Episode 90: James Lam – Capturing Your Genius by Being Your Authentic Self
Look Ahead Marketing Founder James Lam joins the Social Sales Link team to tell listeners about how he helps entrepreneurs get past that five-figure sales. Discover what it means to “capture your genius” and the difference it makes when you just focus on your authentic self and tell a story straight from your heart.
By the end of this episode, James will help you realize the importance of being courageous and removing all the marketing blocks preventing you from realizing the value you provide your clients.
James Lam 00:00
We are so afraid of other people judging us especially when we start something that we never put ourselves out there and that is where a lot of businesses die. Because we’re afraid of the judgments of people who we don’t even like. And it sounds ridiculous and listeners, you know exactly what I’m talking about and it is 100% true.
Bill McCormick 00:55
Welcome to Making Sales Social! I’m Bill McCormick.
Brynne Tillman 00:57
I’m Brynne Tillman.
Bill McCormick 00:58
So Brynne, who’s joining us today?
Brynne Tillman 01:00
So excited to bring you James Lam who has this magic trick that helps coaches and entrepreneurs that are kind of stuck in that five-figure range to start making real money. And when I heard this, I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, I gotta bring them to our audience.” James, welcome to Making Sales Social. Tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
James Lam 01:21
Thank you. First of all, Bill, thank you, Brynne and it’s great to be here. I really appreciate it. That like you said, Brynne, is my magic trick. I love working with five-figure and we call, I call them heart-centered entrepreneurs. So the way I define a heart-centered entrepreneur is those people with an inspiring message that needs to get out to the universe. And honestly, they are usually the ones tripping themselves up. So I am happy to help them figure out how to get that message out there, begin making real money, and begin building the business because more and more people need to hear their goodness, right? Does that make sense?
So and I was talking to the lovely two people here as well and one of the things that I told to them is I am really good at it because I was there too, which makes me uniquely qualified to help you get through what I call the muck. Everybody tells you “hustle and grind more,” “do more work,” “put more hours” and most of the time, Brynne and Bill, they’re gonna tell you, that’s not the answer, right? So I love working with these people, inspiring messages that have so much potential and it’s my privilege to help them get on the map and start becoming successful.
Bill McCormick 02:28
I can’t wait to dive in but before we do that, James, we have one question we ask all of our guests, what is making sales social mean to you?
James Lam 02:37
Oh, for me, my interpretation of this, and I work with my crowd that I just mentioned on this is making sure that you show up every single time you’re on social media. So Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, whatever doesn’t matter. What I’m used to seeing is so many people hiding behind social — what do I mean by that? I mean, they’re positioning themselves as an expert through the authority of somebody else, as in, I’m just going to repost this, I’m going to repost this thing on fried chicken. Even though I have the best-fried chicken recipe, I’m going to repost someone else’s, because I’m scared to show up. And one of the things I empower people to do is find the courage to show up as themselves because if you are heart-centered coach, like, for example, I have a bunch of divorce coaches, I have some NLP practitioners — neuro-linguistic programming. I have some angel empowerment practitioners, people who speak to the angels on behalf of you and the reason why I’m telling you this is those people who use the services of my clients, right, like the angels and the divorce coaches, they need, they understand they’re in a real rut, I have a problem. I need to seek help. And they’re not seeking your price. They’re not seeking the features and benefits of your program. They are seeking your goodness, what you have. And if you don’t put yourself up social first, how do they know what you’re about? So that is my answer to your question, Bill. Yeah.
Bill McCormick 03:56
So stop telling people how you can help them and just help them.
James Lam 04:00
Just be yourself. And if you don’t agree with something, that’s okay, too, right? We’re so afraid. And I think you understand this and the people, listeners who are in this spot, you will understand this, and this is totally okay, this is being human. We are so afraid of other people judging us, especially when we start something that we never put ourselves out there. And that is where a lot of businesses die. Because we’re afraid of the judgments of people who we don’t even like, and it sounds ridiculous. And listeners, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And it is 100% true.
Brynne Tillman 04:33
You know, it’s interesting because a lot of times when people come to us and say, “Well, where do I start? How do I start putting myself out there?” We talked about capturing their genius, being hyper-aware when you’re coaching, when you’re on a prospect call, when you’re talking with a client, you’re good at what you do, you’re creating content all the time, you’re just not capturing it. And so you know, if you start being hyper-aware of that and have, like, your notebook all the time with you where you’re always jotting things down. And if you say something awesome, jot it down, you can perfect it later. But I think what you’re saying kind of goes along with that kind of social content tip, which is capture your genius. Don’t worry about other people.
James Lam 05:19
That’s exactly right. And I’m going to tell a story. We have someone in my class. Her name is (unintelligible) and she is amazing. She’s going places. She’s kind of my kind of person. And for years and years and years, she taught Reiki and she was kind of certifying a Reiki and she was like, “I need to maintain this price point, because this is the price point that all the Reiki practitioners use.” And I’m like, but we’re beyond that. She’s like, “No, I need to stay in here.” And that maintained from several weeks until last week where we looked at her and we said, you do more than Reiki. You bring energy to the house not just on a Reiki level, but on a belief level, on a creating space level, on a familial level. Like, there’s so many things that she can do. And, you know, we’re so used to pigeonholing ourselves, because of our training, we tend to stay in there when in fact, like if Brynne says, we have so much more to offer the world, and that’s the beauty of this, isn’t it?
Bill McCormick 06:09
So this is great. Second point that James makes and the second quote that we can pull from Social Sales Link is, “We need to detach from what we’re worth to the client, or what the client’s worth to us, and attach to what we are worth to the client.” We have value and we need to be able to express that value.
Brynne Tillman 06:29
Well, yeah, and I love, I think the other piece that I’m hearing James say that so many of us don’t recognize the value that we bring, and I’m never going to get the quote right now. And I don’t even remember who it was but it was like, someone famous, right? So some artist, famous artist drew a doodle on a napkin, and someone said, “Oh, can I have that?”And he says, “$10,000.” And he goes “$10,000, you drew a doodle on that napkin,” “Because it took me 40 years to get this cut.” So to your point, right, like, it may be the same hour that other Reiki people are giving them, but there’s so much more they’re getting in that hour. And so we need to value ourselves in a way, you know, we’ve got, took me 40 years to get there, right?
James Lam 07:14
Yeah, yeah, it’s true. And this is the other thing, right? You know, a lot of the times when you first start out in the heart-centered space, you stay in the box that the society gives you, what I’m saying by this is, you rely on external validation. If you start with your bio by saying “I’m a certified dah..dah…dah…” “I have a degree in something, something…” “I’ve won this award and other external training.”
There’s nothing that separates you, right? It’s all external validation and that’s a lot of times what people lead with. The real benefit to your customers, if you’re listening to this, is that experience and the passion that you actually bring, so please, when you, we talked about social selling, that to me, it has to be front and center, and you do bring something to the universe, call it a gift, call it a superpower, we need to bring that front and center because my friends, that is where you are going to thrive all day.
Brynne Tillman 08:09
So I love it. We often say to folks that are looking to launch into coaching or being an entrepreneur, you got to hit three buckets, right? You have to be, you have to love it, you have to be passionate about it, you have to be exceptionally good at it. And people have to be willing to pay for it. And if you can do that, you can create a successful business (James: Yup. Absolutely.) and work with James.
James Lam 08:34
And work with James…or work with Brynne. You know, if you work with the two of us, there might just be…(unintelligible) (crosstalk)
Brynne Tillman 08:38
Imagine what we could do.
Bill McCormick 08:41
And I think it goes back to, you know, the authentic piece, of being authentic and really what you’re talking about James is living from your heart. You know, our friend, Larry Levine wrote the book Selling From The Heart and he talks a lot about the soft skills and the fact that when we’re acting out of our authentic selves, then we’re good humans and to be good salespeople, good entrepreneurs, we first have to be good humans.
James Lam 09:09
Yes, there’s a really interesting project that we do and I’ve started implementing it in the past two cohorts. Okay. So Superpowered Business Success is a 12-week program. And the past two cohorts, we had — and I’m not joking — we had somebody who sold 2,500, a couple of people who sold over 6,000, someone who sold 11,000, someone who sold 18,000, someone who sold 20,000, and more and more and more.
The reason why I’m telling you this is I use our “superstar program” and the superstar program is nothing more fancy than this, “Hi, my name is James Lam. I have an idea. I’d like you to help me fix it in exchange for your feedback in something that I am passionate about. This is your discount and you get lifetime access.” That is fundamentally all it is. There’s no funnels, there’s no JV, joint ventures, there’s no sales pages, there’s no fancy-like remarketing, that is it.
The reason why I want to bring that up is because a lot of people think you need the tech in order to win. If you want tech, talk to Brynne, and Brynne can introduce you to people, right? What we need to do is fundamentally see if the transformation that we’re going to make, will sell. And second of all, be that amazing human being that Bill is talking about, and find your validation in there and that’s one of the most powerful things we do in that group.
Brynne Tillman 10:21
Interesting, and a lot of it, I think, is probably, sounds like, it’s about building confidence and understanding your actual worth to, (James: Yes.) you know…
James Lam 10:32
Absolutely, you know, one of the stories that I, and so I mentioned Superpowered Business Success at the moment, it’s $1,997 and is well worth every penny now. I didn’t start in 1997, right, I started way back in the beta doing like a six-week program when I was really nervous, charging $97. And back then, that was a lot of money. When I had eight people sign up for $97, I was like, “Wow, I’m really, this is gonna go really well” then we charge $997. And now it’s 1,997, there’s always gonna be the seven at the end, that’s just the way the universe works.
Brynne Tillman 11:03
I know, when I told you, we had a nine at the end, you’re like, “What? Not a seven?”
James Lam 11:08
Right? And so this is what it’s about, right? If you think about where you are now to what you want to charge for a program and you draw a line — and I’m drawing a line in my mental space here, the area underneath, you could label that confidence. And one of the best things we can do is get you on the ladder. How do we do that? We do run a beta, a pilot, a, you know, a founders club, whatever you want to call it and we build that confidence at a lower price that gets you on the ladder, that builds validation and confidence. So you can go and succeed after that. And I think that’s one of the fundamentally most amazing things we can do as heart-centered entrepreneurs, is start believing in ourselves.
Bill McCormick 11:49
I love that. So let’s talk a little bit about the magic trick because you know, I don’t see a wand and I don’t see a top hat but you’re obviously a magician.
James Lam 12:00
I have a filter on Bill, I have a zoom filter on.
Bill McCormick 12:05
So let’s talk about the magic trick, a little bit of the high end of how you do that, how you help entrepreneurs get past that five figures?
James Lam 12:14
You know what it is? That’s fundamentally what it is, it’s telling a story from the heart, removing all the marketing copy, removing all the I’m going to call them marketing blocks. And the way I’m going to phrase this is this: people hide from making difficult decisions because they think they’re busy doing marketing stuff that doesn’t really do anything. So for example, people are like, “I need to change my headlines on my sales page because I need to test some measure.” And you’re like, yes, if you have a million clicks a month, yes, maybe okay, but you have five clicks a month, you don’t need to change it like this is not a test and measure thing, okay?
And so what we’re doing is we are fundamentally taking a jump and make no mistake when we ask people, when we say, “I’m doing this project around this idea, and I want you to join because I value your input, and for initiating for that I’m going to give you lifetime access, and you’re getting it at the ground floor price.” That is a difficult thing to do, Bill because we have the potential of having people say what? “No,” or “that’s silly,” or “that’s never going to fly.” And our subconscious sets us up for those failures. And so a lot of the people who I work with have never tried this before because it’s easier to hide in the tech than it is to actually be courageous and try something. (Bill: To be busy.)
Remember, like, you know, courage isn’t the absence of fear, right? Courage is being afraid and doing it anyways, right? And that’s the reason why the group is so powerful because you have a bunch of people who are nodding their heads around saying you can do this, you can make a difference. Please go. And then that first-person always goes in that group, and the first person comes back, and they’re all giddy, and they’re like, I want to share and you’re like, what do you have to share, and they’re like, I closed $18,000 last week, and I had no idea I could do it.
And this gets them on the ladder in confidence validation, like we spoke about before, but it’s more than that. It changes them as a person, it changes the value that they place on themselves. And when they go through the program, it changes the value that they placed on the program. Because you have to remember a lot of people have never run programs before. So you have no idea about the actual transformation that comes out of it. And that’s one of the biggest things we can do. The magic trick that, Bill, I was talking about for heart-centered entrepreneurs that quite frankly, and appropriately so, are scared of what that success looks like.
Brynne Tillman 14:32
That’s so interesting. And you know, even people at different levels. So you’re talking about the five-figure but you know, I work a ton with six-figure CEOs that are trying to get to seven. And it’s the same thing, right? It’s the same block. It’s the same, you know, I remember when I had my first $10,000 keynote. I was like, shocked. I’m like, and I said to them, “Do you have a budget for this?” And they said, “$10,000, is that okay?” I’m like, “Yeah I guess so,” right? But the most I’ve ever charged before was $2,500. And then I went, “Oh my god, I’m worth that.” And so, all of a sudden, now my new price is $10,000 for a keynote. (James: Right?) Right? Because I could get it. And it was at this moment that I recognized that it’s all in my head.
It’s the story, I’m telling myself, it’s, you know, “Well, I’m a trainer, not a keynote. So why would someone pay me that?” Like, it’s a story in my head, right? It’s like, what you’re saying, and the, you know, how do you get to the, you know, really, those five figures to six? For me, I’m looking at, in all the world, you know, even high sixes to seven. I’m like, okay, I’m in that same, like, I found this spot that I think I’m worth it here, right? And I’m in, masterminds with other people here. So wherever you are, right, so maybe you’re in six figures, and you want to get your company to eight figures or seven figures, and you want to get to eight, often we’re just stuck. And it’s stuck because of our belief system.
And I think what I’m hearing, it’s like, amazing but what I’m hearing is it really is just being open to not being stuck and having confidence and figuring out what you really are worth anyway, that was just a cathartic moment.
James Lam 16:21
No, I love it, I think you hit it, right. That’s what it is, is our belief patterns. And the other thing that Brynne can talk to you about as well, or come into my community, is your environment. And we’re getting off course, but I want to make this point anyway because it is hugely important that you surround yourself with people who support you that believe you can do this.
There’s nothing worse and I have once in a while, once every 3 months I put on what’s called a five-day journey. And it looks like something like this. So we find the true potential of your business as in, if you will actually believe what it looks like, we figure out why you’re the person to do it, we figure out how to get in front of the camera for real. And we figure out your block. Okay, so four big, big things that you find out. And the reason why I’m telling you this is number five, is surround yourself with the right person, because you are taking courageous steps one through four, and you have just that one person who’s like, you know, that’s not going to work. Do you really think that’s going to work? Like, can I ask you, why did you leave your good paying job for what you’re doing now? Like, that is really sad and it hurts and… (Brynne: And you start to believe it.) Bingo.
So you need to surround yourself with people like Brynne, like Bill, even like myself, who say, “You know what, we do believe in what you can do and this is how we’re going to do it.” And surround yourself with people that honestly just say, “Yeah, I charge a $1,000 and I’m okay with it.” Right. And that’s one of the best things that all three of us can tell you, I’m pretty sure.
Brynne Tillman 17:45
And you just, I think you just have to be sure that what you deliver is worth even more than that. Like that’s, it’s the ask-offer ratio, and we use this in lots of places. But at the end of you know, I’m going to ask you for money for my offer. And at the end of this engagement, I want you to believe, I want you to feel, to know that what I delivered was worth more than what you paid for it. It doesn’t matter how much it is.
James Lam 18:10
Let’s look at the, let’s look at my party trick right of making money. Is that worth $2,000? Of course, it is because you can continue to do it afterwards. Right? You know, look at the divorce coach, is it worth $1,000 to get over your divorce, figure out your life? To be empowered again, understand what you love to do? Heck, yes, of course, it is. Right, we tend to undervalue the actual transformation of what we do.
Brynne Tillman 18:36
So I love that what you’re buying is the transformation.
Bill McCormick 18:41
Right. You’re not going for a transaction, you’re going for transformation. (Brynne: Oh, that’s the new one.) Write that down, please. And I was going to go right where you went, James, that it’s not just about an inner transformation, but it’s also about surrounding ourselves with the right people and you know, both on a pure level, but then those that have gone before us, you know, how do you walk through a minefield? By following someone who’s already been there, who know where the pitfalls are. And so that’s very, very important. So, we are actually to the end of our time. It flew by, really flew by. But we want to thank James Lam for being with us and James, tell everyone how they can connect with you and stay in touch with you, any offers you may have.
James Lam 19:27
Yes, I’m going to. And if you look at the show notes, the link is going to be there. You can find us at look at marketing or preferably I’m going to give a show note because I’m going to give you an extra freebie, okay. The freebie essentially is an 18-page document that I actually charge for because it has some of my best stuff in there. And it’s all about building your social presence, building an audience that actually is yours in your genuine and amazing power, right. So it’s a step by step. It’s awesome. It’s totally like you want this thing, trust me, and look, the thing I’d love you to do is when I do my, I put on workshops all the time, they aren’t most, you know, the vast majority aren’t expensive.
So for example, I have my lead magnet workshop, which is $47. Like it’s $47. Come and actually generate a really good lead magnet. I have some five-day journeys, like, come and join me and don’t be shy, right? Because the other thing that Brynne and Bill are going to tell you as well as not only does environment matter, mentorship, and paying somebody, even if it’s $47, to tell you what they think, can make huge, huge, you can make huge strides in your business.
Brynne Tillman 20:35
Absolutely. The worst thing you could do is, you know, kind of be stuck on your own and make all your decisions in a silo. (Bill: Yes) Yeah. So I love that.
Bill McCormick 20:45
Thank you for those generous offers to our community. So James, thank you so much for being with us, listeners. Thanks once again for spending your time with us here on Making Sales Social. And as you’re out and about this week, don’t forget to make your sales social. Bye-bye, everyone.
Bob Woods 21:01
Thanks for watching and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing, sales, training, and social selling strategy that will set you apart. Hit the Subscribe button below to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social podcast. Give this video a thumbs up and comment down below on what you want to hear from us next. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information.