Bravely Choose Your Ideal Clients — literally pick and choose your ideal clients. It is far more effective to select some people who you would really like to serve at the deepest level and find a way to pitch to them, than to passively look for thousands of unqualified people to pick your way through. We sold our first 100K dollars package through a cold email. It was extremely well researched and executed, but nonetheless, it was literally that simple. A well-researched approach to an absolutely ideal client with the right message at the right time, and boom. A premium offer is sold.
As a part of my series called “Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathryn Porritt.
Kathryn is the leading Premium and Luxury Offer Business Strategist in the world for personal brands and CEO’s transitioning to their legacy business. If entrepreneurs want to know how to create a potent personal brand that sells million-dollar offers to luxury clients, they work with Kathryn and her company, Business Bravery, to achieve this. More than a Business Strategist, Kathryn has a background in entrepreneurship herself, having founded and run two multi-million dollar global companies, authored a book with Penguin-Viking and revolutionized luxury branding and marketing for experts, leaders and personal brands with her Intentional Marketing and Hypertargeting processes based on a luxury business model.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’d created and founded one of the fastest-growing e-commerce businesses in Australia during the 2000s and although I’d won the awards, had a huge volume of followers and customers, and achieved a great level of success, I knew there must be a better way of running a business than tiny margins and high volumes. When I sold that business, it became my mission to create my legacy business that was based on literally picking and choosing the people I wanted to work with and giving them an extraordinary experience so a high level of investment was appropriate. I created Business Bravery to support the world’s leading experts and represent them at the highest level through PR, speaking, branding and marketing, and now this is my second multi-million dollar venture, and I can tell you that for me, the luxury business model has been far more fun than a volume-based model. I’m now all about spreading that message as far as I possibly can to those extraordinary experts — stop selling yourself short — there is a better way!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
The most interesting thing that has happened to me since starting my company is my complete unlearning of all of the business concepts I held true. It’s been an unraveling for the past few years that has been truly eye-opening and deeply joyful to experience. When you go and get your MBA or you work with almost any of the business consultants or business coaches on the planet, they’ll teach you how to grow your company using a mainstream model. You start from the bottom and incrementally work your way up to bigger prices or bigger impact.
I had a hunch that there was a better way. I knew that with authority, there had to be a business model somewhere that could work for elite experts like me.
When I started studying luxury business models which work from the top down — they start at the highest end of the market, then leverage their authority to create their scalable offers — I thought, “of course!”… I’m a risk-taker, and didn’t have anything to lose.
So, here I was in Australia, and literally picked someone I wanted to serve at a luxury level to redevelop their brand, their website, their offers, their media and their speaking opportunities — and I literally sent a cold email to them. They responded, we spoke, and that person is still a client of mine all this time later.
There’s so much simplicity in this model. It’s elegant. It’s beautiful. It’s transformed my life and so many others.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
With both of my companies, my first employee has been the most pivotal person in that business. In my previous business, it was a lady called Kathy Mallie who was my first employee and was there the day I sold the business 9 ½ years later. She’s now like family and I’ll never ever forget all the fun, the tears, the tough times, the extraordinary times we shared together through that journey.
With Business Bravery, it is my Chief Experience Officer, Heather Bucciano. Heather was my first hire, as my EA, and the moment she joined me, everything started to get easier, bigger, brighter. Heather’s got way more experience than just as an EA, and has moved through the ranks of the company as we have grown. She’s my rock, my guide, my sounding board, my most trusted advisor and the person who has my back. She’s the one that all of my clients rely on, and the one that all of my team adores most of all. Like Kathy, she’s family. Even though she’s in Florida, USA and I’m in Brisbane, Australia and we have never actually been in the same room physically, I just know we’ve got each other through this journey and beyond. When we finally can get in the same room together, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to let her go!
For me, that first employee sets the tone for everyone who comes next, and that pivotal hire has been the most extraordinary for me in both experiences.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
At the moment, I’m obsessed with people who seemed to always know they were going to be a success. I love confidence and I don’t think we value a deep, inner knowing of purpose enough.
Charlotte Tilbury: “I was a retailer at heart, even at 13,” she says. Tilbury dreamed of her own makeup line. “I always knew it would be really big. Always.”
Tobey Maguire: “And since I was around 15, I knew I’d be successful. Since I was 17 or 18, I always knew I wanted to live a great version of my life. And so I got those ideas, and they have been north stars to me.”
Steven Adler: “I always knew that we were going to be successful and accomplish and succeed at our dreams. There was never a doubt in my mind. When we were recording Appetite For Destruction, we all knew.”
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: “I always knew I would be successful. So there was no element of surprise.”
Warren Buffet: “I always knew I was going to be rich,” he said. “I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.”
Jennifer Lawrence: “I always knew I was going to be famous. I honest to God don’t know how else to describe it. I used to lie in bed and wonder, ‘Am I going to be a local TV person? Am I going to be a motivational speaker?’ It wasn’t a vision. But as it’s kind of happening, you have this buried understanding: ‘Of course.’ “
Romelu Lukaku: “I knew that I will be one of those guys that’s going to reach 100 [in the Premier League].”
Rebel Wilson: “Weirdly, I always believed I would be rich and successful even as a very young child, and I would say that to people.”
Andy Hertzfeld, leading software engineer of the Apple team said of Steve Jobs: “He thinks there are a few people who are special — people like Einstein and Gandhi and the gurus he met in India — and he’s one of them.”
I am really excited to learn more about the power of this knowledge early and how we can better harness it to create greatness and not quash extreme ability.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. We’d love to learn a bit about your company. What is the pain point that your company is helping to address?
There are so many elite experts in the world who are not achieving the impact that they could because they’re following a mainstream business model. They’re struggling to connect with the right audience and achieve the deep level of impact they want because they mistakenly think that everyone should follow a bottom-up approach. Business Bravery works with those elite experts and helps them unlearn those generic ideas and helps them to implement a luxury business model to achieve maximum joy and extraordinary impact, working with their dream clients, landing their dream stages and achieving their most audacious goals.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I’ve heard horror stories about how the mainstream market has been affected by COVID and the changing economic and social landscape in 2020. I’ve had family members directly impacted by this too — the ones following a bottom to top strategy.
It’s never been more apparent how protected you are when you deeply impact people and deliver extraordinary outcomes for your clients than it has been this year. I’ve watched my clients FLOURISH as others in the mainstream world have struggled.
I have clients selling their 50K dollars per day consulting packages for the first time, booking their dream media opportunities, working with their dream clients. The thing they have in common is that they’re BRAVE and pioneering and they innovated and focused on extreme delivery and experience when others ran straight for discounting and hiding their heads in the sand.
I think we stand out because we’re for the mavericks and the pioneers, and they’re bravely changing the world right now. This is their moment to shine.
When you first started the business, what drove you, what was your primary motivation?
My primary motivation was to be anti-volume. I literally just wanted to have fun this time in my business and try to do it in a different way.
I completely acknowledge that I am in a privileged position to be able to try different models and it really wouldn’t have been the end of the world if my hunch that a luxury business model could work for the expert and personal brand industry was wrong. Luckily I wasn’t wrong.
I really wanted to work with people like me. I saw a gaping hole in the “greatness” market and wanted to fill it with something that was fun for me and deeply impactful for them. We’ve certainly achieved that but have a long way to go!
What drives you now? Is it the same? Did it change? Can you explain what you mean?
I’m not completely anti-volume. In fact, I have learned that volume is my friend but it has to be employed at the right time! Do it too early, and it’s going to be your enemy.
How we use volume is probably best explained by extremely simplistically breaking down the Chanel model. Chanel worked originally at the very highest end of Haute Couture, servicing the elite market in Europe from her House of Chanel in Paris. After creating her extraordinary authority, she was able to then open fashion boutiques with her Ready to Wear collections, which are more affordable than Haute Couture, but still maintain the quality and gating by limiting the availability of each collection. To finish off the ecosystem, Chanel has leveraged a volume-based model through its cosmetics and licensed range of products.
We do the same with our business and our client’s businesses — volume comes last, and it’s only employed once there is the highest level of authority and brand equity. That’s when volume is at its most potent.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We are creating so many outstanding programs right now to support elite experts across the world. We are attracting people who are creating their legacy businesses, leveraging their personal brand or expertise to create real change.
I have elite sportspeople, entrepreneurs, creatives, innovators and spiritual changemakers coming to us to learn how to make their most audacious dreams come true.
We are focused on perfecting our support and training, creating communities that continually elevate even the most elite experts, and adding in more and more experiences to help them attain radical success, way beyond a medal, a book, a stage or millions in the bank.
The topic of this series is ‘Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue’. Congratulations! Seven figures is really a huge milestone. In your experience what was the most difficult part of being able to hit your first million-dollars in sales revenue?
I’ve done this twice now and I would say it’s the same thing both times. It’s holding your biggest vision alive while working on the necessary “work in the weeds” in the first couple of years. Pre having a team to support you, when you’re everything, it’s carving out the time to remember the big vision and never lose sight of it.
I’m a hard worker. I’ll always get the job done. But I have to constantly hold the vision of why. Why does it matter? Why is it important? Who does this impact?
And that’s way bigger than the money. It cannot be about that. It has to be about the biggest vision you can hold.
Could you share the number one sales strategy that you found helpful to help you reach this milestone?
Absolutely! My number one sales strategy is throw out everything you’ve been taught about sales. I cannot stand all of those nonsensical scripts that would have you “get them to sit in their pain” and create a false sense of urgency with “fast-action bonuses” — yuck. Can you imagine a worse way to start a relationship with a customer or client?
So, just don’t.
Instead, build a beautiful relationship with your dream client. Really know them and your job, if you’re an elite expert, is to show them a bigger vision of themselves than they can even imagine. That’s the difference between a mainstream player and one in the premium end of the market. It’s that you can expand the vision of your ideal client even further than they can. If they want to go to the moon, show them how to get to Mars. That’s my biggest sales advice.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you or your team made during a sales process? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Oh I see my clients do this all the time and we did it ourselves at the beginning too! It’s stuffing way too much into an offer because the number you’re selling at is high.
So, for most of my clients, they’re selling offers at 100K dollars+ and for many of them, even if they’re really good at what they do, this is a big leap from what they have sold at before they work with us. So, they stuff so much into the delivery to make them feel better about the number that the number no longer feels all that worthwhile!
I warn every new client about this. We’ve done it ourselves too. Instead, pare down what you’re delivering and you can add extras to surprise and delight if you wish!
Does your company have a sales team? If yes, do you have any advice about how companies can create very high performing sales teams?
We do. The main thing I am looking for my sales team to do is to both expand the vision of the person on the Zoom call with them AND to interview them for me. Because working with us is a privilege and I want to know that the people we support have every chance of success — so the sales call is both an interview for them and an interview for us. So understanding our programs, our culture, our ideal client and being able to meet extraordinary people at an extraordinarily high level is what I look for in our successful sales team members.
Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue”. Please share a story or an example for each.
- Take a Big Position in the Market — those who have dramatic success all have this in common. They are shifting paradigms, leading a revolution, creating a trend. If you want to go big fast and make a massive impact, this is the easiest way. My suggestion is to write your Manifesto — what revolution are you leading and what is the bravest, most audacious position you take? Make it about a big vision, and bravely know that you’ll not resonate with lots of people using this method, but the people who do resonate with the message will be your super-fans. That’s a powerful play for those at 6 figures wanting to shoot to the stars quickly.
- Use a Luxury Business Model — if you are truly gifted, please start at the top and work your way down rather than using the standard mainstream model of starting at the bottom and iterating your way up. If you are an elite expert, jump the queue and go straight for the top, build your authority there. Selling 100K dollars+ offers gets you to 1m dollars+ very quickly as opposed to 1000s of tiny offers in an untested and extremely competitive market.
- Bravely Choose Your Ideal Clients — literally pick and choose your ideal clients. It is far more effective to select some people who you would really like to serve at the deepest level and find a way to pitch to them, than to passively look for thousands of unqualified people to pick your way through. We sold our first 100K dollars package through a cold email. It was extremely well researched and executed, but nonetheless, it was literally that simple. A well-researched approach to an absolutely ideal client with the right message at the right time, and boom. A premium offer is sold.
- Create Your Magical World — build a place where your biggest fans can interact with you. Build a place of true beauty and stunning experiences. Be thinking about your 100M dollars company as well as your 1M dollars company, and you’ll know that by creating that magical world now — even if it’s just a Facebook Group — you’ll have that paid back over and over again as your business grows.
- Hire A Key Support Person As Quickly As Possible — both of my multi-million dollar businesses took a giant leap the moment I hired my first key support person. As quickly as you can without impeding your margins, hire a truly gifted person who has your back, and focus on empowering them to help you grow. That loyal person will become integral to your growth. Promise.
What would you advise to another business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth or sales and “restart their engines”?
In my experience, this is because they’re following a mainstream business model. If you’re great at what you do, and you’re stalling, then look at a luxury business model instead. How can go as deep as possible with a select few of your ideal clients to give them a life-changing experience? Then, package that up and sell it. You don’t need a brand and website to start — that can come later. Just get out there and make the magic happen.
In your specific industry what methods have you found to be most effective in order to find and attract the right customers? Can you share any stories or examples?
I am a massive fan of what we call Hypertargeting your ideal clients. I have loads of experience with mainstream marketing where you have funnels or ads focused on bringing in a volume of customers and a percentage of those turn into clients. That model is just fine, but if you want to play at the highest end of the market, consider picking and choosing your ideal clients, researching them and understanding what they need, then approaching them directly.
We use all sorts of methods for the approach from cold email to handwritten cards to gifts to networking opportunities such as events, panels or even VIP experiences. For your dream client, what would you do? I’m always of the opinion that if you put the same amount of energy and effort into attracting a handful of your ideal clients who pay you hundreds of thousands of dollars as you did into playing the volume game — you would have more luxury-level ideal clients than you could imagine is possible.
I have so many examples of my clients who say to me, “in my dreams I would love to work with XYZ.” My answer is always, “ ok, so let’s work together to make that happen.” When you market bravely, all sorts of magic happens. The chances are that almost no-one else is following through on their biggest dreams, so the competition up there is pretty scarce. It’s not as scary as it seems.
Based on your experience, can you share a few strategies to give your customers the best possible user experience and customer service?
Create your magical world. Create the magical world you want to hang out in. Create pathways and experiences that surprise and delight. Use technology to create magic.
When I say these things, I generally get an “oooooh yes” from those who are creative and love the idea of creating a space for themselves and their ideal clients to play in. From those who haven’t allowed themselves to dream, I get an “ooooh I don’t understand what you mean!”
What I mean by this is if you are a truly gifted expert, then take your position in the world and create a magical world in which your clients can play and grow.
So, for us, it’s creating a playground for the most innovative, pioneering experts on the planet to explore their deepest desires and most audacious dreams. We are constantly innovating our technical and training delivery to surprise and delight, and ensure the most spectacular outcomes.
What does that mean for you and your ideal clients? Allow yourself to dream. Once you get it right, it will be a place that your clients never want to leave.
As you likely know, this HBR article demonstrates that studies have shown that retaining customers can be far more lucrative than finding new ones. Do you use any specific initiatives to limit customer attrition or customer churn? Can you share some of your advice from your experience about how to limit customer churn?
Absolutely. We advocate creating a business where you keep clients for life. My counsel is always to say to my clients once they have created their dream program, then what is next? What is the next natural step to take them to the next level? Even higher, even deeper, even more awesome and amazing? It’s incredible once you start thinking this way about your business and your offers what creative concepts you come up with.
Creating that magical world for your clients and then creating experiences that keep them for life — that’s what a truly joyful business looks like — because you’ll love this too. You’ll thrive there and you’ll have a place to bring your genius to life.
Wonderful. We are nearly done. Here are the final “meaty” questions of our discussion. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Be the biggest version of yourself that you can. Never dull yourself. Live in your unique brilliance, and allow yourself to sell at the highest possible level. Using that luxury business model as an elite expert will allow you to have true impact. The ripple effect from serving deeply and transforming lives is immense. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to go big. Go bright. Be brave.
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I’m obsessed with people who are evolving to the next level right now. Charlotte Tilbury is one who I am really excited about. She followed the exact luxury business pathway that we teach and I want to know what her legacy play is. She’s on the precipice of true greatness, creating a dynasty that will last for generations. How does she hold on to that brand and wealth and create a multi-generational impact? I want to sip champagne with her and find out what her plans are and expand them. Oh, and tell her how obsessed I am with her lipstick.
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!