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Here’s the transcript of my latest interview with the amazing Hannah Martin, Founder of Talented Ladies Club.
Jane: Well, hello and welcome back to my Careers Podcast where I interview fascinating professionals who have made amazing career changes or have been very successful launching their entrepreneurial ventures. I’m really happy today because I’m holidaying actually in London and I’ve just taken the train down to Worthing to meet with the founder of Talented Ladies Club, Hannah Martin. I’ve had her on the show twice before and the business is growing exponentially, it’s absolutely amazing. And she’s helping lots of women who are transitioning into their own businesses and need the support. And so, let’s welcome Hannah back on to the show and find out what she’s been up to.
Hannah. Thank you Jane.
Jane: And before we actually have a really nice smoked-salmon lunch, we’ll do this podcast. So tell me, what have you been up to? What’s Talented Ladies Club doing at the moment?
Hannah: I should say it’s growing enormously. We have about 68,000 people a month on the site now. We’ve grown a membership club and we’ve online products, we do a Twitter course called Twitter Tune up and we do a course called Back to Work, you’ll love, for women who have taken a career break and then want to resume their careers. And now we’re looking at 2017 and planning the site. So the big thing for us right now is planning our re-design. We designed the site four years ago, so we’re looking at how we can improve that to make sure that the site design and navigation fits and people actually use it. And we’re also planning some really exciting things in 2017 including a new start-up club, which would be a 12-month program for people who have a business idea but don’t know what to do next or how to turn it into a business and it takes them month by month through a process that shows them how to do it.
Jane: How exciting! That’s really good. Sounds like me. I’ve got a business and I’d like to grow it even more.
Hannah: Oh you see, we’ve got the Growth Club so, we’re also doing, we launched, we’re going to launch that in January but later in the year, we’re going to launch the Growth Club which is for people like you and that is a position we’re in right now that you have a business, you’ve grown it from the start up to a particular size, but then to take it to the next level is quite a big leap. You almost sort of plateau in your business and you get comfortable with where you are and then you get bored with where you are. But you don’t really know what decisions to make to take it, what direction to take, first of all, and then what decisions do you need to take to get there, so the Growth Club will be tackling people at that stage and helping them get past that difficult, sort of between, and it’s team’s business. You’ve had your baby and toddler years and early childhood and now you’re ready to grow up.
Jane: Yes. So often when you’re running a business. You do tend to get stuck at a certain level. I certainly was stuck three years ago and then I took a number of steps to grow the business, it’s going really well and now I’ve come to another plateau. But before we talk about the Growth Club and that new side, let’s just find out a bit more about your existing offerings. What is this Twitter Growth Strategy Training Program?
Hannah: Oh. It’s the Twitter Tune Up. It’s a two-week course. It’s online and we open it up every couple of months or so. And it basically shows businesses who are either, they want to go on Twitter and not on it already, or they’re already on Twitter, but they don’t really get it. And I’ve been there. When we first went on Twitter I didn’t really understand how it worked. I wasn’t using it terribly well and I hired a Consultant to teach me and as soon as she did and explained things, I just got it and then when I got it, I flew and we acquired 10,000 followers or 11,000 followers, I think it was, within a year and now we’re at 32,000. But it’s, it, Twitter is one of those things that you just need to understand it, it’s all about learning a language and becoming fluent in it.
So what Twitter Tune Up does, is it takes you from the basics, getting your profile right, because in order to attract the right followers you need to have the right profile and that’s a basic mistake I see a lot of people making. So from the basics of your profile, right through to planning a strategy, building your audience, learning how to write tweets that would get engagement or get you sales, would get you traffic to your site, through to creating a system and automating it so you can, like us, we spend half an hour a day on Twitter and that is it. We send up hundreds of tweets a week and we’ve got 32,000 followers, it’s growing all the time and we spend half an hour a day on it. So I teach you all of that and how to set up a very, very simple system.
Jane: That sounds fantastic. Actually you know, it’s so hard on Twitter, ’cause I’ve been on it for a while and was wondering how do I get engagement. I’m not getting engagement because I get people following and people are liking and occasionally they share, but I felt like it’s, it’s too much like, almost like a sales effort and I’m not getting the engagement so then I can get to know people. But actually today on the train, it’s quite funny, I just tweeted that I’m on the train down to Worthing and I feel like the girl on the train, you know, ’cause I’ve read the book and I love the book so much and there was someone who I worked with about a year ago who I didn’t even know was following me. He goes, “Ohh, I remember the train and the tube in London. I don’t miss it at all.’ And, and, so, so I just tweeted back to him and so on. This is the engagement that I want. So what I realized is, actually not so much all about careers all the time, but having a little bit of me in it…
Hannah: Yes. Absolutely.
Jane: …what I’m doing and then mixing it with you know, whatever programs I have or career advice or an inspirational meme . I think that that’s probably the key, would you say?
Hannah: Absolutely. You know, being personal on there is really important but also it’s just enga..talking to people. Think about Twitter as having conversation. If you go to a party and you sit in the corner and you didn’t talk to anyone and you sat there with your head in your phone, looking unapproachable, no one’s gonna talk to you and you’ll go home and you’ll say what a miserable bunch of unfriendly people. But if you go to that same party and you walk up to someone and say, ‘Hello, I’m Jane, what do you do?’ Or, “isn’t this a lovely evening?” they’ll talk back to you and Twitter’s no different. One really, really quick and simple way if you want to build engagement and build relationships, is spend five minutes a day, go on your Home Feed, just scroll down it and re-tweet people’s, people’s photos and just reply to them. If someone says, “Oh I can’t wait for my first morning coffee”, you can reply and say, “Oh same here. I’ve just got mine. It’s really as simple as that. Just initiate conversation to people and before you know it, you start to build relationships and you’ll just seem as someone who’s friendly. It’s that simple.
Jane: 06:39 so true. We have to share the story Hannah of how we met because, it’s about three years ago?
Hannah: Yes. Three years ago.
Jane: Three years ago. I was walking along from Brontide to Bronte with one of my daughters’. It was a beautiful day. It was summer in Sydney and it was just gorgeous so I took a picture and as my daughter and myself actually at the beach and I tweeted and I put a hashtag, I think, #beachsunsea whatever it was. And then someone liked it and re-tweeted it and I think maybe tagged you in it. I wasn’t quite sure exactly how how we ended up conversing.
Hannah: No. They just re-tweeted it and it appeared in my feed because they re-tweeted it.
Jane: Ya. Ya. And then you said something.
Hannah: I replied.
Jane: You replied and then I replied and I remember that night was so funny, ’cause we kept tweeting each other and my husband was saying, “What, what are you doing?” I said, “I met someone on Twitter. It’s really quite fun and you know she used to live in Hong Kong and I told her I’m Eurasian and she knows all these people, you know, like who are very much like me and the Eurasians and it was quite interesting. And then after that, it was really just because we had that common ground that I finally asked what it is that you do and found out that you have Talented Ladies Club which sounded so interesting and one thing led to another and next thing I had you on my podcast …
Hannah: And now we’re in Worthing.
Jane:. And now, I’m in Worthing.
Hannah: In my kitchen.
Jane: I’m in Worthing by the Sea, so it’s lovely. Okay. So you’ve got the Twitter course, which is great and then you have the other one which is ….
Hannah: Back to Work You’ll Love. Yes.
Jane: How does that work?
Hannah: So that is another online course. It’s aimed at women who had a career break to raise a child or not necessarily to raise a child. One woman I spoke to, she had taken time out she was helping her Mom who was sick. And, but then, you see, you’ve had a career break and you want to get back into work but you’re lacking in confidence. You may feel your job skills are rusty. This is probably sounding very familiar to you.
Jane: It’s what I do all the time. Yes.
Hannah: Job skills are rusty. You don’t really know what’s out there and how to get it and you’re also unsure whether actually you want to return to exactly what you left anyway because you’ve changed as a person. The first module of that is all about, it’s not even about job hunting. It’s about working out who you are. Who you are now. What you love doing. What are you great at? What really, what gets, gets you out of bed in the morning, what gets you fired up? So it takes you from that and then we go through to the barriers that are holding you back and the lack of confidence, guilt. A massive female problem is, a lot, all these things that we speak to a lot of women, they talk about that maybe stop them just going out and looking for the things they love doing. And then we teach them job hunting strategies. So yes, there’s there’s that as well.
Jane: Sounds good. It’s very similar really to my Seven Steps Careers Program. But your focus really is getting women who have taken a little bit of a break perhaps you know because they are having children. And I actually, it does, affects them so much, because, I know a lot of women who feel like because they have returned to work, are not taken quite as seriously as they were before and that can be quite a challenge or else maybe there’s redundancy you know, when they’ve come back from maternity, which can be a worry. Or else they’ve just realised that they need a bit more life balance because they want the flexibility to be able to you know, be a good Mom as well. And it’s really hard to find something that’s just right. And you’ve experienced that a little bit.
Hannah: Women who have chosen to go back to work are often the most productive the most efficient and very motivated. You know I know as a mother returning to work, I’ve returned to work because I love what I do and I want to do it and my brain is just saying get me out of the house, get me doing stuff and I want to go home and be a Mom, but I want to go to work and be a career woman. And I don’t have time to spend half an hour on drunken escapades any more. If I’m in at work and I know I’ve got six hours I’m in the office for, like we do here and I have an office in town and I drop my kids off at school, I walk straight to the office, I go from the office to school and then I come home. Those hours I’m in the office, I don’t even stop for lunch, I just plough through because that’s so precious and I’ve got so much I want to get done that I know I can’t afford to slack off and I know many working Moms who are very similar.
Jane: Yeah. Yeah. I’m so glad you’ve got those two courses. They sound great and then what about your membership site, Talented Ladies Club?
Hannah: So we’ve got kick start. So kick start at the moment is a sort of library star membership program, so you join it and as soon as you join, you have access to I think it’s like a 130 workbooks. It’s load,11:22 and it’s great because it has lots of content, but for me, so we run it now for about a year and half in total, we did a Beta version and we launched it 11:32 last September. The problem I have with it is that it doesn’t really take you on a journey. You have to be motivated when you join it and you have to know what you want to work on as point in time and find those things out for it and then know what you want to work on next. And I think what would benefit me if I was in a position our members are in, is having a guided program because I, I feel a bit lost and I actually think joining a club when you get 12:03 could be overwhelming. And you might join it and dip in for a bit and then think, “God, I don’t know what to do next. I don’t even know which ones to look at first.”
So what I’ve done, is I’ve taken the content there and restructured it into a 12-month program and also putting into it exercises that you have to do as you go along. And I’m going to take people through in cohorts. So it’s only going to open every two months, and then people would join and you join as a group and those are the people that you go through that journey with and you share that journey with those people. And the content is designed to take you on a very specific pathway so that you do make progress and we feed it to you in an order that that really works. So the Start Up Club really is sort of a kick start on steroids. It’s it’s just taking that idea and rather than just sort of leaving you to find your own path, it’s showing you a path to take.
Jane: That sounds like a really good concept, because having a staggered intake and in a way it sounds like you’re going to be rebuilding a community of people who all start about the same time and they’re on that same journey and they’re learning about the same things at the same level and they can actually help each other as they go along and probably even after they’ve finished the 12-month journey with you, they will remain as a really good network of support for each other to carry on. So how does this actually works? Someone would sign up for it?
Jane: And then what happens?
Hannah: So they sign up for it. They would then, they would be the online community which they’re part of, and that’ll be actually two. There will be, they will have a private group for that particular cohort that just they are members of, and then they will be the largest set of private Facebook group for everyone who’s on that program, no matter what stage they’re in. so they have access to both those. But then14:02 so they’ll join up and then they’ll just begin the journey. They’ll join up and then on the first of the month that their course starts, they will get access to the first month’s contents and the first month’s exercises. There’s always live coaching calls during the month so they can get, they’ve got questions, there’s the opportunity within our platform to ask questions about you twice anytime they’d like, anyway. But we’d also…
Jane: So that’s that’s available every day?
Hannah: …all the time, yeah. So we use a learning platform that has a facility where you can ask questions and we can answer them for you. And there’s, they can also ask on the Facebook group and we’ll do like say a live coaching call where we’ll be available and they can come on there and they can ask us directly if they’ve got any problems.
Jane: And those coaching calls would be for the group?
Jane: Are you limiting the number of people who can be in each intake?
Hannah: I’m not sure yet. I don’t know. I haven’t decided that.
Jane: ‘Cause that would be quite interesting. Let’s say if you have – I don’t know – if it’s 20 or 50 people, well it depends on the capacity really…
Jane: …but, certainly it would be good to have a group. ‘Cause I’ve been on like a business incubator program in the past and we had about 40-50 people. Fantastic. Because that’s small enough….
Jane: …that everyone can actually get to know each other. And still interact quite easily. I guess you know the smaller you make it, then the more intimate it would be. But certainly having more people I think would be great because people come from all different walks of life and experience and they can really share that and then you start to build that community.
Jane: And as the years go by and this becomes a huge success, then you’ll have a community of thousands of people all assisting each other.
Jane: Well that would be the plan, won’t it? Yeah? So they’ll be webinars?
Jane: Is that how the coaching calls work?
Jane: And so that will be interactive webinars for the coaching calls. Where they can ask questions anytime is that like a chat portal? Or how are you going to work?
Hannah: It’s within…So we use a learning platform that all the content is in and it’s great. It’s a one-stop shop. So you go on there and you click on the module you’re working on, you open up the exercises, you can download the principles, you can watch the videos within it, there’s video training as well. And there’s also a discussion, every module has a discussion option. So you click on that and it allows you to ask questions and initiate discussion.
Jane: Fantastic! I mean that’s really comprehensive support. What a great initiative! Yeah? Well done Hannah! I think that’s very exciting. So if someone wants to find out more about this, what do they need to do?
Hannah: If they’re on our mailing list, then it’s quite easy, I will be emailing them in the New Year with details.
Jane: And how do they get on your mailing list?
Hannah: If you go to our site, there’s a banner on there and you, I think it’s, at the moment what we’re offering is free, it’s free ideas, to go to our mailing list. Free Freebie ideas. So if you click on that you get the freebie, but you also join our mailing list as well.
Jane: Fantastic! And it’s Talentedladiesclub.com?
Hannah: That’s correct.
Jane: Yes. I will have that on my show notes….
Hannah: Brilliant! And thank you very much.
Jane: …On my podcast, on janejacksoncoach.compodcast.com and you’ll be able to find Hannah and all of her links, plus her Twitter handle and I think that you should follow Hannah’s Twitter as well. It’s Talented Ladies…
Jane: …@talentedladies on Twitter because there’s a lot of valuable advice that she’s always providing as well. So thank you, Hannah. I can’t wait for us to have lunch.
Hannah: Thank you, Jane.