Interview with Anastasia Netri About Vulnerability and Honesty in Marketing

 Interview with Anastasia Netri About Vulnerability and Honesty in Marketing

Anastasia Netri (pictured right) recently asked me to be a part of her ‘Experts in the Raw: The Naked Truth About Success‘ telesummit. Her idea was to give people a very candid look at the truth of what it takes to grow a business in the real world, beyond the marketing hype of how easy it is. I loved the idea. And I loved her even more when she told me all the speakers needed to send her an ‘almost nude’ photo. You can see the photo I went with here.

So, I decided to interview her for my blog so you could get a taste of what this program is all about and who she is and how you can build deeper trust by weaving in more authenticity and vulnerability into your business.

You speak a lot about needing to be real about how hard it is when you first start out. We’re often told: “You can make $10,000 a month in 2 days a week even if you’re just starting out!” or “Get to 6 figures in your first 3 months of business!” or “A million dollar business is easy!” And then, after trying really hard we’re left wondering, “What’s WRONG with me that I can’t do that?” Can you share what it was like for you when you started out?

When I first started out, I couldn’t GIVE my stuff away. Literally.  I offered to coach people for free, for $20 an hour, and STILL couldn’t get clients. And then the niche switching began.
 
2 years.  7 niches.  7 different websites.  7 different business cards.  7 different newsletters.  And like, 3 clients.  Freakin’ disaster.  
 
What really turned it around for me was in 2009, in December, I had HAD it.  Officially.  I made a powerful intention that 2010 was NOT going to suck, and that I would create a big list, fill my practice, and get on with it.
 
Then, about 6 weeks later I met a nice man who suggested I do a tele summit – I didn’t even know what one was at the time.  He introduced me to some big names, and I’ll never understand how – but I put the thing together.  I did my own website, had no team, and worked my ass off for 5 months.  But it worked.  I grew to a list of 4,000 people, and by June, I had a full practice.
 
I think success can happen a lot of ways – and that was mine.  But I took on a project that was so huge, and stepped into it.  So my little nugget is – when opportunity comes a knockin’ – don’t turn that shit down.  Step up and take it.

This program you’re doing feels a lot like the Emperors New clothes. there’s an exposing, unveiling and truth telling energy to this. Why is this so important to you?

I spent so much of my own life “comparing” to everyone else. I thought people who had achieved success had it all together, and I always felt like I could never measure up. I think the spiral of negative self talk was the biggest thing in my way.

I know I’m not the only one that feels like that. I thought if I could show people that they are just the same as the people that they *think* have it all together, that we make mistakes, still have wounds and stuff, and can still “make it” then they can too.

What’s the response been so far? Is it hitting a nerve like you thought it would? Are people getting it?

People are not only “getting it” but they’re loving it. It seems to be speaking to those people that really WANT a peek behind the curtain. We’ve already built a community of nearly 4,000 amazing entrepreneurs, and it’s growing from there. Very cool.

One of the lessons I’m reminded of from this is the power of helping people remember that they’re not alone and they’re not crazy for having their experience. It’s painful to be trying to grow a business and feel like everyone is ahead of you and you should be further because some guru said so – when, in reality, you may be doing great but have a skewed set of expectations based on someone’s hype and marketing. Can you say anything more about this?

I agree totally. Expectations is everything. There is a lot of belief out there that we are all “falling behind” and it’s not true. The truth is – in ANY business, it takes 3-5 years to really turn a profit.

I really sum it up like this (I wrote this to a FB group of clients):

You see, it takes 3 years MINIMUM to really turn a profit in your business. In year 1 – EVERYTHING IS NEW. You can feel like a novice, no one knows you, you’re scared, you have to do 5 tele seminars until you get it right…all of that. You’re really a bad ass if you have a nice practice, and can pay some bills with the money you generated from your business.

Then, in year 2, you start to know a little more. You’re starting to figure this out. But, you reinvest all of your money. You hire your expensive coach, you get your nice pictures up. You upgrade your branding. And more.

Then, you go into year 3. Now, shit is starting to work. You’re getting the hang of this. You know some people. You have some attention. You have mastered sales conversations and now you can sell your bad ass $10,000 package (or more).

Year 4 comes. You got a profit. You’re a player in the industry. You’ve got a big ol’ list. And it just grows from there.

There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but this is how it is for 90% of entrepreneurs – not just coaches, but ANYONE.

SO KEEP GOING. TAKE CONSISTENT ACTION. Don’t give up. It DOES get easier.

If people knew this, perhaps they wouldn’t think they are FAILING. A quantum leap doesn’t necessarily mean 6 figures. It means that you’re still going, making leaps, and not giving up.

Here’s an example:

If you want to be a speaker, chances are…you may suck for your first few talks. However, if you want it enough and you’re driven to keep going, you ask questions, get some training, and practice – then lo and behold – you’re going to be an awesome speaker. It’s that simple. 

MOST (not all of course) but MOST “overnight successes” have more to them than what you see. I love to point people towards comedians – I think that’s got to be one of the hardest jobs out there. People have get up on stage, and get their timing just right, their bits refined, and most of the time, when they’re really funny – that’s the result of getting up OVER AND OVER night after night and getting everything right. It’s a journey of getting to really see who we are, what we’re capable of, and at the end of the day – your bank account is a measure of: how much you’re in your power, how much you allow yourself to be supported, and how much you’ve learned and grown.

Making money as an entrepreneur requires some skills. There’s marketing. Sales conversations. Technology. Relationship building. The list goes on and on. Growing a business will pull you out of your comfort zone in 25 different directions at once. But – when you take one step at a time, breathe, ask questions, get help, and just DO IT…at some point you will achieve mastery. (And, then you’ll be on to the next new and exciting thing!)

Being an entrepreneur is a spiritual, mental, and emotional bootcamp. It will train you to be at your best, know who you are, and embrace the unknown more than just about anything you’ll ever do.

You can be one of the 10% if you simply decide right now that you aren’t giving up. That’s what every successful person you know has in common. There was no “plan b”. They just made it work. It’s not because they are smarter, prettier, richer, or more popular. It’s because they kept going. YOU can do that too. Let today be the day you decide.

You speak about the importance of being sort of selectively vulnerable and sharing mistakes you’ve made that are relevant to them. What’s your feeling about sharing things you are currently struggling with?

I think it’s the truth. It is HARD to share that stuff though, quite honestly. But I’m found that in a past program that I lead, and even with current clients, when I share screw ups from “last week”, and turn it into a teaching moment, people see the real deal – which is mistakes happen, and the bigger you’re going, sometimes the bigger the mistake.

BUT, as long as you learn from them, APPLY your learning, and move on – then that’s what will guarantee your success.

In the beginning, I felt like everyone does, which is “if they knew how fu*ked up I was, no one would hire me.”

It was when I first started running group programs that I found myself sharing personal stuff, mistakes I made last week, and I found that people were feeling closer to me, trusting me more, and getting more empowered from feeling like they didn’t have to be perfect all the time.

So I kept doing it, and then started to share stuff more publicly in baby steps. I still get nervous about it, but I decided the best way to keep going with this was to invite a bunch of people to hang it out of the wind with me. And here we are.

Many entrepreneurs wonder how much to share with their clients, and for good reason.

When it comes to being authentic in your marketing and communication with your clients, you don’t have to share everything. Sometimes, it’s not in service of them to do so. It doesn’t mean you’re holding back if you don’t want to be public with everything. Private lives are okay!

However, being a little edgy with your sharing can really help your clients to relate to you, to know that you understand them, and to feel even more connected with your message.

Here are a couple of tips that will help you decide what to share:

Tip #1: Share things your clients can learn from

It is of great service of your clients to share mistakes you made, what you learned from it, and what you can teach them as a result of it.

For instance, let’s say you teach about how to maintain balance, and last week you worked 90 hours, never left your house, and didn’t shower for 4 days. (It happens.)

A great article or talk could tell your clients something like:

“Look, balance is not always on an every day basis. Last week I was in the middle of a huge project and worked super hard, but I realized that one week of “full steam ahead” would provide me with 2 weeks of lightening up my schedule.

So I finished my project, scheduled an entire day unplugged, got a massage, and curled up with ‘50 shades of gray’ for a few hours. It was awesome, and I had accomplished a lot. I celebrated myself.

It’s important to remember the first and most important quality of balance is to not beat up on yourself, know that at times you’ll get busy, and make sure to plan some down time. Then, return to your balanced life the following week.”

You’re sharing with them that they don’t have to be perfect and give them permission to fall off the horse from time to time. You can then, lovingly encourage them to keep getting back on track.

Tip #2: Share things your clients can relate to

Let’s take the same scenario. You teach about balance. In your “story” you may not want to share about the crack problem you had in 1983. This has nothing to do with them, and what their issues are.

But you CAN share about how you worked 90 hours a week for a year, burned yourself out, had to learn the skills you now teach, and how it helped you.

Remember to keep your shares relevant, turn your “mistakes” into teaching moments, and be open to showing them that if you don’t do things perfectly all the time, they can still have an amazing life!

What do you do when you get personally attacked by someone on your list for being ‘out of integrity’? And, if it hasn’t happened to you, what would you recommend people doing?

I’ll tell ya – the bigger your list and your following the MORE that people will come at you. I’ve had people tell me that I suck before (or they don’t like this or that about me), and it’s hard to hear. However, there is always something useful in it. So instead of blaming them, I listen. I will find places to get more clear, set better expectations, and be a better coach. There’s always juice in that feedback, and it’s hard not to take it to heart. I think the key is not staying there, and to keep getting back up.

Truth and integrity, and what they mean, varies from person to person. So that kind of stuff can be useful in deciding who YOU are. You get a thicker skin and realize that you’re going to trigger people at some point. I always tell my clients: “If you’re marketing is not repelling with the same energy that it’s attracting, then you may still be trying to please everyone.”

Not everyone likes the fact that I have Fu*k written on my facebook wall every other day. But the ones who love it are my peeps. I can’t please everyone and I’m exhausted trying, just like most people. Hence the whole “naked and raw” theme. The people I’m meant to serve get it. The other ones don’t, and they’re meant to be helped by someone else. It takes a village for sure – all of us coming together. And when you step into your voice, your people will love you for it.

 

Anastasia Netri is the creator of Experts in the Raw – the Naked Truth About Success global online event. She has brought 20 speakers together to share the behind the scenes look into the real life of an entrepreneur, (and share lots of teaching moments for you!) so that you feel empowered to keep going and create the life they dream about. Check it out here

About Tad

  • http://www.facebook.com/tanja.gardner.7 Tanja Gardner

    Tad, I *loved* yesterday’s kickoff call for Anastasia’s Experts in the Raw series, and can’t wait to see what other wisdom gets shared over the course of the call :-) And FWIW, I first heard about the series through your email, so I’m particularly looking forward to your interview!

    Also, this sentence “You see, it takes 3 years MINIMUM to really turn a profit in your business” above makes me feel SO MUCH better.

    See, in New Zealand, the IRD (our inland revenue dept) gives businesses 3 years to become profitable. It’s all but expected that, if you start a conventional business, you’ll make a loss during your first 2-3 financial years of business.

    But I keep hearing these “overnight success” stories from online marketing gurus and wondering whether that 3-year thing is part of the “old paradigm” or something.

    Reading this makes me feel a hell of a lot better about the fact that most months since I went fulltime last year, I’ve been recording a (granted, fairly modest) profit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tad.hargrave Tad Hargrave

    it’s so refreshing to hear some reality hey?