Episode 313: Show Notes
Today on the podcast we are joined by our wonderful friend and all round badass, Sarah Peck. Sarah is the founder of Startup Pregnant, a New York City based company dedicated to documenting women’s leadership. She is a writer, yoga teacher and hosts Startup Pregnant’s weekly podcast too! Her goal is to amplify women’s voices and promote their business through her work and she definitely has one of our favorite brains in the game! We share a lot of her business philosophy and will be using this episode to geek out on some strategies for listening to your audience as a way to help grow your product or service.
This super under-utilized and somewhat simple strategy can help you and your biz so much! By paying closer attention to your audience, you can really improve what you offer and make the direct connection between those paying you and what you provide for them. Quite a straightforward equation, right? This is the second time Sarah is joining us on the Strategy Hour and if you haven’t heard her previous appearance, go back and check it out immediately! It’s Episode 185. Today’s episode’s topic was sparked by a conversation a few days ago when we were chatting to Sarah about business philosophies and implementation. We really believe in these ideas and they are so in-line with our core values that we could not resist having her on to talk all about it! So stayed tuned to hear it all.
Sarah’s Philosophy and Its Roots
Sarah and her team have done something really deliberate at Startup Pregnant. She admits that she is a fan of and naturally gravitates towards thoughtful and methodical work, aiming to build something that lasts. We all see lots of business starting up, trying a few things and fizzling out. Sarah wants to help you avoid this pitfall! The first principle of this is listening to your audience and Sarah also stresses that part of that is getting paid while you do. So how do we accomplish this? Why is it so important? How do get paid on top of collecting information? Well, Sarah’s first step in this direction came when she started her podcast. For her, it was actually, more than anything, a tool for listening, somewhere she could have great conversations and really hear what her target market and tribe were saying. She realized having over one hundred conversations with these people would give her so much opportunity to hear their words and language and she was pretty sure she would have some great ideas for a product or service from just listening to them. As it turned out she started a coaching program, a year-long mastermind and is already getting paid for this! So the order for Sarah is start building community, then offer a paid service and use it as an experiment, collect the data and responses to this to help you shape it in the future. She also says that once you have said something for the twentieth time and are starting to get tired of repeating yourself that is the time to create your course!
The Listening Process and Aggregating Data
Remember businesses exist to solve problems. People need to be willing to pay you for something that solves a problem for them. Without that, it is unlikely you can have a functioning business. Sarah says many people start the development of their offer without taking more time to listen to their potential audience. You can start doing this in small ways, as a side-hustle or something that happens parallel to your other work. From there you can ramp up. For Sarah it starts in her email sequence, in the third or fourth email she sends people, they are offered the opportunity to fill in a Google Form and this simple act provides Sarah with so much useful data and she is also able to reply immediately to them. As she receives these forms she is often surrounded by the words of her people. These can lead her to take one of many steps, it might inspire her to write a blog post or create a podcast episode. She also advises that you do not have to build it all, you do not have start your own podcast, you can start participating in existing communities and listen to what people are saying in these. By providing value and interacting with members of some sort of existing group you have a direct line to a whole shared worldview and potential customer base.
Turning Information into Profit
Sarah offers a few ways you can start converting this collected information into profit for your company. By asking questions and helping people you can very quickly start building relationships and credibility. Survey your friends and family, gauge what things they need and want and what their feelings are about your offers. Start soft pitching, trying out your ideas and taking notes! All of this can happen in real time, while you are starting to sell and the most important idea here is finding where your particular skills overlap with people’s needs. If you always treat your business as an experiment you can continue to tweak and learn, bettering your service or product and thus making it better for customers. Sarah believes your business can always be improved. Finding new ways to market, package and name your offers will be the difference between longevity and falling off the back of the truck. Sarah has had previous businesses and has the startup mentality ingrained in her by now. She also has parents who are scientists so it’s almost like everything is an experiment to her!
Sarah’s Philosophy and Its Roots. [0:04:02.4]
The Listening Process and Aggregating Data. [0:11:15.8]
Turning Information into Profit. [0:19:30.2]
The Natural Progression to Hosting a Mastermind. [0:33:20.6]
Pick Your Audience.
Experiment and Test!