What can make business harder is our mindset saying that it should be hard. We overcomplicate things so much that it delays our actions to get the things that we want for our business. However, if we decide to make things simple, it is going to be simple.
In this episode, Michelle Vroom talks about why we are making things in our business difficult and how we can simplify them. She also shares the power of one strategy and one offer and some tips on how you can make success and find clients through your Facebook group.
Listen and Enjoy!
00:00 Episode Intro
00:45 Podcast Intro
02:06 Who Michelle Vroom is and who she helps
03:08 How Michelle ended up with the business that she has today
05:13 Why do some women overcomplicate doing business
06:22 Our expectations of instant gratification and results
07:31 Undoing the pattern of overcomplicating things and delaying actions
08:53 Michelle's passion to help women feel more empowered
10:32 The first steps to simplify getting clients
13:35 The power of one strategy and the objectives of destination events
17:32 The importance of your ability to build relationships with people
19:28 What makes a strategy work
22:04 The advice Michelle wishes she'd been given when she started her business
24:18 How to find more about Michelle Vroom
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/marketlikeabossgroup
Hi, I’m Ruth, a business coach specialising in helping freelancers and business owners adjust their mindset and their marketing so they can get fully booked with clients they LOVE to work with. I’ve helped hundreds of self-employed women achieve the time and money freedom they craved.
I’ve started this podcast because when I first went all in and left the corporate world to be a freelancer, I was grateful for any work that came my way. After over 20 years of freelancing and working for other people, I started to realize I’d created a glass ceiling for myself.
In 2017, I finally started listening to that voice that had been telling me for a long time that I wasn’t doing what I loved and fulfilling my true potential. It took a critical illness to give me that wake-up call. I don’t want the same to happen to you.
You can expect practical advice, inspiring stories, and a lot of aha moments as we uncover and kick to the curb all the obstacles you have been putting in your way.
I’m on a mission to inspire women to start and play bigger in business.
Free Masterclass: https://www.ruthgilbey.com/the-sold-out-solution-2022
Ruth Gilbey 00:00
Hi everyone. Welcome back to the inspiring women in business podcast. This interview today is with Michelle Vroom who is a business coach from Philadelphia. So really great episode. In this episode, Michelle talks about her business story and she also talks about us women, why we overcomplicate things, and how we can simplify things. She also talks about the power of one; choosing one offer, one strategy, and one message as well. And she also shares some amazing tips about how you can make success and find clients through your Facebook group. It's a great episode, go and have a listen.
Ruth Gilbey 00:45
Hello, and welcome to the inspiring women in business podcast. My name is Ruth Gilbey, and I'm a business and marketing coach. I'm on a mission to inspire women to start and play bigger in business. Now I started this podcast because when I first went all in and left the corporate world to be a freelancer, I was just grateful for any work that came my way. After over 20 years of freelancing and working for other people, I started to realize I'd created a glass ceiling for myself. It was in 2017 when I finally started listening to that voice that had been telling me for a long time that I wasn't doing what I loved, and I wasn't fulfilling my true potential. It took a critical illness to give me that wake-up call. And I don't want the same thing to happen to you. You can expect practical advice, interviews, inspiring stories, and a lot of aha moments as we uncover and kick to the curb. All the obstacles you've been putting in your way.
Ruth Gilbey 01:53
Hi, everyone, welcome back to the inspiring women in business podcast, very excited to have Michelle Vroom with me today, all the way from Philadelphia. Michelle, do you want to introduce yourself, tell everyone who you are and who you help.
Michelle Vroom 02:06
Of course, thank you for having me, I'm really excited to be here. I am a business coach who helps women put themselves in the driver's seat so that they can get clients whenever they want. I truly want women to be in control of making money in their business and getting clients and that's what I'm passionate about. I have been in business for almost six years, I started my business when my oldest son was six months old, and I thought why not give a six-month-old at home, let's start a business too, not at all chaotic. And you know, I really started it, I think out of a desire to Yes, be home with my child, but have freedom in what I wanted to do right and in my career. And so I did that I at the time was the breadwinner of the family and like had a cushy corporate job. So leaving all of that was very scary. But I can honestly say that like I wouldn't have any of the things that I have right now. If it weren't for my business, it has totally transformed my life and the life of my family. And I'm really passionate about helping other women do the same.
Ruth Gilbey 03:02
Awesome. And so do you want to tell us a little bit more about how you ended up with the business that you have today?
Michelle Vroom 03:08
Yeah, absolutely. So when I started my business, I was full service, meaning like I was doing the work for my clients, you know, marketing, writing, emails, social media, all of that good stuff. And it was great. But I also started realizing that like I was taking on clients that I didn't love, right, I was taking on clients I didn't love I was working a ton. I think I had at one point 12 different clients and was barely making $1,000 a month. And I'll let you get your listeners to do the math on that one. And I realized like I wanted more freedom in terms of what I was doing. And so I moved into coaching about a year and a half into my business. And even since then, like I've had different evolutions in different phases of coaching. And now I have a signature group coaching program where I can reach a lot of women at once and really support them in being in control of getting clients. So my business has definitely evolved and changed over the years, I think that I've like more fully stepped into owning who I am and what I'm really good at, especially when it comes to supporting women with Facebook groups, right, like helping them be in control of getting consistent clients because they have a Facebook group that makes them money like that lights me up. And there was a time where I resisted that, you know because I felt like it was too basic, or, you know, nobody would pay to like learn about that and how wrong I've been, right? Like I think that I bring that up because I think for a lot of people, a lot of women, they feel like what they do is basic, well, it should be basic, it should feel basic to you because you are the expert. And so as soon as I really started stepping into that and owning that, that's when things change. That's when not just you know, making more money, right but being able to provide for my family in new ways. And so I kind of just wanted to give you that picture because what we start out doing usually isn't necessarily the thing that we're going to ultimately end up doing and it's more than okay to kind of take things in stages and phases and not have it all figured out at once.
Ruth Gilbey 04:59
So why did we make it so difficult? Why we did do it that way? I said it's something I questioned all the time. But sometimes the simplest thing is of value to someone else, isn't it? Or it can just work in your business? Why do you think we make it so difficult for ourselves?
Michelle Vroom 05:13
I think that women really resist it. Because we've been programmed to believe that business needs to be hard. And that, you know, your, I actually think that we find value in things being hard, because if we're working hard, then we must be more valuable, right. And so I think that's what keeps a lot of women, you know, making things harder for themselves and feeling like, well, it can't be that easy. It can't be that simple. That must mean that I'm missing something. And I think that's years of like, you know, if you've come from the corporate world, years of like corporate programming, you know, being put into your brain. And so I see it all the time with my clients that they, you know, they say they want simplicity. And then as soon as they get it, their brain freaks out. And it's like, Ah, it's too simple, right? Like, I'm missing something, I'm not gonna be able to, you know, meet my goals if it's this simple. And so I think a lot of it is tied back to that.
Ruth Gilbey 06:03
It's so interesting that we're talking about this today, Michelle, because it's been a topic that I've been talking about with some of my clients, how do you see it show up? When do we start, we start self-sabotaging, don't where we make it difficult for ourselves. Our brains are wired to think this is too easy. And we make ourselves busy again, how else do you see it show up?
Michelle Vroom 06:22
Yeah. So what's funny is when people start working with me, like the reason they say they want to work with me is because of that simplicity, right? It's because we focus on one simple strategy to get them to be in control of getting clients and making 10k a month in their business. And then as soon as they get in there and start doing it, what I noticed is they pull back, they don't take as much action, they're not putting themselves out there and talking about what they do, because it feels too simple, or because they feel like I have to go back and do more research, right? Like I have to go back and learn more because I'm not doing something right. I think we're also very much wired to expect instant gratification and instant results. We live in a world where that is praised. And it almost feels like well, if I'm not having that my business, something's wrong. And so I think that also leads us to overcomplicate right and not just let things be simple.
Ruth Gilbey 07:12
Yeah, so I see.
Michelle Vroom 07:14
It shows up as people taking less action, analyzing more, doing more research, going back to the drawing board, and delaying essentially the action that's going to bring them the very thing they want, which is kind of ironic that we do that. But our brains are silly.
Ruth Gilbey 07:27
What advice have you got for women like the first step to kind of undoing that pattern?
Michelle Vroom 07:31
Yeah. I think the first step is looking at why you want things to be hard. And you might like your listeners, or might be like, Well, no, I don't want it to be hard. That's the first kind of gut reaction. But why are you going back to things being hard? Like why are you complicating things? Do you feel more valuable when you're solving problems, like what's coming up there? So I think looking at why we're doing it, and what the benefit is of things being hard. That's the first place because if you don't understand that, it's going to be really, really difficult to have the awareness to make a change. Now, I think as soon as you have the awareness of why you're doing it, right, like, for example, if it's "Well, I do feel more valuable when I'm fixing problems. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have any problems to solve," Right? Then it's looking at, okay, how do you find more value right now in your business without having to fix any problems? Like if you're craving value, and that's why you're creating problems. That's why you're making things harder than they have to be, then how can you find value in other ways? Right, like, it's not necessarily, you know, stopping the thing. It's like redirecting the thing that you want. And the reason why you're doing it in the first place, seeking that out and other more healthy ways for your business
Ruth Gilbey 07:31
You're really passionate about helping women feel more empowered to get clients...
Michelle Vroom 07:32
I am. That's the first step toward being a provider, right? Like I recently had a team retreat where I flew my team out. And we talked about kind of what our million dollar vision is for my company. And our million-dollar vision is that we want to help women become providers in business and life, we want to help them step into that role. And providing looks different, right for everybody. You know, for me, my big defining moment was when my husband got laid off due to COVID. I was eight months pregnant with our third child, and he was laid off for six months, my business carried us through the entire thing like we didn't have to make any changes. We didn't have to make any sacrifices. When he came home and told me that he had been laid off, I had zero like issues. I was like, I'm not even afraid because I know that my business is going to support us. That was like my defining like, like a boss moment. And that's a moment when I truly felt like a provider. And I want that for other women like that excites me, that gets me kind of emotional thinking about it. Because what I hear from my clients and other women in my community is that they don't feel like a provider, right? Like they want to be many of them want to retire their spouse because their spouse hates their job hates his job. You know, many of them want to send their kids to certain schools where they want to be able to take a vacation or save for the dream home, but they don't feel like they're in control. And so therefore that dream or that goal feels out of reach and I want that to be within reach to them. for that, because I've achieved things in my business that I never would have dreamt I'd be able to achieve. And so to me, it's like such a bigger conversation. My people don't necessarily want the fancy, you know, purses or fancy dresses, not that there's anything wrong with that. They want to be comfortable like they want to live comfortably and allow their family to live comfortably. And I think there's just something really powerful about that.
Ruth Gilbey 10:21
So for my listeners that are listening to this, and I'm sure they're fully listening and like really inspired by your story, what are the first steps to you know, simplifying getting clients do you think?
Michelle Vroom 10:32
I like to talk about the power of one and again, we resist this because we don't think it gets to be that easy. But the power of having one offer one ideal client one message, one strategy, one platform, we are just in a world where people are like shoving more and more and more down everyone's throats, right, like more stuff, more offers. Like I feel like there are so many coaches out there right now that are just like us and came up with a new offer. Here we go. Like they're creating so much stuff, my business is actually extremely simple. I have one main offer. I support my clients with one on one coaching. But then I have my group coaching, which is my main offer, I do have another offer that I'm gonna be introducing to the market as sort of an extension to what I do now. But that's not coming till later this year. Like I literally am making multiple six figures with truly just one offer. And I say that because I think so many people are complicating things by feeling like they have to create all of this stuff. And therefore they're not giving themselves a chance to like let any one thing work because they're constantly jumping from offer to offer or strategy to strategy. And it gives you a false sense of security, right? It's like a false sense of productivity by I'm now making progress, because I just jumped to this new strategy. What people don't realize is it's taking up their time and their energy. And that's why you're seeing people burn out. That's why you're seeing people shut down their businesses right now. There are a lot of people online that are shutting down their businesses I've seen multiple announcements from people in the last couple of months. This is why! This is why, because they have a business that they don't love because they've overcomplicated it. So I think the first step is looking at like where am I overcomplicating things and how can I embrace this concept of the power of one starting with one offer. And here's the thing, I think people also create a lot of offers because they want security, it doesn't feel like I can make money off of this one offer. They don't fully trust it. So they're trying to keep all their options open. They've got a plan B, a Plan C, A Plan D A Plan E, right? Well, that's why the main offer the plan a isn't working is because you have all of these other backup plans, you haven't truly trusted that this one offer has the capacity to make you money and you're not truly trusting yourself that you have the ability to make it work until it works like I'm going to make it work until it works is probably the single thought that has led to me making multiple six figures with three kids at home. I kid you not like it's not because I'm a magical unicorn. It's not because I have a secret code. Nobody's looking for a secret code or secret formula. Guess what? That secret code the secret formula? It's within you. It's you. You are the code you are the formula.
Ruth Gilbey 11:13
I love that.
Michelle Vroom 11:19
I would start there.
Ruth Gilbey 11:43
I think you're so right because you've got to build a brand around your offers as well. People just get confused. Don't there's just loads of different options, different names. It does, obviously, it does work for some people. But often those people are kind of further along as well, I think. They can. They've got the room to do that. But yeah, I love that. And you also said one strategy, and this is what I see a lot of people getting very overwhelmed with, and a lot of the women that I work with getting overwhelmed with they just spread themselves over too many different platforms and strategies. What's your advice with the one strategy?
Michelle Vroom 13:35
Yeah, again, why are they doing it? They're doing it because they're scared that that one strategy won't work, they're not willing to try and maybe fail and pick themselves back up and try again like they're just not willing to put in that time. And those resources because they think that they're going to miss out on something. And what I really want to challenge your listeners to consider is what are you missing out on by not going with one strategy? Like what are you missing out on every time you jump strategies? Because there's a cost to that. And I think it's really important to look at that cost? And are you willing to take on that cost? In terms of one strategy. I mean, what we work with our clients on is really looking at how you can create a community of your own online, that's gonna bring you, clients, right, because then you're fully in charge. And so what we do is we help our clients create destination events. These are free live events that happen exclusively inside of a Facebook group. And so they use these events to achieve three objectives. Number one, grow that community by promoting something that's valuable, that's a topic that their people care about, right number two presells so those events allow them to pre-sell their services. So build relationships with people establish demand and position themselves as an authority before they ever even talk about their offer or book a sales call. That's a step that a lot of people are skipping. They're going right from like I'm going to grow or connect with people and go straight into the sale because that's how I can be more in control when in reality control also comes from building relationships and taking the time to tell people like why you're the solution to their problem, right. And to do that, before you even, you know, promote a certain offer promote a sales call. So that's the second piece. And then the destination event also gives them a pool of people that they can sell to, right, who just spent a certain amount of time with them who have gotten some kind of value and win from seeing you know, their topic and how they convey it and how they talk about it. And so the destination event is like one single strategy that hits on all of those three things, I call it, the GPS method right got to grow, you've got to pre-sell, and you've got to sell and the destination event does all of those at once. And that's what puts people in control, right every time you host this event, you're bringing new faces in, you're connecting with new people, right? We always need to grow right? Otherwise, at some point, your audience is going to be tapped out. You're building relationships and deepening relationships with people, right? I've had people attend multiple destination events, the same one over and over, and then decide to buy right on the third time, let's say so you're always building that relationship. And then you are always selling and talking about your offer to the people who are ready who are warmed up. And that's how you always have people to sell to, then you also always have a pool of people who maybe aren't ready yet, but will become ready. And that's how you never run out of clients. And I think that it's such a beautiful system. It's such a simple system. But that's why a lot of people resist is because it's simple. Yeah. Simple doesn't always mean easy, though, right? Because your brains gonna tell you all the reasons why it can't work and won't work and to be totally transparent with you, Ruth, like I have the Facebook group that I have, right and almost 7000 member group, I've made well over half a million dollars from my Facebook group, wow. Over the last four years, okay. The reason I've been able to do that, though, is because I did embrace the power of one, when I started my group, people were telling me you need to be doing this, you need to be doing more on Instagram. I mean, you have people talking about Tiktok now, right? And nothing wrong with those strategies, right? I'm not gonna say that you can't get clients from other platforms. But what I will say is that because I was willing to embrace the power of one because I was willing to build a community of people who want to hear from me and who potentially want to buy from me, that's why I'm in the position that I'm in right now. Right? That's why I have a multiple six-figure business. That's why I'm going after seven figures, I could not work for q2, I could not make a single sale, I'd be totally fine. And absolutely nothing would change my business, that's control. When you have that control, you have freedom and security, which is what we all want. That's why we started our businesses in the first place. It's just I think we lose sight of that goal. And that dream when we get into the like, you know, challenges day-to-day challenges of running a business and serving clients.
Ruth Gilbey 17:23
So what would you say to someone who's listening who might be thinking, Yeah, but you know, aren't there loads of Facebook groups out there? Do they still work? What would you say to listeners thinking that?
Michelle Vroom 17:32
Yeah, I mean, I think that you're placing too much power or giving too much power to a certain platform, like, again, where's the secret formula, right? Like, it's not in the Facebook group itself, like having a group it's in you and your ability to build relationships with people like that's what a Facebook group cultivates, right? That's the environment that it cultivates. And so I think the fact that there are a lot of groups out there shows that there's always a market for it. People always want community, even if Facebook like went away tomorrow, which I very much doubt will be the case. I think Facebook is totally here to stay. I mean, people go on Facebook to complain about Facebook all the time, right. But just the reach alone, I mean, 1.8 billion people participating groups in some form, like you can't get that anywhere else, right. And so I think, you know, there will always be a need for a Facebook, there will always be a need for people to be in community with one another, a lot of platforms like Tiktok, like Instagram, you know, they're great for a one-way conversation. They're great for talking at your audience, but not necessarily talking with and I don't care what passing fad comes along with it when it comes to marketing relationships, and the power of relationships will never die. And that's why I think groups are actually one of the most secure strategies that you can use to put yourself in control of making money in your business.
Ruth Gilbey 18:43
I love to hear this because when I first started my Facebook group, it was really engaged, I was showing up regularly. And I think I didn't embrace the power of one, I think I stretched myself far too much. But initially, I was getting, that I only had about 200 people in there. But I did my first launch, it was one of my best launches, and got some good clients. And I think I just stretched myself a bit too far with the group and then neglected it. So I like to hear that they still work because and I like to hear you know, a different story about Facebook groups just because mine isn't working now. And it's it may be needing brute reinvigorating or a new strategy. I just like to hear that there's a different take.
Michelle Vroom 19:22
Yeah, I think we have to be really careful not to say, well, that strategy doesn't work.
Ruth Gilbey 19:27
Michelle Vroom 19:28
What makes a strategy work. It's us. It's not the strategy itself. And so it's easy to say, well, groups don't work if it's not working for you. Well, why is it not working for you? You have to look at your responsibility and role in that not you specifically through the list of jobs that you've already done some of that work, right. But like that's the thing because it's so easy to say, well, this, this won't work. And that's what's happening. That's why people jump in the first place versus one of every strategy has the capacity to work if I decide it's going to work, right like if I decide that it's possible to get clients for my group if I decide that I'm going to commit to a group like what would be, you know, the potential for that? I think that's really key here. I also think that again, like, if we're placing all of our emphasis on a platform like we're always going to be disappointed because here's the thing, the algorithm is real, right? I think people pay far too much attention to it than they should. But the algorithm is real. Like we've noticed ebbs and flows and engagement, there were things that we used to post or do, you know, years ago that got tons of engagement or group that don't anymore, like we can always agree and expect that there's going to be changed on social, right, that the algorithm is going to change how you use the channels and the platforms are going to change and evolve. That's why having that trust inside of yourself, and the decision that I'm going to make it, you know, work until it works. That's why that's so important. Because that allows you to weather the changes without getting too worked up or saying that this strategy no longer works, you just have to approach your group differently. Like we have to approach how we put out content differently challenges you to think of new ways of reaching people, right, and come up with creative ideas. And that's something that we love to pass along to our clients as well because we're always testing we're always refining. And so yeah, like we've noticed dips in engagement, we've noticed, you know, the longer we've had our group engagement has dropped, which is actually very normal because you have people who've been in there for years who maybe just aren't interested anymore, then you always have fresh faces coming in too. And so you have to have the right expectations. I think you have to have the commitment and make a decision that this is what I'm going to do, right? I mean, simplicity starts with a decision, a decision to let it be simple, even though that's going to be the most challenging part about it.
Ruth Gilbey 21:32
I love that. I 100% agree, I think I've seen people jump from this is the latest thing, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that. I think any strategy can work. If you that, as you say you're the deciding factor if it works or not the commitment, the effort that you put into it. Absolutely. Thank you so much for your time. Michelle, just a couple of last questions for you. For my listeners. What's your best advice for a woman who's starting a business for the first time? What advice do you wish you'd been given? When you first started your business?
Michelle Vroom 22:04
I think the advice I wish I had been given is definitely like letting allowing it to be simple and starting simple and small, getting help asking for help. As women, we're not very good at doing that we're not very comfortable doing that I would have hired my coach and invested in getting support a lot sooner, I also would have liked someone to really, this is probably the biggest one, really counseled me on prioritizing money-making activities versus activities that don't make you money. Like I remember spending probably a good week getting client management systems set up behind the scenes before I was even like fully booked like I had a handful of clients. And I'm like, there was no I didn't need a client management system, I needed to get more clients. And so I think had I focused and prioritized some of those activities a lot sooner, I think that I would have grown maybe a little bit faster, and probably saved myself some of the headaches that I had. So you know, it's a lesson that you have to go through and learn to some extent, but I probably would have liked to have gone through it a little quicker. And really, really prioritize the things that you need to do now because everybody's talking about like ease, you need this, you need that it can be very overwhelming, right? It's almost like I feel like I need everything. What do you do if you feel like you need everything? But what people aren't saying is that there are different phases and seasons to business. Just like there are different seasons to life. And you don't need everything for your business in one season. Like when you are first starting out, usually to get out and talk to people get out and talk to people, your community in your network is bigger than you realize, like get those referrals in and then worry about the fancy tools, right? Like you don't need it all right now. And I am living proof of that even after starting my Facebook group four years ago like I didn't have a content plan. Like I didn't have any plan for the group I just started right and kind of learned along the way. And so not saying don't plan but I think that we over plan to try to protect ourselves and delay taking action because we're scared. And then I also think that's why we rely on a lot of like, behind the scenes stuff and trying to like you know, create graphics and get your website perfect. When really, in the beginning, you just need to get out there and talk to people because relationships are what's going to lead to clients.
Ruth Gilbey 24:03
Absolutely. And I think it motivates you when you actually start working with your clients. Gives you that, doesn't it?
Michelle Vroom 24:10
I get some quick wins in the beginning right to like, get your momentum going.
Ruth Gilbey 24:14
Yeah, I love that. So how can people find out more about you, Michelle?
Michelle Vroom 24:18
Yes, I would love for them to join me over inside of my Facebook group market like a boss. Like I mentioned, we have almost 7000 We're like coming up on 7000 women, which is really exciting inside of that group. We are very intentional about the community that we've cultivated, you're not going to find like spammy messages inside of that group. You're going to find real human beings just like you who are talking about business who are talking about life who are sharing the challenges that they're going through who are sharing tips from their expertise. I mean, there are so many amazing women in that community. And so if this conversation has resonated with you and you are someone who wants to be in control of getting clients, that group is the best place to go, and I can recommend when you join I can recommend some resources for you that will be helpful to give you a starting point.
Ruth Gilbey 25:00
Amazing. Thank you so much, Michelle. It was great to have you on the show.
Thank you for having me.
Ruth Gilbey 25:07
Thanks for listening and subscribing to the inspiring women in business podcast. Please do take a few moments to leave me a review. I love getting reviews they absolutely make my day. Also, go and check out my business-building hub. In there you're going to find lots of great resources free resources for business owners who are launching, running, or growing their businesses and I have a brand new masterclass for you is called the sold-out solution and in that, I share my exact roadmap to help you get your first online clients in 30 days. And guess what? It's only a 29-minute masterclass as well. So, and I get straight into the value. Lots and lots of great advice for you in there. And also, for those of you who watch the masterclass a freebie for you within the masterclass as well go and check it out.