AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there! Amy Porterfield here and welcome to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast! Today's session is going to rock your world, and I'm beyond excited to introduce my special guest, Marie Forleo.
Before I bring her on, I need to set the scene with you. Marie is a highly successful online marketer and entrepreneur, a bestselling author, and founder of a wildly popular, award-winning, weekly online show, Marie TV.
A born and raised Jersey girl with nothing more than passion, a laptop and a dream, Marie's created a multi-million dollar socially conscious empire from scratch! Oprah– yeah, that Oprah!–recently interviewed Marie on Super Soul Sunday, calling her a thought leader for the next generation.
In addition to all that greatness, I also need to add that my own online business success can be directly traced back to this woman. She's been my mentor and friend for many years now and has truly made a massive impact on my journey from working with Tony Robbins to actually venturing out to start my own business.
Since working with Marie, I've experienced success beyond what I ever could imagine, and I'm forever grateful. Since I've experienced first-hand just how wicked smart this woman is, I knew I had to have her on the show.
So today, Marie is going to share her own success story with us, and we're going to tap into some of her invaluable tips and strategies to help take your online business to the next level. Marie, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today!
Marie: Oh, Amy, I love you to pieces! It's an honor to be here. Thanks for having me on.
Amy: Thank you so, so much! Now, let's jump in, and I know this is a completely loaded question, but I would love for you to share with us how you got your start and ultimately what it is that you do in your business.
Marie: Sure. I'll try to keep it as brief as possible. You know, when I graduated from college, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I knew I was very, very creative and very artistic but I also had this passion for business. So my first gig was on the New York Stock Exchange–on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and the only thing I loved about that was the fact that there were no seats. So literally, you could not sit down. And it was CRAZY. I'm a person who has a lot of energy, and I knew that I couldn't really handle a desk job.
But while I could make a ton of money there and I saw my bosses and how much wealth they had, inside me something felt like it was dying. There was this little voice inside that said “you're meant for something more.” Even though I had no idea what that something more was, and I'll bet many people can relate to that. When you're in a particular position and it's good and you've got a steady paycheck, but something about it is not right.
So I went on a bit of an odyssey to try and find my path. I always was sure that I was meant to make a difference in the world, but I just didn't know how that was going to come about. And so I bounced around a little bit and I worked in publishing for a little while. I worked in the ad sales department at Gourmet Magazine, thinking that maybe was the blend of business and art that I wanted.
You know, it was less business than the New York Stock Exchange, because it was the magazine world. But I'll tell you, it was after maybe about six months, I realized, I looked kind of ahead at the path, I saw my bosses and the publisher, and I realized I didn't want to become them. And I thought “Well, gosh, if I don't want to climb this corporate ladder, this certainly isn't it. I've got to keep searching.”
So my internal conversation went “Well, maybe I'm still a little too heavy in the business sector.” When I was a small child, I thought I wanted to be a fine artist, so all of my life, all I used to do was draw and paint. I thought I wanted to be a Disney animator or fashion designer. So I thought “Well, maybe I should try the editorial side of magazine publishing, maybe that's going to be that right blend.”
And so I got a gig at Mademoiselle Magazine, which was amazing! But really soon, it was like six months into that job–I, again, was grateful to have the work, but I could not ignore that small voice inside me that said “this isn't it, either.” You know, I didn't want to be the editor in chief of a magazine. It's just not what I wanted.
Thankfully, I stumbled upon this article about a new profession at the time, which was called life coaching. And again, this was back in the late 1990s, early 2000s, and it was kind of new then. And I'll tell you, Amy, something in me just LIT UP. It was the first time that I ever felt like “Oh my goodness, THIS is something I want to do!” I thought it sounded a little bit cheesy, but, as someone who's always been obsessed with human psychology and human behavior and human potential, it felt really exciting.
So, I signed up for a three-year life coach and business training course, and I still worked at Mademoiselle during the day. I was actually pretty savvy at that point. I don't know how I figured this out, Amy, but I actually got [inaudible] to fund part of my coach training. You know, as I kind of somehow made this pitch that it was going to help me be a better editor or a better something.
Anyway, fast forward about six months and I got a job offer for Vogue Magazine, which, as you know as a woman, it's the queen bee of fashion magazines. I really felt myself, like, I was at this impasse. I was either going to go and kind of rise the corporate ladder, and go for this job at Vogue, or I was going to go do this crazy life coaching thing, that I had been so enjoying my training, I was so into it, but again it felt just out there and weird. And my parents had spent all this money on my education and here I was, going to just leave all that behind and do some weird thing that no one ever heard of.
Well, of course, I quit my job, and decided to become an entrepreneur and that was the beginning of my journey. That's when I first had to really understand and start learning about direct response marketing. I bartended at night–I lived in New York City, I was not willing to kind of downgrade my lifestyle, I still wanted to be able to have nice dinners and have cute shoes! So I worked my buns off at night and did tons of odd jobs while I figured out how to grow my business during the day.
That's really how I got my start, and I was completely immersing myself in the world of direct response marketing and, at the same time, really understanding the fundamentals of personal development and business development and what it really takes to lead an extraordinary life.
Amy: Wow! I mean, most people when they hear that story they're thinking “Holy cow, you took a lot of risks along the way.” That took a lot of guts!
Marie: Yeah. I mean, it was scary, but also–I always, when I talk about this…it was also indicative of my life stage. Here's what I mean by that: I was 22-23 years old, I didn't have a mortgage, I didn't have a family. You know what I mean? I definitely had a lot of credit card debt from college and all that kind of stuff, but it was at that point in my life where I didn't care, really, if I ate ramen noodles every day, because that's what I had to do because I didn't have much other money. You know what I mean? I was funneling it into my business.
So for me, for that life stage, it was OK to take a lot of risk. And in all honesty? I think it's okay for people to take risk at any age. What was the most painful thing for me, Amy, was not following my truth. Every time I was working for someone else, I felt like a little part of me was dying. That was the thing that I needed to listen to the most.
Once I kind of got my feet wet and got some traction and started getting some clients, I really discovered how much I loved marketing, and I actually discovered how much I loved a lot of other things, and that's kind of when I became what I now coin the phrase “a multi-passionate entrepreneur.”
One of my earliest struggles was liking too many things. Because I loved business, I loved writing, I loved marketing, I loved spirituality, I loved personal development, and I also loved hip-hop and dance fitness. And I felt schizophrenic, because, you know, in your early 20s you're trying to figure out how to get it right, and I kept feeling like time was slipping through my fingers, and everywhere I looked, every time I read a book or would go to an expert, I would hear the same message, which was narrow down, choose one thing, get really good at it, become known for it, and when I tried to follow that conventional wisdom, I felt like I was cutting off a limb.
At that point in my life–and you know, if I had chosen coaching, I was like “But what about dance and fitness?” If I chose spirituality, I'm liked “But I’m not that woo-woo!” You know? Like, every time I tried to just try to choose one thing, it didn't work.
And that's when I had a big breakthrough and I realized, you know what? I'm not going to choose one thing. I'm going to give myself permission, at least for a certain amount of time, to pursue all of my passions and actually discover my truth from engaging in it, rather than trying to sit back and logically choose one from my mind.
And I'll tell you, Amy, that changed everything. I wound up doing a lot in the health and fitness field, I have four top-selling fitness DVDs.
They're like dance-based fitness DVDs with Women's Health and Prevention Magazine and Crunch Fitness and a couple of other folks. I was a Nike elite athlete–that was one of the BEST gigs I could ever have dreamed of. Got to travel around the world with Nike and teach people dance, from Dubai to Europe, all across the United States. It was absolutely amazing!
And all of the rest of the time, I was still growing my personal coaching business. I had clients and was using and leveraging the beauty of the Internet to do all of this stuff. So it was really, really awesome, and the best part was, I got to test out all of my theories and the things I was learning about marketing on not just my personal coaching business, but also in the dance world. You know, selling out dance workshops and doing things like that, so it was really, really fun.
Amy: I remember hearing a story you were talking about when you were bartending, and when you were bartending, you would tell people “Yeah, did you get on my email list?” So you were bartending, growing your email list, and doing ALL of this other stuff, and it all kind of fed into each other, which I love!
Marie: Yeah! And you know, that was the thing. Because, you know, when you're doing stuff on the side to grow your business, when people are always like “Oh, I don't have the money, I can't do this,” I'm like “Look, you need to hustle! Have side jobs, weekend jobs, evening jobs, morning jobs. And whenever someone at the bar wasn't talking to me about the food I was serving them or what kind of wine they wanted, they would always ask me “What else do you do?” I would get them on my email list. I did not care, I just knew the value that that email list was going to give to me.
And even when I booked gigs to create and produce dance DVDs, you know, I was an unknown talent at that time, and so I didn't have a lot of negotiating room. But what I did negotiate for was to put my website on the back of every one of those DVDs, because I knew that if someone liked my energy working out with me, they would be interested enough to go check me out. And if they'd be interested enough to go check me out, and I did a good job on my website, I could turn them into a raving fan and hopefully have them as a customer for my other things.
Amy: Yes! Definitely. Do you remember when we first met, one of the biggest gifts you gave for me–and I think a lot of people can learn from this lesson you gave me– remember, I wanted to quit my job with Tony Robbins?
Amy: And what you said to me? Because I was ready to jump ship without a plan, without knowing what the heck I was going to do, I was ready to jump ship. But do you remember what you told me?
Marie: Not specifically. I know the roundabout, but I'd love to hear it from you, yeah.
Amy: Well, basically when you said, you know, “There's no need that you can't still stay with your day job and do the best job that you can do, show up every day, do the best for Tony, be there, be present, go pro,” which is my favorite thing you said, and we'll get into that. But also, “at night and in the morning you can start building your business and working on other things.”
So, it didn't have to be so black and white, which is what you're saying here with your own life experience. You didn't have–I didn't just have to choose one right there. Because it wasn't the right time for me to quit. And that was such a gift you gave me.
Marie: Yeah. Well, I mean, for you, and especially for your situation at the time, I could feel in your heart and just based on working with you, it was going to create such emotional, financial, intellectual stress for you to just jump ship and not have anything else, and have to build everything fast.
I do want to make this one point though, Amy. And I think this is really, really crucial. It's one of those subtle distinctions–each of us has our own level of risk averseness. You know, how averse we are to risk. So as I said, for me, I didn't–I hate to have financial pressure. And as a life coach at that time, the last thing I wanted was to be desperate for clients. I felt like people can smell that a mile away.
So I wanted to have other income streams fueling me, so that when I actually was starting to work with clients, I was doing it because they were the right fit, you know, it was–they felt like I didn't need to have them as a client, I wasn't struggling to keep them, and it kept things really clean.
Now, there are OTHER people who I've met–because I've worked with thousands and thousands of business owners–who based on their DNA makeup, the only way that they're going to succeed is if they DO burn all the bridges. You know what I mean? They're those people that they have to quit the job and have nothing else, because based on who they are, and their risk averseness, the only way they're going to get their ass in gear is if they have no other choices.
So I think one of the most important things, and the reason why I–you know, your– the advice I gave to you worked, was because you and I share a similar, you know what I mean, type of makeup in that sense, and I could feel it based on everything else you shared with me. But I think it's so important for people to understand their own risk averseness, and you can just do that by imagining.
Just imagine–how would it feel to have no money coming in? If part of you lights up and is like “YES! I want to do that!” And–you know what I mean?–and you can do it based on what your other obligations are? Awesome! But if a part of you shrinks and feels like you wouldn't be able to tap into your highest creativity, that it would cause stress for you at home, then you might want to do what Amy and I did, and look for a way to have a blend. Look for a way to have some side income streams or your current job and just hustle your ass off and start building your dream business on the side.
Amy: That leads so much into my next question I have for you, because a lot of those listening are either just starting out or maybe they've been at their business for a while, but they're struggling with self-doubt as they work on building their own business. And I think we all can relate, whether we're taking big risks, or we're blending things together so there's not HUGE risk, there's always that lack of confidence or self-doubt that creeps in.
Tell me, how do you quiet down all those nagging, self-doubt thoughts that are in the back of your mind when you're actually going for this big goal or building your business?
Marie: SUCH a great question! Well, I think you said it so right, Amy. EVERYBODY has self-doubt, no matter what stage of the game you're at. Here's something I reeeeally want to drive home: self-doubt is a normal part of our human existence and it does not go away the more successful you get. Yes, you may not spend as much time there, but it never ever goes away. The only time it's going to go away is when you're dead. And even that, I don't know because I haven't talked to anyone who's dead.
So, there are effective strategies, though, that you can use to manage the self-doubt so that it doesn't consume you or doesn't stop you from moving ahead. And this is one of my favorites, and it is one of the most easy to implement. So it's based on this principle.
The principle goes like this: No two things can occupy the same space at the same time. So what does that mean? That means at any given moment, you're either being of service, and you're working on your business–so you're in creation mode, whether you're producing content, you're answering questions, you're sending invoices, you're marketing, or you're doing the actual work of your business.
OR you're disengaged and you're judging yourself, you're evaluating what you're doing, in other words you're indulging in self-doubt. Just think about that for a minute–no two things can occupy the same space at the same time. So any given moment of your day, you're in either one zone or the other. And so the best way to effectively train yourself to not indulge in self doubt is to stay engaged in the present moment and actually creating the work that needs to be done for your business.
So this is much like it's a practice, it's a muscle like what happens when you go to the gym. You know, if you haven't worked out in a while, and you start lifting weights, you're going to get fatigued really soon, right? You're going to be sore, you're going to be like “Oh my god! I need to get in better shape.” But if you keep going back to the gym, all of the sudden within a week or two, you start getting strong, your stamina and your strength starts to build and all of the sudden you have this level of fitness that you didn't have before.
It is the same exact thing with not indulging in self-doubt. It's something that you can strengthen over time, and the name of the game is to just catch yourself as you're doing it, and back, back out. So it's kind of like binge eating. I don't know if anyone is listening right now, has ever found themselves in some comatose state where you're on the couch and your hand is at the bottom of the bag of Doritos and you're like “WTF? How did this happen??” Right?
Amy: Ha, ha! Yeah!
Marie: “How did I get here?” It's the same thing. Like if you could bring awareness to what triggered you to go up and get that bag of Doritos, then you start to have some control over it, and not go here. Same thing with self-doubt.
And, actually, if it's OK. I know that this is such a big issue, it's something that we talk about a lot…I actually have nine other articles and videos that deal with all different little facets of fear and self-doubt. And if you want to, we can share some links with folks, you know, underneath this episode.
Amy: Oh! That would be GREAT. I'll put all the links in my show notes, so if you go to amyporterfield.com/3–just the number 3–we'll put all the links there. Because that's SO true! We have–you have so much more to share about each of these topics I want to ask you about, so that would be a great resource! Thanks for that!
Marie: Awesome. You got it!
Amy: Great. Okay, so here's the deal. We tackled the self-doubt, but another thing that I think comes up for a lot of the people I work with is the struggle to find their own voice. It kind of–the self-doubt plays a part, but also finding your own voice and creating your own brand without copying all of their mentors, the people they've learn from. Because it's difficult–I don't know if you can experience this, but it's difficult to find your own voice in a sea of SO many examples online.
Marie: OH my God! Yes!
Amy: Okay, good! So I'm not crazy in thinking this! It's just not me, hopefully!
Amy: So what advice do you have for those people that are really struggling to find their own voice, and they don't want to copy everybody else out there?
Marie: Yeah. I mean, this is huge, Amy. And once again, I just want to shed some light on this. I know a lot of amazing writers and creators, I've had such an honor to meet many of them in person and to have personal conversations, and I will tell you–and I'll share this from my own truth, as well–EVERYBODY struggles with this!
One of the challenges–and this is based in science! I mean, our little mushy grey brains, right? We have those things called mirror neurons, and mirror neurons are something that all human beings have that allows us to be empathetic towards others, but one of the things that mirror
neurons do is we start to mimic people around us, and oftentimes we do that unwittingly. We don't even KNOW it’s happening! It's one of the ways that we relate to people.
And I've seen this is so true! If you start getting into someone's material, you're reading all of their books or their blog posts or watching their videos, you almost start to absorb, like a sponge, their language and way of seeing in the world. And it's not even that you're trying to copy them! It just starts to happen.
So I know that this is something that SO many of us deal with, so if you find yourself embarrassed about this, struggling with it, know that you're not alone!
And the other thing to realize is that most ideas are already out there and have been around for a long time. So don't beat yourself up too much about having to find something new to say always. It's great to find new things to say, and when it happens it's awesome. But what's more important is how you say it. And this is a great challenge for all of us, to be creative! Oftentimes, when someone says something one way, our brains go “Oh my God! They said it so perfect! It's the only way it can be said!” But that's not true!
So one strategy you can try right now–and this is a brain exercise, and also really great creative workout–is to challenge yourself to express one idea at least 5 different ways. So what this will do, will build the skill that you need to start to create content that's in your own voice.
You can try this–you can pick one idea or some universal truth, and say it a bunch of different ways. So one example I always like to use is, you know, the basic general concept is “You can't control the way things are going to happen,” right? In life, generally, you can't control the way things are going to happen.
There's tons of different ways to say that. You can say “Well, that's the way the cookie crumbles!” Or “Everything happens for a reason.” Or, “Deal with it!” if you've got more of a tough voice. You could say “You can't win them all!” Or, of course, one of my favorites: “Que sera sera!” which is a great little song.
So those were lots of different ways to say the same thing, but they all have a unique tone and a slightly different energy. So that's just one strategy that's really, really helpful for you to use if you find yourself getting sucked into someone else's voice, or if you feel like you're being a LITTLE bit of a copy-cat.
Amy: If you find your voice and you use some of these techniques to really find your unique voice and you start to develop your brand, the next thing that tends to become a challenge, or something that you need to overcome is finding out who your ideal audience is. Because now you've got this brand and your voice and you're ready to go out there, but then who is your ideal audience? And how do you really figure that out without just guessing? A lot of people just think they know who it is, but they've never really done any work to find out who their ideal audience is. Do you have any tips for that?
Marie: Yes. And this one is as simple and as straightforward as it gets, but it requires some courage. This is all about talking with people and actually engaging with them, and getting out from behind your laptop, picking up a phone or actually meeting with people in person. Or, if you're still behind your laptop, having real one-on-one- conversations whether it's GChat or it's through email or through Skype or whatever. So it's about doing the work.
Most of us–and here's the mistake that we make that most people don't realize–we stretch this out over months or years, rather than just going balls to the wall, lining up as many people as we can, even if we're doing pro bono work, simply to get a lot of experience in a short amount of time.
So for example, let's say you take the slow route, or the typical route, which is most people do, to finding who your ideal clients are. Let's say you maybe work with four clients a month–and I think that's being a little generous–and after 3 months you've only experienced 12 people. Not that many people, right?
Now, if you challenged yourself and really stretched outside your comfort zone to go for, let's say, six clients a week, or even more, by the end of the month you'd have 24 or more different experiences. You'd have a hell of a lot more research to draw upon. You would know pretty quickly what type of people you are best meant to serve, who you can best serve, meaning who your skillsets match up for what their challenge or issues are.
And, of course, the kind of psychographic like, you know, what are their personality types? What are some of the other, more refined, deeper levels of their psychology, who they are as a human behind, that you just find works really well.
So, the bottom line here is that experience is the best teacher, but don't stretch it out. Do whatever it takes to get your buns out there and do the work with real people as fast as you can.
Amy: It's usually painful for people, and I don't know why–I guess I experienced it in the beginning–where it's a little painful to go out there and talk to people and ask about all of this, but it's almost like ripping the Band-Aid off. Like, just get it over with! Find out who your audience is, and then move on and start creating and doing the fun stuff! But it's not necessarily the most sexy part of the business, because it's uncomfortable at times, but rip that Band-Aid off, get it over with, I love that advice.
Marie: Awesome! And one more thing just to ad to that real fast, keep it positioned rather on, you're trying to find out your ideal client–keep your positioning that you're helping people. Most of us actually really like to help people solve problems.
Marie: So if you stay focused on, hey, how can I help these folks? Even if you wind up figuring out that they're not your ideal clients and you wouldn't want to work with them long term, how can you just put yourself in this place of service? And you'll wind up feeling great about the interactions rather than being scared of them.
Amy: Position it as helping people and it just changes the whole mindset around it anyway.
Amy: And, you know, that is such a great–you're just leading me my next question. I just love it! Because it's all about content creation. Talk about helping people! This is the best way to do so.
But here's the deal–you truly are a MASTER at consistently creating amazing content! And with Marie TV–and I'll link to your show in the show notes, because it's pretty much something I'm obsessed with! I've never, ever missed an episode. So I've just got to give you credit for that show.
But I have to say, a lot of us struggle, and I have definitely been down this road, with consistent content creation. It's one thing to create content! But you're doing it week
after week after week. And I thought, could you share with us some strategies to help us streamline that whole process so it's not so overwhelming or painful at times?
Marie: Yeah, absolutely! Content creation, for all of us, is one of the big kind of frogs to eat, I think, in the modern time of doing business, and doing business online. We all have to be content creators. It's just part of the game.
So here's two things that we do that I think would help, and also we have an episode about writing better content faster, so I know we'll include a link to that below in the show notes as well.
Marie: So the first thing that we do, is we have a massive database of questions that people ask us. So there's one place that, if I get a question or people write in questions, or we have a little Google form on our site for people to submit questions, it's the one place where all of those questions live. And it's amazing, Amy, how easy it is then to just take a look at those questions and come up with ideas for your own content.
So even, you know–a lot of our content is in the form of Q&A Tuesdays, where I answer a reader question. But even if you don't want to do a Q&A format, just looking at what people ask you about is going to highlight the issues that people are struggling with, and if you know what people are struggling with, then you're going to be able to address those concerns, and they're going to be the EXACT pieces of content that people want to write about.
One of the things that we always hear, Amy–and I love it when I hear this because I'm like, oh my god! You know, it feels like you were reading my mind! I had that question! I’m like “Well, I’m not making these things up! This is what you all are telling me!” So, you know, it's really really good like that, but it's–you know, if you just carry around a little notepad or you do it on your mobile or you have it on your iPad or something, as long as you have one place and it's not just on all these scattered pieces of paper, that you always collect questions, it's a great way to have an ongoing bank of content ideas.
And the second thing that we do, and this took me a LOOOONG time to figure out, so if I can save you some time in your learning curve, this would be awesome. We utilize something called batching.
Batching is when you don't just create content sporadically here and there. We actually dedicate time to creating content.
Now, when we shoot Marie TV, we take a minimum of two days. It's usually, actually, if I step back and think about it a little more. It's probably in total like three to four days to create, you know, anywhere from ten to fourteen episodes at once.
Most of us–and this is what I did for years, so I'm not making anyone wrong. I am not Moses coming down from the mountain! I just used to do it in a way that sucked for me? And now I've seen the light, so I'd like to share that light with you! I used to do content and it would just be that race of “I have to publish something! What am I going to write about? Blahblahblahblahblah.” And it would just become this stress- based MESS.
And once I got ahead of myself and realized “You know, I can sit down and think about this and be in content creation mode for two or three days where I shut out the rest of the world.” I give myself the opportunity to create my best work!
You know, to have ideas, to research, to…you know what I mean? To look around and really say “do I want to talk about this?” Is this something that people want to hear about?
And then it's done for a period of time! Then it's like–we have everything created, and you know, we put it in the schedule, so we know exactly when those next two or three days come up, which it's like “Okay, cool, we're going to just be all in and we're going to create at one time.”
So when I first started out, it wasn't twelve at one time, it was four at one time. Again, fitness analogy–don't kill yourself trying to do too much at once. Start lifting the small weights. See if you can get three or four articles or videos or whatever out at one time. And then as you build your stamina and your ability to write gets faster, you're going to be able to increase.
Amy: You know, two things that you said that I wanted to point out, that it was you know, it wasn't 14 [episodes] in the beginning, maybe it was 3, 4, 5 in the beginning. And you have this great video I'm going to link to where you showed the progress of Marie TV and how it started in your living room, and you didn't start it in this amazing studio where you're batching 14 videos in a few days kind of thing.”
Amy: So I've got a link to that, because it was inspiring to me because I've upped my video game over the last year, but it's nowhere near where yours is, but it's great to aspire to. So I've got to do that.
And another thing I want to say is, I met you in New York not too long ago, we went out to dinner, maybe it was like 6 months ago, but I remember thinking “Aren't you so stressed out? Don't you have tons of videos to do?” Because you were getting ready to leave New York and go to California for a while.
Amy: And you were like “Oh no! I already have 3 months in the can!” And I was BLOWN AWAY. But it creates so much less stress. I think we all find these crazy ways to create stress in our life that is completely not necessary if we plan ahead, so that was a huge eye opener for me.
Marie: Yeah. And we'll all get there. I'm always refining. One of the things I love in life is to constantly look at where I’m not doing so great, and where I’m not being generous, where I'm not being smart. And not do that to beat myself up, but really to get excited and invested in “How can I be more effective and efficient so I can be of more service and have more fun in my life?” So don't beat yourself up! I spent many, many years like a crazy stress ball. But if you can find one place to start finding leverage and getting a little bit better, you'll find you'll be able to extend that. So start in one place and it'll all work itself out.
Amy: Fantastic! I've one more question for you. When I created this podcast, one of the main focuses I had was to talk about building our email list. Because I learned from Tony Robbins early on that if you don't have a lead list or an email list, genuine people that are interested in your brand, you really don't have a thriving business that you can create profits on an ongoing basis. So one of the talents that you have, I feel, is building a raving audience. And with that, building an active email list. So can you share with us some tips to help our lead generation as we build our business?
Marie: Absolutely! Before going to–I've got three key steps that we can get into, but before that, I want to preface it with having your #1 goal of everything be email list generation–and when I say everything, I don't mean EVERYTHING, everything. But for example, a lot of people design a website that they want to look real pretty, and lead
generation is the last thing on the list when they're thinking about design. Most web designers? Know nothing about building an email list.
So it's really important that no matter what you are going into, especially at the early stages of your business, that you have what I like to call a filter question. And you're asking yourself this–“How is this going to help me build my list?” Or “How is this activity, how can I make this activity help me build my list? Do I need to put an opt-in form somewhere? Do I need to invite people onto something free or give them an extra piece of added value that I make sure I mention?”
People get so caught up in having opportunities for exposure, but they don't think it through to the point where they're really using that filter question, “How is this going to help me build my list?” So if you do that, and you kind of have that–put it on Post-It Notes, put it wherever you need to have it so you're always thinking that way that's
really, really good.
Now let's go into some things that are more tactical.
Step #1–I know this is going to be a repeat and people might hate me for saying it, but it's vital. You got to know exactly who you want on your list. Know who you want on your list. The more specific you can be the better.
For example, saying women is too general. Stay-at-home moms is better. But stay-at- home moms that are starting or growing a home-based business? NOW we're getting somewhere!
So the trick is, to get as specific as you can without going too far. What I mean by that is once you know exactly who you're going for and the types of solutions or services or products that you're providing to them, and you know who those people are, you're going to be able to understand your primary core marketing group, and then look to the side like to the right and left and look for lateral markets that you can also serve. But when you start dominating in one market and you get traction?
That's when you can kind of branch out and go a little broader.
And Amy, as you know–I know we're going to talk about this maybe a little more in a few minutes, but–we take people through a pretty intense experience and B-School to help them drill down to who they can best serve. And that process takes about an hour. So I know we can't go into that here, but the key point is–know who you want on your list. And the more specific you can get, the better.
Amy: Yeah. That process, I know we can't get into it now, but changed my ENTIRE business. So I’m glad you brought that up. It's pretty powerful.
Marie: So step #2 is, then once you know who exactly you're going for, and it's really about getting into their shoes and seeing life through their eyes, make a list of exactly where those folks hang out in mass.
In other words, who is already reaching those people? Right? There's got to be magazines. There's got to be websites. There could be LinkedIn groups, there could be Facebook groups, there could be in-person groups. Just really brainstorm and think about all the people and all the places that those folks are already active.
For example–you know, Oprah was on my little internal vision board for myself for a long time. But not only do I love her and I just think she's amazing, like most of us do, but from a business and strategic standpoint? Oprah reaches all of my people! You know what I mean? Like, she's reaching millions of folks who fall into my ideal market, which is folks who are interested in personal development, spiritually-minded people who want a better life. So I knew for me, I was like “Gosh, if I can add value to her market I can also get in front of a whole group of people that she's already reaching that I can potentially serve.
Anyone who wants to figure out how to turn their passion or their ideas into a profitable business. People that are interested in relationship advice. Or–you know what I mean? Just having an extraordinary life. I knew that I could be a good fit for a lot of them.
And then step #3 is you want to look for ways to add value to their audience. Can you supply a free training? A piece of content? An article, a webinar, maybe you can offer a discount, provide a workshop, or something that'll support that person or that organization AND their audience!
You got to remember that most content creators these days that have big audiences are actively looking for ways to add more value to their people. So you got to be cool, you have to be generous, and you have to give from your heart. That was the way that I got started.
I actually, when I first came out with my book “Make Every Man Want You: How to be So Irresistible You'll Barely Keep From Dating Yourself,” it was an amazing book, but
what I did was, I looked around for people who had large groups of women that were interested in dating and relationship advice. And I said “Hey! You know, I wrote this book, I could give you excerpts, I can do interviews.
How can I add value and support you and your audience greater?” And that's what really helped me get the book out there and now it's in 11 languages.
Amy: Okay. These tips are so priceless, and I love that last one you gave, because you usually don't hear that when we're talking list building. So you kind of put a different spin on it, which I love. And quite honestly, I could eat ALL of these tips up, so I cannot let you go without at least asking you to share a little bit about your signature program, B-School. I know you mentioned it, and people are going to be curious, but can you share a little bit about that program? It's changed my life and it's changed so many other lives that I'd LOVE for you to talk about it.
Marie: Yeah, absolutely. What B-School is, it's–B stands for business, and it's an 8-week online video-based training program that shows you step by step how to build a unique and profitable brand, how to market more effectively, and really turn your online presence into a 24-7 money-making world-changing machine.
So it doesn't matter whether you're selling a product or service, if you're a one-woman show or if you're supported by a team, or if you're a one-man show, you're going to learn skills and strategies to make your business more profitable. Because here's the thing–
You know, when I started it took me over a decade and a lot of expensive mistakes. VERY expensive mistakes, to figure this thing out. And because I didn't fit into a conventional box, like we talked about earlier, I was multi-passionate, I had a lot of personality, and a lot of standard business advice didn't really fit for me.
When I looked around the market, I saw that there were, you know, these programs that taught you specific tactics, but not many people were teaching the core fundamentals of what I like to call modern marketing. And these days, no matter what you sell, you HAVE to understand how to connect and communicate your message properly and how to position yourself and your business for the highest perceived value, and basically use the Internet to drive leads and sales.
So really–and this is the last thing I'll say about it–the core foundation of B-School is how to make you and your messaging, your communication and your business more
powerful, more persuasive and more compelling. And of course, how to use the modern tools of entrepreneurship to do that.
So it's really about the fundamentals of marketing and selling that most people DON'T teach you, that really fuel and are the foundation of all the tools sand the tactics and–you know what I mean? All of the stuff that kind of goes on top of it.
Because you could know everything you want to know about Pinterest, but if you really don't understand applied psychology, which is all marketing is, you're not going to really get the most bang for your buck.
So it's kind of like the thing that all of us need to always master before we go out and do the shiny objects.
Amy: Oh, yeah. I've gone through the program twice and it has exploded my business, so I'm really glad I got the opportunity to have you bring that up here. And if you're interested in learning more about B-School, you can go to amyporterfield.com/marie and I have all the information there.
And as always, all the links we mentioned here will be in the show notes at
So, Marie, thank you SO much for being on the show today! I'm honored to have you here. It was so much fun, and hopefully we'll get to chat again soon.
Marie: Absolutely! Have a great day, everybody. Thanks for having me on, Amy.
Amy: You, too!
So there you have it, I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will talk to you all again soon. Bye for now!