I’m so excited to recap my conversation with Dallas Travers for this post! Dallas was on episode 160 of the #PrettyAwkward podcast, so make sure you tune in and listen for all the details.
So, you’re probably wondering who Dallas is. Well, she is the CEO of The Hive — a values-driven business mentoring company for coaches on a mission. If you’re a coach who serves everyday people, you need to know Dallas Travers. Her Ripple Effect System teaches the exact steps to attract paying clients, build your list daily, then scale your business with a course so you never again have to ask, “what should I do today?”.
In my conversation with Dallas, she walked listeners through a repeatable process to bring in high-quality referrals. This process is the perfect starting point for new coaches who don’t have a support team yet, don’t have a large list, and basically don’t know where to begin.
Let’s get into the details so you can start planning your referral marketing strategy today!
Dallas started a business marketing for actors 21 years ago, which is where her career really got its start. She has never been an actor, but had a great idea for this business and it worked well. After running this business for a while, she found that actors were asking for career advice, and the evolution of her business really took flight.
From there, she started coaching actors on their business development and built a successful business in that, which really enabled her to deliver results for her clients. The next evolution of her business came when coaches kept asking for her mentorship. She then found herself less interested in entertainment and more interested in entrepreneurship.
So, that brings her to her coaching mentorship business, which she’s been running since 2016. She helps them in their awareness of choice and ensures that everything that they do belongs to them. In short, she wants everything that they do and stand for to be aligned with their values.
Dallas made a lot of pivots in her business, and they all made sense for her. So let’s talk about the reasons for her shifts. She really did it to feel in alignment with what she was doing in all stages. Her values are what motivated these changes, which I think is really powerful.
When her daughter was born, she threw away her TV. Then she was left thinking – how can I coach people for roles on TV when I don’t watch TV myself? She had to align herself with her own Morales and values, and being integrity with that is majorly important to her.
She shared in our conversation that while pivots are never easy, they can definitely be right for you, your values, and your business. She thinks of being out of alignment with your business as feeling itchy. Maybe you’re wearing an itchy sweater, and you can get by wearing it, but it’s definitely not comfortable.
Okay, so now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of a client attraction funnel. Who can use a referral system? Well, it’s a broad range, because anyone who sells a service can tap into the system. Yes! It’s as simple as that.
These funnels have two core purposes. The first is to test your messaging – does it resonate with your audience? Is this the right message? What better way to road test your messaging? It’s almost like market research but in a more focused way that can actually get you clients.
Another purpose is to get new clients somewhere besides social media platforms. You actually don’t even need to have an Instagram account for this to work. It allows you to leverage your network, which means it works for everyone and anyone.
Now let’s talk about how referral marketing and this specific program work in general. Dallas made it clear that this is NOT an affiliate system, but instead, you’re using ambassadors. You’re setting up a system to inspire people that care about you to help your cause.
Here, if your message is clear, you can count on one referral per request that you make. So maybe you will convert 25 percent of your sales calls, which means that you need to make four ambassador requests to make a sale.
In communicating with your ambassadors, you need to make it all about the way that you ask so that you can help get people invested in your cause. When you’re clear on your messaging, that inspires people to give others the gift of time with you – just really make sure you’re standing in the value of the work that you do as you ask.
A common objection that Dallas hears about this program is that people don’t want to give their time away for free. She argues that if you don’t have a waitlist, spending time talking to a potential ideal client is not a waste. After all, how much time do you spend a day scrolling on Instagram or TikTok? There are so many places where we waste our time, but gifting sessions are a great way to not only potentially attain a new client, but to conduct market research and gain practice selling. Many times, it’s the shortest and most direct path to enrolling new clients.
Another objection that Dallas grapples with is that people think they simply don’t know enough people to be successful in referral marketing. But the truth is – we don’t know who we know. It’s all about giving people the request and allowing them the opportunity to decide. It’s kind of like a personal development practice and there’s no hiding behind ads, funnels, or social media for this.
People with smaller networks may not have a list of past clients to go through, but it’s helpful to make a list of 30 peripheral people. Also, using online communities like niche Facebook groups is a good place to start. From there, individuals can look up members separately and reach out to them in an approachable way.
Other people may feel awkward reaching out to potential clients or to people for referrals. A good way to overcome this is to make the problem the solution. Simply call out the awkwardness at the beginning of your message, which gives you automatic permission to do the awkward thing. Turn that block into motivation and it’ll be a total game changer!
Finally, people need to think about – if you can’t bring in referrals through your messaging, how will you convert on a webinar or something along those lines? This could be the thing people have been waiting for, and we can’t just expect that referrals are going to trickle in. We have to drum them up ourselves!
Dallas explains how the referral perspective you’re offering to ambassadors can be different than what others have tried. She noted that you need to make it time-bound to create that sense of urgency. That provides more structure to encourage your ambassadors to send potential clients your way. Try something like, “I’ve got 4 spots open, so I’m going to gift 16 sessions this month.” From there, zone in on what you’re offering and what you can do for your referrals to really compel people to drive business your way.
At the end of the day, this strategy really allows you to get back to the basics. It’s a humbling experience and worth trying it just to see what happens. It’s worth trying it and approaching the milestones within the process, allowing you to break down the different data points in the funnel to know what’s working and what to tweak. It could be the niche, your messaging, or something else that needs adjusting, but you won’t know if you don’t try.
This conversation was full of value and it was great hearing Dallas’ process and perspective. I can’t wait to hear from you all once you try your hand at referral marketing!
Listen to my episode on Dallas Traver’s Podcast ‘Coaches on a Mission’: https://dallastravers.com/podcasts/uncover-your-unique-approach-with-megan-yelaney/
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I have helped HUNDREDS of women get their unique coaching voice and find their soulmate (clients that is!)
Because I’ve been there too. I went from wanting to be a health and fitness coach...trying to take awkward booty pooping selfies, to embracing my #prettyawkward style and scaling my coaching business past six figures.