How To Scale By Offering 1 to 1 Support with Jacq Fisch
Diane: Hey, I wanted to introduce you to someone who has had a lot of input into the words. You'll see on my website or around this podcast, even though I've written all of them, myself, Jacq fish is a writer and writing coach for business owners who want to sound human. And when she is not sipping red wine and eating chocolate or writing her book, she's helping us sound better for our people. Hey Jacq, welcome to the show. Jacq: Hey, that sounds like a perfect Roundup of what I do every day. And helping people, right? Diane: why don't you tell people a little bit about your lifestyle business? Jacq: Absolutely. So I'm the founder of the right, like a MOFO community where you are and you brought your beautiful words to just get a little bit of judging. If you will, creatives, other lifestyle, business owners coaches, web designers, branding experts. They want to sound human in their copy. They want to sell more. They want to be able to connect with their audience and they want to do their writing. So sometimes it's just not happening. So I support them with the time, space and, and in some cases, feedback to help them Polish their words so they can put them out there. And so that's one, one big portion of my business and other portion is done for you writing. So I do copywriting for other businesses. I'm doing less and less these days and more and more coaching and my own work. As in writing my books, Diane: I think most of us can relate to having stared at the white page of doom, trying to figure out like how to get a sales page even started. So how did MOFO evolve for you because that, isn't what you've always done. Right? Jacq: no MOFO happened by accident. And I love that. I just refer to it as MOFO now, and it's an easy way to talk about it. So I spent 13 years in corporate America and corporate Canada. So corporate North America, and I was mainly in management consulting, corporate communications. I did. Big government work, very large corporate healthcare work, change management. I would communicate about software, all kinds of very big buttoned up things. And that was what I initially went to out of school. What led me away from it? A couple of reasons. Three layoffs and two years, no, sorry. Three layoffs and five years, too. From the same company. And it's so maybe I'm a slow learner or I was back then, but it took me a while to get the hint of it's time to do something different. Like those nudges eventually started screaming at me. And at the time having young kids, I was running around like a crazy person with my head cut off, trying to get them to school on time, trying to feed them relatively healthy food. Keeping them in activities and sports and having a life. It was not a thing I met, mostly spent my time rushing around. So at the point of this recording, I'm a little over three years, full-time into my business. And after that last layoff, something clicked in me finally. And it's like, the next time I leave a job, it's going to be on my terms. And the idea of even starting a business. Wasn't an idea until probably after layoff. Number one, I started down the self-development space and I only landed there because I had switched my family to a plant-based diet almost overnight. We're not fully plant-based anymore, but that led me to the entrepreneurial space. And then I read a book that said something along the lines of like, you can start a business and you can make money doing something you like. I was like, what, what do you mean? Aren't we just all supposed to get a job and climb the ladder. I was a very good ladder climber. I knew corporate, you had to navigate it. And I racked up promotions quickly and I did my job. And so I had that little nudge. It wasn't until eight years later that I left corporate. So I had that inkling of, okay. I could do something. I didn't know what that was yet. I did all the exploring, all the inner work, all the journaling, all the courses, all the free PDF. So the internet, and this was of course, before I even knew that I could have hired someone. To help me get there. Like there's so many great people helping people do this now. And my first business was, plant-based cooking related. I taught because I was busy and in corporate, I taught people how to do plant-based in an easy way, how to batch cook a bunch of stuff on the weekend so that you could have healthy food all week long Diane: you were a plant-based food blogger essentially Jacq: Yup. I was a blogger. Diane: you were writing, but it was, you didn't have a YouTube channel or anything. It was writing. Jacq: Yeah. It started with writing. I was blogging every day at one point, especially when I first started. And it was just because I had so many ideas and I was also sharing recipes and then it started to branch into the lifestyle aspect of it. Like, so what does a plant-based lifestyle mean? And it was also living with less being conscious of what you buy and bring into your home and not buying more stuff than you need. Also, the stuff thing came from moving 11 times in 16 years. So when you move a lot, you'll keep a lot of stuff. because you have to move stuff it's, it's not worth it. So when I, around the time I stopped being plant-based, the blog didn't seem to make sense anymore, and I wasn't making enough money at that point to be able to just flip off the corporate work and go all in I needed to ramp up and I had half a household to pull it up with my income. And I realized that it was the writing that I was enjoying. It was like such a aha moment. It was like, Oh, I really love blogging. I love emailing people. And in my corporate work I'd been writing proposals, selling billions of dollars of work. I was writing bios, writing people's LinkedIn profiles, and people would always bring their words to me. And say, Hey, can you help me make this better? And I would put everything else aside and do that first. Even if there was other stuff that had to happen. I did that first cause I loved it and it was like, Oh, this is fun. And then I had, I was like, okay, I'm maybe I can do a business with this. So after a crazy morning trying to get the kids out of the door, I think my youngest was three at the time. So there were three and six. Getting ready for an hour, something commute so I can work all day and do it again. I'd had enough and I wondered if I could do less, actually work less hours and enjoy it and even make more money. I knew incorporate my income, had a ceiling, so I dedicated. It was my time to saying, okay, I'm going to wrap this up on the side and our household agreement. My husband said, once you're making half of your corporate income in this side business. And my side business at that time was freelance writing. Then if I do that three months in a row, then I could quit and I did it and I was like, look, here we go. I'm grateful to corporate because it gave me those skills I have today. And a lot of my clients come to me because they're also in a similar position, leaving corporate, doing work. They love. And having that experience, communicating, working with a team, being persuasive in your writing, it's all business owners stuff. So it was, uh, it was super helpful to have that experience and be able to take that and apply it to my work. Diane: so you started off with freelance writing. Is that article writing or were you straight into, I'm going to do copy for people? Jacq: It started with anything and everything. It was like, whatever you want me to write or edit, I will do it for you. how I got started with my first few clients, I sent out a couple of personalized emails to people in my network, people who I knew, and I offered to do a little bit of work for free, in return for a great testimonial and some feedback. That's all I ask. And those first few things I worked on were one was a LinkedIn article for someone who English was their second language and they were in the tech space and wanted to sound human. The other one was in job description for someone who was in a small company who wanted a promotion. So he was. Writing his job description. So it was a little bit all over the place. I quickly jumped into doing a lot of blog writing for people. So writing in their voice, taking their expertise in writing their articles and website copywriting. So their whole websites, and then everything that comes out of that, because once you're done a website, then you're going to be sharing content in some format. Most often for my clients that was blogging. Even if it's podcasting, they can turn that into a blog. Emails to sell stuff, sales pages to sell their courses or their programs or their one-on-one services and social media copy. There's copy it's everywhere. Diane: Fab businesses all because there's no end. you don't ever stop writing in your business. Jacq: No. Diane: I'm curious to understand how you got from where you were writing one one-to-one to having this idea of the community in this way. Jacq: So I loved one-on-one work. That was how I got my start and quickly grew my business. And then I started hosting these things called writing marathons. And I was selling them as a one-off workshop. It was fun. It was three hours where a bunch of business owners would log onto zoom. They would bring copy to either just get a whole bunch done. So people could hammer out three blog posts in three hours or do significant. Amount of writing on their book and I would be there live to help coach them through it. So if you have a question or get stuck, you're like, what's a great subject line for this email. Or can you look at this blog post and tell me if this makes sense, can you look at the flow? And I would be there. I would screen share and everyone was there listening. So it was definitely a safe space where everyone applied to get in. People trust the MOFO code when you're sharing words in there. So I would talk through copy lines, brainstorming ideas, and people in there loved it for a couple of reasons. One, it was three hours of focused writing time that they wouldn't have committed to otherwise on their own. It was accountability to see like a dozen other writers on screen, because when you're on a zoom call with. 10 people and they're all writing and you're not going to go goof off and scroll Instagram here. You're going to write. Diane: It's also like you've put three hours in your diary for writing. It's one thing to say to yourself, I'm going to write for three hours tomorrow, and it's another thing to have something that you have paid for. Say, you've got three hours in your diary tomorrow. Jacq: Yeah, exactly. And if you want feedback, you're going to do some writing so you can show me and you can get some support on it. So huge reasons why that was helpful. And I was hosting these one-off workshops, maybe two or three times a month. And I got to the point where it was like, I'm constantly talking about these workshops and trying to fill them and like what a 15 people sign up for one. And two people sign up for another one, like, well, good for those two, two people, because they're going to get a lot of feedback, but it wasn't that that wasn't sustainable. And I surveyed everyone who had attended and asked what they liked about it. And they all said, I really love this. I got so much done. It was so helpful getting feedback. Like I saved so much time from overthinking and over analyzing, and I really wish I could do this every month. That's what I was like, thinking, Oh, this is like a community of like a membership. So the MOFO community just turned two. It actually turned two on my 40th birthday. I launched it on my birthday. I had launched the community with a handful of personalized emails to people who had attended those workshops and said, Hey, you want to do this every month, let's do this. And it was a very. Very quick thing that just happened. And from there it grew into other things based on what I realized people needed. So marathons are one thing and also discovering the need of some people who want feedback. And some people don't want feedback. Some people were other copywriters writers, creatives, coaches like me, who weren't doing their own writing. They didn't need my feedback. They just needed the time and space. So there are two areas of the community, if you will. One is for co-writing like co-working with a writing focus. Some people come to even just do their coworking or do stuff that they don't like in their business. Maybe they do their bookkeeping or social media scheduling or things like that. Diane: I've just shown up when I needed to see like an actual human face. And I've had a day where I've just been buried because they're often in the afternoon my time and I'll be like, Ooh, I've not spoken to anyone today. Let me pop in and say hi to humans. Jacq: yeah, having coworkers is something I missed from being the corporate space. Yes. I'm an introvert and yes, I also still enjoy people to some degree in doses. So in a co-writing session, those are two hours long. We hop on a zoom call. We declare what we're working on. I check in halfway through and then right before we break. So it's like, Hey Diane, how's that blog post going? You'd be like, I'm done. I'm onto my social media. Now I'm all done and scheduled for the next month. Something like that. And then the other things we do in that community are workshops. So I bring workshops to the community once or twice a month. Managing, like I know taking in information is a lot and there is so much information out there. So I don't necessarily want to add to people's to do list of like, Oh, I got to watch this training. I got to do this, but I'll bring in other experts or all focus on a topic like going deep on sales pages, for instance, or bringing in someone to talk about your LinkedIn profile so like I said, that blinking cursor of death, a blank page as a writer, I almost never start from a blank page. I start from a template or I start from something written already and then rewrite it. It is so much easier to do that. So we have templates that are constantly growing, based on what people are needing. So I like to think of it as a buffet it's there when you need it, get what you need. You don't need to be there all the time. Like you don't have to drink from the fire hose of, a bunch of information, and there's also a community aspect in there. So everyone connects with one another and also seeing the relationships that's happened in there is super fun to watch unfold. Cause I'm like, Oh, they connected and seeing people on your podcasts and seeing all the new business ideas that are coming out of that is really cool. Diane: I think the community is a big part of it. we tend to think of writing as like writing In solitude, but I think seeing somebody else be like, Oh, I'm really struggling with this headline or this blog, or getting this idea out is really helpful to be like, okay, I'm not the only one who thinks this is the hardest thing on earth to do at this moment in time. But then also the people who are like, okay, here are my 17 blogs for the next six months, give you a little bit of a jolt of like, Whoa, What's going on in their business, that they can do that, that I'm not doing in my business. And I think it's a very friendly environment for all of that. I think people are very supportive of each other of the writing. People are always like, I know if you're reviewing something of mine, we've named many things, the writing marathons, including this podcast and. you and I will be talking, but people are in the chat, dropping their ideas it's a fun way to interact with writing that doesn't feel like this heavy obligation of like, Oh, now it's time for me to come up with something to write a 500 word blog on because it's Wednesday and I publish on a Thursday. Jacq: exactly. I really want writing to feel easier for some people it's even fun now. And I love that you're talking about that experience of the community. So that that experience is in the coaching side of the community. So in co-writing it's quiet time where you can focus and get your work done. Diane: I think also it's an interesting, from my perspective and interesting business model, because you've essentially scaled one-to-one in a very non traditional model. So a coaching or service businesses usually encouraged do one-to-one first, then do group, then write a course. Then have a content driven membership and you've kind of taken what would be a group coaching environment and applied it to a services business. I want to give people an idea of like how many people you all supporting in that community. Jacq: so the coaching space is limited because I can provide coaching and I really enjoy providing an intimate experience roughly up to 40 people in that community and because of different time zones and schedules and how often writing sessions happen, I've never seen 40 people on a call. It's usually like a dozen or so at most, it doesn't would be a lot. And sometimes there's three people on a call. It all depends. people might just join for like an hour. They know that block of time is there, like I'm going to get in, see my people do some writing and get out in the co-writing community. It's a little bit different because they don't need support. So that community is currently growing roughly at about 50, 60 people. And growing, and that's the one that will grow bigger. Diane: Let's talk about the coaching element because the coaching element is a three hour marathon, usually once a week. So supporting one-to-one cause you get personal feedback, 50 odd people in three hours a week. Because for me, when I think about people looking to leverage and wanting to do small courses and many products I always come back to, well, is there a different way that you can still do the piece that you love and scale it? And I think this is such an interesting example. Would you be tempted to add a second marathon and grow it further? Or do you feel like your mental capacity for knowing where everyone's business is? And what they're writing on is probably kept. Jacq: that's a great question. I've thought about adding more sessions and I've experimented with that and doing that. Only spreads out the session so that there's less and less people on them. And there hasn't been a case yet where anyone has left and been like, Oh, I didn't get feedback. Everyone gets what they need. And another thing to keep in mind is not. So some people don't even come to the marathons. There are people in the MOFO community who are getting coaching and they. Don't want to do the marathon. everyone also gets up to 2000 words reviewed by me privately. and they'll skip the marathon altogether. Diane: I think it's so interesting because it is one-to-one feedback in a group setting. So it's finding a completely different way to do group. That is still one-to-one supportive, which I just, I think is just brilliant Jacq: so some people will go back and forth between coaching and co-writing because they don't necessarily need feedback. They are, they know what they're doing, and then they just want the writing space and time and workshops. But it's the doing that is so key and showing up and doing it over and over. Diane: if people are listening to this and thinking, well, hang on, I want, I want to get better at writing how do they get into MOFO? Jacq: Co-writing people are welcome to join any time. Coaching because it's nuanced and I'll be providing feedback. I also want to see what level people are at. And sometimes people are a better fit for one-on-one work before doing that. Like we'll work together for an intense month. One-on-one get a bunch of stuff done and then they can go into that. So for the coaching community, everybody applies. And then if I need a follow up conversation, we can do that too. And for coaching, I'm always happy to talk to people before coming in. Diane: they can just reach out through application on your website and off they go. so Jacq, I want to finish up with a couple of questions that I ask all of my guests. First of all, what is your number one lifestyle boundary for your business? Jacq: I have lots of boundaries. I love boundaries and I'm putting more and more of them up all the time. I think it's social media. So there's boundaries within that. So creating stuff before I hop on to consume anything on social media, limiting time on there, limiting energy and Just being aware of what I'm looking at. So am I going to be seeing something that's going to make me think I need to do more, do something else, try something else. if you have shiny object syndrome, social media is not the best place to be. Diane: Yeah, normally we see toodaloo on Friday and you're gone until Monday, but you've also taken a couple of intentional writing related breaks. Jacq: I have. Yep. Um, probably about three entire months. I've taken completely off social media. because I run because the mobile community is in a Facebook group. I go in, I check on my groups. And I was out. So even though it was a break, I was still in there doing a thing. And that was usually if I had a big writing project to complete. If you do the math on how much time you invest in social media, even if it's an hour a day, how much could you do in an hour, a day, an hour today for a month 30 hours. So the most recent break I took from social media. I would only do social media on workdays. I think there was 22 work days in July. That was the last time I took a break 22 work days, 22 hours. And because I track my time, my goal, I had a ton of revisions to finish all my book. And I looked at the time I invested in my book in July and it was 23 hours. instead of spending an hour scrolling, I spent an hour creating something. That's going to be something I can hold in my hand. Diane: that's such a concrete example for people. Okay. And finally, what was the worst piece of cookie cutter advice you've ever been given as a business owner? Jacq: it was that you'll burn out doing one-on-one services, you have to scale. And I was like, Hmm, that's not necessarily true for everyone. And I knew for myself that that was a choice. Like you'll burn out if you choose to do business a certain way, but one-on-one is absolutely a great business design. Diane: eventually, if everybody stopped doing one to one, Who's going to do all the one to one. So basically only the least skilled people. Well, I'm doing one-to-one because everybody else has decided not to do one to one anymore and scale through passive income. I mean, that's a fairly terrifying thought to me. Jacq: it really is. And quite often, I mean, at the point I'm at, in my business, Programs and courses. Aren't what I want most right now. I want to hire an expert for however much time. they know their service takes you. If it's a 90 minute call, I am happy to pay for that. Or if it's like an intensive week or a month, instead of doing it myself, like there's, I know what I'm good at. And I'm going to focus on that stuff. I'm going to let the other experts do what they're good at. Diane: Well, I look forward to watching new MOFOs, join the pack. Thank you so much. Jacq has been such an interesting conversation. Where is the best place for people to connect with you? If they want to carry on the conversation? Jacq: best place to find me is on my website, Jacqueline fish.com, all the links to the MOFO community and all the good things are there. Diane: Awesome. Thanks so much, Jacq. Jacq: Thanks Diane.
Scaling your business doesn’t have to mean courses and memberships are the only options. Finding what works for you (or building it) will make you business fit like a glove
Hybrid business models can bring together the best parts of 1 to 1 offers and more passive programs to help you grow your business in a way that feels good to YOU
We talk about
- How experiments may help you discover a new way of working
- How the MOFO model combines 1 to 1 support and community
- How customers can direct your net moves
Jacq Fisch is a writer and intuitive writing coach for creative business owners who want to sound human in their copy, so they sell more and get more clients. She also gives writers the time, space, and a creative container to finally find time to work on their passion projects.
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.