Geek alert! What happens when you get two marketers into a room? THIS!
Today’s guest is my friend and fellow marketer Mary Czarnecki — who has impressive brands behind her name that she’s worked with and taught workshops too (like Johnson and Johnson, Starbucks, and WebMD).
In the show notes below, I’ve pulled out some nuggets in Q & A format. Enjoy!
Mallory: What’s a huge question people tend to ask you first?
Mary: So the thing I really work with people on is helping them get out of that shiny object overwhelm.
So so many times, my first conversation with someone is, Hey, can you tell me about Facebook ads? Or hey, can you tell me how to do my social media? Hey, can you figure you know, someone told me I need an email? Why do I need an email list?
And so the first kind of opening the mind moment, for a lot of business owners I talked to, is that someone has told them to do something, or that they should be doing something that they’re coming out of the space of overwhelm, or, you know, kind of a lack of confidence, because they’re amazing at what they do, right? They’re confident that they can deliver, whatever it is, they’re an expert in. But then all of a sudden, someone has said something to them, or they’ve read something that’s now taken a knock at their kind of expert business owner confidence.
And they think that this tactic, this thing, this one platform or activity, they’re missing out on or they should know about, or their competition is going to do and then steal over all their clients.
And so usually my question conversations are starting at the tactical level, but what I love doing is bringing people back their confidence by bringing the conversation up to the strategic level.
Mallory: This is perfect. It sounds like something I heard a few years ago by Val Geisler about just-in-time learning vs just-in-case learning.
When we’re unsure about what the best next move is, as business owners we typically default to learning something new or needing a new shiny tactic to make it all better.
That’s what I see a lot with clients, too, is they have all these ideas, muddled in their head. They’re trying to consume stuff. But there’s nothing to be put in practice because there’s just so much learning taking place.
So the new filter becomes “What do you need to know right this minute to do your goals you just talked about for the next 90 days?”
So the new filter becomes “What do you need to know right this minute to do your goals you just talked about for the next 90 days?”– Mallory Schlabach
Mallory: Let’s talk about some must-dos small business owners and entrepreneurs need to focus on for marketing:
Mary: You need a roadmap that really breaks your marketing plan down into a system where you’re actually looking at the conversion equation to figure out okay, you know, how am I literally bringing people into my world? How am I engaging them? How am I educating them so that they feel good making a decision to work with me? And then what am I literally offering them so it’s, it’s creating this kind of connection, nurture and conversion system, but on a level, that’s not going to burn you out on a bunch of different route trials, or testing ideas.
Make sure your offers you’re putting out into the world and what you’re selling are actually tapping into their biggest hot button need so that you’re not just talking to like, lower-level issues. Too many times we try to solve something that’s only painful enough to whine about — not painful enough to do anything about it.
Find out what your market wants to buy. So many businesses put products out that they think are going to sell but the only focus group they’ve consulted is themselves, they haven’t actually asked their market what they want and then it flops.
Mallory: Yes, that’s such a true thing! When I work with clients, I don’t know if it feels really daunting to them to have to ask their audience first or if it makes them feel like they don’t have it all together? It feels counterintuitive, but you want to test things and make sure you’re not wasting all your money and time.
There is almost more mindset to being an entrepreneur that skill…. Almost!
Mary: One thing that I did not expect from becoming a business transformation and marketing coach was how much mindset work and life coaching. Yeah. So which is actually funny what I actually went and got my health coaching certification specifically to help that because I found so many people just not taking the tactical marketing steps they needed because they had mindset limitations. Right?
Mallory: Exactly. That’s why I have a business and life coaching certification as well as that. We think we can keep our personal life and business life separate, but your personal life affects your business, and your business definitely affects your personal life. I completely agree. My sessions with clients almost feel like sometimes therapy sessions sometimes, which I do love. Nobody tells you that as an entrepreneur that a lot of the stuff you’re struggling with is just in your head.
Mallory: What happens when someone feels stuck or like they’ve plateaued in their business?
Mary: I like to talk about the five-part profit formula which is to make more money in business you can:
- get more leads or get more people in the door,
- you get those people to convert at a higher rate,
- you either get more transactions ( so either you need them to either buy more often or buy more stuff from you
- you raise your prices
- you lower margins by dealing with operational costs
That’s it. Like that’s how you make money in business, right. And so as a marketer, and a, you know, business transformation strategist, what I’m really focused on is looking at, not so much like, Where have you come from? And like, how do we get more of that, but almost asking the question of like, Okay, this is awesome. This is what you built, this is who you have been serving. Let’s look at that as like now is that where you want to go?
If you haven’t started planning for your next goal, by the time you hit that one goal, that’s where I’m seeing so many people plateau. And so that’s the catalyst that a lot of people I think that are coming to me are saying, I worked my little butt off to get to point a, right, I did all the things like all the targeting all the work, and I’m here now. Now I want more growth, I want more time freedom, I want more sanity back in my business, I want more confidence in my marketing. But I’m doing okay, so I did something.
Mallory: Okay, so one thing that you brought up in that exact scenario, that I was thinking too, is that I’ve seen with my clients, as well as, when you get to that point where you’re, you’ve kind of met that initial goal and you’re still hungry for growth, and clearly you want to grow but it can almost feel like you’re gonna have to work harder.
And like you don’t have any idea how you’re going to run any faster or split your time anymore, or who you could even hire to bring on because it’s going to turn upside down your profit margins. So that then it can feel like you’re stuck all of a sudden, and you don’t know what even what to do next.
That’s what I look at in my audits as well as the first thing I want to increase is conversions. That is the fastest, right? Conversions and pricing. This is the two fastest ways you can change things up immediately.
Mallory: Where do you start with someone who feels stuck?
Mary: I usually start with the first two, as well, so the leads coming into their business and the conversions. Now, that being said, I don’t know any small business or entrepreneur that doesn’t want fast cash in their business. And you’re right, one of the fastest ways to change your profit in the short term is definitely going to be looking at your pricing and your packaging.
So what I’ll do is I’ll kind of do like a little cash booster at the beginning, which is literally what selling now like, what if you didn’t change any of your marketing, any religion, any anything, except the price of this product, or the way that you’re structuring it in the package that you’re the offer that you’re giving? Is there a way for us to tweak that so we can get you some, you know, fast cash in the door, like a little cash boost?
A lot of times small, incremental changes in price won’t affect your conversion rate, but it will massively impact your top-line revenue. Right? So that’s kind of the booster that I’ll do with people a lot of times right out the door.
But then in terms of really looking at what change can we make that might need a little bit more of a runway, but will also create this foundation for this next growth stage for you is going to be how are they bringing people into their business? Right? What is their lead generation and client acquisition process? And then what are they doing to increase those conversions?
Because a lot of times people are so focused on the lead generation that they forget about, once you bring people into your, into your world into your office into your restaurant or onto your webpage? Like, what are you doing to actually enhance your conversion rate? And are you giving them options? So on the leads part, you know, we’ll talk about everything from social media, you know, selling systems to, you know, even looking at joint ventures, a lot of times people think of joint ventures as oh my gosh, that’s going to take so much work, and I’m not gonna get a lot out of it, what I’ve actually seen it work well for is when you can find a win win.
For people that are already talking to the people you want to talk to, if you can bring the value to the table, there can be less work for you in the lead generation space, which is kind of nice. And then with the conversions, you know, once you’ve got people into your world, you and I both talked a lot about how do you capture people’s contact information. So you can kind of drip on them and nurture them through things like email, or in a Facebook group or on social media with, you know, whether you’re using bots or whether you’re, you know, personally messaging people, but then also once you’re nurturing them, and they’re actually at the point of purchase, not just giving them cut and dry offers.
A lot of business owners forget about the upsell and the down-sell, which is something that corporate and big business has mastered and captures a lot of incremental income in that way. And so that’s one of the tools that I definitely introduced to people that in the first phase of business, they may just may not have thought of.
Mallory: Can we geek out for just a second? Because I don’t think most people actually even track stuff in their business. So can you please indulge me? What are your favorite metrics? What do you recommend your clients track? Because I could geek out on this all day long.
Mary: Yeah, for sure. So yes, I definitely believe in tracking metrics. I feel like a lot of people hide their numbers because they’re scared of what they might be. But here’s the thing, just like avoiding stepping on a scale of that’s a sore point for you, not knowing where you’re starting from, it’s not going to allow you to have the celebration moments when you do achieve your goals, and see how far you’ve come. So yeah, in terms of what to track in your business I put people in different buckets.
So if there are people, the starter trackers right there, like just give me the three things I just need three times if that’s the case, you know, I’m really looking at how many lead generating activities are you taking in your business every week? So if I’m working with someone like a health coach, or a business coach, or someone that’s really needing to get on calls with people to sell their services, how many calls Did you have last week? How many you have this week? How many calls you have booked next week?
But if you’re the starter tracker, I just look at what really that sales activity is, for people that don’t necessarily have calls in their business. If you’re selling something at a boutique or restaurant I like to look at not just the number of customers that are coming in, but look at like the average selling price.
So has your average selling price or average purchase price change over time? So does your average consumer if you’re a high volume person, like if you’re serving a lot of clients, instead of the coach that maybe just needs a few good high-quality high-ticket clients? If you’re serving volume, then it’s How has your average selling price tracked over time? Have you changed your marketing tactics? So maybe you’re pulling from a pool of people that are going to spend less? Or are you pulling from a pool of people and offering them, you know, a higher value opportunity to work with you? So that’s those are two that I would track.
Mallory: Yes! This story was told to me at a retreat one time:
Four strangers who are getting to know each other all get into an airplane. They’re flying over these beautiful mountains and this gorgeous scenery and everyone’s like, Oh, my gosh! Where are we going?
And the pilot’s like, “I have no idea. But we’re making great time!”
That’s how I feel we often end up as business owners. If you don’t have metrics, you have no idea what’s working and what’s costing you money and time — which spells death for a business. Anybody who’s ever worked with me, you know, I give them a list of the metrics that I would recommend you start tracking right now, based on your goals because you just need to take a pulse check on your business.
So this is good, this is good! I wanted to hear somebody else tell my audience to track their metrics. In episode #005 you can download a master spreadsheet of metrics to track and how to get started.
I feel like it just makes decision making easier which, as entrepreneurs, we talked at the beginning, right, there are so many little micro-decisions you’re making all the time, that it’s really easy to see why we don’t get further along in our business or get a lot more accomplished because we’re committing our brainpower to such tiny things that aren’t very important.
Mallory: Mary, what is on the horizon for you? What are you working on kind of what’s next for you over the next couple of months?
Mary: In the past six months, I actually launched my first online program. So basically got to download my MBA brand into some videos, templates and swipe files there for business, what I was finding was some people just work at that phase of being ready to work one on one. And whether it was a dog trainer, whether it was a winery, or whether it was the restaurant, the all across all the clients I’ve ever worked with, there was a few consistent pieces, elements that everyone has to master in their business, as I was able to kind of download BAM your brain on those topics into this program.
It’s called the Audience Intelligence Accelerator and it’s really the first step, if you’re just getting started. And you feel like you haven’t gotten into that deep level of understanding with your audience, quote, unquote, nailed your niche.
But like we talked about, it’s also for that next level of business owner, that’s serious, but the business side of it may have been doing this awhile, but has fallen into that trap of I kind of feel like I’m trying to serve everyone, or I’m not quite sure I’m hitting that deepest pain point. So it gives them a framework and some great swipe files for actually implementing that in their business.
So that I really, really excited about. And then I’m also launching a new group program. So what I found is that sometimes working with people one on one is what they need. But I also part of group programs that I get a huge amount from not just the person who’s running it, but also the other members in the group.
Because sometimes I’m at a phase in my business where I know I have a question, but I can’t almost even find the words for it. And so being able to tap into the group consciousness and like, be able to use that to articulate and be like, yes, she asked exactly what I was thinking, but I couldn’t find that word.
About Mary Czarnecki:
Mary Czarnecki is a Marketing Strategist and Business Transformation Consultant specializing in brand positioning, audience insight development, and sales funnel strategy. After spending nearly two decades helping grow Fortune 500 brands like WebMD and Johnson & Johnson, she’s now committed to doing the same for ambitious entrepreneurs and business owners.
When she’s not working, Mary loves spending time with her husband and two boys exploring the outdoors. She’s always up for a hike in the woods or a weekend camping trip! She’s a former Jersey Girl now raising her business and family in Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country.
3 Things About Mary Czarnecki:
1. I’m originally a Jersey Girl but have fallen in love with Oregon (however I maintain that the Jersey Shore is MUCH better for body surfing and has WAY better pizza)
2. I love the outdoors… in college, I was an Outdoor Action Wilderness Leader and led 7-10 day backpacking trips and also spent the summer before senior year sleeping in a tent on an NC barrier island watching wild horses for my senior thesis (man – was I blond by the end of those 4 months!)
3. Becoming a mom rocked my world! It’s more and different than I ever imagined… and although I’ll ALWAYS be a mom and would walk across FIRE for my kids, I know now that being a mom isn’t ALL that I am… and I’m continuously learning how to be a great mom and true to myself at the same time!
Connect with Mary:
About Marketing Magic:
The Marketing Magic podcast is where women entrepreneurs trying to do all the things come to get inspiration, business strategy, and on-air coaching on how to get their business noticed and growing. If you have a business that people need to know about in order for it to grow, you’re in the right place. This is the place to uncomplicate your marketing. Be sure to listen, subscribe, and leave a review! Join the conversation of other unapologetically successful women in her Facebook community, The #girlboss Club.