Haley Burkhead: Sales & Life-Proofing Your Business Through Automation
In this interview, I’m joined by Haley Burkhead, the creator of Recurring Profit. Haley specializes in using sales psychology & automation to help entrepreneurs scale their sales model with a course or membership site. This conversation with Haley focuses on:
⚡️How to Automate Your Sales & Marketing Process
⚡️Three Lead Sources for Entrepreneurs
⚡️How to Incorporate More Ease into Your Business
Links & Resources
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Hello friends and welcome back to our next episode of do business better 2022. Today I am so delighted to be joined by my friend Haley Burkhead. Haley is the founder and CEO of recurring profit. She is a phenomenal business woman she is I mean, when we talk about doing all the things, but also doing all the right things, let’s be a little more specific. You can think of Haley Haley has her hands in real estate, she is in the business space, she is the true symbol of entrepreneurship and living your life as a businesswoman. Hayley is also a mom. And I admire her so much as someone that is also alongside me on the journey of balancing motherhood and business ownership, leadership in our families and in our companies. I mean, there’s so much that we could talk about and today we’re going to be talking about some of the things that Haley has seen and experienced within her own business, her clients and her students what they have also learned sometimes the hard way and want to help you guys avoid learning lessons the hard way. And that’s why I invited Haley to join us. So thank you so much for being here, Haley.
Yeah, I’m so glad to be here. Thank you.
Likewise, likewise. Alright, for those that are not familiar with you, yeah. Could you give us a little background on you, your, your entrepreneurial journey, if you will?
Yeah. So I started out as a fashion blogger in 2011. And I had to pay for college that was super expensive. So what I did was, I would go to Goodwill and thrift clothes, and then go flip them online. And that’s how I paid for a good chunk of my college. And when I was doing that, I discovered I really liked coding. And I started selling my coding services. I was like, Oh, my goodness, I’m really good at selling. I’m really good at getting clients. So I accidentally created an agency that turned into coding. But then when the coding services were done, we just put them on a retainer fee for social media management, Pinterest ads, stuff like that. And and then everyone said, Well, how are you doing that? So I created a membership site. We scaled that to half a million in six months showing other people exactly how to get those clients and fill their client calendars. And and then they said, How did you do that. So that’s where a great prop was born. That was about three or four years ago. And we’ve stuck with just recurring profit, and really specialized on this skill of getting people to a minimum of 10k months, you kind of surpass it after you hit 83k months, which is that million dollar mark. But what we do in there is we take anyone that has a course or a membership site, even if it’s just an idea, and we help automate their sales, we actually set up the funnel tech for them. It’s just, it’s really become like a service that’s at your own pace. And it’s been really, really neat. But yeah, that’s, that’s what we do and specialize in now.
That’s amazing. I love it. Yeah. And you and I have talked about this, and we were chatting about it a little before we hit record is, you know, creating that predictability in your business, creating the automations that are necessary. You know, those three, three departments, you’ve got the marketing, you’ve got the sales, you’ve got delivery of the service, and if you really want to be manually doing each and every one of those. It’s not gonna be great. It’s only enjoyable, you know, you’re not really going to do any of the three. Very well. Would you agree?
Yeah, that and Wolf, man, you’re gonna, you have beautiful hair on your head. And we should keep it that way.
Yes, exactly, exactly. And so I’m really looking forward to hearing from you on what it is that you’ve seen for these professional service providers that are looking to create a membership, or they’re creating the digital product, or maybe they’re still working with the one on one clients, and they want to expand beyond that. Maybe you want to, and what I found, in my experience, and a lot of my clients find success in doing is creating and building out as much automation as you can in when it comes to rendering the one to one services when it comes to marketing when it comes to sales when it comes to delivery. And then expanding beyond that further supporting clients and your community in the other stages of their businesses or their lives or whatever niche you’re in. And so let’s start with number one. What have you got?
Yeah, automating sales. I think here’s the thing is a lot of us. I mean, Yasmin and I both were creative. You know, like that’s kind of what started our businesses in the first place is that creative energy and sales is fun stuff. Some times, maybe at the beginning a little bit, or maybe not. But what we don’t want to do is put all of our creative energy and drain that because we’re so into selling in order to even be creative. And so what I say is, why don’t we instead of showing up and selling, and what I mean by that is, Has anyone told you that you need to show a day in your life of so they trust the service provider? Or you know, all those things? Is it really necessary at the end of the day, they’re buying you by buying you as then if you’re doing a one on one service, they’re buying your time, right? They’re doing that because they want the result that that provides them? It’s not because you post it on social media every day, that that’s what I found, and I teach my clients that because it’s putting all of your, you know, going back to what you said, at the very beginning is like doing all the right things. When you look at what really matters if you’re, if you’re in a business, it’s money. Yeah, it’s money is oxygen, your business, it allows it to keep breathing. And it allows you to breathe easier at the same time. So if everything all have our activities, and energy is around creating revenue, and that’s all reverse engineering, then we have to take a look at ourselves, you know, how often are you trying to show up on social media? How often are you trying to talk to people in order to make sales? What if we automated the sales process? Right? That would be great. So that’s something that I think is the very first mistake. And I’ll kind of give you an example, we had an RP client, RP, recurring profit, sorry. So it’s wordplay branding, such an awesome company. So what they do is, they’re a branding service. Basically, what they did was they took the webinar script, and they turned it into more of a commercial. And they use the same automated sale system. So where you’re signing up right to go through a sales process, but it’s an educational value driven sales process. And they know that and they’re excited to experience it, because it’s quick, it’s going to make their decision easier, all that kind of stuff. And then they can buy from that point. So if you want to filter them, okay, cool, let’s do an application process before they can even watch the video. But in some way, we’re going to be automating this that way, you’re not actually having to show up on calls, or do all that stuff. And if you’re listening to this, and you’re saying, Haley, I can’t get around that I need to be showing up on these calls, it actually makes delivering the service easier. You know, I understand that that’s fine. What I want you to do, what I think is so helpful is if we just look at from the time someone meets you to the time they pay your first invoice, right? What really needs to happen. Okay, so if we were to write this out on a piece of paper, okay, well, the first thing is, well, I guess the very first thing is they have to not qualify, I guess, be attracted, the first thing they have to know about you, right? They are aware, okay, then the second thing is you have qualified them, you know, they know you’re a good fit, and you know, they’re a good fit. Okay, I would say the third phase would be conversion. So that’s where you’re educating them, you’re making this a no brainer decision, and then they’ve converted at the end. So if you think about what needs to happen throughout that whole phase, awareness is marketing. We’ll talk about that in a little bit. But if we just go to qualifying, and qualifying what I like to do is provide value driven education. And what I mean by what I say by value driven, that kind of sounds a little bit fluffy, which is funny, because the definition of this is fluffy.
What I mean by value driven, is that you’re actually providing value to them. I think we have all seen the webinars, scripts that don’t give any value to the people that buy, right, where you show up and you feel like you completely wasted an hour of your time or more. That’s why I make sure to mention that value driven language is because we’re typically not taught that or we haven’t seen that. And so what I want you to think about is, first of all, what is the actual result they’re wanting from you? And that is probably the hardest question because you’re the expert. And you’re going to want to make it so fluffy and so intangible. But think about this, if this is I don’t know if I like this analogy, but I’m gonna go with it. Like it has to be so tangible that if you went to court, you could prove that you got them that result, right. Like that’s how tangible it is. So if you could put that result there, then you reverse engineer your process, and that is educating them on why they should choose you what it’s going to look like why you’re better all this stuff and why it’s going to be fast, and it needs to be there. Are you in the form of education, but fast, entertaining education? So that’s kind of what I recommend there if you’re gonna automate, because if you’re automating something that’s super boring. I mean, is it gonna work? Maybe not? Maybe it’s not so fast and entertaining is kind of the vibe there. Thank you, thank you tick tock, but like no dancing, you know what I’m saying? Have you seen those educational tech talks? Like what have you turn that but into a 10 to 20 minute webinar that was short, sweet, fast, entertaining, funny, you know, all those things, but then they could buy at the end, that’s kind of the vibe we’re going for. And it also qualifies them, you know, and by qualify, I mean, filter. That means if someone’s not a good fit, you know, they’re not, they’re not going to be working with you. And that could be revenue wise, you know, that could be anything. Maybe even person, not personality, but maybe even expectations. I think that’s the biggest thing to filter when you’re doing one on one is expectations. My goodness, gracious, I know y’all deal with that on a daily basis. Yeah, oh, little bit of a nightmare. It’s all about automating sales.
I totally and completely agree, I think that when the the marketing and sales process are both manual, so tiring, yeah. So draining on your energy on your time on your capacity to be present in your business. And if you have, if you do not have the necessary protective measures in place in terms of qualifying, so that people do not get to the contract signing stage, if this is not the right fit for them, you know, so you want them to opt out on their own, you don’t necessarily want to have to you know, sift through all of the people coming your way, give them the opportunity to self select whether Yes, I’m this is the right thing for me, because that is the kind of result I’m trying to, to achieve. And I want to create within my own life or my own business. And I love that you are results focused, I think that we all want to be results focused, we all in theory are results focused. But it can be really easy to have this vague promise of what it’s like to work with you what it’s like to receive services from you as a professional service provider. And so getting really specific and clear as to what those results are so that you can clearly communicate that and attract the right people, bring the right people through your business and ultimately make a sale to someone that is not going to give you trouble later on. Because it’s actually not the right fit for them.
Yep, completely. And like you mentioned marketing. And that’s the second thing is automating your marketing, which if you were to choose, I will say it is way easier to automate sales and more beneficial, it is a little bit it’s different. Whereas sales can be completely automated, right? Marketing can be automated to a degree, I would say, it can be outsourced. 100%, but not completely automated. And so this is kind of the way that I approach marketing. Because if you think about what we’ve been taught, right, we have been taught that consistency is what wins the game. And is that really true? I mean, it’s not right. Revenue is what wins the game. Okay, well, what gives you revenue? Applications or calls, right? Okay, well, what gives you applications or calls? Okay, well leads do people that apply for your service, or people that apply or register for your webinar, or people that register for challenge, whatever right leads, okay, well, what gives you leads, it’s exposure to content that converts into leads, it’s not consistency, consistency, will give you exposure to the same people who are your followers, right? And it might give you a little bit trickle of a new following, you know, it might do a thing, but the growth is so slow. Let’s be honest, if that strategy doesn’t 100% Makes sense. If you want to be consistent about something, don’t be consistent. Don’t be consistent for the exposure, be consistent for the science experiment. Because if you are consistent on testing, you find something that works, then go all in on exposure to the right audience, then you’re golden, you get a ton of leads, which leads to a ton of applications or calls, which leads to a ton of revenue baked. So that’s kind of the way I think about I think it’s a little bit different than, you know, what we have kind of absorbed in the past and it does lead to an easier business, which is what I’m personally all about. are easy, simple business and not for the sake of being easy of being hands off the sake of a you know what? Not easy it feels at ease that because, you know, business isn’t easy. Business is hard, because you’re always dealing with new situations all the time. You know, I love this quote, and I forgot who it was.
But they basically said, hard, doesn’t mean difficult. Hard just means new. And I love that. It’s like, oh, well, business is hard. But not because business is actually a difficult thing to do. It’s actually really easy when it comes down to it. It’s just your Yeah, yeah, it’s very, very simple if you make it that way, but it’s the new challenges you’ve never faced before that make it hard. So that’s easy, because when you master a new skill, it becomes easy. So it’s not hard anymore. But then when you get to the next level, you know, it’s like a video game, you always have like the bigger bosses to beat at the end of the to level up. But yeah, so going back to marketing here, you need to find content that converts into leads or application, then you get bigger exposure. So I am, I’m used to teach a course creator, so I’m going to use that as an example. Okay, yeah. Okay, we’ll go with that then. So this is what we have. So we have an automated sales machine. Let’s do math, but it’s gonna be fun math, don’t worry. So let’s pretend like you have a $500 course. Okay? That $500 course has a 10% conversion rate from lead to sale. What that means is 10% of let’s say you have 100 leads, right? If you have 100 leads, and a 10% conversion rate, that means that 10% of those 100 leads turn into a sale. So that means you get 10 sales, which is great. So that means for every 100 leads, you’re making 10 sales, each sale is worth $500, that is $5,000. So for every 100 leads, you’ve made $5,000. So if you know this, this math is super, super important, because now we can scale up if we scale the leads and maintain the conversion rate. So you see how just in that moment, I made a decision to scale leads, here’s what happens a lot is we get into Bob, the builder mode. And Bob the Builder mode, oh my goodness, you love building. And I think that’s the creative spirit and all of us entrepreneurs, you know, we’re really good builders, but building things doesn’t exactly make money, selling things makes money. So what I like to do is build something, have it have an automated sales process, outsource marketing, to where the funnels full, then I go build something as a playground for myself, you know, while maintaining the revenue coming in, which is recurring profit, right? So if you ever need that creative energy, that’s what I recommend. I just kind of view it as a playground and seven necessities. So if you make revenue is like, Oh, I sing revenue, like icing on the cake. It’s not revenue, you’re gonna depend on to pay bills. Okay, so going back to those 100 leads. So how do we get leads, we get leads by content that is proven to convert to leads. I call this like attraction sale psychology basically. So if we have this, every single entrepreneur has three lead sources, every single one of us. So we have cold free leads, we have paid leads, and we have organic leads. So organic leads is your social media, your email list, right? Okay, paid leads is you pay. So imagine them like pools, and all the people are hanging out at the pool, right? And what you have to do is to get a key access card to the pool. Well, if you want to access the Facebook ads pool and hang out with those people and get in front of them, you have to pay for a key pool card and go inside and then say, Hey, look at this piece of content. And then you’ll see how many people actually follow through and go to your pool or go by right. Okay, well then for a cold free lead pool, those are called partner pools. So this is where someone else has a pre built audience, they’ve already done all the work building an audience, right? We’re gonna go to their pool, and we’re gonna say, Hey, can we have a pool key card, and they are going to so what we have, so I basically create this marketing campaign that you fill in formulas, you can create this for yourself as well. It’s basically a marketing campaign in a box. And then you hand this box to the pool owner that’s created this audience that’s perfect fit for your service or your course or your membership site. You get this marketing campaign in a box, they run that marketing campaign to that pool of people, and what they’re going over there to show you’re getting more leads. That’s where the content that’s proven to convert comes in. The goal is exposure. So make sure you’re looking at those pools and your marketing strategies about exposing content that converts into leads not creating more content to your organic pool. That’s not growing, right. So I hope that visual kind of makes sense to avoid that mistake. It’s just, it might save you years of your life and your business to be honest with you.
That is absolutely true. It really gave you so much time because what I see a lot of the time happening is especially newer entrepreneurs that are, you really are still testing, you really are still experimenting, but what we need to go back to I don’t know what grade it was that we learned the scientific method. Do you have any idea? When was that? There’s a hold on? I can’t hear it.
Oh, is it sixth grade?
Something? Yeah. Whenever we learned that scientific method, if you recall, and I don’t remember exactly. But I do know that it starts with the research, we go into the hypothesis, okay, we create the hype, what is your hypothesis? What is it that you want to actually what do you predict could possibly happen? And what are you going to test and then begin running that test? And remember, when we’re testing, we have to maintain variables, we can’t be mixing it up, because what we’re doing when we’re mixing it up, and we’re constantly creating new content that we’re organically sharing, and just let me try this, let me try that. Okay, how about this? How about that? How about this, and we’re not maintaining consistency in the variables, we’re not tracking that, then we can’t observe what has taken place and reach some meaningful conclusions that can actually help inform future decisions when it comes to continuing our marketing efforts, continuing our sales efforts, continuing our offer creation and development and supporting our clients and communities. And so I absolutely agree with you do not throw spaghetti at the wall, figure out what works. That inspires me as well. Because you know, marketing is an ongoing, you know, your market evolves, or your skill set is elevated, and maybe you want to support and
yeah, the market evolving. Let’s talk about that. Because the past three years, oh, my goodness, it’s completely different. Like if you would have Rewinding back to 2019. This industry is drastically different. So with marketing, evolving, your marketing does have to shift and here is the easiest way to do it. Because when the market shifts, we want to change oour offer, we want to change everything. And yeah, that might be the answer. But most of the time, the majority of the time, it is your marketing that just needs to shift. And so imagine your offer like a cardboard box, okay? And everything inside the box is all the goodies you offer. If it’s coaching, one on one coaching calls, Voxer access, or maybe a community within your membership, your program, whatever that is, okay. Well, marketing is your wrapping paper. It’s just how people perceive what’s in the box. So usually, if you have a Black Friday deal, right, the wrapping papers, Black Friday themed, maybe a discount code. So that kind of shows you. Okay, so what I like to do is do wrapping papers based on very specific situational things happening in their life. So if you’re a business owner that’s talking, or sorry, a business coach, that’s helping save people’s time, right? Well, instead of saying this call will save your time, you know, some kind of fluffy, generic messaging, they can go to anyone that’s basically saying, hey, you’ll save time. If you work with me, it’s like, okay, well, I can go to anyone. So instead of that, you can say, by the end of this, you’re going to have a completely color coded project management system that will tell you exactly what to do every day. Have you ever sat in your desk at 7am, and you have one hour until your kids wake up, or you have to take them to school, and you wish you could knock out half of your to do list, but you’re sick? You’re sitting there making it and you’re scattered from yesterday? Like, let’s not do that again. You know, work with me in seven days, here’s what’s going to happen in 30 days, that one that that scenario will never happen again, in 45 days, all checkup you see how different that is? That wrapping paper? That’s just one wrapping paper. Okay, can you imagine if you had five different wrapping papers that you just shifted, as the market evolves, and then just put if it’s pandemic, okay, add a little pandemic seasoning into the marketing message of like you.
Now it’s a dish.
Yeah, not now. It’s a dish for adults of salt water. Yeah, it’s like okay, you might be cooped up with your family on going a little crazy. Yeah, so anyways, that’s something to think about when it comes to your marketing. I think we do tend to play it safe with our marketing by refusing to be specific, but specific sales.
Oh, yes, absolutely. I mean, how many times have you read something that was speaking specifically to You and how excited did you get? You felt so seen? You know, like, Okay, well totally often is talking right directly to me, they can help me solve the exact problem that I’m experiencing and help me achieve the result that I desire. Okay, what is number three?
Okay, so number three is automating the delivery part of it. And I’m gonna start with course, and then we’re going to go backward to client. So core, okay, they kind of overlap a little bit. But here’s what I love. And I’m surprised how no one talks about this. Or maybe it’s not talked about because every time I say this, it blows people’s minds. I call it D Wm. So you take your product, let’s say, of course, you say, okay, to meet everyone’s expectations, and to deliver exactly what I told them I was going to deliver or exceed what you’re gonna deliver, right? What is everything that happens daily, weekly, and monthly to actually make that happen? And by the end, you have a list, so daily, get customer inbox to zero, right? Daily, make sure all questions in the Facebook group are answered. Okay, weekly, put live coaching call recording in Kajabi portal, you see how all those kind of split up maybe monthly is released call calendar and email students. So those would be specific things that you would say right? Now, you could say now how can we either systemize outsource or automate all of these D WM list? Okay, so let’s say it was about answering all the Facebook group questions. That was a big thing. Okay, well, we can outsource this. But let’s say you can’t afford to outsource it yet. That’s fair, automated, we can’t automate answers. That isn’t ethical for many reasons. So especially for me promise that although I have seen some people do that, but I wouldn’t highly would not recommend that. Then third would be systemized. So let’s create a system. Well, what if you have a VA and they scan the Facebook group? And any question they can’t answer, because it involves strategy, they’re going to go to your asana or click up your project management system, they’re going to link all the threads you need to go to that day. So then at 2pm, every day, you know to just go here, you click it open, you have five tabs open of the post, whatever. And you just answer close tab, answer close tap answer close tab. And all of them have been answered. Okay, check the task off your list. So you’re not scrolling to the Facebook group. You can see how easy that is. And then eventually, what because you’re only focused on the certain number variable with the sides extent we were talking about to increase to actually hit revenue instead of random vanity metric we put in like posting every day or getting more followers. It’s like, No, we just care about making more money so we can help more people. Well, if you’re focused on that, then you’ll be able to hire then we can start outsourcing some of those systemized tasks, but at least you’re not burning out. So that’s something to think about is just DW M. Now how can we make this very easy, but also very valuable on the delivery side, you know, we never want to, we never want to sacrifice value to the paying client or student. In order to make it easier on us the goal is to be more efficient, so we can be less burnt out and have more availability and space to honestly not resent the people that are paying us. I mean, how often have entrepreneurs resented the people that are fueling our business, and it’s just because of the way we’re doing business that has nothing to do with them, you know? So that’s something to make sure we’re aware of.
Absolutely, I completely agree. And I really appreciate you bringing that up. Paley in terms of, you know, many times, as professionals, as service providers, those that are providing support to others, it can be really easy to view it as a, you know, me against them. But that’s not the case. Sometimes we have the problematic clients, you know, and there’s no no doubt that that takes place entirely. But most of the time, it can be easily resolved. And you can alleviate the burden on yourself, the pressure on yourself, the weight of all the things that you think you have to do by simplifying and systematizing and maintaining the quality of service that you’re providing and the value that you’re providing so that your client or your student never feels like they’re not receiving that full promise and the results that you intend to deliver. But again, you know, alleviating that burden and the weight that you’re holding on to because you think you have to do all the things but you don’t have to do things you can, you can simplify, you can systematize and you can lean on those that are here to provide support to you. And even if you don’t have a team member yet, there are so many different tools and software that can help you in automating and getting organized so that you’re not having to have The burden in your mind and carrying all the things that you think you have to carry. So I really appreciate you Haley for sharing that. I so appreciate you for being here. You’re so great. It’s always a pleasure and where are you hanging out? For those that want to hear more? I feel like we could certainly continue on and talk so much more about automating our sales, automating our marketing, automating the delivery of our service and our digital product. But I know your you talk about that often, too. So where are you hanging off?
Yeah, I am hanging out on Instagram @haleyburkhead. That’s where I am at pretty much every day. So definitely come hang out with me on there. And then I have that podcast as well at recurring profit podcast, you know, iTunes, Spotify, all the typical places.
I love it. I love it. I appreciate you, Haley. Thank you again. Yes.
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