From pawning my engagement ring for payroll to lying business class to Dubai…here’s exactly how I went from “broke to booming” and how you can too!
The request first came in via the “Contact Us” form of our website…
“We are interested in exploring a key note speaker session with Kim Phillips. Would like to learn more about her interest.”
This initial inquiry was followed by a few back and forth messages between the prospect and my staff, followed by a proposal, contract or two which finally resulted in me spending last week in Dubai along with my husband, Ian Phillips, who is also the Finance Director for Elite Digital Group.
We traveled via chauffeured limousine and Emirates Air in Business Class, courtesy of the client. (And yes, Jennifer Aniston is right… it is fabulous.) And my time was handsomely paid to conduct two days of training and to spend three days traveling.
We got to soak in a truly remarkable place of exotic scents, sounds, people, religion and culture. We enjoyed the finest in hospitality while abroad including what was one of the best meals of my life—a tasting dinner at At.Mosphere, on the 128th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
Most importantly, I got to make a difference with those who I had the pleasure to spend two days training, and enjoyed every minute of it. The attendees were smart, driven and kind… my favorite type of people to work with. We covered the foundations of digital marketing, dove into practical applications and busted out more than six fully developed marketing campaigns.
Now, this isn’t the first time I have been paid well for a training session or had all of my travel covered. In fact, this is an absolute must now whenever I am going off-site for a training session, without exception (and it should be for you too… although it wasn’t always for me… more on that later). But as Ian and I were flying home in the luxury of fully flat beds, being served our breakfast while watching newly released films on the aforementioned deliciously decadent Emirates, I was overwhelmed by flowing gratitude and thanksgiving. If you had told me just a few years ago that this would be my life, I would have laughed and called you crazy pants. Just a few years ago, I was struggling financially, not being paid close to what I was worth, working with clients who were often miserable to deal with because they saw me more as a lackey than an expert and argued with any direction I gave them, working around the clock… and was still completely broke. It sucked. Big time.
Compare that to today… things couldn’t be any different. And as I lay there weeping with gratitude and joy I knew I had to share with you how this happened. How this HUGE shift occurred with the hopes that you could pull something from it to help your journey along the way and you too can shift something.
1. I Made My Head Trash Shut Up
A big part of my struggle for the first ten years I was in business was the self-perception I had that I wasn’t worth charging very much and that I was an imposter pretending to be a marketer. I didn’t believe my marketing should be too self-promotional because “what would other people think?”
What I did to change it:
a. I took Sandler Sales Training with Kate Kohler and Ed Staub. This is where I found out the thing I struggled with was “head trash” and it was made up from the unsupportive things people have said over time and I had to stop listening to it. If I was going to move forward and improve things, this head trash had to be thrown in the garbage. This may have been the most difficult step I took in transitioning to success, but it had to be the first or I was never going to make a change.
b. I became accountable by joining a Mastermind and having an Accountability Partner. I got an accountability partner who would help keep my big changes on track. Jon Toy and I have been accountability partners for over five years and I’ve been in a few Masterminds, with the most recent starting about a month ago. Both of these things help to keep me on track with the important/not urgent items. Most importantly, I’ve shared that “head trash” is an issue for me, so both keep me accountable to this issue and addressing it head-on when it comes up. This support is instrumental in my continued success.
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2. I Became “The Expert”
If I wanted to be perceived differently, I had to position myself differently to others. This step was actually the easiest because I was in complete control of it. What I did:
a. I began to blog every week, publishing a blog each and every Wednesday without exception. Blogs would offer helpful “how to” information on direct response digital marketing with examples coming from successful clients. This allowed the content to be useful while also offering social proof that I knew what the heck I was talking about.
b. I got professional headshots and used them on all of my social media platforms. Experts show up to table looking like a professional.
c. I began to publish a monthly print newsletter. Clients received this for free but others could pay to subscribe.
d. I wrote a book. While I have an actual publisher now, Entrepreneur Press, my first book was self-published and titled Awareness Campaigns are Stupid and Other Secrets to Stop Being an Advertising Victim and Start Monetizing Your Marketing.
Yes, this was a lot of work, but no other promotional effort gave me as much return as this item did. Now, I wasn’t just the CEO of a Marketing Firm. I was an author and industry expert.
Many of my clients, including the one in Dubai, came because of one of my books or interviews I received as an author.
3. I Repositioned My Prospect Meetings
Up until this point, I would have prospect meetings and find myself giving away a lot of free advice, spending a lot of time writing up a proposal and then chasing after the prospect until they said “yes.” Here’s what I changed:
a. Prospect meetings became “Prospective Client Interviews.” I wanted it to be clear that I was going to be asking questions as well as they would.
b. Meetings were never scheduled until at least a week out. After all, successful people are busy.
c. I sent the questions ahead of time so we would both be on the same page. I let the prospect know that I would be asking about their pain points, goals, budget, goals and decision-making process. If they weren’t okay discussing these items, we were not going to meet.
d. My prospects were sent a copy of my book and several past newsletters ahead of the prospect meeting to establish me as the expert.
4. I Charged More
I mean, this one is a “duh!” but this took me a very long time to do. This was essential to turn us into a profitable firm with higher quality customers. Yes, less clients were able to afford us, but those that chose to say yes, paid for a high quality service we were finally able to provide without going broke in the process.
And how much is enough to charge? My completely unscientific method – raise your prices until you feel uncomfortable saying them out loud. And when you start feeling comfortable saying them again, it’s time to raise them.
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5. I Say No to Cheap Jerk-Faces
When I was struggling to pay the bills, I said yes to every meannie pants prospect who wanted to hire us. I worked with a lot of not-nice people over the years and some days my job was a dread.
The people who are awful to work with sucked the life out of me and prevented me from spending time going after those who would be more profitable and more pleasurable to work with. No more compromising on this one. If I got the spidey-sense on a prospect call that this person would be a piece of work (you know what I am talking about) then the answer to working together was a “Thank you for your interest in working with us. Unfortunately, we are not the best fit for your needs. I want to ensure you reach your goals so I suggest you find another partner moving forward. Best wishes to your success!”
I cannot tell you how good it feels to send those messages. This may very well be the BEST part of the shift… actually being in control of my future.
Of course none of this was easy or quick. But nothing in life that is worth anything much is.
But it was oh-so-worth it. To go from at one point hawking my engagement ring to make payroll years ago, to being flown around the world in Business Class to lead a two-day workshop, the outcome couldn’t have been any more dramatic.
If You Want More Information Make Sure To Attend the Free Webcast Reveals How To 10x Your Business in 2017…5 Steps to Dominating Your Marketing, Growing Your Client Base and Getting Paid More for Your Service. Click Here Now To Reserve Your Spot