Converting Brainpickers Into Paying Clients


In this week's episode of Chill & Prosper, we’re talking about converting brainpickers into paying clients.

If you’re sick of giving free advice to everyone or if your business isn’t growing quickly enough - you need to listen.

BUT - even if you’re not doing free work - let’s see where this could be creeping in, because that’s exactly what happened to me recently!


I talk about ...

  • Recognising the sneaky brain picking situations
  • Giving up the ‘go-to girl’ ego
  • Keeping your boundaries
  • Gracefully converting people into giving you money


Well, today, we are talking about converting those people who are trying to get free stuff from you into paying clients. Brain pickers into paying clients, basically. So this is particularly you if you are sick of giving free advice to everyone, if your business is not growing as much as you would like, but if you are quite already advanced in business, I want you to see where this could be creeping in, because actually this is inspired by recent instances in my life where it started to creep in a little bit because of old habits. So no matter where you are, you can easily recognize this and divert this, so we can all make more money so we can all change the world. So one of the biggest challenges I think in business is really to gracefully convert people into giving you money. Otherwise known as sales.

And quite often, we really confuse this and we get really blocked by it. So I actually think business is really super simple, as I talk about in my book, Chillpreneur. I have a simple two step process for making millions of dollars. Step number one is share what you know. Step number two is to make offers. So sharing what you know is marketing essentially, so it's doing podcasts, writing social media tips, writing a newsletter every week, showing up and helping people in forums, doing open ask me anythings. All those things are you sharing what you know. And a lot of women in particular are really good at that part. They're really good at showing up and helping everybody all the time, but they miss that crucial, last piece of, "And here's how I can help you. So I had a friend who was an astrologer and she would do these amazing newsletters. And it would be like, "Here's what Mercury retrograde means this month. And here's what this means" and they would be so useful and amazing.

And she was going to interview me about being a Virgo mum. And I said, "Great." "I think this is such an interesting topic about your astrology and being a parent and all this kind of stuff." And I was like, "I know people in my audience will want to have their own chart, so why don't you just add, "You can get your chart done here." And she was like, "Oh no, I can't." Because we've been told that marketing is just giving freely and sharing freely with no expectation in return. And I'm like, "First of all, whoever's teaching that, that's crap." Each and every you share what you know, you can just tell people the next step. So it's like, "Hey, here's my free thing. Here's how Virgos can be better parents. And if you want your own chart done, click here." It's not sleazy at all. It really, really isn't, but it's just sharing what you know, and teaching people that you have something to offer. So that's the biggest challenge I think in business is just letting people give you money.

And in a world that is absolutely rife with free stuff, free information, all that kind of stuff, how do you continue to be generous, but yet convince those people who do want free stuff from you to become actual paying clients? Now, if you're in business for yourself at any stage, I'm sure it happens. Now, people used to email me and ask my advice for free on everything all the time and my inbox was jammed with nonstop questions. And then later on, when social media became more of a thing, then all my DMs were just full of people asking me questions all day long. And so don't take this personally when people ask. It doesn't mean anything about you that people ask. But I want you to reflect for a moment on where this might be coming from and where this could be part of your identity of yourself.

So I had the identity of being the go-to girl. This was part of my identity growing up, that Denise knows the answer. "Denise will know. Denise will know. Denise will know." And I actually have a friend, my friend, Joy Townsend, she's always my, "Joy will know." Sorry, Joy. But I was like this within my family too. So my mom is a little bit of a scatterbrain and she would ask me to do stuff. And then my siblings are much younger than me, my youngest siblings are 19 and 15 years younger than me, so I was the grownup in their life. "Denise will know. Denise will know." And then my friends were used to me just knowing a bunch of stuff, because I was watching Oprah after school and then regurgitating about Oprah. And I always had interesting facts to tell people and just things like that. So I was the go-to girl.

So people would say, "I'm thinking of doing this. How do I do it?" And it would be like, "Oh, I'm thinking of going to New York. Where should I stay?" Or, "I'm thinking of publishing a book. What's the best self publishing system to work in?" And that's cool because I love helping people. I love sharing what I know, for sure. But I've gotten a little bit too addicted to being this go-to girl in that I had no discernment around those things. I would equally help someone with a problem that I had no business helping, as well as something that I had actual expertise or a background in. So I had to give up that and that meant I had to say occasionally words that made me want to vomit. "I don't know. I don't know. Oh, I don't know." That really hurt. It really hurt to say it, because I could find out. I could fix that problem for you. I'll be here for you. I know how to.

And it was like the Hermione where I was like, "I know the answer. I know the answer, and if I don't, I'll find it for you." So I had to give up that part of my identity that was just like, "I know the answer." So that could be you as well, and it could just start with those brain pickers. It could just start of going, "Actually, I have no idea. It's not my area of expertise." And I did this recently on Twitter. Two came in there one day and I was like, "Oh, I've got to wake up my boundaries again." Someone was like, "Oh, I've got a customer in Australia and she asked her a refund. What's the consumer law around refunds in Australia?" And no offense, if you're listening, I was almost about to Google it for her. And then I just went, "Oh, I have no idea." And I didn't justify it. It wasn't a disclaimer of like, "Oh, but you could probably find out on the Australian government website."

Of course, you can find it on the fucking Australian government website. I was just like, "Oh, I have no idea, sorry." That hurt. And then I got another similar one of, "Oh, I've got a friend in Australia. Who's the best person for blah, blah, blah?" And I was like, "My God, I have no idea." So, that's where you could start with those brain pickers, because sometimes it's just about energy. If you open up your energy of, "I will solve every problem that you ever have," you will attract more of those people. You will attract more and more of them. So sometimes when you say no and you set that boundary, it does something to the universe where they'll stop asking. It's so weird. They just weren't ask anymore when you set the boundary. Sometimes too, if you're in a group and you set the boundary publicly, "Oh, I have no idea," then they'll stop asking.

If other people see that you're not going to just be everything to everyone and solve every problem of their life, they will stop asking as well. So it totally is an energy thing. And please don't take it personally. I've got a friend who gets brain pickers in her inbox every single day, people asking for free advice, people asking for free sessions. She takes it so personally and she bitches about it every single day. And guess what? She gets more and more and more and more and more of them every day. So it's not personal. Everyone gets it, but there's a lot of different ways that it'll come up. So I'm going to take a quick break, and then I'm going to come back with some of the tips and tricks that I have to convert those brain pickers into actual payable, paying clients. All right, see you in a sec.

Hi, my name is Gemma James. I'm a law of and personal development coach for female entrepreneurs from the south of England and the U.K. And I joined Denise's Money Boot Camp Breakthrough Package last year, and I have to say, it's got to be one of the most incredible investments that I've ever made, because not only have you got the wonderful training from Denise, actually in the boot camp, but you've got the support from the other boot campers, from Denise, from everybody else in the community. And that Facebook community really is my favorite place to go on the internet, because it's somewhere where you can just go if you're feeling a little bit down, feeling a little bit flat, if you're struggling, if you feel a new block come up, even if you don't want to be taking part and you're a little bit of a lurker, I promise you, you're still going to get something out of it.

And going through boot camp in 2020, it's been a crazy old year, as I'm sure you're probably aware. And it's just allowed me to have that place to go through, and going through Money Bootcamp has cleared so many blocks and so many limiting beliefs for me that it's allowed me to have my best month ever in my business, but it's also allowed me to actually course correct a little bit. It's given me the confidence. It's given me the ability to see that my business can be easy and I can run my business and I can make money in the way that I want to.

Okay. So first of all, recognize some of the sneaky brain picking situations that you might see. So we talked about the go-to girl stroking your ego as someone who just knows all the answers. But there's a couple of other ones that you might get that they don't straight up just go, "Give me a free session. Give me a free thing." They'll be a bit sneaky about it. So one that always gets me a little bit is, "Oh, I know you're really busy, but," so it's the pleading request that makes you feel like a little bit of a bitch if you refuse. And it might even be a real mean one. "I know you're too big for your boots now," or, "I know you're too important for me now, but," and that can be really tricky. Similarly, with the desperate request of, "Oh, I'm really desperate. I really need your help." That might make you feel really bad too.

If you have a paid program or a community group with your customers, there could be someone that's like, "Oh well, I really want to ask this, but I have to be anonymous." There could be the ones that are the customers that pretend they want to hire you. They ask you a million questions under the guise of research, like the overly cautious customer. There could be a fan girl one of someone who flatters you, makes you feel like they're a fan girl, but they're really just trying to get free advice or free mentoring out of you. It could be the Debbie Downer person who just wants to tell you all their problems and ask what they should do like, "Oh, I don't know what I should do," even though they're not going to take your advice anyway, or they could be the, "Oh well, it only takes a minute. It only takes a minute," straight up demanding rude request. They just don't value your time.

So they're all the type of different brain pickers that you're going to get. I would say there was another one. I've had people who've interview med for their podcast, but they're never really launched their podcast. I don't know if anyone else gets that. So everyone thinks that their requests for free information, for free advice, for free mentoring is unique, special, and that your normal rules don't apply for them. So it can be really tempting just to answer them because you think, oh God, I don't want to say no. I don't want to feel like I'm a bitch. It's just a quick question, or you want to be that go-to person. So as I said, this is an energetic thing. If you're putting energy into helping people for free all the time, you're not energetically open for business. So a couple of things that I do, number one, is tighten up your boundaries. One of the best things I did was to get out of my inbox all together. So I don't even see them. And actually, at the start, before I could afford an assistant, I had a fake assistant. It was me.

Her name was Sabrina, but there was something there about having an extra layer of someone who could be the bad cop so I could always be the good cop. And it was like, "Oh, I'm so sorry. Denise doesn't have time for it. She's busy with paid clients," or whatever it was. But it was like, "Hey, Denise, we'd love to help you with that. Here's the link to have a session with her." And if I said that, I might've felt like a bit of a bitch, but because it came from somebody else, a gate keeper who could be the bad cop, that was so great. It felt so, so, so good. Also, if you can get out of your inbox or get out of your DMs, having somebody there is just such a great way of showcasing that you value your time as well. It's just that extra person that's edifying you, making them see that you are someone who's not just a hobbyist who's there to answer their questions all the time, that you are a proper business person in a way.

If you don't want to do that, you don't want to get out of your inbox, you don't want to have an assistant or a fake assistant do it, have something that you can send people to like a free offering, a blog post or an opt-in or something like that. Because then, it gives you somewhere to lead them and then you don't feel like you're a bitch. Or it could be like, "Hey, great question. I'll add that to my blog post." Or, "Yep. That's all answered in my blog posts." It just gives somebody somewhere to go. Now, the thing around that is, do you want to benefit one person or do you want to benefit everybody? If you are getting people within your paid programs or your paid courses asking you questions individually, you can say to them, "Hey, great. I would love everybody to get benefit from that. So that's a really great question. I'll answer it in the group."

Or I'll say, "Great. I'd love you to ask that in the group, because I want to see what other people say as well, and I'll answer it in the group so everybody can benefit from that." So you can just direct those people to where you want them to ask that question. You could also say, "Hey, great topic. I will answer that on my next blog post, or I'll pop it into my blog post topics, or I'll answer it on my podcast. Thank you so much for asking it." So if I give free advice, I want it to be useful. I want it to be useful for my whole community. I want it to be useful for a blog post or a podcast or a webinar. So you've just got to see where that win-win-win is. So the other thing is it's okay just to make an offer to those brain pickers and say, "Hey, great. This is exactly how I can help you."

And I have this, by the way, in Chillpreneur, my book, Chillpreneur. I've got a really great script for you on how to do that, where it's like, "Hey, great question." You always just say that, "Ah, great question. Ah, fantastic." If it's something that you do not do, it's like, "Ah, what a great question. That is not in my area of expertise," and if you want, you can say, "but I know somebody who does," which could be an affiliate relationship or a book or something like that, or, "Good luck on it." But if it's something that you offer as a paid offering, tell them about it like, "Great." Just assume that they want to work with you. Assume that they want to pay. Assume that they're serious about solving that problem. So it's like, "Hey, great question. That's exactly what I do in my XYZ package. Here's all the information to that."

And they might write back and say, "Ah, well, no, I was just hoping you could just answer a couple questions for free. You know what? That's exactly what I can do in my hour long Pick Your Brain Session, click here to join it." Just always redirect people and assume that they want to pay you, because they do. And if they're cheeky and say, "Oh no, I just wanted it for free." Well then, that's not your problem. So just to recap, there's that thing about like, you don't have to be everything to everyone. It's okay to say no. It's okay to say it's not in your area of expertise. It's totally okay to set boundaries. It's totally okay to not feel like a bitch. It's totally okay also to not take it personally. People will take and take and take and take and take and take. They will. Why wouldn't they? If you're giving stuff away for free, why wouldn't they do it? Sometimes they're not even aware that they're doing it, and often those people are not even the ones who are going to say, "Thank you."

They're not even going to say thank you after you've done it. And it's okay to find those little sneaky people and redirect them to where you want them to go. So redirect them to a free offering, a blog post, an FAQ that you've already created. And remember, it's okay to just tell them you can help them. So to recap that message back, and you can script this ahead of time, because it's going to happen. It's like, "Hey, that is a great question. Thank you so much. This is exactly how I can help you in my Business in a Box program. It helps you with blah, blah, blah. Here's the link. I'd love to see you in there. Thanks." That's so, so, so simple. Assume that they want to pay for you, and that's okay. And that need it to be anonymous thing too, if you've got people in your programs, you can say, "That's okay, I'll post it for you. I'll post it in the group as Anonymous."

I've seen that work so well and it's a great way of keeping your boundaries by also honoring the fact that some people are shy. And I've seen it work so, so well so don't think that you can't do it just if someone's got a sensitive thing that they want to talk about. And I find, again, that the more you have boundaries around this, the less and less it's going to happen. It really is. So I have a ton of stuff on this in Chillpreneur, So make sure you go and buy that book. It's available in Audible. I read it myself. It's on Kindle, so you can get that instant gratification. And it's on paperback as well. If you want to support a local independent bookstore, you can ask them to order it in for you in paperback or hardback. And I love the hardback, by the way. It's a beautiful navy color. Ah, it's got Chillpreneur on the spine in gold writing. It's beautiful.

But if you've read all my books and you know that you still have some resistance around getting paid for what you do, I really highly suggest you come and join us over in Money Boot Camp. It is the best way for you to deal with your money staff, to overcome some of that resistance to earning money, and it also comes with an amazing community so you can see that role modeled all the time, people who are standing up, getting paid for what they're worth. And we often talk about awkward conversations around things like this as well, lots of awkward money conversations, and you can find out all the information about my Money Boot Camp at denisedt.com/bootcamp. All right, let's take a quick break and I'll be right back for my final thoughts.

Hi everyone. I'm Natasha Bray, and I live in Wales in the U.K. I'm a success mastery coach and healer for women who want to unlock their ultimate upper level. I joined Money Bootcamp in August 2017 when I was at a really low point in my life. I was stuck around 3K months in my business and I'd just become a single mom to a 10 month old baby. I'd followed Denise for a while and I was really attracted to her laid back energy. Since joining Bootcamp, my life is now unrecognizable. My biggest money block was not being able to have money and love. And now I have an overflow of both. The same month I joined Money Bootcamp, a new man was literally delivered to my doorstep. We're still together now and I've grown a seven figure business in that time too.

What I most love is the community. Being surrounded by other women achieving big things with money is so inspiring. And it shows you what is possible for you too. Over the next year, I'm excited to be moving into my million dollar home with my partner and to be able to impact millions whilst making millions. I'm forever grateful to Denise and the other lucky B's for the part that they've played in this journey.

Hey, gorgeous. Welcome back. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. And here is my final thought for today. I just want to say about the word manifest. I want you to ponder on this word manifest, because sometimes people think it means magic or something outside of yourself, and manifesting just means to make real. To manifest something in the real world just means to make it real. And I heard this quote from Jim Carey, who is big on manifesting, by the way, big on visualization. He wrote himself a 10 million check years before he ever made money from being an actor. But he says, "You can't just do the visualizations and then go out and eat a sandwich. You have to do the work." And so manifesting is a co-creation. You can do all the things. You can do the affirmations. You can light an abundance candle. You can have a dream board. But you can meet the universe halfway and you can co-create that.

And then something happens when you meet the universe halfway. Some magic soft does feel like it happens. So if you're skeptical about manifesting, I totally understand. And so if you can just reframe it as making it real, and then you can reverse engineer anything, any big dream you have for your life, you can make it real. You can manifest anything. I would love to hear what that brings up for you. As always, you can reach out to me at DeniseDT across the interwebs. But yeah, let's make our dreams come true together. There's nothing that you can be, do, or have that's out of your reach. We just make it real, manifest it together. All right, gorgeous, go forth and prosper and chill and manifest anything your little heart desires. Peace out from me. And I will see you on the next episode. Bye.

About the Show

Chill & Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.

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