She’s the host of the What Works podcast, a top small business podcast that’s been recommended by Forbes and Entrepreneur, as well as the founder of The What Works Network, a community hub for small business owners. She’s also a bestselling Money & Life instructor on CreativeLive. Her work has been featured on Fast Company, Inc, Daily Worth, and The Huffington Post.
In this conversation we talk about why she shifted from teaching, coaching and providing courses online to a radically different model – a community of learning filled with small business owners from across industries and business models who are ready and willing to get real about what’s working–and what’s not.
We talk about why, for most of us, taking course after course simply doesn’t work. There is no one size fits all approach, and instead, we need a combination of tailored solutions, support and ideas, community, resilience and more.
We also dive into what drove Tara personally to leave a very successful business model behind and create something radically difference (even if she didn’t initially realise just HOW radically different her new direction was!)
For me, Tara has always been at the cutting edge of small business thought leadership. She was the first business mentor I hired and her work has personally influenced me a lot over the years.
So this conversation was an absolute joy for me and I know you’re going to find it fascinating and wickedly useful too.
Links Mentioned In This Episode With Tara McMullin
Subscribe Here & Never Miss An Episode
There are lots of options for creating an opt in for your business – but I think a quiz is one of the best.
I’d been thinking about doing a quiz for an age now and I’m frustrated it took me so long to get around to it. But one of the things that put me off was how complicated I imagined it was going to be to do right.
Honestly, my maths skills are not great and I imagined that a quiz would take a lot of complicated numbers work.
But I decided to bite the bullet and found that it actually was pretty straightforward.
I chose to use Interact – primarily because they claim that you can create one in minutes.
I’m going to be honest – it took me quite a few minutes (a couple of hours – which is still pretty impressive!)
But it was remarkably easy. They have lots and lots of templates that you can customize and brand to you own colours and fonts so getting starting really is quick and easy. (You don’t have to use the templates – there’s an option to build from scratch as well.)
One of the things I know many emerging coaches and healers (hell, most emerging business owners) struggle with is knowing where to place their focus.
I’m of the firm belief that business doesn’t have to be so hit and miss – that there are some key stages that need to happen in order to get to the magical sustainability stage. And time and time again I speak to coaches and healers who have been working so so hard trying to get their funnel sorted out or launch a group program and it falling flat. They’re working so hard marketing and not seeing the results. Few clients, not enough income.
And I really think this can be avoided if folks knew just where to place their attention and efforts.
Think of it like building a house: You need your foundation before moving onto the supporting structure, which needs to be in place before moving onto the roof, before you get to the fitting and fixtures – before finally decorating the place.
A business is like this – and marketing is like your kitchen cabinets – don’t put them in until you’ve solid walls to fix them to!
So I wanted to create a quiz that helps folks identify where they are at in the process so they can decide where to place their focus and attention. I’d previously created a short guide called The Messy Meaningful Business Roadmap and I wanted to use this as the basis on the quiz.
The first thing I needed to decide was what type of quiz I needed from the Interact choices – they offer three types of quizzes:
- Personality Quizzes: These are the most popular type — which isn’t surprising because everyone loves a good personality quiz.
- Scored Quizzes: These offer a great deal of flexibility as you pick the point values for the answers and then determine the range for each outcome.
- Assessment Quizzes: These are your traditional multiple-choice quizzes and points are awarded based on each answer.
Then I was given a choice of industry – I chose coaching.
One of my favorite things about the Interact quiz builder is the ability to customize it using my brand colors and logo. They also have the option to use free stock images (a free image search is built into the interface) or upload your own. I decided to use a mixture of both as I wanted the quiz to reflect the brand images I already use.
Questions & Scoring
The scoring of the quiz is very easy and you have the option to use the existing template or amend them for your own options.
This was the part that I was most worried about but it really was straightforward.
I kept the questions simple as I didn’t want users to have to spend ages thinking about answers or overthinking things, and I wanted to make it was easy and enjoyable as possible for people to take part in this quiz.
Once they’ve answered the questions, users are given their results in the form of a short post telling them where they need to place their energy and focus to get the most impact for their business.
This is something I really wanted to stress to users – that business can be easeful and streamlined if we know where to place our energy. The quiz helps folks to identify this really quickly, saving users precious time and energy and allowing them to let go of the scattered energy and distractions that come with the noisy online marketing world.
Pulling it altogether
Once you’ve connected your quiz to your email provider, it’s super easy to publish your quiz – Interact gives you lots of options for sharing and embedding your quiz both on your own site and on social. I’m using mine on my site and it took me about 2 minutes to publish it on a page on my site.
I’m really impressed with just how easy setting the quiz up was. I can see myself using more quizzes in my business both as opt ins and as another way to provide valuable and interesting content for my community.
And if you’d like to take my quiz – you can find it here
1 in 4 of us experience mental health issues so it shouldn’t be the dark secret it is for so many – including myself.Mental health challenges drain you of so much precious life force and energy – the very least we can do is try and remove the unnecessary additional strain of trying to keep it secret too. b. There are inherent risk factors for mental health baked into a lot of the culture of entrepreneurship – and this needs to stop. now. c. I know that I am far from the only business owner who lives with a mental health condition so I’m sharing in the hope that by seeing that it’s totally possible to have a sustainable business even with the added burden of a mental health challenge. In this episode I share my own experience of living with anxiety, depression and OCD (obsessive thoughts variety), and some of the things I’ve put in place – both from a business perspective and a personal/lifestyle one, to support and sustain me.