008: Creating a Content Plus Coaching Membership Business

Ward and Dynasti discuss how her consulting business got started, building an audience, and figuring out how to determine pricing.

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Show Notes

Show Transcript

Ward: [00:00:30] Hi Dynasti. Thanks for joining me.

Dynasti: [00:00:32] Thanks for having me.

Ward: [00:00:34] Yeah, so why don’t you give us a quick summary of your business and what you do?

Dynasti: [00:00:38] Sure. So Tuesdays at 9 is a leadership and HR coaching platform that is tailored towards CEOs and entrepreneurs who are growing from being a solopreneur to building the team and how do we help you develop systems and strategies for developing yourself as a leader and also building your HR side of the.

Ward: [00:00:58] Okay, and how did you kind of come up with this initial idea?

Dynasti: [00:01:01] Really great question. So I’ve worked in the HR and talent space for pretty long time now and over the years have worked with individual and companies who have really been focused on Wow. We see a really big gap in terms of as we continue to grow or realizing two things one that we’re not prepared As Leaders to really manage individuals. We understand what to do from a business standpoint and how we want to sell and grow the business but not necessarily how. Lead and retain talent and the other piece is most startup organizations aren’t investing an HR teams and strategies and systems until well beyond employee 50 and by then they’re realizing wow maybe it’s something we should have invest in earlier. So I thought why not bring those two things to the Forefront be proactive with folks and be a partner and resource for organizations who are trying to grow in scale.

Ward: [00:01:57] What kind of issues are people running into that? They’re like shoot I should have had HR in place before.

Dynasti: [00:02:04] Really great question everything from hiring, I realizing that I thought I knew how to hire folks, but I have no idea exactly what I’m looking for individuals to wow we said that we wanted to make sure that we had a certain system for how we develop employees but are realizing we don’t have a strategy we don’t have systems in place. But yet we have started doing things that are not something that we want to have. Needed to our mission. So for example, you know, we hire 50 people and we give them all different compensation plans and employee 51 is like what’s your compensation strategy? And is it fair and Equitable across the team and then the leadership team is going hmm. We’ve never thought about that. We were just so busy hiring and moving forward that we never thought about a strategy and now we need one and we really need one yesterday.

Ward: [00:02:57] Right, I guess that’s kind of tough because it’s. Okay. Yeah, it’s you can see in theory of that could be a problem. But until like you can you feel it in might be harder to plan for something like that or make it a priority.

Dynasti: [00:03:07] Exactly. So my job and my organization is focused on instead of waiting until you fill it and then it’s so urgent that you’re like we need to do something yesterday. How do we make sure that you’re proactive about it and taking measurable steps along the way so when you get to employee 51 when you’re at employee 20, even you’ve already got those systems in place because ultimately the goal is that I want there to be an incredible amount of innovative organizations that people really love to work for. And that honestly starts at employee number one that you hire and not necessarily an employee fit.

Ward: [00:03:42] So what’s your professional background that that made you get into this?

Dynasti: [00:03:46] Great question. So I started off as a recruiter for small college and then afterwards took my work to doing human resources and let Human Resources teams in the for-profit side and the nonprofit side. So I’ve sort of straddle the fence and worked in both sectors and through each roll have. Come into the position where I was not only doing HR but also coaching leaders across the organization and coaching CEOs because in each organization I’ve been in the organization has been growing has been scaling and trying to figure out wow, what’s the next step for us? And how do we feel and how do we retain folks while we’re scaling? So I’ve been in a position of been able to both likely the HR team and leave the business of building HR teams as well as building leaders simultaneously, which has been. Really fun but a lot of the work intersex, which is why the work that I’m doing now is also about intersecting the two together and not keeping them separate

Ward: [00:04:47] Right, so maybe give us a little bit more background. So what is it? What is it that your business is actually selling like what was somebody actually purchasing from?

Dynasti: [00:04:57] Absolutely. So there’s three different things that someone can purchase from the team here. One of them is courses. So individual courses that you can take where you can jump into our course on anything from how to give and receive feedback how to hire your first hire effectively how to build your HR Team how to build an employee handbook for the first time. So those are individual courses that someone could say, hey, I just need some time to grab a course. That’s my first piece. The main position of our organization is all around membership as sites. So what we’re doing is building a membership community and the membership Community is really built on there’s lots of individuals that I have seen over the years who take a course and they take that course, but then, how do I apply it? How do I use it? If I need to go back to the individual trainer and go. Hey the strategies that you gave me are sort of working for my team, but I need a little bit more and I need someone to one guidance. How do I get that guidance? That’s where the membership Community comes in where it’s all around small group Community coaching or individuals are put into a membership form for the membership group where they sign up for a membership program and each month are able to get both. Leadership and HR training that I just talked about as well as actual small group life coaching for myself that helps them to take those things that they learned that they heard they listened to they read about and watch through a course and actually tangibly apply them to Everyday work that they’re doing in their organization.

Ward: [00:06:33] Right, so it’s like a supplement to the coarse side of things.

Dynasti: [00:06:37] It is it’s basically what I see and what I’ve seen over the years is you’ve got two different ways that people are like, okay. I need to know how to be a better leader or I need to build an HR team. I’m either going to do that by going and trying to take a course like a one day or two day course and what happens is they take that course, but then they’re left with, all right. Now, I’m trying to put things in place and I need someone to be able to give me guidance about what’s next. On the other end you have individuals who are like, I’m just going to go out and find a leadership coach or an executive coach who can walk me through things. But a lot of times that coach is more sitting back and saying tell me what you want to talk about. Give me guy give you got some guidance on what you need to do next but there aren’t a lot of resources tied with that. I’ve seen that Gap and thought okay the way to fill that Gap is let’s make sure that on the training side folks have a chance to talk to someone live who can coach them through what’s next and on the coaching side, they actually have real tangible courses and resources that are tied to their coaching so that they can use both and see both of the exact same time.

Ward: [00:07:40] Right so just so I can understand the business model fully there’s the courses and there’s the membership Community side of things. It sounds like the community membership side of things is supplementary to the courses, but can someone just jump right into the into the membership Community without taking the course or no ?

Dynasti: [00:07:59] Absolutely. Absolutely.

Ward: [00:08:01] Okay, and but it sounds like you get the most value from both things if you if you do both things as they kind of overlap a bit of I would imagine.

Dynasti: [00:08:12] Right. So essentially instead of getting just like taking an individual course where it’s an online course, you’re watching videos, you’re watching the trainings for sure some value from that through the membership Community you’re actually getting live coaching along with the course to go along with it.

Ward: [00:08:28] So, how did you come up with that is the business model? Why did you decide on both? Why not one of the other to begin with?

Dynasti: [00:08:34] Yeah great question. So because I’ve LED trainings for. Organizations and individuals across the years and because I’ve done coaching for individual across the years. I have found that there’s a gap it just in terms of the learning and then they apply learning and what I mean by that is individuals have different ways of learning information and then being able to apply it but what it really boils down to is at the very end the day you learn something you want to be able to apply it want to be able to use it. You actually want to be able to see it move the needle and what I’ve been finding these have been coaching individuals is as I coach individuals people like is there a course on that? Can you give me a training on this theoretical thing that we’re talking about that I can go and look at and have some practice with and then come back to you and talk about and it’s like great yes go sign up for this course or go out and see this individual to go take this course, or you can come take a trainee with me at some point later on and then for individuals who come and take a training class with me. The question is always great now that I’ve taken the training course, I really need more one-to-one support. Can you be a coach? Can you be a guide for me? Can I call you and have like monthly conversations where we can sit down and talk about how I’m actually going to put what I’ve learned through a course with you into practice and I thought I’m doing both and people are asking for one of the other depending on what I’m offering them. So why not merge the two together so they get both at the same time and they get the value of the training and the coaching each month.

Ward: [00:10:03] that’s smart. I mean, what do we always tell people listen to what your actual audience is telling you? I don’t just guess at what you want to provide them or what what kind of solutions they’re looking for, you need to hear them actually say it over and over again. And once you start hearing those patterns, that’s how you can come up with with the business model in what actually sell people.

Dynasti: [00:10:23] Absolutely, and it’s interesting that you say that because for a long time I was very much like I’m just going to do the coaching or I’m just going to offer courses for folds and I kept going back to but at the very day people are asking me for one of the other once they have one side of it and I realized and I’ve realized that it makes sense to bring both together. It makes sense to brings them together in a way that’s also around the membership community. So this goes as the piece of I’ve had a few folks ask me, you know, it’s interesting that you have folks who want to be coached and you have folks who want the development courses. Could you just you one-to-one training? In court in coaching with individuals and what I’m learning and learning through clients as well as individuals who are wanting to start to work with me very soon here is that there’s this third element and the third piece which is they’re also looking for community. Because leadership can be very lonely at times particularly If you’re an entrepreneur solopreneur and you’re moving into a place where you’re now building your own team and trying to scale and grow your business. There aren’t a lot of times where you have a chance to connect with others who are in the same places going through some of the same things that you’re going through in terms of growth and particularly in terms of people development and growth and how do you have other voices besides just your coach to say like, hey, I went through that same scenario Dynasti coach me through this, this is what I tried you should try this too. And so that is where the membership Community really came into play. It’s like we want you to have trainee. I want you to have the one-to-one coaching. But I also want you to know that you’re not alone in this and you’ve got other individuals that you can learn from here from and connect with who are in the same place that you are as a leader.

Ward: [00:12:05] That makes a lot of sense. So let’s shift it to you telling me a little bit more about your audience that you’ve built up. How did you build it? What’s been working? What hasn’t been working that kind of thing.

Dynasti: [00:12:17] So for me, I really Built My audience through Instagram that has been what I would say is My Accidental platform, you know, I really started using Instagram for my own sort of personal connection to folks and started really starting to share stories stories about individuals that I was working with his coaching clients and what we had been learning what I’ve been learning from coaching them starting to share trainings that I have been leading and more and more folks were asking for. Hey, can you put this into a course? Can I work with you as a coach? Wait, when’s the next time you’re offering this? I’d love to get involved with that. And so that is where I really built My audience from I will say that I am now working on continuing to extend that audience built into LinkedIn because I have a ton of connections through there just people who reached out to me through Linkedin just threw my profile and the work that I’ve done over the years would be re is organizations and more individuals are reaching out through there and saying hey I heard that you’re doing something through like coaching and training and I heard that’s more on Instagram. I’m not on Instagram, but I want that same connection. Can you share more? I’d love to hear more about some of the blog’s you’re writing and some of the things that you’re sharing their resources, that could be helpful for me. So continue to expand that but for me, I really focused on once I realized that I had an audience on Instagram and people wanted more information. It was important for me to build there versus trying to build on 20 different platforms and make it work for all individuals and I’ve seen some folks who’ve been able to do a really great job. I can build on Facebook and Instagram and through my blog and all these other things for me. I felt like I want to really build through one platform build it well build the audience, well, and I feel like I have seen the effects from that in a positive way.

Ward: [00:14:03] Yeah, that’s another thing we’ve heard from people that have been successful is to kind of focus on one platform at least in the beginning and really really do it well right dial it in and learn because each platform each marketing channel, really has all that has its own nuances and and things to learn so and there’s two you don’t want to go shallow in a bunch of them, right? It’s better to go deep in one and really figure out figure out how to resonate and build a following it.

Dynasti: [00:14:29] Right and it’s also fascinating. I mean if you if I think about where people are finding me or where I used to go find individuals when I was looking for coaching or leadership training. I typically would go to Google and search Google and say OK Google tell me where I could find a coach tell me where I could find a leadership training on a particular topic and then you get all these different researches and you’re not really sure what’s better or not. I am amazed by how many folks are really. Using the power of hashtags on Instagram and are really going on Instagram and typing in leadership coaching or leadership coach or leadership development and a lot of my audience and my clients have found me just through typing in that because they’re looking for that. And so they’re using Instagram and the same search functionality is are using Google and I think a lot of times folks are missing that there’s a power in that as well.

Ward: [00:15:18] Good point. For Instagram though also, just to dive deeper are where you literally just. Posting various helpful Snippets or links to your blog post or whatever or were you also actively engaging with like influencers or other.

Dynasti: [00:15:35] Great question. I really started off with a sharing various statistics various information points, but I also shared a lot of my own personal story, which I think has been helpful for folks because I think what a lot of people Miss is that yes, I am a coach. Yes, I am someone who’s also building trainees and help me with both sides of the house. But I’m an entrepreneur myself. I have teams and have built and led teams myself. So I also sit in the shoes of the folks that I’m coaching and training on this I’ve experienced the exact same things that the individuals that I’m working with now have and so a lot of it came through sharing my own personal story. Building connections through that and now I’m in a place now where I’m connected with others who are also working in the same work that I am who are doing similar things or trying to do some other things and reach out to folks through development through leadership development that way but it really started with sharing my own experiences my own results in my own key learnings and aha’s and how he’s able to take those and utilize those to help someone grow and get better. So I come from a place of I’ve been there. Sat in your shoes. I’ve made. Some of these mistakes that I’m trying to stop you from making so I can tell you from a place of truth.

Ward: [00:16:51] Like yeah the authenticity right? That’s really I mean, it’s silly to say that it’s big now, but it it it it does seem to be a thing that at least marketing of the past maybe wasn’t as authentic right? It was a bit more commercial and just you know by my thing by my thing. Now it’s becoming more, you know, tell a story and be yourself and you know the good and the bad and people resonate with that more than someone just pretending to be amazing or telling you everything that you should do.

Dynasti: [00:17:24] Absolutely, and I think it’s helped me with all the clients that I’ve worked bit because the clients back to your point around authenticity are saying this is so authentic. This is so real but it also feels good to know that like you sat in the shoes that I’m sitting in now, you’ve seen it you observed it you’ve experienced it. So you’re not just saying this from a place up. I read this book and I went to. You know this training and all of those things are great. But I like that it’s not to discredit that you shouldn’t be as an entrepreneur business owner learning and reading and coaching and taking trainings. I do all of those things. I’m a sponge. I’m equally learning as much as I am wanting to share from an authentic place, but I think there’s something really real with any of my coaching clients are in my trainings when I can say. Look, I tried X technique and let me tell you what happened and how it was really great or let me tell you how I failed and I’m going to be really honest about it and if you want to try it and it works for you fantastic, but let me just tell you I have failed at it and I’ve watched other people fail at it so I can truly tell you here’s how I would tweak it and here’s why I’m teaching it to you in that way.

Ward: [00:18:29] So what have you tried as far as building an audience. What have you tried that maybe hasn’t worked as well?

Dynasti: [00:18:37] I will say that in this goes like this goes the society thing around authenticity. I have really tried and this has been on Facebook on Instagram a little bit and try to do it a little bit on LinkedIn this idea of trying to share just a bit more of the stats and what I mean by that is 25 percent of individuals who are leading have never actually received any sort of leadership training and in surveys have felt like they don’t know what they’re doing. People are like, okay. But none of that has resonated for folks and I thought like if I give you statistics if I give you real life data, then that is going to be like, oh that’s going to make a difference for me. That’s going to be how I’m going to pay attention to what you’re saying. This is how I’m going to be engaged in what you’re saying. And for me at least that hasn’t worked. Well, it’s been all around like let me tell you the stories that are around that statistics. Let me tell you true life stories that I’ve experienced or I’ve seen or that I’ve worked with individuals around that versus just the numbers that matters because I do think there’s something around. It can be painful to grow as a leader but it also can be painful sometimes to admit as leaders that we don’t have it all together. You know, we’re at the top we’re leading. We’re supposed to know it all and sometimes that can be hard to Grapple with an admit and I see that through a lot of my coaching clients where they’re working through that and so a statistic doesn’t reach them because it’s like I read that number and for clients have come back to me and said like I read that number and that didn’t resonate for me because I didn’t feel like I was in that bucket. So when you told certain stories and I was like, oh, yeah, actually that is me I am in that bucket and now I need to pay attention.

Ward: [00:20:20] Right I think it’s all part of that that authenticity theme of you know, being a little vulnerable sometimes that that’s okay. Alright, so that all sounds good. I think that’s all really good insights. So let’s just shift the talking about your pricing a little bit. So how much does it cost for someone to take your course? And what is the cost to join the membership community?

Dynasti: [00:20:39] So any of my courses are eight week-long courses in the cost for that is 597. And then for the membership Community is prize there’s two different pricing models. So the first is ninety seven dollars and that is for one training once a month. And for one small group session once a month and that small group session is cut to 8 to 10 people. So once we get to a Max of 10 people that I just create another small group, but that’s if you’re okay with wanting to build the community you’re comfortable with other people in your coaching session wanting to hear from them learn from them and being coach at the same time on the particular topic for the month that we’re diving into 297 is if you’re someone who’s like, I really need Dynasti one-to-one. And I need that one-to-one coaching aspect. I need to dig a little bit deeper. I need some additional support So 297 gets you again the leadership training course and the topic that we’re taught focused on for that month, but then a one-to-one coaching session with myself that you would get.

Ward: [00:21:40] And that’s per month?

Dynasti: [00:21:42] Yes,

Ward: [00:21:43] And so that’s for the course you said that was 597. 27?

Dynasti: [00:21:48] 597 For eight weeks for eight weeks

Ward: [00:21:50] right so where did that number come from?

Dynasti: [00:21:55] So yeah, so great question a lot of research on what made sense from terms of pricing. I’ve seen a lot of different courses out there and a lot of different prices in terms of where people are pricing courses what I really found and what I realized is that a lot of individuals are paying a little bit less work horse, but what they’re not getting is the through line of consistent topics. So throughout that eight weeks were going through a consistent eight topics. There is still some two options like two sessions within the eight weeks where you can do live office hours, which are many coaching sessions. They’re not the same as the connecting piece of a membership program that you get. But I felt like from a pricing standpoint. I wanted to make it something that was affordable. I wanted to make it something that was reasonable to leaders that are out there that want to be a part of this and I also wanted to make it something where people can feel like I am paying something that’s a value and so it’s a little bit more than the normal price, but then it’s not as much as if I went to a one day training on-site. Most of those trainings are going to run you anywhere from a thousand to two thousand dollars and again, And recognizing that my audience are individuals who are solar canoers moving into now growing their businesses that I wanted me to be able to make some investment but not break the bank for it

Ward: [00:23:20] Right so as part of that calculation also how much money you would need to generate to make your business, you know, profitable and sustainable.

Dynasti: [00:23:28] Yes.

Ward: [00:23:29] Okay. So have you two have you played around or experimented with that price or is it always been 597?

Dynasti: [00:23:35] I haven’t experiment around with it just yet. I’ve been thinking about doing so and figuring out does it make sense to keep it fair when it makes sense to raise it more. I think it just really depends on right now. My focus is a bit more on the membership community in the membership pricing. So for now, I’m leaving that course there and leaving the pricing there and then my goal is later this year to try to start to think about like, how do I research this or figure out is that the right pricing or could it go up a little bit Could It Go. A little bit. I haven’t quite figured out my strategy around that gets me totally honest.

Ward: [00:24:07] That’s fine. So I guess one last question on that though. Have you the feedback you’ve gotten from people that have signed up for it? Have you heard a lot of people, you know, either one complain about the price feel like it’s a little expensive or is really expensive or have you heard more on the side of oh, this is a good deal or this is very affordable. Have you heard either of those types of feedback?

Dynasti: [00:24:26] Great question. I’ve actually heard that they would pay more but I but they would pay more for me leading the course.

Ward: [00:24:34] okay. Gotcha. All right. So let’s shift to the the membership side of things. So it was 297 is the second option. The first option was 197. Did I hear that right?

Dynasti: [00:24:47] It’s 97

Ward: [00:24:48] Ok and both of those are per month. And again, where do those numbers come from?

Dynasti: [00:24:54] Really great question. So this one was harder to price only be will two things. Why was harder to price one? Because I’ve seen a lot of membership sites out there and it’s done a ton of research on these are trying to figure out well, what’s the pricing look like and to be frank with you a lot of membership sites that I saw really focus on a price point that was less. So seeing sites that were doing it for 39 or 49 or $59. What I really went back to was what am I offering and for being the membership community that I’ve put together it really was about the fact that through the 97 in the 297. You’re actually getting live coaching and it is more tailored. So and lots of minerals the communities that I see I’m seeing pricing points where you’re getting the live training. Getting like the slides and someone’s running through a video but there’s a lot more people on any sort of video call that you might be a part of once a month. So you’re seeing individuals where it could be anywhere from like 50 individuals to a hundred individuals on a call, which I think works. Like I’m a part of a couple of membership communities and it really works for me, but it just means that I’m not getting as much one-to-one time either through a small group community that I can learn from or one-to-one from folks. And so I wanted to make it something where you’re paying a little bit more because you are getting a bit more intimate coaching with me whether that be small group or one to one the other piece to that is, being blunt about the coaching in the Executive coaching Community, you know for individuals that I work with and that I coach I charge anywhere from a hundred to two hundred dollars an hour and that’s the going rate for a coach. And so the fact that matter is to be able to give someone an option where it’s like for 297 you’re getting me once a month plus you still get the leadership training course to me is a still but this is so that I can still generate income from that I’m comfortable with. Also wanting to make it accessible for individuals to have a coach. I have seen a lot of. I won’t say Stigma but a lot of individuals have a misconception of conception about leadership coaching or Executive coaching and that you have to be at a certain salary level. You have to be at a certain stablishment point in your career where you are as a CEO or leader or you just have to have lead for 10 to 20 years to have an executive coach and I’m really pushing against that model and pushing against the idea that someone can’t have a coach earlier. I actually think the earlier you have a coach on your career the earlier you form really great leadership habits and principles that allow for you to be successful long-term versus waiting until your 10 to 20 years in you’ve been doing the same things that aren’t working for you as a leader and now we’re having to go in and break habits.

Ward: [00:27:49] Right and I mean, I like the idea of trying to go a little bit more upmarket like you’re saying and be a bit more of a premium offering and the way you justify that as by providing more value as opposed to being scared to charge too much and then, you know getting maybe or attracting not the greatest customers. What we find is the lower the lower the price point generally the types of customers you get the quality drops.

Dynasti: [00:28:13] And again, I think you know, each pricing model is different and I really struggle with this coming into this because I knew that both 97 and 297 both of those price points if you look across the board at some other membership communities, I’ve seen well people kind of pause it that but as I started testing that with individuals who I’ve worked with already and some who are wanting to work with me. They were like, oh when I really think about it, though, if I was going to go out and do a leadership training course, I would actually pay more for the individual course that you were talking about before but now you’re telling me you’re going to give me a topic a month. You’re going to train me on and I’m going to get small group coaching. That’s wonderful that I get that community and those connection pieces and then for those who are doing one-to-one coaching there like I was. That Tina pay $200 for you for just a one to one session in general. So now I get a one-to-one coaching session and I get training. That’s great. Can my whole team be a part of the membership community. So that’s you know where I’m thinking about you what happens if an entire leadership team is like everyone wants to join the membership community and have coaching. What does that look like?

Ward: [00:29:20] Right okay. Yeah, I mean that makes a lot of sense to me the idea of anchoring your price to something else like whoa my hourly rates 200 dollars in your getting that plus all this stuff. So it’s just making it a no-brainer when people do the math is always a smart move because people always looking for something to compare things to right. So if you just see a number and isolation that that’s different than seeing the number and isolation and then you also see somebody compared to like, oh normally this would cost blah blah blah blah if you add all these things together, but I’m giving it to you for this price. That alone even though it’s the same number as if you were to show it in isolation it’ll feel different to people because you’re seeing you’re comparing it to thing.

Dynasti: [00:29:59] Right that makes total sense. And that that was my hope.

Ward: [00:30:02] It makes a lot of sense. Okay Dynasti. Well, why don’t we wrap up here? If you could let folks know how they can get in touch with you or learn more about your services.

Dynasti: [00:30:10] Absolutely, so you can find me on Instagram at Dynasti hunt or on my website at www.dynastihunt.com?

Ward: [00:30:21] Awesome. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.

Dynasti: [00:30:23] Thank you.