Our guest today on the show is Michelle Sara. Michelle Sara is an internationally known coach copywriter, funnel and email marketing specialist with $1,151,962 in sales in 2020 alone.
She’s helped over 900 people from all over the world productize their knowledge, expertise, and wisdom. A recent masterclass attendee said, “Michelle is the most unassuming powerhouse of marketing knowledge I’ve come across, there’s a magic she weaves that makes your program product or service sell itself and I am in awe”.
With a quiet presence behind five well known multimillion dollar online coaching, marketing and speaking training companies. Michelle’s best kept secret for turning what you do into something highly sellable.
She hides out in quiet Valley in the Appalachian mountains where she grows food, tea and ideas that build businesses.
- How to get out of your head
- Simplify: Overwhelm distances people, simplicity bonds
- The myth of giving tons and tons of content and more work for yourself
- Importance of meeting your clients where they are, not you are
- The 10 Thoughts Method
- What the client thinks their customers’ problem is, may not be the actual problem
- The logical reason and the emotional reason
- Learning to write from radically different perspectives & know what makes people tick
- Nobody’s buying? It’s probably not the product, it’s probably the positioning
- Why empathy is key to good copywriting
- The benefits of intuition and instinct
- Meditation to put you in a state for creating and focused on a direction
- How to choose what to productize from all of your knowledge
- Your internal world filters your external world
- Meaningful and measurable goals; purpose meets structure
- An introvert recharging in nature
Al McBride 0:16
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge in business leaders with skin in the game, who want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value, and increase profitability, revealing gems and resources from experts across the business spectrum.
Al McBride 0:36
If you want more info on our different episode types, check out episode zero. The format for this episode is lungo long form interview. Here we take a little time to go deeper in depth to discover greater insight the approaches, models, methods, and thinking of experts in their field in order to help us sharpen our edge.
Al McBride 0:58
I’m your host, Al McBride. Our guest today on the show is Michelle Sara. Michelle Sara is an internationally known coach copywriter, funnel and email marketing specialist with $1,151,962 in sales in 2020 alone.
Al McBride 1:21
She’s helped over 900 people from all over the world productize their knowledge, expertise, and wisdom. A recent masterclass attendee said, Michelle is the most unassuming powerhouse of marketing knowledge I’ve come across, there’s a magic she weaves that makes your program product or service sell itself. And I am in awe.
Al McBride 1:47
With a quiet presence behind five well known multimillion dollar online coaching, marketing and speaking training companies. Michelle’s best kept secret for turning what you do into something highly sellable.
Al McBride 2:04
She hides out in quiet Valley in the Appalachian mountains where she grows food, tea and ideas that build businesses, you can learn how to productize your knowledge and expertise from Michelle at Michelle sarah.com/productize. And that’s S E R A. And you can also reach out and connect to her on LinkedIn.
Al McBride 2:26
Of course, we’ll put all of that information into the show notes so that you can find details on how to get Michelle there. Welcome, Michelle. Wow, I’m exhausted. You really do have a remarkable wealth and breath of expertise. And I have the feeling, though, that that intro is just the tip of the iceberg. So I’m very, very grateful to have you on the show today. Thank you for joining me.
Michelle Sera 2:54
Yeah, thank you for having me.
Al McBride 2:56
Excellent stuff, I have to ask, what do you love about your work? Because it seems that you have so much expertise there and people are getting so much value out of it? What where’s the value for you and the work that you do?
Michelle Sera 3:09
The thing that I love most is really being able to help someone take what they know, and turn it into something highly sellable. And in that might be helping them to change the way they talk about what they do. Right?
Michelle Sera 3:26
Turning into something that’s more compelling. And simplifying it in a manner that makes it more attractive. So that’s the brainstorming the strategy, the writing, in just the transformation is probably what I love the most.
Al McBride 3:42
Absolutely, because you know copywriting is one of those things that I think people a lot of business owners struggle with most, because they have the whole story in their head, they could probably talk about it for 10, 20 minutes, easily, maybe hours. What it’s actually saying it in one sentence one that lesson is always difficult, right?
Michelle Sera 4:01
It’s very true and as a copywriter and as a creative writer as well, it’s one of the hard lessons I’ve had to learn which is, you know, don’t be so wordy. Say it short and sweet. Be compelling, right? And many times it’s also get out of your head. Right?
Al McBride 4:20
Okay, tell me more about getting out of your head because, you know, it sounds great. How does one start to do that?
Michelle Sera 4:27
Right? I meditate a lot for that very reason. In in getting out of your head, we tend to overthink things, especially in a manner of our own stuff and what we do like I’m, you know, I’m the worst copywriter for myself, right?
Michelle Sera 4:45
But you have to really stop overthinking it and simplify I mean, that’s the that’s the one word I would give you about everything and the importance of what it productizing what you know writing about what you know, creating email campaigns, so Simplify, right? Because as I will always say, overwhelm, distances people and simplicity bonds. So simplify, alright, get out of your head.
Al McBride 5:12
And you’re reminded me of the Picasso’s principles, you know, Pablo Picasso, he could paint in this traditional way with all the detail at 15 or 16 years old. And his thing was, how do you draw a bull or a horse in one line?
Michelle Sera 5:29
Al McBride 5:30
So as he said, the complexity thing is surprisingly easier than the simplification. So as he said, it’s it’s getting that clarity that connects immediately to people with simplicity, a very, very interesting message.
Al McBride 5:45
What, what are some of the most common myths when it comes to and we’ll stay maybe on copywriting for a minute? What are some of the most common myths or misunderstandings that that may be business owners have when they approach you or other other colleagues in your field,
Michelle Sera 6:00
I’m sure it’s going to be along the same lines, as what we just discussed is that that complexity is required in order to sell or that if I’m productizing, something I know or my expertise, that I have to, I have to give tons of content, and I have to make it super complex in order for people to want to buy it.
Michelle Sera 6:22
It’s the exact opposite. It’s like what I said, you know, simplicity bonds. So when we can make something super simple, and super easy for someone to see a potential client to see how they’re going to get to the outcome they desire. That’s the key. And but the myth is that I have to give tons and tons and tons of content and more and more of myself in order for this to work. And that’s a big myth.
Al McBride 6:47
Okay? And how I mean, is it how do you approach discovering all that information about your client to then be able to drill down where as you said, when you’re in the in the it’s hard to see the wood from the trees, as you mentioned, with your own copy? So how do you approach that with clients? Is there a certain formula users or a step by step approach? Or
Michelle Sera 7:13
There is a process? Yeah, so one of the things that I will do always remind myself or anyone for that matter, that you must meet your clients where they are, that’s to say, you may know what the problem is that they’re struggling with, or what the real issue is, right.
Michelle Sera 7:29
But it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s what they believe the issue to be, and you have to meet them wherever they believe, whatever they believe the issue to be, you have to meet them there. So sometimes I will use what I call the 10 thoughts method.
Michelle Sera 7:42
I will brainstorm I shouldn’t say sometimes it’s really all the time. But I will brainstorm on what are the thoughts that I think are going through their head? And when I say thought, I literally mean like, Do I want chocolate? Or do I need to eat a salad? You know, I want those really super simplistic thoughts.
Michelle Sera 8:00
So when it comes to their problem, or whatever it is they’re struggling with, you’d be surprised it again, it’s not as complex as you think, and what they believe the problem to be may not be what the actual problem is, but it doesn’t matter at this point, because we have to meet them right there where they think the problem or where they what they think the problem is.
Al McBride 8:20
Okay, and do you find that you usually need to do discovery with the client? Or is it more, as I said, just helping them discover themselves where they actually need to be? Because often, you know, what a business owner thinks their clients, dealing with the customers problem down the line is, isn’t necessarily what the customers problem actually is.
Michelle Sera 8:48
And it’s important to know, it’s not to dismiss what the business owner thinks that their clients problem is, because that plays a part along the line right in the journey. But where we start is, as I said, what the customer believes the issue to be.
Michelle Sera 9:03
And Matter of fact, I just had a conversation this morning with clients that I went through this exact process with. And so I’ll ask a series of questions. I’ll say, you know, why does your client want this specific outcome?
Michelle Sera 9:15
And they’ll tell me and I’ll say, Okay, well, that might be that’s the logical reason to what’s the emotional reason? Let’s dig into that. How is that? how’s that gonna make their day to day life different? How’s that going to change today, right now? And so I’ll walk them through this kind of brainstorming process and dig out the real reasons, right?
Michelle Sera 9:34
And that’s where we’re able to get to those thoughts, and then we can begin to write speaking directly to those thoughts. So that Think about it. Like if you’re reading something and you see something that mirrors the same exact thought you had today, it’s gonna catch your attention, right?
Al McBride 9:51
Michelle Sera 9:52
what we’re after. That’s what we’re after.
Al McBride 9:54
As I’ve heard recently, what’s the phrase great marketing is Offering someone something that they know they want right now. Amazingly, it sounds amazingly easy. But as you say, it’s tapping into that understanding of where the where the customer is, and then how you can fit into that. Yeah,
Michelle Sera 10:15
yeah. And someone gave me a great example of this recently and said, You know, they were working with a client who was wanting to help nurses eat better. So they could be good examples for their patients.
Michelle Sera 10:28
But the nurses really had no desire to be good examples for their patients, right? what they needed was time management, they needed to better manage their time so that they weren’t so stressed out all the time. Of course, now the eating better part can come into that. So what you’re going to lead with, right?
Al McBride 10:45
Right. So it’s, it’s the classic, gives them what they asked for, and then you can integrate what you need, from experience that will get them to where they want to go.
Michelle Sera 10:55
Al McBride 10:56
Yes, exactly. You mentioned a moment ago about the importance of moving clients from the head or the intellect, you know, the thinking reasons, to connecting more into maybe their own emotional state and awareness, but more specific to their to their customer clients, emotional states. Can you talk to us a little bit more about that?
Michelle Sera 11:19
Sure. So in copywriting, anytime that we want to persuade someone to a specific decision, we have to address both the logical and the emotional, because we’re always going to make decisions, especially decisions to buy based on how we feel in the moment.
Michelle Sera 11:37
We need logic to back up our emotions, right? Because we’re going to always second guess and say, I don’t know, you know, that sounds really good. But would it be smart? And so we need logic to back up. And that’s why I address both. Because without, with only one of those, it’s, it’s it’s not effective. And truly, emotions are what motivates everything that we do. Right. So we have to address both
Al McBride 12:05
very much, very much. I mean, the emotions are everything. I heard a story there recently, actually, where a chap in LA had a head injury, this was about 15 years ago, but I heard the story just last week, where there was a tiny severing of just one part of his brain.
Al McBride 12:21
So when he very small minor piece of brain damage, unfortunately, it was what connected the emotional center to the decision making logical center. So before he made hundreds of decisions a day, he was a multi millionaire trader or something like this. But with that one little injury, he could both think logically and feel emotions, but the two wouldn’t Connect.
Al McBride 12:44
It was extremely messy to make decisions, just like, you know, blue pen or red pen tea or coffee, took him hours, suddenly created, indecisive in decisiveness on everything I imagined. Absolutely. Because as you say, there’s there there two parts of the same coin, you know, you need to think the liar, but then you need the emotional state to what’s the word to drive the preference, rather than just thing? Exactly.
Michelle Sera 13:10
Al McBride 13:11
Very, very good stuff. Can you tell me Just going back to your own development as a copywriter, and all the things we talked about, particularly using email, and as an expert in productizing, people’s services. What were what were some of those big learning lessons as through your career, particularly interested in some of your most helpful or instructive failures or setbacks?
Michelle Sera 13:40
Ooh, yeah. Yeah, I’ve had I’ve had my fair share of those. One of the biggest ones was failing in information and network or, or cyber in network security failing out of those classes. If I hadn’t done it, well, let’s say if I had succeeded at it, it would have made it so much easier for the natural hermit and introvert in me to come fully alive, right.
Michelle Sera 14:09
I would never have gone into marketing into the depth that I have, I never would have become a copywriter. And I never would have learned to hone my intuition, which, in fact, has is what has helped make the millions, right.
Michelle Sera 14:26
So that’s one big failure. And I can remember at the time just being incredibly disappointed in myself, but I couldn’t believe you’re here I am. Fairly intellectual person, I can do this. Right. And I could not get through that. And I failed out of it. And but had I not, I wouldn’t be here where I am today, for sure.
Al McBride 14:45
Very interesting. So yeah, it’s amazing how some of those things that seem like setbacks or big disappointments of the time, you know, in retrospect be exactly what you need.
Michelle Sera 14:56
Al McBride 14:57
Can you think of any other example In actually the copywriting sphere or productizing?
Michelle Sera 15:03
Yeah, you know, I mean, I’ll give you like one of the things that propelled me in that direction early on, like after that, you know, realizing that I was not going to be in cyber and network security was winning a Twitter contest writing tweets for a contest to see who could write the most compelling tweets, right, and get in get the responses.
Michelle Sera 15:24
It was just a random thing that I did it was for a very well known entrepreneur at the time, and that I had just come across the contest. And I was like, Sure, I’ll, I’ll do that, you know, and I won that contest. And, and that was kind of in that light bulb moment that shifted me in the direction of writing for the sake of, you know, convincing.
Michelle Sera 15:47
In that process, though, as I shared earlier, I’ve had to learn to not be so wordy at times, right. I’ve had to learn to not write based on how I feel, but how others feel. And I’ve had to learn to write in many different voices, people all over the world, men, women, you know, it’s, I’ve, it’s been such a huge learning experience for myself.
Michelle Sera 16:16
But it’s also given me just this vast perspective in the business world, in terms of what makes people tick. And I think, in not giving up, certainly, because you, you know, not every copywriting experience has been a huge success, despite the numbers, right? There certainly have been those that just flopped.
Michelle Sera 16:40
It’s just not giving up. Because I have people come to me all the time that will say, you know, I have this funnel running, and it’s just not working, nobody’s buying, I’m just gonna have to start over, I’m gonna throw it all away. And I’ll say, no, hold up.
Michelle Sera 16:54
Don’t don’t, because it’s not the thing that isn’t selling. It’s how you’re positioning it. It’s how you’re talking about it. Right? You haven’t tapped into the reason people want it well enough, yet, don’t give up on it. And so that’s probably, you know, as I said, that’s one of the things that I learned in my own journey, and have certainly applied it to everything that I do with clients now.
Al McBride 17:18
That clicks very well in our saying about where exactly, you’re putting the focus on how your wording, that focus, and for a sense of connection. Very interesting. You brought up quite of an array of things, I’d love to go back to there.
Al McBride 17:38
One of the things you mentioned, which is very interesting, was getting into the voice of people from all sorts of places and all sorts of backgrounds, as you say, Were there any of those that were particularly surprising to you that you could, you could you could get into maybe more more easily than you had thought you maybe could?
Michelle Sera 17:57
Well, I would say, I mean, there are those that I have written for very well, very naturally, very easily. But it’s the ones that I didn’t think that I would be able to write for, for example, there was a young Australian fitness instructor that I wrote for, and he came back after I wrote for him and said, you know, you write me better than I write.
Michelle Sera 18:22
That was so funny, because here I am, you know, I’m this American female who has no interest in fitness, even though I should but like, that’s not my realm. And I was able to take on his voice. And part of it is, is from being the introvert, right? Being the more empathic person, I can have a conversation with you.
Michelle Sera 18:46
That’s a really big piece of it is for me to be able to see your mannerisms. It’s, it’s for me to be able to hear you talk, it’s for me to be able to hear when your voice lights up. And when it goes down. Those are the things that enable me to pick up someone’s voice.
Al McBride 19:02
It’s very good point as the channel or the vessel of empathy, as you say, is being able to pick up on all of these points. And often introverts are that bit more skilled at it, because, you know, they’re traditionally seen as the ones speaking less than maybe the extrovert in the room. But taking it all in the
Michelle Sera 19:28
Michelle Sera 19:29
I have to be able to stand in your clients shoes, I have to be able to stand in this person’s client’s shoes, right in order to be able to write for them.
Al McBride 19:41
So the empathy is key. And I’m just going to go back to again, another point you make and link it to it because I have the feeling excused upon that. You know, the instinct is important there as well.
Michelle Sera 19:54
Yes, yes. One of the things that I actually have taught and Teach from time to time is all about intuition and instinct when it comes to business. And understanding the difference between the two. Instinct is, is your natural tendency, right? intuition is what you know, it’s the knowing. And but when you combine the two, it’s incredibly powerful.
Michelle Sera 20:20
As it relates to what I do, it wasn’t that I, you know, started copywriting years and years ago and said, Oh, I’m really intuitive. There’s my intuition, I can hear it, no, that took years and years to understand and develop and understand the difference between the two intuition and instinct. But it’s really important to, especially for anyone in business for themselves to begin to learn those two, usually one of them is already understood, right?
Michelle Sera 20:55
I’ve worked with people who are very, very in tune with their instinct and their business instinct, but they’re not so in tune with their intuition, or vice versa. So it’s, you know, both of those are key in, in developing your own business, whether it’s productizing some your knowledge, or you have a brick and mortar doesn’t matter, you know, that all comes into play for sure.
Michelle Sera 21:17
And how did you expand your knowledge into those areas, as you said, it’s not something that we’re, we’re all naturally in touch with, or as he was, he pointed that, sometimes, you know, we’re good with our gut instinct, but as you say, the intuition maybe is lagging behind.
Al McBride 21:36
I can imagine that creates, I know myself sort of situation where you’re not sure is it? You know, am I acting here out of fear? Or what’s the reservations, because you can’t logically find the reason that does a, something pulling you back.
Michelle Sera 21:53
It’s true, it’s hard to, you know, today, with all of the technology that we have, and all of the devices and all of the things that divide our attention, it’s very hard to hear that knowing, right. And you can look at it from a scientific perspective, its intuition has been proven, right?
Michelle Sera 22:11
It’s not this, this intangible thing in terms of, you know, what, you know, whether it’s real or not, and so, when we begin to quiet all of these other things, it’s when we can begin to hear that knowing, right. And it takes practice, just like any other skill or sense or physical ability that you develop, it just takes practice, to be able to hear your own intuition. And for everyone, it’s different in terms of how they, how they hear it, for some people, it will be a very physical thing, a very physical sensation. For others, it will just be a sense. You know, so again, you have to practice it every day.
Al McBride 22:59
You do. And you mentioned meditation earlier, I’ve heard many times that that’s one of the ways to quieten, you know, the monkey mind, or some call it to listen to maybe that that inner voice a little bit clearer.
Michelle Sera 23:17
Exactly, yeah, that’s what meditation is, for me. I have practiced meditation for probably 20 years, 15 to 20 years now. And, and I use meditation to keep me or put me in a state for creating. And as I said earlier, to get me out of my own head, right?
Michelle Sera 23:40
It is a very good tool for me to not so much you’ll hear a lot about, like visualization. And people using that as a tool. And that’s not exactly this, that’s not how I use it, I use it to focus in on feeling. For example, if I need to come up with a series of words, or just the right thing for a client, or I need to get a really good sense of, you know, turning what it’s going to take to turn their knowledge into a product, right that they can sell.
Michelle Sera 24:17
Meditation helps me to leverage the feelings that I want to have, when I have had that eureka moment, when I say I got it, I got it, I focus on what that feels like. And then in turn, I’m able to create that experience. So it’s a different approach. It’s not a common approach. But that’s what really works for me if I focus on the, the the feeling I’ve had when I reach the outcome during meditation, then you know, it’s inevitable.
Al McBride 24:46
So you’re kind of training your yourself into this is the state I want.
Michelle Sera 24:54
Right, I create the endpoint and naturally I will go to go in that direction. And get their interesting
Al McBride 25:01
period. Just to go a completely different direction. After, after all that you were talking there about the copywriting side, but you’re also highly proficient in the productizing of people’s services, I presume into a productize business, can you talk to us a little bit more about that, but what sort of people you work with, and what sort of what sort of transformation you give them?
Michelle Sera 25:33
Sure. So I have worked with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people all over the world to take what they know, their knowledge, their expertise, their wisdom, or their gifts for that matter, and turn it into something that they can sell. That might mean that they have nothing figured out yet, right?
Michelle Sera 25:52
They simply know that they feel really strongly about something that they want to share with others, something that they want to be able to make an impact through. Through conversation and lots of questions on my part, I will be able to pull out of them something that we can turn into a digital product for that matter to be able to sell.
Michelle Sera 26:16
Sometimes I have clients who come to me who already have established businesses, even the brick and mortar business, but they need to add a different level of products or services on to that to create another stream of revenue. So I’m able to then from where they are, at that point, help them create more products, and that might come from you know, what they know, or what they are very passionate about.
Michelle Sera 26:43
It might be from what they already have, I might look at what they already have and say let’s build upon this. Let’s expand upon this. And that comes from that same questioning process that you and I talked about earlier of?
Michelle Sera 26:55
What are your clients thinking? You know, what are your customers thinking every day? And where are you meeting? Where are you providing solutions? And I look for the gaps and say, Okay, well, there looks like there’s a gap here that we’re not quite meeting this need, let’s create a product for it.
Michelle Sera 27:12
Typically, my process, yeah,
Al McBride 27:14
Particularly more so for the small business owners who maybe have less financial resources to to be productizing their services. So I have in mind, your a consultant to or maybe a small partnership of consultants, they want to create a product, that kind of thing.
Al McBride 27:33
They don’t they’re they’re working, you know, 40, 50, 60 hour weeks? Yeah. How often that’s the problem that people you know, have their own processes or methodologies they can work people through and they think, yeah, maybe there’s something here, maybe we can turn this into a product. What are some of those key barriers or boundaries, stopping them doing that? That, then you can help them remove those blockers?
Michelle Sera 27:59
Yeah, good question. Oftentimes, it’s knowing where to start, right? How do I even begin the process of figuring out what I should turn into a product. So I will map that process out for them, I will kind of guide them through the steps.
Michelle Sera 28:15
The other part of it is, and this happens, I would say nine times out of 10 is that they, they may even have an idea, right, they have an idea of a product that they want to create. And it’s this massive, massive piece of work writer or bundle of knowledge. And all I really want is one little tiny piece of it.
Michelle Sera 28:36
Because again, I’m going to go back to simplicity. And one of the things that I can do is take this idea that they have, and from it, we might create, say three to five mini products that we sell only through email marketing, right, so that we create a stream of income from their email marketing channel, then we might create, take a few more pieces of it and create a series of whether it’s masterclasses webinars or training sessions and create a stream of income that’s a little bit bigger than the average sale coming in from email, right.
Michelle Sera 29:12
Then we can even create a signature program for that matter if that’s the direction they want to go in or if it fits their model. But the that’s one of the big things that that people struggle with when I work with them where they come into the, the process with is, this is my idea and I say okay, great.
Michelle Sera 29:32
Now let’s break it down into much tinier pieces. And in doing so we can monetize many different channels in the process. Or as I said, if they have no idea at all, they just say, this is what I really love doing. This is what I want to do. This is what I’m passionate about. This is where I want to make an impact and kind of leave my
Michelle Sera 30:00
that’s usually where I can help the most.
Al McBride 30:21
Yeah, I’m very interested to know, do you have and this might be a bit of a controversial questions, feel free to say no. Or if it’s answered as diplomatically as you like, when you’re working with clients. So whether for the copywriting side of the productizing, are there any red flags? where you’d say, Oh, I don’t think we’re a good fit to work together, at least not yet. What might be those little things that spring up in your intuition and go? Hmm, not a good idea?
Michelle Sera 30:52
Yeah. And that’s a really great question. And the way that I have learned these red flags is through very hard lessons. So some of them are, let’s see, one of the big ones is, and this one doesn’t happen often, but it does happen every now. And then it’s before I have ever even worked with a client on anything, it’s maybe our first conversation, or the end of the conversation, you know, they’re really excited. And that’s great.
Michelle Sera 31:19
But they want to hire me for five projects all at once. No, I was just going, let’s do this. Let’s do it all. Now. You know, that’s always a big red flag for me, because I’ve had that happen once.
Michelle Sera 31:32
And I actually, after the first project was complete, ended the client relationship very kindly and very on very good terms, but decided that and I knew it, I knew it, when I went in, that this was not this client was not in the right place to be working, you know, on these all of these projects at once.
Michelle Sera 31:52
That has become one of the big red flags for me. Another one is, and this is a much more common one. And it doesn’t always mean that it’s not the right fit. But I have to just proceed carefully is when is when their first question is how quickly can I expect results? How fast can I get results?
Al McBride 32:10
Michelle Sera 32:11
Yeah. Because they’re, it’s, it’s not the wrong question to ask. But there are so many other questions they should be asking. Prior to that one, there are so many other elements that come into getting those results, that it’s a much bigger picture that I can’t answer in one simple, you know, sentence or a few words. So that’s always a red flag as to where their priorities are or what they understand about the process and what it’s going to require of them and entail.
Al McBride 32:42
Very, that is an interesting point that it’s a very fair question to ask, you know, as long until we start saying, this is a very fair question. But as you said, it’s it’s an order effect.
Al McBride 32:56
The first question, it’s a very different thing than, you know, a couple of questions or five minutes into the conversation, then yes, exactly. Okay. Okay, I can see why that one might be a little bit of a red flag
Al McBride 33:11
Tell me because you’re coming on a thing from a very interesting directions for two to your work. What, if anything, do you believe that most don’t, and that can be maybe in a professional context, as a copywriter, as someone who helps prioritizing in a consultancy sense?
Al McBride 33:32
Or indeed, it could be more in a personal, you know, the business person that does the business? So no more person says, I mean, you’ve already mentioned the instinct. And the intuition, which was very, very important and a little bit different, I think, than a lot, a lot of people. But I’m just wondering, is there anything else? Either that or something slightly separate that maybe you think this is maybe a unique approach that I offer a unique perspective,
Michelle Sera 33:58
I think there there is, there’s something that guides me in everything that I do, and I don’t think you’ll be very surprised by it necessarily, but it’s that you control your external world, what you see in it, by everything that you feel in your internal world.
Michelle Sera 34:11
I believe that 200% that everything you see outside of you is directly ruled by what you feel inside. So again, the introvert I don’t think you’re gonna be too surprised by that. But that is a very strong and leading belief of my own. And it applies to everything. Business personal.
Al McBride 34:28
It’s, it’s a brilliant point. Because you notice this, I noticed this with coaching clients. exactly that. And it’s based on a ton of psychology research there where we see thousands of things in every view available to us. And it’s how we filter the thing out.
Michelle Sera 34:48
Exactly. Filter as you say, yeah, if you think about it, like your internal internal world and external world being this two way mirror, it just what you said. It’s What’s your feeling. throwing out what you see, or what you’re not filtering out that you see. Right. And so that is that’s all reliant on on how you feel and think for sure. And I’ve experienced that enough, the proof of that enough in my own life to, you know, hold it as a firm belief these days.
Al McBride 35:18
Excellent, excellent. It also fits very beautifully with the idea of the copywriting, though, you have a different filter. That’s why you can see what they’re not seeing, because they’re seeing all the overwhelm. Yeah, yeah. Very, very good. Just wondering, what advice would you give, for dealing with people, particularly, maybe slightly difficult people.
Al McBride 35:40
You’re dealing with clients all the time, and as you said it across the world, across different businesses and industries. So you’re dealing with a huge variety of people. And just wondering if someone said, I’m having these, these difficulties with client relationships, you know, maybe the first few meetings went rather well, some trust built, and then suddenly, there’s complaints or misunderstandings or anything like that. What would be some of your advice to people in those sorts of situations?
Michelle Sera 36:11
The biggest thing that I’ve learned in in dealing with those kinds of scenarios is, listen, well, listen well, and always mirror back what you hear, you know, when someone is expressing to you, their frustration, or for that matter, their elation, right.
Michelle Sera 36:30
It’s really important that you make them certain that you heard them, and always listen and repeat back. So they know that you understand them and that you’re listening to them. That’s probably some of the best advice I can give in any situation.
Al McBride 36:49
Absolutely. And the listening it because I used to coach coaches, on how to coach and that was the number one difficulty Oh, yeah, I think they are particularly when they’re beginning they all have because they want to give so much value.
Al McBride 37:06
I have all these brilliant things to give you. The hardest was to just sit and ease back and just listen without needing to respond. I hear you, I hear you completely on. it’s a great point of negotiation as well being able to I imagine
Michelle Sera 37:25
Al McBride 37:27
Absolutely. Absolutely. Are you a very goal focused person?
Michelle Sera 37:35
I am, I mean, I am and not necessarily in the way that most people aren’t, I always create and set measurable as well as meaningful goals. Now, I’ve always swayed towards the meaningful side, right?
Michelle Sera 37:50
That’s my nature, that’s my instinct. But I have learned to also include the measurable. So I always set both, you know, whether it’s, for example, you know, helping you know, 15 people feel like they have more choices now than they’ve ever had in their life from the work that we’ve done together.
Michelle Sera 38:11
Or if I help 15 people achieve a certain revenue goal from email channel from their sales pages, or from their sales funnel. So I have learned to, for me to set both meaningful and measurable,
Al McBride 38:27
meaningful and measurable so it’s a very good point. Yeah, it’s almost the said you have the structure of the measure. So there’s a very there’s a precision there but the meaning of which a lot of people miss i think is the the engine, the emotional engine, beneath
Michelle Sera 38:49
it, exactly like that. It balances my creative side to bring in more structure, right. But for some people, it balances the structure side to bring in more meaning and to remember the why for everything.
Al McBride 39:02
Exactly. Exactly. As you said, an awful lot of people forget the why or Simon Sinek start with why stuff.
Michelle Sera 39:09
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Al McBride 39:11
It’s it’s pretty crucial. I noticed on your, on your profile on your LinkedIn profile, which was quite a surprise about the Krav Maga Yeah. For someone who’s not very into fitness.
Michelle Sera 39:27
I know right? Yes, I can tell you how I ended up blindfolded in a crowd of people with hearing the chanting of fight fight fight with if you can imagine me you know, I actually met I was in a in a park. And I had taken a stroll to kind of think through some things unfortunately had experienced stalking at that time and a threat to my life.
Michelle Sera 39:54
I was having a really difficult time processing it and so I taking this walk in this park and was sitting down and then There was a gentleman there that I met. just said, he could see the look on my face. And he’s like, you know, is everything okay? And I said, Yeah, it’ll be okay. You know. And through conversation, his name was Moshe, he was an ex Israeli stolt soldier who taught Krav Maga.
Michelle Sera 40:16
He said, Well, why don’t you let me teach you take a few sessions, and let me teach you this, I thought, really, you’re gonna teach me how to fight? Like, really? as like, do you think I can do that. And it’s like, it’s not a matter of whether I think you can do that. It’s a matter it’s, I want you to know that you always have choices in whatever situation you’re in. And so from there led a series of sessions.
Michelle Sera 40:42
One of those sessions, to my, like, shocking surprise was the exercise he had me do was come in, blindfolded, I did not know that all of these other people were there. And they were sort of circled around me. And they started this chanting of Fight, fight, fight. And he said, I’m going to remove the blindfold, and you need to come out fighting. And it’s exactly what I did.
Michelle Sera 41:05
He knew that I was the introvert, right, that I was someone who really had to be brought out of my shell. And it was an incredible experience, it was caught, I think my pulse rate had to be off the charts, you know.
Michelle Sera 41:18
But it gave me some, you know, moisha taught me more than than fighting, because it was never his approach was never to fight. It was to always have the choice to be able to if you had to, but to also step away. And I learned a lot from him. And that was an incredible experience. I’ll pass
Al McBride 41:41
it very interesting what you said about, it’s moving from, would you say being on the receiving end of circumstance? flipping that, as you said, understanding experientially, the options that you have?
Michelle Sera 42:00
Exactly it was it was taking a circumstance where I felt I had no choice but to be the victim. Right. And, and knowing that, if the moment came, I had choices that I could defend myself, doesn’t mean I would necessarily win. But having that, empowerment is something that changes everything. So thankfully, I was never put in the situation where I had to. But yes, it certainly certainly changed the circumstances, for sure.
Al McBride 42:31
Absolutely. No, I can, I can imagine. It sounds fascinating. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do. So look into it further, difficult in COVID times, but certainly something very valuable there.
Al McBride 42:44
Certainly very valuable. Can you tell us a little bit just how you set yourself up? Because a lot of that was about resetting your perspective, both in your awareness of yourself, but also your external situation? But how do you set up for the day? Do you have a particular morning routine? or?
Michelle Sera 43:04
Yeah, this one’s going to be kind of boring. I read for the first hour of every day in a meeting for an hour. Wow. Okay,
Al McBride 43:14
tell me more.
Michelle Sera 43:15
And of course, I drink coffee too. But I have to read because it’s, it’s part of what gets me thinking, you know, it’s like, this morning, I was reading, blue fishing. And, you know, I read tons of marketing books, but strategy books. And of course, then, you know, my favorite, like, sci fi fantasy type, mindless escape, but this morning, you know, it was reading more about strategy.
Michelle Sera 43:44
It’s what gets me thinking, it’s what sets my day and if I don’t have that time in the morning, I know, there are people who have, you know, they’re up at 5am and they have their extra exercise and then in their planning time, and I’ve learned over the years like I’ve tried that approach, it doesn’t necessarily work for me, I have to do that reading first now then I may go out and walk you know, I have a small farm so I may well walk the property to check on things. But that first hour if I don’t have that reading time, I feel like I start very scattered and all over the place and not able to focus as well.
Al McBride 44:22
And I was just thinking that’s that’s the that’s the, the operative gain i think is the focus that you set yourself up to, to be directed at what you want to be directed at not as you say scattered all over the place.
Al McBride 44:37
It reaches another point you sound like you have quite a connection with nature. Living in a farm I said in the hidden away hideout and in the Appalachian Mountains. What effect Do you think that has on your your psyche or on your approach?
Michelle Sera 44:58
Remember I mentioned earlier that there’s this, you know, internal hermit that I am naturally prone to. So I have to always balance that. But being out, you know, where I am in the middle of nowhere, I’m literally on a road that about half a mile further and into mountains and wilderness, there is nothing else out there.
Michelle Sera 45:23
That gives me just great peace and solitude, you know, but at the same time, it’s like pre COVID, about at once every quarter, I would fly out to LA to teach at a mastermind. So you can still drop me in the middle of LA, and I’ll be just fine. But that piece and that quiet, gives me space to think.
Michelle Sera 45:46
I’m a thinker, so I’ve got to be in there. And I think too, it’s the empathic side like to be around people, large groups of people all the time is rather exhausting for me. You know, as you know, like an extrovert is energized by that an introvert is drained by that. So being aware of myself in that way has helped me to set up my environment to support and keep me working 100% in my talent,
Al McBride 46:13
standing. Just a one last question for you. What question Should I have asked you? Or what question when you occasionally do these interviews? Do you wish that someone might ask you?
Michelle Sera 46:27
Let’s see, I don’t know, we covered so many of the really fun things that I like to talk about.
Michelle Sera 46:34
I think it’s, it’s
Michelle Sera 46:37
the only I guess, in parting words, like the last thing that I would say is just to remember to, for most people out there, who are, you know, in business for themselves is, is get your the basic foundations in place, and don’t make it so complex, because you’re going to be pulled in a billion different directions with strategy and trends and the latest marketing, whatever, you know, don’t get distracted by it.
Michelle Sera 47:05
It’s good to test and I’m going to always be a proponent of testing and seeing what works well for you. But there’s still what I call the the true teachings of marketing, which is those foundations, you know, your email marketing, your, you know, people like when I say sales funnel, a lot of people will react negatively to that. A
Michelle Sera 47:25
Oh, no, I don’t, you know, I tried funnels, and it was awful. And I remind them that it’s simply an automated experience of your work. So it doesn’t need to be difficult or complex. And so get those foundational things in place.
Michelle Sera 47:39
Don’t let other things distract you. And when you have that optimized and you are creating income from all of those things, then you can begin to test with the the trendy or the more tactical tactical things that are going to move the needle higher.
Al McBride 47:57
Alright, good. Simplify seems to be a good theme running through.
Michelle Sera 48:03
It is it is
Al McBride 48:04
excellent stuff. Well, thank you very much, Michelle. It’s been fabulous talking to you.
Michelle Sera 48:09
Thank you. I appreciate it
Al McBride 48:11
been a great guest. So as I said, I will put all the some of those information links in the show notes. And from for people to refer to but do reach out to Michelle on LinkedIn. And thank you very much. Once again.
Michelle Sera 48:28
Thank you for having me. It’s been great to your bye bye
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Connect with Michelle Sera:
- Michelle Sera: http://michellesera.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellesera/