Braco Pobric 0:00
Welcome to Business and happiness podcast. I'm your host, Braco Pobric. This episode is sponsored by life Success Academy, a place where you recreate your business and personal happiness.
So let's move to training. You know, some of these folks want to do the workshops, and maybe it's online training. And I know you do. You know, we kind of define what you do in a training, I believe you probably do some corporate trainings, I know you're doing some, you know, public workshops and I am not sure if you do online, so And how do you go about finding clients? Yeah, loaded question different areas you find in different ways. But is there something that you can share to help?
Lisa Sansom 0:46
Absolutely. So the other strange thing about my background, and again, why I've had this really weird path. My first career is I was a high school teacher. And so I have a Bachelor in education. I taught high school for seven years. And then when I got my first corporate job, after doing my MBA, I took a course in adult education to make sure that I could transfer what I knew about teaching teenagers into the corporate world. Turned out a lot of it was transferable. So if you're like an elementary or high school teacher out there, you got a lot of good transferable skills, just just know that.
So when I started doing corporate training, and came out of this organizational development background, because I had been working inside an organization for five years before launching my own business, I leveraged all of that. And what I really started doing to find a lot of those early clients, so first of all, leveraging the network, telling them what I was doing, I had created some courses out of things that I had learned through the MBA, and just other online training that I've done. I'm a lifelong learner. And so I was always picking up pieces from other people and reading books and saying, Oh, I could create a course based on some of that book stuff, or Ooh, that speaker just said something really interesting, I could create a program on that. And I did pick up a couple of certifications along the way.
One of the things about being a lifelong learner, and some people listening to this may have this. Yes, there is a strength called love of learning. And it is a very expensive strength. There are lots of organizations out there that are very happy to take your money for more and more certifications, I'm just going to say you probably have everything you need right now, to feed into your business and to create something that is meaningful and lucrative for you. So don't feel like you need more and more and more certifications. This is my own personal learning. So I ended up speaking at a lot of conferences. And again, I was very fortunate to be early in the field of positive psychology.
So I had something new to say out there on the conference circuit. A lot of the speaking I did was not paid. Sometimes I would get a free conference registration. Sometimes I would get paid gas money to drive to the conferences. Sometimes I was just going because I thought this was a really neat group of people to talk to. And I was funding that. So it's not like I was getting paid $20,000 to stand on the mainstage I do not have that cachet didn't have it bad don't have it. Now, if somebody wants to reach out to me, but I do not get paid the big bucks to do keynotes. I was doing breakouts and I was speaking at coaching conferences, I was speaking at teaching conferences, I was speaking at anything that I could put a proposal into, which is, you know, you got to learn how to write proposals. And anything that would accept me I would show up for so I was doing a lot of traveling.
And what I would be doing at those opportunities is sharing my business card with people answering their questions, meeting people in the hallways, just kind of like your standard networking. I'm also not a big extrovert. I'm an ambivert, I would say so this was energy consuming for me sometimes. But I also knew that's what I needed to do. And some of my best and most loyal customers have come out of a random speaking gig that I did somewhere. And again, it's that word of mouth. It's following up with people like it's all the things that you get told you should do. And you're like, yeah, yeah, but I don't have time. Well, it works. You know, I, I have used the expression before it's a numbers game. And I've been told I should stop using that expression. But I still feel it's a numbers game. Like, if you talk to 200 people, maybe 10 of them will follow up with you and maybe one of them will turn into a great client. But if you don't talk to those people, you never know who the one is.
So any opportunity that you have when I graduate from my MAPP. And I don't know if we've talked about this before. I had this mandate that I was going to give away positive psychology. And I was going to give away 51 talks on positive psychology and the number 51 came from Martin Seligman, his challenge to have 51% of the world's population flourishing by 2051. Now, there are a whole bunch of things when he launched that challenge, like we didn't know what flourishing was or how to measure it, or how many people were actually flourishing at the time. But that was a call to action that was issued at one of the world congresses, which is another great place to go to meet people. And I took that number 51. And I wanted to give away 51 talks on positive psychology.
And so I just put it out there to my local community said, I will drive anywhere within an hour, I will do this for free, I will commit to giving you one hour, and that allowed me a playground. So I found out what talks resonated with people. What did I say that worked really well? Where did people have questions? Where did they want me to go into deeper, and that allowed me to create a whole bunch of training opportunities, and to get to know the audience. I made zero money during that time, but I need tons of contacts. And then some of those free opportunities turned into paid opportunities or referrals. So again, like find your platform, if you want to do speaking or training, you're going to have to put yourself out there and just commit to doing the hard work.
Braco Pobric 6:33
Yeah, that's I mean, that's absolutely right. Right, you do have to do free speaking engagements, as you said, you know, I've done a bunch of these as well. And there was one of them in Florida, where we did together. Yeah, or congress of positive psychology, there was so much fun. And they should I happen to, like you said, meet so many people. And from there, I have so many great connections. You know, do I agree that we have to do this for free? I really don't. But that's reality. I think people should get paid, at least, you know, gas, money and hotel. But that's reality of today's world. You know, that's not much we can do. And there are some conferences where people even in the beginning, can you know, get
Lisa Sansom 7:12
Absolutely, absolutely, I think you also need to set your boundaries. So I was willing to do that. And I recognize that I have a certain amount of privilege that allowed me to do that. And not everybody has that. And I'm also talking about what the world was, like, you know, like 15 years ago, now, it's a lot easier to speak online, we're doing it right now, you know, like, you just get on your, your headset in your computer. And you can speak for free with a lot less cost. You don't have to fly somewhere. You don't have to pay for a hotel, you don't have to pay for your food. And so find those opportunities. And I encourage everybody to look locally. You know, like if you can speak somewhere, and all it costs you is parking, and maybe they'll even cover that. And just get your name out there and just figure out how do you connect with your audiences in meaningful ways? I think there's lots of opportunities once you get creative about it, and know your boundaries.
Braco Pobric 8:16
Yeah, that's That's so great. Today, as you said, it's just so easy. And I know some of the some of my students you know, they want to do, you can do online training, you can do code you can do speaking, you can do so much in today's world. So it is absolutely so much easier. So we covered kind of training and speaking, one thing I'm thinking, since I know some of these folks want to do some workshops and training, and what do you think, when we do the workshops, regardless if it is a corporate or online? Or what do you think our clients, what's the value? What do you think they should walk away with? You know, so that's worth for them? Regardless? What we charge $500? Or $30,000? What is it that they go? Hmm, you know, this was worth my time and money.
Lisa Sansom 9:05
Yeah, I spend a lot of time upfront consulting with my client on that. And I am a chronic customizer, I have never delivered the same workshop twice. I don't do cookie cutter. And so yeah, it's more work for me, but I feel better about it. And so I spent a lot of time talking with my client upfront. What's important, tell me about the organizational context who's going to be attending this, what do you want them to walk away with? And I also asked my clients if they have any kind of hidden curriculum or hidden agendas that are important. So for example, we've got some new people on this team and we want them to get to know each other, okay, like I'm not going to teach people how to get to know each other, but that might influence my design that might influence how I do the breakout groups that might influence some of the questions I get them to ask each other or You know, these two people are having a really stressful time, it'd be great if they came away with some of these skills or some support or whatever it's like, okay, let's build that into the design.
So what people walk away with? Yes, absolutely, it needs to be of value. I'm a big believer in making things really tangible, really concrete. And I'm also a big believer in giving my clients something free that they can do the next day, right? Like, if we talk about five minutes of mindfulness, that's something free they can do the next day. If I talk about like gratitude, like, Can you text somebody and tell them how grateful you are, that's something free that they can do the next day, like just really concrete, really immediate, lots of impact, because people are busy, right?
Everybody in every organization is screamingly busy. And people don't have budgets to invest in things and they don't have time to do things. So that's a lot of what I'm looking for, as I consult with the client, what is something free and easy that they can do immediately the next day, that's going to give them some sort of boost. Because we also know like from the work on habit formation, that if something works for you, you're more likely to keep doing it. So I consult heavily with my client before any engagement and to make sure that I'm delivering something that's uniquely a value for them, given their specific situation. free, easy, concrete, tangible. And that has worked for me over many, many engagements.
Braco Pobric 11:34
That's awesome. You know, I was thinking, as you said, you do always, you know, customize, and it's a lot more work. And I was talking with comedians, they basically say that, you know, you do 10 minutes of getting you do that over years and years and years until you perfect, you don't create a new thing. We create all these new things. I do the same thing. Right? Especially with the corporate and corporate world, you have to.
Lisa Sansom 11:55
Yes. And my basis is the same. Yes, it's rooted in the science. So growth mindset is growth mindset. Active constructive, responding is active, constructive, responding, resilience and resilience. Like it's rooted in the same science. But the way I approach it, the exercises I put around it, the way I talk about it, the language I use, is going to change from client to client.
Braco Pobric 12:18
Right, right. And like you said, it's really so important to give them something immediately, they can apply, they can practice, I mean, that I'm big on application, you know, all this research is great. But yeah, it's really just great. Like, you know, all this talk about, you know, my wife, she has like, knowledge, and you can talk to you about everything. But she's not as big on changing things in life like I am, I'll pick something and it's all about, you know, how can I improve my life? Because I read this book, how can I improve my life? Because I went to the workshop, right? So that's what we bring to the clients. That's pretty cool. That's pretty cool.
So let's move briefly consulting. I know we don't have a lot more time. So do you. It's funny, like, I have a feeling I've been doing consulting forever, like, your kid. It's just my I love I love it. Because to me, it's like changing your job every, like, couple of weeks or a couple of months. Right? So really changing your job, you're still getting paid, but you change your job. Every time job description changes, you have to prove yourself every time. Cool. How did you get your first consulting gig? And what would you recommend folks to do if they decide to go that way?
Lisa Sansom 13:28
Yeah, I'm gonna sound so much like a broken record here, perhaps Bratzo but it is the network. It is networking. Most consultants that I know got their first gig through somebody that they know, my very first consulting gig was my former employer that I had left. When I left that employer, it was my choice. I was moving two hours away. And I had asked, Could I be a remote employee. And this was like 2004. So I was like, apparently way ahead of the curve, because they didn't have any policies to deal with that. And I knew it was possible, you know, the technology existed, but I just couldn't do it. They had no permissions in place to do that. But they were willing to consult, have me consult back to them. And so I had to really quickly create my own consulting business with the very Monday name of LDS consulting, and I consulted back to them.
And then because of the work I was doing with them, I got to meet other people and got to partnership with them as well. Now, the other thing I will say that I did, and this worked very well, for me, your milage may vary, is I partnered with organizations so that I could consult to an organization that sells training, or an organization that sells consulting, and I did a lot of partnerships with them. So I had other organizations selling my services for them. So for example, I found a training company and I looked through their Online Catalog. And they were selling nothing about change management. And so I emailed them cold call cold email knew nobody there. And I said, there's a gap in your offerings, you're not selling anything on helping organizations and leaders adapt to and manage change, here's my background, would you be open to talking.
And that turned into something for me. Now, not every organization that I approach like that followed up with me, but the ones that I did are now selling my services. And I would get a random call that would say, Hey, Lisa, we have a client who's interested in learning about organizational change management, can you talk to them, of course, I can talk to them. And so because I had someone else marketing for me, and also setting the rates, and the rates were lower, because they're taking on some of that marketing work and some of that risk, but they were still very good rates. And I was able to do work for them. And then once I get into an organization, people are like, Oh, can you come speak to this other organization. So working with third party providers has really helped me get my consulting out there, get my coaching out there. There are lots of people out there who will do the work for you. And if you demonstrate the value that you are bringing, and the gaps that you're helping them close, those can be some really valuable partnerships.
Braco Pobric 16:22
This is a really, really great idea networking. Same thing with the last 25 years I didn't look for job as in, I still have a full time job was I love doing this. And I didn't look for a job. It was all about networking, they reached out and offered me something. And but the second idea I really love which is reaching out, I mean, you may have to send you know, 100 emails, it doesn't matter. Something will come up. If you keep you know, being persistent and doing it. It's awesome. It works for you. It will work for a lot of people. Thanks. Thanks.
Lisa Sansom 16:54
Yeah, the one thing I'll say on that is make sure you have a good tracking system. Who are you emailing? What are you emailing them about? What was the date, when you're going to follow up with them? What conversation did you have? Like, you need a way to track that? And then yeah, you don't hear from somebody? That's fine. Give them a phone call in two weeks?
Braco Pobric 17:13
Yes. You know, you said tracking just reminded me one thing I wanted to ask you, I do know that you are very active on social media on different platforms. And most of this my students, as you know, they tried to figure out what do I do Facebook, LinkedIn, I do this? What advice would you give? I remember, in the old days, we went to positive psychology, you know, Congress in a conference and you were like, on social media, he was so active. Any advice you would give some of us who are not that good.
Lisa Sansom 17:47
Oh, god, thank you for that. Yeah, sometimes that's embarrassing. My husband tells me I spend way too much time on social media. And, and it has changed over the years. So I like social media, I moderate my consumption of it. And I post things through HootSuite, which is a platform that allows you to create once and post to multiple platforms, you have to give it permissions and all those sorts of things. And there are other ones out there, Hootsuite, just the one that I landed on, but it probably makes me look a lot more active on social media than I am.
And I manage all my own social media, which means that it's very amateur hour out there. And because I have this love of learning, I read a lot of articles, I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, and every now and then I see something in my field of coaching, leadership, organizational development, change management, and I'm like, I think my network might be interested in that. So I really quickly go into Hootsuite schedule a post, hit, you know, post or publish or whatever the button is. And then it goes out there. And then because I've put that out there, the next time I go check that social media feed like LinkedIn or Facebook or whatever, it'll tell me if someone's engaged with it. And I usually just like their post or write an extra comment, like, it's very short when you take a look at what I do. But yeah, it's it's about consistently being out there. And I love my network, like in the Gallup strengths. One of my top strengths is relator, which is the ability to maintain long term relationships over time. And that's something that energizes me and I know it's going to be different for everybody, but it it works for me.
Braco Pobric 19:31
And as you said, you know, I know some of these folks, it's really it's about being consistent. And it's also about you know, creating that schedule, not just jumping back and forth all day long but creating a schedule or putting, you know, Hootsuite or whatever other software we use, you recreate and publishing Exactly. How do you do you see connection between what you do with the social media and you know, business side if you will? I'm not saying You know, you're gonna make money because you've published something. But there is a connection, a lot of people on social media, because they will establish the presence. They want people to get some point that turns into some kind of, you know, dollar amount, if you will, which your
Lisa Sansom 20:17
Yeah, my experience is that most of my business still comes through the network, and the credibility is built through the social media, I can probably count on one hand, all the times in 15 years that someone has said, Hey, I saw your post on social media, I have a business opportunity. And usually, when people approached me with that, it's because they want me to give them money so that I become their client in some sort, of course, or program or something. And I don't accept those invitations to connect anymore. Like I am not interested. If I want to work with someone, I will choose to work with somebody.
So really, all those LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter posts kind of speak to my brand and my credibility, the business is still mostly coming in through my network, and who I know and who is out there and who's referring me. But if someone's never worked with me before, sure, they're going to find me on social media. I don't get a lot of really big clients that way. They're through the partnerships. They're through existing clients. So is it important to have Yeah, absolutely. Do I worry if I miss a couple of days or go dark for a week? No, because I've got so much collateral out there that it's speaking for me anyways, I don't even run a newsletter anymore. I ran out of time to do that. And one of these days, I will pick it back up. But what I have out there is what I have out there, I'm much more focused on the real relationships to generate business.
Braco Pobric 21:50
Makes sense? That's, that's yeah, I do the same thing. So what's the final words of wisdom, you know, to our new practitioners, you know, people really passionate, able and really want to help other people in different ways, you know, regardless if it's coaching or consulting or speaking, and but they also want to find business. Is there some final word of wisdom for somebody like you to tell them?
Lisa Sansom 22:16
Yeah, I, I wish I had a magic wand that could just make everybody understand that they have everything that they need right now. They got it, like, whatever it is you're doing. You got this. And it's about communicating that out to your network, asking for help seeking the resources, but just start wherever it is that you are, the rubber hits the road, start making things happen. Is it going to be perfect and beautiful? No. But it's going to be something and you're going to learn so much from it. So just get started. You have everything that you need.
Braco Pobric 22:59
That's the best advice that you can get. Thank you so much. Yes, they have everything they need. They just need to get started. Thank you so much. Such a such a pleasure talking to you my friend.
Lisa Sansom 23:09
Thank you but I had so this has been wonderful.
Braco Pobric 23:12
Thanks so much. Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.
Lisa Sansom 23:16
Thank you. Yes you too.
Braco Pobric 23:18
Become the life success academy founding member, go to academy of life success.com and click on founding member to get 60% of full membership