In this week’s episode, I speak to Leslie Jones, who is on a mission in Colorado.
She was always keen on learning about people and selling ideas, which lead her to pursue coaching as a full-time job. She has experience working with both large and small businesses as an executive coach. She speaks about how important Facebook has been to her and Spiral Method and why her content depends significantly on public demand. Leslie believes in asking questions, reaching out, and being authentic.
Leslie’s website: https://www.spiralmethod.com/
Katie Brinkley 0:02
Hey there. This is Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to Rocky Mountain marketing everyone. In this week’s episode, we have Leslie Jones joining us Leslie is on a mission to end the disconnection gap. She is the creator of the groundbreaking spiral method system which ignites community connection and collective wisdom and groups. She’s been envisioning the collection revolution in recent years and started a community platform in 2019. On Facebook, as an executive coach for over 25 years, Leslie has worked with major corporations such as Starbucks, Microsoft, Comcast, and small to mid sized businesses, CEOs, and C suite teams across the world. Leslie, thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Leslie Jones 1:00
Well, thank you, Katie. It’s great to be here.
Katie Brinkley 1:03
So Leslie, let’s start back at the beginning. Tell us where you grew up what your life was like growing up.
Leslie Jones 1:10
I’m from Michigan, I am chuckling because I was just telling the story. The other day, I have lots of male CEO clients. And the past decade has been mostly male CEO clients. And I have a couple men’s groups that I run. And that started in high school with my high school buddies, there was a group about eight or nine guys and three of us girls, and I heard more than I should have probably got a a facility, let’s say to be around guys and what guys deal with. And then yeah, I went to Michigan State University and then decided to road trip with my dog and spent six weeks alone cruising around the United States and then ended up in
Katie Brinkley 1:57
Colorado. Awesome. Now I just have to interject real fast and give out a good Go Blue. I’m a big Michigan fan. My my family is on my mom’s side of family is all from Michigan. So when you were on this road trip with your dog, and you drove through Colorado, what was it that just kind of drew you in?
Leslie Jones 2:14
Oh, gosh, so good. Everyone in Colorado was nice. And it wasn’t a fake. Nice. That was the what felt to me, like I really was looking for where do I want to land? And I went all, you know, down to New Mexico, and I was in many different states and heading out to California. And then I thought I’m just going to go back to Colorado. I liked the people there.
Katie Brinkley 2:39
Awesome. Well, can you take us through your career journey where you started out and the different professional stops that you took along the way? Yeah, I mean,
Leslie Jones 2:49
I’ll try to be brief here. But I mean, I have a degree in psychology. So I decided I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I decided well, I might as well learn about people. And I’m sure that’ll help me along the way. I worked for a I sold computers for a small startup. And then I decided I didn’t want to sell things anymore. I wanted to sell ideas. And so I started promoting professional speakers and I had a speaker’s bureau. And then I decided I told you earlier, Katie, I’ve had a very windy path. I’ve always been an entrepreneur, but I then opened up a company with a girlfriend of mine to help kids get their voices out into the world. And so we had a summer camp, and we worked with CITV, a local radio, local TV show, TV station. So they would come to camp and they could make their own TV show. And I remember those kids were like, What do you mean? Are you going to tell us what to do? And we’re like, no, it’s your voice? What do you want to do? What do you want to say to the world and they would produce their own show, whatever they wanted. And then I got recruited to work with a transformational coaching company, worked on Wall Street, sweeping the nation, working with financial advisors. And then in about 2003, right after my daughter was born, I broke off on my own and decided I didn’t want to support anymore. I wanted to get my own messaging out to the world. So yeah, that’s when I started Leslie Jones coaching. And I’ve had a series of different companies in this industry. Yes, a little
Katie Brinkley 4:28
bit about let it tell us a little bit about the coaching that you provide with your current position. Yeah,
Leslie Jones 4:35
and I’m going to transition right now because spiral method is the methodology that I’ve been cultivating and developing for the past decade without even knowing it. I’m a traditional executive coach. You know, I work with leaders and CEOs and executives and I do one on one work and group work, whether that’s a peer group or a leadership team. I’ve been doing that for 20 years and then That spiral method, you know, I realized about three years ago, there is a method to my madness. And it’s actually magic, what’s happening. And so someone said, Why don’t you outline? What is that what you’re doing. And that turned into an 80, page manual, and an online training, portal and all of that. So I’m really in the next phase of my career, which is to train the trainer and get this method out to the world, as many possible people as we can. That’s awesome.
Katie Brinkley 5:29
And I said in your introduction, that you started the Facebook group, and a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs might not be realizing the importance of Facebook groups, and how you can utilize that for your business in a whole different way than just a traditional Facebook page or, you know, having a LinkedIn business profile. Talk to us about the importance of your Facebook group.
Leslie Jones 5:50
Yes. Okay. It’s so I just, I feel like I just really understood this last year. And our Facebook group is connection revolution, I actually started that last year with the idea that my spiral method facilitators would be learning best practices and collaborating on there. And when COVID hit actually, I decided to open it up to everyone, like, Why do I have to just limit it to spiral method facilitators, as a learning platform, it’s a learning platform for everyone. And I think the value in this is community and collective wisdom, which is what spiral method is about. But I think all businesses can leverage this right? How do we connect and brainstorm and collaborate and how, to me it’s a whole different way of doing business, right? It’s a win win for everyone. It’s not an individual economic focused, I serve and deliver and you receive, it’s actually I receive a lot from those communities as well. And we’re all benefiting from that. We’re still learning how to, you know, make that platform really robust. Honestly, I think I’m worth a tip of the iceberg of this.
Katie Brinkley 7:05
Now, talk to us a little bit how you post in this Facebook group. Again, a lot of people might not really understand the importance of having a Facebook group for their business or joining a Facebook group as their business and chiming in on the conversation, what are some of the conversation starters that you find work really well, to engage your audience? You know, I
Leslie Jones 7:26
think one thing that feels important is that every new member that comes in, we welcome them. So you know, on a weekly basis, we’re naming and you know, individually calling out all of our new members, the other piece that I’m still practicing and learning how to do this well, but it’s to find out what the community is needing, and then let that dictate the content that I’m putting out. And right. So yeah, it’s a
Katie Brinkley 7:57
perfect thing to bring up. You said, seeing what the community meeting. So let’s say someone asks a question, and a couple people start chiming in that question, right, there could be your next blog post that you can optimize on your website. And that way, you can then turn people from your community to your website, but then also, you know, what people out there that are interested in your product, and your services are asking, and you already have the answer to it. So the next time someone goes on Google, you have that blog post, right there with the answer. And it’s a great way of creating content through your Facebook community. I mean,
Leslie Jones 8:32
you know, listen, it’s so funny, because what, how many of us sit around trying to figure out what content to put out, and then we put out content, and we don’t get people listening to it? Because it’s from our head, not from the real world, right? So it’s so obvious and so simple. That it’s taken this long to figure it out, right? Here we go.
Katie Brinkley 8:56
Yeah. And do you find yourself kind of just engaging in your Facebook group as more of an answer person or you starting a lot of those conversation questions.
Leslie Jones 9:06
It’s both it’s, you know, for me, a big part of my brand. And what spiral method is also about if you distinguish those as two separate brands or voices, we’re about vulnerability. And the posts that I get the most traction from are the ones where I’m really just sharing my process or my journey and you know, coming clean and being authentic about my struggles and all that stuff. So there’s usually answers inside of the vulnerability, right? So I jump on that when I see other people sharing vulnerably I like to jump on that and it’s a mixture of sharing and ideas at the same time, versus like either the authority and I’m going to tell people these, you know, the solutions
Katie Brinkley 9:53
are yes, but we’re all human and we’re all still figuring a lot of this out. You know, as we Go if someone is listening right now, who is an aspiring or new business owner? What’s the single biggest piece of advice that you’d want to give him or her,
Leslie Jones 10:08
talk to people ask questions, ask for help. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without a lot of advocacy and support much of it that I didn’t ask for people just showed up, you know, if I would have been, in my younger years asking more, that would have been phenomenally useful. I think we’re always, as business owners, we’re gonna fumble around, I remember saying, I wish there was a one stop shop, like you’re going to start up a business, here’s a place you can go and learn everything you need to know. But that’s not how it works right all down and then realize information you should have had 10 years ago.
Katie Brinkley 10:50
What do you think the biggest mistake business owners make when they’re trying to grow and sustain a successful business?
Leslie Jones 10:55
Hmm, good question. Well, providing services that that they haven’t tested yet, or, you know, I guess it’s not providing services, it’s designing services that are not tested yet putting a lot of effort into the build, before they run some prototypes, making sure that the community wants what they have to offer. I’ve definitely made that mistake in the past.
Katie Brinkley 11:27
And you think that having this Facebook group has kind of helped you kind of navigate your business path going forward?
Leslie Jones 11:34
Definitely. And, you know, I’ll say that there are still times when I put something out, and I think, Oh, this is just gonna nail it, people are gonna love this. And they don’t, right. It’s such a chance to be humble, and to remember that we’re always learning, a woman that I met recently, she said something along the lines, like, get ready to fail publicly. If you’re gonna have this kind of a group, get ready to fail publicly. And I feel like that’s okay. I have a lot of witnesses now, to me, doing my best.
Katie Brinkley 12:12
Well, and another thing too, is just create, you say, get ready to fail publicly, but it’s truly just being authentic. And that way people realize that we’re all human, and you’re the leader behind this group, but you’re learning just as much from them that they might be learning from you. That’s right. Yeah. What does your model look like for finding and engaging and selling to your ideal clients and customers these days?
Leslie Jones 12:36
Well, I have, most of my business has been based in referrals in the past and one on one. And so to be honest, I haven’t done a ton of marketing, my rule has been make sure that my website doesn’t turn people away. And make sure that if I do put out any kind of material, which historically has been newsletters, and they’ve been very light, they’re very vulnerable and valuable, we are now looking at how to sell one to many, right and implementing, I have a whole team now building our model. So I we’re at the beginning of that really top of funnel campaign and going out to summon the right people into our
Katie Brinkley 13:23
community. Absolutely. And you said it a couple of really valid points, having a good website that people want to stay on and engage on, the longer they’re on your website, the better you know, SEO rankings are going to have and then having a newsletter, I think a lot of businesses don’t realize the value behind email campaigns. That’s one of the best ways to still get in touch with your ideal clients and customers. And having a email, like you said, just monthly or weekly newsletter, you know, is a great way to have engaged just keep your company on your clients and your customers radar.
Leslie Jones 13:58
Yeah, it seems like we want to have both right. And you know, there’s a lot of younger millennials in my life that might not have a relationship to email campaigns. And vice versa, a lot of older folks that I work with, but what 50 and above are not even on Facebook, so we have to be reaching both and communicating the way people like to be communicated with.
Katie Brinkley 14:25
Absolutely tell us a little bit more about living here in Colorado and why you decided to have your company based here in Colorado as opposed to you know where a lot of other big corporations New York or LA typically might, you might be finding some of these larger corporations Chicago
Leslie Jones 14:43
Yeah, I really ended up here because my uncle told me find where you want to live first and then build your life. And he’ll he’d be really happy to hear me say that that I took actually took his advice, but I did just no up here, and then start my life here, find my husband and raise my children and all of that. So, to me what Colorado represents is, especially Denver is a bit of a new way of operating in business. I know people come in from the big cities, and it takes them a couple years to get to the pace of Denver, and to wear tennis shoes and shorts and go to a business meeting, and then go biking afterwards. Like, you know, I think we’re all still learning how to bring balance and a new way of living and doing work into our lives. But Denver out of all places that I know of embodies that,
Katie Brinkley 15:41
you know, and you brought up a good point there too, with wearing your shorts and shoes, and then heading out the door and going on a bike ride. One passion that so many business owners and entrepreneurs have is to build a business around their lifestyle, not the other way around. How has that played out in your story and approach to running your business?
Leslie Jones 16:00
Oh, it’s such good questions, Katie, this is I could not have built my business without having built my life. And the two are so intertwined that I don’t see them as distinct from each other. I’ve generally worked about three days a week is the way I’m working more now. Because I’m in a start up in a sense, again, with with spiral method, and getting this to the world. But I’ve got three kids, they are one a special needs. He’s high functioning autism, I am a mental health advocate. I do a lot of volunteer work. And I have a robust community of friends and a spiritual life and a dance practice and yoga and right like, I’m really have been committed to being there for my kids. And, and like four o’clock, when they get off the bus, I’m there ready to be in the evening with them. Right? So it’s always been like that for me. And it’s what I’ve been teaching people feels like the world is on board, like more now than ever.
Katie Brinkley 17:03
That’s awesome. So talk to us a little bit about your company that you’re really trying to get up and off of, you know, the ground at the spiral method. Are you kind of focusing on offering virtual coaching and leadership through your website?
Leslie Jones 17:17
Yeah, well, first, I’ll say spiral method is a community practice. It’s a way of being in a group meeting that brings power and connection and accesses collective wisdom. It’s the methodology for community. So in effect, it’s not coaching, it’s just a way of being together that everyone’s voices get in the room. And everyone exhales and takes a deep breath and realizes we can just be authentic together. And these are strangers, and it’s only been an hour. And I’ve learned more about myself and feel more connected to these people that I’ve experienced in my work life with, you know, the people I work with, for example. So we have found that having those meetings go just as well in a Zoom Room than they do in a physical room, which is pretty exciting. I have never even considered trying it before, because it’s we’re doing such deep intimate group work. And so yeah, it’s been just as effective, we might normally have 12 to 16 people, we’re doing eight to 10 in a Zoom Room. But now it’s opening up the possibility that we could train 1000 people at a time, because I’m training the trainer, some teaching people to bring spiral method to their small groups. And I had unlimited 100, for face to face training. And now, it’s not limited anymore,
Katie Brinkley 18:45
when it definitely will help you reach a whole nother set of audience that are in demographics, you know, now, it’ll be easier for you to get in touch with people in Chicago, in Australia, and you know, the entire world. So that’s having the capability of doing zoom. And virtual meetings is awesome for your company. That’s great.
Leslie Jones 19:04
It’s really huge. I’m compiling a list right now of the 10 people to represent 10 Different countries that will be doing a global spiral method zoom call within the next couple of weeks, and I can’t wait, you know, what’s happening in Israel and Portugal and South Africa. You know, this time and now it’s exciting.
Katie Brinkley 19:27
That’s awesome. Now, before we finish up, is there anything that I didn’t ask you that during today’s discussion that you think is important to share?
Leslie Jones 19:34
You know, I just would say to to new business owners or any business owners is just get out there and be in kindergarten together, be connected and trust yourself and get out there? Get out in front? I wish I would have done this sooner in my career. Leslie, this has
Katie Brinkley 19:51
been such a great conversation. Where can we find out more about you and your business online?
Leslie Jones 19:55
You know, spiral method.com or connection revolution Facebook, Paige, come join us where those are the two places we’re putting our content.
Katie Brinkley 20:04
Great. Well, thank you again so much for coming on the show today. Thanks, Katie. And if you’re ready to take your social media to the next level for your small business, head over to my website and check out my free video training the three biggest mistakes small businesses make with social media and how to avoid them. Discover how to make your social media marketing stand out from the crowd online. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at www.nextstepsocialcommunications.com or connect with me on LinkedIn. Just look for Katie Brinkley. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.