Finding Success as a Coach or Course Creator
Jereshia Hawk is a sought after business coach and sales expert who grew her business from $0-2 million in less than 4 years with organic marketing, a lean team, and high profit margins. She helps high-achieving, industry experts launch scalable group coaching programs by packaging and positioning their intellectual property and strategically repurposing live videos to generate new leads.
In today’s interview, I interview Jereshia about about what it takes for coaches and course creators to find success: from figuring out their ‘one thing’, creating the right marketing content and understanding the difference between profit over revenue, and more!
Watch the video of my interview with Jereshia or read the transcript below!
Jack Born: Hey, everyone. This is Jack Born, and I’m here with a really special guest, who I’ll introduce in just a second. But first, one of my favorite quotes is that, “Success leaves clues.” And that’s why I love to bring on people who have been there, have done that, and they have some experience and wisdom to share. And so that’s why I’m so excited to be having this conversation with Jereshia Hawk. So let me tell you a little bit about her. Jereshia is a sought-after business coach and sales expert who grew her business from zero to $2 million in less than four years with organic marketing, a lean team, and high profit margins. She helps high-achieving industry experts launch scalable group coaching programs by packaging and positioning their intellectual property and strategically repurposing live videos to generate new leads. Jereshia’s on a mission to narrow the racial wealth gap by helping industry experts chart new career paths as profitable online coaches. Great to have you here, Jereshia.
Jereshia Hawk: I am super pumped to be here, Jack. Thanks for having me.
Jack Born: Yeah, now, in my research leading up to this call, I know that one of the things that you talk about is that entrepreneurs sometimes, especially online entrepreneurs, we sometimes think that any sort of obstacle that we hit in our business or any time we wanna hit a new level of income in our business we think about, “Oh okay, we need to create something new. We need to create a new program.” But you’ve had a lot of success. One of the things that you talk about with your clients, from what I’ve seen, is the fact that you had one program for many, many years and you’re really focused in on that and that’s one of the things that you try to teach to your clients. Maybe that’s a good place to start, is why don’t you share with us what a lot of entrepreneurs tend to do versus what you try to guide your students to do?
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, I think in the online space, and being an entrepreneur, like we, shiny object syndrome and wanting to satisfy our, like our desire for trying and testing new things that we can, a lot of people in the online space, we’re just business owners. We can get bored in our business, which will make us jump from offer to offer or jump from marketing method to marketing method or jump from sales process to sales process. And where I’ve personally had a lot of success financially and from also from a consistency in client results perspective, and as well as our clients, is finding ways to deliver, like to do what we’ve done well, having one core offer and figuring out a way to deliver it better, to make it better, to improve it over time. And it’s this process of consistent and continuous improvement and continuous refinement and like relaunching the exact same thing over and over and over again. And you think about like, one of my favorite brands is Coca-Cola. Like my grandma, she has no vices. She doesn’t drink. She doesn’t smoke. She doesn’t gamble, but she drinks a Coca-Cola almost every day. And she raised me. And as a kid, she would put Coca-Cola in my bottle, which, you think about this one formula that this billion dollar company made and they still sell the exact same formula today. Like Coca-Cola in the bottle, they’re selling happiness in a red can. And it’s been years that they’ve been selling the exact same product. And I just think there’s so much value of trust-building, of longevity that can be created when you are willing to – Once you figure out and discover what your one thing is, to actually fully commit to it and marry it to some degree. Just like with marriage, I’ve been married just only a year and a half, and I feel like I’m still learning my partner, I’m still learning how to love him and how to receive love at a deeper level every day, and the same thing happens with our programs that we sell and also with the consistency in client results that we can get when we do choose to commit and fully go all in on one thing.
Jack Born: Yeah, you were talking about Coke, and I’m dating myself here. But I remember when I was a kid. I forget how old I was, but Coke, to try to, decided to mix things up and they came out with “New Coke”. And as far as I can tell, it didn’t work very well. They eventually switched back to the classic.
Jereshia Hawk: Give us the classic Coke. It’s reliable. It’s consistent. We know what to expect when we get it, and we wanna pay, partly we’re paying for that expectation. That will be met.
Jack Born: Yeah, now let’s talk about something that a lot of course creators and coaches have faced. I’m sure some people find that thing and they know what they’re doing right out of the gate. And maybe it’s a matter of just refining it, but they know like, “This is what I’m going to be do doing.” But for other people, they start in one area, and they’re not hitting it out of the park right out of the gate. And so they’re wondering, “Should I pivot to something else? Should I make a complete 180 degree change? Or is it a matter of ‘I just need to keep focusing, focusing, focusing?'” So what sort of tips can you give us in terms of when is it right to do a pivot or a major change or just stick with it?
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, well, I wanna make this for the record. I don’t know anybody who had it figured out from the very first time. So I don’t wanna paint that picture. Like, I think, honestly, it takes like three to five years to figure out what your one thing is. I wish more coaches and like mentors and advisors and marketers talked about that of like, “How long does it actually take to figure out the thing that you’re gonna go all in on?” I wonder, I don’t know how long it took you, for you to figure out Deadline Funnel and like figure out, “this is gonna be the software and this is gonna be the primary way in which we go about it.” But it took me three year, three, well, I feel like we’re at a place now, but it took me about a good three years to get to a place where I know like this is the, where I feel like we add the most market, we add the most value in the marketplace at this current stage in time and where we, I think, offer a superior solution than what I’m seeing. I feel like we’re actually closing a real gap and filling a real need. It took like three and a half years. And so I feel like in those beginning stages in those first, like if you have not been in business for more than three to five years, you might still be discovering what your one thing will be. And I like to look at it as like a lot, it’s like dating. I always love using relationship analogies. But I think it’s like dating. Like you’re testing the waters. You’re going on different experiences. You’re having different client relationships, client experience, different price points possibly and you’re like figuring out. I think a lot of it is just discovering what your preferences are. And I think a lot of the time too, if you’re a course creator or a coach and you’re teaching something based off of your personal experience, what we have is unconscious competence, where we’re unconsciously aware of the competence that we have. And sometimes people can come to us and we know exactly what to do to help them, but we don’t know exactly how all this – Like we can skip over steps so we don’t realize exactly how we’ve been able to offer that support. And it takes time to actually have conscious competence of our expertise. So I feel like in the beginning stages it’s a lot of trial and error, but I’m a really big person on making data-informed decisions. Data is always informing my decisions, and it always has. But I’m an engineer by trade, and I think having that background has been really supportive as an entrepreneur. Because being an engineer, you’re kind of like taught to be a scientist in some regard, especially like in college. It’s like, “Oh, I have this hypothesis. There’s some data that I can use to help, that I can measure against to help validate my initial assumption. And then if I can approach”, and that’s how I’ve always approached creating offers or offering solutions in the marketplace is like, “okay, there’s this hypothesis that I have. These are the conditions in which I think this hypothesis will exist, and here are some metrics that I can measure myself against as I’m going through this to validate my assumption.” And you do that enough times – So I like to use the data, and when I think about data from a course perspective or a coach perspective, I like to look at what was the promise that I initially sold people into? And then what was the percentage at which clients actually achieved that promise? And how consistently and repeatedly can I deliver that promise through the design of my curriculum and of my content with inside of my program? So that’s one metric I’m always using of like, “Did I deliver on what I promised? And what percentage of my clients were able to get that promise and/or better?” But that first starts by having an actual measurable program promise or some level of measurability to what it is that you’re offering. But really data is always influencing and informing my decision. And I always will look for data to validate or to inform my intuition as well. It’s a balancing act. But I’m very data-driven in that regard.
Jack Born: Yeah, so there’s so many different directions I could go with this. But something that I’m, something you said that I’m really interested in is, is there something that you’ve learned over the years that you’ve built into your curriculum or that you’ve found that really helps your students actually take action? Because I know one of the kind of, it’s starting to be spoken, but one of kind of the unspoken sort of things about courses and also coaching is that even though we as the creator want all of our clients to succeed, sometimes people don’t take action on what it is that we’re getting, what it is that we’re offering. And I’m sure you’ve dealt with this as well. So what are some things that you’ve found that help your clients actually put into action the formulas and the frameworks that you give ’em?
Jereshia Hawk: So it starts before they ever buy. It’s the qualification process. So when you’re, I think this also depends on the type of offer that you’re creating, the price point that you’re selling at, and the level of rigor you wanna include in your qualification process. But what I think, what we sell typically on the higher end. Our programs are like five figures and up, and all of our clients are usually selling something that $3,000 to $10,000 price range, but many of our clients were course creators before they elevated their offer and made it more of a high ticket, high touch group coaching program. And I think one of the first things that we’ve noticed of why clients may not commit to doing the work, especially as a course creator or a coach, it’s a two-way commitment. Like, it’s our job to deliver on what it is that we promise, but the only way for the client to ever get the results is they do the work and fully implement it. But I think that having an actual qualification process is really, really crucial if you actually wanna increase the percentage rate of your clients getting the results. So we have about a 70 to 80% full return on investment for our like $18,000 program within the first 90 days. And pretty much 95% of clients, I mean, I’m trying to think like, the few clients that don’t get a full return on investment in the totality of them working with us is if like, I don’t know, like they just choose no longer to run their business or we decide to part ways. So very, very high not program completion rate, but program result rate. And I think that’s something even too to think about as a course creator. Like does the, I think sometimes course creators look at like, “Did my client finish my program?,” versus, “Did the client get the result that was promised of my program?” And there’s a lot of clients who don’t need to watch every single module or complete every single worksheet in order to get the result that was promised. But I think it’s really important to one, first qualify clients and know, “okay, if we know that clients meet these attributes or these identity descriptors or they fall in line with these qualifications, we know that there’s a higher percentage that they will get the result, that they’re actually prepared to get the result that we’re promising.” And that’s, again, looking at past client data of successful clients of, you can start to notice those patterns. But then the second thing is that when we had, after we enrolled maybe like 30 clients into the program, we took a poll, we looked at the top like three to five clients who got, who met the full ROI at the fastest rate possible. And then we looked at, “Okay, what aspects of the curriculum did you apply in order to get the result and which aspects of the curriculum did you skip?” And it’s really interesting. You’ll start to, again, notice patterns of like that was nice to have, but it wasn’t necessary. Or this part right here, oh my gosh, when I did that, my results exploded or whatever it was. And that helped me too start to remove, I don’t wanna say the fluff, but remove “nice to have” curriculum versus like necessary curriculum. And especially during the beginning onboarding or beginning the stages of being enrolled really jampack that with only things that we know that if, when clients took action on it, they got the results and there was no skipping of a step. And we really, like, front-loaded our programs to deliver on those results faster. So I think those are two things you can do to help increase your percentage of clients getting results, is having a better qualification process before they enroll. And then secondarily, really studying how your clients are applying your curriculum and which attributes of what they apply from your curriculum are actually leading to them getting the result, and which parts they don’t do and didn’t impact them from not getting the results, if that makes sense.
Jack Born: So this might not be applicable to everyone, but I’m curious. How are you personally getting yourself and your brand in front of your audience? Because you’ve got a five-figure program, it sounds like you’ve got a pretty stringent qualification process which means that not everyone who applies is accepted in, which, as you mentioned, definitely improves your success rate, which also means that people are getting results, which it’s a great positive sort of flywheel. Like you bring in high quality people and you get high quality results and then your marketing is high quality. So I just wanted to point that out, which, I’m just reiterating what you already said. But let me get back to my question. How are you, with such a high price program and stringent qualifications, getting your message in front of your audience?
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, we grow organically. We’ve always had the best results through organic, like, social media content. I’ve always primarily focused on doing, using live video. When you’re playing the organic game on Instagram, Facebook, any of these social platforms, over the years, they’ve always prioritized, well, not always, but especially the last like five years, they’ve prioritized video-based content over any other medium. So I’ve always done live videos. And over the years, we’ve been strategically repurposing effective live video so that it can increase the reach in. But outside of the live video, and in regards to outside of the delivery mechanism that we use on the social platforms and how we repurpose content, what you, the origin of your question is around the messaging. And we really focus on creating content that teaches people how to think versus telling people what to do. So it’s not “how to” content. It’s more of like, “how do I think in more sophisticated content that aligns with the psychology of how people are making buying decisions?” And I think when you can have messaging that is more focused on what are the questions, the beliefs, the objections, the fears that are influencing somebody’s buying decision criteria versus just the how-to, the latest dance TikTok reel thing where it might be very entertaining, but it’s not necessarily influencing what are the questions that they are considering when making a buying decision, all of our messaging is focused on that. So that’s where we initially start everything. We have a more, again, like psychology-based approach to our messaging. And then from there, we deliver that through live video. And then the way that we’ve organically expanded our reach without having to have dependency or really any need for ad spend is through strategically repurposing that live video content into more bingeable, shorter, consumable content, podcast episodes, Facebook group content, and so forth. But creating more sophisticated content that actually aligns with how people are making buying decisions by far is the core of how we create our messaging.
Jack Born: I love to nerd out on messaging. So just for a second, I would love to hear an example of, not just for me, but for everyone watching what would be an example that you’ve used recently where the content was not, here’s “how to do this”, “here’s how to do X or Y or Z”, but really something more around, well, I’ll let you take the lead. Like what type of content are you putting out there that is bringing people a step closer to saying yes and becoming your client?
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, well, I think when we think about more sophisticated marketing content, I think it’s really important to understand like the phases of awareness. ‘Cause if I give you an example, without understanding the phases of awareness, it might not have full context. Eugene Schwartz really coined this in “Breakthrough Marketing” back in the day. And I’ve learned a lot from that and have been adapting that to make it make sense for the online coaching industry and what it is that we do. But there’s the three phases of awareness that we primarily focus on is unaware, problem aware, and solution aware. And unaware is really about helping what are the thoughts, the beliefs that have to be shifted in order for somebody to actually have a full conscious grasp of what their actual problem is as it correlates to what you believe either problem is and what it is that you offer. Then now that they are problem aware, okay, now that I’m problem aware, how do I now get a better understanding of what solution I should be thinking about to actually solve my problem? And when they’re solution aware, it’s like, “Okay, now I’m solution aware, I understand what my problem is. I understand what solutions are available.” Basically, why you, and I’m giving you guys like the golden retriever, third grade level, two-second explanation of this. Part of our unaware content of helping people that we have to create, and that we do create to even help people discover their problem is first that, like, why they should even be selling high ticket in the first place. Half of our clients come from the agency world. They have really successful agencies, Done For You business models. They might have SaaS companies. They might have photography businesses, event planning, and they want to add in a new revenue stream, but they don’t know what revenue stream that should be. Should it be a digital course? Should it be a coaching program? Should it be one-on-one consulting? Should it be corporate contracts? There’s all these options they can consider. So one of the very first pieces of content that we do create to get somebody from unaware to problem aware is that like, why transitioning into the coaching space is a really profitable option if you already have a successful Done For You practice? And it’s not telling them how to do it, but it’s helping influence their private thoughts of like- These are, again, when you start to think about what is the criteria, even for you, if you’re listening to this, think about the last program that you bought or the last software that you purchased. I want you to think about what were some of those questions that you asked yourself to make the buying decision? We were just chatting offline. I said, I used to use Deadline Funnel when I had webinars. I had a belief, and I feel kind of ignorant now talking to you, Jack. I’m like, I thought that I only knew Deadline Funnel in context of running evergreen webinars. I didn’t know that there was other ways that I could be using Deadline Funnel outside of evergreen webinars. That’s a piece of content of like, if you put out a piece of content saying like, “Five Ways to Use Deadline Funnel That Have Nothing to Do with Evergreen Webinars”, that would like, “oh, I didn’t even know that that was even a, I didn’t even know that was a problem or a potential solution to a problem that I even had ’cause I was unaware.” So it’s really about, it’s not like, I don’t know, the tactical, like “how to set up a Deadline Funnel in a evergreen email”, but it’s more about shifting the belief or overcoming the objection or introducing a new perspective that’s aligned with how they’re making buying decisions. Did that answer the question?
Jack Born: Yeah, yeah. So I’ll give another example, and you can tell me if I’m on the right track. So perhaps for you, now I’m not like, whether I believe in what I’m about to say or not, I’m just giving the example, but maybe a piece of content that you would create for your audience would be “why creating a low price course is not gonna get you to the goal, like to where you wanna be.”
Jereshia Hawk: Oh, a hundred percent, yes.
Jack Born: Yeah, and so you’ve essentially, like you’ve taught them something like, okay, out of the universe of different directions that I could go, I can eliminate this one, which was actually one that I was seriously considering. Okay, what else does Jereshia and her team have to offer? And so like, okay, what else should I not be considering? Or what should I be doing instead? And so that brings them another step closer to you, which would be. once you get them on the path of, okay, a high ticket group coaching, let’s say, is where you wanna go for these various reasons, now you get into, well, how are you gonna do that? And so that’s where they would sign up to learn more or attend a live event of yours or something like that. Am I on the right track?
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, like one of our content pieces recently, really, really well is like “How to Earn More than $300,000 a Year Working with 30 Clients or Less”. And that was like a, wait, what? What do you mean I don’t, I can work with like 30 people or less in a year and make more than 300 grand versus… I think many of us and I went down this path too. I think regardless of which business model you want, you have to commit to whatever business model you’re stepping into. And if you’re in a low ticket business model, it’s a high volume game. But if you’re not willing to do what’s required to generate the high volume of leads, it can be really difficult for you to hit your revenue goals with a low ticket, two or three or $400 program versus… I’ve never played the high volume. We don’t pay for ads, so we’re not buying leads and we’re growing organically. So it might mean that it takes longer. I still have a very small email list for how big our profit margins are and what our revenue is, but that’s a really great example of how you can earn more than 300 grand a year working with less than 30 clients, ’cause most people selling low ticket and they have to sell thousands or hundreds of their offer for them to have multi six-figure businesses.
Jack Born: Right, yeah. And so just to take the other side, if someone was selling a program on how to be successful with a $500 course, they might create a piece of content about why having even 30 to 60 clients just isn’t the way that you wanna go. And that’s gonna resonate with some people, because like everything in life, I mean everything’s a trade off. There’s no perfect business model. There’s trade offs. And so you can steer the people in the direction that ends up leading to your course. So if it resonates with your audience, I mean that’s what your marketing messaging is supposed to do is to actually send some people away. Some people are gonna say, “No, I want high ticket. I wanna deal with just 30 clients.” But other people are gonna go, “You know what, I wanna be on the beach, even if I’m making 150 grand, I would rather make 150 grand be on the beach rather than having to be on the call with 30 clients,” as an example. So let’s–
Jereshia Hawk:– Or you can go either way. It’s just shifting the belief and introducing perspective that aligns with the philosophy that you teach and whatever it is that you’re offering in your program.
Jack Born: Yeah, absolutely. I remember, so one more quick example. Way, way long ago, one of my first, first things that I did as an entrepreneur was to keep money coming in was I would build websites for people locally. I couldn’t build necessarily the prettiest website, but one of the things that I would say is, “Look, you’re a physician or an architect. Look, you want the website, not because you want a pretty website. You want clients coming the door.” All these people who are gonna build you a beautiful website, you can’t take a beautiful website and deposit it in the bank. I actually spend my own money on AdWords and all these other places. And if my marketing doesn’t work, then I’m not in business. So if you want somebody who’s gonna bring you clients, then, so I would shift their criteria from who can actually build me a website that actually brings me clients versus who’s gonna build the prettiest website that I can brag about?
Jereshia Hawk: Yes.
Jack Born: And so as soon as I shifted that messaging, like I was the only one because I would tell ’em, “Look, you should only hire someone who actually has their own skin in the game.” And so automatically I eliminated all the other options. So that’s an example of that type of messaging.
Jereshia Hawk: Hundred percent.
Jack Born: Yeah, I love geeking out on this. I wanna make sure that we cover some of the other things, and I know you have so much wisdom and experience to share. So maybe we could talk about, I’ve got some bullet points in front of me. One of them is where course creators miss the mark in growing their business online. Do you wanna take that and run with it?
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, I think this even maybe alludes to what we talked about earlier. I think a lot of course creators focus on, at least from my experience of like, I want people to finish my program versus maybe measuring it against, did they get the result that was promised? And I think that’s a really important distinction, ’cause it might be really interesting for you to look at the client data and maybe recalibrate how you’re defining success within your program in a way that might be more aligned with what the client actually wants themselves. So I think that’s one thing that a lot of maybe course creators maybe–
Jack Born: Can I pick up on that real quick?
Jereshia Hawk:– Yes.
Jack Born: Okay, so just, I think one of the things that some people struggle with is that they’re talking about the features of their course or their coaching program, but they’re not actually even making a promise, because you’re talking about, are your clients getting what was promised? But some people make the mistake of not even making a promise. Like they say, “Here’s my course,” but they’re not saying here are the results that you’ll get in this specific timeframe, right? And to your point, I’ve seen examples where I’ve even done this at live events where I got a big aha from maybe the third speaker on the first day. And I’m like, “Okay, I don’t need to hear the rest of the speakers because I need to go back to my hotel room, get on the call with my team and talk about implementing this one thing. It doesn’t matter what else is there, I’ll get the recordings later.” I want to start implementing this idea right now. And so it’s really about, to your point, it’s not about necessarily consumption, although it is an interesting metric to follow; it’s about, do you have a promise of results and are your clients getting those results? So I think that’s really smart.
Jereshia Hawk: And I think that that’s like our industry, consumers are becoming smarter and smarter and smarter, and the industry’s becoming more sophisticated. I think even consumers are gonna have, I don’t wanna say higher expectations, but I don’t know – I’ve bought so many courses that have no promise, and it’s like, you buy all these courses living on this virtual shelf that like you’ve consumed a lot of information around… And maybe that’s the purpose of them. Maybe the promise is that you’ll just become more informed about a particular topic. But if your course is actually designed with some tangible or result in mind, like be bold in claiming that. And I think you claiming that will, like you said, most people do not have a program promise and most people are, I know a lot of folks, my clients included, have sometimes resistance to claiming a promise or offering a guarantee because of all, there’s a ton of figures they have associated with it. But I think that that’s something that will immediately differentiate you and very similar to even what you were saying about the websites, you created back in the day of like, not just we’re gonna create a website for you, but we’re gonna create a website that we know that we can track and that will produce, will help you with converting leads into whatever it is that, you know, your practice or whatever. And so I think having a program promise is, I think it’s like off rip, if you have a program promise, you typically can immediately charge more. But I feel like it also helps so much with the ripple effect of referrals and client results, because you can measure against it. And I don’t know. I know for me, I want somebody who can measure my success. And I think all the anger that many of us have had from the traditional education system, even though I went to college and I’m very glad that I have a degree, and I’m glad that the profession I took actually was able to pay for the student loans at my degree that I purchased. But how many of us have gone to school and gotten all this information, but it didn’t necessarily matriculate into something that we expected it to matriculate into. So I think that that’s a way that missing the mark of one, clarifying a program promise and being able to actually design your program curriculum to deliver on the promise that people, that you communicated when they purchased and focusing on… Consumption is a really important metric, but consumption of the right material within your program that, again, everything goes back to delivering on that promise that you can measure.
Jack Born: So I know something else that we wanted to cover was how to articulate value to increase sales. So even though you’re an engineer, I love the fact that you are so dialed into messaging and that’s such an important part of what you do. So I would love for you to talk about some of the things that you share with your clients in terms of how do you increase sales without necessarily doing a discount? How do you message it in a way that adds value?
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, and I’m being an engineer, I love the data. I love the data around like messaging and what sticks and what didn’t, and what resonated and what converted. But when I think about articulate… Sales, I think, really boils down to three things: the value that you deliver, the value that you can articulate, and the demand that currently exists. And the kind of the conversation that we were having earlier around your messaging, and I think articulating your value, it’s like, what attribute of your value have you been articulating within your marketing content? If you were to pause this recording or after this recording go back and look at the content that you’ve published, wherever you typically talk about your offer, really think about, am I trying to prove my value in regards to what it is that I deliver, where I’m educating them on the process of what we do once they’re inside of the program, which would be really great internal program, marketing content, maybe not the best front face marketing content? Or am I creating content that’s influencing how they’re thinking and how they’re making a buying decision before they get to the point of purchase? And I think when we can start to separate that line of demarcation of what needs to be communicated to help them get to a place where they’re ready to make a buying decision. Whether that decision is yes or whether it’s no, but what’s the content and the messaging, and again, those beliefs, objections, perspectives that align with how they’re making a buying decision, what needs to be communicated just to get them ready to make a purchase, most people are creating content like in solution aware, or like somebody who was already like hyper, hyper, hyper aware where they’re creating content that’s really designed for like the person after they’ve purchased and they’ve already started to get indoctrinated into their system. So when we’re trying to articulate our value to increase sales, we have to of retrain our brains a little bit to – we know that you’re an expert and you’re a beast at what it is that you do and like, you can go ham and help everybody and get them the results, but you have to put yourself back in the shoes of like, what was this person thinking? What were their beliefs? What were their objections before they made the investment, before they got indoctrinated into my belief system? And I think when we can start articulating their value from that angle of positioning, or from that perspective, it increases, I mean, I guarantee you it’ll increase your sales. So a way that you can practically do this is if you guys either are like recording your sales conversations, or if you have direct message convos with clients, or even when, right when people join, if you have an intake form that you can have them fill out when they buy your course of like, you can literally, we document every objection that we get. And we document every question that was asked before somebody purchased. And doing those two things can give us insight on what their beliefs are that are influencing how they’re making their buying decision. And we can create more marketing content that articulates the value around what’s important to them when they’re making a buying decision. And the more that we can do that front facing in our marketing content and publicly, it will help with the private conversions when they’re by themselves, I know I’ve bought many of courses laying in bed at like two in the morning, or when they’re privately making the decision on a sales conversation or something like that.
Jack Born: I know this is specific to you, but I’m curious, do you have on your team, do you have people who are, I don’t know if you’d call them sales calls, but are you essentially, maybe they’re qualification calls? What is the structure that you use when someone raises their hand and says, “Hey, I wanna join your program.” First of all, I would imagine there’s an intake form. Is that correct?
Jereshia Hawk: Mm-hmm, we have two different variations. Up until maybe nine months ago, we had a sales call closer, or I was closing on calls. For the last nine months, we’ve been closing all clients through direct message on Instagram or on Facebook. We call it our Champagne Closer Method. I’m really into like, that’ll be like my alter… If I blow up my online business, I’d go into luxury real estate or something. But when you’re selling a really high-end house, really, all you have to do is pop the bottle of champagne, ’cause the house sells itself is kind of the analogy. But how we do this Champagne Closer Method or how we think about sales is one, they will apply for our program. And when they apply that goes through our qualification process, there’s qualification questions that we ask. Then we’ll do a short DM conversation just to ask any clarifying questions about what their application, what they submitted on the application to first verify, do they align with who we know our best clients are? And then secondarily, do we actually think our program promise can deliver on what they’re asking for? And then if we do that a little bit of qualification through DM, the next thing that we send them is a benchmark assessment. And this is a really, been a really instrumental tool for us is that this assessment is like 30 to 40-minute video that helps them self-evaluate based off of what our curriculum is, where their gaps currently exist. So that video almost serves as a way for them to qualify themselves for our program. And our application and our conversations allows us to qualify them. So it’s like a two-way qualification process. That assessment helps them qualify themselves to know whether or not we’re a good fit. After they finish their benchmark assessment, they share their score with us. And then we continue the conversation through direct message. And our approach or how we teach our clients and how we’ve always approached, it’s very permission based. It’s very consent driven. And our goal with any sales conversation is not to get a yes; it’s just a hundred percent to help this, to get them to make a decision. Whether that decision’s a yes or a no. So it alleviates energetically some of the pressure of like, “Oh my god, I gotta get the sale” to like, “Oh my gosh, I just have to get them to make a decision.” We don’t want anybody lukewarm. We either want a hard yes or a hard no, and 80% of those no’s are just not right now, which is totally fine, ’cause we’ll just follow up with them in the future. So there’s an application process. Then we have an assessment video for them to self-assess themselves. And then we have some sales conversation, whether that can be done through a sales call, which most of our clients… And I recommend you should start with sales calls just so that you can get that client data, what I mentioned earlier about all those objections and those beliefs, you can document those things and those become marketing content for you to put out front facing. But we’ve been doing it for the last nine months now, all through direct message. So application, some level of self-assessment and then a sales conversation that happens privately through DM or through a call.
Jack Born: And then one last question on your process. Are you constantly intaking new clients, or do you have an enrollment period? And then there’s sort of a class that–
Jereshia Hawk: We’ve done both. And I think it just depends on your capacity. Ours is just dependent on what our capacity has been operationally. I’m a really big, how I approach business is I, there was a season where it was open enrollment, right? When we first started, we did like three open, close launches, probably like every three months. And then we went to evergreen enrollment or recurring enrollment where we controlled it. We enrolled three to five clients a month over a six-month period. ‘Cause I think, too, one thing that we’ve learned, ’cause we’re selling high ticket, it is a high touch program, is that we didn’t want to over, we didn’t wanna oversell where we didn’t have the operational backend to support the amount of new clients coming in the door. So we’ve been very intentional about figuring out where that bandwidth is and like what our threshold is. So we’ve done it both ways. I did open, close enrollment, then for about a year and a half, we were like evergreen enrollment. People could join every month. Like I said, we started off where we control the number, like three to five new clients for about six months. And then the last six months, it didn’t matter. We would enroll how many ever people were qualified that applied. But then about maybe six months ago we switched it back to open, closed. And that’s because our philosophy has changed a little bit different. And also we recognized that maybe about 70 clients in the program, our operational and how we designed, how we deliver the program had to evolve in order or to handle more client load. So we’ve been really taking the time to put those operational things in place, being able to introduce different group coaching call formats, introduce different delivery mechanisms from how we coach clients, increasing the learner accessibility within our program. Now we’ve added closed captions. We’re in that process right now. So we’re gonna continue to stay in launch-based enrollment or very structured open, close enrollment probably for another three to six months. But we’re also testing whether or not we’re gonna go back to a monthly enrollment cadence. So we’ve done it both ways. But it’s just been really dependent on what operationally we could handle. ‘Cause I’ve never wanted to be in a place where we over, where we could have over-enrolled too many clients where operationally, we weren’t ready to deliver at the level of excellence that we guarantee.
Jack Born: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I know one more thing that we wanted to talk about if we have have time is the difference between revenue and profit. And I think all of us understand the difference, but in terms of how it applies to the course creator or the coach or the consultant, what is your philosophy and how does this come into what you teach your clients?
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, I used to have so much shame personally, ’cause I didn’t have six-figure launches. I felt like it took too long, quote, unquote to make my first million dollars. And then I remember one day being at a Mastermind event and I was doing maybe like 300 and, I don’t know, 3,500 that year in business. And the guy next to me was probably making close to like 2 million. And I had like, I’m just like, big bright-eyed bushy tailed, just like in awe. And then during the session we had to share what we actually made profit. And I had made more profit than him. And it was a mind-blowing experience for me. I was like, “Wait a minute. He does 2 million in revenue. I’m like a fraction of what he does revenue-wise, but how did I make more profit cash than he did?” And that really opened my eyes to, I think, in the online marketing space, what can get glorified a lot of the time is like how big my launch was or how much revenue I made. And I think very rarely, I mean these private companies; they don’t have to publicly share their numbers. But I think very rarely is there, I think, healthy dialogue around what your profit margins are and how much profit you actually made. And that was a really defining moment for me. And I think also being a woman of color, I started way back in the negative when I basically coming out of the gate. There’s debt that you may be born into or that you’ve accumulated over your lifetime. And I think so many people are focused on like, how can I just get debt-free? When you recognize that debt-free is $0, that’s the starting line in a capitalistic American society, you’re at the beginning. It is an accomplishment, but to me I’m like, I wanted more than just to get to the starting line. And I recognize how can I use my business as a vehicle to increase my personal net worth. And that’s when, and kind of this conversation, I married a man who manages a hedge fund. So he also has definitely influenced my perspective on wealth building and just thinking about profit from a different vantage point than maybe what we’re traditionally introduced to in the online marketing space. And that experience that I had really shifted my perspective. And again, I used to have so much shame ’cause I’m like, I’m not hitting these numbers that’s marketed to me, but my profit has always been very, very healthy and very high, which was the goal for this season of business that I’m in. That’s my owner’s intent right now is to build my personal net worth. So I hope that this is something that like, it can be so easy for us to compare ourselves to people on social media or to these highlight reels. And I think what’s really more important is for you to pause and say, “Okay, during this season of business, what is my owner’s intent? Is my owner’s intent to grow my revenue?” Which it should be, but like, “Is my owner’s intent to actually maintain a certain level of profit in the business every year?” And when you can define what your owner’s intent is around what you want your numbers to actually look like, that will allow you to make more, I think, strategic and informed business decisions when you’re going to market. So for me, I wanted to get to a million dollars profit and a million dollars of personal net worth outside of my business. And these past years I did it. In 2021, we did a million dollars in profit. And my personal net worth exceeded a million bucks, which was like, this all happened within five years. And I still feel really weird saying it out loud ’cause it’s, I don’t know, it’s like I haven’t settled into it yet. But when I look at that, and that was my owner’s intent for the last three years and I got conscious about it, that’s the reason why we haven’t done paid ads. That’s the reason why we haven’t tried to sell like two or three or four different offers, having that intention almost served as my blinders to keep me focused. But I don’t know. So I think that like, one isn’t better than the other, but I think thinking about it, is this a lifestyle business for me? How do I wanna use the vehicle of my business to impact my personal net worth and impact the financials at the end of the day after taxes, after expenses and allow those preferences to serve as healthy constraints to how you’re making operational decisions in the business. And also just like, I hope that me sharing this also relieves some pressure, ’cause know I used to feel so much shame and so much pressure about not hitting these, quote, unquote, revenue goals. But when I talk about my profit, then it was like, oh snap. But nobody really talked about that as much publicly. So it really helped me to be conscious of how, who I was comparing myself to and to catch myself, ’cause you really don’t have the full picture a lot of the time. So it’s helped with my mental health as well.
Jack Born: Yeah, I’ve had that same experience as well. I’m trying to think about how to phrase this, but I was recently… So there’s a little private mastermind group that I’m in. And I remember one of my questions was around like, “Hey, guys and gals, how are you? How are you in like, for a nest egg that’s approximately in this range,” ’cause I didn’t want to give an exact number. “How would you guys invest it?” I just kind of assumed that everyone’s like, “Oh, well like for nest egg of that size, because mine is like,” in quotes, like, dot, dot, dot because mine is so much bigger, like, “here’s what I did at that point.” And the replies that I got back was mostly like, “I don’t know ’cause I’m not at that point yet.” And it was just kind of like, it was an eye-opener to me. And I’m not saying that to brag, but I totally get what you’re talking about, because I’ve also known some JV managers who have run some of the eight-figure launches, possibly even some nine-figure launches in the real estate space. And I’ve had some really in-depth conversations with them. Some of them I’ve recorded where they’re just sharing like, look, the bigger the launch is, typically, almost none of that money is actually hitting the business owner’s bottom line. Now it builds their list tremendously. And from that, there can be strategic reasons for doing that. But when you hear like, oh, this person did a $2 million launch or $6 million launch, don’t assume that the profit margins that you’re making on your $350,000 coaching business translate over to that. And you’re thinking, oh my gosh, that person made $2 million in their bank account. And it doesn’t actually work that way.
Jereshia Hawk: I love what you just said is the strategic decision. I think it’s important for us as business owners and you listening to this to say that if you’re sacrificing… The strategic decision behind why they made the choice, ’cause maybe it makes sense to break even on this huge nine-figure launch because of the leads and they know what they’re gonna be able to sell on the backend. They’re thinking about maybe the return on investment over the next two years versus that immediate cash collected or something. I think that’s a really important thing is allow it to be an intentional choice versus like a happenstance or unconscious thing, where you realize at the end of the day, when you process all your numbers and everything and it’s like, oh crap, what happened? It was like, well, that probably wasn’t a strategic decision.
Jack Born: Yeah, and I wanna pick up on something you said real quick and maybe we’ll close it out. I think you mentioned the word “season”. And if you did, that’s something that I’ve become a big believer in, because I think there’s a, I think we naturally go through different types of cycles and there are times where we’re like, “Okay, I’m gonna really push and focus.” And then there’s some times where it’s like, “You know what, I need a break. I need to coast.” And then there’s some times where profit maximization is what you’re trying to do. And then there’s other times where I just went through a season of investing in the team and bringing on additional personnel. And it’s sort of like doing a launch in the sense that, “Okay, yeah, this is definitely going to impact the bottom line, but I’m bringing on these A-class people that over time are going to be able to take the business to the next level. And so that’s a very intentional strategic decision, which has a short-term investment cost. But long term, if I’ve made the right decision, it’s gonna pay off. So I love the idea of seasonality in your business.
Jereshia Hawk: Mm-hmm, yeah, a hundred percent. We’re in the same boat right now. We haven’t enrolled any new clients for the last two months, but we’ve been hiring our first, our first set of like core full-time hires. And it’s like, we’re kind of slowing down so that we’re well-positioned to speed up when it makes sense, too. So yeah, I think owner’s intent aligning with the season that you are in is just so critical so that you actually can make, like you mentioned, those strategic decisions.
Jack Born: Right, Jereshia, this has been just a really, really enjoyable conversation. And I really appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom. I wanna make sure that the people who are watching this and thinking “how can I find Jereshia?” and like “how can I get deeper into her world and find out more about her programs and maybe go through that qualification process?” So where can people go? Tell us where you would like to send folks.
Jereshia Hawk: Yeah, my favorite thing to do at the end of interviews is my ask is that take a picture of you listening to this interview right now, whether that’s on the camera screen or in your earbuds or whatever, and tag both Jack and I on, are you on Instagram?
Jack Born: I am. I’m not super active. I’m not like–
Jereshia Hawk: That’s all right.
Jack Born: I post videos of me kite surfing–
Jereshia Hawk: Okay, cool! We’re gonna be kite surfing and chopping it up, but tag us on Instagram stories. I’m @JereshiaHawk. I’m Jereshia Hawk everywhere. Jereshiahawk.com, Jereshia Hawk on Facebook. But tag us on your Instagram story. So I always would love us to continue the conversation. So just tag us on IG stories and let us know what your top takeaway was. That’s my favorite way to like, that’s the best place to find me and I think in a way we can continue the conversation from what you’ve already heard today.
Jack Born: Awesome, fantastic. Well, I know that I picked up some really, really big gems, and I know that this was eyeopening for a lot of people. So again, I just really wanna thank you. I feel like you and I are on the same page in so many different areas. So this was a lot of fun. Thank you.
Jereshia Hawk:Yeah, thanks for having me.