Welcome to the Adventure, Grasshopper!
Jan. 5, 2023

πŸ“ Epic Engagement Adventure: How Emily Bissen Engages Her Audience with Connection, Conversation and Fun!

Are you doing things that are not quite your cup of tea?
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When it comes to connections, conversations, and having fun making things happen, Emily Bissen is your human. She created her business Blue Heron to help business development, sales professionals and founders find the right strategies to help them reach their goals with ease and success. 

Join us and see how Emily can help you, how she engages her audience, and more!

Get hold of Emily here.

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Transcript

Interview With Emily Bissen

RJ Redden: Oh, hello, grasshoppers. You know, uh, that you have chosen the right place to spend your Thursday afternoon, because today we are talking to my dear friend Emily Bissen. Emily and I go way back. We met, I think it was some sort of a networking thing, and we hit it off immediately as beautiful, brilliant, creative people should, and, uh, and today I've brought her here.

She is your connection superpower. I mean, she ha she has superpowers. She's gonna share 'em with us. Uh, and I just can't wait to have you meet emily Bissen, Emily, tell us who you are, where you're from, what you're all about.

Emily Bissen: All right. I'm Emily. I own Blue Haron and business partners. I am currently in, um, Seattle, Washington, but grew up in the Midwest and love helping people find their zone of genius and build their business development and sales strategy.

RJ Redden: Nice. What brought you to decide that that's what you were gonna do with your life?

Emily Bissen: I've always had teaching in my blood. So my mom, grandma, grandpa, and two aunts on one side of the family were all teachers. And I went into that, uh, role as well for a while and taught middle school family and consumer science and quickly realized that was not going to be my 30 year career.

And, um, spent three and a half years doing business development with a business coaching firm and realized that there was a lot more I could do with it. Started Blue Heron because I saw the gap in the marketplace of business development and sales is hard sometimes, but it doesn't have to be. So that's kind of where I started and have been able to support people in sharing their gifts with the world for the last year and a half.

RJ Redden: Who are, who are the people that you look to serve? Who are your folks?

Emily Bissen: Those B2B coaches and consultants that are just starting out and trying to find their, their thing that they're doing. So they're not talking to everyone. And the creative entrepreneurs who are really good at the thing that they do, but don't know what they're doing really well, so need somebody to help bring it all together and show them like, this is how you're able to make four to $15,000 sales and let's figure out how you can put somebody else in that driver's seat so that you don't have to do that part if you don't want to anymore.

RJ Redden: Nice. Well, so what is, what do you love about serving your crowd of B2B folks?

Emily Bissen: I love seeing the light that they have inside of them just shine brighter. I love seeing that like light bulb moment of, oh, I'm not, I'm not really doing the thing that I'm meant to be doing. I am doing something that I'm good at, but not the thing that's like my zone of genius, like easy flow work.

And I think helping people see that they're, when you tap into that zone of genius work, it makes everything so much easier. It makes the conversations about what you're doing easier. It makes just doing the work easier because you actually want to do it. Number of people that I meet that are doing really cool things in the world is just, is the thing that lights me up the most is like, you know, when you go to school, they're like, you could do this path, this path, or this path.

And you're like, okay, but there are 10 million other things I could do, right? Yes. And so getting to know people and what pieces light them up and then being able to help them share that with more people is really the thing that makes you wanna keep doing it.

RJ Redden: Well, yeah, and I, you know, I'm just going back to when I was in school and everything and, uh, you know, this path, this path or this path.

I mean, it, it just was so, it was, it was very set in. Now, uh, after 2020, I mean, Bam. Uh, everybody is thinking about business, you know, whatever circumstances they're in. So how did, uh, well, how did, uh, you know, uh, how has your business changed in the last couple of years? Do, have you changed like your focus or who you've served?

Emily Bissen: Well, I started in 2021. So Blue Heron was founded in 2021, so we were sort of still in the pandemic. I knew that I wanted to do something remotely and I wanted to do something during the hours that my kids were in school, because that was really important to me. Yeah. Um, to be able to spend time with them.

So my, I initially though, started my business thinking I would do contracted business development work, and I would call on behalf of my clients and. I hated that. I was really good at it, but I was like, this is taking all of my energy. And really it was the strategy work that I loved the most. So actually in January of this year, 2022, I started from scratch and I started at zero and was working with one-on-one clients and doing their, helping them do their strategy work.

it has been great because it's really leaning into that work that I'm, I love and do well, and helping them one-on-one, kind of figure out the path that's gonna make it easier for them. So no longer am I calling on behalf of clients , unless it's for, um, like client 360 s and helping them get some feedback from their clients.

Um, but I'm not doing sales outreach for them anymore.

RJ Redden: Nice.,you know, it is, it is an interesting thing. It's an interesting time that we're in and, and there's a lot that could be said negative about it, but what I have to say that's positive about it is that we live in a time where the possibilities are, are endless.

Yeah. You know, and, and for me as well, I don't ha you know, what I want to be doing for a living is exactly in line with my values and principles and it does, I don't have to fit a a square peg into a round hole anymore that I really can do it differently, make my own choices. And it sounds like you work with people who love that too.

Emily Bissen: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And have realized that there's more to life than what you do for work. So helping your business become a tool that allows you to do and discover more parts about yourself. I think that was one of the greatest gifts that we got during the pandemic was like, hold up. Who am I outside of this job that I have, and what do I actually enjoy doing?

Because at the end of our life, like people don't care about what you did for work. They wanna know what, who you were, what the well-rounded version of you looked like. So I think too, it was reclaiming our time. That was anotherbig thing was I w when I was networking, before I was out driving to all of my networking events, they were an hour long or two hours long, and then I'd drive back and during the pandemic I was like, 30 minutes, that's how long we're gonna meet.

And so the efficiency just got so much better and I was able to have more meetings, but in a shorter amount of time you get more accomplished in that half an hour than I typically did in an hour. So that was another big shift.

RJ Redden: Oh, that was huge. Embracing. Oh my gosh. Yeah, that one's huge. That, uh, you know, time spent in the car, uh, has, has, uh, dropped dramatically for people and I'm.

You know, it's just, it's one of those things that I never thought about before the pandemic, but I sure do now. I Sure. Oh yeah. Um, so, so, you know, going back and thinking about the clients you've had, what's the best lesson you ever learned from a client?

Emily Bissen: Hmm. That's a good question. The best, the, I think the best lesson I learned is that the thing that comes really naturally and naturally and easy to me is sometimes the most profound thing that, that I've been able to help them with. And it just, it comes so naturally that we don't, that's, that's what happens when you're doing your zone of genius work and having them be able to do that too and see like, yeah, that's something that would not come natural, natural to me at all, but you're able to like explain it in a way that makes sense to people.

And you just see that light bulb of. Wow. Like I am really making a difference in the work that we're doing. And I have had several clients in one or two sessions that we've worked with their, their ROI on our work together was four to six times because it was like that switch that was like, ah, okay. So it was, those are the moments that I'm like, okay, maybe I do know what I'm doing.

Like maybe I am really good at this.

RJ Redden: Oh, that's beautiful. I mean, because, you know, as you, as you've been talking about this zone of genius thing to me, you know, I, I deeply wanna, wanna tap into that for my people and for their outreach and, and for their marketing, because most people consider it, they're just completely dreaded.

They just, you know, they would wrap. Most of my clients are the transformation minded, heart-centered people. Uh, and they wanna, you know, they didn't get into this because, oh, I can make a million dollars and buy a couple of Ferraris. No, that's not why they got into coaching. Uh, and, uh, and so, but most of 'em absolutely hate their marketing, you know, and, uh, because it's just misaligned.

Mm-hmm, do you see a lot of the, and, and, you know, uh, when you are looking at helping people find that zone of genius, do you, do you start with those principles first and and try to kind of find a way that you know will align with them or you know, yeah, I just asked you a real big question there, but...

Emily Bissen: No, but totally.

We, the first couple sessions we have together, or it's like dumping out the junk drawer. So what have you done? What's working? What's not working? What do you love to do? What do you hateodoing? And let's stop doing the things you hate doing and build a plan around the things that actually bring you joy.

If you like writing, let's put out some more content. Like let's figure out where you're gonna do that. And then how to then convert those likes and comments to one-on-one calls in sales. And I think we make it so complicated when really it's like, how do we connect human to human? Because like you and I talked about before, is there are so many different like companies out there that are like, we can get you a hundred leads a week. And you're like, I would not be able to actually follow up with all those people. So looking at like what makes sense for you? How many people do you actually want to work with or can you actually work with?

And then let's build a strategy around that. Because if you're putting all your money into ads and like lead gen things that are getting you one, not qualified leads and two just too many people in the pipeline where you don't have time to actually follow up and have a conversation with people. You're burning all of those leads and you're burning all that money that you're spending on it because it's not gonna work out, and you're gonna get stressed out that you have all these people to follow up with and no time to do it.

RJ Redden: Oh my gosh. Uh, I, I so many people, you know, it's either one or the other, you know, it's either nothing coming in, no, no good leads coming in, so we're gonna cast a net out further, or it's the, I've cast the net and it's way too much and I don't even know how to process.

Yeah. You know what I've got. It's so, it's so rough because. You know, it seems like no matter what the question is, the answer is get more people on your list, uh, which I just, anytime there's a one size fits all answer, you know, that it's not gonna fit. You just know. Um, and so, no, I'm loving, I'm loving what you're doing because there's so much more to it than you know, the, the bandwagon uh, on how to do your business. I mean, and what you, the way that you craft it, it really, it's reminding me a lot of, uh, Clifton's strengths finder. If you're familiar with that, you know, let's take what you love. Let's take what gives you energy and make that the center of what you're doing and you know, figure out how to do the rest.

You're amazing. Emily. You knew that. I thought that anyway, but I just would like to announce, Emily is amazing. Everyone. Uh, yeah.

Emily Bissen: Well, and along that line too is then figuring out your power partner. So if you're the one that's not, like, I don't wanna spend time on social media, but you know that you have to be out in front of people in order to have them recognize that you are a service that they could purchase, then how do you get somebody else to do that work for you but using the tools and resources you already have created, so reusing that like content that you've already done and letting somebody else do that work that's annoying to you, but you know you have to do in order to get new leads in the pipeline.

RJ Redden: Yeah. Holy moly. Uh, yeah. Uh, well, we could, we could absolutely talk about that forever.

And, trust me, we have, uh, we, we have done this. Um, so the, so, you know, the topic that folks listen to this show for is, is engaging your audience. How do you engage your audience?

Emily Bissen: The, the thing that I have found that's worked best for me since I started being consistent on it, was posting on LinkedIn regularly, and I was posting five days a week when I first started because I wanted to see what was gonna happen and I needed to build my brand and my voice so that people got to know, like and trust me, before I even was in a room with them and. By doing that, within six months I was going to networking events and people were coming up to me saying, oh my gosh, I see your stuff on LinkedIn all the time.

Like I'm whoever. And I'm like, great, I'm Emily. Tell me about you. And it was this really easy conversation with people because they already felt like they knew who I was because I was posting things I cared about. And I think we get so in our head out. I have to make sure my post is perfect. I have to make sure that I'm always delivering value and I'm always like selling something.

And that is so opposite of what what needs to be happening. And people buy from people they know, like and trust. And if you're showing up authentically talking about your gen journey as a business owner or an employee doing this work, what you're reading, what are the thing, what conversations you're having, those kinds of things, you're building that community of people that tune into that kind of vibe.

Where they're also looking to make connections and be seen as a human who also has stuff they're working on cause we're not perfect people. And then taking those, the people that are regularly tuning into what you're saying and messaging them and saying, Hey. I would love to get to know you better. It seems like we've got a lot in common.

Let's have a conversation and send them your calendar link and let them schedule a call. That's the way that I've been able to do that best. Um, and I found the most success was those one-on-one 30 minute conversations, and now I'm adding networking events to the work that we're doing to just bring people together and help them grow their network and get in touch with other people that they might need to know.

That was a strength that I had in my last job where I could be in a room of people and be like, you need to meet this person and then bring them together. And whether they did business or not, um, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But sometimes they would meet a, a brand new friend or somebody that could mentor them or whatever it is.

But it's about making connections and helping people see who, who you are underneath it all because people don't really care about what you do, they want to know that you're a genuine person that can help them solve a.

RJ Redden: that cares about helping them solve a problem. Yeah. Uh, you know, I mean that, it goes back to that old saying, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Yeah. Uh, and that's my watchword. I mean, that is my, can you be my friend to question? Uh, you know, it's the, I mean, do, that's the, before I will hire anyone, uh, that's, that's the question I need answered. Mm-hmm. , uh, cuz you know what I mean. It's, it's a, the connection part is about developing trust. Mm-hmm. , uh, I have a friend, she was on the show last week, uh, Laura Lake, and she says that, know, like, and trust is backwards.

Uh, that people really, they, they do the trust thing first, uh, and then the others, uh, but anyway, uh, the, the whole part is that we forget that we are not when we're doing the posting and, and doing it the way that everybody else tells us to do everything. I, my, my LinkedIn headline now says, just say no to conventional marketing.

Uh uh, you know, um, and if that headline makes you giggle, gimme a call. Uh, but you know, I mean, it's, it's about, it's about recreating what works for, what works for us. Mm-hmm. , you know, you, earlier, you and I, uh, before we got on, we were talking about, you know, just the, the, you know, life the way it is and, and everything.

And we were talking kind of about that, that North Star thing. How many clients do you want? Yeah. I just think that's an amazing question. Mm-hmm. , because not everybody wants a crowd like Gary Vaynerchuk. Yeah. And you know, not everybody wants Tony Robinson's life. Right. You know, um, and uh, and you are a person who is constantly and consistently encouraging people to, okay, what is your North Star?

What is it that drives you? What is it that's going to be a success marker? And it doesn't have to be anybody else's, right.

Emily Bissen: Well, and that's so funny that you say that because there was, I, I think it was a little over a month ago, I was having, I had this moment where I compared myself, my success to Taylor Swift, and I was like, I'm never gonna be as successful as her.

And it was like, okay, what is wrong with you? First of all, you don't want her life , right? Second of all, you're not even playing the same game. So why are you comparing yourself to somebody else? And I think that's the lesson that we all need to learn is like we're on our own journey. Mm-hmm. , but we have a community of people we're on this journey with.

And if they don't align with you anymore, then find a new community. But if they do, they're going to help build you up and help you feel connected and supported and loved, and heard and seen and cared about. And they're gonna cheer you on every step of the way. But when you're comparing yourself to people that have been doing something for, 20, 30 years have a support team of 10 million people and, you know, like all these, if you were the entrepreneur doing all the things yourself and you're wearing all the hats, you're not even in the same galaxy as that other person.

So like, observe the wins that you have on a regular basis. Cheer yourself on and share those wins with other people, because sometimes those little tiny wins are the biggest shifters in your life and in your business.

RJ Redden: Yeah, and it also comes back to. , you know, we are taught that, uh, you know, when we make a big sale, that's when our work matters.

Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Uh, and it does, mama loves getting paid. Uh, I'm not, you know, let me not, uh, disabuse you of that notion. Money's important, but, like the, all of the little things that you do along the way with your, the way that you serve your clients, the way that you serve yourself and keep yourself going.

You know, before you can lead a group, you've gotta leave yourself. And so, you know, taking all of that together, it's, it's really time for a new normal, I think, to emerge. And this, this, this opportunity to choose our own path. Uh, that's just gonna get stronger and stronger. At least that's my hope.

Emily Bissen: Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. And, and the, the I, when I was in the last role I was in, it was very much ingrained in this is like, we can't celebrate until you've hit the mark. And it's like, okay. But if I was 80% of the way there, you're just gonna discredit all the things that I did to get 80% of the way there. Like that means nothing?

Even though that was, you know, X number of dollars or new clients that we brought in, and it was really disheartening and it felt really hard it felt really hard to wanna keep going when noth then anything you did wasn't good enough. That's right. So it was always like, okay, what's next? How else can you perform?

And so I think there's a lot of unlearning that we need to do once when we become our own bosses. If you are running your own show is like you can't do the thing that made you feel shitty because that you get to drive the bus. So don't do the things that made you feel like a failure. Celebrate those little things.

Take yourself off to out to coffee when you make a sale or you know, go for a walk. Take the afternoon off. It can be little things that you're doing to celebrate. It doesn't have to be these grand gestures, but then when you do hit those like big milestone goals, then go fricking celebrate it like big time because you earned it.

Don't forget to celebrate. That's the thing is we can't just keep looking at like, what's next? What's next, what's next? Because you're never going to feel Yep. Like you've done it.

RJ Redden: You're, you're constantly, uh, my friend, coach Jenny calls it, uh, jumping over puddles, you know, you are crossing an ocean.

It is taking a long time and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to cross this ocean. You cross the ocean and then you stand on the beach and you look back over your shoulder and it looks like you crossed a puddle. And uh, the next ocean is in front of you. You can only last so long doing that. Yeah.

Uh, and burnout is real. Yeah. Oh, uh, no. I love your perspective and I love what you offer your clients because that is different, you know, that is different. So many people out there are like, follow this template. I think if 2023 is the year for anything, for me it's the year of throw out the template.

Let's experience this. Let's, let's remember that we are connecting with people not marketing to a screen. Yeah. Yep. I'm doing something new next year. We'll see how it works. I'll report. Okay. Back. Um, but I'm trying something new. It's really a lot along the lines of what you were just talking about with like, you know what, everything that you do matters.

It matters. Um, and, uh, and so what I'm doing is, like, it's not necessarily an accountability system, but I identified eight things that I do that move the needle in my business somehow. Um, and things on the list are things like had a meeting, reached out to an old friend, invited somebody to an event that I'm doing, uh, welcomed people into my community.

Like little things like that. And every time I do something, so I, I, of course have a bot. I mean, I know that that is shocking, but I, I, so I report in on my bot daily and I gain points and like gain points. And then at a certain point I'll get a belt level. Uh, and then, you know, uh, all of this stuff. So I'm, I'm doing the Guinea pig thing, but that's something that I'm gonna release from my folks because it's like, I want them to know that that meeting you just had, that connection you just made. Maybe you didn't make a sale right now. Mm-hmm. , who cares? They love you. They're in your circle. Yeah. This is what matters, you know? Uh, so I'll report back on how that does.

Emily Bissen: That's awesome. Well, and that was, we, I had a conversation, I was in a, um, masterclass I taught on Tuesday about sales and business development and that rejection piece or that like, no, feels really hard when you're the when you are the, the product, you know?

And I think a lot of business owners are trying to jump over that hurdle of like, okay, they're not saying no to me as a human. They're saying no to the service and that's okay. But when we aren't doing the connection meetings and talking to people, more and more people, and we're just having three or four meetings a month, then those nos feel really bad because you are trying now to make a sale in those three or four meetings.

Whereas if you had three or four meetings a week where you're just focused on the connection and trying to figure out if there's an opportunity to do business together, to refer them to someone, to learn from them, whatever it is that's going to pay dividends because you're growing your community of people you're connected to.

And at some point those are gonna turn into more sales, or they're gonna turn into referrals, or they're gonna turn into, you know, new opportunities that if we aren't going out and having more conversations with people that, that's a heavy rock to push up a hill.

RJ Redden: Oh man, I haven't thought about that in a while. The, the comparison of, uh, you know, lots of social posting and things like that. Feeling like pushing that rock up that hill. That's hilarious. Um, okay, now, uh, you had a super secret special gift that you wanted to offer the audience. Please. Can you tell me about that?

Emily Bissen: Yeah, so strategy is a thing that I love the most and I would love to offer a 30 minute strategy call with anybody who's interested in working out some of the kinks when it comes to their business development or sales process and, um, finding their zone of genius. If you're feeling like the work that you're doing is close, but not exactly what you should be doing yet, let's chat because there are probably some things we can uncover in the 30 minutes that really help you shift your perspective on what you're doing and how to make it easier.

RJ Redden: Yeah. Well, and sometimes what it takes is just an uh, an objective pair of eyeballs to look at where you are and find the hole in there that you just automatically skipped over.

Emily Bissen: Yeah. Cause you're too close to it. That's, that's why pe business owners have coaches to have them be able to call out the things that we're not seeing because we're so, you know, blinders on.

RJ Redden: Oh, blinders on. And, and no matter what, no matter where you are right now, there's probably some strategy piece that you would benefit from and, and having truly objective people look at your stuff is one of the, it is a strength.

Uh, so take Emily up on this. I just threw the, the link out into the chat. Uh, but also put it up on the screen there. Uh, and, uh, we'll, we'll put that up again as well. Take advantage, uh, because when I talked to Emily, Emily brought some light into my life. That was possible to get no other way . And we're gonna get the same thing because she just has it on offer.

Okay. Everybody. Uh, so I will, I will, uh, hide that for now, but, uh, we'll, we'll post that again. What, what final words of advice do you have for, for our people out there, Ms Emily.

Emily Bissen: Let it be easy. we make things so hard we do because I think there's this, I mean, Midwest work ethic, if you're not doing it, if it's not hard, then you're not doing it right and it's, that is so far from the truth is that when you figure out how to make it easy, that's when you know you're winning.

RJ Redden: Yes, I love those words. Let it be easy. Uh, and, and particularly helpful for this time of year when it seems like nothing's easy. Uh, you know, uh, lots of stuff going on. Families and, and kids and coworkers and everything else. Let it be easy. Let that, let that be your mantra for the next week and a half. Uh, you're gonna get through this.

We're all gonna get through this. Uh, I wanna thank you for um, being a bright light to my people today and talking about you and the way you coach, I just, I think there needs to be about 80 more of you. Uh, and uh, I just, I really think, uh, that what you do in the world is absolutely significant. And, uh, I just, I celebrate who you are Emily. Thank you.

Emily Bissen: Yeah, I, I'm, it's, it's an honor for me to be here, so I really appreciate you having me on the end. The, the conversation we've had today.

RJ Redden: Yes. Uh, all right, my friends. Well, that wraps it up for this episode. Next week we'll be on, uh, we'll be on with my friend Howard, and it's gonna be great.

So, you know, come on back. Same bot time, same bot channel, uh, and uh, and. Again, take advantage of Emily's offer. Uh, happy holidays, uh, merry whatever. Do your thing this holiday season and let it be easy. That's it from us. We'll see you later.

Emily BissenProfile Photo

Emily Bissen

When it comes to connections, conversations, and having fun making things happen, I am your gal. I created this business to help founders, business development, and sales professionals find the right strategies that help them connect with their ideal prospects with success and ease.