Lauren Midgley, a business strategist, bestselling author and powerhouse professional speaker, started her company Lauren Midgley Consulting in 2010, after a 25 year career with two Fortune 500 companies. She is a long-time observer of why some people are successful and others are not. Productivity, self-discipline and accountability play a huge part in getting results.
She works with high achieving individuals to focus on exactly what needs to happen next to get results in their personal and professional life. The focus is on basic business principles, systems, productivity, performance factors and profits to get results. Her third book became an Amazon best seller: It’s 6 a.m and I’m Already Behind – Strategies to Get Caught Up.
Lauren lives in Dallas – Ft Worth, TX.
Lauren loves to read business books. She loves to spend time with her kids and significant other. She loves to enjoy down time and personal development.
She worked in corporate for 25 years. For 17 years she was helping franchise owners grow their businesses. She loved the coaching aspect of her job but didn't enjoy the travel as much as she used to. So she left the company to start her own consulting and coaching business working with local entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The first year she spent a lot of time networking and found many business owners needed her help but couldn't afford to hire her.
About a year in she started speaking and saw a much higher rate of return on her time investment over networking events. She also began writing books that paralleled her message these she considers to be a second tipping point in building her business.
Lauren is writing a book on profitability. She wants to be the go-to person on time and money, productivity and profitability and the new book is another step in that direction.
Lauren generates about 50% from speaking engagements, 45% from coaching and consulting, and 5% from book royalties.
New Client Attraction
1. Understand the problems your client is facing.
2. Niche down or have a specialty.
Habit or Skill - Follow up
Quality - Active listening
Internet Resource - Voice Record Pro app
Connect - LaurenMidgley.com
Or connect on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or email her at: lauren (at) laurenmidgley (dot) com
Millette: Today we're speaking with Lauren Midgley. Lauren is a business strategist, bestselling author and powerhouse professional speaker. She started her company Lauren Midgley Consulting in 2010 after a twenty five year career with two Fortune five hundred companies. She's a longtime observer of why some people are successful and others are not. Productivity, self-discipline and accountability play a huge part in getting results. She works with high achieving individuals to focus on exactly what needs to happen next to get results in their personal and professional life. The focus is on basic business principles, systems, productivity, performance factors and profits to get results. Her third book became an Amazon best seller It's Six am and I'm Already Behind: 30 Strategies to Get Caught Up. I think we all feel that way sometimes! Lauren, thank you so much for joining me today.
Lauren: Glad to be here Millette thanks so much for having me.
Millette: Before we jump into more about your business I would love it if you would tell us just a little bit about you maybe some of the things you like to do when you're not busy working.
Lauren: Sounds good, well, I am a reader, huge reader. Love to read and mostly my library is big on business books. I'm one of those that it is fascinating to me to see what's coming out next from our big thought leaders that are out there in the marketplace. But you know I'm not a total nerd so I do enjoy being with my kids. I have a long time companion, significant other, whatever you want to call it and enjoy just being with them. We just got back from a football game out at Texas Tech where my daughter attends. So I love doing lots of different things but in my downtime I am studying and reading and just working on personal development.
Millette: Very cool. I think a lot of people who are entrepreneurs kind of do that because when I look over at the stack of books that I have if they're not business they’re personal development. And I actually joined a book club just so that I would get back into reading some fiction occasionally.
Lauren: Yes that escape, right?
Millette: Exactly. So, we all love to be inspired by people's journey and the first part of our conversation is going to focus on your journey. I said in the intro that you started your company in 2010 so tell us a little bit more about your business, the coaching aspect of it and what really led you to get into that.
Lauren: Well it's interesting Millette, I had been in a company, worked for them for seventeen years and it was a franchise company and my role was to help our franchisees grow their business. So myself and my department we were kind of the franchise consultants and you know in that process we were coaching our franchisees on how to grow and build their business and I loved that aspect of it. I learned coaching, I call it on the job training, I would work with these business owners and we would just dig into their business plan what they were interested in and where they wanted to go, what they wanted that business to do for them.
Lauren: And so I decided in 2010 that I had been doing a fair amount of traveling and at that time my kids were just heading into high school and I knew that they were going to be gone from my life and in college and life beyond not too long after that. So I made the decision to voluntarily leave the corporate world and start my own business kind of doing what I had been doing with the franchisees but to do it here locally in the Dallas area with small business owners. So kind of taking what I had learned on the job if you will and applying it in a local format and it worked really well. But I will tell you it was interesting, big difference between being a salaried employee at a corporation helping individuals vs now I'm a coach and now I'm doing business development and selling myself and my skills in order for people to hire me.
Millette: A lot of people make that leap from corporate or from being an employee not necessarily in corporate. But it's like most people have been employed somewhere and then you'd make that shift to where you're the boss and it's all on you to motivate yourself and to get yourself up and get going and the thing is a lot of times we don't do that good of a job. Maybe we just don't know how.
Lauren: That's a big part of it, that really truly is a big part of it. So in the early stages for me I did a lot a lot of local networking because I just wanted to really learn who was out there and who were potential businesses that might need my services.
Millette: Right, so when you were doing the networking did you find that that was really the key to you sort of getting dug in on your business? Was that sort of like a big benefit to you?
Lauren: Absolutely well because it also gave me an idea of what were the diverse businesses that were out there and what were people in business making a living doing. And so it helped me to see that broad perspective but what I also found out there Millette was that there were a lot of people that were really trying to do a business but they weren't doing it well. And I found that a lot of them really didn't have money to hire me. So that was kind of interesting you know it was they were barely scraping by, they needed me right but they were barely scraping by and could not necessarily afford me. So I had to kind of look at things a little bit differently and figure that out.
Millette: Yeah I think that's really interesting that so many people approach networking you know almost like just as a way to get business and I think that maybe when you come at it from that perspective of I'm going in here to this group of warm bodies and by golly I'm signing somebody up. That's not nearly as beneficial to your business as when you can go in and just learn from people. Maybe get some of that intel, if you will, for your business. And sort of keep the lines of communication open. So there may be some opportunities to work together but maybe not going in with that being your sole purpose.
Lauren: Exactly it was really more about building the relationships. What was interesting, so I started my business in July of 2010 but along the way was probably I want to say in 2011 about a year or so later I realized that if I were to get comfortable with public speaking with getting my message in front of business groups and business owners that I would have a better chance of sharing who I am, what my message was about (which was to help business owners grow their business) and I was I was able to market let's call it one to many.
Lauren: So instead of networking and trying to get that one on one relationship going I could be in front of a group of people, share my message, and what I found with that was that maybe about thirty percent of the group would kind of get what I was talking about and figure out that it applied to them and then ultimately we would connect after that session or that meeting. About one third of the group there were like interesting information Lauren not sure if it really applies to me or not and then the other third of the group was like she's not really for me or the content didn't really motivate them to action. I loved your comment early on about inspiration and action so about 2011 or 2012 I started using public speaking to small groups to networking groups and things like that as a way to just become more visible as a coach. And communicate to people here's what I do, here's information that you need to know about your business on how to build it and oh by the way maybe I might be the solution to help you in your business. So it was an interesting strategy to move forward in attracting clients.
Millette: Right well I think a lot of coaches get into speaking for that reason to broaden the scope of the people that they can get in front of. To do like you said the one to many and then also to sort of have that credibility or the authority. When you're the person up there speaking people unconsciously look to you as the expert or as the authority on the subject because they're the one sitting down in the chair and you're the one up there leading the discussion. So it sort of lends itself to helping a coach build up their credibility.
Lauren: It really did make a difference of being the best kept secret versus you know a little bit less of a best kept secret. And getting out there I really did find that it helped to connect with people because you know if you're telling the right stories and you really have let's say a skill set in a particular area then you know people that need that or see you as the solution they're going to make their way to you and find you. You kind of laughed at my title of my book and it was designed really to do that. It's six am and I'm already behind strategies to get caught up. It was kind of like as I began speaking on the topic of productivity and how that impacted their life as a business owner and then ultimately I wanted to be that coach or consultant that would help them realize that this is an area that you've got to get right first and then the rest will follow. But you know it is kind of interesting, do I think I'm a total expert on productivity no, not necessarily, there's a lot of people out there that talk on it and have written a lot of books as well but I certainly do study it and study how time impacts other people.
Millette: Well one thing that you said which was you have to have the right story. I think that's what makes people chuckle at the title of that book. They see themselves in it. They know that they have woke up at six am and been like geez I might as well go back to bed there's nothing I can do, I'm so far behind already. And I think that aspect of storytelling is something that coaches can really use to their advantage because people are throwing around this term know, like, and trust and honestly it's one of those things that I'm almost getting tired of hearing but it's so true. You have to get people to know you and then one of the best ways for that I think is by drawing them into your story.
Lauren: Absolutely, absolutely and you know I have to tell you a quick story about that. I had this one lady come up to me and say “So Lauren are you suggesting that I get up at 4 AM so I get caught up before 6?” I just have to look at her like no that's really not the idea I said it's really more the chronic being behind and feeling overwhelmed and overcommitted and how you're showing up that way and I was like “no you don't have to get up at four”. And you're right people do see themselves in the story and it's one of those things for coaches to think about how do they share their story, their content? Whether it’s through a blog or a video or speaking but it's those stories that really connect us with other people. And then what's interesting is then build the relationship.
I've had people come up to me when I'm speaking at a venue and then somebody will come up to me and say “I saw you speak before and I read your book” and then they feel like they know me, which they do because with a book or a blog whatever you open yourself up. Here's who you are and here's the message that you're trying to get out there to help people. Because when I look at a coach, a coach is really trying to help someone from where they are to get them to where they want to go. So it's that gap in between and if you've got the right coach they're going to walk you through the steps to get you from where you are to where you want to go. But that whole know, like, and trust, I believe, if you do not have the chemistry with somebody as a coach you're not going to get to that trust level. And that's where the magic happens.
Millette: So you've talked a lot about the speaking so would you say that was really what gave you the momentum to really get your business off the ground or was there some other tipping point that you would like to share with us?
Lauren: Well the speaking for me really was the tipping point in that key area. What I think it did for me was build my confidence to let me know that I could connect with individuals and like I said maybe thirty to fifty percent of the audience would come up to me afterwards and say I want to stay connected with you or let's talk further that kind of thing. But that was really the difference because when I was networking and trying to do business development or get interactions it was a little bit rougher going if you will. Not everybody is a public speaker but it's a skill that can be learned. I think when you show up in front of the room or on stage and you're just authentic and you're being real and you’re authentic about your message it can be really powerful. So it was a tipping point.
Lauren: And I think the second one was this hardcover book that we've been talking about. It really did help me get more clients because again it gave a little bit more of a “Lauren as a solution” because that's what people are literally looking for. I mean we don't wake up this morning and say “oh I need a coach” ou know you wake up thinking “I got this problem in my life I need to get fixed”. So I'm looking to solve the problem and how do I get there and the coach is one of the ways to make that happen.
Millette: I think that's interesting because a lot of times as coaches we will sit back and say OK what are the things that I need to do to be successful in business? Well, I need to write a book, I need to get out there and speak, I need to...fill in the blanks. So that I look like the authority, so that I look like I have credibility. But the thing is really yes we do need to do a lot of these things and a lot of different things but it's not all about us. We really have to keep in mind that these things that we're doing are really just to show the people that we want to work with that we understand their problem. That we know what their pain is and we have ways to help them solve it.
Lauren: Absolutely, absolutely and what you're really doing, I think, is trying to position yourself as the go-to person. Let’s say you're a health and wellness type of coach right and you're in a particular geographic area particular city you want to figure out how do you become that go-to person that everybody's talking about. I mean like there's a gentleman that's in the Dallas area and he happens to be a really good friend of mine well he's the go-to person on Linked In. And he coaches people and consults with people on LinkedIn and he's worked hard to get to that go-to status if you will.
Millette: So most of your business is local or do you do anything online?
Lauren: I have done online webinars in the past but I also travel nationally and I also have some clients that I do coach online as well so that we use Skype and we work at their business so they are not all in the Dallas area.
Millette: Do you think that that's really a good first step for any coach? To try to really get into a local niche first and then sort of branch out and get online is that something that you feel pretty good about?
Lauren: I do I think it's one path and you know I think there's not just one way to do anything right, there's multiple ways to do it. And so you've got to figure out what's best for you. But for me the being local it was a lot easier. I could identify the networking groups. I could identify the people who were looking for speakers. What it did kind of goes back to two things that lead to a third thing. So visibility and confidence, it built my confidence up and then I think what that led to ultimately were referrals. Because people did see it like, “well if you want to grow your business and grow your profits you know Lauren is a good solid business coach she knows how to make that happen she's going to look at your business and dissected it”.
Lauren: And so I got referrals from people I would run into at the networking groups. I would run into life coaches and I would say well I don't really do life coaching and so we would partner up. Somebody needed a life coach I would refer them to this other person and vice versa. If there was a business owner that really wanted to work on their business they would refer me. So I'm a big believer in, I call it adjacent business marketing if you will, so if you're a life coach and I'm a business coach we might really partner up and work well together. Because we're not going after the same clients if you will but it's just another person that's out there.
Millette: Yeah Absolutely, I think that's a great idea. A lot of people tend to look at other coaches whether it's their niche or not, they tend to look at other coaches a little bit more like competition. Or just someone to be a little leery of as far as don't give out any secrets or don't tell them what you're doing. And I think that it really works better for everybody to sort of get into more of that collaborative mindset. You know, how can we help each other, how can we work together?
Lauren: Absolutely some of my best friends in the Dallas area are some business coaches and we know one another and again it goes back to chemistry because ultimately when that client hires you it's because they feel like they know you, like you, and trust you. And a woman business owner might feel more comfortable with me as a male business owner might want a male business coach. So I want to be able to, if I'm not the right fit or the right chemistry, I want to refer that to one of my other business coach buddies.
Lauren: And I believe in karma that what goes around comes around. We're not for everybody, we think we might be a good fit for everybody but we’re not and we have to realize that. I always like to say, this is what I do as a business coach but here's the area I specialize in. So my specialty might be different than another business coach’s specialty. I have a business coach friend that really digs in on operations and inventory and all that. Well I have no experience with that whatsoever and so if I run across a client that really needs that I'm the first one saying “you know what? that's not my area but I do know somebody you should talk to”. So how we become unstoppable is that we just keep persistant and going and talking and trying to build relationships with almost everybody that we can and then be that resource to refer out to other people, other resources, that we know in our network.
Millette: Yeah, absolutely. Now I'd like to go back and talk about your book a little bit because in the introduction I said that this was your third book. So talk a little bit about how you got started with writing a book or what got you thinking about that and just give us a little more info on that aspect of your business.
Lauren: Well what I found is, so again it relates a little bit to the speaking. What I found was I was kind of saying the same things over and over and over again when I was speaking. One of the things I do when I speak is I record the audio so that I can go back and listen to the audience interaction. Well ultimately what I found was I had a lot of let's say information and tips. So the way that I structured the book was I started with a table of contents. And I said OK if I am writing to a specific person to tell them how to be more productive what would I say? So I pulled some of my information from my coaching sessions and from some of the speaking and I began to just write. I would focus on the top two to three things to do on a daily basis. So I began writing out the thirty strategies (and to start out with I actually had more than that right but I narrowed it down). And then I went back and I said OK on this one strategy what do I write? And then what came to mind for me was kind of a case study or an example. And so I put that in there as well so it's very, I'm going to call it conversational. It's short bits and bites so you can pick it up and put it back down.
Lauren: But the idea here was that that book added to my overall credibility and helped me to get speaking engagements and help me get coaching clients. So to me I think a lot of people are afraid of writing a book but you know we have content inside that we know. I call it “Lauren-isms”, you know things that I say all the time. I don't coach on how to write a book but I do offer thoughts if people or friends ask. I'll just say open up a Word doc and just pretend that you're writing just the Table of Contents. What would be the big chapters or the big topics if you will. And all of this by the way is nonfiction. I would be lost, hopelessly lost, at writing fiction. What would be the big things that you would say? And I've seen people that actually do mind mapping where they'll say here's my central idea and then here's all the topics off of that. And then ultimately got I got a good editor because I'm not the world's greatest writer or the best at grammar. So the editor helped clean that up. I want to say writing a book is not hard it's just that there's a lot of steps to follow and do takes a bit of time and discipline.
Millette: Well Lauren one of the things that I think is really interesting for coaches is, I think you mentioned earlier, that we are already have a lot of content. I mean most people whether they're a podcaster and they have past episodes, whether they blog and they have blog posts or even just the tips and tricks that they share on social media or the speeches that they give, everybody as a coach you're going to have some sort of content. So you really already have a basis that you can start to look at and start to think about what in here really has performed well? What has the most comments? What have people shared the most? What do people talk to me about the most? And you might just have the beginnings of a book that you can put together.
Lauren: Absolutely, my first book was called Successfully Failing at Procrastination and that was exactly it. I took my blog posts and kind of compiled them together. I didn't publish just the blogs and put it into a book format but that was the basis of it. And when I think honestly about what was the basis of the blogs they were from coaching sessions. If I thought back about a conversation that I had with one of my coaching clients like even last week it was like what was it and I'll give an example. One was where she was chronically rescheduling. So I was coaching her from a productivity standpoint on why she was chronically rescheduling. It was impacting her work, how people looked at her, and she really wanted my help in figuring that out. So we dove into it and dug deep on it.
Lauren: Well ultimately I wrote a blog post about that, I didn't use her name and I didn't use her exact situation, but I took that situation and then put it into more what I would call a generic or a general format. And thinking about the population in general if you're a chronic reschedule or here's some things that you may want to consider doing. So I took the, let's call it the problem that this client had but I took the problem made it into kind of a general couple of paragraphs to describe the problem. You’re trying to find that tribe that would relate to that, like you raise your hand “I'm a chronic rescheduler”. So, I’ll write about that and then offer like three things that would help them to do that differently and that became my blog. Because it was something that was easy to write on most importantly because it was fresh in my mind because I had just helped her and we talked about those three things and probably a few more. But it was fresh in my mind so I'm one of those that I can sit down at a blank piece of paper and write on something that's fresh in my mind or a problem that I've been thinking about or problem that I just saw or situations that I just solved for someone. I can easily knock that out however if I just kind of think of this random topic and I've got a blank piece of paper I'm like “oh my gosh”. I could sit there with that blank piece of paper for a long time.
Millette: Oh yeah, yeah it's going to stay blank.
Lauren: It is going to stay blank. So from a coaching standpoint if you're not blogging or doing some sort of post on LinkedIn or something like that just think about what's fresh. And it could be two hundred words, it doesn't have to be five hundred or two thousand I mean if you look at Seth Godin’s blog they're short, sweet, simple and not long.
Millette: I think that's really a great piece of advice. I don't know if you've ever done any of, not really personality testing but like, the Strengths Finder and DiSC? On DiSC I'm a “Refiner” so I am not like this strictly creative person but if I have something that gets me kicked off I can take an idea and then run with that really, really easily. And I think for a lot of people that’s a perfect piece of advice, to start using the things that come up in your coaching. If you have trouble just thinking of blog post ideas or just thinking of content ideas use the stuff that comes up in your coaching to kind of get you kicked off.
Lauren: Absolutely, if anyone, and I will share with you again going back to thinking about what you do consistently as a coach or what comes natural for you, to realize that it may not be natural for everybody else. So I’ll give an example: when I was in corporate one of the things that we did in our department that was a consistent process and everybody kind of loved it was- we called it the Start, Stop and Continue. That’s not an original idea on my part but it was something that we implemented so on a quarterly basis what projects should we start doing, what should we stop doing and what should we continue? So when I work with my coaching clients that's one thing that's a process that I consistently do. And maybe it might be of benefit to write a blog post about that as to why that's a great thing. That process or procedure or whatever you do as a coach. If you think about what you do consistently, what comes natural to you, again it is just a way to create content and share your wisdom with others in a broader sense.
Millette: Lauren one thing that I want to learn a little bit more about is how do you use your book? You did mention that that's kind of lending some credibility, maybe it's helped you get some speaking engagements or just made you look pretty good to those people that are giving out those speaking engagements, when you're a bestselling author that makes a difference a lot of times. So what are some of the ways that you found to use your book in your coaching business?
Lauren: So within my coaching business, well first of all whenever I meet with a coaching prospect I always take a complimentary copy of the book. It's a hardcover book, it retails for $24.95 and the perceived value is more than what I paid for it. So I see it as a calling card that I use initially to say here’s some productivity tips that might help you. I always bring it to a prospect meeting and I use it when I go to networking events. So I have a box of books in my car and I always bring it in as a giving away gift even if I'm not in a speaker I'll find the organizer of the meeting and say hey if you're giving gifts here's my book. They can pick somebody in the audience to give it to. So what does that do for me? That helps me get more visibility. If people didn't know me, if I only met four or five people that day you know it obviously helped with that. I have an active campaign where I sent it out complimentary to people. I have a really nice piece of letterhead and a white box that I put it into so if I'm out and I'm looking at speaking with somebody about their business I might send a complimentary gift to their business. And say I know you've got a three million dollar business, you've been in the spa world in the Dallas area, you're a well-known business woman in this community I’d love to have a conversation with you about your business and what challenges you might be having.
Lauren: So I also use it as a complimentary gift when I'm speaking. When I do speaking engagements sometimes my fee will include one hundred free books for attendees. So I just spoke for example for L’Oréal and they wanted all of their sales team to have a copy of the book which was awesome. So those were autographed in advance and provided to them. I will actually incorporate some elements of the chapters in my book in my speech, I'll tell some stories or some highlights of here's a couple strategies to focus on. So I'm always talking about how the book kind of works into it. My belief is if I give half away and I sell half that's awesome because to me the book is the calling card, it's a business card for me. A little bit more expensive than a normal business card but I'm not handing it out to everybody. To me it's what I call a stand out factor. And I think in the coaching world there's so many coaches that are out there that one of the things that you have to look for is what's your differentiator? How can you stand out and be a a step above if you will.
Millette: I think that's a really interesting idea because especially nowadays where it's so easy to publish your own book, to do the self-publishing thing, most people will just go with getting it on Amazon, maybe having a soft cover. I think taking that extra step of going ahead and getting the hardcover is a good way to differentiate yourself.
Lauren: Absolutely and I will tell you the hardcover does get attention because there's a lot of authors that are out there that have some great content, great information but the hardcover self-published puts you into the realm and if it's really a good looking hard cover then you look one of the big boys or the big ladies if you will. It really defines you and honestly shows that you are committed to what you're doing. It's kind of like on the topic of me coaching people on their business, it's what I do all day long right and so to me I'm fully committed and I'm going to use all the tools that I can to build my business and to show that I'm fully committed.
Millette: That makes sense, absolutely. I think that's really a great idea for people that are in the position to be able to take that step and make that investment in their business. It really is just a little bit of a differentiator. I don't want to downplay the idea of coaches putting books out because that's really important. I think that's something that's a really good thing to have even if you start out with a soft copy of the book. I mean that's great to be able to use to have it like you said a sort of a calling card you should absolutely do that. But if you get to that point where you're able to take that next step and make that investment into your business I think a hardcover book it really just sort of puts a little cherry on top, it's really nice.
Lauren: Absolutely and if I can get into logistics and a real technical point the thought is if you have created the Word document book if you will get it formatted, edited and formatted it gets turned into a pdf. The pdf is what gets sent to Create Space which is part of Amazon. You’ve got the interior pages and then you create a pdf which is going to be your book cover, well at that point, you're eighty five percent of the way done on a hardcover. Meaning to have the pdf you already have both of the pdf’s done the only difference with the hardcover is you might have a dust jacket so now your cover has those little flaps that you need to write in. And you're looking at that point for a printer to do that for you so for me I knew that I was going to do a hard cover and I also knew that I was going to take that extra step and create a soft cover on Amazon because that's print on demand, it's easy to order. So you're right it's just kind of one of those things of what's your commitment? What's it going to do for you? I always believe a book unless you're you known and incredible author and you're selling millions a book is really more a way to get your message out, credibility, and it's a standout factor and it's worth looking at and doing.
Millette: Now we've talked about a few different things: your speaking and your book and the actual coaching and consulting that you do. Are those the main ways that you're generating revenue in your business or is there anything else that you have going on?
Lauren: Those are the three main things and I stick to those. I really stay focused on those three things and truly you know that consulting is probably fifty percent of my revenue. The speaking is probably about forty five percent and the book royalties is probably about five percent. I still want to do the consulting and the coaching because that's the laboratory, that's where I'm staying close to what's going on in my client's business if you will.
Millette: So what's next in your business? Are you content with where you are or are you looking to create anything new in the future?
Lauren: So my new thing is working on a fourth book. I don't have a title yet because I'm looking for that clever, catchy title like the other one. But it's on profitability for the business owner, on why you need to understand how to make profits in your business, to invest in that type of thing. So it's a little bit more niched down but ultimately what I'm looking for the future is to be the go-to person on time which is productivity and money which is profitability. So that's what I'm working on but I continue to do the speaking and continue to do the coaching and that's what I love. I do it all day, every day.
Millette: So would you say that as far as a marketing strategy to kind of introduce new people to who you are and what you do that the speaking engagements are really probably your favorite thing.
Lauren: Yes, yes.
Millette: With your speaking let's dig into that just a little bit because there's honestly there's a lot of different ways to go about it. I've heard people say that they go in and the idea is they get paid by the company to go in they give their talk and maybe they'll have somebody reach out to them later for coaching. Other people say go with associations, they're more invested, they're putting their own money up, you're going to get more individual clients that way. Do you look at it as the speaking is a way to get individual clients or are you more interested in the speaking is what you’re offering- that's my teaching, that's my training, I go into it I'm going to consult with this business, I go in and speak and that's what they're getting from me.
Lauren: So I think it's an evolution. I think it's a process. I was unstoppable in looking for speaking engagements locally and I would speak for free in front of business groups so it could be Chambers, it would be Rotary, it would be networking groups that were comprised of business owners. And I was looking for that individual business owner that needed coaching and continued development in their business. So I would speak for free is how I started out. Ultimately I did get involved with the National Speaker Association and switched over into what I call the professional speaking world where I would go into companies and I would get paid a fee and I would speak to a group of people that were in a company. So it was like I spoke to a group of franchise business owners and they paid me my fee and then they all got copies of the book. But if a franchise owner came up to me afterwards and said “hey I want you to work with me in my specific business” that was awesome. But that was not that why I was hired originally.
Lauren: I think there are a lot of different models. Sometimes just building your speaking message, sometimes speaking for free and as I said a certain percentage of the audience you're going to be speaking their language. They're going to come up to you and say I want to know more about your consulting and coaching practice, tell me about how you can help me, I've got this problem. So there's a whole blend of ways to go about it. My current path right now is that I'm looking for speaking engagements at franchise companies so that I can be at their franchise conference so that I can do breakout sessions with smaller groups of franchise owners. So I really niched it down because that was my background seventeen years in franchising I know that group, I'm really comfortable with it, I know what their problems are and I know I can help them solve them. I think it goes back to looking at what kind of groups are you comfortable being in front of.
Millette: There are so many different nuances. As a coach there's just so many different ways that you can work it and different things that you can try out so I think that it's definitely something that coaches need to look into a little bit deeper. So knowing what you know now about building up a successful business what would be one piece of advice that you would give to someone who's just getting started maybe something that they should do first if they want to build that foundation of a solid coaching business or maybe even is there anything you wish you had done first?
Lauren: I think that the tip that I would give is to make sure that you truly understand the problems that your clients are experiencing. And I think niching down into it particular segment of who are you really looking for. If you're a life coach really niche down to what's the age group that I know I really resonate with and what are the problems are facing because somebody who is fifty five is facing way different problems than somebody that's climbing the corporate ladder at age twenty five or thirty five. Get clear or you are, on who your audience is, and what their problems are and have it written out on paper. And what then is your way to help solve that problem is powerful. What you want to do is think about their problem in their words not your words. So you might listen in on how people are speaking about their problem and capture those words. When you capture those words and then use that in your marketing it really will resonate with them. They'll say oh he or she really gets me because you're using the words that they would use. I wish I had done that sooner in the sense of really paying attention to my niche and my marketing words because I think I would have attracted more clients and quicker.
Millette: I think that makes a lot of sense because a lot of times people sort of push back a little bit when you talk about niching down but you have to realize that just because you niche down doesn't mean other people aren’t going to be attracted to you as well. It just really helps you get super clear and super focused on the content that you're going to be putting out, the messaging you're putting out and like you said even using some of those people's exact words in that content is really just going to just hit home with those people that are exactly the person that you're looking for. And it's also going to resonate with some of the people that maybe aren't that very perfect ideal client but it's going to resonate enough with other people that you're still going to be attracting a lot of people to you.
Lauren: Right and you know I like the phrase I specialize in X so you can say as a coach here's what I do and here's how I help people solve problems or do things but if you take it to that next level I help people with X but I specialize in Y. That defines your niche if you will. So it’s like “OK I know you specialize in this but I see you as a potential person to help me with my problem I may not be your exact specialty” but they then have already identified you as you get them and that's what people want. They want somebody who understands them and then they want your contribution as to how to help solve their problem.
Millette: That's interesting because what it almost makes me feel like is if someone is attracted to you, to your message, to the type of person you are, to the vibe that you put out- you saying I specialize in productivity that's not going to turn them away. If they're attracted to you as a business, as someone who provides a service just because you put a specialty down doesn't mean that they're going to be like “oh, oh well I'll go somewhere else”. They're going to come and talk to you and they're going to see if you can help them with something that's related. Or it's just one step to the left of that productivity or whatever they shouldn't be afraid to do that.
Lauren: Right, it just tightens your message in the marketplace.
Millette: Lauren this has been so good and I have so enjoyed this conversation about books and speaking and coaching. I would love it if we could finish up with the final five rapid fire questions.
Millette: What is one habit or skill that's helped you become unstoppable?
Lauren: Follow up, follow up, follow up. Follow up it is a lost art and if you do it, it's a stand out factor.
Millette: What's one quality that you feel every successful coach needs to spend some time developing?
Lauren: Learning how to do active listening. Listen for what they're saying and listen for what they're not saying.
Millette: Recommend one book that's had a big impact, either on your business or on your life.
Lauren: That is so hard because I read so many books. It really, truly is. You know what's interesting is there's a book called The Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris. It's a big book and he did two hundred podcasts with thought leaders of our time.
Millette: Give us one online resource that you think coaches would love to use of their business and that you couldn't do business without.
Lauren: I daily use Voice Record Pro and so what I do Mallette is when I have a coaching session I ask their permission to record the session. It allows me to be in the conversation with that individual and not having to take notes because I do go back and listen to it and I encourage them to go back and listen to it as well because there are some nuggets that come out of it. But to me that's powerful because it really does allow me to be fully present as a coach and tuned in to exactly what my client saying.
Millette: Finally how can the listeners best connect with you? If they want to learn more about you, your business, what you're doing, your books, how can they get in touch? What social platforms are you on and what your website?
Lauren: So my website is Lauren Midgley dot com and I'm sure you'll have to show notes that will have the actual spelling correct. I'm on Facebook and I'm on LinkedIn and I'm on YouTube. I've got YouTube videos on productivity. I would love to connect with any of your listeners in any way that they need. My email is Lauren at Lauren Midgley dot com.
Millette: All right well I will be sure to get all of those links and recommendations onto the show notes page. This has been such a great conversation Lauren. I want to thank you so much for joining me today.
Lauren: Thank you I loved the opportunity I loved meeting you and talking to you, thank you.
Millette: Thanks for joining me on the Unstoppable Coach podcast. Are you ready to take your coaching business to the next level with a podcast of your own? Head over to the website and get my free mini course where I break down all the awesome benefits and the realistic expectations you need before you take the leap. Grab the free course on unstoppable coach dot co.