Cassie Howard is a business consultant for bad-ass women entrepreneurs who aren't afraid to be themselves and say what they need to say in order to help their community.
Cassie got into coaching two years ago when she started to engage with potential clients in Facebook groups and started her own group. Cassie loves it and doesn't even feel like she is doing work. She is excited to connect with her clients and create significant things for her clients and community that impact so many people's lives. Plus she gets paid well for it. So well that she hit 6 figures within her first year.
The secret to her success? Being her authentic self and Facebook.
Cassie shares with us:
How to build a brand from scratch?
Cassie immediately hired a business coach when she decided to consult to reach her goal of $100k a year in her first year. Having a coach kept Cassie accountable and also allowed her to climb the learning curve much quicker than having to figure it all out on her own. Her business coach helped her most by developing the right mindset along with a clear message and marketing.
The right mindset for Cassie is not to take her own crap: This isn't working so I need to change it, or someone said I can't do it so I probably can't do it. Instead, she started thinking that she can do anything she wants and can get what she wants.
For a long time, Cassie was acting like a person she thought she was supposed to be to run a business rather than who she really is. Cassie realized that she could do a better job helping her clients if she just acted like herself and shared what she believed in. She lost a lot of followers, but the followers she kept were her people and respected who she really is.
“People aren't buying your program. They aren't buying your courses. They're buying you. If you aren't being 100% yourself, you are going to be attracting the wrong people and you're not going to be able to connect to them. And if you can't connect with them, they're not going to like you and trust you enough to want to buy from you.”
Cassie found that she enjoyed working with the people who get the results and who are always hustling and pushing to get the results. They are committed and driven to make a big impact in the world. These were her people. She actually fired clients who didn't fall into this category because it was too frustrating to work with them.
Where are these great clients?
For Cassie, she found them on Facebook.
Cassie went on Facebook and searched “entrepreneur”. Hundreds of groups popped up so she picked the first twelve that had 1,000+ members. Some had a lot of spam or content that she didn't resonate with, but she did find a couple of groups that she particularly enjoyed. She engaged the most with these groups and got the best responses from her ideas in these groups.
After finding a second business coach, Cassie was inspired to found her own Facebook group. Now, about 90% of her clients come to her through the Facebook group that she created and grew to 6,500 people in about 6 months. The success didn't come from just creating a Facebook group. The Facebook group strategy was successful because she showed up and participated with the group daily.
How do you participate?
Early on, Cassie posted 10-15 posts of free value, or 12-15 hours of engagement, a day so she would be seen as an expert. The free content she shared came directly from the 4-month plan that she had put together for the paying customers who she coached.
Cassie made such a huge commitment up front because she knew that the more she was there and visible, especially during times when other people weren't around such as during the summer and holidays, the faster she would grow her business. Now, she only spends about 2 hours a day on Facebook and reaps the rewards.
Cassie found that she gets better conversion when she combines the free value with a small sales pitch in the form of “P.S. I also offer coaching, or a course on this topic, etc. if you are interested, message me”. The sales pitch is given as the next action that people could take to learn more and apply the free content to their own business. If she didn't give them that next step, she argues, they would find someone else who could teach them more rather than sticking with her.
Cassie does live-streams, written content, interviews, videos, pdf or worksheet downloads, challenges, etc. She likes to mix it up and keep it new. She normally writes the posts as a verbal ass-kicking (Stop doing X, you're screwing yourself! Do this instead!) or a step-by-step guide (5 steps to find your first client from Facebook groups). The content is based on her personal experiences and how she figured out how to do things.
You do have to be careful not to only sell on the Facebook groups because that is just spamming. You have to give value too!
How to start a Facebook group?
Cassie had seen her mentors's businesses take off when they started their own Facebook groups and was advised to do the same to grow her business faster. But to have a Facebook group, you need members.
Cassie started her group by hosting a challenge: 30 days to make $50,000. Cassie gave her group homework everyday and promoted the challenge through Facebook ads and on other Facebook groups. Basically, she was giving free information for 30 days and positioned herself as an expert. It turned out that 30 days is too long and a better challenge is less than 2 weeks. A lot of the people who engaged with the group during the challenge also had a call with her to discuss how they could work together.
Cassie continued to post in other groups where she had already built up her visibility for months. She would add to her posts that she just started a new Facebook group for a specific type of person, and she described the pain point of this person, painted a picture of how their life would be different if they joined the group and got the content, and the benefits of joining the group. This strategy got her another 3,000 members. And she kept promoting her group in other groups that made it keep growing!
Cassie tried Facebook Ads, but gave up on it before she saw results. However, ads to do work for other people.
Converting Facebook to an Email list:
In addition to the Facebook group, Cassie also has an email list. There is always a chance that Facebook will shut down and she would lose all of these people. An email list lets her stay in touch with her group beyond Facebook.
To get people on the email list, Cassie targets women entrepreneurs and fans of Facebook pages that are similar to her own with Facebook ads. She also advertises to her own Facebook group by giving them downloads in exchange for emails.
Case study: Defining a target audience
When Cassie started coaching, she targeted stay-at-home moms because she related with them and wanted to help women become financially independent. However, by studying their buying behaviour, she found that most of the stay-at-home moms would first invest in their children and partners before investing in themselves and that the $5,000 price point was too steep. If she had a product in the range of $20-$50, then stay-at-home moms may have been the perfect clients.
Cassie shifted her focus to women entrepreneurs who have been in business for 3-6 months and are driven to get their business to the next phase. Her target audience became women who have the ability to take financial risks, and are ready to sacrifice time and sleep for their goals. They have a mindset that makes them 100% committed to the project.
Find Cassie online: