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Bringing Joy Into Your Marketing with M. Shannon Hernandez

May 31, 2021
Episode 12
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Marketing isn’t often thought of as a joyful activity – in fact, it’s usually quite the opposite, being thought of as stressful,  ineffective, or even worse in the minds of some consultants.

In this episode, M. Shannon Hernandez and Alastair McDermott discuss how to approach marketing in a joyful way that makes it less of a chore.

They also discuss why consultants don’t love their business, and what you can do about it.

Show Notes

Guest Bio

M. Shannon Hernandez is ALL ABOUT THAT JOY in life and biz—and specifically is known around the globe for her Joyful Marketing Methodology. She works with online coaches and consultants—teaching them how to market and sell from a place of joy first—and build a profitable 6-figure+ business that includes abundant time off.

A sought after expert in the world of joyful marketing and online business strategy, Shannon is known as the creator of the Content Personality™ Wheel. She has founded both The Confident Expert™ Program and The Joyful CEO™ Mastermind, where she champions and rallies coaches and consultants to build the business and lifestyle of their dreams.

Shannon has been featured on CBS, ABC, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, FOX, and NBC. She is a world-renowed #JoyfulMarketing and Business Growth Strategist with over 25 years in award-winning curriculum design and is a master trainer and teacher. She is committed to ongoing philanthropic work to bring housing, fresh food and water sources, and medical care to those who do not have access. When she is not speaking and teaching globally, you will find her reading fiction, snuggling her cat, traveling the world, and hanging with the love of her life.


programme, people, marketing, joyful, teaching, business, joy, called, clients, year, book, coaches, campaign, niche, revenue, talk, learning, week, consultants, expert

Alastair McDermott, M. Shannon Hernandez

M. Shannon Hernandez 00:00

I wouldn’t advocate for people to go 3, 4, 6, 12 months and say, Oh, it’s going to work eventually you should be able to have some data and pick up are people calling you are people booking your sales calls are people coming into your programmes, and that’s the essence of what we teach as really engaging marketing.

Alastair McDermott 00:27

Hello, and welcome to Marketing for Consultants. This is the podcast that helps independent consultants and subject matter experts to get more clients without having to beg for referrals or make soul-destroying cold calls. I’m your host, Alastair McDermott. And today My guest is Shannon Hernandez. Shannon is all about joy in life and business, and specifically is known around the globe for her joyful marketing methodology. She works with online coaches and consultants, teaching them how to market and sell from a place of joy, and build profitable six figure businesses that include abundant time off. She is known as the creator of the content personality wheel, the confident expert programme and the joyful CEO mastermind, where she champions and rallies, coaches and consultants to build a business and lifestyle of their dreams. Shannon has been featured on CBS, ABC, the Boston Globe, the Huffington Post, Fox and NBC. So Shannon I’m really interested, can you tell us about joyful marketing?

M. Shannon Hernandez 01:23

Yes, so we have a mantra in my community. And of course, all mantras start with probably what you need to hear first for yourself. And the mantra is: “If it ain’t joyful, we ain’t doing that shit.” And every client that comes on, we work with coaches, and consultants, every thing I do in my brand, every decision we make as a team, that is like the baseline, if it ain’t joyful, we do with that shit. And that really was a philosophy and a way of showing up and being in marketing and in the online space that I have adopted over the years and kind of been like the voice and the cheerleader fork around the globe. Because nobody wants to do things that aren’t joyful, and especially when it comes to your marketing.

Alastair McDermott 02:11

Right. So I’m guessing like the spectrum of what is joyful, it’s different for everybody. Right?

M. Shannon Hernandez 02:17

Yes. And that’s the beauty of it it’s different for everyone like you interviewing people is probably totally joyful, me being a guest is joyful. I don’t want to have my own podcast. That’s not joyful to me. I love video, I love some forms of written content. And so really where all of this started was about four years ago, somebody called me sobbing on the telephone. And it was a consultation. And she had enrolled in a coaching programme. That was a year long programme. And it was time for them to go to California. And they were basically going to be put into a hotel room for three days. And they were to come out with a manuscript. And she knew what she was buying when she bought it. And she thought she would get over it. But the real problem was, she didn’t want to write that book. She didn’t, it wasn’t bringing her joy. This idea of writing a book wasn’t joyful, and I laid in bed that night. And I thought about that for a really long time. And I got out of bed, and I created a tool that is known around the globe called the content personality wheel. And it is a few short questions in a matter of three or four minutes. It gives you based on your answers, how you best show up in marketing, and how you are best suited to market in this online space as a coach or consultant. And that thing caught wildfire. And has been like the foundation of the joy and getting people back to the joyful activities, the joyful platforms, the joyful way that they show up and sell and market and really helping people build that consulting business of their dreams from a place of joy first, which is rare. When you think about it.

Alastair McDermott 04:07

Yeah, I think I mean, in this world of specifically of consultants and coaches and experts and people who are subject matter experts, there’s an awful lot of marketing information out there online that is not relevant to these types of people. And that’s why I started this podcast because I was in this position myself, where the marketing information I was taking in just wasn’t relevant for me. To be honest, I experiment with loads of it. Most of it fails. And it took me a long time to kind of write the ship. I’m totally with you. And, yeah

M. Shannon Hernandez 04:40


Alastair McDermott 04:41


M. Shannon Hernandez 04:41

What did you I that failed in your life. Don’t ever do this shit.

Alastair McDermott 04:47

Yeah, well, one of the things was all of the same things that I’m doing now, except not having a very specific audience and trying to have a very general broad audience and the same stuff that works, when you have a narrow audience tends not to work when you have a broad audience. But that specialisation and niching down it scares the crap out of people, because they’re turning away opportunity that was a big one was, I need to actually focus down much more niche than than I am right now. And that was probably the biggest one. And, and I’ve improved, you know, things like, like, we’re on video now. And I have a nice camera, and I’ve pretty decent lighting and have a nice background. That’s not all by accident. That’s that was through trial and error and learning how things work. And yeah, so that’s the thing that has improved as well. So yeah, you can go through that process of trial and error. And I think you have to do some of that. But also you can be guided by people who, you know, you’re following in their, in their footsteps, right?

M. Shannon Hernandez 05:46

Yeah, yeah, I love this. And, you know, the niching thing is real. And I think like one of the takeaways for the audience today is to be like, so specific in your niche actually opens up way more money for you in the long run. And it is the thing that people are most scared about, will come to work with me for the joyful marketing, we actually start with the messaging, right, because it goes together. And most often, if your marketing is not leading to sales calls, it’s a messaging problem. And so it’s like, you have to go back and get that foundation set and get super niched, super narrow down, and then it starts actually working and pulling people in, because your message is is resonating with people.

Alastair McDermott 06:33

Right. Yeah, absolutely. Let’s just talk because I want people to have some context, when they’re listening to you talking. I want people to have some context that you know, you know what you’re talking about. And I know that you had some some pretty incredible growth last year in your business, can you can you just tell us a little bit about that?

M. Shannon Hernandez 06:49

Yeah, so last year was the year right? We’re talking about 2020, year of the pandemic.

Alastair McDermott 06:55


M. Shannon Hernandez 06:56

But also, I went in for standard surgery on March 5, it was a hysterectomy. And I almost didn’t come out of there, I had a lot of complications. I was in and out of the hospital in New York City, right as COVID was hitting. Yeah. And there was a couple of days that we weren’t sure I was going to live. And I came out of there. And I kind of renewed clarity of what I’m on this earth to do, I think probably near death experiences probably do that with fortunately. But I came here and I said, Okay, my job right now this year, is to do more of what matters and take it to the people. That was the message that I received, you know, in and out of like, Am I going to live Am I not going to live. And for me, that was do more of what matters is spread joy, and help more coaches and consultants be successful in the realm of marketing. And for us, that is joyful marketing. So we live by a couple things in this brand, lots of time off. Lots of joy, and really great relationship building and focusing on relationships that lead to revenue and not the other way around. And I think that’s the big key. So in the in last year, my company grew from 250k to 440k in revenue. One of the things people love about this brand and why they stick around is because we tell the whole story behind everything. Right? So we have that growth without Facebook ads, without ads of any kind ads do not bring me joy. I don’t use them. All right, we focused on great storytelling, we focused on niching down once again, on who our ideal clients were, we focused on spreading the message that you can have a successful business, working three and a half days a week as a coach or consultant if that’s what you desire. That’s the model that I’ve set up for myself. And we had 197 days off last year. That was the amount of days that I took off. Now, that’s all very intentional. And we got there because I prioritise joy and I prioritise time off. And I made every moment that I did work efficient, right. And so that’s the system’s that’s the efficient messaging. That’s the marketing campaigns that I built around different themes that I was passionate about last year. And we’re having a party Monday after the fact, but we’re having a party Monday because it is worth

Alastair McDermott 09:34

It was a great party. I’m sorry, you missed it.

M. Shannon Hernandez 09:37

It was a great party. Alastair was there.

Alastair McDermott 09:42

There you go. So okay, well, let me ask you, because clearly, you had to cut something out. So can you can you talk to me about what you put out there. When you you started. You say you do no ads, you’ve got great stories. You’re niching down, you’re spreading the message and you’re much more efficient. You’ve got systems in place. Yeah. Can you talk about what what you got rid of? Because there must have been something there you cut, right?

M. Shannon Hernandez 10:05

Yeah, well, I’m not sure. So, so much sure that I cut it. But what I did decide to do was focus on my zone of genius, which is teaching and training. And so I actually converted everything to teaching and training opportunities around joyful marketing and email marketing, like all the things that people want to know about, I converted to teaching and training. And I’ll show you something here, I actually converted to this kind of stuff, where I would draw a concept. For those that are listening, and maybe not watching the video, I have a piece of paper here, I draw a concept and I teach from the drawing, and people get the download, and they’re able to look at it. Super engaging, super fun. This one’s love your leads, I’m presenting this four times over the next two days in different places. But I have, I’ll link to a frame of the video in the show notes so you can see it if you’re listening to this. Awesome. I can also send you the PDF or something if you want it to.

Alastair McDermott 11:10

Excellent. That’d be great. Yeah.

M. Shannon Hernandez 11:11

But I just decided my brilliance is teaching. That’s where my joy is. That’s where my heart and soul is. And so everything I did last year was about bringing people together and what we call our joyful zoom classroom, and teaching them about joyful marketing. The other thing I did is I have a really amazing Facebook group called marketing and selling for coaches and consultants. And I went in there and I started actually doing trainings, free trainings, week long trainings. I called them workshop weeks. And we came out of there with 5060 $70,000 in sales after showing up and being super strategic about who is our audience? What are you going to be learning each day this week over the five days, and then we made the call to action to join our main programme. So it wasn’t so much of getting rid of stuff, but it was being 125% committed to my joy, my zone of genius and not straying from that I didn’t go on podcast last year, it wasn’t like how I could show up and teach. Right. So I have specific strategy that we really followed throughout the year.

Alastair McDermott 12:30

Right? And this this strategy that you created, you stick religiously to that and you don’t go outside of that.

M. Shannon Hernandez 12:37

Yes. And I say that like that, because I just taught a class on this. We build six week, marketing campaigns, little mini strategies, and I build them there. Usually it’s weeks. About week three or four. I’m like, is anyone listening to me? like nothing’s happening here? Like it’s crickets, right? And then between week four and six, that’s when the sales come in. That’s when the sales calls are booked. That’s when people have seen it enough. Whatever it is that we’re the theme is or whatever we’re promoting. And they’re like, oh, maybe I should pay attention to washing. So there’s a moment, you know, in true, honestly, every single time we build a campaign, we build something like super fun that last six weeks, right about week three or four. I’m like, This shit is not working, like no one is listening. And then I just have to sit in that right and I teach my students and my clients is do I have to sit and knowing the strategy’s working. It’s the results aren’t showing up yet. But they’re coming. And every time it works every time

Alastair McDermott 13:43

You’re in a dip, but trust the process,

M. Shannon Hernandez 13:45

Trust the process.

Alastair McDermott 13:48


M. Shannon Hernandez 13:48

And don’t give up too early. That’s the thing. That’s the thing. I see a lot of coaches and consultants, they give it up like right at that moment where people are starting to catch on with what they’re saying. And they’re on to the next thing. And that’s hard. That’s

Alastair McDermott 14:03

Yeah, Seth Godin has has a book called think it’s called “The Dip” about this. And also, the guy who created the Content Marketing Institute, his name is Joe pleasee. He has a great video that I link to sometimes, where he did a keynote for kind of Marketing Show. And he, and he talks about, you know, sticking with something, whatever you’re doing, particularly, it’s in content marketing, sticking with it for at least 12 months, even if you’re not seeing any return, because it does take that long for the wheels to start spinning up and kind of to get the flywheel moving. I think people do do tend to kind of give up after, you know, after three or four months of something not working. And it’s you know, you get a bit a bit disheartened by that naturally, but you have to stick it out.

M. Shannon Hernandez 14:47

Yeah, well, and I think we can talk about that too. Because if my revenue depends on six, let’s be real, right? So it depends on people saying yes, I want joy for marketing. Yes, I want to work with you in a programme whatever. That is okay. So if my revenue depends on that, I am not willing to wait more than six weeks to see if something’s working. So we used to go with a quarterly strategy. And we would let things run about 12 weeks. And then I was like, wait, we should be able to figure out if something’s working out about week four, or five or six. And that changed everything, because now I wasn’t waiting to week 910 or 11. But we were able to do two campaigns within a quarter that were fun, that were engaging, and that we started seeing results. Okay, so I think, like, if I’m going to be a true voice in what’s working, and what we’re helping consultants do, I wouldn’t advocate for people to go 346 12 months and say, Oh, it’s gonna work, eventually, you should be able to have some data and pick up are people calling you are people booking your sales calls? Are people coming into your programmes? And that’s the essence of what we teach us really engaging marketing.

Alastair McDermott 16:05

Right. Okay. And then in those, can we get into some of the details about what what you’re actually talking about? in those short campaigns? Like, is it content marketing? You say, you say no ads? Is it just no ads for you yourself? Or are your Are you suggesting your clients do no ads, either.

M. Shannon Hernandez 16:23

I attract people who don’t like ads. If they want to do ads, they can do ads, but none of my clients do ads. And they all have six figure businesses. So I’ll outline a campaign. So we’re getting ready to start a campaign next week. It’s a six week campaign. It’s called fall in love with your business again. So our theme is fall in love with your business again. So I sat down and I thought, of course, right, like, Why do people not love their coaching or consulting business? There could be many reasons around that. So I listed those reasons. What would help you fall more in love with your business again, often that’s like the opposite of why they don’t love their business. So I brainstormed a list around that. So when I did this brainstorming, what I realised is there’s like two main things going on. And when I talk to my clients, and just because I’ve been here myself, not in love with my business, there’s a couple of things going on. One, your marketing isn’t working, and you don’t have clients and you’re losing confidence. And you’re feeling disheartened. And we’ve all been, right, we have all been there. So part of my campaign is going to address the marketing is not working. Right, we’re going to help you with marketing networks. The other problem that I discovered in this brainstorm, and, you know, while working with clients, once their marketing is working, and we’re able to help them fill their programmes, fill their consultant slots, whatever that looks like for them, they become burnt out. And that’s because they’ve either reached capacity, or their systems are really working so well, right. They’ve outgrown their systems, they need better logic or better organisation to think through how they’re not so in the day to day of what’s going on, and they can actually just show up and coach so we’ll call that scale. All right. So either your marketing is not working, and you don’t have enough clients and it’s feeling joyful and like a drag, or you’ve grown to a certain capacity and you’re just not joyful anymore. Right. So those will be the two main umbrella topics that I focus on throughout the six weeks. I love email marketing. I am a proponent of email marketing. I build a lot of trust on my email list. So we’ll have over the six weeks. Three trainings free, right, we’ll have I email my list twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday. And I will drive people to our programme called The Confident expert programme, where they can take a look they can enrol, they can book a sales call. All of this will be rooted in story. Because I’m I love teaching story marketing. I just came off a class this week I taught a two day workshop and story changes lives right story is what people feel. Yeah. So we will read all of in story.

Alastair McDermott 19:24

Okay, this is this is great stuff. Okay, so, so you create this six week campaign. And so you’re able to, you’re able to know in week, week four, week five, if it’s working or if it’s not working because of the reaction that you’re getting. So this is kind of like this feels a bit like 12 week year or kind of the Sprint’s where you, you kind of take these much more accelerated timescales and you kind of go all in between these campaigns. Do you take a break? Do you pause? How does that work?

M. Shannon Hernandez 20:03

Yeah, usually, well, we like what is the break? That’s a great question for everyone to explore. Alright, so a break is, maybe I’m not teaching for two weeks, but the emails are still running, because I know what the next thing is that we’re gonna do. We’re onboarding clients. So not necessarily a break, right? It’s a break maybe from the heavier content side of things and the marketing side of things. But we’re onboarding new clients, or graduating clients that are done. But I don’t ever take a break, per se, from getting the word out about who we are and what we do. So in an ideal world, this campaign will run for the six weeks, it’ll be done next week, because it starts, I’ll be working on what’s the next thing, right, and I think I’m going to work on confidence on camera. Actually, that’s something I ran last year that people love. So finding things that resonate with your people. And running them, again, is a huge part of this. Because one of the things last year, you know, when you said, What did I cut, I decided I’m not creating anything new, again, like whatever I have is brilliant. I might put a new name on it and put a new graphic with it. But like, I am not recreating the wheel. And it took me seven years to get to that place.

Alastair McDermott 21:31

Yeah. Yeah, it took me nearly 14. But yeah, I’m 100% with you on that. Because I think I think this is really crucial. When you were a generalist, and you’re dealing with different types of clients, or different types of projects, you tend to be every project is a learning curve. And that gets really tiring and brings you. Whereas when you start to niche down on one specific type of client, and one specific problem that you’re able to focus in, you’re doing the same thing over and over again, which to some people, that sounds like a nightmare. But actually what happens is you become a true expert. And it becomes really interesting to you. That’s, that’s what I found. I think that’s what a lot of people find. And so you’re doing the same thing over and over again. But it isn’t really, because you’re going deeper and getting to know it better. So is that kind of what you’re talking about here?

M. Shannon Hernandez 22:23

Yeah. And we’re all experts at what we teach. But when you teach it, when you learn to market it, that’s what we’re talking about here. You You can start paying attention to Oh, they responded to this, but not so much to this. And to us, sometimes. That’s the same thing. Right? I’ll give a great example. We ran I ran fall in love with your business. Again, last year, at this time I was doing around February, and it was a $20,000 email campaign. I didn’t take it outside of email. Right. So this was $20,000 on top of all the other stuff that that we had going on.

Alastair McDermott 23:02

So do you mean you pay 20,000 or people would pay you 20,000?

M. Shannon Hernandez 23:07

We were paid $20,000 from that email campaign and new clients. So we picked up 20

Alastair McDermott 23:14

Wow, okay, right. Cool. Yep.

M. Shannon Hernandez 23:16

And so I knew that the topic last year, when I ran this resonated, I knew that it resonated like that’s, that’s proof right there. Yeah, we sent six emails in his campaign last year. It was kind of like an afterthought is like, Oh, I wonder if people need to fall in love with their business again. And I just kind of like wrote some great copy and told some great stories. And we met, we had $20,000, and new clients come in. So I saved that right here in the back of my brain. And I said, next year, I’m going to develop this out to a six week campaign, I’m going to add some teachings, I’m going to go a little deeper, but I didn’t have to change everything. And I think that’s what we’re talking about here is and I wish I would have known that before because I would have thrown that out and said, Oh, I’m bored with it. I’m gonna create something new because I’m a creator, right? But that’s what gets exhausting is when you’re constantly like creating new stuff and trying to do the marketing around it and coaching or consulting and like all the other hats that we wear. And last year, I was just like, that’s it. I’m yeah, I am creating nothing new. If anything, I’ll make a new title and increase the price. That’s what we did actually write with a lot of our stuff.

Alastair McDermott 24:32

This, this reminds me of. So I’m big fan of sports. And sometimes you’ll see these older players, and they’re right at the end of their career. And it doesn’t really matter what the sport is, but typically a team field sport you’ll see an older guy and he’s on the pitch. I remember there was a guy who played he played rugby for Lancer. He came from New Zealand, or Australia. I think he came from New Zealand, but he was talking to some of the younger guys and they were talking about to him but how learning from him, but they want to know how he could keep up with the plays. And he said, Well, I know that I’m not fast enough to keep up with you guys. But I know if such and such a thing happens, I know that ball is gonna end up over there. So I start jogging for there. So this guy was taking all these shortcuts based on just knowledge and experience. And I think that’s kind of where you get to when you’re when you’re an expert in something is, you know, all the things that you really need to focus on it. And you know, you don’t need to be running around all over the place and burning yourself out, experimenting and trying all these other things. And once you get something that works, so I don’t know if that analogy works for everybody. But that works for me.

M. Shannon Hernandez 25:39

That’s great. Really great.

Alastair McDermott 25:41

So, um, I want to just talk to you for a second about your business model. Because I think that’s something that people wonder about when they’re when they’re listening to to, you know, things like your revenue, numbers, things like that, how that actually breaks down? Is that recurring revenue there? Like do you have? Do you sell a lot of of low ticket items? Or do you sell a small number of very high ticket items? Or is it a mix? Can you can you just tell us about what your your product ladder looks like? Do you have recurring or as a one off and things like that.

M. Shannon Hernandez 26:11

So I have moved into all group type settings. I used to do a lot of one on one. And, you know, I’m a teacher at heart. And I was a teacher before I started this business, I taught in New York City public schools eighth grade in Harlem. Wow. And I just love teaching and the energy of more people. So one of the things that I really want, Everyone listen to know is if you love the work you do, but you’re not finding joy and how you’re doing it. That’s a business model thing. And it’s okay to switch your business model and go back to your joy. And so that was one of the things that I really focused on coming out of last year was getting rid of my one on one clients and coming more into group settings and group programme, right. So we have mainly two things that we sell, and they are group programmes with some one on one component. It’s either me or a coach that works with me, depending on which programme you come in. So the first programme is $4,000. We split it up over four months. It’s a four month programme. And it’s for people, coaches and consultants making less than 100,000. In their business, we teach them the foundation of marketing and selling with joy. And we get them up to $100,000. So four months 4k. That’s one of our main programmes called the competent expert programme. Other programmes came as a result of our clients in that first programme having so much success and wanting to continue on that I started a second programme called the joyful CEO mastermind programme. And that programme is all about Okay, now that you’re making 10 to 15k a month regularly, what do we need to do now so that you can eventually scale and grow. And we only talk to people who are interested in scaling their joy, their time off and their revenue. So we’re very clear, you’re making over 150k. And you want more joy, more time off and more revenue. If that’s a yes, I will work with you. Right. And that’s like super niche, right. That’s like being very specific. And what we’re looking for that programme is $12,000. It’s a six month programme, and it includes a destination retreat. So I take all the CEOs on a week long retreat during outside of that we do lead gen events that are $500 each, we’ve played with different kinds of Legion. So the story marketing workshop I just did this week was a legion. We have people booking calls now to talk to us about one of the programmes. But I moved away from pretty much all free Legion except my one training a month that people can come to if you’re on my list, you can come to a training and in my facebook group because I give so much value. And I could be that person that gets stuck in doing so much stuff for free. But I needed to qualify the Legion and make sure you know if you’re gonna put $500 out and come spend time with me and learn something most likely you’re serious about your business. So that was like a step that I had to take last year.

Alastair McDermott 29:41

Yeah. And just just to say I’m gonna link to your, your Facebook group and your website in the show notes. So okay, I mean, there’s so many routes we could take here. Let me ask you, for for people who are in the early stages of the business What advice would you give to somebody who’s just trying to build their their consulting business up to that? 100,000? Mark? Who isn’t there yet?

M. Shannon Hernandez 30:07

Yeah, that’s good. And that’s, that’s the majority of coaches and consultants, right? Because as I say, started zero, we all start at the ground floor. So the things that we teach really, that we help people in that place with is messaging, which really comes down to what we talked about, who is your audience? Right? Who are you trying to serve? What is your zone of genius? And how are you establishing yourself as the subject matter, or thought leader, expert, and in this in this content? Yeah. Um, and from there, we help you build your list, because I am a huge proponent of owning your own data. Right? If Facebook goes away tomorrow, I would be very sad, because I love my group, but my business would not be dead. Because I have an email list, right? Yeah, I’m so really getting into like, what’s the main one person you’re talking to the one problem you solve? The one platform you really want to focus on, and the one offer that is profitable. So that’s really where we start with people. And then we start adding in, okay, what’s your marketing going to look like? What would bring you joy? Do you want right? Do you want to do video? Do you want to start a podcast and really build that foundation?

Alastair McDermott 31:33

Just a question on that? This might be a bit of a strange question. Have you ever come across anybody who finds joy in making cold calls?

M. Shannon Hernandez 31:40


Alastair McDermott 31:43

Just Just wondering, because it’s something that that fills me with dread the thought, but I’m like, there’s all sorts out there, right?

M. Shannon Hernandez 31:49

Yeah. Okay. No, I hate I have never cold call in my life in my business. Yeah, ever. And I will never, ever.

Alastair McDermott 32:00

Yeah, yeah, no, sorry. And I don’t mean to distract from that. But it just, it just strikes me because, you know, I see cold calls and cold cold emails and cold LinkedIn messaging, I kind of see all those kind of this this outbound outreach, and it just feels to me like it’s not something I want to do. I don’t know, maybe, maybe I’m just I don’t have all that rejection, or it just doesn’t feel like a very nice way to start relationship.

M. Shannon Hernandez 32:26

Well, here’s the thing, right? Like, I don’t do the cold, LinkedIn, cold, Facebook, none of that. I don’t do that. You know why? Because it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good. See those? We have all logged into LinkedIn, or Facebook and got these Brando pitches. And we’re just like, no, like, no, it’s not joyful to receive, it’s certainly not joyful to be dishing them out. Right. And so we really teach permission and trust based marketing. Yeah. And that’s not spamming people is not permission, or trust based marketing.

Alastair McDermott 33:03

Yeah. So So content marketing, which it’s a phrase I know, a lot of people don’t like, because content is so generic, but this is effectively what it is content marketing, authority, marketing, education, marketing, whatever term you like to use. It’s teaching and speaking about and writing about the thing that you love, which is the subject matter. And that’s, that’s to me, what makes it so easy is because you’re just teaching people and learning. And that’s the other part for me is, is reading the books, you know, in your subject area, and learning is just as important. But learning and teaching for me is what it’s all about.

M. Shannon Hernandez 33:42

Yeah, yeah, I agree. And there’s, you know, I could say a lot about this. We don’t have time, there’s a lot of stuff that’s taught in the online world, that one, you are the Senate, it’s just not relevant to the kinds of businesses that we’re building. But also, there’s a lot of people teaching stuff. And just because, you know, it doesn’t mean you’re effective at teaching it. So this was like a reflection, I had to really do some healing around. Because when I left teaching, that’s all I ever wanted to do. I just wanted to be a teacher, right? Since I was a little girl, like seven years old. And when I left teaching, after 15 years, I was bitter. I was burnt out, I was sick of a school system that was focused on testing, like all these things, and I ran away from that part of, of my brilliance and who I am, and I wouldn’t even use the word teacher for a very long time, right? And when I came back around, and I did the healing work around it, I was like, You know what, I can develop curriculum. I’m an award winning curriculum developer. It’s why my programmes work, and I can teach and I can teach my ass off and people love it. Right? And so I want to say the Careful who you’re learning from. Because there’s people that can develop curriculum, but they’re bad at teaching, they lose you on the implementation side. There’s people who are great at teaching, but their curriculum actually sucks. It doesn’t work. They’re teaching stuff. Maybe one person out of 100 it worked for, and they’re using it as like their outlier evidence that yeah, that ship pisses me off, right? So be in integrity with who you are, what you want, and get mentoring from people who have what you want. That is like the key to really finding great mentors online. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Alastair McDermott 35:41

So let me see, I think I interrupted you earlier with my question about what my question about the cold calling. Can I just ask it? Was there anything else that you wanted to talk about when when I said the, you know, any tips for people starting out?

M. Shannon Hernandez 35:58


Alastair McDermott 35:58

Was there anything? Was there anything left on the on that bullet points? I’m sorry for the interruption?

M. Shannon Hernandez 36:02

No, okay. It was a good, it was a good segue. Um, so, talk to one person, solve one problem, have one profitable offer and start with one platform. That’s like a messaging. That’s where we were. The other thing is really get in a community that’s going to support you, because confidence is a real thing. And to put yourself out there and to hear crickets for a while it’s going to happen. All right, it’s going to happen. Sometimes it happens to me, all of our stuff doesn’t work all the time. Right. But having that community and being able to say, I tried this, it didn’t work, what do you think I could do next? it’s invaluable, because you can be very lonely and stuck and isolated sitting behind your resume and your computer all day. Right. And so, community and confidence really should probably be talked a lot about a lot more in the space of how do you grow a coaching and consulting business? Like,

Alastair McDermott 37:04


M. Shannon Hernandez 37:04

You don’t have to go at it alone.

Alastair McDermott 37:06

Yeah. And, you know, I feel this myself. Because some people would look at me and think that, you know, I work on my own. And that, you know, I must be quite lonely, because I’m working on my own. I’ve worked on my own for for a long time. But But actually, you know, speaking to people like you, two or three times a day, I mean, four or five, slack communities is one slack community has 300 people in there. And I’m talking to those people all the time. And I have a business coach actually have two business coaches who I speak to every so often. And so even if you’re solo, there are all these these places, these communities that you can join, where you can talk to other people, he gets really important to have that, particularly when we’re all in this kind of lockdown, where we’re not able to go outside and meet people locally. So I think having that community is really important. I agree with you.

M. Shannon Hernandez 37:56

Yeah, it’s made all the difference.

Alastair McDermott 38:00

Yeah. Okay. I just want to switch gears. For a minute, I just want to ask you about if you have any business failure that you can tell us about what you learned from Is there something any any failures or setbacks that you experienced? Can you tell us a little bit about?

M. Shannon Hernandez 38:17

Yes, I found lots of them. Um,

Alastair McDermott 38:21

And that’s the most common answer by the way. Everybody, everybody successful has a lot of failures behind.

M. Shannon Hernandez 38:28

Yeah, because that’s where you grow, actually. It’s where you learn, you know, there was a time a few years ago, and I haven’t quite put all the pieces together yet, but we were attracting what I would call Mean Girls. And I didn’t know it at the time. Um, you know, they were coming into the programmes. They were having success in the programmes. But then one day, three of them got together, and they called their banks. And they said, they were at the end of their programme, and they called their banks and they said, she didn’t deliver the services. Now, they were all in this together. And that day, I had $30,000 withdrawn from my business checking account. And it was it was devastating one because it wasn’t true. To because I had considered these women, my friends. I mean, we were working together, right? We have been together for over six months. Um, and it was it was very hurtful. And it made me question everything, like, Where were the red flags? What Where did I override my intuition? Why would they be so upset? Why have they gone and then they started spreading stuff around social media, like it just didn’t stop with the bank account, right? Like it, it went on. They were on a mission to like, bring me down for whatever reason. It was very hard. It was very hard. I spent many months crying theory. Yeah.

Alastair McDermott 40:02


M. Shannon Hernandez 40:02

Yeah. Theory.

Alastair McDermott 40:06

And particularly, if you’re starting out, I mean, even if you’re not starting to lose 30 grand for a bank account without notice that’s

M. Shannon Hernandez 40:15

so much. I mean, it was the money. But it was also like, blindsided, it was it was in me, right. It was so mean. So anyway, now I had a new thing to solve, which was one, I’m getting my money back. Because I did deliver the services. And thank God, I took notes. Like, we went and captured all their praise from social media for the last six months in screenshots, like, we got into action. I didn’t know any of this, I had to hire a lawyer, but we got the money back. He, I was able later to talk about, um, you know, the hurt and the pain around that and what I learned, but what I learned is have better contracts. Because the banks and their lawyers wanted to say we didn’t have one specific clause in the contract. Didn’t know, right, so now we have a really good contract. We got the money back. And more than Now, what I learned was, I can I can go through this, I can go through slander, I can go through 30k being withdrawn on one day, and I can survive and not only survive, but when I put myself back together, I can come back and like quadruple that revenue, when I put my mind to it, so there were lots of lessons in that. But that was a very hard one.

Alastair McDermott 41:46

Yeah. And was when you did your post mortem. I’m sure you thought about this. Were there red flags that you had missed? Did you did you override your gut instinct at some point? Or was there something in your marketing that attracted the wrong people? Like, were you able to figure that out?

M. Shannon Hernandez 42:03

Um, I have some notions. I even went so far as to contact these women, because I actually wanted to interview them and see what the hell their problem was, they wouldn’t answer me. Right? Right. Because why would they? But yes, I think maybe at the time, I was much younger, in my business. I was putting, you know, there’s a saying, if you put yourself on a pedestal, someone’s going to take you off the pedestal, right. Yeah. So maybe at the time it was they saw that I had the answers. I could help them turn their business around. I could, whatever it is that they felt from the marketing. And, and most likely, maybe I was doing saying things like that, back then. I probably was right. Um, and so after all this happened, I realised I’m actually not responsible for anyone’s business success. Even if you pay me 12k or 4k, I’m still not responsible for your business success. You are responsible for your business success. Yeah. And I have led with that ever since and we have had zero problems. Now I say, we’re gonna love you. We’re gonna help you. We’re gonna coach you, we’re gonna support you. But in the end, you are responsible for your business success. 100% Yeah, that changed all the energy. And I was not doing that prior. So that’s my

Alastair McDermott 43:33

That so it so it did it changed it changed your messaging, change the way you talk about it?

M. Shannon Hernandez 43:37

Yeah, definitely.

Alastair McDermott 43:39

Excellence. Yeah. Great, great stuff. Good. Good. Good story and good learning. Okay, I just want to switch gears and just ask, Is there any book or resource that you really enjoy business book that has that has helped you or or some other kind of resource?

M. Shannon Hernandez 43:55

Yeah, so at my party next week, we’re giving away the three books that impacted me last year. The first one is “Essentialism.” Have you read it?

Alastair McDermott 44:06

No, I haven’t. No.

M. Shannon Hernandez 44:08

Oh, that book changed my life. So that book will help you get really clear and see what is essential. That’s like, what is the one thing you’re doing that gets you 80% results, get rid of all the rest. Essentially, that’s the name of the book essentialism. It is fantastic. The other book that really had an impact on me last year was Daniella ports book. It’s called the desire map. And it’s all about how do you want to feel every day? No matter if you’re a business owner or not. And the reason I love this book, and I know that it had an impact as such an impact on me was because I was I’m very goals like, these are the goals. These are the KPIs. This is the revenue this As the clients blah, blah, blah, right? You can only sustain that for so long I have learned. So last year, I read this book in June, and I said, Okay, this book is about how do I want to feel every day. And she takes you through this process of identifying your core feelings that you want to feel every single day. And so mine were rooted, I wanted to feel rooted. I wanted to feel connected, like in my business, with people with my spouse, whatever. And I wanted to feel rooted, connected and focus, I wanted to feel focused. And so every day, I looked at my words, and I said, Okay, what’s gonna make me feel rooted, connected and focused, and I built that business last year with those three core feelings. It is a revolutionary book for anyone that feels like you’re very goal driven and not so connected to how you want to feel it really changed things for me last year.

Alastair McDermott 46:01

Excellent. Okay, so so “Essentialism,” “The Desire Map” and what was the third one?

M. Shannon Hernandez 46:08

The last? Yeah, I read a book every morning. It’s called “The Tao of Joy.” And it’s about basically Taoism. But it’s it’s a little blurb every single day about a lesson of how to find the joy in everyday things like nature, the snow storm that’s raging outside right now, or, or whatever it is. It’s it’s a quick paragraph, I am on my fourth. Pass through this. So for four years, I have read it. It’s 365 readings. Right. So I’m on my fourth time through it. That book has changed my life.

Alastair McDermott 46:51

You really are all about the joy.

M. Shannon Hernandez 46:53

I am all about the joy.

Alastair McDermott 46:54

I love it. I love it. What’s what’s the phrase of rain joyful way of doing that ship?

M. Shannon Hernandez 47:00

That’s it, you got it. You’re welcome to come into my community now. Well, you know, I want to say this, like, we can laugh about this, but I had a sales call with someone last week. And they said to red flags. No, I’m joyful enough. I don’t want more joy. And I was like, who would say that? Like, there’s a cap on our joy. That was the first red flag, second red flag, because we asked, Would you like to have more time off to do other things other than work? Oh, no, I’m good working 60 hours a week. And I said, What? Like, that’s more than you would work as an employee? And she said, Yeah, but as an employee, I worked 80. So 60 feels really good. And I said, You are not a fit, you are not going to be a good fit for what we’re doing around here. You got to go find another coach. But that’s important. You got to know your qualifiers. Right? And make sure you have good fit for good people.

Alastair McDermott 47:56

Good fit for good people. Yeah. Do you have a nonfiction sorry, a fiction book that you that you love?

M. Shannon Hernandez 48:03

Oh, man, this past year, I have dove back into fiction. I read fiction really fast. So I don’t know if I can answer this. You know, if you haven’t read it, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It’s a historical fiction and coming of age story.

Alastair McDermott 48:19


M. Shannon Hernandez 48:20

About a girl who comes from through Ellis Island, and settles into Brooklyn. And it’s a beautiful, beautiful story of triumph. And am, like what it takes to really thrive in a new place. And I think that’s applicable to all of us, like,

Alastair McDermott 48:40


M. Shannon Hernandez 48:40

We’re all in a new territory, right? Every time something changes, we’re like, oh, I gotta go figure that out. Like,

Alastair McDermott 48:47

Yeah, I love fiction. I mean, I read probably an hour a day of fiction. So I think that you can get so much from it. Sometimes it’s just like meditation for me.

M. Shannon Hernandez 48:56


Alastair McDermott 48:56

It just clears the mind. And then sometimes, there’s great learnings in it. So yeah, that’s cool. Okay, is there any question I should have asked you why they didn’t. Anything you want to tell us?

M. Shannon Hernandez 49:08

You know, I really just want I want coaches and consultants to succeed. I think that the brilliance that each of us have in our subject matters, make a difference to the lives of people who need help with whatever or are looking for a change. And life is too short to have a business that is a hobby. And

Alastair McDermott 49:33


M. Shannon Hernandez 49:34

You know, a hobby is something you dabble at, and a hobby is something that costs money and doesn’t make money. And so, I really just want to like send so much love to anyone listening to this and say, build that business. It matters for you, your family, your lifestyle, all those things, but it also matters for all the people who will benefit from your brilliance.

Alastair McDermott 50:00

Yeah, love it. That that’s a great message. Thank you for a fascinating interview today with us. I really appreciate it. Where can people find you online? Where’s the best place to find you online?

M. Shannon Hernandez 50:13

Well, I hang out in two places. One is my Facebook group Marketing and Selling for Coaches and Consultants. The other place you can find me online is my website. lots of cool resources and tutorials there and my emails there too, so feel free to reach out.

Alastair McDermott 50:36

Excellent, and they are linked in the show notes. Shannon Hernandez, thank you so much. Really appreciate being with us.

M. Shannon Hernandez 50:41

Thank you for having me.

Alastair McDermott 50:46

If you gained any insights or tips from this episode, please share it. It might just be the thing to help someone in your network. If you share the show notes link it will include a podcast player and all the other information from today’s episode. Thanks for listening and see you in the next one.