Online learning was something that fitness coach Lauren Tickner never thought she would pursue. She always thought she would be part of the corporate business world until she saw the demand for online coaching whether it be business-related or fitness-related. Lauren is the founder and CEO of Impact School, an e-learning school that offers online courses for people or coaches who are willing to jumpstart their careers. Lauren was also named Forbes Top 10 Entrepreneur for 2020. She is also the founder and content creator of #StrengthFeed where she helps young women gain strength, both physically and mentally. Brian Covey sits down with her to talk about how she got into the online learning business, how she built her online brand, and how she transitioned from fitness all day, every day to creating an online business.
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Building Your Brand And The Power Of Online Coaching With Lauren Tickner
We’ve got a special guest that I’ll introduce. We’ll make sure that you get your value and your time’s worth. Our show is all about learning and growing. Wherever you are now, what we hope to provide you, and I believe you’ll get out of this conversation, are things that you can take action on in your business, in your life to help you grow and become the best version of yourself. As you know, I love to have great guests. Lauren Tickner is one that most of you know because her social following continues to creep into the millions. She comes on the Clubhouse and starts to dominate it right away.
If you don’t know some of her backstories, what caught my attention was even before the age of 21, she created this online fitness training, courses and teaching people things. She turns it into a multimillion-dollar business, and now she’s teaching others how they can create their own courses, monetize it and take what their expertise is. Go build a business around things that you love. Lauren has a lot of projects. She’s into a new software project as well that I saw, but we’re going to open up and talk about how she’s gotten there, what are some of the lessons that she’s learned and what can you take out of that and apply to your life? Lauren, welcome. Thank you all as you went out and bought the Conversations With Covey book. That took off. That was something phenomenal. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone coming on and helping us out there, as that was incredible to see that take off.
I had some very Clubhouse-esque service there. The intro was very cool. Thank you, Brian, for having me here. I’m looking forward to sharing as much value as possible with your audience. I’m delighted to be here.
It was pure awesomeness, all about you and all the accolades. What I’m sharing is you’ve done so many things. That’s where we can jump into the conversation as people that are following you know this, and some may not know everything you’ve done. By an early age, you had already started to create your own online brand, online courses, teaching people, especially in the world of fitness, which I love. You started at a young age. Where did that birth from? It’s such an early age for you to get in the game.
Never in my life did I think that I’d be helping people who have businesses that help other people get government contracts. I never even saw my life go down this route. However, how it all started was that just purely through having my own fitness journey. I started posting about that on Instagram. It was never ever intended to be a business. I am not one of those people that had a lemonade store when I was a kid. I always used to hear that on podcasts and on interviews that I’d been listening and I think, “I guess entrepreneurship isn’t me.” I always wanted to go down the corporate avenue.
I always saw myself being successful but in that scenario. For anyone who knows me now, you know that freedom is the thing that I crave more so than anything else. It’s funny that I ever even thought that was a thing but so often, people doubt themselves and they doubt their abilities because you compare yourself to other people. Just because someone achieved it this way doesn’t mean that you have to as well. There are many different ways to get to the same outcome, which ultimately is creating the life that you feel aligned to. For me, freedom and fulfillment are the two biggest core values that I have. Everything I do centers around that. Purely through posting fitness content on social media, I built a small following. It was like a few hundred people, nothing crazy.
What started happening was that people in the gym would start coming up to me saying, “Do you offer training? Do you have coaching?” I was like, “No, I don’t want to train people.” I had always heard trainers are all broke. I was like, “I don’t want to do that. I want to be successful.” Online people started asking me, “Lauren, do you offer any training? Can I come and visit you?” It was always this in-person physical job and I didn’t want that. I did not care for that too.
Only through seeing all the YouTubers doing online training did I think, “I guess if I build a big following on social media, I can do online training.” I didn’t realize that most people without the big audience are generating much more revenue than the people with a whole big audience because there’s spending all their time focusing on creating content. Long story short, I started doing online coaching. That was how I fell into all of this. Now we help people, not in the fitness space but all different spaces, including random things like real estate and government contracts that I never thought that I’d be into.Ultimately what's going to make you stand out is content that people can relate to. Click To Tweet
You started with a passion. I am working out. I’m going to document my journey, which is a lot of times you find out who you are and what your interests are. I love that because that freedom and fulfillment, most people don’t pursue it wholeheartedly. I found people that say they may want some of that but yet they stick to a 9:00 to 5:00, or they stay in their comfort zone or a majority of their life and they don’t think it can be them. I’d love for you to speak to that group because it sounds like unpacking your story. I’ve been following you and keeping up. You saw this opportunity, but where did it trigger for you to go, “I don’t want to do this in person, I can do it online?” Where did it start to resemble maybe a business that you could create out of this?
It honestly didn’t feel like a business until after I’ve been doing it for years. I started doing some online training and I was making good money. I was making more than I was making when I had this job working in asset management for a period of time, which is why I realized that I didn’t want to be working in the corporate world. I’m so grateful that I did that because otherwise, I would’ve continued pursuing that goal. I did that before I ever went to university. I started university a year late because I pushed my start date back. When I got started at uni, I was already doing the coaching, then I started selling eBooks. I was doing well especially because I was 19 years old.
Because I was then also at the same time so interested in social media, I was getting all these brand deals. I was working with some huge companies. I’d done photoshoots with Reebok. Because of all of that, what ended up happening was that I treated it like, “This is my thing. The coaching’s like a bit of cash.” It was more than most people’s jobs. When did it feel like a business? I only honestly started treating it like a business after I had hired my first team member. Even then, I still found it very difficult. It took me a very long time. Probably, 4 or 5 years into it that, I started taking it seriously.
The best business is usually they solve a problem to somewhere in your sphere of you’ve got the expertise, somewhere you’ve got some passion and you can help people. I love how you talked about it earlier. You said, “I have a small following of a couple of hundred people.” A couple of hundred people can change your life if you have the right service and you figure it out, “I’m adding value. They’re going to pay me for this value.” There’s something there that you can monetize. Too often, we think, “I’ve got to have hundreds of thousands of followers or tens of thousands.” The reality is there could be a handful. You might be successful with 10 to 50 clients at the right price point and the right service. You could build your whole life and business around it.
I see this all the time with our clients and people in my community. Here’s the thing. Many people chase these numbers. Frankly, it is a case of identifying what is the outcome that you’re best at so you’d be able to. I’ll use fitness as an example. Let’s say you know that you can help people drop 30 pounds of fat. This is something that you’re good at doing. Maybe you can help prevent another person from getting a divorce or whatever your niche happens to be. How much money do you think that person’s already spent on trying to go to therapy, on personal trainers or in detox juices?
Whereas what you can do is you can come in and take them to that outcome once and for all. If you get them to the outcome and you get them the result, then getting referrals is easy. You can ask, “Do you have any friends that you think might be interested in this too?” We’ve done competitions before where, for our clients, if they refer in the top three that they’re for the most people, then we’ll give them all these special bonuses. We do that because we have a good amount of clients, so it’s fun. You don’t even need to do that when your product is that good. I wish more people would spend more time honing in what it is that they’re delivering.
If you can transform someone’s life in that way through what it is that you’re serving, then the referrals come easy. You don’t have to spend as much stress, time and energy on marketing. I’m a marketing person saying that. We always want more leads, more followers, more reach, more eyeballs on us but at the same time, once you have that attention, what are you doing with it? A few people realize that if you were to then start mining from your database. For example, who’s watching your Instagram stories? Have you reached out to them? Who’s liking your LinkedIn live videos? Have you reached out to those people? Who’s offering to connect with you? Have you reached out to them and started a conversation? When you do that, then you can massively increase your conversion rate.
This is why a lot of people miss so much potential revenue. Remember, if you don’t get that person as a client, then you’re not going to get what they need. They’re going to keep looking for help elsewhere that helps if you back yourself, and if you know you’re good at what you do, then that should sound bad. That means that that person isn’t going to get the best help that they need because you can give them that help. We’re big on building out a sales team of people who go out and look who’s opting into your stuff? Who’s liking your posts? Who’s viewing your stories? Those are people who are great potential clients because they’re clearly interested in something that you’re doing.
Readers, read it again because there are a lot of pieces in there that I think most businesses do struggle. To your point is they continually want to bring in new leads. The reality is some of their best leads didn’t have a system to work. They didn’t follow up on them and I’ve seen you do this. You talk about this with some of your coaching and your school to where I think this is where people struggle. What insight or advice would you give someone that they’ve gone down the path? Let’s say they figured out what their service and their value add to the marketplace is. They know what they can bring, what differentiates them because they’ve got to figure that out first. How do they then start to engage with these customers or potential leads like you’re talking about? What are some practical ways that you’ve seen work that maybe there’s right in front of them but they’re missing now?
Doing outreach is simple. It’s a case of giving someone a compliment and asking them a question. Let’s say there’s a bunch of people who are liking your post. I always say you don’t want to send a copy-paste message to every single one of these people. You want to go over to that profile, check out a little bit, what it is that they do, maybe read one of that post or something and say, “Brian, this post about how to build an amazing audience on LinkedIn was interesting. I just wanted to get a better understanding of how effective you’ve seen these live streams.” Give them a compliment, ask a question, something that shows that you’ve looked into what they’re doing. From that, then you get the conversation going.
You don’t want to follow a script. You don’t want to chuck this out to a VA who’s following a script. In the past, I did use virtual assistants from the Philippines to do this process. That was in the past. I don’t do that anymore. There’s a reason. It’s not effective. You can’t train people who very much like to follow SOP or Standard Operating Procedures and scripts. You can’t train them in this well. We like to hire salespeople. We have a specific way in which we hire them, but what I’m going to say is this. I can’t give away all my secrets but when it comes to hiring them, it has to be people that are hungry and who are interested in getting good at sales. What you do is you tell them, “This is the outcome that we need. We need these calls booked onto the calendar. Figure out how to get that. Here’s a script.”
An outcome-oriented method is more of a method than a script. There are different checkpoints that you need to have achieved within a conversation to qualify someone as a lead. A really simple example is if you know that in order to qualify someone that they could be a good client for you, that you need to figure out what type of business model that they’re wanting to scale, you can say, “We need to know what type of business model this person wants to scale.” Ask whatever question you want in order to get them to reveal that. It’s a revealing process. One of them is that. One of them that we personally use, so we have that one.
Secondly, we need to know how much revenue they are working on trying to make because if they only want to make $5,000 a month, they’re not going to be a very good client for us. Are they going to invest in a high-ticket coaching program? If at that point they say, “I want to make like $4,000 per month from online courses, coaching or masterminds,” then fine. At that point, we’ll send them to free training that can help them open their mind up for what’s possible for themselves. That’s how we do it. You don’t have to have all of these assets built out but it’s important to have, “What are a few things that I know qualify someone as a potential client?” so that then you can have an outcome-oriented method. That whoever you ultimately hire is able to dig that conversation rather than following a script. They can ask any questions that can set up for the question that’s then going to reveal that particular goalpost.
You’re spot on because I can relate. I’ll admit that I’ve hired virtual assistants and I’ve tried that. For those reading, it did not work. The outcome did not land. Also, in a way, I felt like it didn’t reflect my brand and who I am. I’m with you. I don’t do that anymore. I think what I love too is you’re going on and intentionally engaging with people. I’ll get that question a lot like, “How did you build your following?” I’m like, “At one point, I was picking 100 people. I would specifically follow their content, like, comment and engage with their content.” To your point, asking for anything in return. If we started to have a little bit of synergy there, I would take the conversation offline to get to know them.
It might take you 90 days or 9 months. Who knows? At some point, that collaboration and authenticity of I’m connecting with them to support their journey, doors open and that was huge for me. As I’m listening to you talk about this, we over-complicate it. We don’t want to give away all the secrets so I’m going to shift because I want people to recognize there are some tactics that you teach and we want to promote that. You’ve built your personal brand, and I think it’s important for people out there no matter what you’re doing. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or you’ve got a company that’s been in business 10 years or 10 days, how do people start? Things have changed a bit. How do they start to build their brand online to create something that people are going to recognize in their space, that they’ve got the authority or the expertise to then start to add value?
I do think it is all about the specific outcome that you’re best at taking people to, and then consistently creating content around that and talking about those areas. I was speaking at an event and someone else asked this exact question. It was interesting hearing different people’s answers because there was someone who was in PR and her whole answer was like saying, “You need to have a website with these H2 tags.” I’ve never even heard of this in my life. Honestly, I don’t know what that means. We have had a bit more of a conversation and we saw where she was at in business, versus the other people who are saying things about, “Get content out there, consistently post about the same topics,” and how our revenue was considered below.It's not about how many followers you have. It's about how many of them you can actually help. Click To Tweet
A lot of times, what happens is there are certain things that we spend a bunch of time on making shiny, nice logos and things like that, that we think is going to make our brand stand out. Ultimately, what’s going to make you stand out is content that people can relate to. I believe that’s done through storytelling. When you’re able to tell stories, which essentially allow your ideal client to transport into your narrative because they can see and feel themselves in there, and they can relate to the emotion that you’re conveying through your words, that is how you are going to be able to build your brand online and get people to see you as an authority figure. They are going to say, “This person has been through the same thing that I’ve been through. Now I’m going to pay attention to them because if they’ve got to where they’re at now, but they used to be what I am here now.” That’s going to be so powerful because they can see that transformation unfolding right in front of them.
It’s about being relatable and sharing stories that are true and honest. You can take a tiny, random story and turn that into a whole piece of content like something random. From there, making sure that you are always bearing in mind that one outcome that you’re taking people to because if you’re always looking about different things, then it gets confusing. I know you’re probably thinking like, “I’m multi-passionate. I’m interested in this. I’m interested in that.” That’s great and there’s a time and a place for everything. You can do everything that you want in life but not all at once. It was like, “Nail it down now, build your brand, then once you’ve got that huge audience, talk about whatever the heck you want.” That’s my thought process behind that.
I love that you share it that way because you’re right. Some people get into video editing and the brand. As far as the logo, they think that’s it and all of these shiny, flashy things when in reality if somebody can’t connect up with you as a person and there’s not some type of likability, at some point they’re going to leave you for someone else that can provide a similar service but they can actually connect. That’s what I look for in social when I think about people that I’ve connected with, had on the show and I’ve gone on their show. I like what they’re putting out. I like to keep up with their life. It’s like a little mini-story and I think that’s where people start to go astray.
I’ve noticed with yours, you are consistently telling that, but I’ve watched you evolve and now you’ve shifted. I noticed you’re pivoting in 2021 and expanding your business even more. Your team is expanding in a way, you’re delegating some of these things, and it takes me back to what you said was you built your core business, you made great revenue, great money over here then you started to add on. Too many people are like, “I’m going to do five things.” I’m going to hope I do all five well, which doesn’t work.
It’s difficult when perhaps you’ve been the one doing everything for a long time. Now delegating and giving that over, but it’s necessary. Let’s say 80% of my content is good, but it’s getting out in front of way more people than if it was like, “It’s still me.” I would rather have a little bit of a hit, but it also has to be getting in front of potentially hundreds of thousands more people.” It’s interesting because I’ve made that mistake. I used to spend so much time editing my own videos. I wouldn’t hand that over. I don’t know why. I wouldn’t even let anyone else log in to any of my accounts. I was afraid of like, “They might delete the account.”
If that happens, build it back up. It’s putting less pressure on yourself but realizing that consistency is everything. Also, I like to be playful with it and have a bit of banter. I post stuff where it shows my personality because that is ultimately going to be how you stand out. Some people might not like it because I’m sarcastic. I’m British. I’ll make stupid jokes like I made this one on my Instagram, which said like, “How I leave where others vacation (Without daddy’s money).” If people come on my Instagram, they think things like, “Her dad pays for everything.” It’s like, “It’s funny but whatever.” I like to take the myth out of things like that and mock it because for me, that’s funny. I showed the personality through that and that’s critical with branding.
That’s what one of my good friends, Steve Sims, always says. He’s like, “You’ve got to know which camp people are in and you need to make so much so that there’s a dividing line and people are in.” He said the worst ones are the ones on the fence, and I’ve struggled with that. It’s like, “You want to get your message out in the beginning. You want people to like you and you want it to go universal.” The reality is to your point, you’re building a business and you’ve got your end in mind. You have clarity and goal. You don’t need everybody to like your stuff. It’s great when they banter with you. When the book came out in some podcast episodes, I’ve had people that disagree with things we say. I’m like, “That’s when you know the message has clarity. It has some purpose to it because if everybody’s going, “That’s awesome. That’s great,” I didn’t stimulate them thinking. There’s no creativity to it.
I love that with yours because you found your lane and it is creative, but it is a little bit spunky in that sense of like, “I’m going to go in that lane. Do you like it? Great. You’re going to follow me and you’re going to love what I do. If you don’t, that’s cool. Opt out.” What advice would you give people that are maybe struggling with that and how you transition? It sounds like you went through that same evolution we all have to go through of I’m not going to worry so much. I’m going to set it to the side and do my thing.
When I transitioned from purely being fitness to then starting to talk more about, “Here’s how I built that business and here’s what I did with my personal brand.” When I was studying to talk about these things, I’ve got a lot of negativity from people who were my hardcore fitness fans. It sounds weird but in the fitness industry, I was one of the very first females to get into exactly that whole side of the fitness industry. There were a few of us at the time who were all transitioning in different directions at the same time. My one was like the sharpest tongue. Some of them were going into fashion and some of them are going more into different types of wellness, whereas I was purely going to business.
It was hard because the whole thing wasn’t necessarily like people saying, “Who do you think you are?” A few people said that, but it wasn’t too many because at this point, I’d already been invited to start speaking at events. I would talk about social media and personal branding and things. The difficult thing honestly was actually allowing it to be okay with my ego and getting less likes and comment on posts and my social media not doing as well. Having that not affects me was the hardest thing. This is where in hindsight, now that I know everything that I know about, “That doesn’t dictate anything when it comes to your true success.” What is success anyway? Everyone has their own definition, but it’s realizing how your content does on social does not dictate how you’re going to do in business. It is about who you’re getting that engagement from.
In the past, I was doing high-ticket fitness coaching. Even though I was charging £3,500 for that, most people were paying about $50 or $70 or for an eBook. It was $70 a client. Straight away, I pivoted to selling courses for around £2,500. Immediately, the value of my audience who were paying attention exponentially increased. Despite the fact that I was getting less eyeballs, less engagement, it was so much better for my business as a whole. Not only that but it was better quality people as well. Through keeping your tribe small, it’s nice because you can focus on engaging with them. That’s how you can stand out and that’s what can be used.
Anyone who’s starting with getting your brand out there, maybe you’re a little bit worried and you’re a little bit afraid, go watch Brian’s very first LinkedIn Live. See how he was showing up there. Go watch my very first YouTube video, take a look at that. I didn’t even do it horizontally. I did it a vertical. I was few too many years ahead of the club for the vertical video revolution that we’re seeing. Realize that the only way that you get better is through reps, putting in more reps, showing up again and again because how do you think we can have this conversation? Honestly, I forget that we’re in the show right now because we do it so much.
I went back to the first videos. I pulled up one and you do have to laugh at yourself, have some humility and some humor to it and go, “Thank goodness, I’m not there.” I also have the awareness to recognize the Brian or Lauren in five years is not the one we are now. It gets me to a question I’d love to ask you is, how do you continue to learn and grow? You hit some of the checkmarks and the boxes. How do you keep learning and growing yourself?
That’s a daily process. Every single day I’m learning and I’m looking, “What didn’t I do yesterday that I should have done? How could I do it better?” Something simple is that at the end of each day, I will write down the lesson from today. I have years going back in journals where I can go back and have a look at all my lessons. I like reading back through it to see where I was at that moment and what was standing up for me and then you forget some of the things that you’ve learned. Allow that state of mind. I’m huge on audiobooks and podcasts. I listen to many. I listen in three times speed because my brain thinks stupidly fast. I do that while I walk outside.
For me, every single day, an absolute non-negotiable is taking a walk while listening to something, either an audiobook or a podcast. I also listen when I’m in the gym as well while I’m training, doing weights workout. That’s what I’m learning. At the same time, I’m not afraid to have hard conversations. I have very challenging conversations with my family, my friends, my team and I’ll say things that made me feel uncomfortable. I’ll ask questions or post what I’m truly thinking and see how they react. I had one of these exact conversations. It’s a conversation that I’ve been wanting to have for months and I was too afraid to have it. I ended up having it and the conversation turned out like ten bajillion times better than I was ever possibly imagining.
Learning and consuming content is fine but if you aren’t willing to put yourself out there and execute on it, that’s where a lot of people miss the point. Personal development is great, but not unless you’re using it. Whenever I have these conversations, people always say, “Thank you, Lauren, for being willing and it’s amazing that you’re willing to speak so openly like that.” That’s what is important. I never used to understand this because I would always block out the difficult conversations. When you realize like, “There’s something that I want to say here, but I’m biting my tongue.” It’s not about that. It’s about, “How can I wear this in a way where it’s going to be authentic? It’s going to make the other person feel heard and seen, and it’s not going to be weird and awkward.” If it is weird and awkward, then you clearly said something wrong. That’s my philosophy behind that.If you feel like something deep down is right or if you feel like you want to go out and do something, go ahead and do it. Click To Tweet
I’ve got a large team. I’ve learned over the years that’s an area I struggled with the most early in my career was having difficult conversations and learning. Don’t you think that opens a gateway almost to either deepen the relationship, know where you stand with people or you might ask that tough question, there might be a lesson for you but you might be helping someone by you getting in the weeds a bit and having a conversation that no one else is willing to have with them? I found that it’s a gateway to a better relationship in a better life.
If we walk around all the time, afraid of what we’re going to say and what people think, that’s not living. I’m curious what your thoughts are. You’ve got a team you’ve built and you’re having these difficult conversations. People struggle with this one. Is there a go-to when you know you’re going to lead into a tough conversation? Do you mentally prepare before that? Do you visualize how it’s going to go? How do you get ready for that? Our heart rate goes fast, sweaty palms, we get nervous. I know people have those feelings and you get past them.
I don’t think you’ve got past those feelings. It’s about how you ensure that you don’t prevent those feelings from stopping you to do the thing that you know you need to. How do I prepare? I get very clear on the fact, “This is going to suck. This is going to be horrible. This person might be upset and might be angry.” I don’t know how they’re going to react. If it’s someone, for example, on your team that you know that they typically show up in a certain way, then you can prepare yourself for that you can take note, “This is how they’re going to react like this.” 9 times out of 10, they don’t react in the bad way that you think. Normally, it’s overwhelmingly positive.
I’ve only probably had a couple of situations where it’s gone worse than planned where I like to throw something out there, then it totally curves ball and they take my bluff and even worse. That happens but that’s a numbers game. Realizing that through putting it off, you’re only putting yourself and the other people in a worse position and through having these difficult conversations, especially with your team, it increases the trust. If they know that you’re going to be honest with them, then every single time in the future that you ask something of them or they ask you for feedback or something, they know that you’re going to be radically open and honest. If you don’t do that, then the thing is they can never be certain that they’re even safe under your presence. That’s what I think is truthful when it comes to this whole topic is that being open, honest and really sharing your true thoughts while staying compassionate and identifying how they might feel, allows so much more depth to your relationship that you won’t find any other way.
I hope that everybody reading that struggles with that or maybe you’ve got a difficult conversation that you need to have, this will give you a little bit of inspiration to have it. I love what you said, too. This happens to me. I’m fearing it’s going to be this bad outcome and many times, it turns out to be great and we learn. I want to go back because you shared something that’s interesting. I started journaling a few years ago. I’ve written down lessons like you talked about. If you were to be able to pick one lesson and you go back to the one that you think was more of like a catalyst or that if you were able to share with others, you would say, “This is my one lesson.” Almost like my one topic for like a TED Talk type of thing. What would be the one lesson for Lauren over the last couple of years that would stand out?
It has to do with confidence. Often, we doubt ourselves, maybe because in school we weren’t the smartest, we were shy or whatever it happens to be. If you feel like something deep down is right or you want to go out and do something, go ahead and do it. In the past, I would be like, “I’m not the best at that thing, so maybe I shouldn’t talk about that. I don’t know if people will take me seriously because I’m young.” I would always have these limiting beliefs around my level of knowledge. I think honestly, through demonstrating that you can get people results, that allows you to have so much more confidence because confidence comes with success.
Before you’ve had that success, you need to find a way to feel good about everything that you’re doing. That starts from within and having that unwavering self-confidence that isn’t cockiness. There’s a big difference but it’s that certainty in knowing that you’re good at what you do and it’s not weird to admit that. It’s okay to admit and to acknowledge that you are good at what you do. In fact, it’s important and then when you are able to do that, then it’s much easier to get buy-in from other people. I would say, “Be more confident.” Confidence is everything. Without it, you’re always going to be questioning yourself and that’s not a good mental headspace to be in.
I love how you differentiate between confidence and cockiness. It is confidence. You have delivered results. Do you know, “This is something I do, this is why I’m different than someone else that does it.” I’ve told people, we’ve talked about collaboration over competition. I recognize I have competition. At the same time, I also have this abundance mindset of, “If I perform well and I deliver what I say, there’s enough to go around.” We’ll be successful. We’ll struggle with that sometimes like, “Am I that person? Am I this person?” Yes, you are. Believe it. Start to take action, and then you’re validating yourself. One of these areas, I noticed with you, is you’re one of the early ones in the Clubhouse. I’m curious as this comes up a lot. The Clubhouse now is a little different than it when it kicked off. I’d love your take on it. Where are the opportunities? Who should be on it? Why should they be on it? My experience has changed but I’m curious of yours because you’ve taken off, dominated and have a great presence there.
I have 130,000 followers on Clubhouse. It happened in four months. That Clubhouse is great if you want to schedule rooms and you know that you’re going to be doing it. Let’s say we’re going to do a room with a few other speakers. We are going to talk about a specific topic. We’re going to do that at a certain time. We’re going to plan for it and promote it. That’s great. Nowadays, it’s not effective as it used to be doing like these daily rooms all the time, having these rooms going because it gets so same-y and boring it’s always the same people trying the same things.
I like it for the scheduled content. I also like it for the top of the funnel. For the middle and bottom of the funnel, I’d much rather drive people into my DMs, get that number, email, and then host my own events on another platform. That’s my whole philosophy behind it. It’s what I’m sharing with my clients, too. I used to be way more bullish on it. I am not anymore. That’s most likely what is going to happen is that Instagram/Facebook are going to bring something out that’s relatively similar to Clubhouse. I see that coming. I had the opportunity to potentially invest in Clubhouse but I didn’t take it. Whereas in December and January, I was actively emailing them like, “How can I invest in this?”
It’s interesting how that can change so quickly. It’s also quite concerning when you think about how quickly a company can gain so much momentum and then suddenly drop off. Any business in that space goes to show how much of a moat Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have over the whole social media landscape. Also, Mark Cuban invested in another one called Fireside. They keep asking me to come to their demos. I haven’t been yet but we’ll see. I’m not giving it as much energy as I used to.
I’m glad you shared that because a lot of people are trying to figure out, “Where do I spend my time? Where do I go?” The number one skill I’ve always talked about is like, “You’ve got to be adaptable. If the market changes or something changes in your business, be ready.” Some of those mailing space, with TikTok, it’s taken off. I’ve been doing well in Facebook and Instagram. I love LinkedIn. I’ve been bullish on it since the beginning but more of a strategic focus. Just find your lane and stay there. You started the impact school and people may not know about this. As I was preparing for our conversation, but I didn’t know much about it, I’d love for you to talk about that and how it started and the genesis of that. What do you do with that now? To me, that serves a place in the market that I’m not seeing quite as much that resembles it quite honestly.
I love your purple colors because it’s the same color as all of our invite school brandings, slightly different shade, but I always loved the purple. I chose purple because my brother is epileptic. When I was in the fitness industry, I was doing the classic, “I need a logo and all my colors.” I chose purple because it’s the same color as epilepsy awareness. What we do is we help people scale using online courses. Most of our clients that come to us have an area of expertise of anything and everything, maybe they’re already doing coaching or consulting.
Now they want to be able to generate more revenue through some other type of way that’s not going to be taking hours of their time because when you get on one-on-one coaching and consulting calls, it’s a lot of time. As a consultant, in particular, you are skilled in that one thing, which means that you can help anyone with anything because you have such a wide area of knowledge. Scaling that is difficult. Building a team around that is near to impossible. If you want to scale an expert-based business, like as a coach, a consultant or agency, you need to have that one outcome that is essentially your North Star that you help all your clients get to. You can systematize around it. We help when it comes to building a program to take clients to that particular outcome that you want to help people with.
I started going down this avenue, but totally by accident again. While I was in the fitness industry, I would get invited to speak about social media events. I was like, “This is interesting.” I realized what people were wanting was to build a personal brand on social media. I didn’t have any interest in helping eCommerce businesses with social because I never had success in eCommerce as you’ve been scammed a couple of times. I started selling these courses about personal branding. I didn’t think that this was even going to be a business. It was something that I was just doing, selling a few of these courses for $2,500.
The lesson in this, as I’m going through this, is identify the feedback that you get from clients and people that are buying from you or expressing interest, because if I haven’t taken on board this feedback, I would not be where I am now. The first piece of feedback that I got from everyone was that they were essentially buying this personal branding course because they wanted to get more online coaching plans. All of these people in the fitness industry wanting to get more coaching plans. I was like, “Maybe I should create a course about how to get more online fitness coaching plans.” I did that and then what I realized is that loads of these people were seeing my personal branding course, but what they wanted was the how to get more clients course. They weren’t in the fitness industry so they were confused. For so long, I was like, “I don’t know how to figure this out.” I just can’t figure out what to do, which is funny in hindsight. You look back and it’s so blindingly clear.
We will get Lauren back. For all of you that are following along, hopefully you found some value here. Leave some comments. Drop me a note. If there’s anything that we covered that you want more information on, we’ll make sure to get that to you. Thank you very much. This has been another episode of the show. I hope you’ve enjoyed this. I know I’ve taken a lot out of this. We’ll be sharing this back out with you. Thank you for following along. Have a good one. See you.
About Lauren Tickner
Entrepreneur, Investor and CEO of Impact School
With multiple business endeavors at just the age of 23, Tickner has risen quickly to become one of the UK’s most successful and respected entrepreneurs in the online space.
Tickner decided to leave the University of Bath after a year of attending when she realized that her professors who were teaching her about business, had never actually had their own successful businesses. Despite everyone telling her she was crazy, that she’d be making a big mistake, she decided to head off on her own and commit full time to her business endeavors.
Before turning 21, Tickner had already built a successful online fitness coaching business, Strength Feedm where she helped women become stronger both physically and mentally through 1:1 coaching and other digital products like online courses. Tickner started this business without having any funding, while having under 500 followers on social media. She learned everything through podcasts, books and YouTube videos.
After building a following, her empowering brand became a movement in the health industry, and the popular #StrengthFeed hashtag is now used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Tickner’s quick growth led to working with some of the biggest brands in the Health and Fitness industry, including Gymshark and Alfalete.
Today, Tickner’s main source of income is Impact School, her online coaching and consulting company where she now has more than 40 people employed, including a COO, Sales Director, Marketing Strategist, and an entire tech team.