Bernadette Doyle Interview – How To Attract Clients Like A Magnet
More Leads, More Clients, More Sales
Today I am very pleased to introduce my very good friend Bernadette Doyle of ClientMagnets.com – an amazing website that teaches how to attract Clients Like a Magnet. Or as Bernadette puts it – how to get more leads in business, get more sales and get more clients.
When Bernadette Doyle discovered she was expecting her first child she quickly realized that her old ways of making money were no longer viable. Trading time for money, traveling to client sites and overnight stays had to go. She needed a new revenue model that would give her more time, freedom and profits.
Over the past three years Bernadette has built a million dollar plus business while working from home and running her business part time while raising her two sons. Now Bernadette works just three days a week and has set up her business so she can work from anywhere in the world.
This is a truly remarkable interview from a truly remarkable lady – Bernadette delivers and then delivers a bit more. Every time I am around her I walk away with more knowledge, more inspiration and frankly more “fire in my belly” – please take the time to listen to this podcast fully or read the transcript below, I am confident you will feel the same.
Bernadette reminds us of a quote by Doreen Virtue in this interview that really impacted on me:
God doesn’t give us our dreams without ability to make them happen
Very wise words. So what are you dreams?
NB: Please do yourself a favor and read / listen to this interview in its entirety, Bernadette’s message really is that important. Sure, it is a little bit different from some of the Make Money Online stuff I feature here, but that is all the more reason to take it all in. Bernadette also offers incredible insight as a working mother – made me realize just how easy my working circumstances and responsibilities are.
Enjoy the interview, as always I look forward to your comments.
Bernadette Doyle Interview Transcript:
Michael Dunlop: Hello everyone, this is Michael Dunlop from Income Diary and today I’m with Bernadette Doyle, who runs ClientMagnets.com – an amazing website that teaches how to attract Clients Like a Magnet.
Welcome, Bernadette to the call, let’s start with our first question.
Clientmagnets.com is a great name. How did you come up with it and what inspired you?
Bernadette Doyle: This is very much a case of intuition. Because it was in 2001 when I was still making money as a corporate trainer and oddly enough teaching cold calling. But I knew I wanted to start doing something that was showing people the more magnetic ways that I was attracting business. More the pull marketing rather than push marketing.
Actually what happened was the phrase sort of entered my consciousness and I just was aware of this idea, “client magnets,” “client magnets” and I thought, “Yeah, that is going to be the name for my Website.” It literally did land in my brain from the sky.
Michael: It’s a very powerful name. It focuses on helping consultants, coaches, trainers, et cetera, et cetera, get more sales and get more clients. Tell me, what is your biggest tip for anybody who wants to achieve that?
Bernadette: My biggest piece of advice?
Bernadette: The key thing that underlines everything that goes on in this is changing your mindset about what it takes to get business. If you look at how most self-employed people are, most small businesses are going about getting business, there’s always some element of chasing, there’s always some element of pushing.
A great analogy is if you look at dating, the one night, the one time that you’re desperate for a date on a Saturday night that is the time when it feels like you are sprayed with dating repellent. Men and women notice that sometimes finding a partner, it is a bit like waiting for a bus, you wait for a long time and then three come along at once.
My take on that is it’s actually your energy. I think sometimes when we’re desperate for something we end up pushing it away. It doesn’t just apply to getting clients or meeting a partner. If you ever lost your keys in your house, you hunt and hunt and hunt for the keys and it is only the instant you stop looking that they suddenly turn up.
Intuitively a lot of us know that this works. We have experienced it so many times in our life and yet we don’t apply it to business. What I’m basically saying to people is if you can stop chasing and you take that chasing desperate energy out of what you’re doing you simultaneously become so much more attractive to potential clients, to people who can refer you business and there is a whole new area of ease around what you are doing that makes people what to be with you. They want to work with you. They are drawn to you, that feeling. They are feeling that magnetic energy.
Michael: Fantastic advice. What do you think is the most typical mistake small businesses make in trying to attract business to them?
Bernadette: Aside from that, about really getting caught up in chasing, what I see people doing a lot is they are applying techniques but they have no strategy in place. This is one of the reasons why I love the Internet, the Internet is very important for my business. It has helped my businesses. I have connected with a lot of powerful mentors via the Internet. I love the Internet.
But one of the down sides to the Internet that makes so much information available for free that what can happen is that people get overloaded with information and ideas. What you see is people taking a piece of a technique and applying it but without really looking at the big picture of their business.
That’s why I think you see lots of people jumping on to blogs, for example, which I know you do, to Twitter and social media. But all of those things will just be busy work unless you have an underlying strategy. I love Twitter, but Twitter for me; I use it as a list building tool. I use it to bring people into my funnel and then to market to them and make the sales from there.
I see a lot of people spending hours on Twitter every day, because they haven’t actually thought through what are the next steps, “what am I aiming to do?” “What actually is going to be my specific process after someone connects with me on Twitter?” “How am I going to turn this into paying business?” It just becomes very very busy.
I think the biggest mistake I see small businesses make is getting very caught up in busy work because they’re focusing at the level of technique and they need to stop that and go, “what is my business about?” “What am I really trying to accomplish and how can I design the most efficient processes to generate leads to attract business and then turn that interest into paying business?”
Michael: That is great advice, something I find with a lot of my personal students, as they have information overload themselves. That was great.
Was Client Magnets your first business? How did you get started in client attraction?
Bernadette: It wasn’t my first business; it was my first online business. But I actually started out, I was self employed probably before you were born Michael. I was self employed in 1996. I previously worked in a sales role and I started out opening new accounts in a telecoms company.
One of the things I learned to do quite well, not willingly because I wasn’t good at it to start with, was I learned how to make a phone call that could generate an appointment. In sales this is like the Holy Grail, it’s something that sales people complain about a lot. They don’t want to set their own appointments; they think telemarketers should do that for them.
A big job that a sales manager has with managing a team of field sales people is making sure that they are out in the field in front of customers. Because otherwise they’re very expensive people to have on your team if they’re not out there generating business.
Because I got quite good at the cold calling side I had some people approach me and say would I show them my methods and my techniques for generating an appointment over the phone. And so my first business was born. What I really wanted to teach was NLP. I’ve done a lot Neuro-Linguistic Programming training and I was really fascinated about how that applied to sales. I was really interested in teaching that.
But my first lesson in business was that no one was buying that. A sales manager wasn’t waking up in the morning, this was 1996, going, “I wonder where I can find an NLP trainer to train my sales team?” They were waking up and saying, “Oh my god, the team aren’t out on enough appointments.” Or, “I’ve got John who sits in the office filing expenses and paperwork but he is not actually picking up the phone.”
I knew I had something to help those people, the sales managers. I also knew I had something to help the sales people. Because ultimately sales people don’t like being unsuccessful, they want to have the business, they want to have the commission checks, they want to have the recognition and success. I knew I had methods that they could use because I had been there and done that. I understand where they were coming from.
What I did was more out of desperation then any clever planning on my part. I just focused on cold calling, and over the next couple of years I really built a name for myself as being a cold calling, phone prospecting expert. I had lots and lots of clients come to me and seek me out because I’d established myself.
That was actually then what got me thinking about client magnets. Because the irony was I had many people who were running small businesses come to me saying, “We want you to teach us cold calling.” But I knew from my own experience running a small business cold calling was not the most efficient method of acquiring new clients for a small business.
I was quite happy to train it to corporate, because I knew for big companies it still makes sense for how they’re set up. I knew that for the small business owner the idea of spending lots of time on the phone cold calling, it does not make sense, not with all the other hats you have to wear in a small business.
I wanted to do something where I could share with people all of the other things I was doing to get new clients beyond picking up the phone and making cold calls. That was why I started thinking about what I would be putting into the client magnets package.
Michael: Great. This is a slightly embarrassing question, but what has been your biggest business mistake, and what did you learn from it?
Bernadette: Oh my god, there’s so many to chose from. The first big business mistake, that training business that I set up in 1996, the big mistake I had in that business was that my business model was wrong.
In that business I was the main sales person. I was the person going out and meeting clients and writing proposals and generating business. I was also the main person delivering my training. I quickly hit the ceiling on my income where there just weren’t enough hours in the week for me to sell and follow up with every inquiry that we had coming in and also deliver the material.
When I started to look to leverage, first of all I tried to find trainers that could train my material. That didn’t really work out for me because a lot of how I teach is very personal. I’m not saying it could never be done, I’m sure if I went back I might be able to do this now. But at the time I wasn’t able to replicate myself that way.
One of the big learnings for me is that I really got into information marketing and it is definitely how my Client Magnets business is set up. I’ve learned how to package my expertise in manuals, in CD’s, in teleseminars, in membership programs so I can reach many more people, but without me having to be physically out on a client’s site all the time.
I would say that was my first biggest mistake, just not having the correct business model. What was happening in that was I had more and more and more overhead. I remember when I finally figured out, because of the staff I had, and the office that I was paying for, for me to go out working really hard I remember thinking I was just like a hamster. All the success I was having was just making my hamster wheel bigger and bigger and bigger.
I remember the turning point for me was when I figured out every month I have to go out and generate 10,000 pounds a month just to pay my staff costs, my office costs and all of that, and that is before I take anything from the business and before I make any profit. When I realized that I just thought, “No, I don’t want it to be like this.”
At that point I made the decision to let go of staff. Some left on their own accord, but I totally scaled back the business. That is when I really started looking online for how I could do more things online.
Michael: Wow, that is incredible. I guess the next question that I should ask you Bernadette is one thing I have noticed about you is that you are always educating yourself and expanding your knowledge, attending courses and workshops and even the masterminding, which I had the pleasure of meeting you at back in September. Who is your most influential teacher, mentor, and what did you learn from them?
Bernadette: I have many mentors. Someone asked me the other day who my coach is and I said, “Well, it’s this person, the systems, it’s this person the team building, it’s this person the mindset and it’s this person for overall marketing.” Out of all the people I could mention, and I’m sure I’m going to have many more mentors as I continue to grow, but right now the person who springs to mind is who we were with at that mastermind where we met, it is Yanik Silver.
I would say he has been influential to me for a couple of reasons. One, he has got amazing marketing, that just goes without saying, that is the box that can be checked. But one of the reasons that I wanted to work with him more closely is because, like me, he has a young family and Yanik really values the balance of work and lifestyle.
I know he works hard, when he is working he works hard. But he like to take time off, he likes to do crazy things that I don’t like to do like jumping out of planes. It is the way that he set up his business around his desired lifestyle. He has a Website called The Ultimate Internet Lifestyle, or something like that. It’s designed around his lifestyle, as opposed to trying to fit his lifestyle around his business.
That is a mindset shift primarily. And I remember some of the things that I got when I first started working with Yanik, I realized how much I did in my business, because I thought I had to do it that way. I have moved now, I now live in Belfast. I used to live in a pretty out of the way town in the southwest of Ireland called Ennis, which is near Shannon Airport. It’s a small town; there are only 30,000 people in it. There are only a few hotels.
When I was planning my first three-day event, which was a strategy I learned from Yanik, I just assumed I would need to do it in London. I thought that is where the people are, that is where people are willing to come. I remember on a coaching call Yanik said to me, “Well where would you really like to do it? This is your event, you get to chose.”
I remember as he was saying that it was kind of like, “Really?” Am I really allowed to do that? He said, “Yeah, you should do it wherever you want to do it.” So I did it in my hometown. And I remember saying, at the event, “I love the fact that I can be here doing an event and I can go home and tuck my baby into bed.” because at the time I only had one child. I could tuck my baby into bed. It’ such a small thing, but it was so huge for me.
I think with mentors it is not just about the information they have that will benefit you, it is learning to think how they think. Because at that moment in time I didn’t think like that. I do much more now, and I teach my own clients to do it now. But at that point in time that was his greatest gift to me, helping me to see I didn’t have to do it the way I thought it had to be done. That I could set business up and do it on my own terms.
Michael: That’s incredible. You just mentioned you have a young child.
Bernadette: I have two.
Michael: You’ve got two.
Bernadette: Yeah, I have two now.
Michael: Congratulations. A lot of the bloggers who follow my site are actually work at home moms, or mothers who want to make some money online. Do you have any tips for managing work and the challenges of life?
Bernadette: Yeah, I do actually. A big shout out to the moms first of all, because it’s not easy. It’s really not easy balancing family and work.
There are a couple of things that have helped me along. One is getting support. Very early on, my baby was only four months old and I got myself an au pair. We had someone who was living in. She was a student, she was a young girl so she wasn’t like a nanny or anything like that she was hands on help. That was essential for me.
One of the first lessons I learned with that is I used to think that the times that she was looking after my child I was obliged to be working. It took me a while to realize, no, some of the time she was looking after my child that was my time to go out and get my nails done, or just go for a walk, or go and read a book. That was a guilt piece there for me to deal with, that I was really allowed to do that. But I think it is essential.
I have a client at the moment who is also a mother with young children and her husband works. On our first coaching call we were really mapping out what she needs in terms of her childcare support. Because even though her children are young, and babies do sleep, and all of that, it’s very hard to run a household and also have quality time to focus on your business.
Moms, in particular, need rest. Yesterday I wanted to work on a marketing campaign and I was tired and I knew there was no point in me trying to this marketing campaign. What I needed more than anything was sleep. When you’re running a business and you’re putting a lot of creative energy into your business, people like us, we need more sleep then others. I think just that piece about self-care and having the support in place has been really important to me.
The other thing is about having boundaries, having clear distinctions between “this is work time, this is family time.” Not all moms need to do that. Carrie Wilkerson, who was also at that mastermind with us, she has four children and she can be cooking the dinner and simultaneously on Twitter. I can’t do that.
I just had a great weekend off where I was a mom and I was with my children for that time and there was no work going on. Now today’s a workday and I am back in my office and I’m working away. I think having those clear boundaries in your time and also in your space. I work from home but my office is right at the top of the house and my children are kept in the downstairs rooms or in the kitchen or whatever, so I’m not being constantly dragged into what is going on for them. Because it really pulls my attention when I can hear them in the house.
Michael: I could imagine. Would you say that is what the Internet lifestyle is all about, just having the freedom to make up your own rules and do what you want to do?
Bernadette: Not just the Internet business. I think the Internet has made it a lot more possible for many of us to do that. But that decision to set your own hours, to do business on your own terms, to set business up so it serves you, that is a mindset piece that you need in place before you even look at technology or what media you are going to attract, that you are going to use to do that.
But absolutely, once you have made that mindset shift then the Internet totally opens up so many possibilities. There’s so much you can automate on the Internet that wasn’t possible before.
Michael: Oh, yeah. Do you have any suggestions on any good tools or resources people can use to actually automate their business? Or any that you use like that?
Bernadette: There is someone that I would recommend that you follow, and her name is Beth Snyder, and her business is called Processed Protegee. In fact I’m doing a call with her early next year because I want her to share with my people some of the amazing systematization processes she has shared with me.
In terms of my blog, I’ve got a blog and it is updated daily and I haven’t written anything for that blog for a long long time. That is totally automated. The articles for that blog come from interviews. In fact there is a very good chance that this interview that this interview that we are doing now will be transcribed and then turned into articles on my blog.
I have put a system in place where that is taken by one of my team people, she gets them transcribed, she gets them turned into articles. They are all checked that they are still in my voice, that it is something that I am comfortable with, that I would feel they are my words. They get uploaded to my blog in advance.
We also use TweetLater, which I think is now called SocialOomph, it was TweetLater when we registered for it. Then we set up a tweet going out every four hours about that particular blog post so we are catching people on all sides of the globe.
That’s been a big piece of automation for us but the results have been absolutely huge. I will need to check the updated figures, but the last time I checked we were up to 450 visitors every day to the blog. And we’re only promoting it through Twitter. I haven’t promoted it anywhere else; I’m not doing anything else to drive traffic to that blog.
Michael: That is incredible. Once you have these visitors to your blog how do you get them into your funnel?
Bernadette: We’re just adding to the blog a sliding pop-up and I always have something on the go in terms of teleseminars or free CDs, or we would be offering something free and then that will get people into the funnel. Attached to our free offer is a 30 day trial in my monthly continuity program. That gives them a chance to get to know me.
I have a really great membership forum in my program; I think people get caught up in the energy of the group very quickly. Then the idea is that from there we retain them and we up sell them into events, into bigger programs, to our bigger coaching programs.
Michael: It sounds incredible. One thing you have mentioned quite often is you like to do your own events. It’s something a lot of people think about and when starting you may think, “This could be incredible”, but doing a seminar is quite daunting.
I understand you do more workshops then anything else, what would you say to anyone even thinking about doing an event like that?
Bernadette: Start small.
Bernadette: Start small. Most people who haven’t promoted an event totally underestimate what it takes to get people into the room. You might go to an event and you might look around the room and you will go, “Wow, there are hundreds of people here, I could do this.” You multiply the registration fee by the number of bodies that are in the room and you go, “They are making some serious money. I am sure I could do that.”
However, learning how to fill the room is pretty advanced marketing, if you ask me. I could talk about that but I’m not going to go into that. Because for the people who are listening to this call it makes much more sense to do what I call “boutique style events.”
My first event, I used to limit them to just 10 people. Because of the beauty of that is because when you say there are only 10 people you have a scarcity, there aren’t many spaces, so it forces people to make the decision to attend or not. But you are also able to charge a higher price point. So I personally think it makes much more sense to have 10 people paying 500 pounds a time then it does to have 50 people paying 100 pounds a time.
I would say start small, but that doesn’t mean your prices have to be low. If you have any blog and you have a regular following on your blog there probably are already at least five or 10 people who would love to connect with you and get to know you better. So why not start with creating the offering for them.
Then you are not going to have any real marketing costs because you are offering out and filling it with people who already know, like and trust you. But you can still charge a more significant price point for that so that that can be a nice payday for you. So 500, what is that, 5,000 pounds?
Michael: That is incredible advice. One of the best business advice my dad ever gave to me was that you prefer to sell something for a lot more and sell a lot less because the overhead is a lot less. That is something I definitely think a lot of people should consider because time is money for a lot of people and you need to get a good balance between work and your own time.
Michael: That’s great advice. What would you say, if you could jump in a time machine, if it was possible, and go back and start all over again what would you do different?
Bernadette: I would love to do that. I would have a lot more zeros in my bank account if I could do that.
What would I do differently? I totally would have set up the business model totally differently. When I look back on my training business I had 200 people a month coming on training workshops that I was doing around the country. I can’t even say it to you Michael, I didn’t have any continuity.
Can you imagine all of those people every month who were taking my material and loving it and I had no way of keeping an ongoing relationship with them. So definitely that’s one big thing I would have changed. I would have added continuity to everything from the start. Actually that would have been enough.
Bernadette: You wouldn’t need to do anything else if you did that.
Michael: One of the biggest things that you use now for your business is continuity, especially with your masterminding group that you have. Would you have any advice to people who want, or already have a continuity program to actually keep people? Because one of the biggest issues is obviously keeping people month after month.
Bernadette: Yeah, we’ve gone through a learning curve with this as well. Because, my first continuity program, I think about a year into it, I just had 11 regular people in it and I was doing a call a month. It was the same amount of time for me as it is now with hundreds of people in it.
One of the things that we’ve learned about continuity, a big thing that we had was people dropping out of my program because they were saying there was too much information. So we started to put things in place to help people consume the information.
For example, we had a forum, which is part of the program and not everybody needs it. To be honest, even if you don’t use the forum you can still get a lot of value from the way our program is set up. But because we got sick of hearing the objection, “oh, well I am not using the forum, therefore I shouldn’t be in the program” we started doing something called the “Forum Digest.”
We have a print newsletter that goes out with our continuity group. There is a page in it which one of my assistants, the assistant that runs group, she goes onto the forum once a month and she picks off the best resources, the best tips, the best pieces of advice, the best success stories and we do a forum digest.
We’ve done a lot with our print newsletter to make it even if you only pick this up and you’re reading it, you are glancing at it while you’re waiting for a meeting, or something like that, you could still be getting a lot of value from this. That is one of the big things that we have worked on.
Michael: That was sound advice, I really appreciated that. To end off this interview I have a few quick fire questions for you.
Michael: The first one is, what do you like most about the Internet?
Bernadette: Freedom, the freedom and convenience. But that is a double-edged sword, because it is something you can access from anywhere in the world, then it can become a real burden. I think you have to have limits, and in my life I have lots of unplugged time.
Michael: Great. What do you like least about the Internet?
Bernadette: Well that kind of answered that question too, didn’t it?
Bernadette: Sorry, I didn’t know that that question was coming.
Michael: That’s all right. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Bernadette: The best advice that I have ever been given? It is about charging more to less people, it makes for a much easier and nicer business I think.
Michael: Brilliant, definitely I agree with that one. When you started your business who did you want to model yourself on?
Bernadette: That’s tricky, because someone whose marketing advice I followed a lot is Dan Kennedy, and I still love Dan’s programs. But he very much targets a male audience. The sad thing is there weren’t really that many female role models for me at that stage, or even now, dare I say it, which is a shame. So come on work at home moms on your blogs, step up and get out there, start making some noise.
Michael: I am glad you said that, because we have quite a good female following here and women always commenting saying they want more from other women and more advice and more of a presence. That is great to hear.
OK, cool, is there any last advice or anything you want to let my readers know about?
Bernadette: Yes, something I have been thinking about a lot recently, because I have been thinking in relation to my own clients. If you want to have big success in your business. online, in your life, whatever it is that you are dreaming about, you have been hoping for, you have been visioning, what you have to realize is the difference between someone who already has that and you is that you have stopped yourself in a place that they haven’t.
Maybe they went off on a seminar, or they invested, or they got the mentor and they did it and you didn’t do that. Or maybe they decided in the early days of getting their business set up that they did need to burn a bit of midnight oil and you didn’t do that.
I can’t be more specific without speaking to each person individually but that is something for you to think about, to look at where are you stopping yourself? Because the truth is if you are dreaming about it you can have it.
One of my favorite is from Doreen Virtue that says, “God doesn’t give us our dreams without ability to make them happen.” If there is something that you have been hoping for absolutely it is yours for the taking. But you just have to figure out if you don’t have it yet it is because you are stopping yourself in a place where someone who does already have that didn’t. Figure that out and that will be the key for you.
Michael: Wow, killer advice there! Thanks very much Bernadette.
Bernadette: You are welcome; thank you so much for having me Michael.