Episode 15: Turn Your Obstacles Into Opportunities
with Entrepreneur, Business Coach & Podcast Host,
Ina Coveney is a six-figure entrepreneur, business coach and host of The Global Phenomenon Podcast.
She helps up-and-coming online coaches monetize their tiny audience through organic lead generation strategies before they invest time and money in audience growth. Her mission is to help others do the same.
Ina reached six-figures in her business before ever cracking 1,000 followers on any of her platforms, and her mission to help coaches do the same.
Her motto is to stop living paycheck to paycheck and design a rich and abundant life with one purpose, to help others become the next global phenomenon….
Website: Ina Coveney
Membership Program: Get Clients First
This episode is sponsored by pair.com. For a free month trial, go to www.pair.com/free, promo code is QUICKSTARsix
Avis: Hey there, beautiful people. And welcome back to another episode of That'sHow We Role, a podcast where I talk with motivating and inspiring women who are professionals, entrepreneurs, organization, leaders, artists, and so much more. Today's guest is Ina Coveney. Ina is a six-figure entrepreneur and business coach and host of The Global Phenomenon podcast, a podcast for online entrepreneurs and solopreneurs.
She helps up and coming online, coaches monetize their tiny audience organically. Our mission is to help others do this. Her motto is to stop living paycheck, to paycheck and design a rich and abundant life with one purpose to help others become the next global phenomenon. I'm not sure if this podcast can sustain her energy, but less try and less talk and welcome Ina.
Ina: Thank you so much for that great introduction. I don't know if you can sustain it, but we're going to have to contain it.
Thank you so much. That was at a lovely introduction. I'm very happy to be here.
Avis: Thank you. And it's a wonderful to have you here. Tell us a little bit about Ina and what you do.
Ina: Sure. So I am a business coach and I specialize in monetizing tiny audiences. So if you think about everybody who goes and starts promoting themselves on social media, like if you're thinking of people who are in the entertainment industry, right? Like actors, people like yourself, voice talent who want to put themselves out there, but they think wait a minute. What I need is the really large audience, right? What I need is just start to get on Tik TOK and just like blow up my audience. That's where the richest are. Well, me as an, as a small audience entrepreneur, I can tell you that if you're looking to monetize, it's really about who you're creating relationships with. Rather than how many people are following you. So the same applies to online coaches who are my audience of people that I, that I talk to every day, they have the same fears and the same concerns they think I just need to blow up on social media. I just need to go viral. And I'm here to tell them, no, no, you want to make money. It's all about those relationships. You can do it, even if you have a small audience. So that's what I do.
Avis: That's excellent. It's not about the size of the audience. It's the quality of time that you spend with the audience that you currently have. That's basically what you're saying, right?
Ina: The, the quality of the people that you're interacting with because it Avis, if you were, if you were online. And your people are other voice actors. If your people are bookers for voice actors, I promise you you're going to have no problem finding voice acting jobs. The problem comes... And it doesn't matter how big that audience is. It could be a hundred people, but if it's all the right people, you are in the right community.
So the problem begins when you start to really, and not, I'm not talking about you, Avis, this, but we as humans online, we started getting our head. Thinking that we have to be, we have to be popular that we see other people getting millions of views on Tik Tok. And then we feel bad about ourselves, which affects the way that we show up.
It affects how we see our online presence, like what the next steps are. Right. So it's really important that we really stick to quality versus the quantity.
Avis: That's a great thing to think about when we're doing this. How did you realize that? Because you have this amazing journey that you're on and you're doing so many things. How did you realize that? Hmm, I have something here and I want to do this with my, with my business. How did you start doing that? How did you come to that realization?
Ina: Thank you so much for asking that because I was not born thinking let's help people monetize tiny audiences like I am a human being like everybody else.
And when I came to the online world after quitting my job, I was 15 years in corporate. I was a project manager for software projects in corporate. When I decided to quit my job and do my own thing, my first thought went to, okay, so now I need a lot of audience. That was my first thought. It's like, okay. So how do I get a product out there into enough hands so that I can just live off of whatever people buy when I'm sleeping and then live a life. like it's a perpetual vacation, right? But that's what you see online, I'm a human, like everybody else. I saw that dream, that passive income dream, and I wanted to go after it. Right. So I quit my job and I got myself, a business coach. And the first thing she told me. Is that, Hey, you need to go talk to people and help people and you know, let's get you money that way.
And I'm like, yeah, no, I'm not going to do that. No, I am clearly smarter than you are. Right. And all I need to do is just create an online course. I'm going to dump my brain into an online course. Everybody's going to buy it and I'm going to live, you know, on the beach in the south coast of France, right? Like that's going to be my life.
I spent six months completely ignoring the advice of my business coach. And I created this online course that I had never vetted that nobody wanted, nobody had any idea what it was about. And it was doing launches that had nothing to do with this product. I mean, it was all over the place. So after I totally fell flat on my face, someone else got in my ear and they'll be, maybe you should start actually helping people.
And I'm like, ah, maybe, maybe I need to , maybe I just don't have to go on and help people. Uh, so I got myself into more, more coaching and I got to learn a little bit more about. what coaching was really like and what this is. And the way that I define coaching is if you're an adult teaching another adult, how to do something, you are a coach.
You can call yourself whatever you want. You can be a strategist, you can be a consultant, you'll get, you can do whatever you want with the name, but that's how I define a coach. Somebody who's a grownup teaching, another grown up how to do something. And so when I started into online coaching, I just started playing with what is it that I can do?
And through this, I kept thinking I need to grow my audience, but my audience wasn't growing. I thought I was doing all the right things. I was signing up for all the programs I was signing up for all the coaches. And here's the deal. We see all of these very glitzy programs, right? They're going to teach you how to blow up on Tik Tok that are going to teach you how to blow up on YouTube.
Like that's the only person you need, you need to have. And if you buy this course, you're going to get a million downloads. Right. I bought those courses. And it might work, let's say, and I'm just throwing a number out there. Let's say that 20% of the people who sign up for the course actually gets some results.
Right. But what happens to the 80% of us that maybe we are just too bright-eyed right. Like we don't, like, we don't stick with one thing for too long because we call ourselves multi-passionate right. We can't just stick the one thing all the time. So maybe following and following through with a single idea, it's just not in our blood.
So I kept changing my mind about my niche. I kept changing my mind about what clients I wanted to have. And so, because I wasn't sticking to one particular thing, nothing was really growing, but then years later, I had already reached the six figure mark in my business with the business ideas that I had put out there.
And my audience was still not big to this day. At the time of this recording, I still don't have a thousand followers on any platform, but I'm a six-figure entrepreneur. So how does that happen? Uh, and it wasn't until this past year that I decided to just hone in on that, like zoom in on that and say, okay Ina, then how do you do it?
If everybody else is trying to grow their audience, they're not succeeding in growing the audience, but they're still not getting clients. How can I help them realize that, you know what? Just give up. Just don't do that anymore. Just stop growing your audience and the audience will come. There's a time and place for growing your audience, but right now it's not it.
So don't spend the next year continuing to try and fall flat on your face. What if we just prioritize getting you? Getting you clients getting money in the bank. What if we did that? And that's when I, it, everything just kind of fell into place for me because I'm like, now I know how I can help people.
And I have the story to back it up. So this still, this whole thing, I really don't believe that you come up with exactly what you want to do or what you need to do or what you have for people until you start doing something. This is something that just manifested itself to me, something that spoke to me that don't mean a look at the past three years.
What have you excelled at? Well, I have been getting clients regardless. Okay. And let's teach people how to do that. That's really how it happened for me.
Avis: And it goes back to what you were saying about the quality of the people that are in your audience currently, and you have to prioritize your business. You can't make the, your followers or the reach, you can't make that your priority because then you lose sight of the business and it's more important to grow the business. And that's what you did. You focused on your business and you know that everything else will come.
Ina: Exactly. And I love it that you, that you really put it that way, because that was true.
And something that I do right now, that it really, it's not like I go around recommending that people do this because really it's a waste of time. It doesn't really help you any, but I'm going to tell you something that I do that makes me feel really good and gives me the right data. And that is that in my Instagram account, which is @yourengagementcoach and that instagram account, which by the way, I just started brand new seven months ago. Okay. I just decided to just quit my old account and just start fresh because of this thing that I'm telling you, because I needed the quality to be dense. I needed to know that when I look at my audiences, dense with real people who resonate with my message. So how can I make sure that if I'm just throwing spaghetti at the wall and just trying to grow it in whatever, by whatever means possible, I can't.
So, you know what I did when I started my account from scratch, I made it a point. To go in there every single week, analyze the people who had just joined last week and delete, remove, block, anyone who didn't appear to a real person, who was I needed, I needed them to be an entrepreneur. Right. Um, although sometimes I leave it, they look like a real person, but they don't have an entrepreneurial profile.
I will leave them be. So I'm like, Hey, this could be someone who was considering maybe making the leap from their nine to five. So I will leave them there. If you look like a real person, you will stay. If you are a man. Like a weird dude looking for love, like, I'm sorry, you're not gonna find it here. So I'm going to remove you.
Right. So I do that every single week remove people from my account. So when I look at that, the fact that I have 850 followers, I know that all, every single one of them could be an amazing client, a collaboration, a mentor, someone that I would want to talk to. And that's not something that, again, that I recommend to every, everybody, I, I don't think that it helps you.
The algorithm doesn't change because you have removed people. In fact, if you do it too fast, too quickly on Instagram, Instagram may block you because it may detect it as a spammy activity. So like, I don't recommend that people do this. But I want you to learn from what I'm about to tell you, because I've been doing this since the beginning of my account.
I can tell you right now, 30% of everybody who has hit follow on my profile has been bad accounts. It's bots it's accounts that are like random people that you don't really want there. It's people that are not going to be any good to me either way. So think about it that way. If you've never done a clean up on your account, just keep in mind that at least 30% of those don't count.
So when you're, when you're calculating your conversion metrics, right, let's say that you just did a whole campaign to sell something, or you did a whole campaign to try to get some voiceover work and you know that you usually network with other voiceover actors, right? If you put it out there and say, Hey, somebody sending me some work.
If you know, the 30% means nothing, then don't tell yourself, well, but I have 500 people in there. How can 500 people ignore me? I'm like, no, you don't have 500 people. You probably have 300 ish. Right? So it's just something they should just keep in mind so that you don't fool yourself with a vanity metric. That may not mean anything.
Avis: 'Cause a, number obviously is just a number and it doesn't mean anything.
Ina: It really doesn't.
Avis: So let's take a little break and we'll be right back with more from Ina Coveney.
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We're back and we're speaking with Ina coveney, entrepreneur business coach and the host of The Global Phenomenon podcast.
That was one tip that you just, that you gave, what are some other things that people trying to well, when you're trying to find your audience, so say that's the extreme, the example that you just gave, but what are some other things that people can do with their account, may be before they start removing people say, everybody, that is one of their followers is an actual person or a friend that they don't mind them being there. What are some other strategies in order to, to connect with people that actually may be able to help you?
Ina: Okay. Here's the deal with followers. Most people that I ask and most people who are listening to this. If I were to ask them, do you believe that most of the people who follow you, right, that like new followers, right?
The people who have followed you in the past week, do you believe that most of them are strangers? Like they have no idea who you are. You've never talked. You've never interacted. They're just complete strangers that came completely out of the blue. You have no idea where they came from. Yes or no. For the most part, most people say, yes, I don't know who these people are.
Therefore they are strangers. And this is where I would offer a reframe. I want to remind everybody that before somebody clicks on follow their brain has to do a little bit of analysis to decide whether this account is worth following or not, which means that they actually knew who you were before they hit follow..
It's not like Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn is randomly dropping followers into your followers list. They made the decision to follow. So when you think about it, that way, I encourage just to prove my point. I encourage everyone to see as soon as somebody follows them to reach back out and say, Hey, thank you so much for the follow.
How did you find me? Just ask and you will be surprised at how many people found you because you had great content, right? Maybe they found you through a hashtag. Maybe they found you because somebody else tagged you on their posts, right? So you came vetted by a common acquaintance. Maybe they saw you on a summit or they saw you speak somewhere. Maybe they saw one of your stories and they liked it on the set of follow, maybe. So one of your reels and they followed it. So you'd be surprised at how many people you've been dismissing, right, as strangers that, you know, I never want to talk to that person. I don't want to bother them.
I don't want to seem spammy. I don't want to, we don't have a relationship to realizing that no, they're following you for a reason. So when you reach out and you ask them, really find out. Once you do that exercise, you start to convince yourself that people are people who follow you. They already know who you are, which means that that is a great segue to have a conversation. So all you have to do is come up with great organic, authentic, genuine ways to say hello.
I was teaching a class, uh, to my people. Uh, I have a membership it's called Get Clients First because that's all we do is we get clients first. We don't do anything else.
We just get clients. And I was teaching them about this, about engagment. And I encourage them to come up with a way to say hi, and I tried to put together scripts. Right. I tried what I really want to do. I set that. I'm like, okay, I'm going to write down 10 ways that people can say hi on a DM. And I couldn't for the life of me, I give them like two and then I struck them off the page.
And I said, forget about that. The only way that you can have a genuine conversation with someone, if it really, if it really comes from a genuine place. So if somebody starts to follow me, I don't just say hi, thanks for the follow. Where is that going to go? Right. I can ask them a question. I can look at their feed. And interact with their feed.
I mean like, oh my God, I really liked that. Oh my God, you live in France. Oh, that's great. Like the friends is one of my dreams. You're so lucky. Right. It's the effect that I give some people, like if you're standing behind someone in a Starbucks on the Starbucks line, right. And suppose that I go and I tap that person on the shoulder and they turn around and I just kind of stare at them and say, Hi, I don't expect that person to engage in conversation with me.
They may take a few steps forward. They get as far away from me as possible, but if I tap someone on the shoulder and they turned around and I tell them, I love your shoes, where did you get them? What did you think that person is going to say? What would you do? Right. If somebody said that to me, oh my God, I love your shoes.
I promise you. I am not going to turn around and say weirdo and ignore them. I'm not going to, my reaction is probably I got them at Payless and they were only $25. I bet they still have them. Know what size are you? Oh I bet they have them right there. You should go right now. Like, right. Like what are the Starbucks? Or like, if you go through left or right, like, it's right there.
That's that would be my normal reaction, cause that's how normal social beings interact. So it's the same thing online, bring physical interactions to the online world and you'll see, you'll be a lot more effective in creating conversation.
Avis: Yeah, that's a great analogy too. You just don't say, hi, you, you engage. And then you end up having a longer conversation at times and online, that's exactly what you want. And you want that presence because nobody is well now nobody's in person anymore.
Avis: Well, speaking of that, you know, so many people, even though people have had side hustles for a really long time, but over the past two years, people when they were out of work or decided that now most people are working from home, they were like, now I really can focus on this side hustle.
And I want to turn this side hustle into what my dream has been into this small business. What is some advice that you can give outside of your course, of course, that they can market their side hustle, any advice, or any ways that you can maybe help them?
Ina: I know that you're asking me about marketing, but I really feel like there's a really important step even before that. And without the step no marketing you do is going to work. In fact, it's going to fizzle after a week and you're going to just give up. And that is that you have to have your mindset straight and in the coaching world, in the, in the online world, the word mindset is, you know, it's a buzzword. Everybody uses it. You have to fix your mindset, you have to fix your mindset. But what I'm here to tell you is that you can't look at your side hustle and think of it as something that is temporary. You can think of it as something that, well, let me see how it goes for the next couple of months. And if it doesn't take off, then I'll know that it wasn't for me.
That is not the attitude of a winning offer. That is not the attitude of a winning side hustle. That is not the attitude of a business that is going to take off.
Avis: You are absolutely right. And it's so funny because the question that I, that I skipped by accident was how important is the mindset. Yeah. And how you were thinking about your business and your creativity and the marketing. You are absolutely right.
Ina: Avis, I love being a strategist. I would love to come here and just tell you the 1, 2, 3, the entire strategy to promote your business in a successful way, but it's not going to help you without the mindset. So the way that I preach this is you got to have a longevity goal. You gotta know. And I, I, I, I actually just wrote an email to my audience about this, like a really heartfelt email, letting them know that if you're not thinking long-term, you're not going anywhere and it is going to fail, you're just gonna, it's just going to be a self fulfilling prophecy of, well, I give it two months and it didn't take off.
So, you know, I just dropped it. That was going to happen. Like, if that's the mentality you came in with, I'm just gonna tell you right now. Save yourself, the money, the aggravation, the effort, the frustration, and just don't do it because with that mindset, it's just not going to work. The only way that this works is if you think to yourself, I am going to start here, start with this idea, right. Start with this marketing strategy. Stick with it and I'm going to evolve with it. It's okay to learn. I tell people all the time. It's okay to change your mind. It's okay to pivot. It's okay. To try something new. Okay. It's okay to take a break for a week so you can gather your energy again and then start over.
It's okay to do all of that. What is not okay is to quit or to expect to quit or to give yourself a deadline for quitting. So you just start. And you just start going and you'll learn from the best. And you listen to podcasts like yours, right. Inform yourself of what you're supposed to be doing and try it until your execution matches your level of knowledge.
Because I feel like a lot of times we, we stop short. We know we should be doing more, but then we don't do it. And then we just start dropping a thousands of dollars on somebody that I think is going to help me, but then they don't and then I'm in debt. And like, that happens a lot more than you think. So, stop thinking that you need anything else right now, all you need is yourself and what you know, so match your execution to your knowledge.
And once you do that, once you realize like, okay, I have done everything I can, and my business still needs this. That's when you go and invest in that. So, if you will, right now are thinking like, I need clients. Like I just need like people who are going to hire me and I have done everything in my power to market myself.
I've done everything. I know how to do to market myself and to put myself out there and it's still not working. That's when you need to get yourself some help. So that's my advice. If you want your side hustle to take off, it's not a side hustle. It's your new passion is your new devotion. You're going to stick it out until it works. And that could be years from now. And you are okay.
Avis: Where is your mind during this process? So you have to have that mindset that this is what I'm going to do. No matter how many times you fail, you just get up and change your clothes and go on to the next step. You are basically fertilizer for business. That's what I'm, that's what I'm going to call you. You're just a fertilizer for businesses and
Ina: I've been called worse, Avis.
Avis: I know you're like the manure. You're like the manure for the business.
Ina: Thank you. I'm going to put that on my website as a quote. She is the manure of business. It's going to go on my website, like really flashy.
Avis: Well, I guess now was a good time to tell people how they can get in touch with you.
Ina: Yeah, sure. So, um, I spend most of my time on Instagram at @yourengagementcoach. Regular spelling. No, no periods, no dashes. Your engagement coach. Uh, if you go, if you find me through this podcast, send me a DM and tell me, so. Tell me, I just heard your interview with Avis and it was awesome. I'd be so happy to start making a connection with you.
Start practicing that way. So let me know where you came from, but I'll see you on Instagram.
Avis: That's a great. Obstacles are everywhere, but are there any particular obstacles that we need to overcome to put ourselves out there for better, for a better practices and engagement for our businesses or for marketing purposes? Once we have our mindset and everything is going in the right direction, what are some of those, some obstacles that we still may need to overcome?
Ina: My mindset is right. What are some obstacles? I am going to keep saying mindset is going to be your obstacle every day of your life. Like, even if like you believe me and you're like, you know what, Ina, I believe you.
I have my mindset set for longevity. I'm not going to quit. This is it for me. And this is what I'm going to do. The biggest risk to failure is your mindset is I just want to tell you, like, things are going to go wrong, but that's not why things are going to fail. For example, and I'm thinking something very specific suppose that you do a webinar, right?
You do some kind of campaign to bring attention to your services. Um, and it falls flat, right? You don't get any clients. Nobody was interested. Uh, that's not the reason, like, because that thing didn't work, that's not the reason your business is going to fail. The reason your business is going to fail is because of what you tell yourself after that happened.
So I remember when I had my first. Three people showed up. One was my former coworker who just wanted to be supportive of me. One was my cousin and one was my cousin's friend, both living in Mexico. And I knew that we're not going to be paying in U.S. dollars for anything I knew not nobody was going to buy.
And after I finished a webinar, nobody bought in fact, I don't think I pitched, I just, I got too chicken. I'm like, nobody's going to buy, this is embarrassing. I just closed. I said, thank you so much for coming. And I closed it down. And the next day I go and I talk to my business, my business coach, and I just asked her that was fun.
What's next? That is what I want you to think. Every time something doesn't work, you wake up the next day and you say, okay, what's next? How am I supposed to, how should I make that better? Is there anything to salvage here or should I think of a completely different way? Should I go back and do more market research?
Should I be talking to people who want my services and see what is it that they want, but that is what's going to, that is going to be your permanent obstacle. Is you telling yourself, well, this wasn't good enough. Well, I'm not good enough. Well, nobody wants this. What am I doing here? I should just go get a job. That is your biggest obstacle and you have to surpass that obstacle every day, every week and every month here it is.
Avis: Turn your obstacles into opportunities. A great way to think about this, I guess.
Ina: Yeah, you said it better than me. I'm here. I'm here. Like, dude, you're going to be doing some negative stuff. Talk to yourself and you just got to like prepare yourself for it. I guess, I guess that's my point is expected to happen. Don't think that you're unique. Don't think that this is only happening to you because you are. This is happening to everybody around you, but the only people who succeed are the people who move past it. So just be one of those people.,
Avis: What words of wisdom can you offer to people that are entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, creatives, people that are multi-passionate and multihyphenate what kind of, what words of wisdom do you have for, for us today?
Ina: Don't put your destiny in somebody else's hands don't wait for somebody else to hand you. For somebody else to discover you for somebody else to find you the best success stories, especially people in industry, in the entertainment industry are people who have taken matters into their own hands and created their own opportunities, got themselves into the right networks and eventually started helping out the bigger people who pull them up. They were not waiting around for somebody to discover them. They discovered themselves and they put themselves out there.
So that's what I recommend. Always be acting in your best interest. Hire yourself. To do a project and then watch yourself thrive and give yourself whatever you need. Your ice cream at the end of the week, your shopping spree at the end of the week, to continue to incentivize yourself, to continue to motivate yourself, to keep going, but make yourself your own boss. Don't wait for somebody else to give you a handout.
Avis: Great it advice. Do you have any workshops coming up that we can stay tuned?
Ina: You can always find, I have a one workshop that I teach that I, and it's, it's a webinar. It's a masterclass. That is how to get clients with a tiny audience. And you can just always go to tiny audience masterclass.com to see if I'm offering it soon.
Usually I offer it every couple of months, but if you go through that site, it will tell you where to go next. Okay. So tiny audience masterclass.com.
Avis: so you heard it so there's no need not to grow your business. Now you've heard it. And she has left instructions. Ina is, is letting you know, I will help you grow. You can check her out. So please make sure that you like subscribe and share the podcast.
And I'd love it if you leave a review on Apple and Spotify and follow me on social media. That's How We Role on Instagram and listen, wherever you get your podcasts. And if you had an aha moment while listening to this podcast with Ina, send me a DM on Instagram.
I want to know what sparked interest for you. Ina, thank you so much for being here. You are, you are so energetic and vivacious and just so inspirational. You've inspired me.
Ina: Thank you so much for having me, Avis. It's no, it's really nice talking to you. I'm, I'm looking forward to meeting everybody on Instagram @yourengagementcoach.
And since you are on a podcasting app right now, you can just find my podcast where I do teachings every week is called The Global Phenomenon. And thank you so much for this opportunity. It's been fun.
Avis: Thank you for coming.
Thank you so much for taking the time to listen, checking out the podcast. Thank you for inviting me into your space.
And until next time I hope you will continue to thrive, grow and be kind to yourselves and be kind to others.
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