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24 minutes | May 26, 2020
The Full Funnel of a Side Hustle w/ Ryan Garrow
on the podcast today, I've got Ryan Garrow with us who is going to help us determine our side hustle, talk about goals, figure out that whole stage. So this is going to be really valuable, especially if you're just getting started and looking for some advice before we get too much into it.Ryan, how are you doing today?Have him do an awesome Blake. I'm excited to be here.Ryan just started his own podcast that we'll get to at the end as well. So we're, we're going to learn a lot here. I want to get some quick context on you before we dive into the technical subject matter of side hustling. So if you could just run, walk us through really briefly the story of your career from how you got started to where you got or how you, how you got to where you are now.Okay. I don't think our podcast is long enough to cover all of it, but we'll touch on some high points. I've, been in the digital marketing space for about a decade, was CEO of a company that got acquired. I'm now working with the company that acquired us. And so my focus is primarily in the eCommerce space.most of my days advising businesses on how they can grow their e-commerce, what they can do in strategically. well how they can compete better. But I also have five businesses with my wife outside of that. So I do have the side hustle game going where I have a brand selling direct to consumer. I also have a wholesale division on that.My wife has a retail store that also sells online. I have a wine and beer retailer. I have a marketing company that tests new products into markets. And then we have a, an investment organization for e-commerce technology. So I am literally all over the place.I have so many questions, but I, I can't dive in just yet cause I have one more contextual question I ask everybody there. So I'm curious what you would say is your professional superpower.Strategy. Seeing where something can or can't work.I love it. I can already tell. We're going to get along great. You're so, so simple. Direct, straight forward. It's going to be fantastic. My first question, because I do this every bit as much for me to learn as for the audience to learn so. You've mentioned you've already got several side hustles, especially some e-commerce stuff.I'm really curious. First off, we can go into how you get the ideas for that, but then I also want to bring up, before I forget, how do you actually get the system in place to like get, somebody to manufacture it if you need that or how, like how do you build those relationships as well? So let's tackle the idea first, then we can get into the more technical side.for me, the ideas are generally easy. And the problem for me is, is refining. And figuring out which ones are bad and which ones may have potential. so my wife is usually my best filter. She, she shoots down most of my ideas and tells me they're dumb. And so that's my step one. Like, all right, what do you think of this?Oh, I think it's bad. Okay, let's maybe table that and I'll try to refine that. But I usually, when I'm advising, cause we have 800 employees here, I'm advising on a lot of side hustles internally for people under 30 but what I like to tell people too is if you're going to make a side hustle work, you've got to be passionate about it or have some interest.Otherwise it's just going to become another job or a grind and you're not going to keep going and pushing when you're not making money. Cause most side hustles in the eCommerce space. You're grinding now and hoping for pay late, or whether you're working to become an influencer or whether you're working to set up an econ business for success and to scale and pay for generations of wealth type thing.So I think passionate interest is one of the biggest things I would filter an idea through. And then I think secondary below that is. What kind of con connections do you have or what kind of opportunities do you have to meet people or who is in your sphere that can help you with this? all of my side hustles.I have partners on purpose. number one, it's, it's more fun to work with people,but also there's a lot of skills that I don't have. I know I've run a lot of businesses. I've failed at a lot of businesses. I've succeeded. but what I've learned through that is there is no scenario in which I'm going to be able to do.Everything perfectly or to the best that this business deserves. And so I recommend from most side also people, outside of becoming your own influencer. Even that could use some other people helping each other become better influencers and bouncing ideas off each other. But if you're gonna start an econ business, have somebody else that wants to get excited about this product with you and do it with you, it's, it's way more enjoyable to win together.Then all by yourself.Plus the accountability factor.Yeah, exactly. It's too easy. You know, if you're 25 trying to side hustle and your friends want to go out for beers, and really you do need to develop a little bit of work on your site. You've got somebody sitting there saying, Hey, you're accountable. You said you were gonna do this by this date.Do it. And with it all by yourself, it's too easy to push things off in your side. Hustle lags and never makes anything.Oh, I would love to do just like a thought exercise then. So let's say I came up with an idea for an eCommerce product. it's a, it's a litter mat, a special litter mat. Let's go with that. And I have this idea, I think it's going to be really cool, but I have no idea of anybody in my network that can help me out to actually make the thing.So I'm pretty confident I can set up a store and sell it, maybe even market it. Okay. How did that, like how have you worked with the distribution side of things? Cause I know that's getting a little bit off topic, but at the same time, I know there are a lot of people that have these technical questions.They feel confident setting up a Shopify or something simple like that. But actually getting the product made is a whole different story.Well, step one, if we're going to do a litter mat, you better have a cat. Cause if you don't have something to experiment with and see the results and even have some photography that you can do with your own cat, at least have that. after that, my next step would be honestly going into pet stores and researching who's making one, going online and searching, seeing if there's anybody locally.That is in the space. Maybe it's maybe instead of the mat. If somebody's making litter boxes locally and I can be like, Hey, I'd love to partner with you because if you've got the box, maybe you know people making mats or you can help me. It would stop. I would go around and ask dumb questions. I do so many.Dumb question, asking sessions where I'm like, I really don't know. Let's just call somebody and see if they'll help. And people respond really well. They love helping people by default. That's my, I think most people do. And so I go on, I'm like, Hey, I don't know what I'm doing here. do you have any advice?Where can you direct me? And I'll just kind of follow rabbit trails and finding out, Oh, this guy's got a similar product and he's making it in China, in this factory. He introduced me, I sent an email. Great. There's something there.that, yeah, that's, that's super helpful because that, that side of things is a little bit murky for a lot of people. It's not talked about as much. The sexy thing to talk about is how to set up your Shopify store or how to market your eCommerce product, but the entire thing in the middle, that's the most crucial actually building the product and distributing it totally gets lost.I think that that's super helpful. But let's get back on track. I, I geared this off in a tangent a little bit there for, for selfish reasons. I'm just curious. I'm curious, like at the beginning, if we have some ideas now, how do you actually narrow it down to choose the right one? And I guess a sub question of that is, do you think you actually have to be passionate about your product, or does it just have to be adjacent to something you care about?I don't necessarily think it has to be the biggest passion for you. I mean, one of my businesses, I sell organic fertilizer. Guess what? I've never had houseplants before. Thisnot your number one.Your life doesn't revolve around fertilizer.It does not. I have a partner who in loves plants in the business and he created, came up with a formula and my skill set is we were, I was marketing it and getting it into the market. but we aligned while that somebody had that in mind was just like, Hey, I'm going to go figure this one was specifically set up to test out Amazon cause I didn't know what I was doing on Amazon.So I was like, forget it. I'm just going to jump a business on there and see what happens. so, but I think passion can help, especially cause I'm at a place where I don't need the money. if my side hustles drag along for years and don't make anything. My life's not gonna change. If they make a hundred grand, it doesn't change my life.So I'm going a little bit different spot as far as my side hustles go. if you need somebody to make money, then I suggest passion. outside of that, just. Also enjoy the process. I am passionate about business and I think that gives me an advantage and side hustles that I just, whether it works or fails, I'm learning constantly.And that's probably what allows me to do so many various unrelated side hustles. But I'm odd that way. And so I don't recommend a lot of people do what I do cause it's weird. but I say, you know, as you're looking at it and you're filtering ideas. Understanding what the market could potentially look like for that product or that group of products.it's, you don't want to jump into bloody shark infested waters for that specific product. If you don't have a very unique strategy or something that's going to help you really stand out, that's going to blow this open for you.Well, I'd love to dive into that before we go any further because I think that's, that's a huge thing that would be a determining factor is if you feel like you have something unique, but how do you narrow it down? Like. In, in your experience so far, when you've had these ideas, how do you take a general idea and actually help it become something that either doesn't exist yet or that is infinitely better than what does exist?How do you get to that point? Cause that can be tough.It can't be. So let me, let's take one of my side houses is a wine and beer retailer. we're not focusing much on it right now. Because it's the way we made it a unique enough, just required too much time for where we're at at this point in life. It's so, it's just kind of on the side there, but sewing wine and beer.All right, everybody does. You can go to S you go to your supermarket and get that. No, there's no advantage necessarily of just opportunistically being able to sell beer and wine in your location, and so we went into it. We're like, all right, we're going to sell beer and wine at a discount fee, primarily focusing on wine because I'm interested in wine.We've tested growing wine grapes, all kinds of things, but I was like, all right. I think people want to save money on wine and be able to get kind of a subscription model, but have some variety. It was somewhat unique in the marketplace, started doing it. And it turns out in the place I'm in in Portland, Oregon, where wine is more of a big deal than other places in the country.People weren't, they didn't care about saving a dollar a bottle. cause the millennials that maybe were interested in saving that money weren't into wine enough that they would just go to Safeway and buy a bottle. They didn't need a case. We learned that it was more of a experience. So we have a giant event space on our farm that we live on and people want to come in and experience something unique that they can brag to their friends about.And so that's how we took that wine and beer retainer said, Hey, we're going to have really cool events with some really cool food or a wine tasting, buy glasses. So Rito is a client of mine and Rito came in and did this big glass tasting where you could taste the same wine in different shapes of glasses.That's not being done on the market at scale. And so I was able to do that and draw a lot of people in. It became popular. And now it's well known in Portland that Hey, you can go out to this farm and taste wine and different, wine glasses and understand the shape of the glass makes it so it's taking a spin and somehow making it unique, not just doing what else is out there.So you have to have some market research and if you're gonna sell Nike shoes, there's a lot of those. Everybody's selling them out there, starting from scratch, just putting a website up. Chances of selling Nike shoes, online is going to be very low. there's something potential, but you've got to have a very small niche.Like, Hey, we're only gonna sell, trail running shoes in the color purple, and we're going to do Nike, Adidas, and Brooks, and we're going to be the best, you know, purple shoe salespeople and be the experts in and online and have a lot of content. I think that's where most people setting up e-commerce side hustles fail.They can throw up a Shopify site, get product here, but just put them on there. But then they are, they're like, okay, well how do I get SEO? How do we get stuff out there? It's like, well, you, this is where you're grinding and you are putting out a lot of content and writing. It's for the, for the search engines.You're going to go find influencers on Instagram, invest in sending them a pair of shoes that they can wear and, and talk about how great the experience was with you and your site and your products.Sorry. Yeah, I got, I got us off track a little bit there. So now bring you back to choosing the side hustle, which also is difficult in its own way, but. I guess can continue on with that thought. Just one. If I had like three ideas, I've got the litter mat, I've got a clothing line that I'm thinking about, and then I've got tee shirts with mountainscapes on them.Like if those were my three ideas, how do I determine what's likely the best one to go with? Do you have a certain criteria for what a successful side hustle looks like? Preemptively, like you can kind of guess what's going to succeed.Yeah. My default is how easy is this for somebody else to do, but can they duplicate this? If I'm going to do mountainscapes on a tee shirtthere anybody can screen print t-shirts. That part is like, and so that one, unless you're just super passionate about mountainscapes and you just enjoy it, whether or not you make money.Do it. but I would say, all right, that one, Bob next door can do that just as good as me. Maybe even not as good, but it, my good enough is not going to be something that's going to stand out in the marketplace. if you can create a clothing line, great. understand the market for clothing lines.There are PR, I would say, I'm going to make a, probably random guess, but probably 30 to 40% of all Shopify sites. There's a million of them are clothing related. There are so many clothing sites out there that I get conversations constantly. Skincare, beauty, and clothing. It seemed to be the easiest side.Hustle is set up and they are. All over the place. and so unless you really do have that passion, I would say that's just, there's so many specific things, unless you, again, again, it comes down to passion and being able to pick a really specific niche that a, there is a small subset group of people that are really in love with this type of clothing and there's not a, a supplier or a retailer out there for that go for that.Otherwise, I would say, Hey, you've got a litter mat that is unique. You just need to figure out production, but you think there's nothing else on the market like it, and it won't be. Difficult for somebody else to like, Hey, what, how do I do this? That usually ends up becoming the long, best, longterm potential for creating a legitimate business.And when I look at side hustles, I'm looking at which ones could grow into something big, if I'm willing to put in the time and energy now to try to make it work. if you need now money, the litter box one is probably, or the litter mat is probably something that's gonna take a while to get up off the ground and producing money.In your experience as well with a side hustle like this, for example, if I were to just do the the easier one, so like the tee shirt printing that anybody could do. Just throwing it at like ad money at that. Is that going to actually be effective if I get my targeting right and things like that. Is that something that is actually worthwhile if I'm looking for money in the short term, like let's say that I'm trying to use that as a way to fund my actual side hustle, which is going to be the longterm litter map play.Is that actually an effective strategy or am I just going to be wasting money.Generally you're going to be wasting money, but I think there are some opportunities maybe on the social side of things. If you can find a subset group of people, based on their interests or other pages that are following that you think you, they are going to be really likely to buy your mountain scape t-shirts,then I would test some very low bid.Kind of top of funnel stuff, like can I possibly get people to come to my site and look at this? And then I would also start leveraging micro influencers. Like, okay, can I send a tee shirt to somebody that seems to really love mountainscapes, like they've tooken a lot of photography. Maybe I go to them and say, Hey, I'd love to put your photography on a tee shirt.I'll give you a couple and then I'll give you 10% of the profit or what. However, that works from an affiliate standpoint, like I would try to network and grow socially. Other than just saying I'm going to print t-shirts, put an ad account up on Google ads and Microsoft ads and expect I'm going to spend a dollar and get $10 in profit.Cause that's probably not going to happen because people may or may not be searching for mountain scape t-shirts. So you're almost trying to create demand that you can own.Yeah. And that that can be tough. And that's, that's the temptation. Like, well, we'll come up with ideas and we've got the side hustle we want to do. But the research that goes into it, preliminarily, you mentioned that your super power is strategy. So I'm guessing this is like where your bread and butter, right?When you've got the idea you've chosen. Some different options that could be viable. Then you've...
24 minutes | May 21, 2020
How to Create a Growth Model for Your Business w/ Peter Schroeder
Welcome to the podcast. Today we have Peter Schroeder who is the head of growth at Onna, and we are going to discuss growth. Maybe it's maybe some other things as well, but first and foremost, let's just get some context on you. It's kind of a weird time that we're living in. So, Peter, how are you holding up with all this Corona virus stuff going on?Hey Blake, thanks for having me and thanks for checking in. it's a crazy time, in tech. I say to my team and I say to everyone every day, we're very fortunate to still be working, and I think that we get the lighter end of everything that's happening. So yeah, just staying positive, saying grateful every day.and I think we should, we should all do the same on a daily basis. yeah, definitely. hats off to everybody out there, all the nurses and doctors and everything. Obviously right now, a weird time we're living in. Yeah. The show must go on and let's. Let's give some people some ammo that they can take right now is a great opportunity for side hustlers and people working online to either start a project or continue building it and having a little bit more time at home to do that.So let's help them grow a little bit. But, but before we get into the details and getting ahead of myself a little bit of context on your career, if you could just give us a snapshot of your career so far, where you've been, where you're going, and where you are, how you got to where you are now.Basically. Yeah, absolutely. So, coming out of college, I very much so had that entrepreneurial spirit where, I was inspired by startups. I was inspired by tech companies. and I started, I tried starting a company that was essentially a messaging unification platform that brought all your text messages, your emails, your social media DMS into one place.and it really gave me that startup feeling that startup hustle and kind of grounded me on what it takes to get a company off the ground. So did that for about a year. didn't end up getting the traction that I wanted. but I used that time and experience. owning a project and trying to build a company to, make my way into the tech world.So ever since then been at a couple of tech startups, which has brought me to my current role at Oana where I'm heading up growth. And essentially what we do at Oana is where the central information layer for most tech companies. So if you think about the average tech worker and how many different enterprise applications they use on a daily basis, there's just.Tons of data getting created, especially at this time as we work from home. All this data that lives in Slack, Microsoft teams are emails, a sauna. It's just data getting created everywhere. So Ono helps you bring all that data together, right? and do a couple of different things. We help people do, like eat discovery compliance.So that's like GDPR, CCPA, enterprise search, knowledge management. So just really taking control and understanding your data. . What would you consider to be your professional super power yourself? Yeah, so am I professional superpower, at least to this point in my career, has been. Building and standing up and moving on to the next, repeatable, growth engine that companies, so just going into new channels, building repeatable processes that's driving leads, driving pipeline, driving repeatable revenue, and just moving on to the next thing.And I think that's very much. A growth mindset that a lot of growth marketers and people who work in marketing should have is everything needs to be built up to be repeatable and scalable. and then after you work on one thing, and it's very much like a testing. Framework that you should have with everything that you're standing up, but come into it with a hypothesis, test that hypothesis, and also have a definition of done.So, in most experiments, actually, every experiment you need, like what that definition of done is to be able to say, Hey, this works. we should. Double down on it, or Hey, this didn't work, we should quit and move on to the next thing. So, that's where I've spent the majority of my career. That's where I continue to work and grow.The team at Oana is just building up those repeatable engines. I love it. So let, let's dive into it then. I like to usually start with the foundation first and then build on that. So let's get really basic here. When you say growth model, what are you referencing? What does that entail? Yeah. As I mentioned, you need, you need hypothesis to be able to test, to be able to grow these engines.So you need a plan, right? You look out at the year when we're going into 2020 the year right now. Like, where do you want to test? What do you want to try? What's the timeline look like? What are the resources you have? So you have to take a holistic view at your company, the resources you have and the goals that you have in place.And you have to create this. Timeline to get there. what does it look for most early stage companies, most scrappy entrepreneurs? It's, it's this big ugly spreadsheet. and you know, your business the best, you know, the data that you have, but you're just really mapping out. And I like to start at the highest level, highest level goal.What's your goal for your business like, and then from a marketing perspective, like. I mean, the goal for your business is almost always revenue. Then from a marketing perspective, how much pipeline do you need to, attain that revenue goal? And then really you're just reversing the funnel. How many, opportunities do you have to meet that pipeline goal based on how many opportunities you have?How many meetings do you need to book based on how many meetings you need to book? How many leads do you have to drive? so it's really building out that typical funnel that you hear most people talking about. Based on that, you look at the resources you have and you're able to apply your resources to different stages of the funnel.So obviously salespeople go further towards the bottom of the funnel. They're the ones who are taking the meetings, taking it through the funnel to close the deal. Your marketing team, your SDRs, they're the ones driving that demand at the top of the funnel. and making sure you're driving those leads and booking those meetings.And so it's really a whole team effort, but really what a growth model. It's just holistically taking a look at everything that your company has, to be able to, you know, go to market with, with the product and the people that you have, to reach your overarching goals. And, that's me explaining it the best I can without looking at it.But just, it's, it's your, it's your go to market plan essentially. And I'm curious, before we even dive further into that, what parts of that go to market plan or your marketing strategy should be established before you even mentioned a plan for growth. Okay. Yeah. You need to know what you do best and where you need to look at is like.What have you done to succeed to this point? Where have you seen the most success like that? That's the place that you start in. That's the place you need to continue to double, you know, 10 X down until you're not seeing results anymore. Because if something's working like that's, that's the Genesis of growth.Define things that are working to grow your business. So if something's already working, like that's where you start. That's where you need to allocate your marketing efforts. That's where you need to allocate your team is like onto the things that are really working. As for how you think about marketing and growth, you know, I think, I think they're the same thing, like marketing growth.It should all really be aligned because what marketing's job is, is to drive demand, to drive demand to grow the business. So, That doesn't mean that marketers have to do social media. If it's not fruitful and it doesn't work for them, that doesn't mean that marketers need to push a newsletter every week if they're not seeing any results like it is marketing's job to drive demand and drive growth to the business.and, and so I think that they go hand in hand. And marketing always should have that growth mindset because. That's essentially their job. It's not like we hire marketing departments to do this template in, you know, routine of marketing activities that everyone does. no, like marketers are there to drive the business forward from our revenue perspective.and I think that's where a lot of marketers get it wrong. And so it's really just having that growth mindset will really differentiate you as a marketer. And it's my hope that soon it won't. It's my hope that people that just start to think about growth and marketing hand in hand. but I think we're getting there.I guess from the perspective of an entrepreneur or a side hustler or even somebody just building out there, their personal brand, these people we love, we love to set lofty growth goals, and at the beginning we usually don't actually have a realistic perspective or, or any reference point as to what our goal should be.Have. Have you found any. Right. Got already framework to set realistic growth goals. Do not have any reference point on. You're totally starting from zero. Yeah. I think that there's like there's benchmarks, industry standards experience that that can replace like lack of data. I think that you should always aim to have like a data driven approach, but in the absence of data, You can be realistic. You're not going to go from. The zero to 20 million this year. You know, if you don't have any customers and you don't have a product or anything, like being realistic is, is something that can ground you a little bit. I don't know if there's like a framework out there. It really depends what you do, especially as you're talking about like.early stage entrepreneurs that are still figuring things out because in those early stages, so there's still a lot of rain to grow, a lot of room to pivot and be able to find traction in different areas. So, like if you're, if you're going zero to something, like your first year goal could be to find product market fit.And then you could put, you could associate a number with, like, when most companies find product market fit, if you found product market fit, if you're at like a million dollars revenue, like it's not unrealistic to want to double this next year. And I think that just being like, realistic with your goals, but aggressive at the same time because, it's that, it's that theory that when you, when you box your mindset in, like if you say, we have to reach towards this goal, It's very much so, something that you work towards, something that you grind towards. It's the, for example, we all know from school and we have like a month to do a project and it's due the next day and the night before we crammed for 12 hours and we finish out the project. It's like, it's the same thing with goals.We have to set goals, That are realistic, but also aggressive and like stretch are. Stretch our efforts because you know, as a business, we don't want to cram the last couple of weeks of Q four to hit our goal. We want to be working like all years towards this aggressive goal to consistently compound our growth and hit that goal at the end of the year.And I, yeah, I mean, I totally agree with that and I, I would love to even potentially do a little thought experiment here with you and give a specific, specific example of this. So. If I were to tell you like I'm just starting out and I have this idea. Let's say I'm building out an email marketing software, so just software as a service for podcasters specifically.That's my niche and I found a small product market fit like that. That's all there, and now I'm starting to set up my growth model. For that particular example, what would you look at first? Like what? What would your process be for coming up with what the model's going to look like. Yeah. So you said that you have product market fit.Like my first question would be like, you know, what are your key customers? Like why have they found value? I think that like as you build out your growth model, then an average as you found product market fit. that's really when you can start doing some key exercises in positioning. so you have a really niche software in a very commoditized, overall space and category.But you understand your niche really well, and so you can position, you can build out those personas, you can understand your buyer, you can understand why people love you and why people are buying you and why people are hopefully talking about you and giving you word of mouth referrals. And then you can amplify that.I mean, the other thing when you're thinking about growth modeling too is like you need to address like the total addressable market of that niche. Like how big is that total addressable market? How big can you grow? How much can you grow with model in that market before you have to expand before you have to introduce a new product before you have to, Enter new markets, existing markets. So I think that, the big question there, at least for me would like revolve around positioning and what direction you go and how, how long your runway of growth is. Because. if your total addressable market is only, you know, a year or two out, you can growth model pretty easily how to get to there, but then it becomes more of a question of how do you sustainably grow the business past then?Or is it really only your goal to capture. And dominate and sustain that total addressable market and grow with it as it grows. So that's the other thing about, about growth marketing too, is it's very rooted in like understanding your business and understanding the market, and understanding your customers as a whole too.Hm. Are there specific channels that. Are particularly good to start out with. I know that it really depends on the business, obviously what the growth model is going to be. Like. You mentioned sometimes social media doesn't work as well for certain companies and et cetera, but are there certain channels, you know, SEO or Social media thing is paid, paid advertising that should be looked at first before moving on to more complex strategies? I think that it really. Depends. And you know, your market. So I think that, let's use your example, about which we just talked about. I think like a great place to start for a product like that would be like actually advertising on podcasts and like getting organically on podcasts and talking about podcasts.Like people who understand podcasts are most likely the ones who like understand it and are probably going to start it. So, yeah. as opposed to a few selling, You know, a physical product that, you know, podcasters don't necessarily care about as much. Like those people might want to start with more like Instagram ads where they can really get targeted and granular and refined with their messaging and their audience.So, yeah. I think it's about taking a really good, hard look in the mirror about your company, what you do, what you do well, who you sell to, and then where those people live. So I think it starts with like an audience analysis, but. I really don't think it's one size fits all. You have to understand what you do and you have to understand your audience.So ultimately, I think, would you agree that in order to create a growth model that actually works for your business, you basically have to be channel and platform agnostic? Yeah. Yeah. I think so. You have to be. Willing and able and agile enough to test and experiment and, you need to be able to do a little bit of everything.That's the other thing is like, the most fruitful channels you'll ever find is when you're early to different channels, the fur and like, the great example is the people who are first to podcasts, it's like, reap the most benefits because like. Tim Ferriss and the Joe Rogan's of the world were their first, like they're the ones who has a mass, these massive audiences because they were the first ones to build.So yeah. there's definitely a first mover advantage that you have to be nimble enough have enough courage, to invest early in different channels and platforms. Are there any platforms like that that you see right now that you, that you're really trying to push and to at least experiment with?Okay. It's tough. I mean, in this world we live in, as of the last few weeks with coronavirus and everything. The people who invested in virtual events, a year or two ago are the ones we're really reaping the rewards right now. Everyone, and this is, this is how we should think about it too, is all these events are getting canceled over the next couple months, and a lot of people are moving on virtually.And. I think the people who think that events will just go back to business as usual when this is all done, are the people who are going to lose that. That's not the way history writes itself. this is a new paradigm shift. This is exposing people to. Virtual events, virtual conferences, virtual content that they'd never experienced before.so I think the people who start adopting virtual events and virtual conferences in the right way right now, could, could see, okay. Big returns from it in the coming years as, our world sort of shifts that way. I have one final question here. I'd be remiss if I didn't ask this, and I'm sure you've probably been asked this before.Any time that I meet anybody that I know that they're like ahead of growth or their growth marketer, things like that, I have to ask, how do you feel about the term growth hacking. Okay. growth hacking. I think that gross and girls hacking are two different things. how I think about girls hacking is.Growth hacking teeters the line between, you know, black hat and like gray hat growth. Like it really, it really steps the boundaries. Like growth hacking to me is, stringing together softwares to automate growth in ways that haven't been done before. What's like a current growth hack tech stack that I think of, I think of using like Bombora buyer intent data.Coupled with a data aggregation tool, like You know, I dunno if it's segment or say per year, to be able to trigger, automatic email sequences based on buyer intent using an outreach platform like sales loft or outreach or something like that. That's very gross hacky where you're stringing together really modern, cutting edge technologies to, testing results like.Well, what is, what is growth? Growth is growth is just building sustainable, repeatable growth engines from a, from a sales and marketing perspective to drive revenue, right? It can be traditional channels. It can dip into that growth hacking world, but I am not offended by this term growth hacking. I think it's just overused.I think that there's some people that that use it really well there. There's a girl, I consider him a growth
28 minutes | May 19, 2020
How to Use 1:1 Communication to Scale Your LinkedIn w/ Stapho Thienpont
All right. On the podcast today, I have Stapho Thienpont who is here to talk LinkedIn with us. Somebody that is not only a consultant about this thing, but he's, he actually acts on his own advice. You can go check them out on LinkedIn and we'll get to that later on. First off, Stapho, how are you doing today?Ah, I'm doing great. I just came off my own show and you know, I'm just enjoying talking so much on the nice thing like this. Nice to be like here in Europe. Do you like hearing your own voice? Not really, but I do enjoy talking. I'm the same way. Hearing my own voice on on microphone. It's kind of weird, but you get over it cause it's fun to talk to people.Yeah. 100%. Awesome. Well, before we get into the details of LinkedIn, I know you're going to give us a ton of advice on how to grow on LinkedIn, but first and foremost, I want some quick context on you so that the audience knows who they're dealing with here. So first and foremost, just curious about the story of your career so far, where you got started and how you ended up where you are now, as briefly as you can.As briefly as I can. Okay. So I lived in issue to Jim and Stockholm, even though I'm originally from Belgium, which is the other side of Europe. one day I realized, you know what, by beating up my friends all day, I'm not really providing much value to the world. I figured I have a knack for both language and systems.And then. What I figured out was that, marketing is right on the edge of that. I started a Facebook group, got to start working with my favorite author, all this kind of stuff. and before I knew it, I got started with LinkedIn cause I wanted to learn a new platform. I somehow got into a super secret group of people that were basically the best to ever do it on LinkedIn.And I just started picking their brains and I started learning all this kind of LinkedIn stuff. I did it for myself, and then I figured, you know what? this is so helpful for myself to generate leads and also generate awareness and build connections and network. I'm going to do this as a service for other people.And since then we've been turning our people into LinkedIn thought leaders and generating leads for them. some highlights were when the multibillion dollar multimedia Titans started reaching out to our clients purely based on the content, but also getting some of our call bites on sales calls with Microsoft Lyme and the like.So, yeah, it's been a, that's my journey so far, I guess. And you're still going, okay. Yeah, the beginning right. Definitely, definitely. I don't know if I'm going to limit myself to LinkedIn forever, but I'm definitely still growing strong every day. Awesome. And if I were to ask you what you think your professional super power is, what would you say.That's a really good, a really good question. I'm actually a really good networker. I would say, even though I don't spend much time, I'm really good at building relationships fast and somehow I don't know what it is, but it's when I talk to people, they walk away with the idea that I really know what I'm talking about with makes, it makes it easy for me to sell, but also to get buy in when I'm working with people, which ultimately lasts me to get good results.But the networking of personal impact is for sure the key, I would say. Well that's, that's good because that's what LinkedIn is all about. So let's dive into that and just start talking about how this group of of listeners that are bootstrappers and micro-influencers can actually grow on LinkedIn. My first question really would be, if you are starting out with zero, you're a micro influencer, you are an entrepreneur that's just starting out.How can you actually get anybody to take your thought leadership seriously? Well, first and foremost, you gotta have at least some skill and some area, so you've got to be good at something and have something to say about it. I would say that's pretty important. The second thing that I would say you have to do.Or what's it's optimal if before you actually start creating the content and and doing all that search stuff to also know who it is that you want to talk to. So your ideal target audience, a good way to figure that out is to interview the best clients you have. So not just any of the clients with the best clients that you have, and figure out how we can find more of those people.Now, on a tactical level, well, that means it's too. Figure out the type of people that you want. Then going in LinkedIn search or LinkedIn sales navigator, finding those exact individuals, sending them a connection request, and then after they accept to start a conversation with them, LinkedIn voice messages work really well because they're an extra personal touch there.not really. You know, as I'm sure many people have said on your shows. Building thought leadership on any social media platform. It's about scaling one to one relationships. So building a relationship with one person and then the next, and then the next will ultimately catapult you. So it goes beyond just the amount of one-to-one conversations you can have.But that sounds like a lot of effort. Yeah, there's, there's no way to cheat the system. You're saying I had to put in work. And, well, actually there is. but it depends on, on bootstrapping what kind of a budget you have. One thing that I'll say is if you take, yeah, either sales navigator and use that to find like the ideal people that you want or external lists such as top 10 entrepreneurs in the city.Top 100 marketers in that city, whatever, and then find those people on LinkedIn. You could actually automate a part of the work with tools such as reconnect or grow fleet or Phantom Buster and send these people automated connection requests and follow up messages. No. The issue with that when you're starting out is that you don't know yet which messages people will respond to and you might just burn like thousands of people that you could have.But then she builds really good relationships with, so my advice is to start doing it manually, at the very least. And then once you get a good fit between your message and your audience, that's when you can scale it up by either using automation tools or by using virtual assistants. Oh, I have to say, does this obviously against the terms of service.So it's not something I would officially recommend. Hmm. Well, let's, let's start out at, at the very bottom then, and just talk about briefly what the most effective ways that you've seen to start building an audience.The most effective way. Is to do this, the things I mentioned, earlier, which is knowing exactly who it is that you want to talk to, and then actually talking to them on all the touch points you have. So touch point on LinkedIn would be the other person's own content. So commenting on their stuff as well as the LinkedIn DMS.So chatting with these people directly. those are in my. In my estimation, the best, most effective tools. And the reason for that is that the personal contact has the highest amount of impact per individual. So if you can get to a hundred true fans, meaning a hundred people that you actually communicate with on a weekly basis, one-on-one, that will just spill over into a larger audience over time because of the network effect is, it's an audience on LinkedIn.In terms of your content, is that as valuable as having a good audience on, say, YouTube or Instagram?Do you mean if they have a similar size? W I mean it just, just like if, if you're actually, if you're treating your LinkedIn almost like a channel where you're putting out content to reach an audience. So not necessarily touching on the outreach and sales navigator side of things, but just creating content.If you're trying to reach that audience as a, as a channel, is LinkedIn as a channel through content, as effective as having like a good YouTube channel or a good Instagram channel. I would say that the best 100% on who? Your target audiences. So if you're trying to. Get to generation Z or whatever, probably take take is going to be way more.The talk is going to be way more effective for you. but if you're trying to get, you know, like young professionals, seasoned professionals, executive CEOs, people that usually have a high amount of spending power, and I think LinkedIn is second to none. So it depends 100% on who it is that you're trying to target now, Is, is a hundred. Then the question is, if you have. If, if you have the perfect, if YouTube is the perfect best friend for you, and LinkedIn is a perfect bathroom for somebody else and you have a thousand followers on both, which is going to be bringing me, bringing you the most ROI, and that's going to depend on how good you are at using platform.One really big benefits is that on LinkedIn, somebody that is connected with you, you have to immediately have an open line of communication. So that means you can immediately message them and advanced the conversation while on YouTube. you don't really expect somebody they're subscribed to to reach out to you directly.So I think the nature of LinkedIn is that it's built for a two way communication stream. And if you have solid sales skills, I think that it's a really good platform to monetize. Let's, let's move into the actual, the money side of things. Cause that's, that's the point of all this, right? We're not just building side projects for the fun of it.We want to make money off of it eventually. So how can people use content and use these connections on LinkedIn to actually drive revenue down the road given that they probably don't actually have a business right now. It's more of either an idea or something that they're trying to build. So wait, can you rephrase the question?So is the question on, is the question, how can you monetize your LinkedIn audience? Right. Well, so, so the thing is, if you want to monetize your LinkedIn audience, it's all about social selling. So that means, like I said, if you're connected to these people that we've been talking about, the ones that are your ideal audience, the best way, in my opinion, is to just.Move, move from somebody, engages on your post to connecting with them two messages in them or commenting on their stuff, and then turning that into it into a some kind of a discovery call or an audiobook download too, not an ebook download or whatever, and to then sell them through whatever the next step of your funnel is.I wouldn't say. Selling directly on LinkedIn is the best thing to do, in my opinion. Any social media platform they can build an audience on all about, getting off that platform, you know, so do you want to use LinkedIn to get the phone call? You want to use the phone call to either make the sale or to get an real life meeting.and I think that is similar across all platforms. So. And to that, I would like to add that if you're going to do LinkedIn, usually it's not really worth the efforts unless you have a product that's going to be a lifetime value of a fair, least $500 but I would recommend more looking into LinkedIn when you have a lifetime value offer on $5,000 per client.Well, that that kind of takes me into, and another question then around that. Basically. If I'm trying to sell on LinkedIn, get somebody off the platform. What if my platform is still in progress? What do I do then? Is LinkedIn still effective for me if I'm still kind of trying to the old my website or my product that's off the platform?Should I still be trying to create content on LinkedIn and build that up or is it something I should wait on? I made a couple of hundred thousand dollars of LinkedIn and I've never even built a website. So the thing is. The thing is, it's not about, you know, getting the perfect email list, getting the perfect landing page, getting private to whatever.Those things are good. And if they, if they are the tool that you need to reach your goals, you should definitely invest in those. But In my opinion, for most people, the best thing they can do is to just get them on a phone call. You know, it could be a zoom, it could be a w whatever. Apple has FaceTime, it could be Skype.I think. Those are things that you can use for free in order to talk to people on the phone and in most, for most people, that is just the very best chance you have, of selling somebody, right? Like, if you have five people visiting your landing page, or you have five people getting on the phone with you, the, the, the chance of you converting them to a paying customer.For most people, it's going to be higher by getting them on the phone. I'm curious. Then you talk a lot about one-on-one communication and then trying to scale that. That's the most effective way to use LinkedIn or pretty much any other social media platform. What I see a lot on LinkedIn is people will DM me and immediately without context, they will say, Hey, this is what I do.I think that this could be really helpful for you. Let's jump on a 15 minute call. And I've never responded to one of those and I get them all the time and they're really frustrating. So I'm curious, I see very little good outreach on LinkedIn. How would you do outreach if you're trying to get people on a call to talk about your product or something, how would you do it so that it's not annoying and that people will actually respond to you?Yeah, so that's a really good question. the thing is. I would say the, the, the specific examples you just mentioned, the problem there is the copy more than anything else. So it's a, it's a very different thing. If you message somebody and say, Hey, I have the school thing. Do you want to buy it? It's a very different thing to say like, Hey, yeah, I was on your website.I noticed that the design, that there's the small mistake in your design, what are your design? Could be a little bit better. I think I could help you with this. I don't necessarily think I need to charge for this. I really just want to help. would you be interested in just like talking to me for 15 minutes and see how I can help you went to design of your website or any of those kinds of things?There's a couple of main things that really make cold outreach work or outreach, because if you're creating content, it's not necessarily cold outreach. And that is knowing exactly who it is that you're talking to. And that doesn't mean knowing their job title. That means knowing what is a day in their life look like?Which problems do they have and how can you relate to those problems? So understanding your audience, being able to turn that into copy that works for the platform. So knowing how to write to it all being spammy and how to write in a way that makes other people feel seen and heard. Th those are the, in my opinion, the two best ones.But then you also need to have a product that actually has product market fits, you know? We've seen campaigns where. Wherever things were, where we know exactly who we're talking to, we know their problem. The copy is written by the best in the world that I know, and still nothing happens. And it is because there's not necessarily a fit between the product and the markets.So there's many things that go into it. Another thing that will get, that will like to add to that, that I think is extremely important. It's figuring out a way to give value first. So if you, if you, if your target audience is. Let's say CMOs and you want to help them with let's say, starting their own podcast, which is, which might be a common need for CMOs, might not be, how bout you actually create a video explaining how, somebody could start a podcast even though they're super busy CMO, and then how they can do that without having.the problems that they think they might have so that they might be afraid of ruining their reputation. It might be afraid that they don't have the time. I'd be afraid that nobody's going to listen to it. If you already know these things about your audience, how about you just make an ebook up front?How about you make a video up France or any of those kind of things and give that first before you ask again on the phone call. Now to add to that real quick, yes. If you're creating content, and I think a lot of your audience here and a lot of people listening are like micro influencers want to or want to be micro influencers, that means they're already creating content and that means that you most of the time don't have to do outreach.Most of the time people start reaching out to you because you're already providing value in the seed as content. And then that there's a whole paradigm upside down because the, for example, I haven't really had to do any cold outreach on my accounts. Basically ever, because I get people coming in based on my contents and I get friends of happy clients coming in to do my DMS.And I have other like influencers. Referring me as well. And then I don't need to do much of those things because there's already that trust and that impacts that's created upfront. And all I have to do is send my booking link and they'll show up. So, The goal off LinkedIn is to get off LinkedIn, but that doesn't mean that you have to do cold outreach.You know, there's many ways of like establishing this personal connection over chat. Oh, I'd love to dive in a little bit into your personal content cause I know that they're, like you mentioned, a lot of the people, if not most, that are listening here are creating content in some form. So they could probably use some help.And in terms of LinkedIn specifically, I'm curious what your posting conventions look like, if you've noticed. That you need to post at certain times, for example, like does that stuff matter? The technicalities of it, the time you post the format, what have you noticed that actually matters when you're posting?So like, I, so, okay, before I really go into it, I, I have made a checklist, unlike a Google doc that people could have if they wanted it. And it's basically 10 points. And in my opinion, if you're both. adheres to those standpoints and it's at least a nine out of 10 or a 10 out of 10. It has everything in nice in order to be successful in the field.So if you want, I'll just send you this link to this Google doc after the recording and then you can share. That's what your audience, I think that's very useful. Right? Apart from that, I'm gonna, I'm just, I'm...
11 minutes | May 15, 2020
How to Craft a Perfect Bio or Headline on Social Media
it's just me as usual on a Friday, and the subject today that we're going to be covering is headlines, bios, titles, whatever, across social media. Okay. On LinkedIn, it's your headline on Twitter, Instagram, it's your bio on Facebook. It's your whole profile.Basically. You don't really have a title on Facebook, so. Let's talk about how to optimize that. Um, I have a couple of tactical tips that you can implement. Ultimately, I think it goes without saying that there is. No perfect formula for everybody, but there's a general universal formula that will usually work and do better than what you at least have.Tweak it over time. This is the kind of thing you want to AB test, so don't just do something about it right now and then forget about it forever. Constantly be AB testing things. There's no penalty for doing that. It's not going to hurt you in any way. You're just going to learn more and more about what drives clicks on your profile.And in the case of LinkedIn, which unique because you actually see your headline across the entire platform in the feed and everywhere. So that's really a conversion tool for you across the board. That one's particularly impactful. So here is my number one tip for you that I want you to go and try right now.This is very easy to do. So whatever you're in right now, whether in LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, go into the search bar and type in conversion copywriter or copywriter search. Any copywriters that are in your network already or that you're following or that are following you, check them out. See what their bio looks like.Now, keep in mind that these are people that for a living to make money, to support their families. Right copy that converts people to take action and into customers. So I think it goes without saying that the, of all the groups of people that you could probably trust to write a good bio, this is the most likely, I'm not telling you that every copywriter has a great bio.Okay? You're still gonna come across people on LinkedIn that don't use it enough. And then their title just says copywriter at, you know, Acme org. So. There are going to be people like that, but for the most part, as a whole, more than any other group, these people are going to give you great patterns to follow.So whether you're on Twitter with, with your bias, so let's use that as an example. Look up. Conversion copywriters look up copywriters for B2B, for B to C, whatever is unique to you. If you're in an eCommerce store, look for B to C conversion copywriters, or if you do SAS technology, look that up. B2B copywriters look at these people and try to compile a list.Of all the elements that you notice from this search, you're going to start noticing like they're more descriptive. They don't use a lot of fluff. They're straight to the point, but in a way that's really fun to read. So it's not just like I do marketing for businesses, it's, it's not necessarily always clever or.Punny or anything like that. But it conveys the point in a little bit more of a story and it makes it a little bit more exciting, but there's no fluff. So there's a really good balance. Usually when you, you'll find with, with these people's bios, so write down a huge list and almost like a math equation, like add them all up in terms of their patterns.Take the average of those patterns and what does that usually look like? So what I've found for LinkedIn, for example, when I do this exercise, aside from the elements of using your personality and things like that, just a general universal formula. If I took the averages of conversion copywriters, headlines, it would usually be, I help.X group of people accomplish Y task using Z tool or for Z purpose. That's usually the general formula. And you've heard that before, right? You can add onto this a little bit to add a little bar and then you know, you can still state your actual job title. You could still state if you have a side project.So for mine, for example, my, my LinkedIn title, let me pull it up here. I just changed it again, I test this all the time. And I think it's really important to do that because you can start seeing what actually works for you. So mine is. Delivering deep marketing guidance for $6 DM for more in parentheses.Then there's a bar micro-influencer podcast than another bar senior manager at Talkdesk. That's, that's my LinkedIn headline. It's pretty long, but that actually fits on my profile on mobile and desktop. And then when you look in the feed. When I comment on something or put a post out, you'll see it'll cut off right after.It'll say, delivering deep marketing guidance for six dollars.dot, dot. That's where it'll cut off. So that's perfect. That lined up really well for me. That works. Okay, so can you think of what are you trying to deliver to people? What's your unit? Unique value proposition, but stop adding fluff. Also don't go overboard with the emojis or the hashtags, like hashtags in your, in Twitter bios.Instagram bios is one thing that could help a little bit. If you have one or two, don't go more than that. In LinkedIn, it's really not going to do anything to have a hashtag in your headline, in your bio, whatever you want to call it. It just looks bad. It's aesthetically displeasing to the eye. So I would keep it to words.If you're going to use an emoji, use a very simple emoji. Don't you know, maybe use it to break up your points, but don't go overboard with it. No more than two or three maximum. And if you can do it without emojis, that'll just look a little bit more professional. There are some people that really like them.I'm not saying they're the worst thing in the world. I've used them before and I've tested them. I just don't feel like when I've had those in my headline that they provided value. So take that for what it's worth. But I think core elements, again, in your LinkedIn headline, for an example, actually talk about what you're delivering to people and how you do it and what's in it for them.Be concise. Don't fluff, be straight to the point, but try to add in your personality in there. Also, if you can at the end, weave in any side projects that are important to you and your job title. You have enough room to do all of that. Then on Twitter, get a little bit more deep. You, you can even start talking.You know, for me it would be more like. Delivering deep guidance in marketing for $6 on Patrion, send me a DM and I'll hook you up. Also, host a micro-influencer podcast, and then I'd link to that account. So I don't need to mention what job title there. You know, it can be similar, but just make it a little bit more contextual.Your Twitter bio can be a little bit longer than your LinkedIn headline. Same for Instagram bio. So I hope this was helpful. I think that that number one tactic right there, go do that exercise. Like, stop listening to this right now and go do that. Do an advanced search of copywriters that you know, dive deep, compile a list in a, in an Excel sheet and take the average of all the patterns that you see.And one great thing to do as well to determine like what you should do. Cause there will be different patterns that you see. Whatever catches your eye that you like. That's what you should test first. If it got you to stop. Try that formula out for yourself. Ultimately, your headline is all about making people stop on LinkedIn because they can see it on the feed.If you can make them stop and look at what you're doing. The chance they'll click through is a lot higher. If they click through the chance that they'll use your services a lot higher. But if you have a terrible headline, nobody's ever going to reach out to you. Even if they click on your profile, they're probably just looking to see if you're real or not, and then they'll bounce, you know, they're not actually looking for what your services are.Same thing on Twitter. Same thing on Instagram. Uh, optimize your Facebook pages accordingly as well. Yeah. I think that if you did that alone, you would have a better headline. So I encourage you to go do that. Also, AB tests like crazy every few weeks, evaluate if that's driving clicks and if you feel like it's providing value, and if it's not, that's okay.Make a, make a variant, try, try something else, see if you get more traction doing something else. Sometimes the copy that we liked the most is not what converts the best. We just have to be okay with that. It'd be humble enough to accept that even if we write something that is good. It may not speak to people, so always try to find what your audience is actually looking for.That's the tip for the week. Something had been top of mind for me that I've been optimizing around. Hope this is helpful. Let me know if I can help you out in any way and have a great weekend.
24 minutes | May 12, 2020
Should You Actually Start a Side Hustle w/ Stef Caldwell
Blake: [00:00:00] today on the podcast you have Stef Caldwell, who is going to tackle a bunch of different subjects with us. Today we're going to be discussing things like side hustles and authenticity and customer experience, kind of the, the whole gamut.[00:00:11] But I'm really excited about this one. But Stef, before we get into it, I do want to give you a chance to give some context about yourself. Basically, if you could just tell us, first and foremost what your career path has been to this point, where you got started and how you got to where you are now.[00:00:28] Stef: [00:00:28] Happy to do that and thanks for having me on the show. So my career path, if you just looked at it on LinkedIn, might be confusing to somebody who doesn't know kind of where I'm headed. So I started, , my first internship was in recruiting, right? I worked at a staffing firm where I was recruiting people and, and helping place them in jobs.[00:00:48] In my professional career, I moved from being a business analyst to working in a sales and marketing role, to then working in a product management role and a channel development role to now where I sit, which is in customer success. And so again, , any person would look at that experience and be like, huh, this girl's really, , been all over the place in terms of her variances.[00:01:08] But the way that I look at it is I'm collecting the experiences necessary to make me the most ultimate general manager or CEO of a business. And I think that, okay, really, really incredible leaders can empathize with their people in any department. And so I really navigated my career path. Bye bye.[00:01:28] Creating opportunities to have those experiences so that when I do become, you're the leader and I am, , and my side hustle that I can really emphasize and create good experiences across departments. [00:01:39] Blake: [00:01:39] Oh, that's a, that's a pretty unique. Viewpoint, I guess because most people when they go into a side hustle are basically just looking to make money.[00:01:47] That's, I mean, that's the facts of the matter, and I love that you're really more like people focus your people customer centric. That's going to bode really well for you down the road, and it's gonna be great for our audience as well, because I think it's a really important message to hear. And before we dive too much more in detail, I do ask everybody, what do you consider to be your professional superpower?[00:02:13] Stef: [00:02:13] I think adaptability and tenacity. So whatever the baby is, of those two words, that's me. [00:02:20] Blake: [00:02:20] It's a necessity. [00:02:21] Stef: [00:02:21] Untapped tenacity. Yes. it's, . I believe and truly like live out every day that everything is figureoutable and having that mentality and then also having the willingness to get up everyday and take one step forward, even if that step is very uncertain, I think is what sets me apart in my professional career as well as in my side hustle.[00:02:44] Awesome. [00:02:44] Blake: [00:02:44] Well. I know that you do work full time at narrative science. Correct. So you've, you've already got the full time job. Now you also have the side hustle thing going on. obviously the word side hustle itself is self explanatory. Do you understand that it's something you're doing on the side? You already have a full time job, but it's another thing to actually help people understand how you can do that.[00:03:06] And so you're in a unique position where you can discuss that a little bit with us. I'm curious right now, what does your day to day look like? I mean that, that may be a bad question because right now we're going through all this coronavirus stuff and everybody's normal is completely out of whack, but normally how are you balancing having a full time job that's, that's demanding where you're trying to learn skills and grow and you're doing a side hustle at the same time.[00:03:31] Stef: [00:03:31] That's a really good question. And because my side hustle is helping women optimize their lives and kind of step into the woman they were born to be. I talk about this often. It starts with boundaries. I am ruthless about my boundaries and I know specifically what my dream day looks like, which starts with know.[00:03:50] Putting my physical and mental health first through practices like yoga and journaling and meditation and making sure that I set myself up for a successful day because my days are strenuous. Then, , I go directly from kind of my self care routines into working at narrative science where. , my, my day really changes.[00:04:10] I'm in customer success. So it depends on, , what the customer problem is or what the, the advices that I'm giving to any other department to ensure that our customers have a great experience. And then my day kind of ends, , between five and six o'clock when I transitioned over to working for manifests full time.[00:04:28] And I think it's an important distinction. A lot of side hustlers, they're like, Oh, it's, , it's my side hustle. To me manifest is, is something that I would love one day to be the hustle, right? And so the way that I am orchestrating, , my team and orchestrating our client experiences is such that, , we're setting ourselves up for a broader future.[00:04:47] So. I tell my husband all the time I worked, I worked two full time jobs. It's just that the hours are distributed differently. If you look day to day, Saturday and Sunday, full time manifest Monday through Friday, full time narrative science. So it's a, it's a lot of effort. It's a lot of work. Okay. I'm doing it because all of these things bring me joy.[00:05:10] So it's a choice and I choose kind of every day too, spend the time doing those things. I have [00:05:16] Blake: [00:05:16] many questions following up on that, but I'll start with from the company's viewpoint, because there are a lot of companies out there that are at their very roots, very entrepreneurial, so they're okay with people having side hustles.[00:05:27] They understand it. Then there are a lot of traditional businesses, probably the majority of businesses that actually look at that and say, why aren't you giving us a hundred percent of your time? So how, how do you go about, if you were in that position of working for a traditional company, like many of our audience is going to be right now, but you want to do a side hustle, how might you convince your employer or your company that it's actually a good thing for you to have your own little side project?[00:05:53] Stef: [00:05:53] So it manifests, we talk about the people in our lives as, expanders, people that are the validation that you need to prove that that success that you're seeking as possible for you. I think when I started with manifest, I wasn't sure how to communicate this idea to my company that I was going to be doing something on the side.[00:06:14] And , when I first started, it was small enough that it was just a few hours a week where I was planning events to bring women in Chicago together, that it was really manageable. And now it's become a little bit more of who I am, obviously. And so. To answer your question, I think it's find someone who can be an expander for you.[00:06:35] What I found the second I started my side hustle, it was that was actually more effective and an even better employee of narrative science because I was thinking like a business owner and it narrative science. That's something that they really value in the respect they say, I mean, we are all owners of narrative science in a sense because we have equity positions in the company.[00:06:55] But it's difficult when you're working for someone to really feel that ownership. And when I started working at manifest and every dollar that was going out the door was mine, and I was, , mobilizing a team in all these directions, achieve these outcomes. I started applying all of that in narrative science.[00:07:12] So neuroscience science isn't getting, , two years ago, Stefanie, pre side hustle, value anymore. They're getting full blown, like super power value out of me because I've got these two lives and they're teaching me and informing one another. So find an expander who is the validation you need, understand their story, and then communicate that to.[00:07:33] Your company so that you can help them realize that you're not going to be splitting your time. You're actually going to be even more effective in all the time that you spend, regardless of where you're spending that time. [00:07:42] Blake: [00:07:42] I love that. I've never heard the concept of an expander, so kudos to you. That's, that's awesome.[00:07:47] Stef: [00:07:47] But even Aboriginal work, that's fine. [00:07:52] Blake: [00:07:52] And expanding even further though. You're probably a proponent of everybody having a side hustle. Right? But I'm curious, if I were to play devil's advocate, is there anybody out there that actually should not consider doing something on the side? [00:08:07] Stef: [00:08:07] This is a really good question, and the president of my company actually has asked me a little bit about my side hustle and why I'm able to manage these things.[00:08:16] Realistically, I'm a dog mom. I'm a narrative scientist and I'm a side hustle entrepreneur and I'm a wife, and those identities are really easy for me to manage and balance. If I was a real mom, if I was a full time philanthropist, if I was super involved on, , a nonprofit board or super involved in other companies boards, then it would be really difficult for me to balance all of these things.[00:08:39] But my point to the president of narrative science, when he asked me that question was. There's so many people out there, right, who sit on the boards of nonprofits and nobody looks at their side hustle and says, well, you shouldn't be doing that. So again, it all comes down to how effective can you be with your time?[00:08:55] How balanced do you want to be with your life? And do you have, do you have room to fit these things in? Because at the end of the day, we all have, I think it's 168 hours per week. We have to send an email. A bunch of that time sleeping a bunch of that time working. What do you want to do with the extra time?[00:09:14] If you don't have the time, you can't fit more stuff into the day than it's actually possible. So ask yourself those questions and figure out like, what are you trying to get out of this and is it realistic that you even pursue this? Maybe now's not the time. Maybe there's a time in the future where it will be realistic and then give yourself that grace of understanding what your capacity is and what you can actually take on.[00:09:38] I would love to [00:09:39] Blake: [00:09:39] expand more into the side hustle area here. Usually when we're talking about side hustles on this podcast or elsewhere, a lot of times it goes to growth hacking and things that you can do, like tools you can use to growth hack your way to the top. That's very tangible stuff that you can, I mean, you could go find stuff on Google and do that, but I would love to take this a more intangible route and talk more about the intangibles that are necessary to grow a side hustle and make it successful.[00:10:06] I know that one of those things that you're a big proponent of is raw authenticity, so I would love to, yeah, pick your brain on that. What, what that really means to you, how you can use it for your side hustle and how you can actually use that to your advantage to grow. [00:10:22] Stef: [00:10:22] So when I think about rots, authenticity, it is truly inspiring people through your own story.[00:10:31] And everybody's story is, in my opinion, their intellectual property, right. The experiences that you've had can't expand. Others. We just talked about being an expander. Hmm. When we started, manifest. What was raw and authentic to me was I don't want to build a growth hacky business. I don't want to build a seven days till skinny business.[00:10:55] I don't want to build something that is not sustainable. I wanted to build something. I mean, I do want to build something. Okay. Impacts women at scale across the world. And that's a really, really big vision, right? And so what was authentic to me is taking that 10 year vision cast that I have for our business and then breaking it all the way down and to what was tangible and executable the next day.[00:11:22] And there are. Practical matters that allow you to move, , allow you or prevent you from moving forward. , capital is something that I think a lot of side house entrepreneurs need to think about. And my self funding this business, is it going to be bootstrapped if it's going to be bootstrapped?[00:11:39] How much cash do I have in reserves that I'm willing to invest in myself and in my team that I'm putting together? And for me, the answer to that was $5,000. So if I have $5,000 and I have a vision that is frickin massive, then what specifically can I deliver in the next 90 days? That's going to set me on that path.[00:12:00] And so for us. It was, let's bring 10 women together, all ambitious women from around Chicago, and let's get them to share their stories and let's provide them with value. Let's ask about their biggest dreams and let's have them do our goal setting program so that we can get them started moving in those directions as well.[00:12:18] So to me, again, raw authenticity is. You have this big vision, you have this big dream or, or you don't, , depending choose your own adventure, but how can you be really true to yourself and like what you were able to take on so you can start moving that vision forward [00:12:35] Blake: [00:12:35] and expanding on that. Like I know that when, when at least when I am listening to a podcast or reading a book and it says, you need to be yourself, you need to be authentic.[00:12:43] To me, that comes across as like, okay, that's, that's go good and well, but can I have examples of what that actually means? Because. I am myself all the time. Sometimes I might edit myself a little bit for certain people, but like, could you give examples online? Like if for example, in different formats of posting on social media.[00:13:04] Okay. What's an example of a way that I could come across as authentic versus it's scripted or like, do you have examples of what that actually looks like when you're being authentic? [00:13:15] Stef: [00:13:15] So. The way that we extract that out of our community members and , ways that I think about how I can show up as, as raw and as authentic as possible for the people that follow me or follow our business is by asking the questions that nobody would ask you in like a traditional networking environment.[00:13:34] Like what are you most grateful for in your life? What are you most proud of? Okay. In terms of all the accomplishments that you've had to date. Where are you struggling the most? What makes you nervous or scared? What's your biggest dream for life? Why aren't you pursuing that? ? So getting kind of beyond the surface level questions that you would normally answer or talk about with a stranger and getting deeper into who you are, what drives you, and what motivates you and what you're.[00:14:04] Bigger purposes on this planet. So I think that if you start asking yourself those questions and getting really in touch with who that person is within you, then you can start showing up more wrong or authentic, , online, even in conversation offline. but it's, it's kind of answering those questions as opposed to staying where most people stay.[00:14:25] Blake: [00:14:25] Did, do you have any tips for people that are really shy or scared about sharing vulnerabilities in their life? On how to get over that. Like do you have any questions that they should be asking themselves or yeah, exercises they should be putting themselves through to get to a point where they can actually share that about themselves.[00:14:42] Stef: [00:14:42] So the most effective, professional and personal tool that I have, I've been exposed to to help me feel safe and being raw and being authentic. Is literally calling it out. So I remember specifically two years ago, maybe, maybe a little longer, I was about to present a financial model to a former McKinsey consultant who.[00:15:04] Knows how to do incredible financial models, right? I've never been trained. He's exceptionally trained. I walk into this meeting, I'm nervous that he's going to look at my dumb, stupid little model and judge it and critique me and make me feel really terrible about it. And so I walk into that meeting and I say, I'm feeling really vulnerable right now.[00:15:26] I know that you are really skilled here and I'm not, and I'm putting forth the effort and I'm putting in the work. But I want you to know where I'm coming from because if you judge me here, it's going to break trust. But if you support me here, it's going to build trust. And so I felt shy, I guess, quote unquote in that moment saying that.[00:15:47] But it opened the door for more effective conversation. So if you're shy, if you're feeling really vulnerable, my guidance to you and the best guidance I've been given is just call it out. Let people know where you're coming from so they can show up for you and tell them. Show up for me in this way so we can, we can build this together because this is a really scary moment for me.[00:16:08] I love that [00:16:08] Blake: [00:16:08] and I would love to go even deeper in terms of what, what you do a lot at narrative science and what I think you're really passionate about as well as just improving customer experience as well. Just shifting a little bit from the authenticity part, but I'm sure that that plays a huge role in this, but I think you, you view customer service more as a marketing tool than, than anything.[00:16:29] I'm curious like. How do you use customer experience? How do you use things like word of mouth, authentic communications that are person to person as a marketing tool? [00:16:41] Stef: [00:16:41] So again, I think going back to this idea of raw authenticity, it's really, really easy in business to forget that person on the receiving end of your product, your service, your communications is an actual human who has actual motivations and dreams of their own.[00:17:00] And when you think about, Oh, we should run this marketing campaign, or Oh, I'm going to do sales outreach, that's super abrasive, or I'm going to treat all my customers the same. They're just not right. Our customers are people just like us, so I'm always flipping the script. If I was on the receiving end of this communication that was on the receiving end of this call, how would I want to be communicated with?[00:17:25] How would I want to be supported? And then. With narrative science specifically. The challenge there is to design that at scale so that we can grow our business exponentially. The challenge at manifest is right now it's still kind of delivering those one offs and figuring out how do we scale this? What would...
23 minutes | May 12, 2020
How to Start and Grow on TikTok w/ Brian Bosche
Blake: [00:00:00] on the podcast today, I have Brian Bosche who is here to talk all things tick tock. He's the first person to come on here and strictly discuss this with us about tech. So Brian, how are you doing today? [00:00:10] Brian: [00:00:10] Doing well, Blake, thanks for having me. I am [00:00:12] Blake: [00:00:12] super excited selfishly because I need to learn more about tick tock.[00:00:16] My, my fan ship is really, really low and I do not get a lot of views, so I'm excited to learn how I can flip that around and I'm sure that the audience is going to do just the same, but before we get into it, I do want to get a little bit of context on you. Just basically your background. If you could give us a snapshot of your career so far, where you got started and how you got to where you are [00:00:36] Brian: [00:00:36] now.[00:00:37] Sure. So right now I'm on the product team at Smartsheet, which is a collaborative work management tool. it's a public company used by tens of thousands of different companies to help them manage their workflows and really managed our work as a team. And my company, my startup actually was acquired by Smartsheet last year.[00:00:54] So I was previously the CEO and co founder of a company called slope, and we really made it easy for creative teams to manage their work. So we largely focused on content review and approval, so images, videos, photography, design, and that's really where I got to know more about the creative field, where I worked with lots of different marketing creative teams or trying out.[00:01:15] Any new channel that would come up that we're trying to, you know, deploy their social media strategies at scale. So that's what really got me interested in tech talk when it first launched, is a lot of the customers that I work with and help build products for. I started asking questions about tick talk and how do we do this vertical video and how do we take advantage of this new channel.[00:01:32]so I've always really been interested in the marketing creative world. I'd even run a video production company previous to, to slope. so yeah, this is a really exciting space for me. And if [00:01:41] Blake: [00:01:41] I were to ask you what you think professional superpower is, what would you say? [00:01:45] Brian: [00:01:45] creative workflows. so, you know, for the last eight years, I have.[00:01:51] Worked really deep with marketing creative teams, helping them manage, you know, anything from, how do you request a project to planning it out to assigning. So going through the entire feedback and review and approval process all the way to getting something published. So, really the expertise on how companies, teams, people should, Build out their creative workflows. Well, [00:02:13] Blake: [00:02:13] let's, let's dive into it as it pertains to tick tock then. So for anyone that's not using it currently, can you give an idea of what makes it different from what's already out there. Sure. [00:02:23] Brian: [00:02:23] So tech talk is really powerful for brands and also for individuals or really anyone that's trying it out, because it gives you so much engagement and reach with no following.[00:02:33] So I'm sure many of you have been on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter for years, and engagement's really tough. You know, I've had a Twitter for the last 10 years at 10,000 followers. I'm lucky to get a few likes, you know, they engagement is pretty low. And then once you actually. A tweet, something, it's gone, you know, within hours.[00:02:50]so it's really hard to get that engagement and really hard, you know, on Instagram to get hundreds of thousands of likes. If you have 500 followers, we're on, tick-tock, you can literally have your first video published, get to a million views. So it really a, is a powerful channel because it gives you that engagement and reach without having to establish that following and really rewards great content over someone who's famous or someone who has a huge following.[00:03:17] Blake: [00:03:17] Well, we'll, we'll definitely build up to that point of getting a million views by, let's start out here with just the framework of ideated content. Is there a good way to come up with ideas of what to post. [00:03:30] Brian: [00:03:30] Yeah. So is actually great for that because it has, kind of that discover page, where you can go and it will actually show you the trending hashtags.[00:03:38] It'll show you the trending songs. So I kind of like to think of them as a daily challenge where it'll show you like the top three or four hashtags for the day. And you know today it's, it's, it's st Patrick's day. So it's hashtag wish me luck hashtag make me a drink hashtag video call. Cause a lot of people are working from home.[00:03:56] So you can start to see what other people are creating along those hashtags. And what types of content are doing well matched with the audio. And you can, you know, make your own video in whatever niche you have or whatever specialty you actually have on TechTalk to kind of fit within that trend with your own angle on it or your own no brand on it.[00:04:15]so it's actually, it's, it's much easier to brainstorm concept for tech talk than other channels because it kind of gives you those trends built in. [00:04:24] Blake: [00:04:24] Interesting. So it's, it's almost like on this platform, it's better to just look at what already is built out and exists. Then come up with your own original ideas.[00:04:33] Like on LinkedIn for example, you don't really have any context. It's just like post something. But with, with tech talk, it's basically giving you the formula for how to succeed. [00:04:42] Brian: [00:04:42] Yeah. And it actually rewards you for that. So when I do something that's on trend with one of the hashtags or with a trending song.[00:04:49]it almost always does better, and that's anecdotal evidence, but, you know, it is pretty apparent when you use them. Kind of a recent song that has just been released. you can see your view count really go up as compared to using something, that isn't trending or hashtag that isn't trending.[00:05:04] Now, I will say all of this with, you should figure out what, yeah. Kind of what your brand is on tech talk or what your niches that you want to fill. So when I first started producing videos, I didn't know what to bring as I was just playing around with tech talk. I didn't really know what I was doing. So I do like a travel video.[00:05:18] I would do like a funny reaction video. You do a lip sync, you know, you try all this stuff and it just kind of falls flat. Once I committed to producing videos around creative tips and photography tips and creative insights, that's really when my following started to take off because it gave people a reason to follow.[00:05:35] And then any of those trends that came up, I could match too. A creative tip or creative workflow or whatever I was actually doing. as a part of my account. [00:05:44] Blake: [00:05:44] Yeah. That, that brings me to my next question because it's pretty common, like you said, to get more views and likes than you have followers on your account right now because it's like content deficient platform per se.[00:05:55] They're, they're just so many people that are on there, but not enough creating content. So it's being rewarded heavily when you do so you can get more likes and views, but at the same time it's, you still have to. Yeah, I've found at least it's a lot easier to get those likes and views than it is to actually convert them into followers.[00:06:12] So. How can you actually optimize around getting more fans? [00:06:17] Brian: [00:06:17] Yeah, it is. The fans versus views is really interesting because. You can have hundreds of followers and have a million view video. I have 250,000 followers, and if I produce a video that's not great, I'll get no low thousands of views. So even with my follower count that high, tick-tock, really pushes your content to new audiences.[00:06:39] I found mostly. So it gives you analytics. If you go on kind of the pro mode, and I can see from most of my videos, the people watching it are not my followers. I think having that follower base gets you a boost, so it'll send it to more people to actually see if it's something that they want to spread more.[00:06:54]as a part of that algorithm. But, but you know, you still get rewarded for the content itself being great and being something that people engage with. So I would think the best way to kind of build your following is to have that reason why someone would follow you. So that is a doubling down on whatever you, your topics that you're really interested on, what you, what you want your brand to be.[00:07:14]so if someone sees a photography tip, I have. And they go to my account with that profile visit and they see, Oh, this person does a lot of photography tips. This person, there's a lot of creative tips or this person, there's a lot of travel or this person does make up, or this person does this. They know what to expect from your content and they'll follow you so that they can keep engaging with that.[00:07:32] That's interesting to that. If it's just random content all over the place and there's no reason to actually follow you, they might just like it, think it's funny and move on to the next [00:07:39] Blake: [00:07:39] person. Yeah. The one question that I really have is there are certain industries or niches where like if you're in fashion or beauty, it's pretty easy to be interesting on social media, but then when you are in finance or like marketing, like I also, let's take me for example, I'm in, I'm a marketer.[00:07:59] How do I make that interesting on tech talk? Like what kind of stuff can I posts that's still relevant to marketing but isn't just totally dry? [00:08:07] Brian: [00:08:07] Yeah. So I, you know, I also faced this challenge because, you know, I'm, I'm working with some of the top brands in the world on how to construct their, their creative workflows and their creative processes and with the tick tock audience, which tends to, it'll be a little bit younger or not that B2B focus.[00:08:23] I can't give a, you know, this is the best way to deploy your social media strategy at scale that just, that falls flat. That's not the audience or. Even if I'm doing a photography tip with expensive cameras, and really it's not really a place for that advanced, you know, really in depth learning. So I've actually switched from doing, you know, DSLR camera tips to doing mostly iPhone or mobile photography tips.[00:08:46] Did anyone on tech talk can use? So some of my most popular videos are around, iPhone live photos and what you can do with it, with the long exposures, with the loops, with the balances. And anyone has a phone and anyone can use that. so it gets a lot more engagement because it applies to that much broader audience.[00:09:03] So if you're doing something with marketing or you're doing something with, with travel or fashion, make sure that it is kind of one Oh one stuff. or career advice or something that you would think high schoolers or, people in college or recent grads would find valuable. I don't think it's the best place right now for that kind of in depth B2B type content.[00:09:22]But for people who are no really engaging with tick talk, like Adobe just launched a campaign where they're giving access to a lot of their beginner tools, like Adobe premier rush, which is a mobile video editing tool. That's an amazing kind of intro to maybe get people interested for premiere pro and they get a little bit more advanced or after effects.[00:09:41]so I've really found kind of the beginner is the best way to do it. Yeah, and [00:09:45] Blake: [00:09:45] obviously the audience currently is skews very young on tick talk, as it usually does with any social platform. Facebook, Instagram, they always start out really young and then over time the audience gets older and older, so I'm sure that take talk eventually is going to get to that place where.[00:10:03] Basically everybody's on it, right? [00:10:05] Brian: [00:10:05] Yeah. I even find that there are many different age groups, On tick-tock right now. So it doesn't seem, no, I don't get okay. Boomer very much. I don't, you know, there isn't a extremely young audience on there. and it's pretty spread out. And I, you know, I've, I looked at some stats recently and it actually has a pretty even distribution across different age groups.[00:10:25]So I wouldn't, yeah, I wouldn't necessarily just assume that it's all, it's all kind of gen Z or, or it's all people in high school. I think that there is a big group there, but yeah, it's actually already to the point where a lot of different age groups, are on TechTalk. [00:10:40] Blake: [00:10:40] Let's, let's get a little bit more tactical then and dive into specific posts and ideas here.[00:10:44] So if I have a general idea of what might take talk account is going to be about, I know the types of videos that I'm going to post, so the ideation is not a problem anymore, right. Once I actually get into posting, are there any, I guess, how do you optimize for engagement? Like if, if you're going to be posting a tip about shooting for long exposure on your iPhone.[00:11:07] What elements have to be in there for you to feel comfortable that it's going to reach a decent amount of [00:11:13] Brian: [00:11:13] people? Yeah, so most, most song licenses that they have around 15 seconds long, that's how you know the duration of the song, that you can actually include it in your video. So I would recommend most of your videos should be under 15 seconds or at 15 seconds.[00:11:27] So you can have that song choice for the entire video. And I put, I've, you know, got it. I've gotten inspiration from different tick-tock accounts that have these templates for videos. So basically, you know, for photography, for example, there's the wait for it video where it's about four to six seconds of behind the scenes where you actually see the photographer setting up the shot, and then they do the big reveal at the end of what the shot looked like.[00:11:51] That's one template that you can just do over and over and over again. It makes it really simple to shoot. It makes it really simple to edit. and it's a really effective format. There's another one for tutorials where I'll do an intro slide for two seconds. I'll go to like two to three seconds, steps.[00:12:07] So like step one, step two, step three, and then I'll do the reveal for about three seconds. At the end. So you come up with these different video templates, that you know, fit within that timeframe, you know, that are easy to film and shoot, that are easy to edit. So you can actually, yeah, save yourself a little time and be more efficient and you can just double down on those.[00:12:25] So, for my iPhone photo tips, I will typically do that 15 second format tutorial format. And it makes it really easy to shoot, and I just keep doing them over and over. So that's one of the biggest things I found is if you find a video type that works well. I've done these live photo where you take the live photo, you swipe up and you go to long exposure.[00:12:47] I did my first one, they got 2 million views. That was like my first viral video. And I did nine more and almost every single one got to over a million views. One is at 14 million views now, and it's because tick-tock keeps sending it to new people so it doesn't get repetitive and you find something that works and you kind of do a little bit of a no twist on it or doing it in a different place and it just keeps working.[00:13:11] And I started doing that because some of the most popular tick talkers will. Make the same dance with the same song over and over and over again with different backgrounds and they all get millions and millions of views. So I would encourage you to find those templates, find what works and don't be afraid to kind of repeat, and continue to do what successful.[00:13:31] And diving [00:13:31] Blake: [00:13:31] even deeper into that. I'm curious if you found any particular times of the day that worked particularly well for you, or if it's just, it's strictly based on quality of content. [00:13:42] Brian: [00:13:42] Yeah. It's all over the place. you have an analytics dashboard that you can go see of when people are most active.[00:13:48]I found it doesn't really matter that much. You know, it tends to swing towards, beginning of the day at the end of the day. so, you know, during school, during work, people aren't as honest as much, so I'll tend to post in the morning or post at night. But tick tock is one of these platforms where unlike Twitter or Instagram where it's gone.[00:14:06] I have videos from December, from November, so months and months ago that are still my highest performing videos. They get thousands of views every day. So tech talk has much more evergreen content, than other social media platforms. So when you post, and let's say you post, you know, in the morning, let's say you get a thousand views the first day or, or 10 views the first day, don't worry about it.[00:14:29] It's, it's going to. Give it a second chance, it's going to live longer. so I always recommend, don't delete your videos, because ticked off, we'll promote it. And it does catch on, you know, later on than any other social media platform I've [00:14:41] Blake: [00:14:41] seen. And, and going along with that, what, what do you and particular know about the algorithm that can help us get more exposure.[00:14:52] Brian: [00:14:52] I don't know much about the algorithm. It's always a guessing game. And you know, these companies change them all the time. But what I've found is when you use the trending songs, when you use the trending hashtags, when you use the featured songs, especially, you know, things that they are promoting, along with the artists, or if you'd go along with a branded campaign.[00:15:10] So Nike did this amazing campaign, I'm called the replay, where you would do kind of a trick shot or you do something athletic along with their brand itself. you get a lot more engagement when you participate in those because tech talk is incentivized to make those campaigns successful for those brands.[00:15:27]So yeah, I would, I would try to just use the trending topics, but it's really just about producing content in your niche or what you want to produce content about as a theme consistently, cause that will keep people coming back. That'll keep them engaging. That's where you build your following, which will continue to promote it to new people.[00:15:44] Blake: [00:15:44] And one question that's strictly based on editing, I guess not super related to the actual platform itself, but what do you use to actually edit your videos? [00:15:55] Brian: [00:15:55] Yeah, so I use Adobe premier rush. so Adobe has...
9 minutes | May 8, 2020
Why "Create Quality Content" is TERRIBLE Advice [Weekly Tips]
Hi there, welcome to the Micro Influencer podcast / video series now every Friday this is going to beon video as well.Hopefully this is going to be helpful for some people. This is new for me.I've got a new set up very excited.So today I want to get right to the point.I want to talk about why the worst advice you're ever going to get is to create quality content.That sounds counterintuitive. I get that hear me out before you get out your pitchforksand try to burn down the house.Let me explain what I'm talking about.So. If you think about it,you hire a consultant you want to start growing on social media Instagram Twitter LinkedInwherever it is you hire a consultant.Okay, they can give you technical tricks.They can tell you what worksand what doesn't how to please the algorithm they can give you practical things that you canImplement that will make your content perform better most likelybut usually the number one piece of advice are going to have for you is to create quality content.They're always going to say that it's not wrong.I'm not saying that this advice is incorrect advice I'm saying it's bad advice.And the reason for that is just think about how absurdly obvious.That is everybody knows that you shouldn't be creating terrible content.Everybody knows that if you want to succeed at blogging with your websitescopy with video with podcasting with social media,whatever your medium is even graphic. Design,that's a way of communicating as well. Anyway,you're trying to communicate everybody knows that you're not supposed to be terrible at it.If you want to attract attention and grow a following.It's blatantly obvious anything that is that obvious is not advice.And if you have ever paid anybody to hear those words,you should try to get your money back because it's such bad advice.Of course, we should be creating quality content,but Never give that out as advicebecause it's not helping anybody advice by definition is trying to teach somebodysomething they didn't already know that they can actually Implement.So I want to try to give you some things you can actually Implementinstead of telling you create good stuff,which is true. I'm going to tell you what you can do to prepare yourself.So that what you create is inherently going to be good.It doesn't take a mastermind to create good cause good content online.It just doesn't all it takes is your own unique personality and try to be helpful.Try to add some kind of value.Now what I want to say add value that's another one of those things like weld,of course, I want to be valuable to somebody I'll let me explain a little bit of what that means.It doesn't just mean that you are breaking newsand that you're telling people something that they've never thought of before.It's really rare that you're ever going to communicate withthought that somebody else hasn't already.Not that you're stealing that idea. It's just that there are so many people on this planet.So many people that have already existed that have had really good ideas.You're not the first person that's ever thought of your idea.I guarantee it. So with that said,how can you actually create good content?If all the good ideas are quote unquote taken.Well, it's not just about coming up with brand new ideas.It's almost impossible. You can add value by being funny.You can add value by being a little bit obnoxious of people are into that youcould add value by expanding on ideas that already existor yeah,you can try to come up with new ideas and expand on those as well.Definitely don't I'm not recommending against that it's just you're always goingto have some kind of idea that's similar out there already.So instead try to find ways you can add your own personal LD to it.That's the best way to go about it.So that's number one for prepping yourself to create good stuff online.Number two. You need to be building a skill every single day.So if you want to write or blogor Vlog about Instagram you had better be on Instagram every day commenting engaging likingfiguring out how stuff works trying to figure out the algorithmas best as you can posting regularly and you'd better be growing a following yourself.If you're trying to tell people how to grow a following and you're just doing an okay job at it.It will have no impact. That's the same as selling a bad product.That's like me trying to sell an apple that is clearly past its primeand just you know coming up with marketing to say no,it's great. But obviously, you know, it's a bad product.It's not going to sell so that's how ultimately you have to have theproduct to back up the content that you're creatingor it's Pointless,and it's not as hard as you think to have that quality product just work at it every single day.If you do something every day toward that over time not onlywill you just get inherently better at itbecause you're doing it in a pattern,but you're also going to have a desire to learn more to do more in that searso that you'll build some momentum kind of a snowball effect on thatand then my final piece of advice would again just yes do seek out those technical thingsas well the Well and vicebecause that's ultimately if you're working with a consultantor talking to somebody and trying to pick their brain if they're worth their salt in their subject.They should be able to give you tactical advice.Not just theoretical advice theoretical would be creating a Content tactical would be if you'reposting on LinkedIn try to break your sentences up into smaller sentencesso that they're easier to read that's just how people read nowor another tactical thing would be don't overload with hashtagsand tagging people try to keep Really relevant relevantbut maybe two to three hashtags isokay because hashtags aren't quite as big a deal on LinkedIn as they are on Instagram.Those things are Tech tactical Technical and practical you can actually Implement them yourself.There's no way that you would be able to implement the advice to create great contentbecause you already know it and it's open-ended and doesn't mean anything.It's meaningless. So the next time you hear somebody say create great contentor anything that's General like that add value things.It's like that encourage them don'tdon't be a trollbut encourage them to start thinking deeper than thatbecause that's how ideas are going to spreadfor you is by going deeperand that again does not mean that you need to be the first to that ideaor even the best you just have to be willing to be available to talk about that idea.That's the biggest key in content Creation in marketing pretty much in any skill is availability.That's the best ability if you're not there.Single day doing something in your subject.You're already behind that's Point number one.So if you want to get if you want to create quality content,I'm making air quotes. Well start creating contentfor yourself and you're going to start out being pretty bad at it.If you're just starting at 0 be okay with that learn from it be proud of thatso that a year from now,you can look back and say man. I was really bad.I've learned so much and then share what you've learned in that Gap.That is great stuff.That's what should be shared not what you think other people want to hear.You can't know what other people want to hear.You can only create what you like tested over time and then re-evaluate.That's the process. I hope that was helpful for you.Next time. You hear create great content.Just please go down that rabbit hole a little bit with that personand expand their mind a little bit Let's Start Spreading this That depth is what really matters.Hope you have a great day, and we'll see you soon.
29 minutes | May 5, 2020
How to Do Content Marketing that Leads to Paid Gigs w/ Jason Vana
Jason VanaBlake: [00:00:00] All right. On the podcast today, I have Jason Vanna, who we're going to talk about branding and side hustles and how you can actually create content that leads to gigs. But before we get into that, let's get a little bit of context on Jason. So first off, Jason, how are you doing today? [00:00:20] Jason: [00:00:20] I'm great, man. How are you doing?[00:00:22] Blake: [00:00:22] I am fantastic. I'm ready to get this going. And I'm curious if we could just get a little bit of the history [00:00:28] Jason: [00:00:28] of your career so far, just so we [00:00:29] Blake: [00:00:29] know, where are you being and how you can help out? [00:00:33] Jason: [00:00:33] Yeah, so I actually started out in sales doing, advertising sales for a local newspaper. and I like to tease all my, salespeople friends that I upgraded to marketing after that.[00:00:45]they don't like that so much, but I like to say it. but yeah, so I've been in marketing for roughly about 13 years, if you don't count the five years, where I focused on advertising. And so basically done everything from designing ads to helping small local businesses, no how to market it. their company.[00:01:06] Two, I'm marketing for a community college marketing for a church marketing for now. A food processing equipment, the manufacturer. and then I have my own side hustle where I help, personal brands. And. More small businesses really understand their branding and, developing marketing strategy. So basically I break the rule of find a niche and focus on it because I've done, I've basically done it all.[00:01:37] So yeah, that's, that's kind of a, my career in a nutshell, I would say. [00:01:43] Blake: [00:01:43] And if you had to pinpoint like one professional superpower that you feel like you encapsulate, what would that be? [00:01:50] Jason: [00:01:50] Oh man. I would say the biggest thing, and this is why a lot of people will, will hire me, is the, the ability to really help, A business helping individual understands their identity as a, as a brand or as a company. and be able then to communicate that quickly and communicate that well. and so really what I've done at the current job where I work. Is taking a brand that no one knew in the industry and turned it into a globally recognized, Globally recognized and really desired brand, to work with. And so that's kind of the, I can do a lot, but that's my super power is, here's the messaging. Here's what we need to focus on. Now let's do this. So yeah, that's, that I would say is my super power. And [00:02:40] Blake: [00:02:40] that. So that's, that's on a bigger scale.[00:02:42] And then, and if we take it down, I'm sure that we have a lot of principles that we can cover for side hustlers and people that are trying to do something, build something that's meaningful to them, but they're kind of starting from scratch. So let's, let's just dive into that, because if I'm early on in my side project, I kind of know my, I know my product, I know my audience a little bit.[00:03:02] How early on should I actually be worried about branding? [00:03:06] Jason: [00:03:06] So actually a lot of my side hustle, my personal side, hustle cuts clients are personal branding and kind of that very small business. I have an idea, I have a product and I want to move forward. And really what I, I advise them is, you really need to start working on your brand right away.[00:03:25] And the reason I say that is. A brand is not just a logo and colors and fonts and all that. Those are brand elements. But really what a brand is, is understanding your identity as whether that's an individual or a company. so it's your identity and how you communicate that and get people to understand that very quickly.[00:03:48] So psychologists say that we have seven seconds. To make a first impression that within seven seconds you will make a judgment on any person, product, idea, company, whatever it may be, seven seconds. And what a brand does is it takes the core of who you are, who your businesses, and distills it down in a way that people can make that snap judgment.[00:04:12]within seven seconds correct about who you are. And so I'm not saying that you need to go all out and spend $5,000, having someone you know, come up with a fancy brand for you and, and go through like a weeks long process of a brand. I would definitely say later on, as your brand grows, you might want to do that to make sure everything is in sync.[00:04:35] But really you need to, I tell my clients this all the time. Nope. The process you need to go through with marketing is start with your, your target customer, your target client. Who are the people that you want to buy your product, buy your service, work with you. Then the next thing you need to do is determined who you are as a company or brand or a personal side, hustle or whatever, whatever you are in that, in that category.[00:05:07]You need to determine who you are and what your message is. What is that? What I tell my clients, you need the tagline, which is your three to six word. Here's who I am in a snapshot, and then your one line summary of this is who I work with. This is what I provide. These are the results you're going to get in one sentence.[00:05:29] That way people see that and they are able to very quickly understand how you benefits. Yeah. And that really is your, that's your brilliant. it's not necessarily the logo and the colors that comes later where you, once you know who you are and how you help your target audience, then you pick colors and you pick fonts and all that stuff that helps with, yeah.[00:05:53] Persona that you've built around yourself and around your company. So for me, I always tell people, start right away. You. It takes some time. And I know as a side hustler and or a small business, that's the last thing you have is time. Especially when it's like I have to start making sales so I can pay some bills.[00:06:15] Like I know that I go that process. Bye. The benefit of having a brand and people being able to see the content you put out, see, you know what you're doing, look at you and be able to very quickly say that's who you are and that's how you help. That's, that's invaluable. Like you, you will land more clients, you will get more money if you have a brand and people can very quickly see if you can help them or not.[00:06:45]it's, you'll even save money on marketing if you have a good brand. So it's, it's really a core thing that you need to do right away. [00:06:55] Blake: [00:06:55] You mentioned that a tagline, so I wanted to nitpick at that a little bit because. I'm curious if you have any examples, whether of your [00:07:03] Jason: [00:07:03] own brand or a brand that you've worked with, [00:07:06] Blake: [00:07:06] a tagline or two, just to give people an idea of what that actually, it sounds like it looks like.[00:07:11] Jason: [00:07:11] Yeah, so my tagline for, for shift is, simplify your marketing, because that's really when, as I put out content, as I've worked with customers, you know, throughout the last, Doing a side hustle now, probably for 15 years off and on just helping random local businesses with their marketing. Well, what I've heard is that, from kind of from this target market of.[00:07:36] Personal brands and small businesses is when they think of marketing, they think this very overwhelming, like I don't even understand where to start because now there's this thing called tick tock, and I should be on Snapchat, but I don't even know what that is. And how do I do Instagram? And you know, I heard someone say, I need to have a website, but I don't even know how to build one.[00:07:56] And like it's, it's all this marketing advice that's out there. And there the, a lot of. Personal brands and small businesses are just overwhelmed and like, I don't know where to start. And what I've heard people say is, you can't, I've come in and help them simplify the whole process. And so I took what is my, unique, my USP, my competitive advantage, whatever you want to call it.[00:08:20] I've taken that. Why clients, work with me and distilled it into three words. I'm working with a. A client right now, it's an it company. And what we've settled on for them is, making it simple. really, when you look at it written out, it also says, making it simple, you know, cause it, and it is the same thing basically.[00:08:43] And. Yeah, I don't, okay. I don't make every tagline have the word simple in it. Right. Well, as I was saying that, I was like, Oh crap. People are gonna think that all I do is come up with simple. but really what they've said when, when they've worked with their clients and as we've done surveys with their clients and understand like why people hire them is they have this, you really unique, this is what they call a decision matrix.[00:09:08] Which helps their customers understand what actually they need in the it world for their company. So they sit down and they say, okay, what do you want your phone system to do? Like, do you want to pick it up and be able to push a button and transfer? Do you want to be able to record? Do you want to be able to do this?[00:09:25] And when it looks, when you look at your, the computer system, do you, what do you need it to be able to do? So they help them answer those kinds of questions. And then what they do is develop a And it system for them. So they make it simple that you don't even have to know it specs to get a good it system with them.[00:09:47] And so those are, those are probably the biggest two. There's one right now. We're not, we haven't finalized it yet. but it's a financial company and it's, building your financial future because what they do is they work with, Basically your every day person who normally you wouldn't think they have a financial advisor, because a lot of people think of financial advisors as you know, for the millionaires who have lots of money and don't know what to do with it.[00:10:14] This is for the everybody and they do things even down to. You're looking to buy a car and you don't know if you should lease or buy. They will sit down with you and help you determine for you what is the best decision. And so it really is about helping to build your future and makes smart by neutral decisions.[00:10:34] And so it really is taking the core of this is what sets me apart. It makes me different. And distilling it in. What I say, three to six words so that it's short and memorable, and then you can put it, when you have a website, you put it really, it should be the first text people see on the website and in what's called your hero section, which is when you load a website and you only see that first part in your browser.[00:11:02] That's, that's your called your hero section. It should be right up there. So when they load your website in the first 10 seconds, they know exactly how you help them. That's the point. That's the, the idea behind the tagline. Is that a quickly and clearly communicates the advantage that you give to the people who would buy your product or your service.[00:11:27] Blake: [00:11:27] Yeah. That's, that's the, the foundational essence of building a brand. And I want to get even more specific now because something that yeah, that you do is something that I do is post a lot of content on LinkedIn. I want to, I want to talk about how that actually leads to getting, Hey, because some people, a lot of people are going to say, all right, I can create content all day.[00:11:48] I can do that until the cows come home. But then. What does it actually do for my [00:11:53] Jason: [00:11:53] business? So I'm curious [00:11:55] Blake: [00:11:55] if you have a process or just kind of a blueprint of how you can start creating content that's actually going to lead to you getting paid. [00:12:03] Jason: [00:12:03] Yeah. So a few, a few things that I tell people, cause I get that question a lot is one, you need to be in in this for the long term.[00:12:13] This is not, you're not going to put up three posts on LinkedIn over the course of a month and start bringing in money. because really what you're doing is you are positioning yourself as an expert in whatever topic, whatever industry that, that you're in. And so for me, when I started on LinkedIn, I've only been active, like actively posting content on LinkedIn for less than a year now.[00:12:37] And when I started out, it was kind of this dipping my toes in, didn't. Like every platform is different, has a different atmosphere, has a different style. And so I was like, well, I'm just going to start with putting out content that I've done already and just see what works. And so a lot of it was more personal development stuff, which I don't do anything.[00:12:58] I do a lot of personal development, a lot of coaching and stuff like that, but it's not something that I make money from. And so as I was doing this, I was growing an audience and having people find my content, and I was engaging on other people's contents so that they could find me, which are all things you need to do.[00:13:15] You can't just post and people will magically find you and start. They start following you. You actually have to be active in it, engage on other people's content. But so I started doing this and realized like, okay, I'm getting people seeing my content, commenting on it. But. I'm not going to make money with this because this isn't really what I want to do, do longterm.[00:13:38] I'm, I have this side hustle that really, it wasn't until last year that I got serious about my side hustle and said, okay, I want to turn, I want to do this full time. Like I want this not to be a side hustle anymore. I want this to be a full time thing. And, and that was probably around September, October last year where it's like, okay, I want to start getting.[00:13:59] More clients than just the random people that find me. And they're like, Hey, can you do a logo for me? It was like, I want to do this more seriously. And so, With that, I realize that if I want to start getting clients, I need to start putting out content about marketing. and so really what I did was the processes that I would take my customers through.[00:14:24] So how do you, how do you determine what your tagline is? How do you know, like what your competitive advantages, how do you find your target market? How do you write content for LinkedIn to make money? Like, all these things that people started asking me questions, I would just turn into content and post on LinkedIn.[00:14:42]And I did this consistently every day. I would do really Monday through Friday, put a lot of content out on the weekends just because. I don't want to be glued to LinkedIn over the weekends. And I like having my weekends free of that. So Monday through Friday, every day for, really since April, I've been putting out content on LinkedIn about marketing and branding.[00:15:07] And how do you, how do you, build your website and how do you do an email list and really all those kinds of, like. How do I do this? Because that my target market are people who say, I know I need to do marketing, but I, I don't know what to do and I don't know how to do it. So I put out some very practical, like if you actually read through all of my posts on LinkedIn and applied them, the lessons that I put in there and follow the steps and all that stuff, you would not need to hire me.[00:15:41]That's what I do. Aye. Aye. Aye. Come at it from, I'm going to put out everything so that people do not have to hire me. But when they realized that, like, man, this stuff's harder than I thought, like, and I don't have the time to spend doing all that, and this guy knows what he's doing. I'm just going to hire him because he'll be much faster at it than me trying to figure out a whole new system and how does this work?[00:16:07] And I've got questions. So that's what I did. And really with that too, is I always told people, if you have a question, send me a message on LinkedIn and I will try to answer it as well as I can. In a generic way. And so then what I did, what I did was I said, if you want them a consultation where I will take your specific issues, what your specific questions of, Hey, I'm trying to sell this.[00:16:36] What should I send out in an email? Then let's book a one hour consultation and yeah, we will go through your specific company, your specific product, and what you specifically have the capacity to do, whether you want to do it yourself or you want to hire me to do it for you. And so it was on the front end was here's how to do it yourself, and then, then I said, if you want.[00:17:04] Specific help, that's where you're going to, that's where you're going to pay. Because I don't have the time to sit and, yeah. You know, my, I think my last post had over 200, reactions and about over a hundred comments. I don't have the time to sit a specific marketing strategies. To a hundred people, you know?[00:17:27] But it's like if you, if you really want to know how to do this, book a time with me, and what we'll do is we will go through, here's how you can improve you're marketing. And so that's, that's kind of how I've been making money. And I've landed since I've been doing it more specifically saying, Hey, okay, time with me.[00:17:47] I've landed some of my biggest clients through LinkedIn, and it's like almost every week I'm having people book times. With me, which my process is content on LinkedIn to help you do it yourself. Build that trust. People see, man, this guy knows what he's doing. Book a consultation with me, which I do charge for.[00:18:05]I didn't at first cause I was like, okay, this is lead gen. I'm going to do it for free. And then I realized a lot of the people that were booking the free times actually didn't want to hire someone. They just wanted free advice. And then I said, okay. You're, if you want my time you're going to pay for it.[00:18:22] But if you book me to do any of the marketing work after that, like if I give you advice of let's say, Hey, start an email list and you said, ma'am, I don't have the time to do that. Could you build it for me? Well, yes, I'll send you a proposal for that. If you hire me to do that for you, then I discount the cost.[00:18:42]the PR of the consultation. That way people get this value of, okay. Even if this guy gives out crap advice. I'm out of a hundred I'm out, I'm out right now. I charge a hundred dollars so I'm out of a hundred dollars not, not that big of a deal, but if this guy is awesome and I booked him to do other stuff, then that a hundred dollars what ended up being free anyways.[00:19:06] So that's kind of how I've done it. And it's, it's work. Like I, I have a meeting right after we're recording this podcast with a guy who just booked me to do a full brand for him. You know, like it, it works. Bye. You have to be consistent. And that's the biggest thing. That's the biggest thing. Yeah.[00:19:26] I'm curious how long [00:19:28] Blake: [00:19:28] into posting the content...
26 minutes | May 5, 2020
How to Use DMs to Contact and Drive Real Results w/ Aaron Patton
Aaron PattonBlake: [00:00:00] Perfect. We are live on the podcast today with Erin Patton, where we're going to be talking about prospecting and networking, but through some different channels that maybe we haven't discussed here on the podcast before. Before we get into that, Erin, how's your day going? [00:00:15] Aaron: [00:00:15] Fantastic. Blake, thanks for having me on and hello everyone.[00:00:18] Blake: [00:00:18] Super excited. I would love to get some context on you as a person, as a professional. Before we dive into the details here. So just to give the audience an idea of who they're, who they're working with here, could you just give us the story of your career so far, briefly as to where you started to, how you got where you are now.[00:00:35] Aaron: [00:00:35] Sure. Absolutely. So myself and just a regular guy, I, I went through life just a regular path like most of us do. I was just accepted to go to high school, try to get good grades, go to college, get a job, right. The normal path that we're all used to and accustomed to. And I, my parents, had done that.[00:00:52] They were. Good students. And that was the just accepted way. So I didn't really have any thoughts to do anything else like entrepreneurship wise or, or any other path that was, that was my journey. So went to college, got a job in sales, and worked at about four or five different companies in sales and software, software's a service companies, and then really just hit a wall in my later twenties, and decided that I don't want to do this long term.[00:01:16] So I essentially started over. I quit my job. I did a little traveling, was playing a little poker. That was a serious hobby of mine. So, trying to chase the dream of not really waking up and go into an office every day, like someone you have a dream about. And, I quickly realized that I don't want to spend all my time at a casino.[00:01:37] So I decided that I wanted to take some of the reasons why I did love that game. And parlay it into a more productive and business oriented manner. so I came up with podcasting, content creation, first and foremost just to learn how to do online business, but also to be creating content at the same time.[00:01:56] So kind of learning with the audience. And then it's been about 15 months now, and I feel like I'm in a place where I can. You know, actually launched something decent on my own and help people in their endeavors for what they want to do online. So that's the route that I'm going for this year, and I'm putting a hard focus on building up a little community and membership group to enable people to do just that.[00:02:18] Blake: [00:02:18] And what would you say your professional superpower [00:02:20] Aaron: [00:02:20] is. Professional superpower for me is definitely prospecting. It's, getting in touch with the right people, excuse me, the right people, the decision makers, people that, are actually going to be able to either purchase a product or service, like in my sales job or in this case for podcasting, be a guest on the show.[00:02:41] And part of my show for new age influencers is to try to get people that are really living a true online. You know, dream based lifestyle, and sometimes it's really hard to get in touch with these people, but I felt like it was my duty to, to try as hard as I can to get as high quality guests as possible so that they can give back advice and lessons that they've used in their lives to attain success and give it back to the audience.[00:03:07] So that's what I try to do every single week, week in and week out. Well, [00:03:10] Blake: [00:03:10] let's dive into your superpower then and start with the very foundation. I'm curious how you would recommend going about starting to establish herself. So if first off, how you can identify the proper niche for you and then beyond that, just establishing yourself as somebody that anybody should listen [00:03:29] Aaron: [00:03:29] to.[00:03:30] Yeah, sure. So, I think. First it comes down to, you know, like what Gary V always says is self-awareness, right? You need to figure out what drives you, what, what you actually enjoy doing, what you have fun doing. Because the internet game, content creation game, it's a hard game and there's a lot of effort on the front end with minimal payoff, but if you keep with it and stick with it, the pay off will come eventually.[00:03:53] But the, the regular person in society doesn't have that mindset. So it's very hard for them to keep at something for that long without an actual payoff. So that's why I say I'm part of my whole shtick is the new age lifestyle, which is the internet lifestyle. But part of that is really having fun first, so whatever you want to try to pursue, make sure that you at least are interested in it or have fun.[00:04:19] I see so many people out there making the mistake that they think that they want to be a social media guru or they think they want to be a real estate agent online or they think they want to be this or that, when in reality, they really just want to do that because they see other people having success in it and they think that that's what glamour looks like.[00:04:38] But that's really not the case. You've got to figure out what drives you. Like whether it's a hobby fishing or whether it's something that you're doing right now professionally, whatever you're doing, if you enjoy it, keep with it. But if you don't, they'll be afraid to switch it up and make sure that you can actually pursue something that you can commit to.[00:04:55] And if you don't know what that is, well, the only really way to find that out is to experiment with different things and try it out. And it's okay to experiment and fail and not, you know, continue to pursue that path if it's not right for you. But that's the first part. So the first part is just finding out what, what lights you up and what you have fun doing.[00:05:13] And then the second part is creating a plan and a concept, where you can be proud to pitch it to people. So for me, for the podcast, I came up with this concept because I really enjoy talking to different types of people in the poker. arena and learning their stories. So I, I said to myself, I want to do this in online business.[00:05:32] So I wanted to learn from people doing it out there in the space, and I pursued them on the, and Instagram and the DMS. And I just prospecting my head off and I pitched them the concept of new age influencers as I want to give. The people that don't have knowledge, knowledge from the people who have it.[00:05:50] And so that was my concept pitch. I was very regimented with it. I took all the skills that I had learned in software sales and applied it to pretty much Instagram DMS. Yes, I would have some email reach out. If people weren't responding to DMS, but, it was mainly DNS. I had a whole Excel spreadsheet. I had, all my prospects of guests that I wanted to have on the show.[00:06:10] I would reach out to them. I would Mark whether they saw that message or not, I would Mark whether they responded back, if they committed to being a guest, if they showed up all the different data behind the scenes. I was just very organized with it at the start and, I got a lot of nos at the beginning.[00:06:24] Like anyone, you know, would get, when you're starting something new, it's not going to be easy cause you don't have any established reputation or social proof yet. So I would reach out to maybe a hundred people, maybe 20% of them would actually get back to me. And then maybe half of those people would say that they're on board for an interview and then maybe half of those people would show up.[00:06:45] So a hundred reach outs. Three interviews, you know, so it's, it's hard. But I, I, and, and a lot of people wouldn't have that if they weren't reaching out, if they were reaching out to more, you know, kind of, reg regular, you know, people that haven't made it already, but I wanted to differentiate my show, whereas I wanted to start out with a bang.[00:07:05] People that had some social influence online for that credibility factor. So that's why I put in so much effort to try to get really good guests right from the get. [00:07:15] Blake: [00:07:15] I do have a question regarding the DM thing. So you, you mentioned if maybe on average you outreach to a hundred people, maybe you'll get 300 views in return.[00:07:24] Okay, so that's 3% conversion rate. You can live with that. You're at least you're getting interviews. I'm curious though, because. Often the advice that we get as side hustlers is you have to be consistent for a long periods of time. You have to be okay with not seeing results upfront to get results down the road, but there are certain instances where it just doesn't work, where whatever your idea is, it's just not going to work.[00:07:47] And I'm curious if you have any ideas as to when to actually quit, when did actually stop? If there are any indicators that you seen that say, consistency really isn't going to fix this. [00:07:59] Aaron: [00:07:59] Got it. Yeah, no, that's a great question. so first I would say that do your best to make it as good as possible. Get as good of a pitch as possible.[00:08:08] So for me, I already had like good looking cover art already done. I had the show concept in my head, so it was clear for me. It wasn't like I was reaching out to these people like. You know, in a shy manner or shy nature. I was like, no. I was like, this is what I'm doing. Like if you're on board, fantastic.[00:08:24] Would love to have you as a pioneer guest. If not, no worries. Have a good day. Like I was, I was explicit with it like that. but what I would say is if you're reaching out to a bunch of people and you're not getting even a three or four or 5% conversion rate on what you're sending out, no matter what you're doing, doesn't have to be podcasting.[00:08:41] It could be like a YouTube show or it could just be like feedback on our product, whatever. I would say that you should just go to your immediate circle of family and friends and ask them what they think of it and then take that feedback. But but mirror it against strangers feedback. So not only go to your inner circle of family and friends and ask them what they think like honestly, because a lot of them would just not want to hurt your feelings, but just be like, honestly, tell me what you think it is.[00:09:07] Is it, is it a good idea or not? And you will not hurt my feelings if you say no, you have to have, you have to be, have a strong back. and then go to maybe some random meetup groups in your area, in your city or online or whatever, and or Facebook groups and post something and ask people for feedback on the idea and the concept.[00:09:24] So that way you're getting immediate feedback from the people that you're closest to and also feedback from people that are strangers. And if the consensus is maybe you should work on some things a little more, or your message is not clear on who it's for or what you're doing. Or you just feel like people are suggesting things because they don't think that your idea is the best.[00:09:45] You know, probably no one's going to come out right and say your idea sucks. Right. But you know, you can kind of tell if people aren't truly on board with what you're pitching. if they're not using exclamation points, are happy about what you're doing or whatever, like you can, you can tell. So that's what I would say, you know, first, first, do what your best of your ability reach out.[00:10:02] And if you're just not getting any responses, like reaching out a hundred people and not giving anything back, like maybe something's wrong there, go to your friends and family, go to some strangers, figure it out. And if they say that it could be improved and just rework it a little bit and try again.[00:10:17] But a lot of people are too stubborn to do that. Unfortunately, but that's just the way that it has to go. [00:10:23] Blake: [00:10:23] Yeah. I appreciate that cause I want to lay the foundation for this whole thing before we actually get into the tactics of doing the outreach, which is the second part of it. But part one is the behind the scenes stuff that nobody sees the all the setup.[00:10:35] And now that we've kind of covered that, I would love to go through. A couple of different formats that you could do outreach through, so DMS podcasting and other content creation as well that have worked for you. We can start you. You've already touched a lot on the DM side of things. I'm curious if there, if there are any other really practical tips that people can use that you've seen really make for more effective conversion.[00:10:59] The conversions on DMS. [00:11:02] Aaron: [00:11:02] Got it. Yeah, so I mean, the, the biggest one that I would say, and it's, it's pretty obvious once I say it, but a lot of people just don't take advantage of it. And that's using the voice feature and using the video feature and the DMS, you will get a response back from a personal video DM that you send someone like 50 times greater than you would just texting out a message no matter who it is, whether it's a big time influencer entrepreneur or just your friend Chris, like.[00:11:31] You know, if someone sees your face and there's a personal message and it's a video, like they're going to at least try to be like, Oh man, I should respond to this guy with at least something like, he took all this time out of his day to send me something like, yeah, you should. You should do that. So, and then a step down is for his voice DM.[00:11:49] But I like the voice DM better because I can do a lot more of them in a shorter period of time. Video DMS, that takes a lot of time, especially if you're sending like 25, 30, 35 a day or more. so the voice DM, I mean, especially as me as a podcast, or I'm using my voice all the time, so I just, I S I just pumped out voice DMS all the time and it doesn't even have to be the people I'm trying to.[00:12:09] You know, prospect or get on guests, just people that maybe have liked a photo of mine or interacted with a podcast account or given a comment and be like, Hey man, I appreciate you taking some time to, interact with the account. let me know if you ever have any opinions or feedback on the recent episode.[00:12:24] Would love to hear your, your opinion or something like that. You know, just something light and, you know, it just works magic for so many different reasons. Whether you're, again, thanking someone or you're actually prospecting. So that's the reason I'm so high on the DMS is because you can do voice and you can do video.[00:12:43]and I think you can on most of the social media platforms, maybe I have to double check, but Instagram is my main, my main gig is to where I spend my time. And if they are just not responding or they never see a DMS, I go to email and I try email and I just send some short concise emails to the point with good subject lines.[00:13:03]to make sure that, you know, someone can actually see it, whether it's their assistant or themselves or whoever. [00:13:09] Blake: [00:13:09] Well, why, you mentioned the email, so what, what's, what are some of the little tricks that go into a good subject line and then we'll move on to some podcasting stuff. [00:13:18] Aaron: [00:13:18] Yeah. So I really, I just always think like, put yourself in the end person's shoes.[00:13:24] And that's what social media and sales is at the end of the day. It's like, how are you making other people feel? Or how do other people perceive what you're sending them. So if you send an email with a subject with all caps saying free something, like chances are it's not gonna get open cause they get tons of emails like that.[00:13:41] So I, the first little tip, I always keep it lower case, never upper case. So it's, you know, when you get an email from a friend, you know, they don't take the time to like punctuate or make a nice capitals and things like, it's just like lowercase. Like, Hey, can you look at this? Or something. Like, it doesn't even have to be.[00:13:58] It truly about the message, but it should relate in some way, or like, Hey, can you look at this for a second? Like that's much more laid back, conversational. Then here's a message, for mr or something, something or whatever. Like, just try to keep it casual, keep it light, and just what would a friend send you and then do that, you know, whatever your topic is.[00:14:19] And [00:14:19] Blake: [00:14:19] that probably applies across the board to DMS or any other way you can outreach. Probably just being a little bit more personable. Then robotic. [00:14:28] Aaron: [00:14:28] Yeah. Really on anything. the key to, yeah. I mean, we can go into a tons of keys to selling, but like, you know, sales, just networking, everything like people, you know, if you're someone that's going up and you're, and people can tell that you've said this a million times to the millions of different people and it's just been practiced and there's no like, personality or personable approach involved.[00:14:47] Like they can sense that and that's going to make people feel kind of gross on the inside. So you just want to be real with people on the phone. you know, in person, whatever, just be a real person, especially this decade, like, it's just going to get more and more important because there are so many, you know, fake quote unquote fake people out there trying to do it.[00:15:07]and trying to, you know, maybe either scam or just pretend there's something they're not. So it's a breath of fresh air when you come across someone that actually can help you or do what they say they're going to do and do it. And a real nature. Let's, let's [00:15:20] Blake: [00:15:20] go into podcasting then, and prospecting and outreach specifically through [00:15:24] Aaron: [00:15:24] podcasts.[00:15:27]in what context do you mean? Yeah, so just [00:15:30] Blake: [00:15:30] I guess what's the most effective way to do that? I guess if you, if you are a podcaster, for example, looking to get guests on your show or looking to get listeners, what's the most effective strategy you've seen for, for doing that? For reaching out to those potential prospects.[00:15:46] Aaron: [00:15:46] Like just the details of what I say in the DMS. Sure. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I mean, I keep it light and casual and I try to exude, you know, confidence and just believe in what I'm saying. And it helps right now because I've done it for 15 months, so I have an established guest bank of people that it can be like, Oh, okay, he's done a lot of episodes with some good people.[00:16:05] Like, I, I should actually take a look at this. but really what I would, I mean, I would just send a quick voice DM. I mean, I'd just say something like, we like, Hey Blake. my name is Aaron. I host the new age influencers podcast. I just want to say, man, I absolutely love your content, your message, what you're about.[00:16:21] I think you'd be a fantastic guest for the show if you ever have...
26 minutes | May 5, 2020
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome w/ Cecil Cross
Blake: [00:00:00] All right. On the podcast today, I have Cecil cross who's going to help us understand the ins and outs of a imposter syndrome. We're going to go into this in detail, but before Cecil, how are you doing? [00:00:16] Cecil: [00:00:16] I'm doing great. [00:00:19] Blake: [00:00:19] Yeah, so it's almost the weekend. I'm excited. [00:00:22] Cecil: [00:00:22] That's right. And, [00:00:23] Blake: [00:00:23] and I would love to get just a little bit of context on you before we dive into the topic at hand.[00:00:29] So if you wouldn't mind just giving the audience an idea of, w just a brief history of your career so far, where you got started, how you got to where you are now, and everything in between. [00:00:39] Cecil: [00:00:39] Sure. I'm a graphic designer slash creative director. And, I currently work for a software company, Around the Dallas, Texas area.[00:00:49]but I was born in Michigan and I came up drawing like a lot of, a lot of young people, and I've been a designer for about, huh, almost 20 years, about between 18 and 19 years at this point. And I've had different roles where I've served as the designer and art director, one for school districts. That was my first major job.[00:01:11] And, after that, a, a direct mail marketing company that was right around the time of the recession. And so that became a difficult time. And that was around the time that I really started kicking my fire of a up in third year because I had to provide for my family. After that, I worked for the Fox affiliates, from my hometown.[00:01:34] And, just a few years ago, I moved out to Dallas and up in here. working in different positions, as increased responsibilities, touched a little bit of everything in the graph, buying industry from retail education, government technology. So that's kind of where I am now. And, and I also run a freelance brand consultant, brand consultancy and that creative direction.[00:01:58] Okay. [00:01:59] Blake: [00:01:59] So I think it's safe to say with all the different areas that you've worked that you've probably dealt with imposter syndrome before. [00:02:05] Cecil: [00:02:05] Absolutely. [00:02:06] Blake: [00:02:06] Yeah, we'll definitely get into that, but before that, one final context question, what would you consider to be your professional superpower? Connecting with [00:02:18] Cecil: [00:02:18] people.[00:02:19] Just connecting with people. Everything that I do from a creative standpoint, I try to find the human element. There's so many. Acronyms and businessy terms and jargon that can get in the way of that last scene it happened. But once you find that human connection, it's easier to tell a story no matter what, no matter what the industry is.[00:02:42] So I think it's finding that human connection and treating people accordingly. This is my simple palette. [00:02:47] Blake: [00:02:47] I love it. All right, well let's, let's talk about imposter syndrome and let's get into it because the audience is going to skew more toward people like, like me, where. Just trying to do side hustles cause that's what I like to do more at the beginning.[00:03:01] That the end of my journey trying to build things that that means something to me. Yeah. Kind of starting from zero. So with that in mind, I think most of us at some point are going to feel imposter syndrome. I think it. When we think of that, it's often more of like a Silicon Valley kind of term where these big founders of big companies have imposter syndrome because they don't, I think that they're up to that task.[00:03:22] But do you think it applies to a much smaller scale when you're like freelancing and things like that? [00:03:28] Cecil: [00:03:28] Absolutely. from my perspective, imposter syndrome, has, has come up in the form of, I think I belong here, but for whatever reason, I feel like. I don't know, really belong here. Like I didn't really earn my way into the position that I am today.[00:03:48] Maybe I stumbled upon my current level of success. Yes. And because of that, did I really do everything I needed to do in order to, okay. And for those that are freelancing or working on side hustles or consulting, there's so many talented people out there that may be doing the same thing that I'm doing.[00:04:08] No. Who am I among these? This is great. See if people, am I really worthy, okay. Encountered among them. Well, people really come to me for my expertise. Who am I? You know? That's sort of in my experience with, with imposter syndrome. Who am I among all these other talented people? I'm no one, maybe I should even try.[00:04:30] Blake: [00:04:30] So let's, let's dive into conquering that then, because I think that's the whole purpose of what you really want to talk about you do you identify with that mentality you just described. How do you take that? What's the first step? [00:04:41] Cecil: [00:04:41] The first step is for me is what I've had to do over the last couple of years is stop comparing myself.[00:04:50] Two others. It's a really big challenge, especially in the creative community. Cause there are a lot of, now it's just people out there. there are great. for me, I love the brand identity design. and there are some really fantastic I designers out there. But what I've learned to do is to look not that others, but to look at my path.[00:05:10] Nope. And that's all that matters to me right now. Am I better than I was yesterday? And that way. I'm no longer competing against everyone. I'm just constantly trying to be a better version of myself. So I think that can translate to any endeavor. Well, from a freelance whole team or psychological basis.[00:05:32]I think what I have to bring, yes. Special, even if it's been done before, no one has done it quite the way that I'm able to do it. And if I'm continually improving on my own process. And I can combat that imposter syndrome. And I'd also like to point out that I personally, I think it's okay occasionally to feel like an imposter, but that doesn't mean you have to succumb to the imposter syndrome.[00:05:59] All right? If you feel occasionally, occasionally, like an imposter, then that means you're challenging yourself. Am I doing this the best way I can put this be done better? Is there someone else out there that's doing it a little bit better that I can learn from? Not be like, not totally emulate, but maybe I can learn from some of my peers and that'll help push me to be a better version of myself.[00:06:20] Again, not comparing yourself to others. Okay. Comparing yourself to pack versus. I, I [00:06:28] Blake: [00:06:28] personally really identify with that thought because I'm super guilty in the past of comparing myself to the success of others. You know, looking at people maybe that I went to high school with or that I knew in college that are already wealthier than I am and have a nice house in, in everything.[00:06:44] You look at them and you think, why? Why can't that be me? Why are they so much better? But then you realize everybody's life is totally different with different circumstances. And. Who cares why, like nobody else cares that you're feeling and the, you're the only one that cares. So like there's really no purpose and you could feel a whole lot better in your life.[00:07:05] Like you said, I love that you mentioned comparing yourself to your past self instead of others because that is a healthy relationship. That's not necessarily to mean put yourself down or think less of yourself even if you've gotten worse over time. It's just a reality check. It's motivation. So that stuff can be good to compare in that way.[00:07:24] And I, I liked that from, from your standpoint, but I'm curious, taking it a step further than if we know, compare against yourself in the past, not against others, but then how do we take it to the next level if we're still feeling like, I'm really not cut out for this? How do we find motivation that works for us?[00:07:43] Cecil: [00:07:43] Like I said before, it's, there's nothing wrong with looking at others. And, and, and finding inspiration and what they're doing. So start building a community. I think, you know, Blake, I think you've done a great job of building your own community and your own network. You're on, or rather on LinkedIn a practice, be a little bit more active over the last couple of years and you sort of get that encouragement.[00:08:07] Okay? You'll find other people who may feel the same way that you feel. And, that, that encouragement. Can spur one onto action. And that's one of the main things to overcome. Imposter syndrome. Yeah. It can be a very paralyzing same, but once the, once you realize that there are others in your shoes for others who have overcome it, it's going to spur you on to do something about it.[00:08:31] So if you have an idea, you know, yeah. The, the circumstances are never going to be perfect. you may have a really stressful job that drains you with mental energy. You may have a family, you have family obligations. you may have, maybe caring for her. They're sick, sick parents or sick, loved one, and that's taking a lot of pot.[00:08:53] But final few minutes every day or every week, whatever your circumstances, a allow, it takes some sort of actions, some steps, four, to help you do that, whether it's learning more. whether it's, it's writing something down and making a list of stuff to, Oh, that you want to achieve to help you get to that.[00:09:12] I go to networking events, take some sort of action. It helps you move past [00:09:16] Blake: [00:09:16] it. Yeah. That, that's huge. I've talked about this with several people lately. Just the idea that perfection . Feeling like an imposter? What are all these excuses that you can come up with to stop you from starting something that, I mean, ultimately, if you can just start, no matter how imperfect, no matter how bad you are.[00:09:37] Like if you're a YouTube creator, for example, and you're trying to start this YouTube channel and you're really bad at your videos upfront, that's kind of expected and it's okay. You should just be posting, right? That's more important than having Casey Neistat's videos that are super, highly produced and get millions of views.[00:09:55] Because if you, if, if you were sprung, if that success was sprung on you right now and you posted your first video and got millions of views, you wouldn't know how to handle that. It wouldn't mean anything to you. So there's, there is a method to the madness of life where things don't come easily for a reason.[00:10:09] If you can start and stay consistently growing, then you can have success over time and it'll actually mean something to you. [00:10:16] Cecil: [00:10:16] Yeah, that's right. Martin square has done a masterclass this class. he mentioned that if you, if you don't pills physically ill after your no first attempt at a film or directing well writing, then maybe you're doing it wrong.[00:10:34] Yeah. You don't have to wait and practice on this stuff in secret. Let me go into. My inner chamber and right. The perfect, correct, or produce the perfect design, or to the perfect distance. Perfect video. Just do it and you'll, it's okay. Literally on the job, real-world training you're learning in real life, IRL.[00:10:56] Okay. And that'll help, you know, you'll, you'll be surprised that a community will rally around you. I love a good underdog story. You know, Rocky captain America. I'm just a kid from Queens. Michael, stop. You know, he wants to be a great boss. People like an underdog story and they just, you know, Jewish cause stanza, you know, we all just want to row and see each other, do better people who have achieve their success and they're living their best lives.[00:11:23] It looks like that right now. But we didn't see when they were, in the garage building a computer. You know, we didn't see one when they were going through this. it just seems to us that it was, and it's an overnight success, but it took, it takes everyone once a week, years of, of trial and error and experienced system.[00:11:42] Okay. They only get starting over. It's really hit that, The pinnacle of success that we're all, Hmm. [00:11:49] Blake: [00:11:49] One thing that's, I've always been interested in me that I've tried to ask myself in situations where I feel like, man, this, this sucks. I wish that it was totally different. Why does this have to be me in, in situations like that, this applies even to imposter syndrome.[00:12:02] If I'm feeling like I don't know if I can do this, I like to ask myself what is the opposite of this situation? And then once I've identified that, like I can reverse engineer a little bit the path from where I'm at, where I am to where I need to be going. So I'm curious. What do you think the opposite scenario of imposter syndrome is?[00:12:22] Cecil: [00:12:22] Okay. To me, and it came to me like an epiphany from the standpoint of imposter syndrome is, from what I've seen, sort of a hot topic right now. It's been around for a long time. So people are starting to come to terms with assistance, but also branding it. And to me, imposter syndrome is the anti brand.[00:12:46] And so, when a person is trying to build up their brand, their personal brand or their company's brand, yup. Constantly doing things to reinforce, what their brand promise is. and so they, they take positive action to enhance the brand. They put, put it out there. They network, they produced content.[00:13:07]they continually tell the same story, what impossible seems almost the, it's the exact opposite is. It's stealing. Like I don't have a good enough personal brand. So everything I do is kind of self deprecating and I don't produce constants and I don't go to networking events. Nice. Don't, you know, pride quest services where they should be.[00:13:28] And so when I started looking at it like that, I saw the path is clear as day. Yeah. Imposter syndrome will have me either standing still or moving backwards. Looking at myself and my personal brand as a, as a brand, as a company, in a, in a brand is what other people say about you when you're not.[00:13:47] Yeah. You know what? I care about myself personally. Well, seeing that line from now where I am to an established brand, I mean, the book take. That was four I'm going to do more. I'm going to do price my services accordingly. I'm going to go to these networking events. I'm going to break out of my shell, talk to people more.[00:14:08] I'm going to engage in other people's content. Let's take care of people and not put other people down. All that stuff. It's going to enhance your brand rather than thank you further into this imposter syndrome. [00:14:21] Blake: [00:14:21] That's, that's super enlightening actually, because the thought that just popped into my mind, you mentioned having a brand is like when you're not in the room, that's what people say about you, and it's almost like imposter syndrome is when you're in the room, it's what you say about yourself.[00:14:35] Cecil: [00:14:35] Oh [00:14:36] Blake: [00:14:36] yeah. And so it's like, well, it's, it's recorded. It's, it's an air forever. It's on the internet, but that it's almost opposite in that, in that way as well. So it works both ways because. Imposter syndrome. It's all these things that you're making up about yourself to self deprecate, like you said, but things that aren't actually motivationally beneficial.[00:14:58] But then once you get past that and take positive action and get to a place where you feel like you have a brand, then people say things while you're not in the room. Positive things, hopefully. but that's, that's just an interesting correlation. And I'm curious. It kind of a tough question. I don't know if there is a right answer for you, if you're going to have examples here, but what kind of questions should we be asking ourselves to make sure that once we're past imposter syndrome and we feel like we're in a good place, that we never forget to keep challenging ourselves?[00:15:29] Like what can we ask ourselves to keep that motivation? [00:15:32]Cecil: [00:15:32] That's a really good question. Excuse me. No, maybe a question. That, that you could ask yourself. Is there anything positive about my current situation that I, that wasn't the case. you know, the last time I asked this question, right? So if you start making those positive steps, no.[00:15:53] Did I, did I get a job? Yeah. No. Accepted my new pricing structure. And if so, that's great. I'm on the right track. Did I go to any networking events and make any good connections, recently in it. So that's a step in the right direction for awhile. It may even seem my, you're not making any money awkward.[00:16:12]because somethings do take, I ended up going to Africa overnight. Yeah. Asking yourself, am I better off today than I was yesterday? That's the whole point. That too. To move past this a hole that I'm in right now, not feeling worthy. I may still not feel tomorrow, but do I feel more worthy tomorrow than I did?[00:16:37] Okay. So, yeah. Am I better off today than I was yesterday? No matter what the split. Okay. Okay. It's probably answered the question. I don't know if that's, [00:16:48] Blake: [00:16:48] yeah, I don't know. I think it's really interesting to ask ourselves questions like that. I that's helpful to me at least. Just take a step back. It's almost like an a gratitude exercise.[00:16:58] Once you get to that point, like you're asking these questions to spark a sense of gratitude with what you have, but then also there's the other side of it. Like what's a question that you could ask that would help push you towards doing more? [00:17:16] Cecil: [00:17:16] Well, that's the question. What more can I do? What more can I do?[00:17:22] Can I, and I go to more conferences? is there more that I can learn about this current? about this current endeavor? If, again, I go back to my own experience. I'm a designer, at heart drawings, the age of five, but I'm a lifelong learner. Well, I look at others' work. Oh, I really liked that versus this, this, I want to be better.[00:17:44] Can I learn how to do that? Can I take some time to learn how to do that? What more can I do? Can I go to a creative conference this year and be inspired by others? Can I mentor someone else and help them along in their journey and, and helping someone else? You know, we usually help ourselves. All right?[00:18:00] So you know that the, the weight away from imposter syndrome isn't always just focusing on yourself. I'm just focusing on others and helping others because no matter. How quote unquote, far behind we think we are. There's someone else who probably feels like they're far behind you and you don't even know it.[00:18:20] So maybe help someone else or mentor someone and, and that'll help you with your own journey. [00:18:26] Blake:...
28 minutes | May 5, 2020
Build a Funnel that Actually Works w/ Jonathan Aufray
Blake: [00:00:00] Okay. And on the podcast today, we have Jonathan who is from growth hackers, and we are going to be discussing a lot of different things from funnel building to building an ecosystem for your branding and not just having to pay for ads, but actually building something sustainable. But before we get into it, Jonathan, how are you doing [00:00:24] Jon: [00:00:24] today?[00:00:25] Hey Blake, I'm very good to this. Thanks for having me here. [00:00:29] Blake: [00:00:29] What we'd love to get a little bit of context on you as a person. Before we dive into all of the details, I'm curious if you could just give us a quick story about your career so far, how you got started and how you got to where you are now.[00:00:44] Jon: [00:00:44] Okay. So first maybe I should tell you a, your listeners that I'm French, so that's why the Exxon's is maybe a bit weird for people. One that's used to, so I'm originally from France, but, I live in Taiwan for eight years. So I go there, like I used to study marketing international business in Dublin in Ireland.[00:01:03] And then I used, I traveled a lot like doing small jobs in England, in the U S in Spain and in Australia. And then you just walk in like, yeah, like a video, like a farming that way toasts. They're pretty small jobs. And then as I started to do a bit of marketing for small businesses, which was more the time, it was more like international service because I could speak English, French and Spanish.[00:01:30] It was more international sales and marketing. So then when I moved to Taiwan eight years ago, I was working in international marketing. So, creating a website, creating marketing strategies. It mostly in English, French, and Spanish at work. I did this for a few companies in Taiwan for like three or four years.[00:01:48] As then about five years ago, I joined a startup and I kind of move from, digital marketing to go cycling, where it will be more a gross focus was, it will be more, would be more kind of tactics. So as it would be. So for one year, I did just try marketing goals. I came for one startup, and the thing is, during that time I was, we were in an incubator in Taiwan, and then we got funded by an English, accelerate or, so we moved to England for a few months.[00:02:24] And the thing is, why, why Lynn's incubator in Taiwan? in England, right? We work with many startups and all of them are, there were more like mostly tech founders as a needed app with, with a user acquisition. gross revenue says regeneration and everything. So I was working more as like, as a concert for many startups as the same time.[00:02:48] And so seeing his idea that much time to work on my own startups, so I decided to quit. Yeah. And kind of through LaunchCode. Psychos was a good, was many startups as the same time or many companies 10 times, same time with marketing, was liking new generation. And so I've created course, I guess with my cofounder who is American and shit, I think invites from, it's from Hawaii, so that's pretty, I never been there.[00:03:13] We should have wished I could go there. So, yeah, we created go psychos of four years ago and now, you know, we work with many companies from, which machine, if we were a us, Canada. was the Western Europe, Asia, not too much, I would say not too much since America or Africa yet. [00:03:32] Blake: [00:03:32] Awesome. And it's funny how life will just take you one direction, right?[00:03:37] You think you're going to go some way and then you end up a completely different path. [00:03:40] Jon: [00:03:40] Exactly. It's a lot. So people you meet, in a way it's like a, I remember when I used to live in iTunes and Metro, the Spanish, so that's why I went to spans and Spain, a metal of Australian. So I went to Australia in Australia.[00:03:53] I met my wife. We started it. So we did. I want to kind of, yeah, it's like you, you move, you don't decide where to go. It's kind of the people you meet, those expense you out. We knew somewhere. [00:04:02] Blake: [00:04:02] Man. That's awesome. And I'm curious, if I were to ask you what you think you're one, you're one professional superpower is, what would you say.[00:04:11]Jon: [00:04:11] I think it's a, I'm very, adaptable. I think it's because of my experiences. It's because I lived in many countries, so I had to adapt so much in different, language could chew people, background or anything. So usually, I can adapt to, to two, two people all through the situation of pretty easily.[00:04:30] I think that's [00:04:31] Blake: [00:04:31] one of the most underrated skills in business for any leader. Being flexible and able to grow. [00:04:38] Jon: [00:04:38] Yeah. Yeah. [00:04:39] Blake: [00:04:39] Awesome. So let's dive into the details here, because I definitely want to go into funnels and growth hacking and all these good things that you can help us with. Keeping in mind, of course, that.[00:04:51] Most of us here are kind of at the beginning of our journey. So we're just starting out with a side hustle, or we're just founding our small business or startup, and we're just kind of getting going. So from the get go, how do you best determine, how do you determine the best funnel for your project?[00:05:06] What's the process that you should take to start mapping out the entire funnel? [00:05:12]Jon: [00:05:12] first I think first things first is you need to make sure there's a market. you need to validate your, you ID or you put it to your service. It doesn't matter what it is. You need to validate. You need to make sure there's people who's going to buy it.[00:05:26]so you don't want to actually furnace without. Making sure that people lack what you do or like what you offer. So it might be news or first thing anyone should do is no matter what's your ID, what you want, what you want to sell, don't you? You might've been here. You don't feel you need to make a business plan.[00:05:45]I don't know anyone. We'll make a business a five year business plan. We are going to respect it. It's going to happen the way they predicted, might've happened 20 years, years ago before it was born, but, it doesn't happen this way anymore. I think the best way is to create just a landing page first, just a landing page where you just talk about your product map, maybe a user story, what kind of, Why cannot you solve maybe the two benefits of your products? And, let's see. So the running page can be created within, within a day or two, or within a week if you're slow, and Zen and Zen shares this landing page, For free. You don't need to pay for ads. You can share a landing page with a wizard fellow entrepreneurs, with people in your industries.[00:06:29] If you industry in retail, you can find people in retail on LinkedIn, or you can find people. You go to retailers next to your place and show the landing page. Just. Make sure that the people you show it to are within your target audience. Because if you show it to your mom, she's going to say, it's amazing.[00:06:50] I don't think that's actually works. so yeah, like fines. validate your ID first. if people, so if you get, good feedback, if people are interested, Zen, you can start, you can start bidding, start building. where would you start? Where would you start? I will say, you, you should. You should start.[00:07:10] To think about, revenue models, making cells, pretty quickly. You don't, you might not make sense for a couple of months, but you need to understand where you're going to make some money. Because at the end of the day, if you have a business, you need to make money, a steak, a lot of entrepreneurs, they're all, yeah, well, to change the world and wants to make the world a better place, all I want to get funding, I'm going to just going to raise money and investor's going to pay you.[00:07:35] But as he knows, it is investors that we want. Oh, I say we want send money backsides. At some point you will need to have a revenue. You need to understand how you're going to make money, if it's, if it's from public service or no matter what your. No matter what you do, so understands how you're going to make money and Zen as then.[00:07:55] That's pretty easy. Once you understand, let's say if it's a product or service[00:08:03] you can make an eCommerce websites, beard shop to build the DP. So drop shipping. Just make a. She'll be five websites and start driving traffic to it. If you, if you are lazy in making a website or if she wants to make money more quickly, I don't know, sign up to Amazon or eBay, but to make a big money there.[00:08:22]if you want to sell like services, make a website more than most than the landing page. How to make a website you need. This is where this, this is so important to have a, ah, I mean. For me, it's also so obvious as in for you, it's my song abuse too, but I know a lot of people met. A lot of entrepreneurs or engineers is it creates a product or not or like or something for six, nine, 10 months.[00:08:48] Within Zig garage is it, don't have any websites, don't have any things, don't have a landing page to show their products. Right? That should be that. That's what people should start at the beginning, because you want to show what you're doing from scratch. And then once you go through a landing page, a website, you can sell your product or your service, on internet you need, you need to have, that's what I was talking about.[00:09:13] You need to have, on just phones. Our people are going to be a, with your website, are you up or anything? you don't just want to drive traffic to your websites and pay for us right away. I know two people say, Oh yeah, Facebook has a amazing, or you can target pretty much any one of us are amazing.[00:09:32]yes, there are, issue is there. Ah, when you, you know, always at work, he said, you don't, I understand how Facebook ads or Google ads work to China. Lose a lot of money very quickly. I was, Four or five years ago when I was doing Facebook ads for five views. Actually it was cheap because not many people did it.[00:09:52] Now it's much more complicated and a Lido cell might cost you 10, 20, 30, $30. when you spend on Facebook ads. The thing is. One you want to Facebook as well as good to drive traffic and to make sense, but you need to make sure that you've got a strategy behind it. People go to your website from Facebook.[00:10:14]if they leave the website, what's the strategy yet? You can be targets and you can maybe sends them an email because you've got the popup form. You can give them something for free, like a discount. You need, you need to grab people's attention. Bye. Well for offering them something. So it could be content, it could be something for free, free shipping, free projects, a free ebook, a free video.[00:10:39] If you sell video courses, I don't know. Yes. Well, once you have people on your website, it costs you money to get the people websites. So you want to make sure that true. Chat you can, we target them, puts you much for free. Maybe they are not going to buy for humans. That doesn't matter. Do you need to have a system in place?[00:11:00] Like I pay $5 for being that person on my website. I want to make sure that, I w I gave him, an offer. I gave him something maybe he buys, maybe doesn't buy base. Very important to have. Many different, channels to, to, to entice your visitors to, to pay. You don't want to always say you don't want, you don't traffic to your website chart to Africa.[00:11:23] You don't really care. You want Leeds, you won't sell. If you got, I don't know, a million people on your websites, but you make zero says it's. I prefer to have 10 people visiting my website at once. There's a, so it's really understanding that business is not, it's, it's a solar boat says, and it's sort of at some point, so built a beautiful building.[00:11:48] Too much in ads until you know, is that you can get, the stats we use, it's absolutely a metric. We use a loss. No, these are, Oh, a S like a return on ad spend for ads pretty much. And those kind of metrics are important. but. Use. Don't use, just add, use email marketing, use content to drive traffic, use social media.[00:12:16] I would say organic. You don't need to pay for Isabella when you're on Instagram or Pinterest or Twitter. You can use Ash styles or you can target audience in Nixon is actually an amazing channel, to, to connect with people. I think that's how we connected first, actually. Yeah. so yeah, there's many.[00:12:32] There's many challenges to work on. I think it's, before to pay for us. So work on your content, warn you, work on your email marketing, work on your branding, and then once you've got like, the system in place to, to, to push your visitors to, to buy from you, to, to get some things, then you can pay for ads.[00:12:52] Yeah. From the beginning. [00:12:53] Blake: [00:12:53] That's where I come on. I want to add, take it actually after this point because once you have. The idea, you validated that it works with some of your target customers. You haven't really spent any money on ads, but you've proven that it works and you know, now that you've got a system in place.[00:13:07] Yeah. And it's time to run ads. What are some of the, the practical methods that you use to run effective [00:13:14] Jon: [00:13:14] ads. Okay. Usually. So it's very first, it's very important to, to, I think everybody says to two tests as like this. I don't have like a formula to tell you, okay, that's going to work. But there's a few ads that will better, visit.[00:13:29]first it should be targeting. Retargeting is extremely important because we are on Facebook or Google ads. Why? Because we targeting you only we target people's only people who are visiting you websites. those people have a much higher chance, two, a two to purchase from you, and at least they won't feel too offended because it already know your brands or know who you are, so that they are okay to see, not to be targeting us.[00:13:59] Usually as a one walk a walk to the best. then, then. You can, you can have ads for you. if you got like very big competitors, I think it's OK to, to, to, to try to, to, to not copy them, but try to get inspired by you as they do or even target their keywords. For example, I don't know if you, if you, I don't know if you sell shoes, you, you create your.[00:14:24] New shoes, brands. I'm sure lots of millions of people look for Nike's or Adidas or Reebok or anything. So I get Zack, I get their own keywords. You could put a target to a Nike alternative, best basketball shoes, or better shoes or Nike. I don't know, any kind of things to target a big people, a big competitor.[00:14:45] So that's, that could be a thing. But, but what's very important with ads is what was said is, is testing. There's no, it's important to test the keywords. So that's more for Google ad words, but also some, so that copy you're going to write is very important, but so you targets as thing is like you, you're from Austin.[00:15:06] But, I don't know. Maybe if I make a nod to move in Austin, my work much bitters, and if I do it in San Diego or New York, or I don't know, anywhere since the U S so it's important to, to, to target different demographics. Millennials, gen X is a matter, men, women targeting location targeting keywords.[00:15:27] Is that right? So it's a good is to kind of cool. Make so many tests, Gaza data, and ASEAN, you will understand that. Okay. For my products, the best people are men from 25 to 35 years old who live in the suburb of Chicago and who like, an owner like a Kim Kardashian. it's, to find you're perfect ad bye. Testing a lot of it and finding what works the best. It kind of creates things. Perfect ads. a lot of testing. You want or you want to challenge. You're lucky, but. Usually what with advertising you won't get a positive hour or hour and within three days. I mean it's if you know someone, we can, we can do it cause that's, all a fine.[00:16:18] I would love to know that person, but usually takes time to, to, takes a few weeks, few months. Sometimes, yeah, to kind of create the perfect answer. Perfect. kopi, pictures, visuals, targets and those things. It's a lot of testing. but that's why it's good with Facebook or Google, is you don't need to spend[00:16:39] data. You can just set a 10, $10, $20 a day at the beginning shows to add two guys at that time. Once you find the perfect ad, you can double Donald's at one. . [00:16:52] Blake: [00:16:52] I'm curious if we took it in a different direction and talked about personal branding or, or building a company brand, what would a good funnel for that effort look like?[00:17:03] Considering that it's only a part of the business, but if, if there are people out here, side hustlers that are thinking in order to get my product out there, I need to build a good personal brand so that that has more impact. What would a funnel look like for that? Okay. [00:17:17]Jon: [00:17:17] totally. Our personal bonds brand is very important to us.[00:17:21] Go psychos. Pretty much everyone work with us. I mean, we work, we test them. You don't be on your business besides your personal events that people will, will connect more with someone. first. It depends on what you do. I think it depends really the audience. Because issue, let's say if your audience is like a gym teacher or like a yoga teacher, Instagram might be very important.[00:17:45] LinkedIn point, not so much, but if you work like let's say in big data or AI or something, I don't think being on his side one would be here. You're building your brand on Instagram would be very good. I mean, it could be helpful, but it would be better to be on LinkedIn or Twitter. So it's important to understand where your audiences, then you build a, then you build, you, you start building your profile there.[00:18:10] Zen being a personal brand, or you don't have a business brand. Content is, I mean, again, I think I would repeat what a lot of people said is because it's true. Okay. Content is, is, is a key. It's extremely, extremely important. Is quality content or it doesn't have to be quality. It has to be authentic.[00:18:30] Content is a B to B content that, that first that you believe in. And is that also your audience going to, engage with it? One world. I will say you don't need to, only in contents, there's two things. You can create content and corroborate content. So it means that finding what other people's content and sharing it.[00:18:53] a lot of people, like, entrepreneurs or founders or anything, the beliefs that just to create new content all the time. And I don't think so. I think of course creating content is important, but I think you can create content. Why? Because there's so much content out there, no matter which industry you are in.[00:19:11] And this thing is. Let's say we talk about like a sport, let's say a sport, a sport, shoes, for example. the thing is there's so much content, about it on the internet already. So the thing is what you could do is fund that content. And let's say you, you create your LinkedIn or Instagram profile and...
28 minutes | May 5, 2020
How to Start from Scratch on LinkedIn w/ Kyle Coleman
Blake: [00:00:00] on the podcast today, we have Kyle Coleman from Clari. Kyle is somebody that I follow closely on LinkedIn, not necessarily with the same job description as me, but I watch what he does with his LinkedIn content, and it's a really good example that we can all follow.[00:00:15] So we're going to dive into a lot of those principles today. But first off, Kyle, how are you doing? How are you feeling today?[00:00:21] Kyle: [00:00:21] I am doing so great. Thanks for having me. On.[00:00:25] Blake: [00:00:25] I'm excited for this. I always like to start with context about you so that people know that it's not just a crazy person on the other end talking nonsense, but that you're actually credible.[00:00:34] So let's get some context on Kyle. What's the story of your career so far? How'd you get started? How'd you get to where you are now?[00:00:42] Kyle: [00:00:42] Yeah. Good question. So I started in B2B tech. In about 2012 I got a job at an advertising agency in San Francisco, B to B tech advertising agency. And from there I was introduced to, actually one of our clients was a VP of marketing at some other ad tech company in San Francisco. He left his company to go join Looker.[00:01:05] A, Looker was a seed funded, actually, I think at that time it was an angel funded company. I had never heard of it. I had a little bit of exposure to the business intelligence and the analytics space and opted to jump ship from my not so cushy advertising job over, over to, I was a sixth employee at Looker.[00:01:24]stayed at Looker for about six years. Grew the SDR team from just myself to a team of about 60, as the company itself. Went from six employees to about 800 or so. And I left and helped scale the, the revenue at Looker from about a hundred K in RR when I started to about a hundred million in ARR when I left.[00:01:44] And they were, Looker was by Google in the summer of 2019 for, two and a half billion dollars. So that went pretty well. And, I joined Clary as the head of sales development and sales enablement back in April of last year. one thing led to another over the course of the summer and early fall, and I ended up taking on an expanded purview on the marketing side.[00:02:06] So I, we have this newly created department that we call our growth department that encapsulates a lot of top of funnel sort of teams from demand generation to field marketing to SDR and enablement. All in our little growth team here.[00:02:21] Blake: [00:02:21] Awesome. Yeah, I've, I've heard more and more companies doing that, trying to combine sales and marketing, not necessarily combined the departments, so just get them to collaborate more. I think that's[00:02:29] Kyle: [00:02:29] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And you know, Clary itself as a revenue operations platform, so we're trying to drink our own champagne here to a certain extent and make sure that all the teams will as aligned as possible.[00:02:39] Blake: [00:02:39] Yeah, no, for sure. Okay. And then my second question of context here before we really get into the actionable advice is if you had to. Yes. Or, or just tell us what your professional super power is. What would you say? Yeah.[00:02:53] Kyle: [00:02:53] Hmm. Good question.[00:02:56][00:02:56] Oh, this is a tough one. I feel like I am able to. I, I feel like I'm able to communicate with people really well by understanding their success criteria. So for what I mean by that is when I'm speaking to a sales person, I'm not speaking to them about MQL or leads or website visitors.[00:03:16] I'm talking to them about pipeline. And then conversely, when I'm talking to my marketing person, I'm able to kind of switch gears and talk more about the metrics that matter to them, and so I can help bridge the gap between the two. that's one of the beauties of the beautiful things of coming up as an SDR and, and sort of staying in that orbit that's right between sales and marketing for the last seven or eight years, is that I have developed the capacity to be able to speak.[00:03:39] Both languages really fluently and be able to, ensure that each team, each hand, I should say, knows what the other hand is doing.[00:03:48] Blake: [00:03:48] they are. They're definitely different languages. It's kind of like Spanish and Portuguese. They're kind of related, but they're totally different.[00:03:55] Kyle: [00:03:55] That's very true.[00:03:57] Blake: [00:03:57] All right, well let's, let's dive into it. We're going to focus a lot on, on LinkedIn today, so a lot of people out there, micro-influencers entrepreneurs side hustlers that are thinking, how can I really be on LinkedIn if I am just trying to build out this small little product?[00:04:13] I don't have much to say. If you were getting started in that situation, if that were you, how would you start from zero.[00:04:21] Kyle: [00:04:21] It's way more about educating than anything else. And if you can position yourself as somebody who has a strong perspective. That is helpful. That is meant to educate and not necessarily sell, sell, sell all the time. There's nothing stopping you. you know, it's a great forum just to go and say your piece and the people and whether you interact with the people on LinkedIn, on the platform.[00:04:45] Is so much more refreshing than other platforms like Twitter and even Facebook where people don't, there's no skin in the game. From a professional standpoint. People don't need to be professional. You know, their income isn't tied to how they show up on these platforms, but LinkedIn is not that way.[00:05:03] LinkedIn gets, you get the best versions of people, and so you get really useful feedback and you have really good conversations as long as you yourself are being authentic.[00:05:14] Blake: [00:05:14] And, and why did you yourself start posting on LinkedIn? What reality sunk in or out? Like at what point did you realize that that was something you should be doing?[00:05:24] Kyle: [00:05:24] Yeah, it's a really good question. And I was giving this some thought, over the weekend. The answer genuinely, and this sounds super corny, but it really is true, and it's, it's also the reason that I've stayed in management for as long as I have, as opposed to, you know, kind of. Being more interested in individual contributor role closing business or something like that.[00:05:42] And the reason is because I genuinely like helping people. I feel like I, I, it's what gets me going. It's what motivates me. It's what gets me out of bed in the morning. I, I feel like I have, I've learned a lot over the years. I've failed a lot over the years and I want to help people avoid similar pitfalls and accelerate their careers and achieve whatever it is that the goals they set for themselves.[00:06:04] And I feel like this for a month that I've found on LinkedIn is pretty good way to do that.[00:06:16]Blake: [00:06:16] yeah. So I wanna I wanna move on to your specific process because if we go onto your profile and look at what you're doing, the engagement's really good. And like you said, all you're doing is trying to educate people, not necessarily taking withdraws, but making deposits to people and helping them out.[00:06:35] So I'm curious if we could just dive through some specifics about your process. So first and foremost, like what, how do you decide what you want to post.[00:06:44] Kyle: [00:06:44] Yeah. Good question. I think before I answer that, if you don't mind, like I think I'd like to talk a little bit about what I did before I started posting because I didn't just wake up one morning and decide to go and try my hand at this. I, I did spend a few weeks trying to follow people who were. In a similar space as I was, or we're doing things similarly to me and tried to understand what made them successful or what made their content engaging or whatever it may be.[00:07:13] I'm not talking about trying to understand the entire LinkedIn algorithm or anything like that. I, you know, I. That's way above my pay grade. But I would follow people like Josh Braun or Colin Katniss, or, Justin Welsh, some people like that who have been consistently putting out really solid content and have a big following and are also in a similar space as I am, which is the sales, a SDR and sort of enablement space, but also kind of with a lean toward leadership and a lot of different ways.[00:07:39] And so I followed them for a couple of weeks. And I started engaging with their content first responding to or making comments on their posts, but also responding to other commenters, asking questions, trying to see what kinds of things sparked conversation. And that was the foundation that I needed to really understand who the audience is.[00:07:59] And this wasn't a super long process. Like I said, it was only a few weeks, so it's not. You know, like I spent half of my life doing this. It was just to kind of get a feel for, I could get my finger on the pulse before I started trying my hand, and that is what really informed my methodology. Does that make sense?[00:08:15] Blake: [00:08:15] No. Yeah, for sure. And that's a great precursor to it because it's not, you don't always just have to dive right in and then start failing right away. You can do some research preemptively and then prepare yourself a little bit better. So then now, now that you are posting, like what, what was the first.[00:08:31] How did you start getting your ideas for what the post, cause I know there are going to be a lot of people listening in that say I just have no ideas. I'm not a creative person, but we both know that that's totally false. Anybody can be creative in their own way. How did you find your creativity.[00:08:46] Kyle: [00:08:46] I asked the team, I asked the team here at Clary and said, what are the things that you all are wondering? Or, you know, I, I've become a little bit removed from the day to day of the SDRs here at Clarion. I would just ask them, you know, what? What kind of questions do you have top of mind? What kinds of things would you like my perspective on?[00:09:04] I also thought about questions that I get over and over and over again when I do. Panels are, when I speak with other SDR leaders or something like that, and I literally have a Google doc. The title of that Google doc is LinkedIn posts, and I just have a huge bullet list of things that I, that either the SDR team here at Clary came up with or that I've brainstormed over the course of the last few weeks.[00:09:25] And it's just a running doc and I just, every idea that I have, whenever I have it, I, you know, just pop up on my phone and just jot it down. And. I flushed that idea out whenever I can. I would say that's the other part of my methodology that is, I think, important, which is to be really intentional about setting time aside for when you do this.[00:09:46] So this is part of the reason I started doing this was because I felt like I was busy, but I wasn't super intentional with how I was staying busy, if that makes sense. So I really wanted to dedicate time to just think. And to think and to write. And so with those two things in mind, I need a topic to write about.[00:10:04] So that was kind of my one, my one two step here was get your subjects down first and then set. It doesn't take a tremendous amount of time. It's, you know, 15 or 20 minutes a day where you just sit down, undistracted, blank piece of paper. And I just write down the things that I'm thinking about.[00:10:21] Blake: [00:10:21] And so once you have your ideas and that, and that's super helpful too, because that works for you. That might not work for other people. So, and some people might not have an SDR department too. Be able to discuss things with. So key point here is find out what works for you, whether it's that or something completely different.[00:10:39] But then once you have some ideas and you start compiling that and being more comfortable with actually creating content, you've got to get into the more technical things. So you start testing. What time should I post? What formats do I use? So I'd love to get your ideas on that as well. Do you think it matters what time you post?[00:10:55] Have you seen anything that indicates that if you post a certain time, it's going to work out better for you, or do you just kind of go at it.[00:11:04] Kyle: [00:11:04] Yeah. I think I care more about when I'm at my best. Then when the LinkedIn audience is at their best. So I'm trying to optimize for when my brain is working well, and that for me is just in the morning. Sometime between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM local time. I'm here in California. So it's specific. And I think just by happenstance, that happens to be a good time.[00:11:24] You know, it catches the East coast and the middle ish of their day. It catches the West coast when they're waking up. It's still the end of the day in Western Europe. So I feel like that's probably a good time, but honestly, like I haven't spent too much time thinking about it. I care way more about when I'm personally going to create.[00:11:41] Good post good content. Then when the audiences is ready for it, I do know that the weekends are no good.[00:11:47] Blake: [00:11:47] Sure. Yeah. That makes sense, huh? People want to stay away from work at all costs. What about formatting? I know that most of your, your, your mostly text based, on your posting. How did, is that just because you feel more comfortable as a writer or you've seen that those text posts just do better than a video or something else?[00:12:09] How did you decide that that was your format?[00:12:12] Kyle: [00:12:12] Yeah. It's interesting because I have learned a lot about effective. Email writing over my, my tenure and my, my life has an SDR. And so many of those principles apply from writing a solid outbound email to writing a good LinkedIn post, short snappy sentences, a lot of white space, simple calls to action, you know, kind of the basic stuff.[00:12:34] So that format just translated really well from what I'm used to doing in my day job and what I have been doing for years and years. So that's the primary reason. I think the secondary reason is because. Words and word choice matters a lot to me and I pour over the words more than I care to admit. I would say, I'd say I probably read my first drafts in a couple of minutes, but then spend the other 15 or so minutes, really just editing and trying to come up with the exact right wording.[00:12:59] So I just feel more comfortable controlling exactly what I say in written form versus kind of this word salad that I'm spitting at you right now.[00:13:08] Blake: [00:13:08] And then once you get like the tactical stuff down, which clearly you're, you're, you're there, you've got it. Well handled. So I'm curious from that point on, how do you maximize your engagement and and get the most views possible from that content? What, what's your process or what have you seen that helps with getting engagement right off the bat?[00:13:28] Kyle: [00:13:28] I think that, you know, I, I don't participate in any of like the real engagement pod type things or I don't even know really what the options are out there. I have. a few people that I, I always send myself to as a kind of a sanity check just to make sure that what I'm saying is off the rails. So they're aware of when I'm going to post things.[00:13:50] But I think the best way to do it is just organically. And what I mean by that is when you post your thing, hopefully somebody is liking or commenting on it, you know, relatively in a short timeframe. And. Honestly and authentically and genuinely respond to the commenter. A lot of times this will be a great way, not just to get engagement in a current posts, but to also generate ideas for future posts.[00:14:12] So I think that there's something that LinkedIn likes about when posts get early engagement. you know, with some signal that the, the, the content of the post itself is of decent quality. So I would really highly recommend that post your thing. And then again for me, what I do is I set a little reminder 30 minutes after I post it just to go back and check it and check in on things and respond to as many comments as I can.[00:14:33]if I, if I have the free time, then yeah.[00:14:36] Blake: [00:14:36] Do you, do you respond to every single comment or just ones that you feel actually prolong the conversation?[00:14:43] Kyle: [00:14:43] Yeah, every substantive comment. So, you know, some people will come in, it'll just tag one of their coworkers or something. No real need to respond to that, in my opinion. But if somebody asks a question or, or extends my thought or something like that, I really do try and genuinely engage with them. And what's been really cool, and part of the reason I do this as well is not just for.[00:15:00]the, the posts and the engagement on LinkedIn, but it's to genuinely learn from people. And so I've had, I've made thousands of new connections as I started doing this, and I've had a lot of really great conversations. This one included that I, I'm just learning for people about what's working for them, what isn't about, their day job, talking shop about SDR and enablement and sales and, growth marketing and all the things that I care about.[00:15:22] I'm having really good conversations. Otherwise never had, if not for me, just putting myself out there on LinkedIn. So that's a really nice benefit of doing this.[00:15:30] Blake: [00:15:30] Yeah. I mean, that's another side of the equation that gets lost you. You started by saying, I was asking you, Hey, how do you create your content? You're like, Whoa, slow down. I actually looked at other people's content first, and that's the side that gets left out all the time. People want to post links and regurgitate information and just spit into a void, all of the stuff that they want people to hear, but then there's no engagement on their end.[00:15:53] So do you set time aside yourself to look at other people's posts to engage with them, or do you just kind of allow that to happen naturally?[00:16:01] Kyle: [00:16:01] I'm more on the natural side there at Blake. Then, you know, as intentional as I am about my own posting, I will allow that to happen more or less organically. There are people that I seek out though, cause I know they post regularly. I know they post every day. People like Jeremy Donovan or. Josh Braun, you know, Colin Adams, as I mentioned before, I, I try and look out for their posts and just to keep tabs on what's top of mind for them.[00:16:22] And a lot of times it's industry trends and things like that. So it's another good way for me to just to keep tabs on what's happening, in the universe that I care about. But, you know, aside from the handful of people that I go out of my way for, I don't really, I'm not too intentional about that.[00:16:37] Blake: [00:16:37] This leads me to my, to my next question, which is, you personally, how do you measure if a post is actually...
6 minutes | May 1, 2020
Communities: Why You Aren't the Ring Leader
Hey there, and welcome to the micro-influencer podcast on this beautiful Friday. Once again, if you are new to the show, this started out with just interviews every single Tuesday, which has kind of been my day for sending out the newsletter, putting out the podcast, doing all that good stuff, and then I decided.With the longer form interviews, which are still pretty short, they're usually 20 to 30 minutes, not, not too long, easily digestible, but I wanted to give something that was a little bit more digestible so that if you had like a five minute drive, you could listen to something, learn something new. So every Friday, I'm just doing this alone.Five, 10 minutes snippets max of. Just advice. Okay. My week to week, as you know, I report on the podcast stats every single Tuesday on a LinkedIn live. So feel free to join that. You can see exactly how many people are downloading this podcast and how it's growing. And this can help you with your own endeavor.And today I want to talk about building a community. This is something that whether you are building a personal brand, obviously that's directly related to this, or even if you're building a product, if you want to see any modicum of success, you have to have some kind of community behind it. But I think that the idea of a community is flawed because typically that suggests that there's a community leader and then the rest of the people are followers in that community.Aye. Don't think that, yeah. Should be the reality for any successful community. And that is not the goal for this. So I, I put out a post recently on LinkedIn and I want to just go through the points of this. I don't want a massive community for this. If it happened, then you know, whatever. But I really don't want that because I want everybody to be able to lead in their own way within this community.I don't view myself as the leader of the community. I just see somebody that. Organized it and had the idea to start getting other leaders together. I don't think that I'm the ringleader by any means. I'm still learning alongside every single other person listening to this. So that may sound unambitious to some, but for me, I think it's a great way two grow.And the reason for that, it's because it's based on building real relationships. And the reason that I came to this conclusion it is because I've gone the complete opposite direction in the past. I used to care a whole lot about follower counts and I thought that that was something that really mattered.I also cared about the perception of being the leader of the community. I wanted people to see me as the captain and I wanted the glory for that community and guess where that got me pretty much nowhere. The, none of those podcasts, communities, videos that I tried to build around that concept ever produced results for me.They never worked and I never really got any meaningful relationships out of them. So this time around as I've matured and started to grow from my experience and learned that that doesn't, no, not only does that not work, but it's not enjoyable. I started realizing it's way cooler if I could be a part of my own community that's actually led by every single person in it.I don't want to be selfish or illogical or pointless anymore with with trying to be the ringleader and the sole leader of a community. I really want to adjust to this new reality that I'm going to put in hard work, consistency and meet great people, and that's what's going to lead to success. And everybody in the community is doing that together.So I don't want followers, I want peers, I want friendships, I want relationships. And I know that sounds a little bit corny, but. I really think that if I can take this a little bit more, one to one over time, this is going to be much more impactful for people and have greater success than if I just try to reach everybody, which I've definitely been guilty of.That's advice that you're going to get from every single marketer that will come on the podcast. They'll say, determine your audience. Be specific. Don't try to reach everyone, but it's a lot easier said than done because everybody's tempted to try to reach everyone. I'm here to tell you that it doesn't work.And it doesn't really bring any fulfillment. So instead what I'd like to do is establish empowerment elements, I guess four, every leader that wants to be part of this community. Everybody that comes in is going to be leading in some way. I want us to take that mindset. So there is a Facebook group now, a Slack group.there's obviously my newsletter. There's this podcast. You're listening to videos and blogs that are coming and you to ramp that up more and more. And then just across all social media, whether it's Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, even TechTalk, all those places, we're going to try to have a group of people that are working together to lead each other.In improving their marketing efforts, their sales efforts. If you're building a product, this is probably going to be a really useful and impactful group for you to be a part of because it's not just the about like there's, there's no money being made off of this. This is all just strictly trying to help out people.Be a thought leader for others, not for your own benefit, but for benefiting others and that that's the goal of this. So just to be transparent about where we're at with this, I really encourage you, if you're on Facebook a lot, join the Facebook group. If you're on Slack, constantly joined the Slack group.If you just want to have one email every week and that's all the communication you want to have, there's an option for that too. If you want to be more on demand and watch videos or listen to podcasts on your own time, totally up to you. The central location for all of this is micro influential.com I encourage you to go in and check that out, but that said that, that's my thought for the day.Just. Don't seek out her followers. Seek out peers, seek out relationships. I hope you have a great weekend and stay safe out there. Thank you once again for listening. If you would like my personal growth marketing tips delivered to your inbox Tuesdaily, get it every Tuesday, visit Bitly slash micro gross, so bit dot leap slash micro growth.Also, just feel free to DM me anywhere on social, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, even take talk. I'm on it all. I'd love to help you out till next time. Influencers. Thank you very much.
24 minutes | Apr 28, 2020
How to Create Compelling Content on Social Media w/ Nick Stagge
Blake: [00:00:00] today we have Nick Stagge on to help us discern how we can be creating compelling content, unwrap what it means to actually create something that's worthwhile on social media and how to maximize that.[00:00:11] Nick, how are you doing today? [00:00:13] Nick: [00:00:13] I'm good, Blake, how are you, [00:00:13] Blake: [00:00:13] man? I am fantastic and I'm really excited about this one. I'm excited for me to learn a lot, so I'm sure the audiences as well. And let's, before we dive into it, I'd love to get a little bit of context on you. If you could just give us a brief snapshot of what your career has been like so far, how you got started, where you are now.[00:00:31] Nick: [00:00:31] Yeah, absolutely. I, it's been a long, it's been a long walk. I started in retail and spent a decade working in managing stores on the Western United States. And, and. I learned pretty quickly in that environment that at the time, brands weren't doing a whole lot to help drive the last moment of the sale.[00:00:52] They were totally reliant on, on the retail team. So I took that learning and I, I pounded on the door of Skullcandy and I convinced them that they should be better than that and they should create a retail sell through team. And they gave me. They said, look, you can come on for 90 days and prove that this will work, and if you're willing to do that, we'll take a risk.[00:01:16] So I did 10 years in retail for that, and after 90 days we kept running forward. We built a global program, and then I was recruited to go do a, an upleveled version of that at GoPro with a larger audience. And. I realized while I was at GoPro and Skullcandy that technology is just where, where it's at and where the future of interacting with one another really is.[00:01:47] So I left GoPro and I went to a, a tech company in Utah that's still focused on the same thing. So it was a nice, smooth transition. And I spent five years there and then just. Over the last eight or nine months, I have moved over and I as the COO of woolly a tech company that is putting digital rails around word of mouth marketing.[00:02:12] Blake: [00:02:12] Awesome. So you've made quite the climb from being in retail all the way up to being a CMO now at a tech company. So I think that establishes a little bit of of your credibility there. I would love to know what you would consider your PR, your professional super power is. [00:02:27] Nick: [00:02:27] Oh, man, I have so many weaknesses.[00:02:30]I mean, so when I'll, I don't know about that. Some people who know me best would say, I, I probably, need a dose of humility. But, but I, I mean, I, look, I think because I, I recognize, I have so many weaknesses. I've found a way to. To team up with people who are truly spectacular and learn from them and learn the things that I need so I can be better.[00:03:01] And the things that I, I just can't learn or aren't my forte. I've learned to lean on those people and have those people help prop up whatever sort of initiative or goals we have in place. So to me, I think it's all about understanding. What you're good at and what you're not good at. So you can put a team around you or you can join a team that compliment you.[00:03:26] And I think if you do that, then you can become really successful. [00:03:30] Blake: [00:03:30] I love it. So let, let's dive into the details here. We're here to talk about creating compelling content and maximizing your social media organically, getting more reach, reaching the right people for this whole thing. I'd love to just kind of be a thought experiment based specifically around LinkedIn, because I think that's where we're going to get the most out of it.[00:03:49] So given let's just say that I'm somebody that is just starting out zero followers on LinkedIn. I maybe I just graduated from college and I'm just starting to do my own project. Maybe I'm starting an eCommerce store or something. I'm, I'm totally, totally brand new at it. if that's me, if that's the situation for this entire interview, I'd love to ask a few questions around that and how we can actually grow on social media organically.[00:04:13] So first off, starting with. How can a, a person that's having a really hard time capturing their real voice, how can they actually find it? Because I know for me at the beginning of my journey, the hardest part was getting my thoughts onto a piece of paper or in text on a post or in a video in a way that actually came across as myself.[00:04:35] So what recommendations do you have for finding your own voice? [00:04:39] Nick: [00:04:39] Well, first I would just say. LinkedIn is the only platform that serves as a multiplier to your audience. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, they all take your audience and they, their algorithm divides it so you, so you get less engagement, less views than your total audience.[00:04:59] And LinkedIn is the opposite. It's the only platform that's a multiplier. So you might only have four or 500 connections, but you can have a post that could reach thousands or tens of thousands of people. Now, the trick is to your question, how do you create really good content? And I think the answer is, there's a couple of things here that I think are really important.[00:05:20] One is that somehow LinkedIn audience reads BS. Like they don't, they, they, they recognize it as BS and they just skip, skip right past it, right? So everyone's BS meters on high alert. And they want people who are real and are honest and are, are showing like some vulnerability on the platform. So I think the best way to start figuring out your voice is to just tell stories.[00:05:54] If you're just getting out of college. Talk about a lesson you learned in one of your classes or an interaction you had with a customer or what it was like working part time jobs and building your, your own company on the side. Talk about moving away from your family and the, the experience and the pains that came along with that and trying to meet new people and network in real life.[00:06:22] Like find the stories that are true to you and that are real life experiences and get them out there. The second thing is don't get discouraged because not every post is going to be a banger. You're going to have, some posts that have great reach and you're going to have others that have not so great reach, but learn from those.[00:06:44] Evaluate, what is it that I did in this post that went well. And what did I do differently in a post that didn't do so well? How do I shake that? How do I change that up? You know, for me, I've learned that video's just not my thing. It's not my thing. Primarily because I got a face for radio, but I also kind of clamor up.[00:07:02] I don't feel as comfortable on on screen as I do just writing. So I have, I have a lot of friends who. Almost only post video and they crush it, but that fits their personal brand. So I think those are a couple of things that you can start with to begin figuring out your voice and look at it as a almost 39 year old dude who spends time on LinkedIn every single day.[00:07:35] I'm still figuring out my voice. [00:07:39] Blake: [00:07:39] So essentially you're, you're not going to be able to find it without putting stuff out there, right? Like you're going to at some point, have to be vulnerable and okay with the idea that you might suck for a while. Is that accurate? [00:07:49] Nick: [00:07:49] Yeah, I think so. And look, here's another idea for you.[00:07:54] I use buffer. It's a free app, and essentially I use it as like a LinkedIn. Working journal. So anytime I have an idea, I go to buffer. I just write it as if it was a post and I, if I don't like it, I just tweak it and, but I'm not pressured to try to get anything live that moment, if I go to my buffer. login right now, I probably have 45 posts that are partially written and some of them will never see the light of day and others will.[00:08:26] But just as an idea comes, I jot it in and then when that idea feels fully baked, then I post it to LinkedIn. So there are things, there are tools you can use to start building up that, that muscle, and to start evaluating, Oh, I like this. I don't like that I could tweak these two posts into one post. but at the end, you could do all that in buffer unless you hit submit and you actually start seeing engagement.[00:08:56] The learnings just don't come as fast. [00:08:58] Blake: [00:08:58] Right. Yeah, I mean, I know that for me, when I, I've gone back and done this exercise, it's a terrible exercise, but sometimes it's necessary and I've gone back and looked at my first posts on tons of different social media platforms that I've tried out on LinkedIn.[00:09:12] I'm super embarrassed of a lot of the stuff that I put out up front years ago, but. At the same time, I'm really happy that I just did it. That's, that's the key part. Like you're going to be embarrassed about where you started out, but that's a result of that. That shows you how you've grown. So that's, that's actually a good thing.[00:09:30] You should be a little bit embarrassed or just look at what you wrote at first and think, Oh, I'm a lot better than that now, because that actually shows you that it's worthwhile that you've. Been moving in a positive direction and taking it a step further. I'm curious what you think are the elements that go into making a piece of content compelling?[00:09:48] Like is there a formula or a checklist of things that you've noticed that have to be present in a post or it's not going to succeed? [00:09:55] Nick: [00:09:55] No. No. I mean, look, I've, I've done posts that are, C I tried series for a while. I was doing a series things my parents taught me. And it was just real life examples of, of things.[00:10:11] My dad or my mom taught me when I was a little kid, and then I would relate it to business. And for a while that worked. And then it didn't feel like it worked. It felt a little too forced to be honest. I've had posts that are three or four lines that crush it. I've had posts that are, Yeah. They fill every character count in LinkedIn.[00:10:35] It, I think it the, the only core piece that wins here is when you are true to yourself and you tell a story that that is compelling. And, and, and I think if you do that, then you're in good, good shape. But I don't know that there's a magic formula that everyone should follow. I think every person and, and likely every post is going to be slightly different.[00:11:03] Blake: [00:11:03] Yeah. And I think you could argue that. So you mentioned that video isn't necessarily for you because it doesn't match your voice as well as, you know, written texts does. But I think we can agree, like if you are really good at video, that might be the most vulnerable and compelling piece of content. If you're actually good at it, just because people can see you, they can hear you.[00:11:20] Maybe audio would be a step down from that. And then text would be kind of at the, at the bottom of most compelling, unless you're amazing at it. Right? But how can you. If somebody is like you, for example, they prefer text. You could do video, you could do audio, all that stuff, but you prefer text. How can you actually make that come across as compelling?[00:11:39] Because it's really easy to make a boring text post. [00:11:43] Nick: [00:11:43] Yeah, so there is a little, if you, if you go back, and this is maybe more recently I've been testing and playing around with this idea, but I legitimately write a headline and a subhead. To start almost every single post. So I treat it a little bit like I would treat sending an email, and you start to see what's the really compelling headline one-liner right below that.[00:12:10] Give a little bit of context. And then I space down and then I write. And a lot of times that makes people. Click in to open up the rest of the post and to read in, and it gives them a three second snapshot of, do I do actually care about this? Do I want to read any more? So I think if you can write a really compelling headline and subhead, the rest kind of can come.[00:12:38] Yeah, that's, that's [00:12:38] Blake: [00:12:38] interesting because we don't, I mean, I, I don't think about text posts in LinkedIn specifically like an email, but really it looks similar and you're just trying to reach people and get them to read more. That's the goal of an email is just read the next line, read the next line. And it's pretty much the same with, with LinkedIn until they can get to the very end.[00:12:55] But how do you actually capitalize on that? So when you're creating content that's all good and well, you can have amazing content, but. How do you find the right call to action? What's the appropriate way to do that? So it's not slimy? [00:13:07] Nick: [00:13:07] Yeah, that's a great question. So if you go through and you look at my, my profile in the posts that I have, I don't talk about Woolley.[00:13:17] I mean, maybe one out of 15 or 20 posts. Do I talk about Willie, the company that I worked for? And even then, it's not, I work for Willie. You should come interact with us. You should visit our website. Like that's not, that's not how it works. instead, I use LinkedIn as, this is me. This is my, this is my personal brand.[00:13:41] Sounds a little cliche, but it's true right. And I'm going to talk about things that I'm interested in and that I'm going through challenges that I have, questions that I have, and then I'm going to interact with people who interact with my posts. So I'm going to, if I like what they had to say, I'm going to like it.
9 minutes | Apr 23, 2020
Improve Your Content's Distribution without Hacks w/ Blake Emal
Blake: [00:00:00] Welcome, welcome to the micro influencer podcast. Once a week, I wanted to do one of the shorter episodes where instead of just doing an interview, which I'll continue doing on Tuesdays, I think that's highly valuable to hear from experts and pros and other people in your position that have done it before.[00:00:17] This is going to be based on my journey, so that you can see some of that's actually building something currently, which is the podcast that you are listening to. So this will be a little meta, but, I think it's going to be valuable really for me to document what's happening on a weekly basis. Going over one, I'm actually trying what's working, what's failing, and sharing that with anybody that is trying to build something on their own.[00:00:40] Now, you may not be trying to build a podcast yourself. You might be trying to build a YouTube channel or an Instagram store or an Etsy shop. You might be trying to build something in software. It might be more advanced than that. So wherever, whatever stage you're at, I'm hoping that this will help you at least see what.[00:00:59] The production and the distribution and all of those steps that go into building something meaningful, what those are, how to decide what works for you and things like that. So I'll just start with where I'm at right now. There's no need for me to go. Back into the past I, because my recollection won't, won't serve me as well.[00:01:20] So I'll talk about this this week and what's been happening in terms of building out this podcast. And I hope you find value in this. So here we go. This week I. As you can tell, I lost my voice and it's just recovering. So it's been an interesting time for podcasts when I'm recording intros, nachos, and things like that.[00:01:42] Sometimes they might sound in the next couple episodes, a little raspy. Apologize for that. And especially right now, it probably doesn't sound great, but I'm at, I'm at the tail end of this thing. I feel like I'm recovering. And this past week I've been focusing so much on distribution because I have run podcasts before, so I have an idea of.[00:02:01] What sounds good, what makes for an engaging interview, how to find the right people and come up with great questions and things like that. So I feel like this time around, I was more prepared for the actual content of the podcast, but still really trying to figure out distribution and getting an audience out of it.[00:02:20]it, it's not easy. That's easily for me, the hardest part of this whole thing. I, I could talk for days, I could. Go into a studio and just record my own voice and I, I'd be fine. I could be able to create something, at least a value, hopefully, and in a short period of time, but I haven't been able to grow a podcast quickly, and I'm not looking for gimmicks or things that will.[00:02:47] You know, hack my growth right now and then kill me later. I'm looking for sustainable growth, but I'm trying to find ways that I can be more productive and efficient to expedite that growth realistically, and I have found some success. So I started sharing my numbers on LinkedIn last week and I'll share them more and more every single week.[00:03:07] Last week I was at 400 downloads. Of the podcast. And that was after the first nine days of the episodes being launched. So within nine days of the, of the podcast launching, I was at 400 downloads for context. In previous podcasts I had done in about six months, I had gone to a thousand so it took a much longer time.[00:03:27] This is almost a week, and I got the 400 so as of right now, I'm at about 620 so in the past week it's gone up 220 and I'm still really trying to figure things out so. I want to share some things that are working for me. First and foremost, I've been leveraging the audience that I already had. my biggest platform is LinkedIn.[00:03:47] So I've been leveraging that and trying to find ways to provide value. I've been making posts about the topics that I'm covering in interviews, but I'm not just making it about sharing a link, so I'm, I'm actually expanding upon ideas that I've already interviewed people about that I've released episodes for.[00:04:05] And then of course in the comments, I'll link out for a more robust, full, you know, full version of that topic that thought, and that will be the interview. So I'm still getting the podcast out there, but what I'm seeing is that people are engaging with the ideas. And maybe sometimes they, they will click through the link and maybe they won't.[00:04:27] But what I was doing before, which I think most of us probably are tempted to do, is I'm on every single platform and I post the link. Every time I have new content, I just post the link and that's never going to work. Now. If you do that on Instagram, you'll get zero views, zero likes. If you did it on LinkedIn, people see right through it.[00:04:44] The algorithm will kill it immediately. You won't get any reach. So instead you've got to share original thoughts that piggyback off of what your contents about, and then you could share the link later down the road in the comments and the conversations that ensue. That is one thing that I've really learned this time around, and especially this week, I've been hammering that home.[00:05:03] Lots of my posts have been around the topics that I've been speaking on my podcasts about. That's not coincidence that did. That is absolutely on purpose. Another thing that has been really, really working for me is creating design assets or collateral that I can give to guests. That they want to share and basically doing all the leg work for them.[00:05:24] So instead of saying, Hey, will you share this out? Maybe come up with some good copy to share it out with and, and here's the link and just figure it out. Instead, what I'm doing is I have a dedicated link for that specific episode. That when you go to, it links out to every single platform you might want to listen to, and it only points for that specific episode to those platforms, so it's really targeted there.[00:05:46] Then I'll go onto a design tool like Canva or whatever, whenever you want to use, and I will create a video of. It basically an audiogram. I actually use headliner for the audio grams, but I use Canva to design the background of those videos. So it's like a, you know, a wave form video kind of thing. And I've been subtitling them as well, and I'll give that to the person that I interviewed and an image that's.[00:06:11] Consistently formatted across all of the different interviews that I do, so it's the same format just with the names and things replaced. I'll give them those assets. I'll even try sometimes to give them copy that they can use if they don't feel comfortable with coming up. With something to write about it on the fly.[00:06:30] So making it as easy as possible for other people to share that you're interviewing for the podcast or whatever you're, you know, if you're building a YouTube channel and you're collaborating with somebody, whatever you can do to make it easy for people to share, that's the number one takeaway here. and finally, I revamped the website to be a lot easier to use.[00:06:48] I was using just the normal podcast hosting website, a thing that they most have integrated in there. You can just switch on your podcast website and it'll populate with the episodes on there. And that's about it. And that's nice if you don't have any expertise on building a website. But for me, it was important to make this a better experience.[00:07:09] So I built out a full website for the podcast and the newsletter that accompanies it. And if you're not subscribed to that, by the way, please, please do. but yeah, I, I've, I've combined those two a little bit and made it a better experience on the website with the more robust pages for each of the episodes themselves, putting the players embedded on there with the full transcript, it's much easier to see and navigate.[00:07:33] That's another thing that I did. So those are the things that I'd really tackled this week. I am trying my best to find ways to naturally and humanistically spread this. I'm not trying to. Trick the algorithms and trick people into listening to it. Because, you know, quite frankly, at the beginning of my marketing career, when I had ideas, I would try to do things like that just because numbers were more important to me back then.[00:07:59] But as I've grown and become more experienced in this, it's not really the numbers that matter so much as the interactions and the people that I meet out of it. If, if somebody says they like the podcast and it's just one person, that's really cool to me and I don't need to see thousands of likes on something to get value from it.[00:08:16] And I hope that. That resonates with you and if that's kind of, if you're on board with that ideology, I think that you will really continue to enjoy this podcast. Like I said, this is going to be an ongoing weekly thing that I'll release at the end of the week after the interviews are released at the beginning of the week so that you can have a shorter interview to go off of and.[00:08:37] Just learn a little bit of my actual process and what's going on in building this out. So even more real, real life application. Thanks for listening in. Hope you have a great weekend. Please visit micro influential.com for the newsletter, for the podcast, for any information on me and have a great weekend.[00:08:58] Thank you once again for listening. If you would like my personal growth marketing tips delivered to your inbox Tuesday daily, get it every Tuesday, visit Bitly slash micro growth, so bit dot leap slash micro growth. Also, just feel free to DM me anywhere on social, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, even. Tick tock.[00:09:18] I'm on it all. I'd love to help you out till next time. Influencers. Thank you very much
24 minutes | Apr 21, 2020
How to Bootstrap a Business without Any Software w/ Mike Carroll
Blake: [00:00:00] Awesome. On the podcast today, I've got an old friend, Mike Carroll, who was on a previous podcast that I hosted, and we're running it back today. Mike, how are you doing? [00:00:12] Mike: [00:00:12] I'm good, buddy. How are you? [00:00:13] Blake: [00:00:13] I've been fantastic and I'm excited to have you on. Mike knows a ton about sales and marketing and blending them together and growth and all that good stuff.[00:00:21] So we're going to talk about bootstrapping and growth in general when you're just starting out. But before we get into all the details, I want to give the audience a little bit of context as to who you are and what you're doing. So if you wouldn't mind just giving us a brief history of your career so far.[00:00:36] Mike: [00:00:36] Yeah, sure. That's a, well, I'll, I'll try to give you the, like the TLDR version. it's been short. So I graduated from, from college and went to grad school and got a master's degree in journalism. I worked in politics and ran political campaigns from like, you know, aldermen all the way up to the, to the U S Senate for about six years.[00:00:52] Then I freelanced for a while, jumped into an agency, did that for six years. And now I'm at nutshell, as the head of growth. And actually in the very near future, I'll be going back to the agency side. be the VP of growth at marketing supply co, which is a digital growth agency in Detroit. [00:01:07] Blake: [00:01:07] That was, that was pretty brief.[00:01:08] That was a much more brief than a, than we usually [00:01:11] Mike: [00:01:11] get resected who does [00:01:13] Blake: [00:01:13] the short episode. I figured [00:01:14] Mike: [00:01:14] I'd keep it through it. If you want to dive into any part of that career, [00:01:17] Blake: [00:01:17] yeah. Be a little crappy. Oh, you only got like 20 minutes here, so let's, yeah. yeah. So I'm curious, if I were to ask you what you think professional superpower is, what would you say?[00:01:27] Mike: [00:01:27] Problem solving? Without a doubt. You know? And that sounds like a really weird, like, nebulous, thing to say like, Oh, I solve problems, but, but my superpower for sure is I think my ability to take any situation, any challenge that you're facing, break it apart into its, its requisite components. Figure out which of those components needs to be fixed first and then draw on a really kind of strange and diverse background and skillset to figure out what to attack, how to attack it, and then, you know, and solve that problem.[00:01:56] Well, that's a business problem, a marketing problem, a sales problem, political problem. You've been, that's, that's definitely my superpower. That's thing it's served me well. Just the ability to kind of like take a 30,000 foot view of any type of problem and then dive into it and bust it up and figure it out.[00:02:10] Blake: [00:02:10] Well, let's solve some problems today then. [00:02:12] Mike: [00:02:12] All right, [00:02:13] Blake: [00:02:13] let's do this. So one of the problems that we see often when you're a side hustler, you're just starting out on a project. I don't really know where to start in terms of the growth. You maybe you have an idea, you kind of have a game plan of what you want to accomplish, but then you feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do on social media to grow it and all the sales side of things and, and you might feel tempted to immerse yourself in buying all kinds of different tools.[00:02:39] I'm curious what your thought process is that early on actually having tools or if you even need them. [00:02:46] Mike: [00:02:46] personally, I don't think you need them. I think the only thing that you need to start any type of side hustle or project as a whiteboard. So, yeah, and what I mean by that is that whatever you're going to do up front, whatever your side hustle is, the most important thing is just to, and actually I read one of your posts this morning, they kind of resonated for this conversation, on LinkedIn.[00:03:08] You were talking about, you know, working from home and coronavirus and all this razzmatazz. And it would be your suggestion by the way, it was work from home and schedule yourself like, you know, down to the, to the last minute, which, you know, I tend to agree with work from home as opposed to, you know, sort of exude this type of flexibility.[00:03:23] But if you are responsible for your own time 100% of the time and you don't schedule yourself, you're going to do poor work, like you say, and you're going to fail. So I think the most important thing when you're trying to, there are two things when you're trying to, to spin something up. Any type of side hustle is one carve out the time.[00:03:39]and then to, you know, take action during that time and stick to it, absolutely. On a, on a schedule, even that's only an hour a day. there's only the, it was only bought the doing right? Like you can't get anything started unless you start actually doing it. So before you start thinking about software or even strategies or anything like that, just start throwing stuff against the wall, start doing that thing that you're enjoying doing and it'll evolve or organically from there.[00:04:00] I know everybody says that and it's like almost a terrible piece of advice, but there's no other way to do it. There's no, no magic bullet. [00:04:07] Blake: [00:04:07] you get to a point where things are actually working. You've bootstrapped from zero. Now you may be right, one or two on your scale up to up to a hundred at what point, or I guess, let me rephrase that.[00:04:18] Is there, what would be the first tool that actually would be worth investing in? [00:04:24] Mike: [00:04:24] Oh, I mean, well, if it's, I guess it depends on what we're, can we, I hate to do this and be like, I take issue with the question, but can we [00:04:30] Blake: [00:04:30] share, let's give an example. So let's say I'm, I'm running an eCommerce store where I sh I sell.[00:04:35] Red shoes that I make with custom messaging on them, and that's what I do. Okay. And so I've gotten to a place where I can get some traffic organically. I haven't paid for ads or anything yet, but now it's to the point where I've got a couple sales and I can see that it's starting to slowly snowball.[00:04:53] What's the first tool that I need to start looking at? [00:04:56] Mike: [00:04:56] So in that situation, I think the first tool that you would start looking at it would be any type of social media, like scheduling tool. Right? I think one of the hardest things to do. And this could go for any type of digital business, right? Whether you're doing e-comm or you're trying to build your LinkedIn audience or whatever it might be.[00:05:10] And actually this is what I've been looking at recently as I start to spin up my own website and kind of go out on my own a little bit and try to, you know, come up with something that I can sell outside of my work. Everybody needs a side hustle. it's just something that's gonna keep you posting consistently.[00:05:23] And I think the best way to do that is. Okay. What I do now is I keep a, just a notepad. I use notion by the way people use it. Evernote. Okay. I just have one post open all the time. That's like LinkedIn posts period. and I just write down anytime I have a thought, I write down, you know, what needs to go in there.[00:05:39] And then the next step for me is rather than like manually posting them all the time, is like the load them all up for the week and then set it and forget it because I've got other stuff to do. and then come back after the weekend check, see how those posts have been doing. So if I was running an econ business and my traffic was coming from social or organically, and in that regard, and the first tool I would look into is just something to regiment how I post and where I post without me having to think about it all the time across channels.[00:06:04] If you're doing two or three, although I would tell you to focus on one, maybe two, max. so that would be the first tool I would recommend anybody use. There's some simple tool, like a trying to think of a good one, like a buffer app, or I'm not a huge fan of HootSweet or anything like that, but something like that put you on a schedule.[00:06:19] Oh, for sure. [00:06:19] Blake: [00:06:19] And by the way, a lot of those tools either have a free trial or have a free plan. So at this point, there may not even be reason for you to be spending any money outside of maybe if you want to start running ads, which I'm curious, I guess at that point, how far into it you think you should actually start running ads?[00:06:36] Is that something you think you should just do right off the bat? Especially with an eCommerce store like we just mentioned. [00:06:41] Mike: [00:06:41] I suppose it depends on like what kind of money you have available to yourself. Right? So if you have money to spend on something, then yes. I would say starting to F nothing, you know, whether it's e-comm or anything else, nothing keys you into your sales process or your or your funnel, for example, I guess is the best way to put that.[00:06:57] Like your conversion metrics more then spending money on advertising. when it's found money and you're getting traffic organically, you don't tend to spend as much time like worrying about how it's converting because you're not paying for that traffic. But there's nothing that focuses your attention quite as acutely as when you're spending your own money on, on advertising.[00:07:16] So that's one advantage to spending money on advertising, not just the traffic that you get or the conversions that you get, because it's going to force you to look across, you know, your whole funnel and make sure that everything is, you know, is, firing on all cylinders because you're, we're spending money.[00:07:29]So to answer your first question, like when did you start spending money? If you have the money to spend, start spending it immediately. I mean, there's no way to escape, you know, particularly in an econ situation if you want to get things going quickly. paid advertising. Yeah. You know, I was talking to Susan and Patel, are you, do you know him?[00:07:45] Blake: [00:07:45] Yeah, I interviewed him on the, on the podcast. Yeah. Yeah. So [00:07:48] Mike: [00:07:48] we talk every once in a while and he, you know, he came in and did a great talk on lead generation for boundless at nutshell, which was last Friday. And one of the things that we were talking about is exactly that, by the way. So I'm kind of taking that piece of advice for him, but you know, he basically, he was like, if you're trying to get from zero to a hundred customers, you know, a cold outreach is like the best way to do that.[00:08:08]although it's e-comm, like you're not going to start calling people up and ask them if they want to buy your red shoes. So. so in that regard, if you're getting from zero 1000101000, those short term tactics where your paid acquisition are going to be absolutely critical in the background. You should building your organic engine for sure, but you're never going to get past that 1000 Mark without sort of spending on paid advertising.[00:08:29] And when you're spending, by the way, it might be ROI negative at first, and then it might be breakeven, right? Which is okay. You just have to get yourself up to a certain threshold so that you start see the organic kind of comfort. W [00:08:41] Blake: [00:08:41] S things like that. It's all about testing testing. Rare. When you're testing upfront, you're usually not going to find the right answer immediately.[00:08:50] And if you do, it's extremely lucky and over time you can narrow in on the right answer because all of the wrong answers start eliminating themselves. So just over-give give yourself time. Folks, if you, if you're running ads, if you're building anything, give yourself time to actually consistently put in the work.[00:09:07] like, like Mike said, just posts on social media consistently. If you're going to be able to run ads, do it consistently and test and keep all that data over time, going to work. If you just use all that data to your advantage, where it doesn't work is if you decide to quit halfway through or you don't learn from mistakes and you're, you're not humble enough to just accept that what you're doing isn't working [00:09:30]...
23 minutes | Apr 14, 2020
How to Make Your Marketing Resemble a Gift w/ Colin Campbell
Blake: [00:00:00] On the podcast today, we have Colin Campbell, who's here to talk to us a little bit about marketing and how to make it feel like a gift, not so much a, a burden or an interruption. Colin, how are you doing [00:00:15] Colin: [00:00:15] today? I'm great, Blake, thanks for having me on.[00:00:18] Blake: [00:00:18] Really appreciate this and I'm excited. This is somebody that I follow closely on LinkedIn, so really, really excited, but I want to get some context on you for the audience first so they know who they're dealing with here. if you could just give us a quick story about your career so far, how you got started and how you got to where you are now.[00:00:34] Yeah, [00:00:35] Colin: [00:00:35] sure. So the short version is I graduated from college with a degree in global studies, which turned out to be not so useful for helping me get a first job. I was lucky that my parents had a small business, so I helped them with customer service, sales and marketing. I taught myself some content marketing.[00:00:53]got a job at a content marketing agency doing strategy for all kinds of clients in all kinds of industries. And then I ended up, six years later leading. That account management department in the Boston office of that agency. and then through sort of a serendipitous connection to somebody who worked at sales hacker, I got the job running sales hacker after that.[00:01:13] So I've been doing that running sales hacker for about two years. [00:01:17] Blake: [00:01:17] Awesome. And if you don't follow sales hacker, go look it up, but we'll, we'll talk about this at the end, but it's, it's great. so. Let's, let's dive into this. I'm curious, first of all, what, what would you consider your professional superpower?[00:01:31] Colin: [00:01:31] Oh, yeah. I think I'm kind of the guy who just asks why a lot, you know, like, I, I try to do things with a purpose. Which is kind of a strange superpower to have cause it's not a tactic. Like, you know, you hear people talk about the T shaped marketer. my, I guess, you know, I, I'm not, my superpower is an SEO or content.[00:01:50] I'm pretty good at those two things. My superpower is really like, let's figure out why we're doing these things and then prioritizing and trying to give teams focus so that we can go big. In one area and, really make a difference for the people who we need to make a difference for. Well, [00:02:07] Blake: [00:02:07] let, let's dive into just that.[00:02:09] And so making marketing field feel like a gift. That's definitely not how most people feel about marketing. It's usually perceived as kind of slimy interrupted. so I'm curious, first off, generally, what do you mean by that? Cause you say that a lot. That's one of your core messages. [00:02:29] Colin: [00:02:29] Yeah. I, you know, this started out I think is me trying to like assuage my own adjunct about my profession.[00:02:37]cause I do love marketing, but, but I am pretty conscious of the fact that I don't love being marketed to or being sold to. And I think most people feel that way. So I really just tried to start doing things in marketing roles. For our audiences without the catch involved, you know? and, and like, the reason I gravitated in early in my career towards content marketing is because it felt like that, it felt like, Oh, this is a nice thing I can do for the people I hope will one day become my customers.[00:03:06] And if I teach them. Some stuff that's useful for them, you know, maybe it'll come back around, but then we all got really good at attaching forms to things and, you know, basically adding a catch, and I didn't like that. Yep. Yeah. [00:03:23] Blake: [00:03:23] Well. So let's, let's dive into it a little bit more and start here by, I mean, so you're, you, you're at sales hacker, so you're thinking w a lot of people are gonna think, Oh, this is a sales person.[00:03:32] But you're, you're a marketer. So first off, what's, what's that like working in a, at a place where sales, is that the primary focus, but you're. More on the marketing side. [00:03:44] Colin: [00:03:44] Yeah, it's pretty interesting. and I actually, so sales hacker is a, is a community for B2B sales professionals, not just salespeople, but like, you know, sales leaders, people in operations too.[00:03:55] And what's so interesting about being at sales hacker right now is that we're actually. owned by outreach, which is a SAAS company that makes software for sales professionals. so I kind of get to walk this cool line where, you know, my job is really to connect with and grow this community of B to B sales pros.[00:04:13]but I kinda like, we're doing it by creating a gift. I mean, the community itself is a gift. To the, to the community. There's really no catch. Like outreach is so customer obsessed that, their obsession with salespeople success starts well before they're a customer, before they're even a lead. It's just, you know, from the time you enter your sales profession, we want you to have an ability to connect and grow your career, which is why sales hacker exists.[00:04:42] What, [00:04:42] Blake: [00:04:42] what are some of the examples of the gifts, quote unquote, that you've given at sales hacker? [00:04:47] Colin: [00:04:47] Yeah, so, some of them are like, they look and feel like a gift, right? Like, we found out, last fall that there is a holiday called national sales person's day that nobody celebrates. And like, you know, there's a made up holiday for everything, right.[00:05:02]but we decided to make it a real thing and it's, it was December 13th. in 2019, we decided to do a whole week, and so we made a virtual summit. but there were no sponsors, so we didn't share any leads and all of our speakers didn't get the leads either. They just kind of did it because they liked the idea of, of giving a gift as well.[00:05:22] So we did like a week long summit with over 40 speakers. 5,000 people came and showed up for it. and then we all went our separate ways. And you know, we can look back on that memory fondly knowing that we are not, you know, every guest is not now in someone's sales funnel. [00:05:39] Blake: [00:05:39] That's, that's super interesting.[00:05:40] So like when you're, when you're going into it, you still have to have some kind of business objective behind these things or, or it's, I mean, what was the objective ultimately? What were you hoping? If you're not promoting a CTA or anything, you're just giving away information. Just being generous. What's the hope in the longterm.[00:05:57] Colin: [00:05:57] Yeah. Well, my, I mean, I'm in a fortunate position of having a really, really big total addressable market. Like I want every single B2B sales professional in the world to be a part of our community. which means I need to make investments in branding and just like how people feel about us. so if I was going to pin a metric to that, it would be trying to, you know, as we do more and more things like that over the next year, see a year over year increase in net promoter score.[00:06:26] Blake: [00:06:26] I love that it's, again, customer obsessed. So that the core audience here, we're talking about people that are more side hustlers, not necessarily in a business or well into their career. Maybe they're just starting a product or just starting to build out their personal brand. But the principles of that totally apply across the board.[00:06:43] Being generous with your time, giving your ideas as a gift instead of always just trying to have a CTA and get something back in return. So what specific advice would you have. For a side hustler, for example, on doing just that. Like how can they feel comfortable giving away knowledge and ideas when they don't really have a lot of business to rely on yet.[00:07:05] Colin: [00:07:05] Yeah. Well, look, so I learned from the best, like I didn't invent this concept. If you look at someone like a, if you don't follow Josh Braun on LinkedIn, he walks this walk. So, so well, his job started as a side hustle. He is a sales coach, and consultant and a and trainer and, and like, he spends his time almost all of his time giving away free nuggets of knowledge on LinkedIn and other venues.[00:07:32] And, it works out for him. I, you know, I think it's different for everybody. He's got a full playbook full of, you know, I don't think it's now like 200 different sales plays that you can learn from. He doesn't give all of that away, right? Like, he has to have an outcome for himself at some point, but over the course of a year, he may give away, you know, like.[00:07:52] 30 of them and it only wants, makes you want the full playbook even more, or, or it makes you want to hire him as a trainer even more. So. I think you need to find a balance. it is definitely, a marketing strategy that can work for everybody, whether they have a huge market or a small market. but, you know, just, I, I, my advice would be to just start by finding one thing you can give away and then giving it multiple shapes.[00:08:19] Blake: [00:08:19] And that kind of plays into your idea of depth is more important than breadth or stretching yourself too thin is not nearly as effective as going deep on one thing, and I'd love to dive into that specifically around, I guess, personal branding or building out your product for these people that are listening here.[00:08:37] What, what process or what, what ideas do you have around how to find that focus and go deep on it? [00:08:45] Colin: [00:08:45] Yeah. well I think the way that I've found focus in the past is by talking to customers and, the more conversations I have, the more I realize that. You know, there is probably 10 or 12 things that I want to say or that I want to be talking about, but all my customers talk about the same two or three things, and we only overlap on one thing sometimes, you know, so it's, you know, take your list of things you want to say, talk to a lot of customers or potential customers, find out what resonates with them, and then hammer that point home.[00:09:16] And it doesn't mean you repeat the point exactly the same again and again. Again, another example, I'll point people to Andy Raskin. on LinkedIn, he's a storytelling consultant and amazing at what he does. he's got 1.11 belt ring, and that is that your business needs a core story. And he tells that story again and again, but it's comes in so many different formats, so many different ways of saying it.[00:09:42] And he tells his own stories, his customers that, you know, it doesn't look like he's repeating himself, but he clearly has focus and it makes it memorable. So [00:09:52] Blake: [00:09:52] that we're, that we're talking about depth of content, depth of focus there, but then there's also this side of depth of relationships. So how do you develop a deep close relationship with the right people?[00:10:04] First off, how do you, how do you find the right people to even start building the relationship with? And then part two of that would be how do you. Develop a good deep relationship with them, knowing that you're both in the business world, not necessarily just like only friendship. [00:10:20] Colin: [00:10:20] Yeah. it can be hard to find the right people, especially because, you know, I do most of my personal networking through LinkedIn.[00:10:27] I think that's how we met Blake. Yup. But, and, and the world of LinkedIn is so big and everybody can seem like a potential. Connection, not even just a potential connection, a potential close connection or a close acquaintance. so it can be tricky to find who the right people are. I don't know if I have the best strategy for that, but I cast a wide net.[00:10:48] I just have a lot of conversations and like when anybody connects with me or I connect with somebody who seems like they may be interesting, I try pretty hard to turn it into a real conversation. And if they've said something interesting, I try to take it off LinkedIn and have a phone conversation or jump on their podcasts like this.[00:11:06]and then, you know, to foster those relationships, you really gotta focus on giving again. Like if you. We all have that friend who's always asking us for favors and over time they probably kind of become not a friend cause that's annoying. so you gotta you gotta be the person who is thoughtful and giving them things, even when they're not asking you for stuff.[00:11:27] Just, you know, spend a couple minutes a day thinking, Oh, this person seems like a close connection. We have a lot in common. They may be able to help me someday, or, you know, maybe it would be a potential future customer of mine. What's one thing I can do today just to help them for free because it's the nice thing to do and kind of have faith that the golden rule who work in your favorite later on.[00:11:50] Blake: [00:11:50] Well, I know that you have, you'll have a slight group, right? Where you, you had you kind of engage with support or some of your more enthusiastic folks over there, and I'm curious what that does for you. Like...
27 minutes | Apr 7, 2020
How to Grow on Content-Deficient Platforms with Courtney Johnson
Want to learn how to grow on platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok that are currently content-deficient? Listen in!Blake: [00:00:00] Awesome. On the podcast today, I have Courtney Johnson, who is a fellow Austinite. Why more of a passer-by but Courtney, how are you doing today?[00:00:11] Courtney: [00:00:11] I'm doing good. Excited to chat with you, Blake.[00:00:15] Blake: [00:00:15] Yeah, this is going to be fun. Courtney is super active on LinkedIn, so that's where I've originally met with her and and decided to do this podcast episode, and it's going to be really helpful because if you go onto her feed, you will see all kinds of cool content, really great actionable ideas. It's not fluffy like a lot of other people's stuff, which I.[00:00:34] Thoroughly enjoy you. You get a lot of meat in the, in the posts and a lot of specifics. So that's great. And hopefully I'm going to extract that for the audience today and we'll be talking about LinkedIn and then also take talk a little bit. The theme really is content deficient platforms, so platforms where there are more consumers than creators.[00:00:53] And so we'll dive into that. But first I like to get context on you. So that we know kind of what your background is and who we're dealing with. So if you wouldn't mind just taking us through a brief history of your career so far.[00:01:05] Courtney: [00:01:05] Love it. Well, I'm Courtney, as you all know. I actually started my career in sports marketing, worked for a lot of teams over in Dallas. then went to a few agencies, started getting hired on to build out agencies. and companies. Social media departments, you know, make them profitable, create service lines around them.[00:01:24] And then I was hired on at scaled about a year ago to create the digital presence department, which is kind of the bridge between, digital marketing and sales through digital. So we do a lot on LinkedIn where, you know, building out sales teams, LinkedIn and personal brands. So it's been a lot of fun.[00:01:41] It's been a wild ride so far. Working in social media is pretty crazy, but, I absolutely love it.[00:01:48] Blake: [00:01:48] And then for for even further context, if you could just give us an idea of what you would consider your professional super power is.[00:01:56] Courtney: [00:01:56] My professional super. It's definitely connection and audience building on social. So I think a lot of people, and a lot of agencies, brands focus so much on the content where they forget about the audience. You can have the best content in the world, but if the right audience isn't seat seeing it and it's not formatted in a way for that specific platform that's going to resonate with that audience, it's a waste of time.[00:02:21] So I really try to focus on that audience and engagement element. Social media.[00:02:27] Blake: [00:02:27] Well, I think that's going to fit in really well because the audience here, we've got a bunch of listeners that are side hustlers and a lot of people getting started out, not necessarily well on their way in their journey. So this is going to be helpful to give us ideas as to how to get going and how to start engaging properly.[00:02:43] So let's, let's just start there. Like specifically with tech talk right now. It's so unknown for a lot of people. It's businesses like sign hustlers, everybody. Nobody knows what to do on tech talk except for gen Z people. So like for the rest of us, where should we actually start with TechTalk[00:03:01] Courtney: [00:03:01] Yeah. So first place to start is just people . Brands are trying to do, just copy what they're doing on other platforms and put that on tick talk. But it's really about the people. So if you work for, you know, some sort of, whether it's a fun, like a fun, easy brand, like a B to C brand, or a little bit more difficult to B to B brand, you need to pick people out.[00:03:23] That can be the representatives and beyond tick tock instead of just. You know, random things about your brand, you really got to give value. But the easiest way to start is true copy what others are doing. I mean, there's a reason why, you know, a 13 year old from like Michigan is getting more views on their tick talks.[00:03:43] Then, the wall street journal with a content team of 200 that carefully curated and plans their content. Not because that 13 year old is more talented or knows more about marketing. They just inherently get it. So copy what other people are doing. Like, look at the trends. Look at the, the music that's trending, the styles that are trending, and try to emulate that, but emulate that with people.[00:04:10] Blake: [00:04:10] But before we get into even more specifics about that, I want to take a step back and get foundational here because I know that one of the things that I've noticed that you're really good at is pinpointing the right audience. You seem to have really dialed into that, especially on LinkedIn, where I follow you the most.[00:04:25] So how can other people pinpoint their right audience? Like what was the process that you took to get to the right people and stay on track with them.[00:04:34] Courtney: [00:04:34] This depends on how segmented your audience is and how many audiences you have. So with LinkedIn, it's as easy as, you know, identifying who your audience is going in and out, adding them. Every single day connecting with them. Tick talk. It's more of following them every day and engaging with their content.[00:04:54] But how do you know what your audience is? I mean, you should already know that if you don't know what your audience is and you have a product, that's a problem.[00:05:05] Blake: [00:05:05] Yeah, no, for sure. Like that. For a brand specifically, you should already have that well thought out, but then on the other side, if you're just an individual side hustler trying to do a side project, like you're building an eCommerce store and it's really small, you have zero sales so far, how do you actually come up with it at that point?[00:05:22] If you're totally starting from scratch.[00:05:24] Courtney: [00:05:24] Yeah. My advice is just start somewhere. So I actually have an eCommerce PLA. I have an eCommerce product myself. And what was interesting about it is, so I have my side hustle, it's yoga mats. And what was interesting out it is we thought this would be B, you know, very much focused to like the hardcore yogis that go every day.[00:05:45] And what we saw in the analytics approach, both our website and social, is this was transitioning to a lot of casual users, which isn't what we do. Beck did. Oh, go in one direction. Pick a place to start, but then look at the backend, look at the analytics, and use that to be able to flex where you can constantly be testing out new audiences to, based on user data.[00:06:09] So we've got some user generated content of people using. These yoga mats for, things that we didn't even realize, like putting, like a rug in front of your sink or they're using it, or weight training and all of this other stuff. So be able to flex and grow with your audience because if you're so rigid with who they are and it has to be this person and people don't in that box, that can be problematic.[00:06:34] Blake: [00:06:34] I totally agree with that. I think one of the most underrated skills in marketing and business in general is just being adaptable, not necessarily. Your inherent intelligence, but just your ability to continually learn, be humble enough to take hits and then get back up and then actually adapt based on what you've seen.[00:06:52] Courtney: [00:06:52] Absolutely. And this, that's one thing that makes, you know, individuals are side hustlers. So much more in demand right now. The needs agencies, or big brands because their process, they're, they're being paralyzed by process where their process is so stuck in place and they have to follow the process.[00:07:11] Which process is important. But if your process is still, you know, we're only posting on Facebook three times a week because we haven't changed it since 2012. That's a problem to where, you know, smaller shops or smaller freelancers, stuff like that, they can constantly flex. They can get on tic talk, they can get on LinkedIn, they can pivot to the personal brand side of things.[00:07:34] And it's a lot more adaptable. So if you can, yeah. Adaptable and bring that adaptability into your strategy, you're going to be way ahead of . Okay. Everyone else.[00:07:43] Blake: [00:07:43] This feeds right into that then, because one of the things that you talk about that directly correlates to adaptability is looking out for currently underutilized native features. So meaning like on LinkedIn, if LinkedIn live becomes available to everybody. LinkedIn is going to push that on everyone that they possibly can because as of then it's under utilized.[00:08:06] So I'm curious, starting with tick tock, what are some of the underutilized current native features there that people can take advantage of.[00:08:15]Courtney: [00:08:15] filters is a big one. Filters, adding texts on your video. and then capitalizing on trending hashtags and songs. So if. If ticktock is trying to push something or promote something, they're going to give that more views. So if you're scrolling through tick talk, you're going to see a lot of random hashtags on people's videos.[00:08:34] Like again, 13 year old from wherever. he's going to have a hashtag of like hashtag found on Amazon, but his video is a video of him and his friends. Like. Doing something funny, playing basketball, you're probably wondering why that is, will taking advantage of those hashtags that, you know, tick tock is trying to promote, is going to push your content up.[00:08:55] Now I know that it's not relevant to your actual post, so people may say like, Oh, I don't know if I want to put that on there, et cetera, but. It's not about doing every single element, but if you can include at least some of the elements of new features, you'll be, you'll be in a better place. And engagement is another one of those two.[00:09:14] So, tick-tock, recently, you can now respond to other people's comments and kind of have a dialogue in the comments. So doing, that's another thing that's going to really push up your content and Joe to the fact that you're an active user.[00:09:28] Blake: [00:09:28] Yeah. I don't think that a lot of people realize that take talks been number one on the app store for like six months, so it's not going away either. So it's a good time to start using these underutilized native features because eventually they're going to become commonplace and then the organic reach will down the road decline.[00:09:47] So now now's a good time. If you're listening to this, start implementing these things that she's saying right now, because that's where you're going to see the most out of this.[00:09:55] Courtney: [00:09:55] Exactly like you need to get on these platforms before they,[00:10:01][00:10:01] before they get a few years in. Okay. All platforms start. If they start out any social media platform that's new, we'll start out favoring organic post. They'll start out favor and small creators, they want you to get on the platform and then as time goes on, it becomes more and more and more ads heavy, and you have to paint a play.[00:10:20] It's not easy to get organic, so if you can start early on those platforms, you're going to be light years ahead of everyone else.[00:10:28] Blake: [00:10:28] Yeah, and, and I think of it this way, if I'm starting some kind of forum forum website, like indie hackers or something like that, if I started my own thing and I was starting from scratch, if I had one person on there that was constantly posting for me, just doing that without me prompting them, I would promote.[00:10:44] The heck out of them all the time. And I would try to get as many people to engage with that as possible because they're giving me free stuff. And so these, these platforms like tick tock or a few years ago, Snapchat, Instagram, anytime they see people that are willing to give free content and have their time all the time, they're going to push that.[00:11:01] And now that's the stage that tech talks in it. Now moving on to like LinkedIn. They're a little bit more mature, so a lot of people have already started seeing organic reach decreasing, but it's still a pretty good time to jump in. Would you agree with that?[00:11:16] Courtney: [00:11:16] It's still a good time. I believe there are, let's see, 800 million monthly active users now. That's a lot. And that's going to continue to grow. Yeah. It's still, we're still like a year or two into Tech-Talk. Yes, I know it was musically and they change it, whatever, whatever. But we're not at a place yet where ads have taken over, where have you scroll through your Facebook feed?[00:11:40] ads after ads, after ads. But another thing regarding audience on tick-tock is a lot of people think, you know, this is too young. This isn't my audience. My audience may be older. Well, typically, early adopters on new platforms tend to be younger people. Yeah.
34 minutes | Apr 3, 2020
How to Create a One-Page Marketing Plan w/ Jason Weaver
You can check out Jason's site over at fixmarketer.com.The free book and 1-page marketing plan template is found at: fixmarketer.com/bonusAnd finally, the conversion calculator mentioned is located at: fixmarketer.com/conversion-calculatorNow here's the interview!Blake: [00:00:00] on the podcast today, I've got Jason Weaver here to discuss something that most of us probably aren't doing, or at least doing very well, which is creating a marketing plan, specifically a one pager. So Jason, let's start off with how you're doing, and then we'll get into the specifics.[00:00:20] Jason: [00:00:20] I'm doing great. I live in the great state of Idaho and it's been freezing cold and snowy all the time, and it just basically stopped. I don't know if it's going to continue or not, but I am very grateful not to be shoveling every day.[00:00:36] Blake: [00:00:36] I'm a, I'm from Utah originally, so I get a little bit of that, but Idaho is definitely worse for the weather.[00:00:42] Jason: [00:00:42] Yes, most definitely.[00:00:46] Blake: [00:00:46] All right, so let's, let's get some quick context on you first, just so people know who they're dealing with. I want to start out with your story, just a brief story on where your career started to where you are now.[00:00:57] Jason: [00:00:57] Well, I was going to college and there was this class called internet marketing, and so I was lucky to be in one of the few colleges that actually cared about that 10 years ago. And, I took the class, had to build a website and a, the infrastructure to sell product and everything from scratch within less than three months and advertise it.[00:01:16] So of course, Google ads was the gold standard back then, and still is pretty good right now. And, so I started selling HCMI cables for $5. Including free shipping. And I broke even during that class. And little did I know if I just kept selling them more stuff, I'd be a millionaire by now. But I got scared.[00:01:35] It's all like, how do I spend other people's money to learn this thing called Google ad words and websites. And so I went and got with the hotel company that did online bookings. And you know, I got to spend $15,000 a month in other people's advertising on Google. And I learned a lot and it just went from there.[00:01:52] So the last 10 years have been. What's called traditionally in house, where you're inside the business, working for that business, doing the marketing, running it. And then for a little over a year now, I am now doing my own internet marketing agency, more specialized on those, you know, newer upstarts, smaller companies, especially local small business, which the book I wrote is all about small business because you can apply just about everything, even to the big eCommerce company that, that's in my one page marketing plan as well.[00:02:20] But. I have a passion for local small business, and that really started back when I worked for a company called monkey bars. I, they've rebranded now. It's a gorgeous garage. A monkey bars is one of their lines, but they actually go in and organize your garage for you, if you can believe that. And they had 120 dealers throughout the United States and Canada.[00:02:39] And I got from the ground up, spend five years building their internet marketing, building the team, helping students, which is a huge passion of mine, helping them get internships. And, that's where I really, weren't a lot and started and then it, it grew from there. I've been with big eCommerce companies now, 20 million a year in sales, and, you know, but like I said, the small businesses still where my heart is at.[00:03:03] Blake: [00:03:03] And that you're, you're addressing an audience of the smallest businesses, which is a, the micro-influencer side hustler genre of people. So this is going to be super helpful for a bunch of people, and I want to dive into the marketing plan, but first, before we get into that one final context question, if I had to ask you what you think your number one professional superpower is, what would you say.[00:03:26] Jason: [00:03:26] Oh, that's intriguing. I would say my ability to create. This one page marketing plan so that any business owner can understand enough to say, Oh, I can hire this out. Or, Oh, I can go start this and try, and if I do a little do a little bit and I make some money, then I can, you know, afford to put more effort into it.[00:03:47] A lot of people, they, they say they, they, they spent boatloads of money. They get with the wrong crowd, they get overwhelmed. And, you know, the last 10 years has certainly taught me how to. The simply break it down for you because in my opinion, it's, it shouldn't be very overwhelming. It's just one, you know, other source you can go to to bring people to your core offers.[00:04:09] And, if you have that framework, it makes it really simply, that's why I call it fixed marketer. the F stands for a framework. The, I stands for identity and the extends for X factor. How you take it to the next level.[00:04:23] Blake: [00:04:23] So I'm, I'm thinking a lot of the people listening, myself included, do not have their own marketing plan. This is going to be really helpful. So everybody take notes. I'm going to be taking notes on this, but let, let's just dive into that. First and foremost. Marketing plan. why does somebody, especially a founder of a really small company or just somebody building a personal brand, why does somebody need it?[00:04:45] Okay,[00:04:46]Jason: [00:04:46] well, I, I found that it's hard to know where to start. And if you don't know where to start, then you just do nothing. Right. And you become like most businesses where you have feasted famine cycles where it's just getting referrals and that's 100% your new source of traffic. You're not getting any. you have no control over that other than maybe you can, you know, influence it a bit, but it's not consistent and reliable.[00:05:12] You can't go into a new market with referrals, right? You can't expand into new places. Can't expand into new products with just referrals per se. You can of course, sell to your existing customer base, but if people actually went and looked like, how much of my revenue this year. Came from, you know, a new product or a new market or a new expansion or anything.[00:05:32] How many came from referrals and how many came from repeat? I think they'd be really scared. They'd realize, I have no control over the faucet of my leads and business and growth. And if you break it down with a marketing plan like I have here, I start with reviews. That's something, you know, you don't need an internet marketer to do.[00:05:52] You don't need a huge budget. But it influences every bit of the buying cycle that a customer goes through or your, your ideal customer persona person that's gonna buy from you. At some point they're going to read reviews. you know, if, if, if your product is more than $10, somebody's gonna read a review.[00:06:11] And, and I used to start with just like Google ads, but, I'm sure you've experienced this too, Blake. If the company doesn't have some compelling reasons to buy from them over somebody else, no amount of traffic will solve the problem.[00:06:25] Blake: [00:06:25] Oh yes, absolutely. So diving into it more specifically then let's, let's get into it. How can, how can we do, Oh, I guess just take us through your framework of, Oh, one page marketing plan. What goes into it and how can people actually do this themselves?[00:06:41] Jason: [00:06:41] Well, like I said, you start with online reviews. And so I worked with a B2B software company and, unfortunately they only had, I think, 10 people I could find that would give them a five star review. So they had some internal problems. I didn't find out until I started working with them, but. Online, we were able to make them look like they were amazing because none of their competitors had review.[00:07:02] So, you know, I just went and searched for, you know what? You need to understand the journey that your customers are taking. At some point, they're going to a little online. Sometimes they're going to look for your brand name. Most of the time they're going to search for generic search terms, you know? So in that case, they were looking for a specific problem to be solved or software.[00:07:19] And then of course, along that journey there was, you know, a site, like a software advice. And that one also feeds into cap Tara, so it was a win win. You get a review on one of those sites. It goes to both. For the local small business owners I work with, it's always Google, Facebook, and maybe one or two industry specific.[00:07:40] So if it's your hotel, it might be TripAdvisor. You know what I mean? There's, there's always one or two you're going to find when you look. So in the book, I break that down, how to go look, and then how to actually reliably and consistently ask for reviews. And then of course, the X factors and reviews people don't understand.[00:07:58] Google is incredibly smart. They can read the context of the wording that's in those reviews. And so if you are a, you know, a taco place and everybody is talking about your burritos, you might not rank for tacos. Right. and so one of my X factors I break down in the book is just make sure that when people are leaving your reviews, you encourage them to talk about the services they received, as well as just leaving you a positive review.[00:08:24] And that's just a little, you know, like icing on the cake, the X factor, you just do a little extra mile, just a teeny bit, but it can have an exponential impact for you. I also mentioned reply to every review, especially on Google. That's huge. I have a friend that is the internet marketer just as hotels, and he, he speaks volumes to having less backlinks on his website, less people actually linking from their website to, to yours.[00:08:49] And a lot of other factors that are less. But he, he responds to every review. He ranks highly in Google maps. He ranked highly in organic search. So the free clicks that everybody wants. Right. And then, You know, Blake, you stopped me. But, I roll into the next one. A lot[00:09:06] Blake: [00:09:06] Go for it. Yeah.[00:09:07] Jason: [00:09:07] the roofers that I work with are, you know, I would love for somebody just to basically call me and, turn into a leader, a sale.[00:09:15] I don't want to go and do anything. So back when I was helping those garage storage professionals, that was very common for us to basically spoil our, our dealers. Right. They used to do home shows and have to stand for 12 hours a day and you know, multiple days in a row. And then we just give them a whole handful of beautiful ready to buy leads.[00:09:36] And they say, well, I'm not doing these home shows anymore. I'd rather give a huge percentage of my market share over to my competitor because I've just, ha, ha, you know, fat and happy. Right? And so that kind of mentality is actually really hurts small business in my opinion, because Google has now created.[00:09:51] Home services, and it's actually better than a lot of those home advisors, or, you know, You know, thumb tacks or these, or even Yelp in some cases. Cause sometimes you can pay per lead and sometimes you can pay for exposure. That leads to a lead. Like Yelp is more exposure base. Thumbtack is more per lead based.[00:10:09] Same with home advisor. So Google wanted it on that action and they've been expanding out to a lot more categories, plumbers, roofers, et cetera. Right. For these home services. And the nice thing is it's an exclusively that comes to your business, right? But the bad thing is you look like everybody else. In fact, they don't even show how many reviews you have until people click in further versus somebody else.[00:10:31] So you literally look the same as every other competitor or worse because you have more reviews and now you're a 4.9 and they have one review in there, a five point. Oh, you know, I'm sure eventually it will get better, but this idea of just give me this beautiful lead right there on my lap has has resulted into the industry changing.[00:10:49] Google is going to take more of that market share, and in some ways that's good and other ways. How do you stand out, right? You can continue to do Google ads, which is a step we'll talk about here in a minute, which is great. Right? But, if, if the very first thing people are seeing is that area, the three, three, three, guaranteed Google results, then of course people are going to click on it and you look the same as everybody else.[00:11:11] And so that's actually going to hurt you a bit. But if you don't have a good website, you don't have good marketing, you could just do reviews on that and that might be enough business for you. You might not have to move on to the next category, which is, in my opinion, Google paid search.[00:11:28] Blake: [00:11:28] Yeah. So let, let's just go and dive into that. Cause I think this is where. Well, so, so for people just starting personal brand or, or things like that, maybe Google ads isn't necessarily wearing then to start putting all of their money towards, but it's good to have an idea of how they can propel themselves to get to that point.[00:11:45] So yeah, let's dive in with Google ads.[00:11:48] Jason: [00:11:48] Perfect. So with, with like a local small business, there are what's called Google smart ads and campaigns. And so when you actually sign up for Google ads now, it forces you kind of down that path. You have to click in the right spot to go to what's, what's, what's more advanced, right? And so if you're a dog grooming truck.[00:12:10] Business in Denver, like I represent mobile pet shine, just a unique business that was given to me through referral, that I work with and I love, they're doing amazing. Get them crazy amounts of leads a month, I guess just in Denver. They just love their pets so much. Even during the winter, which kinda surprised me.[00:12:26] I would've been...
28 minutes | Apr 3, 2020
How to Build Your Brand on LinkedIn w/ Basant Shenouda
Blake: [00:00:00] today on the podcast I have and we're going to talk a little bit about building your personal brand, which I know is going to be huge for a lot of people listening in. So Basant, how are you doing today?[00:00:16] Basant: [00:00:16] I'm good. How are you doing?[00:00:18] Blake: [00:00:18] I am fantastic. Where? I mean, you're in, you're in Berlin, right? So it's completely different time than, than where I'm at.[00:00:24] It's early[00:00:25] Basant: [00:00:25] the afternoon.[00:00:26] Blake: [00:00:26] Yeah. Yeah. So, I just, just woke up, rolled out of bed and, excited to do this. Yeah. cool. Well, let's dive right into it. Usually I, I want to get more context about you first so that people can come to know who you are, why, why they should trust you, where this advice is coming from, and then we can get into actual tips that people can implement for their own brands.[00:00:49] But just some quick context on you. First and foremost, what's, what's the story of your career so far? How you got started until where you are now.[00:00:58] Basant: [00:00:58] Right? So I grew up in Saudi Arabia and I'm originally from Egypt, and about five years ago I moved to Germany to pursue my education. And I think that kind of established me as someone who's a bit more resourceful and constantly trying to get out of her comfort zone. And I think that's why I'm always trying to find ways to really.[00:01:22] Like be out there and like spotlight myself. And since then, a few, like two years ago, I started posting on LinkedIn about my journey, into finding a job specifically. But essentially it's turned into more of me sharing everything I'm learning. And how, How I've gotten so far in my career and since then I was able to get a job at LinkedIn through doing this.[00:01:49] So I'm going to be starting as a sales associate this summer, and also because of the thought leadership that I've put out as content. I'm recently launched my. career consulting, like side hustle, called Basant blast. And because I put myself out there and established myself and spotlighted myself, I was able to create my career and also like start e-school projects, get to help people every day.[00:02:18] So I'm really happy with that.[00:02:20] Blake: [00:02:20] Awesome. Yeah, that's an interesting twist as well on it because usually when we hear about people posting content on LinkedIn, it's, you know, whether it's to build their own business or their personal brand, but you've actually leveraged it to do both of those things, but also get a job at LinkedIn. So that's really cool.[00:02:35] And we'll dive into that a little bit more, that kind of the process that you took to get there. But I'm curious if, if I were to ask you what you think your professional super power is, what would you say.[00:02:46] Basant: [00:02:46] Ooh, that's a good question. I think story telling that's so generic, but I think in general, I'm really good at telling stories and really using my story in a way that will help other people. and I think that's why I love sales so much, is that's essentially helping people through telling stories and also recruitments like that.[00:03:09] I think so many, so much of business is telling stories, to help others. and I think that's my professional superpower.[00:03:17] Blake: [00:03:17] well, that that's certainly very relevant to building a brand, and we'll talk about that. I guess let's, let's just start in with that because there are a lot of things that we could cover with building a brand, but first and foremost, stories may be at the forefront of, of doing that. How, how have you, and I guess, how can other people use stories to effectively grow a personal brand.[00:03:38]Basant: [00:03:38] I would say it's really about. Hmm. It's about using your experiences in a way that will help others. I think that's like the best story you can tell. So when I was looking for a job, that's the kind of story I was telling. I was telling people, this is how you can start implementing these strategies.[00:04:00] This is how you can surpass this specific adversity. So a lot of what I talk about is getting past rejection, which is something I went through. And how people can do the same thing. So I think a big part of telling the story about your brand is looking at what experiences you're having and how you can help others through those experiences.[00:04:24] So I've had, like, I've had people like telling me that through their rejection and my story, they were able to become stronger people and less fearful of it. So I think creating stories that are more vulnerable and are things that people don't talk about are, is really important because then you're telling a story that isn't being told elsewhere, and that's how he created the kind of community around, what you're going through.[00:04:53] Blake: [00:04:53] A lot of people that are sharing content out there or trying to tell their story will say, I don't think that my story is that interesting. They, they think, you know, they see themselves as kind of average or just a normal person, which most of us are just normal people. But how do we, how do we make a story compelling and fascinating to another community?[00:05:15] Basant: [00:05:15] That's a really good question. I think that's something a lot of students and young professionals deal with. It's something I personally have dealt with in a more corporate structure. I said, okay, I'm the small intern. What value or thought leadership do I have to offer to other people? And I think that does something you have to get through, through understanding what makes you special in general.[00:05:37] And I think I just started small. I started talking about small things I did in high school. So I did a stand up, for example, in high school. So I was telling people that this is just a random thing that I started doing because I just stepped out of my comfort zone. Yeah. I just think it's also about adding value.[00:05:58] It's not about saying I did these things. It's about really detailing the steps as to how you did something. So it's not me saying, Oh, I, I'm starting to work at LinkedIn. I'm super cool. no, it's about these are the steps. This is what I have to go through. This is the rejection. This is how I brought myself up.[00:06:18]and I think there's so much power in really saying. This is the, like, this is my superpower. Like you said, kind of this is what I'm doing, this is how cool I am. and this is how you can do it too, is the most important part. I think.[00:06:33] Blake: [00:06:33] In one of the big reasons why I even started this podcast and the reason why it's called the micro-influencer podcast is because I'm trying to help people understand that you don't need a massive following to have a massive impact. You can do really great things with a small following. So for transparency, looking at your LinkedIn profile right now, you've got about 6,500 followers, but.[00:06:55] You know, and any other platform you would say, okay, yeah, that's, that's fine. But on LinkedIn, if you have 6,500 engaged followers, you've been able to turn that into a place where you can share great content, get good engagement, build a community, even get a job out of it. So. Having a massive following isn't necessary anymore if you're trying to build it the right way.[00:07:17] If you're trying to just build a smaller community that is really hyper focused on one common goal, that's way more effective than having 100,000 followers that you just bought from Facebook ads that have nothing to do with you right.[00:07:32] Basant: [00:07:32] Yeah, I really think so. And I think the beautiful thing about LinkedIn and building your personal brand on that is the followership is just a number. The amount of views you can get from that is so much higher. So even though I have just . Say 6,000 followers in the last year, I've gotten more than 1 million views.[00:07:53]and I think through just the platform is so powerful because it's so niche still and the amount of networks you can go through is so high. It's so, it's so incredible what you can do with LinkedIn if you use it properly.[00:08:08] Blake: [00:08:08] so let's dive into it. Let's, let's try to figure out how people can use this properly. I think we'll probably go specific here under LinkedIn a little bit, just because you're, you're, you're really in depth there, but if I'm just, just pretend that I am starting out brand new. I have no followers, I have nothing, and I want to get on LinkedIn.[00:08:26] Let's say I'm a marketer and I have some skills, but I've never created content. Well, how would you consult me on, on getting started? What would you recommend? I do first.[00:08:36] Basant: [00:08:36] great. So I always recommend people to not think about it too much, and it's top in into what value you can start providing people. And start providing it very consistently. So what I see with a lot of people is their start posting like every two weeks or once a month or something like that. What I really recommend people to always start is to just hop in, in what general knowledge or what particular experience they're good at providing, and then just experiment as you go.[00:09:06]so I start, I put a certain rule on myself that I need to post twice a week. And at the beginning I didn't really quite know what to start posting about, right? So I started talking to people. I bought LinkedIn, I started talking about experiences I've had in the past when I was a bit younger, and then I turned it into sharing my journey at the present because that's what really resonated with people.[00:09:30] So I always just recommend people to just hop right into it and just experiment as they go. And I mean, that's something I'm doing with my consulting at the moment, is I just started. And then you kind of cater everything to the feedback you're getting and to the certain, like how people are engaging with it.[00:09:50] So I always tell people that likes and comments are not important, but it's a very good way of understanding what works and what doesn't. So if you're noticing that people are resonating with a specific part of your journey, then go full on with that. Right.[00:10:06] Blake: [00:10:06] Well, I would love to dive into your engagement specifically and how, how you feel like you've built that up over time because your profile, you get really good engagement compared to the followership that you currently have. I'm curious like how can people replicate that? What tips would you have on.[00:10:21] What kind of content to create, how to do it so that people can actually resonate with their audience.[00:10:27] Basant: [00:10:27] Well, I think people tend to really put up general content. So these are the basic things. For example, from a career perspective, if that's what you're going for, these are the general tips you should be implementing to get a good resume. Or I see with a lot of marketers. Get on tic-tac, but it's not any like value driven content.[00:10:51] So it's not saying how, what kind of content should you be creating on tick-tock? Why should you then on take talk? All these kinds of content. I personally think like go very heavy with value that isn't really found elsewhere. So really find your niche and how you can give that to other people. So I noticed that people weren't speaking about rejection, and this was kind of like a taboo topic on LinkedIn because people just try to talk about like their success and not really how they got it.[00:11:23] So that's what I focused on and I started creating this experience that couldn't really be found elsewhere. So people would come to me when they're struggling to find me, also struggling and we would kind of just bond over this mutual, I don't know what to do, kind of thing. And we were just figuring it out together.[00:11:41]and I think I also noticed that a lot of people have this one sided relationship with LinkedIn. Like, I'll just put this content out and just see how it goes. But I think it's a very two-sided community building experience where you're just bonding with other people and like sharing your story. And one thing I always try to do is I have people share their stories.[00:12:04] Opposite to mine in the comments, for example. That's something I really try to push and that creates a really big discussion and people come just to be in the comments sometimes, not just even about my content because I just created this safe space where people can speak out and like talk about how they feel and what they're struggling with, and it's become like this two sided community that I really love being a part of.[00:12:28] Blake: [00:12:28] So that's, that's like the first, that's the interface of it going into it. You see the content, you create that content, but then. Another side of the equation is what you actually do based on the engagement that you get. So if I, if I take one of your posts, I see you get several hundred likes and a, and a couple of hundred comments.[00:12:44] What do you actually do with that once you've earned that.[00:12:49] Basant: [00:12:49] do you mean like how do I engage with it? Or.[00:12:52]
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