Rising Star: Melissa Groom’s A kidney transplant. A business transplant.

melissagroomWe are very proud to feature our Wonderful Web Radio Rising Star interview. In this segment, we speak with Melissa Groom. Melissa is the Founder of Mums in Business online magazine and Empowered Mums Business Network. Empowered Mums runs weekly business networking groups on the Gold Coast, and Launceston. Melissa is the creator of the 30 Day Video Challenge – Shine Like a Diamond and mentors women who want to boost their profile and grow a global community. She is on the Empowered Mums Business Advisory Board. Melissa is currently completing her MBA part-time with the Australian Institute of Business whilst running her business.


Transcript of the Interview

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Announcement: Welcome to Rising Stars Radio, where we share the stories of ordinary people taking action to create extraordinary changes in their businesses. They are the true rising stars to watch. Get ready to take notes for our no-fluff, cutting-to-the-chase, 20-minute interview.

Janet: Hello and welcome, everybody. It’s Janet Beckers here and welcome to Rising Stars Radio. I’m very excited to just introduce you today to the beautiful Melissa Groom from the Empowered Mums Network. Melissa has been a part of our wonderful web community I reckon nearly from the very beginning that we started working together, so that was quite a few years ago now. It’s just been lovely to watch Melissa’s business change, that change from an initial niche to moving over to a different niche as she started to get confidence in her skills that she had. Then to see the evolution of her brand and see the evolution of her as a businesswoman has just been so wonderful to be watching that and to also be part of it.
Welcome, Melissa, it’s great to have you here.

Melissa: Hi, Janet. Thank you so much for having me. I was just thinking back. I think it’s been nearly 5 years that we’ve been together. Yeah.

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Janet: Wow. Yeah, it has been. Right. Oh, and it’s been a special 5 years. Our goal today is to try to give as much value today to people that are listening; so, welcome, beautiful listeners. We’re going to try to be able to give you as much value in about 20 minutes, more or less, so we’re going to cut straight to the chase. Our idea here is to be able to give you some really practical tips and inspiration from Melissa as she shares her journey, the things that have worked, the things that she’s changed, so you can get some ideas of things that you can be implementing in your own business as you’re marketing and building a business online.
To start off with, Melissa, would you mind sharing with everybody who it is that you help and how it is that you do that?

Melissa: Okay. I help women in business who have got a message that they want to share with the world and are willing to step up and play bigger game. I do that through helping them use the power of video and connecting and building a community.

Janet: Great. You primarily work with businesswomen who are also mothers, I’d say, by your name …

Melissa: Yeah.

Janet: … because they’ve got very different challenges that come with balancing those different roles, as I can attest to, being a mother of two. I know that people will be curious to know the way that you deliver your programs, because there are so many different models that you can use to build your business, so many different business models. How is it that you help people? Do you work with them one-on-one? Do you have programs that they buy, then go home and study? Have you built a community? Would you mind just giving people a little bit of a snapshot of how you’ve structured your business so that you could help people?

Melissa: Okay. We have live weekly events, which are face-to-face. I’ve been running them for 3 years on the Gold Coast and then we also have another branch in Launceston in Tasmania. That’s just an opportunity to get out and connect with like-minded people in your local community. Then we also have our Facebook page, where you can get on and ask for help any day of the week. From 7pm we have business help. I do work with clients one-on-one, just a handful of clients that I work with. I also have a Facebook group for those people who want to be using, and learning, and implementing video to grow their profile.

Janet: Right. Okay. That’s plenty. You’ve got a nice combination of group work, one-on-one, and also where you’re really the facilitator, aren’t you, because you’ve got the Gold Coast and you’ve got Launceston. You’re not the person who is delivering the content every single week to those workshops, so you have speakers that come along, is that right?

Melissa: We do. Yes. Yeah. We’ve had over 200 speakers over the last 3 years.

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Janet: Excellent. Wow. That’s fantastic. I tell you what, talk about building a beautiful network of people who come along to your events, but also that beautiful network of people who are the speakers is … Yeah, you’ve built some beautiful contacts. That’s one thing I’ve always liked about Melissa is she’s just very approachable, just herself, just very much herself, which makes people feel very, very comfortable to be with her. It’s not surprising that you’ve been able to attract 200 speakers to come to your events, and I could imagine you would have a nice relationship with those people even years later.

Melissa: Yeah. Thank you, Janet. I feel the exactly the same way about you, and that’s why I started working with you in the very first place and still have a relationship with you today, 5 years later.

Janet: Yeah. Actually that’s a nice thing, isn’t it, to know that it’s not just, “Okay. There’s been a transaction. Move on,” which is core to the way that I teach in my programs that that’s what you need to be doing in your business, and also it tends to mean that I’m going to attract beautiful people like you who naturally want to do business in that way, which is all about relationship.

Melissa: That’s what you’ve taught me; out of everything, I think the most is just about building relationships and building communities with people so that they can get to know you and you can get to know them, and it’s not just about a number and another dollar in the bank. It’s really about holding someone’s hand, and actually caring about them, and being genuine, which is what I always have felt from you.

Janet: Oh, thank you. Maybe that might be a good segue for us to introduce how we’ve worked together, so would you mind sharing with people what programs of mine that you’ve invested in and studied, and then we’ll talk a little bit about some of those actions. What programs have you done with me?

Melissa: The first one was the Passion to Profits program, so that would’ve been 5 years ago. I actually purchased that when I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to be doing in business. I was very new to the online world. Actually I wasn’t even online, but I had googled you, how to build an online business. Janet Beckers came up. I saw your program; watched your videos; thought, “Well, this lady looks so lovely and genuine,” and then I bought the Passion to Profits program. I opened it up, had a look at it, and then I gave you a call, and thought, “No. I actually need more hand holding.” That’s when you offered me the one-on-one mentoring with you, which I took up.

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Janet: Mmm. I think that’s a really good point that you’ve made there, and I’ve had a few people that’s done this … Whatever mentor you’re going to, you might be able to find this as well … is that sometimes you’ll have the program and it’s going to give you quite a bit of what you need, but sometimes you’re thinking, “Okay. Well, I actually … There’s some things I need extra,” that, if you know that you’re connecting with a particular person and your life is stalled just because they may not be selling a particular program on that, you can contact them and say, “Look. I need this extra help. I’m here. Can you tailor something for me?”
If you feel like you’ve got the right person … I do this for quite a few different people, where I go, “Well, let’s have this program, but let’s add on this to it, because I think you’re going to need that.” Good on you for doing that, because, yeah, that meant we were able to work a lot closer to get you to there.

Melissa: You were one of my first mentors. I realized that when you have got a mentor to look up to and to follow and someone that you can trust as well … That’s a big, big thing when you’re handing dollars over … makes a big difference. It gives you peace of mind and keeps you on track and focused to what you’re working towards.

Janet: Yeah. Yeah. That’s true. Actually just having a mentor and having somebody you’ve got to be accountable makes a huge difference to actually how hard you work the night before you’ve got your next meeting with them.

Melissa: Yeah, definitely.

Janet: Let’s look at a few examples of things that you’ve done, because you’ve done the one-on-one with me. You’ve also had the Passion to Profits program, which, if people are looking for, I don’t actually sell that any more. That was the program that I originally ran which taught you how to interview people and then how to build a business around it, because back then people weren’t podcasting. To be able have interviews where people would pay to come along for those interviews is a harder model to use at the moment. It still works really well, but you just have a different way of building a business around it.

I don’t have that program anymore and I’ve actually taken the bits around running a telesummit and around interviewing people and included that in the module in the Shine Online program. If you’re looking for something similar, it’s all in Shine Online now.

Let’s have a look now at some of the things that you did and some lessons that you can learn from people. The original program you were looking at interviewing people, weren’t you? Did you end up using any of that stuff?

Melissa: I did. When I first came across you, I was actually doing children’s etiquette and manners, but my son was about to go and have a kidney transplant, and I needed to build an online business. That’s why I took up the mentoring with you, to get some advice and some assistance. I watched all the interview series and how you did it. The key takeaway I got from what you were teaching me in your book that I read was that you had a prior career, which was a nurse, and you came in as the interviewer and brought in the expert. I thought to myself, “That’s what I often start with. I do want to have a business, but I’m not an expert at anything, so how can I use this knowledge?”

While I was at the Ronald McDonald House while my son was recovering from the kidney transplant, I was feeling isolated and alone, and I was 1000 kilometers away from my friends in Sydney and I really wanted to have some support. I felt, “Well, I can’t be the only one that feels this way.” I was mixing with the other parents in the dining room at night, and I could see their internal struggle as well and I felt for them. I thought, “Well, how can I use this knowledge that Janet’s teaching me to build a business?” and I created a web TV show called “Toddler to Teens TV” and brought in 7 experts in their industry to produce weekly videos. We produced about 450 videos during that time …

Janet: Wow.

Melissa: … and just built a community of parents all around the world.

Janet: Mmm. That’s really power-, and the thing that I like there is the program that you were doing was talking very much about using audio, just like we’re doing now through this podcast, but you took the medium that you related to the most, which was video. I know we talked about this earlier. You said that when you saw my video on the sales page for the program, you felt a connection; so, obviously, video was the medium that you really liked to use.

Melissa: Yes. Yes.

Janet: I love how you combined what you could learn and then really put the extra twist on it so the thing would work for you. You were able to build up quite a brand, From The Toddlers to Teen. I can imagine that you would have had quite a few people who … You would have been attracting mothers, which is one of the characteristics of your target market now, but I imagine that there would have also been through the women who are saying, “Okay. I want to be able to work from home. I want to have an online business.” Is that something that led towards you now focusing more on women in business?

Melissa: Yes. I mean, we do have a segment on the show that was tailored to helping mothers who had a business, because I just found through Facebook I could see the people who were coming on to like our page and engage in our community had their own business. I guess after a couple of years of being behind the computer I felt like I wanted to reconnect, and I put a call out on Facebook, “Who wants to meet for a cuppa?” and I think 35 women turned up to our first meeting.

I was like, “Wow. Obviously I’m not the only one who feels isolated and alone and needs support in business,” and then they just kept coming. After a year of running the TV show and the live events every week, I decided to stop running the TV show and just focus on the moms in business and supporting them and doing the live events.

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Janet: Excellent. Excellent. One of the other things you were talking about before we got on the call is the video, that you have continued to use video a lot and that’s something that you’ve been finding that you’ve been helping people with with this beautiful network of people that you’ve been able to create relationships with through these weekly business meetings that you’re doing. Would you mind just exploring a little bit about your use of video and how you see the future of that in your business and also in the business of the people who are listening to the podcast?

Melissa: Yeah, okay. I stopped using video for a while when I went to do the live events, and then I just had an epiphany and I just woke up in the middle of the night with a message, saying, “You have to get out there and help these awesome people, help them spread their message with the world, because you know you can do that. You know that you’ve created a profile and were being viewed in 78 countries around the world in 3 weeks, thanks to the power of video and YouTube.” I said, “I’ve got to help all these awesome women and get their message out.”

So I created a 30-day video challenge back in February. I think in about 2 days we formed a Facebook community and we had 120 people join that group. We just started off. It’s a closed group where you come in by emailing and then you upload your videos. No one else can see it except for the people that are in the group. You build up the confidence, and I share my tips and strategies on using video to just share your message with the world and to market yourself and boost your profile and your sales.

I often upload my videos straight to my Facebook page, so you can see me turning the video on and off. It’s raw; it’s real; it’s not branded; it’s not in a professional studio. I get so many messages on my page just saying they love my authentic, genuine videos. That’s what I teach in our program, is that, “Don’t stall and not get your message out there into the world, because it’s so important. It’s not difficult, it’s not expensive, and you can do it.” Just from 2 months of doing the video challenge, I’ve now got mentoring clients in America and New Zealand and Australia as well.

Janet: Right. Interesting. It started off as a free group. It’s a paid group now, isn’t it …

Melissa: Yes.

Janet: … for people to join that, which I really like. You’ve had your launch run, and now …

Melissa: I learned from you, your beta test or your pilot phase.

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Janet: Yeah. Yeah. Do the beta phase that’s going to work and people want to be part of it so they can pay. I like that you’ve then been able to spin that off, so that’s actually attracted your ideal client and got them interested enough that they want more of your help. That’s brilliant.

What else are you doing with helping people with video? How do you see the future of that with you and your business?

Melissa: There are endless possibilities. At the moment I see people out there going and speaking at events, which takes a lot of time, a lot of energy, money, if you’ve got to hire a venue. The internet is … An audience there is huge and is waiting for you. I’ve actually just launched my online classes, which I teach on Google Hangouts, just a small intimate group teaching people how to use video in business, so people who want to just go to that next level and learn in an intimate class.

There’s just so much that is accessible to us that is free. People have just got to … Okay. They’re going to be scared to use these tools, because you might muck up; but, everything I’ve learned from you, Janet, is just do a beta test first. See if there’s a demand for it, iron out the wrinkles, and then just launch it. Just go for it.

That’s what I’ve learned is not to sit back and wait for everything to be perfect and all the ducks to be lined up. Just go out there and do it. As you’re going along and getting momentum and getting consistency, you always change and improve things, whether it’s your website or anything to do with your business. I just really encourage you to just get out there and use this technology.

Janet: Mmm. Mmm. That’s fantastic. I like the idea that you have the small groups. You can only fit about 9 extra people on a Google Hangout, can’t you, so you can …

Melissa: On a Google video chat, yes. On a Hangout, on there you can have unlimited people where you’re just presenting; but, in the video chat rooms, you can only have a small amount of people. There’s a lot of people that still aren’t using Google+ and that don’t know how to use it, but it’s just as easy as sending them an email with some instructions on how to join Google+, whether that’s doing a little screen capture to show them … It’s fairly straightforward, just sharing them a link to join, similar to Skype, when you Skype someone.

Janet: You know what I really like there, Melissa? If you’re listening here and you’re thinking, “I want to start a group program and to maybe start up small; but, you know, I’ve got so much to set up. I’ve gotta set up my memberships. I’ve gotta set up this. I’ve gotta set up that.” Melissa’s launched a program. It’s a paid program she’s just done as the first beta. It’s only 9 people. You can easily be paying whatever people are willing to pay, just say 50 bucks. There’s $450 and you haven’t had to have any websites or anything. You can do the whole lot via email and it’s using a free platform, which is Google+.

If you’re thinking, “I will end up running some kind of group program when I get get all my ducks in a row,” look, you’ve just lost your last excuse with what Melissa’s doing. A hundred bucks a head, there’s $900, and you’ve only got to have a couple of hours that you’re on the calls. That’s a really low price and awesome value for the people who turn out. There goes your last excuse. You don’t need to have all your fantastic platforms; you’ve got them there.

We’re getting to the end of our time. I know that I could keep on picking your brain on so many different things. I really do encourage people who are listening to make sure that you connect with Melissa. A few ways that you can do that is … I really encourage you wherever you’re listening to this podcast … if you’re over there on iTunes, you can go over to risingstarsradioshow.com and you’ll be able to find this podcast plus a transcript plus all the links that will go through whatever we’ve been talking about today and that will go through to Melissa’s site. You can leave comments there, and we’d love to hear some feedback from you on what you’ve heard from Melissa. Also, go onto her website; go over to her Facebook page and connect. Where will people go to do that, Melissa? Where’s the best place?

Melissa: My website’s melissagroom.com. That’s where they can find out more about the video challenge and have a look at some testimonials of women who’ve been involved in that over the last couple of months. My main Facebook page is Mums in Business – Australia.

Janet: Mums in Business – Australia … Great … and melissagroom.com. If you go over there, that’s fantastic.

Let’s just have a look at a bit of a wrap-up. I’d really like people to be able to finish listening to our call today and then have some action steps, some things that they can go, “Okay. Well, I’m gonna go and start this this week,” something they can go and do. From what we’ve talked about today, let’s have a look at a few different things that people can do that are important takeaways from today. Melissa, what do you reckon are some of the top things that people should really be focusing on?

Melissa: Okay. Number one, I’m going to say, start using video in your business to build your profile and to connect with your community. Start a Facebook group that is very targeted and wants to learn what you have got to teach. That’s a free platform for you there. In regards to video, I just want people to understand that it’s not about you at all and that you have to just get out of your own way and that it’s just time to step up and share your message with the world, because there’s people out there that really do need your help.

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Janet: Mmm. Spot on, totally spot on. If you go to melissagroom.com and connect with Melissa, it really means a lot to us if you can leave a comment and give us some feedback on what you’ve learned today, whether they’re questions or comments. Melissa and I will come back and join the conversation. It’s one of the greatest rewards that we can have is for you to take the time to let us know that you’re listening.
Before we go, Melissa, any last thoughts that you’d like to leave with people?

Melissa: Just that we’re only here for a very, very short time. Just focus on helping others and things could start happening for you when you do that.

Janet: Yeah. That’s a really nice way to finish is … You know what? That’s become quite a bit of a recurring theme through all of the Rising Stars interviews that I’ve just been doing recently is people have said as soon as they stopped focusing on what was going to make them the quickest money and started focusing on really helping people and helping people solve problems, that’s when the money started to flow and when their brand started to grow and when opportunity started coming their way. It’s a really nice one to finish on.

We’re all about making a profitable business, but very often the fastest path there is not the one that seems obvious, is it?

Melissa: No.

Janet: Yeah. Nice way to finish. Thank you so much for your time, Melissa. As always, I’ve just really enjoyed talking to you today. Thank you so much, everybody, for trusting us with your time. Go out there and make a difference and go and take some action and let us know what you’ve been up to. Bye.

Melissa: Thanks, Janet.

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  1. Hi! Anither great interview. I have just been thinking about starting a FB group because i share a lot of info on my FB pahe, but so few of my followers get to see it anymore with FB changes. I will take Melissa’s advice and just do it. Thank you!

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