Sick of ‘paying out the nose’ for acne treatments that yielded no results, Sydney-based marketer Rebecca Mason resolved to help herself – and other women – escape from behind caked-on makeup and lead more confident lives. She did so by sharing her story, teaming with leading medical professionals and launching Better Skin Better Life.
Since officially launching, six months ago, the non-invasive skin therapy startup has experienced 500% growth in its client base, partnered with several corporates, and reached nearly 80,000 people through various channels, including its website, podcasts, eBooks and social media. Since the company’s story was picked up by Channel 7 in August, Mason said she has been inundated with requests for help and advice – not just from within in Australia but also the UK, Europe and the US.
She spoke to Dynamic Business about the impact acne had on her social life and career, how she is helping other women overcome the condition and the key strategies that have fuelled the early success of Better Skin Better Life.
DB: What is the elevator pitch for Better Skin Better Life?
Mason: Though our five-step coaching program, “Leave with Lipstick”, we’re helping acne sufferers improve the quality of their skin in 90 days.
We first use bloodwork and lifestyle test technologies to identify the root cause of a client’s condition (we look at causes, not symptoms). From there, we determine what nutrition, supplements and gut health protocols will support the healing of their skin and – using our Skin Exercise Therapy (SET) methodology – a regime of exercise, recovery and rest that will keep their skin healthy.
We also help clients identify which products are right for their skin and help them manage stress levels – stress hormones convert to dihydrotestosterone (known as DHT) in our skin, causing it to create more oil and exacerbate the acne.
DB: How do you deliver the Leave with Lipstick program?
Mason: I assist all of my clients, including those overseas, online; however, being based in Sydney CBD, I have availabilities for face-to-face consults with people locally. I want my clients to feel safe in the comfort of their own homes when talking about something so sensitive like skin. Home or comfortable ‘safe havens’ can be the only place you feel comfortable when you have a really visible and obvious condition like acne, so I want to make sure people feel as relaxed and at ease as possible, so they access everything online.
DB: What was your motivation for launching the business?
Mason: I suffered acne for over 12 years due to Polycystic Ovaries and whenever I left the house, I felt like I had to cake on makeup just to hide the monstrous skin condition I saw every morning in the mirror.
Socially, I found it hard to go out – especially with clear-skinned friends – as I felt like the ugly duckling. Professionally, I wasn’t able to deliver to my full potential. Working in corporate marketing for over a decade, presenting was a core part of the job… not wanting to feel exposed or embarrassed, I grew my hair long just so I could use it as a veil to hide behind during presentations. Further, I didn’t have the confidence to ask for pay rises I deserved or leverage networking opportunities.
There were times when I’d think my skin was improving, only to have a complete break out the next day. On top of that, people – sometimes it was someone close to me, sometimes it was complete stranger – would occasionally come out with a one-liner that felt like an axe to the stomach – ‘Do you wash your face in the morning and evening? How much water are you drinking?’ It was a major blow to my self-esteem.
I’d been taking the pill to keep the acne at bay for 12 years and when I came off it… well, the acne that followed was worse than it was during the preceding 12 years combined. Wanting the confidence to leave the house without a thick veneer of makeup – just lipstick – I forked out an arm and a leg for consults but it wasn’t the answer I’d hoped for. I wanted minimal medication and a lifestyle protocol that would improve my skin and my life, but nothing fit the bill, so I ended up designing my own protocol with a team of medical professionals. Each was recommended or referred to me and, critically, they understood exactly what I was working towards.
Although my skin has improved, with the core infection gone, I knew that thousands of women have experienced the same frustrations as me. I’m dedicating my career, now, to helping them improve the quality of their skin and their lives, so they too can leave the house just wearing lipstick.
DB: To what extent can acne hold back people in their careers?
Mason: For me, personally, I didn’t have the confidence to ask for the extra $10,000 I’d not only worked for but which would have put me on par with my professional counterparts. This is a very specific number because I worked out how much it was costing me.
For others, though, they may experience more of a ‘mental switching cost’ – for instance, in meetings it’s easy to become really self-conscious and think “are they looking at my acne, scarring or pimples?” instead of being able to focus on the meeting at hand and deliver value that could potentially progress a career or lead to being considered for another opportunity.
DB: What key strategies has fuelled the growth of your business?
Mason: These five strategies have been crucial…
- Sharing my story: I began blogging about my experiences in November 2016 but it took me a long time to find the courage to do so. At first, I felt uncomfortable with the idea of sharing my story because my condition was visible and, for me, a source of embarrassment. But I received encouragement from family and mentors, including someone who advised me that if I had a ‘secret sauce’ – something that would help people going through my situation – I’d quite frankly be a bit of a dick for not sharing it. He was right, of course, and it was the kick in the pants I needed to share my story. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who’re in the same position I once was. Having been able to help them, talking about my experiences no longer makes me feel queasy as it once did.
- Talking with people: There’s no substitute for having a conversation with another human being, which is why I take the time to talk with each the people I’m helping. I don’t take a cookie-cutter approach – but that, I mean I don’t advise strategies or processes that won’t help them meet their goals or treat them. In the first instance, I spend at least 90 minutes with a client, one-on-one, understanding who they are and their situation. Even in this short period of time, I’ve helped people transform the quality of their skin within ten days.
- Presenting and partnerships: The skin is our largest organ and can often be overlooked as an organ to take care of. I have been delivering powerful presentations to audiences of hundreds across Australia to help educate and encourage healthy skin practices. I’ve also been working with several corporates around Australia to deliver simple skin health programs for their staff to help educate and stimulate an improved quality of skin and life in bitesize daily chunks.
- A results-based pay model: As I’ve already mentioned, I’d gone through the frustrating experience of paying through the nose for results I never saw. That’s why if a client doesn’t see results in their skin or life, they’ll get their money back. I’m not here to take money for not providing results – I’m here to deliver. From my own experiences, I know how frustrating it is to pay through the nose for a service.
- Content marketing: At this stage, potential clients are mainly finding me organically through Google due to the quality of the content we produce. Although I’m running a business, I offer a range of free resources including a podcast series (SoundCloud/iTunes) where I put a plethora of questions about skin to some of Australia’s leading experts, with a view to helping people to take a step towards becoming their own health expert. I’ve also developed an eBook, 5 Steps to Clear Skin, which outlines the five steps I researched and followed to get to clearer skin.
DB: What have been the key challenges of growing the business?
Mason: Running and growing a business is never without challenges and the challenges change over time. To overcome them, it’s been important for me to develop peak performance mindset. In addition to reading, on average, two books a week, I invest heavily in self-development. I’m constantly pushing and improving myself so I can continue be at my peak level and, in turn, help my clients, partners and suppliers be at their peak levels too.
More directly, the core challenge I have is time. There is a LOT to do because of the amount of people I want to help. But being resourceful is key. It’s about knowing when to change tactics and ploughing on. It’s also about finding the right team – I can’t realise my dream by myself, I’ve needed to scout for those on a similar journey to make a big difference.
DB: What has been a defining moment with Better Skin Better Life?
Mason: When I began experiencing an influx of international queries, that for me was a turning point – It made me realise my message had reach beyond Sydney and Australia – I still have to pinch myself a few times a day!
DB: What is the mantra you swear by at the helm of your business?
Mason: Massive Action. Everything you ‘estimate’ takes at least 10 times the volume of effort required to achieve the end goal. I’ve read and heard about this massive action ‘10X’ rule several times now and I’m even speaking with the 10X Rule author at present – it’s the reality of that rule into practice that is a force multiplier in business.
DB: Looking ahead, what plans do you have for Better Skin Better Life?
Mason: The one core thing I’m focussed on right now is the quality of the delivery of my corporate partnership program. In the longer term, I’ll be multiplying my current level of work, including partnerships and suppliers, by a factor of ten. At the end of the day, it’s a volume game. Naturally, recruitment will play a key role in this respect. Of course, I want to help more and more client’s who’ve gone through what I did. I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of people I’ve helped so far.
You can reach Rebecca Mason on Facebook, LinkedIn and email. For more information, head to http://www.betterskinbetter.life