Behind the Scenes: The Inner Circle
How can you lead experiences that serve clients who are at different places in the lifecycle of their business?
What if one client in your coaching group is just starting in the process you are teaching and another is further along?
What if one client is just starting his business and another has a business generating over $100 million?
Can these people learn from and with each other?
This past week, I spent a couple of days in a retreat creating with our Inner Circle Mastermind members.
It’s a really inspiring group of people and one of my favorite things I get to do.
We have experts from all different industries: professional beauty, financials, arts, customer service, personal services.
We have experts marketing to individuals and some marketing to Fortune 500 companies.
…with all different size teams ranging from team of one to team of over 400
…and, revenues ranging from starting from scratch to over NINE Figures (not a typo).
How You Can Make One Learning Experience Valuable for Different Audiences
The key to leading transforming experiences is to remember this: all learning is about making distinctions. It’s not about new content. It’s about making finer distinctions around the things that matter.
For example, when we come into the first grade, we are handed a box of crayons and we recognize the colors we see because we’ve played with them. We know the names of the red, green, blue, orange, black crayons.
We don’t know yet that we are about to have names for all the colors we didn’t notice before. Blue will become baby blue, royal blue, powder blue, sky blue, aqua blue. We make finer distinctions as we learn.
We might look at the ocean and see “aqua blue”. An artist might look at the ocean and see shades of azure, turquoise, indigo.
This is our mission as teachers, coaches and consultants: to help our clients make finer distinctions that will help them see things they are missing that can dramatically achieve the results they are getting.
When you focus on distinction making as your core focus, you realize it’s not about having more stuff to teach. It’s about having people see differently the things they have already seen. Seeing what they have missed is often the biggest catalyst to growth.
Constantly having more and more content to teach leads people to skim and tread the surface.
Superficial knowledge never delivers results.
All compulsive course consumers know this. A superficial course leaves you with little ability to actually create the result you want.
Powerful learning experiences meet everyone exactly where they are.
Powerful learning experiences take you deeper.
I designed the Inner Circle agenda for this past week to meet the needs of everyone in the room. Let’s walk through a few highlights and see how one exercise can meet people in different places in the implementation process.
For simplicity, let’s call our members creating their first online offer and sales funnel, “First Time Creators” (highly original, I know) and the folks that have already launched an online course and sales funnel with us as “Serial Creators”.
(Some of our Inner Circle peeps were missed in our departing photo — Carol Augusto, Nancy Hillis, Alaina and Kim Moore — wise choice was made by Stacy not to Photoshop your heads in.)
Day 1: Warp Speed Creation
We begin the day with all the questions everyone wants to get answered. The questions from your clients are always going to be different based on where they are in the process of implementing. That’s actually a really great thing in a group situation.
You can weave in all the answers in the design of your agenda and make the whole experience richer for all.
I do this by having everyone share their questions on sticky notes. I place the questions on sticky notes on the flip chart agenda so everyone can see when their questions are going to be answered. This serves an important purpose of letting everyone relax into the learning, knowing that what they need is going to be delivered.
Once everyone knows they are going to get what they need, we can get busy working on building offers and creating the entire sales funnel. Let’s look at a few examples from the day.
1. Write the agenda on a flip chart
2. Have everyone share their questions on sticky notes (one per sticky)
3. Ask everyone to share their questions.
4. Take the sticky and place it on the agenda where it will be covered
How to Narrow Your Audience and Your Offer
We next worked through a simple and powerful exercise to get laser focused on our audience and get clear on what they want. This process is always revealing, no matter how many times you revisit it.
Everyone is working together and everyone is having big insights.
First-time creators realize the enormous revenue opportunity when they narrow their focus to get the best results for their clients and their business. “Serial creators” instantly see how they can go deeper with existing clients and double revenue without getting more new clients.
Everyone is excited to get started working on the unique opportunity we just identified for their business and where it is in its’ lifecycle.
How to Create the Offer Your Clients Want
We take the insights and begin working on the offer. Everyone is creating different offers. Some are creating online courses, some are launching consulting packages, some are filling live events, some are marketing high-end year-long programs. The offer doesn’t matter because the process is the same.
What changes are the distinctions you make around how to get better at what you are doing.
First time creators refined their idea and outlined the entire offer.
Serial creators refined offers they had already launched based on the data we collected and reviewed. They begin to work on creating up-sell and next level offers to capture sales that are being left on the table.
How to Create Online Experience Funnels that Fill Your Offers
Once we have refined the audience and the offer, everyone began mapping the entire experience that their clients will move through. The mapping system everyone uses is the same system that has consistently delivered results for us and our clients.
First Time Creators are visually mapping their whole experience so they can see what we will be creating together. Our team helps refine the whole design so they can go faster in finishing their offer and get it up and selling.
Serial Creators are right next to them plotting their results from their last launch right on their funnel map. They are mapping what they already have completed and identifying what is missing and needs to be added. Our team reviews the results and helps figure out what to improve and where we can focus to get even more sales.
Working side-by-side in the room, everyone is getting clear on exactly how to invest their time to get the biggest and fastest results.
Writing Sales Copy That Moves People and Sells Offers
We all know engaging copy is a big part of finding your people online. You’ll write copy for emails, sales pages, webinars, videos.
In the retreat, we write copy together. Anyone can throw out an offer they want to write copy for and the entire group starts to brainstorm ideas.
It’s messy and all over the place at first. Then, themes emerge and quickly you can hear what the message needs to be.
But, here is what is really going on: Everyone is seeing the process for pulling out great copy in real time. It’s not a method we cover in a powerpoint. It’s seeing how this happens and making distinctions about what great copy sounds like that doesn’t easily emerge just reading about how to do it.
Inner Circle member, Gwen Fox, shared one of the techniques she walked away with on how to write better copy when you struggle with copy. You can use this strategy today to write better copy:
Creating Effective Facebook Ads to Attract the Right Clients
At the end of the day, we took everything we had worked on and reviewed the formula for creating effective Facebook ads that are targeted to our audience and the offer.
We attracted over 30,000 attendees into our training programs this past year. In the Circle, we walk through the formula for creating the ads that have enabled me to meet all these people.
Using the templates provided:
First time creators sketched the visual of the ad and wrote the copy for their ads using a fill-in-the blank template. They left ready to go back and create the creative for the ads.
Serial creators pulled up the results from their current ad campaigns. We identified what was working (a great learning for first time creators). Our launch manager then worked with the Serial Creators to come up with additional ad concepts that will bring in more traffic into the funnels they had already launched.
Everyone leaves with ad concepts to take them to the next level in their business.
Playing with Tools
Tech tools can be intimidating. I had a spontaneous idea to bring in the tools I use to record videos on the fly. I set up the lighting and everyone could jump in front of the camera to see how easy these tools are to use.
You might think that this is a place where more advanced or “techie” people might have different interests than folks just starting to play around with these tools.
Here’s a great learning for me: One of our Inner Circle members is part of a company that has a full-time dedicated AV department/expert on staff. Guess who was the first to say, “I love this. I’m getting this!” Even though she has access to a professional AV team, being able to record and create on the fly is a big plus that will help her create faster.
Just because your clients have access to big resources doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in how to do things quickly and inexpensively.
Here’s how we set up the “recording studio” (which is what everyone wanted to play with all afternoon):
And, meet David Wagner (front-runner for “Most Entertaining Inner Circle Member Award”) testing out the equipment:
Getting Your Biggest Question Answered
No matter where your clients are in the process, they have the BIG QUESTION. You know what I’m talking about. The big question is the one that keeps us stuck until we get the answer for it. It holds up progress and keeps us spinning around and heading down rabbit trails.
In every Inner Circle gathering, everyone has dedicated time to present their Big Question. Each person says, “Ok, here’s my big question that I need help on so I can move forward.” The whole group then works to find the best answer to the question.
What’s interesting is that no matter what industry or what level of experience in creating we have, we can all contribute equally to this process. We all consume products. We all see lots of things being marketed online. We know what we like and what works and what engages us.
Everyone is scribbling to take notes-it’s incredibly valuable to have invested people around you giving you supportive feedback.
It’s fascinating to see all this diverse experience laser focused on someone’s business. It feels really good because most of us start out working alone on our project.
As Inner Circle member, Gwen Fox shared with all of us over a lovely evening of celebration, “It feels so good to feel like we all have a team around us.” Yes, it does. Wine glasses clink (again).
There was much more we covered including:
- A million tech questions
- Package creation
- Intellectual property protection
- and the list goes on…
But, you get the gist.
The best experiences for your clients are those that involve them and meet them where they are. And, you can do that with even with the most diverse of groups.
It’s easy to overcomplicate what you are delivering. What if your group programs were richer for all the diversity? What if your people got to connect and network with people they might never meet otherwise? What if they learned from people further down the process? What if they connected with first-timers that helped them remember the things so easy to forget as we grow?
Your Big Question?
What’s your big question? Feel free to share in the comments and I’ll circle back to chat.
PS — If you are wondering if a high-level experience is the right next step for you, The Inner Circle Incubator is the first step to the Inner Circle experience. In 2.5 days, we come together to develop your entire business strategy. We have 2 spots remaining for our July session. Click here to learn more and apply<<
Jeanine Blackwell, Creator of Create 6-Figure Courses® and The Launch Lab™
Jeanine has been recognized in the Huffington Post as one of the “50 Must-Follow Women Entrepreneurs in 2017” and Leadership Success Magazine’s, “40 Top Business Coaches in the World”.
Jeanine has shared online business building strategy in publications such as Fast Company, Inc. and Huffington Post, and is the creative force behind Create 6-Figure Courses® and The Launch Lab™.
She has helped thousands of experts create and launch profitable online courses and designed global online course learning models for brands like Estee Lauder, Aveda, 3M, Disney, Samsung, Princess Cruises, Boeing, Sotheby’s, and Smithsonian Institute.
Jeanine speaks on online learning strategy and digital marketing and has shared the stage with many powerful influencers including Marianne Williamson, Daniel Pink, Marcus Buckingham, and Deepak Chopra.