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Olga Kirshenbaum: Starting Money Conversations with Rags to Riches Consulting

October 25, 2019

Does money stress you out?

Olga Kirshenbaum is the owner of Rags to Riches Consulting and a well-respected Financial Coach. She works to help her clients realign their money-habits with their money-goals. Her coaching helps those in need to make better financial choices and takes off some of the stress that comes with finances.

Olga works with budget managers and helps guide their money decisions.  Her workshop teaches managers how money reports translate their decision-making and how to make proactive decisions with their money.

Learn more about how Rags to Riches can help you make smart financial decisions by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on  Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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Welcome to the thoughtful entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of up my influence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go. All right, and Olga Kirshenbaum thank you so much for joining us. You are the Find your financial coach, and you're the owner of rags to riches consulting, and I'm so glad that we brought you on because I love how you grow your business. You use LinkedIn. I listened and that's where we get like 80% of our business right now. I absolutely love LinkedIn. I feel like we're dominating it. But I love learning from People who have figured out certain aspects of it and I'll tell you that they the area that I know you're a complete ninja on is an area that I'm not even doing, like I'm even at a very, very small degree. And so I'm so excited to compare notes with you, learn from you, and hear how you've been able to grow your consultancy, to the level that you have. And I know you've created some pretty great success here. So, Olga, welcome. And please tell us a little bit about what rags to riches consulting is. And then let's get into your LinkedIn strategy.

Great. Thank you for having me, Josh. I'm really excited. I love LinkedIn. And I love sharing notes with people just because I think a lot of the things that I actually learned that are useful tend to be from other LinkedIn users. There's no manual out there, so I love talking about it. So rags to riches consulting is a company that focuses essentially on financial literacy education. Originally, I started working solely with individuals, helping them align their money habits with their money goals. And I'm currently in a beta test for a financial literacy workshop for managers that do not have a finance background. Essentially, any I've watched people get promoted through the ranks, and they're very qualified and skilled in what they do. And then all of a sudden, they're having more money conversations and looking at more money reports than they ever prepared for him. So I am working on a workshop to help managers in those situations.

And, and so I mean, it sounds like there's a pretty good audience for that. I mean, how many managers have that background? I mean, I don't and I was just talking with someone earlier today. And he said, you know, we we love working with him. He was He did accounting for wineries. And he said, Because winery or people in the wine business are notorious for thinking of accounting and financing as a chore, finances as a chore. And I'm like, a, I don't think that's exclusive to wineries. Now that every Berlin Yep, yeah. So tell me about that. So what is the outcome then that you provide?

So with the companies, I am helping them, make proactive decisions and understand how their decision making is actually translated by the reports with individuals, I help them gain confidence that they actually know what they're doing. I originally when I started the business, I thought that I'd be teaching people how to budget how to allocate their money properly. But what I really found out is that most people have some of those skills they just don't align the habits for their goals. And they really do no more than they give themselves credit for. What I do is just kind of give them a perspective of where they are today and how it's easily move forward towards financial independence.

So, Olga, let's talk about kind of your evolution and how you've used LinkedIn. So when you started at, kind of take me through, like, how you leveraged it at first, and then kind of what you figured out you learned and what you did, and how that impacted your business.

Sure. So in the beginning, I actually started engaging before I started my business. I read the book, career hacking by Max Altschuler and I just had a light bulb moment that you know, you can build incredible relationships on LinkedIn and he actually talks about starting a before you really go ahead with your business because when Your business starts. You if you already have a group of people that follows you or already is listening to your content, it's so much easier to tap into, because they already know who you are. And so that's why I started engaging originally. And then a month later, I decided to do this business. I actually have been doing it for 10 years for my friends and family. And they decided to go for it because I just think there's such a big need for it. So I started engaging. And originally, a lot of it was just testing To be honest, like, what kind of content resonates with you and there's so many things that people can do. There's pictures, there's text, there's video, there's articles, you can take something and repurpose it. And there's just so many ways to create content. And for me, the most difficult part was that my content is about money. And money is already something People don't want to talk about. So yeah, that was tricky for me. So what I actually ended up doing, I actually post maybe 20% of my content is the money stuff. So I have a dear Olga column that I created a hashtag for. And I have people following it. And people write in questions about money. Sometimes it's business. Sometimes it's personal. And it's a column that I answer and people can all learn inserts, money, conversations, and then on. On Saturdays, I do just like a money post. I try to see what people are talking about. What's really relevant. At the beginning of summer, I wrote an article about phobot which is, Oh, no, fo mo like, you, you want to spend money but you don't really have it, but it's summer and your friends are going out and they're doing drinks and you want to go, go do all the things with them, but how do you kind of use mindful spending habits and still enjoy your summer so sure, but other than that, I post things that allow people to learn about me. Like I post TED Talks, I post motivating quotes, I post LinkedIn tips. For example, video is really big right now. So a lot of people see that I do caption videos. So yeah.

The hack from you, you know, because if I'm just like trying to upload video natively in LinkedIn, there's a lot of stuff that I miss out on. So I couldn't believe this. But again, this we all learned something free. Hopefully we're all learning like stuff is like, oh, how did I not know that? So to create a simple way to create caption videos, is using an iPhone and iPhone, you can use the clips app and will automatically put the captions on there was a guy that's been on my phone for like two years. It's native. It's the name video app on an iPhone and I've never used it I always just, you know, shoot with the video camera and you know try and take it into something else to work on. But to get the captions in there is a pain in the butt if you're trying to do it on your own. So thank you so much for that

hack. Absolutely. I actually talked about it at last night's LinkedIn local event. Yeah, not everyone knows about it. I learned about it from I think it was at Joe's event where Joe Applebaum where he said hey, you have a clips app on your iPhone, you have an iPhone, I said, What What is that? He said, Look, it does everything. And then john said it does captions and I know so many people who will spend hours on doing the captions and editing the video and then they upload it and it just doesn't include the caption file but this is gotta

crank this stuff out. I don't want to create art like I Hopefully my art is my content, you know, I'm sharing valuable content. But you know, I'm just not the kind of Instagram or that's, you know, going to spend, you know, half hour on a photo, you know, making it, you know, one of those Instagram celebrity type photos. So yeah,

well, that's the other thing that I find interesting as an entrepreneur and using LinkedIn. It is a social media at the end of the day, right? And there is a trap that many entrepreneurs fall into where they they, I mean, I've done it, I looked around, I was like, I just spent four hours on LinkedIn, I was not productive at all. And you have to find a middle ground of what is good for you. If I'm really busy, I maybe spend 30 minutes on LinkedIn. I have a checklist that I go to that I have a list of things that I have to do every day. And if I'm done with it, I'm done. And if I'm busy, I don't look back on LinkedIn until I'm done with everything else because it It's so easy to just get sucked into it. And honestly, like, if I'm too busy, I start to miss my LinkedIn friends, you know, I talked to them very often, we all engage all the time, and they really become part of your family. And, you know, they've been supporting me for a year and I've been supporting them. So when you don't talk to them for a week, you do start to mess them. But when I created this checklist, I was just like, I get their way. And if I'm busy, it gives you a peace of mind that you you did your responsibilities. And that's it. And the funny thing is, when I started going to LinkedIn, local events after I started using this checklist, people would say to me, Olga, you spend so much time on LinkedIn, I don't have time like this. And I say it's funny that you think that but actually, you spend way less time now. I'm just very strategic with it.

Yeah, so let's, for example, like I'm looking at a video that you shared And this was 19 hours ago. And I don't know if it's because you use the hashtags. Does that help with discovery but you have, you know, you've got 6395 followers, which is pretty good for LinkedIn. But you've got over 1000 views on this video. That's remarkable. Yeah. 81 reactions. So what are you doing to get that kind of engagement?

So this one was actually a recap of the event that I went to yesterday, I had a really crazy day. I'm doing this 30 day video challenge. So I knew I had supposed and I did, I had to cook dinner. So I came home. I did a video real quick. I said, Hey, I did a LinkedIn local that dancing. Diana was there and I think that's what did it because she she's almost like, she's definitely over 20,000 followers. And she's doing a tour. Basically, well, I don't know if she's doing any their countries, but she going around the city

for 27,000 followers on LinkedIn. That's pretty great.

And then the two people that hosted the event Jeanette, and Daniella, they also have decent followings. So recently, someone's been saying, I don't know, you know, people do testing out there. I don't know where they get these facts. But they said, Actually, the hashtags you, if you keep it up for five, you don't really want to go crazy. And the other thing that LinkedIn is doing, I just found out about this. They're changing how the your, the URLs are looking. So they're actually starting to use the hashtags that you're using and the post in the URL. So and they are only going to use maybe that's why they're saying don't use too many because then if right is 11, then it's like 11 hashtags long and then whatever numbers

Well, and it's interesting, like, I think, you know, current thought is on Twitter, no more than two hashtags over Facebook. It's irrelevant. I don't. I don't I don't. Hashtags have never been a thing on Facebook. Yeah.

For me, I don't think it's the hashtags. To be honest. I asked people to follow my hashtags, for example. So I have a shiny Guide, which is the name of my book, dear Olga, is my column. And some people have given me creative ones like money was for money talks, Money Smart, sometimes I'll use those. But I asked people to follow mine because honestly, the algorithm is always great with the feed and people do miss my content. So I tell them, if you follow this hashtag, you're going to be more likely to see it. Because the thing is, people don't realize that they think that at the end of the day, The feed is actually a giant advertisement feed. So they're showing you what LinkedIn thinks you should be seeing based off of your recent engagements, your recent activity, so may not actually meet people you're actually trying to follow.

So what makes a great video on LinkedIn?

Uh, well, I don't know if I figured that out. Um, the big thing that I know people notice when for me, it's when they can tell that I'm not reading off of anything. Or like, struggles they love when you share behind the scenes like last Friday I was supposed to do on twitch stream over writing sessions since I wrote my book. People have been like, how do you do it and I just want to show them because that's really the best way to teach anyone to show the process. So I had construction going on next door to my apartment. The been, I don't know, we were they've been for last couple weeks. And they of course showed up on Friday. And its construction noise. I can't do any streaming from my apartment. And I just did a video and I was like, Guys, I'm sorry, this is what happened. But I also was just like, you know, sometimes you have to pivot. And I shared this with them. It really resonated with people. Yeah. And in fact, they're like, thanks for sharing with us. Because I think that's the other thing I try to talk about on LinkedIn is things people aren't talking about. So like money, money, no one really wants to talk about money and I start conversations about, you know, hardships with money, getting out of debt, things that people don't really want to talk about. And I think the beauty of LinkedIn is that it is a community and you can do so much different content, did it it's easier to be consistent. Yeah, but we're also falling into that trap of only showing the good stuff and never Showing like the failures. So I've been promising people this thing for three weeks, and then it just doesn't happen it. Also I think it's the authenticity. People really understand who I am from that post. Because for them, the thing that really resonated with people was that I was owning up to something. And then I think that really goes back to the brand that I'm building. It's about accountability. I'm the person that people go to, to make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to.

So, you know, I will say, one thing I've consistently heard on that subject is people will be attracted to you for you know, your expertise and your authority, but they'll engage with you and stick with you and follow you actively for your imperfections, your authenticity accolade, your relate ability. I'm old, I wanted to ask you one last question before we go, man, that is how have you translated your LinkedIn activity to catch Money like how have you grown your business, gotten clients and build your business using LinkedIn or some, maybe some examples of what that looks like.

So one of the things for me that works is the dear old column, it really helps people understand what I do better and how I think about money and really see whether it's worth coming to me. It gets a lot of engagement and people actually share it often. You know, people say link sharing doesn't work very often, but my blog posts when I share them, they get shared reshare. So that I think that's something really special. But honestly, I try to engage with people, you know, I do have over 6000 connections. But when I engage with people, I really tried to look at them as an individual and treat them like I would any other person in real life. I think I asleep. That's what resonates with people. I'm just a very people person. And I tried to translate that and how I engage. So when people comment, even if it's just thank you, I'll say thank you. Like, I appreciate every single person that makes time to comment, you know. So from that question gather,

yeah. My question is like, how do you get them to say a call where they are now engaging you for your services?

Gotcha. Honestly, I, I begin to see who is engaging consistently. So if someone's been liking my posts for a week or so I'll start to dm them and see what they're up to. You know, you never try to hard sell people because, right. Oh, absolutely. That makes people run for the hills, especially mountain. So I try. First thing I do really is say, Hey, I noticed you've been engaging with my posts, and I really appreciate it. You know, I asked them what can I post that's interesting. To them, sometimes they'll say, you know, I don't have anything specific. Sometimes they'll actually give me ideas and that creates more posts. Then eventually, sometimes they'll write into the zero column. And then if they give me their email, which they often do, I end up emailing them personally, and say like, Hey, you know, I tried my best to give you a good answer. But if you want to personalize answer, get on a call with me, I do free sessions. Once a month. It's a it's a giveaway I do just for someone who's going through a financial hardship, that helps build the credibility. So I do one giveaway a month, and it helps build the credibility. I talked to people engage with them. And honestly, I think when people see that, if they're talking to me, and I'm going to give them the best answer, no matter what, even if that means they're not going to come on as a client that really brings their trust. And I think that even when they're thinking they're not going to come on the end up coming on, just because they know I'm not going to steer them for anything like that.

Okay, so you identify engaged, people are engaging and dm them, and just engage them in a conversation, see if it makes sense. You know, it's I think, at the end of the day, it's about how many people can you get to be aware about a problem, you saw the impact that you can have? And they'll let you know if they're looking for that or not? Or oftentimes, you know, in this, you know, social media environment, you know, you know, it would be you might have someone who engages with you, and they have a contact or another Facebook friend or a LinkedIn friend, who says, oh, how do I solve this problem? And they say, you need Olga and all of a sudden you start getting these tags

in that happens all the time. People Yeah, hey, I'm connecting with you because this person on LinkedIn, referred me and actually I wanted to say something about what you're saying the DMA. It's almost like a Soft qualifying have a lead. It's almost like you, you skip the part where they're like, you know, I like your posts, but I don't actually need your services. I just think it's great what you're doing. So then at that point, you know that, you know, you could continue engaging with this person, but they're not a prospect. So it's great to kind of weed them out that way.

Yeah. Nice. Nice. Well, Olga Kirshenbaum, thank you so much for joining us. You're a financial coach, and you're the owner of rags to riches consulting. Your website is- what's your website?

It's rags to riches consulting. com.

Excellent, excellent. I'm just a pretty much everything you want to know about you is on LinkedIn. So that's kind of what I've been focused on here. Thank you. Oh, good. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you

so much.

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