The Mentorship Program
Tired of Spinning Your Wheels?
A chance to work with me, in-depth, to build the kind of strong marketing foundations to your business that you’ve been craving (so that you never need to ‘sell’ anyone).”
Be Proud of Your Business, Finally Name Your Niche, Articulate Your Unique Point of View, Figure Out How To Have Your Ideal Clients Come To You, Get Your Toughest Marketing Questions Answered And Write Some Damn Fine Sales Letters To Boot
Introducing the Marketing for Hippies Mentorship Program
NOTE: This program is being retired and we are no longer accepting applications. If you are interested in working with Tad one-on-one, you can check out the options HERE.
Something that might be of interest to you is my Membership Program. It has less 1:1 access than this program did, but is a robust online community on the Mighty Networks platform. It might suit you, you can read about it HERE.
We’ll be leaving this sales page up for posterity, you’re welcome to peruse it if you like – there are some great case studies of past Mentorship clients as you scroll down the page.
I’m sitting down to type out this longer letter to you invite you to join my in-depth, small-group Marketing Mentorship coaching program.
I should warn you: this is a long letter because there’s much to say. Frankly, I recommend printing this off, making yourself a nice hot cup of tea and sitting down at your favourite cafe or kitchen table or comfy living room chair by the fire to read it over slowly.
This program is designed for twelve driven, service-providing entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next level. It’s a chance for you to dig in deep and make something beautiful and profitable of your businesses.
Long term, the most important thing we can do to grow our businesses is to make a solid foundation.
Every hour you spend on the foundations of your business will save you ten over the next couple of years and hundreds over the coming decades.
Every dollar you spend on the foundations of your business will save you hundreds over the next couple of years and thousands over the coming decades.
If you don’t have the foundations, then you’ll need to rely on templates given to you by marketing coaches that might get close but will never feel like you. Like a borrowed suit or dress vs. something tailored. You’ll be able to memorize an elevator pitch but you won’t be able to improvise in the moment in response to the question, “And what do you do?”
Without having strong foundations you’ll never be able to figure out your hubs, or craft compelling offers or develop the kind of word of mouth for your business you could have.
Imagine this: every day you swim from one island to another.
One day, one of your best friends approaches you to swim them from one island to another. They’ve always wanted to go there. Well… they’re a good friend. So you put them in a life preserver and tie it to a rope and you swim them over.
It’s exhausting but fulfilling.
When you get back to shore. There’s crowd. Word has spread. You swim people over. And so, you quit your job and make a living at this.
Maybe they’ve never heard of boats. Maybe the boats don’t land at your part of the island. Just roll with me here.
Most entrepreneurs I know spend their lives swimming from one island to another dragging one client behind them at a time.
At some point, you need to build a boat. A boat that is structurally sound but also beautiful. A boat that would draw your ideal clients to it at the crowded harbour but also carry them, and you safely to the other shore.
Once you’ve built the boat, it’s always there.
Once you’ve got your niche, you likely don’t need to change it for a long time.
Once you’ve laid out your point of view, you can roll with it for years to come.
Once you’ve designed your offerings and written your sales letters, you’ll enjoy their benefits over and over again for a long time.
In the long term, most businesses fail because they build the house of their business too quickly and they ignore the foundations and so they caught in the constant repairs and reactions to its falling apart. They’re never able to get ahead.
It is by application only.
And, well . . . here you are.
To be clear about where you need to be to be a fit for this program
You are no longer at Stage One:
Creation: In stage one, you’re doing a lot of experimenting still. You don’t have a clearly defined niche yet. You likely have no help at at all with your business and you are absolutely not able to sustain yourself financially – you can’t make a living at this level. In creation, things are new. You’ve had the idea to start a business and are full of excitement. The seed germinates and begins to sprout. At this stage the plant is far too soft and flimsy to bear much weight. It’s very flexible but not that sturdy. This is where most people, properly and appropriately, are for the first year or so of their business.
You are at the tail end of Stage Two:
Concentration: At this stage, you might be beginning to get some part time help but you’re only barely paying the bills in your business. You’re squeezing by and the money is up and down. You focus on your marketing and money comes in but then you focus on delivering your products and services and the business dries up. Back and forth. Feast and famine happens a lot here. But, at this point, you’ve figured out that having a niche matters and you’re beginning to get some general sense of what it is but you can’t quite seem to nail it down. You’ve also realized that having a solid business model down and developing business systems matters but you often feel overwhelmed in implementing them. This phase is like the phase of rapid growth of a plant that ends with the woody growth beginning. There’s a lot of hard work and a lot of learning here.
Here’s what some of my favourite Mentorship Program participants have told me was going on for them that drew them to the program:
- “The next time I leave my writing gig, I want to have a solid business to go to. Last time I leapt without a net and it taught me so much; I really needed it at that point in my life. This time, I want to leap onto a solid foundation that can carry me forward.”
- “I launched my new website and mentorship program online but I am not having clients yet.”
- “My son will be in preschool five (FIVE!) mornings a week starting in September so I’ll actually have the time to dedicate to this program and to continue to build my business in a sustainable way that feels and is awesome.”
- “I’ve been ‘in business’ for 17 years now. I say ‘in business’ in quotes because in many ways it has been more like a hobby only I haven’t been willing/able to do anything else even though I have never made more than 25K in a year.”
- “It’s time I start feeling proud of what I’ve built rather than embarrassed by the reality of where I am after 3 years.”
- “I need the feedback from someone who knows more than I do. And I need to put my ego aside and to stop trying to do this on my own.”
- “My current work has run its course for me. It is time to bring this work into the world.”
- “I’m just ready to get my ship to fly, to soar, to have all systems go, and I know that it’s not that far off. And, as I said, marketing is the main element right now – I want to do it in a way that allows my body to relax and invites me to be myself and inspired to share, more and more. And, I like the idea of investing a set amount of time, money, energy, etc. on the marketing over the next 6-12 months, with accountability to you and the group, which makes me feel that the kind of growth that I’m looking for is inevitable.”
- “I’m ready for ongoing, real support. The entrepreneurial road can be pretty lonely, and I recognize that I both want to and need to create and live more in community.”
One thing has become abundantly clear to you: you can’t do this alone. You know you have blindspots you can’t see. You can’t see the forest for the trees any more than the fish as aware of water as they swim through it. As the old saying goes, “The pickle can’t read the lable from inside the pickle jar.” You know you need a kind of help that goes beyond eBooks, DIY eCourses or even the occasional six-week-long online, group program. You need a set of eyes outside your business to look at your business and give you candid and honest reflections.
You want to get to Stage Three
Momentum: At this stage, you likely have a full time employee or two and your business is generating enough revenue that everyone is getting paid a fair amount. You are thriving. You have a solid niche and business model. In momentum, there’s a firming up of your business just as plants get that woody growth that prepares them to bear fruit later.
You’ve been working on your business for a while (at least three years) and recently you’ve felt some sort of an internal shift around it. The desire to grow it, take it more seriously than, perhaps, you have in the past. The desire to see it move from a hobby to a real, honest-to-goodness business.
Maybe it’s that you didn’t think it was really possible before, but now you do.
Maybe it’s that other things were a bigger priority but now the time and space have opened up and you’re finally ready.
Maybe it’s just an inner feeling you can’t put your finger on.
The Marketing Mentorship Program is for you if you:
- want to have a full-time business that does well by doing good and yet feel daunted at the prospect, stuck, and know you need a kind of support you can’t even articulate yet.
- know your businesses have mostly been an expensive hobby; a mysterious and beguiling project that always seems to be almost there and just about to succeed, but that never seem to crest the wave. You are willing to approach your business as a business, and not perceive the marketplace as “wrong” for not liking your first, second and third ideas.
- can’t seem to quit even though it would make all the sense in the world to do so.
- know in your craw that you’re meant to do a certain work but who can’t make it work. There’s always something missing that you can’t put your finger on.
- know what the basics are, yet have a hard time making a practice of them.
- like the Chinese bamboo tree, have spent years growing your root system deep and wide without much to show for it above the surface, and who are ready to grow ninety feet in ninety days (note: maybe not actually 90-days).
- are at an earlier stage of your business development and who are willing to let your roots grow deeper without demanding too much too soon of this young, sapling tree of your business.
- enamoured with the idea of growing your business, not by more and more complicated tactics, but by developing a simpler and simpler business model with more and more beautiful, compelling offers, where the word of what they do spreads through those slow and steady roads of relationship and reputation.
- want to be unreasonably proud of your businesses and unexpectedly comfortable in your own skin.
- want to approach your businesses in the way an artist approaches their craft.
- want your business to fit you and be as beautiful as the most ornate, bespoke, and ceremonial regalia bearing the thumbprint of your time and place.
More specifically, this is for you if…
- You have a specific business you want to grow and you want more in that business. This is the bottom line: You want more clients. More time. More money.
- You see room for growth in your business that could justify the expense of this program. This program is asking for a commitment of your time and money. Maybe not as much as other programs, but it’s not nothing. I would feel terrible if I realized that this program was asking you to pay an amount your business would never allow you to recoup. I don’t do that with my clients.
- You take (or are willing to start taking) your work seriously. This isn’t a hobby. It’s a business. It’s a craft. It’s something you’re passionate about and committed to getting better at. You are very good at what you do and you already enjoy some solid word-of-mouth and referrals from your existing clients.
- You are willing to spend five hours per week working on your business not just in your business. I’d like to know that you are willing to spend five hours per week (including calls) working on your business. Five hours a week working on repairing and painting your boat, not just sailing it. If you’re willing to do this, you will see growth in your business that you might not believe is possible. Translation: one hour per day, Monday through Friday, of focused time on making your business better.
- You are serious about growing your business and figuring out your niche. I think this one is self-explanatory.
- You are willing to shift priorities and to simplify your life to be able to put more focus on your business during our time together. I expect you to make progress on your marketing. If you’re not making progress, then this program isn’t a fit for you.
- You are willing to be a support for others in the group (I’m thinking about one hour per week of your time outside of the calls, giving one another feedback). This won’t be enforced but I’d like this program to be filled with the kinds of people who will naturally want to support one another.
- You are willing and able to show up for weekly calls and are willing to share a brief update on how things are going for you (e.g. accomplishments, sticking points etc.). If you never show up on the calls nor participate in the group, I’ll be in touch with you to see if it really makes sense for you to stay in the program. The calls aren’t mandatory but it helps to have that weekly time to check in.
- You are okay with knowing that my style for doing group calls is that we do work together on the call, not that I am teaching a lot on the calls. I’ve written out most of my thoughts on issues and will direct you there or give you more advanced support on how to apply it to your particular situation.
- You are someone for whom this isn’t your first rodeo. It would be a plus if you’ve been through some other coaching programs before and are familiar with other material that isn’t my own whether that be blogs and podcasts you follow, teleseminars and group programs you’ve participated in or other coaches you’ve worked with. Your experience will be a part of the feast I imagine this group will be.
- You are someone whose work and manner of moving in the world I admire. I want to be inspired by the people I’m working with. I need to be able to really believe in who you are and what you’re about. This will be an important filter for me. If I don’t believe that your work is adding real value to people’s lives, I won’t be able to help you much.
- You can afford this. This isn’t rhetorical. I have no interest in putting you into credit card debt so you can participate in this program. Can you currently afford this? Where will the money come from? I want to know that you have the money you need for first three months ($1200USD) in the bank set aside for this, in fact I’d feel even better if you had the whole six months worth ($2400USD) saved. I don’t want you going into debt. And I don’t want to feel the stress of needing to give you an instant breakthrough that might not be possible to give. Another reason this matters is that you might get less business for the first year while you’re in this program. That’s possible. Why? Well, setting a solid foundation takes time and focus and that can take time from the hustle of getting clients. You’ve only got so much time. It’s the Tortoise vs. the Hare. In the long run, this pays off but, in the short-term, it can cost you. It’s good to know.
This Program Is Likely Not a Fit for You If:
- you’re really happy with where your business is. If that’s true, stop reading. You don’t need this. Enjoy your beautiful life of enough.
- you are in a busy time with a lot of things coming up in the next six months. If you are expecting a child, moving home, planning big changes and growth in your business, tending to elderly parents alone etc. this might not be the best fit for you. This program asked you for six months of consistent, deep and sustained focus.
- you keep changing your mind on what your business is. If you have ‘shiny object syndrome’ and you haven’t settled on the thing you want to do, this program is not for you. Figure out the basic thing you want to do and then bring that to me and let me help you market it. You might not be able to articulate what you do well or have your target markets perfectly honed but there should be some steady core to it that hasn’t changed in a while and that you can lean on throughout our work together. If you bring one project you want to work on we’ll make much more progress than if you bring nine.
- (Related…) if you’re a multi-potentialite, glorious generalist and renaissance person with no particular focus. If you are, I love you but this program works best for someone with a particular business on which they want to focus for the next three years at least. If you’re the sort of person who’s starting new projects every month this is likely not the program for you.
- you’re a hardcore DIYer. If you are one of those people who wants to figure out and do everything yourself, God bless you and you might as well stop reading now.
- you’ve already got a copy-writer you’re working with. No. If you’re in this program, I ask you to let me help you write your copy. You can go back to them later. While you’re in this program, I ask that you let me help you.
- you need someone available on weekends. You’ll hear back from me Monday – Friday. If you need a coach who’s available on Saturdays and Sundays, I’m not your man.
- you need instant results. If you want to get from nothing to six-figures in six-months, look elsewhere. If you’ve got a workshop you need to sell out next month, this is not the program you need.
- your business is purely eCommerce. If your entire business is selling relatively low cost items (less than $50) such as books, eBooks, on Etsy and you’re going for scale then this isn’t a fit. I’d commend my Hub Marketing eBook instead and maybe a Puttering Session.
- you’re are a fundamentalist of any persuasion: If you are proudly dogmatic about your food choices, black and white on religion, strident in your politics, have clear cut definitions of what is right and wrong, have no issues with cancel culture and shaming or shunning used as a first resort to deal with people whose opinions you take issue with, and take pride in tearing people down on social media, we are not a fit.
- you can’t make changes to your website easily. Core to this program is recrafting your homepage, you bio and your sales pages. If you think that will be a problem, please begin working on fixing that the moment you apply for a space.
The Four Pieces of Technology You’ll Need:
One of my least favourite parts of business is being tech support for people so, walking into this program, I’d like to know you’re familiar with the basics of how to use the following four pieces of technology and that you have someone in your life who can help you if you get stuck.
1) Phone/Skype: The weekly calls will take place via a bridge line (local numbers will be provided so there will likely be no long distance charges).
2) Facebook: Most of the conversations we have will be typed into our private Facebook group.
3) GoogleDocs: You’ll need to learn how to use this. If you can use MS Word or Pages, you can use this. You’ll be sent a link to an online folder where your Mentorship Program work will be held so that we can work on it together. This means you’ll have to have (or create) a gmail account.
4) Voxer: This is a special app you put on your phone that lets us text and send voice messages to each other. And it has a button that makes it sound like a walkie-talkie. I reserve this app on my phone entirely for my assistant and mentorship clients to ensure that messages are kept track of. You can think of this as your emergency hotline. You can send me voice messages when you have quick questions. I’ll usually get back to you within 48 hours at the most but sometimes immediately. This isn’t a required piece of technology for the program, but it’s available to you.
Note – What This Program is Not:
I’m a marketing guy. I’m not a time management guy. I’m not a bookkeeping and accounting guy. I’m not a social media, Google Adwords or Facebook ad specialist. I’m a marketing guy. If you’re looking for a program that will teach you everything you need to know to make your business work, this isn’t it. Having said that, I’ve been in business for about 15 years and I’ve got opinions based on a lot of experience.
If you’re still reading at this point, there’s a good chance this is a fit, so let me tell you about the…
Five Core Elements of the Mentorship Program:
CORE ELEMENT #1 – GoogleDocs:
When you are accepted, you’ll get an online folder full of workbooks that will guide you step by step through my work. You’ll get clearer than you’ve ever been about who your ideal client is, who your target markets are, what your point of view is and what it is going to take to make it all happen – to name just a few.
It will look something like this . . .
This folder is where you’ll do an immense amount of work. Sometimes you’ll hate me. You’ll be walked, step by step, through these folders.
Each folder is filled with a few documents.
There’s a sequence to it all and a method to the mad amount of work.
Everything builds on what preceded it. Piece by piece we’ll construct the solid foundation of your business.
CORE ELEMENT #2 – Weekly Office Hours:
Every Tuesday at noon PST, for about 90 minutes, you’re welcome to call in to share your wins and get your questions answered. These calls aren’t mandatory but they are useful and a chance to get feedback not only from myself but the other participants.
This program will be centred around these office hours. We will connect on the phone and via a private Facebook group where we can work through whatever it is you’re needing help with that week instead of feeling like you’re taking detours from a set curriculum. You will receive the resources and support to overcome whatever marketing challenge you are experiencing, or get more clarity on your next steps. Realistically, not everyone will make every call. I imagine there will be 6-8 people per call. That’s plenty of time for everyone.
During our weekly calls, you’ll hear my voice but you will but muted until we get to your typed question, at which point, I’ll unmute you and we can chat. The format of the calls is pretty simple. First, I’ll ask you to share your wins and accomplishments. Secondly, I’ll ask you to share your questions and places you’re struggling that week. Then, I’ll share my thoughts on how you can address it. And lastly, I’ll ask you what was most useful to you from the call.
The calls will be recorded.
CORE ELEMENT #3 – Bat Phone:
You’ll have access to me via a “quick response hotline” app called Voxer. You can text me or send me voice messages there (sometimes talking is easier than typing). I do my best to get back to them within two business days (often sooner). It sometimes takes me weeks to get back to people who aren’t in my Mentorship Program. I get a lot of emails. As I look at Voxer just now, I see that one fellow has gotten over two hours of my time in Voxer voices messages in the last five days alone.
CORE ELEMENT #4 – Two Annual Retreats At My Home In Edmonton:
***Suspended until further notice due to covid-19***
Twice a year, you’ll be invited to my living room in Edmonton for a three and half day workshop. There’s no additional cost to the weekend beyond getting yourself there and finding accommodations. The format of the weekend is “hotseat” based. This means that you will get about two hours of our focused time as a group giving you advice and feedback on whatever issue has you feeling most stuck. The retreat will be 100% based around the issues you bring to it. This is available but not mandatory. Six months in the program guarantees you a spot at a retreat. You get a spot for each of the six months you’re in. If you’re in for eighteen months and you’re never able to make one retreat, you’ve got a seat at three future Mentorship Program retreats for as long as I’m holding them.
CORE ELEMENT #5 – Three Hour-Long Check In Calls:
At the beginning, in the middle and at the end, we’ll schedule a call to dig in together. The first call will be an orientation to the whole program. The second call will be after you finish your work on niching to explore how this niche can be implemented and how it might relate to the other work to be done. The third call, as you leave, will be to tie up any loose threads.
You’ll also have access to a private Facebook group, free access to every single one of my online products and programs (yes, all of them), a family rate on any one-on-one coaching you want, an invite to an twice yearly, 3.5 day retreat at my home for no cost to you, and generally having me think about you on a regular basis. Plus even more, which I’ll explain in a moment.
Okay, so those are the core elements, but how do they come together? What will they look like in the end?
Here’s The Flow of Your Mentorship Program:
So that’s the program in a nutshell.
Let Me Marie Kondo Your Business With You . . .
If you’re familiar with Marie Kondo’s work on decluttering well . . . that’s exactly what I do for your business.
Some entrepreneurs flail because that have no clarity on anything.
They don’t know what they want to do.
They don’t how how they want to do it.
They don’t know for whom they want to do it.
Or where. Or when. Or why.
But I know many entrepreneurs (almost everyone who signs up for the Mentorship Program in fact) who have the opposite problem.
They have too much clarity.
How could you have too much?
Well, imagine that each bit of clarity is “stuff.” It’s a shirt. A book. A plate. A piece of art. That can quickly become clutter in your home when you have too much of it.
So the first order of business is to get all of your stuff in one pile and then start putting it into smaller piles.
You’ve got to put the right thing in the right bucket. Once the stuff is organized, it’s amazing how fast you can move.
Point of view goes in the point of view bucket (not the niching bucket).
Ideal Client work doesn’t go in the Target Market bucket.
This seems so simple but it’s utterly why so many people with so much experience and so much clarity fail.
Mental clutter which becomes fuzzy and unclear marketing.
So, let me help you Marie Kondo your business. We’ll get rid of what no longer sparks joy and find a place for everything that remains.
What will this program be like on a daily basis? Let me paint the picture for you:
It’s Monday morning and you wake up to pour yourself your favourite hot drink as you decide whether or not that stretching and exercise is actually going to happen or not.
You turn on your phone, despite your promise not to open it until after your exercise was done, and there you see it.
There’s a message on Voxer from a fellow Marketing Mentorship Program participant giving you ideas on blog post topics you might use in the lead up to a launch.
There’s a text from another with a link to an article they thought you would like.
You check the Facebook group and there are three trustworthy designers suggested for you to check out as you redo your website, and five people have given you feedback in the group on the headline and subheadline of the sales letter for your new program (which, just from browsing you can tell is going to make it twice as good as it would have been), and one of them has even offered to email it to his list since it’s such a natural fit for his audience.
You notice a strange feeling that is new for you: nothing feels stuck in your business. Nothing is stalled. Now you don’t necessarily have time for everything, but things are generally flowing at a natural, manageable pace for you. The elements of your business are moving. Things are moving. You are feeling increasingly clear about where it’s all going. Your life is feeling more open and spacious than it was. Your business feels simpler.
You used to get stuck small elements of your business and inspiring projects would die on the vine. You used to find yourself so frustrated because you didn’t know how to do things that everyone else seemed to know how to do and you didn’t even know who to call to get help from. But, in this Marketing Mentorship Program group, there always seems to be at least one person who has some kind of idea, some kind of resource, that’s the perfect thing to help you get moving again.
You realize that there’s another thing you’ve stopped feeling in your business: lonely. You don’t feel lonely anymore. You’ve got this group of people who are looking out for you, who have your back.
You take one more sip of your hot drink and decide to exercise. You had told everyone in the group this was important to you and, seeing their messages now, you’re reminded of this. You turn off your phone and begin your day and your week the way you’d always hoped you would begin it when you first started your business.
But, let’s take a step back and wonder about this… why is your business stuck in the first place that you would even need a Mentorship Program like this?
I don’t think it’s your fault.
My Take: Three Main Reasons Your Business Feels Stuck
Most people are shocked at how, with focus, consistency, a willingness to take some calculated risks and invest into their businesses, much can happen very quickly.
Most people quit far too soon because they lack the support they need to keep going.
They get stuck on simple things and then never get unstuck.
Little things get in their way and it doesn’t take a lot to get it moving.
I think there are three things that, like a braided rope tethered to a place we no longer want to be, hold us back from getting anywhere.
Reason #1: Lack of Support.
Why is it that people get stuck? They don’t have enough of the right kind of support.
They don’t have a system and infrastructure set up to support them.
As my colleague, Corrina Gordon-Barnes reminds us, “It’s not called ‘by-yourself-employment.'”
A permaculture company came to me years ago because their Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) wasn’t filling up. They were stuck. I gave them a simple strategy that filled up their PDC’s for years to come – getting intro workshops hosted across Western Canada by local permaculture hubs and offering their PDC’s there. The idea was so simple but they weren’t going to figure it out on their own. It took about twenty minutes to figure this out.
In my thirty-day cashflow challenge The Meantime that I run every year, I give people a simple exercise to do each call. It’s so simple. For five minutes every single call, they have to ask people for help. It’s a support-asking blitz. They text friends. They email them. They post on Facebook.
And people end up getting unstuck from things that have baffled, held back and hamstrung them for years.
An office that needed organizing? A friend comes over and helps. How to get video online? Their neighbours kids teach them how. Where to promote their services? Their friends on Facebook give them ten solid options. Five minutes.
If you want to grow, you need help.
Reason #2: Missing Fundamentals.
If you want to grow up, you have to root down. If you want to expand your business, then you absolutely must hone in on your niche, your point of view, and what offerings you wish to focus on. You need to hone in on the core marketing activities you’ll do daily, weekly, monthly etc. and actually do them for a while.
If you wish to grow, you must be willing to go slowly for a while.
A holistic practitioner once came to me wondering how to do blogging and build her website. She was overwhelmed. I asked her why she was blogging. She said it was to get clients. I pointed out that she didn’t need either to get clients. Sure, they were helpful but there were more direct ways to go about it. She could focus on a particular niche, identify the local hubs in that niche and craft an offer she was proud of. She felt so liberated and empowered by this. That took five minutes.
I would say that 75% of the people who participate in my Meantime 30-Day program realize, usually towards the end of it, that the reason they’ve been struggling is that they have no clearly defined niche. Others come to realize that their offers are so generic that it’s no wonder that there wasn’t a response to it. Others see that all they’ve been doing is ‘cold marketing’ instead of figuring out who’s already connected to their ideal clients and building relationships there.
Once those principles land for people and are translated into their situation, they feel liberated.
It’s like they’ve been lost in the woods for years and someone finally shows them a map that makes sense.
If you want to grow, you need help identifying and integrating the fundamentals of business into your business.
Reason #3: Marketing in a Way That Doesn’t Fit Your Personality.
I’ve seen countless entrepreneurs stymied because the way they were told to market felt so gross to them. Or, if not gross, then like clothing that didn’t fit them – either too tight or too loose and so, like most of us would do, they stopped wearing them and there hung their marketing in the closet of their business.
Maybe they were taught to open conversations with an elevator pitch but they could feel it repelling people and so they stopped.
Or they were taught to be big and powerful when, deep inside, they are sweet and shy. They were taught to lead their intro workshops in a certain way and “close from the front of the room” using certain techniques that never felt right but they did it anyway because they felt they were supposed to.
Example #1: The Life Coach and the End of Her Need for Online Marketing Mastery
One life coach came to a weekend workshop of mine absolutely stuck on how to grow her online following. She felt overwhelmed by trying to build an audience online – especially since, as an extrovert, it was painful for her to sit at a computer all day when she craved to be out in the world connecting with people. Ten minutes of focused workshop coaching helped her see she might be better served to network locally. If she could find the right groups to speak to (e.g. breakfast networking groups) and make the right offers, this might help her get more clients. She was stunned and felt immediately liberated.
This is isn’t to say she should never market online. She likely should. But it’s to say that, being so caught up in the one way she imagined she had to market, she couldn’t see some of the easier to pick, low hanging fruit right in front of her eyes.
Example #2: The Curious Case of the Glasgow Sock Folder
Here’s a story that’s a little longer, but well worth the time for the delight it offers.
A fellow from Glasgow called me up for a coaching session recently. He wasn’t self-employed, choosing instead to work for the city. He liked the idea of self-employment but lacked a clear idea of what he could do that might excite him. He’d studied a form of personal and spiritual growth that had made a big difference in his life but rankled at the thought of being a typical life coach who was stuck on the phone talking with people every day. He was also one of the tidiest people in the world and had a deep love of doing the dishes and would travel the world to find a new way to fold his socks more beautifully.
And so, when my launch email for my Puttering Sessions hit his inbox, he was overjoyed and told his confused co-worker, “I’m going to be doing a marketing coaching session while he does the dishes! I love tidying!“
During our call, as I listened, ideas began to occur to me for him.
“What if,” I said. “You were to do some YouTube videos where you video yourself tidying your home or teaching that new way to fold your socks, and you were to pair that work with some insight that you had about your inner work? What if you were to weave together those two seemingly unrelated worlds and show how they were actually the same? What if, instead of doing coaching sessions on the phone you were to go over to a client’s house and spend the day tidying a room of their house, a deep cleanse, while you were also doing a deep inner cleanse about a particular something that was bothering them? And what if you brought people together in a MeetUp style group to help some good community groups get organized, or to tidy a park and it included a potluck and a little talk from you? And you could even do a 30-day virtual challenge where people spend those 30 days cleaning their homes while also cleaning up their minds. They’d take and post before photos and after photos. They could have a daily tidying and journalling practice.“
He was delighted. He didn’t know how soon he’d get to any of those ideas, but they all felt like ideas he could do if the timing felt right.
That happened in one hour.
Example #3: The Rabbi and His Online Courses
I once coached a Rabbi who felt stuck. He’d developed online courses but felt awkward pitching them at the synagogues to which he’d often be brought to speak. The whole thing felt wrong to him. I affirmed that there was nothing wrong with him for not being able to figure that out and that it would, indeed, be awkward if he were to make an offer of his programs in such a setting.
“But,” I suggested. “If the host who brought you in were to mention them, this would be another thing entirely. That would be, if tastefully done, fine.”
“They would love to do that for me! Of course!” he exclaimed.
I could give you many more examples of people who were stuck with an approach to marketing that felt wrong for a long time who, with a little bit of support, are suddenly moving again in a direction that feels right.
In my experience, even issues that have felt intractable and overwhelming for years are suddenly a thing of the past when you make a commitment and have a system set up to get the support you need.
The Eight Additional Things You Get From This Program:
ADDITIONAL THING #1: Access to a private Facebook Group.
Have things you want the feedback of group members on? Just post it in the group and tag the people whose feedback you’re wanting.
I’ll ask members to be clear and concise with questions that fit with this format (e.g. “What do you think of this headline?” is great, whereas “Could you edit my sales letter?” is a much bigger job.
I’m asking people to think of this part of the process as a “ten minute job,” request, presenting a place where you’re stuck and could use some quick feedback.
ADDITIONAL THING #2: Access to my entire vault of products, including eBooks and eCourses.
You’ll have lifetime access to these resources, along with my direction on what to check out when. This is over 1000 pages of material, worth more than $840. And I will definitely be adding to this collection during our time together.
ADDITIONAL THING #3: Access to 1:1 coaching for only $100/hour.
If you need some focused one on one time beyond the weekly calls, Voxer and our three check in calls, I extend a special rate to Mentorship folks. I normally charge $300/hour for my coaching, but if you’re in this program and want some focused time with me outside of the calls, you get it for a third of the price.
ADDITIONAL THING #4: Access to my mindshare while we work together.
This might not seem like a big thing, but I want to make the case that it is. When I’m working with a client I tend to have ideas for them outside of the calls. They come during conversations, going to walks, etc.
Even when I’m not being paid, I tend to be thinking of you and you’ll get the benefits of that. The thought of being able to focus my attention on twelve clients more deeply feels really freeing and exciting on my end.
When I read books and articles on marketing, you’ll be on my mind. When I am talking to colleagues, you’ll be on my mind and I’ll likely ask them, “Do you have any thoughts about this situation with my client?”
There’s an enormous amount of value is having access to this kind of focus and collective brain.
ADDITIONAL THING #5: Guest Hosts: From time to time, I’ll be bringing in my favourite colleagues to share the best of what they know with you.
ADDITIONAL THING #6: Grandfathered-In Pricing. If you join in this first round of this program, then you will be offered this same price of $400/month for the Marketing Mentorship Program, even if I raise the price. You’ll have to pay the set price by the third round (should we ever get that far).
ADDITIONAL THING #7: Copywriting Services Included? Yes. They. Are.
Once you’re done your Niche and Point of View work, if you would like it, I will help you weave all of that content into your homepage and or a sales page for a core program of yours.
In early 2020, I got this email from a Mentorship Alumnus Rachel Warrington:
I just wanted to say thank you for including my website in your recent newsletter. I’m pretty sure that I got a tarot booking out of it, but I also had someone write to ask if I used a copywriter. This is what I told her:
Thank you for that feedback.
I worked with Tad. He’s a relentless editor. I was in his mentorship program for a year. He has all kinds of ways to pull your opinions out of you and then make you shape them into compelling copy.
This was her reply:
Oh wow, so u wrote it!! Thats absolutely incredible. It speaks volumes about the mentorship program.
Thank you so much for your quick response.
So, that’s neat ???
Here are a few examples of home pages that have been crafted in GoogleDocs of Mentorship participants. No doubt these may have changed – for better or worse – since we worked on them but it should give you a flavour of what you can expect with a bit of effort and time on your end.
But you want real life examples, right? Here you go . . .
ADDITIONAL THING #8: Access to Single Payment, Founding Member Pricing For My Membership Program.
While you are in the MfH Mentorship you’ll have a Pro Membership with full, unfettered access to all of my online 30-Day courses, my teleseminars, all the eBooks are handily in the Membership too. And you’ll find some other inspiring, excellent folks if you wish to connect with others who work in your field.
Please note there’s a special “Secret Mentorship Group” that you’ll receive an activation code for so you can connect with other Mentorship folks within the Membership program.
When you’re done with the Mentorship Program, you might want to stay connected with me and this kind of community. You could join my Membership Program at $25 USD or $100 USD per month or, if you’d like, you can get access to the same single payment pricing ($300 USD to Foundations Level and $1000 USD for the Pro Level) which I offered in my launch and which is actually now gone for everyone else. No one else ever gets access to that deal again. But, as a Mentorship alumnus, you will.
Mentorship Alumni Case Studies:
Case Study #1: Burlesque Performer & Soulful Mentor – Kellita Maloof – Showgirl Awakening, USA
Kellita was one of the first people to join my Mentorship Program and, if I’m honest, one of the dearest to me. Kellita weaves together burlesque performance with an astute understanding of psyche and psychology and a deep respect for soul.
When she joined I was still figuring out how to even run this program at all and had no systems set up; so while there were many wins (her glorious homepage and her staggeringly lucid and compelling point of view), there were losses for me (I never really helped her set up the marketing systems to get her workshops filling regularly (which is now something I focus on much more). So Kellita left with a very solid foundation but more work could have been done on her sales funnel.
The foundation was hard won. Kellita brought so many years of experience to the table. Decades of deep investment in her personal growth and learning about her art, about psyche and her own spiritual path. She came with several heavy bags of mixed grains. Wealth. Abundance. But not organized. And so we rolled up our sleeves and, during the weekly calls, in the GoogleDocs and on Voxer, we dug deep and kept trying to hone what exactly it is she did and for whom. We worked hard on articulating her unique philosophy and the vulnerability that comes from having a philosophy that not everyone in your industry will agree with.
But one of the beautiful moments of her participation in the program was when a woman from England stumbled across her website one day and, having never heard of Kellita or her work and having never spoken to Kellita, booked her flight and space in Kellita’s Burlesque from the Inside-Out weekend. It was one of those moments where the marketing adage of Peter Drucker, “The purpose of marketing is to make selling superfluous” came true.
Kellita’s Own Words About Her Experience:
“I was much more familiar with swinging from hustle to exhaustion and illness (rinse and repeat). With Tad’s guidance, I’m learning to discover how to actually articulate what I do.”
“The Marketing for Hippies mentorship has been a profound container for me to consciously slow down in my business and create the foundations that I never had. I’ve been in business for 17 years and never laid this kind of foundation before. I’ve always loved my work, it comes right from the centre of me, and I’ve been groomed for it through every last experience I’ve had, but my relationship with my business itself has been contentious. I never stopped long enough to make sure I was backing my business up into my vision for my life until now. I was much more familiar with swinging from hustle to exhaustion and illness (rinse and repeat).
With Tad’s guidance, I’m learning to discover how to actually articulate what I do (!!!) and discover not only who it’s for, but at what stage of their life it’s best we connect. I’m also learning to articulate effectively the particular way that I see the world, which totally informs how I do my work. I used to hide that, and understand now that it’s a big selling point – or rather an educating and filtering device – which I now know marketing actually is! My marketing is being primed to connect me with exactly my people.
Tad is a genius with Niching, Point of View Marketing and Hubs. There is no marketer I’ve found who so soberly and wisely, and with such heart addresses what he does, I could not do this key work on my business on my own.
I can now see that it’s inevitable for me to actually love my marketing – not just my work! – as I begin to experience it doing exactly what it wants to: to help me deliver the magic I’m here to bring to just those who are waiting for it. I am deeply grateful.”
Case Study #2: Healer, Rachel Warrington – Yarrow Healing Arts, Canada
Rachel is a healer from Victoria who struggled, as many healers do, to find some semblance of a niche. What they do could, conceivably, help everyone. And so how to choose? It can be very difficult. But, we rolled up our sleeves and got to going hammer and tongs at the work until we emerged with the headline that now graces her homepage (and that so beautifully captures who it is she most wants to work with):
“Have you had a persistent pain or mysterious body symptom for a while and are beginning to wonder if it has emotional roots? (But have no idea how to find out what they might be and how to release/resolve them).”
I’m very proud of having helped Rachel get to this. It not only captures the immediate symptom (persistent pain or mysterious body symptom) but also their own relationship to it (beginning to wonder if it has emotional roots) and then more deeply their confusion about how to proceed (no idea how to find out what they might be and how to release/resolve them). It captures a moment in many people’s lives that would have them read it and say, “That’s me!” not “That’s nice…”
She also does a mean tarot card reading.
If you’ve found yourself in that moment in your life, perhaps you might drop her a line.
Rachel’s Own Words About Her Experience:
“I started the program with a website full of copy that I didn’t particularly like, and a business that was sort of limping along.”
“I started the Mentorship program with Tad in February 2018, and stayed in it through February of 2019. I stopped due to family circumstances, not because I felt finished with all that Tad could offer, and, even as I said goodbye, I thought, “I’ll be back in this someday.” I still think this.
I started the program with a website full of copy that I didn’t particularly like, and a business that was sort of limping along. I think, during that first part of that year, I kept wanting to make the words on my website a priority even while Tad was asking me to work on other things first. And, of course, I couldn’t make myself get to the website copy since I wasn’t actually ready.
Tad was right to put other things first.
The most magical part of the entire experience for me was the creation of the Point of View document – why I do what I do the way that I do it. It turns out that I have a whole bunch of compelling reasons for doing what I do the way that I do it. Having articulated these reasons makes me feel like I have solid ground to stand on within my business and with my clients. And I have this beautifully articulated 65 page document that I will (someday) do something else with.
In the past year since I have been out of the Mentorship, my now-beloved website copy has kept my business going while other things in my life have taken precedence. I am grateful for this. It’s not the most beautiful website in the world, but I love every word on it, and they all ring true still when I reread them.
One of the other things that came out of the Mentorship that I am so immensely grateful for is that my business rests on systems now – it’s not up to me to receive every single client’s first email and do the back and forth of seeing if it’s a fit and booking them in. No. My website is usually enough for people to choose me as a practitioner (or not) and I use an online booking system. This meant that when the social restrictions were put into place in BC in response to Covid-19 (March 2020), I thought about what changes I wanted to make to my systems and did it all in one afternoon:
- I made appointments online and prepaid only, and set it up so that the Zoom invitation was sent directly to the client upon booking
- I created a sliding scale for payment for this time period, and since we had done so much work in the Mentorship around pricing and resentment, I could tell in my body how low I was willing to price my sessions
- I wrote an email to my mailing list explaining the changes
- I created a one-time per visit pop up on my homepage or on my booking page explaining the changes
It’s reassuring to me that since I made all these changes in the systems, I know that I can easily undo them when I am able, once again, to see people in person.
It was a bonus to receive this feedback from a friend who read my whole website when I sent out that email explaining the changes:
“Hi My Love,
Your sharing was deep and true and real.
And that’s because that is exactly who you are being in the world.
I love your website to bits.
It’s like having a visit and getting to know someone that you want to get to know badly.
I had never read the Tooth story….where the fuck was the Tooth Fairy during all that!!!
And I didn’t know any of what you had been through with dental trauma except the bike accident but I didn’t know the extent of what you endured to recover from that!!
That you offer that specific work to clients is amazing…wish you could have brochures at dentist offices…”
So, if you’re thinking of working with Tad and his program is a fit for you, it’s worth it. Hearing Tad’s voice calmly, gently, and firmly picking things apart and reflecting them back to you every week on the phone and through his Voxer replies is immensely reassuring. Having someone guide you through territory that you know is important, but that you feel lost in, is amazing. Having an editor was, for me, valuable beyond all else.
I can tell you for certain that my thinking about my business and who I am in my business has shifted. In October I will be beginning a Master’s program in Clinical Counselling. I am already thinking about how I will word my sales letter on my eventual new website that puts forward these particular services. And my thinking is holistic: every part of who I am and how I got to this point can be included if it’s a true and useful part of the story.”
Case Study #3: Handmade Nighties by Kusuma Sparks – Beauty & Virtue, USA
I work primarily with service providers but Kusuma did my 30-Day, Marketing for Hippies 101 course and, in her words, “realized if I could get that much in 5 calls, what 6 months could do?!” So, she decided to roll the dice and see if I could help her with her strange and wonderful new endeavour – making handmade nighties.
She didn’t just want to make nighties. She wanted to make them ethically. And I mean ethical with a rigour I’ve rarely seen. She wanted to make them slowly and beautifully.
In a world that knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing and who have no idea about the amount of learning and labour that goes into hand crafted thing, Kusuma realized she would have to charge at least $600 per nightie in order to make a decent living.
But how to justify such a price?
We would have to clearly articulate what went into these nighties and what they would get out of buying them. And so we did some good work on her ideal client but things really began to move when she opened up the Point of View Marketing folder and dove in. Dozens of pages of pent up ideas began to pour out like unruly beasts on the page and slowly we courted and corralled them onto the page.
The key is to make sure people understand what goes into every nightie. It’s more than you’d think.
At first, there was some resistance to a long sales letter. After all, in the fancy stores selling the high end clothing like this, there are no price tags and there are no write ups.
But then it dawned on her. That’s why the salesperson was there: to have a conversation.
“Right,” I told her. “That’s what a salesletter is. It’s a surrogate for the conversation you might not be able to have. You need to write the sales letter in such a way that it mimics, as well as possible, the flow of a conversation – beginning where they are and anticipating their responses and answering them.
She created a venn diagram in which she shared the three main elements that go into the making of any garment.
I couldn’t be more thrilled with the work she does in the world and the results of our work together to give language to it. I like the tagline we came up with a lot:
“Threading the needle between artistry, empowerment, comfort, ethics and exquisite beauty”
I suggested to her that, for her clients, instead of having a salesletter online, she might actually create a salesletter she could print off on beautiful paper and designed beautifully to mail to them. I liked the idea of mailing them something tangible given the tactile nature of the product itself.
Kusuma’s Own Words About Her Experience:
“For a lot of years I have danced with the idea of starting my own business but had some obstacles to contend with before I could be sure. My first foray into business coaching was with someone else. I liked his approach and he helped me overcome some initial questions about money and business that I had, but when I started to think seriously about the nuts and bolts, I felt I needed someone else.
At the end of the day I am a fine seamstress and this is what I love to do.
Silently sit in my studio for hours with the sun filtering through the windows, birds chirping and fluttering by… I wanted to help to build a business that supports me to do this so that I don’t have to spend endless hours second-guessing myself, the directions I am going in, and whether the copy on my homepage is turning people away.
I can’t be an expert at everything, nor do I want to be.
The idea of walking through this with Tad’s support felt like it would make me happy and at ease, that I would have a solid platform that I am building on, something confident and good in the world and in my life. I consider my time and energy the most precious resource I have and I want it to be put to good use in a wise direction.
I could pay a small and reasonable amount of money for someone who’s main skill and training is in business and marketing to help me get it right the first round, and free up more time and headspace so that I can focus on my area of skills and talents.
Maybe it’s the time of my life (mid 30’s), but for once in my life, I wanted something that I could feel confident in, proud of, ready to show to the world. I was worried that Tad would not work with me because he specializes in service providers, not product-based businesses. He often translates from product to service, so I knew he had a good grasp on the subject. I also wasn’t sure if the timing was right because I had not actually started my business, and was in the beginning stages of making my prototypes. I emailed Tad with these two questions and he said that he wasn’t sure either and asked me a few other questions.
This process of emailing back and forth was so reassuring, not just about Tad but also about my own motivations. He wasn’t quick to take my money or ‘get me’, he really took the time to ask deeper. And when I thought about some of those deeper questions, it actually became clear that this was what i wanted and I felt ready to start it now.
I have to say that it was the best decision! Because I wasn’t also trying to run a business, keep things going, I had a lot of free time to really focus and dive into the work with Tad. Mostly we worked on the google documents. He sent templates to fill out, which then became a platform for dialogue between us. I love writing, so this was a pleasure to do. At first I was worried that I might be too verbose, unedited, and sharing too much or too personal information, but it quickly became clear the magic and wonderful beauty of this style of work – this was a platform for me to basically download all my thoughts, ideas, fears, everything.
Tad’s role was, as an outsider with fresh perspective, to sort through everything, find the gems, organize the ideas, and ask key questions to open up more unexplored rooms of the mind and heart.
Tad is extremely responsive.
He may be sitting at home in his bathrobe and slippers but he takes his work very seriously and responds quickly and generously with the mentees.
In fact, we worked so efficiently and well together throughout this process that I struggled to find time to make my prototypes! We mapped out so much material for my website, marketing materials, blog posts, and so forth, with clarity that now we are ready to work on Hubs, and I am taking a short pause to catch up with the product development. I am thrilled with our relationship, and having spent 6 months, or $2,400 to get all this content and direction for my business feels like pennies in today’s world.
At some point, I realized that there’s only so much you can bounce business stuff off of friends and relatives before it drains the relationships. Having Tad there to do this with was huge for me, and a big relief for my other relationships.
I’d say that even through all of this, the best thing that I received was actually the most unexpected one. When trying to do this on my own, I was in a way filtering and censoring myself and what I thought I should say or my business should be like, but when I got into those documents and Tad started asking questions, I started to converse with him in an open and unfiltered way, just sharing my background and my opinions, which ended up bringing out a depth, vulnerability and passion that I could not have reached without him.
While my products are the same, the approach I have with them, with my clients and the way I communicate has become deeply authentic and inspiring as a result of this unveiling.
Tad really gave me a lot of safe space to say whatever I needed to, and then to talk about whether that should be part of the dialogue with clients or not.
Without working with Tad in this deeper way, my business and marketing would definitely have remained at a more generic surface-level place – like a track home.
Now it feels like a home that I designed and built from the blueprints, just for me and for anyone out there who shares my sentiments.
If a friend was thinking about doing this, I would say to them: you get what you put into it. If you are ready and willing to do the work and spend time with it, you will be richly rewarded. It boils down to commitment and passion, not to the course or to Tad, but to the development of your business. Through that commitment and self-motivation, and with Tad’s skillful support, you will go far.”
Case Study #4: WordPress Support, Seán O’Connell, Switzerland
Seán had one of the shortest tenture’s of anyone in the Mentorship Program. After three months, I messaged him and said, “I think you’re done.” And he agreed.
Most of the struggle was with the niche. When he came to me his URL was www.wpstrands.com. I knew that what he did was help people with WordPress websites keep them up to date so they wouldn’t become slow, crash or become vulnerable to being hacked. But the URL didn’t convey that nor did his homepage.
But, when I read his application for the Mentorship Program I thought to myself, “Shit. I need this.” And signed up for his services which I still use to this day and couldn’t be happier with. Again and again, he’s made all of my website issues go away.
And yet, even though I used his service, loved him personally and he was in my Mentorship Program… I could never remember his URL. Several times, I was leading a day-long marketing workshop and I went to tell people about his work because, surely many of them there had a WordPress website. I could never, for the life of me, remember.
And so we dug in and finally, like the rosy fingers of dawn at the horizon, it came: WordPress For Good (choir of angels singing).
WordPress For Good: for good people doing good things. But also helping them stay online for good.
But, who was he going to focus on?
Born in Ireland, he lives in Switzerland today, but he flew across the world to Edmonton to attend one of the Mentorship retreats during which each person received two hours of being hotseated by the group. And this was the question he brought.
“A lot of people have wordpress websites and I don’t know how to focus,” he said.
And we all sat and racked our brains. Holistic practitioners? Life coaches? Crafters? Local retail? Yoga studios? Manufacturing?… After thirty minutes of this we were swimming in a thick fog of overwhelm and confusion trying to find a golden thread to hold onto.
And then it hit me.
“Oh,” I said. “It’s so obvious. Your ideal client has a wordpress website that is critical for their business. They don’t just have a wordpress website. That’s the obvious thing. They utterly rely on it for their business. Maybe they have a membership site, or they sell products at high volume, or they’re a yoga studio and rely on their website for people to book into classes. If their website goes down they could be losing sales from minute one. And maybe forever if they are first time visitors.”
And so that became the headline of his website:
“Is WordPress Critical For Your Business?”
Simple. And Seán’s business model is so simple. He offers one thing (wordpress support) to one group (good people with a wordpress website that’s critical for their business, who are doing good things). It is available in only three packages. Easy.
There wasn’t much more to do but bless Seán and send him on his way.
The best part is, I’ve never forgotten his website since and I’ve mentioned it at every daylong workshop I’ve done since meeting him.
Seán’s Own Words About His Experience:
“The most important/impactful thing I’ve ever done for my business”
“Marketing, yuck! I’d read the books and studied the perceived masters. I could see why it worked and so forced myself to do it. But it didn’t work for me. I didn’t realise that the reason marketing didn’t work for me was because the prevailing marketing tactics go against my core ideas of how people should treat each other.
I was struggling to serve everyone with what I believed to be my emminently fair technical services in a world where the knowledgeable usually take unfair advantage of the ignorant.
My site copy was constantly changing to try to get my message across. Little did I know that I didn’t really know what that message was and my business was hobbling along in consequence.
So that’s where Tad came in: I learned what my message was and how to deliver it. It sounds simple and it is. But it’s far from easy. I needed to be guided by a trustworthy person more knowledgeable than me. Someone with a sharp mind, insight and very good at what they do.
Tad was that guide and he challenged me at every step. He debates, questions and strips away untill the beautiful core of your message is revealed. But he does so much more: setting up systems, pricing, forecasting and planning all come together.
Something else happened – I reawakened my love for and trust in processes and systems. I had been through so many failed attempts that I’d lost even the memory of that trust. Now I’ve regained it and it leps my business flow much more smoothly.
When he said, “I think you’re done,” my first thought was “What? He’s throwing me out of the program already?” But I had to agree … I felt ready.
When I returned from the retreat in Edmonton I told people “working with Tad will probably turn out to have been the most important/impactful thing I’ve ever done for my business”. It’s true to this day.”
Case Study #5: Local Yoga Studio Owner, Derik Eselius, USA
I met Derik in the late nineties in Santa Cruz, California where I was, for a time, involved in the work of a local non-profit. I enjoyed his company a great deal and then, one day, he popped up again, wondering if I might be able to help him with his yoga studio. I’d never done any in depth work with a studio but, after some discussion, it seemed like it could be a good fit.
Derik made his way from Denver, where he currently lives, to my home in Edmonton for one of the retreats early on during his time in the program. He shared about what was happening and the question that kept occurring to me was, “What’s different and unique about Derik and his approach to yoga from the other studios?”
It’s an important question because the nature of yoga studios is that they make most of their money from teaching Yoga Teacher trainings. Those create more yoga teachers in the community. Some of them get the idea to open their own yoga studios. That means more competition in the market place which makes it harder to survive. If you don’t run Yoga Teacher Trainings, you won’t survive. But, if you do, and you’re successful at it, those students may put you out of business.
The answer, of course, is to do the niching work so deeply that you aren’t like any other yoga studio.
A generic yoga studio has little chance of surviving or thriving.
But a yoga studio that has truly found its niche, voice, bigger why and vibe might just do very well.
At the time, the name of Derik’s yoga studio was Axis Yoga. It wasn’t a name he was thrilled with. I could relate. When I started my business it was called Radical Business and I couldn’t have given two shits about that name. Meh. But, when Marketing for Hippies came to me, I couldn’t have been more excited.
As we sat in my living room and Derik shared about his studio, a word that kept coming up was ‘underground’. He liked the underground ethos. He rented a Church for his classes that was underground. Hold that thought.
When you run a local business, it’s not a bad idea to have the name of your city in the URL. It helps with SEO. It makes it easy to remember.
And so… Denver + Underground.
“Check this out,” I said to him. “The Denver Yoga Underground.”
Everyone in the room lit up.
We didn’t commit to it but the theme kept re-appearing and, over the coming months in the Google Docs we fleshed it out, draping the bones of the idea with more and more nuance until we had something very compelling indeed.
We delved into the philosophy of what he meant by ‘underground’ and why it was important. We planned out a launch party to reveal the new name: a party to be held in a sub-terranean venue with DJ’s and local non-profits representing. Alas, it was Covid-kaiboshed but may happen yet.
So, if you know someone in Denver, why not suggest they check out one of Derek’s classes.
Derik’s Own Words About His Experience:
Case Study #6: Sleep Coach, Hilary Samuel, Canada
When Hilary joined my Mentorship Program, she had committed to sleep as her niche and had invested in training to be able to support people to overcome insomnia.
And so we dug in.
The thing that compelled my most about Hilary’s work was her point of view on why people struggle so much with sleep. I was riveted as I read her writings about why sleep matters so much, why we struggle with sleep so much, how our culture is at war with the yin and how this war underwrites our sleeplessness.
I watched her systematically go through the typical solutions given to sleeplessness (e.g. apps, better mattresses and pillows, sleep aids, melatonin and herbs etc.) and point out their shortcomings and suggest a better approach. Searing lucidity.
And then we began to wonder about what her hubs might be. Where would she find her clients?
So the brainstorm began (and if you, the intrepid reader, fit into one of these categories, consider reaching out to Hilary to help your clients):
- In Mainstream Health there were: Medical clinics, MDs and Psychologists
- In the more Enlightened Mainstream there were: Integrative Cancer Programs/Centres
and alzheimers/Dementia Preventative
- In the world of Holisitic Natural Health there were: Naturopaths, Herbalists, Other Natural Health Practitioners, Natural Health Stores, Health Restaurants & Cafes, Health & wellness Expo/Trade Shows, Blogs – Longevity etc, Natural Health Schools and Prof Organizations
- In the Coaching & Personal Growth industry there were: Stress/Burnout Coaches, Life coaches, Executive coaches, Health Coaches, Coach conferences, Coach Organizations
- In the Sleep Industry itself you could find: Child Sleep coaches, Sound Products, Products such as Sleep aids, things for physical comfort, Noise-cancelling, Technology companies, and Sleep Apnea Clinics.
- There were also Women’s Events such as: Women business networking, Women’s health events, Women’s empowerment coaches
- Of course there was the Yoga and Wellbeing scene: Yoga Studios, Yoga Events, Yoga Nidra, Restorative Yoga, Mindfulness Events, Meditaiton Centres, Fitness Events and Gyms.
- In the Spiritually Conscious Scene you could find: Spiritual Trade Shows and Shamanic Journeying etc
- Then there were the Eco/Green Trade Shows
- And, last but not least, the Corporate Wellbeing Industry: Internal Coaches & Org Development Consultants, Wellness Officers and HR.
And so Hilary has already begun to reach out and make some of those connections, bit by bit.
When she first came, her website was www.HilarySamuel.com but, after our work and some brainstorming, she came up with AsleepAtLast.com.
And what a perfect, simple headline:
Wish You Could Get a Great Night’s Sleep?
If you, or anyone you know, struggles with insomnia, I commend checking out Hilary’s good work.
Hilary’s Own Words About Her Experience:
Case Study #7: Ceremonialist, Larisa Noonan, USA
I was very excited to have Larisa join the program because of our overlap of interests in ancestral work.
When she joined, she was “selling the boat”. Meaning, her ideal clients (though she didn’t know who they were) were on Island A and wanted to be on Island B. Her boat (ancestral healing work) could help them make that journey. But what journey?
This was the question she brought to the program.
As we worked through her Big Circle document, a little piece of gold gleamed at me and seemed to be begging to be picked up: people who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home.
“How many of your people is this true for?” I asked.
“Oh. 80% I’d guess.”
Let me tell you this: having 80% of your clients be anything is extraordinarily high.
“And how would you feel,” I asked. “If 80% of your clients were this?”
“That would be great!”
And that settled it. I suggested, “For now, for the next while, let’s focus in on this group.”
And then I crafted for her one of my favourite headlines I’ve ever crafted (which she then molded and refined):
“Want To Be A Witchy Healer But Grew Up In A Fundamentalist Christian Home? Support for the Aspiring & Closet Good-Witches, Heathens, and Elders-In-Training Recovering From a Fucked-Up Childhood”.
I love everything about this. Not just witchy healers. No no. Witchy healers who grew up in fundamentalist Christian homes.
You know if you’re in that group or not.
If you or anyone you know fits that description, drop Larisa a line or, at least, check out her website.
Case Study #8: Interior Designer, Nan Kruger, USA
I can’t remember how many times I told Nan she was brilliant and ‘a natural’ during the program but it was fairly often.
Nan had a natural knack for copy-writing which is one of the best natural gifts to have as an entrepreneur and her business instincts always seemed on the money.
Nan does interior design but brings an down-to-earth and re-purposed (when needed), local angle. She did her time in the fancy, high-end parts of the industry and saw the immense wastefulness and wanted to find another way forward.
We began with figuring out the fundamentals: who her people were, at which moments they might be most likely to hire her, what the ‘bigger why’ of her work was and what her packages would be.
One of the first things, and this might seem too simple or obvious was to get the words “thoughtful decorating for Boston Metro-West” on her site immediately. This is what I call “the one thing” for her website. If they don’t live in that area and they’re not looking for interior design, then it’s likely not a fit for them.
Then appeared the strong theme of “home as a sanctuary” in this strange modern world we live in.
We spent hours and hours in the Point of View document arranging and organizing her thoughts on how she approached her work until it was as clearly laid out as a living room she might design.
And then, she designed, for the first time ever, some clear packages.
I’ll never forget her amazement when she spoke of meeting with a client to look at their space and realizing that they would be best suited by going with her most expensive package. She was nervous but still asked them, “Which option makes the most sense for you?”
Without skipping a beat, they replied, “Oh! The most expensive one. I think that makes the most sense for us.”
It’s a beautiful feeling to realize that someone might want and happily pay for your most expensive thing.
During Nan’s exit call, we wrestled with the realities of the 2020, Covid19 Pandemic. What could she do since it was unlikely she’d be invited into anyone’s home anytime soon.
An idea that came up was offering people a five minute video review of their home. They would send her a five minute video walking through their place and explaining their thoughts. She would watch the video and send them a reply – via audio or video – with her initial ideas. This would get the conversation started and create the possibility for her to share her online ways of helping people. For a bit more money, they could request a more formal and in depth response but this would mean Nan might need to see the floor plans. We figure there might be a bronze, silver and gold level of the assessment – from five minutes to a full hour where you could have Nan on Facetime as she toured your home with you (an offer she’s done a number of times in person with her Power Hour).
I then asked Nan what times in life people were most likely to want to redecorate. Some of those symptoms were accurate but not that useful for finding hubs (e.g. they’re sick of looking at it, it’s faded, they got inspired by a friend’s place etc.). Most of her clients were Empty Nesters – their children had moved out leaving them with at least one spare room to redo.
“What kinds of things do they tend to do with those rooms?” I asked Nan.
“Well… They often want to turn it into a spare bedroom, a yoga or fitness studio, an office space or an art studio.”
Every one of those suggested some fairly compelling hubs.
“Well… given the pandemic I can promise you this: yoga teachers and studios are broke. I mean, they were all struggling before this pandemic but now they’re really struggling. What if you were to go to them and offer them a way to make money for very little effort on their end?” I said.
“How would I do that?”
“What if you pre-wrote an email that they could send to their list saying, ‘Look, you can’t come to a yoga studio right now and so your practice is fading. But, if you had a dedicated space in your home to practice you know you’d do it more often. I’ve just met Nan and she’s offering the Create Your Oasis package where she’ll help you redesign your kid’s old room into the perfect yoga space for yourself.’ And, let’s say you charge $200 or $300 for this and you give the yoga studio $100 for everyone who signs up from their efforts. I promise they would be open to hearing about this from you.”
But we were just getting started.
“You could do the same for gyms and fitness trainers. And what about approaching Airbnb coaches and saying, ‘A portion of your clients must be approaching empty nesting or their want to really gussy up that spare room for AirBnb but they feel overwhelmed.’ You could create the ‘Perfect Airbnb Room’ package and pay them for everyone who books with you. The local art stores and creativity coaches might have an interest in people creating an art studio in their home too. That would likely mean more business for them. And, if these Empty Nesters are thinking about creating a business in their retirement and want an office – well, how about the local office furniture store, the local business centers and business coaches etc.”
And we weren’t finished.
“I guarantee there’s a local project in Maynard (where Nan lives) that is dedicated to helping seniors live healthy and active lives. They’d be full of hubs for you to reach these Empty Nesters. And then when the Farmers’ Market returns (Nan has done really well having a booth at her local market) you could be offering these five minute video reviews as your ‘free sample’. A no pressure free bit of help. You could give them a business card with where to send the video and boom you get dozens of new conversations started. Or you could charge a nominal amount. Or you could say, “100% of the proceeds from this five minute review go to support a local charity I love – and maybe it’s a charity that supports healthy living in the older population which would increase your visibility there.”
I also suggested that she might write up a blog post on all the reasons why this pandemic is the perfect time to engage in interior redesign work.
And that’s not to even mention the ideas we generated of how she could partner with local moving and storage companies.
It was a hell of an exit call.
Since she left the program, she’s been happily hustling away helping design beautiful spaces like these:
And then, one day, out of the blue, she sent me a Voxer voice message telling me that she’d signed up to be interviewed by an interior design podcast she loved hosted by Michelle Binette. Originally, the interview was going to be short, and part of a collage of other voices on a particular issue but Michelle was so taken with Nan’s take on things that she kept rolling and released the whole interview as one of her official, solo podcasts. Nan wrote me later that day, “The reason I felt confident enough to sign up stems from all our work on POV, niching, and ideal client.”
Nan’s Own Words About Her Experience:
“Working with Tad and my fellow cohorts in the Mentorship Program proved to be the most valuable foundation for my new business.”
My naive, pie-in-the-sky notion of wanting to “serve everyone and anyone” soon came crashing down right in my face. And that was probably Day Four of the Program.
Tad does not buy that idealistic shit.
Even after writing your heart out in the Docs for days on end, he still won’t buy it. He questions your statements. He wants clarification. He asks you for meaning, and he pokes at your ideas until they’re solid enough for you to take the next step. Naturally, this is maddening because you just want to open your doors for business, but Tad won’t let you make that kind of fool of yourself.
He knows that your Niche, Point Of View, Ideal Client and Business Model all need to be sculpted into very clear forms that really resonate within you. He knows that until this happens, no amount of explaining what you do will resonate within others. And only at that point can you get to the actual Marketing Plan…
If this sounds a bit like Hell, then the Mentorship Program could be exactly what you need.
Tad really challenged me on all of these topics, but in the most loving way. I felt safe to stumble through them, and supported by the group when I really needed help. Tad’s listening skills, patience and creativity allowed me to explore my own thoughts more objectively and write my own words more clearly than ever before. I can talk about my business very confidently now, without even a speck of pie on my face.”
Case Study #9: Parenting Coach, Kathy Whitham, USA
Kathy came to me struggling, as many entrepreneurs do, with how to market in a way that felt good but was still effective.
I suppose, at this point, many of us have seen enough teleseminars or live workshops of people teaching their take on marketing and some of it feels so ‘off’. That it asks us to do things that don’t quite feel right.
It can be very hard to find ways to share our work that feel right to us (and the people we’re trying to reach).
When someone comes wrestling with that, what I see is: integrity.
And, in Kathy’s case, she was also coming with an incredible amount of brilliance in her point of view about parenting coaching (‘No Yell’ Parenting) and a keen commitment to social justice.
One of the ways I knew that Kathy was the real deal was her keen ability to articulate the real life symptoms of her clients in such a way that they would say, ‘That’s me!”
Since she left the program, I’ve seen her more active on social media and her email newsletters coming out regularly with on-the-money email subject lines a parent would be sure to open.
If you know some parents who are at the end of their rope, or some family doctors who serve them. I can’t recommend her work highly enough.
Case Study #10: Creating Remarkable Online Videos, David Taylor, England
David is a life coach who does an extraordinary thing. He coaches people while filming them and then turns that conversation into a short video. It might just be for them privately – a powerful and artistic way to have their story reflected back to them.
But the one we decided to focus on for our work together was his work in helping people film and craft videos that they could use to market their work.
Ah, but why not just film it yourself? Why not just hire your videographer friend? What makes his process so special?
These were questions that came to mind as he described what he did.
Much of the work I do in the Mentorship Program is pushing people harder than they would or could push themselves to articulate what they do and translate it into a language that their ideal clients would understand.
This began with figuring out the headline. It always begins with the headline. The headline is your best attempt to summarize the core issue that is bringing them to you. And mercy, we went through a few iterations.
I like what we landed on:
“I really want to make and share creative and engaging videos for my service based business but I don’t want to come across like ‘that’*”
That seemed to capture what most of his clients were feeling.
I liked our subheadline too:
“You know you see those videos in your timeline, too slick, too showy, too scripted, too sleazy even. You might even cringe a little when you see them. Yes, that. It really puts you off making a video for your business even though you know it is a great idea.”
They wanted a video they’d be proud and excited to share where people could get a real sense of them and their personality.
And so David and I went at it for weeks, sending this Google Doc back and forth and back and forth to craft a sales letter that I think is remarkable. It does what I believe all sales letters must ultimately do: educate. In it, David shares his point of view and philosophy around why he does what he does the way he does it.
It even has a sweet venn diagram in it that I think captures the three core parts of this process of capturing people on film that he calls The Stillness Process.
If you live in, or are thinking of passing through, the UK, why not make a stop over in the Leeds area and book a filming session with David and create something you’d be thrilled to share with the world.
So, that’s what is included in the program but here’s an important question you might be wondering…
Case Study #11: Life Coach For Over-Achieving Moms, Annie Huang, Australia
Annie joined my program as a life coach with a broad range of people she was interested in helping but, as her time in the program progressed, it became clear that she had a special passion for helping mothers who were being too hard on themselves.
There’s much work still ongoing with her being still in the program, but she added something beautiful to her homepage that is worth sharing.
But I thought I might show you the evolution of the idea. One of the first attempts we made at a headline was this:
“Something’s got to give (and it’s not going to be me this time).”
A love letter to exhausted, burned out perfectionist Supermoms who are done with that shit and ready to give themselves permission to finally enjoy motherhood as perfectly Satisfied Moms.
The moms she worked with were so depleted. They were trying to be Supermom and failing.
It became clear that the result she wanted to help these moms with was actually enjoying their life.
And then Annie realized that what was really going on, that her ideal clients were slowly becoming aware of, was not just that they were over-giving but that they were putting so much pressure on themselves and yet, despite being aware of how cruel they could be to themselves, they couldn’t set it down. It wasn’t just that they were trying to be Supermoms but that the pressure they put on themselves to do so. And so we crafted this new headline:
“Why Am I Putting So Much Pressure On Myself To Be A Perfect Mom? And Why Can’t I Stop?”
That might seem like a simple phrase but it’s the result of immense labour on her part to articulate their experience, in their own voice in a way that they would read and say, “That’s me!”
Now, Annie is still in the program, so there’s more to come from her (just you wait) but if you relate to this or know a mom who’s tired of beating herself up for not being perfect, you can send them to Annie here.
“I was really fuzzy with my niche when I started the mentorship program. I knew I had outgrown my old niche, but I wasn’t sure how my new niche was going to look like.
During the program, Tad helped me articulate my niche and my point of view and I knew I had created something real that would resonate with exhausted, overwhelmed working moms who are so damn hard on themselves.
It wasn’t an easy process, as I really had to reflect deeply on who I want to serve, how I want to serve them and why. But Tad always seemed to know the right questions to ask and was able to help shape my ramblings into a coherent whole in the end.
I’m very grateful to Tad as I feel like now I have a solid foundation for my business to evolve and grow in the coming months and years.”
Case Study #12: Helping Life Coaches Figure Out Their Niche, Allegra Stein, USA
Allegra has actually been in my Mentorship Program twice.
She joined years ago, struggling to figure out her niche. It’s the hardest thing. So many coaches struggle with this. She didn’t want to choose any one ‘who’ so we decided to experiment with a unique ‘how’ which she called The Whiteboard Sessions. It was a way of coaching that used visuals, drawn out on a whiteboard to help her clients see and keep track of the ideas as they came. I still love this idea.
She left the program to roll with that for a while and things went well enough but then she decided to come back in. She’d discovered a new approach called YouMaps. YouMaps are a brilliant idea where four of the major personality typing systems are done and then you are helped to see how they overlap and how, together, they create a sort of ‘map’ of your personality.
Well, this sounded very clever.
Allegra rejoined wanting to figure out what to do with this. She had the intuitive sense that it was special and could be of use to coaches in particular because no one gets into that industry to be a ‘coaching clone’. The YouMap business could help them figure out what made them special and, surely, this could translate into their work as coaches.
And so, we went back and forth on Voxer and finally it struck me, “Allegra. You’re wanting to help coaches figure out their niche.”
I then did what, on good days comes to me, a sort of rant of all the threads I could see pulling together.
“Most niching coaching focuses only on the “who” – target market, ideal client etc. – but you’re talking about bringing in a sort of “how”. You’re talking about helping these coaches figure out how they want to do coaching moving forward in a way that fits with them.”
And then, on the back of an envelope I drew out a rough version for her what you see in the image below and we began to workshop it.
The Niching Compass was born.
Allegra offered up a first round of it as a three month program for a cohort of three people – but wasn’t sure what to charge.
“I’m thinking $2000.”
“Well . . .” I said. “It’s your first time so you might want to go lower. The first round is mostly so you can learn and get feedback.”
She sold out three spaces at $2000 almost immediately.
Huh. Shows what I know.
She then sold out a second cohort of three at $3000 each. And then a third.
And then another cohort with 10 people at $2500 each in June 2020. No doubt there’s been more as of the time of me writing this.
By mid May she’d made at least $50,000 USD. She’d never experienced this kind of success before.
How did she do this?
She got interviewed by other coaches and that created some buzz. She hosts a podcast that people binge watched. She is a part of a slack group of 1000 coaches (where people have been sharing her podcast). Her alumni have invited her to speak to their own mastermind groups of other coaches. And then, primarily, she’s been proactively reaching out one on one and extending personal invitations.
She was staggered. She’d never met with this kind of immediate, affirming, financial success.
If you’re a life coach, and you’re drawn to the idea that your niche is bigger than just ‘who’ you’re trying to reach but also might include how you do it and why you do it, I strongly recommend checking out her work.
Case Study #13: helps professional women to progress in their career without it consuming them.
Claire MacKinnon lives in the UK where she helps professional women for whom, “Something feels off. You have everything on paper you thought you wanted, but underneath your smile you feel uneasy. You can’t put your finger on why – but you have a low level sense of dissatisfaction pretty much most of the time. A nagging feeling of discontent. Something is missing. And yet … you criticise yourself for feeling like that. You should feel grateful for all you have: a good job, people who love you, you’re earning great money but you’re riddled with self doubt. You give everything you have to your job and your family gets the scraps that are left.”
Case Study #14: Helping muzzled women be wild and free.
Linda Katz does a kind of movement work called Qoya but she realized she wanted to hone her niche more into something like this: “Calling all muzzled, midlife women longing to live & free: You made some big moves because you want to live a more wild and soulful life, but somehow you feel more trapped and frustrated than ever.”
“Will this help me achieve my measurable, external goals?”
I would guess you might have some goals around how much money you’d like to make in the next year, how much larger you’d like to grow your email list and your social media following and having a structure to your offerings and your sales funnel.
Can this program help with that? Yes. But that’s not what we focus on first. The first thing we focus on is setting up your maintenance systems. Then we will focus on your niche – who you’re trying to reach. Then there’s a deep dive into articulating your unique Point of View.
After we do all of that (which takes around six months with some hustle and allowing for the vagaries of life) then we dive into the external side of things and begin to look at how to market your business, reworking your website, writing sales letters and how to make it easy for people to find you and crafting packages and offers. That sequence matters. Inner clarity first and then outer structure and results.
That’s my M.O.: Clarity first. Results second.
Most entrepreneurs are incredibly fuzzy or generic around their niche and POV.
The work we do here is the difference between those external structures and strategies having a chance and their having little chance at all. And this takes time. It just does. If you’re needing a guarantee of external results within six months, this program is not for you. If you’re needing them in a year, maybe. But we’ll have to see.
But if you’re open to it taking a bit more time in order to lay the foundation? This could go beautifully.
This should also be said: I’m not an expert in all forms of social media. I’m high on the strategic side (i.e. defining niche, POV and hubs) but likely low on the tactical end (e.g. updates on Facebook ads, best ways to market on LinkedIn or Instagram, tactics to grow your email list, how to automate sales funnels online etc.). There’s a lot to know in marketing. I don’t know it all. You may want to rely on other colleagues of mine for various practicalities.
Ah… And here’s another question that might be on your mind, given the prevalence of this conversation these days…
“But what if my niche is fuzzy?”
Well, that would put you amongst 90% of entrepreneurs I meet.
And, in fact, it puts you ahead of the curve. Because of the 90% of entrepreneurs I meet whose niches are fuzzy, I would say that 75% of them think their niche is clear. At least you know yours is fuzzy. Awareness of what you don’t know is a huge step forward.
It’s also important to know that this process of niching never ends. It’s never fully ‘figured out’. Your niche will always be changing a bit as the marketplace changes and as you change. Waiting for it to finally settle before you move can actually be a way of guaranteeing you stay stuck.
But still, would this program be a fit for you?
Likely, and here’s why: first of all, you will have access to my 90-Day Niching Spiral Homestudy course to work through at your own pace. When I release it, it will cost at least $200 USD. That’s included in the program. So, there’s that.
But, even more importantly, there are two vital ingredients needed to figure out your niche: the inner ingredients and the outer ones.
The first ingredients (inner) are your intuition and time for quiet reflection. You don’t need this program for that. You could just buy the home study program and go through it yourself or just reflect on your life experiences and have that side of it handled.
The second ingredients (outer) has to do with external feedback and guidance. That can come from multiple sources. And, if this program doesn’t feel like a fit for you, then I urge you to get this. Here’s where you might look for it:
- The Marketplace: Try lots of little niche experiments. Beta test a lot of things and then notice how the marketplace responds. You can also reflect on what’s worked well in the past.
- Trusted Colleagues: If you can set up a mastermind of sorts full of savvy colleagues who are dedicated to giving you regular, candid, considered and encouraging feedback you will be miles ahead.
- A Marketing Coach: If you can find a marketing coach who really gets niching, this can shave years of time off your learning process.
This program weaves all three of those together.
You’ll be encouraged to get as clear as you can and then try something small and to learn from it, with our help in the group. You’ll be guided directly to the most relevant articles and exercises that can help you get unstuck in your niche.
I promise you there will be people who join this program with one niche and then change it by the end. Some will start clear and it will get fuzzier as they get more honest with themselves. And others will start fuzzy and become more clear.
Having a fuzzy niche is not a disqualifier from this program. But it is one of the ongoing, core pieces I’ll be supporting you in contending with.
“So much reading!” This might seem overwhelming but take a deep breath because…
None of this is required reading.
I will be there to hold your hand the whole way and make sure you’re only reading what you need to read. I can promise that you may never need to touch some of these materials. But, when you need them, they will be there for you and you won’t have to pay a penny for them.
I will be there to make sure you don’t read anything that isn’t what you need. I will be there to make sure you read as little as possible.
Consider it like an old family library full of books on useful topics. They’re just sitting there waiting for you on their old wooden shelves, smelling wonderful and telling each other stories after you’ve gone to bed.
Ok. So, that’s the program. Those are the main questions answered.
You’re still reading and so, let’s get to brass tacks.
$400 USD/month with a minimum six-month commitment.
This can be renewed at the end if it feels like a good fit on both sides. And if you need to step down before that I’d be grateful if you could give me a 30-day heads up so I could find someone to fill the spot. If it’s not a fit, it’s not a fit. As long as you’re in the program, you keep your rate, even if I raise the price for future rounds of the program.
Now… This $400 is absolutely on the low end of what you might pay in other programs for the same amount of time.
Why don’t I charge more?
Seven selfish reasons I created this program:
I didn’t expect to put something like this together. I’ve certainly seen my colleagues do this kind of work and programming for years and it seemed like a fine enough idea, but not something I felt particularly drawn to.
But, this past summer, things began to shift for me.
Reason #1: I relish a chance to dig in with a small group of people over time.
I am increasingly in love with this idea and would relish the time to really dig into the work of slow, kind, sustainable marketing together.
Reason #2: People kept asking me.
People kept asking about business coaching with me, but, lacking any container worth speaking about, what was there to invite them to? My one-on-one coaching is $300/hour, which I’ve charged because I don’t much like doing one-off coaching sessions where I feel like I’m constantly winging it and hoping I have something to say. I felt as though I was living in a shack with no furniture and didn’t feel ready to invite people in. And so this program is my attempt to make some sort of virtual log cabin retreat or castle, with a beautifully furnished room for each person, a roaring fire, and fine food – a place worthy of inviting you to.
Reason #3: I joined a mastermind too.
Another reason is that myself and three other colleagues have recently formed a mastermind for ourselves and I can’t even begin to tell you the power of having people you trust to reach out to with quick issues. I’d love for you to have that as well. If you want to grow, you need help.
Reason #4: Steady income for me.
This is so huge. My income has been steadying out over the years but the thought of having a reliable income next year that covers all of my bills fills my body with so much ease. You will be the recipient of my regular gratitude for the way you will be sustaining my livelihood should we make the decision together that it’s a good fit. The prospect of more regular income for me that would allow me to focus on people rather than relying on the constant launch of new programs and never delving very deep with people.
Reason #5: I don’t have to feel like I’m up-selling to you when mentioning other eBooks I have to offer.
You’ll already have them. This is small but I’ve noticed that the more eBooks I write the more I’m making mention of them in my programs and I imagine people sitting and listening and thinking, “This whole thing is a sales pitch for his eBooks!” It’s fine. I talk about the awkwardness I feel about it but it’ll be nice to have that out of the way. And I’m excited to share each new eBook with you as they come out.
Reason #6: I get to work more in depth with the clients I love.
Through my Puttering Sessions, I am coming to love doing some one-off sessions again but, I have long yearned for the chance to really dig deeper with a few clients whose work I admire.
Reason #7: I get stories for my workshops and case studies for my projects.
This may not sound like a big thing for you, but having material for my workshops makes me look good (“He’s so smart and credible! Look how he helped that client! I sure might think about hiring him myself!”) and keeps me from being bored to tears by telling the same story over and over and over.
Why sign up now?
If this feels like a fit, there are a few compelling reasons to consider signing up nowish beyond the obvious, “The sooner you start the sooner your business will grow.”
Reason #1: My first round of this program was $300 USD/ month. Now it’s $400. I will likely raise my prices on this again the next time I open it up as the program improves and more content from me is added.
Reason #2: I will only be opening up new spaces when people on it decide to step down. I have no idea how often that will happen. If you don’t sign up now, I can’t guarantee when you’ll be able to get in.
“I want to but I can’t afford it.”
Sometimes that’s true and, often, if you dig deeper, what’s more true is, “This isn’t a priority to me right now.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people say, “I can’t afford that,” and then spend thousands to go to a yoga teacher training in Thailand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this myself.
The first question is, “Is growing my business a priority?”
And it might not be.
I know some people who, when they get really real with themselves, realize that they just want their business to be a hobby on the side. Which is wonderful. I know others who finally get real that they want to treat their business like a business and grow it. Also wonderful.
If you decide you want to grow your business, then the next question is, “What am I willing to invest?” And that means time, money, energy, etc. There’s no growing a business without investing in it. Period.
And then there’s the important question of whether or not this program, or any other program, feels like the right fit and the best investment of your dollars. And this program might not be a fit for where you’re at.
But, whether it’s my program or someone else’s, getting the right help can save you so much needless frustration and wasted money. It can shave years off your growth as a business. It can save you from being stuck on the same point for years and years when it could have been fixed quickly and likely even painlessly.
But it might be helpful if I were to contextualize the price:
This program is $400 USD/month plus twenty hours (of your work) per month.
I know of many programs where you would pay much more and get far less than I’m offering. You can look around yourself at what my colleagues are offering. There’s every chance I am undercharging for this program and underestimating how much of my time and effort it will take.
$400/month works out to $13 USD per day. And you will have access to me every single day via Voxer and the Facebook group. Buy a latte and a croissant most mornings? There’s your $13 (at least). I say this to point out that often, many of us can find this kind of money right now if we want to badly enough.
Stated differently: That’s $100 per week. And you’ll have a 90-minute call with me every single week. I would normally charge $450/hour for 90 minutes of my time. Of course, not all those ninety minutes will be focused on you. But, assuming there are six people on the call, that would mean you would be getting 15-minutes of my focused time every week on the phone.
That’s not including all the support you will likely be getting from the group members.
That doesn’t include the $700 USD worth of materials that you will be getting (plus more soon) which, if you look at it this way actually ends up covering the first two months of the program Marketing Mentorship Program.
If you’re able to come to the live retreat in Edmonton? Believe me when I say I would feel very comfortable charging $1000 for that – at the very least.
If you wanted to have one hour long coaching call with me, the cheapest you could get that for would be $100 USD. But there’s a waiting list for that so it wouldn’t happen right away. If you wanted to get it faster, you could pay my full rate of $300 USD.
If you wanted me to spend an hour reviewing a typed document (e.g. work on your niche, your point of view, a sales letter or home page) that costs $300 USD/hour.
So, if you did one Puttering Session and one GoogleDoc session a month, that’s $400 USD/month. And that’s nowhere near as much as you get in the Mentorship Program.
Over the first six months, the financial investment into this program will be $2400 USD. I know a lot of coaches who’d charge that much while offering far less time and content.
Bottom line: there’s a lot of value here for those who are ready to use it.
In case you missed it:
You’ll be getting all of the products I sell on my website.
All of them.
AND you’ll also be getting products that I don’t sell on my website.
For example, the five workbooks are from my Meantime 30-Day Cashflow Challenge that I only run once per year for $300. And Part 4: The Low Hanging Fruit, is worth the $300 of that program alone.
These five eBooks include over 200 pages of easy to apply tactics designed to get you cash-flow immediately.
You’ll also get access to my full, 90-Day Niching Spiral Homestudy program which has more than 300 pages of material divided into bite-sized, well-organized, actionable chunks. I’ll likely be selling this for something in the neighbourhood of $300.
And that’s not even mentioning all of the materials I have on my laptop from colleagues who I could never sell but that I will be happy to share with you as my core group of clients.
And that’s not evening mentioning the future eBooks I an currently working on. As long as you’re in the program, you’ll continue to get all of the eBooks I create for free.
Lowering Your Risk:
This is a considerable amount of time and money to be spending and, if I were in your shoes, I’d be thinking about this many times over, talking to my partner, and looking at my bank account and financial projections before I even considered signing up for something like this.
I’ve done my best to lay it out here but I absolutely understand the need to talk to me about it. If you’d like to set up a time to talk on the phone, then just drop me an email and we can talk. It won’t be a sales call. It will an, “Is this a fit?” call.
Lowering My Risk:
All that I ask is that, if you sign up and, at some point it becomes clear it’s time to go that you give me as much heads up as you can – thirty days minimum – so that I can find someone else to fill your spot. If you cancel out of the blue the next month’s payment will likely be processed to cover time to find a new person. But we can talk and work it out in a win-win way when that moment comes.
If this feels like a fit . . .
Just click on the link below and fill in the short and sweet application form. It costs $400USD to apply. If you’re accepted, this will be your first month’s payment. If not, it will be refunded in full.
If this isn’t a fit, then you might want to check out:
- one of my products. if you’re not sure which one, please feel free to email me and I’d be happy to discuss if there’s anything I have that might be of value.
- if money is really tight and you need cashflow asap, then I recommend my program The Meantime.
- booking a Puttering Session
- Joining my Marketing for Hippies Membership Program.
If I think it’s a fit from what I read your application then we’ll schedule a 60-minute to welcome you into the program.
p.s. This program makes no pretensions about being a virtual village, but it is steeped in a commitment to village-mindedness. If we arrive at any sort of real semblance of an online community, that will certainly be something but there will be no premature use of the word “we” in this group.
And, frankly, I don’t imagine that “being a part of an online community of strangers” is what you’re looking for.
You want more clients. You want a steadier cash flow. You want your business to produce more income with less effort. You want, in short, a more sustainable business.
But, I think you may find that having a small group of people who are mindful of your business, sharing their outside perspectives on it and willing to help when they can, could make a big, big difference for you.
p.p.s. The longer you stay in this program, the more you’ll get from it (until you don’t). I’ve had a few clients in this program for a year and a half and I think they’re the ones who’ve had the biggest breakthroughs of anyone. Growing a business takes longer than we usually think it does.
p.p.p.s. Life doesn’t seem to obey the 4/4, marching time of much of modern music. I think the old folk songs captured it better with a variety in the time signatures, some swing to them and changing tempos throughout.
I imagine it’s true in your life too.
Life has its seasons, times we work hard and make hay, or at least try to, while the sun is shining so that it doesn’t rot in the fields and ignite in our barns from the hidden bacterial rot smouldering quietly inside it. And there are times for rest, reflection and to let the fields go fallow.
And then there’s that reliable but unpredictable weather of heartbreak, ruin and desolation. There’s always that.
Sometimes you chop the wood. Sometimes you boil the water. And sometimes the tea just has to steep.
The inflection of all of this that’s relevant to our work together is two fold. My schedule and yours.
Sometimes you’ll be travelling, pulled under by the tides of life and sometimes I’ll be travelling too. It seems to be the way of it that the rhythm of our work together won’t be done in marching time. It won’t be done in a metronomic fashion. There will be times we’ll both be deep in it, back and forth on Voxer, digging in in a call or tearing up a google document.
There will be times I dig in on your behalf and then I don’t hear from you for two weeks. There will be times you do a lot of work and it takes me a week or so to get to it. That seems to be the realistic rhythm of all of this. In between those times, I’ll be very available to you.
I’ll be on almost every call but sometimes I’ll won’t be able to make it. That’ll either be a week off or I’ll have a colleague of mine cover for me – whatever makes the most sense in the moment.
p.p.p.p.s. A few more testimonials from past participants.
“I think the biggest value of coaching is just listening. Hearing what someone is saying, and translating that back to them so they can see it better and then implement it better. And Tad is – and I say this without exaggeration – one of the best listeners I’ve ever known, which is really saying something. But even beyond that … Tad has a gift for listening also to what you aren’t saying. He’s helped me identify so many pieces that were missing in the life I’m trying to build. This coaching program has helped me figure out my life calling, and even though I haven’t fully stepped into it yet, I am well on the path, and this mentoring program is, without question, the number one thing that has both started and kept me on this path.
Another thing that has been really wonderful about this program for me has been Tad’s encouragement to slow down, and the presence of everyone else in the group moving at a speed that makes me feel like I’m not behind when I do slow down. It’s become a joke in the group how fast I do things, because I do NOTHING slow, ever, but no matter how fast I’m moving, it always feels far too slow to me. I go from having a new idea to envisioning it as a fully fleshed-out international program in the space of a single breath. But Tad has told me many times over the last six months, “You’re moving at just the right pace. You’re on track. You’re making progress.” And he helped me slow down enough to stop jumping to the future vision and actually figure out the steps that will get me there. I have NEVER done that before, which is why I’ve abandoned so many projects before. And having the whole group just to share with and vent to, not to mention to call on their wisdom – that’s been invaluable too.”
– Lisa Baker, founder of LearnPartnerMarketing.com
“When I started out, I had a limited web presence and limited experience selling on-line. I wanted to learn how to create a compelling sales page that would describe my core offering (which I also didn’t know what it was).
Tad helped me identify the low-hanging fruit of “Intimate 1-1 Coaching” and with his help, I created a really solid sales page that has brought in the 4 1-1 clients that I was hoping to get. This has been life-changing. Firstly, because I now understand experientially that it’s possible to make a living from an on-line business, and I have a better idea of how to do it. And secondly, because having the stable base of monthly income flowing in has freed me to experience the kind of life I’ve been craving! I’m salsa dancing 5 days a week, teaching yoga and generally having the best time of my life.
Although Tad would likely never say this, I think one of his special gifts is intuition. In his coaching, he highlights things that are in alignment with my true direction. For example, during one of our mentorship calls I mentioned in an off-hand comment that I thought that the realms of love, sex and genius are all related and that they have an impact on each other. He jumped on it! From there, he urged me to explore how these three things were related in a Venn Diagram. As I played with it, new content emerged that is now foundational to the Point of View that I’m writing about. It’s also foundational to the work I’m doing with clients. His encouragement to explore this point of view and to REALLY flesh it out and do it justice has spurred me in an entirely new and tremendously rich and satisfying direction in my business. This will have an impact on me and everyone I touch, likely for the rest of my life. What is the value of that guidance? It’s absurd to even try to think of a dollar amount.
To that end, I think of this program more as a creativity incubator than anything. Tad helps to massage, un-block and tease out your creative self-expression. And then, there’s the simple human fact: Tad’s a really great person, that I just want to be around. I enjoyed the chance to regularly hear his perspective, Vox with him, listen to his jokes and just be around him while he’s in his zone of Genius.
I’m so grateful to Tad for his guidance and I recommend his program highly. The value is there. No question.”
– Karen McMullen, lovesexgenius.com
“Tad’s mentorship program had a much greater positive impact than I anticipated. I learned so much about what I didn’t know in terms of marketing from my potential client’s perspective instead of my own. Tad has many unique marketing concepts that he states repeatedly in various ways so that over time they became my own and inspired me in whole new directions I hadn’t dreamed of going before the course.
It wasn’t always easy – a lot of times it was difficult to try and express what seemed would be so simple – to articulate who I am, what I do, for whom and why. But Tad was always patient yet consistent in pushing us just past our comfort zone to get to that next level of marketing wisdom and clarity in our business in all these areas and more. He grounded us in niche and pushed us to trust our expression of our POV [Point of View] – one of the greatest filtering and targeting systems for getting new clients I’ve ever heard. This whole concept allowed me to feel way more comfortable and powerful in my own skin in putting myself out there in true-to-me ways.
Having these marketing concepts repeated and lived through eleven other group members was profound. I learned equally from my experience as well as that of others from both our wins and our struggles on a weekly bases. This course takes time, effort, and commitment, but if you are willing to do the work, the rewards you’ll reap will be invaluable and propel you and your business forward ten fold, and you will be so glad that you did.”
– Buffy Maple
“The mentorship with Tad really helped me to develop my business map and a strong Point of View. I gave up on all clever templates and developed a very clear understanding of what I bring into the world. It’s like growing roots with my very personal know-how, and I can really tell the difference with the response I get to my work. Our business doesn’t need to be manipulative (and it shouldn’t be). The real shift happens when we get truly clear about our work. Thank you Tad.”
– Katherinea Zuleger, katharinazuleger.com*
“It’s hard to put into words how much I got out of the mentorship program with Tad. He gave me something invaluable, something I didn’t even know I needed when I started. He gave me permission to go at my own pace, to pivot more than once, to take care of myself and to invest in a lifestyle, not just a business.
These things were gems and I leave the program feeling like I am on the right path and that I have confidence in myself to craft a successful business or businesses that also fit with my new motto ‘don’t do it if it doesn’t bring joy into my life.'”
– Alysa Golden
*“Tad’s expertise and ability to communicate/share clearly helped me learn a lot, and his radical generosity with information and support helped me execute my budding knowledge.”“What I loved most about the 6 month mentorship journey was knowing that I had a place to come each week where I would be well supported, superbly educated, held accountable, and free to explore my edges. Whatever I needed order to better understand and execute marketing for my business I could count on Tad to offer assistance. Tad’s expertise and ability to communicate/share clearly helped me learn a lot, and his radical generosity with information and support helped me execute my budding knowledge. I leave this program with the skills to move forward confidently with growing and marketing my business.”– Sarah Marshank, selfistry.com*
“profound and productive”
“My time with Tad in his 1:1 Mentorship Program was profound and productive. As a healer with a lot of skills, training and experience, and a frustratingly unclear niche and marketing approach, I needed the mortar and pestle clarifying work that Tad effortlessly provided. His wisdom, experience, point of view and big heart were the right fit for me. Early in the program, I attended a live workshop in his home to initiate the steps to hone in on what I love to do, who I do it best with and how to offer my work in the world. Over the eight months I worked with Tad, from the inside out, he helped me bring to life a way of communicating what I uniquely bring to the table for people. Recently, I launched a successful online healing program for the largest group of women I had worked with to date. I wholeheartedly recommend Tad’s mentorship program for a deep dive into the business of who you are, what you do and how to best to bring your gifts into the world.”
– Anne Sexton Bryan, annesextonbryan.com