Episode 88

Episode 88: Using Retreats To Grow Your Business


What you’ll learn in this episode:

If you’re looking for a way to diversify your income, work with your clients on a deeper level and more immersive way, adding retreats to your offer suite is one of the most fun and fastest ways to grow your business.

Many years ago, I believed that in order to host a retreat I needed to be a big business with a huge client list and tons of experience running huge programs that filled the room with hundreds of people.

After challenging that belief and running my first high-end retreat in 2022, what I found out was that there was more growth, more results, and a bigger impact for both me and my clients.

And on top of that, it was one of the fastest and most lucrative ways to build my business and interact with ideal clients in the way that created a win-win for all of us.

In today’s episode I share the top 5 reasons why using retreats was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And why using retreats can really grow your business. When you do this the right way, strategically, and well-constructed, it will not only be incredibly fun and incredibly powerful, but it can also be an incredible way to create a very powerful income stream in your business. If you’re someone who’s been thinking about retreats, or maybe you haven’t thought about it, take some notes because I think this episode can help you think about retreats in a different way, and might even convince you to make them part of your offer stack in your business.

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • Why retreats are one of the fastest ways for clients to get to know you and your work
  • How retreats set up the perfect environment for deep thinking and transformation
  • The power of community, collective thought, and a network of experts coming together as a catalyst to business growth
  • Why retreats are a powerful way to segment your audience and grow specific segments in your audience, thus diversifying your income stream
  • Using retreats as an income generator in both the short- and the long-term, and how it can be a powerful step in your customer journey to increase the lifetime value of your customers

Mentioned in this episode:

Canyon Ranch Fall 2023 Retreat

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[0:01] Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the podcast. I’m so excited to have you here to talk this week about retreats. I believe that using retreats to grow your business is one of the smartest business decisions that you can make. If you’ve been following my podcast for a while, you know that I am crazy about retreats. And not just any retreats, but specifically, business retreats, and using retreats in connection with or to build your business.

[0:32] Many years ago, I really wanted to run a retreat, and I had these limiting beliefs that retreats were only things that were done by super seasoned entrepreneurs, by very big businesses. And it was something that I wasn’t able to do. But over the last couple of years, I really started to challenge those thoughts, I really started to challenge why I was holding myself back from running these retreats that I so desperately wanted to run. And finally, in 2022, I made it part of my business plan, I set a goal, and I became very clear on what I wanted to create. And I’m happy to tell you that I am sitting here, having done my first retreat, my first premium retreat in October of 2022. And I am about to, tomorrow, kick off my second premium retreat at the luxury Canyon Ranch, doing a business and rejuvenation retreat, where we come together and create business breakthroughs, and access the incredible wisdom that you have as a business owner in your mind, in an incredible facility with incredible food, incredible people, where we also in parallel nourish our most important asset in our business, which is us.

[1:48] So back in the day, when I thought this wasn’t possible, I thought that it needed to be something super sophisticated and super curated in a way that required a lot of heavy lifting. I thought that all of the nitty gritty logistics, were what made these retreats powerful and what made them worth doing. But I’m here to tell you that actually, all the things that I thought a retreat was, and the things that I thought were actually the things that were going to make a difference, actually weren’t the things. Yes, paying attention to the logistics, and the details, and things like that is very important. But what I discovered is that is actually not what really makes the experience powerful and unique for the people that attended. And it’s also what not makes, what it doesn’t really make it powerful and impactful for you as a business owner.

[2:43] So as I was on the precipice of starting my retreat tomorrow, I thought, I’m going to share the top five reasons why I think using retreats was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And why using retreats can really grow your business. And doing this in the right way. And doing it in a way that feels authentic to you. And is really well thought out and strategic, can not only be incredibly fun and incredibly powerful, but it can also be a really incredible way to create a very powerful income stream in your business. So grab a pen and paper, if you’re someone who’s been thinking about retreats, or maybe you haven’t thought about it, take some notes because I think this epic episode can help you think about retreats in a different way, and might even convince you to make them part of your offer stack and your business as well.

[3:41] So number one, so one of the number one reasons why I think retreats are an excellent way to grow your business is because it allows people to get to know your work and to get to know you. On a deeper level, when you come together with people in a space, especially in person, or for an extended period of time, people have access to you in a way that they would not have before. They also have access to your work at a level they wouldn’t have otherwise. Retreats allow people to really dive in deep with you, dive in deep to your work, what I call sort of gel and marinate in what it is that you’re teaching them. And it allows them to really get immersed in that information in a way that creates results that I believe cannot be created in short stunts. And if you could create that result in a short stint, I believe it would also take a lot longer.

[4:39] So when you bring people into a retreat space, and for me personally, I like those two-to-three-day retreats; I like when you bring them, people, out of their usual element into that space. And as a side note, I’ve also done this virtually where I’ve curated for some of my group programs, these retreats, these virtual retreats, especially during COVID. And I really tried to treat those retreats even though they were virtual, as if they were in person. So I really helped people think through, how do you create an immersive space for yourself? How do you take yourself out of the day to day? How do you sort of command and block that time, so that you can be immersed with the information as much as possible in a virtual environment the way that you would in an in-person environment.

[5:30] So when you get people into that space, where they’re able to touch your work, they’re able to access you, they’re able to interact with you in a way that allows them to really have that back and forth, there’s a lot of collaboration. There’s also a lot of momentum and growth that happens within the timeframe that you’re together, it creates a very powerful result. And for people who are using retreats as sort of more of a top-of-the-funnel exercise, it allows people to really get to know you and get to sort of kickstart that transformation that can be super powerful in creating loyal customers throughout the lifecycle of that client. If it’s someone who’s using the retreat with someone who’s already had some exposure to their work, but wants to go deeper, it’s actually a great way for them to get a really powerful transformation, and to kickstart that journey into buying other things in your business that might be even more expensive, or lucrative, or premium. So that deep work, the deep level of access to you, I think, is one of the most powerful things about a retreat. And it’s also a very unique experience to that sort of immersive capacity of a retreat.

[6:51] The second thing that I think it does is it allows space and time for transformation to occur. So for many of us who are listening to this, we don’t provide a result, or the result necessarily that we have as our brand promise, in a very short period of time. I believe that in the coaching that I’ve done, and for the businesses that I work with, a lot of my clients, there is some sort of result that people get even in the first time that you speak to them. But often the results that we create and those transformations, they take time. And for many programs that we have that are sort of broken up into these either, you know, short stint or these one-hour kind of time blocks, it can take a long time for people to experience a full transformation or to experience the brand promise that you have for your business. But when you pull people together into an immersive space, for you know, 24 or 48, you know, 72 hours, you provide the time, and the space, and the right dynamics for those transformations. And it is remarkable what you can help people create in that space. As far as the transformations that you promise for people, it is awesome to witness. I think it’s like throwing kerosene on your business because you have people, literally, in a somewhat captive space, and you can really dig in and help them get those results. And because of that it is extremely powerful for people. It also is some of those rare occasions where they’re just focusing on you their work or whatever it is that they’re doing at that retreat, and they kind of blocked everything else out, which allows them to get faster and quicker results. So it’s super, super powerful.

[8:39] Another thing that I believe that retreats do is it brings people together and out of their element into an experience where they not only learn from you and your work, but they learn from each other. And one of the powerful things that I learned about my business and about me and about my clients in the context of a retreat is that there is so much power, and so much of the experience that comes from the people that are in the room. And if you curate that room, your guest list of people that are going to come to that retreat are equally as important as what it is that you’re going to teach. Because if you curate that room with the right people, if you’re very intentional about who this retreat is for, who you want to have in that room, the kind of experience that you want to be creative with the people that are in that space, you will have created a 10x of the result that you would have given on your own. Because in that space, people bring a multitude of skills, a multitude of experiences, expertise outside of your own, and in many ways, again, if you’re strategic about it, it can be extremely, extremely symbiotic to what it is that you are teaching people and your goals of the retreat. It could just enhance that. Plus the networking experience. And the being, amongst other great minds is a huge selling point to a retreat. A lot of people, in addition to wanting to learn from you, they want to be in the room with the other people that are making it happen. And those relationships, that network and all of the experiences and the outcomes that come from bringing people together in that capacity is incredible.

[10:29] I personally also believe that post COVID pandemic, people are really, really craving this, they are craving, being in a space where they’re being held, the space is being held for them. They’re amongst like-minded people, it’s a safe space. And so the way that you do that, and how you create that, for the people around you, really matters. And it really takes a huge centerstage to your retreat and how that is perceived, and the likelihood of people talking about it, getting results from it, and also coming to it again, if you decide that you’re going to hold another retreat or make it part of your business plan, you know, going forward.

[11:12] The fourth reason that I think, you know, using retreats can grow your business is because you can use retreats in a very strategic way to tailor to a very specific segment of your audience or your market, or to a very specific problem. So depending on your business, it’s very likely that there are going to be different people in different places, especially along that sort of client journey of working with you. And maybe some of those people are top of the funnel, maybe they’re more seasoned, maybe some people have a very specific problem, like almost like a more niche problem within the sphere of your audience. And retreats can be an incredible way to kind of carve out that problem or carve out that segment of your business, and really tailor it to those people.

[12:00] One of the first retreats that I ran in my business before I was doing the premium sort of luxury in- person retreats, were with my 10k accelerator group, my mastermind group that I had, and I created retreat as part of that package. I had learned this from one of my coaches who did this in such a beautiful, beautiful way. And I was just blown away by the amount of transformation that I got, being in that space with the other people that were part of the group having access to her and the speakers that she bought in just totally blew my mind. It was not only really, really productive, and so powerful for my business, but it was just so much fun, it felt like this little treat. And I really treated it as a really important piece of my business. And I, you know, blocked my calendar, and I commandeer my time and it was just so awesome.

[12:52] So when I started running my programs, my group coaching programs, those mastermind programs, at the beginning of the pandemic, I made retreats a crucial part of that, that package. And it was so powerful to create the retreat specifically for those clients, my current clients in that mastermind with those goals that they had kind of all moving on that same trajectory, and creating something very bespoke specifically for them. It also made my mastermind so much more powerful, and so much more valuable. People want it to be part of those retreats, the momentum that was created out of it, the even the social sharing, all of those things were so powerful. Also, it allowed me to collaborate with many of my colleagues that to this day I hold so dear to my heart, to bring them in and give them access to my group and my group access to them. It created this beautiful relationship of you know, reciprocity and networking and all of the incredible things and I love it, when I then see my clients, you know, going and seeking out these guest speakers and working with them and enhancing their business in that way, because I know they’re in good hands, and they’re just going to get even more results.

[14:10] So curating these retreats for a specific audience or a specific piece of your business in a specific way, whether it’s part of a program, or it’s separate, is really powerful. And it can allow you to really work with that specific segment or to help people solve that specific problem in a very powerful way that sometimes can be hard if you’re talking to your broader audience. Because, you know, as we know, when you get more specific, it gets a lot more valuable. So when you combine that specificity with that access to you, and then all the pieces that surround it, it can be a game changer. And from what I have experienced, people are also more willing to pay premium dollars and premium service for that kind of an experience, when they know they’re going to get exactly what they need, focus on exactly what they want, they’re going to have access to you. There’s all sorts of awesome wow factors and fun things that are surrounded, it is just like a win win for everybody. So being able to take that specific problem or segment and tailor these retreats to them makes it a really powerful part of your business, and makes it a really powerful part of your offer stack. And so I have found that that has been really, really powerful for me, and has also been the way that I focus on my retreats, I really want to curate that room, I want it to be really specific about what people want to get out of it. And I want to make sure that they have access to me and to each other in a way that’s going to really blow their mind.

[15:49] And then last but not least, this can be a really significant revenue and income stream in your business if you position it appropriately. So when we think about retreats, and we think about the whole package of what it is we’re trying to do strategically with the retreats that we put together, if we do this correctly, they can make either an existing offer of yours so much more valuable. As I mentioned, like with my 10k Accelerator retreat, adding in that component to the six-month program, infinitely increased the value of that program. When I broke it out, and I did it as a premium retreat, and I created in that way, the way that we put it together and curated it, what we wanted to give people as a result, how we wanted to help them understand our work and grow and create loyalty with our company, really fit into our model in a very specific and powerful way. So for the for the programs that include the retreats, it allows you to charge more and to create a more powerful outcome and a more valuable experience when you include it as part of a program.

[17:09] So kind of like what I was saying, if you have a group program, or some sort of program, maybe you even just have a package where you’re working one-on-one with clients, you can even bring together a bunch of your one-on-one clients as a retreat, and you can market your one-on-one package as having a retreat as part of it. So you’re giving people a little bit of everything that makes that package infinitely more valuable. And when something’s more valuable, people are willing to spend more money for it, if you’re to break it out. So it’s its own standalone offer, kind of like my Canyon Ranch, luxury rejuvenation retreat and, and business retreat.

[17:46] Then it’s really about, what do you want to create in that space? Who are the people that are going to really want that? What’s the problem they want to solve? And what kind of an experience do they want to have? And how do you create that, and market that, and price that in a way that allows you to get a significant return on that investment? And that’s really where, you know, very being very specific about, you know, who’s going to be there? Where is it going to be? What are you going to include? What are people going to come there for? What are they going to walk away with? All those pieces that allow you to craft a package in a way that allows you to make a profit, and also increase that customer value and increase that customer lifetime value, so that you’re making money not only on your retreat, if it’s a premium offer, but you’re also increasing the profits that you’re making downstream when those people want to work with you again; when they want to refer you or when they want to buy something else that you might be doing. So it can be a really incredible way to make money and to have another offer that you are using in your business to diversify that income and to allow people to work with you in a different capacity.

[19:02] I will also tell you that depending on how your offers are stacked and how they’re curated, there are many people who want a quick result. And so coming and working with you, in a two day or three-day immersive experience, and getting that result quicker, is hugely valuable to them. And as such, they are willing to pay for that and they are willing to work with you much more likely than if you told them yes, I can give you that result, but you need to wait, you know, 12 months to get it. So understanding that market and pricing your programs accordingly, and targeting those people in a certain way to solve the need that they have also allows you to you know, charge that money and create that income stream in a way that you wouldn’t be able to do with your other offers. It’s really tailored to a certain person who wants a certain thing. And, and many times it is to get out of Dodge, and get those results fast and have access to you and have access to other people. And when you can provide that they are all in.

[20:11] So, in summary, using retreats to grow your business is really an incredible, incredible tool that I think that you should consider. And in summary, here’s why I think that’s the case. Number one, it allows people to get access to you and to your work on a deeper level, it allows that immersive experience, it allows you to help them, you know, get familiar with you, and to spend that time with you and that access with you in a way that a lot of times your other offers will not.

[20:44] Two, it provides a space to be immersed in that in that work and to experience a transformation. And as I just mentioned, to experience a transformation in a more powerful and quick way that they would not be able to get in some of your other programs, my six-month program would not be desirable to somebody who wants to get a result, like tomorrow. So retreats allow people to get in there be immersed and to get that transformation more quickly. Three, it brings people together and out of their usual element to experience not only your retreat, but each other. It provides a networking opportunity, it provides access to other experts, it provides a symbiotic relationship, if you curate that room correctly, in a way that gives you more than if you had tried to do it alone, there really is something so powerful about who is in the room and how you create that space, that can really be a game changer for your clients. For you can use retreats to tailor an offer to a very specific part of your segment or your audience, or to solve a very specific problem for a subset of your market. I love using retreats in this way.

[21:57] As I mentioned, I use them both within my programs and tailor those retreats very specifically to that person who is part of the program to make that program more valuable. And also, I’m now doing these premium luxury retreats, which allow these people to get out of their element to go to an incredible space to be held, literally all they need to do is show up and we take care of the rest. And it provides them the space to really think about their business, access that wisdom, identify these gaps in their business that they can fill, and they are walking out of there already making headway on their problems and the things that they want to solve.

[22:34] So when you provide that space, to really dig deep with people on specifically what it is that they’re struggling with, or what they want to fix, and it’s very tailored to them, you’re gonna give them big result that is going to be a way to really, you know, help that part of your market, and to create a ton of value. And when things are very valuable, and they’re very valuable to people, they are willing to pay top dollar for that, they’re willing to pay top dollar for your time, they’re willing to pay money for you to get your eyes on their business. And also to help create and solve that problem, not create the problem, to solve the problem and create the outcome that people are really looking for.

[23:15] And then last but not least, if you create these retreats, strategically, if you think about how you price them, how you curate them, who they’re targeting, where they sit within your funnel, you can create a very significant income stream in your business that can not only pay you, as far as the retreat is concerned, meaning you’re making money on the retreat, but it can pay you over and over and over again, by increasing the lifetime value of your clients, getting repeat buyers, cultivating referrals and all the things that come from creating a really powerful experience. And that money in your business can be a significant piece of your revenue stream and really diversify your offer. So I’m a huge fan of of that and doing that strategically.

[24:03] So I really want to offer to you to think about retreats. If you haven’t used retreats to grow your business, this is a sign that maybe you should think about it. I’m here to tell you, you do not need to be a special snowflake, you don’t need to overcomplicate it, you just need to think about it strategically. If it is a gap in your business, it is a great gap to fill. And it’s really something that can create a powerful outcome and a powerful result for your clients and a very powerful outcome for you, along with a significant income stream that not only pays you for what you’re doing at that retreat, meaning the retreat makes you money, but it pays you over and over and over again long after that retreat is over.