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A podcast where you join me (Colie) as I chat about what it takes to grow a sustainable + profitable business.
CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
Shifting your mindset in business is so important as you grow, but what if you made that shift to having a CEO mentality in your marketing? In today’s episode, Mikki Wilson joins us to share about the value in your marketing plan, approaching it with a CEO marketing mentality, and steps you should take in creating a strategic marketing plan.
The Business-First Creatives Podcast is brought to you by CRM and Dubsado expert Colie James. Join Colie each week as she discuss how to build a business that brings you joy and a paycheck! From business advice with fellow entrepreneurs to sharing automation tips and tricks, Colie and her guests are sharing industry trends and resources, along with a little bit of sarcasm.
Here are the highlights…
[:19] Get to Know Mikki Wilson
[1:14] The Five Figure Ceiling
– Marketing Strategies
[4:30] Support for a CEO Mentality
[7:29] Marketing Mistakes that Impede Growth
– Trying to cater to everybody
– Not having a marketing plan that’s aligned with your business goals
– Having a scarcity mindset
[14:35] Creating a Marketing Plan for Your Business
– Make sure you have a vision/mission and values
– Identify 3 specific business goals
[18:34] The Value of a Marketing Plan
[21:08] Articulating Your Value
[23:12] Best Marketing Strategies
[25:05] Conscious Marketing
[26:41] Marketing with Your Website
[30:40] Using Systems in Your Marketing Strategy & Customer Journey
[31:46] Finding the Right Marketing Tools
[33:40] Nurturing & Active Listening
[40:34] Building Plans Around Your Goals
[41:33] Making Impact & Money
[42:42] Grants in Your Business & Outsourcing
Review the Transcript:
Colie: Hello, and welcome to the Business-First Creatives Podcast, Mikki, how are you doing this morning?
Mikki Wilson: I am doing wonderful Colie. Thank you for having me this morning.
Colie: Ah, since I had my epiphany with you last week, this is a really good time to chat with you, but for the listening audience, tell them who you are and what you do.
Mikki Wilson: I am Mikki Wilson known as the dot connector. I am the chief energy officer of consulting, and I partnered with. Purpose-driven women to connect the dots from their business strategy to their service-based business goals. So we can identify pathways to profitability and passive income streams you may be overlooking in your business.
Colie: Alright, Mikki is clear you practiced that. That was awesome. So it’s funny. I, I always start with some other questions, but with you, I want to just get right down to it. So you and I have had this conversation about this five figure ceiling that we see for women entrepreneurs, especially minority women entrepreneurs.
So like, I just want to tell, so tell us about where the five figure ceiling comes from and what you’ve seen in your.
Mikki Wilson: So it’s funny. I am not, the inventor of like finding this five figure ceiling. I had heard, the concept through a couple of other, group programs I had been involved in, but I was interested. It just piqued my interest. Like, Ooh, what is this? Because was experiencing this last year in my business.
I had got a lot of. Through some grant funding that they had received through their local chambers of commerce. In quarters. two and four, I got flooded with surges of clients, but in quarters one and quarter three, I had like nothing. So it was like, yay. I had all this money at once, but when that was gone, I hit this valley.
But I did achieve between VIP days I was doing and that grant money. From those clients I was working with was maxed out at $50,000 and I was like, oh my God, this is amazing. So I go into 2022 thinking I can achieve this again, but really quickly because it’s after the holidays, I’d done all this work.
I’ve experienced these bottlenecks. I was just tired. I was like, I don’t know if I can achieve this again year, because it was really. Right time, right place stroke of fate to be, on that consultant list and receive all those clients that really needed marketing help. But at the same time, I wasn’t expecting that to happen this year.
And it hasn’t. So I intentionally took off this year of really actively. Selling my services or really marketing because I wanted to look into this five figure ceiling what I realized three of the biggest things that kind of contribute to this ceiling is one lack of a clear marketing strategy. Even documented, not everybody has to document it, but really knowing who your target market is how to communicate to them not being hindered by what everybody else is doing. That takes you off track. So strategy was one systems was another, because my systems, I put together myself, but I’m not a systems expert.
I’m a marketing strategist, right. So I was experiencing bottlenecks because my systems and automations weren’t efficient enough for me to take on amounts of clients at once. And also I’m like one person, right. So I also had to learn that I had to, really stick to one or two offers because I was trying to kind of customize everything a little bit for everybody. And that system wasn’t working. The third is support, right? I think as women and particularly women of color, I think we see support as help. And we don’t like to ask for help generally. So we really have to identify that support is not being a helpless. It is that. You need support to do more of what you love or to create time for what you need to focus on. I wrote in an Instagram post, I was on vacation and I called myself the nap queen. I did some quick little research from the beach and found that there were really 11 types of support People need in general, but particularly women. And that ranged from like emotional support family support.
I found CEO types of support, like core support, financial support. and so you can check my Instagram, but the list goes on. So connected this with the fact that we try to be the, the general managers of the unit. You know, and we’re trying to help everyone and we’re multitasking and we’re giving, we’re giving we’re giving, and we’re also trying to run this business.
Right. But if we don’t create supports that free up our time, up our cashflow and really free up our energy that. How are we supposed to get past this $50,000? So when I looked at well, $50,000 seems the mark, but for me, it’s five figures in general because the goal seems to be, to get to six figures, right.
Or to get to. A place where you’re comfortable and can breathe in the business. And you’re not feeling this burnout in this pressure and this stress. So for me, it’s strategies systems, and support. when you connect the dots on all three of those things, literally the power triangle here, Everything you then have what I call a distinct and disruptive strategy.
And all that is is you now have a strategy systems and support built for the goals you’re trying to achieve in your business. That blocks out all the other white noise. And you can really focus on what needs to be done to break this glass ceiling. it’s hard, right? Because there’s all this noise out there.
Colie: There is. So I want to go back because you said a lot, but so first of all, you said that, you know, the three cores that make that triangle are marketing strategies systems and then support. So. One of the things that we talk about when you’re trying to scale your business, when you’re trying to grow your business, when you are just trying to figure out what in the hell you are doing is, but where do I start?
So I want you to tell me a little bit about the marketing strategies, and then I’m going to ask you about the systems, and then I’m going to ask you about the support. And then I want us to talk about which one someone should tackle first. So, first of all, what three marketing mistakes do you think women entrepreneur make that are most impeding.
Mikki Wilson: Okay. So off the top of that. One is we try to cater to everybody instead of focusing in on who we’re really trying to serve with the problem that we’re really trying to solve. Okay. So it’s this focus of, I want everybody to experience these services when the truth is, I tell, ’em tell my students this we’re all on this earth with a unique set of talents and skillsets to. Solved someone else’s problems and ultimately changed their life. Right. But we’re all assigned certain amount of people that we can help. It can’t be everybody. So it’s really focusing in on that target market. Uh, that is a huge mistake, not knowing clearly who you’re serving and really always adjusting that because we’re learning along the way. Two is marketing mistake, not having a marketing plan, but not having a marketing plan. That’s aligned with your business goals. I find that a lot of people don’t necessarily understand all that marketing entails because it’s a lot of frameworks and concepts all tied together. We refer to it as this toolbox. But I find that people, women, but really this is people in general will focus on the end results first of of how to actually get to the results. So found early on in business, when people kept coming to me about their social media. It was like a huge red flag they had no clear marketing plan when revenue, plateaus or clients and leads stop coming in, then you know, you get triggered and you’re like, all right, I got to show up on social media.
I got to get sales going. It’s like, you start doing all these things. To get sales in, but I always find that if you have a marketing plan again, documented is best at some point in the business. uh, only because autopilot, it’s harder to adjust when, when you know things happen, having. A marketing plan, which entails your marketing strategy is just like a roadmap to success.
And it really blocks out what everybody else is doing because that’s all the shiny bells and whistles, especially you’re an online service for.
Colie: So Mikki, I’m going to stop you. You only did two out of the three, but like what I hear you saying, and what I keep on thinking in the back of my mind is what you gave us for one and two are both related to scarcity. I feel like as women entrepreneurs, and I guess as entrepreneurs. When you first start your business, you are so worried about not having enough clients and not making enough money that you do try to market to everyone because you figure, if you throw a wider net, you’ll get more people in the door.
Same thing with your marketing plan. I mean, I hear you saying that your marketing plan should be aligned with your business. But truth is when we all start our business. I think our business goal is just not to fail. Our business goal is to make some money. And so we feel like if we market on all of the platforms to everyone, we could try to overcome scarcity, which is honestly where we’re fighting against ourselves, because what people don’t sit down and think about is if you target your mind, You target your messaging.
You’re really clear on who you help, how you help them and how to reach those particular people. You will get more yeses, even if the pool of people that you are talking to is smaller. So I just wanted to interrupt. Cause like, as you were saying, I was like, okay, no, this is scarcity. Like, this is the.
Mikki Wilson: it’s so true. And that was going to be my third point. It’s this scarcity mindset being afraid to, oh my God. In marketing, right? Any marketer knows to make money. You have to spend money. Right. But no CEO loves hearing that, but you have to move from. Scarcity mindset, right? Because they’re the reason we don’t build supports for ourselves is because we have these fixed mindsets that were instilled in us at some point, or even experienced some kind of trauma Trauma is really real, you know, there is comfort in being uncomfortable. versus the discomfort of growing into a place that you never thought you’d ever be in. Right. So it’s really. Figuring out how to slowly move from this scarcity mindset. Like I don’t need systems, let me get all the free things or whatever, and really investing in yourself.
This is not tell people all the time. This is not spending money on your business. And if your business is your baby, investing in it. But I have what I call. The CEO marketing mentality. And that is really when you connect those dots and you can really look at your business from the CEO seat, but have that focus on how’s my marketing working for me, marketing truly to me is just. Every day problem solving your market’s changing a little bit. Every day systems are coming out. Every there’s always ways to improve the experience, the process, the strategy. So I think the misconception is, oh, once I do this marketing plan, everything should work. Once I buy this solution from the specialist, should work, but the work is on us.
And when I work with people, it’s amazing to see. They always have the answers. I’m a marketing mirror. They all you’ve experienced this. They always have the answers, but it’s that you have to bounce it outside of the box so that you receive it in a different way. Yeah. But mindset is really key. And we have to talk to ourselves about why do I think I’m going to fail?
If spend $200 on an office chair, this is a real struggle I had last week.
Colie: My, my office chair is not 200, but I’ve spent a lot more money on a lot more things. Okay. So you’ve mentioned a marketing plan a few times coming from someone who actually doesn’t really have a marketing plan. I mean, I know you’re gonna disagree with me. I have a marketing intentional plan in my head, but I don’t have something formal.
So what would you say is the first tip of creating a marketing plan for your.
Mikki Wilson: step one is a look at your mission. Make sure you have a mission or vision, mission, and vision. And some values. That’s just knowing your business, your purpose in what you’re trying to solve, right? The vision. What do you want this business to be your values? How you operate like this business on your core values, you know? And then just Google them. They’re out there. You can just pick ones, but pick maybe three to five values because all this stuff ends up playing out in your content down the line. That’s why I’m big on the marketing plan, because it really is doing all the foundational work being able to pull content from their social media captions.
Like the more meat you have in that marketing plan. your. Able to articulate much better, the problem you’re solving, who you’re serving and how you’re getting that done. So the first step really is just get clear on your values, your vision, and your mission.
Mikki Wilson: Step two identify three business goals as possible, and I kind of break them down into short-term mid-term and long-term goals.
Mikki Wilson: people want to be a six-figure business. Okay. For me, that’s a longer term goal, depending on where you’re at in this five figure spectrum, first goal might be, let me get my systems in place, but whatever they are, you want to have those smart goals, but identify a couple of goals you want to achieve.
And when you want to achieve them by,
Mikki Wilson: if they’re
Colie: cool timeframe.
Mikki Wilson: Hugo. Yeah. Just so you can have a sense of like, all right, I achieved this on time or I didn’t, can I adjust the hard part about a marketing plan, I think is it really holds you accountable to the business and then as solos, especially right.
Solo preneurs. It’s okay to have this like marketing plan in your head for a little while, but when you keep hitting that five figure ceiling wondering, like, why can’t I cry? I’m here to tell you, you probably time, it’s time to like write out a marketing plan. The, I now say this Colie, because when I talked to you, I felt like you were very clear on direction and I actually walked away.
Like I’m not even really recommending that she needs a marketing plan right now.
Colie: Oh, actually, as I’ve been listening to you saying how to create the marketing plan, I do have one, I guess, I didn’t know what goes into a marketing plan. So back in February, I hired Brittany Janine, which listeners, if you have not heard this episode of the podcast, she was actually my very first guest. So she’s episode 2.
But I hired Brittany for a VIP day for while I was pivoting my business. And actually she did all of that for me. I mean, I guess I just called it a business plan. I didn’t actually know that it was a marketing plan, but yes, she forced me to write down values. Cause when she asked me that question, I was like, I don’t, I don’t know what those are.
I don’t think I have values. She sent me to the internet just like. And I went and I picked my values. Now, if you ask me what those are right now, I would not have any idea. Maybe I’ll put mine in the show notes, but I did actually pick out, I think it was seven values is where I landed. So no, it’s just interesting to know that I told you I don’t have a marketing plan, but I do.
It’s a Google docs and everything. And I will say, like, I revisit my pivot plan that Brittany gave me, like every time I am trying to like write some new headlines or I’m trying to market myself for, for a speaking engagement, like I’m going back to the bio that she wrote. And the bio that she wrote is related to who I serve, what my values are.
I mean, all of that stuff is interconnected. I get it.
Mikki Wilson: and that’s it. And then really it’s the only other, really the three pieces to me of the most simple marketing plan. And you’re absolutely right. You know, For businesses that want to seek funding someday from like a bank or loans or anything like that, you need a marketing plan. They want to know how you expect to generate this revenue to be able to pay them back.
So I find that the lack of a marketing plan is usually as a matter of fact, there was this statistic and it’s just generally not even just for women, 78% of small businesses fail. Without a documented marketing plan and strategy 70. That’s why small businesses are always like the mom and pop shop. They’re always because they’re hitting this ceiling because there could be some mindset stuff afraid of. Which trickles down into like not spending or investing. I want to stop saying, spending, investing in the systems, you need to support the business like anything, whether you’re running a marathon, trying to lose weight, trying to plan a wedding. Everybody writes a plan for those usually. And if you don’t, it’s like fingers crossed that we get to the finish line.
Right. And it’s like, yay. If we do, but you’re crushed. If you don’t and in small business crushed, literally. Flipping the closed sign like forever. And so I really want to prevent that from women. And the one thing I want to say particularly is I’m a social impact entrepreneur, I believe in working with women’s or crack this ceiling, particularly because I think it trickles down into. If they have profitable businesses, this money goes back into their families, into the homes, into communities, and it just spreads outwards. And I really think that we are all in a pivotal point in history, right. Or as I like to say her story, but in history where. We can really get leverage and crack through this glass ceiling.
And we’re going to see some real impact, only in our backyards, but on the world, if we can. Get ahead of this thing, nobody’s trying to teach us, let you, like, until we all came together, kind of in this pandemic, like cluster
Mikki Wilson: before that nobody even instilled the thought in me that I could start my own business.
So that journey was something women coming out of a corporate world that was like literally crushing their soul. even a small journey to be had once you start that business, because now you have to figure. And articulate your value. as women, we are robbed of our values so much in just day-to-day society, that, that even projects on our business.
And we have a hard time. Not only more than just creating value because the value is there, but really articulating that value and not trying to spread ourselves then and be everything to everybody. So this is really like crazy point in history because I keep telling people, like for me personally, I’ve never experienced a better time to be a black woman other than, you know, The whole human rights thing, but that’s,
Mikki Wilson: than us.
Colie: no, I mean, I was, I was listening as you were talking. Cause I just realized like I have been an entrepreneur way longer than you have. Like, you know, you were in the corporate. Way more recently than I was. And I never was really in the corporate world. I was in academia, which is an entirely different ball of wax, which you experienced yourself this summer.
But you know, I’ve been, I’ve been out of the classroom for 13 years. And before that I spent 10 years in academia, whether I was a graduate student, a teaching assistant, a professor, an actual undergraduate in college. So I’ve never really experienced that kind of soul crushing. Aspect of being in the corporate world.
I am very glad that I avoided it. I mean, I ended up here because after I had Chloe and after I stayed home with her for a few years and James was like, okay, uh, when you going to go back to work, I was like, well, I’m not going back to the classroom. He was like, well, what are you going to do? I was like, I don’t know, but I don’t think that I can ever have a boss again.
So I have to figure out what I can do to be my own boss. And that’s what I’m going to do. And so, I mean, that’s how I ended up here. Let’s talk about marketing strategy. One more time before I take a pivot to something else. So making what is the best marketing strategy that you’ve seen recently and why did it work?
And in particular, if you have one that’s directly connected to like breaking that five figure ceiling, I would love to.
Mikki Wilson: oh my goodness. You know, I have to say, I always joke that the best marketing strategy is actually having a marketing strategy, but I’ll, I’ll answer a couple of other way. I’m actually going to answer two ways because I always get like a social media question. And if somebody just needs a social media shot in the arm, I’m going to tell you the most success I’ve seen from a couple of clients that I work long terms long-term with is re-introducing yourself to your audience about four times a year, like in at least two, but for one supporter, because stop, assuming that everybody needs. Who you are. Right? So the re and then also the re-introductions, especially on like LinkedIn, please utilize LinkedIn more. That’s where people, that’s where business, people do business, but, and it’s a whole different thing, but I’ll leave that for a different podcast and a different person, just reintroducing yourself and showing the behind the scenes of the business makes people real. Era of conscious marketing, right? Because really pre pandemic, it was more traditional marketing. Things had to look perfect. you could spend three months putting up a website, like all these drawn out really traditional American concepts. Now pandemics kind of shattered that and its progress over perfection. your purpose in people over profits, which to me
Mikki Wilson: blowing because I feel like it’s all it should’ve always been
Colie: Always been that way.
Mikki Wilson: This is the era of conscious marketing. So people want to see less of the perfect and they want to see, all right, who am I investing in? Right. Because we’ve seen, disclosure.
There are good corporate companies out there. I’m just talking about the ones that have bad cultures. So, we’ve seen corporate culture. Pursue profit over people and over purpose and the impact that’s having on our world. Right? So this era of conscious marketing people not. They might be buying your product, but that’s about 25% of the sale.
They are investing in you and they want to make, they want to ensure that whatever money they spend, they know they’re getting the value that they’re looking for from that. That’s why being so clear and articulate about who you’re serving, how you’re serving it, the process like. You know, and we all have this one friend, they spent like $1,500 on a website and they hated the website and it did nothing for them.
And it’s like, oh my God. Because nine times out of 10, there was miscommunication on both ends. There was not clarity from the provider. They were just showing the end result You know, you go into this thing thinking like, all right, this is the solution. This is the thing that brings them in not knowing why, how this, this tool is disconnected from your business goals.
Colie: and wait, I’m gonna stop you because you talked about websites and you know, that’s my thing. Other than Dubsado websites are my thing. I feel like the problem with the website is that the website should be a long term. Entity that’s working for your business. And so what I have found, you know, listening to people on the internet, particularly photographers, not that you’re, you know, we all know you’re not a photographer, but I’m in that world quite a bit.
And like, people will raise their prices or they’ll introduce a new website or they’ll do this thing for social media or they’ll do ads. And it’s like, if they don’t get an immediate return on that investment, they think that it failed. And so with the example that you’re giving of the website, Like you spent $1,500 on your website, but does the website just look pretty?
Does it really communicate your offer? Does it really tell people who you are, how you came to be in this business? What kind of transformation you’re going to give them? Because a lot of the times. People create websites that aren’t functional. Like people can’t figure out how to get from a to B to C to then contact you.
They also create websites that don’t, they don’t have your personality. Like they’re very sterile. And like you said, people are hiring people now, not just for like your features. And that’s the other thing. People talk about features. They don’t talk about benefits. They don’t talk about the transformation that you’re going to get on the other end.
And so. You have to put all of these things into your website, but even if you do all of that perfectly, in my opinion, your website works for you off of Google. So if you haven’t put in the time to invest in doing your SEO and getting found organically, you’re not going to see a return on your investment until that happens.
Unless, and I always, I always put this caveat. Unless you just happen to have a huge number of people that are just waiting to buy from you. They just don’t know what you offer yet. And then if you like immediately show them the website and they just look at it and they’re like, oh yeah, I need that. And they hire you.
That’s different. Most of us don’t have that though. Like we’re looking at our website as something to bring in organic traffic from people that we do not already connect with versus social media. That’s when you’re connecting with people that have already connected with you a majority of the time, I guess, unless it’s tiptop.
Cause, but I’m not on say doc and you know that, so.
Mikki Wilson: No, it’s crazy because such a marketing nerd. I could talk about this chain all day, but so it’s, so it’s interesting. So systems related, cause I know you love this, right? So yes, to me. Again, traditional marketing, dated marketing, predicts that your website should just be this pretty informational landing page because people are going to be like, oh my God, you exist.
You’re real. You have a website. That’s credible. Okay. That worked in like the nineties, two thousands and a little bit for the teens. Right. now it’s like, um, knock, knock, knock. I only really do business online nowadays. Right. So. Like your website is your brick and mortar. If you do not have a brick and mortar.
So it’s like when people knock, they expect something to open and they are there to buy. Download information, they’re there for something, right. But if you don’t have channels built where they can start their little
Mikki Wilson: through your little aisles and whatnot, how do you expect them? It’s just crazy to then think that people are going to be like, let me just throw money this website.
The other part that you like about systems, I’m just going to say quickly is that. Connectedness because you mentioned Dubsado, right? part of a marketing strategy. If people don’t have one already, please get a CR. ’cause, I don’t even know how you’re managing all these people. That’s like the number one thing in a strategy.
If you do not have a centralized place for your people, a CRM. So that, and then with the website, I talk about email a lot. I’m not a huge social seller. I like to tell my story and just be me on social. So. Stressed about that part of marketing, emails, we all have an audience that is waiting to buy something from us.
It is our responsibility to say, Hey, do you want to buy something from me today? And it’s okay if they don’t want to buy today, but they might want to buy tomorrow. So with email website CRM, honestly, there’s a trifecta right there that will start to boost sales revenue. If you’re using it correctly and they’re connected.
So I just wanted to go back to that because great point about yet. I know you’re a systems like so right. It’s connecting all the pieces. Marketing is not just one thing. It’s about how all the things work together. And here’s the crazy part because we both liked this. Do less. I am a
Mikki Wilson: person.
You don’t have to use all the marketing tools in the toolbox. Maybe it’s just the hammer, which is the email. Maybe the hammer is the thing that always worked. So I find that people try to do too much.
Colie: I mean, even with the talk of repurposing, because I am someone who is working very hard right now to like repurpose my things, having it on my YouTube, having it on my website, having it on my email. But I’m only doing this because I have the space and. If you do not have the space and opportunity to put that much effort into multiple things, pick one, pick one, do not try to use all the tools at the same time.
You only got two damn hands. You cannot do all the tools in the hands at the same time. And I just also want to say, I totally did not tell Nikki to tell all of you to get a CRM, but y’all know I, 100% agree with that. Cause everybody needs CRM. Everybody needs. Everybody needs a website that gets the leads that feeds them into the CRM so that you can sell them the thing so that then you have more clients.
So, you know, that’s how all of it works. She’s talking about marketing and like, in the back of my head, I’m just thinking about the client experience, because that is like my current talking point for everything is, well, what are you doing for your client experience? And so making sure that you are marketing to people throughout the client experience, Because people who visit you and hear about your offer and ultimately decide to not buy, then they are still in part of your client experience.
So how are you going to continue to bring value to them so that when they are ready, you are the first person that they think of to solve whatever problem it is that they’re currently experiencing. Sometimes you come into someone’s business and like you can solve a problem that they are not aware that they have yet, or they know they have the problem, but they just don’t know that your solution is what’s going to get them over the hump.
So some people just need some nurturing guys. That’s what marketing is about.
Mikki Wilson: and active listening. So active listening is also, don’t get stuck on even when you’re crystal clear on your target market, don’t get stuck on your solution to how you serve them. Whether it’s market research, or you just actively listen to your clients and the people that just think your business is cool, whether they don’t buy from you or not. to what they’re saying. So I’m going to use some examples within my business, because this is real time stuff have here. You know, I’ve been not necessarily all over the map, but I’ve been testing different things because I am a marketing strategist with like over 20 years of experience and everything.
And so when I was thinking about my value, wanted to do, for example, VIP days, that would end up being five figure by VIP days, writing marketing plans for like $10,000, right before. With the right person, you can spend a lot of time and really flesh out a detailed way of how to create success in one, three and five years. But. My heart kept telling me I want to work with small businesses. And I knew I wanted to work with women. And I even struggled between like, should I say all women, women of color. Like, I didn’t want to be excluded, you know, all this stuff. then I was like, no, because women impact the world period. So let’s just stick with women down to purpose driven women, because I find the women that have most stressed about their marketing are the ones that are like, I am not. I believe in this business so much. And people T telling me that it’s not, they just are so passionate, but the marketing part stresses them. And I don’t want people showing up in my zooms crying that I don’t like that I don’t want marketing to be like that marketing should be fun and not cost
Colie: And she’ll be not stressful.
Mikki Wilson: you know?
So, um, That was very important to listen to that. So long story short, I’ve come to a place where I offer these marketing epiphany sessions and the price point that women kept saying was,
Mikki Wilson: what can you do for me for 250 bucks? And I was like, well, okay, I’ll roll out of bed for $250. And then I realized like I can do a strategy session because. I don’t want to create a general solution and marketing as a gentleman, as a marketing generalist, this has been a struggle for me because I got all my specialists and I’m jealous because they have one thing to focus on. Whereas I really see the bigger, big picture of marketing. So it made me feel so good to offer a session where I could just focus on the problem that you’re experiencing at the moment.
And like, let’s work this out together. I have been, what it is and I just think it’s my talent. But every time I talk to somebody in them work through whatever that challenge is, that boom moment. And I’m so sorry, because I know that you just rolled out of bed for your session, but your. Moment was so it just captures this same thing that I get when somebody just gets past that problem, that’s holding him in that place. then that frees them up to keep growing. So the marketing epiphany session was purely by listening to women that were like, look, this is the price point. I can start to work with you and do that.
And then I’ve been lucky enough to test it. one, which nobody knows about is my VIP day. Especially after my session with you. And I was starting to become clear on this. I said, I don’t know if I’m even serving women best by demanding that they need to have a documented marketing plan. Right. I can get to that at some other point in my business. But what I kept hearing women say is really want to work with you in a bigger capacity, but I can’t. Afforded and we get sensitive, we get sensitive, right
affordability and things like that. But I said, okay, this is interesting. One of my friends said to me, Mikki, you’re locking in all this grant money.
And I thought about it. I’ve secured about like $25,000 in grants the last year. just by telling the story of what I’m trying to serve, but also being very clear on how I’m gonna use the funds. so she said to me, Why don’t you like do something where you can help more women write grants. And then the light bulb goes off from me and I’m like, oh my God, women need not only emotional support, which they’ll always get from me this energy.
Right. But they really need financial support right now, because again, the economy is tough that’s so wrapping my brains around now de. Like, uh, get your grant done in a day, like VIP day, where you can bring a grant that you’re working on, but let’s work through the story and the impact and the clear use of funds, because I’ve seen in some nonprofit work that I do, people will always tell the big warm and fuzzy, like I want to solve world hunger.
Okay. But I need to know how you’re going to use this $10,000 man.
Colie: Yes. Well, I mean, but getting to that, Mikki, so. If you sit down with them and you get the big story and the impact and the why that is actually something that they’re going to be able to recycle on every single grant application. I have never written a grant for my business. I have written grants and academia.
So I mean, you know, same thing you want to, they want to know how you’re going to impact the students and how you’re going to spend the money. I mean, very familiar with that process. And I’m assuming it’s virtually the same thing for businesses. So yeah, I could even imagine. You know, you do that first VIP day where you’re helping them get strong on their why and how they can communicate their value and their experience and all those things and the how you’re going to use the, the funds.
I mean, I could see that as like an after on shorter period, like, you know, once we’ve done this full day, this VIP day to get you in a situation where you can start writing grants for every grant, they could always come back to you, like, okay, Mikki, I think this is a good. Can you, can we tweak what I’ve done before?
And then can we specifically write how I would use this money to get my goals? Yeah. So, I mean, I think that’s brilliant. I’m thinking that sounds like Ashley, but it didn’t have to be Ashley.
Mikki Wilson: there’s so much, you know, what’s funny too. There’s so much money floating out. So it made, it led me to other things. I can’t wait until, you know, after next week, one of my goals is I’ll be speaking at the done in a day summit is my email list because now I get emails for all these goals. So it’s easy for me to forward this, like, oh, you know, do you guys know?
Just because I know it’s all out there, do they? And I think people think that this is a time consuming thing. Right. So let’s just walk it in. And also while you were saying. The grant application is nothing but kind of a mini marketing plan for what you’re trying to achieve. And then the pivotal moment for me is my friend was like, okay, so maybe it starts out in the marketing epiphany session, you know, to start to get some of this out the VIP day, we get this done.
But what’s really important to me is if women, especially women of color, if you’re not. Right. We’re not really going out and getting loans. We’re bootstrapping, we’re asking family and friends where we’re making this happen regardless. This is like money and it’s money because you have a solution to a problem that’s impactful articulated correctly.
There is a lot of money out there for us to continue the impact we’re creating. And I, as a marketing generalist, I want women to unlock this money so they can get more of the marketing solutions they need. Because as a dot connector, after people work with me, I need to refer them out to my little ecosystem of all my other entrepreneur friends that can provide the solutions or solve the problem that I might not be able to solve.
So it really hones in on me. Like, especially in this time, if there’s all this grant money floating around out, Whether people need it or not. That’s an extra program. You can start that’s, uh, you know, an extra month of office rent, like something so
Colie: done, getting your CRM done. I mean, because if we’re going back to the trifecta that you talked about at the what the strategy and that yeah, I mean, I don’t think people realize that when you get a grant in your business, you can use the funds for things like that. Like, if your point is you have this really great thing and you want to be able to sell it.
And right now you don’t have a way to sell it. Most of the grants will allow you to use that money to create the website, to create the strategies. So, yeah.
Mikki Wilson: It’s a marketing budget, right? A lot of us don’t really have a clear marketing budget. So to me, grant funding honestly can create the marketing budget you need. And you don’t know this, this was not planned in advance, but I just submitted an application for a grant that was like between 10 and $25,000 yesterday, just on a whim.
Somebody sends it to me. I said, all right. But I was so specific on what I wanted to do with that money. And my current CRM is not necessarily working for me. I spoke with Colie about this a little bit, but in that grant I wrote like I’m transitioning. Wink wink CRM because, you know, I built it initially, but it’s bottle-necking me now.
And I need a professional that can, you know, articulate my offers and make sure my client intake is smooth. And so I’m like over here, like, oh my God, if I get that money, I get to refresh my website in a way that works better. For me, all my systems have been created by me. The reason I’m still tapping on this five figure ceiling is because now I’ve recognized that I need specialists to connect my dots.
I connect the talks in the bigger picture, once you have your strategy, your plan, your focus, then you know who to work with to get the job done. It’s less about like, oh my God, there’s all these wonderful people out here with wonderful things and what colors and like all these things. It’s just having clarity on, all right, what am I trying to achieve? How do I get to that finish line? There’s many ways to get to a finish line. Who do I need to work with to get me to that finish line? And it’s really that simple when you’re doing.
Colie: It’s really funny that you mentioned this though, because I can’t remember when I talked about it on the podcast, I will have to find that episode on Lincoln and the notes. But recently I was talking about how do you know. When you are changing from a DIY stage in your business into an outsourcing stage.
And what I literally said was in the last two years, at some point, when I get new things in my business, I do not think about how I can do them, myself. I am out of that stage. So when I am adding in the podcast, when I am, you know, adding in a new marketing plan, whatever. I don’t try to figure it out on my own anymore.
My first thought is who can I pay to help me get this done faster? So it’s really awesome Nikki to see that you’re at that point in your business where, you know, the systems that you DIY, I mean, all of them, they can only get you so far. And now you are looking at how to transition into outsourcing to specialists and grow.
You’re trying to get that grant money to do it. So, I mean, Bravo, I mean, you, you get all the props for finding somebody else to pay for it.
Mikki Wilson: One working smarter, not harder
Colie: Not harder.
Mikki Wilson: know, I’m a Capricorn. So my, my, my climb to the top of the mountain is long and arduous. So, you know, I’m not trying to run up that thing slow and steady get people support along the way, whether it’s community financial, Family support, rest, self care. I you know, what’s so funny is it’s marketing and everything, but I really think it trickles down to marketing, support your business just figure out where you’re trying to take the business, whether it’s for the quarter, the year, just like, where are you trying to go?
So it was scary though. Intentionally, no, that I was not going to create a lot of revenue this year, but by slowing down and honing in on. My ladies were telling me what I was hearing in community talks really opened up opportunities. And the fact that like, there’s other options, we are educators, right?
We’re so much more than business owners. We really have to get into this COC so that those of us that are comfortable with getting out there and. Spreading our word and our services. And I mean, on speaking platforms, presentations, workshop at getting more of this out there, um, it’s just, it makes, it makes marketing easier, but I’m just kind of the Oz behind the scenes.
That’s like, all right, let’s follow. which path you need to go down because you literally cannot diverge and try to go down all the paths at once. So I’m here to tell people you don’t need to have the Twitter. I don’t need that. Like just have what works for you.
Colie: Girl as I was listening to what you were saying as like, if. Look at this transcript and I take out everywhere that you said marketing and I put in systems. I bet you that’s going to be some really good coffee. I’m going to send it to you when it’s done. I can make it. I’m going to ask you one question in closing only because like everybody loves when I ask people this.
So we’re going to close with your biggest fuck up. So what is your biggest fuck up in business could be marketing, could be anything else. And what did you learn from it?
Mikki Wilson: I just trying to see if there’s a bigger one than my most recent one.
Mikki Wilson: Okay. So. It’s not huge. I think we all do this by it really, it really made me in my biggest fuck up was thinking I needed somebody to help me inside of my business. So, because I felt pressure because I was growing. So I hired a friend to help me out and. Instantly. I realized that I felt like a hot mess because I didn’t have any work to give her. I literally brainstormed, vomited all over her for almost a year.
Mikki Wilson: times got tough, kind of recognized that we needed to end this thank God because it didn’t damage. The relationship, but it made me realize like sometimes doing more can actually hurt your business more than you think. I was totally fine where I was at managing it on my own. She definitely helped me and do things. But when I even look back, I’m like, oh my God, all the things I even brainstorms were just like creative. I just literally needed to creatively vomit all over somebody because being in the box of your own business too, that’s why community’s important is you get stuck with all these thoughts and ideas.
And if you cannot process them, then sometimes you might trick yourself into thinking you need or to hire a family person or something like that. So going back to support. My biggest up was not recognizing the type of support I needed at the time I needed it.
Colie: Yeah, I’m going to say that Mikki, I don’t, I don’t think that it was too soon for you to hire. I think that you needed a plan for what you needed to get support for. Because, you know, later today I have my first call with my new VA. So I have hired someone since we last spoke. But like, I think that being able to hire is all about making sure that you are communicating what you need and that you are not just giving them busy work.
So, I mean, I do think. Even though that didn’t work out. I just think that before you hire your next person, you just need to make sure that you’re clear on what you need to take off your plate and what they can do to help you be your most productive self and, you know, improving your business going forward.
Mikki Wilson: so true. And I’m just going to say one last thing, because I don’t know, it hit me like a hammer in the back of the head. Do not pay your rent or your mortgage out of your business.
Colie: Well, yeah. That’s yeah.
Mikki Wilson: for a future podcast too, but that was, that was
Colie: All right.
Mikki Wilson: fuck-up of 2022 in addition to the So there it
Colie: No. I like the hiring one. Yeah. Um, Mikki, it was great to talk to you.
Mikki Wilson: I
Colie: I mean, twice, technically twice in, less than a week, this is awesome. Uh, tell our listeners where they can find out more about you and your services. This will also be linked to the show.
Mikki Wilson: oh, thank you so much. You can find, uh, me behind the scenes of my website at www dot connect, your consulting.com. You can find my energetic personality show up most often on Instagram. Uh, and my handle is, uh, at mic M I K K. Dots.
can also find me on LinkedIn under my born name. Mikki, M I K K I Wilson.
Colie: You’re born named. Yeah. Yeah. Y’all know, call it. James is not my born name, but you’re not getting my real name on this podcast. all right guys, that’s it for this episode. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you next time.