I recently spoke on a panel “Creating Compelling Offers” at Jordan Gill‘s Make Your Mark Live™ in Dallas, TX alongside Traci Szemkus, Erin Perkins, and Kirsten Roldan with Ellen Yin, the host of the Top 100 entrepreneurial podcast Cubicle to CEO, as our moderator. Enjoy this replay of our conversation!
By the way, no matter who you are in the world, you have an offer. It could be your course, group program, product, service, tickets to your nonprofit’s fundraising event, or your keynote/signature talk. So, listen in to learn how you can make your offers as compelling as possible!
Meet the Speakers
Ellen Yin: Hello everybody. So excited to moderate the Compelling Offers Panel. These women have so much incredible knowledge to share.
We’re going to dive right on in. I’m sure you all have gotten a chance to meet so many of the amazing attendees, but just in case, for those meeting you for the very first time in 30 seconds: Who are you and who do you help?
Traci Szemkus: I’m Traci Szemkus and I’m one of the co-founders of WorkPlay Branding. We help create stunning visual marketing campaigns that generate leads and create sales.
Tania Bhattacharyya: Hey, everybody. I’m Tania Bhattacharya, and I help social impact entrepreneurs show up as the thought leaders that they are on LinkedIn.
I also host the Campfire Circle podcast, which is all about brave storytelling, visibility, and changing the ultimate space of leadership from a stuffy boardroom table into a fun and inviting campfire circle, which this very much feels like.
Erin Perkins: Hi, I’m Erin Perkins. I am deafblind and I work with independent business owners to teach them how to be accessible in their business beyond just your website.
Kirsten Roldan: My name is Kirsten Roldan, and I am a Nuyorican, which means I’m a Puerto Rican from New York. I’m living in Austin, but I always make sure I let people know I’m from New York.
I’m a business coach that helps coaches and service providers scale to a million a year peacefully. And I’m a firm believer that the key to a peaceful million-dollar business is email marketing, teams, systems, and mindset work. So, I have two programs, Million Dollar Email, which helps coaches and service providers become Social Media Optional. And then Million Dollar CEO, which is my team and systems program, which helps coaches and agency owners become CEO Optional.
How our values show up in our offers and client experiences
Ellen Yin: Well, what makes each of your offers so compelling is that they’re rooted in really strong values. So, I’d love to go down the line today and explore how your values show up in your teaching and experiences that you create for your customers.
Kirsten, you are a vocal advocate for emailing your list every single day and avoiding templates. Where did you develop this philosophy and how do you help people show up boldly through Million Dollar Email?
Kirsten Roldan: I teach three to five emails a week and three to five emails a day during your launches. And I really came up with that through my own trial and error when I asked myself. How can I make all of my money from email alone? Like, how can I hit a million a year with just email? And I found that multiple sales emails a week, just like we do anywhere else on our marketing platforms, is how you do it.
I was like, “Okay, this works for me. How does it work for my clients?” With my clients, they started scaling rapidly when they applied this while being Social Media Optional. So, people coming to me under six figures hitting… $100K, $200K, $300K, all the way to a million. And so… there was that.
Then for templates, I found that my clients only wrote with templates because they didn’t know how to write emails fast, they didn’t think they were good at writing emails. So, all those reasons are not good reasons to use templates. So, I just taught my community how to write 10 emails in an hour, so that solved for the speed. I taught them how to be confident with their messaging, so that solved for the confidence and not thinking that you’re good at writing emails. And I always tell my clients: templates don’t change industries, to lead an industry you have to go off script. So, just helping them with that confidence, the mindset coaching they need to confidently write emails without templates and to write a lot of emails to their list and not be scared of any pushback.
Ellen Yin: That’s so powerful. I have to ask, you’ve helped so many people write emails and write them faster and write them with their own thought leadership. What is one thing that you feel could help more people overcome that writer’s block when they’re staring at that blinking cursor not knowing what to say?
Kirsten Roldan: I think the number one thing is… If I think tactically, you have to stop editing while you write. You have to stop saying, “Oh no, that’s not going to convert” and watching your brain as you write. That’s going to be the number one thing. You know, “Oh, is this going to convert? Does this make sense?” All the doubts that you have are what keep you from actually putting words on the screen.
And also, I always tell my clients, the mindset tool that I use is Million Dollar Energy. Like, if you were a Million Dollar CEO, what would you be writing and what would you worry about how it’s coming across, what you’re saying, how you’re saying it? You’re going to write so much faster when you’re in your Million Dollar Energy.
Ellen Yin: Oh, I love that. Writing as who you want to be, not just how you feel in the moment. That’s really powerful.
All right. Erin, you believe every business could improve their accessibility to make their offers and content easier for people to experience. How does your offer, Successible, help business owners tackle a big challenge like this with tangible, manageable action steps to better serve their customers?
Erin Perkins: First, when I set this up I was like, I need a way for businesses to understand that accessibility is literally part of your core business. It’s something that you need. You need a CEO, you need accessibility, you need all of this. Most people are not thinking about accessibility because it’s almost an abstract thing.
And even when I was learning personally, I found it so hard. I was like this doesn’t feel easy to me and I thought I was a smart person. It was so complicated that I was like, I need to make this easy. So, when I made it, I started building it out by just doing bite-sized information, and explaining to people: this is why you do this.
One thing I do like to do is call people out on their bullshit. And just be like, you need to be accessible because at one point in every single one of your live, you will be disabled, at one point or another. It’s just a simple fact of life. Everyone will have a disability at one point in their life.
And that’s why I needed to create this because I want to be one of your buyers. I want to buy from you, and if you’re not accessible, I’m not gonna buy from you, because I am tired. I’ve been seeking accessibility my whole life.
Trying to buy tickets to a concert is one of the most difficult things because I can’t just click and buy a ticket. I have to go and call them and reach out to them and be like, “Can I have an interpreter?” and then it takes a while before they get back to me. Like, I want to be like every single one of you and just make a decision like that, and that’s why I created Successible. It’s so that I can make those decisions because I know you made me feel like you designed this offer for me.
Ellen Yin: I have to give huge credit to you, Erin. I know I told you this privately, but I just want to also say it in front of the room. She really does make it so easy to make bite-sized improvements. I remember when I first met Erin, one of the first things she told me was it would really help me if every podcast episode had a transcript in the show notes, like full transcripts that were edited, that were easy to read and watch at the same time. Just making that change and adding it to our weekly routines as a team was something that was not a big ask, right? But it makes such a big difference and so that’s something that I really want to credit you for.
I also want to just add on to your thought about how you help business owners make their businesses more accessible outside of just their website. So, when you’re looking out at this room and if people don’t even know where to start, what is one most overlooked way for them to just add accessibility to their business?
Erin Perkins: Honestly, it’s social media because most people don’t use their disability as part of their story. It happened to be part of my story but I’m pretty sure there’s at least 20 people here that have a disability, but you’re not sharing it, and that’s totally fine. So, it’s social media, where you have the most control over how you can be accessible.
Captioning your video, just changing your hashtag. Actually saying what you want to say and keeping it in plain language without all that fluff. That’s how you can make your platform accessible. Because most people are not going to your website first, they’re going to find you on your social media.
So, if your social media is accessible, it shows that you’re thinking about them by captioning your videos, by changing your hashtags, then they’re going to go to your website because they feel like “Oh, you have thought about me.” You’ve thought about, what it’s like if you’re a mom that you’re breastfeeding your child because you’re not going to have sound on your phone. So, once you do that, and then you go to your website, you’re going to get more and more people with disabilities wanting to buy from you.
Ellen Yin: I love that. Thank you.
Tania, you have more of a minimalist approach when it comes to marketing and you suggest posting once a week as enough to build thought leadership on a platform like LinkedIn.
How does this viewpoint come through and how you’ve shaped your offers, like the Thought Leadership Clarity Course?
Tania Bhattacharyya: I love this question.
For me, I think it’s about going deep versus wide on LinkedIn, and that creates the spaciousness for the specific people that I work with to really rest, first of all, and reflect and let their best thinking start to emerge.
So, when I was shaping the Thought Leadership Clarity Course, I knew I wanted to create the conditions for people to slow down, so I called it a slow study. I made it an audio course in a private podcast feed.
I remember in the sales messaging and the copy I even wrote things like, I want you to untether from your computer. I want you to draw a bubble bath and listen there. I want you to fall asleep with your AirPods in and wake up with new answers about your vision, your story, and the ways that you want to show up in the world. I remember even saying something like, you’re never going to finish this course because this work is never done, right? This is a lifetime’s worth of work and you can return to this anytime you want to go deeper in your visibility.
But of course, I was worried about what people were going to think because that’s not a typical way to market your course, right? It’s more about immediate results and ROI and all those things, and there’s no shade on that. There’s a time and a space for that. But for this specific course, especially because what was so foundational to it was really that tender work of getting into the right relationship with our inner chaperone and those voices that tell us “who are you to be showing up on LinkedIn”, and that’s very tender work. That’s very slow work, it needs to breathe.
So, I put it out there. I did it scared. I was like, you know what? Maybe no one’s going to buy. That’s okay. Maybe people will think I’m a bad marketer. That’s okay. And it was great. In terms of the revenue, I hit my goals. In terms of the reach, it did great.
But I think the biggest win was that the resonance of the people who were purchasing the course was incredible. I sent a little voice DM on LinkedIn to everybody who bought it, and I asked, “What about this called you in? Why did you buy, essentially?” And the answers that I got were so beautiful and incredible. It just really validated for me that when you are unapologetic about putting your values into your offers, the right people will show up. It might take a little time, but they will show up.
Ellen Yin: Absolutely. I feel like patience and that slowness, that stillness, and being okay with it is something we sometimes struggle with as entrepreneurs. So, that’s really encouraging to hear.
I have to ask, since you mentioned that you sent those voice DMS and people responded with what drew them in, I’m sure there’s others in the room who may have offers that don’t necessarily always have the hard metrics, like the monetary ROI. So, for those with more intangible transformations, or outcomes, or ones that take longer periods of time like yours, what were some of those answers that came through of what really drew someone in or made them take that leap?
Tania Bhattacharyya: I remember one person said, “I didn’t even know I was looking for this, but it was it. I was just magnetized to what you were saying”. Or, “I’ve been wanting to show up on LinkedIn for a little while, but it always felt so corporate or bro-y, I didn’t know there was another option”. Or, ” This felt safe”. I think that was my favorite one, “This felt really safe.”
Ellen Yin: That’s so beautiful. Thank you.
Traci, you felt the photography industry wasn’t necessarily catered to small business owners and entrepreneurs and their needs. Where were other photographers, do you feel, missing the mark with the packages they were offering in terms of content creation needs for small business owners in particular? And tell us how the WorkPlay method better supports your community’s needs.
Traci Szemkus: I kind of want to rephrase that just a tad because really we don’t consider ourselves particularly photographers in that sense. It’s really about visual marketing strategies for bigger companies.
And one of the things that we wanted from the very start is to make this accessible to the mom-and-pop stores, the corner stores, the solopreneurs, and people just starting out. We have one package, and that has guided us from the very beginning. We have one package that’s under $500 a month.
Nobody said that it could be accomplished. One of the things that we had to do was constantly fight through our coaching and people that were coaching us to say “Raise your prices. Raise your prices.” But one of the value systems that we have is keeping this accessible.
There is a reason why huge companies have visual branding in their marketing. They have visual going right across their marketing and they’ve always invested in it. And if we can bring that to everyone in this room and make it accessible and make it possible. There is a reason why they keep investing in it over and over.
There’s a reason why the same package that we offered to Kajabi, like they’re a two-billion-dollar-a-year valuation for their business and we also, the next day, work with a small business owner. They go through the same process and so that’s one of the things that we’ve stayed really true to. We don’t want to raise our prices and it keeps making it further and further away from the small business owner that really needs this type of visibility and really needs their offers to come to life.
Ellen Yin: I really admire that about you and Lyrik, is that you give that same care and attention, like you said to a $2 billion company as you would to the startup who just opened their doors. I would love for you to expand a little bit on what that brand and content creation process actually looks like from your end and how you’re able to retain a high level of service despite not raising your prices.
Traci Szemkus: Systems.
Ellen Yin: Appropriate for this conference.
Traci Szemkus: A lot of systems and a lot of trial and error. A lot of reflection on feedback from our current clients. I think that’s one of the biggest things. It doesn’t take a lot to be very caring to people, especially in the way that we’re doing it, because we can immediately see results.
A lot of people think branding in general, like it’s really hard for an ROI, but we’re seeing it every single day with our solopreneurs and our entrepreneurs out there that are literally making millions more, millions. We have case studies coming out that, they have a team of three, and they were never visible before our method, and they’re actually making millions now.
It’s analytics that really matter, I believe. You have to be able to justify your actions in business, especially in this economy. And it pushes us further and further when we actually see where their profit, where their success is actually going. It’s going to their families. It’s going back to their communities. It’s bringing them to conferences like this and being able to step away from their business a little bit to breathe, a little bit of room. And it’s making them more confident, honestly. When you show up visually in such a stunning way, people want to promote themselves, people are proud of themselves, and they get out there more.
Ellen Yin: Absolutely. I really believe every photo and video we create is an asset that we now can repurpose and utilize in our business. It’s tangible. I’m excited to have my workplace shoot in two weeks.
Traci Szemkus: We’re excited for you!
Navigating pushback from peers or your audience
Ellen Yin: This is more of an open question, so whoever wants to jump in: how do you all navigate pushback from peers or your audience when you hold strong values that are polarizing?
Kirsten Roldan: I can start.
For me, money talks. So, whenever someone has a pushback like, “Why do you teach people to send so many emails? Why do you do this? Why do you do that?”, I’m like, check my sales page because people are making hundreds of thousands of dollars, let the money show you. For me, oftentimes it helps me to have evidence. I’m like, “Oh! No, I have so much evidence of this working.” and then from there it’s like, the money talks. I’m good there.
But then I also get curious. I’m like, clearly I haven’t sold them on it enough. Clearly, they still have questions about it. There are things that I’m not answering. So, I just use it as content. I’m like, Someone’s questioning what social media optional means and if that’s really real. So, what have I not said yet? How can I answer that question? Someone thinks it’s unethical to send that many emails a week. How can I show them that it actually is ethical?
So, I have evidence and I also just get curious rather than frustrated and I use that to answer the questions of my audience. Because if someone that has pushback is asking it… first of all, I can’t tell you how many people have emailed me angry emails and joined my programs. Cannot tell you how many people. Cannot tell you. Making so much money now. I’m like, this is funny, right? So, there’s that.
But also, if someone that is never going to join my program is asking it, I want the people in my program to have an answer for it too, when they talk to others. Just the other day, there was a situation where people were talking about Social Media Optional and what that really means. All my clients were jumping on it and were like, no, this is what they mean, this is what it means, et cetera, et cetera. And I’m like, see? My job is to teach them to have an answer for others. Not for me to have an answer all the time. And so that’s how I navigate it.
Ellen Yin: That’s amazing. That’s a great reframe. I think curiosity is such a superpower. So, I really commend you for that. Does anyone else have something they want to add here?
Traci Szemkus: I think we always encourage our clients to think bigger. You have to think bigger. You have to have the vision. You have to have that visual inside your mind first. You have to know what you’re wanting to do with your business. You have to know your business inside and out, first of all. But when you can actually see it and go forward. I mean, the proof is in the pudding. Like, with results and with the tangibility of what we offer.
I feel like once they do it, once they see it, they can calm down a little bit. But we have a lot of unrelaxed people getting into them from the first start because they want to get it perfect. And you have to just take the first step. You have to stop pushing back. Just without resistance, just go forward and trust the process.
Ellen Yin: I think that’s true for a lot of things in business and in life that clarity is created from action not from planning. You don’t know what you don’t know until you experience it.
Traci Szemkus: I love the phrase “Action gives you the answers.” It does. You can navigate from there.
Ellen Yin: I love that. Tania, were you going to say something?
Tania Bhattacharyya: Yeah. I totally feel you on that, because I think about this a lot. Because I think that that worry is one of the biggest reasons why good people don’t show up on LinkedIn, that potential pushback, especially because LinkedIn’s a place where your old boss might see your spicy perspectives, your funders, your investors, your donors, your potential clients, and you can have a lot of thoughts about that.
And so I always try to tell people what I try to practice myself – and it’s a practice, it’s not always perfect – I come at it with the philosophy of if you don’t have any pushback on anything that you’re saying, and if everybody agrees with everything that you’re putting out there, then what you’re saying is not going to create systems-level change and that’s okay for some people.
But if you’re really committing to being a thought leader and a changemaker and somebody who is trying to shift the world and change hearts and minds and leave the world a little better than you found it, I think that pushback is going to be part of the process. It’s par for the course, but it hurts, right?
Pushback hurts. As a human being, as a sensitive Pisces, it hurts my heart when I get pushback. But I just try to reframe it as a contraction because contractions are also painful, but they’re necessary for something new being born.
What I would say too is: If your haters are picking up on your message, you are being clear. If they can hear you, then for sure the people who need to hear your message and who are just so ready to link arms with you and work with you are also hearing it.
Ellen Yin: Yes, that’s such a great reframe, re-measure of “you’re doing something right if even your haters can clearly tell you what it is that you’re trying to share”. And well-behaved women rarely make history, right? So, I feel like your answer reminds me of that, absolutely.
Erin, did you have anything to add?
Erin Perkins: For me, people are like, but nobody in my audience had a disability. I’m like, you wanna bet?
I mean, literally, one in four people in the United States has a disability. That’s why I’m saying at least 20 of you have a disability. So, why are you throwing money away? You’re literally throwing money away by not including accessibility into your platform. You are literally excluding so many people if you do not caption your videos. It’s just a no-brainer.
To me, I remember reading an article a couple of months back that just made me so mad. It said, why do subtitles exist? I’m like, because they do, because people need it. You’d be surprised at how many people watch TV with closed captioning now. It’s such a normal thing. It’s so normal. I don’t even understand why going to the movie theater is so hostile to get open caption on the movie theater. Because they’re like, “Well, a lot of people don’t like it”. Most people actually like it. I’m like, show me people that don’t like captioning. We are battling this overconsumption of content. I feel like if you listen and you read, you’re going to absorb the information a lot better.
And that’s my pushback to them, find that person with a disability in your audience. You’re going to find so many of them.
Ellen Yin: That’s a really, really powerful stat. One in four. That’s a lot.
Changes we made to our offers that made them more compelling
Ellen Yin: What is something about your offer that wasn’t landing previously, that you then tweaked and saw measurable improvement in how well it converted or the types of transformations you saw in your students? What did you change? The more specific, the better.
Erin Perkins: I would say, for me, when I first launched Successible, the biggest thing was that it was named the Successible Community. And I realized that people didn’t necessarily want a community, they just wanted a place to go that was more like, where they could learn.
So, I literally dropped that in the community, and I feel like that just resonated with people better. Because it was like, “Oh, this is just where I can go learn. I don’t need another community.” Because sometimes people feel overwhelmed with the fact that. “Another community? I don’t want another community.” I’m like, you’re still going to connect with other people, but it’s more there for you to come and learn and take what you need and go from there and just go with that.
Ellen Yin: Absolutely. That’s so fascinating too, how that applies beyond even just offer. Sometimes I’ve noticed even in podcast names, if you drop specific words, it’ll make such a difference in how you show up in search results or whatnot. So, simple changes, but big, big differences.
Traci Szemkus: When we first started, probably six or seven years ago, we had the most unsexy, boring, hard-to-get-through process of five months of workshops that they had to do before they got their content, and it was ridiculous. I’m sorry.
We’re really embarrassed about it now, but everybody just wanted to get to the content creation part of it. We had to do a lot of streamlining because we needed a lot of information from our clients to begin with, and that’s how we were trying to get it. And it was just the wrong way to do it. The feedback was from our current clients needing the content like, yesterday.
But also the feedback was in the way that we felt as entrepreneurs getting to deal one-on-one with our clients. Like, you don’t want something just because you think that you have to have it. It was more like a formality to us to say, “Okay, we need to formalize homework from you.” Like, nobody wants to do homework here. Everybody wants to have fun, we want the process to be relaxed and fun.
So, we’ve worked really hard to streamline and make it simple. Because it’s a very complicated process – everything is – but we got it down to a streamlined, simplified way to get through our process after the transaction. And I think that, when you have an offer that’s super compelling, your marketing can get a little bit ahead of the actual process after the transaction. So, we wanna focus on that just as much as we wanna focus on having you understand what you’re going to get through. Do you know what I mean?
For the marketing, one of the things that we just did is we just chopped it in half and just simplified everything. It just made all the difference because people want to have fun. They had their investment, but they still want the same result. It’s just how are you getting them there.
Ellen Yin: I love that you answered this question from the direction not of “how did you improve your offer for more people to buy”, but “to improve their experience after”. I feel like that’s such an underrated aspect.
And it’s interesting… I can’t remember the exact study, but there’s data out there that shows the moment of highest buyer remorse or regret is actually right after purchase. So, what you do in those first few minutes right after someone has clicked “buy” makes such a big difference, and having a streamlined onboarding process is incredible.
Traci Szemkus: Yeah, absolutely. They don’t want to wait either. We have an automated onboarding, and one of the things that we found with the automation is that they felt in control.
So, it’s self-paced. And I think a lot of people can learn from that because having them go at their own rate and not forcing them through it fast or making it such a drawn-out process is so important. So, it’s their choice whether or not they want to have their next thing next week or two months from now, so they go at their own pace.
It just made all the difference. Like you said, we don’t want them to regret anything that they’ve done, but we do need information. So, it’s almost like, give it to us as you feel comfortable. Everybody’s on a different schedule now, so it’s almost mandatory, I think.
Kirsten Roldan: There’s two changes that I made that drastically improved my client results and it started with my program promise.
When I first started Million Dollar Email, my promise was “You’ll make high-ticket email sales”. Any email program can promise you’ll grow your list, you’ll make a high-ticket email sale here and there. It was huge for me to say you can make Social Media Optional. It was huge for me to say you can replace a marketing platform, and it forced me to be better. I had to be better.
So, for me, I was like, “Oh, my goodness. If I’m going to promise this, what do I need to teach my clients? What do they need to start doing? What do they need to stop doing?” And that changed my client transformation so much for two reasons. For one, I was better as a coach, giving them exactly what they needed. But also, they were kind of forced to step into that as well. Like, “I’m here to be Social Media Optional, not just to make a little high-ticket email sale here and there.”
So, the promise was huge because it gave a lot of possibility for my clients and sometimes just knowing something’s possible gets you the result. But then also it forced me to be better with what I was creating, which thus makes it more compelling.
Then from there, a big thing that I changed as well was mindset. I realized that I was giving all the strategy, but not everyone was applying it. And there’s so much mindset in email marketing, like unsubscribed mindset, writing mindset, people have trauma around writing, they have trauma around people pleasing and feeling like they’re being annoying or being some type of way.
So, what I had to start doing was giving strategy and then right after it, giving them mindset and ways to think about the strategy. And I know that was massive because then I got so many more people in my program actually taking action, rather than the top percent. We always see that, right? The top percent takes all the action, but I wanted as many people as possible to. So, adding in mindset coaching – like, every time you get a strategy piece, you get mindset and a way to think about it – changed the game for my clients and how they performed in the program.
Ellen Yin: Wow, that’s amazing. Incredible.
Tania Bhattacharyya: I had a six-month group coaching program, and I wasn’t vibing with it. And I ended up reimagining a piece of it that was specifically about creating LinkedIn content into its own brand new thing. I turned it into the LinkedIn Content Sprint, which is where I help folks create six months of strategic LinkedIn content in one quick fell swoop, and that offer has been landing really, really well.
Like, I’m actually in the middle of a launch right now. Cart is open, and I’m here chilling with my friends. It’s gonna sell out, I’m not worried about it. I am writing emails, though. Yup. Emails are going out while I’m here with my friends.
I think what I changed about it that made it compelling is:
– One, it’s asynchronous. So, people don’t have to show up for live calls. They can if they want to, they’re offered, but they don’t have to show up live.
– The curriculum is light, it’s quick, it’s airy. It’s one class, it’s one thing.
– And it’s quick, it’s a month. You do it, and then you’re out.
– What I didn’t realize too is the community that emerged – there’s some folks here I see, who are just incredible.
– The last thing I’ll say, reflecting back on what I changed is that I fell in love with the offer again. I wasn’t vibing with the six months. It just didn’t fit my sensibilities. But, with the Sprint, I can show up in a way that people can tell I’m just head over heels in love with this offer. And that energy is contagious. People want to be a part of that. It’s magnetizing to people. So, I don’t have to try as hard, because I can just show up how I am, and people lean in, and they’re like, “Tell me more about that, you know?”
Ellen Yin: I love all the different approaches that you guys have taken to improving your offers. Whether it’s evolving them over time, understanding that it’s better to put something out there and then use the data to inform how you’re going to change it.
I think, so much of creating a compelling offer has to do with putting something out there and actually gathering the information to make a more informed decision rather than even, like what you two shared, making an assumption about what people might want.
Also, something that really stood out to me, Kirsten, about what you said is it seems that the difference between “Oh, here’s a result you get. You’re going to write high-ticket emails that make you sales” versus “You get to be Social Media Optional”. It’s almost like you’re giving people a stance, something like a belief to stand behind, something to support. It’s more than just a specific result, it’s a belief system, right? Like, social media doesn’t have to be part of your business, and I think that is another draw of the offer.
Kirsten Roldan: Yeah, my clients go hard for that. They go very hard for that. They love it. So, it’s true. It rallies your community as well.
One underrated thing you can do to make your offers more compelling
Ellen Yin: What is the most underrated thing every person in this room could implement to make their offers more compelling? One quick tip.
Traci Szemkus: One of the things that I’m obviously going to say is: create a visual campaign for everything you create and launch. You have to see it as well as develop it in your head because one of the things that everybody else needs to do is see it and understand it right away.
So, I think that’s one of the biggest things. Because when people see an unprofessional photo, they automatically will think your business is unprofessional. That first impression, although it’s harsh, is always there. It’s always there. They know you care and they know you’re thinking about the details when you actually look at a very cohesive and consistent branding.
Ellen Yin: I would ask, beyond the consistency of using the same colors, the same fonts, or the same quality of image across different content pieces. Can you just expand a little bit more to help people visualize what you mean by a visual campaign?
Traci Szemkus: It is what you’re showing. It’s not just pretty pictures. That’s why we don’t consider ourselves typical photographers. We’re not even in that industry. We’re in the industry of business visuals and branding.
You don’t just need another pretty picture on social media. You really don’t. It doesn’t make sense, right? So, look at your client experience and how are you going to show that in pictures. Storytelling in images and storytelling in video is really important. You can capture the energy. You get the in-between shots of emotion.
Think about what we use. We use emojis all the time. Are you going to say “smiley, happy face”? Or just do the emoji? People think in visuals now. So, I encourage you to think in visuals with any offer that you create and any launch that you’re trying to do. That’s what the bigger companies are doing. That’s how they’re wired. They see it before they even create the systems inside of it.
So, that’s one of the things we can all do. Regardless if you’re hiring us or not. You can do that. You can sketch it out first. People need to see themselves inside of your method or your service or understand how they’re going to use your product if you’re product-based.
So, those are the things that you should be thinking about. And when it’s branded, it’s like your own world. I love that saying, “Your brand is like the world that you create and bring people into.” That is all visual. So, get out of your head just a little bit of always with the messaging and things like that. That’s so important. I’m not downplaying that at all, that’s needed as well. But look and see the visual first and bring people inside that world and make it your own.
That’s another thing. Draw inspiration from other brands, but really make it your own with all the values and systems in there. That’s what is gonna make the difference between you and the next person that has almost the same role as you. People need to see your quirkiness, they need to see your differences.
Ellen Yin: I love that tip of showcasing what the actual process of working with you looks like. Helping them imagine it, storyboarding.
Tania Bhattacharyya: I would say you inspired me on something in terms of showing what the process is like. I would say have a longer runway, or a longer lead-up time, or a pre-launch period, than you think is even reasonable. Like, longer than you think makes sense.
You know, I’m kind of a turtle. I take a long time to make a decision, I need to warm up to things. So, when people have a longer runway and people are like, “Oh, you know, in January I’m doing this thing.” I’m like, “Oh, January!” that makes me feel safe and secure around that.
Don’t be afraid to share before you think you’re ready. The founder of LinkedIn has this quote that I always say, “If the first iteration of your product doesn’t eventually embarrass you, then you have launched too late.” I live by that. So, don’t be afraid. Even if you don’t know what your price point’s going to be, how many modules your thing’s going to be, or what exactly your thing is going to look like.
Build in public. Talk about what you’re thinking about. Talk about what your vision is for this product. And do it before you’re ready because people are going to start listening and cultivating themselves into being ready when you do launch.
Traci Szemkus: Oh, my gosh! Can I piggyback on that for a second?
One of my mentors gave me the best advice ever. She said, “Launch it broken, fix it live.” I love that because it’s not about “You’re going to be embarrassed about your first offer.” Just like I said in the beginning, our five-step process and five-month process. It was just ridiculous, right?
But if you fix it live, people will give you input, and market research is everything. So, as long as you’re talking in the same language as your audience and fixing the things that need to be fixed. It is so brilliant. I absolutely love it.
Ellen Yin: I’m glad you added that. It kind of reminds me of this concept of, anything new is always going to feel difficult. But it’s not because you’re not capable, it’s just because it’s new.
Erin Perkins: I’m going to be a little cliche, but I’m going to say accessibility is always lacking from most people’s offers. Every corporate company has diversity, equity, and inclusion. Accessibility needs to be part of that.
If you’re an independent business owner, accessibility needs to be part of your offer. Just simple and straight up the truth, because it’s just one of those things.
Kirsten Roldan: I think the most underrated thing, and I just pray you take this and go make a million with this advice because this is everything that I try to teach my clients inside Million Dollar Email:
You have to be basic to be unique. You have to be basic to be compelling. The most compelling offers are actually very basic.
So, a lot of people don’t know this if you’re not my client, I did not want to do email. I did not want to create an email program because I was like, that’s basic. What do I look like? That’s too basic. I’m so much more than that. I’m eliminating burnout from the industry. I was just like, Who do you think I am? This person? That person? No, couldn’t be me. Like, I did not want to do email. And it’s so funny because, looking back on it, when I allowed myself to promise high-ticket email sales to start. I then was able to add so much uniqueness to it.
So, a lot of times I tell my clients, “Your clients are basic.” My clients will tell me, “I don’t want to talk about 10K months. That’s everybody. Everybody talks about 10K months.” Yes, but not everybody talks about it well, and they don’t deliver it well. So, the biggest thing is: Your clients want 10K months! Why would you not talk about that? So, stop talking about what you want to talk about because you don’t want to be basic. Your clients are basic.
The most compelling offers are the ones that solve compelling problems. And unfortunately – I laugh all the time – my clients know, I’m like, I don’t want to talk about growing your email list. I don’t want to talk about that. But guess what? That’s your most compelling problem when you join Million Dollar Email and so I talk about it. But I add my unique spin to it and because of that, that is what makes it compelling. That’s what makes it unique. But when clients try to be overly creative, it actually just shoots them in the foot. They don’t end up doing nearly as much as they could if they were willing to be basic.
So, I think that’s my number one piece of advice in your messaging, in your business, anywhere. Being basic will get you to unique. You don’t go unique first, right? You go unique first, the offer’s either not gonna get launched or it’s not gonna do as well as it could be. So, basic to unique is gonna be key.
Erin Perkins: I want to use that to my niece because she tells me that I’m basic all the time. I take that as a compliment.
Kirsten Roldan: Me too, I’m basic!
Ellen Yin: Permission to be basic, love it.
Question from the audience
Ellen Yin: We have time for a couple of questions, so does anyone? Oh yes, go for it.
Michelle (from the audience): My name is Michelle. My question is for Kirsten.
So, how do you feel with AI? A lot of business coaches are heavily promoting AI. And I’m not going to lie, for my clients, we use it as a starting point for a lot of things. We don’t obviously use all of it, and our community is very niched as well.
So, I just want to know your thoughts about…
You mentioned about the templates, and so if you service clients, how do you help them in that way of you want to be innovative and you want to help use it to cut down on time, but how do you do that in a way where it’s not the way that you said “that we are using templates”?
Kirsten Roldan: Such a good question. I have clients inside Million Dollar Email that use ChatGPT to get them started on an email and things like that. And it’s not that I’m against it but here’s what I’ve found: the simple practice of writing an email is actually what creates so much confidence in your offer. Your mindset just from writing the email completely transforms.
So, it’s one of those things where I’m like, I’m not against… I’m all about efficiency, I’m also a systems person. However, I’ve found that when people actually sit down and have to write a hundred emails about their offer, nobody can tell them nothing about their offer. Like, the pushback that you worry about, all of that, you can’t tell them nothing.
So, I think that confidence you just don’t get from obviously using a tool like that. However, my recommendation if you’re going to use both, would be to write the email for the act of writing emails and then use ChatGPT for formatting. I actually use it for formatting. The subject line, preview text, sending it to my team. I use it for that, my team uses it for that.
So, use it, but it’s one of those things where just the practice of writing emails does so much for your Million Dollar Energy. I know you can’t replace that, and so I always tell people: If you’re not confident in your offer, you just haven’t written emails. That’ll get you confident. So, that’s my take on AI and writing emails.
Resources from this episode:
You can learn more about the Make Your Mark Live™ event and its host Jordan Gill at her page systemssavedme.com.
Other Campfire Circle podcast episodes you might like:
Connect with Ellen Yin:
LinkedIn: Ellen Yin
Podcast: Cubicle to CEO
Connect with Traci Szemkus:
LinkedIn: Dr. Traci Szemkus
Connect with Erin Perkins:
LinkedIn: Erin Perkins
Connect with Kirsten Roldan:
LinkedIn: Kirsten Roldan
Connect with Tania Bhattacharyya:
LinkedIn: Tania Bhattacharyya