like, I don't want people to think, well, this is it. Just show up on Instagram every day and you're fine. Your business, you know, everything will grow. What's, what's your process after that?

Niki: So for me, it's about actually trying to have conversations. So I think to be old way, and I obviously come from a traditional ad agency where the old way was that you as the client or the brand, you would project your message and you would broadcast out to the world and then people would come and make sales. That's not how it works now, is it?

Teresa: No, no, very much no.

Niki: Now it's about building your network. There's that? It's a really cheesy expression. Isn't it? Your network is your net worth and I don't actually like it.

Teresa: Oh, that's hilarious. I've not heard that for a very long time.

Niki: Have you not heard that? Yeah.

Teresa: Really long time.

Niki: And to me, that all seems very kind of natural and old school and that we are purely in this for the money, which of course we're not. But if you can grow a really strong network of people who are actually interested in what you're doing, then they will help become your advocates as well. And they will help to spread the word. So for me, it's about having conversations and always challenging yourself to create content that is not just likable, but also saveable and shareable because those are the metrics that really matter on me.

Teresa: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think that's the other thing it's, it's not just about putting out something it's about putting out something with purpose to do something. So I dunno about you, but I'd rather someone do three posts a week than five, but those three posts be really good purposeful posts.

And I think you know, for me, this is something that I've had to readdress. And I think we always have to remind ourselves of this stuff. So I've just started working with someone new in the business, cuz my lovely Becci left and, and therefore I had that role in various other roles that I needed to fill. And I've just started working with Becci McEvoy and who does social media and she's helping me with my strategy and she's asking me all these questions like, “So what's this and how much do you get for this? And what do you find your best posted?”

And I'm like, “I don't know Becci, I don't know.” And I'm like, “I am the worst person.” because I think like you said, as well, we get into a, a rut of just going, oh, we post this, we post this and not looking at it and not thinking about it. And then, you know, she'll ask me, “Where do you get the most podcast listeners from?”

I'm like, “No, I'm not sure.” I don't know. Like, I'm literally the worst person. I always say to her “Do as I say not as I do Becci okay. Uh, I can't always guarantee I do all the stuff.” so yeah. So what sort of other stuff have you got on your like list of these are great audience builders.

Niki: Being a joiner, being a joiner is up there with one of the most effective ways that I've grown my business and that I've seen my clients grow their businesses as well.

So yes, that might be free Facebook groups nowadays. I question how effective they are just purely, because there are so many of them and also because yes, lots of people are on Facebook, but are they spending as much time on there as they used to? I'm not sure they are. Don't think it's being used in the same way.

I think a lot of people have gone off Facebook. But that being said there are some Facebook groups. Obviously I love mine called the Audience Growth Collective. Facebook groups, where the owners are putting in the effort to give you what you need in that group. Yes, you can join them and you can make great connections in there.

But also this is an area where I really believe you need to invest. So what are the memberships where your peers are hanging out and you can learn from them ways that you can grow your business. And also, what are the memberships where your potential clients are hanging out? So I don't think I've joined a membership or a group program or a business accelerator over the past five years without getting something from it. Normally client work. So it's interesting. What, when you were talking earlier about this kind of unethical approach to bringing people into group programs, I definitely felt all of that.

About a year and a bit ago. And joined this quite expensive program realized that it wasn't for me, but actually there were lots of people in there who also felt it wasn't for them. They'd be brought in under the same premise. And we now have a brilliant WhatsApp group and we've all worked with each other as clients as well.

So something good always comes of being a joiner, I think.

Teresa: Yeah. And actually, this is something that in my membership was never an intention for them to get business from each other, but they love each other so much that I swear to goodness, like. You know, I can literally sit and think of many of my members and go, yeah, they've had business from them and them and them and them and them.

And from me, you know, lots of my members have had me as a customer because I fell in love with what they do and their passion and that sort of thing. But I just love the fact of, you know, be a joiner. I think that's really nice. Cause I think sometimes we can sit here in our worlds and think we are being everywhere and doing everything.

And actually we could be doing a bit more. I'm thinking now that this might be a really nice thing to say goodbye to my listeners and head over to your listeners. So if you wanna hear the rest of this podcast, then you need to go to Nikki's podcast. Nikki, what is your podcast called?

Niki: It's called The Audience Growth Podcast and we will see you over there.

Teresa: We'll see you there.

That's part one. If you want to go and listen to part two, you need to go to wherever you're listening to this and search for The Audience Growth Podcast and that's where you'll find the second half of this episode. Have a great week and I will see you next week for a solo.

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