Heart-Centered Businesses and the Facebook group growth strategy, with Joey Ragona
Episode 12, Season 1 – Joey Ragona
Welcome to the twelfth episode of The Micro Niche Mastery Podcast.
Our guest for today is Joey Ragona also known as “The Entrepreneur Activator,” a heart-centered coach and strategic marketer who helps entrepreneurs find the right customers and make marketing much easier.
If you want to do things differently, Joey’s story will prove why being different in business is the way to go. Listen to learn more.
- Heart-centered coaching is serving from the heart and not from the head
- Joey’s business went down to zero, but his heart for helping people made him find his micro-niche
- Joey’s Facebook group made his business grow. Listen to learn how he did it and got super busy with clients too
- The secret to finding your ‘super powers’ is in the first part of the interview
- Joey shared what is “A day in the life of a heart-centered coach”
- For Joey, losing a person on your email list is not a bad thing. Find out his reasons in this episode
- Why email engagement is important in 2021 and beyond
- What is a two-way engagement, and why do you need it in email marketing
- One thing to offer to make your email valuable to your audience
- Why do you need the Super PS in email marketing
- How many emails do you need to send in a week
- Joey makes sales without pressure – find out how
- How does Joey’s email list grow? Answer is on the second part of the podcast
- If you are not sure what to do next in your business, get strategic advice from Joey here
If you find this podcast helpful, share it with a friend!
Click Below to see the full transcript of this episode
Welcome to the Micro Niche Mastery Podcast, where we help you establish yourself in the perfect micro-niche. So you will get noticed and grow your business faster. And now your host, he changed his life five times with the power of an email Ziv Raviv
Welcome to the Micro Niche Mastery Podcast. Today’s interviewee is Joey Ragona. Joey is a heart-centered coach and a strategic marketer. And quite frankly, Joe, I have to say one of my heroes online because you always help people and give them good strategic advice. And I love your opinions on mail deliverability and hygiene and email list and whatnot. So first just say thank you Joey for being here on my show.
Hi. Yeah. Thank you. That’s that’s so nice of you and thank you for recognizing that. I think that’s what the world needs more is us using our super or just helping people out. So, and thank you for this opportunity to share my opinionated knowledge and wisdom here.
It’s often a contrary to the common knowledge. You know, a lot of people are so afraid to lose their precious subscribers and you go and say quite freely and everywhere. That’s not necessarily such a bad thing to lose someone out of your list. So, before we go into that, give us your introduction of like, who is Joey and what does it even mean to be a heart-centered coach.
A heart-centered coach like this is a big buzz word. That’s now coming into the plate. Like as the recording, we are now in 2021 middle of 2021, when you’re starting to hear this word, heart centered a lot. And for me it’s been like that for years. And what that really means is that we serve from the heart. It means that we have empathy for the market. We, we build relationships, we care about people first, then we do about profit. And that doesn’t mean that profit is not important, but it’s not about going into the world and using strategies or techniques or helping, you know, quote unquote, helping expecting a return. It’s more about how can I help this person and maybe eventually down the line, maybe it’s tomorrow, maybe it’s 18 years from now that they’re going to come around and say, I really want to work with you. So that’s really what it all means. It’s serving from the heart and not from the head.
What, like, do you have any back story of your journey that made you realize that walking from the heart is a good idea? That being generous, right? That caring all these good. What made you realize that this is a good idea.
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I’ll try to condense this as, as much as possible because I do want this to be framed in the context. And I’ve always been, I guess, from the heart. And when I got into the world of online marketing or whatever you want to call it online business in 2012, from 2012 to 16, I was just doing stuff and, or grabbing all kinds of information and whatever absorbing and the business was.
Okay. And then in 16, but as you know, there’s so many different experts and marketers and all these people. And as you get into the world, you start seeing a lot of stuff. And so my business really wasn’t exploding at to any degree of the six figures and all that. So I went down another path and I followed other experts and gurus and all that and said, okay, well, if that’s how they’re doing this, you know, more of the aggressive marketing and all that. Not that I went heavily into the deadlines and the hard sales stuff, because I’m not a hard salesperson, but I did go down that route. And for 16 to 19, that’s all I did and follow all of the plans, did everything I invest in. Cause when I do something, I think I, I go in a thousand percent, I don’t have asset, right?
So it’s like, I’m going to do this and I’m going to do it 100%. And so I invested thousands of dollars in Facebook ads and all that kind of stuff. And the business didn’t grow anymore. And I got clients and, but they were the wrong clients. And it’s not that they’re bad people. It wasn’t that they were bad. They were just misaligned with who I am. And the misalignment was that they were profit first people, all they cared about was making profit. And again, I’m not judging anybody. It’s not wrong to make profit. But when I was trying to integrate some kind of, well, don’t worry about it. Let’s build the business a little bit slower and try to get the right customers. They didn’t care about that. So in, I was between 19 2016 and 19, my heart and head were fighting. So my head was saying, no, all these guys are making six figures, seven figures doing it this way.
But my every time I tried to do something, my heart would say, Joey, this is not right. Something’s wrong. And I would get this butterfly in my stomach and I would have these anxiety attacks and stuff, but I did it. And then in 19, and the funny thing was, I was still in both worlds. So I was still in this heart-centered world of like awesome people and mentors and colleagues and all this and going to those events. Right. Very, and then all in this other one. So in 19, early 19, I went to another event with a heart-centered people and everything else. And the business was still not getting anywhere, but the heart and head was fighting a lot. So this was three years in now. And I said, it was February of that year. And I said, that’s it, I’m no longer doing this.
I make a decision. Like I don’t screw around. So I fired all my clients in 19 and this is the pivotal point that I want everybody to listen to. Like I fired all my clients. My business went down to basically zero. I had no income at all. And for that year, from February to November, it was very, very difficult. Like I know that there’s people who are listening to this that understand what I’m talking about. Like I could barely pay my electricity bill and here’s the hard part that I, that happened. So I decided to go back to the heart center person and because I was doing it one way before 16, like, you know, just randomly thing and decided to go the opposite of what everybody else was doing in groups and things like that. And decided to truly help, not the content marketing help, not the thing, but truly help.
And here’s what I really want to reference. I did this every day for hours, hours, hours, and specific groups like concentrating on who can I help and how can I help them? And when, and remember this, I want you to remember that I couldn’t pay my bills. So there was things that would come up that I’m a superpower like copywriting or whatever it is like dream clients like niche stuff like people asking for help with that. Or can I get a coach to help me with this? And you know how those things go, right? As soon as somebody says, can you, is there a coach who can help me with this? The threads explode, I can help you let’s get on a call and all that kind of stuff. So I decided to do it differently and actually help the person say, what do you need?
And how can I help you? Here’s something I use. Right. And the reason I’m saying this to you is because it was very difficult to do that, knowing that I could not pay my bills where I could easily have said, Hey, why don’t we get on a discovery call? And let me show you how I can help you or whatever like that and do the same thing everybody was doing. Right. And what that did is it positioned me completely different. And it was like, holy crap, this guy really gives a about something. Hey, we can swear, hopefully on this thing we get.
So that was the journey. And I didn’t know what I was really doing, except serving from here. I did, but it was very difficult. It was painful every day. And sometimes to the point of almost depression, because it was like, oh my God, I have to be nice in the group, but I’m really piss off mood today. Right? And so that lasted for about six months. And then finally it was like, the universe turned on a switch and people just started coming out of the woodwork and I got jobs and I got clients and all this other kind of stuff. And here we are two years later doing the exact same strategy. I just told you, it’s not that I’m hiding anything that I, that I do. And it all, it is a serving from the heart and it builds relationships. And that was the journey from going from no more hard selling, no more deadlines, no more pressure, no more of this to, I want to only serve dream clients, a very small amount of dream clients, which relates to everything we’re going to be talking about, which is the list building the right people and all this kind of stuff. Hopefully that wasn’t too long of a story.
Perfect. That’s wonderful. First of all, thank you so much for being vulnerable here and sharing like often as I see you in real life, in, in, in the groups and whatnot, you are always so open and transparent and want to help. It’s almost like you chose as your micro nice in essence, to be heart-centered and to just go out there in specific Facebook groups where you can shine, uh, with your knowledge and your know-how and your experience, and you went all in with that one strategic thing of being different and being helpful, just that like actually caring.
Yeah. It was, if you kind of unpack it all, was it a strategy, I suppose now it’s kind of a strategy or whatever, was it a strategy? Yes, I would be lying if I would say I didn’t want to get clients out of it, but the whole part of it was how can I do this differently than everybody else? Because I don’t want to stand. I don’t want to be like everybody else that is pretending to help, you know, those types of people, right. They pretend to help. And there’s this little underlying thing that they want something out of it right then and there. And that just wasn’t for me. And so the last thing that I want in my world is someone to say, you lied to me, you didn’t tell me the entire truth or whatever it is, or you manipulated me that kind of thing. And I don’t want that. And so I just figured it’s a lot easier for people to come to me, which is a longer process. Not, I’m not saying this is easy and overnight and all that. It was a longer process for me. It was six months. Now I can kind of condense it down to three months and teach people now like the actual strategy to it.
Cause I’ve unpacked it, but then I didn’t have a strategy. So it was just about what are my super powers? What are the two or three things that I’m really, really good at that I could talk about over and over and over again. And to that point, there’s people who I’ve seen said many times in the groups that Joey helps this and I’ve seen him say this thing over and over again and helps in the same thing. And that was a key component to what I’m talking about here. Because if you want to go and help, it’s about what am I really great at that I’m not bored about talking about? And it doesn’t matter if you’re asking me the same question every day. And that helped because he was like, all right, here’s one knowledge. Here’s what I know, go do this thing. Right?
And it positions you differently, definitely positions you differently.
So, tell me a little bit, just so that the audience could really paint a picture of how busy are you, because I know you’re very busy. It was even just hard to schedule this. Both of us are busy, but like how busy are you these days.
When it comes to the busy? It depends on the context. You’re asking this. And in terms of the business itself, it’s completely packed. And, but I’m not working 24 hours a day anymore. And I don’t work well. I have a three-day weekend or every weekend. So I have a long weekend all the time. Now, do I work on the weekends and Fridays? Yes. Sometimes I do. It’s not that I want to paint the picture. Like I’m living the laptop lifestyle and whatever. Right. But I choose when I can work. And it’s awesome. So my day, just to give you an example, my day starts at one o’clock like here we are at one 30, my time that we started this. And so my days go from one to five, that’s it four days a week. And it doesn’t mean I’m not working prior to that, but I wake up around nine 30, maybe whatever, eight o’clock and then I’m reading and 10 o’clock till 12 o’clock I’m doing my own thing. So it’s like, I protect time. And so when I’m busy, it becomes that the one to five, now that I’ve only got four days used to be, you write like one or two clients. Now it’s completely filled with calls like this or coaching clients, private clients, or doing my group coaching cohorts. And so, and here’s the funny thing that when I wanted to do this thing many, many years ago, and you know, you, the vision of your business, I wanted maybe a decade ago.
I said, all I want to do is get up every day and coach people. Right. And it wasn’t like that. And here I am today, blessed to be doing that. And that’s all I do. I get up, I show up on zoom and I coach and help people, awesome humans every single day. And so that’s the busy-ness but is it really busy? No, it’s something that I love, love to do.
Yeah. I love it. So let’s talk a little bit about, uh, strategy with email hygiene, a topic that, uh, you’ve been quite contrarian in your approach. And we’ve mentioned it before. Let’s talk into the details. What is it about engagement in email that makes it so important in 2021 and beyond?
Well, that’s a broad question and we can get into a lot of the major details cause we can spend a month talking about this. But the main thing is there’s a couple things. One is that with the email service providers, let’s get into a little bit of the technical details without going heavy, but it’s that everything’s going into spam and email service providers out there, the Googles, yahoos things, all that kind of stuff. They want to see interaction. And so engagement is very important and engagement is easy. Yeah. It’s opening the emails, but it’s also are people responding to you are people taking when they open your email and a second later they press delete. The Google sees all that. They see all that happening. So even though your email was opened, you’re like, oh, my open rates are awesome. I’ve got engagement. Well, what happened after that? Did they spend a minute reading it? Or did they move it to the trash folder or did they move it to the inbox?
Right? So your, your stuff has to be very relevant to people and it needs to have some kind of a two-way engagement. That’s why I’m always trying to get people to reply to me or to click on a link. Right. And not a willing to a sales page. This is not about just selling. This is about giving value. Like, Hey, I read this awesome book and it showed me this, go over here and take a look at it. See if you let it get right. And that’s engagement. And that’s what Google will. I’ll just use Google, but it means everybody. So I don’t have to mention them all the time. They just want to see that. And that’s what it means. It means people opening and responding and taking action on your emails, whatever that action is and what have they built. Yeah. So if they don’t take action, then what I do is I cleaned them off my list and people have this, this view of like, well, these could be people who will buy after two years or five years.
And they’re right. There is an argument for that. However, if someone hasn’t opened my email in like 90 days, and then I send them another aggressive 14 day, Hey, miss you go check this out every day thingy to try and get them to at least do something like open the email or click it. If they’re not doing that, then I remove them because they are taking up space on my email list. And it goes against my ratios. Like if there’s a thousand people in over a hundred are opening, great. I got a thousand people, but peop or whoever sees that. And so does Google. We’ve got all these, you sent a thousand, but only, only 100 people are opening. So in my mind, the argument is, well, like I just said, somebody could be waiting and we’ll buy five years from now. And what I’ve learned, and this goes way beyond we’re talking about here.
But the customer journey that we’re talking about is not necessarily the linear path that we were built to understand. Opt-in page that come in here, they come into our world from many places. Many channels are there’s never, before, when it was all built, there was not all this social media stuff. Right? So in my mind that if I remove you from my list and you’re truly wanting to hear from me, you’re not going to miss me. You’re going to see me on, on YouTube or on Facebook or somewhere that I’m still in your world. And if I still resonate with you, then maybe you’ll reach opt in. That’s my argument against, well, you’ve just lost that person. Well, they’re not interested in me right now. And they’re not opening. They become a liability for me on my list because it doesn’t get the other emails to the right people because Google says this, guy’s not sending anything valuable because 900 people aren’t opening.
So what, what do you feel when people unsubscribe?
That’s a good thing for me. Like, I’m like, okay, you unsubscribed, but you didn’t complain about me. That means I don’t resonate with you. And it protects the future for me, because if I keep sending you stuff and eventually I get you on a bad, bad day and that you don’t vibe with me, you’re going to click a complaint. So I’d rather that you unsubscribe and tell me, I don’t agree with what you’re saying or I don’t like you or whatever, and that’s okay. We just don’t align. So to me, it’s a blessing because I know there’s a difference here. Sorry to interrupt. But there’s a difference here that when people are unsubscribing, first of all, I asked them to unsubscribe, believe it or not in the first couple of emails, but when they unsubscribe, it’s not usually from these sales type of emails, it’s not like a long four day cash machine or two week thing that eventually they’re going, oh my God, stop sending me sales emails.
I understand that. And so I’m sending actual stuff, that’s helping them. And I’m like, if they’re going to unsubscribe from that and I haven’t even asked them to anything, then they’re really not in my, my dream client world.
So what else out of your ideas for these day-to-day type of emails that actually bring value, what would you write about?
Yeah. That’s where your super power comes in. So it’s very segmented to whatever people are interested in. And I don’t talk about, I could talk about a whole bunch of stuff, but now it’s the four or five things that I’m really great at. So it’s copywriting or maybe dream client or something like that, marketing that are segmented to the list. So if they opted in for about a dream client thing, that I’m going to be talking about, dream clients to them and giving them value, not just go buy my stuff.
It’s more, here’s how you choose a dream client. Here’s the difference between a dream client and an avatar? Did you know these things? So really the answer is it’s education. It’s true education. And then what I do is I learned this from Dean Jackson, which is the super PS. And on the bottom of every single email is an opportunity to move forward with me. So it’s not a sale, it’s an offer. It’s a very soft offer. And that’s how you continuously put stuff in front of people. And I see this happen every single day. It doesn’t happen. Hundreds of people clicking on the thing below, but one or two people click and they go and they check something else out or they, whatever they don’t go by, they go check out a certain other value piece that gets them into another part of my world.
And that allows me to make direct offers to the list and without them being off about it, because I can then, because I’ve given them continuous education and that’s how I do it. It’s just education. And once a month basically say, I’ve got this thing, would you like to join us? And that’s it.
Wow. Uh, how many minutes do you, do you send in an, in an average week,
Three average of two to three,
And only about once a month, you will like actually offer them to buy something.
Yeah. And it wasn’t even like that before, because I didn’t have all of these things to offer and I still don’t have like all of these things. I think it’s a mistake to, they have all of these products and it just confuses the market. And for me, it’s about, there’s only two things that can really, really help you on getting really clear on your dream client and attracting them, right.
And copywriting and marketing, which I’ll release to emails and all those other stuffs. So those are the two main buckets that I can talk about all the time. And I can talk about mindset and productivity, blah, blah, blah. But why make products on that when it doesn’t really right. So it’s always about those two things. And so once I realized that, then I started creating programs that were built around that, like, I have two main whatever you want, call them hero products or whatever. Right. And now I have like sub products from those or programs I should say, but it was never like that. So now it’s more of a consistent, I’m doing this thing again. Would you like to join us? And that’s usually once a month and if there’s no sales pressure, like this is the beauty of it. There’s no pressure. There’s no funnel, there’s no deadline, there’s no launch, nothing like that.
It’s just a, I’m doing this on whatever September 9th would you like to join us? And they send an email back, which is engagement. Okay. And they go, I’d love to tell me more about it. And I, and we have a conversation back and forth in email, and this is where the engagement and Google sees this happening. And what happens is most people just want to set it and forget it. They just want to go here. My funnel set up, click that, go watch the videos or whatever, and then buy my. I’m like, okay, fine. But I’m constantly, and this is where going back to the busy-ness. Now this reminds me of what busy-ness really is for me. It’s about having those, those conversations with people. So it’s back and forth email, or it’s either chats on Facebook and having conversations, not here’s my lead magnet, opt in and watch my stuff and buy.
Right. And so that’s where the most of my time really goes of nurturing and having those relationships and people, there’s lots of people who say, that’s crazy. Why would I spend all my time doing that? And my argument is well, because when I do, when people, when they get on my list and I’m telling you what, I’m just telling you, that I’m all I’m doing is educating and then putting an offer going, would you like to join us on September 9th? They’re like, I’m in, how much is it? Like I don’t even have, so what else
I’m a for you, uh, the lead magnets, or like the, the mechanisms that you use to get someone on your list.
It’s a good question. And there’s always about like lead magnets. I call them gifts by the way. So good. It’s a gift where for me regularly, I’ll tell you how my process works. And it doesn’t mean that this is the process to use, but it’s just because of my, where I spend my time. And it’s, how do I leverage that? So if I spend my time on chats with people having real conversations, the very first thing I’m going to try to do or invite them to is my Facebook group, because that’s where I hang out more like every day to helping people. And you’re a part of the Facebook group, aren’t you? So you know how we are in there. Like it’s a very healthy, tight-knit awesome heart center community. We’re not there pitching and all this other stuff. So that’s the very first place that I want to get them to. Now it depends on what they’re asking about. If they’re asking, if it’s conversation might be all about dream clients or something, let’s say, then I might say, Hey man, I’ve got this free mini course on my site.
There’s not even an opt-in for it. Would you like to go over there and I’ll give you the link for that. And then they’ll build there. And then at the end of that, there’s, it’s a five page mini course, which gives in at the end of that, there’s an opt-in. And here’s the reason why I do that. This is opposite contrarians to everybody else, right? Because it would be opt into my free thing, then I’ll show you the thing. So I show them the thing. And then only the right people want to opt in to the next part of it. Does that make sense? So I don’t pull it all back. I give them the entire thing and yes, there are lots of people who go read it. Who never opt in and you might say, or somebody of the other people might say, well, that’s crazy.
You need them to opt in. Well, if I gave them five pages of like major value and they didn’t want to opt in to get like the next piece, which is even greater, they’re probably not my dream client. So I’m not, I’m not going to waste their time and I’m not going to waste my time. But that’s how I get people on my list. Basically. It’s usually from the Facebook group.
Wow. And how do you get people into the Facebook group then?
Yeah. So that’s where the whole heart centered part is. Whereas just going in and focusing on where are my dream clients and how can I help those people? And here’s the thing. And if you want, we can give a link to the YouTube video that I share all this too. It’s right there. Like the whole strategy is right there, but it’s pretty simple.
And we’ve heard about going into groups and helping and all this. And what it does is when you go into groups and focus only on your superpowers, helping those people, let’s say, it’s copy whatever. And you’re answering coffee questions. You’re not selling your dream clients. Here’s the difference are watching you do that. They are not the people usually who are responding to your thread. And this is where everybody gets it wrong because they’re thinking, well, you answer, I answered all your questions. Why isn’t this person reaching out or asking me to help them or get on a call or whatever. Right? And that’s where people are missing the whole strategy. If you want to call it that you’re helping somebody else. And your dream clients are watching you do that. And they’re going, this guy is fricking awesome. And I see how, cause I get it every, almost every week.
Well, I actually do. I do every single week. It’s not every day, but every week somebody will give me that a message. I saw you in this group, helping these people. And I love your opinions about XYZ, whatever. And we get into a conversation. That’s how it happens. But I just told you that I’m spending every day of my work days, doing that, you can’t see the result of this. And that sucks. Like everyday you doing this, you’re like, where’s the ROI? What did I see in this? Right. You can’t see it happening.
Well, I just wanted to say it actually works. And I’ve been in the situation with you personally, I’ve seen you express an opinion. It was so right. And so different than the advice that people gave on a thread that I was like, oh man, such a mistake to even just ask the question is setting you up for failure because you’re going to get so many opinions, but your opinion was so light. I just had to like go in and say, dude, I really loved what you said. That was smart stuff. That’s cool.
Thank you. Yeah. And that’s okay. That’s another big piece of what I’m saying here, because when you serve from the heart, it’s that you serve from your knowledge and opinions and that you truly believe that you are not right. That the whole world needs to listen to you, but do you believe in what you’re doing? Okay. So yes, I’ll stay say something and get people who disagree with it. And I’m okay with that. That doesn’t mean that I’m trying to convert those people to my world. They’re not my dream client and they don’t agree with me and that’s okay. And that’s one thing that I had to grow up and be more mature about because before, early on in my life, it was like, well, if you don’t agree with me, you’re an and that’s not the way it is.
Right. And he’s like, okay, if you don’t agree with me, that’s okay. You live there and I’ll live over here and we’re still friends. Right. And so that’s the one maturity thing that I had the girl, but you’re right. It’s about, so you were an awesome dude and you saw, Hey, I like this guy, his opinions, and he’s right about this. And you reached out and now we’re friends. Right. And that was it. I never tried to sell you on anything. We just talked.
Yup. Yup. We connected. And this is about like relationship marketing and connection marketing. It just like way millennials, because it is coming from a place of caring and sharing passion about certain things. And then like, Hey, I know that if I have an issue that I want an advice, I can go to Joey Ragona and get a really strategic, solid advice.
And I think that the relationship building is the super power that, and if it can be taught something that is reproducible. So where can people go, Joey, to learn more about heart centered coaching, the way you do it. And just about what you do.
Strategicbusinessacademy.com is my website, strategic business academy.com. I’ll also give you the link to the Facebook group. The Facebook group is called strategic marketing club. So I don’t know if you can search that on the group thingy, but we’ll give you the link for that. And I totally invite you into that group because it’s awesome. They are. And that’s where you’ll get a lot of value from what I do, but those are the two main places.
So, I welcome everyone that are listening right now. Like stop your calls or you’re crawling in the park and go to the show notes daily cookie co uh, this will be episode number 12 and just find the link to everything that Joey does subscribe to his YouTube channel. You will be so happy that you did. So, Joey, Ragona thank you so much for being here in the Micro Niche Mastery Podcast.
Ziv, this was awesome. Thank you so much and all the best to you and all your listeners and great speed forward to doing because you are serving the world and I’m happy to be a part of it. Thank you for this.
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