In today’s episode, we help Sarah sell without being too salesy or spammy.
Jocelyn Sams: Hey y’all, on today’s podcast we help Sarah sell without being too salesy or spammy.
Shane Sams: Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast, where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams. We’re a real family that figured out how to make our entire living online, and now, we help other families do the same. Are you ready to flip your life? All right, let’s get started.
Shane Sams: What’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast. It is so great to be with you today. Wherever you’re listening to the show, thank you for listening. We’re really excited to welcome another member of the Flip Your Life community onto the show, so that we can help them overcome fears, breakthrough obstacles and take action on the next steps in their online business. Our guest today is Flip Your Life community member, Sarah Cottrell. Sarah, welcome to the show.
Sarah Cottrell: Hi, thanks so much for having me.
Jocelyn Sams: Welcome Sarah, I’m actually sensing a little theme here in the podcast. If you listened a couple weeks ago, we had another attorney on, and Sarah of course is an attorney. Tell us a little bit about you, your background and your online business.
Sarah Cottrell: Well, so I worked as a lawyer for the last decade. I graduated from law school in 2008, and last summer, after the last of our kids was born, I left my legal job to stay home with them. My path through being a lawyer was a pretty common story. This is true for a lot of lawyers, which is that I started practicing, and pretty early on realized it was not for me in the longterm. However, we had a lot of student loan debt, and I say we because my husband is also a lawyer. We actually met in law school and combined between the two of us, we had over $400,000.
Jocelyn Sams: Ouch!
Shane Sams: Oh my God. That is a lot of scary mountainous debt, especially when you’re like, “I’m not going to use this degree anymore,” right?
Sarah Cottrell: Yeah. It’s basically like you have a mortgage, except there’s no asset associated with it other than your own blood, sweat and tears.
Shane Sams: Wow, that’s unbelievable. Are you still in debt?
Sarah Cottrell: No, we paid off all of our debt last June, so June of 2018.
Shane Sams: Well done, congratulations.
Sarah Cottrell: Thank you.
Shane Sams: I can’t even imagine having that much debt coming out of college.
Jocelyn Sams: What a weight lifted, oh my goodness.
Sarah Cottrell: Yes. I was about two years in to practicing when I realized, “This is just not for me in the longterm.” When you have over $400,000 in debt, you can’t just chalk it all and leave. We had to make a plan to get out, and it had to be a longterm plan. You know a lot of personal finance guru types will say, “Do all these things and cut everything down, and then pay off your debt in like 5 months and then you’ll be great.” Well, when you have a mortgage size level of debt, you have to have a little bit of a longer term plan that is survivable for five or 10 years in my case. That’s what we did.
Sarah Cottrell: We made a plan and got out of debt, and that enabled us to be in a position where I was able to stay home with our kids. I also have started doing some writing on the side, which is something that I’ve always been interested in. With a full-time job and young kids, especially a job that was a lot of research and writing, not a lot of time for writing.
Shane Sams: Well for one thing, what’s crazy when you were telling your story I was like, “How was 2008 over 10 years ago?” I saw this thing on Facebook the other day, and it was like, people of a certain age you always think the 70s are 30 years ago. I do think that. I’m like, when was 1970? What, 30 years ago? When was 1980? What, 20 years ago? Really, 1980 was like almost 40 years ago and it doesn’t seem like that in my brain.
Sarah Cottrell: Oh yeah.
Shane Sams: When you said, 2008, I was like, how was that 10 years ago for one thing. Then getting out of debt in that short amount, that actually is a short amount of time to me to get out of $400,000 in debt. That’s crazy that you did that. That’s one of the things that hang people up that we always find coming into the community, is like, “Well, you know I got this college degree. Then I was in this career, and I’ve got so much time invested in this career, that I just don’t want to pivot.” I’m like kudos for you for having the guts to say, “Yeah, I’m not going any further. Two years is enough, even though I’ve invested all of this, I’ll figure out how to use this later in my life.”
Sarah Cottrell: Yeah. Well, and I think for lawyers in particular, you are trained to be extremely risk averse. What you’re talking about the sunk costs fallacy that I have all this money and time invested into it, so I can’t leave, that’s a very strong, mental obstacle for many lawyers.
Shane Sams: For sure.
Sarah Cottrell: For us, I mean I’m two years in I’m thinking, “I don’t want to be a lawyer forever,” but I still worked as a lawyer for another eight years.
Shane Sams: You had an end game in mind.
Sarah Cottrell: Exactly.
Shane Sams: That’s institutionalized though in almost all businesses and industries. The day I resigned from my job, I slid the letter of resignation over to my principal and he looks at me and he goes, “Man, are you sure?” I’m like, “Oh yeah, I’m 100% positive.” Then he goes, he’s like, “But how long have you been teaching?” I was like, I said, “Nine years I’m going on my tenth year.” He goes, “Nine years, and you’re just going to throw all that away? You’re just going to throw all that retirement away?” I looked at him and I was like, “Yeah, but there’s 18 left before I can retire. I’m not just going to sit here for 18 more years.”
Sarah Cottrell: Exactly.
Jocelyn Sams: Just because we put nine years in, I mean.
Shane Sams: Yeah, I don’t care how much time I’ve got put in it, I’ve got the rest of my life to live. Anybody listening out there, you know Jocelyn and I full degrees, masters degrees, all this education. Taught for almost a decade, we bailed, because we wanted to go a different direction. Sarah was a lawyer, she didn’t want to be. $400,000 invested in her education, and decided to do something different.
Jocelyn Sams: Well, and I’ll tell you, I was looking yesterday because I have one pesky student loan left, and it doesn’t have a large balance, but we have one left.
Shane Sams: The reason is, I’ll tell you why we keep that loan, this is so morbid. If you die, those go away.
Sarah Cottrell: I feel you, yes.
Shane Sams: We’re like, we could pay it off early, or we could just use it as a reverse insurance policy if something ever happens. Totally morbid logic for why we still have the student loan.
Jocelyn Sams: Well I was looking yesterday just to see how much was…
Jocelyn Sams: Not that much left on it, but anyway, that loan is for an MBA that I never finished. To this day I am paying every month, it just comes out automatically whatever, I pay every month for a degree I didn’t even get. You know what, it’s part of my life experience. It’s part of the reason that I am the person I am today. I don’t have any regrets. I’m not sitting here every month going, “Oh you know I’m still paying for this degree that I don’t even have.” I don’t even think about it. It’s just part of my life, it’s something I did.
Jocelyn Sams: Somebody, is it Dave Ramsey that calls it the stupid tax? It’s a stupid tax, we’ve paid a lot of stupid tax in our life.
Shane Sams: We’ve paid a whole lot of stupid tax in our lives. It’s all part of the story and it gets you to where you’re supposed to be at.
Sarah Cottrell: Exactly, yes. I mean to me, and this is part of why I created Former Lawyer, just because you put a lot of time and money into something, if it’s not working for you, to say, “Well I’m just going to keep doing it for another one, two, three, maybe even four decades,” is actually crazy. Especially because lawyers are so risk averse, it’s very hard to get over that hurdle and say, “I’m going to spend the next five years getting myself out of this situation into a better situation, even though ultimately that’s what’s going to be better for you in the long run.”
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, so you mentioned just there in passing what it is that you’re doing now. You left your job and you started a website. Tell us a little bit about that.
Sarah Cottrell: The site is called formerlawyer.com, and the purpose or the overall purpose of Former Lawyer is to provide support and inspiration to unhappy lawyers, who want to make a career change. Right now what that looks like is, there’s a blog. There’s a podcast I’m actually starting to record episodes this week. What I’ll be doing is, in each episode I’m going to be interviewing a lawyer, a former lawyer, someone who used to work as a lawyer and now works in some sort of other career.
Sarah Cottrell: My goal is also to have some membership component, but that’s the piece that I am still working on. The other pieces I have a little bit more clarity.
Shane Sams: For one thing, that’s an amazing domain name formerlawyer.com. That’s a masterclass in naming your business, because it’s helped everything about what it is. Like the Former Lawyer Podcast, the Former Lawyer blog, formerlawyer.com. It’s just so tight and good and it’s a two word domain.
Jocelyn Sams: That two word .com, like that is almost impossible to come by.
Shane Sams: That is an awesome domain name and a name for your business. It’s when you say it out loud, I can envision it like a miserable lawyer is driving to court to represent some dude or a lady in a divorce, that he just doesn’t even want to be in court that day. He’s listening to your podcast, interviewing someone who broke out of the prison. He hears that, and she hears that, and it’s like hope. I could totally do that.
Shane Sams: You said something interesting in your intake form that you filled out before you were on the podcast. “I don’t see myself as a guru that tells people, “Do this,” and end up where I am. This is more of just a John Lee Dumas model where you’re not claiming to be the guru. You’re just interviewing people who have done this and giving people ideas, and pushing them out that way. Is that what I’m getting from that? I’m I hearing that correctly?
Sarah Cottrell: Yes. Part of that is, every person’s issues are so individualized. There are strengths, there are financial situation, whether they have a spouse or don’t have a spouse or a significant other. There are just so many things that impact when you’re making a plan for example to get out of debt, how long it will take. What it is that you actually want to do, and so there are some people out there who are former lawyers, who do specifically career coaching, where they’re telling someone like, “Here’s what you need to do. This is the job that you should be looking for,” and those sorts of things.
Sarah Cottrell: What I see as a need is, less so the, “Here let me tell you exactly what you specific person should be doing.” More this idea of, it can feel really lonely. One, because you’re like, “I’m I the only crazy person who doesn’t actually want to be a lawyer? Is thinking about walking away from this thing that I put all this money and time into?” Also, it can feel like a lot of… My family and friends who are like, “What are you doing? You’re throwing away this thing that they perceive as though great, because they don’t necessarily understand all of the drawbacks of what it is to work as a lawyer.
Shane Sams: For sure.
Sarah Cottrell: Then also it’s just the length of time. I mean, again, we’re not necessarily talking about someone saying, “I want to get out,” and they do three months and they’re out. We’re talking about sometimes two, three, four, five, 10 years. That’s a long time to be doing something on your own without other people saying, “Hey, you’re doing great, you’re going to get out. Keep going.”
Shane Sams: Sure. I think that’s really good, that’s really, really good. It just fits the motif of the Former Lawyer. People will look at you like, what was the guy’s name? What was Morgan Freeman’s character’s name? Gosh from Shawshank Redemption? Somebody go send me that on Facebook message. Oh Andy Dufresne. It’s like you’re Andy Dufresne, you got out. You got out of the prison, you’re in Mexico on the beach. It’s like whatever. You’re the other side of where they want to be, like the story. We always say instant street cred, you did it once, you don’t have to do it more than that, right? To be this expert that can actually present this story, and then show other stories of other people who’ve made it. That’s awesome.
Shane Sams: You’ve got a lot going on. You’ve got a lot of stuff that you’ve created, and you’re already creating content. How many blog posts do you have on formerlawyer.com?
Sarah Cottrell: I think that there are about, I want to say eight or nine currently.
Shane Sams: Good.
Sarah Cottrell: I have stuff scheduled to post three times a week. I’m currently only batching like for a week ahead.
Shane Sams: This is still in the beginning of everything, right, it’s all been created?
Sarah Cottrell: Oh yeah, like June, it all launched in June.
Shane Sams: When did you buy that domain name?
Sarah Cottrell: Oh years ago. I mean before I even knew when I was going to be getting out of the law.
Shane Sams: Give me an estimate of when you bought that.
Sarah Cottrell: It was three to five years ago.
Shane Sams: All of you people sitting on your old dusty domains that you bought five years ago, dust them off and get to work. You all get some blog posts going, it’s time to start building that online business.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, so you started working on content. First of all three times a week is very ambitious, and I applaud you for trying to do it. I don’t know that it’s 100% necessary, like it might take some pressure off you for now just to schedule the post out for like once a week.
Shane Sams: Yeah. I would not go…
Sarah Cottrell: Okay, sorry.
Shane Sams: Be prolific with your promotion, not necessarily your content in the beginning. We have three rules, like one, be consistent with your content, for us that’s a weekly podcast. Could be more, could be less, but we’re going to have a podcast. Two, be prolific with your promotion, that’s like sharing and ads and things like that. Write one post and promote it for seven days, then write another post. Then relentlessly sell, like sell every day to your list. Sell everyday on your social media. Sell every time somebody asks you a question, because everybody’s only one question away from giving you money.
Shane Sams: Think of it that way like when you’re thinking about being consistent and being prolific, especially in the beginning. Like Jocelyn said, you can burn yourself out really fast, and we don’t want you to be formerblogger.com in about six weeks.
Sarah Cottrell: I think one of the reasons that I have been so prolific with content since starting not that long ago, it goes back to one of the concerns that I have of, I want to feel like I’m providing value. It’s this issue in my mind of, oh well I need to show that I have something to provide. Therefore, I think I’ve been focusing more on the content creation, because I don’t want to feel like I’m selling nothing. Does that make sense?
Shane Sams: It does for sure, and that’s why we’re going to talk about this here in a few minutes when we get to your business question. I don’t hear a lot of talking about what you’re selling, what the product is. I was reading a book this morning. I’ve got this book on leadership and it said, let me word this correctly. “Our society loves the sound of hammers.” We love the sound of the hammer and the nail and the building of things, but nobody likes to make a plan.
Shane Sams: That’s the thing is, you can have a pile of wood, a box of nails and a truck load of hammers. You can throw the workers out there, and you can say, “Go start hammering,” see what happens and nothing will happen. It’ll just be a bunch of wood hammered together, but if someone walks in and goes, “Here’s the blueprint, this is the finished product. This is what we’re selling. We have six weeks to put it together, let’s go.” That’s going to create something. It’s not necessarily just, “I’m going to write a blog, I’m going to start a podcast. I’m going to have a Facebook page. I started an Instagram last night. I bought-”
Jocelyn Sams: “Maybe something cool will happen.”
Shane Sams: “Maybe something cool will happen, I’ll get some value out there and people will love me.” Even if you became the most popular person on earth, you would still have nothing to show for it, because there would be no product, nothing for sale. We always recommend that people start with a product first mindset, and figure out at least the basics of what it’s going to look like on the end. Then it will evolve into what your customers want as you talk to them and get them.
Shane Sams: You’re probably just swinging a lot of hammers right now, and that’s why it feels like, you’re trying to get busy instead of start building a business.
Jocelyn Sams: I’m going to make a little bit of an assumption here based on some of the information that you put in your form and also what I’m hearing from you. I’m assuming that you do not really want to make a type of product that basically tells people their next steps, I’m I right in that?
Shane Sams: Or like what their job is or something like that?
Sarah Cottrell: Yes. What I envision is something more like this. Okay, membership community where you can come in and talk with other people who are in similar stages. I actually, I’m in a writing membership, and one of the things that they do is facilitate people, forming smaller affinity groups. Say, people who are in a certain city and are looking to get out of the law. Or people who want to leave and be a stay at home parent. People who, I don’t know, are getting ready to quit their job in the next twelve months, whatever. Facilitating things like that.
Sarah Cottrell: Then also in terms of the podcast content, there are some questions that I’m planning to ask our guests that might be a little bit more like things they don’t necessarily want, just blasting out into the entire universe. That would be stuff that would be available within the membership to members only.
Shane Sams: A private place to share their concerns, not with everybody around them kind of deal.
Sarah Cottrell: Yes. Just the general, “I’m new and I’m trying to make a plan. What have you done people who might be in a similar situation?” The other thing is, many, many, many people who are lawyers and want to get out, have not thought about what else they want to do ever.
Shane Sams: True.
Sarah Cottrell: I know so many people who hit this point of, “I don’t want to be doing this anymore,” and they are just like, “I don’t even know what’s out there.”
Shane Sams: It’s like a pro athlete that gets too old to pay, they don’t know what’s next. This is all they’ve ever done kind of deal.
Sarah Cottrell: Yes, exactly.
Shane Sams: Well let me jump in here really quick, because there’s two things I’m hearing. I’m actually going to read this question you wrote in your form instead of let you do it, because I hear this is happening.
Sarah Cottrell: Okay.
Shane Sams: We have a question in our form that says, “What fears, mindset and obstacles are holding you back?” You say, “I don’t want to be spammy, I don’t want to be salesmany or seem like I’m trying to sell people something unrealistic.” I hear a dramatic fear of commitment to your product, because you don’t want to go sell something to somebody. I really feel like this might be like a major issue holding you back. When I’m looking through everything you’ve done, you’ve done everything but address. You’ve thought about the product or the membership, but it just sounds like with all of your questions and everything, like you’re scared to sell these lawyers’ something.
Shane Sams: Is it because you feel it’s like you’re selling a dream to them, or you’re selling hope to them? What is this fear of maybe even selling yourself a little bit, that you have that’s keeping you from saying, “Hey, this is the product, I know people will join it. Let me write a sales page for this right now,”? What is that? This is a membership. Right now I don’t hear a lot of content, so it’s almost this could be opened next week if you really wanted to. Something’s keeping you from doing that.
Sarah Cottrell: Yes. I think the primary thing is, well they’re two things. One is the more, I don’t know, high level meta thing, which is that I feel like many lawyers were sold a certain line of what their life is going to be like. Then they got into the law, and that wasn’t accurate for them. And, I do not want to. Well I know there’s a lot of value in what I’m wanting to provide. I do not want people to feel like I’m saying, “Join this membership and everything in your life will magically become better. You will be just like me and you will be able to leave the law.”
Shane Sams: What you really don’t want is, you were sold that lie, and you resent the lie that you were sold. You don’t want to be resented by someone else the way you resent being a lawyer.
Sarah Cottrell: Yes. I don’t want to prey on people’s desperation to get out of the law.
Shane Sams: You’re not. You’re not doing that, that’s not true. You’re not doing that.
Sarah Cottrell: That is accurate.
Shane Sams: You’re wanting to help people, so that’s the truth. Now, you can’t help that the fact is they are desperate. They are desperate for a career change, they are desperate to get out. They are desperately in debt and might need someone to show them how to handle that. It’s not your fault that they’re desperate, it’s a fact that they’re desperate. The truth is, you want to help them and show them that there is another way. The truth and the facts are not aligning with your actions here. They’re not.
Shane Sams: Now your feelings, one thing you said, you said the four letter word. In our house, whenever we start a sentence with, “I feel like,” we go like, “Conversation stops right there, hold on. What do you mean you feel like? Is that real? Is it factual? Is that the truth?” Facts don’t care about our feelings. This seems like the major mindset issue here that you’re struggling with is, you feel and you’ve told yourself this story. You don’t want the end of the story to be someone’s mad at you, but that does not match the facts and the truth of the matter that your intentions are good. They are desperate and need help, and you can help them.
Jocelyn Sams: This is something that goes through my mind at times also, just by the nature of what we do. There are a lot of people out there who are selling the dream. If you pay me $1,000, I will help you buy a Lamborghini.
Shane Sams: For $997, all your dreams will come true, end of the webinar, here we go.
Jocelyn Sams: There are a lot of people out there who are selling that kind of dream. A lot of people out there might look at what we do and say, “Well you know you’re just doing the same thing.” Our truth is that, we want to help people who feel like there is no other way and they need to do something different in their life. We’re here honestly to help people. It’s just something that you have to reconcile with yourself, just I’m here to help people. If other people want to perceive it another way, that’s their problem. It’s not my problem.
Shane Sams: What’s that counselor friend you’ve got that says, what does she always say Jocelyn it’s…
Jocelyn Sams: Heather Gray?
Shane Sams: Yeah. What’s Heather say, what’s the story or the…
Jocelyn Sams: It’s like the stories that you tell yourself. One of the things that she says to do is to say, “Some people might say this. What I want you to know is something else.”
Shane Sams: Right, so you said, some people might say, “I’m just preying on the desperation of lawyers who want to quit their job.”
Jocelyn Sams: What I want you to know is that, I felt this way.
Shane Sams: I really want to help you.
Jocelyn Sams: The reason that I’m doing this is because I want to help other people in the same situation.
Sarah Cottrell: Yes, 100%.
Shane Sams: You’ve got to reconcile that today. We’re recording this guys, it’s the fourth of July. It’s the fourth of July right now you all.
Jocelyn Sams: It’s a holiday.
Shane Sams: It’s a holiday, but we’re working, we’re helping Sarah. We’re getting after here. Listen, it’s the day of freedom, so set yourself free. Be free of all that nonsense, because it is not true. You honestly, this is heavy, you may be the only person that possibly can help them. If you don’t help them, then nobody else is going to say this stuff, because 99.9% of people don’t want to let their family down. They don’t want to quit the job. You’re a doctor, a lawyer, your successful right?
Shane Sams: If they don’t have a trailblazer to say, “I did it. I’m going to introduce you every week to somebody else who did it,” they may never hear that story that inspires hope, that gives them a chance to change their life. That’s what we do and that’s what you’re doing. You’re just doing for a different segment of the population. Okay?
Sarah Cottrell: Okay.
Jocelyn Sams: All right Sarah, we’re busting through the mindset issues. Now let’s talk about how we are going to make some money. How can we help you with your offer?
Sarah Cottrell: Basically, I’m trying to figure out how to prioritize content creation and what I’m creating, when to start selling the membership or product. How to do a beta launch if that’s what I should be doing, and how to price it. Basically, all the questions.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay.
Shane Sams: Basically, you’re like, “I’m making blogs, I don’t know what else to do.” Is that what you’re saying?
Jocelyn Sams: We’re here until the fireworks tonight in other words. Okay. All right, so let’s just break this down. I think that Shane and I have some different ideas. It’s going to become interesting moving forward about what we think you should do. Ultimately it’s about what you want to do. Take all this in and just think about it. Basically, right now we have nothing for sale right?
Sarah Cottrell: That is correct.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay.
Shane Sams: You want to sell a support group for these attorneys basically?
Sarah Cottrell: Yes.
Shane Sams: It doesn’t seem like you want to create anything, you just want to have them to have a place to go. Is that true?
Sarah Cottrell: Yes.
Shane Sams: Okay. I don’t know. I think there’s an asprin versus vitamin argument here a little bit, or like asprin or something we have to think about. One, I’m not sure how practical that is in my opinion, because to me it’s like, it’s a support group. You’re alone, you want to talk to other lawyers who might want to quit their jobs, that’s kind of a vitamin. There’s a lot of serious headaches like, “Well how do I get out of $400,000 in debt? How do I re-identify myself as something else?” That’s an asprin.
Jocelyn Sams: “How do I talk to my family about why I’m doing this?”
Shane Sams: Yeah, there’s a lot of huge obstacles that you’re going to have to solve for people like headaches. That you’re going to have to provide them an asprin for, before you ever get to the vitamin. Usually the vitamin almost goes first, you know what I’m saying? The vitamins are free, the asprin cost money. If I’ve got a headache, I’m going to get up at midnight and run to Walmart to get some asprin, because I need to fix this headache, it hurts. If I wake up at midnight and I forgot to take my vitamin C, guess what, I’m not going to Walmart till tomorrow, it’s not urgent. That’s what we say when we say, is this an asprin or is this a vitamin?
Shane Sams: Now I think at face value, it’s a vitamin. It’s like, is it really that urgent that I join this community? They might listen to your podcast, they might read your blog posts. Are they really going to go the next level if there’s nothing in it to them to solve their actual practical problems that they have? Does that make sense?
Sarah Cottrell: Yes.
Shane Sams: What we’ve got to figure out are some different ways that we can highlight the headache and make this thing where they’re willing to get up out of bed, go to the computer. Get out their wallet and order the bottle of asprin.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, but before we go there, I want to present a possible other solution. Usually we will fall on the side of creating your own product and selling it. That we like that, is because that is what we have always done. However, I do think that there are some other ways, especially with things that are like this vitaminy. Where you can make money and it’s a little bit less work. I just want to throw this out there and then we can talk about which way is more appealing to you.
Jocelyn Sams: Basically, what I hear Shane saying is, that what you could do is address some of the hard issues that are facing people who want to get out of this field. I think what he’s trying to say is that, you could create some content that would help people with these big headaches, right?
Shane Sams: In a way. I think that’s the draw into the membership. I think the membership is good, but I almost think that the membership itself should be totally free. It should be almost like a thing that they could sign up for and start connecting with these other attorneys, with these other lawyers. Basically, it’s your lead magnet, like the forum itself, the community itself, whatever it looks like, is something you could just let listeners in. If you’ve got a podcast, if you’ve got the thing at the end of it, you say, “Hey, come join the Former Lawyer community. This is a private community that we can let people in,” and have that private support group ready to go. It can be like an opt-in.
Shane Sams: I know a lot of places that use forums or a community driven approach to their lead magnets. It’s a place where you can go hung out. There’s no barrier to entry, low hanging fruit, all that stuff. Then I was thinking in the community on your email list, you could create content that just showed how you did it. One of the things you said that really stood out to me before was, “Hey, everybody else needs other places they can pivot, they can quit their job, they can go a different direction. For a lawyer, it’s a longterm plan.”
Shane Sams: You’re not selling a, “I’ll get you out of your law debt and fix careers in six months.” It’s, “Yo! If you want the fast plan, go somewhere else. This is the longterm plan.” Then inside of that you show them content that addresses this things. You have a course called how to tell your friends and family. You have a course called how to pay off your student loan debt without being a lawyer for the next 40 years of your life. That content then is what you sell almost like an advanced tier. These people are all lawyers who are dreaming, interacting together, but then the content is led by you, and it’s the lawyers who are actually taking action. You’re the 20%, you’re the people that are actually taking action. You’re going to do it, and then maybe you do Q and As each month. That was what I was thinking.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, so that’s probably the way that we would do it just based on our history, and because creating content is fairly easy for us to do. Another way that popped into my head to do this, might be to… I was also on board with the free community, because in the age of social media, it’s really easy to find groups of people who have something in common basically. I can go on to Facebook, I can go on to LinkedIn, I can look at these groups and find people who are probably similar to me.
Jocelyn Sams: With you having the podcast, I think that’s a really good vehicle for you to be able to do some other things. I think about one of the podcasts that I support. I’ve talked about several times on the podcast that I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts and other types of media. Anyway, one of the podcasts that I support is Crime Junky, which is one of the top 10 podcast in the world right now. The reason that I support them, it’s not something that I really need. It’s definitely a vitamin in my life, it’s not an asprin. They will create extra content for their fan club, so I joined their fan club because I love their podcast so much and I want to hear more content. I think that could be an opportunity for you.
Jocelyn Sams: I think also selling affiliate products might be an opportunity for you. If you don’t want to go and create all these courses, create this amazing community for people to come to and either take on sponsorships for your show of things that might be of interest to people who are leaving the law profession. Or, you could also find courses that other people have created for these same things, and be an affiliate for them.
Shane Sams: Yeah, or she could even sell like other biz op stuff. There’s a lot of people out there selling how to start a business, like ClickFunnels they do a lot of stuff like that. How to come up with your idea, how to set up your sales pages. They have an affiliate program to get people to sign up for ClickFunnels. There’s other places that teach real estate like Bigger Pockets. They have an affiliate program I think for their stuff, where it’s like learn how to do real estate instead of be a lawyer. You could promote that stuff on your podcast.
Jocelyn Sams: There’s probably courses out there, how to get out of enormous amounts of student loan debt. You could be an affiliate for that type of program.
Shane Sams: Let’s build an audience. I would only pick stuff that was high ticketed back if that was true though, because you’re going to need any affiliate sales to make a lot of money. You know what I’m saying? Every time it happens, because it’ll be the normal.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, so let’s go through some of the benefits. The benefits of having your own stuff obviously is that you get all the profit, I mean minus cost of course. Also, it is under your control, nothing’s going to change all that kind of stuff. The drawback’s is that it’s going to take time, it’s going to take energy, it’s going to take effort. With the affiliate stuff, it’s just the opposite, like the benefits is that it’s already completed for you. You just sell it, but the drawback is that…
Shane Sams: You have to build a huge audience to make affiliates work. You’ve got to have a good lead capture, but that could work though because of the forums.
Jocelyn Sams: You don’t have complete control. There are some different things that you have to consider for each side. I just want to throw that out there, it’s not something that we recommend for all people. I think in this case, it might possibly work.
Shane Sams: Well there’s a lot of lawyers that probably hate being a lawyer. How many lawyers are there? Can you build a big enough audience of lawyers who hate their jobs to build an affiliate thing? I don’t know. How many lawyers are there in the country? I’m going to look that up.
Sarah Cottrell: I would have to go back and look at the data. I mean I think every year, I don’t want to say a wrong number, because I’m just not completely sure.
Shane Sams: Don’t worry, I’m looking it up on Google.
Sarah Cottrell: We’re talking like…
Shane Sams: We have the sum of all human knowledge at our fingertips here. At this time…
Sarah Cottrell: The magic of Google.
Shane Sams: All right, there are 450,000 lawyers right now practicing in the United States. There are 34,000 new ones every year. Let’s just assume that half of those hate their job.
Sarah Cottrell: Accurate.
Shane Sams: Yes, so you’ve probably got 200. You’ve got an audience size of somewhere between 200 and 300,000 people to go out there and put this out there to your podcast. Then it’s just a matter of converting those, either end with affiliate sales or whatever. Jocelyn, couldn’t she do the affiliate sales inside of the community, like instead of her creating this stuff? On the podcast say, “Hey, come join the Former Lawyer community if you want to learn how to leave the law profession.” Then you could populate it with other people’s stuff that already exists, if you don’t want to sell your own thing.
Jocelyn Sams: Or you can also sell sponsorships on your podcast, so that’s another thing that the crime podcast that I listen to they do that.
Shane Sams: You could reach out to someone who sells a biz opportunity, because I don’t think you’re going to be able to promote this. You’ve got to show them a path to get out of debt and get out of their job. If you don’t do that, they’re not just going to go hung out for a support group, they’re not going to do that. You’ve got to have some kind of path. You just have to figure out how to populate that path with content. Either create it yourself, or you go out and you promote other people’s stuff.
Sarah Cottrell: That makes sense to me. The affiliate thing that is a little bit clearer to me. The other piece, Shane that you were talking about, if I were to do my own thing, are you’re saying like creating courses that I would then promote to the members in the community?
Shane Sams: Yes, you would basically do… This is probably more of a free membership course driven webinar model, no matter how you do it. You’re freebie is the support group. I’m trying to think this through, and then you would have maybe like weekly webinars selling a different aspect of the journey. Whether it’s promoting someone else’s thing or yours or something like that. You’re just telling your story, like how did you get out of debt? All you’ve got to do is say, “I will show you how I got out of debt, which enabled me to leave the legal profession.” That’s a webinar, you sell the course, and it’s just your steps that you took. Your plan that you created and they’re open to follow it or not. Your job is not to make them follow your plan, it’s to give them an opportunity to follow your plan.
Jocelyn Sams: Essentially if your community’s free instead of advertising other people’s stuff, you would advertise your own products if that makes sense. Actually you could do both.
Sarah Cottrell: That’s what I was just going to ask.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, you can totally do both.
Sarah Cottrell: There are certain things that I feel like I could create a course, and I feel confident that it would be helpful for people. There are other things that I think would be helpful for people that I’m just not the expert on that thing.
Shane Sams: Like what? Name one. What are you an expert in, let’s start there?
Sarah Cottrell: Well, I guess I would say the things that I feel like I know something about are one, making a longterm plan to get out of debt.
Shane Sams: Boom, that’s the first product right there.
Jocelyn Sams: I would say getting out of debt, I would say you’re probably pretty good at that.
Shane Sams: An expert, you did it, you paid up for it. It doesn’t matter how long it took you, right? I love this. I love the alternative pitch there too of, it’s not the get rich fast it’s the, “Hey look, that’s not true. Those people are wrong. This is the longterm plan, this is what I did.” Bam, that’s the product, right?
Sarah Cottrell: Yes. Then like for example, I think I could talk to the people about how to start thinking about what you want to do, but in terms of specific career coaching. I want an individual person to hold my hand and help me figure out what to do. There are other people who do that, and I think do it well. I don’t necessarily want to be doing that individual hand holding, but there are other people that I could refer people to, that would be helpful.
Shane Sams: Okay, then this is all you have to do then. You’re the bridge. That’s how you get to view yourself. You build the community on your podcast. You give the Former Lawyer podcast, you give people hope by letting them hear testimonials and stories of you and other people who have actually left the legal professional and got to be debt free. You tell them, come join a bunch of other lawyers in a safe place where you can talk about not wanting to be a lawyer, it’s free. Come join our free community.
Shane Sams: You sell them one thing, the longterm plan to get out of debt. You can do that on a weekly webinar, where all of your members you invite them, they show up and you sell the product and the product can be $497. They’re lawyers, it could be more if you wanted it to be. They’ve got disposable income, so you sell that. You have this nice generating, engine generating however many sales a week of thousands of dollars. At that point, and this is how all online businesses work, you sell them one thing, and then to make real money you sell the next thing.
Shane Sams: Then you create a portfolio of affiliates, so you might promote twice a month. Maybe two times a month you sell them your get out of debt longterm plan. That’s all you sell, and then you sell them and your other affiliates that maybe you go do a, what do you want to be? You go find someone. Maybe there’s somebody that teaches people how to become writers, like you said you liked writing. Maybe there’s a lot of lawyers that would like to become writers, so you have them come on for a guest webinar and sell their product. You get 40% of whatever’s sold. You just find this portfolio of six to 12 good affiliates and over time that maybe you want to be in real estate , well have a real estate coach on. Sell their products and then you get half.
Shane Sams: Your job is to be the bridge and the guide. Bridge them across the debt problem, and then introduce them to people that can help them find a new career. That’s it. That’s the whole business model, and all you have to do is podcast and drive the leads. Does that make sense?
Sarah Cottrell: That makes sense.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, so we’re feeling pretty good about that?
Sarah Cottrell: I think so.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, awesome.
Shane Sams: Yeah, it’s a little overwhelming right now, but the good thing is you’ve got a lot of things in place. You really only have to just give the content out there and maybe create that one course. That way you could go ahead and say, “The community exists, there’s a course inside.” Within a month, if you would just create it, and then you can start looking for affiliates as you grow.
Shane Sams: You know what’s funny is, you’re going to find affiliates, because these former attorneys are going to be selling something when they come on your podcast, I guarantee you. “What did you do?” “I bought 10 houses, some apartments, now I teach people how to do real estate.” “Oh you do? Well how about you teach the Former Lawyers how to do real estate.” That’s where you’re going to find all these affiliate programs from. Cool?
Sarah Cottrell: That makes sense. I have one question about that, which is, should I start… Okay, so I have Restrict Content Pro on my site, I just haven’t actually done anything with it.
Shane Sams: What is that? I didn’t hear that.
Sarah Cottrell: Restrict Content Pro, it’s a formatting software.
Shane Sams: Membership forum basically yeah.
Sarah Cottrell: Yeah, membership forum software. I have that already, should I be waiting to actually open the membership until I have created the course? Or should I be…
Shane Sams: No, I think it’s your main lead.
Sarah Cottrell: Got it.
Shane Sams: When you start recording those podcasts, episode one at the end should say, “Go to blank.com and sign up for a free account to the Former Lawyer membership site,” whatever you call it. The Former Lawyer community and say like, “Even if you’re still a lawyer, but you don’t want to be, we want you in there. It’s a safe place to talk.” Make a pitch for it basically.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, and every blog post you write, every piece of content should all be pointing there.
Shane Sams: Then when you create this first product, that’s going to be like your seed product, so you have your own thing, you can go ahead and create that. Then put that in there and sell it to those people, and then you can start finding these other affiliates to sell the other stuff too.
Sarah Cottrell: I love that, because I feel like I want to help people, and that makes me feel like I’m helping people.
Jocelyn Sams: Love it.
Shane Sams: What if you just connected them and got them out of debt, then you tell them how to get a new job, that’s amazing. You know what I’m saying, send them to us we’ll be an affiliate, no I’m just kidding.
Jocelyn Sams: All right Sarah, it has been so much fun talking to you today. I can’t wait to see what happens next in your journey. Before we go, we always like to ask our guest, what is one thing that you plan to take action on based on what we talked about here today?
Sarah Cottrell: I am going to put together an outline for the course that I’m going to create for the membership.
Shane Sams: That is an awesome action step. Product first, get that done, give those podcasts recorded. Who knows, Sarah you might be selling those before we know it. It won’t be salesy and it won’t be bad, and it won’t be desperate. It’ll be awesome,, because you’re going to free a lot of people from the bondage of a career they found themselves strapped in. Okay?
Sarah Cottrell: I’m excited.
Shane Sams: All right guys, that wraps up another great episode of the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast. Cannot wait to see what Sarah does with her online business, and we cannot wait to see what you do with your online business as well. Dust off that old domain, recharge that dream and get started. If you don’t start, you can’t finish and we would love to help you get started over at flippedlifestyle.com/flipyourlife.
Shane Sams: You can check out all the information about the Flip Your Life community. We have all the content, community and coaching you need to finally get your online business done, take it to the next level and who knows, someday maybe even flip your life. Go to flippedlifestyle.com/flipyourlife. We would love to help you inside of our community, and who knows maybe someday you will be a guest right here on the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast.
Shane Sams: Also, we would love to see you in Lexington, Kentucky this September 19th through the 21st for Flip Your Life LIVE. This is our conference, we are going to connect you with over 100 family focused entrepreneurs from around the world. Go through some amazing content, covering lots of sales strategies, traffic strategies and other things to grow your online business. That’s happening this September. You can go to flippedlifestyle.com/live. There are only a few tickets left, and here is a huge announcement guys, we are not doing Flip Your Life LIVE conference in 2020. This is probably going to be your last opportunity. Your last chance to come to Lexington, to come and meet over 100 members of the Flip Your Life community. To come hang out with me and Jocelyn and take your business to the next level, live and in person. That’s happening again September 19th through the 21st in Lexington, Kentucky.
Shane Sams: Go to flippedlifestyle.com/live to see if any tickets are still available. There were only a few left when we recorded this promo, so you need to go there right now if you’re planning on coming. Again, don’t put it off, you can’t wait till next year. It’s not happening next year. It’s probably not going to happen any point in the future. This is the last large Flip Your Life LIVE conference. We’d love to have you there in Lexington, Kentucky this September.
Shane Sams: That’s all the time we have for this week guys, but before we go, we would love to share a Bible verse with you. Jocelyn and I draw a lot of our inspiration in life and business from the Bible. Today we are super excited, because Sarah, our guest today, has a Bible verse she would like to share with you.
Sarah Cottrell: One of my favorite Bible verses is Colossians 1:17 which says, “And he is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” I just love that verse, because it reminds me that ultimately my identity is in Christ, and I do the work, but He is the one who holds all things together and I can trust Him.
Jocelyn Sams: Awesome reminder. I think that all of us need that reminder from from time to time.
Shane Sams: All right guys, that is all the time we have for this week. Until next time, get out there, take action and do whatever it takes to flip your life. We’ll see you again.
Jocelyn Sams: Bye.
Links and resources mentioned on today’s show:
- Sarah’s Website
- Flip Your Life LIVE 2019 Tickets & Registration Information
- Flip Your Life community
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