Ep 488: Creating Operational Infrastructure with Kelly Roach



With the right methods and motivation, anyone can reach financial freedom and achieve their personal brand dreams!

Climbing the ladder from NFL cheerleader to successful entrepreneur coach is no easy feat, and today’s guest, Kelly Roach is here to share her success secrets with us!

Listening in, you’ll hear all about Kelly’s background and how her family’s financial issues inspired her to become financially free, her journey from NFL cheerleader to entrepreneur, building her business as a side hustle while working full time, and so much more!

We delve into the three unconventional decisions Kelly made when starting her business, including why it’s so important to have support even prior to having clients before discussing the power of one-to-one coaching models.

Kelly then shares how she suggests you start hiring people and in what order, how to attach operational roles to profit, and the importance of keeping in touch with past customers.

Lastly, Kelly reminds us to focus on the lifetime value of customers instead of just on the acquisition of customers.

This episode is filled with incredible pearls of wisdom that you don’t want to miss out on so tune in now!  


  • Welcoming today’s amazing guest, Kelly Roach.  
  • Why a school lunch experience made Kelly decide that she needed to be financially free.  
  • How Kelly went from being an NFL cheerleader to becoming a successful entrepreneur.  
  • What it was like to build her business on the side while working full-time.  
  • The three things she did that helped her get to where she is today.  
  • The importance of building an audience before trying to sell low-ticket digital products.  
  • Why a one-to-one coaching model is powerful when starting out your business.  
  • How Kelly creates her content through her conversations and connections with clients.  
  • Why she hired help before even having her first client and the importance of having a team.  
  • Kelly’s suggested order of hiring and how to justify the cost of operational employees.  
  • Why you need to follow up and maintain relationships with your past customers. 
  • How placing focus on the lifetime value of customers will help you build a successful business.   


“Everyone wants to go right to – the low-ticket [offering] but they don’t realize the size and scope of the audience that you have to build.” — @kellyroachlive [0:13:02] 

“It’s so easy to sell group coaching when you’ve done one-on-one. I find people that try to go straight to group coaching really have a hard time selling it.” — @kellyroachlive [0:13:39] 

“People buy habitually!” — @kellyroachlive [0:33:18] 

“The internet world has a tendency to make you think in very short windows of instant gratification and the thing that’s going to allow you to build a wildly profitable business – is thinking about customers as people that you have relationships with.” — @kellyroachlive [0:35:00] 

About Kelly Roach

Kelly Roach is one of the only female founders in the online space to build her company from 0 to 8 figures with 0 debt, investors, or outside funding. Kelly is a former NFL cheerleader and Fortune 500 executive turned 8-figure+ entrepreneur empowering thousands around the globe to achieve financial and lifestyle freedom through entrepreneurship. 


Kelly is an 11x international best-selling author, Top 20 podcast host, and philanthropist who has been featured in major media such as ABC, NBC, Fox and Forbes – as well as the recipient of prestigious awards such as #287 on the Inc. 5000 list, The Stevie® Awards Woman of the Year, TITAN CEO of the Year, and Inc.’s Best in Business.  


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RV (00:01): Well, Kelly Roach is a new friend of mine and who says You don’t make real friends on social media because we met on social media and now are becoming real life friends. And I think she’s just delightful and really intelligent and very successful, which you’re, you’re gonna hear this story, which when I saw the arc of her kind of career journey and path, it really impressed me because she started out as it didn’t start out, but she was a former NFL cheerleader. Mm-Hmm. . She then was a Fortune 500 executive who built a seven figure business on the side, as I understand it. Yes. She then left that, turned it into an eight figure empire. And now has built y you know, this very successful online business, empowering thousands of people around the globe. Her podcast is a top podcast, the Kelly Roach show. RV (00:54): We’re gonna talk about that. She also is a, a, a multi-time bestselling author. She has been featured in A, B, C and Fox and Forbes and Inc. 5,000. She’s been on Inc. 5,000 list. And one of the other things that I love about her is she’s done, she’s built this business with no debt, no investors or outside funding, which is also what we believe in how we operate. And it’s, it’s pretty unusual for a company to get to eight figures in annual revenue without those things. So I was like, yeah, let’s, let’s talk to Kelly and let’s see what she’s about. So Kelly, welcome to the show. KR (01:31): Well, thank you. Thank you for the intro, and I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for having me. RV (01:35): Yeah. So tell me how, first of all, so you were NFL cheerleader, so I want to hear about all these leaps because Yeah. You know, a lot of the people we talk, I mean, we do personal brand strategy. Yeah. So a lot of people are going through a pivot of some type Mm-Hmm. . And you’ve made like several successful pivots from like the top of one thing to the top of another. So I, I’m really curious, like, so first of all, like, how did you land as an NFL cheerleader, and then how did you move from that to like Fortune 500, CEO? Or not CEO, but executive. Yeah, KR (02:07): Absolutely. So I, it, it all started one day on the free lunch line. So I was on the free lunch line. There was five kids in my family. My dad worked for a nonprofit. He decided that he wanted to give his life to that work. My mom was a stay at home mom. You can do the math. Okay. Five kids, right. Stay at home mom, dad worked for the nonprofit. I’m on the free lunch line. No one knows. I’m on the free lunch line holding it all together. One day there’s a, a fill-in cafeteria lady, and she rips open my envelope in front of everyone and there’s no money in it. And that moment was a turning point for my life because in that moment I was just, so, I call it naked in the lunch line, like vulnerable. And I was like, I’m not gonna live that life. KR (02:52): And so I was, you know, early in middle school. And at that moment I was like, I’m gonna do every possible thing that I can to change my circumstances, to live a different life, to make my life what I believe it can be, and I don’t wanna be naked on the lunch line again. Right. And so you said, how did I go up an NFL cheerleader? Well, I cleaned the dance studio floors after school almost every day for seven years, so that I could go to the best dance school in the area. I would go, oh, RV (03:22): That’s like how you paid for your, KR (03:24): That’s how I paid for my lessons. I would go after school, I would eat my dinner in the car, I would go clean the dance studio, and then I would stay for lessons. And I was able to go to the best dance school in the area. It was a very competitive dance school that produced professional dancers that went on to have careers. And so I did that for seven years. Loved it. I loved performing, I loved entertaining all of those things. Got into high school and college, and I was like, you know, I, I think I had five jobs in college. Being an NFL cheerleader was one of them. So I was the youngest NFL cheerleader RV (03:58): People. People don’t often realize that the cheerleaders don’t make what the players make. Oh my god. Property radical difference. KR (04:04): I mean, and, and yeah. And I completely did it because it was, it was an ability to continue my craft, right? Sure. Because I went to the college where I was gonna be in the least amount of debt they had like a D three dance team, D three cheerleading team. I was like, all right, I don’t think I can do this. So I was like, I’m either going to shrink back to my circumstances, or I’m gonna leap forward and just go for it and audition for the NFL. And I was like, F it, let’s do this. So I auditioned for the NFLI made the team my freshman year. So I was teaching aerobics. I was cheering for the NFLI was a cocktail server. I was babysitting all the things. And it was great because I always had money. I was able to have these amazing experiences, all of that. And, you know, as I was progressing through college, I had been on the, the cheerleading team for a couple years and I was like, okay, it’s time to get really serious about my career. And I was going to school for communications because I was like, I have no idea what I wanna do with my life. I just didn’t wanna sit in spreadsheet RV (05:00): All day. You’re using your, of all the people who went to college, I feel like you’re actually using your degree, isn’t KR (05:06): It wild? So I picked a communications degree. ’cause I was like, I just don’t wanna sit in a spreadsheet, like in a cubicle. I won’t interact with the world. I had no idea what that was gonna look like. So I got the most entry level job in the Fortune 500. ’cause I was like, if nothing else, this girl knows how to put in the work. I was willing to do the work. And I was like, I can get promoted here. I can grow here. I can become financially free, I can learn business. So I was the first one in, last one out basically every day for a decade. I was promoted seven times in eight years. I went from being a single producer in the most entry level job in the company to becoming a senior vice president. I was managing a $50 million portfolio. KR (05:43): I built a team from one to a hundred, interviewing, recruiting, hearing, training, and I was managing 17 locations. And so over the course of this journey, I got this amazing business education. Like I fell in love with sales and marketing and teaching people and coaching. And I was like, this is unbelievable. Like, I just was like, I need to share this with others. But when I got to the top of that, you know, ladder corporate, I was traveling all over the place. I mean, I had branches from New York City down into the Carolinas, and I was like, I had been dating my husband at that time. We’ve been together for 18 years now. And, you know, I was starting thinking about, well, what do I want for my actual life? And I was like, it’s not this, right? I don’t wanna be on planes and trains and buses and be away. KR (06:32): I wanna have a family. I wanna have a life. And I, I loved the work, but I did not feel that I was making the kind of impact in the world that I felt that I was intended to with those skills. And so I said, well, who can I help? Like, who can I share these, these principles, these lessons with? And I was like, I know small business owners because small business owners start a business. ’cause They’re graded a think necessarily. Have the operations and the sales and the leadership and the management, which is why 85% of businesses, you know, go outta business. So I started this side hustle. I actually went to my employer and I said, I’m doing this. You can fire me if you want, but I’m doing this. And, and I I said, if you see my performance drop, you can also come back and fire me. And they didn’t. They let me because this performing person in my role. So they let me build my business on the side. Even even, you know, while I was working full-time, build it to seven figures, became a full-time entrepreneur, took it to eight. I have six companies now in the portfolio that I’m growing. And here we are now I’m interviewing with you, Rory Uhhuh RV (07:43): . So, so how are you? Talk to me about how are you making money, right? Like being an SVP at a company and main, that’s a mm-Hmm. , maintaining that sort of level of performance and profile is not easy. Right? That’s a pretty consuming situation. So, Mm-Hmm. How were you starting a side hustle and making money on the side? What was your, what was your vehicle for that? And sort of how were you, how were you managing that time without like compromising your performance at the company? So like, how did you start, how did you make your, that’s a really question first dollars. KR (08:21): Yeah. That’s a really good question. Let me answer both sides of it because I think it’s, it’s pertinent to the conversation that we’re having. First and foremost I focused on building and mentoring teams. So over a 10 year period, not only did I coach and hire and manage the entry level people that were gonna be the ground floor producers on my team, but I promoted internally managers, senior managers, pre vice presidents, senior vice presidents. And so what I was doing was I was building autonomy and I was building this very high performance, very systematic high growth team instead of leaders. And so I went from being the manager where I had my hands in everything and I was part of everything day to day. And I needed to be active on the floor, you know, hip to hip coaching producers every day to getting to the point where over, you know, a period of years I was able to elevate leaders. KR (09:18): They had worked with me. There was a cadence, there was predictable performance. We had metrics and KPIs and structure to what we were doing. And it got to the point where they really only needed me in a much more consultative capacity day to day versus like the kind of the, the fire, the flames that you have to be in. And so I had breathing room intellectually, and I actually built my business on the side, basically doing an hour before work in the morning. I would go outside and sit in my car on my break, and I would take an hour on my lunch break, and then I would basically service my clients in the evening, like seven, eight o’clock at night. So that’s, that’s kind of how I got it off the ground in terms of how did I get customers? That’s such a great question. KR (10:03): I started running ads from literally almost day one, really my business. Wow. Yes. One of the best things I ever did. I, there’s three things that I did that I feel fundamentally changed and formed my ability to be where I am today and to do what I’ve done. One, I hired my first coach before I had my first client. Two, I, I started building a team from day one. So I had, I had support in the business before I had a client and I had a coach before. I had a client, number one and number two. And number three, I started running ads right away. And the simple ads that I started running were for people to book a free consultation. And I would take consultations either on my lunch break or in the evenings. And I started off by selling high ticket one-to-one services until I got to the point where I was like, okay, I can’t do that anymore. And then I obviously pivoted into a group program. But running the ads allowed me, when I was at work during the day, I had an automated machine that was building my email list, building my audience, booking consultations for me. So that gave me this duality of, I’m at, I’m at work, I’m managing my team, I’m running the business, but I have ads over here that are working all day, even when I’m not available. What RV (11:20): Year was this? KR (11:23): Okay, so 20. We’re talking 20 12, 20 13. Yeah. RV (11:28): Okay. Yeah. So you were running like digital Facebook ads kind of a thing? KR (11:33): Yeah, I wasn’t running them, but I paid someone to run them. Yes, RV (11:36): Sure, sure, sure. Yes. Yes. But yeah, I mean, that was like the heyday of ads, right? Where they were just coming on. Oh, it KR (11:42): Was so different. It was RV (11:43): So . Were you, KR (11:45): Do you even remember those days? RV (11:47): I mean, did you, did you even, so were you driving, were you driving ads directly to a free consultation? I mean, you mentioned building your email list. I was, were you trying to drive right your KR (11:56): Email first? I was both doing both. It’s so funny. I wish I had it. So I had like the cd Did you have the CDs? Did RV (12:02): Cds KR (12:02): Nice. Of course. Oh yeah. We had couple loads of CDs. So yes. So I had RV (12:05): Secret and then we went to SB b thumb drive secret, like mail the thumb drive. We did that for a hot minute. Yep. Secret. Yes, KR (12:10): Yes. So I did both, right? So I was always running the opt-in ads where they could get the digital thing and then they could also add a, an address and we would physically ship them. I still remember them with the little sleeves. But yeah, then I also simultaneously was running ads direct to consult. And that’s how I got like the majority of my customers in those beginning years was, you know, email list, audience building ads and then running ads directly to consultation. And that kind of was like my salesperson until I was ready to hire my first salesperson. Uhhuh . RV (12:46): Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s interesting. Like the one-on-one coaching model is what we tell almost everybody. Like, if you’re trying to build an escape path from your corporate career, it’s like one-on-one coaching is the thing. ’cause Consulting takes absolutely. Time to build. Speaking takes time to build writing books takes time to build. And then a lot of the things like the courses in the eBooks, it’s like you can’t make enough money selling a $99 widget to, to really leave until you have a monster audience. Yes. You’re not making enough. So it’s interesting that that’s like your exact path KR (13:19): And that story. I mean, that’s exactly it. And, and that’s exactly what I tell people today. Everyone wants to go right to like the digital product, the course, the, the low ticket thing, but they don’t realize the size and scope of the brand and audience that you have to build. So I do those things now, but I’ve had 10 years of audience building behind me to do that. Right. You’re absolutely right. I mean, for anyone that’s early stage, whether you’re working job or whether your business just isn’t at the point yet where you can support your family. Like that one-to-one coaching model is beautiful. And the thing that’s so powerful about it is you become so so well versed in the exact trends and language and, and break points and all of that, that it’s so easy to sell group coaching. When you’ve done one-on-one, I find people that try to go straight to group coaching really have trouble selling it because they haven’t been in the trenches and gotten to the point where it’s like they could look at someone’s, you know, situation in three seconds, they can pinpoint exactly what the person needs. KR (14:22): ‘Cause They’ve been there, done that. It’s like they can do it in their sleep. And it’s so much easier to sell and to scale a product when you understand your avatar to that degree versus trying to do it in theory. Right? RV (14:34): Mm-Hmm. you also like, I mean, a lot almost all of the content that we’ve ever built we, we had an eight figure, we started a sales coaching company in 2006 that became eight figures. We had 200 coaches, we sold that in 2018. And then Brand Builders Group is a coaching model. Even today we do one-on-one coaching. And almost, I mean, not almost like every piece of curriculum we’ve ever created came from doing a one-on-one coaching call with someone who asked a question Yeah. Who were like, well, let me explain it this way, or let me draw it out this way. And now it’s like your content Yeah. Is born out of those conversations. KR (15:11): Yeah. It it’s, it absolutely is. And it’s so funny because I’m sure you get this question from people all the time, and so do I, because like I pump out a ton of content. You do too. Right? And, and people are like, how do you think of your content? How do you know what to create? How do you, how are you always create, I’m like, if you’re having conversations with your people, you are never creating, in theory, you’re always creating to answer questions and to solve problems Yeah. That people are already pushing to you Anyway. So I think that’s kind of the danger of, you know, in today’s market, there’s so much focus on like automation and digitizing things and all of that. And listen, I have a Black Belt six Sigma operations manager that help like automate and digitize things and like get stuff dialed in. But the human element is so essential to sell with ease. Because when there’s connection there and there’s congruency and you’re not trying to take an idea and force it on the market, but instead you are like in cohesion right. With your people. That’s where it is. Like it’s fun and it’s easy because what you’re producing is is what they’re already craving. They’re just waiting for it. Right? Mm-Hmm. . RV (16:24): Well, and it’s interesting how simple, like, you know, the other thing about running ads to a consult, which is really great, is we call it chicken on a Stick in the Brand Builders group community, which is, I love, like giving people that sample, right? Is just going like, how do they sell chicken in the food court? They don’t say, we’ve got the best chicken in the world. Yeah. They hand you a piece of chicken on a stick and you eat it and you’re like, wow, that was amazing. Like, I think I will have a chicken sandwich. That’s KR (16:48): So good. RV (16:49): Like doing a free coaching call. Even if you don’t sell them, you get all these other benefits that you’re talking about. KR (16:55): For sure. They RV (16:56): Get to trust you. They become a referral source, they become a fan, and hopefully they become a client. But even if not, like you get all these other things but it’s, you’re so right. Like everybody wants to jump to the like, scalable digital empire of reaching millions of people and then they, they, they don’t give themself enough financial runway to ever get the plane off off the ground KR (17:19): That that’s a thousand percent in. And I mean, I go off on my like soapbox about this all the time because, you know, you can, you can do a quick Google search. It, you know, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and, and you can look up the fact that, you know, the average business is not profitable for two years. If you go into a business and your only focus is, let me extract every single dollar out of this business as fast as I possibly can, the chances are it’s gonna fail. Because you need to be able to love and nurture and invest in that business building a foundation that is gonna be sustainable, that’s gonna last a profitable foundation for growth. So number one, I feel like so many people are starting and growing businesses from a place of financial, like dire straits, right? KR (18:02): And, and, and then how do you make good strategic decisions? How can you be a visionary if you’re making decisions you know, in financial dire straits? But, but also I think people are very quick. Like, I know the whole like, mindset is burn, burn the boat and, you know, don’t give yourself any other option. And I tell people all the time, I’m like, if you have a job, like find a way to get your business off the ground on the side before you quit, because you need to fund getting that thing off the ground and you’re gonna be a much better CEO if you’re making strategic decisions and not very transactional ones because you’re trying to survive. Like, it’s, it’s not a great place to build a company from, you know? Yeah. RV (18:41): I mean, it’s just desperation. Like very few things are good to do. Like from desperation, specifically financial ones . Exactly. exactly. RV (18:52): I love that. So I wanna come back to something you said a few minutes ago, which was that before you had your first customer, you hired your first person. Mm-Hmm. That’s the other thing that I think small business owners really struggled to go, well, I can’t afford to hire somebody. And it, and it, and it’s, it’s not just the first person. It typically stays with them for like many years where they’re constantly going, I can’t afford to hire. I’m not making enough money to hire somebody. Yeah. How did you flip your mindset there and how, how did you, how did you get yourself to do that? KR (19:22): Well, I think there’s a couple things. And one I got so off about exactly what you just said, that I wrote a book about it. Because no one is teaching entrepreneurs how to build teams. And this is why entrepreneurs are, are so burnout and overwhelmed and frustrated and stressed in their businesses because they don’t have the appropriate support. To answer your question specifically, RV (19:41): What’s that book called? KR (19:41): Oh, it’s called Bigger. RV (19:42): You have 11. You have 11 books. So KR (19:44): What’s that one? It’s bigger than You. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building an Unstoppable Dream Team. And it literally walks you through step by step by step, the strategy, the thinking, the mindset, and the tactical action plan of how to go through building a team that will be profitable. So to answer your question, almost any role that you hire for, especially in the beginning of your business, you know, you’re, you should hire, basically there’s a front of the house and a back of the house, right? We, let’s just make it really, really simple for people. Front of the house is sales and marketing. Back of the house is operations and client support. One is driving new customer acquisition and one is making sure you get paid. You service the people that are already paying you, you keep them and you grow them. Almost any role that you hire for in your company can be monetized. KR (20:32): So when I hired, when I brought on my first person, they had a element of their role that was already built into it that was going to monetize. They were helping me to get referrals. They were helping me to do upsells. They were helping me to do contract renewals. So I knew before I hired this person that yes, they’re gonna cost me this amount each month, but this is what I’m gonna do to monetize their roles. That instead of this being an expense, this is gonna be an investment. And that’s how I look at any person that I’m hiring in any one of my companies today, before I go and bring someone on board, I’m saying, how is this role gonna be sustainable in my organization? Because as the CEO, your plan is the survival, your responsibility is the survival of the business. It’s how does this business stay in business? KR (21:22): How does this business stay profitable? How does this business keep growing? And if you start building a team with either a, the mindset that this team is gonna cost me money, then you have a scarcity mindset, and you’re probably not gonna hire the right people or the best people, or any people at all. To your point, rari or on the flip side, we have people that go out and they hire all these people, but there’s, there’s no plan, right? And when you hire people without a plan to monetize their roles, it it’s, it’s a heavy burden. So now you end up working to pay their payroll instead of them working for you. But I think the beautiful thing, and this is what I remind my clients all the time, is this is all decisions we have free will , right? We’re free agents, we have free will. So these are decisions that we get to make before we bring someone on board. We can have a plan for how they’re gonna bring profit into the business. And so I RV (22:14): Wanna, I wanna, I wanna zoom in on that because Yeah. You know, you, you mentioned like, there’s certain roles where you go like, hey, referrals or repeat customers or renewals or you know, collecting cash or like outstanding payments even. Yep. What are some of the, how do you, so, so I I’m curious to know, like you mentioned front of the house, back of the house, sales, marketing, operations, delivery. Have you seen a consistent pattern in who you should hire first versus who you should hire second, who you should hire third? Or is that different? Yeah. For every business, yes. And then, and then also what I really am also curious about is how do you tie operational roles like assistance and, you know, people like that. How do you tie those to a metric to where both, like you can feel like, oh, I’m getting the business is getting the money back for this person. KR (23:09): Yeah. These are really good questions. Thank you for asking these questions. I think these can change people’s lives that are listening here today. So listening. Totally, RV (23:16): Totally. KR (23:17): Okay, so, so let’s start with the first question that you asked, which is, is there an order of hiring? And this is what I’ll say. Obviously there’s nuance to every situation, so it’s not gonna be like, yes, it’s the same for every person, but let’s just talk about like, the trend, the pattern of, of what I see with the thousands of clients that I’ve worked with, right? First things first, you need to buy back your time period, right? Because as the CEO of the company, you need to be doing things that are forward market facing, creating content, getting on podcasts, generating leads, having consultation called, doing launches, right? Which means that the first thing that you need to do is to get your time back on admin operations. Just all that transactional stuff that takes your time during the day that keeps you, I say like, behind the scenes instead of out front. KR (24:05): So the first thing to think about is how much of your time is actually being spent out front driving the business forward, versus how much of your time is being spent behind the scenes, basically just maintaining the tasks that have to get done. So that tends to be the very first role. And it doesn’t need to be a full-time person. It could be a, a fractional admin, it could be a part-time person. You know, there’s all different ways you can slice that, you know, equation. But that’s number one. Then number two is you need someone whose only role is gonna be to generate cash. So someone who’s gonna probably be a hybrid of sales and marketing with a goal of taking the leads that you’re generating, building relationships with them, nurturing them, getting them into consultations or getting them on your calendar for consultations. That tends to be the second one, which then puts you the business and puts you in a position to be able to afford to hire the third person, which is now, oh my gosh, I have more clients than I can service well myself. KR (25:01): How do I make this business scalable? Point number three is, okay, now we need someone that can actually do client servicing, that can take your methodology, that can take your, your, you know, scientific approach to what you do and can empower other people to go through that process. It doesn’t mean you’re totally removed from it, but it means you can elevate your role and then you can have support roles, right? That are taking the nuances and, and helping the application of them. So that tends to be the most effective order. And I’m not saying it’s like that with everyone, but I’m saying that is a pattern that tends to work very, very well because first person gives you back time so you can sell more. Second person is selling more directly or indirectly, and then third person is able to then help you to make sure that you retain, upsell, get renewals, get referrals from the people that you’ve now brought in. Mm-Hmm, RV (25:54): . Interesting. Interesting. Now so I love that. So, so take me through the second question, which is, you know, justifying the pay for operations people like sales, even marketing people. It can be tricky to do that. But you can at least measure pretty clearly Yeah. How many leads have come in, how many subscribers have grown and awareness, impressions, et cetera. Sales is the easiest to pay. I feel like hiring a salesperson is, is one of the easiest things to hire because you can do it on an eat what you kill basis. Yeah. and they can make a lot of money if they do a great job. And but when you get into the more administrative and operational roles, which at first might be a fractional assistant, but later one day becomes a COO you know, a director of operations, a account manager, whatever, like how do you attach those roles to profit and money? KR (26:56): Yeah. It’s such a good question. And, and the answer is that it changes as the business grows very dramatically. So like, I’ll give an example of like, here’s what this looks like. I have, I have some companies right now that are only 1-year-old. I have my original company that’s now 12 years old. So let’s talk about the difference between an operations person in a baby company versus an operations person in a a established company. ’cause It’s so different, right? Totally. In a baby company that’s just getting started, your operations person is very much gonna be in like a hybrid role, okay? So this person is gonna be doing tasks related to scheduling your customers, renewing their contracts. They’re gonna be kind of interacting and engaging. They’re not servicing your customers, but they are going to be kind of that, that touch point, right? They’re doing all of your scheduling, they’re coordinating with customers on all different things that come up. KR (27:46): They’re, you know, managing billing to make sure that, you know, all, all things go in order. All of those things, right? And, and many times, the first time that you hire for any role in your company, when your company’s very small, the role is gonna be a hybrid role. Meaning they’re gonna be doing a lot of kind of different things because you don’t need a full-time person that’s gonna sit there all day long to do operations for a little baby business, right? When I was fi first building this role, and I still do this with my newer companies now, I tend to have kind of someone in an operational, hybrid, hybrid role that in many ways, even though they may not be the person that is servicing the customer, they are almost like the customer care person for all intents and purposes, which means that they’re getting referrals, right? KR (28:33): When I first started doing this, I literally had my ops person send thank you notes and, and touch points for our referral program, and she would generate new referrals every single month. She was a brand new college kid. I hired her as an intern. She had no sales experience, she had no marketing experience, and I was literally training her from the ground up on operations. But I said, what’s something that is systematic and can produce profits that someone that’s brand new can do well? Anyone can build relationships by caring anyone, right? Sure. And so I said, I’m gonna have this person, I’m gonna look at my client base and I’m gonna say, who are the right people that I could be generating consistent referrals from? And I simply had her manage the monthly touch points for referrals. And we consistently saw that we got sales coming in and introductions coming in because of her just doing these kind of thoughtful monthly touch points to our own customers. KR (29:30): And a lot of people think, well, I’m a small business, you know, I’m just getting started. It doesn’t make sense for me to have a referral program. If you have one customer and you get one referral, you just double the size of your business. Amen. If you have five customers and you get five referrals, you just double the size of your business. So you can do this on a really small scale, or you can do this on a really large scale. But when I was starting at the very beginning, that was how I monetized that first role. They got us referrals. They got people to renew their contracts and do upsells. Let’s say someone was in my group program, they could add a VIP day with me. At the time I was still doing a lot, like, you know it looks different for everyone now when I look at, you know, our operations manager, you know, in my coaching company that’s 12 years old, right? KR (30:18): He’s a black Belt six Sigma, and his job is helping us buy back the time of every other person in the organization by finding efficiencies in the business systematically. And then getting them to work like a well-oiled machine so that every other person in the company’s productivity is lifted up so that they can actually open up their bandwidth, open up their productivity to sell more, to serve more clients, to get more leads to, to close more whatever it’s gonna be. So it looks, it looks really, really different. It’s kind of much more scientific over here ’cause it’s like deep dive, like systems efficiencies, you know, process orientation. Whereas in the beginning stages it’s just like, well, what are the things that most small businesses don’t do? And, and Rory, this is what, if I can just take one minute on this. Most small businesses, they do not consistently reach out to their customers for referrals. KR (31:14): They do not consistently reach out to their past customers. This was the other thing I had my operations manager do. Whenever someone rolled off a contract, she would stay with in touch with them every month. And then we would consistently see them come back and they would come back and they would come back. So that was the other thing. It was just she wasn’t selling, she was just literally staying in touch with them. Right. We would put together mailers or a handwritten note or whatever the case. So I’ll just pause there. I know that was kind of a lot. RV (31:41): No, that’s great. I I was actually gonna ask you what are these monthly touchpoints that you’re systematizing for referrals? Yeah. Like what are, what are they doing? ’cause Like you say you is intern fresh outta college, like not the sales and marketing wizard. Yes. But clearly you’ve developed some type of process or system that they’re able to run. KR (31:59): Yeah. Yeah. So we do everything digitally now because we run much larger scale programs. But back then, and even I would say if you’re running a small business and you’re just getting off this off the ground and you’re not talking about you know, hundreds of people that you’re reaching out to you know, we sent handwritten notes. You know, we might share an interesting article with them and say, you know, I thought of you this, you know, I thought you would enjoy this. She might share a resource with them. We did send out gifts, we sent physical gifts. So I mean, again, I’m in the high ticket world, primarily that this business that I’m talking about is in the coaching consulting world. So when someone works with you, you, and, you know, the equivalent of a relationship is a hundred, $200,000 over the lifetime of the business, it makes sense to spend 50 bucks on a gift for someone, right? KR (32:49): So we did gifting, we did thank you notes, we sent out articles we would make connections if there was someone that we thought that it would be relevant and meaningful for them to, you know, have a connection with you know, she would answer questions here and there. So it, it was nothing genius. It was just literally the consistency of doing it at all. And that’s kind of what my point was. Most small businesses never follow up with their past customers. Your past customers know you. They like you, they trust you, and they’ve gotten a result working for you. But if you don’t care enough to reach back out to them and say, Hey Rory, I saw we haven’t worked together for two years. What have you been up to? I’d love to see you back in our world again. Why would you come back to us? KR (33:32): Right. You’re gonna go to someone who’s pursuing you and saying, I’d really like to work with you. Right? So that’s one of the easiest money makers that sit in every single business that most small businesses, they don’t have any cadence to how they’re going after that business. And that’s free money. That’s free money because most people buy things cyclically and habitually, meaning they’re gonna buy in that category for life, but they’re not gonna buy every day for forever. And people buy from top of mind awareness, which means they’re gonna buy from one of the last three people that they interfaced with. So if you put those two things together, people buy habitually, meaning they buy typically in a category for life. If you’re a person that believes in coaching, you’re probably gonna keep investing in some way, shape or form in expanding your education and growing and whatever. Right? So we know that people, when they buy in a category, tend to buy in that category long term. We also know that people’s lives go like this. They’re, they’re not ups and down, they’re not RV (34:33): Ups and downs. Yeah. KR (34:34): There’s constant ups and downs and season RV (34:37): Have kids, you go to college, you move da, you get a new job, you start a new company, whatever, Uhhuh, KR (34:43): That’s exactly it. So where someone might be your best customer spending 50 grand, a hundred grand, $200,000 with you for three years straight, something might happen in their life where they don’t work with you for three or four years. I’ve actually had this happen. And, and then, and then when it’s time because we maintained a relationship, they’ll come back again. Right? And it’s not to say that people never will if you don’t maintain a relationship, it’s saying that you’ll 10 x 20 x 50 x the amount of people that will if you focus on just maintaining a relationship, right? Mm-Hmm. RV (35:14): . Yeah. I love that. I mean I I love what you said. It’s just like the, the magic is not in how you do your follow up. No. It’s just that you do the follow up. It’s just touching base for whatever ever reason you can find to, like that’s stay in touch with them. It’s KR (35:33): Amazing. Uhhuh And, and you know what’s so funny, Rory, to your point, people will come back to us all the time now and they will literally say, thank you so much for following up with me. Like, I’m, I’m just here ’cause you followed up with me. And like, they’ll come back and they’ll buy again and they’re, they’re just simply there because we like reminded them. Mm-Hmm. . But people’s lives are so busy. Right? But this is the thing, and, and this is what I would say to everyone is like, the internet world has a tendency to make you think in very short windows of instant gratification and the thing that’s gonna allow you to build a wildly profitable business that sustains right over, over years, decades, whatever the case is, thinking about customers as people that you have relationships with and setting your strategic foundation of your business around lifetime value of the customer, not acquisition. KR (36:28): Most people focus singularity on customer acquisition and the bottom of their business is like a funnel and it’s just pouring out the bottom. And so they’re just on this constant hamster wheel of they have to sell just to maintain. There’s no continuity of building the brand because they’re only focused on customer acquisition. They’re not focused on retention, renewals, referrals, upsells the lifetime value that creates really nice stability in the business. And no one’s selling you that course. No one’s selling you that methodology because it’s not like the bright, shiny Right. You know, exciting thing. No one’s RV (37:04): You to like how to be successful eventually one day through Exactly. Long-Term relationships and long-term strategy, you know? No, exactly. I’ll teach you how to quadruple your revenue over the next 10 years . And like, not exciting. KR (37:17): No, it’s not exciting. But the thing is, it’s what it, it’s what will keep you in business and it’s what will make you a multi, multi multimillionaire. I mean, it’s, it’s, it, it, listen, it’s very hard to retain really high level performance in a company if you don’t get the backend right. Totally. Most will never scale because they figure out the front end, but they never figure out the backend. So it falls out the bottom as fast as it comes in the top. Mm-Hmm. . And that’s all, that’s all I can say. And so like, I get people to come into my world a lot of times ’cause they wanna learn how to launch, they wanna learn social media marketing, they wanna learn strategy for scale. And I’m like, great. But once I get ’em in there, I’m like, okay, now we’re gonna have the real conversation, right? Let’s talk about how we’re gonna actually build a business that’s gonna be here, right? Because yes, I can give you all this on the front end, but we also need to make sure that the back end is right too. Mm-Hmm, . RV (38:06): Absolutely. Well you know, I’m sitting here thinking to go you know, I’ve interviewed so many different people on this show, amazing, amazing thought leaders. But if like someone asks me to say, Hey, who’s a, who’s a business coach you would recommend, like, there’s not somebody that I really go like, ah, this people share same philosophies and similar things. And I think so much of what you shared is so similar in our philosophy and what we’ve, our experience more than our philosophy, just our, our experience. So I love that. So Kelly, where do you want people to go if they wanna connect with you learn about you, obviously you’ve got your podcast, which I know is really important to you and, and is a great show. We’ve had so many of our, our clients on there. So many of my friends have have been on there. So you got the podcast. Is that the best place or where else should they go? KR (38:53): Yeah, I mean, definitely come listen to the Kelly Roach show. I bring it, you know, there’s a thousand episodes you can literally grow your business for free. Just come and listening to the show or connect with me on Instagram, Kelly Roach official come DM me. My team’s in there all the time, but I pop in too. And, and they’re there as themselves. So if it comes from Kelly, it’s coming from me and I love to meet you. So come say hello. RV (39:13): I love it. Well, we will link up to all that. Thank you so much for this. It just never amazes me. You know, I can, I can always tell when I meet a real eight figure entrepreneur because they’re not talking about the flashy tactics and trending things. They’re talking about the principles that have always worked and will always work that are not sexy. But they are simple and they’re not, they’re not easy, but you can execute on ’em and they will make a big difference. And that’s what I think today has been all about. So we really appreciate it, Kelly and so great to connect and we wish you all the best. KR (39:49): Thank you. Thanks for having me.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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