Glenn Allen is a multi-instrumental musician-turned digital marketing and business consultant. He helps CEO's and service-based consultants delegate and manages their digital course launches. He's also the host of the Glenn Allen Show, a YouTube video series about digital marketing and a podcast on entrepreneurialism called “Unstuck & Unstoppable.” He runs a side-hustle as an unpaid volunteer chef, housekeeper, and chauffeur for three small children who refer to him lovingly as “Dad.”
>> 03:10 Is entrepreneurship a trait that you're born with or something that you can learn or grow into?
>> 05:35 How did you make the transition from musician and teacher to full-time digital marketer?
>> 10:26 What’s a lead magnet?
>> 15:05 What have you really been focusing on?
>> 18:14 Do you know what your industry benchmark for profit is?
>> 21:27 What is the number one strategy you'll focus on this year to scale and grow your business?
>> 23:25 Have you thought about your exit plan?
Where to Find Glenn
Top Tech Tools
Kajabi for courses, Dubsado for client onboarding and scheduling, Later for batching IG and FB content, and Spotify playlists to unwind and rock out.
This episode is sponsored by Entire Productions- Creating events (both in-person and virtual) that don't suck! and Entire Productions Marketing- carefully curated premium gifting and branded promo items.
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A lot of people are giving away, used to be eBooks and eBooks have kind of gone away because they sound like work. And now it's things like quick wins, right? Short, quick wins that get a result. And I love that idea. But the thing is when they're in a PDF form, it's really hard to convey your personality, your expertise, or get people to engage with any emails beyond that one delivery email, where they say, here's the download link to go get your thing.Natasha Miller:
Welcome to fascinating entrepreneurs. How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur? How do they scale and grow their businesses? How do they plan for profit? Are they in it for life? Are they building to exit these and the myriad of other topics we'll be doing? To pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful and fascinating entrepreneurs.
I've written a book, a memoir, well, really a business memoir that follows me through my challenging life in Des Moines, Iowa, with all the. And turns and inflection points to current day pandemic time. It will be published this year. So please go to Natasha miller.co and sign up on my mailing list. So you're the first to know when it's available.
I'm also forming a launch team. So in case you'd like to be involved, I'll send you details about that too. Glen Allen is a multi instrumental musician, turned digital marketing and business consultant. He's helped CEOs and service-based consultants delegate and manage their digital course launches. I met Glenn when he was looking for beta testers for his golden lead magnet mini course, and was really impressed with this approach, content and background.
I talked to Glen about his transition from music to business consultant and what he's going to focus on this year to get ahead. Now let's get right into it.Glenn Allen:
There was always a sense of, I want something more and I went through this period of redefining what's possible for my life when I was 30. So I'd have to say when I turned 30 I'm 40 now I think turning 30 really makes everybody kind of rethink their life.
And I was working as a musician and teaching. And so I had the minor entrepreneurial spirit running my own teaching thing, but I really wanted to scale it into something bigger. And that's when I started my first YouTube channel to teach people songwriting and things like that. That got me on my journey, right.
About that because it failed terribly. And I learned everything that I was doing wrong. I had to learn how to do it.Natasha Miller:
Certainly teaching. This is so great that you're saying this because being a musician and teaching music really is a sort of entrepreneurship. I think you can talk about entrepreneurship in lots of different ways, but as a musician, you have to learn how to book yourself and manage yourself and teach to fill in, or maybe you're teaching because you like it.
But I know a lot of musicians teach. They have to right. Make their ends meet. So the reason I ask those questions, because I want to know if people feel like entrepreneurship is something that you're a trait that you're born with, the ability to do that. Or if it's something that you can learn or grow into, what's your feeling about.Glenn Allen:
I believe in the myth of talent. And I feel like anybody to a certain degree can learn or adapt just about anything. Now they might have some innate natural proclivities. Like for me, I come from a musical background. And so I get this question a lot with music. It's like, are you born with it or is it nurture?
Or what is it? And I think is like, sure, maybe I had the environment that created it. Maybe it was my blood, blah, blah, blah. The thing is, there's a certain level where I only got this far and then other people started shooting past me because they put in the work and they studied in these they're learning.
And I thought, oh crap, I better catch up. And that same thing applies to entrepreneurship. I really believe that it's never too late. I have a client who just pivoted, I think he's in his seventies. Learn how to edit a Creek film, create a digital course, and he's working with you to market. Like that's not a thing that he's always wanting to do, and it's not a thing that he was born with.
You just gained the skills you need. And.Natasha Miller:
So the next question I have for you is did the Berklee school of music prepare you for your current work as a digital marketing and business consultant?Glenn Allen:
No. And not laughing at you. I'm laughing at how funny it is that the marketing world has changed so much. So study performance and engineering, and mostly the specific.
And at that time, if you remember which time this was, this was 2001, 1999, somewhere in there, Napster was new to the scene. If anybody runs Napster, people are able to pirate music for free and stream it using a pizzerias. And that was so new. And so many musicians were so for it, it's like let's give away free content to get people to our paid.
Which were merchandise and other things like that. And so some people really adapted this online entrepreneurial spirit right away, 20, 21 years ago. And some people like Metallica notoriously over curmudgeons about it and sued Napster. And we didn't know which way that the music industry was going to go.
And so all my marketing knowledge from then started there, but a lot of that is just so absolutely. I went to other schools after that to study marketing and nothing I learned in college matters. Right. I might have got some general concepts how to write on marketing plan, which I never do. I never read marketing plans.
I don't know anybody that does either. It's usually like, this is my idea. I'm going to do it. Here's my plans. Here's my goals. You know, you might write some things down, but it's not that formal thing. They teach you to college, right? Everything that I use in my business and in my life as an entrepreneur has come through.
Experience of doing and, or buying it online course because they're so relevant.Natasha Miller:
Yeah. Especially now things are changing so quickly. You need to be on it or you're left in the dust. How did you make the transition from musician and teacher to full-time digital marketing, the person and the profession that you are now?Glenn Allen:
I hinted at this a little bit. I didn't realize what I was doing when I was teaching, I play 11 instruments and I had students from just about every instrument. And I got to the point where I was overbooked. And even though I've had lots of teachers, I was teaching things that were kind of unique and picking from the best ones and shedding kind of the worst ones.
And I'd kind of develop more. A mindset, coaching around music, which is why I think my students were getting such amazing results. It wasn't just like, here's how you play notes. It was really like, you think you're too old. Here's why you're not too old. Just like where you working with their mindset around those things and getting to a point where I couldn't scale any further working in a music store where they're taking most of my money and getting to the point where I was like 40 plus hours.
And it eight by 10 room, I thought, okay, I need to do something to scale this and get this to the masses. So I created a YouTube channel called I am an orchestra and music tutorials, and, uh, eventually created a mini course and an ebook and it failed. It wasn't terrible, but I think I sold $70 worth of eBooks for a $7 ebook, like Ooh, sold 10.
But what it did for me was it got me really obsessed about how. Funnels and email automations and marketing and positioning and writing copy and creating websites and things like that. And my friends and acquaintances, Scott interested in what I was doing with the channel and how I was getting people into an email list.
And it got me freelance. And I just, while working a day job was doing that freelancing and buying more and more and more digital courses. I've bought probably tens of thousands of dollars. And eventually it helped me land an absolute dream job with a leadership development. Consulting and training firm where every type of marketing I'd ever learned how to do and always want to do. I got to do it. So as the blogger, the blogger, I was producing courses, I was launching courses. I was doing all the graphic design and rebranding email automations, every thing, which was so fun. But the thing was as much as this was a dream job in the back of my mind, I'd always wanted to do my consulting of this kind of thing.
I have my own business. And so when COVID hit, I had to have that hard conversation. When my hours dropped down with my mentor. My boss, who I think is one of the most fantastic people ever. And she just said, yeah, your upward trajectory is much higher on your own us right now. And basically gave me the blessing to leave.Natasha Miller:
That's amazing that she did that. I love that. And I met you maybe five or six months ago. I think. I didn't realize you were sort of at the precipice of this changeover just right then. So right now, I'd love to know what you do now and who you help. This is the time to just lay it all out there.Glenn Allen:
Most of the people that I work with have created a course.
A lot of them, oddly enough, it's come full circle are musicians who either wouldn't be out of a job. I worked with a woman who she was on tour with Elvis Costello, who was like my favorite songwriter of all time. And COVID hit. And basically her job is just grounded. And so a mutual friend of ours, Michael Elsner said, Hey, I'm making a bunch of money teaching people how to do sync licenses.
You should do a course about what you know, how to do with each viewing and making music, self professional. And she had something of a mailing list because she had an organization. She was teaching a little bit on the side. But the thing is that audience, they couldn't benefit because they also had no work.
And so we worked together and basically gave her a different audience. We said, let's pair you with Michael's audience who is making money. They're making money off of sync licensing. And so we're able to basically launch a course. So people like that, where they've got something and either like maybe the marketing is terrible, their positioning just as in spot on, they don't know how to clearly convey.
The benefit of what is the offer? That's a lot of the work I do with them and, or they're just overwhelmed by just all the moving pieces of launching. I will work with them through all those steps, the strategy of how you should launch based on your business model, fixing all your like lead magnets and funnels and copy and yeah.
Guiding people through the whole process and then partnering them with affiliate launch partners who might be able to catapult their launch into the next. And then now also I'm pivoting a little bit and adding a second service where I'm basically working with CEOs or businesses who have a team and they can't manage all that themselves.
Maybe they bought a course for their VA's or their team to watch, but they're just not getting it. So basically I'm coming in there and just launch, managing and saying, okay, these are the pieces. This is what needs to get done. You work on this.Natasha Miller:
That's interesting. I didn't know that you had gone over to that corporate side.
So when I met you, you were launching a lead magnet into mini course horse. And I love that. And those two words, by the way, aren't going to be familiar to everyone listening to this podcast. So let's talk about what a lead magnet is so that people aren't going, what the heck is thatGlenn Allen::
The magnet otherwise known as an ethical bribe or a freebie oroutdated term might be white paper is essentially some kind of giveaway, some kind of information or report or free guide that you offer to entice your ideal audience into joining your email list, where you can then continue to add value to them and nurture them. And eventually let them know about how great you are at whatever your area of expertise is and offer other services.Natasha Miller:
And then you decided that the more effective lead magnet is to turn whatever lead magnet you may have, but primarily a PDF into a consumable mini course. Can you talk about that a little bit?Glenn Allen:
A lot of people who are hip to the idea of lead magnets are often making a couple mistakes. One of them is whatever their freebie is.
It might be concentrically related to their expertise. It doesn't always translate well into what they're trying to offer on the back end through their email list. And so one of the things I realized is I've got to show people how to align those two things. And then the other thing is a lot of people are giving away.
You used to be eBooks and eBooks have kind of gone away because they sound like work. And now it's things like quick wins, right? Short, quick wins that get a result. And I love that idea. But the thing is when they're in a PDF form, it's really hard to convey your personality or your expertise, or get people to engage with any emails beyond that one delivery email, where they say, here's the download link to go get your thing, because what happens is you might look up how to do something on Google.
You find a couple of thought leaders, they have a free guide or free cheat sheet or check. Maybe a quiz or something, you do it. And then you forget who that person was. Even if they put their bio and their picture on the actual PDF, it's kind of in one eye and out the other, it's not a saying, but the same kind of idea.
Right. Just kind of forget about it. And so with some of my clients, I realized we've been doing this tripped out video approach to launching a course. And I thought we should do this on the front. With a lead magnet where if you want to sell a course or something where you're shown as the, kind of the face of your business, whether it's consulting or coaching, and it doesn't always have to be that way, it could be a podcast or you really want to give people a taste of what you're like on the front end and let them engage with you multiple times, because that creates this immediate rapport that gets reinforced day after day.
So I basically created what I call the golden lead magnet. Align your top. With your service in a strategic way, and then drip it out maybe three times over the week. And the other thing is like close the loop on a small burning P and they have that by doing so we'll open a loop that only your paid product or service can handle.
And one of my favorite examples of this is if you're familiar with Stu McLaren, he has this course called tribe. It teaches people how to build membership sites. It's freebie is like, it teaches you this thing called the. Founding member scripts, basically, it's a way in which you can gauge your email list and say, I'm about to have a business membership and anybody wants to get on the ground floor.
It's going to be this low price and you'll be grandfathered in for good. And so if you're interested in just simply send me a reply and say, yeah, I'm interested. And then you follow up with a link and have them pay. And so I tried this and I had paid subscribers for something I hadn't created yet. And it made me go okay, crazy.
He showed me how to solve the problem of how do I validate an idea, prove that people want this and get paid to create it. Now, my good to have problem. That was my small loop problem. My big problem was now how the heck do I create a membership site? Right. So I had to join his tribe membership in order to learn all that stuff.
So closing the loop with your free stuff, opening a bigger, good to have problem lists for them that your pain solutions.Natasha Miller:
Great. I really loved coming into that world with you. And I was sort of a beta tester and really enjoyed it. And we'll be doing that as I've changed the scope of my course. I'm going to change, of course, the lead magnet.
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On? Oh wow. Since the world start, you know, what's interesting is.
I've been working a lot on relationships with people and just really networking, like crazy. I've been so many people like you and just learning about what they're doing and how I can connect to their people. In fact, I run this digital expert network or the den I call it. It's a business mastermind of people that I wanted to get together that were all doing incredible things in the digital marketing world.
Since doing that, it's kind of a small group and they're all like really close friends now. And I'm thinking, okay, how can I continue doing this? Not just with this one group with more and more people and teaching other people how to really use those relationships and not use them like necessarily yes, there will be an advantage, but for each other's growth that whole rising tide raises all ships sort of mentally.
And so that's been a really big focus of mine. And I actually track it on a spreadsheet, which is kind of nerdy, but I wanted to be methodical. And the other thing was, I just realizing I was meeting so many people that I was forgetting. Some people like I have a podcast I'm on this Friday and I literally had to go to my list and go, oh, right.
You know, I hadn't checked my notes because there's just so much interaction and activity right now. And I'm meeting so many people this way. Are you onNatasha Miller:
I am not on clubhouse a lot solely because I got stuff to do. I will be there Friday running, actually that digital expert night, we're going to move it from zoom to clubhouse and just do a joint can join room.
Anybody can listen to us. Talk about digital marketing. Cool.Natasha Miller:
I love clubhouse. I'm not on it for 10 to 12 hours. Like a lot of people I know, but I've gotten a lot out of it, but yes, it can be distracting. So one of the questions that just came up in my mind, I didn't have it down to ask you, but you did a very bold thing in a recent email. Do you know what I'm talking about?Glenn Allen:
I like to do things like that all the time. So the chocolate, I mean,Natasha Miller:
I, I looked at that email and I was like, oh my God. Geez. That was pretty intense. I mean, I liked the content, but you just straight out called out a very well-known digital marketer and ripped her pageGlenn Allen:
Distressed. I struggle with this one because she's sort of an idol for a lot of my email list. And I know this because my clients have asked me to help them plan their websites and get it to look like this individual. And I even in an LinkedIn article promoting it, almost tagged her. And then I took it off. It was like, this isn't the right way to go about this.
And, you know, it's somebody that I really think is great and have actually shared some of her content. And she. Nice enough or her admin is nice enough to reply with a nice thank you and things like that, butNatasha Miller:
I don't think they'd probably replied with a nice thank you for this one. I definitelyGlenn Allen:
don't think, oh,Natasha Miller:
I would be surprised if it doesn't make her way to her.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that, like that bold move, that really was very valid about what you were saying, because pretty remarkable. I don't think you were putting her in a, like, this is a bad person, but yeah, you got some hutzpah there. Uh, so we're going to switch gears to your industry. And I asked this of almost everyone I interview is that, do you know what your industry benchmark forGlenn Allen:
Profit is? Oh, that is a great question. We, as course creators throw around, like, you hear a lot of like five figure launch, six figure launch, that sort of thing, which is great,Natasha Miller:
but that doesn't say anything. Right? So the benchmark I'm looking for, like I thought in the restaurant industry that 10% net income was the general.
Sweet spot. And I'm thinking God, that so low, but then I interviewed Josh Coppola and he's like, yeah, no, it's like between four and 6%, I'm thinking, why would anyone do it? Of course, it's a passion thing. And we want restaurant tours to keep opening restaurants. So, but in the digital marketing education world, what is that net profit that people are vying for?
Glenn Allen 19:29 That's actually something that I've never heard anybody talk about. And what you hear when you're learning about creating courses. Oh, there's just like so little overhead, right? You basically just take your information, you film and record it. You don't have to hire a bunch of people, but the reality of it is there's a lot to it.
You've got to learn or hire out for the pieces that you don't want to do, whether that's editing or that's the production of it. You have to have services like my favorite Kajabi. It's not the cheapest service in the world. And then there's consultants and coaches to help you through it. That said, if you get your pieces right, and you really know your market, you can be very profitable.
But I think there's a wide range of what people invest into this and what their overhead actually is. Versus, you know, what kind of profit margins they're seeing,Natasha Miller:
Right, And where they find their talent and how are they full time? Are they contract? Are they overseas? The one thing that comes to mind is Amy Porterfield, just at a $9 million launch over 4,200 students.
I was one of them at $2,000 a person, but she has a team of, I think, 18 or 20. I don't know if they're all full time, but before COVID I had 12 people on my payroll and that was a million dollar payroll. I'm also in San Francisco. So yeah, the pay for employees back before COVID was astronomical. But I wonder about that.
So I guess now the next question, since you don't know, and not everyone does even Inc 5,000 members that I've interviewed, don't know their industry benchmark. So what profit margin or actually net income bottom line, percentage of revenue would make you Swoon.Glenn Allen:
Wow. That's a great question. I feel like I don't have enough knowledge of other industries benchmarks should know what would be outlandish for that answer.Natasha Miller:
Well, I mean, you can look at where you're at currently and feel like, are you satisfied there? Are you like, oh my God, I can't believe it it's so much. Or, oh, this could use some work. And if so, where do you want to go? And I guess how you would get there is another question.Glenn Allen:
Yeah. Wow. You're putting me on the spot with a question that I should've thought about, but never halfNatasha Miller:
It's good. You know why? Because anyone listening will be thinking about this. Oh, I don't know my industry benchmark and I'm not really paying attention to net profit percentage to revenue. I think when you get into the place where you have a bigger team, you have infrastructure, you have overhead, these things really start to matter.
Okay, so we'll move on. What is the number one strategy you'll focus on this year to scale and grow your business?Glenn Allen:
It's funny because it's number one, but they're both number one. It's twofold. There's two components to it. Number one for me personally, and it regards my business is my mindset. 'cause there's like definitely I have an avoidance behavior that looks great to a lot of people.
They're like, wow, you just put in a new patio door set where that wall was and oh, new floors in your bathroom. It's like, yes, those were launches that I was supposed to be working on. I did launch, but I also have a new floor on a new three season room painted and yeah, it's ridiculous. And so I'm starting to recognize these patterns of avoidance.
I have they're healthy. And they're getting things done around my home. My home was looking great and luckily I'm not sabotaging myself, but there are definitely some head trash pieces that I'm working with. And what caused me to see this was I was noticing some of my clients, I could tell how successful they're going to be given that their businesses were pretty much the same level, same strategies, and yet one would go.
Skyrocket the other one would do. Okay. And it was all mindset and some of it started making me evaluate. And the other number one thing is I'm going to be growing my list as much as possible by doing things like leveraging Facebook groups and showing up as an actual. And teaching to different groups, basically working with other people's platforms as much as I can, because that's what I tell my clients to do.
And I need to listen to my own. Great.Natasha Miller:
Yes, exactly. There's only so much time though, in the day. And you have three kids. Yes. Beautiful. Wonderful kids. And you're single parenting, like a crazy person during this pandemic.
Glenn Allen 23:37 They're putting the snow right now. They're being very good right now. Oh, that'sNatasha Miller:
Great, so have you considered at this point of your new career really? Because this is what it is. It's new, right? It's a new entity solo by yourself. I'm assumingGlenn Allen:
Working with the VA.Natasha Miller:
I should ask you what your scaling, a growing plan is. But of course, I'm going to ask you something that you probably just based on where you're at, haven't really considered, but maybe you have, have you thought about your exit plan, whether it be 10, 20 years or five years build the cell, has that crossed your mind?Glenn Allen:
100%. I mentioned Michael Elsner who has the sync licensee program. He's a few years older than me and a really good friend of mine. And he's already got his Kajabi millionaire pin for his course. He's already on that exit strategy right now. So I've been watching his whole process. In fact, tonight I'm going to be moderating for his final live.
He's somebody who worked in the music industry was touring with his heroes, Mr. Big, and then moved to doing film scoring. So he's like always had these ways of like exiting different things. He did like the film score for the Mandalorian season two trailer, you know, he's done things for like the voice, the travel channel, all kinds of things.
So he's had like these successes I've been watching him and then he'll leave them and go to the next thing and leave them and go to the next thing. And so I've been thinking about, as I've been watching him leave behind this sync licensing program and throwing it on autopilot, what that's going to look like for me.
And also what the next adventure would be. And I want to get back to music. I actually want to do some sync licensing of my songs and also my girlfriend and I have been talking a bit about getting into kind of boutique vacation rental sort of thing. We both have a thing for design and it's kind of what I've been doing to this house this whole time.
And so I want to take all that and import it into another business venture
Natasha Miller 25:26 Tip for you, in my DCA class, I met this really cool gal. Her name is Cooper Gillespie. Best name ever. And she has this amazing Airbnb sort of compound in Joshua tree. So I will make that introduction, but I also want to just say her name out loud on the podcast for people to be able to find her.Glenn Allen:
Oh, please do that sounds awesome. I wrote her name down too.Natasha Miller:
Yeah, she's a musician. She's developing the course, but she already has this Airbnb Mecca. So we're toward the end. And I just want to make sure that we got everything in that you wanted to talk about. Is there anything that we missed?Glenn Allen:
I don't think so, no, you've asked some great questions. You got me thinking.Natasha Miller:
Glenn talked to us about the way to produce a high converting lead magnet, what works and doesn't work in website design and his approach to helping course creators of all types for more about him. Go to the show notes where you're listening to this podcast now.
I'm putting the finishing touches on a digital course for entrepreneurs to learn how to scale and grow their companies and find more profit in their current revenue to download the free profit finder guide that I've created. And also to put yourself on the wait list for the course, go to Natasha miller.co.
For more information about me, go to my website, Natasha miller.co. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you loved the show. If you did, please subscribe also, if you haven't done so yet, please leave a review where you're listening to this podcast. Now I'm Natasha Miller and you've been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.
"Go-To CMO" and Launch Strategist, Owner
Glenn Allen is a multi-instrumental musician-turned digital marketing and business consultant. He helps CEO's and service-based consultants delegate and manages their digital course launches. He's also the host of the Glenn Allen Show, a YouTube video series about digital marketing, and a podcast on entrepreneurialism called “Unstuck & Unstoppable.” He runs a side-hustle as an unpaid volunteer chef, housekeeper, and chauffeur for three small children who refer to him lovingly as “Dad.”