Melissa henault

If you’ve ever considered pivoting from one niche to another, then you’re in for a treat with today’s episode. In this dynamic hot seat coaching session, Melissa takes the reins to assist her Elevate 360 Mastermind client, Julie, in navigating her way beyond her comfort zone and embracing her new identity as a leadership coach for entrepreneurs.

Whether you’re embarking on a gradual shift or opting for a swift transformation, the utmost clarity is essential when honing in on your niche and target audience. When your message attempts to reach everyone, it often resonates with no one. Therefore, it’s crucial to audit your trajectory and personal branding to ensure that your message resounds effectively.

Remember, a muddled message can obscure your path forward, so tune in to gain valuable insights on how to establish a captivating, precise communication strategy.

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[00:00:00] so I'm making a shift in my niche. Mm-hmm. Okay. Made the decision to move. to the, you know, my, my ideal client or my dream client to be from a corporate employee to an entrepreneur. Ooh, okay. For lots of different reasons. That helps make a lot of clarity.

Yeah. Yeah. So it's like all these pieces are coming together and all the work that I've been doing in terms of my offers and all that still completely apply. Mm-hmm. 'cause they can apply to someone in corporate or business. Right. I'm just gonna go after the entrepreneur because, and this could be a story I'm telling myself, but I really believe this in my intuition when I'm finding from working with the clients that I have and having my launches and all of that.

And I thought to myself, and you guys, some of you for sure, Melissa, you might think this as well. Like, I never spent a cent on myself when I was in corporate in 25 years, and I had Harvard level training. My company paid for and, and a good income too. Right? Huge income. I could have spent [00:01:00] millions on, on coaches if I wanted to, but I didn't need to 'cause my company paid.

Now, of course, I could have maybe found my own coach and they would've paid all of that. But I'm, I, that has been so clear. These guys don't spend money on themselves the way entrepreneurs do in terms of personal development, success, leadership, all the things. Right. So that's been an aha for me, and I've been, I realized, and I think you said this to me, and it's been in my head, corporate is my comfort zone.

Right. And that's where I've been. Mm-hmm. So I spent my whole career in hr. I saw myself as an HR executive, all the things, but I'm, I've been in business for 30 years, but I didn't identify as a business coach. It was more of a leadership coach. Right. But it's all semantics. It's su it's success. Mm-hmm. It just feels completely aligned now to be talking to entrepreneurs.

'cause I think that they really could use my support. [00:02:00] Mm-hmm. How do you transition though? Like, I'm thinking of my private, you know, I have a thousand people in my Facebook group. I have 1200 people on my email list. All the things that I've built. So they might not all be right. Yep. Anymore because if the niche is changing, do I slowly transition, which I've been starting to do, which feels like I'm just like, you know, plucking out each hair individually.

Or do I put a line in the sand and go into my group and say, look it, here's what I'm doing and here's why they can stay, because I'm still gonna talk about success and they'll be able to apply it to any area of their life. Mm-hmm. Or, you know, but you're gonna start hearing me talk about this now in my content, in my lives.

All the things. So I guess I'm looking for advice. Do I slowly transition or I just like pull off the bandaid? What a great question. What would you do? Yeah. Well I did it right? Yeah, exactly. so first of all, question for you before we dive into that, with your [00:03:00] coaching, are you gonna be focusing more on self-leadership or leadership of team or both?

Here, I'll read you what I wrote this morning I teach female entrepreneurs how to build, grow, and run a successful business. I wanna keep it simple, so, Build is my offer where it's a membership, it's $79 a month. It's cheap because they don't have the money to invest right now. So I can give them really good tactics on how to continue to build their business.

Mm-hmm. My, my signature program, which is a six month coaching program, is where I'm gonna teach you to grow it. I call that free to strive or thrive and then running your business, which is completely different than building it is where is my one-on-one? I have a, a pro, uh, product I call free to arrive.

So that's one-on-one with entrepreneurs that have already had a lot of success and can afford the more one-on-one. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So that's kind of what I'm thinking. Yeah. [00:04:00] Well, and the reason I ask is, what I've seen in my humble opinion, over the last four years, So a very short stint in running my own, I guess you could say eight years if you include network marketing, is that a lot of people come to entrepreneurship with great ideas, even great solutions, even great products, but they have zero experience leading a team.

And it is the rate limiting factor of them actually being able to scale and succeed beyond being a solo entrepreneur. They end up burnt out. Mm-hmm. Their team, they have massive team turnover. They don't know how to build culture. They don't know how to build rapport, create vision, and I think it's a huge gap in entrepreneurship.

I actually think that we would see more entrepreneurs thrive if they took leadership training more seriously. in my bias opinion, I [00:05:00] think, and I'm not a great leader by all means, but I think that I had a headstart in entrepreneurship because I had led a team for a decade. Mm-hmm. Um, so I kind of understood kind of people dynamics and role descriptions and how to check in with my team and had a level set expectations and how to, and this, I may be squirreling on something you have that you're not coaching on or at all, or have any No, I'm, I'm, you're sure For sure.

That would be, I think a big piece of the signature program that six months. Gotcha. That grow. I could, I could drop it a little bit in the building, but I think, the way I'm envisioning it, the, the entrepreneur that would come into the membership doesn't have a team yet. Who knew, right? But yes, that one that goes into my six month signature program, they're scaling, they're probably having to build a team.

They're getting to that point where they have to do that. Yep, yep. Totally. Okay. Awesome. That's what I'm thinking. So yes, that's be part, because I agree with you, like most people, not most, there's a lot of entrepreneurs that don't have a lot of business [00:06:00] acumen, which includes leading a team, right? Yeah.

I've seen businesses implode from seven figures. Like one of my dearest friends too, now I've seen their businesses just shoot off to seven figures and then just like crumble because they just didn't know how to manage the growth, the people, the team like, and there was never any focus on it. There was never any focus on I need to work on how to lead.

Right. Because they were the visionary. Um, and that'll only take you so far. I totally agree. And then when you're under stress too, you can't be barking orders. They're not gonna stay, right? No. Yeah. So that's my jam engagement leadership. That's what I did for 30 years. So that'll be definitely big marketing piece on the scaling.

Mm-hmm. The entrepreneur that wants to scale. Mm-hmm. Which is the signature program. Yeah, you're right. Is I think Noelle put it in here. I am. I'm answering my own question. Right. I think it's just because I like to be transparent. I think it's to go into these free or into my lists, into my [00:07:00] leads and tell them what I'm doing now.

Yeah. this is where you're gonna, I, I've notoriously talk out of both sides of my mouth, so I'll let you think through it. it depends on. If you want, I, I don't know what your revenue stream is now, and if you're depending on it, and if you're giving people an, an option to just bail because you're changing direction.

I know for me what we did is, I, for those of you, most of you know my story. All of you really know my story. My, my business was founded on direct sales. It was teaching people indirect sales, how to grow business on LinkedIn. Mm-hmm. And about two, about a year and a half in, I had this huge epiphany that I really wanted to be working with, service-based entrepreneurs.

That they were really my jam. I was having more fun coaching them. But I had this huge branding history of direct sales on LinkedIn. And I'll just tell you what I did and, we can talk through what you wanna do. I didn't make some huge announcement to my audience. I didn't [00:08:00] make a huge announce. I didn't make a big deal out of it.

I actually just shifted my message. I just started to shift what I was saying. I started to shift my copy, when we started to, you know, recruit for launches, I took the word direct sales, social selling. Um, I took all of that out. Hmm. And I just changed my verbiage. And with our ads manager, we took out direct sales as a market, and, um, we started bringing in a different audience.

And when I went to launch, I, it was awkward actually. The, the, I'll tell you, when I knew I was out of alignment and selling to direct sales, my audience hadn't caught up to where I was. Okay? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And this was the launch that cost me more money than I, than I made. Okay. So I was already, it was becoming very evident to me.

I was not aligned to really coaching in direct sales anymore. The energy wasn't there. I wasn't aligned to it. I [00:09:00] was really excited and I had just outgrown it. I'd actually become really excited about the service-based entrepreneur 'cause I was having success there and I wanted to coach people there and I wanted to coach someone how LinkedIn worked in that space.

Mm-hmm. But we had already run ads and had marketed to use the same ads triggers we'd always had. Right. And um, we went the launch and my message just fell flat. I mean, you guys, I opened cart and no one bought nothing. Crickets. This was after making a million dollars in 19 months. So I hope this makes some of you feel better if you've done a launch and didn't make any money.

I opened cart and nobody gave me a dollar. Okay. That was Thursday, Friday. Still no sales. Saturday, still no sales. Sunday I am like sweating bullets. I've spent probably, I spent like three or $4,000 on ads at that point. My operating expenses for my team were about [00:10:00] 10,000 a month. , and I was already getting close to being in the red Red and I'm like, what the, you know, like, what the hell?

We finally had two sales squeaking, uh, like close, like the day the cart closed. 'cause we gave these two people like a really good deal. 'cause I was desperate to at least pay for my ads. Right. Sounds so familiar. And it was awful. And that was the, but that was also the same week that Kelly, that was literally the same weekend I spoke at Kelly Roche's game changers event where they had me on stage speaking to entrepreneurs who were service-based.

This was when I like had a goose egg of a launch. I can't see outside my little, you know, undercurrent of feeling sorry for myself. Right? And I have this whole sea of people who are service-based entrepreneurs who really wanna hear my message. And so that was a goose egg launch. I did my presentation for Kelly, like, you know, shaking my head like this is the wrong audience.

And with within moments all week [00:11:00] while I was getting dms and messages from people all over the world that were service-based entrepreneurs, 'cause they'd watched that livestream and they had a million questions for me about LinkedIn and that was all the validation I needed that Oh, okay. Like I've never been in this direction before, so I'm a little bit fearful.

My message has always been this and that's what always brought me revenue. I'm gonna have to be willing to take a leap of faith and change my message if I wanna attract a different audience because I mentally have moved over here, but my audience ha has not from a marketing standpoint. And I've gotta let them know right.

So it was a very scary time. October, November, December. So remember, no money like goose egg. October, November, December. In January, we came back to market with our first launch where we really spoke to service-based entrepreneurs, changed our verbiage. Meanwhile, 90% of my audience inside my academy are still all in direct sales, and there's [00:12:00] 10 that are like real estate agents, like brokers, like small, but in my mind, I was already going here.

I didn't say to them, Hey, by the way, this is the direction I'm going. I continued giving them the value that they paid for. I was still coaching my model, but I was recruiting a whole new cohort at the same time. And I know my coaches felt it because in January, and I know you, you felt it Julie, 'cause you were coaching.

Oh yeah, yeah. I was like, what is she doing? Hang on. Yeah. And then in January you got a whole new cohort and you were like, who the hell are all these people? They were like a whole nother level, right? Yeah, yeah. But I never, I never told anyone publicly what I was doing. If you're really consistent, and this is where Kristen can probably chime in, but.

The power of personal branding and having, being able, like, I hate to give you the visual of the Muppets, but it's like it's at your will to change how people perceive you. It is at your will daily with the content you're putting out as to what kind of expert you [00:13:00] are. Yeah. So we stopped talking about direct sales and we started just talking about online business.

Right. We started talking to our new avatar, but I didn't ignore my current clients. They're all still welcome. Yeah. We just had a hot seat with my pod, my first paw of the day, and one of them is like number one incomer in a direct sales company. She's still, they're still finding me. Right. But yeah. Um, your corporate people may still find you, right?

Yeah. Because it's, I'm teaching the success principles. Yeah. So you're right. I hear, I hear what you're saying. So, but if you want to make an announcement, you can. I just think, I think, I think you're right. I think you're right. I think I should just quietly. Modify my message. Mm-hmm. Right. Right. And the critical key is to make sure you're, if you're running ads, that your ads manager is very clear.

Yeah, yeah. On your shift in direction. 'cause guys, we went from losing money that October to a $167,000 launch in January. Yeah. Right. [00:14:00] So, yeah, that'll be the biggest thing. Like literally zero sales, zero in four months to turning the ship. And then we just slowly changed over the year. You guys sensed it, you felt it.

And it's not that we don't still serve anyone, regardless of whether you're an affiliate, marketing, network, marketing, whatever. but our core, your niche just changed. Yep. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Okay. No, that, I think that makes sense. I think I'm gonna continue because I was going kind of slowly just changing.

Mm-hmm. instead of just dropping a word too though, the content. 'cause when you're in your develop, and Kristen knows this, her and I have talked about it, like you're talking in your content to that one person. Mm-hmm. That's how I try to do it. Like I, you know, my client, I think you're gonna get, get much, much more, um, viable leads being really, really direct to the entrepreneur, right?

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. When we are trying to straddle both, that's when people aren't sure if you're talking to ' em anyway.

Hey friend!

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