The Self Employed Business Ecosystem

In today’s episode, we have the honor of speaking with Jeffrey Shaw, an author and advocate for self-employed business owners. Jeffrey is not only the author of the “LINGO” and “The Self-Employed Life,” but also the host of the popular podcast with over two-million downloads, and the founder of the Self-Employed Business Institute. In this episode, we delve into the concept of the Self-Employed Ecosystem, encompassing personal development, business strategies, and daily habits. We explore the Vision Paradox, Jeffrey’s unique “Hug Marketing” approach, the power of trust in something bigger than oneself, and the essential daily habits that help us navigate the uncontrollable. Let’s uncover the keys to success in the self-employed world.

"It's one thing to use the right words to speak the lingo of your ideal customers, but I think also we need to focus on is the energy of the words, because you're right, you can be saying the exact same thing, but the energy by… Share on X

In this episode, we talk about:

  • The Self-Employed Ecosystem which includes Personal Development, Business Strategies and Daily Habits
  • The Vision Paradox: how to not self-sabotage and be disappointed when we don’t achieve our goals
  • Jeffrey’s ‘Hug Marketing’ approach
  • Trusting in something bigger than you
  • and other daily habits that help us manage the uncontrollable

Jeffrey’s Resources

Our Previous Episode with Jeffrey

Jeffrey’s Website

Self-employed Assessment

Find Jeffrey on LinkedIn

Find Jeffrey on Twitter

Find Jeffrey on Facebook

Sarah’s Resources

(FREE) Sarah’s One Page Marketing Plan

(FREE) Sarah Suggests Newsletter

(FREE) The Humane Business Manifesto

(FREE) Gentle Confidence Mini-Course

Marketing Like We’re Human – Sarah’s book

The Humane Marketing Circle

Authentic & Fair Pricing Mini-Course

Podcast Show Notes

We use Descript to edit our episodes and it’s fantastic!

Email Sarah at

Thanks for listening!

After you listen, check out Humane Business Manifesto, an invitation to belong to a movement of people who do business the humane and gentle way and disrupt the current marketing paradigm. You can download it for free at this page. There’s no opt-in. Just an instant download.

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Imperfect Transcript of the show

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[00:00:00] Sarah: Hey, Jeffrey, so good to have you back on the podcast, even if it’s a different version of the podcast. I’m so happy to

[00:00:09] Jeffrey intro: have you here. I’m glad to be here with you as always. Thank you.

[00:00:12] Sarah: Thanks. Um, I’m so excited for this conversation. Uh, you’re coming out with a, you came out with a second book, um, so we’re gonna mainly focus on that, but.

[00:00:25] You’re kind of like a, a crowd favorite here at Humane Marketing cuz I talk about you and my programs, um, and just this idea of the lingo and the language and ideal clients. It’s a big topic for us. So, um, yeah, I wanna kind of give that credit as well and, and just, uh, remind everybody who hasn’t read the lingo book, uh, yet.

[00:00:48] That is also from Jeffrey Shaw. So, Anything you wanna just quickly say about lingo before we mm-hmm. Maybe also how it’s still relevant and related of course, to your second book. [00:01:00]

[00:01:00] Jeffrey intro: Yeah. It’s been interesting, uh, particularly as an author and I, I know you can appreciate this too, that. Uh, so after my second book was out, it was out for quite a number of months and I was heavily promoting it and talking about it, and of course, so excited about the, the, the topic of the self-employed life and all the aspects of it.

[00:01:16] Uh, my editor of Lingo, uh, at one point, she sent a message to me, said, uh, have you forgotten about your firstborn? Because I realized that I was so focused on talking about the new thing. You know, I, I had set aside talking about lingo, and that’s one thing, I mean, lesson learned for those of us that are in business for ourselves is that, uh, we are visionaries and creators and often we can move on to the next thing and not necessarily integrate the previous.

[00:01:41] Um, but since she said that and pointed out to me, I’ve been much more, uh, aware of the integration between the two because, you know, really, and in so many ways, I’ve actually gained respect from my book lingo. In the importance of working with your ideal clients, and maybe it’s a little bit of a, you know, post [00:02:00] pandemic effect in that none of us wanna waste time anymore, and I, at, at the core of working with our ideal clients is the benefit of, well, I guess it’s, you know, you get to choose that.

[00:02:12] The benefit is to you as an individual for me. The number one reason I only want to work with my ideal clients is because of the satisfaction I receive watching people, uh, their businesses grow exponentially. Mm-hmm. And to me, the only way your business really grows exponentially is if you work only with your ideal clients and you’re not wasting your time trying to.

[00:02:34] Prove your value to people or trying to make people happy that you will never fully make happy. Um, and I just feel like there’s somewhat of an emotional response to the, the time in which we’ve all been struggling through for the last few years to say, I don’t wanna waste my life hours on anything other than what brings me joy and what impacts people.

[00:02:54] And I think it’s, there’s more reason now than ever to read lingo and to really [00:03:00] focus on only attracting and working with your ideal clients.

[00:03:03] Sarah: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. Um, I, I just recently put out on, on the blog, um, a long, really long, um, blog post about, uh, humane Marketing words, and it reminded me of lingo and I’m like, went back to certain passages of it because, Of the importance of words.

[00:03:23] Right. And in humane marketing, it’s all about words. I, I tell people, look, you can use similar tactics, but if you use nicer and kinder words, then that makes all the difference. Mm-hmm. And so that also that, um, Part of lingo, yes, there’s the ideal client, but then there’s the importance of language, right?

[00:03:45] The title and gives it all away. It’s like the importance of the language your clients, uh, speak is, is so key. And, um, as, as we’re gonna go into you, you have, um, your. Language as well that [00:04:00] you then use in, in the new book and where you talk about marketing. Um, so you came up with a new term for marketing, which I love.

[00:04:07] So let’s get, let’s get into the, the new book, right? Yeah. Um, well

[00:04:12] Jeffrey intro: at least stay with what you said for a moment. Cause that’s so important for the Humane marketing society or community that you’ve built is, um, the energy of words. You know, if I could go back, as we always do, right, we always want to, you know, think about what we would add differently to the.

[00:04:26] Books we’ve written, and if I could add to lingo, and perhaps at some point there will be a second version of it, a revised version of it, which we are, I mean, I kicking around the idea of, because really one of the things I’d like to stress, more importantly it’s in the book, but I think I’d like to stress more, is the energy of the words, right?

[00:04:43] It’s one thing to use the right words to speak the lingo of your ideal customers, but I think also we need, and especially in the world of humane marketing, Really what you need to focus on is the energy of the words, because you’re right, you can be saying the exact same thing, but the energy by which you’re [00:05:00] communicating it with has everything to do with how it comes across.

[00:05:03] And if I could say there’s been one really huge, significant difference in business over my 40 year career is that people today and have for a number of years now make a decision based on how they energetically feel about a business more than ever before. Right. It used to be, or something I say in my keynote is that it’s a bit of a wake up call that we no longer get hired for being the best at what we do.

[00:05:30] We get hired because people like who we are. Right. And that is the biggest change because I’ve been in business, you know, over my 40 years. In the eighties and nineties you get hired cuz you were the best in your field. At that time. I was 100% a portrait photographer, affluent families. And I got hired because I was considered to be the best photographer for those families.

[00:05:52] Not the best photographer amongst all photographers, but I was probably the best photographer for affluent families. I really understood them. I understood how to craft the [00:06:00] artwork for their homes. Um, I used to listen to my clients talk about other best qualified people they hired, like their interior designers, their landscape designers, and they would talk about how difficult they were to work with, but they were the, they were the name to have, right?

[00:06:17] I. You won’t get away with that today. Mm-hmm. Pe. PE today, people don’t hire you because you’re considered the best in your field. They also have to feel good about doing business with you. There’s an energy that you’re communicating in your humane marketing that makes people want to do business with you.

[00:06:33] They will, to some degree. Excuse that you’re new. And that you’re, you’re new in business, you’re new in this skill, skillset, or that you may not be considered the best in your field, but they like you better than the other people in your field, and they will do business. That is the biggest change in business I’ve seen in my 40 years is that.

[00:06:52] We’re getting hired because of how people feel about us, and we see, we see this the opposite of it in big companies all the time. How many think about how many [00:07:00] brands people are walking away from because the c e O said something stupid, or you found out that the leadership team was not treating the employees well, or you found out about the political ambitions of a company and how quickly people that disagree with those feelings abandon the brand.

[00:07:19] It happens so quickly. Mm-hmm. I, I love, and I know you would too, for your community of humane marketers, like, I love doing business in a world where people are making decisions, whether work with us based on how they feel about us. That, that to me is exciting.

[00:07:33] Sarah: Yeah. And it, it really shows how the emotional intelligence of people and the consciousness has, you know, really increased over the last year.

[00:07:42] Yeah. So not year, years. So, Totally agree with you. It’s this emotional connection that it is almost like there should be a book just about that, right? It’s like, how do you create an emotional connection? What I say is bring more of you, uh, to your [00:08:00] marketing, right? It’s this humanness and, and yet, I was just in a networking event this morning and it feels like everybody is doing the same spiel.

[00:08:08] You know? It’s like you just come off, yeah, take off the mask. Just be you. You know how weird and awkward that might be.

[00:08:17] Jeffrey intro: And you’re, you’re a podcast host and I’m sure you get pitched plenty. And I, there are these trends to the pitches that come in that all start off the exact same way. And I’m wondering, okay, who’s the latest guru who led a course on how to pitch yourself as a podcast guest?

[00:08:31] And everybody’s following it verbatim. There’s nothing human about that. I mean, literally, people have to realize that, like for people like you and I as podcasts, I get about 24 pitches a day. Yeah. More than half of them will start off exactly the same way. And, you know, I listened to episode so-and-so, or then the six months from now that that rhythm will, that style will change.

[00:08:54] And I know there’s somebody out there that everybody seems to be following the advice of. Mm-hmm. And they just, it just, [00:09:00] you don’t stand out that way. Mm-hmm. It always comes back to the term. I use Sarah to describe how I. The, the internal feeling I experience when I know that I’m coming from my auth, authentic self.

[00:09:13] And my truth is I refer to it as dropping in. Yeah. I, I just, I have found in myself and I encourage everyone to kind of dig for that place in themselves where they can, they drop into their truth. And stop doing things in business because everybody else is doing it that way. Stop doing things in business because somebody told you statistically that’s what works.

[00:09:35] Or this, you know, listen to it. I’m not saying ignore it, but use or have a help or have a filter of discernment so you can decide, does that work for you? Does it feel right to you? And then have a place in yourself that you can drop into to say, this is me. This is who, what I stand for. This is who I, who I want to represent in business.

[00:09:58] And then market in [00:10:00] that way, speak to people that way. And I feel like the, the energy of the truth comes through so clearly that people want to do business with you. Yeah.

[00:10:09] Sarah: And I, and I feel like that’s it. We dropped right into the book. Right. Because that’s what, what your book is all about. It’s, it’s, it’s about this mix between, and in, in a way, my book is kind of similar.

[00:10:22] It’s a mix between personal development and, and business strategy. And you bring in the. The daily habits and I, I think one of the daily habits is trust. And, and that’s what this dropping in is. And, and in a way, dropping in is also kind of tuning out the rest, you know? Yes. It’s like dropping in and you’re just like, no, I don’t wanna hear anybody

[00:10:42] Jeffrey intro: else.

[00:10:43] And that’s, that is true. It is really hard. It is really hard. And that is, again, I, I always say I teach as I teach my students in the Self-Employed Business Institute. I say all the time, I teach from being in the trenches. Right, because that’s all I know. I’ve, I’ve been self-employed my entire life. It’s the only world I’ve, I’ve never [00:11:00] had a traditional job.

[00:11:01] I’ve never received a paycheck from anybody. Right. So I teach from in the trenches and I try to drop into the truth of that so that I can really help our students in the business institute. Um, and that, what you just said and described really, Is so true of being self-employed in that it is such a duality in that, like I said, don’t, don’t shut off what you’re the possibilities of learning and what you see other people doing, but you do need this, what I refer to as a filter of discernment so you can filter out what’s useless to you.

[00:11:37] Keep in a reservoir, what could be useful to you, and then drop into yourself. So, which, like you said, you’re kind of shutting off everything else, so you drop into yourself to decide what has value to you and what you wanna do with it, and what your truth is. I, I don’t think it is possible, particularly in a world where we’re inundated with so much information, um, and [00:12:00] nor would I recommend.

[00:12:01] Shutting off the information that comes in. I think it’s very, you know, you want to, you want to expose yourself to as much as you can, but you do need a filter of discernment to decide what has value to you and then drop into your truth and how you most want to communicate to people and what your authentic truth is.

[00:12:18] Sarah: Yeah. The thing is, and I’m sure you’ve seen that as well, and it’s your experience maybe as well, seeing others doing that is like, if we go into business, we just immediately wanna go into the doing and the marketing and the Instagram posts and all of that. Right? And so what you are saying, and I’m, I’m kind of saying as well, is like, well, the personal development part, which is.

[00:12:44] Finding out what your truth is, finding out your values and your, you talk about personal power or, um, yeah. Similar words like that as well is just so important and yet most people just wanna skip ahead and go to the next thing.

[00:12:59] Jeffrey intro: Yeah. [00:13:00] We’re, I actually have a, I have a podcast on my own show, uh, that I’ll be recording in a couple of hours and, um, and I, I, in the intro, which I was working on a, a bit ago, that.

[00:13:12] Because I’ve really been thinking about this a lot. I use the term ceilings a lot. Mm-hmm. And I’ve realized that I’ve used the word ceilings to replace limited mindsets where most people are talking about limited mindsets. I’ve come to call them ceilings because I actually like, again, coming from that inde trenches approach, I like the realistic feeling of a ceiling, because especially if everybody else is gonna talk about them as limited mindsets, the more often we hear a term, the more often it starts becoming white noise.

[00:13:38] Right. Um, I think that’s what’s happened with the topic of fear. You know, fear has become this. Fear and imposter syndrome are two that have now become such big buckets. Everything that everybody experiences gets thrown into those buckets. Oh, this is, you know, I have fear. It’s like, are you sure you have fear?

[00:13:57] Right. I’m working, I’m working on my next book, which will be out the [00:14:00] fall of 2024, and it’s about self-doubt for high achievers. Mm-hmm. And one of the things I really challenge in this book is the notion that, People just write, oh, I have imposter syndrome. And I’m like, are you sure it’s imposter syndrome or is it self-doubt?

[00:14:14] There’s a difference, you know, but it’s amaz. Every time I bring up the topic of self-doubt, people compare it to imposter syndrome. I’m like, to me, there is a very distinguishable difference between them, which I talk about in the book. Don’t wanna quite reveal too much about it yet, but, um, there’s a different, but the problem is, is that these, these, these things we talk about become like rote language, fear, imposter syndrome.

[00:14:37] And the more we talk about them, it becomes white noise. And I think that’s kind of what’s happened with limited mindsets, right? You know, people talk limited mindsets, it just toss around. And I’m like, well, let’s be real about limited mindsets. There are ceilings and a ceiling is like something that’s sitting on or close to the top of your head that you’re not.

[00:14:53] You know, you’re, you have no space above you for, so the reason why both you and I have this see such [00:15:00] importance on this, the work of personal development is I refer to personal development as raising the ceiling the way, the only way that I know for anyone to be truly be successful and actionable and applying action and business strategies.

[00:15:16] The only way I know that those things can be successful is if you create the space. Above your head through personal development for those things to work. So I’ll give you a sp a specific idea. One of the ceilings I talk about all the time, uh, to my students is the deserving ceiling. Mm-hmm. I don’t care how much hard work you put into growing your business, I.

[00:15:39] And how much strategy you apply and how many seminars you you attend, and how many, you know, new and latest social media trends, you hop out. I don’t care how many of anything you apply, if you don’t raise the ceiling by which of which you think you deserve, you’re not going to get more. Right. If you still have a deserving [00:16:00] ceiling on top of your head that you only deserve this much abundance in life, if you only deserve this much goodness, if you only deserve this much money, if you’re hung up on that, that ceiling, I don’t care how much work you put in, you’ve capped off by, by it being a ceiling, you’ve already capped off the results.

[00:16:18] The only way you can make those strategies and the effort you apply work is you have to first do the personal development work to really know you deserve more, and then you’ve created this space and then there’s a place for all that hard work to fit. And that is why, to me, personal development is just critically important, uh, as a step before the hard work.

[00:16:41] Sarah: Yeah. Oh yeah. I think you really talked about a, a topic that is Yeah, like whenever I talk about the P of pricing, which really has to do with money and deserving and re receiving, right? That’s like one of the most, uh, listened to episodes. So, uh, this [00:17:00] one here, this conversation is on, is, uh, under the P of Personal Power.

[00:17:05] Which I feel like is very fitting as well, because basically, um, what you’re saying is we need to step into our personal power and, and, and then Yeah. Be ready to receive. And, and, and that’s what personal development is all about in my opinion as well. Right. And, and then really also accepting that. Or kind of like realizing just because we are stepping into that power, that does not gonna mean that we’re gonna abuse our power, but that we are using it in a, in a nice and gentle and humane way.

[00:17:41] Right?

[00:17:42] Jeffrey intro: Yeah. I think that’s, that’s so important that you just brought that up. Cause I, yeah, in the book lingo actually, Uh, qualify right in the beginning that this is not about manipulation, right? Understanding someone’s lingo is not about using that power for evil. It’s not meant to be. Uh, but it’s so powerful that I felt like I [00:18:00] needed to describe that because it’s powerful.

[00:18:02] Because if you really speak someone’s lingo, it’s like you’re sharing a secret language and it’s how you know to really develop, as I teach in the book, the system of speaking someone’s lingo and getting someone, uh, to, you know, attracting your ideal clients. Um, to me, you know, whether it is to what degree we get to know our clients so that we can speak their lingo or, uh, you know, the business strategies that, again, it all comes back down to the energy, right?

[00:18:32] Because if you do things with a clean energy, In a good intent, they will feel the energy of that. Mm-hmm. If you’re coming from a place of manipulation, you have to believe, yes, some people could be fooled, but in the long run, that’s not gonna work for you. But I, I agree with you that we really, so much of it comes down to the, the energy of our actions.

[00:18:54] Uh, what’s always something that’s always surprised me, and people get this when I, when I describe it to them, Is [00:19:00] that if you are not confident in your ability to serve people, You actually have to be very subtle in how you are trying to sell your services because if you’re not confident, you’re not exuding enough energy of a con of confidence.

[00:19:15] What’s always been interesting to me with, particularly with my students in the Business Institute, because we work so much on. Their confidence, their strategies that I, and, and really we work a lot on their clarity. You know, getting people really clear on what they stand for, uh, internally, and then getting them clear on how to communicate that to the outer world with clear brand messaging and clear communication.

[00:19:39] What happens is their clarity gives them confidence, and the confidence enables them to be a little more assertive. It’s amazing when, if you are so. Energetically clear and confident that you can help somebody. It’s amazing how direct you can be. Like you can, you can, and [00:20:00] I, I find myself often in a situation when I, I meet someone who I so wholeheartedly believe should join the Self-Employed Business Institute.

[00:20:07] Cause I think that we’re just perfect for them. We can really help them. I find that I can be pretty direct in saying, I really believe this is perfect for you. Like I, I really, I can, I can see with all my heart that this is exactly gonna create the change that you wanna create in six months and really step forward and they receive it so cleanly.

[00:20:26] Mm-hmm. Where if you said those exact same words, coming from a less sincere place, it would come across as pushy and they would sense it and they would sense it. So it has everything to do with how. Clear you are on your intentions. If that, if, if, if your intention and and sincere belief in your ability to serve isn’t clear, they will feel that.

[00:20:48] Sarah: Yeah. It also means, you know, humane marketing is all about giving the power back to the people and respecting. The intelligence [00:21:00] of human beings. I think that’s what this is really is. And that’s what we’ve seen, um, over the last few years has been happened. Like. People have been treated as if they were stupid.

[00:21:13] Quite honest, a lot of times. Um, you

[00:21:16] Jeffrey intro: know, well, we were told as marketers many years ago to market to the age of a five year old. Yeah. Literally, that was the advice, what, 10, 20 years ago Nowadays, I, I, I, Sarah, you’re one of the few people that actually I think really get that. People, consumers today are so sophisticated.

[00:21:32] Yeah. Like we have to stop dumbing down. Exactly right. Do is it, is it a noisy world? Absolutely. But here’s been this, this, here’s been the ridiculous strategy, right? Yes. It’s a noisy marketing world, so the way your typical, you know, more aggressive marketers will tell you as well, it’s such a noisy world.

[00:21:51] You need to dumb down your messages to the degree of a five-year-old so that you cut through the noise. And here’s my philosophy, [00:22:00] right? And here’s my fly, which I think philosophy, which I think you’ll agree with is, is yeah, it is a noisy world. And people I refer to p, you know, I jokingly say consumers today are, and myself and included, but we’re also, as business owners, we’re consumers.

[00:22:13] Consumers today are attention snobs. And we should be, because we have so many choices as to where to put our attention, that we’ve just become super selective as to where we put our attention. So don’t dumb down your content. What you have to do is make your marketing compelling enough that it’s attention worthy.

[00:22:33] Netflix has no problem getting people’s attention because they’re creating content that is attention worthy. And I, I actually in, in the self-employed life, my book, I refer to it as the Netflix test. Imagine your marketing is so compelling. That two people are sitting side by side at the, so on a sofa watching a Netflix movie, and one of those two people has a laptop sitting on their lap.

[00:22:58] And at the same time, they’re watching the [00:23:00] Netflix movies. They’re pro producing websites for your area of specialty, and they come across your marketing, your website, and it’s so compelling. They turn the laptop to the person next to them and say, well, check this out. Isn’t this cool? All right. I’ve done it and I’ll bet many listeners have done just that same thing that’s passing the Netflix test when what you’re, when your marketing is so compelling, you have taken attention away from somebody’s watching their Netflix to turn the laptop to the person next to them.

[00:23:29] That’s how you don’t dumb down your content. In fact, I’d say it’s the other way around. Yeah. Make it so in intellectually compelling that people are hooked. Right. And they wanna

[00:23:38] Sarah: know. And of course, again, it depends on your ideal client, but I don’t want to work with dumb clients, you know? And, and that sounds harsh, but it’s true.

[00:23:48] I call my people deep thinkers for a reason. Right. It, it’s, I want to Yeah. Work with people who think deeply about things. And so that brings us back to [00:24:00] the. Ideal client conversations. So obviously if you’re dumbing down your content and your marketing and hoping to attract deep thinkers like yourself, well then there’s something that is not going to

[00:24:12] Jeffrey intro: work.

[00:24:12] Yeah. You also just said something that I really wanted to point out that was so be because it was so natural to you, you just said it without even realizing it, and you refer to your. Tho those that you serve as my people. Yeah. And there’s, there’s energy, there’s energy that I do the same thing. And I try to encourage other people that if you’re coming from a place of humane marketing or as I refer to it in my podcast and in my world as doing business with a soul, right?

[00:24:35] Mm-hmm. We have very, we have very aligned goals. Uh, if you are amongst people that want to do humane marketing, Think about those that you serve as your people, not an audience. Right, right. An audience is sterile. Yeah. It’s, it’s, you don’t, I love and I totally have embraced the idea of referring to, I even to, even to my speaking rep.

[00:24:55] I will tell her, it’s like, cuz in the speaking world, you so now to talk about audiences [00:25:00] and I don’t, I tell my speaking rep. Um, are those my, when she proposes an idea an an event to me, I’m like, are those my people? Yeah, let’s talk about whether they’re my people, because I’ve told her I only wanna speak in front of my people.

[00:25:11] Regardless of how much an organization is willing to pay me, I’m not cuz I’ve done it, I’m not willing to stand on a stage for the biggest amount of money and those aren’t my people. I hate it. It’s not satisfying and I’m not doing anything of a significance. It’s not worth it. No, it’s not. I only wanna be in front of my people.

[00:25:28] I will speak for free if I have to in front of, not ideal, but on occasion I will. Because if it’s a room of my people, they’re gonna be joining as students in the self-employed business institute. And that’s, I can make more money that way than I ever will as a speaking gig. So I just energetically, I think there’s such a big difference at looking at the people you serve as your people as opposed to an audience.

[00:25:52] Cuz the energy of an audience is us. Me and them where? Oh, up

[00:25:58] Sarah: you one target audience. [00:26:00] You know,

[00:26:00] Jeffrey intro: it’s like, oh, we won’t go there. This is my target audience. Right. That’s why you referred in the intro about my, or as we were speaking earlier, you were speaking about, you know, my transference of, of how I look at marketing.

[00:26:11] Right. I literally, Referred to it as, we need to stop saying target marketing and let’s think about it. Hug marketing. Yeah. Hug marketing is the system I, let’s talk about hug marketing. Whichever. Hug Marketing is the system I teach because I wanted so desperately to turn around the energy of, of marketing being referred to as a target marketing.

[00:26:30] And you know what? Here’s the thing. In its simplest forms, target marketing doesn’t. Work because if people feel targeted, they back up. And if you’re referring to them as a target market, you’re only kidding yourself if you’re thinking they don’t feel targeted again because they’re feeling the energy of it.

[00:26:49] And if you’re energetically thinking of those people that you’re targeting as a target market, they will feel that way. Yeah. So that’s why, that’s why I came up with the whole concept of hug marketing, [00:27:00] because the people I work with similar to your own, your own people, is. I work with, you know, my, my people are people that want, that, want to do business.

[00:27:10] They want clients, but they want to acquire clients in a way that feels good market. Typically, target marketing feels creepy to them. So target marketing from a visual perspective, if you can imagine this is that. It’s a series of concentric circles. So instead of the typical marketing funnel, which visually also has a bad energy to it because a marketing funnel in its traditional form is wide at the top, openhearted welcoming at the top, and it gets more and more narrow to do what?

[00:27:41] Squeeze people through a small hole at the bottom. Mm-hmm. And then don’t you love the marketing words like tripwire, like. Could it to, could there be a worse

[00:27:48] Sarah: energy? Oh, that’s another one. I need to add that to my glossary. I mean,

[00:27:51] Jeffrey intro: could there not be a worse word for the energy of marketing to refer to things as trip wires?

[00:27:58] These things are astonishing to [00:28:00] me. It’s like, who came up with these things? Yeah. Um, trip wire. That one just really kills me. So what I did is I, I instead. Referred to it as a series of concentric circles, so that we look at the people in the outermost circles, what I refer to as lurkers. So lurkers are the people, uh, that you, that are watching you from afar that you didn’t even know they’re there, or you don’t know that they, they’re names, right?

[00:28:26] They’re people that are watching you on social media. They’re reading your content, they’re reading your blog posts, they’re listening to your podcast, right? They’re lurkers, right? And it’s. Lurkers are the most overlooked, important process of client acquisition. And you’ll know mo more in a moment as we go through this, but it’s, it’s, I always say it’s like, fix this first, the first thing I wanna see people fix is to build out a broader, uh, portfolio of lurkers.

[00:28:54] People that are. Listening and watching what you’re doing, and you just don’t know it yet. [00:29:00] And they’ll play out as being a very important part because the next step is, um, once they, then they become curious, right? So you have to make your content and everything you’re doing compelling enough, they become curious.

[00:29:12] So they go from just kind of watching from afar to leaning in. They become curious. Once they become curious, then they become engaged. At this point, they’re commenting, they’re corresponding, they’re reaching out, right? There’s a level of engagement going on, but they are still in control of how. Close.

[00:29:31] They’re getting to you at this point. The next step is they become connected. And this is why it’s so important is connected. And this, this should never be taken for granted because at this point, somebody’s handing over the baton, they’re, maybe they’re giving you their email address, they’re opting into your, uh, lead magnets.

[00:29:50] You’re, uh, which lead magnets are one of the few energetic words I’m okay with. By the way, I call them signposts. Yeah, signposts. Yep. Yeah. Um, and I like lead [00:30:00] magnet as long as it’s like you’re a leader and you’re leading them to what’s gonna help ’em, right. It’s like you’re grabbing somebody by their hand.

[00:30:05] Right. So I’m okay with lead magnet because to me, I look at it as like, you’re grabbing somebody by the hand and, and, uh, they are willingly, you know, following along. But connected is such an important stage so that the next step, of course, is once you become connected, you build a solid relationship. The goal is they become a client.

[00:30:21] But here’s to circle back. Here’s why those lurkers are so important. One of the biggest problems I find in businesses is they’re trying to convert from too small of a number, and that’s why they’re not getting as many clients as they want. So if you have, if you’ve captured the eyes and ears of a really broad number of lurkers, Only a small percentage of them are going to become curious, and even a smaller percentage of those are going to become engaged.

[00:30:47] And an even smaller percentage of those are going to connect. And even a smaller percent, much, much smaller percentage of those are gonna become clients. So if you think about it from reverse engineering, if you want to increase your volume of clients, You [00:31:00] may have to reverse engineer and start with the, the strategies that instead of increasing just your strategies as a client acquisition, you may need, may need to back up and increase your strategies for how are you gaining eyes and ears of people in the first place.

[00:31:15] Mm-hmm. Um, which may feel like it’s contradictory to ideal clients, cuz you’re throwing a broad net. But it’s, it’s not because for, you have to start with the lurkers and then make them curious and they filter their way down. And your marketing, of course, and your messaging is, is filtering out your non-ideal clients so that you end up with, in the final stage of, of acquiring clients that they, they are your ideal clients.

[00:31:39] We’re not done at that self,

[00:31:40] Sarah: we’re selecting themselves. Right. You’re not filtering them out. You have to, they’re they’re filtering

[00:31:46] Jeffrey intro: themselves. Correct. And they have to be self. That’s good. That’s good. You know, I always re the, another way of looking at humane marketing is I often refer to the area, the age in which we’re living in as the age of empowerment.

[00:31:56] Right. The moment you try to take somebody’s power of choice [00:32:00] away, they want nothing to do with you. Yeah. So marketing today is all about empowering people to choose you, not telling them to choose you. Exactly, but empowering them to choose you. And, but in the in the Hug marketing system that we teach in the Business Institute, the last step is the hug.

[00:32:16] We have a very different goal now, right? Instead of the goal being to target people and shooting an arrow at them as a bullseye, our goal now is a hug. And by the hug. It’s like, it’s the depth of relationship. And if you have an online business, which so many of us do, or your marketing is online, uh, you know, and you may have had this experience as a podcast host that, um, the goal of hug marketing is.

[00:32:38] If you have the opportunity to meet someone who probably started out as a lurker, you have built such a relationship with them that if you were to speak each other in person, you would naturally give each other a hug Exactly. With their, with their

[00:32:49] Sarah: permission. And, and they want, they are gonna ask you, how can we work together?

[00:32:54] Instead of you trying to, you know, do the whole spiel and presentation and all of that, and [00:33:00] they’re like, I know all of that already. Let’s just Yeah. How can we learn? Yeah. And

[00:33:03] Jeffrey intro: in the, the world of humane marketing and hug marketing, right? It’s, it’s not even just. The, the, the hug worthy people that you interact with are not just clients.

[00:33:12] Also, they’re your advocates. They’re your cheerleaders, right? They’re people that love, love, love what you’re doing. I have many strong advocates in my life that believe so wholeheartedly what we’re doing in the Self-Employed Business Institute. They, in their own success and achievement, career achievement may be way beyond.

[00:33:30] Needing us in the self-employed Business Institute, but they remember where they were when they were starting out. They remember where they were five years in business and how challenging it was and how they needed to kind of reinvent themselves and rebrand and rethink. So they, because they’re way beyond that, they have compassion and empathy for people on that stage.

[00:33:48] What we look at is the three to five year stage is the ideal stage for us to, to lend our support. They remember that stage, right? So they themselves may not become a client. But they’re, [00:34:00] they’re strong advocates for what we do because they’ve been there. Mm-hmm. And again, that’s, those are your hug people.

[00:34:08] Those are the people that you’re just eternally grateful for their support, not just the business they do with you.

[00:34:14] Sarah: And I, as I was reading that in the, in the book, I was like thinking, oh, it’s so funny how I sign all my emails to my inner circle, people with hugs, you know? Yeah. Like hugs. That’s awesome.

[00:34:25] Sarah and I, and before I was like, well, is this really business? Is this accepted? And now I’m like, no, I wanna give hugs to my inner people. And then you came up with Hug Marketing. I’m like, yeah, there you go. Yeah.

[00:34:39] Jeffrey intro: Yeah. It’s a different goal like side to me. You, you, you do business in a much more humane way if your goal in your marketing is to achieve a hug than to look at people as a target to shoot at.

[00:34:51] Yeah. Def

[00:34:52] Sarah: definitely. And I’m so glad you brought up Tripwire. I, I wrote this, like I said, this hu humane marketing word, glossary. And I, I [00:35:00] was also kind of coming up like listing all these words like, To me, lead magnet is one of them because I see the magnet as kind of like this thing that sucks people in, you know, supposed to like suck them.

[00:35:12] Um, and, and yeah, other, other ones like the funnel and all of that. So I’ll, I’ll definitely add Tripwire. I had forgotten about that. Excellent. As we, um, start to wrap up, there’s one thing I want to, um, Mentioned because I, I remember from back in the days, I would listen to your podcasts all, all the time, and you would always bring up paradoxes that would be like, you even said, I’m gonna write a book once about paradox.

[00:35:39] So maybe that’s still in the, in the work. It’s still in my mind. Yeah. And so you talk, in the book, you talk about the vision, uh, paradox and I wanted to, um, have you talk about that because. I think that’s a topic that is so, well, it’s close to my heart, but I think it’s. Uh, so [00:36:00] often, uh, uh, um, kind of a place for disappointment for self-employed people.

[00:36:05] Mm-hmm. And especially also because all the noise about the six figure and the seven figure mm-hmm. And the eight figure crap that we hear all the time. And so we’re told to come up with this giant vision, right? Mm-hmm. And then, yeah, there’s just paradox. So yeah, tell us

[00:36:21] Jeffrey intro: more about that. Yeah, actually I think, you know, it’s a vision is sort of the answer for what I refer, refer to as the goal paradox, right?

[00:36:27] So I look at it as a goal paradox, um, because. And it has always puzzled me, and it’s always been something I’ve been unwinding for and looking for a solution for myself and, and for those that I serve. Um, this goal Paradox is a tough one because as high achievers, as business owners, as people wanting to make an impact on the world, uh, of course we need goals, right?

[00:36:47] You kind of, you, you, we know that we need to know where we’re going and how big we want to go and where we’re achieving and, and you know, the vision we have, uh, the problem is, Often that, you know, we’re told to have big [00:37:00] goals. So how do we have big goals without setting ourselves up for disappointment?

[00:37:04] Because I worry about the disappointment. I worry about the disappointment from not achieving the big goals that people set for themselves as becoming toxic. How many times can you not achieve your big goals? I mean, how many, how many cycles can you go through of disappointment before you start losing steam?

[00:37:21] That is actually exactly why. In our marketing of the Business Institute, we focus on people in business. We, we kind of really hone it in from three to five years, but even I’ll broaden it sometimes to one to five years. Um, the reason we choose that time period is because I worry about people running outta steam, right?

[00:37:38] Because we’re human. You know, the first, the first year in business, your naivete and your excitement and adrenaline will get you through anything. But somewhere around the third year, the reality of being, being self-employed sets in the challenges. How many times you’ve gone at bat and missed at something, how many launches you’ve tried to do and not [00:38:00] succeeded.

[00:38:00] How many clients that you’ve tried to acquire that you didn’t get, um, You know, and the goals that you set for yourself that you didn’t achieve, and it’s somewhere between the third and fifth year that the repetition of that is starting to wear down their energy to move forward. So to me, goals, goal setting is inherently a, a paradox because we have to set ourselves up for big goals, but how do we not set ourselves up for disappointment?

[00:38:26] And the answer to that, I believe, is, there’s a few different ways I, I speak about it. One of those ways. Is to set up goals without being attached to the outcome. Really, really hard to do, but understanding the difference between goal setting as the north star and it not being attached to how you feel about yourself.

[00:38:48] So it’s a one, one thing to do is to set goals without being attached to the outcome. Because we can’t be, we’re not in control of the outcome. We’re not in, we’re not in control of the circumstances because the guy who said, [00:39:00] it’s kind of always as ironic to me that the pandemic happened in 2020 because so many organizations were using the 2020 thing as an, as a.

[00:39:08] You know, a a, an anchor for, uh, clear vision, you know? Cause it’s 2020 and I’m like, yeah, yeah. How did that theme work out? How did that theme work out for you? Right. Is it, you know, so we’re not in control of those circumstances. So if you had big goals for Clear Vision in 2020, how’d that work out for you?

[00:39:25] Right. It didn’t, so, You have to not be attached to the outcome. So set your sights on the big goals without being attached to the outcome. Hard to do, but I think really necessary. And then in a practical sense, in the Business institute, we do a whole workshop on goal setting, uh, in addition to the regular curriculum.

[00:39:42] And I teach it as a, uh, three tiers. So you have your, uh, your good goal, your, you know, your, your minimum goal, your likely goal, and your wow goal. And people call them different things. Um, but [00:40:00] if you tear them out in three tiers, like kind of your minimum, you know, this is what I need to get by and, you know, you know, you’re confident you’re gonna succeed.

[00:40:07] That right in the middle is probably what you’re going to achieve. But then you have your wow goal, which is what if everything in the universe worked perfectly, look what I could achieve, right? Right. So if you have the three tiers, you’re more accepting, accepting of where you land and you feel safer.

[00:40:25] You know, your minimum goal, so you feel safer, and when you feel safe, you’re more likely to be able to reach further. So that’s one of the practical strategies I do as well.

[00:40:34] Sarah: Right. Yeah. To me, what, what you mentioned first is kind of like don’t be attached to the outcome. Well, we’re in a way coming full circle and, uh, closing back with the personal development because yeah.

[00:40:48] How do you not attach to the outcome? Well, it is back to the trust. It is, um, to the, to your whole part three in, in, in your book about the daily [00:41:00] habits. Yeah. You know, you talk about even grounding and just finding something that’s bigger than you. Um, and believing and trusting and, and saying, I am worthy even if, like, that’s what I say, I am worthy.

[00:41:13] Even if you never make a sale. Anymore. Right? Yeah. So, exactly. And that, that is that trust building on a daily

[00:41:19] Jeffrey intro: basis. A hundred percent. And that’s the point of daily habits because we, we as business owners live in a world that’s rocking and rolling in different directions at all times. Right. And the, the what serves.

[00:41:30] Us better so that we can serve others better is for us to maintain a consistent mindset. And a consistent mindset comes from having consistent habits and thoughts and keeping ourselves on track, uh, regardless of the chaos that may ensue us around, around us, but that we can always come back to center, stay ground, and keep moving forward.

[00:41:52] That’s how you have impact, uh, over the long haul.

[00:41:55] Sarah: Yeah. And I love that it, it wasn’t just, you know, daily habits. Um, not [00:42:00] just another to-do list, but more like yeah, the big things like, you know, how do you, how can you be this lighthouse in the storm? That’s what we need, uh, in order to just. Keep going and, and yeah.

[00:42:13] Not be attached to the outcome. Very. This has been amazing. Thank you so much. I love that you bring in the woo into the book and, and it’s just like, yeah, it’s a beautiful, um, a beautiful book that, that it really shows the reality of what it is like as a, as a self-employed person or entrepreneur. Yeah. I

[00:42:34] Jeffrey intro: said everything I do, I try to do from in the trenches because it’s the only world I know, so I may as well, um, help my people.

[00:42:40] Who I’m in the trenches with to succeed and it’s my pleasure to do so. Thank you.

[00:42:44] Sarah: Thanks, Jeffrey. Do you share with our listeners where they can find you, your book, your podcast, all of that good stuff?

[00:42:51] Jeffrey intro: Yeah, so, um, my main website is jeffrey, uh, which you will find everything in my books, the Self-Employed Business Institute, et [00:43:00] cetera.

[00:43:00] Um, but I also have a great assessment if you’re a business owner, if you want to check out to see in the ecosystem of being self-employed, where, uh, you may wanna apply some more. Effort, uh, you can go to self-employed Uh, it’s a custom algorithm. It’s actually a really kind of an amazing tool to get people thinking about what part of their business they might need to apply a little more effort to, to, uh, have a healthy and thriving self-employed ecosystem.

[00:43:25] So again, that’s self-employed

[00:43:29] Sarah: Wonderful. I always have one last question, and that is, what are you grateful for today or this week?

[00:43:36] Jeffrey intro: Uh, I just celebrated, uh, a birthday yesterday, so I am really grateful for some pretty, you know, recent and significant life changes I made to move from Miami to Jacksonville, uh, to, uh, work every day beside my daughter who has worked for me for a couple years.

[00:43:53] But she moved down from Connecticut and I moved up from Miami and we met halfway, not, not quite half, but we [00:44:00] met in Jacksonville, Florida. And both have established homes and we both have our significant others in our lives. And so yesterday was the first day that I spent my birthday, uh, with one of my kids cuz I’ve lived away from them for so many years.

[00:44:13] Um, so I’m very grateful for that

[00:44:14] Sarah: experience. Yay. And happy belated birthday. Thank you. Wonderful. Thanks for being here, Jeffrey. [00:44:21] Jeffrey intro: Thanks for having me

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