Intro (00:02): You're listening to the Smart Gets Paid Podcast with me, Leah Neaderthal. I help women land higher paying clients in their B2B consulting and coaching businesses, but I've never been a sales person. My background is in corporate marketing. And when I started my first consulting business, I learned pretty quickly that it's about a thousand times harder to sell your own stuff than it is to sell someone else's. So I taught myself how to do it, and I created a sales approach that feels comfortable, makes you feel confident, and it works consistently. And now I teach women how to land higher paying clients in their B2B consulting and coaching businesses. So whether your client contracts are $2,000 or $200,000, if you want to work with more of the clients you love, do more of the work you love, and get paid more than you ever imagined. Then you're in the right place. Let's do it together. Welcome to Smart Gets Paid.
Leah (00:54): Hey there, Leah here. And thanks for tuning into this episode of the Smart Gets Paid Podcast. So a few weeks ago, I got a text from somebody I worked with at my very last corporate job ever. And I say ever, because I feel like at this point, after being out of corporate since 2010, I usually say that I'm pretty much unemployable, but I was thinking about that job and that company, as I was putting together this episode. I was in corporate marketing at an enterprise software company in the West loop of Chicago. And the software that we made was something that sales teams would use to collect best practices from across their organization and make them available to the broader group of salespeople. It was kind of like content management on steroids. A company would make this software available for their sales team and in order for the software to be successful, it hinged on that company’s salespeople sharing their best practices with each other on the platform.
Leah (01:45): So sharing the powerpoints that worked and little tips and strategies and tools that they use to help them sell. But the problem was, it was really hard to get users to add things to the platform because people don't think they have best practices. Think about right now, if someone asked you what's a best practice that you do? You'd probably say, I don't know. I just sort of do what I do. But if I asked you, what's one thing you do, or one thing you figured out that works pretty well? You'd probably be able to come up with something, but best practices, you know, air quotes, best practices. That's what other people have. We don't think that we have them. And I thought about that a lot when I was listening to the conversation that you're going to hear today, because I'm talking to a woman, who's an executive coach.
Leah (02:26): Who's taken her years of corporate experience and is teaching mid-career execs how to really prepare for and make that next move in their career. And she's just started putting herself out there to start getting clients and some mindset stuff is coming up for her. And it's something really common that I hear from so many women and on this topic of what you think other people are, but you don't think you are. I don't want to ruin it. You'll have to listen to it. This conversation is a one-on-one coaching call for my Pack Your Pipeline program for LinkedIn. So I want to say a special thank you to this Pack Your Pipeline student for allowing me to share this conversation with you. So just a quick note, this was recorded when I was sitting outside. So it wasn't in my typical office and actually, okay. I was sitting outside because this call happened when I was quarantining with like nine family members all in the same house. So you can imagine I had to get outside for a second just to get some space. So what that means is that you'll hear a little bit of rustling noise from my headphones at the beginning. And then a little bit later, you'll also hear some birds tripping, but I promise you, you're not going crazy hearing these birds. It's on the recording. So take a listen. And when you're done, we'll come back together and talk about it. We'll do that right after a word from our sponsor.
Leah (03:34): This episode is sponsored by the one-page sales strategy. So when you think of a business development strategy for a consulting or coaching business, you might picture a complicated flow chart with boxes and arrows and lots of steps, but it actually doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, the strategy that powers your entire consulting or coaching business, your work and your revenue can be just one page. And when you have that strategy, you can start to clearly see where to spend your time, turn off shiny object syndrome and get to work, getting the clients you want in your business. Because if you're like the women I work with, you're not afraid of hard work, but you want it to be the right work. So whether you already work with businesses as your clients, or if you want to start. Get your copy of the one-page sales strategy and start to create your simple, elegant sales strategy for your consulting or coaching business, get yours firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leah (04:27): How's it going?
Guest: Good. How are you?
Leah: Good. Good. Welcome to your Pack Your Pipeline One-on-One Coaching call.
Guest: Thank you.
Leah: Yeah. So the purpose of today's call is to talk about how you're doing with the program.
Leah: What you may need to move forward and be successful. And let's talk about where this all fits in your business. So let's start with, how's it going?
Guest: It's been going great. I love your program. It was awesome.
Leah: Oh, I'm so glad. But was there any particular thing that really stuck out for you like that you learned or did?
Guest: I liked that it was an acceleration program. I think just, I liked the whole progression. I liked that your videos were short and sweet to the point and just examples of, you know, profiles. Cause sometimes it's just really hard to write your own stuff and I still have to work on my profile a little bit more, but that was really helpful because I wanted to revamp my LinkedIn profile for a while. And you just gave a really great step by step process to do it.
Leah (05:24): Oh, I'm so glad. Well, how are you doing with the profile?
Guest: Good, good. You helped me really niche better because I was kind of all over the place. That was really helpful because now when people ask me what I do, it's much easier for me to say it.
Leah: Oh good. I'm so glad. Well, so where do you feel like you need some help right now?
Guest (05:59): Here's what's going on? So, you know, I'm posting a ton, but the weird thing that's happening to me right now is my target is women and I'm attracting men. And I'm attracting all these male coaches and I don't link in with them.
Leah (06:03): Okay. Talk to me about your thinking there.
Guest (06:06): Um, no, like, I don't know what's going on. I don't know why these guys want to link in with me and their coaches.
Leah (06:12): Okay. And they do exactly what you do?
Guest (06:15): I don't know if they do exactly what I do, but they're in the coaching industry. I don't, I don't necessarily want to go look at their profiles, but I probably should.
Leah (06:24): Right. Cause you don't wanna be seen sort of, you know, checking them out or whatever. You know, I think that you have the right to accept or not accept anybody that you want. And you can look at somebody's profile and still not accept them. And I say this jokingly as a reminder to myself as well, like it's not high school. Right. It's, this is your business. And so all the things that come up that are probably coming up from a place, not as like you, the CEO, you know, it's coming from you, the high schooler or whatever. Do you know what I’m trying to say? And so, but as a CEO with your CEO hat and your CEO Cape, you do what you want and don't even give it a second thought.
Guest (07:07): Yeah. Yeah. I'm just, I'm just wondering why it's it's the men, but what's resonating with them. Like why are they . . .
Leah (07:17): I'm going to your profile right now? You know, I think you, gosh, you do say women, it's the fourth word. You know, it might be the case that they are looking for somebody to refer people to? They might be looking to expand their own network? Connecting with them might open you up to their network of connections.
Guest (07:39): And that's what I was thinking they were trying to do with me.
Leah (07:42): Yeah. Also, you can benefit from that. But if you're really curious and you want to see this as like a little research project, just respond. Say like, you know, got your connection requests. What prompted your interest in connecting?
Guest: Oh yeah. That's a good idea.
Leah: It's not like, listen creep, what are you doing?
Guest (08:01): I get a lot of LinkedIn requests from men and I just, and I have an aversion to men right now that doesn't help. I just went through another divorce. And so I'm very sensitive about that.
Leah (08:14): Yeah. I can appreciate that that would be the case. And you're in charge of who gets into your world, you know? And you know, what, if they had done the same connection request a year from now, maybe it will be different, but this is where you are. I think you have to respect that. And I just read this book by Glennon Doyle, called Untamed. And she talks about, who would you allow on your Island? And you are in charge of your Island. You don't have to allow anybody onto the Island that you don't want.
Guest (08:46): Okay. That's so crazy that you just brought up that book because I was on a call before you. And they shared the same book. Oh wow. Well, yeah, that means clearly the universe
Leah (08:56): Oh wow. Well, yeah, that means clearly the universe Is telling you to grab everything and read that book. It was really, really good. It's the first book of hers that I've read. And because I wasn't really paying attention when she was like a Christian mom blogger. Right. But now, you know, she's married to Abby Wambach and the book is excellent.
Guest (09:14): Okay. All right. I'm going to get it today. That's yeah. The universe is definitely sending me a big message today. So.
Leah (09:21): Don't fight it. So you can adopt a position of curiosity. You can say not right now partner. Or you can do whatever you want, whatever feels right. And I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. You're not like signaling, if I'd gone to your profile and it says I helped people get their next job or whatever. I would say, okay well, I would really signal who you want to talk to, speak directly to women, but you're already doing that.
Right. Yeah. Okay. What do you think about, are my photos okay? What do you think about the banner part? Is that okay?
Leah (10:00): I think it's good. Right. So I would think about. . . Listen, we're in a strange moment for photographs right now, you know, with social distancing and all of that. So you have this whiteboard behind you, I'm seeing, and I would have somebody take a picture of you in front of the whiteboard. Just sort of pretending to speak.
Guest (10:18): Oh, I have that. I have a picture of that. So I can do that.
Leah: Oh, yeah? How come that’s not the picture up here?
Guest: Because I didn't love the picture of me, but it's, I'll do it. I'll put it up there.
Leah (10:29): Okay. I think that would really resonate more to the approachable authority that we're going for.
Guest (10:35): Okay. Okay. All right. Good, good. I need to keep it simple. Sometimes I overthink stuff.
Leah (10:40): You are not alone. You and I both.
Guest: You know, and I'm a recovering perfectionist. I'm a Virgo and I'm an introvert. So to put myself like out there, front and center, lay it out all there. Be judged. Yeah. That's COVID forced me to do it.
Leah (10:58): Yeah. Are we the same person? I used to have the sticker on my computer, that I just chatted you the link to, the sticker said, “Hold on, let me overthink this”. And it was such a great reminder at every turn being like, Leah, you're doing it again.
Guest (11:15): Oh my God. I just wrote a post on letting go. Like one of my former bosses even commented on it.
Leah (11:22): Oh yeah. That's great.
Guest (11:24): So, yeah, I have a hard time. Just I want to plan it all. It's gotta be, you know, so letting it go.
Leah (11:31): Yeah. Good, good, good. It does take practice.
Guest (11:34): It really does. And just being judged, like, Ugh.
Leah (11:38): Yeah. Well, so let's talk about the clients that you are working with. So, it’s professional women. Is it any professional women? Is it C-suite? Is it, are you, is this like executive coaching?
Guest (11:49): Yes. Executive coaching, but it kind of runs the gamut because I help people who are going through like job transitions. So they've lost their job and they want to find a new one. They're trying to figure out their next step. They've stepped into a leadership role and they need to be stronger in that role. They need to, you know, get around some of their self-limiting beliefs. So it, it does, it kind of runs the gamut. Okay.
Leah (12:13): Okay. All right. So it's not just about sort of career coaching. It is performance.
Guest (12:18): Yeah. It's a combination.
Leah (12:20): Okay. Okay. In any particular industry or?
Guest (12:25): I remember you talking to someone about that. She was like every person in every industry. And I started thinking, Oh my God, that sorta sounds like me.
Leah (12:32): It's a challenge when you work with just individuals. But I think that the content that you're going to be writing will signal, you know, it's, it's less about an industry or even a level or whatever. It's, it's about the moment. You know, the moment that they find themselves in that they're stripping with. So I think that's good. That's really, what's going to do it. What else, what else is on your mind as it relates to, you know, Pack Your Pipeline, LinkedIn, selling? You know, where does, where does all this fit with what else you're doing?
Guest (13:01): So this is a big piece for me. I feel like my target lives on LinkedIn and I'm really trying to establish myself as, I hate using the word expert, but as a player in my space. So, I just want to figure out how I can continue to demonstrate that through, you know, posting and connecting and really kind of maximizing LinkedIn.
Leah (13:34): Yeah. Well, if that's where your people are, this is the only marketing channel you need really. But I want to just stay on something you said, talk to me about the word expert.
Guest: You mean how I feel about it?
Guest (13:45): So, well, I do want to be an expert in my space, but I feel like everybody calls themselves an expert and they're not. So I feel like I am an expert at what I do because I've done it for so long. And I also have the corporate background. I mean, I lived in, I lived, I lived what I take my clients through.
That means you're the perfect person to do it. But if I could just poke a little bit on that, if there are other people who call themselves experts and they're not? How does you not calling yourself an expert help?
Guest: It doesn't
Leah: Right. What does it mean to be an expert? What does an expert look like? Or do
I think an expert stays ahead of the curve and they invest in themselves and they're constantly, they're an ever learner.
Leah (14:31): That's great. Does that apply to you?
Leah: Okay. You know, I think sometimes we're sort of conditioned to think other people are the experts, but we're not the expert. Is there any part of that?
Leah: Yeah. I mean, what does that feel like? Or how does that sort of manifest?
Guest (14:52): I think it just goes back to staying in the background. Like I always had roles that were in the background. Like I may, I always meet other people who look really good. And I still feel like I do that with my clients. I have to step out to be able to attract those clients.
Leah (15:11): Totally. But that's the hard part.
Guest (15:13): Oh, it's totally. If I could, I'd be that person who is the expert in the basement. You know, what is that show? Is it CSI? Whatever that criminal show is and the brilliant woman is in the basement and she always figures everything out
Leah (15:25): Right. The brilliant woman with geeky glasses. Yes.
Guest (15:28): Yes. I can completely identify with her. I want to be her in the basement being a rock star, but no one really knows that I'm the rock star.
Leah (15:36): Right. So, you know, when you are, what one of my clients says, when you're quietly awesome. The problem is that clients don't find you.
Guest (15:46): I would have to say that's what held me back from having the success that I know I can have. That's exactly what it is. You hit the nail on the head.
Leah (15:55): Um, well I've, I've lived that too. I mean, when I was in corporate, I was very much in the background. Right? Like this is, but that actually starts well before your first jobs. I think that it's how we're raised. You know, you will get recognized for your hard work, but don't tell anybody about it. Women are supposed to do that. And then we sort of go into corporate and we do the same thing. And then, you know, at some point other people get tapped for promotions or whatever or opportunities because they just speak up. Right.
Guest: They toot their own horn.
Leah: Exactly. Which women are not supposed to do. So I think that what you're fighting against, isn't like this sort of easy trite, Oh, just get over it, get out of your own way. You know, I just want to acknowledge, like you're fighting something that's been ingrained in you for quite some time.
Guest (16:48): Right.
Leah: Right. You know, working in the background and, and making other people look good, you can actually really use that to your benefit in your marketing and in what you're doing on LinkedIn. You know, the success that your clients have, let that be the story, you know, congratulations to my client who was just named the new SVP at so-and-so or, or just, you know, negotiated and an incredible bonus or raise. And it doesn't have to be about you. In fact, that's the part that's really uncomfortable. Um, you know, here's a post about how I helped a client. No. Congratulations to my clients. Right. So, I think all of this conditioning, right, that's sort of kept you really comfortable in the background because you're so good at what you do and you, you, you know, you want to make other people look good and all that stuff. They can become an asset.
Leah (17:46): You're not the one that's like, okay, stop tooting your own horn. You just get to treat other people's horns and your successes implied.
Guest: Right. Right. That's huge. And the other question I wanted to ask you along those lines is I've been trying to be more authentic, like share more of me so that people feel more comfortable because I didn't use to do that. And people thought it was really intimidating and you know, all those things, I'm sure you went through all of that stuff too. Do you think? Cause you, you share yourself a lot. So do you think that's a good strategy to continue?
Leah: To start being more authentic and sort of open?
Leah: Oh, absolutely. But you have to do it in a way that feels comfortable for you. You don't have to sort of Instagram every latte that you enjoy or whatever. But I think dropping little nuggets here and there, you might be thinking about some of the things I've shared recently about like, when I decided that I could talk about being gay to my network and to my list and all that stuff, those are sort of big things, right? Capital, capital B, capital T, big things. But you can also just do a little product placements for yourself. You know, for example, talking about when you got your first job and how uncomfortable it was or the first time you were called into a meeting with the most senior person or whatever.
Guest: Right. You just gave me a great idea about presenting. When I finally decided that I had to hire someone to help me improve my presentation skills. So that was like a defining moment. Yeah. That was huge.
Leah: You know, you can talk about some of your other experiences. You know, things you learned in college. Things you learned about business from a hobby. You know, just be open to the connections throughout your life. One day that might mean talking about what you learned about your divorce. That might not be today. But when you share who you are, not only does it allow people to really build that relationship with you, that you're not even really a part of, but they're building it with you in a way that's sort of hidden from you. People will see themselves. There may be a woman out there who is mid-level in her career and does feel uncomfortable presenting. And feels like there's no other option for her. So people are going to start to see themselves in your own story.
Guest (20:07): All right. All right. Great, awesome.
Leah: So there's a lot to think about in this one, but I want to talk about what she called, “laying it all out there and being judged”. When I went back and listened to the conversation again, I really wish I had stopped on that point and talked about it because it's so important. And here's what I would have said. I think that's a fear that we all have, that we're going to put ourselves out there and be judged negatively. But think about, there are women that you see out there on LinkedIn or wherever, and you probably think, wow, they've really got it together. They're bigger than me. They're probably doing great. But the only difference between them and you in that moment is that they showed up. So imagine if you show up, imagine that there are going to be other people seeing you put yourself out there and thinking, wow, she really has it together. She's bigger than me. She's doing great. Just because you showed up. So instead of being worried that you'll be judged negatively. What if you considered that people could think you look big and awesome. Just like you assume for other people. And if you can think about it like that, then maybe putting yourself out there doesn't seem so scary.Leah (21:11): Hey. Thanks for hanging out with me. If you liked this episode, take a second and click the subscribe button wherever you're listening to your podcasts. And you'll be notified as soon as I release a new episode. And if you're listening on Apple podcasts and so appreciate it. If you took two seconds and left a rating or a review. This tells Apple podcasts, hey, there's good stuff in here and they'll recommend it to other listeners who might benefit from these lessons for their business. So please take a second and add a rating or review. Thanks. So that's it for now? I'll see you next time on the Smart Gets Paid Podcast.
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EP 4: When you just... feel... depleted