Ep 435: 3 Secrets to Getting Publicity | Paige Dungan Episode Recap

RV (00:02):
Let’s talk about how to get attention for your book launch or your product launch, or your company launch, or whatever it is, and specifically how to get traditional media attention and how to get other people to feature you or your work. And this is sort of timely, right? Because right now I am launching we are officially launching a brand new podcast series that’s a total side project, but I have created a podcast called Eternal Life. Seven Questions Every Intelligence Skeptic Should Ask About Jesus of Nazareth. And in this case, it’s a total side project. It’s just looking at the logical historical, archeological, practical, rational evidence for the story of Jesus of Nazareth, and how as a logical person, I’ve come to believe that. And so we have, we in its 15 episodes, and they’re free, which you, you can go look at it right?
RV (01:01):
On Apple or Spotify. Right now it’s, it’s now finally up. And that is something that I have created that is really for my two boys that in case something were to happen to me, if I, I didn’t, I was not around to explain to him how daddy has become to believe in the historical accuracy of the story of Jesus of Nazareth, right? So let’s say I wanted to launch that. Now I’m not actually launching it. My, like, I’m not doing a traditional launch. There’s no book attached to it. There’s no revenue stream attached to it. It’s a total give back. But if I were trying to, I would go, okay, what are the things that I need to do to get attention for that podcast? And that’s what I want to talk about here. Okay? Not just, we can use that as an example, because it’s a real time thing going on in my life that I’m, you know, semi or quasi launching.
RV (01:57):
So these, these principles will apply a hundred percent to you launching anything, whether it’s a book, a podcast, a company, a product, et cetera, a nonprofit, anything that you’re, when you’re trying to use traditional media to get the word out, okay? And number one is super simple. You have to connect your expertise to what is happening in the news cycle. Connect your expertise to what is happening in the news cycle. This is the first of these three major publicity secrets. So the news, the news, you know, remember that the metaphor of news, if you don’t know this, news, NEWS originally began as an acronym, not a metaphor, excuse me, as a, as an acronym. It stands for Notable Events, weather and Sports. That’s what news stands for. Notable events, whether in sports. So still to this day, that’s what the news covers. Notable events, whether in sports specifically, if you’re not a, if you’re not, you know, talking about the weather or you’re not talking about sports, then what you’re talking about is notable events, or that’s what the news is talking about every day, right?
RV (03:08):
All the major news channels are talking about notable events. What is notable? Notable is notable. It’s remarkable. It’s worth remarking about. It’s unusual. It’s, it’s, it is unexpected. It’s different. It’s, what’s everyone’s talking about is captivating people’s attention. So the news, the news is not really interested in reporting accuracy. Unfortunately, the news makes money from attention, right? So they latch on every day, news channels, latch on to whatever the trending topics are in the world that have people’s attention, wars, diseases, economic collapses, you know celebrity stuff, like anything. That is the thing that people are talking about. They’re trying to ride the wave of attention. And so that’s what they’re doing, because the more that they do that, the more attention they hold, which means the more eyeballs they have, which means the more they can sell to their sponsors, and the, and the higher the packages, the higher the, the, the higher the impressions, the more money they can get from advertisers.
RV (04:15):
And so they’re playing not a game of accuracy, right? The news is not playing a game of accuracy. They’re playing a game of attention. Once you know this and understand this, then you go, great. If I wanna be featured in the news, I have to think of it as a highway, right? Think of it as like all of the trending topics are the interstate, and here you are, right? And just, you know, using me as an example, go, oh, Rory’s got this new podcast about eternal life. I gotta go. How do I somehow connect? I have to, I have to create an on-ramp for connecting my expertise into the flow of information and attention. This sort of attention superhighway that everybody is talking about. That’s what you have to do. You have to connect your expertise to what is happening in the news cycle. If you can do that, then they’re gonna feature you.
RV (05:10):
Like when we launched our trends and personal branding, national research study which by the way, you can go download [email protected] under free training, or under brand builders group.com in our free trainings. Those are, those are downloadable. Also AJ vaden.com, she has it on her website as well. You can download that free training. Well, the day that it came out, the day after it came out, I got a call from Good Morning America, and I was, because there was a, a notable event. There was Victoria Secrets. The company made this major announcement that they were, they were going away from supermodels as their, as their spokespeople. And they were, they had instead selected personal brands, like they were taking recognizable people. And there were, you know, people from different women from different walks of life, but it was a major strategic shift that the company announced.
RV (06:08):
And they were saying, we’re, we’re banking on personal brands and we’re going away from the angels. You know, this, this women dressed in scantily clothing. So when we released a study, we, we happened to release a study right at that exact moment that was about how the trends in personal branding, national research studies showed that people are more likely to trust individual faces, then they are company names. And so it fit. And so they had me comment on, on that story on Good Morning America, right? That’s an example of connecting it into the news cycle. So if you want to get on television first of all, you’re gonna have to be prepared to pitch, or someone’s gonna have to pitch for you. But you have to think about, or, or the radio, right? Or, or anyone who’s, who has a big blogging platform, who’s blogging about current events, or even videos that go viral are often connected.
RV (07:03):
I mean, they’re trending topics, right? So they’re often things connected to things that are happening in this. You know, the nation’s conscience, Tom, Tom Hanks used to say, if you wanna make a hit, you have to enter into the nation’s conscience. So you have to ask yourself, what is everyone talking about? And then you kind of ride that wave by just figuring out what is the connection point that on-ramp is what your pitch is to producers. Producers are looking for interesting and new ways to cover the stories that everyone else is talking about. So if you can connect your expertise to what’s happening in the news cycle, they’re much more likely to say yes, right there. The news is not that we released a new national research study. The news is not that you have a book coming out. The news is not that I’ve launched a new podcasts, that’s news to me, that’s a notable event to me, but to the rest of the nation, that’s not news.
RV (07:54):
And books come out, you know, hundreds of books come out every single week. That’s not a notable event in the grand scheme of things. The notable event is whatever people are talking about. And all you have to do to figure that out is turn on the news and watch it for 30, 30 seconds. You’ll see there’s, there’s typically only a few stories that are dominating the headlines. Or pick up a newspaper scan, you know, scan the web, the, the major news outlets and see what the major headlines are. You just gotta pitch the, the producers of those networks, those channels, those outlets to say, Hey, I’m an expert on personal branding. I want to tie into this. You know, if, if, and, and if I wanted to get attention for, if I wanted to get mainstream media attention for my new podcast, I’d have to do the same thing.
RV (08:37):
Now I have zero desire. That’s not a part of my strategy nor my plan to deal with that. And part of that’s because I didn’t write a book on it. And, you know, I, that’s not the goal, right? Is that it’s, it’s, it’s a resource I’ve created for people to genuinely go study in an objective way, the data and the evidence that supports the narrative of Jesus, of Nazareth as being a deity, right? So I’m not trying to sell anything. I don’t need a bunch of urgent national attention. I’m putting it out there in the world. I’m letting people know about it, but I’m not like, you know, all in on trying to like promote this thing. So that is publicity secret number one, connect your expertise to what is happening in the news cycle. Publicity secret number two, become the media. Become the media.
RV (09:25):
And, and by the way, this is a recap of the, the the interview that I did with Paige Dungan, who is, is one of our, one of our implementation partners for pr. And we talked about, you know, if you’re looking for a PR person, go listen to the episode. I shared how you can get in touch with her. And she’s one of the people that we recommend for that service. And we have a, we have an affiliate relationship with her, and, and she’s great. I’ve known her for years, right? So we, there, we talked about, and this is true, is become the media build your own media platform. This is what we teach people how to do at Brand Builders Group. We teach you how to build your own audience. And you do that on social media, on blogging, podcasting, YouTube you know, whatever outlets you have.
RV (10:07):
And you know, if you’re, if you’re a brand builder and you’re one of our members, you know that we teach something called the relationship engine. And there’s a technique as part of that called the content diamond. These are the strategies, these, these techniques that we teach that you know, what is a relationship engine? A relationship engine is a digital automated ecosystem that we build an infrastructure around whoever the messenger is that pumps their content out into the universe as fast as possible to automate trust and capture, you know, and, and engage in lead capture. So that is how you start to become the media. You’re producing content, you’re producing videos, you’re producing audio. If it’s, you’re producing short form videos, you’re producing the written article, whether it’s on LinkedIn, pulse or Medium or Blog. If you’re following our content diamond strategy, you’re doing all of those things.
RV (10:57):
And most of all, you’re then converting those, you’re using that media to draw in attention and awareness. And then you’re using lead capture conversion to build your email list, your text message, opt-ins you know, direct message automation is a big place where we’re doing a lot right now. And so then you’re building this audience, and you are the media because you’ve built your own audience. The media is anyone who’s who, anyone who creates content for an audience on a regular basis. So there’s several things about this. First of all, when I launch a new podcast, I don’t have to beg anyone for favors. I can just go into my list and I can just write a, write a message and hit send. And boom, I could tell tens of thousands of people that I have a new podcast out. I can announce it on our own podcast, right?
RV (11:45):
Which is kind of what I’m doing now. And I, and I mentioned in, in some other places to go, Hey, I’ve got a new podcast. If you wanna listen to it, go listen to it. Eternal life. Seven Questions Every Intelligent Skeptic Should Ask About Jesus of Nazareth. It’s my story as a skeptic going through the evidence and the history to go what ev you know, how can any of this be trusted and believed? So there’s two parts of be being the media. The first part is obviously that you’re building your own audience. And when you build your own audience, you can announce stuff to them. And that’s why publishers and literary agents and, and speakers bureaus and, and places like that, they wanna get ahold of creators who have access to their own audience because they can teach ’em how to monetize that in, in various ways.
RV (12:33):
And that’s what we teach people how to do both, how to build their audience, and then how to monetize that audience, how to add value to them in exchange for money, right? So there is obviously that part of it that you’ve built your own audience. The other part though, is that when you become the media, you understand the pressures, the desires, the demands, the challenges, the opportunities of having to create content regularly, right? There’s some beautiful parts about that. ’cause You go, man, I get to inspire people. I get to, I get to talk about the things that I think are, are, are important to me and are important to my audience. And then there’s some challenging parts of that going like, oh my gosh, like, you know, it’s, it’s another week. I gotta produce more content. I gotta have another video. I gotta have more articles.
RV (13:18):
I gotta have more insights. I, I, there’s, there’s this need, this engine, this, this engine that you have to constantly be fueling with new content. Well, when you understand that, it helps you relate to the rest of the media world in general, right? Like every day I get people sending books to my, you know, office and, and pitching me emails on, you know, sending me dms, trying to get on our podcast and all this sort of stuff, right? So I’m, I take the role of a producer and vet to go, does this person have anything worthwhile to say to you? To my audience, to our audience? Is it worth me putting them in front of you? Are they gonna add value to the conversation? If yes, then I say yes. If no, then I say no, but it’s not so much that they’re gonna pay me and I’m just gonna put ’em in front of you.
RV (14:07):
That doesn’t do me any good. I have to create content that’s useful for you, that’s relevant to the audience that we are building. And once you do that, you go, oh, that’s exactly what the, the producer on the Today Show, or Good Morning America, or Oprah or Fox or CNN or whatever the outlet is, they have to do the same thing, right? So they need, they need you as much as you need them. That’s something you gotta understand about media. They need you as much as you need them. They need someone to help them produce content that is worthwhile to be consumed by their audience, but they also need to make sure that that content is relevant to be consumed by their audience. So they’re both desperate for you, and they also have to filter out the right person. So it’s not so much about who’s the smartest or who’s the most famous, it’s who has the most relevant bit of expertise for my specific audience at this specific moment in time in history.
RV (15:06):
And that’s why someone could turn you down to be on national TV today and three months from now, everything can change in the news cycle, and you can make the same pitch and they would have you on. So when you become the media, you understand that, right? Like I’ve, I’ve, I, I’ve watched a lot of our clients do the same thing, right? A lot of our, a lot of our clients are the biggest podcast hosts in the world, and they get on these kicks of certain things like you know, Tom, Tom, Tom and Lisa biu, so they’re clients of ours. And Tom Tom’s a good example of this Tom’s podcast. He kind of like goes and kicks where he, you know, suddenly he wants to talk to anyone who’s talking about like, health and longevity or some, you know, anyone who’s talking about like you know, like crypto or Bitcoin or like any of you know, the metaverse kind of stuff.
RV (15:53):
And, and that’s just because he’s interested in that. And so in that particular moment, somebody who would’ve said no to as a guest six months ago, he might say yes to today. So you go, well, how do I know when to pitch him? Simple? Pay attention to what he’s, what, what he’s promoting. And, and then you have to, and then you have to check all the boxes, right? So you gotta pitch him the right message at the right time for his audience, what he’s interested on, and then you gotta have the credibility points that he’s interested in. So every different media outlet has different criteria for those. It’s not just about who’s the smartest, who’s the most famous, who went to the, you know, the most prestigious school. It’s a combination of all of those factors unique to their audience. So if they say no to you, don’t take it too personal.
RV (16:34):
It just means you weren’t the right match. You weren’t the right fit for what they’re producing at this time. It doesn’t mean you should never pitch them again, but it does mean if you’re gonna pitch them again, you need to pitch a different angle to a different, a different, you know, a different hook to a different thing going on in the news cycle. And when you become the media, when you’re producing your own YouTube show, your own podcast, your own blog, your own Instagram channel, your own LinkedIn feed, and you start featuring other guests and, and filtering content. You understand better how the media operates and what, what they’re looking for, which makes you a better guest. You also know, like, what are the things that are credible, right? Like, someone sends me an email that’s 18 paragraphs about why they’re coming to the show.
RV (17:18):
It’s like, I can’t, I’m not even gonna look at it, because the idea of reading 18 paragraphs is overwhelming. So it’s just a no, right? On the other hand, if someone that I know and I trust really well sends me and says, Hey, Rory, you should meet this person. I think they’d be great for your podcast. Here’s three sentences on ’em and a link to their website, and I click on it. I go, oh, website looks awesome. They look credible. They’ve got a book, they’re credible. You know, they, they’ve got some, you know, maybe some social media following whatever. They have these indicators that go, yeah, this person is legit. Great, let’s have ’em on. And it’s that simple. So the more you produce media, the more you produce content, the better you will be at understanding how to get on other media outlets. So that’s publicity, publicity secret number two.
RV (18:00):
And then publicity secret number three. And this is the biggest secret of all this. One’s the magic. This one is, this is the one that, that has built my career. This is the one that if you go, how did Brand Builders Group go from zero to eight figures in five years with no investors, no debt, no bank loans, no credit cards. Like how did you guys do it? It would be this one. And it is something that I call the relationship switchboard. Well, that’s the technique. Let me tell you the principle. Here’s the, here’s the principle, and like, write this down. Okay? Seriously, if you are driving, like pull over and write this down. If you’re running on the treadmill, stop for a second. You’re gonna wanna write this down. This is one of our flagship BBG Brand Builders Group mantras. This is one of the things if you became, if you were to become a member of ours and you were to become a paying client, which by the way, if you’re curious about that, if you go to free brand call.com slash podcast, free brand call.com/podcast, you can request a call with our team and learn more about what that would look like.
RV (19:05):
Well, if you became one of our monthly paying members, you would hear us say this all the time. Ready? Write this down. Build relationships before you need them. Build relationships before you need them. Build relationships before you need them. Build relationships before you need them. What do I mean by that? I mean, invest in helping the people that you might one day need help from long before you ever need help from them. That’s what I mean. So how have we built this company so quickly? We’ve built it through affiliates. These affiliates who have who, huge audiences. How did we get to these people? Especially, you know, when we started Rambler’s Group in 2018, we did not expect to start the company. And when we sold our last company, we sold, we lost everything that went with it. All of our social media, our podcast, our email list, our whole team, we were sitting on zero, baby Zero starting over.
RV (20:05):
This was only a few years ago for us, right? How did we get back to, to where we are so quickly? We built relationships with affiliates, we built relationships with people who have large platforms. How did we do that? Well, we paid attention to who had something going on that they were launching, and when they had something going on that they were launching, we showed up and we offered to help for free. We said, Hey, I see that you’re launching a book, right? This is how I met Gretchen Rubin. This is, I always tell the Gretchen Rubin story because I love Gretchen. And she’s, you know, I guess I would call her a friend. Like we go back and forth a few times a year, but we’re not super close. But we’ve built a relationship. She’s been a, been a big supporter of ours.
RV (20:48):
She’s been on this podcast, she’s been on our summit. She lets us YYY you know advertise that, that she’s been a guest, things like that. And you know, how did I meet Gretchen? I said, oh, look, Gretchen has a book launch coming out, and when she has a book launch coming out, I say, Gretchen, I have some friends who have some very large podcasts. Would you be okay if I pitched you to see if they would have you on their show? Right? Not for money for free, right? I do PR for Free Brand Builders Group. We have a full-time person on our team that does free pr. We only do free PR member to member, though. We, we, we offer it as a free service for people who are active members in our program to help them get booked on the shows of our other active members.
RV (21:33):
We do that for free. You can’t buy it. It’s, it’s a, it’s just a, it’s just a value add that we do. It is also my number one prospecting mechanism and tool that I do to build new relationships. And I call it the relationship switchboard, because I keep track of everyone I know who is the host of a media outlet, right? Most of them are podcasts, right? They have great podcasts. Some of ’em are, are huge bloggers, some of them are top talkers, some of them are are YouTubers, some of them are in national tv. But I just keep a list of everyone I know who has a large platform. And then I keep a list of everybody I know who’s like AVIP guest. And all I do, a huge part of my time is just connecting these people to one another. And so I just go, if somebody, if somebody I know is launching a new show, like this is a good example right now.
RV (22:29):
Dr. Josh Ax, who, you know, we’ve been sort of casual acquaintances over the year. We become really close in the last couple years. We become really close friends. Part of that is because he’s launching a new podcast and he’s wanting to meet a bunch of people. And I go, dude, I got you. Like, I can get you access to like 30 major VIP people who I think would be a great fit for your show. And I’ll do it for free. Why? Because it helps Dr. Axe, it helps my other friends, and it, it helps me. I get caught in the crossfire. Now, a lot of it is it work for me? Yeah, it’s a ton of work. Do I get paid for it? No, I do not get paid for it at all. $0 zero now. But here’s another mantra I wrote about and take the stairs.
RV (23:12):
And this is another life philosophy that is true. You always get paid for how hard you work sometimes. Now, oftentimes later, always. Eventually, you always get paid for how hard you work sometimes. Now, oftentimes later, always, eventually. That’s spending your time on what we would call and, and procrastinate on purpose. My second book on things that are significant, what are things that I can do now that create more time or money tomorrow? Well, connecting people is something I can spend time on today that multiplies my influence tomorrow because it builds my reputation with both people. And I have nothing to gain from either per se, like no specific ask nothing, no money. It may never come back to me from those specific people. I’m simply going, oh, you need guests for your show. Let me give you access to all of these VIP guests that I have that are friends of mine.
RV (24:04):
Or if somebody is a guest and they have something they wanna promote and they suddenly launch like a new book, a new course, a new program, a new company, a new nonprofit, whatever. And I go, Hey, are you looking to get the word out about that thing? Let me introduce you to 30 friends I have who all have big platforms. Now, I know for you, when you hear this concept, you might go, oh, well that’s great, Rory, because your clients are, you know, all these famous people and Amy Porterfield and Ed Millets and Louis Howell and Eric Thomas’, and yes, but they didn’t. How did they become clients? They became clients from me doing this for them, right? This is how I build relationships with people. Save the best for first, give, give, give, give without expectation of receipt. I do this for people. I’ve done this for many people who I’ve never gotten anything from return.
RV (24:55):
I’ve helped some people get booked on shows, podcasts, like dozens of shows. They won’t even have me on their own show. Am I bitter about it? Yes. , no, I’m not maybe a little, no, I, I I’m not you, you, you don’t keep score, right? Love keeps no records of wrongs. Love keeps no record of wrongs. That’s one Corinthians right? That’s right out of the Bible. Like, it’s not about, it’s not, I I do keep record ’cause I keep a record of people I’ve introduced to each other. ’cause I do this all the time. So I don’t annoy people. But I’m not keeping score of like, who owes me one. It’s not that I’m just giving, I’m adding value. And what happens is when I have something to share, like the Eternal Life podcast, if I wanted to, I could just suddenly go to all of those guests and all of those hosts, people who I haven’t asked for anything from in years.
RV (25:50):
And I could say, Hey, here’s a new podcast that I launched. You know, if I wanted to, I’m not gonna do this. ’cause I don’t wanna do a huge podcast tour for it. At least not right now to say, Hey, will you have me on your show? And they go, of course man, because I’ve been talking to ’em every week for three years, helping them get on shows and helping people get on their shows. So that’s the relationship switchboard. It doesn’t have to be media. That’s how I use it. I use it a lot for media. I also use it for speaking, right? I take all of my past speaking clients and all my friends and, you know, clients who are speakers who are in up and comers or in, in or around my fee range. And I go, Hey, you should meet this person.
RV (26:30):
You should meet this person. ’cause My clients need speakers, and my speakers need clients just like my hosts need guests and my guests need hosts, and I wanna get caught in the crossfire. So do I do it because something good will come out of it for me? Yes. But when I don’t know, I don’t keep, I don’t keep score. I, I don’t, I don’t let, it’s not about having people owe you one. It’s just about going, how can I add value to the community? How can I add value to the, the shows that I’ve been on? How can I add value to the guests who’ve been on this show? And how can I add value to the clients who’ve had me book on their stage, have me come speak on their stages, and how can I add value to my friends who are really good speakers, who I really believe in to help them get on stages?
RV (27:11):
This is the answer. And I get caught in the crossfire. I’m constantly in this interchange between awesome people. And what happens is that tends to cycle up. You tend to get around better and better people and bigger and bigger and more and more influential people, more and more people of notoriety. And it’s, it’s an upward snowball, just like everything we do with the relationship engine and building your own media platform. It’s about automating trust. It’s about saving the best for first. It’s about building relationships before you need them. It’s about give, give, give, add value. And it’s trusting that you can’t outgive God.
RV (27:50):
You can’t, you can’t outgive God. You can’t outgive the universe. You can’t outgive like, you know, Zig Ziglar said, help enough people get what they want and you will get what you’re, you want. And I have found it to be absolutely true. Now, I’m not always in a one-to-one relationship. There’s some people that I’ve helped a lot more than they’ve helped me, but then there’s other people who have helped me a lot more than I’ve helped them. But in total, I have received a massive amount of blessing far beyond the work that I have done to help others. But I’ve done a lot of work to help others. And so that blessing seems to get bigger and bigger and bigger. And even if not, you end up getting to play a role in shaping the world, right? And that’s awesome, right? I, I love, I love it when two of my friends or two of my clients get together and I go, yep, I connected them and they made magic.
RV (28:40):
They made magic happen. And I go that, that interview would’ve never happened if it weren’t for me. And I, I can take quiet credit for it ’cause it’s true. And I can be so proud that all I did was connect these two amazing humans and they made a little piece of magic for the world. And that’s all we wanna do at Brand Builders Group. We want to shape the voices that shape the world. That’s why we’re here at Brand Builders Group, right? We’re not trying to make a, you know, bazillion dollars. We don’t care about private jets. We don’t even care about being famous and selling lots of books and speaking on stages. I mean, those are good things. We’ve done a lot of those things. We wanna make an impact. We want to shape the voices that are going to shape the future of the world.
RV (29:22):
That’s why we do this at Brand Builders Group, and we wanna have a hand in it. And so that’s why we work with Mission-driven messengers. And that’s also why we turn clients away. There are some people where we go, yeah, sorry, we can’t help you ’cause we don’t believe in your message, right? No offense, we just, we don’t, we don’t, we don’t believe that that message lines up with what we think makes the world a better place. And so we’re not gonna do it. But if you are a mission-driven Messenger, and you do genuinely care about making the world a better place, you should probably think about joining our community because we have big things happening, big things happening. On that note, I, it would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to two of our brand builders, group clients hit the New York Times Bestseller list.
RV (30:04):
Just recently this month we have had 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 clients this month. Eight clients who have become USA Today and or Wall Street Journal bestselling authors. And we have had two clients, Nicole Walters and Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, who have become New York Times bestselling authors. Two this month, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon wrote this book Forever Strong. This was the number one selling book in the nation. She hit number three on the New York Times. But she as a came to one of my private brand mastery events only about six months ago. And followed our system to AT no hacks, no gimmicks, no tricks, just adding value, working her butt off following the system. And you know, her book absolutely crushed. It was the number one advice, how to book by unit sold. It was number three on the New York Times but the, the, the highest selling book in the nation last week.
RV (31:08):
So congratulations, Dr. Lyon. That’s the eighth time that a Brand Builders group has hit the New York Times in the last 12 months. So we’ve hit the USA today in the Wall Street Journal with eight different clients this month. And then we’ve had eight times that we’ve hit the New York Times in the last 12 months, two in this month alone with Nicole Walters and Dr. Gabrielle Lyon. And these are just people doing work, adding value. What are they doing? They’re, they’re, they’re they building relationships before they need them. They are becoming the media. They’re building platforms, they’re creating content, they’re adding, they’re automating trust. And then when their moment comes, they connect their expertise to what is happening in the news cycle. That my friends are the three biggest secrets of publicity. And I hope that helps you if you are a Mission-driven Messenger, and I hope we get to work with you one day soon. Until then, keep coming back. We’ll catch you next time on the Influential Personal Brand Podcast.

Ep 434: How to get Publicity for Your Book Launch with Paige Dungan

RV (00:00):
Well, if you’ve listened to this show for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard us talk a lot about book launches. Book launches is one of the things that we do really, really well. As of this recording, we have helped 17 different clients become New York Times or Wall Street Journal bestselling authors. We had two clients last year that pre-sold over a hundred thousand copies before their launch date following our system. But what we do is we help people come up with the sales strategy for how to sell the books, and then we help make sure those, those books sales happen in a way that get optimized and reported in the most optimized way for the bestseller list. What we don’t do is PR and we get asked this question all the time, who do you recommend for pr? Do you have someone for PR that we could talk to that can just like, just focus on getting you booked on shows and, and all that kind of thing?
RV (00:53):
So we’ve, we’ve worked with lots of people. We’ve talked with them, but today I want to introduce you to Paige Duncan, who’s a longtime friend of mine, and she is, her team is who we recommend for this service. And so we’re gonna talk about doing book launches, PR specifically for book launches, because this is a part of Paige’s expertise. So she was the head of PR and Talent at Success Magazine, which is where her and I met. So one of our brand builders, group clients bought the company. He asked me to be an interim editor for like a year. Paige was there. I met her immediately, was like, oh my gosh, this woman is awesome and good and smart and sharp and all the things. And she’s been in this industry for 15 years. She’s, she has sort of developed a very specific niche around PR for book launches. She’s been credited also with landing multiple authors on many of the bestseller lists, and she’s just super innovative and, you know, knows how to get an author attention in a crowded marketplace. So, Paige, welcome to the show friend. Woo.
PD (02:02):
Great. Thank you so much. It’s like we’re just grabbing a coffee today.
RV (02:06):
Totally, totally. So let’s talk PR for book launches. Yes. what do you think authors who are moving into this world, whether, whether they’re doing it themselves or they’re working with you, or they’re hiring somebody else, what do they need to know, like about getting media attention today for their book? Yeah. Like what are some of the big things where you go, man, I have to tell every author this over and over and over and over, and so we’re gonna tell ’em all right here one time, get it recorded.
PD (02:40):
Yes. Yes.
RV (02:41):
RV (02:41):
They’re gonna, they’ll come to you knowing, knowing this.
PD (02:44):
Yes. The number one thing where I tell all of the authors I work with is, the media actually doesn’t care about your book . Now, when I say
RV (02:53):
That statement, what a great way. Can we cut? We need to cut that for social media. That’s the clip right there. The media doesn’t care about your book.
PD (03:03):
They don’t, and it sounds harsh, but here’s the thing that I, then I follow that up with. The media doesn’t care about your book yet, because what they have to understand is who you are, why you are the authority or expert in this space, and you have to build that trust with them first as an individual or as a company. Then they will care about your book. Mm-Hmm. , if you go in and just pitch a book, there are hundreds of books like, you know, on the marketplace, and it’s not news for them. A new book is not news. And so you, number one, you’ve gotta create that bond and trust with a reporter, a journalist. And number two, you’ve gotta make your book relevant to the news taking place right now. Mm-Hmm. . So it, for example, if you are have a book on leadership, and there is say, a big change at Apple with their C-Suite team, right? And it’s going to cause like innovation and all these amazing things that happen with Apple. Well, your book can be tied into that news of what’s happening in, in Apple, talking about leadership traits that they should be incorporating as they go through this significant shift in their company. And so, whatever is happening in Trendy News, relate it back to your book, and that’s how you’re gonna get the attention from the media.
RV (04:22):
Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. I, I I I love that just this idea that like, your book is not news. The news is news. Mm-Hmm. , and then your connecting your book into what’s happening in the news. That’s how you, you get those appearances now. You talked about building sort of credibility and the trust Yeah. With these reporters mm-hmm. . And it feels a little bit like a chicken and the egg thing. Like how do I mm-hmm. get them to know about me without having something to pitch to them to do, like
PD (04:51):
RV (04:52):
So what do you, how, how do you go about building that, you know, relationship and trust with the reporters?
PD (04:59):
Yeah. There’s two approaches that I teach. So number one is a approach that works really well, and that is you pitching yourself as a source to one of their stories. So if they, if you see them writing stories, let’s say about TikTok and all things happening at TikTok and your book is about the effects of social media of today or something like that, you simply find their email address and you reach out letting them know you really enjoyed their TikTok story on X you share a little bit of background about yourself and just leave it at, I would be happy to be a source for any other future articles you’re working on. You’re simply offering them, because journalists and media need sources every time they put out a piece of content, it’s part of the credibility of journalism. And they’re always desperate to find an expert to share a quote, share another perspective. And it’s a baby step in getting your name, like in quote, roundups, or like I said, if they just need you to come and give like an alternating view on that topic. And so what you do is literally Google search news stories about your book and your industry and what’s trending right now, and reach out to those reporters.
RV (06:15):
Got it. Uhhuh,
PD (06:16):
The second part of the so
RV (06:17):
Hold on, hold on. That I wanna hear, I do wanna hear, hear the second one, but, so, so when you say you find their email address, okay. So I love what you’re saying. So you go mm-hmm. , first of all, you gotta just like pay attention to the news, right? What is attention is Forbes, what is Forbes writing about? What is Fox or c n n, what are they doing stories on what’s trending? There’s a bunch of ways to figure that out. You can set up mm-hmm. mood alerts. You can, you know, click on the trending button on TikTok. Like you can figure out, just look at whatever people are talking about. Just watch the news or read the articles. So then you find the reporter, which is pretty easy. Mm-Hmm. . ’cause Their name is usually there. It’s pretty
PD (06:54):
Easy. Yeah. Yeah.
RV (06:56):
How do you find the contact information? Like
PD (06:58):
RV (06:59):
The, how do you go about
PD (07:00):
That? That, this is my favorite part, Rory. ’cause You get to be a little bit of a spy in the best way. And so there’s a couple ways you can do this. Let me start with the free to like the page. Yeah. So the free way to do this is actually like Wall Street Journal and some of the outlets will list an email button for their journalists. So some outlets, but that’s probably a 20% Right. We’ll share the email upfront. The second thing you can do is you can find them on social media. Right. If you know their name like Rory Vaden, I’m gonna put ’em on Instagram. You can also start a relationship on social. Like if you cannot find their email free and you still wanna do free, find ’em on social. Yeah. And again, just serve them, interact with their content and message them there.
PD (07:46):
The third way you can do is you can pay for like a rocket reach or email lookup platform. Right. That can find their email. And so that’s a wonderful way, if any of you are in sales, you know about these different, and, you know, platforms that will help do a reverse email lookup. But then the last option is you can actually get a PR C R m. And so this d r m literally lists the database for all journalists and media unit talent bookers. And it allows you to be able to put in like an, a company like Forbes, like the media brand, Forbes, and it pulls up all the writers and what beats they cover. And the recent agencies, we almost all PR agencies have one, they do have cost effective solutions, though also if you’re just a one-on-one looking to have this access. But if you know you’re gonna go out and you’re like, at PR is my focus right now, this is, I’m going all in. I would suggest looking at the PR C R M because it will take, save you a lot of time compared to the free version to be able to find exactly who you need.
RV (08:52):
Is that, and is that like is that like Cision or something else that you’re talking about?
PD (08:57):
Yep. It’s like Cision. There’s one called MuckRack. There’s a cost effective one called Prowly. You’re exactly right. It’s any of the
RV (09:05):
PD (09:06):
Uhhuh , Prowly, P R O W L Y.
RV (09:10):
. I haven’t heard of that one. Uhhuh. . Now that the other way to do this, of course. ’cause You know, and sometimes when you’re first starting, like, this is how I started, right? And it was exactly what you just described. I would just go, oh, hey, they’re writing on this. They should be mentioning me. Or maybe they’d wanna do an interview mm-hmm. on, you know, I could help create, I could not think of it as, oh, they’re gonna promote me. Think of it as I can help provide content for them or be a source for them and I can help promote them. Like I can share their articles. Yes. and so I started on social and then I would do this, this, do all these same things. And then over time you realize, wow, it takes a really long time to do this. And so that’s when you go, you hire someone like you to go like, me
PD (09:54):
Too, . It’s way,
RV (09:55):
Way. ’cause Not only do you have to, you have to figure out who you gotta figure out what topics are they writing on, who is writing on it. Mm-Hmm. mm-hmm. , then the contact information. And then you have to actually angle your pitch to be custom. And I think that’s the thing that I think a lot of people screw up is they send one blanket email blast to everybody the same message. That doesn’t work.
PD (10:17):
It doesn’t work. And it’s too long. And I love what you’re saying before, and I wanna hop back a minute, to your point, Rory, of serving them, I always tell people, what problem are you trying to solve for the reporter? That’s what they wanna know.
RV (10:29):
PD (10:29):
Like, what is the problem? How are you solving it? That’s news. And so, to your point on the communication, I always, always preach no longer than 250 words in your first email. It sounds super short, but all of my editor friends have told they get over a hundred to 150 emails a day of pitches that literally on top of every other news thing that come into the inbox,
RV (10:53):
Wow. They
PD (10:54):
Are not gonna read no longer do you just send that a press release. You’ve got to really build that relationship. And then the art of crafting a pitch is more critical than ever now. For sure.
RV (11:06):
Yeah. And it isn’t, it’s an art and it’s like anything, I mean, it’s, it’s like, are you likely to open your mailbox and mm-hmm. grab something that looks like a total spam, or are you gonna open something that looks like a handwritten note and then you open it and it is handwritten and it’s, it’s completely a custom story to you versus like a printed flyer or something. Like, it’s just like that except Right. And that takes time. And that’s, that I think is where you really come in to go, Hey, do you want someone to help, help do this? What was the second thing? So you said there was two ways to build a relationship. The first mm-hmm. , the first one is to basically be a source for them. Mm-Hmm.
PD (11:45):
. Mm-Hmm.
RV (11:46):
. What’s the second?
PD (11:47):
Number two is tapping into what you just said as well, is serving them content. So becoming a contributor to their outlet and serving them with their expertise. So this works really well. Like, let’s take Fast company for example, right? And you are an expert in kind of business and innovation and even like team structure and management, reach out to the editors and share your story idea, right? Don’t ask them if you can be a contributor ’cause mm-hmm. that is just gonna get lost and they don’t care. They go with them for a story like the five ways to effectively manage a train team through a success, you know, recession and or so, whatever your content is, and share the synopsis of that article exclusively for them, Rory.
PD (12:37):
And nine times Outta 10, because they are desperate for content. Because teams are leaner than ever at all of these media brands, and there’s just not enough of them to create content. And so if you can really provide value as a contributor, also known as a bylined article, right? You get your name listed on Fast Company’s website, and if it’s picked up in print, the magazine, and you start to build that relationship of credibility with that brand serving them. So when you do go in for an ask for your book, you’ve already provided them immense value mm-hmm. . And you, you’re also elevating your whole personal brand at the same time as your book too.
RV (13:20):
Yeah. Yeah. I, I mean I, there’s a couple things there going on. One, I love like treat it like a date, right? Don’t show up and ask to get married. Like, Hey, I wanna be a monthly contributor, right? Like, let’s go on a, let’s go on a date. Let me pick, you know, here’s an idea for a story. Mm-Hmm. , I’ll write it for you. I don’t want any money. Mm-Hmm. , I just, you know, that’s an Easy’s no ask.
PD (13:42):
Yes, yes. Easy. Yes. Rory. And so many outlets are literally calling and needing it and quality content because like I said, they just don’t have the manpower to produce it anymore. Yeah. Unfortunately.
RV (13:55):
And just to pause, like a little side note here for you listening, if you’re a speaker or an aspiring speaker, you know, with speaking business is another thing that we know a lot about and have a lot of success with, and teaching people how to get speaking gigs. And we say, Hey, the number one reason you get booked to speak, which will never change, is because someone has seen you speak. That’s the, if you wanna be a speaker mm-hmm. You gotta go out and speak, but the number two way to get booked to speak is because someone has read something you have written. And you know, like a lot of speakers become speakers because they start writing. One is a book, which is much harder in longer process than you just start cranking these articles, you know, a couple times a week. And you know, I I, I think of, you know, I’ve got a couple friends, Dory Clark, Matthew Mayberry, like they have really built a great speaking career at a lot of it started from writing these articles and it’s almost better, like not almost better. Mm-Hmm. , it’s definitely better it’s way better to have an article that appears in Fast Company every week written by me that is way more valuable than one random article with one paragraph about me, with one random mention of my book. Like,
PD (15:11):
Yes, it’s
RV (15:12):
Way more valuable.
PD (15:14):
It is. Ryan, I’m so glad you brought that up, because it leads to a much longer lifecycle right. Of promotion and opportunities for you doing this strategy. And like you said, it requires some upfront work, but nothing like, if you’ve already written a book, this is a walk in the park, right? This is nothing of your time. And the beautiful thing is you can pull elements from your book can serve as that content generator for years for you to pull from, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with what you’re writing about. Mm-Hmm. And you can
RV (15:43):
PD (15:44):
Ways to thread the content together for soft promotion. But that is one strategy we help do immediately out of the gate, especially during pre-sale, right. In setting up those relationships and starting to build that awareness. It’s a great strategy to start, honestly now, like even if you haven’t thought of your book idea, just incorporate this into your media outreach plan.
RV (16:07):
Yeah. The the other thing that it does is it becomes a huge networking opportunity for you because you become a member of the media. Mm-Hmm. You go from trying to be mm-hmm. In the media
PD (16:15):
RV (16:16):
Being I am a, I am the media. Yes. And now you can network with pretty much anybody you wanna know because they, you, you’re in control of who gets mentioned in in that. The, the other thing I wanna mention here is on, on the, on the topic of like getting booked to speak from this mm-hmm.
PD (16:32):

RV (16:33):
And, and for beginners, you also don’t need to, it doesn’t have to be Forbes or entrepreneur No. Or fast company. Like those are the huge ones. But when you were saying they’re spread thin, the ones that are spread the most thin are the, like, trade industry journals. They gotta produce a magazine every month or every quarter.
PD (16:54):
RV (16:54):
They’re begging their members to write an article. Nobody wants to do it. And yet, if you are in an industry or a vertical and you go, it’s easy to get those writing jobs and it’s literally, it may not have 500 million readers, but it’s gonna have a thousand of your perfect readers. And that’s, you know, that’s a really big key. You, you think
PD (17:18):
It is key, Rory, that is the other element of this. Make sure you’re contributing to where your target audience is, right? Mm-Hmm. . And that’s key. So say again that you have a business book, but you’re writing for cosmopolitan.com , it’s a different target audience. And so you’ve gotta be really clear with where you’re writing to and to your point, there are so many forms of media that are not kind of the big trade that you can still make such an impact with and not only contribute to, but potentially then have access to their email list when your book comes out and
RV (17:51):
PD (17:52):
A greater opportunity through those smaller publications.
RV (17:56):
Yeah. That, that’s the other thing is like, you’re never gonna get Forbes to send an email. Like even e even if you’re James Patterson, they’re not gonna send an email out about your book. No. But, but if you, if you have some relationships with some of these smaller ones, and that’s part of the deal mm-hmm. , because they, what, they can’t pay you much in money typically, so they pay you mm-hmm. in like promotion and reach mm-hmm. and to ask for, Hey, I’ll do this, but I want you to send an email blast on my behalf once a year or every time I have a book come out. Or I love that. So, so what are some of the other what are some of the other things that you think work really effectively, specifically during book launches that people can do mm-hmm. if they go like, I do need some coverage for my, for my book, or what are some of the other mistakes you think that people make there?
PD (18:41):
I think that first mistake is that people do not plan PR the same way that they plan on writing a book. PR is always like an afterthought. Like, they’re like, oh crap, my book comes out in 60 days. I don’t have the sales I wanted. I need to do, you know, like, now is the time to start. No minimum, I beg you authors to start at least six months out because in media news cycles, it can take that long to place impactful stories. So the ones of the bigger outlets, the bigger podcasts, right, the bigger articles you need that longer lead time. And that’s probably the number one pain point that I see when authors come to us, is they’re scrambling. Right? And it doesn’t have to be that way. The second thing is, I always recommend you plan for a year strategy also, not counting pre-sale, but from when your book launches following that year. Because so many authors, and you’ve seen this already,
RV (19:37):
You’re saying post public, you’re saying post-publication,
PD (19:40):
Post pub, all the way through your year anniversary, have a robust media plan. ’cause Too many authors I’ve seen, they do amazing presale and amazing that first month of pub and then their media just like drops off and they’re, you know, it’s just sprinkled throughout, but it’s a sprint, right? And you need to continue that sprint. And so when you’re looking at planning, of course you wanna bank many of those large episodes as you know, in pre-sale. But it’s just as important to continue that momentum, especially through that first year. And keep your eye on the media and focus on the pr part of the book as well, because that’s where you’re gonna continue to reach new audiences and garner new attention and continue to bring that sales momentum going instead of letting your sales dip and then trying to inflate it back up with media like three months later.
RV (20:33):
Yeah. Yeah. Totally. I mean, you gotta, you gotta keep building the brand, building the platform being out there. So are there certain, are there certain mediums that you think mm-hmm. work better than others for selling books specifically? Yes. Because you know, that’s, that’s one of, one of the things we educate a lot of people on is they think that PR is going to sell all their books,
PD (20:59):
RV (20:59):
And it can, it can help, but typically you have to be more focused. If you’re trying to make a sale like a conversion, you’ve gotta be doing other stuff far above and beyond pr. But, but when you,
PD (21:11):
RV (21:12):
When you just go, what, what are the mediums or the outlets in PR that you think actually do move the needle on book sales? Like somebody going to buy, not just hearing about it, but actually going to make a conversion.
PD (21:27):
Do you know what we’ve seen the number one medium that sells through PR right now, books specifically is podcasting. Yeah.
PD (21:34):
So podcasts, podcast, podcast, which I know all of your listeners have probably heard before, but it’s still the leading way that converts to a sale, specifically when we’re talking about books. So what I already say is, don’t poo poo any podcast that might not seem like up to your elevation of where you think you should be. Right? Like, let’s not be too big for a britches if they have a target engage audience, those are customers and they’re waiting to buy your book. So it’s like you have to level set what you’re doing with podcasting during a book launch. Like, yes, your end goal might be on your podcast, Rory, it may be on Lewis’s podcast, but let’s also look at the, just like trade media. Let’s look at the ones that still have similar target audiences and do as many podcasts as you can. ’cause That is a huge driver. The other one, Rory, and I know this can seem like a little bit of a stretch, but it still rings true TV converts to sales.
RV (22:34):
Hmm. And
PD (22:34):
So when I’m talking, but I’m talking about like nation national, right? So if you have a book, I mean, for example, anytime we have a client on today’s show or Good Morning America, it moves a thousand to 2000 books, right? Like it moves a significant number of books depending on kind of where you are known wise to the audience. So I know, and national can be kind of far out of reach for some people. And so what I say with that is like, don’t throw away the local TV station. Don’t throw away that opportunity thinking it’s too small for you because they feed up into the national station. So if you have interesting content and you book yourself on your local N B C, it is much more likely for you to get picked up nationally by taking that clip and sending it to the Today Show how you’ve already been on the affiliate and the reaction that you’ve had there. And it is a great proof point to then take to the national media as you pitch them for that opportunity.
RV (23:37):
Yeah. That’s also huge for your, for your speaker demo video and to put, you know, screenshots of it in your book proposal and in your PR to get yourself booked on other podcasts to show those clips of you on tv. Yeah. All of those, all of those things. Your, your media sizzle reel, the, the, yeah. Let’s talk, oh, one thing on the podcast is, you know, just to echo what you’re saying, you know, to, to become a Wall Street Journal, hardcover, business bestselling author, which is like one of the ma it’s the easiest major list to hit. Mm-Hmm.
Speaker 3 (24:11):
RV (24:11):
I say easy, it’s not really easy
Speaker 3 (24:13):
, but it’s
RV (24:13):
Like, you know, to hit the New York Times, you need to, to sell well north of 10,000 units in a week. But to hit the Wall Street Journal business list, it’s typically like a few thousand units, two or 3000 units. So you don’t need millions of people to buy your book in order to become a legit bestselling author, you know? Mm-Hmm.
Speaker 3 (24:33):
RV (24:33):
From a major, you know, reputable list. So if there’s a podcast and they have a thousand of your perfect person and you can get a thousand people to move and buy something like, that’s, that’s huge. Plus, you know, that’s, if you’re lucky enough to get on the Today Show, you might move a thousand copies that way. So, but that’s a thousand out of a bazillion people versus Yes.
Speaker 3 (24:54):
RV (24:54):
Know, a thousand out of 5,000 because it’s your perfect audience. So I think that’s really good. You know, one I got one last question for you. Before we do that, I wanna let y’all know, so I mentioned at the start of the show, as you could see, right, Paige knows this space, , she understands the way it works. You know, our whole brand builders group service centered methodology and, and giving first and adding value to others first is a core part of what she believes and how she does what she does. And that’s why we recommend her as our PR firm for book launches. So if you need someone to help you do PR for your actual book launch, here’s what I want you to do. Email us [email protected], [email protected]. That’s our email address to connect you to all of our vendors.
RV (25:43):
But in the subject line, I just want you to put book pr, that’s it. Just email us, put book PR in the subject line, send an email to [email protected]. And then we’ll have someone on our team connect you with Paige and walk you through, you know, the whole thing. So you can talk to her directly and her team and see how it works. And you know, I would say, you know, I can say this because I’m not in pr, we’ve seen a lot of people waste a lot of money on PR firms that don’t, they’re not accountable, they don’t have a good plan, they don’t do it, right. They do a total shotgun blanket approach. You know, they’re just sending out a giant press release and they’re not doing the kind of one-on-one follow-up work and building long-term relationships like Paige and her team. So, you know, it can be risky, risky business spending lots of money on pr. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (26:32):
So, you
RV (26:32):
Know, make sure you’re, you’re working with somebody who knows what they’re doing. In this case we’re, we’re totally sure about that with Paige. So email us [email protected]. Yeah, of course, Paige. So one last quick question is on the tv, ’cause this is the, this is the dream, right? Good Morning America Today course show. You know, of
PD (26:51):
RV (26:52):
What you know, I know you’ve, I know you’ve had that happen for clients when it happens, when you get the big national dream television hit
PD (27:02):
Mm-Hmm. ,
RV (27:04):
How do you get it? What, what are the series of events that led up to that producer saying, yes, I’ll do this. Like, I know it’s always a long shot, but what, what can we do to tip the odds in our favor for a big national TV hit?
PD (27:21):
The first is make sure you’re communicating with the right people. So both at today, good Morning America, c b s, they have specific book producers. So you need to make sure you’re a first talking to the right people. ’cause Too many times people just go to the general producer. That’s not their beat. You need to find the book producer and then to be able to, I mean, it takes a six month plus lead time. They book their spots for books six months out at minimum. So you need to give yourself runway. However, if you miss that window, what you wanna do is tie it to a breaking news or element that’s taking a conversation that’s taking place in society right now, whatever that might be. And you need to be able, again, they don’t care about the book. So you’ve gotta go in first starting with you as a tool and how you’re gonna solve this problem.
PD (28:17):
And it takes months of communication. Like to even, I have relationships with all the book producers and it takes us months of communication and understanding. ’cause There’s only so much airtime that the gift to books. And so you’ve got to be very strategic in how you communicate. And that’s by not spamming them with follow up. Right? What do you think? Do you like my book? How is this doing? What do you think? Right? Am I gonna get a spot like respect their inbox? So only communicate when they respond. You respond back and then give it a couple weeks. Don’t stay on top of it like it is your best friend because you will get blocked very quickly from the show. Mm-Hmm. number two, I will say connect with them on social media. That makes the biggest difference too. We are connected with all the editors and journalists on social.
PD (29:07):
And again, just serve and interact with them on social. They get to see your name continue to pop up. They get to see your content, kind of psychological play, right? And just the power of how many times you’re introduced to them. And then if you’re realizing your pitch is not working, redo it. That’s what I think so many people are afraid of. They forget. It’s just like email testing, AB testing. Obviously they’re not biting over here. So do, is there a new research study out that you can tie that research into how it relates to your book that’s newsworthy to them? Is there a social trend that is happening that somehow ties into your book? Right? So have some type of element that it’s research-based or fact-based to go with your book and something that’s new and approach it that way if your first pitch isn’t working.
PD (29:59):
And then number three, it’s honestly not give up. So if you realize your book is just not hitting and coming through again, go back to this drawing board and reach out just as a source and an expert. I know it kind of sounds like being in a deb horse, but it’s relationship building. You’re retooling. You are not going in with thinking you’re gonna pitch and your book’s gonna end up tomorrow. You’ve gotta give yourself that runway to be able to do it. So the more you can connect with them on email serving and social, the more you can tailor your pitch to that six month timeframe and have it be something newsworthy and exciting. Or if it has a celebrity angle that you can tie to it mm-hmm.
RV (30:40):
, the
PD (30:41):
More likely you’re gonna end up on national news. ’cause You have to think this is National Morning news is lifestyle, right? It’s lifestyle and news. So it’s talking about some politics, cultural elements, right? All of those. But also the second and third hour of those shows are heavily like health, fitness, books, wellness. And so that’s where you’ve gotta pitch your news. And the book editor sit is typically in that second hour or third hour of the morning show.
RV (31:10):
I love it. I love it. So many helpful tips, Paige. So I know practical, I’m so passionate. , practic. I really appreciate it. Thank you for sharing so generously here. You know, everyone share this with someone you know, who is writing a book or wants to write a book or is thinking about writing a book when this is mission critical stuff. And we’re so grateful for you, Paige, and, and we thank you. We wish you all the best.
PD (31:36):
Thank you.

Ep 431: How to Turn Your Personal Brand into a Worldwide Movement | Pat Flynn Episode Recap

RV (00:02):
So there’s a reason why Pat Flynn is a legend in the world of podcasting and just creating content and specifically creating community. And it’s the, it’s all the things that you heard on that interview. And if you didn’t listen to interview, go back and listen to it. I mean, pat is, I mean, he is one of the OGs of this space. He’s created this podcasting industry. He has impacted so many people, and you get to hear his philosophies. And that’s part of what I want to share with you now is what inspired me of what he said, like, what inspired me the most? Because, you know, it’s, it’s ironic that, you know, we titled that episode a, a after it, you know, we titled it How AI Will Reshape Customer and Member Experience. And I think the reality of how AI will shape that experience, if I had to summarize it up, is it will put more focus on the human elements, right?
RV (01:06):
Just like marketing automation and emails and things as, as automation comes in, creating automation in your business is not for the purpose of taking out or extracting the humanity of your business. It’s the opposite. You should be automating the routine things, automating the mundane things, automating the things that must be done as a baseline so that it creates the margin for you then to reinvest the time into the human experience, into the relationship, into the getting to know people, into transformation and changing people’s lives. And that’s what I think a lot of people don’t understand, or they, they do wrong, is they go, oh, I want to create, you know, some way to create massive passive income and not have to work or do anything for anybody. And, you know, maybe that strategy works, but I don’t, I don’t know of anybody that it works well for.
RV (01:59):
The people who I know are winning are people like Pat, who are going, I’m using technology tools, automation, AI in the future as a way of creating a great experience and then adding the human element on top. You know? So as you, as we think about what is going to take your business to the next level, and what, how do you turn something from a personal brand into a world changing movement? And what does that, what does that look like? And, and right now as I’m recording this, I am texting back and forth with one of our private clients, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, who wrote this book that is called Forever Strong. And this is amazing. What has happened with this woman is amazing. So she became one of my private clients. She came
RV (02:59):
To my brand mastery event, which are these very micro group experiences that I lead in person. And we have usually only like five people there. And she came to one, several months ago, we were talking, you know, preparing and helping her with her book launch. Her book has taken off in, in an a way that like we’ve never seen. So she followed our whole system, followed our whole process, and everything we talk about is lighting the spark so that it will take off. That is what is happening with her book. Her book has been number five worldwide in all books on Amazon for almost a week straight for almost seven days. That is so insanely difficult. This means that she’s been selling, you know, well over like fif like between 1500 and 2000 units probably a day. Then the final numbers from last week are aren’t out yet.
RV (03:47):
But, you know, she’s moved a ton of books. She’s, I don’t know if she’ll hit the New York Times, but she’s certainly gonna be a New York Times candidate. And I was literally just talking we’re, I’m just texting back and forth with her as we’re talking about, you know, what’s working and the strategy for how we keep this going. And so much of it is ties into like this episode with Pat and going, okay, what’s working for Dr. Lyon in many ways is, is is very similar to how Pat has built his personal brand and his platform. And it’s, it’s like caring about people. Specifically. If you wanna know how to turn your personal brand into a worldwide movement, it’s understanding that you have to make it more about the message and less about the messenger. You have to make it more about community and less about the content.
RV (04:49):
You have to make it more about what you believe and less about what you’re trying to get people to buy. That is how you create a worldwide movement. That is how you create something that transcends your work, your expertise, your knowledge, and your vanity and your metrics and your profits and things, and go. And that is how you create something that becomes bigger than you. In many ways, it’s a matter of just setting the intention to have something that is bigger than you, that is greater than you, that is a purpose that is beyond just you, right? It’s more about the message, less about the messenger. What does that mean? It means that your personal brand and the content that you create is being created. Because what you are passionate about is wanting people to live a certain way, wanting people to act a a certain way, wanting people to change their life in a certain way.
RV (05:53):
And you care more about that. You create more about creating that change in their behavior and making that impact in their life than you do about you becoming famous and you becoming well known and you becoming, you having more followers, right? It’s not that having more followers is bad, more follow followers is good. It’s just saying for, to be a mission-driven messenger, it means that money is good, but money is subservient to the message. Income is good, but income is subservient to impact. You have to be more about the message and less about the messenger. And that is what these people do, and that’s what drives them, and that’s what makes them great, right? And I, I think Lewis Howes a great example of that Lewis House is, is, is someone who’s always just been so focused on helping his audience win, helping his audience succeed, and then Al also helping his guests succeed.
RV (06:53):
And he’s sort of come along for the ride, right? Like he’s the host that has come along for the ride. And now Lewis is this, this very world renowned, recognized, one of the most influential personal brands in the world, but it wasn’t because he set out on a mission to make Lewis famous. He set out on a mission to help people. The School of Greatness is about sharing and, and, and curating the greatest minds in the world, sharing their ideas for free on a podcast where people may not ever get access to that information, right? And so Lewis comes along for the ride. Dr. Gabrielle Lyon with this, this book, forever Strong is just blowing up. And man, I, I hope, I hope this, I hope we, we, we get good news that she hits New York Times. We got good news last week. So one of our other clients, Nicole Walters hit the New York Times.
RV (07:41):
She, she hit number nine on the New York Times. That was the seventh time that we’ve had a brand builders group client hit the New York Times in the last 12 months, seven times we’ve done that, right? People following our system and, and what is our system? The system is not gimmicks, right? The system is not gaming. The system is adding value, making a difference, creating a movement. And what’s happening with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon is she’s teaching the whole world, right? She’s an actual, she’s an actual fellowship trained doctor, is she’s saying, we all think that we’re over fat, right? We think that we’re over fat, but we’re not over fat. We’re under muscle. And so she is starting this muscle movement, right? She calls what she does, muscle centric medicine, and she’s talking about what she believes. It’s not so much go buy my book, buy my book.
RV (08:33):
She’s, she’s, she’s passionate about educating people to go. The whole narrative has been about losing weight and cutting carbs and cutting calories and like reduce, reduce, reduce. And she’s saying it’s not about that. What really creates health is more muscle, right? More protein, more, more muscle. And so we all think we’re over fat and she’s teaching us, no, we’re under muscle. And then if we can build muscle, then all these other health benefits take care of themselves. And it’s, it’s a fresh, it’s a fresh message, but it’s, it’s about the message, not the messenger. And it’s, it’s about what she believes, not what she wants you to buy. That’s how you create a movement, right? And we’re just, we happen to be on the, on the behind the scenes, like inner workings on, on her actual team. And we have been for the last several months of preparing to launch this thing with the force it deserves.
RV (09:26):
And now we’re seeing it like catch and start to take off. It’s amazing. I mean, it’s blowing my mind, the numbers that she’s posting, we’ve never seen before. And truly just like all organic sales, you know, we do all of these mechanics, we teach all of our clients to do around, you know, generating buzz and presales and all the marketing efforts and you know, et cetera, all the things we teach in bestseller launch plan. But she’s not even focused on a bestseller list. She’s not focused on how many units she’s gonna sell. She’s not focused on growing her social media following. She’s focused on a movement she’s focused on, on a mission. She’s a mission-driven messenger. The message is more important than the messenger. What she believes is more important, and it is what she’s talking about more than what she wants you to buy.
RV (10:13):
So the book gets caught in, in, in the groundswell of that, right? So the book kind of goes along for the ride. Her personal brand goes along for the ride. And that’s what happened with Lewis House, and that’s what happened with Pat Flynn with his podcast, right? He’s, you know, just been focused on the movement and the message. And, and I love what I love, one of the things that Pat said in the interview, again, go back and go back and listen to the interview. You just don’t get, you just are not gonna get access to somebody like Pat typically, you know, you don’t get that kind of access all the time. So it’s a powerful conversation. And one of the things he said, which I loved, he said, make each piece of content that you create a gift for your audience. Make each piece of content, you create a gift for your audience, right?
RV (11:08):
Is your content a gift for your audience, or is it something you do so you can grow followers? Is it a gift for your audience? Or is it something you put together so that you can sell people and get your hands in their pockets and take some money? Again, I’m not against money, I’m not against followers. We’re, we’re fans of money, right? We like money. We, we like followers, we need those things to make a difference, but it’s where does it rank in the order of priority? It’s is money subservient to, to the message, to the mission is serving your audience the priority? And then all the other things are subservient to that. So it’s not that there’s, you know, these things are bad, it’s just the order of priority matters. It’s about service, it’s about your audience. It’s about making an impact on the world.
RV (12:00):
It’s about going, what would I say if, if money didn’t matter at all, right? Like, what is the thing that I would dedicate my life to? What is the thing that I believe in? And when you’re creating content, the content is a gift. And y’all, I have one of these gifts for you, like, I’m, I’m gonna go, I’m, yeah, this is also a little bit off, off topic, but not really, you know, a few like a couple years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night, this very sobering thought, which was, what happens if I die before Jasper and Liam, my kids are old enough to have a conversation with me where I can truly explain to them the logical and historical and archeological elements of why I have come to believe that, that Jesus of Nazareth is actually a deity. Why he’s actually a messiah. How, what is the evidence that I have discovered through research and reading and exploration and critical thinking and challenging and, and, and discussing and, and, and, and, you know, all of these things that I have done in my personal life, not in my business life.
RV (13:22):
And it was a sobering thought to go, wow, I’ve spent over 20 years, almost 20 years of my life now in my personal life, exploring this thing that is not a part of my business and my personal brand and what I do professionally, but it’s really important to me to share that with my kids. And what happens if I died before my kids got old enough? And that created this deep sense of urgency, this deep urgency in me to go, I have to get, I have to get this recorded for Jasper and Liam. Hopefully nothing happens to me, right? I’m not planning on going anywhere soon, but like, if something did, this issue of eternity is so important to me, and there’s so much misunderstanding around it, and I’ve spent so much of my own time exploring the evidence for this that it is of tantamount significant importance to me, that my boys one day will get the benefit of all of that knowledge.
RV (14:21):
And I said, I have to create this. I don’t have a way to monetize it. I, right? And so all I did was I just driven out of this, this purpose really for them. And then, you know, we recorded it and it’s 15 episodes, and it was like, well, we can’t release 15 episodes on this podcast, so, you know, we need to start another podcast. And so we are launching this, this whole separate podcast series called Eternal Life. Seven Questions Every Intelligent Skeptic Should Ask About Jesus of Nazareth. What is this ep? What is this podcast? It’s just me sharing my personal life’s work of exploring the evidence, the logical reasons, the historical reasons, the academic reasons, the archeological support to go, how is it that a logical, rational person could ever believe in this idea of a human that was a deity, that was somehow a God who performed miracles and then died and re resurrected and came back to life?
RV (15:21):
Like, how does any rational person believe any of that? And, and that was the question I asked that caused this 20 year journey of me unpacking it to where I have come to the full conclusion that it is definitely what happened, and that there’s a mountain of evidence that supports it. And I’ve documented it for my boys, and I’ve decided to go, okay, why not release this to the public? Why am I telling you this? Because it’s a massive amount of time. I have no way to monetize it, right? I have no plan of making money. I’m not suddenly gonna build a personal brand around this idea. It’s just a project that was like, I have to share this and I’ll, you know, I have to make it and I might as well share it. So it’s a gift, right? And it’s a great example of, you know, when Pat said that you have to create, make each piece of content a gift.
RV (16:15):
It is a gift. I have no other benefit from that. Now, hopefully every piece of content that I create, everything around the four levels of influence and the psychology of influence, which is what my actual area of expertise is, and my actual business is about, right? Our business at Brand Builders Group, our team is about, you know, helping people become wealthy and well known, helping them make a bigger impact, helping them monetize their message and their personal brand, which is my actual core expertise, right? The content for that should also be a gift, right? But I have a reason to make that a gift, which is also that I get the side impact of having a way to monetize it. But even eternal life, it’s 15 episodes, it’s over 15 hours of content that I’ve had to create. It took me two years to build this, and I’m just giving it away for free.
RV (17:04):
It’s a gift, right? Not all of you are gonna wanna listen to that podcast. Some of you might, right? So, you know, make sure that you, you know, opt in here or go, go Search For Eternal Life is the name of the podcast by Rory Vaden. And it’s coming out soon, and it’s like within the, I think it’s supposed to come out this week, like by the end of this week. So it’s either out now or it’ll be out soon. If you’re on our email list, of course we’ll announce it. If you follow [email protected], I’ll, you know, I’ll be posting it there too, so that you can see it. It’s not the future direction of my personal brand, but it’s a gift, right? You have to make each piece of content that you create, it’s gotta be a gift. There’s gotta be a piece of you in it. There’s gotta be, you have to care. You have to give a crap. You have to have put time and blood and sweat and tears to go, I’ve created this for you and I’m giving it to you for free.
RV (17:59):
That’s the secret to content marketing, not which hashtags do you use and how do you edit and what are your camera angles, and what is your lighting and what’s the right hook? And how do you play the algorithm? To me, that’s not the secret, right? Those might be the secrets to GE going viral once in a while, but that’s not the secret to building a business and to changing the world. The secret to that is going create content that is, that matters deeply to you talk about the things that matter to you and create it as a gift to do the work of packaging it and preparing it, and then promoting it to your audience. And by the way, promotion is part of the gift, doing the work of telling the world about it. If I do all the research, discover the cure for cancer, but then I don’t do any of the work to tell the world that I’ve discovered it, the net impact of me discovering the cure for cancer is zero.
RV (18:57):
I haven’t affected anybody, right? So promotion is part of the gift. Promotion is part of the responsibility. Promotion is part of your privilege as the messenger. It’s part of your obligation, it’s part of your duty. It’s not just part of your job. It’s not just part of like, you know, the the price you pay to be successful, although it is that also for a mission-driven messenger, I have to reach more people because that’s part of my calling. Marketing is art, right? Promotion is a privilege. It is my duty. And so when you stand in that place, not the place of vanity going, I need a bunch of people to know about my stuff, but standing in the place of service to go, I have put some work into creating something that I think you’ll enjoy. Here it is. And I want that to get to as many people as possible.
RV (19:52):
That is the difference. And that is what converts a personal brand into a worldwide movement. It’s that conviction, that clarity, that dedication. And you see this with the biggest personal brands in the world, right? You see this with Dave Ramsey comes to mind, right? Dave Ramsey. He doesn’t need money. He hasn’t needed money for decades. Like he’s still on the radio three hours every day. Why? Because it’s a movement for him, it’s a mission. He’s going, I know what it’s like to be broke and, and bankrupt and be upside down financially, and have somebody come into my home and take my daughter’s crib to sell it, to pay off my debt. He knows what that feels like. So getting another download on his podcast or another follower on Instagram or another speaking engagement or another dollar in his bank account is great. It’s not why he does it.
RV (20:51):
If he did, if it was why he was doing it, he would’ve stopped a long time ago. He doesn’t care about, it’s not that he doesn’t care about those things, right? Those are byproducts of the mission, of the movement of the cause. And, and, and those of you that are clients of ours at Brand Builders Group, you know, in our, you know, we’ve got 14, 14 courses in our, in our curriculum, 14 different two-Day experiences that we take people through. And our flagship first experience finding your brand, DNA, we take, we help you create a brand positioning statement, which is what problem do you solve in one word? What is your uniqueness in one word? What is your solution to that sentence or that that problem? In one sentence, what audience, what audience do you serve in one phrase, what one revenue stream matters above all others.
RV (21:38):
And then we also teach you something called the cause, right? The problem is what people are struggling with the cause is why they are struggling with it. So the, the concept of a cause inside our curriculum, our formal curriculum at Brand Builders Group, it’s a, it’s a semantics. It’s a, it’s a formal, it’s a part of our vernacular. It’s an element that we teach on, is that there’s the problem which people are aware of. This is the thing they know they’re struggling with, they’re willing to admit it. And so we use that in marketing because it attracts people. ’cause They see it and they go, yes, that’s me. But then we teach, we teach messengers and we help them identify the cause, which is the thing that their audience doesn’t see, right? The problem is what they’re struggling with the cause is why they’re struggling with it.
RV (22:20):
The problem is what they’re aware of the cause is what they’re unaware of. The problem is what they think they is. The, they think is their issue, but the cause is what their real issue is. Well, academically speaking in brand builders group curriculum and in our construct, in our paradigm, our semantics and our vernacular in our frameworks, the causes, everything that I have just said to you, it meets those academic criteria. Additionally, though, deliberately and intentionally, the cause we deliberately use that word as a double entendre, meaning it has two meanings, A double meaning. It has the meaning of all of those things I shared, but it also doubles as the cause for your life. It is the cause, the, the purpose of the messenger. It’s the reason why they have dedicated their life to doing this. It is, it’s the, the source of their inspiration.
RV (23:16):
It is their cause for creating their personal brand, their cause for digitizing and monetizing their reputation, their cause for writing a book, their cause for creating a speech, their cause for launching a membership or a podcast or a course. It’s their cause. It’s their reason. It’s their purpose. In addition to being the cause of the root issue that people struggle with, the cause of the messenger is to say, I’m going to dedicate my life to eradicating the world of this invisible enemy that is taking them down. Right? For Dave Ramsey is helping people be debt free for Dr. Gabrielle Lyes, for helping people to be healthy, right? For Pat Flynn, it’s for helping people to, to, to create more income. Rambler’s Group, it’s for us to help you create more notoriety, to help you become more well known. So you have to find a cause that is something that you would dedicate your life to, and the the, when the cause elevates and you become subservient to that, that is when there’s a chance for your personal brand to turn into a worldwide movement.
RV (24:41):
And when it turns into a worldwide movement, there’s a bunch of other wonderful things that come along and you get to come along for the ride, right? I get to go along for the ride. The book gets to come along for the ride, your business gets to go along for the ride, but not because that’s first, because it’s a byproduct of being more focused on the message than the messenger. More about creating community and not just the content, and more about sharing what you believe and not just what you want people to buy. So make your personal brand a cause, make it a mission. Make it a movement. We’ll catch you next time on the influential Personal Brand podcast.

Ep 430: How AI Will Reshape Customer and Member Experience with Pat Flynn

RV (00:02):
Oh, you are in for a treat today. You’re gonna meet one of the smartest men in this business. One of my favorite people that I have ever met in the space of personal branding. One of the godfathers of personal branding, certainly in the world of podcasting. The host of the Smart Passive Income podcast, pat Flynn. We’ve been friends, loose friends for years. Like we’ve always known each other. We’ve hung out a little bit here, a little bit there. And I, this is someone that I personally admire. He’s also the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of a book called Superfans. And and he is, will It Fly? Like he’s written, he’s written a couple books and most recently he has a YouTube channel that he’s grown to 700,000 subscribers in just over two years. So we’re gonna hear a little bit about that. He’s an advisor to many different SaaS companies, software as a service companies. I’m planning on asking a little bit about that, but I never know where it’s gonna go. We’ll see, we’ll see where the flow takes us. Anyways, pat, I’m really genuinely honored, man, that you’d make time to, to be here to share your story with our community.
PF (01:10):
Thank you, Rory. I appreciate that. And I’ve never been introduced as the godfather of anything, so I don’t know if I’ve reached that age now, where, or, or maybe it’s the beard. I don’t know. But I appreciate the amazing intro and I look forward to the chat.
RV (01:22):
Yeah, man, I, I mean, I think philosophically I’ve just, you know, we’ve been around a long time and you, there’s a lot of people who try to make a lot of money quickly from their audience. There’s a lot of people who, eh, bend the truth a little bit and kinda over sensationalize and hype up the bonuses and there’s a countdown timer, but not really, you know, and I just have always felt like you’ve not been about that stuff. You’ve been about adding value, serving people. And I wanna start there. I wanna start with the podcast. ’cause Obviously, so smart passive income. I saw this. So you’ve been podcasting now 13 years, 700 episodes, 80 million downloads. How do we do that? ? So what’s, what’s the secret to
PF (02:12):
Yeah, I mean, and I’m just a regular dude recording this out of my office at home in San Diego, you know, and that’s the cool thing. The ability to share your voice out there on a podcast and have it sort of amplify out there into the world and find your people is, is really amazing. Now, I started in 2010, actually. The, the fun story about that was I bought my equipment in 2008. I had gotten laid off from my architecture job, started a online business to help architects pass an exam. It started to do pretty well. And I started to share that information on a new blog called smart passive income.com. And I had always wanted to start a podcast. So I bought all this equipment and it was kind of just sitting there collecting dus. ’cause I was actually too afraid to put my voice out there, at least with a blog.
PF (02:51):
I could write something and edit it and make it perfect before I hit publish, but with my voice, like, that’s, that’s hardcore. And it wasn’t until I got some great advice from some mentors and finally just said, you know what? Screw it. Like, what’s the worst that can happen? Nobody’s gonna listen. But what if people do listen and then listen? They did. And not only did they listen, they shared, and then more people started to listen. And so now, 13 years later, it’s pretty crazy that I’ve, I’ve become somebody who’s like, oh, this person’s been around for a very long time. That’s not to say you can’t get started today. I think there’s a lot of opportunity in the world of podcasting. We’re still in the early days of podcasting, in my opinion. Even though it might seem saturated, there’s still, I think only two and a half to 3 million active podcasts that are out there versus, you know, with blogs and other, I mean, there’s 50 million or a hundred million of those.
PF (03:40):
We’re still in the early days of podcasting. And I think it’s because it’s a little bit more challenging, like I said, to put your voice out there. But when you do, people get to hear the real emotion, the real voice. And I think that’s my best advice is you just wanna be yourself on, on audio. And now in combination with video, with YouTube and YouTube picking up video podcasts now as well as Spotify, and there’s more and more people now going to YouTube to listen and watch podcasts the opportunity for growth is even better than when it was just audio only. And, and YouTube wasn’t really focused on that kind of long form content. So how do you do it? You gotta stay consistent, that’s for sure. But I think there’s something to be said for speaking the truth, being yourself, but also I think the, the idea of edutainment, you know, you can’t just share the information anymore.
PF (04:27):
You gotta be entertaining in some way, whether it’s the story you tell or the emotion that you put into it. I think we are now in an age, compared to when I started, when I started, information was valuable because it wasn’t always there, right? If you had the info that was worth paying for, that was worth getting access to, et cetera. Now we’re all sitting at a buffet and there’s so much information and everybody’s stuffing their plates full, right? So in this world that we’re in as like a buffet of content, and everybody’s just a glutton right now I wanna be the chef who specially prepares something in the other room. And I want it to be special and different and an experience, right? Love that. It’s not even just about the food, it’s about it how I treat you when you walk in and the place setting and the story behind this dish and why it’s so special to me, those are the things that today are standing out a lot more than just, oh, here’s the info that literally everybody else is saying too.
RV (05:21):
I love that illustration. I mean, it’s interesting when you talk about creating superfans, it’s just sort of like customer experience. In my mind I kind of put that together as like customer experience for a digital experience. Mm-Hmm. , is that kind of, that’s like kind of what you’re talking, how, how do you do that, right? Like, is it, what are the ways that you set the table, tell the story, you know, make it beautiful, especially prepare it? ’cause That was one, that was one of the things I wanted to ask you is to go, okay, we’re early in the years of podcasting, yet there’s a bazillion people doing it. You know, like this is an interview format show. Mostly there’s, we do one interview a week, and then I do a solo episode, and then AJ does an interview, and then she does a solo episode. And that’s like the format. Yeah. There’s plenty of interview episodes, there’s plenty of solos, there’s plenty of comedy, there’s plenty of politics. So it’s like, I don’t know if it’s the format, but what you’re talking about here that resonates with me to go, how do we create the equivalent of a white glove experience that you would have at a restaurant, but in a digital environment, right?
PF (06:24):
I mean, as I often say, the riches are in the niches. And if you can niche down, you almost have a place setting that has a person’s name when they sit down. Have you ever been to a restaurant that you’ve maybe had reservations at and there’s like a, a, a placard on the table with your name or your, you know, you and your date’s name on it or something like that? Alone is an amazing first impression. Now, you can’t put anybody’s name at the beginning of the podcast and, you know, serve that to everybody. But if you can connect with who it is that you’re creating this for, what are their issues, speaking their language, and really get to know who it is the audience is. The more you can nail that niche, the more the episode, the audio, the stories you tell are gonna feel like it’s just for them.
PF (07:04):
And that’s what you wanna happen. You want to have the listener feel like that you made this episode just for them. And so, again, I keep saying the S word stories, tell stories, get emotional. If you can get a person to laugh, cry, smile, get angry, fight with you, fight against you, some sort of emotion, then it’s gonna, it’s just gonna resonate more and, and, and, and connect more. And, and that’s where it goes one level deeper than just information. It’s now emotionally affecting a person. And, and, and that’s where a person then will wanna come back or have something to say and engage or something to share, Hey, you gotta listen to this ’cause this made me, you know, this got me fired up. Right? Those are the things that are gonna get you to grow. And then beyond that, like connecting with the individual listeners in some way, shape, or form is very important.
PF (07:54):
Yes, it’s a scalable thing, much like anything, YouTube, blogging, podcasting, et cetera. But if you ever give yourself the opportunity to try to connect with an individual or individuals who are actually listeners, one thing that surprised a lot of people, I shared this on stage a number of years ago, but I still do this. I still try to make a connection, whether it’s through a DMM or a Skype call. It’s no longer Skype. It’s usually Zoom now, but, but back then it was Skype with 10 new email subscribers every single month I try to get on an actual live call with them, just, just me and them, not recorded or anything. I just want to get to know them a little bit more. And I do that every month with 10 different people. Wow. And those are some of the most golden conversations because now I get a pulse on exactly who I’m creating content for, what are their stories.
PF (08:38):
And so when I’m actually creating content for everybody, I can actually think of, you know, Jonah, who I just spoke to, who has a problem and a specific challenge, and I can actually feel like I’m creating it for that person. And of course, if I attract the right people, it’s not just Jonah, I’m affecting, it’s everybody else who fits in the same niche. And, and plus it’s just like inspiring to talk to somebody who you know, that you can have an impact on. And you actually don’t have to play that game of just making up an avatar. You actually have a real person that you can think about.
RV (09:07):
That’s awesome, man. 10 new people every single month. I mean, that’s a good, that’s a commitment, but what a great way to stay connected to, to the audience. I love that. So I wanna I wanna ask you about the SaaS stuff because I, I, I haven’t heard you talk a lot about it, but I, I’ve always noticed it in your bio and it’s something that I respect particularly because I, you know, really respect ConvertKit, which I, you know, you’re public about that you’re one of their advisors. And Circle has got a great reputation. You know, I’ve, we’ve had Nathan Barry on the show here before. Yeah. we, we personally use Keep and Infusionsoft, and, and so that’s what we tend to resell, but we’re technically technology agnostic. But I love Nathan. I love the product. A lot of our customers use it. It, it counts for a lot to me to know that people like you are there. So how does it, how does that work? Like, what does it mean to be an advisor to a company? I certainly don’t want you to share any, you know, specific details about your relationship with any of the companies that you’re an advisor on. But I think, you know, a lot of personal brands are looking to scale their income. One of the ways to do that, I think is to sort of take equity positions or profit positions
PF (10:22):
A hundred percent. You know,
RV (10:23):
So can you just like, tell us how does it work? What do you do? How does it come up? How do you have that conversation? You know, do Yeah. Do they fly you around on private jets or is it not quite that, you know, like, just a little bit about that.
PF (10:38):
No, I’ve, I’ve never been flown around in private jets yet. Maybe if any of the companies are listening, we might need to have a conversation about that, but No, I’m just kidding. I don’t, I don’t need that really what it comes down to. Like, here’s what the deal structure is like, and then we’ll talk about how we got into that. Basically, as an official advisor, like on the advisory board of a company, I have some equity. How much is some like literally a percent or less? Like it’s very small. In most cases, I don’t see any income upfront as a result of that. But I do have now shares that are in like Carta or something, which is where shares can be located. And the exchange for that is, I, as the advisor get in most cases on a monthly call with them and advise them if they have questions or something they wanna present something that’s more prototype that they don’t wanna share with everybody.
PF (11:33):
But I’m a trusted person who’s on the advisory team, who can offer genuine feedback, brutally honest advice, all those kinds of things based on my knowledge and where I’m at in this space. And it works out with a lot of these companies because I’m actually a user of most of these products, if not all of them. And as a result, I can sort of take that approach of a, of a user and just be honest and upfront about why this sucks or why this is great, or how I would present that to, to the bigger audience. That way they can get ahead on problems and things like that. Oftentimes the relationships that I bring to the table are of, of value and, and oftentimes are more valuable than the advice, just introductions to key people who can help grow the company or support the company in some way, shape, or form.
PF (12:16):
Sometimes it’s people asking, Hey, do you know about anybody if and then other times it’s me just kind of stepping into it and saying, Hey, I thought you guys might like this introduction. ’cause I feel like there’s some synergies there. So just kind of genuinely looking out for the company in, in that way and, and being sort of supportive when, when in need. And, and that’s kind of it. I mean, sometimes it requires a little bit more work when there’s something going on. For example, there might be a, a, a launch or some big news that’s coming and they need some help with the copywriting or, you know, sometimes it gets that technical, but not usually. But how do we get there? Typically these start with me being a user and then trying to become what I like to call a super user.
PF (12:57):
And that means not just using the product, you know, like everybody else, but using it in maybe innovative ways or, or challenging the company, if you will. Challenging the product, kind of overusing it, if you will. Breaking it often. And also being able to offer advice ahead of time. This is a very, very smart thing that you can do as a personal brand, is if you use a product a lot and you know that there’s improvements that can be made, imagine if you actually were in a way, a part of the company. That’s the approach you wanna take and imagine that even before it happens a couple times I’ve written like a two or three page p d f report to these companies that I was either an affiliate for or just used and said, Hey oh, interesting. Like proactively just said, Hey, here’s some thoughts.
PF (13:40):
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I think Noah Kagan did this to try to get hired at Mint. He wanted to become marketing director there, and they were like, no, who are you? You have no experience. And then he created like a 20 page report on what they should do, and then they hired him. So you can do the same thing proactively creating a plan or support or, or just kind of, here’s what’s missing with this product. I’d love to be able to be even more involved. I know I’m an affiliate and I know I’m a user, but might we be able to have a conversation of a more formal way that I can continue to help and serve the company? And that’s of the, of interest to them, because you are a user and you can almost, in a way, kind of get ahead on things because you’re proactively thinking about it, unlike a regular customer.
PF (14:18):
Not all companies are interested in that. Not all companies are set up for that. Some will get set up for that. And, and others already have that in place. And, and we’ll just add you on. It’s really interesting because the payout comes when that company is either, you know, IPOs or goes public or gets acquired. And of the 10 companies that I’ve advised two of them have been acquired fairly recently. Teachable was one a number of years back who got acquired by Hot Mart for I think nine figures. And, you know, nine figures is a lot. And a, a a fraction of a percentage goes a long way when it’s, you know, another zero added onto the end. And then more recently I’m proud to say a, a team that I worked with squad cast, got acquired by D Script, which is pretty cool.
PF (15:07):
And I got a nice little check from that too. So it’s like, you know, you work hard, you, you, you have a way of influencing these companies without actually like, working in the company as an advisor. And that’s the coolest part. Like, I feel like I now have like so many irons in the fire where I just have to like, share my expertise or share my honest take on something and, and be there as a resource or make introductions. And if that company wins and I was able to help support that, then we all win. Especially if there’s a big payday at the end.
RV (15:35):
That’s awesome. I love that. Now with the board, so if you take a board of directors seat, now you have, there’s some liability that comes with that in the, and an advisory role. You don’t have any of that, I guess, or less of that, maybe
PF (15:51):
Not in the same kind of way. I think I know what you’re talking about, but there’s still, there, there have been times where it’s gone gotten kind of weird, if you will. For example, you know, if I’m in a, a, an advisor for company A, but then another friend of mine creates a sort of similar product, if you will, and I wanna support my friend, it’s like, well, I can’t necessarily like, you know, do an email blast for you because you’re actually a competitor to this other tool that I’m actually an advisor for. So a couple times it’s been weird like that. Or another time another company created a feature that was literally the other company that I advised, but now it’s a tool that was injected into another company that I advised. So it was like, it, it became a weird, like, which one do you choose, pat? Like, right. It’s either us or them. And it was like, pick a, this is weird. Yeah, it was
RV (16:40):
Divided .
PF (16:42):
Maybe my advisor ships are a little too close together. I don’t know. No, it, it, it, it’s great. I’m proud of like what circle’s done, ConvertKit’s done really well. Samcart as well. Just it’s fun to see these companies grow and know that you had some impact on it. And, and you know, to be there as even just a, a, a shoulder to cry on sometimes, or, or, or a piece of advice, you know, it goes a long way for a lot of these companies.
RV (17:07):
Wow. And so SamCart’s another one.
PF (17:09):
Yeah. Yeah,
RV (17:10):
Man. So you’re, that’s the other thing is you’re a affiliate of all of these. You u you u you use them, you super use them, you affiliate them, you giving a feedback ’cause you’re doing it. And, and you’re also helping promote the sales of them and then the relationships. Yeah,
PF (17:25):
That’s the other part about this. It’s like when, now when I promote ConvertKit, for example, I can say, Hey, I’m not just a user, like I’m actually an advisor. That’s how much I believe in this company. I’m actually an advisor, so you can trust my recommendation even more now. ’cause My name is like on
RV (17:39):
It, right? But you’re, you’re in, you’re in, you’re in all in on it.
PF (17:42):
Right? Which helps the affiliate earnings as well.
RV (17:45):
Yeah, I love that, man. That’s, thanks for sharing that. I know that that’s like, yeah, yeah. Pretty intimate question to ask somebody. But like, that’s really helpful. And I, I think, you know, there’s, there’s certain places where it’s strategic and it, it makes, it makes a lot of sense. So coming back to in general, how you’ve gotten to where you are. You, you’re doing, you’ve got this advisory thing going on. You, so you’re doing advi, you’ve got smart passive income, you’ve got the things going on there, you’re speaking, you’re writing books, you’re advising like it’s turned into a lot. One of the things that’s more recent is tell me about the YouTube channel and the whole Pokemon phenomenon. How did that come about? ’cause That’s growing really fast.
PF (18:35):
Yeah, this is, this is different. So in 2020, of course Covid hit, a lot of us were at home trying to figure out what to do to fill in that time. And my kids got into Pokemon, it was a trading card game. They started collecting them. Whatever the kids are into I wanna get into as well so that we can chat about these things. I don’t just want them to be interested in what I’m interested in. I wanna get interested in what they’re doing. Same thing happened in 20 18, 20 19 with Fortnite. My son and I, we entered a lot of tournaments together. It was a lot of fun. But then he got kind of outgrew that. Anyway, Pokemon came about and I started to dig into the world of YouTube and there’s a lot of YouTubers or poker tubers as they’re called, who talk about the cards and talk about the value.
PF (19:17):
And some of them are in it for more investment purposes, flipping others are in it for the passion and the collections and the completions. There’s like trophy cards, there’s more modern, there’s vintage, all this kind of nostalgic stuff. And I just went deep. And the kids eventually, after several months, like kind of just went on to something else. And I just kept going. So much so that I became involved in the community. I was a moderator for several of these channels. A lot of these creators go live and they opened these packs of Pokemon cards and there’s like a built-in mystery, right? You don’t know what’s inside until it’s open. But these guys open up these cards and there’s thousands of people around the world watching. They’re watching a person open up a pack of Pokemon cards. That’s like
RV (19:54):
Ryan’s toy review basically. Yeah.
PF (19:56):
Kind of like that. Kind of like that. And I was like, you know, all these guys are doing the same thing. I have done YouTube for a while. I think I can bring something different to this space and, and bring some story, bring some entertainment, bring some high quality footage, and all that kind of stuff. ’cause Everybody was kind of doing the same thing. So that’s what I did. And in January of 2021, deep Pocket Monster was created, and in 11 months and 27 days we hit a hundred thousand subscribers. And then we’re currently now approaching 700,000 subscribers in less than three years. Wow. And what’s crazy is we are approaching 200 million views so far which is like more than my podcast has gotten over the last 13 years more than my other YouTube channel for entrepreneurship has gotten ever 10 x more than ever.
PF (20:44):
It’s just blowing up and it’s pretty cool because community has become a big part of this. So much so that I hosted a live event in Anaheim called Card Party. And it was sort of experimental just to see like, Hey, how much does this community actually want to get together in person and hang out ? Well, 2,500 people paid for tickets and showed up in Anaheim and it was a bla it was an absolute blast. And we were able to sell like 500 tickets the next year without even mentioning location or, or date yet because people loved it so much. So we were able to fill in and, and find a gap, and it’s just me, a producer and an editor and that’s it. And with the ad revenue at times, I mean, November of 2022 was a record month for us. And that’s around the time of, you know, Christmas and holidays. So everything is much more expensive. I think the channel in that month alone needs $74,000 in, in ad revenue. Which is kind of bonkers when you think about it. So it’s classic
RV (21:42):
Youtuber model. You’re creating content for a community and you’re letting ads, you just check a box that says, let run ad let ads run on my channel. And you collect a percentage of that for the, for the views.
PF (21:52):
Correct. But it is taking a lot of mental space and not just for like, let me get on video and, and film something. And if you watch the videos, you’ll see they’re, they’re different. They’re storytelling, they’re completing challenges within 24 hours. There’s, there’s a lot of notes of Mr. Beast in there in terms of how the story is told and and such. And it’s funny ’cause our, the majority of the audiences, 30 to 40 year old men, people Wow. My age, who grew up with Pokemon, who now have the money to spend on Pokemon, right? And, and they’re bringing their kids along with it too, there was a lot of families coming to Card Party actually. But yeah, that, that’s the model. But sponsorship dollars come into play as well, not just advertising. And then the affiliate stuff, I’m an affiliate for a binder company and I’m, I’m now the number one affiliate for that binder company now.
PF (22:42):
And we’re even doing partnerships where like, now they made, like, again, remember what I said, like adding value to that company. They’ll wanna work with you because they see the value that you have to add. This binder company called Vault X, they saw that I was doing a lot of volume for them, and I said, Hey, I think it’d be cool if we did a deep pocket monster branded version of, of the binder. So that’s what this is right here. And this is a prototype. And so now we’re working together on stuff and, and now everybody can win. So I’m taking a lot of the things I learned in business into this space that hasn’t ever seen anything like this before. Right? In our space, entrepreneurship events happen all the time, not in this space. So I was able to step up and be like, Hey, let me be the person to kind of round up everybody.
PF (23:22):
And what was nice is everybody, like I didn’t have to pay speakers or nothing. It was just people wanted a space to hang out. And all the big names came to you know, affiliate marketing and, and you know, creating my own merch. Now it’s, it’s, it’s kinda wild, but all the principles remain, which is providing value to an audience and, and making every piece of content. I create a gift. And that’s something that I think I heard Ryan Trahan say, which I really love. And it, it, it, it relates to both informational channels and also entertainment channels. Like, you want what you create to be a gift to your audience and you wouldn’t serve them crap, right? So why are we just publishing something? Because we just need to hit a schedule versus let’s create something of value, something that’s worth their time, something that tells a good story so that when they unwrap it, they feel something. Right. And again, going back to emotion, what I said earlier.
RV (24:16):
Yeah, I I I love that. I mean, I think, and community is something I think you’ve done really well in general with various brands and, and things that you’ve been a part of. As you think forward, personal branding, podcasting, YouTubing, when you look ahead, what do you see? Like what do you see are the biggest trends that are coming or the things that we should be paying attention to at sort of like a a a high level? What are you thinking about of going, eh, I have my eye on this, I got my eye on that, or I’m preparing for this, or I’m really leaning into this or that.
PF (24:55):
Yeah, it’s, it’s not AI or anything AI related, although that’s obviously here and it’s gonna have an impact one way or another. But all the more reason to focus on what I’m about to share with you, which is community micro communities, communities that are very specific to a certain group of people. We’re focused on community and s p i now, in fact, we changed our business model to be from online courses, which we started selling in 2017. And I mean, to give you an example, one of our courses Power Up Podcasting is sold over two and a half million dollars worth. But even though that was working and could still work, we noticed over time, especially during 2021, that the completion rates of our courses and just the interest in taking a solo course was waning. And it made sense because people were kind of getting tired of just learning and learning and learning.
PF (25:44):
They, they wanted and needed more. They needed accountability, they needed connection. And, and, and so we actually completely changed our business model. We still have the same courses. We have, I think over a dozen courses now and workshops and other things people can participate in, but we now call it community powered courses. We’ve actually hired for this, we’ve changed our business model for this, and we have something called the All Access Pass, which has been the most successful thing we’ve ever launched. And what it is, it’s a monthly subscription to a membership that gives you access to all of our courses. Now, if I were to just say that and that alone, that would not be a value just to say like, here’s more information. What it is, the secret sauce is you get the community and the guidance along with it. So no, you don’t take all the courses, you take the three that align in sequential order with where you are at in your journey right now.
PF (26:35):
So if you’re just starting out, for example, you get into the All Access Pass, you take Smart From Scratch, which is our course to help you find your niche, then you take Email Marketing Magic so that you can grow your email list from there. And then you can kind of choose your own adventure from there. If you wanna do YouTube, take the YouTube course. If you wanna do podcasting, take the podcasting course so you can kind of like choose your own adventure. If you are a podcaster, then take our podcasting courses and make sure to take our video podcasting course next. Excuse me. So you have these guided pathways, but what is most successful in the All Access Pass is throughout the year we have these things called accelerators. And an accelerator is, you can take the course with other people and a coach at the same time.
PF (27:16):
So this happens on a time to basis. So on September, you know, 19th, for example, this year we’re gonna host our podcasting accelerator, which means anybody who’s a member of Pro or of our, of of our All Access Pass can start on that same day, get fed which lessons and modules to view what to turn in by when. And after six weeks you’ll have your podcast and if you have questions, there’s a guide, my team’s there, you’re going through it together, you’re able to support each other, find partners, et cetera. Those have been the most successful things because now people are completing them at like a 80% completion rate, which is kind of unheard of for online courses, but it’s not, it’s because it’s not just an online course, it’s community powered courses. And what’s cool is people get a result and then they wanna stick around for the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.
PF (28:04):
So we now have m r r monthly recurring revenue on our business for the first time. And we no longer feel like we just have to keep serving the same solo one-off courses at a certain price. We can continually add to this library and add more value. And, and the more people that are in there, the more valuable it, it becomes micro communities are, are the future. And if you don’t have a microcommunity in your space, if you don’t have a space for your people, whether it’s your students, your subscribers, your clients to come together and meet each other, well then you have nothing that’s keeping people there, because again, the information and even the offering, even as a, even as a service can be found elsewhere. But as you often hear people come for the content, but they stay for the community. And so community’s got, like, to me that’s absolutely vital, like, like table stakes at this point. You have to have that safe space for your people to come together. ’cause That’s gonna be your, your your safety net. As things change, as AI comes, as competitors come that community’s gonna be that barrier between, you know, a person leaving and a person staying often. Mm-Hmm.
RV (29:11):
. Yeah. I love that. I mean, it’s, it’s a, it’s sort of an irony how the more that automation stepped in, the more powerful a one-on-one phone call to 10 email subscribers is. Yeah. And I suspect that as AI comes in, it’s like the more powerful, maybe, perhaps live events even become Yeah. Because you’re like, so on that topic of ai, what are you thinking about with ai? Like how, what, how do you see it affecting where, where do you think people are underestimating its impact? Where do you think people are maybe overestimating its impact? How are you preparing for it? What are you, what are you thinking about?
PF (29:59):
Yeah, I mean, we’re already preparing for it by doing what I just said, creating community, connecting people together. Like you said, just even small human interactions are gonna be that much more special, the more automated everything else becomes. Where I think a lot of us are maybe overlooking is with eventually where AI is gonna go as far as content creation. Like there’s gonna be videos that are created by AI that you wouldn’t even know are created by ai, right? We’re already seeing a lot of that and samples and, and snippets of that, taking a mid journey photo, putting it into another tool, mind runner, I don’t know. And then actually having it animate that thing. And, you know, you can use different tools to automate voices now. Those kinds of things. People aren’t going to trust content as much as they once did.
PF (30:51):
Even if your name’s on it. So how do we get people to trust us? It’s to make a real connection. To have a human-to-human interaction in some way, shape, or form. Alive I think is gonna be really important as well because of that. Because that’s something that is a lot harder to mimic or fake. And that’s not to say it’s never gonna happen, but when a person has a question and, and you have a genuine answer that’s heartfelt, it goes a very long way. And a a lot of us are trying to automate as much as we can, and I think we’re maybe over looking or even just forgetting about how important some human interaction is. Not everything has to be automated, right? And so keep that human touch as much as you can. Obviously you can’t reach out to every single subscriber and have a 30 minute conversation with them, but even with just a few, you’re able to stay more in tune with who your audience is in whole.
PF (31:48):
And hopefully again, just be more human. I mean, I think that’s the advice moving forward, is just be more human. And that, that, that is around caring. That’s like, as Gary Vaynerchuk always talks about, like just give it f right? And human as far as bringing story and emotion. A lot of people now that chat, g p t has been around for a while are starting to notice that it’s maybe a little bit too sophisticated, it’s a little bit too formal in a lot of its answers. And people are able to now understand that, well, that’s not from this actual person. It’s actually from a, a bot or a, a chatbot instead. So bring humanness into it. And I think the last thing I’ll say is, is also be vulnerable. And I think this is advice that always makes sense, but even more now with how perfect everything is becoming with AI and all, all these tools. I think sharing mistake or being vulnerable or, or showing maybe the, the scuff marks or the scabs that you have, not literally, but figuratively can do a lot for, again, that theme of just being more human.
RV (33:00):
Yeah, I love that. I love that. It’s making me think too that like, you know, what AI can’t really do is tell a story like of its own experience of something that it’s been the emotion it’s lived through, and maybe it’ll reach a point where it can emulate some of that, but like, it’d be pretty tough to do some of that. Yeah, I so I love that. I have one more question for you, but before we do that Sure. Where do you want people to go, pat, to like, ah, thank you, connect up with you and, and you know, if, if somehow they’ve not heard of smart passive income yet you know, obviously you’ve got your podcast, but like where would you, where would you direct people?
PF (33:41):
Yeah, thank you Roy. I appreciate it. And, and thank you all for listening. The one spot I’d recommend is perhaps our email list. It’s free, it’s called Unstuck. If you go to smart passive income.com/unstuck you can subscribe and you get a five minute read every single week to your inbox about a story. I either try to make you laugh or, or, or, or something. But it always comes with a lesson of getting unstuck in some way, shape, or form. A lot of us are stuck or, or will get stuck. And hopefully these stories can, can help you get a boost of energy or information or, or inspiration to, to get unstuck. So get [email protected] slash unstuck.
RV (34:18):
Love it. We’ll link to it in the show notes, obviously.
PF (34:20):
Thanks brother.
RV (34:21):
What what’s next on Pat Flynn’s Horizon? What’s the, your personal, when you think ahead, your personal goals and what you’re like, what has your attention and focus is, is it this YouTube thing or is there other things you’re seeing?
PF (34:35):
I mean the YouTube thing is definitely I’m having a lot of fun with it. I get to be a 40 year old man playing with cardboard, with cartoons on it, , and it’s fun. And I get to make these amazing connections with people around the world in that way, like I have with S P I for sure. But even thinking more further ahead, I love the advisory work. I’m gonna be doing a lot more of that. My partner, Matt and I, we co-advise a lot of companies as well. We’re sort of like a, a, a duo that people can have on board and we’ve been doing a lot of that. We have been also consulting different communities on how to build their communities and that like helping communities being built is, is a lot of fun. But even beyond that, I mean, I think, you know, we didn’t touch on this much, but it’s like stuff outside of business you know, personal life related things.
PF (35:19):
I’ve been fishing a lot and it’s been a really nice break and a, a a way for me to get outdoors and put the devices and computer and the phone down and just kind of like, be in nature and, and meditate, if you will, and, and get focused. And I’ve been really falling in love with fishing again. I used to fish a lot with my dad when I was a kid, kid. And, and to do that and now do that with my son and my family as well, it’s been really great and, and, and really more needed than I thought, you know, when I started doing it. But of course, me being me, I’m like, oh, I should start a YouTube channel about this. And I’m trying really hard not to. But yeah, having, having a hobby and having something away from all the business stuff is, is key.
PF (35:58):
It gives me time to breathe and meditate and, and come back with more energy on, on Monday, on those, on those workdays. So that’s, that’s kind of what I’m gonna be focusing on. I will actually be competing in some tournaments next year for fishing and, and just kind of making sure to always have some space for me to do some stuff that I enjoy outside of business. ’cause I do enjoy it. But I’ve, I’ve gotten to the edge of, of burnout before and I’ve seen what it’s done to some of my friends and, and I don’t wanna have that happen to me, especially at this age where, you know, I gotta be there for my family and, and such.
RV (36:30):
Yeah. I love that brother. Well, I think probably the theme of this that will stick with me is just be more human. I mean, be more human. It’s phishing. Reaching out to your email subscribers is like creating those connections. Doing the live events community is just like probably the, the theme from today of, of just as it goes. More ai, more artificial, more automated gives, you know, hopefully a chance to be, to be more human. So thanks for being a great human man and for giving so much value to so many people for so long. And we’re cheering for you and we believe in you. And we’re just, we’re grateful for being here, for you being here. And we wish y’all the best, pat. Thank
PF (37:08):
You brother. Thanks everybody. Appreciate you.

Ep 429: The Hidden Perks of Podcasting | Carli Van Heerden Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
Wanna know three hidden perks of podcasting. Well, let’s talk about why podcasting, both as a host and a guest, has some really truly hidden benefits that maybe you’ve never thought of before. So I’ve got three things that I wanna highlight for you today about why podcasting can bring you more than what you think. So here’s the first thing. Again, this could be as a host or a guest, but the amount of free education that you get is insane. Like I have been the host, co-host of the Influential Personal Brand podcast for five years, which means I have had at least once a week, right? That’s about how many we do every year, about 52 times five. So about 250 hours of free expert training and free consulting advice over the last five years. If you think about that at an hourly rate. So let’s just say I’m pulling up my calculator here, and we’re gonna do some math here together at 250 hours over the last five years times an average consulting rate.
AJV (01:12):
And we’ll just go somewhere kind of low, $200. That means it’s $50,000 of free training and free coaching and free consulting advice over the last five years that is not just helping me personally and professionally, but then I get to share it with people like you. And it helps me build my audience. That is a huge hidden perk of podcasting that I don’t hear enough people talking about, which is the amount of learning and education that you get from being the host. And I would say that too, as being the guest, like when I get to be a guest on other people’s podcasts, I learned so much about them, how they do things, how they got started even just listening to the way they ask questions. So not only am I learning how to be a better host, I’m also learning how to be a better business owner, how to be a better speaker or consultant, or all these other things that I’m interested in just by having conversations with people and a very targeted confined space.
AJV (02:13):
And it’s, it’s interesting because we all know that we’ve got about 50 minutes here to get a as much value in as possible, which makes you as the host ask better questions. And if you have a great guest, it makes them get to the point quicker, which means the value is rich. These, these aren’t hours wasted. This is real education time that you as a host and the guest get as a hidden perk of podcasting. So that’s number one is free education. Number one. Number two is it’s one of the best prospecting tools on the planet. So this, think about this as a second for this one specifically, it’s about being a host. As a podcast host. I get to do outreach, warm and cold to people
Speaker 2 (02:58):
That I would love to be on the show. And there’s two approaches that you get to take if you’re a host. One of them is, Hey, I have this awesome podcast called the Influential Personal Brands Podcast, and I ran across your name or heard you speak here or heard you on this podcast, and I loved when you talked about X, Y, and Z. You would be an amazing fit for my audience. And then I’d do a little sales pitch. Version two. Outreach is a sales outreach, which is, hi, I am aj, the c e o and co-founder of Brand Builders Group. I was looking at your stuff as a speaker and it looks like you could really use our help , right? I would never say that, but the same, this is the same effort, right? It’s like the person who would never take a sales call will most likely be interested in being on a podcast.
Speaker 2 (03:48):
The person who is not gonna take a a cold outreach to be a client will accept a potential cold outreach to be a guest on a show. Because being a guest on our show is the beginning of a relationship. It’s the beginning of a potential paid relationship. But most importantly, it’s just the beginning of a relationship. It’s no different than a sales environment. And so being able to do proactive outreach to have guests on the show is what I do now, whereas I used to do cold outreach for sales calls, now I’m doing it for podcast outreach. And it’s a natural transition where we’re both having a genuine effort of getting to know each other, asking questions, learning about each other, deciding if we like each other. It’s the beginning of a sale. It, it’s a relationship. So being a podcast host is one of the best prospecting tools on the planet because people are more willing to talk to you, and it’s about them being a guest on your show versus cold outreach for a sales call.
Speaker 2 (04:48):
That’s number two. And then number three it is an amazing opener for sales conversations, even if you’re not using it for that. I cannot tell you how many times as both a guest and a host, but for this one, it’s more guest specific. One of the reasons I accept tons of invites is because I know that this gives me an opportunity not only to talk about Brand Builders group, my company to their audience, but it’s also to introduce it intimately to a person that I’m having a one-on-one conversation to. They’re literally inviting me onto their show to talk about what I teach, what I do, in the way that I do it at Brand Builders Group. And at the end of that, I guarantee you, 50% of the time they go, you know what? We should probably talk more. We should probably set up a time. I’d love to learn more about what you guys actually do at Brand Builders Group. And so, being a guest in a proactive manner of loving what I do, providing value for free and talking about it with conviction, 50% of the time when I’m a guest on someone else’s show, they’re going, Hey, I’d really love to schedule a
Speaker 3 (05:56):
Separate call just to talk about what you do at Brand Builders Group. And so it’s an amazing sales tool tool. The same thing happens as a podcast host. Many people at the end are like, you know what? I’m so glad to be on the show. You know, I was reading up on the website and everything and I, I really would love to learn more about what you guys do. So there’s this, there’s this, you know, kind of hidden benefit of there is this outreach component where people are more likely to accept a call with you where they may not talk, take a coffee or lunch with a complete stranger, but if it’s them being interviewed on your show, they’re just a little bit more open to it. And then it’s an amazing sales invitation tool. It’s like, if you think about it an interview is like a, a an hour long sales pitch.
Speaker 3 (06:37):
‘Cause What you’re doing the whole time is talking about what you do and how you do it and how you can help other people do it. And if you do a really good job at that, then the host naturally might be interested. And so there’s this dual benefit of an addition to expanding your audience, expanding your reach just sharing value. There’s all these other things that you get these hidden perks. You get education for free. There’s this outreach component that allows you to make new contacts, but you may not have gotten without an invitation to be on your show. And then there’s the bonus part, that’s the sales side. So those are the three hidden perks of podcasting that may not be so obvious to you, but have direct benefit when you host a show or you decide to be a guest on other shows. So go podcast

Ep 425: How To Attract Your Top Customers | Tom Schwab Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
So on a recent podcast interview with Tom Schwab, which is a old friend recently got in, reintroduced to an old friend. This phenomenal conversation developed around the concept of borrowed audiences. And it’s something that we talk a lot about at Brand Builders Group, but this was in a, a unique context, and I thought this example was really powerful enough so that I’m making a video about it right now. And the concept is around leveraging other people’s platforms versus leveraging other people’s money. And in the world of entrepreneurship where I have a, a ton of friends who own small businesses, some who own really big businesses but there’s a constant conversation of, you know, the idea of investment money and, you know, do we need whether it’s from you know, an equity company or you’re just trying to get a loan or you’re trying to bring in a, a partner or you’re trying to sell part of your business ’cause you need more funds.
AJV (01:04):
But there’s a lot of conversations in my entrepreneur community around other people’s money. There’s not enough conversation around other people’s platforms. And I love this example that we talked about in the podcast episode on the influential personal brand with Tom Schwab about the importance of not taking other people’s money, but instead leveraging other people’s platforms. And I shouldn’t say, not taking other people’s money, that’s up to you. But there’s another way that you can leverage other people in the business world to help you grow your business. And it’s not just getting in debt or giving up a piece of your business but it’s it’s exposure. And I love this example about Sarah Blakely and how when she was starting Spanx, there was an opportunity for her to go on the Oprah Winfrey Show. And imagine this, imagine if Oprah Winfrey had said, Sarah, I love what your business is all about.
AJV (02:02):
I love what you’re doing. Here’s a million dollars. I’ll give you a million dollars. I’ll take a piece of your business. Or you pay me x amount of interest or even interest free. But here it is. That’s option one. Option two would’ve been, Hey Sarah, I’d love to have you on my show. There’s no money involved here, but I’m going to introduce you to my audience of millions all around the world. Which one would you take? Would you take the million dollars or would you take the exposure? Now knowing Oprah Winfrey and knowing what results from that hindsight 2020 is pretty powerful. But what about in the moment? What if you didn’t know? And what if you were really desperate for money? Would you have taken the money or the platform? And I think that’s a really important question because I hear something else a lot in my community, which is, well, how much are you gonna charge for that?
AJV (02:57):
Or How much are you gonna pay me for that? And there’s a, a part of this where it’s like, would you rather take the money or would you rather take the exposure? Would you rather get the money or the platform? And I think there’s an opportunity for a lot of us as entrepreneurs and small businesses to reconsider the power of the platform versus the dollar. ’cause The dollar has a a short term impact, but access to these platforms is the beginning of something that can last for years and years. And it’s a small amount of money compared to a potentially huge amount of money if you take a leap of faith on yourself and what you’re doing. And the power of the platform today is like never before. And so there’s an, there’s an amazing opportunity for you to hone in as a personal brand, a business owner and entrepreneur of leveraging platform access to audience instead of money that might be more beneficial for you.
AJV (03:57):
And if you’re working yourself through the lens of, well, what should I charge for that? And how much should I charge for this? And I will only do this for that, it’s like, just pause for a second and go, just take money off the table for a minute and just go, let’s not think about dollars and cents at all. Let’s think about audiences and relationships. What would it mean for you to have a trusted relationship with someone who is willing to promote you, advocate for you, introduce you to their audience of millions? It’s worth so much more than a dollar dollar, but it comes from a trusted relationship that you have been building offline for a pretty long time in many cases. But then that introduction is worth millions. It’s worth tens of millions over the course of time versus this very small fin finite amount of money in the short term.
AJV (04:53):
And so in this conversation, it was this idea of how do you attract your top customers when maybe you, you don’t have the money to go pay for paid traffic or do some of these big things, but you provide an amazing service with immense value, and you have a trusted reputation with people who have audiences and that matters. That means something. So here’s a couple of things that I thought were really worth a takeaway from this podcast interview which is, number one is that today when it comes to online business and digital, digital marketing and AI and automation and all things truly we are becoming more efficient all the time every day at things that are not effective. We’re trying to work harder and harder and harder at repurposing content and automating things that aren’t even effective. We’re just trying to figure out how do we do more and less time without even paying attention to does that really work, right?
AJV (05:56):
Does that really work? And instead, we need to go, I’m not trying to get millions of clients or even thousands of clients, I’m trying to figure out what clients do I want to attract and where are they, even if I’m only trying to get 10 clients. It’s like, what if you were able to get introduced to 10 of your perfect ideal clients versus a hundred of your temporary clients that aren’t really a great fit, but they may be willing to spend money on what you offer right now? What do those two different strategies look like? And it comes down from, I don’t care to be seen everywhere, but I want to be where my clients are. And that’s being a hyper disciplined person in a world where there’s so much temptation to do all the things all the time and try to be everywhere for everyone instead of going, no, that’s not where my clients are, right?
AJV (06:50):
It’s like, I need to leverage the platforms to reach my unique and specific audience. So I don’t need to be everywhere. I just need to be where my clients are. And if you don’t know where your clients are, then you just ask them in real conversations, go through you, your list of clients and pick out who are your five to 10 top clients, your biggest clients, your most long-term clients, your favorite clients, the ones who spend the most with you, love you the most, promote you the most, introduce you to people the most. Those have the biggest audience, the biggest platform, whatever that criteria is, pick just a few of them and have real in-depth conversations about where are they spending their time? Where do they go to learn? What are they listening to? Where are they at online? What conferences do they go to?
AJV (07:40):
What you know, masterminds, are they a part of? What forums what whatever, right? What are they reading? Like truly get into the mental psyche of your top 10 clients. It is better to have answers from a few clients that really represent your ideal perfect avatar that have hundreds of responses from the average customer. So it’s like, take the time to get real answers to build real relationships and get real nuanced answers that allow you to go deep and to use tools like Spark Touro to go, okay, I spent a few conversations with these people and now I know exactly where to dial it in. And using Spark Touro will help you know where to spend time on online, what podcasts you wanna be on what websites that you’d wanna be featured in, what blogs what different social content, what influencers.
AJV (08:37):
It helps so much for you just to get clear on who are those top customers, where do they spend their time, where are they learning, what do they want? And it doesn’t take a ton of that for you to have some really clear answers. But that takes time because what you’re trying to do by targeting this in and by looking at the concept of platform and audience is what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to narrow in the time spent online and offline. Because if you’re doing everything, you’re simultaneously doing nothing. It’s like if you’re trying to go, Hey, I’m gonna be on Instagram and I’m gonna be on TikTok and I’m gonna speak at these conferences and I’m gonna do the LinkedIn strategy, oh, and I’m gonna launch a podcast. It’s like, okay, okay, at some point what is actually working right?
AJV (09:22):
And that in itself takes a lot of filtering and data reporting to go, well, this is where it’s all coming from. Instead of just going, let’s do all that market research on the front end to go exactly who are these people? Where are they spending time? Who has those audiences? And how do I leverage the audience that already exists to help me build my platform? It’s the Oprah Winfrey example. He like, would you take a million dollars or would you take exposure to millions of people? Everyone’s gonna make their own choice here, but I would advocate to go look at the, the trajectory of Sarah Blakely and Spanx, which in much part was launched on that Oprah Winfrey show. Not solely, not by itself, but that was a catalyst, right? And I can speak for Brand Builders group our own company. It’s like there was a catalyst event that went from are we gonna do this?
AJV (10:14):
Are we gonna make it to? Like the business is, it’s working and it’s producing. And it’s when we were on Lewis House, the School of Greatness podcast in July of 2018, 2018, and that was a catalyst event that went from, okay, we’re trying to do this thing to, oh no, we’re doing this thing that one podcast generated more than a thousand leads for us because we had a trusted relationship with Lewis offline, and he had a trusted relationship with a huge audience online. But it takes both, right? We did not have the audience at the time. We launched Brain Builders Group with no podcast, with no email list, no social media, and no website. And we were able to use the trusted reputation of Lewis introducing us to his audience, that borrowed platform to grow our business, to attract our ideal customers. We knew who our customer were who our customer was, and we knew where they were.
AJV (11:19):
And a lot of them were in that Lewis house audience. And so it’s a, it’s a huge decision for you to go, you know, I’m gonna spend the time to know who my customer is and where they are, and it’s to become efficient at the things that are working, not just being efficient for efficiency’s sake. So it’s a difference between are you trying to have high volume with lots of transactions, or are you trying to build real relationships and target your ideal customer? Because if you’re trying to attract your top customers not not the short term customers, but the ones that are your true customer who are going like, you know, you can serve them in the deepest, most meaningful way, there is a way to do it that allows you to attract those customers in the most efficient and effective manner, which is you have to know who they are, you have to know where they spend their time, and then you have to have a way to introduce yourself to those people. And a great way to do it is this concept of borrowed audiences, right? It’s using other people’s platforms to help you get introduced to the people that have never heard of you, who you have not met yet. And until you build your own platform and your own audience, your customers exist somewhere. They don’t have to be in your email list. They don’t have to be on your social media profiles. They don’t have to be subscribed to your podcast. You don’t have to have that yet. You just have to know where they are.
AJV (12:42):
What email list Are they a part of? What podcasts do they subscribe to? What events do they attend? What books do they read? That is what you need to spend time doing to be the most efficient person in the world at attracting your top customers. So what do you do from here? You ask yourself, who, who is my top customer? Start with looking at your current clients. Who do you wanna replicate? Who do you wanna duplicate? So first thing, who, second thing, where, where are they? And if you don’t know, get on the phone, dial ’em up and ask ’em. But who are they and where are they? That’s how you start to attract top customers.

Ep 424: How Digital Marketing Could be Destroying Your Business with Tom Schwab

AJV (00:02):
Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode on the Influential Personal Brand. And y’all are in for a treat today. In fact, I am in for a treat today because I am getting to connect with an old friend Tom Schwab, and he just reminded me today that, Hey, do you remember that one time we were on a cruise together? And I was like, oh my gosh. I had so completely forgotten eight years ago that that happened. So this was also a treat for me today. But before I introduce Tom, I want to tell you why you wanna stick around for today’s episode. So ask yourself this question. Have you ever thought that digital marketing might actually be hurting your business? If you have ever asked that thought that, or wondered how could digital marketing help me? Or is it helping me at all? This is an episode for you.
AJV (00:56):
I would also encourage you to stick away. Stick around if you have ever ventured into the idea of, I think one day I’d like a podcast. You know, everyone has a podcast. Do I need one? And I know from talking to so many of you I hear one of three things. I hear one, oh man, I’d love to start a podcast one day. That’s number one. Number two is, oh, there’s too many podcasts out there that market’s already saturated. There’s no room for another one. I hear that a lot. And number three is, oh, I have a podcast. Now, how do I get people to listen to it? . So if you fit into any of those categories or you’re just wondering like, how does this digital marketing thing work? And is it for me, then please stick around. Don’t fast forward, don’t leave early.
AJV (01:41):
This is an episode that you want to listen to. So, well, let’s get into it. Let me introduce you to Tom Schwab. There’s a couple of things I wanna just kind of highlight. But one thing that I love is he, he is coming with a refreshing new take, a new view on digital marketing and how to use it or not. He’s got a new book that has just come out. It’s one Conversation Away. And it’s based on a data and experience and expertise of working with over six or 700 leading brands. He’s also the chief evangelist officer, love that title at Interview Valet. And so if you are interested in the podcasting world, you probably wanna learn about interview valet and what they do and how that works. And in general, it, this is also just super fun because you always wanna reconnect with people that you actually know and that know you, and that you have shared friends and shared clients, and you know that what they’re gonna talk about brings value. And that’s what we get to do today. So, Tom, welcome to the show. Aj.
TS (02:46):
I am thrilled to be here.
AJV (02:48):
Oh my gosh, I am so excited. And I’m honestly, I’m, I’m so excited because of this first topic that we’re gonna start with. And we had just a quick chat about this before I hit record. And I, this is pretty compelling and it’s pretty provocative, which is how digital marketing is destroying your business. That’s a pretty provocative statement in a world where everyone else is selling you of, like, digital marketing is the way to go. And if you’re not online, you’re dead. So to hear you say that is like, we’re gonna start right there. We’re, we’re gonna bring that to the front. I wanna know, is it, is it, is it destroying your business? What do you think? I,
TS (03:26):
I think for a lot of business, it’s hurting the brand, not helping the brand. Hmm. And you say all the people that are telling you more and more, more louder, louder, louder. Right? You need to break through the noise. Did you ever notice that all the people that are telling you to break through the noise are the ones that are selling the megaphones and getting us all to yell louder, louder and louder? We’re yelling, but we’re not being heard. Right? We’re getting more efficient at things that are getting less and less effective. Oh, that’s good. And, and, and with that, it’s like, we know in our hearts this isn’t working, and this rat race isn’t going in the right place. And I I learned so much from our clients. And I can remember one client came to me and I’m like, why do you wanna do podcast interviews?
TS (04:15):
And I loved his answer. A ha he said, ’cause I think most of social media is the digital equivalent of advertising above urinals, . And I laughed, and I’m like, okay, you’ve gotta explain that one to me. And he’s like, well, I’m a high level consultant, right? I’m a high level brand. He said, if people saw me on a park bench, if they saw me going by on a bus, if they saw me advertising in a restroom or doing a dance on TikTok, it would ruin my brand. Right? He says, I wanna be seen, not everywhere, but where my clients are Mm. Where it adds authority to me and where they’re making buying decisions, right? I think so often yeah. As business owners, as marketers, we’ve got this fear of missing out, right? Thread comes out, oh, I need to be there.
TS (05:11):
Well, if your customers aren’t there, why should you be? And I, I, I think back when my daughter was in middle school, Instagram was taking off, and she said, dad, you need to be there because everyone’s there. And I’m like, define everyone. And she’s like, me and all my friends, . Well, my customers aren’t there. If I was started to be there, that would hurt my brand. And I think my, my time and effort, which is always limited right, would be much better spent having conversations as opposed to just doing massive activity on the internet.
AJV (05:48):
Oh my gosh, I love that I wrote this down. It’s like, most people today suffer from digital fomo. They do. It’s like, oh, it’s like, if, you know, know, you know, I have to, this is so embarrassing, I can’t believe I’m gonna admit this, but just two weeks ago we had dinner with some of our friends and one of our friends is also on our, our data team at Brand Builders Group. And we’re sitting down and he had said something about threads, and he was talking to Rory, and, and I’m just sitting there and I was like, not really paying attention. And finally they kept talking about it, and Rory was talking about his content on threads. And I was like, what is threads? And they both looked at me eyes wide, and they’re like, did you just say what is threads?
AJV (06:32):
And I was like, I don’t wanna seem dumb here, but what is it no idea that this threads thing even existed. And it’s like, to your point, I love that. And it’s, you know, they’re so you gotta get on it. I’m like, why? Why do I gotta get on there? What, what, who’s there? And it was this, this interesting conversation that kind of developed into this concept of digital, digital fomo of, I’ve gotta get in before it, you know, it takes off versus going, well, I don’t know. Is that a platform where my clients go? Is that a platform where I should be? So I love, I love that angle. So here’s a follow up to that. How do you, in your world, and like your perspective with all these clients that you’ve learn, worked with, how do you recommend or suggest to people of figuring out where they should be online? And if, what if their clients aren’t online, then what?
TS (07:31):
Well, I think everybody is online in some area, right? And I would say trying to figure out where your clients are. Ask them, right? It’s a great, great marketing research. Find out other people that you are similar to, right? And you can figure out where they are, right? And if they’re finding success in those audiences, you can also, you know, sort of lookalike audiences. And I gotta admit that, oh, when we first started out nine years ago, it was more podcast guessing than podcast guessing, right? . And now the data is so much better. There’s a tool out there called Spark Toro. Mm-Hmm. by Rand Fishkin. And it’s aj it’s almost spooky where I can put in there, and I know that everybody that goes to your website, who they follow mm-hmm. , right? What podcast they listen to. And often we’ll talk with clients and say, you know, your ideal customers, where do they go? You know, they’re like, well, they listen to Harvard Business Review, or they, they get the Wall Street Journal, right? Right. Great. We can put lookalike audiences in there and you can find out where the data says they are, as opposed to just a guess.
AJV (08:48):
Yeah. We use Spark Touro ourselves, and I agree. It’s amazing. And it frighteningly ama it’s frighteningly amazing because it’s like, oh, that’s so creepy. You have all this data, but I love that it’s just ask your clients. Right? And it’s like, if you, but I think that’s where a lot of people make the mistake, is instead of asking who, they ask what, like, where, what should I be doing and where should I be versus going, no, who, who’s my audience? And where are they?
TS (09:16):
And I’ve always said, as business owners, as consultants, we always have opinions, right? But the people that have the answers are the ones that are voting with their dollars. Right. Our customers will tell us what they love and what they loathe if we ask them, and then listen to what they say.
AJV (09:36):
Yeah. So, I, I love that. What, what would you say is, is the best way for the person who’s listening going? I agree. I do wanna ask, I have no idea. What’s the best way to ask? How should I do it? Should I just send them an email? Should I put together a survey? Like what’s the best way to do it?
TS (09:52):
Once again, at, at times we get more and more efficient at things that are less and less effective, right? So you could send out a survey to all of these people, but I think you’re much better off having quality conversations with your super consumers. There’s a great book called Super Consumer by a a gentleman by the name of Eddie Yoon. And Eddie wrote it with the Harvard Business Reviews, and he said, or H B R he said that you just wanna market to your super consumer, not to everyone, right? So one of the examples that he uses in there is American Girl Dolls, right? They market to the people that buy every one, right. And all the accessories that go with it, because if you market to them, you’ll get that next ring with it. Mm-Hmm. And often those super consumers are gonna be the people that see your content and repost it. So I would look on that, and I, I’d rather have answers from 10 of my super consumers, my best clients, the people that I know I can bring a lot of value to than a MailChimp survey from a thousand people. Mm-Hmm.
AJV (11:05):
. Oh, I love that. It’s, that’s so important. That’s worth repeating just in case y’all miss it. It’s better to have answers from 10 of your best clients than from dozens or hundreds of average clients. Right? It’s like you’re going after your super clients. So make it small, have deep worthwhile conversations with them. And I love that whole concept of like, we’re, we’re getting so good at being so efficient of the things that aren’t even effective. I love, that’s a really powerful thing. Which kind of leads me into this, you know, sec second topic of conversation which is this concept or this idea that big fish don’t swim through funnels and whales don’t click. What do you mean by that?
TS (11:50):
Well, I think there’s this idea in marketing today that you are just one funnel away, right? , and it’s a great marketing thing, and I marketing slogan, if you will, and I’m all for automation, but the idea that if you’ve got a large relationship sale, if you’re doing a B two B sale or a large consulting, somebody may go through a funnel and they might click for a $19 product or a $49 product. But if they’re looking to hire you for five figures, six figures, whatever, it’s not because they went through your funnel and clicked, right? You need to have that conversation with them, you know? Mm-Hmm. , I, I remember somebody was trying to get to like Fortune 500 executives. Do you really think they’re gonna get nurtured for six months through a funnel and then buy your trip wire product?
TS (12:47):
No. If they wanna talk to you, they, you know, they wanna talk with the wizard and take action on there. And I think there’s a misunderstanding that what works for transactional sales at the low level can just be scaled up to relationship scale sales. You know, if that was the case, Boeing and Airbus would be, would be selling, you know, billion dollar contracts off of Facebook’s and funnels. Mm-Hmm. , it’s a totally different sale. And I think often as personal brands, as business owners, we’ve gotta look and say, is this a transaction or is this a relationship?
AJV (13:25):
Yeah. So, you know, and I love, and I love that ’cause I agree, it’s like there’s a time and a place for all the things, but you gotta know what you’re selling and who you’re selling to, right? So in your world, would you say, you know, with some just industry statistics or trends or even your personal insights of like, when does a funnel make really good sense? Like, when, when is doing, you know, some, you know, pay-per click ads and some funnels really makes sense for who you’re going after, versus you gotta know these defining lines between when you’re gonna need to build relationships and work through referrals and, and have real conversations versus trying to just make more transactions. Mm-Hmm.
TS (14:06):
, I think if you look at it on a continuum, right? At one side you’ve got high volume, low margin, and that’s where you’ve gotta play the game of buying traffic and, you know, making the pennies there. On the other side, you’ve got low volume, extremely high margin mm-hmm. , right? And so what are you trying to do? And different people can do different things. Like one of the our clients that we work with is a ghost writer, right? He has done, oh, I think it’s 50 New York Times bestsellers, right? And if, if you wanna hire him, you’re looking at good, good six figures to write that book, and you’re probably gonna have to wait a couple years for it. Well, he is got a course out too that shows you how to do that. Right? Now, he can’t use the same sales techniques on that, right? One is low volume, high margin when he starts to do an online course that’s more of a high volume, low margin mm-hmm. . So you can do those in different ways there.
AJV (15:11):
Yeah. And I love that too, because I think that, you know, to that point, it’s like the person who maybe buys the course today with enough, you know, relational, you know, kind of credibility over time might be a prospect for the higher ticket sale. That knowing the difference between, what am I trying to do, where it’s just high volume, low margin, versus no, somebody’s gonna wanna talk to me, they’re gonna want references. And if I’m spending six figures on something, I’m probably gonna want more than just clicking on something online. Right? Well,
TS (15:41):
Well, you, you’re a good businesswoman and you figured out what he’s trying to do, right? He’s got the low margin and then the high margin, and in the middle is the coaching with that too. And so that’s his idea to go out there, do the course, right. And there’s gonna be a lot of people that say, I understand the course, but I want some help with this. Maybe they can’t afford the six figures, but they can afford the coaching. So I think it’s more of a continuum. Mm-Hmm. and, you know, well, our mutual friend Dan Miller, right? Dan taught me early on, it’s a pyramid, right? He’s got the free stuff at the bottom, you know, then he is got the book, then he’s got the coaching and he’s got the one-on-one. And so it’s all different ways to help people with where they are.
AJV (16:23):
Yeah. And I love that we talk about that in our own business, in our own household all the time. It’s just like, it’s basic rules of economics, supply and demand, right? It’s the greater the demand, you can charge more, the lower the supply, you can charge more, right? And it’s like, if you’re on a two year waiting list, there’s a not a lot of supply and a whole bunch of demand, so you get to charge more versus that, you know, high volume, lower fee funnels. But again, time and a place for all the things, it’s just knowing when, what and for who. And I love that. No, on that note, there is something that’s kind of in this realm of how do you start bringing people in and a, attracting them and building a relationship with them that has nothing to do per se with, you know, you know, ads or funnels. But it, I would say that podcasting kind of falls into this, you know, digital kind of marketing realm in some respect. And I know obviously you’re a big proponent and fan of podcasting, so I wanna hear your take on like, how do people use podcasting to build their brand, build their business?
TS (17:38):
Well, I’ll talk about my personal one, right? And here, here’s being honest. Now I’m an engineer at heart, right? People joke that English is my second language and they’re not sure what my first one is, is. So I’ve written a lot of blogs in my life, but every one of ’em was a homework assignment. Hmm. Right? So for me, it’s very easy to talk, right? We can have this conversation here, and there’s a lot of problems in the world today, but there’s no better time to be alive, right? Because we can take this discussion that we had, we can get the transcript, we can clean that up and turn it into blogs, into articles to repurpose it. So really look at what’s the easiest way for you to make the content, and then what ways can you repurpose it so that you can give it to your ideal customers in the way that they wanna consume it, right?
TS (18:30):
Because not everybody consumes the, the same way, right? 51% of the US population listens to podcasts, right? If your audience is hearing impaired, they’re not gonna listen to your podcast. But it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t write a blog or do captions or something like that in order to repurpose that. And the great part is, from a digital marketing standpoint, it doesn’t take any more of my time, right? It used to be you’d have to spend a lot of money to do that, you know, relatively. Now with ai, you can chop that up, you can make it so much easier to get a lot of content through there. So I, I don’t look at it as an either or as an engineer. I, I look at how do you get the most with putting the least amount in? And so if I’m gonna invest the time to do a 45 minute interview, how much content can I get out of that? Mm-Hmm.
AJV (19:25):
Yeah. So what would you tell somebody that’s got a podcast and you’re, you know, they’re going, oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, I have not been utilizing all of the assets of these interviews. Hold on. What would you say to go back and do?
TS (19:40):
I would start with your best podcast, right? Whatever your, your top four, top five are, and we used to go out, out and get a journalism intern, right? And say, Hey, here’s our interviews. Could you write some blogs out of here? Could you make some clips out of these? Right? That’s what they’re trained to do. Now with ai, you can also do other ones where ask chat g p t to pull out the best quotes from there. There’s different tools online, and I’m not gonna mention any, because by the time this goes out, they’re gonna be saying, oh, those got superseded by this. But just go out there and look, and you can see the ones that click clip the best portions from that. So don’t feel like you’ve always gotta do more, more and more, right? Do more with what you have.
TS (20:26):
Often we’ll have clients that come to us and I, I can think of one that wanted to do a hundred podcast interviews in the month, and I was like, why? She’s like, oh, that’ll be massive exposure. I’m like, it seems like a massive amount of work to me. , why don’t you just do some really good ones and do more with every interview? You know, if you just want massive exposure you know, go out and commit a crime, right? Everybody will know your name, they’ll know your middle name, right? But it’s not gonna help your business. It’s not just about random exposure.
AJV (21:02):
Yeah. And I think that kind of comes back to that thing that we talked about earlier with, is digital marketing destroying your business as people think, oh, more, more, more is what we need to do. I need to post 15 times a day. I need to be on it all the time. And no, not necessarily. So when it comes to podcasting, do you have a recommendation on like, this is a good, you know, flow of how often you should be releasing a podcast if you have a podcast?
TS (21:31):
Well, I’ve got an opinion, but I’ve also got data behind that too. Okay, let’s
AJV (21:35):
Do, I’ll hear it.
TS (21:36):
So for a podcast itself, right? You don’t wanna do it less than two times a month, right? Ideally is typically about once a month, or I’m sorry, once a week. So it comes out weekly. And you think about it, we’re used to that with television, right? When, you know, Seinfeld came out once a week there. So that pace, people get used to it. If you start taking long times off, long time off of it, the idea that you’re gonna come back and they’re gonna find you and get back in that habit, it probably won’t hurt. Hmm. So consistency is so important. Whatever you start out with, make sure you can consistently deliver that. You know, there’s certain people that will start out with the daily podcast and then life gets in the way, right? And then they drop to two a week, and people’s first question is, well, why’d you quit?
TS (22:29):
Why are you giving up? Right? , . So better, better to be consistent than going up and down. Now, as a podcast guest, unless there’s a big book tour or an event, we call it a guest storm to launch a product, we typically advise people don’t do less than two interviews a month and don’t do more than one great interview a week. And that comes feedback from our clients. Because our clients said when they did less than two a month, it, they never got in the routine with it. It was always like reinventing the wheel. And the flip side is that, that one a week, that gives you time to promote it, to repurpose it, right? And, you know, the way the industry works podcast booking is typically charged per interview. So there’s people that are telling you, do more, more, more. And I just say, do more with every interview. I dunno if you can see it up there. Every, every year I have a different phrase for the year, better is better. And yeah, my wife makes, makes that plaque. And this year it’s better, is better because I got so frustrated with more is better, bigger is better. No, better is better.
AJV (23:41):
Hmm. I love that. So speaking of better, what would you, you say makes podcasts better? Like you do a lot, have one, I’m sure you interview a lot. What makes a great podcast?
TS (23:56):
Well, I don’t know that I will say podcasts are better, right? For me, they’re better For 51% of the US population, they’re better, right? On average, above average income, above average education, right? If you are in the academic world, in peer reviewed, you know, maybe that podcast isn’t the ideal one for you. Mm-Hmm. , right? But for me, it’s easy for me to create, right? And it’s also my clients are typically audible learners. They’re, they’re on the run. They can listen to ’em anytime they want, where they want at the speed they want. So it’s a, it’s a different medium. Mm-Hmm. , the other thing that I think makes it so important for a personal brand is that if I read your blog, I don’t have a sense of who you are, right? Mm-Hmm. And I could be thinking, especially today, is that really aj or is that chat?
TS (24:49):
G p t ? Right? you know, I can remember reading Rory’s book before I met him. You know, I, I read the book, I enjoyed all of the the information in there, but it wasn’t until I heard him that I could picture who he was and that I felt there was a relationship. And I heard the, a client the other day that said, the conversation drives the relationship. And it made me think, you know, I, I don’t know that you can have a relationship if there’s a con not a conversation. And I think there’s that intimacy in podcasting that we don’t see in a lot of other mediums. Or if we do see it, we’re wondering in the back of our mind, is that over-engineered? Is it over edited? Right? This is the same conversation you and I would be having if we were, you know, having coffee in Nashville. Right? And just, this is what we’re talking about.
AJV (25:44):
Yeah. I love, I love what you said about that. ’cause It’s so true. It’s reading something versus listening where you can hear the tonality and the context, and and especially if you’re watching right, then you get all the other components of it. If you’re watching it in video, because I do think it’s true, it’s like people fall in love with the conversation, but more so they fall in love with the people having the conversation. So how do you let your personality come out and doing it on audio? And then specifically video really helps people feel like they know you before they ever know you, right? That that’s,
TS (26:22):
Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience, but it’s, it, it’s freaky the first time it happens. I remember being at an airport one time and somebody came up and said, are you Tom Schwab? And my first answer was, are you a process server? Right? and I’m voice. And before he saw my face, he saw my voice. And you know, you think about it you look different when you’re traveling or whatever it is, but your voice never changes. And people really know that. And there’s something about being human that we recognize voices.
AJV (27:01):
Yeah. That’s so cool. I love that. No another question I have on this topic, and I have one other topic to get to and I’m watching the clock, but I just, I love this concept of podcasts since we’re on one, and we both have one. And I’m a, I’m a huge proponent and a fan of it for lots of different reasons. But in your opinion, for those people who have a podcast who are listening to this today, and they’re struggling with knowing, how do I make it better? Like, how do I become a better interviewer? Or how do I become a better interviewee? Or what makes my podcast worth listening to, to the end? Or how do I get people to want to even check out my podcast? Any tips or ideas around that?
TS (27:48):
Very much so. And often people will come to us before they have a podcast and they wanna be a guest so that they can go out there and almost see behind the curtain how other people do it. And if you go out there as a guest, there’s less pressure. You also can practice on someone else’s stage and see how they do it. And it’s like, oh, I like how AJ does this, and I’m gonna work that into my podcast. And so it’s a great way to do that. Another way to grow the podcast cliff Ravenscraft, I, I don’t know if you know Cliff, he used to be called the Podcast Answer Band. And I remember him saying early on, the best place to follow or find podcasts listeners is listening to podcasts . And it makes sense, right? Today if somebody doesn’t listen to a podcast, they’re probably not gonna start just because you started one.
TS (28:45):
Hmm. So going out on other podcasts with your ideal audience is a great way to talk about your podcast, get them back there and grow it. The final thing that I would say on that is watch the game film. And you think about what’s the difference between a professional and an amateur in sports. You know, the amateur goes out there and just loves playing the game, right? The professional plays the game and then they watch the game film. And it’s always different, right? You always learn something from it. So I, I listen to all of our clients’ first interviews to give ’em feedback, but I also recommend that they listen to their interviews because the way I hear this interview is gonna be different than when I replay it and it’s like, oh, I should have done this, or I didn’t answer that question completely. And it helps you get better. Hmm. You know, because no matter what you do, your worst interview will be your first interview. Mm-Hmm. , right? Your worst podcast is gonna be your first podcast. You’ll always be getting better. And if you’re a professional, you’ll get better a whole lot quicker.
AJV (29:56):
So I gotta know, since you I think that’s awesome and so fascinating, what great market research that you listen to all of those podcasts. So what’s the number one piece of feedback that you give most often?
TS (30:09):
The biggest one I talk to ’em about is slowing down. Hmm. The studies say that 70% of podcasts are listened to sped up, and I’ll speak for myself. When I get excited, I talk faster and faster and faster, . And if I know something really well, I’ll say it quickly. Mm-Hmm. , and let me give you an example, aj, early on in my business, a buddy of mine said, why did you call it interview ballet? And I’m like, no, it’s interview ballet with a v. I said, ballet, that’s stupid. And he’s like, yeah, I thought so too, but you say it so dang fast. That’s what I heard. And this was just talking with him. Right? I can only imagine if you’re on a podcast and you hear me say, yeah, just go to interview valet.com and it sped up. God only knows what they’re going to hear.
TS (31:02):
So slow down. And we had a, a client early on Arthur, Joseph Arthur has been the speech coach for the N F L for over three decades. And he’s written most of the Hall of Fame speeches and coaches him. And I remember being at the end of a call one time with him, and it was like, okay, Arthur, you do this, I’ll do that. And as a true professional, he just leaned in and he goes, Tom, you have children, don’t you? I’m like, yeah, Arthur, I do. He’s like, oh, do they listen better when you speed up or you slow down? And I’ve always remembered that,
AJV (31:39):
Oh, I love that . It’s so funny when you said that about interview ballet and interview ballet. I often take all of my personal memo notes of the books I’m reading as a, you know, like voice text as I’m on the go and I’m listening and I’ll pause it and I’m like, oh, I don’t have time to write that down. ’cause I’m driving, so I’ll just voice text it and cracks me up whenever I have to go back and edit all this stuff. And I’m like, I don’t know if it’s my southern accent. I’m talking too fast. And I’m like, what is that? Like, what, what did you hear? Like, what conversation? I’m like, did I, did I say those things? And it’s because it’s, it’s your accent and you talk so fast and, but it’s like, imagine that’s what your audience is hearing. So I love that. Just it’s like they can speed it up, can’t necessarily slow it down so you slow it down for them. And I think most people too, probably talk faster when they’re nervous, I would imagine
TS (32:39):
When they’re nervous and you know, Chris Voss from Never Split the Difference you know, great, great marriage book, great business book, great parenting book about hostage negotiation, right? And I love how he talks about mirroring. So if you’ve got somebody that talks a little bit faster, you can talk a little bit faster. If they’re very slow, you better be slow because mm-hmm. , this is AJ’s podcast. If you set it to always 1.3, that’s what it’s set at. Right? So it’s her party. I’ve got to match that and call it mirroring.
AJV (33:17):
Oh, that’s good. That’s a great tip for anyone who’s a guest on a podcast specifically. I love that. All right, last topic. Why leveraging other people’s platforms is better or more valuable, maybe not better, but more valuable than leveraging other people’s money?
TS (33:36):
I made this comment back when interest rates were what 2%. I still, I still believe it at the current interest rates. And let me give you an example. Alright. Sarah Blakely, who started Spanx, right? How did she launch Spanx? It was largely off the Oprah show. Right? Now, if Oprah would’ve said, I love this product, you know, Sarah, I’m gonna give you a million dollars interest free, just grow your business. I’m sure she wouldn’t have said no. Right? But if it was here, I’ll give you a million dollars interest free, pay it back whenever you want, or keep it right, or I’d like to bring you on mm-hmm. my podcast, right? Or podcast, my show. Right? The Oprah Show. And I’d like to introduce you to my audience in the world. You know, she knew which one she was taking. And it’s the same way, it’s the same reason that we jump on planes to go to other people’s event, right?
TS (34:38):
I remember seeing Rory a couple years ago up in Columbus at Lewis House event, right? He realized that it was worth his time and investment to go up there and tap into somebody else’s audience. And I think especially today when it’s not, doesn’t mean that you’ve gotta jump on a plane and, and, and take time away. It’s really just, you know, 45 minutes for a podcast interview. I think a lot of people try too hard to build their audience instead of using other people’s audiences, especially at the beginning, like, what you guys always teach, and I love this, you’re doing the right things in the wrong order. Right? If I’ve got a huge following, then it makes sense to do this. And, you know, often people will say, should I be a guest or a host on a podcast? And I’m like, it’s not an either or mm-hmm. , right? It’s like Uber, should I be a driver or a passenger? I don’t know. What are your goals? Right? Same platform. So when you’re first starting out, you know, the idea of going out on podcast interviews, that’s where you get new exposure, new leads new, new social media mentions, right? If you have a following, having a podcast is a great way to nurture your current leads, nurture your current followers. So I think the two work together.
AJV (36:05):
Yeah. No, I love that. And I completely agree. You know, it’s interesting, as you were talking, I was thinking about how many people in the Brand Builders group community come to us initially, and their, their goal is, Hey, I, I, I hear this all the time. I wanna make money while I sleep. I’m like, I think we all wanna do that. What, what, how exactly do you wanna do that? And they’re going, well, I wanna launch a course. And it’s like, okay do you have anyone to sell the course too? Well, I need to do that too. I’m like, okay, do you have content for the course? Well, that’s what I’m hiring you for. And it’s like, their very first thing is, I wanna make money while sleep, so I’m gonna build a course. And they don’t yet have a platform, and they don’t yet have the content thought out for it.
AJV (36:47):
And most importantly they forget that building a platform and launching a course takes a lot of time and a lot of money. And it’s like, back to that, you know, kind of concept of like, well, if you don’t have the platform, you’re going to need to borrow someone else’s. So who do you know who can cross promote this? Or what shows can you be on? What speaking engagements can you do? And don’t be expecting to be paid for them, right? And it’s, do you have the time, energy, resources, and money to wait that out while you do all these other things? And that’s what I, I love about this whole thing of other people’s platforms is, you know, you don’t have to have a huge platform to make a huge impact. It’s like you don’t have to recreate the wheel to make this whole make this whole car turn here.
AJV (37:32):
Other people have the wheels. You just, you kind of need to jump on and, and take it while you’re building yours. And Sarah Blakely is a great example. And even us at Brand Builders Group, it’s like, when we launched this company five years ago, we had no podcasts, no. So no social media, no email list. We didn’t even have a website when we launched, but we had a great relationship and a solid reputation with Lewis House. And Lewis had a huge platform, and that Lewis had a huge reach, and we launched our whole business on his podcast.
TS (38:11):
That is a testament, and I didn’t realize that the, the other thing I would say is you had a great reputation, right? And I think people forget about that and they’ll say, well, you know, Tony Robin sells this course. Brendan Bouchard sells this course. I I can use the same funnel, the same script, all the same hacks, right? And it’s like, but you’re not them. Yeah. Right? They’ve had those conversations, they’ve had that reputation for a long, long time. People will vouch for ’em, and after that, it all becomes easy. And once again, I, I love how you guys say doing the right things in the wrong order. And at the end of the day, we’re not optimizing for activity. Mm-Hmm. Right? We’re optimizing for the value we bring to the market, because when we bring value to the market, we also get profits. Right? Right. And what you were talking about, the conversations you have around home about supply and demand, I wish more people would have that. Right? I see. Optimizing for leads, optimizing for likes, right? That’s not what we’re optimizing for. We’re, we’re optimizing for demand to exceed supply. Yeah. Because economics in high school said that’s where profits are. And if you’re getting profits, you’re delivering value to the community.
AJV (39:27):
Yes. I mean, basic, basic law of economics applies to every single part of what we’re talking about here today. I have loved this conversation. I have one one last random pop question for you. Do you have a favorite podcast that you would like to recommend that you’re like, man, this is my go-to podcast. I learned so much from this podcast.
TS (39:53):
I, I can think of one, but I’ll say, because I listened to everybody’s podcast, their first one. I love it because, you know somebody asked me one time, what was the last podcast you listened to? I looked on my phone and I said, adoption now. And they’re like, huh? And I’m like, yeah, one of our clients were on it. It was really interesting. So I encourage people, just listen to random podcasts or listen to a podcast that you totally disagree with, with their premise, because you’ll learn something or at least appreciate them. I think my go-to one is follow your different with Christopher Lockhead. Mm-Hmm. he’s been referred, he refers to it as a D H D theater. And it’s entertaining. It’s raw and you never know what you you’re gonna get on there. It’s always something different. And always an interesting viewpoint that will make you think. And one of the things I learned from one of his guests that became our client Bix Bix, and said, if you haven’t changed your mind lately, how do you know you still have one?
AJV (40:56):
Hmm. I love that. That’s so good. Y’all, if y’all have enjoyed this conversation, I would just encourage you to check Tom out, learn more about him, and also check out his new book One Conversation Away. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes, but you can go to interview valet.com/ipb for influential personal brand. Again, check it out, interview valet.com/ipv. And before I let you go, Tom can you give us just a 62nd rundown so everyone knows what is Interview Valet and what do you do?
TS (41:34):
Sure. Interview Valet is a podcast interview marketing agency. Our mission is to personally introduce inspiring thought leaders to millions of people they could serve for the betterment of all. So working with high level coaches, high level consultants, brands, nonfiction authors, to really help them get on podcasts, not just as an ego thing, but to drive real business results. So we’ve got a team of 30 in Europe and North America. My microphone makes me sound good. My team makes me look good, .
AJV (42:09):
I love that. So y’all go check it out specifically if you’re trying to figure out this whole podcast game. How do you grow your podcast? Well, one way to do it is to be on others podcasts. Use that borrowed audience, and this is one way you could do that. So again, interview valet.com/ipv and stick around for the recap episode and I’ll see you next time.

Ep 423: Turning a Book into a Big Business | Scott Jeffrey Miller Episode Recap

RV (00:02):
I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed that interview with Scott Jeffrey Miller. And the reason why is because I’ve always been interested in impact, right? For me, it’s been, it’s not about fame. It’s not about you know, notoriety. It’s, it, it’s about impact. And there’s not that many personal brands that have gotten to eight figures and, and even far, far fewer that have gotten to nine figures. And so to get to hear the story of how they took Franklin Covey to be a $300 million public company was amazing. So I love that. And I’m gonna share with you here, I’m gonna share with you two things he said that I really agree with, and one that I don’t, that I, I don’t agree with. So I’ll save that one for last. All right? So stick around for that. But there’s two things he said that were major, major secrets on, on their whole, their whole journey to 300 million, right?
RV (01:02):
So the first is something that we call around brand builders group. If you’re one of our paying members, you know that, I use this analogy a lot. I call it chicken on a stick. And that is because when you go through the food court at the mall, or if you walk it through Whole Foods, right? And you’re going by, how do they try to sell you new food? They hand you a toothpick with a taste of something, right? A chicken on a stick. And it was really, I think Chick-fil-A maybe who first invented this, at least that’s what I’ve heard in the malls. And you go, ah, boy, that’s delicious. Yeah, I would like some more of that. I think I’ll have one, right? It’s the concept of a free sample. And this is how I have built my entire personal brand, how we have built my entire personal brand, how we have built brand builders group to eight figures in five years, starting on zero.
RV (01:58):
How we built six different companies now to multi seven figures and two to eight figures from scratch. It’s based on this principle and hearing Scott Jeffrey Miller tell the story, which go back if you didn’t listen to the interview, you gotta listen to this interview about how they built Franklin Covey. I’m so convicted, right? That like, you have to understand this conceptually, if you don’t understand this one idea, there’s a good chance your personal brand is not gonna succeed at the level that it can, or that it should chicken on a stick. You have to let people sample you. They have to get a free experience with you. You can’t withhold all the good information until they start paying you. They have to experience it. They have to live it. They have to feel what it’s like to be a client of yours before they become a client. And so hearing them
RV (02:58):
Tell the story about how they did all of these workshops and they paid, and that still to this day, they do them, they invite the C-level executives and they pay for them to have lunch, and they pay for the hotel venue, and they like pay for everything, and they get to come free of charge. And then they don’t even sell, they don’t even officially like sell at the event. That model works. That is the model that, that Tom Hopkins built his personal brand, and Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn, and so many of these legends of our time figured that out early. And that’s how we built our former company. We would go out and for free, do sales training. How did we sell sales coaching? We did a free sales training for the team. And then once we had trust, we made the sale.
RV (03:46):
How do we do it? Today at Brand Builders Group, we do webinars for free. We do this podcast for free. We have my whole YouTube channel. It’s free, my blog, everything that I know is like on my blog for free. Why? So people can experience and feel what it’s like to be one of our customers, at least on a small level, that’s what you need to create. If you don’t have enough customers, it’s because you haven’t had enough samplers. If you don’t have enough customers, it’s because you haven’t had enough samplers. You have to go hand out some free samples. You have to give away some free content. You have to give away some free experiences. Give away a free ticket to your event. Give a free seat in your coaching program. Or I’m a fan always of charging a dollar so that you can fully, ethically say, I have a paying customer, right?
RV (04:41):
And then at least you have a paying customer testimonial. But if you can’t get a dollar, do it for free. The way I built my speaking career, I spoke 304 times for free before getting paid a real keynote fee, 304 times for free. But by that point, a lot of people had seen me, and it was only a matter of time before someone knew someone who had an event, who needed a speaker. And they said, do you know any speakers? And they’re like, I saw this Rory Vaden guy. And right, that’s how it happened. And that’s how we get, that’s how I started speaking. You know, 20 years later, fast forward, I’m the youngest American in history to be inducted into the professional speaking Hall of fame. It started by speaking for free. That is how you do this. So, chicken on a stick, and you gotta put that, you gotta incorporate that into your personal brand.
RV (05:34):
Number two is the secret of the train the trainer model was shipping kits. That is powerful. So he tells the story, I think he said something like half of their revenue, but 80% of their profit margin came from shipping kits. What does that mean? Well, it means that they, they, they certified people inside of companies who were employees of the company. They certified those people in the content, in the curriculum that you get to be a certified Franklin Covey instructor. Doesn’t mean you go work for Franklin Covey, you work at your day job, but you get a certification. You can sell the certification, you can make money on the certification, but the real way they made money was not certifying people. The real way they made money was certifying people at huge organizations who then took the content and shared it with their whole organization, and they got the license to do that.
RV (06:41):
But if they wanted the course materials, they had to buy those from Franklin Covey. They were kits, shipping kits, these like a hundred dollars kits where it’s like, here’s a copy of the book. Here’s a workbook, here’s a little diddly do for your, for your, for your desk. Here’s a little sticky pad. You know, here’s a magnet, a little kit. You know, maybe, probably back then it, it, it came with a V H SS tape and then maybe a D V D, you know, and maybe then a thumb drive. And now today, maybe it comes with a QR code. But, but it’s, it’s, it’s, first of all, it’s commoditizing your content. It’s commoditizing your ip. It’s going, you have to get, if you’re gonna scale your impact, if you’re gonna scale your income too. But if you’re gonna scale your impact, you have to commoditize or productize or modularize your knowledge into a body of work.
RV (07:37):
And by the way, if you struggle with this, if you’ve ever struggled with this, you should hire us. We have an entire dedicated course and event and private strategy session called Captivating Content, where we help you create unique frameworks, unique intellectual property. We help you structure and formalize and document and codify your thoughts and your unique ideas into a body of work. We commoditize it. We take it out of your head, run it through our process, and create this brilliant framework. This unique framework that belongs to you. It’s your intellectual property. You go through our process, but it’s your intellectual property, and it becomes a thing that you can make millions and millions of dollars off of, right? You, you can invest a few thousand bucks with us, several thousand bucks, but several thousand dollars or tens of thousands, even if it was a hundred thousand dollars.
RV (08:34):
Even if you invested a hundred thousand dollars with Brand Builders Group, you could make millions of dollars every year, tens of millions, even hundreds of millions at the Franklin Covey level, from commoditizing your knowledge and your expertise into a unique set of frameworks, a unique methodology, something we call the modular content method, that that’s what we take people through. We can help you do that. You don’t have to work with us. We just happen to be one of the best in the world at it. And if you’re thinking about that, man, request a free call with us. We’ll do the first call for free. All you have to do is go to free brand call.com/podcast, request a call with our team, and we’ll show you how we take this from idea to a figure business, which is something that we’ve now done multiple times and we know how to do this.
RV (09:25):
We can take you there. So that’s shipping kits, which is commoditizing your knowledge and preparing it. The more commoditized, the more packageable your IP is, the more it can transmit, the more that other people can spread it, the more spreadable it is. So you’ve gotta commoditize it, you’ve gotta turn it into a kit. And if you do that, then other people can teach it for you. And now you can scale not only your impact, but your income. So that’s a key to scaling that I’ve always believed. And to hear it from behind the scenes, right? Firsthand from somebody who was there when it happened at one of the biggest training leadership and training organizations in the world. Man, I’m just, it’s like I’m so convicted on this. You have to do this like this. I’m telling you, if you wanna create global impact, you have to commoditize it and it has to be yours and it has to be unique, and it has to be original.
RV (10:20):
How do you come up with that? Who’s the best in the world at helping you actually do that? We are brand builders group. That’s the first of one of a few things that we are really, really, really good at. And I would go so far as to say the best, or at least one of the handful of the best organizations in the world at doing that specific thing. And that is the key to scale, right? It’d be worth investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to figure that out. Just to get that one thing down would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. And look at how, look at how it changed the future of history with what Franklin Covey has done. I mean, amazing, the impact that they’ve had. Now here’s the third thing. This is the thing that I don’t agree with what Scott Jeffrey Miller said in that interview.
RV (11:07):
I mean, no disrespect to him. I just disagree with what he said. And that is, how do you become a bestselling author? He said, the key is to write a great book. I starkly disagree with that in terms of hitting a bestseller list. It has virtually nothing to do with writing a great book. It doesn’t. And I have the data to prove this. We know that in the year 2022 of all the books that hit the New York Times bestseller list on the advice how to weekly list that we is the one that we follow the most, the closest right, the most closely. Out of all the books that hit that list, 98% of them hit it the first week the book was published, right? So 98% of New York Times bestsellers, they become the bestseller. The first week the book is out, which is before anyone has read it.
RV (12:11):
And by the way, 2023 year to date, that number is 93%. So it’s dropped a little bit, but that means the vast majority, like at least according to the way we’re looking at the data and that our data science team is processing it, the vast majority of bestselling books happened the first week. The book is out. We know something about this 17 times as of now as the recording of this. We had two new clients last week become Wall Street Journal and u s A today bestselling authors. That’s the 17th time. We’ve helped people do that. Not through cheating gaming the system. It’s not hacks. It’s through the work and the effort that we teach people in our bestseller launch plan training. That is a systematic way to sell a lot of books and then understanding how the bestseller lists operate. And we had two clients last week that did that.
RV (12:59):
Two new clients. So we’ve done that 17 times. We know something about this, it happens the first week. Now, a slight alteration of what Scott Jeffrey Miller said, which I would totally agree with, is the key to building a great personal brand or the key to building a great business is to write a great book. You can’t fake your way to 55 million copies, right? You can’t be James Clear selling 20,000, 40,000 units every single week with a crappy book. You can’t do that. So you can become a bestselling author, even if your book isn’t that good. And we can help you do that. We have what I believe is the best system in the world for ethically achieving that objective, for activating your audience and doing the work it takes to start a real movement of real readers. Not fake bots, not fake email addresses, not fake stuff, real readership.
RV (13:58):
And that takes real work. But it can be done. And we’ve done it several times and we know something about it. But the truth about building a $300 million business off of a book that needs to be a great book. And I think that’s really what Scott, Jeffrey Miller was saying and pointing out. And on that point, I do agree with that, right? You cannot, you can’t fake your way to millions and millions of copies, but you can hit the bestseller list before anyone’s even read the book. And that is, if that’s a goal you have, let’s achieve that goal first. And let’s use that to create momentum to get the book out to more people. And then hopefully you’ve written a truly great book that will propagate and perpetuate and transmit all through society, and then it will build your personal brand, make the impact, and you’ll make the income. ’cause You can’t fake your way to that one. And that’s what we’re really after, right? This is why we say bestseller lists.
RV (14:51):
Don’t change lives, but books do. So you should write a great book, but it’s not necessarily the most important thing. If you just want to be a bestselling author. We can make pretty much anyone, a bestselling author, if they’re willing to work, work at it hard enough and long enough and follow the system. But you should write a great book. ’cause That’s what’s gonna change lives. That’s what’s gonna build your brand. And if you wanna build an eight figure, a multi seven figure, eight figure, nine figure, multi nine figure brand, you gotta write a great book. So you do need to do that. So there you go. Two things I agree with, and one thing that I did not agree with from Scott Jeffrey Miller, what a phenomenal story. What a great, intelligent, intelligent man. Really love that interview. Make sure you go check it out. And if you have, you know, someone in your life that you know that wants to build a personal brand, share these episodes with them, please. Like they will. Thank you for it. It’s our honor to serve mission-driven messengers. So go out and serve somebody today. We’ll catch you next time. Bye-Bye.

Ep 422: How to Build a $300 Million Training Company with Scott Jeffrey Miller

RV (00:01):
It’s not that often that someone cold pitches us for our podcast, and then we agree to have them on. But Scott, Jeffrey Miller and his team, when they pitched us, I immediately was like, yeah, this is an easy yes. He was at 25 years, he had a career where he served as the chief marketing officer and the executive vice president for a little company you may have heard of, called Franklin Covey. He even still to this day, is the senior advisor on thought leadership, where he leads their strategy and development and the publication of their, you know, the firm’s bestselling books. He leads a host, their podcast, which is one of the biggest podcasts in the world on leadership. He personally has written seven books. He’s a Wall Street Journal, bestselling author himself. He’s got a new book coming out from Harper Collins called The Ultimate Mentoring Guide. And he also runs an agency, a speaking literary and talent agency called Gray and Miller. So I recognized all of his friends, all the work he’s done, and blown away by who this man knows how successful he’s been, what he’s been a part of. And so anyways, I was like, yes, I want to talk to Scott Jeffrey Miller, and here he is, Scott, Jeffrey Miller.
SJM (01:19):
Rory, thank you for the spotlight. Thank you for the platform. Looking forward to coming over and swimming in that pool behind you someday, but let’s get it on
RV (01:27):
. Yeah, man. So I know, I know you’ve got, you know, you’ve got lots of books and you’ve got this, you’ve got this new one coming out, the Ultimate Mentoring Guide. Maybe we could talk a little about, about that. What, what I would love to hear is I would love let
SJM (01:42):
We get the name right. And Rory, it’s the Ultimate Guide to great mentorship. You, you keep condensing it. Oh,
RV (01:48):
Well, this is what I got from your team, buddy. So we might wanna,
SJM (01:51):
Oh, they’re gonna be in trouble. We
RV (01:53):
Might , we might wanna double check They
SJM (01:55):
Need some inventory. .
RV (01:57):
I’m reading it. Well, and here’s what I would love, in all seriousness, I would, I would love to almost treat this as if I were a mentor of yours because at Brand Builders Group my wife and I started a company that we grew to eight figures, and then we sold it. And in that company I was more kind of like the c e o and, and and she was more of the business facing kind of person. And our new company, she is the c e o and I’m more like the C M O. And I’m just totally fascinated and curious about what was Franklin Covey like 25 years ago when you started, what did, what are all the things you did? How did you do that? I mean, obviously you have seven habits of Highly Effective People sells, you know, 20 plus million copies or however many it is. Like 50, is it, is that, is it 50 million now? 55 million?
SJM (02:52):
Yeah, keep going.
RV (02:53):
I mean, what’s another 20 million? Yeah, I mean, , so like, I would love to just hear the story of how you got there, how you found them. Yes. What you guys did, how it happened, what you learned, and then, you know, as a, as a young C m O or an up and coming c m o myself in this space. Like, what, what, what should I do? What do I need to know? We
SJM (03:14):
Are not that much younger than me. I mean, come on, let’s go Now. Wait, are you mentoring me or am I mentoring
RV (03:19):
You? You’re mentoring me. Uhhuh , I’m mentoring you. Okay. Well, I’m 40, I’m 41.
SJM (03:23):
Don’t flaunt. Don’t flaunt your good luck.
RV (03:25):
I’m just, I don’t know how old you are. You look very young, but you say 25.
SJM (03:28):
You’re I’m, I’m 43.
RV (03:30):
43, okay, great. Yeah, so you’re, anyways, you’re mentoring me. Yeah, you’re my senior.
SJM (03:34):
I’m actually 55, but let’s answer your
RV (03:36):
Question. Ah, okay. There. It’s okay.
SJM (03:38):
Let’s see. Born and raised in central Florida. Orlando worked for the Walt Disney Company for four years until they invited me to leave, which is kind of how it goes there. So, , where does a single Catholic boy from Orlando move in 1996? Well, of course, to Provo, Utah, where all the Catholics were. I, I, I’m kidding. Of course, there wasn’t a single Catholic in Utah 29 years ago. But Dr. Covey and his team recruited me out to Utah and I started selling their leadership solutions to K 12 schools, universities. I then did a stint in the UK leading their UK operation for a couple of years, came back, ran their higher ed division, moved to Chicago for six years, ran their largest domestic leadership business outta Chicago, about a 17 state region, came back to mothership, which is in Salt Lake City about 15 years ago, got married, had three sons, became the chief marketing officer.
SJM (04:29):
The E V P of thought leadership had an amazing journey. This is of course a public global leadership firm. The most trusted leadership firm we think in the world. Never expected to say 25 years, but it was a great culture. People ask me why did I stay? I say, because the c e o loved me. So my advice to your wife is people don’t quit. Leaders who love them. Mm-Hmm. The CEO liked me with nothing in common. Right. I’m a Catholic, he’s a Mormon. He is like a Kona iron Man. I like, I walk past the Peloton and say hi. He’s very reserved. . I’m very impetuous. We’re very different people. But he cared greatly about me and my success and many times even protected me from myself. And I had an I meteoric rise in the company, an amazing opportunity. Met, you know, remarkable people like Stephen Covey, who tutored me for a decade.
SJM (05:19):
I became very aware of the difference between being effective and being efficient. One is not better than the other, but they’re very different. And we sometimes irresponsibly use them interchangeably. Right. Having an efficient mindset is not the same as having an effective mindset under our team’s leadership. We, you know, launched 10 New York Times. We journal bestsellers, which became the lifeblood of a company that really is at its heart, a leadership development firm. Wow. Books represent about 5% of the company’s revenue, if even that. And so books were the front of the spear, the tip of the spear, if you will. And so learned a lot, got humbled a few hundred times along the way, and had an amazing journey. Retired from the firm three years ago. I think the thing that I’m most proud of is I’m still married to my wife after 14 years, and the chairman of the board and the c e o still speak to me and hire me, and I’m still in good standing, not as an employee. And I’m very proud of my association. Yeah,
RV (06:12):
That’s really cool. That’s really cool about that. You, you know, you retired and you’re still, you’re still there. So you, you mentioned the revenue. Okay. ’cause and, and Franklin Covey is a public publicly traded company. Yeah. So were you, you were there when it was a privately held company. Was
SJM (06:30):
I was, when,
RV (06:32):
When did that happen and what was that like going from We are a small private company to now we are an actual publicly traded company because there’s one of the things that we talk about you know, like we have a, we have a course called Eight Figure Entrepreneur that’s one of the like you know, sections of curriculum that we have. And we talk about how almost no personal brands get to eight figures. Like very rarely they get to seven figures, multi seven figures. We call it the swamp. Between one and 3 million. They get stuck. Very few get to, you know, 10 you know, $10 million or eight figures. But then what you’re talking about are Franklin Covey is way past that. You’re in like Dave Ramsey land and like only a few companies that have ever gotten Yes. Into the nine figure territory. So like, how and why did you guys get there? Like how did you pull that off?
SJM (07:24):
Sure. It’s, it’s far, it’s a little bit complicated. You know, 300 plus million worldwide global company based here in Salt Lake City. I think I, I’m gonna answer your question two ways. One is, I think one of the reasons why these personality guru, you know, namesake companies don’t scale, is they become too contingent on the person. Mm-Hmm. , they become too guru focused, and you see them implode all the time. Right. You know, Atkins and others like that, that go bankrupt within 90 days of the guru founder passing away or having some issue. I think it’s important to diversify beyond your own namesake brand. ’cause You’re not inhuman. You’re going to die someday, and you want your company to endure that. I mean, look at Peter Drucker. I mean, no one under 30 knows who Peter Drucker even is anymore. Sadly. Yeah. I worry about my friend Jim Collins, right.
SJM (08:15):
A good friend of mine. And I don’t think Jim has made, in my opinion, all the right decisions on how to make sure his brand endures beyond his passing, like Stephen Covey did. So that idea of diversifying beyond you being the core brand, I think is important. To answer your bigger question, ours happened a little bit differently. So Covey Leadership Center was a private boutique leadership firm owned by Stephen Covey and Seven Investors. The Franklin Quest company, 30 miles North in Salt Lake City, was the planner company. Right. A much larger public company founded by Hiram Smith, but a public firm traded on the New York, New York Stock Exchange. They had a merger known as an acquisition. And so the public company, Franklin Quest, acquired the Covey Leadership Center and came to market as the Franklin Covey Company 25 years ago. Mm-Hmm. , the big difference, of course, was the obsessive quarterly focus, right.
SJM (09:13):
With revenue goals and cost of goods and margin and ebitda. So for 20, you know, six years we were consumed with ebitda. I think I was responsible for 100 quarters, quarter after quarter. You’re only as good as your EBITDA was this last quarter. That’s probably the biggest difference. The biggest challenge was as a private company, you could focus on top line growth and be a little less worried about ebitda. And as a public company, it was an all consuming passion because we had a fiduciary responsibility to not just individual investors, but to institutional investors that had put their, you know, their retirement funds and their, you know, their, their cash into our company. So we took it extremely seriously. And the stock at its low was, I think, under a dollar. We were threatened with de-listing, and I think a few months ago it hit 54. And so it’s been an amazing journey to be part of that wealth creation for millions of people, not to mention the hundreds of millions of people that access our content in their organizations.
RV (10:16):
Yeah. That is, that’s amazing. So it really happened then through the acquisition. So this, this company that did planners Yes. Saw the value of what Dr. Covey and the team was teaching, and then they basically acquired the IP and incorporated into their planners.
SJM (10:32):
That’s a great story. If that were, what happened, I think what really happened is you had kind of two arch rivals in the marketplace. Right? The Franklin Quest company was the world dominator in thought leadership around productivity and planning, planning tools, selling hundreds of millions of dollars of paper planners each year. They had hundreds of retail stores around the nation, but they didn’t have the, the organizational wide impact around leadership development and strategy execution. Franklin or the Covey Leadership Center also had a paper planner, had a few dozen retail stores, but that market was going to go away. The companies knew the future of productivity was not in a paper planner. We knew this, we’re often mocked about that, but I mean, we actually became the, the largest retailer of palm pilots in the world as we migrated from paper planning to digital planning. Although, you know, now paper planning is back with a resurgence. I don’t know anybody doesn’t use a paper planner tool, but it was the Covey Leadership Center that kind of came out on top because Dr. Covey’s brand was still peaking. And his book, the Seven Habits continues to sell, you know, a million copies a year, which is unheard of for a book published 29 plus 30 years ago. Right. Almost 40 years ago, actually.
RV (11:48):
Yeah, that is, that’s amazing. So if, so take so back in the days of Covey Leadership Center, like, like you said today, I guess you said 5% of revenue is books and I guess is that Well,
SJM (12:02):
Probably, probably 2%. I mean, books is about maybe three to $4 million a year of a $300 million company. It’s very small.
RV (12:10):
Okay. Is that what it was? So were you there when it was Covey Leadership Center? It was, I was, you were there. You were there before. Yeah. So what was
SJM (12:19):
The, I was there always ,
RV (12:21):
What was the business model back then prior to the acquisition? It
SJM (12:24):
Was still similar. I mean, the books were always meant to be marketing tools. Not now, not, you know, overtly. Right. I mean, you and I share some passions and some business competencies. I’m asked daily how to write a, how to get a bestselling book. And I say, write a great book, . That’s how you get a bestselling book is write a solid book. You can market your way onto bestselling lists, but if you wanna have a great business, write a great book because nothing will get you business like word of mouth followership on a great book. So the book was always a small portion of revenue. The Covey Leadership Center was a, a, a leadership development company, right. Where we certified tens of thousands of professionals in our content to teach it back in their organization. We had a hundred plus consultants flying around the world, dropping down into Chick-fil-A and Home Depot and Exxon and Disney training leaders in the eighties, nineties, and two thousands. That still is the case. It is now a SaaS company. It’s primarily a technology company with world-class IP that you access digitally, but also live in person. Books were always the tip of the spear marketing strategy. And they also drove Dr. Covey to, at the time, the highest paid leadership consultant in the world at probably a buck 50 a day.
RV (13:40):
Uhhuh. Whoa. Wait, say that last part about per the, the daily rate you’re talking
SJM (13:45):
About. Yeah. Dr. Covey was earning $150,000 a day after his book became this, you know, seminal leadership book, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. So the book definitely Dro drove his personal income, right. Which was speaking, but it was mainly a marketing tool for organizations. ’cause What happened, Rory, is, you know, every year 5 million people read the seven Habits of Highly Affected People. And a million of them were leaders in organizations. And they said, oh my gosh, this book was personally transformative. I need my 30 team members to learn these principles. They would call us and spend $25,000 hiring someone from our company to come in for three days and train their staff. Or we had to train the trainer model. So we had, at any given time, you know, eight or 10,000 employees of other companies that were certified in our Train the trainer model. And that’s where the margin was. The margin wasn’t in flying a consultant around the nation. The margin was, you know, certifying 20 people at Toyota or 200 people to train our content and go train 30,000 people in the content where the margin on the workbook was 90%. Right. That was, that’s where the margin, that’s where half of the margin of the company was. And proba no half of the revenue, and probably 80% of the margin was in the train the trainer model.
RV (15:03):
And that’s because it was in the kits. ’cause You were shipping kit, you’re basically at that point just shipping kits. That’s right. All over the
SJM (15:09):
World. You’re, you’re taking orders all day long from 8,000 certified facilitators who don’t work for your company. They’re just your brand ambassador. They work for all these major Fortune 5,000 companies, and they’re in human resources and they’re training their people to be effective, and they’re training as many classes as possible so that they can create density in the organization to have a highly effective culture. So for us, it was a genius model where we’re selling world-class intellectual property in the form of a participant kit, digital or print. Now it’s mainly digital, then it was exclusively print. And now we’re growing across the world with 60 offices licensing people to represent us. And now you’ve got content translated into 25 languages. So when Exxon comes and they wanna have a true cultural transformation and train 80,000 employees across 40 countries, we can do it.
RV (16:01):
Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. That’s, that’s wild. And do you, do you think, was it really the success of the book that, that cascaded down and created the opportunity for everything else? Or was it really like the success of speaking? Or was it more the other way where it was like, no, we had a bunch of salespeople that were selling these train the trainers, and because we had so many of them, all those people started buying the book and it like, or is it, you know, can you look back and say, w what was sort of the keystone that made it all start to fall into place?
SJM (16:33):
It was actually exactly what you just described. First. It was the book. It was hundreds of thousands of people a month buying this book. And in it was a little paper card you could rip out and fill out and mail back to the company. I want more in, more information. I’m interested in attending a public program at a local hotel for my own personal development. I’m interested in becoming a certified facilitator. I’m interested in a keynote. I’m interested in bringing in a consultant. And thousands of these cars flowed back in the mail, like put a stamp on it and mail it back. Wow. Thousands a week came in.
RV (17:13):
SJM (17:14):
And then you had Dr. Covey out speaking to every association, every board of directors, every conference out three and four times a day, gin up, you know, thousands and thousands of leads, and the phones were ringing off the hook like they used to do. So then you had to onboard salespeople to take all these thousands of inbound phone calls. There was no email. It was the phone in the mail, and you called people back and said, Rory, we got your inquiry card. Are you still interested? And we were just booking, you know, thousands of engagements every month, not to mention hundreds of open enrollment public programs. So there you, Dr. Covey couldn’t deliver all these, so you had to scale before you know it, you had two Coveys and then eight Coveys, and then 10 Coveys, and then 150 Coveys, meaning certified consultants that worked for our company that were out training our content. And then it just kept growing and growing and growing. And then we, you know, obviously built a massive marketing machine, and it really was based on the foundation of several books. It was the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And then his son, Sean Covey, wrote the book, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. This book has sold 10 million copies, and now Franklin,
RV (18:23):
Like teenagers,
SJM (18:24):
Teenagers, it’s the most successful youth leadership book in history. Franklin Covey now has a $50 million education division where they just simply sell leadership training to K 12 schools to train students and faculty and staff $50 million in the K 12 business. And then his oldest son Steven, m r Covey wrote a book called The Speed of Trust that sold 3 million copies that then became a huge trust offering how to become a high trust leader. Then they wrote books on execution and sales. And everyone became a Wall Street Journal bestseller because we made it happen ethically by having, you know, just having a tenacious work ethic and writing great books. By the way, these books took like five and six years to write these books that did really well. They didn’t write these books in nine months like I do with my books. Right. My books sell, you know, six, eight, 10,000 copies a year. They sell 300,000 copies because they take, you know, a decade sometimes to write these books. Mm-Hmm.
RV (19:28):
And when, when, how big was the company when you were there? Like when you started?
SJM (19:34):
Well, it was private, so I don’t know their revenue. It was private. We probably had, you know, 40 salespeople. Now they have 250. And so I’m gonna guess it was probably 50 million or 30 million. I don’t know. I was 25 years old and it was 30 years ago. And it was a private company, so it wasn’t disclosed or discussed
RV (19:55):
Uhhuh . But they had like, you know, maybe like a hundred employees or so, somewhere like 1500 employees,
SJM (20:00):
Something like that. Yeah. Now there’s probably about 1200 around the world. And not to mention, you know, literally hundreds of thousands of ambassadors, because what happens is when Rory leaves Exxon and goes to Disney, he brings the content with them. And then when he goes to, you know Twitter or X, he, he go, takes it there too. They could use the content by the way. But it’s what, what Dr. Covey did was he very quickly checked his ego. Mm. And one of his best talents was he was a very humble man. He did not need to be the star of the company. He did not need to be on stage. And he realized if the mission was to impact billions of people, that in order to scale, he had to deputize people in his place. Same character, same competence, and sometimes better competence.
SJM (20:47):
I, I don’t think Dr. Covey was a great presenter. I think he was a great teacher. But I mean, there’s a hundred people that deliver the content better than Dr. Covey ever did, in my opinion. That has nothing to do with whether he wasn’t a, a person of enormous influence and character. He was. But he realized if I’m gonna change the world and I’m gonna grow this company into a juggernaut, I gotta step out of the way. I’ve gotta recruit talent. He was a, he was a college professor. He wasn’t, he didn’t know how to run a company. He did. And he, and he did it beautifully in the beginning, but what I think he did best was he stepped out of the way and hired operators and marketers and people understood process. And then he was the intellectual property genius, creating new content and connecting with audiences, and then stepped outta the way to scale it with great salespeople and great delivery consultants, presenters, keynote speakers. Mm-Hmm. .
RV (21:41):
So when you think back over, like in the marketing role, c m o right? That’s a pretty big shift from 50 million to 300 million. That’s a long, that’s a lot of distance that you guys have covered. When you look at like, some of the big marketing initiatives that have, you know, made that effort. I mean, you talked about the pullout mailer card. Yes. Were there any other like really pivotal moments Yes. That you think back on
SJM (22:08):
One in particular, and it’s kind of a mantra at Franklin Covey where I no longer work or am an officer, but consult externally on a variety of things for the board and the chairman and the c e o and host two podcasts for them. The mantra is nothing sells Franklin Covey, like a Franklin Covey experience. Hmm. If you take Rory and you certify him as a bonafide Franklin Covey consultant, and you put Rory in, you know, a Western hotel room in Miami, and you get 70 chief learning officers, chief human resource officers, vice president of talent development in the room for three hours with Rory pro bono. Right. Serve a chicken lunch, no charge, get ’em in the room. Don’t try to sell anything to them. Just teach them the principles of engagement. Building a culture, how to be highly effective, how to build a high trust culture with where millennials come and stay.
SJM (23:06):
Eight of them will walk away and buy from you. 24, 22 won’t, but eight will and replicate that model. Get people to taste and feel the experience. It might be reading a book, it might be listening to an audio tape, it might be going to a three day public program at a Marriott with 40 people. You don’t know. It might be a marketing breakfast or a lunch might be a full day program where you invite, you know, CFOs to come and teach CFOs how to build an interpersonal culture where people choose to build their whole career under you. You’re gonna land 10 of them. And that’s what we did better than anybody in the world. Mm-Hmm. , there were years we were holding, you know, six and 700 marketing events, spending 30 and 40, well maybe not that much, but probably $20 million a year, putting tens of thousands of prospective decision makers in an experience free of charge. And then having a very calibrated follow up sales process. How to land them as clients. That’s a model that grew this company to a juggernaut.
RV (24:13):
Wow. And you were saying that those events might have like 30 people in ’em and typically something like that. They were small. It’s not like you’re packing out arenas, you’re just going No,
SJM (24:23):
Although we did, oh, we, we, we would have events at 200. But the magic model, honest to God, the magic model was, and this isn’t, you know, sales secret to Franklin Covey, but the magic model was curating the list very carefully, calling, inviting people to a non-sales event, underwriting it. Right. We’re not charging you for it. We’re gonna serve you lunch, you’re gonna be with your peers. There’ll be no sales pitch. We’re just gonna teach you X, Y, or Z. And, you know, you invite, you know, 200 and a hundred say yes. And then you vet ’em out and then 70 Promise they’re gonna come and 45 show up. So you set the room for 52, and then you’d give them just a quality experience where they can talk and you talk and they share, and you share and you share principles of effectiveness that they desperately need in their company.
SJM (25:13):
They desperately need people that have great skill sets around technical capabilities and hard skills, but most of them lack the soft skills now known as power skills. And you teach these power skills of interpersonal effectiveness. And we know to the precise algorithm who’s gonna buy, how long it will take and how much they will spend. And you get this formula, you tweak it, you tweak it, you massage it. What you do not do is you don’t shortcut it. You don’t invite ’em, pardon the phrase to a country. And in suites you don’t invite them to Ritz Carlton. You invite them to a, a a, an appropriate hotel that matches their culture and their comfortability. You put them in the right size room at the right time of the day for the right period of time, teach them great content, and then you follow up and you have a winning formula, of course, that, that, that contracted in the pandemic.
SJM (26:08):
Right. Everything became a podcast, a webinar, an email. And now I think they’re coming back to these live person events and they’re seeing enormous benefit because innately people are human creatures that crave connection and interpersonal relationships. And you get into a Franklin Covey room for even 90 minutes. Right. We have C-suite events that are just for the C-suite, 90 minutes. They’re usually breakfast seven to eight 30 ’cause a ’cause you know, a C-level person can do that. They can’t come to lunch, they can’t come to a three o’clock event or a 10 o’clock event. You’ll have an 80% no show rate. You’ll have a 90% show rate if you do a breakfast before the C-suite actually has to be in the office. Just kind of tweaking and playing.
RV (26:52):
Man, that is so awesome and simple and powerful, right. Of just, just adding value to people’s lives first and then letting it, letting it fall out from there. Yeah. You mentioned ego. I feel like the companies that get a chance to scale a a lot of times start to fall apart because of someone’s ego or a few people’s ego. And it’s interesting ’cause you wrote books while you were there, even though you’re retired now as your consultant. So you guys, you’ve mentioned even in the family, they had several personal brands, but also you had a personal brand that you were starting. What was the philosophy there? Because I feel like a lot of companies are not quick to embrace the idea of personal brands of the executives because there’s this fear of they’re gonna get too big for their britches and it causes conflict and jealousy and all these issues. But clearly you guys have done this. How have you balanced personal brands with the corporate brand
SJM (27:49):
Was not well received.
RV (27:50):
SJM (27:51):
I was a pariah. The company’s culture, which by the way, I am an unabashed ambassador for Franklin Covey, if you want to change the culture of your company, Franklin Covey, in my opinion, is the most trustworthy, ethical provider of principles in the marketplace. I have nothing but a positive thing to say about this company, period. I’m an unabashed evangelist for them. They don’t pay me to do that. And at Franklin Covey, there was a philosophy that you can’t have a personal brand. It’s all about the company. It’s Franklin Covey. And I think it was a wrong decision. I think it was rooted in the culture of the dominant population in the state. You can read the lines there, but I think it was a dangerous misstep for the company because people don’t follow companies on Instagram. They follow people. People don’t follow people on LinkedIn.
SJM (28:48):
They follow people. And I think I was a pariah. I don’t think I was, I know for a fact I was a pariah for the last three years of my career there, where I started to write books. And my books did quite well because I marketed them and I built a brand with myself on YouTube and Instagram and LinkedIn and Facebook and you name it. I was very self-promotional. ’cause I knew that was the formula that was gonna take me. And I thought the company to the next level. I think the company is starting to really realize the benefit of raising up individual thought leaders in the organization. Not that are self-serving, but are in service to the brand, but can build a massive followership. People care more what Stephen, Mr. R Covey has to say about trust than they do what Franklin Covey has to say about trust. They care more about what Chris McChesney has to say about executing strategy. He’s the author of the Wall Street Journal, best history,
RV (29:49):
Foreign Disciplines of Execution. Yeah.
SJM (29:50):
Foreign disciplines. Right? Yeah. And so I think there’s a fine balance of not being a grandstander not being an opportunist while still building your brand. And so it wasn’t the case. I I I, there was a cross on the front yard with me and some flames on it for quite a while as I became the Johnny Apple seed of finding that delicate balance and tension of building your brand, not at the expense of, but in service with the overall all brand. And it’s, you know, not everybody gets it right. I didn’t always get it right. The c e o and I are very good friends to this day. He used to work for me, now I work for him. And so we talk a lot about that balance of not having your brand overshadow the company’s brand, but being able to each of you kind of ride each other’s waves in tandem for the service of the company, our clients and our shareholders. It, it’s a delicate balance.
RV (30:48):
Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. We, we, when we started Brand Builders Group you know, we, when we sold the last company, we had to start completely over on scratch and we had, you know, no social media assets, no team members or anything. And so when we were trying to reestablish our credibility, we conducted this national research study called Trends in Personal Branding. And we hired this PhD led research firm. And one of the whole sections of the study was asking the American population, are they, how much does the personal brands of the executives contribute to whether they re refer, buy, pay, more money work for those companies. And the data, this is statistically valid, right? Empirically validated data is shocking at how much they agree with what you just said, which is that they wanna know who the executives are, they trust the people more than the company brand, even if it’s been around a long time. Even if it’s a, it’s a big brand. Like we, we can prove that factually what you’re saying there
SJM (31:52):
Over and over and over again. Franklin Covey was an interesting test because we were a public company. There’s very few public leadership development firms Yeah. That were, you know, eccentrically founded on a guy who passed 10 years ago. And the company has grown independent of his foundation. Interdependent. And, but at the same time, rising up thought leaders that may or may not stay. I mean, one of my biggest contributions to the firm has been to judiciously select authors that are employees of the company that aren’t gonna leave two years from now when the book’s been outta the marketplace for a year and have to rewrite the book or extract them from the book or whatever. So we take great care with the people that write our books. Sometimes they leave, sometimes they usually they stay, we’ve only had two leave and like 30 years of authors, maybe three.
SJM (32:42):
But they’re all in good standing. Right. it’s a precarious balance that takes a lot of care and commitment and non-disclosures and privacy agreements and high trust. At the end of the day, you know, anybody can violate a non-compete and not be sued. At the end of the day, it’s your character to say, I hope, like I have modeled, I wanna build my brand independent of Franklin Covey not on the heels of their brand and not at the expense of their brand and never in spite of their brand. And I always want that company to serve well. And I think it’s why I’m still able to consult with them and earn a nice living with them because they know that I’m not trying to diminish their brand and I care passionate about what they do and who they are. We don’t agree on all decisions, but as I mentioned earlier, I think it’s the thing I’m second most proud of in life is that I’m able to not just peacefully coexist, but work well interdependently with them in the marketplace.
SJM (33:39):
Mm-Hmm. , let’s face it, we have very different brands, right. I’m a pretty outrageous person. I’m fairly precocious. I say what’s on my mind. I’ll, I’m known to drop a few F-bombs. I like a good four glasses of champagne on a Saturday or Sunday, or both after church. This is a very conservative company, enormously conservative, obsessively conservative. And so, and that, and to their benefit, right? In 40 years, they’ve never had a significant brand slip up. There’s never been a scandal. The company’s enormously ethical on their books, how they treat their people. Phenomenal place. And I think they deserve the credit that they,
RV (34:16):
That’s really cool too. I mean, they, they, you know, to what you’re saying about Dr. Covey and his humility in the first place, that became a culture of philosophy, the whole company that definitely it is really wonderful that there’s never that they’ve been able to reach the size and the magnitude of the impact and not have a lot of those kind of, you know, things going on at, you know, in a public, in a public sense of scandals and all of that. So well, tell us, tell us quickly about the new book. Tell us what you’re up to these days and would love to just hear a a little bit about that before we wrap up.
SJM (34:49):
Thanks. the book I just released from Harper Collins is called The Ultimate Guide to Great Mentorship book. They actually approached me, they thought that the space needed a very practical book on mentorship and had written several books for them called Master Mentors that are books based on the podcast that I host for them on leadership with Scott Miller. And I’m very pleased with the success of the book out of the gates, including a a robust keynote roster that I have coming up, usually about three a week in person right now. So I’m on the road a lot, which is tough ’cause my wife and I have three young sons. I have a new book behind Me in yellow coming out in February called Career on Course from Baker Up in Michigan. It’s 10 strategies to take your career from accidental to intentional. I have two more books in the queue that are will be coming out in, in 2025. That’s
RV (35:39):
A lot of books, man. You’re cranking out some books.
SJM (35:41):
I like to write books and speak because as you mentioned, I’m a talent agent. I co-own a fast growing, speaking literary and talent agent. So I like to know what my clients are going through. I like to know how to make a bestseller, how to build a brand, how to build a website, how to build your social media, how to build a speaking career, how to productize and monetize your intellectual property in a book into courses and certifications. No one’s making money on books, but Donald Miller, he’s making some money. Amy Porterfield’s making some money. They
RV (36:13):
Sell a lot of books if you,
SJM (36:14):
What’s that? If
RV (36:15):
You sell enough books, right.
SJM (36:17):
Enough books. But yeah, the book business is really about influencing people and being able to monetize it in ways through speaking in courses and things like that. And I like to write books so that I am relevant to the clients I represent. Mm-Hmm. .
RV (36:29):
Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. Where do you want people to go if they wanna connect and learn more about you? Scott,
SJM (36:35):
Champagne Region of France. We can link up and hook up down there in southern France. No you can visit Scott Jeffrey Miller dot com. I like a good glass of champagne, bro. You can visit great mentorship.com. Love to have you follow me on any social platform to my wife’s who I’m on them all multiple times a day.
RV (36:55):
Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. Well you know, if there’s somebody listening right now who has a vision to scale, you know, their personal brand into a real business and, you know, they’re, they’re, they’re thinking to themselves. Yeah. Not only is this a book, but it’s a movement and a mission and a company, and it’s something that one day maybe could become something that would really outlast me and provide job opportunities and, you know, equity for shareholders. What’s, what, what’s the, what piece of encouragement or advice would you just kind of give that person who has that grand of a dream, but who’s starting really small?
SJM (37:33):
There’s no shortcuts. There’s no such thing as overnight success. Hmm. There is overnight fame and it’s usually Ill-gotten and fleeting. But you look at the consistency behind people like Seth Godin, Dan Pink, Liz Wiseman, Susan Kane, Kim Scott, Rachel Hollis, Lewis Howes, Donald Miller, Amy Porterfield, on, on and on. These people were not overnight sensations. I met Amy Porterfield four years ago. We were both speaking at Rachel Hollis and Dave Hollis’s Thrive Business event in Charleston. I didn’t even know who Amy Porterfield was. She obviously was a big name in the, you know, entrepreneurship email world. I didn’t even know who she was. Look at her today. Amy Porterfield owns America. It’s like amazing. This did not happen overnight. Look at Donald Miller’s influence, right? It’s just Rachel Hollis a good friend of mine. I think it took her six books. She wrote six books until her book was finally in a bookstore and became a bestseller.
SJM (38:37):
You never heard of Rachel Hollis’s first six books? You gotta build your brand consistently, carefully find who your niche audience is. I think Seth Golden is a genius. I’m honored to be friends with him and have him endorse my books. He talks about this idea of this smallest viable market. I think most of us that have been to business school, we think about the total addressable market or the largest market. Know what is your fa, smallest, viable market? How few people can you build your business around? What are their names? What are the things I like most about Rachel at her peak? And I still, like Rachel had a rough couple years, I see her back on the rise. I’m a big Rachel Hollis fan is she knew exactly who her customer was. She knew what her name was, her age, her fears, her passions, her talents, her weaknesses, her traumas, her dramas. She knew exactly who her customer was. Like no one I’d ever met in my life. Focus on your smallest viable market and take your time. Dr. Covey spent 10 years writing the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He was 54 when that book became a bestseller. Take your time. It’ll come.
RV (39:48):
Wow. I love that. What a word. What a word. Well, Scott, Jeffrey Miller, it’s great to meet you. I’m so glad your team cold pitched me such an impressive career, amazing story. And we’ll be following you closely, man, and wishing you the best. You
SJM (40:05):
And I gonna have lunch in Nashville. I’m treating
RV (40:07):
Sounds good. I’m in for it. I’ll see you then in touch.
SJM (40:10):
Thanks for the platform, Rory. Nice meeting you.

Ep 421: Use Your Existing Customer Base to Double Your Business | Nikki Nash Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
All right, y’all, let’s talk about three things that you can do with your existing client base to help you double your business. Now, it does not matter what kind of business you’re in. These are three things that are universal that you can actually start to do now to help you grow and scale your business. And this is all within the context of the clients you already have. So I will say, I’ll preface, you need to have clients for this to work. So if you’re at the very, very beginning stages of your business earmark this particular training, come back to it when you have a handful of clients because this is gonna be most useful to you once you already have an existing client base. So how do we grow our business from within our current client base? I’m gonna just talk about three quick ideas.
AJV (00:48):
First one is create new products and services that can serve your existing client base. One of the things that we talk about at brand builders a lot is the concept of fractal math. And I’ll go through this very high level but just let’s say you have a hundred clients. The assumption using fractal math is that at least 10% of your clients will spend 10 times the amount that they’re currently spending with you. So if you have a hundred clients, again, for easy math that are each paying you a hundred dollars, at least 10% of those people, 10 people would likely spend 10 times the amount that they’re currently spending a hundred dollars, which 10 times that would be a thousand dollars. So if you have a hundred clients that spend each spend a hundred dollars with you, then at least 10 of those people would be willing to spend a thousand dollars with you.
AJV (01:48):
That is fracked on math. That goes down again. So if you now have 10 clients that are spending a thousand dollars with you, the assumption with fractal math that at least 10% of those people would also spend 10 times the investment. So if you have 10 clients, then at least one person would be willing to spend 10 times their current investment, which would be 10 times a thousand, which would be $10,000 with you. So if you have a hundred clients, then you have at least 10 of them who would be spending a thousand dollars with you, and then you have at least one of those who would spend $10,000 with you. And so a huge part of what we need to do is not create brand new programs to go out and market into the community trying to get new clients, but is to figure out what is the most meaningful, what are the deepest ways that I can serve the people that I’m already serving, right? Your existing customer base, what more do they want from you? What more do they need from you? And how can you package that in a way that they would be willing to spend more money with you to get more access to you, more time with you more work done from you, whatever it may be.
AJV (02:59):
So it’s that concept of fractal math. And if you don’t know what to offer, the best thing you can do is just ask your super clients, right? Go to the top five, top 10, how many of your clients you have, top 20 clients that you have that have been with you the longest, love you, the most that you know of, spend the most money with you and go, Hey, if I were to create something new, what would you want? I’m coming up with some new program ideas and I wanna create it for your, you know, your avatar. You are who I wanna serve. What more would you want from me? And just ask. It’s the best market research you can get is asking your current customers who already know you like you and spend money with you. So that’s the first thing is just find new ways to serve your existing client base.
AJV (03:45):
I e sell more to your existing client base. Number two, keep your existing clients . Like even if you don’t sell anything new to them, you have to go. It is so much easier and cheaper and faster for you to work on retaining your existing clients than it is to go find brand new ones all the time. So you need to reduce your churn, reduce your turnover, and you need to increase your retention. So what do we need to do to do that? I think most of us, it’s a prerequisite that you have to deliver an amazing service. You have to deliver incredible value. That’s a given. I’m not even gonna talk about how to make your program and your services better. That’s a prerequisite for this conversation. What you do has to be awesome. You have to overdeliver. What I know that most of us forget to do once we’re in client service mode, once we’re in client delivery mode, is we forget to actually talk about the sale component.
AJV (04:43):
We forget to continue to market and sell what we do. And so if you’re selling, you know, 12 month agreements or three month or six month, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. You have to continually talk about, hey, this is the initial terms of our agreement and this initial year together and this initial phase together and these initial steps together. So you wanna help people know, it’s like this is not a 12 month program, right? It’s phase one is 12 months, right? The initial term is 12 months. And that is a very intentional verbiage and language that you need to use in marketing, your initial sales conversations on every single client interaction in your ongoing marketing in your ongoing communication. You need to create that atmosphere of, I have more to give that extends 12 months. So you may not choose to be here 12 months, but my program goes beyond 12 months. We just choose to review and renew at 12 month increments. And so one very quick tip that I’ve always done since the beginning of my coaching years, which, how old am I, how long have I been doing this for? Almost 20 years, that feels impossible to say that,
AJV (05:56):
That for almost 20 years, this has been one of my key policies, key philosophies in retention is that from the very first call, very first coaching call or client engagement, doesn’t have to be a coaching call, consulting, engagement, whatever. As I always talk about the next three calls or the next three months or the next three things. And so at the end of every call or training, I talk about the next three, right? So let’s just say it was a coaching call. At the end of today’s call, I’ll say you know, Hey Terry after our call that I’m gonna send you a recap and I’m gonna go ahead and put together what I think based on our time today are the three topics of conversation that I wanna map out for the next three months. And so we talk every month.
AJV (06:41):
So this is my plan. I’m gonna put that in the email. I want you to think about it. If we need to change things and adapt things, then we can, but based on today, I’m gonna go ahead and map out our next 90 days, our next three months together. And I would do that all the time from the very first time. So when I get to month 10, 11, 12, it’s not new for me to go in month 12 at the end of the agreement of, hey, just so you know, we’re coming up on our 12th call. Here’s the mapping for our next three calls. However, our first set of engagements ends at this next call. Do you want me to go ahead and keep mapping those next calls? Or do you wanna talk about an an exit plan? So we’ve got a continuity plan or we have our exit plan and it’s a very natural ease of transition because I’ve been talking about the next three months from the very first month.
AJV (07:30):
So when I get to month, whatever is the end of my program, I’m still talking about the next three months as if they’re going to continue. And then it’s an easy transition to go. And by the way, like we can use this time to talk about the next three months, or we need to talk about what it looks like for you to carry on in the next three months without me, but would love to keep it going together, right? So that would be the second thing with just retention and renewals of always having a plan for the future and always talking about that. Then. So, okay, let’s just recap. So we’ve got sell to our existing clients. We have to retain our existing clients. And then last but definitely not least is we need to get referrals from our existing clients. That’s real important. So a couple of things.
AJV (08:14):
Getting referrals starts in your marketing language. This should be a part of your company culture. It should be a part of your sales culture, your operations, your customer care, your delivery. Everyone should be talking about growing your business through referral. So it has to start in marketing. Number two, it has to be all the places all the time. So it needs to be visible everywhere you go. It’s not that you’re gonna depend on one person asking for referral. It’s like, no, we talk about how our community is word of mouth. People ask me all the time, it’s like, Hey, aj, is there anything I can do for you? I’m like, yeah, you can give me referrals to help grow my business. , yeah, there’s something you can do for me. Yes, and I would love to do the same for you.
AJV (08:54):
But when people go, Hey, how can I help? I’m like, honestly, you can help share the word of brand builders group. That’s how you can help. Genuinely, we are a word of mouth business. We do very little paid marketing. We are a referral based business. So I depend on people like you telling the people that you think would be a good fit that we exist. So that’s how you can help. It needs to be easily found on your website or in your learning portal, in your email marketing, you know, like a brand builders group. We have a whole slogan for it. It’s called B B G for free. And it’s like, Hey, we want you to invite your friends to be a part of this community. Help us grow the community with people that you wanna be in community with. And it’s called b g for free.
AJV (09:36):
And it’s if you refer people to us we actually pay you referral fees where they’re gonna pay it to a paid marketing agency or we’re gonna pay it to our customer base. We’re choosing to pay it to our customer base. So we’re choosing to pay you to help be our marketing force versus paying a traditional advertising company. So make it a part of your culture, then make it easy. Give people multiple ways to refer you business. So I can just use Brand Builders Group as an example because that’s what I know the best. It’s so it’s like you can click on a link and you can populate your own U R L. Now that’s easy to do for you the customer. That’s not always easy to set up on the backend. It took us a long time to set up that infrastructure, but it’s like you can just click a link, make your own custom a referral link and use that.
AJV (10:24):
We also have a simple form that you can just fill out a form and emails our sales team notifying, Hey, there’s a referral to be had here. You can also click on a phone number and talk to someone and go, Hey, I’m not really sure, but this is someone I think, so that we have three different ways that you can actually refer us business. And it’s like, what’s easiest for you? Do you wanna just talk to us and have us reach out on your behalf? Do you wanna click this form and just give us the info and we can take it from there? Or do you wanna click this link, make your own u r l and you can send it out on social media, send it to your friends in an email send an email out to your list. We’re trying to make it easy for you. And so, again, how do you double your business from your existing clients? It’s one you sell new programs, new services to your existing clients. If you don’t know what, ask them. Remember the concept of fractal math. Number two retain your existing clients. Keep them longer. It’s the cheapest, fastest way of going your business is you’re not having to replace your clients. And then number three, get referrals from your existing client base. So there you go, three ways that you can start to double your business from your existing business.