Episode 173 – Kronda Adair
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to episode 173 with Kronda Adair – How to Boost Your Online Content and Rev Up Your Marketing Engine!
Kronda Adair is the founder of Karvel Digital—a digital marketing consulting agency that helps service-based businesses automate their marketing to create predictable sales pipelines.
Her latest project is The Content Bootcamp—a 12 week online intensive that teaches overwhelmed entrepreneurs how to create and use digital content as assets that save time and sell for you.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- In the online marketing world, Kronda is known for giving business owners the training they need to own and manage their online marketing platform.
- Kronda also shared some tips for people who are learning to be themselves online.
- Then, we talked about Kronda’ s origin story. After finishing a degree in web design and interactive media, Kronda got a job in a tech company. A few years later, she got fired by her boss and took that as a cue to start her own business by creating $500 WordPress websites.
- The ability to empower people through communication is Kronda’s superpower. This type of skill enables her clients to communicate their value and message to the world and scale their business.
- Kronda’s fatal flaw in her business is setting boundaries and a lack of disbelief in the value that she provides. She was able to mitigate these flaws by providing free content to people.
- People who only focus on the short-term goals and not looking at the long-term results are her arch-nemesis at Karvel Digital.
- Then, we went on to talk about Kronda’s driving force. She fights for service-based business owners to have thriving businesses through the use of content and automation.
- One of Kronda’s personal heroes is Chris Davis. He inspires Kronda to leverage her business and continually create amazing content for her podcast.
- Then, Kronda shared her thoughts about asking better questions — a topic she covered in her own podcast.
- Lastly, Kronda’s guiding principle is the title of her podcast—Begin As You Mean To Go On.
Kronda mentioned the following book/s on the show.
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Kronda Adair challenged Lael Petersen to be a guest on The HERO Show. Kronda thinks that Lael is a fantastic person to interview because she is a therapist who turned to coaching and helps people create better habits so that they can create better lives. Lael has a lot of great things to share on the show.
How To Stay Connected with Kronda Adair
Want to stay connected with Kronda? Please check out their social profiles below.
- Website: KarvelDigital.com
- Facebook Profile: Facebook.com/kronda/photos
- LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/in/krondaadair
With that… let’s go and listen to the full episode…
Kronda Adair 0:01
The primary thing I’m fighting for is for service-based business owners and particularly women of color who have service-based businesses, to have thriving businesses, to be able to run their businesses and also live life and enjoy whatever the dream, we don’t start businesses with the dream of working 90 hour weeks. And that’s what ends up happening to a lot of people. And so my driving force is about using my skills and teaching people the value of content and how content is an asset. And teaching people what automation can do for them to help them save time, and teaching people the value of systems because those are the things that build up an actual business. And when I say business, I mean a collection of systems that produces profit.
Richard Matthews 0:51
Heroes are an inspiring group of people, every one of them from the larger than life comic book heroes you see on the big silver screen, the everyday heroes that let us live the privileged lives we do. Every hero has a story to tell, the doctor saving lives at your local hospital, the war veteran down the street, who risked his life for our freedom to the police officers, and the firefighters who risked their safety to ensure ours every hero is special and every story worth telling. But there was one class of heroes that I think is often ignored the entrepreneur, the creator, the producer, the ones who look at the problems in this world and think to themselves, you know what I can fix that I can help people I can make a difference. And they go out and do exactly that by creating a new product or introducing a new service. Some go on to change the world, others make a world of difference to their customers. Welcome to the Hero Show. Join us as we pull back the masks on the world’s finest hero preneurs and learn the secrets to their powers their success and their influence. So you can use those secrets to attract more sales, make more money, and experience more freedom in your business. I’m your host, Richard Matthews, and we are on in 3…2…1…
Richard Matthews 1:46
Hello, and welcome back to the Hero Show. My name is Richard Matthews. And today I have the pleasure of having Kronda Adair on the line. Kronda, are you there?
Kronda Adair 1:54
Yes, thanks for having me
Richard Matthews 1:57
I feel like I got your name right that time after practicing a few before we got off the show. So I appreciate the patience with that. And I just want to find out where are you calling in from?
Kronda Adair 2:09
I’m calling in from Portland, Oregon.
Richard Matthews 2:11
And has it started to cool off from the major heat wave you guys had a few weeks ago there?
Kronda Adair 2:17
It’s back to what I would call normal summer, it was 115, 116 degrees a few weeks ago. That wasn’t cool.
Richard Matthews 2:27
Yeah, I grew up in Southern California in the desert area. So that was normal for us. But I don’t think Oregon’s ever seen those temperatures.
Kronda Adair 2:35
We have never seen temperatures like that, our poor blueberry bushes were fried. It was not good.
Richard Matthews 2:42
And do you guys even have air conditioning up there?
Kronda Adair 2:45
Yeah, well, I mean, we do personally. And I think a lot of people, especially with global warming. I think more people have gotten air conditioning. I think air conditioning businesses are probably doing really well right now.
Richard Matthews 2:58
Yeah, absolutely. So for my audience who’s following along with our travels, my wife and I are in South Carolina, we have moved down along the coast. We’re on our way down to Florida for the fall and wintertime. So that’s where we’re at. So what I want to do to start off with Kronda is just a quick bio for people who don’t know who you are, and then we’ll get into your story. So Kronda Adair is the founder of Karvel Digital, which is an agency that helps mission-driven service-based businesses automate their marketing so they can create predictable sales pipelines, your regular speaker at the WordPress meetups and word camps and has been featured on podcasts such as Women Conquer Business and The Out Entrepreneur with Rhodes Perry, and your latest project is the content Bootcamp a 12 week online intensive to teach overwhelmed entrepreneurs how to create and use the content as an asset that saves time and sells for you. So with that brief introduction, Kronda, why don’t you tell us what it is that your business does, who you do it for? And what you’re known for?
Kronda Adair 4:00
Yeah. So I started out, I refer to myself as a recovered web developer. And so that’s where I started my business. And I pretty quickly realized that just putting up the website wasn’t really helping as much as I hoped. And so I really took a deep dive into marketing and figuring out how does online marketing works. And so that has evolved into my main flagship offer that content boot camp that you mentioned, I jokingly refer to it as teaching people how to be people online. Because this weird thing happens with business owners that are, they can be really personable in person, they can be great on stage, and then you put a screen in front of them and they choke up, they forget all the sort of magnetism and brilliance and how to bring that into the online format, which is where you can actually scale that. And so my program really helps people go through a process of practicing, how to put yourself out there, be a text content or audio or video in a way that really attracts your ideal audience that maybe you’re getting clients, but maybe you want better clients. So putting themselves out there in a way that attracts their ideal clients, and then helping them to close the sale so that they can get to a point where they can have enough content that they know works. And then you can start to automate it. And then that’s when the magic really starts to happen.
Richard Matthews 5:26
Yeah, that’s amazing. And it’s a similar story to mine. I remember, my first foray into online business was web development, I was helping a friend actually do a logo design and rebuild their website into a modern CMS. It was an old hack together, I don’t know, if you remember, you could take Photoshop layers and turn them into HTML. That’s the kind of website he had. And in 2009, or so. Content management systems had just sort of come onto the scene. And I was like, hey, I think we could help you a lot by not having to work with code anymore. And you could have a content management system. I think it was Joomla at the time that we used.
Kronda Adair 6:06
Richard Matthews 6:07
Yeah, that was a long time ago. So anyway, I had the same kind of thing. And I realized a long time ago just doing the website and having it there was not enough, you had to bring in all of the sales and the marketing. And everything else that goes along with having a presence, you have to be there. You make the website, essentially, you can’t do it. But you have to do more. So anyway, it’s definitely interesting. And I love the idea of helping people be themselves online. Cuz I know, for me, I struggle to this day, being able to get in front of a camera and actually talk and sound like a human being. If I don’t have someone else on the other side, I can interview great. But if I’m just talking to the camera, I sound like a kid who’s giving his first presentation in first grade.
Kronda Adair 6:59
Yeah, it’s a skill for sure. And you can learn it, or you can work around it as you have here.
Richard Matthews 7:06
Yeah, I figured my hack for that is, I don’t know if this will help anyone else. But because I’m terrible by myself doing presentations, what I’ll do is I’ll be like, hey, I want to teach this topic. And I’ll go and I’ll take that to other podcasters be like, hey, I would like to teach this topic to your audience. And so they make an interview with me, and I can teach through the thing that I want to teach. And then I have that whole, interactive element that helps me sort of come alive, and I get the content that I need.
Kronda Adair 7:37
Yeah, I love that.
Richard Matthews 7:37
So that’s my own self hack for that.
Kronda Adair 7:40
Richard Matthews 7:41
Yeah. So just off the top of your head, what are some of your secret tips for people who are learning to be themselves online?
Kronda Adair 7:55
The biggest tip is just to do it because there are probably things everybody can think of who’s listening, that they do really well without thinking now. Whether it’s driving or riding a bike, or you have some kind of musical instrument skill, where when you first started doing that, it was awkward, it was uncomfortable, you didn’t want to do it in front of the people, this is the same thing. And so there’s no bigger secret than just starting to do it and dipping your toe in and getting that practice. And my boot camp is only 12 weeks, and I’ve literally had a client come in and be like, Oh, I was struggling with this last week. And then, we always share wins on our weekly calls. And then the next week, she’s like, Oh, I did four posts, no problem. And I’m like, she kind of forgot to celebrate that. I’m like, Hey, remember last week when you were barely able to get one post out. So you just have to do it. And it’s amazing how quickly you can become comfortable. If you just do that practice,
Richard Matthews 8:57
Yeah, if you just do it over and over again. So I do appreciate hearing what it is that you do and how you help people with your business. But I want to find out though, is how you ended up here. We talked on this show all the time about your origin story. Every good comic book hero has an origin story. It’s the thing that made them into the hero they are today. Were you born a hero or were you bit by a radioactive spider that made you want to get into helping people with sales and marketing or did you start a job and eventually switch over? Basically, we want to know where you came from.
Kronda Adair 9:32
Yeah. So two things. I think my radioactive spider would probably be my old boss who fired me. I was working as a project manager for a tiny little startup. And I had a meeting with the developer that we were working with at the time. And I just had this lightbulb moment that that developer was probably making a lot more money than I had, this sort of freelance lifestyle that he’d sauntered in with his laptop, he sauntered out. And I was like, Oh, that looks really good. And I knew that I was going to need some kind of skill that I could do as my own business because I’m not that great an employee long term. So I literally went back to my desk and started looking up at the local community college, how do I become a developer, and just went full force into that. And so that turned into community college, getting a scholarship and ending up at a four-year school, and getting my degree. And my official degree is in web design and interactive media from the Art Institute of Portland. And from there, I had my one tech job, which I started as an intern there while I was still in school. And then I got hired. And I worked there for a couple of years. And I actually had some really great mentors at that company. But the boss was known for firing people suddenly. And so eventually, my turn came up and what he actually said, oh, your work is great, but it’s just not a good culture fit, quote, unquote. So that was my cue to exit stage left and, and start my business. And so that was the fall of 2012 when that happened, and I started my business in January 2013. And got right to work making $500 web WordPress websites as you do. I feel like I hope the bar has been raised. Maybe we’re making $1,000 WordPress websites as a beginner. But yeah, that’s what I did.
Richard Matthews 11:40
That’s awesome. I remember the first website that I built that I actually charged someone for 197.
Kronda Adair 11:49
There you go.
Richard Matthews 11:50
I built their whole big. My start in the business was a little earlier, I started my first business trying to sell candy on campus at school, I made 1500 bucks. But the school shut me down, and told me I had to have a business license. And so I did actually go into a job first. And I got hired at a party city as a cashier that lasted for six weeks before I got fired for not paying enough attention to the money in the drawer as a teenager. And I realized that I was not a good employee early on. So I paid my way through college as a photographer. And then after college, I started that web development business that eventually turned into what I do today. So yeah, it’s a similar thing. But yeah, the degree you got is something that you still use.
Kronda Adair 12:38
Yeah, and sometimes, there wasn’t all this sort of free information and online learning. If I was going to start over right now, I would definitely not go get a degree in web development. Because there are so many different ways that you can learn that now. But at the time, it was definitely the best choice.
Richard Matthews 12:46
And it would be hard today for a large institution to keep up with the changes and keep their curriculum fresh.
Kronda Adair 13:07
It’s impossible. Yeah.
Richard Matthews 13:09
Cuz as someone who does course creation work. Just keeping on top of things like, what’s Facebook doing with their ad manager this week?
Kronda Adair 13:18
Right, yeah, everything moves too quickly, you got to be nimble.
Richard Matthews 13:23
Yeah, absolutely. I want to talk then about your superpowers. Every iconic hero has a superpower, whether that’s a fancy flying suit made by genius intellect, or the ability to call down thunder from the sky. In the real world, heroes have what I call a zone of genius, which is either a skill or a set of skills that were born with or developed over time that really allow you to help others in their journey. And the way I like to frame this for people is if you look at all the skills that you’ve developed over your life, you probably have one, that’s the common thread that sort of ties all those things together, the one skill allowed you to collect all the others. And with that sort of framing, what do you think your superpower is?
Kronda Adair 14:03
Well, talking about that sort of thread skill, the main one, I think is, writing and communication. Because my whole business is based around content and content marketing. And at the core of that is communication. And when I first got online in 1999, the reason that I was excited about the web was as a communication tool. And so that’s always been my focus. And I think even as a developer making websites, I think a lot of developers are doing it because they like coding, they like the technical part of it, you have that stereotype of someone in the basement, just like going away to their computer. And what I really cared about was the people part, and empowering them to be able to communicate their value and their message to the world to help their business. So I think that is the thread that kind of goes through everything that I do, and then the fact that I’m a developer who became a marketer means that I’m really good at marrying the strategy with the technology. And so a lot of people are super overwhelmed with what technology they should use, and they’re trying to DIY all these things. And so one of the things I do, we still have a done for you side of our agency. And the first thing is, let’s audit everything that you’re doing. And let’s figure out a strategy. And then let’s figure out what technology we’re going to use to support that strategy. And so, one of my pet peeves about developers is handing over these super complex sites that the business owner can’t use, like, they’re afraid to use it, or they can’t go and fix a typo. And so I always wanted to deliver things that could be used for marketing. And so I think that’s some of the things that differentiate my approach to the whole thing.
Richard Matthews 15:55
Yeah, it’s interesting, too. And I love communication as a superpower, I think it really helps as someone who has a background in the whole developer space because technology is so foreign to even people that have to use it every day. Right? Not everyone sort of understands it that way. So with your ability to both speak that language, and then speak what I call the common tongue, the common language of the people and the tech language, you can translate for people, you can actually help translate the tech for them so they can make use of it and use it in their lives and their businesses and whatever it is that you’re helping them do with the technology. And that’s a really powerful skill. And not a lot of people have it, not a lot of people can translate the tech. The picture you said of like the person in their basement with their computer, a lot of times those people don’t have the human communication skill, the common talk, they speak developer so well, and they can do things that like the rest of us that make them think they’re wizards. But can’t always translate that into okay, how do I as the restaurant owner make use of this? Right?
Kronda Adair 17:03
Yeah, and a lot of it is just making people aware of what’s possible. The thing about service-based business owners. Who are the people that I serve is, time is of the essence, we’re usually using our time to deliver the service. And so for someone out there who’s struggling and working 80 hours a week, and they’re burnout, it’s like, they’re all these tools that could take over all of these things that you’re doing manually, but they don’t know. And so just even making people aware of what is possible, so that they can start to dream about like, oh, it could be different than what it is right now. And I just need help and guidance to put the things in place that can give them that relief.
Richard Matthews 17:46
And one of the things that’s so cool about that, that I wish more people knew is that if you do what you’re talking about, where you can use the technology to empower your service-based business, that allows you to have a competitive edge over all of the other people in your space that aren’t using it right. As an example, my big business is called Push Button Podcasts. And we do everything post-production after if someone hit the stop record on their podcast like this one when we’re done, I don’t have to do anything else with it. My team does all sorts of stuff. And we have lots of automation in place that do everything from uploading the files to transcribing the content, all sorts of stuff get done with systems. And because of that, we can do a significant amount of work for our clients at a fraction of the cost of someone who’s doing it all manually, which allows us to both be delivered faster, deliver higher quality, and scale gives us a lot of competitive advantages in the space because we’re doing exactly what you’re talking about.
Kronda Adair 18:46
Yeah, and it doesn’t even have to be that complex, especially for the types of service businesses that are very traditional. Hairdressers, or landscapers. If you did even one thing, like if I could just schedule to talk to you online if you’re in one of those arenas, and you just have online scheduling, so that people don’t have to call, that alone puts you above 90% of the other types of that business out there. So it doesn’t have to be this huge complex thing. It could be just like one thing that makes it easier for you and for your clients.
Richard Matthews 19:22
I have a friend of mine who has run a sprinkler business. And it was like online scheduling changed his life.
Kronda Adair 19:30
I bet, yeah. I’m not surprised. Those kinds of industries where typically the people in those industries, they’re out doing their thing, and so they’re not thinking about technology, they don’t necessarily like technology, but they would love what technology could do for them if they would open their minds a little bit.
Richard Matthews 19:51
Absolutely. So the flip side then of your superpower is of course the fatal flaw. Just like every Superman has his kryptonite. Or Wonder Woman can’t remove her bracelets of victory without going bad, you probably have a flaw that’s held you back in your business, something you struggled with, for me, it was a couple of things I struggled with perfectionism for a long time still do a little bit. And the simple idea that I could tweak it a little bit more, or just make a couple more changes before I ever go to market with it. And it kept me from ever going to market, which means I was not actually doing anything. So the lowest standard you can hold yourself to is perfection. And one of the other ones that I struggled with was lack of self-care, which mostly expressed itself in not having good boundaries with my clients and working all wee hours of the night answering texts on the weekends when I’m supposed to be spending time with my kids. That kind of stuff. But I think more important than what the flaw is, how have you worked to overcome it so that you can still grow your business and be the agency owner you are today?
Kronda Adair 20:46
Yeah, I think definitely early on, I would say boundaries. And lack of belief in the value. I think this happens to a lot of people, especially a lot of women and a lot of people of color. Like we really have a hard time valuing our service and charging a price where we can actually build the business sustainably. So I accidentally ran a nonprofit for a year because I just wanted to help people so badly, it’s like, oh, I can help you, but oh, you can’t afford it, oh, let me give you a discount. And those are the same people who, even though you gave them a discount, it’s like their life savings. And so they’re the ones who are like micromanaging and nitpicking, and oh, just one more thing, and there’s so much pressure on it to work. And I definitely had a period of my business where I was serving those clients to my detriment. And it’s one of the things that I see in a lot of my clients too, where they’re like, well, I don’t want to raise my rates, because then my people can’t afford it. I’m like, yeah, but your business won’t be around. If you don’t price sustainably. So let’s figure out the middle ground. And one of the reasons that I have so much content is because I do want to be able to serve those people. So I have at this point eight and a half years of content. So if you can’t afford to hire me, there is something out there that I’ve put out, that’s completely free, that’s gonna help you with whatever problem. And then one of the things I’m known for is answering questions with links, because it’s like, I answered this, I don’t wanna keep repeating myself, here it is. And the other thing that does is, it allows you to set a boundary if you typically have guilt around setting boundaries, but you have content that can help people that’s free, then you can say, yeah, no, that’s a paid service. But here’s this free resource, and then it’s on that person to go and make use of that, right? And it really protects you from those people who are just going to pick your brain, but they’re never going to do anything with the information, they can go do that on their own time, and you can protect your time. So that’s kind of how I mitigated that, and I have a whole podcast episode just about boundaries, and kind of how I did that.
Richard Matthews 23:03
Yeah, it’s a really powerful lesson to have to learn. And I feel like every new entrepreneur has to go through that because I went through the same thing. And I remember, I actually ended up shutting my business down at one point and taking a C-level marketing position, mostly because of that, because I didn’t know how to charge properly. And I needed to boost my own confidence. So I took my skills to a C-level marketing position and made them $50 million over the course of a couple of years in sales. And I was like, okay, so maybe I do have value. But at the same time, I remember, now I have a rule that I tell people, I call it the 3/10 rule, you have to look at the value that you’re providing for someone and what the ROI is in terms of either time or money or whatever the thing is that you’re offering to someone and generally it’s gonna fall in one of those categories, you’re either saving them time or saving the money by having them hire you. And I like to look at whatever that value is and take all those things into account. And whatever that value is, if it’s 5000 10,000 $20,000 in time value of money or whatever, and cut that by three and that’s my price, that’s three rule, right? So they’re always getting at least three times the value and I like them to have a potential of 10 times the value right we’re like if they actually really used it and really pushed with whatever they were doing that they could take the value they charge me and get a 10x ROI either in time saved or money stuff and then you have a really confident price that is sustainable, hopefully.
Kronda Adair 24:42
Yeah, I love that.
Richard Matthews 24:44
Yeah, that’s my own little price rule that I have in my head that I always think about, but yeah, I know if you don’t do it right. You can starve your business and I did that myself and actually ended up having to shut it down and learn that lesson the hard way.
Kronda Adair 24:58
Yeah, and I mean, I hope somebody is hearing this and is saved from that step. Like I always wonder, it does seem like most business owners have to go through that and learn it the hard way. But I don’t know if anyone out there is learning this the easy way from us talking about it like, let us know.
Richard Matthews 25:15
Yeah. One of the things that I tell people now, and the mistake that I realized, and hopefully this is really helpful for people who are listening is you have to have the money to keep your marketing engine going, while you’re delivering on the service. So what I was doing is I put money into marketing, get a client, but I wasn’t charging enough to keep marketing, I only was charging enough to actually do the work for the client. So the marketing engine would stop. And the other thing I wasn’t considering is I wasn’t considering profit, I wasn’t considering my business also needs to be able to feed my family. There are three things that your price has to cover, it has to cover, your marketing engine has to stay on, you have to continue putting gas in the tank. You have to be able to pay to serve the client. So whatever they’re actually paying you to do, you have to do that. And there should be profit involved so that you can feed your family at the end of the day.
Kronda Adair 26:14
Yeah, exactly. That’s a great summary. And yeah, so many people miss out on that. And especially if you haven’t had a business before, people coming from sort of a job arena, like just never had to think about those things. So that’s a really good summary.
Richard Matthews 26:30
Yeah, I know, the mistake I made was I just charged enough to cover the surface of whatever they were doing. I didn’t charge enough to cover my marketing and my profit. So anyway, that’s how I overcome that in my business. So I want to talk about your common enemy. So every superhero has an arch-nemesis, and your arch-nemesis is a thing that you constantly have to fight against in your world. In the world of business, it takes on a lot of forms. But generally speaking, we put it in the context of your clients. The first time that they hire you to do a job for them. It’s a mindset, or it’s a flaw that you’re constantly having to overcome with your clients, that if you had your own magic wand, and you could bop them on the head, as soon as they sign on the dotted line, you never had to deal with that arch-nemesis again, what would that be in your business?
Kronda Adair 27:20
Um, I think if I were going to sum it up in a word, it would probably be short-sightedness. So really focusing on the right now and not looking at the long term. My podcast is called Begin as You Mean To Go On.
Richard Matthews 27:33
That’s a good title.
Kronda Adair 27:33
So that kind of tells you my overarching focus is. Especially in the beginning, when I was doing those low dollar sites, it’s like just get the website done, or just do whatever she says, it’s like you, you ask a client to buy a paid plugin, that’s like 70 bucks a year, and they’re like, What’s that for? Why do I need that? And it was just this battle, and it’s like, no, we’re gonna be able to do these three things, and it’s gonna save you this much time. And I like to look at technology in terms of hiring technology, like, how much would you pay to hire a person to do the job that this technology is doing? And it’s usually astronomical, as the difference in price.
Richard Matthews 28:18
That’s a great kind of preference.
Kronda Adair 28:20
Yeah, so I think the general focus on the right now and people who want to base their decisions on what’s gonna happen in six months, instead of what’s gonna happen in three years? It’s like, I assume when someone hires me, they’re building a business that they want to scale. And so when I’m making decisions and recommending things to them, I’m thinking about, okay, what’s the business you want to have in three years? And is the technology and the strategy and what we’re doing right now gonna support that? And so I mean, I used to struggle a lot with it, I think I have enough of a body of content now, and especially with the podcast that people come to me, and they kind of know that’s not gonna fly. But it was definitely a struggle for a long time.
Richard Matthews 29:04
Yeah, it’s really interesting. One of the things that one of my mentors told me early on, and I say it all the time and that is, we tend to vastly overestimate what we can accomplish in a year, and vastly underestimate what we can accomplish in 10. So we don’t give projects the attention they need for the time they need the attention. And so we skip from things every three to six months and move on to new stuff and never give something the time it deserves. And it’s amazing. If you would just focus on a project or a business. Give it 10 years, you can go from Noob to World Class real quick.
Kronda Adair 29:42
Yeah, one of my mentors used to say, how long can you do the right thing because it’s the right thing. And that’s a lot especially for my clients who come in and are newer to content marketing, and they make a post and they’re like, okay, nothing happened yet. I’m like, yeah, you made one post.
Richard Matthews 30:02
It’s one of those things that’s really, really a long time of just a little bit of growth. And then suddenly it takes off.
Kronda Adair 30:10
Yeah, and we were just on vacation. And we were in this beautiful Canyon with a river running through it. And it was listening to a podcast of one of my former coaches, and she was talking about that and saying, like, if you look at something like the Grand Canyon. And what it took to form that it’s like, well, maybe you could send your newsletter out a few more times before you decide it’s not working. So you’ve got to stick it out and you’ve got to have that longevity so that you can get those results.
Richard Matthews 30:43
Yeah, absolutely. So the flip side then of your common enemy is your driving force. And I know you have a particular mission that we want to talk about. Just like Spider Man fights to save New York, or Batman fights to save Gotham, or Google fights to index and categorize all the world’s information, there’s something that you fight for in your business, your mission, so to speak, what is that?
Kronda Adair 31:09
The primary thing I’m fighting for is for service-based business owners, and particularly women of color, who have service-based businesses, to have thriving businesses, to be able to run their businesses and also live life and enjoy whatever the dream. We don’t start businesses with the dream of working 90 hours a week. And that’s what ends up happening to a lot of people. And so my driving force is about using my skills and teaching people the value of content and how content is an asset. And teaching people what automation can do for them to help them save time, and teaching people the value of systems because those are the things that build an actual business. And when I say business, I mean, a collection of systems that produces profit. And most people start a business because they’re good at something, and they’re like, Oh, I can get paid money for this thing. And they’re just doing and serving freelancer mode. And so there comes a point where you have to decide, like, am I going to build a real business? And at that point, that’s when I want to come in and say, okay, great, let’s look at your systems. And let’s build a collection of systems that actually support you to run your business without running yourself into the ground.
Richard Matthews 32:28
Yeah. And it almost sounds like you are working towards being that rising tide that’s raising all the ships in your community.
Kronda Adair 32:36
Richard Matthews 32:37
It’s such a powerful thing. And I know that the more that you and I help other entrepreneurs raise their business, the better it gets for everyone. Because that’s really what entrepreneurs do. And the whole reason we run this show is that we have this weird cultural mindset that entrepreneurship is villainous. And I’ve always hated that. Because we struggle with things like pricing our products, we struggle with things like making a profit is evil. Because culturally, that’s what we’re told. And it’s not telling someone like you to come along and say, Hey, let me actually show you how you can bring your value to the world in a new exciting way. Right? It helps raise up people in their communities. So anyway, that’s so cool.
Kronda Adair 33:20
Yeah, I mean, one of the things that helped me decide on my niche is, I kept trying to think like, Oh, I don’t want to focus on just a particular industry. And so I started looking at what do I want clients to have in common over the past, and that’s when I came up with a mission-driven service base because that was the thread that tied everybody together, like, I might have a bookkeeper or lawyer or an acupuncturist, but all of them were actually concerned and gave a shit about making people’s lives better with their service and with their business.
Richard Matthews 33:51
Doing something different.
Kronda Adair 33:52
So yeah, it’s like if I help them succeed, then that ripple effect is happening, where they get to help more people and it just keeps going.
Richard Matthews 33:59
Absolutely. I love it. So I want to switch gears and talk a little bit about some practical things in your business. So I call this the hero’s tool belt. And just like every superhero has a tool belt with batarangs or web slingers, or laser eyes or big magical hammer they can spin and fly with, we want to talk about the top one or two tools you use in your business every day that you couldn’t live without. It could be anything, from your notepad to your calendar, to your marketing tools to your Scheduler. Something that you use for product delivery, or basically something you think is essential to getting your job done on a daily basis.
Kronda Adair 34:35
This is really tough, keeping it to one or two is really tough. I would have to say Active Campaign is definitely in the top three because I’m really focused on email marketing. Social media is great, but email lets you have an actual relationship with people in an environment that you quote-unquote control. So that’s definitely one of them. Man, I guess I would have to say WordPress is right up there. Because that’s what I’ve always built my websites with. It just allows you to integrate with so many of these other tools. And so those would be the top two because you can’t capture leads unless you have a page of some kind to do that. So that’s where we do that. And then Active Campaign helps us communicate and build relationships. So those will probably be the top two. And then if I could get a bonus, I’d throw in Thrive Cart, because that’s how we get the money.
Richard Matthews 35:37
Yeah, I’ve been a big fan recently of using WooCommerce, with cart flows on WordPress, which is similar to Thrive cart.
Kronda Adair 35:44
Oh, yeah. And if I can offer your listeners a gift related to this, I actually have a really excellent resource that really kind of goes through all the tools that we use in our business. So I would love to offer that to your listeners.
Richard Matthews 36:01
If you give us a link to it or something, we’ll put it in the show notes and make sure they know where it is when we publish it.
Kronda Adair 36:07
Richard Matthews 36:08
And I was gonna say that those two tools are ones I use frequently, like every one of our sites for all of our clients all built on WordPress. And it has surprised me how well that platform has been performing over the years, to the point now that we can run our learning management systems out of it, we can run all of our e-commerce stuff out of it, we can run all of our funnels and our lead pages and our blogs and all of it from one platform that as you said earlier, you can build it in such a way that you can hand it over to the business owner and they can manage it. Which is magical, I think.
Kronda Adair 36:41
Absolutely. I mean, if you think about what it took to create a website if you go back to your GeoCities days, it’s so much more accessible now than it ever was.
Richard Matthews 36:53
Yeah, I remember in high school, I took an ROP, which is a Regional Occupational Program class on how to build websites. And they had us using Photoshop 2.0 to start our website build stuff. And it was a lot of work.
Kronda Adair 37:14
Yeah, I came in just at the end of the Dreamweaver era.
Richard Matthews 37:20
Yeah, right at the beginning of the CMS era. That’s really what we’re starting about CMS- content management system. That’s WordPress and other systems like that. Now, the big ones are Squarespace and what’s another one that everyone uses Wix, and Shopify, they’re all content management systems of some sort. And I’m with you, WordPress is my favorite. And I love Active Campaign, we build six month long email campaigns that go through different processes for getting offers in front of people helping build those relationships. You can’t do that with anything else, especially as simply as Active Campaign does. And I love their developers over there. If you’re like, hey, this isn’t working, or I think this feature would be really great. And you submit it to their team, within a few months, you’ll see it come back as a feature.
Kronda Adair 38:09
Yeah, there’s that little bar and when you log in, it’s like, here’s what’s new. And I’ll be like, oh, I was just thinking I wanted that.
Richard Matthews 38:17
Yep, it’s probably because someone like us took the time to ask. And they’re listening, they take the time to do it because they’re just like us. They’re small entrepreneurs that are making a product to change the world, which is, I love working with companies like that.
Kronda Adair 38:32
Richard Matthews 38:34
Richard Matthews 38:35
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Richard Matthews 40:06
So, I want to talk then, a little bit about your own personal heroes. So every hero has their mentors, just like Frodo had Gandalf or Luke had Obi Wan or Robert Kiyosaki had his Rich Dad or even Spider Man had his Uncle Ben, Who were some of your mentors, as you grew your business where they peers, maybe authors or speakers or, real life mentors, and how important were they to what you’ve accomplished so far in your business?
Kronda Adair 40:33
Yeah, speaking of Active Campaign, actually, one of my favorite mentors is Chris Davis, he was the Director of Education over Active Campaign for about three years. And I discovered him because he ran the podcast there. So if you listen to the old Active Campaign podcast, and it was so good and so helpful, that I used to prescribe episodes to people, I’d be like, what business problem are you having? I didn’t have my own podcast at the time. And I would be like, Oh, go listen to this. And so Chris eventually moved on from Active Campaign. And when I found that out, I went searching for him. I was like, okay, where did he go? And I found him over the automation bridge, the company that he started, and he’s training automation service providers. And so I actually emailed him. And it was like, hey, when is your new podcast? Like I need more like this. I mean, he’s probably one of the most brilliant marketing minds, of anyone that I’ve ever met. And so I will have the privilege of having him as my first guest on my podcast, actually. And he told the story of getting that email and being like, Oh, I guess I better get going and figure out my next thing. So he’s got the All Systems Go Podcast. And he’s got Automation Bridges company, where he’s training automation service providers, and just in his orbit, and being part of his community, and being part of his mentorship program has just leveled up my business in so many ways that I can’t even cover in one podcast, but the effect was immediate, like, as soon as I got into his community and, and started learning from him, I was just immediately able to level up what I was doing in my business, and I felt that financially, like almost right away, so I just love him, like the integrity and the quality of the education that he’s putting out. Like, I can’t say enough good things.
Richard Matthews 42:36
That’s awesome. I love it when you find people like that in your life, in your business, it really just helps you level up everything you’re doing. I said I have a friend of mine who’s like that. And I run everything I do in my business by him. I’m like, I’m about to make this decision. What do you think about it?
Kronda Adair 42:52
Richard Matthews 42:53
Just because I know if I asked him first, I’ll make a better decision and I’ll have better stuff going on with them. I’m lucky to have a close relationship where I can just call him but if you have someone who’s like, they got a podcast or a book or other things that you could just like, Okay, what would Chris do in this situation?
Kronda Adair 43:12
Exactly. Yeah. And that’s what I try to do with my own podcasts. And I actually have a whole episode just about asking better questions. Like if people could just Master because the quality of your question determines the quality of your answers. So, yeah, there are all kinds of ways to access people, even if you can’t just call them up. Like, that’s what books and podcasts and content, like, that’s why I produce so much. And there’s just so much great information out there.
Richard Matthews 43:37
Yeah, I love that thought about asking better questions. It was a pivotal point in my business when I started asking myself better questions about how are you spending my time? And I remember, as an example of how powerful that can be the question that I spent the first six or seven years in my business. The question I was asking myself was, should I do this task myself? Or should I hire someone to do it? And the answer to that question was always it’s cheaper and faster if I do it myself. And I was not seeing the other side of that because it was a poor question. So I was asking a poor person’s question and getting a poor person’s answer and kept my business poor as a result.
Kronda Adair 44:22
Yeah. I always tell my clients to ask who should do this? Because it’s just a little tweak on that question. But the assumption is, someone should do it. And the assumption isn’t that you should do it. And as I built my team basically, over the last year, a little over a year ago, it’s just me for the most part, my business and then now have a team of six people. And so asking that question, and helped me build that team, and now kind of helps me keep in CEO mode when I still have that tendency to be like, oh, I’ll just and it’s like, no, who on the team should do this?
Richard Matthews 45:01
Yeah, so mine was very similar. In order to get myself out of asking that question, I hired someone full-time before I even figured out how I could afford them or what they were going to do. And I was like, now the question was, to your point, it was like, should I do this? Or should the person on my team do this? Now they’re there, the question is, who should do this? Should I do this? Or should my team do this? And now, that’s the question I asked. And it’s a much higher-level question. It’s such a minor change, but it’s a much higher-level question. And it allows you to move things on. Anyways, that’s just an example of when you learn to ask better questions, you can start getting a lot better answers. And that’s an important skill to learn.
Kronda Adair 45:42
Richard Matthews 45:45
Yeah. So essentially the last question I have for you in the interview, which is about your guiding principles. So one of the things that make heroes heroic is that they live by a code. For instance, Batman never kills his enemies, he only ever puts them in Arkham Asylum. So as we wrap up the interview, I want to talk about the top one, maybe two principles that you use regularly in your life, maybe something you wish you knew when you first started out on your own hero’s journey.
Kronda Adair 46:13
Yeah, I think I have to go back to the title of the podcast Begin As You Mean To Go On because it really sums up how I make decisions whether it’s for myself, or whether I’m recommending things to people is I’m looking at the long term. And like, even if the long term is like, for some people that’s a year, for some people it’s five years, but really helping people to change how they look at their business, and change how they make decisions so that it is for the long term. And so a practical example of that is with software, if you talk to a lot of people who are in their first six months or a year of business, they really resist paying for software. I mean, you can go into any business Facebook group, and you can see people going, what’s a free tool that does x? And it’s like, you’re trying to grow a business where presumably you want to make a profit, but you don’t want to pay businesses for the tools that you need to actually do that. And karmically that doesn’t work out and business-wise, it doesn’t work out. And so, begin as you mean to go on says, Hey, you know what, if you need to start an email list, and your business can’t pay the $49 a month, that’s a larger issue. Like, if you can’t pay $49 a month for this tool, all the tools that I recommend, if you put them all together, it’s still less than, like two grand a year. And that’s for basically a team of robots.
Richard Matthews 47:41
That does everything for the business.
Kronda Adair 47:42
Yeah, so that’s really like the guiding philosophy is helping people access that grander vision, where you can say, like, you know, what, saving this 20 bucks is not what you want to be focused on right now. You want to be focused on what you are trying to achieve? And what do you need to put in place to do that? And to do it right now. Like, why start with Wix when you’re just gonna need to go to WordPress.
Richard Matthews 48:08
At some point, you’re going to get more money to make the switch.
Kronda Adair 48:10
Exactly. And it usually happens when people are having their quote, unquote, glow up, right? So everything starts to take off. And then right when you’re the busiest someone like me comes in and says, Oh, yeah, we got to tear this thing down to the studs and rebuild it. And it’s like, you just had done that in the first place, you would be in much better shape.
Richard Matthews 48:28
Yeah, and there are so many powerful things in that Begin As You Mean to Go On. And to your point, the question people ask all the time about, is there something free that does this? One of the things that I refuse to do is to use a service that doesn’t have a profitable pricing structure in place.
Kronda Adair 48:44
Yeah because you want them to be around.
Richard Matthews 48:45
And if it doesn’t, they’re gonna go away, and even services from big companies like Google, for instance, they release a lot of things in beta that they don’t charge for. And then they go away, in six months or a year. If you’ve built your systems or your structures or anything around that you get burned quickly. And I know because I’ve done it and so, I have,
Kronda Adair 49:07
Hopefully nobody does their business on Google Wave.
Richard Matthews 49:10
Yeah, I remember Google Wave. And I was like, Oh, this is so cool. And I use it for a whole bunch of things. And then it was just gone overnight. And it happens with a lot of things. And when something comes up, and they’re like, hey, get this software for a lifetime deal of $47. I’m like, how are you going to afford to service me in two years? If I’ve given you a $47 offer a lifetime deal? I would much rather bring Active Campaign back into it, pay them $20 or $40 a month, to have them continually develop and continually be there and answer questions when I need them. I’ve been using them now for seven or eight years. I was one of their first 500 clients, which I think is fun. And I use their affiliate thing. So my clients I say, Hey, if you’re going to sign up for Active Campaign on my recommendation use my affiliate link. Active Campaign actually pays me now more than I paid them, which is fun.
Kronda Adair 50:08
Oh, yeah, for sure. Same I love affiliate stuff, and the thing about all the tools that I recommend is, I’ve been at this for over eight years. Most of the tools in my digital toolkit I’ve been using for at least five years, which is like 100 in internet time. So it’s not me saying like, Hey, I got this lifetime deal on this thing that’s been around for five minutes. It’s like, No, I’ve been using these things and building profitable businesses with these things for years. And so you can really hang your hat on it and know that they’re going to be around.
Richard Matthews 50:42
And I think the other important aspect about that concept of begin as you mean to go on, for me at least, is the quality of your tool that you’re using determines a lot of the experience and the capabilities you have with it. So like some of the like some examples from my life, for instance, I’m one of those people that you can buy the 50 cent hammer at Harbor Freight that you can get through half the project before you have to go buy another one because it broke halfway through it. Or you can go to the nice hardware store, you can buy the $40 hammer, that’s the one that you’re gonna pass down to your kids. And like that hammer will last you your whole life. And the experience while using it will be better. And that sort of goes into everything. So I do that with my kids all the time. And my wife wanted to get into painting. So I bought her a whole watercolor kit with the nice brushes and the nice paints and the whole thing. And she was like, I would have just bought a cheap thing. And I’m like, she just got paid for her first mural that she did on the side of a wall. Because when you have the right tools, you can push your limits, when you have cheap tools, or you have stuff that’s not going to get you where you want to go, eventually, you’ll have to change anyways. And you’ll teach yourself bad habits or you’re not really going to see the full experience of what it is to be in that space, whether it’s art or construction, or in our case, software tools, you want the right stuff because the right stuff gonna allow you to really push limits and see what you can do with your business.
Kronda Adair 52:14
Yeah, I think about bicycles when you talk about that, because between my wife and I, we have eight bikes, and we used to do a lot of long-distance riding, especially when you’re going long distance, you have a nice bike with a good saddle, that makes all the difference if you’re going 20 miles or more you want that ride to be nice. So yeah, it just goes across so many different areas.
Richard Matthews 52:40
Yeah, we have the same thing, we travel and one of the things we just did is we don’t have a lot of room for bikes. So we just sold our bikes, and we traded them for electric scooters for the kids and us. And so I thought I could get away with buying some cheap electric scooters for the kids. And we’d get ourselves my wife and I the nice ones to save a couple of 100 bucks. And it lasted all of a half of an afternoon for I was like, Oh, these cheap ones are just the worst. And I put it back in the box and returned them and bought them the nice ones. And then we’ve been having a blast ever since. Because spending a couple of extra dollars really changes the experience to everything you’re doing. And it doesn’t matter if it’s your house, your tools, your software, your business. I just love that I’m probably gonna put on my wall, begin as you mean to go on, a great way to think about that. Because that’s going to be the experience all the way through.
Kronda Adair 53:39
Richard Matthews 53:42
Awesome. Well, I think that’s a great place to end our discussion. I do have one final challenge that I do on all of my interviews. It’s very simple, very quick. I call it the hero’s challenge. And I do this to help get access to stories that might not find on my own because not everyone is out doing the podcast like you do. So the question is simple. Do you have someone in your life or in your network that you think has a cool entrepreneurial story? Who are they? First names are fine and why do you think they should come to share their story on our show? First person that comes to mind for you.
Kronda Adair 54:12
I’m gonna say, Lael, who is a client of mine, actually, she’s a therapist who turned to coaching and she helps people create better habits so that they can create better lives. And I think she has a lot of great things that she could share with your audience.
Richard Matthews 54:32
Awesome. So we’ll reach out after the show and see if we can get an introduction to Lael, maybe get her to come on the show. That’d be awesome. But in comic books, there’s always the crowd of people at the end who clap and cheer and thank the hero for their work. So as we close our analogous to that is where can people find you? Where can they light the bat signal so to speak and say, Hey Kronda, where can we go to learn from you or to hire you to help us grow our service-based business? And I think more importantly than where is who are the right types of people that actually light up the bat signal and reach out to you.
Kronda Adair 55:02
Yeah. So KarvelDigital.com is my website that’s kind of the hub of where you can find all the things on my podcast. I’m Karvel Digital on any social media that you might want to find me on. And as far as the who, we’ve talked a lot about mission-driven service-based business owners but more importantly than that if you’ve listened to this whole episode, and you’ve really kind of vibe with the philosophies, the beginner’s you mean to go on philosophy? And you’re thinking to yourself, yeah, I want to put in place a foundation, where you were talking about, you have to keep marketing going. And a lot of people don’t get past that there’s actually more to business and marketing. But until you actually create that system, you can’t get past it. It’s like marketing sales, you got to keep the money flowing in or nothing else can happen. So if you’re ready to create a system that keeps that going so that you can actually move beyond that and focus on some other things in your business. That’s a great time to reach out.
Richard Matthews 56:05
Awesome. So it’s KarvelDigital.com.
Kronda Adair 56:09
Yeah. And for the folks who want the list of tools will put up a page at KarvelDigital.com slash hero. And that will just be for your folks to come to get that list of tools if they’re kind of overwhelmed about what to use in their business.
Richard Matthews 56:25
Awesome. Thank you so much for coming to the show today, Kronda. I really appreciate it. I loved hearing your story and hearing what it is that you do. And I love the concept of Begin as You Mean To Go On and the whole mission of being that rising tide that raises the ships in your community. So again, thank you for the work that you do. I appreciate it. And thank you for coming to the show. Do you have any final words of wisdom for our audience before I hit this stop record button?
Kronda Adair 56:48
No, just thank you so much for having me. It’s been a real pleasure.
Richard Matthews 56:53
Thank you for being here.
Would You Like To Have A Content Marketing Machine Like “The HERO Show” For Your Business?
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Would You Like To Have A Content Marketing Machine Like “The HERO Show” For Your Business?
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What Is The Hero Show?
A peak behind the masks of modern day super heroes. What makes them tick? What are their super powers? Their worst enemies? What's their kryptonite? And who are their personal heroes? Find out by listening now
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