Today I’m talking to George Kao about a controversial topic: charging more money to get more motivated clients. He wrote a LinkedIn Post about this, which I’ll link to below.
George is a business mentor who infuses his teachings with a unique spiritual perspective. Since 2009, he has helped thousands of coaches, consultants, healers and course creators on their path to creating sustainable and joyful businesses.
George has published five books spanning the topics of Authentic Business, Content Marketing, Joyful Productivity, and Spiritual Growth.
You can find George Kao on Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, and his podcast. Or discover his curated best writings & videos at www.GeorgeKao.com."You charge in numbers that is the right balance between what you feel so confident you can deliver a great experience, if not results, at least a good experience." – George Kao @sarahsantacroce #humanemarketing Click To Tweet
In this episode, you’ll learn about charging more to get more motivated clients as well as…
- George’s own story and experience with charging higher prices
- George’s (and my) take on the presumed relationship between higher prices and the client’s commitment
- The right thing to do in pricing
- Pricing on enoughness
- What volume has to do with smaller prices
- George’s current offerings and prices
- And so much more
Connect with George on:
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[00:00:00] George intro: [00:01:00] [00:02:00] Hello friends, welcome back and happy 2023. I look forward to spending time with you this year as well. On your walks in the gym or wherever else you are listening to these episodes. I truly am excited for 2023. I think Humane Marketing is in the site, Geist finally, and I know that because after three years of running the Humane Marketing Circle with a very tight-knit community, now more and more of the [00:03:00] right people are finding their way to us because they want to do things differently as well.
[00:03:06] And just a hint, if you’re one of them, you can obviously check out the humane.marketing/circle and join us whenever you want because the doors are now open all the time. And I also know because I have some of the, Old guru marketer crowd people that I know from way back 2007, 2008 they are contacting me and congratulating me about humane marketing.
[00:03:34] And admitting how burned out they really are from the old way of doing things. So yes, I truly believe that 2023 is a pivot year, and I’m excited for it. I’m always ahead of the times and it seems like finally the times are catching up with me and I’m ready for that. Okay, onto today’s show, which fits under the P of pricing.[00:04:00]
[00:04:00] If you’re a regular here, you know that I’m organizing the conversations around the seven Ps of the Humane Marketing Mandala. And if you’re new here and you don’t know what that Marketing Mandala is, you can download your one page marketing plan with the humane marketing version of the seven Ps of firstname.lastname@example.org slash one page.
[00:04:22] That’s the number one in the Word page, and this comes with seven email prompts to really help you reflect on these different Ps for your business. So today I’m talking to George Cow about controversial topic, which is charging more money to get more motivated. Clients. He wrote a LinkedIn post about this which I’ll link to in the show notes, and I thought it would just make such a good topic for one of our episodes.
[00:04:51] So George is a business mentor, he who infuses his teachings with a unique spiritual perspective. Since 2009, [00:05:00] he has helped thousands of coaches, consultants, healers, and course creators on their path to creating sustainable and joyful business. George has published five books spanning the topics of authentic business content marketing, joyful productivity, and spiritual growth.
[00:05:19] In this episode, we talked about George’s own story and experience with charging higher prices, George’s and my take on the presumed relationship between higher prices and the client’s commit. The right thing to do in pricing. Pricing on Enoughness. Something that George was talking about in his article, what volume has to do with smaller prices, George’s current offerings and prices and so much more.
[00:06:05] video1268242934: Hi, George. I’m so excited to have you on the show today. Yeah, thanks, Sarah. This is a thank you for inviting me. Always, always a, a joy to talk with you because we share these deep values and I think we’ll have a great conversation today. Yes, yes. It’s a, it’s kind of a, I. Highlighted it as a bit of a controversial conversation.
[00:06:26] Right. Uhhuh. . Because yeah, there’s different opinions about it, and I think anything related to pricing is always, you know, has different opinions and it’s tough for people. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s one of the most listened to episodes, I would say. Whenever it’s, I, I position it under the P of pricing. Yes. You know, you.
[00:06:46] A whole bunch of listeners. So that’s, yeah, that’s great. And I’m so, yeah. I’m so grateful for for your point of view and your perspective. So, so let’s kind of go there because I reached out to you again, we’ve talked [00:07:00] previously but I’ve reached out to you again because you just posted something on LinkedIn about pricing.
[00:07:07] And the, the exact title was Change More Money to Get More Motivated Clients. Yeah. Charge More Money. Yeah. , should we charge more Money ? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s kind of what I, that’s what I want to unpack. And you know, I have some questions and I think. I think overall we agree, but then there’s al also certain points where I’m like, Hmm, what if we look at it this way?
[00:07:33] So Sure. Just Of course. Yeah. I’m here to learn too this conversation. Yeah. But maybe first. , it’d be interesting for listeners to kind of hear your story with pricing and Sure. When you started out, was it always clear how you price your things or Yeah. How has it evolved over time? Oh yeah. Thank you.
[00:07:52] Yeah, so I think my history is instructional because this is, I’ve kind. Run the [00:08:00] gamut of the pricing in my industry. I started in 2009 with my you know, coaching business, coaching and training business. And back then I, I knew relatively little about online marketing, so I was learning from the big boys, usually mostly boys, back then the big players who were, were, it’s so interesting.
[00:08:22] It was, they were always there, all they all charged the same price. $2,000 or 1997 or 2, 19 95. You know, they always, they, they all, they all, back in 2009, 2010, they were all charging the same price. 2008 was when I started buying courses. So they all charged $2,000, which today is even more money. But no matter the lengths, like, or how long were these programs?
[00:08:47] I have some of them on my shelf right now, you know, and it’s not that, It’s just, it’s, it, it’s shocking to me, genuinely. I mean, so the way they, they, you know, they call it stack the [00:09:00] value or, you know, stack the stack. It’s like you go to the sales page, it’s like you get, you get this course typically valued at, you know, $500.
[00:09:09] This course typically valued at 3000. This course typically valued at, you know, 1,500 or whatever, and all bundled up, you know, instead of paying a hundred thousand dollars or something ridiculous like that, you’re only paying 2000. It’s like you’re getting a 98% discount. Or it’s something they, they, they, they did that kind of manipulation which of course, at the end of the day, they’re sending you a bunch of PDFs, you know, they’re sending you some PDFs.
[00:09:34] For $2,000, they might send you something in the mail physically and you know, like a binder and with some papers and I’m like, I have them on my shelf. And as I look at it I’m like, this is stuff that, a lot of stuff you could, some of the stuff you can Google, but some of the stuff, sure. They have like sample emails they printed out and I look at the emails, I’m like, I wouldn’t send this kind of email cuz this is some manipulative.
[00:09:55] And anyway, long story short, those were the people that, [00:10:00] because when I, when I was learning online marketing, those were the loudest. , right. You know, and so $2,000 per course and with almost no interaction with them live, I think they had some like larger group calls that lasted for like, you know, three months or something like that.
[00:10:16] But you know, I go on there and actually didn’t really know what to ask in the early days and just kinda listen. And it’s like, it’s hard to get their attention anyway. So I thought, okay, well that’s the industry standard price. So that’s what I. , I charged $2,000. Now I thought I was pretty generous because for $2,000 I was giving a whole year of q and as with me.
[00:10:40] Mm-hmm. , you know, and it’s like a whole year of weekly q and as. And eventually, I, I went to twice weekly q and a for a whole year back in the 2009, 2002, 2011 days. And you know, I was teaching everything. I taught them everything for 2000 bucks and it’s like so that’s when I started charging for, for a course.
[00:10:58] And, and, and, [00:11:00] I think for like standalone courses, I was charging like $700 or something like that back in 2009, 2010. Standalone meaning, okay, you take this particular topic like social media marketing or something like that and you get, you know, three months of q and a or something like that. So funny thing is these days my standalone, as of this recording as you know, there, that could change.
[00:11:21] As of this recording, my standalone courses are a hundred. In 2022 prices mm-hmm. , you know, compared to 2009 prices. My, no, my absolute numbers have, my absolute pricing has gone down now. Gratefully, my income has been, has been good. Very good recently, but it’s like the, it’s like if you looked at inflation, I, I should be charging.
[00:11:44] you know, a thousand to 5,000 easily for my courses now, but I’ve, I’ve brought it down to a very humane , I think, or accessible level of 150, and they get, you know, two months of q and a. And it’s a very, you know, I, I [00:12:00] think my content is even better than it was back then because of all the experience I’ve had.
[00:12:04] So, like I said, the experiences I’ve had, so the, the reason why I stopped charging those high prices is because I notice. , and maybe you have to, I don’t know, Sarah and everyone listening, I charge these prices and people buy into them and not everybody uses the program. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And in fact, a lot of people don’t use the program to the extent that I want them to.
[00:12:35] Sure. Maybe like most of them will like, at least get started, but then it’s easy for them. Oh, shiny new object. Oh, here’s another $2,000 course. Oh, here’s another thousand dollars course. Oh, here’s another fi. Whatever the pricing is. Oh, here’s another thing that looks really good. Sign up. And so I started noticing this dynamic.
[00:12:56] Okay. There’s this dynamic happening within myself and within [00:13:00] the the student. I notice this, okay? First, within the student. I started to recognize, and actually this was one of my students told me this. I’m so grateful that, that, that he did. He said, George, you know, I, I started noticing something after a while.
[00:13:13] When I spend money to buy a course, I sign up for a course. My brain tricks me to think that I’ve gotten something done. I’ve made some progress. Mm-hmm. and. That there’s a kind of a letdown or the not, not a letdown. There’s a letdown of mo. There’s a, there’s a decrease of motivation that happens afterwards that’s like, oh, I’ve spent the money, I’ve paid, I’ve enrolled, I’ve signed up, and now somehow, somehow this not as motivated now to like do something with it.
[00:13:39] Or maybe we should say that doing something with it is riskier. There’s more. , the possibility of failure in involved. Right? Whereas the buying process is easy. It’s like, oh, it’s so exciting. Oh my God, this looks so great. The fantasy has been created in our minds for what’s possible if we. You know, join this program.
[00:13:57] It’s like, and now I’m gonna make all this money, or I’m gonna [00:14:00] create all these results in my life. That’s, the buying process is so exciting. But then the actual, after you buy, now, the rubber hits the road. You have to like watch the things, read the things, study the things, and then try it out in your own life, which could work, could not work.
[00:14:14] It’s. Much scarier now. And so the student, that’s why it’s so easy for them to go, well, let me chase another buying process. Mm-hmm. , this is, this is really dangerous. Yeah. And really a lot of, myself included, I’ve , I’ve all these on my shelf. I spent tens of thousands because I’ve been through that process my, so there’s that dynamic.
[00:14:34] And then my dynamic from the seller side was I was starting to feel guilty. About taking all this money from people and go, well wait, you barely went through module one, or you went through modules two and three and then you stopped. I had 12 modules for you and you, why did you stop? It was too hard. You want what?
[00:14:53] And sometimes I’m like, hello, are you still there? Like, I’m emailing them, you know, they, they’ve moved on to the next product, right? [00:15:00] I’m gonna stop here because , there’s a lot. There’s a lot here. Yeah. There’s so much to unpack it just in what you just shared, right? So there’s the, yeah, the integrity piece, feeling.
[00:15:11] You are not really actually getting them to do, to do the results because they just, yeah. They, they have this shiny object syndrome and moving on to the next thing and, and, and it, what I heard out of what you shared also is this empowering the client piece that has Yes. Unfortunately over the last decade been erased.
[00:15:33] Like we only, well, we started to use these manipul. Techniques to get the buyer to buy, but they were still buying in this kind of frenzy and kind of scarcity. Mm-hmm. mentality that they were too frozen to actually get anything done or Right. You know implement anything that that you had sold them.
[00:15:56] Right. And so that led you away from [00:16:00] charging these, these higher amounts. Yes. So what I wanna get into also is this relationship between, because what you talked about in this article is that. You know, you were being told that there’s a relationship between the client’s progress and the higher amount.
[00:16:21] So these high ticket pricing? Yes. Price coaches, yes. They’re telling us basically you have to charge a lot of money, right. So that your clients actually do the work that we want them to do. Yes. And. Well, yeah, I’ll let you comment on that. . Well, there are two types of people, now this, whenever I say that, that’s always funny cuz you can, you can segment personality types and humanity into as many ways as you want to.
[00:16:51] We all, but I’ll just, for, for fun right now, I’ll just say there are two types of people, right? One type of person is [00:17:00] in the excite, they love the buying experie. , they love signing up for things, and then they’re not really ready to apply it. And when I say two types of people, I mean they’re, they’re, that, those two types are within ourselves too.
[00:17:14] Okay. For, for, for various things. I mean, I, I, I also sometimes buy products or services because it’s exciting to buy and then I realize, oh, I’m not really ready to use it, or I’m not dedicated enough to that pro process to. Engage with it. Right? So I myself, ha ha, ha have both parts in myself, but , that’s the one part is like, oh my gosh, bye bye bye.
[00:17:38] And then, okay, I’m not really ready to, to, to, to, to do the the challenging work or the, the long-term work, you might say, of gradually making changes, you know, that create, create a different life. So that’s one, one type or one part. And then the second type of person or second part is the person who.
[00:17:57] More considerate about buying something [00:18:00] and once they buy it, they, they might even before they buy it, they might even go, you know, Hey, how long are the calls? And let me make sure I have them on my calendar. And how long does it take to do the homework? , you know You know, and, and then once they, they buy it very considerably.
[00:18:15] And then once they buy it, they’ve already maybe even calendared in or they’ve set up their, their structures to actually use the product or service or program. And they’re going to come to the q and a calls. They’re going to ask questions, they’re going to to apply things, and then they’re gonna report back, and they’re gonna see the changes in their life, you know?
[00:18:37] Like I said, we have both parts within ourselves, depending on what we’re buying and, and what stage of life we’re in right now. Right. And both types of people, or both parts are within every single socioeconomic strattice, within every single price point. There are both types of people. I just, I realized that.
[00:18:58] Mm-hmm. , because Sarah, [00:19:00] With the $2,000 people who were spending $2,000 with me just like that left and right. I mean, I, I literally have been, I remember, you know, the height of my high ticket days, you know, 2012 or something. I was on a webinar, selling on a webinar, my own product, and I got 35 people on that webinar to buy my $2,000.
[00:19:25] So it was a $70,000 webinar for me, , right? I made $70,000 in an hour. Mm-hmm. and, and 35 people bought it. And I’m like, and then later on, as I, you know, did all 35, of course there, among the 35, there were some people who loved the buying experience. Not so much the application and then some people who actually, a few people who thoughtfully applied to everything, right?
[00:19:48] But I was feeling guilty, obviously, of the, those who didn’t apply things and just moved on to another product. So Sarah, so basically there, there’s that. So there doesn’t matter if you charged [00:20:00] $10,000 or Okay. Maybe a hundred thousand dollars. Well, even a hundred thousand dollars. I mean, I, I’ve heard of coaching programs that charge a hundred.
[00:20:07] right? Yeah. They’re out there and you might say, well, gosh, a hundred thousand, I mean, you, you must be, you, you must be like, maybe, hopefully considerate for months or for, you know, you, you should ask everybody, you know, should I spend this money? No. Some people make millions a year. Yeah, right? And, or some people have millions and they’re like, a hundred thousand dollars.
[00:20:25] Great. You know, maybe they, right. It’s like every single price point, there are people for whom that’s not a big deal. Mm-hmm. , you see what I mean? Mm-hmm. and, and what, what was sad for? Was the people who spent the 2000 with me, for whom it was a big deal. And yet even some of those people love the buying experience and are not ready or not willing to, to do the work.
[00:20:48] So, like I said, every single price point, there are these two types of people. And the other examples there, I, my books at this time of this recording, my books are $5 on kind. . All my [00:21:00] books actually, my, my spiritual book is $1 on Kindle. Doesn’t matter. My business books are all $5 on Kindle and I have some $5 book readers who email me and say, George, in chapter, you know, chapter 17, you talk about like, Hey George, I read your book, book and cover to cover.
[00:21:17] I’ve read all your books and I’ve been applying it de and then they comment on my videos. And there are people of these two. every single price point, right? People who buy my books who like study it like, you know, on their nightstand. I mean, people tell me, George, I have your books on my nightstand, and I read the, I read a big a bit every morning or every night, and then I think about it, I’m like, This is wonderful.
[00:21:38] Thank you. And yet I have what you’re saying, basically, George, is that it doesn’t matter really whether it’s these two types of people, $50,000 investment or a five, $7 investment. Like I said, I, I have literally been to a conference where this, you know, I, I, I went to the conf. It was it was a Brendan Bashard conference I remember.
[00:21:59] [00:22:00] And at the end of the conference, he sold his $10,000. $10,000 Mastermind or whatever, mastermind with several hundred people in the mastermind, so-called. And my buddy, I met a buddy there and we, we, we struck up, became really good friends. I thought we would be lifelong friends and we were so excited we were sharing.
[00:22:16] And then he said, yeah, I’m signing up. And he signed up for it. I didn’t because I was like, 10,000 that that’s gonna, yeah, it’s not really my price point. He signed up and I followed up with him. I said, how did it go? Whatever. And. I could, from what I could tell, he moved on to another program. Mm-hmm. . So 10,000 for him was just like, oh yeah, that’s then 10,000.
[00:22:35] So, so that’s so interesting that there are people Yes. Typically, I, I, I ho I, I think, you know, if, if you look at some kind of curve, there are these two types of people. Yes. The, the higher the price you go. The more considerate people who are considerably buying that thing than people who are buying an impulse and just moving on.
[00:22:55] Mm-hmm. Sure, there’s more of them, but still there are lots of people who buy [00:23:00] on impulse or without the structure to apply. Yeah. Well, given that this is the Humane Marketing Podcast. Yes, yes. I mean, 10 years ago maybe you and I would’ve told everybody, well just, you know, try it out to put up a $50,000 program and you’ll get those people who buy on impulse and Yes.
[00:23:21] And who cares, you know, as long as you make your 500 K per year and you’re gonna be happy. Yeah, exactly. Well, that’s not the conversation that we’re having here, and, and I know that. I heard that from you. It’s like, well, my integrity told me to change direction and do something different. And so you, you lowered your prices, like you said.
[00:23:46] And so that’s where you’re at now, right? You, you still have the group programs, but at a lower price point. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting cuz I’m just, right now as of this recording in. [00:24:00] Annual phase of launching my group program. Now it’s two group programs for the next year. Mm-hmm. . And one of them is essentially you know, 2,400 for the year, and one is 1200 for the year, and 2,400 is my high ticket now.
[00:24:18] Mm-hmm. , where they get three q and a calls with me a week. , it’s like there’s only 25 members allowed in that. It’s like my highest premium is not 50,000, it’s not 10,000. And after all these years, it started 2009. After all these years, my highest ticket is 2,400 a year and they get like the most attention from me and I get to know them the best and all that stuff.
[00:24:40] And, and it’s, and guess. , it’s enough money for me. Mm-hmm. even, even though I live in San Francisco. Yeah. Yeah. You live in an expensive place in the, I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and yet, , I have set up my lifestyle and I’ve set up my price points and my business model such that, well, of [00:25:00] course you have to think about how many I sell.
[00:25:02] And, and from 2009, now my audience is ab obviously bigger than it used to be, and I’m able to fill enough spots in my programs where I’m like, that’s enough. And it’s, and the, and the questions there that I think everybody needs to continually ask is, what is success? and why everybody? We learn, not everybody, not, not you and me, right.
[00:25:24] Certainly. But a lot of the marketing people we learn from. It’s like always more money. Always more money. I, I, I have a hobby of following the Facebook ads of people in my industry. Mm-hmm. . And every time I look at the ads, I’m like, you just, you’re always selling more money or you’re selling, oh, just copy, paste these emails or, or copy paste this webinar funnel I have and then suddenly you have all these clients.
[00:25:46] I’m like, You know Right. I, I’ve been there, , I’ve been all over, I, I’ve been around all this and it’s always, it’s always these people like selling. I, I make 54 million a year. I’m like, really? Like, [00:26:00] yeah. And, and, and, and it’s the, the question again is, is success means you have to make more money every single year?
[00:26:08] Yeah. Or is there a different metric of success that is more sustain? in every way and more and le and more personally meaningful, you know? Yeah, yeah. I think that that’s exactly what we’re talking about in humane marketing. Yes. That’s where it all starts. It’s with your def definition of success, and not just because of personal wealth, but also humane marketing really tackles.
[00:26:38] You know, our planetary health and wealth and enoughness and, and if we all are still in this individualism where we are actually making 54 million. Per year. What does that mean for the rest of the world? Right. And what does that mean with climate change? Because as far as I know, it’s [00:27:00] not those kind of people who are then, you know, using that money for good and investing back.
[00:27:05] No, they’re still, you know, getting more jets and more cars and more and more and more. Yeah. They’re still in that old business model. That. Yeah. That was very, you and I grew up in that business model, but it’s time to change. Yeah. And I, I wanna, yeah, I want you to tell us more about this because you say in that article, I recommend charging your fees based on enoughness and I, you just explained a little bit of what that means for you.
[00:27:35] Yes, yes. But I also really wanna highlight that this is different. everyone. Mm-hmm. , because clearly our listeners course are not where you are at now, right? Yeah. They don’t have a huge audience, they’re just starting out. Sure, of course. And so I sometimes have a problem with. You know people like us who have our kind of experience right.
[00:27:57] Saying, you know, you shouldn’t do this, [00:28:00] or height prices are not good. And there’s kind of this trend of going lower and lower. Yeah. But then people who don’t think about this enoughness, well they don’t have enough if they’re charging or people who are working on that part. Yeah. Yeah. So tell us more about that.
[00:28:17] Enough. Yeah, absolutely. I, I totally hear you. So. Whether we should charge higher or lower fees? Depends on, well, like I said, I think okay, so enoughness aside, it depends on. How many we can confidently enroll . Right. So it it, okay. It depends on, depends on how much are we expecting and requiring of our business to support our lifestyle.
[00:28:47] That’s where it starts. Yeah. How much do we need, right? Yes. How much do we need specifically from our business, because Right. We might our, our, our, our grocery bill, our our rent, [00:29:00] our mortgage. , some of that money might come from other income sources or other wealth sources or whatever. I mean, yeah, some of us are lucky to have some family support.
[00:29:08] I don’t have any, but some people have family support. Some people have savings. Some people have a part-time job, some people have other sources of money, right? And so the question is, how much are you requiring from your business? Because the more you require from your business, then the more stressed you have.
[00:29:26] Let’s think about. The more stress your business has, right? It’s like, I must like who, who, who says you have to make $10,000 from your business. Well, maybe you, but who says, why do you say you have to make, you know, if I talking, it’s like, where, where did that come from? Like, you know, like, because the more money you require of your business, the more stress for your business is the more marketing you have to do, the more people you have to recruit the higher price.
[00:29:50] Like it’s all, it’s all true. And. So that’s really the first question I have. But, but let’s say, okay, well, George, okay. I don’t have a part-time income. I don’t have family[00:30:00] support. I don’t have savings. I have to make all my mortgage and rent and grocery bill, and, you know, insurance, whatever you’re paying for from my business.
[00:30:10] And what the question, of course is, is that true? Like, like, might it be a better and less stressful idea to get a part-time job? I don’t know. Or to ask for some family support if that’s, you know, reasonable, whatever. . Okay. Now that you’ve gotten some number that you require of your business thoughtfully, so, all right, fine.
[00:30:31] Then my question is, how do you even, what, is that realistic for you to require that from your business? Or did you just come up your business coach or someone said you should be able to make 5,000 from your business? Well, is that because I, I always tell, I always ask people, when people gimme a number to say, George, I’m gonna make $10,000 or a hundred thousand dollars.
[00:30:48] This. Okay, help me do that. I’m like, I can help you, but my first question for you is how did you come up with that number of making X dollars for this launch? Because, and usually it’s [00:31:00] mainstream success definitions, you know, six figure, seven figure business, whatever. Because, because the thing is, I also have targets for my launches, but my targets, my, my numbers are very reasonably based on guess.
[00:31:15] Pattern recognition past history of my launches, because it’s like George, someone comes to George, I, you gotta make me make a 50,000 launch this time. I’m like, let me ask you, what was your last launch of this product? Mm-hmm. for this size of an audience. Right. Oh, my last launch, I never launched this product.
[00:31:34] I never, I don’t have an audience. I’m a never launched before and now you’re gonna say you’re gonna fit. I’m like, how did you come up with that? Because, The first time we, we could make 50,000 in this launch. We could. It’s a possibility, or we could make $500 this launch. W the first launch is the start of the pattern.
[00:31:52] It’s the start of the history of your numbers so that we can then go, well, last launch you made 10,000. [00:32:00] Great, wonderful. This launch. Let’s aim for, what do you wanna aim for? 15. , do you wanna aim for 12,000? Do you wanna aim for 20,000? Okay, well that means something has changed dramatically. If you’re gonna go from 10,000 last launch to 20,000 this launch, something must have changed dramatically.
[00:32:14] Mm-hmm. , did your audience grow double? Are you using a different strategy that any strategy that’s different that you’re using is always test? , it’s always an experiment. Are you gonna change strategies on me? Okay. If you use the same strategy, same size audience you made 10,000 last time. If they’re not fatigued by that launch yet, if they, if, if you think a lot of people haven’t bought yet, then we might make 10,000 because of everything kept the same, right?
[00:32:40] So in other words, I tell, the reason why I’m saying all this is because it reflects it. It therefore says what our pricing. Because you go, because my question is how many are you going to enroll this time? You know, when I say launch, I don’t mean for the person who’s at George. I don’t have a [00:33:00] product. I just have a one-to-one service that’s just ongoing.
[00:33:04] So when they say launch, I don’t understand what you mean. Here’s what I mean. A launch in my definition is simp. A concerted EF effort to let your audience know about your service. That’s it. Mm-hmm. So what, what I tell people is, I’d say gentle launches , which I think you’ll really resonate with too, and you can borrow that if you want, but I say gentle launches, which basically means two emails.
[00:33:29] that’s it. Two emails to our list. If we have a list. If we don’t have a list, don’t worry. Two posts on social media. Wherever you have some Facebook, you have three Facebook friends, fine. That’s . That’s you’re launching to three people, right? Right. You have LinkedIn’s, you have 30 LinkedIn connections. Fine.
[00:33:44] You post on LinkedIn, you’re launching, quote unquote a 30 people. That’s what a launch is, is simply posting twice, right? Is what I call a gentle. Anyway, so my question is how many, so. I always tell my, my, my audience, please do a gentle [00:34:00] launch every month if you can, if not every two months, at least. So the my question is, okay, every time you do a gentle launch of two emails or two posts, or both, how many do you expect to enroll?
[00:34:12] So George, I don’t know because I’ve never, I’ve never enrolled anyone. Okay, fine. We’re gonna keep going until you enrolls you, until your gentle launch enrolls people, we’ll have to tweak, you know, your launch materials, your, your launch messaging, your offer, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, but when we, we’ll keep launching until you say, oh my gosh, this, this launch got netted me 10 clients Wonder.
[00:34:33] Wonderful. Good. So then next one I wanna, I wanna interrupt you because I wanna bring in the pricing conversation in, in this piece. Yes. So, so if this is a new client who’s never had anyone enroll or even just had a one-on-one client Yeah. What’s your conversation there then? Do you kind of advise to go a bit higher prices?
[00:34:54] So, because they somehow, the reason. Sustain their living. Yeah. Yeah. Or do you say, well, [00:35:00] you don’t have that much ex experience. Let us start with a lower price just like I do. Yeah. But then it’s not really equal because you have volume. Yeah. And they don’t. Yeah. So you see where I’m going with this. So the reason why I said all these numbers about the launches is because I, I believe we should set our price based on how many we can confidently enroll.
[00:35:23] Mm. , right? Because if I can confidently enroll a hundred people, my price doesn’t have to be as high if I, of whatever I’m requiring of my business, it’s all kind of cascading down to this moment, right? So if you say, George, I have no idea how many I can enroll. I’m just starting. So what should I charge?
[00:35:44] Here’s, here’s my advice on that. You charge what you you charge. The number that is the perfect balance, which of course we’re always finding that perfect balance. You charge in numbers that is the right [00:36:00] balance between what you feel so confident you can deliver a great experience, if not results, at least a good experience.
[00:36:10] right, if not results. You confident. That number that you’re charging is like, I’m, I’m feeling really good about this. I feel like, I feel like, guess what? I feel like they’re getting a good. . Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And I don’t feel resentful. I, that’s, that’s where the balance is. I feel good. I don’t feel resentful charging this at this number.
[00:36:25] Mm-hmm. and I also, they not only do I feel they’re getting a good deal, they tell me it’s a good deal. Mm-hmm. , see that’s the thing, because Sarah, you know, somewhat could come on, could come to you. Go, Sarah, I think you’re an amazing deal at a thousand dollars an hour. If I could spend an hour with you, a thousand bucks, easy, sign me up.
[00:36:45] And if you. Yeah, I’m giving people a really good value, great experience. I mean, my time is so valuable. A thousand dollars an hour. No problem. Then I said, please charge a thousand dollars an hour, because there you got that balance between. Between, [00:37:00] maybe you would say, George, I would feel resentful if I charge 500 an hour because my time is worth more than that.
[00:37:05] I feel my time is worth more because I could be doing many other things and I would start to feel resentful at 500 or seven 50 or 900 an hour and thousand makes me feel like, okay, you know, that feels good. That feels right. . Good then. Then again there, there’s that. There’s that balance between your feelings and the market’s feelings and if the mark, if your audience, your market goes great, a thousand dollars an hour, great.
[00:37:26] Easy sign up. Then I would say a thousand. But then a lot of people might go, wow, a thousand dollars. I don’t know. I would feel badly if I charge someone a thousand, cuz how? What can I give them in an hour that’s worth a thousand in my heart, in my experience, my ground? And I said, fine. Then we have to keep going.
[00:37:41] until we get to a number where you’re like, oh yeah, 150 an hour. I feel like I could really deliver great value and the market agrees with me. There’s the number. It’s so complex, isn’t it? There’s so much to it. There’s our own integrity. There’s the fact whether we’re just, that’s why there’s no starting out or not.
[00:37:58] There’s no formula. There’s no [00:38:00] formula is not there really is. It’s there like you’re a starting coach, therefore it’s 75. Who says that? I mean, maybe the formula is such that there’s a market message out. , right? There’s, there’s, there’s market rates and maybe the mark. Of course, how we feel is right for us to charge is influenced by the market rates.
[00:38:19] We see the people around us charging this amount, that amount of course that influences us and the amounts we’ve paid also, right? Like, like, you know my wife, she pays quite a lot for her coach. And at first, at first I was a little resentful of. Obviously we, we, we share money, we won’t tell. And so I’m like, I’m like, oh, you’re paying that much for your coach.
[00:38:43] I’m like, oh, maybe you should try something. But then over the years I realized that the fact that she’s paying it, it up-leveled her sense of the money as well. Mm-hmm. Because she’s like, well, I’m paying, you know 200 an hour here, so maybe I may, maybe charging [00:39:00] 175 an hour for me. Just fine cuz you, you see what I mean?
[00:39:03] So it’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s bo it’s everything. It’s the market. It’s what we see people charging is what we pay ourselves. And that informs sort of our own intuition about things. And then when, then we, we go out there and we charge that money and we see what people say to us. And that whole thing has to do with how we build our credibility and all that as well.
[00:39:21] Right. . Yeah. And then there’s the complexity of do we offer this time one-on-one or is it in a group group setting? Yeah. It’s a huge difference. Yeah, because another thing you mentioned in that article is, you know, you found that higher fees decrease client inquiries. So if you start charging a thousand dollars for a one-on-one session, go ahead, give it a try.
[00:39:42] You’re, you’re gonna have a difficult or a more difficult time to find. At that price, but I would argue it depends whether. You maybe don’t want all these clients, like Sure, course I give you my example. [00:40:00] I, I clearly say I only work with three one-on-one clients at a time. Yes. There we go. And I want it that way.
[00:40:07] It’s deliberate. That’s how my energy works. I cannot Beautiful work with more people. One-on one probably should The program at one on one hour or something. Yeah. Yeah. And, and so that’s, it’s not a thousand per hour, that’s for sure. But it’s a, it’s a higher investment. , you know, it, it is deliberately so, and, and I’m, it doesn’t come from that argument.
[00:40:29] Yeah. You know, you need to charge more so people actually do the work. That’s not how I reflected and came up with that number. Right. But it, it’s more about, well, . If I lower my prices, then I need to hustle more. That’s because then that I have right. All these clients and yes, oh my God. And yes. And then I don’t feel good.
[00:40:50] That’s, and I don’t That’s right. Have time to focus on my community, which is a very low investment. Yes. Right? Yes, yes, yes. And that takes me actually just as much time as [00:41:00] the one-on-one clients. Yeah, of course. Yeah. But I enjoy spending my time there. Yes. Right. And so it’s also, you set up your business model about your own.
[00:41:10] what you want, you know? Yeah. Not just what your clients want, what you, what do you want as well. Yeah, yeah. You’re exactly right. I mean, there are I mean, back to example of my wife who is a therapist. Like she used to see 18 to 20 client hours per week. and there are therapists who see even, hi, like I’ve heard a therapist who see 22 to 25.
[00:41:34] I mean, that’s a lot. Yes. I mean, it, it’s like emotional labor, a lot of emotional labor, you know, all that presence and all. It’s interesting. But anyway, it’s like, now, you know, now she doesn’t want to spend as much energy on that, and now she’s like, and now the rate goes up. And so, so absolutely. It’s like you, you, we, we need to set.
[00:41:54] You know, with experience, with the grounded experience of what we enjoy doing, what where [00:42:00] we feel like we’re giving the best value, we need to set up our business model such that it the business model has to do with our gifts, our talent, and our. and our pricing, and it’s like we set that up in such a way that, okay, I have a group thing here.
[00:42:18] I have a one-to-one thing here. Maybe I sell online courses, you know, et cetera, et cetera. Yeah. Maybe I sometimes do intensives or retreats. I offer that, you know, et cetera. Yeah. . Yeah. I like the mix because that feels like that’s fair, right? There’s different options. Mm-hmm. . Yes. And your clients, depending on where they’re at, they choose what they can afford and you know what feels good for them as well.
[00:42:41] Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so it, so this whole thing of like motivating let’s talk about a bit about that because mm-hmm. , that’s kind of where I first heard. , it’s you, you charge more. Could you get people who are more willing to apply, more willing to like, like I, you [00:43:00] know, we started from that in the very beginning.
[00:43:01] Yeah. But then the question is, well then if I, if I’m not using the high price to motivate people, how do I motivate them? Mm-hmm. . Okay. And I say there’s basically two ways. One way is, well, you’ve got to learn how to structure your program. more effectively, whether your one-on-one program or your group program.
[00:43:25] You have some accountability structures in there. You have sort of like easy onboarding, stepping in so that they start to feel momentum. I mean, you gotta, these are all program design questions that the more experience you get at that, the more you go, okay, this is how I really, I I don’t overwhelm people in the beginning or whatever.
[00:43:43] Like, get them going and get them seeing that they’re, it’s possible. Oh my gosh, this, there’s something possible here. I’m gonna keep going. I’m gonna invest more of my energy cuz sure you got them to invest the money. , but it’s a whole other skillset. Get them to invest their energy, right? Mm-hmm. . So, so, because [00:44:00] that’s just as, that’s more important, even for their own transformation.
[00:44:02] So that’s one side of it is like program design. And then the other side of it is, you might say credibility because the more, like, I’ll give you an example, right? , everyone probably most people here have heard of Brene Brown. Mm-hmm. or, or, or let’s say Tony Robbins. Pick, pick your, pick your I prefer Brene Brown, but doesn’t matter.
[00:44:25] Pick your influencer that you really respect, right? Mm-hmm. , if you got into a program with Brene Brown that you were able to easily afford, hopefully it doesn’t, you know, caught you a second mortgage, but you, you, you got into a program with Brene Brown, you could afford it. and you get personal time with her in some way, or, I mean, we would all work our butts off probably, right?
[00:44:47] Mm-hmm. , we wanna show up, right? Because she has so much credibility with so many of us. Mm-hmm. Again, pick your influence or pick your thought leader that you really, really respect. Right? Doesn’t have to be someone famous. Someone [00:45:00] who is listening to this podcast, Michael, my gosh, if I could be one of Sarah’s three clients, knowing that she, she only picks three people to work with at a time, I’m.
[00:45:08] I’m gonna work my butt off. I’m gonna, I’m gonna show up. I don’t have to hustle and like, but I’m gonna really dedicate my self structure. Right. That’s the credibility piece, right? Yeah. Right. Like, like that is what marketing at its best is about, is showing up with such trustworthiness that credibility is.
[00:45:35] Well-deserved credibility is created and when there’s such kind of credibility and they, they then, then, even if you’re not so good at program design, on the aspect of they, it’s this balance. It’s like the more credibility you have with them. The more likely they’re gonna do stuff as when they buy. And then of course the better the GR program designed, the easier it is for them to do it.
[00:45:54] So, so that’s how I think we should be motivating, aside from the price [00:46:00] point, which is a separate discussion, the motivating part really should happen in that way. So I love that you brought that in and it, and it kind of, you know, brings us full circle also to humane marketing or authentic marketing like you call it.
[00:46:15] We’re really Yeah. Motivating the client already before he, she buys the program, right? Yes. Yes. And that also means empowering them. That’s right. I really find that it’s time to give our clients the power back. Yeah. Lead them invite. Them to make a decision, a buying deci decision, but not push them down some kind of funnel and, and buy just so we can make a profit.
[00:46:43] So it’s that empowering piece that we need to really, that’s great practice with humane par marketing. I love that. Yes. Empowerment is right because the traditional, conventional marketers are essentially trying to control. [00:47:00] As much as possible. Yeah, disempowerment, that’s true. Right? Because think about it, like all the stuff they teach, right?
[00:47:06] Like again, me surfing my Facebook, the Facebook ads and seeing the people on my industry and goes, do you just have to, you know, copy paste this or do this and set up the system and then you’ll get people salivating. to buy from you. And then I, I literally saw , Sarah, you, I literally saw a video ad just yesterday, a client in my sentence to me, cuz they, he thought I’d find it amusing.
[00:47:29] I found it scary, right? Because the, this person, this video ad was saying, what is this? These are the, the emotional color wheel. And in my program I’m gonna teach you how to get your potential clients through the, through ex, having them experience fear and then anger, and then greed, and then blah, blah, blah, blah, all this stuff.
[00:47:49] So finally they’ll buy from you cuz you, God. I’m like, okay. . Let’s, in short, let me teach you how to manipulate people based on their emotion, the emotional [00:48:00] vulnerability and their susceptibility to buying. Because you’ve put them through these, these, these experiential states that you have designed, you know, with the, with an ulterior motive, right?
[00:48:12] Mm-hmm. . And so, and that, that’s that. Persuasion psychology at its best. Mm. Yeah. Sarah, right? Like you at its worst, let’s just say, because at its worst. Just making things clear here. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But, but it’s, this is what people learn. The, the, the conventional, and frankly, if I could say this is, this is a real term, right?
[00:48:32] Yeah. Psychopathic marketing. I, I don’t mean to trigger people, but, but really, I mean, if you, if you, if you study psychology, And understand what psychopathy is. Psychopathic ex, you know, personality types, narcissism and all that stuff. It’s people who are are, who don’t have any qualms about bringing people through the emotional states so they can get the way they want.
[00:48:57] Right. Essentially. Exactly. Yeah. So, [00:49:00] so that’s, that’s you and I, Sarah, are basically seeing that and go, oh my God, I, I’ll say I myself have learned from those things. I myself have done those things. Same. Yeah. It never sat, it never sat. Right. Which is why I stopped in 20 12, 20 13. I broke down, like my, my, I had this kind of spiritual breakdown.
[00:49:18] I’m like, I can’t do, if this is going to be my career, I’m, I quit. I don’t want it. . It’s like, sure, the money’s coming in, but it’s like, it feels so bad every day and they’re telling me that you, they’re telling me this is success. Yeah. You know, and I’m like, this is success. I, I basically gave it all up and I, I, I, I ended up taking on this hero.
[00:49:39] Sarah, you might appreciate this person called him Peace Pilgrim. Hmm. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Peace Pilgrim, but never heard of him. Okay. She is, she lived she, she died in 19, 19 83. And this person’s amazing. I’ll just tell you this two minute story. She [00:50:00] grew up and had an early, early success in her life.
[00:50:02] I guess she’s very smart and had early success in her career, and then found it very meaningless. And one day she went into the woods for a whole night just to contemplate about the meaning of life. And she came out of the woods that day and. I’m not gonna work for money anymore. Mm-hmm. , and this is radical.
[00:50:20] This is a radical person. I’m not she’s my hero. I’m not. She’s my hero in terms of values. I’m not like literally gonna sell everything I own, but that’s what she did. Okay. So this is one of the classic stories, and she really made it work. She sold everything she owned and became a walking pilgrim. She walked from one end of America to the other end something.
[00:50:41] 20 times in her lifetime, something like that. Oh, she walked, she did the, she did this. Some people like heard her hear her story and some some you know, sort of like I idealistic, you know, 20 somethings, try it out. And I, I heard the story of some idealistic 20 something, trying it out and like going back home to mommy after two days and go, I can’t do this.
[00:50:59] Let me [00:51:00] get a job. Right. No, this is an extraordinary saying. I mean, she, she literally did this not for two days or two months, 30 years. And, and the, the only reason she stopped doing it, so I, the iron, the biggest irony cuz she, she did this, she became famous. Walking, walking throughout America. What did she do?
[00:51:18] She walk, she basically, she only, she helped everyone that she saw. Everyone who needed help, she went and helped them. And she never asked for money and she never asked for shelter or food. She, she just, she never asked for anything. And only when people go, would you like to stay at my home tonight? Would you like to stay at my barn?
[00:51:37] Or would you like a meal? Every, otherwise, she was sleeping on the highway. She, she took blueberries from the road. She just, she never asked for anything. She only received, and she helped everybody for 30 years. She just walked like this and then finally she got so famous. She was giving talks now, right?
[00:51:53] Mm-hmm. people invited her. She never took a single penny for her talks. People just invited her. They wanted her inspiration. [00:52:00] So in one of these talks, someone said, insist to give her a ride. They had a car accident and she. In a car accident. Isn’t that interesting? Like she, so anyway, so, so long story short, I had this spiritual, I learned about her story.
[00:52:17] I learned about other things. I had a spiritual breakdown, breakthrough in 20 12, 20 13, 20 14. Those years, like I just wrestling and struggling with what the meaning of life was and what my career should be. And in 2014 I reemerged and I said, I’m gonna, I’m gonna stop doing those high ticket things. I mean, whatever I was doing, I knew didn’t feel right.
[00:52:36] I don’t know what the right part is. I was still trying to figure out humane marketing, right? I didn’t know any of this stuff. And so I’d start experimenting like, doing one to one, like at the lowest price I could possibly charge. Again, finding that balance. Ah, this would feel resentful. This would just, just be outside.
[00:52:52] the resentment point. Back then, I think I was charging like 125 an hour. You know, as many clients as who wanted to sign up, you know, just, and [00:53:00] then, so just kind of like gradually, gradually increase, increase, and then started a group program charging, I don’t know what it was. I think charging $50 an hour for a group 50 $50 a month for a group program.
[00:53:10] Then and like gradually, gradually raising it, raising it, raising it. Just gradually. So as my, like I said, that balance between, ah, this would feel resentful, you know, and this would not, that I just kept, kept going up from there. Shining that zone. Yeah. Finding it. Yeah, exactly. Right. And then to today, like, okay, yeah, this number feels right, this number feels right, and then the markets seems to be responding.
[00:53:33] I have also, Sarah, like, I, like, I’ve also sometimes raised my rates too quickly. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Whether it’s online course or, but it, it just shows that it’s such an experiment and, and, you know, and, and also what I appreciate from, from your story is that it takes time to Yes. Really grow into the price that is right and kind of giving yourself permission to try it out slowly.
[00:53:59] And, [00:54:00] and I think most importantly, listen to necessarily what everybody else is telling you out there. Yeah. But listen to Yeah. Your gut and, and just make sure. Also, I just wanna say it out again that you’re, you have enough for yourself because you can’t be a humane marketer if you’re not also caring for yourself.
[00:54:21] You, that’s right. You want to care for your clients and the plan, but you also need to care for yourself. And you know what’s, what’s interesting is that enoughness. I had such a radical experience of listening to, and I recommend this to everybody. Peace, Pilgrim, audiobook. You just Google it? Mm-hmm. , it’s free , of course it’s free on SoundCloud at this time, and it’s been free for all these years, 10 years, and it’s still free.
[00:54:45] So I’m, I hope, I expect I keep it for free, but the voice, it was actually not P Peace Program’s voice who recorded it was like a voice. Friend of hers, but that voice along with peace, Pilgrim’s words, is like the perfect combination and like settled me so much and it gave [00:55:00] me this feeling, Sarah, like, okay, no matter what Sarah, if Peace Pilgrim could have done it at that enoughness level, literally like never asking a single dime and like just waiting until F Food and Shelter came to her.
[00:55:16] like, okay, that’s like if someone was able to live like that, like. If I ever have to go homeless , right? I’ll just be a peace pilgram. Obviously that’s not, you know, realistic for the vast majority of us. It isn’t, but it, it is almost like you have to come down to that level. And that’s why I always say in, in, you know, when I talk about gentle sales and the yes, the serene garden and, and all that, I say, you are.
[00:55:44] even if you never, ever make a sale anymore, . And I think that that is so important That’s right. For people to understand. Yeah. And, and it, it’s not something you just say you really, it’s almost like you have to somehow go through some kind of breakdown in order to [00:56:00] realize Right. That well, and, and actually say, I’ll say this.
[00:56:02] All of us go through periods of low. , right? Yeah. Still to this day. Of course. Yeah, of course. I mean, I, even though thankfully I have been structuring my system so that my income is very, but it’s like there are still certain launches that surprise me. I go, huh, wow, that was not as high as I expected. I mean, we all have relative numbers.
[00:56:23] Low for me, maybe a while. He saw 50 courses that for that, right? But low for someone, maybe zero, right? I’ve had zero myself in the past. Right? So we all have periods of low sales and that period of low sales, I. instead of feeling easily to feel depressed or or afraid right or, or sad, or feeling low self-worth, or whatever.
[00:56:43] Instead of that, here’s my invitation. The next time we experience the inevitable low period, low sales moment, I hope we’ll go. Oh. This is that opportunity that Sarah and George are talking about to remember and remind [00:57:00] and feel into the enoughness again of who we are right now in this moment. Mm-hmm.
[00:57:05] Because if Peace Pilgrim could do it, and she was the happiest person that people knew around her, everyone around her goes, I’ve never met a happier person in my life. And she has nothing. Right Literal. Yeah, so it’s like if we can sense into our current enoughness around us, like thankfully, hopefully this month we can pay rent, or if not, let’s move to a cheaper place.
[00:57:26] You know, nobody can sense to enoughness then. Then everything from there is abundance , right? Gratitude and the gratitudes there ironically, I think does shift. Whether you wanna call it vibrational frequency or whether you wanna just say that the gratitude gives us a positive attitude, which keeps us going.
[00:57:46] It does bring, I think, better business over time. . You know, it really does. Yeah. Practice it every night, . Ah, yes. Good. This has been beautiful. Thank you so much for this [00:58:00] deep conversation about pricing. Go figure. You know, only two introverts can go deep on pricing . Exactly. So love it. Thank you so much.
[00:58:10] Please tell people where they can find you and thankfully find out about your courses. They could Google me. My name George Cow. K a o g e o r g e k a O. Just google my name and you could go wherever, you know, my website or social media or whatever stuff is great. Yes, . Yeah. Wonderful. So thank you so much.
[00:58:30] Thank you Sarah, for inviting me to this. You know, I knew we would have a great conversation and yeah, thank you for being such a great host and yeah, creator of this podcast. So thank you for. Loved it. Thank you so much for coming on. Yeah, thanks. Take care.
[00:58:48] George outro: I hope you enjoyed this episode and you can find out more about George and his email@example.com. That’s K a o.com. George has [00:59:00] recorded over thousand videos and mini talks for his YouTube channel, and you can watch the best ones without opting firstname.lastname@example.org slash videos. You’ll find the show notes with all of these links of this email@example.com slash H 1 55.
[00:59:22] And on this beautiful page, you’ll also find a series of free offers, such as my Saturday newsletter, the Humane Business Manifesto in the free gentle confidence mini course, as well as my two books, marketing like we’re human and selling like we’re human. And if you’re an audiobook fan, I have good news.
[00:59:40] Marketing like We’re Human is now available in audio format on Audible or anywhere else where you get your audiobooks. Of course, read by yours truly. Thanks so much for listening and being part of a generation of marketers who cares for yourself, your clients, and the [01:00:00] planet. We are change makers before we are marketers.
[01:00:03] So now go be the change you want to see in the world. Speak soon.