Jamie Cawthon (@jamiekcawthon) is the COO and Executive Producer at The Institute for Woman-Centered Coaching, an online education company based on Dr. Claire Zammit’s work that equips women leaders to grow in their work with women.
In this episode, Bobby talks with Jamie about how your messaging and positioning need to evolve when adding paid traffic to the mix. Jamie shares what she learned working on 21 Academy Award-nominated films and how that shaped her understanding of storytelling and marketing. And why it’s so important to remain true to your vision from the start.
Bobby: So could you tell the listeners a little bit about you and what your company does?
Jamie: I am the COO and executive producer for the Institute for Women Centered Coaching, which is an online education company primarily focused on equipping women leaders to coach, to work with women, to grow in their work with women. Based on Dr. Claire Zammit’s work around what it requires for women to be successful in the world. And so the woman centered coaching method is really about addressing the underlying barriers, breaking through them, and helping women get extraordinary results in their own lives and also in their work with women.
I’ve actually been working on and off at Evolving Wisdom for a decade as of last month. Particularly focused on a program called Feminine Power. And from that we grew a professional training program and now that’s kind of taken over and become the primary function of what we’re doing and the focus of the work going forward. Now, the greatest reach we can have is through empowering coaches and leaders who can go reach many, many more. And I’ve had the opportunity to work really closely with Claire to develop what that’s going to look like. She really does all of the program teaching and development. And I work more on the marketing and brand position side and have grown the organization in that area in particular.
Bobby: What is the overall journey that customers take with you from not knowing your company exists to becoming raving fans?
Jamie: I love that question because I wouldn’t say I was born a marketer and marketing isn’t really what I thought I wanted to do. I really am a storyteller at heart. And that’s my,whole background before I started doing this work was really in storytelling. My degree is in in film and digital media and communications. I was in the entertainment industry. So storytelling is the heart and soul of what I love. And what’s really interesting about it is that, for having been as successful as we have been marketing individual courses, that whole journey piece is only something that’s really come together for us in the last couple of years. Because we’ve had a very indirect path into our world.
The Evolving Wisdom universe had a reputation in the personal growth space. And so people found many of our products through that universe and not so much through direct path. But it’s really since we opened the door to online advertising that we’ve had to start thinking about what is that, from someone who’s never heard of us before who isn’t coming to us from say a recommendation. A lot of Claire’s credibility is her relationships with people in the industry. Other industry leaders who say Claire is the foremost expert on teaching women. So it’s very easy then to bring in someone into our world and they have that built in credibility.
And so that’s something that as we expanded in the advertising space has been something that we’ve really been exploring. Like, what should that look like? What does it look like? We’re doing live cohorts of a masterclass, which is really like the foundational pieces of the Woman Centered Coaching Method. You can come and learn it, and it’s designed to be applied into the work that you’re already doing. So it’s like, you’re already doing this work, you need to be informed by what works for women.
Come learn the core principles of the method. And I was talking to some of our grads from the program. We had not ever explored this before, but we did the net promoter score with our last cohort of women. Andwe had an insanely high net promoter score.
And I’m like, I have to talk to some of these people. One of the women said, I had never heard of Claire before and I got an ad in Facebook about the woman centered approach. And I just knew immediately that that was a piece that was missing for me. Because I felt like I could get these surface level results with women, but I could tell that there was something deeper that I wasn’t able to access. And she was able to hear that and see that on the front end and make it all the way through. She’s launched a business as a coach going from being a career marketer to being a coach. And in such a short time. Like she had never heard of us before. That was in March of this year. And she’s already completely changed her business and her life as a result of working with Claire, which is really cool to see.
Sowhat that journey looks like for us is that women who are most successful with our work are women who are already out there trying to make a difference in the world. And they’re bumping up against this thing they can’t name. And we try to bring their attention to that on the front end in our outreach. Like hey, are you working with women and seeing things like they’re backsliding or they aren’t making the progress that you think they should make? And you’re working really hard and you’re giving them a lot of time and attention and they’re not getting the results thatthey sense are possible.
And you might be missing something in your approach. Which is really being able to address those underlying barriers. So that is that first messaging. You’re really called to something great in the world. And yet you’re realizing there might be more for you to learn about how you can be successful.
And you come to us and we’re going to help you understand what it is that you might be missing. And the cool thing is, is that when you do figure that out and you’re able to unlock that, it makes a big impact really quickly. And so from that, they’re able to then come into our world, usually through live workshops with Claire.
So we do a lot of front end free workshop series, free eBooks, those kinds of things. And then, self paced courses. I think the best place to learn is in the live cohorts. We do those a couple of times a year.
And then from there they move up our virtual campus to our higher, certifications, professional trainings.
Bobby: So one of the really interesting things you said there, the personal development world is so relationship based. It’s recommending other experts in the field. So I want to focus in on the transition that you and Claire have made from focusing on those types of things to going to the cold traffic world.Can you talk to the evolution of the messaging and the positioning that you’ve had to do to adjust to the cold traffic side of things?
Jamie: Number one is that, the cold traffic avenues, or buying traffic, forces you to be very clear in your positioning. And that is something that you can kind of get away with when you’re just being recommended from one person to another. Because it’s really based on the credibility of the leader. Like these people are all saying, we know Claire, we know what she’s capable of. And if you love what we’re doing here, you’re going to love what Claire is doing at the Institute for Women Centered Coaching. And we still do that. Like that’s still an active and big piece of our business. But there are obviously limits to what that network is. And it was really fun hearing from Jess, our student that I was just talking to. It’s fun to see women who just had no exposure to any of that then coming into our world. And so I would say that when you are in a position where you’re paying to put your message out there, you want to make sure that that message is exactly clear. Like you have the gap. It has to be so narrow. You have to be exactly clear in what you’re saying. And I think that that was an adjustment. Because there’s a lot of nuance. And it is a struggle to maintain authenticity when you’re doing that.
There’s a lot more context to what we’re saying than just like the shiny promise, right? Like the shiny promise at the end of the road. But what is the difference between who Claire is as a leader versus any ad you’re going to see in your Instagram feed? It’s that she has 20 years of research to back up what she’s saying and she has a PhD in transformational growth. And she really has the stuff to say, well, yeah, I can say these things. And I can say that’s a result you’re going to get in your world. But there’s more to it than just you’re going to show up, and you’re going to get these outcomes. And she likes to make sure that that’s really present.
How do you represent that in a 10 second Facebook ad? How do you represent that depth and that authenticity and that level of work? And when it doesn’t work, we don’t do it. So there are definitely offers where that’s not the right fit. But when it is a good fit it’s a really powerful way to reach new people.
Bobby: I see that it’s so true where being warmly introduced by someone buys you so much time. It buys you so much trust. It buys you so much just forgiveness for your small little mistakes and bad phrasings. But cold traffic is that much more challenging where they need to know within 10 seconds, why should I listen to you?
Jamie: Yeah, and I would say, Bobby, one of the things that I gleaned from you early on when we’ve worked together in various capacities. And I remember you taking a look at one of our pages and saying, well, how do the women who are coming to you, how do they say these things? Like, what’s their language? What are their pains? How did they voice those frustrations versus when you’re so deep into the work? And, especially with Claire, someone who spent 20 years developing all of this material. She has these very unique and specific language that says exactly what she wants it to say. It represents exactly what she wants it to represent. But there’s so much nuance to that, that gets lost on that very front end of marketing.
And so you don’t always have to represent that end of the journey in the very front end pieces that you’re introducing to people. And that was definitely something that took us some time to adjust to. How do you find that right language for the front that feels really good to the people who are reading it? And is going to pull in someone who’s going to be magnetized to Claire’s work. You have to be able to language things in a way that they’re going to understand and be drawn to.
Bobby: Absolutely. Yeah. I’ve worked with many brilliant people in the personal development space and that’s the problem, right? Claire and others, they’re at a 10. And you’re trying to market people that are at a one or a two. And it’s that big challenge. You’re trying to bridge that gap as easily and quickly as possible.
Jamie: And the other piece of it too, and a big part of what we talk about, is what is the difference between a woman centered business and how do you market in an authentic way that feels good? That feels different than what we would call push marketing or that doesn’t feel authentic. Especially the women who have done their 10,000 hours in their field. And they’re really sincere. And they have a really developed body of work.
They don’t like feeling likesomething feels too good to be true. You have to really work hard to find a message that is both really compelling and authentic. And we were really committed to making sure we got that right. We’re not going to just put something out there that isn’t going to feel good to the women who are really called to serve, women who are service-oriented and want to have a big impact in the world. And they’re not drawn to things that feel pushy.
Bobby: In terms of push versus the authentic marketing, what are some specific examples or approaches that you found work really well for making that distinction?
Jamie: That’s a great question. So for example, in ads anywhere if people are going to talk about the financial outcome of what it is that they’re doing. Like, come learn from me. And in an hour, you’re going to learn how to make da da da da da in da da time frame. Or if you’re a stay at home mom, you’re going to work five hours a week and triple your income. . They’re more about just what is this going to mean for my bottom line? My pocketbook? Where I would say we really desire to call forth in the reader the impact that they want? Like, what is the change you want to make in the world? What’s possible, not just for you, but for your clients? For the people you serve? For the breakthroughs that they’re going to have when you’re able to work with them at this deeper level? So I would say that it’s more about what you are calling forward in them than it is what you’re promising them an outcome. And that’s the difference.
And I think that women in particular, I was actually thinking about this even for myself. Like, even talking about coming on a podcast, an expert podcast. This is something that’s like different between, the way that men and women were culturally raised to think about things. A woman is not going to say she’s an expert at something unless 14 people tell her she’s an expert first. And she has 10 examples of how she’s an expert at whatever it is that the thing is that she’s claiming expertise in, right? We really have to be able to deeply believe it to ever say it. And whereas oftentimes, and to the benefit of men, men will sometimes fake it till you make it. You’re gonna get out there and I’m gonna say these things, I’m gonna figure it out along the way. And they’re just a lot more comfortable in that space than women often are.
So then on the same hand, when you’re perceiving marketing, you bring that same lens to it. Like, well, really? I would say like a little bit more jaded. Is that really possible? And you want to really be able to see the pathway. You’re not going to buy something on that empty promise. You want to really see the evidence that it can work. And you want to hear authentic stories. And you want to experience it for yourself. And all of that baked in to the marketing is what is different than the hard and fast promises.
And that’s the other thing, especially with someone who has bought a lot of coaching training or tried a lot of marketing things. You see those promises and you see this very fast and loose little like outline of you’re going to do that, that, that, that, that, and then it’s going to work. And I think that that’s really less appealing and push. And when I say push, I’m thinking of it not even just pushy in the language, but a push out like, oh, that doesn’t feel real to me. That doesn’t feel like something I can actually see or experience myself. And if I can’t see or feel that I’m not moving forward with it.
Bobby: Yeah. I think there is this kind of black hole that sucks you in. Where it seems like the easiest promise to make is money related. It’s finance related. Just talking about that bottom line. But it sounds like you all have done a good job of staying true to the kind of promises and the kind of market that you want to speak to. Because those promises obviously work. People do buy those programs, but obviously a lot of them get burned by those programs.
Jamie: People experience something like that and then they’re like, okay, there was something missing there. There’s something deeper that I’m not able to access.
Bobby: When they switch from obviously it’s important to make money as a business owner, but also it really is ultimately about impact. You could go work for some wall street business and just be about making money. But obviously they’re in this space to make a real impact.
Jamie: Yeah. And I would say I feel really passionately about that because that’s been my experience. Like I went from this very shiny career that was very big and had all of the money possibilities in the world. And I would say impact on some level.
It’s not that those things aren’t important because you have to have both. I see it as like, those,outcomes that other programs are promising is the fruit of doing the work. And of having something that does make a big impact. When it has a big impact, it’s going to have a huge result. And obviously Claire can speak to that too. She’s made a company that’s made over a hundred million dollars in revenue. She’s been on the stage for a decade. Those things come as a result of doing the deep work. But they’re not really the focus. And I think you have to have something that has all of the pieces present for success, all of the ingredients for success present in your work and in your life.
And for me, that was something that changed the trajectory of my life. Really focusing on wanting to have all of those pieces present. And so I think we bring that forward in our work.
Bobby: That’s really interesting that you say that. Especially in the coaching and transformation space, especially with the promises we’ve been talking about that are so money focused. In the other fields, like SaaS apps, they talk about product-led growth. Where if you have a great product, people will come, you’ll retain those customers. But it seems a lot of times in the coaching and transformation space, a lot of the promises and a lot of the approaches are so marketing heavy. Whereas you’re doing the flip side where you’re like, just focus on being an incredible coach. You’ll keep your clients and you’ll have plenty of people wanting to work with you.
Jamie: Yeah. I love that you noticed that. Because absolutely. Claire says this all the time, so I’m borrowing from Claire. But it’s the idea that: you don’t have a marketing problem. You have a results problem. And when you get extraordinary results for people, you’ll have a line of people out the door. They will be asking you for bigger and deeper engagements. They will be coming back to you time and time again. Because it works. And like you said, there are a lot of people out there who can promise you all of these shiny things and you might make some income. But they can’t promise you a line of clients out the door that you’re not having to work to find new ones.The most frustrating way to live as a marketer is when the only people you can sell to are people who haven’t heard of you before. If you don’t have people who are raving fans talking about you to others and coming back to you again and again.A healthy system for marketing and for business is when you’re able to create demand based on the results of your work.
Bobby: Yeah, absolutely. It’s very telling that the, I will say, “bro marketers”, do a lot of turn and burn type marketing because they have to.
Jamie: So I don’t want to leave without asking you about your history in the entertainment world. You have such an impressive background in the film industry, especially working on Oscar winning campaigns. What frameworks and strategies were you able to take from that world and bring into the work that you do now?
Well, that’s a great question. It grew me as a, as a marketer, as a strategist, as a leader, being exposed to people at that very, very high level and what they do to be successful and the things that they go through.
So I worked on 21 Academy Award nominated movies in my career. And you’re working with these really high level creatives. Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, these big name people who were doing these really incredible projects. And they were concerned about the trajectory of that story from the moment it was conceived of as an idea all the way through, how did it land in people’s homes? And what was the experience that people had with the stories at the end of that journey. So like we talked about the client journey, but I was really learning from the beginning how much they cared about seeing it go all the way through. And being relentless in staying true to that message as things evolve, as it goes from being an idea to having a budget and having actors attached to it. Those things influence that core story. They pull on it, they change it, they mold it, they adjust it. And then it goes into the studio world where everyone has their piece of it. There’s the budget side of it. And there’s the, what’s it going to look like in theaters. And what’s it going to look like to the Academy voters. And that job of that filmmaker was to hold that, kernel of the story from that beginning of that process all the way through it hopefully winning an award. And still being true to that story.
And so I think if I narrowed it down to just one thing, it was that they were unstoppable at maintaining the integrity of that story. And seeing that commitment to it. One, it shows incredible belief in what they were creating. And believing that it was worth being told and worth being shared. And then staying with it all the way through, no matter how difficult it is and no matter how many turns it takes. And no matter, whether it’s going through ads or it’s going through live events, maintaining that core story. So that was the biggest thing.
In terms of strategy, it’s agility and being able to constantly adjust. Because there’s always something. There’s always a competitor. There’s always having to distinguish it in the market based on what else is happening.
Whatever your first draft of something. Your first draft of a strategy. Your first idea at a campaign. If it doesn’t go through 10 iterations and change on its way out the door, you probably aren’t watching it closely enough. It needs a lot of nurture and support and agility to get out and be successful.
Bobby: It’s really interesting to hear you say that. I went to film school and it’s one of the things I think is totally underrated about filmmakers and visionaries like that. Like in my experience, it was easy to focus on a project for six months. You’d spend a couple of weekends filming it and get it out the door.
It’s a lot harder to remain consistent, like you said, to that kernel for years. Especially these days when you have business owners changing their direction every quarter. You have a new focus. They have a new direction. It is a really underrated ability to remain committed and clear headed about the direction and what it is that you’re doing.
Jamie: It really is. I worked on the movie, The Fighter. And Mark Wahlberg was involved in that movie from day one. And he really demonstrated that commitment to the story, the commitment to the family. It was based on a true story. But his commitment to them and his commitment to maintaining that integrity in the story all the way through. And like you said, the idea that something takes years gives you a lot of fortitude and willing to roll with the punches.
I actually had a professor at Baylor. My favorite film professor. He said, if you will stick with it in Hollywood for 10 years, you’ll get a shot. But you just have to be willing to endure the 10 years to get to your shot. And I was willing to do the 10 yearsif I wasn’t miserable. Like I wasn’t going to be in a waiting room for 10 years. I was going to be on the field doing something. And if I’m waiting for my shot to come, that’s fine. But I’m going to be playing. I’m not sitting on the sidelines until my 10 year moment comes up.
And so I think that that it’s kind of the same thing with any product you’re trying to bring to market. You have to have resilience to your idea of being shot down. And maybe it needs adjustment. And maybe you need a new coach. And maybe you need to try a different marketing strategy.
But that resilience is, I believe, the difference maker. Are you willing to sit there with it and work with it and adjust it and mold it and change it and try it again and again and again until it comes out in the world? And if you can’t, then why are you even selling it? If you don’t have the fortitude to see it into the marketplace, why would anybody else want to buy it?
Bobby: That’s beautiful. I think that’s actually the perfect note to leave us out on. Jamie, where can people find you?
Jamie: Where can people find me? Not very easily. I guess LinkedIn would be a place that you can find me. If you want to connect with me, I’m on LinkedIn and you can connect with me there.
Bobby: Perfect. And then any final notes you want to leave with the listeners?
Jamie: Well, first of all, thank you. Thanks for having me. Thanks for being interested in what we’re doing. And I just want to say, I don’t do these things very often. But in my list of people who I would pull out a favor for, you are high up on it. You have always just been, you’re an excellent marketer. And I think anyone who’s listening to your voice is lucky to hear what you have to say. And hear your thinking and to learn with you. So thanks for including me in that. And yeah, I think that’s it. Just thank you for having me.