Sept 6, 2021
The Mass Business Podcast
Season 1, Episode 6 – Rising Above Noise, With Susan Finn
In today’s episode, Susan Finn and I sit down for a chat about how she keeps her energy raised to benefit her business growth. Susan is a digital marketing strategist who has created the “Rise Above Noise Five-Pillar Process”, which offers heart-centered entrepreneurs a step-by-step guide to create a digital marketing strategy that saves time and attracts clients. We talk about how Susan is able to truly listen and focus on her clients while using the Pomodoro method to compartmentalize her time. We talk about knowing your “Why” and some of the benefits of outsourcing. Are you ready? Let’s go!!
Resources mentioned on this episode –
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Matt Ward – 00:01
Welcome to the next episode of the mass business podcast. My name is Matt Ward. I am your host, I am happy to bring you a fantastic guest today, my friend Susan Finn. Susan has created the “Rise Above Noise Five Pillar Process”, which offers heart-centered entrepreneurs a step-by-step guide to create a digital marketing strategy. It saves time, attracts clients, and allows them to show up in their own integrity. But more importantly, she’s a good friend of mine. I can’t wait to introduce you to her. Please join me in welcoming Susan Finn to the podcast. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Intro – Welcome to the mass business podcast where small business owners, also known as risk-takers, share their stories about the growth of their business and themselves. Our interviews and our content is focused on growing a small business and understanding networking and referrals. I say it all the time. And I’ll say it again today. You never know where your next referral will come from.
Matt Ward – Hey, welcome to the podcast. Susan. How are you?
Susan Finn – 01:36
Well, I’m all jazzed up with, that song was awesome.
M – 01:37
That’s a good friend of mine, Berkeley trained musician Cailte Kelley, who also happens to be a financial advisor. But he, he wrote that custom song for me for the podcast. And you know what, I’m not even just gonna use it on the podcast, I’m gonna use it as my walk-up music on stage and walk off. It’s so fun.
S – 01:57
It’s fun, it raises the energy, right? Like, that’s what we’ve got to be about raising the energy staying in our flow. So thank you.
Speaking of that, and you just brought it up? great segue, how do you raise your energy in your small business?
S – 02:08
In my small business? Well, I have had the great fortune, or maybe by design of attracting people, to my life, who raise my energy, they’re positive people, they’re doing their best, they’re making positive changes in the world. And the fact that I get to show up for them and give them the hints, the tips, the strategies, you know, let’s look at your analytics, I geek out with them. That makes me feel like I’m doing something to help the world at large, I guess that’s kind of the bigger vision, but to know that I can do that. And to just show up as myself that I don’t have to like button up, dress up, do all the things that I can just be myself really helps to shed all that…..
M – 02:51
what I love about that, as you just basically described my new book, which you have had a preview of the High Five effect, How To Do Business With people that bring you joy. And Susan got a preview version of that, and gave me a great review on that. So that’s fantastic. One of the reasons why I wanted her to look at that book was because she’s doing it, she’s effectively doing it with her clients. And, you know, when I think about small business growth, I don’t think about what the government defines as a small business, which is a joke, it’s like $250 million or less. To me a small business is like 10 employees or less, and the expanded version of that is like 20 employees or less, right? It’s the true entrepreneur, the people that are struggling. And my goal with a podcast like this with my books with my talks, is to really help the small businesses figure out the challenges, but also make them realize they’re not alone. Right? And so what are they struggling with? And so constantly I hear people struggling with sales, I hear this term all the time in sales solves all problems, which is, in a lot of ways true. But how are you? I know that you’re helping people create more sales, right? Because you’re you do digital marketing and email marketing. But how do you create more sales in your own business?
S – 04:14
In my own business? What I have found and again, so it’s first of all, setting up processes, has helped immensely, right, just having the calendar so that you’re not going back and forth and losing emails, having a system where when somebody schedules a discovery call, because for me as for most of the people that I work with their goal, our goal is to get somebody on a call. Rarely do people just click a button and purchase. They need to know who they’re working with. So it again, it’s all about the personal relationships and referrals. Many times they’re referred to me by somebody else. So you have a process where they get on, they schedule the discovery call, and then what happens next, well then you welcome them. Hey, looking forward to speaking with you. Here are some more Questions. So now they’re really I asked them some probing questions to get them future thinking about their business. I also send them an interview with Susan, which I have written out, I haven’t done it within a video. So I have a written out interview with Susan, which is basically a Frequently Asked Questions page. And I have, I send them to my testimonials my case studies my success stories. Now what happens is when I get on that call with them, they are they know everything they need to know about me. And so now I get to just focus on truly listening, and I make my first calls, phone calls so that I can close my eyes and not be distracted. And really listen. And I think if you listen, and you’re like, what is the problem this person is having? You know that if you listen, like they’ll tell you all these other things, and then you realize, Oh, they usually I will tell you probably 80% of the time that I’m speaking with people, they don’t want to appear selly, they don’t want to map they have a little bit of a problem putting themselves out there.
M – 06:08
And that’s interesting you say that selly, I’m so every time I talk to people about networking and referrals. They say I want more referrals because I don’t want to sell I don’t want to do sales. And what they really mean is they don’t want to be a pushy salesperson. Right? And so my good friend, Jason Cutter, wrote the book, selling with authentic persuasion how to go from order taker to quota breaker. And it’s actually really about building relationships, the same stuff I talked about. He just talks about it from a sales analogy, where you’re not selling something to someone that they wouldn’t actually need. Right? And so this is the issue when we think about sales and the mentality around sales. And, and look, there’s marketing, there’s sales, there’s relationship building, they all go hand in hand together. They really do. And I think that when people start thinking about sales tactics, the reason they’re communicating that piece, Susan, is because they, for some reason, think that they’re offering something that somebody wouldn’t want.
Right. So as a small business owner, and honestly, most of the people that I work with are solopreneurs. And maybe they have VA’s, or a little bit of outsourcing. As a small business owner, you’re the face of your business. And you have to know and be firmly planted in your why, in your mission. What’s the change? I should have it tattooed on my forehead problem, solution, result. What’s the change that you can honestly and truly bring to somebody? So at that point, when I’m on a call with somebody, or I’m talking to people, I never feel selly, I feel like I’m working really hard to understand what is their problem? Do I have a solution for it? If not, do I know somebody who does? And what are the results that we’re going to work towards? And so I really rarely think of it as sales. I also have found that it’s been helpful. I just worked on this over the weekend, to clarify my offerings so that when I’m on a call with somebody, I can put them into one of the solutions. Is it a 90 minute? Is it a three hour? Is that a three month like? What will serve them best? Depending on where they’re at?
M – You also rule them out, right? If they’re not a good fit, don’t you listen to your gut?
S – Yes, absolutely. No, well, I know I yes. I listen to my gut. But I’m also listening to what they’re if they need a website design, I will put them in touch with a website designer. I do not do website design. Right.
Right. So so that’s a good point. Um, the evolution, the reality, the clarity in your business that’s come to you through over time. You’ve been doing this how long, Susan?
S – 08:54
I have been doing this in one form or another for almost 18 years since I started the Women’s Business Network of southeastern Massachusetts.
So So you did it overnight. It sounds like right? I call it the 20 year overnight success. Right? Everybody looks at what someone has done over their time and thinks that they did it yesterday. Right? And like we can all of a sudden jump ahead. Like there’s a shortcut, a hack, a hustle mentality to get to that spot. And it doesn’t exist. What exists is intentionality and focus and action. That’s how we get it. It’s intentionality, focus, and action. That’s how we get there, right? You’ve learned over the years, how to do these things. So tell me what is, what is your thought process around educating yourself and learning new things in business?
S – 09:57
My goodness, I’m so addicted. To learn, and I think so many solo professionals are. I would spend my entire day learning new things. I look to see who is speaking my language, who I resonate with. So currently, I’m going through and some of the modules I’m going through again, have Donald Miller’s business Made Simple course. I love everything he says. I love everything he teaches, some of it applies more than others to my business. But it’s, it’s, it’s just real, it’s just grounded. I also took Amy Porterfield’s digital course Academy, and now I’m in her momentum growth. And I, I look around and see I have people who have been in my, in my memberships or have been my clients who now I follow everything they say because they’re just so smart. I would say that that’s probably the number one reason I do my work other than helping is so that I can just consistently learn every single day from my clients. And it’s so diverse. Like, alright, I’m addicted to learning. It’s that whole dopamine thing, I just need it every day.
M – 11:11
And so when, when, what is something? So you talked about some of the things that you’re re-entering or re-engaging with the Donald Miller stuff and those type of things? What’s something that you’ve learned recently, around business of some sort?
S – 11:33
Well, I’ll tell you, what I’ve learned the past month or two is that I was doing all the things and I loved all the things again, all the I love action I love doing. And I made a concerted effort, I had a couple of personal things coming up. And I made a concerted effort to let, to button up things. And to let some of the things that I was doing, go for now, intending to bring back what works better in after the summer, and to take care of myself. And so in, in answer to your question, what am I learning, I’m learning that the busy work does not suit business growth, that either if it’s busy work, if you can, outsource it, outsource it, does it even need to get done? And what are you going to do to keep people coming through your business in a way that suits your boundaries, setting up your boundaries, so that you live within your best self and that you can still be away from the work. That’s a hard thing for a lot of solopreneurs?
M – 12:48
You mentioned something that was interesting. It’s been mentioned on a couple other previous podcasts, which is outsourcing. How did you get to the point where you realized that outsourcing was going to be a good move for you and delegating work and not controlling everything?
S – 13:01
I would say that was working with coaches, coaches who helped you identify everything you do and keep track of your time, and what are you spending time on. some of the things I’ve outsourced, were hard for me to outsource because I loved them. They again, it was like creating the posts and doing it. I like it. It’s fun for me. And so the fact that I outsourced that. Again, it was busy work, and it fed my soul, but it did not help my business.
Here’s what I think happens, Susan, and I think you bring up a very valid point. But I think what happens is with many small business owners is they do the busy work because it’s fun to do. But more so they do it because the growth work is much harder. And so they’re avoiding the hard work when they’re the person that needs to be doing the hard work. I had this conversation with Ryan McEniff on a previous episode. As the highest value employee of the company, as a solopreneur, you are that person, you should be doing high-value tasks. And you’re the only one that can really do this. You’re the one that needs to really be doing the leading edge, the tip of the spear, the strategy-related work, not the busy work. And I love that you pointed it out. And I think sometimes the word busy work has a negative connotation, but to some degree, it’s repetitive work that we shouldn’t be doing. It takes up a lot more time than we think it does. Because that post in Facebook that we go to make becomes an hour. Because now we’re relationship building, right? We’re caught, we’re talking in the chat messages, and we’re doing all these things. And that’s not necessarily going to pay the bills today and might in the future. But that’s where you have to compartmentalize these things. And I think that’s a great point that you Bring up.
S – 15:00
And to be strategic. I like the point that you brought up about the Facebook posts, which is why when I work with my clients on creating a social media strategy, we set a timer. And we set that and we set up a scheduler where you know, we use one of the schedule is not Hootsuite anymore, but I’ll use one of the other ones. So that you do your deep work, you set the time or do the week work set it, you can’t really forget it, you can monitor it, but set times during the day, which is what I have as well. And then it’s much more effective. And you can go and do the deep work. And the timer method. I know you and I were talking through social media yesterday about the toggl app, which I you didn’t, it didn’t work as well for you. But I live by that. So I was you know,
M – tell the audience what that is.
S -So I use an app that’s a Chrome extension t-o-g-g-l .com. And it’s right there in my Chrome extension. So pretty much any activity that I’m doing, I click on it, I tell it what I’m doing, and it will track my time on that particular task, and I assigned it a task, it will also you can also set it so I have it set for 40 minutes, Pomodoro. So that it tells me after 40 minutes, time’s up, take a break, go do something else. And that gives me that sense of like the clicking talk, clicking my saying that ticking talk clock, oh my gosh, ticking clock. That’s like, you got to get it done. And you got to get it done. And you got to get it done. So it’s really helped my productivity
M – 16:30
well, and so for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Pomodoro method, it’s this idea that you compartmentalize your time into sections, and that you don’t work for long periods of time, you do deep work, and then you break and that break gives you more clarity, and then you come back and do more deep work. I’ve tried that as well, doesn’t work for me. I’m difficult when it comes to building those habits around time tracking, I’m horrible at it. And in what works. So there are people that are really good at these things. And then there are people that are not. And I think you know, we’re gonna be talking about it in another season later on. But it’s outsourcing your weaknesses. But you have to know what you’re good at, what your strengths and your weaknesses are. In part of, you know, really talking about educating yourself and lifelong learning in small business in season one of this podcast is really about setting it up to the point where you can understand, okay, look, if I can learn new things, that’s great. But I also know what I can’t learn. And that leads me into Season Two and season three, which is knowing your strengths and outsourcing your weaknesses, which then all combined makes a lot of sense, right? Because now you’re learning new things. You know what’s going on, now you can focus on your strengths, outsource your weaknesses. And it all works together in sort of this congruent way. Right, other than the toggl app, what is one piece of software that you would recommend to small business owners get their hands on that would change the game?
S – 18:20
Oh my gosh if you don’t have a scheduling app yet. calendly. schedule schedule -ocity, acuity
M – The one that I use is book like a boss, I love it.
S – Oh my gosh, what a time saver. So organized. And then if you set up the auto responses to go with it, and I use reminders. Well, the reminders and thanks for booking, here’s your questionnaire fill this out so that I’ll know more about you when we like all the things and the reminders. Yes.
M – 18:52
So when anybody books like a call with you, they get that fill this out a notification thing? Or is it this specific call?
S – 19:01
It’s a discovery call if I’ve not met with them before, and I don’t know anything about them. I need to know more about them. And they need to know more about me so that when we meet there’s none of that hey,
how’d you get started? Like…..
M – 19:15
that’s actually super awesome. Now, how do you is that automated that goes out? You said dubsado so you’re using that to send that questionnaire out.
S – 19:25
Um, so I actually haven’t dialed it in. I still use acuity for my scheduling. And then that puts them into my dubsado I look at my calendar a few days in advance and I see what’s coming up and if it’s a discovery call, I add the form to my dubsado
M – 19:42
so good. Yeah, that we’re gonna we’re gonna end it on that note these tools that she just dropped or like knowledge bombs, folks. So if you’re listening on the podcast, even if you’re watching on YouTube, make sure you comment Are you using dubsado? What calendar scheduling tool are you using? What challenges do you have? Susan and I are going to interact in the comments and make sure that we answer all your questions. And that’s what we’re here for you can interact with us on the Facebook page. We love to do that. And speaking of interacting, if people want to get ahold of you, Susan, how do they reach you?
S – 20:18
Well, I’m so easy to find. Susan Finn rise above noise, find me on Instagram rise above noise. And that’ll bring you to my link tree link tree rise above noise. I have a Facebook group called rise above noise. So look up rise above noise not rise above the noise, then you will probably get to a church group. But if you go rise above noise, digital marketing, you will find Susan Finn. My link tree has, I think five, seven or more free resources that I’ve putting been putting together. And if I might jump off of your last question Matt for a second, I can’t believe that I gave you my the calendar app is or the toggl app is my most important app, when honestly, where I spend most of my time is helping people with their automated emails that go out when somebody gets on their list. Right. So the freebie and the automated welcome series. And I would have to say that’s the biggest business growth tool, right? That’s right. The other ones are like for my productivity tools, right. But for business growth, my email nurture sequences, and that’s thing people do want to outsource because it’s that deep work that they don’t want to do. And so I use the Donald Miller outline, and we create a sequence for them. And then it’s done and out there. And then afterwards, set it and forget it.
M – 21:36
Perfect. All right, you heard it right here from Susan Finn, rise above noise. Make sure you check her out. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Susan. I greatly appreciate it. And we are going to be right back here tomorrow on the same podcast station that you listen to and right here on YouTube. Until next time, make sure you take care.
Outro – 22:12
Thank you for listening to the mass business podcast where we focus on growing a small business and understanding networking and referrals. Don’t forget to like on your favorite platform and share out this podcast. This show has been produced by Heather Grant. Music by Cailte Kelley. All rights reserved. I’m your host, professional speaker, author and word of mouth referral consultant, Matt Ward. Don’t forget the live happy, smile a lot, and high five everyone around you.