I study highly successful business owners for a living. I follow Rachel Hollis’ Facebook Lives + listen to Brooke Castillo’s podcast + watch Amy Porterfield’s Instagram Stories…

Here’s what all these people have in common: They GIVE VALUE FIRST. (And not just a little bit, but A LOT.)

That’s what I want you to focus on, too. Way before you build that marketing strategy, consider – Am I giving value? Am I building a following? Am I connecting with real people?

In this episode, I’m diving into a hot topic: the importance of value-first marketing. Yes, I’ve been preaching this message from the very start of my business – but here’s a little more nuance to what I’m saying:

NOT ONLY does “giving value” have to happen first. It also determines the life of your long-term business plan.

Tune in for a quick lesson in…

  • What works better than “selling”
  • How to build your VALUE-FIRST business plan
  • And where to take the first step toward long-term success

(If you have something to add to this conversation, head over to Instagram Stories + share with your people! Tag @emilyhirsh so I can listen, too!)

Key Points:
[2:24] This works way better than “marketing.”
[4:57] Here’s why Rachel Hollis’ company has BLOWN UP.
[6:07] Are you trying to build your business… backwards?
[8:17] I will buy literally anything Brooke Castillo sells, and here’s why.
[10:01] My point? If you can’t build a following, your business won’t last.

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Episode Transcripts:  

Emily Hirsh: I’m Emily Hirsh, and this is the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Attention, innovators, influencers, creators and game-changing entrepreneurs: your internet domination begins right here. We are the powerhouse marketers that you’ve been looking for. You’re already making waves in your industry, and we’re here to help amplify those waves of change by creating a connection that cuts through the noise. We take everything you’ve built inside your zone of genius and find its audience. With killer strategy and laser eye for impact, we launch multimillion dollar campaigns and skyrocket your reach online.

And now, we are doing the unheard of. We’re unveiling everything we’ve learned, taking you behind-the-scenes with the Hirsh Marketing team, and giving away the secrets to our clients’ success. Stay tuned for top converting strategy, ROI reports, and insider knowledge that you won’t find anywhere else. You’re changing the world, and we’re the team to help. 

Hello my friends… Wow, I’m recording a podcast, and a hummingbird just literally flew right up to my window. I wonder what that means? Something, [a] message for you guys. Whatever hummingbirds stand for… I’ll Google it after this. Literally just flew right against my window, looking for food it looked like. We have a feeder in our backyard, little guy! Hi guys, all right, so today, I am talking about value, giving value, and how that is so much more powerful than just selling. I am inspired to do this by somebody I follow. Her name’s Brooke Castillo. It’s one of the few podcasts I actually listen to. 

I have a ton in my library, but I don’t get to them, but Brooke, I love, and I binge. She has a company that’s going to do $25 million this year. The Life Coach School is her main product. It’s a certification, and then she has a membership. She’s amazing and brilliant. If you don’t follow her, follow her. [@lifecoachschool] Someday, I’ll do her ads, claiming that right now, I promise you guys! I am currently not, though. But, someday! [She’s] on the list. She gives an amazing amount of value. And so, I always study really successful business owners. She’s taken her business, pretty fast, to $25 million a year. 

So I’m always looking at, not only the content they put out, but what are they doing that’s different? The other person who I think is an incredible business owner and leader and influencer is Rachel Hollis. She also gives an insane amount of value to her audience. There’s a lot of people out there who give a lot of value, but one thing I think is so interesting is, how well it works and [how] it works better than selling. I was reflecting on this, because when you’re in marketing every day and you’re obsessing over numbers and funnels and strategies and being really strategic with it all, you sometimes can actually lose sight of, “Let’s just build the following. Let’s just build [a list of] people who love us and are obsessed with us and will figure out how to buy our stuff and search for it [no matter what].”

I was thinking about how passionate I was about this even just two years ago, prioritizing value, making it something that’s the most important thing in your business. I definitely haven’t lost that, but I’ve tied it with ad spend and strategy. All of that’s great, but at the end of the day, I believe giving valuable content, showing up to your audience, connecting with your audience is the number one most important thing that anyone can do. Because if you do that, people will be chasing you down to buy from you. So what happened was, I was listening to one of Brooke [Castillo’s] old podcasts. It was a webinar that she had recorded. 

She broke it up into two pieces, and then she put it on her podcast. I was listening to the webinar. I don’t think they edited it, but it went to the end. She literally gave an hour of content, of just value, value, value, content. Then at the end, she goes, “Oh, and I just want to remind you guys, if you haven’t signed up for the Life Coach School, go here and sign up.” And I’m thinking in my head, “What?” I was expecting a value stack, and this pitch, and trial closes, and all this stuff, and like, “That’s how you pitched at the end of your webinar?” 

I’m not saying go do that, because it works to pitch in your webinar. But what I am saying here, that I think is really crucial is… I don’t think she’s done that for every webinar. I’m sure she’s done more sales webinars. I don’t know. I haven’t gone to one, but still, clearly, she prioritized giving a ton of value consistently year after year after year and built a $25 million company to date. I believe she’ll get to $100 million. She’s amazing. People follow you, and even if you don’t nail things like the perfect webinar script, and sales emails that open at X rate, or whatever… those are all great things, but if you lose track of the value in the process of that, or you prioritize that over actually just giving and connecting with your audience, it won’t convert. 

What you can do is give a ton of value and not have all those strategies in place. I think this is what some amazing people do is, they just literally enjoy showing up and giving value and connecting with people and putting content out there that changes people’s lives. And then the business builds itself for them. I believe that’s some of what Rachel has done, if you look at her… she’s exploded. The biggest thing she does is show up every single day on Facebook live, does her show with her husband, and puts out this amazing content, and has just created something incredible without webinars and all these things that they’re definitely including in more now, but… 

I think people do it backwards. They think they need the webinar and the stack and these marketing tactics and all of that before they figured out how to connect with their audience. And if you don’t have that… it’s a foundational piece that really nobody can replicate and fix for you. If you’re an influencer or a brand, or [you’re] building a business, and… especially in today’s world online, where people want to connect with you and see your face and feel like they want to be a part of whatever it is you’re creating, feel that connection to you… If you can’t do that, an ads team or an operations team or a business coach or a program… none of [those] can do that for you. 

That’s step one. And I think it’s lost in the overwhelm of marketing books and marketing programs and templates and strategies and all of that. Those things are all wonderful, and I think you should still have them, but like I say with messaging, you could have a really bad strategy and really amazing messaging, and convert and do well; but you can’t have really terrible messaging and every trick in the book for Facebook ads and marketing and do well. If you don’t have the messaging, you have nothing. If you don’t have the value and the connection with your audience, you don’t have something sustainable. It might be a one hit, take-off, make money, do well a little bit… 

I’m seeing that happen. But if you don’t actually know how to connect and build an audience of true believers and followers and people who love you and will literally hunt you down to buy from you…. that’s what I see in some of our clients. Like, if you don’t give the link, people are trying to find it, trying to get in, searching, messaging. If somebody really wants something, they will go get it. Of course, it’s like, going to convert better and be more sustainable if you have a good funnel that gives somebody the link [for] how they can buy, but if you give enough value and you connect with people enough and convince them that…

…not even convince them, because you’re just showing them, you’re showing them what you’re capable of. With Brooke [Castillo], I will buy anything relevant that she puts out for me, I will just buy it, because I trust her. I think she’s brilliant. I think she’s a great business owner. I think she knows what she’s talking about, and I trust that through all the content that I’ve listened to. If you can do that for people and show them that you are an expert, you know what you’re talking about, you are very clear at what you’re an expert in, you’re polarizing and you’re connecting, and you’re that figure, then selling becomes so easy. 

Selling shouldn’t be the priority. Value and connection should be the priority, because the only person who can do that is you. If you can accomplish that, then you bring in the amazing marketing team, and your team, and operations, and coaches, and whatever, to amplify what you have already created. It’s funny, because I just did an episode about being polarizing in your marketing [episode 97]. This is something I believe I’m polarizing with, because there are people out there who will tell you, “The funnel is the first step. The webinar script has to be perfect. You have to nail the stack. You have to do this, this, and this.” 

And I’m like, “For some people, it just doesn’t work. Sometimes, they don’t need to do the webinar stack that is taught in Russell [Brunson’s] ‘Perfect Webinar,’ exactly how he teaches it, because it doesn’t work for their audience.” The magic comes in when you’re marketing from a place that’s through connection and value and really trying to just build that online virtual relationship and following with people who then, they’ll just buy from you. It’s a no-brainer, because they believe that you’ll be able to solve their problems. They know you’ll be able to solve your problems. They trust that you can solve their problems. 

This is something that people might argue with me [about], because they might say like, “No, if you have the webinar, and you have all these things in place, then you’ll be able to convert everything,” but I don’t believe you will. I believe maybe it will work one time, [and] for a small period of time it’ll take off. But it won’t work. It won’t be sustainable. If you can’t connect, if you can’t build a following who really believes in you, who you’re giving value to, then it’s not going to be a long-term thing. Building a following of people who feel that way, like who Rachel [Hollis] has and who Brooke [Castillo] has, who Russell [Brunson] has… 

To be honest, Russell does this. He has his marketing tactics as well, but that’s not the only thing driving everything. I mean, he has a great following, and he gives value, and he connects with people through his content. If you can do that, you’re going to have a platform and a foundation that no matter what happens, no matter if the economy crashes, if Facebook goes down, if your funnel breaks, if your product breaks, if your website breaks, you have those people who are behind you, and selling becomes easy. Start with the value, start with connecting, and then focus on the selling. 

You can sell poorly for a while and not have all the tricks in the book done and still be successful, as long as you have value, as long as you give value, as long as you’ve figured out how to connect with your audience in a way that’s growing followers of buyers, potential buyers… Like when Brooke does her podcast, you bet she’s talking to her audience. When Rachel does her videos, she is talking to her audience, but she’s out there giving value and connecting. That is her priority. When Brooke does her podcast or when Rachel gets on video or when an influencer who I trust…

Amy Porterfield’s another one who does this really well… gets on video, or even in her Insta-Stories, her priority is connecting and giving value. I mean, gosh, Amy creates a new download for every one of her podcasts! Doesn’t she still do that? I mean, so much value and work goes into that to do that. Her priority is value and connecting. Yes, of course, all of those are going to lead to sales, because you’re building an audience of buyers, so of course it’s going to lead to sales. But it doesn’t mean that you start with the selling and the marketing tactics and perfecting the stack, because if you don’t have the value, who cares if you do all of that?

That is my rant for today, guys. If you want help with your marketing strategy, you want to figure out how to amplify the value that you’re giving… if you feel like, “I am doing this, but not enough people are seeing it,” it’s time for you to work with a marketing team to actually get that content out there, because that’s the next step. I want to work with people who prioritize value and [just] more people need to see their content. You can go to HelpMyStrategy.com and apply to work with Team Hirsh, and I’ll catch you all next time. 

Thanks for listening to the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Go behind-the-scenes of multimillion dollar ad campaigns and strategies, dive deep into The Hirsh Process, and listen to our most popular episodes over at HirshMarketingUnderground.com. If you loved this episode of the podcast, do me a favor and head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave a review, so we can reach more people and change more lives with this content. That’s all for now, and I’ll catch you next time.