“You can create a strong level of connection with your audience. You can create really bonded true fans who are eager repeat, repeat, raving fans repeat customers, and will tell everyone they know about you. And that's just that community connection. Like that's why it's so important.“
Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.
Tracy: Welcome to The thrive by Design podcast episode 277. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy and the host of the Thrive by Design podcast here today with a very special episode about community building. I was surprised actually, like I interviewed Laura Milne and Betsy Milne. No, they're not related of the Luscious Hustle podcast. And I had a blast with this interview, we had so much fun. And the thing that I really love the most about it is that we talk specifically about how to basically start conversations in direct message on social media and turn those conversations into sales. And you're gonna really love that part about it. We talked about a lot of things. But that is one of the most powerful things it's really about building a community from scratch without having a big budget for ads to grow your audience.
So I think you're gonna really love this episode today. So before I dive in, I want to share something really near and dear to my heart. We are in phase one of intake for our BIPOC scholarship over here at Flourish and Thrive Academy. We're doing a year-long mentorship program. It's a hybrid mentorship and scholarship program where we're going to be working with six designers and makers in the BIPOC community. If you don't know what the BIPOC means, or BIPOC means it means Black Indigenous People of color. And the point behind this is that we really wanted to create more opportunities for people who are trying to get access to coaching and mentorship and capital to grow their businesses. So this is designed perfectly for people who don't have access capital to invest in programs like ours. So if you know someone who is interested in getting support in their business, and they're ambitious and ready to grow, or you are that person, I would love to invite you to apply, head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/bipocmentor you can read all of the details there we are well into intake right now.
So I really encourage you to head on over and fill out that application so that you have an opportunity to win your long mentorship program with us. And also an opportunity to win a $5,000 grant to invest in marketing and or use it as capital to develop a new collection or whatever you want to use it for, for your business development. So sound good head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/bipocmentor and get in on this today. All right, let me do a quick intro of Laura and Betsy Milne. As I mentioned, they are not sisters. They are a transformational business and branding coaches. They have a podcast and they are the creators behind the growing tribe and coaching brand Luscious Hustle.
You're probably thinking that they're sisters, as I mentioned, no, they're not. But it's funny, they actually met online, which is super cool. And they've built this robust community of people who are there with a shared purpose and really all about inspiring creativity and getting business or your business out there, which is awesome. So let's dive into today's episode. All right, well, I have some very special guests on the show today. Laura and Betsy Milne. They are not related, but they have no last name. And they are from Luscious Hustle, which I barely can say.
Betsy: I will tell you a funny story. Even before we dive into this podcast, when we started, we did actually start as a podcast and Laura we were picking a name it was like a very last minute kind of thing, which is typical for us. And she really loved the word luscious. And I actually have a list. And so at the beginning saying we were luscious, living podcast having to do that intro for the first year. It was like constant speech therapy. I could never get it right. And I would have to practice so that I didn't say like, let this hustle. Like just it was really tough for me. So don't worry, I messed it up still, but luscious is a hard word to embody and to say. Yeah,
Tracy: I love it luscious. Okay, so that was Betsy talking and Laura here too. So, first and foremost, we're gonna talk about community building and we're going to talk about Your guys’ careers and how you guys met and all that stuff. But first and foremost, like, how random is it that you had the same last name?
Laura: It's extremely random. It's not a common last name, actually, like, all the mills in the world and there are very few of us like a male who wrote Winnie the Pooh, like we all come from one little, tiny little place in Scotland. But yeah, really, I know, random, but I live in Calgary, Alberta. And Betsy was in like, well, you were in Pennsylvania, but you were kind of back and forth between New York and Pennsylvania when we first met, but literally, I just found her on Instagram and I, I saw her account and I like I just reached out to her a DM slid into her DMS back in 2016. And no one was doing that yet. And I've said like, Hey, I love what you're posting. I love what you're all about, I'd love to connect with you a PS we the same last name that's random. And it truly I mean, we built, we built everything that we have, from me sliding into her DMS and making a connection.
So we went from a DM on Instagram to a phone call to multiple phone calls. And then it was so that was like that would have been the spring of 2016. And then December of 2016. Betsy Ricci was in New York City visiting friends before Christmas, and everyone was talking about Tinder and you know, whatever is going on in their personal lives. And Betsy wanted to be like, I want to talk about websites. I want to talk about branding, I want to talk about, like, what is happening in this weird, wild world of entrepreneurship, and social media, and I want to be having these deeper conversations with women. So she messaged me and said, Hey, I had this crazy idea to want to start a podcast. And I said, Yes. So yeah, absolutely. Bearing in mind, I hadn't, I wasn't even listening to podcast, then I was like, that's the purple app on my iPhone, right? That's that little purple square. That's nice. Let's do that. We had no sweet clue how to do a podcast. But really, and this is a big piece of our success in our businesses. We had a beginner's mindset in spades, like we just went for it.
We had no sweet clue how to do a podcast. But really, and this is a big piece of our success in our businesses. We had beginner's mindset in spades, like we just went for it. So we had that conversation on the phone, like around December 15-16th, something like that, something like that. We were live on iTunes, January 4. So like two weeks later, and we were just newbies, we were so baby at the beginning, but we just kept going and going and going and going. And, you know, there was a theme that emerged very quickly. In the first few months of doing our podcast, everyone we were talking to was a woman who was creative and passionate. And she had something on the side, she had a side hustle. And she either had already left her corporate job and was building the business or was in the process of that somewhere. And we liked talking about the sort of deeper juicy or soulful issues underneath the mechanics of building a brand and a business.
We wanted to talk about the personal development, the spiritual development, all the you know, mindset shifts that you have to go through the way you have to transform as a woman to be successful online and still embody your values. And so that was really then we went from from it being a podcast to being Luscious Hustle the business and doing you know, transformational brand new business coaching. And the rest is history. It all started we built a community. We built all these people, but we had no followers. We had zero. No, we were nobodies online, when we started and then we built a huge community. And it really just was like two people connecting and, and the rest fell out from there. So yeah, we're big on community building. Let's just say that.
Tracy: I love that was I have a quick question for you like Laura, what was it about Betsy's profile that you wanted to like, shoot her DM?
Laura: So back then Betsy was doing health coaching. So she had done I-N and was building her health coaching business. I was actually in network marketing. So like that was like my I call it my gateway drug to entrepreneurship. And the thing too about that was like I connect with her because I just liked the content that she was posting like the vibe and what she was putting out. And that was really the piece of the back and forth conversations that we were having having in the early days before the podcast even happened. It was like, I liked my network marketing, but it wasn't about the product. For me. It wasn't about like I could take or leave it at that point. You know, it was more about like, who you are showing up as online? And what are what problem are you solving for people and like, and that's the deeper conversation. So I very quickly shifted from doing network marketing be like no, I want to talk about the brand. I want to talk about the deeper transformation and the mission and the message that you're on. And that's where Betsy was too. So..
Tracy: That's awesome. So Betsy, we were just talking you guys just interviewed me. We're doing back to back podcast interviews to make it easy on both of our schedules, since we had to reschedule like four or five times due to so many random different things. I'm sure that's he I'm curious, like you come from a product based background and then you turn into a health coach. So tell us a little bit about that journey.
Betsy: Oh, man. Yeah, so I started my first business when I was 24. I had been through art school, it was not doing anything creative. I got my first office job and I hated it. Like office manager was like sucking the life out of me. So I went out to the My sister in California, she was like, let's make t shirts. And I was like, Okay, I'll figure it out. So I used to do hand dyed t shirts for little girls, and I would screen print them myself in my bathroom. And I would put Swarovski crystals on them. And it was like, I thought I was the bee's knees until I had too much inventory.
I didn't know what to do with it. And my sister and I had a bit of a falling out. And so I packed up my stuff. And I went back to New York, that was the summer that The Devil Wears Prada came out. And so my sister and I were like fighting and I was going to the movies by myself, like every other day to watch The Devil Wears Prada. And I wanted to work in New York, I wanted to be in fashion and I had worked at Kate Spade in the pattern room with her pattern maker for a little while, and I was like, I thought it was gonna be a handbag designer, I don't know why. Um, so I got back to New York, and I ended up getting a job manifesting this job in accessories, which I thought was going to be the thing for me for the rest of my life. And not only did I manifest the good, but I manifested the bad. So six months in, I moved to China for six months to start setting up factories.
So I really, like leaned in hard to the production side of things. I was working with designers, I was working with factories, I was working all the aspects of it building million dollar accounts, it was super fun. But what happened was I got really, really burned out. So at the end of my time in New York, I think I was I don't honestly, I say this all the time. And I was like, I don't really know what the right number is anymore. But I was in the city for about 12 years, I want to say. And by the end of it, I was so sick, I had daily migraines, to the point where I was slurring my words in meetings, I was losing chunks of time, it wasn't safe for me to get home at night, like I just was like, really falling apart. And my parents sat me down. I was 35. And they're like, you need to come home, like no question. And I'm like, but I'm VP of a company, like I'm going to take over the business. And it was, you know, all the things that I thought I wanted. And my parents were like, No, no, you're really sick.
So I did, I came home and I moved home. And it's funny because I remember I quit my job. And my bosses didn't believe me, they just thought I was kidding. And I was like I am moving January 1. And they're like, and I was like you need to hire someone, I will train them. I gave them three months notice to say it like I'm going and about two weeks before I left them, like who is taking over my job? And they're like, Oh, are you serious? like nobody got it because I was running the company so seamlessly, like nobody wanted to believe that I was actually walking out the door. And so then they offered me the opportunity to work from home and like just come into the city once a day, once a week. And so I did that for about a year and a half. And in the process of doing that I just realized how sick I was like being around like with my parents having them take care of me. I was like holy crap, it's really bad. And so I signed up for health coaching, like it was like a random webinar that popped up. And it wasn't, I didn't do it to start a business per se, it was more if I can heal myself, then maybe I can heal other people and do this work. But health coaching was never going to be my thing.
It really was, for me the health coaching certification. But it did open the door to understanding what it meant to be a coach. I've gone on and got my life coaching certification, but the conversations that have always led me up are business related. And you know, coming from a production based background understanding retail, I was in retail for 10 years before that, in customer service, like I worked at Disney when I was in my early 20s. I don't know it just to me business and how business tips. I always wanted to be a CEO, I always expected to run a company. And so now getting to help women build their businesses like To me that is the work like it gets me so excited. But yeah, it's been a long journey to get here to say the least.
Tracy: And I think that's how a lot of great businesses kind of evolve is around like you kind of hitting this, I'm gonna say Crossroads or like a place where you're like, I need to make a change, or also something x is going to give or whatever. So it's nice to hear that that journey from you. So thanks for sharing. Now, I want to hear a little bit more about your network marketing background, like what were you selling?
Laura: Oh, I was selling like health products like supplements and like shakes and things. And you know, it was really one of those things that I got hooked on I probably the same way that everyone does. I was like,
Laura: Your downline ?
Lacey: 100% Plus, I find that product based businesses in particular get confused about what they're like, What am I supposed to post other than pictures of the product? Like, what am I supposed to talk about? Right? So the way to make a cohesive story for your brand through your content is really to think about it as a journey, right? You're taking people on a journey from not knowing anything about you to being your raving fan, right. And when you think about that, that's what we're doing all kinds of content and all kinds of marketing.
Yeah. I was like newly postpartum and I was looking to take really good care of myself and I kind of got on that bandwagon. But I really quickly figured out that well, first of all, all of the I never did house party, I just want to put that one out there. Like I didn't do house parties. I didn't do like the hit up your grandma for an order on Friday night at 6pm or whatever. I like to initially you know, that sense of community. And then very quickly though, I as I built my team, I found myself spending hours and hours on the phone, coaching them on how to build a personal brand like I you know, they were like, well, but how do I sell this and like no, no, no, we're not. We're not pushing product. Like that's not what you're that's not what you're about. You have to tap back into your why you have to tie it back into your mission and what you're about the change that you're trying to create in the world and I tended to attract people to my who they were already health coaches or life coaches, or they had some other certification or business happening. And they just wanted to use the product as like an add on.
But I very quickly just realized, like I'm spending the I probably gave away $100,000 worth of my time, in the first, you know, few years of coaching people for free, because what I was really passionate about, and kind of just figured out by dumb luck, was how to share my story and show up on social media and build connections and be vulnerable. And that that's what would draw people to me, and then it was just kind of like, Okay, well either the thing I have solves a problem for you or it doesn't great. And that didn't have to be pushy, it didn't have to be sleazy or icky or salesy, and that was what God meant. That's just what got us going. And when we first started the business, our first program, let's just hustle Academy was like it was for side hustlers. It was for like, take that spark of an idea that you don't know what to do with. And like flesh it out, what does it mean to build a brand, create your first offer, sell it and really start building that community. And then from there, really, our coaching has evolved. I mean, we still absolutely do that, like all the fundamentals of building a brand and in business are still there
And a big piece of that was really Betsy's story, her, you know, like, really, she almost died, she was so sick. And she has had chronic illness her whole life. And we both individually have had just a roller coaster of a couple of years of personal stuff like Betsy has had trauma from her past that she's healed from I've had a horrific divorce, these things happen to people. And I don't feel like people are really talking about them in a way that's meaningful, especially when you're, you know, you've got your head in the game, a clothing line, this, whatever I'm trying to put out there in the world. And then there's this thing happening on the back end. And that's what we have really dug into with our clients, whether they're coaching, they have a coaching business, or they have a product based business, it's okay, like there's the front end problem of your business. And then there's the back end of what's happening to you energetically as an entrepreneur and as a boss..
Tracy: Yeah, I love that you said that my boyfriend always says he has this like little saying he's like, first you create your environment, and then your environment creates you. And it's like, you have to get like the everything like surrounding you kind of in order if you want to, like be showing up like for not only for your community, but also like as your best self and a business. And so, you know, I'm sure like with Betsy, when she was feeling like really sick, it's kind of hard to like really be like in an awesome VP of a company when you're like,
Betsy: Well, you know, what's interesting that you're saying that is um, so there's something wrong with me, I think because from a very young age, being chronically ill, I have learned how to survive in situations that most people would just be like, I'm going to bed for a week, and I'm not getting up. And what's interesting is, is I've talked to people in since leaving, and everyone's like, I had no idea. And I think that that actually is the hustle mentality that I had, like, there would be meetings where actually my boss wants pulled me aside and he's like, do you know that you get your words backwards? Like, you were doing that in the meeting today? And I was like, No, he said, You need to go to the doctor. And that was a real wake up call for me.
But I was so programmed. And you know what it's like in New York City. I mean, it's like you thrive off the energy of it, and you just want to go go go. And the more you know, you're writing million dollar orders in your life. Yeah, man. And I do think a lot of that was adrenaline. I do think it was because I was doing the work that I wanted to be doing like I was really jazzed up about what I was doing, who I was working with. And so I do think that, you know, when you're ticking all the boxes on the outside, then you lose sight of what's happening on the inside. So on the inside, so like, I made VP really early on my friends were like what I had, you know, and I didn't have the paycheck that actually matched what I was doing. But I was so focused on ticking the boxes that, you know, I was learning the things that I wanted to be learning.
One of the things I didn't actually say earlier was that I took the job that I took to learn all the skills that I didn't have for my first business. And so I was like, well, who's going to teach me how to do these things. So I found a job that would teach me all the things that were missing in the first business so that in the future I could open my second business. And so again, it was like ticking off all the boxes. And I think that that's the hustle mentality. We're working really hard. We're successful on the outside but then that disconnect happens. I was an extreme case, but I was so focused on the external that I just lost sight on the inside. And it's dangerous. I mean, I really did almost die like they were testing me if I was having strokes like no 35 year olds should be in the hospital dealing with that ever.
Tracy: No, that's crazy. So much so that brings me to like you know all you're talking about hustle but like you are sharing with me before we started recording about what Luscious Hustle means to you. I'm just So he share with us what what that really means.
Laura: So Luscious is the divine feminine. So that is the I mean, all people, well, let me put it this way Luscious is the Divine Feminine masculine, and hustle is the divine masculine. So, I mean, everyone has all men, all women, regardless of how you identify, everyone has masculine and feminine energy and in you, it's just a what, what ratio? Are we talking about? Are you more in your feminine? Are you more in your masculine? And in particular? Are you in your divine feminine or your wounded feminine? Are you in your divine masculine or your wounded masculine? If you are burnt out and crushed by chronic illness, for example, like Betsy was like, chances are, you're also in some wounded energy. And I think, you know, to kind of add on to what, what we were talking about for I mean, in terms of being a creative and a visionary in your business, and then producing, making decisions in that space and producing products or producing, you know, a program or a course, if you are yourself individually in a wounded space, and you're not really in touch with that divine feminine inner knowing it is very much going to directly impact what kind of choices that you make.
And we have seen this with our clients, you know, they, we had one client who is based out of Edmonton, she has like a clothing, a clothing line that she's developed. And in the early days, things just weren't moving, there was no momentum. And the late as we peel back the layers of her creative process and what was happening in her business, it became very clear that she was just disconnected from her divine feminine inner knowing like that, why and that mission and and the passion, and she was making decisions, when you're making decisions from a wounded place, then you wait make a decision, like, Well, I think this is what other people want, or I, I'm trying to force something, I'm trying to copy something I'm trying to do what other people are doing, instead of listening to your own guidance, and making the decision from that place. And so that's where I think, you know, there's the strategy on the front, but then there's the back end, there's the soul. So the feminine has to make the choices. She's the creative visionary. And then it's the masculine go getter, linear energy, that puts you into motion that puts you into action and actually gets things done in your business. But we often I think, is women are very conditioned to operate in the masculine, are very conditioned to operate in the hustle.
So we're making decisions based on external validation, based on what everyone else is doing. And sometimes you can get lucky, and that will work and you'll sell, you'll sell out or you'll sell a product really well. But oftentimes, it will backfire. Or, you know, or just it will the sales will stop. And it's because you need to come back into yourself. Like why am I doing this? What is the purpose behind it? What is it going to mean to someone else? And then trusting those decisions and letting letting your actions unfold from there?
Tracy: Yeah, it's that's kind of like aligning like your values with like, the reasons why you're moving forward. We talked about that a lot. We have a whole module or several videos in that module about refining your why and and for those of you don't know, though, that this talk about like, is it Start With Why from Simon Sinek? It's about, like, aligning with the why you're doing something or why businesses why great businesses are in business instead of the what and how, and I think so many people focus on what and how, like street strategy or like what the offer is, instead of like, why am I even showing up here? And why why should it matter to anyone else, either. And I think, you know, when you guys were interviewing me, you talked about pricing, and like how that how can anyone, like a product based business even come out with pricing, but I really do feel like when you can align your business with what matters to you, and your core values, then you can attract people who share those same values. And that's how you get over like, price resistance. That for your podcast.
Laura: Yeah, well, and you, you talked about that on our podcast as well. It's like this, this notion of like, you know, it's not about the price. And we've had clients completely shift what their entire product line was because, like, you know, one person was producing t shirts, because she thought that was what was affordable and what people could afford to buy, when it wasn't in alignment with what she wanted to be creating. Like, well, if I could wave a magic wand for you, and sprinkle some fairy dust and you get to do whatever you want to do what who would you design clothing for? Who is she? What where'd? where does she work? What does she do what she passionate about, like build that product line? And then as soon as she did it, boom, it took off. Like that's not that's a it isn't magic actually like that is you know, you're coming from a place of intention and really serving the people you're meant to serve.
Tracy: So who is the visionary and who's the like integrator?
Laura: Well, Betsy would be the Betsy would be the visionary. We flip. But it's more flip flop.
Betsy: But it's usually like if we don't do this, I'm walking away. Like I get like, really get really like, I want to do this and I want to do it now. That's actually how the business side of our Well, it's interesting. That's how most of the big things that have happened in our business have happened. So the podcast like Laura said, it was like Santa con, I was out with a bunch of drunk Santa is going, I really want to talk about websites. The next morning with a friend, I had one friend in New York who understood like what I was doing because he and I had been blogging at the same time. And he was like, so start a podcast. And I was like, okay, so I called Laura, our first product.
We had been doing the podcast for a year, and people were asking us the same questions. And I was like, Okay, I want to build this thing called luscious hustle Academy. And I said to Lauren, like, it happens now, or it doesn't happen. And then one of our other, like, really big programs is called moon goddess. Because I use the moon, I was using the moon in my own personal life, and I started applying it to business.
I was like, Oh, this is a course. Like if women can understand how their energy cycle works like this is going to work. And I will never forget, Laura boxed me on. We use voxer to communicate and she blocked me and she's like, okay, so January 1, we're gonna do this. And it was like November, something. And I was in a Tractor Supply. And I was like, No, this is going live today with no sales page, no email written. I literally got on Instagram. I was like, Hey, this is how we made $15,000 this month.
Do you want to learn it? And people were like, yep. And then I was like, Okay, here we go. And we started that way. So yeah, I think, you know, when you're a visionary, like, I do feel like you take more chances, maybe and it's kind of but people wanted. I've never, I would say in our business, we've never made a fast decision that didn't have facts. That's the secret for us. We have the information. It's like processing the information, and then moving quickly, without overthinking and talking yourself out of doing something.
Tracy: Do you guys know your call? your Colby score?
Laura: No, I don't even know what that is.
Tracy: Yeah, we should take it because I'd be interested to see what it is. So the Colby assessment is basically like, how you kind of show up for your business. And it's an entrepreneurial assessment. It starts with a factfinder. I think it's like an implementer or systems and then quickstart. And then another one where it's like spatial relations intent, like how much structure do you need in order to like, move forward in something? I'm getting the terms, right one's really about systems and follow through and one's about, like, having to see like, if you could see things high level or like if you need like a concrete design before you get started? Oh, you're probably like totally a quick start. And I bet Laura is probably a little bit more factfinder are you more interested in like doing research Laura?
Laura: I do. Yeah, I do. Like looking into things. And it's interesting. So Iim totally doing this assessment now. Yeah, we know all the way we know our Human Design inside and out, we know our astrology but like, we'll add this layer to it for sure. I
Tracy: Just did my human design and I'm a generator. It just does not make sense. I'm like, I should be a manifester.
Betsy: Oh, I don't know. But general is very powerful, but are prized or generators at all.
Betsy: Yeah. And actually, I think that the reason you're so successful as a generator and why you might think that you're a manifester, is because you are totally in alignment. Like it is very clear. When we interviewed you, you are just like, responding to your highest purpose. you're responding to the needs that are in front of you. And so I actually think that that's the untapped potential of Human Design is like understanding your strategy and for you, yet makes totally, it totally makes sense because you're, you're doing the work that you're supposed to be doing. And so everything that's coming to fruition, it's like you're just responding and going. manifesters get tired.
Tracy: What are your Human Designs?
Betsy: I'm a projector. Okay, so I'm only supposed to work a little bit.
Laura: And I'm a generator.
Betsy: She's a generator. Beyonce is a generator. So yeah, there's that too.
Tracy: Yeah. I want to I'm going to have someone read my human design, cuz I don't know that much about it. I've done it a couple of times. But I wasn't. I don't know that much about it. So I'm gonna have someone like, share with me more because I'm like, why am I not the fun one?
Laura: You are fun. I can tell you for fun. You know, the thing is, I mean, we actually will we do, we will look up the Human Design for All of our clients. Like that's one of the first things we do on their intake form is like, what is your birthday? Give me your birthday. info. Like we're super creepy that way, but we do just look over everyone's Human Design charts because it does inform a ton and you're right, everyone. When I first took my human design, you know, like, I looked it up, I was like, what, I'm not a manifester, dammit. Like, everyone thinks that being a manifester is the ultimate one because they're somehow things are just gonna magically happen for them. That's really not what being a manifester is all about. Not exactly. And everybody can make shit happen for them in very short periods of time. It's just a matter of getting in alignment energetically with what your design looks like. And how Yeah, and honestly, like generators mean, you've got the power source, you can go go go. Yeah, that's the awesome thing about being a generator.
Tracy: That's what my boyfriend Jason when I did it, he was like saying, like, it's not a bad thing. And I'm also like, on wealth dynamics, like, I have like a really high mechanic, which doesn't seem right, because I'm not the person who likes to do this stuff, but it's Yeah, all these things. Okay. We're going a little bit on personality assessments because I think they tell you so much about how like you can show up the best in your business. But like I asked you on the show, so we could talk about communities talk about that. I just been randomly talking about other stuff for a while. So you guys kind of built a community from scratch. Like, I'm really interested, like, how you built up your audience and how this is relevant for product based businesses, etc. So I was gonna let you guys take it over. And I'll ask you some questions.
Betsy: Yeah, well, I think the key here is, and Laura's actually, because Laura is the generator. It's a really perfect segue. I'm the projector right. So as a projector, I'm really good at like talking and projecting things out into the world, right, as long as it's in alignment for me. But Laura is really the generator. And so when we started our business, we had zero followers, I actually picked Laura because I had a lot of anxiety around showing my face who I was, I had had a trauma that had left me incredibly emotionally scarred, and not wanting to be seen. So it's funny that Laura found me on Instagram and liked my stuff. Because there were no photos of me, I had no, like, my face was never anywhere. But Laura had that skill set. And really, you know, when it comes to building a community, I mean, we were just consistent. And we were constantly every single day in there every single day talking. And the number one thing for me is listening.
I'm not the one that's responding on Instagram, I wasn't the one responding to every post in our Facebook groups. That was Laura. And she did a really good job. But I was constantly like reading. And one of the biggest compliments I think in business that you can have is when you send a newsletter and or you do a podcast interview, or you're putting some sort of content out into the world, and somebody writes to you and they're like, Oh, my God, you were like reading my mind. To me, that's the biggest compliment. And that's really what makes successful community is you have to be listening, you cannot just be pushing an agenda that is yours and yours alone, every single day. And I think that I hate to say this, because I want to like throw anybody under a bus here. But like this, where network marketing actually gets it wrong. They're constantly pushing a product, and a certain way of speaking and you lose who you are. And so really, to me selling products online, whether it's digital products, a physical product, a custom product, whatever, you have to be having that open line of communication, and you have to be listening to the needs. And then speaking to those needs and answering questions before they're asked, so that you can continue to build that relationship because it builds trustworthiness and know, like and trust is like the number one thing that you need to have online these days.
Laura: Yeah, really. For me, it was just it was all about responding, just like in the beginning was just follow someone actually take the time to look at what they're posting and what they're about. And, and send them it, shoot them a DM and ask them a personal question or just you know, I would often just share, like, Hey, I see that you just followed us, like great to connect with you. You know, here's where you can, you know, find our podcast, or here's where you can, you know, like, if you have any questions, please let us know. And I really spend a lot of time just replying. And DMS, I just worked it in DMS and I worked it you know, then Insta stories came out. And so actually watching people's Instastories and replying to them and building that sense of connection with no agenda with no agenda. And noticing like, Oh, this person is you know, they're talking about such and such like that relates to what we do. offering them something like always coming at it from the perspective of like listening, being of service.
That's the front end is like responding, listening, being in service, back inside of it is really knowing yourself and having a lot of confidence because yeah, you will dm people and they'll they won't reply, or you'll dm people and they're, you know, they're looking to pick your brain or they're looking for, you know, things just aren't in alignment. It happens all the time. Right? But it's like, can you confidently sit there in your truth, know what you're about and what you're here to do. And if you receive something negative back, you're not taking it personally, you know, you you know what you're about you feel really solid in your purpose. And again, that comes back to the energetic work for us. It's like, are you in your wounded energy? Are you kind of in victim mode? Are you trying to hustle your business because you're desperate?
Because you need that creative thing to make you money right now? Or I won't be able to pay my bills, right? Like if you're in that, that wounded desperate zone, are you really in that divine feminine, where you're, you're ready to give and receive and and there's just no pressure. And I think that's where I mean, that's where commuting community building goes well is when you can be be a leader in an in service. And it's also really where sales goes right? When we talk about you know, we always teach a soulful sales method to all of our clients. And it's really again, it's like, it's not about selling a thing. It's about getting on a phone call with someone and listening to them.
Really, really listening to them making them feel seen and heard, especially when you're working with your main clients are women. We just want to be seen and heard like that's what the Divine Feminine wants all day every day. She wants to be cherished. She wants to be loved. She wants to be honored. If you can do that, even in like a little dm on Instagram, you would be amazed what a connection that will create for someone and it doesn't matter actually what your business is or what you're selling, it could be a physical product could be a coaching service, if you can create that connection with someone, you will bond to them, and they will keep following and then they'll they'll reach out and they'll join when they're ready. And it might happen in five minutes, or might happen in five months. But it'll happen.
Tracy: I love that, um, this is, it's made me think of something because you know, like one of the things that you're you're so right with, like when it comes to like sales calls or like anytime, like if you're getting on the phone to talk to someone about your product, and having an opportunity to listen to people I think is really powerful. Because like my second jewelry business, when I started, it was all custom jewelry. And so and when I say custom, it's really like they're commissioning me to do a piece, but like I'm designing something specific based on like, what it is that they want. So a lot of times I get on the phone, you know, maybe they've lost a parent, and they're dealing with like, heirloom gemstones. And so there's like a lot of grief there.
Or maybe it's that they're coming up on like a really happy occasion, like getting married or something. And one of the reasons why I think I was able to close like 80% of the qualified leads was because like, they felt like seen and heard, like I was just like engaging in their story and learning about them wasn't like, and I didn't even like tell them about my process until like the end of the call. It's like the last couple of minutes. I'm not sitting there saying like, it's just like me asking questions asking about the relationship with the person. Like, for instance, if a guy's on the phone wanting to buy an engagement ring taught like I would ask him a lot of questions about how they met and their relationship, what she's like, what they love about her and, and all those things. And it gets people excited and like you actually care. And so I think that that is I know that that's really important. And a super important part of the sales process. And I want to follow up like you're talking about Instagram and building an audience sliding into DMS, like how do you have sales conversation?
Well, first of all, we have two questions. First, how do you have time to spend so much time on Instagram? And then second? How do you like transition? Like just a regular conversation? Or what's your method into like a sales conversation or getting them to take that next step? Okay, well, I will I can't answer that how much time is spent on Instagram,
Laura: Betsy, start with the ladder because she has a story there.
Betsy: I can start with the ladder. So um, so I actually limit myself to an hour on Instagram a day. That is all I need really specific boundaries. So I have a timer and even when I'm doing Insta stories that usually like clicks on like, you are at a time on Instagram today. So but when it comes to sales conversations in DMS. So I actually once we were launching Moon Goddess again, which is a $999 program, and somebody DM me and they were like, Okay, I'm, you know, I want to learn more about this. Is there a book I can buy? I was like, Yes, I've read them all. But there's not one that teaches what we're teaching in this course. And so we ended up going back and forth, and she bought the program and she paid in full. She went from I have no money for this right now, too. And it was only five dmws back and forth.
Like I wrote her five times. But it's asking targeted questions. It's exactly what you're talking about. It's getting really interested in the person you're talking to. I actually wasn't trying to sell her the program. I was simply asking her the answering her questions, providing value, that's number one, you have to provide value. Like I told her what books to get. And I was like, this is the problem with this book, if you want this, it doesn't exist. And we just went back and forth. And I asked her about her business and her life. And you know, she was getting married. And she was worried about the time that it was going to take and you know, everything's recorded. And so it was just again, answering questions along the way and listening to where she was struggling and asking that question. I think sometimes in DMS people can feel like they're being too intrusive, by saying like, so where are you struggling right now. But then sometimes, if you ask the right question unlocks so much in somebody else. And I always view sales. And Laura does the same way.
Part of our Soulful Selling method is it's an invitation, like a pitch is just an invitation to get on a phone call for me. I have pitch people, husbands in cabs, on my way to the like, Ubers on the way to the airport. Like somehow I always seem to end up having these conversations with random strangers about masculine feminine energy in business. And I get calls out of it. And so I think, you know, it's being passionate about what you're selling, it's being passionate about what you do, and then it's just staying interested. So I really do think dams are underutilized. If you're going in like a bull in a china shop, it's gonna fall flat. And people are, I'm one of those people when people come into my dm sometimes, and they're like, I'm selling this and I want to partner with you on this. And I'm like, Whoa, like, yeah, you see me on Instagram, but like, I don't really know what's in it for me. So you really got to make sure that you're staying focused on the person you're talking to.
Tracy: Yeah, and I think that's that's a great feedback. You know, there have been many times when I've been like at a dinner party or something and how To be like sitting next to someone and they're like, what do you do? I'm like, Well, I design. And that depends on the audience, but like, this is that this happens so many times back in the day, like, what do you do? And I'm like, I design engagement rings and wedding bands. And then they're like, Oh, really? I'm like that like, and then they start asking me questions, and then we have a conversation, I start asking them, and then it turns into sale. So I feel like there's the same thing that you can do in dm. So I have a quick question for you like, what if someone like because this audience is primarily physical products, and I would say the majority of the people listening are in the jewelry space, just because that's what we started with? What someone like just DMT like, hey, love that piece? Like, how much is it? Like, how do you handle a conversation like that? If number one, the price is variable, but you also like, don't want to scare them away?
Betsy: I mean, it's, I would, I would immediately, I mean, they're asking about a specific piece, like, what does that one in the last post, you do? Like a really specific piece? And if it has a specific price, I would share that with them. But if, you know, if they're asking kind of more generally, like I might, I might offer up the answer, like the short answer, which is like the price range. But I would always, always lean into like, you know, tell me more about what what did you love about that piece? What about that piece really resonated with? Why do you want to buy it?
Who are you buying it for you buying it for yourself, you're buying it for someone that like, I would start just slipping in questions, and really take an interest in them and build a connection, like, I'm not going to just fire off Oh, that's like, you know, $200, whatever. Like, right, because then either they may really, yeah, they may really want it and they may have the money or they may not. And you don't want them sitting in that zone of indecision, right? Like, people will not you will not make a sale. If someone is unclear or confused or sitting in indecision, you want them to feel really clear about what it is that they want.
That to me, ultimately, is what a sales call is about. Whether it's happening in dm, or someone's hitting reply to your newsletter, or they've got on a call with you, it doesn't matter, like help them come to a decision, whether it's with you are not. And trust that you're and this is another thing too, I think especially with you know, if you have the type of business, whether it's like you're making a physical product, and you're doing custom things, you're getting on a call with someone, or if you're you know selling like a more like an online service based business, when you're taking the time to get on a call with someone really value that time, like really respected both for them. And for yourself.
I think a lot of people get in the headspace of not wanting to spend the time to connect with their customers, whether it's on a call, or in a DM because they feel like if they don't make the sale, then it was a waste of their time. And that's a very wounded. That's actually that's wounded masculine is what that is that's like Wolf of Wall Street. That dude, yeah. And you when you get into that zone, it feels icky. And so you know, even if I get on a sales call someone and they don't buy from us, I value their time. I want them to leave feeling like I am better for having spent that 20 minutes on the call. And I want to feel like better for having spent that 20 minutes with them. That's how you approach everything. And that's the that's the divine feminine, right, you're able to give and receive generously. And and if they're not keeping a tally.
Tracy: I love that. And it's also like, in your talk about wounded, masculine, wounded, feminine. I feel like sometimes people are like, so worried to have this conversation because they're so fearful of getting rejected. Or if someone's saying now it's like, just create a detachment like it's not a reflection of yourself.
Laura: No, no, we're all one body all four energies at any like, not all at the same time. But like, I have been wounded masculine. I've been that dude. Yeah, I've been I've been the wounded feminine. I've been the divine masculine, and I've been divine feminine. We're all all of it. There's no shame in it. It's just being able to do the deeper work on yourself to recognize like, Okay, I see where things I'm struggling my business right now. I've been sitting in my wounded feminine energy for a while. What can I do to elevate myself and get into that, that divine energy. And again, like, you learn so much better from your mistakes, like we succeed and learn from failure. So when you can recognize, oh, like, I asked up that sales call, because I was being a pushy dude. And I'm like, What can I learn from that? And then move on from it. Like give yourself like, forgive yourself and honor the lesson in them.
Tracy: I love it. I want to get back to the first part of the question. How much time are you spending on Instagram?
Laura: Not nearly as much as I was I will be completely transparent. In the beginning. I spent a lot of time on Instagram because we had no followers. So I spent a lot of time like looking at people's accounts actually looking at what they were posting following them commenting. I probably spent probably four hours a day, but it was part of our work day. It was like that work day and I had a toddler at the time.
Betsy Yeah, we built it into our business. And I think that that's also something if somebody's listening to this and they're struggling with boundaries like it has to be built into your business. It's not something that you can just Set up and walk away from and be like, oh, they're magically going to find me No, at the beginning, you have to create that momentum yourself, you have to show up, you have to provide really high value content, you have to show your work, you have to be proud of it. Going back to your like pricing question there, if you're afraid to tell somebody your price in a DM that's on you, you're making an assumption about the person that's coming to you and asking about your goods. You have no idea who this person is, you can look them up on Instagram, and they may look like you know, the poorest person in the world, but they can afford you to thousand dollar thing, you have no idea. So just like nip that thought in the bud. And again, that goes back to you showing up without expectation, being proud of who you are having that confidence, building up that body of evidence for yourself. And, yeah, you got to make social part of your business plan. It's 2020. Like we're all in it.
Laura: Yeah, I would say. So in the beginning, I spent a lot of time because we were starting from ground zero. So we were building up a following on social media. But then we also had the podcast and we had a newsletter. So we were transitioning and building that audience online. And then moving to like, here's where you can hear us, you know, two times a week on the podcast, here's where you can get on our newsletter, and moving to something that we actually own and control. So that's number one. And then number two is like as the momentum got going, I don't spend four hours a day like not even close, like I spend probably less than an hour on social a day. But that's because we've, you know, well, I hate to use this terminology, but it's like we've kind of filled our pipeline. Like we have an audience on our on our podcast, we have an audience in our newsletter, and we're just sort of feeding the pipeline and continuing to grow. So I think, you know, we're getting, nurturing the pipe. We're nurturing the pipeline.
And so I mean, I think it's just recognizing it in the beginning. In the early days, you of course, you're going to put in more, more sweat equity, but then it will pay off in the long to any also things to like, Oh, my God Instastories, I used to take me like an hour and a half to do a set of eight Instastories because I would second guess myself and I would read delete them and reload them and oh my god. Now. I mean, practice makes perfect, right? or practice makes progress is really a better way of saying it. I can, you know, quickly do some Instastories or, you know, put together a post. It doesn't take that much time. And away we go. It's just kind of a part of it's just part of the workday.
Tracy: I love it. And I love how you've integrated like this community building and audience building into like a sales strategy, because that's really what it's what it's all about. Right. Yeah, but building the audience, not just like being pitchy though. Yeah, and getting to a place where people are, like, delighted to buy your products, whatever it might be delighted to buy our products.
Betsy: But also the cool thing about our community is they're so supportive of each other. So when you're starting a business and you are getting your feet wet, and you you really do feel like you're on your own, your family's looking at you like you're crazy, your friends don't want to talk about they want to talk about boys and dating and you want to talk about websites like I mean, it's really weird. So when so the thing that I love about us, I mean, I live in the States, Laura lives in Canada, I'm in Pennsylvania, she's in Calgary, she would do coffee meetups up in Calgary, and then I started coming up and visiting, and we would have coffee meetups. And so our community started coming together well with us. And they became friends. And it's amazing how the people that have been on our podcasts, our listeners support them, they buy from them, there's no I don't, that's the whole purpose of this, I'm inviting people on our show, so that we can highlight them and get get them in front of other people. Um, and that's the beauty of it. And you know, you can't shy away from the power of community or connection.
It's like a ripple effect, right? If you can help one person, then you're probably helping 20 people. And so focusing on creating opportunities for people to come on our show, creating opportunities for people to meet in real life, creating programs that, you know, cross pollinate with other programs so that people have the opportunity to learn and expand their network, I really do think that that's an important part. And Laura and I are the living, breathing example of you can create a true connection, living 3000 miles apart in two different time zones in two different countries. Anything is possible. And you know, I actually just saw your post about being an extrovert and feeling like really out of touch. And I'm an introvert, she's an extrovert. But we plan we have spent the last two, three years planning, how to connect and how to create community while being separated. And I have to say, I don't ever feel completely alone on my journey ever. And that's because of the community that we've created. And so I do I think it's really powerful so that you don't feel alone at any given time.
Tracy: I totally agree. And I love it that you saw that post that I did really more. So I moved to Arizona during COVID and I'm like officially moving here in January moving out of New York City. A sad place to be right now. And I don't have any friends here. And I'm so like, my boyfriend was out of town this weekend going and doing his own thing, which I fully support. And I'm, like, happy for him. But I'm so used to like being able to just like call up a friend and go hang out or like, go like have drinks or go have dinner. And like, you know, it's weird starting over, like not knowing anyone. So it's been like a huge. I mean, it's awesome, because it's forced me to slow down, which I love. But also, I like being social. And I cannot wait for things to go back to normal. So I can we can have events and like.
Betsy: I mean, it's funny. I mean, we just by default of being 3000 miles apart in like two hour time zone difference. And when we went back, we actually didn't even meet in person. And so we've been doing the podcast for like eight months.
Tracy: Oh, wow.
Laura: It is crazy. But I think it's proof positive that if you can you build a friendship with someone strong enough that you end up going into business with them. And you're in two different countries, like you can create a strong level of connection with your audience, you can create really bonded true fans who get repeat, repeat raving fans, repeat customers, and will tell everyone they know about you. And that's just that community connection. Like that's why it's so important.
Betsy: That's true. You guys, thank you so much for being on the show today. This was like an amazing, like, I love this conversation. It was super fun. tell our audience where they can find you. Sure, you can find us on Instagram @luscious.hustle And if you dm us, Laura's gonna be the one that responds nine times out of 10 stories. And also online, you can check us out on our cast, Luscious Hustle podcast, and you were just a guest on that. So I'm excited to get that episode out into our audience. Um, yeah, that's really all the places and spaces that we are.
Tracy: Amazing. Well, thanks so much for being here today. And we'll get all the links and everything that we spoke about in the show notes today.
Betsy: Thank you so much for having us.
Laura: This was awesome.
Tracy: Thank you so much for listening to the show today. This is Tracy Matthews, signing off. And once again, if you are a BIPOCjewelry maker or creative product business owner, and you would like mentorship from me and my team, head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/bipocmentor and get your scholarship application in two days. All right, let's do this. Good luck with the rest of your holiday promotion. I wish you an amazing and fruitful and profitable cyber weekend if you are participating because this holiday season, I can tell you right now is going to be short. So let's do this.