6 Figure Creative Icon

How To Stop Trading Hours For Dollars By Creating An Ascension Ladder | With Rachel Brenke

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Answer this question: If you don't work today, will you still make money? What if you take the whole week off? Or the whole month?
This is the biggest drawback of being a freelancer. You have to work more if you want to earn more.
There are a number of consequences for this, but the biggest issue for creatives like us is that the more we work, the more we face burnout. The more we face burnout, the higher the chance that we'll lose the initial passion that drove us to this business in the first place.
That means that the more we earn as freelancers, the more we'll face burnout.
I'm sure you see the issue here… while you may love what you do, I'm sure you want to maintain a healthy balance between maintaining creativity and maintaining your bank account.
None of us want to feel like we're on a hampster wheel of working just to pay the bills, but this is the sad reality of some of the most successful freelancers I know. They built amazingly successful careers (at least financially), but they unknowingly built a trap for themselves. As their income increased, so did their lifestyle and bills.
As their bills increased, so did their dependency on their freelance income. This created a perpetual cycle of saying “yes” to projects they otherwise would have said “no” to if they didn't need the money.
So how do we get out of this deadly cycle? Well… One method is to just keep your living expenses (and business expenses) as low as humanly possible. The other method (and one I much prefer) is to break away from directly trading your dollars for hours.
This is the choice that Rachel Brenke took in her own businesses, which have allowed her to scale her income to over $9,000,000.
While she does offer 1-to-1 services just like any typical freelancer, she's also built something called an “ascension ladder”, which has allowed her to keep earning money regardless of whether she works this month or not.
If you're still on the hours-for-dollars treadmill, and you want to break away, this week's episode of the 6 Figure Creative Podcast is for you.
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • The art (and science) of niching down
  • How to offer services and products in multiple niches
  • Automating and outsourcing the stuff you don't want to do
  • How to build an “ascension ladder” as a freelancer
  • Why relying on a single point of failure can destroy a business
  • The 80/20 of content marketing that actually brings in clients

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[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood. And if this is your first time listening to us, we are a podcast all about monetizing your creative passions, mostly in freelancing. If you're not in freelancing, that's fine, not just monetizing, but doing it in ethical ways, doing it in ways that we're not selling our soul, but also doing it in ways that we can profit and have a sustainable business.

Because freelancers, as creatives, I think one of the biggest reasons people struggle with this stuff is because they do not have the self-confidence to charge what they're worth. they cannot separate their creativity from their business senses.

And my whole goal for you is to help you along with that journey. So today we have a wonderful guest on this show and this conversation went a direction. I was not expecting. Her name is Rachel Brenke. She's a lawyer and we were bringing her on the show to actually talk law. We were gonna talk about protecting yourself and legal entities and, contracts and you know, all the things that you might have questions about when it comes to legally protecting yourself.

And as I started researching into her. I quickly realized that that's not the conversation we're gonna have, and we didn't have that conversation after I'm doing this post interview. we went a [00:01:00] completely different direction Rachel is an incredible entrepreneur and she has built her business in a way that I think so many people in our audience should take away and model as much from her as you possibly can.

we talk about everything from niche down because she serves a very specific Subash in the lawyer world. She actually. Creatives and freelancers like us, which is why we had her on the show in the first place. But also we talk about how she splits up her offerings she calls it an Ascension ladder.

It's how she has pricing for done with you where it's like the higher price, higher ticket where she's working directly with clients, the done with you where it's like a mid-tier pricing where she's working alongside of them, but they're doing the work themselves. And she has do it yourself offerings as well, where she's created assets that she sells and it gives her passive income.

And we actually had. conversation before when we had Rachel agreement on the show. I'll give you links to that later on in the interview, I, link back to the episode that, that specific conversation's on. But this is a wonderful business model that she's created for herself and it directly translates to any freelance business out there.

Whether you're in a music producer, you're in photography, you're in videography, you're in graphic design. [00:02:00] this would translate everywhere. And not only that we talk about Rachel Brinke content marketing machine, She gets all of her clients and customers from her content marketing engine that she's created. And she does all of this while also being a mother of five. she's the Renaissance woman as the best way I can describe her. And she's very much like me where she has ADHD and she just has her, her hand in so many different directions.

talk about how she overcomes ADHD. We talk about how she makes decisions how she chose her niche. and by the way, she has a seven figure business.

She's actually. At this point, close to, or more than 10 million from all her businesses combined in all rev, all her revenue streams. So if that doesn't convince you that there's something to take away from this woman, then I don't know what will, if, that's not interesting to you and you don't wanna know how an eight figure business owner sets their businesses up, then go ahead and turn the podcast off now for the rest of you still here, this has absolutely got a lot for you.

And, and this is like a mini masterclass in entrepreneurship for freelancers. So enjoy this interview that I had with Rachel Rin.

Rachel, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Yeah. thanks for having me.

Yeah. So I, I originally got you on here because you're a lawyer and I was like, [00:03:00] Hey, we need to have somebody on here to talk to us as freelancers about all the legal things we need to protect ourselves.

And I was doing research on past interviews. You've done everything I do for all the guests that I have on the show, looking at your website and all that. And I started outlining the question I wanna ask you. And like last on the list was legal conversations and so like, Because you're like a fascinating person and, you've built your law business in the way that I, tell our audience to build their freelance businesses, their creative businesses, and as a service based business, you are, basically trading services in, form of payment.

And there's not a big difference between you as a lawyer and. Every other freelancer, listening to this podcast right now, and you're doing some really cool stuff. So I, I want to get to legal stuff. If we have time, if we get a chance, if not, we'll have to have you back on to talk about that stuff.

But I really wanna talk about what you've done as a lawyer to build a successful practice. Cuz You have every excuse in the book for being too busy, to not do the things that you need to do. And I've, heard 'em all as, a podcast host for over 200 episodes now, and someone that's been in like content marketing world for, 5, 6, 7 years now, I've [00:04:00] heard every excuse from every person.

But you have five kids later start in business, I believe. And you had a big, long adventure in fitness and doing like Ironman triathlon and, all these like side quests. I think that like prepared you for where you're at today, You're doing one of the number one things that I try to get our audience to do as much as possible. And that's, nicheing down you've niche down in a number of ways. And I wanna talk about that because one of the ways we found you is you, kind of niche down to the freelancing world. and that appeals to me because like, when we start talking about legal stuff later on, if we get to that, it's really D.

for most lawyers to speak, don't wanna say down to us, but honestly kind of down to us because we're creatives and we don't wanna think about law. the perspective of you've, also been a freelancer cause your, your background is Lance photography, as well as one of your side question in life.

So I wanna talk about your adventure of nicheing down because there's a few things that people fail to do this. I feel like it's been one of your keys to success as a lawyer, and there's a bunch of others I'm gonna bring up that I've just noticed just by researching you, that we we'll talk about, [00:05:00] but you've gotten three different niches.

And I wanna talk about how do you choose a niche yourself weighing passion versus profit because you, you're not in what I would consider the most profitable niche as a lawyer For the photography or freelance niche is probably not the most profitable, at least I wouldn't think so.

So like first, just gimme your thoughts on how you, how you found yourself into the

niche of

photography and freelancing as a lawyer. And and then just go from there.

Yeah. So it's interesting. I love

talking about nicheing down. It is. One of the things that I always circle around when we're looking at marketing, how do we talk to people? You know, working with my own business strategy, clients that come to me and even this morning, I always talk with my team, cuz I'm.

Appearing next week to speak to lawyers. And they wanted me to talk about unconventional marketing. And I said to them, I'm not doing anything novel. I'm not doing anything so unique, but then it's like, it's all about the niche. And so it's really about getting terrifyingly niched down and speaking to one very specific person in one industry, but that's not where it [00:06:00] stops.

That's where the majority of the niche conversations out. And you've really got a niche down even further. Cuz you have subsets of subsets, of subsets, of people that you're talking to, that you're trying to serve. But also more than that, when you get into your offerings, when you get into the content platforms and the type of content you're gonna put out all that has to be very niche specific.

so hopefully no one's clicked away from this podcast yet when they heard niche down because they think, oh, I've heard that a hundred. What you've heard is that very superficial pick an avatar pick a unique serving position, but you didn't really niche down the rest of the path, which is really where the key to setting yourself apart and making it quote unquote, easy for you.

You even said in the intro, I may not necessarily be in one of the most profitable areas of law, but what came to my mind was I wanted to jump in and say, how do you define profitable? Are we just talking financially profitable? Because it's very financially lucrative. But I'm also not having to work 80 hours per week.

Like some big law lawyers [00:07:00] are. And so, you know, if you're combining the numbers on paper, plus also the life numbers, it is more profitable with the only way to get there was for the five key things that we just mentioned of what you need to niche into.

know, there's a lot to unpack there, but that's actually, I think one of the earlier places to start is like, what kind of business are you trying to build for yourself? Because you, you could have gone the traditional law route where you're trying to do the big


And I don't

know anything about being a lawyer other than what I see on TV and a documentary is like staircase and things like

It's not like that, at all.

I figured it's not like that for most, for most situations, but like, I imagine if you're doing a true crime cases as a lawyer, there's a lot of hours put in. There's a lot of like BS you have to deal with. And that wasn't a thing for you. And again, we're not here to talk about law businesses specifically, but as far as the conversation of nicheing down, there are multiple paths.

Anyone can take in any industry, I think the area that people struggle with. They don't know which one of the paths to take. And, this is the area that I, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, but like most people struggle because they fear choosing the wrong path.

When in reality it's not black or white, it is just [00:08:00] nearly shades of gray. And, for most cases, when I'm talking to somebody about nicheing down, Any path would work. It's just a matter of like actually choosing the path and taking steps towards it. Because you said it's all tied to your content marketing.

It's tied to your branding. It's tied to how you show up in social media and anywhere else you're doing like marketing, I'm using air quotes here about marketing. how do we make that

decision when it's just shade of

gray and it's not black or white?

I almost just paid you for that lead in because what came to my mind any time I have this conversation with people is, well, how do I choose a niche? And I kind of challenge them and say, you don't, you make a choice, not the choice. And you said, how do you make the decision? You're not making the decision.

You have the freedom of being a freelancer to change it, to whatever the heck you want it to be. And it actually should change in ebb and flow. Yeah. I mean, I can look back at all my businesses and we have a lot of the same foundational. Niche aspects between who we're serving, what we're serving, how we're serving it and all of that.

But there are still, we mentioned [00:09:00] subsets earlier. There are things that I fine tuned over the years. So I guess I want those listening to have freedom and to know you can make a decision. And the way that I teach it, I have what's called the real method, R E a L. And we go through these steps. But one of that is, is the a and act.

You have to act on whatever decision that you have made a decision, but you have to act for a certain amount of time to see if it even works, because that's where many newer businesses or when you're making a pivot in your business. First you think you're making the decision, but then you're not even giving enough time to research, evaluate, act, and learn from it.

And then only fine tune a couple of things and go back through the real analysis again and give it that runway of commitment. and I get it it's not as easy as just sitting and listening to a podcast and writing it down on a piece of paper when you're in it and you're acting it and you're choosing a niche, right?

You're putting yourself out there and then bills come due. Clients are not coming in the door. Fear starts creeping in life, [00:10:00] circumstances change. We saw this with pandemic, I've seen that I've had chronic illness, I've had cancer. I have other things going on. So I've been there and understand that you wanna scrap it all and start all over.

But I really would encourage a, put the mindset of there's freedom, making a decision, and there's freedom in changing that decision, but you really need to commit to doing it. Kind of visualize it like a Boulder. And trying to push it to get it going. Once it gets going, you can keep it going with little taps, but let's say you push a Boulder, which is a decision, the one niche you decided you're gonna test out, ah, you give it a halfhearted push and go for a month and a half.

Then you're like, let me jump to another one. Then you jump to another one. You're not gonna actually move one specific Boulder, which is your business in any real direction. You're gonna be wasting a lot of time and energy jumping around. Have freedom to make a change, but don't just make change on a whim and on emotions, make sure that you're committing to the action and evaluation and learning from our actions before we'll scrap an entire

Yeah, I. Go back to [00:11:00] this real method here. Cause got all four words written down and I'm ready to dissect 'em with you. But I want to, point out something you said that reminded me of a story of my single life. you said you're not choosing like the for you.

It's like you're choosing a niche that could work for you. And I remember when I was like, sad alone living in, in Northern Alabama. As a 20 something year old person who was perpetually single had a, a relationship fall through and I went to see like, like mental help for it and, and talking to somebody who had a lot of relational therapy stuff.

And, and she told me, she said um, I have to take a lot of the, the stress away from the decision because when you're dating and I, I always go to dating in this podcast, it's just, there's so many tie ins with dating and being an entrepreneur that is just it's hilarious or finding clients and finding a wife.

But she said like, person you just dated is not the one, there is no, the one for you as many people might disagree with, she was only a, the one, she was only a potential, the one for you. And there's other potential, the ones for you out there. And I, I love that analogy when thinking about my niche because there's not just one niche for you that has ever existed.

And you're actually a great example of that. I'll talk about the multiple niches you're in, [00:12:00] in law in a second, but also. you have the choice move on. And it's, probably a lot easier and a lot less messy than choosing the wrong the one for marriage. Because if you choose the wrong, the one for your niece, you can just back up and, and start all over again.

So I wanna talk about The real method with you, which is research, evaluate act and learn. And I imagine this is not just when choosing a niche, you could probably use this in a lot of different areas. but you have, different niches, maybe more than that. As least as the lawyer on your site, you literally link to three different sub lawyer sites.

When I go to your, your main site, which for anyone listening right now, you can go to our show notes to get links to anything we mentioned in this episode, just by going to six figure creative, do com slash. Two four, But if you go to Rachel, brinke.com on the main page, there are like links to three different websites or sub websites.

You have one for the photography niche, one for a fitness niche, and one that I guess is maybe a little more

general, which is Eden law. I'm not sure what that is,

That's my law

So you have three different kind of sub websites you get to, so I wanna [00:13:00] talk about the complexities of juggling multiple niches, but I also wanna talk about you found those niches and, and maybe how you might have used the real method help you decide on this.

Because I know at least with one of 'em, it was a passion for you was the photography thing. That was like background you got into it to help pay the bills while you're going through law school, which for anyone who has. Looked at law school in America, it's insanely expensive. So you helped to kind of put yourself through law school with photography and then the natural next step was you had photography, friends, and you were in that niche.

So it made sense to do law in that world, but how would one employ the real method? And then

just talk about

how you fell into your niches.

Yeah. So let's start with how I fell in the niches. They're all connected to things that I love to do. And I actually have another one that I'm developing for attorneys as well. but you have to consider, this is almost 20 years of stuff in the making. I built the law talk first, which is for photographers.

And I you know, we have a very specific avatar USP, all the things that we just talked about, know, came out, penetrated the market with contracts and expanded out into copyright, into other business stuff. And. That is fairly [00:14:00] self-sustaining at the point. I do content creation, but all of our products are there.

Our courses, all the things that you need to be legal, photography business. And once I got to a certain level, you know, that's when I started getting into the fitness world. I compete with team USA. I've done Ironman triathlons and all that. I'm out on course, I'm out racing and I have people say, Hey, I'm a fitness coach.

I saw that you do for photographers. Do you do this for fitness coaches? And so, I just developed and saw a need and moved into there. And it's the same thing for lawyers. There's so many lawyers out there running firms, but they need help. And so I'm able to combine like my business consulting and my legal together for them.

And all three of them. If you look at. They're almost very similar offerings. There's contract templates, there's business tools, there's courses, I didn't build them all at one time, but they're all very directly correlated to what I have personally done and also what I'm passionate about and have seen a need for.

And I think when you go into business, with a heart service. I mean, and, and mind you, I'm not getting all touchy, [00:15:00] feely necessarily. I still think businesses should be profitable. I think that, you have money to live. You have money to make an impact in the world, but there is an element that many of us get into business because we want to serve others.

at Rachel Bray where we do a lot of the business consulting in real business acceler. when people first come to us before we even start talking about niches or choosing a niche or me asking what they're passionate about. And you kind of touched on this earlier, we talk about service of self family, blood, or not, right.

And your community. And then we also define what we want our real life to look like. Then we get to our business. So before we're even gonna decide on a niche to get into, we wanna set it up so that we're just putting measure. Place that we can choose the right niche, because I have seen people that log on to social media, Pinterest.

They are like, oh my gosh, I have to choose a niche. And then they end up getting connected to one because they may feel like they're passionate about, but it doesn't fit the life circumstances that they're in, or it's not gonna serve them to be the life that they wanna end up being into. [00:16:00] That's where passion starts to fizzle.

You can't just do for what you're excited to serve about. It also has to how you can serve yourself and those around you. You have to combine all that together. So that's essentially what I did with the three brands. I am interested in the passions of all the topics it's things I've been experienced in, but it also have all been created in such a way that I can still have a fairly flexible lifestyle with the five kids and traveling to train and to race for me to be able to do that.

So I would encourage anyone listening if you're like, Oh, niche. Throw the niche conversation with yourself out the window for now. Maybe just keep it in the back of your mind, we say at Rachel Bray. No. I talk about myself in third person.

That's the website for the consulting. But what my team and I say create a real business to live. Your real life business should be a supporting actor.

And so. In my long winded fashion, I still to say, don't just arbitrarily pick a niche that you're excited about. If it isn't gonna help create that business, that's gonna help you live the life that you want. It's all kind of gotta be [00:17:00] partnered together. And I think that is really incredibly important.

So when I moved into these niches, it was How can I achieve the real life goals that I'm wanting to achieve? And the good thing about those too, just like we talked about decisions, they can change life circumstances change. We saw that in pandemic. I was so thankful for the businesses I had created then, it still came with its own set of struggles.

But I think that's kind of the methodology. That way work through before we even get to real method before we even get into action. It's a lot of strategy planning before we even get to what majority of coaches out there are talking about.

Yeah. So choosing an niche issue, you talked about balancing, like the passion, the heart, the profitability, like those are the kind of things I look at when I guess when evaluating this. I think there's, it is worth pointing out that you're offering a relatively high end service, like lawyers are not known for



Well, well, they're cheap as people , they're not

cheap to pay for.

maybe so maybe, so I'm I'm not qualified to say that, but you, you are. Okay. So. You have a, what I call like a higher end [00:18:00] service. So that makes sense that you can work in the lower end world, as far as the type of clients you're going after. And I only say low end because like corporate clients obviously have more money, obviously have more budgets, but that's not the niche you chose because there's probably not much passion behind that.

danger that I've seen with, with nicheing down is when you have a, lower, cheaper service, something. Very competitive, the race to the bottom kind of commoditized service. And you're trying to serve a really low tier type of client. And I feel like that's at least worth the discussion whenever we're trying to decide on, is this a viable business for us?

Cause I guess we're in the like research and evaluate phase of the real method. what do you think about you're

trying to

decide on a niche? As far as the research and evaluation.

I have business consulting, which is trading my time for dollars legal service exchanging my time for dollars, but then like at the law talk and other places like that, I'm creating content, but what I'm actually.

Selling are contract template forms and courses that have already been created. So the time investment is a lot lower, so I can charge a lot lower price than [00:19:00] if I was sitting every single day on zoom presenting one to one. So when you're talking about looking at the real method, re L when we're in the research and evaluation, we are researching the idea, like what is the offering that we wanna provide.

And then we do exactly what I just outlined and what you said. We're looking at profitability, and we're also weighing that. what are areas that we can reduce the time that my fingers have to touch the keyboard or my time has to be in front of the camera. And because we do that, I'm able to sit and do podcasts, things like this to give back and to serve.

I love teaching. I love appearing. I love being able to make an impact, but if I was. Sitting in my office doing 40 hours of just one to one of clients, which I did have a couple before this, but those are very premium price no one else can do that in place with me.

so yeah, that's what we, when we're looking at offerings, we, partner with, what is the need in the market? What is my solution for that need and how much of my [00:20:00] time. A resources has to be invested into it. And I start with mine not to be selfish, but I am the CEO of allotted moving hats.

But anything that I can offload to a team member that I've trained or that I can automate of a process or do one time and use repeatedly repurposing. We hear that all the time. That is when I'm gonna be able to make offerings more accessible financially, you know, the financial price point without sacrificing profit.

That's great. And so mentioned like what you're offering the easiest way to say it is. You've got your done for you offerings where you're like actually doing the work yourself one to one. You've got. Done with you offerings where you're like working along with someone to help them do the thing.

That's your coaching and consulting side. And then you have the DIY offerings that do it yourself, where I can buy a contract from you. And then just probably change a few things, words here and there. And it repurpose it for my own uses and I'm not having to pay a lawyer to do those things. So those are your offerings.

So let's just say, you've, you've researched your niche. You've evaluated. This there's a need here. There's a desire here. I'm qualified to fit this world because [00:21:00] I have a background in it. speaking of you and your fitness background, speaking of you with your. Photography background. And now the act part.

So like, what do you do in the act part as far as like, are you building out all these resources ahead of time, without any clue of whether it's gonna sell or not? talk about the act section of the real method?

Yeah, it's gonna depend what level of that Ascension ladder, which you just gave away my entire Ascension ladder though. um, there's a level for everyone there, but the act phase really is committing and implementing to see if that idea. This is the action portion.

If that idea, like in this case, an offering, if it's gonna be viable. And I hate giving the lawyer answer if it depends, but it does really depend, right. If I'm going to sell coaching program. And I know that it's primarily gonna be my one to one type of coaching, maybe some other little peripheral type of.

Guides and stuff that goes along with it. I might pre-sell that before I ever create anything. Just to see if it's a viable option. The alternative is if [00:22:00] you are enrolling people in a course that's immediate, or you're selling a digital file, that's immediate a product, then you're gonna need to create.

And really commit to a content. And this is really where the real method is most effective when it comes to not so much the creation of the offering, but it's the marketing of the offering. And it's really committing to gathering the audience, warming the audience up, converting the audience and onboarding them.

and I think just like the Boulder example, I see this so often in market. and I, I do videos and I say this all the time is that pricing always gets a bad rep. Anytime that an offer is not selling automatically, people are like, oh, discount. It must be too expensive. Oh, it's pricing poor pricing.

He goes home and cries at night because he's trying to help you make money. And he gets a bad rep. But when, oftentimes let's just use me as an example. Let's say I create a new business plan guide and I just throw it up on my site. [00:23:00] And then I sit and I'm like, oh, my action is three months fail.

I'm just gonna sit here. I'm gonna haphazardly posted about on Instagram this week, maybe some on Twitter next week. And then at the end of the three months. You go well, Rachel, it didn't work. I gotta scrap it all. And I'm gonna say to you, you didn't really act so in the act portion is really where you're committing to making sure those phases that we just mentioned content runway of acquiring the audience, warming them up, converting them and onboarding them and making sure that you have enough touch points within there.

And. That's where the feedback comes to you. That's where you can evaluate and we move on to learn. And then we fix a few things out of that and we redo the whole method again, but I see that with offerings. And I know your, real question here was like, how do you know what to create?

And you just have to really go back to in the research and the evaluation phase of who is the avatar, what is the USP that you're giving them? What is their need? How can you serve them? What's. Vehicle that you're gonna use and then act do [00:24:00] the action because after you do a 90 day action and you talk to people and you get feedback from your potential customers or clients, you'll be able to gather Intel to know when you rinse and repeat this real method of what to adjust next time, maybe all your avatar, USP, all that was nailed down.

Maybe it was the vehicle. Maybe your people don't want done for you. Maybe they want DIY. And so that is how you can

shift it for the next.

sounds like everything that, that you're talking about here, Ascension ladder, which I want to talk briefly about is all powered by the content marketing engine that you've created.

It seems that like, without that none of this other stuff works and that was the stuff that excited me most about you. When I started researching you was was like, Oh, she's doing a lot of the stuff that we talk about on the podcast and we just had a big client acquisition series on the podcast. So it was like five or six episodes where we talked about a lot of things you talked about. And would love talk about the content marketing method that you are using right now and all the things you're doing in that. Cause you've got your hands

in a lot of

different places, which by the way, are you add or ADHD

Not all the [00:25:00] things

you are, or you, are you joking?


I am. No, I.


Cause I am too, and that's why I have way too many businesses. So I see the same thing in what you're doing. Um, So maybe we'll talk about that as well, but talk about the, Ascension ladder really quick. has not been brought up on this podcast. It's something you hear in the internet marketing world a lot, but just the concept of Ascension ladder is basically someone comes in on your low, in your world, at least someone would come in on a low ticket, like smaller price, like a contract template of some sort, then they would send up your ladder To join a coaching program you have, or of course you have, and then they might just send up and get lawyering services from you or whatever your higher end thing is in reality. Is that how it works for you? Or do you see

that most

people stick in one of the tiers that they come in on.

that's a tough question to answer, because in the top things that we evaluate, we use. as an umbrella for everything too. So when we do our evaluations of what's working and what's not the Ascension ladder is one of the things that we talk about. and you said it, the DIY had done for you and done with you.

we know that we're serving people in those areas, but we can also [00:26:00] look at the percentage of people that are buying maybe into one rung of the ladder versus the other. And then that's where we do the evaluat. Is this where we want them to be? Are we good with that? If we're good with that, let's keep acting the way things that attracts them to the DIY portion.

whatever your business is, is gonna depend on, which type of product or service that you wanna sell them into, but you are right for the most part. And the way my brain works is freely magnet valuable, not just a junk thing that some people put out there and then low ticket, medium that.

So when I'm looking at serving an avatar, I'm really thinking of a bell curve. So I'm thinking of who is standing at the top of that bell curve that I wanna serve.

And I think where a lot of people get really wrapped around and worried about just talking to one person is that they're only fishing for that fish. When in reality, all the other fish are circling around the bell curve. So while the person I may be talked to is at the very top and that's who I really want, cuz maybe I want them in that DIY know, that's the most profitable [00:27:00] portion.

There's less time that I have to commit to it. It can serve people 24 7. It's not beholden to my schedule in my health. I'm still gonna get people cuz the way the bell curve works, I'm gonna get the outliers who wanna bypass all of that. And they simply want me to do it all because either they value the time they value the trust in me or they just simply want it done with me.

they do ascend because I walk them down a path. And again, when we're talking about this, this isn't just me like, Hey, make more sales. Although, you spend more time and money, try to acquire more leaves than you are just really cultivating the ones that you get. So once you have a customer that comes in the door, it is more cost effective for you to keep, you know, upselling them, pulling up the ladder.

But also for me, with the way that I have framed my offerings, And what I'm put out there is it's the best way to serve them because what is my end goal for them? My end goal, whether you're photographer or fitness coach, lawyer, or whatever else I'm doing is for you to have a [00:28:00] strategic, profitable business and for it to be legally protected.

And so all of the products that I have all build on each other and fulfill the different pieces that I believe are needed. So to answer your question, yes, sometimes we get people that come in the door for the di. They either don't have the money or they fall out of the industry or they just simply don't wanna go up the ladder.

But my intention in the way that we execute in our action is to pull them up the Ascension ladder because we are committed also to their success in achieving that


that we have for them.

That's great. And, and just for anyone, listen. That wants to learn more about like building out the done for you, the done with you and the do it yourself models, this kind of Ascension ladder on episode 175 of this podcast. We interviewed Rachel Greenman. She's actually a copywriter for photographers.

You may know her, I don't know, but she's in the, kind of the same industry as you offering a valuable service to a very specific niche. And she has those exact three ladders runs in the ladder with her own business. And we talk about it on episode 1 75. So I wanna talk about the content marketing engine for you because. [00:29:00] you don't have people coming in the door, then you can't act, you can't learn. Which is the, to me, the two biggest parts of the real method, because everyone can sit and endlessly research and evaluate this the R and the E and then they never take action. Or if they do take action, they rely on what I call hope marketing, which is the death of a business.

You've done, none of that you have, and I'm just gonna list off the things that I found when researching you, you blog, don't just do social media, you have 22,000 followers on your personal Instagram. You have 12,100 followers on the law talk Instagram, you have 8,500 followers on the fit.

Legally Instagram, you do podcast interviews like this, which. Despite it being a wonderful, valuable resource for our audience. It is also a way for you to do content marketing, because you're getting in front of thousands of, listeners who may or may not be your ideal customers for what it is you offer.

So it is a wonderful way for you to

get heard you have a podcast for yourself, although it's not extremely active right at the moment, but you have put out something as recent as this year, you have released books, you do email marketing where you're gathering leads with magnets. imagine you have autoresponders in there that help sell things [00:30:00] passively.

there's probably more, I don't know, but just talk through like your thoughts on content

marketing and what's the

80 20 of all of this machine that you have going on.

Yeah. So before I get into that, this something I wanted to say on the Ascension ladder too, I want. Y'all that are listening to understand. This is decades in the making. When I start out and with the way I build my silos, I don't start out with all the things I start out with one avatar, one us P one offering.

You and I get really, really good at that and keep rinsing and repeating the real method until I see who I'm attracting fine tune if I need to re attract. And then I start doing other offerings, same thing goes for content marketing, My Facebook has like 46,000 because at the time when I first started, that is the platform and this, I still cultivate this platform.

That is the, my primary platform that I really wanna focus and work on. And I think one of the big mistakes I see. it's so [00:31:00] easy. I'm one of these you ask of an ADHD, my poor team with all my ideas and the way that new things come along, they have to be like Rachel focused, like we really try to commit to a real simple business.

I know it sounds overwhelming. Everyone's like, oh my God, Ascension ladder. All these social media content. , but for me it really is about choosing one or two content platforms and get really good at those. And then look at how you're repurposing that content. So for me, I do my own social to a point because I can't replicate my face.

I'm the only Rachel Brinke in the world, which is awesome. But. it makes it sound like all I'm doing is posting on social all the time, but it's actually very little because of the processes that we fine tune. You mentioned like the podcast, that was a very intentional choice through the summer that I wanted to take off that the kids were rebranding and we're relaunching that.

But for me, the way that I'm gonna relaunch my podcast is I'm gonna spend an entire week recording and have. Four to six [00:32:00] months of content that's already done so that it's all taken care of. And so I just share that little mindset shift. I know that this can be very difficult if you're working a full-time job or you're doing all these one-to-one like clients and you're like, oh, how do I even fit this in?

You have to fit it in based on the life circumstances that you're in, but just please don't get overwhelmed with all the things that are out there. Stick to one to. Content platforms. And for us, we rotate through our pillars. We have three main pillars that we try to talk to, and then we have connection points below that, but like our pillars for the business, legal business strategy and balance.

And so I try to rotate through those. And then with that is also my connection points. who I am, what I like outside of business, what I could do for you, who I've served inspirational. And then sometimes when. Go off the cuff. And my team's like, oh my gosh. And I had to start posting random stuff, but I'm testing it.

That's what I tell them. I'm just testing it. I'll analyze it later, but when it comes to the content runway and content marketing [00:33:00] content is king these days and it's so incredibly important. we have to go back to what we talked about. The very beginning of the episode, you just have to get so incredibly terrifyingly specific of who you're talking to, what you're talking about and what your unique serving position is, or else you're gonna be one of a million out there throwing the exact same

constant out.

You're not gonna be

Yeah. So what is of all those things that I listed out here Which one of those is actually the most effective for bringing you

clients and

customers. Do you track that? Do you have any data on that?

Yeah, Facebook,

Isn't Facebook dead


No. Oh my gosh, last week. I don't know if you saw it on my social. I got locked out. Cause I had to go to Europe for a funeral last minute and I got back. It was fine. The whole time I was gone, I got. And Facebook apparently thought I had hacked myself and they locked me out.

first of all, I lost like how many years of personal stuff. And then I was to the team. I'm like, Freaking out and they go, Rachel, it's not our only thing. Right. We have multiple [00:34:00] content platforms. I'm like, yes, but it's kind of been like my baby, that's been the core one from the very beginning, but what was so great though, is that we didn't see a blip in sales because I don't just cultivate the people on the social media.

I'm pulling them into my house. So they're coming into my email, I'm having them on other platforms. And so. I said to my assistant, I go, Kelly, what if it's gone? She's like, you'll build better and bigger. Like, you know, you just because we don't just wholly depend on that, but yes, Facebook and it was, I had my account back now.

Good. Because I was gonna drive to California

and knock on mark Zuckerberg

of mine, actually, who does some substitute co-hosting on this podcast? he lost his, Facebook account his big driver of new leads is Facebook ads. And he got his entire account band because of some terminology he used, which he just said, literally like hook a friend up with like something and and it just said hook up.

And then there was something about getting paid because there was like a, just the way the ad was. It just came across to their algorithm as like a, prostitution thing and got his entire thing banned and. that [00:35:00] was not a good moment because it's a single point of failure for any business, if you rely on ads.

So it's good that you talked about having these, different things you've, built out. And just to kind of add what you said earlier as an ADHD person, myself, like I approach this exact same way you do where I, I imagine it's like a bridge from like where I'm at now to island in the distance.

Right. I'm trying to get over there. And there's different ways to get there from Facebook to Instagram, to social media, TikTok, to Facebook ads, YouTube ad, there's just like a million different ways, content marketing podcast. And because I have. I also have this gift of something called hyper fixation, where I can really focus in on one thing and I tune everything out, which is why I have thousands of unread texts and emails and messages and everything.

And I have everything I'm do not disturb at all times. And I see the bridge to completion and then I just let. Someone else my team or something maintain that bridge. Why I build the next bridge. And I know you have a team of around 10, 12 people, at least maybe more at this point that has, has kind of helped you maintain the bridges that you've built as you build these other bridges.

we've said on this podcast before, but like don't compare Rachel's, you know, chapter [00:36:00] 60 or level 60. If you're playing uh, video game to your chapter one or level one as a brand new video game character. But Facebook, this is the I'm gonna go back to this because this is interesting. I mean, you're the first person I've had on here in

maybe a long

time that says Facebook is their main driver of customers.


Because it's my age.

Well, not, not just that, but like it is, it is not the most popular social media. It's not the big, sexy social media. And, in my own experience, as far as business pages go, the organic reach is dead. So what are you doing on Facebook? That's actually bringing you traffic and clients and customers that I'm not understanding.

Cause I would love to know a bit

more about what you're

doing on Facebook for this to actually work for you.

of course, Facebook ads. And then we have Facebook group, community groups for all the brands. what I've been testing out is more of, gonna sound so simplistic, but stick with me simple as best it's really. What is hot think almost PR public variations. What are hot topics doesn't necessarily be controversial, but what are hot engaging topics right now?

And how can I relate them to business and legal, and that's what we're doing. [00:37:00] And we're seeing a huge uptick. And engagement on Facebook and the think what's difficult for me get away from Facebook and Instagram, especially since now, they're we have both of them.

There's such good, great targeted marketing. Right. You know, Google ADSS is wonderful, but you are targets. But we mentioned before people that are already a little bit lukewarm to you or already a customer, it takes less touch points to convert them at that point versus a completely new cold person has no idea who you are.

And the good thing about Facebook and Instagram marketing, especially when it comes to paid advertising, or even when it comes to organic. Is that you almost have built in authority when it comes to targeting, cuz you can target people who like your page and their friends, the algorithm works in the same way for unpaid, you know, just organic marketing that when your friends comment on my Facebook page, it's gonna end up coming in your feet, birds of feather flock together.

So, when we're thinking of the bell curve, well the person staying at the top of the bell curve, they've got [00:38:00] friends they have friends that are very similar to them. And so that's kind of anytime that I'm sitting. to write social media, I think about, okay, what are some world events that impact business?

Who am I talking to? What am I talking about? How can I serve? And also filtering through like my pillars and my connective points in my mind, just for like, the aesthetics and all of that, but really driving of engagement. I got on Facebook and was really, really hitting it hard before paid marketing.

And so that's where a lot of my loyal people are there. if I had to start over, do I think I could do it again? Yeah, for sure. I definitely could, but they fully lock me out, mark Z, I'm

gonna keep developing

Yeah. And, and to be We have a Facebook group as well. And it's 95, 9800 people, something like that. the organic reach is great in there. So anytime I post something in there, reach is wonderful. So it's completely different than a business page. So that, that makes sense that you'd be using that strategy in there.

And you're also, you're participating in other groups. We actually found you in another Facebook group in your niche where you were participating in conversation. And that's how my assistant found you. In [00:39:00] what we call one of our watering holes for this podcast. We hang out in different watering holes.

We're identifying potential guests for the show. and you were in there conversating. And I imagine you engaging in Facebook groups with your ideal client. part of the reason you can do that and you can spend time and invest time doing that as someone who probably values your time is that it brings in clients and leads and things for the business.

One of the things. When I define my real life in real business, the business side of it, I wrote out like, what is really important to me creating a social media content was something I'd never wanted to give up.

Sure. I have help with editors and things like that. But the other one was really connecting with my ideal audience, even if I'm not pitching to them. You know, one of my business rules is for every one action. I do. I need at least three returns. And so when I get in these groups, I'm not only getting my name out there, just like this.

This is a perfect example. You never know who's gonna see me. Right. And now it's opened up another possibility. I am able to serve someone. So that does, for me, you know, intrinsically and helps them. But like third, it lets [00:40:00] me know what the biggest pain points are, so that if I need to go back to the drawing board to create a new offering or fine tune my existing offerings, because.

I would do fairly well, but I'm not a multi-billion dollar corporation with millions of dollars going into research and development. Right. I don't have big marketing teams that are doing all this for me. And so this is a really good way for me to be able to key in and go, oh, you know what?

That's kind of product that's needed. That is like a DIY type of deal. And it's, direct market. Is all it really is. And plus I love it. I wanna keep my pulse on the industry. And especially as an attorney, this is something else I really caution. If you take nothing else away from this entire episode, if you're going to hire a lawyer, please really get one that has one done business outside of running a law firm, because they don't really know what it's like to run a business that you're in except for legal and two, that they've really been intimately involved in the industry That you're in whether they had expensive experience with other clients or they were in the industry themselves. Like I was a photographer athlete, et cetera. And I just think that brings a [00:41:00] really good well-rounded view. That's gonna better

serve you as the

So we've, we've talked a lot about the, all the stuff that I said you're doing in content marketing, from blogging, from participating in Facebook communities, not only your own, but other ones that are out there from having multiple social media accounts that are successful to doing podcast interviews like this.

You've been on a few like, well known podcasts, heart and hustle, and then the gold Digger podcast, which my wife listens to. that podcast is huge. Like I think I last look and they. 11,000 ratings. And like we're at like 300 or something. So like they are far and above where this pod guys is at.

So thank you for bringing yourself down to our level and still showing up. you've got the books and you've got email marketing. You've created lead magnets. You've created DIY stuff You're doing all this and our audience listening right now is.

closing up they don't want to do this, or they don't have time to do this. Or how can they focus on this? I'm not a marketer. I am a creative, I'm a business owner. You do this.

And you still fulfill on your work in the business where you're actually fulfilling on services. You're still a mother to five children and a wife to a husband. You're still like able to do all the things in your life and in your [00:42:00] business and create all this content. anyone listening right now, in most cases, you probably have no excuses if Rachel can do it.

So can you, so how are you able to make time to do all this? Cause I know this is a, one of your pillars in your content you talk about is the work life balance. give us some stuff on this of like what are you doing to make room in your life to work on your




I really truly believe that balance. Air quotes.

It's not balanced in the way that was really the true definition. Balance is very subjective and specific to the life circumstances that you are in. prior to pandemic, and when I say pandemic, I mean like the full shutdown period.

well, I was home teaching kids, virtual learning. Oh my God. Teachers. I love you. You need a raise by like $5 billion and I'm not even kidding. , it was one of the most trying times trying to do that. I love my kids, but I'm definitely not a teacher of children. That's for sure. My point is prior to pandemic achieving this quote unquote balance would be very methodical.

And I had gotten a bit more back into the, my kids just went back to school after the summer, this week, but [00:43:00] getting into, you know, very specific days, I already gave the insight into how I'll do blitz content creation. So I don't feel like I'm on a content treadmill all the time. If I'm gonna sit and do a series of Instagram reels or something. I maybe have a different shirt on that's just cause I had them hanging on my tripod here and I changed them out. But I record all in one day have very specific days for very specific brands, but also like we mentioned, and I do have the luxury of this now because I've worked for it.

But being able to offload tasks that my hands don't have to touch, but I just remember in the beginning, I was having to do everything. I was the only person. And even now sometimes, you know, we might have changeover or I decide to go off the rails and figure my own thing out. Then come back to the team.

I'm still in the weeds doing things. And I think there's value to that. And in fact, I think there's great value into someone who wants to grow their business to doing all the tasks. You know, I've shared an example on other podcasts before, and it's still true today that I used to wait tables all through.

even when I was going through the [00:44:00] cancer treatments, I would do that in the day. And then I would wait tables in the evenings. And what I always loved about some of the restaurants I worked for that was in order to be the manager, the general manager or the boss, you had to work all the tasks in the business.

You had to be the dishwasher. You had to be the chef so that you knew the value. Of what people were doing. You have more respect for what they're doing, but you could also come in and help out if know, something happens. And we definitely saw that during pandemic, when all of our schedules changed, the whole world stopped.

so I share that to say in the beginning, I get that you're having to do all everything yourself, do what you can try to get. within the confines of the life circumstances that you're in. If you have to go slower, you have to go slower and that's okay. but as you grow, try to automate what you can try to outsource what you can, but never completely just abdicate your responsibility from knowing what goes into tasks we could have a whole episode just on metrics and analysis and things like that, which really doesn't sound that super fun,

Oh, [00:45:00] I'm a, I'm a numbers nerd. So I love that stuff, I don't know if our audience would, but sometimes it's good to have that content cuz you need it. No matter what.

when I referred to burnout or jumping from Boulder to Boulder earlier, that's off to where it happens. You're only looking at like the money numbers and not really seeing things that art could be actually changed to impact that financial. But coming back to this balance thing, You I'm hesitating just because I'm feeling the emotions.

Actually. There's some key points in my career so far that I remember when I wasn't self aware about how my life circumstances had changed. And I was trying to stick to that rigid, oh, I must blog on Mondays. I gotta do this on Tuesdays. And I was very much blinded to that. Everything had evolved and changed.

this is where I really have instituted making sure that I have days that I shut everything off. I'll do a couple hours and I've reassessed real business, real life definition. I'll reassess the life circumstances that I'm in. Not that I'm changing my life, but I mean, how can I change the [00:46:00] business to fit?

cuz my kids are older now. You know, I started my businesses when they were babies and. making sure that I'm really self-aware and strategizing to work with that and not against it, because at the end of the day, if you're in this constant feeling of, I can't balance.

I'm so burned out. It is fixable. many times that's when clients come to me@rachelbrinke.com and we're working on business strategy and a conversation we always end up happening is one, is it fixable based on your life circumstances? What are some things we can fine tune or two?

Maybe it's okay. If you are not in a life. mindset or circumstance to be a freelancer right now. And that's okay too. There is such value in recognizing that this is too much and I have too much going on. But I think oftentimes, especially if you put yourself out there as a business, you're afraid to tell people, or even to tell yourself, oh, let me just put this on pause for a bit, go work in nine to five, come back or even just scale back,[00:47:00] take less clients go a bit slower.

So if you're feeling overwhelmed, See if you've set yourself a structure, if you have accountability within the life circumstance, but then if you're still feeling burnout to side, do I need help in determining, is it just a few more things I need to fix or is this really for me? And it's okay if it's not,

This is all great. I, I wish we had more time to delve into, to everything that you've brought up today. Cuz I, we didn't even get to the legal discussion. maybe we'll have you back for that, but at the same time, you have a lot of content on your, websites for that. So what would be the best place for someone to either connect with you or to consume some content around legal protections and stuff.

And again, love to have you back to talk about that in the future, but where can people go now to connect with you? in relation to that stuff?

Yeah. So you guys don't have to wait for it. Rachel, brandy.com. We have a free legal biz audit that you can get on there. You download, go through it, kind of show you some things you need to work on. but again, I'm on Facebook and Instagram primarily and as well as YouTube, and I do my own social.

I'm doing responses. Sometimes the team will help, but if you really are like, Hey, I wanna talk to [00:48:00] Rachel, just send the message. I'm checking them. I'm seeing them. And I'm happy to. anything we talked about here or anything else? Maybe if something came up in your mind, I think that in business it's all interconnected and so you just never know where to lead and I'd be happy to help.

And we'll have links to everything she just mentioned there going to six figure creative.com/ 2, 1 4. Thank you again, Rachel, for coming on the podcast.

Awesome. Thanks for having me.


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