How to Level Up Your Marketing, Web Design, and Photography with Consultant and Business Coach Jean Perpillant

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Learn how to level up your marketing, web design, and photography with consultant and business coach Jean Perpillant in this LMScast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Jean is the founder of Design Theory, an agency built to help business owners with professional photography and digital strategy.

Chris shares how when he finds a great looking website, their use of too much stock photography can kill the brand and the great design elements in other areas of the website.

How to level up your marketing, web design, and photography with consultant and business coach Jean Perpillant

In this episode, Jean breaks down why he got started with Design Theory and his motivation behind leaning into the design aspect of website development. Design Theory started as a way for Jean to create websites, and while looking into ways to advertise his sites, he found that the images and content would need to be optimized so it is readable and legible. That’s when he started to work more with the design aspect of site development for people.

In many ways, consumers make long-standing judgements about a company or brand based on first impressions, so Jean talks through an example of how an online course creator could make a great first impression with a graphic or an ad. He and Chris talk about the example of a parenting course for moms, and what a great example ad would include to convey the customer experience of taking the course.

Being very specific with your advertisements or message in general makes it a lot easier to target customers, and when a prospect sees that ad they are likely to hear your message very clearly, as it is tailored exactly to them. This is a concept author Seth Godin talks about. A good example of this specific messaging would be, “My program is for busy, homeschooling moms with more than two kids who are also living in a rural area.”

Jean and Chris also discuss some technical setups for course creators. Jean works with the Blue Snowball microphone. If you’re first getting started, Apple headphones also work great, and as long as you don’t have a lot of echo, those can be terrific for audio quality as well. For video, you can use a camera, or even the latest smartphones can produce high quality video. The Panasonic Lumix G7 is also a good consideration as a camera.

There are a lot of great tips in this episode as well about optimal length for your course videos compared to advertisement videos, so be sure to take notes. To learn more about Jean Perpillant you can head to JPDesignTheory.com.

At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!

This episode was sponsored by WP Tonic Managed WordPress LMS hosting. Click here to learn more, and use coupon code wptonichosting50 to save 50% on any annual plan.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Badgett:

You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.

Chris Badgett:

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Jean Perpillant from Design Theory. You can find him over at jpdesigntheory.com. Welcome to the show, Jean.

Jean Perpillant:

Oh man, it’s awesome to be here, Chris. I’m so happy to see you again, man, after so long.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Jean Perpillant:

[crosstalk 00:00:49] we caught up was WordCamp US.

Chris Badgett:

Yep, that was the last place. Originally met in Cabo and you had mentioned some course creation goals you had, which we’re going to get into in the second part of the show. In the first part, I want to talk about your agency at Design Theory. One of the things I look for is kind of a holistic solution, because we have this issue right now, I call it the un-bundling of the marketing stack, where there’s all these specialists and sometimes you get going on a tactic, but you kind of get off the big picture. And you have three areas you focus on at Design Theory, which is marketing strategies, web design services, and professional photography, and it’s sort of like what we talk about in the show with our five hats, if one of those isn’t optimized, or even just has the basic fundamentals, you’re going to fail.

Chris Badgett:

So for example, I see people do a lot of strategy, and get a great looking website, but it’s full of obvious stock photography that immediately kills the brand. So if you don’t do the photography piece, all that other stuff is not there, or if you do the web design, and the good photography but you don’t have a solid marketing strategy, it’s just suboptimal. So tell us about your trifecta there, and how you deliver a [crosstalk 00:02:10] solution.

Jean Perpillant:

Oh man. So it’s so much. We definitely don’t have time to get into all of it, right. But it’s a lot. The thing that it is is to try to be as original as you possibly can, as unique as you possibly can to who you are. I think that, over the years, when I first started Design Theory, I think we’re about what? Year 11 or 12 now. And so when I first started it, I didn’t have any of these resources, and my initial goal was for me to just be able to create websites, and before I knew it, it was like well, in order for me to create websites I’ve got to have a way for people to see them, I’ve got to have images and content that needs to be optimized, so that way it’s readable, legible and things like that, it’s pleasing to the eye, it corresponds with the content, and they’re complimenting in terms of the text and images, and the graphics. And back then flash was still a thing, so it was like okay, now I have to create animations that correspond with all of these things.

Jean Perpillant:

And once I started to really almost try to niche down, and I had to learn that over different conferences, over different books, where it was like you really want to figure out what it is that you do really, really well and focus on that, and then find the audience that definitely needs just that. And for me, I’m still trying to get down to that finite thing. The problem is is that I do enjoy photography as a hobby, and so I still have that as a service. I enjoy marketing because it’s something that is continually changing, and though I understand it because of the digital space that I spend a lot of my time in as a consumer, I’m able to leverage some of the nuances about marketing and offer that information back.

Jean Perpillant:

And with web design, I mean we all need a place for us to have our own content to promote, to educate, to entertain and things like that. And so that is also something I still can’t let go. I’d like to say I’m this person that does this one thing really, really well, but unfortunately I still wear those hats, at least the ones that we’ve identified here, plus several more that you talk about with your five hats. So that’s my story there.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah, that’s awesome. And just a pro tip for people out there, if you’re not living where your web design person is, just having a photo shoot can help. I remember one time I was leveling up my branding, and I realize I’d gone way too long of not having a professional headshot that was me, which means high quality, not overly dressed up, because I’m not really a corporate guy, so I’m not going to put on a suit and present myself in a way that I’m not, but once I went, it just cost me 300 bucks at my local town, and she called it a … What did she call it? It was a five minute session, and it was really fast. I took the lowest plan, and then I finally had a professional headshot. I was like I should’ve done that five years ago.

Jean Perpillant:

Yeah. And a lot of people don’t think about that, right, because especially if you are the face of your brand, then you want to make sure that you’re representing the best that you possibly can. Years ago, when we really first got jumping in the social media, any type of picture was fine. It’s like you and maybe your kids in the background, or you’re at the park, or you’re at your desk and the cubicle wall’s right behind you and it looks almost like a mugshot, and they were acceptable. But the thing of it is is that we, as consumers, are continuing to level up, and we make our judgements based on our first impressions. So you have to make a really good first impression, especially if you’re using your face, to help grow coincide with your brand.

Jean Perpillant:

The other thing, in terms of photography, is that if you have products, we are hyper critical, as consumers, when we look at buying products. And if that product photography doesn’t look like what we expect it to look like based on competitor websites and things like that, or mainstream websites, or bigger, we won’t even buy it because it’ll seem like something that probably won’t be delivered right, the unboxing experience won’t be what we expect, the packaging won’t be what we expect, and then that means the product probably won’t be what we expect as well.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Well this isn’t really a photography question. Well it kind of is, but for the course creator and the membership side, there’s this thing you create at some point, like a course or membership has a featured image, or what you would traditional call a product shot, and in traditional internet marketing and information products, the older school way of doing it is you would have a box, and then you’d have all these DVDs fanned out.

Jean Perpillant:

Yeah, I know them.

Chris Badgett:

And worksheets and all this stuff to kind of visualize what people are getting. And I think it’s helpful, but the environment’s changing in terms of a lot of people aren’t doing DVDs anymore, or getting a thumb drive in the mail, so how do we make a good product shot? I don’t know, do you have any tips on how to do that?

Jean Perpillant:

Yeah, absolutely. So what you want to do is … What you want to do is create the scene for where people are going to be consuming, or how they would be consuming your content, and so sometimes that may be, and I’ll just use this as a prop, so sometimes that may be, let’s say, even for course creations, or you’re going through … and what you would do, if you were creating a course, which we’ll talk about in a second, but if you’re creating a course, what you probably want to do is either hire an actor-

Chris Badgett:

Let me give you an example. Let’s pretend it’s actually a parenting course.

Jean Perpillant:

Let’s say it’s a parenting course.

Chris Badgett:

And so for a busy mom with kids running around at home. So there’s an example. What do we do with that?

Jean Perpillant:

Right. And we’re saying that the parent has kids that are going through the course?

Chris Badgett:

No, it’s to help the mom or the dad.

Jean Perpillant:

Oh, the mom.

Chris Badgett:

So there’s a busy mom, first time parent course. And the mom is the target audience.

Jean Perpillant:

Right. So she doesn’t have time to go out and go to, let’s say, a physical location.

Chris Badgett:

Coffee shop.

Jean Perpillant:

A coffee shop, or anything like that to kind of consume this quietly. So the scenario would be where she brings the kids in, sets them up with a snack, and gives them some toys so they can sit down and play, and then while they’re playing, she’s able to sit back on her recliner and grab her iPad, and then she’s able to go through and start listening, or partaking in this course. Maybe she’s kind of using her finger, use some gestures and things like that. And then the overlaying text, if you will, or overlaying audio is saying even if you had a few minutes a day for you to be able to consume this, for you to educate or elevate your brand, or elevate whatever, your education, you can do this yourself even as a busy mom with all these things going on. And so what you do is you create the environment, you create what the scenario is for the ideal customer avatar that you have. And that is more resonating, or that will resonate more with your target audience, especially once you’ve identified them, because you’ve given them the scenario.

Jean Perpillant:

You’ve also eliminated the challenge, which probably a lot of them have, in saying, “I don’t have time. I have this going on. Between work and da, da, da.” Yes, you do have time. If you have a few minutes a day that you could just calm the kids down for a few minutes, and you still be there, you don’t have to leave, you can still achieve your education goals in using this platform, and this is how simple it is, as long as you have a smart device, which most everybody does, right. So that’s a lot better [crosstalk 00:09:18]-

Chris Badgett:

I just want you to say … I just want to say this is brilliant. And I just want to restate what we learned there, which is in this one image or scene we’ve identified who we serve, which is one of the questions people ask when they’re evaluating a product is, “Is this for me?” Then you’re contextualizing it in what’s it like to use the product. So can I see myself in the future using this product. And you’re handling the number one objection, which is, “I’m too busy,” all with that, instead of having-

Jean Perpillant:

And that’s what’s in … that’s not even a 30 second commercial. It’s easy Instagram ad for 15 seconds. 15, 20 seconds and you’re out the door with a call to action at the end. But that’s the thing that we have to do now, because as consumers, again, we’re able to identify where ads are. We can see an ad coming a mile away, whether it’s on a social platform, whether it’s a TV commercial, or even whether it’s in a magazine or wherever, and we’re able to skip those whenever that we can immediately tell, within fractions of a second, if this is something that’s relevant to me.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah, I think it was Seth Godin who’s recently talking up the whole thing about the smallest viable audience. So if you super niche down, and you’re like, “My program is for busy moms with over two kids at home that are also homeschooling, and living in a rural area,” if your niche is that tight, when someone sees that ad, they’ll be like, “Wait a second, yes, this is an ad, but this is for me.” Not just moms in general or whatever.

Jean Perpillant:

Right. Cool. The thing of it is too, that we have to remember, is that there is still a part of our minds that is always looking for a way to advance something. Maybe it’s a new foodie air fryer, whatever, right. And because everybody’s talking about that, that catches its own wave of popularity. Or whether it’s like, “Hey, if you were able to save 30 minutes a day, and over a week, what would you do with two and a half hours of time to yourself?” So whatever that it is, just figure out a way that you could reach down to the core of what it is that your target audience is looking for, and then give them the solution.

Chris Badgett:

Well you just dipped your toe in the water of one of my favorite subjects, which is psychology and subconscious motivation, and you mentioned that there’s an innate human desire to advance. What other innate human desires might we be aware of in terms of when we’re doing marketing, or creating a product?

Jean Perpillant:

Yeah, I should’ve had this up, but I usually have the three Es when I think about marketing and when I think about consuming content online, especially in the digital space. So we look to these areas for entertainment. We look to these areas for education. We look to them for enlightenment, and there was another E that I’ll come back with later, but essentially those are some core things that we look at when we’re thinking about why we continue to scroll on Instagram, and our Facebook feeds, and our Twitter feeds, and things like that. Each of us are looking for those things, maybe not at the same time, and maybe based on the day, based on how we feel, emotions is another thing that we look for, but that’s what we’re looking for. And so whatever that it is that we happen to see that triggers it for us in that instance, based on the day, the time, where we are in life, whether we’re at home or at work, those are things that can prompt us, or trigger us to make another step.

Jean Perpillant:

And that’s the reason why you want to … When we say about creating ads and creating content, you want to create content on a regular basis, because you may create something that’s really, really good, but at the time that you send it out there to reach your ideal person, they may have missed it because you put it out at Tuesday at 9:00 AM, and they finally jumped on that platform on Wednesday at 6:00 PM. So having the ability to recreate or … How do you say? Repost, or post creatively at various times of the day and weeks, to then be able to capture the ideal customer, that’s something that we have to do. It’s tiring as one of us that wears multiple hats. We have to remember okay, we have to set this, we have to do this, and we have to do it natively, we can’t just always use these automation things because they don’t work for us in terms of the algorithms of the platforms, so we have to physically do this, have to remember to do that and understand why it’s important, but it does help. The hard work is essential.It very much is like it was 15 years ago when we first got into the digital space as it is now.

Chris Badgett:

Wow, that’s awesome. Well Jean, while we’re talking about photography, I want to put on the hardware hat and I hear a lot of course creators wanting to level up on their camera and their audio system. And I’m not looking for advanced, I’m looking for intermediate.

Jean Perpillant:

Yeah, I got it.

Chris Badgett:

So the beginner is using their earbuds and their webcam. What do we do for less than $1,000 to level up our video camera and our audio setup? Without introducing too much hardware.

Jean Perpillant:

Too much hardware, yes. So I have, on the audio side … Now this is if you’re someone who is on your computer and most of the content you’re going to be creating is via your computer. I highly recommend getting a snowball mic, and that’s what these are right here.

Chris Badgett:

And for those of you listening, go check out the LifterLMS YouTube channel, and you’ll see this podcast episode.

Jean Perpillant:

Put a link in there. Yeah, we’ll put a link in the description, but it’s a snowball mic, and they’re pretty inexpensive. They’re anywhere between 50 and $65 when I got mine, they may be even less now, because I’ve had this for a good couple years, but it’s a really good brand. The sound quality that comes out of it is really, really well, and it’s USB, so once you plug it into your computer it’ll recognize it and then there’s not really anything you necessarily have to download, and you’re ready to go. The key that I would say with any kind of audio device is you’re not going to want to have it right in front of you, like the typical movie or whatnot where we see people in the studio and they have got those mics, those mics are special for that. These you want to kind of have at a angle, maybe at about a 45 degree angle away from your mouth, so that way it’s not getting those types of sounds, right. So that’ll be a huge improvement.

Jean Perpillant:

If you can’t even get to that necessarily yet, and you really want to bootstrap it, use the Apple headphones, the standard ones that come out with most phones, they do really, really well. They’re the ones I’m using right now for me to hear, but they also have the built-in mic, and they do really, really well, so long as you’re in a space that doesn’t promote a lot of echoing. So if you’re in your room, your walls are a little close, or if you need to maybe put a blanket over your head, I’ve seen people do that so they can contain the audio there, that’s totally fine and it’ll work just fine so long as you can breathe, those will work too.

Jean Perpillant:

Now on the video side, most of us have a pretty late model smartphone, whether it’s an Android or iOS device. What I would suggest is that you get a camera … I’m sorry. Use your phone if you have a later model phone and position it in front of you, clean the lens, if you’re using forward facing or reversed, but make sure you clean it with a microfiber cloth so that way it doesn’t have any smudges. Set that up in front of you on a stand, you can get these little stands, and we’ll put the show notes … put some links in the show notes where you can get a phone … It’s a little clip. It clips in your phone. It screws on to a mini tripod, and then you could set that up right in front of you, right next to your microphone, and then it’s set. So just remember that you’re not doing a lot of movement around, so if it’s something again, you’re in front of your computer, you’re not banging on your table to make emphasis when you’re talking, so that way there’s no shaky audio or video.

Jean Perpillant:

Those will do really, really well. If you want to step it up to the next level, I would say for about just under 500 bucks, Panasonic has the Lumix G7. Does really, really well. Does 4K, and the kit lens that comes with it has a little bit of a zoom lens to where you can still get a nice little depth of field that’s behind you, if you have some space behind you, so you kind of have a good little [inaudible 00:17:27] if you will, but the video quality is fantastic. And again, it’s pretty inexpensive, it uses SD cards, so that way as long as you have at least a 32 or 64 bit card you can do something that’s under two hours. And then the other thing that I want to say, one last thing, is these little road mics, I’m just showing you one piece of them here but I will put a link below. These are about 200 bucks. I love these.

Jean Perpillant:

They are a wireless combo set where it has the receiver that can clip on to your camera, and then it’s got the cable that goes right into your camera as well for the audio, and then it has another thing that looks just like this. It’s a little device that you can clip on. It’s got a clip, you can clip it onto your shirt, and it’s got a built in microphone, and it comes with a dead mouse on top of it if you need to be recording outside. It does fantastic audio. It cancels out a lot of background noise. I’ve used it in a scenario where I’ve had it clipped onto a client where she was talking about something that was happening in an anniversary event that was happening behind her, and there was music playing back there. You kind of heard it, but you heard her even better. You knew that there was stuff back there but it wasn’t distracted.

Jean Perpillant:

and then we had people coming up to her that weren’t mic’d, and they were talking to her and it sounded like everybody that was talking to her was mic’d even though she was the only one. And so these are by Røde. These are the Røde wireless GOs, they go for about 200 bucks. They may be on a deal, depending on what time you go to the website. Check them out, but I highly recommend those as a level up when it comes to audio because, again, being able to record stuff wirelessly and transmit that back to your camera, and they also can work for a mobile phone, or if you do the run-and-gun type of thing they work there too. You just need to use your adaptor if you don’t have a headphone jack to be able to use it that way.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. So there’s talking head, and maybe screen sharing, those are different types of courses, but what you’re saying, I think, is if we’re doing what I call action motion, like if I’m doing a yoga video and I’m a yoga instructor on the beach and I’m outside, there’s background noise, I would want that second setup.

Jean Perpillant:

For sure.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome.

Jean Perpillant:

And it’s really versatile, because again, like I said, you can just plug it in, maybe in your back or in your pocket or something like that, and run a lab mic to it if you want to do that, or just use the built-in mic, it’ll work great.

Chris Badgett:

That was awesome. Well before we transition over to your course creation goals, tell us about LinkedIn. You’ve identified an opportunity with LinkedIn.

Jean Perpillant:

Okay, so I’m going to try to take this down to a couple minutes here, but I recently did a talk at [Full Sail 00:20:01] where I did a presentation about LinkedIn and about ways to leverage LinkedIn. For those of you that are watching this, you can go back to my website and you can actually download a copy of the presentation deck on the [inaudible 00:20:13] of my notes and the talking points for this. Now, with that being said, LinkedIn over the past couple years has kind of changed their strategy to being more of a place for content creators, and not necessarily emphasizing on those just trying to build and maintain an online business portfolio or business resume for looking for talent, trying to be seen as talent, networking for jobs and things like that, and positions.

Chris Badgett:

So you’re saying they’re getting more into social media content?

Jean Perpillant:

It is. It’s much more like that, yes.

Chris Badgett:

Okay.

Jean Perpillant:

They’re favoring those of us that create content, and they’re looking for that. So if you remember what happened with Facebook when they started to launch Facebook Live, and a tit bit about this too, because they still kind of do this, but if you were to go on Facebook and you say, “Hey, I’m going to go live,” put in your content or whatever, your description and you hit that, what was cool about Facebook is that they would put a notification to everybody that was online that was connected to you and say, “Hey, Jean is online right now. Click here to check it out.” So getting a push notification that this person’s online using this platform for people to be able to see you, you weren’t getting that type of organic interaction in any other way on Facebook, right. Because we saw a decline with Facebook pages, business pages and things like that, but then they prioritized this. So LinkedIn is doing the same thing.

Jean Perpillant:

If you’re creating videos, and these videos don’t necessarily have to be long, they could be just quick little instructional videos. If you can try to keep them between 90 seconds and below 3 minutes, if not below 2 minutes, you’ll do really well. And these are talking head videos. These are similar to what we’re doing right now, we’re talking about something, offering some … excuse me, offering some advice about how to maybe save time doing this, this new feature of this application, this new way of whatever, maybe a new product or service that you’re offering, and how it is effective in the marketplace, whatever that it is, you get to your point immediately. And so what LinkedIn is doing is it’s leveraging that, it’s making that being seen by a lot of people. And here’s the cool thing about that.

Jean Perpillant:

Now, not just video, that’s also doing this with posts, especially posts that you have images on, what’s happening is that when you create a post on LinkedIn and you publish that, let’s say we do it at Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM. Well whoever’s on LinkedIn that day that’s connected to me is going to see it in their newsfeed, right, when they’re scrolling, which is great, and that’s pretty typical to what you’re going to see with most other platforms. The difference is is that I most that at Tuesday at 9:00 AM, let’s say I have a connection that doesn’t log in on LinkedIn until Thursday, let’s say 4:00 PM, they’ll still see that same thing. Now if they interact with that, let’s say they hit the like button, they have some other little emoji things like hearts and things like that that they’ve added, let’s say they do that, or they comment, they interact with that post, then the people that they are connected to that may not be connected to me, when they get on the LinkedIn, then they’ll see it.

Jean Perpillant:

So the lifespan on a post on LinkedIn organically, I’m seeing it last for almost months, up to two months, depending on the engagement that’s happening … How do you say? Incremental engagement that’s happening on that post, you can see a lifespan go for months where you wouldn’t see that on the other platforms like Instagram, Twitter, especially Twitter, let alone Facebook. And that’s on the organic side. It’s not putting money behind it or anything. So I am advocating a lot of people to jump on there, because I’ve been testing it, and I’m going to have some examples on the slides, but I’ve been doing that where again, you couldn’t buy that if you wanted to right now to get exposure.

Chris Badgett:

Wow, that’s awesome.

Jean Perpillant:

So that’s my number one tip there, among anything else. There’s plenty of things that’s in that packet … that’s in that slide deck to leverage there. But if you’re creating content … Now let me say this too as a disclaimer, if you’re already creating content on other platforms, you definitely want to be creating content that is specific for each platform. Don’t just copy and paste, purpose that specifically for the audience that is there because, again, as consumers we know and we can tell something that is authentic versus something that is just regurgitated just for the sake of regurgitating, right. So whatever you’re going to be creating on this platform on LinkedIn, especially if it’s video, remember that people are going to be consuming that majority in mute, or the sound being off, so if you can kind of add some subtext there to kind of talk about what you’re saying as you’re talking, you’re going to do even better. If you can keep that between 90 seconds or less than 3 minutes, you’re going to do great there too, because people are going to be able to consume that.

Jean Perpillant:

Remember, most people that are on this platform are consuming on mobile devices, so they’re not going to be sitting there, and they’re not used to consuming content for a longer period of time on that platform. It may change in a couple years, maybe, but for right now it doesn’t have to be long, which takes the pressure down off of you. And the last thing I want to say about this is that if you’re creating content in terms of video, you can certainly do that with your phone. Again, make sure that it’s stable, make sure that you’re in a place that has good lighting. If you don’t have maybe an external light or something like that stand in front of your window during the day, open up your blinds, and get some good light. Make sure that you don’t have any background noise so people can focus on you, and it’ll do really, really well. Practice.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Well we’ll link that up down below. Keep listening, this podcast is not over. This is just a special message about this episode sponsor. WP-Tonic, managed WordPress OMS hosting. Think of it as everything you need to have a professional online course training platform right out of the box ready to go. Find out more about WP-Tonic’s managed WordPress OMS hosting by going to lifterlikes.com/tonic. Now back to the show.

Chris Badgett:

That was a lot of value, and I just want to add one more thing, which is there’s often a tendency to automate things too early or just repurpose. Like you said regurgitate for the sake of regurgitation. If you really want to leverage social media, it’s fine if it’s the same source material, but each platform has a different style of consumption and all that. I think that’s a really important point as people look to automate. Sometimes you don’t want to just automate and repurpose without really getting into the strategy there.

Jean Perpillant:

For sure.

Chris Badgett:

Let’s go into your course creation goals and what you’re planning. And how can I help? What are you looking to do?

Jean Perpillant:

[crosstalk 00:26:39] all the time, Chris. What? Listen, so I want to create a platform through my website where people can come to and get organized material over a certain period of time. I’m thinking at least with maybe a quarter of a year. So let’s say over a span of four months there would be at least one or two webinars, and in between the webinars there’s going to be different types of resource material for people to consume, whether it’d be a one-on-one on hey, this is how you can optimize your LinkedIn profile. This is how you optimize your Instagram profile. This is how you can go in and create really good content that’s effective, creating ads on Facebook or ads within Instagram and things like that, right. So those will be kind of ancillary that’s there, but the thing that I really need help on is kind of tying this all in.

Jean Perpillant:

One of the things that I’m going to do at the very beginning of this is kind of do some discovery calls with potential attendees of this, let’s say, program where these are people who have businesses that are looking for growth, and that maybe need a little bit of help on defining some goals that they could be achieved within maybe 6 months, 12 months and even beyond where, once I do a consultation with them at the very beginning that’s included in this program, then they will get a custom strategy plan that includes their goals and includes measures that will be continually reviewed through the course of the program, through an online platform, and then also have check marks and milestones for what needs to be done, maybe per week, per month, things like that.

Jean Perpillant:

But then also to see progress tracking over the course of the time to say hey, you’re doing really well, or hey, we’re falling behind a little bit, maybe we need to get in with another consultation call, maybe we need to bring in somebody else, another professional to help get you through this piece so that you’re still on target for reaching your goals. And these tasks can be hired out by somebody else of another company, or another whatever skill, and they can complete these for you so that you can still focus on the other, bigger goals, for example, that we’ve already outlined better specific to you and your business.

Jean Perpillant:

So all of that I want to kind of build. I want to build it online, so that way people can access it both on whatever device that they have, but they also have this progress tracking, and they have access to this even after they’ve completed it, so that way they can always know, “Hey, my strategy plan, my customer strategy plan is always going to be available here for me to go back and review or use that for me to build on for the next year, or the next term,” of the program that they want to go into.

Chris Badgett:

Wow, I probably feel like you felt when I asked you the LinkedIn question, because I’m furiously taking notes over here of a bunch of points.

Jean Perpillant:

Let me have it.

Chris Badgett:

Let me start with just a couple things, like who’s the target audience? You mentioned small business. I mean I think it’s important, especially in the beginning, to niche down by geography, type of business, the style of business owner, whatever. What’s your sweet spot?

Jean Perpillant:

Yeah, the sweet spot would be businesses that have maybe between 20 to 25 employees and below that have a marketing budget of at least, I would say, between 2 to $5,000 a month, so that way the things that we’re going to create for them are going to cost both time to create as well as money for them to put in, and so we want to make sure that they have products that either it’s products or services that they sell that they can budget aside a certain percentage of that for their marketing efforts.

Jean Perpillant:

It’s not something to where if you’re just getting in. It’s for established businesses, if you will, but again, we’re a smaller agency so we aren’t looking for people or companies that are bigger than let’s say 20, 25, but we can also manage with people that are kind of like us, that are wearing multiple hats, but have established businesses but just need some direction and some accountability, or have been kind of getting along but really not achieving the goals that they set out to achieve when they first started their business because they got lost in managing the business and working in the business, instead of working top level on the business.

Chris Badgett:

I would definitely encourage you to keep agitating the pain points there, just so that they feel like they’re wearing all the hats, they’re bursting at the seams in terms of capacity, they need strategy optimization, what got them there won’t get them … or what got you here won’t get you there. That’s a perfect turning point for coaching, any kind of business coaching. The other thing is the concept of course plus that we talk about. Training course plus coaching, plus bringing in outside experts, private coaching and group coaching is kind of where you’re headed, I think. I’ve personally gone through some business coaching where on the initial thing was they called a strategic growth session, and it was a one-on-one, super tailored to what I was going through, and my unique challenges, and it was amazing. And I’m part of this program, and it’s just mind blowing to me how good it is, but that initial growth session was really critical, first to earn the trust to get results quickly.

Chris Badgett:

The thing is, with consulting, which I would encourage you to think about, is with every one of those people as soon as they get in the door, where’s the low hanging fruit? So that you can get them immediate value, and get them seeing an ROI on the investment. That’s what gives you the sticking power, and gets you past, I don’t know, the refund window but also keeping them committed and giving them that early win so they stay motivated. Custom strategy plan. We’re not just going to give some advice on the spot, but also let’s map it out to your business and we’re going to have regular check-ins on that is pretty cool. One of the things I see people do as well to unlock some scalability with that is to do a weekly or a monthly office hour where the cohort comes in to the call and people can just talk about where they’re stuck, and business owners are learning from other business owners, even if they didn’t ask the question, so now we’ve got a little bit of a community element involved. So that’s there.

Chris Badgett:

And I like your focus on the budget. In terms of how many employees do you have, if it’s 20 to 25, they’ve probably got a budget. And depending upon where your price point is, they’re thinking about that investment hard, and there’s a lot of places they could deploy that capital. So really positioning yourself as a temporary team member as part of the team devoted to the mission is really important. The other thing that you said which I really like is with training, and consulting, and membership stuff, I think there’s a transitioning happening where we’re in this world of information overload, and you can hire anybody anywhere to do anything, and all this stuff, it gets a little overwhelming. So one of the things that I see course creators, and coaches, and consultants do to really sharpen their focus is where do they start and where do you end?

Chris Badgett:

So you mentioned it’s a quarter program, quarter of the year, and after it’s done they might still have lifetime access, but I think that’s really cool because some membership models are around I’m going to try to keep this person as long as forever. And that’s cool too, if you want to do that, but for a business owner to be like what kind of program style is it? Is this a bootcamp, where you go and there’s this quarter of your-

Jean Perpillant:

That’s a good question, yeah.

Chris Badgett:

… it’s a quarter of your life, and then when you’re done you’re out, you’re done. It’s an accelerator, it’s not something where I’m trying to keep you forever. I’m trying to help you accelerate and get crazy results, and clarity, and strategy, and be more efficient, but I’m not here to become a dependency. I think some of the best coaches, they know how to let go. They know how to get good results, and then they know how to let go.

Jean Perpillant:

Right.

Chris Badgett:

So I don’t know, I’m just jamming with you.

Jean Perpillant:

No, I love this. I love this. I need you to send this right back to me, so that way I can [crosstalk 00:35:36]. But one of the things I wanted to say is I’ve also done a talk about this before, where talking about the difference between a mentor and a coach, right. And even with having coaches, really either of those, you want to have multiple ones of. This is for me. I wanted to mention this because I think it’s very, very important to the conversation that we’re having is that you definitely will grow, or outgrow your mentors and your coaches, and you should. The goal is for that. And the other thing is to have multiple coaches and mentors because each of them will offer you something that they can offer you at the time that’s based on that person and their experiences in the marketplace. They don’t have all of the answers, and they don’t have all the experiences, which is why you’re going to want to have multiple ones to source from, so that way you can grow based on your business.

Jean Perpillant:

All of us are offering a different and unique experience in the marketplace, even if it’s a service that’s already out there, whether it’s new or old, but we’re still offering it in a different way. So we need to be able to position ourselves with different types of coaches and mentors to be able to take us through a time period, and it’s relative, but it may be three months with one coach, six months with this mentor, a year and a half with this other coach, and so on. It really does depend. It depends on each person and who they have, and who they can get or acquire as coaches and mentors.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Yeah, and one of the philosophies I see with the most successful coaches and course creators, online training program creators is they focus a laser, or they prioritize, at the top, the learner results. Where I see people get into trouble is when they focus on things like I want to make money online, I’m trying to get recurring revenue, how do I increase conversions? All these things are really important and I’m not against any of them, but the people that I see find the most success are focused like a laser on the results, like the program effectiveness and how their people are doing. So one of my coaches, his name’s Dan Martell, he has a saying where he asks the question, “How do we add more value for our target market than anybody else in the world? And if you use that as you are creating your program and just keep thinking about it, and improving your program over time, that’s the place where the powerful programs kind of come out of that.

Chris Badgett:

The other thing that I wanted to bring up with you is just the piloting concept where we talked a little bit about trying to automate too much or too early. My just top off-the-cuff ideas for you is how can you run this as raw as possible with as minimal tech, even without a website, with just a Zoom account and a invoicing software, by creating an offer and sending it to your existing client base, or running some ads, or whatever, so that you could get even if it’s just 2, 3, 5, 10 people in the first version? What I notice is that … Well, I like to say that-

Jean Perpillant:

Go on. No, you’re on it. Go ahead. Keep going.

Chris Badgett:

… the launch is the starting line, it’s not the finish line. So in order to do continuous improvement you have to get one revolution through it first. And the way you do that, I call it moving slow to move fast. You got to pull back. And it’s especially hard for you, I would imagine, as a technologist and a marketer, and you see how you can connect all the dots, to create the offer and just go through it one time. And just when you run that, the next time you launch it, it’s going to be even better.

Jean Perpillant:

Of course.

Chris Badgett:

I also recommend not doing the first one for free. People need to have skin in the game, but if you can, you can do an early adopter discount and just raise your prices over time as you achieve better results and better product market fit, but it’s an evolution. And learning, if I put my instructional designer hat on, we have a concept called spiral learning where the mistake that people make is if I’m going to have this pie, and there’s all these wedges that people need to become masters at, I’m going to focus on this one slice of the pie. What’s one slice of the pie for you?

Jean Perpillant:

Are we talking about in terms of measurement?

Chris Badgett:

Or just a skill area where you’re helping these business owners. What’s an important slice?

Jean Perpillant:

One of the biggest slices for me, I feel like, where success is probably the easiest to cultivate is accountability.

Chris Badgett:

And where’s another slice of the pie that these business owners need that’s important?

Jean Perpillant:

Knowledge.

Chris Badgett:

Knowledge?

Jean Perpillant:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Badgett:

So the mistake people I see make is, and this is something I learned from a instructional designer named Julie Dirksen, is people stay on one slice of the pie for too long, whereas how do we get a little win in knowledge and then shift, get a little win in accountability, but then keep going around, and now we’re back and we’re doing it, we step up our game a little bit, and we start moving around in a spiral as opposed to being like we’re going to master this one area and then we’re going to move onto the next one. That’s the big mistake, and it’s part of the expert’s curse because you forget, because you’ve spent all the time in the trenches and you see what works, that it’s a lot harder than it sounds to get into beginner’s mind and to get out of your own way and help somebody just get a little bit further along before becoming a master in this one domain.

Jean Perpillant:

Yeah, so I’m actually going to draw that out and I’m going to send this to you, and I don’t know, again, I’m going to see if you created it just like you did with the five hats, but I love this. That makes a lot of sense. That’s what makes you want for more.

Chris Badgett:

And that gives you the quick wins.

Jean Perpillant:

It gives you the quick wins so you know that you’re getting the progress, but then you also look forward to the next thing because you want to be able to move on, just like in any type of game or whatever, it’s like I get to level up. So now that you’ve leveled up, now when you come back to that first part of the pie, the first slice of the pie, you’re now on the next level of that pie. And you have the confidence of success knowing that hey, I’ve done this already, I’ve come from all these other things before, so I’m definitely ready to take on level two of this and move on, and I know that the next level two of the next slice of the pie will be just as attainable as it was for me the last time that I did it, so I could continue. I love that. That one’s fantastic.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah, well full credit to Julie Dirksen, and also I mentioned Dan Martell, he says grow stacking not hacking. So the fact that you’re stacking these little wins, they actually play off each other. So instead of just I’m going to give you this hack and we’re just going to go in this direction for the first three weeks, there’s no opportunity for this part to compound on the other part and for them to build together. Well that’s awesome. Well this has been a really excellent show, Jean. I really appreciate it.

Jean Perpillant:

Man, it’s been great.

Chris Badgett:

I want to encourage the listener to head on over to Design Theory, that’s at jpdesigntheory.com. We’ll have some links below in the podcast show notes. Is there any other final words you have for the people? And I just want to say thanks again on such a great episode. We covered kind of two different … This is like a two part show. We’ll have to have you back on again. Any final words for the people out there?

Jean Perpillant:

Oh man. Listen, ask questions. There’s a lot of people that are around you that actually are eager to answer those questions for you. I’ll say that, for me, I try to spend a lot of time wherever I can, and meetup groups and things like that, and stay behind and be able to provide solutions or provide answers. For those of you that are out there that are looking to get into something, or maybe to level up on your next offering, ask questions on those that may have already done something similar, or if you worked with people in the past just just, “Hey, listen. I’m thinking about doing this. What do you think? What are some pitfalls that you think that I should avoid? And what are some things that you think that I could leverage based on things that you’ve already tested?” And getting that advice from people that you’ve met, highly recommend it.

Jean Perpillant:

Masterminds like the ones that we went to, like [inaudible 00:44:25], fantastic. I have relationships especially with you and others that I think that I’ll have forever because of that, and I have the confidence now because before going into that I was looking for an LMS system and I was like I’ve seen yours, read some things about it, but then actually sitting down and talking with you, I was like, “This is fantastic. He’s definitely the company I’m going with. I’m going with his,” because I could resonate with you, and by staying at home, which a lot of us like to do, and try to just Google stuff and research stuff, you don’t really get the same impact. So ask questions, and go out there, and get involved in any kind of networking event that you can with some other creators that are doing things that will complement your business.

Chris Badgett:

Well, awesome. Jean, thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it. We’ll have to do it again sometime.

Jean Perpillant:

For sure. This is awesome. And thank you so much, Chris. I appreciate it.

Chris Badgett:

And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results-getting courses on the internet.

The post How to Level Up Your Marketing, Web Design, and Photography with Consultant and Business Coach Jean Perpillant appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.

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