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[Podcast] The Music of Business: Compose Your Own Path to Entrepreneurial Success (Carmen Morin)

By Bob Sparkins  |  Published Aug 24, 2022  |  Updated Feb 08, 2024
Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A marketer with 17 years of experience, Bob has taught over 1,000 webinars and spoken at over 50 events.

The Lead Generation Podcast Episode 35: Carmen Morin

Here’s a fresh perspective: what if you approached your business the same way a professional musician looks at their performance and teaching career? In this episode of The Lead Generation Podcast, award-winning concert pianist Carmen Morin shares lessons she’s learned as a performer, teacher, music school owner, and business coach.

Having performed on stages around the world, and coached other musicians and entrepreneurs of all skill levels, Carmen applies her professionalism to everything she does. Listen to this episode to hit the right notes with your own applauding audience.

Key Takeaways

  • Fear and excitement are part of the learning process. You can’t solidify new levels of yourself without experiencing the adrenaline and uncertainty of what you don’t already know.
  • Mastery grows through teaching. Explaining the process of your skill to others strengthens your own abilities as well.
  • Be a team celebrator. Initial success may come from your own mindset and focus, but exponential growth happens when you surround yourself with A+ people—and then get out of their way so they can do what they do best.
  • Include digital offers, no matter your business. Regardless of the type of service or product-based business you have, adding digital products or memberships can (and should) be a natural extension of what you’re already doing, while opening up the opportunity to help even more people.
  • Price based on value received. Avoid time-for-dollar pricing models.
  • Don’t stop at practicing. Seal in your learning by executing your plans early and often.

Resources Mentioned

Podcast Block Blog@2x

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Get to Know Carmen Morin

Bob Sparkins: Hey, it's Bob. I'm a huge fan of classical music. So, it's a real treat to bring today's guest to you. Carmen Morin is a highly acclaimed classical pianist who has performed on stages around the world. Today, she's sharing lessons she's learned as a performer, teacher, music school owner, and business coach. Be sure to check out leadpages.com/podcast for the show notes and transcripts from this episode, along with a video of Carmen playing a Claude Debussy piece with the beauty of Alberta, Canada, as her backdrop. Let's get to it.

Carmen, it is so great to get the chance to have this conversation with you for the Lead Generation Podcast.

Carmen Morin: Great to be here. Thank you for having me, Bob.

Bob: I'm looking forward to this conversation. I know we've been connected online for years and years now, and finally get a chance to chat. The first question I'd like to know from you is how are the lives of the people that you work with transformed by the work that you do?

Carmen: Oh, that's such a great question. Obviously, I work with people in many different capacities. When I think about my music programs, obviously my background is very specialized as a classical musician. So, something that I've actually been really cognizant about is how I can really mind the gap between highly trained classical musicians and people who consider themselves untrained or non-musical.

Something that I've really focused on in my programs is demystifying so many things about talent and skill building, so everything from all of these strategies and intentions and tools that go into place just in practice, or in building specific skills and in performing, so that when people really start to learn about... It's not just about learning pieces, it's how much are you empowered to be able to craft and shape your own skill and your own talent? So that's definitely something that I focused on in my piano programs, breaking down the skills and really applying them in practical ways so that people can access all of the innate musicality that they have within themselves.

Bob: That's awesome. You do have, by my count, at least four identities that you run with that I want to touch on during this conversation. You're a classically trained and award-winning pianist. You are a teacher of music to students in Calgary, and I'm sure other places now. You also are now the director of a music organization with faculty that you work with. Of course, you're a business coach for others that want to go bigger. I guess my first question in the background perspective is when you go back in time, how did you first find that your talent in music would become a love for music, and then what you would pursue? I did see on your Instagram some lovely photos of you and your dad back in the day. So I'm assuming that'll be incorporated into your story, but tell us a little bit about that background.

Carmen: Absolutely. I come from a musical family, and I'm very fortunate my dad was my first teacher and continues to be my mentor in many things. I think what I recognized at a young age is how inspired I would feel through music and through the process of coming up against challenges and feeling frustrated. There was a lot of active discussion in our house about feeling discouraged and the value of hard work and the value of consistency. When I look back, it was very much a pillar of how we were raised. I think as a young child, you're probably thinking there were a couple recordings when I was, I think, eight years old. I was going to a national finals competition, and they asked me on a TV interview, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And I right away said, "I want to teach piano. I want to be a teacher."

I think at the root of all of the business pursuits that I've done, really as much as music as who I am, I think it's at the core of who all of us are. At the root of everything, I think I would love to teach. I love just that active role that you can play in, first of all, bringing out music, and then it moved really naturally to coaching other teachers and teaching a wider range of students in my music school. Then of course, moving into business coaching. It started out as wanting to support other musicians, of course, but then quickly realized that, wow, there are many, there's such a wide variety of people with different passions that they feel equally as passionate about as I do about music, and really giving them the tools to create lives around sharing that, which I think just makes the world a better place. So it feels like many different identities. But to me, I feel like it's all just the same purpose taking different forms.

Bob: Yeah. It just definitely evolves one way or the other.

Fueling Your Commitment with a Strong Support System

Bob: But I do imagine that either through your own experience or those you've taught, there are periods of burnout, likely. There are periods if there's a lot of pressure, and maybe you thought to shift gears or you've worked with the students that have been in that mindset. How do you decide to just double down on commitment, to maybe take a break, or to pivot entirely?

Carmen: It's interesting because that comes up a lot where people are saying, like, "When are you going to sleep? When are you going to rest?" So my circumstance, I don't share as often just in business, but my familial circumstances is that I'm also a single parent. I built all of my businesses while being a full-time, single parent to my two beautiful children.

A value of mine for many years now has actually been freedom of time. Even though I think I really enjoy the visionary role of shaping new organizations, shaping new missions and visions, I really am a huge geek when it comes to systems and having an outstanding team, and bringing on really fantastic people who are passionate about building something alongside me.

So, I really have a fantastic team in all of these different spaces that it would not be possible without. I'm definitely not a one-woman show. I'm the projector. I like to be the visionary, but then there are a lot of people behind the scenes that are allowing me to build one thing at a time, and then when that is out of its baby stages, then I can feel confident that I'm still doing the responsible thing by moving to something new only when it's time.

Bob: Yeah. Getting a good support system is an absolute must, even as someone who does have a partner, as a parent, it's still... It needs a lot. So I admire the work that you're able to do in that situation, for sure.

Epiphanies in a Fluffy Dress

I have to ask, because I'm such a fan of the music that you play on Instagram and classical music in general, do you have a favorite stage memory that maybe was back in the earlier stages of your performing career, or a piece of music that you just come back to again and again?

Carmen: Yes. I have many wonderful memories. Probably one of my favorites that really stands out in my mind is when I first performed as a soloist with an orchestra, and I was 10 years old and I was performing the Ravel piano concerto as part of winning a competition. I just remember it felt like a shift for me going from student, not that... When you're a younger student, the way that you learn is you have to first do, and then you learn how to do it on your own and in your own way, so many of us do in many circumstances.

But that was probably my first shift where I was like, get me out on this stage; I want to get out there. I have something to say. I just remember thinking, owning how I was doing everything. Little 10-year-old me and my little fluffy dress. But I think that was probably one of my memories where I really felt just this spark and fire, that it just felt magical, really, to be connecting with all of these people and just feeling those who are... Everyone when they have their different passions, that feeling when your heart, your chest is on fire, and you're really just channeling a lot to those around you. I remember feeling that very powerfully on stage at that moment. That was a pivotal time where I caught the bug and I was in this for sure.

Understanding Fear vs. Excitement

Bob: I have to ask this, then. Some people look at that and they're like, "I'd be scared out of my mind," and then there's others that are using that as that fuel to say, "I want more of that." How do you help your students now to overcome what could be conceived as stage fright? And otherwise, it's just a precipice of taking a leap.

Carmen: Yeah. I think something that we talk, again, very actively about in performance training and mental training is that it's not different. It's not that you don't feel the fear. It becomes that adrenaline ends up being something that you rely on. You think of it as excitement, that there are hormones coursing through your veins that are going to make you even more alert than you could possibly be when you were just practicing. It gives you that edge. So it's not a matter... I talk about this very regularly. It's not that you don't get those feelings when you go out on stage; you just are a little deconditioned to know that this is all part of it.

When you are on that cusp of feeling that edge and that excitement and that nervousness, really you're on the cusp of sealing and solidifying something new within yourself through that experience. You literally, you can't go through that solidification. You can't go through that unless you push past that feeling. So it ends up just being something that you embrace.

It's not that you enjoy, of course we would all love to just feel entirely in control, and like we can tell the future. It ends up just helping you to build more trust in your skills and your ability to adapt and all of the training and experiences that you have before that. So it's not that it goes away, and it's not that I wasn't afraid on that stage, but it was a different type of that fear that you lean into, and what's very valuable is the thing.

Bob: I'm reminded of a quote from a gentleman named Fritz Perls, who said, "Fear is excitement without the breath in it."

Carmen: Oh!

Bob: I always think back to that-

Carmen: Beautiful.

Bob: ... whenever I get that like edge of my feeling this is a fear or just can I take a breath and go full tilt to it.

Carmen: Beautifully said. Yep. Because I try to reframe fear and nervous as excitement. Fear is without the breath in it. That's very nice. I might borrow that quote for a student.

Bob: Please do, because I do all the time.

Going from Practitioner to Teacher

Bob: As a performer, you've been on some great stages. You're recognized by Steinway Hall of Fame, all that kind of groovy stuff. How did you decide to make teaching of your skill part of who you are as a musician?

Carmen: It's funny. Actually, I feel like teaching was always first for me. In teaching, I think it's even coming full circle to things like business coaching. I really do feel that when you can teach something, you understand it more deeply than ever experiencing it. There's that, I think it's an Einstein quote. I should really find out because I use it a lot. "If you can't teach something to a six-year-old, then you really don't understand it yourself." If you can break things down and really understand tools of how things work... It's one thing to be good at performing, but it's another thing to be able to break it down and say, "Here's exactly why that performance went well, and here's exactly why that performance didn't go well." That's an entirely different skill.

So I feel like I was always... Well, even before opening my school, I taught at our university here in Calgary, Mount Royal University, and performing was something that I obviously still love and will always love, but I feel like the teaching was always coming first. Even my continuation of performing was really being mindful of, I'm committed to my students, but I have to keep developing myself as a performer and as a musician, if I'm going to continue to teach. So it just had this healthy synergy that brought out great success in both luckily. But I think I continue to look at both sides of those as just that growth mindset of you're always improving, and you can't stagnate. Just because I have all those tools to teach this level doesn't mean that I'm done. You're never done. Yeah.

Bob: Yeah. That reminds me of my worst quote that I think should be rid from the world, which is those that can do and those that can't teach, just frustrates me to no end, because you need to know all the mechanics to really help transfer the knowledge from one to the other, right?

Carmen: Oh, 100%. Yeah. I agree with that quote. It makes you wonder who said that quote and what their skill set is. To have the highest level of awareness and understanding of something, you have to be able to teach it. If you don't, then you don't. You're still working to get there. So I agree.

Collaborate with Other Masters for Bigger Impact

Bob: You now have this director role of music school. Some folks who are really good at what they do, they keep it to themselves and others lean into collaboration. What made that shift for you possible? And how do you see that as a major part of your career trajectory?

Carmen: First of all, I love collaboration. That's one of my favorite words. I think everything that we do, even when we teach our private piano students, we're always letting the parents know: This is a collaborative experience. The collaboration is huge. I personally believe, and I feel like I have experienced, that all creativity, all learning, all growth... I look at everything as a flow, a channel of a river. So anytime that I block and I stop sharing things out and stopping that flow, and I try to save it all for myself or keep my secrets and all of those different things, less flows to me. The more that I flow it out, channel things to others, support others, definitely more flows to me. Like, I think it's just a natural, healthy way to exist: share what we have. There's no fear of anything because the stronger that current is, the more just flows in my direction for all things.

Definitely, I'm feeling that inspiration of how you can support students. But what I've also had happen in my role owning my private music school is my students that I've taught since they're five, now they're in university and they're teaching piano and it's, I'm here. Like, we are still working together. Let me show you how to teach. Let me show you how to get your students to be prepared. It's just the same principles, the same energy flow.

Bob: That's really cool. I'm fascinated by that journey that you've had. I want to know, has there been something that you've had to learn or better to unlearn to become better as a director and owner of your private school versus performing and teaching?

Carmen: Oh, absolutely. I think starting my school and just being a small business owner, and what we talked about at the beginning of this interview, is relying on the system and the support and the team around you. I think when you are performing, especially as a pianist, we do chamber music, but often most of my performing has been as a soloist. Like, you are on stage. It is you. It is on you if you're going to get yourself in or out of any situation, it's all on you. And your practice time is alone. It's a mental game. It's a mental discipline. It's all of these things.

I think when you are working as a small business owner, and we've got a team of about 43 teachers on faculty, and then our staff, is knowing what your role is and then knowing how to step out of the rest of the team's way. So not micromanaging, letting other people shine through in their own unique ways because there's so much that I can learn from them from having this team around. I think that was one where now I rely very heavily on systems, but probably my first three or four years of business, the school's been open for about nine-and-a-half years now, it was just me doing everything, which I think lots of self-employed business owners do way too much. If I could go back to 10 years ago Carmen, I would say, this is meant to be a group project in many ways.

Bob: Was there a time where you shifted from only providing piano at your school and then all these other instruments that I see at your studio now? Or from the beginning, did you say, let's bring the whole orchestra in, basically?

Carmen: Yeah. When I opened my commercial school, right away, we welcomed other instruments for sure. I think there was just a natural way of piano students also wanted to sing and also their siblings wanted to play guitar. So there was a natural way. But I actually started, even before I opened my commercial school, I was running the, I guess I would call it a community collective, where it was myself and I was running and providing leads and students for about seven different piano teachers. It started as this group of piano teachers where I was supporting and setting up with students and training. But when I opened my commercial school, for sure, right away I knew we wanted to have the other instruments there.

Bob: Yeah. That's good. I ask that in part because there are people who consider let's expand our coaching business, for example, to have a few different modalities or something like that. I'm always curious of when that decision gets made, and it's a lot of times the earlier the better because the more in this world of collaboration, and you can't serve everybody by yourself, I think that brings a lot of diversity into what you're able to bring to the table.

Carmen: Absolutely.

Expect the Need to Figure Things out

Bob: Cool. As you look back at that trajectory of the studio and of the private school, has there been an obstacle or roadblock that you ran into that you look back to now as a major learning and maybe even a springboard towards continued success?

Carmen: I know it's great to have... Obviously, we've had our challenges. Obviously, that was one of me doing too much. I think just being a musician, we've really approached everything with that growth mindset of whatever's coming, let's make it work. Like, we actually branched off into our online programs in 2018 before everyone was doing it with the pandemic, obviously. It was all just it makes it fun, just that constant learning. We expanded our studio space because I had one bay in our complex and we were full. So, I expanded actually in September of 2019. This was like four months before the world kind of closed. That was one of those... But it was just another... I just see every kind of potential bump in the road. It just gives you new skills to adapt.

But when you think about music, and I always relate this back, but people think that you are practicing and focusing on repeating skills and solidifying the same skill over and over again. That's very much not the case. Practice is all about adding in challenges and testing the strength of your skills and seeing if it withholds. So you do different practice techniques, different strategies. I feel like that mindset, that's how my whole world has been built since I was two years old is when I started playing piano, is here's a skill you have, let me throw this wrench in it and see if you can figure it out. That's really what practicing is all about.

So, I feel like that is something that I really communicate out. I speak to corporations and different industries with that skill in mind, is nothing is really a failure, and not in a cliche way, because everything is just like throwing a wrench and saying, see if you can figure this out? What skill do you have that will come from it? So, if that answers your question, I look at everything. We've definitely had challenges. We've definitely had learning curves, but everything's all just part of building this skill.

Bob: It's nice that it's expected, then you don't feel like it comes out of nowhere. You just expect some stuff's going to come up and I think of...

Carmen: 100%.

Bob: I think of the violinists whose strings break when they're in the middle of a Tchaikovsky concerto, right? It's just, you got to keep doing what you got to do.

Carmen: 100%. Or have you seen that video where there's the flutist and the butterfly lands on her nose? Have you seen that on the internet?

Bob: I have not.

Carmen: I think she's in the finals of a competition and it's an outdoor fest and literally a giant, beautiful, monarch butterfly lands on her nose and she just keeps playing. It's one of those things when you go out and perform, and from childhood, it would always be told from my dad and from other teachers, it's not what will you do if something happens; it's when something happens, how will you adapt and get out of it? So I think that when I think of what I'm thankful for, obviously in music, but the training itself, you can tackle anything because you have this framework to do so.

Experiencing Freedom Through Music

Bob: In a moment, I want to shift over towards the types of ideas you have for businesses to grow. But first, in preparation for today's conversation, I looked back at a video that you did in September of 2020, a few months into the pandemic. You're in the middle of a field, maybe it's the edge of a golf course. I can't quite tell. You're playing a Debussy piece in the middle of the mountain landscape of Calgary. Beautiful. I just want to know what's the story behind that video? Because it's a beautiful video in the first place, but it had to have a vision and then an execution, and then there's drone stuff going on. So what's the story behind that video?


Carmen: That was a lot of fun. I've got lots of projects in the works, obviously juggling everything. I can't wait to share more like that. But that was a lot of fun, really where that came from is a lot of what I was speaking about at the time in my programs and in my music podcast was just about the freedom that you experience when you have the skills and the tools to just let your emotions, your thoughts flow through you. So, it kind of came through this idea of freedom and experiencing freedom through music. Then obviously, I'm just a huge nature lover. So you're right. That is Stewart Creek Golf Course in Canmore, Alberta. After many different places, that's very close to the provincial park. So we had lots of different roadblocks come up with where we can shoot drone footage in the mountain, like there's helipads and there's all these kind of security things. So that ended up being, we were able to find private space with the mountains as the backdrop.

Yeah. It just came together. It was Debussy’s “Reflets dans l'eau.” It was something that it came together within three weeks. It was like, if you can get an audio recording, and it was like a week later, I was in studio recording this piece that I hadn't played for a year or so. It was a relearn, pick up this piece, hope I can still play it kind of thing. Then we brought the piano, a beautiful Steinway, thank you to Steinway Piano Gallery Calgary, just huge supporters, that they had a piano that they used lots for outdoor festivals. We brought that out at about five o'clock in the morning and it was right... Like, the weekend following that there was frost. So we wouldn't have been able to bring the piano out to the mountain. So it was kind of all these wonderful things that came together.

Then finally the piano was there and everything just went calm and quiet, and just playing... The acoustics were actually fantastic out there because you were right by the water and the mountain. It had this really kind of magical resonance of being there. It was lovely. It was literally... the translation of that, the name of that piece is reflections in the water. It was next to the water, and there were this family of ducks that kept swimming next to the piano. I could go on and on obviously. But it was all rooted in freedom through music and through creativity and just a love of nature. And that's what came together.

Bob: All right. It is a really cool thing to watch.

Carmen: Thank you.

Avoid These Mistakes When Going Global

Bob: Let's switch gears now to your zone of entrepreneurial genius that you're pursuing these days, which is business coaching. You've had success with your own music school, and you've been able to now branch out and add another layer to your entrepreneurial pursuits. The first thing is, as you're helping your clients go global with their passions and their expertise, these are super talented people, not just musicians, service professionals, etc. Can you share first maybe a misconception that people have when they think about going global, when they think about expanding their service-based business or their talent-focused business into something that could become bigger?

Carmen: Absolutely. I think one of the things that really came through is many business owners will think, "Okay, I'm offering my in-person services local in my brick-and-mortar business, or I can become an online business owner and an online entrepreneur and course creator, and that's going to involve me being a social media influencer and posting reels every day and all these different things." They really think it's one way or the other.

The reality of it is that right now, 2022, all small businesses should really... You can leverage digital programs. I try not to say should, but really it will benefit so much by leveraging digital programs, digital assets, not as a separate path on their business, but as part of their entire entity and the power that digital programs and assets offer when it comes to automation and the way that you can grow your revenue, your global authority, your profile in the world. Really, it's so uniquely powerful when you leverage digital programs in this way. It doesn't have to be in a way where you are going on a different path. You're shutting down your brick-and-mortar business.

So really, what I've been teaching small business owners and service providers is what I've done with my own business, which is creating this entity where it's hybrid, where you are able to leverage what needs to be able to multiply by tens of thousands around the world, and then funnel it and direct it in a way that's entirely custom to your business and what you offer in your own services, whether that be in-person local, or live on Zoom like this.

So it's been really exciting. I think the move to start offering that, it began as I'm going to help other musicians, but then quickly meeting and realizing that there are so many people who have their own specialties and niches that they are so passionate about, the way I am passionate about music, and that if they just have these tools at their fingertips, they can just really take and run with it in a big way.

Bob: For those that are listening and hearing, well, that sounds like a good idea, Carmen. What's the first step that I want to take? What are the first steps that a new person who has a professional skill set or an existing brick and mortar, they've been doing very well, but they do want to go digital, go global? What's the first step that they should be thinking about?

Carmen: Obviously, we have a very clear framework of how students will take their expertise and productize it in a way that is really unique and customizable to them. But what I always try to encourage business owners to do is think of the ways that you have been unique in your own business, avoiding the commoditization of what you do. Where if I teach piano, there are tens of thousands of other people in the world who teach piano. What is unique about the way that I offer this?

If you really think about how you've built out your own solo service providing, or your brick and mortar business, that has really been what has made you successful, is not just that I teach piano, but it's the way in which I do it. It's the unique way in which I make you explore, not just how to play a piano piece, but the skills that you are building. So, that's really what has set me and my school apart, is that we're really focusing in this way.

Then being able to productize that is not just... I think what happens often is people kind of strip away all of those unique elements that make them so special and make them really stand out, and they say, "Okay, here's an eight-module course that teaches you exactly how to play these Bach inventions, and by the end of that, you're going to be able to open up all your talent to piano." As a contrary, it's a matter of really infusing and maintaining those things that made you stand out in your business in the first place.

What happens is when you think in this way, not only do you create such a unique value in what you offer, that even though you're entering the global market, you cannot be replicated and you've created that market of one. What happens is you're really able to go global and build this online component of your business with the same principles that you used in your small business, which is those long-term relationships, thinking of the entire journey.

We have people actually in my group program who tried to build a course before with different consulting agencies and they have just made a course, and then that's it. Maybe they made some revenue with the course, but if you think about the principles of how you built your business, if someone came to me for one piano lesson, and then never came back, that's not a good sign. I want to think about the long-term success and the long-term value that I'm going to offer them, that collaborative relationship. All of those things are still possible, are very much possible when you move into the online world.

I think that's where things get left, is they think too much about packaging and turning it into a product and removing that element that makes it you. So just knowing that all the automation, all the platforms, all the wonderful, powerful things that we now have at our disposal is about amplifying us and what makes us unique as humans to other humans, not just making a product, non-living thing that lives on a shelf.

So I think when you approach it that way, then it becomes very natural and organic that your online programs become a very healthy and powerful and valuable piece of your entire business entity, that not only amplifies the amount of message that you can spread around the world, but also automates your revenue and is like an employee that can work 400 hours a week without having to bring on more space and more people on your team.

When you think about it, the online learning world is still very much in its infancy. I think for us to know... The approach that I've taken in my business coaching is very similar to piano training, where it's skill-based and principle-based. So it's not just saying here's my pages and here's exactly what I do it exactly this way. It's saying, here's why I've done it this way, and that's why it suits my business. If your business runs a little bit differently and you offer your services a little bit differently where you want them to eventually have interaction with you, then what would you change? And make it that custom part of our business, just like anything else that we could integrate.

Bob: What I hear from earlier in this conversation, and now, is whatever you're doing to grow another layer of your business is it should be a natural extension of what it is that you're currently doing and currently excited about.

Carmen: 100%. Yes.

Scaling Beyond Replacement Income

Bob: Cool. For those that have been doing this for a little while and they maybe have a year or two of a track record, what's that next step that takes them from being an income replacer or another avenue that feels foundational to really ramping up success? What's the inflection point? What causes that for you?

Carmen: I think when I really felt the turning point in my, because obviously I've set this all up in my own music school, is really setting up again where it fits into the entire structure. You have this foundation of obviously generating income and this huge pool of potential customers underneath everything else that you have in your existing business model, but then really getting intentional about how you can interact with those people at the highest value turning points in their journey, where they are still getting that long-term value. They're experiencing that transformation the same way, in many ways than they would if you were working with them one on one. When you're really intentional about that, it leads to more purchases and more revenue, obviously, on the practical side of things.

But again, when you're approaching things like you want them to be just as successful as your local students are, you see a completely different thing take place. Just huge community, really loyal customers, building those relationships, and you're able to do it at scale because you've built things out this way, but you're not feeling like you're having to lower the quality.

So again, I think it all comes back to just maintaining what's the value that you want to offer to people, and what's the transformation that you want them to experience. When that is front of mind and you're coming at it in that way, you're able to really build something out that leverages automation, but in the ways that will still allow you to really impact your students.

How to Price Your New Digital Products and Programs

Bob: As you're having conversations with your students in these programs, do you dive into pricing? I often see that a lot of folks who go from the service and in-person kind of work have a difficult time developing a pricing model that works and scales and serves them at the same time.

Carmen: Absolutely. We work on everything. We go from designing their offer to, of course, to pricing. Actually, as you can imagine with what I've shared, we start with our value-based offer first. So everything comes back to, again, this is I think from being a teacher and believing that when you impact people in the way that you want, the money will come. The proper pricing, the money will always flow in that way. So we actually start with the value-based offer. Even before the program, we design and offer that we know we are designing exactly what they need to truly be successful, to be successful long term. From that, you end up with a very high value and unique offer that you are sure and confident will lead them to success. Then from that, yes, we break down specific value-based pricing from that.

Much of what I'm working with our business owners inside global small business is our first kind of potent product and really most impactful program, that if we didn't do anything else, this would be something that we were happy to just have this be our only program, is on, I won't say premium because there are obviously very wide ranges of premium, but it is something that is higher touch, where they are generating a healthy amount of revenue, but then also having that impact on their students.

Then from there, also teaching them the strategies of how do you branch off into something lower ticket or very high-end VIP premium, so that they are learning these skills within most high impact programs that they can offer and then learning how they can branch it off into different types of offers and different types of interactions with their students.

Continue Learning from Carmen

Bob: Love it. As we wrap up our conversation, I have one final question. But before that, the penultimate question is how can people learn a bit more from you, Carmen, as someone who could teach them a thing or two about business?

Carmen: My main site is CarmenMorin.com. That will bring you to both my music programs and to my coaching site. But if you are a business owner and think this hybrid model would potentially work well for you, I do have a very in-depth training that I offer by application only, which is at my business coaching website, so CarmenMorinCoaching.com/training. There are obviously other resources and things on my site, but that's a great place for if you want to understand how the whole framework works and why it's worked so well for service-based business owners, you can take a look there.

Bob: Awesome. Of course, as with all of our episodes, that'll be in our show notes headquarters. That, of course, is leadpages.com/podcast.

Inspirational Thoughts to Keep You on Track

Bob: Carmen, as we wrap up, is there a mantra or a quote that you live by or that you remind yourself of on a frequent occasion when you want to just go to that next level or just double down on focus, or something maybe you heard back in the day as you learned how to practice better? Anything that sticks out to you as a theme for your business success?

Carmen: I want to come up with a really inspirational quote, but I think the first one that comes to mind that seems to be one that I live by is one that my dad would always say, which is that, "If you're failing to plan, you're planning to fail," which is a very kind of dry quote that I know many people hear, but I think I apply to everything. So performing, teaching, business coaching, is that really, if you take the time to break down the structure and the system and the steps of everything that it is that you want do, there's a solution right there for you.

I am currently living a lot of the plans that I made 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, or when I was 8 years old saying I wanted to be a teacher and have a school. Of course, I believe in manifestation and positive thinking, but more than anything, I believe in setting up an action plan and having clear steps that will take you from where you are to where you want to go.

Bob: I lied to you just now. I said that was the last question. But your quote makes me think of another question because I think a lot of people do feel like fail to plan is planning to fail. How do you go from plan to action? Because I think there's a lot of people that listen and they're just so much in the planning that they're not really sure the plan is perfect enough yet for them to go and do it. How do you answer that particular question?

Carmen: That's a great question. And you know what? I will say here's another quote that I use very often, is that "business is not a spectator sport," is that you can do all the planning, all the reading, all the thinking, but you have to get out and test those skills. I again think this comes back to music because when you think of practice, there's this final step where you have to put your skills under pressure and then you have to execute. That is actually how you seal your skills. So many people get to that last step and they go, "Oh, I need another week before I play on stage. Oh, I need another... I'm going to do the next recital," and they keep holding back on that.

But that execution is actually when you seal your skills and that is something that you just have to get out and get started. Even with my, I will say with my programs, you get a plan in place and there are so many things that I would love to add to my websites, different videos, different things. But you get that minimal viable product or program, where you can really test out your offer, test out your presenting, test out all of these things and you learn so much more than you ever would in reading a business book.

Bob: Awesome. Thank you so much, Carmen, for spending some time with us today and being a member of The Lead Generation.

Carmen: Thank you for all that you do. I am a huge fan of Leadpages. We use it in our brick-and-mortar business, our online business, our coaching business, everything. So thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Bob: You're very welcome.

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Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A former high school history teacher turned entrepreneur and marketer, Bob has educated business owners worldwide on how to leverage lead generation to grow their brands for over 18 years. Bob is a conversion expert, specifically when it comes to landing pages. Hosting over 1,000 webinars, he has walked thousands of business owners through advanced strategies to help them optimize their pages and maximize their leads and sales. Bob works with Leadpages affiliates and users to ensure they have all the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to build high-converting landing pages that grow their businesses.

The Lead Generation Podcast Episode 35: Carmen Morin
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