Episode 108: Profitable Live Events Help Your Business To Thrive with Linda Cain – Transcript

Episode 108: Profitable Live Events Help Your Business To Thrive with Linda Cain

Rennie Gabriel  00:09
Hi folks, welcome to Episode 108 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information, and provide inspiration around your business and your money. I'm your host, Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to understand the numbers from your business, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 to 10 seconds, what determines how close you are to Complete Financial Choice®, and how to run your business without being in your business. And last week, we had Penelope Jane Smith, a premier financial freedom coach for women entrepreneurs. Today we have as our guest, Linda Kane, talking about thriving with profitable events. Linda has massive experience with both online and live events, planning domestically and internationally for over 25 years. She works with the "who's who" in the transformational space. And with her team, she creates repeatable six and seven figure events for her clients. She also trains others on what it takes to have a successful, fun, entertaining, and educational event. When she's not producing events, you'll find her with her husband and family on the river boating, jetski, entertaining and raising Pomeranians. Today will be a little longer than the usual at 30 minutes, because it is so packed with ideas for coaches, authors, speakers, and trainers to increase their profits. Linda, welcome to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast.

Linda Cain  01:53
Thank you, Rennie. So, so great to be here. My pleasure. Thank you for having me on the show.

Rennie Gabriel  01:59
Well, let's get right to it with some questions. Okay, I call you the "go to lady" for events for changemakers. Why are you in this business?

Linda Cain  02:11
I love events, I've been doing them for years. I started out from college. I had the fortunate opportunity to work with a law firm, and back then we had big budgets and so we were able to do some fabulous events around the world. And I was hired to work with their marketing department and take care of all their clients. And I found that I just really loved putting things together, bringing people together, watching them get educated, entertained and having a great experience and exploring ways that they could work with each other or you know better their positioning. And so one day I got invited to this thing called the Speak Your Way to Wealth, that was an old fashioned pitch fest, started off with Eric Lofholm -skinny little Eric back in the day. And he was, he had a $47 offer to his scripting program. And then it went to you know, somebody had a $99 program, then a $199 program. And every, you know, was three days and every 90 minutes, a new speaker came on. And the price went up just a little, just a little. And the main keynote speaker was Bob Proctor, and he had a $5,000 year-long coaching program and back, you know, in the late 80s, we were all like, 'Uh, $5,000, that's so much money'. Now it's like if you can get in with a really good coach that can work with your business, and you could get in for 30k or less, you should count your blessings. Because, you know, it has become a phenomenal industry and a lot of great leaders, a lot of great things have come of it. And I just love it. I love the fact that I get to travel, I get to be creative and work with my clients to bring out their personality in the event. Things that they love to do we've incorporated those into the events. So I love it.

Rennie Gabriel  03:56
Cool. Yeah. I mean, there are people who love to travel. And I have a blog called, the Resistant Traveler. My wife, when we first got together, said 'Rennie, Do you like to go on vacation?' And I said, 'Sure, okay. I don't care'. But she doesn't vacation. She tours. Big difference. 

Linda Cain  04:21
Big difference.

Rennie Gabriel  04:22
Yeah, so anyways . . . So we just . . .

Linda Cain  04:25
Touring is a lot of fun. I love that when clients in our fulfillment projects, with our clients where they've already done their three day enrollment program, now they have you know, 10, 20, 30 people that they're going to work with all year long. They typically will do a retreat of some kind or a small get together and bring, you know, 20, 30 people together. And I love those because that's where we do get to bring in that touring aspect. I, in fact, I was just texting this morning one of our team members, is just boarding her flight for Scotland and we already have our client over there with a couple other of her people and the attendees are starting to arrive. Everybody will be on site by tomorrow. And they're there 'til the seventh of September. And we have arranged for them to stay in a castle and have a couple tours, and eat at some, you know, local-style restaurants that are off the beaten, you know, tours. So they're really going to get a feel of what it's really like to live and be part of Scotland. So super excited for that. 

Rennie Gabriel  05:30
That is so cool. Because what you're doing for your team is building in what I want to call it, vacation time with worktime. That's great, great,

Linda Cain  05:43
Super-excited. We love doing that. It's a - it's really fun when we get to follow the client from the very beginning all the way through their program, something that I like to call our event-driven business model. So we like to work with our clients from beginning to end, which is why we have such you know, repeat, you know, repeat clients.

Rennie Gabriel  06:01
Oh, yeah. I remember the event that you put on for Rich German, and Milana Leshinsky.

Linda Cain  06:08

Rennie Gabriel  06:09
Yes. And oh, my gosh, you made this so seamless. They were able to concentrate on delivering material and didn't have to worry about all the other garbage that goes, you know, who's handling the mic, or who's, who's running this, or, you know, are the slides ready? It was beautiful. Anyway . . .

Linda Cain  06:28
Thank you. All those little details we love to do. We like it when our hosts and people that have attended events can give us that kind of feedback and say, 'All I had to do was show up and do my thing, I didn't have to worry about anything else'. Then we know we've done our job 100% the way we want to do it. 

Rennie Gabriel  06:45
Beautiful. Well, you're probably aware of that I donate 100% of the profits from the work that I do to charity. Tell me about a particular charity that you support, and what they do.

Linda Cain  06:56
So we love supporting the Unstoppable Foundation. It's Cynthia Kersey, is the founder. We were very privileged to work for about six years pre COVID, and work on her annual fundraising event that she did where she, you know, we first started with two or three hundred people. And the last year we did it, she had over 2000 people that came to the fundraiser. And then when COVID hit, they decided to go into a different model, change of some of what they were doing, and they're not holding the big fundraisers events anymore. But we still are active in being able to get donor and contributions and she's still taking people on trips. And I love the work that they do. Basically, they build schools in Africa. And they also have a division where they bring in the water supply into the villages. So they're working both in the sustainability of the village as well as the educational aspect of the village. And so it's just so it's such a worthy cause. And so whenever I can, not only do we offer that as a charity for our clients who don't have a charity, they want to support, we always offer them to do the Unstoppable Foundation, but we also, I contribute, my family, we contribute, once monthly to a cause with the school. And then I just like I said, I really love the work that they do because it's an amazing outreach, and they're changing lives every day.

Rennie Gabriel  08:19
Oh, I believe it because you're dealing with the education and you're dealing with water, which, you know, without that no one gets anything.

Linda Cain  08:28
Well, and it's such a sustainable project. They teach the villagers, primarily they divide it where the children are going into the educational portion of it, but then they go out and reach out to the families and they show them how they can, you know, get a cow, get a sheep, get chickens, how they can, you know, create their crafts of baskets and purses and things like that. And they can make some you know, craft work and get that to market. But the sustainability comes into their, they show the village by how they can bring in that water and digging wells and bringing in the water. They can then plant their vegetables, they can tend for their animals, and they actually create an ecosystem within each village, which is what I really love. It's an expanded work that the Unstoppable is doing. And I love that because it's you know, it's been able to create that growth. And in turn, I like to think that we kind of do that on our little scale with our events. Because we start with a client and we show them how they can, you know, make profits, they can have a profitable event. They can do online or virtual. They can have large or big or you know, or small events, big profits. And then from there, they can create that same repeatable process over and over again. And every year you know, they just have their, they have their event model they put into play, and they just can build on it with their other programs and with you know, their year long coaching programs. So I like to think that we in our own little way can provide some sustainability to our clients.

Rennie Gabriel  10:02
Cool - well, tell me who are your target clients. I mean, I just kind of said the "who's who" of the transformational space. But give me an example of who are your target market clients.

Linda Cain  10:15
So it's really interesting, Rennie. We actually have two market bases that we work with. One is clients that are 3 - 5 years in business. They have, you know, a decent following, they may have done an event or two, and they're just wanting to bring in a team that can scale and help them to do that repeatable business year after year after year. And, you know, walk in, do their presentation, have their event lead, not think about it again until the next year, and hey, we're going to do an event again, and it all gets put together. And so those are our, you know, top end clients -  clients that, you know, like I said, had an event or two, and they kind of understand the process. Those are our higher end target market. And then we really target the person that is starting now, maybe a coach, author, speaker, or a small business entrepreneur, who's starting out, they have limited team, but they really want to do events. They see the value in doing events. And they know that that's the number one way of connecting with their audience and bringing their product to market or their course to market. And so we target those, and we work with them in two different ways where we bring you in, and you can do like a 90 day with us, where we get you "event ready". We map out, we take an assessment of your business. We map out whether or not you, where you are in the event process, how beginning you are or how middle you are, work with you for 90 days. So when they walk away, they're actually can go off and do their events, be profitable, or they can hire us to run them and produce them for them. And so I really love working that way. We typically bring in four or five at a time and work together. And then the other way that we work with people, are they wanted, they know they want to do an event and we just start out smaller. So we start out with a just a straight virtual event and put that together for them and then we grow on that. Or we help them to create a series of master classes or you know, just kind of follow whatever path they want to take. So I really like to work with those newer clients and younger clients, younger in business, not in age, but younger in business, who really want to map out how they're going to use events for the full year.

Rennie Gabriel  12:23
That's terrific, because in essence, you're covering those who are starting out and really have no idea how to do what needs to be done, and those who have, you know, the experience, and know that they want to have someone to do it, right.

Linda Cain  12:39
Yeah, and to monetize, make it better and more sustainable for them going forward. And the new people that...like the newbies, I guess for a better word, that are just starting out, it's so great to work with them and be able to kind of show them what they don't know but really show them what we've learned from our experience and what we've gone through with our clients. Because we've had the wins, and we've had the losses with our clients as well. And you know, me, I take everything to heart, and it's like it was my event. So if it's not successful, I don't feel like we did our best job. Sometimes that has nothing to do with it. It's not the hosts fault or our fault. It's just the nature of the game and the nature of you know how things come together. So we always try to look to how to refine that. And one of the things that we do is we don't leave our clients hanging. So if there is a situation where the event didn't quite happen, then we get everybody together, and it's like, 'Okay, what do we need to do? What worked? How can we do that again?' And we'll do an encore type event. And you know, we do something like that. So they're just not left hanging in the balance.

Rennie Gabriel  13:43
And you know what, that actually leads to my next question, which is kind of a two-part question. So from your experience where things didn't work out, what would you say your biggest failure was? And then what was the biggest insight from that? And did you use that to create a success for yourself or other clients?

Linda Cain  14:03
Oh, great question. And absolutely, the biggest failure is early on not fully understanding the marketing. What it really meant to market to get butts in the seats or to get people to attend an event. And we've got the finding your location nailed down. We can get you the best deals in town. We've got on-site support like no other. You and your attendees are going to feel like you've been taken care of by the best mom in the world. Like where's the warm cookies? Oh, there they are. So it's, you know, we've got that all nailed down. Where we didn't, what we didn't have nailed down which came through learning and trial and error, and then just us growing with our clients, was understanding the funnel process, understanding the filling of the room process and what that really took. So I think our biggest failure was when we had a couple clients back to back who had amazing events, the people that they were there, they loved them, but we didn't hit the financial marks. We didn't lose money, but we didn't hit the financial mark. So it didn't, it didn't you know was so more like a break-even type scenario. And what we realized is for us for an event team and our side, what I realized was, I didn't ask enough questions upfront, find out whether the clients were really ready to have that event. What was their visibility factor? How were they reaching people? Who did they have to that could affiliate for them? Were they really set up for the success on that piece? They were as far as where they wanted to go, what they wanted to do, what they were going to teach, what their offer was, they had that all nailed down, but it was that foundational piece. So we pivoted, we started pivoting and looking in 2016, 2017, really looking at where - when our clients came to us, how they were had their backend support. What was their goal for the year? How were they driving their business? And once we started to shift that we saw such a huge change in not only the events becoming more profitable and streamlining that process, but the clients, their confidence went up, they knew who they were getting in the room. And so we've partnered with a couple people. We've partnered with Jane Deuber, on her event assessment, her and I've wrote an assessment that really targets people for these, on these three day enrollment processes. So our clients get to tap into that investment that we created. They can use that to really bring in the right people to their event as one option. And we've just joined a couple other people for funnels, if they need funnels, or if they need a good website, we've got really great referral partners for those kinds of things. And doing that now has created just such a big success and win-win for everyone

Rennie Gabriel  16:45
That makes so much sense from the standpoint of, one of the things shopping centers do is they don't just rent a space or a storefront to anyone. They want the financials for that store owner. You know, what are their gross sales? Who are their clients? How are they getting their clients? What is their marketing look like? Because the person who's got the shopping center wants to know that retailer can pay the rent. 

Linda Cain  17:13
Yeah, yep. 

Rennie Gabriel  17:15
So yeah, that that was the learning process. Can your client reach enough people to do an event?

Linda Cain  17:22
Well, you know, and it's, you don't, the thing that we learned through the process is you don't have to have a huge audience. It's nice. It's always fun to have the 300-person audience, a 1000-person audience. But you don't have to do that. If you have the right 50, 100 people in the room, you can have a six figure payday, back-to-back, over and over again. The thing is, you're going to bring the right people into your program with you. And you're going to have the right audience that comes in the room in the first place. That's really the key and you can have a hugely successful event, even on a retreat with 20, 30 people on a retreat, and you take them on a deep dive experience, not only through where it is that you go and what you do, but the educational piece that you bring along with you to the event.

Rennie Gabriel  18:12
Yeah, I mean, a 20-person retreat could bring in $100,000 of revenue. 

Linda Cain  18:17

Rennie Gabriel  18:18
Yeah. Yeah, easy. But let me ask you, what are the common mistakes your clients make, or your prospects?

Linda Cain  18:25
So yeah, so the common mistakes is they they wait until the last minute to do their visibility. You know, they might they, it's like, Oh, I'll wait till three weeks, six weeks out to start to do my Facebook posts or my Instagram posts. And then they run into that's not enough time typically for the algorithms and for the patterns to be picked up. And so then they have to go into using ads or trying to do ads or doing something like that. And it's, you know, those are great if you've got the big budget for them. But if you don't have the big budget for them, you're not going to allow yourself enough time. So you're kind of wasting money. So the biggest mistake is not planning early enough on where they're going to bring their... how they're going to attract their clients, where they're attracting their clients from, and then how they're going to bring the clients in. So then they end up with the whole thing of, you know, giving tickets away, just trying to fill the room and bring new people in. And it's like, take care of the 20 people that have signed up that want to be there, scale back down. Just work with them because those are the people that are going to buy from you. You can give all the tickets away in the world for free but you're just going to bring "looky-loos" into the room. They're not necessarily going to be the right client. So now you're going to spend more money to bring people into a room when you should concentrate on raising the value of the people that are already coming to you and focus on that. So I think that's the biggest mistake that people make is we think we have to have these grand rooms and even in the, you know, even online, you know, we need to have 1000 people in the room and the average online event, well you know, if you've done good marketing, you've done it right, you'll, you'll average about 300 people in your space. You know, maybe 150 on the low side. Take care of those people. Don't worry that, you know, 1000 people signed up and they didn't show up. Worry about the people that did come and really be, really be focused on where you're drawing, you know who you want to work with. Because have a three-day, like I said, to have a three-day enrollment event, it's always nice to have those big numbers. But if you know who you really want to work with, and you do an event that brings just those people in, then you're going to have your six figure payday over and over and over again. You're going to hit 100,000 plus, over and over again. You do two, three events a year, you've hit 300, 400 thousand, if not more.

Rennie Gabriel  20:49
Yeah, and I have to agree with you and I want to go back and emphasize the point that even if you have people show up for free. If you've got something to offer them, that will make the money and you do a decent job at that, even if you paid for everything for your event, and people showed up for free, you can still make a lot of money. It's what James Malinchak did with his Learn How to be a Speaker at colleges.

Linda Cain  21:16
The college speaker kit.

Rennie Gabriel  21:19

Linda Cain  21:19
And what I'm really finding is that people want you know, we're tired of the fluff, we don't need to go and listen to the latest speaker or listen to the latest thing. We want to get in and do some work. Let me walk away with something done. You know, so if your product is speaking, teaching people how to speak on stage or teaching people how to, you know, be a good speaker, then focus on is their story good? Do they have their, you know, speech written correctly? Do they know how to introduce themselves? Do they know how to talk to all that? Do there, is there a back end to offer? You know, don't teach people how to speak on stage, but don't, and leave them without an offer. 

Rennie Gabriel  22:02
Yeah, oh, yeah. Because . . .

Linda Cain  22:04
Even if it's just a lead gen - teach them how to do that, and how to, and do workshop-style events where the person can actually walk away with something tangible and done that they can implement. And you know, they'll follow you all day long to get more of that. 

Rennie Gabriel  22:18

Linda Cain  22:19
They'll come to everything that you do, and they'll pay you to come to an event to do that. That's just one example. So whether it's a funnel product, or you're teaching funnels or online marketing, or you're just teaching, you know, speaking or presence or whatever, you're speaking, having your three-day event, something, a couple action items, where the person can really get a taste of how you teach and how you coach, and they actually are doing something so that at the end of every day, they've walked away with something done. And then when you make your offer to continue to work with them, they're going to go, Yeah, why would I not accept this person's offer? I just got this accomplished. And I attended for free, you know, so . . .

Rennie Gabriel  23:02
Yeah, exactly. Is there a valuable free resource that you can direct people to that could further help them if they're not already working with you?

Linda Cain  23:12
Yeah, they can get our Profitable Event - the complete guide that we wrote, it breaks down the four kinds of events: retreats, live events, hybrid events, and virtual events. So they can grab that.

Rennie Gabriel  23:25
I have a link that says, https://lindacain.kartra.com/page/PromoOT

Linda Cain  23:31
That's it. 

Rennie Gabriel  23:34
Okay, great. Well, that'll be in the show notes because I doubt that anyone listening, especially in their car, driving their car, are going to remember this. Let me ask you, what I should have asked you, and what would the answer be? Maybe what's the one strategy that anyone can do?

Linda Cain  23:52
So one of the things that I love talking to people about as we all do a VIP day. 

Rennie Gabriel  23:57
Oh, yeah. 

Linda Cain  23:57
And we all you know, talk about, and people forget the strategy. They don't even think of this as a strategy. And I love it. It's really great for really tapping in and bringing in some quick money. So we all have the VIP day. We all will market it and get people in for one on one, either 997 or $5,000, just depending on what you want to do. So take that and what you do is you bring 5 to 10 people in for a VIP day. And what you do is each one of those people, you know, make it at least a couple $1,000 per person, because you're going to give them a great amount of value. And what you're going to do is you're going to take that, put that out, invite let's say five people in at $2,000. That's a $10,000 day for you right there. And you're going to do it in Zoom. It's a virtual event. And pre-event you have a 60 minute consult with them. So you know exactly where they're at for their VIP day - what they want to accomplish, what they want to get out of the VIP day. And then, so like, for me, I would take five people that want to do events, I would get with them pre-event - pre-VIP day, find out exactly where each one was so when we all got together, then we run down through the processes, and I can shoot examples to the five, based on where they're at. And then what you do is after you finish your group VIP day, then what you do is you obviously make an offer for them to continue to work for you, but you include in that group VIP day two more calls, two more group calls. So over the next month, so you turn your VIP day into a group VIP day with two additional calls over the next 30 days. By then they're hooked and they will want to stay with you. And so at the end of those 30 days you can offer them to go slide right on into your high-end ticket coaching program or a six-month program, or 90-day fast track, whatever it is you've got coming up next. It's almost, my clients, it's just, it's almost a guarantee income. It's just so easy, because five people have spent this time with you, then, you know, they spent it together as a group so you brought, you made some camaraderie, and then you bring them back together two more times to solidify, nail down what you were teaching and training them for. And it's a big win.

Rennie Gabriel  26:25
Yeah. It's so funny, too. I'm focusing on the term high-ticket program, because that could be anything depending on who the presenter is. As an example, I know a lot of people think of a $5,000 program is high-ticket. And I was talking to someone the other day, who does mergers and acquisitions, and for him a high ticket program is 25 million. 

Linda Cain  26:53
Yep. Yeah. 

Rennie Gabriel  26:54
So . . . So when we use high-ticket, it's really got to determine . . . It will be dependent upon . . .

Linda Cain  27:00
It depends on you know, in my focus, my area is events, non-profits, and small corporate programs, retreats, partner retreats, things like that. So when I think high-ticket, I'm thinking in the range of where maybe the most somebody is charging is 50k, or 100k, depending on the value that they're bringing. But the average seems to be right around that 30k mark. At the same time, even what you were just talking about that 25 million, he could still bring in, he could still do a group of 10 for the day, charge them to be with him for the day, run through some basic techniques and sell them and he's got by, rather than trying to do a lot of one-on-one appointments, he can do them as a group.

Rennie Gabriel  27:47
Hmm. That may be something to talk to him about because I just referred my step son-in-law to him, and he's a business broker. What he does is he sells service-based businesses, between 1 and $100 million.

Linda Cain  28:01
Yep, we have an agency client who, he buys and sells agencies and he teaches people how to build their agency. He takes this group VIP day and he brings about 10 people together that are looking to buy agencies, and he runs through how do you buy an agency proper course or you know, his VIP day on how to buy an agency. And then he sells them into his program and then helps them to find and fund the agencies that they're wanting to buy. So . . .

Rennie Gabriel  28:31
Oh, gosh, I've got to ask, is his name Alex? 

Linda Cain  28:35

Rennie Gabriel  28:36
Okay, then, 'cause there's similarities here.

Linda Cain  28:39
Yeah, no, his name's Troy and he's out of Australia.

Rennie Gabriel  28:42
Okay. Well, Linda, this has been great. Thank you for being on the show.

Linda Cain  28:48
Thank you for having me. Always a pleasure.

Rennie Gabriel  28:50
Thank you. And to my listeners, thank you for tuning in. Next week, we're going to have Ry Duong, a social worker who works with couples to get them on the same page, and operate as a team for not only their finances, but their life. You can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform. And please rate, review and subscribe. If you'd like to know how books, movies and Society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. You'll hear my TED talk and can request a free 27-Page Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice®, and receive a weekly email with tips, techniques or inspiration around your business or your money. And if you'd like to see how you can increase your wealth and donate to the causes that touch your heart, please check out our affordable program Wealth with Purpose on the wealthonanyincome.com website. Until next week, be prosperous. Bye bye for now.

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