Last Wednesday I had the privilege of attending one of Tad Hargraves’ Marketing for Hippies workshops in person!

One (if not ‘THE’) best teacher of ethical marketing, I’ve been following this guy for years, and I’ve taken several of his programmes.

I love what he does and what he stands for, so when he came to Edinburgh I jumped at the chance to be there in person.

One thing I can say is that he is also a master storyteller, and a natural at stand-up comedy – so the whole room was mesmerized and in fits of laughter with his tales and jokes. It  brought his material to life, and made it sink in more deeply.

I want to share 3 lessons that I learned in that room, and that I’ll be implementing in my own business.

Lesson 1: Increase your effort:to: reward ratio using ‘Hubs’.

Tad explained that marketing to complete strangers is really tough, it’s the hardest thing to crack (and you shouldn’t be doing it!)

What he suggests instead is to develop relationships with what he calls ‘hubs’. A hub is a person who’s well connected to many of your ideal clients (and other hubs). A hub can also be an event, a location, a group where your ideal clients are already hanging out – but tends to revolve around a key person.

Now that sounds like really good advice, and I’ve heard it before but never really acted upon it with determined focus. Why?

For various reasons, the main one being it feels like a lot of hard, uncomfortable work for me!

I’m great one to one, once I get to know someone, but the thought of reaching out ‘cold’ to a stranger (who might become a hub for me) is scary!

I’m torn between the idea of developing relationships as being something hard and icky – and telling myself to stop the drama and realise that I’m already doing it to some degree – and really enjoying it!

I’ve got business buddies I connect with regularly, mostly online but sometimes offline too.

I know I just need to get more ‘strategic’ with it, (and start a spreadsheet!)

I want to get good at this relationship stuff and ‘hub’ building, because I want to get my message out to as many people as possible, and actually embrace the idea that making new connections can be fun!

On that note, I’m delighted to say that I’m stretching outwards and I’m taking part in my first podcast interview next month with the lovely Sarah Santacroce.

Lesson 2: Staying safe and neutral is keeping your business small.

Tad explained that when there are many people who do what you do (in my case, helping heart-centred introverts like coaches, holistic practitioners and creatives to get ‘out there’ with their business) – it’s really hard for people to decide who to work with when there’s so much choice.

(and if you’re not well known, and don’t have a big following, then finding your best kind of clients is ‘hit and miss’.)

Instead Tad teaches how important it is to have a Point of View – which is a huge topic – but essentially it’s “why you do what you do in the way that you do it”.

Part of articulating your Point of View, is to get really clear on your what and why and how, and not be afraid to stick your neck out and say it like it is (at risk of offending some people).

I think this was the biggest take-away for me – the idea that my philosophy, my take, my approach to handling the problem I help my clients with needs to be communicated a lot more deeply than I’m currently doing.

What worried and excited me in equal measure is, I’m not the sort of person who’s got an opinion on everything, and can spout my views easily to anyone who’ll listen. (I’ve written about my early experiences with this here. )

I think that’s one strand of the ‘fear of being visible’ – and I’ve realised that although I’ve come a long way in recent years, I still have a long way to go…

… in being able to articulate for myself and SAY OUT-LOUD what I really think about things, without worrying what people will think.

But now I’ve heard Tad’s wisdom, I’m going to be actively working out – where do I stand on the issues that really matter to my business (and my life) ?

I love a challenge – and this cuts deep into my whole reason for being in business in the first place.

So watch this space!

Actively seeking rejection is the quickest way to build raving fans!”

Lesson 3: Actively seeking rejection is the quickest way to build raving fans! 

That sounds like madness, right? Or the easiest way to completely freak yourself out (and go into hiding forevermore).

But the way Tad explained this made it super clear, and compelling.

He says that there are 3 types of Prospectors (people are actively looking for help too, so you can’t call them ‘Prospects’ like sitting ducks!)

– there are Yes, Maybe and No camps.

The straight up Yes’s make up 10%

The Maybe’s are the biggest at 80%

The No’s are also at 10%

The Maybe’s group is so big because of lack of vulnerability on our end – we try to be ‘nice’, to please everyone and maybe we don’t make offers or ask for business.

The Maybe’s never buy from us!

So our job as business owners is to get people off the fence as quickly as possible (to save wasted time and energy) – and into one of the other camps!

(So the ratio becomes more like Yes=30%, Maybe=10%, and No=60%!!)

Part of actively seeking rejection is being really clear on who is NOT a good fit to work with us – and being explicit about that on all our webpages and sales letters.

I thought this was a cool challenge too – to get out a sheet of paper with a line down the middle, and one one side write down the characteristics of my dream best clients, and the other side my nightmare worst clients (who would I definitely NOT want to work with).

No more being nice and neutral – bless and release the NO’s – so I can be free to attract more of my absolute best clients (who will have an awesome experience with me, and tell all their friends).

This truth shocked me – that when a client is not a best fit for your work – they have a ‘Meh’ or worse, an actively ‘Yuk’ experience – but not because your work is inherently Meh or Yuk, just it wasn’t a good fit for them….

But when they tell their friends about you – your reputation is damaged. 

Not great right?!

My mission now is to actively seek rejection from the people who are NOT the best fit to work with me.

It’s all part of becoming clearer – for myself and the people I can best serve through my work in this world.

And that was only a tiny taste of the gems I got from this workshop!

Thankyou Tad!!

PS. If you’re an introvert who struggles to get ‘out there’ with your business – you can get a tiny taste of the way I work by downloading my free guide to How to be Visible to your Dream Clients when you’d rather be Invisible.

Over to you:

I’d love to know how this lands with you.  What’s the bit you’re going to take action on?

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