Ep. 365: Creating your 3-Word Rebellion with Dr. Michelle Mazur

michelle mazur

I'm so excited to introduce you to this week's guest on Pep Talks for Side Hustlers, Dr. Michelle Mazur!

Michelle Mazur is a messaging expert who works with brilliant business owners who are shaking things up but having trouble talking about it. She combines the tools of successful social movements with the qualitative research skills she earned in her Communications Ph.D. to help them craft their powerful, captivating message. The author of the 3 Word Rebellion, host of the Rebel Uprising podcast and featured in Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Inc., she knows that speaking about what you do in a clear and captivating way is the key to reaching the people you could help the most and making more money in your business.

Push play to listen to this week's episode, or read the full transcript below!

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Shannon Mattern: Welcome to episode 365 of Pep Talks for Side Hustlers. And I am so excited to introduce you to today's guest, Dr. Michelle Mazer. Michelle is a messaging expert who works with brilliant business owners who are shaking things up, but having trouble talking about it. She combines the tools of successful social movements with the research skills she earned in her communications PhD to help them craft their powerful captivating message. Michelle, thank you so much for being here. Can you share a little bit more with our listeners about who you are and what you do?

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. Well, thank you, first, for having me here. I'm so excited to be with you. And I'd love to share a little bit more. So I do brand messaging for what I think of as like rebellious business owners. They are either people who are deep experts in what they do, and that means they struggled to talk about it. Or they are multi-passionate with tons of tools in their toolbox and they don't know how to package all of that up to actually sell it and talk about it in a way that's persuasive. So what I've noticed, especially in the online space, because my background is academia, I came from corporate as well, and what I've noticed in the online space is that we often skip a step when building our business. So we create this great offer. It gets brilliant results, and we think, you know what I need? I need some eyeballs. I need more people to see this offer. And then we think, I need marketing. So then we go out on this journey and we try all of these different marketing tactics, webinars, and sales funnels, and Instagram, Facebook, all of that jazz. And then it doesn't really work the way we hope it would. And that's when you realize you skipped a step. You don't understand how to powerfully communicate the value your business creates in your marketing and sales process. And so that's kind of where I come in with my 3-Word Rebellion framework to create that one of a kind message that grabs people's attention, creates curiosity and helps grow your audience, but also create the strategic conversations you need to be having with your audience in order to get them ready to be a client. Because until you have that, it's really hard to write copy effectively, to market your business effectively, to do sales effectively. So that's really what I do with my clients, help them create that whole messaging ecosystem that they can go back to time and time again, and really become that recognized expert in their industry, that go-to person.

Shannon Mattern: I am so excited to dive into all of this with you. I'm like, 3-Word Rebellion framework? We must talk about this, but before we do, I just want to know, were are you stocking the first, like four years of my business? You described my experience to a T, the experience of so many of the people that kind of came up with me, people that I coach. And so it resonates with me so much that there's this time in our business where we're trying to talk about ourselves, and why we're qualified, and why you should work with us, and here's what we do. And you miss this whole part about talking about the client and what they want and how that serves them.

Michelle Mazur: How do you get their attention? And I see that happen a lot because it's like when, especially when we're first starting out, we're like, oh, well, I've got to sell my thing and sell myself as this person who is the expert to do this thing. And so then we just talk about ourselves and what it is we do. And then, oh, wait, my audience isn't growing. Because they don't care about you or what you do yet. They don't even know they have a problem and they don't know who you are. So they're not going to care about that. And I do think it is such a common thing, especially in online business. I see it again and again, where people skip this step and then about four or five years in, they're like, wait a minute! I really should figure this out before I do any more marketing or write any more copy.

Shannon Mattern: Oh my gosh. So I want to come back to all of this, because it is fascinating. But I also want to dig into your story because you mentioned you came from academia and corporate. How did you go from academia, corporate to the coaching that you're doing now?

Michelle Mazur: Yeah, that is, is quite a journey. So I fell in love with communication when I was probably 15 or 16 years old and I joined the speech and debate team. I was terrible because I was super awkward and shy and didn't like public speaking, but it felt really important that I master it. And that first initial curiosity actually just kept building and it led me to get a PhD in communication. And then I thought, oh right, this is what I want to do. I'm going to go teach communication, do research. I took the tenure track journey, got the assistant professor job, and hated it. And I was at a time where I had to decide like, okay, I'm either going to have to go up for tenure or I need to leave and go do something else. And I thought, oh, you know what I'll do? I'll leave and I'll go into corporate because that's going to solve all of these issues. And I was like, okay, I'm really good at research. I'll go into market research. And yeah, that's a whole other story. I loved the business experience I gained while being in corporate, working with other businesses, doing market research and message testing, and all of that jazz. But boy, I'm psychologically unemployable. And during this time a friend of mine asked me, Michelle, do you love market research? I'm like, I don't think anybody loves market research. And he's like, but is this the thing you want to be doing? And I'm like, no, it pays the bills. And he was like, I see you as this person who has all of this knowledge about communication and how to communicate that could really help people. He's like, you need to start a blog, start something. And so that is really how my business began. It started from this blog that nobody wanted to read because I was an academic and my writing was terrible! Boring! Like Ambien had nothing on my blog. And until one day I wrote a really ranty blog post and stated what my point of view was. And that was how I got my first client. And from there, like a lot of the people that are listening, my business started as a side hustle. I worked full-time in market research while doing my business every single morning and on the weekends. And built it to a point where it's like, okay, I feel good about leaving. And then it was still really hard when I did make that leap. But I'm really taking everything that I've learned from market research and academia, all of my training, to now do the messaging work that I do with my clients. So I feel like that's a fantastic payoff on this journey.

Shannon Mattern: Oh my gosh. I love it. That you're like I was psychologically unemployable and my blog was better than Ambien. Oh, that's awesome. And I love that you mentioned, I made the leap and it still hard after that. It doesn't just magically get easier when now this is your full-time gig. It's almost more pressure in a way.

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. You feel like, oh, I'm going to have all of this time now to work on my business. And then you're thrown off because you don't have a schedule. That was my big thing. I was used to getting up in the morning and working on the business and then going off to work. But I didn't have to do that anymore. And then figuring out like, well, what is it that I want to prioritize? And how do I make sales on a consistent basis? And yeah, it was still a big learning curve.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. I personally rebelled against having to have the schedule once I didn't have to have the schedule anymore. And then I was like, oh, wait, the schedule is freedom. Let me put the schedule back in place. I can totally resonate with that experience. So, you mentioned your 3-Word Rebellion framework and I'm just like, I can not wait to hear more about that. So can you tell me a little bit more about that and kind of the origin of how you came up with that.

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. So the 3-Word Rebellion is essentially a one of a kind message that positions you in the marketplace and allows people to share your message. So some examples of famous 3-Word Rebellion starts with why, the five second rule and the four hour work week. But the message serves as your core message that you build everything else around. This is essentially the message you want to be known for. And that's one part of the framework. Because then there's a whole other issue with like, okay, I have my three words. Now, how do I get people to buy into them and accept my ideas? And we'll talk about that a little bit later. But I came up with this idea, it was probably late 2016, and I was watching a lot of the news at the time. And I was noticing the rise of all these social movements, whether it was Me Too, or Black Lives Matter, or Make America Great Again. And I was like, huh, you know what social movements do? Well, they encapsulate the change they want to create in just a few words. And then I thought about people like Mel Robbins and Simon Sinek and Tim Ferriss and Adam Grant and all of these people doing amazing work in the world who are known for it. And they did the exact same thing. I was like, they have this core message that is not about them. It's really about the change they want to create. And I was like, interesting. Then I thought, well, what if I took questions that come from social movements. When you're a social movement, there's questions you have to ask, like, what are you rebelling against? What's the change you want to create? What kind of world do you want to live in? I was like, I will take those questions and have my clients empty their brains. And I want to see if I can take that creative mess and see if there are 3-Word Rebellion, libs in it. And luckily my clients were like, this sounds awesome. I'm game. Thank God. And I started doing it with clients and it worked! It was clarifying for them. It created so many different potential content ideas for their marketing, for their copy. And it was just so much easier for me to take all of their ideas that they vomited it up on paper to make sense out of them. Like, ooh, this turn of phrase is really interesting and oh, this could really be a rallying cry for your business or, Ooh, this is the change you want to create, this is the change agent - call it that. And it was amazing to see how well it worked. And it was great for them because most of my clients had been struggling with their message for ages. And just to have somebody take their ideas and look at them as a researcher and be like, oh, here's a potential message. Or here's multiple potential messages. What should we explore? It was such a relief and so clarifying for them. And then from that initial discovery, I decided, because this is what I always do, I decided I'm going to write a book about it. Which I did and it talks about the whole process. But then I also realized when I came up with the concept of the 3-Word Rebellion, that the next step of messaging was just as important. It's like, okay, I have these three words. Great. How do I talk about it? I just can't sit there on the street and be like 3-Word Rebellion, 3-Word Rebellion. That's not how it works. I had to figure out basically what I call the client decision journey and how do I move people from not knowing me at all and I'm just getting their attention with this phrase. So they're saying, Ooh, I want to know more about that, I'm curious, to actually getting them to see the value of it in their business, helping them figure out when they're ready to work with me, busting down their myths and misconceptions about business, all of that. What are those conversations I have to create in my marketing and my messaging and my copy and sales conversations so that people actually buy in and want to have their own 3-Word Rebellion and want to work with me on it.

Shannon Mattern: Okay. So this is all brilliant as I'm sure, you know.

Michelle Mazur: Thank you.

Shannon Mattern: And here's what I'm thinking. I teach entrepreneurs how to DIY their website. That's my thing that I started. But then I started coaching web designers to actually run a web design business, because they have the skill of web design, but they don't know how to run a business, market themselves, all the things. And what rises to the top for every single one of these, I would say 90% of my clients, is what we talked about earlier, where it's like they feel like an imposter. They don't want to talk about themselves. Putting themselves out there feels really scary. How do I differentiate myself when everybody else has the skill of web design? And exactly what you were talking about is the solution to all of those problems.

Michelle Mazur: Yes. What I particularly love about the 3-Word Rebellion, especially for people who don't want to just market on their personality and their stories. I struggle with that. I'm a pretty private person. The 3-Word Rebellion storytelling is a part of it, but it's a very strategic part of it that mostly supports the messaging. And it isn't the message itself, but the message is for other people so it can't be about you. If you want other people to spread your message, you can't make that message about you and who you are. You really have to make it about them and the unique point of view you want them to see, or adopt, or change to. So that's the power of it. You don't necessarily have to talk about yourself all the time in order to promote or market your business. You can really talk about your ideas, how you do things differently and create messaging around that that attracts the right people to you.

Shannon Mattern: Ah, I love it. And that's what I'm always like marketing has nothing to do with you. It's not about you. It's about your client. It's about what's possible for them. It's about their results. So if you feel like an imposter, okay, let's make sure you actually have the expertise to deliver on what you're saying. And if that box is checked, great, you're fine. Let's go ahead and figure out how we can stop talking about you and start talking about the client. So I absolutely love that. I love that.

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. I think one of the most dangerous messages that we hear on in the online space is You Are Your Message. And I'm like, no! You are not your message. It just bothers me when I hear You Are Your Message. That means when somebody rejects you, says no, this message isn't for me, they are not rejecting your business or your offer. They're not saying no. But they're saying no to you as a human being. And that's a problem that's going to lead you to quickly want to leave your business no matter how gifted you are at it. And I always like to also say that imposters never feel like they're imposters. Real imposters aren't doubting themselves at all. So the fact that you are thinking, oh, well maybe I'm not as good as I think, you probably are as good as you think.

Shannon Mattern: I love that you said that because it's true. It truly is. Someone that's an imposter is completely either oblivious or knowingly, trying to dupe somebody. Oh my gosh. So I want to come back to what you said, okay, I have the 3-Word Rebellion framework. How do I talk about it? You mentioned the client decision journey. So can we come back to how did you get people excited and buy into the 3-Word Rebellion?

Michelle Mazur: So I did not have a client decision journey. I wish I had me now back then, but I didn't. So it was a lot of trial and error. So the first thing I did after I came up with the idea and I tested it out and I really felt like this was something important. It was a different way of messaging. And at the time, really the only other tool for messaging was Donald Miller StoryBrand. And that just doesn't work for more innovative, creative type businesses. It's great if you're a plumber. But if you're a coach who's is doing something unique, it's not going to get you where you need to go. So what I did is, okay, I'm just going to roll this out. I'm going to do a webinar to my email community, invite them. There was like, I'm not selling anything. I just want feedback on this idea. What do you think? Do you think it's worthwhile? Is it helpful for you? And I had a lot of people show up for that webinar. So I walked them through the 3-Word Rebellion process, examples, how you create it, how you would use it. And then they gave me a lot of great feedback that helped me form the book, that helped me figure out how to talk about it. And then from there it was just like trial and error on social media. Like putting things out, recording podcast episodes about it and seeing how people responded and getting their feedback. So, yeah, it was just a lot of like, let's put some stuff out and see what works and then refine what doesn't.

Shannon Mattern: So, I mean, I love that because so many, myself included, my experience was like, oh, I'm going to create this thing and I'm going to create this course, you know, like in my early, newbie, baby entrepreneur days when I didn't know any better, where I'm in a vacuum by myself, which is like the antithesis of everything that we just talked about, make this thing I know people want and need, and then I'm going to offer it to them and expect them to buy it. And then be really surprised when they don't.

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. That is not the best approach.

Shannon Mattern: That is NOT the best approach. And everything that you talked about is client focused. When we try to create something for the people that we want to serve without involving them, it's pretty much going to fail, in my experience.

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. Because I knew my idea worked because the first thing I did was I took it to some clients. It was like, would you do this with me? And I'm so grateful that they're all like, yeah, this sounds great. And then I wanted to make sure, because maybe I've just influenced these people too much. Maybe I should take it to an audience who does not know about this yet, but already knows and trusts me, and see what they think. Because if it would have flopped, I'd been like, okay, I am not going to pursue this path. This wasn't the best idea. And that's okay. There are more ideas out there that I can find. But asking people, getting feedback, putting it out there before you are ready and it's a hundred percent dialed in. Like that is the best way to put your ideas out into the world. It's going to help you so much. And you're not going to waste a lot of time. Even when I work on 3-Word Rebellions with clients, we come up with something that we both really love. And then I say, run it by a couple of your best clients. Don't put it on Facebook and ask the world about it. But run your 3-Word Rebellion by a couple of your best clients and see what they say. And if they're like, oh, I love that, it so describes you, or tell me more, or whatever it is they say, we know we have something. If they're like meh, we should probably talk about that.

Shannon Mattern: And don't ask your best friend or your partner or your boss or your mom, because they are not your clients.

Michelle Mazur: I've actually had that conversation. I had one client say to me once, my husband doesn't really like my 3-Word Rebellion. And I said, oh, I didn't know he was your client. And she said, he's not. I'm like, okay, moving on.

Shannon Mattern: So why rebellion? Why do you want to know what people are rebelling against? What ticks them off? Like why do you want to know that specifically?

Michelle Mazur: Well, I think there are a few reasons. The number one reason is that I'm very anti-pushing on people's pain points. And I feel like a lot of the issues that we struggle with in business and life are from bigger forces. And we can actually name a villain when we are rebelling against something. When we're taking a stand. Where we're saying like, I really don't like this in my industry. This ticks me off. When I hear this advice, like. You Are Your Message, that makes me angry. I think it's harmful. So that then serves as our foil that we're up against, and that our clients and audience are also up against that force, that villain. So we start there because it's really easy to access the things that tick you off and what you're rebelling against. So it's a great place to start with figuring out what is that change you want to create, that you want to be heralding for your clients. So one of the big reasons is so we get away from pain point marketing. But the other reason is it's so easy to access what you want to rebel against.

Shannon Mattern: Has anyone ever said like, oh, I don't know. I don't rebel against anything?

Michelle Mazur: I think my book and my whole website does a really great job of filtering those people out. I did have a sales call once that somebody, and this is in the book, where she said to me, 'oh, well I'm a creator. And I just want to make positive change. I don't want to rebel'. And I was like, well, can the system of education you have in your mind co-exist with the existing educational system. And she's like, no. And I'm like, oh, interesting. So do you need to destroy that system in order for your system to come into place? She's like, oh, I see what you're saying. I'm like, yes. In order to create, we sometimes have to destroy. And the people who resonate with a 3-Word Rebellion and they think, Ooh, what is that? They are wanting to destroy and create something new. And I'm here for that.

Shannon Mattern: I love it. I love it. So you mentioned that your anti-pain point marketing, and a lot of the marketing trainings that we see online are all about agitating the pain points and pushing on this. And I personally also agree that that feels icky and gross. Tell me more about why your anti-pain point marketing.

Michelle Mazur: Oh my! So I'm so happy you asked this question. So my background is a PhD in communication. I taught persuasion. And I know how persuasion can be used to manipulate people. And in the online space, I see a lot of what I call bro marketing, which is the use of psychological triggers, like scarcity and social proof and authority, to shut down our critical thinking skills and our skills that allow us to make the best purchasing decision for ourselves so that we make a sale. And pain point marketing is a part of that. There's a big difference between acknowledging a problem, empathizing a problem saying like, Hey, that's super sucks, versus seeing a problem and poking and poking and poking and making the person feel bad about themselves, anxious, depressed, agitated, so that they just hit the buy button. And really, I feel like the 3-Word Rebellion framework is the antidote to that kind of bro marketing pain point marketing because it's teaching people how to message in a way that is based in empathy, gives people at the agency because they're giving people what they need to know to make an informed buying decision. So you're not working with people who aren't ready for what you have to offer. You're working with the people who are ready, who are ready for that training and transformation. And I've been in business for 10 years now and I've just seen so many people be harmed by the bro marketing tactics where they bought something at 11:59 PM on a Friday nigh, because it was promised to be the thing that was going to help them skyrocket their business or whatever that promise is. And then it ends up not being that. And so you see all of these people investing again and again to solve some very simple business problems, business problems we all have. But they keep investing in these programs thinking it's going to be the thing. And it's never the thing. And I feel like that way of marketing is so harmful. And I just want to create a new way to market and message that's not manipulative, that's aligned with people's values, that gives people their agency to make a good purchasing decision.

Shannon Mattern: That resonates with me so much. I feel like in my first few years in business, I was like, oh, this is what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to say, you only have this many spots. And it never felt authentic. It never felt aligned. It felt fake. And when I didn't feel aligned, authentic, or in integrity with things I was doing, I wouldn't market, I wouldn't make offers. And I would completely hold myself back from doing the thing that I wanted to do because it just didn't feel good. And then once I decided, okay, my only job is to make sure that you have all of the information that you need to make the best decision for you, whether it's today or next month or next week or whatever, that's when everything changed.

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. And it's so interesting because even when I first got started in the space, I mean, I knew better. I have this background, I knew what these people were teaching. I knew what psychological tricks and tactics they were using. And still, I was like, well I guess this is the way you have to market in this space. And that's not true. And one of my clients once told me that she realized that she didn't suck at marketing. She sucked at bro marketing because she didn't feel comfortable with all of these tactics. And the deal is, I know it's positioned as the only way to do it in the online space. IT IS NOT. And I ask my friends, do you see Microsoft or Nordstrom's or Starbucks marketing with any of this stuff? No. No, you don't. You see timeshare salesman marketing like this and selling like this. So that tells you all you need to know. There is a different way.

Shannon Mattern: Absolutely. I love that. And so just in terms of there being a different way, what do you and your clients do? We've all been in the funnels that are like, buy now or your life's going to blow up and all that stuff. And of course, I've even been like, oh yeah, that's going to solve my business problems and bought it.

Michelle Mazur: We've all done it.

Shannon Mattern: We've all done it. What do you do that's different?

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. So one of my clients told me, well, you're helping me build an argument for why they need my service. And that's exactly what we're doing. And you know, some of these social triggers like scarcity and social proof, they naturally exist. If you're a one-on-one service provider and you have capacity for five clients, please tell people that. They need to know.

Shannon Mattern: Yea and you have to have a boundary for yourself also.

Michelle Mazur: When scarcity just occurs naturally, or authority occurs naturally. It's okay to use those things because it's in service of informing people. Like, I only work with 10 clients a quarter, I have eight spots left. That's helpful information. So then it's like, how do you build an argument for your work, which is really what the client decision journey helps you do. Because I always think about, for me, I need my clients to be at a point where they're ready to work with me when they realize that their messaging is not great and it needs to change. But they have to go through a lot of different steps before they have that aha. Oh, that's why all this marketing wasn't working. And, oh, I didn't realize that this was a foundational piece. There's a lot of different belief shifts I have to give them. So it's really about thinking, how do I move them from where they currently are, all of their beliefs, all of their misconceptions, and give them what they need to know to have the epiphany that, oh, I don't have a marketing problem, I have a messaging problem. I don't have a copy problem, I have a messaging problem. And so that's the different way. It's really figuring out what are those conversations and building an argument. And then you use that argument on your sales page, in the content that you're creating, in podcast interviews. You use that everywhere to get people ready to work with you and to buy into your ideas.

Shannon Mattern: So, what are some of those belief shifts and mindset shifts that you need people who are your ideal clients to make? Where are they at right now as they're listening to this podcast and what are the shifts that they need to make?

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. Well, first thing that they need to figure out is that they have something that gets a result for their clients. So that they have this offer, it gets a result, and then they have this aha that they want to show it to more people. They want to have a bigger impact. They want to reach more people. Because it's really easy to have a pretty good business while just relying on word of mouth marketing. So the first thing they realize is like, okay, more. And then they decide, all right, I need marketing. And then really it's shifting their belief around why their marketing isn't working, or why their marketing feels so icky. Because they don't know, a lot of the times, why they feel so icky about sales and marketing. So really busting through that myth and misconception. And then introducing the thought that you need to communicate it. All marketing is communication and you need to communicate the value you're creating. And then once they get there, they're like, oh yeah, I do. One of the things I will hear all the time is, if I can sit down with somebody for 30 to 45 minutes I can sell them in on what I do. But the problem is, I can't get people to sit down with me for 30 minutes to hear about the work that I do. And I'm like yes, that's kind of a messaging problem. So really helping them identify where their message is really holding them back in their business. And then, because there are other messaging people out there, they have to figure out if 3-Word Rebellion is right for them. Are they rebellious? Are they doing something that is creative and different in their industry? So that's like helping them raise their hand and say, yes,

Shannon Mattern: I love it. I love it. So you also have a podcast. So when and why did you decide to start the podcast and what can we expect from it?

Michelle Mazur: The Rebel Uprising Podcast. I started that podcast when I was still working with speakers. It was originally called the Rebel Speaker Podcast. And then when I moved into the 3-Word Rebellion, I changed the name again to Rebel Rising. And then I was like, you know what? We're done rising. It's time for us to create an uprising. That's where we landed today. And really the podcast is for those people who want more impact. They really want to be thought leaders. They want to be seen as the go-to in their industry. And I talk about things like messaging and marketing and the basics of how you get your message out, and what does a sustainable marketing plan look like for you? And what is consistency really? Because consistency is key. Like once you have your message, then staying on message on a somewhat regular basis is so important. So helping people figure out like, well, what does consistency look like for them so that they can really be seen and known? Because I think the thing that's really frustrating for me is the people that I work with are amazing at what they do. They are heads above everyone else in the industry. And the fact that they can't talk about it and can't create marketing around it, that's what's holding them back. And meanwhile, all these other great people are going to these crappy courses or other service providers who don't provide the same quality just because they don't know you exist. So my whole mission around the podcast is helping amazing business owners who get great results for their clients get their message into the world so people actually know about them and can come to them and get that result and transformation.

Shannon Mattern: That is so powerful. And I'm just thinking about the people who are so good at what they do, just like you said, and are experts in what they do, and just have a hard time talking about it in a way that people are like, oh wait, that's what you do? I want more of that. You know? You're making me rebel right along with you.

Michelle Mazur: I'm talking to a client today who, in some of her free writing, was like, you know, I realized I never really talk about my whole methodology and how I actually work with people. I'm like, oh, that's a huge missed opportunity! Because she has this very beautiful, well thought out methodology. And she's like, oh, I don't tell people about that. I'm like, well you should be telling people about that because that's how you work with people. And people really want someone who has a structure or process. So we have to talk about the solutions we have and the methodologies that we've developed that bring on the transformation. And my whole goal in life is to help great business owners just be known for their work and feel confident in communicating what it is they do.

Shannon Mattern: Well, I know everybody listening is like, well, how can I work with you? Tell me more because you're so good at what you do.

Michelle Mazur: Thank you.

Shannon Mattern: Can you share with us what it looks like to work with you? What are the different opportunities that there are, and how do you guide people through this process?

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. So right now I primarily work with people in a one-to-one capacity because the work is deep and intensive, very curiosity driven. So when I work with people, typically it's a 90 day container. And the goal of the container is to help you powerfully communicate the value your business creates, whether you're talking to one person or a million people. And we do that by moving through four different stages. So the first stage is doing that audience deep dive work and creating a client empathy map so that I can get into their heads. But also you feel connected, like deeply connected, to who you're talking to. And then from there, we springboard into the 3-Word Rebellion work, where you get to do all that free writing. I take it and analyze it and create potentials. And then we dive into it and do followup exercises until we nail the 3-Word Rebellion. Then we move into phase two, which is you have the overarching message, but let's do more free writing and create that client decision journey. Like what conversations should you be creating with people who don't know you? What conversations do you need to create, and belief shifts do you need to create with the people who know you, but don't know if you solve the problem they have, all the way to getting them to buy your product or services. So we do that. Usually we do some calls to action. We usually develop what I call a Why Buy statement, which is kind of your program or brand promise of what you can 100% deliver on. And then we move to phase three, which is some signature storytelling. I know I was harping on story, but story is important stuff. And it should be used to support that client decision journey. So it's your stories, your client's story, we can put research and even famous people's stories in as well. But what are the stories we're going to tell that support that. And then the final bit is about implementation. How do we implement this message? What does your marketing strategy look like? What are the things you need to work on? And how do you use your client journey to get people to take notice of your work? So, yeah, that's kind of the whole process that I take people through.

Shannon Mattern: I love that you have this implementation component. Because I have worked in corporate marketing environments where we have hired a consultant to come in and they do this whole beautiful plan? And then they go away and nobody implements, and you have this nice brochure and you took it to the board meeting. And then it's just like back to business as usual. And there's no plan for that. Or I've even gone through branding and messaging experiences early on in my business. It was awesome. But there was that okay, now what? How do I make sure that I am living this and everything? I didn't just intrinsically know this. I need to practice this and learn it and have it top of mind and bake it into everything that I'm doing, you know? So that seems like such a key piece that is lacking in branding and messaging.

Michelle Mazur: I always tell my clients, your message does nobody any good if it dies in a Google doc, which is where a lot of messaging work gets trapped. And I have worked with people in longer capacity because the big rebel truth, it takes a while to implement new messaging into your business. So we pick one implementation project. So for instance, for one of my clients, we came up with an idea for a new lead magnet for her. So she's going to work on creating the crappy first draft of that. I'm going to go through, give her feedback, make sure it's positioned well, and positioned so it's easy for her to drop it into her marketing. That's one of the ways we can implement. Or we might work on a piece of copy where they go away and they do like a crappy first draft of their homepage. And then I go through, and I'm very good at copy editing. Because it's important to see people use their message. And I try to encourage people during the process to go out and start using your 3-Word Rebellion sooner rather than later. Some people just like, no, I just want everything to be all buttoned up. But I love it when I see my clients using it right away. Because it's going to make implementation for them so much easier because it is practice. You have to practice with your new message. And then you have to refine it and tweak things. Ooh, that didn't work as well as I wanted. What if I said it like that? So yeah, there is a lot of implementation and some refinement you have to do afterwards.

Shannon Mattern: So, so good. I could literally sit here and talk about this forever. But I want to make sure that I ask you the final two questions that I ask everybody that comes on this show. And the first is, just kind of going back to our early days with our marketing and getting clients and putting yourself in the shoes of the side hustler who's kind of in the beginning stages, what advice do you have for someone who is in the early stages of their business, and really trying to get traction just to start to get those first few clients to practice their framework on, or really prove that the thing that they are really passionate about works to get the results to then amplify. What would you say to that person to get those first few clients?

Michelle Mazur: So the online business world teaches us to be very passive. Just send some emails. People will go to your website and buy. That's not how it actually works. What I would recommend is when you're first starting out and you're just creating your audience to really build relationships with the people who say they're interested. Maybe they opt into your email. And instead of just sending them an autoresponder, send them a physical email from you that says, Hey, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it. Ask them a question about themselves. Start building that relationship as someone they feel like they can trust and can turn to, because you're probably only getting like one or two new subscribers a day. So you can easily do that. You can have more of those genuine conversations. And I'd also say, don't leave your job until you know you can make sales on a consistent basis, which kind of goes without saying.

Shannon Mattern: Yes, please.

Michelle Mazur: But I would say anything you can do to be really high touch, to be there for people, will facilitate those first few sales. Because they don't magically happen. We have to be very intentional and posting on Instagram is not going to get you your first few sales. I hate to break it to my Instagram friends.

Shannon Mattern: I'm glad you said that

Michelle Mazur: I was on a call the other day. And somebody, she's a side hustler, said something like, well, I only have one day a week to work on my business. And I have all of these things to do. I feel like I should be posting on Instagram because people are going to check me out. And then if I'm not credible there, they won't hire me. I'm like, oh, that is the slowest path to cash ever. You don't need to post on Instagram. You need to be building relationships and letting people know about your business.

Shannon Mattern: I love that. And one of the happy accidents, I guess, I did early on in my business journey was I created this free DIY web design training. And I started a Facebook group back when it was literally a place for me to interact one on one with every single person that came in. So they would join the free training. They would come in the Facebook group. They would ask questions. I would answer the questions and I got to really hear them. It wasn't like, oh, I'm going to create a group that's self-sustaining that I'm not in, like what some groups have become. It was the easiest way for me to be able to help these people, let me put them in this space and help them. And it was the best little market research incubator that I didn't even know that I had because I was able to find out exactly what they were struggling with. I was able to connect with them. I was able to build relationships with all of those people. And it was not intentional, but it was one of the best things that I ever did because these are actual real people, not subscribers. I want to help them. So I love that.

Michelle Mazur: Yeah, that is perfect. Talking to real people will give you a lot of information.

Shannon Mattern: Right? It's crazy! That's crazy that you could actually talk to people. It makes things go so much faster. I tested that for a long time.

Michelle Mazur: I actually have a podcast episode coming out about how to do audience research and gather client language and how people talk about the work you do, because it's way easier than I think you think it is. And it's all around you. And honestly, you only have to talk to three people to get a pretty good idea of how people are thinking about your work.

Shannon Mattern: Ah, so good. Okay. So this is the question that I ask everybody that comes on the show also, and that is what belief about yourself did you have to change to get where you are today?

Michelle Mazur: My flippant answer is everything.

Shannon Mattern: All the things.

Michelle Mazur: I think I had to really value my expertise. And I think this goes back a little bit to the imposter complex. But one of the things I now know to be true about myself is that I am really the best in the world at what I do. And it took me a very long time to be able to say those words without giving you like, ooh, but uh. But I know that with my background, with my research experience, all of it, there is no one in the world who can do messaging and produce the quality that I produce. And I mean, it still feels a little big to say all of that. But that's really what I had to step into and own to do this business. Because when I get on a sales conversation with someone like, I mean, I I'm selling, I'm giving them the information, but there's no pressure there. Like you either want this and you value the work, and I know a hundred percent I can help you, or you don't and we go our separate ways. It's not a big deal. But it comes from that space of that confidence that I am excellent at what I do and owning that. And that's a really hard thing to own, but that's what I had to believe about myself.

Shannon Mattern: Oh, that is so powerful. And just to really stand up and say, and I wrote it down, cause I'm like, Oooh, I am the best in the world at what I do. To just step into that and own that confidence is life-changing Michelle, it has been amazing talking to you. Thank you so much for being here. Where can everybody go to get the 3-Word Rebellion book, subscribe to the Rebel Uprising Podcast, learn more about working with you? All of the things.

Michelle Mazur: Yes. So you can get the 3-Word Rebellion book on Amazon and pretty much anywhere books are sold these days. There is an audio book version coming soon. I don't know when this podcast will come out, but it might be out when you hear it. But if you go to 3wrbook.com, it'll take you to all the different places. And if you want to learn more about me and how I work with people, and the podcast you can go to drmichellemazer.com or just connect with me on Instagram and I can hook you up. I'm at Dr. Michelle Mazer on there as well.

Shannon Mattern: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here. I'm going to link up everything in the show notes so you guys can go to shannonmattern.com/365. Get links to all the things, connect with Michelle, craft your own 3 Word Rebellion. And Michelle, thank you so much for being here.

Michelle Mazur: Thank you for having me. This was super fun.

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