We know the past 20 years have dramatically changed how you sell. Some say it’s easier now. Others say it’s harder now. We just like to celebrate your successes. In this episode of Celebrate The Wins, discover how adding true value always brings back a greater return than the investment. Join Yip Yip CEO Brandon Lee as he celebrates with Stefani Diaz founder and CEO of Master Mind Your Launch and her experience with the Face Forward Intensive for business women entrepreneurs.
About the Guest:
Stefanie Diaz is a successful marketing strategist, radio host, and brand guru who specializes in empowering entrepreneurs. Her company, Mastermind Your Launch, has helped multiple businesses put the right face, message, and systems behind their brand so that they can confidently and effectively enter the marketplace.
Stefanie shares her insights as well as compelling stories of Atlanta technology entrepreneurs on the Mastermind Your Launch radio show airing weekly on Business Radio X. Generating over 30,000 unique listeners per episode, she enjoys providing startups of all stages with a platform to tell their story in a unique and authentic way.
Recently named among Atlanta’s Startup Wonder Women by Hypepotamus, Stefanie’s impact on the Atlanta startup community goes well beyond the work she does with her clients. She is a Community Organizer for 1 Million Cups Atlanta, the MC for Alpharetta Startup Connect and TiECON Southeast, and a mentor to standout startups at Techsquare Labs’ Atlanta Startup Battle.
You can learn more about Stefanie and her work at MastermindYourLaunch.com.
Brandon Lee: Hey everybody it’s Brandon Lee from Yip Yip and welcome back to another episode of Celebrate the Wins where we love to celebrate sales wins. Stefanie welcome, thanks for coming today.
Stefanie Diaz: Thanks for having me.
Brandon Lee: Absolutely. Good. Wonderful. Well let me introduce you to everybody. This is my friend Stefanie Diaz. We met here in Atlanta, we’ve done some work together. She is amazing at what she does. She is the founder of Mastermind your Launch, it’s a business she’s had for about two and a half years. I love your story of transition and change and how you started it and we’re not going to get into that today, maybe another time. But she has an amazing, incredible story here, and I want to make sure I get this right for you, you’re a personal brand and visibility coach for entrepreneurs and you are a radio host.
Stefanie Diaz: Yes.
Brandon Lee: Stefanie Diaz welcome to Celebrate the Wins.
Stefanie Diaz: Brandon, thank you so much for having me here. I’m really excited to be on the show with you.
Brandon Lee: Wonderful. Well we have always had great conversations between the two of us, the energy level keeps going up which is fantastic. So let’s jump into this because as you know, we do five questions in 18 minutes or less and we’re going to celebrate your win and in the process you’re going to hopefully help people listening, learn a little bit about what you did, maybe learn from your successes, maybe learn from things you think you could do better next time. So we’re jumping in. Ready to dive in?
Stefanie Diaz: I’m ready. Let’s do it.
Brandon Lee: Okay. So question number one as you know is, do you think sales are harder now or easier than they were ten years ago?
Stefanie Diaz: So-
Brandon Lee: And I’ll save my comments by the way.
Stefanie Diaz: Thank you. So I kind of took a cop out on this question because I’m going to say both, but I have an explanation for that.
Brandon Lee: Cop out.
Stefanie Diaz: I think that sales can be easier today if you are leveraging content and getting your brand out there. I’ve had several cases where I hop on a sales call with someone and they are already ready. They’ve been following me, I’ve even had the comment, “Oh my God it’s you.” Like they hear my voice because they’ve been listening to the radio show. There’s so much rapport built there and yet I haven’t, this is my first engagement with them. This is my first time meeting them but they feel like they know me and so that know, like and trust is there because I have been putting out my voice, putting out my brand and putting out content that’s serving them. So that makes sales conversations really really easy. I mean, it’s really just a matter of making sure that you know we’re addressing their pain point and whatever the engagement is and then letting them know what the next steps are. So for that reason I say that it can be easier now in sales. However, I will say that it’s also harder. Because there’s a lot of noise. There are a lot of people putting out content, putting their voice out there and so, how are you connecting with the audience? How are you being unique? How are you know relating to them and speaking their language? That and they’re bombarded with tons of messages like that, so that can make it harder. So sorry.
Brandon Lee: That’s a cop out, total cop out. But you know what I want to say is you’ve done a great job, I mean I would fully in all honesty, I would’ve expected you to say easier. Now first of all, ten years ago you may have been, I don’t know, a sophomore in high school or something but that’s besides the point. I would have expected you to say easier because of what you said at the beginning. You’ve done a great job of being consistent with content, you have multiple mediums of your content, you have your radio show, your writing, you’ve got good graphics and images going up on Instagram and Facebook and things. So I would have expected you to say if you put a plan in place it’s very easy. But I do get that, I mean … every time I hear the word ‘noise’ like I want to go, “Gosh we’ve got to figure what the heck we all mean with this noise,” because it’s there and we’re all aware of it but at the same time we can cut through noise.
Stefanie Diaz: That’s true. Well and it is true. And I think that that’s where the personal brand comes into play. I’ll share a little bit about my beliefs and why I focus on personal branding with my clients because I believe in it so much, because to your point I mean it’s been a game changer for me in reinventing my entire career. It really comes down to sharing not just your knowledge but taking that extra step to let yourself and your personality be authentically seen and really make a connection with your audience. A lot of people when they think, “You know, I need to blog or even podcast” it is … “Let me share some tips, some how-to’s.” They get right to work sharing here are three tips for this and three you know, I don’t know, do’s and don’t for xyz and they start sharing some knowledge but there’s no connection. They’re not even putting their face in at their email marketing so it’s like who is this coming from? It’s all at like an info@ email address.
You know they really try to mask the personality of their company or even themselves and I think that is a really lost opportunity. So the more than you can focus there, the more that people are going to say you know I have this problem I need an accountant, I need a lawyer and I don’t need to search because I kind of already know who I want to work with, it’s that person that I keep seeing that I really like.
Brandon Lee: Right. Yeah and then it comes back to what you said is when you get on, and I’ve been doing content marketing for almost 20 years now, and I’ve heard this over and over and over. This was pre-digital too, is content builds relationships. So we would get people that’d say they went on what they thought was a sales call and they would say something like well you know if you choose to work with us or if you do this, like what do you mean if? Right? I know you, I chose you there’s no one else coming in behind you and it’s the power of content, quality content that’s targeted, that is consistent, builds relationships.
Stefanie Diaz: It is. I mean think about your favorite bands that you’re loyal too, I mean that’s content right there and you’re loyal and you’d pay 200 dollars for front row seats when they come into town. You feel like you know them, love them. That’s content too. So, not just in the business sense but just how much of a relationship and a loyalty that can be built with someone that you have never met and might not ever meet.
Brandon Lee: Yeah, that’s great. Okay we got to move on because that 18 minute counter is like pushing me already. I’m so sorry but tell us about your win, the win that you want to celebrate and why it was so important for you to come out here and celebrate it. I would do the dance but you dance so much better than I do, so I’m leaving all the dancing on this episode to you.
Stefanie Diaz: So my big win, you know this year I really took a big pivot in my business and started being more intentional about focusing on women entrepreneurs. That all started with an event WOE, W-O-E for Women Only Entrepreneurs, and we’ve hosted two to date here in the Atlanta area. So that’s a huge win in and of itself, but I have a story from those and a little bit of a lesson learned, that’s my true win. It’s an event that was inspired by WOE, and it’s called the Face Forward Intensive. It’s a one day intimate personal brand and visibility workshop for entrepreneurial women and the story behind the Face Forward Intensive is that when I hosted the first WOE event I didn’t make an offer at the end, I didn’t pitch anything, I didn’t even really talk about me and what I did. I wanted to create just an amazing experience for the people attending and that was my entire focus was just that program and I didn’t offer a next step. What happened was there were women that were so inspired, they’re like okay so how do I stay involved? Is there a membership? I mean when people are like trying to give you money and you’re like no there’s nothing. That really taught me something and it’s not just about capitalizing on you know the energy that they had, but it’s that these women need something. I have learned so much how do I give back and help them take better steps along their journey and so I started thinking about the best way that I could serve and put together the Face Forward Intensive because it really speaks to all of the things that I’m inspired by, collaboration, obviously personal branding and really making it focused on women entrepreneurs. So I hosted my first intensive last Friday and it was so incredible. Like I had expectations of how I was going to serve, but just the experience when everyone got in the room was so much more than I even planned that now Face Forward is going to be a recurring event for Mastermind your Launch as well. So that is my big win-
Brandon Lee: That is a great win so we’re going to celebrate that great win. Good job. Very proud of you. Hey you know what I want to point out with that is and as you know we go through the WIN framework with the questions but what I love about that is we’re kind of jumping to the end already. What’s the nugget that you’re going to do next time? So you started with WOE, the Women Only Entrepreneurs and went I need to do something different next time. You probably went through, you knew all the things you did well and there were some things you wanted to improve but next time you’re like I need an offer, I need something to keep in front of them and provide more opportunity for them to connect and get this great content. You created a new event out of nothing. That’s fantastic.
Stefanie Diaz: And I think, yeah, the big takeaway for me as far as like … and this is just a lesson for me to take in everything I do, is to always know what that next step should be, and serve, and knowing that you know by not making an offer it was really a disservice to the audience in that first event. It’s really your service to the people that you work with to make sure if there’s still something hanging out for them, how are you going to help them? I think a lot of times when it comes to sales, we’re scared to make the offer, we’re scared to make the pitch because we don’t want to seem sales-y. That totally got reframed for me with that whole experience because I realized that it’s my job to put something out there that’s going to be of value and I don’t want someone to take it if it’s not going to serve them. But if it’s going to serve them, then it’s my responsibility to make sure that it’s there for them to take advantage of.
Brandon Lee: Right, right. One of the things that I heard that I really loved, is just reminding us that whether you’re a solopreneur building a company or you’re a sales person in a larger company or anything, you always have to be prepared for what’s next. Like what are you doing? What are you offering next? Whether they’re still in prospect mode or they’re a client, what’s next that’s helping them, that’s adding value? So I mean you’re still selling even once the deal is done, because now you’re working on retention or referrals or you know moving them to the next level or the next product or whatever it may be. So that is such a great reminder of always be aware of what’s next and you kind of messed up the first time right? You didn’t have the offer, but you took it as a learning opportunity and created a new program and off you went. So good for you that’s awesome.
Stefanie Diaz: Thank you.
Brandon Lee: Yeah. So, when you had the Face Forward Intensive, give like one or two things like what did you do really well in that process? Because that’s … I mean that’s right what we need to celebrate. What did you do well?
Stefanie Diaz: So what I did really well with the Face Forward Intensive is being really intentional about providing the guests a framework. It’s really a step by step system that allows them to build out the messaging, the platform and channels, and the visual brand that they’re going to be launching. It makes their next steps very crystal clear. So that is what really made the day so effortless and just really really exciting to like engage in conversation because it was so crystal clear you know where we were and there where we were going. The framework was really a big part of that.
Brandon Lee: Well I imagine the takeaway for them having a framework because you know in any type of business it’s always like if you have concepts of what you want to do and where you’re going without the framework, it makes it just a lot harder to get there.
Stefanie Diaz: Right. Well and actually … hold on one second. I’m going to grab something. I have it right here. So the framework was in a notebook too, and so they have this takeaway and there’s all of the questions and so this is a resource that they can refer back to for years and years. But there are little notes in it, add to it, go through the steps. You know if their business evolves in two years and they want to revisit this entire structure, to build new messaging, then they have it all right here. And so I think that was a really big part of it too.
Brandon Lee: Very cool. Okay so Stefanie move to the side a little bit and do this.
Stefanie Diaz: Plug?
Brandon Lee: No just do that. There you go. Because right there is where we’ll put the URL.
Stefanie Diaz: Mastermindyourlaunch.com/faceforward.
Brandon Lee: There you go. The shameless plug of here’s my three ringed binder that everybody gets, it’s all good.
Stefanie Diaz: I worked really hard on that binder, I’ll have you know.
Brandon Lee: So let’s move into then the improve side. When you did the event, the Face Forward Intensive and you had successes, and I know you did a lot of other things really well and I’m sorry we’re moving because it’s five questions in 18 minutes and yeah. So what are one or two things that you looked at afterwards and said these are areas I could improve?
Stefanie Diaz: So the areas I think as far as improving is now that I’ve made it a regular part of the brand and the product offerings, is about being consistent with the marketing of it. You know leading up to the first workshop, I did a series of Facebook lives, I published Linkedin articles, you know it was all this hype. Well I can’t go back and re-film a new Facebook live that’s the same message, I have to figure out now how am I going to push the new event. I mean something to, just you know my kind of next to do is figuring out that content marketing system that’s going to drive the new events and how to keep it fresh.
Brandon Lee: Got it.
Stefanie Diaz: So yeah, it’s really one of my challenges moving forward for sure.
Brandon Lee: Anything else you look back on that and say this is an area of improvement for me?
Stefanie Diaz: Oh gosh I mean there’s tons.
Stefanie Diaz: I will say another lesson learned from the Face Forward Intensive is that you know when I put it together, I wanted it to be intimate but intimate you know can still vary. So I was thinking like we have 15 people in the room and go through all of this, and we ended up having like it was a higher price point because I wanted to make sure it was women who were already established in their businesses, were clear on their product offerings. We had to move the date a couple of times because I got sick really badly after Tony Robbins and so we ended up having a smaller group in the session. At first I was like, did I … is this kind of like not a failure, but I came short of my expectation. Actually what happened was I realized this has to be a four to six person event because it would not have worked with any more people in the room. It really provided the space for them to have max value and so sometimes when you’re going to provide that big value, you’ve got to scale back you know and just be realistic about what’s the right format for you to do that.
Brandon Lee: Cool.
Stefanie Diaz: So it was a blessing.
Brandon Lee: A good learning out of that then for next time.
Stefanie Diaz: Yeah.
Brandon Lee: Yeah cool. Well that runs us right into next time and maybe that was the one very specific but is there anything else, you know part of this format is helping everybody learn from our successes. So now that you’ve been through it, you’ve had some success, what are one or two nuggets that you’ve learned that you’ll do differently next time?
Stefanie Diaz: Yeah I think just really putting myself in the shoes of the person and creating from that space. Making sure that I’m not just throwing in everything and the sink, but really being intentional about what is going to take them from point A to point B and keeping it simple, like I said, that simple framework. I think a lot of times we feel like we have to overdo, and I actually spoke with someone recently. She said she hosted an event and by the end the curriculum that she put together, she’s having to flip through quickly to get through because she had overstuffed the day. So keeping it simple so that people can actually digest and be clear and not be overwhelmed. You don’t want people brain dead at the end of a workshop, you want them inspired and like ready to go. I think that’s something that will be very intentional moving forward.
Brandon Lee: Yeah cool.
Stefanie Diaz: Yeah.
Brandon Lee: And here I thought and I expected the thing that you would do differently next time is open it up to men so that I could come, but that wasn’t part of your next time huh.
Stefanie Diaz: I don’t know, maybe. There’s room for man-bassadors as we call them.
Brandon Lee: Very good.
Stefanie Diaz: Yeah, yeah.
Brandon Lee: I am working on my next book, I might need help getting that thing launched and focused.
Stefanie Diaz: I’m your girl.
Brandon Lee: That’s it you are. Okay so, we are almost done. So we got two things left to do. One is my surprise question of course, which you did not know about. Then the second thing is for you to plug away. It is shameless plug time. So I mean you can even do that again if you want. Mastermindyourlaunch.com.
Stefanie Diaz: Yes.
Brandon Lee: Where else would you want people to go? Tell us about your podcast.
Stefanie Diaz: Okay. Yeah. So the radio show, mastermindyourlaunch.com. If you’re tuning into this after October 2017, I’ll give you a sneak peek. We’ll be talking about the Stefanie Diaz show, it’s been completely revamped because the podcast has been around for two and a half years and it’s time to freshen it up.
Brandon Lee: And 100 episodes.
Stefanie Diaz: 100 episodes that is right.
Brandon Lee: Very cool. That deserves some celebration as well. Congratulations. That’s awesome.
Stefanie Diaz: So, yeah. We’re going to revamp and refresh, but still mastermindyourlaunch.com events, radio episodes, free downloads, a lot of good stuff there so check it out.
Brandon Lee: Awesome. There you go. Okay. Surprise question of the day, you ready?
Stefanie Diaz: I’m not ready. Yes.
Brandon Lee: You’re not ready. It’ll be an easy one for you, you ready?
Stefanie Diaz: Yeah.
Brandon Lee: What I know about you, and I what I see with you on social media, ready? What is your favorite dance?
Stefanie Diaz: My favorite dance. Okay so, my favorite … okay back story for the people that don’t know. I’m a dancer and I love taking dance classes any time I can fit it into my schedule. My favorite dance is I’m going to say contemporary. The reason is because it’s very emotional and expressive and I think that’s the reason that I love dance it’s because I can express what I’m feeling and it’s like this outlet for me. So contemporary, those classes I just love.
Brandon Lee: Very cool. Thank you. Well I think our editors are going to have a little fun with some animation and sound effects on that. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the outcome of that. Stefanie Diaz with Mastermind your Launch, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it. Congratulations on all your success, but really thank you for coming in, sharing that win with us and telling us about your process. Congratulations.
Stefanie Diaz: Thank you so much for having me. Thank you to everyone who watched and yeah congrats to you too. Proud of you.
Brandon Lee: Hey thanks Stefanie. Alright everybody, Brandon Lee again with goyipyip.com. Thank you so much and hey if you know anybody that is in sales functions or building companies and they have some great wins that you think should be shared on our show, let us know who they are we’ll get them in the lineup and bring them on and we will celebrate their wins as well. Hope you all have a great day. Thanks for coming. Bye.