Ep 320: 4 Ways To Increase Your Content Engagement with Nora Sudduth



How often have you purchased a course with every intention of completing it, but never found the time to actually do it?

If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because this issue is incredibly common.

According to comprehensive data and surveys, most courses are never completed; leaving behind countless hours of unused footage and missed educational opportunities.

Armed with this information and a passion for student success, our guest today, Nora Sudduth founded Hello Audio, a podcast hosting platform with a range of features that make it easier than ever to connect with your audience.

In our conversation, Nora shares her obsession with customer success and delves into how she abandoned her corporate career to pursue a more entrepreneurial path.

She explains why Hello Audio started out as Podcast Your Course, and how its features allow for private podcasts.

We discuss the many benefits of private podcasts and unpack why audio is an excellent method for relaying coursework in a medium that students have time for.

Nora also shares her top advice for increasing content engagement from reducing ‘time to value’ and using your ‘existing reach’, to creating concise copy and content, and providing a solution to your customers’ primary problems.

Today’s episode is filled with valuable advice and key insights from an inspiring individual.

Make sure you tune in for an informative conversation on the power of podcasting, how to generate engagement, and more!


  • Introducing today’s guest Nora Sudduth, Co-Founder and CRO of Hello Audio.
  • How Nora decided to leave her corporate career and start a marketing agency.
  • Nora’s core values and why she is obsessed with client success.
  • The concept of using your ‘existing reach’ and how Nora used it to transition into the entrepreneurial space.
  • Why Hello Audio started out being called Podcast Your Course.
  • The benefits of private podcasts and how they differ from public ones.
  • An overview of the data on the consumption of online course content.
  • Insights into why so many consumers don’t complete their course content.
  • How Hello Audio addresses this issue by making course content available through podcasts.
  • What it means to ‘reduce time to value.’
  • How this encourages consumers to choose your product.
  • Other ways to add value besides adding more content or information.
  • Why concise copy and coursework provides value.
  • How to identify what your audience cares about and provide a solution for them.
  • The Problem-Solution exercise and why it’s so beneficial.
  • The value of ‘ease of use’ in software and how it increases engagement and conversion rates.
  • Examples of how Hello Audio has prioritized ease of use.
  • Nora’s feedback on the Brand Builders Group training program.
  • How changing your delivery can elevate your content.
  • Why it’s important to continue to evolve your delivery mechanisms.
  • How Hello Audio makes it easy and convenient for users to try their free 7-day trial.


“As the content owner, as the content creator, you get to choose who gets access to that. So now you could actually put in some gated content, whether it’s your opt-in or whether it’s your course, or other paid content.” — @NoraSudduth [0:16:36]

“It’s not rocket science, if you make it easier for people to consume yourself, they’re going to be more likely to consume it.” — @NoraSudduth [0:19:19]

“Most people think the only way they can add value is to give more information. And that’s not true. You can add value by being entertaining. And by being insightful. You can add value through more ways than just more information” — @NoraSudduth [0:23:27]

“Actually, less is more. If you make it enjoyable, increase the likelihood of results, and you decrease time to value, I would spend twice as much money.” — @AJ_vaden [0:25:59]

About Nora Sudduth

Nora Sudduth, Co-founder of Hello Audio is a leading marketing & conversion strategist who has helped businesses sell over $500M of products & services online. She’s also designed several courses, coaching and certification programs that have generated millions more.  Nora has over 20 years of experience working with startups to Fortune 500 companies and everything in between. From market positioning and messaging, to offers and sales strategies, she’s consulted on thousands of marketing campaigns to help businesses have authentic, compelling conversations with their clients.


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RV (00:07): Hey brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview as always, it’s our honor to provide it to you for free and wanted to let you know there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call with someone from our team, we would love to hear from you. You can do that at brand builders, group.com/pod call brand builders, group.com/pod call. We hope to talk to you soon. AJV (00:54): Hey everyone. And welcome to another episode on the influential personal brand. I’m super excited today because I get to interview a newer friend. And as you guys know, if you guys listen to the podcast, you know, that we do not accept pitches very often. In fact, we have only accepted three pitches in the history of the influential personal brand and Nora happens to be one of those individuals. So I’m gonna introduce you to Nora and today is really special for three reasons. One, I’m getting to know Nora kind of at the same time that you are. So all of the questions I’m gonna be asking are super out of my own curiosity of going. Tell me more, tell me more. I wanna learn Nora about this. But two Nora is the creator and co-founder of this really amazing product called hello audio. AJV (01:43): And it’s all about consumption rates and engagement with audio, which if you’re listening to this, you are already in the mix, right? So this is really, really important. And really what we’re gonna answer is why are you not getting the consumption and engagement rates that you want and you need with audio. And then thirdly Nora self admitted that she doesn’t get to talk much about her personal brand. And so this is also a really cool invitation of not just getting to learn about some really cool things with content consumption and engagement and her awesome company. But I’m also generally just so excited to get to know you and how, why did you create this? And what’s your backstory. I love hearing stories like this. So if you’re listening stick around, this is going to be an energy and content impact episode. AJV (02:34): Now on a, a very high professional level, I will read Nora’s bio for you. But just really quickly . So Nora said is the co-founder of hello audio, which is a leading marketing and conversion strategist who has helped businesses sell over 500 million of products and services online. I also think what is super special in addition to all of the strategy and types of clients that she’s worked with. These are fortune 50, these are multimillionaire individuals. She’s got a SAS product, she’s got so many cool things going on, but one of the things that I loved learning most is that she left corporate. She had a very cushy high paying job in corporate and decided to leave that to do something that who knows where it would go, who knows if anyone would buy it. But you took that really big leap that often holds others back. And so with that, welcome to the show, Nora. NS (03:34): Oh my goodness. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here. AJV (03:38): Hi, I am so excited. And so I wanna continue that conversation. I wanna help, I wanna get to know you more in our brief conversations, I, haven’t got to hear this part of your story. And I know our audience is many people who listen to this are in this transition of, you know, do I keep doing what I’m doing or do I really go for it? Right. Do I really like go out on that limb, jump off the cliff and do what I feel like I was put on this planet to do, or do I stay comfortable? Right. Do I play it safe? And I just keep doing the thing that I’m doing, but you, you took the leap, like you left it and you started hello audio. So I wanna know the story. How did, how did you do it? Why did you do it? Like, how did you get to where you are? NS (04:18): Oh, I love it. So I did, I took that traditional path to success or what we were taught right. Is that traditional path. I have a handful of college degrees, right. I started in computer science before there were many women in computer science. So I’ve got that degree. I’ve got an MBA, I’ve got a master’s degree in engineering. And I did, I, I started that, that corporate kind of path, that corporate climb and what I realized, and I didn’t, I’m not one of those folks that hated corporate. I had great experiences. I learned just, I’ve worked with so many different businesses, even, you know, exact target before they sold to Salesforce before they had a successful exit. I’ve worked with so many amazing humans along the way. And so, as I climbed, I would say up that ladder, I think I got further away from what one of my core values is. NS (05:08): And I am obsessed with client success. Mm-Hmm , I mean, it is, it is one of my core tenants and, and something is as I, as you climb that corporate ladder, and this is in many corporations, especially if you work for large corporations, you tend, as you climb, you get further away from the end user or that, that end customer. And I think I just started to feel like things were a little flat, right. And, and not that I was miserable and, you know, needed to escape. I mean, I, I think I was doing quite well. Obviously the salary was there, you know, had a, had a great salary and all the things. And yet I just felt like something was missing. And, and as I was going through my personal life at this time I’m actually adopted. And so for me, family is, is everything. NS (05:53): Cause I almost didn’t have a family. Right. I almost didn’t have that. And so at, at the time my dad was diagnosed with cancer and I knew that our time was limited and after he passed away, it’s just like, you know, we all have those moments in our lives where we have that realization of, you know, life is short and am I doing what I really want to do? Is this an opportunity for me to reassess some of those decisions? And, and to, like you said, stay comfortable, which there was there would’ve been nothing wrong if I would’ve stayed, you know, in that trajectory and kept going or do I want something else? And so I think that was one pivot point for that kind of help me wake up if you will. And maybe jarred me a little bit to rethink things. And the other thing that was happening was at that point when my dad passed away, I had a little kindergartner. NS (06:40): My oldest was in kindergarten. She is now in high school and getting her license, which is crazy. So time has definitely jumped here and I’ve been doing this for a while, but at the time she just, she was obsessed with the school bus. I wanna take the school bus home and I’m like, I am at the office until six o’clock like, you can’t take the school bus home. No one is home at 2 35 when that school bus is coming home. And so she just was like, I wanna take the school bus home. And I’ll tell you, I was sitting in a corporate meeting and there was a lot of meetings in corporate. And so I think this was one of, of many, and I just felt frustrated. I was feeling that sense of not being happy. And, and I, you know, some women collect shoes and handbags, I collect domain names. So I probably have like 600 over 600 domain names the time AJV (07:28): My husband, oh my gosh, NS (07:30): Can’t help it. AJV (07:31): The amount of go daddy, renewal fees that he’s come across my, my credit card. NS (07:35): You don’t wanna total. And when you total it up for your taxes, you’re like, oh my gosh, I need to sell. So, and I have sold some, I made some, but still, yes, it’s not. I don’t know if it’s any healthier than a shoe obsession. Quite frankly, it mights probably a lot more expensive. But as I said in that meeting and I bought the domain F the meeting.com, I still own that domain, but I was like, wow, what that, and, and as I look back, I’m like what energy that is, like, if that’s where I really was in life. And I knew it was a lot of things happening. So I left that day and I allowed my daughter to take the bus home. And so as she took, and I met her at the corner and the bus came and her, the joy that she was filled with as she came off, that school bus, granted, even a kindergartner, she was so excited. And I thought, you know what? I want more of that. AJV (08:24): Yeah. NS (08:24): Amen. I want more of that. And so I started putting things in place to plan that exit. And, and, and I’ll say this for anyone that is in that situation. Well, I think one of the biggest mistakes, or one of the biggest things we’re told when we look for a business opportunity, right? There’s a lot of folks that wanna sell you a Bizo right. There’s lots of different types, lots of different things, but where I think I had the most success in terms of that transition and that exit was, I started with my existing reach. I didn’t just build a product or create a service and then wonder how to get in front of people. Because I think that stops a lot of folks. I think one of the biggest things I did correctly was I started with my existing reach. I didn’t just say, okay, there’s this internet out there, this black box who the heck knows who’s in it, but they’re my clients. NS (09:14): I don’t know them yet, but they’re clearly who I need. And instead of doing that, I was like, no, who are the people already around me? Who are the people that already, that already know me that already trust me? And you know what that looks like. We, we forget our real life connections. And I know things have changed pre you know, post pandemic and all the things. But I, I looked at, okay, I was going through my TaeKwonDo. I went and got my first degree, black belt and TaeKwonDo with my daughter. I’m like the studio, all the people there, they’re in my network. Think about your professional network. Think about your personal network. Think about the stores you go to each and every day, the clubs that you’re a part of the memberships that you’re a part of. We don’t, we overlook all of these people that are in our existing. NS (09:59): And we’re like, oh, I don’t, I don’t have an audience. I didn’t have an email list. When I started, I had existing reach in every single person listening to this, you have your existing reach. And so I started there and I was like, you know what, I’m looking at, what I can do for people and the results, cuz I’m a very, like I said, I’m obsessed with client results. So what can I do for folks knowing my expertise, knowing my experience. And then I looked at my existing reach and I looked at what, where, where that intersection was now. I didn’t worry about like, well, what if I don’t wanna serve this audience five years from now? Mm-Hmm right. That wasn’t like, you might not. And that’s okay. But that doesn’t need to prevent you from taking the steps forward from taking it step by step by step and looking at your existing reach and saying, how can I serve these people? NS (10:47): And that’s how I started. So that was how I ultimately got to the point where yes, I was doing the side hustle in the evenings and on the weekends and before work. Right. Everyone’s like, yeah, you have a nine to five. Well, I didn’t have a nine to five. I felt like I had a seven to six. And then I was, you know, doing things after the kids went to bed or in the morning before they woke up or on the weekends when they went down for naps or all the things, cuz I had a, I had a younger one as well at that time. So I had two and I, I looked at that and I said, that’s the, that’s the path. It’s just step by step. But I think one of the biggest takeaways for me there is start with your existing reach and that’s ultimately so step by step by step. I put those things in place and I was ultimately able to leave that corporate position. And I created a marketing agency of my own and that was my first step into Andre. And I didn’t stay there, but that’s how I initially stepped from corporate into this entrepreneurial space. AJV (11:42): Oh, I love that there are so many gems and even the, your story of, you know, I already wrote down like two things and this is, we’re so aligned in this. And I know that we, we don’t know each other, all that well at this point, but I like one of my life mantras is that you do not have to have millions of followers to make millions of dollars. Yes. And we, we try to like instill this and it’s a great reminder to everyone who’s listening. Is that just start with the one? Yes. Like, and it’s, it’s a weird thing because offline, right. And our actual real circle of people we see every day, if we knew that we impacted one person’s life, that would be, we would be so fulfilled and content with that. It would mean something. But yet if we only have one like or one share or one comment online, we somehow think it’s a failure. AJV (12:36): Absolutely. It’s the online digital nature somehow often minimizes the impact of a changed life. And I love that. We talk so much about your offline reputation, your offline strategy, as much as your online. I love that. I love that so much. And I love too that you said it’s like the path is always step by step, right? It is. You may not be doing this in five years, like focus on what’s the next step. That’s true. So, so you went from marketing agency, so you left corporate yes. And had your own agency. So then I’m so curious to know is like, how did you go from that to hello audio? And then also tell everyone like, what is, hello, audio? So what was the path of creating a SAS product and how did you get to where you are now? NS (13:23): Absolutely. so I had that marketing agency and I grew that marketing agency agency in a multiple six figures in less than nine months. And it was at that point. And if you have, if you ever had a marketing agency or if you’re done done for you, you E you have a choice to make, you’re either gonna grow and you’re gonna hire more team members, or you’re gonna kind of stay in that niche kind of boutique kind of space. And, and it’s a choice and there’s not a right or wrong choice. It’s just a choice of what kind of business you want. And around that time where I was making a decision, I had started to use ClickFunnels in my agency because everything was WordPress. Right. And then click funnels was brand new at the time. And I mean, brand spanking new. And so I started using it, Russell found out what I was doing. NS (14:03): And all of a sudden I got a Voxer from Russell Brunson. And I, you, I mean, if I could’ve captured the look on my face, when I got that boxer from Russell Brunson and it was like, Hey, I think we need to talk. I would like you to rebuild my certification program. And so I was like, well, okay, right. Like this is, so here I am trying to make a decision if I’m gonna grow or grow this agency or kind of keep it small. And now I have a third option, which I never suspected, which was shut it down and go work and partner with Russell Brunson and rebuild one of his training programs. And so, you know, talk about what an amazing opportunity. So I’ve of course said, yes, partnered with Russell rebuilt. That certification program took that from like 300, about 300,000 a little bit more to like 4.1 million in 18 months built another seven figure coaching program for Russell. NS (14:54): And again, this is because I was so passionate about client success and SAS, right. I love technology. My first degree was in computer science. So this was a natural fit. And through that work and, and reviewing thousands of marketing campaigns and helping just so many people have success with their marketing campaigns. I ended up meeting Lindsay and Derek Padilla, who are the co-founders of, of hello audio. And, you know, I was actually, both of them are former community college professors who really also genuinely care about student success, right? It’s what they do. We all want our students to succeed. And so we had this shared value and as we had both started helping folks kind of with their online courses. And really, I was kind of maybe more focused on the marketing and sales piece of trying to help your digital products grow. And Lindsay was helping folks help be essentially become a better teacher online. NS (15:49): And so it was such an amazing partnership and, and a relationship that started there. And then it was Derek that kind of said, Hey, people don’t finish. Like the stats are there. They’re not finishing online courses. What can we do to help? And that’s how hello audio started. So it came from both of us, all three of us actually being so passionate about our, our students having success and knowing that consumption was getting in the way, which sounds silly. But depending on the study, you read, it can be like 3% or maybe I’ve seen a few that say up to 20% of courses get consumed or content is consumed. And people, when they don’t consume your content, they don’t get the results. And so that’s actually how hello audio started. The original product name was podcast, your course. And so as we look at, okay, what does that look like? NS (16:38): What are you talking about, Nora? Like, what’s this podcast thing isn’t like, right? Most people are familiar with public podcasts, right? If you’re listening to this, you already know this is an amazing public podcast. And so if you think about the way public podcasts are structured, most people are like, they assume you have to have a show it’s updated daily or weekly. And, and it’s open to the general public, right? As, as a public podcast, anyone can subscribe private podcasts. On the other hand are a little different. They look and feel like a normal pod pod, right? They still, you can play them in your favorite podcast app, your favorite podcast, player of choice. But as a, as the content owner, as the content creator, you get to choose who gets access to that. So now you could actually put some gated content, whether it’s your opt-in or whether it’s your course or other paid content. NS (17:27): Now it’s not kind of change a little bit about what it, what it means to be a podcaster. You can now have a podcast without having a show. You’re just using podcasts as a communication channel. And you’re meeting people where they’re already at. Cuz as we look at the numbers, millions of, of north Americans are listening to audio content in their podcast app each and every week to the point where the hours consumed are actually rivaling the number of hours that were consumed in Netflix every single week. Wow. So I’m thinking, why are we not meeting people where they’re already at? Your audience is already in their podcast apps, listening to content. Why aren’t they listening to you? And so that is how we originally started. Hello, audio. And then the use cases just grew from there. AJV (18:13): So, okay. There’s like, I could go like 15 different ways right now. I know, I know things. So one of the things you said is that consumption, right? The data around the consumption was like a real problem that is you guys could solve. So I would just love to hear your feedback rather. That’s just your own personal opinion. Or if it’s more scientific, whatever you’ve got. Why, why do, because I think, I think this is same ha it doesn’t matter if it’s a course or whatever. It’s like, we do the same thing with books. Like how many books they’re sitting on my bookshelf at a bot with great intentions, like, oh one day, right? Same thing with courses. And then there’s other books where I’m like, you know, I must finish this. Right. And so I’m so curious, like what is the data around consumption with courses and online content and why do you think that is? NS (19:00): You know, it’s fascinating as I look at it’s it, and it varies the percentage it’s fascinating to look at, is it just the login that we’re requiring people to log in? I look at the work involved and the effort involved, and this is kind of back to anything that we offer for sale. Right? I look at their belief, so that consumer needs to believe that by doing the work or by participating in their own success, they’re going to get a result. So that level of certainty needs to be a certain level. I think, for people to engage like it, whether it’s a book, I believe I’m going to enjoy this. So the level of certainty, I think the higher that is the more likely they are to engage. So a and by the way, they’re, they’re a lot more likely to buy your stuff. NS (19:42): if we can, if we can actually increase the, the likelihood that they’re gonna get the result or the perceived likelihood, right? The perceived level of certainty that they’re going to get the results. So that’s one thing I, I would say, and then I would say the other thing is ease in convenience, right? So, and there’s three things. So the second thing is ease in convenience. So, I mean, it’s not rocket science. If you make it easier for people to consume your stuff, they’re gonna be more likely to consume it. And so the cool part about using private podcasts is there protected right each. So if I give you an access to a private podcast, that link is actually tied to your specific email address. And as soon as you click that link and load it in whatever your favorite podcast app is, that link dies, which means you can’t share that with other people, which means that content stays protected. NS (20:28): And yet it’s so convenient for you to play at any time, anywhere when we’re not sitting here at the screen. So if you think about what audio does it unlocks all of the hours of the day that you can reach your ideal person or your customer or your student, whatever that looks like for you when they’re not sitting at a computer and I’ll tell you, especially post pandemic, people don’t really wanna spend that many hours sitting at the screen. And so you’re giving them that option. Let, ’em listen to you while they’re walking the dog, while they’re sitting in the carpool line while they’re taking a walk that’s to me, it, it like ease in convenience, allows for greater consumption. If you make it a lot more difficult. And that also is the medium too, right? If, if you’re doing like a 60 some page ebook or are like, that’s, that’s gonna go to the graveyard of PDFs, we all have one. We all know it’s there. I have multiple bad Dropbox and Google all these. AJV (21:24): And I’m like, oh, when am I gonna ever have time to get through 4 45 NS (21:28): Pages? You’re no you’re. And, and with good intentions, you were interested in the topic. We all raise our hand and we’re like, that sounds cool, but you know what? That’s a lot of work. Yep. And I’m not gonna get to that. And so, and then, so that would be the second thing, easing convenience and, and dove dovetailing into the, the third and final one here I would say is time, right? What do we, time is money. We pay to shortcut our path to success. And so if I look at your content and I think this is gonna take me hours to get through, or, you know, if I can’t fit it in to the time pockets that I have in my day or in my life, that’s just gonna be really a lot more challenging for me to consume. And so if I look at for whatever content you’re putting out there, this is fulfillment content for your courses or your coaching program, or, you know, your book. NS (22:17): Or if I’m looking at your marketing content, I’m talking about your webinars, I’m talking about your summit presentations, all the cool stuff you’re doing in, when it comes to creating content, if I can make it easier and more convenient to consume, if I can shortcut the path to success and, and, and allow folks to get that, like reduce the time to, to value as, as another kind of term to reduce the time to value. And if I can increase the perceived likelihood that they’re going to get the result that, that, that we’re promising or that your content is promising, that level of certainty people are going, you’re gonna see engagement go up. Those three things I think are critical in order to see your engagement and consumption rates go up. AJV (22:59): Ugh. I love that. There’s so much like I wrote just like the, I wrote four. I, I made one up or I heard one extra one. I love NS (23:07): It. It’s okay. Bonus. AJV (23:09): But I love this. I think this is so powerful for anyone who is listening, who is a content creator of any, of any type, whether it’s written or video or audio, but four things to increase consumption one, make it enjoyable. NS (23:23): Yes. Right? Oh, AJV (23:24): Yes. It’s like, I’m not gonna do it if I don’t like it. If it, if it’s hard, right. NS (23:29): I don’t want it. AJV (23:30): I gotta want it. So make it enjoyable. And I think a huge part of doing that is the combination of the story, right? The emotional parts. It’s like, it’s, I think about some of the, my favorite and this, I always think about this. Some of my favorite books are also my least favorite keynote speeches. NS (23:50): Yes. AJV (23:50): And true. Right. The content is so good and the stories are so good in the book, but then when you hear the speaker, I’m like, NS (23:58): What happened? AJV (24:01): You know? And it’s like, yeah. And it’s like, it’s weird because it like dolls the value and all of a sudden this great content I’m like, all I can think about is how horrible about 60 or 90 minutes was. Yeah. So it’s like, make it enjoyable. It’s gotta be somewhat right. Edutaining right. The combination of that, NS (24:17): To, to that point. Exactly. Most people think the only way they can add value is to give more information. And that’s not true. You can add value by being entertaining. And by being insightful, like there’s, it’s, you can do more, you can add value more ways than just more information. AJV (24:33): Absolutely agree with that. But I think that’s just, that’s a great takeaway. If you’re listening is like more information does not equal more value. No, that’s really important. Right. Write that down people number two. So the first thing was, make it enjoyable. Number two increase the likelihood of results. Yes. So tell people, what are the results you’re gonna get if you complete this, like, that’s really important. Like how many of us buy something going a hope, this has the answer. NS (25:00): Yeah. Let’s hopefully it’ll work. I AJV (25:02): Need you to, I need to know that it’s in there. Right. So increase the likelihood of results. I love that. Three, make it easy to use. I wanna come back to this one, cuz I have a question for you about this one. Sure. and then the last one is reduce time to value, right? Like I think we do the same thing where it’s like, well, I’m gonna make it eight hours and oh, 165 pages because then it’ll be worth the dollar. NS (25:30): No, right. No, it’s just not gonna get consumed. That’s what’s gonna happen. AJV (25:36): But it’s like, we do that all the time. It’s like these whole value ladders are built on and you get this and you get this and you get this. And it’s interesting because sometimes I’m going, what am I gonna do with all that? like, what am I gonna have time for this? Or what is this? Or then we buy it. And this is how I feel often. And it actually decreases the value cuz I only use one part of it. And I’m like, well, I paid for all of this and this is all that I used. And absolutely what a counterintuitive thing to be thinking of. Like no less is more, actually less is more. If you make it enjoyable, increase likelihood of results and you decrease time to value. I would spend twice as much money. Like if you were sell and this just, just for anyone who’s listening, if I’m in your target audience, right. If you were gonna sell me a course, here’s how you would sell it to me. Get everything you need to know in the next 60 minutes. NS (26:30): Yes. Amen. AJV (26:31): I would, I would pay five times the amount of money versus it’s like, this is a 16 hour course with and I’d be like, NS (26:38): No, thank you. AJV (26:39): I couldn’t pay enough money to do that. NS (26:41): Can I pay to have someone do that for me? Can, is there add an option? AJV (26:46): Can you just give me the cliff notes? Can you tell me what you learned in a 15 minute coffee? NS (26:50): That would be great. Where’s the summary. AJV (26:53): The cliff notes please. But I think those are like really important things of like, we get it wrong. We try to add and add and add and add. And really what that’s doing is it’s like when people get in there and they don’t use it, then they think they’ve wasted all this money. Yes. When really the core thing, if we would’ve just kept the main thing, the main thing we could have added even increased the price tag because it doesn’t, it’s not gonna take you that long to get there. NS (27:18): That’s right. Because time they value that time. They value that time. And, and to your point, you should know your primary currency. So I like to talk about like, what’s the big promise of your product or the thing, or even if it’s a free training video, you still have to sell that thing. It is still a free offer. What is the primary currency? It what, okay, doesn’t matter if people are sending you their email address and then you’re giving them back something in return or if they’re giving you cold, hard cash, doesn’t matter. There’s still a currency exchange happening here. And so what I like what, this is a great exercise. If you’re listening to this that I love doing this, put you have a column for increase and a column for decrease. And I want you to think about what is that thing, the training, the product, the course your workshop, your book, what are, what are all the ways it can increase something in their life or in their business and decrease. NS (28:08): And I want you to try to be as specific as possible. If you can put a timeline on that, cuz we just know time, time is, is key here. People pay for that shortcut to shortcut to success. So do you help them to X their revenue in six months? Do you help reduce or decrease churn in their companies in the next 90 days, whatever that is for your business. Try to think of it and articulate it in, in a, in a currency exchange. Because that way, if you look at and, and chances are, I’m sure all of the folks listening to this, you’re all amazing. You can do more than one thing for people. There’s probably you’re gonna do this exercise. You’re probably gonna have 20 different things that you can increase or decrease in someone’s life or business. The key is to understand what’s the primary one that they care the most about. What’s the one that they’re going to pay the most for. That’s how you’re gonna be able to monetize your expertise in a, in a very scientific kind of a way. AJV (29:04): Oh, that’s so good. And it’s like, that’s really a short list of answers. Really? Yes. I mean it’s like most people are gonna pay to get more time. Yeah. They’re gonna pay to make more money or they’re gonna pay to have more fulfillment. NS (29:18): Yes. Less stress, AJV (29:20): Less stress, NS (29:21): More ease. Right. You can go on and on. But if I love the idea of like, oh, they’re actually giving me something and I’m giving them something in return and the clear I can be about what it is and why it’s so valuable, the easier it is to be able to sell. AJV (29:37): That’s so good. Do you feel like that translate into copy as well? NS (29:42): It does. Oh my God. That is your, I mean, to me, that’s copywriting gold. I would say that exercise. And then the other exercise I always recommend for copywriting is you have to get into the mind of your consumer and write down all of the potential problems they think they could have. And all of the ways that you’re providing a solution for those problems, it’s like problem, solution, exercise. Even if you think it’s crazy. Like I don’t what, and there’s honestly, if you go through this, there’s gonna be some pretty common ones. I don’t have time. I, I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t believe this is gonna work for me because I’m special or my business is special or I have this special circumstance. Like there’s very common ones that come up. But if you can be able to, you know, those going into your marketing and sales campaigns, then your copy addresses them directly. I think those two exercises, the currency exchange. And then I would say your prospect problem list and your solution list is gonna be the two biggest things you can do to improve your copy. AJV (30:37): Ah, so good. And keep it short, right? Yeah. Like that time to your novel emails. No, I had to write a text. This is so funny. I literally one of my newer friends who is helping me break into the sport sports world, her name is Ashley. And she’s like, I’m not really good at email. I’m traveling all the time. So just, can you text me all these things? And I’m like writing this text and I get down. I’m like, oh my gosh, I have just written the longest text ever made on planet earth. And I literally, I sent it and I said, and now I know you’ll never read this. So I’m going to have to send an email that is a third of this link. And it was like, like as I’m writing it, I’m so annoyed with my stuff. I’m like, oh my gosh, why am I still typing? AJV (31:23): Why is this so long? Why am just taking so much time? But it’s so true. It’s like, if I have to scroll, I just go, I’ll do it later. Yep. I have to do, it’s gotta stay above the fold. Right. I think those, those are so good. Okay. So I wanna come back to this really quick thing. I literally could probably spend another hour talking to you. This is such a great company. I love this Nora. So ease of use. How do you make it easier for people to use? So I wanna answer that. And then I’m so sensitive of the time. I also then wanna go out, like, I want people to understand like, what is hello, audio, and really dive into this concept of a private podcast. Because at least to me that’s a really newer term. Right. And this gated content, but like how does this help? So, okay. So first ease of use and then let’s talk about private podcast. NS (32:08): Yes. Ease of use. So one of, I will say, even from a hello audio perspective is we were building this tool yet. Yes. It’s important in SAS, but I would argue it’s important in anything that people buy, but SAS specifically, why do people not buy software? Because they have a perception that it’s going to be a pain in the butt. They have a perception that it’s going to take them a long time to incorporate it into their business. AJV (32:31): A lot of money NS (32:32): And yeah, it, it is. Yeah. And depending on where you’re coming from a lot of buddy but it’s, it’s really the, the ability to kind of speed up that time to value, reduce the time to value speed up that success path because you’re making it easy for them to do. And so what other doesn’t matter, that’s why we see for example, authors, when there’s like the PDF version of your audio book or the, the book, and then you have the audio book tend to, if we look at comparisons, a lot of times your conversions on the audio book will be higher because it’s easier to consume. Right? Right. So if we look at your course, is it, are you making it easy to get through meaning are lessons maybe two hours long or are you chunking them up with very specific kind of headlines or very specific targeted engagements if you’re a coach and you do coaching calls, are you putting those replays in a locked membership site where you’re not providing time stamps or, or how can you make it easier for people to get through the content or to take the action? NS (33:30): So whenever I’m building an online course, I look at all right, what’s the information they need, what are the actions that they need to take? And what is the support that I can provide her that they’re going to need to take those actions and it, every single step of the way, how can I make it easier for them to consume the information? It it’s again, not creating 16 hours of content. It’s giving them only what they need to take the action. How can I make the action easier to take? Sometimes that’s templates, sometimes it’s swipe files. Sometimes it’s, it’s a certain level of support, right. And giving them that. But it’s all about making it easier. And with hello audio, when we built that, that was actually one of the non-negotiables in building that piece of software is it has to be easy to use if it’s not easy to use, people are not going to use it. And we, that was, that was how we, so now when we look at 70%, I think it’s a little over 70% of our folks said, join, hello, audio, and, and create their first private feed. They do it in less than a day. They launch their first feed in less than a day. And that isn’t a very important metric for our company, because if our product is not easy to use and they can’t get that value quickly, then we’ve done something wrong. That’s kind of what, what we truly believe. AJV (34:45): This is so good. So, alright. So I have a personal question for you that. Sure. So while you were talking, I pulled up think GI where we house all of our courses. Right? So as a part of brain builders group, our membership program, you get access to 14 courses. And so I it’s a lot, it’s a lot, right. That’s where I’m going. Right. So I broke it up and that’s why I pulled it in here. And so this has been a, it’s been a hot topic in our company because we have broken everything down into six lessons. Right. And at first everyone was like, that’s just too many. But the reason we did it is to make it bite size. Yep. So here’s what I’m curious to know is like, do you think the way that we’ve broken this up is still too long. So there are six lessons and in each of those lessons, we break them up into a training, a hot seat. And then a workbook. And so the training is 29 minutes and then the coaching hot seat is 15. NS (35:38): Okay. But they’re, but they’re distinct. Yeah. Which I love. And I think that, I mean, if I look at a 29 minute training, is that too long? No. Be, and I don’t think it’s never a number. I always look at the content. Are you giving more information that’s necessary knowing you no. Right. Like you’re giving exactly what they need to take the next action and nothing more. Does that mean you don’t care about them? And that you’re like, oh, let me over deliver. No, I like you are over delivering by keeping it as tight as possible. And that’s what I love AJV (36:10): Makes me so happy to hear, because if you told me something different, I’m pretty sure my team would’ve been like, we’re done. We NS (36:16): Quit. Your team is amazing. Your team is amazing. And here’s what I’ll say AJV (36:20): Backwards. Taking more ideas in here. That’s thing helpful to know. Cause it’s like we spent six months basically re orchestrating this from basically what you said is people are like, it’s so long, it’s hard prior to doing this. If you add all these up, you know, it’s like 12 hours of content. And it’s like, we had, ’em when we first started, this is so good for everyone to know. Like, don’t think just because that’s the way you start, that’s the way you have to end up. I know. But you know, when we started putting all of our courses in here, they were in two day, segments is a day, one and day two NS (36:56): Are long days. Those are AJV (36:58): One was six hours and then day two was like five hours. Right. But that’s how it was. And it wasn’t until like, we probably just had to have it that way. Cuz we have so much curriculum for, it was probably look that way for almost two years before we said, okay, let’s start going through our curriculum and how do we break this up? But that took a process of going, what is the best way to break this up and what is that right amount? And do we include both video and audio or is that too much? And we opted to do both video and audio right. As a, you know, but it’s really interesting of like even going through this, like we just launched our new version of our course membership just April 1st. So we just got it to the way that we wanted four years later. Yeah. And here’s the thing that I think is fascinating. The content itself has not changed. NS (37:52): It’s still valid. It still works. AJV (37:54): Yeah. And I think that’s a great reminder to anyone who is listening. It’s like just because you’re constantly reinventing and changing doesn’t mean the core content has to change. It’s just the format, the medium, the duration, the delivery mechanisms of it change. This is always a great reminder to me. I’m not sure if you know this, but our first book, so my husband launched his first book, take the stairs which hit number two on the New York times, we were super grateful, super blessed. It was a really awesome time, but we just celebrated 10 years of that book being out. And here’s the funniest thing B the exact same keynote today that he did 10 years ago, when the book launched NS (38:38): Still, AJV (38:39): When it launched, he was probably charging $7,500. Now his fee is 30. Yep. It’s the same content. The only thing that is different is the way that he delivers the content. That’s it? And I think that’s a great reminder to us is you don’t have to make new content. No. To make it better. NS (39:00): Yes. I, and I love that. And the fact that you’re zeroing in on the delivery mechanism, our, you gotta keep in mind markets evolve our habits as consumers evolve. I don’t know anyone who’s listening to this that does not have a, have an ideal customer that is busy. We’re all busy. And so while we, you know, before we would deliver things on like tele seminars, I don’t know about you, but the thought of sitting on a phone or having a phone for like hours on end, like we used to, you know, granted this was over a decade ago, but that was really popular. We have to continue to evolve our delivery mechanisms and our delivery channels to meet people where they’re already at. And that’s why I love. And we actually do integrate directly with think GI we have a lot of folks that host their courses on think GI and they automatically create private podcasts for courses because it’s just the delivery mechanism. NS (39:54): Some people will absolutely have time to log in and go through the videos. And I would even argue if you even have a visual course, there’s still benefit for people listening to where you’re taking them. Cuz we all know with learning repetition is key. And so when you sit down to watch that video where you sit down, it sounds like when you have your amazing workbooks and people are working through that, they’ve already heard it. Right. They’ve heard it once and they know where we’re headed or they know where you’re taking them. And that can provide a massive difference in terms of the results that your folks get. AJV (40:24): Hmm. I love that. And so you said something that’s really fascinating. It’s like you can create private podcasts yes. As courses in your membership site. NS (40:33): Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. NS (40:36): So with, with private podcasts, it kind of is it’s interesting that you can create all sorts of podcasts with different content. So we have a lot of teachers and a lot of online educators that use hello audio and they podcast their course. They have a private podcast version and Amy Porterfield who I know you just recently had on she’s one of a, she’s a hello audio user as well. And so she uses hello audio to deliver her DCA content to her, her audience because she has a lot of folks that are doing this as a side hustle. She has a lot of folks that are busy and here’s the thing. Her videos are amazing. They’re and, and she’s not trying to replace those videos. She’s just making it more convenient and easier to, for her audience to consume that information so that when they do sit down to do the work, they’ve already listened to it. NS (41:23): They have another option to get the information they need to get the results that they want. So for, for me, having, it’s easy to be able to just drag and drop all your course content and put it into a private feed that is still protected, right. That’s still very much protected cuz we all know that you put a lot of hard work into creating your premium courses. Right. But it’s also other things as well. We can, we can podcast. So if we look at the coaching calls, this is a great opportunity for coaching calls. You have group coaching calls, how many, and I know we’ve probably both invested heavily in coaching programs during our careers. How many times have we really logged in and watched that hour plus long zoom video really? For me hardly ever. Right. Hardly ever. And even if I start watching it, I have now opened bazillions of other tabs and I’m doing other things background AJV (42:14): I’m yeah. It’s just, it’ll just like, you know, absorb into my brain somehow. Yeah. exactly. So that’s so fascinating. So it’s like, you really create this really cool private feed. Yeah. Just for your membership, which is a really added value. But the thing I love too is like you create this gated thing. So once the, the link is clicked, it expires, NS (42:34): It expires, it expires and, and you get to set that time that it expires, you can set it to expire immediately. Or if you wanna give folks an hour because maybe they’re like me and they’ve got a bazillion devices and you wanna load it on maybe your iPad and your phone, you can do that as well, but we have it set so that you can choose to expire immediately after it’s used. AJV (42:54): So I’m curious, have you had any use studies on doing this for like private content? Just for your email list? NS (43:03): Yes. Okay. AJV (43:04): I’d love to hear NS (43:05): That we have folks. So we kind of use, if you think about a private podcast almost as the new inbox, right? So if your newsletters we have tar ZK is one of our users. She’s an amazing copywriter. Her emails are fantastic, right? Obviously she’s a copywriter, so she makes them, she’s a storyteller. They’re fantastic. And yet what she does is she’ll also read them and she has a private podcast called Tarzan, reads her emails, pretty clear what it is. Right. And it gives her subscribers a way to consume that content. Because I mean, I don’t know about your inbox. I probably have a lot of, let’s just say a lot. I don’t wanna get skewed a lot of unread emails in my inbox on a daily basis. So I probably will never need to read. Right. So just to give myself a little bit of an out, but it, it gets more and more crowded. NS (43:53): And so this gives her a way to con communicate and reach her existing list. And in a way that is, it allows her to express her personality. Think about reading that newsletter or reading that email and how different the experience is when you read it. And you’re listening to that person, read it with all of their intonation, their brand voice right now, that connection that we have with that person is more intimate. And it’s stronger because of the, the fact that it’s consumed in audio versus doesn’t this there’s nothing wrong with that email that email’s amazing, but it now takes our connection and our relationship to a new level. AJV (44:30): Yeah. Well that’s the, the thing with, you know, whether it’s, you know, audio or video, but it’s the audio component it’s like, don’t they say that hearing is like one of like the biggest sources of memory of smell and hearing, but it’s like one of the things too, it’s the thing that’s challenging about the written word is that you miss the tone and you miss those interests. I think, you know, it’s like we, I tried to all the time, it’s like, anytime I’m trying to write heated email, I’m like, delete that. Do not send that NS (44:59): That’s gonna not AJV (44:59): Be right. Cause it’s like, you always read it in the mood that you’re in, not the mood that it was sent, but totally different connotation and tone and feel when you hear someone in the intent that they desire to send us. Yes. Very much. I love this. This is so fascinating. Okay. So last two things, Nora. So what do you want people to know about hello audio? NS (45:22): Oh, well, hello. Audio is a great way for you to reach your consumers where they’re already at. And, and again, we made it easy to use, but even easier to try. So one of the things that we did with hello audience, we removed, I know a lot of SAS companies do this. They ask you to put in net credit card before you try it. We do not. So we have a free seven day trial, no credit card required to allow you to just experience it. So if you do wanna check it out and you’re interested in creating a private podcast for any sorts of content that you might already have, go ahead and go to hello, audio FM. And you can try it out for seven days without any requirements. No, no credit card requirements. It’s just making it super easy. There you go. Ease in convenience, reducing the friction AJV (46:02): Practice, what you preach. I’m gonna go from that. Absolutely too. And then last and not least, where can people follow you and learn more about you? NS (46:11): Absolutely. You can connect with [email protected] or on Instagram at Nora set. AJV (46:17): Oh my gosh, Nora, this was awesome. There is so much richness in this conversation and it’s like, I took an entire page of notes and I’m like trying to pay attention and come up with questions. Like I gotta write this down. This is so good. I love this. This was genuinely one of my favorite interviews that I’ve done. And it’s like, like I told you, it’s like into the audience, you know, it’s like we usually only have friends on it is very rare that we would take a pitch that somebody sent us. But I was so fascinated in this, that you have been the surprising delight in this conversation. Thank you so much for giving us your time today. NS (46:53): Oh, thanks for having me. I’m this has been amazing. I’m so glad we connected. AJV (46:57): Oh my gosh. I can’t wait to learn more. I can’t wait to stay connected. I’m so fascinated. And you, this has been such an awesome conversation. Thank you so much, everyone listening. Make sure you stay tuned. Come back for the recap episode and we will see you next time on the influential personal brand.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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