One of the best ways to get inspired is to learn from others’ successes.
That’s why in my Elevate online training program, we spotlight one of our premier members during our member Monthly Access Calls.
Elevate Coaches James Roche, Joy Chudacoff, and I select and interview one Elevate Premier member who is making great strides with the program.
Some successes are large, some small, but it’s all about taking steps forward and making progress.
Today, you’ll meet Elevate Premier member Margot Knorr Mancini, founder and president of, Technology for Publishing (www.tech4pub.com). She was our spotlight on our October 2012 call.
Enjoy our quick interview with Margot below, and be sure to take notes. There are several golden nuggets you can apply to YOUR business right away!
Ali: I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know [Margot] well, because you’ve been in my Elevate Premier group this year. Tell people a little bit about your business and your website. I’d love you to share some of the progress you’ve made over this year and what people can learn from it.
Margot: Sure. My business is a publishing consulting business. It’s something that I’ve been doing for actually 18 years, but in a very small way until I joined the group. We help publishers with process and best practices, both in producing their print content but also online and now especially in the digital media and app world. We work with really prominent publishers like National Geographic, Christian Science Monitor, Atlantic Monthly, Men’s Health. We’ve been really fortunate to build up a very strong following and niche in the industry.
What we’ve been trying to do in our growth is really expanding the knowledge that we have and being able to offer it in more than just a one-on-one scenario, which James you talk about all the time, and really trying to figure out how to take our knowledge and package it up so that we can really touch more people. That’s really sort of been the shift in the last few years.
Ali: I need to sing your praises for a minute. Margot is very humble, and I want you all to actually understand that she is the leading authority in digital publishing in the country. She’s becoming recognized for this now more and more. I mean huge publishers. Her company is just about ready to explode if she can hire more help. That’s the only challenge around it.
Margot: So is my head.
Ali: Yeah. It’s either the company has exploded or her head’s going to explode, something. But she’s at that exciting place where something’s got to give. So we’ve been spending a lot of time looking at how that can happen. She is the expert.
Some of you may be at this point, some of you will be getting to this point in your business, that you have more business coming in and calls coming in than you can handle. She’s getting calls from major publishers. These are magazines you subscribe to and that are on the newsstand that you would know in a second. I don’t want to break confidentiality. If there is I don’t want to mention any besides the ones she mentioned, like National Geographic.
This year’s been a very powerful journey for you, Margot, and looking at what the next level is going to look like. Do you want to share some of the things that you’ve gone through this year and what you’re working on now and any successes that you would like to share?
Margot: Sure. Previously we were doing okay, we were into the low six figures in our income, our revenues. But I jokingly called us really good stealth marketers. All of our business was referral based. We didn’t really market. We really started with putting systems in place, putting in a good website, we’ve built our social media presence, we’ve launched several newsletters. It was really to sort of put on a professional face and really to start to establish ourselves out there.
At the same time I’ve been adding team members to take on––I mean I wore all the hats. So really learning how to distribute that, help those team members to be empowered and self-sufficient. That takes time and process and documentation. You guys talk about this all the time, you have to put your systems in place to get to the expansion level. Once you’re in expansion you really have to sort of build out so that you are then really influencing and building your business.
So far, the year’s not over, we’ve already doubled our traffic from last year, doubled our followers, the number of newsletter subscribers. We really across the board, just with following the practices and the guidance that you guys have shared with us, it’s really helped us to broaden our base.
I call it the pool, our opportunity pool. To me that’s really the key for being able to expand my business. I really want to hit a broader market. I want to hit mid-sized publishers, and I want to hit folks that want to learn about publishing but can’t necessarily afford our consulting fees.
One of the things that we kicked off is something called a power hour, which someone can just purchase directly through our website. We don’t have to sell. We don’t have to write a proposal. We don’t even have to create an invoice. Someone signs up––
Ali: For a conversation with you.
Margot: Yeah, for a conversation with me. The first time I did it I was like, “This is amazing.” I don’t have to do any prep. I just get to talk to these people for an hour, add value, no follow up to do afterwards. It was just great.
Margot: It was just such a simple thing.
Ali: Yeah. You were prepaid, right? It was great.
Margot: It WAS great.
Ali: Just to position it, if you don’t mind me jumping in, Margot has gone from––they were a service-based business and now really she’s seen as an authority. A few things contributed to that. Those of you looking to become the leaders in your field should look at what she did. Go to her site, tech4pub.com.
She has a weekly newsletter now that is not stuff that Margot invents, she gives leadership, but it’s mostly just reporting on what’s going on in the industry. You can do this too. You can become really a leader in your industry also by just keeping your eye on everything and sharing what’s going on with people.
She wants to be a leader for people in her industry. For your clients, let’s say your clients are in an industry, let’s say that you coach people in a certain type of industry, you want to be seen as the person who knows what’s happening, you have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on.
A lot of people here are in those beginning stages and they look at a business like yours, [Margot] and it seems like a dream. You have a great team working with you, you still get to work at home, you have a beautiful new home office, you’re on the verge of breaking through that seven-figure mark now, what is your advice to people as far as what you’ve learned from leverage, because that’s something that I know you’ve dealt with going from the single professional now to really having a company.
Margot: It’s staying focused on the big picture goals. I think the core message I would share is everything feels like a mountain, and in the end it’s really a molehill. There are lots of things to deal with in the transition and growing a business. Some of it’s with your team, some of it’s systems, learning marketing, learning how to position yourself, learning about who you want to go after. They’re all building steps and they pay off. They seem like big things and big hurdles, but you really have to think big and stretch far in order to get past those smaller things. Otherwise you can just sort of get caught up in that and it wastes a lot of time.
Ali, you and I have had some discussions around those things. As the visionary and the leader of a company, getting out of the day-to-day as much as possible so you can really focus on what your core passion is and how you’re going to bring value to the world and what you do.
Ali: Awesome. Thank you so much. Thanks for being here today.
James: Thanks Margot.
Margot: Take care. Bye.