Get 90% Enrollment in Your Licensed Programs with Tommi Wolfe

Episode 30

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Get 90% Enrollment in Your Licensed Programs with Tommi Wolfe

Our topic today is How to Get 90% Enrollment in Your Licensed Programs, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, it works for both. My guest today, who I’m thrilled to have on, is Tommi Wolfe and she’s CEO of Top 6 Business Coach. She runs an international network of passionate, talented entrepreneurial Top 6 Coaches. She and her coaches are on a mission to make the lives of one man businesses more abundant, fulfilling, and impactful. Clients hire Top 6 Business Coaches for their no nonsense, tell it like it really is, systematic approach to helping clients create sustainable, lucrative businesses.

Tommi is also actively searching for talented entrepreneurs like you to join her rapidly expanding global coaching network. We’re going to talk a little bit about that too. I want to give you her website so you can hop on over there ASAP, which is Also, one of the things that you can get right away is her powerful eBook, which is 8 Crucial Errors that Trap Talented Business Coaches in 5 Figures. That’s

That’s sounds really great because I think a lot of people, even if you’re not at five figures yet, this is still a great lesson to get to six figures. Don’t be intimidated by that even if you’re not at five figures yet.

I invited Tommi on, I just met her the other day and just … What is it called? A girl crush. I have a girl crush on Tommi because she’s just so charming and amazing. I wanted to have her on because she has done something that I think a lot of people want to do, which is license their programs. We’re going to talk a little bit about how she created a program that was licensable in such a way that it becomes in demand and that you can do it in such a way that’s in integrity with yourself and really make a great living and do this kind of publicity that feels really good.

One of the things that I wanted to know about is part of the process that you went through to create and license your coaching program.

Thank you, Susan and thank you for spending this time with me. It’s a topic I’m obviously passionate because I spent a lot of time building our license program. I’d most love to tell you right about now that I started with the end in mind and I’ve always planned to do it but nothing could be farther from the truth, really. It was serendipity that helped along the way.

I had been a business coach for many years and I was one of the lucky business coaches. I did really well. What I noticed in my programs, and I wasn’t very happy about this, is I had a lot of business coaches join my program and come and copy everything I was doing and then go out in the world and do very well. I’m happy for them and they were my clients. I’m happy they’re doing well, but don’t really like that all my good stuffs been copied.

I’m a quick learner. I decided, “Gosh, if this is really the people that are doing amazing in my program, why don’t I make it easy for them and legal for them to really take what I have?” That was really what inspired me to actually take everything I’ve learned to date and then help others become me, basically.

That’s hilarious. It’s hilarious and horrible at the same time. If you have something that people are copying, you may be ready to start licensing your programs because it means people want it. I love that you took that as a compliment instead of ran out and tried to sue them all. You’re like, “Why don’t I just give you a legal way to do this? Here’s how it is.”

BAMD0030 | Enrollment in Your Licensed Programs

Tommi Wolfe shares her tips on getting enrollment in your licensed programs.

Explain a little bit to people who don’t know what exactly licensing is and how it works and how that works with getting enrollment in your licensed programs.

I’ve learned a lot about licensing in the process. Along the way, I’ve become a bit of a licensing expert as well. I think that you should seriously consider licensing anytime you have got a technique or a product or a set of procedures or a method that is reliably producing $100,000 or more for somebody. If you know how to help somebody make a six-figure income or more, it could be seven or more. That really is something that you might look at licensing because it’s very lucrative for others and it’s a very lucrative business model for the person that actually licenses.

It is hard to sell things. It’s not really worth licensing unless it’s going to be something that’s pretty appealing to the people that you’re offering it to. Basically licensing, the easiest way I can explain it is to compare to franchising. It’s not franchising. I’ll tell you what the difference is. Everybody knows franchises.

If I say McDonalds or Starbucks, you know that they’ve brought a pretty reliable set of processes and products and sales techniques and floor layout and real estate guidelines that they can give you that’ll make you pretty sure that your McDonalds or your Starbucks is going to be pretty successful. Franchising is something people are familiar with. I would say, just think McDonalds.

Licensing is very different to franchising. I love it. It’s got a couple of key differences. Licensing doesn’t mandate that the people you sell the license to have to do everything your way. It allows them to have their own flexibility on top of it. It allows them to use it in their own way.

Basically, you sell a platform where you have put together a norm, business in a box, if you like. You’ve got the sales method, you’ve got the content itself, you’ve got the training on how to use it. People would buy it to remove risk from their own business. Clearly, all of us are entrepreneurs, Susan. When we started, we took on so much risk, right?


The whole point of licensing is don’t take on all that risk. Let somebody else figure out things the hard way, like Susan and I did. We did and we paid in blood and sweat and tears for that. That’s the main reason to buy both a franchise and a license, but they have a couple of differences. The license is much more flexible. Usually, vastly more affordable as well. The expense of licenses for brands like McDonalds are going to be very expensive. They’re not going to be in the tens of thousands. They’re going to be in the multiple hundreds of thousands.

A licensing a program is different than franchising because you give people all of these different methodologies that are proven. Everything from, you said, sales, content, training on how to use it, so they don’t have to take the risk. Because it’s proven. It’s something that’s already made you or someone else hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s a proven methodology.

They can put their own spin on it. They can put their own personality on it. It’s your proven methodology but they can then make it their own and do that in such a way that’s proven. I know you’ve told me a little bit, when we were just talking casually, about your program. I’d like our audience to know how much a program usually runs for. You were telling me about how it works for you behind the scenes.

I’d love, if you wouldn’t mind, outlining some of that. What are some of the things that people will learn and the things that you’ve already done for them, like the sales process? I’ll get into just a few minutes about how you actually publicized that and get people into your programs and even get trainers to train your programs.

I think what we’ve put into our license really comprises of about three things. When I started licensing, I thought it was only one but I realized we were now putting these three major things that we give our license clients.

First and foremost, one of the reasons I was a good business coach is because I had put together a very comprehensive curriculum that was perfect for my clients. Some people love making curriculums, some people hate it. I happen to be very good at it. This is right in my zone of genius. Nonetheless, it was hard, hard work and it took me a long time to come up with a really good curriculum.

You will know this Susan, but most people who create curriculum do it all wrong. They create a curriculum in a vacuum. They don’t have a lot of clients yet. They then go and sell just completely the wrong thing. That’s why most offerings go down the tubes. I think the reason mine worked well is because we really developed it slowly.

I started off doing a lot of one-on-one coaching. I could see up close and personal, here’s what my clients were struggling with. There’s a lot of care put into our curriculum. My market, by the way, is one- man businesses. That’s who we coach, who I coach. One-man services, businesses was our market. We put together an extraordinary good curriculum.

We figured I’d have to deliver it because we could technically deliver the curriculum in three weeks if we had to. What we realized is our clients absolutely can’t implement it that fast. They need more like a year. We actually ran the curriculum over a year.

The first thing that I’ve put into my license box … To everybody listening, just imagine a great big box and we’re building our license. The first thing we put in was our curriculum. That was ten great modules of content that had an online component as well, that we were already running.

Also, the how to deliver this. The how to has ended up being huge, because I made a lot of mistakes, honestly. There were lots of things I’ve tried that didn’t work and the things that did work are really what we put into the box. The how to, we estimate that we save the average business coach about five years of hard lessons.

We teach them everything. It took us five years to learn. We teach them that in a year, which is a huge business benefit. You think how much time you waste going down a road with holes and trying to just figure things out.

I think that’s really great. I remember hearing Frank Kern, the famous Internet marketer saying, “The only thing that you need to be a consultant or a coach is to be one step ahead of the people that you’re coaching.” You’ve got something licensing. Now, you are five years ahead which provides way more value than just being one step ahead.

What’s quite interesting is we’ve watched our coaches. Because there are gazillion business coaches. We’ve just come back from actually running an event in Atlanta and I just happen to have his number in my head because we researched that there almost 2,000 business coaches in Atlanta. That’s a lot. That’s going to be your competition. But because the coaches that we now have in Atlanta have bought a licensed program, they automatically at least step into the top 6% that actually would have A, lasted five years and B, done well over those five years.

They start off with a lot more than they would have otherwise. That’s the advantage of a license. You start off in a mature seasoned place with all the bugs and problems worked out. It may be interesting to share with you as an example here, one of the big problems that I worked out.

I’d love to hear them. Then we’ll go on to two on three, because you said three major things. Yes, I’d love to hear the problems.

Where’s still on number one curriculum. They always say pride comes before a fall. Unfortunately, that’s true in my case.

I’m sorry to hear it.

I remember I was running a live event and we were trying to sell coaching programs. The first year, I was so proud of myself. I was hoping to have my first six-figure year. I wanted to sell six figures from the stage, because you always hear about this in the market. I was really hoping to have $100,000 worth of sales. On the third day, I ran to the bathroom during an exercise. I actually met my mom in the bathroom. I always used to have her work the back tables for me.

You had your mom work the back tables? Get out.

This is in the days where I didn’t have staff yet. My mom was about the best person I had to trust. I passed her in the bathroom and I said to her, “How are we doing on sales?” Because they come in on the last day. She said, “We just passed a quarter of a million.” I remember having this amazing … all the blood rushed out to my head. I came back in. I’ve got this cute little picture I sometimes share of me walking back on stage feeling like the hottest woman on the planet.

I was so proud of myself. It was my pride moments. The fall came the next year because what I didn’t know at the time is I had massively oversold private coaching. I put in so many hours of private coaching into the package that I was selling, that my next year I took a huge income dive and I had to work like crazy woman herself to actually deliver everything I sold. These are like real life bugs. The next year, my income took a big dip. What do you think it did to my programming? I immediately changed it so that I would never, ever, ever have that problem again.

These are the kinds of issues that you can remove when you license something. People are going to walk into the same trap I did. You don’t realize how quickly one on one coaching becomes absolutely undeliverable. We fixed that problem in the license box. That’s what I mean by ironing up problems. Good curriculum and how to deliver it. That’s thing one in the box.

Really what you’re saying, this was so exciting and you were having a big income boost but it was all dependent on you delivering the one-on-one coaching. What you’re talking about is how to deliver programs and group coaching to other people and to do it in such a way that it’s simple and you’re not spending all of your time on one-on-one.

BAMD0030 | Enrollment in Your Licensed Programs

Gain enrollment in your licensed programs through a comprehensive curriculum.

You’ve got number one is the comprehensive curriculum. What’s number two?

Number two is actually how do you sell whatever it is that you’re licensing. I sold business coaching and being the person I am, I tried everything. I tried absolutely everything. We always teach, there are about 20 methods that are working pretty well right now in the industry. We got over 90% of our clients from four methods. That has value. Most people would love to know what those four methods are.

Yes. I was just going to ask you, can you tell me? You probably won’t.

No, I will. I think we’re going to talk about at least two of them today. That’ll get you a long way down the road, Susan. That obviously has value when you license, is you can actually show people this is what worked for me. Because they probably don’t want to spend the time and money on all 20. They probably would want to use just the four. That’s the other thing in the box is, how do you actually sell this thing?

The last thing in the box is we put together amazing training. I did not know I would have to do this when I licensed but I figured it out fast enough. We put together amazing training for our licensees on how do you actually use the license system so that you really, really can accelerate your business forward five years in about a year. The training is also invaluable. That’s probably some of the best work I’ve ever done because it came late in my career. You know what’s also been amazing about the training, Susan?

Tell me.

I’ve always had clients, but with my licensees, we’re partnered financially. If they do well, I do well. What I particularly love about the training I provided my licensees is that it’s really in my best interest to do an extraordinarily good job of training them because I will gain if they do well. I’ve never had that situation in a business before where I literally gain financially when my clients do well. It’s a very healthy way to work.

I think it’s really nice and very ethical, because there are so many programs out there where the person who’s created the program does really well but it’s not duplicable. What you’re talking about is it’s duplicable. You make it duplicable and you only profit when someone has understood that and really been able to carry out what you’ve trained them for.

I think people would be curious about, if you don’t mind talking about the financial commitment. If you do, no worries. I think people would like to know what’s involved in that and then what they would need to do to be successful. We’ll talk about how to actually promote a program once you’ve created that.

Obviously, I’ve got a pretty guaranteed method of helping people get in to multiple six figures.

It’s just to position everything. We would expect our business coaches to make $149,000 as the average in year one. We would expect, within a three to four year period, depending on how motivated they are, they’d be running a $350 to $500k business. That’s really what our expectations are.

What they would put it in, in terms of licensing fees, is it’s the greater of … Just remember, it’s the greater of $24,000 a year or 20% of their revenue. It has a minimum amount. I’m not giving anybody my life’s work for less than that. For the 20%, many of them who do really well are going to actually end up paying quite a bit more than that. I know for a fact they’re really happy to because we have those coaches with us today.

That’s wonderful to get enrollment in your licensed programs. They pay a minimum of the $2,000 a month. If they do better, the faster they do better, the more they pay you and the better they’re doing so they’re happy to do that because they’re doing so well.

Let’s imagine someone started their enrollment in your licensed programs with you and in their first year, they do the $100,000 and then they go up. How long do they typically stay in the program so you continue to get that income?

I don’t know if there’s a simple answer because I’ve only been doing it for a couple of years now. I have my original coaches coming back for their third year. I know that much. We’ve got a 83% return rate, which I’m beyond proud of.

They know my worth at this point. There’s no surprises. They’ve been on the program, they know what we are, what we stand for, what we’ve got, but they still come back. That’s actually one of my huge success metrics, is how many people are coming back. I would love to think that these amazing people who are back, all my coaches would stay with me forever.

My goal is to provide such value that they wouldn’t think of leaving. In some ways, I almost feel like we’re a family. We just get close. It’s a different situation that you’re having clients that you’re financially invested with.

How have you gotten them to stay for three years? Because once they’ve gone through the program, what else do they need from you? Let’s say they’ve gone through the year.

That’s a good question. There are a couple of things that happen in the second year. First of all, they love the program and they don’t want to have to go and develop their own because developing curriculum is hard work. Many of our coaches just don’t want to do that.

I think more importantly, in their second year we give them advanced curriculum. They can keep their clients and take them into a more advanced level. We also share some very advanced content and techniques, like how to run live events. We just know that that’s amazing for getting coaching clients. I literally give them the stuff that took me years to put together when I ran events.

The last thing we do for them from year two onwards, assuming they’re doing well, is we allow them to bring in their own coaches. They can sublicense. It’s just a ridiculously good model. What I love is it’s a win for everybody. There’s that little sweet spot, Susan, where I win because I’m expanding. My coaches win because they just set up a business way faster than any business coach could on their own. Their clients win because they get a coach that has amazing resources and knowledge and skills straight out the gate. Everybody wins.

BAMD0030 | Enrollment in Your Licensed Programs

Sublicensing is an incentive to get enrollment in your licensed programs.

What I particularly love is the sublicensing. Can I tell you a story? It might help people see why sublicensing is so good.

I would love to hear it. I really want to understand it too, how that works. Yes, I’d love to hear your story.

I have an amazing man in my life now but I didn’t always in my grown up dating years, which you probably don’t want to hear about in the podcast. One of the men I dated when I was a business coach was a financial advisor. We were out on a date and he was telling me about his business model. He said to me, “As long as I don’t screw anything up too badly for my clients, they just stay with me. Their portfolios are growing and growing and growing. Every year, I get more and more money from those clients. I just got to look after them well. Each year, I just add new clients.”

I remember thinking, “Man, that’s good because I’m losing my time so I’m going out and working my buns off to go find a whole new set of clients.” It was actually somewhere between that date, and there were various other things that happened in the universe, our mutual friend Nancy Juetten connected me with somebody. I realized how incredibly powerful the model is where you don’t have to keep going and getting clients every year.

One of the main reasons I wanted to license was so that I could keep people. I work hard for my coaches. I’m a really good business partner for them. So far, they do want to keep me around at least three years. We’ll see how long I can keep that going. I can see the value we provide them. It would cost them more than what they’re paying to do it themselves. I can leverage across. We now have 21 coaches, I think. I can leverage at my cost across all of them. It’s cheaper for me to do for them than for them to go and do it on their own. It’s a beautiful win-win situation. I love it.

Coming back to the sublicensing, is what I give my coaches in year two is the ability to sublicense themselves so they can go and recruit coaches and bring them in and provide the customer service. It allows them that repeating revenue model, which is hard to find in coaching.

What they do when you say they sublicense, the coach can’t then license your material to them, what she’s training or he’s training, without giving you a piece of it. It’s like they’ve learned your methodology but they can’t just go and start training other coaches and keep them all to themselves because you created the original program.

Right. What happens is, I split it down the middle with my coaches. I still handle all the training of their coaches. They just do the customer support. I don’t want to talk to their coaches but I will train them. It’s still like a partnership where the training is comprehensive. They probably don’t want to do it. They probably don’t have time to get on top of all of that. It’s still an amazing win-win.

I think some of my more mature coaches at this point, that’s all they’d like to do. They’re like, “Forget about the business coaching. I’ve done it a couple of years. Right now, I’m just going to concentrate on giving it to coaches.”

Part of the business model too is when you said you want to keep them, is you’re developing new things to make it easier and easier for them, or giving them more advanced techniques so they will stay with you. So they can increase and hone their skills and then they can develop their own programs or bring someone into yours.

Exactly. So far, my coaches really, they don’t really spend a lot of time developing their own programs.  Our program is good enough. Their fastest income comes from going out, finding clients and delivering it. The system itself is beautiful already.

I just want to say, this can work for any industry. We’re talking about coaches now because that’s Tommi’s area of expertise. If you are a coach, you can find out if you have what it takes to become a high earner business coach at As Tommi and I were talking, if you would like to get into her program, that is If you want to opt in to find out about The 8 Crucial Errors That Trap Talented Business Coaches In 5 Figures, that’s

The other thing I wanted to know is, everybody always wants to know about promoting their programs. You spent all of the time developing your programs. You’ve got the curriculum, you have how to sell what you’re licensing, the 20 methods, and then the four methods that 90% of your business comes in because of those four methods, and then the training for licensees and how you partner with them financially so they can accelerate their business in one year in what would ordinarily take five.

You were talking about how to run live events, which is something that’s been super successful for you to getting their own coaches to sublicense. I’d love to hear about that. How do you run live events and how do you then recruit coaches for your program?

It’s interesting because I think, like so many entrepreneurs, I don’t love sales. I just don’t. Although I think I’ve got good people skills and I’m relatively articulate, and people are usually surprised when I say this, I am introverted. I’m fine going out but I need my space and I like to be alone and that’s how I recharge. Endless networking and things like that are exhausting for me. I, very rapidly in my early days as a coach, figured out that wasn’t going to be how I got clients. It just took too much out of me.

The other thing that I deeply passionately believe is that, and I know this is very much what you stand for Susan, is you don’t believe in the slick salesperson at all. You really want to be able to sell in a way that feels comfortable and ethical and gels with your own sense of who you are.

Absolutely. There are very few people who say that they love selling. Most people are not comfortable tooting their own horn or even creating their offers, whether it’s publicity or selling. I think that skill, as much as there’s tons of courses and everything out, I still think that is innate, especially for introverts, that they don’t want to do it. But you’re an introvert who speaks. How does that work?

I do speak. My core belief is I have no identity as salesperson. If somebody said I was in sales, I would argue with them. But I’ve run three companies now so clearly I can sell. My core belief is that relationships trump sales every time. People are people. It’s in our DNA. We’re wired to deal with people, we’re wired to be able to look in someone’s eyes and stop selling and start building real meaningful relationships with people who you can really help.

Having said that, I don’t want to spend the time as an introvert, going out networking and then doing it the slow way. I needed something that was a little bit faster, a fast way to build relationships. In my head, there’s absolutely no doubt at all that being able to get yourself on to stage, whether it’s a three day event or a 30 minute talk. It’s just a continuum of how much time you did.

In terms of building relationships, you think about it, you come out, you’re the expert. You have all the know, like, trust, credibility. It is almost given to you before you open your mouth. Everybody’s going to shut up and listen to you for however long. I just love being able to stand in front of audiences simply because it builds relationships so easily and well, especially for me as an introvert. It allows me a little bit of space. Somehow it’s easier for me to stand on stage for a couple of hours than it is for me to go network for a couple of hours because it’s just a little bit of distance.

Interesting perspective.

I feel like I’m probably not the only person telling you that high priced offerings, and I think a $24k minimum probably falls into a high priced offering category. I don’t know anybody who’s selling high priced offerings fast or in bulk or easily that isn’t actually getting themselves out speaking or running live events. They’re all amazing.

One of the things that you’re saying is that speaking on stage gives you that credibility of the know, like, trust. Also, it gives you a little bit of distance. As an introvert, the one-on-one at a networking event is much slower and more laborious, where you’ve already got all of that speaking from the stage. Do you make your offer from the stage? Are you selling it right then and there from the stage?

I have and it works. I don’t usually do that anymore, Susan. The event I was mentioning earlier where we sold a quarter million, yes, we absolutely made an offer from stage. There’s advice I can give people on how and when to do it. It’s a function of how much time you have on stage because it’s really just a question of people getting to feel like they know you, have enough time to feel like they know your heart and they can see that you’re credible and you’ve had enough time to demonstrate all of that. Sure, you can go ahead and make an offer from the stage.

If you have an event where you have a one hour talk or half an hour talk, I’d never dream of doing something at that price point. If I’ve been on stage for two or three days, I definitely could. Interestingly enough, I don’t. The reason why is because I’ve become really fuzzy about who becomes a coach, who I want my license with. Because it’s such an intimate arrangement in a way and there’s branding considerations. I would actually really like to meet these people and have a chance to interview them. Not the other way around, if that makes sense.

How does that work? You speak from the stage but you’re not necessarily selling, but they know that you’ve got a program so then they come up to you afterwards and you start to determine if you’re a good fit? Do you have a structured interview process, or is it more casual? When you’re meeting someone, you can tell if they’re right for your program or not?

It’s pretty structured and we’re pretty fuzzy about it. Because to me, there’s a big difference between speaking and a one to three day event. Let’s assume I’ve had one to three days. At that point, I feel like I’ve had enough time to really be able to demonstrate what I do and I feel like they’ve had enough time to get to know me. At that point, I would actually show them what our program is and I would really just say to them, “Guys, if you feel this is right for you, I would love to talk with you. You can go and find Sam at the back of the room. He’s got a little signup sheet. We’re going to be in town for the next two days. I’d open up my calendar. I’d love to meet with you privately. Here’s the hotel lobby where I’ll meet you, etc. Go and sign up for your slots. There’s only eight of them or whatever.”

We’ve just found that having the signup sheet right there at the event is very effective for actually getting people to do it quickly. I would rather do that so we can get a chance to sit down with them. My days of selling something to somebody where it’s not right for them or me are just over a long time ago. I really want to make sure that A, they’re a good fit and they’re right and B, that I want them in the program and we’re all going to work together. I actually want to meet them afterwards.

What you’re saying is that if you’re doing a longer event, that people really get a feel for you and they know how you teach and they get a sense of the content of what you would be teaching. They have a pretty good idea of you, if they want to be in a relationship with you. You can tell whether they’re the right person for your program too because you’ve now got a profile of a successful coach, I imagine.

Correct. One thing I want to add about this one to three days, I also feel like there’s a whole bunch of people in the audience that will not want to walk forward with you. That’s fine too, by the way, because this isn’t for everybody. I’m really fuzzy about the fact that they’re going to get amazing content, the time they spend with you will be really worth their while. I really hate the pitch fest where everyone’s, “Oh, it’s a complete waste of time,” and everybody feels like it wasn’t what they wanted and the day was a waste.

We’re very careful when we do run events, to give our amazing content. Whether or not you want to work with us, that the event was just really, really well worth your while. I just feel like that’s an integrity thing for the people that are there. These days, it’s not what you paid to be at the event but I’m busy enough and I’m giving up two days of my life for somebody. It’s a huge gift to them. That’ll be worth my while. I think that’s an important point to just add.

Of course. I had assumed that for you, about not being pitch fest, that you’re there really delivering amazing content and to not be discouraged if it’s not right for someone because you have no idea where they are in that process or what they came for. They may have gotten exactly what they came for. They may be not right for you, right?


If it does sound like this is something that you’re interested in, that Tommi is right for you, because you can hear her style and you can tell what kind of person she is, then I would encourage you to go to, which is Tommi’s website. Also, you can get her powerful eBook 8 Crucial Errors That Trap Talented Business Coaches In 5 Figures

Now, we’ve talked about what a licensing program is, what’s it comprised of, one of the ways to promote it. You were going to share one other way that gives you over the 90% of your coaches. Speaking at events is one. If you would share the other one. Then you were going to keep two of them secret.

No. I’m really happy to share them, quite honestly, I don’t want to keep them secret. The secret is always in how do you actually do them. It’s not in what they are.

Yes, that’s true.

One of them is running live events. Generally, [most of] the time the events are the speaking events.” One to three days is great. Three days is easier than one day just because people have time to get to know you.

The other big method is just speaking, getting out there and speaking. The funny thing is that with speaking, we generally don’t make them up. This is the easiest way to speak. Generally, you get the 30, 40, 60 minutes on somebody else’s stage. It’s a great way for getting out to a lot of other audiences. Because bear in mind, when we have events we have to fill them. It’s generally an audience that we’ve already got some connection with. When you’re speaking, you can stand on other people’s stages and so your reach becomes much higher. That’s just powerful.

We generally wouldn’t go into the product or what we’re licensing in the talk because it’s usually just too little time for the price point we’re working at. What I would often do at those live talks, I just sell an event ticket to our live events or we will go straight into private meetings with us.

While you’re speaking, you’ll either sell a ticket into the private one to three day event?

Yes. If we don’t have an event coming up soon, then we’ll just offer for them to meet with us directly. I would do either/or, never both at the same time.

I see. It’s a choice of the event or to have a private consult with you right then and there when they’re at the conference.

I never do it at the conference, honestly because I’m too busy. We normally just clear the next days’ worth of calendar. What’s really working for us well right now is to have a sign-up sheet at the back of the room. I have my staff, people literally go and say, “Yup, I’m free for breakfast or I’m free at [4:00],” and they sign up and they just give us their name and email and we’ll call in the next day. The things just set up on the moment.

I see. Your coaches or you are either meeting them in person at another day of that particular conference or another time on the phone?

Exactly. I prefer face-to-face just because it’s always more powerful than phone and remote. I often, if I’m traveling, I’ll say, “I’m in town tomorrow. Let’s meet.” Otherwise, I’ll do it on the phone next week or something like that.

Do you find it’s a different close rate when you’re on the phone than it is in person for a program such as yours?

That’s a good question. I’ve never been asked that before, Susan. That’s a good question. I don’t find a difference when I’m sitting down and had a chance to meet me and look me in the eye and get to know me. I don’t see a difference whether we’re on the phone or live. I’ll tell you where I see massive difference. I don’t know if people in the industry want to hear this, they probably don’t.

Me standing live on a stage in front of a hundred people has a three to four times higher conversion rate than me on a webinar with a hundred people. It’s hard to understand because I definitely put my webcam on. I just think there’s something about human beings and the way we’re wired. I just often notice that it’s much easier for me to get clients in the flesh. None of us want this because we want to be able to be behind our PCs where it feels a bit safer, but being in the flesh really makes a difference.

It’s really a difference in the energy I think, in the energetic. Even though you’re on a webinar and you feel close, it’s not the same thing as being in an audience with a lot of other people responding and feeling and getting the sense of you, I don’t think.

I sometimes wonder if it’s maybe a proof of … Social proof is one of the reasons people make decisions. I think watching a whole bunch of other people loving what you’ve got and raving about you actually provides a bunch of social proof that might be missing on a webinar. I don’t really know what to do. I haven’t really studied it. I have noticed the three times less sales because you’re on a webinar. That’s a big jump.

That is a big jump. That’s an important point. I’m wondering, do you do any promotion or publicity online for this as well?

I’m probably going to be totally zigging what everybody else is zagging here. You don’t know a lot about my coaching program Susan, but we are known for being live, local, and lucrative. This is one of the things I give my coaches, is they get to be the superstar in their own backyard where it’s super easy to get clients. I started off like every other entrepreneur today. I was marketing on the Internet like crazy. I was in my backyard in Boulder, Colorado. I actually ran two programs, a live one and a virtual one.

There was this moment where I was doing the 80-20 Percentage principle exercise of my business like any good business coach would from time to time. I counted up where my clients were coming from. I was shocked to realize that I had 84 local clients for every sixteen I was getting online. Now, the 80-20 rule would tell you to stop doing the thing that’s giving you the sixteen entirely. I never stopped doing the online thing, but it really just shook me up a little bit. If there’s that much low hanging fruit in my backyard, I need to go and pick that fruit and get really, really good at it because it was quick and easy and fast and inexpensive. Honestly, ten times the fun even for an introvert.

When we start our coaches, one of our little secret sauces here is we start them in their own backyards. Because it’s quick and easy for them to go and get into six figures that way. Once they’ve got everything sorted out and they’re running and they’re making money, absolutely go and expand online. It’s a really good idea. I question whether it’s the smartest way to start.

I’ve had so many entrepreneurial friends start online and our 8 Errors document, which I think you’ve given them the resource code for, 8 Errors That Trap Coaches. One of those eight errors is whether they get started online too soon. I go to a very fascinating little numbers expose where I show them the math. You’re somebody who’s got a huge list, but I can’t believe how many entrepreneurs have got 400 people on their list. They’re trying to get them to come to webinars and do promotions and write complex auto-responders. That’s a complete waste of time if you don’t have a substantial list like you do.

I started offline because I was teaching at the Learning Annex. I had a little piece of paper where I would have people write down their name and email address. At first, it was me inputting all of that into my computer. They didn’t even have those automated card things yet where you could scan a card or anything. That wasn’t invented yet. I did it by hand or then I faxed it to my assistant who had to enter it in by hand in the beginning. That’s how it started was, like you said, in person training in my own backyard at the Learning Annex. I was speaking to local authors, at the Author’s Guild or ASJA.

Thank you Susan, for sharing that, because now you’re a big name online and everybody knows that. But it’s not really where people start. It’s where they finish. I think that people forget that when you’re starting a business. I think there’s huge value in being able to go and look your potential client in the eye and do your elevator speech and watch them show zero interest. Because it’s very hard to mimic that online and get that same feedback.

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I think that’s really true. By the way, I started with coaches, speaking at the International Coach Federation (ICF). Also Local Coaches Organization invited me to speak. They already had the audience so I didn’t have to draw the audience, and same with the Learning Annex. Which is I think a kinder way to start, where people already have an audience invite you, whether it’s an organization or a federation like the International Coaches Federation, or a teaching facility or whatever, that can bring in those students and do that publicity for you. I know that doing a big live event for your own, you do have to have some power to recruit or some strategies to get people into the room.

You do. It’s one of the things people do wrong, is they try and run live events before their footprint’s big enough. If anybody listening, please don’t do that. You have to get to a certain size before you have any hope of being able to fill your events. If you can’t fill the free ones, you probably can’t fill the paid ones either. Use that as a guide. You do have to be a certain size and footprint before you’ll get that technique right.

I think there’s other ways to do it. I don’t know if you ever done this, but I know that some of my very successful motivational speaking clients have used a radio tour or where they’re going to be in a certain city to help fill the free event that then goes to the paid event. They do that per city. They had a night where it would be a couple of hour’s free event and then that free event is, like you said, they give very valuable information. Then they’re offering the paid event from that free event that may happen either the next day or a month from now when they may be back in that city.

That’s a perfect way to do it, is go from free-to-paid. We’ve actually spoken a little bit about that. When I’m speaking on somebody else’s stage for free, we give amazing, because our secret is always give amazing content. Be amazing, because that’s very enticing to people. At that point, we’ve earned the right to sell them something, a ticket. I love the model of free-to-paid.

Going directly to paid, in many ways, it’s just greedy. It’s not allowing people a chance to get to know you so people are just going too fast. I remembered what I was going to say to you. One of the challenges I’ve had since I used to run in the backyard is I’m now looking for coaches all over the globe. I’m having to learn to sell out of state, which has been different for us. Yes, we’ve definitely been yanking some of those different levers. I haven’t used the radio ads but I think I’ll try it.

No, they’re not ads. They weren’t ads. It’s just radio appearances.

Radio appearances, okay. I’ve got it. I understand that.

You’re just doing publicity radio and local TV in that place where you are. You set that up ahead of time and then you can promote your event while you’re there. Same day, typically.

I should probably consult with you. You could probably teach me so much about that, I’m sure. Really, what we have done similarly is we’ve had to go and do a couple of things that we don’t do in our own backyard. This is the third technique that’s one of our top four, is we do go and meet the strategic alliances and movers and shakers really in each town we’re going to. We’ll go and find the best connected people, the people that are best connected with our audience and we’ll tend and befriend. Those are relationships we really want to nurture. We want to figure out what we can do for them, etc. When we build those well, then they’ll be able to help us run successful events in those towns.

You said tend and befriend. That’s such a nice phrase.

I just feel like with strategic alliance, my definition of them is somebody who has a huge access to your audience. Our only motivation with them is to actually befriend them, to try and form deep friendships. I always have a rule. You never sell to these people. You always look forward to what you can do to help them. The human nature is to reciprocate.

That’s such a nice thing. You’re offering the deep friendship and you’re offering something first before you ask them for anything. But you’re not doing it as a strategy, you’re doing it as a real relationship builder, which I think is the difference in intention. There’s some people who just want the strategic alliances so they can sell.

You’re saying that you’re really tending and befriending and really creating a long-term relationship first. If they can help you later if they want to, as a reciprocal thing, they will because they have the access to your audience. Let me ask you a question about that too; do you then offer them a monetary reward for doing that or is it more you’re each helping each other whenever you can?

Not usually. I think I’d probably be happy to. I think we usually don’t because they’re usually in positions where they don’t really feel comfortable with taking it. They’re often heads of Chambers and things like that, where it really is their job to be doing stuff like this. Where we feel it’s appropriate, we will do that.

I’ve honestly come to be a little bit cautious about doing it because many people, they just don’t want it. It can make some people very awkward and some people absolutely love it. We just like to meet people where they are. Many people, it is their business model to do it for their marketing. I’m incredibly respectful of that and I’m really happy to play in that place. But I wouldn’t assume everybody wants to or is able to.

I think that’s true. My publicist, who is my publicist for my radio tour in Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul, she says, “Just take me out to lunch.” She sent me clients and publishers to media train their authors. No, she will not accept anything in return other than me treating her to lunch.

We love to treat people so we often don’t ask. We just send them something. I love weekends away.

Yeah, that’s right. You love weekends. For anybody out there listening, she loves weekends away.

Something like that is just a fun thing to be able to do. I don’t want to do nothing but I actually think it works nicely both ways.

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Get enrollment in your licensed programs with Tommi’s lessons on 8 Crucial Errors That Trap Talented Business Coaches In 5 Figures.

That’s great. That is great. To reach Tommi, it’s To get that 8 Crucial Errors That Trap Talented Business Coaches In 5 Figures, it’s You can also take the quiz called to see if you have what it takes to become a high earning business coach.

I encourage you, if you are a coach or consultant and you are interested in fast tracking your business and really learning those kinds of things without having to make all the mistakes yourself, to jump on in to Tommi’s wonderful program. As you can hear, the kind of teacher that she is and how thorough she is in creating that program and that her coaches are … What did you say? You have 21 coaches and they’ve stayed for three years? Which is a pretty remarkable track record.

It’s lovely, we’re proud of it. They haven’t all been with me for three years. We’ve been adding to the program all along. My first wave, if you like, have now been with me for three years.

That’s really wonderful. That is really wonderful. Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you wanted to add?

I think I probably just need to not leave it dangling and just need to make it number four.

We are going to go to four. I thought you were only going to tell us two of the four.

No. I think I’m just going to go through all of those.

I’m all for that.

Number one was running live events, it’s definitely my favorite. Number two is speaking on other people’s stages because of the outreach. Number three is finding strategic alliances because there are probably ten people on this planet that could massively change your game from a business perspective. You want to tend and befriend those people. If you don’t know them today, I wouldn’t be in any way cowered by that because there’s a gazillion good ways to go and meet somebody that you don’t know and that would make the intro for the ten people that can really change your world.

Number four is the one that I personally won’t do, but it’s networking. Every single person I know who’s very successful has a powerful network. I may not go to networking meetings but they have a really powerful Rolodex of amazing human beings and they’re really willing to give as much as they get or preferably more.

That’s how we met.

It is indeed. Exactly how we met. Yes.

Nancy Juetten connected us and then we had a chat on the phone and you’ve already worked with the mentor that I’m going to be working with. I just wanted to chat about your experience about that and how you got into licensing and then I invited you on this podcast.

Yes. It’s interesting because we just started off meeting each other and nobody had any agendas. That’s exactly how it normally goes. It’s generally just amazing people meeting each other. That’s all you’re really working for. We’re getting near the end Susan, probably I just want to reiterate my feeling that relationships are always going to trump sales. That’s really one of the reasons we love these techniques, speaking and events, for helping sell high priced offerings, in this case licenses.

I love it. I love that tend and befriend. That’s a wonderful, wonderful phrase that I’m going to be quoting you on because I really like that. Also, relationships trump sales. I think something that sometimes people forget in the frenzy of trying to make money.

Very much so.

That it goes back to what you were saying, is that you seem to have the most impact when you actually meet someone face to face. That’s not to say that online marketing doesn’t work, because it obviously does. But to put in the mix somewhere where you can meet people in person. Really, whether it’s on the stage, with someone else’s stage, whether it’s on your stage, to get them to really be able to have the sense of you in person.

Exactly. I think you summed that up really nicely.

Thank you so much for being our guest. It was really lovely. I think that people will feel very encouraged to either create a licensing program of their own or to jump on in to your licensing program. Best way to learn how to do something is to go to somebody else’s program who’s done it so you can have an example of that too.

Absolutely. If people want to talk with me about licensing, I’m quite open to that as well. I’ve learned a lot. It’s good to share.

That’s lovely. Thank you so much Tommi, this has been great.

Thank you Susan, thanks so much for having me.

About Tommi Wolfe

Tommi Wolfe—The Business Coach Launcher, guides business coaches to build their own dream businesses and fill them with clients, freedom and joy. This creates deep 6 figure businesses for their owners, and lasting impact for their entrepreneurial communities.

Business coaches hire Tommi for her smarts, trust her for her heart and create extraordinary businesses 5 times faster than they can on their own. You can find out more about her at


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