the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

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

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In the entrepreneurial community, there are plenty of conversations being had on the topic of other people’s money, but when it comes to other people’s platforms there is so much that is being left unexplored.

For today’s special recap episode, AJ revisits her phenomenal conversation with Tom Schwab to share her thoughts and elaborate on his most illuminating insights.

She unpacks some of the top reasons why you should consider not taking other people’s money, but instead, leverage their platforms and explains how this can help you attract your top customers when you can’t afford expensive marketing strategies.

You’ll also learn why you don’t need to be visible everywhere, how to connect with your clients, and why partnering with someone you have a trusted relationship with can be such a powerful catalyst.

To learn more about the power of borrowed audiences and how to attract top customers, be sure to tune in for this informative recap!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • The value of leveraging other people’s platforms rather than their money.
  • Unpacking the power of audience and relationships versus a dollar amount.
  • Attracting top customers when you can’t afford expensive marketing strategies.
  • How you should use in-depth conversations to connect with your customers.
  • The catalyst event that supercharged our Brand Builders Group audience.
  • What you can do to start tapping into borrowed audiences.

Tweetable Moments

“I think there’s an opportunity for a lot of us as entrepreneurs and small businesses to reconnect [with] ‘what is the power of the platform versus the dollar.’” — @AJ_vaden [0:04:55]

“The power of the platform today is like never before. And there’s an amazing opportunity for you to hone in as a personal brand and business owner and entrepreneur.” — @AJ_vaden [0:05:26]

“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, than have hundreds of responses from the average customer.” — @AJ_vaden [0:10:19]

“We had a trusted relationship with Lewis offline. And he had a trusted relationship with a huge audience online.” — @AJ_vaden [0:13:13]

About Tom Schwab

Tom Schwab is the Founder and Chief Evangelist Officer of Interview Valet, an Inbound Marketing Media Agency focused on using podcast interviews as the content to drive your online sales and marketing engine.

Tom’s first job out of college was running nuclear power plants in the Navy. He’s run a nuclear reactor and a small business. One was easy because it came with an instruction manual.

Tom’s passion is in building and operating the Targeted Interview System to provide you a steady deluge of traffic, quality leads, and sales.

Links Mentioned

Tom Schwab on LinkedIn

Tom Schwab on X

Interview Valet


The Lewis Howes School of Greatness Podcast

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

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.

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