1726 – Strategies for Attracting and Acquiring Clients with Erin Marcus

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with  Business Strategy Consultant, Founder & CEO  of Conquer Your Business, Erin Marcus.

Marcus wide

Erin emphasized the importance of creating a client acquisition system on the front end of a business. This is an aspect that many businesses overlook, leading to struggles with consistently attracting and acquiring new clients. This lack of a predictable system can impact cash flow and make business owners question their abilities and offerings.

Erin pointed out that being good at the core business does not necessarily translate to knowing how to build a client acquisition system. She also highlighted the importance of adapting and evolving the client acquisition system as the market and business owner change.

Erin shared her experience reframing her perspective on social media to make it work for her thought leadership and content creation business. She sees social media as a platform to educate and help people, ultimately leading to client relationships.

Her approach is centered around reverse engineering, where she helps business owners define their goals and build a foundation with a unique value proposition.

Erin explained that their goal is to help solopreneurs and entrepreneurs transition into business ownership, comparing it to crossing a bridge. She mentioned that many people have misconceptions about the journey, thinking it's easy when it can be challenging and chaotic.

Key Points from Episode:

  • Introduction of Erin Marcus, founder and CEO of Conquer Your Business
  • Importance of creating a client acquisition system for businesses
  • Struggles of consistently attracting and acquiring new clients
  • Impact of a lack of a predictable system on cash flow and business owner's confidence
  • Adapting and evolving the client acquisition system as the market and business owner change
  • Erin's personal experience reframing social media for his business
  • Reverse engineering approach to defining goals and building a unique value proposition
  • Importance of balance between growth and nurturing in business
  • Erin's podcast “Ready Yet” and its focus on personal growth and motivation
  • Advice on attracting more people to your business without using spammy tactics

About Erin Marcus:

Erin Marcus, the Founder & CEO of Conquer Your Business, is a seasoned expert in crafting effective business and branding strategies that propel entrepreneurs toward building thriving six and seven-figure enterprises.

With over two decades of experience in mentoring, training, teaching, and coaching, Erin specializes in guiding individuals stuck in the transition from solopreneurs to successful business owners.

She emphasizes the importance of establishing a solid brand identity that transcends quick fixes, focusing on long-term growth rather than mere transactional approaches.

Erin excels in helping clients unleash their full potential by asking pertinent questions, actively listening, and discerning unspoken cues. Her unique ability lies in tailoring foundational success principles to suit each individual's strengths and challenges.

Through her guidance, entrepreneurs learn to envision and achieve the business they truly desire, overcoming limitations and realizing possibilities they might not have dared to dream of.

About Conquer Your Business:

Conquer Your Business specializes in crafting tailored brand and business strategies designed to elevate entrepreneurs to multiple six and seven-figure success.

They offer a haven for driven business owners seeking customized approaches for sustained growth, emphasizing the importance of moving beyond generic “insta-tactics.”

Instead, they focus on developing cohesive, engaging, and high-demand brands supported by sustainable business practices that optimize efforts for maximum returns. Conquer Your Business understands the frustration entrepreneurs experience when they sense untapped potential yet struggle to achieve it.

They provide strategic guidance and hands-on implementation support, eschewing ineffective programs and courses. Entrepreneurs can schedule a strategy call with their team to explore how Conquer Your Business can help them achieve their business goals effectively and efficiently.

Tweetable Moments:

16:12 – “The marketplace is much smarter now and we're not going to fall for the tactics that worked 2 or 3 years ago because we know everybody knows we're not fooling anybody.”

Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Conquer Your Business at

Check out Conquer Your Business on LinkedIn at

Check out Conquer Your Business on Facebook at

Check out Conquer Your Business on Twitter at

Check out Erin Marcus on LinkedIn at

Check out Erin Marcus on Instagram at

Check out Erin Marcus on Twitter at

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur and thank you for listening. Tune in next time!

More from UpMyInfluence:

We are actively booking guests for our The Thoughtful Entrepreneur. Schedule HERE.

Are you a 6-figure consultant? I’ve got high-level intros for you. Learn more here.

What is your #1 Lead Generation BLOCKER? Take my free quiz here.

Want to learn more about all the podcasts managed by UpMyInfluence? Opt in here.


Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. It's my good friend Erin Marcus. Erin, you are the founder and CEO of Conquer Your Business. You are a business strategy consultant for Driven Entrepreneurs and your website is Conquer Your Business. Erin, thank you so much for joining us.

Erin (00:01:17) - Thank you Josh, I'm excited to be here.

Josh (00:01:20) - I would love for your take on the impact that you have in the world today, and who you serve and what you do.

Erin (00:01:26) - Oh my gosh, what do we do? So the fancy title, right? The cultivated curated marketing sentence is that we create business and branding strategies that build multiple six and seven figure businesses.

Josh (00:01:42) - Well, that doesn't sound so bad.

Erin (00:01:43) - No, it's marketing without being too jargony I don't I'm tend to be a little bit direct. Right? So let's just put it straight out there. This is how we help people.

Josh (00:01:53) - So where do you find that most businesses like if they've already achieved some level of success, where are they getting hung up?

Erin (00:02:01) - Where are they getting hung up? The thing that I am seeing happen over and over and over again, and these are really surprisingly into the seven figures, is that they've never created on the front end of their business, what they've created on the back end of their business. They don't have a client acquisition system. And I watch amazing, amazing business owners doing great things who are absolutely exhausted because, right, they're absolutely exhausted.

Erin (00:02:33) - The pressure has never been relieved from that business owner situation because they haven't created a predictable system. Not a tactic, not an Insta strategy. Right? A system that will help them consistently attract and acquire new clients. So even when they're functioning at a very high level on the back end, they have full teams doing the work. The pressure of where is my next client coming from still exists for them.

Josh (00:03:07) - Yeah. You know, it's hard not to take Erin. It's hard not to take this personally. When we are the founder, we maybe are in a position professionally where we're like, you know, this shouldn't be a problem at my stage in business. Like, why am I having an Erin? I mean, let's be frank, this is going to impact cash flow. And like, you know, bills and payroll may be consistent. And, you know, again, if there's no consistency on the front end for conversations, people look at their cash flow and then they maybe start to blame other things.

Josh (00:03:43) - Maybe it's me. Do I smell bad? Is my offer no good? Am I really doing I know what I'm doing or something like that.

Erin (00:03:48) - And what you're saying is exactly right. And unfortunately, people often associate how good am I at what the business does right with knowing how to build a system that attracts and nurtures consistently, predictably, a growing audience when truthfully, those things have nothing to do with each other. We think that if we're really, really good at the thing, build it and they will come right? We all watch the movie, but that's not actually how it works. And then on top of it, on top of it, you have the fact that most business owners are consumers of other business owners materials because we're playing in that world. Right? So you're surrounded by everybody else's highlight reel. You're surrounded by everybody else's marketing efforts without the truth. Now, consciously, we know nobody's going to put their ugly truth on the internet. Well, that's not true. They all do it all the time.

Erin (00:04:49) - But in their marketing, you know, they're not going to put their challenges in their marketing. And so we know that's not the full story consciously but subconsciously. We're kind of believing that everyone's got it figured out. But me, I must be doing something wrong. I must not be good at the thing. And I also think on top of it, the fact is that the market changes, clients change, the business owner changes. And unlike doing your taxes, unlike doing the processes that happen on the back end of your business, client acquisition system has to fluctuate and change. You will not solve this problem. You can only temporarily solve this problem. And then the market shifts and you grow as a business owner and your client changes. And now your system, quote unquote doesn't work. So you think you did it wrong and but you actually did it right. You just kind of stopped doing it. And when you put that all together, it creates this bit of a perfect storm. And we are already busy.

Erin (00:05:56) - We already are out of hours in the day and days in the week. It's already hard enough. So how much time am I really going to spend doing a deep dive into the part that makes me absolutely miserable?

Josh (00:06:07) - Yeah. You know, and this happens for all of us. You know, no matter what you do, if you're responsible for growth. Or, again, I think most people, Erin, just want to do what they do. You know, my wife is a family therapist or a couples therapist and sex therapist. She's exceptional at what she does. You know, given the nature of what she does, probably doesn't get a whole lot of word of mouth because, you know, people don't like to talk about the fact that nobody's.

Erin (00:06:30) - Raising their hand in the big room of networking and saying, yeah, that's me. I have that problem. No.

Josh (00:06:36) - Yes. Right, right. She doesn't get a lot of social media love for the work that she does, because, again, most people don't want to talk about the problems with their peepee or whatever.

Josh (00:06:44) - Right.

Josh (00:06:46) - Exactly.

Josh (00:06:47) - So she relies on what might feel like in every business owner. Right. It's like it's like you want to do what you love. And I think sometimes it can be easy to look at all of the other stuff and say, you know, that's a necessary evil so that I can continue to do what I love to do most, which is teaching piano. Mowing people's lawns. High level leadership consulting. Right. Any of these things, how can we maybe look at these two different worlds in a more helpful way?

Erin (00:07:18) - Well, first of all, you have to reframe how you're thinking about it. Here's the thing. We all have jobs. We all have businesses that we're not going to love. Every single part of it. So you don't have to absolutely fall in love with marketing and client acquisition and sales if you don't want to be in love with it. However, if you really consider it a necessary evil, how much of your time, money, energy, and effort are you going to put behind it? Your heart's not going to be in it.

Erin (00:07:43) - People will feel that. So find a version that works for you. And this is why I'm so against these one size fits all Insta tactics here. Just do this one thing because they don't work. Because if that tactic doesn't align with where your heart is and where your head is and what your goals are and what you're good at and what you suck at and want to avoid like the plague, then that tactic won't work for you. I'll give you a personal example. I didn't like social media. It was very weird for me. I grew up, first of all, I didn't grow up with it at all, so it wasn't my natural inclination. The second thing is, I grew up in Chicago public schools in the 70s and 80s, and I spent the first 20 years of my life making sure nobody knew what I was doing right. Like, we weren't good kids, so nobody knew what we were doing. So the idea of screaming from the rooftops, everything you're doing felt very weird to me.

Erin (00:08:37) - However, the business that I'm in thought leader content creation, I have to have the credentials that my prospects and clients expect me to have. I have to figure out how to play in that world because that's just the world we live in right now. So what I did was I reframed how I felt about it. I have a very educational approach to my marketing, and now I look at social media platforms as this amazing free, free people. It's free, amazing free platform where I get to share my message, what I think is important and help people. I get to help the people that I want to have an impact on for free. And a certain amount of those people will continue their relationship with me on a deeper level and become clients. So I had to rethink about how I felt about the platform and how I thought about the platform in order to make it work for me.

Josh (00:09:36) - All right, so tell me more, Erin, about the folks that you get to work with. What does that look like?

Erin (00:09:43) - My big approach, my whole thing.

Erin (00:09:45) - And this is the concept of reverse engineering. Everything we do is about reverse engineering, which means figuring out exactly what it is that that business owner is trying to build. Right? If you want $1 million business, there's a million different ways to grow that. So if you haven't reverse engineered what it actually looks like for you, you're going to become susceptible to basically anything that's out there and saying, try this, try that, try that, and never get any momentum. So we reverse engineer the entire process by saying, okay, what are we trying to build? And once we've nailed that down, what does this look like? What does this look like a year from now, three years from now, maybe five years from now? And I'm not a big fan on anything farther than that, because the world is just changing way too fast. You almost can't predict. And then we reverse engineer, okay, what do we have to do to put the foundation in place? Whether the team, the offers, the processes, the back end, are there any gaps on that foundation of unique value proposition, like what do we do and how do we talk about it? Then we go into the second step, which is really about audience growth.

Erin (00:10:57) - What are we doing to put your business out there to attract the people that you want? The third step is nurture. You watch this fall apart in so many different places. Either someone does all growth and no nurture or all nurture and no growth, or they're out there trying to nurture the pants off of everybody, but they don't have their foundation in place, so nobody knows what it is that they're actually trying to do. So we put that system together for them, assure that they have that foundation so that the strategies they employ are building the thing that they want, and then create that client acquisition system on the front end. All about because I work with people who are really trying to scale, leveraging, leveraging, leveraging their resources, their time, their team. You know, I'll put it to you this way. What do we do? We help solopreneurs and entrepreneurs get over the bridge into business ownership, because it really is like trying to get over a bridge. Except so many times people think that the journey is this cute little garden bridge made of stone, and there's a creek underneath it and a nice grassy knoll.

Erin (00:12:02) - And the truth is, it's the Indiana Jones Bridge. It's being held together by twine and planks, and it's on fire. And there's a guy with a sword. We help people get over the bridge very tactically and strategically. Instead of starting at square one, where they're doing random acts of business and random acts of marketing that they don't know what it leads to, they just know they're supposed to be out there doing something.

Josh (00:12:27) - Yeah. All right. Your website is conquer your business. By the way, I should point out, you're a podcaster, and I love I mean, we're listen, our friends listen to a podcast right now. This is easy. They can find you. I'm talk about your podcast.

Erin (00:12:44) - So my podcast came out of the way that I was closing sales, and I would have these conversations with people and then I'd say, well, are you ready? Are you ready yet? You ready to change how you feel? You're ready to change the frustration. And so the podcast is called Ready Yet.

Erin (00:12:59) - And the concept is you'll never do what it takes until you become the person it takes to do it. Because I want to share not just other entrepreneurs subject matter expertise, but I want to share the truth about what this process and this journey looks like, because it really isn't easy for anybody to get through it. And you got Garyvee, you got Tony Robbins, you got, you know, all the big names out there, and that's great. Go be motivated by them. But they're often too far removed from us, you know, regular folk to learn from anymore. So I want to share the people who are just a couple steps ahead, even if it's just in one lane, so that other people can get motivated, learn something from their subject matter expertise, and be inspired by their resilience and persistence.

Josh (00:13:47) - Yeah, and if I were to just maybe have you and again, I know that this is difficult to give a one size fits all answer, but when someone comes to you and the complaint is like, I know, like I'm not getting enough people through the front door, I mean, they're going to have to create more visibility, more opportunities.

Josh (00:14:06) - I see some tactics out there not working very well. I see same tactics that, you know, from an integrity standpoint, I would never do. I could never do, you know, just the spammy spray and pray stuff that just annoys people because I get annoyed by it. Right. Like, and I would you know, and maybe I care about it too much, but I would certainly, you know, not enjoy being on the receiving end of someone saying, you know, calling me out as a spammer or something like that. So any thoughts on kind of trying to walk this in in a classy way that's in integrity with who we are?

Erin (00:14:46) - I'll frame it this way. Don't do anything meaning make an offer, pitch. Don't do anything online you wouldn't do in person. You would never walk up to me in a networking event and say, oh, Josh, nice to meet you, and then go on a five minute tirade about your program and how it's the best thing since sliced bread.

Erin (00:15:09) - And how could I not want to join right now if you, you know, don't forget it's not advertising, it's social media. So don't forget the social on the platform. Don't do online what you wouldn't do out in the world. And then the other piece of advice is don't try to do something you haven't earned the social capital to do. You haven't earned the right to ask me for my money yet because we have no relationship. Yeah, if you just avoid. Right. And the other thing, and this is where I have the empathy for people, a lot of people just don't know better. Somebody is still teaching people that as soon as you connect on LinkedIn, you should have an auto bot send them basically a DM the length of your sales page, like somebody teaching people this because they're all still doing it. Yeah, it sounds good, but it's a lie. You're believing. You're totally you're believing the lie that, well, you're just offering to help somebody. So here I am, being this really good person, offering to help you.

Erin (00:16:12) - That's a lie. You're asking for something. We all know you're asking for something. The marketplaces weight that might have used to work, but we all get it now. That used to work. The novelty is worn off. The marketplace is much smarter now. And we're not going to fall for the tactics that worked 2 or 3 years ago, because we know everybody knows we're not fooling anybody. And if you just stop pretending that here come to my free event means let me give you something. I just had an event. I use all these strategies. But earn the right to invite people to it, right? Like, come to my free event and I'll give you so much information. Well, yeah, but you all, let's face it, you also know I'm going to ask you, you know, I'm going to sell something to you. So did I earn that right before I pretend that I'm just here to help you.

Josh (00:17:04) - Right? I mean, we're not talking about a hard sell with, you know, fake scarcity and all that other stuff, which, again, that's not what we're talking about, but certainly, like, listen, so here's all the value.

Josh (00:17:15) - Hopefully you're really inspired and motivated. And let's talk about where we go from here. That appeals to me. Like I love that vibe. And to treat your audience like adults. Yes. I think it's so important.

Erin (00:17:27) - And the idea to me, the definition of sales, the definition of a sales conversation, is a mutually agreed upon conversation. We both know that we're having a conversation about whether or not we want to exchange money for services. If you just send me a DM offering me things. I didn't agree to that conversation. Clicking yes, I'm willing to connect with you because we know 75 of the same people. It doesn't give you permission to enter into a sales conversation with me. I agreed to connect with you. I didn't agree that we were having a sales conversation. So a sales conversation is a mutually agreed upon, mutually beneficial scenario.

Josh (00:18:17) - Does it make sense for us where we are in the relationship to discuss this as an option? Right. I love it, yeah. And this is so, so critical.

Josh (00:18:26) - And unfortunately, like I said, I think historically there have been a lot of gurus who have enriched themselves by selling this plan of easy, automatic, passive riches, and it's done a lot of damage. I think in many cases it worked at one point. But then kind of like this, the adage is right marketers flock to all good ideas until they ruin them totally. But the one area I think that, you know, again, the cheap kind of bro, for lack of a better term marketer, is almost always going to try to find more efficient, cheap, faster, easy ways, whereas the heart centered leader doesn't mind kind of doubling down on the relationship. Right. And so I think that's where you win. Well, and.

Erin (00:19:09) - Also there's a lot of bro personas out there who are actually really good at marketing. There's a lot of personas out there who will talk to you about the tactics they use and are very transparent about. That's not where they started. It's not where they started.

Erin (00:19:30) - So yes, you can get to a point where you might know enough about your audience and you have a big enough following and a big enough brand awareness, and you've built your social capital up over time, over years. And now when you make an offer, the social capital you're leveraging has been created over ten years. The mistake is when someone thinks they're going to create in six months, what took Gary Vee decades to earn the right to do? Yeah, so they're not wrong. We're just thinking we can do instantly what they've struggled at for decades.

Josh (00:20:18) - Oh my gosh. Yeah, yeah. And wasted tens of not hundreds of thousands of dollars easily. No. They wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars.

Erin (00:20:28) - Millions of dollars because that's what it takes. Yes. If you want multimillion dollar businesses, it cost multimillion dollars to figure it out.

Josh (00:20:37) - Yeah.

Erin (00:20:38) - There's no shortcuts to this.

Josh (00:20:40) - Yeah. Agreed. Yeah. Your website conquer your Someone that's enjoyed our conversation like I like Erin.

Josh (00:20:48) - We talked about your podcast, but where else would you recommend they go if they've really enjoyed our conversation. What's next for them?

Erin (00:20:54) - What's next for them. So go to Concrete because we put everything in one place for you to find. And I'll give you a little extra if I do a live show every Tuesday on LinkedIn. And it's just giving away content. So if you like what I have to say and you want to learn more about how I do what I do, join me on LinkedIn. Love to connect and hear from people. Always looking for great conversations.

Josh (00:21:18) - Awesome. All right Erin Marcus again business business strategy consultant for Driven Entrepreneurs and founder and CEO of Conquer Your Business on the web at Conquer Your Erin, thank you so much for joining us.

Erin (00:21:32) - Thank you. Josh.

Josh (00:21:38) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free.

Josh (00:21:58) - You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stopped by to say hi. I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

We're actively booking guests for our DAILY #podcast: The Thoughtful #Entrepreneur. Happy to share your story with our 120K+ audience.Smiling face with halo


Apple iTunes podcast