Grab this Quickstart Guide to start using Dubsado today.
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.
Your clients can tell you a lot about your business, ultimately driving the messaging you need to better sell your products and services. In today’s episode, Melissa Harstine joins us to share how you can gather and use customer insights to improve your messaging. Listen in as she walks us through the data collection process and shares examples of improving messaging and marketing!
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.
Apple Podcast App | Spotify | Amazon | Google Podcast | Youtube
Melissa Harstine, a customer insights strategist, helps creative educators improve conversion rates by closing the gap between what they want to say and what their audience *actually* needs to hear before they’re ready to buy.
She brings a unique blend of empathy and strategy to her work thanks to her background in copywriting, journalism, and nonprofit leadership.
Melissa lives in a small town in Kansas that’s kind of like Stars Hollow. (Shout out to her fellow Gilmore Girls fans!) In her free time, she enjoys watercolor painting, attending college football games, and blazing through a good book.
Here are the highlights…
[1:44] Get to Know Melissa
[3:06] When It’s Time to Hire Someone to Do Customer Research
[5:25] Example: Auditing Your Messaging Based on Your Offer
[6:00] Quality Over Quantity
[7:07] Visuals vs. Messaging for Photographers
[10:28] Customer Insights Bridge the Gap
[13:25] The Difference in Customer Research & Customer Reviews
[16:18] How to Host Client Interviews: Video vs Surveys
[18:39] Examples of How to Use Quotes from Client Interviews
[22:08] Recording All of Your Calls for Research
[24:19] Recommended Frequency of Having Client Interviews
[26:10] Customer Insights as Inspiration for Social Media Posts
[27:50] How to Do Research When You Don’t Have the Clients to Interview
[30:27] 3-5 Interviews Per Revenue Stream
[32:24] Tips for Starting the Process on Your Own
Want to avoid a blank screen while setting up your Dubsado templates? Steal mine 😍
The Template Shop is now open with templates created specifically for family photographers for use inside Dubsado. You can copy and customize for your own brand + offers in no time. Save yourself hours per client with these templates 🌈
Review the Transcript:
Colie: Hey guys. Welcome back to the Business First Creatives podcast. Today I am chatting with Melissa Hartstein. She is someone that I have given my hard-earned money to. So I want you all to get a piece of paper and a pen and take notes because what Melissa specializes in is customer insight, and sometimes we call that customer research, but I think insight sounds a little bit more fancy.
So, Melissa, welcome to the podcast. How are you? This.
Melissa: Hey, I am doing great, Coley. It’s such a joy to be here.
Colie: Yeah, I mean, I feel like every time you and I have a conversation, it is super awesome. So I’m excited to have you here. So first of all, why don’t you tell the listening audience who you are and what you do.
Melissa: Yeah, so I am a customer insight strategist as you mentioned. So, what I do is I help service providers and course creators understand who their best customers are. And where there’s a gap between what they want to say, like what the business owner wants to say in their marketing content, and what customers actually need to hear before they’re ready to buy.
Because oftentimes what happens, you know, it’s like we’re so close to our business that we can’t see the forest through the trees. You know, we may. Think that our message is perfectly clear to our audience. But something’s off, you know, the, the sales aren’t as good as we might want them to be. And so what I do is I kind of come in and I’m kinda like a mirror, right?
Reflecting back to the business owner, you know, what is it that their audience is saying? How are they describing things? What is it that they’re wanting or needing? Where’s their friction in the buying process from their perspective? And kind of as that mirror, you know, the business owner can. Go in and improve their sales page, you know, their marketing content like emails and social media and stuff, to increase conversions and just help people be excited about working with them even faster.
Colie: Yeah, so I hired Melissa earlier this summer, and I will say she gave me this really long customer research report and I literally just reread it last week. So last week I did a complete. Not a complete, maybe that’s not the right word. I revamped sections of my course page for the CRM blueprint. And what I ended up doing was going back to this amazing research that Melissa gave me to make sure that I was mirroring the words that my actual customers that she interviewed, said about me, said about the service that I was providing, and it was just so helpful.
So first I wanna put out there Melissa mostly works with people like me, service providers, who also have a course. But what she’s gonna talk about today is still very insightful, even if you are still only offering services such as photography. in your business. So Melissa, what is the, how does someone know that they need to hire someone like you?
Because you already said that you know, you wanna get higher conversions and you might not be getting the sales that you want, but like, are there any other red flags where someone can look and be like, okay, I think it’s time for me to have conversations with my actual customers because something isn’t.
Melissa: Yeah, I’ll give you two examples. The first one is if you are a service provider, like a photographer, for example, if you’re getting. Lots of inquiries, but those inquiries are not booking your services. Now, as you know, Coley, sometimes that comes down to, you know, your C R M isn’t set up properly. You’re not following up with leads.
There’s like something on the business side of things that’s off. But it’s also possible that the people who are inquiring are not the right. Fit for your services or your particular style of photography, right? And so that’s a place where you know, if you can figure out where on your website or your other marketing content, you know, is the message kind of getting confused or diluted?
That’s a really good place to come in and talk with your customers. Have these one-on-one conversations and kind of, you know, be that, see your business from the outside in. The other example I wanted to share is actually from one of my clients. So, She had, it’s Emily with, if I made, her platform has courses from like floral designers and wedding cake designers and all these different creative, kind of hobbies and business skills.
And she was having a ton of people show up to her webinar. And a lot of people actually go from the webinar to the sales page, and then those people just like bolted really fast, right? We could see that in the fact. They, she wasn’t getting sales like she was expecting or like she used to get, but also we used this really fancy tool called Hot Jar to look at how far down the page people were scrolling and like they weren’t making it very far, and so it was very clear in that case, this.
Something was off, right? All these people were excited to see the webinar, but they weren’t interested in the actual like course. And so, what ended up happening is that they were speaking to like three or four different audiences. Like if you’re just a beginner and you’re just starting out, if you’re interested in floral design, if you’re interested in like these other like audiences they serve, whereas they really needed to be clear, like, Particular course that we have is just for people who are interested in flower design, and you’re new to business, like you’re not an established business owner, and as soon as we narrow that down, her conversion rates increased again.
Colie: Yeah. And so I think, I mean, that’s a really interesting, example. So do you. because it’s one. Okay. So she was getting people on the webinar that weren’t beginners and weren’t really interested in floral design. So the messaging before the webinar was what actually needed to be tweaked instead of the messaging that came after, like the messaging to get them on board and to get them interested was getting them to say yes to the webinar, but then they weren’t actually saying yes to the offer because it wasn’t aligned with what they.
Melissa: Exactly, it was attracting too many of the wrong people. Right? A really, really broad group of people versus a narrow group of like the perfect fit people. Because I think that sometimes, you know, it’s like, oh, more is better. Right? But a lot of times fewer people like quality over quantity. Like that’s what’s really going to be effective, when it comes to who you’re speaking to in your marketing.
Colie: I totally agree. And the funny thing is, until I became like a course person until I went to the other side and started doing these DDO setups, when I would mentor photographers in the past, we didn’t really harp on messaging. I wanna say I, it’s not that I don’t think photographers should, but like from a photography perspective, we are so in like the visual artist.
Colie: would really focus on was making sure that your portfolio was curated to. give people what it is that you offer to make sure that you were offering what they wanted. But now that I’ve been on the other side of the aisle, I do recognize that the portfolio is just the first part. Like people are also reading the words , and so your messaging does also have to hit those points because the images alone are probably not gonna be enough to to close the deal.
Melissa: Yeah, and something I don’t think I shared at the beginning when we did this intro is that I actually used to work as a copywriter, specifically website copy, and I would often say that, The visuals are going to grab someone’s attention, but the words are going to keep their attention and help them make the decision about whether or not it’s right for them.
Right? Because it’s like, I might see this pretty thing and I’m like, oh, this is pretty, but I don’t know, you know, what the designer or the photographer was thinking, like, why did they choose this specific setting? You know, what was it about the expression on this person’s face, you know, that they really zeroed in, in that made this picture come alive.
It’s all of those kind of. Whether it’s intuitive or conscious, you know, it may just depend on the person, but those decisions that are going through your head as the artist, as the creative, that your audience just doesn’t even know, but it’s often, you know, those things. It’s like, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna help you feel at ease in your session because I know that you may feel a little awkward, so I’m gonna say, Hey, pose like this, or, you know, Um, I’ll tell you what to wear cuz you’re nervous about the color palette, you know, for your family photos.
Like, is it actually gonna look awful on camera with the background that we’ve chosen? Right? Those are the types of questions that your audience may have, and if you can speak to those things in the words, not just the images, you know, it’s like, it, it’s kind of like settles the fears that your potential customers may have or those anxieties or insecurities about themselves, and it just makes ’em easier for them to say yes to you.
Colie: Yeah. And I’m just gonna, I’m gonna come on the end of that and I’m gonna say, I just realized, and I’m gonna, I’m gonna say it out loud so that I can write it down later. Photos don’t address objections.
Colie: That’s what I’m gonna tell photographers from now on. So if someone is feeling stressed about the photos, they don’t know how their kids are gonna act, they don’t know how their husband’s gonna act.
Even if you’ve got a photo of like you’re smiling family and everyone looks happy, they’re naturally gonna think, oh, but those people are just happy people. Like they don’t have my. , like their kids weren’t having a, you know, level 10 meltdown five minutes before the session, which we all know is totally possible in those situations, and you are just really good at your job in making those families at ease and getting the kind of photos that they want.
But I think that you can only tell them that like the photo doesn’t tell the entire story, and in particular, it doesn’t address objections that people have when they’re reading your website. So yeah, that’s a really good insight.
Melissa: Oh yeah, I’ve totally seen that. You know, and we’ve done family photos with my nephews and they’re just like squirming and crying. And then we get the photos back and I’m like, how, how in the middle of what just happened, did this pho photographer get this picture where like, these kids are actually smiling and looking at the camera.
Right. And I, I, I don’t know all the ins and outs of photography. I know there’s something with, you know, The shutter, like how, you know what I mean? Like how many photos you can take in a short period of time. I don’t know the technical word there, but it just is amazing, right? But again, like I would’ve never known that if I hadn’t experienced it myself.
Colie: Yes. So let’s get onto courses because some other people in the listening audience might be contemplating a course. And I know, you know, January is slow time for photographers and many other entrepreneurs. And so we start to dream of passive income and you know, ooh, if I just create this course, but often the burnout service provider creates the.
They put it out into the world and then no one buys it. So how is it that customer insight can help bridge the gap between putting out this what you think is the most awesome product in a course, and then the disappointment when absolutely no one buys it?
Melissa: Yeah. You know, I think some of the reasons that that happens are, you know, Maybe the most important thing that your audience is looking for is buried like two thirds the way down the sales page instead of being the main headline. I know that your main headline was something that we tweaked together, Colie, in the work that we did, you know, and I think, I don’t remember exactly what it.
The final version of it was, but it was something like, you know, get your Dubsado streamlined, automated, and working for you in less than 10 days. Cause
Colie: that’s exactly what it was.
Melissa: Yeah, right. It’s like those were the words that your audience kept saying over and over and over, but it’s like, You were already using those words on your page somehow, somewhere, but it was buried.
Right. So I think by taking those key ideas and moving ’em to the top and like front and center, first thing you see when you land on the page, it helps the, the reader say, oh, this is, this is right, this is what I need. You know, and you kind of lean in a little bit more, to keep reading, to keep going.
And I think another thing that happens is, know, if you’re trying to talk to two audiences at once, there can be some customer confusion cuz maybe you’re speaking to one audience at the beginning of the page and then halfway through you switch to a different audience and then you go back. Right.
Those are the types of things that I look at before I do these one-on-one conversations, like customer interviews, cuz I wanna figure out, you know, at the beginning is I, I call it like an audience message to audit, but it’s like, You know, who are you speaking to at different points on your sales page?
What are you saying? Is it speaking to, you know, a pain point, a desire, a hesitation? And are all of those things aligned? Because I think that’s the most important thing, is it’s like you can have all the pieces of the puzzle on the page, but if they’re not aligned, they’re not in the right order, in the right place, the right timing, your customer’s gonna be confused and they’re gonna bolt,
Colie: Yeah. So I’m gonna ask like a really basic question because while I know the answer, I just realized a lot of people don’t. As a photographer before I got on the business side of things, most of us are just obsessed with getting testimonials and getting Google reviews, So what is it that like a customer research interview will get me that’s simply asking my clients to give me a testimonial?
Won’t, and although I’m asking you this from the photographer perspective, like I think it goes for everyone. , like why is it that customer research is so much more important than just getting people to give you a testimonial and you know that all elusive Google Review.
Melissa: You know, I think that when people are writing a testimonial, and I’ll speak my own experience as someone who gives testimonials, I tend to overthink it. Right? And like I sometimes become either very mechanical or very vague, but there’s something about the way people talk versus the way they write that is just a lot more.
Candid and expressive. And that’s really, I think, one of the big things that comes out when you’re actually having conversations and you’re doing these one-on-one interviews with your customers. Another thing is that these conversations give you a chance to dig deeper and ask follow-up questions, right?
Because if someone’s like, oh, I loved this session that we did, you know, it was amazing. Well, gimme an example of that. How, why did you love it? Gimme an example of a, of a specific moment in this session where you felt amazing, where you felt at ease. Have you ever, worked with another photographer in the past?
How did their services compare with my services? Like, what would you say actually set me apart? Those are the types of things that you can really drill into, like dig deeper into to. Words from your customers that are gonna also help you set yourself apart from all the other service providers, all the other people who do what you do.
And I think that’s actually, as I’m saying that out loud, that’s probably one of the biggest things, especially if you’re in an oversaturated industry, an industry where a lot of people are kind of all saying the same things on their websites, on their sales pages. Being able to express what you do in your customer’s words and be really, really clear on that distinctive value.
that’s gonna help set you apart and help you increase sales.
Colie: Yeah. I love what you said about people talk more naturally when they are having a conversation versus writing, and also making sure that you have the opportunity to ask those follow up questions. That is the reason that I think customer research works so much better. And one of the things that I think I have implemented in almost every single DSA setup that I’ve done that people weren’t doing before is I actually make them do a feedback survey.
And I, I get pushback all the time. They’re like, but cool. Like, why do I need to ask them all those questions? Like I just want them to fill out a Google review. And I’m like, but you get so much more information from this feedback form than you would if they just went on Google and said that you were amazing.
I mean, I know you’re amazing. You know, you’re amazing. That doesn’t help someone make a decision. Like all of the photographers have testimonials that say, I’m amazing. You’re amazing. , you do have to think about this as a way to differentiate yourselves from your competition, from the people in your area, because everybody is saying the same things when they’re being asked to write a testimonial.
But if you do take the opportunity to have those one-on-one conversations, you might get other details that they’re not telling you when they’re asked to write a testimonial. Yeah, absolutely. So let me ask you a different question. Is it important to do these on video or do you get the same kind of data if you are sending out, like I said, like a 10 question survey?
Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. Do them on video, EV and I know sometimes, you know, for that can feel uncomfortable for you. Maybe like you’re asking your client to give you like a grade or you know, tell me how I did. Or if you’re an introvert, it’s like, ugh, I don’t like looking at people and talking to people. But the value is, There’s so much non-verbal communication that comes out when you’re talking face-to-face.
You know, like as Colie and I are recording this podcast episode, you are probably hearing it in audio format, but Colie and I are interacting with each other. We have like a Zoom video camera open, right? And so it’s just, You know, you can see when someone gets really excited and animated and think, okay, that this is something I need to key into, like this is, something that’s important to them.
You know, cuz their, their tone of voice is going up. You can see their expression, they’re just lighting up. Right. I think that’s probably the thing that I love the most is when I see someone lighting up, it’s like, okay, this is, this is something that’s really, really important to them. Or if they’re frustrated, you know, you hear their tone of voice kind of get deeper and lower and it kind of comes out that irritation, right.
Pieces are just clues.
Colie: Mm-hmm. . like I said, I was rereading my report just last week and one of the things that you brought out as an insight in my report that I still don’t think I’m doing a great job of addressing is when you interviewed several of my VIP day clients, they all said something to the effect of, I hired Colie because she makes complicated shit easy. and while I keep on trying to make myself quote cards, and it was funny, I was playing around with one of the sales pages last week. I actually put that as one of the headlines and then I was like, no, that doesn’t quite fit in where I shoved it. So I hid it. I’m gonna put it back up later, but. . I wouldn’t have known that.
I mean, and it was funny because there were multiple people that actually used those words. Complicated shit, easy. Without you asking them those questions and getting that insight, I wouldn’t have known that, okay, if two or three of my clients are thinking this, there are probably way more people that are thinking this.
And I actually had a sales call yesterday and she specifically said, complicated shit. And I was like, oh, there it’s again. There it’s again.
Melissa: You know, Colie, another thing that I remember from your, talking with your customers was Caitlin, you know, you did a v i P day with her and she had been using Dubsado for like five or six years, and she’s like, Colie was able to do in eight hours what I had not been able to do in five years. Right. . That’s an example of how you make things easy for your customers by setting up Dubsado.
And, you know, it’s, it’s such a vivid, memorable quote. I think you ended up putting it on the, your client’s. Stories, your case studies page, right? Because it’s something that grabs your attention. But the other thing is that specific quote like we were talking about earlier, about what are your customer’s hesitations or objections like people are like, oh, I can, I’m pretty tech savvy.
Like I can probably figure this out on my own. I can probably make it work okay for me, right? But here’s an example of someone that had tried for five years and it was okay, but it wasn’t working as well. Could be. And it wasn’t a huge investment of time and money just to have Colie to have you go in and fix it, right?
And so that’s another, another thing that you learn by talking with your customers instead of just like making assumptions or just asking for reviews.
Colie: I really wanna get back to talking about my sales call yesterday because I realize talking to you and listening to you right now that she gave me insight on something that I didn’t write down yesterday, but I totally just wrote it down today.
And that is that Dodo can be used for more than just. Sending contracts. It was really interesting. She’s not the first person to say that, that they are only using Dubsado, basically to like have people sign contracts. My lead yesterday admitted to me that she wasn’t even using a lead contact form from Dosa.
She was having them fill it out on Squarespace and then she was manually entering them into Dodo if they said they wanted to book and then she was sending them the contract and my jaw just dropped. I do wanna say for those of you that are like, well, I’m totally scared to do like customer insight, interviews, guys, your sales calls are also really good opportunities to get customer insight even if you’re not asking them specific questions.
Cuz one of the questions that I think lots of people ask on their contact form is, how did you. and I think we all know like the regular categories, you know, did you find me on Facebook or Instagram or Google or, but you should always take it one step further. The very first contact that you have with someone is to get more specific and ask them how they found you on that platform.
Because telling me that they found me on Google doesn’t really help if I don’t know what they searched. Like you telling me that you looked up, do Sodo for family photographers is way more insightful than you just telling me that you found me on Google. Because then I have all kinds of questions like, did you Google and you found my photography website?
And then you happen to see that I did dsto and so you contacted me. Like there’s so much information that you can get with each and every interaction that you have with a potential client or a current client, and you should have a. Of kind of keeping track of all of that data so that when you revamp your emails, when you revamp your sales page, basically your messaging guys, that you have this list of things that have occurred to you since the last time that you did the updates, and you can try to infuse as many of those strategically into your messaging as possible.
Melissa: Yeah, I love that. You know, and if you are someone like me who records automatically all of your meetings, then you can go back and find the recordings for sales calls and then create a written transcript. You know, whether it’s you’re using something like Descript or Otter or some Zoom plans, you know, have those transcripts as well.
It’s a lot easier to look through. The written transcript and kind of like highlight and find those like, you know, really juicy, unique phrases that your customers are saying or like, you know, find those trends, like those words that they’re saying over and over and over, like you mentioned early Colie.
But working from a transcript I found is a lot. Easier than just the video. But the main idea here is that if you are already recording your sales calls, like you have a treasure trove of data that you’re already sitting on, that all you gotta do is just go collect it and look at it and then start to use it.
Colie: Yeah. I will say I only looked at the transcripts that you gave me for the first time last week, but in particular, uh, Alison, I was looking at what because I had already had a testimonial on my website about her v i p day, but I was like, you know, I swear Alison said some really good things about the course.
And so I went through that transcript and I found like, A whole, like you said, a treasure trove of things that Allison had said about my course, because in particular what she had said was, you know, in the beginning I was doing Zoom calls like every day or every other day. And first of all, I think I have a little bit of amnesia because I don’t remember doing calls that often, but since Allison said it, I mean, I’m sure it’s true.
What she said after that was she said, you know, it was really good for those of us because this is like a technology course, and it was like having our very own tech support on speed dial. And I was like, ding, ding, ding. That needs to go on the website somewhere. So I did add it into a testimonial, but. . I mean, and guys, I wanna just put out there that this is not a one-time thing.
So I mean, I hired Melissa, she did this for me in June. I am still finding things inside of that report that I can do now. But Melissa, for those of us that are deciding that we do want to do these kind of customer insights, how often should we be collecting that kind of data from our clients?
Melissa: Yeah, I would say I would recommend having one-to-one conversations every six to 12 months, because especially when there’s changes in the market at large. Right? You know, right now the whole, the big thing is like recession. Like people are, you know, a little bit more hesitant about spending their money.
They’re slower to buy when you may have. Six leads coming in six months ago, and now you’ve got one or two. And nothing has changed on your end. Your B the buyer has changed cuz of what’s just happening in the world, right? So when you have these conversations with your customers every six months, let’s say, you’re able to pick up on some of those.
Things, right? You start to notice, okay, last time I did this, my customers were saying this. Now they’re saying this. This is something I need to be addressing in my Instagram content, for example. And, and just recognizing where your people are at today. and I think also not just gathering the information.
Colie: the one thing that you just said, Melissa, that I realize we haven’t really talked about this whole time, mostly because I hate it, but it’s social media. I mean, I was saying, you know, changing the messaging in your emails, changing the messaging in your marketing, but the truth is, I think a lot of photo.
And maybe a lot of business people are really focused on what to do inside of their social media. And so I do wanna say doing this kind of customer insight research really does give you a lot of content to share with your audience. I mean, you can share it in the form of testimonials or transformations or basically, , anything that your client says that has you nodding and like, yeah, that’s really good.
Uh, that should go on your social media. . It should go somewhere, whether or not it’s in your stories, whether or not you’re talking about the process of working with the client or you have a carousel of their images and you tell it as part of the caption. All of these things are really good and they’re really helpful.
If you are someone who struggles with creating content for your social.
Melissa: and that’s something that a lot of my clients do, is they use this customer insights report that I create for them as inspiration when they’re not sure what to say. You know, it’s kind of like that you’re sitting, sitting at a computer, you’re looking at a blank screen. You’re like, I need to write some Instagram posts.
I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to talk about on stories. Having this document that you can open up and just read through of like, oh yeah, this is a really good idea. Oh, this, this quote, this phrase is awesome. I can like use that as like my hook, like my first line, and then spin off it from there.
You know, it’s like a never ending inspiration source, for a writing social media content.
Colie: I mean, and all of us hate writing social media content. I will admit that at the time of this recording, I have all but pulled myself off of my social media content creation. I have handed that off to my wonderful virtual assistant. She’s awesome. So almost anything that you currently see on Instagram was not created by me.
It wasn’t even really. Curated by me. I just, you know, she’s taking the, the good tidbits from the podcast and basically repurposing them. What would you suggest for someone who doesn’t have a lot of customers yet, because that is one of the things that people say is that, well, you know, Colie, but like, Or like for example, I know that you’re working with people who might be creating courses, so they don’t actually have actual students for you to, interview yet.
So what do you say if people don’t have like a big pool of previous customers to actually interview?
Melissa: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. So first I would recommend making a list of, or, or maybe you already have an ideal client profile, right? This is the type of client I want to work with. And then think, you know, who in my network, uh, Matches that profile. Or you know, let’s say my friend Colie knows someone who matches that profile.
I can say, Hey Colie, can you go introduce me to this person? Right? So it doesn’t necessarily have to be a client, it just has to be someone who is similar to the type of people that you want to serve in the future. The other thing I recommend is looking through your. Inquiry form, you know, to see people who were interested in your services, but they didn’t book because that can do two things.
One is it gives you a whole pool of people who have shown some interests, who didn’t become clients that you can talk to. But then it also helps you figure out like, okay, I didn’t realize this person actually didn’t buy cuz they were confused about this. Thing, and I just need to be clear about that. Or this person decided not to book because the timing just wasn’t right, because of this thing going on in their life, you know?
And that’s something else I can speak to in my, my content and my copy.
Colie: Yeah, Melissa. So one of the suggestions that you gave me when we did our customer research was you asked me if there had any, if there was anyone that like I was communicating with on like Instagram or in emails or someone that I knew could use my service, but for some reason hadn’t booked me. So you did one interview like that.
And if I ever do another like big set of custom. Research interviews, again, I think I’m gonna include more than one. Like maybe someone who actually inquired about a v i P day or a couple of people who like posted on a, on a social media post about the course because. Listening to why that one person in particular didn’t hire me, did give me a lot of insight, and whether or not that insight was specific to her, or if it spoke to like a bigger part of my audience that I’m just not aware of was super insightful.
So I do really think that that’s a great idea for those people who don’t have enough. People to interview who have been previous clients. And I feel like, guys, I should tell you now, Melissa ended up doing nine interviews for me. So she did, I think it was six people that did v i p days, no, five people that did v i p days.
Three people who had done my course first and then upgraded, and then two people who only did the course, and then the one person who had never bought for me. So that was like the break. of where the people in my particular research report came.
Melissa: Yeah. You know, I think it’s, especially if you have multiple revenue streams, you have multiple services, you know, or you have a service and a course, it’s important to talk with at least three people. For each of those. Revenue streams, right? Because if you talk to less than that, you’re not gonna have enough information, enough data to make sure that you know, is this an out, is this insight an outlier or is it true?
You know, for lots of people, you’re not gonna find those trends. I also recommend that. Any more than seven interviews with one particular audience is just too many. Cuz at that point it’s, you know, the law of diminishing returns, you’re not likely to hear anything new. And so I usually do three to five interviews per service or per revenue stream.
Colie: Mm. . So Melissa, if someone is not quite ready to hire this out, cuz guys, the thing is, I actually was already conducting these one-on-one Zoom interviews with my previous students and with my previous v I P day clients. I was doing it to improve my services, but I was also mostly doing it to get testimonials.
I’ll just admit that upfront. But one of the reasons that I hired Melissa was because I had this ink. that my people might tell her something that they didn’t tell me, and it wasn’t that, you know, they didn’t wanna give me a grade or anything like that. I just honestly felt like if one of my clients assumed that I already knew something, that they weren’t gonna actually say it out loud because I already know that part of the story.
And so that’s not really important to communicate to me. And so that was like my main justification in hiring Melissa to do this research. But if someone is not ready, like they don’t have enough clients, they’re not at that income level yet. If someone is ready to jump into this, but they’re not ready to hire a professional, what are like two tips that you can give someone today so that they can start this process?
Melissa: Yeah. You know, I would say the first thing I would do is to look at the data that you already have available to you, whether that is recorded sales calls, as we mentioned earlier, or honest. Even like your testimonials, right? You know, if you do have a bunch of Google reviews or people leaving comments on your Instagram post, you can still go through and start to find those common expressions, those common phrases, you know, those, stories or examples that are like, ah, yeah, this would make a really, you know, intriguing, captivating, Instagram story, for example.
And then the other thing I would recommend is after you finish your work with your client to set up just even a 20 minute call to talk through how did things go, you know, how did you feel about this part of the process? Right? Because it’s maybe less, quote unquote, formal than like a traditional customer interview, but you’re still giving an opportunity.
Feedback from your customers when it’s still fresh in their mind. And as you mentioned, Coley, not only can it help you improve your, your messaging and marketing, but it can help you improve your services and your customer experience too, right? Because that also, your, your service itself is something that can directly lead to people referring you to others, which leads to you getting inquiries in sales, right?
It’s kind of this big package that’s interconnected,
Colie: Absolutely, and actually you just reminded me. For those of us that are performing a service and you’re doing off-boarding calls, you don’t even need to schedule it separately. I will say, and guys, you should hit record the moment that they enter the room because three times now my clients have said absolute gems, where that would have been the perfect thing to clip and put as a video testimonial on my website, only for me to realize I hadn’t hit record yet.
So please take it from me guys, like the moment that your client enters the Zoom room to do your offboarding call, hit record. Hit record in. Because when you’re getting on the offboarding call, your clients are so excited about what you’ve just done. I mean, they start thanking you. They start telling you what they loved, even without you having to ask the question.
But then of course, as Melissa said earlier, there is the perfect opportunity for you to ask a follow-up question after they have ranted about how awesome you. and guys, Coley’s tip number two. If you decide to do this during your offboarding call, do not interrupt them. , there were a few times like, I’m literally like smiling very wide, but I’m like biting my lips so that I don’t open my mouth and like ruin their stream of consciousness while they’re telling me how awesome I am.
So don’t do that.
Melissa: Yes. That’s always the hardest part, you know, and I think something that you actually told me, Coley, is that, cause I’m not as tech savvy as you are, is that it’s possible to save Zoom meetings in particular as two different audio or video files, right? So you and your client or whoever you’re talking to will be separate.
And so then that way it’s easier to go back, go back and pull out just that clip, you know, with the speaker’s voice and not your voice like laughing or getting excited at the same time.
Colie: Yeah, I don’t know if you can actually record the separate video, but you can definitely do separate audio in Zoom. For this podcast. I’m using Riverside, which is actually what I use for my client interviews now because it did. It does save each video separately, each audio separately, and then also you can download a combined one.
So that is one thing that I have found to be very. For the podcast, but also for like client interviews in general so that if they say something amazing, I can just go to their one video and there’s no chance that me giggling and saying, oh, thank you, thank you. In the background, is going to be inside of that testimonial.
So yeah, it is. Great. So Melissa, I think we’ve come to the end. Do you want to tell the listening audience where they can find you on the internet?
Melissa: Yeah, you can connect with me on Instagram at Melissa Hartstine Creative. Be sure to send me a DM and say hello so that I can get to know you. I’m definitely a relationship person and I love just getting to know new people. You can also find me on my firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are listening to this episode and you’re thinking you.
I could use help with this. You know, there are some gaps in my messaging. There’s, I just, I feel like there’s something that’s disconnecting between what I’m saying and what my audience is actually needing. I’d love to just chat with you about how I can help you, find and close those gaps and help you communicate in a way that your audience is just gonna eat it up and they’re gonna love you and be so excited to work with you.
So again, you can connect with me on Instagram at Melissa Hartstein Creative, or my website, which is melissa hartstein dot.
Colie: And also guys, she is on my website, on the resources page under the headline. People I pay to do shit for me. She is on there . So Melissa, thank you so much for joining me this morning. I really appreciate it. And everyone, that’s it for this episode. See you next time.