Today’s guest is Jeannie Spiro. Jeannie is an online business marketing and sales coach who specializes in helping women learn how to use online marketing strategies to fill their practice and create consistent revenue every month. She’s a late bloomer – she didn’t discover her passion for marketing until her boss passed away at work, and then she realized that she really needed to do something else. But she couldn’t leave her job right away, so in this interview she tells the story of how she made the transition from working in her job full-time and working on her business part-time, to working on her business full-time. She gives a lot of really good hints, and I really liked what she had to say.
Jasper: So, Jeannie, what would you say that you were best known for, and how did you get to where you are now?
Jeannie: I believe I’m best known for getting clients, growing a business with very little experience, not having much experience at all online, and putting it together and making it work. So to sum it up, I really have used all of my skills in sales, marketing, and so forth, turned it on online, and figured out how to create an online business to start making money and get clients right away.
Meredith: And how did you get there? You’re really well known for helping people get those first couple of clients which is an invaluable skill, I think, because so many people get stuck at step one and start spinning. But before that, what helped you to make the decision to take that leap from the relative safety of a corporate job to setting up your own shingle and working on your own as a coach?
Jeannie: I hope it’s okay if I go into a little bit of this as this is my journey, and I was that person who didn’t know what I wanted to do. I love that you talk about “paycheck to passion”. I love that because I didn’t know what my passion was until an event that happened through work when my boss passed away suddenly… He passed away at work in the middle of the office, all 10 of us were there, and we had no idea he was even in his office. It made me realize that was my wake up call… and I thought “I can’t keep doing something I can’t stand.”
Shortly after he passed away I left and went to a different company, and when I left I ended up getting sued for leaving that company and went through a legal battle. But the whole time I kept thinking “Why am I getting sued for something I don’t love? I’m miserable.” So I decided that I was going to do something I really liked – teaching – and I found coaching, but I couldn’t leave my corporate job at the same time. So I started my business online, essentially by finding clients and figuring out internet marketing.
Along the way I kept struggling, because I couldn’t figure out how to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur and what the formula was or what the secret was. It all came back to learning how to get clients and learning how to fill my practice, and getting the first couple of thousand dollars in the door.
Everything that I teach is what I went through, so it’s still passion-based, but it was so hard knowing the direction and having the focus because I’ve been a corporate employee my entire life. Ultimately, when I was ready enough to make the leap, I’d gotten a solid foundation. I made the decision to do it, but it was still scary because I was giving up this 25-year career of stability and benefits, plus my identity. I was putting that aside and moving into something new. I’ll tell you it’s been crazy emotions for me over the last couple of years, but doing this process was the best thing and the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through in my life.
Meredith: Right, and that’s something that comes up over and over and over again is that starting your own business is such a personal growth process. You don’t really think about that when you make the leap, but then you really do have to go within yourself and really draw on strengths and reserves that you didn’t even know you ever had.
Meredith: I think one place when people really get stuck is they decide to start their own business and they spend a year on their website or trying to choose their auto-responder instead of actually going and getting their first couple of clients. But, the reality is when you open your doors to your business is when you’re actually making some money and having people come in. So what do you suggest to people to really get going?
Jeannie: It’s actually the first thing I teach. There are a few things, but the very first thing that I do is after you’ve gotten clear about who you want to work with and what it is that you can do, I always tell people to send out an announcement email because I focus on doing all this online.
Send out an announcement email to your friends, to your colleagues, to your former coworkers, to your family, and let them know what you’re up to, because there’s confidence in sharing it, but there’s also that you never know who is on the other side that needs your help. I still have my clients do that, even when they’ve got clients but they’re looking for more. I always have them go back to who do you know who can help you. Those are warm leads. So that’s one of the first fundamental things I believe people need to be doing.
Jasper: That’s quite interesting. We had an interview with somebody else who said one of their top tips was always start local, because your first clients are always going to be from among the people that you’re already acquainted with.
Jeannie: That’s right.
Jasper: And however far you expand out into the world, which of course the internet gives you the capability of doing, it’s always great to start with those people you know and invariably they are local.
Jeannie: Correct. Yes, and those who are in your inbox right now. Sometimes we overlook those.
Meredith: So at the very beginning, you have a mailing list that consists of all the same people who have your same last name, i.e., your family members. How do you get beyond that? How do get those first couple hundred people on your list so you can send out announcement emails?
Jeannie: The very first thing that I started doing was I love to speak, so thank you for having me once again, because I love talking. I started doing interviews, and not only just interviews like we’re doing right now were I was a guest, but I became a host. I found that people love information. We just love it, we can’t get enough of it and absorb it – we’re like sponges. I feel like when you’re passionate about a subject, you can infuse your own energy, and allow other people to know more about it online by hosting teleseminars or webinars or even hosting interviews.
So that’s what I started doing initially. Just simply getting going. I think the first few I had maybe 50 people that I added to my mailing list every month, but within three months I had maybe about 250 people on a mailing list who wouldn’t have been on it before otherwise had I not interviewed other people.
It was just a simple strategy based on me wanting to know more about other people’s businesses, and knowing that my market would want to know the same.
Jeannie Spiro Tips
1) Set yourself up online – website, landing page with a free offer so you can
2) Start building you mailing list
3) Use your Facebook and LinkedIn Groups to network and turn those online conversations into offline conversations
4) Use things like an interview series to network and get more people on your list
5) Use Teleseminars and Webinars to create a presentation about the problem you solve for people.
Guest: Jeannie Spiro
Jeannie Spiro is an Online Business, Marketing and Sales Coach specializing in helping women coaches, consultants and service based entrepreneurs struggling to get clients learn how to use online marketing strategies to fill their practice and create consistent revenue every month.
As a self-proclaimed late bloomer, Jeannie didn’t uncover her passion until her 40’s when after the sudden death of her boss she realized she hated what she was doing and discovered business coaching.
Not in a position to quit her job, Jeannie had limited time to grow her business around her full-time job and busy family life. Finding that offline marketing strategies weren’t working fast enough, Jeannie turned to the internet to learn how to fill her practice and make money and within two years Jeannie created a 6-figure online business that allowed her to quit her job.
Jeannie now works less than 30 hours a week teaching clients from all over the world her 6-step formula to attracting clients online so they can generate their first consistent $3,000-$5,000 in their business every month.
She is a frequent speaker on telesummits and podcasts and in her free time enjoys spending time with her family on the coastline in Rhode Island.
You can learn more about Jeannie at www.JeannieSpiro.com
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