Helping Entrepreneurs Turn Their Superpowers into Sales
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Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Today, we have Christina Hooper. And she specializes in helping entrepreneurs turn their superpowers into sales. So today, we’re going to be talking about digital marketing, building a StoryBrand, building a scalable business, and I’ll let Christina take it out from here. So Christina, welcome.
Christina Hooper: Hey, thanks for having me.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, no worries. I’ve read through your bio, and it’s very impressive. And just to give the listeners a brief introduction, tell people about who you are, how you came to be. And then we’ll go from there.
Christina Hooper: I mean, my biggest focus is helping people build a business that enables their lifestyle, instead of taking over their life. Which is really jiving with what you’re trying to do too. So I think that’s cool. But yeah, it’s just, there’s so many things that people get into that overwhelm them. So they’re usually selling the wrong products or the wrong services, or people are trying to do too much and not building a team.
And there’s just so many different ways you can go in the wrong direction. I know, because I’ve probably done most of them and had to figure it out the hard way and turn back around and fix it. I’m a Business Made Simple Certified Coach, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and a DigitalMarketer Certified Partner. So I constantly just look for knowledge, look for experts, look for people to help you break down different blockers to your growth, you know?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. So how did you get into this space? What inspired you to start helping people and get into the business realm?
Christina Hooper: My grandpa was an entrepreneur, he had the local grocery store in a tiny little town. So I got to see him be that pillar of the community and constantly helping people. So that was really inspirational. And I did the normal thing, I went to college, did what you’re supposed to do, got the job in the cubicle and did the path you’re supposed to go. But while I was sitting in a cubicle, I’m looking at other people that the company is trying to push out the door because they’re too old, they’ve been there for like 40–50 years, they helped build the company, they are some of the first ones to do the job. And it’s like, they’re wanting to retire them early, because they’re not catching up fast enough. And I’m like, that’s not going to be me, I’m not gonna give them 40 years of my life, just to be put out to pasture earlier than I’m ready when I’m still useful. Like, that’s not cool. So I made the leap, kind of did it as a side hustle, like most of us do, and turned it into a full time thing.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Excellent. Excellent. So one thing we talked about on this show is really freedom. Tell us what a StoryBrand is, and tell us why people in today’s age need to have a strong StoryBrand.
Christina Hooper: StoryBrand is something that was created by Donald Miller. He’s got a book, Building a StoryBrand, Marketing Made Simple, Hero on a Mission. So he’s got several books, they’re all good. It’s worth reading. StoryBrand Certified Guides are people that help you clarify your branding and messaging. And the reason that’s important is because, most of the time when you ask someone what they do, and if you listen to podcasts all the time, you’ll see this over and over again, they stumble on it. It’s not very clear what they do. They can’t articulate it in a sentence or two. It’s like, oh, well, I help people build websites, and build landing pages, and write better copy for their blog articles, and write better copy for their website pages, and for their social profiles. Like, I could go on and on with the list of all the things that other people do. And that’s what most people sit there and do. So building a StoryBrand says like, Okay, you’re not the hero in this story, your client is.
So you have a person that you’re trying to reach that has a problem. And you’re gonna give them a solution that’s going to help them change something, you’re going to call them to action and change something in their life. But you’re a Yoda. You’re Dumbledore. You’re not Harry Potter. Your client is Harry Potter. They’re stumbling. They’re confused. They’re making mistakes. They’re having the whole world thrust on them. They’re trying to figure it out. And it’s like how do you come into their life as their Dumbledore? How do you introduce yourself, explain your value and lead them in the right way? So that’s kind of what the StoryBrand is all about is clarifying your messaging.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: It’s really interesting. So you know in today’s economy, everybody’s their own employer and everybody’s out. We’re the Freelancers, gigs, people are quitting their jobs left and right. And what does a brand mean to you? And explain to people why, if you’re going to be an influencer or a thought leader, why you need a brand.
Christina Hooper: A brand is the warm fuzzies. So it’s not what you do. It’s how you make people feel. So when you’re putting your brand together, and somebody’s reading your copy, or looking at your website, or engaging with you in some way, it’s how you make them feel. I know this podcast is just gonna be audio only. So you can look my name up, look up ChristinaHooper.com, and go look at a picture of me. I have bright blue hair, I have a cape in my background. Like when you get on a call with me, you’re going to feel a certain sort of way. Right off the bat. Like, I feel approachable, people kind of relax just because my hair is bright blue. So that’s part of my brand. If I were to go back to brown hair, I wouldn’t look near as fun. So stuff like that is how you make people feel. When they engage with different parts of your marketing, different parts of your messaging, different parts of what you do.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, and that’s the reason why brands such as Apple, Nike, Starbucks, have very strong brands and create large followings. And that’s how they’re able to build a sustainable competitive edge in today’s economy.
Christina Hooper: It actually makes it easier on you as a business owner too, to build a really strong brand because you’re not having to be as perfect. Like it’s okay if I stumble on some words, I don’t have to refilm a video if I’m making a quick little video for Tik Tok or something like that. I don’t have to refill it because I stumbled because that’s me. I’m normal. I am human, the more relatable I am, the more likable I’m going to be. So you actually get permission to not be so perfect. You don’t have to overproduce, you don’t have to rerecord. You can have typos, your grammar doesn’t have to be perfect. You know, you can use whatever words make sense to you, if you need to use [invents word] as a word, you can use [invented word] as a word. It’s fine. It’s cool. So it’s actually easier and takes some of the stress off and it works better, which I think is the best part.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Now let’s transition into, so we’ve created a really strong brand, we have a really strong story. And how do we turn that superpower, you know all of that social capital or brand recognition, into sales?
Christina Hooper: So you really have to start building an army of raving fans like 80% of the people in your space may never buy from you, and that’s okay. If they’re following you on Tik Tok. If they’re following you on YouTube, if they’re subscribed to your newsletter, they may never be able to afford you. But they might want to. It might be five years, that’s fine, but they’ll refer other people to you. So really think about every interaction as a chance to create a raving fan. Even if they don’t get on your email list. Even if they don’t follow you. Even if all they do is watch a 60 second TikTok video that you put out in the world, how are you going to use your 60 seconds to create a raving fan? Because that is what creates intentional word of mouth marketing. That’s what makes it actually happen, instead of just hoping people will refer you and kind of like growing your business on hopes and prayers that other people will do it for you. It’s just not great.
And then you have to create a path that’s easy. So they need to understand, like every little thing that I put out there, what is the logical next step that someone can take? Like, I’m not gonna waste their time with an ebook on five things about whatever, like. Let’s send them over to a quiz. That’s going to be like answering a few questions here, I’m gonna give you some very specific advice. At the end of the quiz. Make it very useful, make it very helpful. How is that advice gonna change their life?
Instead of sending them to an ebook, send them to a checklist. A resource that they can use, that they can print that’s going to impact their life and give them value. And then from there, you can say, Hey, you used this checklist. Is it working for you, as well as it should? Would like to get on a call with me, let’s talk about your particular use case. You know, maybe it’s like a checklist on how to like, fix your website homepage or something, for example. I know that you downloaded that checklist because you needed help fixing your website homepage. So if I offer to audit it for you and send you a loom video, you’re probably gonna take me up on that. And now I’ve had a chance to have a conversation with you and then like, Hey, I identified like five things you could fix. Would you like me to fix those for you? Now you’ve turned it into a sale, and you’ve done it while being helpful and logical with every next step.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, yeah. It’s all about a process and then it’s all about creating leverage and creating, taking your capital, what you have socially and through your community and through your brand and then creating ways of offering value to your following and your community.
So, let’s next talk about, so we built a strong StoryBrand. The next thing is you talk about community and raving fans. So tell us more of the importance of having a community already being fans. And how does one start about, assuming you know someone, just starting from scratch, doesn’t have a following or anything?
Christina Hooper: The biggest thing you can do is just to start putting out content, start answering questions. So if you have no following whatsoever, get on Tik Tok, get on YouTube, get on Facebook, and start just creating content. Start putting out videos, start putting out blog articles, start doing everything you can to answer questions that people have and to solve problems. And don’t just be on a soapbox, like actually think about how to solve a problem. How do we take someone from a level 2 problem and like, move them to like 2.5 towards a solution. Maybe we’re not going to go from 2 to 10 and solve it completely, but we’ve moved forward. And like every piece of content you put out should continue to move them forward. And don’t be afraid to give away specifics. Because odds are, they can’t do it all themselves. And if they can hire you, they will. So you keep doing that.
So as you do that, you’re making opportunities for people to connect. And always make the ask for the next step like, Hey, if you found this valuable, if I helped you, smash that subscribe, or hit follow or go to my profile, click the link, get on my email newsletter, go join my Facebook group. Go collect them somewhere where you have permission to continue talking to them and keep making the ask. And once you have your community of raving fans, you can monetize them in so many different ways. So obviously, you can promote your offers, those are cool. But you can also do referral arrangements where people will refer something to you and refer clients to you and you’ll give them a little bit of a kickback that way. So that’s one way to do it.
You can run word of mouth promotions, where you can ask them to invite people to something that you’re doing. Maybe you’re doing a workshop or a webinar, use your audience of raving fans to bring more people to a webinar where they can become more raving fans and grow your audience that way. You can co-create content together. That’s another great one to do, like reach into your audience and say, Hey, here’s somebody that I think would be a really great client, but they haven’t raised their hand yet. And I want to get in touch with them. I’m not really sure how. I would love to interview you on my podcast. I would love to interview you and help create a blog article that I want to put out around this topic, and just explain your experience. Or there’s so many different ways to take advantage of your audience and turn that into revenue once you get that audience built up.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, it’s a different mindset. And it’s a different concept. Because in the past, they were talking all about funnels. And so how is creating a community of raving fans different from you know, the traditional way of thinking about funnels?
Christina Hooper: It kind of overlaps. So basically, a funnel is just, how are we going to take someone from A to B to C to D, and all the way to Z? Like, what are the steps? And that’s all a funnel is and a big business, a successful business, is gonna have hundreds because every little one is a step, right? So you just kind of have to start somewhere, what’s the service that you want to sell? And then back it up to, how do you create raving fans that would want to buy that service? And like, say you’re a website developer? Because that’s an easy one to explain. Right? So you build websites for people, and you want to sell building websites for people, that’s your thing. So how can we back up into that?
Well, if I do a website audit for somebody, and I could tell them what’s wrong with their site, and I get a chance to talk to them about it, I’m more likely to make a sale. Okay, well, up your funnel a step, I’m going to do an audit. Okay, well, how do I get someone interested in doing an audit? Well, they’re only going to want someone to do an audit for them that they trust, that they think is going to be able to actually give them value, like how do I make myself trustworthy enough to do that? Okay, well, let me give them something that will help. Let me give them a checklist or invite them to a webinar, where we’re going to talk about website best practices and how you can improve it. Maybe we’ll hotseat a few people and go through their websites there.
Okay, how do I get people interested in spending time with me in a workshop, but I have to deliver value first? You know, why would they come to a workshop that I’m teaching if they don’t think that I can help them again? So like, well, now I’m going to put out blog articles and videos, and I’m going to break down what it takes to make a good website and give you some different examples and scenarios. And so now we’re back to the content and getting the raving fan. So it’s all part of it. It’s all a funnel. And people are gonna kind of come in and out. Like, I’ve seen people try and break the traditional funnel thing and like turn it into cyclones and CDJs and like, there’s so many different ways to map out a funnel. I think the biggest thing is to be intentional. I want to sell this. How do I put someone on a path to buy it? And just, whatever you do, diagram that out is like, maybe for you that diagram looks like an actual little map with little X’s here. However you diagram it; funnels, maps, whatever, it doesn’t really matter. The point is to get from A to Z. And to understand very clearly what those steps are and how you’re going to convince someone to keep moving.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yes. So, so very important. And in these days and age, it’s really interesting, because in the past your community was in person. It was through masterminds or groups. And now in this new age, or era that we’re in, everything is online. So you can do it through Facebook Groups or Zoom. So what are some principles and strategies that you use to earn trust online?
Christina Hooper: Show up and be a helpful human. I can’t tell you how many like I am in masterminds, I pay like 20k a year for, 10k a year for, and I cannot tell you how many meetings I go to in those masterminds where half or more have their cameras off, and never unmute their mic. And it’s like, nobody’s ever gonna trust you to refer business to you, understand what you do, or even hire you or anything, if they’ve never seen your face. Like, why are you even there. So like, you might as well go do whatever it is you’re doing and just not even show up, because you’re not getting the real value out of it.
Most of these programs and things that we buy that we participate in, that we group together with other humans on, the value isn’t the thing we bought, it’s the people that we’re in the room with. It’s getting to know the person that’s doing the presentation. Like, I mean, I show up with bright blue hair, and I’m in the middle of a whole bunch of other people on a Zoom screen, I get called out almost every time because they remember me because my camera is on. Because I am talking because I’m participating in the conversation. It terrified me. And one lady I interviewed on my podcast said, fill the fear and do it anyway. Like, it’s really intimidating, to come off and to share thoughts and to ask questions and to be vulnerable and feel stupid. But like the relationships that you’re going to build I mean, it’s like the equivalent of the in person networking things where you can’t hide in the corner, you have to come in, and you have to shake hands, and you have to participate.
And I think that’s probably the biggest thing, whatever it is. Whether it’s a mastermind, it’s a course that you bought, it’s a workshop that you bought, it’s a whatever is just to participate in Facebook Groups, don’t answer people’s questions, go ask questions. One of the craziest ways to promote yourself is to share something that you built, like, maybe you got a new service or a webinar that you’re doing, share it on the landing page and ask for feedback. Like, A) you’re gonna get really good feedback, which is cool. But like, everybody who looks at it is gonna be like, Oh, that’s what you do. That’s cool. You know, and they’ll either maybe be clients or know people who could be clients. Not everybody’s gonna buy from you, but they might know someone who would, because you still want to build that relationship.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: So what you’re talking about in the first part is, like you said, showing up and you know, being authentic, sharing your story, vulnerability, carrying through doing what you say you’re going to do. And trust is built up slowly over time. And you know, it can be quickly destroyed just in a single second. So, it’s very important in today’s age to go online to do what you say you’re going to do.
Christina Hooper: Trust and clarity. Trust has to be built up over time. But clarity is too. Like if you think about the different people that you’re in networking groups and stuff with, most of them don’t know what you do, you don’t know what they do. So clarity is so important. As you’re showing up, interaction after interaction after interaction, people get a bigger and bigger understanding of what it is that you actually do, who you help, how you help. And so you’re opening up the ability for them to become a raving fan, to become a customer, to refer to a customer, not just through building trust, but also through building clarity, so they understand what it is that you actually can help with.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, definitely. This has been a very interesting conversation and I know a lot of people, especially in today’s social media age, digital marketing. And people may be interested in learning more about you, seeing examples of your work, maybe even working with you, so how can people get in contact with you?
Christina Hooper: Now, the easiest way is to go to my website, ChristinaHooper.com. And then I also have a free quiz that you can take. Remember how I said quizzes are a great way to add value and actually help give prescriptive solutions. So you can go to ChristinaHooper.com/quiz and go take that completely free quiz, lots of cool stuff happening in there.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, awesome. Awesome. And thanks so much and we really enjoyed our time on the podcast. All of Christina’s resources will be in the show notes. We hope to have you as a future guest to see you know your progress and hear more about your successes.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Many thanks again for being here. If you’re new, you can find me online at Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, where I have links to other episodes or links to online resources that will support you on your financial literacy journey. I’ll see you there in on next week’s show. While I bring you thoroughly vetted information on this show regarding a variety of financial topics, I cannot promise you a one size fits all solution. This is why I caution you to continue to learn. Educate yourself and seek professional advice unique to your situation. If you want to talk to me, I welcome it. Please reach out via my website or email at Chris@drchrisloomdphd.com. I read and personally respond to all of my emails. Talk soon!
Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.