Small Biz Buzz—126—Kristen Boss—Selling Confidently

Kristen Boss, a business coach geared toward women entrepreneurs, joins Small Biz Buzz to discuss the challenges business owners face to make their first $100K, how to sell confidently and know when it’s time to pivot.

“Why not get there faster by learning from an expert, hiring mentors, getting involved in masterminds? Go get educated!” said Boss when it comes to selling. “It's always going to return back to you. I love grit for building business. It's where a passion and perseverance meet to create a long-term goal. So you have to have the long-term goal in mind and you have to have passion and perseverance, which is grit. You got to be gritty.”

Boss said your business has to meet the needs of others. People can tell when someone is selling something to meet their own needs–the entire energy of the experience is very different.

Boss also said when it's time to look at a pivot, you should be asking yourself: am I meeting my needs or a felt need I see? Is it an area where I'm an expert? Would I do it for free? Would I find joy and purpose in that? And then lastly, am I running from pain? Or is this a time for me to get critical and do some evaluations and look at what's working? What's not working? What do I need to do differently?

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Transcript:

Crystal (00:10):

Welcome to Small Biz Buzz. Today, we have Kristen Boss. She is a mindset and business coach who specializes in helping women build their influence and grow successful businesses. We are excited she's on the show today and it couldn't be more fitting that we're having our first all ladies chat on Small Biz Buzz today. Kristen, you've had like 15 years of experience working in service and marketing. I can't wait to get a little bit more of your story, but I see here you've been a celebrity hairstylist, a boutique owner, a business coach. You've done a lot of great things and you're really helping women tap into their highest self and making sure that their business aligns to that. Did I get that all right? I hope.

Kristen (00:53):

Yeah, you really did. It sums it up.

Crystal (00:57):

Awesome. Well, I'm curious before we start diving in for you to share a little bit about your business journey. Like I said, based on the jobs, you definitely have a lot on the topic we're sharing today, which is selling confidently and really being able to pivot when you need to, but from your history, I've seen, you've done some pivoting. Tell us a little bit about.

Kristen (01:14):

Oh yeah. I'm like the pivot master. I've got this down to a science, but yeah. I've always been... I started as a celebrity hairstylist, went to school, did some undergrad in business and marketing. And I was always fascinated. I was always drawn to creativity and human behavior. And hair made a lot of sense because that aligns and I loved people. So I had a very rigorous, intensive experience at some of the most elite hair schools. And I went through that and I was trained by, I always compare my experience to the Devil Wears Prada, when I was an assistant, it was very hardcore, but you know what, he gave me a lot of thick skin for the industry, and I think that's where I learned, you know what, sitting behind a chair for 15 years, hearing women and their stories. It really helped me understand human behavior on a very intimate level.

Kristen (02:09):

That's when I learned, okay, where can this be leveraged? And so my business just took a lot of pivots, just 2008 recession hit. So I had to get really creative. At the time, a lot of people were pulling away from the salon, stretching out their hair appointments, and I was like, well, how can I meet this need? So I built an in-home mobile business, started a mobile wedding and hair and makeup business with a friend.

Crystal (02:30):

How smart.

Kristen (02:32):

Yeah. And it exploded and then moved to Colorado and continued to do hair. And then I had this extra space there and I was like, you know what? Selling clothes is fun. So let's do that. Built that up, broke even. But I realized I don't like that. And then I got into social selling or network marketing. And I like to say that was like my launch pad for really understanding the online space and marketing and selling yourself. I built a brand over a summer. I was like, okay, let's just do this. And started picking up marketing books. And I literally fell asleep at night, reading sales and marketing books and just studying human behavior. And it was so fun for me. And then-

Crystal (03:13):

I love that.

Kristen (03:15):

I morphed into coaching.

Crystal (03:19):

Oh, also I should say we have Laura Dolan here. My goodness. Laura is... jumping in today for Scott. So thanks Laura for co-hosting with me here. I was going to ask you, I don't know about you, but I tell my hairstylist everything. So, do you have a similar, I think it's a good place to be studying behavior. Would you say you share your secrets too, Laura?

Laura (03:39):

Absolutely. And thank you for the introduction. I'm happy to be here. Like I said, this is a great opportunity for us to jump in and an all female broadcast. So this is great. Yes, in the past, it's been a while since I've had my hair done because of COVID, but from what I can recall yes, I've had some hairstylists in the past and they've been obviously great to divulge, and tell them what's on your mind. It's almost like, it's haircut and therapy all in one.

Kristen (04:10):

Exactly.

Crystal (04:10):

So Kristen, you used that time well to really understand women and all that they need.

Kristen (04:16):

Yeah. I realized I was coaching for 15 years just while I was highlighting.

Crystal (04:22):

Just for all of our listeners out there, Kristen still knows what she's doing with hair. But I am curious, was that when you started really feeling like anything you did, you wanted your target audience to be women or was there something else that made you really want to help and coach women specifically?

Kristen (04:40):

Yeah, I think I have this big soft spot for women because I think we inherently play small. I think we apologize for a lot of things. I think there are things if we were a man, we wouldn't think twice about it. And so I see a lot of really talented, capable women hiding. And it really lights me up when I see a woman find the things she was made to do and unapologetically step into it and her world changes. And when her world changes, she changes other people's lives. That is the most fulfilling work to do.

Crystal (05:20):

That's great. Awesome. Well, Laura, don't be afraid to cut me off. I can gab for hours. So, I just want to throw that out there. If you have anything and I'm chatting, cut me off. Someone help me.

Laura (05:33):

No worries, but I don't want to jump in and interrupt. I'm also a great listener, so I'm just taking it all in.

Crystal (05:41):

Laura. Please save me from myself sometimes. I could ask Kristen about the journey thing for all day, but we want to get into selling confidently. And so I'm really excited. We saw a lot of your history has been in learning how to take these businesses to the next level and really obviously to do that, you have to sell. What does it mean to you to sell confidently?

Kristen (06:04):

Yeah, this is also why I love teaching women to sell. Because I think we tend to associate selling as a very masculine thing and we see it as an aggressive thing. I think there's a lot of assumptions we make about sales. The number one thing I hear is, "I don't want to sell. It feels yucky. It feels gross." But reframing what selling actually is, is really it's serving. If you're an entrepreneur, you're solving problems and you're serving people and you're alleviating pain on some level, whether it's pain in their time, physically, financially, emotionally, you're solving problems.

Kristen (06:36):

When you are selling something, you're offering a solution and that is serving. I love teaching the psychology of sales. And once you make it not about you and about your consumer, about your audience, selling feels a lot more purposeful. It feels authentic. It feels very natural. It's a mutual exchange of energy. And I always tell people, I'm like, "When you solve someone's problem, they thank you with their money. And that's called selling."

Laura (07:06):

That is a great mindset. That's another great perspective in a way to think about it that, I think selling does have that connotation that, it's got that negative feel to it, that you're forcing someone into something. Whereas if you look at it like you're satisfying their needs, you're meeting their pain points. And I'm a copywriter for Keap. So I write a lot of blogs about what we do and the mission entrepreneurs have. And a lot of points that I emphasize is, you're basically solving their problems and you want to be there for them. You want to be their advocate. I think that's a great strategy that you have. That's wonderful.

Crystal (07:46):

For sure. Anytime I've done sales in the past, it's like, I only feel like for me selling confidently, I can only do that when I actually believe in the product. I think sales feels so natural if you believe in what you're selling. And I think, a lot of entrepreneurs, they're lucky they have that passion behind their purpose, and they understand that. So selling probably comes fairly natural in a lot of ways, but I think the confidence just comes from knowing that you're able to provide, I guess, what you're selling.

Kristen (08:19):

And detaching your identity from what you're offering and realizing that when someone says, no, it has nothing to do with you. It just has to do with timing. Or maybe you didn't understand their felt need enough, but they're never rejecting you. And that's where people get really hung up with sales. Like, "Oh, I'm going to put myself out there and I'm getting rejected." It's like, no, you're not getting rejected. It's just the offer wasn't right for them. And that's okay.

Laura (08:40):

It's not personal. It's business.

Kristen (08:42):

It's never personal.

Crystal (08:44):

That's right. Laura, I don't think anyone would have to worry about you hiding away. You would go ahead and just make that sell. I love it. One of the things I think is hard as in business growth, you have some different stages. What are some of the first stages an entrepreneur or business owner would have to overcome or move towards those levels in order to keep growing? Does that make sense?

Kristen (09:11):

Yeah, there's a lot of stages I'm going to call. One is the bootstrap, DIY it, just operating really lean. I'm going to figure this out. We're trying a lot of things at once. And this is where I see a lot of people. They get caught in this a long time, this bootstrap mentality of I'm just going to stay here, figure this out myself. And it's frustrating. And they try a lot of different methods instead of choosing one and giving it enough time to see if it actually works. So they're going to have to overcome the squirrel shiny ball syndrome when it comes to strategy and focus on less things, really take on an abundant mindset when it comes to building a business and being like, "Yeah, you can bootstrap your way there."

Kristen (09:54):

But why not get there faster by learning from an expert, hiring mentors, getting involved in masterminds, like go get educated. It's always going to return back to you. And then the mindset like you, I love grit for building business. It's where a passion and perseverance meet for to create a long-term goal. So you have to have the long-term goal in mind and you have to have passion and perseverance, which is grit. You got to be gritty.

Crystal (10:22):

Totally. We actually are getting ready to launch a big grit campaign. I love that you just use that because when we think about entrepreneurs over at Keap, that's really what we think of them as it's amazing the things, small business owners, entrepreneurs can overcome and they don't take no for an answer. And I think that's like so amazing. And it's why I love what we do over here, and who we serve every day, because it's just so cool to see how people can overcome all these things and keep their business going or pivot quickly, which I know we're going to get into here in a minute.

Crystal (10:58):

But I love that answer. I think that's so right on point here. I think one of the other challenges is really getting to that like 100K level. What are some of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs and small business owners face when they're trying to reach that level?

Kristen (11:18):

I would call it success expectancy of how quick they might feel that is meant to happen if it's owed to them. I think there's an expectation, it depends on the person, but I think sometimes there's an expectation that either it's going to happen fast or the number feels so obscure and they give up too soon. But really getting clear on, yeah, what's the expectation of this and what am I willing to do to get there? And I remember some really successful people told me like your first 100K is the hardest, after that your second 100K gets easier. And my brain had the hardest time fathoming that, but it was 100% true. So yeah, what I see again, I see people not trusting the process and so they don't stick with a strategy long enough to actually give it a chance.

Kristen (12:10):

There's this great in the book, "Atomic Habits", by James Clear, he talks about this. The valley of disappointment where we believe our growth is going to be linear. Like we're going to see this arrow going up over time. Where really, it actually is minuscule. The growth is so minuscule. And then we hit where all of our consistent efforts before that it compounds and it explodes, and that is 100% what happens. But before that, it really feels like your reality is so far below your expectations, and just understanding like no energy is wasted, it's all stored energy that compounds, and when it finally takes off, it's not because you hit some magic strategy, it's because all of your prior efforts compounded over time.

Laura (12:56):

Awesome. It's just like you get to a point that all of a sudden you're unstoppable, you just hit that exponential momentum and then you just go from there. That's great. Kristen, I just want to circle back really quick. And I just want to ask you a personal question. When you were talking about, you were learning as you went, it seemed like you took on an ecommerce business and I just want to know, what were some of the challenges that you faced and maybe you could shine the light on what maybe some entrepreneurs are facing, if they're going through similar challenges?

Kristen (13:32):

Yeah. So many. I'm like which business should I talk about? Ecommerce was definitely one where I didn't have this aim to like, Oh, I'm going to grow this huge boutique. I think I was just like, let's just see. And I remember Googling like target demographic to like just, I Googled so many things and I just put stuff together. And I watched so many YouTube videos, I think I was willing to fail. And I think that changes the game, I think, because I was willing to fail and I didn't see that as the worst thing in the world that could possibly happen, I was like, okay, at least I'll figure out and put it in the check box. Like, nope, that didn't work. Yeah.

Laura (14:19):

That's fantastic.

Crystal (14:20):

I love that.

Kristen (14:21):

I bootstrapped for a while, but I was willing to fail, but at the same time, I realized I was at a place where I needed a mentor. Like you can only download so many freebies and little mini free courses and free podcasts and free books. Like there comes a time where it's time to hire a mentor.

Crystal (14:42):

That makes sense. So did you do that through groups or did you do that... How did you-

Kristen (14:49):

Yeah, my story is kind of crazy. This is when I was like sitting with that, I think I'm a coach. I think this is what I meant to do. And I went to this leadership summit, the seminar, and this guy was up on stage giving us, he was talking and coaching and I was watching him. I'm like, "He's totally doing what I should be doing." I felt like, "Bro, get off the stage. I need to go up there and do your job for you." In a crazy moment of bravery and tenacity, I went up to him immediately after he spoke. I found him backstage. I was like, "Hey, tell me who mentored you. What mastermind were you in? Who coached you?" I remember feeling terrified doing that. I'm like, I think I have to do this. And he told me, and I went back to my hotel room that night, filled out the application to work with that coach. And that was it for me. I was like, okay, this is it. And it just became this, that was when my journey started.

Laura (15:45):

That's great.

Crystal (15:46):

I love that.

Laura (15:47):

Like, move aside, let me do this.

Kristen (15:48):

Yeah. Yeah.

Crystal (15:51):

Yeah, exactly. I feel like the failure thing that hit me deep because I think that's the one thing that's always stopped me from looking at becoming an entrepreneur myself, is I'm so scared to fail or that it won't work out. You put so much passion into it. So I think you just spoke to something that I think a lot of people worry about and hold on to. And I think that's so amazing that you're just out there and you're like, you know what? I may fail, but I'm going to learn from it.

Crystal (16:17):

I think that's exactly what successful entrepreneurs have in them. They're just going to learn from it, pick up and take it to the next. I just love that. I think that hopefully will hit deep with everyone listening because it's not easy.

Kristen (16:30):

And that's probably, honestly, the number one thing I coach my students with. Is everyone can be easily paralyzed with fear. And I think instead of resisting the idea of failure and being like, I'm going to be okay, it's fine. It's okay. Like we pep talk ourselves out of like, "Oh, it's going to be okay if I fail," but you actually need to take your brain all the way there to failure and go explore. Okay. So I fail and then write down, what does that actually look like? And what would I do in that scenario? Because then now you've created a failed plan that you trust yourself with and being like, "If I experienced failure, I've already mapped this out. I'm okay." So I just tell people, instead of like saying, it's fine, it's totally fine if I fail, I'm like build a failed plan. You're going to feel really good. Being like, Oh, I planned for this. This is it.

Crystal (17:15):

Totally

Laura (17:15):

It's risky because you're not just risking your self-esteem if you fail, you're risking your livelihood and your finances. And if you have a family, you know, what's going to happen. If you have a mortgage because you lose your home. And a lot of people will refinance their homes just to open their business and tap into savings. So, it is a legitimate fear, but I commend anyone who goes out there on their own and just tackles it and overcomes. But yeah.

Crystal (17:44):

I feel like the fail plan makes it a little bit safer. I love what you were hitting on. If you have a plan, then if you start to notice those things or you start coming up on what you already have actions before you're emotionally in that kind of fire zone. So if you already have a plan to how to fail, I think like that is probably the difference of an entrepreneur that succeeds from failure and one that maybe doesn't. I have never thought about thinking about that ahead of time. So that's like such good advice.

Kristen (18:16):

It literally kicks your brain into critical thinking mode and a normally highly emotional state, like failure creates a lot of emotion. But when you have a plan, it kicks in the part of your brain that goes into critical thinking and makes the biggest difference.

Crystal (18:29):

It's like a prenup. Prenup for your business. Because like you think I'm pro prenup, everyone should do whatever they're right for. But I feel like if you plan for that before there's ever an issue, not that I'm married, maybe this is why. If you plan for it ahead of time, actually before things get messy, you're making the plan at your best instead of being in that emotional state. So I think like, to me, this is exactly a prenup for your business. And I think that is extremely intelligent.

Laura (19:01):

Yeah. You just have to anticipate just that have that foresight and prepare like this happens, then this is my backup plan.

Kristen (19:09):

Yeah. I love to tell my clients if NASA has a failed plan. So do you.

Laura (19:13):

Oh, definitely.

Crystal (19:14):

That's true. You've got such a good point.

Kristen (19:17):

Team of engineers who figures out everything to get to perfection. If they still create a failed plan, we do too. We need to do that too.

Crystal (19:24):

That makes so much sense. Okay. One of the things I'm curious about is I can tell from you, it feels like a purpose. I'm curious, I've met some business owners who you can tell they're just in it for the money, they wanted a quick fix. So, how do you make sure your purpose is lined and that you're not just focused on getting the money? Because once you're in it so much, as Laura was pointing out is on the line, like how do you make sure you've got a purpose aligned to making money?

Kristen (19:53):

Yeah, that's so good. Because that's usually when people end up hiring me as when they've lost their purpose and they might be successful, but they're now resentful, thinking I didn't sign up for this. But the true test of purpose is, I knew coaching was meant for me because I would do it for free. Like I would have done it for free. And I did it, when I looked back at like the trajectory of my life or the hindsight of my life. And I was looking at all the things that brought me joy, mentoring and counseling kids, being the hairstylist and listening to women for 15 years. I was coaching people. I had people calling me for business advice for years.

Kristen (20:34):

And I thought that was so normal that I didn't see how coaching was something I should get paid for. And that was a whole other paradox paradigm I had to really wrap my mind around. So I tell people, I'm Like, "What'd you do this for free? If you made nothing, would you still do this? What does it fill your cup?" Because if you're in it for money, when things start going downhill, when things aren't panning out the way you wanted them to, you start to resent it. It's not fun. And for me, if I'm in my purpose, whether I'm getting paid or not, I'm finding joy at the end of the day, it's like, would you do it for free? That's probably your purpose.

Crystal (21:14):

I love that. That is like-

Laura (21:17):

That's great. That's so important.

Crystal (21:21):

I was going to say, Laura, would you copy write for free?

Laura (21:24):

I will copy, edit for free, and I do, actually.

Crystal (21:30):

I give a lot of free social media. I've done like consulting for free. I think sometimes women I'm so glad you're really coaching women because one of the things that starts getting hard is like, yes, I would do it for free. But that kind of initial push of, I'm going to start charging. Why do you think it's sometimes, well, in my opinion, tougher for women to make that jump, to asking their worth?

Kristen (21:54):

Let me tell you, where do I start? I really think it comes down to feeling worthy of the ask, like saying this is also the same reason in the corporate world, why women are less likely to ask for a pay raise than men. It's the same thing. Like she suddenly attaches her worth or again, we also have this belief, I shouldn't be making a lot of money for something that comes naturally and easy to me. And we've been programmed to think we have to suffer. It should be hard. You have blood, sweat, and tears to make good money. So women, it's very easy for us to think, "Why should I charge when it's so easy for me when I do it for free." And that's where very maternal natures kick in. And we're very like, but I'm caring and I want to help people.

Crystal (22:45):

I want to help.

Kristen (22:46):

We're very much caught in. Like I want to help. I want to help. And then for some reason we think if we're charging money, we're no longer helping. And the biggest reframe I have to teach my clients is, you actually, aren't helping when you're doing it for free, you're literally robbing someone of experiencing a transformation and you receiving money, this is huge for women, especially when it comes to big money. Her receiving money often it's about her thinking, I don't see myself as being worthy of receiving this. That's not the value I perceive I have. So they feel wrong receiving that. And I was telling the client this just the other day, I'm like, "You receiving money actually has nothing to do with your customer's perception of your value, but of their perception of their own value of their transformation and the service we're rendering."

Crystal (23:40):

You just gave me the chills.

Laura (23:42):

Yes. That's powerful stuff.

Crystal (23:44):

I'm so excited to go into the weekend feeling like, I am woman. Hear me roar here. I love it.

Laura (23:50):

We are worthy.

Crystal (23:52):

Exactly, exactly. I love it. So sometimes, no matter how hard you try things, just aren't of working. People have experienced that, unfortunately in droves this year with COVID and just life changing quickly in general, but that happens all the time for entrepreneurs. So once you notice, I guess I should say, how do you know when to pivot? Like how do you know when this idea is either not working this way, my strategy is off. How do you know when to start making some changes?

Kristen (24:27):

Yeah. So a pivot, there's a couple of things. There is some people look and say, I should be doing that over there instead. And the two questions I like to ask are is this from the belief that the grass is greener on the other side? Do you believe it's going to be less work over there? Well, that's just not true. It may not be greener. It's just harder to mow, you still got to mow it. And then the other one is whose needs are you seeking to meet in your pivot? Are you seeking to meet your own needs? Because you're from a place of scarcity and I have food to put on the table and a mortgage to pay. I get that. But that can't be the reason why you go into business.

Kristen (25:03):

It has to be to meet the needs of others. And people can tell, especially in sales and especially in the social media world, where I teach people how to leverage their influence online, it can tell when someone is selling something to meet their own needs, the entire energy of the experience is very different. So when it's time to look at a pivot, it's asking, am I meeting my needs or a felt need I see? Is it an area where I'm an expert? Would I do it for free anyways? Would I find joy and purpose in that? And then lastly, am I doing this? Am I running? Am I running from pain? Or is this a time for me to get critical and do some evaluations and look at what's working? What's not working? What do I need to do differently?

Kristen (25:50):

So many people are so discouraged that they don't want to go into the evaluation process because they fear all the feelings they're going to feel when they evaluate being like, "Look at all the areas I've failed." And they don't want to go there. But that's why I say, we'll start with what's working.

Laura (26:05):

Can you elaborate on what you... What signs do you look for when you see someone's in it for themselves? In your opinion, you're a professional in this field, what is it that people should not do to make it look like they're doing it for themselves?

Kristen (26:21):

Oh man, there's a lot there. I can always typically tell in the copy and their writing and their verbiage. I'm a copy. I love writing copy. I'm a fiend and I'll never outsource it because I enjoy it so much. I can usually tell in copy if there's a lot of, I need, I should, if it's very, I focused, me focused. If it's not very customer focused, if there's a lot of neediness and there's almost like a high pitch to either how they show up in their stories, this isn't going to sound good, but it's what I'm seeing. I'm going to call it, there's counterfeit authenticity going around where it's like, I'm going to stage vulnerability because I know that's what people want.

Kristen (27:14):

And to me, I think it's bottled and sold in order to profit being like, look at how vulnerable I am. Don't you love me. Look at how weak I am in front of you. And like, bless it. The first girl that posted herself in the postpartum diaper, like respect for you sister. But now, no, it's like a big waving. Like I'm trying to be like, I'm a little over it, but that's where I see. That's where I sense they're not really in it for others. And they're in it to profiteer from feelings they generate through their platform. There's a fine line. There's a fine line.

Crystal (27:49):

I think you nailed it. I think you nailed it because I feel like there's people out there right now where consumers in general can sniff out someone that's just trying to make a sale so easily these days. Where it's starting to get a little bit more hard is when people are sharing those vulnerable stories. Because also as a woman, you don't want to judge someone else, but at the same time, if 20 people are doing it, it's less vulnerable. It's less authentic because you're just jumping on the viral trend of getting these things out. Like just this week, actually I was reading an article from the first woman who ever did a gender reveal, who was slamming them now and saying like, they got so out of control at this point.

Crystal (28:26):

Now that people are lighting up all of California because of the fact that they're trying to do these like pyrotechnic, anyway, it was interesting to read because she was the first and she really came out and just said, people need to be putting priorities above these like crazy big. Anyway, I respected it and it felt very authentic because she came from a place of like, I started this all I'm owning it, but this is going too far.

Kristen (28:53):

I almost feel like it reminds me. This is what I feel like I'm seeing on social media with influencers and big names. And some big names are really losing some serious respect because their audience is starting to sniff out their inauthentic authenticity. We'll just say that no names, but it's happening. But what I feel like I see is, on TV shows where it, whether it's Game of Thrones, you feel like there's great storytelling. And then when you feel like the producers move into like, they just want to do shock and awe. And we're just like, now we're just going to overdo this just for the shock factor. And then it becomes gratuitous.

Kristen (29:36):

That's what I feel is happening on social media. Like we're just going to go for shock. And actually Bernay Brown calls this form of vulnerability, she calls it the smash and grab, where you say something to shock your audience, to disarm them and get them to think, oh, this is you're so vulnerable. And then you move in to generate an outcome that serves you. And so I see a lot of that-

Crystal (29:59):

There's a lot.

Kristen (30:00):

Yeah. And there's a fine line.

Laura (30:02):

Yeah. It is sheer manipulation. And you see a lot especially since COVID and it's something I've noticed and tell me if you've noticed this too on social media where they will put ads up and saying like, "We're about to lose our business because of COVID. So, if you buy now you'll save 50%," But I've been seeing these ads for like six months and-

Crystal (30:23):

It's like the furniture store that always is closing.

Laura (30:27):

Always closing. And there's always no interest til three years from now. It's the same story every time.

Crystal (30:34):

I think, like I can start to tell the difference when they actually want to answer a question. And they want to give to that audience for free much like what you were saying earlier. Those are the ones that are aligned to their purpose in my opinion, like I love Mari Smith. She is amazing. And her content that she puts out on our channel is always about the audience she serves. It's always about trying to help them. And when someone asks a question, she's right there in the comments, answering, trying to get them what they need. And I think, it is hard to tell who's being authentic or not, but I think, really look for the people that are serving their audience and not just looking for shock and awe on the numbers, they want to help you.

Crystal (31:12):

And I love that you would do this for free. I'm glad you're making money doing it though, because it seems like you are very educated and know what you're doing with this. And I am glad you're helping so many women find their purpose and make a business out of that. I think that's so cool. I think knowing when to pivot is important, but how do you make sure you're ready to pivot? I think sometimes entrepreneurs get so ready to just jump when they decide they just want to go right away. But how should they prepare to pivot?

Kristen (31:41):

Yeah. Caution, danger will Robinson, first of all, have an exit strategy. So if you're really frustrated and you're like, I just want to leave this and move over to this. Well, create an on ramp or an off ramp, like create a strategy, get very clear on, don't let this be an emotional decision. That's so important because when those emotions are gone, reality is going to be like cold water splashed in your face. But I would just say, again, go into the self check. Is this what I would do for free?

Kristen (32:18):

I always do market research. Do your market research and then also have proof of concept. So do beta tests, make sure that you're offering something unique, don't get in your head about unique. You are unique, but make sure that you can actually solve a problem that people have in the marketplace. Do your research. I feel like those are probably the biggest ones I would say is like, do your research, make sure there's a felt need, have a beta test going and create an exit strategy where you can phase out and phase in and figure out like, what are your goals? How quickly do you want to be there and figure out your steps accordingly.

Crystal (32:59):

Awesome.

Laura (32:59):

I love it.

Crystal (33:00):

With a plan like that, who would be afraid to pivot? I just think like, you've really... I know a lot of people don't think the way you do, which I'm glad you're helping so many because there's been already like five moments in this call alone that I've been like, I had never even thought about that. So I think like the planning that you're putting in place for entrepreneurs is so important. And I hope everyone listening is taking that and hopefully going to plan their own business prenup and get some planning in case they ever do need to pivot, because the research and all that is really important.

Crystal (33:35):

You can't just dive into a market like you were saying where you think the grass is greener. You have to know before you make that jump, because it may not be the right jump just because it's time to jump. So I think that's great, great advice, honestly.

Kristen (33:48):

Yeah, I think the biggest mistake I see people making because I end up coaching these people or I was for a bit, is these people that would get these big starry eyes about like online courses, I'm going to create an online course and they read these big numbers of like this 20K launch here, this 20K launch here. And yes, the e-Learning industry is, there's exponential growth available for you. But what people don't understand is they're not thinking like I have to go and build an audience. I have to have a strong personal brand. I have to have a lot of value given before, before I ever have an ask.

Kristen (34:25):

I see people throwing a ton of money into building a course, 80 hours creating it. And then they realize, Oh, I also have to funnel a ton of ads, build the email list. It could be a 50 to $60,000 endeavor before you ever turn any kind of profit and yikes. But they have all these... they're very starry-eyed about it and thinking like, "Oh, I'll just create a course." Well, everyone's creating a course right now.

Crystal (34:52):

Everyone right now.

Kristen (34:53):

How are you going to stand out? You have to do that work.

Laura (34:56):

And you have to do the marketing strategy behind it, have you to create a course. And then you have to create a buzz around it and promote it and drive traffic to it because otherwise, what's the point?

Crystal (35:09):

One of the things we did when I worked at a moving company, I just still love this example. That's why I share it probably too often. But they basically found out the top 25 Googled questions about their company and/or the service. And they created content around those things. So if you are one of the people right now using COVID to build a knowledge-based business, I think what Kristen said of the research is so important.

Crystal (35:37):

Find out what people are looking for already and build courses or content around those things because they already, you're more likely to get involved in search when you're answering those questions, it's a little bit more cost effective. And also you can own this space if no one else is talking about it. So I think that research is so key and that really helped us get rankings, like number one for several different articles and it made it a lot easier. So go with the flow-

Kristen (36:05):

I'll share with you some of the bootstrapin' I did-

Crystal (36:07):

Yes, please.

Kristen (36:08):

I had a really massive growth very, very quickly in my business, but I was also like building a brand for a long time. I was bringing value to the online space for so long because again, I loved talking branding and marketing and sales, but it didn't have an offer. Before I ever brought an offer to the market, I got on a phone call with 50 people and I interviewed-

Crystal (36:33):

I love that.

Kristen (36:33):

They said, what is valuable to you? What do you need? What's the gap here? What would be frustrating for you? What's worth it for you? No one gets on the phone anymore. I did old fashioned. Can I call you? 30 minutes?

Crystal (36:44):

That's amazing.

Kristen (36:45):

And I spent like, I got this freaky eye virus and I was quarantined before quarantine was ever cool. And I was like, "Okay, ain't going to keep me down. I'm going to call people." No one can stop me from calling people. So I called 50 people to do market research. And then I crafted my offer based on that. So many people will go and craft an offer that sounds good to them, but they won't do the market research. So because I knew my market extremely well, I still have people when they read my copy and come up to my platform, they're like, "I feel like you're reading my diary." I'm like, "Well, I interviewed 50 people just like you." So really I did read your diary.

Laura (37:19):

You created your customer persona.

Kristen (37:23):

I did.

Crystal (37:24):

I will tell you it's clear you're still doing that research because we were chatting about you. We always have like a podcast sync meeting at the beginning of the week to get prepared for any recordings. And I was looking at your blog and there was a title Hustle versus-

Kristen (37:40):

Hard work.

Crystal (37:41):

Hard work. And I was like, Oh my gosh, this is so great. The title alone really grabbed me. And I was like, thinking to myself, that is such an important question because sometimes they always say work smarter, not harder. And sometimes you're really hardworking. Any entrepreneur out there is hard working. Hustle takes it to the next level. So I loved the title. It's clear you're still doing that research. And actually, I loved your assistant too. She's so great to work with when we were scheduling you.

Kristen (38:09):

She's the best.

Crystal (38:10):

Yeah. She's so awesome. But she was saying that you're going to offer our listeners the purpose platform. So we'll make sure to include that in the link of the notes. Do you want to tell us a little bit about what they can find in there?

Kristen (38:22):

Yeah. So the purpose of this platform, it's funny, you're catching me in like another huge pivot, but it is all about how to like find your core strengths, your core values, create a personal mission statement, first understand yourself and figure out what you were meant to do in this world. And then from there, figuring out, knowing yourself and your gifts and talents, who are you most best positioned to serve based on your gifts, talents and personality. So here's what your ideal target audience might be. And then getting clear on what problem do you solve? So I create this methodology for how do you, especially for organic marketing, without doing a single paid ad, because I built a six figures without a single paid ad.

Laura (39:07):

Wow.

Crystal (39:07):

I love that.

Kristen (39:08):

And so I teach them the same philosophies I went through of like, I don't claim to own the StoryBrand framework, but I teach them, I point them back to Donald Miller and like use the StoryBrand framework, understand your hero's journey. He's so great. And I tell them like plug in your hero's journey. What's interesting is I was coaching a lot of coaches consultants. And what happened is I became big in the network marketing industry because what's happening there is all the sales and marketing and branding strategy that is taught to, I feel everyone else, is not being taught to network marketers. And we have more people than ever joining that industry because a lot of moms are not going to go and wait tables or work at a grocery store. They're like it's low barrier entry. They might not have the overhead to build a course. So they're like, "Okay, I'm going to sell skincare."

Kristen (39:58):

Well, she has to know how to brand herself from her friend, Cindy who's down the street, selling the exact same thing. So I saw this massive need in their markets. So I started teaching this branding positioning and selling to network marketers in a way that made sense for them, because no one else was. I'm like, okay. So my pivot is I built a purposeful platform for anybody who wants to figure out their brand, their positioning. But I'm making a pivot to really serving and focusing on the network marketing industry because there's a rep, let's be honest, there's a reputation there. Everyone's had the, hey girl message. So I'm teaching them like, if you do this right, you will never have to send hey girl message again. And people actually like this industry and when they like the industry, they'll be open to doing it with you.

Crystal (40:42):

I think they could use the help. It could just be that they don't know, they don't have the support that they need to really know how to make the sale work. So I love that. I think there's a lot of great products out there that are affiliate marketing. And I've taken advantage of some of them. And I think with some help, they can be selling with purpose and really making that a business. So I love that pivot as well Kristen. Okay [crosstalk 00:41:07]

Laura (41:07):

Oh, sorry. I just want to say really quick. You're a woman after my own heart, because it seems like you have a lot of copywriting experience and I've been a writer and editor for 14 years. And so the fact that you're implementing that strategy for your clients, like showing them how to word, how they promote their product and their business, that's a huge marketing strategy and PR strategy that is invaluable in my opinion, because you have to know how to sell yourself. You have to have the talking points where it's a fine line between manipulation and genuine concern for your clients.

Crystal (41:48):

Yeah, that's for sure. I love it. Okay. So Kristen, let our audience know where they can find you.

Kristen (41:55):

Yeah. You can find me on Instagram at underscore becoming underscore boss, or you can check out my website, kristenboss.com. Those are the two places where you will see what's going on in my world, what my current offers are.

Crystal (42:08):

I heard from your great assistant that you're going to offer our listeners the social selling academy?

Kristen (42:13):

Yeah. So it is the ultimate place for people who are selling a product or a service and leveraging their social media to do that in an organic way. So it's a community where I teach how to brand, position yourself copyright, but it also has life coaching component where they can opt in to be coached live by me weekly in that community. And it's a lifetime access they pay once, it's $1,000 for life, it's in, they get life coaching, access to all my future modules and current modules. It is for somebody who's like, you know what, I'm ready to learn to leverage social selling, but do it in a way with purpose, authenticity, and joy.

Laura (42:51):

Well, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today, Kristen, it was a pleasure having you on, loved the energy today and thank you all out there for tuning in to this episode of Small Biz Buzz. We will see you next time.

Speaker 4 (43:11):

Thanks for listening to Small Biz Buzz. Please take a second to subscribe to the show and leave a five-star rating. It helps keep the show going. And, if you need a hand with growing your small business, head on over to keap.com, that's K-E-A-P.com and get started. More business. Less work. That's Keap.



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