Marketing your service-based business is probably NOT your favorite part about running a creative business.
At least it isn’t for most creative business owners I know.
That’s generally because we make marketing far more complicated than it needs to be, and feel icky doing it.
In this interview with Cami Farey, we dive into collaborative marketing which simplifies our strategy, and takes away all of the ick-factor when it comes to building our audience.
Tune in now to find out how!
Erin Flynn: Thank you so much for being here Cami. I am so excited to dive into our conversation today.
Cami Farey: Me too. Thanks for having me Erin.
Erin Flynn: So marketing is probably the thing that I am asked about the most all the time, because it’s such a big thing, especially with services, getting clients, making sales, and most people who are in my audience probably did not get into their business to sell. So it’s always super awkward for them, something that they struggle with. And so I would love to hear your unique spin on marketing because it’s something that I think a lot of service providers specifically have probably never tried.
Cami Farey: So yeah, definitely. For everyone listening, I have a background in web design, getting clients, selling one-on-one services, and then have shifted into the course creation world. I’ve got a course about how to build your awesome Squarespace website. And so I’ve done both sides of it and really marketing for me comes down to how are you getting your business and your products and your services in front of people who don’t know you already? So I looked at myself and what I was doing and a lot of the things that I thought were marketing, like posting on my Instagram, posting on Facebook, actually weren’t because they weren’t getting me in front of people who didn’t know about me already.
Cami Farey: They were just exposing me to the same pool of a few hundred people each time. And my audience wasn’t really growing even though I did what everyone tells you to do, like make a lead magnet, put it on your website, and then your email list will grow. No it doesn’t, it grows, I was finding very, very slow. And so I looked at what was actually working and in my client side of things, what was working was word of mouth referrals and relationship based marketing. And I was like, “Oh bingo, this is what I need to do to grow my client business and my course business.”
Cami Farey: So now my number one focus with marketing is getting in front of people who don’t know about me already, specifically through getting in front of other people’s audiences in different kinds of partnerships. I do a lot of joint venture webinars where I take a webinar to someone else’s audience. I do a lot of being a guest on podcasts, guest blog posting, really guest anything. Anytime I can get in front of someone else’s audience and then drive traffic back to my site and my opt-ins, that has been the most powerful thing for me.
Erin Flynn: I love that. And I think in terms of getting in front of other people’s audiences, we tend to think if I post five times a day on Instagram, or if I post this on Facebook or whatever, we’re going to magically get clients from that or grow our email lists because that is what a lot of people say. And like you said, it does not work that way. We’re only seeing the same things, the same people over and over and over again at some point. So initially that probably does work because you launch a new business or you have a new service and people hear about it. But if you’re not consistently trying to get in front of new people, you’re going to tap dry your current audience. And they’re going to be like, “Yeah, I know that Erin does websites. I still don’t want one.” So at some point, they’re done.
Cami Farey: Right, and building an audience from scratch is the slowest, most painful process. If you have tried to start a blog or YouTube channel or start your Pinterest from scratch, you know how slow it is to get traction. And the thing is is that the people you want to reach, those audiences are already out there. Someone else has done the hard work to grow and build that audience over time. So instead of you having to do all of that work from scratch, you could just go to that person who’s got the existing audience, make a relationship with them, do some kind of collab with them, and you’ve just hacked the whole system.
Erin Flynn: Which is so cool. And I think so much faster obviously, and also something great to consider if you are maybe shifting your audience slightly, instead of trying to be like, “Okay, let me delete all of the email list or whatever that I’ve already built up and start from scratch,” the slow way that you maybe initially did. You can find someone who’s already serving your audience and tap into that because they already have that established. And I think that whether you’re new or whether you’re shifting your audience, that’s such a great way to not be starting at ground zero and be trying to figure out where your audience is and to persuade them, “Yes, you want my free checklist,” or whatever it is, “Please, please, please join my email list so that then I can pitch you,” which is a much longer game. It does work in the longterm, but it takes a very long time to get there.
Cami Farey: Exactly, yeah. So using this strategy specifically for me, I think there are lots of different ways you can do this, get in front of other people’s audiences, but for me, the way I’ve done it is mostly through joint venture webinars. And so just for me personally, by doing joint venture webinars, I grew my own email list from 250 subscribers, which it took me like two years to get those 250 people by the way. I grew from 250 subscribers to more than 4,500 subscribers in less than a year without paying for ads, without creating a ton of content. I have one webinar and that webinar goes on tour to all kinds of people’s audiences. I’m not reinventing the wheel each time. And I’ve got something that works that if I need a subscriber boost in between launches, if I need a new client, I can just plug and play with this strategy that I know is very, very effective and keep doing more of what’s working instead of trying to find the next new thing. And I’m like, I want everybody to know about it because it has worked so well.
Erin Flynn: That’s awesome. So you have said you have a webinar. What is the best way to find others if maybe somebody makes webinar, we can talk about other options too, but if somebody has a webinar or something that they want to share, how would they find other people who are already serving their audience, their ideal clients? What type of method would they use?
Cami Farey: When I look for people to partner with, what I’m looking for is people who serve a similar audience to me, but who don’t have competing products and services. So my course simple site blueprint is really for service based business owners. So I look for who else is talking to those people, who’s talking to the VAs and the photographers and the copywriters and the web designers?
Cami Farey: And then within that pool of who’s talking to those people, who amongst them does not have a course about web design? Because obviously you don’t want a conflict of interest. So I like to look for people who are in that bracket and then I’ve got two ways of approaching it. So first quickest easiest way is start with who you already know. I guarantee you, you are following people on Instagram, you’ve got past clients, you’ve got friends, you’ve got colleagues, you’ve got people you already know who fit the criteria and that is your low hanging fruit. So I like to pitch the people I already know first. And then I’ve also got my wishlist dream list of people who I don’t know yet, but who I might know through a few degrees of separation and I could probably wrangle an introduction to, and then people who are genuinely sort of like I know I’m not connected to them in any way, and they’re kind of a bigger person to pitch, but they’re still in that ideal partner zone.
Erin Flynn: And so what would be… Let’s talk about some examples really quick because I know some people listening are like, “Okay, who would that be for me?” So let’s say I know I have a lot of web designers in my audience who want to sell a web design service or something along those routes. What types of people do you think would be serving the same audience but not competing?
Cami Farey: Yeah, so let’s say you’re a web designer and your ideal client are business coaches or any kind of coaches, really. You want to go find who is the person who runs the program to train the coaches how to be coaches? Who has an online course to help people grow a coaching business? Who’s speaking to coaches and how can you come in and help and provide value? It could be just a workshop to that audience about how to create a coaching website that helps you book clients. And then your call to action at the end might be to book a one on one call with you to explore more. So that’s how I would think about it. Who is your target client? And then who’s talking to them?
Erin Flynn: That’s so good. And I think so useful, especially because this is a tactic I see used for people who sell courses like us, we’ve done JV webinars and stuff together, but I don’t think people use it service wise. I think they just go, “Oh, webinar, not for me, not for me. That’s just for selling products or courses.” And I think that leads to also maybe some… Could they do webinars as a service provider, first of all. But second of all, webinars sound terrifying because there is a lot to know in a webinar, are there other ways that people could use this idea to get in front of someone else’s audience that’s the same overlap of there’s?
Cami Farey: Yeah, I know webinars can seem intimidating. I think they get a bad rap. So I like to think of it as a free workshop. So an example from my own business is I have a friend who’s a business coach. My audience is full of people who are looking to get more clients. And I teach them how to build a website that does that. But I don’t teach them about how to sell on sales calls or what to say on a sales call or anything like that. So she was like, “Hey Cami, I’ve got this workshop about exactly how to run a sales call and what to say to get your client to a yes. There’s no pitch at the end, it’s just straight up value, but I think your audience would love it. Do you want to do it?” And I was like, “Oh my gosh, yes, please. Yes, please.”
Cami Farey: Because my audience really needs it and it helps them get more out of what I teach. Just having a pretty website isn’t enough, you need to know how to book clients off the back end of it by having some sales skills. So it was a really nice combination of things. And off of the end of that workshop, she just invited people to come check out her website, book a call, and she actually booked a handful of one on one clients and most of my clients from it, which was great. So that’s one way it can work for service based business owners. And then the second question Erin, about what else can you do? I think the idea is so much broader than just webinars. So the idea is to get in front of other people’s audiences and the way you do that is up to you.
Cami Farey: So you might want to do a webinar tour, or you might want to go on a podcasting tour where you pitch a bunch of podcasts and go take yourself on to other people’s podcasts. So many of my clients come to me and they’re like, “Cami, I want to start my own podcast.” And I’m like, “No, no, this is just going to give you one more thing to have to promote, to have to sell, to have to market, to have to get in front of people. I would actually much rather see you go on everybody else’s podcast and drive that new audience, that fresh audience back to your products and services. I think that would be more effective.” So that’s my unpopular opinion about that. But yeah, guest podcasting, you could do the same thing with guest blogging. You could do a lead magnet swap with somebody.
Cami Farey: You could go be a guest mentor in someone’s program or membership. Gosh, what else, Erin? You can do Facebook lives in other people’s Facebook groups, Instagram takeovers, YouTube swaps, really anything you can think of that gets you in front of someone else’s audience is going to be gold.
Erin Flynn: Yes, I totally agree. And I think you can start with whatever sounds the least intimidating to you. And I know a lot of, at least a lot of my audience, tends to be introverted and so they tend to also be a little bit shy about going out and asking and saying, “Hey, can I be a guest on your show? Or can I present this to your audience?” But maybe then starting with a guest blog post or starting with a guest series of posts on Instagram or something to help funnel people back to you or an Instagram takeover, whatever feels most comfortable.
Erin Flynn: And then you can work your way up to doing those things like the interviews and the webinars if those sound terrifying right now. Although they are actually a ton of fun. I love them. Especially your method of the pitch free workshop, as opposed to a traditional webinar. I know that… I think you’ve done… Have you done both in the past? Because with me you did the workshop. You do both? And I love the idea of if you feel really awkward selling your services maybe, go teach something that funnels into your services and the sales naturally happen. When we did our JV webinar workshops, we had people asking how to buy our stuff, even though we were not trying to pitch. And it just happens naturally when you’re providing that value.
Cami Farey: Yeah, completely. And it’s a really easy, yes. Something pitch free. It’s super simple for your partner to say yes to it. And the thing that I love about a workshop that you’re taking on tour, or even doing a podcasting tour is you can use the same content over and over again. So you can have the same topic you talk about on podcasts or the same webinar and you don’t have to invent something new each time. Whereas if you’re doing guest blog posts, you might have to do a new blog post for each site. It might be a little bit more legwork, but truly if you’ve got one thing that you want to talk about on a podcast, that’s it, you put your one thing. The only work you have to do is to send out some pitches and ask people if you can be on their podcast or host a workshop with them and then just show up and do it. So it becomes very streamlined and very simple and such a great high value use of your time.
Erin Flynn: That’s such a good point with the guest posts, yes, they all have to be different, but podcasting, same topic, but the interview is just naturally different every single time. So it’s a lot less actual production put into it on your end because you’re just talking about the same things in a slightly different way. So that does make it easier if you know exactly what your topic is. Just say, “Hey, I’m going to go to these five different podcasts and I’m going to talk about X on every single one.” If you can land those, you just talk about it and whatever questions come up, it just becomes much more natural and you don’t have do, again all the legwork you said with the blog posts.
Erin Flynn: So that is a really great point. One of the things that I do want to point out and make sure my listeners take away is when you talk about this idea, so in your case, talking about websites that help you sell your services and get you clients. When you shop that around, you become known as the person who teaches how to do this. So it becomes your signature thing, you become known as, Cami is the person to go to if you need your website to convert. And so as a service provider or a course creator, that’s what you want. You want to be known very specifically for something so that your name becomes synonymous with whatever that problem is as you’re the fixer for that problem. And so this really helps you establish that very quickly.
Cami Farey: Yeah, and there’s a great example of that actually from our webinars. So I came in and did a workshop to Erin’s audience, all about website and website design. It was pitch free. And then after that I asked her and I was like, “Hey, I actually would love to do more of these, whether it’s a webinar or a podcast, or do you know anyone who would be perfect for this who you can introduce me to?” So I asked Erin for referrals, which she delightfully provided. Connected me with her friend Melissa, whose podcast I was on. And on our podcast interview, Melissa was like, “You know Cami, I’ve been seeing you absolutely everywhere these days, everyone I know is talking about you. How are you everywhere?”
Cami Farey: And I was like, “Melissa, I’m not, I haven’t posted on my own Instagram feed in more than two months, I’m genuinely not everywhere. I just seem like I am because all of these different people are promoting a podcast that I did with them or they’re promoting a webinar we’re going to do together.” And so you get this surge of buzz that you actually don’t have to work incredibly hard to create, which just feels… It’s just such a good use of your marketing hours, which I know everybody’s time is so limited right now.
Erin Flynn: Oh 100%. I think that’s a great takeaway if people don’t get… If they can only take away one thing from this is tapping into other people’s audiences with a clear message that you can become known for and then basically letting them promote you is the best way to market yourself. It’s so cool.
Cami Farey: Yeah, there’s this transfer of trust that happens. When you’re booking a client, the easiest way to book a client is to have one of your past clients introduce you and have that transfer of trust and that word of mouth referral. And it’s the exact same with this. If I come in to Erin’s audience to do a workshop and she introduces me at the top of that workshop or the top of that podcast and says, “Hey, this is my friend Cami, and she’s great because of this and this. And I’m excited for this workshop. Let’s take it away.” Suddenly Erin’s taken all the trust that she’s built up with her audience and transferred it over to me, which is marketing that you cannot buy with ad spend.
Erin Flynn: So true, so true. All right, so we are getting close to the end of our time. So really quickly, I know this could be a whole probably episode on its own. How would someone get started if they want to start using these tactics and getting in front of other people’s audiences?
Cami Farey: Step one is figure out which one of these options for getting in front of other people’s audiences feels fun and easy to you. Do you want to go do a workshop tour? Do you want to go do a podcast tour? Is it going to be guest blogging for you? What is your low hanging fruit? What’s fun? What’s easy? What’s available to you? Next is I want you to identify five to 10 partners. Start by looking at the people you already know, the people who you’re already connected to. Pitch them first and then keep going. Part of this is a numbers game. So the more you ask, the more yeses you’ll get and when you get nos, which you definitely will, nos are actually a good thing because they mean you’re putting yourself out there. And the more nos you get, the more yeses you’ll get too. So rinse and repeat. Figure out which method of getting in front of someone else’s audience you want to do, pitch people, and then do it all over again.
Erin Flynn: Awesome, love it. All right, where can we find and follow you online for more great things?
Cami Farey: You can come and say hi over on Instagram, I’m @CamiFarey. Send me a DM. I would actually love to hear from you, love to hear your takeaways from this. And you can come find me over at my website, which is camillefarey.com, and come join my email list because I send out all this stuff by email and also host lots of amazing guests workshops myself. So if you’re interested in learning more about leveraging partnerships to grow your business and your audience, definitely come get on my list.
Erin Flynn: Yes, and your list is one of the few that I really, really love seeing show up in my inbox every week.
Cami Farey: That’s so nice.
Erin Flynn: Thank you so much for being here and everyone, I will see you on the next episode.