Build a Badass Business Podcast #41: Q&A – Networking groups, digital product security, and getting focused!

Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane SanfilippoTopics:

  1. As an entrepreneur, you have to listen to – and work on honing – your instincts.
  2. Instead of trying to carve out a niche or doing something that’s super broad; start to work with people one on one in small groups.
  3. How can I help people on a small scale to reach them on a deeper level?

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Build a Badass Business: Episode #41: Q&A – Networking groups, digital product security, and getting focused!

Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Coming to you from the city by the bay, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.

In this episode, I talk about what to focus on, security for digital products, networking groups, and website backups.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey guys, welcome back to the show. Today I am going to get back into answering some of your questions. So the first question here is from Tara, and she asks; “How in the world do you choose what to focus on? I recently graduated with a degree in health and nutrition education, and I want to do all the things. I have so many ideas for books, programs, and coaching that I can’t decide where to focus my time and how to build my business. How do you set goals and choose what to focus on?”BABAB-PODCAST-Episode-41

Alright Tara, I’m going to give you some tips and advice based on what I did in the beginning, and what I really think is the best approach for anyone who is just starting out, because it can be very overwhelming, especially if you’re very creative and you have lots of ideas. I feel like there are some people who come in with this same question, but they don’t have a lot of ideas, and I definitely understand your situation because the ideas kind of never stop for me.

But here’s the thing; when you sit down and think about what will people be ready to pay you for right now, it’s probably going to be more towards the side of exchanging your time for dollars, which if you’ve listened to past episodes of this show, I want people to get away from that as much as possible as you move along in your career. However, you can’t write a book right now and expect to earn a ton of money from it. Because even if you put out, let’s say an eBook, unless people know, like, and trust you, unless they’ve read from you before from a blog for years or they’ve worked with you, and they’ve met you; unless they have some other foundation for why they should buy this thing, it’s probably not going to happen.

You’re probably going to do a lot better with somebody one on one who says, I have this problem; you say, hey I can help you solve it. Here’s the approach that we take, here’s what I can offer. And I honestly think that growing your business from maybe working one on one or in small groups, if one on one isn’t for you, if you feel like you need to be able to earn more dollars for your hours initially than maybe working with two or three people at a time, versus one, can help.

But here’s the other side of that; a lot of people want to write a program or write a book, and they feel like this is the program that will help people, or this is the book that will help people, or this is the program that I want to write or the book that I want to write. But if you don’t know that the people who you serve best will be served best by that program or book, then it’s kind of self fulfilling. It’s not really the book for them, it’s the book for you, or program for you.

So hopefully that makes sense. If you sit and think about a program that you’d want to write now, or a book that you’d want to write now, write down your ideas. Keep your ideas in a notebook, keep it aside. Start working with people. Start seeing what the real problems are. You may have it in your mind that you want to write; I’m just going to throw a random example out there. You might want to write a book about SIBO; small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. There aren’t a ton of books out there; there are a few. I just interviewed Sylvie McCracken this week, and she has a book about it. I have an eBook that’s free that probably not quite as comprehensive as hers that you would pay for. But let’s say this is a topic that you’re really interested in, but you find out that the niche of people who are ready for that help is so much smaller than the people who need to figure out that eating Poptarts and Cheerios for breakfast is probably not setting them up for success.

So when you discover that the type of information that you should probably be helping people with should probably be pretty broad to start out, but also that in order to have a message that’s more broad, you need to have an audience already. So if you feel like you want to write a program that’s, you know, a 30-day paleo guide, for example. Well, a lot of those already exist by bloggers that people have been following for a long time.

So instead of trying to carve out a niche in something right away that might be limited, and instead of trying to do something that’s super broad right away that you don’t have the audience for; taking it to creating it for your audience on a deeper level, starting to work with people one on one in small groups, getting out into your community and meeting people and building your own voice in the community; whatever community that is. I’m using the paleo world as kind of a point here, because that’s the world that I’m in mostly.

But I really think you need to pull it back to “how can I help people on a small scale to reach them on a deeper level” before you get into the things that will reach more people on perhaps a slightly shallower level, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just mean if I have a program, I’m not really holding that person’s hand personally through 21 days, where as if I’m working with someone one on one, that’s what I’m doing. Or if I’m working with 50 to 100 people in a room for 4 to 8 hours, that’s so much closer contact. And those are the people who then will be with you to help lift up whatever program or book that you might write as time goes on.

The last point here is that the people you help on a smaller scale are going to help inform the program or book that you’re going to write. My example that I’ve used many times is, I was working one on one with people for a long time, and also teaching seminars. So before I ever wrote Practical Paleo, I was in touch very closely with hundreds of people who, not only were telling me; these are the questions I have, these are the struggles I have, but I’m listening and paying attention as I’m teaching and paying attention to, what do they understand, what concept did I explain too scientifically, they don’t understand it that way I need to give a different metaphor.

And I’m learning the entire time as I’m teaching for years, I’m learning, how should I write this into a book so that as many people as possible will understand it and will want to use it. So it’s partially that you need to learn from them, as well before you can write something that’s going to help even more people.

Alright, the next question is from Jen, and Jen asks; “Hey Diane! When it comes to creating a digital product, like a meal plan, is there a way to keep customers from sharing it with other people, or is this just something you have to hope people aren’t doing? Thanks again for all you do, it’s truly appreciated.”

So, Jen, I think there are ways to create PDFs that have a password or somehow are not as easy to share. But honestly, I think anything that you do that might make it harder for the person who just paid you to download and use the product is a barrier for them, and it’s going to create a little bit of doubt in their mind, if they feel like they can’t very quickly and easily access what you have to offer.

So, first of all, if it’s a downloadable digital item, like a PDF, honestly there’s not really a great way to protect it. You really just have to hope for the best. And here’s the other side of that; you need to use your own integrity as well when dealing with PDFs that somebody might want to share with you.

So as soon as you become a creator and an author of this type of thing, you need to have a different approach, as well, when somebody else says; oh, I already bought that program, let me just share it with you. Second guess your instinct to say, oh yeah, cool, share it with me! And be the person that perpetuates the approach that you want your customers to take, where you say; no, you know what, if I’m going to check out that program, I need to buy it myself too. Or even if you sort of sneak a peek at it; if you’re going to use it, that you pay for it, and use it in that way.

I think kind of on both sides of it; there are always going to be people who are stealing things. It’s impossible; it’s really impossible to prevent it, and you can’t let that be the reason you don’t put something out into the world.

The other side of this is; if you want to create something that’s not necessarily PDF that’s really probably easier to share, you could do something like a membership site where the content is there on the page, somebody needs a login and a password to access it. People could share their login and password with somebody, too. There’s almost no great way to do that. But if you think about it, anything out there, even a physical book, somebody could go and just try and copy pages off a photocopier.

So it’s really tough to prevent that, and I think you just do the best you can to uphold that approach on your end, and continue to perpetuate being a solid reliable customer for somebody who doesn’t simply just share digital information, and that’s the best that we can all do, is try and hope for that integrity in our customers.

This question is from Nicole, and Nicole asks; “What’s your take on networking groups? Worth it or no?”

So Nicole, I have a few different takes on networking groups. I think it depends on your personality, first and foremost. My personality, and I discovered this after a conversation with a colleague where he said this to me after considering why he doesn’t join networking groups, and I’ve been to a couple of networking events. One that was pretty big and some that have been much smaller, and I also have a small mastermind group that I’m in right now as well, with just two other women.

But my take on a larger group, for me; this is my personality, and my personality is, I’m not a joiner. I just don’t do well throwing myself into a pool of a lot of people who can help me and I can help them. I do much better in smaller groups where I feel like I have something to offer, and someone else has something to offer me in their experience and expertise, and what they’ve already done that I kind of look up to and want to emulate, and vice versa.

I personally don’t do well in the large scale setting. If there are too many people who I just feel like I don’t jive with, then I kind of don’t want to talk to anybody. Now, this is me. Can a networking group be really helpful; have I seen it be really helpful for a lot of people; absolutely. I think this is where your self awareness and knowing who you are, how you like to interact, how you like to support other people. Do you like to be generally supportive of people so that in general they’ll be supportive of you? Do you like to have much closer, sort of a filter and contact and say, you know what, I don’t need to support everyone, and in turn I don’t expect everyone to support me; then that might be ok too.

I know that my personality is not the same as many people’s. I know that I am very quick to just put myself out there and feel like I totally appreciate and love and want support from people, but I’m ok with it being a much smaller group of people and growing things slightly more organically for myself because I feel like I then don’t owe anything to anybody, if that makes sense. I don’t want to feel like I’m stuck in having to promote someone else who I’m not sure if I’m 100% jiving with them.

And I’m not saying being in a networking group forces that, but I think that it can be very easy to slip into that. Because you’re so appreciative that somebody helped you so much that you just want to, you know, give it back. That’s part of what you do in a networking group. But I do think that it really just depends on your personality, and it depends on the state of your business.

If you’re in a place where you need to grow really badly, you need a lot of exposure, you have something great to offer, but you’re just struggling to reach more people, then a networking group could be amazing. For me, I find it overwhelming and I’d rather be slow and steady and slightly more independent, but that’s my personality. I definitely don’t think that’s the right approach for everyone; but that’s my take. It can be worth it.

I think also if there’s a price tag on it, which most of them, have, just follow your instincts. If you feel like; look, I can afford this and I’m going to check it out, that’s one thing. I was introduced to a networking group that was very expensive; I want to say it was like a $25,000 networking group, and there are quite a few of those, and I just didn’t have the instinct that it was right for me. Just because something is presented to you and it seems like it should be great, because there may be some great people in there, and if it’s expensive and sometimes you feel pressured because it’s expensive and you feel like it should be amazing, and if someone is offering me to be a part of it, I should definitely say yes.

Well, I honestly, I received I think a letter and a post card from this one group, and I have to tell I was completely unimpressed just with the postcard or the letter itself. I was like, they want $25,000 from me, and this is the postcard I just received? I expect a handwritten letter, practically a love note {laughs}. You know, if somebody wants $25,000 from me, I expect it be a different level. And that’s, again, myself, my expectation level, and maybe that’s because I think $25,000 is a lot of money. And maybe to a lot of people who join the group it’s not that much. Maybe to them it’s like the equivalent of me spending $500 or $1,000, so maybe to them it’s not that much.

There’s also that level of just following your instincts and you feel like; you know what, you need to this because it’s really going to help catapult your business, then go for it. Definitely go for it. And if you’re like; you know what, I’m not feeling it; then don’t. But you have to follow your instincts. I think, as an entrepreneur, you have to listen to your instincts and sort of work on honing your instincts. Like, they need to get really sharp and really good, and just following what feels right and learning along the way that sometimes what felt right wasn’t the right thing, and sometimes it was. And you just learn to react differently in response to that.

Alright, this next one is from Heather, and Heather asks; “I was curious about your thoughts on keeping a website secure. WordPress seems so easy until you get hacked! I realized too late that I should have been backing things up, keeping things updated, etc. My blog is back to normal, but it took a lot of time, money, and not to mention sanity. What are your tips for keeping a website secure; backup services and security services; some things that most people can implement. Thanks for being awesome; love the podcast. Heather.”

Thanks heather. So I would say, honestly probably the easiest thing to do would be to work with developers who can put a backup system in place, something that automatically works for you. I personally host my sites currently on WP Engine, which is specifically for WordPress sites, and I believe, I could be wrong, but I believe they hold some automatic backups so that’s also something where, unless you are updating major things on your website every single week, to be able to go back to a week or even two weeks ago, something like that, maybe it’s even once a month. If you’re going to do a major update to your website, of course you want to back it up before you do any kind of major update to the theme or the structure, or the template, etc. So just making sure that you work with a developer who can help with that.

You may also just ask somebody to help you create a backup system. Maybe you plug in a back up hard drive, and once a week there’s a few clicks that you might make and it will back it up. And I think most of them can be set up to back up automatically, so that’s what I would recommend. And that will help you out the most.

Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re loving the show. Let me ask you to do me a favor; come follow me on Periscope. You can find me; I believe you can search Diane Sanfilippo, or you can search @BalancedBites, which is my Twitter handle, which is the account name over on Periscope. I am going to start doing live sessions, really quick thoughts for the day. I’m not sure if it I will be every day, but it will be pretty often, and some Q&A on business topics and motivation, inspiration, etc. So make sure you’re following me over on Periscope. Download the app in the app store, and I will see you there.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

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