Unless you never access social media, you probably saw ads in your social streams a few weeks ago for the April 24th Matthew McConaughey webinar/live web event titled "The Art of Livin’.“ The webinar was attended by about half a million people from around the world (not including the replay and marketing pieces he provided postproduction). The event provided insights and advice on various aspects of life and career. But it also was a prime example of a new trend many service providers are latching onto—coursework and community.
If you’re a personal service provider, you may have considered offering a course to showcase your expertise and assist your ideal demographic. That’s a great start. But as we saw from McConaughey’s production, that’s only the beginning. If you want to replicate his success, you’ll need to break down how he did it. Since most of us aren’t coming at our chosen career as a household name, we’ll skip that part and just look at his marketing approach.
Do You Have What It Takes to be the Next McConaughey?
If you have a personal service business, creating a course and Facebook--or other online community--can be one of the best things you can do to increase your name recognition, solidify your brand, get your network working for you, and get off the track of trading time for money. But there’s a lot of work you’re going to need to invest.
Let’s see if it’s something you’re ready for.
Do You Have a Solid Personal Brand?
Sure, McConaughey’s an actor and a household name. He’s even done his fair share of YouTube videos and adjunct teaching on a college level. But one of the things that helped him transition from RomCom darling to serious philosopher/life coach is his personal brand. He plays up his down-home style. He refers to himself—and has his network partners do the same—by his last name. It’s chummy. He even carries out his brand in the name he gives his webinar—The Art of Livin’, no g.
If you’re going to create your own course and build a community of followers, you need to create a persona that is recognizable as “you.” Don’t be something you aren’t. No room for fake here. Be yourself but be more of yourself. You want people to feel like they know you on webinars and videos just like they do with McConaughey.
McConaughey stressed the importance of authenticity. He encouraged attendees to embrace their quirks and imperfections, as these are often what make people unique and interesting. Keep that in mind when working on/solidifying your personal brand.
If you don’t have a solid personal brand, start building one. It’s essential as a personal service provider.
Are You Willing to Give Your Service/Knowledge Away for Free?
Before you X-out of this post, know that what we mean is give something away for free, not everything. You want to hook people and make them want to work with you. Giving knowledge away for free is a great way to get people talking about you and circulating your expertise and tips. Create an intro webinar to get people interested. Create an event to sell your high-end services, workbook, coursework, and community.
Can You Leverage Your Network?
McConaughey didn’t go it alone. He partnered with a lot of successful people like Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, and Marie Forleo. Since they were part of it, they also helped publicize it. If you’re part of a leads group of industry professionals in similar industries, creating a course and building a community could be an incredible opportunity to stand out from your peers if they’re only offering their time as a service.
If you don’t have a strong network to leverage, look for a referral group that can help you build those important connections. Some groups even focus on certain industries that touch many lines of work. This would be ideal.
Do You Have an Appealing Message?
It’s not easy watching the news or financial reports these days. People want an escape from all the negative information they’re being inundated with. As a personal services professional, do you have a message that can pull them out of all the negativity? If you do, your message should be well-received.
Are You Encouraging Them to Leverage Their Network?
If you have answered yes or are willing to do the work to be able to answer yes to every question so far, then you’re able to get people excited about what you’re doing. If that’s the case, they’ll want to share what they’ve learned and received from you. Are you set up to make referrals and shares easy? Spend some time ensuring you are.
Can You Invest the Time Up Front?
One of the biggest challenges personal services providers face is trading time for money. Your service requires time and you get paid for it. Sure, you can hire additional heads to do what you do and bring in more money, but it’s always just an exchange for time and money and there are only so many hours in the day.
By creating a course and a thriving community behind that, you will now get paid for a single investment of time—upfront—and get paid exponentially for that time. If you make $100 an hour for your service, in 40 hours of work you can only ever make $4,000, unless you raise your prices. On the other hand, if you use that 40 hours to create your course and plan your marketing, you are not limited in how much you make. If you can entice someone to buy your course, you can keep making money on it. With upsells that number can grow exponentially because it’s no longer tied to hours in the day.
As McConaughey emphasized, success doesn't come easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve your goals. He encouraged webinar attendees to stay committed to their goals and not give up when faced with obstacles or setbacks. The same will be true of your course and the community you try to create around it. It takes a lot of long hours and dedication to help it grow. People will want to see you (and your brand) at every turn. It won’t be easy but will be worth it.
Are You Willing to Practice and Show Gratitude?
Finally, McConaughey talked about the importance of practicing gratitude. He emphasized that it's important to appreciate the good things in life and to focus on the positive. He encouraged his webinar attendees to take time each day to reflect on what they're grateful for and to express gratitude to those around them.
Being grateful and expressing it can win you big points in your audience’s eyes after all, people want to do business with those they know, like, and trust. One of the reasons this webinar was so successful in creating a movement was that it felt like he was talking to you as a friend and opening up. He also seemed like a genuinely nice guy when he talked about being thankful for his life and the people in it. These days, individuals are looking for that almost as much as they are competence. Are you positioning yourself in this way? It’s one of the strongest ways to forge and maintain business relationships these days.