Ep 166: How to Create a Viral TEDx Talk with Jennifer Cohen

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In today’s episode of The Influential Personal Brand Podcast, Jennifer Cohen joins us to talk about the runaway success of her TedTalk entitled ‘The Secret to Getting Anything You Want in Life’.

Jennifer is an entrepreneur, fitness authority and best-selling author of Strong Is the New Skinny and also hosts a podcast called ‘Habits and Hustle’.

In our conversation today we talk about Jennifer’s experience on the TED Talk stage and how she got there.

Hear anecdotes of everything that went wrong during her talk and how that may have contributed to the viral success of her video.

Jennifer also unpacks the process during which Rory and his company helped distill her ideas into the impactful TED Talk that resulted from their work together.

Listeners will also hear how the success of her TED Talk has affected her business and why giving actionable advice is so powerful.

For all this and more, join us today!

KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE

  • An introduction to Jennifer Cohen and her many projects and accomplishments.
  • How Jennifer was offered the opportunity to give a TedTalk.
  • Jennifer’s introduction to Rory Vaden and how he helped her construct her TedTalk.
  • Jennifer shares the various elements outside of her control that went awry during her TedTalk.
  • The sacred nature of the TedTalk stage.
  • How Jennifer experienced the growth of her TedTalk as it went viral.
  • Jennifer reflects on how she distilled her ideas and constructed her TedTalk.
  • The ten percent target and making ten attempts at what you want in life.
  • Why how you say something is crucial in finding resonance with your audience.
  • How Jennifer’s TedTalk gave highly actionable advice.
  • The reasons why the best marketing in the world is ‘a changed life’.
  • How Jennifer’s TedTalk changed her business.

TWEETABLE MOMENTS

“Many of the people who come to us struggle with exactly the things you were struggling with.” — @roryvaden [0:11:40]

“It’s a very saturated and very claustrophobic environment right now, with social media and everyone trying to build a personal brand.” — @therealjencohen [0:13:46]

“I think there’s very much a skill in that. Being able to take an idea in someone’s head and figuring out a way to create a brand and structure around that.”— @therealjencohen  [0:15:22]

“The problem is noise, and what cuts through the noise is that precision level of clarity of knowing in one sentence, and then building the framework around it.” — @roryvaden [0:17:03]

“The ten percent target and making ten attempts at what you want in life.” — @therealjencohen [0:17:23]

“Most people don’t go after what they want even once.” — @therealjencohen [0:17:40]

“The idea behind a ten percent target is making ten attempts and failing 90% of the time”— @therealjencohen [0:17:45]

“The way that we said it, really hit people in a way that wanted them to take action. Which is why I think it became very sharable.” — @therealjencohen [0:18:02]

“The best marketing in the world is a changed life.”— @roryvaden [0:19:04]

ABOUT JENNIFER COHEN

Jennifer Cohen is a best-selling author, brand strategist, international speaker and educator with a specific focus on building healthy habits to drive positive behavioral change. 

She was recently named “100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness” by Greatist and is currently ranked #16 “Most Impactful Fitness Entrepreneurs” by Web MD. 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Jennifer Cohen

Jennifer Cohen on Twitter

Jennifer Cohen on Instagram

Jennifer Cohen’s TED Talk: The Secret to Getting Anything you want in Life

Jennifer Cohen Podcast: Habits and Hustle

Tony Robbins

Matthew McConaughey

Dr. Oz

Strong is the New Skinny

The Good Human Foundation

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Video Short Course

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

Hey brand builder Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for tuning in to listen to this interview. We are so excited to bring you this information and wanted to let you know that, Hey, there’s no sales pitch coming from anything that we do with this is all our value add to you and the community. However, if you are somebody who is looking for specific strategies on how to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and we offer a free call to everyone that’s interested in getting to know us and is willing to give us a chance to get to know them and share a little bit about what we do. So if you’re interested in taking us up on a free strategy call, you can do that at brand builders, group.com/summit call brand builders, group.com/summit. Call. Hope to talk to you soon on with the show. You know, nothing fires me up more than when somebody that we know that is a friend. And then also someone who is a client succeeds in a really big way. I mean, that is why we started brand builders group is we just, there’s no amount of money. There’s no amount of recognition that gives you the satisfaction that you get when you watch someone else succeed and you help them. And that’s why I’m excited for you to hear the story of Jennifer Cohen. Now, Jennifer is a, here’s why we’re on the show. What we’re going to talk about is she hired us about a year and some change ago to help her create a vision that she had for a Ted talk that Ted talk has now gone viral. It has millions of views. It is actually featured on ted.com, which is incredible and very rare. And so we’re going to talk about how did she do that? What was the story? But you know, she is a very successful personal brand really, and, and was long before she met us. I mean, she’s been featured on good morning, America and entrepreneur. She, in fact, she hosts a podcast called habits and hustle all in partnership with entrepreneur and she’s interviewing Dr. Oz and Matthew McConaughey and Tony Robbins. And she’s also an author. She has several books. One of my favorite titles that she’s got is called strong as the new skinny which she released a few years ago. But she’s also a successful entrepreneur and she’s done a lot of things in the digital space. She is most proud of launching the good human foundation and some of her non profit work, which hosts an annual it’s called babes for boobs bachelor auction, supporting breast cancer research and treatment. So she’s just super cool. And we want to hear the story of what she’d been up to over the last year, because, and, and this is a bone I have to pick with you, Jennifer. You didn’t tell me how well the Ted talk went. I saw it on YouTube and I was like, what the, what? Like what, like, how did you not tell us? So anyways, welcome to the show. You’re right. You have a boat to pick and, and a well-deserved bone to pick. Actually I have to say you know, why I was so busy that I didn’t have the everyday of, I told you, when you texted me, I was like, Oh my God. Like, thank God. Because for like Mo like for like five weeks, probably I was like, Oh my God, I got it. I got a contact. Or I got a text where I got a call Rory. And like, I just one day bled into another. And I, I know I’m I was, And you are a ma I mean, you’re, you’re momming. You got, you know, kids. So that’s, that’s also like a whole thing that you’re doing all that. Exactly. I’m trying to do everything. And like, with two kids it’s not easy. And they’re also unschool virtually right now. So that whole layer of stuff as well, right. With the pandemic. So my apologies though, for sure. Yeah. Well, anyways, you’re forgiven because this is such a, such a great thing. And you know, and obviously you are an author and you’re a speaker and stuff, but it’s, it’s also like, you know, there’s always a part of you. That’s like, is the stuff we’re teaching, does it actually work? Like, would it actually help? And, you know, to see someone that you work with have, have the kind of result that you did. And so I, it’s just really, really exciting. We’re so proud of you, which you are already know. So what, tell us the story, like, how did it ha how did you get the Ted talk? How did it all happen? Okay, so really, I mean, you know, I’ll just start from the fact that I, so they actually approached me. So a Ted person reached out to me and they asked me if I’d be interested in like doing a Ted talk, which of course I jumped at the chance then of course, you know, how I met you is through a friend of mine who hired you to do something for his stuff. And I was, you know, my friend wanted me to come along to Nashville and, you know, sit there and like hear and listen to everything. And quite frankly, I was really blown away by how you kind of your, your approach and how good you are at what you do that that’s when I asked you afterwards, I’m like, can you help me carve out? So this is thing, like I wanted you to help me carve out or kind of take the ideas and the nuggets of information that was in my brain, and then create something and execute on those messages in a, in a way that would resonate. And that was streamlined. So like, I think a lot of times people have a lot of good content. They have great ideas, but they don’t know how to like put them in a place or they don’t know how to like display it in a way that is succinct and organized. So you helped me with that. Like, you guys helped me, you especially helped me with that organization, creating, you know, taking what I had and creating soundbites that like really landed on people really well. And what’s really funny is what you don’t know. Cause I haven’t spoken to you about this is that, you know, when I did this, when I did the talk so many, like so many, like other things were happening that first of all, there was a baby crying, which then threw me off, which then, you know, which made me kind of, I ended up like what we actually created together. I thought was even way better than what I actually executed because right away that baby threw me off. And so I like missed a chunk of really good information at the beginning. And then towards like the middle towards the end, I had another really big chunk that really like drove my messages home and the guy working the slides made a mistake and didn’t put the right slides up. So it threw me off again. So I missed it check. Yes. So I missed another chunk and I was like, Oh my God. Because when I practiced, it was like really strong. It was tight. It was strong. I was like, Oh my God, this was really good. I was really, I was really proud of us. Let me say, and then when those things out of my control that was complete, like external forces that I really had nothing to do with, through my, you know, cause I’m also, by the way, I was super nervous. Like let’s like not, I mean, it’s a very, Of course. I mean, yeah, like it’s a big opportunity and they’ll know like, so my Ted talk, I was turned down by 27 different Ted organizations. I think I told you that I was actively prospecting to try to get one. And then I finally got one Douglasville who only took me because they were so small and it was their first year. I don’t even think they wanted me, but they’re like fine. We need somebody and, and contrast this with your experience. But either way, like when you get that opportunity, I mean the Ted stages at this point, it’s sacred. It’s like, this can change your life. This can change your life. So I did not know this. So, so this is a big moment. You’ve prepared all of this. Like you spent time and money working up to this and then a baby’s crying. And then the dude in the back messed up your slides, freaking out. The other part that you don’t know also why I was like, I was even extra freaked out about the baby was when I went out. I said, like I said, the first sentence. And then they’re like, Oh wait can you go back? Something was wrong with the sound we can’t really in the back. We got, I started again. So I was like, are you serious? So like I had to go and do that again. So I was like, Oh my gosh. So when I got off the stage, my husband was with me, whatever. And I was like really kind of upset. Like I was like, Oh my God. Like that was something that I spent a lot of time on money on. And it was really good. Like there, the chunks that I didn’t talk about were like, I thought really good. And I was really bummed. So then when all of this happened, like I think out of the gate, it did fairly well, like right off the bat, I got like a hundred thousand views maybe. And then like, did you promote it? Like, no, I did nothing. Like, nah, I still haven’t done a thing, not a thing. So we should talk about that. Cause we could throw fuel on the fire know, trust me. I know. Cause like, I’ll tell you about that after. So like not, and then I’m like, Oh, this isn’t true. But then it kind of stagnated at like a hundred thousand. I was like, all right, whatever. And then like, I don’t know, like a few months ago or four months ago or whatever, is that a one 50? And I was like, all right, whatever then. And I forgot to check it. Like I was just not really paying attention. And then one day, like three months ago, maybe four months ago it went to 200. And then I started noticing that at 200, I started to get a lot of like DMS and like different emails. People were sending me to info at Jennifer Cohen. Right. And then from 200, it jumped to like every day it was like climbing 20,000 more, 20,000 more, 20,000 more. And then next thing you know, I was like at the million and then it went to a million, one, a million, two, and millions. And like, I was like, I had no idea like how this happened because everyone was like, are you promoting this? What are you doing? I’m like, honestly I have no idea even how to promote this thing. And like, like the amount of incoming, thousands of DMS, thousands of emails, like, so now it’s, it’s hitting like I think on YouTube alone, I think it’s going to, it’s going to be at 2 million problems, like looking at my wife, like probably in a week maybe cause it’s at one nine ish or something like that. But like, yeah, you’re going to pass me, which me off. That’s like, not even a question. I mean, let’s just say it right now. It’s going to happen. I mean also the engagement, if you look at the engagement or the comments crazy like, hi. So I think what ha what I find interesting is that I think people are what they liked about. It were all the things that I wasn’t so crazy for, which was the fact that there was like a a rawness to it. It wasn’t perfect. It was kinda like disheveled a little bit. And like, you know, it was like, it wasn’t, I wasn’t, I wasn’t. So polished was, I think that people actually were like, you know what, she’s, it’s it kind of like makes them feel there’s like, I’m less intimidated that like resonated a little bit. And the messaging, I think overall the content people really were inspired by what the content was. And so, yeah. So thank you for letting like helping me put it together and you know, you’re you’re, you guys are really good at what you do. So, You know, th thank you for that. I mean, that it’s, it really is just fulfilling and exciting by the way. So we need to tell people that the, the name, the name of the talk is how to get anything you want. Is that The secret to getting anything you want? Yeah. The secret to getting anything you want. So at the time of this recording, it’s just like South of 2 million and climbing it in less than a year. And it’s, you know, this is changing, you’re changing. This is changing your life. And I think to what you said, many of the people who come to us struggle with exactly what you were struggling with, which is like, I have all these things I want to say and all these different facets. And it was just about focusing it and finding this, you know, the uniqueness, finding the through line all the way down to boldness and then turning, you know, figuring out what problem does that solve? What is your message in one sentence, and then building a technique around it this, this framework. So the, are you tell, tell us about, tell us about that process. Like how much, like, how did that help you or what do you, what do you remember about doing that work? Cause that’s, that was hard work that that’s harder work than even coming up with the word, Not for you. It’s not, I mean, you’re just good at that stuff. Like what, you know, what it is. I find that everyone has some, a skill and something that they’re good at. Right. And that’s just so happens to be what you’re really good at. You’re able to take a lot of like jumbled information and like really, really, really organize it and streamline it to make, to be succinct. So the process was quite easy actually. I mean, like I said, I think that you’re just naturally gifted at this. I said this to you too. Like, I think you’re just naturally gifted at like, hearing all the verbal, you know, diarrhea and blahblahblahblahblah and then making and like, and then making it, like making it into something that’s actually coherent. Right. Cause I knew that it, I knew what my key points were and I think what view I said, I want, I knew that it was about asking for what you want being fooled going after it, all, all of that stuff. And like, and the key story, which was like a big story. I don’t know if you want to ruin it or talk about it here, but you know of that being a pivotal moment in my life. Yeah. You talking about the Keanu Reeves store. Yeah. We’re not going to tell the whole story, but they can go watch the talk if you want to see. But I think, you know, like the process that we take people through, which, which, you know, and you also had the benefit of going through with Darren, like big shout out to Darren Prince, like much love to you, buddy, miss you connect, connect us. You had the benefit of going through that experience with him. And so you got to like work it on someone else and then apply it to yourself. But Why saw what you did with him and this not to him. I wanted to interject because you know, it’s very hard. I think when it’s a very saturated and very claustrophobic environment right now with social media and everybody trying to build a brand, I feel that’s become like a very big thing right now. And it’s very hard to like stand out right when everyone’s kind of saying generally the same thing. So it’s super important. I think now even more than ever is to like really find that like little niche, that little nugget that sets you apart from everybody else. And when I sat with you in that room with dare and doing it, but a bunch of other people with all those pieces of paper on the wall and like really like that whole I don’t, what do you call that when you, Yeah. So, so that’s called a brand strategy day, which is, you know, it’s the most expensive way for people to do business with us to do that. But we, but we, we take people through that same day for that, obviously. Well, yeah, that was, we were working on Darren’s stuff that day, but the, the same, we take people through the same process in our events and through one-on-one coaching, like the same questions, the brand DNA helix and all this stuff. But anyways, so what we did with you is a brand strategy day. Most of our clients experience that through one of our events, which are like 20, 30 people. And we take, we take them through all the same exercises and all the same stuff. It’s just not one-on-one. Yeah. And it’s, and like I said, like, I, I, what I saw was you took all this information that was generally just good ideas or ideas. And then you like created like some type of like meat on the bone to kind of disseminate it. Right. Which people I think over underestimate how hard that is. I mean, it’s very hard to do it. That’s what I’m saying. That I think that there’s like very much a skill in that. Right. Cause you know, it’s that being able to take an idea in your brain someone’s brain and then figuring out a way to create a brand and structure around that is very difficult. And so I sat there for it the whole day and I was like, wow, I could not believe where we were from walking in to when we left. Like it was a massive difference in messaging. Well I love hearing that. Thank you. And I, you know, for you, we identified your uniqueness as boldness and that’s the first thing is to really what we call find your unique uniqueness so that you can exploit it in the service of others, which is a quote from Larry. Winget one of, one of my mentors that I had heard. And once we narrow that down for you, was that boldness was, it was what it was about. And then the message, the one sentence statement or command and instruction you want people to do, which for you was chase what you want or ask for what you want. Don’t just take what you can get. And so when I saw your Ted talk and I was like, what a Whoa, and then I and then I watched it and I was like, gosh, I wonder how closely you delivered it. And I was like, you followed it to a T and it was so clear. And and so we, we create that uniqueness. And then, like you say, we, we take people through in captivating content, the modular content method of building it into a story and points these, you know, the catchphrases or the sound bites, as you say, and extrapolating the signature story, but you stayed so on point and to what you’re talking about, the problem is noise. And what cuts through the noise is that precision level of clarity of knowing in one sentence and then building the framework around it with the 10%. So, so we’ve you, then we, we created that little formula, which was which is something you do in your real life called the 10% target. Can you, can you like walk us through the 10% target? Cause this is like good for everybody. Well, the 10% target is making 10 attempts at what you want in life. Right. So and what we talk about not to give away the whole Ted talk, but We’ll watch it. We’ll put a link to it too, like in the show notes so people can go, go click on it. Yeah, Absolutely. But I mean, the truth of the matter is, and this is actually true. Most people don’t even go after what they want. One time, let alone two or three times. So the idea behind the 10% target is making 10 attempts and failing 90% of the time. And again, you know, what’s funny. It’s like, it’s what you it’s, it’s not so much like what you say, it’s how you say it. That makes it resonate and hit somebody in a certain way. And what I found so interesting is the way that we said it really hit people in a way that wanted them to take action, which you know why, which is why I think that it became very sharable, right? Repeat viral, right. People started sharing it with their friends call. You know, I can’t tell you how many times people like are calling me or what not calling, but DM-ing and emailing me that calls people don’t get nobody calls anyway, nobody calls. But like, Oh my God, because of this, I did X or because of this, I’m going to do X, right. That actionable item that makes people actually go from watching something passively to actually doing which I think I’m very, I’m very proud of it actually for that reason. I mean, it’s so good. And that’s where, you know, and that’s where it’s like, you know, we, we always have to step back and go, we can’t take credit for that. Like that was, those are your ideas. All we’re helping do is pull it out of you and sharpen it and package it and like position it. But you know, when we try to teach people how to do this, you know, we’re always telling them the best marketing in the world is a changed life. It’s not a fancy graphic. It’s not the perfect words on a page. It’s not beautifully edit video. The best marketing in the world is a changed life. When you have a clear message and you deliver a clear behavior, then someone can hear it because it’s so clear and then they do it and then it changes their life. And then they tell everybody and their actions tell everyone because their life changes and people go, what are you doing? Why did you do that? How did you do that? And they go, Oh, you know, I watched this talk to help, you know, help me just be more confident asking for what I want. And it’s, it’s, you know, like you said too, it’s, it’s simple truths. It’s, it’s like, we’re all saying variations of the same thing, but the way you say it with such precision and clarity and it just like it just so much, it made me so happy. And then, you know, even for me as a, as a viewer, I’m just delighted, even though I, you know, I know what’s coming, but for me to sit, like, I’m like, Oh yeah, here’s the Keanu Reeves story. And here she’s introducing the problem. And here comes your uniqueness and here comes your message and your framework and, and you, it was delightful to see you execute, but then it was just so wonderful as the receiver to just be like, I get sucked away into your message of going, man, I need to be, I need to be more bold. Like I need to do this. And it’s just so, so, so clear and simple. Well, thank you. I mean, and yes, I, I agree and I appreciate it and I, I thank you for that, but I think that you’re right. The clarity is what, how it hits on, right. That’s the difference between being a success or, or not being right. A success, right. Because it’s the clarity of how you’re able to bridge your message to other people. Yeah. That’s a great way of, of, of saying it, it, that is like the bridge, that connection between you and other people is kind of how, how clear can you say? Well all right, well, I, this has flown by, like I knew I knew it would, but we had to share this story. Where do you want people to go? If you want them to learn about you and we’ll put a link to the Ted talk again, so that they can, that they can get at the secret to getting anything you want in life is the name of the talk. And which, by the way, passes our title tests, where we, we are very, we have very structured formulas for titles, which you also, you know, we’re so humble and malleable to learning, especially being as successful as you were, you know, doing lots of things in life before we ever found you, you were such a great, you know, willing to just take input. So we’ll put a link to the Ted talk, but anyways, where else do you want people to go to, to learn about you connect up? You can go to Instagram, which is the real Jen cohen.com. One N J E N C O H T N. The real Jen Cohen. They can go to my website, Jennifer cohen.com, I think that’s. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, and, and this is, so would you say this has really changed your life? I mean, have you, you’ve seen, you know, like change your business, change your business. It’s given, it’s giving me more work if that’s what you’re asking in the sense that like, you know, I was not really focusing so much on my own brand is much beef at all, but now this is kind of kicking me in the butt and I have like a lot of different opportunities when it comes to my own personal ground. And I’m also, I didn’t, I’m writing a book right now based on the talk. Did you get, did you, do you already have a publisher for it? Well, no. I have like a couple, I’m not, I’m going to be using a difference. I’m actually just signed with an agent actually a couple of weeks ago. And I don’t have a deal yet. I’m not, I had a deal to be honest with you, but now I’m redoing it. So yeah, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll report back in about three weeks or a month. Yeah. Well, let’s wait. We need to talk more both about what you can do to throw fuel on this organic fire. And then also talk about leveraging this into a book. So be on the lookout for that y’all, but we’ll put a link to Jennifer cohen.com. You could check out the real Jed co and on the Insta. And Jen is just, I mean, congratulations, I it’s inspiring. And I, and I hope that people listening are inspired because it shows that it’s like, it’s real. And if you, if you do it and you’re humble and you work hard and you do the right things and you give value, like it, it pays off and you’re, you’re, you’re literally impacting millions of lives and just job well done. Thank you. And a job well done to you. If anyone’s listening to this and you know, they’re, they’re on the fence about you guys for you or the company to help them this should be a huge, a huge push in that direction because quite, and I will say this quite frankly, and I meet a lot of people. I live in Los Angeles and you know, everybody and their dog are, are, are pitching and approaching me and everyone around who say they do this. And you really are very talented and I wouldn’t hire anyone except you. Well, thanks, Jim. We wish you all the best stay tuned. And we’ll, we’ll, we’ll look forward to following your journey be well, thank you.

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