048 - How To Leverage Audience Feedback To Instantly Boost Your Revenue With Hilary Johnson

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Josh Tapp 0:00
What's up everybody? Josh Tapp here again, and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast. So today we have Hillary Johnson on the mic and Hillary's, the founder of hatch tribe, a deliberate community to help female entrepreneurs to scale their businesses, having scaled her own business from zero to multiple, seven figures, Hillary is well on her way to helping thousands of women do the same. So for that reason, we've brought her on the mic to share with us how to leverage audience feedback to instantly boost the revenue of your company. So with that, Hillary, let's hop right in. All right, Hillary, so tell us one thing about yourself that most people don't know.
Hillary Johnson 0:38
Yeah, well, you know, I mean, I think first of all, I'm an only child which is kind of a unique thing, only child that also has no first cousins, which is also a little unique thing. And then you add to that, that like that fierce independence and really used to being alone means that I'm like the closet introvert. That has to behave in a very extrovert world. Yeah. That's a little bit of my secret.
Josh Tapp 1:02
Yeah. To tell my wife that no cousins and only one kid.
Unknown Speaker 1:09
Yeah, somehow worked out. Okay. Yeah, do
Josh Tapp 1:11
works works out. Wow. That's awesome. Was there give us a little bit of background on yourself and how you got to where you are today?
Hillary Johnson 1:17
Yeah, of course. So the very first chapter of my, my sort of adult life was in the corporate world and I started working in the wine business, moved to working in TV, and then very quickly found myself working in the beer business. And so most of my career was working in beer and worked in both sales, marketing, and then moved into brand marketing. And that was with Miller Brewing, that later merged with Corps and became Miller Corps. And so during about eight years, I lived in five different cities wound up living in Chicago and kind of looked around and thought, like, Oh, God, am I going to keep doing this for the rest of my life, like I was climbing the corporate ladder and getting you know, really incredible opportunities. work, but I was very unfulfilled. And, you know, by the time I landed in Chicago as a southern girl, I was like, man, I don't know that I can handle this weather. Like, Midwest winter is for me. And so it started the clock ticking for me about getting really serious about what do I want to do with my life. And so I spent the two years that I was in Chicago, doing the work to figure out what my first business was going to be because I wanted to open a business. I just didn't know what it was going to be, you know, I have lots and lots of ideas. So I use that time to start building a business plan and start exploring, you know, different options. And long story short, you know, two years almost to the day that I had moved to Chicago I resigned and then left Chicago and moved to Charleston, South Carolina. And I opened my first business here producing really large scale festivals and events. So we were doing things like beer festivals, music festivals for many thousands of people. And that was a unique experience. You know, like when you make that shift over from being in like the corporate world where you kind of like you understand what it's going to take to get you where you want to go. And then suddenly, I was like running a business and basically had more questions than answers on any given day. It's been a lot of time feeling kind of confused and isolated and alone and like, Oh, my God, am I doing the right thing? Am I gonna make this work? And, you know, like, like many business owners, I mean, we lost a boatload of money in the first year. And by the second year, it was like, we're kind of figuring things out, but not entirely sure we know what we're doing. And all of that to say that it was such a learning curve that I really started to look around and say, you know, is there not a better way to create like a softer landing spot for people who step over to the other side. And so, a couple years later, the idea for my current company really transformed And the company's called hache tribe and our mission is to really support business owners as they're growing their businesses. And, you know, what we know is that it's hard, it's hard work to not only come up with the idea, but then to grow it and to scale it and to make really good money at it. And, you know, we wanted to create a better way, a softer place for people to get started to find the right support and encouragement. And so that's where the idea for hashtag came and now hashtags, four years old, and that's all I do.
Josh Tapp 4:31
It's a full time gig, sometimes you just have to go in the direction that your customers want you to go. Absolutely. Finding finding the purpose of, you know, within within serving a group, an audience. So I really appreciate that. I do want to delve into that concept because you you know, you're really big into community and around I really like the wording you use your deliberate community. So let's delve into that topic a little bit and, and how you're utilizing that in your business.
Hillary Johnson 4:55
Yeah, so, you know, and initially it was kind of Question more than a statement, it was like, well, are there others like me? And so sort of innocently enough? I just went to my own personal Facebook page and just was like, hey, for like any of you that are women entrepreneurs living in Charleston? Would you have an interest in getting together? And I don't know, having a conversation? I mean, and that was it. And there was a resounding yes. And so what happened is we pulled a bunch of entrepreneurs together, and I just asked a bunch of questions like, Okay, one, why are you here? Because Chuck was really sort of astonished that there was as much interest as there was, and that was really astonished. There were as many women business owners as there were like, they were there. I just didn't know them. And then it was like, What's the hardest part about being a business owner? What's the support you wish you had? What do you love about being a business owner, you know, and really trying to get just the bigger picture. And so, for me, the process from the beginning was like, I really want to understand not Normally the challenges I was having, but the challenges that others were having, and trying to figure out if there was a means of helping this community at large of women business owners, and if there was, what could I do to help serve them? And so, you know, to me, from day one, it's always been about serving our community, because without that, there was no business. We weren't selling anything other than, like, let's bring people together and like have these really robust, meaningful conversations. And, you know, I think one of the things that, I would say maybe as women we experienced this a little bit differently, but like, the word networking doesn't really turn on a lot of women. You know, it's like, Oh, God, dreadful. I don't want to go to a networking event because it conjures up this image of like, people are shoving business cards at you, they're selling you instead of trying to get to know you. So we said, let's just flip that upside down. Like our intention is for you to build a relationship and get to know people in this room and if that is evolves into something else. That's cool. And if it doesn't, that's also cool because you're developing these relationships that inevitably, are supportive and helpful in other ways. And so that term deliberate really comes out of that. It's like, let's gather for like a real intention and have deliberate conversation. It's more interested in getting to know you and like, what's up, instead of being like, I'd like to sell you a bunch of stuff, great.
Josh Tapp 7:25
When I love that, because your whole point is, is building value around that and helping them to grow personally. And I think when you do that people are way more willing to buy from you. Yeah, I know for us, I mean, when when we've built out our community that that's been the the best factor for us as we build something that people usually have to pay for. But then they're getting a completely for free and they're all excited and then they can come to us and say, Hey, well, what else do you offer? You know, I have people ask me all the time. And that's when the tables turn. I think that's kind of what you've created as a community that can can do that for you. So you've talked about you know, you throw these events and everything. So you have one coming up in about a week, right? Yeah. Yeah, a couple days from now. So what's this event about?
Hillary Johnson 8:07
Yeah, we're doing a, this is our second big conference that we've done. And so this one's called limitless. And in the real theme around it, is around specifically limiting beliefs and how they continue to sort of get in our psyche and hold us back, especially as business owners. And you know, many times it's something related to fear. It's like the fear of putting ourselves out there, the fear of really going for it, the fear of, you know, making that huge investment in your business, if you're hiring that next employee, you know, in all of the things that sort of prevent us from getting from where we are to where we want to go and, you know, one of those big ones is around money and really reframing how we think about money. So we have a panel that I'm really excited about, which is three different people that come from really unique backgrounds. Once a female VC once a Many, many was like a multiple restaurant owner, she has like 1020 restaurants that she owns. And she's a powerhouse and really incredible. And then the other is a doctor who created nonprofit that does some really significant work in Africa and South America. And so the intention was to pull people from some different backgrounds and like, let's blow the top off. Like, let's talk about these conversations that feel a little taboo, like money and limiting beliefs and fear and all of that, that icky stuff. And let's just level the playing field because it's not, you know, I mean, I think when any one of us, myself included, is feeling something like that, like, I'm not good enough. I think it's only me, but it's never only me, it's always other people, but we're often not having those conversations. And so, you know, our intention always has been like, let's share openly and I think the more vulnerable we've been about the things we screwed up our failures, our fear, its impact Other people to really see that in themselves and still take action anyway.
Josh Tapp 10:05
Yeah. When that makes people you know, gravitate to you, which is amazing. So you have to ask you, how did you get your first community built? I mean, a lot of people are trying to build their own community, and you've built a thriving one. So how did you start it out yourself?
Hillary Johnson 10:19
Yeah, perfect. So as you you know, in the very beginning days of hatch tribe, we were doing live events. And so this flashback was like four years ago. So at the time, we said, let's get together once a month, and we just set a routine. It was like always the second second week of the month, we just had it, we just booked it. And we said, we'll find the speaker, we'll do all the stuff. Consistency counts, and I think it's like your, your audience starts to know that you're reliable. And to me, that's real key. Once we started doing that, we thought, well, we need to keep the conversation going because we were only getting together once a month. So we built a Facebook group and that was free. So all of our members or sa members shouldn't use that. Because they weren't really members. Yeah, it was like, like attendees. Yeah, our attendees, we added them to the group. And like we really fostered getting people in there. And that thing grew like we had, like thousands of members in our free Facebook group. But as you know, many communities grow, you start to recognize like you, you're not in the best service of them anymore. And there's like, some things you want to do to really transform your community, but you can't do it in that container. And that was where we really started to experience like, Facebook wasn't the best place for us to do what we really wanted to do. And that was deepen that learning. So it's like, yeah, the community component was there, but how can we give them more and so what we started to explore was, could we take another platform and build something that was more powerful and more meaningful for our community. And so two years ago, we launched the hatch tribe members circle, and we took our community off of Facebook and we moved it into mighty net works, which maybe some of your listeners are familiar with.
Josh Tapp 12:03
You better be there on our network. We have a wide network.
Hillary Johnson 12:07
Yeah, great, you know, it was a shift. I mean it, you know, to be totally honest, it's such a shift in behavior for, for people to go from where they are every day and Facebook to say like, I want to get you into now a different app into a different platform. And to me, it's like, the interaction there is great, but it's different, you know, because it does take some real deliberate action to get them into that community. But we made the decision to move over there. We made the decision to create a paid community and we really up leveled. So we were like, what are we admin and we started bringing in monthly mentors and adding in coaching and adding in group virtual gatherings which really helped us extend what we were doing beyond just Charleston and of course, you know, it's grown a lot over the past couple of years. And you know, now we have over 200 members that all over the US a couple that live outside the US. And it's been awesome watching it transform, and there's still so much more I want to do with it. I mean,
it never stops.
Josh Tapp 13:09
Yeah, there's always new ideas, new ways to implement and really help them win. And I. And I really appreciate that about the way that you've set up your business because it really frustrates new people just build a community. So they can it's their pool that they can sell from, right? Because they're, they're their warm audience. But if you're really truly worrying about their experience, and when paying attention to what are their actual needs, you don't even have to provide that half the time you just point them to somebody who does provide that. Well. Yes, you're making sure they're winning at a, you know, a great scalable level.
Hillary Johnson 13:42
Yeah, you're so right. You're so right. And I think too, like we we really take seriously feedback. So we have a process like we have a survey that's out currently now. And it's it's not just to our members, it's actually to our community at large but if you are a member it takes you down a pipeline of specific questions, but We really want to be able to serve our community better. And so we know that means we have to ask for feedback. And, and one of the things we say is like on a scale of one to 10, like, How happy are you with your experience inside the member circle? And if it's not a 10, like, what would it take to get to attend? And we had some people that said it was like a three and I'm like, Oh, yeah, it's hard because like, you, you take so much pride in like what you're creating, but I need to know what those threes are. And I need to know why they're there. Because there's, there's a seed of, of, of experience of truth, at least to them that potentially we need to address. And so I try not to get too emotional about it, like when I read feedback, but it's really important like no matter what kind of business you have, or community you have, like, you got to ask the questions and you have to look at the positive and the negative and not not overly weight one versus the other is Just that they they both matter,
Josh Tapp 15:02
right? When it can be like you're so it can be hard to see that negative feedback, because it's really fun when you get those positive testimonials and people are so excited about the result, you've provided them and you can pat yourself on your back. But that negative feedback is very valuable as well. And being able to use it like you're saying to improve your group is enormously important. Hugely. So I really appreciate that. Well, so for you you've taken now and you've created this, basically, it's a paid community to be a part of it. So people can get skin in the game. Right. So what do you do within that group to really provide that value?
Hillary Johnson 15:33
Yeah. So our sort of baseline premise is, we want you to build a bill that powerful, profitable, purposeful business. And so what we do is pull our community and say, What are the topics you know, you need to learn in order to be able to do that. Now, as a business coach, I can tell you what some of them are. But I'm also always curious how our community kicks in their own feedback. So what often It's all in there in terms of building a really good business are things like I need to learn marketing, but what our community would say is social media, because that's how they perceive what marketing is the right you and I know marketing doesn't stop with Facebook and Instagram. Great. It's like, they can say social media and I can see but read between the tea leaves and be like, it's also marketing and sales. And there's all these other things. So we pull for topics, but we also asked about other things like softer skills, like developing confidence as a business owner, like how do we do that developing your mindset, developing that grit and perseverance working through hardship. So we pull for topics and then what we do is start to build curriculum around it. So sometimes it's something I will teach because I have experience in it, I can bring it to the community. And so that may be in the form of like a workshop hosted as a webinar or a course. And other times, we go and find a mentor. So sales is a good example. Like I'm not the sales expert. I'm not going to try to be So we go out and find someone who is and then have them come into our community as our mentor of the month, and then they teach on that material. And, and again, we use sort of two different things. Courses are great because some people are like, I want to get in it and like dig into it when I want to dig into it. On the other hand, our mentor master classes, because they're taught in a webinar format are also really cool because people get to engage with the mentor, it's live, but also recorded, they can interact with other members, we use crowdcast for hours. And so you know, it's, it's nice having both and what we're really doing again, is like focusing on the theme every single month and trying to help you deepen your learning. Now along with that is like, what does it take to run a business and do it well, just like baseline shit, you got to show up and do this stuff. And so for me, it's like, I know that you have to be setting goals and like really managing like your KPIs and your business and monitoring them and looking at how your business is growing and use that data and analytics to help you drive future decision making and So, I lead goal setting workshops. And then I do a group coaching session where I just pop on and people ask whatever questions they have. And that's, that's quite joyful. You know, because people just bring whatever's going on in their business. And it's so powerful learning from other people. Like, it doesn't have to be your scenario right now. But as you hear me working with, in this case, a member, working through whatever's going on their business, you can learn from it. And so, those conversations are really fun. And we record those too, so people can watch this on replay. And then of course, you know, there's the community itself, like can pop in and engage. So when you have a question, it's like, you know, I need an attorney to do X, Y, or Z. Okay, cool. And like, I'll tag people I know, and other people say, what about this person? So the referral networks pretty strong. You know, all that stuff.
Unknown Speaker 18:53
See that? Just that you know.
Unknown Speaker 18:57
I know it's not that easy, folks, but
Josh Tapp 19:00
Like Mike,
Hillary Johnson 19:02
it's just a routine you get used to it after a while.
Josh Tapp 19:05
That's so awesome. I really appreciate that. I really like the fact that you're able to work out with them on a one on one level. One of my biggest beefs with with, you know, communities nowadays, these Facebook communities, for example, is you go on there to ask a question, and you're going to get answers from people who you don't even know if they have seen any sort of success in that area. That's why we personally prescribed to the mastermind model, right, because you know, everybody who's in there is going to be worth the time. And I really like the way you've done it, because you've kind of put a tweak on the mastermind model, to being able to really just be their their friend or their full time coach, and they know that they can hop on one of those calls, and really get that question answered by somebody who knows what they're talking about. And you're humble enough to say, Well, if I don't know it on spring, somebody better on
Hillary Johnson 19:51
for sure. I mean, and I think that that's like the worst thing like even with the mastermind groups, I run like I and I coach, our fellow mastermind and like If you don't have personal experience in it, don't answer the question. Because that's the whole frickin point is like, say, in my experience, not like, Oh, hey, I heard Sally did XYZ No, no, it's like you're sharing from your own direct experience. And you know it to me, that's always key. But it's like if you can refer someone that's powerful, and that builds your network and makes you really valuable in the network that you're in to,
Josh Tapp 20:27
oh, yeah, 100% I would even have to throw a caveat on their site, even if they've had experiences if they've had incredible experience with it, because these people don't want mediocre results. Okay, how do I tweak this ad so I can get 10 leads? No, I got one lead using this and you're like,
Hillary Johnson 20:42
I don't care if you got one lead. No, that's a good point.
Josh Tapp 20:46
So I really I like I like the direction you're going with that. And I really appreciate that. So we're kind of coming to end of our time here. So to wrap it up, though, I'd like to ask you, what would you recommend to our audience if they were trying to start and grow an audience will be your first steps. You I would recommend to them.
Hillary Johnson 21:01
I can't say this enough. And I say this to my clients all the time. But like, you got to ask questions. I mean, and that is the first thing and it's last thing, and it's the 18,000 thing, and it's the thing I will do for the rest of my life. Like, we it is far more powerful to ask a question than to make a statement. And that can go in so many directions. I mean, sometimes it's like trying to validate an idea, like if we have a product, but other times, it's like, just getting curious. And so when I talk to clients about this, the way I ask them to think about is like, if you really wanted to serve these people, like putting yourself in the service mind of your community, it's like, ask questions with intention around that and like, really put yourself in a position like you don't need to have all the answers and you don't have to have all the resources but you do need to ask really good questions and you know, it's not about you'll sell them once you ask the right data. Question. But it's like, you've got to ask the questions that really help you build the right material. And it's so important. And I don't get it right all the time. I mean, to be clear, sometimes I like find myself like, Wow, I've really been talking a lot for the last several months and not like asking our community what they need. And so, you know, it does take practice. I'm not suggesting that this doesn't come without some work. But you know, to get started, it's like, really think about who you want to serve? And what questions you would want to know, in order to be able to serve them and like, get curious.
Josh Tapp 22:33
Yeah. Well, I really appreciate that. I do want to reiterate that, you know, asking the right questions and making sure that you're using them. I mean, you can sometimes use those questions even to promote what you're doing because you're, you're planting ideas in people's heads, right? And that's and it's when they come to that conclusion themselves, they are going to want to, to act on that that instead of you saying hey, you know this is that you know, the sky is blue, right? And they're like, well Sometimes, you know, but if they come to the conclusion, say, hey, the sky is blue, they're gonna go fly an airplane right? Just to plant the seeds. Yeah. So I do really appreciate that we've been talking so much about your community, we can't not have you pitch it here. So just just throw us a bone here. How do we get involved in your community?
Hillary Johnson 23:18
Yeah, of course. So the hash tribe member circle opens for enrollment, typically four times per year, it is currently closed. But maybe when you listen to this, it's open. And really our community is for women entrepreneurs who are on a mission to grow their business. But that doesn't mean you need to have been in business for X number of years or whatever length of time. To me, it's, it's less time important. It's more your Mo. So if your mo is like I want growth, it's the community you want to be in. And we're actively engaged with our community every single day we listen fervently to what they need, and really make sure we're serving up the right resources. And for us that comes in kind of both the mindset and the part. And also in those practical skills of building a better business so it's becoming a better SEO and building a better business. So yeah, just go to hatch tribe calm you'll find the details there and if enrollments not open you can join the waitlist and then we'll let you know when it opens.
Josh Tapp 24:15
I love that. So then go to hatch tribe calm very simple link head straight on over and get yourself signed up for that. I wish I was a woman at this point. Dang it.
Hillary Johnson 24:24
Oh, it's the only thing that we're like no, no boys, but we do live events. You know, you can always come to those. Oh, hey, there we go.
Josh Tapp 24:32
Yeah, shoot me an invite for that one. Well, how can our audience connect with you before we sign off?
Hillary Johnson 24:38
Yeah, so everything is hatched tribe. Thank goodness. So you go hatch tribe calm on all the social media. We're hatch tribe. And then if you want to connect with me, personally, I'm on Instagram a good bit. And that's Hillary PJ.
Josh Tapp 24:51
Perfect. Well, I will put links to that in the description so everybody can reach out to you.
Hillary Johnson 24:56
Awesome. Well, this was great. Thank you so much. Yeah,
Josh Tapp 24:58
thank you so much for coming on the show. The number one needle mover in my business is joint venture partnerships. Growing a following can be time consuming and frustrating. For that reason we created the tribe of Titans the world's first joint venture matching platform. Using this free platform you can find guests for a podcast YouTube channel or Facebook group where you can promote your brand product or service in one simple place. You can create your free account as tribe dot the lucky titan.com once again, that's tribe dot the lucky titan.com
Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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