In this episode of Straight Talk About Sales I am joined by Katie Craig, a highly experienced graphic/web designer, entrepreneur, and coach. She founded Momentum Concepts in 2006, a marketing company that specializes in helping small business owners combine creativity, mindset, and strategy to achieve their goals. Her clients value her as a “technology healer” who expertly guides them through the ever-changing facets of digital integrations.
Here’s the transcript:
It’s. Welcome. I’m super excited to have Katie Craig with me today. Hi, Katie. Hi, Nadia.
Good to see you. I love spending time with you. I know. And she’s been working to influence me to move to Charlotte, North Carolina. So if you ever hear that I finally moved, Katie’s responsible for that first.
Friend, and I’ll introduce you to all kinds of amazing people. I’m looking forward to it. So let’s dive right in. Katie, how did you get started in the work that you do? I started by accident, so I was working in graphic design, and I liked it, but I knew I just felt this inner knowing that there was something more for me, which is kind of a theme throughout my entire entrepreneurial journey.
And I ended up sort of stumbling into a class that was required for me by my job at the time with a coach. And I was like, oh, I really like what she’s doing. How did she get to do that? And when I started exploring that more, I was also simultaneously exploring what else I was passionate about. So I thought I was going to switch directly into coaching and leave design behind altogether.
And then the two just kind of naturally emerged. I didn’t really mean to, is the joke that I didn’t mean to start a business. I went to the coaching school, got my certifications, loved every bit of that, and thought, well, maybe I’ll just start a little side gig and see how it goes. And then that grew. And then my two talents between design and coaching merged together.
And I was doing traditional healthcare marketing at the time and decided that wasn’t my passion, and that might be why I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should have been. So I only made a subtle shift, really, when you look at it, but it felt huge at the time into working with holistic businesses, and that became my focus. And I started doing web and print design for them and then providing the coaching support on their marketing and how to get their word out there. And that fulfilled me so much because I believe so much in what they do. So getting out there and helping them get their word out bigger allowed me to then inspire the world more through them, which makes me feel really good.
I love it. I love the work that you do. I’m excited. Thanks. I need to call Katie.
Focus, Nadia. Focus. Yeah, later. I’ll talk to you later. Sales and marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Yeah. I know you do a lot with the marketing and the design side, but can you share with us your current relationship with sales and how you feel about it? Yeah, absolutely. So it’s funny, just prior to hitting record, we had the quick talk about kids and how they change things. So my relationship to sales currently is a whole lot different than it was three years ago.
My daughter’s almost three. So my relationship to sales is what comes in is meant for me. In summary right now, there is intention behind the way I approach sales, but so much of it is trusting that what’s meant for me is coming in the door and will find me based on the things that I’m putting out there. Because the only thing I have energy right now to put out there is what I’m passionate about in the moment. Yeah.
So that attracts the clients to me. It’s important to say I have also spent almost two decades building a foundation of clients. True. So that wouldn’t necessarily be true for me, I think, if I was just starting out with a three year old. But as my parenting role is brand new to me, a lot of my energy focus is there, and my schedule shifts frequently because of that.
So I’m sort of rolling with the punches right now, all the time. Yeah. Right. So, yes, I have sales goals, but I’m also just in a period of time in life where it just requires flexibility. And so I’m not like striving to be the best of the best and make the most or anything.
At this point in this season of my life, I am rolling with the punches, doing what I can get done and trying really hard to create strong boundaries and bring in enough to support my family and yet not overwhelm and overstretch myself because that also doesn’t serve my clients. That is so good. Oh, my gosh. So good. And it’s seasonal.
That’s what I call it, the season. You kind of got to roll. I love it. Roll with the punches, as you said. Absolutely.
Like, four or five years ago, I was like, I’m like, I’m going to make six figures. I’m going for it. And that’s great. And those years set me up for great success again to keep momentum rolling after that. But right now I know you know how it goes.
You’ve got a family too. You do what you can do based on the season you’re in. Yeah, totally. I love it. So in your experience, and I’m really glad that you reminded us that you spent almost two decades building this business.
Like, she didn’t just start yesterday. Yeah. How do the things that you do in your work in terms of marketing lead, gen, client attraction, really impact the sales process? Because I find that a lot of times people may come to me and they’re like, I have an issue with sales, but when we really dig deeper, it’s a marketing like, the marketing on the front end definitely impacts it. But I want to hear from your perspective.
What are you seeing in your experience? Yeah, I think what you said earlier about sales and marketing going together, like, peanut butter and jelly is like, perfect because or peanut butter and chocolate in my case better. Yeah, give me anything like that. I think that lead gen is something that is so important for a business, and how you do it can vary based on your personality. I think that right now, the trend that I’m seeing and what I’m actually seeing a lot of with my niche, which is holistic businesses, they think in the beginning that lead gen has to be about social media.
And I’m like, Right. Exactly. So the very first thing I hear is, well, I need to get on social media to get the word out to do my lead gen. And then the very second thing I hear is, guess what? I hate social media.
I don’t like social media. You’re like, Why are we doing that? And I don’t have time to do it right. So when we talk about lead gen, I think I’m a little bit of an anomaly when I think about lead gen, because my response to lead gen is not what your typical business coach is going to say in terms of, like, get all the numbers. It’s about quantity over quality.
DA DA DA DA. All these things. Right. I kind of completely disagree. I do think that quantity is, like, over there.
Quantity can help. Okay, let me start this where I’m about to go with that. But it’s not everything. You can spend a ton of time getting a lot of viewers, but if they aren’t qualified for you, then you’re spending a ton of time spinning your wheels and wasting your time. So if you’re just popping social media out there and it’s not doing anything for you, or worse, if you’re paying somebody to do your social media and it’s not bringing in clients, stop.
It’s not your avenue, please. And this is actually something I’ve learned from my clients over the years. This is not something that I was taught. I have done so much study and learning just generally through the work I’ve done with my clients. I am all about attracting the right people.
And in order to do that and trust that your leads will come in the door when they’re meant for you, you have to have your audience defined. People hate niches. I understand you don’t want to be put in a box, but at least pick a niche for the next six months, please. Right. Like, get really focused for a little period of time on something very specific and sell that.
And then once you have that rolling, go to the next one. Your message goes hand in hand. Audience and messaging. Your message has to be really solid, and then you have to have easy offers that people can say yes to. That alone right there is going to create a lead structure that’s based on word of mouth, because people will know what you do and they’re going to ask you about it.
And then adding on to that, I think making sure that you have a referral network of people who know you understand what you do. So again, your foundational pieces have to be there. Have to be there. So when people know what you do, they know who you are, they know who you specialize in, they’re automatically, when they meet those people, going to go, you got to go talk to Nadia. So when I think about lead gen and sales, I do think that they go hand in hand.
I do think your marketing goes hand in hand with it. But if you’re not real clear on who your customer is and what they need, and you’re not real clear on your messaging, anything that you put out there to attract customers in, no matter what you’re doing for lead gen, because that’s a big there are a lot of things you can do for it. Yes. It’s going to be like teflon. It’s just going to fall away because it’s just going to slide off.
People aren’t going to remember it. They’re not going to grasp onto it. We get too many messages these days from all different avenues. So you have to figure out the way to stand out by directly speaking to your clients. Oh, my gosh, mic drop.
I love it. I totally agree. And I can just tell you, in my work, I hear it all the time and we still do some event sales support. So we have a lot of conversations with people and I cannot tell you, Katie, the number of times people are like, I’m doing all these things with social media. I hate social media.
And I’m like, why are we doing things with social media? Why?
Social media has become synonymous with marketing. And you know what? It’s a great visibility tool and some people can leverage it really well. But you have to have the right personality and you also have to have the technical know-how to really make social media work for you. Totally.
Oh, my goodness. I love that. So speaking of audience and messaging, one of the things that I’m seeing and experiencing, so this one is a little personal, is what advice do you have, especially for more established businesses? When we wake up one day and we shift our audience or we’re deciding to work with a different audience or roll out a different type of offer, how do we do that in a way that doesn’t completely disrupt the business? How do we make that transition to still attract that right client?
All right, it’s a big question. So let me organize my thoughts here, because at the core, let’s talk about the core of your business. So no matter what niche you’re serving, the core of your business, the business foundation is likely going to remain the same. True. So if you were to strip away what you were doing and look at how you want to do it, you are probably serving people in the same way, even if they’re different people this time around.
True, that makes sense. So the first thing is don’t panic.
Too late, Katie. We don’t like change. We don’t like change. It’s not fun for some people. Love change.
I am not one of those people. So when we shift, when we make a transition, the first thing I think is don’t panic. The second thing is root into what you know. So strip back to the bare basics of your business. What were you setting out to do in the first place?
How were you setting out to serve people? And what were your core fundamental values? Those three things are probably the same still. So you already have your foundation set, which is beautiful. Then it doesn’t have to be rip the Band Aid off, shock your audience.
I’m doing something brand new. Right. And this is what I keep seeing now, I think, especially after the last few years that we’ve all had, oh, gosh, people just want to burn it down and start over because what we used to do doesn’t really work anymore. Technology is going at light speed, and so we think, well, we have to just start it all over and reinvent. And it’s not really a reinvention, it’s really just a relearning.
And so if you were to think about and it could be as many phases as you want, but if you were to pause and think of like, three to five phases that you could educate your clients through to the new type of prospects that you were trying to attract. Don’t leave your existing clients in the dust. Help them make the transition if they still apply. And if they don’t, help them transition to somebody else. Love that.
And then as your marketing shifts again, fade it in right, like, a little bit at a time to shift and explain and educate how the business isn’t changing, it’s just the way you’re doing it is shifting. Love it. Yeah. It doesn’t have to be this big dramatic thing. I mean, you can do a big dramatic reveal if you want, but most of the time I’ve shifted I don’t even know how many times over the last two decades, but my core is always the same.
I’m always focused on helping my clients gain momentum, whatever area of life, business, career, whatever that’s in. I probably won’t, but I probably could do relationships someday if I wanted to. But it can be a new offer, it can be a whole new audience, but always go back to those foundations. Who’s your audience? What’s your message?
What’s your offer structure? Those are foundational basics that we have to, as business owners, revisit at least once a year. True. I love it. So I know we talked about we talked about shifting, we talked about client attraction, we talked about social media.
Let’s talk a little bit, if you will, about what are some of the options? I know we talked about it doesn’t have to be. And I feel like there are probably some of my listeners who are not big fans of social media because I hear a lot. What are some of the alternatives? Because to your point, social media has kind of become synonymous, especially for small businesses with marketing.
And then you’re like, I have a small business, I want to grow. I want to get the word out. Social media isn’t necessarily my jam. So what do I do? Because I feel like some people feel like they don’t have an alternative.
Yeah, I know it’s hard to know because social media can be the biggest direct connection to potential clients, but it’s also very noisy. It’s a very noisy space. So I think you have to look at what is your personality conducive to? Are you a vocal person? Do people need to hear your voice to be drawn into you?
Do people need to read? Are you a storyteller? Do they need to read what you have? I don’t have a direct answer for you, I guess, is what I’m trying to say. But I will give a couple of options.
So the first thing is learning how are you best able to communicate your message. So typically I see that fall into like, audio, video writing, one of those three. Usually then you want to look at the channel that can support that and then start to create a content calendar for those channels. I also always have my clients look at collaboration sources and referral sources. I love that.
So those two things right there, I mean, like attracts like, right? So you’re already surrounding yourself by people and business owners that you like, love, and would be honored to work with. So why are we not tapping into those more? Right, exactly. So when we can pull those pieces together and revisit that frequently and then add on the different channels of marketing that allow us to reach our customers.
And there’s so many ways that you can expand that. And yes, you can use social media to support it, but it doesn’t have to be the only channel. And also, I think it’s really important to remember, and I hope everybody listening knows this and has thought about this and hopefully has heard it somewhere, but it’s really important to remember that our social media channels are going to shift and change. Facebook has already shifted and changed. You know, they say TikTok may or may not be sticking around trying to do all this legislation around it.
Who knows what that’s going to do? Instagram is shifting and changing too. Definitely changing. Yeah. So I think we have to look at the fact that the followers that we work so hard to gather are meaningless if a channel goes away and we haven’t figured out a way to keep them on our list.
True. So true. Yeah. I think a part of this, and I love what you’re sharing, Katie, because I agree and I love it when you’re like, I’m going to go against what, conventional wisdom? Yes, please.
But I think a part of that and tell me if you agree or not, comes with trust. And I think sometimes when we’re in business, we don’t always trust ourselves to say, like you said, this is my personality. This is kind of how I would want to build it and seek support around that versus someone who said, I have to do it this way. That’s completely out of alignment with who I am. So how do we build more of this self trust in our marketing and even in our sales processes?
Oh, gosh, that is one of my favorite questions. It’s such a good question. I am such a believer in listening to your intuition.
I’m just going to give a couple of examples to kind of illustrate the idea of this, which is exactly what you’re talking about is learning how to trust yourself. When I come into my office in the morning and let’s say I’ve got, let’s just say four website projects open and I’ve got my coaching clients, right? So my coaching clients are pretty structured because they have set session times, but my creative projects are a little more open ended. There’s a lot that has to be done for them and I can schedule them. But if I wake up in the morning and I start working on a client’s project and nothing is working, or I open a client’s project and I’m staring at my screen and I am not feeling it, I have learned over the years, my intuition is very strongly sending these signals that it’s not the time to work on that client’s project.
And what often will happen for me is that the client will then reach out and say, hey, can you stop for a minute? Because I’m actually shifting gears. And so if I had taken that day to work on it, I would have wasted all of that time because they actually shifted gears and wanted to do something different or go in a different direction or change their color scheme or whatever it happened to be. Right? Right.
So that’s just an example. And then another example is if I’m on a client session with somebody, I will sometimes get a visual or I’ll be hearing, and I say hearing in air quotes, like a phrase repeatedly in my mind. And it’s usually in response to something that they have said. And so I really have to trust my intuition to pause and say, I just keep coming up with this idea or this thought or this process for you. Does this mean anything to you?
And can we use it? And usually it’s pretty spot on. Yeah. And also there are times when I will just be thinking of somebody that I had a connection with and they will come up in my mind over and over and over again and I don’t know why. And so I’ll just pop them an email or I’ll connect with them on social media or whatever it happens to be and just say, hey, you’ve been on my mind.
Is everything good? And usually at that point, they’ve actually also been thinking about contacting me for any number of reasons. So I think that listening to our intuition and our gut on how to run and grow our businesses is super important. And also listening to our gut and our intuition when we learn. Because as business owners, we’re always learning.
Let’s be honest ideas, and we’re always. Learning and it’s one of our downfalls because it takes up so much energy, but it’s also one of our greatest gifts, right? Yes. So as we are out there learning and growing, if you learn a way to market or to implement, that’s the thing that you have to do again, I’m using these air quotes. The thing that you have to do, do an intuition check.
Does this feel right for me? Does this feel right for my ideal audience? Because there is no one solution that works for everybody. And I think everybody’s looking for that golden goose, whatever those phrases. Yeah.
And they want something that’s going to work and fit for them and be the magic key. And there is no such thing. No such thing. You have to create it for yourself. You have to create your own process, what works for you.
So that, I think, takes intuition, takes trust of yourself to trust that the way that you prefer to communicate is the way that your audience will also likely prefer to receive your message. I love that. Thank you. Thank you, Katie. This has been so good.
Anything based on our conversation today that you feel we didn’t touch on or you want to expound on or add to, because I know we kind of bounced around a little bit, so I want to make sure that we covered everything.
The only final piece that would be a tip that would come to mind that I just see over and over again is don’t try to take on too much at once. Again, I think. Right? Don’t try to take on too much at once. And I am so guilty of this again.
Right. As business owners, we have so many ideas and we think we can implement them all tomorrow. I had some training along the way and I couldn’t even tell you where I learned it from, but I remember learning somewhere along the way that we can only really accomplish three tasks in a day. And I went, oh, I can. Way more than that.
I know. Like, excuse me, have you met me? Yeah.
Right. And I started looking at that and I realized, no, you know what? If I set three and they can be bigger things that are broken down into a lot of little tasks, but if I set three things a day to get accomplished that actually feels really good and creates some space. And I have learned over the years back to your question about trust. Trusting the process and the timing of how long something takes to get out there and how it is revealed to the world is really paramount to my satisfaction as a business owner.
True. So, yeah, I would just say just be cautious about how much you take on at any given time. You have an endless amount of time to grow. I think I probably needed that reminder today. I am super guilty on a lot of those things, taking on too much, trying to get things accomplished.
And I also think I really love when you talked about self trust because there are those times when I have the same thing. Like I may be working on a project or pulling together, like training or working on sequences or whatever. And I’ve had those moments where I’m like, this is not working, but I want to go by Nadia’s schedule. I allotted this time to work on this now. And my brain is like, no ma’am.
And then, like you said, someone will call or something will happen and it’s like, oh, and to build in more white space. I’m really in this season of Nadia, you don’t have to try to force yourself to be doing all of these things for 8 hours straight every day. Like, what is wrong with you? Stop it. But it has really been a huge process to be okay with creating the white space, creating time to just sit and think, but so many thoughts and ideas and things that I can then work out for myself and for the business, whereas if I’m always in go mode, would never happen.
And it’s like, oh, okay. That’s what that is. So, yeah, I completely, 100% agree. Oh my gosh. I have to say what you just said again, because you dropped this little nugget of wisdom in there that was so potent and you did it so fast.
When we take space, whether it’s meditation or journaling or just quiet time or going for a walk, it doesn’t matter what it is for you. When you take that space, that’s when the seeds of inspiration drop in. Or the answer sometimes to the problem that you are having when you are sitting in front of your computer going, oh, I don’t know how to do this thing. That’s when the inspiration comes in. And if you don’t make space for that, then you will miss it totally.
You are the smartest. That was so perfect. I was like, Wait, we have to say that again. Thank you. That’s why I get excited.
I do the same. That’s why you and I can talk for hours.
Well, Katie, this is so amazing. I’m going to go back and listen to this myself so I can write and take more notes. But I know you have an amazing gift for us. And then also, I want you to share how our listeners can connect with you. Yeah.
So you can connect with me on Instagram at Momentum Coach. You can also connect with me on Facebook. And I’m looking. I believe it’s daily Momentum on Facebook. You can find me on Dailymomentum.com.
And I do have a gift. So on Dailymomentum.com, if you go under my free resources section, I’ve got a lead magnet. It’s all about leads. It’s really less lead magnet. It’s more about what are the common things that we forget to do to become a magnet for leads.
That sounds juicy. I think I’ll grab that myself. It’s good. It’s a ten day challenge. They’re quick little snippets.
It’s just things that I often see entrepreneurs forgetting. Oh, I love it. And we’ll make sure all of that information is in the show notes. Thank you so much, Katie. This is thank you so delightful.
And we’ll have to bring you back, and we can just dive deeper into this social media craziness. I could talk on hours for it. We can do a whole separate show on just that. Yes, we could. Thank you for the opportunity to be here.
I love our conversations, always. I love how much we laugh, and we have so much in common with our entrepreneurial journeys. And just always a pleasure to talk to you. Likewise. Well, thank you all for tuning into another episode of Straight Talk About Sales.
We’ll see you again soon.