She Grows with Allyson Scammell
Ep #23: The “Passion to Profit” Framework with Miriam Schulman
Allyson Scammell: Well. Hello there. This is Allyson Scammell, and today we’re talking about how to turn your passion into profit even, and especially during this time of covid-19 uncertainty where our fears are unusually high. And today’s guest, Miriam Schulman is an expert on this topic. We explore the framework for taking your passion and turning it into profit and what that looks like during a global pandemic,
[00:00:33] the difference between entrepreneurs who never really gained momentum and those who generate consistent income from their work, and the different types of fear that shows up on our path and how to remove them. Miriam offers a challenge to get you clear on your offerings and how to reach your annual income goals.
[00:00:55] So be sure to stay with us until the end. Welcome to, she grows a podcast for soul guided women entrepreneurs ready to grow their income, impact, and inspiration each week. We’re going to explore how to align to the soul of your business and grow it from there. I’m your host, Allyson Scammell. Let’s get growing.
[00:01:25] Hey, there. She Grows Nation. That is the name of this sisterhood of soul guided entrepreneurs. At She Grows Nation, your heart is CEO and you’re producing wealth using your soul superpowers and in service to the planet. I had such an amazing time talking to Miriam Schulman about the hugely important topic of the framework necessary to generate wealth even during times of big change, such as what we’re experiencing now.
[00:01:57] Miriam Schulman, a watercolor and mixed media artist for over 20 years is the founder of The Inspiration Place, an online art class site. Showman, abandon a hedge fund career after witnessing the devastation of nine 11 to work on her art full time. Rejecting the starving artist myth. Her water color and mixed media paintings have been seen on NBC, Amazon prime, published in art magazines and home decor books and collected worldwide.
[00:02:29] Allyson Scammell: She’s the host of the inspiration place, the number one podcast for art lovers who want to learn how to market their art with courage.
[00:02:38] Allyson Scammell: It was such a pleasure to connect to Miriam and explore this topic with her. So may you receive as much from this conversation as I did. I am so excited to welcome Miriam Schulman to the show.
[00:02:51] Thank you so much for making the time to chat with us today about this amazing topic.
[00:02:55] Miriam Schulman: Well, thanks for having me, Allyson. It’s an honor to be here.
[00:02:58] Allyson Scammell: Yay. So I find it fascinating that you don’t have the air quotes, typical background of an artist, um, having worked on wall street and with a master’s in science from MIT, can you share with us your journey to becoming an artist?
[00:03:13] Miriam Schulman: Oh, absolutely. But the first thing I like to tease people as soon as they say that. Um, I like to point out all the artists who did have a similar background as me. So, uh, Gauguin was a stock broker. Mathias was a lawyer, and Leonardo, Leonardo da Vinci was an engineer. So I don’t feel that any of the sciences are really incompatible with creativity because you really need to be creative to problem solve.
[00:03:44] In, in, in the sciences. So to me it always felt very similar to be, um, in both fields. Does that make sense?
[00:03:56] Allyson Scammell: Yeah, that’s fascinating. Very interesting. Yes.
[00:04:00] Miriam Schulman: But for me personally, are, was something I always. Did for myself. And like most people when I was growing up, I was told I wouldn’t be able to make a living as an artist.
[00:04:12] So I chose a more practical route and I studied science and took a job on wall street in corporate and for a financial firm. And it wasn’t until 9/11 that I permanently left that world behind.
[00:04:33] Allyson Scammell: Um, and why did you decide to do that?
[00:04:36] Miriam Schulman: Well, for me. And it’s very interesting because we’re actually Allyson in a very similar environment right now.
[00:04:46] So I’m in New York and
[00:04:49] Allyson Scammell: yeah, I was reading your bio. I’m like, Oh, here we are again.
[00:04:54] Miriam Schulman: Yeah, yeah. So post 9/11 New York. Was similar to how it is now. People were not shopping. Of course, there was no enforced quanrantine, but the fear level, it was definitely riding high and there was a very similar anxiety in the air during that time.
[00:05:20] Now, what I’ve noticed, Allison, is that when people move through. Crisis. They either become more resilient and get stronger, or they hide. Do you agree with that?
[00:05:33] Allyson Scammell: Yes. Yeah.
[00:05:35] Miriam Schulman: Yeah. So for me, I saw 9/11, uh, uh, I took it very personally as a sign from the universe that. I won. I didn’t want to go back to that world anymore.
[00:05:50] And I saw that world literally crashed and burning on TV. So I took that as a very personal sign from the universe. It was time to rethink my life purpose and to step into something that was more meaningful. So. That’s something that I, I see some people starting to do now who maybe they have jobs or they’ve lost their jobs, that they, our questioning more, moving into something where they can be more self reliant and make their own opportunities.
[00:06:30] Allyson Scammell: Absolutely. I’m seeing it with my clients all the time. A client I met with today who is own several yoga studios, and the fascinating thing is she’s been wanting to get into the online space for a long time, but just as resisted it, and now she’s being forced to, and she said, it’s hard, but it’s also such a gift.
[00:06:50] This is what I’ve wanted.
[00:06:52] Miriam Schulman: Yeah, that’s true. It’s something that it’s, we’re kind of being forced to rethink things and move differently.
[00:07:03] Allyson Scammell: Yes. Yes. I love that. So what happened after you left? I want to hear more of your story, if that’s all
[00:07:12] Miriam Schulman: right. Okay, sure.
[00:07:13] Allyson Scammell: The financial world on fire, literally. Yes. That was a beautiful sign and interesting.
[00:07:21] You left, I think a lot of people in your shoes probably would’ve just
[00:07:24] Miriam Schulman: not seen that.
[00:07:26] Allyson Scammell: But you did
[00:07:28] Miriam Schulman: well, I, um, was working in finance when the first bomb went off and so that was in 90, I think it was, I forget now if it was 92 or 93 in the world trade center because of 9/11 history. Sometimes people forget that the, there was a bombing of the trade center.
[00:07:47] 10 years prior and when I was working in on wall street at the time, I actually was in the cafeteria when the bomb went off and the power went off and we were told it was a con ed failure. So my girlfriend and I was like, okay, fine. We’ll, we took our purses and Allyson, we actually walked up. 30 something flights to our office when we got.
[00:08:19] Now knowing the entire history of 9/11 that sounds like a crazy idea to do, but this is before 9/11 right? We were told it was a pecan ad failure, so when we got back up to our our floor, that’s when, and we weren’t in the actual world trade center one or two. We were in. Seven world trade, which is a building on the Plaza that overlooked directly one of the, one of the towers.
[00:08:45] So when we got up to our desks, we could now look out the window and we could see helicopters circling the building. We could see people breaking windows, we could see the smoke coming out of the windows. People were throwing their computers through the window in order to get out and we could see the chaos that was happening around us.
[00:09:09] And what I will never forget that day is the people around me who were, who worked, who didn’t, weren’t in the cafeteria, who were there the whole time we’re working. And the expectation for me and my girlfriend was that we would go back to work too.
[00:09:29] Allyson Scammell: Wow.
[00:09:30] Miriam Schulman: So I was like, hell no. I’m not going back to work. I took my purse and I went back down those 32 flights of stairs and I left.
[00:09:39] So when 9/11 happened, I actually, at that moment, I was taking an extended maternity leave, but I knew that if I had been one of those people who were working in the trade center. That my life would have been at risk because you know, When 9/11 happened, the first plane hit the, the, the pain hit the first tower.
[00:10:05] Nobody evacuated that second tower. And we say to ourselves, why didn’t they evacuate the second tower? This is why, because the culture of wall street, the culture there was that you work no matter what. And that is what I was rejecting. When I decided when 9/ 11 happened and I saw that could have been me, that was, that could have been me in that second tower because that was the culture that I was in.
[00:10:38] So I decided I was not going to go back, and I did have, um, other ideas of what I wanted to do and it didn’t, it wasn’t as clean path from. That decision to becoming an artist. There were some other twists and turns, but then I did become an artist and started working. I’m selling my portraits.
[00:11:00] Allyson Scammell: Wow. What an amazing story.
[00:11:03] I love that, and it really, as I just hear you talking, I really am thinking about what’s going on today too, and how some of our cultural stories and norms and biases are really being rattled right now.
[00:11:17] Miriam Schulman: Oh yeah. And how some politicians are responding that they will, they want us to get back to work and revive the economy.
[00:11:25] I was like, are you kidding me? What’s more important? Yes. Lives are more important.
[00:11:30] Allyson Scammell: Yes, yes, yes.
[00:11:32] Miriam Schulman: You don’t have your life. You don’t have anything.
[00:11:35] Allyson Scammell: Yes. I mean. I heard someone over the news say, I don’t even know who it was, but he was like, if it’s a matter, if it’s a question between the economy and public health, you’re always going to choose public health.
[00:11:49] And I was like, yeah, isn’t the answer to that simple? But I think for some people it’s not simple, you know?
[00:11:56] Miriam Schulman: Yes. But before we go into doomsday of economy, I, I do want to jug and start sharing that there is a fear. Um, from some clients that they can’t be selling right now, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
[00:12:12] Allyson Scammell: Let’s talk about that, Mariam, please.
[00:12:14] Miriam Schulman: Yes. So, uh, I have a client who does beautiful, whimsical, um, fiber art and felt a necklace, and I had two weeks ago mapped out an email campaign with her. And then it was, I was so disappointed because when we met the other day, she said she hadn’t, hadn’t done it yet. I said, well, why not?
[00:12:35] She said, well, coven. I said, well, are you sick? She’s like, no. But she was scared to send it out. Like, listen, this is the perfect time for you to be sending these emails because first of all, people are home and they’re bored and shopping makes them feel better. Yes. And here’s the thing, Allyson, is that even if they’re not shopping, they want the fantasy.
[00:13:04] They want to. So my client who does these beautiful whimsical images, that art, that makes people smile, people need to see that more. They need to see it more now than they did two weeks ago or a month ago.
[00:13:19] Allyson Scammell: I totally agree. I totally agree and we need to do what we can is we’re isolated. And you know, we as human mammals aren’t really meant to be isolated.
[00:13:31] We’re meant to be in our herds. Right. And, and the things we need more than ever now are the things exactly as you’re saying, that uplift us, that bring us up that heal us
[00:13:43] Miriam Schulman: yes, yes. We need art. We need music. We need yoga.
[00:13:49] Allyson Scammell: Yes,
[00:13:52] Miriam Schulman: we need podcasts. Yes, yes.
[00:13:57] Allyson Scammell: So go ahead. Go ahead. Sorry.
[00:13:59] Miriam Schulman: No, it’s okay. Um, also, I was working last night with a few of my clients, just like you were some who were not planning on doing online classes, but now they’re, they’re reconsidering.
[00:14:11] And somebody had asked me last night, well, should I be charging less because it’s online? No. Because nobody has a choice. Yeah.
[00:14:21] Allyson Scammell: Right.
[00:14:22] Miriam Schulman: They can’t come to you in person. And I don’t know. Allyson, do you have, do you have kids, Alison? Yeah, so, um, I do as well. They’re older, but I mean, my, my son, we, it’s no secret how much NYU costs, you know, it’s a pretty expensive college.
[00:14:40] We’re spending $65,000 a year for him to stream his classes. That’s the break, you know? Right. My daughter had a Skype lesson just before we got on with her cello teacher and. And in talking to other parents, I actually don’t know one parent who has discontinued their child education or extracurricular, if they can help it.
[00:15:06] They want to continue the art lessons. They want to continue the music lessons. They want to keep things as normal as possible for their children.
[00:15:16] Allyson Scammell: Hmm. Such a good analogy. So this podcast targets this spiritual entrepreneurs out there and people who kind of feel in service to others. And sometimes they struggle even when there’s not a pandemic to make a profit.
[00:15:32] Miriam Schulman: They struggle out
[00:15:35] Allyson Scammell: of making profit because they’re in service. So I’d love to know from your experience, what you see as the difference between those who really never gained momentum and those who generate consistent income from their work.
[00:15:47] Miriam Schulman: That’s a really great question. And that’s something that I talk about a lot on, on my own podcast, The Inspiration Place.
[00:15:54] So what I see, uh, there, there’s the difference between people who thrive in, in their careers. And I’m going to say it’s what I talk about specifically for artists, but really it’s general for everyone because, and what you’re saying, Allyson, is so true. You can be in service. And not charge. And that’s a volunteer job.
[00:16:17] Right. And you can create art and give it away. But that’s a hobby. Yes. But if you want to make a living, you have to plan, and you have to plan for profits. So what I always talk to my clients about are, I call it the passion to profit framework. Do you want me to describe that?
[00:16:41] Allyson Scammell: I would love you to.
[00:16:42] Miriam Schulman: Okay. So there’s basically five foundations I’m going to talk about.
[00:16:47] Like I said, I’m gonna talk, it’s about, it’s specifically how it applies to artwork, but know that this applies to you. Any thriving business. The first foundation is your production plan, so you have to have assets that could, if you’re an artist, that that’s your art work. If you are yoga teacher, those are your classes.
[00:17:08] If you are an online person, those are your online classes, so you have to be producing assets that. Make a, make your up, your income. And sometimes when I talk to artists, the first thing we uncover is that even if I were to go into their studio right now and buy everything they have, that that’s not going, you know, maybe it’s $10,000 of inventory.
[00:17:31] They’re not producing art at the rate fast enough to give them the income they want. So sometimes that’s the first problem, is fixing the production problem. Does that make sense? Allyson?
[00:17:43] Allyson Scammell: Absolutely it does.
[00:17:45] Miriam Schulman: Yep. Okay. And do you have an example of something that might be more what your client might be working on that would be a production issue?
[00:17:52] Allyson Scammell: Yes. People, my clients who are like are in the service industry and they didn’t one on one, and they have a target for how much they want to earn for the year, and that doesn’t mesh with how much they’re charging. And now all they do is offer one on one. It’s like they can’t replicate themselves. They have, yeah.
[00:18:11] They can only scale themselves so much as a one on one person. So I always do, you need to raise your prices, do you need to go to croup sessions, et cetera.
[00:18:21] Miriam Schulman: So that brings us to the second plan. And these first two plans are very tightly connected. And it really comes down to a math problem. So the second, and this is where like my little MIT degree comes in handy, but this is simple math.
[00:18:36] So the second, the second foundation is the profit plan. So if you are. Making 50 paintings a year and you want to make $50,000 a year, well, you better be charging $1,000 per painting. So the production plan is knowing, well, can I make a painting a week? And if it takes me two weeks and I, my goal is to make $50,000 then maybe I should be charging $2,000 a painting.
[00:19:07] But the point is, and it’s the similar with your clients, those who are doing, like you said, one-on-one work. They have to calculate if they were fully booked at the rates that they’re charging, does that give them the income that they want?
[00:19:22] Allyson Scammell: Yes.
[00:19:23] Miriam Schulman: And that has to, that’s just a math problem. So that’s what I ask my clients to look at is, are you charging enough?
[00:19:31] And, and the truth is no one’s ever charging enough. Right. Right. Right. That’s pretty much how I, even before I asked them what their prices are, say, I’ll just tell them you’re not charging off, and I know that because nobody is. Right. Okay. So we’ve got the production plan and the profit plan. The third foundation I call prospecting.
[00:19:52] So prospecting is finding the people who want. What you’re, what you’re producing, and also value it enough to pay the prices that you’re asking. So the prospecting plan, some people call it list building, email building, but it’s a combination of finding the people and bringing them into your world.
[00:20:17] Allyson Scammell: Yes.
[00:20:18] Finding the right people.
[00:20:20] Miriam Schulman: Yes. Then the fourth piece of this is the promotion plan, and I love alliterations. You’ll notice all of these begin with the letter P. yeah, so it’s easier. It makes it easier for me to remember as well, but the promotion plan is, okay, now you, you have your inventory or what you decide what you’re selling in your business.
[00:20:42] You have the right pricing strategy. You are adding people to your email list or you’re going out and you’re, you’re finding them in person. However that looks for you. What do you say to them to turn somebody who might be admiring your painting and say, Oh, that’s very nice too. Here’s my credit card. I really want that.
[00:21:03] So that’s your promotion plan. And if a client is. Uh, like you said, doing your one-on-one work. It’s still, they need to have a promotion plan in place. What do they put in those emails? What do they say to people on maybe a discovery call that’s going to move them from, that’s a nice idea to, yes, I want this.
[00:21:22] Yes, I need this. Here’s my money. So that’s the promotion plan. And then finally, Alison is the productivity plan so that we know what we’re supposed to be working on. Next. I used to call this the systems, but whenever I say systems, people immediately assume, I mean technology and it’s really much more than that.
[00:21:41] It is what are, what are the processes? What are the steps you’re going to do so that you know what happens first, second, and third so that you’re not spinning or sitting in overwhelm. Does that make sense?
[00:21:52] Allyson Scammell: It does. It does. Um, I love it. So I really love how simple step of the production plan and the profit plan is quite simple.
[00:22:01] And as you said, it’s simple math, but it’s always interesting to me how few of my clients go through this.
[00:22:09] Miriam Schulman: Yeah. And you know, the thing is, it’s nothing to feel badly about because I did it myself. Like, you know, it was like. I forget how long ago was that where I actually had to sit down and say, okay, this is the income I want.
[00:22:21] This is how many paintings I have to make to get there, or this is how many portrait commissions I have to book to get there. So. It is easy to slip into that hope and dreams stage where you’re not actually saying, okay, well, what is the reality of the situation?
[00:22:38] Allyson Scammell: Yes. And I was definitely there too, so I’m not saying that to put anyone down.
[00:22:41] Miriam Schulman: Yeah.
[00:22:42] Allyson Scammell: Um, and, and I think I thought I would use law of attraction. Like, well, I want to earn, I didn’t have a production plan or a profit plan, but I thought I could get there with law of attraction,
[00:22:55] Miriam Schulman: you know? Yeah.
[00:22:56] Allyson Scammell: It didn’t quite work.
[00:22:57] Miriam Schulman: So, yeah, I mean, I, it’s not that I don’t believe in law of attraction, but you still have to take the inspired actions.
[00:23:05] Allyson Scammell: Yes.
[00:23:06] Miriam Schulman: To get there. Now, the other thing we haven’t talked about, Allyson, is that the, these five plans, they sound very simple and they are, but the truth is. And this is like going back to my client who was, um, who didn’t, who didn’t send out the email cause she was feeling scared. If I can program your brain, if I can program my client’s brain, like, like the movie the matrix, I don’t know if you saw that movie or if you remember that movie.
[00:23:34] Yeah. Okay. So if I could program your brain. And you did all of these things, you, you could make $1 million a year. No question. The problem is we have these human brains that start to doubt and fear along the way. So this is how it might look like for a client. I don’t know if my art is good enough to charge $1,000 or I dunno if I can find somebody who would pay that for my art.
[00:23:59] I’m, who am I to ask those prices? Uh, so this is the way doubts and fears, and I consider doubts and fears very much sister emotions. Sometimes it feels a little bit more fearful. Sometimes it feels a little more doubtful, but they’re really both coming from the same place of our brains. Our primitive brains just want to keep us safe, so they don’t want us to take these risks that you need to do to move forward in your business.
[00:24:28] Those inspired actions. Do you see this with your clients as well, I’m assuming, right, Allyson?
[00:24:33] Allyson Scammell: Absolutely. And one of the things I tell them that is if you, um, don’t fully, completely believe in your offering, so if it’s a service based business, then often they’re selling their own expertise. I believe that completely believe in your own expertise that’s going to translate when you try to sell it.
[00:24:54] And I think ultimately they really, really do. But it’s exactly what you’re describing these. Fears and these doubts sort of cloud their brilliance and their bright, shining light that’s inside of them.
[00:25:06] Miriam Schulman: Yeah. We’re hoping to get, and what I teach is that a lot of people feel, and again, if this is you don’t feel bad cause a lot of this is a lot of people, they think, Oh, once I start selling I will feel more confident when really you need to start with that feeling of confidence first.
[00:25:28] And confidence doesn’t mean that you don’t feel fear. It just means that you’re willing to do it anyway. That you’re willing to feel the emotions that come with not everything you do working out.
[00:25:47] Allyson Scammell: Yes.
[00:25:48] Miriam Schulman: Cause you have the confidence to know that you can handle any emotion, positive or negative. You have to be willing to put yourself out there.
[00:25:56] And get it wrong,
[00:25:59] Allyson Scammell: right?
[00:26:00] Miriam Schulman: Yes. So Alison, we were talking about the sister emotions of doubt and fear, but what I’ve noticed is when they are caught up in those doubts and fears, that leads to the next layer of emotional insecurity, which is confusion and overwhelm. Do you know what I’m talking about?
[00:26:23] Allyson Scammell: Absolutely. Yes.
[00:26:25] Miriam Schulman: Because when they start feeling doubts and fears, here’s how it shows up for, for my, for artists, and this is these words really talking about the human condition, right? When you feel doubt and fear, you’re either going, your brains either going to say, you don’t know what you’re doing.
[00:26:41] Which is when you feel confused or the other way that shows up for some people is they go out on that fact finding mission. They want all the information because they want to make sure they get it all perfectly cause they’re afraid of failing. That’s what perfectionism really is. It’s a fancy name for a fear.
[00:26:59] Right. It sounds so fancy when we say I’m a perfectionist, but it’s really being fearful if they go out and find all the information and they get so many inputs that now the problem is they don’t know what to do first and they’re over whelmed. So I see the first layer is the doubt and fear. The second layer is the overwhelm and confusion, and then that leads to the third layer.
[00:27:26] Which is procrastination or poor time management. Because if you’re confused about what to do next, either because you have no idea or because you have too many ideas, you don’t know which to do first. Of course, you’re not going to take any actions because you don’t trust that that’s the right thing to do.
[00:27:45] So that’s why people procrastinate and that’s why they have poor time management.
[00:27:51] Allyson Scammell: Wow. That’s so interesting. So can you tell us how to shift out of this? Let’s see, Fort worth to that. We’re, we’re to the end of the line. I, I’m, I guess I’m not a procrastinator, so I would probably be in the poor time management and my poor time management would be, once I get through this, I would just be overworking.
[00:28:11] And I thought, well, I think where I fall out is if I just overwork. Eventually I will get there. If I put a thousand hours in, I mean mile, I’m just burning myself
[00:28:21] Miriam Schulman: out. Well, that’s very common, Allyson, is that you overwork on the wrong things. So I’m like my, my, my son was complaining. He didn’t get the grades.
[00:28:31] He wanted some of his classes. He’s like, well, maybe I have to work harder. I think, well, maybe you just have to work better. It’s not always about more effort. It’s about working on the right things, which is why. Uh, it’s so important to work with a coach like you or I because you ha if you have an, I of course work with a coach as well, is really helps us get out of our own brains in when we have a trusted system, but not too many people telling us what to do.
[00:29:02] Cause that’s leads to the overwhelmed. So it’s good to have one guide and follow it like a religion. Do you agree with that?
[00:29:13] Allyson Scammell: Yeah. Yeah. I only work with one coach at a time and I’m a very spiritual person, so I work with my non-physical guides and my higher self and my higher self voice is always number one above all else.
[00:29:28] I keep my circle of influence very tight. In terms of like, Oh, who I get advice from or who I consult, and then I, I take action after that consideration, but really guided by my soul
[00:29:44] Miriam Schulman: for sure. I love that. And then you were asking me how do you, I mean, the plans are very simple, but the question is how do you overcome negative emotions?
[00:29:56] So I find that courage really is a muscle. So the more you’re able to access size it, the stronger it gets. And it’s kind of like the analogy would be like if you are at the ocean, at the, at the edge of the shore, uh, when you, when you first start, and if you want to, you want to walk in into the ocean at the closer to the shore, the waves are pretty powerful and they could knock you down.
[00:30:23] You know what I mean? But as you walk deeper. Into the ocean to now you’re, maybe you’re at waist deep or chest steep. The waves are still coming, but they’re not knocking you down anymore. And the more you’re able to ride those waves and allow that negative emotion to happen. So that’s what I was saying earlier, is that you have to be willing to fail.
[00:30:51] That you, if you’re willing to allow both the positive and the negative emotion, it’s like that experience of going into deeper into the ocean and riding the ways because they’re still coming. They’re just as big. They’re still strong, but they’re no longer gonna knock you down anymore.
[00:31:11] Allyson Scammell: Beautiful metaphor.
[00:31:12] I love that. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I love that. So I think in your, um, passionate profit framework, this is my opinion. Okay. I’ll share. My opinion
[00:31:28] Miriam Schulman: is that,
[00:31:29] Allyson Scammell: um, it is possible that many people would struggle the most with the promotion plan. That could just be me. Um.
[00:31:37] Miriam Schulman: Oh, no. 100% 100% no, no, no. The production is almost like the easiest piece to solve.
[00:31:46] Like it kind of like I say it and they get it. And the pricing. What’s hard about the pricing as you need to? It’s really a confidence issue. Hmm. The only thing keeping people from raising their prices is their confidence. Prospecting and promotion are the two hardest pieces to learn, especially promotion, and that’s why I spend the most time.
[00:32:09] Helping my clients with that part of it. What do you put in the emails? What do you say online? What do you say in person? What do you say when you have someone on the phone? All those promotional pieces. Um, there’s skills, but they are learnable skills. It’s not about . It’s not about having a talent and promoting yourself.
[00:32:32] Yeah. Learning, learning, reproducible skills and techniques.
[00:32:37] Allyson Scammell: So we can, of course then a series of episodes just on this, but do you have like a top tip or trick that you can share or something that you, you live by in your own business in terms of either prospecting or promoting?
[00:32:50] Miriam Schulman: I love that question, and I do have, I do have a nice little platitude to give you, yay.
[00:32:55] It’s all, you know, we can take this whole plan and teach you all the techniques in the world, but the truth is it comes down to one thing and one thing only, and this is true, whether it’s selling our yoga classes or something else, and that is you have to communicate confidently. The more you communicate, the more you’re going to sell.
[00:33:18] It never works the other way around. Communicate less. That’s why I’m always telling them, send those emails, send those emails, send those emails, and the more confidently you can do it, which I said, you build that by just doing it over and over again, the more confidently do it, the more successful you’ll you’ll be because confidence is magnetic.
[00:33:41] Allyson Scammell: yeah.
[00:33:43] Miriam Schulman: So that’s it. Communicate confidently. You get that right. You don’t have to worry about anything else.
[00:33:49] Allyson Scammell: Yes. And if you’re prospecting, right, which is also not easy, I’m, I’m the first to say, but if you are prospecting, right, are people want to hear from you? They open every email, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to get three emails from you a week or whatever.
[00:34:06] They, they’ll open the ones that call with them the most. But they, they’re not going to feel spammed by you?
[00:34:11] Miriam Schulman: No. Why? Why does Kate spade get so much of my business? Because they keep emailing me. Do I ever say, Oh, that’s so annoying. They sent me this beautiful picture of a peach purse. No, I don’t get annoyed when I get annoyed if Kmart was emailing me that often.
[00:34:31] Yeah. But I’m not their customer so.
[00:34:34] Allyson Scammell: Yes, I love that so much. Um, and then I do just, I really am glad you said, say you’ve been mentioning email list because it’s been coming up a lot for my clients who are on the early side of business, and they either don’t have an email list at all or they’ve been very.
[00:34:50] Small one that they haven’t really spent any time or effort growing in my philosophy, and there are lots of different philosophies out there, is that I still believe in building the email list, the good old fashioned email. So I’m wondering what is your opinion on the on. Building the list worth
[00:35:07] Miriam Schulman: 100% yes, 500% and if you ha, if you don’t have enough time to do all the things, stop wasting time building your Instagram following, because that is not where it’s at.
[00:35:23] It’s really, I mean, I think the difference is Instagram is like the billboard somebody puts on the highway. And they might like it and they may think it’s pretty, but they’re not taking action on a billboard. Right. The email is a direct communication between you and. Your email us, and I also, by the way, I teach people to do traditional mail as well.
[00:35:52] I dunno if that’s something that you’ve touched upon yet with your clients, but the more personal you can get, the better. And email is definitely King in all of this.
[00:36:02] Allyson Scammell: Yes. I love it. Yay. I’m going to share this episode to all my clients. They’re skeptical or resisting.
[00:36:09] Miriam Schulman: Well, of course you are because just you share all your episodes, right?
[00:36:17] No. All, all art and art is supposedly the hardest thing to sell. Art gets sold either in person or via email. The highest. I mean, yeah, people do find it randomly on Etsy and or on my website, but the high end, the higher ticket stuff, it’s still the traditional method. Email and in-person.
[00:36:37] Allyson Scammell: Yes, yes, yes, yes.
[00:36:40] And I would person. I just have to share like a snippet of my story. I struggle building my email list and I thought, I heard people like, Oh, in three months I built my email list to 800 people. And I was like, I was on 25 and I thought, how, how’s this possible? But, um, but I stuck with it. I am an example. I stuck with it and I said, damn it, I am going to make this email list work for me.
[00:37:06] And after years and years of failing. Which is a fancy word, right? Is what a word for feedback. Getting feedback and adjusting. I now have an email list I’m pretty damn proud of, but it was a lot of perseverance and so I think that that’s not everyone’s story. It’s certainly email lists, but that was my story that I’m sharing just because.
[00:37:29] It doesn’t always, you don’t always get to build your email list overnight. It does sometimes take time.
[00:37:35] Miriam Schulman: It does. You can build it faster if you’re willing to invest in, in promoting via Facebook ads and other other it types of paid advertising. But there’s definitely for our clients, I don’t know that they have to do that, especially artists.
[00:37:53] I do. I don’t want any artists out there to feel that that’s something I. Recommend that they need to be doing that. They, if they look at just the humans they know in the world, and this is true pretty much of all of us, that people who are connected with us want to hear from us and start there.
[00:38:16] Allyson Scammell: Yes.
[00:38:17] Miriam Schulman: Easiest way to get someone to join your email list is to ask
[00:38:21] Allyson Scammell: them.
[00:38:23] Miriam Schulman: Sounds basic, but it’s true, right?
[00:38:27] Allyson Scammell: Yes. I totally agree. And I’m a big fan of a small yet very highly curated
[00:38:33] Miriam Schulman: list. That
[00:38:35] Allyson Scammell: real ideal people. Yeah. Yes. That’s so good. So back to what’s happening on planet right now with the covid-19 outbreak and how it’s really rattled so many things.
[00:38:49] Um, can you tell us what you’ve adjusted in this, if anything? And the passion profit framework to adjust for what’s happening right now.
[00:39:01] Miriam Schulman: Yes. Uh, well, sending out emails is more important than ever. Okay. So, but even when we, so there’s many artists who unfortunately, they’re there in person shows are getting canceled.
[00:39:14] So, but that doesn’t mean, so I was working with one client who her open studio tour was canceled. I was like, listen, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a host, a virtual tour. So turn the camera on your studio, and she, you know, she says, Oh, but it’s messy. It’s this and that. I was like, listen, people want to see all this.
[00:39:34] They think of artists as like magical people. The muggles, they want to know what we’re up to. So you can hope you can send the same. Email promotion you did when it was in person. And so this is true for, uh, you know, I keep going back to the yoga client cause that was the client you suggested, but you can make things into events the same way.
[00:39:58] As you you were, you were doing before is that communication is more important than possible. People are drawn to positive communication. If I see one more email in my inbox, how we’re responding to covid, I don’t want to open that email. I want to open the positive emails. It’s going to help me feel better.
[00:40:21] That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ignore the issue. Because you don’t want to come across as being tone deaf. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be the Cassandra about it either. You can be the positive voice and share your art, share your music, share your yoga, share your spirituality out whatever is that you’re leading with.
[00:40:43] People need all of us more than ever.
[00:40:47] Allyson Scammell: I totally agree, and I think that one thing that I’ve noticed. In other coaches, and I’m trying to do it myself, but I’m coming up with childcare restraints as I have less childcare now than I normally have. So I’m just, I’m adjusting with that. Um, I do notice that people are being more, um, they’re offering more free stuff, and I think that’s kinda cool.
[00:41:12] I believe we should absolutely be offering and selling things of value during this time. And in addition to that, I think it’s cool to also just offer a couple more free classes or a free meditation or free yoga class or something.
[00:41:28] Miriam Schulman: Yeah. Let’s see. Clear. Let’s be clear about what we’re talking about though.
[00:41:33] In all the businesses offering that free sample is always a good idea and nothing has changed. Correct. So we’re not saying to give away your yoga packages now, but, but that has always been the best way to get business is to let people try something for free. And if you’re building your email list, the best way to build your email list is to offer something for free in exchange for their email address.
[00:42:04] So that’s all true. And that’s still true.
[00:42:08] Allyson Scammell: Yes, yes, totally. And I should’ve said that, but you’re 100% right. And, um, it’s my perception, and I could be wrong, that people are doing that a little bit more generously. And I think there’s something cool about that, that, that generosity that’s being displayed and amongst the generosity, I totally.
[00:42:30] Feel like, you know, putting in an offer amongst it as well, if you, you know, that whole, if you want to go deeper in this or if this content is helpful for you, this is how you can go deeper with me on it. Whatever it is.
[00:42:44] Miriam Schulman: Yes. But I just want to make sure people understand that is, that has always been the best way to get business anyway.
[00:42:52] Is that free sample? It doesn’t mean you’re giving away a painting. It doesn’t mean you’re giving away the whole course, but yeah, maybe first-class for new students is free. That’s a great idea. Um, one thing that I did personally was I have a membership site for people who want to learn how to paint better.
[00:43:12] It’s a monthly membership site. I took one of the lessons and I said, Hey, are you bored at home? You can watch the first five minutes of this for free. And then if you want the rest of it, you can do a $5 trial for two weeks. And at the end. You can, you can join or not. And here’s the thing, if you love it, you win.
[00:43:35] If you don’t love it, you win. Because now you didn’t invest in something you didn’t like and Hey, hopefully you love it so much. You want it all the time. But that’s always been true. There’s nothing really new about it. It’s just that. We, when ever we’re, you’re selling something, you always want to step first into showing people what you have and kind of creating that relationship with them.
[00:44:00] It’s a little bit different for fine artists with painters, but there’s techniques that they can use for that as well.
[00:44:07] Allyson Scammell: Yes. Yes, totally. Totally agree. I love it. So I like to ask my guests to leave the listeners with a challenge related to the topic we’ve been exploring. So what challenge do you have for the listeners?
[00:44:22] Miriam Schulman: Okay, so I would say. To start with the first piece of that profit passion to profit planning system. Because as you said, Allyson, a lot of people have not done the basic math of how to build their, their business so that it can be profitable. Look, take a look at your prices, take a look at what you’re offering and look at if you were selling everything you’re making.
[00:44:48] If you’re a product based business or if you are fully booked, if you are a service based business. Is what you are offering and is what you’re asking. Actually going to produce those results that you want. So do that first before you sit on the meditation cushion because the universe cannot provide you with it unless you ask for it.
[00:45:12] Allyson Scammell: Yes. That’s beautiful. That is. I think that’s how you get you, you, um, you get law of attraction working
[00:45:20] Miriam Schulman: for you. Yes. You have to be asking for the right things so you, if you, your prices aren’t high enough and you aren’t making enough art or whatever it is you’re doing. The universe can’t provide.
[00:45:32] Allyson Scammell: Yes. I love that. That is a great challenge. Thank you so much, Miriam. This has been just such a pleasure for me. I’ve learned so much myself. I’ve loved connecting with you and hearing your stories. It’s just been such an absolute pleasure. Can you please let people know how they can find you?
[00:45:50] Miriam Schulman: Yes. Well, you’re listening to Allyson’s podcast.
[00:45:53] I would love for you to listen to mine. It’s The Inspiration Place. We, if you like the topic we talked about today, this is what we talk about. I talk about not just practical strategies for artists, but also how to develop the mindset that you need to be a successful creative entrepreneur. Yeah,
[00:46:15] Allyson Scammell: perfect.
[00:46:16] And we will put that link in the show notes as well. So that is just amazing. And I’ve listened to Miriam’s podcast. It is amazing. It is on my, it is in my library. Um, so I, again, I want to really thank you so much for taking the time to share your wisdom today. I think it was super timely. Um, and yeah, I. I love your philosophy and super happy that you were able to share it with us on this show.
[00:46:47] Miriam Schulman: Yeah. Well, I had a lot of fun talking with you. Thanks so much. That
[00:46:51] Allyson Scammell: was just such an inspiring conversation. Thank you so much for tuning in. And if you’re digging on this content like I hope you are, I would be super grateful if you hit the subscribe button wherever you’re listening, and I have a question now for you.
[00:47:07] Are you ready to grow your business with both magic and predictability? Then head to my website right now, AllysonScammell.com. To download my three free solo guided meditations to get a clear vision of growth for six months time and where to place your focus today. To take you there again, that AllysonScammell.com and you can find a link in the show notes, and as always, let’s grow there together. .